Tuesday, July 31, 2001

the day the world fell into place for me

Well as the title of this entry says, I feel like the world has just fallen into place for me. Other than my car issue, I have succeeded in pulling my life together with flying colors. I feel like that car thing doesn't really count, because that is totally beyond my control....my car getting stolen. Other than that, I feel as if I have achieved what I set out to do when I came to Kansas City, and that was to straighten out my out of control life, and be much more centered. I am gainfully employed, I am helping to sustain this relationship that I am in, monetarily as well as physically, and emotionally. I am keeping a good tab on myself as far as addiction issues...smoking to be the nastiest one. Richard and I were just talking last night about how we both wanted to have a cigarette, maybe it was because we have been spending a lot of time down in Osawatomie lately, with Richard's mom's husband Jerry, who smokes like a chimmney. But I've kept that in check, and am proud to report that I haven't smoked a cigarette in something like 2-3 months, perhaps more or less, I forget. I just feel at total peace with myself, and where I am at in my world. The only thing I have to worry about now, is getting this transportation issue cleared up...so if you know of any good cars MAIL me for christ's sake!
This is hysterical. This is an email from Richard to Lisa Hopkins in which she just said some brief comment about church, and he is now ranting and ranting about this last night...so funny.

Church. It's this thing that happens every Sunday morning. You remember, bunches of people who laugh and praise the Lord together? Who sing hymns and take communion? Sunday hats and clip-on ties? The Bible? The wise men? The star in the north and the man in the whale? Pillars of salt and animals walking in pairs? Choir robes, incense, holy water? Statues and confessions and community lunches and flowers on the pulpit and children in the baptismal. The giant organ and the choir boys, the rows of pews and, of course, the candles. We can't forget the candles. The elders and the youth groups, the lay ministers and the women's auxiliary. Stained glass, closed eyes, standing, sitting, standing, sitting, stand and sit and stand and sit. Stand some more. Sit some more. Then Kneel for a while. Waving hands and rock bands, healings and getting saved. The thumping of the big book, the big hair, the latest fashions. Introductions, congratulations, condolences, condescensions. And then you go to lunch.

I thought you'd remember.

God bless you, Lisa. And God bless America.

Monday, July 30, 2001

Well this weekend was definitely a good one. I started making plans for my birthday weekend, and I got my cell phone all taken care of, and activated. I have two friends confirmed to come to Kansas City that weekend. Also, I am going to go skydiving again, for my birthday. I just LOVE that. I am going to make that a birthday tradition...I also decided for myself. I just think that is such a great idea...and one that I am going to love to continue. So Jeff and Leila are definitely coming for my birthday, I've invited them to come skydiving with me, but you know how that goes. Let's see, on Friday we went to a movie, we went and saw the movie "The Score" with Robert DeNiro, and Angela Bassett. Fabulous, although I thought the ending was a bit anticlimactic. So then on Saturday I did a little banking, and ran a few errands, including those cell phone issues. It's so nice to have a number that I can be reached at 24 hours a day, no matter where I am. Love that. You can now send me a text message, if you so choose. All you have to do is put that email address in there, and then type your message, you only have 100 characters to play with, but it serves its purpose!

Friday, July 27, 2001

Thank God it's Friday!

Libra,July 27
Get any deals you make in writing. Big talkers will only leave you feeling foolish and unworldly. Your spontaneity will draw attention from others. You will be in for exciting adventures if you attend social events. Your competitive, fearless nature will lead you to the winner's circle. Just be yourself.

Well we had the funeral yesterday. It was a beautiful ceremony. Jerome and Bukeka sang, and Richard and I were talking to Bukeka last night, and he was saying that when that woman opens up her mouth, she fills the air with her magic. She's really unlike any other singer that I have ever heard, she has this energy that fills you, and surrounds her and whatever she places her attention on. It's just amazing. It's very hard to describe, it's like when she sings, she just has an energy that I have felt from no other person...professional singer, celebrity or anyone. You have to experience it to understand. Anyway...this is the email/letter that I have sent to all my representatives!

July 26, 2001

Dear Rep. Samuel Graves/Senator Carnahan/President Bush:

As your constituent, I am writing to ask that you become an original co-sponsor of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act of 2001.

It remains legal in 38 states to fire someone simply because they are lesbian, gay or bisexual. Decisions should be based on a person's ability to do the job, not someone's sexual orientation. ENDA would provide basic protections against workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

America's corporate and civil rights leaders support ENDA's fair-minded approach. Fortune 500 companies such as AT&T, Microsoft, and Eastman Kodak have endorsed this bill, and many more have employment policies similar to ENDA.

Please support this legislation and sign on as an original co-sponsor of the bill. I look forward to hearing from you.


William Rosen

I was online yesterday with the Human Rights Campaign, and they were saying that the Employment Non Discrimination Act was up for a vote again on the 30th of July. Here are my representatives in Missouri!

Rep. Samuel Graves (R-MO 6th)
1st-term Republican from Missouri.
Contact Information

Web Site:http://www.house.gov/graves
E-mail: sam.graves@mail.house.gov
Phone: (202) 225-7041
Fax: (202) 225-8221
Capitol Hill Address:
1407 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-2506

District Office Information

Phone: (816) 792-3976
Fax: (816) 792-0694
113 Blue Jay Dr., Ste. 200
Liberty, MO 64068
Background Information

Party: Republican
Residence: Tarkio
Marital Status: Married (Lesley)
Prev. Occupation: Farmer
Prev. Political Exp.: MO House, 1993-94; MO Senate, 1995-00
Education: BS University of Missouri - Columbia, 1986
Birthday: 11/07/1963
Birthplace: Fairfax, MO
Religion: Baptist

Other Information

Term: 1st
First Elected: 2000
Percentage in Last Election: 51%
Major Opponent: Stephen Danner
• Agriculture
• Small Business
• Transportation and Infrastructure

PAC Contributions

1999-2000 Election Cycle

Sen. Jean Carnahan (D-MO)

1st-term Democrat from Missouri.

Contact Information

Web Site: http://carnahan.senate.gov
E-mail: senator_carnahan@carnahan.senate.gov
Phone: (202) 224-6154
Fax: (202) 228-1518
Capitol Hill Address:
517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-2505

District Office Information

Phone: (314) 436-3416
1222 Spruce St., Ste. 3.206
St. Louis, MO 63103

Background Information

Party: Democrat
Residence: Rolla
Marital Status: Widowed
Prev. Occupation: Author, Civic Activist
Prev. Political Exp.: no prior elected office
Education: BA George Washington University, 1955
Birthday: 12/20/1933
Birthplace: Washington, DC
Religion: Baptist

Other Information

Term: 1st
First Elected: Appointed December 2000
• Special Committee on Aging
• Armed Services
• Commerce, Science, and Transportation
• Governmental Affairs
• Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship

Sen. Christopher Bond (R-MO)
3rd-term Republican from Missouri.
Contact Information
Web Site:http://bond.senate.gov
Phone: (202) 224-5721
Fax: (202) 224-8149
Capitol Hill Address:
274 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510-2503

District Office Information
Phone: (573) 634-2488
Fax: (573) 634-6005
308 E High, #202
Jefferson City, MO 65101

Background Information

Party: Republican
Residence: Mexico
Prev. Occupation: Attorney
Prev. Political Exp.: MO Governor, 1973-77, 1981-85
Education: BA Princeton University, 1960; LLB University of Virginia, 1963
Birthday: 03/06/1939
Birthplace: St. Louis, MO
Religion: Presb.

Other Information

Term: 3rd
First Elected: 1986
Percentage in Last Election: 53%
Major Opponent: Jay Nixon
• Appropriations
• Budget
• Environment and Public Works
• Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions
• Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship , Rnk. Mem.

Without sounding crass, I hate that I am represented by two baptist republicans. Thank god for Jean Carnahan!!!!

Web Site:http://www.whitehouse.gov
Phone: (202) 456-1414
Fax: (202) 456-2461
Capital Address:
1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20500

Wednesday, July 25, 2001

The day we say goodbye to two loved ones

thought of the day from ThoughtADay.com

Live life to the fullest and make the best of what today has to offer without worry and fear of what tomorrow might bring.

Well today is the day. There is a visitation tonight at the funeral home in Osawatomie, and then tomorrow morning, we will say goodbye to her for the last time. It has been such an intense week, it seems like this is almost not happening, but I know that it is. Richard and I were talking last night, about people coming back after they have passed on, and I told him that if I died suddenly or something like that, or if he did, that I wanted us to promise eachother that we would come back and see eachother. I think that's so wonderful. So Richard is down in Osawatomie for the morning, but is coming back for the afternoon, and then is picking me up and we are going down to the funeral home, and having the visitation. I am taking the day off tomorrow, to go to the funeral, so I'll stay in Osawatomie with Richard, and be with him tomorrow. We (meaning Richard and I) keep on talking about how there seems to be an undercurrent of people expecting Richard to just break down and cry, but I think that this whole process has been filled with peace, and I think Doris and John are in a much more peaceful place than they were here on Earth, with their failing bodies. Logic can only turn that way.
This is an article that I get every month or so, about gay issues, from this guy, his name is John Arvosis, and sends out this newsletter every couple of weeks. I think it is amazing, Here it is:


I got an email the other day from a young gay kid who was considering killing himself. Fortunately, the story ends well. But it got me thinking about as much as things have changed for the better for gay people around the world, there's still a lot to be done, and lots of kids are still at risk. In this young man's case, he's from Europe, and has had to face constant verbal and physical harassment in his high school, from kids assuming (correctly) that he's gay. He's already to the point where he's considering suicide - he mentioned several plans in his email to me - because he just can't take it anymore. This young man's case really opened my eyes. First, because he's from a VERY gay friendly country - one in which you wouldn't suppose kids had to face this kind of harassment. But according to a woman at a crisis center I contacted, she said this kind of harassment in schools is all too common, even in the "friendly" countries. But what surprised me perhaps as much was the lack of resources available for gay or questioning kids who are in trouble. I scoured the Web for stuff, and finally came up with my own list, after hours of research. You can find that list of sites here (and please link to it as a resource on gay youth issues): http://uspolitics.about.com/cs/gayyouthissues/index.htm But I have to admit being a bit disappointed that there's no super-duper gay youth site that makes it painfully obvious where to find resources for kids in trouble, particularly kids who aren't American (yes, there are sites, but they're damn hard to find, and you tend to have to dig for the info you're looking for). And, perhaps the most troubling fact from this episode was the unhelpfulness of a variety of professional homosexuals that I called. Some, like Advocates for Youth, were fabulous. They were, unfortunately, the last folks I called - and were by far the most helpful (thanks guys). But others, like a certain un-named organization that has considerable expertise on international issues, couldn't have cared less. I called this well-known organization (no, it wasn't HRC), figuring that they could at least suggest a gay-knowledgeable contact in this kid's country who could point me to the local equivalent of PFLAG. Well, I got an earful of disinterest, with phrases such as "we don't handle that kind of stuff." I rather brutally informed the guy that as a political consultant, I don't handle gay youth suicide either, but that as a human being, I was willing to drop what I'm doing for a few hours to help stop a gay kid from killing himself - was he? The guy finally relented and gave me a name and number. My point? First, things aren't as rosy as you think. For kids just coming out, it's still a nasty world out there, and they do NOT know where to go for help. To you it might be obvious now to call PFLAG, but did you even know about PFLAG when you were a kid? And second, this is not the first experience I've had with big gay groups refusing to do constituent work. Get with the program guys. People need your help. If I can drop my consulting work, that has nothing to do with gay stuff, in order to help on something, you can too. I'm not looking for kudos, just a little help. PS The kid is now in contact with local folks who can help him.


