Sunday, January 31, 2010

Gary Kelly's HELLO WORLD !

Yes, pithy and informative, that's me. But now I'm a star of Youtube, and if you miss it you'll have denied yourself one of the great moments in internet history.

Adelaide Greg watched it and is now inundating my mail box with fan letters.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Prop 8 : Around and around it goes. . . .

Burden of proof to overturn Prop. 8 was unmet, backers say as testimony ends

San Francisco, Calif., January 28 (CNA) .- The testimony period of the trial of California's Proposition 8 ended on Wednesday. Backers of the measure claimed that those seeking to overturn it did not meet the burden of proof but had produced a "spectacular show trial of irrelevant evidence." Opponents claimed it was based in discredited religious beliefs and prejudice comparable to racism.

Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn R. Walker said he would review evidence before the closing arguments, which will likely be held in March or April.

Prop. 8, the contested 2008 ballot measure, passed by more than 52 percent of voters and restored the definition of marriage in California as a union of a man and a woman.

Backers of Prop. 8 have said there is a rational, nondiscriminatory basis for the voters' action. Opponents have contended that a rational basis was unproven and that the measure must pass a higher standard.

They said that homosexual rights are entitled to the standard of legal protection as racial minority rights, claiming that homosexuals lack political power and have been discriminated against on the basis of a characteristic they claim cannot change.

The plaintiffs' lawyers argued that the U.S. Supreme Court had recognized marriage as a fundamental right and therefore there was no legal reason to deny marriage to homosexuals. They claimed Prop. 8 was a product of anti-homosexual prejudice rooted in long-discredited religious and psychological theories about homosexuality.

"We said on the first day of trial we would prove three things," commended plaintiffs' lawyer David Boes after the trial testimony ended, reports. "Marriage is a fundamental right; that depriving gays and lesbians the right to marry hurts them and hurts their children; and there was no reason, no societal benefit in not allowing them to get married."

Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) Senior Lead Counsel Austin R. Nimocks reported on the ADF website that one of the defense's witnesses was David Blankenhorn, a liberal Democrat who has historically supported homosexual political causes including domestic partnerships.

However, he believed marriage should be reserved to a union between man and woman.

Blankenhorn's opposition to overturning Prop. 8 threw "a huge wrench" into the plaintiffs' case, according to Nimocks.

Andy Pugno, general counsel of Prop. 8 backer, thought his team did a "remarkable job" in its defense.

He said in a statement that "sensationalism" should not excuse the plaintiffs' burden of proof.

"Contrary to their public relations claims, the outcome of this case does not depend on whether the Prop 8 sponsors can prove that homosexual marriage will harm traditional marriage. The controlling legal issue is not whether homosexual marriage is good or bad, but rather whether the people have the right to decide what is best," Pugno argued. "The plaintiffs simply did not carry that burden."

Nonetheless, he said the defense had shown that the longstanding definition of marriage is rational because marriage "benefits children, not just the adults." A household with a mother and a father is "best for a child" and marriage between a man and a woman is the only relationship that can "biologically serve that distinct purpose," Pugno said.

"A same-sex relationship can never offer a child both a mother and father. It's that simple."

Pugno claimed the plaintiffs had produced a "spectacular show trial of irrelevant evidence" with assertions that recognizing same-sex "marriage" would increase tax revenues, help homosexual couples accumulate greater wealth, and improve their self-esteem.

He said these were social and political arguments, not legal arguments pertinent to the constitutionality of Prop. 8.

Friday, January 29, 2010

. . .a word for today. . . and tomorrow. . .and the next. .

So many things lately are ringing a bell for me or sending up that (in)famous red flag. . . sometimes it even catches my conscious attention. lol I think this is a good one to paste on the mirror. . . If I put it on my forehead I'll never see it. . . .I am rather good at 'seeing things' for others. . .hehe. . .but I do need a pointer!

"Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be
their option. " (kelly angard)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

J. D. Salinger is dead

Breaking News Alert
The New York Times
Thu, January 28, 2010 -- 1:17 PM ET

J.D. Salinger, Author of 'The Catcher in the Rye,' Is Dead at 91

J. D. Salinger, who was thought at one time to be the most
important American writer to emerge since World War II but
who then turned his back on success and adulation, has died
in Cornish, N.H., where he lived in seclusion for more than
50 years, his son told The Associated Press. He was 91.

Mr. Salinger's literary reputation rests on a slender but
enormously influential body of published work: the novel "The
Catcher in the Rye
," the collection "Nine Stories" and two
compilations, each with two long stories about the fictional
Glass family: "Franny and Zooey" and "Raise High the Roof
Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction."

Read More:


Regardless of where you currently stand on Marriage Equality [aka same-gender marriage] you really ought to read this article for a clear/clearer background on the legal facts. Thorough, well written, a valuable read.
~~justin o'shea

A Risky Proposal

Is it too soon to petition the Supreme Court on gay marriage?

by Margaret Talbot January 18, 2010

A still from the advertisement “Family Values.” After the Proposition 8 vote, new ads have aimed to make same-sex marriage palatable by emphasizing the conventionality of gay couples.

A still from the advertisement “Family Values.” After the Proposition 8 vote, new ads have aimed to make same-sex marriage palatable by emphasizing the conventionality of gay couples.

DO YOU . . . . .OR DON'T YOU. . . ???

