Friday, January 26, 2007

Obligatory Post Just So This Thing Doesn't Die

I really don't want to let this blog die again and go two more years without posting, so here's an entry just to kill time until something major strikes my fancy.

One of my goals has been to create an entry talking about my experiences adopting my daughter in an effort to inform other potential gay parents out there. I started that this afternoon but it's turned out to be a massive entry. It's proving to be so big in fact that I'm going to have to work on it over at least a couple of days, if not more. I was so confused and had so many questions through the process that I'm finding myself going into extensive detail.

OK. My daughter is having a fit because she wants my attention so much. I guess I really need to stop writing about how to become a parent and go be one. Later.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

My Generation Killed Irony

I was telling Gini about something that I've tripped pretty deeply on. The closest grocery store to our house is a Sack-N-Save (aka Suck-N-Slave). It's a pretty gross store but they do have great produce. (That's something at least.) So I've noticed while shopping there that they have the craziest muzak. It's actually not muzak, per se, but real songs piped in for your shopping pleasure. It's a satellite feed without commercials or announcers. Just music. It sounds almost like a mix tape I used to make all the time because the genres are so all-over-the-place but they have a tendency to emphasize 80's underground new wave. One day I was in there and they were playing a deep cut off of an old Echo & The Bunnymen album from '84. I couldn't tell you the song but it was from Ocean Rain.

Now you couldn't hear that shit anywhere on the radio or Mtv back when it came out but you can hear it at the grocery store now. Freaky. I just tripped really hard on that for some reason. All this music that I had to go out of my way to find, often driving to Dallas to buy at import record stores, is now considered nostalgic.

Another thing was that this grocery store is predominantly patronized by a Mexican clientele, so the Echo & The Bunnymen soundtrack over this scene of Hispanic families shopping made it rather surreal. When you think about Echo & The Bunnymen's abstract lyrics and artsy vibe it was downright funny. A scene I'd love to see in an independent film.

(Shit. Next thing you know they'll be selling Cher Sings The Best Of Echo & The Bunnymen at fucking Wal-mart. I swear in this world we're living in nothing surprises me any longer.)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I Am Homo Hear Me Roar In Numbers Too Big To Ignore

I don't mean for this to become Luke's blog by constantly quoting him but he said something else in an e-mail message to me yesterday that really made me think. It actually got me to feeling a bit optimistic. We had gotten onto the topic of mass dissatisfaction in this country, particularly in regards to the dismal situation in Iraq. I mentioned that I'd seen a very small group of protesters here in Denton on an overpass on my way home from work last week. Luke then mentioned how there is like a constant protest outside the White House now and that occasionally the news people will mention them when doing their spots from there. He then went on...

We should all spend like three or four days a year protesting in front of the White House. There's 300 Million people in the US. If you even take it conservatively and claim that there is at least a solid 4% of the population that is gay, then that's like 12 Million people. 12 Million divided by 365 days a year is like over 32 Thousand people a day. What if 32 Thousand people a day started showing up at the White House. It's shit like that that toppled governments in places like Eastern Europe. (-Luke.)

I am inspired by those numbers. However, what is it going to take to get us up off our apathetic asses and into action? I'm just about as guilty as those I complain about. I do try to keep up with the news, so I hope that I'm at least informed but I'm personally not doing anything to make the world better.

On the other hand though I try to look at my life from a historical perspective. Using that view I guess it could be argued I am an activist. I'm openly gay, in a long-term relationship (despite what the "laws" say about its validity) and we've adopted a child, so we are directly influencing the next generation and, thus, the future.

Sidenote: I want to instill a sense of civil obligation in Emily. I'm also going to be very careful to try to help her from succumbing to the empty image-conscious obsessive behavior that our culture expects women (AND GAY MEN) to maintain and sustain. I think our nation's rampant narcissism is a way of controlling people, whether intentional or not, and keeping them from paying attention to greater matters. "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain."

So back to what I was talking about initially. I am so not at a place in my life, either financially or schedule-wise, where I could participate in a White House protest. I am heartened to think that our numbers are so great though. Since I firmly believe that history is on our side I think things are going to get better faster and faster. I mean, for the most part the next generation totally doesn't care about the "gay thing" and think all the fuss is just stupid. Also, supporting our rights is a way to piss off the establishment, not to mention plenty of parents too. More and more queer folks and queer-sympathetic folks are going to be making their voices heard in the near future. I doubt if we'll be able to get 32,000 protesters a day camped outside the White House any time soon but something is going to happen.

(But Iraq? On that subject we're fucked for a while.)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Lunatics Have Taken Over The Asylum

My friend Luke has a way of putting things in perspective that is often equally as hilarious as it is biting. The following e-mail from him made me laugh out loud.

Here's what really pisses me off. The headline on MSNBC right now is that George Bush is asking if the democrats have a better plan? That's so fucking stupid. It's as if Bush had a, "plan," to smear his own shit on the walls of his seclusion room. He then berates the democrats for not having a better shit smearing plan. It's like, no stupid, it would be best just not to smear shit on the walls in the first place! Duh! The best plan for Iraq would be to leave Iraq. If some assholes want to attack us again, then we should probably go after the assholes who attack us!


Words Of Wisdom In A Witless World

God, I love John Waters. I was reading this interview with him today where he confesses his love of Britney Spears' soon-to-be-ex, Keven Federline (aka the notorious K-Fed). In defending K-Fed and pointing out how stupid Spears is Waters observed, "Who gives a Ferrari to rough trade?"

