Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Pic of the Day


Thankfully, for the most part, I am feeling better than I was over the weekend. I no longer have a fever, and after nearly three hours at an express care clinic, I found out that I tested negative for COVID, Flu, and RSV. I was not able to see my doctor because they won’t see patients if there is the possibility of them having COVID. They required that I have two negative COVID tests before they could see me. I had taken one on Sunday and took another at the express clinic on Monday, but by the time I got the results, my fever was basically gone, and I was feeling much better. The doctor I did get to see said I had some minor viral infection. All that remains now is a headache.

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

Pic of the Day

in & out of jean shorts (the reel catches)

If you would like to listen to Chris Campanioni read this poem himself, you can do so on SoundCloud.

in & out of jean shorts (the reel catches)

By Chris Campanioni


Picture a flower dreaming
of its own future
folded inward, enclosed within its seed
& its surroundings
my nascent
homosexuality is that
I love every body even


as if it were my own
which is to say
I love every body as if
I were myself
tasked with becoming both
object & the offer
of adoration begged


by it    Is it
wrong to think
If I weren’t sitting
on a bench overlooking the Vieux Port
not considering each vessel
approaching the Canebiére but
where each one has been only


recently this would read
otherwise or not at all
which is to say I am indebted to so many
forms & what can
only be gifted by our
swift encounters    I bow before
velocity & haphazard excess, the latent succulence


contained or carried by
words, a generous
invitation to plunge or plummet
or to be the hole itself
out of which something always
something blossoms (count the number
of times naugahyde appears in the text)


(count the number of times hypnotic & ass mingle
in my mind) Reading Puig from memory
I can place myself
at the beach &
every time or so it seems
I wish for sex out


in the open, to have
some strange body
glide over mine, to collide
as if to butterfly
underwater required not one
but two sets of salty
chests & jutting


calves (last
night’s intermittent dream
where my penis appears
in public, veering in & out
of jean shorts almost violently)
& Puig’s wish (how could I
forget this?) to grow up & not


to become movie star
but movie, which means
assemblage, network, motoric
scrapbook, the discontinuity of the act
of filming—set pieces
rushing across the set & the set
itself but also the future


of the subjects within the frame—
not just the act of filming but its unknowable
points of view, simultaneous & multiple
months or only moments later & always
to return & to beg reception
draped in dark or the privacy
of some well-lit home, alone


or in the company of people
one has only ever seen in passing
reimagined through this allowance
for difference, which is my own
inability to say where Puig’s wish
comes from (other
than Puig himself, speaking


as if he were still a child, unless
Puig, at 43 or 44 or more, awaited a life
of substitution & self-adaptation
unless Puig, ever exuberant
is still awaiting to be, the way in place
of source or reference I find only my own origin: my
meticulous way of copying out


everything that comes even everything
that evades me)—is it me
is it Puig is there any difference?
The opposite of authorship
is feverish attribution, my tendency
to assume all thoughts
I have belong to everyone


& doesn’t
a changeover
imply the endeavor to move
by rapidly opening
& shutting one’s eyes? The real catches
only if I deny myself
its recognition

From: Catapult Magazine

Chris Campanioni was born in New York City in 1985 and grew up in a very nineties New Jersey. The son of exiles from Cuba and Poland, Chris is a writer, multimedia artist, and instructor. His debut novel, Going Down, was selected as Best First Book at the International Latino Book Awards in 2014. His poem “Transport (after ‘When Ecstasy is Inconvenient’)” received the Zócalo Public Square Poetry Prize in 2015, and a selection from his cross-genre Death of Art was awarded a Pushcart Prize in 2016. Earlier, he was awarded the 2013 Academy of American Poets College Prize. He is the recipient of numerous fellowships, including a 2019 CHCI-Mellon Global Humanities Institute fellowship to join the Transnational Joint Research Center for Migration, Logistics, and Cultural Intervention; in 2021, he became a member of the Institute for Research on the African Diaspora in the Americas and the Caribbean, where he continues to broach the multiple, intersecting, and extant repercussions of the Cold War. From 2016 until 2022, he edited PANK and PANK Books, launching PANK’s Folio series in 2019 and its translation imprint, Transmission, in 2021. 


