Monday, May 15, 2017


---I did follow the "Build Your Own Religion" advice I received in my childhood from a program by that title which was sponsored by the First Unitarian Church of Austin where Mother was herself a devoted member for many years. I realize that the religion I "built" for myself, the non-Christian and implicitly-deistic and non-atheistic "Progressive Prohibitionist Religion" with very stringent membership-eligibility requirements, was one that Mother may not have herself liked. 

However, I feel confident that Mother would have admired the fact that I myself am among the dependably civil and law-abiding and religious non-Christians (albeit in a fully independent new and still-one-member religious denomination of my own that is neither Unitarian nor Unitarian-Universalist nor Judaistic nor Moslem nor Shinto-Buddhist nor Hindu nor Quaker) in the United States. 

--I am still a very conscientious gentleman, after all these years, and it pleases me to recall today that in my early childhood Mother would sometimes politely criticize me for being "too conscientious." She would offer me that criticism by saying, "You're TOO conscientious, Kevin." I feel hopeful that Mother might have agreed today that I have found a way to be very conscientious without being EXCESSIVELY conscientious, in her opinion.

--I have been determinedly and consistently civil in response to living conditions in Texas that Mother herself denounced over the telephone in the summer of 1990, during a period in which I called her home in Westlake Hills, Texas, from Sweetwater, Texas (where I was employed full-time as a newspaper reporter and occasional front-page columnist for the "Sweetwater Reporter" daily newspaper), by herself saying very emphatically from her end of the phone line: "Your living conditions are OUTRAGEOUS in their cruelty and unfairness toward you (youngest biological son John Kevin McMillan)!" (approximate quote, with the word 'OUTRAGEOUS' an exact quote).

--I am of course inspired by Mother's frequently stated deep appreciation for the Scottish-born clergyman at the First Unitarian Church in Austin during the 1980s, the ever-erudite Rev. McNaught, who had been educated in Edinburgh, Scotland. Mother's consistently stated admiration for Rev. McNaught has since reminded me that I myself might want to develop stronger ties of my own to Scotland and natives of Scotland in my own life. This might be even more natural for me than for Mother, since I myself have Scottish ancestry from Father's side of the family tree. People of Scottish ancestry are more likely to get along with me well than people of other ancestries---an impression, anyway. It seems to me that Mother's ancestry, by contrast, was all English and German; yet the clergyman she praised the most was a native Scotsman.

--I have been consistently polite toward Massachusetts, even though it was in that northeastern U.S. state where, as Mother herself stated to me during a May or June of 1987 phone call I made to her from Quincy, Massachusetts, "The (background) voices (in Quincy, Mass., and the Boston area) DO NOT DO JUSTICE TO YOU!"

---My politeness toward Massachusetts has even included a period of  1995 when I resided and worked in Baytown, Texas, and I consulted a private attorney in Baytown, Roy Fuller, who directly contacted the then-current Governor of Massachusetts on my behalf. That kindly and apparently first-rate attorney member of the State Bar of Texas informed me in writing in 1995 that the Governor of Massachusetts in 1995 was not aware of any legal issues or any legal conflicts of any type that in the year 1995 involved or referred to myself, former Quincy, Mass., resident John Kevin McMillan, in any way, Mr. Fuller helpfully assured me in a legal letter he mailed to me from inside his private law firm office in Baytown, with the section of Baytown where I resided in 1995 having been situated in Harris County (with Houston, Texas, as the county seat).

---I smile frequently in my everyday life, and this partly reflects Mother's repeated advice to me in person: "Smile, and the world smiles with you!"

---I do not have any criminal-conviction record, and I support law-enforcement. I take pride in submitting vigilant reports to law-enforcement agencies about noteworthy crime evidence that I myself learn about during my leisuretime.

---I have not consumed any tobacco product on any occasion in my entire life.

---I am NEITHER a recovering alcoholic NOR a current alcoholic NOR a former drug addict NOR a current drug addict.

--I myself have not consumed any quantity of drinking alcohol on any occasion since the late summer of 1990. While Mother was herself a light drinker for many of her adult years, I feel hopeful that she would have supported my own decision to lead a fully alcohol-free lifestyle in my own adult life ever since 1990. Mother was of course very aware, for instance, that her own English-American father and German-American mother, Russell Gardner and Helen Siegling Gardner, respectively, both permanently abstained from any and all consumption of drinking alcohol on their farm near Iowa City, Iowa, from what I understand.

