Showing posts from June, 2006

Gay Couples May Become Foster Parents in Arkansas

By ANDREW DEMILLO, Associated Press Writer Thu Jun 29, 7:25 PM ET
LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Arkansas cannot ban homosexuals from becoming foster parents because there is no link between their sexual orientation and a child's well-being, the state's high court ruled Thursday. The court agreed with a lower court judge that the state's child welfare board had improperly tried to regulate public morality. The ban also violated the separation of powers doctrine, the justices said.Reading this story brought me back to the time I performed a concert at Indiana University. In the audience was a father who brought his adopted teenage son. The son had been very self-destructive but this foster dad (who became an adopted dad) told me how inspiring my story had been for his son.

What learned later was that this dad and his partner were what the state referred to as "foster parents of last resort." Meaning, if no one else could handle the children or would take them, this gay coupl…

Amazing Carpet Lady in Turkey

This is a very short video I shot of a woman in Turkey making a carpet. She holds a blade in her right hand while looping threads through the strands in the loom and then lopping them off. Her hands were moving so fast, I could barely see them. When I played it back, after having videotaped her, it looked like I had sped up the tape.

click here to download

Ephesus Part 2

At one time, Ephesus was a teeming city of 200,000. It was a major metropolis which was used by the Romans to measure distances from all other cities in Asia. It was already 1000 years old by the time St. Paul arrived there around 52 CE. It remained a vital commercial port until malaria and earthquakes, plus silt deposits that left it landlocked finally did her in about the 14th century. Also, in Ephesus was a huge amphitheatre where Paul caused a near riot and had to rescued from a mob defending the goddess Artemus.

I didn't know all this as we headed into Ephesus. I didn't know anything about Ephesus. And because it was built on rolling hills, when we got to the entrance, it looked "nice," but its breathtaking ancient ruins were hidden from view. So I was amazed to watch it reveal itself as our little tour walked along the paved (yes, paved) road down the hillside to the one of most fantastic ruins in the entire world.

The first thing we saw was this small area of Ro…

House of Mary (Ephesus Part 1)

The next port on our cruise was Turkey. They said we'd be going to another ancient ruin, the city of Ephesus. I knew Ephesus only from the Bible. Paul wrote a letter to the church there and it became a book of the Bible called "Ephesians." However, I really knew nothing about the city nor did I know anything about Turkey. In fact, I was feeling rather blase about the whole thing. In my mind, all I could picture about Turkey was the prison in the movie "Midnight Express" starring Brad Davis. Men in fez's talking mean hating Americans.

I had this bad attitude and I thought, "Maybe I'll just skip Turkey." Wouldn't it be nice to just have a long, languid day onboard doing nothing?

But then one of the passengers said, "You haven't been to Ephesus before?"

Crankily, I answered, "No. I mean, what's there?"

She looked knowingly at me. (I hate it when people look knowingly at me). "Did you like Pompeii?"


10 Yrs. Ago: A Landmark Day

I thought it was time to look back as "Sick Steve" from 10 years ago to see how he's progressing and I saw a diary entry for June 23 labeled "A Landmark Event." Curious, I read the entry to see what I would have, at that time, considered a "landmark." This is what I found:
"Today was a landmark day. Here's why. Two reasons. 1) I had no diarrhea today. 2) I had no imodium today.

"For almost five days now I've gone without (diarrhea) and for me that was a world record, but I was still faithfully taking the imodiums a half hour before every meal. Thankfully, I had stopped taking the codeine and the paregoric (which is made from opium) -- which are fine on vacation but a bitch when you actually want to think or something! (god forbid).

"Yesterday, I decided to see if I could make it without the chemical help and, YES, a whole day. No you know what and no imodiums. Two days in a row? We'll see. But the point is that the TPN treatmen…

Muslims Gays Seek Marriages of Convenience

As bad as conservative Christians can be about gay people, in the Muslim world, to be gay is to invite, at worst, execution and, at best, a prying family who won't leave you alone and feels shame that you aren't married. This story in the Washington Post is an interesting one, that gay Muslims are using the Internet to find marriages of convenience with lesbians. For them, it's the perfect solution. The family backs off, they won't get killed, and they can settle down into a nice home. Some live celibately and some have boyfriends (and girlfriends) as companions.

Recently, in Iran, a couple of gay teenagers were hanged for being gay. In Afghanistan, the law was that they topple a wall onto gay people to kill them. So, self-preservation is definitely one of the incentives for this kind of arrangement. From the story:
"Hard statistics are hard to come by, but on a single Web site for South Asian gays and lesbians seeking such marriages, almost 400 requests had been up…

"This Is Where Thinkin' Began!"

[Pictured left: Piraeus from the bus just after we left the ship.]

The next part of our Mediterranena cruise took us to Athens. I have a love/hate relationship with the Greeks having once worked on a cruise ship run by a Greek shipping line, Chandris. That's another great, big long story but suffice it to say that -- well, I even wrote a song about it called "Down With The Greeks." So, that might give you a slight hint. (It was back during my mid-80s white-boy rasta poet phase which didn't last very long since my hair would not cooperate to become dreadlocks and the rastas hate queers, but that's yet another long story I have yet to tell).

All I knew was that we wanted to see the Parthenon. (The title of this entry comes from an episode of "The Amazing Race" where the blonde bimbo girl, when asked if she knew what the Parthenon was replied, "Sure I do! This is where thinkin' began!").

We didn't really have any money for a tour, so I, once…