There seems to be a burgeoning cottage industry in pulverizing Andrew Sullivan. As you may know, Andrew is a well-known gay writer who frequently appears on TV, and in print in the New York Times and other publications. Andrew is English, conservative, smart and biting. Basically, he ticks a lot of people off. Of late, he's faced criticism over a variety of issues, including the issue of barebacking and accepting ads on his web site, AndrewSullivan.com While I don't want to spend a lot of time getting into the guts of the criticism he's received, and I am certainly not suggesting that the criticism is frivolous. (In the case of the barebacking blow-up, Andrew was criticized quite sharply by fellow gay-writer Michelangelo Signorile, who is a friend of mine. While I've said publicly, and privately, that I'm not convinced Andrew's actions merited the printing of Mike's piece, I also know Mike well enough, and think there's enough gray area on this issue, that I refuse to consider Signorile's article as a personal attack, gratuitous, or per se unfair on its face.) Having said all of that, I have a feeling in my gut that overall Andrew's getting a bad rap in the community. Yes, folks, he pisses me off too - a lot. He's criticized some of the work I do, including the StopDrLaura.com campaign, and even went on TV and admitted that her words were bigoted, then turned around later and said Laura had never said anything that bad. (And let's not even talk about his article on the small boy raped and murdered by two gays guys.) But in spite of all that, I really don't believe Andrew is a "bad" person, and I fear that some of the criticism he's getting (and I exclude Signorile here) is motivated by people who simply disagree with him, rather than any legitimate effort to expose someone who is our enemy. Let me also admit that I know Andrew. I wouldn't call him a close friend - he's one of those people you see out, and you talk for 5 or 10 minutes to catch up - but I owe Andrew a lot. He was the first person I came out to in Washington, DC, and he helped me a lot. He was very caring, sympathetic, and there-for-me even though he didn't know me from Adam (I wrote him a Dear-Andrew letter at the New Republic back in 1991 or so after reading about him in the New York Times). In a very real way, Andrew is one of the few people responsible for starting me on a path that leads to the gay political work I do today, and that, folks, includes my work on StopDrLaura.com. Perhaps the moral here is that people are not always as black and white as we want them to be. Andrew is not perfect, and I have some serious concerns about some of his writing. But if we look deeply enough, we sometimes find good in people that we didn't expect, as sometimes folks help the community in ways that aren't always obvious, and aren't always public. Does that mean Andrew is innocent of all charges? Maybe, maybe not. But I know from personal experience that he is not the monster some would like him to be.


There's a story a lot of people may have missed about a transgender Navajo boy, who was recently killed because he was thought he was really a girl. Rather than go into the details, check out Deb Levinson's coverage of the story on About.com, which links to lots of other articles about the crime. http://gaylesissues.about.com/library/content/bl_tidbit0010.htm


Ok, I get accused of writing too much depressing stuff in these newsletters, so here's a quote that will hopefully put a smile on your face, and piss you off just a bit. The "ex-gays" (all 3 of them) had a very nice write-up recently in the Chicago Tribune. And there was this little gem of a quote buried deep in the article, in which the "ex-gays" define heterosexuality. Check this out: BEGINNING OF QUOTE " 'The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality; it's holiness,' said Lance Hastings, an ex-gay Assemblies of God missionary in Key West, Fla. 'It's to be set apart by God so you become a man or woman of God. 'Freedom from homosexuality is not necessarily marrying a person of the opposite sex, having 2.3 children and a dog in the back yard,' said Tim Wilkins, an ex-gay Southern Baptist minister and scheduled speaker at the upcoming Exodus conference. 'We have this misunderstanding that people have to be able to physically function as heterosexual in marriage. That is not the end-all. Sexual activity is not the end-all.' " END OF QUOTE The opposite of homosexuality is "holiness"? Yeah, well tell that to your wife next time she wants to have sex. Hello? The opposite of a guy sleeping with guys is a guy sleeping with chicks. My 9-year-old nephew could tell you that one. What these "ex-gays" are in fact saying is that they can't get it up with girls. Why's that? BECAUSE THEY'RE STILL GAY!!! What an appalling, yet telling quote from these folks. Can you imagine asking ten random straight guys on the street how they define heterosexuality? I'm sure not even one of them would say "holiness," and if you told them that you didn't like sleeping with women, but you were still straight, they'd laugh at you. You can see the entire article here: http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/nationworld/article/0,2669,1-0107220543,FF.html <><><><><><><>


Ok, so here is the piece that will really piss you off. Two things happened in the past few weeks. First, you know about the Salvation Army anti-gay mess. Suffice it so, don't give to the Salvation Army - their national headquarters promotes discrimination against gay people. (You can read more about it here: http://uspolitics.about.com/library/weekly/aa071001a.htm ) More importantly, Bush's new "faith-based initiative" (the new program he wants to fund federal dollars to religious charities), well, get this. Bush's proposal will override state and city laws and ordinances that ban discrimination against gays as it pertains to religious charities. A number of Democrats and moderate Republicans tried to get the damn thing amended before it passed the House, but no luck - it passed a few days ago. The only hope now is that the US Senate does not pass Mr. Bush's cute little attempt to roll back the clock on discrimination. Uniter, my ass. And one more thing to tick you off. The radically-irrelevant-right is now proposing a constitutional amendment to codify discrimination against gay people. Yep, unhappy with simply tying us up to fences and beating us to death, some people want to amend the constitution to make it explicitly anti-gay. I guess as you become an irrelevant anachronism in the culture, you have to go to extreme measures to get attention. It's unfortunate that it's exactly this kind of message that makes young boys and girls want to kill themselves. But what's a few deaths here and there for a good cause.

So I thought that was brilliant! I've been corresponding with John about that Chicago Tribune link not working. I also suggested that he use the Rufus Wainwright, and Elton John article for his next issue!

Tuesday, July 24, 2001

The Day that I have spent a YEAR with the man I love!

Libra,July 24
Intimate relationships with colleagues will lead to gossip that could easily affect your position. Allergies, headaches, and minor mishaps are likely. Don't take on too much, and be sure not to be careless while operating equipment or vehicles. If you have the time, take a break. Look into making residential changes.

Oh dear god, look into residential changes...I don't think so...not at least for a little while. I have to get my car situation under control first! Today has been a crazy day, and I am only now getting to my journal. I didn't even get to comment on this but yesterday was Richard and my official one year anniversary!!! Things have taken a sort of a weird turn this past week, having to cancel the anniversary party and everything associated with that. So...we decided to just celebrate by ourselves and go out to dinner at "on the border" last night. It was fabulous, and then we went home to a quiet night at home. I just love him so much, it's hard to describe my feelings.Here's another horoscope for today:

Libra Tuesday, July 24, 2001 If you've been feeling like spending a little time with some of your friends, other obligations may have been keeping you too busy to really be able to get away. It might be a good idea to try to do some little things for your friends just to let them know that you're still thinking of them. And just be careful of a tendency to be a little self-critical right now.

and then my Chinese horoscope:

Tuesday, July 24, 2001
Blindly follow your intuition, which will be excellent, practically infallible. Try to moderate your bossiness toward your children, otherwise communication will be blocked. Surprising events in your love life; they won't be all bad. You've the right to pamper yourself so far as you remain reasonable. Very much motivated to achieve high professional ambitions, you'll make intense efforts and you'll be very eager to attain the objectives that you've set up for yourself.

This is wacky...from Reuters

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - Reports of a possible meteor shower flooded police and government telephone lines along the U.S. East Coast on Monday, authorities said. The sightings of what some described as a fast-moving meteor prompted evening rush-hour motorists to pull off suburban highways west of Philadelphia. Pilots in flight issued reports of similar sightings to federal aviation officials in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland. Authorities said eyewitness accounts came from upstate New York to Virginia. "People say they saw what was perhaps a meteor shower, but there's nothing we can confirm," said Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Arlene Salac. A Reuters reporter saw a tapered object shaped like a trumpet bell falling diagonally through the western sky near West Chester, Pennsylvania, 20 miles from Philadelphia, at about 6:20 p.m. The object emitted a lustrous rainbow of colors, ranging from bright yellow on its downward-pointing flared end to light green and finally rust-colored red at the upward-pointing tapered end. Others reported seeing a triangular object or a fireball shooting through the sky. People living near Montoursville, Pennsylvania, a rural community 130 miles northwest of Philadelphia, reported hearing a loud explosion after seeing the unidentified object. A state police dispatcher said one woman reported that the blast broke windows in her home. There were also unconfirmed reports of people finding debris on the ground. "It was a ball of fire," Mark Barbour of Syracuse, New York, told CNN. "It looked like something you would see from the movies." The National Weather Service reported no natural phenomena that could account for such a sight. Police in Pennsylvania were investigating the possibility of a part falling from a plane from Philadelphia International Airport, which sometimes guides flights across the city's western suburbs. But sightings were later reported southward through Delaware, Maryland, Washington and into Virginia. There were no reports of aviation emergencies, apart from the nonfatal crash of a single-engine plane in Calvert, Maryland, near the state's border with Pennsylvania and Delaware. "We have no idea what it was, whether it was a meteor or what," said National Weather Service spokesman Curtis Carey.

Sunday, July 22, 2001

Funeral Arrangments

Wednesday July 25, 2001
7-8p.m. visitation at Eddie Birchard Funeral Home in Osowatomie, KS

Thursday July 26, 2001
10:00a.m. graveside service at Osowatomie Cemetary, Osawatomie, KS

in lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial dontations be made to the American Cancer Society.

