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July 5th, 2017

I’m Sorry

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry I wasn’t braver back then. It might have made a difference in both our lives. Maybe.

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on I’m Sorry
June 6th, 2017

Health Fair Notes

One of the nice spiffs of working in a place that actually cares about employee health and wellness is they have an annual Health Fair here, where they set up booths you can visit and get various simple but informative tests done. They had one today at work, and I went to some of the booths/tables. There was a new one that gave you an overall “inside the body” age, based on weight, body mass, body fat percentage, skeletal muscle percentage, visceral fat level and resting metabolism. It gave me an inside the body age of 49, which I’ll happily accept (I’m 63). Other tests were pretty good also, including happily the cardiac recovery test which had me doing vigorous step exercise for three minutes. I am not a high burn exercise kind of guy and was proud just to have finished the test (my knees aren’t shot yet), but they gave me a solid “normal” grade so there’s that too.

The general consensus was that even though I don’t do much formal exercising, the fact that I don’t smoke (cigarettes) and my day usually includes at least a couple miles or more of walking (back and forth to work when the weather is good, and an evening walk around the neighborhood before bed), that’s kept me in pretty good health despite the fact my job has me sitting down a lot. Also my vertical Baltimore rowhouse has me doing steps a lot. No…seriously…a Lot. Fact is, even at work I get up a lot and go talk to people rather than email or message them because I fidget too much if kept seated for too long and won’t sit still. Just ask any of my elementary school teachers. Plus I got a FitBit to remind me to get up and take a walk in case I get zoned out doing code work or documentation.

So I’m in pretty good health for my age. Which is something to think about whenever I get to fretting over it because it’s so horrible on mom’s side of my family tree.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Health Fair Notes
June 1st, 2017

Young Pride

I can’t wait for them to finally release this short film. That kid…  He really takes me back…

in a heartbeat pride

Happy Pride, everyone!

The month of June is often considered LGBT+ Pride month to commemorate the Stonewall riots which occurred in June 1969. Because of this, many LGBT+ Pride events are held around the world during June to celebrate love, diversity, and acceptance.

Have fun, stay safe, and celebrate love this month!

In A Heartbeat – Animated Short Film

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Young Pride
May 31st, 2017

The Internet Highway This Morning

covfefe south of the boarder

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Internet Highway This Morning
May 24th, 2017

More Heartbeat…

From the In A Heartbeat Facebook page

Hi everyone! Thanks to our Kickstarter backers we were able to work with a Spaniard composer we had only once dreamed to work with, Arturo Cardelús. His music has elevated our film in indescribable ways, and he has uploaded a piece of it for you to listen in his youtube channel.

We were also able to fly to meet him in LA for the live recording session of the score, which we’ll be sharing more with you later.

Check it out and give him some love…

Excuse me…I have something in my eye…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on More Heartbeat…
May 17th, 2017

This Was So Much Me…

heartbeat-lede 

Teen Vogue posted an article about a new short animated film I’ve suddenly begun following closely…

“In a Heartbeat” Short Film Features a Boy’s Heart Chasing the Guy of His Dreams

Around a few weeks ago, the internet quietly fell in love with In a Heartbeat, a short film about a closeted young boy who falls into the treacherous situation of possibly being outed: by his own heart. In the production, the lad’s heart pops out of his chest to chase down the boy of his dreams.

It started out as the thesis project of two seniors, Beth David and Esteban Bravo, studying Computer Animation at the Ringling College of Art and Design. They started a Kickstarter fundraiser so they could get money to pay for a music composer and sound designer. The link to the Kickstarter was only posted on their personal Facebook page but it took off and they got funding beyond their wildest dreams, all of which they’ve been putting to use on their project. 

I can see why, just from the bits and pieces they’ve shown. The short won’t be released until next month…they’re hooking it to Gay Pride. But the premise is something that…as is being echoed all over Facebook…gives you all the feels.

