Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Closing Time

Ladies and Gents, RcktRamblings is now closed. Please prepare for your flight to.... NOTE: PLEASE CHANGE YOUR LINKS IF YOU HAVE NOT DONE SO ALREADY!!! The address is http://www.rcktman.com/blog Thanks very much! :-)

Monday, July 18, 2005

Family Secrets Part III

"About six months later", my Mom continued her story, "I heard from Joe again." "He was coming home. His parents, still on the run from the government, were staying in Texas. He was going to stay with his grandparents in Chicago and try to find work, so that he and I could get married as originally planned." Now mind you, my mom was maybe 18 at the time. She had spent all four of her high school years dating this guy, and he proposed before she even graduated. So she, in her then-young mind, had everything already planned out. Of course at the time, the plan was for him to work at his dad's store and maybe take it over someday. Unfortunately, that wasn't the plan anymore. So here he was, without a job, no college education, and about to live with his grandparents (who Mom said were wonderful people)-- all at the sprightly age of 21. Not much of a future there right? Well, tell that to an 18 year old girl with dreams of white picket fences and "Somewhere that's green" in her eyes. That was my Mom in 1962. "Joe moved in with his grandparents and tried to find work-- to no avail." Mom went on. "He'd exhausted all his options. He still wanted to get married, but had reached the end of his rope. So he did the only thing he could do next... he joined the Air Force." Joe decided to enlist and get an education while serving our country. Certainly this was a noble idea. But when he went to enlist, he ran into yet another brick wall. "When he tried to get his birth records, which you need to enlist in the armed forces, he found that there was no record of his birth. Anywhere. He had never seen a birth certificate, and when he went to find one, there wasn't any record of anyone with his name being born on his birthdate." Anywhere. "So Joe contacted his parents. And he found out that the man he thought was his father was not really his father. His mother had him with another man before she even met him." I couldn't believe what I was hearing. His mother had a relationship with another man, and voila, Joe was created. But soon after Joe was born, the guy took off, and she later met the man that Joe believed was his father. And they were married. "Why didn't this guy legally adopt Joe as his own son?" I asked my Mom. "I have no idea," she replied, "They either completely forgot about it and just pretended that this guy was really Joe's dad, or just pleaded ignorance to the whole thing, just in case it wouldn't matter anyway." But it did matter. And now, not only was Joe's life a mess because of what happened with the business, it was a FURTHER mess because he had a father that he never met. So Joe found his real father, got a copy of his birth certificate, changed his last name to match his birth father's name, and married my mother. "We had a really great ceremony," Mom said. "I wore a gown, it was in a church in my hometown, and we had a huge reception. It was my dream wedding, even if it was doomed." Joe's parents didn't attend the wedding, for obvious reasons. But they did send a gift. My mother's $250 that she gave them from her own savings. "After the wedding, we moved onto the base in Indiana," Mom said, "and things quickly started to unravel. I HATED it. There was NOTHING for me to do. I had no friends, no family, and no life. I got a job at a clothing store, and HATED that as well. The people were unfriendly, unwelcoming, and just plain rude." She couldn't remember the name of the base or the city where it was located, but based on my research, it must have been Grissom Air Reserve Base (f/k/a Bunker Hill Air Force Base) in Peru, Indiana. We did make some friends on the base, but I was still very lonely," Mom said. "All we had to do was bowling and movies." "Life with Joe wasn't all I had dreamed it would be," Mom continued, "and in hindsight, looking at all that had happened to him, I can see now why he was the way he was. He had a terrible temper, and would go off about the most ridiculous things." I asked my Mom if he ever hit her, and she said he hadn't. I was glad to hear that. "The last straw for me came pretty quickly though. He'd been unbearable and just a plain crab for weeks. One night, we were bowling with some friends from the base. Joe was a good bowler, and took pride in that fact. Well that night, he didn't bowl such a great game, and he was really upset about it. I told him to just let it go, but he wouldn't. And while we were walking home from the alley, he took his bowling ball and threw it down on top of someone's mailbox." "That was the night I decided I had had enough," Mom said. "All I could think of is, 'Next time it's going to be me,' and I just couldn't let that happen. So I told him that I was miserable here, and I couldn't take it anymore. And furthermore, he was a child, and he needed to grow up. And until he did, I couldn't live with him anymore. So I packed up my things, got on a train, and went home to my parents. And I never went back." They filed for divorce, and it was soon over. In the course of one year, my Mom went from a giddy high school graduate to a truly desperate housewife to a divorcee. Two years later, she met my father while working at Warwick Electronics in Zion, IL. And a couple of years later, they were married. Mom went to nursing school, and just before she had me, she became a nurse, which was her dream. Two children, and forty years later, my parents are still married. It hasn't been perfect, and sometimes I wonder how and why they stayed together, but I'm glad they did. As they get older, I don't think they could really imagine living without each other. I'm glad my Mom told me about this, and I am so incredibly proud of her for taking charge of the situation, standing up for herself, and getting out of what could have been a very volatile situation. She took charge of her own life at a time, and in a situation where many would have held on "just to make things work" or "to see if things would get better." She knew it wouldn't, and that to stay there would be to waste her life. I've said before that my Mom is my hero. And with this story, I believe it even more so. I often wonder how and when they would have told us about my Mom's previous marriage if we hadn't found the pictures. I don't know if my Mom even knew they existed anymore at the time. I remember them vividly. Joe was wearing his dress white outfit, and there were many other recruits dressed up as well. One picture in particular was very familiar when my sister and I were paging through them almost twenty years ago. It was a picture of my Grandma and Grandpa. I remember it so well because it was on display in my Mom's bedroom for as long as I could remember. I never asked my Mom where the picture was taken. It was a great picture though, and I couldn't blame her for saving it. She threw out most of the rest of the pictures after we found them. In a way I wish she hadn't, but I can understand why she did. That part of her life was long gone. It just didn't exist anymore. This was her life now. Mom has no idea whatever happened to Joe. The last time she heard from him was when they officially annulled their marriage so my parents could marry in the church. She has no idea if he is even alive anymore. She knows he remarried as well, and had kids. But that's all she knows. I wonder if he's told his kids about my Mom.

