Follow Me

Monday, February 28, 2011

Mash Up Monday - New From Norwegian Recycling

If you have been following my Mash Up Monday posts for a while, it's easy to see that I am a fan of Norwegian Recycling.  Over the last year, my eyes have been opened.  Any talented DJ can mashup two or three songs.  There are very few, in fact, only two that I can think of off the top of my head (Girl Talk and Norwegian Recycling), that can effectively incorporate anywhere from 8 to 15 different tracks and turn them into an original composition.  Norwegian Recycling is the only one that can form a new composition with original lyrics.

I published a post last September, in reference to a mashup entitled 'Miracles', in which the lyrics of 16 songs were sampled together to lyrically form a brand new song.  It was something I had never seen before.  It's a spectacular display of musical knowledge, creativity, and unbridled talent.

I received a wall post on my Facebook page at around noon, today, from Norwegian Recycling, announcing that his first mashup of 2011 had been completed.  It's called 'Open Your Eyes'.  In a nutshell, it's fucking brilliant.  Using Katy Perry's 'Firework' as a background, it takes 11 tracks and combines them into one free flowing four minute masterpiece.  It's very Snow Patrol heavy, and it's very reminiscent of it's 'Miracles' predecessor.  The chorus is, lyrically, a new composition.  Here are a list of the 11 songs that are sampled on the mashup:

1. Katy Perry - Firework 
2. Flo Rida feat. Akon - Who Dat Girl
3. Black Eyed Peas - The Time
4. Snow Patrol - Open Your Eyes
5. Snow Patrol - Chasing Cars
6. Mike Posner - Please Don't Go
7. Jason Derulo - Whatcha Say
8. Usher feat. - OMG
9. Timbaland feat. Keri Hilson & D.O.E. - The Way I Are
10. Jay Sean - Do You Remember
11. David Guetta feat. Kid Cudi - Memories


An Oscar Night To Remember

Five years ago, on March 5, 2006, the 78th Academy Awards were held in the Kodak Theater, in Los Angeles, California. The favorite for Best Picture was nominated for 8 Oscars that evening. It was an independent film that the world had grown to call a "gay cowboy movie". The strange thing about it was, it didn't have one gay character in it.

The story is about two men, Ennis del Mar, played by Heath Ledger, and Jack Twist, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. They're hired to herd sheep during the summer of 1963 on Brokeback Mountain, in Wyoming. Over the summer, they fall in love. It's a love that lasts for twenty years.

During the span of those two decades, the men get married: Ennis to his long time fiancée, and Jack to a rodeo barrel racer he meets and falls in love with. Things change over the years for both men. Both couples have children. Jack and his wife teeter back and forth on the edge of divorce. Jack has an affair here and there with another woman. Throughout the years, two things remain constant: Jack and Ennis' affection for each other, and their regular "fishing trips" to Brokeback Mountain.

I won't give away any more of the plot or the story, just in case you haven't seen the movie.

The reception for the movie amongst the gay community was phenomenal.  Unfortunately, everyone seemed to forget that Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway played Ennis' and Jake's wives in the film.  Everyone called it a "gay romance", a "gay love story", (god, I hate this term) "that gay cowboy movie".

Regrettably, not one review of the film called it what it was, a bisexual love story.  Worse yet, at the time the movie came out, I can only find one article defending the movie as a bisexual picture (thank you Wikipedia).  It was an opinion piece by Amy Andre on December 16, 2005.  It was published on the National Sexuality Resource Center's site,, under the title "Opinion: Bisexual Cowboys In Love".  The opening paragraph made the most direct and passionate defenses of the movie to date:
"Brokeback Mountain is not a movie about gay people, and there are no gay people in it. There. I said it. Despite what you may have read in the many reviews that have come out about this new cowboy feature film, Brokeback Mountain is a bisexual picture. Why can't film reviewers say the word “bisexual” when they see lead characters with sexual and romantic relationships with both men and women?  I am unaware of a single review of Brokeback calling the leads what they are–a sad statement on the invisibility of bisexual experience and the level of biphobia in both the mainstream and gay media."
Other mainstream writers, although not using the term "bisexual", also acknowledged that this was not a "gay"movie.  In late 2009, Entertainment Weekly published an issued titled, "THE 100 Greatest MOVIES, TV SHOWS, ALBUMS, BOOKS, CHARACTERS, SCENES, EPISODES, SONGS, DRESSES, MUSIC VIDEOS, AND TRENDS THAT ENTERTAINED US OVER THE PAST 10 YEARS".  Sadly, I can't find where 'Brokeback' ranked in the top 100 list, but in describing the film, the magazine said:
 "Everyone called it "The Gay Cowboy Movie." Until they saw it. In the end, Ang Lee's 2005 love story wasn't gay or straight, just human."
Well said.

On Oscar night, 'Brokeback' won three of the eight Academy awards it was nominated for.  Ang Lee won Best Director.  The film also won for Best Adapted Screenplay and Best Original Score.  Ledger, Gyllenhaal, and Michelle Williams were all nominated for their acting roles, but lost.  The movie itself, surprising lost to the underdog 'Crash'.

If you haven't seen this movie, do what you can to see it.  It is one of the most real and heart wrenching love stories you'll ever see.  I am embarrassed to say that I didn't see it myself until within the last few months, and now I kick myself for not seeing it sooner.  This is a story of true love.  This movie had nothing to do with sex or with lust.  It's a story of a lifelong bond between two bisexual men that I, for one, will never forget.

My Reaction To Last Week's "Very Special Bi-Phobic" Episode Of 'Glee'

First of all, I apologize for posting this a little late.  I know that Glee came on Tuesday night, and it's now the following Monday.  I haven't been feeling well all week, and unfortunately, the Tumblr page has suffered.  That being said, moving on.....

When I read the rumor on After Elton that a "bisexual encounter" was going to be featured on an upcoming episode with a male character on 'Glee', I couldn't have been happier.  To think of the possibilities!  "Just imagine what the show could do for the bisexual community", I thought.  

After all, think about how much it has done for gay teens in the last year or so.  'Glee' has brought issues like anti-gay bullying to the forefront.  Gay teens have someone to look up to.  They have a role model.  His name is Kurt Hummel.  He's going through the same issues they are in school.  He feels alone.  He feels misunderstood, and, to make it worse, there's a guy on the football team that won't stop harassing him.

And now, with the second season, Kurt has a role model in Blaine Anderson.  He's doesn't show any signs of insecurity.  He's charismatic, cute, and charming as all hell.  And, as another role model to gay youth on television, is very secure in his sexual orientation.

So, I'm reading this article, and I'm thinking, "Who's it going to be?  Is it going to be Finn?  He's really lightened up in the last few episodes about his homophobia.  Maybe it's Sam.  You know, the rumor was going around at the beginning of the season that he was going to play a gay character.  When he first showed up on the show, the other characters thought he was scenario.  You know Karofsky?  The football player that was bullying Kurt earlier this season?  What if he is bisexual?  Wouldn't that be great if he ended up coming out?" (OK...It's a little obvious that I follow the show closely.)

So, about a week later, another article came out on After Elton, stating that the "bisexual encounter" in question would be happening to none other than...Blaine.  FUCK!  I immediately knew that there was no way at all for this to end positively for the bisexual community.  It was much worse than I could have ever thought.

