Why we need the protections of marriage

Posted in General with tags , , on Jun 09 2012 by Cynical Queer

I’m going to depart from my normal petty rants and talk about something truly horrible that represents the exact reason we need marriage protections.

Last night it came to my attention that the long time partner of one of my former co-workers back in North Carolina passed away from lung cancer earlier this week.  This couple had been together for over 20-years and W (not the former US President) had been taking care of J for the past year while he fought the cancer.

First I’d like to say that I am very sympathetic to W in this time of personal crisis.  I lost my own father to lung cancer in April 2011.  It is a horrible, brutal disease that eats away at a body in combination with putting the person who has it and their caregivers through emotional hell.  I don’t wish this disease on anyone, and my heart goes out to everyone who has had to deal with this horrible situation.

Unfortunately J is gone and W is left to live the rest of his life without him.  W is a strong person, and I know he’s going to come out on the other side of this a bit bruised emotionally but otherwise he’ll be very strong.  Still, here are a few of the things that W has to look forward to because of the religious bigots in North Carolina, and their enactment of scripture into state law and the NC constitution:

  • W took time off of work to care for his partner at great personal expense because he was not allowed family leave by either the federal FMLA or NC State Law.
  • W was the sole income earner during the illness when he was able to work.
  • W and J had sizable assets that according to the recently passed Amendment One cannot be passed down to W solely and directly because any contract that gives the appearance of gay marriage in the State of North Carolina is not recognized as legitimate, regardless of the facts surrounding the issue.
  • W has no say in the disposition of remains or worldly possessions, even more shaky after Amendment One.
  • W will likely lose a huge amount of his net worth because of lack of that simple piece of paper known as a marriage license that is given to the special class of people known as heterosexuals.
  • W is ineligible for survivors benefits from either the federal or state governments because of DOMA and Amendment One
  • W will likely have to sell his home to finalize the estate, even if he wants to remain in it, because he was not allowed to marry the man he loved even though they were together for over 20-years.
  •  W is subject to J’s family coming in and poking and prodding through is life in ways that no heterosexual couple would ever be able to imagine simply because they have the protections afforded to them by the state that W does not.

There are many more things I could include but I’m not going to, because quite frankly this is enough to make me angry.  These people that tell us we can’t have meaningful and significant relationships have no clue what they are talking about.  When they tell people like W, J, and me that we’re not good enough, we don’t deserve the same things they do, and what we have should be enough, I simply tell them – look at W&J and then be ashamed of yourselves.

W & J are the shining example of how we gay people are capable of doing just as well the heterosexual monopoly when it comes to the stewardship of marriage.  Unfortunately there are still too many people in this country that want to turn a huge work of fiction into the basis for all our laws.

To them, I say look at W & J and the stability, love, companionship, and sacrifice each made for their enduring relationship and remember that when you pointed your finger at them and told them how horrible they were for wanting what you have, that they were evil, and that there was no way they could ever be a good example of stability and love, that four of your fingers are pointing back to yourself.

Shame on those of you who do this.  You keep telling us we’re going to Hell for who we love but as far as I’m concerned you’re all on the express train.

I’m off to write W a condolence card.

Useless Utilities

Posted in General with tags , on Jun 01 2012 by Cynical Queer

I had the TV on earlier today and gave some thought to something many people consider a utility – their cable or satellite television service.  I’ve not personally paid for nor used these services for nearly 5-years now and everything I watch on TV I watch through perfectly legal and legitimate methods.

I find it odd that they are always referred to as a utility.  To me a utility is something that would make life incredibly inconvenient if you stopped purchasing the service.  Gas for heating the house, Electricity for running lights at night, etc.  Somehow, a cable TV bill doesn’t quite sound like a necessity to me. 

