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Posts Tagged ‘Pennsylvania’

Heeellloooo Lovers I hope this finds you well and enjoying the post inaugural bliss.  I wanted to touch base with you lovely people and see how you are doing.  Things are well in Erie except for the snow.  Yesterday we were getting two inches of snow every hour…in the end it was announced on the new that this winter will be the 10th heaviest snowfall in Erie history….I can attest to this since I spent 20 some good minutes pushing fellow apartment residents out of our snow congested parking lot (I reek of car exhaust at the moment)….update I just heard we are at the 7th place spot for most snow during a winter season in Erie…perfect.

 

Updates, updates, updates…first, my meeting with one of our State Reps. went very well.  We all presented out respective pieces on DOMA, DADT, ENDA, and anti-hate laws.  I ended up sitting between our congress woman and one of her staff members….it made me nervous.  It was such a great meeting and great day because I ended up going out to lunch with a couple older gay men (and Steve) who gave us a nice history regarding gay right in Erie and PA.   Then we ended up going back to the office of the Congress woman to see the opening of her office (I’m not sure this sentence makes sense).  I ended up running into a friend (who is a political activist) and eventually had to tell her I was gay and that’s why I was at the office opening and had the meeting earlier that day.  Then she introduced me to one of her friends.  I’m not sure if he’s gay or not but he was uber cute.  Black hair, dark eyes…he had a very Italian complexion, little bit of facial hair skinny….needless to say I was smitten.  I hope I run into him again.  Then the week got better from there.

 

I went out and visited some bars and just got to hang around Erie, it has been so hectic that it was nice to just cool my jets for the weekend.  We had game night; I managed to see some people that were visiting from out of town all in all just a lovely weekend.  But I think the best part was Monday night.

 

Ever since I’ve stopped seeing my older gentlemen friend John (I had to stop myself) I’ve been feeling a little off my game recently….in a bit of a funk if you will.  So a couple of us went to the gay bar on Monday and it was fun.  There was your typical drag show going on but what was untypical was the fact the bar was packed with a ton of people…some of them very good looking.  So me and a friend go back to a bar (Monday’s are coincidentally college ID…what like you’ve never been to one) and we were getting drinks.  Just down the bar from me is this cute tall dark haired boy.  He looked to be about 22-23 (he had to be over 21 because he was buying booze) and I don’t know what came over me…I ended up telling the bar tender to put his drink on my tab.  As I signed off on my tab I heard the guy say something about paying and being surprised….he walks over and goes to thank my friend Missy…who then says don’t thank me thank him in fact give him your phone number and name.  That’s when I got bashful, he shakes my hand and we exchange quick pleasantries and it was over.  He was gone and I was on my way to the dance floor.  So we dance and there it’s about 2 am and as I am turning around on the dance floor low and behold they guy is standing right behind me…he leans forward and whispers in my ear that his name is Henry and that no one has ever bought him a drink before.   He then gives me a peck on cheek and tells me he is leaving with his friends and that he would be there next weekend.  I stammer out something and the next thing I know he is moving towards the exit.  I was pretty pleased with the whole thing and now I know what I am doing Monday night.  I will defiantly let you guys know how things pan out.  Also, when he was whispering into my ear I detected a hint of a British accent….sexy.  But it didn’t stop there.

 

On Tuesday night, after trivia I ended up making friends from an opposing team who has the cutest curly haired guy on the team.  At the end of trivia they have a free round where you can answer individually and win prizes.  The first question I manage to get right and win a hat…as it turns out curly haired guy had his hand up to and I stole the question from him…I ended up giving him the hat instead (one because I look awful in hats and two so I could talk to him)….his name is Paul and he looked good in the hat.

