It’s Good to be 67!…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. November 29, 2014.

I think today (or maybe yesterday, or maybe tomorrow) would have been my 43rd wedding anniversary had I remained married to my former husband. (OMG, just the thought of it gives me hives!) I’m clear that even under non-lesbian (moi!) circumstances, I can’t imagine that we would have made it to 43.  I was so traumatized about being married that I could never remember our anniversary (as you may have noticed here). As a remedy, I framed one of our wedding invitations so that I could see the date. Shoulda been a clue… But – and this is critical – I’m grateful that I was married to that man because my two precious children and four precious grands are the products and the blessings.

Golf class today. Short game. Pitching, chipping, and bump-and-run. There were five of us in the class with some guy, the pro, named Bob. It was actually quite good and I learned some helpful things. Watch out, Village Pals! When I come back to see you, I’m gonna kick some serious golf-course-butt! Maybe…

I enjoyed dinner at the home of Lavender Lynne and Helen along with some other women up in Ojai. I’m always surprised when I hear of the very large LGBT community up there because the town is so small. Literally, it’s one mile from end to end!

It’s been a fun day (even though the Gators lost to FSU!) and I’m grateful for the abundance of the day.

My meditation today from Just for Today: I seek to improve my conscious contact with the Higher Power that cares for me. When the need arises, I know I will be able to trust in that care.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect: 1933 – Close to bankruptcy after repeated Nazi raids and seizures of his publications and property, Adolf Brand writes a letter to his followers announcing the end of the Homophile movement he has led; 1984 – West Hollywood, the first city in the U.S. to have a city council with a majority of LGBTQ members, is incorporated in Los Angeles County; 2004 – Without comment, the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to hear arguments appealing the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling that same-sex marriage must be allowed in that state, in essence letting the ruling stand; 2007 – Uruguay becomes the first Latin American country to pass a national civil union law.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

Is it time to write your story? Writing seminars for LGBT people.

www.purpledistinctions.com

 

 

 

It’s Good to be 67!…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. November 28, 2014.

Such a nice day… catch-up work on my computer then lunch with my friend Connie. Connie has been suggesting that I join the Ventura County Women’s Political Caucus. I hadn’t done it yet, and really, I just forgot. It’s not a priority for me today. But when I picked Connie up for lunch, she handed me the application with a stamped, already-addressed envelope. Uh, okay…I get the message! Sheesh! Connie is every bit as subtle as my mother and gets her point across. Yes, she’s a retired lawyer. We went to a lovely little café in Ventura, sat outdoors because it’s beyond gorgeous here, and enjoyed some good political conversation.

After I took Connie home, I went over to the Saticoy Golf Course and chatted with my friend Dee who is the manager and instructor there. They’ve expanded their services, added a number of instructors, and did something to make the real estate absolutely beautiful! I spent time on the driving range to get my right arm moving again after having had surgery two weeks ago. No biggie, really. Just a melanoma prevention-ish removal of a thing. It’s gone and the stitches come out on Monday. But I’m back on the golf course and I start a series of lessons tomorrow. Ha!

As I am writing this, I just heard that Ray Rice won his appeal. Of course, Did anyone expect anything any different? Message: beating up one’s wife is no big deal. What a wonderful message to send to other athletes and our young men and women. NOT! Makes me think of the society that lived on earth before the Incas. Where did they go? Probably to the same place we’re all headed because we just refuse to honor humanity.

Regardless, I’m grateful for the new friends in my life, hold the old ones close to my heart, and am appreciative of this beautiful weather.

My meditation today from Just for Today: I will allow knowledge of my true nature to guide my actions. Today, I will face the world as myself.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect: 1977 – Aspen, Colorado City Council passes a gay rights ordinance that forbids discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodation and public services; 1988 – A Dallas judge sentences the killer of two gay men to 30 years in prison instead of a life sentence because, as he later tells the Dallas Times Herald, “I don’t much care for queers cruising the streets.” The Dallas Gay Alliance joins political leaders across the country in protesting the judge’s decision; 1998 – In Allston, Massachusetts, transgender woman of color Rita Hester is murdered. The ensuing candlelight vigil a few days later was attended by 250 people and inspired the Transgender Day of Remembrance, observed each Nov 20 worldwide.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

Is it time to write your story? Writing seminars for LGBT people.

www.purpledistinctions.com

It’s Good to be 67!…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. November 27, 2014.

