"Love is a harsh and dreadful thing to ask of us, but it is the only answer."--Dorothy Day


Standing Still.

I recently got an e-mail from a friend--formerly of New York, now of Atlanta--and there-in he said, "So are you looking for a job yet?" It seems rude as I'm reading it now, but the main thing I cherish about this friend in particular is his total honesty. The job I currently hold is, at a year and two months, the place I've worked the longest (aside from my part-time stint in Med. Recs. Shout out to TOSRA!). I don't know what it is exactly that makes me move on so quickly, but there's this voice in my head telling me to keep looking even after I've found work and am somewhat settled. I generally last about six months before I start perusing the classifieds. I see a help wanted sign, it doesn't matter that SW jobs don't work that way, and I find myself wanting to apply for it. I am often in the mind-set I had when working as a temp or an intern, always thinking about what I'll do when this job ends. But the thing is, this job is not supposed to end.

So, this time around, I've been looking and interviewing for jobs since roughly January, taking one small break due to discouragement. I've had probably 10 interviews, with no call-backs for seconds. I don't know why. I'm not a bad interviewee. I'm polite and intelligent. I'm fully qualified for most of these positions. I'm not wearing cut-off shorts to, or smoking during the interview (though I think that would be funny if I did). As I like the thought of divine providence (more than the thought of once again being deemed unhireable), I'm starting to believe this is God telling me to stand still. And while I've got lots of valid reasons for hoping to move on, I'm going to give it a go. Hopefully, I can survive it.



A few days ago I was walking down 6th Avenue, when I saw my life story sitting the window of Barnes & Noble. It was a book called Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys. I immediately went into the store to read and buy it.
I have long been well-acquainted with the gay community. Call me what you will--straight ally, friend of the family, friend of a friend of Dorothy, or, my favorite, a S.W.I.S.H. And I have read far and wide about the relationship between a gay man and a straight woman (probably looking for validation), but find only tales of shopping and make-overs, scandalous evenings out, drugs and sex and angst, no sports EVER. But this isn't so much how it's been for me. So when I bought this book I was apprehensive.

The first story is about fashionistas. And though I do have a couple of friends with whom I shop and make commentary on the fashion mistakes of others (those who can't, teach), this is not what these friendships are really about. But the next few stories made me smile at recognizing us in them. The one about the friends that met in college and have been by each others' side ever since. The one about the friends who met through friends, and were instantly an item, working together, applying to grad school together, one allowing the other to cry all over his pillow when this doesn't work out. My stories are a mix of these. And though there are specks of raucous behavior in these stories as well, the sentiment of it, knowing that these relationships are just as important in people's lives as the ones sanctioned by law, is still there and makes me laugh and cry and want to write my own story.



I got an e-mail from my mother today, letting me know they had had to put my dog, Windsor, to sleep yesterday. I say "my dog" but he was really my mother's dog. He loved her with such devotion that made the rest of us jealous. I was often offended that he did not want to play with me, but would take the toy from my hand and go with it directly to my mother, as if bearing a slobbery bouquet of flowers. He was a very sweet dog. Hyper but not too much. Very smart and tolerant, as in high school my friends would often pick him up and make him dance and I was very found of making him do a dog show run. I used to take him for walks around the neighborhood--a rarity in his backyard life--and we would stop at my best friend's house, and Windsor would wait patiently as my friend and I talked for hours in his drive way. My best friend always spoke to him with a British accent as he thought the name Windsor warranted such a thing. He had a great love for stuffed penguins, and the occasional cow, but was known to turn his nose up at anything not black and white. And he knew very well that he was not allowed to bark in the house, so he would sit at the front window and if he saw something worth barking at would run to the back yard through the dog door and bark. So polite.

I have not seen him in almost 4 years, as that's how long it's been since I've been to my childhood home, but it is still sad that he is gone. He's probably the last pet I'll ever have, as my allergies are now beyond being able to tolerate anything other than maybe a fish. But he was a good pet, a loving companion, and a constant source of amusement. And he will be missed.


A Beautiful Day.

Yesterday, CCfB participated in the 22nd Annual AIDS Walk New York. The weather was beautiful despite the ominous weather reports, and we had a wonderful time spending the day together (which is always the case). We were 15 of the over 45,000 people walking that day. And we (with the other 45,000 or so people) raised $6,857,527. This is one of my favorite days every year, as it helps me remember why it is that I do the work that I do. But it was even more special yesterday, to be able to do this with some of my favorite people by my side.

If you've missed the donation boat, don't worry. It's never too late. Click here to donate. Thank you to those who already have.


The End.

Warning: TV spoilers lie here in. If you've Tivo-ed the Grey's Anatomy season finale read me later.

