Friday, August 30, 2019

Pic of the Day



Vacation



First, I want to say thank you all for your positive comments yesterday on my “Doc” post. It meant a lot to me that you guys shared your stories.

I’m going to be traveling today. I’m headed to Montreal for the weekend. It’s going to be just a nice relaxing weekend out of town. You see, my little town has a huge Labor Day Festival and Parade. It’s so chaotic for this little town, and I just want to be away from it all.

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Pic of the Day



Doc



My doctor may not be this hot, but he’s pretty damn good looking. I saw him on Monday for a check-up. He changed up some of my medicines, and he’s sending me to a sleep study and a headache clinic. These were all things I needed.

We also had a good talk about my health. And this may be hard to believe, but I came out to my doctor for the first time, something I should have done on the first visit. However, in my past, I had a really bad experience with this, so I had been hesitant to do so.  I knew though that it’s been a while since I’d been tested for STIs and I knew it was time. I needed to have this talk with my doctor. I did, and it went great. I go back next Thursday for the lab work and tests we decided on.

Overall, I’ve never been happier with a doctor’s office visit.

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Pic of the Day



We Need a Change


Time and time again, we think the Trump administration can’t sink any lower, yet they do. Last week was one of those moments. When The Trump administration took its hardest line yet to legalize anti-gay discrimination on Friday and asked the Supreme Court to declare that federal law allows private companies to fire workers based only on their sexual orientation.

An amicus brief filed by the Justice Department weighed in on two cases involving gay workers and what is meant by Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bans discrimination "because of sex.” The administration argued courts nationwide should stop reading the civil rights law to protect gay, lesbian, and bisexual workers from bias because it was not originally intended to do so.

I won’t go into all the specifics of the case though honestly it isn’t that complicated. The Supreme Court will hear the cases October 8. If the Court sides with the government, it will set LGBT rights back 50 years, because there will be a snowball effect.

Excuse my language and anger in the next paragraph, but while the first part of this post could most definitely affect me, the second part of this post directly affects now. And I am quite angry about it.

In other Trump disasters, those idiotic motherfuckers denied my Public Service Loan Forgiveness application for my student loans, because I haven't made 120 payments while working for a non-profit. I was clearly told to apply now to get into the program so I could make the 120 payments required for loan forgiveness. I was told by the loan company, a subsidiary of the government, that one must apply, be accepted into the program, make the required payments, then ask for forgiveness. Now they are saying that you have to make the payments first then apply. What bullshit! A coworker was denied because the Department of Education said she did not work for a non-profit, which we clearly do. Now they are telling me something different. What they hell! This is so fucked up. We need someone who knows what they are doing at the DOE, and to just one of Trumps floozies.

Trump has got to go and we need to make sure he and his cronies never influence American politics again.

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Pic of the Day



Ode to the Happy Day



Ode to the Happy Day 
by Pablo Neruda (1904-1973)

This time let me
be happy.
Nothing has happened to anybody,
I am nowhere special,
it happened only
that I am happy
through the four chambers
of my heart, walking,
sleeping or writing.
What can I do? I am
happy,
I am more uncountable
than the meadow
grass
I feel my skin like a wrinkled tree
and the water below,
the birds above,
the sea like a ring
around my waist,
the Earth is made of bread and stone,
the air sings like a guitar.

You, by my side in the sand,
you are the sand,
you sing and you are a song,
today the world
is my soul:
song and sand,
today the world
is your mouth:
Let me
be happy
on your mouth, on the sand,
be happy just because, because I am breathing
and because you are breathing,
be happy, because I am touching
your knee
and it is as though I am touching
the blue skin of heaven
and its pristine air.

Today let me
and me only
be happy,
with everybody or without them,
be happy,
with the grass
and the sand,
be happy
with the air and the earth,
be happy,
with you, with your mouth,
be happy.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Pic of the Day



They’re Back


Today is the first day of classes, which means all the cadets are now back. Some were back last week for Rook Week, but now all civilians and cadets are back and classes begin. We’ll have more traffic in the museum. My civic scholar should return to work soon, and we’ll have our work study student back soon too. Also, the cafes will be open again. However, it also means you have to watch where you walk because Rooks can only walk on the right side of the sidewalk and if you do that, there can be a bottleneck behind you because they can’t ask you to move out of their way. Furthermore, parking will be a pain again. I get there early enough so finding a parking space in the morning isn’t a problem. What is a problem is if you have to move your car at any point during the day. You’ll lose a prime parking space. Anyway, it will mostly be good to have the students back.

