Sunday, July 18, 2010


Oops. Just realized this blog celebrated its seventh anniversary last Friday.

Hopefully in this eighth year I'll get my blogging mojo back. In the meantime, scroll through the archives. Back in the day -- yes, I've been blogging for so long I call it "back in the day" -- I used to be sort of funny.

Or, you know, "funny-with-air quotes-indicating-stupid." Same root, at least.

Whatevs. I'm still here.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Who Likes FARB Shorts?

... well, really, not tons of people. Still, here we are. The elite will be ahead of the game, and masses will catch up. Some day.

I keep forgetting to tell you people that my short story "Saint Daniel and His Demons" -- which apparently reads like Vonnegut -- although maybe that's Tony "No Relation" Vonnegut, not Kurt -- is in an awesome anthology... and I'm in it!

'Nathan has reviewed it. And awesome writers like Jess Wells, Aaron Hamburger, Greg Herren, Jewelle Gomez, Jeff Mann, and Lucy Jane Bledsoe contributed to it...

What's not to love? You can buy it at Amazon, or course, but patronize your friendly neighborhood LGBT bookseller, if you can.

Monday, July 05, 2010



Yes, I've had a bit of one with this blog. But no, that's not what I mean by "breaks." Maybe I'll apologize for walking away from the blog some day; probably not.

Because I'm guilty of far worse breaks over my half-century on this planet. You probably are, too. It's an ingrained part of the human psyche, I think. Or at least mine. You deal with what you can deal with, and the rest... break.

For example, my parents separated when I was 18, and divorced a year later. Three months after that, my mother remarried. You do that math. In any event, I sunk into a decades-long pattern of avoidance, and managed to strain my relationship with both my mother and father for years. These were, in true WASP fashion, very cold breaks: emotional distance papered over with quarterly phone calls.

Sometimes less than that. During one lengthy period of estrangement, my father only learned that I had moved from Rochester to New York City from an item in the Rochester newspaper. He reached out to me. That is to his credit; not mine. I was bull-headed enough at the time that I was willing to make the clean break, and if I hadn't heard from him, well... But I did.

There have been other breaks -- I jettisoned a lot of people from my past when I came out, because I knew (or thought, and I'm pretty sure I was right) they wouldn't understand, and it wasn't worth my time -- but the family breaks had a bitter taste.

I never got over the problems with my mother. That mostly had to with her husband of the last 30 years, but it's not a great excuse. She deserved better from me than avoidance and neglect. I was never really angry with her, but I'd been trapped in the middle of the problem when I was 18 and 19, and, well... I broke. And now she's been dead for the past 26 months, and I can't go back and make anything better.

I can kick myself and admit she deserved better than she got from me, but I can't make anything better. Now.

My father -- the alpha dog of the family -- is slowing down, too. Bad hips, bad shoulders, you name it. At 76 -- 77 next month -- his body is showing the wear and tear of hard labor (which I do not do) since before I was born. He's probably got another decade in him. Maybe two. But sometimes I'm scared to get glimpses of his relatively recent frailty.

A few days ago, Bradykins and I flew to Rochester. It was supposed to be a quiet weekend, but -- minutes after we arrived -- we discovered my stepmother had just broken her hip. She was in the hospital before we arrived, although she'll hopefully be home tomorrow. She's a fighter. We used to drink together back in the '80s. She'll get past this. Still, that's a bad break.

When we left this morning, he (like my stepmother) kept apologizing that -- because of her broken hip -- we probably had a boring weekend. Quite the contrary. It sort of opened my eyes.

The thing is... if Brady and I hadn't been in town, my father would have been wandering around between the hospital and an empty house. That's not a good place for a 76-almost-77-year-old with a bad hip and bad shoulder. We were glad that he had us to come home to, and I feel a bit guilty tonight that he came home to a dark, empty house.

And -- much as I hate the phone -- I also broke pattern tonight to call both of them (her in the hospital; him at home), to check in.

I can't undo the past. I can only start appreciating what I have now. So I will force it, if I have to, to keep those ties strong.

Because, really, they break too easily if you let them.