Not too bad for an old fart
DNA magazine is promoting their next party at IVY and yours truly is the image they are using to promote the party.
Not too bad for an old fart I say :)
And Now we wait
After 12 days of the trial the Perry vs Swharzanegger trial has now closed for the time being and we must wait 30 days for final closing statements and for the judge to raise questions.
You can read the live blog of the trial here: http://prop8trialtracker.com/
How has it gone?
What will be the outcome?
The Plaintiffs have made a good case, they have managed to embarrass and ridicule the defendants witnesses quite well.
But at the end of the day it will all come down to the law and nothing else.
Has our side proven that Gays and Lesbians are a suspect class (minority) that requires protection under the Constitution? Have they proven that the ban on same sex marriage was done only through prejudice and animus?
Other than the judge and what he thinks it's anyone's guess.
So now we wait and we should all use our blogs, facebook and twitter accounts to promote the trial and promote equality.
Have you ever wondered...
Have you ever wondered just how much money has been spent by people arguing to deny equal rights to Gays and Lesbians?
Over the last twenty or so years of court cases, grass root campaigns, mainstream press advertising and lobbying tens if not hundreds of millions of dollars must have been spent trying to deny a simple equality for same sex couples.
It defies belief that such a simple civil right can generate such hatred and opposition amongst so many people that they feel compelled to make this the focus of their lives.
Just imagine if all that money was instead used for something really worthwhile, let's say if the Mormon Church spent the money on helping third world nations get better access to clean drinking water.
With Hawaii about to legalize Civil Unions for same sex couples (a 20 year battle) and the Proposition Trial in California I just can't fathom the money that is spent to discriminate, and most of it either based on lies and fallacy like William Tam's idiotic statements and beliefs.
It just really really pisses me off.
It's all a wedge issue to keep the right wing in power and money
This quote amused me from the Proposition Trial Tracker website:
But that’s not how the opposition is thinking. See, I don’t think they really believe most of the garbage that they’re spewing out. The right-wing movement to pass Prop 8 — and other anti-gay amendments — are really part of a strategy to keep right-wing conservatives in power. There’s lotsa money to be made keeping the masses distracted by cultural, wedge issues — and to dredge up homophobia and malice against the “other” (in this case, gays) helps propel them politically. These folks have money to burn — where else do you think the National Organization for Marriage gets their money from, and how it just comes out of nowhere?
When it all comes down to it the reason the right wing is so vehemently anti-gay is nothing more than a way to rally support and power.
The right wing sprouts the Kool Aid and expect people to believe it but they don't actually believe it themselves.
They are playing with our lives and our rights as just a way to keep their power base.
Sure there are lots and lots and lots of people who do believe the hateful things they say, but much of this is based on what the Church and anti-gay community / political leaders say.
I once had a client who point blank told me that she would not let her children be photographed for a children's clothing catalogue because she didn't want gay guys drooling over her young kids.
That old baseless link between pedophilia and homosexuality, it's stupid and insulting
The more I read the more I am horrified
I read two articles recently that the Catholic Church had authored.
Both of the articles got my stomach crawling and reminded me just how bigoted and hopelessly outdated the Catholic Church is.
In the first article the ridiculous argument yet again that marriage is about procreation and raising children.
The second article stating it is not good for a child in a same sex family, again going against ALL properly peer reviewed studies which have found there is no difference.
But my favorite two gems in the second article were the statement that homosexuals should practice celibacy (yeah right with all of those kiddy fiddlers in the Catholic Church - which incidentally is suggested to be caused by their struggles with chastity) and the second statement which makes me so mad:
it would be wrong to ignore the possibility that a particular homosexual couple wishes to adopt children for the perverse purpose of using them for child pornography, sexual abuse or prostitution.
Yep that ridiculous and proven wrong statement that gay guys (or women) are kiddy fiddlers.
You just have to ask yourself how in this day and age such totally baseless statements are accepted as fact.
When you think about it the Church and other opponents of same sex marriage and same sex equality in general are using baseless scare tactics appealing to the masses who hold deeply held distrust of the gay community.
We lack as a gay community a normalized visibility yeah sure some parts of the community are visible, but quite often it's the extremes. You know like the OTT campness of Elton John or the stereotype of Will and Grace.
Rather than just the normalized visibility of gay couples getting on with their lives, buying houses, working etc.
I strongly believe that if the Catholic Church wants to be involved in political debate like this they then forgo their Tax Free Exemption status.
There is supposed to be such as thing as separation of state and church, but I guess since the Catholic Church has so much political power no political party could ever rescind their tax free status.
