Thursday, December 30, 2010

again with

The blog This is Fag City has only been in my reader for a short time.  I forget where I found him originally, which doesn't really matter, but I always like knowing these things.  Or maybe I don't really care until I realize I can't remember.

And like I said, it doesn't really matter.  What does matter is my bummer house.  It's a little woo for me, but I love the quote near the end of the post Fantasy Castle.  He is discussing mental attitudes and says, Trying not to make myself a bummer house cuz I do not want to live in a bummer house.  I want to live in a Fantasy Castle.

It ties in perfectly with my not resolutions, because this idea fits nicely at the core of my goal.  I'm not in a good place because the universe has always been out to get me, so I've always lived with that in mind.  But if the universe isn't really out to get me, and if it's okay to maybe imagine I might could live in my own fantasy castle, then maybe I can start to do something about it.  And maybe I'll just make enough of a fantasy castle out of where I am to get me started

I know, kinda woo, and it kinda grosses me out that I'm talking like that.  It seems so trite, but there again it ties right into my thing that isn't resolutions, because it's new.  Plus, fantasy castle!  Fuck yeah!

p.s. trying to edit and reread that first paragraph is giving me a headache, so with all apologies I've opted to leave it alone for now.  Just ignore it as best you can.

Monday, December 27, 2010

resolute these nuts

I've never made new year's resolutions.  I don't really believe in them.  They always seem like they were made up in a moment of clarity that happens to be surrounded by a lot of getting and then being way too drunk because you were at a NYE party, and it's what you're supposed to do.

At the same time I want my life to be different, and a lot of this wanting is coming to a bit of a head right about now.  I've been thinking and thinking, and I think I've come up with some ideas.

The only solution that I have is to give myself this arbitrary date at which point I want to begin putting my bad behavior to an end.  And it's not that I'm so bad of a person or that my behavior is so bad, but it's not even a little bit helpful, and I want my life to be different.

What I've come up with, in my head, is this idea of new.  I've done things the old way for a long time, and I'm still here, broke and alone and unhappy.  The old ways aren't working, so I need to try some new ways.

I'm not sure the shape this will take, but I'm setting a deadline, and after that I really have to figure out what changes are going to get me to a point.  I need now to figure that point out.  I need now to set some goals.  I've got twinnyleven to figure my ass out, and then I've got twinnytwelve to make a point of it.

How will I start?  Putting the boys in school is a big start, both for them and for me.  I'm going to worry more about their education, and I need to be involved in their school/schooling.  Another step that should be easy and maybe even fun is to begin to put more concern into both my diet as well as the boys'.  We don't eat very well, and I could easily solve that problem.  Beginning work in those areas will help me to want to work harder to better myself. 

How happy am I in the world of food as I've known it?  What would I rather do?  I've been in food service seemingly as long as I can remember.  It's what I do.  It's how I earn my dough. 

How can I find a way to make my life better in solely monetary terms?  I hate to think of it that way.  There's a stink of "selling out" that punk me finds repulsive, but punk me barely pays the bills and seldom on time. 

I need to remember throughout the year that "I'm too old for this shit."  And I need to devote my efforts to better things, better places, better meals, better friends.  And it has to begin with me.  I have to take that first step and then the second and on and on.

Repeating past mistakes will never yield new successes.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

what christmas means to me

First I stole the title from a Stevie Wonder song of the same name.  Listen HERE.

This being the first Christmas season that I've celebrated with some distance between me and Momma it's been a much easier time for me.

I'm sure that sounds mean, but really it's not.  She celebrates much differently than I do, and it's difficult for me to just be throughout as she sees what seems to be me not getting into the whole thing.  That's truly a shit rendering of the portrait, but it's close enough.

I'm happy to roll through Christmas.  I'm happy to peruse the wish lists the boys craft so perfectly and sometimes leave leaned just so against the computer screen where they're still not sure I saw it.

I'm happy to not get them the things on their list, but I'm quite happy to get them things they will love nonetheless.  Both boys will absolutely love The Simpsons Hit and Run I got them for the PS2 their uncle gave me a few weeks ago.  And it's not the exact Lego thing they might have asked for, but they'll be happy. 

And that's where Momma steps in.  She's already got them the lesser huge Lego thing they wanted and plans to get them the other huge Lego thing that turned into THE toy this year and would be available for a buck and a half at the store if it weren't gone to ebay and up to an even five hundred.  She's not planning to pay that much for it.  Her idea is to give them a picture of what they'll soon be getting.  I kinda want to talk her out of it.  I think she does too much, but I love that she loves it so much.  It's how she does Christmas.

Tomorrow it's off to the local super awesome used book store where I'll satisfy that family tradition of the pile of books under the tree.  That's my favorite of our traditions, and I'm looking forward to what I'll find.  The best part?  Momma gave me her store credit she earned by taking in a pile of stuff we'd collected over the years.  Really it's our store credit.  She just did the work of actually boxing it up and offering it to them.

Christmas for me is an entirely secular celebration.  I get what it means and signifies to others.  Momma and I shopped together today and left the boys at Great Grandmother's house.  At some point between then and picking them up she told them that Christmas is Jesus' birthday.

The Boy told me about the Jesus birthday thing, and that led to a short conversation about the number of celebrations that happen to occur at this time of year because of the variety of belief systems that exist which then led to my pointing out that  many people celebrate similar holidays, different holidays or even the same holiday for a different reason.  Later we watched part of a show about Buddha, he told me he believes in the god that's called god and that he thinks Christmas Eve is Santa's birthday.

I celebrate the fact that people really might one day be capable of the things they claim when they are thinking Christmas.  I love the ideals we echo and hear echoed back by Charlie Brown and some woebegone sitcom dad-as-Santa right after he fails his family yet again, but gosh they love him anyway.

I've let so much of my anti Christmas cynicism go over the years.  I built up this anti Christmas-as-religious-holiday hatred for the whole of the holiday seasonbecause that's all I'd ever known it as and wasn't then able to separate the Christian beliefs from the holiday as a thing unto itself.  My faithlessness prevailed to the point that I went to the other extreme and wanted to reject this whole end of the year thing.  The kids have been a big part of me pulling back from the edge.

And now this year has been nice.  I don't have Momma's endearing if incessant barrage of cheeriness.  I also don't have a tree.  I do miss the lights and the smell.  I miss those keepsake ornaments that are special because of their forced rarity.  Momma wants me to spend Christmas eve at her house so I'll be there for the usual Christmas morning thing.  I can do this, and it will be good, though I'll bitch about sleeping arrangements.  The boys will want to tear into Christmas while I'll want to slink into a cup of coffee, but that's just another tradition.

Next year may well be different, and we'll look back from there and then look forward.  Another truth?  I've been using this holiday as the end of year celebration it's becoming to me.  I've been taking an honest look at some aspects of areas, and I'm finding some things I don't like, some paths I need to work my way off of, some edges I need to be done peering over, some cliches I've worn to nubs and need to dispose of. 

I want to build up a nice supply of desire-to-do-better that I can use to help power me over the course of what I'm going to call Twinnyleven.  I'm sure I'm not the only one.  And this time next year, as it's all been sucked out of me, I'll be somewhere not unlike this (in a good way) refilling my tanks.

btw, if you're in my neck of the woods Christmas day let me know.  Momma and I are working yet another tradition where we do our family thing and then start cooking for friends and other family that want to come by and make a time of it.  You're welcome to bring kids and booze. 

p.s. just read a bad review of the other PS2 game I got them, but for five bucks I aint about to complain.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

no, seriously

For full context go HERE and watch the video of Alex Nicholson (homosexual) who was booted from the military because of being homosexual and DADT versus Peter Sprigg, professional sayer of lies about homosexuals.  It's some CNN show where the host doesn't take sides but instead introduces some sort of information and follows with a question.  Hat tip for this nugget to Towleroad.

Peter Sprigg says the most outrageous things about homosexuals, and Alex Nicholson answers his questions with reasoned responses.  They aren't asked the same questions, and it's arugable that the CNN guy chose questions for Peter Sprigg to point out the folly of his ways, but then he mostly sits back and lets the loony go.

When I first watched the clip I found myself getting irritated as Peter Sprigg was allowed to talk uncontested.  Thinking about it now I wonder if that wasn't part of the plan from the beginning.  The only way to fight these people is to let the world know exactly what it is they are suggesting that America do to its sons and daughters.

Also when first watching the clip I found myself doing this thing that I sometimes do that sometimes annoys the people around me.  I correct people's language.  I don't just do it about homosexual sometimes.  But I do because I do think it's helpful overall to worry about our words.  I had a discussion recently with a coworker in which he mentioned that he'd stopped using gay as a pejorative because of me calling him on it.  I know other people who at least don't do it around me anymore, and I hope they've stopped doing so in general.
There needs to be that voice, saying things like, "Is the knife really gay or is it that you need to sharpen it so that it works right?  I don't think knives have the ability to be gay or not gay."  fwiw, I work in a kitchen, so knives are a huge part of my day. 