Please reply to this address if you need directions, or other questions answered.
Thank you
William K. Rosen

Monday - July 23, 2001 | Directions to the cemetary
Please know that these are directions to the cemetary for the service on Thursday.

Take I-35 South
and exit 169 South/Paola Exit (the same exit where the Great Mall, and Olathe Medical Center is)
Left on 169 South
past Paola exit
To County Rd Exit (Ron Olsen Chevrolet is on the right hand side)
Turn right on County Rd, then an immediate left onto Osawatomie Rd.
(signs will be directing you to the airport)
To Osawatomie Cemetary, on the right hand side.

I've gotten an email from Sabrina, who I haven't seen since she's moved to Myrtle Beach, SC.

Sorry baby, mama hasn't been able to check her messages because I hadn't gotten a computer yet. I'm at work and this is the first time I've checked my messages in sometime. I am fine though. The tornado zipped right by us when I was at work. I was terrified. I've seen anything like but I'm fine a no one was injured. Enough about that drama, what's up with you? How are things going with you and Richard and the new home? Tell me evrything darling. It's been so long since we spoke. We must make sure we keep in touch, especially since we're so far away. I PROMISE once I get my ass established I'm going to pay you a visit. I still owe you from the last visit I missed. Time is so valuable and we can't afford to miss any visits or even an email. Have you talked to Teresa, David, or Aaron. I gotta jet because I'm at work but, write and tell me everything that's going on.

and look at my horoscope for today....the last sentence says it all.

Reevaluate your situation and your motives. You need to satisfy your appetite for adventure. Travel and cultural knowledge should fill the bill. Contact with foreigners will be beneficial. You can easily influence others. Unexpected responsibilities may disrupt your plans

Saturday, July 21, 2001

Open House/Anniversary Party cancelled.

from Osawatomie, KS

This is the email that Richard and I have sent to all of our friends.


As many of you know, Richard's mother Doris has been battling cancer for the last few months. The hospice nurses have informed us that she is in the last stages of her transition, and will most likely not stay the next 24 to 48 hours in this world. We will cancel the Open House/Anniversary as a result. We will keep you informed, as soon as information becomes available.

Bill and Richard


Doris June Held made her transition shortly after noon today, Saturday July 21, 2001. For those who work with Richard, he will be available in a limited way for a couple weeks. Please send any questions, or correspondence to this address.

John Blinks (my uncle) also made his transition, surrounded by his family at his home today at 9:00am on Saturday.
William K. Rosen

Friday, July 20, 2001

The day that Sue Ellen was stolen.....amazing

unbelieveable! I woke up this morning, and I went outside to go to work, and I thought that my car was outside, but it wasn't, so I thought to myself...."oh..maybe she's in the garage" so I opened up the garage, and..it was empty. I stomped back into the house and said "Richard ....(he was in the shower)...you didn't move my car did you?

my car is GONE!!!!!"

Sue Ellen has been stolen away from me. All of the other cars in the neighborhood had been broken in to, the stereo's taken...Richard's included, but all of the cars are still there, of course, except for mine. Richard insists that we are going to recover the car, and that the people who took her are just looking to transport the stolen merchandise, and then they'll dump the car somewhere. I hope he's right. If there is any comedic moments in this whole situation it is that one. Me stomping back into the house, and announcing that my car is gone. That and then the conversation that Richard and I had, consisting of us playing this whole episode back during the trip to Overland Park, KS.

I get this daily email from Thought A Day and it couldn't be more appropriate for today!

Changing your life only requires one thing, you to change your mind. It's just that simple.

Also an email I sent to my sister and my mother late last night:


I got your message about Uncle John. It's really odd, because Richard is in the EXACT same situation with his mother, the hospice nurses say that she won't last another week, and they say that her kidneys are failing as well. If there is one positive thing that can be taken out of this, it's that Richard told me that the hospice nurses told him that kidney failure is one of the most peaceful ways to die, you go to sleep, go into a coma, and make your transition. I just hope it's a peaceful one...for them both.
Cara, here is my work email and my work number, call if there's anything new I need to know.

I love getting this stuff. This is from Space.com's daily email that I get:

SOLAR and SPACE WEATHER (July 20, 2001) 3-Day Solar Forecast Solar activity is expected to be mostly low through Sunday.
3-Day Aurora Forecast Earth's geomagnetic field is expected to be mostly quiet to unsettled through Sunday. Isolated active periods are possible due to the effects of a recurrent coronal hole. Solar Data The current sunspot number is 180, and the solar wind speed recently clocked in at 464 kilometers per second (1,037,936 mph). The solar wind density was 2.1 protons per cubic centimeter.

Dead chipmunk at Tahoe had bubonic plague


-- A dead chipmunk at Lake Tahoe has tested positive for bubonic plague. Authorities say it's important to alert area residents and visitors, but no reason for alarm.
Signs have been posted at area beaches, trailheads and campgrounds warning people to avoid the rodents. The chipmunk was found last week near the Lake Tahoe Forest Service Visitors Center. "This is a warning that there is some active plague in the area," said Virginia Huber, a manager at the El Dorado County Environmental Management in California. "It's not rare at all," she told the Reno Gazette-Journal. Plague is endemic in rodent populations in the West and has infected chipmunksand squirrels in all of the counties across Nevada. It's a potentially fatal disease that can be transferred to humans. Huber said the fleas jump from one warm body to the next. The last death recorded in the area was in 1980 when a South Lake Tahoe woman contracted the disease from her cat, which had brought home a dead chipmunk. Her death was the first case of plague pneumonia reported in the country since 1924, a California Department of Health Services report said. Jim Hogan, supervisor for the Nevada Environmental Health Division, said that with today's modern medicine, the disease is not a death sentence. "It can be fatal, yes, but its very curable if treated early," Hogan said. Hogan said the disease can take two pathways through the body. The most common way is infecting the lymph nodes, called bubonic plague. If left untreated, the bacteria can travel through the blood stream to the lungs, progressing to the deadly pneumonic plague. Early symptoms include high fever, chills, nausea, weakness and swollen glands. Health officials warn:Do not feed or handle rodents. -- Make sure your cat or dog has a flea collar. -- Do not rest, camp or sleep near a rodent burrow. -- Do not touch sick or dead animals.

Thursday, July 19, 2001

One more day!

Last month you received a number of indications that your career was about to grow to a great new stage of development. Take all new job offers seriously — among those presented will be one that is right for you. Throughout the month, you may be feeling stressed. Should you lose your job or suffer any other setback, vow to turn your experience into a blessing by exploring new horizons. Jupiter, the planet of happiness and good fortune, will move into Cancer on July 12 for the next twelve months, creating the perfect career environment for getting ahead. The new moon on July 20 will help you if you did not see progress last month on June 21. Don't wait for a knock on the door, but rather knock on others' doors to see which one will open for you — rest assured, one will open, quite wide. One VIP has been impressed with your fine credentials and eagerness to get ahead. Overall, if you are persistent, victory will follow. Find your Golden Fleece. In the meantime, your home and family will be an equally important focus. A second eclipse arrives on July 5 in your sector of home and family, and could trigger a move, acquisition, or sale of property. There is bound to be some change in your home situation. With both your public and private areas of life undergoing such change, it must be hard to know where to put your best attention!

Dear god, this week has just dragged along like there's no tomorrow! The one good thing about today is that my voice teacher called me and told me she has a cancellation, so I have an appointment with her at 6pm tonight, after work. So that means I have to get out of work on time, and book it from OPKS, to the plaza, and considering traffic, I just don't know how long that will take. I told her that I was coming from work, from the campus, so it might just take a while. Richard had a rehearsal with the baritone last night, and I went with him. It was amazing. The recital is going to be in this wonderful space downtown, it's a Oriental Rug company's warehouse, and it's an amazing space. The recital is going to be for an AIDS charity here in Kansas City, I am trying as we speak to find a website for that, but as of yet haven't found any. It's an AIDS Hospice house, HOPECARES or something like that. So anyway, that rehearsal was fabulous, I just think that it is so inspiring to hear voices like that, to hear them, and to have something like that to aspire to that level, is wonderful. I don't know if that makes any sense, or if my grammar was right, but whatever, I'll read over it when I get a chance! Here's an email that I just recieved from Paul Orwick!

CSL's annual talent show is September 9th. We were hoping you would lend your voice to a couple of numbers. The first should be pretty easy, back-up on "Man of Constant Sorrow" from Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? The other will be a bit more challenging. I have arranged a five part a cappella version of "Ode to Billy Joe." I need a tenor or baritone to finish out the ensemble. I think it may be a tough part to learn (although you won't have to learn any words, just music.) Interested? Let me know as soon as possible, we need to get started.
Fingers crossed,
Paul E. Orwick

Of course I said YES!

Wednesday, July 18, 2001

Catching up a bit

Well today I have been trying to catch up on my work...at work. When I got to work today, I had fifty emails that I had to return, and al of them had issues that I needed to resolve. Meetings to schedule, meetings to cancel, etc. So I am swamped. Last night, Richard and I had a quiet evening at home. He had a rehearsal with the baritone that he is playing for this Friday, and he was unbelieveable, just a fabulous, booming voice. I didnt' get a chance to tell him, but he was marvelous! On a whole seperate tangent, it seems as though Richard's family and my family are going through the exact same thing now, tending to family members who are rapidly declining. I am sort of removed from my family's situation, just because it's happening in Lombard, Illinois, but then again, I feel very connected to this process because I have known my Uncle John all my life. When I got that email from my mom, I was at work, and I started to break down, but then I realized that I was at work, and sort of reeled it back in, and sort of contained myself. I am thinking of him, and Richard's mother often. I have to think that to suffer like they are doing, I just hope that they both pass with ease and comfort. I don't want to talk about this anymore.
I got an email from Jeff a while ago about the Class of 2001 that I thought was really interesting.

