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Posts Tagged ‘Dallas’

Dallas, Drivers and Detention

24 Oct

Distractions while driving: Danger!I’ve seen most every kind (I could ever imagine) of idiot on the road since moving to Dallas (TX) in 1984. Sadly, the [driving] conditions are becoming progressively worse now that smart-phones have become so popular.

These devices not only give people the opportunity to text and drive but to check a multitude of apps on their phone (such as Twitter, Facebook and online games, just to name a few). The “addicted” are never out of touch with their digital lives.

Traffic and road rage is a growing problem here in Dallas. Road construction is a part of the problem but the ever-growing number of cars on the road should be our primary focus. People’s unwillingness to pay attention to what is going on around them, combined with ever-increasing traffic, road construction and repairs (because our city engineers cannot finish one freaking project before starting three dozen others)… These things are making all of us more and more stressed, angry and insensitive.


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Catholics Beware

11 Mar

I’ve tried (really, I have) to be patient, understanding, TOLERANT, accepting and even forgiving of the Catholic Church. It’s important to note the distinction here that I’m speaking of the “Church” — not the faith in general and its membership (though my patience with some among its members has been tested, as well).

I readily admit I don’t understand all of the trappings, rituals and traditions of the Catholic Institution but in this instance and in this writer’s opinion, that really doesn’t matter.

This [blog] entry is about hypocrisy. Certainly, it’s fair to say that each one of us is occasionally guilty of being a hypocrite. We wish to believe the best about ourselves but even the best of intentions can fall to the wayside on occasion when our principles are thoroughly tested.

If you claim yours are not; that you never waver from your path great for you! (That either makes you a liar or a saint.)

My own principles have been tested often and I’ll be the first to admit that on more than a few occasions, I’ve failed the test miserably. I’d like to think I’m too good to fail; that my morals are as strong as steel but the truth is [sometimes] when the cost of having to live by those principles is too great, I falter and take the easier route. I’m not going to beat myself up for it since I know I’m no saint; that I’m only human and as such, have fallen far short of being perfect by any measure of the definition.


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A Resource for Labyrinths

10 Mar

A number of people reading my blog (and commenting over on Facebook) have been asking me about labyrinths; what the purpose of same is, as well as where they can find a labyrinth of their own to walk.

I can name a few in the Dallas area (see below) but if you live elsewhere, you’ll need to either do a Google search or ask around. A likely source that might know would be one of the Unity churches in your area.

List of labyrinths in the Dallas, TX area:

  • Unity Church of Dallas: The labyrinth is a painted circle (actually, I believe there are two labyrinths located here) on the back parking lot, furthest away from the church. Unity Church of Dallas is located at 6525 Forest Lane, Dallas, TX 75230. I walk this labyrinth regularly; it isn’t a “beautiful” labyrinth, necessarily, but it serves my purpose. The contact for the church is John Barnes at (972) 233-7106 or via email at jrbarnes@swbell.net
    Location: Outdoors
  • World-Wide Labyrinth Locator: I stumbled across this link while compiling this list tonight and hope to check out a number of the labyrinths that are listed on the page. Upon visiting, I’ll update my list here and make my comments about the experience. To use the locator, click on Home and complete the search criteria in the box on the right side of your screen.
    Located: N/A
  • TLC Labyrinth: Located on the northeast side of the lake near the Richland College Teaching-Learning-Community (TLC) Building, located 12800 Abrams Road, Dallas, Texas 75243. I haven’t visited this labyrinth yet but hope to soon.
    Located: Outdoors
  • Episcopal Church of the Transfiguration: Located at 14115 Hillcrest Road (NW corner of Spring Valley and Hillcrest Roads), this church has what appears to be a BEAUTIFUL labyrinth (located inside). I haven’t walked this labyrinth yet but have heard about it on a couple of different occasions now. I plan to visit and walk this labyrinth soon. The church may be contacted at (972) 233-1898.
    Location: Indoors
  • Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Oak Cliff: Another labyrinth I would like to visit soon (primarily because it is located outdoors and in a woodsy setting). The church is located at 3839 West Kiest Blvd. in Dallas, Texas; Reverend Mark Walz (waltzact2@aol.com) may be contacted at (214) 755-4315.
    Location: Outdoors
  • Cathedral of Hope: I’ve been a member of this church since 1986 (formerly known as Metropolitan Community Church of Dallas, affiliated with Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches). While the “Labryinth Locator” (above) indicates our labyrinth is made of canvas and that you need to call for availability, there IS a “small” outdoor labyrinth that is located off to the right of the church as you are facing it. The church is located at 5910 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas, Texas 75235 (behind the Taco Bell on Inwood Road) and may be accessed from both Inwood Rd. and as well, from Cedar Springs Road. The church may be reached at (214) 351-1901
    Located: Outdoors

I encourage all who are reading to try some form of meditation. We live in a busy and tension-filled world these days and quieting the mind is truly necessary for your own well-being. Walking a labyrinth “may” help you to accomplish this task to some extent. As my own faith is important to me, this is but one way I attempt to quell the everyday stresses and frustrations that find their way into my own life (labyrinths and meditation).