Here's one I wish we could sit and chat about. Wonder what you'd think/say about this topic. justin

Gay Relationships: Talking About Sex With Your Partner

Posted: 27 Jan 2010 09:35 PM PST

2912614271pgt Many of us spend a lot of time and energy hoping to find Mr. Right.We also imagine that when we find him, the sex will always and automatically be fabulous. When we first meet someone new, we often feel so much passion that the specifics of what we are doing don’t matter all that much. Sooner or later the novelty starts to wear off and we find ourselves wishing he would do things a little differently. Or maybe this guy is wonderful in just about every way…except for your connection in bed. What do you do?

You’ve got a right to express your desires. Getting most of your wants and needs met is important in a relationship. Still, effective communication in the bedroom is different from talking about other stuff. It’s one thing to have your partner tell you that he doesn’t approve of the way you stack dishes in the dishwasher; it’s quite another to hear that he doesn’t care for the way you do oral sex.

In intimate matters our hearts are closer to the surface. Feelings get bruised more easily. Handled poorly, he ends up feeling incompetent as a lover and you feel like a cad. This is not the way to get what you want in bed!

One thing to keep in mind is that for most of us, our lover is the scariest person in the world. If you are having casual nookie with someone and he doesn’t like what you are doing, it’s generally no big deal. It’s very different with a lover. Truth is, you probably care about what he thinks of you more than you care about anyone else’s opinion. If you aren’t pleasing him you can find yourself feeling pretty upset with yourself. Your partner is scary to you not because he’s a bad guy, but because you are invested in him and really care what he thinks.

It is important to understand that you cannot read his mind and he can’t read yours. You may feel absolutely certain you know what he’s thinking – what feels good to him, what turns him on – but you don’t know for certain unless he tells you. Believing that your partner would know what you like “if he really loved you” is to set yourself up for big disappointments.

Ask him if he likes what you are doing. Better yet, stop what you are doing and whisper the question in his ear. Make your question sexy. Instead of clinically asking his preference for something, try doing your best and then cooing “do you like that, handsome?”

If you would really like your lover to try doing something differently, be sweet in the way that you ask. Keep it positive. “Oh baby, I’d love it even more if you did this….” Then show him what you want. Smile, be encouraging and don’t require perfection from him. When you find your partner doing something that you like, let him know. This isn’t about faking an orgasm; it’s more about letting your pleasure be big and obvious enough so that you are sharing it with him. When we share our pleasure with someone we care about, the pleasure often becomes bigger still.

If the two of you have a serious problem to talk about, keep it out of the bedroom. Have the discussion elsewhere at a time and in a place where you can give each other your undivided attention. Keep the bedroom reserved for lovemaking and sleeping.

Want to try something new? Exploring new interests with a partner can be lots of fun. It also requires sensitivity from each of you. Trying a new erotic activity can feel a little awkward at first, but broadening your sexual repertoire can keep things interesting. Don’t rush. Don’t laugh at your partner – even if he sounds funny saying “Who’s your Daddy?” (Laughing at yourself is OK.)

Finally, keep in mind that it is that it is in your best interest to help your partner feel like a great lover. Psychologists understand that punishing a behavior decreases how often it occurs while rewarding a behavior increases it’s frequency. Makes sense, doesn’t it? So don’t punish your partner by criticizing the way he makes love. Doing that may make him uninterested in sex with you at all, resulting in a serious case of bed death.

Let him know he’s a great lover and you’ll make it much more likely that he will keep his interest in sex with you. Make some noise when you make love to give him clues about what you are experiencing. Tell him you love it when he does something you like. Compliment him on the way he looks, on how sexy you find him. Look at him with the eyes of a lover, not a critic. Even if you wish he would spend more time at the gym, there are probably many things you can compliment him about. Let him know you appreciate him sexually – not in a demanding or manipulative way, but in a genuine way that helps him understand your attraction to him.

A caveat here: some guys who are very well-endowed report that they are often treated as nothing more than a life-support system for their ample cocks. Almost everyone likes having his pride and joy admired, but don’t let it stop there. Let the big guy know that you think he has a great butt, or that his chest is the sexiest torso you’ve ever seen. Watch his eyes light up!

