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18 January 2018 @ 12:44 pm
Hello friends. I hope every one of you are enduring and finding times of rest and renewal in life.

I've been thinking and wondering lately about how good of an ally I can continue to be for those here who have belief in God or gods, or who are religious, or spiritual, or who live by faith. Sometimes I wonder if my mere presence here might seem to be a threat to the combined Christian and LGBT safe zone that we established here in early 2004, inviting everyone to live authentically and believe how they have chosen without trying to give up one aspect or the other.

It feels important for me to say that I will never ridicule someone here for their faith. I know first hand and remember how real it all seems, and how much of an individual's life that it all can become: the feeling when you pray, or worship in song, or receive what appears to be an answer to prayer--I've had many instances. I'm not trying to disprove any of that. I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior in the mid 70's and for decades after, I was very much a believer with everything the term entails and attended a variety of different churches and teachings including Methodist, Assembly Of God, non-denominational word of faith churches, Foursquare, and others.

From my new perspective after religion, While remembering what I used to believe, there are aspects that I wish more religious people would consider as they go through life.

Firstly, I wish religious folk would consider the possibility that maybe this life we have right now is maybe all that we have, and not simply a weigh station on our way to eternity. It's okay to believe there's a Heaven, or reincarnation, or some other form of afterlife as your faith teaches, as long as you realize we don't actually have any physical evidence here that one exists in the exact way that your religious faith says it does. It might, but don't let the 'might be' prevent you from living the life you have, in the moment, at the present time, to the very fullest that you're able.

Secondly, learn to forgive--not in the sense of someone who hurt you should be free to hurt you again. This isn't about unearned trust or not protecting yourself from an abusive person. I mean in terms of letting go of your anger. It's been said that holding a grudge is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die. That constant seething you feel toward the other is only hurting you. Don't let them have that control over your life and steal your joy--and as expressed in the paragraph before, life is finite and may be all we have.

There is probably a third, fourth, and fifth, but those can be for another time, or please add your own in the comments here for our benefit.
23 December 2017 @ 10:07 am
Joyous Yule, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays.

I'm off work until the 2nd. Renee is also off work but due to a slow drip of layoffs in her company which finally caught up with her a little over a week ago. She'll be receiving unemployment and she has a couple of leads, but for right now we're just together to enjoy the Holidays.

We went out and saw Star Wars yesterday, then made a donation of items to Goodwill. We'll finish decorating the tree today. On Christmas, we'll put a nice roast in the crock pot, and probably have a cozy fire with a tiny bit of snow in the forecast.

We're both still feeling some effects of not having our precious Bijoux with us at this time. We know it won't be long before we adopt again. We didn't realize until after she was gone, how much our little kitty made this feel like a family.

Let's all hope for a better year in 2018. I know this one's been a rough one for many.

02 December 2017 @ 09:19 am
We're taking our beloved cat, Bijoux in to a vet in 15 minutes from now to help her pass in peace. A week ago she was diagnosed with gastric lymphoma and were told she may have from 4 to at most 8 weeks. But with her eating a little less every day and for the first time this morning, unable to take the pill pocket which held her daily anti-nausea med, and beginning last night, noticing her using new muscles to help her breathe, it's time, before she really becomes uncomfortable.

We had a second appointment we were hoping would work out, for a person to come to our home on Monday at 2PM, to where she could pass in familiar surroundings. But to make her wait until then would do more for us than it would for her. So we're going with the first option, which means putting her back in the carrier that I really didn't want to use again, and put her in the car again for a 30 mile trek. But hopefully everything will work out and it won't be too stressful.

All assembled who have pets, give them an extra hug or scritch from me today and tell them how much you love them. Don't forsake the many good opportunities you have to spend quality time together.
19 November 2017 @ 01:21 pm
fennec turkey
18 November 2017 @ 08:25 pm
Hey critters and crew. I just wanted to check in since it had been awhile, and with a hope that you're all keeping warm as seasonal temperatures continue to fall with winter approaching.

I had seen a tweet go by as a warning to those attending MFF this year, that there is a particularly nasty form of walking pneumonia in and around Chicago. It might be a good time now to take measures to boost your immune system with whatever you normally do. It's never too late to get a flu shot too. Renee and I have ours. It's usually free if you work it right with your insurance, and/or in-store offers from places like Target or CVS. Just wanted to mention that.