The Class of 2001

1. The people who are starting college this fall across the nation were born in 1982.
2. They have no meaningful recollection of the Reagan Era and probably did not know he had ever been shot.
3. They were prepubescent when the Persian Gulf War was waged.
4. Black Monday 1987 is as significant to them as the Great Depression.
5. They were 11 when the Soviet Union broke apart and do not remember the Cold War.
6. They have never feared a nuclear war.
7. They are too young to remember the space shuttle blowing up.
8. Tianamen Square means nothing to them.
9. Their lifetime has always included AIDS.
10. Bottle caps have always been screw off and plastic.
11. Atari predates them, as do vinyl albums. The expression you sound like a broken record means nothing to them.
12. They have never owned a record player.
13. They have likely never played Pac Man and have never heard of Pong.
14. They may have never heard of an 8 track. The Compact Disc was introduced when they were 1 year old.
15. As far as they know, stamps have always cost about 33 cents.
16. They have always had an answering machine.
17. Most have never seen a TV set with only 13 channels, nor have they seen a black-and-white TV.
18. They have always had cable.
19. There has always been VCR's, and VHS but they have no idea what BETA is.
20. They cannot fathom not having a remote control.
21. They were born the year that Walkmen were introduced by Sony.
22. Roller-skating has always meant inline for them.
23. Jay Leno has always been on the Tonight Show.
24. They have no idea when or why Jordache jeans were cool.
25. Popcorn has always been cooked in the microwave.
26. They have never seen Larry Bird play.
27. They never took a swim and thought about Jaws.
28. The Vietnam War is as ancient history to them as WWI, WWII and the Civil War.
29. They have no idea that Americans were ever held hostage in Iran.
30. They can't imagine what hard contact lenses are.
31. They don't know who Mork was or where he was from.
32. They never heard: " Where's the beef?"," I'd walk a mile for a Camel", or "de plane, de plane".
33. They do not care who shot J.R. and have no idea who J.R. is.
34. The Titanic was found? They thought we always knew where it was.
35. Michael Jackson has always been white.
36. Kansas, Chicago, Boston, America, and Alabama are places, not groups.
37. McDonalds never came in Styrofoam containers.
38. There has always been MTV.
39. They don't have a clue how to use a manual typewriter.

I thought that this was shocking too! This is from the press breifing from the White House!

Q The second question I have for you, there's a broad coalition of political leaders, ranging from former CIA Director James Woolsey to consumer advocate Ralph Nader, that are pushing for the legalization of industrial hemp. This is a non-drug crop, it was grown by Thomas Jefferson and George Washington. It has a ride range of uses, clothing, fuel. Farmers around the world are growing it; China, Canada, importing it. It's illegal here, in the United States, for farmers to grow it. Does the President favor the legalization of industrial hemp?

MR. FLEISCHER: I'm not aware of any statements that the President has made that would lend one to reach that conclusion.

Q Can you look into it?

MR. FLEISCHER: Industrial hemp? Well, I'll advise you if anything changes from what I just said.

Very interesting eh? Oh, and I almost forgot about this; yesterday I met Susan Peterson at the Kohl's in OP after work, and after that we went to the Target. So we're eating at the little cafe or whatever, and then we were going to look for that Elton John song that we were going to sing at the variety show. So we're walking along, and she says "Bill, come this way" and I was like ...what? So she walks away from me and says to me again "walk this way....you're trying to avoid someone here" and I said "WHAT?"...and I'm thinkng...who in this city am I trying to avoid, I've been here since December and I really don't know that many people here. So she says "It's Kevin E." (for people who don't know who that is...it's Richard's ex-bf) and I looked around, but I still couldn't see him. So I never got to see him, but apparently we came within like twenty feet of eachother. Very interesting.

Tuesday, July 17, 2001

Not the best news from the Rosen/health front

Just when you think things are going well. This is an email from my mom, replying to the one (from above):

Hi Bill

IL got your e-mail this morning and decided to write you back about a couple things on my mind. First of all, yes, we did send a package to you two - hope it's not too inconvenient to pick it up.

I understand what you and Richard are going thru. It's one of the most difficult times in anyone's life. I remember so well the many months of the downward spiral when Grandma Pehl died. Our hearts and prayers are with Richard - and you - everyday.

On a similar note, Aunt Judy is going thru very much the same thing with Uncle John. He has become so ill and so weak that he has decided to stop the dialysis sessions and come home to die. He just can't face the struggle anymore. Yesterday, one of his doctors proposed a new medication that may help him to eat and keep the food down, which will help him strengthen somewhat. A psychiatrist also prescribed something which seems to be helping hinm emotionally.We will just have to wait and see what the rest of the week brings.

However, when all of these end-time details seem about to overwhelm me, there's always the thought of Madeline coming on the scene soon. I can hardly wait.

The circle of life -- the circle of love -- pretty amazing stuff.

Please know that you are daily in our thoughts with almost overwhelming love and concern. Your new job sounds like a potentially good opportunity for you. I know you'll make the most of it.

Looking forward to seeing you both in a few weeks. Stay in touch -

I love you, Bill



Rufus and Elton??

(an email from David)

Ok, I just read in Rolling Stone that RUFIE AND ELTON JOHN have recorded a duet about Matthew Shepard, called "American Triangle" that will be on Elton's new album!!vI guess Rufie isn't "our little secret" anymore... he's a motherfucking ROCK STAR!

I thought this info would cause you to squirt.


which led me to this article in Rolling Stone

Rufus Sings With Elton
Matthew Shepard tribute to appear on John's upcoming album

Song for Shepard

Rufus Wainwright guests on Elton John's "American Triangle," a tribute to Matthew Shepard, the gay University of Wyoming student who was brutally murdered in 1998 because of his sexual orientation. The song will appear on John's next album, the Pat Leonard-produced Songs From the West Coast, which is due in October.

The two openly gay singer/pianists never actually met during the recording, as Wainwright was in New York and John was in Los Angeles. But after Wainwright laid down the backing vocals for the chorus, he did receive a phone call from the British pop legend.

"He wanted to let me know that he was honored that I worked on his record and that years ago he had a terrible, terrible crush on my father," Wainwright says laughing. (The twenty-seven-year-old Wainwright is the son of noted folk musicians Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle.) "He wants to go out for a beer sometime, but more incredible than talking to him was when I was in the studio singing the back-ups, trying to meld with that voice."

The lyrics to "American Triangle" reportedly include the lines: "I've been drinking there on that front porch/Angry kids mean and dumb/Looks like pain in that blue skyline/God hates fags where we come from."

The song is the second high-profile Shepard tribute; Melissa Etheridge's "Scarecrow," from her 1999 album Breakdown graphically accounted his tragic death and her subsequent outrage.

John performed at a benefit for the Matthew Shepard Foundation at the University of Wyoming in 1999.

Well if that isn't the coolest thing I've heard in a while! Fun fun fun! Things have been looking up today, and I am getting a better handle on my position here at Sprint. For that, I thank god! Susan Peterson and I have been trying to arrange a time to get together to try and rehearse a duet (that's right above this journal entry) but to no avail. I have to get the cd first and see if it's appropriate for the both of our voices. I think I'll be fine, but I want to make sure that it is appropriate for her voice, I want everything to be perfect for this variety show. If we don't do that Elton John, Leann Rimes song, we'll just do another perfect one! We'll be a hit! Susan has already asked me to sing with her at some meeting that she is attending, I forgot which date it is. I, of course, accepted her offer! I am getting increasingly excited about this upcoming weekend! On Friday night, Richard is playing a formal, classical recital for two singer friends of his, and I am going to go and record it. I want to record it for a number of reasons 1) for the content. I saw the list of songs that he is going to sing and they are very heavy, operatic arias and the such, so I want to get those. 2) so I can send a copy of the recital to my friend Charlie in Chicago. I haven't spoken with him in a long while, since before we went to Chicago for pride but Bill Poppel told me that he was moving apartments within his building, and that he was really busy with that. I would love to get a hold of him and get his new address so I can send him that tape. So that's Friday evening, after the recital, Richard and I are going to go to the Hilton or whatever, it's right by the Folly Theater downtown, and spend a night, celebrating our anniversary. Can you BELIEVE it? It's been a year!!! We keep on wishing eachother happy anniversary, and it's just so crazy. I know I haven't been writing in this journal a whole heck of a lot, but I just want to say that all these people that have said that our relationship is dysfunctional and horrible or whatever (the unsupportive people in Richard's life) well...there you go. We've been together a year now, and we are more in love than we ever have been, and plan to stay together for a looooooooooong time, so if you plan on CONTINUING to be unsupportive, then you have a long train ride! I feel so wonderful, I feel like I am taking care of my business, I am helping support this relationship, as well as helping when I can with his Mom's care. Everything is going is a really positive direction, I am living in the flow, as it were. I love it. I feel as if I am going in the right direction, and things could not be better! The other thing is (and I keep forgetting this, but I just emailed them) that Scott R. and Todd R. from chorus have a picture from GALA of Richard and I, the first day that we met, and I am going to try and get that picture sent to us, so we can have it for the party this weekend.

Monday, July 16, 2001

2nd Full week at Sprint

Thought for the Day:
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes." --Marcel Proust

Libra,July 16
Don't put off duties that can be completed now. You can make headway and receive rewards if you show initiative. Ask for a raise. Financial extravagance due to emotional problems will cause setbacks. Don't spend money you don't have. You will want to get away; however, you must stick to your budget.

Just a little overview of this past weekend, on Friday we didn't do much of anything. Then on Saturday night, Elsa and Richard and I went to Susan Peterson's house out in OPKS to have dinner and drinks. That was so much fun, we got to just sort of hang out and then eat kabobs on the grill (which I grilled..btw:-) After the dinner, we went down to Osawatomie to visit Richard's mom. Richard and I knew that Elsa had been wanting to go see her, so we went down after we went to Susan's. Im starting my second full week at Sprint today, and it's quite wonderful. The other thing that I have to look forward to this week is the celebration on Sunday of my and Richard's One year anniversary and our open house. Here is a copy of an email that I sent to my Mom a couple of days ago.

Hi Mom,

I just wanted to write you and tell you that I love you. I just got back from visiting Richard's mom down in Osawatomie and things aren't well down there. I told Richard that I would help as much as I could during the weekends, but with this new job, I'm not available 8-5pm during the week. I told him that I would give him my weekends, even if it's just to read to her mom
I don't know what my point is Mom, it's just that I feel so helpless, there's not much I can do about this situation, other than to be there for Richard, and to try and help his mom as best as I can, but more than that...there's not much that I can do. I just wanted to tell you that I love you and I miss you and I think about you guys often.
On a much BRIGHTER note, I am getting settled in this new job at Sprint. I know I tried to tell you how amazingly large that sprint campus is, but I have to just reiterate that, it's ENORMOUS; you'll see it when you get here. (I am getting increasingly excited for your arrival..I can't wait for you to see my new life here!) It's basially an administrative assistant for the Director of Data Management, who is a very nice guy. Nothing too terribly challenging, but a lot of responsibility nonetheless. I am looking forward to spending a lot of time there. I've even thought about joining the gym there, because it's basically free for employees...the facilities there are astoundingly new, and beautiful.

