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Meetings at CGM during 2009

Date
#
Topics/Activities
2009‑01‑02
34
Movie night: Oh Happy Day.
2009‑01‑09
37
Drew Thomits hosted a presentation on Gay Men's Health Issues. Group discussion focused around each participant's interests and questions regarding sex, sexuality, and sexual health including but not limited to safer sex and STD/HIV prevention.
2009‑01‑16
34
Jeffrey led a discussion about gay men and dating. Where do you start? The internet, bars, or social clubs? Members discussed their successes and horror stories about the dating game.
2009‑01‑23
34
Rod C. introduced us to the very talented performer Gordon Michaels. Gordon discussed events being sponsored by Bears 4 Music.
2009‑01‑30
32
Five members displayed and discussed their art. Dick P., Frank C., and Dick B. are painters, Jeremy W. is a photographer, and Charles L. is a potter. Each spoke briefly and took questions regarding their creative passions. Dick B. also provided a beginner's painting lesson!
2009‑02‑06
31
Game night.
2009‑02‑13
29
Gary Cote started the Concord Area Fibromyalgia Empowerment group (The CAFE) in June 2008 with the hopes of offering inspiration and support to members suffering from fibromyalgia. Gary lives in Andover with his partner of 13 years. Gary says that despite the adversities we all face, it is important to have established goals. But for many of us, we've allowed our goals to become too incidental. Gary taught us the importance of self-awareness, resilience and empowerment in the process of setting your life's goals.
2009‑02‑20
43
Joe Murphy discussed Gay Men Together, a gay men's retreat held twice each year. GMT was formed by a group of gay men who desired to build community among gay men. We gather as gay and/or questioning men in a non-threatening environment where we each are free to be and celebrate ourselves.
2009‑02‑27
45
Adam Z, a nationally certified massage therapist, discussed and demonstrated massage therapy techniques, including deep tissue, Swedish, clinical massage, neuro-muscular therapy and muscle energy techniques.
2009‑03‑06
29
Keith Boyles introduced tonight's film: The Boys in the Band. Released in 1970, this classic William Friedkin film was often criticized for so-called gay stereotypes and self-hatred. Probably Hollywood's first important gay film and generally described as dark and depressing, this film is nevertheless essential to every gay man's education.
2009‑03‑13
45
Nate G. hosted Lethal Luau, a murder mystery with a thick and complicated plot, shady characters, and of course, a corpse! Participants dressed their parts! Click here for photos from this event.
2009‑03‑20
50
Gay Outdoors founder Mike Boisvert was our guest. Mike presented slides of the various GO events and took questions, including gear and clothing advice. GO provides a safe, comfortable atmosphere to improve your fitness and make new friends.
2009‑03‑27
37
Toniq TV creator George Cox was our guest tonight. Toniq TV showcases places, events, news and heath issues for the gay community. George is also a singer/songwriter who has been involved in the Boston music scene for over ten years. He opened for many national music acts, and tracks from his album "Doorways Through the Hourglass" have had airplay on several New England radio stations. He created the nationally award winning "Twist TV" seen in 33 cities and four states including Boston and New York.
2009‑04‑03
28
Game night. One member brought his favorite game to share with 27 other members. Wow!
2009‑04‑10
40
Tim Starkey, Mr. Boston Leather 2009 joined us for a Kink, Leather, and BDSM 101 discussion. Tim focused on Safe, Sane, and Consensual principles and spoke about paths people can use to explore the world of being a leather man. Tim of course was in full leather gear and had assorted toys to show at the presentation. Members were encouraged to wear some leather, rubber or even a colored hankie for this discussion to show their interests to others in the group!
2009‑04‑17
34
Queer Gabby: CGM's take on daily advice columns. Members wrote out questions addressed to Queer Gabby. We went around reading and answering the questions. The night was informative, funny, and a good way to find out other member's views on life.
2009‑04‑24
32
Member John K. has set up a website dedicated to providing 3 free Hexaduko puzzles every day. The meeting focused both on the puzzle itself as well as the process of building a web site.
