Category Archives: journals

Where have I been?

Why has there been a 7-week hiatus in this blog?   I had a series of appointments with a variety of doctors, resumed my weekly Bible Study group, attended several political rallies, and went to the annual Gay Pride parade and festival in Durham in Sept. I posted photos of the parade on Facebook. In Oct. I’ve spent the month recuperating from hip replacement surgery. I spent 3 days in the hospital, a week in re-hab, and 2 ½ weeks at home. I really haven’t even read much and have survived just performing the usual activities of daily living plus daily exercises. I’ve pretty much just slept most of the past month in dealing with pain and weakness. I’ve fed the daily email, Facebook, and Twitter accounts, but that’s been the limit of my activity online. So much for excuses.

In the meantime, North Carolina has achieved gay marriage through a recent court ruling, the airways have been saturated with negative political ads, and ISIS and Ebola have stoked the national panic. We’re now one of 20 states offering that recognition. The Raleigh LGBT Center hosted its annual awards banquet with recognition of several outstanding volunteers and activists. The HRC hosted its annual awards dinner in Washington, DC with lots of national press coverage. Within the past week, the Judicial Council of the United Methodist Church has upheld the re-instatement of the credentials of Rev. Frank Schaefer, and the North Carolina and Western North Carolina chapters of the Reconciling Ministries Network hosted a successful conference in Greensboro. Unfortunately, I was not able to attend so can’t offer a first-hand report and didn’t get to see Bishop Talbert speak.

So while I sat on the sidelines, the worlds of gay rights, equality, and action have boomed with significant advances in many fields. So is there anything to hinder this burst of optimism? Yes, the radical right continues to propose reactionary legislation, media pundits and preachers still make ridiculous homophobic public statements just to gain notoriety, and the mood of the nation is generally cautious about our economic future. It’s like the economy is on hold until November 4th.   I will be glad the daily panic email appeals from the Democratic Senate Congressional Committee finally will cease, and that I will be able to turn on the TV without Thom Tillis and Kay Hagan attacking each other continually. We still don’t have any employment non-discrimination legislation in North Carolina or in the Congress, and it appears unlikely to come up before 2016.

I hope to be back to driving again this week and more engaged in the community and to become more of a participant rather than just a spectator.

 

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My recent move

I’ve just spent the past three months packing, unpacking, and moving from one apt. to another in the same city. I spent three weeks just cleaning out the closets. AT&T U-Verse left me without an Internet connection or home phone service for a month while they made excuses in transferring services. I was dependent upon my iPhone for everything, including making payments since I had misplaced my checkbook in the move. Fortunately I ended up with only one late payment fee. The new apt. is smaller, cheaper, more accessible, bright and fresh, and better built. I tried Craigslist without any luck so I gave away lots of stuff, but even so the new place is very crowded. I was in the old apt. for 12 years so it was time for a move, and I downsized to prepare for the next decade as I age out. I haven’t even done my income tax return yet so the move has totally absorbed most of my time.

The 4th season of Dowton Abbey was short and disappointing. All the story lines seemed to limp along in limbo. The first episode of Selfridge was a set piece for a whole series of controversies. I haven’t read anything because I also was involved in an 8-week course on mindful-based stress reduction (MBSR) at Duke Integrative Medicine that involved 2 ½-hr classes each week plus reading assignments and five audio CD’s. It was helpful in dealing with some of the stresses associated with the move.

Like most of the East Coast we have had a late spring although we missed most of the snows, and it has been unusually cold. The frequent swings in the weather flared up my arthritis so it has been a struggle to continue my daily morning exercises that keep me somewhat flexible. I’m finding it increasing difficult to walk or stand for an extended period of time.

Justin Lee with the Gay Christian Network hosted their annual conference in Chicago this year and is on tour in Los Angeles now so he hasn’t been in Raleigh much in recent months. I track the topic on Google Alerts, but the only real news has been the first gay marriages in England and Wales. Much of the gay chatter on Twitter is negative news, and I say just ignore the biggots and don’t give them free publicity. In the US, the battle has moved to the states, and the ban is being over-turned in several. The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) continues to languish in Congress after 15 years of debate, and the President has not yet made an Executive Order except to ban discrimination by federal contractors.

 

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