Even someone my age…or especially someone my age, who grew up in a time when gay teenagers were simply not allowed to have crushes, let alone see our lives and our struggles to find that special someone reflected on the screen. I’ve been trying for over a decade now to put my own Coming Out Story out there…in dribbles and drabs as I can find time to spend at the drawing board. These two filmmakers have captured the essence of it…all the terrifying joy of that first crush. A closeted young boy falls into the treacherous situation of possibly being outed by his own heart which pops out of his chest to chase down the boy of his dreams…

That is brilliantly clever, and it was so much Me…and probably lots of other gay folk of my generation as well, and also those that followed. The closet isn’t just one door but many; and that first door out is often the hardest one to open.  As the subtitle to my cartoon story says: The first person you come out to is yourself… I remember so very well that terrifying yet magical time when my heart was more ready than I was to know.

 in-a-heartbeat-sm

Yes…it seems to have worked out better for the kid in this animated short than it did for me. But that’s art, which as Picasso said, is a lie that makes you see the truth. Gay kids of my generation seldom got the happy ending. I sure didn’t. And yet despite all the heartbreak and disappointment I’ve endured since that first magical crush, I can still look back on it fondly and gratefully. It Was magical.

I can’t wait to see the entire thing. In the meantime…here’s the first official trailer. Their Facebook page is Here.

 

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on This Was So Much Me…
May 6th, 2017

Rite Of Spring

It’s spring, and I’m now two weeks into the spring diet routine and comfortably back into my 31 waist blue jeans again. I realize dieting is very hard for a lot of people, but for me it’s basically don’t eat sugary treats, eat only when actually hungry, and then only those very bland foods I had as a kid and a young adult of very limited means. Dieting is painful to me, only to the degree that I have to go back to food that bores the hell out of me. But I hear this is a common complaint. It also reminds me of how uncertain I was about my future, and that without the lucky breaks I had I might still be living in someone’s basement eking out a living doing odd jobs.

When I started making a good living as a contract programmer I could easily splurge on all the nice rich calorie laden food I couldn’t have when I was younger. Around that same time the pounds began to mysteriously accumulate. I went from 120 to 160, and a 28 inch waistline to a 33 inch one, and those pants were beginning to feel tight. I put it down to an aging body. Mom was a small, thin as a rail woman before she had me. As she got older, she got heavier. Her dad, according to the photos I have of him, had the same pattern. I figured it was my fate too, and just let it slide.

Then one day I found my high school crush and he asked me for a photo. For reasons unknown around that same time I decided to try and get my slim figure back again. As it turned out what was killing me was mostly sugar, and when I tried to cut back I was surprised at how addicted I’d become to it. When I was a teenager I could snarf down all the candy and cookies and cupcakes I wanted. Apparently you can’t keep doing that in middle age.

So I’m back in my 31s now and feeling good about sticking to the diet the rest of the month. The routine is I get my waistline back by summer and I maintain until the end of the year and stuff your face holiday season, which coincides with winter and staying indoors most of the time and being less active season…and so the waistline expands…then it’s back to spring dieting again… So I’m told lots of people subscribe to this plan.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Rite Of Spring
April 29th, 2017

Onions Onions La La La…

I feel sorry for this guy. Really.

Middle-Age-Waiter-Going-Nowhere

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Onions Onions La La La…
April 24th, 2017

Wish You Could See Your Space Cadet Kid Now Mom…

Got a chance to sit for a few moments in the test director’s seat this afternoon, in the Flight Ops room, and talk with White Sands on the NASA voice loop during a test of JWST data links. I’m still in training for this slot, and won’t be single-handedly directing tests for a while, but it was so very cool to be talking with other ground stations on the NASA loop…nervous first timer though I was…

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Wish You Could See Your Space Cadet Kid Now Mom…
April 23rd, 2017

The Science Of Shadows And Light

I went to the March for Science in Washington D.C. More about that later. But I’m back home now, and the first thing I did naturally was offload my digital photos onto the network drive. I’ll put them into Lightroom in a bit and post a new photo gallery later. The rally was taxing enough on my sixty-three year old body that I had to bail out before the march actually happened, and retreat to my hotel room. But I got a bunch of good shots at the rally on the Washington Monument grounds so I’m happy.

