Thursday, October 26, 2006

Vintage HNT

Running in the 70's
This photo was taken in 1978 after my sophomore year in college. I had my younger brother take several “sexy” pictures of me with my Kodak pocket instamatic camera. I wanted to have some candid shots to give to my girlfriend before she left for her junior year abroad. I miss that style of short PE shorts with striped tube socks.

Despite what the picture implies, I was never much of a runner in my teens and twenties. It wasn’t until my late thirties when I became more concerned with my health and expanding waistline that I took up running. The first year of a daily regiment of running and walking I lost over 30 pounds. After a year of running around the middle school track, I finally signed up to do 10K race. Soon I started thinking about doing a marathon. I ended up completing three marathons in a three year period. Coincidently, it was also when I began to seriously question my “straightness”. I contemplated many scenarios on my long runs. After I came out, I gave up racing and running marathons. However, I still run 4-5 times a week for a total of 20 miles.

Classic Tech Recap:
Love this Dick Van Dyke commercial from the 70’s selling the pocket instamatic camera:

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Naked Voting

Today, Monday, October 23 is the last day to register to vote. You can register to vote at an U.S. Post Office, DMV or at However, you must register by October 23.
From a recent Equality California e-mail:

Equality California Institute Encourges members to "Vote Naked"
In an effort to encourage lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Californians to register as permanent absentee voters, the Equality California Institute (EQCAI) is sending absentee voter applications to 25,000 of its members with the message "Vote Naked."

"Studies show that people who are registered as permanent absentee voters are more likely to cast their ballot in every election," said Geoff Kors, executive director of Equality California Institute. "This project is designed to encourage LGBT Californians to participate in the political process. Sometimes work, family or health issues prevent people who intend to vote from being able to vote on Election Day. By becoming a permanent absentee voter, they can receive their ballots at home and vote by dropping them in the mail."

The compelling mailer features a person's bare legs on the front cover with the headline "Vote Naked." Inside, instructions walk readers through the application to register as an absentee voter. "Vote in the intimacy of your own home," it reads. "Never stand in line to vote again. Become a permanent absentee voter and automatically receive your ballot for every election."

The Vote Naked project is funded through a generous grant from the Horizons Foundation. To see the mailer, go to To register as a permanent absentee voter, visit the California Secretary of State's website at

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Bitch of Living

Last July we did a theatre marathon in NYC. We saw 11 shows in 8 days. One of our favorites was a new musical at the Atlantic Theatre Company called “Spring Awakening”. The show is based on Frank Wedekind’s controversial 1891 German play, which was banned for 71 years. This new rock musical boldly depicts how young people navigate the thrilling, confusing and mysterious time of their sexual awakening. The stage setting and costumes may be old but the teenage emotions and passions are timeless. Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s music captures the crazy and youthful sounds of a modern “The Who’s Tommy”. The show begins Broadway previews on November 16.

Check the show's website for the full length video of "Bitch of Living".

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Buff Dads back from Boulder

Back from our long weekend trip to University of Colorado at Boulder’s Parents Weekend. Our time in Boulder was great fun. Some of the highlights:
  • Visiting our new freshman’s dorm and spending time with him on campus and round town.

  • E and I ran both Saturday and Sunday mornings along the Boulder Creek Trail while freshman son slept. We ran for over an hour each day.

  • We crisscrossed the university campus 3-4 times a day. I know where just about everything is located.

  • I ate my allotment of French fries for this year and next. (I have pledged to not eat another fry until opening day of Giants baseball in San Francisco. At that time I will order my own serving of Gilroy Garlic Fries at AT&T park) We drank as many local beer and micro-brews as possible at Boulder’s sports bars and brew pubs (The Sink, Walnut Brewery, and Old Chicago). It is a good thing we did all that running and walking.

  • Stayed at the colorful and affordable Boulder Outlook Hotel. Self described as “the cure for the common hotel”. It is conveniently located across the street from the campus.

  • E found one of the best kitchen stores he has ever come across: Peppercorn in downtown Boulder on Peral Street Mall.

  • Attended the Colorado Buffaloes vs Texas Tech football game. I have not been to a college game in over 10 years. The Buffs have been on a consecutive 10 game losing streak. Fortunately, through the power of two gay dads cheering them on we were able to break their streak and they won the game. (I am thinking of offering our powerful gay dad cheering services locally to SU-Cardinal football team. They can’t seem to win a game this season.)

