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.