I wake up to a radio morning show I normally dismiss as nothing more than my annoying alarm, but today, this semi-decent station was actually hosting something really interesting. They found a web site celebrating the 40th anniversary (gosh, there’s a lot of those around recently) of the Apollo 11 mission to the moon.

I felt like the clock had jumped off my dresser and hit my head. Say what? 40 years since we landed on the moon? No way. But yes, it has been that long.

We Choose the Moon is full of interesting factoids about the shuttle’s mission – from the stage tracker to 1969 costs of living, I could play around on this site for hours. But the most amazing thing – and the main attraction – to this site is the real-time broadcast of the mission, as it happened. You can listen to the entire transmission between the astronauts and mission control!

I’m particularly jazzed up about this because I didn’t find any of my favorite blogs posting about this today.

So go – follow Buzz and Neil – even if you weren’t there 40 years ago. And if you were lucky enough to be there, relive it.

(Yes, I’m quoting Denzel Washington in Philadelphia.)

I was tempted to post a very angry rant/lecture about how transgenders/sexuals should play nice with gay people. And then I took a 3 hour break from the interweb and tried to calm down.

Earlier today, I stumbled across a post on Andrew Sullivan’s blog, The Daily Dish (heart) about Obama’s strategy with the gays. The blog linked out to this site where I discovered a rather upsetting comment from a trans woman. She left a link to her own blog, so like the glutton for punishment that I am, I went there. 

I found two entries regarding gay people and gay sex. Some of the observations/opinions were really hard for me to read from a transgender woman – a person who in many people’s eyes (though not my own) would be considered abnormal, crazy, gross, an abomination. Yet, here she was proclaiming it was gay people who were all these things, kicking in the bricks of the very foundation of why there’s a fucking T at the end of LGBT: because most of society tells us we are perverted, amoral, disgusting, sick.

I have known several trans people (admittedly none who had undergone a full, surgical transition, but still) and I found them to be nothing but welcoming and warm toward ALL kinds of people.

Oddly enough, just recently I had heard of some kind of anti-trans movement within the gay male community. (I still don’t know why the articles/sites/etc. I have come across specifically state MALE, but maybe I’ll figure it out eventually.) I was just as appalled that these men were hurling insults back at trans men and women like they hadn’t experienced the same kind of bullshit.

This kind of interfighting really sets me off – from either side.
So, for all those concerned out there – why can’t we just get along?
I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

The 40th anniversary of the Stonewall riots passed this weekend. Today, many people are aware that this anniversary coincides with gay pride festivities. There are parades in New York (where the Stonewall Inn bar still stands) and all over the country.

But just this past Sunday, June 28, police raided the Rainbow Lounge, a gay bar in Fort Worth, TX.
(Read more, here at Andrew Sullivan’s blog.)

This story is particularly poignant as my girlfriend is from Dallas. I think I will have to discuss this more with her and possibly update this post.

But suffice to say, I thought we really had gotten past this. In New York, on the east coast, in Texas, in the United States.

*Drumroll*

That’s right, the gays sent us over the edge.

Apparently, some state senator from Oklahoma decided to issue a “proclamation” (ha) that it was Obama’s endorsement of “immoral behavior” that got us into this mess.

Of course. It couldn’t have been the banks, the greed of Wall Street, Bush et al, the real estate industry, the irresponsibility of the entire country. Nope. There’s no accountability here in the US, just good old-fashioned bigotry. Way to go, nutjob.

And on that note, Happy 4th of July. Woo hoo.

I promise to make more of a regular appearance in the next coming weeks. I’ve got lots more where this post came from.

I am a true child of the 1980s. I received my first Polly Pocket for getting straight-As (or Os as As were called at my elementary school), played with my Skip-It on the driveway, and embarked on the ultimate video game journey: to beat King Koopa of the Super Mario Brothers series.
Playing on my original NES (just using the term NES makes me smile) is a cherished chapter of my childhood. My dad and I teamed up to beat the first and third installments of the Super Mario Brothers games. (I didn’t have Super Mario Brothers 2 until my friend, Lindsey offered to trade me hers in exchange for Tetrus. I was more than happy to give it up.)
Nintendo remained a charm throughout my adolescence, even after more sophisticated devices were created (read as: Sega, Playstation, XBox, etc). Friends were always thrilled that I still had a working “old school” Nintendo. It became the sweet spot of nostalgia in my room.
Don't forget where you came from.