Okay, it's way late, and I'm exhausted. I love you and look forward to the George and Mindy show taking it on the road to Kansas City! I have been updating my webpage alot, and have been thinking of getting my own domain , which I've been investigating....it's so cheap...it's outlandish...but...would't it be a hoot if I had my own domain? I think it would be a kick in the pants...so anyway, my POINT in telling you that was to check my webpage for my journal, because I update it pretty much every day now that I have online access. My address is down below, I know you have it, but it's there for you.
I love you, and will see you soon,


p.s. did you send me something UPS? I got a note that something arrived on Friday afternoon, but I had to sign for it, and no one was here, so they'll come on Monday...was that you?

Here is the lyrics of the song "Written in the Stars" that Susan and I are going to sing for the church's variety show!

LeAnn Rimes - Written in the Stars Duet with Elton John

I am here to tell you
we can never meet again
simple really isn't it
a word or two and then
a life time of not knowing
where or how or why or when
you think of me or speak of me
or wonder what be fair
of someone you once loved so long ago somewhere

Never wonder where to feel
as living shuffles by
you don't have to ask me
and i need not reply
never know what of my life
from now until I die
I don't think or dream of you
and fail to understand
how a perfect love can can found and out of hand

Is it written in the stars
are we paying for some crime
is that all that we are good for
just a stretch of mortal time
is this god's experiment
in which we have no scent
in which we've given paradise
but only for a day

Nothing can be alto
or there is nothing to decide
no escape no change of heart
no any place to hide

you are all I'll ever want
but this i am denying
sometimes in my darkest thoughts
i wish i never loved
what it is to be in love
and have that love returned

is it written in the stars
are we paying for some crime
is that all that we are good for
just a stretch of mortal time
is this god's experiment
in which we have no scent
in which we are given paradise
but only for a day (x3)

I have been constantly updating this bio page, with current information and just trying to correct some misspellings and the such. It looks much better than before. I've been trying to make it a bit less graphically intensive, so as WebTVcan view the pages of my site more easily!

Sunday, July 15, 2001

Just a Space update from Space.com:

First spacewalk concludes
Update for Sunday, July 15, 2001
at 5:15 a.m. EDT

The first of three planned spacewalks during this shuttle mission is history and can be declared a success with the troublefree installation of a new \\$164 million airlock called Quest.

Atlantis astronauts Michael Gernhardt and Jim Reilly are safely back inside the shuttle's airlock and that small volume is now repressurizing. Total spacewalk time for today: Five hours and 59 minutes.

Later this morning the space station crew will open a Unity hatch that leads to the new airlock to complete some cable hookups, but the main hatch into the airlock itself won't be opened until later tonight after the crew's next sleep shift.
With the next spacewalk not planned until Tuesday night, the hatches between Atlantis and the station also will be opened later to allow the crews to mingle and transfer equipment between the two vehicles

Friday, July 13, 2001

Friday the 13th!!

Libra,July 13
You're riding high and you can taste victory. Don't jump the gun, though. You may find that you've lost the one you wish to share your success with. Take care of your lover's needs. Romantic encounters will develop through colleagues. Minor health problems will cause setbacks if you haven't taken proper care of yourself.
(From the chicago tribune:)
The Sun is in Cancer and the Moon is in Aries. You could schedule your passionate interlude for this evening, but Sunday would be better, and Monday night or Tuesday would be better still. Don't be distracted by amorous advances now, no matter who makes them. It's more important to show you can handle a difficult task. Your next promotion could depend on the impression you make, so be professional.

That is very interesting, but I'll comment on that later. I finally got my work email address, which is william.k.rosen@mail.sprint.com so if you need to catch me at work, you may email me at work now! So that horoscope is really interesting because I started a new job and I would really like this to work out. I have been talking with Brad Johnson of Able Employment and he said that his company (ABLE) has a three month contract on my employment, but Jessica said (the woman that I am replacing) that they hire people very quickly from temp services because it is to their advantage to hire temps because they don't want to have a different temp every single day or something like that, so hopefully they'll hire me on! So now, now I am so frustrated because now when you go to my first page, you get bounced to my index1.html and I can't edit the code to make it stop! How irritating...I love the bounce feature, but I want to stop it from bouncing so quickly...but now I can't even get the damm editor to work! OH well, I guess people will just have to deal with my first cover page.

Thursday, July 12, 2001

Space Shuttle

Libra,July 12

Compassion and understanding will be the key. You can really attract a lot of attention if you get out and socialize. You'll entice others with your confident attitude and know-how. This is a great day to lie back and pamper yourself. Experiment with your looks and come up with that new you that you've been searching for.

I sort of like that horoscope for today! Well the boss is out in Dallas again today, so there's not too terribly much for me to be doing. I changed the voice mail over to my message, and the computer has been re-configured to my settings and such. I am really loving this job, and I should send the temp company a thank you note for giving me this opportunity. I really think that this is going to last for a long time. So Richard was telling me this morning, and yesterday afternoon, that I have been talking up a storm during the nights and the mornings. He said that it's almost as if I'm awake, but I'm not, and I'm just talking to ...someone...who knows who I'm talking to. Things have been going extrordinarily well with the two of us, we are just so in love and so content with eachother. I am just glad that I can be there for him during this horrible time in his life. I just want to be as supportive as possible, and I think that I have accomplished that. I can't wait to get paid, I've been poor for the longest time, and now I am going to get forty hours of pay next week, and it's going to seem like I am a king! I am just going to put it all in the bank, (that, and get the air conditioning in my car charged ASAP!) I talked with Terese last night for about two seconds. I called her, and then later in the evening, she called me, and then immediately put me on hold, because she had another call (shocking!) and then never came back. She has done that in the past to me, and I never get upset, because she always does that to me, but last night I got sort of pissed off at her, because how rude is that? Even though I have known her for twelve years, it still sort of pisses me off, so I called her back and left a funny message on her voicemail, but to no avail. Needless to say, I'll probably hear from her in a couple of days, hopefully on the weekend. I am getting excited about this upcoming Open House + Anniversary party that we're having. You can see a map of our place at here and then find driving directions to our place here just fill out the form, and you'll be automatically taken to the "Club Med". I also have been keeping track of the Space Shuttle Mission on the NASA site and here is the current mission timetable:

Mission Highlights
Launch KSC Thursday, July 12 5:04 a.m. EDT

Shuttle Docks Friday, July 13 10:51 p.m. EDT

Begin Spacewalk 1 Saturday, July 14 10:09 p.m. EDT

Airlock Attached Saturday, July 14 3:04 a.m. EDT

Begin Spacewalk 2 Tuesday, July 17 10:09 p.m. EDT

Begin Spacewalk 3 Thursday, July 19 11:39 p.m. EDT

Shuttle Undocks Saturday, July21 12:15 a.m. EDT

Landing KSC Monday, July 23 12:58 a.m. EDT

Wednesday, July 11, 2001

LIBRA, July 11

Mix business with pleasure and be creative in your approach to projects. You need to do a few things for yourself. Get out and get involved in some of those hobbies you enjoy. You need an outlet for your stress. You can make new friends if you do a bit of traveling. You'd better finish off those domestic chores you've left undone.

Oh, my boss is out today and I have been trained by the person that I am replacing, her name is Jessica. The only thing is that she has taken a half day today, so I am here all alone for the first time. I am sort of nervous about it, but I think that she has done a tremendous job training me, and anything that comes along that I don't know, I can certainly ask any number of people. That's the thing about a new job, it's all the stuff that they DON'T tell you that always comes up. Anyway. I got some medicine last night for this damm rash that I seemed to have gotten. The doctor told me that it most definitely was an allergic reaction to something....although I can't fathom what possibly it could be....who knows? The medicine is wonderful, and it works brilliantly. It still itches a little bit, but not half as bad as it did. Thank god, I was going through some horrible nights, not being able to sleep because I was itching so bad, it felt like my skin was going to come off of my bones, I was scratching so much. But it's a million times better. Thank you doctor! This is an article that I read, it's only an excerpt, but you get the idea. It's Oprah interviewing Maya Angelou, who I just adore. She's still rockin in her seventies. Read and enjoy it!
You can find this article in full in the December issue of O.

Since the moment I opened I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, I've felt deeply connected to Maya Angelou. With each page, her life seemed to mirror mine: In her early years she was raised by her grandmother in the South; as a young girl she was raped; and, like me, she grew up reciting what the church folks called little pieces—a few lines from the Bible that were usually delivered amid shouts and amens from the women fanning themselves in the front pews. Meeting Maya on those pages was like meeting myself in full. For the first time, as a young black girl, my experience was validated.
And it still is, only now I sit at Maya's feet, beside her fireplace, hardly believing that, years after reading Caged Bird, she is my mentor and close friend. When we met in Baltimore more than 20 years ago, our bond was immediate. We talked as if we had known each other our entire lives; and throughout my twenties and in the years beyond, Maya brought clarity to my life lessons. Now we have what I call a mother-sister-friend relationship. She's the woman who can share my triumphs, chide me with hard truth and soothe me with words of comfort when I call her in my deepest pain.

She speaks of what she knows. Born in St. Louis in 1928, Maya moved to rural Stamps, Arkansas, to be with her grandmother after her parents split. When she went back to St. Louis in the mid-1930s, her mother's boyfriend stole her virginity. In the aftermath of that trauma, 8-year-old Maya became mute and rarely opened her mouth to speak for several years. At 17 she had her only child, Guy. A few years later, when her grandmother died, the grief sent her reeling. It was then that she gave herself what one might call a Maya manifesto: She would live—fully.

Today Maya is a kind of quintessential Everywoman: essayist, entertainer, activist, poet, professor, film director and mother—and she recently guest conducted the Boston Pops simply because she felt like it. She has written more than 20 books, and she once had three titles—Caged Bird, The Heart of a Woman and Even the Stars Looked Lonesome—on The New York Times best-seller list simultaneously for six consecutive weeks. In 1993 she became the first poet since Robert Frost in 1961 to write and recite a poem at a presidential inaugural ceremony.

When I am with Maya, unimportant matters melt away—her presence feels like a warm bath after an exhausting day. In our hours together, we can set aside all pretensions and just be: two women barefoot in a living room, sharing the most intimate parts of our lives.

OPRAH: The big question I have for you is this: Where did your confidence come from? I've never seen anybody who exudes more confidence than you, and I don't mean false, modest bravado, but from the inside out, you've got the stuff.

