Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More of an explanation

My last post dropped something of a bomb, and I think I should elaborate more about what is going on.

First the good:

I started this blog as a way to connect with others I could talk to, when only one other person knew (for sure) that I am gay. In less than a year, I have come out to many more people, including close friends, than I ever expected to. I am well on my way to coming out to my parents, though I haven't done it yet. I'm still a lot closer than I ever thought I would be right now.

I am no longer going to find a sham wife. I am going to live my life my way. This has been a marvelous 8 months for coming to terms with my sexuality. The boy and I still talk frequently (almost daily), and I think we'd be dating if we weren't so far apart (I don't know how to define long-distance relationships, so I don't try). I don't really think I need the blog therapy anymore. I can actually talk to real people I know in person and trust implicitly whenever I have concerns or doubts.

Now the bad:

The other part of this blog was for me to opine about policy issues, but the news has become consumed with the presidential election, which I find depressing anyway. I've had a harder and harder time finding things that actually electrify me, and my policy posts have decreased significantly in quantity and quality.

I'm just going through the motions here. I haven't changed my ideas, values or principles; however, one can only say "low taxes, low spending, free markets, individual liberty" so many times before it becomes rote. Additionally, my readership has peaked and declined. I just don't think I am contributing much anymore. Posting has become almost a chore.

What's next:

I have decided that I won't delete the blog, even though I may not be adding to it. So feel free to read the archives, and visit the links.

I just want to focus on enjoying my third year, graduating, studying for the bar, and starting my job. Beyond that, my future is bright.

I'd like to date, find a partner, adopt a child, and have a family.

I'd like to work for twenty-five years, live comfortably but below my means, build a considerable nest egg, and retire from the law to run for public office (as a Republican in a party that is no longer defined by homophobia).

I'd like to retire from public office after making a real contribution to my community and/or country, and spend the rest of my life in relative comfort surrounded by close friends and loved ones.

Once again, thanks for all your help and support. It has been great for me, and I am a richer, more confident person because of it.


Monday, October 22, 2007

Some Bad News

I'm noticing that my blog posts are becoming less and less frequent. I'm finding myself growing bored with the presidential race (which is why I have been avoiding it). Nonetheless I obsess over what I will post about or what people say about my posts.

My fewer posts bring fewer readers. I notice that I write for readers instead of for myself anymore. Positively, I am getting more and more comfortable being gay, even if I'm still not out to my family. As important as it has been, I am not sure that I need my online support now that I have the real life support of several close friends.

It may be time to hang up the hat. The cathartic benefits of blogging may have run its course. I hate to say it, but I might be done here.

Maybe one day I write a book instead. Less pressure that way.

You have all meant a lot to me.

I have a question

Why would global warming raise sea levels?

If my glass of ice water is full, and I let the ice melt, it doesn't over flow. This is because liquid water is more dense than ice. When water freezes it expands, so as ice melts it essentially contracts and takes up less volume. How would the melting of the polar ice caps and ice bergs raise sea levels?

I'm not a scientist, so I guess I'm missing something.

Maybe if all the polar bears drown it would raise sea levels a bit...

Sunday, October 21, 2007


Was gay.

Interesting, I'm not sure what it has to do with anything, but interesting nonetheless.

A few questions. Why is it necessary to sexualize Dumbledore when it didn't come up in the seven books? Is making him gay just something trendy to do?

Sometimes I am a little put off by the current fashion of including a stock gay character for whom sexuality just comes up constantly. I realize that people focus on the sexuality of gay people naturally because it's what makes us different, but there's more to me than my bedroom activities. I guess I just don't want to be seen merely as "the gay guy." However, the more people define characters by their sexuality the more I worry that people will define me that way without getting to know me.

On the other hand, it is nice to see gay characters because perhaps it helps normalizes homosexuality. Maybe I'm just too sensitive. Damned if they do and damned if they don't.

(H/t matt-CNS)


I realize that it is probably better to have Dumbledore be a beloved and important character. Let him have his role in the story independent of of his sexuality, and then reveal casually that he is gay.

Nonetheless, the reaction to the revelation (both positive and negative) just worries me that Dumbledore will go from being a great wizard character to a great gay wizard character. His sexuality will be inextricably tied to his identity and take on an importance not really warranted by his role in the Harry Potter stories.