His essays, poetry, and fiction have been translated into Spanish and Portuguese, appearing in BOMB, Diacritics, Life Writing, Catapult, Social Text, Los Angeles Review of Books, American Poetry Review, Fence, Ambit, Nat. Brut, Kenyon Review, Denver Quarterly, Gulf Coast, Tupelo Press Quarterly, Journal of Cinema and Media Studies, Hayden’s Ferry Review, Journal of Comparative Literature and Aesthetics, 3:AM Magazine, DIAGRAM, Poetry International {this list is long … & I’m still loading}, M/C: Media & Culture, Prelude, RHINO, Gorse, and several other journals, anthologies, and edited volumes, including Revisiting the Elegy in the Black Lives Matter Era (Routledge, 2019), Manticore: Hybrid Writing from Hybrid Identities (Sundress, 2019), Open House: Conversations with Writers About Community (Tupelo Press, 2023) Migration, Dislocation and Movement on Screen(Berghahn Books, 2023), and Transmedia Selves: Identity and Persona Creation in the Age of Mobile and Multiplatform Media(Routledge, 2023). His translations have been published in Beginnings of the Prose Poem: All Over The Place (Commonwealth Books, 2021), his multimedia work has been exhibited at the New York Academy of Art, and the film adaptation of his poem This body’s long (& I’m still loading) was in the official selection at the Canadian International Film Festival.


Chris’s research on queer migration, surveillance, and the personal text has been presented internationally and he has served as a visiting author and writer in residence at universities and MFA programs across the United States. Outside the academy, he has performed at public symposiums, including TED Talks, the Transatlantic Poetry Series, and the &Now Festival of Innovative Writing.  From 2016-2022 he served as a MAGNET Mentor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, with the primary goal of getting more students of color into graduate programs in the humanities. He has taught Latinx literature, creative writing, media studies, and journalism at Pace University and Baruch College, where he’s been awarded the Diana Colbert Prize for Innovative Teaching, the Presidential Excellence Award for Distinguished Teaching, and the Department of English Excellence in Teaching Award. Today he is a Visiting Lecturer in the English department at Baruch College.



A Few Notes:


Some of you may recognize Chris from his modeling. He was a model for C-IN2, and he has done other modeling as well. However, he is also a prolific writer and intellectual.


Also, and this may show my ignorance, but I had to look up who "Puig" was that he mentions in the poem above. Manuel Puig was an Argentine author. Among his best-known novels are La traición de Rita Hayworth (Betrayed by Rita Hayworth, 1968), Boquitas pintadas (Heartbreak Tango, 1969), and El beso de la mujer araña (Kiss of the Spider Woman, 1976) which was adapted into the film released in 1985, directed by the Argentine-Brazilian director Héctor Babenco; and a Broadway musical in 1993.

Also, I had to include the second picture of Chris because it is of him speaking at the Vermont College of Fine Arts, which recently announced it would no longer be holding classes/residency in Vermont anymore. I am familiar with VCFA for several reasons, not least because for a brief while, I dated a guy who was attending VCFA, but it never really went anywhere.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Pic of the Day


I’ve spent most of the weekend in bed or laying on my couch. Sadly, it wasn’t with the guy in the picture above. Instead, I was in bed because I’ve had a terrible migraine and have been running a fever. My fever has gone down a few times, and my headache has abated for short periods. However, both always seem to come back worse. Mostly though, I have been miserable. If I’m not miraculously better when I wake up this morning, I’m going to try to get an appointment to see my doctor. I hate being sick, and I hate even more having a fever.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Pic of the Day

23rd Psalm

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: 

He leadeth me beside the still waters

He restoreth my soul: 

He leadeth me in the paths of righteousness 

for his name's sake

Yea, though I walk through the valley 

of the shadow of death, 

I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; 

Thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me 

in the presence of mine enemies: 

Thou anointest my head with oil; 

My cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me 

all the days of my life: 

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Pic of the Day


Yesterday was a very emotional day for me, and not much else makes an emotional day worse than a phone call from my mother. None of it is something I want to discuss, but I also don’t feel like talking about anything else. Don’t worry, it wasn’t anything really bad, but I was feeling pretty drained last night. I got home, ate dinner, talked to a friend on the phone, my mother called, and then, took a Xanax for my anxiety before laying on the couch to watch Star Trek, which is always good for my mental health. I just needed to get recentered and relax.

