Thursday, July 31, 2014


Most of the day yesterday was spent in the car either riding or driving.  I came home from Six Flags just to get back in the car and drive to West Monroe, Louisiana, the first leg of our trip to Dallas.  We got settled in our hotel room at 1 am.  I'm beyond tired.  Tomorrow, we will drive the rest of the way to Dallas, another 4.5 hours away.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Holy Sarsaparilla, Batman!

Six Flags Over Georgia has about six different themes to it.  There is the Wild West area (Lickskillet), the British area, the American area, the Bugs Bunny area, and the Gotham City area.  Most of them don't stand out a lot from one another, but the Bugs Bunny area is for small kids, the Gotham City had all Batman themed rides and venues, and the Wild West of course had a western theme.  Each area also plays different music to match the theme.  The Wild West played country music the whole time, and pretty good country music at that.

I enjoyed the Wild West part of the park, mainly because they had a cute little Wild West comedy show.  The humor was goofy and fun with a mixture of modern references with some older references too.  The sheriff pictured above was a cutie pie.  He had a great smile and a fun personality.  He put on a really good show along with his deputy and the bad guy.

When we first got there we decided we wouldn't do the Flash Pass which puts you at the head of the line, but it only took one long line until we decided otherwise.  It was $30 per person but more than worth it.  We got to ride a lot more rides that way.  My only complaint would be that the Flash Pass should work for the food lines also.  The venue where we had lunch was supposed to have a staff of 30 workers and they only had 7 working in there.  We stood in line for over an hour for a (halfway) descent cheeseburger.  If you are a rollercoaster junkie, then the Flash Pass is truly worth it.  We didn't ride many rollercoasters, but the Flash Pass did get us in and out quickly.

We were exhausted when we got back to the camper.  My feet were killing me.  Next time I walk that much, someone needs to be there to rub my feet.  Any volunteers?

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

We Like To Party

We Like To Party

I've got somethin' to tell ya, 
I've got news for you, 
Gonna put some wheels in motion, 
Get ready cause we're comin' through. 
Hey now Hey now Hear what I say now 
Happiness is just around the corner 
Hey now Hey now Hear what I say now 
We'll be there for you 

The Venga bus is comin' & everybody's jumpin', 
New York through San Francisco, 
An Interstate free disco, 
The wheels of steel are turnin' and traffic lights are burnin', 
So if you like to party, 
Get on and move your body

We like to party 
We like we like to party 
We like to party 
We like we like to party 

Hey now hey now hear what I say now 
Happiness is just around the corner 
Hey now hey now hear what I say now 
We'll be there for you 

The Venga bus is comin' & everybody's jumpin', 
New York through San Francisco, 
An Interstate free disco, 
The wheels of steel are turnin' and traffic lights are burnin', 
So if you like to party, 
Get on and move your body

Mr. Six is an advertising character, first featured in a 2004–05 advertising campaign by the theme park chain Six Flags. Appearing as a bald, decrepit, wrinkled old man wearing a tuxedo and thick-framed glasses, he is usually shown stepping off a bus and inviting stressed and over-worked people to Six Flags by performing a frenetic dance to the Vengaboys song "We Like to Party".

The first airing introduced Mr. Six as an apparently elderly, slow-moving man dressed in his trademark tuxedo and large glasses, pulling up in front of a house in a retro-style bus. The occupants of the house are sitting around the front yard apparently very bored. Mr. Six slowly shuffles off the bus, then suddenly comes to life and performs a high-energy dance routine as "We Like to Party" begins playing, and invites the bored family to Six Flags. The dance he performs borrows moves from the Melbourne Shuffle, Jumpstyle, and Techtonik. Subsequent ads showed different variations of Mr. Six dancing and inviting people to Six Flags. The role was, initially, non-speaking.
By the way, Matthew Wilkening of AOL Radio ranked the song at number 45 on the list of the 100 Worst Songs Ever while telling the listener, "If you live within a few hundred miles of a Six Flags adventure park, you've heard this 4,000 times."

I thought this song's lyrics, essentially poetry, would be pretty appropriate considering that I will be spending the day at Six Flags.

And I will add one last thing, for those of you with young children, nieces, nephews, or grandchildren, Jellystone Park is a fun place for them.  There was gem and fossil mining, mini golf,  horseshoes, a sandbox, a pool, numerous playgrounds, an arcade, and a menagerie of animals: alligators, iguanas, monitors, boa constrictors, macaws, peacocks, tortoises, a bunny, and a pig named Daisy.  There are numerous Jellystone Parks around the U.S. and Canada.

Monday, July 28, 2014

"Hey there, Boo Boo!"

In a few hours my parents, my six year old niece, and I will be at Jellystone Park.  At least I won't have to sleep on the ground like the guy above;  we will be staying in my parents rather nice RV.  I've never been one who liked camping much, especially in a camper with my family, but it's only for two nights.  We will spend the day at Six Flags on Tuesday.

The website describes the park as:

If you like the idea of a family getaway in the great outdoors, consider Yogi Bear's Jellystone Park™ Camp-Resorts. You'll find a range of accommodation choices - from rustic to downright luxurious - to help you plan a vacation the whole family will love. And at Jellystone Park, you'll have access to all the amenities and activities we're known for.

I'm sure that my niece will love it.

Sunday, July 27, 2014


Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
Hebrews 4:14-16

Perhaps the most underrated and underused power that we have available is prayer. As God’s children, we are told to go to God in prayer that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in our time of need. Notice how we are to come. Paul says that we are not just to come to God’s throne, but we are to come boldly to the throne of grace. Remember, God’s grace gives to us what we do not deserve. The desire of God’s heart is to do for us what we cannot do for ourselves. God wants us to come boldly, in faith, believing that God will do for us everything that was promised. There is no bolder step that we can take than that.  We may get discouraged, but know that there is no need to be discouraged if God is in our hearts and guiding our actions.