Don't forget where you came from.

Fast-forward to Adult Life: the Nintendo was still around, hidden somewhere, but hadn’t been played in years. During one of my last moves, my parents graciously uncovered it from the depths of their backyard shed and bestowed it upon me. It was like my 7th birthday all over again! And again, friends came out of the woodwork to play.

But now there is a new addition to the video system family. Behold the Nintendo Wii. 

 

The Wii: console, Sports game, remote, and nunchucks. Too bad those didn't come with Super Mario Brothers.

The Wii: console, Sports game, remote, and nunchucks. Too bad those didn't come with Super Mario Brothers.

 Thanks to the geniuses who created a racoon version of Mario and a whistle that could send you away to foreign lands, you can now be a better bowler, baseball player, or boxer than you ever could be in real life. And you can burn a few calories while you’re at it.

While you could argue the format and purpose has drastically changed from the early 1980s dusty Nintendo game cartridges, the spirit is very much the same.  Hell, you could probably create a Mii (aka, a digital avatar) that closely resembles Mario or Luigi if you wanted.  (Hint, hint, Wii designers.)
For me, Nintendo was always story/characters first and pretty graphics second. This resonates in games like Wii Fit where the focus is on YOU, the one trying to get in shape. The game also encourages healthy competition with friends and family which makes the experience even more personal. In fact, one of my favorite features of Fit is seeing your friends’/family members’ Miis in the background when you’re hula hooping or doing step aerobics.
I’m thankful my favorite childhood toy maker has continued to please its audiences throughout its many incarnations. I’ve still got the old NES hooked up to the TV, ready for a rainy day when I need to be 7 years old again. But when I’m playing and working out with the Wii, I swear I can hear hints of certain Super Mario Brothers theme songs. Even though the sounds are different, the feeling I get is still the same: I’m on an exciting journey and Nintendo is going to take me there.

This is both a shout out to my friend, Stephanie who runs The Wander List (see blogroll) and a shameless plug for a piece I wrote called Bring Comfy Shoes, Appetite for ‘Upstate Manhattan.’ 

Check out her awesome travel blog right here at WordPress and find my entry on cool things to do in ‘Upstate Manhattan’ (aka, Washington Heights/Inwood) posted today, June 16.

Hopefully, I will be posting regularly in the future.

may save this adult’s sanity.

I attended a volunteer orientation at the non-profit’s Superhero Supply Co. store today. I left feeling invigorated at the idea of workshopping poetry and short stories with some feisty middle schoolers. Not to mention, 826 hosts a reading series for its volunteers called Knight of Time. Insert massive excitement here.

On a personal note (aside from the mention of saving my sanity), I think getting involved with an organization like this will be a huge positive change. I’m not sure how I’ll work with the kids, but most of my trepidation has subsided. Working with other artistic-minded people happily occupies me.

I love starting something new, especially a new writing endeavor, because just the thought of it motivates me to write more.

Hopefully, I’ll get an email from the volunteer contact at 826 and I can start TA-ing for a workshop this summer.
The sooner I take the plunge, the better.

We should all be so lucky to do something we love.

For the people & things in your life you love.

It’s June, aka gay pride, which means I’ll be searching for cool (and possibly free) gay events happening this month.

I’m really excited about this event which is being hosted by the New York Public Library.

And just for fun:

Then…

Gay Liberation Front, 1969 (by Diane Davies)

Gay Liberation Front, 1969 (by Diane Davies)

and now….

Gay is the New Black cover (courtesy of The Advocate)

Gay is the New Black cover (courtesy of The Advocate)

the insanity of the religious right.

Seriously? Are these people for real?

I will have more blogs forthcoming regarding George Tiller’s murder, but for now, I think I’ll let the image do the talking.