Mike Cornelison

Letters from the Lunar Outpost

Not more the rose, the queen of flowers, Outblushes all the bloom of bower, Than she unrivall'd grace discloses; The sweetest rose, where all are roses.
- Thomas Moore, Irish Poet (1779-1852)

Fireworks at Lake ElsinoreI’ve had more than my share of encounters with the police, most of them under pretty mundane circumstances and definitely none of them ever came close to the seriousness of what I was accused of last night.

The day before, we headed out to go camping for the Fourth of July weekend at Lake Elsinore with my buddy Jesse and his daughter, his friend Edgar and Edgar’s girlfriend. At 104 degrees, it was hot enough to make your brain feel mushy as you walked around the camp site and it was all I could do to drink enough beer to stay ahead of the heat. In heat like that, you don’t even get buzzed, you drink your beers down and then just sweat them all right back out.

As the night drew upon us, we settled in for the fireworks show. After a life spent of watching city-approved fireworks shows, this time we happened to set up camp on the opposite side of the lake from the official show and instead we were treated to a show that California fireworks law could only classify as neither safe or sane. A lot of people must have sunk a lot of money into fireworks and it was fun because you never knew where the next volley of fireworks was going to come from.

So yesterday, it was Sunday, the fifth of July, my friends left for home along with the vast majority of the couple hundred other campers and by 5pm when the guy on the golf cart began making the rounds to check to see who had paid through Sunday night and who needed to get on their way, we had gone from half a football field of tents and vehicles to only our family and maybe half-a-dozen scattered other groups of campers.

The night before, the air mattress had lost its air and we were flat on the ground by the morning, so this night we left the tent to sleep in the SUV. We were fast asleep when a knock came on the window around midnight. It was the Sheriff. That will jolt you awake in an instant. I put the window down. “Yes, officer?”

“We had a report of a dead body being dumped in your car.”

“A dead body?”

“Yes.” The sheriff has his flashlight on me, his partner had his flashlight scanning up and down through the vehicle.

“A dead body?”

“Yes.”

I was flabbergasted, but after the initial shock wore off, I was able to piece it together. “Someone must have seen me placing my paraplegic daughter in the car. As you can see, she’s alive and doing just fine.” And right on queue, little Megan chimes in with a big happy, “Ahhhh!”

The cop began apologizing, I said no worries and I told him he was just doing his job, but even after I said that, he still apologized two more times. It’s a rare thing indeed to see a police officer that apologetic, but Megan has a way of making even the toughest guys tender like that.

After the sheriff left, my wife and I just looked at each other bewildered and shaking our heads and then we began laughing. We wondered how on Earth anyone misinterpret the scene like that, but then I thought about how it was dusk when I put Megan in the car and how the half-light might give a sinister look to things, and then we both laughed as we imagined the absolute horror those other campers must have been experiencing if they really believed what they thought they were witnessing to the point of calling in the cops! “OH MY GOD, THEY’RE PUTTING A DEAD BODY IN THE CAR!”

Wow, my life has had some pretty crazy twists and turns, but never in my life would I have imagined getting fingered for a murder.

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We celebrate New Year’s Day, we celebrate New Year’s Eve, but how about a little pause to reflect that on this day, July 2, we are at the midpoint of the year?

July 2 is the 183rd day of non-leap years in the Gregorian calendar. This day is the midpoint of a common year because there are 182 days before it and 182 days after it.

How quickly the year seems to slip away, right? But here’s the good news: today, July 2 marks the official midpoint of the year, so even if it felt like you had already blown it with some of your goals for the year, you still have half a year to get that shit done!

Happy Midpoint's Day

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Rock Hudson

This is Rock Hudson. He was a bit before my time and I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie he starred in, but I do remember very clearly in 1985 when news broke that he had died of AIDS, and that’s when I first became truly aware of the real story of who Rock Hudson was and the secret life he had lived.

Thirty years ago, when I was a teenager, my first reaction was, “He was gay! That’s so gross!” Anyone who tells you that most heterosexuals in America back in the eighties didn’t have that same knee-jerk repulsion to gay people is lying. Back in the day, if someone were to seriously call you out for being gay, almost any straight guy would be willing to fight to prove you wrong. That’s just the way it was.

So yeah, I’d be less than honest not to admit that back then, my first thought was, “Ewww, that Rock Hudson guy was a fudge packer,” but even at that young age after hearing about the sham marriage and the straight persona he had to put on, I can also remember thinking, “That sucks he had to pretend he was straight just to land acting roles.”

How much the world has changed in thirty short years! Sure, in the cultures where macho and false bravado rule – I’m speaking of a good portion of blacks, Hispanics and rednecks – things still are the same as they were decades ago where the surest, quickest way to start a fight is to accuse a man of being gay, but we live in an America now where 60% of Americans support same-sex marriage, so the debate is pretty much over. Give it up anti-gay crusaders, you will never tip the scales back in your favor.