Perhaps the same will be of some use for you.

Namaste and peace be with you,
Michael

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Humor: Driving in Dallas

02 Mar

First you must learn to pronounce the city name. It is DAL-LUS, or DAA-LIS depending on if you live inside or outside LBJ Freeway.

Next, if your Mapsco is more than a few weeks old, throw it out and buy a new one. If in Denton County and your Mapsco is one-day-old, then it is already obsolete. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. (Frisco has screwed everything up.)

Dallas has its own version of traffic rules… ‘Hold on and pray.’ There is no such thing as a dangerous high-speed chase in Dallas. (We all drive like that.)

All directions start with, ‘Get on Beltline,’ which has no beginning and no end. (It REALLY DOESN’T!!!)

The morning rush hour is from 6 to 10. The evening rush hour is from 3 to 7. Friday’s rush hour starts Thursday morning.

If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear-ended, cussed out and possibly shot. When you are the first one on the starting line, count to five when the light turns green before going to avoid crashing with all the drivers running the red light in cross-traffic.

Construction on Central Expressway is a way of life and a permanent form of entertainment. We had sooo much fun with that, we have added George Bush Freeway and the High Five to the mix.

All unexplained sights are explained by the phrase, ‘Oh, we’re in Fort Worth!’

If someone actually has his or her turn signal on, it is probably a factory defect. Car horns are actually ‘Road Rage’ indicators – and remember, it’s legal to be armed in Texas..

All old ladies with blue hair in a Mercedes have the right of way. Period. And remember, it’s legal to be armed in Texas..

Inwood Road, Plano Road, NW Highway, East Grand, Garland Road, Marsh Lane, Josey Lane, 15th Street, Preston Road all mysteriously change names as you cross intersections (these are only a FEW examples). The perfect example is what is MOSTLY known as Plano Road. On the south end, it is known as Lake Highlands Drive, cross Northwest Highway and it becomes Plano Road, go about 8 miles and it is briefly Greenville Ave, Ave K, and Highway 5. It ends in Sherman…

The North Dallas Tollway is our daily version of NASCAR. The minimum acceptable speed on the Dallas North Toll Road is 85 mph. Anything less is considered downright sissy. It also ends in Sherman.

If asking directions in Irving or SE Dallas, you must have knowledge of Spanish. If in central Richardson or on Harry Hines, Mandarin Chinese will be your best bet. If you stop to ask directions on Gaston or Live Oak, you better be armed… and remember, it’s legal to be armed in Texas

The wrought iron on windows near Oak Cliff and Fair Pa rk is not ornamental!!

A trip across town east to west will take a minimum of four hours, although many north/south freeways have unposted minimum speeds of 75.

It is possible to be driving WEST in the NORTH-bound lane of EAST NORTHWEST Highway. Don’t let this confuse you.

LBJ is called ‘The Death Trap’ for two reasons: ‘death’ and ‘trap.’

If it’s 100 degrees, Thanksgiving must be next weekend. If it’s 10 degrees and sleeting/snowing, the Fort Worth Stock Show is going on. If it has rained 6 inches in the last hour, the Byron Nelson Golf Classic is in the second round (if it’s Spring) – and it is the Texas State Fair if it’s Fall.

If you go to the Fair, pay the $8.00 to park INSIDE Fair Park. Parking elsewhere could cost up to $2500 for damages, towing fees, parking tickets, and possibly a gunshot wound. If some guy with a flag tries to get you to park in his yard, run over him.

Any amusement parks, stadiums, arenas, racetracks, airports, etc., are conveniently located as far away from EVERYTHING as possible so as to allow for ample parking on grassy areas.

Final Warning: Don’t Mess With Texas Drivers… remember, it’s legal to Be armed in Texas!

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Jason and deMarco

16 Jan

 Jason Warner and Marco "deMarco" DeCiccio I was blessed to watch as a young couple, Jason Warner and Marco DeCiccio (now known simply as deMarco), sang at our church last night. I’d seen a documentary about them previously so I already knew what to expect – and they did not disappoint.

The documentary entitled “We’re All Angels” (2007) is what first brought this couple to my attention. They’ve been together for just over ten years; both are approximately 35-years old and are the proud parents of twin boys (as of last May).

Most importantly, it’s clear they put God first in their lives and are very much in love. They married one another in California before Proposition 8 was passed so are in every sense of the word, “a couple” (regardless of what those who oppose marriage equality may think).

But this blog entry isn’t about marriage equality, nor will it be an opinion piece on the fight for LGBTQ equality, acceptance, tolerance, etc. It’s simply about two beautiful young men who are building a family; a family with God at its center.

