Thursday, July 31, 2008

Spinning the Big COP Wheel & More

What can I say! There's often so much more news than I can contain in a daily posting, however, as many of you know, I believe in keeping it fast and furious but always on point. Today's outing is no different and I'm ready to spin the big COP wheel & more...Let's go get em!

Under the Crown: The Annual Miss Gay Arkansas America pageant will be held Aug. 1-3 at the Discovery complex beginning at Midnight with Sunday finals at 9 p.m.. Alexis LaRue MGAA 2007 will relinquish the crown to qualified contestants representing various statewide preliminaries. I've attended this contest previously and the competition is some of the best around. If you've never had a chance to see this spectacle, then check it out. Special Guest will be Miss Gay America 2008, Maikaila Kay and many of the MGA Alumni. For more info click it to their web site: www.

People Helpin People: In lieu of the recent tragic death of James Anderson, partner to Brian Cook aka "Cherity," there will be a fundraising effort August 16, 9 p.m. at DSRA to show our support. According to organizer Diamond Rose, those donating their talents are as follows: Diamond Rose, Mary-Kay Arden, Zia Dior, Dan Scott, Miranda Meridian, Cassaundra Manchester, Lana Reeves, Gigi Galore, Dusty West, Chuck, Diva, Champane, Tion, Charnay,and Marvela. I'm encouraging you to show your support for the cause as well as another chance to catch me in my alter ego persona.

Bears in Undergear: The Bear Underwear gathering is just around the corner, August 9 in Little Rock. the E-blast I got stated that, "everyone is encouraged to get with the theme of the gathering and strip down to your underwear at the door". Clothing bags are provided. All types of underwear are acceptable.. .(brief, boxers, jocks, leather). No dress code will be enforced. If you are not comfortable in just your undies, that's cool, just wear whatever is comfortable for you. Doors open at 9pm and close when the last Bear and Cub leave. This is a private gathering by the Diamond State Bears; all Bears, Cubs, Otters (and those who like them!) are welcome. For more info, go to our website www.diamondstatebea Or contact Michael at I'm not sure If I'll be attending even though I've got some very cute undergear but if you do and want to share the who, what, or why of what you saw, then do so.

Pride in the City: I've gotten no word as yet as to the outcomes of the recent Capital Pride attempt to regroup with board elections, 7/26/08. Nor, was there a response to our challenge concerning a 50/50 participation. If you don't remember, I stated that if 50 people showed their support with a $50.00 cash donation during the meeting, this forum would throw a fundraiser at our expense. In full disclosure, I was out of town and couldn't attend. But so far, I've gotten, "crickets" which translates into "Silence." However, if you missed the meeting or my posting yet still have an interest try contacting: We'll keep you posted.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Humpin Wednesday

It's the last hump day of this July 2008, as the Dog Days of an August summer peek over the horizon. Despite the heat, humdity and discomfort of an another Arkansas weather experience, I'm cooling out in the "big chair" meanwhile keeping you updated on what's really going on here, their and everywhere.

Capacity Building & You: I'm fresh from my recent week long refresher on race relations and diversity issues from the NABWMT, but you don't have to attend a convention in another city in order to get locked in and synergized, becuase there's a FREE opportunity waiting for you this weekend. It's entitled Another Community Conversation between African-Americans/ Latina on Building and Healing Community: Jump starting the Movement For African-Americans and Latina. A free one day workshop in Little Rock, Arkansas Saturday, August 2, 2008 9:30am-5:00pm Main Library 100 Rock Street 2nd Floor, Fribourgh Room (Tenative Schedule)

9:30AM -12PM Introduction Oppression TheoryRacism Definition Classism Oppression of Young People / Internalized Oppression /Healing and a Liberation Movement /African-Americans and Latina/ Panel discussion

1PM-5PM Emancipation of Mental Slavery: Creativity and Liberation / Hopelessness and Fear Leadership:Forming African American and Latino Support Groups

Being Allies for each other:Winning White Allies

To register please call Ari @(512) 757-7003 or

Brother Can you spare a Dime?: In economic times like these, I continue to offer excerpts and interesting items concerning making all my readers adept in "money speak," which impacts our lives on a daily basis. Yes, folks I've heard both directly and indirectly from many of you who are expericing money crunches from either an unexpected crisis, job loss, disability, forecloures and mismanagement. If you are at a breaking point, dont' forget that you may still have options. The following article is another from my new favorite site, Queercents which deals with money issues from a lavender viewpoint. Take a moment to absorb it, then make a move to put in practice.

Multiple Streams of Coins

In the twentieth century, people were raised to get a job with a good company and they were encouraged to work their way up the company ladder. Staying with one company showed a person’s loyalty and commitment in exchange for job security and benefits.
The twenty-first century has shown a different lifestyle than the century before it. Rarely do employees stay at the same corporation for extended periods of time and for several reasons: people get a five-year itch to change careers; or corporations get bought (or downsize) and employees get leave packages; or corporations just go bankrupt while stealing the employees’ hard earned savings (e.g., Enron in America).
With the onset of the Information Age—quick access to Internet data—people have had their time freed up, enabling them to work at home instead of at the office. This type of mobility and freedom has allowed—and motivated—people to seek secondary or multiple streams of income while simultaneously managing their day-to-day job.
For myself, I have several avenues to receiving money—book promoting, self-help workshops, and counseling—all of which represent what I love to do: advocating a healthy lifestyle. I feel very excited when the Universe validates my passion (of helping others be healthy) via checks that financially support me and WHAT I LOVE TO DO. This excitement is very rewarding as I get to experience self-satisfaction and self-empowerment.
While it may or may not take a while to set the foundation for your multiple streams of income, receiving money for what you enjoy doing is worth the wait. I hope by this point in my series you have at least given some thought to developing your own skill and talent by plugging your money into the upper chakras as previously discussed so as to financially polish your unique gift(s). Polishing your unique gift and getting it ready to market to the world puts abundance in your own hands. Trust me, there is a certain air of self-empowerment and self-satisfaction that comes with believing in yourself and in your talent and realizing it in the outer world. YOU NEED TO BELIEVE THAT YOU CAN MAKE YOUR DREAMS HAPPEN. YOU NEED TO TRUST THAT YOU WILL BE FINANCIALLY SUPPORTED WHILE YOU REALIZE YOUR DREAMS.
My goal for you is that you become self-sufficient in terms of generating your own streams of money. If you haven’t already, I want you to take time to now focus on your vocation or life purpose. I want you to define your true calling in regards to work.
WHAT IS YOUR VOCATION?Close your eyes. Sit still. Wait. Allow the answer to surface in your awareness. Give yourself permission to hear this inner calling as it arises from deep within your subconsciousness. The answer is certainly within you. It just needs to be heard by you. Whatever answer arises, don’t judge it. Listen to it. Feel it. . . . What is the answer?
After you have some idea as to your unique talent, I want you to take that special calling—whatever that is to you—and apply it to the following self-help exercise so that you can see how you can generate multiple streams of income from that particular vocation. This exercise is crucial for you to see the broader picture of your dream and where your dream can lead you.
Self-Help Exercise: Brainstorming Career Spin Offs
I want you to now take time to brainstorm multiple spin offs from your vocation. Isolate at least four avenues (spin offs) for multiple streams of income. See the example above (click on image to expand) that uses cooking as a person’s vocation/career choice.
After you’ve discovered your talent—your vocation—and ways to generate multiple streams of income from it, you need to “just do it.” YOU CAN DO IT! BELIEVE IN YOUR POWER.