--I will always savor the wonderful cooking aromas that Mother achieved through her use of cooking sherry and wine in her cooking inside our family's home in Westlake Hills, Texas. While I have not myself made use of alcohol in my own cooking, I hope to someday purchase a cookbook that highlights the most delicious and healthful dishes that are prepared using alcohol as a leading ingredient---with the alcohol itself vanishing through evaporation during the cooking process. 
I also want my own "Progressive Prohibitionist Religion" to promote production and use of alcohol in that specific context---as a means of enhancing the flavor of dishes being prepared in the kitchen, with the alcohol itself being removed through the cooking process. Perhaps there should someday be a creative new "Guide to Cooking with Alcohol" recipe book.

---I have never purchased or consumed any quantity of cocaine or heroin or LSD or, for that matter, any illicit drug other than marijuana on any occasion in my entire life.

---I have never consumed any quantity or marijuana on any occasion since the late fall of 1984.

---I have never purchased any quantity of marijuana on more than one total occasion in my entire life. That one total exception occurred in the summer of 1978 in Austin, Texas. And that particular small bagful was never opened by me or consumed by me at any time, since I myself didn't have any need for it. I had been talked into making that onetime purchase I now regret by a male adult photo-department coworker of mine at "The Daily Texan" student newspaper. 

---I have never purchased or owned any illicit-drug paraphernalia on any occasion in my entire life.

---I am NOT a hippie, and I take pride in getting a haircut an average of once per month and taking a shower once or twice per day and in shaving my face every day. I always request a short conservative-looking hairstyle when I visit a hairstylist.

---I do NOT have a beard or mustache or goatee. I present a full face to the world, including a full smile, and I feel sure that Mother would have appreciated that "full face" style of mine. It was she, in fact, who if memory serves me correctly did candidly comment to me that the beard that Father had himself worn beginning in the 1980s did scratch Mother's own face when they hugged. Mother did not complain about Father's beard, but it was obvious to me that she would have preferred that Father hug her WITHOUT extensive facial hair on his face.

---I have ZERO tattoos emblazoned anywhere on my own body, and I myself very definitely and very emphatically would NEVER agree to ANY tattoo on my own body on any occasion in my entire life.

---I spend ZERO money of my own on jewelry of any type.

---I have NEVER on any occasion in my entire life ever once had my own ears or nostril or mouth or tongue pierced. Nor would I myself ever agree to have my own ears or nostril or mouth or tongue pierced, under ANY circumstances.

---I spend ZERO money of my own on facial make-up.

---I currently spend ZERO money of my own on cologne. I very emphatically DO NOT SEEK TO SEDUCE ANYONE!
And contrary to what many people assume about single adult men in this notoriously oversexed college town of Austin, Texas, I myself am a longtime celibate-by-choice gentleman!

---I never verbalize profanity of my own in my everyday conversations with others. 

---In my entire life, I have been faulted by or criticized by another person on only three total occasions I can recall for having myself allegedly verbalized an allegedly profane or obscene or foul word to or within earshot of that individual. The most recent incident occurred about 10 years ago in a context when I had been quoting to a coworker of mine an allegedly foul or obscene word I had been shocked by that I had heard another coworker verbalize within earshot of me inside that workplace, and a work supervisor happened to overhear my oral mini-report to a coworker about what I was shocked to have just heard a coworker of mine say while on duty inside that chain restaurant workplace for all three of us. It was the assistant manager at that workplace who then, understandably, faulted me for having myself ALSO verbalized the cited foul word at the waitstation, REGARDLESS of whether it was in the context of my expressing my own shock over what a coworker of mine had just said within earshot of me inside our chain restaurant workplace.

In the early 1980s, I had what I thought to be a bit of good-humored spontaneous wit after drinking alcohol off-duty with coworkers of mine who, like me, were employed by Minnesota COACT (Citizens Organizations Acting Together) non-profit and non-partisan political group in Minneapolis. After my Jewish male coworker Doug Nopar of Chicago, Illinois, boasted to me that he knew how to speak black English, and that he excelled at "jive talk," I believe he also said,  and that he had a flair for imitating what he believed to be the intriguing and entertaining mannerisms of black persons in Chicago, I immediately replied with what I thought under the influence of alcohol to be satirically clever wit: "I always thought you (coworker Doug) were a bit of a 'Nigger Lover'!", I exclaimed delightedly before collapsing into laughter over what felt at the time to have been spontaneous clever use of a term I myself had learned through non-fictional and fictional books deploring racism in the South that I had read in my childhood in Texas. I believe it was Doug Nopar who then stated to me that he regarded my tongue-in-cheek use of the term "Nigger Lover" to have been shockingly racist on my part and revealing my own "Southern" background in a manner that offended a northern gentleman such as himself, he indicated. Needless to mention, I have never verbalized the term "Nigger Lover" to anyone at any time since then.
It is possible, though, that coworker Matt Shands, himself previously a resident of Virginia and the Seattle area of Washington State, was the individual who politely faulted me for having verbalized that admittedly derogatory term under the influence of alcohol in a context in which I may have informed Matt about Doug's delight in imitating the mannerisms and speech of black Chicago residents, and I may have then added with a smirk on my face, "I always thought Doug was a bit of a 'Nigger Lover'."
It is also possible that my actual words were to Doug Nopar on the cited day in 1982, and my actual words were, in fact, "So that makes you (Doug) a 'Nigger Lover'!", with myself collapsing into inebriated laughter over this tongue-in-cheek attempt at wit on my part as I imagined the Jewish Anglo gentleman Doug Nopar imitating the speech and mannerisms of cited African-Americans of Chicago with his special zeal for that favorite pastime of his.

