Sunday, September 30, 2007

Venison burgers, mason jars and bonfires

How could it really get any better than that?

Billy invited us to come to a locally grown pot luck on Saturday night, so we packed up some locally grown wine and headed out to the countryside. What a beautiful location, from the sunset on the way out to the stars you could see once it got fully dark. Was funny to realize upon pulling up that I'd known Billy's house longer than I'd know him. I'd been there before some while back. One of the guys who worked for us back when we were doing the siding on Labrador Ridge used to live there and was rumored to have been in town and stopping by later than night; unfortunately we never did get to see Josh before it was time to go.

His roommates seem like great guys, solid and stable but fun to hang out with. Would have loved to talk politics more with Haiz, but he had his hands full - literally, grinding up venison and chicken? (and someone jokingly said groundhog) to make burgers. We wound up hanging outside around the fire, drinking wine from mason jars (don't ever apologize for your glasswear dude, it's part of the whole experience and was terrific!)

It's amazing how often we are finding ourselves with others of like mind, even when they aren't of like age. Mostly sharing interests that we've discovered we have in common, occasionally sitting back and observing how the future still has the potential to be more than the past - and the hope for tomorrow that continues to build from that.

Seriously, we had a great time, thanks for including us.

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Government shuts down NetBank

Mortgage defaults cited as FDIC named receiver, ING takes over deposits

WASHINGTON - NetBank Inc., an online bank with $2.5 billion in assets, was shut down by the government on Friday because of an excessive level of mortgage defaults.

It was the largest savings and loan failure since the tail end of the industry's crisis more than 14 years ago. Federal regulators appointed the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. as a receiver for Alpharetta, Ga.-based NetBank.


The FDIC said NetBank had $2.5 billion in total assets and $2.3 billion in deposits as of June 30.

The FDIC insures bank deposits of up to $100,000.

NetBank had $109 million in deposit accounts that exceeded the FDIC limit. Those customers will become creditors in NetBank's receivership, the FDIC said.

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Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Last night, my partner and I were sitting in the living room and I said to him, "I never want to live in a vegetative state, dependent on some machine and fluids from a bottle. If that ever happens, just pull the plug."

He got up, unplugged my computer, and threw out my wine.

He's such a bitch.....

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This (mis)Administration in one simple paragraph

The Bush-Cheney administration has surrendered much of Afghanistan to the Taliban and much of Pakistan to al-Qaida. They have turned most of Iraq over to Iran, creating the very danger over which they now threaten another disastrous war; they have strained the U.S. Armed Forces to the point of exhaustion, turned the Defense Department over to private contractors, the Justice Department over to the Republican National Committee, and the national debt over to foreign creditors, while leading a party whose single most basic belief is supposed to be that individuals must take personal responsibility for their actions. And they dare to lecture us on national security?

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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Making soap, tile as art and shifting my paradigms

Well Sunday turned out to be a day of knocking Scott as far out of my box as possible.

It started out by playing with a soap making kit at the Inn as we waited for guests to check out. It was different for me partly by doing something that would normally be handled by writing a check, but more so the conversation as we did it, questioning thoughts and things known in certain ways to looking at them from different perspectives. That is certainly one of the things that draw people to Evan - there's this unspoken challenge in him, innocent and humble even, from him just standing there listening that makes you pause and re-evaluate what you're thought process is and what outside influences have gone into it already. There's something about his desire to stand outside the mainstream that just provokes you to question why you aren't as well.

Heading back to the Chalets, I was still mulling over that conversation with all it's various twists and topics and walked into something I had no time to prepare for. Kelly is putting together her tile mosaic on one of the new jacuzzi tubs and I was instantly hit with the visual of what she described in words to me weeks beforehand. The words she had spoken to try to paint this image for me came rushing back and I instantly 'got it'. I know my reaction was almost physical, it stands out as one of those rare times that I've seen something and appreciated it's beauty before trying to evaluate it's usefulness.