In high school I was a band geek. Notice that I didn’t take any pictures of the game, just the band and mascots.

I can’t finish the story without sharing our flight experiences. We do a lot of adventure travel…hiking, biking, etc. We were not expecting this to be one of those trips however. Nevertheless, through a series of “hilarious” missteps, we had a wacky and madcap traveling adventure getting to and from Boulder.

It all started innocently enough with a drive to the airport. We live exactly between two major international airports, San Jose and San Francisco. Can you anticipate what our first blunder was? Right! We went to the wrong airport and didn’t figure it out until we tried to check our baggage. This lead to a missed connection, a overnight stay in LA at a questionable Best Western allegedly near LAX, and verbal abuse from a crazed Yellow Cab driver. On the return trip through LAX (don’t ask why we connected through LA to travel from San Francisco to Denver…OK, in theory it was cheaper.) we had another adventure trying to find our gate when we wrongly assumed that because we booked our airline tickets through American Airlines, we would be flying American Airlines. Ha! Silly us. Unbeknownst to us, we were really on Alaskan Airlines and we should have been waiting in a different terminal at an unmarked gate. Can’t you just hear the canned laugh track roaring at our misfortune!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Buffalo Dads

We are off to Family Weekend at University of Colorado at Boulder. Time to visit our youngest, newest college student. We have to tickets for the football game on Saturday. I hear the team is not doing well. Are they the Boulder Buffaloes? Colorado Buffaloes? Buffalo CU-Bs? I don’t follow football. Can you tell?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

My Coming Out Story

Another coming out storyI rarely thought about coming out or even considered myself gay until I was in my early forties. When I was in my teens and twenties, I knew I had an appreciation and affinity for other good looking guys. But there was no way I could be “gay.” I had not experimented with other guys and had only dated a couple of women. I was totally in denial about my sexuality and not even near being closeted. I had a very naive and immature understanding of sexual identity and of being gay. At the time “gay” meant to me you were effeminate or flamboyant. Role models for gay people for me came from film and TV. I thought only actors like Paul Lynde and Charles Nelson Reilly were gay. That was not my nature or behavior. Gay also meant to me that you were considered to be a deviant, marginalized person. The only stories I knew about gays were sad, pathetic or tragic. You could not be successful or respected unless you wanted to have a stereotypical career as a hairdresser or other gay job. I wasn’t interested in that. Besides, I enjoyed being with my women friends. And even had sex with a couple of them. When I married, I truly loved my wife. Homosexual thoughts were rarely part of the early stages of the relationship. I was determined that I was straight despite the thoughts otherwise that floated around in my mind on occasion.

As time went on, I found myself becoming more ridged and controlling in my life and of the people around me. I experienced periods of depression and bouts of anger. I started to question my straightness. After I discovered the internet and found that there were similar married men with the same feelings and fantasies, I began to finally question my sexual identity. First, I considered myself as “bi” or having some gay tendencies. But I had no intention of leaving my marriage. I still could not conceive that I was gay. This went on for several years. What changed for me was when I met my soon to be partner Eddie. He was also a married man with a family questioning his next stage of life. We talked for days about changing our lives and coming out; we spent time together discovering our compatibility and mutual interests. Soon we fell in love and wanted to make a life together. I finally got it. I was in love with a man that I wanted to spend all my time with. I could not fake straightness any longer. I needed to transform.

When I decided to come out, I did it with the assumption that my ex-wife would never talk to me again. It would be a constant losing battle to see my kids. My parents, siblings, and rest of my family would shun me. They would be disgusted, appalled and angry with me. I also feared that I would lose most of my friends. I thought they would all side with my ex. I was even unsure how my employer would deal with it. Would I be allowed to keep my job or had I been too deceitful? Would they still want to work with me and trust me?

another gay dad
The decision to come out was truly stepping out into a void. I was taking on the risk of losing family, friends and career. I could be starting over again with absolutely nothing. I was a wreck when I did it. I was scared and frightened. I cried for weeks about anything. The divorce was painful. But over time it all settled down and worked itself out. It took a year for the divorce to be final. The ex and I have a workable agreement for co-parenting the kids and handing money. Most, but not all, family and friends have stayed connected with us. The concern about my job was a lot of worry about nothing. I am more relaxed and contented and less depressed then I was before. I find that I am spontaneous and involved and excited about life.

