I enjoy writing for my blog, Geoffrey & Mika, I've been writing and publishing articles since 2013. My latest article was published on June 1st. Since then I am suffering a block, the desire to write and inspiration for something to write about is sorely lacking. I have a few drafts filed away, I tinkered with them recently, but this went nowhere. The difficulty is determining a thesis for the article, an insight to put in front of readers in hopes it makes them stop and think. I hope I get over this block before much longer. There is so much to write about and I am told by those who read my articles my writing is first rate. I wonder how other writers cope when they suffer from writer's block. If anyone has any thoughts on this, please feel free to share them with me.
The merry month of May has not been so merry for me this year and in a number of years past. For some reason I have the misfortune of catching a cold during the change of seasons from winter to spring and then the cold leads to bronchitis. I am getting over my latest bout of bronchitis. I feel much better today. The past two weeks, since the cold took hold, were miserable. I was sent home from work twice last week by my boss. My cough was a distraction for my co-workers. This time the infection is viral so there is nothing to do but let it run its wretched course. I tried cough syrup to suppress the cough; the efficacy of the codeine in the cough syrup in suppressing my cough is debatable. However, starting this morning, the pain in my chest and the fits of coughing subsided. I still feel sore from coughing, tired and remain congested, but it is so good to be free of the coughing fits.
May 3rd is Mika's birthday. He turned 42 yesterday. To celebrate we had brunch with some friends of his and then went to the National Gallery to view the M.C. Escher exhibition. Getting to the gallery was not without some drama. As we made our way to the gallery we found the route was blocked. Roads were closed for a "special event." I thought we could drive up King Edward Avenue and turn left on one of the streets crossing King Edward to get to the gallery. Just like the "best laid plans of mice and men" I found there were no left turns allowed on the cross streets so as we continued along on King Edward Avenue we found ourselves crossing the inter-provincial bridge into Gatineau, Quebec. To find our way back we used the GPS, citing 24 Sussex Drive (the Prime Minister's residence) as the reference point. We made our way back to Ottawa and finally something went right for us when someone vacated a parking spot on Dalhousie. I parked the car and we walked the three blocks to the gallery. The exhibition was quite impressive. It was the last day of the exhibition so there were a lot of people, but we took our time and enjoyed our visit.
Russell Tovey is a successful British actor I admire and whose career I follow. He is openly gay, also. Here he is pictured with his older brother Daniel at a charity fund raising event in which they took part. Russell Tovey may be gay, but as he commented recently, he is masculine and happily so. Good for him. I am gay, masculine and happily so too. I am masculine, but not what you would call a "man's man." I was called "fairy," "faggot," "pansy," "queer" among other things over the years, because I prefer classical music and theatre to sports. However, that said, I do not like show tunes, drag and have no use for Judy Garland. I am an amateur actor and play heterosexual characters on stage. I once played a homophobic Catholic priest in a play called "Strange Gods." I am a gun owner and hunter and have a black belt in taekwondo. I dress conservatively and have what is called a "straight appearance." Effeminate men, whether they are gay or straight, do not bother me. Why is it an issue that Russell Tovey and any other number of gay men like me are happily masculine and not ashamed of it?
As I rode in the the taxi to the airport to catch my flight to Toronto with Porter Airlines, I received an email message advising me the flight was delayed. This was late in the morning of February 20, 2015. I was en route to Port Colborne to stay with my sister Kelly and her husband Jeff. My brother and sisters and I gathered to celebrate our mother's 75th birthday. As it turned out the flight was delayed for two hours. I sat and waited at the airport and finally boarded the plane. I arrived in Toronto later that afternoon and made my way to the GO Train station at Union Station. I grabbed a chocolate chip cookie at a Starbucks and used the washroom before boarding the GO Train bound for Burlington. A friendly stranger helped me find my way at the Burlington station to where I connected to the GO Bus bound for St. Catherine's. My sister and my nephew Liam were there to greet me. On the drive to her home in Port Colborne we picked up a pizza for supper. It was after 7:00 pm when we got to her house, had a bite and crashed.
It was five years since I last saw or spoke to my mother and father. We have a troubled history and because of it I decided to go my own way. I agreed to come for the celebration of my mother's 75th birthday, because it would make my mother happy and so I could see my four grand nieces and nephews for the first time. Our extended family met at a Chinese restaurant in Port Colborne and had a great feast to celebrate mother's birthday. I spoke to my mother and father briefly at the restaurant. After the meal we all returned to Jeff and Kelly's house for birthday cake and the opening of gifts for my mother. I spoke with my mother and father more at this reception and everyone had a good time. I declined the invitation to visit my mother and father at their home the next day as my return flight to Ottawa was already booked. I told them if they want to reach me, they can relay any messages through my sister Kelly. The experience was good on the whole, but still left me feeling drained emotionally. It is good to be back home with Mika.
