Monthly Archives: September 2014

Moment of Zen: Procrasturbation

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Procrasturbation [pro·cras·tur·ba·tion]: A similar experience to masturbation, it feels good while you’re doing it but afterwards you realize that you just did yourself; Doing more pleasurable things in place of less pleasurable ones; Masturbating as a form of procrastination.

Ex: “I didn’t feel like working on my project so, instead, I just laid around procrasturbating.” “Your first tip is to avoid procrasturbation.” “Man, I love procasturbation!”

I suspect we have all been guilty of procrasturbation at one time or another. You know you have things to do, but you get that tingling sensation in your penis that says, “I want to play. Give me a quick solo, and then you can go back to what you’re doing.” The only problem is that once you are finished procrasturbating, then you are spent and of you are like me, then you want a nap. Happy procrasturbating!


An Accidental Outing?

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Julianne Hough might have just outed “Mean Girls” star Jonathan Bennett. The “Dancing With the Stars” judge appeared on “Extra” to talk with Mario Lopez about Season 19 of the reality competition show. The conversation turned to a discussion about Bennett, who is a contestant this season.

“He tweeted me last year and said, like, I had a nice butt, but he also tagged my trainer,” she said. “And so I was like, ‘Oh, he’s hitting on me. I should try to go on a date with him.'”

“What happened?” Lopez asked.

“He’s gay,” Hough responded. “So, I was like, that’s not gonna work.”

Some blogs have dubbed him a gay man and he was rumored to have once romanced “Kyle XY” actor Matt Dallas, according to Out magazine. Even his Wikipedia page says “Jonathan Bennett is openly gay,” but has since been edited to remove that line. The 33-year-old actor has not publicly come out. My thought is simply this, he hasn’t confirmed or denied rumors, and he not on a crusade to have any mention of him being gay erased from the Internet. Colton Haynes’ publicity people went on a campaign to remove pictures of him and his boyfriend from the Internet, even though they can easily be found (including an earlier post on this blog). Bennett has done no such thing.

Maybe he takes the philosophy of Thomas More. More relied on the legal precedent and the maxim “qui tacet consentire videtur” (literally, who (is) silent is seen to consent) to attempt to save him from his eventual death at the hands of his friend King Henry VIII for treason. Bennett may understand that he cannot be, does not want to be, or does not care if he is labeled by his sexuality, and he therefore just does not answer questions regarding his sexuality. Bennett’s representative declined to comment on the actor’s sexuality or the Hough incident when contacted by the media.

Bennett starred in 2004’s “Mean Girls” (an entertaining movie) as heartthrob Aaron Samuels. Bennett knows firsthand how mean people can be. Bennett supports the Love is Louder project and uploaded a video of himself talking about the bullying that he had gone through. Bennett stated, “Of all people, I know how mean people can be to each other. I mean, we made a whole movie about it [referencing “Mean Girls”]. It happened to me in high school, it happened to me in college [and] it still happens to me today. And I’m not gonna lie, it sucks. Sometimes it really sucks. But it doesn’t have to forever because there are people out there who love you, and love is a lot louder than hate.”

I love that quote, and I wholeheartedly identify and agree with him. In my opinion, I don’t think people should act as if this is big news. Julianne Hough obviously didn’t think it was, and then again she could just be an insensitive woman. It seems that Bennett’s sexuality is not really a secret and he has done nothing to keep it a secret (unless he changed his Wikipedia biography). I can completely understand why celebrities often do not come out. There is a great deal of media attention, both good and bad. I can also understand why someone would not want their sexuality to be the main fact people know about them. Each of us is so much more than our sexual orientation.

I would love for him to acknowledge his sexuality, but I can understand why he doesn’t. The more people who come out, the easier it will get for each subsequent generation.