Key Points to Remember From This Series
Four major points from this series are presented below.
1. Your deep seeded subconscious thoughts either block or create money abundance. When they act as a barrier to the accumulation of great wealth, you are likely a carrier of victim consciousness and need to heal your inner child’s faulty beliefs. All faulty beliefs, whether they are directly related to money or not, influence your overall level of abundance. A wealthy and prosperous you operates with positive, supporting thought-forms which in turn are mirrored in the environment, attracting an abundant lifestyle.
2. There are many values to ground your money decisions in. Always choose healthy values to govern how you handle money. For example, use your money to support worthy products that are tied into humanitarian driven companies.
3. Use the seven center chakra system as a map to chart your distribution of money so as to ensure that ALL ASPECTS OF YOU get financial attention. Following this systems helps to minimize financial self-neglect.
4. Set up multiple streams of coins that are spin offs from your vocation so as to extend yourself over a diversified wealth portfolio.
Remember: wealth is a mental game. Polish your cognitive faculties using the self-help exercises in this series and use your body to apply your mind’s intentions. You can CHOOSE to be wealthy and abundant and you can choose to ACT on being rich.
To learn more about the psychology of the mind, please visit my website: and download my free e-book called: BLESS YOURSELF WITH GOOD HEALTH.
I wish you much abundance on this journey called Life.
—–For more information on Dr. Lana Marconi’s or to download her self-help books visit:

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Talking Out Loud in the Heat... Part Two

Holy Hot Cross Buns! It's hot out their and certainly in here! Summer is in full sizzle and I've always liked things "sizzilin hot!" I'm back in the big chair fresh from our daily coverage of the NABWMT convention in the STL last week. I hope that you enjoyed our postings and perhaps discovered a newly minted nugget of info or thought jarring fact that helped open you mind to new concepts and opportunities. All my efforts in this medium are rooted in our mission pillars of empower, educate and infotainment for the GLBTQ community and beyond. With all that said, let's go get em in the heat....

In Memorandum: I wanted to share an updated on the recent passing of James Anderson whom was an ardent supporter of the GLBTQ community and participated across the board. Today, his memorial services will be held at the Pulaski Heights United Methodist Church at 6 p.m. His partner,Brian Cook is encouraging lasting memorials to be sent to the Arkansas AIDS Foundation.( Also, Brian announced a celebration home going to be held at his residence in honor of James.(to secure privacy- directions and details are available if you contact this forum.) There will also a fundraiser held on August 16 at the DSRA featuring area personalities donating all proceeds to offset expenses incurred by the family. I'll be taking another spin as my alter ego and I expect to see all of you there giving freely.

LRBP TAKE 2: Just before I departed last week, I started an overview of the Southern Comfort-Black Pride event held July 18-20. I spoke about the aggressive schedule and the ghost funding to support it. Not to mention some activities not taking place as announced such as the pool party.( I've learned that this has happened more than once with this outfit.) I was further chagrined at the levels of agitated individuals whom responded with violent threats at the Sunday Picnic. Allegedly some say that "shots may have been fired," however, I could'nt substantiate that account. Unfortunately, personally I did'nt sense a welcoming feeling when I arrived, which cause me to make an abrupt exit. Later, I wondered out loud to myself has it come down to this, where I'm so removed that being around my so called "own people" has barriers? I'm still mulling this one over. The only "vendor" I observed was a small snow cone truck which I found severely lacking in the face of the enthusiasm of the planning committee. A committee which I never heard from again after meeting with them. This is the second year in which I've attempted to make a connection with my brothers and sister's but got dissed. What's up with that you ask? You'll have to check my next outing for that answer. But, it seems that the organizers were please with the overall turnout for there activities, which I must agree, but I felt that the entire affair lacked substance, didn't appear to be in diversity mode although everyone was invited and I would suggest that they re-evaluate exactly what true "pride" is all about. Personally a show filled with mediocre strippers and such doesn't carry much weight for me. In closing, I love a good party, but I really love a good party with a empowering purpose. Think about have at least 10 months to do so.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

