January 29, 2009

Processing and Pondering...

As can be told by my lack of posting, I have been processing things over this past week. While Di and I had not seen much of each other over the past 4 years, we were together for almost 20. We have two grown children together that I wish would at least make an attempt to reach out to me, but haven't. It's hard to process when there is little input (other than my own feelings and memories) and even harder to make decisions that will potentially affect those two, when I don't know what they want or are feeling.

I am fortunate to have someone to lean on, and while it's not in my nature to rely on another to hold me up, I am trying to let him. It helps and I thank him for being there.

I have been communicating with my attorney in Richmond and with Di's good friend (that has been selected as the administrator of her estate) and since we were still married, there are things that need to be worked through together. More processing and pondering...

While I am entitled to some bereavement time off from work, I have chosen to try to keep busy now and use the time when all the feelings and the reality of her passing really kick in... It's difficult now, but I know I will need some time later too.

Over and "Out", still Processing and Pondering here in Chesapeake, VA

January 23, 2009

Diana Elizabeth Rimington 1951 - 2009

I pulled my post from yesterday after receiving a call from one of my wife's best friends about two hours after I put up the post...

My wife, of almost 20 years, passed away Wednesday afternoon. Her battle with breast cancer was finally lost after the cancer metastasized into her bones and slowly took over...

Diana (Di to most) was one of the strongest, most kind hearted, and loving people I have ever known. She was the mother of three children and my best friend for almost 25 years... I know I am not the only to make that claim, not only did Di have lifelong friends of her own, she was the best friend of more women than I can count. Something about her style, personality, and caring heart, attracted people to flock and stick with her for good and bad.

I have not seen her in a number of years, so I am blessed with memories of her as the healthy vibrant woman I always knew. For those of you that have been around her, helped her, cared for her, and loved her:

Thank you for being there!

Over, "Out", feeling guilty and sad, today from Richmond, VA

January 21, 2009

The White House Blog

I have added a new link to my sidebar. The White House Blog I am anxious to see what gets posted and how it's used...

If you go, be sure to check out the whole site. There are links to the official positions on most of the Obama campaign promises, including a statement or two on GLBT issues.

I was quite emotional watching parts of the inauguration ceremonies yesterday and as you can probably tell by many of my past posts, am very optimistic about this man and our future...

Over and "Out" from my Friday, here in Chesapeake, VA

January 19, 2009

We Choose not to Participate in the Recession!

That's what every email (from our Regional Manager) closes with...

This past week is a good example of that, and while I try to never be negative on here, especially about work related things, here are a few examples of our refusal to participate:

Our fiscal year starts in September, over four months ago. I was just informed (only after I initiated an email to our HR Business Partner asking him about it) that as of September 1st, I was no longer "Bonus Eligible". Now mind you, my bonus this past year was almost 1/6th of my base salary. Maybe someone should have told me a few months ago?


This past Friday, we lost our Sales and Merchandise Manager due to cutbacks, additionally our Inventory Control Associate was laid off. All the other stores in our region laid off their Customer Service Supervisors and their ICA's. Most stores handled their own lay-offs, but our Regional Manager came to our store personally.


On Saturday, I was reviewing some upcoming TV ads the company was running yesterday and today, in all markets. I noticed the closing script said "Shop Monday 9 to 9" and wondered if it was a typo. I called the GM in a neighboring store and asked what time he was opening on Monday, he responded "10am". I directed his attention to the ad and asked if he had gotten any direction, email, or bulletin that informed us we were to open early? NOPE! He said he would contact our Regional Manager and verify...

About a half hour later we got an email reminding us all that we open an hour early on Monday... and of course he ended his email with:


Apparently there have been other cuts at the Corporate level too, maybe the person responsible for notifying the stores that we were to open an hour early today??? While "we" choose not to "participate" in the recession, it seems pretty clear "we" are CONTRIBUTING to it...

OK, I have said my piece... Over and "Out" on the day before our 44th President gets sworn into office and on the MLK Holiday, from Chesapeake, VA

January 14, 2009

Matchmaker Matchmaker make me a Match...

You know how you can go for, what seems like eons, without meeting anyone you are really interested in? Not the meet and great gathering thing, where you meet all sorts of people that have some of the same interests, but meeting someone that you really "connect" with on some level... Well... I have been blessed in that area during the last couple of months of 2008 and this first month of 2009. I will not mention any names, other than my own and Michael's, but I find it very odd that in such a short period of time, I have met three men that have touched my heart... Men that I have truly "connected" with, including Michael...

I have never been really good at the "friendship" thing, at least with other men... Perhaps I have the wrong (gay) perspective. Maybe it's more than what I have searched for, or expected in these four years, since coming "Out" to the world. Being gay is a very complicated thing sometimes... While I enjoy the acquaintances I have made, well... I just have a hard time distinguishing a potential mate, from someone that would make an excellent friend. For those friends of mine that may have experienced this dilemma or trait of mine, I do apologize! For those who have not... Well... I apologize in advance.