When I hear "same sex marriage" I want to just loudly enough say, "marriage equality."   When Peter Sprigg tries to say "sexual assault, molestation," I just want to ask for proof and for stats for both same gender and opposite gender sexual assaults.  When I hear "preference" I say "orientation."  Sometimes it's almost involuntary, but I'm also kind of an ass apparently.

And whenever Peter Sprigg opens his lying mouth at a camera that is in the on position there needs to be the counter point.  There needs to be someone else on camera saying to him, "No, seriously.  How does the presence of out homos make it more likely that you will lose a leg in combat?" at which point I'd follow up with, "and does my presence here today next to you increase the odds that you will lose at leg during this interview?" and that would possibly end my career as the voice.

And you know, it's not that I really want to control people's language.  What I really want is for us all to think about our words.  Peter Sprigg flat out lies.  He makes words do bad things, and he never really comes out and says what he means.  He hits around the whole more than a suck up playing golf with the boss.  fwiw, the "w" in "whole" is accidental.  I mean to put "hole" but then I liked the way it sorta worked.  Let's pretend I did it on purpose.

p.s., homosexuals on CNN should never say, "That's a good question," when in fact it really isn't that good a question.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

or is it cuz my glass is half empty

I'm still not convinced about DADT repeal.  I know it's essentially happened, but there's the whole other part where it doesn't really take affect until the military has thought about it a little bit more and figured out how to go about it.

It really shouldn't take more than to rewrite some passages in whatever written guides/codes/manuals they use to make their rules clear to the people in the military.  The rules aren't changing at all as far as members of our military should be concerned.  The only difference that anyone should really notice is that more gay people are able to be out and honest about themselves, and that's just good for everyone.

I can't imagine that should take too long to figure out, and then you actually train people.  I don't know if it would be a sensitivity training class or a video.  I suppose it would more likely be a DVD these days, but still.

Really, all it should take is for everyone to sit down and reread the rules rewritten to include reality as concerns sexual orientation and individual gender recognition.  The rules aren't changing, they're just recognizing everyone now.

And I know how a Republican can spin some shit, and I fully expect enough of them to band together and try to make this study/implementation process take two years while their brothers and sisters in the party continue to bombard Obama with obstinacy and rhetoric.  I should hope that the American people finally begin to recognize the shenanigans on both sides and push us in the direction of a third party that isn't spoiled by the big time guvment jobs.

I know it's a done deal, and I'm not concerned for the actual repeal of DADT as much as I am the hurt that could be done to too many people if this thing continues to drag on.  What you have to understand is we're gay, and we're not going back in the closet, and we're going to keep being out and open so that we can one day close the useless and finally empty closet because no one is going into it anymore.

Monday, December 13, 2010

what links are for

Now for a semi homeschooling post.  From Towleroad we get the link to dlisted, and from there we go to the actual interview at the Telegraph.  The story is about a young girl whose parents are actors in movies.  Her father's initial rise to fame was as a rapper.

Towleroad tells us that her, "parents would rather put their ten year old child to work rather than give her an education."  fwiw Towleroad, minus point for redundant rather.

dlisted asks, "who needs math anyway?"

And the Telegraph is the source for all this.  The first two sources listed here quoted from the story, but they picked little nuggets of what the young girl said and inflated them with their own issues.

If you didn't follow the links just yet I'll give you the story.  Will and Jada Smith have kids, and those kids may be embarking on their own careers as stars of things.  Their daughter Willow has acted and done voices and now has a song about giving herself neck problems because she's head banging to pop music that she creates.

I really don't feel like disecting it all, so I'll try to summarize.  In the Telegraph article/interview Willow mentions that her peers are ahead of her in math and that she often misses classes and tutoring sessions due to being on set or whatever it is ten year olds in her situation go to to perform/work. Someone read the interview and assumed negligence and ignorance, and they blogged it where someone else read and assumed ignorance and negligence and they added malfeasance.

I did read the "anti" stories first, and of course I disagreed.  I believe that this family and this child are fully capable of achieving learning in a variety of situations.  And as I read the Telegraph article I noticed that she seems like a really bright young lady.  She seems to speak with candor and understanding and seems like a smart kid, and I think that's more important than "education" or book learnin' as we say down here in the south.  If you aren't forced into one educational model you can take what you need from all the sources around you, find what you need when you need it.

I feel that this just proves the idea that we need variety in our education models.  More than that though we need for people to break out of the idea that it's school or nothing, because schools need to be a part of the model that I think works best which is that whole variety thing, but we need more than just typical brick and mortar schools. 

I really didn't mean to write two posts back to back dealing with education, but they did both feed off each other.  I read the stories about Miss Smith and got irritated, but then there is no finer place than the internet to find some douche referring to a ten year old with the sort of bile you can only find here.  And who doesn't love when people damn children based on the perceived sins of the parents?

I wouldn't recommend it, but if you don't know about the whipping about of hair and the too adorable Willow Smith you can go HERE.  fwiw, the video is from Ellen.  You do get a fairly shitty video with the color all kinds of busted, but the option is her Vevo and having to watch that damn cotton ad.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

hs to ps

My family will soon join the normal world, as, after this winter break, when the public school kids return to school, Big Brother and The Boy will be joining them.

Momma and I have had to face the we haven't been doing the job right recently, oddly enough for the last couple of years.  We haven't really focused our attention with all we've been up to, if you know what I mean.  We discussed over the summer putting them in to start the year, and in retrospect we probably should have, but I argued for one more chance.  I really believe in the idea of homeschooling, but I also argue more than anything for a variety of options when we think about educational models.

A huge part of my desire to continue homeschooling, I have to admit, is that I've allowed homeschooler to define my identity to such an extent.  I can kinda invoke the closet again here, though I hope that I'm not just continuing to blame the closet.  But part of my whole thing here is to try to understand the power of the closet even if this isn't really the blog post for it.

Having said that, I keep losing my identities and keep not figuring out how to get/form new ones.  Having said that, I keep finding that it sorta happens sometimes when you're not looking.  It's like that whole homeschooler thing.  I don't really think that I'm losing the identity or becoming not a homeschooler, I'm becoming more, maybe?

We've visited both their schools, and while The Boy seems excited, Big Brother is his usual calm and somewhat impassive self.  The Boy's school is on the route we drive daily to get to most places we go, and Big Brother's is on a common route to some place we don't go as often, but we have used their field as a practice field a few times over the years during soccer seasons.  They've been pointing out their schools as we've been driving past.

And while we think of school for them I kinda think maybe I could think about school for me.  I think I can't imagine what I would study, and this time it wouldn't be about getting a career like last time.  I'd have to only study things I enjoyed learning, or it wouldn't be worth it.  And fwiw, look for a post soon that might be a clue.

I'm excited for them.  I've kept them too close to the rut I'm in for too long, and if I were honest I've been worried for their sake.  I put my own fears onto them and worry that it'll all be too much, the lines, the crowds, the noise.

It's a part of a journey inside the journey I suppose, and it's time for it to happen.  I'll tame my distrust of the man, and I might even try to get involved.  I'm sure the schools can find something I can do.  I could always be a lunch lady.

Friday, December 10, 2010

now where were we?

This post is alternately title, Bruce Springsteen's voice kinda makes me wanna take my clothes off.

The local college rock station has been playing a really cool song lately, one I hear and think to myself, Is that Bruce Springsteen?

I used to like him, and I think I do again.  I should rephrase that, but rather I'll explain.  After breaking away from the fundamentalism with the help of a friend I found myself in a place I didn't then recognize, but I was trying to earn some sort of something with this new friend, or maybe I was trying to find a way to fit in.  I gave up a lot of what I'd been into in order to be the punk I thought I was supposed to be, and I'd just gotten through giving up a lot in terms of beliefs and related whatnot.

So I started not liking things I perceived were perceived as being uncool by my new friend/s.  I wasn't then trying to find myself as much as I should have been, but that doesn't really matter.  I gave up a lot of music, some of which has remained gave up.

Bruce Springsteen may be back, and here's why.
This song is just loads of awesome.  I'd been hearing the song every now and again.  I usually listen to the local college radio station at work, but the KM hates hip hop, and the local college radio station sprinkles it in liberally during the day.  I personally love the station even when I hate the song they're currently playing, but I digress.

Of course hearing Springsteen makes me think of older Springsteen.  Yes, that first song is older, but because it's new to me it's essentially new.  It's probably at least newish to you as well, so get off me.