Later, after my legs recovered a bit and I got some energy back, I took a dinnertime walk around D.C. and snapped off a few shots with the mini Hasselblad (Sony) of what was left of the march ephemera after all the crowds were gone and the streets were nearly empty and it was still drizzly because I’m a weird old fuck and I was in a gloomy mood just then. If you’ve seen my art photography here you know what was coming. And I wasn’t sure even as I was taking those shots whether or not I wanted to include them in a gallery of shots of the March for Science. What comes out of me at those times when I’m doing it for the pure art of it is pretty dark. I can see that photographic eye in everything I do and I don’t really like it. But it’s worse when I’m not working on a theme or an event. Then it’s the pure inner photographic eye that comes out. I was pretty sure none of that belonged in a gallery with the science march.

As I wandered, I found a street sign…one of those historical markers D.C. has been putting around town. This one told me the studio of Mathew Brady was nearby  on Pennsylvania Avenue, and that it was relatively unchanged from when he lived there. So I tried to find it just to nod in fellowship to whatever memories might still be lingering there…

Mathew B. Brady was one of the first American photographers, best known for his scenes of the Civil War. He studied under inventor Samuel F. B. Morse, who pioneered the daguerreotype technique in America. -Wikipedia

But of course it had no marking plaque or even a street number over the door so I’m still not sure I saw the right one. But something had drawn me there. Obviously since I’m at the March for Science, I count myself as a person of science. But I am also an artist, and those two sides of me were excruciatingly difficult to reconcile when I was a teenager, until I read Jacob Bronowski’s little book, Science and Human Values.  I try to be rational about things, but there are moments when I feel moved by a spirit I have no name for. That was one of them.

I am not a camera, the camera is me. What comes out of it is me. But also what was actually there. The reality within and without. The cold grey drizzle. The nearly but not quite empty streets. What I saw. How it made me feel. In no other art are both those things quite that literally true. The photographic image is fixed by light entering the camera and it exists in a fixed time and place, but the what the photographer sees is within and timeless. Brady was the first to show us what war looks like via the camera’s unflinching deterministic eye. But it was also a mirror held up to ourselves. This too is human. In retrospect it was a perfect sort of serendipity being drawn to Brady’s studio that evening because probably no other art owes as much to science as photography. Chemistry, optics, the physics of light. The camera shows us what was there, and in the process tells us what it is to be human. Whether or not we want to know it.

 

Mathew_Brady_1875_sm

 

reflection-sm

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on The Science Of Shadows And Light
April 5th, 2017

Unstuck In Facebook Time

Something Facebook kindly threw in my face this morning, because it loves me: how it was before the Crisis (or whatever it was, I’ve no idea, I was out of the loop…) Of Summer 2012, after which our conversations could no longer be private.

Screen Shot 2017-04-05 at 9.01.04 AM

So it goes as the Tralfamadorian’s would say…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Unstuck In Facebook Time
April 4th, 2017

Best Happy Hour Ever!

Here’s what I did during Happy Hour last Friday…

jwst_visit

How was Yours?

(I’m the guy in the orange Mountain Parka on the right…)

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Best Happy Hour Ever!

Just…Love Each Other…K?

Mom often asked me growing up if I regretted not having siblings. I never doubted that she loved me, but she told me often about wanting four kids, two of each sex. It didn’t work out that way for her. I always told her I was fine being an only. It was the truth.

I speak often of my brother, who I love very much, but he’s actually my half brother on dad’s side. Mom and dad divorced when I was two, and dad remarried (that one didn’t work out either). So he had two boys by different wives, and we are both first borns, something only half brothers can be. But I chafe at the term half brother. I think of him as simply my brother, who I met once briefly when we were both teenagers, and reconnected with years later as adults. We get along very well, sympatico I would say even, as only two first borns can.