The other foul-speech incident I was blamed for that I can currently recall occurred during my first-grade or third-grade year of elementary school at Eanes Elementary School of Eanes Independent School District serving schoolchildren residing in Rollingwood and Westlake Hills, Texas. After I attempted to sit next to a female schoolmate on the bus one day and she objected to my sitting beside her, I suddenly remembered what a male schoolmate of mine on that same bus had previously advised me to say for a quick reply if a girl ever refused to let me sit next to her on the bus. He had told me to reply, "Shut your ass (sic)," and I immediately blurted out "Shut your ass" based on prior advice from that male schoolmate. I myself did not know the meaning of the word "ass" or the term "shut your ass" when I merely repeated what a male schoolmate had urged me to say in a situation like that. The girl who objected to my sitting beside her on the schoolbus promptly complained to the Eanes ISD schoolbus driver, Mrs. Allen, an Anglo widow, and my parents were informed about that incident. I don't recall for sure whether Mrs. Allen specifically asked me at the time of the incident whether I knew what the term "ass" meant. It is likely that she did. I definitely DID NOT know the meaning of the word "ass" at that time.

--I spend ZERO money of my own inside gambling casinos. In my entire adult life, in fact, I have never spent any money of my own inside any gambling casino anywhere in the world.

--I have spent no more than $1 in all of my own money on the Texas Lottery or any other state lottery at any time in the most recent 10-year period.

--I am almost never faulted by anyone for alleged possible dishonesty.

---I never physically assault anyone, I myself never pounce on anyone, and I never sexually assault anyone.

---I am completely lacking in criminal intent (CI) toward anyone and everyone, and I definitely DO NOT seek to harm myself or anyone else. 

--Like Mother, I greatly admired the British-born Angela Lansbury's very fine acting performance as Mrs. Fletcher in the fictional television series "Murder, She Wrote." I would add that I myself would love to see a new television series that highlights an outstanding character such as Mrs. Fletcher who actually PREVENTS murders about to occur from ever in fact occurring. I love the idea of a Murder-Prevention-Expert truly heroic figure in a new fictional television series.

--while I myself do not pursue crossword puzzles, a favorite hobby of Mother's, I have devoted much of my adult life to attempting to solve a variety of other "puzzles" and "mysteries" that I have faced in my own everyday life. In fact, one Minneapolis-based male adult fiction writer 10 or more years older than myself, Michael Crothers, stated to me in the early 1990s on the telephone during a phone call I made from Texas to his mother's home in south or southeast Minneapolis, "Your own circumstances in Texas are pervasively DISHONEST (sic) toward you" (approximate quote), with Michael Crothers adding in that same phone conversation that if I myself were to pursue an "openly transsexual" lifestyle not involving any sex-change operation of any type and reflecting my own very strong and citedly very enthusiastic affinity toward a significant percentage of the heterosexual men and heterosexual women, he said, and if I were to also move to Minneapolis, Minnesota, he indicated to me in that early 1990s phone call, the dishonest information services being inflicted on me in Texas might diminish significantly, according to that male adult fiction writer and English as a Second Language educator.

--Like Mother from her days as a botany researcher in Iowa and Northern California, I love mushrooms. In fact, I request mushrooms on a frequent basis when I dine out in restaurants.

---In my entire adult life, I have never permitted anyone to physically beat or physically whip me on any occasion during any of my own waking or conscious hours. Nor have I myself ever once physically beaten or physically whipped anyone on any occasion in my entire adult life. I take pride in being neither a sadist nor a sadomasochist nor a masochist.

---I will always savor Mother's keen insight about Austin atheist Madelyn Murray O'Hair, that "She (Dr. O'Hair) is not the sort of person I (Mother) would want to sit down with and share coffee and conversation." This comment has since reminded me that when I myself meet someone in my own everyday life, I might want to ask myself, "Would I myself have a successful and mutually-enjoyable conversation with that person if I sat across a dining table from that individual and shared a pitcher of tea or teapot of hot tea with that person?"

---I strive to get tested an average of every six months for the HIV virus, and I take pride in being a longtime-celibate-by-choice single-by-choice white adult male member of the "Law-Abiding HIV-Negative Americans Community" in the United States.

