Make sure you have room in your heart for absolutely everybody

On August 18, Dan and Chris (no not me and Dan) got married in San Diego

I’m standing there in California, which in itself is a fresh batch of cookies for the soul.

The garden is packed with smiling people—each face trained on handsome grooms.

I’d known the couple to wed for years. We met for the first time in the spring of 2003 and liked another well enough to travel to Europe that autumn.

In the time we’ve known each other, Chris and Dan have taught me how to appreciate wine, the joy of British humour, hardiness zones for plants, and a host of other things that enriched my world view.

When I heard that after 14 years together they were getting married, I marked my calendar and hung the invitation on our fridge.

So there I was, back at the ceremony on that August afternoon.

A fella named Austin officiated with particular charm, telling the story of how Dan and Chris met. He spoke of their love for one another and for everyone that stood before them to witness that day. I don’t remember all the words but I will say that I stole the title of this journal entry from Austin’s recollection of the day:

“Make sure you have room in your heart for absolutely everybody.”

I’m not going to try and butch it up folks. I cried at the apex of the ceremony.

These were tears for not only my friends, but for the very experience and possibility of their union.

As election day looms, I’m reminded that this marriage might be revoked if Proposition 8 is passed in California. And even though this is all going on with seven states between us, it’s heartbreaking to see the news and advertisements from the opposition.

I’m reminded of words by Robert F. Kennedy,

Our lives on this planet are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land. Of course we cannot vanish it with a program, nor with a resolution. But we can perhaps remember – even if only for a time – that those who live with us are our brothers, that they share with us the same short movement of life, that they seek – as we do – nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and happiness.

On that afternoon, in that backyard garden in San Diego, I shared some of that happiness, and I’m very grateful.

PhotosHere are some images from the day

Bears on the Run

Zen & Now Coffeehouse – Cincinnati, OH

Last night was Halloween I’m told. Er maybe it was Trick-or-Treating night? Does any other holiday have this flexibility on dates? So. Confused.

Drove down to Cincinnati to hear the comic and musical stylings of a traveling group of bears. If you’re like me, you do these things for the social factor alone. You might bend elbows, meet handsome and friendly folks, or just get out of the house on a Saturday night.

I got all that, and 3 hours of downright excellent entertainment. Folk, blues, comedy, a little bit of rock and roll, and some other goods that don’t fit neatly into categories. I can’t do them justice with words, but there are pictures linked up below.

They’re halfway through their brief inaugural tour, and if they come anywhere near ya – be you bear or bear friendly – carve out the evening and go see ’em.


OCT 28 : Tradewinds II – Columbus, OH
OCT 30 : The Grid – Cleveland, OH
NOV 01 : Spin – Chicago, IL
NOV 02 : JJ’s Clubhouse – St. Louis, MO
NOV 03 : Tulsa Eagle – Tulsa, OK
NOV 04 : Club Glacier – Wichita, KS

Photos Take a peek : some snapshots from the evening

Categorized as Bears

movie bears

Mastermind behind the local version

Out in San Francisco, a fella named Dave started a group called the San Francisco MovieBears. They meet up to catch flicks and socialize. From what I gather, more than 200 folks show up some nights. That’s pretty awesome if you ask me.

Sometimes it’s hard to meet people outside of bars or sports agility.

Not to leave the midwest too far behind the times, Brian (pictured above) started a similar group for the Cincinnati area. The local free press did an article about it a while back (under the heading Bears and Queens here).

I finally got myself down to a showing last Saturday with Dan. About 25 fellas met up and caught the early show of the very macho Hairspray.

The movie was enjoyable enough. Travolta’s accent reminded me too much of Mike Myers as some secondary Austin Powers character, but that didn’t stop the good vibe. For material that could be beaten down by iteration, it holds up quite nicely.

Best bit though was hanging with the folks afterward for burgers.

The next movie is Saturday, September 8. Sign up with the Cincinnati Movie Bears Yahoo Group and save up for popcorn. All are welcome.