A thirty-mile bike ride today, half of which was up hill! I love riding and had a great time but I’m pooped tonight. I haven’t ridden my bike for any length for quite a while so I’m a bit rusty but at least I’m good enough shape to actually do it, and that pleases me. And I was able to simply toss our bikes into the back of my new truck…piece o cake! I rode with my BFF Regina today. Her mother is dating a guy up in Ojai so we stopped to visit them for a while. I was a nice break after going up hill for an hour.

Thanksgiving dinner was fun! As usual, it was at my aunt and uncle’s house nearby with about 15 people around the table. The wonderful thing for me was that some of those folks included Regina and Mom and other family members as well as Erik, Jenn, Cara, Jude, and Harvey! I loved having the little boys there! They’re so precious, and Jude is lots of fun. He wanted to come home with me! I look forward to the day when the boys are big enough to come send time with me.

Thanksgiving. I struggle with whatever it is we’re celebrating historically, but I AM grateful for my family an friends, for my body and my heath, and for the gifts that the Universe gives to me. And I’m thankful that I can and do share my abundance with others.

My meditation today from Just for Today: I remind myself that I’m not alone by asking my Higher Power for help each step of the way.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect: 1970 – Gay Activists Alliance representatives Marty Robinson and Arthur Evans and Mattachine Society of New York president Dick Leitsch appear on Dick Cavett’s television talk show to explain the aims of the Gay Liberation movement; 1978 – Harvey Milk and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone are assassinated by former City Supervisor Dan White; 1980 – Bosom Buddies, a sitcom about two young broke New York men having to dress in drag to live in a low rent, all-girl hotel premieres on ABC. It stars Tom Hanks and Peter Scolari.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

Is it time to write your story? Writing seminars for LGBT people.

www.purpledistinctions.com

It’s good to be 67!…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. November 26, 2014.

I bought a new vehicle today! A truck! Okay, a little truck but a Toyota Tacoma nonetheless! It’s such a cute little butch thing, with many creature comforts, and was very affordable. In fact it was less than what I paid for the RAV4 in 2009! I needed a truck. I have toys. I’m old, I’m retired, and I play….a lot! I have great toys: my golf clubs and pull buggy, my bikes (I have more than one, for gusts), and a 65-pound kayak which has a wheel attachment thingy. Toys! I’m happy that I made the decision to do this and happy with my selection.

Today I am grateful that I have the means with which to purchase a new vehicle. May we all know abundance, love, good health, and peace…

My meditation today from Just for Today: Each moment is special. I will pay attention, grateful for my responsibilities and the special joys they bring.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect: 1978 – ABC airs “A Question of Love”, a TV movie about lesbian lovers in a custody battle over their children-complete with ‘parental discretion advised’ warnings; 2003 – In the United States Senate, the Federal Marriage Amendment is introduced by Wayne Allard of Colorado, Sam Brownback of Kansas, Jim Bunning of Kentucky, James Inhofe of Oklahoma, and Jeff Sessions of Alabama; 2003 – In the United Kingdom, the Queen’s Speech, which gives the government’s program of legislation for the year ahead, includes a bill to allow Civil Partnerships for same-sex couples.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

Is it time to write your story? Writing seminars for LGBT people.

www.purpledistinctions.com

It’s good to be 67!…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. November 25, 2014.

I love my gym! I work hard when I’m there. I am always struck by the guys (it always seems to be men) who sit at a machine, pump a couple of times, then remain seated, look around, talk on their phones, looking pooped or bored. Just pump that thing, dude, or get out of the way for us motivated old farts! Sheesh!

I went to the Ventura PFLAG meeting tonight with my mother! How fun was THAT??? Ventura PFLAG is incredibly small but the folks are dedicated and determined to make Ventura a safer place for LGBT folks and our families and friends.

I had such a lovely, touching phone conversation today with a very dear friend and feel so happy about our connection. I’m so blessed to have such good, loving, kind people in my life and my heart is very full.

The Ferguson case makes me so angry. We have a painfully seriously divide-and-conquer attitude, pitting people against one another based on race or socioeconomics or gender or sexual orientation or religion. Did we learn nothing from pre-WWII Germany? It’s very clear in every history book. Hitler created scapegoats, divided then conquered populations, then slaughtered whomever he wished, from Germany people (especially children) with mental illness or who were disabled, to Germans who were married to non-Germans, to Social Democrats, to Romas, to unionists, to Jews. And people blindly followed, allowing the madness to tale place without standing up, because standing up for the “other” almost always meant death. WE cannot stand by an allow this country to do the same, and yet is that the path we’ve chosen?