I quickly changed into work clothes and asked what I could do to help. She looked around and then lit up - her face showing a very self satisfied smile as she explained how she wanted me to install the back border and how there was a randomness to it that had to be continued. We joked about it, but truthfully it was going to be a challenge for me to do something in defiance to my natural tendency to have everything symmetrical and balanced. I had a physical tensing up reaction to not having nice square edges to butt together in neat little rows. And as I adjusted to that, I realized I was having a blast.

How could I have forgotten how much fun I had in kindergarten doing fingerpaints? Where had that joy gone? I was on a high, I wanted to go splash in puddles, I wanted to create. Somewhere the concept of getting glass made to fit into the outside light fixtures became "why don't we make the glass ourselves out of the wine bottles that we empty?" Somehow the technical aspects have morphed into "why don't we get Billy to rig up some way to power them from the river?" and "why don't we build our own kiln and make the lights right here?"

And just like that, it's in the works. I've taken pride in other projects that I've done before, but I can see now that they really aren't in the same league. Before I was simply figuring out how to go to Point B if I started at Point A. Not to downplay that, it's a skill in it's own right. But now I can see that what I've done up to this point is the same type of difference in baking a cake from a box to making a cobbler from scratch from blackberries you grew yourself. Both are baking, but miles could fit in between them.

It seems as though there should be an ending to this tale, but it really is more of a beginning, isn't it?

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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Gay youth still killing themselves

It's so weird, Evan and I were talking this morning during breakfast about how much easier it was for people to come out when he was in school than when I was. The fact is that 2 of the guys that I was friends with (who were in my wedding even) were gay and closeted - not to mention the groom.

And yet, here we are still with young people killing themselves - because somehow they aren't good enough to live as they are. How pathetic, how sad. That anyone now a days has to think that they aren't good enough to live.

In the gay community, youth suicide continues to be a persistent problem, experts say.

Among gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youths, as many as 40 percent are likely to attempt suicide, said Cassie Blume, youth programs coordinator for the Billy DeFrank LGBT Community Center in San Jose. The national data is derived from several studies, Blume said.

"They are three times more likely to attempt suicide" than straight young people, Blume said. "Our work can be just about keeping them alive."

University of Minnesota pediatrics professor Gary Remafedi's book, "Death by Denial," found that 30 percent of gay youths said they had attempted suicide at least once as a teenager.

A U.S. Department of Health and Human Services report from 1989 concluded that gay youths are two to three times more likely to commit suicide than straight teens. Gay and lesbian teens accounted for about 30 percent of youth suicides, the department found.

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Neo-Nazi group publishes addresses and phone numbers of Jena 6 families

I read that headline and article and had my own violent reaction to it. I'm not reposting it here because it really is offensive, but if you want to read it click through on the bottom links.

But I'm amazed and disgusted that anyone in 2007 could still feel this level of hate for another human being. Calling for other racists to take up guns, surround the protesters and throw Maltov cocktails at them? Publishing the families' phone numbers and addresses on the internet while calling for lynchings and telling people to "get in touch, let them know justice is coming"

Shamefully, my first reaction was to hope they throw the asshole in jail with as many large African Americans at they can fit into one cell, knowing what would happen to him. And then I bought myself up short realizing that here I sit, wishing violence to happen to someone I don't like because they are different from me in some way.

Are we really that much different? Or simply choose different targets? I'd like to think that the difference is that mine is directed to people who choose to be a certain way, rather then his hatred being directed to people who are born a certain way. But that's still pretty weak, a justification for something that shouldn't be in the first place. Sadly, I also realized that I probably won't see all of this hatred for those who are different gone from this world in my lifetime. I can only work on me and hopefully influence some of those around me.

NEW ORLEANS - The FBI is reviewing a white supremacist Web site that purports to list the
addresses of five of the six black teenagers accused of beating a white student in Jena and "essentially called for their lynching," an agency spokeswoman said Saturday.

Sheila Thorne, an agent in the FBI's New Orleans office, said authorities were reviewing whether the site breaks any federal laws. She said the FBI had "gathered intelligence on the matter," but declined to further explain how the agency got involved.

