Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christmas Meme

I got this from Steve at Steve's Whirlyworld. Sure makes you think. Enjoy

Christmas Meme:

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate?
If I have to choose one, I will take Hot Chocolate, but really would prefer a good cup of hazelnut coffee..

2. Did you ever do anything for Santa?
Milk and cookies

3. Colored lights on tree/house or white?
Mixed colors and lots of them.

4. Do you hang mistletoe?
Nah! I get kisses without it.

5. When do you put your decorations up?
Normally Thanksgiving weekend, but am hesitating this year since I might be able to move before Christmas. Guess I wll have to live vicariously through others

6. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)?
Honey Baked Ham!

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child:
Going to see Santa at Muirhead’s Dept. Store in Dearborn MI. We got to ride around on a track in a sleigh. The whole family went and Mom still hangs the several years worth of pictures. Great!!

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa?
What truth? Santa IS! Now I know that there isn’t a fat guy in a red suit coming down my chimney, but Santa is a state of mind, a feeling. I think it parallels the peace on earth good will to all theme. Hmm.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve?
Usually all of them that I have by then – often after Christmas Eve service with a glass of wine. Then I sleep late on Christmas and spend the day watching the Christmas classics.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree?
No particular way. Put it up, put the lights on it, hang the ornaments and it’s done. I am not anal about it..

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it.
Some say you can’t have Christmas without snow, but I lived in Florida for nearly 30 years, so who needs it!.

12. Can you ice skate?
No—some guys have limp wrists; I have limp ankles.

13. Do you remember your favorite gift?
My Boyds Bears Nativity –it’s awesome.

14. What's the most exciting thing about the holidays for you?
Recalling the birth of Christ – then just the general mood of people—somehow most get more pleasant at the holidays

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert?
Too many to list -- not fruitcake (BLECH!!)

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition?
See the question about opening gifts on Christmas Eve.

17. What tops your tree?
Varies from year to year. Wish I could find a star that I liked.

18. Which do you prefer give or receive?

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song?
I love nearly all of them – skip Grandma got run over by a reindeer

20. Candy Canes?
Pretty but YUCK – give me chocolate

Sex Meme

I found this on Larrytronic's blog and decided that I would rise to the challenge and answer the questions. Made me think a bit. Give it a try!

1. Can you count all the sexual partners you've ever had on two hands?
I couldn’t count them all if I took off my shoes and got out the calculator.
2. When did you have your first sexual experience? About 8, a little fooling around; got real about 15 and wild about 18.
3. Do you like boys or girs? Boys. More accurately MEN
4. Have you ever had a threesome? Absolutely. Some good, some not.
5. How old were you when you first touched yourself? I was about 9 or 10 – watched a friend doing it and tried it too.
6. Have you ever dreamed about having sex with a teacher? Absolutely! He was a music professor (private voice lessons no less) in my freshman year. I imagine his wife would not have been amused but he was a hottie.
7. Have you ever dreamed about having sex with an animal? ICK!
8. Do you like toys in bed? Depends on the toy and the playmate
9. Do you like to be spanked? Been there, done that – it’s not all that.
10. Does size matter? Not near as much as what it’s attached to.
11. Who was your first crush? God, how does one define crush? I’ve had the hots for many, but a crush? Probably the teacher in #6
12. Do you enjoy oral sex? Does the Pope say Mass? Love to give it more than receiving
13. Have you ever had anal sex? Definitely
14. Did you enjoy the experience? Usually; depends on the partner and how I’m feeling
15. Do you shave your private area? No! Afraid of razor cuts and re-growth itching. Besides I like hair there
16. Do you have wet dreams often? Nope; had some as a kid, but now rely on the real thing.
17. Have you ever been tied up while having sex? Yes, and it was not enjoyable. The fantasy was far more a turn on than the reality.
18. Have you ever tied someone up while having sex? No.
19. Do you believe bisexuality is real? For some perhaps, not for me
20. If you could sleep with a celebrity legitimately, who would it be? I suppose I could build a whole list, but since I am deliriously in love with Ben right now I think I will pass.

I took the test; how about you?