Sunday, August 25, 2019

Pic of the Day



Shine


But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day. (KJV) ( Proverbs 4:18 ) 

Our lives have so much potential.  When we choose to live godly lives we have the chance to tell a beautiful story that grows in impact up till the day we meet Jesus face to face.  Choose the path of the just and watch and see as God uses you to be His light in the lives of others! 


Friday, August 23, 2019

Pic of the Day



Recovered


I’ve recovered from my headache, but I don’t have much to say today. Instead, I give you a pretty picture.

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Pic of the Day



Headache



Last night, I had a terrible headache, and it continues to plague me today.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Pic of the Day





Aikane and Ancient Hawaiian Homosexuality


FEW PEOPLE APPRECIATE JUST HOW GAY-FRIENDLY POLYNESIA WAS BEFORE EUROPEAN CONTACT.

Even Captain Cook, who passed through Hawaii, noted in his journals same-same (Aikane) relationships as well as transgender people (Mahu).

The ancient Hawaiians weren’t uptight about relationships and possessed an understanding of human beings’ dual nature comprised of both masculine and feminine qualities. The concept of opposite sexes is foreign to Hawaiian thought, and their language contains no female or male pronouns like “he” or “she.” This reflects the Polynesian emphasis on integration and balance of the male and female gods. The Mahu embody this ancient Polynesian principle of spiritual duality and are viewed as an honored intermediate sex.

The Polynesians of yore seemed way ahead of modern western culture in their acceptance of queer people. They possessed a fluid sense of sexuality and sexual activity that was enjoyed openly and without concern.

Before the Europeans arrived in the eighteenth century, transgender roles were already socially accepted as well as kept male lovers (Aikane).

In pre-European Hawaii, if a man was particularly handsome and talented in dance or poetic chanting, a High Chieftain may keep him as a lover. Since high-ranking chiefs were believed to be descended from the gods, Aikane were granted special political and social status as a result of their sexual favors with the royals thereby increasing their own rank. Same-sex relations among men allowed chiefs to test the loyalty of their warriors while preventing unwanted pregnancies or preserving sacred bloodlines.

Captain Cook’s crew witnessed this society in 1778 and kept detailed journals. They learned of concubines (often male) whose business, as the journals put it, “is to commit the Sin of Onan upon the old King” — a reference to oral sex. “It is an office that is esteemed honorable among them,” continued the shocked log writer, “and they have frequently asked us on seeing a handsome young fellow if he was not an Ikany [Aikane] to some of us.”

Many scholars have said that old Hawaii was neither purely heterosexual nor homosexual, but a bisexual culture. Same-sex relationships were commonplace. No shame was associated with same-gender sex or for men to openly lead an active life as a female (Mahu).

It wasn’t extraordinary for a boy to be brought up as a girl, dressing like and appearing as a woman, performing “female” duties in everyday life. Mahu were considered to possess equal halves of both gender traits, as if both actual genders resided within them. They actively chose to adopt the role of their “female half”; such individuals were respected as a normal element in the social culture that preceded missionary days.

Mahu weren’t only tolerated; they were accepted as a legitimate contributing part of the community. They were thought to possess the virtues of both men and women. Mahu were valued as the keepers of cultural traditions, such as the passing down of genealogies.

This all changed once the missionaries descended on the islands in 1820 imposing their strict Pentecostal evangelical conventions on the “heathen” Hawaiians. They dictated that all sex was morally bad unless it was for procreation within a sanctified marriage. The Mahu subculture was forced underground; the Aikane tradition was harshly condemned as an intolerable grossly deviant mortal sin. Homophobia was born on the islands.

Today, the Aikane tradition has vanished or been absorbed into Western-style gay culture. Mahu on the other hand still live their lives in today’s Hawaii. If a family has five boys, it’s standard to
raise the sixth boy as a daughter to adopt the feminine role of family caretaker since a suitable daughter was lacking. This provides additional labor for traditional women’s tasks like cooking and raising children. Whether or not that implies homosexuality isn’t important.