John R. Ballew, M.S. an author and contributor to GAYTWOGETHER, is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Atlanta. He specializes in issues related to coming out, sexuality, relationships and spirituality. If you have any questions or comments you can submit them directly to GAYTWOGETHER or John R. Ballew, M.S. -

~~~ borrowed from Michael's GAYTWOGETHER.COM

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Reclaiming our Humanness

My dad sent me this link today. Sr Joan brings a couple of different dimension to the front. . .from history, war, economics, and becoming human once again. Give it a good read. She has a lot of good stuff to say.. . . . .justin

Haiti: The rest of the story is ours

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I went to Haiti years ago. There was an earthquake going on then, too, but that earthquake was of another making. That earthquake rumbled up from the underground of a people who had been exploited, abandoned, abused and forgotten by their own government and brought to the point of total resistance.

In the midst of the fissure stood a young Salesian priest, John Bertrand Aristide, shouting like John the Baptist in the desert, for peace and justice for the poor in the face of Haiti's sinful impoverishment by the Western world. From 1845 to 1947, Haiti had been forced to pay France reparations in gold for its 1803 war of independence. This required the country to borrow huge sums of money at egregious rates of interest from American, French and German banks. Furthermore, Western corporations, our own among them, were using Haitians at slave-labor wages and paying not a cent in taxes for the privilege of doing so.

Aristide was being hunted by day and by night by minions of a corrupt regime intent on quieting the fearsome voice. Aristide's great earth-shaking crime lay in running a home for street children and speaking a lonely truth in the face of the national family secret that the country was being prostituted by its own government for its own indecent desires. The dictators Fran├žois Duvalier, or "Papa Doc," and his son Jean-Claude, "Baby Doc," were draining millions out of the country's coffers for personal use.

During that trip to Haiti, in 1989, I made a 20 minute film about the situation called "Voices of Promise; Voices of Hope," which I smuggled out of the country right through the hands of the government security team. The film was to help to raise consciousness in the United States about the deplorable conditions of the place, but nothing much happened to change things there. The infrastructure remained decrepit, the people remained underpaid, the country remained destitute.

The film, nevertheless, talked about more than corruption. It talked just as much about beauty. The country was desperately deprived but ruggedly beautiful at the same time. The people were pathetically poor but fiercely beautiful in their calm and kindness at the same time. The private civilian and religious aid agencies that sustained the poorest of the poor in the country were pathetically undeveloped and totally beautiful in their commitment to this hopeless place. The future was frighteningly dangerous but spiritually beautiful. Haitians were full of faith in God and full of faith in their own unprepared selves.

I had never seen such suffering, such beauty in my life. But now, since the worst earthquake the Western Hemisphere has ever experienced struck Haiti, I am seeing it again. The only question now is how much beauty will it bring and for how long?

For the first time in years, the lead news story in the United States isn't about war. The banner headlines aren't about suicide bombings. The pictures aren't of maimed soldiers. The sidebar articles aren't about suspicion and body scans. They aren't about the oppression of one person by another. But that doesn't mean that the news isn't about pain and suffering, about frustration and powerlessness, about God-awful deprivation and aching hearts.

Instead, Haiti is a story of 111,000 corpses being tilted from dump trucks into open graves in a public trash heap. It is the story of a small country that had 380,000 orphans before the earthquake and is now calculating that there may well be a million more children, homeless, alone, wandering through life in a place where life does not exist. It is the story of a country of at least 200,000 dead and two million homeless that is totally destroyed and totally demoralized at the same time.

But that is not the end of the story. The rest of the story is ours.

You see, Haiti is also a story of millions of dollars being poured into relief programs for Haiti by simple people everywhere. It is the story of the mobilization of planes, ships, troops, rescue crews and relief agencies from around the entire world. It is the story of reporters gone to record the event having put down their microphones to become part of the rescue scene themselves. It is about celebrities, politicians, presidents and U.N. officials everywhere stopping their own lives and agendas to take up the cause of a people whose cause has almost never been recognized before. It is the story of a world in tears for a people who are surviving their desolation by singing on hillsides together, singing about death as they are pulled from the rubble alive, singing alleluias in their ruined churches as they pray to be delivered from fates worse than death.

This scene, too, has a stunning kind of beauty and deep commitment. This time it is the beauty of the human community dedicated to shining a light through the blackest parts of the human situation rather than aiming predator drones or suicide bombs at other innocents around the world.

For the first time in history, financial aid is pouring into Haiti from every part of the globe. For the first time in history, the ugly face of human abandonment is being exposed to the caring face of human bondedness. For the first time, the human race, ironically, looks totally human everywhere.

There is another test of humanity, however, that Haiti will surely essay and which is a clear and measurable one: How long will the human community stay in Haiti, not just to rescue the few survivors or hand out emergency rations or bury the nameless, unwashed, unblessed dead but how long will we stay there to rebuild it?

After all, U.S. gratitude to Haiti is long overdue. Haiti, the first and only nation to arise out of a slave revolt not only defeated Napoleon in his attempt to retake that island nation but, in the process, foiled Napoleon's plan to then use that country as a launching pad for the invasion and conquest of the land known now as The Louisiana Territory. In other words, Haiti saved the Western United States from French rule. Saved the United States.

