Archive | October 2014

Go purple!

Millions go purple on Spirit Day in a stand against bullying and to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth.

I’ve written way too much about my own experiences being bullied in my youth. It can be depressing to think that all these decades later it’s still going on. But I refuse to be daunted. And these kids do, too:

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Find out how to go purple at http://glaad.org/spiritday

Find out how to go purple at http://glaad.org/spiritday

In contempt

RichardWagnerQuoteA friend recently posed a question online about how many of his friends and acquaintances who read that blog enjoyed the holidays. I first responded with a simple, “Do I really need to answer this?” because I figured that he knows me well enough to know how crazy I go with Christmas decorations and such.

I saw only a couple of other replies before one mutual acquaintance posted that he doesn’t like holidays, and has often wondered if the “joyful people” are brain-damaged or perhaps have butlers to handle all the stressful tasks.

Read More…

Hoops all the way down

Cartoon-thumbBefore I get into the meat of this post, let me first say that the way we handle health care in the U.S. is dumb and a disgrace. Okay. So, I think it was two years ago that my employer switched to our current provider. They sent us new ID cards, as usual. What was unusual was that the cards also came with these cute little tyvek envelopes, and the envelopes had additional information.

The size of the text on the cards and the envelopes is extremely tiny and difficult to read. There are multiple phone numbers, mailing addresses, all sorts of information. The company is headquartered in the midwest, and since they don’t have offices at all on the west coast, those of us working in the offices in Seattle and the various California locations are supposed to submit things through a local insurance network for reasons that don’t completely make sense to me. That’s one of the reasons there is so much information crammed on the cards and envelope: there is contact information for multiple offices.

The first time any of my health providers tried to submit claims… Read More…

Alas, poor grasshopper…

In July we drove into central Oregon to attend the wedding of our friends, Katrina and Terry. At the end of the weekend, after we’d loaded up the car, checked out, and so forth, I had just started the car and was preparing to back out of our parking space, when I saw the teeniest, tiniest, bright green grasshopper-like bug clinging to the cowling around my driver’s side mirror. I had seen a few similar bugs on the outer wall of the hotel and clinging to some of the other cars in the parking lot. They were all so tiny. I thought it was adorable. Read More…

Sunday Funnies, part 8

Another in my series of posts recommending web comics that I think more people should read:

xkcd.com: Marriage

xkcd.com by Randall Munroe is one of those comics that I don’t ever have to refer to my bookmark, because at least once a week someone I know shares a recent comic on Twitter, or Facebook, or their blog, which leads me to click on the link, then use the Previous button to catch up on the two or three strips that have been posted since the last time someone linked to it. The comic’s warning statement is a better summary than a one-sentence review from me would be: “Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).” The above linked info graphic was one of this week’s comics, which is both interesting and a comment on current events. I think his infographics are some of the best comics, period.

If you enjoy xkcd, you can purchase the new book, or find a variety of other cool things at his store.

3Tripping Over You by Suzana Harcum and Owen White is a strip about a pair of friends in school who just happen to fall in love… which eventually necessitates one of them coming out of the closet. This particular comic is one that I first discovered more than a year ago, and was following it for a while, and then, because of some craziness in real life, I missed it for a while, couldn’t remember the title, couldn’t find a bookmark for it, and just lost it for a while. A couple of weeks ago my friend, Sheryl, posted a comment to the previous Sunday Funnies post with a link to this comic and it was like meeting a long lost friend! It was more than a bit nice to be able to read a whole bunch of missed strips and catch up on the story of Milo and Liam… until I was caught up, and now I have to wait for the next strip!!

Tripping Over You has several books, comics, and prints available for purchase.

dm100x80I’m a big fan of “Deer Me,” by Sheryl Schopfer. This artist is also a friend. I have previously described this strip as: “Three roommates who couldn’t be more dissimilar while being surprisingly compatible.” Except in a recent story line Thomas has moved out! Eeek! Currently, the strip has traveled back in time to the high school days of one of the aforementioned roommates.

In any case, if you enjoy Deer Me, you can support the artist by going to her Patreon Page!

mr_cow_logo
I’ve long been a fan of: “Mr. Cow,” by Chuck Melville… and not just because the artist is a friend! A clueless cow with Walter Cronkite dreams presides over a barnyard of a newsroom. Or just showing him reading reacting to news or hatching plans to achieve fame, or just reading ridiculous news is funny because the real news isn’t any more logical.

And if you like Mr. Cow, you can support the artist by going to his Patreon Page. Also, can I interest you in a Mr. Cow Mug?

