Monday, November 22, 2004

A Grey November Day on O St Posted by Hello

A Grey November Day

I took the day off. Well, let me re-phrase that. I didn't go into the office today. I did spend most of the day on the computer doing work, I just wasn't at work.

After lunch I go outside for a walk. The weather is weird. It's a grey November day, but it's not cold, thought it feels like it should be. It's almost 60 degrees and I'm in a pair of shorts. Futilely holding on to summer when I know winter is just around the corner. I follow my usual route. Up P St to the Circle. I never get to experience my neighborhood during a normal work day, so it all seems a bit odd. Except for the occasional homeless person or chess player or the business man crossing from one side to the other, the Circle is mainly empty. I sit on the edge of the fountain and look at the cloud formations reflected in the water. The rippling of the water from the fountain makes the clouds look rough and stormy, but they aren't. They are just there, clinging to the sky and creating that late afternoon grey blanket. There is a flock of pigeons in the Circle. They rise from the ground as a one big squadron, bank left, then right, and then settle on a leafless tree. There are other trees nearby, some with leaves, but they are all positioned on this one tree. It is hard to see a branch that isn't covered by pigeons. It reminds me of "The Birds". Slowly, in a small groups of no more than 3 or 4, the pigeons descend from the tree to a grassy area around 50 feet off. It's a constant stream of pigeons and I watch fascinated by the progression. It's time to move on and I walk north out of the Circle towards Connecticutt. I have to walk through the pigeon's flight patch. At this point, they are low and they easily pass around me as I keep walking. They don't bother me, and I don't bother them.

Here's a picture of my street.

Sunday, November 21, 2004


It's a hair salon on Connecticutt, just north of Dupont Circle. So it's located in smack dab in the gay ghetto. This is where the blue is so dark it's Navy blue, or midnight blue. So I walked by the front of the salon and I look in their windows. In the window to the left of the door is a collection of books on a small table or scattered on the floor of the window:
HellFire Nation
How To Lose Friends and Alienate People
Who Are We Now?
Hold The Enlightenment
How to Deal With Depression
When Bad Things Happen to Good People
Never By Lied to Again.

In the window to the right of the door is another similar display:
Fodor's Guide to Canaada
Frommer's Quebec
The Lonely Planet's Guide to Canada.
The Rough Guide for Toronto, Montreal, and Quebec.

Running away is not the answer. But it does seem attrative at times. Okay, enough politics for now.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

A Four Fold Franciscan Blessing

Back in October, I went to the Human Rights Campaign National Dinner. It was my first real HRC event, and it was fun, inspirational, and very moving. While I was looking forward to seeing and hearing from the other people nominated for awards, I wanted to see Bishop Gene Robinson from New Hampshire. He was being honored with an award that night and it was great to hear him speak. He gave a very low key, but moving speech. Hearing about having to wear a bullet vest under his vestments at his ordination due to death threats was just a bit surreal. God loves us all, I'm not sure the people who sent the death threats remember that. At the dinner, I went up to chat with him and he was just as warm and friendly in person and he invited me to join the service he would be presiding over at the Church of the Epiphany in downtown DC on Sunday. I attended the service and it was very nice. But what I remember most was the dismissal blessing that day. Here it is:

"May God bless you with discomfort at easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships, so that you may live deep within your heart. Amen.

May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace. Amen.

May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy. Amen.

May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done. Amen."

After the election, the gay marriage ammendments, the blue state vs. red state rhetoric, it's all kind of overpowering and hard to deal with. And yet this simple blessing really puts it into perspective. There are the values that I want to make a part of my everyday life. They will make me a better person regardless of what color I am, what my political beliefs are, what nationality I am, or what my sexual orientation is. If everyone holds all of these values dear, and tries to live by them, then the world will be a much better place.

*******Two posts in one day, and one religious in nature. Don't expect alot of that.********

"Tuesday, 3AM"

"Once again I'm wide awake, waiting for time to mend this part of me that keeps on breaking, newspapers I threw away, washed the dishes in the sink, 3 AM on Tuesday, I have too much time to think." - "Tuesday, AM" from the Latter Days soundtrack.

I love that song. Heartbreak, melancholy, unrequited love.