So how long will we ourselves, the United States, a country that occupied Haiti for our own interests from 1915 to 1934 and then put half a century into wars around the world and billions of dollars and millions of weapons into death -- stay in Haiti to save it, to repay the debts that the abandonment of an entire people incurs. How much time, how much money, will we and the rest of the global community put into becoming as much a part of Haiti's resurrection as we have been part of its burial?

From where I stand the situation is a clear one: Haiti in its devastation stands not only for the rebuilding of its own country but for the possible rebuilding of the soul and humanity of the entire human community itself.

If we see this one through, Haiti may well save us again, this time not from the loss of our land but from the loss of our humanity.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Monday Morning

Maybe this is a case of sorta "Monday Morning Quarterbacking. . ."

It was a great weekend. . . .aka 'a too few hours'. . .with Peter. We didn't DO anything too special. . . we don't need to. . . .it is so nice just BE-ing together. As I often reply when asked by those who dont understand "just BEing". . . ."Yes, but what do you DO all day?" Says I: "I dont DO nutting.[french accent here] . .I just LIVE!"

So Saturday night "us two queers" didn't go out partyin' and drinkin'. . .we stayed home. . . with an old lady and dined with her by candlelight. . . laughed and told tales, tall and short, and dined elegantly on baked potatoes with sour cream and chives, medallions of pork in a white winesauce. . . .. trust me, the 9% alcohol got simmered away! LOL. . . steamed peas and pearl onions, a side dish of scallops to melt in your mouth. . .'not in your hand'. . .hahahaaa Dessert? Yepper, we made room! A layered chocolate cake with raspberry jam in layers, with a rich dark chocolate truffle frosting. I coulda licked the raspberries and truffle right off the plate! {There is still some left in the 'fridge. . .had a nibble with my coffee for breakfast!}

One last item. . . .Gramm got talking about gay marriage and then straight out "Well four of the six New England states have same-gender marriage. Is that enough room for you two. . .down the road?" The Commonwealth of Massachusetts, where we live, is bordered on the North by Vermont and New Hampshire, with Connecticut on our Sourthern border. That is quite a geographic Gay Kingdom. Vermont started the Revolution 10+ years ago with civil unions. . .first state in the Union to do so. . .and the sky didn't implode on us, people didn't become wild and wooly, . . then they moved into full marriage unions. Massachusetts did "the deed" a few years back, then most recently CT and NH. Last time I bothered to notice, life was still going on quite nicely, with relative peace.

Well, I must stop nd hit the road running. . . .laterzz



I found this excellent bit of advice at I post it here because this morning it says a lot to me. ;-)

“Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option” - Kelly Angard

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Looking out my bedroom window . . .where I happen to be just now. . .though any window would qualify. . .this is the scene on which I can feast my eyes. . .lol. .

Uhuh. . . "pure as the driven snow" as the poet tells it. . . .hahaha Cold, crisp, 'tis the season'. . . .

And this is the street where Mme Bouvier lives. . ..she's my granny. . . .and I live here with her, in the attached and connected apartment.

It's a laid-back morning for me. . . .nothing much to do but wait. . . . For? PETER, of course! haha He is on his way here from Provincetown. He wanted to get out of town and away from the Bakery so he opted to come here, rather than my going home. This is our first weekend together since the end of the Christmas break.

I look forward to his being here. . .our being together.

Mme Bouvier looks forward to Peter's coming. She likes having her boys home. . .so she can cook and fuss and at the same time be unobtrusive. Gram's a discreet lady. She has done her shopping and I hear her downstairs, rattling pots 'n pans, cooking up something delicious. Her French cooking style is simple, direct. . you know what you are eating. . .carefully prepared with just the right spices and white wine. . . food fit for a King, as she says, "for my boys". It not only looks elegant, it tastes superb. . . . .very different from campus food. LOL

By choice we don't do much alcohol. For me it is prudence: "One drink is never enough. . . .and one drink is too many. . . " Gram's 'wine with dinner' is a tasty mix of lemon juice or orange, a dash of bitters, and sparkling water. Does it for me and no side effects which tend to take over and cloud my head. Peter is quite content with all this. He doesn't need alcohol to have fun and enjoy good times or as a pusher into bed. LOL. . .Blunt, aren't I!?

Whooaaa. . .Peter is here. . .I look out the window and Mme Bouvier is already at the door hugging him. . . .I'm next.

Bye everyone. . . ..see ya around "Justin Dunes". . . ..ciao, ciao. . .

Friday, January 22, 2010


. . . . . .FROM ALL THE BOYS !


an upgrade?

Thursday, January 21, 2010


absolut vodka ad 16

absolut vodka ad 7

( make appropriate geographic accommodations )

N'EST-CE PAS? . . . . ..NONNE?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A QUESTION. . . . .

Watching the TV reporting of the horror-show of Haiti, especially the faces of people around my age. . . .and the little kids . . .has made me think seriously about a number of things in my own life . .obvious things like how good I have it. . . how fortunate I am. . .gratitude for all that I have been given . . . and on and on.

Given the obvious differences, deep down those guys and gals who died and those who survived are not all that different from me. . . .or you. . .we have the same or very similar needs, hopes, desires, drustrations, heartaches. . . .

Here is Something to think about and then, hopefully, share with the rest of us. . . . .

What is ONE thing you really want to do before you die ?

I'd really like to know how you guys - and gals in this group -
would respond to this question. . . .Please consider sharing. . and, if you would, please give your age? I'd like to use this in my intro-psych class.



HEARTTHROBS OF THE DECADE. . . . .oh, really?

BEHOLD! Here is a slideshow of somebody's idea of the 10 HOTTEST HOT GUYS of the last ten years. . . I was 10 yo when this group of early hotties first appeared on the scene. Imagine! What a sheltered life I lived: some of these guys I never heard of or remember. However, I still remember my first "heartthrob" from when I was 4 yo. . .yepper. . I can still see Peter at my birthday party: large deep dark black eyes. . . longish dark brown hair. . . . .CUTE!