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Pic of the Day

Rough Day

While my new migraine medicine seems to be helping a lot (migraines are less frequent and usually less intense), the exception to this is when it rains. For usually twenty-four hours or so before rain begins, I have a bad migraine. I’ve become a pretty accurate predictor of rain. It doesn’t matter how much or how little rain we actually get, the day leading up to it is pretty rough.

It rained off and on all day yesterday. Sometimes, my migraines stops when the rain begins, but not yesterday. My guess is that because it would rain a little then the sun would come out before it would rain a little more. This happened over and over all day yesterday. Finally my headache started getting better but then my mother called. I won’t even get into that little conversation, but talking to her always makes me feel like shit.

Anyway, as my migraine began to improve late yesterday afternoon, I began having severe sciatic nerve pain. My left side from just above my hip all the way down to my toes was in agony. I’ve had sciatica off an on for years and usually taking naproxen helps, and it did for a few minutes, but I went to bed with it still hurting.

I really hope today is a better, less painful day. I suspect this is the same with most people with chronic pain, but sometimes it gets so depressing to hurt all the time. You just want some kind of release.

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Pic of the Day

Poems by Edward Carpenter

Summer Heat

Summer Heat

by Edward Carpenter


Sun burning down on back and loins, penetrating the skin, bathing their flanks in sweat,

Where they lie naked on the warm ground, and the ferns arch over them,

Out in the woods, and the sweet scent of fir-needles

Blends with the fragrant nearness of their bodies;


In-armed together, murmuring, talking,

Drunk with wine of Eros' lips,

Hourlong, while the great wind rushes in the branches,

And the blue above lies deep beyond the fern-fronds and fir-tips;


Till, with the midday sun, fierce scorching, smiting,

Up from their woodland lair they leap, and smite,

And strike with wands, and wrestle, and bruise each other,

In savage play and amorous despite.

Love’s Vision

Love’s Vision

by Edward Carpenter


At night in each other’s arms,

Content, overjoyed, resting deep deep down in the darkness,

Lo! the heavens opened and He appeared--

Whom no mortal eye may see,

Whom no eye clouded with Care,

Whom none who seeks after this or that, whom none who has not escaped from self. 


There--in the region of Equality, in the world of Freedom no longer limited,

Standing as a lofty peak in heaven above the clouds,

From below hidden, yet to all who pass into that region most clearly visible--

He the Eternal appeared.

To a Stranger

To a Stranger

by Edward Carpenter


O faithful eyes, day after day as I see and know

you—unswerving faithful and beautiful—going about

your ordinary work unnoticed,

I have noticed—I do not forget you.

I know the truth the tenderness the courage, I know

the longings hidden quiet there.

Go right on. Have good faith yet—keep that your

unseen treasure untainted.

Many shall bless you. To many yet, though no word

be spoken, your face shall shine as a lamp.

It shall be remembered, and that which you have

desired—in silence—shall come abundantly to you.

Through the Long Night

Through the Long Night

by Edward Carpenter


You, proud curve-lipped youth, with brown sensitive face,

Why, suddenly, as you sat there on the grass, did you

turn full upon me those twin black eyes of yours,

With gaze so absorbing so intense, I a strong man

trembled and was faint?

Why in a moment between me and you in the full

summer afternoon did Love sweep-leading after it in procession across the lawn and the flowers and under the waving

trees huge dusky shadows of Death and the other world?


I know not.

Solemn and dewy-passionate, yet burning clear and sted-fast at the last,

Through the long night those eyes of yours, dear,

remain to me—

And I remain gazing into them.


You, proud curve-lipped youth, with brown sensitive face,

Why, suddenly, as you sat there on the grass, did you turn full upon me those twin black eyes of yours,

With gaze so absorbing so intense, I a strong man trembled and was faint?

Why in a moment between me and you in the full summer afternoon did Love sweep—leading after it in procession across the lawn and the flowers and under the waving trees huge dusky shadows of Death and the other world?

I know not.

Solemn and dewy-passionate, yet burning clear and steadfast at the last,

Through the long night those eyes of yours, dear, remain to me—

And I remain gazing into them.