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Pitch Perfect: It’s Aca-Awesome

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Pitch Perfect is an enjoyably snarky campus romp that’s both wildly nerdy and somewhat sexy, which makes it totally my kind of movie. Set in the unlikely world of a cappella singing, this snappy, smart-mouthed comedy with tons of great one-liners and fantastic music, offers choice opportunities for a bunch of young performers to pop out of the crowd while playing game characters searching for modes of self-expression. Girls, gays and music fanatics represent the core audience, but the good times also should go down easily with a wider in-the-know crowd. Think Glee in college. And to add a little eye candy for the gay crowd there are plenty of sexy guys in this movie along with a few dorky types.

A too-cool-for-you smarminess sheathes the cutthroat competitiveness at Barden U., where, on club recruiting day, The Bellas, an all-female a cappella group, urgently need new blood to have a chance of beating male rivals The Treblemakers, who prevailed in the national finals the previous spring.

Debuting feature director Jason Moore, best known for having staged Avenue Q on Broadway, sets a quick but not frantic pace and keeps it there; one easily could believe he goosed the actors before every scene, so alert are they to everything going on. The unusually attractive cast, which is consistently filled with performers well over college age, is fun to watch. Among the Bellas, Anna Kendrick’s Beca appealingly blossoms from wary outsider to the one everyone counts upon; Anna Camp’s Aubrey seemingly would rather die than take off her self-imposed straitjacket; Brittany Snow’s Chloe receives some of the knocks she needs to begin straightening herself out; Rebel Wilson’s Fat Amy has a hilarious arsenal of quips, looks and moves; Ester Dean’s Cynthia Rose shows the kind of right stuff you always want on your side; and, for maximal eye candy, Alexis Knapp’s Stacie is always towering voluptuously and informing everyone how much sex she has. You get the feeling all of these talents will be heard from more decisively in the near future.

Scarcely five minutes of screen time goes by without music, be it in rehearsals, impromptu challenges or regional competitions leading up to the national finals at Lincoln Center in New York, and the bulging soundtrack calls upon oldies, newbies and everything in between to be rendered vocally without instrumentation, with normally arresting results unless it’s supposed to sound bad. The choreography is similarly sharp without tipping over into the outlandishly professional.

As I was reading about this movie, I came across a review from a “religious” site called Dove Family Friendly Movies that reviewed it as “Not Recommended for Families.” Well, as Aubrey says to one character, “It’s time to get your head out of your ass, because it’s not a hat.” Yes, there is some language but nothing that’s not regularly on television. Dove Family Friendly Movies was too funny not to read their review. At one point they state, “The music is really quite good and except for one line uttered by a lesbian, ‘I’ll make you my queen,’ the soundtrack might be considered family friendly.” To top off their stupidity, this is what they said about nudity in the film, “close-up of boy in a speedo swimsuit; cleveage [sic]; two girls and a guy talking while naked in the shower (nothing shown on screen); girl with see-thru t-shirt; girl rips open blouse during performance.” The thing is there is absolutely no nudity in the whole movie, and “close-up of boy in a speedo swimsuit” just made me want to see it more.

A friend had sent the movie when he found out that HRH had passed. He said that I needed something that would help cheer me up. After watching this movie last night, I can honestly say it worked. I haven’t been in this good of a mood in nearly two weeks. Even before Victoria got sick, I had suffered from a three day migraine. So this movie was just what I needed, and I laughed a lot, something I haven’t done in a while. One of the ladies at school told me that she missed my smile. She understand though why I have been sad.

If you have not seen Pitch Perfect than you really should. It’s a fun and wonderful movie. I plan to watch this movie over and over again. This movie is perfect for putting me in a good mood, and I recommend anyone who has not seen it to run to the store and buy it.


Someday…

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Paw Prints On My Heart

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Paw Prints On My Heart

You came into my life one day,
So beautiful and smart,
My dear and sweet companion,
I loved you from the start.

And though I knew the time would come,
When we would have to part,
You’ll never be forgotten,
You left paw prints on my heart.

