Month: April 2014

A Historic Chapter Closes…


A few hours ago, I learned that Giovanni’s Room, the only remaining LGBT bookstore in the United States, is closing its doors.

To say that I AM not thrilled is a gross understatement.  By the way, I no longer wonder why I have high blood pressure, but I digress.

I have decided to make it easy for everyone and transcribe the broadcast Email that Mr. Ed Hermance, the owner of Giovanni’s Room, sent out a few hours ago.

 

I regret to announce that our beautiful store is closing before the end of May.

Among Philadelphia’s earliest LGBT institutions, Giovanni’s Room has served many thousands of people not only in this region but across the nation and around the world.  Many of those people have expressed support for the store this past year, after the announcement that the store was for sale.

A number of people were interested in taking over the operation, though they knew the store has not made a profit in a number of years.  In the end, though, I did not think that any of the offers were realistic.

It has been a wonderful life for me.  It has been wonderful to work for people who love this store so much.  I want to thank the hundreds of people who have worked in the store, both the salaried and the volunteers.  Above all, I’d like to thank Skip Strickler, the dean of the staff, and Richard Smith, the dean of the volunteers.  Each has worked in the store for more than thirty-five years.

I thank the thousands of customers, who have been our reason for being.  I know we have helped a huge number of people in untold ways.  and they have successfully helped the store when it was threatened.

The prospective closing date is Saturday, May 17, 2014.  Everything in the store will be on sale at 25% off beginning Wednesday, April 30, 11:30 am–except for the books by the many authors who will be reading in the store before May 17.

Media are invited to a press conference on Tuesday, April 29, 7PM.

Thanks for your consideration,

Ed Hermance

giovannis_room@verizon.net

http://www.queerbooks.com

 

I AM too much of a bibliophile to be OK with this change, and this store’s closing.

And yes, I know, change is good and all that rot!

Nonetheless, lately I have been experiencing a mountain of Thankfulness.  And I AM most thankful that I have had so many previous opportunities to go to Giovanni’s Room in the past, and I AM most thankful to be open and receptive to new opportunities to go back to Giovanni’s Room before Saturday, May 17, 2014.

If you have never been to Giovanni’s Room (located at 345 South 12th Street [at the corner of South 12th and Pine Streets in Center City, Philadelphia], Philadelphia, PA  19107), then you have exactly two weeks and three days to make that happen, as of Wednesday, April 30, 2014.

In the meantime, thank you, Ed Hermance, for honoring who we are and what we do.

giovannisroom

 

When Life Happens…


Lesbians, my fellow Gay Men, Bisexuals, Transgendered folks, and our straight allies: I wish to apologize for not having written a blog post on “This Gay Man’s Life…” in too long a time.

Frankly, life got in the way.  Specifically, some physical health issues got in the way.

Briefly, for roughly two weeks, I had difficulty breathing.  It was severe to the point that I could no longer lay down to sleep; if I wanted to sleep, I would need to sit in the big, easy chair in my living room.

And so, I went to the emergency room of one of the best hospitals in my area this past Monday, April 21; while there, I was given several antibiotics, Lasix, an incredibly powerful diuretic (especially for me, as it makes me pee like a race horse!), nebulizer treatments for my lungs, plenty of rest and plenty of great care and great food, too.  I was released this past Thursday, April 24, 2014.

Currently, I AM on a sodium-reduced and fluid-restricted diet.  Essentially, I cannot consume more than 600 milligrams of sodium per meal, and cannot exceed 2400 milligrams of sodium per day.  As for fluids, be it water, juice, coffee, or tea, I cannot exceed 32 fluid ounces, or no more than four cups of fluid per day.

Both of these guidelines are a bit challenging; I love eating out, and I love drinking coffee and tea (hot, as well as iced).  Although I have never been one to drink eight to ten glasses of water a day, when I make my Cosmic Coffee in my French press coffee pot, I usually drink the whole pot.

Now, before you think I never sleep, years ago I trained my Mind to refrain from believing that song and dance about “Oh, that’ll keep me up all night.”  Alas, I programmed my Mind a little too well, because when I drink coffee or my beloved cafe con leche, I begin to yawn.

I feel that, eventually, I shall feel more comfortable eating out again, but for now, I think it is safer for me to refrain from eating out (or drinking out, as the case may be).  While in the hospital, this time around, I was given a lot of information on which foods contain especially high levels of sodium, however, I have been aware for some time that most restaurants add salt, even if one requests that no salt be added to one’s food.

A plus about this is that I shall save a lot of money, money that I would normally spend purchasing a pastry here, or a bottle of water there.  It is a good way to look at this situation, and one that is not only positive, but empowering, too.

As a Gay Man, a Latin American man, a Witch, etc., I truly feel that it would be very easy for me to play the victim, and I can honestly say that I played the victim in my life quite well, to have garnered a few Academy Awards.