OK. Let's explain the scenario:  Rachel is having a party.  Everyone gets drunk, except Finn and Kurt.  They play "Spin the Bottle".  Rachel spins.  Bottle lands on Blaine.  They kiss.  Kiss becomes extended kiss.  Hint of some type of "spark".

The next day, Rachel works up the courage to call Blaine up and ask him out.  Blaine receives the call while having coffee with Kurt at a coffee shop.  The following conversation ensues:

Whoa..Whoa..WHOA!!  EXCUSE ME?!?!  "It felt good because you were drunk"?  "Bisexual is a term that gay guys in high school use when they wanna hold hands with girls and feel like a normal person for a change"?  My disgust was beyond words.

I must say, that although somewhat weak, it was nice to see some defense from the "accused" bisexual.  Unfortunately, this was the only discussion on the matter from Blaine until the end of the episode.  Kurt and Rachel make, for the lack of a better term, a bet, as to whether Blaine is gay or bi.

At the end of the episode, Rachel sneaks up on Blaine, and kisses him.  His reaction is along the lines of "Yep...I'm Gay."

So, by the end of the episode, the show that has supposedly been monumental in being influential and supportive to the young LGBT community, has taught us what?  It's taught us that 1. Bisexuals are "confused".  2. Bisexuality is a passing phase, and finally,  3. Bisexuality is encouraged, or brought on by alcohol.  And, to make things a hundred times worse, the name of the episode is "Blame It On The Alcohol".

The gay blogs had a fucking field day with this on Wednesday morning.  Of the three that I personally read that had a post regarding the episode, a total of 3 comments between them mentioned bi-phobia.  More than a third of the comments were upset at the way Kurt snapped at his dad after his dad found Blaine in Kurt's bed.  About another third were upset with how gays were portrayed as being "two drinks away from making out with a girl".  "But," as one commenter said, "that's how gay teenagers are these days."  The bi-phobia's so thick you can almost taste it.

My first same sex crush was George Michael.  I saw a music video of his when I was about 9 years old and instantly got butterflies.  At the time, I also had a crush on a red haired girl in my class.  That's confusing.  By the time I was 11, I was regularly attracted to people of both sexes.

In high school, I had my parents and my church convincing my I was straight.  During the day, I had guys at school calling me "faggot", because I didn't fit in to their mold.  As I got older, my gay and lesbian friends kept telling me, "Just come out of the closet already.  You're gay, man."

My point is, life is confusing enough.  We already have too many outside influences trying to shove us in one direction or another.  The last thing we need as bisexuals (especially male bisexuals), is a television show spewing bi-phobic propaganda.  It does nothing but keep bis in the closet, and gives people the assumption that their bi-phobic theories are correct.

From what I've read, starting with next week's episode, Brittany and Santana are supposed to enter into a long term bisexual relationship.  Based upon 'Glee's' previous assumptions that you either have to be "confused" or "drunk" to be bi, it's going to make for an interesting season.  Then again, I guess Brittany could be the confused one, if they can find a way to make Santana an alcoholic.  Wait, didn't I hear somewhere that "all bi girls are sluts"?

That's it.  That's the angle they'll take.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Fuck You, Mom

Fuck you, mom.  Fuck you, and your stupid fucking religion.

Pop Quiz

Fox News' Reaction To The Obama Administration's DOMA Announcement

As some of you may have read, the Attorney General of the United States, Eric Holder, released a statement yesterday, announcing that the federal government will no longer defend Section 3 of DOMA (the Defense of Marriage Act) in court.  Here is an excerpt from the announcement:
After careful consideration, including a review of my recommendation, the President has concluded that given a number of factors, including a documented history of discrimination, classifications based on sexual orientation should be subject to a more heightened standard of scrutiny. The President has also concluded that Section 3 of DOMA, as applied to legally married same-sex couples, fails to meet that standard and is therefore unconstitutional. Given that conclusion, the President has instructed the Department not to defend the statute in such cases. I fully concur with the President’s determination.

Consequently, the Department will not defend the constitutionality of Section 3 of DOMA as applied to same-sex married couples in the two cases filed in the Second Circuit. We will, however, remain parties to the cases and continue to represent the interests of the United States throughout the litigation. I have informed Members of Congress of this decision, so Members who wish to defend the statute may pursue that option. The Department will also work closely with the courts to ensure that Congress has a full and fair opportunity to participate in pending litigation.

Furthermore, pursuant to the President's instructions, and upon further notification to Congress, I will instruct Department attorneys to advise courts in other pending DOMA litigation of the President's and my conclusions that a heightened standard should apply, that Section 3 is unconstitutional under that standard and that the Department will cease defense of Section 3.
House Speaker John Boehner (R, OH) issued the following statement:
"While Americans want Washington to focus on creating jobs and cutting spending, the President will have to explain why he thinks now is the appropriate time to stir up a controversial issue that sharply divides the nation." 
I happen to have my Republican/Democrat translation dictionary handy.  The Democratic translation is as follows:
"While Republicans want Washington to focus on redefining rape, intruding on women's reproductive rights, reversing gay rights in states across the nation, and eliminating collective bargaining rights in the Midwest, the Muslim that you people voted into office will have to explain why he isn't coddling old, rich, straight, white men and NASCAR fans like Dubya used to."
As you could imagine, Fox News went ape shit.  Just take a look at Megyn Kelly's face as she is reporting the announcement.  She looks like she is on the verge of a nervous breakdown.  Of all people for them to talk to on air, Maggie Gallagher, the head of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM).  NOM was started with funding by the Mormon church in 2007 as an organization to spearhead the campaign against Prop. 8 in California.  The Southern Poverty Law Center, the nation's leading experts in hate crimes and hate and extremist organizations, officially lists NOM as a "hate group".  This is epic:

Then, later in her show, she had political commentator Monica Crowley on as a guest.  Crowley called the President, "Mubarak Obama".  Just watch:

Guess that answers the question why 72% of Republican primary voters think Obama is a Muslim or isn't sure.  You know Fox News...."fair and balanced".

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I Think Doug's Missing Again...

Alan's head is shaved?  Stu has the same tattoo on the left side on his face that Mike Tyson does?  And, where did the monkey come from?  Could this possibly be as funny as the original?  

News From Libya Becoming More Alarming By The Hour

This is likely to be a very long post, and for that, I apologize.  Again:

***WARNING:  This post contains some very graphic footage of people being injured and/or murdered.  In regards to the videos, some are NSFW and carry a viewer discretion advisory.  I will post a separate warning before any such video.***

The Libyan protests, or as it's known now, the Libyan uprising, began on February 15th, when 500-600 demonstrators gathered in front of police headquarters in the Eastern city of Benghazi to protest the arrest of a local human rights activist.  Police violently broke up the demonstration, injuring as many as 40 of the protesters. Protests continued in Benghazi on the 16th, and resulted in a number of vehicles being set afire, and local police using water cannons to disperse the crowds.  In other cities in the area, hundreds of people turned out to demonstrate and many clashed with police.  At the end of the day, six people were dead and three were injured.

Word quickly spread and the 17th was called a "Day of Revolt" by Libyans nationwide.  Most of the nation's attention was still focused on Benghazi.  The local government released 30 men from prison, armed them and paid them to kill protesters.  Helicopter gunships also started circling overhead and firing on the crowds below.  Authority was given, by the central government (Gadhafi), for police to fire live ammunition on the unarmed demonstrators.  Evidence shows that .50 caliber rounds were fired into the crowd that day.