Monday, November 27, 2006


Geez, four weeks from today will see us celebrating Christmas. I'm not ready. Ben and I dug out his tree and stuff. I'm still undecided about my stuff and where I will be by then. There's been no real snow and the weather has been warm. It's kind of weird hearing "Let it Snow", "Dashing through the snow", "In the meadow we can build a snowman" and all the references to winter which actually have nothing at all in common with the first Christmas anyway. I'm gonna try to get a bit more in the mood by watcfhing some of the Christmas movies -- the older ones first -- A Christmas Carol (the 1938 version), Miracle on 24th Street (the original), It's a Wonderful Life (amazing no one has redone that one), and so on. Then I will throw in the much more obscure "Miracle at Morgan's Creek". Yes, it does exist -- starring William Demarest, Betty Hutton, and Eddie Bracken Jr (He was the park owner in Vacation). Then on to the newer stuff -- got to be sure to see Scrooged. And I want to hit the theaters soon for the new ones -- Deck the Halls and the Santa Clause 3. Between that, shopping with Ben, and all the ads, music, and church stuff, Christmas will come and I will be as happy as the next guy. For those who have difficulty with Christmas for whatever reason, just know that you are loved and appreciated. Dont make the mistake of locking yourself away and retreating. Go take a walk or drive through town and look at the lights,,,,,listen to the "up" Chrsitmas music, amke a pact with yourself to find a place to be for the holiday with positive caring people who will help you enjoy the day and the season. Only four more weeks ! EEEEKKKK.. I should get off here and get some of the holiday chores done? Hmm. Hope you are gearing up for a time of joy and celebration, a time of hope and renewal. A time of love and peace. God rest ye merry, gentlemen (and ladies too).


Blogger is beginning to PISS ME OFF! I try to post comments to several blogs and continue to encounter user UNFRIENDLY steps. I have to sign in more often than not; if I try to sign in bith beta it kicks me out; if I try to use my blogger account, it kicks me to beta sign in and I lose whatever i've typed. I go to my own blog and try to sign in and the dashboard or post screen pops up behind the page and makes it tough to get to. And then there's the pesky little issue of wanting to comment on non-beta blogs only to be told that this cannot be done. Who runs blogger anyway? I think whoever it is is in league with the guy in the red suit -- the one with horns and a pitchfork who lives in a very warm climate. It's a good thing I enjoy blogging or I'd be telling the blogger folks to go blog themselves sideways. OK, I'm done venting.. Thanks for listening.


Gosh! It seems as though I haven't stopped running since my last post. What a busy weekend. I loved it of course, but the travelling back and forth to Ben's is getting exhausting for both of us. We keep hoping for the day to quickly come when we are living in the same place. We seem to be moving closer to that day. As Ben posted, we had all three animals in the same room and Claudia the standoff-ish cat was enjoying my petting her -- this only a few moments after she saw me, hissed at me and headed for under the bed. Go figure -- cats! On Saturday we decided to head to the Saugatuck/Douglas area to do some shopping. Now if you are from anywhere in the midwest US and know anything about gay culture, you will recognize the name "Saugatuck". It is the gay hot spot in this area. We enjoyed walking the streets and the shops. More than the Christmas stuff and the great art work and the like, we enjoyed the openness of the community. It was great to be in an area where no one gave two guys shopping together a second look (well, there might have been some looks, but if so, it was checking us out and not judging us LOL). There was some nice scenery too and we just had a fun time and even bought a couple of unique Christmas gifts for folks on our lists. Sunday was church day and then back to Ben's for Sunday night. We brought up the Christmas tree and began decorating his house for the big event. That makes me think about my Christmas stuff and wondering whether to dig it our or not. If I get the opportunity to move before the holidays, I will have to tear it all down and repack it. If I don't put it up and don't get the chance to move, I will miss having the stuff out. Maybe I should just throw caution to the wind and chuck the job and move without a safety net. That would be a very irresponsible thing to do. Not only would I be unable to pay my ongoing bills for very long, but doing so would put an undue and unfair burden on Ben. I guess I will do the responsible thing (YUCK)and stay put here waiting - waiting -- waiting. It's kind of like calling someone and being put on perpetual hold. Is anything ever gonna happen? Between us we are spending four to six or more hour every weekend on the road just to be together. Next weekend, for instance, Ben wil likely be here from Friday to Sunday and I will drive there on Monday for the concert he is part of. Then I will zoon back home on Tuesday and it will back to normal chaos until the next weekend. Where's this stuff going to stop? Good grief.

Anyway, sorry about the length of this post, but I just had to vent a bit. Ben is so good about the running back and forth and sacrificing other things just to be together. I wish for each of you your own "Ben" -- loving, considerate, etc. Well, you get the picture. I will post a couple other thoughts later in the day, but for now, stay well and hug the one you love.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

The "Meeting" was a Rousing Success

Well, here it is Saturday and we are back at my place after our Thanksgiving trip to visit my family and introduce Ben to the gang. When we arrived, there were probably thirty folks there. My primary introduction was "Everyone,this is Ben; Ben, this is everyone." As I knew would happen, Ben fit right in and was conversant with everyone, from my 9 nine year old niece to my 80+ year old mother. A great time and dinner were enjoyed by all. Mid evening Ben and I made our escape to Mother's house to relax and get a night's sleep. When we got up on Friday, Mom woke up and we chatted a bit, did a few little chores, went to breakfast. Ben and I shopped a bit and went back to pick up the dog at Mom's. It was then that Mom, gracious as always, invited Ben to join the family for Christmas -- I guess the meeting was indeed a success. I told Ben that I have to keep him around now--the family approved. I can't wait for the day when we make the trek to Iowa to meet the rest of the Quest clan. I will say that Ben has started casually dropping my name into his phone conversations with Mama Quest -- wonder what she's thinking -- probably thinking that I am the evil old man who corrupted her perfect little boy. Who knows? It will be an experience -- can't wait. Hope you all had as good a holiday as we did.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Another Anniversary