A few months ago I decided that I no longer wanted to watch the
Gilmore Girls. I love them, have from the very beginning. The witty banter, the unbelievable mother-daughter relationship, the town troubadour. I have defended it against the hatred of all of my boy roommates. And then I just couldn't do it any more. At the end of last season, the mother, Lorelai, got married to the man she's been on-again-off-again with for like 20 years. But then three TV months into their marriage, she decides that she does not actually love him and she's still in love with the person she was actually supposed to have married at the end of the previous season. The thing in all of this WB-typical drama that made me give up and state aloud at my TV, "They are dead to me" was the fact that no one is allowed to be happy. To just be in a relationship that is a til-death-do-us-part sort of life. I was again drawn in when I found out that this was the last season, so I watched again. And then second to last episode, the daughter, Rory, is proposed to by her loving, wonderful, long-time boyfriend. But she can't do it, and he goes away. Again, the Gilmore girls are alone together.

So tonight I was watching the season finale of Grey's Anatomy, and one of the surgeons is getting married to one of the interns. The Interns discuss that this has to work, because if this works for this couple, it means that it can work for all of these women, giving them hope that despite their dysfunctions and their powerful careers they can have a normal, happy relationship. But it doesn't work. He knows that she's not sure and cannot be okay with that, so it's over.

Now, I don't watch these shows for hope that I can be independent and educated (and a wee bit neurotic), and still find a way to have a normal life. But I find it upsetting that none of these women is allowed to find someone who loves them, and who they can love, and who they can build a life together with. I know very well how difficult it is to make a marriage work, and how difficult even the easy ones are. But I am almost offended that a woman on television is not allowed to be bright and independent, and capable of having other people in her life, without them being only her dysfunctional girl friends who she can sit with and lament how impossible it is to find a good man.
Read on...


A Question.

I recently exited a meeting where a question was raised that I don't know the answer to, so I'm asking all of you (and fighting the urge to tirade about it myself). When you walk into a staff meeting with say 25 people in attendance, should you be expected to greet every one of them, or is it acceptable to just sit down and wait for the meeting to begin, talking only to the people in your general vacinity? Discuss.

A Stern Talking To.

A friend of mine called me yesterday with the news that Jerry Falwell had passed. "Angels are singing..." he said. Many belonging to populations persecuted by Jerry Falwell rejoice today at his passing, and have freely discussed their visions of what his afterlife should hold. I, as I've recently decided I don't believe in Hell (I don't really see the point of it--not of Hell, but of active belief in it. We can discuss that later.), don't really know where he is. But in my mind's eye, I see him sitting with whichever saint it is who has been assigned the title "Patron Saint of Intolerant Truth Distorters." And hopefully he's being given a good talking to before being sent off to new member orientation.



I have found myself a bit homesick as of late. Wanting so badly to be in Austin, for just a few days. I think it's mainly because I'm really cold. I miss the feeling of leaving my cold office to enjoy the heat of my beloved car, Bianca. I miss parking her next to Tellulah in the mornings. I miss Kerbey Lane pancakes. I miss quiet outdoor dining. I miss hills and trees, uniterrupted by concrete. I miss UT. I miss Book People. I miss my friends (though most of them don't even live there anymore). I miss polite waitstaff. I miss Chili's. I miss MALLS. I miss driving to visit people, rather than having to fly across the country. I miss convenience. I miss space. I miss hippies.


AIDS Walk New York 2007

On Sunday, May 20th CCfB will partcipate in the 22nd Annual AIDS Walk in New York City. This walk raises money to provide people living with HIV and AIDS in New York City with services such as medical care, counseling, housing, and legal aide. It also provides money for research on treatment, a vaccine, and ultimately, hopefully, a cure.

This is my 4th year to do the AIDS Walk, and I am so excited to do this with CCfB. One of the most difficult things facing the fight against AIDS is the stigma attached to it. This stigma has brought many churches to close their doors to this epidemic, and on those suffering from this disease who live in their midst. It is amazing to be a part of this community of faith and service, who wants so much to help those outside its walls.

I walk because as I have worked with people living with HIV and AIDS for the past 6 years, I have seen what this disease does to individuals, to families, to communities. I walk because I will not see anyone else left to deal with this illness alone. I walk because I hope to never know the loss of a friend this way. I walk because I hope to one day know the joy of not being needed here.

If you'd like to walk with us, you can still sign up with our team. If you'd like to donate to the cause, click here.

(Picture courtesy of the Desert AIDS Project)


Outlawing Hate.

Today the House passed a bill to include crimes based on gender identity and sexual orientation in hate crimes legislation. This bill is expected to pass in the Senate soon as well. And then it is expected to be vetoed by our dear, dear president. So, my question is, "Why is it that you, Mr. Bush, are opposed to outlawing hate?" He states that he believes the law to be "unnecessary and constitutionally questionable."

I did not understand what he meant by this, so I browsed around the Internet, and here's what I found. Apparently, this bill is unnecessary and unconstitutional because (a) it makes crimes against certain people punishable to a higher degree than those perpetrated on a non-minority individual, thus violating "equal protection under the law." I'm not buying it, but at least it's somewhat logical. So on to (b) there's no need for such things, as all violent acts included in this legislation are included elsewhere, and are thus being adequately punished. This last one is my favorite, (c) as stated by our good friend James Dobson, "the bill’s real purpose was 'to muzzle people of faith who dare to express their moral and biblical concerns about homosexuality.'" What I gleaned from my Internet reading is that there is fear that someday the liberals will take over and make it a crime to even express distaste for the lifestyle of another person, thusly limiting freedom of speech and thought and consequently religion.