I am thankful for the ability to learn, to understand, and to act.

My meditation today from Just for Today: I reflect upon the gift of recovery and listen quietly for the guidance of my Higher Power.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect: 1985 – At an AIDS candlelight vigil in San Francisco, Activist Cleve Jones conceives The Names Project; 1997 – Homosexuality is decriminalized in Ecuador following a landmark decision handed down by the Constitutional Tribunal; 2014 – The Ecuador LGBT Film Festival Jury names Letter to Anita as Best Documentary.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

Is it time to write your story? Writing seminars for LGBT people.

www.purpledistinctions.com

It’s good to be 67!…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. November 24, 2014.

I did my every-other-day three-mile walk this morning. The temp was about 65, the sun was just coming up, and my music was rocking my steps! As I walked and listened, I thought about where and how I’m living today. I have the privilege of living with my mother in Ventura as she approaches her 89th birthday in April. Even after a stay in the hospital with a bout of pneumonia, she’s hanging tough, going back to her usual gym routine at Curves today. Whatever she has, I hope it’s genetic!

Sherry and I went to the Thousand Oaks Mall today. After we bought a couple of things, we went into the pet store. I was all I could do to not buy the 4-month old Bichon-something mix. She was such a sweet pup, sucking up to me somethin’ fierce. I didn’t do it, not sure yet if and how I want to have a pet, but she sure was tempting! Maybe a pup would be a good 68th birthday present myself in March.

I went to a new eye doc this afternoon. Smart young man. We talked about blogs and he looked up mine on the spot! I hope he wasn’t too shocked by all  the LGBT stuff. Well, if he was, he probably needed it! Anyway, he does a new thing where eyeballs get photographed. I swear, the results look like a mammogram!

Finally, my land-line phone for my business got hooked up today. All I need to do now is sign the dotted line with Kickstartcart and gotomeeting or instantteleseminar and I’m good to go!

I’m so grateful for these days that feel productive but may not look like it to the observer. But hopefully there are no observers, that people are instead living their own lives to the fullest!

My meditation today from Just for Today: I accept my life, gratefully, just as it is.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect: 1955 – In the wake of the murder of a Sioux City, Iowa, boy earlier in the year, 29 men suspected of homosexuality have been committed to mental asylums as a preventive measure authorized by the state’s “sexual psychopath” laws; 1967 – Craig Rodwell opens the first bookstore devoted to gay and lesbian authors in the United States, the Oscar Wilde Memorial Bookshop; 1974 – The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force protests an episode of NBC’s Police Woman (aired on November 8) that featured lesbian murderers in a home for aged women. The network agrees not to rerun the episode, but MCA-TV producer David Gerber keeps it in syndication release; 2008 – A lower court in the U.S. state of Florida declares that the state’s ban on adoption by gay couples is unconstitutional.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

 

Is it time to write your story? Writing seminars for LGBT people.

www.purpledistinctions.com

It’s good to be 67!…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. November 23, 2014.

Kinky Boots! What a fun afternoon with Erik, Kelly, and friends from Palm Sprigs and San Diego! The show was terrific and the Pantages theater in Los Angeles is stunning! I saw Kinky Boots in New York in June and this production was every bit as delightful. It’s about accepting others for who and what they are as well as accepting self.

Looking forward to a fun week of writing, shopping, and preparing for the holidays.

I’m grateful for having the wherewithal to be able to attend and appreciate wonderful theater!

My meditation today from Just for Today: I surrender and let a Higher Power’s will happen in my life. I accept the gift of serenity this surrender brings.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect: 1973 – In New York City, 325 people attend the first conference of the Gay Academic Union. The pioneering Lesbian and Gay Studies group, which was founded the previous March, includes Martin Bauml Duberman, John D’Emilio, Jonathan Ned Katz, and Joan Nestle among its members; 1983 – A Federal judge concludes that the First National Bank of Louisville did not practice wrongful discrimination – or violate constitutional guarantees of freedom of religion – when it ordered one of its employees, Samuel Dorr, to either give up his position with gay Catholic group, Dignity, or resign from the bank; 1992 – In Australia, Prime Minister Paul Keating revokes the country’s restrictions on gay men and lesbians in the military; 1998 – The Georgia Supreme Court rules 6 to 1 to invalidate that state’s sodomy law.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

Is it time to write your story? Writing seminars for LGBT people.

www.purpledistinctions.com

It’s good to be 67!…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. November 22, 2014.