 

Now the far part of the past week!  I took a page out of my friend Romi’s play book and her site Year of the Chick and signed up for a dating service.  Like I’ve said I want to keep putting myself out there well I really did it this time.  So I open my account (it was free) and I come up with a witty and honest profile of myself.  Well I had a few surprises in my account all ready…I usually set my profile to a 50 mile radius…I don’t want to date some one way far away…I get a message one day later from a man from Virginia stating he was in Erie for a few day and he thought we should meet…the subject line of said email….hey sexy.  Now don’t get me wrong I don’t mind having my ego stroked a little (or other things) but this was ridiculously forward and frankly I’m not looking for one night stands.  To top it off not only was his profile a mess (and a grammatical nightmare) and didn’t say anything about him other than his graduate study work (which I don’t believe he’s doing)he listed himself as being straight.  Ugh…please I don’t care if you are in the closet but if you think you are going to open a dating account, list  yourself as being straight, go to another town for gay sex, and then expect me to drop to my knees when you have that gay inclination you’ve got the wrong idea.  My friend Lucy, who is also on the dating site, was telling me how she judges people’s profiles and won’t message them based on their grammar abilities she will be pleased to hear I now know what she is talking about after this Virginia Casanova’s profile.  I did message someone but they didn’t message me back, which makes me sad but it is understandable.  I did have one more fun experience.  I had a young man going to college in Ohio message me.  We were using the systems IM system and it was a decent chat.  He lived  over a hundred miles away which was the first problem and the second after checking out his profile I could tell I wasn’t interested in him.  But, that wouldn’t stop me from making a new friend; I’m all about new friends.  So he compliments me and tells me I’m cute (ego boost) and I tell him he’s cute.  At this point in time I try to disarm the situation because I can see that he is going to want to meet and I tell him he will make someone at his college really happy….I was trying to throw him off…then he messages me “u know u want me”  proceeded quickly by, “lol,”  “j/k.”  Way to forward….also along the IMing (I was doing this during my lunch hour) he messages me that he wants meat.  He was also willing to give me his cell phone number so we could text each other.  Needless to say this is going to be a big problem…a small price to pay to have my ego stroked.

 

All in all it has been a pretty decent week. I have some more political activism meetings coming up so I’m pretty pumped and Monday night is going to be a blast I’m really excited to see if Price Charming (yes of course I’d give him that name because he is potentially British) shows up at the gay bar.  Well that’s about it.  I hope things are going well with all of you as well!

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With all this Inauguration banter and excitement I almost forgot to blog about the most important holiday or event ever;  no not the Inauguration, Christmas pales in comparison, Easter doesn’t even register on the scale compared to this holiday/event………GROUNDHOG’S DAY!  Yes, Punxsutawney Pennsylvania is home to the most revered of events in PA (beside’s Harrisburg’s claim to the Farm Show which is glorious as well).   Our time honored tradition of yanking a perfectly content, hibernating, semi-wild animal from his home holding it up (much like Simba in the “Lion King”) and declaring our next six weeks of weather patterns based on whether or not he sees his shadow takes place for the 122nd time on it’s usual cold, blustery 2nd day of February.   And yes your blogger here has made the pilgrimage to the most holy of holy places on Groundhog’s Day….Gobblers Knob….the living quarters of Punxsutawney Phil (of course we named him). 

 

The day was February 1st 2002 at about 9:30 p.m.  Picture a 19 year old Sammy still fresh and vibrant during his 1st year of college out at a party with all his close, drunk Anthropology buddies.  The booze are flowing freely, James Bond is being played loudly, and it’s the scene of pure merriment.  It would around this time that a fellow Anthropologist approached my drunken roommate and declared that we were going to Groundhogs day and that we would be leaving at midnight so everyone had to stop drinking (Sammy was a Sober Sally and didn’t drink until his 21st).  Everyone needed to sober up.  Midnight rolled around and to my growing excitement 5 of us left on our adventure.  At the precious hour of 3 a.m. did we arrive at a church that would shuttle us into town, mind you into town not to Gobbler’s Know…a fact we over looked. 

Once in town we were greeted with a 3 mile hike to the Knob.  It is bitterly cold and about a mile into the walk I begin to resent the decision my drunken friends had talked me into so many warm hours ago.  In my mind I had pictured the road leading us to a clearing in the woods.  The event would be a tree covered bonanza…wrong we walked three miles in a barren field, and Gobbler’s Knob was a small dense patch of woods 3 miles in. Did I mention the buses passing us by filled with revelers (drunk as well).  We finally get there and we wait, wait, and wait some more…it would be something like 2 and a half, 3 hours we waited.  My patience was beginning to wear thin and the cold was beginning to seep in….I feared for my toes and the potential of a frostbitten plight. 

