October 31, 2012

Happy Samhain and Happy Haloween

Today is a day of many things: Holloween, Samhain and the first day of the Pagan new year!

By the way... Samhain is pronounced as "sowin".

It's the day between the Equinox and the Solstice. The end of the Harvest Season. It's also the time when many think the link between us and the "otherworld" is thinnest. At least a time to think of our lost loved ones.

I think it's interesting to also think of the ancient Celtic and Irish spiritual leaders. Their traditions and beliefs were spoken and passed down from one generation to another. A lot of what we know now was from a few Christian monks who wrote the traditions down... but probably "christianized" them too.

My friend Robert is a storyteller. I think it's a lost art in this techie age we live in.... I think that bloggers could be considered storytellers.

So, which ever holiday you celebrate... I hope it's a great day for you!

October 29, 2012

Picture in the paper

I found this in the local gay paper:





















And D Magazine:




















And several hundred other people's facebook...

October 28, 2012

A Gaggle of Gays Weekend

It was also a Kilt weekend!

Friday night I got home from work and immediately got into my black kilt and army books and headed up to a friend's home. They rented a bus to drive 50 or more guys to an area called "Screams" a haunted house theme park about 30 miles south of Dallas. We got the bus so that no one would have to drink and drive, because we met for cocktails and also drank in the park. 

We had a blast! It was cold and even though I added a sweatshirt I had a breeze where I usually don't feel a breeze!!

Saturday night was the big costume street party in Oaklawn (the Dallas gayborhood). I went with my buddy Robert (the one that Cubby has a crush on). I was in full ren kilt garb and he wore his leather Normandy armor. We were stopped several hundred times with people wanting to take our picture! 

This party is about 5 blocks where they block traffic. There is a walkway down the middle for a costume parade. I felt like I was on the red carpet at the Oscars! OMG! It was crazy... so many people cheering and wanting us to stop for pictures! 

It was HUGE! (that what he said...!) LOL... the crowds, that is... 

Some of the best costumes we saw were: A group of guys who were the "Don't CareBears", ObamaCareBear and RomneyCareBear, a blind referee, many Jesi (that's Jesus plural) and many Elvi (Elvis plural). Every time we saw a guy pass us dressed as Jesus we would holler out: "Oh sweet Jesus!"

We ended the evening when people started falling down in the street and when the RomneyCareBear was getting a little to 'handsy'... I assured him I was male and there was no need to lift up my kilt to prove it.

Here is the only picture we got of us:


Hope y'all had a great weekend!

October 25, 2012

Lists and more lists

I think life is easier when one knows the rules and has standards to live by. An easy way to remember your own code of rules or ethics to live by. Most world religions have them:

Christians have their 10 Commandments
Muslims have their 5 Pillars of Islam
Jewish people have their 13 Principles
Mormons also have 13 Articles of Faith
Pagans* have their 9 Noble Virtues
Hindus have 15: 5 Principles and 10 Disciplines
There are 4 Noble Truths of Buddhism
There are even 15 Principles of Atheism.

Here is an interesting site listing all world religions.

So... why is it so hard for some Americans to think that they're are more right or better or their religion is better? I just don't get it! They don't even want to take the time to research anything other than what was taught in their own home. They love to state that this is a "Christian Nation".

And what about the 5 Vulcan Principles?

I would identify with the 9 Noble Virtues.. being a proud Pagan.

What would be on your list? What are your principles that you live by? How do you remember and live by them?





*Pagan would include Wiccans, Druidisn, Asatru and other Nordic/Celtic Neo-Pagan beliefs

October 22, 2012

Brazilian pirates

The ren fair near Houston has different villages. In the German area you get bratwurst and the buildings all look Bavarian.

In the Spanish area you get empanadas in Iberian looking buildings.... You get the picture.

So the fair owners have a new building and restaurant called The Taste of Brazil.

With Brazilian dancers...

Now that... is some pirate booty!!

October 21, 2012

Is it Karma??

Remember my post about the small Texas town of Kountze? The cheerleaders who want their Freedom of Speech to bible bash at a football game. OK... we all know this is going to be dragged through the courts for years.

 Here is an update:

Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott issued the following statement after the State of Texas intervened in the Kountze cheerleaders' lawsuit to defend the Texas Religious Viewpoints Anti-Discrimination Act:

"After receiving a menacing letter from an organization with a reputation for bullying school districts, the Kountze ISD improperly prohibited high school cheerleaders from including religious messages on their game day banners. Those banners, which the cheerleaders independently produce on their own time with privately funded supplies, are perfectly constitutional. The State of Texas intervened in this case to defend the cheerleaders' right to exercise their personal religious beliefs – and to defend the constitutionality of a state law that protects religious liberties for all Texans." (News source)

I left Friday morning for another weekend of ren camping and faire with friends after adding many comments on the Fox News Facebook page. When I got home this afternoon I logged back onto the story to see if anyone else personally attacked me again... but there was an interesting story that happened at the State Fair of Texas in Dallas on Friday morning:
 
 The iconic animated figure known as "Big Tex," which has greeted visitors of the State Fair of Texas for 60 years, was destroyed by fire on Friday. (Read more)

I think it's KARMA! 