Boys! Well, one boy mostly. Harvey! Harvey is four months old and named for Harvey Milk. I had the privilege of spending a few hours with Harvey while his big brother Jude went to the zoo with Auntie Sarah and his moms Jenn and Cara went on a date with one other. I hung out with Harvey.

Harvey is such a happy little guy. He laughed and chatted with me, standing on my thigh as I held him up under his shoulders. String little legs already, a couple of dimples, and a great laugh. When he got hungry his fist went into his mouth. When we took a walk outdoors, he cooed and made funny Harvey noises at the trees and the birds. When he got sleepy, he shut his eyes and napped. I also had about an hour with Jude when he got home from the zoo He went through my photos on my iPhone and had me give details about every pic. I love these two little boys with all my heart and look forward to watching them become….

I’m deeply grateful for all of my grandchildren, big and little. I love all four of them, each for their own special gifts. And each one of them is a special gift for me…

My meditation today from Just for Today: I will take care to lay a secure foundation for my recovery. Upon such a foundation, I build for a lifetime in recovery.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect: 1980 – Mae West dies in Los Angeles at the age of 88; 2011 – An independent arbiter rules that Baltimore County, Maryland must extend spousal benefits to the same-sex spouses of two police officers who legally married in other states.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

Is it time to write your story? Writing seminars for LGBT people.

www.purpledistinctions.com

 

It’s good to be 67!…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. November 21, 2014.

Today was one of many errands: registering my business with the county and state, picking up prescriptions, getting the reclast infusion for the osteoporosis, retrieving clothes at the cleaners, going to the bank for my mother, getting a challah for our Sabbath dinner.

Yes, a challah. With raisins. Mom has celebrated the Sabbath for her lifetime. She sets up the candles, pours the Manischevitz wine (vintage Thursday…yuck!), cooks a chicken, and says the prayers for each of those items. It’s very sweet, really, and not something I’ve done since I left for college at the age of 18. To Mom, keeping close to her religious life keeps her connected to her past, to her lost family and her husband, my dad, and to Israel which is important to her. Now that I live with her, I get to share the experience with her even though I’m more culturally Jewish than religiously so.

In writing my book about WWII and doing a tremendous amount of research on the Holocaust, I have learned so much more than I ever knew about the experiences of the Jews in Germany and Poland and nearby areas, about who did the killings, and how the killings were carried out. Oh sure, I knew, at least generally. I even did an extensive report on Adolph Eichmann when I was in high school. But this is different, deeper, more painful somehow. I’ve learned about the experiences not only of Jewish children but also of the German children as well. I’ve learned about communities, both Jewish and non, and how the physical manifestation of war, the bombings, the killings, affected all. I’m knee-deep in writing this book and hope to have it finished in the near future.

In spite of my history as a Jewish person, or perhaps because of it, I get to babysit my two beautiful little grandsons tomorrow and marvel at how handsome and smart and adorable and perfect hey are.

I’m grateful for my painful history, and grateful for this delightful presence.

My meditation today from Just for Today: I’m ready to have my character defects removed. I let go and allow a loving Higher Power to care for me.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect: 1987 – Having raided and closed down The Detour bar the night before, Los Angeles police raid and shut down the One Way bar over alleged violations to the city’s fire ordinance; 2007 – Jennifer Granholm, governor of Michigan, issues an executive order prohibiting employment discrimination based on gender identity or expression in the public sector.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

Is it time to write your story? Writing seminars for LGBT people.

www.purpledistinctions.com

It’s good to be 67!…Ronni Sanlo’s blog. November 20, 2014.