What does that have to do with me now? Not much really. It's 5AM on Sunday and I'm dealing with a plumbing problem. But it doesn't sound as cool as the song running through my head. I'm listening to it now, it almost drowns out the drip, drip, drip, that seems to echo in my apartment. I've banged on the door of the unit above mine, and I've called them as well (I feel pretty smart figuring out how to do that while not knowing their phone number. The solution: the front door entry system!). The drip isn't too bad now, but I know how these things go. And there really isn't anything a plumber can do until we figure out the source of the leak. According to the condo management company, they won't call a locksmith to break into the unit until Monday. So how bad will the damage be before the owners get back? That's the question. In the meantime, I get the drip, drip, drip.

I so want to go to sleep. I crashed around midnight, so 4 hours of sleep is not going to cut it today. Just so paranoid about going to sleep and then the drip, drip, drip turning into a downpour while I sleep.

More from "Tuesday, 3AM": "He thinks I can't hear him crying, I pretend that I don't know, about all of those 3AMs he spends wrestling with your ghost. I hear him call up to heaven, I watch him crawl down through hell, he's not getting over you, I know he never will."

Sunday, November 07, 2004


There's a fairly good chance that I might have a meltdown soon. Should I chronicle it in the blog? I'm sure it's been done before. Oh well, I'll have to think about that.

Another lost weekend. Sleep, work, gym, chores, work, sleep, work, gym. I did go out to lunch today and sat in the sun and read my book. It was nice. And then I came home and worked for 5 hours. Wow, how's that for a life.

Still feeling like crap. It's like something's wrong in my life and I can't figure out what it is, but I know it's there and it's just eating at me.

Aghhh. Maybe a more up post later this week.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

So much for my happy ending

Seriously, as I got into my car to drive to work on Wednesday morning, still reeling about the election, and with a growing pit of despair growing in my stomach, this is the song I heard. Avril Lavigne's "My Happy Ending."

There would be no happy ending for the war in Iraq. No end to the deficit spending. No end to the tax cuts for the super wealthy. No end to the polluting of our air and water. "Would you like arsenic with that?" The strange thing is that most of that bothers me, but not at a personal level. Sure, I'd like to be able to take my neice and nephew to a park someday and let them see herds of buffalo, or let them swim in rivers or the ocean without having to fear some sort of bizarre biological infection. And they'll end up paying for most of the tax cuts we're giving ourselves while we still continue to spend, spend, spend. But that stuff doesn't effect me personally. It's all sort of abstract. Until you get to the Supremes.

One of the biggest reasons why I didn't want Bush to win anothe term is becasue he will get to appoint atleast 2 and probably up to 4 Supreme Court justices. With a Republican control of both the executive and legislative branches of the government, he will be able to corrupt the last bastion of social justice in our country. The US judicial system has been the one saving grace to the religious conservatism that has swept our country. Between the Supreme Court overturning the sodomy laws, and the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling on gay marriages, the judicial system has been the only way to advance equal rights for gays and lesbians. And now with Bush and his republican controlled Senate, he'll be able to undermine the court and we will lose any semblance of checks and balances in this country. Just becuase a lot of people agree with something, doesn't mean it's right, fair, or just. And we looked to the Supreme Court to overturn the most hateful and prejudical of these "popular" laws. Bush will have the opportunity to influence the judicial system for a generation by placing right wing justices on the bench. Be afraid. Be very afraid. The darkening storm comes and it will be a long night for gays and lesbians.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Democracy in Action and Reunion Part II

Democracy In Action. So I got to sleep in a bit since the plan was to hit the polls first thing in the morning. So no morning workout, just a little extra sleep, shower, dress, vote to change America, and then head to work. It all sounds so simple, doesn't it? Well, I head out of my place around 645AM to walk the 4-5 blocks to the polling place. When I get there, the line is atleast over 150 people long and has stretched down one side of the block and has turned the corner. Just amazing. In Virigina, I used to waltz right up to the polling place, check in, vote, and then head out. Wham, Bam, thank you Uncle Sam. But not in DC. First was the line to get into the polling place. Then once inside, you had to stand in line to check in based on your name (L-R). Then once you had checked in, you had to stand in line to get a ballot. A paper ballot. Gee, how 1960ish. Then you went to vote and then you had to stand in line to feed your ballot to the machine. All total, it took about an hour for the process. Next time I'll know to bring a book. But an hour is definitely worth the price for democracy. I would have stood in line all day to vote. I just wish my vote was in a swing state or a red state so it would matter.