If we could look at him as a great wizard character (who happens to be gay), it would be fine. I suppose what really bothers me is that we can't. I'm not mad at JK Rowling for outing him, I'm mad that we care so much that she did. Me included.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Really Gay Moment

Here I am sipping wine, watching bravo, and sewing pink fabric ears for a costume (going to be a pink elephant).

The only way I could possibly be gayer right now is if were naked with another man.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Public Transport

Whenever I have the opportunity, I am a consumer of public transportation. The fact that it reduces my carbon footprint is immaterial to me, really I just find it cheaper and more convenient.

Consider a Washington Metro trip from Vienna/Fairfax to Farragut West during rush hour. The cost is $2.35 (or less if you buy weekly passes and even just use them for commuting on weekdays), and it takes about half an hour. During that half hour you leisurely listen to your iPod, read a newspaper, and the only real inconvenience of the experience is the crowding.

Now consider driving into DC from Fairfax the time is already into the hours. Parking is going to be a minimum of $10, and that doesn't include the costs of gas, wear and tear on your auto, or the disutility of the maddening fury that dealing with DC traffic causes.

So as a consumer the choice is clear. But I wonder, is it efficient?

A rail system undoubtedly requires an immense capital outlay as well as significant maintenance expenditures, and with fares like these, when do they recoup the investment? Washington DC doesn't seem to. Although rail ridership in Fiscal Year 2007 was almost 208 million, fares and other revenue (like advertising) provide only about 60% of the Metro's funding. In addition to fares and advertising revenues, the system receives money from each jurisdiction is serves [source (PDF)].

State and local taxpayers are funding a significant portion of the Washington Metro system. The Metro essentially operates at a loss (typical public program), which is disconcerting. It doesn't have to. The fare prices are extremely low compared to the cost of driving into and throughout DC. They could be doubled and it would still make rational sense to use the metro. Even if fare prices start to exceed the cost of commuting, the extra traffic into the city is going to raise parking prices and increase the psychological cost of driving (more commuters = more frustration). So before long, the metro would still be the more economical choice.

Perhaps, you think of the positive externalities, most significantly the reduction of the environmental impact of the daily commute into our nation's capitol. One can make an argument that the because of the tragedy of the commons and the public good problem of the environment, environmentally friendly enterprises such as mass transit should be subsidized. I don't quite buy it because as I pointed out above, there isn't really a market failure here: the market isn't for the environmental benefits, but for the transportation space. Transportation space is not a public good: it both is rivalrous and excludable, and a mass transit system can be operated for a profit. The positive externality of reducing emissions per commuter is just that: external to the market considerations at work here. It's gravy.

It doesn't make sense that public transit should be public in that it is owned and operated by the government. If it is operated at a loss, it is inefficient and then it is subsidized by taxpayers who may or may not use it. Further, in most cases could be operated at a profit. If it is operated at a profit then the private sector is better suited to own and operate it. Why should the government get profits in addition to the taxes they steal from us?

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Weekend Getaway

The boy is one that I have mentioned here before. I met him, and we went to a mountain retreat for the weekend. Without revealing too much about my whereabouts (Cheney and I prize our secrecy), I must say the mountains are GAW-geous.

It was a rather leisurely weekend of eating, drinking and other things [[ ;-) ]]. Neither of us are terribly outdoorsey, so we didn't go up for the hiking or anything else, just for a change of scenery and the chance to be alone.

Chris is terribly generous, and I may have actually paid less than my fair share (while I don't really like the idea of taking advantage of someone, it's nice not to be taken advantage of!). Nonetheless, the things I did pay for, I typically had to convince him to let me.

I'm finding myself growing fonder and fonder of Chris, and I am sad to leave him. I wouldn't say we are dating dating, but I would definitely consider it. And it's not because he pays for things. Well, not just because of that :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

But before I go...

I am not going to make a political point (though I was very tempted to); instead I wish only to offer my sympathies and prayers to the students and families of SuccessTech Academy in Cleveland.

A Gentleman Caller

I will be seeing a boy for a long weekend.

Don't wait up for me.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Self Protection

Shirley Katz, a teacher in Oregon, is suing the school board for the right to carry a concealed handgun in the classroom. As you might guess, I am on her side.