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And I love this impish girl thief with a tail and her reluctant undead sorcerer/bodyguard: “Unsounded,” by Ashley Cope.

The_Young_Protectors_HALF_BANNER_OUTSIDE_234x601The Young Protectors by Alex Wolfson begins when a young, closeted teen-age superhero who has just snuck into a gay bar for the first time is seen exiting said bar by a not-so-young, very experienced, very powerful, super-villain. Trouble, of course, ensues.

12191040If you want to read a nice, long graphic-novel style story which recently published its conclusion, check-out the not quite accurately named, The Less Than Epic Adventures of T.J. and Amal by E.K. Weaver. I say inaccurate because I found their story quite epic (not to mention engaging, moving, surprising, fulfilling… I could go on). Some sections of the tale are Not Safe For Work, as they say, though she marks them clearly. The complete graphic novels are available for sale in both ebook and paper versions, by the way.

Out! Out! Come out now!

National-Coming-Out-Day-300x300Today is National Coming Out Day. If Ray were still alive, it would also be the day we’d be celebrating the twenty-first anniversary of our commitment ceremony (he promised to stay with me for the rest of his life, and he did).

Since I am still occasionally surprised to learn that someone I know or work with hasn’t figured out that I’m gay: my husband (Michael) and I are both men, and we’re very much in love with each other and happy together.

My husband and I.

My husband and I.

But while I’m (re-)stating what I think ought to be obvious, I would like to announce that I am a card-carrying liberal gay man who thinks:

Read More…

Friday Links (‘I do’ edition)!

Snapshot of Wikipedia's Marriage Equality map as of Thursday (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_the_United_States)

Snapshot of Wikipedia’s Marriage Equality map as of Thursday (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_the_United_States)

It’s Friday! The second Friday in October, a week with birthdays of at least two people I know, and only three weeks before Halloween!

Anyway, here is a collection of news and other things that I ran across over the course of the week which struck me as worthy of being shared. I’m grouping them by topic, today. I know there’s even more links related to gay rights than usual, but think about this week in perspective. Wikipedia had to update the map showing which states allow same sex couples to marry, which ban them from it, and which have some form of domestic partnerships instead eight times over the course of the first four days of the week.

That’s just amazing!

So, here are my links for the week:

Creationism Is About Gay Marriage, Not Science. Interviews with the financial backer and the primary “scientific consultant” at the Creation Museum reveal all.

I Demand Pocket Equality.

So yes, there is a blog out there that is praising Ruth Bader Ginsburg as Notorious R.B.G., but if you don’t know the difference between a blog and a tumblr, that’s because you are not as hip and with it as 81-year-old Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.”

All Your Life, Charlie Brown. All Your Life: The complete history of Lucy’s pulling the football away..

A SWEET TRIUMPH: SAME-SEX COUPLES CAN FINALLY WED ON THE LAS VEGAS STRIP.

Why the GOP hates U.S. history: Inconvenient truths that freak out American conservatives.

Voter ID Explained In One Photo.

This is what same-sex marriage looks like now: as gay as the Mormon missionary position.

When ‘Redefining Marriage’ Meant That Women Had To Be Treated Like Human Beings.

Huckabee Urges States To Ignore Rulings On Marriage Equality, Abortion Rights & Church-State Separation. Related: Why the wingnut base won’t let Republicans move on.

WWE “Going Purple” and Partnering with GLAAD for Spirit Day.

How Straight Spouses Cope When Their Partners Come Out.

Best of the worst: The 10 most unhinged conservative reactions to expanding marriage equality.

Transgender Actress Erika Ervin On Her ‘American Horror Story: Freak Show’ Role. A trans actress playing a trans character! Whoa!

Traditional marriage?

Romanian ‘Orthodox Priests’ Calendar 2015 Pays Tribute To Social Tolerance. “the 2015 Orthodox Calendar features 12 months of hunky models striking homoerotic poses alongside religious iconography.”

Reading Stuff Will Eliminate 90 Percent of Your Stupid Questions.

What If You’re Against Football, But for the Seahawks?

OPEN CARRY ENTHUSIAST’S GUN STOLEN AT GUNPOINT.

Everyday People: 12-year-old boy gains confidence through My Little Pony.

Scientists say DNA determines coffee consumption.

Forget Ebola. Worry about the unvaccinated kid down the street.

New global Mars image from Mars Orbiter Mission features Gale crater.

Strange Red Supergiant-Neutron Star Object Discovered.