Speaking of, it dawned on me while I was standing in line that vote has never really counted, and I've been voting since I was 18. Okay, here's the deal. All of my time in the military, I voted via absentee ballot. And unless the race is close, and usually in CO (my military home of record) it isn't, the absentee ballots don't get counted. So this time I get to vote in a real election and hopefully make a difference, and what do I do? I move into DC and my vote gets lost in the blue tide that will give Kerry 3 electoral votes. Oh well. I've looked at all of those red states and I have to say, ugh! I'm not moving there.

Reunion Part II. Have you been to a reunion lately? Does it remind you of a job interview or a trade show? There's a whole bunch of people you vaguely remember, most of them have changed (fat, bald, whatever), and what do you say to them? You haven't seen them in X number of years, so unless you've kept in touch with some of them, you stick to generalities. For my reunion, the conversation script was as follows:
1) Are you in or out (of the Navy that is).
2) So what you doing now (for the Navy or in the real world)
3) Still single, or are you married, or divorced? Children?
4) Isn't the reunion great. Having a blast? Have you seen so and so?
5) Hey, it's been great talking with you, I want to go say hello to (insert random name)
6) Buh-bye.
I started to get tired of the script after awhile and thought about mixing it up a bit.
1) Oh yeah, I'm out of the Navy.
2) Nope, I'm sort of between opportunities right now if you know what I mean. My last employer had some sort of problem about me using company funds to pay for my herion addiction.
3) The wife left me after I sold her wedding ring and all of her jewelry to pay for a fix. The good news is that I think I've kicked the habit and looking for work again. Does your company have any openings?
4) Oh, I understand. Have you seen (insert name here), he said he might be able to hook me up with some place to sleep tonight. I'm kind of homeless at this point.
5) No I completely understand. Tell (insert name here) I said hello.
6) Buh-bye.

Of course, I could just tell my classmates I am gay and then see which ones freak out. But that's just way too much drama.

Reunion Part 1: Fix Bayonettes

Okay, so I went back for my 15th reunion this past weekend. I really didn't want to go, but a friend sort of coerced me and I finally gave in. We bailed from DC a little early and got into Annapolis in time to hit the reunion registration and pick up our badge and other stuff.

Anyways, after the registration, we went onto the Yard (as the Academy grounds are known) to see the Parade. A little bit of nostalgic USNA trivia. What does IHTFP mean? Option A) I Hope There's a Friday Parade? or Option B) I Hate Those Fucking Parades. Any guesses? So this is the first time I've gone back to see a Parade. It was cool to finally be in the stands watching all of it and not having to worry about all of the drill stuff. You never think about it while you are actually suffering through it, but the whole pagentry of it is pretty cool. Pretty cool and useless. Unless you go Marine Corps, this is most likely the last time you'll ever have to drill in formation. Just another piece of tradition for tradition's sake. But it does look cool.

The one piece missing was "fix bayonettes." It's this aweful drill move where you remove the bayonette from it's sheath, then fix it to these ancient, heavy, total useless M-16s. It's all done as a precision move, but if you fuck it up, you're screwed. Oh, and did I mention you are getting graded on all of this. So I was completely bummed that they don't do the "fix bayonette" move anymore. How wimpy.

And what do they do in place of it. They sing. Seriously. They SING. To show their spirit and professionalism they sing. The Navy Fight song. The words to that song were erased from my mind many years ago, but here was the Brigade of Midshipman singing this song. And I swear, in any other circustance that would come off as cheesey. But surprisingly it didn't. I'm still bitter about the whole fix bayonette thing, but I can see where singing is a bit safer.

Okay, more reunion crap later.

Monday, November 01, 2004

Trey @ USNA circa 1989 Posted by Hello

Alpha and Omega

Welcome to the creation. To the Alpha. To the beginning of my blog. After reading a lot of blogs, I decided to take the plunge. So look for random musings, rants, and just odd observations in the days and months to come. But for now, it's late on Halloween night and I need to crash. Ciao!