COP 24/7: Road Tested & Battle Ready

Special Sunday Edition

It's all over but the shouting as the saying goes. But here in the STL, the National Association of Black and White Men's 28th convention folds it's big tent until July 29, 2009 in Philadelphia, PA. During last evenings Masquerade Ball, Men of All Colors Together ( MACT-Philadelphia) revealed their scion call to members and allies about, "A Blueprint for Change: Yes, we can, together!" As I reflect over the past week, I have mixed emotions that I'll be examining as I prepare for next years convention as well as my reasoning for being apart this organization with the radical namesake. On various occasions during this week I inquired with other members both short term and long standing as to the health of the group. I heard a variety of assessments tinged with colorful analogies, raw emotion, optimistic candor and of course, "dishy mish-mash," that comes with the package. I concluded that much has happened for better or worse over the years. This is my fourth convention since my first in Columbus, OH(1983) where I found this group of unique individuals claiming a mission statement that I too felt a need to embrace. That year members sang Happy Birthday to me plus awarded me a special Achievement Award( which is still proudly showcased in my home office) as I was trying to form a Little Rock chapter. In 1985, Los Angeles hosted and I wasn't prepared for the "loftiness" of it all. Often having a "fish out of water" feeling especially when some conventioneers characterized myself as some type of hillbilly or back wood wonk who had stumbled upon them. I remember hearing some remarking, "did you take a crop duster to get here?" Just for the record, Arkansas is not so remote that there's not the basic typical modes of transportation that will allow you to travel. Yes Virgina, we can even travel globally, thank you very much. Of course, I could've taken my marbles and left the scene of the crime, but I continued to plow into the organizations information and purpose. Later actually living with it's founder Emeritus, Michael Smith in San Francisco. Over the years my attendance wained but I always tried to stay current on the groups activities. But to my surprise my new found family never outreached or rarely contacted me to keep me motivated or inquiring why I had not attended a conference lately. Believe it or not, I did have to send a e-mail to key people to get acknowledged about this years events who did finally contact me personally to answer questions. I really appreciated it and want them to know that this a key(blue print) element to keeping folks engaged. Even though I had not sought a leadership position or demonstrated a DIVA charged persona, I still cared, always wanting the best for BWMT. All I needed from them was to ask me or seek my expertise which is another valuable(blue print) element of engagement. As I sign off from convention 08, I have high hopes for the newly elected leadership and MACT-Philly for next year. I'll be unfolding my thoughts in this forum that may help craft that blue print for change. I'm packed and Amtrack bound for Little Rock. Keep the light on.....

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Taking it on the Road

Saturday Special
This is a special Saturday Edition of our post as we cover the 28th National Association of Black and White Men Together convention in St. Louis, MO. Boys and Girls, it's been a jammed pack week thus far including workshops on HIV/ AIDS, Relationship Challenges and variety of guest speakers such as Dr. Preston Shumaker presenting on The Two Faces of Being on the DL, Bruce Menapace, PHD offering insights on interracial Relationships and Sheppard B. Kominars' Journaling for Health & Happiness, each of these powerful sessions offered tools as well as common sense approaches to creating a better quality of life. One of the interesting aspects of attending a BWMT conference is the fact that even though the week's schedule has many entertaining opportunites there are a host of teachable moments that are designed to assist one in a daily living scheme. I enjoy the brain trust and synergy of the conventioneers whom nuture plus demand that you keep it real about your self. I've enjoyed the hospitality displayed by the host hotel Holiday Inn Select Convention Center staff, other local GLBT groups and certainly the entertainment venues around town. Especially, Just John's Bar which hosted the Midland Reception last evening and later Magnolia's, a serious throw down urban bar that wanted to keep the party grooving til the wee hours of the morn. It's been awhile since I've pulled an all nighter but I did survive, O.K. Just for the record STL has a vibrant GLBTQ community with plenty of party stops to meet any of your pleasures, not to mention the bounty of tourist pursuits ranging from the famed Gateway Arch to area Casino's. I may need another visit when I not busy with a convention. It's all here baby and all you need are the Benjamin's to take part.
It's almost over and I plan to have a picture retrospective of it all next week.! Y'all stay tune, you hear...

In Memorandum: Brian Cooks LTC, James surrender his life on July 25, 2008 due to complications from a recent accident. Brian will shortly be announcing ceremonies as well as details concerning a "home going" celebration for James at his Oak Street home. Our most sincere condolences to Brian and James' extended family during this time of mourning. There will be a fundraising effort to help assist Brian, to be held in August at the DSRA. As usual, I will join the cast in helping raise money for this worth cause. Please look for future post, podcast and E-blast info.

Friday, July 25, 2008

On the Road Again with COP

Yes, I survived the Amtrack shuffle and went into full tilt convention mode after arriving to the 28 th National Association of Black and White Men Together annual event here in the Big Mo also known as the STL. That's St. Louis, Missouri for those of you not in the know. Whew, jumping in after a long day at the office, overnight train excursion, getting registered, and finding out where I was suppose to be was challenging but hey folks, I did it! In the meantime, the host hotel Holiday Inn Select was in upgrade mode (they are putting in new carpets, etc.) causing me to have to switch out rooms as I dashed from the Unity dinner to get ready for the No-Talent Talent show. Let me tell you that there was no shortage of talent for the show with each performer donating their time and gratuities to the NA. But in the meantime, talk about Holy Quick Change artist! Here I go again today with another jammed packed schedule which continues with more workshops, power meetings and sightseeing. Since many of you may have never heard of this group or perhaps had a piqued interest, I felt that it was important that I offer another teachable moment that's apart of my outreach mission. This organization was organized to address diversity in the GLBTQ community especially among those individuals whom share interracial relationships and the variety of obstacles that impact such unions. The Statement of Purpose clearly spells out why there's a need for this group as well as how it plans to directly affect it's membership and beyond. I'm posting it in hopes to outreach plus educate the readership or individuals who may be in need of a supportive entity. The statement is as follows:

The National Association of black and White Men Together is a gay, multiracial, multicultural organization committed to fostering supportive environments wherein racial and cultural barriers can be overcome and the goal of human equality realized. To these ends we engage in educational, political, cultural and social activities as a means of dealing with the racism, sexism, homophobia, HIV/AIDS discrimination and other inequities in our communities and in our lives.

For more info hit the web link:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Movin and Groovin in COP land

It's fast and furious in my cyberspace this week and I hope all of you are ready for our COP express posts from the road and more. Here I go again into overdrive, so buckle up and brace yourselves!

And Were Off: It's a bird, it's a plane, no it's just COP 24/7 on the loose in
St.Louis at the 28th NABWMT( National Association of Black and White Men Together) conference. O.K., you've never heard of this organization and certainly never entertained the thought of attending a convention. Well here's the beginning of the who, what, when and where of my latest adventure. It all began with a serious delay in my transportion choice of Amtrack leaving 7/24/08. I had never been on a train trip, acting on the premise from a recely read travel account not mention my new "Bucket List," Futhermore would'nt this would add more color to my trip? Boy was I on target about that one. Let's just say that the "crown" wasn't amused at leaving Central City at 2:45 AM even though the train was scheduled to leave at 11:30 p.m. Only later to learn from an ever so apologetic conductor that there would be another additional delay, due to Frieght traffic and Weather causing us to arrive in St. Louis around Noon but scheduled at 7:30 AM. Yet, even with all this tricky travel shigity, I must say that the ride was still pleasantly smooth as well as comfortable. I truly enjoyed the leg room, electircal outlets and comfy seat but wished there had been some Wi-fi or an easy cell signal. Of course, you can't have everything now can you. In that article, the writer stated that upon riding Amtrack you get to see America's backyards and then some. Yes, it's true and many of those backyards are filled with either the excesses of consumerism or it's wicked step sister, Trashy Stockpile. Why some folks collect crap that they use or never intend to use is simply mind boggling. Neverthless, as I gazed out my panoramic window I still marveled at the varying hues of the different landscapes either carved from hillsides or filling sweeping valleys. Ultimately, I wondered if people still waved at train riders similar to days gone by, and I'm happy to report that they still do. For the record, I truly enjoyed the pleasure of waving back.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Talking Out Loud: A Re-take