 

 

Then around 6ish the inner circle came and applauded us for coming.  Declaring us the largest crowd every seen at the Knob!  Moments later, with rays of the sun just beginning to peak over the landscape, the stumps doors were opened and in a flash our Marmot messiah was out (looking just as stunned cold as I was) and the inner circle was speaking to him then he was hoisted above and the declaration was given…6 more dreadful weeks of hellacious winter would be upon us. 

 

 

 

Then in a brown, Marmot, blur our winter predicting god was back in his hole reacquainting himself with the warmth I wouldn’t see for another hour and half.   Thus began the exodus back over a barren field of snow to the bus that was suppose to take us back to the church where our car was….no such luck by the time we got into town the bus was gone and we were stuck.  I hate to admit it but for the first time in my life I hitchhiked.  Not the safest of past times but times were desperate, plus I had 4 other people with me and a mini van picked us up….I don’t know many killers that shuttle their children back and forth in a minivan.  By the time we got back to the car our toes were finally beginning to thaw and we were semi-prepared for the drive to a friend’s house to crash.  Needless to say it was of the craziest, most fun, coldest, adventures I had in college…..until I crashed a Bosnian New Years Eve Party on campus with my roommates but that’s an entirely different story.

 

 

 

 

 

 

P.S. If you are the owner of these pics and want me to take them down send me a kind email and will be more than happy to oblige….just don’t sue me.  I got no monies! 😉

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So I just want to do a quick up date.  Last weekend I made out with a 19 year…3 times.  It might have been a mistake I don’t know if there were feelings involved which would make it worse.  But, it was fun at the time….which could be a good or bad thing.  We’ve texted a few times back and forth.  I think this is going to be a problem down the line:/  During out texts he has asked me to come over to his parent’s house to watch a movie.  It is a lovely offer but in my mind I see something like this happening.  Sammy heads over to Dan’s house to watch a movie.  One thing leads to the next and his Hispanic father walks in on his son making out with a boy (Dan is in college but commutes)…..ends with Sammy trying to out run Dan’s Father!!!! :/  We’ll see what happens.

 

I have recently been working on some lobbying efforts regarding Pennsylvania politics.  I am really excited about lobbying and being part of the political process (especially in terms of gay rights) but I have to admit I’m a little scared to.  Our group of 6 people is meeting with a politician to do our lobbying and we are going to have a specific item to speak on.  I am worried that I will flub the whole thing so I have been doing a ton of research lately.  The areas we are working on include DOMA, ENDA, Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and Anti-Hate Laws.  I’m torn I want to work on the DOMA aspect of the lobbying but I find myself very versed in ENDA (Employment Non-Discrimination Act).  This Act is a lot like the 1964 Civil Rights Act specifically article 7 that wouldn’t allow employers discriminate against black employees.  We want something very similar and it was looking good but then our politicians freak out over the transgendered/transsexual language being included in the Act when then derailed the whole thing.  Now there are two acts out there one with and one with out language on transgendered/transsexuals.  It’s all very interesting.  So wish me luck I have a planning meeting on Tuesday and then my big meeting is on Friday!  I am pretty pumped.

 

Today I leave for Harrisburg with a couple friends to meet up with a married couple we know.  We are going to visit and then go to the Farm Show.  I don’t know what the farm show is but I suspect it is a glorified county fair (for those of you in the city a county fair is a giant fair in the summer that we rural folks live and die for J)  We are talking children raising pigs to win money and prizes, 4-H stands abound with goodies, and obviously there’s going to be tractor equipment, and a school bus demolition derby!  I know you are all salivating at the splendidness known as the county fair.  Did I mention all the local high school marching bands decorate the buses prior to their destruction?  Did I also mention I was in 4-H and the marching band….I don’t know why I just admitted that to you all.