I remember the song that should have been a bit of a warning, but I didn't see it then.  Listening now and remembering then, if I'd had even a slight clue about myself as a person this song really could have been yet another early clue about my actuality, aka that whole gay thing.  It was then one of my favorites, but listening to that voice now I think I just didn't realize then that I wanted him singing it to me rather than me projecting those ideas outward.  Or perhaps my young mind just hadn't discovered the same sex just yet.

And here that one is.  fwiw, I include this particular video version because of the randomly gay picture that essentially is the video.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

it's so like the thing I'm not referencing more than now

On the middle finger of my right hand is the end of a blister.  Sometime tomorrow it's likely to become the shiny spot of new skin that was fairly recently under the blister.

I've made hollandaise sauce before, but I haven't made it often, and when I did before I just stood and beat while someone else told me what I was supposed to be doing.  It just never happened to become my job, and because I likely heard often enough how hard it was to make I never bothered to try.

But finally I've made it once or twice, and I've realized that it really isn't that hard, and I've now gone on the internets and googled and read about it here and there.  I've checked Escoffier, and when I have time on my day off this week I'll check Julia and James.

It is time consuming, and I suppose if you don't know how to lift your bowl off the heat once in a while, or if you can't tell when something becomes a different color and consistency, well, sure it's scaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrry!


No really, it's tiresome at it's worst.  I didn't even notice the blister till after work.  I forgot that I needed to head home sooner than later and sat down at the bar for a quick gin and tonic.  I didn't know I was sitting down for a gin and tonic till I sat down and was reminded that we run decent liquor specials for brunch, so I opted in.

I did soon go home, but that isn't really a story other than the part about going home.  I needed to and was reminded via a text, so I then did. 

It was while I was enjoying the gin and tonic that I saw the blister and was stuck on it for a moment.  I had to think how I'd gotten it.  I knew it wasn't a burn.  It was big enough to remember if it had been a burn.  And as I thought I remembered the hollandaise and the whisk.  While beating the yolks find that I switch back and forth between gripping the handle fully with my hand and holding it more like writing with a pencil.  It's what the hand does I suppose.  The holding it like a pencil part gave me a blister on the second finger of my right hand.

Actually, this isn't really much of a story either.

Finally, to end this not really much of a story on a whole other but still hollandaise related note.  Nearly anything is better dipped in hollandaise.  Roasted potatoes are of course lovely.  The fatty end of a strip of bacon is marvelous.  Perhaps the most decadent of all and surely one of the most delightful is the simple potato chip.  But these are only ideas.  There's a world of food waiting to be dipped into hollandaise, for hollandaise is the new ranch . . . up to a point.

p.s.  ranch is still awesome

p.p.s ranch and hollandaise are probably equally awesome

p.p.p.s maybe I should make up my own super awesome ranch recipe

p.p.p.p.s. damn, now I want some wings

Thursday, November 04, 2010

circles, always damn circles

How do you go about doing everything differently?  How do you look deep into yourself and accept finally that you are more often than not the reason you are not making any progress anywhere at all?

How do you decide what is an excuse and what is a reasonable concern?

How do you stop being that scared and confused little boy that you've always been in spite of all the shit you talked then and still talk now?

Sometimes I feel like I'm missing something.  Maybe it's a clue as to how to move to the next part, or maybe it's a part I need to figure out how to fix or replace.

I want to do all of the above, but it feels like every time I step outside I get hit by something, so I've begun to go outside a lot less, and being a nervous recluse doesn't seem to help me do much of anything.

There's more, something about bursting out, being reborn as a phoenix or something, but I just stared into space and nearly dozed off a moment ago, and I really do need to get to bed.  I've got a world of making sense of my world to do.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

a story

We were in the gym waiting for the school building to open, and in walked one of my "friends."  He was closer in age to my next younger brother, and if any of us were friends it was them.  We were within the years considered middle school probably.

The typical schooling segments always throw me off as we only had elementary and high school, the first downstairs in the school building and the latter upstairs in the school building.  In elementary you stayed in the same classroom throughout the day with the one teacher while highschool was the normal lockers and walking to classes.  Both elementary and high school did share the same paddling room, though the high school teachers shared a different paddle than the elementary.  Kindergarten was in the basement of the church building, and the paddling room there was in a room that was unused during the day.  The principal and coaches had the option of paddling in their respective offices.

Anyway, this kid walked in, and he was wearing some new jeans that were probably quite fashionable, and on the flap over the fly, in very bold white on the denim background was a word.  I have to assume it was the brand for these fresh and/or fly new jeans, but it struck me as odd that they chose to make this statement and that this particular kid chose and was allowed by his parents to make this statement.

And my too slow to think before I speak self asked what was written on his penis.  Even now I still can't think what I did that was so wrong.  Apparently it was just awful.  I think he cried.  I had to apologize and probably had detention for multiple days.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

yellow pen

Do you ever reach a point where you realize that you may in fact be doing absolutely, everything wrong?  Do you wonder what things you should stop doing and which you should start doing the opposite of how you've always done them?

Maybe I exaggerate a tiny bit with the everything and the completely, but so often lately life seems to feel as if I really must be doing at least nearly everything wrong, and perhaps that's why things seem like they always seem to seem.

And sadly that's just a knee jerk reaction to my real issue which is that I never really do much of anything.  I convince myself that I'm making great strides and trying and pushing/pulling my share. 

But more often I'm actually busy watching the ass end of opportunity fade in the distance.  I'm really good at thinking about things, and that ought to be good for something.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

garbled message

The third comment to a blog post I just read suggests that the people in my state are illiterate.  The post discusses a town being told that their school has to stop broadcasting Christian prayers and the fact that the townspeople are not happy or at least one woman.

It's a trainwreck already, and then the dude in the comments suggests that whole thing about us Tennesseeans, and I don't know whether to comment and then post or ignore the comment section and just post.  There was a time I would have commented, would, in fact, have barged in with all my guns blazing.

But anymore I just can't bring myself to do it, so I backspace a bunch and clicked back over here so I could just talk shit at my own place.

But even before dude-bro posted his jab I'd nearly thought about posting because of a single line at the very end of the post.

Okay, the post is at Friendly Atheist and also discusses something about a monument and a Christian flag.  I don't really remember, because it's that last line that I think needs to be addressed to be able to understand this whole thing that many Christians do.

Those of us who are nonbelievers see just how pervasive religion is even in so "enlightened" an age as our twenty first century.  Those of us who both nonbelieve and live in a smallish and possibly southern place see it all too well.  Don't get me started on the gay thing cuz omg ya'll.

And the last line of the post, that juicy tidbit that keeps on giving:
This is a kind of Christian extremism — assuming that government neutrality on religion is somehow anti-Christian.
There is of course the whole for-us-or-against-us thing, which is mentioned in the comments, but this whole mentality actually comes from the biblicaly based idea that Christians are supposed to suffer, and one of the best ways to suffer, as mentioned in the book of John, is to be despised and hated as people of faith.  Often they tell themselves that this is because none of us want to hear what we must know is the truth, ants and grasshoppers and long lost sons returning home.

It's part of a playing the victim meme that seems to have grown stronger lately, or perhaps it's just being used more often.  Christians who insist their religious views keep the rest of us from progressing as humans will always hate it when they lose because they put so very much into the fight for their moral superiority. And because they are morally right according to their own faith they must necessarily be right for everyone because theirs is the one true faith.

And really, you just can't force people to step outside of their belief system and look at it from a different p.o.v.  Atheists have already done that for the most part, or many, if not most, of us would still be locked in a similar faith based way of life.   Too many questions can make you waver in your steadfastness.

So we have to keep reminding people that forcing others to even passively participate in your faith rituals is not okay.  It's wrong to force your religion and the trappings of your faith system onto others.  

You do still have freedom of speech and religion, but I also deserve freedom from your religion.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The moon has risen to that point between the trees where it's perfectly visible as I stand out on the porch smoking.  It's a cool night, but it's not really the night that's cool.  The cool is on the breezes that are blowing, that occasionally kick up to nearly a light wind, nearly rustling my hair as I turn my back to it.  And the moon staring down at me looks cold, so bright white and silver.  And it wears such a halo on such a clear night.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

come out wherever you are!

You're most likely familiar enough with Facebook, but what you may not be aware of is Fabulis.  It's sort of a Fb for gay men.  So far it's not a hook up site, and that's nice.  It's still in it's early stages, and I'm still not sure how I feel about it or how I feel I fit in there, but over all it seems like a potentially delightful resource.

All of that is to explain the fabulis questions which are questions you can post to other members and that other members might post to you.  They're sometimes interesting and thought provoking, and sometimes they're just nonsense which is as it should be.  One I got today, and I imagine all members got today, from one of the founders, was this, followed by my answer:

Q: Today, October 11, 2010 is National Coming Out Day in the U.S. (It's also celebrated on the 12th in the UK). We'd like to know, what does OUT mean to you?
When I think of being out I can't help but think of it in levels of outness based on the situation you are in at the moment.

