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Showing posts from December, 2007

A Joyful New Year To You All.

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Beginning tomorrow, Jim and I will be taking a two week break for the holiday season.

I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Joyful, Prosperous New Year.

The Deceptive Danger of Ex-Gay Groups.

I wasn't going to write this entry today, but I feel like I must. I received an email from a guy who is active in his gay Christian church, but who went through all the exgay programs. His story was very typical. First, an exorcism to release the "gay demon," followed by exgay therapy programs, followed by encouraging him to "reject" the "gay identity."

Following in faith, he became a leader of exgay programs, got married, endured this marriage even though he never became opposite sex attracted (but was encouraged to marry by those who said that "God would provide") until he finally lost it completely and ended up doing hard drugs and wasting his life in sex clubs until he contracted HIV and almost died. In fact, they had pulled the plug on him. But, miraculously, his lungs healed and he came back to life.

Now, he's happy as a clam, singing at a Metropolitan Community Church and is partnered with a great guy, and they are deliriously overj…

Some Cold Relief.

I've been suffering with this cold/throat infection for a number of days now. My head has felt like it would explode, it was so stuffed up. I've really been feeling miserable. Can't think. Can't work. Can't do anything.

But yesterday, I finally got to the turning point. I literally slept the entire day and about midnight, when I woke up, my t-shirt was drenched in sweat and the pressure in my head had finally let up.

The worst was finally over. Yay team!

So, today I'm going to keep on drinking hot liquids, keeping still, and enjoying this relief. It's not over, but it feels so good to reach the peak and hit the other side.

What Happened To Class.

A little social commentary. First, read Arianna Huffington's brilliant observation:
With Mike Huckabee's continuing surge, the Republican Party now has an Iowa front-runner whose religious beliefs are virtually identical to those of George Bush. He's anti-choice, born-again, against gay-marriage, and gets political advice directly from God. So why is the Republican establishment suddenly in a state of near-apoplexy about Mike Huckabee? Shouldn't they be happy? They've been cultivating evangelicals and fundamentalists for 30 years. Now they finally have a candidate who's truly part of the movement. So what's the problem? Actually, that is the problem. The evangelical crowd was fine when it was just a resource to be cynically exploited every few years in demagogic anti-gay get-out-the-vote campaigns. But now the holy-rolling monster the GOP's Dr. Frankensteins have created has thrown off the shackles, fled the lab, and is currently leading in Iowa. And t…

A Little Health Update.

Someone asked me about my health. So, here's a little update. First of all, today I'm down with a throat infection. I get these every year about this time. So, I have my antibiotics and Jim just made me some delicious chili, which radiates heat in my upper chest area.

I still have a zero viral load, so the HIV is under control thanks to the (occasionally mind-bending) drug Atripla, which is a combination of three anti-virals combined into one tablet. A lot of people can't tolerate the Sustiva, which is one of those anti-virals. It can cause a lot of sleeplessness along with nightmares.

My foot has been okay lately, but I can feel that nerve just waiting for me to step wrong. It's amazing how instantaneous the searing pain can hit. So, I kind of feel like an old man when I walk since I favor that foot. This has also made it difficult for me to exercise. However, I've gotten a few good long walks in.

The test we were going to do on my kidneys didn't happen. I gave t…

A Night with Carl Reiner, Mel Brooks & Charlotte Rae.

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Charlotte Rae called us and said she wanted to take us out last night because Estelle Reiner, Carl Reiner's wife, was scheduled to sing a private cabaret at the Gardenia down on Santa Monica Blvd. But, she said, Estelle wasn't really feeling very well, so it was possible that some of the family members -- and extended family members would, instead, fill in and make it a nice evening. Sure enough, Carl got up and emcee'd the night.

First, their daughter, Anne, sang. My favorite songs were written by Leonard Cohen. I hadn't heard much of Leonard Cohen before and it's always great to be introduced to amazing songs by a writer I've always read about but hadn't explored much. He has a terrific way with words. And Anne did a wonderful job on them.

We sat close to Mel Brooks, who we'd met very briefly one time before at the late Stan Freeman's one man show about Oscar Levant.

Brief story: That night, our "dates" were (Dear) Abby Van Buren and Luci…

Another Ex-Gay Failure Ends in Tragedy.

