Tuesday, June 29, 2010


The idea of having my own place is nice, and the actual having of a place is not entirely horrible, but the actuality of the place I have is somewhat problematic.

There are various reasons I rushed into getting the place that I have. The landlord didn't require a deposit, which was nice as I had no money for such. He didn't require much at all other than money, and a tiny red flag went up as I handed him that first check and he asked if I didn't have cash.

Other red flags had gone up previous to this, but they were tiny and I ignored them. I wanted this place, and I wanted the location. I'm still not as unhappy as I could be with the general location, this area known as The Fort and my location just a mile from downtown. That first time that I walked from the apartment to downtown and I realized it had only taken me twenty easy minutes were nice.

But as the two months between then and now have passed I've realized how bad a decision I made, and some of those tiny red flags have become the problems I overlooked. I won't even mention that no one around here seems to understand why/that there is a city law requiring them to clean up their dog's shits.

One problem is the tiny-ness of the unit and the fact that there is no real room for the boys when they are there. I hate even to bring them over. The layout of the unit and the single wall unit air conditioner combine to make a place that, coupled with the Tennessee summer and humidity, make it nearly impossible for them to get a decent night sleep. Add in that it's a block from two different hospitals and then imagine being serenaded nightly, several times a night, by the ambulances screaming past about fifty feet away, and that adds to the issue. Adding on even more is that outside of the inside of the unit there is nowhere for the boys to play, and there's no room inside either.

The swimming pool was supposed to be an amenity, but I still haven't gotten a key to the gate. The landlord assumes the maintenance guy has it, while the maintenance guy suggests that the owners of the units should have them to give to their tenants.

That last paragraph probably needs some clarification. The building was built in the '60's as a hotel. At some point in the ensuing years it became apartments, but there is no single owner of the units which are owned by various landlords. I have a friend four two floors above me, and we have different landlords.

While I was working and then watching soccer this past Saturday there was an open house in my building. My unit was one of those up for sale, and my landlord did some work, painting, caulking, steam cleaning, to prepare the building. In the process he moved all my stuff around, understandable, and he also broke a clipboard and a cd tower, not understandable. I haven't discussed this with him. I could also mention that his painting job absolutely sucks, and he doesn't know how to smooth caulk. I could then mention that he leaves dried chunks of caulk in the sinks and that the kitchen sink was clogged last I looked. I could go even farther and mention that I can't visually see that the carpet has even been vacuumed, much less cleaned, but perhaps that's just piling on.

Back to the pool, I've now decided that I'd prefer my kids to not swim in it, so it's no longer an amenity, and I'm not sure that I want to explain to them why I don't want them in it. Any number of mornings that I've left the building via the stairs that overlook the pool I've seen beer cans and chairs floating in the water. I've known a few people who've admitted to having been in the pool as it seems that nearly everyone in this town knows or has known someone that lives/lived in this building, and apparently the majority of late night pool partiers are swimming, as we say in the south, butt ass nekkid. As if all that weren't bad enough I left the building one day in time to see the maintenance guy having to close the pool because there was broken glass in the area.

And in the end I just can't afford the place. I'm spending nearly half my measly monthly income on the place, and it's not a place I like or that I want to be. I had to move a fair amount of stuff out of the unit for the open house because, as the landlord said, we don't want anything walking out and then have to deal with he-said-she-said. I haven't actually been back in a couple days. Saturday night saw us ending our pride festivities at a friends house, swimming till late at night. Several of us just crashed and then began our Sunday with more swimming. Sunday night I was with the kids at Momma's, and then Monday night ended the same. Some of that was wanting to get up early so that the family (minus The Boy who just doesn't care) could watch the World Cup together. Some of the crashing here might have been more staying up late and some drinking of beer. Momma and I are still really good at being friends and hanging out and sitting up late.

My financial situation could be a whole 'nother post, so in the interest of not boring you THAT much I'll not include that bitch fest here. I just needed to rant for a minute. And now that that's out of the way, I need to figure out where to go from here. I can barely afford to pay half this month's rent now and hand over the other half when I get paid in a week and a half. I did this last month and promised profusely that it wouldn't happen again.