CNN first reported Friday about the Web site, which features a swastika, frequent use of racial slurs, a mailing address in Roanoke, Va., and phone numbers purportedly for some of the teens' families "in case anyone wants to deliver justice." That page is dated Thursday.

Plenty more at

Saturday, September 22, 2007

I've noticed a lull in Republican sex scandals

there hasn't been one for the past 3 weeks now? The repressed hypocrites may be near to hitting a record. My money is still on McHenry.

Mike and I finally had a long overdue sit-down today. For three hours I delineated all the current well-sourced and not-so-well sourced dirt on our youngest Congressman, Pat McHenry of North Carolina's 1oth Congressional district.

(And we didn't even get to his advocacy for ousted College Republican Glenn Murphy, giver of unwanted blowjobs . . . how could we have overlooked that one, Mike?)

Mike tried to chart all of it. He really did. What happened to that chart, Mike? I seem to have misplaced it. It's not on my "action plan." Well, I guess mere words will have to do.

To start with, we've got several financial disclosure reporting irregularities (details to come on that), and nearly $200,000 of improperly reported 527 (Citizens Club for Growth PAC) funding in 2004. Also, Pat takes money from the gay Republican message master Arthur Finkelstein, who is married to a man in Massachusetts, as he foments ill will towards gays in his district and promotes the "sanctity of marriage."

Here's the webpage, click here or on the image below for a larger version:

Then there's a wide assortment of unsavory colleagues, high-level staff with drinking and assorting driving problems (below). Three different documented voter fraud cases starting with his former roomie and staffer. Then there's the repeated co-habitation with men well past his college years.

For this post, I don't want to make only promises, I start with Pat's current campaign spokesman Jason Jent Deans, left. He was Pat's chief of staff from May, 2005 to January 2007. Before that he worked as District Director and on the campaign staff. This is what we've uncovered of the vehicular charges he's faced in North Carolina since 1995 . . . Including death by vehicle.

{plenty more at the link}

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Friday, September 21, 2007

Dollar dropping to historic lows, thanks to the Fed bailout

Thanks to the Federal Reserve bailing out the poorly managed banks, the value of the dollar is dropping to record lows and inflation will be rising. So Americans can now watch the value of their houses dropping by 10's of thousands of dollars a week on top of having to pay more and more for things like milk and gasoline.

What many of them aren't seeing at the moment is the upcoming surge in property taxes to make up for the lower values. Sure the politicians will claim that it won't cost any more, but have you ever seen them monkey with tax rates and it not cost more? We've got Consumer math for day to day living, Advanced math for those working in the technical and scientific fields and Political math which is used to explain how the increase in taxes or spending is somehow not really an increase, usually it's described as "a reduction" from the amount they were originally going to raise them. See that doesn't hurt as much that way....

And today is "triple witching day" - Wall St will probably be on pins and needles up until that final trading hour, with the least little bump setting off ripples of hysteria - it will be an interesting day to watch. And it's also the last day for the billionaire who put all the money into betting the Dow was going to drop at lease 30%. One helluva hedge it would seem, but the amount that's being spent to set off some risk somewhere else is just mind boggling. What could you possibly be protecting on the left hand that's worth enough to spend billions with your right hand?

Canadians Find Better Bargains in US - New York Times
TORONTO (AP) -- Canadians are expressing pride in their economy but might be more inclined to go on shopping sprees in the U.S. after the Canadian dollar reached parity with the U.S. dollar for the first time since 1976.

The U.S. currency also plummeted to a new low Thursday against the 13-nation euro, which traded above $1.40 for the first time since it was introduced in 1999.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

A better father than Dick Cheney....

In reversal, (San Diego mayor) Sanders (R) supports gay-marriage resolution

Mayor Jerry Sanders reversed his position on gay marriage Wednesday, supporting it in emotional remarks punctuated by pauses, shaking sips of water and his wife's hand resting one time reassuringly on his back. Sanders' wife, Rana Sampson, stood next to him as he acknowledged publicly for the first time that his daughter, Lisa, is a lesbian.