My family knows, but we don't talk a lot, and they're very Baptist for the most part, but it's a really big southern family, and there's a lot we don't talk about.  Plus they live in a different state, though close enough to visit sometimes.

At work and in my social life I'm completely out.  I see no reason not to be.  I don't have a problem being gay, and I don't have a problem if some people with opposite sex attractions choose to live that lifestyle.  It's not for me, and I want to make sure that straight people know that I'm gay so that if they have a problem we assert from the beginning that it's going to have to remain their problem.  I don't really have room in my life for it.

Each spring and fall for the past few years I've coached my oldest son's soccer team.  I coached both of my boys till we realized soccer wasn't for the youngest.  I'm not out even a little bit there.  When we started this whole soccer thing my oldest was five, and for all intents and purposes we were a fairly normal family, mom and dad with two young sons.  I was even a stay at home dad at that point while my wife followed her career.

I'd love to feel like I could be out at soccer, but I'm not sure how they'd take it.  While our social life involves that part of our town that's the hipper and closer to town part, soccer takes us north to the more socially conservative part of our town.

Also, it doesn't come up.  I kind of want to say it doesn't matter, but I lied for so long in the closet that I just feel dishonest sometimes.  And it kind of feels like the closet all over again.

Really, coming out is a never ending process.  People tend to assume you're not gay and don't really even think about the fact that they've already made a judgment about you.  It isn't necessarily a big deal except that you are consciously making judgments because you are gay.  And I know in my case that I'm always looking for an ally or, better yet, a fellow homo. 

I want to think that there will be a day when being out isn't a big deal, that we'll one day be accepted as normal people,  that it won't even be a curiosity that we are also gay.  But I can't help but think there will always be some sort of coming out process.

Monday, October 11, 2010

totally could if

I don't really hate straight people.  I don't know what you may have heard, but it's not hate.  Sure, I think you're all a bunch of filthy, craven animals, but I don't hate you.

Okay, sometimes I do get a little irritated with you.  You have no idea how it looks to watch you do your little courtship dances and fumble around and act like idiots.

I could have your girl in seconds flat by telling her all the things I wish someone would tell me, and I can understand her in a sense that you may never figure out.  But as pretty as she is she has those same icky, squiggly bits that all girls have, and she's probably not too many places removed from the big sister I never had once we get a couple of beers in us.

Honestly I'm just in a place.  I'm in the hole where I see a lifetime of loneliness, unwanted and unnoticed in the sea of much younger and ache free fodder.

I wish I had a dollar for every time the phrase, "I'm not really looking for a relationship," was spoken at the local gay bars.  I'd open my own gay bar with that kind of money, and I'd fill that lonely pit of despair I call my heart with all the pretty boys wanting free and/or discounted drinks.

I'd need a good bit more than a dollar for every time that line has been directed at me to open that same gay bar, but I'd probably ruin it by trying to do something.  And it's not like I haven't been hit on, just so you know, and often without the desire for more than an evening's encounter.

Which is not to say I always do.

And I really am just in a place.  I'm seeing all the horses of some sort of mini apocalypse bearing down on me, and I may not be able to outrun them this time.  They seem bigger this time, like the draft horses of the apocalypse freed of their yokes and heavy burdens.  And we can further mix metaphors into a stew of a rut of unsightly proportions.

I looked into a mirror that reflects my life and see that all along I've been doing almost everything completely wrong, and I'm going to have change almost entirely if I'm going to insist on wearing that one particular piece.  And that one piece sort of makes the whole outfit, so I really do kind of need that particular one.

And just so you know, I didn't really mean that part about your girl.  I'm just kinda in a place, and I spoke without really thinking.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

accepting the fact of who exactly you won against

The pizzas are in the oven, and the kids are putting together Big Brother's newest Star Wars Lego toys.  Soon enough we'll turn on a movie that should get all the kids to relax enough to fall asleep so that I can then go to bed.

Not so long ago, however, we were at Laser Quest, and in the two games we played before and after the cake and present opening I came in second and then first.

I have to admit that by win I mean I took my own amount of experience and age and ruthlessness into a maze filled with a few friends and kids of friends and a bunch of rowdy kids I do not at all know.  I kept my back to the wall and kept my eyes moving for those red lights.

I shot withering barrages of laser blasts into small masses of children, many of whom were not only wearing the lights but also white shirts that glowed beckoning in the blacklights.

I posted up at windows as I heard the squeals of terror approaching in the dark sending red burning death into the group trying to slink past, heads low.

I ran reaching over walls to blast blindly at sounds that may well have been solely products of my over active senses.

Everyone was an enemy unless I needed a friend for a moment.  Everyone was a target for my blinding rage.

And I beat them all.


Today's soccer game was the absolute epitome of a rough game, but it was also a game we could have won.

I haven't really discussed soccer in a while, and part of that is just the general writing malaise, but part of it is the injustice of this season.  I've had a roster of ten at an age level at which they play eleven on a side.  My team has played a person down each game this season, and last week saw us playing two down.

I'm not going to write a post bitching about the unfairness of it all.  I don't know how the kids on the team feel about it, though they have to see the unfairness.  The thing is they don't seem affected by it.  They go out every week and give everything they have.  They take it and turn around and keep trying.  Even on the roughest day playing against a team with seven subs they didn't stop.  Even when one of my girls told me she just couldn't run anymore she turned around and kept going.

Today was especially rough.  We once again had nine players show, and the opposing team was nice enough to play only ten, so it was a little even.  It was still an all boys team versus my coed, and while I feel like that can't help but be a factor you wouldn't think it has any bearing when you see my two girls play.  Also, I don't want to suggest that my female players are any less capable than their male teammates or any of the boys they've played against this season.

I should mention here that I'm not the overly comptetive coach that some coaches are.  I do want to win, and I do want my team to win, but more than that I want them to learn the game and to fall in love with the game, to have fun.  If they've given everything they have to give then I'm satisfied, and I'm proud. 

I also make a point throughout the season starting with the very first practice to let them know my priorities regarding injuries.  My list of things I need them to know are true is that it is just a game, that they are always more important than the game and that their safety and health are more important than the game.

One of the girls entered the game with a minor hamstring issue.  I kept an eye on her and whenever I was able I asked her how she was doing.  She's tough and spent too much of the game fighting for the ball often against two opponents at once.  Another of my players also pulled his hamstring slightly while playing defense, then in the second half after being moved to goal keeper he stopped a shot that bent his hand too far back but didn't do any damage beyond hurting.

And then a defensive player went down and didn't get up.  As the players on the field took a knee I jogged across to check on him.  He stayed down for a few more moments and actually apologized for, "letting you down."  I could almost cry sitting here now thinking about it.  Of course I immediately let him know that he in no way let me down. 

He insisted that he could play as he got to his feet and took a tentative couple of steps.  He was wobbling and unable to put any weight on the knee but insisted he could play.  If I'd let him he would have tried and would have made the injury worse, so I had to tell him no.  Even then he tried to walk off the field by himself until he finally realized that he did need my shoulder just then.

My team got back into the game and, if anything, began to play even harder.  We'd entered the final quarter when I lost another player.

It was my girl with the hamstring pull, and this time I ran onto the field.  I knew immediately it was gonna be bad, and as I reached her I saw she was crying.  She'd hit the ground and was covered in grass.  The referee and I knelt next to her and took her hands.  We helped her to calm down and start breathing normally while her mom also arrived to help.

The game was over.  I couldn't ask any more of these guys at this point.  We were down enough goals that we couldn't come back, and this was just the last straw. 

We have a week off for fall break.  I think we could all really use the time off.  I told them that practice is sorta optional because of fall break but that I'd be there even if we only screw around and have fun rather than actually practice.  But then that's one of the beauties of soccer that even when you're just messing around you're somewhat practicing.

We might have lost on goals, but I and all the parents won by watching the heart and determination we saw in our kids.  I hope that my team got the win of having persevered in spite of the blows they took, that they learn to keep fighting no matter what.  And I want every single one that is eligible back on my team next season.

Friday, October 08, 2010


I'm still awake quite later than I should be, but I haven't had a single beer tonight either.

And it's sad that that says as much as it does.  But I know that I drink too much and that I should at least cut back even though I don't drink nearly as much as plenty of people. 

It's one of the things that keeps helping me hold myself back. 

I'm not convinced I need to give up drinking altogether, but perhaps at least for a time I should.  I've tried cutting back, and that just never seems to work.  I'll sometimes even think that I am, but then I look back at the recycling pile growing next to the trash can and realize nothing has changed.

But I don't want to quit.  There's that thing right there, and along with it comes even more justification.