Friday, January 12, 2007

My Obsession This Week And Why You Should Know About Him

My friend Gini sent me a link to the cover story of a local Fort Worth paper this week. It's about the son of a country music singer who is trying to make it himself as an musician and actor. His mom was Sammi Smith, who sang one of my favorite country songs (if not my very favorite) Help Me Make It Through The Night. Also, this guy's father, Jody Payne, was a longtime guitarist for legend Willie Nelson. To complete this guy's royal country music pedigree his godfather and namesake was the late Waylon Jennings!

As a native Texan who grew up in a honky tonkin' family listening to this this guy's family's records I was really excited to discover Waylon Payne. I was so excited, in fact, that I forwarded the story to one of my favorite glbt blogs, Queerty, who promptly linked to the item. (Thanks guys!) Here's their summary of the story that explains my interest...

Country Singer/Actor Brings Something New
Namely, His Sexuality...

Contrary to popular belief, we aren't omniscient. Shocking, we know, but true none-the-less. Thus, we always appreciate tips from you, our darling and oh-so in-tune readers. Had it not been for a reader in Texas, we would never have come across
this story on country singer Waylon Payne.

Perhaps most widely known for his short appearance in the Johnny Cash biopic, Walk The Line, Payne hails from country music royalty, Sammi Smith. His father, a man named Jody who made his living as Willie Nelson's guitarist, didn't come around too often and Payne spent most of his childhood under the tutelage of his "Bible-thumping" aunt and uncle. Inculcated with Christian conviction, Payne foresaw a life in the Church. That is, however, until a little thing called sex reared its ugly head.

Jeff Prince reports for Fort Worth Weekly:
Carnal desires can crimp a budding minister’s future — perhaps more so considering that Payne’s first partner was a Catholic monk. Throw in budding affections for beer, marijuana, and popular music, and his downfall was complete in the eyes of his foster parents.

“I haven’t seen them since,” he said. “I was branded a sinner and basically disowned.”While some wannabe superstars would put a lid on it, Payne's not one to run from his problems. He did enough of that in his younger days, when he lived on a diet of whiskey and methamphetamines. Sure, he still smokes a little ganj, but he's squashed most of his demons.

Payne is now content in his own skin, yet aware that public discussion of an alternative sexuality can hurt someone scrambling for footing on the entertainment biz’ slippery slopes. A music industry insider who asked not to be named put it this way: “Once he becomes famous, he could probably ease out that personal information, and it wouldn’t be bad, because people would know him and love him by then; now is too soon.”

Payne walks his own path. He didn’t want this article to make a big deal about his sexual preference, but he didn’t want to hide it either.

“I like who I like, and that’s that,” he said.Sure, it may seem a bit unlikely for an openly queer singer to capture the hearts of the genre's core (largely Christian) audience, but Payne's obviously not one to be deterred.

And, even if the country music scene doesn't embrace him, we sure will. Hey, Waylon, give us a ring-a-ding. You can find our number on fine bathroom walls nationwide.

If, like me, your interest is tweaked I found some great sexy/artsy photos of Waylon here and I found his MySpace page here.

Now get your ass over to iTunes and download some of his music and offer up some support people.

(Is anyone else besides myself just happy that someone is out of the closet and making non-techno or politically satirical music that's not a lesbian?)

I'm back but do I have anything to say?

I was inspired to revive this thing recently and came back to take a look at it. First off, I wasn't too embarrassed by what I've posted before. In fact, I kind of liked my posts, as narcissistic as that sounds. Secondly, though, over the last year or so all my favorite sites have become other people's blogs. I get most of my news from them and I'm always coming across stuff that I want to turn more people onto. Hence, I thought "Why not try to breathe some new life into that one you started over two years ago." (I can't believe it's been over two years since I've messed with this thing!)

Another reason why I decided to start posting again is that all the gay blogs I read are by guys living either in NYC or somewhere in California, usually San Francisco. Well, what about those of us not fortunate enough to live in such gay-friendly mega-populated places? Where's our voice?

Also, a lot has happened in the two years since I last posted to this thing. I won't go into everything in detail right now, mainly because I just don't have the patience at the moment, but the big thang is that I'm a father now! My partner and I fostered kids for a couple of years and wound up adopting our daughter, who we've had since she was six-days old.

So that leads me to my next point about reviving this thing. I can't find a great deal online for or about gay parents and much of what I have found seems too saccharine and politically correct for my tastes. I mean, just because I'm a parent now doesn't mean I stopped having degenerate sex. (Although my partner would claim that I don't have degenerate sex nearly enough to suit his tastes.)

Several of my girlfriends (in the most platonic sense of the word) have had kids lately too and they're just as irreverent and fucked up as they ever were. Because gay parenting is still such a hot-button political topic the "movement" is having to cast it in the most favorable image. You always see the gay guys who have been together for umpteen years and take in abused black AIDS babies. I'm probably generalizing too much here but that is often the case. I've also found a preponderance of religious queens with kids. Well, religion turns me right off, with the exception of something like Unitarian-Universalism, which is probably about where I stand in the whole theological quagmire.

I guess what this boils down to is that I spend a lot of time online (because I have no life) and I've never found a site or blog that fully represents me and where I'm coming from. I'm always finding information that I think is really cool or important and I want to somehow disseminate it to more people, so I figured, "Why not?"

(Also, a lot of stuff gets on my nerves too and I just don't have a big enough platform from which to bitch. I mean, who does, right? So get ready.)