Today the US pauses (I hope) to remember the 43rd anniversary of the assasination of President John F Kennedy. I realize that this event took place before some of you were born, but still we remember. I recall sitting in 10th grade English class when we were interrupted by the announcement of the shooting and that school would end early (of course it was last period, so we only got out a few minutes early). We were told to go to our lockers in silence, get our things, and go home. What an eerie feeling to see hundreds of high schoolers in the hallways and yet hardly hear a sound. It was as though the whole nation was in slow motion and silence. The film footage is still burned in the memories of many of us -- the Lincoln limo, the pink dress on Mrs. Kennedy, the book depository, Lee Harvey Oswald, Jack Ruby, and more. The days that followed were weird -- the funeral, the years of investigation -- we still can't all agree on who did it or why. Whatever the reason and whoever the perpetrator (a lone killer or a plot), it was a sad day and a great loss to our nation. In those days, it seemed that people were kinder to one another -- we were all impacted by a common bond of tragedy. Just as the folks of today will remember 9/11 and the horrid experiences of that day, so to we of the little bit older generation remember 11/22. I wonder what direction the nation would have taken had Kennedy's presidency not been cruelly cut short. Would things be better? Worse? Tha same? We will never know because someone took matters in his/their own hands and stole from us a precious resource. Today I remember a nation in mourning, the Kennedy family with its many tragedies, and my own personal sense of loss in that day.

Thanksgiving Eve

Here it is -- the day on which all surviving turkeys get nervous. Tomorrow is Thanksgiving in the US, and since I will be on the road (along with a vast number of Americans), I thought I'd drop a line today. I am thankful for life, for my God, my family, Ben (he's really very near the top of the list), health (not perfect, but could be a lot worse), semi-solvency (finances too, while not great could be worse), my friends, even the challenges that come into life that I write about from time to time -- they make me think, consider, ponder life etc. Think how boring life would be if everything went our way every day. We in the US have much to be thankful for and much to hope for. We have the most creature comforts in the world. We profess to be the land of the free and the home of the brave. Sadly, Frances Scott Key who penned those words might have to reconsider in this opening decade of the 21st century. Ah, there is bravery -- we see it in our troops fighting a horrible war (another whole subject), but in the commander in chief all we see is a bully -- hell, if he were as brave as he professes, he would be there with the troops instead of trying to push around the rest of the world. The rest of the world is tired of King George and his unAmerican antics. Even people at home are tired of it as evidenced by the recent elections (another cause for gratitude). Land of the free? Can you walk down the street holding the hand of the person you love? Can you marry the one whom God placed in your life? Can you make the decisions for the medical care, etc. of the person to whom you are the closest? Can you go to work and talk about your private life? Come on, folks, in the area of freedom for GLBT people, the US is WAY WAY WAY behind. Politicians and preachers (SOME, not all) are using faggots to fuel the fires of fear and hatred that help to keep them in their positions of power. Are women free? Do they earn the same wages as their male counterparts? Do they have decision making authority over their own bodies? (Somewhat, but not total and complete). And our freedoms are being chipped away little by little -- illegal wiretaps, unauthorized searches, walls across our borders -- purportedly to keep Mexicans out -- or maybe to keep us in? Soon we will need passports to travel into Canada -- a move toward isolationism if ever there were one. How many of us are financially free? Too many are bound by the chains of excessive debt, sometimes the result of our "buy it now, pay for it someday" culture -- hell, why not? That's the way the US Government runs. Believe me, I am not sitting here trying to bash America -- for the most part I am proud to be an American. I just ask that as you sit down to a feast of Turkey and the trimmings you take a moment as you offer thanks and just pray for God's guidance, care, and love to be made known in our lives in new ways that can lead to removing some of the things I've mentioned. Much of the problem is born of fear and hatred, and love (real love, not the Valentine Card kind or the kind that is simply lip service) can remove those barriers. That is perhaps what I am most thankful for today -- a God who, in the midst of chaos and crisis, brings peace, order, harmony, and hope.

Enough of the editorializing. I am thankful for you bloggers out there who invite me into your lives and worlds. What a wonderful gift. Take time tomorrow between parades, football games (whatever those are), and gluttony (Come on now, you know you are going to overeat) to pause and give thanks to the God who created and loves you.

Happy Thanksgiving all.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Christmas is Coming

Christmas is FIVE -- count 'em FIVE -- weeks from today. Are you ready? I am looking forward to it, but I am surely not ready. Ready or not, here it comes. Take time to celebrate it and to remember what it's really about.