However, the past’s missionary influences have created modern negative attitudes towards transgendered people, although Mahu have been a part of Hawai’ian, Tahitian, Samoan, Tongan and the rest of Polynesian life for hundreds, possibly thousands of years. Mahu are finding their role in today’s society confusing and difficult, so often they become drag queens or go into prostitution.

The modern meaning of Mahu has shifted from its original definition. Nowadays, locals typically use it as a derogatory term for drag queens and effeminate gay men.

Let’s practice acceptance and respect through aloha (love) and realize the humanness in each other instead of just settling for tolerance. Sexual and gender diversity is widespread throughout the Pacific Islands. We’ve come along way, but we’ve got a long way to go. Aloha.

This article was written by Eliot Rifkin and originally published as a feature in Queensland Pride magazine. Copyright © 2010 Evolution Publishing.


Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Pic of the Day





Hot Tub


Hot Tub
By Miguel Murphy

A tryst.
That ends
in a nightly dose.

A contradiction,
emptiness
refused by starlight,

the dark
enflamed with error.
Tell me again

what crime you are
so guilty of?
The hot tub,

26 Seconal—
the moon
like ejaculate.

Delicate.
Poor
Barlow,

you felt
so alone;
you were

the only queer.
January 1, 1951.
In the semantics of

your translation
you intend, in Náhuatl
a long while,

to abandon
your cadaver.
There.

About This Poem

“Robert Barlow, aged 16, was either the 43-year old H. P. Lovecraft’s lover for a summer in 1934, or just his disappointed protégé, who in his own middle years would overdose on Seconal after a student threatened to expose him for being that medical monster of the age, a homosexual. The diagnosis, the name of the disease. In 2019, I sit in my hot tub, but the freedoms of this era feel illusory. A single pill a night makes a frightening plague a kind of historical footnote. Such starlight. The backside of the century.”
—Miguel Murphy

Miguel Murphy is the author of Detainee (Barrow Street Press, 2016). He teaches at Santa Monica College and lives in southern California.



Monday, August 19, 2019

Pic of the Day



In Bulk


A friend of mine asked me to go to Costco to do some shopping. Her membership was new, and she was afraid that the store would be too big and intimidating. So to prevent an anxiety attack, she asked me to go with her. We went up and down every aisle and found a few bargains. They sell almost everything at Costco. Of course, it’s all in bulk. If they sold boyfriends, I suspect you’d have to buy the whole group above. I could handle that, lol.

Sunday, August 18, 2019

Pic of the Day



Don’t Discriminate


And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts? (KJV) ( James 2:3-4 ) 

When we become Christ followers, we must live as God requires, showing no favoritism and loving all people.  Let’s not judge others or their status in Christ by their economic means or any other prejudice.  God has fearfully and wonderfully made each person.  As believers we should show everyone the love of Christ in all our interactions. 


Friday, August 16, 2019

Pic of the Day



Resolution



Yesterday, I talked about some aggravation at work. I got two wonderful comments on that post. Roderick commented that:

Joe, you have now built up a cv which shows both experience and capacity. On the basis of that, you could look around for another job opening. At the very least doing so would indicate to the director that you can't be taken for granted. 

I have put in a few applications recently: one in Washington, DC, one in Rhode Island, and two back in Alabama. I’ve been in my current position for a year, and when things come up that I’m qualified for, I am putting in applications. There are certain advantages to living in New England, such as the political climate, but the actual climate leaves a lot to be desired. However, I would like to be back in the South nearer my family, though I think Washington, DC would be perfect except for the cost of living there. DC is a quick non-stop plane trip to Montgomery. To me that would be close enough. Also, there are plenty of gay men in the DC area, not the case in Vermont. Anyway, I am keeping my eye out for other opportunities.

The other comment was from VRC-Do You!, and this is what that person has to say:

Before we go Roderick's route let's try a little CRUCIAL CONVERSATION-there is a book on this and there are such thing-Crucial Conversations-fire up the Googler. In the workplace, we have to learn to have those difficult conversations for the sake of our sanity and or the cohesion of the department. I would suggest outlining your grievances. Hard facts. Call for a meeting with your director and this person and state your case. Have that crucial conversation.