I've decided to lead with my heart, which is probably obvious right now, to do what I think is right and to take a stand on behalf of equality and social justice,” Sanders said.

A day after staff members said Sanders would veto it, the mayor announced that he would sign a City Council resolution passed Tuesday that directed the City Attorney's Office to file a brief in support of gay marriage.

As I reflected on the choices that I had before me last night I could just not bring myself to tell an entire group of people in our community they were less important, less worthy or less deserving of the rights and responsibilities of marriage than anyone else simply because of their sexual orientation,” Sanders said.


I have personally wrestled with that opinion ever since,” he said Wednesday his voice wavering. “My opinions on this issue have evolved significantly as I think the opinions of millions of Americans from all walks of life have.”

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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Fears of dollar collapse as Saudis take fright

Saudi Arabia has refused to cut interest rates in lockstep with the US Federal Reserve for the first time, signalling that the oil-rich Gulf kingdom is preparing to break the dollar currency peg in a move that risks setting off a stampede out of the dollar across the Middle East.

Ben Bernanke has placed the dollar in a dangerous situation, say analysts

"This is a very dangerous situation for the dollar," said Hans Redeker, currency chief at BNP Paribas.

"Saudi Arabia has $800bn (£400bn) in their future generation fund, and the entire region has $3,500bn under management. They face an inflationary threat and do not want to import an interest rate policy set for the recessionary conditions in the United States," he said.

The Saudi central bank said today that it would take "appropriate measures" to halt huge capital inflows into the country, but analysts say this policy is unsustainable and will inevitably lead to the collapse of the dollar peg.

As a close ally of the US, Riyadh has so far tried to stick to the peg, but the link is now destabilising its own economy.

The Fed's dramatic half point cut to 4.75pc yesterday has already caused a plunge in the world dollar index to a fifteen year low, touching with weakest level ever against the mighty euro at just under $1.40.

There is now a growing danger that global investors will start to shun the US bond markets.

The latest US government data on foreign holdings released this week show a collapse in purchases of US bonds from $97bn to just $19bn in July, with outright net sales of US Treasuries.

{more at link}

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My first official hate mail

Rev. Don Spitz said...

You stupid sodomite sex pervert. All that is saying is that sex perverts like yourself will burn forever in hell fire because you refuse to repent of your sins and obey God. You sodomites sex perverts love to play the victim don't you.

September 19, 2007 12:20 AM

That was the comment from this posting earlier about Right Wing Terrorists

You have to love it, less than 24 hours and already getting a response like that. For those who don't know, the Rev Spitz is one of those publically affiliated with AOG, a hate group who, among other things advocates killing abortion doctors as a form of "self defense". Now, as a gay guy, I don't really have a dog in the fight over abortion, but it does seem to make more sense to let the woman decide what to do with her body than the middle aged white guys in DC. They seem to have enough problems making good decisions about their own bodies (have you seen the median waistline in Congress?)

But to be called stupid by a guy who can't even comprehend the words he'd already used in support of his religion that he contradicts with his own words/actions while exclaiming superior knowledge and an insistence that his dogma is correct is actually rather amusing. If only he realized that I've eaten shrimp more recently than I've engaged in "sodomite sex", he would have known to judge me for the proper transgression.

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Hope for a generation too often called apathetic

Central Kings students wear pink to send bullies a message

Two students at Central Kings Rural High School fought back against bullying recently, unleashing a sea of pink after a new student was harassed and threatened when he showed up wearing a pink shirt.

The Grade 9 student arrived for the first day of school last Wednesday and was set upon by a group of six to 10 older students who mocked him, called him a homosexual for wearing pink and threatened to beat him up.

The next day, Grade 12 students David Shepherd and Travis Price decided something had to be done about bullying.

"It’s my last year. I’ve stood around too long and I wanted to do something," said David.

They used the Internet to encourage people to wear pink and bought 75 pink tank tops for male students to wear. They handed out the shirts in the lobby before class last Friday — even the bullied student had one.

"I made sure there was a shirt for him," David said.

