Tuesday, September 26, 2006


I used to have an excellent memory, back before I stopped obsessing about everything (the year I came out.) I jokingly tell people, "I can remember anything before 1993, nothing after that.) It's not really that bad but I do find myself on occasion having to think hard to remember things I used to recall automatically (e.g., it took me days to remember that the suburb -- now city -- immediately north of Atlanta in Fulton County is called Sandy Springs!)

So I think it's time to start writing down some memories. I've already begun that work, sort of, with Jeremy and there are plenty of other loved ones who have gone on and need recalling. Now is a good time to start.


Place Names

Western New York isn't lacking for places with shake-your-head you-gotta-wonder pronunciation. I just found yesterday that "Chili Center," a suburb of Rochester, is NOT (surprise, surprise) pronounced "Chill Lee" (as in the hearty stew); nopers, "Chili" in Western New York is pronounced "Chy (rhymes with Shy or By) Lie."

Which, from my point of view, ranks right up there with Delhi (Del High), Louisiana, and Cairo (Kay Roe), Illinois.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

A New Job

I started my new job as a part-time reference / instruction librarian at Genesee Community College on Friday. I quite like it! My fellow staff members are friendly and supportive and the GCC students are, by and large, very appreciative of the help they receive. As usual, there are the ones who won't be satisfied and/or don't think the rules apply to themselves, but they are relatively few and far between (at least, thus far.) I think this job will be a good move for me, even given the dearth of hours (19 1/2 per week max), the low wages (the hourly rate is about what I made at Emory in 1989), and the long commute (40 miles one way.)

Two days a week with an occasional foray to one of the campus centers to teach a library use class is probably going to be just about right.


I can't believe...

I can't believe that I live in a country that condones torture. I didn't think that was something Americans did to other people, except illegally. (And, yes, I know, I'm being willfully forgetful when it comes to racial harassment and the history of slavery.)

The idea that the President of the United States would authorize torture -- and pretend that what's being done is something other than torture -- seriously erodes my concept of what it means to be an American. Hearing the news of Abu Ghraib was the first time in my life I ever felt ashamed to be an American. I would like to think that the "ho hum" response has been because the Bush administration has done such an effective job of banning the use of the word, thanks to an accommodating press and an apparent phobia on the part of the Democrats.

One reader of Andrew Sullivan's blog enjoins Andrew, an ardent opponent of the administration's torture policy, to "shut up" about it, insisting that Andrew's lost the debate. What debate? When did we ever debate this? When has the Bush Administration ever done anything other than assert its "right" to "question terrorists," as if the only way to question them is to torture them?

It's sickening.


Thursday, September 21, 2006

The Second Half of Summer (July-September)

It was rather busy.

At the end of July David and Emily came up from Atlanta and spent 10 days with us. We had our usual fun time: shopping, movies, and day-trips, including Corning, Toronto, and Niagara-on-the-Lake, where we checked out Inniskillin, one of the many wineries in the area.

A few days after, David and Emily left, Naoyuki's parents arrived from Birmingham, AL, their first trip to visit our home here in East Amherst (and they're first time in this part of the world.) We basically repeated the D&E itinerary, minus the movies and Toronto, and instead of Inniskillin visited yet another (even nicer) winery, Jackson-Triggs.

After Yoshimi and Sachiko's visit, it was off to Palm Springs for almost a week to relax at our favorite gay resort, INNDulge, and to check out the Palm Springs International Festival of Short Films. It was deliciously hot and dry, the films (for the most part) were great, it was fabu to hang out in a town with a big (and open) gay community, and we got in our usual amount of day tripping (e.g., Lake Arrowhead up in the mountains, and Mission San Juan Capistrano down near the coast of Orange County.)

The return to Buffalo was a bit surreal -- it had been over 100 degrees every day in Palm Springs and topped 110 two days in a row. Buffalo was mid to upper 50s and rain-rain-rain as we had two days worth of remnants from Tropical Storm Ernesto. Since then it's heated up again and cooled off several times. Still, the leaves started turning before the end of August and this morning it was in the 40s. I suppose it did the same in SE Michigan, it's just more noticeable here for some reason.

Once back, I had a couple of pleasant visits to Genesee before they said, "yes," they'd be delighted to have me come aboard. As I pointed out to them, one of my formative professional experiences was working at the Undergraduate Library of the University of Michigan, way back in the day. I like working with freshmen and sophomores; for the most part, they're extremely grateful for ANY help you can give them.

In between I somehow managed a trip to Winston-Salem, North Carolina to do a spot of consulting for my friend Lynn Sutton, director of the Z. Smith Reynolds Library at Wake Forest University. ZSR is incredibly lucky to have Lynn and from what I can tell she's quite lucky to have them, too! It's nice to walk into a library and see smiles on the faces of the people working there! (It's the same at GCC, hence my optimism about the new job!)

I don't think we're traveling again until right after Thanksgiving, when we go on our Panama Canal cruise. Perhaps that's just as well!

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Tomorrow : The New Job

I start the new job, namely, part-time reference / instruction librarian at Genesee Community College, about 40 miles east of here in Batavia, NY.

I'm quite excited! After 15 months as a house husband, having a real job (even for just a couple of days a week) will make for a nice change. Having some structure will be nice and if the commute is rather long (and the pay about, oh, well, let's, the same rate I was making in 1989!) the fact is the library folks are ULTRA nice and it's the kind of work I enjoy.

Maybe my blogging will pick up, as a result. We'll just have to see!