I hate going back on my word. I had the best intentions, but I didn't realize then that, because of a normal summer time lull in business where I work that our labor would take a cut over the next two weeks as we saw some amount of business fall off, and I couldn't have foreseen how much smaller this check was going to be than the last.

All I can do now is explain to the landlord my situation and let him know that I'm planning to be gone in thirty days. I feel like a douche, but I tend to feel like that more often than is really necessary. Now to figure out where I'm going to be in thirty days and how the fuck I plan to swing it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

technology vs. human face

If you've watched any of the action in the currently occurring World Cup and if you also know anything about soccer then you've no doubt seen at least one missed call by a referee. If you haven't seen a bad call then you haven't been watching.

I'll accept that my US team didn't play nearly as well as Ghana in the game we lost that sent us home. The US couldn't hold onto a ball, couldn't seem to get on the end of passes, and looked frightened at the speed with which Ghana ran at whoever had the ball. I saw what looked like a lot of panicking and getting rid of the ball with far too many passes going to a man in red as opposed to a teammate.

It's arguable that the US was tired, having only two days between games, though Ghana only had half a day more of rest than did the US. It's also worth noting that in each of the previous three games the US played our guys were cheated out of a goal and possibly the win. Why does this matter?

In soccer the team that scores first certainly puts themselves at an advantage. In a sense all you need to do is keep the ball for your side the rest of the game while your opponents need not only to score to tie the game but score a second time to get the win.

So given that that the US had pivotal goals disallowed they found themselves having to work that much harder than they should have. They had an uphill battle over and over that they should not have faced, and it's worth noting because this tiredness from having to work harder than they should have certainly set them up for a rough game against Ghana.

I hope none of this seems like sour grapes because it's also worth noting that our guys gave up an early goal in each game and set themselves up for the uphill battle. Couple that with FIFA hiring degenerates to ref games and the fact that the assistant refs apparently just don't know their job, and you get a recipe that cooks up a big pot of US out in the first stage of the knock out round.

And having all this to ruminate, I still think that there's no room for replays in soccer. I don't want to see the game ruined by constantly stopping to check a ref's call. I don't want my beloved soccer to turn into Americanized crap in which the sponsors rule the field by stopping the game for commercials every few minutes. I love soccer because a ninety minute game takes slightly more than ninety minutes versus American football in which a sixty minute time clock takes between two and three hours to actually tick all the way to zero.

One of my greatest fears regarding replays in soccer is the insidious nature of advertising. All it takes is fifteen seconds to cut away for a quick reminder that Buick sells cars or that Coca Cola may be a refreshing beverage. And once you allow that first little ad to sneak in you've set yourself up for soccer played in quarters because some dink thinks you should be reminded about how easy it is to gamble on Ameritrade and has the money to convince the powers that be that they too could line their pockets if only.

And for the record I also hate that American football players sometimes don't even play the last few minutes versus soccer teams who are losing and know that they can't overcome the goal deficit yet continue to fight till the very last blast of the whistle.

Friday, June 25, 2010

soccer and pride in one day?

Tomorrow I work at nine in the morning and hope to be off in time to watch the US continue their climb to World Cup victory. They play Ghana, the team that sent us home four years ago, and I hope to see our guys send them home this year.

Following work, as I assume I won't actually be off till after the game, I'm going to change into the jeans people have told my I look good in and a shirt that is clean, and then I'm going into the heat of the square for our town's gay pride event.

And then I don't know what to expect. I neglected to take the day off the past two years and have only seen pride from afar or when passing through on a smoke break. I asked specifically to work a day shift this year. I don't want to lose any hours, but I do want to enjoy being surrounded by gay people. That doesn't happen nearly often enough, especially lately as I've not been to any of our town's gay bars in several months.

Thinking about it now I may have avoided the gay bars this entire year up to now.