Talk about busy... yes my dear readers, I've once again been burning the candle at both ends during the last week. Yet somehow, I survived it all, while staying in the loop on what's really going on in Central city and beyond. Of course part of what propels me to the "big chair" for every session is many of your acknowledgements of this forums impact as well as "teachable moments" that I post. Thanks to reader "Allan" for your kind words and I look forward to hearing from more of you either through our comment section or in person. If you see me out and about, feel free to share. With all that said, here's Talking out Loud: A Re-take.

Prayerful Thoughts: I want to personally send my prayers to Brian Cook in his time of uncertainty as his partner James finds his recovery path back from a fall. James has been a long time activist and community supporter who "would give you the shirt off his back if you needed it," and Brian serves as the Development Chair for the Arkansas AIDS Foundation. At post time, he is scheduled to be Medi-vaced from a Dallas area hospital to his home here in Little Rock. If you have words of encouragement please feel free to post them here. As updates are available, I will post them.

Black Pride in the City: How many of you attended any of the scheduled events? Well, I confess that I missed out on some of them and discovered that others didn't even take place? Overall, most of those who participated considered it a success, however, I was rather bemused by the whole affair. Post congrats go to Diamond Kelly and Miss Courtney as the "Taste the Rainbow" pageant winners despite the minimal participation. As I surveyed, there were visitors from around the state, but apparently not enough whom wanted to fork over the cost of a room, therefore this outing actually didn't warrant a host hotel. This type of poor showing will circulate among hoteliers and most likely they will encounter future resistance with hefty financial commitments. I was invited to attend a planning meeting with promise, even though I chided the organizers about this ambitious project which I felt was being planned in a ghostly manner. That means, lots of possibilities without much bona fide substance. Meanwhile, I never found out who the out of town "headliners" were going to be, however, due to the lateness of the show( this 2 am business is a bit much for me) I refrained from attending. But supposedly there were to be "strippers and such." If you ask me, did they consider this a pillar of pride? Another faux pax was the alleged Pool Party, that never happened. As I understand this is not the first year for this little mishap where events such as this are hyped only not to materialize. This hark ens back to my quip about "big talk" and lack of planning resources. Yes, there's more...including alleged gun shots, fisticuffs, boosting and so much more! But you'll have to catch up in our next don't want to miss out!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Living Out Loud and in Living Color

Living life to the fullest is one my personal hallmark that I pursue on a daily basis, as well as encourage those I meet along the way to do so also. Today, take a minute to reflect on your life and you ponder your next move, relationship, career track or life alternating decision. It's important that we "keep our heads to the sky" and believe as I often share, the glass is not half empty but really it's half full. Think about it!.... In the meantime I wanted to share this message that I got from Rhonda Byrne of The Secret phenom that swept through last year. Even though some of her ideas may be concepts of old, many of them still resonate with me today. I implore each of you to take stock of who you are, where you are and dream big as you plan where you are going.

How can you make a big dream come true?

You need to have one secret element, and when you have that secret element, nothing will get in your way. That element is an intense desire! You must desire something with all of your heart to manifest it. Often the difference between those who manifest something and those who do not, is the element of desire. When you have a burning desire for something you ignite a fire within you that attracts with an incredible force. The law of attraction is magnetically drawn to that intense fire element in you, and it responds by gathering all universal forces to make your dream come true.
Very often we ask for things because we think our life will be better with those things, but inside of us we do not have an immense desire for those things. When you don't feel that immense desire within you, you are receiving guidance telling you that this is not something you really want. That is why it is so important to get clear on what it is that you really want with all of your heart, because what you really want with all of your heart is the very desire that you can manifest quickly.
When your heart is on fire with desire you will attract the right things to do, you will find visualizing so easy, and you will find it is effortless to think positive thoughts of your desire. You will attract all the qualities you need, such as strength, courage, belief, persistence, faith, and a powerful will. An intense desire lights up your being, producing a magnetic force that enables the law of attraction to cut through every physical obstacle for you and make your dream come true.
Go for your dreams! Don't cheat yourself in your life with petty desires because you don't think you can live your dream. THE DREAM inside you is the one thing that you have the greatest power to create, because you have an immense desire for it. Find the dream inside you - and make it come true!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Wide Angle Wednesday

Does 2008 seem to be passing by like there's no tomorrow? I don't about you but I'm wondering just how all these months have bounced this forum into the 3rd Quarter of the year which will meander into the Dog Days of a August haze. Yet, I still here in the big chair churning out news, commentary, updates, links and anything else I can muster. All in the name of outreaching to the GLBTQ community statewide as well as allies in the struggle for human rights. Ladies and Gentlemen you've entered a wide angle Wednesday courtsey of Arkansas' only daily GLBTQ online source, COP: 24/7!

Hairy Boxers: Bears, Cubs and underwear, Oh My! Yes, it's true my pretties, there are men preparing to S & M ( stand and model) in there underwear come this August 9th at a local Central City venue. The invite states that "all types of underwear is acceptable... but if you are not comfortable in your undies..." Well if you are going to flop at this type of throwdown, then you shouldn't be the shy type, if you ask me. If you need further info, it's labeled a private affair even though it's being broadcast over the net? (go figure?) Click it to Let me know who's doing boxers or birthday suits.

It's A Gas Affair: What about them gas prices? Are you just plain ole sick about it and need some jump starting ideas of just how save a few bucks? The we've got your back with our top ten frm a little ditty called 29 Ways to save money on Gas. If you've got ideas then feel free to share them, but until then, here we go..