When we go to God, we find mercy. While God’s grace is God giving to us things that we do not deserve, God’s mercy gives to us what we do deserve. In God’s mercy we find forgiveness and restoration to fellowship! Our sinful, selfish, stubborn wills are in constant conflict with God’s will for our lives. As we seek to make God’s thoughts our thoughts, God’s ways become our ways. When we look to our own devices for direction as we make our decisions, we turn from God and that is when we need God’s mercy and forgiveness.  As the song "Amazing Grace" says:

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

God wants to be our “first response” as opposed to our “last resort.” When we have a decision to make, God’s desire is that we come boldly to the throne for direction and guidance in that decision. Look at what Paul says, “that we may find grace to help us in time of need.” God’s guidance in our time of need is available to us if we will just avail ourselves to it!

Prayer is the key that unlocks the windows of heaven and allows God to pour out blessings into our lives! Prayer leads us from the snare of temptation to the path of righteousness. Prayer allows us to make decisions that head us in the right direction to find life that is full and abundant. Prayer moves us from where we are to the place that God would have us go. Prayer is the place where we begin to move out of our need and into the place of God’s provision.

•       Maybe you’re struggling with some kind of fear. Maybe you’re waiting for a report from the doctor, and that has you worried. Or you’re afraid that you’re not going to make it financially. Or you’re afraid about something at school.  For many of us who hide our sexuality from the wider world, this may constitute our greatest fear that someone may find out.  I have a young friend who came to me just yesterday with worries about his sexuality and how it is perceived, even though he does not identify as gay or bisexual but as straight.  My advice to him was to be open and honest with himself, not to worry about his sexuality.  God tells us to "Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?-unless indeed you fail to meet the test!" (2 Corinthians 13:5) A simpler way to put this was seen on the Temple of Apollo at Delphi which was inscribed "Know thyself." We must trust that God will guide us to know ourselves.
•       Perhaps you are wrestling with some sort of temptation. Maybe you’ve got some kind of addiction and you can’t shake it. Or you’re thinking of doing something that you know isn’t right, but you want to do it anyway.  I have a dear friend who is suffering from alcoholism.  The first step to his recovery was to admit it to himself.  He is going to seek treatment, and I am very proud of him.
•       Or, maybe you’re in the middle of a difficult situation and you’re not quite sure what to do? You don’t know how to respond. Or you’re not sure you have what it’s going to take to deal with it.  When we are in a situation like this, the only thing we can do is to turn to God for guidance.

Whatever your personal need, take it before God in prayer. There you’ll find a God who is able and willing to handle anything you’re going through. And you’ll find a God who fully identifies with you and who knows exactly how you’re feeling. And you’ll also find a God who won’t judge you, but who, instead, will give you all the grace you need. That’s God's promise to you.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Moment of Zen: MMS

There are things in my life that never fail to make me smile (MMS).  HRH greeting me in the morning is usually one of the first.  The second is usually a text from a dear friend, and he knows who he is.  He always makes me smile.  Each week, sometimes a few times a week, I get an email from another dear friend.  I so look forward to those emails.  Oh, and I can't forget, my first cup of coffee always makes me smile.  It's a nice way to wake up, sitting out on my front porch with a cup of coffee before the heat of the day makes it unbearable to be outside.  What makes you smile on a daily basis?

Friday, July 25, 2014

A Friday Funny

Four men got together at a reunion. All of them had sons and they started discussing them. 

The first man said his son was doing so well, he now owned a factory, manufacturing furniture. Why, just the other day he gave his best friend a whole house full of brand new furniture. 

The second man said his son was doing just as well. He was a manager at a car sales firm. Why, just the other day he gave his best friend a Ferrari. 

The third man said his was doing well too. He was a manager at a bank. Why just the other day he gave his best friend the money to buy a house. 

The fourth man just shook his head. He said his son was gay and may not have amounted to much, but he must be doing something right because just the other day he was given a house, furniture, and a Ferrari by his friends!

I do love a good joke on occasion.  Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Gays Are Posessed?

Holy Fire Ministries founder Bert Farias penned an eyebrow-raising piece about the LGBT community in Charisma magazine, arguing that homosexuality is "demonic" and will have "destructive physical, emotional, and spiritual consequences."

In his piece, Farias asks LGBT people and advocates to "please do not get upset with me. I am for you and not against you." In fact, he adds, he is "actually trying to help" people with same-sex attraction.  How can LGBT people and advocates not get angry over these ridiculous statements.  As an LGBT Christian, I am more than angry:  I am furious.  I have said it before and I will say it again, those who spread hate and fear and not doing the work of God, but he work of satan and all that is evil.

The piece, which is titled "The Raw, Naked Truth About Homosexuality," continues:
[Homosexuality] is such a putrid smelling demon that other demons don't even like to hang around it. A genuine prophet of God told me that the Lord allowed him to smell this demon spirit, and he got sick to his stomach. And yet as humans, many embrace this demon. Yes, you heard me right. Being gay is demonic. 
There is an account in the Bible where Jesus casts out 2,000 demons out of a man. The demons came out screaming and begged Jesus to send them into the pigs. The pigs didn't want them, so they ran down a steep hill and were drowned in the sea. Pigs have more sense than some humans. People embrace homosexual demons, but the pigs would rather die than be possessed with demons.
It also bothers me that he misquotes the Bible.  The Bible never says that the man (in Mark it is one; in Matthew it is two men) is possessed by 2,000 demons.  The demon tells Jesus in Mark 5:9 "And Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" He replied, "My name is Legion, for we are many.""  No number is mentioned, and unless I am missing something, during this time period, a Legion would usually signify 5,400, the number of men in a Roman Legion.  Furthermore, there is debate on what the demons asked Jesus to do with them.  Most biblical scholars seem to believe that they were begging Jesus to allow them to possess the pigs than be returned to hell.  The verses don't say that the pigs fled from the demons, but that the demons possessed the pigs and drowned themselves in the sea.  It's a simple story that the misguided Bert Farias couldn't even relate correctly.  Why would anyone believe anything a so-called minister would say when he doesn't even know what the Bible itself says.

