Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mưa rừng

Originally uploaded by reflexblue

Mưa rừng

Sáng tác: Huỳnh Anh

Mưa rừng ơi mưa rừng
Hạt mưa nhớ ai mưa triền miên
Phải chăng mưa buồn vì tình đời
Mưa sầu vì lòng người duyên kiếp không lâu

Mưa từ đâu mưa về
làm muôn lá hoa rơi tả tơi
Tiếng mưa gió lạnh về lùa ngoài mành
Lá vàng rơi lìa cành gợi ta nỗi niềm riêng

Ôi! ta mong ước xa xôi
những đêm mãi cô đơn gửi tâm tư về đâu
Mưa thương ai, mưa nhớ ai
Mưa rơi như nhắc nhở mưa rơi trong lòng tôi

Mưa rừng ơi mưa rừng
Tìm đâu hỡi ơi bóng ngày xưa
Mỗi khi mưa rừng về muộn màng
Bóng chiều vàng dần dần tàn lòng thương nhớ nào nguôi

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Marine Corps Marathon

Originally uploaded by reflexblue

I reversed a slide and completed the MCM under 4 hours. That's the good news. The bad news is that I was 30 minutes slower than what I could do. It was a hilly, challenging course. I barely trained, so I'm happy with the results.

What I liked about the Marine Corps Marathon:
Lots of hot Marines uniforms
Large, enthusiastic crowds
Challenging, interesting course, including an uphill finish
Start and Finish areas are accessible via mass transit
Multi-start lines which eventually merge

What I didn't like about the Marine Corps Marathon:
Dumpy, uninviting runner's expo
Opening ceremony included a very religious prayer
Many Marines running the marathon wore black shirts with white text on their backs stating "Homosexuality is a sin / Islam is a lie / Abortion is murder / Somethings are clearly black and white"

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Friday, October 26, 2007

Exchange of Clothes (Fun Relay)

Come Out and Swim Fun Relay
I was the lead off swimmer on the winning team.

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Philadelphia AIDS Fund 10k Run

Strike a Pose!
Gender Nonconformity scares people, and I experienced that first hand last weekend at the Philadelphia AIDS Fund 10k. I decided to make this 10k run a fun one by running in a pink bikini top and a purple mini-skirt.
I started out doing a conservative pace, at around 8 minute pace. Not too many people went ahead of me. At the turnaround point, I realized that I could place well if I tried. I kicked it up a notch, holding a 7 minute pace and passing three people on my way to the finish line. I placed 10th overall.
After watching some runners coming in, I took my bike out to find the rest of the Fins swimmers who were doing the AIDS Walk. A majority of the walk participants were high school kids. These kids obviously felt uncomfortable seeing me in a woman's outfit. They called me faggot. They called me freak. They hissed and they jeered. They couldn't shut up. I kept smiling and moving on.

Official results

A I D S 1 0 K R U N
W. River Dr. Philadelphia, PA * Sun. Oct. 21, 2007

o'all sex|#fin
place # NAME City/St TIME pace plc|by sex
===== === ===================== =============== ==
3 123 DAVID WITHAM PHILADELPHIA PA 39:18 6:18 3/50 M
4 130 SEAN CAPKIN WYNNEWOOD PA 40:25 6:29 4/50 M
5 188 RAY BORDOGNA WYNNEWOOD PA 40:55 6:33 5/50 M

6 182 MICHAEL DONUELLA ST DAVIDS PA 44:33 7:08 6/50 M
7 185 JIM BULIZZI PHILADELPHIA PA 44:42 7:10 7/50 M
8 34 ANDREW DUONG EAGLEVILLE PA 45:33 7:18 8/50 M
10 180 ANH M DANG PHILADELPHIA PA 45:37 7:19 9/50 M

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

Outsports Revolution

Outsports Revolution
Originally uploaded by reflexblue

Cyd Zeigler could have just read the phone book, and I'd be interested. I skipped my Abs N Ass class this week to attend the Outsports Revolution book reading. Cyd signed a copy for me. I started reading this book on the train this morning. Buy this book!

Columnist Rick Santorum

Former Sen. Rick Santorum to write column for Philadelphia paper

The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA - Former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, a Pennsylvania Republican known for his conservative positions, will begin writing a column for The Philadelphia Inquirer starting in early November.

Called the "The Elephant in the Room," the column will be featured in the Inquirer's opinion pages on alternating Thursdays.

Santorum, who lost to Democrat Bob Casey in last year's election, will write about a variety of topics ranging from America's culture wars to its struggles around the globe. Only occasionally will Santorum write about politics.

Not too surprisingly, Rick Santorum is crawling his way back into the public eye. I think it's a coup for the Inquirere to land such a prominent columnist. I disagree with Santorum 90 percent of the time, but I'm looking forward to reading his columns.

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Friday, October 19, 2007

Confessions of a Lane Six Swimmer, Part 11

For the first time in my 18-month swim with the Philadelphia Fins Aquatic Club, I was more comfortable with freestyle than breaststroke. I knew that this day would come, but I still couldn't believe it was happening! This was the workout given by Coach Tom:

3 x 100 warm-up
10 x 50 descending 1-5 and 6-10. My 5 and 10 were 45 seconds.
1 x 100 easy
8 x 100 (25 breast, 25 free, 25 breast, 25 free). I was the lane leader :-)
1 x 100 easy
5 x 50 (easy, build, fast, easy, FAST). My fast laps were 47 and 45 seconds.
1 x 100 easy

This was an unusally long set for Lane Six. We didn't have to do any drills yesterday so we covered more yards. It helped that the other three Lane Six guys were roughly my pace. For the last 100 easy, I started out doing breaststroke but after the turn couldn't spread my legs any longer. I switched over to freestyle, finished my set, and felt great!

