Crow is tasty

Sometimes you make some mistakes when you write in these things. I made one the other day in talking about the US mail service. You may remember it, you may not. Either way, the post is gone.

Sometimes you jump to conclusions without getting the whole story. I did that. I’m sure many of you have done it as well. It happens.

The important thing to know is when to admit you were wrong.

I’m doing that now.

Anyone else want some crow? I have plenty left over.

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Support Stem Cell Research!

There’s a lot to cover today, so I’m just going to lay it all out there in one post, and hopefully it won’t be too long when I’m done. I can’t bore you now, can I?

Stem Cell Research

The news about Bill Frist going against the Republican mainstream on Stem Cell Research made me sit up and tilt my head. It’s about damn time one of those dimwits spoke up for themselves instead of going Borg on the issue. (Please pardon the geeky Star Trek reference, but it’s true isn’t it?) It’s being PROVEN that stem cells are useful in treating and even possibly CURING some truly devestating diseases and conditions, but that PROOF can’t HAPPEN unless scientists can do the research that is necessary.

Which leads me to my next gripe.

I STILL HATE GEORGE W. BUSH
Just as Senator Frist, who is a physician and has some credibility to back up why he made the decision he made, announced his decision… Ol’ Dumbya comes right out and stands firm that he won’t back down on his choice to limit the research based on his moral values and all that crap.

For the love of whatever you want to worship, Dumbya, can you just get your head out of your ASS long enough to think with that peabrain you have about the effects that this can have on the lives of MILLIONS of people… not just in the US but the WORLD? And your moral grounds are completely groundLESS. Those embryos are meant to produce life in the already living. Think about it. Isn’t that preserving life? Isn’t that morally correct? Doesn’t that make SENSE?

The Religious “RIGHT” can KISS MY ASS
Hot on the tails of all this mudslinging, some podunk preacher from some backhills shack of a church, heading yet another Conservative Christian Family Values group decides to put his $.02 after Frist came out with his decision:

“He cannot be pro-life and pro-embryonic stem cell funding,” said Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition. “Nor can he turn around and expect widespread endorsement from the pro-life community if he should decide to run for president.”

That’s right Pattyboy. Cut that and dry it. Color it in black and white. And while you’re at it, SHUT THE FU*K UP.

On the good side, Frist’s decision will hopefully push the discussion in favor of what’s right– opening up the funding for the research that is needed. This is GOOD NEWS folks. No matter what your political flavor, we have to thank Dr. Frist for speaking his mind. He’s done good. There is hope yet.

Why am I so passionate about Stem Cell Research?

Here is a great sampling from the National Institutes of Health website about Stem Cells and what they can help the medical community do:

Studying stem cells will help us understand how they transform into the dazzling array of specialized cells that make us what we are. Some of the most serious medical conditions, such as cancer and birth defects, are due to problems that occur somewhere in this process. A better understanding of normal cell development will allow us to understand and perhaps correct the errors that cause these medical conditions.

Another potential application of stem cells is making cells and tissues for medical therapies. Today, donated organs and tissues are often used to replace those that are diseased or destroyed. Unfortunately, the number of people needing a transplant far exceeds the number of organs available for transplantation. Pluripotent stem cells offer the possibility of a renewable source of replacement cells and tissues to treat a myriad of diseases, conditions, and disabilities including Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases, spinal cord injury, stroke, burns, heart disease, diabetes, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. (Emphasis added)

The conditions that I bolded and italicized in the preceding quote are all conditions that members of my family suffer from currently. The big one in that list for me is diabetes. My father is a diabetic and it’s killing him. If this research can help find a cure for this horrible disease in any way, I am ALL FOR IT.

So folks, get busy and start being vocal. Call your congresspeople, senators, represenatatives, whoever will listen to you, and tell them to support this research. The advances have come this far and the results are encouraging. Without the funding from the government that they need, however, there isn’t much hope for it to continue. Don’t wait until a member of your family is afflicted with one of the above mentioned conditions to speak up. It might be too late by then.

The shoe's on the other foot(er)

I promise this is the last time I will bore you with what I figured out in WordPress. I promise.

Until next time.

So check out the footer. It’s down there. Waaaaaaaaaaay down there.

I did that. Me.

I guess it’s true… you can teach an old dog new tricks. 🙂

Old Friends

This weekend I visited with some old friends. The friends I visited were the first set of “gay” friends I made around the time I came out… already more than 10 years ago now.

Dave was one of the first gay guys I met in Wisconsin from AOL. He lived in Racine, which is just north of Kenosha, where I grew up. We had chatted a few times and exchanged pictures, which was pretty advanced for that particular time, and eventually agreed to meet.

I remember I was working at Best Buy at the time. Dave told me he had just had knee surgery and was limping from it, so I’d recognize him right away. I’ll never forget the first time I saw him, hobbling down the main aisle with a multi-colored jacket. At the time I didn’t know if we’d date or just be friends, but it’s funny to think that our friendship has lasted as long as it has, and I remember that moment so very clearly.