 

Here are a couple 4-H links for your viewing pleasures:

http://www.fourhcouncil.edu/

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/4-H

 

Yes, my days in 4-H were spent growing plants (agricultural sciences), wood working (thanks Dad for all your help and by help I mean doing all the hard stuff), and baking (gay).  I did really like 4-H though it was a ton of fun as a kid and I can only hope the Farm Show is the same way!!!!  The only difference is that I think (HOPE) it’s indoors!  If you haven’t heard Erie is currently at -9 degrees today.  I bit chilly for me and any Farm Show.  The other thing that I’ve been told is that there is a 900 pound (yes! 900 Pound) butter sculpture.  Nothing gets me going than a giant block of butter that has been molded into something fabulous.  I am guessing the butter will be sculpted into the likeness of a farm staple the rooster!!!! I’M IN HEAVEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I’ll be sure to take tons of pictures (especially of the butter) and post to let you see them.  I will let you bloggers banter about what the butter sculpture may be.  But for now here is a picture of last years butter sculpture and the link to the Harrisburg Farm Show!

 

 

 

 

 

(and despite the picture, being from a rural town myself I’ve never had a cow by my school bus or even taken a cow to my bus….I have almost hit a cow driving to  my Grandparents once….I don ‘t think that counts as being hickish?!?!?)

 

http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us/farmshow/cwp/view.asp?q=129972

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So I just received this little ditty in my email regarding pat boone.  

http://www.worldnetdaily.com/index.php?fa=PAGE.view&pageId=82830

It pains me to put this link up…literally.  I hate to think all the press this hate monger is going to get.  In this recently posted article of his he went as far as to equate our struggle (regarding Prop 8, gay marriage, and other rights) with the extremists that caused the terrorist attacks in Mumbai.

Go ahead read it…I’ll wait.

Now that you’ve had that chance to digest his horrible and awful words lets take a moment and discuss.

First,  mr. boone, I’m gay and I am in no way shape or form like the individuals who have caused the terror in Mumbai.  If you think that me being a political activist equates me to someone who will kill people then you are sadly mistaken, small minded, and unable to comprehend our community.

Secondly, for you to write such awful things about our community and our people then at the bottom of the page tout about your “Broadway headlining,” I have a newsflash for you.  You have performed with tons of gay men and women and it’s a shame that you would say such hateful things about actors and actresses that have aided your career.

Thirdly, let’s take a moment and look at a few things you’ve said shall we…

Every homosexual citizen has the same, identical rights as any other American.” If every homosexual citizen has the same rights as any other American then why is it that we have to fight for regulations to protect us from jobs that will fire us because we are gay…or protect us from those people who will kill us leaving a gay bar?  If we have the same right how is it fair that my married parents can be on each other’s health benefits despite the city in which they live where as I couldn’t have my partner on my benefits nor would he be covered depending on the state we live in?

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/10/nyregion/10assault.html?_r=2

(Mr. Sucuzhanay wasn’t even gay.)

Because this elemental building block of society has been so defined and respected throughout history, elected representatives in our self-government have granted certain supports and tax relief and privileges to marriages and families. Again, these privileges did not originate with some benevolent higher authority – they originated with the people, through the democratic process.

That’s how a free republic works. Our people consecrated our Constitution and determined to live within its provisions, voluntarily. It was determined that the will of the voting majority would rule, though it was subject to change if the majority will changed.” What you fail to realize mr. boone is that a voting majority does not have the right to take away others rights.  That’s not the way it works.  If we were voting on tax raises or voting to create a new road system a majority vote would be acceptable but the minute you try and justify that a  majority can take away rights then the democratic process has been overstepped.  Also, just because you may be in a majority that doesn’t necessarily mean that the “said” majority is right.