Edward Carpenter & his lover George Merrill circa 1900

About the Poet


The Mount Cemetery of Guildford, an English town about 32 miles southwest of London, contains the graves of two gay lovers: Edward Carpenter, a man called the “gay godfather of the British left” and his longtime partner George Merrill. While this may not seem too surprising these days, and you may not recognize them by name, both men bucked the homophobia of the late 18th and early 19th centuries by living together in an out gay relationship, providing romantic inspiration for two books written by well-known gay authors in the process. Their final resting place has recently been designated as an LGBTQ historic site by Historic England, an organization that helps people care for, enjoy and celebrate England’s spectacular historic environment.


Born in 1844, Edward Carpenter knew he was gay from an early age. In his diary, he wrote, “At the age of eight or nine, and long before distinct sexual feelings declared themselves, I felt a friendly attraction toward my own sex, and this developed after the age of puberty into a passionate sense of love.” He studied at the prestigious Trinity Hall college at the University of Cambridge. There, he developed romantic feelings toward his friend Edward Anthony Beck, who also served as Trinity Hall’s master. Beck eventually ended their friendship, leaving Carpenter heartbroken.


Carpenter said the work of gay American poet Walt Whitman caused “a profound change” in him, as Whitman urged people to find divinity in nature and within themselves rather than in religious society. Though Carpenter served in the Anglican ministry until age 30, he gradually grew dissatisfied with church and university life. He left both to begin publicly lecturing on astronomy, historic Greek women, and music. When he moved to the town of Sheffield at age 31, he encountered many manual workers. Historians note that his poetry around this time expressed attraction to these workers, to “the grimy and oil-besmeared figure of a stoker” and “the thick-thighed hot coarse-fleshed young bricklayer with a strap around his waist.”


As such, it’s hardly surprising that at age 47, he met and fell in love with George Merrill, a working-class man who (unlike Carpenter) grew up in the slums and had no formal education. The couple met on a train after Carpenter returned from travels in India. Merrill worked numerous blue-collar jobs at a newspaper office, a hotel, and an ironworks. Seven years after meeting, the two men moved in together into Carpenter’s small farm home in Millthorpe, Derbyshire.


There, Merrill officially served as Carpenter’s servant, cooking, cleaning, and decorating their home in fresh flowers. Carpenter liked Merrill’s baritone voice and enjoyment in singing comical songs. Carpenter once wrote of him, “George in fact was accepted and one may say beloved by both my manual worker friends and my more aristocratic friends.” Their living openly as a gay couple was especially notable considering that, at the time, the United Kingdom had laws punishing “buggery” with prison time. Oscar Wilde was convicted and sent to prison for homosexuality in 1895 and shunned by society — countless other men had their lives ruined under similar offenses.


But despite this, Carpenter openly defended same-sex relationships in his 1895 book Homogenic Love, his 1896 work Love’s Coming of Age, and 1908 creation The Intermediate Sex, calling same-sex couples “not only natural but “inevitable.” The books generated controversy, even leading one of Carpenter’s neighbors to report him to the Derbyshire Police. The police pledged to keep a “discreet watch” on him and his activities.


Carpenter became friends with Whitman and other influential writers like Indian writer Rabindranath Tagore and the English authors D.H. Lawrence and E.M. Forester. Carpenter’s relationship with Merrill reportedly inspired the gay romance in Forster’s posthumously published novel Maurice and the straight romance in Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley’s Lover, both of which involved people in romantic relationships with men from lower social classes. Beyond the couple’s notoriety, Carpenter himself is also celebrated for being a socialist whose early works opposed environmental pollution, cruelty to animals, worker exploitation, and other positions which have since become mainstays of different social justice movements.


Merrill died in 1928. In May of the same year, Carpenter had a paralytic stroke. After 13 months, Carpenter too died. The men’s gravestone reads, “Do not think too much of the dead husk of your friend, or mourn too much over it, but send your thoughts out towards the real soul or self which has escaped-to reach it. For so, surely you will cast a light of gladness upon his onward journey, and contribute your part towards the building of that kingdom of love which links our earth to heaven.”

Monday, August 22, 2022

Pic of the Day

Thought of the Day

There’s a quote that says, “Life is a journey with problems to solve and lessons to learn but most of all. Experiences to enjoy.” The journey of life is really about finding one’s self, figuring out who we really are. Sometimes the road to finding yourself is bumpy, and it can even be dangerous. Often, we even get lost and take a wrong turn. However, if we are true to ourselves, that’s the only map we need on our journey. I saw this quote on Facebook. Who knows what it’s from, but it I felt like it was talking directly to me.

