Thursday, January 27, 2011

liberal locust that I am

Let's get all the perfunctory out of the way, so I can bitch about the dumbass.  A friend on the book of faces posted this Salon story about a mother who defrauded the government out of millions of dollars and punched a clown AND a kitten.  She also tripped kids in glasses and made puppies feel really bad about themselves.

The piece was written by Elon James White who also has his own blog, This Week in Blackness, which I've added to my reader because he's awesome apparently.  FWIW, he's also kinda cute, but the smarts is why I want to read more of him.

Actually, the mother in question apparently told the local school board that her kids lived with their grandfather.  She did this so that her kids could go to a better school, described in the article that spawned the piece as a "rich white school."

If I have regular readers then they likely know that my kids have started attending school after having been homeschooled for all their life up till this year.  The Boy, from Momma's house, is zoned for the school he attends, though for middle school both boys are zoned for the school Big Brother attends.  We could probably have given either address for the kids as their primary domicile as they stay at whichever house makes the most sense based on the day, Momma's and my work schedules, and any number of other possible reasons that may come up based on any number of things that we may or may not foresee.  They're zoned for a different elementary school from the house I'm currently in, but I don't know anything about that school.  They can see their potential high school from Momma's back porch.  I don't really know anything about it other than it's much more racially diverse than the rich white school, and yes, we have at least one of those.  There's a fair variety of schools around this town, and there's really no point in arguing the fact that the whiter the student population is the nicer the school seems to be.

Most of the comments to the story at Salon seem to suggest my own feelings, that this mother did what any number of other people do or would do.  She did break a law, but what she wanted to accomplish by breaking the law was to get the best education for her children.  And the reasoning behind her act should be considered in whatever legal issues arise from this act.

The bigger point, and the bigger problem, has little to do with this one family.  The real problem is that within any one city there can be such a variety of schools so that one could actually know, based on ethnic makeup, which school was likely to be a better school, to have better and newer equipment, to have more options for the students.  It's sickening that this happens, but it does.

And while I considered posting my own rant about this story I hadn't made up my mind till I got to the comment HERE, by someone calling himself something that he isn't.  I'm not a regular reader or commenter at Salon, so I can't know how well this guy is known.  But something I notice in blog comments is how open people are.  If you hide behind the veil of an anonymous and nebulous username then you can get by with being the world's biggest douche and a half.

Let me just give you a snippet of the insanity so that you don't have to actually visit the comment. 
-liberals (the locusts that they are) destroy poor neighborhoods by building welfare offices and abortion clinics
-that boogeyman, “racism” that we are always told is everywhere all the time except that we never ever ever ever fucking see it
-Liberals are disgusting baby killing race exploitive pieces of shit
Seriously, he says all those things.

Let's look at it one at a time. 

How many "welfare offices" does your town/city have?  I know of one here.  Momma and I, once upon a time, received what were essentially food stamps.  And we went to the same place as everyone else, sat in the same shitty waiting room, and were just as happy as most people when we were doing better and no longer qualified for the help.  I could easily qualify now if I'd swallow my pride.  Also, abortion clinics?  Really?  I know where two are, and I know some people who've had abortions.  I don't like that they felt they had to, but that's not especially my place.  I'm glad they could do so safely.  I know of two places that will perform abortions, and both of them are nearer campus than in our city's poorer neighborhoods.

That boogeyman racism is alive and well, or at least more well than many of us would like.  But that doesn't mean we all see it all the time.  That doesn't mean that we all see it when it happens, and it doesn't mean we recognize it when we see it happening.  I can see things I think are racist, but I can't suddenly be black and see life through the lens that growing up black would give me.  I can be gay and see homophobia, but at the same time I'm still a white male that can pretend he's not gay.  Yes, that comes with it's own baggage, but I wouldn't dare compare being black to being gay or being gay to being black.  Black people who are not gay can't see through my lens any more than I theirs. 

Finally, I've never killed a baby, and I don't think I've ever exploited race.  I killed a snake once, and I've killed my share of mosquitoes, and some of the bugs I've squished might have been babies, but I'm not stopping to look.  I want to not understand what he means by "race exploitive" because ignorance is supposedly bliss, but I have to accept that this is proof that racism is alive and well.  I may have mentioned that.  It gets back to that lens thing.  I don't get to decide what is or isn't racist to black people.  I can disagree all I want, but my balls aren't really that big.

My point with this post isn't about this one commenter.   I live in the south, and I think I have a slightly better handle on racism than some white people.  I do think being gay gives me at least a little peak into, but as mentioned above, I don't think there's a way to compare racism and homophobia, and I don't want to say either is worse or less worse.

