Happy Halloween!

I’ve never been much for dressing up in costumes for Halloween, but it’s so much fun to see the creativity that goes on each year.

My friends Marc and Fausto of Feast of Fools invited our friend Michael Lehet to join them to dress up as pandas this year, and they are having quite a lot of fun with it.  They’ve been doing some really great videos this week on the Feast of Fools website while dressed in their panda outfits and makeup.  Here’s one of all three of them doing the “Panda Dance” to the song “Jung Hwa Ban Jum.” I have no idea what it really means, but it’s hysterical to watch.

And while I’m at this, if you would be so kind as to vote for the Feast of Fools gang for the annual Podcast Awards, I’d greatly appreciate it. They are up for Best GLBT Podcast and People’s Choice (Podcast of the Year) this year. They’ve won Best GLBT Podcast for the past two years, and I really want them to win BOTH awards this year!!! I’m an occasional guest on their show (here my most recent appearance), so this award would mean a lot to me as well. Vote every day, once a day!

And if pandas and podcasts aren’t your game.. here’s something you might enjoy: My nieces, Abby (the flower) and Emily (the kitty), dressed in their first Halloween costumes. If that doesn’t tug at your heartstrings for all that’s CUTE in the world, I don’t know what will!  Happy Halloween!

Who are you?

I’m just a bundle of curiousity here… so I have to ask:

You– who is reading this right now.  Who are you?  

How did you find this blog?  Are you a blogger as well?  How long have you been blogging?  

Do you know me personally?

Now come on… don’t be shy.  

Tell me in the comments.  Cause I’m simply DYING to know. 🙂

OK, maybe that’s a bit overly dramatic… but I really do want to know who you are!

Thanks! 🙂

Reflecting on Jennifer Hudson's loss

Two years ago, I felt pain like I had never felt before. Losing a parent is the hardest thing anyone has to experience in life– aside from, I would guess, losing a child.

But to lose a parent, a sibling and a nephew all at once…

I just don’t know if I could deal with it.

Surely by now you’ve heard about the murders of Jennifer Hudson’s mother, brother and nephew here in Chicago. News like this is terrifying and horrible, no matter whose family it happens to. The fact that it happens to be the family of a recent Oscar winner and singer with an album currently on the charts is irrelevant. This would be news even if it was a typical family living a typical life.

The question that remains is not “How does this happen?” because the answer to that is, simply, “It just does.” Things like this, unfortunately, happen all the time, all over the world. There are crazy people out there who think nothing of taking the life of an innocent 7-year-old child, his uncle and his grandmother. It sucks, and we grieve inside when it happens, but that’s the reality of the world we live in.

The question that remains is also not “What is happening to people today?” because things like this have happened for centuries, and will continue to happen for centuries to come. Residents blame the police and the politicians, the politicians blame the schools and the families, families blame themselves and everyone else. There are fingers pointed in all directions but never any answers.

No, the question that remains is neither of these. The question that remains is, “How does one cope with such a terrible loss?”

When my father died, it was sudden. He was sick, yes, but he wasn’t dying. One day he was there. The next, he was gone. Poof. No more. Whether he died of a heart attack or at the hands of a murderer, the fact remained that he was gone, and we were left to carry on from that point forward. There were no long goodbyes or final words. It was over in an instant.

The pain we felt from that point forward was immense, but I can’t help but imagine what it must be like to experience that times three.

Add to that the emotional trauma of having to identify bodies and speak to the police about finding person who did it. It takes an incredibly strong-willed person to endure that sort of torture.

I grieve for Jennifer and her family. Because the added pain of this situation is that Jennifer Hudson is a celebrity; therefore this story will continue and be talked about for months afterward. Trials will happen and convictions will (hopefully) be handed down, and it will all be in the news.

At least when I lost my dad, my family was able to move on from the point of the funeral in relative peace and quiet, and we healed in our own private ways. The Hudson family won’t get that sort of healing time. And for that reason, I grieve for them the most.

Time Magazine: Why Barack Obama Is Winning

Barack Obama, courtesy of Time Magazine
Callie Shell / Aurora for TIME

Joe Klein of Time Magazine has written a fantastic article about the Obama campaign, and gives some really good insight as to why he is, so far, winning. It’s a great read and I wanted to share it with you.

Excerpt:

General David Petraeus deployed overwhelming force when he briefed Barack Obama and two other Senators in Baghdad last July. He knew Obama favored a 16-month timetable for the withdrawal of most U.S. troops from Iraq, and he wanted to make the strongest possible case against it. And so, after he had presented an array of maps and charts and PowerPoint slides describing the current situation on the ground in great detail, Petraeus closed with a vigorous plea for “maximum flexibility” going forward. Obama had a choice at that moment. He could thank Petraeus for the briefing and promise to take his views “under advisement.” Or he could tell Petraeus what he really thought, a potentially contentious course of action — especially with a general not used to being confronted. Obama chose to speak his mind. “You know, if I were in your shoes, I would be making the exact same argument,” he began. “Your job is to succeed in Iraq on as favorable terms as we can get. But my job as a potential Commander in Chief is to view your counsel and interests through the prism of our overall national security.” Obama talked about the deteriorating situation in Afghanistan, the financial costs of the occupation of Iraq, the stress it was putting on the military.

A “spirited” conversation ensued, one person who was in the room told me. “It wasn’t a perfunctory recitation of talking points. They were arguing their respective positions, in a respectful way.” The other two Senators — Chuck Hagel and Jack Reed — told Petraeus they agreed with Obama. According to both Obama and Petraeus, the meeting — which lasted twice as long as the usual congressional briefing — ended agreeably. Petraeus said he understood that Obama’s perspective was, necessarily, going to be more strategic. Obama said that the timetable obviously would have to be flexible. But the Senator from Illinois had laid down his marker: if elected President, he would be in charge. Unlike George W. Bush, who had given Petraeus complete authority over the war — an unprecedented abdication of presidential responsibility (and unlike John McCain, whose hero worship of Petraeus bordered on the unseemly) — Obama would insist on a rigorous chain of command. …

Full article at Time.com