2009‑05‑01
39
Movie night: Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. Thanks to Steve and Bill for bringing popcorn!
2009‑05‑08
40
Raymond Edwin was our guest. He discussed how most straight men become homophobic: they are trained by society to be oppressors of everyone else (women, people of color, gays, etc.) and that training is steeped in homophobia. His life goal over the past 20 - 25 years has been to show men they don't have to act that way any more. In Ray's men's support group he asks men to be physically close to each other, hold hands, and hug other men (both gay & straight) and counsel them on the feelings that come up for them. He has witnessed many breakthroughs in these men. His presentation addressed both the "set up" and other expectations society has placed on men, which are conditions we all need to be liberated from.
2009‑05‑15
36
Chris Holman was our guest tonight. Professionally known as CJ the DJ, Chris has been a very active member of the gay community since coming out in the early 90s. Chris's commitment to local and regional community services is what really distinguishes this photographer and entertainer. He has served a four year appointment as his town's Southwest Regional Planning Commissioner, as well as doing much fund raising while helping organize special events for groups like ACS, GAYLA, NH Bears, several AIDS service organizations, and the Southwestern Vermont Gay Men's group.
2009‑05‑22
35
Concord psychotherapist Paul Smith was our guest. He led us in an exploration of CGM's group dynamics. The evening comprised of a set of partly fun, partly serious, partly silly, and partly revealing games and exercises. We learned about fellow CGM members things they may not have previously known about themselves.
2009‑05‑29
51
CGM's second annual Family and Friends Ice Cream Social. As usual, members were encouraged to bring their family and friends. In addition to the ice cream, we hosted a fancy dessert contest. Dick from Concord won first place with his Chocolate Kahlua Cake !
2009‑06‑05
32
Game night, including Balderdash, Trivial Pursuit, Catch Phrase, Jenga, and Chinese Checkers. We snacked on bananas!
2009‑06‑12
33
Carl Eric Johnson was our guest. He presented "Blogging and Social Networking for Gay Professionals." Carl noted that the most important product we should sell is ourselves. Blogging and social networking can provide immediate outreach and build trust. However, the social networks also have inherent pitfalls and dangers; Carl helped us detect and navigate these.
2009‑06‑19
40
Dr. Sarah Strout returned to CGM as our guest. She is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Southern New Hampshire University. Her research focuses on the social, evolutionary and cultural effects on mating strategies, particularly in groups underrepresented in evolutionary literature such as women and gay/lesbian individuals. She first visited CGM on April 20, 2007; tonight she presented her findings from the study she was conducting at that time.
2009‑06‑26
26
Steve F. introduced us to CGM's new interactive Message Board. He showed us how to set up our profiles, explore the posts, and make entries ourselves.
2009‑07‑03
27
Movie night: Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Fun fact: Hedwig or Hedy is a German female-given name. The name originates from old German (hadu meaning battle, and wig meaning fight).
2009‑07‑10
29
Our invited guests (NH Freedom to Marry) did not show. Instead, we walked the church grounds, dodged the mosquitoes, smelled the flowers, climbed on other member's antique cars, and took each other's blood pressure. Boys will be boys!
2009‑07‑17
32
Our second annual auction raised $940 to help offset the cost of our 10th anniversary party. Unsurprisingly, "local art" donations garnered the most bids, so many thanks to our generous, talented members, as well as the handful of high-propensity buyers!
2009‑07‑24
39
Dennis M. hosted a fun night of "getting to know you" questions.
2009‑07‑31
28
Jeffrey asked the members to share what CGM means to them. Some questions that were asked were: What would you do on a Friday night if not for CGM? What changes would you like to see happen in the next 5 years? Do we want to be a part of NH Pride in 2010?
2009‑08‑07
30
Movie night: Mammoth Dreams - The Story of Dave McCoy. Howard D. introduced the film, then took questions afterward. It was nice to watch a non-gay documentary for a change of pace.