However, playing the victim does not help me, or anyone else, for that matter.

Yes, I AM taking it easy.  Yes, I AM Mindful of my body, what it can do and not do, right now.  Yes, I AM watching what I eat, using my measuring cups to measure my portions.  And yes, I AM being compliant with my medications, taking my multi-vitamin supplement and getting plenty of rest.

Nonetheless, I refuse to be an invalid.  I have had no problem asking friends and loved ones for assistance, be it grocery shopping, errand running, Prayers, etc.

If I can do something myself, or rather, by myself, I shall do it.  Frankly, I AM looking forward to doing laundry, next week, because when I do so, I shall be laundering my clothes without feeling as though wearing an ever-decreasing corset!

Ladies and gentlemen, please BREATHE!  As I say to my fellow Bears, “Say NO to manscaping!”  And as I have begun to say to others now, “Say YES to breathing!”

Interestingly enough, I was surprised how many doctors asked me if I smoked (by the way, the answer to that question is “no;” and I have nothing against smokers, but in my home, the only smoke is incense smoke!); asthma (also no; in fact, I had never used an inhaler, until Monday, April 14, 2014, and when I read the accompanying instructions, I discovered I was not using it correctly); emphysema (which I do not clearly know that it is, but I have a good idea, and no desire, at this time, to look it up).

In short, yes, I feel better.  The fact that I can lay down to sleep in my own bed without feeling as though gasping for air, tells me I AM feeling much better.  The fact that I can stand up, as well as sit down with no pain or discomfort, tells me most certainly I AM feeling MUCH better.

I have been comfortable using and working with traditional medicine, but I have always been comfortable using what some call “alternative” medicine.  In fact, earlier today, I had a combination of Acupuncture, Reiki, and Reflexology Bodywork.  And, just like my previous treatments combining all three Modalities, I feel wonderful.

Tomorrow, Sunday, April 27, 2014, I shall engage in an “Unplugged/Off-the-Internet” day.  On my main blog, “This Is Who I AM” (http://thetarotman.wordpress.com), I have written several posts about Sacred Solitude.  I feel that it is essential, especially for anyone on a high Spiritual Path.

It is also an excellent practice for anyone who needs a break from the world, from Facebook (and Goddess Knows, a lot of you need a major break from that!), anyone who needs to recharge his or her Spiritual Batteries, and reconnect with his or her Inner Self.

Before I close, I wish to acknowledge my newest blog followers.  They are: “Charlotte Cuevas,” and “…a Beehive here Inside My Heart.”  Both of them also follow my main blog, “This Is Who I AM.”

May both of you receive great Insight, great Wisdom and great PRIDE from following “This Gay Man’s Life…”

A GREAT way to make me happy is to follow both my blogs and read the posts and submit comments on them.  And keeping me happy means keeping me healthy.  I’m just saying.

And for those of you already following and reading this blog, thank you, as always, for honoring who you are and what you do.wellness-wheel1

Red, a la NaPoWriMo…


As you may recall, April is National Poetry Writing Month (or, NaPoWriMo, for short).

Also, recently I wrote a post entitled “Upcoming Posts, Part I…” which you can read by visiting https://thisgaymanslife.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/upcoming-posts-part-i/ and it was during this particular post that I stated that I was Divinely Guided to explore the symbolism of all the colors of the Rainbow Flag.

However, in honor of NaPoWriMo, I AM going to express the symbolism of Red in a poem.

Here we go…

 

RED.

by Robert Alvarez, the Psychic Witch.

 

Life,

Fire of Life, Blood of Life

Living, breathing, conceiving, beginning,

Gestating, Birthing, Siring

Ruby Red Root Chakra

Lust and Passion

Will and Strength

Aries Red, Mars Red

Ram it home, or seek and conquer

What motivates you to get out of bed?

What moves you to protect, to destroy?

Fire in the blood.

Fire in the hole!

Which battles are most important to you?  Why are they important?

Garnet Merlot or Tomato Juice?

Either way, here’s to your health.

Slainte, Salud, and

I salute you, sir, (or ma’am, master, madam, Miss, or Ms. or Mrs.).

Let your Fire consume you, purify you, restore you, to

Life.

 

Thank you for honoring who you are and what you do.

Red 1.0.  Thank you, Bing!
Red 1.0. Thank you, Bing.com!

Not all Russians are created equal…


Perhaps I AM a tad late to the party, but I recently had the opportunity to begin going through older, as well as old Emails.

In doing so, I found this in a message from one of the YahooGroups of which I AM a member.

Now, let me begin by saying that this is a video of a Russian anchor woman’s reaction to the death of Fred Phelps.

I consider myself a nice man, but I also know myself to be very honest.