Farias further argues that homosexuality is not "biologically right or natural" and a choice, he adds:
If being gay was natural, two men or two women could produce a baby, but they can't. Their sexual reproductive organs do not complement each other therefore making it impossible for them to procreate. It can never be natural for two men or two women to get married and live together. Our culture's acceptance and celebration of gay behavior will never make it right. Wrong is wrong no matter how many people are for it. And right is right no matter how many people are against it. Homosexuality is not new. It's been around for thousands of years. It's as old as the devil himself.
First of all, the Bible tells us that only the weak will have children, for they are weak of the flesh and part of the world Nd cannot exercise self-control.  1 Corinthians 7:8-9 says "To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion."  Each man has his own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that. Notice that he says some have the gift of singleness and some the gift of marriage. Although it seems that nearly everyone marries, it is not necessarily God's will for everyone. Paul, for example, did not have to worry about the extra problems and stresses that come with marriage and/or family. He devoted his entire life to spreading the Word of God. He would not have been such a useful messenger if he had been married.  God gave us a gift, the gift of loving someone of the same sex.  Some of us will have children; some of us will not.  But God gave us all special talents and we should use them according to God's word.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Back Home...For A Few Days

I'm back home for the rest of this week.  I'll have to go to school on Saturday for a workday.  Hopefully,  my classroom will be painted.  All I have to do is supervise parents, but I still have to go in and get things ready for the new school year.

Then Monday, I will be taking my niece to Six Flags with my parents.  I love spending time with my niece, my parents drive me crazy though and I'm not a big fan of amusement parks, especially the rides.  I'm not much of a thrill seeker.

On the same day I get back from Six Flags, I will be heading to Dallas.  Then it's just one week before school begins.  Where has my summer gone?!?!?  It came and went in a flash.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

When We Two Parted

When We Two Parted
By George Gordon Byron

 When we two parted 
   In silence and tears,
Half broken-hearted 
   To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold, 
   Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold 
   Sorrow to this.

The dew of the morning 
   Sunk chill on my brow-- 
It felt like the warning
   Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken, 
   And light is thy fame;
I hear thy name spoken, 
   And share in its shame.

They name thee before me, 
   A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o’er me--
   Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee, 
   Who knew thee too well--
Long, long shall I rue thee, 
   Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met--
   In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget, 
   Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee 
   After long years,
How should I greet thee?--
   With silence and tears.

In a letter to a friend in 1809, Byron wrote (probably facetiously) that he was going to Turkey to do research for a treatise "Sodomy simplified or Paederasty proved to be praiseworthy from ancient authors and modern practice". Like all jokes, this must have had an edge of truth to be funny.

At Cambridge, Byron had fallen deeply in love with a choirboy, John Edelston. Byron wrote several poems that scholars believe were written to and about John, calling him "Thyrza". One of the Thyrza poems, written after John had died, indicates in the words: "The pressure of the thrilling hand, the kiss, so guiltless and refined, that Love each warmer wish forbore", that their physical contact had been restricted to hand-holding and kissing. He later referred to it as a passion "violent though pure". Even much later in life, after the "Thyrza" poems had become very famous and popular, Byron refused to say who they were addressed to and changed the pronouns from masculine to feminine to conceal that this doomed but lifelong passion was for a man.

After two years of being Byron's "almost constant associate since October 1805", John had to move away from Cambridge to London and Byron wrote to a woman friend, Elizabeth Pigot, about his heartbreak, saying that he was planning to live with his "protégé" after he had completed his studies, which would "put Lady E. Butler & Miss Ponsonby to the Blush, Pylades & Orestes out of countenance, & want nothing but a Catastrophe like Nisus and Euryalus, to give Johnathon & David the 'go by' ". These are all same-sex passionate relationships.

However, some time later John wrote a very courteous and formal letter to Byron asking for his help in getting a job. They had never met again.

While Byron was on his travels in Turkey, Albania, and Greece he wrote to Matthews frequently about his sexual conquests of boys using a coded term based on Latin "plen. et optabil. –Coit." (Frequent and desired intercourse). He reported that he was amusing himself with "a Sopha to tumble upon" with a Greek boy called Eustathius who had "ambrosial curls hanging down his amiable back".

It has been argued (with very little evidence)that while in the East, Byron was a lover of Ali Pasha or his son, Veli Pasha, rulers of Albania and the Peloponessus. They were very friendly and hospitable to Byron and Veli Pasha did give him a beautiful white horse.

Byron's relationships with friends of both sexes seem to have been shadowed by jealousy and possessiveness. John Cam Hobhouse considered himself to be Byron's "best friend" and in many ways was, travelling with him, assisting him legally and financially and finally burying him. There is no trace of sexuality between them.

Byron and Shelley became very close friends in the summer of 1816 in Switzerland. They sailed around Lake Leman together visiting the locations of a romantic novel written by Rousseau called "La Nouvelle Heloise". One afternoon they exchanged roses. This was rhapsodically memorialized by Shelley in his journal where he referred to Byron, anonymously, as "my companion".

While he was visiting Byron in Venice several years later, Shelley was shocked by Byron's ostentatiously erotic lifestyle and remarked in a letter to a friend in England that some of his street pick-ups had "lost the gait and physiognomy of men". This has been interpreted to mean they were cross-dressers. Shelley was also outraged that Byron bargained with parents for the services of their daughters.

The last poems Byron wrote were found among his papers after his sudden death. They indicated that he had fallen painfully and guiltily in love with a fifteen year old Greek boy named Loukas Chalandritsanos. Byron gave him money, fancy uniforms and the command of a regiment. As far as is known there was no physical contact between them.

Byron is known to have had sex with at least 300 women.

