Saturday, June 27, 2015

Marriage Equality for the USA

Ah, yes! The sweet sound of diversity being embraced in the world's oldest democracy: America.

As a gay man, I am finally happy to say that I can marry the individual of my dreams without worrying about being judged unworthy by my government. I kept a list of the states that legalized marriage equality, but I have since torn it up, because it is now moot. Each state is legally bound to accept the marriage of a man to a woman, a man to a man, and a woman to a woman.

What does it mean to me?

A few weeks ago, I watched my brother marry the girl of his dreams in a full wedding that was sanctioned by the government of our state. I was teary eyed for multiple reasons. I never thought I could have the same experience in my home state. Instead, I envisioned a ceremony in a state or country I never had called home. Ironically, and true to form, my brother's marriage wasn't a religious ceremony. It had those tones, but it was civil in nature. They exchanged vows and rings, kissed, held hands, and faced the audience for the first time as husband and wife. There were no gold or rugged crosses or prayers for blessing. It was my their style.

What does it mean to religious individuals?

Nothing. I once heard an individual state that their church would have to change its by-laws to preclude same-sex marriages from being performed. Well, goodness gracious. The religious people get their panties in a wad about the whole affair when it doesn't apply to them. I wouldn't want to get married in their stuffy, hating church in the first place. They place too much premium on "outsiders" wanting what they have. If I want, I'll create my own church and call it the First Church of Same-Sex Love and we'll put in its by-laws that mixed-sex marriages may not be performed. And the person I was eavesdropping on is correct. There is nothing about marriage equality that demands or requires anyone to change their viewpoint of the issue. It is a First Amendment liberty! In short, no one is requiring all the heteros to become homos. Jeez! We don't want you at our party drinking our booze, anyhow.

What does it mean to the hypocrite?

The endless lectures on Facebook and in-person about the Biblical morality of it all. Come on, your argument holds no water. I don't care what Leviticus says. Basically, you may as well pull out Hans Christian Andersen and quote from his works. That's the same level of credence I give your religious arguments. Ironically, many of these sanctity of marriage arguments are being extolled by individuals who have been divorced! In fact, I may have lost a "friend" who argued for marriage's sanctity, considering I couldn't consolidate his argument with the fact that he had divorced his second wife. Where does God fit into that argument? No one wants to talk about that. Instead, he wanted to point out the principles of Christianity that he believed upheld his personal viewpoints. I'm sure he wouldn't have been as comfortable receiving a lecture on divorce and fornication. (Gosh, I may have to ask for an amen on that!)

Finally, I will fly my flag a little higher today with pride and acceptance of all who walk beneath it. It won't be a rainbow flag or Confederate flag. It will be the flag of the United States of America. It will represent the country that underscored the value of human dignity and ratified our nation through the words scrawled by James Madison, "We, the People..."

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Our First Canadian President, eh?

In February, 2014, I published my thoughts on Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) running for president.

It would seem that Senator Cruz is going to announce his candidacy for the nation's highest office in the near future, despite constitutional reservations about his ability to serve.

Unlike Barack Obama, Cruz has a Canadian birth certificate. His father was a Castro-sympathizing Cuban, while his mother is his only birth connection to the United States, since she was born in Delaware.

How can Republicans not criticize Cruz legitimately for the very thing they illegitimately criticized Obama for in 2008 and 2012? Will Donald Trump parade Cruz's Canadian birth certificate for the whole world to see? Will Cruz publish his birth certificate? Will he acknowledge his Canadian roots at all?

I have reservations about people who claim they are natural born Americans, when in fact they were born on foreign shores. That applies to John McCain (R-AZ), despite the fact his father was on active military service which led to his birth in Panama. Let me go a step further, would I have berated the issue if Barack Obama had been born in Hawaii prior to 1959? The answer is an astounding yes! Considering, Hawaii was not a state until 1959. (Obama was born in 1961.)

With that said, Obama's father was born in Kenya, while his mother was born in Kansas. (If we want to draw parallels to Cruz and Obama's American pedigrees.)

Article II, Section 1, of the United States Constitution very clearly states: "No Person except a natural born Citizen...shall be eligible to the Office of President." While it may seem ludicrous to have this conversation in the 21st century, it was an important principle for the individual holding the highest political office in the land to have no allegiance by birth, or claim thereby, to another sovereign nation.

It will fall to the United States Supreme Court to decide if that portion of the Constitution allows for naturalized citizens as well. Of course, there's the constitutional amendment option, but I doubt that will happen before 2016 (or ever).

Monday, January 19, 2015

Mirvaso, Onreltea Follow-Up

After a bad experience with Mirvaso (Onreltea in Canada) on my face, I recently discovered another use for it. I have eczema, which shows up on my hands often as itchy, red spots. I have had persistent spots on two knuckles on my left hand. I had used prescription strength topical steroids with no success. I thought about redness and what Mirvaso was supposed to be able to control. I decided to apply a small dab of brimonidine to each of my persistent eczema spots. I am happy to report that it remedied the redness!

One spot is completely gone and the other one is fading fast. I'm sure this is an off-label use of this medication, but that's what we do by nature: experiment. I wonder what the implications of its use might be on scars, etc.?

Galderma, if you use this idea, I expect complete compensation.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

"The Interview" Conspiracy Theory

Am I the only person who thinks that Sony "hacked" itself?

