Friday, October 9, 2015


So, my insurance company got me a rental car, and it looks like my car will hopefully be fixed tomorrow.  With a badass SUV that they gave me to drive, I decided to go see what fun could be had in Knoxville.  By fun, I'm not talking about sights, but I thought I'd check out the local gay scene.

Apparently, there are three gay bars in Knoxville.  One looked really promising as they were having a free Texas Hold 'Em tournament last night.  Winner got $100.  I used to play poker every Friday night with a group of friends when I was in graduate school, so I decided I'd check it out.  I got to the bar and ordered a drink to wait for the tournament to start. The crowd was mostly older men. I have nothing against older guys, but it's nice when they are friendly.  While I tried to engage a few, it was obvious that I was an outsider and not that welcomed.  The guys and gals there to play poker were obviously very serious about it.  I was hoping for some fun and socializing.  I figured out pretty quickly that this was not going to be the case.  So I gave up on the place and left.  With it being a Thursday night, I doubted that the other two gay bars would be much fun either.  If this was New Orleans, something is usually happening every night, but this is Knoxville not New Orleans, so I decided to head back to the hotel to watch How to Get Away with Murder.

I have a confession here, I saw a sign for an adult store on my way back to my hotel and decided to check it out and see if they had anything fun.  I did find a nice new toy (as luck would have it they were having a sale and the cashier gave a 20% off coupon to use), and my new toy is the perfect size for some play.  So while I didn't have fun playing poker because it looked a bit lame, I had a lot of fun with my new toy.  So I amused myself and then went on to bed.

I expect that my car will not be ready until tomorrow afternoon, so I will go into downtown Knoxville and see some of the sights.  Hopefully I can get back on the road tomorrow and maybe make it to Virginia.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Shit Happens

First things first, I'm ok, sadly my car is not.  On I-40 just outside of Knoxville, TN, I hit some large piece of metal (well about the size of my head) in the road.  It punctured my gas tank.  I had no choice as I was flanked by semi trucks.  Luckily, no sparks were present, and I was able to pull off to the side of the road and call 911.  The local fire department arrived and neutralized the gas and my car was towed to a local garage.  The tow truck was kind enough to take me to a hotel.  So for at least tonight I'm stuck in Lenoir City, Tennessee, in a hotel.  Hopefully, they can get a new fuel tank quickly and get it installed today, and I can be back on my way. If they have the part, I was told they'll move quickly, assuming the only damage was the fuel tank. If not, my insurance company will send me a rental car to use until my car is fixed but it would still mean I'm stuck in Lenoir City, Tennessee.  Maybe I can explore some of nearby Knoxville.

I had to cancel my hotel reservations in Virginia and Albany.  Hopefully, the hotel in Albany will not charge me as I cancelled a day in advance. My Virginia hotel was not as kind. They are charging me regardless because I did not cancel 24 hours in advance.  They didn't care that I had an accident.

On the bright side, there were no sparks and my car did not blow up with or without me in it.  This is just one of those things that happens and it could have been far worse.  I did enough crying and freaking out yesterday, I am going to try and remain calm.  I will get to Vermont, come Hell or high water.

UPDATE (10am EST):  The needed part was found in Knoxville and unless there is more extensive damage than they initially thought, my car will be ready tomorrow.  The insurance company is sending a rental car to let me use until the car is ready.  It means I'm stuck at the hotel until 4pm when they will deliver the car.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A New Day

Today is the first day of my new life.  I'm driving as far as Virginia today and have dinner with a friend at Virginia Tech, then I'll drive from there to Albany, New York, on Thursday.  I'll arrive in my new town on Friday and take possession of my new apartment.  The rest of this week is a transition but the new day has begun. 

Since this is a new beginning, I've been doing a lot of thinking about my blog title.  And while I have mulled over a number of suggestions, I've decided that at least for now, it will stay The Closet Professor.  As my friend of mine in marketing would say, it's my brand.  It is what people are familiar with and even though the web address wouldn't change, there would still be some ripple effect in changing it.  I chose The Closet Professor because I was a teacher and I was in the closet, but also because it gave the blog an LGBT qualifier in the name.  The LGBT part of the title is something that has always been very important to me, and I don't want to let that go. Even though I will no longer be teaching (though I'm still hoping I might be able to, at least some) and I will be out, The Closet Professor is a major part of who I am.  It's who I was and part of me will always be.  