It’s taken a very long time, and I wish I’d figured a lot of things out differently a long time ago, but I’m constantly working on improving myself and being true to who I am inside. I am certainly not perfect (sometimes I don’t even like myself), nor have I fully become the person I should be, but all I can say is that I’m trying.

Sunday, August 21, 2022

Pic of the Day

Pleasure, Sex, Guilt, and God

I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.

—Ecclesiastes 3:12-13


This may be a questionable post for some of my readers, though I think it is something most of us have struggled with at some point in our lives or still do. And I’m going to be frank in this post, so feel free to skip it if talking about sex and religion isn’t for you…


I was talking to a friend about what God thinks of watching gay porn and/or pleasuring ourselves. While I think we all desire relationships, intimacy, and connection, we still have carnal desires. The word often connotes an action or manifestation of a person's lower nature derogatorily. Carnal is sometimes applied to any gratification of a bodily desire or pleasure but commonly implies sexual appetite with the absence of the spiritual or intellectual. It also stresses the physical as distinguished from the rational nature of a person. However, why should the word carnal have such negative connotations? 


The primary theme of 1 Corinthians concerns the actions, attitudes, behaviors, and beliefs of spiritual (Gk., pneumatikois) people versus the fleshly or carnal (Gk., sarkinois) people. First Corinthians 3:1-4 says, “And I, brethren, could not speak to you as to spiritual people but as to carnal, as to babes in Christ. I fed you with milk and not with solid food; for until now you were not able to receive it, and even now you are still not able; for you are still carnal. For where there are envy, strife, and divisions among you, are you not carnal and behaving like mere men? For when one says, “I am of Paul,” and another, “I am of Apollos,” are you not carnal?” Paul seeks to teach the Corinthians an understanding of both ways of living.

On the one hand, spiritual living does not mean that a person rejects the material world and engages in practices that make one appear more spiritual to others. Instead, the spiritual person is a mature Christian who knows that all things in life are good, pleasing, and holy if accepted with thanks. True spirituality is shown through love and service toward others rather than through ecstatic experiences.


The carnal person, then, is the opposite of the spiritual person. The carnal person may appear to be quite "spiritual" and religious, but they cannot grasp, understand, or practice the greater truths of Christianity which lead us to lay down our lives for others in love and service to them. The carnal or fleshly person is not necessarily one who gives in to the passions and lusts of the flesh but is rather one who thinks that the chills and thrills of ecstatic religion make them superior to others. God desires us to be happy because happy people will serve him better. Think of the bitter Christians who want to push their own perverted morality on everyone. Their hearts are full of hate, and they are miserable people. Instead of serving God, they are serving their own selfishness and despair.


Too often, we are made to feel guilty about our sexuality, and this goes for heterosexuals, homosexuals, and bisexuals alike. We are told that sex is dirty and wrong; it should only be done for procreation, etc. Growing up, we were given a certain message about gay people that clashed with what was often our growing understanding of our own sexuality. These hate-filled beliefs make many people question their faith and their very lives. The guilt thrust upon us can be devastating and have long-lasting, even eternal, harm to our souls. If we were nurtured instead of damned by others, we could live happy, healthy lives, but those who are bitter, hateful, and judgmental don’t want us to live happy lives. They want us to be as miserable as they are.


When I started realizing I like guys, my desire for relationship, intimacy, and connection also shattered my preconceived notions about what being gay meant. At first, I could not understand my sexuality. All the other guys I knew were talking about girls, and all I could think about was them. Even before I understood I was gay, I dreamt and fantasized about sex with other guys. To put it bluntly, I wanted to not just kiss and hold and be held by another guy; I wanted to have sex with another man. At first, I did not understand all the mechanics of it, but in a way, I did. I seemed to instinctively understand what I wanted to do sexually with a guy. It took me many years to come to terms with being gay and realize how good being gay can be.