No “rights” were ever granted to citizens on the basis of their sexual habits or lifestyle. There simply are no such “rights.”  Perhaps mr. boone needs to study up on his Constitutional Law.  Its a little Supreme Court called Griswold vs. CT.  For those of you who don’t know what this case involved, mr. boone, it involved the use of contraceptives in the state of CT.  Women at one time were not allowed to use contraceptives in CT.  This case argued that a woman’s body is her body and can do with it what she wants…in terms of contraceptives.  The law was over turned allowing for the use of birth control.  It was a crash course in what the meaning of “right to privacy.” A right provided for by the Constitution.  In other words a woman has the RIGHT to take birth control because her body is private and the State cannot dictate what she can and can’t do regarding birth control.  Might I add that this “privacy” which a woman has was granted on the basis of some women’s sexual habits and or lifestyles. This was just a quick glaze over the case it really is a great case and merits further investigation and trust me there are many more cases regarding rights then you realize.

http://www.oyez.org/cases/1960-1969/1964/1964_496/

 

“Slavery was abolished, blacks and women obtained the rights to vote, and these true rights were not obtained by threats and violent demonstrations and civil disruption (though these things did occur, of course), but by due process, congressional deliberations and appropriate ratification. This was democracy in action, not mob rule. As noted journalist Thomas Sowell has said, there never was “a right to win.” In America, at least the America we’ve known till now, rights are earned and won in a deliberative, legal way – at the polls.”  Uuummm correct me if I am wrong but wasn’t one of Thoreau’s and Martin Luther Kings’ tenants Civil Disobedience if a law was not fair. I think I remember something from my Civil Rights class I took in college…that we are obligated as good citizens to demonstrate against rules that are unjust and unfair.  At the moment I don’t think we’ve had any giant violent gay demonstrations?  And if we want to nitpick even more due process wasn’t necessarily reached in your “congressional deliberations and appropriate ratification” when Eisenhower had to call in the Army to desegregate Little Rock Central High School for the Little Rock 9 or when a white mob tormented the people who sat at Woolworths. 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_disobediance

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Rock_Nine

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greensboro_sit-ins

Finally, “There never were any “rights” granted or designated to those who dissented with the will of the majority, other than the same rights all citizens have to work through the democratic process to accomplish their purposes.”   I think if we operated under this assumption we could very well be British citizens still.  I do believe that our 13 colonies were a minority in regards to England.  I believe we dissented with the will of the majority and fought a war for what we believed were our rights as a new nation…I believe we dissented with the majority when England tried to impose a tax on our tea….a la the Boston Tea Party.

 

The point is mr. boone while you try to paint us as crazy, unjust people, our history is littered with people who have been considered radical but in actuality were quite sane fighting for the rights they know they deserved.  We are no different.  And while you can compare me to a “sexual jihadist” lets not forget to turn that powerful ability to judge on yourself.  You’re right hate is hate and those people who perpetuate it by taking away the rights of others and those people who take the time to fan the flames, mr. boone, are just as guilty of hate as well.

 

P.S. Your argument lacks consistency and validity.  It falls apart with every flimsy argument you make.  I’m not quite sure what is irresponsible or hedonistic of gay men and women fighting for the right to marry one another.   In fact fighting for the right seems to be the exact opposite of hedonism and irresponsibility.

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Hello everyone!  I thought I would catch up with you very quickly.  It seems since last Wednesday, when we had our gay rally, that I’ve been going full tilt and haven’t had the ability to get my feet back under me.  We planned on Wednesday for the rally.  It was cool to connect with the older gay community and they made me, Lauren, Lucy, and Steve (yes Steve I’ve kinda had a thing for) feel very welcome.

 

I ended up scribing for our group.  There were two; I guess you would say leaders, for us, one gay guy and one straight pastor.  We discussed a variety of plans to show our solidarity.  What we decided on was solidarity bands for our arms, red, white, and blue (because we are all American citizens) speakers, including myself and Lauren (which made me nervous because I’m not completely out) and then there was a symbolic wedding ceremony wedding all us gays and our supporters.  Our protest was set for this past Saturday on the Erie County Court House steps at 1:30pm. 

 

The meeting was great but there was one problem.  The straight pastor kept trying to keep things civil.  It was the whole “you can’t fight hate with hate” idea.  Which is a wonderful idea but I was hot under the collar.  I wanted some loud protests.  I wanted us to be expressive; I wanted us to use a mega-phone etc.  But this pastor kept it civil, which is probably better but to be quite frank I want people to be scared of us.  I want people to be scared of us not because we are gay but because we mean business.  I don’t force my sexuality on anyone and when people feel the need to force their own moral belief on what a marriage is on me I want them to know that I don’t like it.  I want people to take stock in what I have to say, I want to be heard and I want them to listen and answer me.  But that is just me and this being my first rally I didn’t think it would have been to great of me to high jack the rally and go on a religious crusade looking for the mormons.  I kid…and not that their would be a ton of mormons in Erie…I digress.