So the verdict is bisexual, although such distinctions were not explicit at the time. I think "hyper-sexual" covers it.

I'm heading back to Alabama and I guess back in the closet for a while.  It's been a good vacation, but it's time to go back and face reality.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Down the Bayou

I'm still down in bayou country.  I had planned to head back yesterday, but my friend begged me to stay a few more days, so I'm heading back home on Tuesday.  It's gonna make for a busy week once I get back, but it will be okay.  I enjoying my stay and being able to hang out with one of my best friends and see a few other friends during the meantime.

I'm not sure what the plan is for today.  It was mentioned that we would do something, but no specifics were mentioned.  I guess we will play it by ear.  I kind of enjoy a vacation in which nothing is expected and you can just go with the flow.  Whatever we do, we will have a great time doing it, even if it's just relaxing at the house.

And just a word of warning to anyone who might visit south Louisiana and Cajun country, if something ever says hot and spicy, it's always has more than just a little kick to it.  I enjoy spicy foods, but I like to be able to taste the food, not have my taste buds burned off with the first bite.  However, if you are a lover of hot and spicy foods, you will no doubt love Cajun cuisine and the heat they add to nearly all other foods.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Walking in Sunlight

This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
1 John 1:5-10

Heavenly Sunlight
by William Kirkpatrick and Henry Gilmour

Walking in sunlight all of my journey;
Over the mountains, through the deep vale;
Jesus has said, “I’ll never forsake thee,”
Promise divine that never can fail.

Heavenly sunlight, heavenly sunlight,
Flooding my soul with glory divine:
Hallelujah, I am rejoicing,
Singing His praises, Jesus is mine.

Shadows around me, shadows above me,
Never conceal my Savior and Guide;
He is the Light, in Him is no darkness;
Ever I’m walking close to His side.

Heavenly sunlight, heavenly sunlight,
Flooding my soul with glory divine:
Hallelujah, I am rejoicing,
Singing His praises, Jesus is mine.

In the bright sunlight, ever rejoicing,
Pressing my way to mansions above;
Singing His praises gladly I’m walking,
Walking in sunlight, sunlight of love.

Heavenly sunlight, heavenly sunlight,
Flooding my soul with glory divine:
Hallelujah, I am rejoicing,
Singing His praises, Jesus is mine.

This is one song and biblical text that I believe needs no further explanation.  God is light and he will never forsake us.  And when we see the beautiful sunlight, we should sing his praises because he is shining down on us.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Moments of Zen: Daiquiris and No Closets

One of the great things about cruises and Louisiana is that there is lots of sugar and where sugar cane is grown, there is usually lots of rum.  And when it's hot and humid, the best thing is a rum filled fruity and frozen daiquiri.  We went through a drive-thru daiquiri place in Thibodaux called Norm's, which makes delicious daiquiris.  We laughed and giggled over many of the names: buttery butt, bend over, pink panty pull down, etc.  Nearly all of them are delicious.  I had the Pixie Stick, which was a mix of grape and cherry and actually tasted like a pixie stick.

Anyway, it's always great down here, because I never have to worry about being openly gay.  Everyone I know here knows. There's no reason to hide it, and I can totally be out and in the open and say and do whatever I want.  I can have a fruity drink if I want without someone questioning my masculinity.  I can flirt with men and when a hot guy comes on TV or walks by us, I can actually say, "Mmmm, damn" and my friend just says "Ooh, you made the Joe noise.  I miss that."  I can be myself and that's the greatest moment of zen I can imagine.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Hank Williams Special

Goodbye Joe, me gotta go, me oh, my oh
Me gotta go pole the pirogue down the bayou
My Yvonne, the sweetest one, me oh, my oh
Son of a gun, we'll have big fun on the bayou

Jambalaya, a-crawfish pie the file' gumbo
'Cause tonight I'm gonna see my ma chere amie-o
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-oh
Son of a gun, we'll have big fun on the bayou

Thibodaux to Fontainebleau, the place is buzzin'
Kinfolk come to see Yvonne by the dozen
Dress in style, and go hog wild, me oh, my oh
Son of a gun, we'll have big fun on the bayou

Jambalaya, a-crawfish pie the file' gumbo
'Cause tonight I'm gonna see my ma chere amie-o
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-oh
Son of a gun, we'll have big fun on the bayou

Jambalaya, a-crawfish pie the file' gumbo
'Cause tonight I'm gonna see my ma chere amie-o
Pick guitar, fill fruit jar and be gay-oh
Son of a gun, we'll have big fun on the bayou

"Jambalaya (On the Bayou)" is a song written and recorded by American country music singer Hank Williams that was first released in July 1952. Named for a Creole and Cajun dish, jambalaya, it spawned numerous cover versions and has since achieved popularity in a number of music genres.  Yesterday, my friend and I went to have lunch at a restaurant in Thibodaux called The Half Shell.  I've had lunch there many times and my favorite thing to order is the "Hank Williams Special," which of course is a dish of jambalaya, crawfish pie, and file gumbo.  It is always absolutely delicious. I love the little fried crawfish pies which have a creamy crawfish sauce on top.

Williams' song resembles "Grand Texas", a Cajun French song, in melody only. "Grand Texas" is a song about a lost love, a woman who left the singer to go with another man to "Big Texas".  However, "Jambalaya", while maintaining a Cajun theme, is about life, parties and stereotypical food of Cajun cuisine. The protagonist leaves to pole a pirogue – a flat-bottomed boat – down the shallow water of the bayou, to attend a party with his girlfriend Yvonne, and her family. At the feast they have Cajun cuisine, notably Jambalaya, crawfish pie and filé gumbo and drink liquor from fruit jars. Yvonne is his "ma chaz ami-o", which is Cajun French for "my good girlfriend" (“ma chère amie” in French). Williams uses the term "ma chaz ami" as one word, thus the "my" in front of it. The "o" at the end of "ami" is a poetic/lyrical device making the line match the phrasing of the previous line and rhyme with it.