MAYA ANGELOU: There are so many gifts, so many blessings, so many sources that I can't say any one thing—unless that one thing is love. By love I don't mean indulgence. I do not mean sentimentality. And in this instance, I don't even mean romance. I mean that condition that allowed humans to dream of God. To make it. To imagine golden roads. That condition that allowed the "dumb" to write spirituals and Russian songs and Irish lilts. That is love, and it's so much larger than anything I can conceive. It may be the element that keeps the stars in the firmament. And that love, and its many ways of coming into my life, has given me a great deal of confidence about life.

O: So when you hear someone being modest....

MA: I run like hell. The minute you say to a singer, "Would you sing?" and they say, "Oh, no. I can't sing here," I say, "Oops! I wonder, where is that train to Bangkok?"

O: Because?

MA: Because that person is not reliable. She may not know it, but modesty speaks volumes about falseness.

O: Pretending.

MA: Lying.

O: I once heard you say, "If you want to liberate someone, love them."

MA: That's it. Not be in love with them—that's dangerous. If you're in love with your children, you're in their lives all the time. Leave them alone! Let them grow and make some mistakes. Tell them, "You can come home. My arms are here—and my mouth is too." Tell them, "I'm going to leave you alone. You want to listen to rock and rap? Well, I think it's stupid, but help yourself." When you really love them, you don't want to possess them. You don't say, "I love you and I want you here with me." Naturally, if you love somebody, you do want to see their face every now and again, but that's not a condition of your love. People often get possession mixed up with love, and they say, "If you really loved me, you would call me." How—when life is going on? I think of you all the time, and the thought of you always lifts my spirits. But I'm not right at the phone!

O: Have you been able to manage that kind of love even in romance?

MA: It's hard, but I do it—and I don't know how. When I love somebody, I like him to be around; I like him to take me out to dinner; I like to look at the sunset with him. But if not, I love him and I hope he's looking at the same sun I am. Loving someone liberates the lover as well as the beloved. And that kind of love comes with age. Some of this wisdom came to me after I was 50 or 60.

O: What's the best age?

MA: Seventy-two! The seventies are hot.

I am enjoying this time alone at my job, it gives me a sense of how it's going to be for the next couple of months. There is alot of responsibility, and I have to report to a number of people in this arena, so I'll be accountable to many, which I like. The person who I am most accountable to, is David Courtney. He is my immediate supervisor, and the director of Data Management. I will update more often now that I get a chance to be online, but I can't spend too much time online, that wouldn't reflect well on me....especially with this new job. I put this nifty little time clock on here, so you can compare when I updated this page, to what the current date is!! Check it out!

Tuesday, July 10, 2001

2nd Day at Sprint

Well, I have gotten a bit more settled in my place here at this amazing place. The most amazing thing that I've had to learn is that they do everything online, which is totally fabulous. This is the building that I am working in on the Sprint Campus, it's the 6100 building.

I just can't believe how huge this place is. I met my boss today too, and he's a really nice guy. Everybody has told me that he is the nicest person to work for. I don't want to detail alot of things here, but we got some bad news yesterday, about a current situation, and if you have kept up to date with me {not online} then you know what this is about, I haven't really talked about this much on this journal, just because it is very private and very personal domain, but needless to say that this situation just gets more grave as time goes by. I will be able to get online more often, and from work, so I'll periodically update this journal from work, if I get a spare second. I have a feeling that I am going to be a busy beaver at this job, I am working as an administrative assistant for the Director of Data Management, who oversees about sixty-seventy people, so I have to schedule his meetings, and his travel plans (in a nutshell)

Tuesday July 10, 2001 | continued
July 10, 2001
John Arvosis


On the heels of today's news that the Salvation Army cut a secret deal with the Bush administration to discriminate against gays, comes the news that the Salvation Army is also a "partner" in a "Christian" Web portal, Christianity.com, that not only houses such anti-gay Web sites as Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network and ex-gay Exodus International), but the portal also has a mission of helping "Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox organizations" - with no mention of what happens if you're from another Christian religion, Jewish, Muslim or other person of faith and wish to join the Salvation Army/Christianity.com partnership. John Arvosis' exclusive breaking story on this is below - then be sure to click and take the poll associated with the story.

Salvation Army's Anti-Gay Partners
About.com - US Politics
by John Aravosis
July 10, 2001
Exclusive from About.com:
The Salvation Army and anti-gay groups of the religious right have a closer relationship than was previously realized by the majority of the world's gay community, in addition to other civil rights supporters.
In addition to the front-page news in today's Washington Post that the Salvation Army cut an under-the-table secret deal with the Bush Administration to ensure the President's support for the Salvation Army's policy of discriminating against gays and lesbians, it was discovered today that the Salvation Army is a "partner" of a Christian Web portal, Christianity.com, that not only houses the Salvation Army's US Web site, but also the Web sites of lead ex-gay organization Exodus International and Pat Robertson's Christian Broadcast Network. And it appears that Christianity.com is not simply a warehouse for the Web sites, but that there is in fact some commingling between the Christianity.com partners - for example, Christianity.com's home page has a lead story about converting gay people to heterosexuals, and it is written by Bob Davies, the Executive Director of Exodus, another Christianity.com partner. [FYI - The Salvation Army's main international Web site posts the link to the US-based subsidiary, and that link takes you directly to Christianity.com. network.]

Even without the anti-gay Web portal story, the Salvation Army was already in hot water as a result of breaking the news that an internal Salvation Army document obtained by the Washington Post details how the White House has made a "firm commitment" to the Salvation Army to issue a regulation that would in effect overturn local civil rights laws protecting individuals from being fired based on their sexual orientation, and providing them domestic-partner benefits, at least as the laws apply to "religious charities" such as the Salvation Army. In turn, the Salvation Army agreed to support Bush's troubled faith-based initiative that even conservative Christians have expressed concerns about. The Post also reports that this deal is indicative of the fact that "President Bush is willing to achieve through regulation ends too controversial to survive the legislative process." The internal Salvation Army document makes no bones about it's anti-gay policy. The Post quotes a senior Salvation Army official saying that the hiring of gays and lesbians "really begins to chew away at the theological fabric of who we are." However, that justification seems at odds with Bush's charitable choice proposal implementing his faith-based initiative, as the proposal already includes language banning religious charities from discriminating against individuals based on race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability - but not sexual orientation. By telling religious charities that they can not discriminate against individuals based on those minority characteristics, the Bush Administration is already impinging on the religious freedom of organizations who do not want to hire other minorities. So, the "freedom of religion" argument as it pertains to hiring gays seems to be a bit of a red herring, as that freedom was already lost in Bush's proposal. The Bush proposal endorsed by the Salvation Army appears to single out only one minority group, and that is gays and lesbians...
The question remains to what degree these revelations will hurt the Salvation Army. It is a distinct possibility that gay and lesbian contributors, and their families and friends, will be less likely to help the Army in the future, but private companies such as Sequoia Capital (who also funded Apple, Cisco and Yahoo), Christianity.com's lead investor, could feel some heat as well as the public becomes aware of their links to the Salvation Army.

People of faith may be concerned about the Christianity.com link as well. Christianity.com in its mission statement specifically states that "Christianity.com focuses on helping Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox organizations do more online." No word on what happens when people of faith from other Christian religions, or Muslims or Jews, attempt to join the community run by the Salvation Army's partner. This is particularly ironic as one would suppose the Salvation Army is at least in part motivated in the sexual orientation debate by a premise that people of faith should not face discrimination based on their religious beliefs. Gays and lesbians are also likely to find little solace in Exodus' Christianity.com home page that includes stories such as "Is AIDS God's Judgment Against Homosexuals?" and "What Can I Do To Make a Gay Person Change?" In the end, even the Salvation Army acknowledges that their anti-gay position could hurt their public image if it even became known. The Post notes that the leaked Salvation Army report says: "The Salvation Army's role [in the anti-gay effort] will be a surprise to many in the media," and the report urges efforts to "minimize the possibility of any 'leak' to the media." A bit late for that. [Note: There is a poll associated with the story about whether you would ever give again to the Salvation Army here.

Friday, July 6, 2001

Open House Party Announced!

Open House + Anniversary Party Announced at Club Med!

This is an email that Richard and I sent out:

Dear Friends:

Bill and I will celebrate our first anniversary by inviting a few friends to an open house. Please consider joining us at our new home, ----,KCMO on Sunday, July 22 between 2:00 and 6:00. We are located at ------ and will gladly forward directions upon request. Your presence will be a gift in itself. However, if you must bring another, we'll gratefully accept wines and liquors for our new bar. Please RSVP to Bill at Guillaume773@hotmail.com or by calling (816)_ _ _ - _ _ _ _.

Bill Rosen and Richard Held

I also got a email from OFOTO and now I have a bunch of pictures online for everyone to see. Actually, these are the pictures that Ruth took at the Folly Theater of the !Follies! dress rehearsal. Then there are a couple of pictures of downtown Kansas City, taken from the 27th floor of the 1200 Main building. Fabulous!

I also get an email everyday from Oprah from her "Mission Calendar" with quotes and helpful tidbits in creating a more meaningful life. Very interesting. There's a couple that I wanted to share on this journal.

"Even with the best of maps and instruments, we can never fully chart our journeys."
-Gail Pool, writer

that's just one of the quotes. I have one on my index page from a spiritual teacher, which I think encompasses my whole experience in Kansas City.

Friday - July 6, 2001 | August 18th Visit by the George and Mindy Show!

This is an email from my mom, regarding my parents visit to KC in August

Hi Bill:

Got your e-mail about our trip as well as the one about your open house. I wish we could be there for the July event, but just can't work out the scheduling details. However, if the weekend of August 18 is ok with you two - and yourinfo about Richard's schedule sounds good to us- then I'll go ahead and book the flights for us. Dad and I will come on Saturday, Aug 18. I'll leave on Sunday, Aug 19 around 4 in the afternoon and Dad will stay until the following Friday. He has a hotel booked for both of us for the whole stay, since he needed it for the sales trip anyway.
Keep us posted (e-mailed?) on the job hunt, on health issues, and everything else going on in your lives. We miss hearing from you regularly.
No real news from here. Sue continues to grow healthily and we just await action, which isn't due to happen for a month or so. Give our best to Richard and tell him that you and he and his mother are always in our prayers.
Love you, Bill


Only In Kansas City!
Man bakes fireworks, blows up kitchen

05 July, 2001 17:29 GMT
- Fireworks hidden in a Kansas City man's oven turned out to be a recipe for disaster when the man attempted to heat up some food but instead blew his kitchen to bits. The explosion occurred early on U.S. Independence Day holiday at the home of a 28-year-old man who had spent the night celebrating with a group of friends, Kansas City Assistant Fire Marshall Jim Duddy said on Thursday. According to Duddy, the group, "who had been drinking heavily," were shooting fireworks off for several hours on Tuesday night at the Northland area home, disturbing neighbours who called police. Someone in the group attempting to hide a stash of fireworks from the police, stuffed them into the oven and then forgot about them, Duddy said. About 3 a.m. the homeowner decided to bake some lasagne and turned the oven on. "It blew the kitchen all apart," said Duddy. "The walls were all blown out, the oven flew right through one of the walls." Flying glass caused some slight injuries, but otherwise no one was hurt.

