Friday, June 30, 2006

A new Gay Widows group

Well, of course, it's new, I just started it! The official link is:

Which is a bit clunky but I figure it will be findable easily enough eventually.

Eric Rofes' death and my subsequent ruminations on my own five years of widowhood have had the not unsurprising effect of attracting the attention of other folks who have recently lost their partners. Which prompted me, for the first time in a long time, to go looking around for what's out there. (More on that later...)

The main thing that struck me is that while WidowNet is still (extremely) active, there was still nothing out there specifically oriented to gay folks (and I mean "gay" in the GLBT sense of "everyone who isn't straight...") So I took the plunge.

My guess is that I'm biting off more than I can chew but as with these other endeavors I'm hoping it will spur me on. (Of course, it's probably the case that I'm really just trying to get out of balancing my checkbook or -- you guessed it! -- mulching...) If nothing else, we'll get the ball rolling and if need be pass it off to someone else out there.


Thursday, June 29, 2006

Before Weblogs

I was blogging before weblogs. Not terribly surprising, that. I'd been e-mailing comments and ruminations to friends and acquaintances via e-mail, listservs, and newsgroups for a decade before I ever put up my first webpage and that was Fall 1995, nearly 11 years ago.

Before that I was a newspaper reporter in high school, college, and even "real life." And I grew up with the personal columns of both my father and his father, both of them newspapermen, both of them editorialists.

It wasn't until May 2001, however, that I finally tried to be disciplined enough to write / update a personal online journal on a regular basis. As it turned out, my start on "RPJournal" was less than two months before Jeremy passed away. Sure enough, I had a lot to write about. Interesting how that worked out. Another example of why I tell people, "Serendipity follows me around like a little dog."

Looking back, I see:

My postings were fairly regular until the end of April 2002, at which point -- you guessed it -- I acquired the psycho con artist roommate from hell. It took me two more years (until August 2004) to recover enough to tell that story and to begin talking in more detail about my life with Naoyuki, then:

(a) I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus. Not the end of the world, by any means, but a heavy psychologically blow on top of everything else that had gone on in the previous three years; and...

(b) Just a month later it became clear that I was definitely not on the same page as the library administration at the institution I'd grown to love and cherish and that it was time for me to depart, quickly, and...

(c) As I'd expected, just nine months later Naoyuki and I were leaving Michigan for another state so that he could begin his career as a physician / scientist.

In other words, a lot to process, a lot to catch up with.

But that was then.

Now it is June 2006 and we're in suburban Buffalo, where Naoyuki has a great job at one of the nation's leading cancer hospitals. We found a lovely home in a beautiful neighborhood with bright, friendly neighbors. And after many discouraging months of looking, I've finally found employment that I enjoy and that holds the promise of being gainful.

Time, in other words, to go back to the nutritionist. To go back to the gym. To go back to blogging. I wish I could say "no more gaps" or "shorter gaps" but history suggests such optimism may be unwarranted. On the other hand, we make our own history, so who knows?

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My friend Dale reminds me that at this late date blogging is probably de rigeur for a certain class of librarians (I hate to think what class Dale and I represent, other than the classiest!) His blog is here -- I like it!

Which reminds me: Another prompt for creating this one was the Eric Rofes condolences site. Tools of this sort really have come quite a long way since I created Jeremy's memorial page in August 2001.

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Eric Rofes, 1954-2006

When I came out (belatedly, at age 35) in 1993, Eric Rofes was one of the first "gay authors" I read on a regular basis, mostly in venues such as Southern Voice, the gay weekly newspaper in Atlanta. He was intelligent, a good writer, compassionate, and someone who celebrated the sexuality of gay men. Cool! It didn't hurt that (well, from what I could tell by his mugshot) a hunky, handsome fella!

I was saddened to learn that Eric, an outstanding role model for the gay male activist / educator for more than 30 years, passed away this week while vacationing in Provincetown. The cause of death: heart attack at age 51, short a month or so shy of his 52nd birthday.

Some links:

Obituaries here:

His website:

Condolence messages:

As with so many gay man, he leaves us much too soon. My heart goes out to his partner, Crispin.

Remember to tell the ones you love you love them.


Yeah, I know, it's sad. It's what comes of low-living and high calories. The scenery behind me, though, is spectacular. December 2005 at Hoover Dam.

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Here I go again, starting a blog that I may or may not keep up!

The deal is: updating my personal website ( is a pain in the patookie. I'll get around to it (eventually) but right now I have bigger fish to fry. An interesting development, actually, inasmuch as I also spend a lot of time alone these days and outlets for my gregariousness are anemic at best.

So we'll count on this being a "motivator" blog -- something to get the juices flowing.

In the meantime, perhaps it will entertain others. It's been known to happen. Feel free to comment. I need interactivity way more than I'd like to admit. If your interest is in flaming me, you're out of luck because I don't think I could be any more flamboyant than I am already.

More in a bit...