Williams composed a sequel to the song from the female perspective, "I'm Yvonne (Of the Bayou)", with Jimmy Rule. It was not as popular. As with "Jambalaya" there is speculation that Williams may have purchased this song from Mullican.

Later researched by a member of Moon Mullican's family, a story emerged about how the song came about in the first place, and it was said that while visiting a small bar located just south of the Choupique Bayou and owned by Yvonne Little, the song "Jambalaya" referred to some truly wonderful times had there.

Thibodaux, where I am this week, is mentioned in Hank Williams's "Jambalaya (On The Bayou)". It is not the only song that mentions the town of Thibodaux.  In 1972 Leon Russell had the song "Cajun Love Song" in which Thibodaux is mentioned. Also, in the 1970s Jerry Reed song "Amos Moses," in the 1990s George Strait song "Adalida," in Dan Baird's 1992 song "Dixie Beauxderaunt," the 1999 Jimmy Buffett song "I will Play for Gumbo," the 2008 Toby Keith song "Creole Woman," and its name is the title of a song by jazz songstress Marcia Ball.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

I'm Here

Though traffic was hell yesterday, and I made a few stops along the way, I made it to my friend's house in Thibodaux, Louisiana, just fine.  After I got here, we went out to eat at a lovely restarant called Fremin's.   We got a bottle of wine, and I ordered the duck and andouille gumbo as a starter and had the shrimp artichoke pasta for the main course.  It was truly delicious.

After dinner, we decided to get some more wine and just relax at the house and watch and old movie.  So we watched To Catch A Thief.  Honestly, you can't go wrong with a Cary Grant movie.  After the movie, we were both tired and decided to go to bed.  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014


If all goes well, I will begin a seven hour road trip about 10 am this morning.  I'm going to visit a dear friend of mine from graduate school.  She and her husband live in Thibodaux, Louisiana, and I do love to visit.  I just wish it wasn't so far away.  I will be staying about five days, and maybe I will get to go to New Orleans some while I'm down there.  The last time I was down was just before the aborted cruise and my aunt's death back in January.

Truthfully, I could probably make it in less than seven hours, but if I drive a long time, my legs have been known to cramp and I have to get out of the car and walk around some.  Also, I will stop on the way down at Lenny's Sub Shop in Mobile.  It's my favorite sandwich shop, but I will have to decide: do I want the grilled chicken philly or the regular philly cheesesteak?  Decisions, decisions....

I will continue to post while I'm gone, so if anything really interesting happens, I'll let you know.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

We Two Boys Together Clinging

"We Two Boys Together Clinging"
By Walt Whitman

WE two boys together clinging,
One the other never leaving,
Up and down the roads going, North and South excursions making,
Power enjoying, elbows stretching, fingers clutching,
Arm'd and fearless, eating, drinking, sleeping, loving.
No law less than ourselves owning, sailing, soldiering, thieving, threatening,
Misers, menials, priests alarming, air breathing, water drinking, on the turf or the sea-beach dancing,
Cities wrenching, ease scorning, statutes mocking, feebleness chasing,
Fulfilling our foray.

Walt Whitman's poem "We Two Boys Together Clinging" is often identified as a poem of homosexual love, a label breeched from its title and the history of its author. Other scholars insist the poem represents a unique concept of the brotherhood of two young men, forged by the experiences of war. In either interpretation, the poem paints a portrait of masculinity through its setting of soldiering during the Civil War (1861–1865). Whitman's poetry, including "We Two Boys Together Clinging", was written before the "unspoken love" of homosexuality had a name to be spoken of. The context of the poem recalls the camaraderie of men through the challenges and ruggedness of this American war. Enveloping the romance of soldiering, the lines of the poem easily echo the ancient wars of the Romans as much as modern and contemporary wars through which notions of pride, glory, and masculinity are still associated. Whitman's portrayal of this intense companionship developed from "excursions making" and "sailing, soldiering, thieving, threatening …" often leaves the reader with notions of survival, learned (or inherited) skill, manipulating the enemy, strength of body and intelligence, and the pursuit of adventure—all aspects society traditionally perceive as masculine.

In "We Two Boys Together Clinging," a duo of young boys goes parading through various towns of the North and the South, taking part in numerous loud and obnoxious activities such as drinking, thieving, and enjoying public power; all the time, the boys never left each other's side.  According to Charles M. Oliver in his Critical Companion to Walt Whitman, with the last line, the speaker reveals that the two boys are homosexual and that they have been marauding places for food and to see the shocked faces of the people when they recognize their homosexuality. 

Normally, Whitman would write about the "self" or the "everyman," but it's unlikely that either of these are strongly involved in "We Two Boys Together Clinging." The story itself is not really self-enhancing because the speaker does not refer to anything that sets up a sense of fulfillment. The boys merely travel from location to location, scrounging for food and laughs, but they do not lead full lives. In fact, their lives are hallow and lacking, and they should be, at least, trying to build a solid relationship with each other to base their adventures less on necessity and more on friendship. The "everyman," however, is slightly prevalent in the people the boys visit, like the priests, because religion was a large basis for the lives of the common citizen. 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Oil Change and Road Trips

Today, I have to go get an oil change for my car.  Over the next few weeks, I will be making several trips and I need my car in top shape, besides, it's kind of past time to get my oil changed.  This week, I will be heading to visit a friend in Louisiana. We always have fun together and I haven't been in a while. She's been having some emotional and health difficulties, and I really need to go visit.  I will probably be down there from Wednesday until Sunday.

Then I will have a week at home, before I take my niece to Six Flags.  As soon as I get back from Atlanta, I will be heading to Dallas for a few days.  Then it will just be one more week until school starts back.

I'd hoped I'd be someplace different for this next school year, but it looks as if I will be back at the same place.  I haven't heard anything from any of the schools I applied to teach at next year.