Tuesday, July 3, 2001

The Day I start writing again!

So I was reading all these journal entries, and it seems as if I am putting emails, and reports, and reviews much more than I am writing, so I will try to get back to writing. As you can see, I have updated this webpage a bit lately, and I am trying to get it as slick as possible. I keep on bouncing back from re-vamping the ENTIRE site, and redesigning the whole thing, to just sort of playing with the design of it and leaving it as it is. There are so many things I want to say on here, and there are so many things that I want to do, but only so many hours of the day.
So Leila (the subject of my "LEILA IS A HOLOGRAM" page) - calls me yesterday and she tells me the story of her Sunday night, and her adventures in the suburbs of Chicago. I am going to try and hold off on reporting about this because she promised me that she was going to email me the story, but needless to say it was unprecedented in the entire history of our adventures. The story will belong on theBelligerent Trio page and on my journal. Let's just put it this way, there were ambulances, and emergency rooms, and police and all sorts of official people involved. I"I'll just leave it at that. I've been milling around other online journals, and I think that it's so interesting. This guy lives in Kansas City, and is apparently a skinhead but a good one, a queer one. So interesting. :-) So anyway, I got a couple of ideas, to maybe personalize my pages, and I want to play with those. The other thing was, that my Mother called me up today and asked if August was a good time to visit, so the Mindy and George show is coming to Kansas City. My dad is actually coming to KC for business, either the week before, or the week after, and then my mom is going to fly up on the 18th of August, so we'll just have a big ol party. I'll be sure to stock the liquor cabinet :-) Richard is hosting a "talent show" on that saturday night, it's not a talent show, it's called something else, so we have something to do on saturday night, and he said that he had a rehearsal for Sunday, after church, but he can easily cancel that...I thought about asking my parents if they wanted to come to CSL, and sit in on a service. I thought that would be nice. Anyway, Richard and I are going to see a movie tonight, it's much cheaper during the week, so we decide to go during the week. I believe that we're going to see Moulin Rouge tonight. I'll get back with my review!! OKBYE!

Oh my GOD, I loved the movie so much. It was a wonderful love story, intertwined with amazing cinematography, and just overall amazing. I was crying so hard throught the last half of the movie, I could hardly see straight. The characters, the costumes, the everything...was just so tremendous. Richard and I were talking about how they used modern music in the movie, in a very creative way, they used Elton John's song "Your Song", David Bowie's "Heroes", Queen's - "The Show Must Go On". If you haven't seen the movie, it's sort of hard to explain, but they used the music in a really wonderful way. It wasn't manipulative or anything like that, when the dialogue called for a 'lyric' like that, they would sing it, and I was suprised at Ewen McGregor's voice, it was actually appealing! I haven't seen a movie that I loved so much in a long long time. The other day, on Friday, I believe, we also saw...

The Perfect Son

This is what the Film Festival website says about this film.

The intimate world of sibling rivalry and relationships is explored in this gentle tale of two brothers who bridge a life time of difference and find the love and friendship that was always just out of reach. Theo, newly out of rehab, returns home after years away to attend his father's funeral. His brother, Ryan, an impeccably dressed lawyer, perfect in every detail, seems as remote as Theo remembers. Determined to rebuild his life, Theo tries to reestablish the relationship he had destroyed. His relationship with Ryan seems hopeless until Theo discovers that Ryan is gay and dying of AIDS. With his brother in need of his help, their relationship opens up and Theo is allowed to see the brother he never knew. As the film evolves, we see two brothers taking the responsibility for their lives and find the love and friendship each had always been seeking with his brother.

It was a great movie, a little serious, and a little....well....without saying too much, art imitates life. With everything going on in our lives, it was just a bit too much for us to take.

Sunday, July 1, 2001

The Chicago Free Press Review of the show

Chicago Free Press

Midwest Pride: Chicago Gay Men's Chorus Pride Concert
Reviewed By Lawrence Bommer Contributing writer

Pride presumes brotherhood. Both were made manifest last weekend at the Athenaeum Theatre in a musical partnership between our Chicago Gay Men's Chorus and the 100-strong Heartland Men's Chorusfrom Kansas City. These ensembles explored every side of Pride-personal, public and perpetual.

Directed by Patrick Sinozich and sporting pink ties, CGMC indulged their famous forte for feel-good anthems and Broadway homage, opening with "But Alive." This rambunctious selection from "Applause," a musical that debuted a year after Stonewall, depicts diva Margo Channing, her hairdresser and his pals in a Greenwich Village gay bar. (This was, we're told, the first depiction of gay life in a Broadway musical." Or was it "The Ritz"?) A welcome blast from the past.

Happily showing off, CGMC delivered Sinozich's clap-happy treatment of Gershwin's "I Got Rhythm," the intricately spoken "Geographical Fugue," an achingly tender (or just plain slow) version of "Where Is Love?," and Leonard Bernstein's curiously uplifting setting of a posthumous gay poem by Walt Whitman.

Pushing the pizzazz were "Into The Fire," a cheeky chorale from "The Scarlet Pimpernel," and a steamy medley of heat numbers, climaxed by a funky three-man fan dance.

A rich ensemble with a very full sound, the Heartland Men's Chorus, led by Joseph P. Nadeau, presented a spirited program that ranged from Elton John's "Circle of Life" (complete with animal imitations) to an ardent "When I Fall in Love."

HMC acted out every eccentricity in Sam Pottle's setting of "Jabberwocky," pulling out colorful props to drive it home.

Graced with a lovely solo by Don D. White, "One Voice" (from the "Sing for the Cure" cantata by Joseph M. Martin) earned its title as the Heartland Men displayed impressive vocal control and texture. "We're Not Lost" and "Prayer for the Children" were expressively sung and contagiously felt.

Interestingly, the chorus also performed a favorite of Windy City Gay Chorus, Eric Lane Barnes' "Parade," a tribute to the diversity of the annual procession and the need to consider it a constant.

Joining ranks, the massed singers filled the stage to bursting as they tore into Sigmund Romberg's infectious "Stouthearted Men," the gay choral standard "Everything Possible" (which ends in a apotheosis of tolerance) and a campy version of the Gershwins' "Let's Call The Whole Thing Off." Happily, they didn't.

(And the answer to his question regarding The Ritz is no. It came out in 1974...four years after Applause.)

This is an email from Ray Wohl a great friend of mine from CGMC, regarding the past weekend in Chicago

HI Bill Rosen,

I adore your web site and all the links. I wandered my way through several pages and links. You are prolific. I enjoyed the quotes, the chicago link, the photos. and browsing in some other areas. Interesting how you keep expanding your universe.
Here's a quote:
"You're unique, just like everybody else!"

Bill, you and Richard seem very content together..I am happy for you. He is such a talent and a cutie too. Heartland stole and show...and we let you.(That statement just KILLS me....we let you?....no..we just stole the show...PERIOD!

Thanks for the thrill of visiting your web page.

Happy Summer. Until our paths cross a gain.
Ray Wohl

CGMC & HMC Perform Together

Email from Leila | Discussing her employment!
I work in the Therapeutic Recreation Department. That's what I received my master's in...Therapeutic Recreation. I work on the Rehab Unit, patients with brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, stroke, amputations, heart conditions, tumors.
I got the job offer today!!!!!!!!

An email from Aaron from CGMC

I thought it was totally fabby (my new word, coined from my cousin in St. Louis, talking about HIS recent choral concert)...! I told Michael Roman that Bommer must have had his hearing aids turned up loud enough this time! (Should have read his pan of the "Gay Odyssey" show--I knew I should have poisoned ALL of the liquor at the Athenaeum Bar...).
Anyway, thanks again for coming this weekend. I had such a great time with you and Richard! You are welcome to come and visit any time you want. I'll even try to get one of those chairs that handicapped people use to go up stairs (the ones that run along the railing electronically), so we don't have to climb those 3 flights! :-)
Watch for an e-mail I just sent to your chorus thanking them again for coming to Pride with us. Rick Fisher said he's going to distribute it in the next issue of your news...
Take care!


Saturday - July 1, 2001 | I finally get my webpage updated!!
This is an email I got from Rick Fisher, and it explains itself:
Guys - the love-fest between HMC and CGMC just goes on and on! We are grateful for your kind hospitality and the warm welcome we received in Chicago. It was a delightful trip on so many levels! We hope that you-all will be able to come and visit us in the near future. Below are words of thanks that we have received from many of our members. Please forward this along to all the CGMC guys!
Rick Fisher,
Executive Director
Heartland Men's Chorus
Kansas City, MO

A Thank-you Note to CGMC:

I had a great time in Chicago, and felt at home with the CGMC members. Can't wait to go back in July! Thanks for everything!
Ron Smith, HeartLight member

I just wanted to express my thanks for a wonderful weekend. It was really great to perform in your beautiful theatre and to perform along side your Chorus for our joint numbers. Thanks for sharing your stage!! All of the social events that were organized really made the entire Kansas City Chorus feel very welcome. I enjoyed the tour of the city on Friday and the great food and hospitality at the party after the Friday night performance and the brunch on Sunday before the Parade. It was so nice of the men that opened their homes and hosted the parties not to mention the fabulous food and fun at the North End Bar on Saturday! Thanks again for a Fabulous Weekend!!!
Mark D. Johnson, T2

I had an absolute pride blast not to mention gay affirming experience singing and socializing with the guys of the CGMC. I can't remember the last time I got such little rest and not awakened to regret it the nextday. ;-) Now that I'm back in Kansas City, I can catch up on sleep and dream the whole weekend over again. I hope we'll have the opportunity to host your visit to our sleepy town very soon. We could use a little shaking things up around here - Chicago style.My sincerest thanks,
Will Brown, T2

Thanks for a wonderful weekend Chicago guys!! Special thanks to David for hosting me and for our party hosts inviting us into their homes. The social events were a lot of fun, and everyone made me and my friend Rafael feel very welcome. Your concert audience was really terrific too. I had blast the entire time I was in Chicago! Thanks again boys for a memorable experience.
Lyle Williams, B2