Happy Monday

Well, it's Monday afternoon and I am home -- at least for now. Ben and I had a busy busy busy weekend that had us at his house, then mine, and then back to his with a lot of church stuff in between. It was all good, just exhausting. Last night as we were driving down back roads (Ben's favorite -- or second favorite pastime) we saw many many deer running too and fro. The great thing is that we saw them. Too many folks around here don't see them until it's too late and then there is an accident. Ben got us safely home (as always), but it was really incredible to see that many deer. How could anyone take a gun and take the lives of these beautiful creatures? Ah, but that sounds like my recurring theme -- quit shooting the deer. I am thinking that perhaps the best part of the entire weekend was Saturday night once we got home from a long afternoon and evening of church related activity. Ben went to the kitchen and whipped up a yummy dessert to take for dinner the next day while I took care of some busy work that needed doing. Once I finished and put on some music, I joined Ben in the kitchen and before I knew it we were dancing -- a first to say the least -- I have danced in many places, but never the kitchen and never yet with Ben. I really need to learn to stop and enjoy "the dance." When we went to bed, Ben was the most attentive, caring, sensual (or is it sensous? I can't seem to get the right word in the right sentence) partner one could ask for. Touching, caressing, holding, etc., not in a normal sexual direction, but just expressing love and care. Ben, I thank you for that gift.

This morning, before I left for home, I applied for yet another job in Ben's city -- one of these days I will be in the right place at the right time and all will be well. This is another case of "Thank you for applying; we will be looking at applications next week and will let you know." GRRR. I am ready to use that line on my creditors -- "Thanks for requesting payment; I will be reviewing things and make a decision next week; I'll let you know if you are getting any money then." Ah, such a temptation.

Today on the way home I stopped at McDonalds (for my occasional "sludge" fix. I had a meal with fries (Don't they all come that way?) and was driving with the fries on the seat between my legs. I got behind the slowest driver in the history of the world -- even the Amish guy with the horse and buggy drives faster -- which was bad enough for my blood pressure. Then he decided to turn into a parking lot (an event that seemed to take an eternity -- he slowed aand slowed and s-l-o-w-e-d down. I matched his slow down, but wasn't ready for his stop before turning right (Why, I will never know). I didn't come close to hitting him (at least not his car LOL), but the quick stop dumped french fries all over the floor between my feet. So, i pulled into the lot behind him, parked, collected my french fries, and went on my way, probably ending up eating God knows how much dirt and yuck that adhered itsef to the grease and salt -- but I predict that I will live. So, I guess, will the old guy who was oblivious to anything around him. He was out for his Monday morning leisurely (that is another way of saying pokey) drive. At least my burger was still unopened in the bag and my drink was safe and secure in the cup holder. I feared that the dog, sitting on the passenger seat, was going to go airborne, but I managed to catch her. It would have been laughable had I not been royally pissed. Folks -- if you are going to drive cars, please learn how!

Now I'm home until Wednesday when I will once again head for Ben's so that we can head on to the fun experience of introducing him to my whole family on Thanksgiving. My family is really good about meeting new folks, but there's a lot of them and they can be a bit overwhelming. Pray for us. We are even invited to spend the night (together) at Mom's. My Mom is pretty cool about it -- does she "like" that I am gay? Probably not. Has she written me off or cast me aside? Never. Thanks, Mom.

Anyway, that, boys and girls, is the Monday report from the wilderness of west Michigan. Have a great day and give someone a hug.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Now I've Seen It ALL

This morning as I made my usual Friday morning jaunt to the clinic and out to breakfast, I saw a high number of hunters on the roads and in the restaurant. As you know I am not a great fan of deer hunting, but I was brought to a new level of hysterics as I drove home. As we drove along the highway, we passed a pasture with several cows peacefully grazing. What was hilarious was that each cow had a big orange spot either strapped or painted on -- I couldn't tell which from the road. My first thought was, "What -- are those slow moving cows?". Then it struck me -- The owner of the cows had marked them with orange so that some dumb hunter wouldn't shoot the poor cows mistaking them for deer! Ah, score another point for the absolute insanity of deer hunting aka the slaughter of the innocents.

Well, boys and girls, I am getting off this page to get ready for another whirlwind weekend -- riding the highways between my house and Ben's -- there a night, here a night, there a night -- geez, the poor animals are confused. I wonder if I should paint the toy poodle orange to keep her safe. Anyhow, love and hug that special person on this weekend of the big Michigan/Ohio State game. My comment on that is -- Who cares?. I hear that tickets are scalping for as much as $1,000 a piece ... Can you believe it? And the deer hunters will have to choose between the brutality of their sport or a dose of football fever. Whatever you choose to do this weekend, do it with passion!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Here Comes Santa Claus

I am trying to find some information on this song to find out which verses are from the original version from the '40's, and which (if any) have been added over the years. Any music historians out there able to help?