People used to believe the tipping point was $3.00 a gallon. Well, obviously 3 bucks didn’t do the trick. What is or was the tipping point for you?
If it’s already happened for you then you can find the complete list at 29 Ways to Save Money on Gas. I’ve highlighted ten below but click over to the guy’s complete list for the expanded explanation:

1. Brake the Right Way: the less you have to break, the less you have to accelerate. A car consumes more gas as it accelerates

2. Shifting Manual: a manual transmission is supposed to be more fuel efficient.
3. Reduce Weight: keep the trunk empty.

4. Turn Your Car Off: an idling car burns fuel… more fuel than it takes to restart it again.

5. Drive Slower: driving fast increases the drag and therefore increases fuel consumption.

6. Close Your Windows: opening your windows increases the drag as well and uses more fuel.

7. Fill Up at Arco: it pays to drive by Chevron and Shell and find an Arco station.
8. Pick a Better Route: avoid heavy traffic and the route with a lot of traffic lights

9. Ride the Slipstream: don’t tailgate, but on long trips drive your car into another cars slipstream and you will use less fuel.

10. Carpool and Combine Trips: do the math.
Bonus: Buy a More Fuel Efficient Car: eventually we all need a new car… make a better choice the next time around.

Summer Reading: He's back and just in time for Black Pride...E.Lynn Harris has penned another steamy novel for when you're consuming that next cool frothy beverage. Entitled "Just to good to be True," Harris serves up a treat that will capture and enchant audiences everywhere-a big, bold, and irresistible novel about football, family, and secrets. Brady Bledsoe and his mother, Carmyn, have a strong relationship. A single mother, faithful churchgoer, and the owner of several successful Atlanta beauty salons, Carmyn has devoted herself to her son and his dream of becoming a professional football player. Brady has always followed her lead, including becoming a member of the church's "Celibacy Circle." Now in his senior year at college, the smart, and very handsome, Brady is a lead contender for the Heisman Trophy and a spot in the NFL. As sports agents hover around Brady, Barrett, a beautiful and charming cheerleader, sets her mind on tempting the celibate Brady and getting a piece of his multimillion-dollar future-but is that all she wants from him, and is she acting alone? Carmyn is determined to protect her son. She's also determined to protect the secret she's kept from Brady his whole life. As things heat up on campus and Carmyn and Brady's idyllic relationship starts to crumble, mother and son begin to wonder about the other-are you just too good to be true? A sweeping novel about mothers and sons, football and beauty shops, secrets and lies, JUST TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE has all the ingredients that have made E. Lynn Harris a bestselling author: family, friendship, faith, and love.

E. LYNN HARRIS is a nine-time New York Times bestselling author. His work includes the memoir, What Becomes of the Brokenhearted, and the novels I Say a Little Prayer, A Love of My Own, Just as I Am, Any Way the Wind Blows, If This World Were Mine, and the classic Invisible Life. Harris divides his time between Atlanta, Georgia, and Fayetteville, Arkansas, home of his beloved college football team The Razorbacks.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

As the World Turns and thensome

Is it hot enough for you? Well, if it's not then just you wait because I'm all about either turning up some heat or taking heat. It doesn't matter, just let me at the action in whatever form it comes to me. This week it's about the pride, Black Pride that is, as we prepare for this weekend Little Rock, Southern Comfort, Black Pride events being held throughout the city. But in the meantime, I'm leaving anything off the table as we keep it funky fresh with updates, commentary, links, and maybe even the kitchen sink in this edition of COP:24/7...are you ready, then get set, let's go get em...

Capital Pride Alert: Since we're talking about pride, Little Rock Capital Pride President is circulating an e-blast concerning the state of the group and it's upcoming board elections. According to Joe Lafountaine, he is responding to "many people" who have expressed their disappointment with the lack of a pride festival similar to last years River Market throw down. Furthermore he states, "as previously announced, we were unable to recruit enough volunteers to serve on our board to produce the event". Therefore, Little Rock Capital Pride will hold board elections on Saturday, July 26th at 2 pm at Central Arkansas Library Main Branch in the Friborough Room. Lafountaine reiterates, "If we are to bring Pride back to Little Rock, it is crucial that we have folks willing to serve. If you are interested in serving on the board, please email" O.K. the rallying cry, smoke signal, cyberblast has been sent, I'm interested in just how many of those concerned "folks" will have their face in the place. So, let's make this more interesting. Usually I'm not a betting man, but here's my challenge. If 50 people show up with $50.00 checks( real checks only not bouncers) or cash, this forum will commit to hosting a fundraising event for the group at our expense. It's on, you do the math....we'll keep the light on.

All Buzz...No Bull?: What's that you say? Well, it's coming from over the horizon and soon. So you will need to stay locked in to this forum as I start telling you about the "Buzz" that's starting to sound off on the north shore's Sidetracks. Of course those crazy guys won't stop there, just when I thought I had heard it all , then I got wind that there's going be some "suckin and blowin," going on as well. Now, if I've got your curiosity up, then you will really have to stay tuned because we will have all the news first! Who knows you might be a winner if you do....!

Black Pride in the City...What it's all about you ask?

Throughout the week, we will be examining as well as exploring BSGL issues from various aspects. Today, we sharing the concept of "Black Pride," and it's origins. If you have comments, thoughts, opinions or challenges, then we implore you to share in this open space with your voices. The IFBP is a national sponsor of LRBP 2008 and this commentary has been sourced from their website.

