Showing posts from August, 2010

How To Tell If You’re Gay

I’ll turn 67 next month, and now that the heart transplant has allowed me a future, after last November when I thought I had none (I’d quit buying new clothes—why waste the money?—I already owned a perfectly good suit for my burial), I decided it was time to see if there the possibility of romance in my future. As readers of this blog know, I’ve had three major loves in my life: my ex-wife Charleyne (4 ½ years), David (4 ½ years) and Jerry (12½ years—when Jerry and I were together he worried there was a four-year expiration date coming). I’m pleased to say we’re all on good terms, and all three might attend my birthday party September 25th. Jerry and I broke up in 1997 (and someday I’ll post the story of the day he left, which was surreal), and while there were a few mini-romances since then, I’ve to learned to live alone and enjoy it. But, still, could I get it going again after all these years? I decided to join the local chapter of Prime Timers, a social group for aging gay men, a…

The Best of My Library

Want to settle down for a good read? Well then, let me recommend my favorites to you: books I wish I’d never read so that I could read and enjoy them all over again. [I once saw a great cartoon where two robots are sitting on a couch, holding hands, happy tears in their mechanical eyes, looking at a TV where “THE END” is displayed, and one robot says to the other, “Great movie—let’s erase our memories and watch it again!”]

Of course tastes differ, and you might hate everything on the list, but pick and choose from the types of books you like to read and chances are good you’ll find a new favorite or two (and, if so, write me and tell me what you liked).

A. The Classics

Shakespeare is the greatest writer the world has produced to date. His plays are best appreciated when seen (or, for the sonnets, read aloud), but they can be happily read and gleaned for the treasures they possess. I came to Charles Dickens late in life, but that man is also a genius, and his books are terrific reads…

About This Blog

I cannot tell you how much pleasure I get from writing this blog and then enjoying the tremendous response of its readers. Some of those responses are comments printed on the blog itself, others are verbal or sent through other media (Facebook, emails, etc.).

I started the blog because the publicist for my novel, “Imaginary Friend” (see the post of that title on June 22, 2010) said I had to do three things to enhance sales: set up a website, join Facebook, and start a blog. About this same time (November 23, 2009) I had a heart transplant, and when I got out of the hospital and was sufficiently recovered, I started the blog in mid-December. I finally did launch a website: (which deals not only with the book, but with selling my comic albums, “Strange Songs” and “Gay Songs,” and also promotes the purchase of the song “Big Birthday,” which I wrote with my son Clayton, and which is a nutty substitute “Happy Birthday” song for those ominous birthdays ending in zero (40t…

“Doug, Please Get My Clubs From the Trunk”

Both of my parents were athletes. Dad, while still in college, considered a career in professional baseball (as a catcher) until one bad day when he threw his arm out. Mom had been head cheerleader in high school (see “Bob and Kink Get Married,” June 2, 2010), but hadn’t played many sports until Dad and family were transferred to Japan in 1954, where she learned that a young Japanese maid would come in Monday through Friday from 9 to 5 p.m. for $10.00 a month (remember, readers, that prices were very different then—it was impossible to force more than $3 worth of gasoline inside those large American cars in 1954!). That’s when LeNore Whaley learned to bowl and play golf. Before we left Japan in 1957, she bowled the highest score a woman ever bowled in Japan: 270 (for which she rolled seven strikes in a row). Dad was her teacher, but she was an apt student and very, very good at whatever she tried (for their amusing softball adventure, see “My Competitive Parents,” January 20, 2010).


The Sexy Promissory Note

This blog post’s discussion of the law has been updated in a subsequent post on this blog.See “Mortgage Foreclosures, Missing Promissory Notes, and the Uniform Commercial Code: A New Article,” February 11, 2013, at

One of the subjects I’ve taught for forty years is called Commercial Paper (or sometimes Payment Law), and it concerns checks and promissory notes. The course is often thought of in student circles as a “snoozer,” but I’ve managed to make it interesting enough that my classes were well subscribed (and it doesn’t hurt that it’s widely tested on the bar exam). It’s easy enough to get the students interested in checks—they all have checking accounts (or debit/credit cards, which are also covered in the course), and much can go wrong with checks: how quickly you can withdraw deposited items, fees, forgery, stopping payment, bank failure, etc. But, alas, poor promissory notes are nowhere nearly…

Douglas Whaley, Actor

Growing up, through all grades including high school and college, I did a great deal of acting. I even wrote plays and musicals, and they were pretty dreadful. I found a box of them recently, and shuddered as I glanced through them. But I suppose they were good training for learning to write, and prepared me for writing the comic songs I am proud of and that were later collected into an album called “Strange Songs” (about which more in a future post, though readers interested in exploring that madness can download a copy for $9 at

When I was in college I gave serious thought to going into the theater as a career, but decided on law both for practical reasons (say, money) and because I thought I could make a difference in that field that would be more important than just entertaining others. So I gave up acting except for the occasional law school production. Gilbert and Sullivan (see “A Fanatic’s Tale (This Isn’t Pretty),” April 11, 2010) wrote a …

Teaching English to Cats

Eventually, my cat Mama (see “Mama, Biopsies, and My iPad,” May 19, 2010) became bored. At first she loved the games we played, such as chasing after objects I pulled across the floor or the crawling red bug created by my classroom laser, until she figured out I was maneuvering everything (she began watching my hands carefully, and not the mysterious bug, for example), at which point she totally lost interest (“How humiliating—I’m being manipulated! Me!”). Today if that little red bug runs in front of her, she yawns to show she’s been there, done that. I’d heard that cats living alone get neurotic, so, after consultation with my cat expert Pam (see above cited post), I decided to acquire a companion for Mama. Thus I went to a cat rescue operation called Colony Cat, and took home a three year old beautiful (and large) all grey cat who’d been found wandering about Columbus. As I exited from Colony Cat with this very friendly animal, the owner asked me what I planned on naming him. “I’l…

The First Time I Nearly Died

Up until my heart transplant in November of 2009, my heart problems nearly killed me a number of times. There was a particularly bad period from November of 2005 until February of the following year when my heartbeat became so erratic that (no exaggeration) twenty or so times every day I would feel a skipped beat or two or highly irregular thump in my chest or some other scary movement, and think, “This is the moment I’m dying.” Twenty times a day for over three months. That gets old. I found myself wearying of it all; “Just die,” I’d think. But a change of medication in February put my heart back into a regular rhythm, and, as is true of all of us, when the heart’s beating normally, one ceases to notice it. Life went back to normal.

But the first time I nearly died occurred in February 1978, when I was 34. I ruptured my appendix, but had none of the traditional symptoms. Instead I thought I had the flu—a rather bad case of flu, with fever, and vomiting, and cold chills. This went on…