I'm about to go to bed, and I will have gone an entire day without a beer.  I'll feel better in the morning while at work and hopefully will have a good soccer practice.  I'd like to think now that I can go another day without a beer, but the random aches of my post soccer practice evening will make it difficult.  Maybe I'll drink a beer, and maybe I'll try again Saturday.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

dang YT's gettin in my bidness

He did that head thing and gave me such a look when I accidentally used the word boyfriend at the table in front of his mom.

I kept the Marilyn Monroe tshirt he gave me for years, and while it slowly deteriorated from use and time that hole in the front was always there.  We were smoking his sisters pot, good pot, and he'd rolled a good size joint.  We were both done before the joint was too far gone but kept insisting on passing it till I couldn't hold it.  I tried not to take it, but he was insistent as only a pothead can be.  I dropped it, and before I realized it had started to burn my stomach through the hole it had already burned in the shirt.

I've been listening to random mashups over at the YouTube, and I came across this song, and it's put me in a sort of retrospective mood.

Both these songs meant something to me then, the Nirvana song because of the time and my place in it and the Dead or Alive song because he loved it and played it and found a seven inch copy of it one day when we were hanging out.  The song always reminds me of him.

He shared the same name as another guy I'd kind of been hanging out with.  We'll call them C1 and C2, C1 being the one mentioned above.

C1 was younger but had obviously figured out he was gay much earlier in his life than I or C2.  We were fumbling along trying to figure stuff out while C1 rolled his eyes that we still didn't know.  I never really was able to deal with either of them in an intelligent way because I just didn't know how at the time, and before I was ever able to make sense of it I was gone.

I got a chance to leave Atlanta and took it.  Charlotte was far enough away so that I could be myself, or so I thought.  And it was a number of quite random happenings that even opened the door for me to take the sudden flight to NC in that maroon Volkswagen that day.

Thinking back now it's almost as though I had competing sides, the long term punk rock me that was into something not unlike the personal punk rock nihilism I'd grown to think was cool versus the wanting so to emerge me that was gay and just wanted to be.  He didn't see much sunlight for a long fucking time.

But what if I'd stayed? 

See? it just don't bear worrying about.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

not even a card

In a comment to a recent post, JJ Ross links to a story from Florida about a hit and run victim.  He was riding home from his job as a dishwasher, a job he'd held for ten years, obeying bicycle safety protocol when a car hit him.

It's a tragic story, but in my reading there's a whole other tragedy, and I honestly don't know what to think without more of the story.  Whatever the rest of the story is though I can't help but get stuck at $7.25 and hour.  That's absolute shit that he's making that little money.

As the article mentions, $7.25 is minimum wage.  So ten years at the Crab Shack gets you minimum wage.

I kinda gagged in my mind when the manager mentioned that he was family.  Does he treat all his family like that?

The article ends with the suggestion that the man was solitary and "lived within his means."  Well, yeah, I guess you have to at that point.

And again, there's always more to the story.  There's something or other that I don't know and might get if I heard the story, but it all just sounds too . . . Republican? maybe?

It's just this story of a man who died in such a horrid way, and he's solitary and doesn't really do much of anything and certainly never bothers anyone.  He prefers the job of washing dishes and is likely very good at it, and he earns the smallest amount of money you can pay your hourly staff.  But that isn't the point.  He was poor, a noble savage perhaps.  He did the best he could with that pittance he was allowed.

I didn't know the guy, and I'm parially bothered because I can almost see my future self in this guy.  That could be me in ten years.  Hell, I'm halfway there at the job I've got now if you leave out that solitary part.  There is a lure sometimes in the dishroom when you're kind of away from it all, but usually I'm just trying to make a little sense of the mess in there as I grab whatever utensil or storage container I stopped in for and shove racks of dishes through the machine at the same time.  Outside of the dishroom I'm kind of an ass but in a good way once you get it and realize it all sounded so funny in my head right before I said it.

Maybe he was happy exactly as things were.  Maybe he'd found his point of balance.

But to pay the man, for ten years, the bare minimum amount of money that you possibly, legally can?


Monday, October 04, 2010

random gripe with fun jabs

Myspace is so totally early 2000's.  I walked away from that motherfucker soon after discovering Facebook, and I seriously never looked back.

I do take a quick peek back at the ol' page once in a while, but it usually only happens when I get an email that there's been some activity, and that doesn't happen very often.

Apparently I got a friend request within the past week, and I've seen the email several times and thought to myself that I should at least pop over and see who it is.  You never know, it may be from someone that I'd be happy to connect or even reconnect with.  Perhaps it's the man of my dreams discovering me. 

I finally bothered to open the email, and it's none of the above.  I didn't imagine it would be, but I had no idea what to expect, and apparently they didn't either.  I got a friend request from Official NFL.

I didn't bother actually going to Myspace because it's a slow and clunky pile of too much glitter and crap, and I just don't want to sit and wait while all the glitter and crap make my computer slow down.  I don't want to sit here impatiently waiting while frustration forces me to try to click on some other tab which further slows down the computer.  So of course I don't know how truly official it is.  I don't really care as I'm not a fan of the NFL and so won't be bothering.

But really?  They asked me.  Do they pay any attention at all, or do they send the friend requests out willy nilly and just hope that somehow they get something out of their foray into social networking?  Perhaps a computer sends out the requests, but even a minor scan of my page there would yeild absolutely nothing to suggest that they should bother. 

Maybe it's a real person who just thinks I'm soo cool from what I've put on my page that they just can't wait to get me on their side so they can parade me around like a prize stud horse and show the other sports that they got me.

Either way, I'm not bothering.

Sunday, October 03, 2010

in which I say poll several times

My main email account has been at Yahoo for years.  My very first one ever was either Prodigy or Juno.  There was the MSN one for a while, and I may still have an active email account with AOL that I never used other than for the AIM.  I do have a gmail account, but I really only use it because I like it better for sending pictures from my phone.

None of that's really the point other than the Yahoo part which is the email address I use for my daily electronic correspondence, and because I have then to visit Yahoo I sometimes catch myself having to read one of the stories featured on the front page.

Today's story was about a poll Yahoo was taking that showed Americans are equally split in their opinions as to whether or not I should be allowed to marry a man, though thankfully they didn't have a poll on how long it would take me to meet one worth marrying.  That would have been depressing.

Though the story itself isn't depressing, and the poll numbers do basically tell us what we likely know, it's not disheartening to read that we get closer to equality over time.  Toward the end of the article it even mentions the age gap in difference of opinion in older versus younger generations, and that's a testament to how far we have come in that so many people are coming out younger, and their straight friends remain friends and eventually become allies.

But the article does leave me a little underwhelmed.

I may have mentioned that I don't really like the term "gay marriage."  So it should be no surprise that the use of that term throughout the article was irritating.  Then the third paragraph begins with the line, The battle for what pro gay-marriage activists call "marriage equality" . . .  And yes, they do use scare quotes around what the writer must assume is not a real thing, and they're letting us know that it's the activists, the loud ones that get in your face that want to use this term.

They mention DADT and almost mention Margaret Witt, a flight nurse in the Air Force who was discharged/fired because of DADT.  While the article is correct in suggesting that the discharge was unconstitutional, and they mention that a judge has ruled that she should be reinstated because of that, but I think it bears repeating that the judge ruled that Margaret Witt should be given her job back because of constitution issues as well as because her discharge hurt unit morale as well as their ability to function properly.

Further into the article about their poll they mention reader comments showing the divide between how people view marriage equality.  In an effort, one assume, to be balanced they include a comment from an anti who points out that the world will be destroyed because all the families will stop being families.  I really feel that, at this point in the conversation, when all you can offer is a soundbite then maybe your voice is no longer valid, so I can't believe this sort of shit is still included in the story.  It's an argument that's easily disproven as several countries around the world allow openly gay people to serve in the military and don't tell you who you can marry, and the world seems to be spinning and orbiting as much as ever.

They end somewhere around "marriage is a religious ceremony" which is the antis trying to make us believe that churches will have to marry gays, another thing that they say that just isn't true, but the article doesn't seem to point out that churches already have the ability to pick and choose who they will or won't marry.

It just seems lazy to me I guess.  Maybe I expect more than just a telling of the story, but I have to remember most of my gay news comes from actual gay people writing about them in blogs devoted to gay news and opinion.  Not only do I get my gay news quicker, but I get it picked apart by gay people.  For this same reason maybe I expect a little activism when I read a story like this, and perhaps I shouldn't or should consider the source before reading to save myself the stress.

The thing is that I would like for people to write stories that involve calling people out when they say things that are untrue or to at least do some research and find out if what they are saying is either a misunderstanding or a parroting of that guy on the radio or just a blatant lie.  And maybe if the news would start to treat gay people as people instead of always having to be gay as well as nearly people we could move this damn bus even quicker.