HRH did truly leave paw prints on my heart. From the time she was a kitten until her final days, she would lay, not in my lap, but lengthwise across my stomach and chest with her paws over my heart. We spent many an hour like this or with her laying under the crook of my arm, her paws on my chest and her head nuzzled to my chin. When I was sad or sick she’d come to comfort me. When a storm would hit she would run to me for comfort, but always act as if she wasn’t scared.

As most cats do, she refuse to show fear or embarrassment. I remember her once falling off the bed, actually between the headboard and mattress. I tried to catch her but couldn’t move fast enough. I worried she’d hurt herself, and I looked under the bed. When I looked up she was in the doorway to my bedroom acting as if she’d been there the whole time. Even in her final days, when I know she was scared and in pain, she refused to show it. Only when she was sedated and in such agony did she let her guard down and it broke my heart further.

The poem above and below are both anonymous. I’m not sure I’ve ever posted an anonymous poem before on my Poetry Tuesdays. So this is a first. I just felt they were so beautiful and touching. I couldn’t resist.

Beyond the Rainbow Bridge

As much as I loved the life we had and all the times we played,
I was so very tired and knew my time on earth would fade.
I saw a wondrous image then of a place that’s trouble-free
Where all of us can meet again to spend eternity.

I saw the most beautiful Rainbow, and on the other side
Were meadows rich and beautiful–lush and green and wide!
And running through the meadows as far as the eye could see
Were animals of every sort as healthy as could be!
My own tired, failing body was fresh and healed and new
And I wanted to go run with them, but I had something left to do.

I needed to reach out to you, to tell you I’m alright
That this place is truly wonderful, then a bright Glow pierced the night.
‘Twas the Glow of many Candles shining bright and strong and bold
And I knew then that it held your love in its brilliant shades of gold.

For although we may not be together in the way we used to be,
We are still connected by a cord no eye can see.
So whenever you need to find me, we’re never far apart
If you look beyond the Rainbow and listen with your heart.

The story goes that just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals like HRH, who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. Her bright eyes will be intent. Her eager body will quivers. Suddenly she will happily run from the group (she never liked other animals anyway), she will fly over the green grass, her legs carrying her faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together…. I know I will see my beloved Victoria and Calico again someday. I’m sure there will be other special animals in my life as well. Most likely said animals will be cats. Calico was my first real pet, but she was as much a family pet as mine. Victoria, however, was a vat I picked out and took her home. She was loyal to me and I to her above all others.

I promise this will be my last post about HRH. I know it is sad, and I am dealing with the grief which is hitting me hard. I don’t want this blog to be a downer, so I will move on to happier topics. Thanks again for all of your love and support.


Wandering Mind

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I probably shouldn’t admit this, but unless I’m taking notes my mind tends to wander a lot. I kept focused in school by always taking notes, but my mind tends to wander when I don’t take notes, especially in church when I’m just listening. The preacher was giving a lesson on Psalms 46, particularly “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). The message was about how busy we get in life, and how sometimes we just have to stop and realize that no matter how busy we are God is there with us. Just because we are busy, God still loves us and we should do our best to glorify Him.

So there were two particular thoughts that I had while in church. Two of the couples that attend my church had their grown sons there today. I will just say this, one I know from the years his family has been coming to our church, but he now lives in North Carolina, the other I’d never seen at church before. My NC friend is pretty hot, just saying. He’s very nice and so good looking. If only he was gay. The other guy was not bad looking either, so I may have had a few impure thoughts in church. Ok, so I did have a few impure thoughts. I couldn’t help myself. Not the best thing to be thinking about, but like I said, my mind wanders sometimes.