I'm still alive!

Hi all I'm still alive. I just got back from a wonderful vacation up north in Eagle River, WI. I'll tell more later, since I have to run to work at the moment. And yes, I will conclude my mom's story (and yes, it IS true. Only the names were changed to protect the innocent (or guilty)). Oh and pictures of the trip I took will be shown as well. Lots of fun stuff. Just around the riverbend.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Family Secrets Part II

My mother was an original Desperate Housewife. "I never told you this?" my Mom asked me. It was late Saturday night, and we had just shared a late-night snack. "No," I responded. "You told us his name and that you had lived in Indiana with him, but nothing more than that." "Well then," she said. "Here goes." "I met Joe* in high school," she started. "I was a freshman and he was a senior. Sandy (my mom's best friend) was in my class, and David (Sandy's future husband) was in his class. Sandy and David were already dating, so they introduced me to him. We would double-date all the time, all throughout that year and after he and David graduated." (*All names have been changed.) "His parents owned an electronics store in town," she continued. Mom's hometown was a small village in northern Illinois. In the '50s and early '60s it was still quite small. Everyone knew everyone-- and everyone's business. It still retains a lot of that small-town charm, even today, although it has grown much larger in population since. My grandmother was a schoolteacher, and my grandfather sold Pontiacs at the local dealership. They were well-respected and well-liked in the community. "Joe worked at his dad's shop through high school and afterward. They sold TV's and Hi-Fi's, and other electronic items, and did repairs on-site. They had a good business, but Joe's dad was never a very good businessman. He was the type of guy that would forgive a lot of people's bills or give things away if they couldn't afford them. It made him very popular, but in the end, he found himself in financial trouble. Joe would tell me that they had trouble paying the bills fairly often, and many times had to borrow money to cover things." "I can't remember if we were engaged before I graduated high school or not," Mom continued, "but I think we must have been, because I remember him asking me for some money once to cover some debts. So I took $250 out of my savings account and gave it to him. My mother nearly KILLED me, and in hindsight I'm surprised she didn't. 'You'll never get that money back!' she cried. 'The whole town knows they're not good for anything when it comes to money!'" Grandma was right. In fact, Mom said, the town was beginning to talk about Joe's family and the news spread like wildfire. Business dropped off quickly, and Joe would tell my mother that they were getting very scared. "I would pass by their store on the way home from school," Mom continued, "and stop in and say hi. So one day I made my way over there, and found the doors locked. When I looked in the window, there was nothing-- and nobody-- inside. I remember thinking to myself, 'Oh boy, what's going on now?' and headed home. When I called their house, I got a recording saying the line was disconnected. So I tried the answering service (which was one lady in town that took messages for all the businesses in town-- that's how small the town was back then), and she told me, 'Oh honey, didn't you hear? They left town in the middle of the night last night-- took off without a trace!' Now my mom was frantic. Her fiance was gone, with his family, without any indication of where they had gone. As news spread through the town, it surfaced that the family had owed a great deal of money to both customers and the government, and fled to avoid being arrested. About a month later, she got a phone call. It was Joe. "I'm OK, and so is the family. We are in Texas. I can't say much more in case your line is being tapped, but I will get in touch with you soon." And the line went dead, and he was gone. But the mystery behind Mom's first fiance was only just beginning to unravel... to be continued.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Family Secrets

My mom calls me a snoop. And she's right for the most part, although it's never for a malicious reason. I was in my parents' basement last night looking for pictures from my father's side of the family. I found them, but I found something else that caught my eye. It was a garbage bag that hadn't been tied shut yet. Inside this bag were remnants of fabric. Fabric that my mother used to sew shirts for me and my sister when we were very young. I recognized them instantly, so I bent down to take a closer look. As I looked through the bag, however, I found much more than I bargained for. As I dug deeper, I found mementos... cards from my mother to my father, from my father to my mother, and from relatives from when my sister was born. And then I found letters. Love letters. Pages and pages of love letters from my mother to my father, and a few from my father to my mother (he never was much for writing letters, so it didn't surprise me that there were fewer on his end.) I didn't read them all, but one in particular caught my interest and I read it back to front. In the letter, my mother told my father that she understood why his family was having trouble accepting her. She didn't blame them, for she had made some mistakes in her past that they feared she would make again if she married him. She wrote about meeting his parents for the first time, and how she was so afraid that my grandparents' next door neighbor had to encourage her to knock on their front door. She wrote how she understood why he respected them so much, because she could tell they were loving and good people, and that she hoped she could convince them that she was good for their son. There was a lot more in the letter but the point was that my mother was madly in love with my father, and he was crazy about her too. And they did get married, and are still married today. But the controversy behind these letters is that my mother had been married before. The truth about this came out to my sister and I back in 1985, as my parents and we were cleaning out my Grandma's apartment while she was on her deathbed. My sister and I were charged with packing things up in her kitchen, and my sister found a photo album in her hutch. The photos were of a wedding. My mother's wedding. But the groom was definitely not our father. My sister-- only 11 years old at the time -- brought the pictures to my mother, who immediately started crying. She sat us down and told us that she had been married before. My sister was hurt and shocked, but I wasn't. I knew about this already-- although I didn't really know what it all meant. About five years earlier, I had found my mother's divorce papers while cleaning her writing desk in the living room. (The snoop strikes again!) I wasn't looking for anything, but while I was cleaning, something popped out and there they were. The thing is, at the time, I didn't understand fully what it was about. I was only 9 or 10 at the time. But I remember seeing my mother's name on these documents, but with a completely different last name. I also remember seeing my parents get married by my uncle when I was 5 years old. I didn't understand it at the time, but they had never been married in the church until then. They had been married at the Justice of the Peace. And the reason I was watching my parents get married in 1976 was that her previous marriage had been annulled in the church, so they were cleared to marry. As my mother told us the story, it suddenly all became clear to me what I found and what I knew. It was as if all the pieces of the puzzle suddenly fit and made sense, and I could make out the picture depicted in the pieces. So as I sat talking to my mom on Saturday night, I asked her to tell me all about her previous marriage and why it didn't work out. We knew names and general dates, but we never knew why it happened, or why it ended. So my mom told me the story.... to be continued.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Unsafe

This morning, I read about the London train/bus attacks. Last week, I read about a man being shot in the block directly behind mine. Also last week, there was all the story about the Idaho family whose mother, son and mother's boyfriend were killed, and the youngest son and daughter who were missing. Luckily they found the daughter, but the little boy is presumed dead. A few months ago, a judge's family was killed in her home -- only a few blocks away from me. Sometimes I just don't feel safe here. Or anywhere. And it scares me. I have to go to work now... and I am not so sure I want to take the El. It sucks feeling unsafe in my own city.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Happy Blogoversary To Me!

It's coming. And I can hardly believe it. I really can't. My one-year blogoversary is coming. On July 8, 2004, I started RcktRamblings. And a year later, I'm still here. Yep, I can't believe it. In the course of one year, I have met incredible people, shared my innermost thoughts, and told some long-winded stories. I've opened up chapters of my life that I've kept hidden, and vented about issues that frustrate me. And I've loved every minute of it. I wasn't really sure what RcktRamblings would become when I first started out. I jumped into blogging rather quickly after reading Jake's blog. (I guess Jake would be considered my "Blog Daddy," but don't tell him that.) It reminded me of my old online Journal, and I thought to myself, "Hell, if he can do it, so can I." And so I did. I've tried everything -- pix of hot guys, poetry, complete utter nonsense, going on about daily or weekly activities, and ranting about political issues. I've done the blogging every day thing, and I've done the blogging whenever I wanted to thing. I've even changed the look of the blog once, and am still working on a complete overhaul for the future. But at the end of the first year, I have realized that my blog is just that-- MY blog. It's my place to share, vent, blather on, laugh, or cry. It's essentially another part of the whole me. It's helped me through some tough times, and it's been a good friend when I needed it. I'm doing this for myself. The fact that I've had readers along the way is just icing on the cake WITH cherries to top it off. So thank you to those who have regularly stopped by, and thank you to those who drop in occasionally. I may not get 25+ comments after every posting. I may not have 50,000 hits. (although nearly 20,000 is nothing to whine about if you ask me.) I may not have the answers to all of life's questions, and I may not even have anything interesting to say every day or every week. But I'm glad I'm here, I'm glad YOU are here, and I'm so glad to have made this journey. So here's to another year. Salut!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Breaktime Over!

I'm still here.. I just needed a little break. So what's been up? Let's go back and see, shall we? (Cue time-travel music. Oooh. Nice dissolve.) Last Friday Opening night for CGMC's "World Tour" show. It's hot outside. Thank goodness for air conditioning in the theater. Of course, with 100+ guys in the theater and in the dressing rooms at the same time, no amount of air conditioning in the world can help. So we suffer. It is art, after all. Opening night's crowd is rather sparse. Which is somewhat understandable. There are half-a-million things to do during Pride weekend. The only bummer is that of those half-a-million things, not enough people chose to do our thing. Oh well, we still had a great time, and the show was a lot of fun. Saturday Night number two -- and closing night. All too soon, the show is over. This was one of our most ambitious shows, and certainly the most ambitious show we've ever done for a Pride show (which has a much shorter preparation time than any other show.) Usually Pride shows involve bringing a chorus from another city in to sing with us, but this time we went it alone-- and with costumes, scene changes, and props to boot. I'm kind of hoping our director never does this again-- for the simple reason that there just isn't enough time to put all those pieces together and make them work. We pulled it off, but just barely. Saturday Night It's party time! The show is over, so we head over to Fizz Bar & Grill, only steps away from the Athenaeum, where our show took place. What a great location for a party! It was roomy, air conditioned, and the food and drink were aplenty. It was great to celebrate the end of a long and fun year. I love the chorus, and I love doing the shows, but when we are done for a year, it's a VERY good feeling. Sunday Morning Pride Parade Sunday! Whoo hoo! I dragged my butt out of bed, not because I was drunk from the night before (I wasn't), but because I was exhausted and just wanted to sleep. But as the old cliche goes, there's no rest for the wicked. And when it comes to the Gay High Holy Days, rest is not an option. I hopped a cab (no way I was driving) and made my way to our friend Adam's apartment. Adam is a new addition to our circle of friends, by way of Pete (a/k/a Cute New Chorus Boy). He just got a spiffy new pad right on Halsted Street. What better place to view the parade? CGMC didn't have a float this year, and while Windy City did, I opted to watch it this year. There was no better place if you ask me. It was perfect. We were positioned right at the beginning, so the participants weren't tired yet, and everything moved by at a very nice pace. And we were indoors, so we didn't suffer from heatstroke. Which meant I could drink! (I don't drink in the heat. It just wipes me out.) The parade was nice. There were some really creative floats, and then there were a few headscratchers. Most of them came from the suburbs. Naturally. And of course, there was no shortage of hot men to view. If they weren't on the floats, they were walking the streets. And I had a bird's-eye view. Nice. After the last float drifted by, a few of us made our way through the crowd and went to our friends Steve and Keith's house for a barbecue. So Pride Sunday was spent with friends. Just the way it should be. In recent memory, I'd have to say it was one of the best Pride celebrations I've taken part in. Sunday Night I got home from the party at about 7:00. I immediately turned on the TV. A very important show was coming on and I wanted to be ready. Yes, it was "The Next Food Network Star!" Now under normal circumstances, I probably wouldn't have cared less about this show, but these were not normal circumstances. I know not one, but two of the contestants. Dan and Steve were the only team in the competition. And that makes perfect sense since they're partners in more ways than one-- life and business. They operate The Hearty Boys Catering and just opened HB Restaurant right in the heart of Boystown. I've known them for almost as long as I've been in Chicago. Dan was a member of the chorus when I joined. Well Dan and Steve WON! They'll be hosting their own show on the Food Network this fall. I'm so happy for them... and on Pride day to boot. Now that's something to be proud about! Tuesday Night As it happens in life, we make friends, and sometimes we say goodbye to them, too. Tuesday night, we said "Ciao" to one of our dearest friends, Arnie. Arnie joined the chorus a few years after I did, but he made his presence known right from the start. With a rambunctious nature, and a laugh that could be heard for miles, Arnie was the life of any party he was invited to-- and he was invited to many. But he also has the warmest heart, and the kindest nature of any person I have ever known. Arnie is leaving us to travel abroad. He has joined the Peace Corps and intends to teach English. Arnie has moved many times. He's lived on just about every coast and has traveled to many points in the world, but in Chicago he found a family that loves him very dearly. And we do. Those of us closest to Arnie know that he will return to us very soon, but knowing that he won't be living here for a while makes us all very sad. So we threw a huge going-away bash for him at Sidetrack, where all of his friends could gather and pay tribute to such a wonderful person. As you can see from the photos, Arnie is very much loved. So that pretty much sums up my week. This weekend, many of the friends you see in these pictures will be taking a trip to Saugatuck to go camping. Pray that the weather -- heat and rain both -- stay away for a few days. But even if they don't, I'll be surrounded by my closest friends. That's what I call a holiday.

Friday, June 24, 2005

Bringing In The Sheaves

I have to confess an addiction. OK it's really not an addiction... more like an obsession. No wait, it's an addiction. It has to be. After all, I can't go a day without it in some form. It's not caffeine. That's just a given anyway. I need that to live. It's not smoking. I wouldn't dream of doing such a thing. No, this is a television program. Survivor? Never seen it. Amazing Race? See my answer for Survivor. Little House On The Prairie? Bingo. I'll wait for you to stop choking on whatever you were eating or drinking. Better? Good. I'll continue. So yeah... Little House on the Prairie. Laura Ingalls and family. Walnut Grove. Michael Landon. That's the one. I always liked the show as a kid, and watched every Monday night on NBC in the 1970s as the Ingalls family dealt with everyday issues for a family in the 1870s-- drought, crops, chickens, money, the Olesons, church, school, mean kids, Indians, crooks, births, deaths, and of course, ending every day with a valuable lesson from Pa and Ma. I've read every Laura Ingalls Wilder book from cover to cover more times than any other book, ever. I still enjoy reading them today. The stories and the characters are just as enjoyable now as they were when I was in grade school. But the TV show holds an extra special place in my heart. Who could forget snobby busybody Mrs. Oleson rejecting Ma Ingalls' eggs at the Mercantile because they were brown, and "brown eggs get 4 cents less than white eggs." Or Mr. Edwards's jolly laugh and his theme song, "Ol' Dan Tucker." Or the lovely Miss Beadle teaching school, then the kooky but sweet Miss Wilder, then Laura herself after she became Mrs. Wilder. Or the adorably dopey Willie Oleson standing in the corner countless times at school. And then there's Nellie Oleson... wonderful, bitchy, bratty Nellie.... and the endless ways she schemed to get her way against Laura. Mary going blind. Laura meeting "Manly" for the first time and carving their initials in a tree. The horrific fire at the Blind School that killed the wonderful Alice Garvey and Mary's baby son. Carrie having a dream and meeting her "twin" (the character actually was played by twins). I have a lot of memories of this show, and they've been enhanced because I now watch the show every day on the Hallmark Channel. They used to show two episodes every day from 9-11am, but now they also show two MORE episodes from 2-4pm... so that's FOUR episodes of "Little House" that my DVR records for me. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. So yeah, I'm addicted. And it probably scares some of you, and probably makes you concerned for my sanity, but I don't care. So what if the show is schamltzy. And so what if it doesn't exactly follow the books word-for-word. And who cares that it took on a life of its own for Michael Landon to tell his own stories... I don't. The show is fun-- at times hilariously funny, and at times devestatingly sad. Just like life. And as for Hot Toddy's notion of Little House trading cards... I sense a business venture in our future. I'd bet the Nellie Oleson card alone would make us some big bucks.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Read this. Get pissed off. (Part 2)

This adult picture brought to you by... censorship! That's right folks, censorship is alive and well in the 21st century, and websites such as Gay.com (where the above image is from) are forced to "dumb down" their rules on pictures... pictures of members who have paid for this service. As a paying member of Gay.com, this upsets me. So I am posting the information that they have posted on their site about why they have resorted to this measure. So read it, get pissed off, and do something. That's all I'm asking. Changes to our photo policy mandated by the Bush Administration Always on the lookout for hot guys and ways to keep people from having fun, the US Dept. of Justice is taking a break from prosecuting terrorists to do something they think is more important: restricting your right to view and share photos online. All member photos identified as adult on our site are temporarily unavailable for public view, due to the sudden, and unconstitutional, decision by the US Dept. of Justice to place new restrictions on all web sites around the world that do business in the US (I guess nobody ever told them the internet is borderless). Gay.com thinks your adult photos should be sexy, secure, and legally protected, so we've joined with other companies to seek an injunction against this ruling. We're doing everything possible to minimize its impact on you. What does this mean for you? Your civil liberties are under attack by the US government! All photos identified as adult will be temporarily unavailable from public view Members will still be able to view their own adult photos and edit their profiles, but they temporarily won't be able to see anyone else's adult photos Gay.com will begin reviewing all adult photos, and will make them available again for public viewing if they meet our new standards (see below) About these new government regulations The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals has previously found these regulations to be unconstitutional, yet the Bush Administration has chosen to pursue them anyway The new regulations go into effect June 23, 2005 It only applies to "sexually explicit" content, not content that is merely "lascivious" (Hmmm, I don't know what explicit means, but I know it when I see it!) See below for a detailed, and entertaining, explanation of what's "explicit." Your adult photos The good news: most of your photos are OK (including your adult photos) and will be restored once they've been approved by Gay.com, because the dirty boys at the US government only consider certain poses and activities to be "sexually explicit" The bad news: under these regulations Gay.com will no longer be able to accept or display "sexually explicit" photos from its members for either public or private view New standards for "sexually explicit" content on Gay.com • A hand holding or touching genitals, or appearing to grip or stimulate genitals is considered masturbation and is prohibited. • A hand clearly "cupping" or covering genitals for the purposes of keeping them covered is allowable. • A hand inside pants is prohibited as it implies masturbation. • Pictures with more that one person that include nudity are prohibited. • All cartoons are prohibited. • While images of a nude person on all fours is allowable, an image showing the buttocks being held apart by hands would be considered explicit and prohibited. • In the interest of safety, no images of nude children (e.g. a nude baby at the beach with her two dads) will be allowed. • A clothed person posing with their pet is allowed, but a nude person with an animal is prohibited (no more walking your dog in the nude!). • An image of a person in a bondage or fetish outfit is allowed (but please, no polyester!). • Images that depict bondage or S&M "abuse" are prohibited (shockingly, images from Abu Ghraib prison would be censored under the new regulations) • Digital images run through an "illustrator" filter on software would be held to these same standards What is Gay.com doing about the regulation? • We have joined with other companies to legally challenge its enactment • We're fighting for your civil liberties, and oppose undue government interference with individual expression • We're fighting against such regulations because we know they have a disproportionate effect on historically isolated groups, such as the LGBT community Make your voice heard! Contact US elected officials and the Dept. of Justice to tell them you oppose 18 U.S.C. §2257 US Dept. of Justice: www.usdoj.gov/contact-us.html US Senate: www.senate.gov US House of Representatives: www.house.gov Support the Electronic Frontier Foundation in its efforts to defend freedom in the digital world www.eff.org Need help? Call: 1 (866) 313-6373 (Toll-free in the US & Canada)

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Read this. Get pissed off.

One of my new favorite bloggers is Knottyboy. He's funny as shit, but sometimes he just rips into something with a vengeance like nothing else I have known. Case in point, today's posting. Read it. And you'll see what I mean. And here I thought I was sick of Tom Cruise? I'm much more sick of this asshole.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Dearest Tom Cruise: Shut the F**k Up!

Dearest Tom Cruise, I want to start this letter by telling you that I've always liked you. As far back as I can remember, I thought you were pretty cool. OK, I had a crush on you. I won't lie. I'll never forget the issue of "Teen Beat" that my sister bought with you on the cover in a tank-top. I about wet myself. Let's face it, Tommy. You've had one heck of a career. Nobody can deny that. You've been a heartthrob teen star, a dashing young man, a swinging single, a devoted husband and father, and then a once-again available divorcee. And yet you've always remained high in the public's admiration. But Tom, you're blowing it. Big time. First of all, let's talk about that monkey act you pulled on Oprah. I mean come on. Beating your chest and swinging your arms like a friggin' chimpanzee. Over what? A girl? Who's half your age... or LESS? What's going on, Tom? Why are you resorting to such foolishness? You're not 20 anymore. You're not even 30. You're in your 40s. 40-something men do not jump on furniture. They don't do backflips. They don't act like 10-year olds. What's gotten into you? OK fine, you love the girl. Great! Good for you. But can't you just sit there like a grown man and say so? Why the antics? Why the acrobatics? We'd believe you if you just tell it to us straight ... er... honestly. And all this Scientology stuff is getting out of hand too. We've been hearing about it for years, but it's starting to get ridiculous. How many brains have you washed in your lifetime? Nicole converted. (But is she still "in"? I wonder.) Now you've got Katie. And now she's "in" too. Oh now I'm not begrudging your right to believe what you want to believe in. This is America after all, and it is, despite what some people want us to believe, a free country. But all this machination is just a little bit too suspicious, Tommy Boy. And now you're engaged? Well what a surprise that was! How long have you been dating her, Tom? A month? Two? How well do you know her, really? Have you met her parents? Do they approve? Well I would be happy for you, Tom, but what I read the other day in the papers, which you know always print the truth, really cinched it for me. You said that you asked her to marry her to quell the rumor mill and put an end to the tabloid witchhunt. Oh Tom. Have you learned nothing in your 42 years? The hunt has just begun. Of course, it may be just mere coincidence that both of you have movies coming out right about now... Katie has that Batman flick and you get to play Orson Welles or something or other in War of the Worlds. Coincidence? Ha. Come on, Tom. You know exactly what you're doing. You're playing this for all it's worth, and you're loving every minute of it. You're getting attention galore, and YOU LOVE IT. It's been kind of quiet on the Cruise front for the last few years, and you just couldn't stand it. Yeah ok, you dated Penelope Cruz for a while, but oh, I don't know, something about the Cruise/Cruz rhymey-rhyme thing probably didn't appeal to you so you nixed that one. Thing is, I just don't buy it, Tom. I really don't. In fact, it's been hard for me to buy in to most of your romances. Yeah I know the rumor mills have been going around for YEARS about your sexuality, but I really don't care about that anymore. If you're gay, fine. If you're straight, fine too. I'm just tired of hearing about you. I'm tired of seeing your face. I'm tired of hearing your shrieky voice. I'm tired of the tabloids salivating over your every move. It's getting old, and I am over it. So Tom, do me a favor and just shut the fuck up. Please. Go away. Get married if you must (again), move to some deserted island, and stay there. I'm done with you. I don't care what you do, I don't care who you date, and I don't care who you "love." If you're so hungry for attention that you have to pull these stunts and make these scenes, then you're more screwed up than I ever thought before. Get help buddy. And get lost. At least Nicole seems to be doing well. Which is good, 'cause I always liked her better anyway. Best of luck. Sincerely, RcktMan Rick