I think of being the teenager I was in the 80s and how it used make me shudder with revulsion to think of what gay people do, but now I feel even more heterosexual than I was then because now I know who I am with complete assuredness, so the thought of two men buggering each other affects me not one iota.

Here’s the one thing that’s really starting to grate on my nerves, though – I’m happy for the gays, hurray for them, but I’m getting very tired of the fact that the former Bruce Jenner is getting an award from ESPN for having a sex change when the born-a-he, now-a-she hasn’t competed as an athlete in almost 40 years while double-amputee Iraq war vet Noah Galloway is killing it in 58-hour death races and basketball star Lauren Hill raised money to fight cancer before dying and somehow they were both deemed lesser heroes than a guy who did nothing more than opt for sex change surgery.

I’m getting tired of the fact that every fifth or sixth commercial now has to feature a gay couple, I’m getting tired of the fact that just about every TV show and movie has to have a gay character or some “shocking” scene with two girls kissing each other.

It’s all become completely played out.

True equality for the 2.3% of LGBT in America will have really arrived when the shrinking minority of gay haters are completely ignored. True equality for the LGBT will be when every sitcom no longer feels they need to add the obligatory gay character. True equality for the LGBT will be when it’s not even worth mentioning the next time some pro athlete or celebrity comes out.

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j.edgarAs Rand Paul fights against the forces for the great surveillance state on both sides of the aisle, I just want to bring up one example of why you should never allow our American government to have free reign to collect every bit of data they can on everyone from the famous Americans to the everyday citizen.

When it came to catching criminals, J. Edgar Hoover was a very good lawman. There is no denying that, but J. Edgar Hoover was a horrible human being. He was a blackmailer and a man who used secret files to coerce and steamroll anyone who stood in his way. The fact that he held on to his position as director of the FBI for 37 years, under four Democrat and two Republican administrations tells you all you need to know. The man couldn’t be pried from he place as director because he had dirt on everyone.

I don’t want to live in J. Edgar Hoover’s America.

I was proud to grow up in the America of the 70s and the 80s when I knew that I was living in the land of the free. I was thankful I wasn’t subjugated like the poor souls in the Soviet Union living under a KGB system where a whisper from a neighbor or a rumor from a coworker could have your every phone call tapped and your every conversation recorded. What a nightmare that would have been, right?

Except it came here to America, where reality was, before one brave senator stood up and said no, every single phone call and every single email was collected and stored by the NSA.

What we ended up with was something worse than the KGB. I cannot tell you how proud I am of Rand Paul to stand up to the establishment authoritarians in both parties to stop the surveillance state.

Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one. – Benjamin Franklin

Thank God we had one senator who understood Mr. Franklin’s words and stood up against the vast majority of his colleagues to defend freedom. I stand with Rand.

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I swear to God, I thought of this twenty years before it became a reality! What’s funny is that my claim to having the idea reminds me of my mother-in-law who says she had the idea for a remote control back in the days where you had to get your ass up off the couch to change the channels. So yeah, she had the idea, and I had the idea, neither one of us acted on the idea, but this idea is really cool.  I swear I thought of this twenty years ago.

Go girl

Here is a scientific fact I would like to share with you: women are the higher evolved sex of the human species. How can I say that? It’s pure biology. Men have one canal for both sex and urination, they have a second canal for excrement. Women, on the other hand, have one canal for urination, they have a second canal for reproduction, and they have a third alimentary canal. Look at the scoreboard: Women 3, Men 2. That’s reality, any biologist will tell you, women are the higher evolved sex of the human species.

But they can’t write their names in the snow!

Probably a dozen times a day I thank God for making me the penis bearer of the species. I love having a penis, it’s the best feeling in the world to wake up and scratch your balls with not a single thought in your manly brain, but . . . I do love the beauty of women. You can take all those greek homo statues of naked men and I feel nothing. Show me a naked woman and I am ready for worship.

There are two reasons I believe in God, the beauty of a sunset, and the beauty of women.

When I was a teenager, I remember how good it felt to go camping and take a piss and hit the spot you were aiming for and look over your shoulder with no worries about anything only to see the girls squatting, looking embarrassed and looking like they were hoping they could spread their legs wide enough so the piss wouldn’t soak their shoes.

It’s not the women’s fault that their bathroom lines are always three times as long as the men’s lines, but there is hope in this new product. I really hope this go-girl product will catch on, and yes, I will have no problem if you ladies line up right beside me at the urinal at the men’s room.

go-girl2

I am totally down with women having a little prosthetic help to piss like a man.

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Team of Rivals
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Doris Kearns Goodwin