Skip to main content

That Was the Month That Was

Well, readers, it's been an interesting 30 days. They say that April can be the cruelest month. While this April wasn't necessarily cruel, it was definitely full of a varied amount occurrences, some good, some bad. I thought it fitting to review the month, properly say goodbye to it, and look ahead to May with some optimism.

This April saw me fully transition out of the department I'd worked in at the university for six years, and into a new position that brings with it great opportunity. I'm still on a learning curve, and filled with both excitement and some anxiety, but so far things are going pretty well. It was daunting to make the change, but I'm glad I did.

Not long after April began, film critic Roger Ebert died. He was more than a film critic. He was from my hometown. He maintained an active online presence, even during severe illness in recent years. Literally, one day he was here, the next he was gone. I miss him, and didn't even know him. Attending his film festival two weeks after his death was a somewhat surreal, bittersweet experience. His loss is going to be felt for quite some time.

An old high school alum (though from a different graduating class) had to deal with his son being diagnosed with leukemia. Love's light pierced the sadness this month when the community came together and donated thousands of dollars online to help the family with little Davis's medical treatments and travel expenses. And, thankfully, he is currently in remission.

Here in Champaign-Urbana, this April hit us with meteorological swings with dry days and wet, hot temps and cold. We've even seen some snow. Winter has been reticent to release its grip on us, but as the month bows out we're witness to 80 degree weather, sunshine and people frolicking in shorts and t-shirts. I'll take it.

April couldn't let go without a bit of drama. My beagle, Zena, had a terrible vomiting session two days ago, and was in really bad shape when taken to the vet yesterday. After two days worth of fluids, tests and vet observation, she is back with us at home, and doing ok. Not her old self, but certainly better than she was. We'll need to keep an eye on her, though, in case she relapses.

This past weekend I went to the C2E2 convention in Chicago. It was full of geeks, gamers and nerds. There were artist booths, sellers of wares, food vendors and celebrities signing autographs. I met Peter Davison (the 5th Doctor Who), and bought a few sci-fi DVDs. Before heading to the convention, I was able to have breakfast with my friend of over 25 years, Xian. It was really good to see him again.

In many ways, as April closes, it was a month like any other. It had its ups and downs. But, I dunno... it just seems to be more memorable than most. Here's hoping May provides some semblance of steadiness, maybe with some fun and good times thrown in. Summer's on its way, after all.


Popular posts from this blog


Ok, we're now three-fourths of the way through this year's calendar, so I thought I'd rank the thirty-eight 2017 movies I've seen so far.

Here they are....

1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
15. Brigsby Bear
16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
18. Split
19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
21. Wind River
22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
38. It Comes at Night

It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brin…

If You Could Read My Mind

Dance clubs are a funny thing. They contain within their walls a life force and vibrancy sometimes unmatched anywhere else. When dusk settles and the lights come on, people will flood the dance floors to gyrate to music with hypnotic beats and songs about love, lust and fun at the disco. At gay bars, this sort of scenario usually increases ten-fold. It isn't for everyone, but for many it is a respite from the harsh realities of the real word. It is a place that isn't just a structure, but a sanctuary where folks -- minorities in their own communities -- can take shelter and unwind with abandon, at least for a few nighttime hours.
As someone who benefited greatly from such an aforementioned gay dance club, you can imagine my dismay at news of the closing of Chester Street Bar. In business for over three decades, gay-owned and operated, there was a time when C-Street (as it was known by most) was the only haven for those in the LGBT community, near and far, to enjoy themselves …


"Step out from the mask you stand behind Fearful lost and blind Time to take the time The pressure’s on you Hide away, hide away No tomorrow, just today"
- Brilliant, Ultravox
Today was National Coming Out Day, so of course it gives some pause for reflection on my own coming out story. It was in April 1993, my junior year of high school (go Chargers!). In the six years of writing this blog, I have alluded to how I came out, but never really delved into the intricacies of how it came about. What better day to do so than today?
My first (small) indications of homosexuality manifested in grade school. While in first grade, I thought a fifth grader looked cute. In fifth grade, I would stare, longingly, at a boy in class, until he caught me looking at him. There were some infatuations with boys in middle school, and a first sexual experience during freshman year of high school. Everything up to that point had been, for the most part, based in the physical realm. I liked the way certain…