Although she seems primarily to be making a point about the second amendment, there are some legitimate concerns with being unarmed:
"Our safety plan at our school now is that if somebody threatening comes in, you try to avoid eye contact, and do whatever they say, and that is not acceptable anymore," [Katz] said. Shootings at Virginia Tech University and the one-room Amish school in Pennsylvania, "reinforced my belief we have to take action, we can't just acquiesce as we have been taught to do."
Ms. Katz has a concealed weapons permit, which requires a certified gun safety course, and she practices regularly. The school board is, naturally, against this (why am I reminded of Dolores Umbridge?). According to a CNN broadcast, the Superintendent noted that guns are banned in "courthouses, private work places, airplanes, and sports arenas, so why should schools have a lower standard of safety?"

The argument is asinine, not least of all because two of those areas are readily distinguishable. First, private citizens may not be allowed to bring guns into courthouses, but courthouses are crawling with police officers or U.S. Marshals who have very visible guns. Second, firing a gun in a pressurized cabin poses risks far beyond just being caught in the line of fire (although following Sept 11 and even today I think that pilots should be trained in firearm safety and be allowed to carry a gun).

As for the rest of the Superintendent's argument: allowing teachers (properly permitted) to carry handguns in school will make students safer! Gang members and psychos don't heed the prohibition against guns, and that just leaves the law abiding population unprotected. It is more than reckless to put our heads in the sand against the dangers posed to children rather than trying to protect them. Why aren't we affording a higher level of safety to our children than we do to sports fans or private office workers?

It's a start

Students in Tehran staged a protest against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the Iranian president presented a speech criticizing Western-style democracy.

This isn't the first time:
The president faced a similar outburst during a speech last December when students at Amir Kabir Technical University called him a dictator and burned his picture.
These are good signs.

Since it relates somewhat and I watched the movie last weekend, here's a clip:

Monday, October 8, 2007

I'm Negative

And that's positive.

I considered titling this post "My Results are Positive," and then saying I am HIV negative. I am classy enough not to do that, but boorish enough to tell you about it anyway.

Not that I was really, really worried, but still it's nice to know for sure.

No News is Good News...Right?

Getting an HIV test always makes me nervous. I don't engage in high risk behaviors (intravenous drug use, unprotected anal sex), but being a gay man, I naturally worry. I stupidly timed this one so that the weekend would fall within the 2-3 day period they give. Well, today is day 3, and I am checking my phone every 6 minutes.

If I haven't heard by noon, I am going to call them.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Gay Republicans at Disney!

Back in 1941.

Of course this was back when a Pink Elephant merely suggested drunkenness.

It gets kind of creepy...

Dirty Sexy Boy

Soo, the show is getting okay reviews, but one highlight is Seth Gabel as Jeremy Darling.

It took me forever to figure out who he is until Wikipedia came to the rescue: he was Adrian, Eva Moore's adopted son during the Second Season of Nip/Tuck (new season start in just a a few weeks!). Below is a picture of what he looked like on that show.

Seth's character on Nip/Tuck was delightfully wicked. Apart from being a sociopath, drug dealer, and emotionally abusive, he tried on several occasions to seduce Matt McNamara (who was sleeping with the woman Adrian though was his mother). Oh, and Adrian was also sleeping with the woman he thought was his mother (but Eva was a transsexual, and not actually a blood relative of Adrian's. Apart from the sometimes unnecessary (though no less enjoyable) ass shots (Seth has a couple!), can there be any question why I love this show?

Anyway, I'm over Zac now (we broke up since neither of us are really out yet). Seth is on my list instead. I'll be watching him on Wednesday nights on ABC (Project Runway will have to be Tivo-ed).

PS, I am writing this post in class, so I can post no shirtless pictures. Sorry :(

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

We need to disengage!

In regards to my own debt woes, Jonathan aptly pointed out that I should consider the disastrous tax effects of the upcoming Clinton II administration (does it bother anyone else that her presidency would mean that two families occupied the White House for a quarter century?). Tim, chimed in noting that we have to find some way to pay for the war (the legality or illegality of which I am not prepared to discuss).

And while the cost of the war is considerable and causes me great worry (not least of all because of the proposal to impose a War Surtax), but there is an even bigger monkey on our fiscal backs: The elderly.