Jason, raised with a Pentecostal background, joined the staff at Unity Church of Christianity in Houston, Texas in 2007. The two perform together regularly and kicked off this year’s tour with the concert at Cathedral of Hope here in Dallas, Texas. And just in case you’re curious, deMarco grew up a Roman Catholic; he sang “Ava Maria” as a solo this evening and even though it was in Latin, it was very moving. Because it was in Latin, I don’t know if any of the lyrics had been changed or not (I suspect they were not); in his words, this is the tale of [Marco’s] own reconciliation between his sexual orientation and his faith. I have to tell you, I’ve heard the song sung before but the way that he sings it with such passion, it’s simply stunningly beautiful (but the song moves me every time that I hear somebody singing it). Listen to it for yourself (below).


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Dallas in the a.m.

19 Sep

Building in downtown Dallas, Texas

The Wilson building; a beautifully ornate and historical structure in downtown Dallas, Texas.

For those who might regularly follow my blog, who’ve noticed I’ve been far more scarce with blog entries of recent — I apologize. I just haven’t been in much of a mood for writing of late. Even the last couple of blog entries (“Digging Deep within” and “Digging Deep within Part #2“) were a bit of a struggle for me to write … and I’m not entirely happy with how they turned out.

I’m certain I’ll continue to expand on my religious ideology in the forthcoming weeks. I just can’t say as to when exactly I’ll be ready to post the third part in that series of entries.


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Floods and Twisters

10 Sep

Photo of Dallas skyline, across the Trinity River OVERFLOWING!

Photo of Dallas, Texas (skyline) from across the Trinity River flood plains near Commerce street

We’ve been getting some bad weather of late. Apparently, a couple of tornadoes touched down near where I live (not that I would have known it, as I was too busy ignoring the weather sirens that had been going off all afternoon). To my credit, I did get online and saw nothing that looked like weather I needed to be concerned about and I didn’t see anything both times that I went out to check the skies either.

(If I had to guess, I’d say that Mother Nature was trying to get my attention while freaking hiding from me, all at the same time.)

Anyways, I did eventually go out and take a [few] photos. Here is a link to some photos I took down by Trinity River. Most of these were taken west of the city (Dallas) but some were taken, coming in from the southeast.

Enjoy!
Michael

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2009 Texas Freedom Parade (The Day After!)

21 Sep

This past Sunday marked the 26th Annual Alan Ross Texas Freedom Parade in Dallas. I enjoyed the parade, which lasted far longer than I recall in prior years (suggesting more of us are getting involved these days, as are more businesses and churches in a show of support for LGBT equality).

I admit I felt o-l-d as I stood along the parade route, camera in tow and preparing to snap over 750 photos of the parade, its participants and the closing festivities at Lee Park. After all, when I first began attending these events I was in my early twenties and today I’m forty-six. My face has developed a few new laugh lines and sadly my belly’s expanded a bit (okay, considerably) from having partied a little too hearty over the years. Nonetheless 2009 Texas Freedom Parademy inner-child yet lives and encourages me to admire the cute young guys who are today in their own twenties. Photos of some of those yum-alicious studs have been uploaded to Flickr for your own enjoyment.

But in addition to feeling “old” I’m also proud to have been a part of those early years, participating along with others my age as we demonstrated with groups like “Act Up!” (and other organizations born of or associated with what was then known as the Dallas Gay Alliance). The fight for equality has been a struggle and while we are ‘nearer to success’ today the fight is not yet over.


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Those "Inglourious Bastards" and a little bit of Gay Pride

19 Sep

Gay Pride and Charlie DavidThis weekend those of us in Dallas will enjoy our own gay pride festivities, including the parade on Sunday. The revelry probably began earlier in the week but for me it all commenced this evening. A couple of friends and I went to see “Inglourious Bastards” (yes, that is how the title is spelled) and afterward travelled to Oak Lawn, once the heart of a gay community that has since more or less spread out around Dallas and the surrounding burbs. Our intent was to take in a quick meal at Hung Dinger located just off of and behind Hunkies on Cedar Springs. Hung Dinger’s is a small restaurant, known for its wait staff that are dressed in drag during the evenings. Entertainers in drag are also on hand to perform while you eat and drink. (I was greatly amused by the bearded “Iona Trailer” who sang several country and western songs (okay, lip-synched) including “These boots were made for walking.” and of course no drag show would ever be complete without divas Cher and Bette Midler.)


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Photos taken around Lake Whiterock (Dallas, TX)

12 Jul

Just thought I would share some of the photos I took recently while out and about at Lake Whiterock in Dallas, Texas this weekend and earlier this month. Hope you will enjoy. (Click on the icon with the four outward-pointing arrows if you would like to enlarge to full-screen. You may also click on the hypertext link – in form of Title on the slideshow – and you will be redirected to my Flickr site where you can view the entire set of photos individually.)

Namaste,
Michael

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