Mark’s Café Moi: A Laughing Matter


A lighthearted look at aging, life, and the absurdities of it all.

By Mark McNease

What’s funny can be very subjective, unique to each of us as we find some things to be laughing matters and quite a few others not to be. But how often do we stop and think about our sense of humor itself, and what it does for us? Laughing lets off steam, certainly. It releases tension—most clearly in nervous laughter. He didn’t kill me after all! Ha! Or, I was just kidding when I said you were a narcissistic prick! Don’t fire me! Ha! It provides communion. It even distorts faces and occasionally sends us into paroxysms of uncontrolled guffaws. But have you ever considered that it saves lives?


The Savvy Senior: How Seniors Can Stop Robocalls

By Jim Miller

Dear Savvy Senior,
What can I do to stop the perpetual prerecorded robocalls I keep getting? I’m signed up with the National Do Not Call Registry, but it seems like I still get three or four robo telemarketing calls a day offering lower credit card interest rates, medical alert devices and more.
Fed Up Senior

Dear Fed Up,
Millions of Americans on the National Do Not Call Registry ( complain they still receive unwanted calls from robocallers. Why? Because most robocalls are scams run by con artists who are only trying to trick you out of your money, and they simply ignore the law.


Book Review: Lillian’s Right to Vote by Jonah Winter & Shane W. Evans

Lillian's Right to VoteBy The Bookworm Sez
Terri Schlichenmeyer

“Lillian’s Right to Vote” by Jonah Winter & Shane W. Evans
c.2015, Schwartz & Wade Books
$17.99 / $20.99 Canada  40 pages

How many leaves are on the tree outside your window?

That’s a question you may not be able to answer. How could you even count them all? Would you ever get an answer that’s right? It’s a silly question, for sure, and probably not very important. In the new book “Lillian’s Right to Vote” by Jonah Winter & Shane W. Evans, you’ll see why someone would even ask.


Events: 25th Annual Southern Comfort Conference, September 29 – October 3 (Ft. Lauderdale)

scc_logoFrom the Southern Comfort website: 

We are so glad you have decided to join us for the 25th annual Southern Comfort Conference taking place on September 29th (through October 3rd), one of the largest gatherings of the transgender community in the world. Whether it’s your first or 25th, or you are an old hand, we’re sure that you will have the time of your life.

Welcome to Southern Comfort

Vendors, authors, entertainers and leaders from the entire spectrum of the transgender community will be in sunny Ft. Lauderdale, Florida to create a 4-day symposium full of learning, networking and fun just for you! This year’s conference is packed with seminars, on-site activities as well as several planned trips away from the resort & spa that you are sure to enjoy. There is something for everyone at SCC.

Something for Everyone

Whatever your connection is? Whether your a transsexual, cross-dresser or in between; a spouse, partner or family member; straight, gay, bi or omni-sexual; post-op, pre-op or non-op; young, old; married, single; FtM or MtF – if transgender is an issue in your life, WELCOME!

Downton Abbey Trailer for Final Season 6

Get your crying in early. The final season of Downton Abbey begins airing September 20.

Says Vanity Fair:

Last week, we shared with you that filming Downton Abbey’s sixth and final season brought nearly all of the grown men and women that populate its cast and crew to tears, which is very hard to do to buttoned-up English aristocrats. At the Edinburgh TV Festival, Jim Carter, who plays consummately reliable butler Carson, gave an incredibly vague answer as to why: “I am not going to give a spoiler, but these characters, we say goodbye to them, but it is not final. . . . We see them setting off on different paths.” (This is Downton Abbey we’re talking about, though, so, like, somebody probably dies, too.) Get ready to join in on the weeping: There’s a new trailer for the upcoming season, and it’s more melancholy than, er, everybody on Downton Abbey is most of the time. As Carter promised, the final season appears to see everybody downsizing dramatically and/or peacing out of the ol’ Abbey, thanks to an economic downturn (it’s 1925, which means everything’s about to get terrible) and an inability to stop the sands of time.

6 Questions for Author Michael Graves


Michael Graves

By Mark McNease

I recently had the pleasure of asking author Michael Graves ‘6 Questions.’ Michael is the author of Dirty One, a collection of short stories that was both a Lambda Literary Award Finalist and an American Library Association Honoree. His new novel, Parade, is set for release by Chelsea Station Editions October 1. Described as “a tour-de-force, comic tale of religion and government,” the book tells the story of Reggie Lauderdale in the midst of his crisis of faith. His cousin, Elmer Mott, dreams of becoming their hometown mayor. Both boys are doing their best to be adults in suburbia, but have yet to learn to be fully themselves.