Looking at the state of our Union, we're all hoping that every single safeguard put into place to protect the liberties of LGBT people by the Obama administration isn't going to be completely undone by the current mess. I've been thinking about how safe everything felt just 18 or so months ago, and the fear is that reversal of the advances we've been enjoying are going to force many back into the closet just to keep jobs or to keep from being harassed or worse, from neighbors or random people. But the progressive candidates who were recently elected shows that not all ground will be lost as there has been a new and strengthening fight against trumpism around the country. I think about many of you and I wonder how you're doing. I know a lot of times the best defense is in just going about your lives and not giving the darkness space in your life, having faith in that long arc of justice described by MLK.

I hope you all have a safe and fun-filled holiday season. Check in and let us know how you're doing.
27 October 2017 @ 12:03 pm

I think we all could use a song like this once in a while.
Current Mood: calmcalm
14 October 2017 @ 11:02 am
So yeah, trumpeta attended and apparently us LGBT+ peoples aren't shit to him and his basket of deplorables. This country used to be cool because it was becoming more inclusive. Now it's cool to be a fuckin' asshole to your fellow man and hide behind "religion". I'm sick and tired of the bullshit, and I bet all of you are as well.

He recently eliminated the subsidies for ACA insurers - like a savage, I might add. That'll leave lots of people at a disadvantage. Not to mention that's gonna destablize the healthcare infrastructure moreso than it already was. Possibly to the point of collapse, but I digress as that's another topic entirely.

What more can he do to make everyone's life (the ones not in his little basket, of course) shit? Just wait until next week I guess. It seems that every week he pulls some crap that manages to rent the collective sanity of this country more and more. This tyrant is after our asses. What the hell are we gonna do about it?

Remember ACT UP's famous chant? "Silence equals death!" So what is there to do? I've heard as recently as when I was 17, a little while ago, haha. That claims were made that we LGBT+ people only made up 1-2% of the population, but I think that's ridiculous, we're everywhere! Let's add in our allies, suddenly we have even more people on our side.

More Americans now more support same-sex marriage, and SCOTUS made that a grand reality. Will that change with the new justice what's-his-face? Perhaps. We can't let ourselves be treated like second-class citizens. We have to do something productive and positive. We can't let trumpeta and his cronies take away our humanity piece-by-piece.

And please don't attack me over this. I'm just some guy who just doesn't want to be shoved back into the closet. Closets are for clothes, not people.
05 October 2017 @ 02:08 pm

"Prayer For Danny is a touching song about a young man abandoned by his family and friends. It's just a prayer that he'll hang onto his best friend despite the adversity. Many thanks to Chris & Lance"

Inspired by the coming-of-age story of Daniel - the main character of Associated Student Bodies - this song is by Hali, from 2001. Downloaded from a snapshot of FMF (12/10/2008) via archive.org.
Current Mood: contentcontent
04 October 2017 @ 10:25 am
I doubt many of you remember, but I made a post here a few months ago. It just so happens that I had deleted it. And I got some indirect grief because of it. Which was deserved, because this community needs things preserved for posterity's sake. I am sorry for that. I would like to make it known - in that time - I was going through a lot.

Upon being denied graduation from my college in October 2016 - which is still getting sorted out - I sank into a depression. The depression got worse in January, it was cold, the sun shone only little then. In February I thought I met the man of my dreams. But depression conspired against me and drove him away from me. It got even worse. By April the days all blended together in a blur and I can't recall anything from that month.

It was as if I wasn't even there.

I even left RainbowArk after I'd done that little post, then deleted it. I couldn't handle anyone being mad at me then, it just compounded my feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness.

I managed to make a turn around in May, and I kept making an effort to steer my life in a positive direction because I'd had enough. I wanted to crawl out of the hole. And day-by-day it was a battle. There were days where a step forward was met with two steps back. I managed to keep up to today where I'm feeling better than ever - this very month when that huge depressive episode had started.

That's why I'm back here, I'm well again.
A little tidbit that might make LiveJournal a whole helluva lot more attractive considering their lack of a RL name mandate...

