Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Friday, August 19, 2016

What Men Shouldn't Do?

The 2016 Summer Olympics have certainly been interesting. From the insane speed of Usain Bolt, to the Olympic Village not being ready to house its athletes, to the Olympic diving pool suddenly turning green and, finally, to the false robbery allegations from Ryan Lochte, there has been plenty to raise an eyebrow about. Unfortunately, the British newspaper The Daily Mail found a rather homophobic way to look askance. The incident in question involved two divers from Team Great Britain who'd just won a gold medal for synchronized diving. Chris Mears and Jack Laugher, clad only in speedos, had the temerity to hug each other after their win was announced.

Now look, I'm a gay man. I appreciate the male physique and, yes, seeing two fit, barely-clad Olympians jumping on each other hit a certain carnal nerve. But I am also an adult, and can put away such feelings with the understanding that, sometimes, when a team works hard, perseveres, and their dedication pays-off in an Olympic gold medal, yes, they might just embrace. That's a moment to step back and appreciate it for what it is: athletes reveling in their hard-won victory.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

A Space In Time

I attended two weddings this summer. The first was in Gatlinburg, Tennessee (though Ashley & spent most of our time in nearby Pigeon Forge). The second wedding was in Eureka Springs, Arkansas. The Tennessee event took place at a pavilion in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, while in Arkansas the reception was at the Crescent Hotel (which likes to bill itself as the World's Most Haunted Hotel). These were nice get-a-ways, and I have fond memories of the weekends.

What occurs to me about the aforementioned weekends is that some of their importance rests upon their timing, and who was there, not just in the destinations, themselves. I quite liked Eureka Springs, and wouldn't mind going back at some point, though it will undoubtedly be a different experience. Neither Ashley's dad (who visited us while we were there) nor anyone from the wedding party will be present. The space will be the same, but the time will not. That can make all the difference.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Pic(s) of the Week

Regular readers of this blog will have seen UK divers Chris Mears and Jack Laugher grace these pages often. They're back again this week, with pictures of them right after they won a gold medal at the Rio Olympics earlier in the week!

Congratulations, lads!

Monday, August 1, 2016

The Search for God

Every week, sometimes more than once a week, billions of people go to their chosen places of worship and praise their creator. The god they believe in typically follows a fairly familiar template: He (or she) is omniscient, loving, wrathful, a whiz at creating -- and destroying -- things, and almost always eternal. It has been this way as long as human kind has had the ability to develop thought regarding where it came from and why it is here.

I have always struggled with understanding the aforementioned concept. At the very least, I have questions. Those questions have prohibited me from being a person of faith, though I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm a complete atheist. That would require the same level of assuredness that non-believers mock the religious for having. Still, until answers are forthcoming, I am agnostic, at best. And, for me, thinking about the questions is more fun, anyway.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

You Only Live Twice

It was October 1998, and some friends and I were on our way to Peoria to 'the boat' (aka gambling). The alpha friend was driving, I was riding shotgun, and we'd picked-up a couple of acquaintances in Bloomington-Normal, and were on our way. It was the early evening, and we were all looking forward to a night of fun and excitement. Unfortunately, we had a bit more excitement -- however brief -- than we'd bargained for.

There is an interchange to navigate, northwest of Bloomington, to head toward Peoria. While by no means a difficult interchange, if you're not paying attention it is possible to almost miss it. This occurred on our '98 adventure and, to compensate, our driver swerved over to the exit lane, crossing in front of two vehicles (including a semi), and I remember shutting my eyes because, if I was going to die like that, I didn't want to see it.