That said, I have used those services in the past.  I last had cable television in 2007 when I lived in the Crap Shack.  I decided I wanted to economize and I turned it off.  Sure, I missed it at first, but then I discovered something strange… There was a huge world outside the house.   The first time I realized that I didn’t really miss this “utility” was when I cared for my grandfather for two-weeks in March 2011.  My mother went on a cruise, and I went to stay at their house with him and they had satellite TV service.  I thought it would be interesting to have access to it again after four or so years of not having it.

All I discovered is that it was 200 channels of nothing to watch.  I cannot figure out why anyone would want to pay over $100 per month to have this “utility”.  It’s functionally useless.  I would consider Internet service a utility before I considered cable television as one.

This is not to say that I don’t watch TV.  I do have a rooftop antenna, and I do have Netflix.  What is my total television entertainment bill for using these items?

A whopping $8 per month, or less than what I make in one-hour working.  I can’t figure out how people scrimp on groceries but will gladly pay over $100 per month for this so-called utility.

Personally if I could find myself a situation where I could keep a job similar to what I have now, have a house on a southwest facing slope, and access to water, I would get rid of the other utilities as well.

The Marriage Debate

Posted in General on May 18 2012 by Cynical Queer

I’ve not quite figured out why gay marriage is so controversial in the United States.

I got to thinking about it again when my former state of residence recently enacted something called Amendment One.  I figured this was coming in 2010 when the Republicans took over the state legislature for the first time since reconstruction though you would think there would be more pressing matters given the horrible state of the economy.


The first thing they did was pass a law restricting marriage rights to a man and a woman.  Then they put this ballot initiative to the voters.  They followed the EXACT same game plan that the commonwealth of Virginia did about 6 years ago.  Trot out gay marriage as a ballot issue every election you can for no other reason than to drive conservative voters to the poll.  Passing a law then putting another initiative on the ballot to do the same thing is a similar concept to murdering someone and then shooting them a couple more times just to ensure they’re dead.  It’s not really necessary.

The last time I checked when a significant population scapegoated a minority the result was national socialism.

To which I say this to those narrow minded people.

So I got to thinking and what I think is going to solve this debate one way or another is not the marriages we have in our community, it’s going to be the divorces.  As it stands now a heterosexual couple can get married in any state of the union and they can also get divorced in every state of the union.  So if I were to go marry Big-D in say, Iowa, and we later decided to get divorced in Nevada, we couldn’t do so even though we have a perfectly legitimate marriage license from Iowa.  However a heterosexual couple with that same marriage license could get divorced in Nevada, which creates a constitutional issue (the US constitution) where there is no equal protection of the laws for a gay couple in that instance.

States cannot choose to acknowledge one marriage certificate from a state and then completely ignore another.  But they are doing exactly this.

Personally I think we fags are getting it backwards.  We should be fighting to abolish divorce.  Hey, if the issue is sanctity of marriage then there shouldn’t be any divorcing going on.  After all the vows usually state “’til death us do part…” and well, they’re not dead yet.

The blog returns

Posted in General on May 14 2012 by Cynical Queer

I’ve decided to blow the dust of ye olde blog and reactivate The Cynical Queer.

I’ve found that there is just a lot I’d like to say anonymously or at least without a ton of employer sponsored prying eyes and other things that just wouldn’t fit into my Facebook page. Not to mention Facebook is entirely too demanding for personal information. They do not need my phone number or the ability to text me at a whim (hey we don’t *all* text message/sms), and overall they are too intrusive.

I’ve noticed that if I don’t post it on Facebook, it doesn’t leave a trail, or at least a trail for people I do not wish to see hear my true opinions.

Look for more here in the near future.  I’ve been censoring myself when it comes to politics, the marriage “debate”, and a whole host of other issues.


New Computer time

Posted in General with tags on Jul 10 2011 by Cynical Queer

Computers just don’t last.  At least this is the impression I get when I see what’s out there.

My present machine is four years old now, and it’s starting to get a lot of wear and tear on it.  The finish is wearing off the case, it’s continually getting bugs and running slow (in spite of my maintenance efforts) and overall it’s just not doing the job that I originally bought it for.