This is a .50 caliber round.  It is roughly 5 inches long.  As you can imagine, it's not something that can be fired from a pistol.  Rather, it takes something like this:

These bullets are meant to take out armored vehicles, trucks, moving cars, helicopters, and targets behind structures.  They're not intended for humans.  When a .50 cal hits you directly, it isn't like being hit by any other bullet.  You don't have a bullet wound.  You're torn apart.  You're practically shredded by the force and the velocity of the projectile hitting you.  In other words, you'll be lucky if the coroner will be able to identify your body if you're hit with one.  The streets of Benghazi were littered with .50 cal casings on the night of the 17th.

On the 18th, thousands of protesters gathered in Benghazi.  Some of the local police and army decided to join the anti-Gadhafi demonstrators.  The rest left their posts and abandoned the city.  By the afternoon of the 19th, other cities in the East had joined in protesting against the central government.  That evening, The New York Times conservatively estimated there were approximately 200 casualties at the hands of police or the military in Benghazi alone.  Keep in mind, this was over the course of just 72 hours in a city with a population of 670,000.  In 18 days of protests, Egypt, with a population of 80 million, had slightly over 300 casualties.  At this point, the demonstrations had not gained momentum in the capital city of Tripoli.

The movement in Tripoli started off slowly.  This may be partly due to the fact that by now, the government had already had the internet shut off nationwide for the better part of two days.  It could also be because the government jams Al Jazeera's satellite signal, as well as the signal from Lebanese television from coming into the country.  The 20th started with small protests gathering around Tripoli in the morning, and then, later a night, a massive and seemingly spontaneous demonstration erupted in the heart of the city.  Demonstrators quickly overtook police.  

Gadhafi's son, Saif, appeared on state run television.  He gave what some called a "stream of consciousness" type of address to the Libyan people.  It lasted nearly 40 minutes and many times made little to no sense.  He blamed the protests on "drunks and drug users".  He warned that the unrest would "lead to civil war", and warned that there would be "rivers of blood" if the protests continued. 

The protests continued, and blood was spilled.  Monday saw some of the worst violence yet against the Libyan people.  Military aircraft fired live ammunition on the crowds gathered in Tripoli.  When that didn't deter the protesters to the government's satisfaction, they started dropping bombs.  That's right.  They started bombing their own people.  A resident in Tripoli described the scene, saying, 
"What we are witnessing today is unimaginable. Warplanes and helicopters are indiscriminately bombing one area after another. There are many, many dead," Adel Mohamed Saleh said.  Saleh, who called himself a political activist, said the bombings had initially targeted a funeral procession.  "Our people are dying. It is the policy of scorched earth." he said. "Every 20 minutes they are bombing."  Asked if the attacks were still happening he said: "It is continuing, it is continuing. Anyone who moves, even if they are in their car they will hit you." 
That afternoon, two air force pilots landed on a runway in Malta, requesting political asylum.  They were given orders to bomb the demonstrators, but couldn't in good conscience.  

They were regarded as "heroes" worldwide.  Meanwhile, in Tripoli, soldiers that refused to fire upon demonstrators were being killed, on the spot, by their commanding officer.  Reports coming out of the country state that they were either shot in the head or burned alive.  The following videos show the aftermath of what happened to members of the Libyan army on February 21st, that refused to murder their fellow unarmed countrymen.  I apologize if you may find the footage offensive, but it needs to be seen.  

***Warning.  The following videos include very graphic footage of murdered soldiers.  Viewer discretion is advised***

As outlying cities fell, more and more senior military officials called upon their counterparts to stop the massacre in Tripoli.  The country's top general and interior minister resigned, and called for the police and military to fight those standing with Gadhafi.   An assassination attempt was made on his life, but he escaped.  He has now been missing since the morning of the 22nd.  

While Gadhafi was losing his army, he started to buy their replacements.  He hired mercenaries, mostly from Chad, to kill the demonstrators that the military wouldn't.  They were paid 5,000 Dinars (Approx. $4,050.00 US) each and some were offered new cars.  In the last three days, pickup trucks full of armed foreign men have been speeding through the streets of Tripoli, firing automatic weapons at anyone that moved.

Libya's scenario is identical to that of Bahrain.  About 96% of the country is Sunni Muslim.  Gadhafi claims he is Muslim, but is not Sunni.  This is genocide.  There is no other way to explain it.  

Why hasn't the world taken a firmer stand against Gadhafi and his regime?  So far, the nations of the world have "condemned" his actions, but have gone no further than to basically say, "Hey, you shouldn't be doing that".  It's very frustrating to watch these things happen and not see anything being done about it.  Regrettably, nothing can be done about it at this time.  There are currently over 100,000 foreign citizens in Libya trying to be evacuated as we speak.  Turkey alone has 30,000 people that they are trying to get out of the country by Friday.  The US has around 3,000 people that were to be on a ferry for Malta yesterday, but couldn't leave, due to bad weather.

So far, the police and military have only been firing on their own people.  Foreigners have not been targeted.  The nations of the world are afraid that if sanctions are put in place, or if threats are made against Gadhafi, he will turn on foreign citizens.  If that happens, nations will have no choice but to protect their own people with force.  There will be a multi-national war in the Middle East.  That is the last thing that anyone wants.  So, for the moment, we wait.

The last 24 hours have been quite newsworthy.  First, Gadhafi went on national television, stating that, if he had to, he would have his loyalists go from "house to house" to kill protesters.  In Benghazi yesterday, two ghastly discoveries were made.  On the 22nd, locals found an underground room, where approximately 1500 area protesters had been buried alive since the 15th.  They were rounded up by Benghazi police and taken to the underground location, locked in the room, without food or water, and buried.  They were left there to die.

The next day, demonstrators found an underground prison with hundreds of political prisoners.  No one in the city knew of it's existence.  Some of the men there had been living below ground for years.  They had either been arrested or had just mysteriously disappeared.  As the hours go by, the people of Libya are becoming more and more familiar with how sick of a mind they are dealing with.

Rumors spread across Libya today that Gadhafi had been shot.  Independent news sources have not been able to confirm the news, but oil prices dropped from $120 to $97 a barrel based solely on the rumor this afternoon.  What is expected, though, is that if Gadhafi is still alive, he will make a blood soaked final stand in Tripoli in the coming days.  Tripoli is the only major city yet to fall.  The people will, in time, have their country back.  But at what cost?

The Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs estimated the body count at over 1,000.  Yesterday, however, the ICC (International Criminal Court) estimated the casualties at 10,000, with 50,000 wounded.  And it only looks like it's going to get worse before it gets better.  

I don't believe in god, but in a time like this, I have to say, "May Allah be with the people of Libya".

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Putting My Head Around The Situation In The Middle East: Bahrain

***WARNING:  This post contains some very graphic footage of people being injured and/or murdered.  In regards to the videos, some are NSFW and carry a viewer discretion advisory.  I will post a separate warning before any such video.***

2011 has so far been a very newsworthy year when it comes to the Middle East.  In just six weeks, both Tunisia and Egypt have successfully, and, for the most part, peacefully, fought for their democracy and independence.  Yemenis have been protesting for weeks, but due to a mixture of apathy and fear, the crowds have dramatically diminished.  Yesterday's protest numbered only at about 2,000, compared to hundreds of thousands at the height of the protests.