An iPad filled with apps weighs more than one with nothing installed.

Why I’ve stopped using Google apps on my iPhone 6 Plus.

New Dark Matter Theory Solves Milky Way’s “Missing Satellite-Galaxies” Puzzle.

Foom! ‘Superflares’ Erupt From Tiny Red Dwarf Star, Surprising Scientists.

THE POETRY OF THE ICE AGE.

How bad user interface design killed a child cancer patient.

5 Fonts that will kill your design (and 5 great alternatives).

Tap, tap, tappity-tap-tap-tappity-tap!.

If Buying Condoms Was Like Buying Birth Control:

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THE LIQUIDATOR ‘Main Title’ – Shirley Bassey:

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Levi Kreis, Handcuff My Soul:

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George Ezra – Blame It on Me:

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Mary J. Blige – Right Now (From The London Sessions):

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[Official Video] Rather Be – Pentatonix (Clean Bandit Cover):

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Say what?

resized_philosoraptor-meme-generator-if-you-can-t-read-how-can-you-tell-us-about-it-on-a-message-board-701659I have written before about odd encounters with people through social media. One problem is that since some of the places I hang out online are forums and services that cater to specifically gay people, I wind up running into folks who are looking to hook up, but more vexingly, assume everyone else is also looking to hook up.

Consequently, my profile on all of those sites mention, as prominently as I can, that I am married to a wonderful man. My profile also always mentions my interest in science fiction/fantasy, that I write, and that I live in Seattle.

I’ve noticed a very specific phenomenon the last few years: guys who will initiate a conversation, making a comment about either the fact that I’m a writer or that I’m a sci fi fan, but who manage to completely miss the parts about my being married or living in Seattle. Seriously, at least once a week someone will chat amiably for a few moments, then start asking questions about what I am looking for in a boyfriend/long term relationship. When I point out that I already have a husband, they either get confused or flustered.

If they continue the conversation, they usually switch gears to explaining that they don’t have many gay friends, and ask if maybe I and my husband would like to hang out some time. At which point I usually ask, “Your profile says you live in Los Angeles/Jersey City/Houston/fill-in-the-blank; that might be a bit difficult.” Which leads into the part of the conversation where they didn’t realize that I wasn’t local to them.

I try not to be too snarky when I suggest that they might want to look more closely at someone’s profile before chatting them up. But I also try to cut things off, because by this point it’s clear that they either have extremely poor reading comprehension or some sort of memory/attention deficit issue.

Or maybe they’re just really, really dim.

It’s the footnotes that bring it home

From the unanimous ruling of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declaring same-sex marriage bans in Nevada and Idaho unconstitutional.

From the unanimous ruling of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals declaring same-sex marriage bans in Nevada and Idaho unconstitutional.

One day after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review five other appeals, the 9th Circuit released its unanimous ruling concerning the same-sex marriage bans in Idaho and Nevada. There are several wonderful passages, and more than one amusing footnote from the judges.

The best one is footnote 12, concerning the closing arguments from the Governor of Idaho:

He also states, in conclusory fashion, that allowing same-sex marriage will lead opposite-sex couples to abuse alcohol and drugs, engage in extramarital affairs, take on demanding work schedules, and participate in time-consuming hobbies. We seriously doubt that allowing committed same-sex couples to settle down in legally recognized marriages will drive opposite-sex couples to sex, drugs, and rock-and-roll.

You can read the entire ruling here.

Traditional marriage?

BzSbHKKIAAAEyiyYesterday, the Supreme Court officially declined to review any of the Marriage Equality cases that had been appealed to them thus far. Declining to review means that the ruling by each appeals court is, essentially, upheld. The immediate effect was the stays against those rulings were lifted, and in five more states Marriage Equality now is the law of the land. The secondary effect is that any other states covered by one of the five Circuit Courts whose rulings were upheld will almost certainly become marriage equality states as soon as an appeal gets to the circuit. That means very soon the number of states that have marriage equality will be 30. In fact, officials in Colorado, knowing that the circuit court they are currently appealing to has already ruled against a nearly identical ban in a neighboring state, have decided to drop the appeal, and have told county clerks to start issuing marriage licenses.

Now, there are several other cases that have yet to be ruled on by any circuit court, so those last 20 states may take a while.

Governors of at least two of the states who lost Monday are not taking it gracefully. Most hilarious of these is Mary Fallin, governor of Oklahoma. Fallin’s righteous indignation is so funny because Fallin is a divorced adulterer. Read More…

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