2009‑08‑14
26
A supportive meeting tonight. Two members have recently been outed to their children, with mixed results. The most common advice in this situation was to give it time (give folks as long as you gave yourself to become comfortable with it) and to continue to be the same person you always were. We also discussed gay marriage. Several folks expressed their concern that if this battle is lost, it will be solely because we chased after the word "marriage." Some noted that the "marriage = one man + one woman" belief is rooted in church and faith upbringings, which you are not going to easily change. One suggested that if legal benefits are all we really are after (rather than acceptance from all faiths), what we should be pushing for is marriage to be returned to the churches who may define it however they like, and civil unions for all, gay and straight alike.
2009‑08‑21
33
Jeffrey led the group in a discussion of the VT Bear Film Festival, Rock River, and Palm Springs.
2009‑08‑28
30
Jeffrey hosted Speed Friending: Men were rotated to meet each other over a series of 4-minute intervals. Each time the bell rang, half the room moved on to the next friend. This was CGM's take on speed dating. We supplied questions for participants to use or they could use their own. 26 guys made 13 new friends...each!
2009‑09‑04
32
Game night.
2009‑09‑11
30
Open meeting hosted by Bill A.
2009‑09‑18
31
Sandie Perreault was our guest tonight. She helped the attendees find inner peace through breath work, meditation and yoga postures. Sandie was trained in the Bija Ananda Teacher Training Program (RYT 200-hour certification) with Tom Sherman. She has been practicing the art of yoga for 7 years and has been teaching for 3 years. Before that she taught aquacise for over 10 years.
2009‑09‑25
33
Ignacio S. visited us from Miami to host our second murder mystery of the year: Staying Alive. This time our corpse was a dummy! As usual, the cast was dressed for their character and I was ready with the camera. See photos from this event.
2009‑10‑02
31
Movie night: Save Me starring the dreamy Chad Allen.
2009‑10‑09
28
Gary Finger, accompanist for the NH Gay Men's Chorus was our guest. Gary gave insight about the Chorus and his duties. He urged us to support the Chorus by attending the upcoming Winter and Spring concerts.
2009‑10‑16
22
AMEX financial planner Deborah Nitschke discussed the impact we may face if the tax laws enacted 8 years ago are not renewed. She also reviewed the investment strategy triangle and took many questions.
2009‑10‑23
27
Open discussion hosted by Jeffrey.
2009‑10‑30
40
Halloween Party! Members wore costumes, brought treats and tricks. One new member was a very convincing Jason.
2009‑11‑06
27
Game night.
2009‑11‑13
34
Campaign night. Board members discussed their roles, responsibilities, and accomplishments over the past year and offered advice to new candidates. Jeffrey noted that CGM has grown over the last ten years and should be positioning itself to accommodate 130+ members.
2009‑11‑20
28
Show & Tell night. Twelve guys participated and brought items in they were passionate about.
2009‑11‑27
35
An after-Thanksgiving potluck was held at the home of Bob and Brad in Pembroke. This was easily one of CGM's wilder potlucks!
2009‑12‑04
37
Annual Meeting and Election of officers.
2009‑12‑11
39
"Be gentle on people because you don't know what they've been through" sayeth the Rev. Canon Charles LaFond. Rev. LaFond, well-known for his intensive seminars on relationships, spoke to us at length about collaborative skills with regards to family, friends, and significant others. The theme of Rev. LaFond's talk was that, when conflicts arise, we can be hard on issues but soft on people. The basis of a relationship is equality, not honesty, trust, or even loyalty. We must recognize that we each have different roles to play in all of our relationships, and that collaborative skills are necessary to foster a healthy relationship.
2009‑12‑18
51
Yankee Swap and Christmas party. Our president-elect Jeffrey appeared in full Santa regalia, while Elvis (Bill P.) sang Christmas hits. We were treated to an abundant and dazzling cornucopia of food, holiday cheer, and handmade door prizes meticulously crafted by Dennis M. and his talented and imaginative team. This was the final meeting of 2009.

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