How did that happen?

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civic_engagement_panel_02122018_resize

If you had told me ten years ago, or even five, that I’d be on a discussion panel up in front of a crowd of strangers, telling a bit of my story, I’d have said “you’re nuts”.  That’s not something I ever thought I’d be able to do, or that anyone would find anything I had to say interesting enough to invite me.

My, have times changed.

On Monday, February 12, 2018, I was one of five panelists for the 210 Connect presentation “Use Your Power: How To Change Your Community through Civic Engagement”. I was honored to appear with Erin Garner Ford of ACT for Women and Girls; Steven Tootle, political science professor at College of the Sequoias; Amy Shuklian, Tulare County Board of Supervisors; and Daniel O’Connell, Executive Director at Central Valley Partnership.  My connection was through my activities with The Source LGBT+ Center, and as a community activist in general.

Honestly, I felt rather out of my depth with the group on the panel.

I thought it went fairly well, though. People seemed interested in what I had to say about becoming an activist in the LGBTQ community, and I was asked a couple of interesting questions about my evolution from closeted introvert, to community activist.

Now I’ll ponder some more about it, and see what, if anything, grows out of this night’s experience. One thing is for sure, I enjoyed it. It was fun!

Mike Pence Secretly Gay?

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Vice President Mike Pence gay??
gay_pence_fake

While it would be a delicious rumor, that’s all it is. (as far as we know!)

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Sadly (or not), this image isn’t Mike Pence in his secret gay youth.  Turns out this is Brad Patton, a porn actor.

I never put much stock in the rumor that Mike Pence was secretly gay, but an image that popped up in my Facebook feed had me recalling it all again. It was deliciously ironic, or would have been, if Pence were actually gay and deeply closeted, and in self-loathing hell.

pence_selfie_pita_fake

Yep, that’s Vice-President Mike Pence, and Olympic athlete from Tonga, Pita Taufatofua. Pita has made quite the stir with his shirtless, oiled-body appearances in the Olympics opening ceremonies, twice in a row. Of course, the humor is in the assumption that closeted Pence would get a selfie with the hunky Tongan, after his apparent overtures to gay Olympic skater Adam Rippon fell flat. Sadly, the picture is fake. The number two man in the Trump administration is the victim of fake news. Go figure.

pence_selfie_original_crop

Here’s the original selfie used to make the fake one with Pita. Someone did a decent photo-shopping to create the image (at least on a phone screen. The edit is a bit more noticeable on a computer monitor.)

So “Mother” (what Pence calls his wife. Reagan did the same thing. I always found that a bit creepy) can rest easy. Her hubby doesn’t have a secret hankerin’ for the man meat. That we know about, anyway. He’s certainly acted in the past like a deeply conflicted, self-loathing, closeted queen, however, so one can never be quite certain.

Maybe, as in the X Files… the truth is out there.

Once upon a time, in the future

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Fun in space.

Melatonin induced dreams – the latest

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melatonin_dreamsOne of the side effects of taking Melatonin to help you sleep is “intense dreams”. I’m discovering that “intense” for me means “really weird”, and that I remember them once I awaken. Here’s last night’s strange tale.

It starts with me sitting in my truck, a ’92 Ford Ranger, in the parking area adjacent to, but not at, a set of gas pumps at a convenience store. The engine is running. I almost never do that, just sit somewhere (other than a drive-thru) with the engine running.

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Not really my truck.

For some reason, my truck has a camper shell. In reality, my truck does not. I’ve never even considered putting a shell on the truck. Anyway, sitting in the truck, engine running.

So far, not a really weird dream. But it starts veering into, if not weird, then at least strange. And I remember it, when I usually don’t, so there’s that.

Sitting in the gas station parking lot, engine running, when a woman of indeterminate age, possibly early 20’s, maybe early 30’s, comes roaring up to the gas pumps and screeches to a stop, in an older, mid-size heap of a car. She’s dressed like…  well, there’s no real polite way to say it…

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Maybe it was something I said…

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Occasionally I re-visit Congressman Devin Nunes’ personal Twitter page, just to see if I’m still blocked.
nunes_blocked_cropped

Yep, still blocked. When I first noticed the block, I thought, being the generous sort that I am, that perhaps he kept his personal Twitter feed limited to just family and friends. Then, after my more cynical side spoke up, I decided to test that theory. I have access to a second Twitter account that I co-manage, so a test was in order.

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Some people sing in the shower. Not me.

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itsnottrek01
I don’t waste my time singing in the shower. They say everyone sounds good in there, at least to themselves, but that’s not true. I learned a long time ago not to lie to myself about that. Instead, my mind tends to wander. Today, it ruminated on Star Trek, fake Star Trek, and the Star Spangled Banner.

We’ll start with Star Trek.

Since J.J.Abrams began helming the starship Enterprise with his new movies, things have not gone well. While the movies are certainly watchable, enjoyable, and entertaining, they’re not Star Trek. Sorry, J.J., they’re just not. I’m hoping the next movie brings us back to the real thing, but I’m not holding my breath.

Star Trek Discovery has followed the same path as the movies. It’s like they’re using the words from Star Trek, without having any understanding of them. The Federation. Warp drive. Klingons. Phasers. Sarek. Vulcans.

Now, I really like that Discovery has taken the leap, following the almost-gay scene from the last movie where we get the split second shot of Sulu with his husband, and introduced a gay couple on the show. More

It’s not that I hate cheese, but…

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big cheeseburger with melted cheese and glittery background.

NOT what I ordered!

I never order a cheeseburger. Never.

I keep being served cheeseburgers.

Now, I don’t hate cheese. Really, I don’t. I’m quite content to have a splattering of cheese on my taco, or a slice of American on a sandwich (on occasion). I’ll eat a slice or two right out of the ‘individual wrapper’. I’ve even been known to chow down several slices of pizza, as long as it’s ham and pineapple.

I just really, really, REALLY don’t want it on my hamburger.

Why, then, do fast food places around here insist on giving me a cheeseburger?

I’ve tried to figure it out, and I can only come up with two explanations.

One, the burger makers love cheeseburgers, and can’t conceive of anyone NOT having cheese on their burgers, so it never occurs to them that the lack of “cheese”, or “minus cheese”, on the order ticket might mean that the customer DOESN’T WANT ANY GAWD DAMNED CHEESE on their burger.

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