Am I sad that a homophobic, bigoted man who used religion to hurt others is dead?  No.  Am I glad that he is receiving a very distinct tongue-lashing from a very pissed off Goddess?  Hell, no!

And so, with that, I include the link.  Here it is:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uRmbrCsrffc

 

Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexuals, Transgendered people, those that are Questioning (and Queer) and our straight allies, please let me reassure you that I AM NOT one to make fun of anyone’s death, for any reason.

However, I AM very well-acquainted with the concept and the reality that “Laughter is the best medicine.”  And this Russian anchor woman’s health looks like it shall remain strong for a long time after this video!

Before I close, I wish to acknowledge my newest blog followers.  They are: “Nate Ollie” and “ColombianCuties.”  May both of you receive great Healing and great PRIDE from following “This Gay Man’s Life…”

And for those of you already following or reading my blog, thank you for honoring who you are and what you do.  May today be filled with Divine Love, Divine Light, Divine Prosperity, Divine Peace and Divine Healing for you and your tribes.Phelps

A Return to Internet Radio…


Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexuals, Transgendered folks, and our straight supporters, I wish all of you a Happy Sunday and Day of the Sun!

These last two days I was “off the grid;” no cell phone, no Internet, no contact with the outside world, and I feel wonderful!

On my main blog, “This Is Who I AM” (http://thetarotman.wordpress.com), I have often blogged about the amazing benefits one can receive from engaging in Sacred Solitude, but I shall not do that here.  Today, anyway.

However, I shall announce that tomorrow, Monday, April 7, 2014, 7PM, EDT, I shall be back on “The Tarot Talk Show.”  You can visit http://www.thetarottalk.com for more info.

The show is co-hosted by Rebecca Brown and Tim Martin, also known as “Tarot Tim.”  I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Rebecca and her Soul Sister in August, 2013, in one of my favorite places on the Planet: New Hope, Pennsylvania.

My very first appearance on “The Tarot Talk Show” was on Sunday, September 22, 2014, 3-4PM.  This time around, “The Tarot Talk Show” shall be broadcast in conjunction with the Para Encounters Network (http://www.paraencountersnetwork.com), also known as PEN.

Also, this shall be the first time I use Skype in connection to my Psychic Practice, so it is also a bit daunting.  Now, do not get me wrong, I AM quite Internet savvy, but there are some things that are still quite new to me.  Although I have used Skype more in the last two months than in the two years I have had it, and that is a good thing.

So, if you wish to have Rebecca Brown, “Tarot Tim,” or yours truly, to answer a question on your behalf with the Sacred Tarot, then feel free to call in, chat in, Email in, tomorrow, Monday, April 7, 2014, 7PM, EDT.  And for those of you who shall be unable to listen live, then you should be able to listen to the archived show in a day or so.

Before I close, I wish to acknowledge my newest blog followers to “This Gay Man’s Life…”  They are “Shawn L. Bird,” (who is also following “This Is Who I AM.”  YAY!), “thetruthyoualwaysknew,” and “Nate Ollie.”  May all of you receive great Joy, great Prosperity and great PRIDE from following “This Gay Man’s Life…”

And let me quickly give a shout-out to my followers on Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn, Stumble Upon, Pinterest, Path, Tumblr, and Facebook.

And to all of you who are already following and reading “This Gay Man’s Life…” thank you for honoring who you are and what you do.   and what you do.

And now, back to National Poetry Writing Month, or NaPoWriMo, for short.RobertbannerRobertbanner2

A cross-connection…


In my life, and especially after coming out of the closet, I have had the opportunity to meet various openly Gay Male published authors.

And two of my many favorites are THE Trebor Healey and Tom Cardamone.

In fact, I had the honor and pleasure of attending a book reading that co-starred both of them one year ago, this month.

I originally published this on my primary blog, “This Is Who I AM” and felt it was time to reintroduce it here.

And so, I invite you to read “Tom and Trebor: Rimming, a Horse and a Faun by visiting http://thetarotman.wordpress.com/2013/04/13/tom-and-trebor-rimming-a-horse-and-a-faun/

And before I close, I wish to acknowledge my newest blog follower, “Shawn L. Bird,” who is also following “This Is Who I AM!”  YAY!  I only have a few people who follow both of my blogs, but may the Goddess and Her Angels Triple Bless those who follow both of my blogs!

And for those of you already following and reading “This Gay Man’s Life…” (and/or “This Is Who I AM”), thank you for honoring who you are, what you do, and what you give, to yourselves and to others.

And now, I shall spend the next two days firmly and blissfully engaged in Sacred Solitude; no telephone, no Internet, no contact with the outside world, and I cannot wait!!!

It may seem strange to some of you, but I cannot begin to tell you how much this recharges my Energetic batteries, in a way that nothing else I do does.

Nonetheless, I shall continue to create in honor of National Poetry Writing Month, or “NaPoWriMo,” for short, and wish all of you a wondrous weekend.