To use some jargon that is as old as the machine is, it’s so 2007.

So the question is, what do I get now?

I really like the Macbook Air, but I don’t like the fact it comes with only a 13.3-inch screen at the largest.  I look at it and can’t figure out how I would hook an external monitor, keyboard, etc. up to it.  I do like the fact that Macs do not have as many virus issues as PC’s.  I was an Apple guy back in the late 80’s/early 90’s up to the point that I moved to Wyoming to go to school.  Since then, I’ve been exclusively PC.

Another issue holding me back from buying the Macbook Air is that I own the full PC version of Microsoft Office.  The one that includes Access, Excel, Word, PowerPoint, Outlook, etc.  It’s my understanding that I would have to purchase new Office software for the Mac if I go that way.

The Macbook Air also has a relatively small storage capacity.  Though the 128 or 256 GB of storage that it has is much more than I have now, it’s just not that much in 2011 terms.  I do have a 1 TB external drive already, so perhaps I can attach that to hold files that I do not wish to carry around with me when I take the computer out of the house.

If I don’t go with a Macbook of some sort, I’ll have to go PC, which is much less expensive but bug prone.  Not sure where to go there.

Do any of you have good suggestions?

Some people are just not happy

Posted in General with tags , , , on Jul 04 2011 by Cynical Queer

This is not him, but this is what his attitude was like.

I had a family member come up to me last night after I found help to get his father into bed and give me a bunch of attitude.  His dad needed help with what we call a transfer from a wheel chair to his bed, I had been on my feet for 8-hours straight, my back was nearly ready to spasm (which means lifting over 200 pounds of man was going to be dangerous), and this guy was upset because he wanted dad in bed so he could go home.

Here is what he came up and said to me with attitude:

“When I come ask for your help that means I want *YOU* to come down there and do it, dammit, so don’t pass me off to somebody else to do it…”

I was passing him off to the CNA whose job it is to do this for him.  It wasn’t as if I abandoned him and left him flailing in the wind.

Here is what I actually said in response:

“I can not change what has already happened but I can do better in the future…”

Here is what I wanted to say:

“Listen pin head, I’m not putting my license on the line simply because you want me to drop everything instantly to go put your father in bed so you can go home.  I’m working all holiday weekend, so I don’t get to spend time with my family because I’m taking care of yours.  Consider yourself lucky.  I also have a ton of medications and an injection sitting on top of this medication cart which I am unable to leave sitting here to go take care of moving your father due to state law.  The person I’m putting these medications together for needs them and that is more important than dropping everything and putting your father to bed because you want to go home right now.  Your dad shouldn’t even be here, his health is such that you and your family could take care of him at home, but you’ve decided to dump him here instead because you apparently can’t be bothered to care for him but want to pretend that you care.  So exercise a little patience, you prick, and give me a chance to get down there to help, you f-ing dick!”

But you can’t say those kinds of things no matter how mad you get at someone.  When your nurse to patient ratio is 33 to 1, somehow I’m guessing that the nurse dropping everything to put dad to bed simply because you’re done dealing with him and want to go home is going to be something less than a priority, especially if the nurse has taken the time out of their incredibly hectic second day by themselves on the floor to get the people responsible for helping into that room.

I hope the guy that gave me the attitude chokes on a pretzel.

His dad wasn’t even one of my assigned patients.


Lots to do

Posted in General with tags , , on Jun 28 2011 by Cynical Queer

I’ve been working for nearly two weeks now, mostly going through orientation.  That would explain my absence from blog world since life has been get up early, go to work, come home, pass out on the couch, get up, go to bed, repeat.

My biggest job surprise so far has been that what I thought was advertised as a part-time position is actually full-time, which means I should be getting benefits with the job.  I have to get through the first 90-days, but after that I should have medical access again.  Even if it personally costs me what I’m paying now, I’m sure the coverage will be much better than the, “It’s only good if you get hit by a bus” coverage I have now.