Within the last ten days, the protests in Bahrain and Libya have been making news, but for all of the wrong reasons.  Unfortunately, because of the nature of what is happening in Libya, the news on Bahrain has been on the back burner in the last week.  Let me fill you in, because the two are really quite similar.

Bahrain is ruled by a monarchy.  There is a popular based parliament system, but it is effectively useless.  The ruling party are Sunni Muslims, yet the vast majority of Bahrain's citizens are Shiite Muslims.  The Sunni based government has gone so far in recent years, that they have brought in Sunnis from other countries to build up the population in the country.  Protests started on February 14th, with small protests here and there, but didn't start in earnest until February 17th.

Early that morning, the government immediately responded with violence, firing tear gas and beating protesters with batons.  In the first day, it was reported that four people had been killed , 231 were injured, and 70 were reported missing.   By the early morning hours of the 18th, the orders were given by the royal family to start using live ammunition on the protesters.  No one was immune.  Everyone was a target:  protesters, journalists, medics, and even people in funeral processions.  This is a video that was taken in the streets of Manama, Bahrain, and posted on Youtube on February 18th.

***Warning:  This video contains violent and graphic footage.  Viewer discretion is advised.***
At the 3:00 mark is when things start to turn violent.  Protesters see armored vehicles blocking the street ahead.  They hold their arms up to show that they are unarmed.  Then, they start shouting the words, "Peaceful.  Peaceful." in Arabic.  The military starts firing automatic weapons on the protesters, killing at least one, perhaps two men.  At around the 9:00 mark, you'll hear automatic gunfire again.  This time, they're firing at the ambulance.  It's quite intense.

The Bahraini Minister of Health, Faisal Mohamed al-Homor, made it illegal for ambulances or medics to pick up the dead or wounded.  This resulted in hundreds of doctors and nurses(in non-emergency roles) leaving their posts and joining the protesters to demand his resignation.

At the moment, the "official" count of the dead and wounded are 7 dead and 150 wounded.  Bahrainis, as well as most people that have been keeping a close eye on the protest, have been calling that number a very small fraction of the actual figure.  I personally have seen video of at least 5 deaths, and dozens of injured.  The reason why I say "at least" 5 dead is because I have seen video of probably 10-12 male bodies in hospital beds.  Some from similar angles.  Some from different angles.  It is hard to tell if some of these people are different videos of the same victim or not.  A couple appear to have similar injuries, but, a chest riddled with bird shot from a shotgun blast at close range would look similar in any case.

The following is a portion of a phone interview between Dr. Ghassan of Salmaniya Hospital in Manama, Bahrain, and Al Jazeera, on February 18th.  He paints a much more dire and realistic picture of what is actually is going on in the country.  Keep in mind that this was five days ago.  The video does not necessarily show any graphic footage.  It does show some footage of the protests, and of protesters carrying the body of one of the murdered demonstrators.  It may be a little uncomfortable to watch because the doctor in the interview becomes increasingly emotional.  It only brings home the point as to how desperate the situation is in Bahrain.

The hospital is so full of casualties, that they're taking the injured to makeshift triage units inside local theatres. Independent press coming out of the country is virtually non-existent.  Most media, if anything, has been coming via Youtube, or by rumor.  There are journalists on the ground in Manama, but they are either calling their stories in or reporting by email.

In any moment of chaos, rumors are bound to be rampant.  There is a rumor that has been gaining probably the most momentum within the capital city, and it has quite a bit of circumstantial evidence that is tough to swallow.  It appears that the Saudi army may have come in to Bahrain to assist the government by firing on the protesters and disposing of the bodies.  Numerous injured over the past few days have come in to hospitals claiming that they were shot or beaten by men dressed up in Saudi military uniforms.  Here is an interview with one such young man.  Keep in mind, I do not speak Arabic.  I do not know if the translation is accurate or not.  I am only going based upon the subtitles that are at the bottom of the screen.

As you heard, the Saudi army is being accused of not only shooting protesters, but filling vehicles with bodies to dispose of them.  This video was posted three days ago.  Another video surfaced on Youtube on the 19th, supposedly showing Saudi military vehicles on the highway between Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.  According to the person posting, it was a caravan of personnel entering Bahrain.  Again, unsubstantiated, but if it's true, this is historic.

And last, and possibly the worst rumor to surface in the last couple of days is this.  Refrigerated trucks have been seen in Manama, with Saudi plates, guarded by Bahraini military personnel, loading dead bodies of protesters inside.  Those same trucks have been seen on the highway back to Saudi Arabia.  The rumors have been circulating for days now, and foreign journalists have doubted it all along. A couple of cell phone pictures have been taken, allegedly showing the trucks, such as this picture taken two days ago.  The three refrigerated trucks are parked, circled in the top left hand corner of the photo:

It wasn't until a reporter for the UK's Independent spoke with a male nurse that worked under the umbrella of the United Nations, that the story started to garner some credibility.  Not only did he confirm the allegations, but add that an American friend of his by the name of "Jerrod" videotaped bodies being thrown into the trucks and was arrested.  He has not been seen since.  That was a week ago.  The article goes on to hypothesize to some degree why the Saudi Arabian government would step in to essentially assist a neighbor country with genocide, and it has some very plausible arguments.

If these allegations are true, they go far beyond "human rights violations".  It is genocide, pure and simple.  If the rumors regarding the Saudi army are found to be true to any degree, we are seeing something take place that is on a level of Hitler and the Nazis.  Keep in mind, those are two words that I don't throw around lightly.  This goes way beyond Tunisia, and far beyond Mubarak.  There were 300 deaths in all of Egypt during 18 days of protests.  That was in a country of 80 million people. Bahrain has a population of 1.2 million people, and they have only been protesting for 9 days.  If there has been any good news to report, yesterday the King  released hundreds of political prisoners that have been in prison for protesting, blogging, and distributing materials against the government.

What upsets me is that there is absolutely no coverage regarding the unrest in Bahrain on US television.  Stories of Justin Bieber's haircut make national news, but this gets ignored.  I don't understand it.  How is this not important?  Can someone please explain this to me?

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

A Preview Of Tonight's "Very Bisexual" 'Glee'

By now, I'm sure many of you have heard that tonight is the big episode where Blaine questions whether he's gay or not.  I'm not really positive as to what makes him doubt his sexuality, but from the preview of tonight's episode, it looks like it involves alcohol and playing spin the bottle with Rachel Berry.  Sorry for the poor video quality:

You would think, as a bi male, I would be thrilled.  Well, I'm not.  And it's for one simple reason:  There is no way this can turn out positive for the gay or the bi community.  Let me explain.

When 'Glee' came onto the scene last season, we were introduced to Kurt Hummel.  Almost instantly, he became a role model and an idol for young gay youth around the world.  Then, in season two, Blaine came into the picture.  Not only did he become a role model for young gay men, but a role model for Kurt Hummel.  He was confident in his sexuality.  He was proud to be a gay man.

For the sake of all of the people that look up to his character for inspiration, you cannot have him doubt his sexuality.  Besides, in real life, this doesn't happen.  Someone that has known since an early age that they were gay does not suddenly have second thoughts that they might be gay one night.  That's not reality.  'Glee is lying to kids, and kids will believe it with all of their hearts.