They also brought a pink basketball to school as well as pink material for headbands and arm bands.

David and Travis figure about half the school’s 830 students wore pink.

It was hard to miss the mass of students in pink milling about in the lobby, especially for the group that had harassed the new Grade 9 student.

"The bullies got angry," said Travis. "One guy was throwing chairs (in the cafeteria). We’re glad we got the response we wanted."

David said one of the bullies angrily asked him whether he knew pink on a male was a symbol of homosexuality.

He told the bully that didn’t matter to him and shouldn’t to anyone.

"Something like the colour of your shirt or pants, that’s ridiculous," he said.

"Our intention was to stand up for this kid so he doesn’t get picked on."

Travis said the bullies "keep giving us dirty looks, but we know we have the support of the whole student body.

"Kids don’t need this in their lives, worrying about what to wear to school. That should be the last thing on their minds."

When the bullied student put on his pink shirt Friday and saw all the other pink in the lobby, "he was all smiles. It was like a big weight had been lifted off is shoulder," David said.

No one at the school would reveal the student’s name.

Travis said that growing up, he was often picked on for wearing store-brand clothes instead of designer duds.

The two friends said they didn’t take the action looking for publicity, but rather to show leadership in combating what they say is frequent bullying in schools.
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Tuesday, September 18, 2007



Working ENDA: Labor Speaks Out to Silence Discrimination

The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) is moving toward a vote in Congress! It is absolutely crucial for LGBT people to let key swing legislators know that we want the federal government to protect working people against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The bill, which was first introduced in 1994 but has never gone to a vote of the full House of Representatives, was well received at a hearing held by the House Education and Labor Committee Sept. 5. It is expected to move to the floor for a vote by the end of the month.

Although ENDA has picked up support in recent years, we still need to persuade a few dozen swing legislators to do the right thing and vote for equality. Please add your voice at this vital moment! Go to to learn more. (If you’ve already taken action on ENDA, please pass this e-mail along to one other person – every voice counts!)

While current federal law protects working people from firing or penalization based on race, religion, national origin, gender and/or physical ability, there is no federal law to protect lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender workers from being victimized in the workplace.

This means that in 31 states, it is legal to fire someone for being lesbian, gay, or bisexual; in 39 states, it is legal to fire someone because they are transgender.

Help Pride At Work change the national landscape with the passage of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act. Tell Congress to enact this important piece of legislation, which would help put an end to discrimination against LGBT workers, which is still all to common in many American workplaces. An injury to one is an injury to all!

Tell me more by clicking the link at the top.

Send this message to:

* President George W. Bush
* Your Congressperson
* Your Senators
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Right Wing terrorist organization writing threatening letters to GLBT leaders


At least 2 leaders of the GLBT community received these letters on September the 11th.

For those who don't know, the Army of God is a domestic terrorist organization that has participated in bombings of women's health clinics, murder, armed robbery, and sending fake anthrax through the mail.
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The latest daily Republican Scandal (sex with a 5 yo)

The latest Republican sex freak - no wonder they think all the rest of need laws to govern out of control sexual behavior. They are a bunch of closeted freaks who need authoritarian type controls to make them behave, and they assume the rest of us do as well.

Federal Prosecutor Arrested In Child Sex Sting

-- A U.S. Justice Department official has been arrested on suspicion of traveling to Detroit over the weekend to have sex with a minor.

John David R. Atchison, 53, an assistant U.S. attorney from the northern district of Florida, was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Detroit Monday afternoon.

An undercover officer posed as a mother offering her child to Atchison for sex, according to police. Prosecutors said Atchison flew from Pensacola, Fla., to Detroit on Sunday intending to have sex with the 5-year-old girl. He was arrested at Detroit Metropolitan Airport.

He is charged with enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity.

According to authorities, Atchison made contact with a detective working undercover for the Macomb County Sheriff's department's. The detective, acting as the child's mother, allegedly arranged a sexual encounter between Atchison and her 5-year-old daughter, police said.

In deposition, detectives said Atchison suggested the mother tell her daughter that "you found her a sweet boyfriend who will bring her presents."