My other thought was how wonderful it would be to have a boyfriend sitting next to me in church. I always sat on the bench with my grandmother, with my parents in front of me, and my aunt behind me. Since my grandmama passed away a couple of years ago, I sit on the bench by myself. Our song leader always says come back next week and bring someone. I’d love to take someone to church with me. A friend is a friend, and honestly, no one would have to know it was anything more. But as my mind wandered, it thought how nice it would be to have a man I love sit next to me in church and enjoy the wonderful message our preacher delivered and to sing along with him and beside him. One of the things I love most about church is the wonderful singing. There is no sound more beautiful to me than a church of people singing a cappella. I’d love to share that with someone I loved some day.

I had two brief relationships over the summer, but both dissipated for whatever reasons. I continue to search for the right man, though I fear that I won’t find that man until I am moved away from here. I’m still searching for a better job opportunity, and hopefully something will come up, and it will allow me to live a more open life. Until then, I will not stop dreaming.


Warnings Against Antichrists

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Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour. They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us. But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowledge. I write to you, not because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and because no lie is of the truth. Who is the liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, he who denies the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father. Whoever confesses the Son has the Father also. Let what you heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you heard from the beginning abides in you, then you too will abide in the Son and in the Father. And this is the promise that he made to us-eternal life.
I write these things to you about those who are trying to deceive you. But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie-just as it has taught you, abide in him.

1 John 2:18-27

Now and again a story appears in the news about the passing of counterfeit money. Often counterfeit bills are discovered when an unsuspecting consumer tries to use one, not realizing that the money is in fact worthless. Usually the differences between real and counterfeit currency are so subtle that none but experts can tell them apart. And yet one isn’t even worth the paper it’s printed on, while the other can be redeemed for its face value–whether $10 or $100 or $1,000.

The warnings against antichrists in 2:18-27 are warnings against counterfeit teachers and the beliefs they are passing out among the unsuspecting. These teachers and their followers may have held beliefs that seemed to differ only minimally and subtly from those of the congregations. But when examined with care against the standard of measure, they are shown to be worthless, cheap imitations of the one real thing of great value: a true and abiding faith.

The name “antichrist,” meaning opposite of Christ, is only found in 1 John 2:18, 2:22, 4:3, and 2 John 7. The Apostle John was the only Bible writer to use the name antichrist. Studying these verses, we learn that many antichrists (false teachers) will appear between the time of Christ’s first and Second Coming, but there will be one great antichrist who will rise to power during the end times, or “last hour,” as 1 John phrases it. He will deny that Jesus is the Christ. He will deny both God the Father and God the Son. He will be a liar and a deceiver.

By labeling these false teachers as antichrists John makes it plain how seriously he regards their offense. If in 2:15-17, John spoke of opposition between God and the world, he now speaks of one way in which that opposition is manifested in a visible and concrete form, namely, in the defection from the fellowship of a number of professed believers.

The antichrist opposes Christ, but not so much by open aggression and hostility as with deceit and falsehood. The antichrist usurps the rightful role of the Messiah, the Christ, and deceives his followers. The antichrist is, in short, a counterfeit Christ. What is distinctive here is that the term is used in the plural, and so in a way this differs from the expectation of the readers. Evidently not merely one figure embodying great evil, but many individuals who manifest that ultimate error have appeared on the scene.

The antichrists of 1 John are those who deceive others through false teaching about the person of Christ and the nature of the Christian life (2:22-23; 4:2). There are genuine theological disagreements between these false teachers and the author, and he will soon deal with the issues. But it is not only disagreement about formulations of doctrine that stimulates John to write. It is impossible not to sense his distress and anger over the actual departure of these people as well. The breaking of fellowship is in itself judged quite severely, and seems to have taken a greater toll on the church than have the actual reasons for it. This sin is as bad as, if not worse than, the actual doctrinal error, because in leaving the fellowship these false teachers have disregarded the cardinal and foundational command of Jesus to “love each other.”