Black Pride plays an important role in the larger gay rights movement.
WHAT STARTED OUT in Washington, D.C., as the only Black Gay Pride event in the country in 1990 has grown to more than 35 gatherings nationwide
Starting in April and going through October of each year, more than 300,000 LGBTQ people of African descent rev up for a weekend of social and cultural events. Just last year, more than 350,000 attended Black Gay Pride events‚ throughout the U.S., with the largest events held in Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Atlanta, and smaller Black Pride events like the one in Boston providing an equally important sense of identity and‚cultural heritage.
Sunday gospel brunches, Saturday night poetry slams, Friday fashion shows, bid whist tournaments, house parties, soul food, Caribbean cuisine and beautiful displays of African art and clothing are just some of the cultural markers that make Black Pride distinct.
But cultural exclusion was just one of a few things gay revelers of African descent experienced in Pride events. Racism is the other.รข€‚And so after decades of Pride events where many gays of African descent tried to be included and were rejected, Black Gay Pride was born.
'' We are not seeing ourselves culturally represented at Pride. We want to show not only ourselves, but the larger LGBT community we are out here and taking control of our lives. Black Gay Pride New England speaks to who we are, and it represents the substance that pertains to our lives,'' Philip Robinson, a teacher and community activist told me in June 2001.
Seven years later that sentiment remains. And subsequently, we all rev up each year for Pride so, too, unfortunately, do the fault lines of race and class.
The growing gulf between whites and blacks, rich and poor can be seen in the HIV/AIDS epidemic that was once an entire LGBTQ community problem and is now predominately a black one.
Another example of our division can be seen in the white gay ghettos that have developed and thrived safely in neighborhoods throughout the country. However‚with homophobia in black communities, where most of us reside, we cannot carve out a black queer ghetto within our existing neighborhoods and expect to realistically be safe.
OUR THEMES FOR Black Pride events are different from the larger Pride events. Black Pride focuses on issues not solely pertaining to gays, but rather on social, economic and health issues impacting the entire black community. For example, where the primary focus and themes in white Prides have been on marriage equality, gay people of African descent have used Pride events to focus on HIV/AIDS, other health issues, gang violence ‚ and‚youth homelessness, to name only a few.
By 1999, Black Pride events had grown into the International Federation of Black Prides, Inc. (IFBP). The IFBP is a coalition of 29 Black Pride organizations across the country. It formed to promote an African multicultural and multinational network of LGBTQ/Same Gender Loving Pride events and community based organizations dedicated to building solidarity, health and wellness and promoting''unity throughout our communities.
In recognizing the need to network and build coalitions beyond its immediate communities, IFBP announced in April the formation of the Black/Brown Coalition.
'' The purpose of the National Black and Brown Summit is to identify areas for potential collaboration between African-American and Latino LGBT communities, leaders, organizations and grassroots movements,'' said Earl Fowlkes, president of the IFBP.
BLACK PRIDE IS an invitation for the community to connect its political activism with its celebratory acts of song and dance in the fight for LGBTQ justice.
The Bible is replete with examples of oppressed groups parading in the streets while struggling for their freedom. For example, ''the Song of Mariam,'' in Exodus 15:19 21 celebrates the Israelites crossing the Red Sea while they still journeyed in the wilderness toward the Promised Land.
The Promised Land for all LGBTQ citizens is full acceptance into society and Black Pride plays an important role in fulfilling that promise.
Black Pride contributes to the multicultural aspect of joy and celebration that symbolizes not only our uniqueness as individuals and communities, but also affirms our varied expressions of LGBTQ life in America.
Happy Pride!

Monday, July 14, 2008

It's all about PRIDE

COP:24/7 will feature many of this week's post celebrating the upcoming Little Rock Black Pride weekend events being held in Central City, July 18-20. According to LRBP's Board of Director's spokesperson, S. Rogers, the weekend was devised as a means to offer more activities that were culturally sensitive and filled a niche that the BSGL community perceived wasn't being addressed. All this week I will explore various facets of Black Pride juxtaposed to a host of issues impacting the African American community. During this week of exploration, I'm seeking, encouraging and cajoling your responses as well as your dialouge participation. Let your voices reflect your viewpoint on what Black Pride means to you. Ultimately, all our post will culminate in coverage of the scheduled weekend events. To get us started on this quest, I found this article among the many sources that I use as content for this forum and I knew immediately that I should share it with my readers as we do a 360 on Black Pride in 2008.

