Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Write a Novel in a Month

The month of November is a time when writing enthusiasts stop what they're doing--or continue what their doing but also write a book at the same time. The contest is to Write a Novel in a Month and you have 30 days to write, you are supposed to begin writing on November 1 and write until November 30. You must write 175 pages. Go here to the official website to learn more.

From what I've read, it really doesn't matter how good what you write is. It is supposed to be fun and the awards are based on a host of factors (that probably have a good deal to do with form and function). Still, it looks incredibly fun.

While I won't do it this year, I am thinking next year I definitely will.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A New Stereotype

Given the new buzz by yet another conservative politician who is against supporting anything gay-related, and yet engages in 'play on the sly' comes an appropriately new gay stereotype that seems to be challenging the notions of the effeminate, lisping, and wonderfully dressed gay stereotype of the past. (Click on the pic for a larger and easier to read image.)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Bi-Curious and other Labels has an interesting article about the different categories of sexual attraction. The author, a clinical psychologist, argues that a man who has sex with a man isn't always "gay", and the justification is "that sexual behavior and sexual identity can be two different things."

In a politically charged world that we live in, some lesbian and gay folks feel that you're either one or the other, gay or straight. And if you're gay, you need to embrace it entirely. But if you're straight, you can always experiment with us. At one level, this is an argument of the need to be validated. And yet, in spite of our political need for acceptance, we forget that life is much more complicated than that. Larry Craig, the toilet bandit, must be gay, some reason, because he taps his feet in public restrooms; he couldn't possibly enjoy a heterosexual marriage completely, or else why would he be in the restroom looking for a different encounter: ergo, he must be gay and delusional about his sexual tastes.

Life as well as sex is more complicated than that. The psychologist in this story recognizes a significant point that behavior and identity can be different for some. And more so, enjoying one aspect of sexual play doesn't guarantee that the same person is willing to accept or enjoy all other areas. As a whole, we (the gay community) ought to recognize and accept that there are those who don't always "fit" into our niches and categories of entirely gay. There are gray areas and areas where, as various circles fit onto one another but in different ways, a person may be emotionally attracted to members of the same sex but that doesn't mean they want to get down and sweaty. Likewise, a person who enjoys getting sweaty with another man may not enjoy the emotional attachments in the same way he enjoys those attachments with women.

Unfortunately such an acceptance is challenging to gay rights laws and perception. Being a supporter of gay marriage myself, admitting that there are men who enjoy sex with men but don't enjoy the same identity identification might cause an unintended backfire politically as we seek an opportunity for those who want to identify as gay politically for the sake of making a family, creating their own opportunities of their betterment. That backfiring would not make the issue as clear-cut as needed to pass the laws for marriage. That backfiring could validate what many men who have sex with men would think that sex and identity are very different and to push for gay marriage would somehow threaten their situation.

Personally I think gay marriage wouldn't threatened by such an understanding but I also realize that for those gay and lesbians who are learning to live their identities, the validation they need to find their own place is a bit threatening by allowing other men and women to dabble in sexuality while enjoying the benefits of a culture that condones and supports a heterosexual identity.

Wouldn't it be cool to experience a culture that validated AND supported all sexual identities? Such sexual confusion would be far less traumatizing for all who are learning to navigate their behaviors and identities.

Monday, October 15, 2007


As part of my revamping of this blog, I have created a bunch of new categories. When I am going to post these new categories on a regular basis hasn't been determined but, I thought I'd share one of them with you now. FunTube is a post of fun videos I have discovered.

This one could take place at any church bazaar or talent night after supper in any church in any town in America. And, it's a riot too. Hat tip to Daily Purge.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Inspiring Videos

The Human Rights Campaign has put together a collection of Coming Out videos in recognition of National Coming Out Day last week. Many of the videos were sent in from individuals, others were groups of folks who participated in the national event.

The videos are inspiring. YouTube is hosting the page, go there to see the list of videos.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Changing the Look & Feel

This weekend begins my changing the look and feel of my blog. I feel its time to update things and put new things in new places. So over the course of the week, please be patient as the blog goes through its new metamorphosis.

Friday, October 12, 2007


Today is Friday, October 12. I wanted to post something yesterday celebrating National Coming Out Day. The more I thought about the post, the more I found myself reflecting on what it meant for me to come out of the closet and self-identify as a gay man some fifteen years ago. The more I thought about it, the more I began to reflect on the person that I am now. And the one thing about me that kept surfacing as I thought about it was the word 'authenticity'.

Webster defines authentic as being “true to one's own personality, spirit, or character.” Coming out for me meant that, for the first time, I would reveal the one thing about me that few others knew. And, revealing this would ultimately change how others perceived me. And, it would forever change how I perceive myself. As a closeted gay man, I lived and expressed myself in a way that met the expectations of others. I laughed a gay jokes, talked about a girlfriend, and promised my mother that I would would day get married. All the while however, I didn't want a girlfriend and wondered what growing old would look like being forever single. I promised myself that even though I knew I was gay, I would never tell my family and childhood friends...ever.

And then one day I met a man named Tim who forever changed my perspective on what it meant to be gay and of the importance to sharing one's life with their families and families of choice. He explained how the secrecy of being gay can cut oneself off from their families and friends—forcing a person to live their lives in more solitude. He also impressed upon me the value of true honesty—even when some honesties can rupture expectations from those we love and who love us.