While I often get somewhat drunk at whatever bar I go to, the gay bars are nearly always worse. Not only is the beer more expensive for the same crap, but I am not good at meeting people. I'm really good at sitting at the bar, and I'm good at making conversation if someone starts, but the other homos never seem to get my jokes. And too often I seem to get that bit drunker than I wanted to, and then I feel sorry for myself because I'm awkward and don't get it.

And I'm really bad about making stupid jokes as I try to allay my own nervousness, and I'm sure that tends to push people away. Also I don't take compliments well. They make me feel really weird, and when the compliments all seem a precursor to an attempt to remove my pants at some later point in the evening I get even more nervous and act even more stupid and tell even lamer jokes that no one but me gets.

Or maybe gay men just don't get my sense of humor. Of course most people don't get my sense of humor, but I'm used to straight people not getting it, and I'm used to people not really liking me that much until they're forced, for whatever reason, to actually get to know me.

And so I'll go to pride, and I'll see my lesbians, and I'll see the staff at what used to be my regular gay bar, and they'll wonder what I've been doing and where I've been going, and I'll point to the pub which has been getting some of the business the gay bar used to get.

And hopefully I'll pull my head out of my ass and just have a good time. With an extra dose of luck I'll meet people who might become friends once they get that my jokes aren't all stupid and I'm not always a nervous heap of dumbass.

Also, USA USA!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I like stories

My feed reader is not always in a state of flux, but I do sometimes recognize the need to plow through all the blogs and news-ish sites that clutter the place up. I add things haphazardly, often only to find soon after that it wasn't what I'd expected or that I'm not nearly as interested as I thought.

Many of the blogs that I've held onto are dormant, sites that I once liked and hope one day to see a new post show up from.

I may have mentioned I'm From Driftwood before, though I don't really remember. It isn't especially new to my reader, but it's recent enough that it still feels sorta new, and I'm totally in love with it.

IFD describes itself as "true stories by gay people from all over," and the posts are often about coming out. I've considered putting together a nice little something to submit, but my writing isn't coming often enough, though I have to admit that whatever reason I give is going to be an excuse. Part of me hesitates because I know I'll be opening myself to that much more of an audience, and even though I don't know 99.9999% of the people who would read it, I still have opening up issues. Sure, you might not suspect that of me if you've ever read my blog here, but it's true to an extent.

All that being said, today's story reminded me ever so slightly of my own story. Much of what the writer says does not parallel with my own story, but there are little things that he mentioned that I could relate to, and I wanted to share.

Maybe it's time to just go ahead and start a new post and start babbling and editing until I whittle a nice something that I can post. But then I'll just make up an excuse. I'm sure the kids need something from me, and I'm sure we're all approaching hungry enough to bother with food, and I don't really want to spend my whole evening in front of the computer, and it's not really as good a story as those of other people, and who really cares anyway, and blah and more blah and more blah, blah, blah.

this post is almost as boring as the over long drives it's about

Trips to Atlanta always seem to be a series of hours spent driving, and it doesn't make me miss the town of my birth and upbringing. This weekend was no different.

There was one major difference but one that wasn't obvious to those around us. Momma was part of the trip, and that was bittersweet in that I have to wonder when we'll take another road trip together. I'm looking forward to Christmas, but I don't assume she'll be part of it. My family is always willing to accept her, and that's one of many great things about them all, but our relationship is of course different, and we are still, years later, still working out our separating our lives.

I won't belabor this point, but we have made our break under such odd circumstances, and we remain such great friends. There isn't much we won't do for each other, but as time passes we do find a greater distance between us on some level while maintaining such closeness on other levels. It's a puzzle I'm not concerned with solving.

All things considered it was a good trip. We were there ostensibly to witness the marriage of my oldest niece, but as important was seeing the vast majority of my family, loved ones I haven't seen in far too long.

The niece was a beautiful bride in a LOTR inspired dress (in a good way) though she and her groom both looked much, much too young to be making a lifetime commitment, though this should not be seen as me doubting their good intentions or the seriousness of their decision, and I wish them great happiness in their life together.