October 18, 2012

Caption this!

I was going through some old photos and found this picture. It's from the toga themed wedding of my friends back in 2009.

I thought it would make a good post.

Caption this:

October 16, 2012

3 weeks

I can hardly wait!!!

Just 3 weeks until the elections are OVER! Woo-freaking-hoo!!

And 3 weeks and 1 day until I fly to the Cayman Islands for Pirate Week!
My friend in 2011


October 15, 2012

Weekend [_________]

I had a [insert something here] weekend.
Saturday I didn't do [insert something here] as allergy stuff has still been bothering me.
I went to a friend's birthday celebration and had a [insert something here] time.
Sunday morning was hangover time, grocery shopping and chores around the house.
I had some very intense vivid dreams. I woke up [insert something here].
I'm finally feeling better. I think.
I took this picture on my way into work this morning. 
I think I need [insert something here]!

October 11, 2012

10/11/12

This morning I was getting dressed for work at 07:08:09 on 10/11/12. Y'all know I love days like this....

It's also National Coming Out Day.

I'm out!

The inner struggle to accept yourself as gay or bi is different for each person. I know that some still live in a very religious family or community and that adds a layer of difficulty to accept yourself.

But I don't think that people should feel pressure to come out if they feel this is a bad thing or if they feel shame... like it's a drinking problem. There is nothing bad about being gay!

I wrote my life story about growing up gay in a small mormon town in Utah, my experiences with the mormon church and coming out to my family. It's on a website called Gay Mormon Stories. At the end of my story I added my email address and invite people to contact me if they would like. I've gotten many emails from people all over the world and 2 emails just this week. I always respond and I've found that sometimes people just want to share their story and make that first admission to someone that they are gay.

But it also makes me feel very happy and lucky that I have moved past all of that. I am out, I am living a good life and I am content.

October 9, 2012

Bible Bash at high school football games update

Remember a few weeks ago I mentioned that small Texas town who's cheerleaders are making banners with scripture on them for the football games? Well, the judge postponed the decision. He said he needed a few more weeks to decide the legality of the cheerleaders rights of "free speech". They still get to keep their banners!

I wish that Kountz, TX was not a 5 hour drive away or I would be going to a high school football game with my own banner (or really large sign). I was thinking of this while driving to the Houston area this last weekend. What would I put on a poster?

I think I decided that I wouldn't be offensive... I would love to show my support for the one student (or students) that started this whole issue. I would want them to know that they're not alone... and that this is not right! Someone on the field, representing a high school, cannot be touting their religion! They could have signs in the stands or across the street... but not at a public school event! Those people have the right to not be bible bashed at a public school.

But... this little town is on the north east side of Houston and a 5 hour drive from my home. Plus... I would want someone with me with a video camera to tape the reaction of these "christians"... it is Texas after all!

What would you put on a poster?

October 8, 2012

Ren Fair Camping

I thought it would make a fun post to tell y'all the differences between regular camping and camping at a ren fair.

The first thing you notice when you drive into the campgrounds at a ren fair is the number of people in kilts and/or pirate hats who are setting up their campsite. Of course somewhere off in the distance you can hear bagpipe music being played loudly.

For regular camping you look for a nice quiet spot. Not so at a ren fair... you judge how close to the common bonfire/gathering area you will be. You get your camp set up, have a beverage and then head out on "walk-about". It's like going for a walk to see if you know anyone, greet your neighbors or just people watch.

In the ren campground you try to arrange your campfire in the middle of the tents and trailer area and then park your vehicles on the outside to try to prevent people from wandering through your camp. But this still doesn't work... we have many people walk (or stumble) through. We don't really mind though... we just say hello and chat for a while anyway... unless they're very drunk and just need to move on.

One must always be on the lookout for "drunk traps" when you're on walk-about at a ren fair campground. A drunk trap is the ropes or strings used on a tent to secure it to the ground or a nearby tree. When I'm with my crew on walk-about (and as we sometimes stumble through someones camp) the leader always tells those behind them when we find a drunk trap.

When you're camping at a ren fair you only need to bring food for Friday night and Sunday morning. The rest of your meals you can buy in the fair. You do need drunk food (snacks) to absorb too much alcohol sometimes.