Read on for Michael’s answers, some advance praise for Parade, and stay tuned – he’ll be a guest soon on the Live Mic Podcast in early October.


‘Kill Switch’ Now Available in Paperback (Kindle Coming September 15)

FullSizeRenderIt’s a killer! Kill Switch: A Kyle Callahan Mystery is now out in paperback. The Kindle version, available for pre-order since July, will be releasing September 15.

Now you can help support lgbtSr and read the 5th installment in the Kyle Callahan Mysteries at the same time! Fans of the series will have the pleasure once again of spending time with Kyle, his husband Danny Durban, his best friend Detective Linda Sikorsky (retired), and a recurring cast as colorful as a rainbow, if deadlier.

Available for Kindle pre-order, Kill Switch promises and delivers something new as Kyle takes on his first cold case.


Live Mic Weekend with Mark & Rick (Podcast)

AB FINAL Gray Fun LettersWatch out! It’s a live mic!

It’s Rick Rose and Mark McNease together at the live mic every weekend, offering up small plates of opinion, politics, culture, and the world as we saw it this week.

On today’s menu: Killer tweets, Ashley Rentboy, Katrina 10 years after, and gaysplaining it all for you.

Mark RickDisclaimer: We’re irreverent but respectful, write that down. We say what we think, and sometimes we say what you think, too. Join us every weekend with a cup of free trade dark roast and an equality scone, here on the Live Mic podcast (Libsyn, iTunes, SoundCloud, all around the world).

Where’s the Best Place to Retire? Learn What’s Important and What’s Not

Dave HughesBy Dave Hughes,

Do you ever daydream about where you’d most like to live after you retire?

When you visit beautiful places on vacation, do you ever think, “Wow… It sure would be great to retire here!”?

Do you ever think that surely there must be some place out there that’s just right for you?

It’s fun to think about where you want to retire! After all, once you no longer have your job tying you to a particular area, there’s no reason not to move to a place that’s more to your liking if you want to. Perhaps you want to move someplace warmer, someplace where the cost of living is lower or someplace closer to the water.


Events: SAGE Webinar on Expanding Housing and Services for LGBT Older People, September 24

From the SAGE website:

Expanding Housing and Services for LGBT Older People
9/24/2015 | 2:00 – 3:30 pm EST
Register Here

Hosted by SAGE and Enterprise Community Partners, this free webinar features panelists who will discuss the topic of LGBT-friendly housing and strategies to expand housing opportunities for LGBT elders.

Due to higher levels of financial insecurity and a general lack of affordable housing, many LGBT elders find that they cannot afford homes in the communities they may have lived in for years. Others face harassment and intimidation in their homes and in long-term care settings from aging professionals, other residents, and even their own family members. In recent years, LGBT aging advocates have begun addressing these housing insecurities through a variety of approaches, including developing LGBT-specific housing; working with local housing providers to educate them about LGBT issues and their rights; informing LGBT elders about their rights under the Fair Housing Act; developing innovative programs such as “homesharing”; and connecting LGBT elders to LGBT-friendly services, including housing supports, in their distinct geographic communities.


The Weekly Readlines August 28

Promoting better news digestion …


“It seems evident to me that black males are being deliberately murdered throughout America as a closing message to Obama, telling him that his presidency has meant nothing and that the division of color is now bigger than ever.”

– Morrissey, in an interview with Larry King

“Oftentimes when I was sleeping with one of the top women in the world I would say to myself, thinking about me as a boy from Queens, ‘Can you believe what I am getting?’ ”

– Donald Trump, “Think Big: Make it Happen in Business and Life,” 2008

Set of coffee cups. Vector

Tragedy again grabbed the headlines this week, with the on-camera murders of a news reporter and her cameraman. Reporter Alison Parker and videographer Adam Ward were gunned down during a live outdoor segment, shot by aggrieved ex-employee Vester Flanagan (aka Bryce Williams). Flanagan, a gay black man who claimed oppression as a motive, sent a 23 page suicide fax to ABC news and managed to tweet his crime in text and video before shooting himself.

Did I mention?

Nothing remotely amusing happened this week, which is what I usually mention here. Trump got uglier, the Pentagon announced it will lift the ban on transgender service members next May, and Biden met with Elizabeth Warren, fanning the flames of speculation.


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