Here comes Santa Claus, Here comes Santa Claus
Right down Santa Claus Lane.
Vixen and Blitzen and all his reindeer are pulling on the reins.
Bells are ringing, children singing, all is merry and bright.
Hang your stocking and say your prayers,
'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus
Right down Santa Claus Lane.
He's got a bag that's filled with toys for boys and girls again.
Hear the sleigh bells jingle, jangle, what a beautiful sight.
Jump in bed, cover up your head,
'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus
Right down Santa Claus Lane.
He doesn't care if you're rich or poor, for he loves you just the same.
Santa knows that we're God's children, that makes ev'rything right.
Fill you hearts with Christmas cheer,
'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus
Right down Santa Claus Lane.
He'll come around when the chime ring out, then it's Christmas morn again.
Peace on earth will come to all if we just follow the light.
Let's give thanks to the Lord above,
'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight.

My reason for asking is that I don't remember hearing the last two verses in some arrangements. I have some theological issues with "Santa knows that we're God's children, that makes everything right" and "Let's give thanks to the Lord above 'Cause Santa Claus comes tonight." I get the feeling that those lines in particular trivialize the real reason for Christmas. We need to be careful blending secular and commercial traditions with religious beliefs.

Ah well, it's just me sounding off yet again -- any help or comments appreciated.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

An Interesting Post

I found this Interesting Post and wanted to share it with everyone. It's food for thought and laughter. Enjoy

Looks Like an Answer to Me

After my previous post, I was surfing the net looking at news stories and came across this item that tells me that maybe the animal kingdom will have a chance to strike back at the people who go out and senselessly slaughter innnocent animals. Go figure.

Happy (?) Hunting

Well, good morning everyone on this first day of open season to shoot deer in Michigan. As I searched for an appropriate photo to brighten up this post, I was thrilled to find this one. It kind of sums up my thoughts on hunting season. How would we like it if deer had a season for hunting and killing us? I couldn't believe my eyes a little bit ago when I looked out my window and saw my boss's truck -- he is an avid hunter (it seems to be the macho hetero thing to be) and he took time out of his opening day to bring back my leaf blower -- go figure. Of course, he already killed three innocent and defenseless deer during the bow season. I want to know when the dynamite season comes -- I could probably get one or two that way -- LOL. In case you couldn't tell, I am a pacifist when it comes to this subject. I know that we are overrun with deer and that Michigan is one of the highest states for deer/car crashes, but still, what did that poor innocent deer ever do to you? If we were seriously in need of them for food, maybe it would be okay. But, for most of the guys (and a few gals) out there, it's nothing but legalized violence, a chance to be out with the guys, probably downing a few beers (real sensible for boys playing with guns), scratching their gonads, and acting all "manly". What's manly about shooting an unarmed and innocent prey? Ah well, enough sounding off about that. Remember (especially this time of the year), if you live in deer country, be careful, slow down, and be on the lookout for deer -- shooting them is bad enough, hitting them with car just doesn't seem sporting -- and it really does a number on the vehicle!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What Planet are You From?

You Are From Saturn

You're steady, organizes, and determined to achieve your dreams.
You tend to play it conservative, going by the rules (at least the practical ones).
You'll likely reach the top. And when you do, you'll be honorable and responsible.
Focus on happiness. Don't let your goals distract you from fun!
Don't be too set in your ways, and you'll be more of a success than you ever dreamed of.


Well, customer service has sunk to a new all time low. I called a local outlet of the store in which I bought the now infamous Thanksgiving mugs to see if by chance they were available locally. I researched store locations and spent a good bit of time trying lots of ways of getting some more of the mugs. When I finally called a store in the Detroit area and made what I thought to be a simple request -- Are they available in your store? -- the response I got was simpy "Huh?". Needless to say, I simply said, "Never mind," and hung up. If the help that is hired these days is so ignorant as to answer a one "word" grunt, I have better things to do with my resources -- time and money - than to try to explain myself. I would gladly have repeated my request had I received a "Pardon me" or "Excuse me, what was it you wanted?" or some intelligent and polite (translate that as customer service appropriate) response. I refuse to become a victim of the dumbing down of America. Am I being petty or should we refuse to be treated like unimportant and ignorant clouts by a lower than average intelligence (or common courtesy) work force? So I continue to seek a source for additional mugs -- I have had no less than three requests for them. Hmm, maybe I need to start a "Thanksgiving Mug Store."

Monday, November 13, 2006

A Busy Weekend

Well, here it is Monday afternoon and I finally have time to dash off a quick post. What a weekend! It began with a trip to Ben's on Friday afternoon where we spent a great and quiet evening and night. On Saturday morning I got up and drove to Dayton Ohio for a meeting and a Sunday speaking engagement. I had a great and productive time and thoroughly enjoyed my stay in a house that was built in 1854 (YES -- EIGHTEEN) -- awesome. Thankfully, except for the car's usual poltergeist like behavior, everything went fine. By Sunday evening I was back at Ben's enjoying steak and baked potato, and hanging out for the evening. This morning I took my first blood pressure pill (Yes, I have reached the magic age where pills come into play) and headed for home. All is well on the home front. Now it's back to business as usual as I deal with the current job, church stuff, family matters, and more -- and as I sit here 100 miles from Ben until Friday. Hmmmm. As I looked at the calendar today I saw that Christmas is SIX (Count 'em folks -- SIX) weeks from today. Good grief. I was hoping (and am still praying) to be out of here and living with Ben before Christmas. Pray for jobs and everything to happen in good order. !