Just for fun, here is another pic of the guy above working on a car.

I think I'd trust him to work on my car, especially if I could just sit and watch.  My tires do need to be checked too.

Sunday, July 13, 2014


Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. "Honor your father and mother" (this is the first commandment with a promise), "that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land." Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.Ephesians 6:1-4

Parents of LGBT children usually can be classified into three groups: accepting, ambiguous, or rejecting.  It is my hope that one day, all parents will fall into that first category of accepting parents.  Accepting parents love and accept us for who we are; they accept our homosexuality; and they accept our significant others of the same sex.  They support us 100 percent and without reservation. In my experience, accepting parents are rare, but they are becoming less rare as LGBT become more accepted by society.  My parents fall into the second group, which is harder to define.  Some of these ambiguous parents are like my mother, who knows I'm gay but is in complete denial.  Other parents in this category are just completely ambiguous.  They love us and accept us, but they aren't comfortable discussing it and would rather not know about our love life.  When your parents are ambiguous about accepting or rejecting your sexuality, you never know how they are going to react to anything.  The third group of parents are those who completely reject their children for being gay.  They kick their child out of their life completely.  No support, no communication, nothing, because they simply reject the notion of accepting their child for being homosexual.

For LGBT Christians in the last two groups, the dilemma of honoring and obeying our parents weighs heavy on our hearts.  According to the relationship, it may be easier to respect the ambiguous parents, but nearly impossible to respect the rejecting parents.  Not only are we rejected by our parents but often by our churches.  Preachers never miss an opportunity to remind us that, as Christians, we “HAVE to honor our fathers and mothers”, apparently, and according to their thinking, no matter what. Certainly none of us wants to break one of the Ten Commandments. But the idea of rewarding abusive, rejecting, or ambiguous parents with honor and obedience seems completely irrational, and contradictory to just about everything else written in the Bible, where evildoers are never honored, but punished time and again. This is God’s Law of Sowing and Reaping (Galatians 6:7, Job 4:8), that those who do wrong will not benefit from their wickedness, but suffer the natural consequences of their actions. 

The thought of our parents may be uplifting for some but devastating for others, but most ministers preach that God has commanded all Christians to honor their parents with no exception clause, as Pastor Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church said in a sermon explaining what the Fifth Commandment means and involves.  "It's very simple: honor your father and mother. And there's no fine print and no footnotes. There's no exception clause for those of us who have had horrific experiences in the hands of our parents," said Driscoll. A very dear friend of mine, the one I mentioned the other day who faced adversity during his years in college, heard a similar sermon last Sunday.  He was devastated by these words.  Why was he devastated?  Because he had been raised by parents who allowed his older brother to beat and abuse him growing up.  If that wasn't bad enough, when he came out to his parents several years ago, they completely rejected him.  They let his brother beat him severely, and they have refuse any contact with him since that day.  How can he be expected to honor and obey his parents when all of God's other laws says that they are not worthy?  The truth is Driscoll and others are wrong about there being "no fine print and no footnotes."  My friend has faced serious depression and anxiety issues, but he pulled himself together had with the help of friends and his amazing resilience and fortitude, returned to college and finished his degree with no help or guidance from his parents.  I chat explain how proud I am of him and how much I love him.  He overcame many obstacles and still struggles with how to deal with his parents' rejection of him.

Ephesians 6:4 clearly commands "Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord."  While many parents (Christian parents) are quick to tell their kids to honor them, they fail to do the latter. Just because children are commanded to honor their parents doesn’t give the parent the right to abuse their position. Countless children have been neglected, mistreated, abused (mentally, physically, sexually), and abandoned by their parents. As they reach adulthood they can’t fathom God instructing them to turn around and show respect to their abusers. How can we respect parents who completely reject  us for who we are?

While Jesus walked this earth He gave clear instruction for believers to love their enemies and pray for those who mistreat them (Luke 6:35; 6:28). After all, Jesus did exactly that on the cross (“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they are doing” Luke 23:35). So yes, we are to honor our parents whether they deserve it or not (and I will explain more about this later, keep reading). Does this mean that a person must stay in the abusive environment? No. God wants us to have life and live it abundantly/fully (John 10:10). A person can’t live a full life in bondage. To honor an abusive parent also doesn’t mean that you have to accept their abuse. If talking and reasoning won’t work with your parents, then it’s wise to remove yourself from the situation altogether. 

God knows your heart and He knows how much you can bear. It’s best to pray for an abusive parent who refuses to change and love them from a distant than to continue to allow yourself to be abused. Above all, forgive them. This is more beneficial to you than it is for them. When you continue to hold on to the past you are allowing your abuser to continue to affect your life. Don’t give him/her that type of satisfaction! Unforgiveness also hinders God’s forgiveness, and ultimately His blessings. Matthew 6: 14-15 says, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”. This means that the moment a person chooses not to forgive, every sin they commit from then on will not be forgiven. Your relationship with God will suffer without forgiveness and all in all, it’s not worth it. Unforgiveness plants a seed of bitterness in a person’s heart that robs a person of joy and peace. Don’t let the enemy steal this from you! The best solution is to forgive, love that person despite everything, and pray for them. I know this is a sensitive subject for some. There are people who allow themselves to be manipulated and mistreated simply because they feel God will punish them for standing up to their parents. 

For LGBT who have been rejected or physically or mentally abused by their parents, honoring your parents may be incredibly difficult.  But there are other ways to honor them in God's eyes.  Even if you must divorce your parents and never see them again, it doesn't mean that you're dishonoring them. It just means that you accept that they are the way they are and that they'll never change, which in truth is honoring them as people whose right it is to be everything they want to be, that you're ok with it, and even that you still feel love for them, but you just can't stick around for it anymore. Given the unfortunate reality of their innate hatefulness, you can still choose to set limits on them or have no contact with them, because they are destructive people. You can honor them by accepting them for who they are, not expecting change, and letting them live their own way in peace, but at the same time honor yourself and your own right to live in peace as well. Which means choosing not to be in their presence when they are abusing you.