I began my life in the South and for five years lived as a closeted teacher, but am now making a new life for myself as an oral historian in New England. I think my life will work out the way it was always meant to be. That doesn't mean there won't be ups and downs; that's all part of life. It means I just have to be patient. I feel like today, October 7, 2015, is my new birthday. It's a beginning filled with great hope. It's a second chance to live my life…not anyone else's.

A new day has begun...

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


by Warren Hanson

This is the Beginning…
This is where it all will start,
on the Wings of some new Spirit with the Beat of some new Heart.

Every morning brings a Promise,
Every day has Gifts to give,
But Today…right now…This Minute….
is when I begin to Live.
And the air that I am breathing is the breeze of what could be,
as I stand here looking out on all the things that could be Me.
And the road that goes before me, leading somewhere out of sight,
is a brand new Opportunity for me to get it Right.
This is the Beginning. This is
Once Upon a Time….
There are dragons to be vanquished! There are castle walls to climb!
But this story isn’t written yet.
I’m only at page One.
The Adventure that’s awaiting me has only just Begun.
There are Mysteries and Treasurers.
There are daring deeds to do!
And if I speak the secret word, then all my Wishes will come true.
That Magic Word has powers that can make the heavens spin.
But it really is not Secret that the password is……”Begin!”
Oh the possibilities is this Beginning I have made!
I am Ready!…. but reluctant.
I am Excited!…. but afraid.

Afraid that starting something New leaves something Old behind.
Afraid that what I seek is something I may Never find.
Or, if I Find it, that it won’t be what I want at all.
That what I’ve left Behind is what I needed after all.

Beginning can be bittersweet, and hard to comprehend.
It can mean that some sweet, precious part of life is at an End.
And the Heart can feel so Hollow when it has to say Good-bye
that the thought of starting Over is too Hard to even try.

But when I reach the End, when all my days are nearly through,
I will Not want to look back on all the things I Didn’t do.
Nor regret the Joys and Passions of the me that Might have been,
if only I had found the simple Courage to Begin.
So…….This is the Beginning….
My Beginning……..My Rebirth.
I Awaken to the Wonder of what I am Really worth.
It is a Springtime for the Spirit, and it’s Giving me a Choice.
So I choose to Use this season as a reason to Rejoice!

I lift my voice in Sweet thanksgiving, singing Loud….and not alone.
A host of Harmonies accompanies my song of the unknown.
Loving Friends and willing Strangers, with their voices joining in,
create a chorus of Encouragement that begs me to Begin.

And the end?…..
It’s out there, Somewhere, farther than the heart can see.
And the Power that will take me there is Here, inside of me.
Though there is no way I can know how many trials I’ll endure,
nor the Joys that I may find,
there is One thing I know for sure…..

This is the Beginning…….

Warren Hanson is a gifted writer of books for children and adults alike. It's amazing how closely it aligns with what I am feeling today. I'm putting the final touches on packing, loading my car, and telling people goodbye. I’m heading north tomorrow morning. As the poem says, “I am Ready!…. but reluctant. I am Excited!…. but afraid.” It's so true that “Beginning can be bittersweet, and hard to comprehend.” It can be a bit overwhelming at times. This is a new adventure and a new job far away from home. I don't know what the future will hold, but I look forward to getting settled and getting to work. This is the Beginning…….

Monday, October 5, 2015

Man's Best Friend

I saw this on Wicked Gay Blog (one of my favorite blogs, so much interesting stuff) and had to share it.  You can read it at the source at: or you can read it below.  I found it kind of interesting.

Man’s Best Friend

By Lawrence Pfeil, Jr.