I hate reading comments like this because it just makes my brain hurt.  It makes my heart hurt.  It makes a bad place in my day.  It's too good to be satire, and it's too likely that this guy believes what he says.  He really, honestly thinks what he is saying is true.  He doesn't see a problem with black schools and white schools, or he just doesn't see that this problem exists.  If he does see it then he just doesn't care that racism is alive and well and that he's perpetuating it.

If you happen on an alligator that wants to eat you, hiding your face in your hands won't make it go away.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


If we're Facebook friends you may already have seen this, but this syndrome is so out of control that I feel this song needs to be shared as widely as possible.

I'd like to think none of my friends do the duckface in their pictures on social networking sites, but sadly I know that I've seen it on people who should be smart enough not to.

Watch the video and stop making the duckface.

struggle this

Anti gay activists in Iowa want to take away the marriage equality that the state's supreme court gave us and aren't stopping there.  They want to make sure that there is no chance that relationships between gay couples are recognized on a civic level.  This means that they aren't happy just to take back marriage equality, but they want also to make sure we can't even look forward to civil unions.

They know that there will be gay people rallying in support of our cause, our cause being the desire to maintain equal rights, and to show that they are driven by love the anti gay activists are planning on giving away bags of cookies.  That's right.  They're going to show us love by trading their cookies for our equality.

I've actually seen this story a couple of times, and I've been outraged by the sizable balls on display when christianist tell us how much they love us but don't want us to be equal in the eyes of the law.  The Friendly Atheist posted about this today, and I was finally compelled to say something myself.

What's especially galling is the wording so often used by the anti gay activists.  They can't just admit that we are people, people who also happen to be gay.  So, like usual, they play with words to put us in a light that they feel makes them look better, makes them look like their cause is not a despicable and nasty jab.  What they want, in their words is to show love "to people who are struggling with homosexuality."

Here's the thing.  I once struggled with homosexuality.  I call it being in the closet.  I knew I was gay, but I pretended I was just bi and that being in a heterosexual marriage and having a family was going to make me hetero enough so that being my true gay self didn't need to happen.

I was unhappy and miserable for the most part.  I struggled to be okay with my decision.  I tried to be strong and maintain my family, though what I never realized is that tearing myself up inside was as unhealthy for me as for those around me.

I struggled with homosexuality until I finally accepted that I am gay.  Now I've embraced that I'm gay.  I'm happy and proud to let myself be who I always should have been.  I no longer struggle with homosexuality.

Of course there are still struggles.  Sometimes it feels that life is a series of struggling from one struggle to another.  But when it comes to my sexual orientation I don't struggle with it anymore.  I admitted the truth to myself.

Monday, January 24, 2011

yeah, that's right

I missed my bus today and had to walk about two and a half miles to reach the next available but that would make me not late for work.  Google mapping the way I walked suggests a trip time of forty six minutes, but I think I did it quicker.

Actually if I hadn't slowed down walking on my street I wouldn't have missed my bus, but I saw what I assumed was my bus and assumed, based on where I know the bus goes and how long it takes to go there and come back on its way back downtown that I had plenty of time.  I don't know what bus I saw, but it wasn't mine.

Rushing up the street, as always unsure of exactly when the bus will arrive, I saw the apparition bus and slowed my pace.  I even smiled to myself at how well I was doing.  And I have been doing well.  In just over a week I've now missed the bus once, and that's required me getting up at least an hour earlier than usual.

I suppose not having a car helps.  I can't reasonably go anywhere other than work or home unless I know for a fact that I have a ride, or it's going to mean me getting to the bus on time coming and going.  My bus doesn't run nearly as late as I used to, so neither do I.

Perhaps it's a good thing.  I can't say I like it, but I can admit to being home and ready for bed nearing midnight.  I can also admit that this is becoming a bit of a habit.

I don't really like it.  I'm a boring person who wastes time when by myself.  I suppose it's what I do all the time, but I'm actually noticing me do it. Having to stare that in its ugly face is kind of a downer.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


It being twinnyleven I used the Facebook instead of actual talking or writing a letter or whatever people used to do.  I sent a message to this guy that I'm afraid to like.

Maybe the problem with talking to him or saying anything is the writer that lives inside me and wants to edit everything before the recipient receives the message.

I hate talking to people sometimes because I can't edit.  I suppose that I don't misspell words when I'm talking, but that's small consolation.

In the end I think I'm happy with what I wrote.  Now I get to enter that period of waiting, hoping that he sees things similarly to how I see them.  I get to hope that he likes me and that I haven't frightened him off.  He takes my phone calls, so that's good, but I just don't trust myself.