How can you take an otherwise bland comedy about a reclusive third-world country and turn it into an international "I've-gotta-see-it" sensation? I think the facts speak for themselves.

1. Does North Korea really have the infrastructure to launch a hack?
2. How else can you get the President of the United States to endorse a movie?
3. How can you get the FBI to finger the object of the movie?
4. Can you get the theaters where it was to be debuted on Christmas Day to pull it from their screens?
5. Rehash the movie in the media over-and-over again, by playing the blame game.
6. Decide to release the movie AGAIN in theaters, but, also, let's add an online release, through Google's YouTube and Apple's iTunes.

As I write this blog, I am on the verge of watching the movie online. Would I have watched the movie in theaters, otherwise?

Lord, no! I just don't watch movies in theaters. But I'm sort of interested in seeing what this movie is about, but not so much as I'd grace the doors of a who's-that-getting-a-blowjob-down-front, sticky, icky movie house.

Perhaps, Sony is testing the waters of the "at-home" audience for future reference.

I may be wrong, but I smell an international I Love Lucy-worthy publicity stunt! (That may just be working on me.)

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Mirvaso Topical Gel, Part 4

Last week, was the "healing week." On Monday, I experienced another embarrassing flare-up on my cheeks, but it was short lived, compared to the previous episode of flushing. Monday was my last visit from the complete face redness.

Last week, I did notice that my face is very dry. My skin is sensitive and I have been using products to correct that issue. As of this posting, my face feels rather normal compared to where I was at last week. Before, I had pain, then stinging, and now all of that has subsided. I think once the dryness is alleviated, then my red-face will be done. I'll see where I am at in the coming weeks.

I have done research online and noticed there are few resources about Mirvaso and Onreltea. I did see the big, red banana in a Mirvaso commercial posted on YouTube. Yes, that was my face after using Mirvaso! Geez!

I would be interested in receiving comments from other people who have used it and are experiencing positive results from its application. I want to use it and have the beneficial results remain. I am tempted to try it again over my Christmas holiday break, but I am not so sure. Perhaps, if I used moisturizers with it to abet the dry skin. Also, I wonder if using a single pea-size on my face would alleviate the extreme reaction?

It's under consideration! Until then, enjoy the red banana. Ha! Ha! It looks wrong!

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Mirvaso Topical Gel, Part 3

Okay, today has been extremely better! My skin didn't have a major meltdown today. The only redness I have noticed is in the last hour. It is on my right cheek next to my nose. Instead of heat, it is mildly warm and it has a tingly sensation, which is new.

I was thinking last night, after my last post, that it is interesting that my forehead and chin never displayed the same symptoms of the skin on my nose and cheeks. Both forehead and chin received a pea-sized application of Mirvaso. When I was having my 10 hour reaction, those parts of my face returned to their regular skin tone and color. It's too bad that my cheeks and nose didn't follow suit; otherwise, I could have continued on the Mirvaso treatment.

Hopefully, tomorrow I will be asymptomatic!

Friday, December 05, 2014

Mirvaso Topical Gel, Part 2

It has now been 3 days since I last applied Mirvaso to my skin. As I outlined in my previous blog, my dermatologist prescribed Mirvaso for rosacea. Unfortunately, for my skin, it did the exact opposite. It works well when applied, but after about 10 hours it loses its effectiveness. At that point, I say hello to the redness.

Today, you would think, would be a normal day. It was not. Today was a bad day for my skin. After my lunch, my face began its transition from its everyday appearance into its new red version. It started with my nose. I didn't realize it was happening at the time. Someone commented that my nose looked really red! I looked in the mirror and I could have been Rudolph's twin nosed brother. It was glowing, and yes, I mean glowing! My nose has never done that before. Then, if that wasn't bad enough, it began to spread to my cheeks. My nose turned to its normal color as my cheeks lit up. By the end of the work day, I was no longer Rudolph, but Bashful, from the Seven Dwarfs. (To tell you the truth, I think I had bashful beat, because my cheeks were rocking a full flush.)

Yes, people laughed at me. I heard comments like "Are you feeling bad?" "Do you have a fever?" "Ohmygosh, what is wrong with you?!" I was almost tempted to put the gel on my face to get the redness gone, but I resisted the temptation, and accepted the unsolicited ridicule that it brought.

So, it wasn't awkward at all. Thanks, Mirvaso.

As I write this entry, My nose is red, my jaw-line on the right side of my face is scarlet, but the middle of my cheek is pale white. It would make the birthmark on Mikhail Gorbachev's head jealous. If someone saw me right now, they would think I am a burn victim. My left cheek is its normal color at this time. It's cool to the touch, and the right is burning up. Is that normal?

I am thankful that it is the weekend. It is my sincerest hope that it will subside shortly. I don't know why the effects of this medication are lasting so long. I would have thought it would wear off by now. My body is on overdrive, it would seem. I'm not sure if this is an allergic reaction or just a symptom of withdrawal. I was just on the stuff for about a week! It's a topical gel, not cocaine. I think the FDA has a website for reporting adverse drug reactions. I may go there, because people need to know this stuff isn't benign. I'm sure many people use it without a reaction, but I'm in the minority (as usual).

As for pictures, I will probably take some for my dermatologist so she can have a reference for what I am currently going through. If it isn't better by Monday, I will have to call or go back to the dermatologist's office, because I can't function in this condition.

I think Galderma markets this drug as Onreltea in Canada.