Whoever called the dog, “man’s best friend” obviously never had a penis (aka dick, cock, pecker, wiener, joystick, schlong, man meat, tally whacker, John Thomas, and/or Schwanzstucker) because men embrace theirs from the get-go. Ultrasounds have shown male fetuses in the last trimester with in utero erections and tiny hands clutching on. By the time “the boys” drop around age 12 or 13 and the package is complete; and the once friendship has grown into a lifetime obsession filled with prowess and pride, comparisons, and above all pleasure.

But what do we really know about every man’s penile pal?

Let’s start at the beginning, which usually depends on your perspective i.e., if it’s your tool or someone else’s, but in this case the word itself. Penis, typically referring to the shaft, is Latin for “tail,” while testes (aka nads, balls, plumbs, rocks, and/or bollox) share the Latin root for “witness” which according to Dr. Steven Lamm, MD’s book. The Hardness Factor comes from the Roman law practice of a man holding his junk while “testifying” in court. (Or possibly it was just a way of distracting opposing counsel millennia before “Basic Instinct,” but the jury is still out.)

Dr. Lamm also cites the men of Australia’s Walibri tribe who greet each other, by shaking Johnsons instead of hands. Apparently it’s not just gay men in America who enjoy this custom. Men the world over, whether ancient or modern, developed or primitive, all value taking matters into their own hands.

As for the actual nuts and bolt, everyone “says” size isn’t important, unless of course you’re walking around naked in the locker room at the gym. FYI… gymnasium comes from the Greek word “gymnazo” meaning “to exercise naked” (yet another reason to go Greek).

For most men, their left gonad hangs lower than the other. But in approximately 10% of men, the right one hangs lower, because they’re left-handed. Seriously, it’s a proven fact. But do the research, and if they’re wrong, it won’t be a waste of time finding out.

It has been said, “God’s only design flaw in man is that He gave him two heads but only enough blood to use one or the other, but not both at the same time.” It’s hard to argue with that. Considering the average erection only requires about two to three tablespoons of blood, it doesn’t say much for the brain activity of most men when it’s channeled to the other head either.

As for length, width, girth, circumference, cut/uncut, ethnic stereotypes, and grow-ers vs show-ers, no study, statistics, or evidence is going to change the perceptions and preferences of anyone. He’s your best friend who has been with you since the beginning and will be with you till the end. Who else can you say that about? So like anyone with you through thick and thin, you love him for his strengths as well as whatever his shortcomings may be because he is yours.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Trust in the Lord

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

Proverbs 3:5-6
Yesterday, I was talking to a friend of mine, and we were discussing something that he has been wrestling with for years. He said that once he decided that it was inevitable at some point in the future that he didn't wrestle with it in his mind anymore. I have often wrestled with the same issue. I am not here to discuss the issue at hand, that's not what this is about. When he said he decided that it was inevitable and would one day happen, I told him that I knew he was wrong. I told him that I'd worried and contemplated on the same thing for many years. I came to a very different decision than my friend. I told him that once I put my faith in God, once I trusted God with all my heart, and once I quit relying on my own fears and worries, I think about that issue much less. It doesn't mean that the voice in my head that tells me things contrary to God is completely silent now, but it does mean that my faith can shut that voice up.

The point is that if we acknowledge God as our guide, then he will not guide us wrong. We have to put our full faith and trust in God, and He will protect us and show us the way. If we rely on our own insights, then we will get lost. God is our compass, but if we don't use Him and trust Him, then we will lose our way. We also must understand that each of us matters to God. I believe that we are important to God no matter how we see our relationship with Him. As 1 John 4:8 says, “God is love,” and in verse 12, we are told, “If we love one another, God lives in us, and His love is perfected in us.” If God lives in us, then we are significant to God. He not only will not forsake us, but He will love us, guide us, and protect us.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Moment of Zen: My Readers

From the day I first told all of you about the loss of my job and every day since, all of you have shown such love and support.  From your comments and your emails of comfort to your comments and emails of congratulations, each of you have been very special to me.  Thank you for your compassion.  You lifted me on my darkest days, and you have rejoiced with me in triumph. You have supplied much needed help and support as well as advice.  Thank you!