 

Also this weekend we celebrated a late birthday bar crawl for me but it was Lauren’s birthday as well.  So we had friends staying at our place from Friday until Sunday…then on Sunday Lauren’s parents and siblings came down to visit for the afternoon.  Needless to day I was constantly going this weekend.  In fact I ended up taking a mental health day yesterday.  Not only did I sleep in, I cleaned our kitchen and bathroom, did the dishes, baked a cake for Lauren’s birthday (I wanted to do laundry but our washer and dryer was out of order), and I wrapped gifts.  It was very busy.  Then I had two business meetings this morning. 

 

The Saturday rally was awesome.  We got an early lunch and talked about gay stuff then headed over to the court house.  We were there with our signs and umbrellas (it rained), we had our solidarity ribbons on etc.  There were a couple of speakers one of them was a lesbian I went to college with that I didn’t know was a lesbian…and I saw another girl who was a partner with me in a class that turn out was a lesbian too.  It was like we all came out to each other coming to the rally.  It was a weird but awesome moment!  Both Lauren and I spoke on the steps of the courthouse.  It was scary but empowering.  We briefly talked about how straight people need to be our voices to and help promote gay marriage and I talked about how I was a gay man and how it was unbelievable that people still try to take our rights away from us in 2008 etc.  We had between 80 to 150 people it was hard to estimate.  We ended up on a variety of news outlets.  It was really cool and empowering.  I felt like a part of a community for the first time.  There were no real protestors protesting us.  We did have a variety of people drive past and beep for us from their cars which was awesome.  Afterwards we went to a coffee house with others from the community and other supporters.  It was cool getting to know others.  Plus I’ve decided to try and get a little more into some community activism.  So we will see how it goes.  Overall it has been going going going.  I want to say that I’m ready for Thanksgiving break but it is going to be just as busy at break as it is now.  I have work stuff on Friday, a dental appointment on Monday, then home for Thanksgiving back to Erie the next day, then over to Ohio for another wedding reception for the couple from Oklahoma then we have a friend staying with us until the first Tuesday of Dec and lets not forget the whole Christmas shopping deal that is coming up.  whew…  So that’s about it in a nut shell.

 

In terms of the dating world; Craig and I are still seeing each other intermittently for gay wrestling matches.  I’m still making attempts to take Lauren’s co-worker on a date but I can never seem to ask him or catch him when he is at work….Steve and I are now friends.  I still want to make out with him but not much else…or at least I keep telling myself that.  It’s nice to have a gay friend though.  We’ve been hanging out much more lately.  It is weird cause I feel like I like him, but I wonder if it’s just me liking having a gay friend and then some of the things he says about past ex’s makes me anxious.  So I don’t know what is going on. 

 

On a final note…winter has finally come to Erie.  We got something like 2 feet from Sunday into Monday…the Farmer’s Almanac says it going to be bad this winter…did I ever mention I hate the Farmer’s Almanac.

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Alright everyone.  On Saturday the country will unite in Protests agains Prop 8.  If you want to see what your area is doing see the link below

http://jointheimpact.com/

 

As for the Erie Area here is the following information regarding our Protest on Saturday.

 

Wednesday (tonight) the 12th we will be meeting to begin organizing the protest.  The meeting starts at 7pm and will be held at Unitarian-Universalist Congregation of Erie, 7180 New Perry Highway, Erie PA.  Be there!

 

Saturday the 15th tentativelly we are looking at the Protest being at 1:30 pm on the steps of the Erie County Court House.  Look here for more updates and a solidified schedule! 

 

I HOPE YOU ARE ALL OUT GETTING READY TO EXERCISE OUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH ON SATURDAY…THAT’S ONE RIGHT THEY CAN’T TAKE AWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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