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Not So Nerdy After All

I am nerdier than 24% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Time Flies Whether or Not

Time flies, it seems, whether or not one is having fun. I woke up this morning realizing that it is already Thursday and I haven't accomplished a whole lot this week. On top of that it is only two weeks until Thanksgiving (US), and only six and a half weeks until Christmas. That also means it's only seen and a half weeks until 2007 (That, by the way, is Two Thousand Seven, or even Twenty OH Seven, but not Two Thousand AND Seven). Pardon my little grammar lesson, but I am finding all the ANDs really annoying, even from those who speak professionally--geez!

I talked with Ben this morning and he is in a somewhat better space, though the finances continue to lurk somewhere just below the surface. The one joy of it being Thursday already is that tomorrow is Friday and I will get to spend time with him -- just overnight, since I am off for a weekend speaking engagement for Saturday and Sunday. I should be back at Ben's Sunday night and home on Monday and another week starts the whole cycle over again. Today will be spent cleaning up what I am to be saying this weekend, mopping floors, doing laundry, checking my own finances, and sharing in a potluck with the old folks here at the complex. There goes any hope of a responsible diet -- how many ways can one fix macaroni?

By now, the future of the US Senate is set -- for at least the next two years, the Congress will be led by Democrats with a Republican administration -- that should make for some intriguing news. Either there will be lots of fights or absolutely nothing will get done. At least it will be a nice change from the past 12 years of a totally Republican dominated Washington DC. Now if the Democrats play things right and if they can find a viable and electable candidate in 2008, perhaps there will be a Democrat in the White House. Talk of candidates like Barak Obama, Hillary Clinton, and John Kerry worries me. Each of them in his or her own right might be well qualified for the position, but I don't believe any of them to be electable at this point in time. I could see some hope for a John Edwards/Barak Obama ticket, maybe even Edwards/Clinton. I just don't think that this country is quite ready to elect a female or person of color to the office of President. It is a sad commentary on the deeply rooted prejudices in this country, but that's the way I see it right now. I think that Mr. Obama is potential presidential timber at some point in the future; I think that Ms. Clinton would fill the office well (except for the spectre of Bill's past--blown out of proportion by the right and the media). I believe that the only way to get a woman in the White House would be for BOTH parties to nominate women. How about a Clinton vs. Condaleeza Rice contest? Hmmm.

Well, I didn't mean to get so wordy or political. I think I am trying to avoid housework and homework. Blogging is great, but it sure does take time HA HA. Hope everyone has a great Thursday. Hey -- here's an idea -- if you know someone who might be alone for Thanksgiving, why not try to include them in your celebration? I would think that in most cases, there would be enough turkey and dressing to go around and it would brighten their day.

Be good to the one you love and pray for those you don't.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Wednesday Morning

I didn't know what else to call this post. Ben called this morning to tell me about some financial struggles and snafus he is encountering. He hasn't had to deal with living on the financial edge of things in a very long time. Seeing that there is less coming in than going out and that some bills are having to slide is very troubling for him and the problems are manifesting as feelings of worthlessness, badness, and so on. He has a tender heart which is one of the things I love about him, and this current mess is causing him such distress. I hope that he doesn't become cynical or hard hearted through this. His gentle yet adventurous spirit just seems so dampened right now. Because of my own situation, all I can do is be nearby to be a listening ear and a sympathetic and empathetic voice. I know that there is light at the end of the tunnel; I just hope that the long night of struggle isn't too long. I believe that something positive is going to happen very soon -- be that a call to a church for one of us, a job in his area for me, or something. One positive thing that I believe will come out of this is a new awareness on Ben's part of the plight of so many to whom he will be called to minister. The struggle of living from paycheck to two days before paycheck; the struggle of over extension; the struggle of seeking a job; the struggle of life when times are tough. I think that his heart, already full of compassion, will be touched more deeply as he moves through this stuff and that he will come out of it better prepared than ever to minister to the masses.

Keep him in your thoughts and prayers -- he is in a struggle that goes beyond the financial stuff. His transition from the church he was in has raised up all those old feelings of low self esteem, as though he is somehow to blame in all this. I keep looking at the picture of him with the scarecrow and seeing the peaceful innocent vulnerability of the man I love. Then I think of the daily dilemmas and storms that come his way and I fear their impact on that image. Well, I guess I've rambled on enough to get my point out and to process some of this in my own mind.

