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September 5, 2014

Putting the SCOTUS Feet to the Fire...



Looks like a majority of the United States want this expedited:

Thirty-two states that either allow gay marriage or have banned it asked the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday to settle the issue once and for all.

Fifteen states that allow gay marriage, led by Massachusetts, filed a brief asking the justices to take up three cases from Virginia, Utah and Oklahoma and overturn bans. And 17 other states, led by Colorado, that have banned the practice asked the court to hear cases from Utah and Oklahoma to clear up a "morass" of lawsuits, but didn't urge the court to rule one way or another.

The filing came as a three-judge panel of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled that same-sex marriage bans in Wisconsin and Indiana are unconstitutional. The unanimous decision Thursday criticized the justifications both states gave, several times singling out the argument that marriage between a man and a woman is tradition. There are, the court noted, good and bad traditions.

The experience of Massachusetts - the first state to legalize gay marriage - shows that allowing same-sex couples to wed has only benefited families and strengthened the institution of marriage, said Attorney General Martha Coakley.

"Laws that bar same-sex couples from marrying are discriminatory and unconstitutional," she said. "The time has come for this critical issue to be resolved."

Massachusetts was joined by California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Vermont, and Washington.

Colorado's brief argued that the definition of marriage faces legal challenges only the Supreme Court can resolve, and that without a Supreme Court decision, states defending bans could be liable for huge legal bills from future lawsuits if they are overturned. It was written by Daniel D. Domenico, the state's solicitor general, and Michael Lee Francisco, assistant solicitor general.

Colorado was joined by Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

These are the cases addressed in the briefs:

In Virginia, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in July that the state's voter-approved ban is unconstitutional. The state has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which hasn't said whether it will accept the case. But the high court granted a request on Aug. 20 from a county clerk to delay implementation of the ruling, which would have allowed same-sex couples to marry beginning the next day.

In Oklahoma, an appeals court tossed the state's ban in July but put its ruling on hold pending an appeal, meaning same-sex couples can't marry in Oklahoma for now. Attorneys representing the Tulsa County court clerk - who refused to issue a marriage license for a lesbian couple there - asked the Supreme Court this month to hear the case.

In Utah, the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver ruled this summer that Utah must allow gay couples to marry, though it put the ruling on hold pending an appeal. The state has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold the state's ban.
What do you think? Time to hear this?


Over and "Out" from Richmond, VA

September 2, 2014

The Next Day... Part Three... (The move back)



The cycle ends...

It took me about a week or two of drinking good old fashioned sweet tea all day long. I found I relied on fluids to fill that empty hole, but later reverted to something more traditional called "Eating"...

The job market in North Central Florida was not a whole lot better than it was in the Tidewater area of Virginia, but I did manage to land an eight week assignment through a local temp agency working with the Store Planning team on a Walmart remodel. After getting used to working and having a paycheck again I soon realized that the reasons I had chosen to move down to Florida really didn't play out as I had hoped they would. My son and my grandchildren's mother have a different style of raising kids than I was used to. Without getting into any of the details, I found that 1) I didn't possess the patience I once had around "toddlers", and 2) I refused to engage in any of the peripheral drama that kept popping up while I was a "guest" in their home...

When the 8 week project was done, the temp service couldn't find me another assignment and after six months back in Florida, I came to the realization that I really didn't like it don there and remembered why I was happy to leave the Sunshine State back in 1999. I started sending applications and resumes out to employers in the Richmond area and within a week had set up interviews (after the initial phone interview) with two different companies. It was time to thank my High Springs family, pack up the "Cruiser", and head back up to Virginia...

I arrived in Richmond on a Wednesday. By Friday I had been hired by one of the employers and by the following Wednesday had the 2nd interview. Start date for the first was not set and since the 2nd was a much better (and higher paying) position, I waited until the very last minute to start with The Home Depot in hopes that the 2nd offer might happen. I'm in week #3 now with the overnight Merchandise Execution Team (MET) at the "Homo Depot"...

While I have not given up on drinking, I find I go weeks without wanting one. I also find that when I have had a "party" night, my tolerance has greatly diminished as has the quantity of consumption. 

Now that I have brought you up to date, I will begin my next post with something "gayer"...

Over and "Out", on a very HOT day, from Richmond, VA 

August 31, 2014

The Next Day... Part Two... (Alcohol)



"Tommy, you're not an alcoholic/addicted so long as you can: 1) Not drink for one full day out of a week... 2) Not drink for one full week out of a month... and 3) Not drink for one full month out of a year..." - My Mother

I was well beyond the above when, in May of 2013 (just over 8 years since the first), I had my second heart attack and three additional stents added to my collection. 

Weeks off and on, to and home from work over the next few months took a toll on my attendance record. My anxiety attacks returned leading to periodic depression. Truth is, during that time I truly believed I (and my family) would have been better off if I had not survived.

One day in October Mike stopped drinking... Three weeks later he moved out. While we had pretty much just a house-mate type of relationship, we were friends and I was happy that he was moving on with and sobering up his life... I haven't talked to him since...

After several weeks of living alone, I rented out the guest room to a very nice (very straight) guy to help with the finances. It was nice to have someone there that appreciated the space for him and his sweet golden lab Max. Our schedules were pretty much opposite of each other until Thanksgiving when I lost my job due to the above mentioned attendance issues. Life in the place I called home in Portsmouth, for almost 5 years, was about to end. Yet the drinking continued...