With all the hoopla over the Perry vs Schwarzangger trial in California an interesting situation has been encountered in Oakland.
A board member of a city owned theatre is due to be reappointed for another three year term.
Problem is he was one of the singularly largest donors for Proposition 8, donating a whopping $25,000 to the cause of denying same sex marriage rights.
Should he be reinstated or should he lose his role on the board?
Legally he has done nothing wrong, he donated money to a public cause, but this public cause is potentially unconstitutional and serves only to take away rights of the citizens.
It's a hard call really, Oakland has an anti discrimination policy that outlaws discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Whilst technically supporting proposition 8 does not legally discriminate.
It's a moral issue though.
As one commenter on the article said
He would not even be considered for the board if he advocated revoking some of the civil rights of African Americans or Jews.
By supporting a campaign against the rights of gay people he has violated the community standards of the Bay Area
I must admit I agree, since this is a publicly appointed position and his donation goes against the values and expectations of the community then he should not be reinstated
What do you think?
My mind is elsewhere...
Even though it's barely past the middle of January, tomorrow will be the end of the third week back at work.
It's been both slow and busy the last three months, slow because a lot of clients have still been on holidays and or not really doing much.
Busy because we have some large projects which are ongoing that have taken up a huge amount of my time and focus.
We went there a couple of years ago and I have to say that all in all it is the best resort I have ever been to, it shits all over Hayman Island which we have been to several times.
Everything is just so perfectly done and the setting and service is just superb.
I could really do with a week away in a place like this lazing around the pool, reading, swimming and eating.
Unfortunately there are no major holiday plans for us this year, we are tightening our belts to pay more of the mortgage off as quickly as we can and certainly reigning in our spending habits of massive holidays past.
The last time we stayed in Hawaii it was a work related 'holiday' so someone else paid the almost $1000 USD a night not us.
Maybe a board meeting of my company needs to happen in Hawaii...
Some eye candy for a Tuesday
It's a Tuesday and I am already up and at em working reading emails from overnight and planning the day.
Some very cute eye candy from GWIP to start the day!
My First Soft Coral
Over the weekend I purchased my first soft coral for my aquarium, a cute little number in the picture.
I wanted something that looks kind of like an anemone, but without the ability the wander around the tank.
It's a curious little bugger, it seems to be 'exploring' it's surroundings quite vigorously indeed!
I wanted to get get a pair of black clownfish but the store didn't have any pairs and I was not keen on getting two that may not pair well.
So that's on the cards for next weekend instead.
Yummy Black Ink
As always from GWIP
The Constitutional Challenge
I think by now most people are aware of the high stakes case that arguing Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution's Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses and that it discriminates and makes same-sex couples second-class citizens.
Many are looking to this case as being on the same level of importance as Roe Vs Wade or the overturning of segregation laws in the US.
I find it fascinating that the lawyers representing the case (for the constitutional change) are the lawyers who argued on opposite sides in the case that bought George Bush to power in the disputed 2000 elections.
It's expected that the case will end up in the US Supreme Court and if found in their favor will make it unconstitutional for any state to legally ban the recognition of same sex marriage.
The first and most interesting legal battle is the right to broadcast the proceedings over the Internet through Youtube.
It was originally allowed but then, the opponents of the case have appealed and we must wait until Wednesday to find out whether broadcasting the trial is legal or not.
The opponents argument for NOT broadcasting the trial is that witnesses in the case would be unfairly targeted and harassed for their 'beliefs'.
I say tough shit!
If you want to stand up and attack someone's rights in a court of law you give up your right to privacy.
The real argument is that the opponents of this case want to keep the case as quiet as possible so as to stifle debate. Sure they also might be worried that witnesses who are anti-gay may be harassed, but so be it.
After Proposition 8 was passed people who donated money and publicly supported the bill were harassed by gay groups. I laughed at this article
which detailed the harassment of proponents of Proposition 8 - which 'included at least 1 death threat'.
What about all the people who have been murdered for being gay? Or beaten up to within an inch of their lives? Or those people that get fired when their boss finds out they are gay?
Matthew Shepherd anyone?
Give me a break!
I wear my sexuality as plain as the day I am born, so don't give me bullshit about not broadcasting the trial because some witnesses may get harassed.
If you don't want to get harassed then give people their EQUAL RIGHTS and stop encouraging discrimination and hatred.
The case itself is complex and a very dangerous play for gay rights, if it fails and the US Supreme Court upholds that Proposition 8 is constitutional it will destroy any chance of same sex marriage for the foreseeable future.