Saturday, October 02, 2010

not a huge step

I'm sure you'll all be happy to learn what I just did.  I'm not the most rapid person in the world when it comes to checking my email, and after a couple of spam comments made their way to the blog a few years back I changed my comment acceptance so that I would moderate and publish all comments

I should say I set moderation to happen at my leisure, because that's what ended up happening.  Because I don't check my email as often as I might I have had comments languish in moderation for days without me realizing.

So I've changed that, and now you need only fill in the little word and send the comment on its merry way.  And now that I'm making an actual effort to make myself write more perhaps we can stir some shit up and get some conversation going.

Friday, October 01, 2010

maybe ah orta

Why can't I stop sitting here worrying about her and instead sit here and worry about myself?  Is it because even when I do worry about myself I tend to stop at worry?

I could be doing something, but I opt for not doing something.  I've been doing the same thing for so long that I kinda just don't know how to do that while adding other stuff.  I'm a little scared to do something, and that's one of those things I don't talk about.

It would scare you to hear a list of things that scare me.  I absolutely hate having to call people on the phone.  I'm so cool with texting because of that, but there are times you just have to call.  There are certain calls I can make, like the produce company when I call in an order at work.  But soccer families even considering how much I can enjoy coaching soccer?  yeah, that takes motivation.

On some level I fear being alone, but more than that I fear being in the wrong relationship.  Even the greatest ever heterosexual marriage is wrong if one of you is not in fact heterosexual.  And I know how easily I can get sucked into a not good relationship with a guy, and I think there are a lot of factors I can look at to make sense of why gay people rush into things sometimes instead of maybe waiting to see of the next train is less full, or something.

Trying to figure out what you're supposed to do now that that whole cooking thing is so quickly losing its luster is a whole other can of brown, wiggly things.  And that means that I have to stop not doing something  and do the opposite instead. 

And really, I do nearly love my job.  So many of the things I've always loved are still lovable, but I'm realizing two things.  I really am not meant to be a career cook, and I'm really getting too old for the job.  Read Bourdain.  I'm nearly forty, and I'm roughly fifteen years older than the average for kitchen people there.  There's a server who is less than two full years younger than me, then there are the owner who have at least twenty on me, but that's no consolation.

Maybe it's time  to write a book.  If I do it right there's years worth of drinking money in it.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

this is why

Boy meets girl.

I'm so tired of that story line.  Boys meeting girls happens all the time, and some of them know what to do with it, and some of them are idiots and fuck it up from day one.

And that's the story we all hear, that is hammered home daily, that boy meets girl and happily ever after flows forthwith.

But I don't want to meet a girl.  I'm not made to do it that way.  I want to meet a boy and fall in love and be happily-ish ever after.

But the romantic quality of that relationship according to some douchebag that writes for a right wing blog site would find his penis slightly less erect when it came time to bone down with his god fearing love slave if I got to be a little bit happy just once.

And I'm tired of religion fucking everything up for everyone.  If you want to worship and believe then fine.  I really, really don't care.  I might make fun of you when you're not around, but is that any reason to insist on forcing your bronze age myths onto everyone?  Really?

h/t Prop 8 Trial Tracker

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

hipster beer

Before we get into this I should admit that I might be a little bit on the drunk side.  I'm also feeling a little maudlin, and you'll know this if you're my friend on the almighty Facebook.  Yeah, I'm taking my status and making a post out of it.  You should also just deal with the fact that I'm going to fuck up with the typing words properly part of being a blog writing sort.  I do it often enough anyway, but this time I'm warning you.  Feel free to rag on me in the comments.

I'm sitting at home, and by home I mean Momma's house.  She's already texted me that she is staying elsewhere tonight.  It shouldn't bother me, and on the levels that matter it doesn't.  But there's the part of me that is tired of sitting here alone that is a little irritated.

Why am I sitting here at all, much less alone?  It's part of the deal she and I made that allowed me to move back into what used to be the playroom.  It's part of the deal where i don't earn enough at my job regardless of how many hours I get or how hard i work.

And I actually sort of like my job.  I do have to deal with at least one douche on a regular basis, and there's the other day shift guy, a part timer, who has some issues that I try to avoid, and there's the . . .

Really, I kinda hate my job.  I hate the hours, and I hate the pay.  I hate the kitchen manager that treats everyone like we're idiots when we don't agree with the stupid shit he says and does.  I hate that at my age and level of experience I'm still showing up at nine to sweep and mop the dining room and bar, that the owner may well bitch at me because his idea of enough paper towels and my idea didn't happen to agree with each other or because he thinks he smells something that he refers to as a sour mop even though the fucking mop head is as clean as I can get it and that sour smell is probably his own inability to just shut the fuck up and not work so fucking hard to find something to bitch about.

I hate that I drink too much and can't sleep till late which makes my morning shifts a pain in the ass so that I'm running out the door tired and unhappy only to come back home more tired and not wanting to be a reasonable person who cooks a decent meal for his kids and interacts with them because I really just want to lay down for a minute which turns into a nap that I awake from cranky and unreasonable.

I hate that I can't seem to concentrate on anything long enough, that i can't seem to find out what it is I can do that makes me happy.  I hate that my only adult interaction is 95% people I don't actually want to see but that I can get along with at work and that my interaction with adults happens solely within the confines of my job.

I hate that I can't do something that benefits me because I can't figure out what that thing would be and that i can't get past the fact that other people might have to take care of their own shit, or so it seems, if i wren't here to cover their ass.  I hate that i can't just make a decent living and be happy and reasonable and buy myself something nice once in a while.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

senseless dadt bullshit

Lt. Col. Victor Fehrenbach should be retiring from the US Air Force in just over a year.  Instead, chances are that he'll soon be fired from the job he's apparently done well.

Why would anyone want to fire a soldier with this much experience which includes flying ninety missions in three different wars?  You can read about his story at or

In the middle of so much strife and war that our country finds itself in, we are still kicking out good soldiers merely for being gay.

It's stupid and sad, and it's a waste.  Don't Ask Don't Tell is one of the worst and most shameful atrocities ever forced on the American people and is responsible for too many good soldiers being removed from their jobs.

Monday, August 09, 2010

red scare ya'll

While I do know that it's likely a mistake, I've started some shit on the ol' Facebook.  One of my brothers posted a picture of a bumper sticker suggesting that President Obama is a socialist with a picture of his face as the last in line of several faces, only a couple of which I recognize.  Apparently they are the faces of socialists past with Obama being compared to them.

I'm curious as to who the different people are in the picture, and I included that question along with a request as to what exactly makes Obama a socialist.  Hopefully, as part of what I expect to be a fun if extremely trying and eventually unrewarding argument with the right wing, I'll at least make one or two valid points while simultaneously changing absolutely no minds whatsoever.

In response to my question as to what makes Obama a socialist an old family friend brought up the health care mandate and pointed out that health care is in fact not in the Constitution.  My answer to that was to compare the health care mandate to the idea that we are required to purchase car insurance in order to legally operate our motor vehicles.  I'm still waiting for a response to that, and I've had to once more add my request for names of the other socialists in the picture.

Below is the picture in question.  Let me know what you think in the comments.
Again, I fully expect to argue with people who don't really know what they are talking about and have no actual idea of what socialism is, but that's what happens when you argue/discuss with the right.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

just keep poking us in the eye

Proposition 8 was justifiably overturned last week in a ruling many people have been awaiting for months.  National Organization for Marriage has begun what they've decided to call their Summer for Marriage Tour, driving around to preach to people about marriage being one man and one woman.

Perhaps in the majority of US states marriage is confined to one man and one woman, but as time slowly creeps on we find that equality keeps growing more than not.  Outside of the US Mexico City is one of the more recent places to find that gay couples should be allowed to marry.  Five US states and a growing handful of countries are realizing that equality benefits all families.

And that is one of the most hurtful things to come out of this culture war, this battle that need not even be fought.  I am gay and have a family.  I have children, and I'm most certainly not the only gay person with children.  But to hear NOM talk about family you'd think that children only appear when a loving heterosexual couple marries with the intent to produce children and raise them in a loving home.

Families come about in a variety of ways and for a variety of reasons.  Some people do in fact marry and make babies and stay together till death do them part.  Sometimes a person's loved one dies leaving them alone with the children.  Sometimes children find their birth parents gone and no longer part of their life for any number of reasons.  Sometimes people are unable to have their own children and are willing to create a family through adoption to provide a family for children without parents.  Sometimes families combine two pre-existing families to create a new family.  And to pretend that only the first type of family I mentioned is the only kind of family that is real or that actually exists is to insult every single other type of family, to degrade them as worthless and not of value.

And that is what NOM does every single day and every minute of every day that they exist.  They've spent untold millions of dollars fighting this culture war that need not exist, dollars that could do the thing their Bible actually tells them to do, help the weak and downtrodden, the hungry and the hurting.