Well Dave and I didn’t date, and we became good friends very quickly. I had already been making some online friends from Chicago on AOL, and was eager to introduce Dave to them. He was a bit reluctant at first. As it turned out, Dave had only very recently come out to himself, let alone to anyone else. He had never been to a gay bar, and had never dated anyone. He hadn’t even told his parents, who I did meet. So I knew that he needed a friend to help him along that road… and I was glad he had chosen me.

As he started to relax a bit, I started to introduce him to some of the people I was meeting from AOL. Each of them was fun and interesting in their own special way…

The first guy I met was Don. I had a huge crush on Don, but he seemed to be more into the little young boys, so I knew I didn’t have a chance with him. So we became friends. Don loved to drink and dance. He was a lot of fun, but sometimes would get a bit out of control. He eventually found a boyfriend and was with him for a very long time. I lost touch with Don eventually… have no idea whatever happened to him.

Jason was fun guy, very much into sports, which was of course unsusual for a gay guy. He found himself a boyfriend rather quickly in Craig, who is still with today. Jason and Craig were at tonight’s party.

Jeff befriended Dave and I quickly and the three of us became buddies. We went shopping together, went to Great America together, and threw parties together. Jeff taught school in a far southern city in Illinois but lived in the western suburbs. Eventually he moved to the city he was teaching in, and I lost touch with him. But Jeff was there tonight, and it was as if he had never gone anywhere. It was great fun remembering old stories and laughing about the crazy things we had done. I’m so glad he’s back in our lives.

I met Scott for a date. We knew there wasn’t an attraction, but in talking to him, I discovered that he knew a lot of people that I already knew, so we figured we would remain friends. Scott was one of the main reasons I joined the Chicago Gay Men’s Chorus. He had auditioned and encouraged me to do the same… so I did. Eight years later, Scott has moved on from the group, but I’m still going strong. I have him to thank for that.

Gregg was another of the first guys I met. He used to plan AOL parties for all of the Chicago area guys, and that’s how I met most of everyone I’m mentioning here. He did this for a year, and then handed the reins over to me. (A Wisconsin boy planning Chicago AOL parties… who knew!) He was a sweet guy and had a great heart. He met his partner Ben at one of our outings and as far as I know is still with him today. I haven’t heard from Gregg in a while.. would be great to connect with him again.

Then there’s Dan. Dan was a force of… something. He was one of those types that drama seemed to follow wherever he went… and he fully encouraged it along. I first met Dan as a date of sorts. I knew there was nothing there, but he seemed like a fun guy, so we kept in touch. When I met him, he was living in my mom’s hometown of Antioch, Illinois. I think that’s how we started chatting in the first place. He eventually moved to Chicago and began growing everyone’s social circle. We had some incredible parties at the house he lived in with fellow friends Dr. Dave and Mike, who owned the house. Things changed, however, when Dan moved out of the house and into his own place in Boystown. He found a different circle of friends and started to withdraw from everyone else. The common statement about him was “When Dan didn’t live in Boystown he was out all the time… but now that he lives here, we never see him.” And it was true. It’s been years since I’ve talked to him… but I know he’s still around.

Dr. Dave and Mike joined the circle through Dan, and remain there today. While Dr. Dave now lives in his own lovely house in the near suburbs, he is still frequently seen at the bars shooting pool and making time with cute young boys… his specialty. Mike was at the party tonight, and it’s always good to see him again.

My former roommate Scott, who I wrote about previously, was also part of this group. He was another young newbie to the gay world, and he hit the ground running.

There were many other players in this tangled web, but these were the main ones. After ten years, I still keep in touch with many of them, but some have either moved on to other states/jobs/relationships, and others have just fallen off the face of the earth. But I’ll always have memories of what great times I had with this set of friends.

Dave is now in a great relationship with is partner, Andy. They live in the northern suburbs of Chicago in a nice condo. He’s still one of my closest friends. It’s great to be able to reconnect with someone only a few times a year and it’s like it was just last week. That’s the true test of friendship. I really cherish that.

I'm such a friggin' perfectionist

I really am. And I’ll tell you why. The header on my blog was driving me batty in that “I just need to fix that” sort of way. Now don’t get me wrong, Lisa and Scott kicked major bootay on this thing. I give every prop in the world to them. But somehow the header was just a little goofy, and in that graphic designer mentality that I have I just COULD NOT LET IT GO.

Deep breath.

OK so I fixed it (which I have to say I am a tiny bit shocked that I even figured out how to do), and now everything lines up all pretty and perfectly. And while I was at it tweaked a couple things just a tad. So now the Posts column is titled “Today’s Ramblings” en homage to the old blog, and the tagline to this whole crazy thing (*Ramblings and a whole lot MORE!) is just a wee bit more readable.

I know you don’t give a rat’s ass.

But I do. 🙂 😛