I couldn't help but notice the male chauvinism I feel is inherent in christian marriages inspired by biblically based marriage vows, but I will also accept that it isn't my place to worry too much about it. Really my true complaint and only concern was the driving.

One of my brothers was nice enough to offer us the use of his home for the weekend, and we were happy to take him up on the offer. We expected to reach his house at a reasonable time Friday night, but we also chose to plug his address into Google maps and accepted the recommendations given without bothering to look to closely.

We spent some amount of time on I75 driving south before the directions led us to a state route and then onto a series of other state routes. At some point, in the nearing lateness and serious darkness near some lake in north Georgia we approached a stop sign behind a truck towing a boat. A man approached us from the truck, apologized for bothering us, explained he was "not from around here" and asked if we could direct him to a hotel or gas station. We were also not from around there and were of no help. It was an odd moment.

We did some amount of missing signs and having to turn around due to the ass backward nature of the directions (sucks to your assmar Google btw) coupled with the darkness of being in the middle of not quite anywhere. This was a portent of too much of the trip as you'll soon learn.

Nearing very late we finally did arrive north of Atlanta and finally found ourselves in my brother's driveway. We carried our stuff in, put Big Brother and The Boy to bed and were finally able to settle down with a beer and take our shoes off.

We were awake Saturday in time for breakfast and an almost relaxing hour to get ready for even more driving. The wedding was to take place farther south of Atlanta than we were to the north, a nearly two hour drive down to the church. I ironed clothes and looked nice if I do say so myself. The wedding went well and there were pictures and smoked wings and some sort of drink that was really good if lacking in any alcohol.

One of my many brothers had to work and missed the wedding, and our plan was to retreat back to the house we stayed at and relax and hang out with family until we were able to figure out some plans to hang out with the working brother. Instead we attempted an alternate route that ended up adding two hours to the two hours it should have taken us to get back to north of Atlanta. It didn't help that there was bumper to bumper traffic on I75 that allowed us to average a speed somewhat comparable to a grandparent taking a dump after overindulging at world o' cheese.

We did get to hang out with that brother and enjoy some enjoyable food. It was yet another nice time with family and made the trip and the driving as worth it as any of the seeing family, which, all combined, made it all worthwhile.

Sunday was also spent doing too much driving, and we missed visiting the mall that has the Lego store. The boys were looking forward to the Lego store, but because of that even more driving we weren't able. We didn't really get lost this time, but we did forget that traveling in metro Atlanta is such a giant pain in the ass that we'd all probably rather have to spend the day combing chickens for bugs.

But Sunday did see us spending even more time with family, namely my parents and yet another brother and his wife and kids. We got to enjoy some mediocre Mexican food and watch most of the Brazil versus Ivory Coast game. I hate to admit, but Brazil's second goal should have been disallowed because of two handballs, but the play looked so great as the player beat what seemed like all of Cote d'Ivoire's team within the penalty area.

We finally made our way back to the interstate. We encountered yet more traffic that we have yet to imagine an explanation for. What clogs the interstate south of Atlanta on a Saturday or Sunday early evening? And honestly it's happened before, and I've never figured out what happened any of those past times.

And with all of that, home is so nice to see. I suppose that's part of what makes it home. Ticking off all those familiar junctions as we speed through them on the interstate is a really nice feeling as is that sight of the one your looking for. Pulling into your own driveway and finally walking into your own house, smelling your own place washes over you, and though you don't want to, you go ahead and drag everything out of the car to be unpacked and sorted later. It really is a great feeling.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

thinking or not thinking about not thinking about thinking

The following post was written and edited, probably poorly, before this paragraph. I can't decide if all that follows sounds familiar because I've posted about it before or because I've written and deleted similar posts before. If it all sounds to familiar you are more than welcome to find the little red square with the x in it. Clicking it makes me go away.

There's no sense pretending that I'm in a great place right now, but I'm not as badly off as I could be or as badly off as I have been. It's arguable that I'm as likely as not to be worse off in the future, but I'm at least thinking I'm digging my way out of this.