I have tomorrow and the next day off.  I have to go up to my moms house and work on her bathroom a bit so that she can bring a tiling crew in.  I was almost to that point when I last worked on it two weeks ago.

Job Offer

Posted in General with tags on Jun 13 2011 by Cynical Queer

Today I received a job offer.  Pending a positive background check and a negative drug screening, I’ll start next week.

It will be nice to be doing something again after spending the past year and a half in school.

Son of Crapshack – bathroom remodel

Posted in General with tags , on Jun 10 2011 by Cynical Queer

Yes, I’m working on yet another house.  I’ve named this one Son of Crapshack because it is about 20-years newer than the crapshack was.

When my grandfather died recently, my mother inherited the house.  The same house she’s been living in for 30 years, but it’s hers now.  My grandfather was rather miserly when it came to spending money on the house, so nothing has been remodeled since 1972 other than the flooring downstairs that was replaced about 25 years ago because the dishwasher decided to do its best impression of Old Faithful.

This means my mother is now the proud owner of a rather dated, run-down, home.  She has decided to start by remodeling the master bedroom to make it her own since this was grandpa’s room until recently.  First up – remodeling the bath.

We tore out the 1972 vintage fixtures and tossed them out the window.  Really, who wants this fiberglass and odd colored stuff?  I can’t tell if the color of all these old fixtures are peach, salmon, or barf.  I tend to go with the last one because that’s what I wanted to do any time I saw them (update: The color was called Mexican Sand, I saw it on the back of a piece of the cut-up fiberglass shower).

So far all the old stuff is out, the new counter is in (granite) and I’ve spent all day wiring for some luxury vent fan my mother wants to install that has a heater in it.  I spent 3 hours under the house today running new wiring, and my body *really* feels it.

Since this is another crapshack it should be obvious that I found additional problems under the house in the crawlspace, namely the washing machine drain line which is leaking, and appears to have been leaking for some time since I spent part of my day swimming in Lake Crapshack.  Something that would have been nice to have avoided since I was simultaneously working on the electrical system.

I’m happy to report that I did not end up with frizzy hair.

Since the leak has been present for a period of between two weeks and 10-years, and the foundation has not settled, I’ll opt to do this repair for her after we’re done with her bathroom and bedroom.

She also had granite put in her half-bath in the utility room, and it looks great.  She could probably have that half-bath completely remodeled in a week if she just cleans it up a bit and paints.  It’s pretty much a “Do in place” job that only requires that and no tearing out of cabinets or showers.

So for now I’ll simply report the saga of CQ and home remodeling has spun off a sequel.  Stay tuned for more remodeling tales.

I have voted in my first national referendum!

Posted in General with tags , on Jun 01 2011 by Cynical Queer

If obtaining the passport didn’t tell me I actually had citizenship, voting certainly does the trick.

I voted yes on each question.  Just as in elections here in the US, sometimes yes actually means no.

The question about nuclear power was incredibly confusing, and after translating it, then translating the translation, I still didn’t understand it.  I had to do a lot of research about the referendum to figure out how to vote against nuclear power.  If there had been an option for hell no (or in this case, hell yes) I would have marked that on my ballot.  The country is much too seismically active for me to even consider saying yes to nuclear power, among other reasons.

There was also a question about if the Prime Minister needs to show up in court if the court calls.  Apparently the current prime ministers partisans have passed a law that the constitutional court said shouldn’t have been passed letting a sitting minister NOT have to attend court proceedings if they are the subject of the investigation or trial.  Put another way, for the time the minister is in office, they are essentially above the law, and don’t have to answer to the court system.

Personally in a democratic/free/parliamentary society I think they should be accountable to the law just as everyone else is.

The other two issues were about water utilities and how to recover expenses due to construction and maintenance costs.  Rather boring compared to the two bigger items.

Now lets see if the votes count.  There is a voter quorum requirement of 50% + 1, and if voter turnout for this thing isn’t at least that, then all the referendums fail.