False teachers have always been the greatest evil within Christianity. Google a list of hate groups and look at the number of groups listed that claim to be Christian groups. We are all familiar with Westboro Baptist Church, but they are just one group of many who profess hate. Throughout the Bible, the writers speak of God’s love. They speak of loving one another. Not once do I know of does Christ preach hate, except for hypocrites, and that is hate of their actions not the hypocrites themselves. The most vocal antichrists today are not George W. Bush, Barack Obama, the Pope, or any other individuals mentioned by various Christian pundits who profess to know who the antichrist is, but it is the hate groups who profess their Christianity and preach hate. They are preaching the opposite of Christ and are false teachers. They proclaim to know Christ, but they teach the hate of Satan in God’s name. They deny God and gain followers through fear. They are the antichrists.

We have to resist the hate being taught by so many false teachers. God wants us to love. He wants us to love a Christian life of charity and fellowship. We cannot do that if we preach hate and judgement. We cannot fight these people, others will come. There have always been people who professed hate in the name of Christ. However, we should pray for them. We must pray for them. It is our Christian duty to hope that they see the error of their ways and turn to the true teachings of Christ.


Moment of Zen: Friends

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Honestly, I almost didn’t do a Moment of Zen this week. For me, moments of zen are things that make me happy, things that having a calming effect. There has not been much joy or calm this week. Since Monday morning when I couldn’t find HRH, then that afternoon, when it found her outside and had to rush her to the vet, I have done little but worry about her. Then Thursday, I lost her. It’s been a very difficult and emotionally draining week. A week that will take a long time to get over.

Then I thought about all the comments and emails that I received from readers. I thought of all the phone calls and texts from people who had found out that HRH passed. I thought about the way my students and fellow faculty reacted with sorrow and hugs. Yes, they may have often picked at me a bit about my cat, but they knew how much I cared for her. Many of them have lost a pet as well. It didn’t make me any less sad, but the love and concern others showed made it a little easier to deal with yesterday.

I wanted to make another mention of a bright spot of the week. I had written a review of Amy Lane’s books, and sent her an email asking a question. She responded so kindly and generously. I also heard from quite a number of her fans Thursday, which was a bright spot in an otherwise dark day. I have to admit though, Amy’s books might not be the best to read when you’re sad. Yes, there is usually the happy ending to them, but there is a lot of angst along the way.

Amy Lane knows how to pull at your heart strings. She pulled at a particularly recent heart string yesterday as I was reading. One of the characters in Making Promises, Shane Perkins who is an animal lover, said, “I’m sorry I was late. I had to put down one of my cats.” I burst into tears. I’d held myself together all day, but I couldn’t contain it anymore. I couldn’t read anymore either, especially since I was actually listening to the audiobook while driving. It’s not safe to have tears distort your vision while driving.Then I decided to listen to a little more before bed. If I was going to cry more, then I could do so alone. I didn’t though. Shane described his older regal cat and how sick she had become. Yes, it reminded me of HRH, but the tenderness of the story helped. Like I said Thursday, Amy has a way of writing real characters with whom you can identify.

Thank you all for the love and support, the emails and comments, you helped make a difficult situtation better.


Sad News

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Her Royal Highness “The Queen”
AKA HRH
September 13, 1998 – September 11, 2014

It’s with a very heavy and sad heart that I write this post. Victoria (HRH) took a turn for the worse last night and today. I took her to the vet this afternoon after school. There was nothing they could do for her. I had to have her put to sleep. I couldn’t watch her suffer. She’d begun gasping for breath, and when they did a blood test today, they knew she was severely anemic. Oxygen just couldn’t get to her tired and worn out body. She was already in enough pain from the arthritis. The vet said it could be one of two things, either her kidneys were failing or there was a disease in her bone marrow. Either way, there just wasn’t a treatment for her. He said I had a choice. I could take her home tonight, and she may pass away with a great deal of pain in the next twelve hours, or she could live through the night in pain and I could bring her back in the morning, and he’d spend all day running tests. He said they’d have to let her rest between each test because they’d already almost lost her when they drew blood.

I couldn’t let her suffer. I asked if I could have some time with her, and they let me. I petted her and stroked her head, talking softly to her and reassuring her that the pain wouldn’t last much longer. We cried together, and then I called the vet back in. They gave her a sedative, and she did not react well to it, then they gave her the other medicine and she went to sleep. Victoria passed from this world to the next at 5:35 pm, Thursday, September 11, 2014. She would have been 16 in just a few days.

I will always miss Victoria, just as I will always miss my beloved Calico who died in 2003 at the age of 18. Whereas Calico was always sweet and even-tempered, Victoria could be ornery. But Victoria loved me and I loved her. We’d been almost constant companions for 16 years. We’ve been with each other and comforted each other through some difficult times. She will now never suffer again.

I love her, and I will miss her terribly. Good-bye, Vic.


Amy Lane: Master of M/M Romance

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One of my favorite authors at the moment is Amy Lane. Lane has four children, two cats, a love starved Chi-who-what, a crumbling mortgage and an indulgent spouse. She also has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day! She writes fantasy, urban fantasy, and m/m romance–and if you give her enough diet coke and chocolate, she’ll bore you to tears with why those three genres go together, which I’d love the chance of hearing. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.

Currently, I have read five of her books and working on a sixth. The first book I read, recommended by a dear friend, was Country Mouse followed quickly by its sequel, City Mouse. In these books, and all American boy is traveling in London when he meets a self absorbed British man and sparks fly. My friend and I can’t decide if we like the clever banter between the characters or the exceptionally hot sex more. When you read Amy Lane you become hooked, so on the recommendation of the same friend, I read Clear Water. Clear Water is about a thirty-six year old college professor/biologist and his romance with a twenty-two year old guy with ADHD. I happen to be thirty-six and the friend who recommended it is a twenty-two year old guy with ADHD. Other than the sex (and that my friend has a wonderful boyfriend), the relationship was similar in many ways, and really resonated with me. Next I read Locker Room, a novel about two basketball players who fall in love with each other. I loved the book but I don’t know if I will ever be ok with the ending. The most recent book I finished was Keeping Promise Rock (which is the inspiration for the picture above since the main characters meet on a horse ranch). Currently, I’m reading Keeping Promises, the second book in the Promises series.

I had planned to write a review of Keeping Promise Rock, but I will just say that you really should read it. Instead, I decided I wanted to talk about Amy Lane as an author. When Amy Lane first started writing her author bio said she was an English teacher. As a fellow teacher, this just endears me to her more, she seems to no longer be teaching and is instead focussing on her writing (and knitting). I think that one of the most wonderful things about Lane is that her characters really touch your heart.

My friend calls her Amy “Rip Your Heart Out” Lane, because of the emotional roller coaster that is her books. She makes her characters so real. I always see parts of myself in many of her characters or see my friends in others. You cannot help but care about the characters, and the thing is, their situations are so plausible. Sometimes you read a book and the characters are just too perfect or there situations are too perfect.

Some writers write their ideal, but Lane seems to write real people. I’m not sure I have ever read a reaction a character had to a situation and said, “No one would ever do that.” The reason is that you can see that the character would react just that way. Yes, there is a lot of pain and anguish at times. Lane’s characters go through many difficult situations but you get to see real human struggles.

Lane also seems to write from the heart. The bio for Clear Water states that her own son has ADHD. She describes so well in that book Patrick’s ADHD. It’s apparent that by some of the reactions that other characters have ADHD as well. I will always believe that Carrick from the Promises series has ADHD. It’s never explicitly said, but I would suspect that Lane’s son had not yet been diagnosed with ADHD when she wrote the Promises series, which is why I believe it was not specifically mentioned. This is just one more example of the realness of Lane’s characters.

I also love that Lane seems to have a hard time letting go of the characters. Some books, you’d think would end at a certain point, and many others authors would, but not Lane. She takes the characters to a conclusion. She ties up the loose ends and though she leaves you wanting more, you seem to be able to tell that Lane wants more too. I definitely want more of Amy Lane.