One thing that's working in my favor is that I'm not depressing myself much by thinking about those things that depress me, mainly my seeming lack of money and my definite lack of a love life. I'm not going to even bother mentioning the complete nonexistence of a sex life, but that is by design as I'm not trying to get any and of course am therefore not getting any.

If I think about money I'll drag myself into a pit where all I can think about will be money. Right now I owe my landlord just over half the rent he was due for the month, but I have the money. I'm kind of surprised I haven't heard from since I got paid Friday, as that's the day I told him I'd have the rest. I'm also going to send my next student loan payment about a week early so that I can get that money out of my account where I am too likely to accidentally drink my way into it.

That's not entirely as likely as it has been in the past. I do have a history of spending the bulk of my money at the bar, but I'm working on that, and the biggest help here is always going to be keeping tabs on my bank account instead of running up tabs at the local.

Anyway, I've got those two monetary exits, and this time I'm not going to forget about them when I look online at my balance and don't see them having gone through yet. I do fully expect about 80% of my next check, just over a week from now, to be an in full payment of my next month's rent.

I also owe Momma somewhere in the realm of five hundred dollars for bills we still share, most of which is a bank loan we took to pay off a credit card that had begun to eat us alive. She's been cool about letting me slack in getting money to her, and while I fully expect her to continue to be cool I fully expect the weight of the knowledge of this debt to continue to weigh on my own mind. But I try not to think about it.

I haven't mentioned my phone bill yet, and I can't for the life of me figure how AT&T justifies charging nearly twenty dollars for removing Momma from the deal and putting me entirely in charge of it. It's highway robbery, but my option is to spend even more money to end my commitment eleven months early. Chances are though that near the middle of 2011 I'll be shopping for a new service provider. For what it's worth, AT&T isn't likely to get more than half of their bill from me before I next get paid.

And speaking of pay, that's a whole other depressing thing that I'm trying not to think about, but my role as a cook for hire and my feelings about my place in this business are fodder for a whole other post.

Hoping we've entirely covered how much money I owe random people and how not thinking about it is not depressing me with it we can move to love/sex/relationship issues that I've mentioned I'm also not thinking of.

To say I'm not thinking about any of it is a bit of a lie. I'm not allowing myself to dwell on it, and I'm contenting myself with telling myself I'm being patient about it. I don't run across that many gay men in my normal daily life, and I don't actually have any close friends that are gay that aren't lesbians. I love my lesbians, and they are great friends, but there's still only so much that we have in common.

Not working toward or looking for a relationship is driven by two reasons. One is that I have a bad habit of rushing into sex when given the chance. Because my chance encounters are so random, when the idea seems to present itself I, by habit, rush it like kids around the pinata that just hit the ground. I want to not do that in part because when things don't work out I can't not think of that later, and any chance of a normal ol' friendship with that person is negated. And I do need to find friends of the gay male variety. It would help me to not feel the aloneness that I also don't think about. It would be nice to actually feel like there were other people like me out there.

A second reason for the avoidance is that I don't really think I'm in a place to be a good partner. Some of this gets back to the cooking for a living issue mentioned above. Being in the closet for so long gave me a view of who I am and what I like that is wrongly colored by being in the closet. I'm learning that my love of the kitchen is different than I thought, though I have yet to figure out how I most want to approach food and cooking.

I've mentioned in the post previous to my most recent overly long blog silence my writing. I'm not sure what I want to do with it, but I'm falling back into some amount of habit of doing some amount of writing. And this isn't the only thing that interests me, but the other interests are things I'm worried to approach. I never allowed myself to even consider so many things as interests from inside the closet that I'm now almost overwhelmed with ideas and stuff and things that are like ideas.

A sad fact here is that I'm spending too much time not thinking about some things and not enough times thinking about other things. While I'm not really doing that much, my life seems to be moving quickly through too many days of the same ol' thing.

Momma discusses the idea of working toward finding balance, and that's what I need to do. But I keep not thinking, so I keep not doing. But even when I'm not thinking I'm still thinking. Now I just need to really think and work toward focus.