On June 14, 2007, the day that lawmakers finally voted down an anti-gay marriage amendment to the state constitution, Katherine Patrick stood outside the State House and looked up at her father. Gov. Deval Patrick was standing on the front steps, surrounded by a jubilant crowd of hundreds that mobbed the brick sidewalk and spilled halfway across Beacon Street. As they cheered the defeat of the amendment - an effort led by the governor, Senate President Therese Murray and House Speaker Sal DiMasi - Katherine had never before felt more proud of her father."Because, of course, he didn’t know that I was gay then," the 18-year-old recalls. "So, for someone so publicly to fight for something that doesn’t even affect him was just like, ’That’s my dad,’ you know?" she says with a laugh. "That’s all I could think. I was very, very proud to be part of this family, and this state in general.""It was great. I’m very glad," she adds, looking at her father. "Don’t cry, Dad." Patrick’s eyes are brimming with tears, prompting some good-natured teasing from his daughter. "He’s done some good things," she says with a laugh, patting his arm. "I appreciate it. Want a tissue? Oh, God. He’s a crier."Katherine and her father are sitting next to each other at a conference room table at the Beacon Street headquarters of MassEquality, where Katherine has been interning since March. Though Patrick and his wife, First Lady Diane Patrick, have zealously guarded the privacy of Katherine and her older sister Sarah, a recent graduate of New York University, they reluctantly agreed to Katherine’s decision to share her story publicly. Both Katherine and Patrick agreed to an interview with Bay Windows, they said, in the hopes of avoiding a "gotcha" news story about Katherine’s sexual orientation that might give the false impression that the family was anything less than accepting and supportive of Katherine. "As private of an issue as it is, we’ve sort of had to come to terms with the fact that we are a public family and there you give a part of yourself away," says Katherine. "And we also ... wanted people to know that it’s not only something that we accept, but it’s something that we’re very proud of. It’s a great aspect of our lives and there’s nothing about it that is shameful or that we would want to hide." Katherine recalls coming out to her parents as they prepared for a picnic by the pool at their home in the Berkshires. It was July 3, 2007 at around 2:30 p.m., she says."You remember the date?" the governor inquires, eyebrows raised. In a telephone interview, Diane Patrick, who had planned to attend the interview with her husband and Katherine but got caught in traffic on a return trip from Providence, R.I., expressed similar surprise at Katherine’s detailed memory. Katherine had already come out to her friends, her sister Sarah and a maternal aunt with whom she is close, Lynn Prime. She says she waited for an opportunity to come out to both parents at the same time - a difficult task given their busy lives - so as not to make either of them feel that she was more comfortable with one parent over the other. So when the moment came, she just decided to go for it. Walking into the kitchen, she asked her parents to stop what they were doing and she asked her aunt Lynn to leave the room because she wanted to talk with her mother and father alone. Her parents turned to her and she said, "I’m a lesbian.""And I’ll always remember the first thing my dad did was, [he] wrapped me in a bear hug and said, ’Well, we love you no matter what,’" Katherine recalls. Diane Patrick moved in for a group hug. After a moment, Katherine, in what she describes as typical teen behavior, asked her hovering parents to step off. "I said, ’Okay, okay,’" she laughs. "I was like ... ’Okay, thanks.’"Diane Patrick received the news with a mixture of happiness and relief. She says that after Katherine had asked her aunt to leave the room because she needed to talk with her parents, she had no idea what her daughter was going to say. "I often think the worst when I get that kind of build-up. And so I was thinking, ’Oh my goodness, she failed something or she did something really bad’ - not that she has a habit of doing those things - but I worried." When her daughter made the big reveal, Diane almost burst out laughing out of sheer relief. "I thought, ’Well, what did she think we were going to say about this?’ Because I really hoped that she didn’t harbor any concern that we were going to be worried or upset or scandalized in any way," the First Lady explains. She was happy that her daughter felt comfortable sharing the news with them and curious to know how long Katherine had known she is a lesbian and how she felt about it. They discussed those things a bit, but really, said Diane, "it was a nonevent in the sense that there wasn’t any tension. I was just happy for her that she knew who she was and that she was comfortable with who she was.""It was the easiest coming out experience that anyone could possibly have," Katherine says.The governor’s only good-natured gripe about Katherine’s revelation was this: "Why the hell did she tell her aunt before she told me?"Katherine, who will enroll in Smith College in the fall, says she began feeling attractions to women during the summer between her sophomore and junior years of high school. (She graduated from St. Andrew’s School in Delaware.) She wasn’t sure if that meant she was a lesbian or bisexual, despite the urging of a close friend to, "pick a label, pick a label." But it wasn’t until after she joined her father in last year’s Boston Pride Parade - the first time in the country’s history that a sitting governor joined Pride festivities -that she became comfortable with the lesbian label."Definitely, I’ve come into my own since then and I feel much more comfortable with myself," says Katherine, who will turn 19 in less than a month. "And I’ve been closer to my parents since coming out than any other time, I think."Patrick is the first elected official in the country to win statewide office after having campaigned on support for marriage equality. He spent a significant amount of political capital on the defeat of the marriage amendment, meeting privately with more than a dozen wavering legislators, strategizing with legislative leaders and publicly discussing why he supported marriage equality and why he thought the amendment should be defeated. But he says that the notion that one of his daughters could be gay didn’t factor into his advocacy on the issue. "I don’t think we thought about who they loved - more that they knew what love was and that they would have love in their lives," he explains. "You know, it’s interesting even just thinking about having this interview. Katherine and Diane and I and her aunt and Sarah were all talking about, you know, would we give an interview to announce one of our kids was straight? It’s just not about the public ... it’s just about making sure that they had the fullness of their personality and their humanity. "Fault me for not getting it," the governor adds. Then he reveals when he got the first inkling that his daughter might be gay: "I think when Katherine started to memorize all the episodes of The L Word, there was some hint that maybe she was sending us." That was last summer. The governor’s revelation causes a burst of laughter from Katherine. "I always say when I stopped talking about Friends and started talking about The L Word was when it started to hit some people."As the interview digresses to a discussion of favorite characters on the sometimes steamy Showtime soap - Katherine is partial to Alice, who provides much of The L Word’s comic relief - the governor turns to his press secretary, Kyle Sullivan. "Do you know what they’re talking about?" he asks."I don’t have Showtime," Sullivan confesses."I’ve said to Katherine, ’Come on, I’ll watch an episode or two with you,’" Patrick says. Katherine’s feeling on the matter? Don’t go there. "I love you, but there’s certain things, there’s certain lines [you don’t cross]" she laughs. The absence of struggle in Katherine’s coming out is not solely a function of her parents’ support. Her mother says that both Katherine and her sister Sarah are independent women who have always made up their own minds rather than following the crowd. Katherine, says Diane, "has always been comfortable with who she is, and that has not always been what was particularly in style at the moment." When her middle-school classmates started wearing make-up and mid-riff-baring tops, for example, Katherine stuck with her jeans, sweats and Old Navy outfits. If she struggled with not feeling a part of the "in crowd," Diane asserts, she never expressed it. "I don’t think she ever felt that way," says Diane. "She was happy with who she was."Indeed, the youngest member of the Patrick family, despite her professed nervousness, exudes comfort and confidence during her first sit-down interview. Though she apologizes for showing up in her "babysitting clothes" - green t-shirt, khaki cargo shorts and black low-top Converse sneakers - her mother says that’s Katherine’s standard mode of dress.And while Katherine is comfortable with her very public coming out, her parents remain wary. Patrick’s misgivings stem partly from the fact that his daughter would not do an interview to announce that she is straight. "But the world is such and my job is such that rather than have someone do a ’gotcha’ and our giving the misimpression that this wasn’t completely natural in our family, then we thought, ’Alright, let’s just say it and move on,’" he says. Diane’s concerns stem from a mother’s instinct to protect her daughter and her desire to keep both of her daughters "from the burdens of public life." It’s why she doesn’t see herself becoming the proverbial PFLAG parent and advocating publicly for LGBT issues. "This issue involves one of my children and I have really wanted them to not have to feel, frankly, answerable to the public and I still don’t want it," Diane explains. "As a mother my instinct is to protect my children from discomfort and so that would be the reason why I would not relish [an advocacy] role, because it would be about her."Despite his concerns about publicity, Patrick ultimately maintains that his daughter’s coming out is "just no biggie." She will be joining him again in this year’s Boston Pride Parade on June 14. "First of all, we’ve had so many people in our lives whom we love who are gay or lesbian, so that’s not that unfamiliar to us," says the governor. "You know, I can still - because we live in Massachusetts - I can still imagine what Katherine’s wedding is going to be like." Lowering his voice, he adds, "How much it’s gonna cost.""Yup," laughs his daughter - who is single for now - indicating that she’s dreaming of a big, fat, gay wedding. "It’s okay, Dad."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Talking Out Loud in the Heat

I can hear the sounds of summer even though I'm still here in the big chair working to bring you the latest updates, commentaries, links, e-blast, video content and podcasting. And speaking of pods, here's our latest production filled with our special brand of original "carrying on" and savvy mash up from the four corners of Arkansas. If we don't mention news from your area, then become a roving e-reporter for this interactive forum and keep us on our toes about what's up in your neck of the woods. So what are you waiting for! It's my mission to keep outreaching to the community from every possible platform in cyberspace. In the meantime, adjust your speaker volume, click on the EVOCA icon and tune in. Don't forget that we are Arkansas' online destination for the GLBTQ community and the only locally produced GLBTQ podcast!
We love sharing, so feel free to share this Podcast with friends, future readers and Allies. Here's a link: If you are interested in show sponsorship, guest, or content contribution, contact us via our feedback page. Do it today!!!