I do plan on having a crucial conversation with my director. I think that eventually, all four people on the staff need to have a crucial conversation. We need to be a more cohesive group, which right now we are not. I think everyone needs more defined goals and responsibilities. I recently wrote an article for our regional professional magazine, whether it will be published or not, I do not know, but it was about how we all wear many hats in such a small organization. While this is true, we need to establish what are our primary hats and what are our secondary hats. For instance, public programming and publicity for public programming is my primary hat, whereas helping me with all the arrangements is a secondary hat of our secretary. While I may delegate things to her it should ultimately be what I say goes. The director should be backing me on this. This is a crucial conversation that we should have.

Thank you for your comments, and please know that I have taken both of them to heart. I’m sure you’ll be hearing on this blog how things turn out in each instance. I need my sanity and right now, this job is not providing it. It’s not driving me completely crazy, but it will if this gets out of hand.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Pic of the Day



Aggravation


Yesterday was pure aggravation. I gave a tour yesterday of our basement, where we keep a bulk of our collection. When most people had to leave after an hour of the tour, one woman insisted on her full hour and a half tour as advertised. I went rounds with our secretary over changing some promotional material and some of the problems I’ve had with previous promotional materials. Everything I’d gotten her to change, she went behind my back and got our Director to change back so that it connected back to the continuity of the old promotional material. His continuity is just boring and continues some of the same mistakes that we’ve been making,

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Pic of the Day



Addicted



I’ve become totally addicted to watching a comedian on YouTube. Her name is Jeanne Robertson. She was born September 21, 1943 and is an American humorist, motivational speaker and a former Miss North Carolina and physical education teacher. I have stayed up past my bedtime two nights in a row just listening to her various stories which often involve her husband who she calls Left Brain. His real name is Jerry, but if you’ll watch you’ll see why she calls him Left Brain. It’s just good old clean southern humor at its best. I can’t get enough of it.


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Pic of the Day



Jabberwocky



Jabberwocky
by Lewis Carroll

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
He chortled in his joy.

'Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.


Monday, August 12, 2019

Pic of the Day



This Weekend


I did very little this weekend. I binged on the third season of Designated Survivor on Netflix and watched a documentary on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. I enjoyed both of them, but otherwise I didn’t do anything. I’d sort of planned to go to a comedy show Saturday night, but it was in Burlington and didn’t start until 9:30. I’d have been very late getting back home. This may go under the TMI category, but I also had some stomach issues and didn’t really feel like going anywhere. It’s back to work today. I had planned to take the afternoon off to meet a friend for lunch, but it turns out she has to work, so we will meet next Monday. I may still take this afternoon off. I’ll see how I feel when lunch comes.

Sunday, August 11, 2019

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Love Only


For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?  And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? (KJV) ( Matthew 5:46-47 ) 

As God's people, we are representatives of the difference He has made in our lives.  If we behave the way nonbelievers do, how does this glorify God?  It’s often difficult and ironic to love those who have hurt you in some way, whether it’s a coworker or even your father or mother.  However, it's amazing how much peace comes to you when you learn to replace resentment with love.  


Friday, August 9, 2019

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Drag Queen Trivia


Last night was a blast. The trivia was six rounds with ten questions each. I thought we were doomed after the first round which was all about stage names: they’d give us the real name of someone and we had to answer what their stage name was. After that round we came in second. We stayed in second until the fifth round when we pulled ahead on a category about reality shows, we stayed ahead in the sixth round and won the game. The prize ended up being three gift certificates to different places totally around $200.

Thursday, August 8, 2019

Pic of the Day



Drag Trivia


Tonight, I’m going with a group of friends to Drag Queen Trivia. I’ve participated in trivia tournaments before, but never one hosted by drag queens. The trivia questions will run the gamut but apparently will focus on pop-culture, queer culture, and campy fun. I think I’ve assembled a strong team. Ones an expert on RuPaul’s Drag Race, I’m pretty good at queer culture as is another friend of mine on the team, then we have some ladies who are both all around smart and good with pop-culture. We haven’t fully decided on a team name yet, but we’ll come up with something. Proceeds for the night go to Outright Vermont, specifically their summer camps for LGBTQ youths. Wish us luck.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Pic of the Day



I Tried


I tried to think of something to write today, but I kept falling asleep. I honestly don’t know what I’d have written otherwise.