But instead of doing that they are making a point of making sure more people are weak and downtrodden, increasing the number of hungry and hurting.

If you want to follow their evil trip to spread hurt then visit the Courage Campaign's Prop 8 Trial Tracker blog.  They began earlier this year to make sure that anyone interested was able to keep abreast of the Prop 8 trial, and they've continued their work as we've waited for the verdict (great post about that HERE) and are now on the front lines documenting NOM's bus of animus tour.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

oh your poor feelings

After months of waiting for the verdict, people across the country who believe in equality and fairness were delighted today when Judge Vaughn Walker overturned California's Proposition 8 which made marriage inequality in California the law of the land.  Prior to prop 8, for a very short time, gay couples in California were allowed to be equal citizens in terms of marriage rights, and a few thousand couples married the person they love.  Prop 8 closed that like a closet door slamming shut.

A very few states in the US allow same sex couples to marry, and a very few allow same sex couples to attain something not entirely unlike marriage, often known as a domestic partnership.  Like school segregation before Brown vs. Board of Education, gay people were, and in too many states still are, separate but not equal.

Some people who oppose marriage equality will self righteously and infuriatingly pretend that marriage is something a man and a woman do in order to then begin bearing children so that they can have a family.  They see marriage as a holy and sacred thing that is the only way in which children are brought into the world, and they insist that the only good way for children to be conceived, born and raised is through this myth that they so want to be true.

Possibly the most infuriating argument now that prop 8 has been overturned is their decrying the "activist judge" who invalidated the votes of seven million Californians who wanted to maintain the charade that all children are born into loving families with parents of opposing genders and are raised in a quaint fifties style sort of perfection that never really ever existed.

And this argument is one that angers me so much because they conveniently ignore reality.  Okay, so they consistently ignore reality.  They ignore that children are in fact now and have been being raised by gay parents, by single parents and even are adopted and raised by parents with whom they share no actual genetic heritage beyond mere humanity. 

So, back to that seven million now disenfranchised voters in California who have to deal with the idea, solely in their slow bigoted minds, that their democracy has failed them.  What these anti equality people fail to realize, or what they so easily ignore because the light burns, is that the vote wasn't seven million to zero.  The vote, according to this page at Wikipedia was more like 7,001,084 for taking away the right to marry the person you love to 6,401,482 who believe that marriage is a fundamental right that should be available to all.

Somehow the right to equality and the votes of 6.5 million people just don't happen to matter as much as fear mongering, deception and animus.  And honestly, if you just don't like gay people have the fucking balls to say so.  Quit hiding behind your Bible or your church or your platitudes.  Own your bigotry.  Quit pretending that you're going to be in any way effected.  Quit shitting on all those kids who don't have the fortune to be married into a family that involves a couple lucky enough to have found "the one" the first time around.  Quit fucking with other people's lives.  Quit forcing us to fight you over and over again.  Just fuck off!

from whence come I

Thanks to Christine for this one.  I played with what it asked for as I suspect most people do.  I didn't mean for it to be as negative seeming as it seems to seem, but maybe I'm just looking at it the way I tend.  At the same time, if does come across as negative I have to remind myself that I didn't want to spend too much time with each line.  I wanted this thing to come out of me in a way that I felt was being honest.

And then I remember and must accept that I over analyze everything, that I edit a lot, that I want to present things in a way that I'm at least okay, if not happy, with.  I'm never altogether happy about it.  But it's done, and that's all I can say for now.

And all that being said, I give you the thing below.  It's called Where I'm From and is basically  a set of writing prompts.  It wasn't really fun, but if you want to play along go HERE.

I am from old toys from older brothers and out of style clothes.
I am from the white ranch style house where in the summer, if you would just lie still in bed you wouldn't be so hot and could get to sleep.
I am from the dogwood, the red clay, the pines and kudzu.
I am from setting the table and sitting down as a family for sandwiches and listening to Larry Munson on the radio while watching the game on tv with the sound turned down, from being one of many brothers so that we're all always and forever a Hullboy.
I am from the not really talking or being heard.
From because I said to.
I am from the same pew every single service, Sunday morning and night and Wednesday night, and missions conference and revival, men's prayer meeting.
I'm from South Dekalb and iced tea being the first thing I ever learned to make in the kitchen.
From only ever really knowing as family my parents and brothers, a couple of cousins and their parents, from a grandmother I never really remember liking as much as I liked that a night spent at her house meant a certain freedom.
I am from a random assortment of pictures at my parent's house as well as the new collections on the internet as the family I have moves into the twenty first century.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

here kitty

There's a smallish black cat behind the sofa, and two boys are sitting on the sofa discussing possible names.

Late last night Momma and I were sitting on her back porch.  She'd worked late, and I just didn't (yet again) go to bed at a reasonable time.  We were not drinking too much, for what it's worth.

The dogs had been out and in and out and were back in as the older one was off her lead and kept wanting to sneakily dissappear around the house and into the darkness.  Had any of the dogs been out it's likely the cat wouldn't have stopped by or would have gotten chased off before we realized.

But the dogs were inside, and the cat showed up.  It's all black, and his/her (don't know yet) tail seems extra long.  The poor thing had obviously not eaten recently but didn't seem in too bad a shape.  Of course we didn't have any cat good, but I brought out a little dog food which was very quickly gobbled up.  I worried that the cat would eat too quickly and end up throwing the food back up, but that didn't happen.

The dogs still don't quite know what to think of the cat.  The older dog might remember her old cat friend who we all miss, but the two smaller dogs don't likely have a clue about the new person in their midst.  Of the two small dogs only one is ours.  The other is a friend's and will hopefully soon be leaving us.  The friend needed her two dogs watched for the last month as she worked to find a new living situation.

So we may have a cat now.  If we get a reason to believe someone has lost this cat and wants it back we'll do the right thing.  But for now the right thing seems to be to give the cat a safe place and to feed it and get some meat on it's bones.  And we also have to think of a name.

shouldn't oughta ate it

Liverwurst!  Let's just get that out of the way.  I hate it.

Maybe I've shared my childhood trauma with you, and maybe not.  Either way, I'm not going into the long version right now.  The quick version involves household rules requiring us to eat whatever our mouther cooked.  She and I were the only two people out of the nine that did not like liver.  Dinners that involved liver for us involved her eating something else and me getting the shaft.

Have you ever eaten something that so disgusted you that you would gag the entire time it was even in your mouth?  Did you continue to eat it?  Okay, I once voluntarily did, the first time I tried octopus.  Momma makes sushi, though this particular time was the first either she or I had tried it, and she now realizes that the octopus we had that time was not prepared well and was cut too thick.  The flavor wasn't the worst thing then but the fact that no amount of chewing seemed to effect the composition of the piece of octopus.

Liver has the effect on me that I gag while my body tries to relieve itself of this infernal organ and expell it far, far away.  It's a memory that still sort of pisses me off, and too much dwelling on the subject can actually make me nauseous even today, and before today I haven't eaten liver in nearly twenty years.

I came home from work a bit later than usual today and immediately needed to visit the bathroom to take care of some business I'd been unable to transact throughout the day.  I wouldn't mention this, but it did give a later start than I'd have liked to the taking-care-of-kids half of my day.  Following the waste removal operation I fixed the cup of coffee that I also needed.

Somewhat off topic, I really can't stand the coffee at work.  I've been drinking water in the morning lately, waiting for ten when the servers start coming in and someone finally makes tea.  The coffee there sucks and comes from a machine that makes coffee from packs of some sort of coffee concentrate.  It's a big red machine that I like to claim was stolen from the big local politician/business family's local chain store.  After choosing your coffee you press the appropriate button while holding your cup under the appropriate nozzle.

And then I needed to relax with my coffee, check Facebook and my email.  I needed also to keep the idea of supper in the back of my mind so that I could decide what to get at the store that I needed to soon visit.  Eventually I realized the time and the fact that I needed to just move.  I hustled the boys into shoes and found some myself.

There are four grocery stores within reasonable driving distance, though it's really a question of two stores represented twice each with a regular version close to the house and the slightly nicer versions being slightly farther away.  I chose the nicest of the four because they have a better produce section, and my idea was to just grab some vegetables that the boys would eat while formulating a protein plan.

Though it hadn't occurred to me till we got there, another advantage of the nicer store is the number of samples strewn throughout the deli area.  I'm not sure what all the boys ate, but I do know there was muenster cheese, cold cuts that looked like turkey and some sort of ham and that damn liverwurst.

I thought Big Brother would probably like the liverwurst because he likes a lot of stuff.  I had no idea how The Boy would enjoy it or whether he would have a meltdown over this ghastly thing that was in contact with his person.  They both enjoyed it, and knowing how time can effect our tastes I took a tiny nibble.