Categorized as Bears

Buckwood revisted

June 29 – July 2

After a few fine trips to Camp Buckwood last year, it was time to return. The weekend before Independence Day seemed like a good shot, and we heard there were fireworks.

Experience proved handy when packing gear, avoiding chocolates and things that could melt, and stocking up on staples like beer, which Indiana doesn’t sell on Sundays unless you’re in a bar.

We arrived on Thursday, giving us a leg up on the holiday revelers and pick of the campsites. Friday and Saturday would see the grounds fill to capacity.

There were indeed fireworks. If you ever had a crazy drunken uncle put on pyrotechnics in the backyard, it was a lot like that, but better.

There was swimming, reading in the shade, good folks, evenings around campfires, and though I didn’t carry my camera around very much, there were enough photos to warrant a separate page.

PhotosA decidedly green set of pictures from camping.

Categorized as Bears

Bob Mould

Performing solo at the Southgate House

It was a stormy night and instead of staying in to watch movies, I got a wild hair to run down to the Southgate House and see if there were still tickets available for Bob Mould.

I was pleasantly surprised to find it was a no smoking show, with tables set up in a civilized manner on the main floor. Lightning flashed through the colored glass block windows, setting a nice vibe for the evening.

Local fella (Scott Cunningham ) going by the moniker Wake the Bear opened the evening with an acoustic set. Earnest and charming.

A Rolling Rock after he unplugged, Bob came onstage apologizing for vocal distress caused by Atlanta pollen, then jumped right into Wishing Well from Workbook. Allergies or not, he sounded great, pulling tunes from across his catalogue and making me recollect times I’d long forgotten. A time when Rolling Stone’s college charts were my only connection to the world of music, and I’d zone out in headphones and pour over tiny lyrics in cassette covers.

Midway through the set, he switched to electric guitar and broke into Circles from his latest album.

I made the right choice not staying home.

Photos5 photos from the show

Categorized as Bears, Music


for the most part

It’s Friday night, St. Patrick’s Day, and I haven’t even had a beer.

*rectifying that now*

(insert sound of footfalls to the fridge)

It’s been a week.

I’m just looking photos and entries to see where I left off and what was left out. I have these grand ideas about how to somehow contain it all. And it’s simply not possible.

I’m still trying to remember the good news from the doctor. That responsible feeling of depositing a check. The thrill of seeing great live theater. Checking out my mom’s new kitchen. Spending time with folks I love.

There was even a blast from hometown past, lunching with an old friend. The kind of encounter that reminds you, even if you go in different directions in life, you hung out for a reason all those years ago.

It was all there this week—and some of it, caught through a lens.

This is the good stuff.

But two folks passed away this week. One, a friend of a friend, unexpected. And another a gentle, kind, beautiful person I met online, and years later in the flesh.

And now I sit here in the quiet, and think of all the people I wish I could spend time with, and all the people I can’t.

postbear and links

postgaycowboy is next

And now some links, or a shorter way to say, “aren’t you glad I’m not sending this crap to you in an email?”

Live webcam of the place Brokeback Mountain was filmed — It’s gallery 6, “Three Sisters” (timelapse videos too)

Sing along with Willie — follow the bouncing dot for the gay cowboy song. (Flash, and not really worth the click)

Where I bought the t-shirt — And I must admit it is of excellent quality. Not sure if they’re still for sale, but worth a shot (maybe he’ll make more!)

Wiki defines bear — I never heard the term “pocket protector” before (in this context).

More random:

Let Them Sing it for You – Type in (simple) words and the magic of computers will piece together a song from other songs for you. (via)

Code Orange: The Slaves of Christo — Chronicle of two students who lived to tell about working on The Gates.

History of New York Egg Cream — I have yet to have one, but I know just where to go.

They Might Be Giants — are writing a song for every venue they’re playin on their tour.

1,300 cereal boxes — I’m still looking around for the Halfsies. (via)

We Heart Gocco — The Wurst Gallery has another fine exhibition. (via my favorite sites)