Federal Prosecutor Arrested In Child Sex Sting - Print This Story News Story - WDIV Detroit

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Monday, September 17, 2007

And they said sustainable development was a radical, hippie notion

Why is it that the most "common sense" ideas are so hard for the so called experts to grasp? Take NAFTA (please) - shipping good paying jobs overseas to do the work cheaper will enable Americans to buy cheaper goods. Well, besides the fact that I don't see that things actually cost less today in spite of knowing that it's costing the companies much less to manufacture - no one ever really answered the question of how Americans would pay for these cheaper goods after their jobs were outsourced.

Americas Economic Dominance Fades As the US Dollar Continues to Slump
American Consumers are Losing their Crown - With the U.S. Dollar Index breaking decisively below its long-term support level, the sun is finally setting on the golden age of American consumption. As America 's economic dominance fades, so too will the faith in the central thesis that has explained its apparent success and has shaped the majority of recent economic theory.

At issue is the belief that a nation can grow and prosper by borrowing from abroad in order to consume imported goods. To consume at the pace that it has, America exchanges income producing assets, such as companies or property, or interest bearing IOUs, such as Treasury notes or mortgage-backed bonds, for foreign made clothes, toys and electronics. Economists call these transactions “growth”. But rather than discovering a new path to prosperity, America has simply stumbled on a short cut to financial ruin.
How can there be any more simple argument for sustainable development? If you take all the profit out of an area to a global headquarters somewhere else, then it's simply going to drain the area of it's wealth, leaving behind a parasitic community that requires the corporate host to feed from.

They just never bothered to mention that "trickle down" economics was the equivalent of getting pissed on...

Thursday, September 13, 2007

A Huge Win for the Environment

Now if only the Big 3 would spend more time working on the problem instead of trying to keep from complying with the rules, we might get somewhere. Personally, I have no doubt that they could comply today, but that they have a plan to phase these various new technologies slowly, so they can keep prodding everyone to buy a new car every few years. That's why they hate the idea of the government telling them to do it within a certain time frame.

I know, it's really not enough, fast enough. But it certainly is progress compared to the fighting and denials.

Judge Rejects Carmakers' Emission Suit
By DAVE GRAM, Associated Press Writer

Vermont and several other states scored a victory on Wednesday in their battle to get automakers to comply with rules aimed at reducing global warming.

A federal judge ruled that states can regulate greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, rejecting automakers' claims that federal law pre-empts state rules and that technology can't be developed to meet them.

"There is no question that the GHG (greenhouse gas) regulations present great challenges to automakers," Judge William Sessions III, sitting in the U.S. District Court in Burlington, wrote at the conclusion of his 240-page decision. He added, "History suggests that the ingenuity of the industry, once put in gear, responds admirably to most technological challenges. In light of the public statements of industry representatives, (the) history of compliance with previous technological challenges, and the state of the record, the court remains unconvinced automakers cannot meet the challenges of Vermont and California's GHG regulations."

During a 16-day trial that concluded in May, auto industry executives testified that the regulations — adopted by California and 11 other states and pending in three others — would not stop global warming but would impose devastating new costs on the industry.

Slated to start phasing in as of 2009, the limits would require a 30 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from cars and trucks by 2016, a standard the car makers have maintained would require average fuel economy standards for cars and the lightest category of trucks of 43.7 miles per gallon.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

So it appears that we're moving

Not right away, but we've started talking about the next chapter. What new challenges do we want to tackle? I know us, when we start having this conversation, it's going to mean some changes.

Over the past few years, we've talked about Portland, Seattle and Denver. I'm not thrilled too much about Denver or Colorado in general. For one, I've lived there already, it was ok, but nothing that draws me back. Second, James Dobson and crew all headquarter out there. Frankly, I'm tired of providing an income to a state that doesn't want me or that merely 'tolerates' me. Fuck that. I want to go where I'm valued for more than the tax revenue I can generate (way more than these hateful tax exempt churches, for sure).

