Friday, January 29, 2010

Welcome to Chicago, Matt!

"Life is like riding a bicycle... to keep your balance you must keep moving". -Albert Einstein.

Today my brother Matt moves to Chicago, and I could not be more excited. He is moving in to his own apartment in a building that is literally across the street from mine. I am so happy that we are going to be neighbors! (We haven't lived in the same city since 2003!) Come Monday, he is staring his new "big boy" job here in Downtown Chicago. I know he's going to be very, very busy with his new job, but just the feeling of having family in town makes life better. Good luck bro!

Now that Matt is here in Chicago, time to work on the next brother... Watch out Ian!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

I get by with a little help from my friends...

I am so lucky to have my friends. Thank you for everything. Here, in no particular order, are just a few of the people in my life that I feel fortunate to call friends:

"I awoke this morning with a devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

On religion

While getting ready for work in the morning, I often have The Today Show playing in the background. I like to see the weather, hear some news, and see interviews with interesting people. Today Meredith Viera did an interview with Gayle Haggard, wife of former pastor and president of the National Association of Evangelicals. (I was unfamiliar with Ted Haggard before today, here is his Wiki page if you care to read more about him). I found it interesting when Meredith asked Gayle if she believed that her husband was a hypocrite (preaching against homosexuality, while participating in a homosexual relationship). I liked Gayle's response: "The term means to say one thing, and do another.... I have discovered that this is the human condition. All of us have ideals that we strive for in our lives. So I think that all of us are to one degree or another a hypocrite. Ted just had to play his out in a very public stage."

That reminded me of something I recently read. The Dalai Lama, on religion: "The very purpose of religion is to control yourself, not to criticize others. Rather, we must criticize ourselves. How much am I doing about my anger? About my attachment, about my hatred, about my pride, my jealousy? These are the things which we must check in daily life".

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I love Iowa

I know there are several readers of this blog that disagree with me politically; if you happen to be one of them, I would suggest that you discontinue reading! (Consider this your fair warning).
I was just sent an article regarding the Moscow mayor's views on homosexuality. In a nutshell, he believes that a gay (pride) parade is tantamount to a "satanic act" and further that "it's high time that we stop propagating nonsense discussions about human rights."
I feel sad right now, for the people of Moscow, and really for all people around the world who aren't able to marry the partner that they have chosen. I have taken my right to marry very for granted. When my relationship with Scott started to get serious, I always knew that marriage was on the table, as an option, and that it was up to us to decide if and the ultimately when marriage was something we wanted to do. It's hard to picture someone getting in my face and telling me that my relationship is not good enough, let alone "satanic". It is easier for me to think that this is something that happens over there, across the world in Moscow, but even my state (Illinois) bans same-sex marriage. (Happily, my home state, Iowa, is a completely different story!)
I know some celebrities (Charlize Theron and Brad Pitt for example) have gone on record saying that they won't marry their opposite sex partner until their gay friends can do the same, and I understand and respect their point, that isn't something that I will be doing. To me, that is like not eating in solidarity with the global hunger crisis... Yes, it raises awareness or a feeling of. But in my opinion, this isn't what the Gay Rights Movement needs right now. Rather, I believe, the movement needs politicians in place that are pro-equality and will put their voice (and vote) behind it. So today, with my heart and mind on those around the world that want the same freedom that my fiance and I have been granted, I will devote some time today to research the candidates on the ballot for next week's IL Primary.

"Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere" - MLK, Jr. 1963

Monday, January 25, 2010

Swimming like the current

"On matters of style, swim like the current. On matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Regarding Massachusetts:

"Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance. Few are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality for those who seek to change a world that yields most painfully to change. And I believe that in this generation, those with the courage to enter the moral conflict will find themselves with companions in every corner of the globe. For the fortunate among us, there is the temptation to follow the easy and familiar paths of personal ambition and financial success so grandly spread before those who enjoy the privilege of education. But that is not the road history has marked out for us." -Ted Kennedy