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Hurricane Gustav… Oh no… not again.

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Last week I made an urgent call to my parents in Florida when I realized that hurricane Fay was coming ashore only a few miles from their home. I was simultaneously worried and irritated with myself, for not having tracked the storm’s progress and calling them sooner. While we often get caught up in the events of our own lives, it’s important not to lose track of events happening in the lives of others. Often times those are the ones that are most important.

While I had difficulty reaching them initially (twice answered by a fax machine, and once by broken voice mail) I was relieved when I finally got through. They assured me of course that they were fine and unsurprisingly, not really concerned. They’ve been through numerous hurricanes and seemed more interested in reminding me that the schizophrenic storm shared my mother’s middle name, Fay.

Now another hurricane, Gustav, is spinning it’s way through the Gulf of Mexico and picking up steam, heading where it has no business going. I’ve been visiting a website tracking the storm at Formatted for the iPhone (which of course is always with me), it provides a clear snapshot of Gustav’s position and where it’s headed. Check it out.

I know the site will come in handy when the next hurricane approaches Florida, and hopefully will prompt a call to my parents a little earlier next time.

Over the next few days, as Gustav’s path becomes more clear, I am hopeful that neither the right or left will politicize the storm in this partisan-charged climate. Those who may be standing in it’s path will deserve better than that.

However, Gustav’s expected arrival around the third anniversary of Katrina, and at the opening of the Republican Convention in Minneapolis, the irony, unfortunately, is anything but lost.

Pride is in the air…

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Yesterday we saw Sex & The City for the second time and it was just as sweet as the first. I think one of the things that made me fall in love with the show was the enduring friendships the girls shared. They could always count on each other during the good times and the bad. They were more than just friends, they were family, and sometimes while watching the show they felt like a part of my family, reminding me of the more difficult times in my own life and the friends who helped me get through them. 

So when the Pride flags were raised on Market Street last week, it wasn’t gay marriage, the film festival or even the Pride parade which leapt to mind. It was my friends.

My best memories of Pride are those that I spent with friends, or more accurately, my extended family before my real family even knew who I was. Every Pride we would venture out because it was OUR day. Our day to celebrate. Our day to be proud of who we were.

Of course we are all older now. Many of us can’t be bothered. Some have moved away and some have moved on with their lives. Friends who were once close, are now distant and seldom seen. And the friendships that were once easy and enduring, now require more work than they should just to keep them alive.

So while Pride is in the air it doesn’t smell as sweet as I remember. But I’m thankful to be in a secure and loving relationship. I am happy that my parents accept me for who I am, and that their love is unconditional. And I am glad I still have friends who will call just for the sake of calling, just to say hello. 

For all these things I am grateful, and not just during Pride, or Thanksgiving, or Christmas… but all year long. It just took a rainbow for me to realize it.

Kitten Update: Adam is Doing Well….

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A few weeks ago I posted a story on a kitten that was found burning alive in small cage in Sonoma County north of San Francisco. As a cat owner, and a concerned human being, I have been anxiously following the story, and I am happy to report that Adam is now doing very well considering all that he has been through. While he still needs more surgery this week, he is doing all the things kittens do and that’s a very good sign.

And on an equally sunny note, two girls in relation to this incident were charged with killing, maiming or abusing an animal, and will be appearing in juvenile court today.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer pair of teenagers, let me tell you.


Take a Virtual Walk with Me…

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For the last 5 years I have been a part of the AIDS Walk here in San Francisco. Seldom front page news any more, AIDS is still a major crisis that’s not going away any time soon.

While not necessarily a death sentence in first world nations, AIDS continues to take a huge toll in the third world. Over 25 million people in Africa are HIV positive. In 2006 alone, 2.1 million people died, while an 2.8 million became infected. And as of 2005, an estimated 12 million children, 18 and under, were orphaned by the disease.

In the United States, it is believed that more than 1 million are infected with HIV, many unreported. And much of that in the gay community.

The numbers are staggering and difficult to comprehend. It’s hard to know what to do to help. So I walk.

I’m not a scientist. I’m not a researcher. I’m not a doctor. So what can I do? I walk.

I walk for a number of reasons: to be with friends, both old and new; to socialize; to exercise; to get outdoors (and away from this damn computer which is a very good thing); and most importantly, at least in a small way, make a difference.

You can make a difference too.

I’m not the most successful fund raiser. That is certain. But I try. If you can’t join me, then take a virtual walk by sponsoring me in this year’s AIDS Walk.

Together we can make a dent in those numbers. And any dent makes a difference. And if we all contribute, even in a small way, it can make a HUGE difference. Trust me.

Sponsor me in the SF AIDS Walk 2007

To find out more about AIDS and its impact visit: