Jack’s Back Patio with Ciao Bella at Woody’s

Confused? Don’t be

Although it’s hardly a backyard, Jack’s Backyard is setting up shop in Woody’s. The venue shut its doors last weekend but their first day as Jack’s Back Patio is today and that the originally scheduled band, Ciao Bella, will perform. Not bad for a quick turnaround. By the sounds of it, even former JB employees will be helping out with the drinks.

DEETS: Woody’s, 4011 Cedar Springs Road. 8 p.m. DallasWoodys.com.

—  Rich Lopez

Beat the Heat softball tournament finale

Hanging out with the jocks
Although we don’t mind sitting through the Beat the Heat softball tourney all weekend long, we can’t help but swoon over the athletes all washed up for the awards finale. Besides, it’s air conditioned inside.

DEETS: Woody’s Sports & Video Bar, 4011 Cedar Springs Road. 7 p.m. DallasPSSA.org.

—  Rich Lopez

Memorial Weekend dance party at old Club One

So you think you can dance?
You’ll have the opportunity to show off those dance moves at the star-studded Memorial Weekend party with DJs Seth Cooper, pictured, and Roland Belmares spinning out the night at the old Club One spot. It’ll be just like old times. The two will deliver the beats, while you boogie on down.

DEETS: 3025 Main St. 10 p.m. PaulKraftProductions.com

—  Rich Lopez

MD appointment: Marriage vote could come before weekend

MDComing soon to a Maryland near you:

Legislators in Maryland are scheduled to vote on the Religious Freedom and Civil Marriage Protection Act on Thursday, Feb. 17, according to Judicial Proceedings Committee chairman Brian E. Frosh’s office.

”It’s going to happen on Thursday,” Brenda Smith, appointment secretary for Frosh’s office, told Metro Weekly regarding a committee vote on Senate Bill 116, on Tuesday, Feb. 15.

Maryland Marriage Vote Imminent [Metro Weekly]

In both chambers, the votes are looking good, though not definite. And then of course even if/when we get passage and the governor’s announced signature, the NOM crowd is sure to go into petition-gathering overdrive in order to keep God from hating their state for leading the way to man-Android marriage.

But one thing at a time. For now, check out Equality Maryland to see how we can get Step 1 accomplished.




Good As You

—  David Taffet

Weekend warriors: Senate forces us to watch C-Span on a Saturday

All reports indicate that the Senate version of the real deal DADT repeal vote (already passed in the House) will come this Saturday:

Reid files for cloture on DADT tonight (wonky but important) [AmericaBlog Gay]



Reid Files Cloture On Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell And DREAM, Schedules Cloture Votes For Saturday [Wonk Room]

Hey, kid who only wants two front teeth for Christmas: Maybe also keep some place on your list for sixty principled eyes ayes!




Good As You

—  admin

PHB weekend open forum: dealing with chronic pain

I Tweeted and Facebooked this afternoon:

Battling bad, bad diabetic neuropathy today. Even capsaicin won’t tamp down pain. Can hardly walk. Dammit.

It naturally generated a lot of kind “get well” responses, but what’s noteworthy is that there were a number of people who contacted me who either knew someone living with chronic pain or experienced it themselves and were offering tips and tricks or war stories. There were enough reactions in that vein that I thought it might be worth a post so see how others are dealing with it.

Some folks were theorizing that since I’m recovering from surgery, that I might be in a heightened pain response mode in my case. It could be related to my fibromyalgia. In my case, for instance, pain from diabetic neuropathy is something that flares up many times with fibro. Not this time.

Who knows what’s going on, since pain management for those with chronic pain can be an elusive, frustrating battle.  What I do know is all the tricks in my neuropathy playbook were not helping to relieve the burning, stinging, both numb and ultra-sensitive feeling in my feet all last night. It hurts so much that I cannot put any shoes on other than some really padded slippers. Walking to the bathroom, only a few feet away, is cringe-inducing.

This may clear up on its own if I can get to sleep; since my fibro is fairly well-controlled with a combo of Lyrica and Cymbalta (it’s taken years to find the  effective drugs and dosages). Even then, flares can still occur from time to time. I take magnesium and Vitamin D supplements as well. Since I have insulin-dependent diabetes as well, juggling that, particularly before and after surgery, is also taxing. But I can say that it is in great control.

The down side is that the nerve damage in my feet is apparently permanent, since tight control hasn’t made a difference in pain levels when neuropathy decides to flare up. My magic bullet up until now has been the use of capsaicin cream, which is derived from hot peppers. It has proven to be helpful in counteracting the nerve pain, but it did jack sh*t last night.

All of this is not to make you feel sorry for me — I consider myself lucky. The fact is that millions of people out there deal with some sort of chronic, sometimes debilitating pain that common pain relievers don’t help, or don’t have health insurance to help cover the meds (or worse, have insurance that won’t cover a med). I’m also pretty fortunate that there are many days where I am nearly pain free (post-surgery pain excepted right now) when everything is in balance. But so many things can throw it out of whack – changes in weather, over-work, lack of sleep, travel – that it’s a dice roll.

Many people are dealing with pain that requires them to be on narcotics all the time. I cannot imagine that, particularly since your local pharmacy is always hypervigilant about refills of something like Percocet or Oxycodone (thanks, Rushbo!), making one feel like a criminal for filling a script for a legitimate prescription medication that is abused, sold and stolen.

So here are some discussion questions:

* Do you know someone or are someone dealing with chronic pain?

* How is it managed?

* How does it affect quality of life?

* What are any issues re: health insurance?

* What alternative medicine, holistic remedies have been tried? Success?

* How have your doctors been in terms of understanding pain management?

And feel free to share other issues about it.
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

Burlesque: Cher’s Best Opening Weekend

CHER CHRISTINA AGUILERA BURLESQUE X390 (GETTY) | ADVOCATE.COMBurlesque may be facing stiff competition from Harry Potter and Tangled,
but the movie musical starring Cher and Christina Aguilera is on its
way to making million dollars over the five day holiday frame.
Advocate.com: Daily News

—  admin

Weekend This & That: Open Thread

It’s an open thread! Pleeeeease feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread… Emoticon: Autumn Sandeen, snarkily shifting her eyes right-to-left-to-right

Image: Bookworm Bob, the cartoon 'sockpuppet' of Autumn Sandeen'sSo, this is what my cartoon sockpuppet Bookworm Bob have been looking at since our last This & That post.

Demopolis Times‘s County schools may adopt anti-harassment policy:

LINDEN – The Marengo County Board of Education may soon draft a policy that would help police various forms of harassment among students. Marengo County Schools Superintendent Luke Hallmark announced Thursday to the board of education his intention to draft such a policy.

…”I’ve got a model that I’ve developed and put together,” Hallmark said. “I just want to run it by the board attorney.”

Hallmark indicated his decision to push for such a policy is not a reflection of any incidents in Marengo County Schools, rather it comes as a pre-emptive strike.

“I think it is something all school systems need to have in place,” Hallmark said.

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SLPC) have weighed in on this:

“Most Alabama students attend schools that lack anti-harassment protection for (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) students,” Sam Wolfe, SPLC staff attorney, wrote in an Oct. 20 article. “Because the Model Policy only prohibits bullying based on characteristics of race, sex, religion, national origin, and disability, LGBT students are denied protection afforded to other students and are in special danger. We ask the (Alabama State Department of Education) to strengthen the Model Policy by specifying anti-harassment protection for students based on actual or perceived sexual orientation and gender identity. All students should feel safe at school, and an inclusive policy that addresses anti-LGBT bullying will help achieve that goal.”

Arizona Daily Star, in their news from home articles:

Lawyers get guide on representing gays

RALEIGH – The regulatory body for North Carolina’s lawyers gave final approval to language designed to discourage attorneys from having personal bias against representing gays and transgender people.

The North Carolina State Bar Council voted 35-20 Friday in favor of changes to the preamble of their rules of professional conduct.

Some attorneys and interest groups were concerned because the proposal contained “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” in a list of eight characteristics that shouldn’t lead to biased conduct. They said that could prevent lawyers from declining to take cases on moral grounds.

Council member Mark Merritt said lawyers can still withdraw from a case if they believe they are unable to defend someone vigorously.

So this policy eliminates anti-LGBT discrimination every way except functionally? Emoticon: Shoulder Shrug

WLS-AM‘s Chicago synagogues baffled, resigned over plot :

Chicago’s Jewish community buzzed Saturday with speculation, befuddlement and resignation to the news that two of its religious institutions were targeted in a foiled terrorist plot.

On the city’s North Side, the rabbi at Emmanuel Congregation said at Saturday morning services that he was told a smaller congregation that uses their synagogue was one of the targets. But neither he nor the other congregation’s rabbi had been contacted by authorities.

Rabbi Michael Zedek said he was told by a Jewish leader “of considerable consequence in Chicago” that the smaller Or Chadash congregation was one of the targets.

Or Chadash has about 100 members, mainly lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Jews and their families. It has rented space at Emmanuel Congregation for about seven years, and before that held services in a Unitarian church on the city’s North Side.

NewsOK.com‘s A death sentence for a man’s poodle stirs debate in Hydro:

HYDRO – People are questioning whether police could have found an alternative to killing a man’s poodle while he was in jail for breaking the dog out of the pound.

The ruckus started about two weeks ago when 73-year-old Edwin Fry used bolt cutters to free the dog, Buddy Tough, and left on his riding lawn mower with the animal on his lap.

Police arrested Fry at gunpoint a few miles from the city kennel and took the dog, Buddy Tough.

Fry said he couldn’t pay the 0 it would take to free his dog legally and didn’t want the animal put down.

Hydro’s police chief told a local newspaper publisher the dog was held for three days, placed in a box and killed with carbon monoxide from the exhaust pipe of a police car.

*Sigh.*

• Our Wiener Story Of The Day: San Francisco Chronicle‘s Judge: McDonald’s must pay obese worker ,500:

Link To Pam's House Blend Tag 'Wieners'; Image: Smiling, waving hot dog saying 'I'm a wiener!'

A Brazilian court ruled this week that McDonald’s must pay a former franchise manager ,500 because he gained 65 pounds while working there for a dozen years.

The 32-year-old man said he felt forced to sample the food each day to ensure quality standards remained high, because McDonald’s hired “mystery clients” to randomly visit restaurants and report on the food, service and cleanliness.

The man also said the company offered free lunches to employees, adding to his caloric intake while on the job.

*Ugh.*

But as always, “The weenie tempts you!” …ever stll!!

So anywho…It’s an open thread! What are you thinking about today, or what books or articles have you been reading the past few days? Wanna share?

And again, please feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread because…it’s an open thread! Woo-hoo! Emoticon: Dancing happy face character  
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  admin

HRC Members Prepare Weekend Canvass in New York Prior to Rapidly Approaching Elections

The following is from HRC Field Fellow Errin E. Doyle

With only eighteen days until the New York state Senate general election, the stamina surrounding Tim Kennedy’s candidacy in the 58th district is increasing.  The energy continues to grow. New and old faces show up daily to help phone bank and canvass the doors of fellow western New Yorkers, deliver literature and yard signs and assist in the numerous other facets of Kennedy’s campaign.  There is a strong HRC presence that helps steer the campaign’s progress, making everyone on board feel like a family.

Thanks to the fact that the Buffalo Bills had the weekend off this Sunday, the opportunity to run a huge canvass on Sunday presented itself. (In Buffalo, there is nothing more sacred than when the Bills play Sunday; it is the only time we don’t engage in voter contact.) I’ve been working alongside fellow HRC member Nicole Jowsey to coordinate volunteers and prepare for a weekend of voter contact for Kennedy, a fair-minded proponent of equality and our endorsed candidate for the New York state Senate.  With the pressure building as voting day approaches, there is much work and excitement in getting Kennedy’s message for change out to voters in his district.

If you’re in the western New York area and interested in meeting other HRC members and volunteering on a strong, pro-equality campaign, please contact Regional Field Organizer David Contreras Turley at 202.330.3790 for more information.


Human Rights Campaign | HRC Back Story

—  John Wright

Weekend This & That: Open Thread

It’s an open thread! Pleeeeease feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread… Emoticon: Autumn Sandeen, snarkily shifting her eyes right-to-left-to-right

Image: Bookworm Bob, the cartoon 'sockpuppet' of Autumn Sandeen'sSo, this is what my cartoon sockpuppet Bookworm Bob have been looking at since our last This & That post.

• In a MetroWeekly‘s piece, entitled State of Play, writer Chris Geidner described comments made by Mara Keisling as “harsh but not altogether negative.”  Here’s some quotes from Mara Keisling found in this article:

I failed.

* * * * *

Congress and the president have lots of priorities, they really do. They have to be working on the economy, they have to be working on health care, they have to be working on the environment – and they have to be working on LGBT rights. ‘Their job is to work all those priorities together. Our job is to make sure they put our rights in their priorities. … And you know what? We weren’t able to do that this year.

We had a colossal fail this year. But it is simplistic and unhelpful to say that any particular person failed, because every single one of us failed.

The community failed. The movement failed. The organizations failed. Congress failed. The president failed. Government failed — part of why government failed is because they didn’t prioritize us. Partially that’s because we didn’t make them, partially it’s because the Republicans were just obstructing everything, partially it’s because our community didn’t step up enough, partially it was because our community was scattered in what they wanted. But we failed together.

* * * * *

We still made a lot of progress, we really did. We still got more done in the last two years than we’ve ever gotten done in two years before.

The entire Chris Geidner piece is worth the read.

• Following up on the Patricia Dye story, Gay LGBT reports the following in Time catches up with woman posing as teen boy to seduce underage girl:

Turns out 31 is not the new 14.

Patricia Dye, 31, has been sentenced to six months in jail for posing as a much younger, male version of herself in order to seduce an unsuspecting young girl, According to CBS News.

Dye pleaded guilty to three misdemeanor counts on Wednesday: sexual imposition, attempted sexual imposition and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Jezebel.com describes sexual imposition as:

“‘Sexual contact’ wherein ‘the offender knows that the other person’s, or one of the other person’s, ability to appraise the nature of or control the offender’s or touching person’s conduct is substantially impaired.’ In this case, the teen’s ability to appraise the nature of sex was pretty obviously impaired by Dye’s subterfuge.’

Dye is now a classified sexual offender and will be on probation for the next two years.

That Patricia Dye is identified as a woman at this point and not as a man — or even a trans man — well, one can only wonder what her sentence would have been if she had been identified as male. If she were a male-identified criminal who had engaged in a similar sort of crime, my guess would be that the jailhouse portion of her sentence would have been significantly lengthier.

YouTube‘s It Gets Better, says Kate Bornstein:

Kate Bornstein, the author of Hello Cruel World: 101 Alternatives to Suicide for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws, and the blog Kate Bornstein’s Blog for Teens, Freaks and Other Outlaws, made a video contribution to Dan Savage’s It Gets Better project. That contribution is her video above.

Mormon TimesA call for civility following President Boyd K. Packer’s address:

…To any affected by such tragedy we express sorrow and we condemn the incivility that violated the dignity of these youth.

This week, activists for the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender (LGBT) community have attempted to raise our community’s consciousness about the challenges facing LGBT youth. This consciousness raising has been styled as a reaction to a talk by President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter-day Saints given at the Church’s Semiannual General Conference last Sunday.

This focused attention on the LDS Church is deeply ironic given the Church’s shared condemnation of hate and violence toward gays and lesbians, its mutual support of anti-discrimination laws for gays and lesbians, and its compassionate ministry to LDS Church members who have same gender attraction…

…[T]actics used this week ostensibly to accomplish these purposes were counterproductive. Instead of seeking genuine common ground around issues of mutual concern, activists began this week with a grossly misguided caricature of the LDS Church’s support of traditional morality.

The tactic is now all-too familiar: take a statement out of context, embellish it with selective interpretation, presume hostile intent, and then use the distortion to isolate an entire group, in this case a church.

We encourage all to read President Packer’s talk rather than simply rely on the media interpretations and selective quotations.  It stretches all credulity to find in President Packer’s pastoral counsel what some are calling a hateful message “that can lead some kids to bully and others to commit suicide.” Contrary to what some have written in provocative press releases, nothing in President Packer’s talk says that “violence and/or discrimination against LGBT people is acceptable.”

So, I recommend reading the talk the LDS church hierarchy linked to in the paragraph above, and remember what other statements LDS Apostle Boyd K. Packer has made in the past.

You can judge for yourself if you believe Apostle Packer speaks in terms of bigotry and/or hate, and as the article writer recommends, you can judge for yourself whether Apostle Packer’s statements contribute to the hostile school and/or home environment that many lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students find themselves living in.

• Our Wiener Story Of The Day: The Gainesville Sun‘s :

…Those who oppose the practice of manipulating genes to make the foods we eat bigger, tastier or have a longer shelf life counter that the fruits and vegetables on the family table should come from the farm, not from some biotech researcher’s laboratory.

Image: Wiener World, a restaurant in Pittsburg, Pennsylvania; Link To Pam's House Blend Tag 'Wieners'Genetically engineered foods have been in the news in recent days, thanks to the Atlantic salmon.

To build a better salmon, scientists spliced into the DNA of Atlantic salmon a growth hormone gene from Chinook salmon and a piece of DNA from another food fish, the ocean pout, which acts as a switch to “turn on” the Chinook salmon gene. The result is that the Atlantic salmon grows faster and reaches harvest size in half the time while consuming less feed. The biotech company that developed the super salmon is awaiting a green light from the FDA to market the fish…

…According to the Center for Food Safety, 75 percent of the processed foods found in the supermarket contain genetically engineered ingredients. They are in bread, cereal, frozen pizzas, hot dogs, sodas and more. Our squash, potatoes and papaya have been engineered to resist plant diseases…

As always, “The weenie tempts you,” but perhaps it is a Frankenweenie that tempts you.

Note: You might take note of who the Costume and Wardrobe Department is for the film, “Frankenweenie,” linked to in my silly comment above. My Dad (who passed in 2002) was actually one of the credited costumers for “Frankenweenie.” Emoticon: Dancing

So anywho…It’s an open thread! What are you thinking about today, or what books or articles have you been reading the past few days? Wanna share?

And again, please feel free to chat, blogwhore, and link-share in the comment thread because…it’s an open thread! Woo-hoo! Emoticon: Dancing happy face character  
Pam’s House Blend – Front Page

—  John Wright