For all the talk about love, romance, connection, union, covenant… all great things, to be sure, I want to make sure that we don't lose track of the carnal pleasures that come with being gay. I used to feel incredibly guilty about masturbation. I hated myself after every time I did it. It did not help that it was almost always to the thought of another guy. I had been taught that two guys being together was wrong and masturbation was sinful no matter your sexuality. When I was in school, guys who jerked off were seen as losers, though I know now that even those who said and acted that way were at home playing with themselves until they reached climax. It was just that no one admitted it. And wasn’t that why we felt such shame at being called fag, faggot, gay, queer, sissy, etc.? We were taught to deny who we are for someone else's idea of masculinity. 


My ideas of masculinity have definitely changed over the years. I have had sex with men, a few women, and some transgender men before. Obviously, sex with women was not my thing. However, with a few bad exceptions, I have always enjoyed sex with men, whether they be cisgender or transgender. Someone once told me that dating a transgender man made me straight because he was not a “real” man since he was not born with a penis. You may agree or disagree, but the trans men I dated were far more of a man than many heterosexual men I know, especially those who are homophobic and insecure in their sexuality. The truth is that life is more complex than a simple binary understanding of things, especially sexuality and gender.


First Peter 3:8-12 says:


Finally, all of you be of one mind, having compassion for one another; love as brothers, be tenderhearted, be courteous; not returning evil for evil or reviling for reviling, but on the contrary blessing, knowing that you were called to this, that you may inherit a blessing. For


“He who would love life

And see good days,

Let him refrain his tongue from evil,

And his lips from speaking deceit.

Let him turn away from evil and do good;

Let him seek peace and pursue it.

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous,

And His ears are open to their prayers;

But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”


I think sex and the enjoyment of others make us happier and more accepting of ourselves if we don’t put the stigma of shame to it. Proverbs 17:22 says, “A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones.” I believe that as long as you are not hurting anyone else or yourself, that God does not have a problem with it. When I was first coming to terms with being gay, I explored porn (I still watch it sometimes); I masturbated to that porn and to fantasies about being with other men; and eventually, I had those experiences with other men. When things went wrong in my life, I used to think God was punishing me for watching or even possessing porn, adult toys, or just being gay. However, a preacher I knew used to say that we are not punished in this life for things we do. If we are punished, it will be in the afterlife. That being said, I see nothing wrong with self-pleasure or the material we use to stimulate that self-pleasure as long as it does not hurt others. I also see nothing wrong with fulfilling our sexual desires if it does not hurt anyone else.


I no longer feel the guilt I once did and don't regret what I did. At least I don't regret enjoying myself. We've probably all been with someone we regretted being with, but for other reasons. I think it's a natural part of life, and too many people impose their beliefs about morality on others. The only time I feel bad is when I think of the addictions some of these guys in porn have that draw them to performing in porn to finance. There are too many stories of suicide or overdose by sex workers, and it always saddens me to see such a beautiful life end like that, just as it saddens me when any life ends. There are numerous reasons people begin to do porn. For some, it's finances; for others, it's an addiction they want to finance. There are many other personal reasons. I knew of one pay porn star who did porn to fund his transition to being female. However, nowadays, many men do porn because they enjoy showing off, and maybe that's vanity, but it is also not hurting anyone. 


So, I enjoy having sex with other men or watching porn and jerking off without the guilt I used to associate with it. It has made me much more emotionally and mentally stable by letting go of that guilt; honestly, I think God is good with that. If He's not, then He is not the God I believe in. I believe in a God that wants us to be happy. Self-torture because we allow someone else to impose their morality on us is not God’s way. It is man's way. If you feel that sex, masturbation, porn, etc. have gotten out of hand in your life, that it is harming you in some way, or has become an addiction, then find a way to let it go, but if you are not causing yourself or anyone else any harm, then I think you should be assured that God looks down on you and smiles. For God loves us, just the way we are. Ecclesiastes 2:24-25 says, “Nothing is better for a man than that he should eat and drink, and that his soul should enjoy good in his labor. This also, I saw, was from the hand of God. For who can eat, or who can have enjoyment, more than I?”

As gay men, we have to be more vigilant about sex: STIs like syphilis are on the rise and Monkeypox is spreading through the gay community. While PrEP can be very effecting in preventing HIV infection, it is only effective in preventing HIV infection. Just because you are on PrEP does not mean you are invulnerable. When it comes to sex: be sane, be sensible, and be safe. Have fun and enjoy yourself!