But deep in my core I know that I am temperamentally an only. There are a great many myths about us…that we are self centered and selfish and vain…that we don’t socialize very well…all that. Some of it is false, some of it true but not in the way people think. We’re not so much self centered as self motivated, because there was no sibling competition to deal with in the home. But vanity is something a parent either nurtures or arrests in a child. Having 100 percent of your parent’s attention is a double edged sword, especially in a Baptist household. I got unconditional love, and whenever something bad happened mom always knew who did it because there were no other suspects. We learn to socialize just a tad differently: I had to make friends outside the home just like anyone else. But I had a room of my own all my life. That only child indifference to the herd is often misinterpreted as misanthropy. We love company, but don’t instantly wilt without it. We onlies are almost preternaturally good at keeping ourselves company.

I’m telling you this by way of saying that the mechanizations of big families with lots of kids often mystify me. It’s a life I never had and I’ll be forever on the outside looking in at these families. I know this. And I know when there is trouble among them I need to keep out of it, even when, or especially when, a friend is involved. At the moment the family of a friend of mine is going through a rough patch. A parent is in very dire health, and the kids all love the parent, just not each other.

I know some of the specifics of the trouble between them, and I can’t blame some of them for feeling the way they do about the others. But I wish they could just love each other. And I guess they can’t.

I’m in my 60s now, and I’ve seen many different kinds of families, some that are amazingly tight and others like radioactive material that just doesn’t want to stay together. I understand it and I don’t. Life is short, the universe doesn’t care, we are all we have to care for each other. But humans aren’t very good at that in the aggregate. We evolved on the east African plains and we are a kind of pack/tribe animal deep down inside. But the rational mind needs it’s privacy to function too. We need space to think, and to calm down so we can think. Mom often asked me if I regretted not having siblings and I always said I was fine with being an only. Maybe that was stereotypically selfish of me. But I would absolutely have that life again. A room of your own isn’t only peace and quiet and sanity whenever you need it, I think it allows you to learn how to calm down and let go of it when people are making you angry.

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)
March 13th, 2017

Mourn For The Dead. Mourn Also, For The Living…

A survivor recounts…

Why I’ll Mourn Joe Nicolosi, Reparative Therapy Icon

Reparative therapy led me off course for many years, and it deepened my shame rather than alleviating it, but he was not intentionally cruel. I can blame Nicolosi for misdirecting people, but not for mistreating them.

His intention, however, does not excuse the damage reparative therapy has inflicted on so many LGBTQ people. Reparative and conversion therapies have caused gay people to feel fundamentally broken and irrecoverably sinful. This kind of therapy has shattered not only people’s self-worth but their spiritual connection to God. Those whose lost faith might call themselves lucky, for others lost even the will to live. These people took their own lives. And so we must ask ourselves: What good is a therapy that purports to save some lives if it takes others?

So many hearts this man destroyed. So much love that could have been, so many smiles that never were, because this man walked among us. One reason, not the main one but an important one, that I am not a Christian is I know what Jesus of Nazareth would tell me now, that I have to forgive him. And I can’t.

I do not bring forgiveness with me, nor forgetfulness.
The only ones who can forgive are dead;
the living have no right to forget. -Chaim Herzog

Read the whole thing Here

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off on Mourn For The Dead. Mourn Also, For The Living…
March 10th, 2017

The Soul Died Long Before The Man

‘Ex-Gay Therapy’ Leader Dead at 70

Nicolosi, 70, was a practitioner of conversion or reparative therapy, treatments intended to change a person’s sexual orientation that have been widely denounced by major medical associations—including the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Psychological Association—and banned by legislation in five states…

Death only closes a man’s reputation and determines it as good or bad. -Joseph Addison.

I didn’t attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it. -Mark Twain.

 

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)
Visit The Woodward Class of '72 Reunion Website For Fun And Memories, WoodwardClassOf72.com


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