I have no regrets about coming out. Or of coming out late in life. I had some great times being married to the opposite sex. I have wonderful children. And now I am married to a fantastic and extraordinary man and we have lots of plans for the future.
Guy Dads; gay dads
10 gay signs I missed while growing up.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Opera queens

We just started attending operas a few seasons years ago. Last night was our first Wagner. We experienced 4 hours and 40 minutes of “Tristan und Isolde”. It was “Rainbow Series Night” at San Francisco Opera. It was all very grand and melodramatic and so was the opera! (tah-tah-boom) The music and singing was outstanding. And true to the opera cliché, the show was not over until the fat lady sang.

The best description of the opera’s story was in the program. David Baker wrote an essay called “Transforming the Myth…Driving People Mad” where he says:
“It has been said that the plot of Wagner’s ‘Tristan’ could be summarized as follows: ‘Act One is two women walking around the stage. Act Two, two people seated on a bench. The Third Act, a man who keeps getting up and lying down again.’ An exaggeration, but nearly true as far as externals go.”

Tonight, Oct 6 at 8pm, the opera is doing a free video simulcast of Verdi’s “Rigoletto” from San Francisco’s Civic Center Plaza and Frost Amphitheater at Stanford University. We are leaving for the coast early this evening and will miss it. But we do have tickets see it in two weeks.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


We missed seeing a couple of plays last week but we did catch ACT’s revival of Tom Stoppard’s “Travesties”. What a major disappointment. I last saw the play when ACT first did it in 1977 when I was a freshman in college. It piqued my interest in theatre and all things having to do with Tom Stoppard, Oscar Wilde, James Joyce, Valadimir Lenin and Tristan Tzara. I was enthralled with it.

I learned three things . . .during the war. . .Firstly, you're either a revolutionary or you're not, and if you're not you might as well be an artist as anything else. Secondly, if you can't be an artist, you might as well be a revolutionary. I forget the third thing.
-- Henry Carr the leading character in Travesties

Unfortunately, this production is a snooze-fest. Visually it is beautiful. The sets are wonderfully surreal and the costumes and lighting are good. But the pacing is so slow. Each actor’s lines are surrounded by extended periods of silence. Stoppard is a writer of many words. He does not need “blank space” on stage to set them off. His words need to snap, crackle and pop on the stage. I left the production reminded of a quote from another Stoppard play:

Eternity's a terrible thought. I mean, where's it all going to end?
--Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead (1967)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Eating tickets & consuming dinners

Last week was the week between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. It was a very busy and scattered week. We had tickets to two plays that we missed. We were going to see a local community theatre production of “Tick, Tick…Boom” by Jonathan Larson (of “Rent” fame) but we forgot to check the start time of the show and assumed it was an 8 pm. It was not. We didn’t even bother to go in late. We turned the car around in the parking lot and went home and watched a DVD instead. The second show we knew we had a conflict but we had season tickets to the best gay theatre in San Francisco and we could exchange them for another time. But we never got around to do the exchange and didn’t remember it until we arrived at the other event (a benefit mentioned below). We also had tickets to several Giants baseball games that we chose not to use. We skipped one game and gave tickets away to another game. No one likes to buy tickets to a losing team or even attend them.

Fortunately, our ticket losses were offset with some wonderful dinners.
  • Close friends had us over for Erev Rosh Hashana dinner (Fri., 9/22).
  • We went out to lunch after Saturday morning services to Max's Opera Cafe with a friend and then attended a fun Rosh Hashana party later that evening.
  • On Sunday, four of the friends that we had down to our beach house last month treated us to a wonderful Peruvian dinner at a restaurant in San Francisco (Fresca on 24th). It features nouveau Peruvian cuisine and Pisco Sours almost as good as E’s.
  • Thursday night we took my parents out to dinner at Café Neibaum-Coppola in Palo Alto. The restaurant is modeled after Francis Ford Coppola’s wine tasting room in Napa and features great Italian and other Mediterranean dishes.
  • Saturday, instead of seeing the play we had season tickets for, we attended Horizons Foundation annual gala. The foundation is a philanthropic social justice organization serving the GLBT community in the SF Bay Area. They threw a great party. We dressed in our tuxes, eat yummy food and watched the very cute Spencer Day perform.
  • This last Sunday we hosted an Erev Yom Kippur dinner for friends.
  • Finally, Monday we broke our Yom Kippur fast with dinner at Scott’s Seafood in Palo Alto.
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