BTW, what is a heart throb anyway. . ? Someone who makes your heart go thumpa thumpa big time?

Hey, must be too I have a special thing for PETERS. . . hehe. . no pun intended or assumed. . . I think I wrote bout the three Peters in my life in one of my July '09 blog entries.

SO, here is the URL for the slideshow. Any of yours there? ;-)

Monday, January 18, 2010

BEDROOM MAKEOVER. . . . . hmmmm

We all know how our mental health and relationships- all of or life is affected by the quality of our sleep - or lack thereof . If we're sleep-deprived we know the risk of bitchiness prima classa in draahma style. This is an area in my study which is now personal already: how to find better sleep.
Two winters ago I had a ski accident which ruined my shoulder, tore the rotator cuffs which holds your arm in place, and the axcillary nerve which supplies power for movement to the bicep area was 90% crushed. Fortunately I had a fantastic young surgeon from the Mayo Clinic lured to an orthopaedic practice in the Boston area; he looked all of 17 years old! (actually he was 34. . lol ) He was very upfront, no nonsense: "Justin, I am fix this mess you've made. Only G-d can heal that nerve!" [GULP!]

Both did their work marvelously. Gradually the nerve was restored to full use. However there are some residual reminders. . . .the major being night-wake-up-pain in my spine. So I have vested interest in sleep study not only for my service career as a therapist, but also "Physician, heal thyself!"

So. . .how are you doing with / in your sleep area? ;-)


Lawrence J. Epstein, MD

Harvard Medical School

I f a busy schedule prevents you from getting the full seven-and-a-half to eight hours of sleep per night that the vast majority of adults require, it’s no wonder that you often feel drowsy during the day.
But what if you spend plenty of time in bed yet still never feel fully rested? Something in your sleep environment may be keeping you up or creating disturbances that, even without waking you fully, interfere with the normal progression of sleep stages that you need to feel truly rested.
Concern: Chronic sleep deprivation negatively affects virtually every aspect of life -- energy, alertness, work performance, mood, sex drive.
New finding: Sleep deprivation also contributes to weight problems. Studies show that losing sleep for just a few nights raises levels of hormones linked with overeating and weight gain and makes a person more likely to reach for fattening comfort foods instead of nutritious fare. Even worse: Sleep deprivation increases the risk for diabetes and heart disease as well as car crashes and other accidents.
What to do: Speak to your doctor -- sleep problems sometimes signal a potentially serious condition, such as sleep apnea (repeated cessations in breathing during sleep) or depression. If you still have trouble sleeping well even after underlying medical problems are ruled out or treated, chances are that your bedroom is not offering an optimal sleep environment.
Recommended: Follow the eight simple guidelines below to create a space conducive to restful, restorative slumber...
1. Clear out clutter. Ideally, a bedroom should be simply furnished and decorated so that there isn’t a lot to distract you from the primary purpose of sleep. Keeping the bedroom neat and well organized helps minimize anxiety.
Reason: A messy room often is an oppressive reminder of other things that need to be done, making it harder to fall asleep.
2. Don’t work -- or play -- in the bedroom. Keep your computer, checkbook, to-do list, briefcase and other paraphernalia related to your chores, job or responsibilities in your home office, where they are less likely to intrude on your thoughts during the night. If you must have a phone in the bedroom, use that extension only for emergencies, not for potentially exciting or disturbing conversations.
Recreational activities (other than sex, of course) also should be done elsewhere -- so remove the TV, DVD player, stereo and anything else that shifts the bedroom’s focus to entertainment. If you play music in your room every night before bed, for instance, and then wake up in the middle of the night, you may be unable to fall back to sleep unless you turn on the music again.
3. Banish dust bunnies. Dust mites are microscopic creatures that provoke nasal congestion and/or asthma attacks in allergy-prone people. Because airways naturally constrict at night, allergy flare-ups are likely to interfere with sleep.
Best: Regularly wash bedding in hot water, vacuum under furniture, and dust all surfaces.
4. Block the light. Light sends a strong message to the brain to wake up. Of all the external cues that keep the body clock operating on a 24-hour cycle, light striking the eyes -- even when they are closed -- is the most influential. Though you may not become fully conscious, light can move you out of deep-stage sleep and into lighter, less restful stages.
Solution: Hang shades, blinds or curtains made from "blackout" material over windows. Remove or cover any electronics that light up, including your alarm clock. If you cannot block ambient light, wear a sleep mask.
For safety’s sake: It is fine to use a low-level night-light -- for instance, to see your way to the bathroom.
5. Hide the clock. When you have insomnia, repeatedly checking the clock only makes the problem worse by providing an unwelcome reminder of just how much rest you are missing. Turn the face of the clock away so it won’t taunt you as you toss and turn.
6. Muffle or mask sounds. Noise is extremely disruptive.
Recent findings: People whose partners suffer from sleep apnea (which causes loud snoring and gasping) lose about the same amount of sleep each night as the apnea sufferers themselves do. Also, people who live near airports often experience blood pressure elevations and disturbances in the heart’s normal resting rhythm when planes fly by.
Self-defense: Use heavy draperies, double-paned windows and rugs to muffle outside sounds. Earplugs are very effective -- try an inexpensive foam or silicone drugstore product. If you find earplugs uncomfortable, turn on a fan or white-noise machine (sold at household-goods stores) to create a low, steady background sound that masks more disruptive noises.
7. Make the bed comfortable. The older the mattress, the less support it generally provides (and the more dust mites it may harbor), so if you have had yours for more than 10 years, consider getting a new one. Take your time testing mattresses to see which brand and level of firmness feel best to you, and lie on your favorite one for as long as you need to before you buy to make sure it is comfortable.