Not just will it send gay rights backwards, BUT it could also legitimize discrimination against same sex people on a Federal level.
The case hinges on:
Proving that Proposition 8 violates the U.S. Constitution's equal protection clause by targeting gays and lesbians without any government justification for excluding them from California's marriage rights.
The opponents of the case are going to have to back up their claim that the state should reserve marriage to heterosexual couples mainly because of what they say is the procreative purpose behind marriage. - source
Mind you the opponents are playing a dangerous game as well, the main argument being used is that marriage is about producing children, which could backfire on them as well.
There is no real chance that the court will find that marriages in which couples are not able to procreate, (through age, disability etc) are illegal but it's an interesting thought.
I have been reading a lot of online articles on the case both from a pro and against perspective. The main thrust of the opponents seems to be all about religious freedoms, IE they will be forced to alter or change their religious beliefs.
Kind of a stupid argument in so far that up until the 1960s and 70s discrimination against women and the black community was a deeply held religious belief. Even apartheid invoked the religious beliefs of its proponents.
It is widely expected that this trial will go in favor of the plaintiffs, and even the defendants pretty much believe this too and are saving their ammunition for the US Supreme Court.
This is going to be a long and very drawn out process and I am pretty sure we are going to see HUGE protests and huge amounts of hand wringing and cries of 'what about the children'.
Some interesting articles are:
No Pants Subway day in New York
Pity there were not more cuter boys, but those legs are sexy!
Weekend of excesses
I am feeling particularly average today with a monster hang over from two nights of parties.
As the boy said this morning maybe I should have drunk more water with the wine yesterday afternoon / evening.
If only I had actually done that I would probably not feel as though I am struggling through the day.
You know at the time it didn't feel like I was drinking a lot, but I guess hot day + not a lot of food + no water = get drunk quickly and hangover in the morning.
The Start of my Aquarium
I finally started my new marine aquarium after talking to every person I knew with experience and reading volumes of ideas.
You can see from the picture that I seriously misjudged how much water I needed to fill the tank and I need to get another 10 liters at least!
But I have tried to accelerate the whole process by using salt water from both a friend's salt water aquarium and salt water from the store that are both laden with live bacteria already.
When I placed everything in their with the live rock and the water settled into the filter area I realised that I needed a whole lot more water.
But the store was closed and my friends couldn't get me any water that night, but I was lucky enough that one of my friends lent me an air aerator to create some water flow until I can get to the store this afternoon for more water.
I love the live rock that I purchased, one piece in the bottom left hand corner is really cool, with lots and lots of natural colour and algae!
Once I have the rest of the water I will move around the rock until I am satisfied with the 'look' and position of the tank I need to wait about 2 - 4 weeks before I can have the water tested and start thinking about fish and some soft coral.
I have had a huge amount of suggestions from experienced friends have settled on a soft coral that looks a bit like an anemone, a pair of clown fish and maybe a salt water shrimp of some sort as the maximum that the tank could handle.
But that's a few weeks off before I can even contemplate that step.
So for now it's started and I need to be patient and wait until the tank is ready for fish and corals.
The beagle has been paying some attention to the tank, but I think it's more because of the sound of the aerator and she hasn't tried to actually interfere with it just look at it so far.
More Twins Goodness
After my post the other on Twins doing porn together I found this cool site:
Full of hot twins in glorious pictures.
The two above are Max and Thom Evans two famous Scottish Footballers (who in the blog above show more than just their prowess with footballs).
I happened to see a bit of the two Bel Ami twins doing actual full penetration sex with each other and I have to say, although it was hot, knowing they were twins is a tad off putting.
Sure the whole gay fantasy of sleeping with twins is a pretty popular one in many gay guys minds, but does the fantasy extend to them actually touching and having sex with each other?
Personally I think it is one taboo too far.
But anything more is crossing a line I think
Um er ouch!
I have a few suggestions for him:
1) get some excercise
2) call a porn company
3) get a life!
Ireland has enacted anti blasphemy laws as of 1st January which make it an offense to blaspheme.
I find this an extremely dangerous law.
Whilst religious discrimination should always be outlawed, blaspheming is a religious issue and NOT a legal issue.
Authors such as Dawkins and his book the God Delusion are considered blasphemous.
Whilst Ireland's Gay and Lesbian Rights equalit
y has certainly moved forward over the last few years, legally outlawing the right of someone to question religious beliefs is a seriously warped law, especially in a so called secular country.
Under the letter of the law a person saying that God does not exist is blaspheming.
Whether you do or do not believe in God is a personal choice and this law is a dangerous law indeed.
