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Forgive me, brethren, for I have sinned...

It has been one year, 13 days, 23 hours and 36 minutes since my last public post.

Really? Really.

I have used LJ intermittently this past year for private "my eyes only" posts on my 2012 resolution (singular) and goals (plural). I was already thinking this year there would be two resolutions--last year's "Finish unfinished business" is not, er, finished...so it's continuing--but then I had breakfast with mirrormargaret who guilted me with how much she misses my LJ (even though she is THE ONLY PERSON IN THE WORLD who is still reading it)... so now I think I am adding LJ to my resolutions, too.

To add to the pressure, I just signed on to the January 2013 Nablopomo.

Actually, it's fitting to get back to LJ now because that other resolution joining last year's unfinished "Finish unfinished business" is to get back to writing. It would be safe to say that I haven't written anything* since I stopped working for The Rainbow Times, back in ... May? June? And before that, it had been many months since I'd written anything *but* Rainbow Times work. I haven't even been journaling regularly for the past year or so.

This is all rather ironic because I've had pieces in two books released in the past 15 months, and there have been a number of speaking engagements, and even more religious programs I've led, so I should be, if anything, encouraged and inspired...and God knows I've got enough stories to tell.

Plus there's the pesky fact that I have three book projects on my mind and in some form or another on my desktop.

So here's hoping that this year sees at least 52 (and ideally 365) LJ entries. I'll try not to bore you. And by "you," I mean mirrormargaret because no one else is reading this, right?

*anything that counts in my mind as "real writing". Among the many things I've written that are not real writing: email, letters, reports, marketing materials, web content for instructional and/or marketing purposes, Tweets, and Facebook updates.

5 New Things in Portsmouth

Yesterday, I was in Portsmouth with Buttercup on our semi-annual visit to obtain a new passport for him. Since I'd been there before it wasn't "easy" to play my 5 New Things game, and I actually wasn't thinking about it at the time, but in retrospect I actually did manage to find 5 things...and that led me to more.

1) Had the Guy Scramble (?) at Friendly Toast: eggs w/ avocado and black beans. Which was amazing.
2) Had a coconut/nut/chocolate chip pancake also at Friendly Toast.
3) Also had "banana pepper and blue cheese" bread which was amazingly good though it sounds quite weird. At the Friendly Toast, of course.
4) Had lunch at Chinese place in Rye. Oh hey and we visited Rye, NH!
5) Tried a variety of amazing balsamic vinegars at Le Roux store in Portsmouth. Actually if you count all those vinegars and fancy olive oils, I probably tried 10 new things just in that store. Noteworthy: the 18 year old balsamic was so good you could drink the stuff (or drizzle it on cheesecake) and the dark chocolate balsamic was also amazing, would be great for a molé-type dish.

I also exchanged my SodaStream carbonator for the first time, though I don't think I want to count that as a travel item. They just happened to have SodaStream in Le Roux, so I didn't have to stop at Bed, Bath and Beyond on the way home.

Readings about Christmas season

Enjoying Christmas, Without Celebrating It
Katherine Rosman
Wall Street Journal

The Holy Days Season
Andrea Ayvazian
The Daily Hampshire Gazette

Muslim Christmas Celebrations Recognize Jesus in Islam
Jaweed Kaleem
Huffington Post


August 2011 The Rainbow Times

The September issue of The Rainbow Times is about to go up, so that's what you'll find around town locally. However, the August issue is still online:

To view the whole issue: The Rainbow Times-August 2011

My column: Catching Queer Kids Who Fall Through the Cracks

Online-only: My article about Susan Stinson, winner of this year's Lambda Literary Foundation Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist Award, "Lambda Names Susan Stinson Outstanding Mid-Career Novelist


Ramadan FAQ

It's that time again...

Ramadan FAQ 2011

Ramadan Mubarek!

UU LGBTQ service SUNDAY 9:15 and 11

In case anyone missed my daily reminders on Facebook...

What's better than sleeping in Sunday? Coming to the UU LGBTQ service! Hear the amazingly talented Arjuna Greist and the wonderful Pioneer Valley Gay Men's Chorus (including rj_swashbuckler!). 2 services: 9:15 and 11. Have coffee and pink triangle cookies with us in between!

More info here: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=151133124947553

Writer's Block: Have a drink on me

If you were going to make a signature drink that was named after you, what would you put in it?

Coffee. Cardamom. And a chickpea. It would be like those drinks that have worms in them, except less gross.

Writer's Block: Happy, happy, joy, joy

Which song makes you happy every time you hear it, and why?

Rain by Madonna and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun by Cyndi Lauper

Both they were significant at a significant time and they made me happy, then. Funny how that carries over.

Another one that has a similar but slightly different impact is Suzanne (the Leonard Cohen song as sung by just about anyone else). That conjures more of a dreamy, pensive mood, though, not pure joy.

I've just started listening to Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult (audio book) and the narrator talks about the impact of music on the brain and memory and mood. It has made me interested to learn more about that.
How would you describe the last decade in one sentence?

Growth is exhausting.
There will be a rare local opportunity to take a self-defense class that is specifically for the LGBTQ community (and intentionally trans-inclusive) on December 4 at 3:30. The class is co-taught by Lynne Marie Wanamaker (with more than 20 years of experience) and Jenn Bealer (more than 10 years experience and a former board member of the National Women's Martial Arts Federation). This is a safe space to explore self-protection needs specific to our LGBTQ identities, build skills to respond to bias-based harassment, explore strategies to address threatening situations, and practice many physical and verbal techniques. It's designed for adults (18 and up) of all genders. $25 per person. Sliding scale available.

The class will be held at Smart Moves Pilates in Florence, MA.
More information is available on Lynne Marie's website: www.compassionateconditioning.com

This is not a random "ad" --- I feel like self-defense training is a really important thing that more of us need (no matter how safe we feel in the Valley) and it's rare to have a chance to be in a space that is intentionally queer- and trans-positive. I also just did a lengthy interview with both teachers for a Rainbow Times article, and I know Lynne Marie from the UU, so I feel confident in saying they are both great people with a tremendous amount of knowledge and compassion. Randy and I are both planning to attend the class. It would be great to see some of you there.

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