Helpful: Replace pillows when they no longer feel comfortable. Avoid products filled with natural down if you are prone to allergies. Keep extra blankets at the foot of the bed -- body temperature drops a few degrees during sleep, so you may wake up chilled during the night.
8. Keep a pen and paper on your bedside table. If you are fretting over impending tasks or feeling excited about a new idea as you’re trying to fall asleep, jot down some notes about the situation. This way you won’t worry about not remembering your thoughts in the morning -- clearing your mind for a good night’s sleep.

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Sunday, January 17, 2010


I have been back at school for a week, after a great Christmas-New Year's break. I got spoiled being at home, with family all home, "reporting in to Mom's Holiday summons". . .lol I have a married brother and a married sister, 12 and 10 years older than I. Each has two children so 'Unca Justi' has one darling niece and three lively nephews. There was lots of coming and going, loads of friends and assorted collected 'side-family' who are interesting colorful people.

I didn't have to compete with fishing trips during those weeks and I could always drop by the Portugese Bakery for an extra snatch of time with Peter. We got to spend a lot of time together, just hanging out, going to walk along the paths near the beach, or going in late afternoon to Herring Cove to sit on a sheltered rock and watch the sun go down, time to be silent together, time to share thoughts, dreams, hopes and desires. . .time to love and be loved.

I think I wrote about dinner at DaSilva's . . on New Year's night. . .the whole family was there. Fun people! At dinner I sat next tp Grandfather Dominico, in his 80s, who smiles and takes everything in, missing nothing. At one point Papa Dom leaned and said to me "Justino, it's not important who you love. . it is important THAT you love. . . that's what important. . ." as he grinned at Peter and me. Nice gent. I like him.

Back on Campus life springs right back on schedule with classes and meetings, projects and seminars, papers to write and finish. . .lol. . .busy life. Yesterday I went on campus to the library and and ,wallking to the library, I took deliberate time to look and listen, observe what as going on around me. . . kids hurrying, a couple in serious discussion, close to fighting, and this one kid just lollygaggling along, slowly, looking for all the world like a lost soul. As we got closer I realized he was one of the first year students in my intro psych class.

I spoke to him, couldn't remember his first name. I guess I startled him out his 'lost revery' because he looked surprised but then he turned direction and walked along with me, just to talk, and talk we did. . . what began a bit awkwardly turned into a very easy sharing about lots of things. . . especially about him. It began with "Remember what you said last week in class. . . .?" Of course I didn't: I say LOTS of things in class. ;-)

That was the opener and I didn't get any work done, I just spent quality time with another guy, listening mostly. I didn't get to the library; we went to the coffee shop and spent the rest of the afternoon there. . . I call it a very profitable Saturday afternoon talking about "matters of consequence".

I like doing stuff like that.

ciao ~'justin'

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Gay Relationships: What Makes A Man Sexy?

Gay Relationships: What Makes A Man Sexy? Our culture values sexiness very highly. But what is sexiness? A visitor from another planet who looked at our advertising might think it was something you get from purchasing products like cars, colognes or cognac. Everyone wants it, but it is hard to define. What makes a man sexy?The sexiness we’re talking about here is more than a matter of firm pecs and washboard abs. Physical characteristics are part of the equation, but far from the whole answer.

We find some men sexy even though they are far from conventionally handsome. Different people find different things sexually attractive, of course; sexy is a matter of personal taste. And what’s sexy to you when you are out dancing and looking for Mr. Right? Now may be very different from what you would find sexy in Mr. Right. A bad boy with broad shoulders and a cute butt may get your attention at a club when you’re looking for a hookup. If you’re serious about dating, sexy eyes may be less arousing than clues that the guy in question might make a decent husband. So what’s sexy? Here are some key ingredients:

Self-acceptance is fundamentally sexy in just about anyone. For gay men, that includes being comfortable with your sexual orientation. It means being able to be yourself; after all, who is better qualified for the job?

Self-confidence that allows you to take the initiative is something most people think of as masculine and appealing. Lots of people feel shy about approaching a stranger in a bar or starting up a conversation in a public place. They are relieved when someone else does that chore for them. And being able to look someone in the eye when you are speaking with them communicates a lot of positive things in our culture.

Similarly, a bit of sexual aggressiveness can be very appealing. That’s primarily true if you’ve picked up on signals that the other person is receptive to an advance and if you make your move with some subtlety and style.

Being able to truly listen to the other person and carry on a conversation communicates an ability to create emotional safety. If someone can share that kind of intimacy with you, it’s much easier for them to imagine being physically intimate as well. That’s also why paying attention to the other person’s needs and desires is so sexy. Candlelight helps!

Taking care of your physical self is an important part of sexiness, but not as much as you might imagine. Grooming is important, but physical perfection is far less crucial than being at home in your body. (It’s that self-acceptance thing again.) If you seem alive, relaxed and free, your body is going to have some appeal.

So what’s not sexy? The list could be long, but the sexy list gives us some clues:

Narcissism – always talking about yourself, for instance – is different from self-confidence; it’s boring and irritating.

Being so aggressive that you don’t know when to back off or take "No" for an answer makes you a jerk, not a sexy man.

Sexiness can’t be bought in a bottle or a shirt. It can, however, be cultivated.

John R. Ballew, M.S. an author and contributor to GAYTWOGETHER, is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Atlanta. He specializes in issues related to coming out, sexuality, relationships and spirituality. If you have any questions or comments you can submit them directly to GAYTWOGETHER or John R. Ballew, M.S. -


Wednesday, January 13, 2010



Gay Relationships: Desire Discrepancy