What a wonderful time!! We simply could not have asked for more. The members of your chorus were superb hosts and made us all feel right at home. Whoever was in charge of the weather is to be commended. Sharing the stage with you was a real treat. And marching with you on Sunday was the absolute icing on the cake. We had a ball! Thank you seems inadequate, so we will just say "Thank you, Thank you, Thank You! You boys are the greatest." And let it be known far and wide that Chris and Curtis are the hosts with the most!!
Steve Dodge & Paul Elo, President and First Lady

From this former member of your group, and his partner Richard Held, we give a million thanks to you for hosting us and participating in such a wonderful concert experience. I can't wait to see the video. Please feel free to keep in touch, email me at the email address below, and/or visit my webpage. Thank you again for everything, we should do this every couple of years, it was so much fun!
Bill Rosen, T2

Wonderful music, wonderful hospitality, wonderful enthusiasm, wonderful parade, wonderful men, wonderful city, wonderful PRIDE! How soon can we come back?!
John Mark Lambertson, T1 and Don White, B1

Thank you so much for making us feel so welcome in the Windy City. You guys are great and the concerts were inspirational and uplifting. I personally had a magnificent time and appreciate everyone's kind words and hospitality. I hope that you all will join us in Kansas City soon!! We promise to show the same hospitality!!
Dewayne Gossett, B1

I am still reliving the wonderful days I spent with you all in Chicago. From my stay with John Skoubis and our intense conversations to the fantastic parade of a lifetime, I had an almost overwhelming time. Thanks for the rewarding performances on Fri and Sat. Interacting with Chris and Michael during the "Potato" number was great fun. The after parties and brunch were a perfect way to wind down (or up), and everyone bent over backwards (some forwards) to make us feel welcome. I have always loved Chicago, and this trip was the best of all possible worlds. Can't wait for your trip down to KC. Just make sure that you bring with you the same weather we had up there when you head south. Mike Sigler, T1

Thanks so much for the warm welcome and great opportunity to share the stage with such a talented, attractive and friendly group of guys. I hope we can perform together again sometime and if your ever in KC let us return the favor. You guys are the Greatest! Ken Strickland, T2

Thank you CGMC for being such a great host. I had the most wonderful time singing with you guys and getting to know you. Pride Parade was a blast especially the cheerleaders! (HMC should invite them as special guest stars for our parade in KC next year.) Anyone of you who like to see pictures of the parade please send me your e-mail address. Ray Wohl, you're the best! I felt very blest being your guest over the weekend. I'm sure John Sims felt the same way too. Thanks for the many beautiful sunrises over the lake, wonderful meals you prepared, and the great advice on husband hunting while we're on the beach. Most of all, thank you for our friendship. Much love,
Michael Ong, T1

Your incredible hospitality made this past weekend truly one to remember! Thank you for all your time spent in hosting us in your homes, your theater and your city. We truly owe you one!!
Neal Brees, T2

To the friendly studs in the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus You certainly pulled out all the stops to show Kansas City your best, and our response is amazing thanks -- so many hugs and smiles -- such good food -- such impressive settings for parties -- and, most of all, such a stunning and precise performance in the concert. We will all remember Chicago with fondness.
Dave Miller (the oldest Bass in HMC, and the one who found it hardest to hunker down in the Jabberwocky number!)

Thank you for sharing your warmth and hospitality to all of us. We would love to entertain you in Kansas City. I felt total acceptance as a chorus mother!!!
Ruth Brant, HeartLight section leader & director of volunteers

Thank you all very much for your hospitality. I had a great time meeting and hanging out with you all. I hope that we can arrange for something similar to this again in the near future.
Tim Herrman, B2

Thank you to all of you!! This past weekend was the best!!! Have a great vacation and thanks for all your hard work!! I wanna go back!
johnny boy sims, B2

Thank you so much for a wonderful experience in so many ways. First, we appreciate the opportunity to make wonderful music. We enjoyed the enthusiasm of the Chicago audiences. Second, thanks for being such a wonderful group of men. We both enjoyed meeting so many of you and will look forward to future chances to visit. Now it's your turn to come to KC! Thanks, Scott Roewer and Todd Rice, T1 & T2

A big thank you to the Chicago Gay Men's Chorus for welcoming us with such open arms and genuine warmth. It was a great pleasure to perform with everyone. It really made for a special celebration of Gay Pride. Thanks again,
Curt Knupp, T1

Thanks for a most wonderful weekend. You made my first "real" visit to Chicago a memorable one. Thanks especially to Michael and Martin for their hospitality. Ya'll come to Kansas City sometime soon.
Jeff Staples, T2

Michael and I really enjoyed our time in Chicago. All of the Chicago chorus members we met were wonderful and gracious hosts. We thought the social events were well organized and they enhanced the performance aspects as well. It felt like both choruses brought out the best in each other. We really enjoyed performing with you. Since I used to live in Chicago, I had several friends in the audience on both nights. Everyone loved the concert.
Michael Hadley and Michael Sullivan, B1 & T2

Thank you so much for the opportunity to share your concert with you. We had a great time in the Windy City! A special thanks to Phillip Ramsey and his partner Richard for hosting us - they were the perfect addition to our trip. Mark Holcomb, T2

Hello - I had a fabulous time! Thanks for having me - And a few more of you could have...Hope to see ya all again soon -Take Care- Jeff Patterson, B1

Last weekend was a very memorable, welcoming and affirming experience! Thanks to all the gracious and wonderful people who made our Chicago experience unforgetable. We hope that we will have the opportunity to return the favor when you come to Kansas City and sing with us. Many thanks!
Peter Northcott, T2 and Philip Cox-Johnson

Chicago, Thanks for the great time in the windy city. It was great to be able to share the stage and time with such a fine group of guys. Look forward to doing things together in the future. Had a great time and the hospitality was wonderful. Keep up the good work.
Pat Kelley, B1

A big thank you to all of CGMC. It was great to perform for you and with you. What a fantastic city - the downtown, the lake, the parade. A special thanks to my host Will and to Mitch who provided that wonderful auto transportation.
Jack Wilson, T2

I would like to thank the men of CGMC for all of their hospitality making my trip to Chicago the best I have ever spent in Chicago, my favorite city. From the city tour, food and cast parties,and wonderful concert experience to all of the new friends made . . . you all were great. A special thank you (again) to Mike Dunghe who could not have been a greater host and a GREAT new friend. The weekend was so great I hated to see it end. I hope to hear from and see you all again.
Keith Grahl, T2

You guys are fabulous! I had such a good time that I want to move, but the Heartland baritones would suck without me. :-) Thanks so much for everything!! Hugs and kisses to all....although a couple of you already got some of that when I was there.
Steven Capeder, B1

Dear CGMC: Thanks so much for inviting us to do Midwest Pride with you. It was so good to meet you guys and spend the weekend with you singing, partying, etc. It was definitely a weekend I will treasure and never forget. I travel to Chicago often, but have never had as much fun as I did this last weekend doing the concert and hanging out with you guys Hopefully we'll be able to do something like this again soon. Have a great summer! Oh and by the way, come on down and see me sometime if you make it to KC. and I'll give you the royal tour of the "Show Me State, or the "Land of Oz."
Stoutheartedly yours...Greg Davis, B1

Bravo! What a wonderful weekend you pulled together! We couldn't have dreamed of a better partnership in music or finding more gracious hosts in the big city! Your audience brought such love with them to each performance. It was pure joy to share the stage with you!
Kile Martz, B1

You are all INCREDIBLE! Thanks so much for your hospitality and for all of your positive words. I enjoyed my time with you and am looking forward to returning to Chicago to rub elbows with you again soon.
Mike Lurten, B1

I can't thank you enough for the great time I had in your great city. I have made some friends I know will last a Long, Long Time!! PLEASE come and visit KC and don't wait until a joint concert. If you come as a tourist, no pressure for rehersals, calls etc. and you will be ready when we do jointly perform here! There are plenty of places to stay here as well!! Hugs to you all!!
JJ Franklin, B2

Dear Patrick, Rick and all the members of CGMC: Thank you for providing us with a wonderful time in Chicago this past weekend. I have never experienced a Gay Pride festival so overwhelmingly huge as this one! You have been gracious hosts and we enjoyed sharing the stage with you. Hope we can do this again soon! All my love!
Joe Nadeau, Music Director

Thanks a bunch to all of the members of CGMC!! It was a real privilege to share the stage with such a fine group of singers. Your hospitality was great and I had a wonderful time, not to mention the chance to participate in one of the biggest pride celebrations in the country!! Thank you so much for sharing your time, homes and your audience with us. It was truly a memorable experience!!!
Greg Maupins, B1

What a great time we had there in Chicago! You guys are the best! Hope to be able to return the favor some time soon!
Xo - Kevin Moore, B2

I had a blast in Chicago! Thank you so much for inviting HMC, and for all of your efforts to make us feel welcome. Your audiences gave us a fantastic response, and the spectators along the parade route on Sunday cheered as they learned that we were from Kansas City. I have never experience a Pride parade like the one in Chicago. It was quite an awesome experience, and I will remember it fondly. You have good reason to feel proud of yourselves and your great city, which is quite beautiful. I hope this is just the beginning of a warm friendship between HMC and CGMC. I know I will be cheering loudly for you at every GALA event I attend in the future! Thanks again for giving me the opportunity of experiencing Midwest Pride, Chicago style. You guys are the greatest!
Devotedly yours,
Randy Hite :), B1

I think the experience of going to Chicago and singing with you was FABULOUS! You were so good to us and showed us all such a good time. I didn't stay with a host, but those who did had nothing but good things to say about their hosts. I think we should have you all come to KC for a joint concert and return the favor. Can we do more of this sort of thing? Will sign off, Thanks again, Chicago Gay Men's Chorus.
Lee Vandenbos, B1

Thanks for opening your homes and hearts to us. Had a great time!!! Brad, thank you for hosting me you really are the hostess with the mostest :-) If you come to K. C. would love to reciprocate. Again many thanks.
Frank Woltkamp, B2

Thank you so much for hosting us this past weekend. It was an incredible experience for me. The power of an almost two-hundred voice choir was amazing. Plus this was my first pride parade and that experience was breathtaking. I had originally had made plans to go see Ricky Martin in concert and possibly have an opportunity to actually meet him, but decided to come to Chicago instead. I would rather be around a hundred fun loving Chicago Gay Men's Chorus members than a hot, sexy, ass-shakin Puerto Rican - wait a minute, what the hell was I thinkin'??????? Thanks for a wonderful weekend. John Olson was an incredible host and your group should be proud to have him as a member of your chorus!!!! I look forward to singing with you someday very soon!!!!! Hugs and Kisses.
Jeff Williams, T1