If someone thinks homosexuality is immoral, they have a right to believe that. -- Marianne Williamson
I came across this video on Youtube, published by a young gay man in Texas whose name is Austin Wallis. It is the latest in a series of videos he published, starting in August 2014, through which he came out as gay. He is seventeen years old and in his junior year at high school. At his side is his boyfriend Nicolay. I was startled when I learned he comes from a Christian family and attended a private Christian high school. I realize I should not make assumptions, but from what I understand of the religious culture of the south western United States, homosexuality is generally not tolerated or accepted. However, I was pleasantly surprised in viewing his earlier published videos to find. He and his boyfriend Nicolay look very happy together and are able to withstand the occasional anti-gay slur aimed at them in public spaces. They found acceptance from their families and friends and life continued as normal. That is, until Austin was confronted with the reality of the institutional intolerance of homosexuality at the Christian high school he attended. As he details in this video, he is no longer a student at this high school. He is completing his high school studies at another school. In spite of this, he remains true to his Christian faith.
Apparently, the school was prepared to let him continue his studies, provided he stop publishing videos on his Youtube channel declaring his homosexuality and his relationship with Nicolay. If he refused to do so, the school threatened him with expulsion. That the school would allow a gay student to continue his studies, as long as he kept his silence, smacks of religious hypocrisy to say the least. I sympathize with Austin Wallis; he is experiencing ostracism from his religious community for being true to himself and his faith. In spite of the shameful treatment he received from the school, I hope he continues publishing his videos. Up until now they are a delight to view.
I dabbled in blogging years ago, starting a blog and an online hunting diary maintaining a degree of anonymity and got virtually no response. I started publishing articles on Geoffrey & Mika in 2013. Geoffrey & Mika has a small following and gets appreciable numbers of views. Comments are posted directly on the blog from time-to-time, but most comments are posted on other sites such as Facebook groups and other blogs where individual articles are republished. To date there is a decided absence of troll comments. I suppose I should be grateful for this, but I am left wondering why I am overlooked by internet trolls. Hoping, too, that raising this issue does not encourage trolling. I wonder if it is the tone of the articles I publish that does not attract the attention of internet trolls. The tone of the articles is temperate. I apply my skills as a librarian and researcher to find evidence to support the arguments in the articles published on Geoffrey & Mika. My writing is not polemical; it is not intended to get the reader's goat. Rather, the hope is it makes the reader think, maybe rethink their position on the topic under discussion. I do not expect everyone to agree with me and welcome comments and dissenting opinions. I hope, as I continue to publish articles on Geoffrey & Mika, readers will see fit to join the discussion, whether they agree with my arguments or not.
I am a librarian and as such am something of a know it all. I have amassed a great deal of knowledge over the years. I won lots of coffees at Timothy's Coffees of the World in their daily trivia contest. One franchise even gave me coffees in exchange for providing trivia questions for the daily contest. Friends and acquaintances tell me I should try out to be a contestant on Jeopardy. Mika enjoys challenging me, seeing if he can stump me with trivia questions. He succeeds in stumping me occasionally. The know it all has the reputation of someone who "behaves as if they know everything," I assure you this is not so in my case. Yes, while I have amassed a great deal of knowledge, I do not know everything. I am mindful of this fact; I still have lots to learn. I apply the knowledge I have amassed in my writing. I enjoy discussing issues in the present in drawing on my knowledge of history. As a librarian my vocation is the management of information and helping people find and retrieve it. I continue to refine my skills as a researcher and enjoy entertaining reference queries. I enjoy taking part in debate and discussion on social media and in face-to-face interaction and take care to pick my battles. When dealing with ideologues and true believers, it is best to tread carefully and sometimes gracefully retreat from the discussion. I do not mind correcting people when they are mistaken, but take care to go about in a manner that is tactful and does not leave them feeling chagrined. I welcome correction and criticism from those around me also. You do not learn anything if you are not offered correction and constructive criticism. I think as know it alls go, I am really not such a bad sort.
I enjoy writing and publishing articles and find inspiration for my writings in life with my husband Mika and caring for my dog, Hera.