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Wednesday, October 17, 2007

No Apologies

Caution: Hidden Driveway
Some time in my 20's, I stopped apologizing for being Asian-American. I stopped apologizing for my Vietnamese accent. I stopped apologizing for my parents. I stopped apologizing for being gay. I stopped apologizing for my Mariah Carey music collection.

Some time in my 20's, I started living.

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007


The battle over the expansion of the State Children's Health Insurance Program will come down to a veto overriding vote this Thursday. Public health policy pays my bills, so I've struggled quite a bit with this political battle. The bottom line is that this is a federal / state joint program to provide health coverage for poor children. The Democrats and some Republicans want to expand the program to cover more children whose parents may not be able to afford private insurance.

The political battle has to do with the definition of what constitutes poor, working class, and middle class. For a family of two parents and two children, if the father works full-time at a small business making $60,000 a year and the mother works part-time at Wal-Mart making $20,000 a year, are they poor? No. Can the parents afford to buy health insurance for their two children? Probably not. We all known Wal-Mart offers shitty insurance, and what if the father's small business doesn't offer insurance either? The Democrats want to offer goverment health insurance to the children in this case study. President Bush says, "No."

While I understand some of Bush's points, I side with the children. As a wealthy nation, we have a responsibility to take care of our children. We cannot depend on private employers. No matter how you define the poor, working, or middle class, we cannot risk the lives of the chidren.

Health care, not war!


Sunday, October 14, 2007

I Remember Matthew Shepard

Nine years after her son Matthew Shepard's death, Judy Shepard is still a tireless crusader for hate crime legislations. I had a chance to hear her story last week, and had a small group lunch with her after her talk. I was quite familiar with Matthew's murder, but to hear it from the mother's perspective was overwhelming. I was in tears. I didn't say much to Judy during the group lunch. I didn't really know what to say. I just sat there admiring a woman whose work I hope will be worthwhile someday.

I think about Matthew Shepard during my long runs. I wonder if Matthew were alive, would he run marathons? Would he transform from a tiny little twink to a muscular gym bunny? I run because Matthew can't. I volunteer with many GLBT groups because Matthew can't. I am political because I can't bear to see another young gay life interrupted.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Originally uploaded by reflexblue

I was told I needed to wear jockstraps. Should I take the one one the left?

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Sunday, October 07, 2007

Struggling Toward the Marine Corps Marathon

20 miles
Originally uploaded by reflexblue

My balls rubbed my thigh the wrong way about 2 hours into the run. I could feel the chafed spot from that point forward. I ran two river loops plus a few extra miles. I completed the 20 miles I wanted to run. However, the run was tougher than I'd imagine. If I ran this slow at the Marine Corps, I'd need nearly 5 hours to finish.

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Confessions of a Lane Six Swimmer, Part 10

Anh's First Time ...
Originally uploaded by reflexblue

200m breastroke: Event 12; Heat 1
There were 3 people in my heat, but one was a no-show. Thus, there were onlly two of us on the start blocks. I didn't want a falst start so I jumped a little slower. It was a good jump, considering that I only practiced this jump a handful of times.
I made the typical first-timer's mistake by starting out too fast. I was almost sprinting for my first 50, then realily settled in that I had 3 more 50's to go. I struggled to hold pace and fell behind. I could hear all my 50 teammates cheering for me. I was excited, but I couldn't go any faster! The 25 meter pool seemed so long as I struggled through the last two laps. Someone said my time was 3:41 which was 19 seconds faster that my predicted time.

Exchange of Clothes 200m Fun Relay
I was the lead-off swimmer, followed by Eric, Todd, and Professor Mark. I produced my best 50m breastroke ever! The last 25m wearing a church lady's hat I still managed to stroke my way past another team. My team ended up winning this fun relay. The rumor is that a video of this relay will be posted on YouTube shortly.

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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Come Out and Swim!

Fins with Pride award

Total Registered Swimmers 123
FINS- Fins Aquatics Club 41
TNYA- Team New York Aquatics 22
DCAC- District of Columbia Aquatics Club 17
LANES- Liquid Assets New England Swimming 14
PAFC- Pennypack Aquatic and Fitness 6
1776- Colonials 1776 5
JAM- Jersey Area Masters 4
TDA- Team Detroit Aquatics 3
BALT- North Baltimore Aquatic Club Masters 2
METRO- Metro Masters Swim Club 2
OHSPL- Ohio Splash 2
NAD- Nadadores de South Florida 1
MACC- Montréal À Contre-Courant 1
OR- Oregon 1
STLM- St. Louis Masters 1
VMST- Virginia Masters Swim Team 1

Logo Revealed!

The meet is today! Most out-of-town swimmers arrived last night for the registration party! Everything has gone well so far!

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Thursday, October 04, 2007

Marine Corps Marathon: 3 Weeks Away

That Extra Mile
Wow ... my next marathon is only 3 weeks away. It's time to taper. Since I haven't built up my miles, I need to come out of my closet this OutFest Sunday to run 20 miles. I can then cruise the gayborhood at the "World's Largest National Coming Out Block Party" right in my front door.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

2007 Philadelphia Fins Swim Meet

Logo Revealed!
Originally uploaded by reflexblue

It was a typical coming out party: denials, tears, confusions, confrontations, histrionics, and finally common sense. This was the planning process for the 2007 Philadelphia Fins International Swim Meet -- Come Out and Swim!
It's being held this weekend along with the OutFest National Coming Out Block Party in Philadelphia. The registration process is over. We're getting about 150 swimmers and 50 volunteers. I'm the chair of the meet housing and transportation, so my work continues until all swimmers and volunteers return home from the meet.

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