Election Day Plus One

When I woke up this morning, the song "There's Got to Be A Morning After" came to mind. I knew that the elction was over and we could move back to life as normal. Of course, as usual lately, there have been voting snafus -- not as bad as the famous Florida mess, but screw ups just the same. Some things are not yet decided -- such as "control" of the Senate. It is exciting to see that come January the US will meet the first woman to ever serve as Speaker of the House -- Rep. Nancy Pelosi. It doesn't matter at this point whether you like her or agree with her politics --for the next two years she WILL be in that position. It will be interesting to see what happens with a Democratic House and a Senate that is right now too close to call. It was really upsetting to see the number of states where anti-same sex marriage constitutional amendments passed. Thank you, Arizona voters, for at least recognizing the fallacies of such an amendment. Marriage is NOT a constitutional issue! How can a nation that claims life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and equal rights, and such be so backward? Whether or not you think that two people of the same gender should be married is irrelavent -- if you don't want to marry a person of the same gender -- DON'T. But what give you the right to tell me that I cannot solemnize my relationship? In reality, the government needs to get out of the marriage business`-- make all "marriages" domestic partnerships without concern about gender or other extraneous issues playing a role. Let the churches solemnize "marriages" as their theologies permit. That would make "marriage" a covenant between two people and God.

I was thrilled to see our governor and US senator re-elected. It was great that people defeated our proposal to allow for the hunting of mourning doves. Sadly, affirmative action was struck down. Now, I hate that we have to legislate equality, but as we see from the same sex marriage debate, some citizens are more equal than others. Now, employers and universities are free to discriminate. Go figure.

Of course, with the 2006 midterm elections almost behind us, now all the talking heads turn their attention to the 2008 presidential race. I, for one, don't care at this moment. I need a break from the politization (?) of life. I am sick of the over-analysis of every race, every candidate scrtuinized for every word and thought, every issue torn to pieces, and there is so much information that comes our way that it tends to confuse rather than clarify the process. I may start a "No one for President in '08" campaign. What do you think?

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

I did it -- my civic duty! I voted. I was the 356th ballot in my precinct (probably the first to vote a "D" straight ticket in this hotbed of conservatism, but I have spoken. Then I went looking for an appropriate picture to put on this post and found -- what else? -- portapotties!! For those of you who have read this blog for a while you will know that i have presented porta-potty shots with such interesting names as "Jons to Go" and others that I found humorous. I think that the ones in this picture should be named "Flush-a-dubya". If you think about it, Democrats will howl with laughter and the other party will just howl! But, hey, it's my blog and I'll laugh if I want to. I hope that all of you got out and voted. Too bad we can't all win, but if we all do our civic duty and do it responsibly, the good old US of A will ultimately win because we will elect at least some responsible and responsive leaders. If we fail to speak our mind (and use it in doing so) then we will all lose. Can't wait to hear the results tonight -- I suspect there will be a wake up call for one party; I just hope that the other doesn't take it as either a mandate or a full approval of their platform, but rather as a, "Here's your chance; let's see if you can do the things you've promised.". If they can't perform, there is another election just around the corner and things can change in one election! Leaders, be warned! You work for US the citizens of this land, not for yourself or for the special interests. Enough ranting about elections and voting. If you've voted already, congrats. If you are going to the polls after work, HOORAY. If you've decided to stay home and skip it, shame on you -- go read someone else's blog.

A Wonderful Year

As I sat this morning drinking coffee and missing Ben, I remembered that this was the first anniversary of a very memorable occassion. It was on this day one year ago that Ben and I were together and he shyly yet boldly (Is that a possible combination?) asked if he could kiss me. Silly me -- I said YES, and in saying that I received and shared in perhaps the most passionate kiss of my life to that moment. Since that day there have beena lot more kisses, hugs, and more, and all of it has its magical side, but that moment one year ago today is forever burned into my brain as a moment of wonder, discovery, and excitement. Ben, on this first anniversary of that momentous occassion, I just want to tell you (in front of all blog-dom) that I love you more every day!! Consider yourself kissed!

Monday, November 06, 2006

A Commentary on Voting

Lemuel at Greedy Maelstrom posted this commentary on tomorrow's election and I found it interesting and insightful. While I identify myself as a Democrat, I think that this commentary from a long term Republican speaks volumes about the importance of this year's elections. I urge you to get the information about candidates and issues and not simply vote for so - and - so because s/he is a R or a D or because they look hot or have a nice smile or whatever. By now, most of us should have done our homework and made our decisions about how to cast our ballots. I also have to admit that I sometimes think, "This race or this issue is not so important as the others.", and leave blank spots on the ballot -- I have learned that every race and every issue is of importance -- even who gets the job of Drain Commissioner (Who even knew that we commissioned our plumbing?). Today's drain commissioner or school board member may be next season's town council member, congressperson, governor or such. Everyone starts somewhere. My ballot will be a straight Democratic vote with NO being the choic efor all the proposals on this ballot. Some of the DUMBEST stuff gets on the ballot! Who sits down and writes this stuff and what kind of folks sign the petitions needed to get it on the ballot? Scary!