This is the same reason I didn't like 'The Kids Are Alright'.  The main lesbian couple were together for 20+ years, and Julianne Moore's character suddenly decides she needs to start having an affair with a guy?  That doesn't happen.  I can tell you from my experience in the community, that that is Hollywood and not human sexuality.  But, people will watch that movie, and walk out of the movie theater thinking that that's what lesbians do from time to time.  It's ridiculous.

There is no possible way for tonight's 'Glee' episode to end positively for the gay community.  And, there is no positive way for it to end positively for the bi community either.  By the end of the episode, the writers will likely make it look like his bisexual thinking was just a "phase".  After all, male bisexuals don't exist, or at least, that's what we're made to believe.  We're "confused", or "gay and just don't know it yet".  They're going to play on the "confused" angle, I bet, and then, have everything cleared up nicely and have him gay again within the hour.

American primetime television needs bi male characters.  If 'Glee' was truly interested in having a genuine bi character on the show, they would have made one of the straight guys bi.  Have Sam do a same sex kiss.  He was rumored to be gay when the season started, with his dyed blonde hair and all.  Or better (best) yet, have the bully Karofsky become bisexual.  He has already kissed Kurt.  He would be the perfect candidate.  Don't mess with the guys that are already gay.  When you do, you're playing with fire, and just showing the showing the world that this isn't genuine.  It's nothing but a publicity stunt.

An Explanation Of What's Happening In Wisconsin

Honestly, it took me until last Friday until I was able to wrap my head around it.  In a way, it has absolutely nothing to do with money, but it has everything to do with money.  I know.  That makes no sense at all.  Every time I try to explain it to my wife, I seem to just make it more and more confusing.  Yesterday, I was watching Rachel Maddow's show, and she did an amazing job at explaining everything.  I'm going to let her do it for me, because she does it a heck of a lot better than I do:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mash Up Monday

It takes confidence to tinker with the best.  You have to know that you're good at what you do, to take apart something that most people already consider perfect to begin with.  Most remixes or mashups that you hear are made up of two or three songs that are the standard pop or dance tune that's being played on the radio every three minutes.  When you start messing with The Beatles, it becomes a different matter altogether.

Interestingly, when you go searching for Beatles mashups, the vast majority of them are very good.  They're so good, in fact, that I had a difficult time making a decision as to which one to feature this week.  So, this week I'm featuring a Beatles double header.

The first track is from Electric Method.  It's a mix of Outkast's 'Hey Ya', and The Beatles' 'Paperback Writer'.  It's called 'Paperback Hey Ya'.  Have a listen.

The second of the two songs is from DJ Zebra.  It is a mashup of The Beatles' 'Come Together', and Nine Inch Nails' 'Closer'.  I have actually featured these two songs separately in other posts, but together, they make an interesting mix.  It's called 'Come Closer Together'.

As you can tell from the last few weeks of my 'Mash Up Monday' posts, I have my favorites, whether it be DJs or artists.  I need to branch out more.  Stay tuned.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Planned Parenthood - By The Numbers

Some key points:

Percentage of all Planned Parenthood health services that are abortion services: 3

Estimated number of unintended pregnancies averted by Planned Parenthood contraceptive services each year:  612,000

Estimated number of abortions averted by Planned Parenthood contraceptive services each year:  291,000

Think about that...from the free and low cost contraceptive services that Planned Parenthood provides over the course of a year, it SAVES an estimated 291,000 babies from being aborted.  How many pro-life organizations can claim that?

Republicans Want To Bring Back Slavery

They don't, but if you saw this headline in tomorrow's newspaper, would it really surprise you?

**OK, I'm going to be honest.  I am so angry right now, I don't even know where to start.  I'm going to be very critical of a certain group of people here, but I'm being 100% honest with the way that I feel.  If you're offended, I'm sorry, but you don't have to continue reading my blog if you don't like it.**

Republicans are pissing me the fuck off.  Who else can they fuck with....really??  They have it their mission in the last year to do anything they can to take as many rights, privileges, and benefits away from gay Americans.
Republican Senators and Congressmen are vowing to push through a bill in this session repealing the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell (follow me).  States that have approved gay marriage, such as Iowa and New Hampshire, are fighting tooth and nail not to have it repealed by GOP state legislatures.  California is fighting in the courts to get gay marriage back after it was approved and then repealed by Republican voters.  Wyoming passed a bill today refusing to recognize gay marriages performed in OTHER STATES!!  And other states are merely cutting domestic partner benefits arbitrarily for the sake of "budget cuts", while not making any cuts to the benefits of married partners.

As February approached, rumors started to circulate as to how drastic Republicans would want to cut the budget on things like the arts, women's services, and health care.  It was much worse than anyone could have imagined.

The GOP has declared an all out war against Planned Parenthood.  Today, the House voted to strip the entire $327 million in annual Title X federal funding that it receives.   By law, none of the federal money they receive can go to fund abortions.  They have a private donor fund for that already.  Congressmen know that.  It's been that way since the mid-90s.  The $327 million they receive go to education, birth control, STD testing, HIV tests, cancer screenings, and gynecological exams, amongst other things.  I have used Planned Parenthood on numerous occasions for free STD and HIV testing about 10 years ago when I lived in Denver.  They were an excellent resource for contraceptives when I didn't even have enough money in my pocket to buy a pack of condoms.  They were always kind, accommodating, and never judged me.  My wife used their services when she was younger, was uninsured, and needed Depo shots. She received them at no charge from Planned Parenthood. They are an excellent resource for both men and women.  Abortions account for only 3% of the total procedures done at their clinics.  The things they do save more lives than the babies that die in their locations.  If they lose almost a third of a billion dollars in funding, over 800 locations nationwide risk being closed.  That means the possibility or more unwanted or unplanned babies, the spread of various STDs or HIV unknowingly being spread in those communities, and lower income women not being able to get gynecological care at little or no cost in their neighborhood.

Oh, and to make things worse, Republicans in the state of South Dakota, (which I'm going to just refer to as Dumbfuckistan from now on) introduced a bill making the defending of a fetus "justifiable homicide".  This opens the doors to being able to legally kill abortion providers.  House Bill 1171 states that murder is legal if defending your unborn child, or the unborn child or your spouse, partner, parent, or child.  So, even if the mother is going into the clinic with the intent of having the abortion, that woman's husband, boyfriend, son, daughter, father, or mother could, in theory, kill the abortion provider justifiably.  And, get this, the Dumbfuckistan state House has also introduced a bill requiring mandatory gun ownership for everyone 21 years of age and older.  It's not expected to pass, obviously, but could you get any dumber. point.  Today the fuckers voted to repeal Obama's health care reform.  They claimed it was because the budget, but we all know they hated the thing back when Hillary Clinton tried to get everyone on board with it back in the 90s.  They call it "Socialist" and "Marxist", but I call it "necessary".  Even with insurance, I can't even afford my medical bills.  They're over $500 a month sometimes, minimum.  My parents filed bankruptcy twice because of hospital bills.  One stay in the hospital can literally break a family for years. It's how the poor stay poor.  Just when they start to get on their feet again, there's another emergency, and they're back on their knees.  You're required to have insurance on your car.  You're required to have insurance on your house.  Heck, I have to have insurance on the things I have in my storage unit.  Isn't my health more important than a few totes full of hoodies and office supplies in my storage unit?  I think so.  Not only did House Republicans vote to repeal health care reform, but they also voted to refuse to pay any federal employees that were working on the health care reform project.  So, thousands of people...out of work.