And this is where my entire being went into a whirlpool of despair.  I suggested to the boys that they share a single piece thinking that they might not like it, and I ate a tiny piece, a piece roughly the size of my pinky fingernail.  At first it wasn't bad, and then I suddenly, actually tasted it.  And again within another short second I most certainly did taste it and was revolted.  I forced it down as quickly as possible.

And then I almost had to wipe my tongue.  I might have whined a little, and I certainly did almost reach for my shirt to wipe the gruesome off my tongue, and then I saw myself being the guy in the store licking his shirt, and that didn't seem like it could possibly make the situation better.  I finally did what I do, sucked it up, shivered up my spine, felt my head do that thing where it cocks a little to the side. 

We were finally moving away from the produce/deli area.  The taste of the liverwurst was still in my mouth but hopefully fading, and as I walked that same old feeling started coming over me.  Even as the taste of it grew weaker I felt I could still taste it on my breath.  That horrid deep in the throat feeling, that rough stomach feeling was slipping up, and I was afraid that I was going to cough and throw up a little.  And still I could taste that damn liverwurst on my breath.

I finally stopped and explained to the boys that I needed them to be extra cool, to move quickly with me.  I quickly explained about my liver issues, that I shouldn't have eaten it and told them how I felt.  We needed to continue the shopping, and thankfully I was forming more ideas for supper as we walked, but more than anything I wanted to figure out where the hell the damn water fountain was.

The taste slowly seemed to go away, and eventually, mercifully, I did find the water fountain.  We were mostly done by this point, and though the taste seemed to have completely been taken care of I still had that same feeling, that same worry that I'd start gagging and coughing and lose control.

Fuck I hate liver!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

look at the hour

There's no good reason for me to still be up.  I'm tired, and while I work an hour later than usual tomorrow it's still early enough for my night owl ass.

I'm not really a morning person, but once the hangover wears off and I get into the swing of my work day I'm usually okay.  Or maybe once the vapors clear and the caffeine kicks in enough I'm usually okay.

But I've also learned that getting a decent night of sleep helps the most, so why don't I do it any more often than I do?

Is it the night owl thing?  Am I just a dumb ass? or drunkard?  Maybe I subconsciously hate my job and am sabotaging myself by being a dumb ass, drunkard night owl.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

owning up and not reviewing

Not so long ago I began a post, but for whatever reason I didn't finish or post it.  In that post I discussed that Momma had a Dr. Phil book that I'd sorta been reading.  And though I've ignored it for a couple of days, I've apparently started sorta reading it again.

I'm sure we're all familiar with Dr. Phil.  He's Oprah's lovable oaf that got his own show drawling at people to tell them how they should live.  Many people dislike him, and with good reason, while many people find his folksy, aw shucks sort of, get-in-the-game mentality to be exactly what they need.

I don't hate the guy, and I think I'm able to hear him and decide for myself whether the things he's saying at the moment has any actual value.  And I think I'm able to weed out all the generalities that work for everyone if we'd all just somehow be exactly as we should and thought right thoughts and always acted in a way that made sense and was healthy.

The problem is that none of us ever always do those things we should, so hearing someone tell us to always do it as we should just isn't that big a help to most of us.  If a calendar with daily affirmations and quirky advice about smiling and enjoying the rain gets you through the day then good for you.

But some of us just swallow the hearburn most of the time because the Tums don't work, and forcing a smile gives us a headache rather than makes our inner sunshine sparkle for all the world to see.  And chances are there's something within eyesight that makes me feel hatred, and that's just how I am.  I kinda hate to say but my daily affirmation calendar would involve pictures of people that I can feel better than.

I suppose my real issue with the book is that I approach it from my gay point of view, though it's a book about hetero women connecting with hetero men to form hetero relationships.  I never figured any of that out in my years of research(aka being in the closet), and now that I'm finally out I can admit to all that.  Before I would have had to defend the honor of men and damn him for comparing us all to fish.  He actually suggests to some extent that getting a man is like catching a fish in that you have to know how he acts and where he feeds so that you can use the right lure to snag him out of the river.

And I'm really doing Dr. Phil a disservice.  I'm measuring his book as a gay man, and really it's just not for me.  It's kinda like reading a map for a city I'm not going to be visiting, or maybe it's like when Google maps gives you shitty directions.

For all that I'd really hate to imagine the gay version of this book.  While straight men do fit a bunch of stereotypes, whether or not I said they do or don't earlier, it doesn't matter, because we gay men have and fit all of those and then some.  We're everything from mind numbingly normal to glitter clad.  I can swoon over Rufus and still squee when I touch something gross while rocking out to Motorhead.  It's how it is.

Maybe my problem was in thinking that a Dr. Phil book would not eventually piss me off.  I kinda want to watch his show now just so I can yell insults at the tv.  But if you happen upon his book and find help in it then good for you.  I haven't, though I have gotten depressed by the whole thing.

I'll never find a man, and if I did I wouldn't be able to marry him.  Maybe I'll go drown my tears in a drunken cheezy poof and ramen orgy.  Woe! woe is me!

Friday, July 23, 2010

did publicly admit

Go to Matt Algren's blog to read about Dan Choi being fired from the military for being gay, and HERE is a pdf of the actual discharge papers.  There's something fucked up about actually seeing in writing that someone was relieved of duty for the sole fact that they told someone that they are gay.

Is surreal the right word?  Or is it just fucked?

it belongs in the pool

During the US team's attempt to make their way through the World Cup I thought I might have developed a new appreciation for Landon Donovan, striker for both the US mens national team and MLS team LA Galaxy.

I should point out that I've hated him for years.  He has his moments, but so often his moments seem only to happen during those MLS games.  I should also admit that I don't watch nearly as many MLS games as I would if I had more t.v. in my life to enrich my moments, so I'm sure I've missed whatever the hell else people see in him.

I should also admit that I don't want to imagine my US team as unable to win more games because we just aren't that good.  I get that we don't have the history so much of the world has, and that lack of history means that we don't have the ingrown traditions of soccer.  Our kids, till recently, didn't really grow up playing soccer, though for whatever reasons it does seem to be growing more popular.

I wonder sometimes if it's growing more popular because so many kids that would love to play something don't play football or baseball for whatever reasons.  Perhaps the kids are finally realizing that football is kinda stupid, and baseball is soooo boooooring.  Or maybe in the fall the kids' mommies don't want them hurting themselves playing football, and baseball is soooooo boooooring.

Either way, it's growing, and as it does we'll begin to produce more of those players that would be good at any sport along with those kids that are only good at soccer or will only ever be good at soccer, and eventually we'll have a system that can overpay spoiled assholes to the point where the dual sport kid sees basketball as the sport to help him keep in shape for soccer while he awaits that lucrative pro deal.  Then we'll win the World Cup.

But watching part of the game tonight reminded me that I used to hate Landon Donovan, and now it's back.  Within twenty minutes of beginning to watch the game all the old animus rolled right back around.  And I should now admit that I didn't even watch the first half.  I only started watching somewhere in the vicinity of the fifty fifth minute.

I watched him dive twice and intentionally handle the ball once.  And the moral purist in me that loves the beauty of the beautiful game just hates seeing that shit.  Seriously?  Diving?  And this from the guy that's supposed to be our best hope? our best player?

A hand I can almost get.  At least then it's . . . NO!  Fuck that guy.  It's part of the game that you don't touch the fucking ball with your hand.  It's not even that it's against the rules so much as it's just fucking wrong, and fuck it being strategic and a good move, and there's nothing noble about taking the yellow to help your team.  It's just not how it goes.  I'd almost rather see a good dive.

But fuck a dive too!  I get when you're running full speed that sometimes it really doesn't take a hard blow to send  you spinning.  I get a hard shot that just totally knocks you stupid that really was a fair tackle but you got the foul because maybe you rolled a tiny bit more than inertia might have really caused.  And I don't even like those, because it's still kinda like a dive, and I hate diving.  The thing is, you got beat, and instead of just dealing you're going to try and get a foul called by pretending you didn't get beat?  Man up, motherfucker. 

Maybe I still just want too much to be valiant and pure of heart and actually earn my wins.  It's so infuriating to know that you didn't get beaten but lost to some bullshit.  And when it happens you just have to suck it up or be the sour grapes guy bitching about what he knows happened. 

Sometimes you get beat, and sometimes you beat yourselves, and sometimes you don't start fast enough and have to clean up your mess.  But that should never mean that you handle the ball and fake fouls.  Sometimes you just have to deal, to climb back on the horse, to pull yourself by your boot straps, to refuse to keep getting beaten.  And maybe sometimes you just don't get to do those things.  Sometimes you just aren't going to win, and sometimes the other team is going to be better.

But for fuck sake, we're Americans.  We wear the white hats and save the day.  We wipe the blood out of our eyes and rescue the maiden.  And we don't go for the nut punch unless we're actually fighting some sort of demon creature that eats babies.