Here's what I want in the next location. Small town feel, big city services. I want a condo in the heart of downtown and a farm outside somewhere - no freaking soul sucking suburbs. I want skiing and the beach within a 2 hour drive. I want a place that not only values "green", but worships it. Somewhere there is no "gayborhood", the queers simply fit in. A place for the artists, the freaks and the weirdos. They make living in an area fun.

I want a college town, somewhere we can capture the energy we have found here. I want subways and bike trails, lower taxes but would gladly pay more for more than average services. I want to be surrounded by people who don't require a preacher to tell them what their opinion is supposed to be.

I want active people, not apathetic jerks waiting for someone else to fix the problems. I want enough of a tourism base to be able to make a living, at least at first. I want the great unwashed masses vs the 'cosmopolitans' - people who know how to live, rather than those who have learned to project the appearance of living well.

People who can admit their flaws, their kinks, their fears and wonderments vs those who always subscribe to the latest fashions and trends. I want to be surrounded by those who will not be afraid of the new idea or experience. Those who embrace the side of themselves that needs to live in balance and harmony. Those who don't worry about 'political correctness' as much as they do simply treating others with dignity and respect.

They say you get more conservative as you age. I swear I seem to be doing more to nurture my inner hippy. If I think that I've reached the halfway point of this lifetime, then I'm doing all that I can to grab it and embrace it and make it mine - not what other's expectations are. And if they can't handle that, fuck them - it's their problem, not mine. They can apply whatever labels the choose, it's up to me to accept them or not.

I love being the practical reality to the kids idealism. Not to shoot down their ideas or dissuade them in the least bit - simply to temper them a little (sort of like you hammer a sword into shape on an anvil?) into knowing the limits of the practical, enducing them to look at some things differently than they may be, adding a few more shades of grey to their black and white worlds. Helping them to understand that the best way they can "beat" unbridled capitalism is to succeed as small capitalists. Or that one of the best ways of feeding the poor is to eat well enough to have the energy to go to bat for them again tomorrow.

Some days I feel as though I'm juggling eggshells while simultaneously wanting to reach out and give them a hug as fiercely as I possibly can. To stand back and watch the thought processes (or occasional lack of one), to see the attempt and the subsequent smile and sense of accomplishment is an incredible boost. I often said I didn't have the patience to be a teacher, but my life now has turned that into a lie. To stand to the side and poke, prod and praise another to be able to do something new has become such a thing in my life. Job satisfaction? More than I may have ever known before. So much that I may have missed insisting that I had to do it all myself, that no one could ever do it to my satisfaction.

Just as important, to hear some new, fresh ideas and ways of looking at a situation. Being pushed and encouraged to try something new (fire juggling? watercolors?) from a crew who clearly believes in me as strongly as I believe in them. May there always be a place in my heart and brain for youthful idealism.

News flash to the cubicle dwellers. Eat your fucking hearts out. Long ago, you traded everything I have, everything I live - for what? Security? Benefits? A future? I've got 2 words for you - you're fired! It could come down to that and honestly, it would be the best thing that could possibly happen to you. Sadly, so few of you will probably ever see it that way, but I can name a dozen now who won't when they are your age. Something for my tombstone - Here lies one who freed a dozen. You should have been so lucky to have been able to say that.

How can I stand here with you and not be moved by you?
Would you tell me how could it be any better than this?

Monday, September 10, 2007

Working with the "kids"

For those who know, we have a staff of "kids" here who are almost like family. I jokingly call them kids simply because of their age, certainly not their maturity levels. They have managed to take everything I've tossed at them, handle it with ease and grace well beyond their years, much to the amazement of my fellow innkeepers who would never believe that they could get similar results out of some so young.

You have no clue how important they have become in my life, how much I've been enjoying spending time with each of them - both as a group and one on one. As a group, they've joked and teased and asked questions and opened up about themselves in ways you can't even begin to imagine. One on one, they've opened themselves up and shared to depths that I have to wonder if they've ever vocalized before. Wow, what an honor to be trusted that much. I can only hope that I remain worthy of such.