--It pleases me to sense that Mother would have strongly agreed with me that any and all individuals who test positive for the HIV virus should immediately feel honorbound to lead completely celibate and illicit-drug-free and always-sober lifestyles on a permanent basis, which will then help to reduce the risk of their ever infecting anyone else with that often-fatal virus. For a person who is HIV-positive and feels a need for intimate physical contact with another living being, I believe that the HIV-positive dog owner could purchase a lap dog to hug without any risk of infecting that lap dog with the HIV virus.

--I myself have never infected anyone with any sexually transmitted disease of any type on any occasion in my entire life.

---I myself spend ZERO dollars of my own money toward patronizing nightclubs during my leisuretime. I love the idea of meeting new people during my leisuretime in a strictly-sober and thoughtful and mutually-polite context with philosophical depth to it.

---I never grab or pinch or slap or hit anyone.

---I was a certified official dues-paying individual member of the Elder William Brewster Society, a New England-based organization honoring my most famous ancestor, the Reverend William Brewster of the Mayflower and the Plymouth Colony, for at least one year. However, my finances have been so weak in more recent years that I felt I could not afford to renew my membership.

--I have been polite to a favorite personal friend of Mother's in the Austin area, Mrs. Marge Loehlin, and I did have lunch with Mrs. Loehlin in a recent prior year. I find it inspirational to note that both Mrs. Loehlin and my own mother were friends to each other as residents of Lincoln, Nebraska, before each of them moved with their respective families to the Austin area of Texas.

---I did make one or two friendly long-distance phone calls several years ago to a favorite sister of Mother's, Aunt Helen Gardner Miller of Iowa City, Iowa. Mother's great love for her oldest sister, Helen, has been a fine inspiration to me ever since my childhood.

--I also strongly support the cause of world peace, a cause Mother had herself had indirectly championed through her longtime friendship with Austin resident Mary Esther Hill, Mrs. Hill having been a strong advocate of One-World-Government (one governmental system serving the entire world) aimed at promoting global peace and harmony.

--While I myself have never visited Coos Bay, Oregon, a favorite vacation destination for Mother and Father during their retirement years together, I hope to someday be able to afford to myself visit that scenic coastal town.
And in the meantime, I'm always grateful that Mother and Father did take me to Crater Lake in Oregon during a family vacation in my early childhood.

---I hope to someday go on a camping trip, if I become friends with someone I trust who would be willing to accompany me on a trip of that type. Mother herself delighted in stays by our family at public campgrounds of national parks and state parks.  And those campground stays were great adventures for me, too.  I will always remember having conversations with a female single parent from Wisconsin, herself a middle-aged divorced woman, at a private campground at Cripple Creek, Colorado, in the 1960s or 1970s. I found it very impressive that she was somehow able to take care of her two young daughters of my own approximate age without any father present in their household. I was very saddened, though, by her account she shared with me about herself being a single parent raising two girls in Wisconsin all by herself.

--It saddens me to sense that Mother herself never had the opportunity to visit her own ancestral homelands of Germany and England, respectively. She might have found it emotionally fulfilling to meet a member of the Siegling clan of Germany or the Gardner clan of England during a visit to either of those two European nations. I also feel sure that Mother would have enjoyed eating sauerbraten inside a first-rate restaurant in Germany, and eating a baked cod British-style dinner inside a first-rate restaurant in England. Despite the very limited scope of Mother's travels, it pleases me to sense that through Mother's own life she herself embodied a pleasant harmony between Germany and England. There was never any sense of a war going on within Mother. And it was this same apparently conscientious Mother of mine who emphatically advised me in the late 1990s or early 21st Century during a dining outing Mother made with me to La Madeleine corporate-owned chain restaurant along North Lamar Boulevard in Austin, to myself refrain from myself writing and sending any additional letters to Queen Elizabeth II of The United Kingdom. "When you (John Kevin McMillan) write to Queen Elizabeth, that causes a major burden for the Queen that is very unfair to Her," Mother stated to me as we walked together outside the building toward the entrance of La Madeleine restaurant, a business owned by a restaurant chain headquartered in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, if I remember correctly.

---I still, to this very day, remember many of the favorite sayings that Mother would often quote to me by memory, and they included:
   "It takes two to tango," which I often heard instead as "It takes two to tangle".
    "Patience, young man, is a woman's virtue."
    "It takes all kinds to make up this world."
     "A fool and his money are often parted."
     "You can achieve whatever you set your mind to achieve."
     "You don't know it, but your mother and father won't be around much longer."
     "Not necessarily."
      "Smile, and the world smiles with you."
      "Wise people talk about ideas. Lesser persons talk about other people."

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