Now to the point/meaning of my title for this post. While I have gone through my trial and error process with two of the three aforementioned men, I have made two very good friends... In the meantime, they have started talking to each other (maybe about me and my faults, maybe not), and are now spending more time together... I am thrilled that two such fine, understanding, honest, and heartfelt men have found each other through my error... Could it be that my task/purpose for 2008 was to play matchmaker, rather than to be matched? Who knows? I now know what it feels like to have great friends... As a gay man, that is a tough feat!

Over and "Out" from Chesapeake VA (soon on my way to Richmond to see my man)!

January 12, 2009

Eight Days

Eight days and counting until the Obama Inauguration... As I watch the 47th (and final) press conference of "W", all I hear is "Blah-ba-blah, ba-blah-blah-blahhhhh"... Thank goodness this is almost over...

Meanwhile, life for me down here in Southeast Virginia has been interesting these past eight days. I have found the guy I want to spend the rest of my life with. His name is Michael, he currently lives up in Richmond with his eight year old son, and I am in love with him... (and yes, we have known each other for more than eight days)...

Like me, he has some baggage (or rather, "Life Experiences") he is dealing with. I hope he lets me help when I can. Yesterday was very tough for him and being 100 miles away, I felt useless. I couldn't even hold him to make him feel better... I hope he knows how much I care and love him...

I'm quite sure he feels the same about me and we will successfully manage this hurdle... More to come, I'm sure.... Eight days at a time...

Over and "Out" from Chesapeake, eight days away from a new dawn...

January 8, 2009

Virginia 1629

This article was forwarded to me by a member of HROC. I found it quite interesting:

In April, 1629, a person named Hall was brought before the General Court in the Virginia colony. Hall had not committed a crime, but had been reported to the authorities for one simple reason: people were confused about Hall's sexual identity. At times Hall dressed as a man; at other times, as a woman. Virginians attempted to come to grips with the problems presented to them by a sexually ambiguous person.

This court case illustrates the importance of clothing as a crucial identifier of gender in early American society. Not only did males and females wear very different garb, but persons of different ranks also were expected to reveal their social status in their dress.

In short, one was supposed to display visually one's sex and rank to everyone in the society. Thus, new acquaintances would know how to categorize each other even before exchanging a word of greeting. In a fundamental sense, 17th-century people's identity was expressed in their apparel. Massachusetts went so far as to pass laws regulating what clothing people of different ranks could wear.

Thomasine Hall was christened and raised as a girl. But all those who examined Hall, both men and women, as a result of the court case insisted Hall was a man. Hall fell into the category of human beings that appear female in infancy but at puberty develop what seem to be male genitalia. The confusion arose because Hall physically resembled a man but acted like a woman. Hall had "feminine" skills and mannerisms that would gave been exhibited by a person born, raised and living as a female until reaching the age of 22.

The court, composed of the governor and council, was the highest judicial authority in the colony. The judges heard from Hall, who refused to choose a gender, and sworn depositions of two male witnesses. The court accepted Hall's own self-definition and declared that Hall was "a man and a woeman, that all the Inhabitants there may take notice thereof and that hee shall goe Clothed in mans apparell, only his head to bee attired in a Coyfe and Crosecloth with an Apron before him."

Clothing, which was sharply distinguished by the sex of its wearer, served as a visual trope for gender. And gender was one of the two most basic determinants of role in the early modern world, the other being rank. People who wore skirts nurtured children; people who wore pants did not. People who wore aprons could take no role in governing the colony. People who wore headdresses performed certain sorts of jobs in the household; people who wore hats did other types of jobs in the fields.

Virginians had difficulty dealing with a person who sometimes dressed as a man and other times as a woman – and who, on different occasions, did both at the direction of superiors. In light of this context, it's not surprising that the court based Hall's sexual identity on clothing. By specifying that Hall's basic apparel should be masculine, but with feminine signs – the apron and the coif and crosscloth (a headdress commonly worn by women at that time), the court recognized that Hall contained elements of both sexes.

The significance of gender distinctions in 17th-century Anglo-America is dramatically underscored by the case of Thomas/Thomasine Hall and the vigor with which this matter was pursued.

Over and "Out" from 2009 in the Commonwealth of Virginia

January 5, 2009

Angels Among Us...

I am not sure why I have this interest in Angels right now... I have never been all that religious, yet I find myself fascinated... This song is performed by Jane Siberry and was featured in the movie "Pay it Forward":

Perhaps it's that reference, the thought that 2009 may be one of those years that we all find ourselves "participating" rather than "spectating". A year in which we are all optimistic and hopeful for ourselves and for our fellow man, that has me so intrigued.

Oh, and speaking of Angels, this is one of my favorite (recent) photo finds:

Over and "Out" from my little piece of heaven, in Chesapeake, VA

January 1, 2009

2009 is here!


Over and "Out" from Chesapeake, VA