Congress also voted to strip roughly 25%, or $20.6 million, from the National Endowment for the Arts.  It's the biggest cut the NEA has received in 16 years.  Don't forget, there's also talk that they want to remove funding for NPR and the Corporation for Public Brodcasting (PBS).  Hopefully, your kids are old enough to already have enjoyed Sesame Street.  Mine isn't.

At the same time, Republicans voted to keep in funding for abstinence only programs.  These are programs that have been proven not to work.  They paint false realities and unrealistic futures.  When students have sex, and they eventually do, they are unprepared and know nothing regarding STDs, HIV, or safe sex.  This is an example, although a little strange, of the content of some of the abstinence only curriculum being taught today.  This is your tax dollars at work:

Congressmen also reversed $1.5 billion in funding cuts that Obama made to combat efforts in Iraq.  Evidentially, the GOP thinks we're still in combat operations there.  Let's not forget that Tea Party Republicans are fighting to eliminate the Department of Education and the Environmental Protection Agency.  Not make budget cuts, but eliminate the entire department from the government.

After all of this bullshit, what have Democrats done?  We've made phone calls.  We have organized online.  We have rallied using social networks like Facebook and Twitter.  We have blogged our frustrations.  We have called our Senators, asking them to vote against the budget cuts that the Congressmen have just made.  We have been civil.

Then we have the incident yesterday at Rep. Betty McCollum's (D-Minn.) office.  Last week, she submitted an amendment to the budget to cut $7 million from the Pentagon budget by discontinuing the Army's sponsorship of the #39 car in NASCAR.  A couple of days later, she received the following fax in her office:

Um..yeah...they called our President the N-word....and they're dragging him behind a pick up truck with a noose.  A death threat to a Congresswoman over a $7 million sponsorship deal.  This isn't something that would cripple NASCAR mind you.  If that car lost the Army sponsor, he would pick up a new one.  Instead of being the "Army" car, he would be the "Oreo" car, or the "Applebee's" car.  It wouldn't make a damn bit of difference.  Fucking rednecks.  I swear, it's like "Fuck women.  Fuck the gays.  Fuck the Mexicans and the Blacks.  I don't want my tax dollars goin' to that gay art stuff, but you better not touch my fuckin' NASCAR.  What are you?  A communist?"

What is wrong with this fucking country?  Who's next?  Who haven't we fucked over as a nation?  Hispanics, check.  LGBT community, check.  Women, check.  The poor, check.  Minorities, check.  Children, check.  The Environment, check.  Who's left....oh.

Rich, old, white, straight, married males.  Wow.  Sounds a lot like....Republican members of Congress.  Coincidence? 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Watch: Minister With Tourette's - Fascinating

When the media focuses on people with Tourette's Syndrome, they often show children with the condition, because children are the ones that frequently exhibit the most severe tics.  It's rare to find someone of my age (35), or even in their late 30s or 40s with moderate to severe tics.  This is because Tourette's is commonly diagnosed in adolescence, and by the time someone has reached that age, the condition has been managed for many years with medication.  Many times, by then, the person has learned how to disguise their tics.  They have turned something that was a vocal tic, into what is now a sniffle or a clearing of the throat.  And for some people, Tourette's has simply just gone away with adulthood.

Below are a couple of videos of Matt Ford, a minister from Australia.  He has Tourette's Syndrome, and, at his age, it's one of the most severe cases I have seen in a while.  I wanted to post these videos of Matt, not for his message, but just to show another side of the condition.

The second video is of Matt giving a sermon in front of a crowd.  There are two things that I found interesting.  First, he has the same condition I do, in that he repeats himself over and over again with certain words.  It felt awkward watching someone else do that.  Secondly, I noticed how he disguises his tics.  He pretends to speak in tongues, which I find deplorable.  He's using a neurological condition that his parishioners do not fully understand, and is acting like it's "god's holy spirit" speaking through him.  Unless you really understood Tourette's Syndrome, you would never know.  You would be a believer.  I also want to have you pay attention to around the 7 minute mark of the clip.  At that point, he becomes weak, disoriented, and very fatigued.  It's almost as if he's drunk.  He's not acting.  His Tourette's tics have taken so much energy out of him, it's taken so much energy to try to remain focused on what he was doing, that he is literally collapsing from exhaustion.  I have been there many times.  It takes that much out of you.

You may not like what he does for a living (I don't), or what he has to say (I don't either), but you have to admire his dedication.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Quick Note Of Thanks To My Readers

Hi everyone.

I just wanted to write a quick post and thank everyone that has been stopping by and reading my blog over the last month.  For those of you that have been following me for some time, you'll know that I took a little more than three months off from writing over the holidays.  I stopped writing around September 28th, and didn't post again until January 16th.  I was having writer's block.  I was wanting to spend more time with my family.  I wanted to take my blog in a different direction, but I wasn't sure what direction to take it.

Over the holidays, I was able to focus on my wife and little girl.  I took them to Disneyland for the first time.  My daughter got to hug Chip and Dale, and get her picture taken with Tinkerbell.  It was the week before Christmas, and for someone that has only been celebrating Christmas for 6 years, it was some of the best memories of my life.

I decided to start writing about the things that were important to me.  I was going to be an advocate for the causes that mattered in my life (ie. LGBT causes, body positive, fat positive, politics, religion, ex-JW), and you responded.

Since writing my first post back from hiatus on January 16th, 30 days ago, I have had more views than any month in the history of 'The Daily Twitch'.  I started this blog on September 11, 2009; roughly a year and a half ago.  My blog views for the last 30 days account for 43.4% of my total readership since the creation of the blog in September '09.

Thank you  so much for reading what I have to say.  It's a good feeling to know that someone out there is listening to you.  It means a lot.


02/15/2011 Watchtower: Disfellowshipped/Disassociated Ones 'Are Demons'

You know, it's funny.  I read The Watchtower and Awake a hell of a lot more now, than what I ever did when I was a Witness.  Nothing surprises me anymore when it comes to things I see in the Watchtower magazine.  While their rhetoric may not be shocking, it sometimes hits close to home.  In the last couple of weeks, I was able to see an article from a recent Watchtower magazine that outright manipulates readers regarding loved ones who may be disfellowshipped (kicked out of the church) or have disassociated (submitted a letter of resignation to the church) themselves from the organization.

The Governing Body (the "board of directors" over the church) has a way of making Jehovah's Witnesses get certain information.  If they find it important enough, they will put the information in one of the two articles that the congregation will study on Sunday mornings.  They figured out years ago that cover to cover readership, even among Witnesses, was dwindling.

The February 15, 2011, Watchtower, likely to be studied in the congregation mid-April, has an article entitled, 'Do You Hate Lawlessness?'.  On the surface, you hear that question and think, "Yeah.  Of course I hate lawlessness.  I think murder is wrong.  I don't like it when people steal.  I pay my taxes."  But, you see, for Jehovah's Witnesses, it doesn't appear to be that simple.