I sold off everything I could to continue paying the rent and utilities while trying to find another job but ultimately, by mid January 2014, realized I couldn't keep my landlord at bay any longer. I talked to my #2 son about moving in with him, his 3 kids and their mother down near Gainesville, FL... They welcomed the idea with open arms. And the drinking continued...

By the first week of February I had packed what belongings I could, into my car (leaving the rest), and drove down to High Springs, FL to start all over again. The first thing I bought (with the limited funds I had) when I got there was an 18 pack of beer (in cans no less)...

Jobs in north central Florida were not that plentiful and neither was the length of my Virginia unemployment benefits. The day came that I couldn't afford to buy a beer...

So I didn't... and the cycle ended...

There's more to come my friends... Stay tuned for more of "The Next Day"...

Over and "Out" on a beautiful Sunday here in Richmond, VA

August 30, 2014

The Next Day... Part One... (Alcohol)



In an attempt to make sense of the past year I need to backtrack a bit and fill in some blanks. I think the best place to start is with alcohol and the affects it had on and around me...

When Mike and I first met back in January of 2009 I knew that he liked his Malibu and Cranberry... I also knew (from my past) that under the right circumstances I used an overindulgence of Miller Lite (yes, I know, most beer enthusiasts do not consider Lite to be a real beer...  In my defense however, as a proud gay man, I did only buy it in bottles) to cope with stressful situations. 

During the first couple of years of our relationship there was little to no stress other than we both worked retail and rarely had the same days off. The invisible "elephant in the room" was that during those days off we both began drinking in excess. It grew worse over the years to come. It started to affect me and my work. I began making irrational decisions about my career and as a result of those poor choices, lost my job.

Job searching became a career in itself for me. My life had evolved into filling out online applications, watching hours of TV, not getting out of my flannels, not showering or taking care of our home or myself, collecting unemployment, and of course drinking even more heavily... 

While I knew the drinking was impairing my judgement at times, I blamed most of my excess and problems on Mike, as his days off were spent drinking right along side of me. I let that ugly "blame" creature take away any respect I had for Mike and the relationship eventually nose dived as a result. It was HIS fault, not mine (or so I convinced myself as I still drowned my self-pity in daily 18 packs of liquid courage)... 

In January of 2013, over a year and a half after I lost my job, I got hired as a technical support rep for our local cable service. I was ecstatic that I landed the job and looked forward to proving myself with them and working my way up the ladder. My schedule wasn't bad (I worked 5pm to 2am) and I had two days off in a row (Tuesday and Wednesday). Life was going to be great for Mike, Mr Lite, Mr Malibu, and me. The relationship had pretty much ended by then but we remained friends and house-mates... 

Stay tuned for the next episode folks... It only gets __________ (fill in the blank)!

Over and "Out" on an overcast day, from Richmond, VA


August 29, 2014

I am ALIVE!




Yes, you heard me right... I am going to take some time and try to make sense of the past year through putting words to paper (so to speak) on the happenings and why I stopped writing in general.

For those of you that may still have a link to "My New Life", I thank you! I still actually get little deposits from the ads in here every now and then and every nickel counts these days.

So here it is, the end of August 2014 and I have returned to the originating city of this page, Richmond, (Virginia) over eight years since it's inception. I made a few zigs and zags (and misguided choices) to get here but couldn't be happier to return.

Over the next few weeks I will chronicle my travels...

Over and "Out" once again from Richmond, VA (the RVA)!

November 4, 2013

Since March 2013 (November 2013)



I can't believe I have been away since March of this year... I periodically read older posts of mine just to make sure my memory hasn't faded too much... Which, I'm afraid it may have...

I was notified today by one of the "ad" services I use here that they needed a valid account to send my earnings to... I have never received a dime for any of my gay-banter posted here and was shocked to hear they had $100 to send me. I am fine with an extra "Ben Franklin" being sent my way, but I also realized I had not posted anything here since March of this year... Bad Me!

Some of my blogging friends follow me on my Facebook page and know, but for the rest of the folks that follow me here, here are a few updates:

April 2013: I was revisited by the "widowmaker" and had my second heart attack. I am doing fine and have 3 more stents added to the two originally placed in 2006... Almost bionic but not quite...

September 2013: A year after the passing of my first wife (to the day), my niece gave birth to Penelope Rose, shortly after my other niece gave birth to her daughter Kinley Elizabeth. Welcome to all the new family gals...

October 2013: Finally realized the "relationship" I was in was not healthy for either of us and asked Mike to leave... After he moved back to Richmond, I found a neighbor to take Ubu...

November 2013: Living alone until I can find a financial roomate, shouldn't take long...


Hopefully I will come back here and post something periodically... But until then, I am:


Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA


March 24, 2013

Seven Years Strong



I can't believe I missed my own Blogoversary... Seven years for "My New Life" and eight for my "Cardiac Event", wow time has certainly flown by...

The hint (above) shows a group of my company's mascots. Some of you may recognize "Digi" and some may not. We service different regions of the country but the tag line is "Your Friend in the Digital Age" and I am proud to be part of this company...

After eight weeks of training, tonight was my first night in "production". My schedule is 5:00pm to 2:00am, Wednesday through Sunday. It will be a challenge to get my body to cooperate with the change, but the growth potential is well worth the sacrifice. The people are wonderful and now that my cubicle has been properly disinfected and cleaned, I feel right at home next to the 2nd floor window...

With my schedule as it is, I hope to post here on a much more consistent basis, so for all of you that have stuck with me for these seven years thank you and hang in there, there is more to come...

Over and "Out" from Portsmouth, VA