Jesus tells us that obedience to God overrules honoring one's parents:
While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" And stretching out his hand toward his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."Matthew 12:46-50
What is God's greatest commandment?
"Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?" And [Jesus] said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets."Mathew 22:36-40
Jesus is certainly not ambiguous here.  God is our Father; He is the parent we are to honor and obey above all others.  If we have ungodly parents, then we must look to God as our only Father. Driscoll, who was completely wrong about fine print and footnotes, did say a few important things about honoring dishonorable parents.  He said, "give forgiveness, this is to guard your heart from bitterness. If you don't forgive your parents you would become like your parents… There's a root of sin in their lives. They sinned against you and you are infected now. Forgiveness is how you are cleansed from that root of bitterness, from that infection."  If your parents have failed you, at least you can be thankful that you have a Heavenly Father, he said.

The words “father” and “mother”, as referred to when the Lord commands us to honor, mean people who took care of us, nurtured us, protected us, loved us, and still love us. Unfortunately, not all of us have had such people in our lives. They do not mean “sperm donor” and “egg donor”. It takes far more than that to qualify as a “father” or a “mother” by Biblical standards. The Bible gives us many examples of the kinds of parents God is referring to when he uses the words “father” or “mother”.

God is not telling us to honor parents who don’t deserve to be honored. It helps to remind ourselves that God does not do nonsensical, irrational, or contradictory things. He never rewards evil, and he never says anything to us that would make it easier for evil to thrive, or for parents to get away with cruelty. It doesn’t make sense that our God, who is all that is good, would tell us to encourage and reward evil. If it doesn’t make sense and we do not feel at peace in our spirit about it, then it is not from God. We need to delve a little deeper into his Word and pray for a better understanding.

The Bible is written for a broad population of God’s children, and some individuals within that population will have unique situations to which broad teachings cannot necessarily be applied. Not everything in the Bible is written for a particular circumstance. Much of what is written refers to general situations rather than specific situations.  

For instance, although we are instructed to treat those who preach and teach with double honor (1 Timothy 5: 17), Jesus holds nothing back when sternly and publicly rebuking the Pharisees, who preached and taught. They were not deserving of respect and honor, and Jesus didn’t give it to them. Instead, he spoke the truth about them, took a stand against them, and openly disapproved of their hypocrisy and wickedness. He warned the people about them, telling them to be on guard against their teachings and not to believe them. He publicly rebuked them, comparing them to “white-washed tombs, beautiful on the outside but full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.” He point-blank accused them of being hypocrites, obstructionists, phonies, full of false pride, and even called them “snakes”, a “brood of vipers” and “sons of hell”.  (Matthew 16: 11-12, Matthew 23:1-36, Luke 11:37- 12: 3, Luke 18: 9-14).

In Matthew 23, Jesus speaks to the crowd about honoring the Pharisees:
The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat, so do and observe whatever they tell you, but not the works they do. For they preach, but do not practice. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by others. For they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues and greetings in the marketplaces and being called rabbi by others. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all brothers. And call no man your father on earth, for you have one Father, who is in heaven. Neither be called instructors, for you have one instructor, the Christ. The greatest among you shall be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.Matthew 23: 2-12
So we see that Jesus specifically instructs the people not to give any special honor to the Pharisees, because they are not deserving of it.  Just as we are not to give honor to hypocritical, evil teachers and preachers, and just as we are not to obey and submit to evil rulers and authorities, neither are we to honor evil and abusive parents who are not deserving of honor.

Be enter really grateful for those accepting parents.  Do the best you can with those ambiguous parents.  For those rejecting parents, it is best that they are not in your life.  They will only cause more distress, and as LGBT we face enough distress in our lives by all those others who reject us for who we are.  Rejoice in God, for he loves us unconditionally.  So not blame God for the evil that is in this world, for He is all that is good and loving.  It is the devil who brings evil and hate into this world, and the only way to rid the devil from our lives is to look toward God and live our life with love and forgiveness in our hearts.

If you have not done so, I encourage you to read Jay In VA! Us Gays - Us Christians.  It's Jay's story of reconciling his Christianity.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Moment of Zen: Four

I started this blog four years ago today, and with the exception of a few instances, I have posted everyday to this blog.  I had considered making a list of my favorite posts, but instead, I decided that I would ask my readers which post is their favorite.  If you have a favorite post, what was it? I'd love to know.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Postcard from the Edge

How many days does it take a postcard to reach Minnesota from Mexico?  Eighteen days, seventeen days, fourteen days? How about forty-one days!  While I was on my cruise to Mexico, I sent a postcard to a friend of mine.  It was mailed May 28th.  I had bought the postcard in Chichen Itza, and tried to mail it in Cozumel, but we didn't want to go all the way to the post office in the city center to mail a letter, so I asked guest services on the ship to mail it.  One of the guys there was taking the mail before the ship left, and he said he'd mail it for me.  Now grant it, he may have misplaced it and found it later and then mailed it, but I'm hoping he mailed it when he said he would, which was that afternoon.  My friend finally received the postcard yesterday.  Has anyone else had a similar experience with mail from a foreign country, especially Mexico?  I'm curious.

I can understand a letter form Europe possibly taking that long.  When I was in Italy, I was told that the Italian postal system was notoriously bad: very disorganized and very slow. For that reason, I mailed my postcards from Italy at the Vatican City Post Office, supposedly the most efficient in Europe.  The postcards made it to their destinations within a few days.  I can understand slow mail from Europe, but Mexico is merely the country south of the United States, not an ocean away.  When my friend hadn't received the postcard after a few weeks, we both gave up hope and decided it had been lost.