WASHINGTON - Federal officials are planning to collect social media information on all immigrants, including permanent residents and naturalized citizens, a move that has alarmed lawyers and privacy groups worried about how the information will be used.

The Department of Homeland Security published the new rule in the Federal Register last week, saying it wants to include "social media handles, aliases, associated identifiable information, and search results" as part of people's immigration file. The new requirement takes effect Oct. 18.
19 September 2017 @ 09:15 pm
It's my favorite season, and an excuse to sport my earth tone-loving raccoony avatar. I hope all the Arkers both near and far are doing well.

I'm sorry I haven't had much to share lately. I've mostly been keeping up with the state of our nation and the ongoing Trump/Russia investigation. On Twitter It's hard to sift through and find what is actual news, and it's even harder sometimes to not end up in the sunken place — I give myself breaks, and anyone following the Rainbow_Ark timeline will notice there are gentle, even sometimes silly reminders there is still beauty in this world.

Renee and I just got our tickets today to attend Fur-B-Que on October 7th. My good furry friend Par Ailurus I've been staying with twice each week will also be there. I'd love to meet others of you too; it's just outside Frederick, Maryland. Renee and I were there last year with some dear Twitter friends. It's a very low-stress furmeet with lots of food and plenty of time for having good conversations or to take part in all types of impromptu activities if you want.

We're obviously keeping the ol' LJ here with open membership for now as long as it maintains a 3-digit community rating. The other two communities we were keeping an eye on, both of which began in July have kind of fizzled. I was hoping they would build up some momentum and find their niche. It's probably not their fault as much as it is this platform. Makes for kind of an intimate gathering though which isn't necessarily a bad thing I guess.

It feels like everything in the LGBT support realm is in a strange phase at the moment. Back in the early 2000s we as individuals were blazing trails and finding balance for our lives. By 2010, we were stronger, more self-assured and helping the younger ones coming along. Now, with everything in this nearly-dystopian administration, it seems we have to revisit many of the issues we thought were long settled. There are so many uncertainties with very little historical precedence. Individual anxiety is on the rise. I've gained probably 20 pounds just since November and I was already heavy. I'm not sleeping well, not as soundly as I used to. Many are needing therapy, or to get prescriptions to help them cope. Some are turning to alcohol. It used to feel safe to walk down the street holding hands, and now it doesn't in many areas. It's hard to know who's your friend. People are getting shot at and killed for trivial stupid things.

What we had here was good, like an oasis. We could talk and share with each other. I really wish the powers that be at LJ could have kept things together a little while longer than they did, but there are still a few of us. I'd just like others to know I'm here for you if you need someone to listen. There are times I definitely need that myself.

Hope you're having a good week wherever you are. Check in now and then just to let us know how you're doing, okay?
12 August 2017 @ 04:30 am
If you'd like a small diversion from the world blowing up, I have just the solution...


Renee has started in with her blog posts again, in earnest, with two updates each month. Subscribe, or just check in at the link above every 10th and 25th.

It's all about how "Buster & Babs Go Hawaiian" was made into a Tiny Toon Adventures episode. Good stuff!
03 August 2017 @ 08:04 am
I was just coming to terms with the loss of June Foray last week, then I'd just learned this morning that Rapid T Rabbit has died.

Who is going to fill the void these people leave behind? :(

28 July 2017 @ 09:20 pm
...they want to fit in with fun fuzzy friends, study finds


Go on, admit it.

If you’ve ever given a second thought to furries – largely known to the public as people who dress up in giant animal costumes – you might have thought of them as freaks or wondered whether their costumes are some kind of kinky, freaky, fetish thing.

Perhaps the media put those thoughts in your head.

But after spending more than a decade studying the furry subculture, an international team of social scientists has concluded furries are not so different from the rest of us.

Researchers found that members of this “geeky, nerdy subculture” aren’t simply indulging in fantasy. They’re forging lifelong friendships and building a social support system in a community where they are not judged for having an unconventional interest, researchers found.

Furries are passionate, like sports fans, but with get-ups a lot more elaborate than jerseys and face paint. They find one another primarily online through furry forums or message groups where they talk and exchange information like other fan groups do.

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The link.