AIDS Walking: Apparently my little shoot from the hip comment about this year's AIDS Walk sponsored by AAF got some traction. I got an e-blast from Development chairperson, Brian, whom shared that he wanted to thank all supporters as well as announced that "a little over $10,000," has been raised. How much is a little over, I don't know? But, kudos to all those involved and I'm sure that organization will use the cash infusion wisely. Otherwise, the Foundation will also "play ball" with a co-ed tourney at the Rose City Baseball fields, 400 Rose Lane, North Little Rock, July 11-13. There's a $150.00 registration fee per team and applications can be downloaded at their website, Don't' forget to tell them that you seen it here first!

Black Pride: Previously I've posted items about LRBP and it's upcoming Southern Comfort- Black Pride events. According to a reported schedule, but not listed on circulating flyers, the Taste the Rainbow pride pageant will be held July 11 at Club Good Times, 3910 Asher, starting around 11:30 p.m. Registration is required but no entry fee necessary. Also in BP news, Former Miss Gay America, Dominique Sanchez (pictured) will be among the featured July19 guest along with other unannounced national headliners. As a FYI, I noticed that the cover for the 10 p.m. Saturday show is $20.00. Apparently there are other satellite events that are being planned or happening around the weekend. As soon as if that news materializes I will put it in the mix. The host hotel, is LaQuinta (617 S. Broadway), ID Lubricants and IFBP are national sponsors. Need more's available at 501.398.0307.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

July Rising

Obama On the Brain

I don't know about you but there's some strangeness going on in the land and it's affect is causing some folks to have a new ailment, "Obama on the Brain." On the front page of Sunday's Democrat Gazette(6/29) was a story about individuals who are amending their middle names to "Hussein" which is apart of Mr. O's given name. Donatella Versace has dedicated her latest clothing collection citing the "bouncing O" as her muse. People riding through the streets in their undergear or no gear in an Obama frenzy, then allegedly some folks are prepared to send their babies to The Obama for a ceremonial "baby kiss."All of this probes the question... What's going on here? Yes, I've added the rainbow " O" logo in solidarity of the presumptive nominee, but I've not renamed my self in his honor nor have I become so moved by his image, message, vision or anything else for that matter that has lulled me into a giddy- galore stupor. Yet, the Obama buzz is in full effect and with all the hype their come haters and the supposedly clueless. Especially the rational from that Japanese mobil phone company who used their "monkey" mascot in a Obamason mash up ad, meanwhile claiming that they didn't realize that the ad might be seen as cultrally insensitive. Say What? Fortunately, the company has since pulled the ad after being called out by locals and CNN. Furthermore, you know my hate-o-meter goes into overdrive on matters of this nature. Especially, those in the GLBTQ community out here in cyberspace who are forwarding and sharing dubious Obama garbage and falsehoods. I'm all for robust debate or discussion, even sarcasm but downright "hate" and such takes me to another level. I realize that everyone is entitled to their opinion in this very opinionated nation, yet I've been disillusioned at the circulation among the lavender set. Not to mention those E-blast I've personally read coming directly from individuals in this area. Wouldn't it be great during this important election cycle, if those who are hiding behind their desktops would come to a meeting, send a donation, or find a positive focus for their energies to empower, educate and propel this needy community forward instead of these tawdry attempt to titilate. I say, enough already.
Senator Obama has some very pointed views on a many topics across the board as would be expected of the next leader of the free world. Therefore, I thought it appropriate to share some of Mr. Obama's words upon reflecting on the GLBTQ community from a past Advocate interview written by K. Eleveld. Listen up citizen voter to skip the BS and stick with the facts.

"I guess my point would be that the fact that I’m raising issues accordant to the LGBT community in a general audience rather than just treating you like a special interest -- that is, sort of off in its own little box -- that, I think, is more indicative of my commitment. Because ultimately what that shows is that I’m not afraid to advocate on your behalf outside of church, so to speak. It’s easy to preach to the choir; what I think is harder is to speak to a broader audience about why these issues are important to all Americans."Eleveld then asked Obama what he "reasonably" expects he could get done "for the LGBT community," if elected president."I reasonably can see "Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell" eliminated. I think that I can help usher through an Employment Non-Discrimination Act and sign it into law," said Obama.Obama said he thinks it will be "tough" to include transgender language in ENDA, characterizing it as a "heavy lift through Congress.""And, obviously, my goal would be to get the strongest possible bill -- that’s what I’ll be working for."Obama said he also believes he can make sure federal employees have equal benefits and that he is "very interested in making sure federal benefits are available to same-sex couples who have a civil union" through repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act.Noting that Clinton has called for repealing only the federal recognition aspect of DOMA because she said the states’ rights section is necessary to ward off a constitutional amendment, Eleveld asked whether he thinks its possible to get repeal of the full law."I don’t know," said Obama. "But my commitment is to try to make sure that we are moving in the direction of full equality, and I think the federal government historically has led on civil rights -- I’d like to see us lead here too."Eleveld noted that Obama and his wife Michelle have spoken about the racism in being told to "wait your turn," then asked "isn’t that what you’re asking same-sex couples to do by favoring civil unions over marriage?"Obama said he doesn’t ask same-sex couples to wait and that he strongly respects the right of same-sex couples to insist on equality. But he said his "perspective is also shaped by the broader political and historical context in which I’m operating."

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

LIVE- LOVE- BE in Pride: 2.0

That's a wrap as directors call to the cast and crew of any production. Pride 2008 has run it's course for another year with both lessons learned and lost. But, ultimately everyone put on their best game face and ponied up with a variety of events open to all. As I stated in the past, putting together this week is time consuming, economically challenging and certainly a labor of love by those attempting to satisfy a community which often times is unengaged. However, hat's off and a hefty high five to all involved with a keen eye on preparing for Pride 2009. Thank you organizers, management, entertainers, volunteers and supporters! Let's do it again next year...