After much thought and prayer, I visited my family one weekend and told them that I was gay. It was a very difficult thing to do. And, being in seminary, at the time, provoked some very difficult to answer questions. And, the emotional reactions were intense. I did it though. I finally told them.

Over the next few months and in one case, after a year, I began to tell my dearest friends. Most responded as well as could be expected. One said, “Of course, now everything makes perfect sense!” Others “harumfd” (is this a word, I don't know) and a few were shocked but generally supportive. With each person I told, they wanted to know why I had been so deceptive for so long. My defense to this particular question led me to explain my fear of loss of being discovered. I also told them how so many people had so many expectations of me, I just couldn't possibly let them down. In a very real way, I had lied to my friends and done so for a long time.

Today, fifteen years later, I can say that coming out made me more authentic. I am now who people know me to be. Being authentic today means that I can pursue my goals surrounded by supportive people who encourage me. Having such support makes realizing one's dreams easier. Being authentic today means that I don't live with the lies I've created—and forcing myself to tell more lies to cover my old ones. Being authentic today means less stress and more energy for creative pursuits. It means that I can delve myself into new endeavors and find the joy in their realizations. Being authentic today means that I can love someone who I want to love—and find encouragement and support from those who love me in return.

If you have been wrestling with the decision to 'come out', let me say that doing so will be tough at times—but ultimately, the reward you'll gain will be reflected in your authenticity. This will provide you with more strength, more hope, and a peaceful spirit that will truly transform your life.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

It Wasn't Supposed to be Four

Okay, so I have had a string of bad luck over the past month. I won't bore you with the details but something bad happened on Sunday: my trusty old HP all-in-one printer died. I had it for almost 6 years and boy did it ever serve me well.

Just as I had printed my sermon for Sunday morning, I had meant to print one more minor thing. I hit my print button and it was then that my ol' HP began eschewing her death gargle and ultimately 'gave up the ghost'. Lights blinked, sounds were made, and messages flashed across my print screen. I tried everything I could to resuscitate her but it was to no avail. CPR be damned. It died.

Saddened by such a loss I began scouring the Internet for a new printer. I simply must have one at home and since I am not preaching this Sunday, I knew I had some time to find and make a clear decision. This afternoon, I made that decision: I purchased a Brother HL 2040 Laser Printer from Staples. What made this deal so sweet was that I only paid $69 and after I receive my $20 easy rebate, it'll only have cost me $49!!

I read the reviews of this cheaper laser printer and from everything I read, it averaged 4 - 4.5 stars, depending on what site you went to and how much of a moron that one person was who gave it a 1-star rating and lowered the average significantly.

I hooked up the printer today and let me tell you, it was so easy to install. And, it prints wonderfully. The paper tends to curl in a way that isn't really curling but more like light wrinkles. I guess the heat of the printer causes that. Still, its fast and promises to save me a ton of money on ink prices. Get this: a black and white ink cartridge for an inkjet printer costs between $35-40 a piece for approx 150 - 200 copies. The toner cartridge for a laser printer runs $69 for 2,500 copies. The price difference is completely astounding to me. And the printer only costs, after rebate, $49! Gads.

I bought it at Staples. If you're looking for a new printer, an extra printer, or just want to save some money, go here to get over there before this deal is over.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Wonderful Image of Christ

I found this image today and was moved by what I believe is Jesus' call embracing all of God's children.

Go here to read the brief story of it.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


I have been fiddling with my desktop on my computer here of late. I found this great new free software that organizes things very different from the tradition Windows XP format. The software is available from and it allows you to place a widget-like menu on your screen that can disappear when you don't need it. And, you can customize the icons in the menu. Go here to see how others have customized their desktops.

Here is an image of my clear desktop. Click on it for a larger version.

Here is an image of my desktop with the Rocketdock visible. Click on it for a larger version.

By the way, those post-it notes you see is a freeware program called ATnotes that lets you, well, post notes on your desktop. It's come in mighty handy when I have to remember particular tasks.

The clock and the weather icons are Yahoo! Widgets.

I keep my taskbar hidden when not in use.

Crass Joke of the Day

A female CNN journalist heard about a very old Jewish man who had been going to the Western Wall to pray, twice a day, every day, for a long, long time. So she went to check it out. She went to the Western Wall and there he was walking slowly up to the holy site. She watched him pray and after about 45 minutes, when he turned to leave, using a cane in a very slow fashion , she approached him for an interview.

"Pardon me Sir, I'm Rebecca Smith from CNN, What's your name?"

"Maury Fishbein" he replied.

"Sir, how long have you been coming to the Western Wall and praying?"

"For about 60 years."

"60 years! That's amazing! What do you pray for?"

"I pray for peace between the Christians, Jews and the Muslims. I pray for all the Wars and hatred to stop, I pray for all our children to grow up safely as responsible adults, and to love their fellow man."

"How do you feel after doing this for 60 years?"

"Like I'm talking to a fucking wall."

Note: I blame my friend Doug for passing this along to me and, upon reading, realizing that I simply must post it here.

Monday, October 01, 2007

You'd Better Learn Math or Else

Click on the picture to see a larger version.