Monday, June 14, 2010

i love the vuvuzela

And other reasons I love soccer/football/futbol. And yes, I get that the vuvuzela is kind of obnoxious, but it's part of South African soccer tradition, and music and noise is part of soccer around the world with all corners of the globe contributing their own thing. Go HERE to see nearly ten minutes of a raucous crowd loving their team and the game with horns and drums and chanting.

Right now I'm on a bit of a kick regarding music and soccer. Part of the fussing of World Cup 2010 is people griping about the vuvuzela. I get a little irritated hearing people bitch about them and even suggesting that they be banned. The English love to sing/chant for their team, and sometimes they love even more to sing to/at the opposition, in the most loving of ways of course. Go HERE for a Wikipedia article about chants in soccer. It's bit of a read, but it's interesting, and in my opinion puts the whole issue in some context, and from there you can do your own googling to find videos of soccer fans singing their club songs. I have to admit to loving Liverpool's fans singing, "You'll Never Walk Alone." Go HERE for a great version.

Another reason I love the game is stoppage time. Yes, I said that I love stoppage time. The referees have the option of extending the game past the ninety minutes to make up for times that play stopped for injuries, whether fake or real, as well as time wasted by either team that the ref felt was unnecessary. And speaking of ninety minutes, that's how long a game lasts. In American football a sixty minute game lasts two to three hours because someone has to make money by showing a string of seeming never ending ads for crap. But soccer doesn't stop except in the middle of the game for half time. There will of course be a few minutes there for ads, but you better get them in quick around the talking heads, because as soon as it's time for the game to restart your ass better be back on the pitch.

Advantage is another advantage. In other sports, whenever a foul is committed, the entire game has to stop to deal with it. In soccer there's this awesome thing called advantage. If I foul you but do not gain any benefit (advantage) for my team, the ref has the option of allowing the game to proceed. He/she even has the option of coming back to the foul later when play has stopped naturally if it's felt that I deserve to be warned about my behaviour. If the foul is flagrant enough or if I gain some advantage for my team, then the ref will stop the game and allow the effected team to restart play with control of the ball, and if I foul you inside my penalty area then I might as well have given you a goal most of the time.

The uniforms are yet another reason to love the game. How can you go wrong with basic shorts and a shirt? How can you not love the huge array of colors and patterns that teams have come up with over the years? Go HERE and scroll down the page for a very tiny sample. I'll add here that soccer players are probably also the hottest, but that's probably just my bias shining through, and this whole reason sounds kinda gay to me, but then . . .

I could talk about this for hours, but I won't. I'll end with one last reason, that the only thing you need to play the game is a ball. I've played games that used a pair of backpacks, strategically placed, to stand in for a goal. I've seen kids play using a spot on a wall as a goal. This is one thing that American football shares, the need for no more than a ball to play the game, and like American football, you don't even have to play a game to have fun. Just hanging out with friends and passing the ball and chasing the ball is a great way to blow off steam and waste a couple or more minutes.

I do love the game. I love the World Cup. And most of all I love my home team. I may not always be happy with the results, and I may rather make out with 90% of Spain's team , but it's USMNT all the way for me.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

three plus hour drive

Blogger is offering me some new templates with which I could change the look of this here blog, but I think I'm going to mostly not do so for now.

As it happens currently, that I'm on a computer and attempting anything means that I'm at Momma's house. She's at work at the moment though will soon enough be heading here, and then I'll go home myself. I picked up an early shift tomorrow and would like to get to bed soon and get up and to work on time.

I may offer to pick up another shift Tuesday as I need the hours, but it would be nice to have a break. My last day off was last Tuesday, and my next days off will be this weekend. That's right, like normal people I'll have Saturday and Sunday off.

I'm taking the weekend off in order to drive to Atlanta for the wedding of my oldest niece. Perhaps by the time we're there and I'm seeing her as an adult my mortality will flash full in my face, but I'm surrounded regularly at work by people, on average, ten years younger than me. There is one server a few months younger than me, and the owner and his wife are at least in their 60's I assume, though I've never asked them. But for the most part I'm very much the oldest person employed there.