When night falls it's time to head over to the bonfire. There are always drummers and fire spinners. There are lots of women dressed as belly dancers and shirtless guys dancing around to the beats of the djembres (African drums - see link above) round the fire. They have started putting up a tent near the bonfire where they play dance music. We call it the "rave tent". Of course we always go rave for a while...

Saturday morning everyone gets in costume and heads to the main gate. We drag ourselves back to camp by nightfall and rest a spell before we go back to the bonfire which is always more lively after a day of fair and drinking. We usually change into regular clothes... though a lot of people don't.

Sunday morning we pack up camp. Some head back into the fair for another day, others head home.

This is me at a bonfire several years ago... LOL. I always have a great time!

October 7, 2012

Happy camper

I'm home now and have had a long hot shower. Awww....

I love camping! When I was a kid I didn't... all that work, but I don't mind it now. It doesn't take too long to get the tent up and get my bed ready. Then it was time to pull out the chairs and sit and enjoy the afternoon.

I was finally starting to feel a little better. A quick visit to the doc in the morning gave me some new stronger meds and they were kicking in.

The rest of the crew show up about nightfall and we were soon enjoying ourselves with some adult beverages. They ren fair expanded the campgrounds and the crowds were huge this year! The common campground bonfire started and we headed over to see what mischief we could find. Apparently not much because I crawled into bed about 11:30 pm.

Saturday was hot. A cold front was expected to blow in but it didn't arrive until dusk. That made for some sweaty pirates! But it was great to see old friends and make some new ones.

The bonfire didn't really get going on Saturday night because of the wind, but it was fun to people watch.

I pulled out a few extra blankets and got the tent heater going and I slept really well. The temperature was 54 degree when I woke up. But getting the tent pulled down and everything packed away warmed me up and I was on the road home by 11.

How was your weekend?

October 4, 2012

10/4 good buddy!

Random post warning!

It's my Friday today. I'll be camping near Houston this weekend with friends for the opening of the ren fair.

Lot of things are running around my head today. Here are a few of them:

My friend sent this to me... it made me LOL:




The kittehs have moved from my front door to the back patio. They have learned how to climb into the cushions on my patio chairs. They've also been playing in my potted plants and several were knocked over and smooshed.  But they still make me LOL



I found a new camera app for the iPrecious. It's called Retro Camera. I like it... even though it's trying to be like Hipstamatic. Here is a pic I took the other day at lunch:



My chest congestion gunk that has been plaguing me for the last month is still hanging on! I started doing some allergy shots a few months ago and I've been wondering if those have been contributing to the length of this latest bout. Or is it just the allergens in the air that are worse this year than they have been in past years due to our mild winter? I'm don't know... I'm just tired of feeling puny.


That is all for now.

I'll catch up with y'all again on Sunday when I get home.

October 3, 2012

Drunk frog

Apparently Kermie got a little drunk and lip-synced to some Mariah Carey.

Haven't we all been there?

Happy hump-day!

October 2, 2012

Don't overlook the small stuff

There is a book about sweating the small stuff... but I think it's important not to overlook small stuff too.

I often think of how we measure "quality of life". Is it the number of things we have? Is it the number of friends we have on social media sites or in real life? Is it measured in how long we have been with a significant other? Can we say we have quality of life living alone; doing what we want, whenever we want? Is it achieving a certain status in life?

I know these are rhetorical questions and the answer will vary with each person. There is a quote, I'm not sure from whom, but it is very meaningful:

"Life is not measured by the number of breaths you take
but by the moments that take your breath away"

My TV wasn't working last night (I don't have cable, only an antenna) so I sat by my open door and watched the six little kittens playing. I had a great time and it was one of those moments where I realized that the small things in life are ones that are the most meaningful to me.

I had another of these moments last weekend as I left a store and happened to look up. The sky was this amazing color of blue... a rich royal blue. I tried to take a picture but my camera just couldn't capture it all.

For me, it's also about being able to capture a perfect moment in time with the camera. That moment when the lighting is just right, the scene is perfect and it all works to make something beautiful. 
Autumn in Vermont. Taken in 1987

What are some of the small things you enjoy?

October 1, 2012

October Tarot

Three of Pentacles
(or 'coins' as this deck calls them)
The Three of Pentacles tells of long-term rewards after much hard work and personal effort. There may be a feeling that your efforts, talents and skills are being put to good use and you are helping others as well as yourself. Your efforts are recognized, acknowledged and appreciated, which brings personal satisfaction.
~according to the Royal Road Tarot.

This is good! Things at work are going better and this should mean that things will continue.

I can hardly believe that it's October already!! Where has this year gone?