Mandy died ten years ago today. Mandy was 19 years old, a UCLA sophomore, and one of my favorite students. Mandy suffered from bipolar disorder. When she cycled down, she was depressed, sad, frightened. Her lips would turn white and her hands would tremble. She needed quiet places because sounds were sensory overload for her. During those times, Mandy would sit in my office and prepare for her next class, or she would study in my second-floor faculty apartment in Dykstra Hall because there were no visual or audible interruptions. When Mandy cycled up into a manic phase, I didn’t see her. She kept away from me. She became everyone’s favorite party girl, cutting up in the hallways of the third floor in Dykstra where she lived, drinking heavily in her room. Most of the time, though, when Mandy was on an even keel, she was deeply involved as an athlete on the UCLA Women’s Ultimate Frisbee team. Chip was her jock name. I know that because I was given her Frisbee by her aunt who gathered Mandy’s belongings after she died. Her name is on the back of it.

The Sunday before THAT day, Mandy volunteered to staff a water table for the AIDS marathon in which I was running. She told everyone how wonderful it felt for her to be doing something that helped people with AIDS.

I remember THAT day – and the next – so clearly. Mandy met me after dinner at one of the campus theaters. I had tickets to a film where the director and actors would be present on a panel. Mandy loved the film and asked many questions of the director. She clearly was having a great time. We walked back to Dykstra Hall where we both lived, Mandy chatting the entire time about how excited she was to be going home soon. It was the Thursday before the week of Thanksgiving. Mandy’s father’s birthday would be in a few days followed by the Thanksgiving holiday which she loved. Mandy said she was looking forward to seeing her new girlfriend during the winter break, that she couldn’t wait to start her LGBT Studies courses in January, and was planning on doing a study-abroad the following year. When we got back to Dykstra Hall, I asked what she was going to do. She said she had an outline due in a class in the morning so she was going to work on that. We hugged good night and went to our different floors.

I sat at my desk working on an article. About an hour passed when I saw the rotating red lights of the emergency vehicles as they pulled up to the hall door. I stepped out onto my floor to see what might be happening. Nothing. I went up one flight to the third floor. Craig, the RA and another dear student of mine, came running down the hall and fell into my arms. “Dr. Ronni….it’s Mandy!” Craig collapsed into me and we both fell on the floor, engulfed in the terror and the sadness.

Mandy…damn it! What happened??? An hour ago you were chatting about and planning your future. An hour later you’re dead? Why???

Mandy chose to hang herself in her room. Her roommate returned and found her. She screamed. Fifty students on the floor came running into the room and saw Mandy hanging there. The rest of the night was spent holding these frightened young people, talking with them, crying with them, as the EMTs took Mandy’s body, as the police scoured her room and took her computer and her jugs of alcohol. Her roommate was a wreck.

The next morning the police told me that there were four recent websites on Mandy’s computer, placed there the morning before: one suicide prevention site and three sites on how to hang yourself. Mandy knew she was going to do it that night. She was so secure in her decision that she was nearly excited. Mandy made a choice. The students, Mandy’s family (she was an only child), and I had to live with that choice.

That period of time was the worst of my professional career. Sure, there had been other awful moments, but this somehow felt more intense to me. I was deeply affected by Mandy’s death. I put myself in therapy to learn to properly grieve, not just for Mandy but for all the losses I’d had over the decades: my grandmother’s death, the loss of custody of my children, the many friends I lost to HIV/AIDS, the loss of many relationships, and the loss of Mandy.

Mandy was the catalyst that sent me for help. I will forever be grateful to her for that. She provided that which forced me to get help. It’s been ten years. I remember Mandy, especially on the Thursday before Thanksgiving.

My meditation today from Just for Today: There is much to be grateful for in my life. I cherish the spiritual fulfillment I have found in recovery.

On this day in LGBT history (from QUIST and/or Lavender Effect: 1934 – Lillian Hellman’s The Children’s Hour opens on Broadway to rave reviews and sellout audiences. An account of two schoolteachers accused of lesbianism by one of their students, the play is loosely based on an actual case in 19th-century Scotland; 1998 – In Texas, John Lawrence and Tyrone Garner are fined $125 each after being arrested for having sex in their home. They refuse to pay the fine, resulting in a challenge of the Texas sodomy law which would eventually lead to the 2003 nationwide repeal of sodomy laws in Lawrence v. Texas; 2003: The United States Congress passes a resolution condemning all violations of internationally recognized human rights norms based on the real or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity of an individual; 2008 – The Supreme Court of California agrees to hear arguments for a possible overturn of Proposition 8.

It’s good to be 67!

What happened with you today?

Keep Writing!

Ronni

Is it time to write your story? Writing seminars for LGBT people.

www.purpledistinctions.com