Robert J. Samuelson in the Washington Post today notes that
From 2000 to 2030, the 65-and-over population will roughly double, from 35 million to 72 million, or from about 12 percent of the population to nearly 20 percent. Spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid -- three big programs that serve the elderly -- already represents more than 40 percent of the federal budget. In 2006, these three programs cost $1.1 trillion, more than twice defense spending. Left on automatic pilot, these programs are plausibly projected to grow to about 75 percent of the present budget by 2030. [emphasis added]
So forget about the paltry War on Terror, our War on Death is costing us more than twice as much, and it is exepected only to get more expensive. Add to that the drive for Universal Health Care, and we can expect those elderly to live even longer. Once the Death tax comes back, these longer living seniors are going to use up their estates instead of leave it to us younger, better looking descendants. The picture is dire indeed.

Analogizing from our dear Speaker's remarks regarding the war on terror, we have only three choices to avoid these staggering deficits:
  1. Institute a draft. It is politically inviable to force people to be nursing home attendants. I have always opposed this measure
  2. Tax our people to support this program, so the true cost hits home. I always and with all my might oppose any tax increases whatsoever
  3. End our engagement with the War on Death because it is too costly.
As I am sure you can guess, I support the third option with regard to Social Security just like Nanny Pelosi supports it with regard to the war. We must systematically stop spending money on extending the lives of these far less productive members of our society. No more Social Security (you didn't save to eat in your retirement, too bad!), nor more Medicare or Medicaid (you are old and about to die anyway).*

Oh you aren't willing to do that to save on our deficit problems? Then please don't use the rhetoric of the fiscal conservative as a rationale to end the war.

*Please note: my actual suggestions for Social Security are not so draconian as those above, but I suggest them to make a point.

Note further: I do actually see the distinction between funding a campaign that creates death and has little to do with national interests anymore and a program that purportedly enhances the quality of life of certain citizens of this country. But you will forgive me if I am a little resentful at the prospect spending most of my working career funding the retirement of a generation that perfected the art of living beyond their means. I'll gladly stop whining once I am allowed opt out, which I promptly will.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Ain't gonna happen--though I wouldn't mind if it did

Seems if Rudy gets the nomination, a group of evangelical Christians has threatened to back a third party candidate.

It might be nice to clear them out of the Party, but they will vote Rudy if he gets the nomination. Three words why: Madam President Clinton.

I'm hemorrhaging money!

I will have significant educational debt (we're talking six figures) when I graduate. I plan to live like a student another couple of years and pay off my loans within 5 years. The plan is ambitious but possible. When I start work I will earn a lawyer's salary, but work a lawyer's hours, which will mean not a lot of time to go out and spend. So if I can live off less than half of my income (I should be able to, some people raise families on that), I will be able to meet my debt repayment goals.

The big problem will be keeping my focus whilst working among lawyers, who are notorious for consuming. Unlike many of my peers I will not be buying a brand new fancy car upon commencement of my career. My own car is still pretty new (about 5 years) and has been quite reliable. Not dropping 35,000+ on a rapidly depreciating asset that I won't be using much (public transportation is good in my city and will be my method of commuting) is pretty easy. What will be hard is not running into an upscale store and buying a pair of jeans (on sale for only $200!) as a reward for a stressful week, or not spending three times as much on meal because it's just easier to eat out than to cook for myself.

I plan to keep a leash on my spending by putting only a portion of my income into my checking account and the rest into harder to touch savings or investment accounts. I can't trust myself, I need the external enforcement. I'm a little concerned about having a credit card. I wish to build up a credit history, but worry that without close monitoring I will get careless. Perhaps the early payment of my student loans will be enough without having an actual credit card, but I'm not sure.

These concerns are exacerbated by the fact that I've been living a little fast and loose lately (my trip a couple weekends ago was rather expensive). I haven't been thinking too much about the money going out. Last week I ate lunch out every day but one. I would prefer not to burn through my loans so that I can return some of the money at the end of the year. With that in mind I have decided to make two changes:
  1. Start using cash. Right now I use a debit check card to pay for everything. It's a whole lot easier to put down a piece of plastic than to count out bills, so this would reign in my spending.
  2. Limit meals out to three a week, total. That may sound like a lot, but I am not talking about three dinners. Eating out would include paying for the meal in the school cafeteria, so I will be bringing most of my lunches to school.
It feels good to set up a plan. Now to execute!


I ran across a blog about money issues for GLBT people: Queercents. I've read a couple articles, some of which have a sort of sanctimonious anti-materialistic bent (particularly the article on Board Games), but I am going to poke around to see if there is some useful information.