To be one of Jehovah's Witnesses, you have to live a life that demonstrates that you hate lawlessness.  How do you do that?  By monitoring how you dress, what you watch on television, what movies you watch, and the music you listen to.  Now, I wasn't privy to the entire magazine article, just the last half; paragraphs 11-21.  From what I read around paragraph 11 and 12, it was the same old song and dance we've heard from the Witnesses for years:
"12.)  You might start by asking yourself: 'Do the songs I listen to glorify murder, adultery, fornication, and blasphemy? If I were to read the lyrics of certain songs to someone, would that person get the impression that I hate lawlessness, or would the words indicate that my heart is defiled?' We cannot hate lawlessness in word while glorifying it in song.  "The things proceeding out of the mouth come out of the heart," said Jesus, "and those things defile a man.  For example, out of the heart come wicked reasonings, murders, adulteries, fornications, thieveries, false testimonies, blasphemies." - Matt. 15:18,19
I like this.  I went to, and looked up "defiled" under the Thesaurus link.  One of the results that came back was "messed up".  One of the synonyms for lawlessness was "evil".  So, in other words, the paragraph was saying that 'are you listening to music that gives the impression that you hate "evil", or do the words indicate that your heart is "messed up"?'  Then, the scripture they use implies that, say you listen to an Eminem song about him beating his wife, you'll start beating your wife too, simply because you were listening to his song.  That was the line of thinking my mother had when I was growing up.  I wasn't allowed to listen to any gay artists, such as Freddie Mercury of Queen, Elton John, or George Michael, because she thought I would become gay just by listening to them.  How ridiculous.

The part of the article that started to upset me starts at around paragraph 14:
"God's Word commands that unrepentant sinners be removed from the congregation (1 Corinthians 5:9-13)  This is necessary for at least three reasons.  (1) to keep Jehovah's name free from reproach, (2) to protect the congregation from contamination, and (3) to help the sinner come to repentance if possible."
OK.  That's somewhat standard.  Anyone familiar with Jehovah's Witnesses wouldn't find anything new there.  It goes on in paragraph 15:
 "We need to give thought to these questions:  'Would I choose to associate regularly with someone who has been disfellowshipped or who has disassociated himself from the Christian congregation? What if that one is a close relative who no longer lives at home?' Such a situation can be a real test of our love of righteousness and our loyalty to God."
Then, the article starts to play on the heart strings of the "faithful servant of God".
"16.) Consider the experience of a sister whose adult son at one time had love for Jehovah.  Later in life, however, he unrepentantly chose to practice lawlessness.  Hence, he was disfellowshipped from the congregation.  Our sister loved Jehovah, but she also loved her son and found it extremely difficult to apply the Scriptural command to avoid associating with him."
And this is where things get, how should I put it, interesting:
"17.)  What advice would you have given this sister? An elder helped her to realize that Jehovah understood the pain she felt.  The brother invited her to think about the pain Jehovah must have experienced when some of his angelic sons rebelled.  The elder reasoned with her that even though Jehovah knows how painful such a circumstance can be, he requires that unrepentant sinners be disfellowshipped.  She took the reminders to heart and loyally upheld the disfellowshipping arrangement.  Such loyalty makes Jehovah's heart glad.
 18.) If you face a similar situation, please remember that Jehovah sympathizes with you.  By cutting off contact with the disfellowshipped or disassociated one, you are showing that you hate the attitudes and actions that led to that outcome.  However, you are also showing that you love the wrongdoer enough to do what is best for him or her.  Your loyalty to Jehovah may increase the likelihood that the disciplined one will repent and return to Jehovah."
I have two words to describe the previous two paragraphs:  BULL SHIT.   Where do I begin?  First, when it comes to paragraph 17, metaphorically speaking, it directly compares human beings that have either been kicked out of a church, or have left on their own free will, to angels that sided with Satan the Devil and were kicked out of Heaven by God.  When you think of demons, you think of "evil beyond evil" (lawless).  So, if you're unfamiliar with Jehovah's Witnesses, and you read this article, you might be thinking, "Wow.  If they are kicking these people out of the church to "protect the congregation", they must have done some pretty bad stuff."  As a Witness though, you can get disfellowshipped for smoking, having sex out of marriage, and even for saving your own life by getting a blood transfusion.

What bothers me even more is how they bait the families of those that are no longer in the organization.  They play the empathy card.  "God understands what you're going through.  He sympathizes with you."  I've read a couple of other blog posts on this, and they tend to go along that line of criticism.  Check out (we are not) The Governing Body for their take on the article.  I'm going to tackle it from another direction.  The JW publications have always played the empathy card.  It's nothing new.  What they have also done, and especially in this case (in my opinion), is "guilt" the reader.  They sow that seed of guilt that festers in someone until they can't take it any longer, and then they follow along with what the article is telling them to do.

When the article was saying, "Jehovah knows how painful such a circumstance can be", what it is actually/subliminally saying is, "If God did it, why aren't you doing it already?  What makes you think you're better than God?'' Disfellowshipping breaks up families.  It breaks up life long friendships.  In some cases, it leads to alcoholism, drug abuse, and even suicide.  The only way that it brings people back to the Witness organization is that some are so alone, they miss their families so much, that they will do anything to see them again.

I have heard the rumor (at this point it's unsubstantiated, it's just a rumor) that speaking to someone who is disfellowshipped or disassociated is an offense that can get you disfellowshipped yourself, now.  If you know either way whether that is the case or not, please send me a message.  The disfellowshipping arrangement was supposed to be in place to, not only "protect the congregation", but to also encourage the offending member of the congregation to change their ways and return.  They were likened to a lost sheep in the flock.  When that sheep was found by the shepherd, he "rejoiced" when finding the sheep and welcomed him back to the flock.  Lately, those disfellowshipped people trying to return are treated like dogs.  They are told not to look other members of the congregation in the eye, to look down at the ground.  They're being told that they can't sit with the rest of the congregation, but have to sit in the library; out of sight from everyone else.  They're also being told that they must leave before the final prayer, that the prayer's not for them.  They're making it more and more humiliating and more degrading for those trying to come back.

Many of you reading this post have been lucky enough to have cool family members or friends from your past, that have still been communicating with you, even though you may no longer be with the religion.  Be prepared to have an awkward conversation soon.  The Governing Body is tightening the leash among the rank and file Witnesses.  It's not going to be pretty.  I wish you all the best of luck.

Side note:  For decades, the Jehovah's Witnesses have publicly said that they do not shun family members.  Below is a copy of the article, that clearly states in paragraph 18, that Witnesses "cut off contact" with disfellowshipped family members.  Nice little thing to keep handy.


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I Am So Moving To San Francisco

Can you believe they do this for Valentine's Day every year?!?

It cost the city $17,000 to clean up the aftermath.  Count me in for 2012.

Why Can't This Be My Grandma?

Seriously.  I like the sound of "Grandma Jean".

Jean Argus, an 80 year old grandmother in Iowa, decided to speak out against House Joint Resolution 6, an amendment seeking to repeal that state's marriage equality law, and deny legal recognition for existing gay married couples.  This is her message:

She was inspired to say something after watching 19 year old Zach Wahl's impassioned speech regarding the strength of his family, during a public forum on the resolution.  If you missed it, here it is:

On February 1st, the Iowa House passed the resolution with a vote of 62-37.

The bill is now headed to the Democratic controlled Iowa Senate, where numerous Senators have vowed to block it from coming up to the floor for a vote.  Let's cross our fingers.