Friday, August 19, 2022

Pic of the Day


I’ve been thinking almost all week, “I’ll be so glad when Friday gets here.” While I am certainly not looking forward to going to work today, it should not be a bad day. All of the major things I’ve been dealing with at work are now past me, and I can just look forward to the weekend. Just like I don’t have anything on my agenda today, I also don’t have anything planned for this weekend. 

It’s going to be a hot weekend. While yesterday’s high was a mere 67 degrees, this weekend, we are looking at near 90 degree temperatures. We are also forecasted to have high humidity this weekend. In other words, it’s going to be miserable, at least as far as the weather is concerned. I plan to do my best just to relax and do as little as possible.

Wednesday, August 17, 2022

Pic of the Day

Black Cat Appreciation Day

Have you ever feared a black cat crossing your path? This is from ancient superstitions where people thought this meant bad luck. For many cultures and historical settings, black cats were actually meant for positive things. So, to try and dispel these myths about black cats, National Black Cat Appreciation Day was created to be celebrated on August 17 every year. Today, pop culture loves black cats. There’s the sarcastic Thackery Binx in Hocus Pocus, Salem, in Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, Pyewacket in the classic Bell, Book, and Candle, and Isis from the Star Trek episode “Assignment: Earth.” Black cats are seen as loyal companions, and this is what they were seen as for a lot of cultures in history too.

Stereotypes are sometimes true

So, who’s to blame for this negative black cat spin? Superstition! But mostly because during the Middle Ages, people (mainly the Catholic Church) saw witches as shape-shifting black cats and the damage was done. From then on, black cats were seen as evil entities for years and years to follow. The reputation for bad luck and evil is not warranted. 

She sometimes helps me with blogging

Since 2011, cat lovers around the world have celebrated Black Cat Appreciation Day on August 17th. It is a day to celebrate and appreciate the black cats in your life. Today, I celebrate my little companion, Isabella, a beautiful, sleek black cat. Black Cat Appreciation Day was created by a man named Wayne H. Morris, in honor of his late sister, June, who passed away at age 33, a few years before the first official Black Cat Appreciation Day. This date was chosen as a memorial of June’s passing. June deeply loved her own black cat, Sinbad, who lived to be 20 years old. 

Black cat audition in Hollywood, 1961

Black cats are often the least adopted and most overlooked cats in animal shelters, resulting in many of these wonderful animals being euthanized when they can’t find a loving home. Thank goodness many animal shelters these days are “no kill” shelters. Because they are less likely to be adopted from shelters, they need a special holiday in their honor to bring awareness to this issue, and to encourage people to adopt these amazing animals. Also, many shelters will not allow adoptions of black cats in October because people adopt them for Halloween and then discard them afterward. The life of a black cat in shelters can be very sad because there are several stupid and silly reasons why people looking to adopt a cat are less likely to adopt black cats.

Shortly after I adopted her

Black cats are beautiful creatures that make a wonderful addition to any home. In some countries, including England, Scotland, and Japan, they are considered good luck. In Japan, it is believed that a single woman who owns a black cat will have many suitors. In England, they are commonly thought to bring good luck to anyone who crosses their path. In Scotland, it is said that a strange black cat arriving at your home will bring good fortune and prosperity.

She has always loved windows

Many cat owners agree that their black cats are often the most affectionate and playful cats they’ve ever had. Isabella is not very affectionate in the traditional sense, but she’s very loving and affectionate in her own way. She wants to be near me most of the time and sometimes wants to lay on me, but she never cuddles and hates to be held. Others claim black cats are known for their unique personalities and cuddly dispositions. Some researchers also claim that black cats are more resistant to disease. There is some research to suggest that at least two genes associated with melanism, i.e. what gives them their black color, may also help them resist certain diseases.

Ever the curious little girl

So if you are looking to adopt a cat, consider a black cat. They need the love, and they will love you back. Isabella might not be the most affectionate, but she constantly shows her love and appreciation for me, and isn’t that what we all want from our pets, especially our cats who often seem so indifferent to their human companions. Isabella is rarely far away from me. I’ve had cats in the past who show how mad they are at you for leaving them for any amount of time. Isabella has never been that way. Most of the time, she greets me at the door, and if she hears me in the hallway, and I don’t come into my apartment quick enough, she makes her impatience known. She is a wonderful little companion, and I feel so blessed to have her.