July 2004. Our beagle, Pickles, died of various medical complications. Mark had found him at Greenhill after our England trip in 2001, and conditioned him from an obese, so-fat-his-back-is-flat chow-hound obsessed with food to a lean, mean eating machine obsessed with food (able to steal cookies out of children's mouths with a single bound).
Living with Pickles was sometimes a challenge, because he used all of his low animal cunning to eat things like other people's Thanksgiving stuffing, other people's children's Halloween candy stashes, and slug bait. Sometimes I think Pickles was practice for having a child. And we still had Muriel, the world's crankiest, old-lady cat.
August 1, 2004. I married Mark in a garden, in a ceremony not legally recognized by city, state, or federal governments, and overseen by the Rev. Caroline Colbert (the Unitarian Universalist minister at the local UU church). Our friend, Lime-Green Larry From New York was the best man: he compiled and presented all the statements about marriage and love that we'd asked everyone to write. My sister, Julie, gave a very funny toast. My friends in a recorder ensemble played Renaissance music.
The wedding was a huge affair -- a lot of our friends and both families gathered in our landladies' garden and cried as we exchanged vows. Mark said his. I was a wreck when I said mine. Afterward, we had chocolate cake in white suits. And I led folks in a round of "The Shark Song."
But since I couldn't exactly say, "Mark is my husband," without it being a political statement, I sometimes referred to him as my "husband out-law."
December 2004. I started this blog on Blogspot, back before it was slurped up by Google. Before this, I would send out e-mail missives to a long list of folks.
At the beginning of the decade, I was interested in the spiritual lives of gay male Neo-Pagans and in the expression of deity as a gay male. I was hoping that I'd find something like a gay Cernunnos, or a gay male Isis. Or maybe something like a spiritual minded sacred band of Thebes. I'd even asked Starhawk if she knew who a gay male Starhawk could be, but she didn't know.
I put together the beginning of a e-newsletter called "Lavender Leaves" hoping to attract like-minded men, but it never amounted to anything -- and the musings, book reviews, and general thoughts on queer theory and theology were channeled into this blog.
I turned 40. For the birthday celebration, we set up a throne for me to sit on, and guests were required to bring a Wonder of Science or sing a song. Turning 40 was a breeze, especially compared to when I turned 30. Mark teased me that I was middle-aged, which I denied -- claiming that I planned to live to a hundred, and I wouldn't be in the middle of my life until I turned 50.