Two Word Tuesday

"Belly Buttons"

Have you ever seen a painting of Adam & Eve without belly buttons?

If they were direct creations of God, made of "dust", they would not have had umbilical cords.  They came from no womb.

So did dozens of Renaissance era artists simply "forget" this information?

Or did they not believe in the church taught BS, either?

Mash Up Monday - Singularity

I was trying to find something that was somewhat romantic to post for Mash Up Monday this week, with it being Valentine's Day and all.  It was very difficult to do.  Most DJs aren't in the practice of mashing up love songs.  I did find a nice track from my go-to guy, Norwegian Recycling.  It's called 'Singularity'.  It mashes up the following tracks:

1. Travis - Sing
2. Iyaz - Replay
3. Kelly Clarkson - Already Gone
4. Oasis - Wonderwall
5. Christina Aguilera - Genie In A Bottle
6. No Doubt - Don't Speak

It's quite pleasant, actually.

A Tale Of True Love

It's a remarkable thing to know the exact moment that your life changed.  To be able to tell someone the day, hour, and minute that light shined down onto your path and mapped out the rest of your life.  For me, that moment was September 21, 2005, at 8:29pm.

At the time, I had just turned 30.  I was working as a dispatcher and office manager for the family trucking company, and I was hating every minute of it.  My previous relationships, if you wanted to call them that, were utter failures.  I would go on maybe a couple of dates with a girl and realize there was zero compatibility between us.  Had a number of one night stands.  Nothing meaningful.  I hadn't been in a boyfriend/girlfriend type of scenario since that previous February, and that ended badly.  At the time, I was ready to just give up.

On the evening of September 21st, I received the following message in my Myspace inbox:
"Hey happened to stumble across your profile......great song clip!"
Her name was Jessi.  She was 22.  I looked at her profile.  She had a couple of country music song clips (ugh), but she was pretty cute:

(She's the one on the right)
So I responded,
"Thanks....was sorta fitting at the time....still  I really liked your page....except for the country music part...but you made up for it with Nelly......Like your sense of're a bit twisted....NICE."
 She continued,
"Hahaha yeah that definetely sums me up ... twisted...And i will agree not ALL country music is good but there are exceptions! if ya wanna chat sometime i'm on yahoo or msn as ixxxxxx_xxxxxs"
I had recently gone to see the documentary 'March of the Penguins', and wrote a review of it on my Myspace blog.  I also wrote a small blog about my memories of 9/11/2001.  She sent me another message a couple of minutes later,
"WOW just got done reading your blogs.....happened to stumble across those too...the 9/11 one made me cry....don't feel bad but i seriously took me back to what exactly i was doing when i the time i was working for MCI and it was located literally right next door to the air force base (in iowa) so i couldn't go to work not that i could have anyways....its amazing how much can change in such a short time.... also very jealous you have seen march of the penguins....i LOVE penguins and haven't had time to see it....guess i will have to catch it on pay per view or something...thats all!"
Our email conversation continued the next morning.  I sent her a message saying,
"that penguin movie was a big fan of documentaries.....would like to chat with you seem pretty cool....cute"
From that point on, we either sent each other instant messages or talked to each other on the phone.  That was on September 22nd.  She invited me to come over to her place for spaghetti on Tuesday, September 27th.  I knocked on her door.  When it opened, I was frozen.  I looked in her eyes, and said "Oh my God, you're beautiful."  Then I kissed her.

I can honestly say now that the spaghetti really wasn't that good.  I think she put sugar in the sauce.  Regardless, I was polite and ate it.  Later that evening, as I was laying on the couch in her living room, she gave me a "cow kiss" across the entire right side of my face.  I almost vomited, but it attracted me to her.  I always wanted someone that was a lover and a buddy.  Someone that would try to give me a "wet Willy" when I was half asleep.  To me, that was a sign of someone that was interested in you, in a sick and twisted sort of way.  It was the best first date I ever had.

Later that week, we were on our second date, and I was realizing that I was falling in love with this woman.  Normally, that would be scaring the shit out of me, but something deep down inside of me knew that this was the woman I was going to spend the rest of my life with.  I had already been engaged in the past, and she was the first person I felt safe with.  I could tell her things, things that I was scared to admit to myself. I tried to scare her away.  I told her all of my secrets, and she only got closer to me.

In January of 2006, I moved in with her.  It was a huge adjustment to make.  I had never lived with a partner before.  Nine months later, the two of us were walking through the mall.  A jewelry store was having a sapphire sale.  Sapphires are her favorite stone.  We went in, just to look at the ring settings.  As she was looking at the rings, I called her mom on my cell phone.  I told her mom that I was going to propose to her daughter right now, but first I need her permission.  Her mom was sobbing, but I think she said "yes".  I got down on one knee in the middle of the store.  I told her that I have loved her from the moment I saw her.  I told her that I couldn't imagine my life without her in it, and I asked her to marry me.  She said "yes" too.  I told her to pick any ring she wanted.

As the weeks and months went by, we discovered ourselves.  We realized that all of these years we had been living our lives to make the people around us happy.  Speaking for myself, there were things that I didn't know about myself at 30 that I should have figured out at 15.  It was almost as if we grew up together.  We found each other and found ourselves.  We started planning our wedding.  We decided on Las Vegas, February 29, 2008, Mandalay Bay Hotel.

We had everything picked out.  It was going to be a Beatles themed wedding.  The processional was going to be Regina Spektor's cover of John Lennon's 'Real Love' and we were going to walk down the aisle as husband and wife to the Beatles' 'All You Need Is Love'.  We had hotel reservations and restaurant reservations.  Everything was figured out.  Then at about 2am on a night in early October 2007, Jessi rolled over and softly said, "I think I'm late".

"Late to what?"

"You know, late."



A half hour later, I'm at a 24 hour Walgreens buying pregnancy tests and a two liter bottle of Coke.  At 4am, we realized we were having a baby.  We also realized that meant on February 29, 2008, my wife would be nearly 7 months pregnant.  "If I'm going to Vegas, I'm drinking."  That's a quote from her.  Not me.  So, on November 23rd, 2007, I married my lover, my buddy, my best friend, and the mother of what would soon be my daughter.  It was a simple ceremony.  We had it in the kitchen of our apartment.  It was just us and three close friends.  Afterward, we had sparkling grape juice and Blue Bunny chocolate chip ice cream.  So, on every November 23rd of every year, we celebrate by having sparkling grape juice and Blue Bunny chocolate chip ice cream.

It has been about five and a half years since that first message.  1,973 days.  And it has been the best 1,973 days of my life.  We have the type of relationship that movies are written about.  Besides the occasional appointment or trip to the grocery store, we have not been more than 30 feet away from each other for the last five years.  Even when I was working, we worked in the same office, for the same department, within 25 feet of each other.  We had the same hours and had the same lunch schedule.  We were together 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and we wouldn't have had it any other way.

We have never had a fight.  We have had maybe two little arguments in the last five years.  We very rarely disagree.  If there is one perfect person out there in the world for you, I have found that person.  I am never letting her go.  Only death will separate us, and even after I die, I have promised to haunt her.  It is the only way she would be able to go on without me.

Happy Valentine's Day Jessi.  You are my love, my strength, my rock, and in so many ways, my better half.  I love you.