Posted: 12 Jan 2010 11:11 PM PST

In the mythical land of perfect love, two partners are supposed to be hot for one another almost all the time – or at least sexually available to each other. Some guy you just met at a bar might turn you down, but not your lover, right?

For couples nowadays, there can be a lot of pressure to have not just a good sex life, but a great sex life. Books abound with titles like “The Art of Sexual Ecstasy,” “Total Sex” and “Hot Monogamy.” (And those are just some of the books on my bookshelf!) If we’re not engaged in wildly passionate lovemaking, we suspect there is something wrong with us, or wrong with our partner. Or maybe we’re just not right for one another, we think.

The truth is that two lovers having the same level of sex drive is almost as unlikely as winning the lottery. In most couples one partner’s drive is higher than the other’s. Sometimes that difference is significant. When that happens, sexologists and relationship therapists describe the situation as one of desire discrepancy – a difference in how much the two people want sex.

Desire discrepancy isn’t unusual, but it sure can be uncomfortable for the two parties involved. The person with more drive may feel rejected when the lower-drive partner isn’t interested in sex. He’s not interested in me, he thinks. He doesn’t think I’m hot. Maybe he’s having an affair. .

Things aren’t better for the lower-drive guy. He may feel inadequate as a lover or may question his masculinity. What’s wrong with me, he thinks. Or he gets angry at his lover and blames him. All he wants is sex. Why does he have to be such a pain in the ass?

Because fears about our own inadequacies can really push our buttons, the couple with a significant desire discrepancy can get into some pretty bruising arguments – especially if the guys involved are feeling so defensive that they can’t really hear their partner’s point of view.

Desire is controlled by several factors. One is testosterone level, which is present in both men and women. The higher the level of testosterone, the higher the level of sex drive. There is a considerable variation in testosterone level from person to person. Levels often decline with age. Replacement therapy sometimes helps, but it’s controversial and may have other health effects. Talk with your doctor about the benefits and risks before considering the new hormone therapies available.

For most guys, the problem is not so much hormone levels as stress levels. Worry about work, bills or the relationship itself can really take the zing out of sexuality. Too little restful sleep also causes interest in sex to drop.

If there is a difference in sex drive within your relationship, there are several things you can do to help. Find a way to talk about the issue without accusing one another or becoming defensive. Speak up for yourself without pressuring your partner. Don’t accuse him of anything. Be supportive and gentle, and affirm your love for one another and your commitment to the relationship. Talk with one another about what you really want – and make sure that you are able to hear your partner’s point of view. Get professional help if you need it.

Sexual intimacy is a place where we can feel uncomfortably vulnerable at times. Negotiating through difficult spots brings a couple closer together and make sex more fun and more meaningful.

John R. Ballew, M.S. an author and contributor to GAYTWOGETHER, is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Atlanta. He specializes in issues related to coming out, sexuality, relationships and spirituality. If you have any questions or comments you can submit them directly to GAYTWOGETHER or John R. Ballew, M.S. -

~~ Borrowed, again with gratitude, from Michael GAYTWOGETHER.COM

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

IT'S ALL ABOUT. . . . .

Same Sex Marriage, I
Published: April 1, 2007Posted in: Essays, Fave, OldTags:

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You know what this is about?

This is about denying the right of others to have a family.

Despite what many propagandists would like people to believe, marriage is not a union of a man or a woman, nor two people who love each other.

Marriage is the social convention for establishment of a family. That’s all it is. That’s all it has ever been. The rest is window dressing — ancillary crap that floats around and makes it all look more desirable.

Why should it be desirable? Because the family is the core unit of society, the brick of which civilization is built. The more desirable it is, the stronger the society, and more durable, and longer lasting. The most powerful societies in all of history have had extremely refined and broad definitions and declensions of family and familial obligation, all surrounding the critical aspects of kinship.

Who is related to whom.

In our society, despite the window dressing of feminism and the artificial construct of the nuclear family foisted on the country in the 1950’s and 1960’s for economic purposes, when a woman marries a man, she “leaves” her family and joins his.

This is signified by her taking his name. The modern extension as it has developed basically has him “leaving” his family as well, and together they create a “new” family — but she still joins him.
That’s the patriarchy at work.

They become related to one another through the civil act of union, normally called marriage in English ( from old French — prior to that it was a rite of kyning, overseen by the cyth or cythu in English).*That’s* what people are forgetting in all this argument and pissing contest, and, well, I’m finally tired of it.

There are only three ways to establish kinship in our society. You have to be born into it, or you have to marry into it, or you have to be adopted.

For all the talk of preserving the idea of family, opposition to the right of gays to marry is, basically, denying them the right to found a family — to establish kinship. In short, they are trying to destroy families in order to save a narrow and convoluted artificial construct they want to label as the family. Social engineering at its best (and, admittedly, that’s actually part of the job of a religion in society).

Kinship is what says you are someone’s child. You are the child of *two* people. No matter how hard you try to wrangle it, there is no legal means for two gays to set up kinship for a single child as being related to both of them.

And legally — that is, within the eyes of the society at large and in a manner that grants the benefits and duties and lineage and all that good stuff that so many people take for fucking granted because it is so deeply embedded in their lives that they can’t see it — is all that matters.