Tuesday, I mailed him a graduation gift.  He's faced quite a bit of adversity, which I will talk about in another post (I got his permission for this) and I am so proud of him for graduating college and making it on his own.  He even graduated with a higher GPA than I did.  He's a smart and resilient guy and a very special person, so I wanted to do a little something for him.  The graduation package took two days to arrive; the postcard, which arrived on the same day, took forty-one days.  People may complain about he United States Postal Service, but they are remarkably efficient, especially considering the experiences I've had with other countries, most recently Mexico.

The graduation gift I sent wasn't much but it was sent with love, and it made him so happy.  It made me happy that I could do this small thing for him.  I have another friend who regularly sends me care packages.  He just wants to show how much he cares, and they are always wonderful and such a great surprise.  I have to admit that the joy of giving is truly rewarding, especially when you know how happy it makes someone. I know when I receive a gift that is given from the heart, it makes me so happy, and when I give a gift, I'm always happy that it takes the person receiving the gift happy too.  It's the little things we do that can make a difference for someone.

Thursday, July 10, 2014


Yesterday was a day of reflection for me.  It was the anniversary of Grandmama's death, but also I need up going to a funeral with a friend and neighbor.  She had a former student die and that funeral was in the afternoon and then a young cousin die and the visitation that night was about two hours away.  She's an older lady, so I didn't want her to be driving that far at night by herself, so I went and drove.

So it was a day of reflection on the long and wonderful life of my grandmama and the death of two young people.  Grandmama was 89 when she died.  These young people were 21 and 18.  It shows how short life can be.  It was a sad day, but I was glad my friend didn't have to go through it alone.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

In Memory

Two years ago today, my beloved Grandmama passed away.  I mourn the loss of Grandmama each day.  Last night I read the post I did right after she died.  Part of that post is below. This year I was able to read it without crying, but the sadness is still there everyday.  What would have been her 91st birthday was a few weeks ago and I visited her grave.  I cried then.  I couldn't help myself. Though she is now gone, she will forever live in my heart. 

In January 1978, when I was six weeks old, my mother had to return to work.  At the time, Mama was a public home health nurse.  From that point on, I spent every week day with Grandmama, who kept me for Mama.  When I started school, I spent every Friday night with Grandmama, and we ate supper with her every Wednesday night.  During the summers, I spent the days with Grandmama again.  My sister was also always there with us, but in the twenty-one months before I was born, my sister was with the nanny who had helped raise Mama.

After Grandmama retired from working in the factories, she began what would be her daily routine until my Grandfather's death in 2001.  She woke up at dawn each morning and made a pot of coffee, then she began making breakfast. Breakfast could be as simple as homemade buttermilk biscuits and sausage or as complex as biscuits, sausage, gravy, eggs, and grits.  No matter, it was always a hearty breakfast.  While Grandaddy was still working, she also packed his lunch each day.  When breakfast was over, she cleaned up and did one of a few things. If it was Monday, she did her laundry for the week.  If it was the summer, she spent the cool hours of the morning up in the fields picking peas, butter beans, corn, okra, squash, or whatever else they were growing that year.  When she came back from the field, she would start dinner.  When dinner was finished and eaten, she cleaned up and sat to watch her soap operas.  During her "stories," she often crocheted.  About the middle of the afternoon, she started cooking supper, which was the most elaborate meal of the day.  She was a true southern country cook, and the best I have ever known.  (I'm a good cook, I learned from her, but I'm a pale imitation.). After supper, she cleaned up, and then finally had some time to rest.  On Friday nights when we spent the night with her, after supper was time for Dallas and Falcon Crest.

Though she had her faults at times in her life, she was a good Christian woman.  Before she became to sick to do so, she went to church every Sunday.  She told me once that though she was raised and originally baptized a Baptist, when she was baptized into the Church of Christ, she knew she had found God and the right church.  Incidentally, I have always felt the same way.

She was always proud of her grandchildren, but she and I had a special bond. That is what makes this so very hard.  On her 89th birthday, she was so proud to have all of her family with her.  She was still in relatively good health for an 89 year old woman with COPD.  She especially loved her great-granddaughter, my precious little niece.  She would have been overjoyed with her great-grandson who was born last week.  Grandmama taught me patience, love, duty, and how to cook.

July is a tough month for our family.  July is the month that both my granddaddy and grandmama died.  Also, July 4th was my granddaddy's favorite holiday.  All of his side of the family would gather for a huge barbecue and fireworks.  He lived for the entire family to come from as far south as Florida and as far north as Minnesota for that final Fourth of July.  Though he was suffering from an aggressive cancer that destroyed his body and he couldn't do the cooking that year, he was able to have a little bit of barbecue and baked beans.  Then he died later that month.  The Fourth of July has never been the same.  Grandmama never again hosted a barbecue, though my daddy continued the tradition at their house.  So July is a tough time of year for my family, but now we do have something to rejoice: a new baby boy has been born.  We can now celebrate each July.  We lost two tremendous people in this month, but gained a new one nearly a week ago.

For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. (Romans 8:18 KJV)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Indications

The Indications [excerpt]
Walt Whitman, 1819 - 1892

The words of the true poems give you more than poems,   
They give you to form for yourself, poems, religions, politics,
   war, peace, behavior, histories, essays, romances, and everything else,   
They balance ranks, colors, races, creeds, and the sexes,
They do not seek beauty—they are sought,   
Forever touching them, or close upon them, follows beauty, longing,
   fain, love-sick.   
They prepare for death—yet are they not the finish, but rather the outset,   
They bring none to his or her terminus, or to be content and full;   
Whom they take, they take into space, to behold the birth of stars,
   to learn one of the meanings,
To launch off with absolute faith—to sweep through the ceaseless rings,
   and never be quiet again.

To be honest there is not a whole lot I want to add for explanation or comment to this poem.  This poem is what poetry means to me.  I hope it speaks to you in the same way.   I dearly love poetry and the above "indications" are why I love it so.