And yes, he IS more gorgeous in person!
And yes, Trebor Healey IS more gorgeous in person!
And yes, Tom Cardamone is more upbeat in person!
And yes, Tom Cardamone is more upbeat in person!

“Two Loves,” for NaPoWriMo, Day 2


Today is Day 2 of National Poetry Writing Month (or, NaPoWriMo, for short).

However, between two blogs (this one and http://thetarotman.wordpress.com), a busy Psychic Practice and a wonderful professional endeavor, on the side, not to mention sleeping and eating (you know, those trivial things!), and the occasional attendance of a cultural event, the thought of writing a post a day, twice a day, for thirty days, seemed a bit daunting.

So, I AM going to “cheat” a little bit.

It is my honor and pleasure to transcribe a poem entitled Two Loves, by Lord Alfred Douglas, who was friend and lover to Oscar Wilde.  It was originally published in 1894, and was well-used in the trials against our great Gay Ancestor, Oscar Wilde, the following year.

And here we go…

 

Two Loves

by Lord Alfred Douglas

 

I dreamed I stood upon a little hill,

And at my feet there lay a ground, that seemed

Like a waste garden, flowering at its will

With buds and blossoms.  There were pools that dreamed

Black and unruffled; there were white lilies

A few, and crocuses, and violets

Purple or pale, snake-like fritillaries

Scarce seen for the rank grass, and through green nets

Blue eyes of shy peryenche winked in the sun

And there were curious flowers, before unknown,

Flowers that were stained with moonlight, or with shades

Of Nature’s wilful moods; and here a one

That had drunk in the transitory tone

Of one brief moment in a sunset; blades

Of grass that in an hundred springs had been

Slowly but exquisitely nurtured by the stars,

And watered with the scented dew long cupped

In lilies, that for rays of sun had seen

Only God’s glory, for never a sunrise mars

The luminous air of Heaven.  Beyond, abrupt,

A grey stone wall, o’ergrown with velvet moss

Uprose; and gazing I stood long, all mazed

To see a place so strange, so sweet, so fair.

And as I stood and marvelled, lo!  across

The garden came a youth, one hand he raised

To shield him from the sun, his wind-tossed hair

Was twined with flowers, and in his hand he bore

A purple bunch of bursting grapes, his eyes

Were clear as crystal, naked all was he,

White as snow on pathless mountains frore,

Red were his lips as red wine-spilith that dyes

A marble floor, his brow chalcedony.

And he came near me, with his lips uncurled

And kind, and caught my hand and kissed my mouth,

And gave me grapes to eat, and said, ‘Sweet friend,

Come I will show thee shadows of the world

And images of life.  See from the South

Comes the pale pageant that hath never an end.’

And lo!  within the garden of my dream

I saw two walking on a shining plain

Of golden light.  The one did joyous seem

And fair and blooming, and a sweet refrain

Came from his lips; he sang of pretty maids

And joyous love of comely girl and boy,

His eyes were bright, and ‘mid the dancing blades

Of golden grass his feet did trip for joy;

And in his hand he held and ivory lute

With strings of gold that were as maidens’ hair,

And sang with voice as tuneful as a flute,

And round his neck three chains of roses were.

But he that was his comrade walked aside;

He was full sad and sweet, and his large eyes

Were strange with wondrous brightness, staring wide

With gazing, and he sighed many sighs

That moved me, and his cheeks were wan and white

Like pallid lilies, and his lips were red

Like poppies, and his hands he clenched tight,

And yet again unclenched, and his head

Was wreathed with moon-flowers pale as lips of death.

A purple robe he wore, o’erwrought in gold

With the device of a great snake, whose breath

Was fiery flame: which when I did behold

I fell a-weeping, and I cried, ‘Sweet youth,

Tell me why, sad and sighing, thou dost rove

These pleasant realms?  I pray thee speak me sooth

What is thy name?’ He said, ‘My name is Love.’

Then straight the first did turn himself to me

And cried, ‘He lieth, for his name is Shame,

But I am Love, and I was wont to be

Alone in this fair garden, till he came

Unasked by night, I am true Love, I fill

The hearts of boy and girl with mutual flame.’

Then sighing, said the other, ‘Have thy will,

I am the love that dare not speak its name.’

 

Before I close, I wish to acknowledge my newest blog followers to “This Gay Man’s Life…”  And they are: “pmitsuing,” “gianfrancogrande,” “David Scott Moyer,” and “firenzix.”  Thank you for choosing to follow “This Gay Man’s Life…”  May you receive great Insight, great Wisdom and great Pride from doing so.

And for those of you already following and reading this blog, thank you for honoring who you are and what you do.

Lord Alfred Douglas, also known as "Bosie."
Lord Alfred Douglas, also known as “Bosie.”