Back to work
It's back t work today and back to the grindstone of moving forward with work.
I have behaved myself well over the break and in the main did not respond to work emails, requests etc. Sure there was a bit of work but I limited what I did to only urgent or emergency requests for clients.
I did however do many of the things I planned to do over the break:
Read several books on my Kindle (yes I love the device)
Went to a few parties
Spent lots of times with friends etc
Talking of friends we had a friend stay with us from the States who left yesterday, it was so great seeing him and sad when he left. Even the beagle was upset after he left and spent the afternoon and evening moping around :)
So it's a new year, new challenges and new excitement at work.
Seriously though I would have liked another week off...
It's traditional at this time of year for most people to set New Year's Resolutions, but as I have written in past years I don't subscribe to the whole concept of setting goals only at the start of the year.
I firmly believe that you should be setting goals and objectives all of the time.
The new year isn't some magical crossover that gives us a magic wand to change things, I suppose that's why so many people then break their new years resolutions within weeks / days etc.
Instead at this time of year I reflect on what I have achieved over the last year and what I have missed or how my goals and objectives have changed over time.
I break my goals into three areas, my big long terms ambitions and goals, my business and work goals and my personal day to day goals.
My big key long term goal is to be totally financially secure and have a comfortable life.
But there are other small incremental goals and things I want to do / achieve.
I think my big thing is to find balance in my life, I tend to let work encompass me and forget how to relax. A big part of getting a Kindle for Christmas was so I could encourage myself to read much more, as I find it both relaxing and stimulating.
But I have in the past tended only to read when on holidays.
Having not been to the gym in months and months I have been feeling the need to start doing regular exercise again. Even when I was busy as all hell early in the year I still found time to go to the gym , but then as the year wore on I found myself working more and not making the time to go and exercise.
I would think to myself that unless I was going to go religiously to the gym then it wasn't worth going at all.
I think in retrospect this was a very bad concept.
So I am changing my thinking about this and realising that i just need to go and make some time, even if it means that I am sometimes just getting there once or twice a week and doing some very basic cardio.
I did start smoking again this year after a three year break and every day I wish that I hadn't started again but have not had the 'guts' to stop even though I kick myself every day or multiple times a day 'wanting' to stop.
From my past experience when I stopped I know that I have to accept that for about a week I will be in semi club cuckoo land, and be unable to concentrate on much, but then it just gets better and much easier.
You might think that this sounds just like a new years resolution, but it's not, January is a good month to change some things, because I can have the bit of luxury of not having to be totally on the top of my game for the first few weeks because most of our clients are still on holidays.
So I have the perfect opportunity to allow myself some leeway.
I am pretty obsessive about things and the smoking has become obsessive rather than a habit, and this like many things in my life is part of the balance i need to find.
I must admit that as I think about stopping I do get apprehensive and a very little bit panicked, but I know that's just a normal physical reaction and not something that should consume me.
I just need to channel that energy, and at the end of the day that mild feeling of anxiety / panic is nothing more than energy that can be tapped, for other things.
There are lots of goals that I set last year during the year that I have achieved some minor some major.
I had promised myself and so many people that I would finish my little novella before the end of the year and I did, and for that I have been rewarded with countless emails from people reading the story. Every email and comment is my little reward ad motivation to achieve more and keep to my goals.
There have been some goals that have been totally missed, some due to circumstance, some due to a change in what I have wanted, and yet some because I totally forgot about them.
The coming year is going to be tough in some respects, my mother's dementia is advancing more rapidly than we would have expected. And this is going to be particularly challenging for all the family.
But this must not become an excuse to not achieve my goals, nor should it be an excuse to put things off that I should be doing, like I have done with the gym last year.
Mind you goals and objectives have to be both achievable and realistic, and the small goals have to be part of the foundations to achieve the big ambitions and goals too.
One big thing I started last year and am continuing into this year is be a little but more fearless and take bigger (although) calculated risks.
I am not the biggest risk taker and in almost every way I am very conservative, but if you are too conservative in things especially business you tend not to make huge strides forward.
In my business gals from last year I took some good calculated risks, this year coming there are going to be some even bigger calculated risks, I am really looking forward to this.
These are all building on last years things, some worked out really well whilst others never really worked.
But that's the result of a risk really isn't it.
I have a sort of month by month calender of stuff I want to achieve that I update and read regularly. It's not printed on paper it's a text file on my computer and I review, analyse, revise and update it every few weeks.
These are my goals moving forward to help me get to where I want to go.
I find this so much better than setting unrealistic goals at new years and then not being able to achieve them.