Many of the gay blogs this morning have picked up on the fact that the Colorado shooter, Matthew Murray, was another failure of the ex-gay movement. He was already mentally unbalanced, no doubt. (After all, if everyone who failed in their dismally ineffective programs went out and shot someone, we'd have a killing spree like this country has never seen.)
In fact, he may be a victim of the church's ex-gay reparative therapy program. Having failed to find heterosexuality through Jesus it appears that Murray was booted out of the youth program and out of the church. Crushed by this rejection and overwhelmed by rage and despair thanks to the curse of homosexuality, Murray went on a killing spree that ended with himself.People were wondering why he chose THIS particular church, the one recently pastored by Rev. Ted Haggard, who loved doing crystal meth -- and who claimed to be cured of his homosexuality after a month of "treatment." And, as Matthew says, "...was for…

Julie Reyburn sings "Going It Alone"

As part of the Spirit of Broadway Awards this past weekend, Julie Reyburn was asked to sing "Going It Alone" so the audience could get a sample number from THE LAST SESSION, which is going to be produced there in Norwich this coming season. Julie wrote me rather in a panic because she's been on "baby leave" from performing for awhile and she would probably need to use the lyrics. I told her I had absolutely no problem with that and as far as I was concerned she could sing the song and burp the baby at the same time.

Side note: I did not shoot much or any video this weekend. It wasn't that I didn't want to include all of you, but I was dreading the thought of having hours and hours of footage to edit, knowing I would have to put it off given the fact that I'm focused on this big project which is using up all my waking hours.

However, I did manage to put my weary fingers around the camera when Julie got up to sing "Going It Alone" and I will g…

Meanwhile, a little piece of musical genius

This Weekend in Norwich

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This weekend, Jim and I will be the emcees at the Spirit of Broadway Awards in Norwich Connecticut. I'll post lots of pictures and video! Mark Janas and popular NY cabaret singer Julie Reyburn are going to be performing. And, if I'm not mistaken, Julie will be singing "Going It Alone" from The Last Session. The last time she sang this... well, here is the description from my diary:

Then it was time for "Going It Alone." After a brief introduction, Mark began the chords TLS fans know so well. But he was pacing it, carefully breaking the beat and just laying down a sound pallet.

Julie entered the song with great care. You could tell her entire heart was wrapped up in it from the first note. The audience went dead silent and we were literally bathed in beauty. Mark stayed with the basic chord structure, but every once in awhile he would find something that gave it a little emotional hit. Julie, meanwhile, was starting to soar. I could feel my throat tighten and,…

Imagine.

You're sitting in a huge historic concert hall in the most beautiful city in North America.

The lights go down.

What's the first thing you'd want to see and hear?

The Old Frontier.

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(Click on pic to see it full sized).

I found myself in an excerpt from a book published in 1999 telling people how to "make your own Geocities website!" God, that seems like centuries ago.

(This was in the days, pre-blog, back when we early public adopters of the Web were kind of out there on our own. Geocities was one of a handful of experimental sites. At the time, it had an entry level rudimentary website building feature but I taught myself HTML code -- or, rather, how to copy underlying code from a page you like as a template -- and made my own design.)

Since the idea of personal websites were completely new to the non-geek community, people had no idea what to do once they set a website up. The Web was a frontier settlement. It wasn't books, it wasn't TV and it wasn't movies. It was a new artform completely. The early adopters had to make it up as they went along.

In my case, because I was so ill, I found myself inadvertently creating a little virtual community…

World AIDS Day

And World AIDS Day comes around again.

We are well into the third decade of a scourge that has expanded exponentially beyond a small specific group to almost every corner of the globe. Whilst in some areas, incidence may have turned, prevalence continues to rise and will do so for a long time- more young people will be infected, more orphans will occur.

Yet, today still 70% of infected people don’t have access to life saving therapies. Many still face stigma, economic deprivation and rejection because of their infection. Many still don’t have access to basic information or simple interventions that will reduce risk. This is not the time for complacency nor apathy. It is the time for compassionate leadership that recognises that the voiceless are often those who suffer most- who can they turn to if their leaders do not listen and heed their cries.

--Archbishop Emeritus Desmond M Tutu

NY Times blog:

On this World AIDS Day, it may be time to finally recognize AIDS for what it is: another sy…