I'm looking forward to the trip this weekend. Of my growing family I've seen two brothers in the last three years, and I've seen zero of the rest of them in three years.

Of course it can't help but be a little odd. The last I saw the bulk of the fam I was not gay as far as they knew. The two brothers who've visited me knew and were kind enough to leave me to make my own schedule of coming out. Soon enough after that last visit I sent the bulk email in which I told them all the news, and that had something to do with my choice to refrain from visiting.

I could make lots of excuses as to why I avoided the family for far too long, yet I can't help but feel that those excuses are just that and lame as well. At the same time I think I can justify somewhat reasonably my choice. I don't expect anything but happiness to see and be seen, but I can't know, and I have this habit of avoidance when it comes to even a chance of discomfort or having to talk about stuff.

Of course I'm also pretty much opener than all hell when it comes to being out here in my current hometown to the point where I go out of my way to let people know fairly quickly. I'm just not willing to hide.

A good example happened recently at work. The kitchen was closed, and I was off work and at the bar enjoying a beer before heading home. We'd hosted a rather obnoxious bachelorette party, and one of the attendees was in the bar for some reason about which I didn't care. The only other person at that moment in the bar not a coworker was a customer that I didn't know, and he was happy to flirt with the party goer. Somehow the suggestion came up that he would be willing to marry the partier, and I was asked if I'd be willing to marry her.

I shook my head and explained matter of factly that I'm not into girls. He then asked if I'd marry him. Have I mentioned before that I'm kind of an ass sometimes. I looked him over, gave a look that I'm sure was more than a little disdainful and answered that no I would not.

Friends tend to learn quickly what they can and can not get by with when it comes to discussing the gay and my own the gay. It's certainly not a taboo subject, and I'm even willing to answer stupid questions that people have. I'm sure to them the questions aren't stupid, and I believe it's best to be open and out and answer those stupid questions. It's really the best way for people to release their stereotypes and learn that we homos are pretty much not any different from them. At the same time I'm not willing to stand for shit. I'm not willing to allow people around me to use the idea of gay as an insult.

So my point, as I dance around it for an hour or two, is that I'm, as mentioned, out and open. It's not even a thing anymore for the vast majority of people that I know. I even post gay stuff on Facebook sometimes, and I'm friends with all my brothers and my parents and the sisters in law. They at least have the chance to see the stuff I post, though they never comment on it. They didn't even mention when I posted the thing about Christiano Ronaldo and mentioned my belief that he's a rather attractive man.

And whether we ever get to my point doesn't even matter now. I've jabbered for long enough that most of you probably forgot where I was going. Part of my point is that I really don't care what anyone in the family thinks. What I do care about is how they act.

Chances are that it won't even come up. Perhaps they all will avoid the subject so as to not mar the sacred occasion of the matrimonial joining of my niece and that guy that I don't know but who she's marrying. I'm not going to be the douche in this instance. I want as much as most anybody for this to be a wonderful day for her, untainted with nonsense.

What do I expect? Lots of hugs and smiles and happiness at the reunion after too long. I expect to be amazed at the height and growth and ages of all the nieces and nephews. I'm sure my own kids will get tired of the "You're so big I can't believe it OMG ya'll." The Boy will freak out the first time someone tries to kiss him, and I'll do my damnedest to explain to people that they should just not try. I'll warn him ahead of time that people will attempt to plant smooches on him, and I'll hope that he'll at least be hugable and return hugs, and I'll hope that people can respect his wishes about contact.

What else do I expect? I'm sure I'll have a moment of sadness/depression as I convince myself that I'll never get married and can't legally anyway. Momma might have a moment as well. We'll remember our own wedding twelve years back and then the sudden change our relationship saw so not so long ago.

And what more might I expect? I can't know, but I can't let it keep me away anymore. I'm pretty sure I still love my family, and I'm pretty sure I'm tired of not seeing them for far too long.