We live in an age where we cannot allow ourselves to be ignorant or apathetic. Some will say, "I don't like either candidate so I'm not voting." Sadly that is your choice, but to be a real American one needs to make an educated choice -- to do otherwise is to choose potential tyranny and disaster. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE GO TO THE POLLS TOMORROW AND LET THE FOLKS KNOW WHERE YOU STAND. There's an old saying that goes, "You've got to stand for something or you will fall for anything." Be a part of the process -- people have died to gain and preserve for you the right to vote!

Home Again

My, it seems as though it's been forever since I posted anything here. I was away on business for a few days and the motel I was in had high speed internet -- but what they didn't say was that it was WIRELESS. I had the wrong computer with me, so I had to settle for a very slow dial up connection which prevented me from doing much more than checking email. Even that was a challenge. Click the icon, take a shower, come back and read a message. Click the "Next" button, go get coffee, come back and read a message. You get the idea. Anyway, I am back now and ready to write volumes.

First, I found the long sought Thanksgiving mugs. Can you believe I had to go to Pittsburgh to find them? Ben was surprised and amazed last night when he opened the package I brought him. He was at my house when I got home and oh what a welcome sight he was. If you have someone special in your life cherish them. He spent the night and headed out early to get home in time to go to work. Poor baby, he's gonna have a long day -- driving a hundred miles, working eight hours, music rehearsal tonight. He'll be POOPED.

Speaking of POOPED, I was on the road for 10 hours yesterday after three very busy and long days. Today thus far I am playing catch up. Had to check mail and go to the bank. Still have a bill or two to pay and a house to clean. Then it's time to do some work around the building and get some stuff doen for church. I have to work quickly to get stuff ready for the church for next weekend as I will be gone again for a day or two. I am visiting a church in Dayton, OH, so everything for here has be in place by midweek or it will mean an extra trip to town -- and who can afford such a thing?

Now, on to the commentary for the morning. I just attended a church conference with 400+ other people. During that time, my "superior" (for lack of a better word) managed to snub me not once, but at least three distinct times. The first day, upon arrival, my pastor and I walked into the hotel. The superior (Rev. X) walked up, hugged on my colleague and chatted a moment while totally ignoring me. Did I have BO or something? Later that day, we made progress i thought. We were in the hospitality area of the conference and Rev. X was headed my direction. I thought, "Oh, maybe this time I will at least get a hello." About that time she spotted some other folks, made a quick turn and was gone. Snubbed again. A couple hours later I saw her and decided to take action. I walked right up, said hello and gave her a big hug. I thought she might crap her drawers. I said, "There, I finally got a greeting," and went merrily on my way. Did she get the hint? UM, NO! Yesterday morning she was zipping through the hotel lobby on her way somewhere. She gave my pastor a quick hug -- after he kind of stepped in her way -- and went on her way again treating me like I am the invisible man or the local leper. Ben talked a while back about the lack of care and concern for clergy from denominations. Here's continuing evidence of it. Now, I don't expect someone who is busy to stop and get into a deep and lengthy conversation, but if there are two colleagues approaching and you stop to greet one, at least take a second to acknowledge the existence and presence of both. If I were new to this body of people, I might write it off to not being recognized, but I have been an active member of this denomination for 30 years and a clergyperson for 20. DUH!

Other than the perpetual snubbing, the conference was okay I suppose. Maybe I'm just tired of these things or something, but we arrived on Wednesday night, conference began (for us) on Thursday afternoon, and by Friday morning I was ready to pack up and come home. Hmmm. Others were going ga ga over how wondeful everything was, and I guess in some ways, it was pretty great, but I felt like an outsider looking in. At least that is the last of those until next summer and who knows where I will be by then.

I told Ben that I am so ready to stop being the pastor and to devote myself to being the pastor's "wife". He is concerned that I might feel unfulfilled in that role, but how fulfilled can one be when one is constantly unsupported, ignored and overlooked by one's peers? Who knows where the journey will lead. I am not abandoning my call just yet. God hasn't been real clear with my yet (or perhaps I'm not listening), but every time I experience stuff like I described here, I move a bit closer to asking the question, "What's the use?". I am hoping for some clarity and resolution. Perhaps there is a move out there for me that I haven't seen yet and it will be an incredible journey. Perhaps I am just spinning my wheels or deluding myself. Maybe my season of ministry is past its time. Maybe I'm just feeling sorry for myself. Maybe I should stop writing for now and get busy doing the things that need to happen this week.

Thanks for listening to my ramblings. It is great to be home; Ben brought wine and flowers and welcomed me home in ways that I will not describe here. Suffice it to say, it was worth the ten hours of road travel yesterday just to be with him.

Don't forget that tomorrow is election here in the US. I don't care if you vote Republican, Democrat, Libertarian, or whatever. But get out there and exercise your right to have a say in who represents you and what they do. VOTE! Don't think that your vote doesn't count, because every vote counts. This year's election is one of the most important in recent history -- be a part of it. Perhaps I will jot a few more notes about that later. For now, it's back to the coffee pot and on with the day. Love you all!!