So now my questions...When did it become a right to express hatred for others? Why is it that our want to freely condemn people outweighs our eagerness to prevent any violent crime in any way possible?


100 Best.

I'm a reader. I pride myself of having a wide array of interests, and thus a long, diversified reading list. So I'm setting myself up for a new challenge. I found this list of 100 best (and often banned) books, and as I like controversy, and have decided that I will to read them all. I'm not setting a time line, but maybe within the next two years. (And I must confess, there are other lists, but this on is the one that peaked my interest most. It might be the easiest one, too.) The one's I've read are marked in Green. So here is it...

  1. The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  2. Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
  3. The Grapes of Wrath, John Steinbeck
  4. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
  5. The Color Purple, Alice Walker
  6. Ulysses, James Joyce
  7. Beloved, Toni Morrison
  8. The Lord of the Flies, William Golding
  9. 1984, George Orwell
  10. The Sound and the Fury, William Faulkner
  11. Lolita, Vladmir Nabokov
  12. Of Mice and Men, John Steinbeck
  13. Charlotte's Web, EB White
  14. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce
  15. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
  16. Brave New World, Aldous Huxley
  17. Animal Farm, George Orwell
  18. The Sun Also Rises, Ernest Hemingway
  19. As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner
  20. A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
  21. Heart of Darkness, Joseph Conrad
  22. Winnie-the-Pooh, AA Milne
  23. Their Eyes were Watching God, Zora Neale Hurston
  24. Invisible Man, Ralph Ellison
  25. Song of Solomon, Toni Morrison
  26. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
  27. Native Son, Richard Wright
  28. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Ken Kesey
  29. Slaughterhouse Five, Kurt Vonnegut
  30. For Whom the Bell Tolls, Ernest Hemingway
  31. On the Road, Jack Kerouac
  32. The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway
  33. The Call of the Wild, Jack London
  34. To the Lighthouse, Virginia Woolf
  35. Portrait of a Lady, Henry James
  36. Go Tell it on the Mountain, James Baldwin
  37. The World According to Garp, John Irving
  38. All the King's Men, Robert Penn Warren
  39. A Room with a View , EM Forster
  40. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
  41. Schindler's List, Thomas Keneally
  42. The Age of Innocence, Edith Wharton
  43. The Fountainhead, Ayn Rand
  44. Finnegans Wake, James Joyce
  45. The Jungle, Upton Sinclair
  46. Mrs. Dalloway, Virginia Woolf
  47. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Frank L. Baum
  48. Lady Chatterley's Lover, DH Lawrence
  49. A Clockwork Orange, Anthony Burgess
  50. The Awakening, Kate Chopin
  51. My Antonia, Willa Cather
  52. Howard's End, EM Forster
  53. In Cold Blood, Truman Capote
  54. Franny and Zooey, JD Salinger
  55. Satanic Verses, Salman Rushdie
  56. Jazz, Toni Morrison
  57. Sophie's Choice, William Styron
  58. Absalom, Absalom!, William Faulkner
  59. Passage to India, EM Forster
  60. Ethan Frome, Edith Wharton
  61. A Good Man is Hard to Find, Flannery O'Connor
  62. Tender is the Night, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  63. Orlando, Virginia Woolf
  64. Sons and Lovers, DH Lawrence
  65. Bonfire of the Vanities, Thomas Wolfe
  66. Cat's Cradle, Kurt Vonnegut
  67. A Separate Peace, John Knowles
  68. Light in August, William Faulkner
  69. The Wings of the Dove, Henry James
  70. Things Fall Apart, Chinua Achebe
  71. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
  72. A Hithchiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
  73. Naked Lunch, William S. Burroughs
  74. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
  75. Women in Love, DH Lawrence
  76. Look Homeward, Angel, Thomas Wolfe
  77. In Our Time, Ernest Hemingway
  78. The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas, Gertrude Stein
  79. The Maltese Falcon, Dashiell Hammett
  80. The Naked and the Dead, Norman Mailer
  81. The Wide Sargasso Sea, Jean Rhys
  82. White Noise, Don DeLillo
  83. O Pioneers!, Willa Cather
  84. Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller
  85. The War of the Worlds, HG Wells
  86. Lord Jim, Joseph Conrad
  87. The Bostonians, Henry James
  88. An American Tragedy, Theodore Dreiser
  89. Death Comes for the Archbishop, Willa Cather
  90. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
  91. This Side of Paradise, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  92. Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand
  93. The French Lieutenant's Woman, John Fowles
  94. Babbitt, Sinclair Lewis
  95. Kim, Rudyard Kipling
  96. The Beautiful and the Damned, F. Scott Fitzgerald
  97. Rabbit, Run, John Updike
  98. Where Angels Fear to Tread, EM Forster
  99. Main Street, Sinclair Lewis
  100. Midnight's Children, Salman Rushdie
34 down, 66 to go. Okay, so now that I've seen the list, I'm promising nothing. That's alot of reading, and many of them are Faulkner who was the bane of my existence in college. Maybe give me 5 years....