Screw the whole “acceptance” crap — that’s about as true as the idea of a “gay agenda” — and realistically, most folks know that. Being gay is not heteronormative. It will never be “accepted” in a heteronormative society, with its rigid gender roles and tight little comfy niches that people have to fit into. This is about something *more important* that acceptance. Something outside that. This is about a fundamental right that is being denied.

So all that expensive and costly paperwork, all those forms and dues and tradeoffs that aren’t passable at the federal level or recognized outside the state jurisdiction that people say should be “good enough”, and that have to be updated at the same costs each and every time there is a life change, can do all the pretend stuff. They can mimic — though not provide — the whole issue of family.

But they are not “good enough”.

They cannot make a family. Because they cannot establish kinship.

And Kinship is what this is all about: denying it to others.

©2007 and on by .:dyssonance:. All rights reserved.


About the Author
Dyssonance is a writer, 3D artist, and general annoyance who rarely cleaves to the standard party line for any group. Here she takes the time to examine underlying issues of language, empowerment, expression, and transition, in a mixture of the absurd, the serious, the personal, and the peculiar.
1 Comment

Posted January 12, 2010 at 10:13 AM

And we must not forget the matriarchal societies, such as the natives of North America. Their kinship is somewhat complicated (and if we remember from our history, the Europeans didn’t want any of them either!).



Philip Pullella

VATICAN CITY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict on Tuesday linked the Church's opposition to gay marriage to concern about the environment, suggesting that laws undermining "the differences between the sexes" were threats to creation.


The pope made his comments in an address to diplomats in his yearly assessment of world events. The main theme of the address was the environment and the protection of creation.

"To carry our reflection further, we must remember that the problem of the environment is complex; one might compare it to a multifaceted prism," he said.

"Creatures differ from one another and can be protected, or endangered, in different ways, as we know from daily experience. One such attack comes from laws or proposals which, in the name of fighting discrimination, strike at the biological basis of the difference between the sexes," he said.

"I am thinking, for example, of certain countries in Europe or North and South America," he said.

This was a clear reference to legislation either enacted or proposed in several part of the world.

Last month, Mexico City became the first capital in Catholic Latin America to allow same-sex marriage.

In California, the U.S. state's ban on gay marriage goes to trial on Monday in a federal case that plaintiffs hope to take all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and overturn bans throughout the nation.

Gay marriage is legal is several U.S. states and some European countries.

"Yet freedom cannot be absolute, since man is not God, but the image of God, God's creation. For man, the path to be taken cannot be determined by caprice or willfulness, but must rather correspond to the structure willed by the Creator," he said.

In his speech to diplomats from more than 170 countries, the pope repeated the themes of his message for the Church's World Day of Peace on January 1, which said industrialized nations must recognize their responsibility for the environmental crisis, shed their consumerism and embrace more sober lifestyles.


He told the diplomats that he was concerned about the failure to reach agreement on climate change at the Copenhagen summit last month.

"I share the growing concern caused by economic and political resistance to combating the degradation of the environment," he said, adding that he hoped "it will be possible to reach an agreement for effectively dealing with this question" at follow-up conferences in Bonn and Mexico City this year.

"The issue is all the more important in that the very future of some nations is at stake, particularly some island states," he said.

In other parts of his French-language speech, Benedict repeated calls for "appropriate management" of natural resources, particularly in economically disadvantaged nations.

He said enormous resources were going to military spending "and the cost of maintaining and developing nuclear arsenals" instead of being diverted to help the poor.

Benedict decried what he called "indifference, amounting practically to resignation of public opinion worldwide" of conflicts such as those in Darfur, Somalia and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

(Editing by Jon Boyle)

Friday, January 8, 2010


OMGGGGGGGGG. . . . . no no no . Gimme my jeans, baggy shorts, sweats. . . .and yes, sandals , ,, but of course!

H&M’s new collection features skirts for men

    • Not only has H&M decided men would look good in pleated skirts come spring, they think they’re best paired with tights and a shirt with a dream catcher on it. Are there any words? Because we can’t find them.
    • This fringe jacket could work on the right girl, paired with skinny jeans or even layered shorts and tights. But on a dude? Not so much.
    • Oh lookie, our favorite harem pants. As shorts. With a tie-dye scarf. It’s like we’ve died and gone to style reject heaven.
    • We were almost willing to let the scarf slide—maybe if it were wrapped around a few times—and then we saw the sandals. Hell-to-the-no.
    • Um, this sweater isn’t complately awful. The acid wash vest, however, is perhaps better suited for a shirtless muscle man like Fabio. Or a wannabe punk who’s late to the party.
    • We’re into the idea of a man in a purple cardigan, but this guy looks like he went shopping in his younger sister’s closet.
    • A French friend once told us that French people hate orange. Just because. Well, we may not be French, but we hate this jacket, and this hat. And all the silly scarves and those darn sandals!
photo 1 of 7

Not only has H&M decided men would look good in pleated skirts come spring, they think they’re best paired with tights and a shirt with a dream catcher on it. Are there any words? Because we can’t find them.

Photo by: H&M
We know fancy designer labels like Prada are willing and able to take fashion risks, but the spring 2010 look book for mass retailer H&M has some very surprising pieces for men. Like fringe jackets, tie-dye scarves, harem pants, and, um, skirts, to name a few. Sure Marc Jacobs himself can pull off a skirt, but can you picture even the most fashionably daring men you know seeking out and wearing a skirt from H&M?

Browse through other choice selections from the collection and let us know i