I really do manage to fuck things up more than you might realize.  I'm probably ruining something right now even though all I'm doing is typing words and trying to manage to convey thoughts.  It's kinda how I roll.

And now all I can do is wait. 

not trying equals not doing

I feel like I'm setting myself up for a big let down again. 

There's this guy, and he's nice and sweet and hot, and I kinda like him.  I kinda like him because I'm not letting myself get too far into this thing, but I also can't help feeling stuff and thinking things.

He lives just far enough away so that the car thing is an issue, and that's compounded by him having his own car problems right now.  It's a situation, and it probably sounds worse than it is, or maybe I'm making it sound less worse than it is.

The last time I liked a guy it kinda blew up in my face when he incredulously and vocally realized that I really did like him that way and really did want a boyfriend.  It was kind of a moment, and it wasn't fun.

There's another guy who just wants to have fun.  I've been there once, and I'm not entirely against the idea, but it just isn't where I want to be in life.  It isn't the kind of person I want to be.  But what I want and what I feel like I can have are so often completely at odds with each other.

And neither of these situations need to be where I am in life.  The one that I'm actually worried about could be part of where I want to be, but it shouldn't be the key component.  That's so much easier to say than it is to act on, which raises a whole other bunch of list of whatever.

I feel like I've covered this, but it's probably something I've written about but never published.  There are probably a few drunken rants in my drafts file, rambling rants that need never see the light of pixelated day.

So what to do?  It's late enough tonight that I'll probably just dig up some obscure Les Paul and Mary Ford on the Youtube, because that seems to be what I'm doing right now.  I'll wade through all that's built up in Google reader, all the blogs that are just sitting there, patiently waiting for me.

It isn't going to help me figure anything out, and it will more likely just keep my mind occupied enough that I don't have to think too deeply about anything.  It's the internets and like a drug that way.  Maybe if I actually had some drugs I could forget about everything the right way, but for now I'll just think about the cute and sweet boy, and I'll begin to compose Facebook messages to him where I bare my soul.  And then I'll click on "cancel" instead of "send." 

It's easier that way.  And I can drag out the enjoyment of possibility longer before I say something and fuck the whole thing up.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

how was your day?

My day started as they have been lately, alarm going off while it's still dark outside.  After forcing my eyes to remain open long enough to consider myself actually awake I started the ritual that is waking the boys up.  Big Brother usually wakes quickly, while The Boy, in yet another instance of being just like me, does not.

I made sure they were putting on clean clothes and got The Boy to finally change his socks then helped them get bowls of cereal lined up.  I made them sandwiches and peeled and cut kiwis for their lunches, and I made sure they both had milk money. 

Momma arrived as the boys were finishing getting ready for school and whisked them away.  I had time for a bowl of cereal before I went to stand up the street and wait for the bus.  Sadly I had no coffee in the house, so my day didn't start as well as it could have. 

The bus station/transfer point has a lunch counter at which I paid $1.09 for a horrible cup of of coffee delivered by a guy who was so cheerful that I wanted to drag him across the counter and beat him with the airpot.

The municipal court/police station is an uphill walk of two long blocks from the bus station, and I was early enough to relax at the station while waiting till I needed to start my walk in order to get there early.

I'm glad I was there early, because in a random moment of making sense I checked my paperwork to see if I'd missed anything about my court appearance.  I'm somewhat familiar with the court house that I went to as it's where I've been at least twice in the past ten years, once to pay a speeding ticket and once to pay one hundred dollars for committing the crime of not knowing I needed my registration in the car.  To make that one worse I realized sometime later that the registration was in fact in the car.

Upon looking at my paperwork I realized I was at the wrong court.  For my offense I did not need to go to municipal court.  I needed to be over ten blocks away at general sessions court which is in the city/county building.  I began the quick walk, glad that I'd arrived early, and called the phone number listed on my paper.

The lady that answered was nice enough even though she insisted that I was already an hour late.  Her records indicated I needed to be there at nine, and she wouldn't accept that my records said ten.  It didn't matter either way.

I did actually make it to court on time.  The judge was finishing up his discussion of rights and the nature of the offense that most of us were there for and then began to call the roll.

My court date was actually an arraignment, so within about an hour I had my actual court date and was free to go.  From there I walked another five blocks to my place of employment to mark the calendar we use to request days off so that I could be sure to have my court date free.  A coworker was also there with his eight month old, so I got to hold a tiny baby.  I then proceeded to tickle his toes and that spot on the back of all baby's necks that makes them shiver.  It's so much fun.

I then walked to where Momma works, another couple of blocks, so that I could let her know about my court business.  Another three blocks took me to a coffee shop so that I could eat a scone and enjoy a cup of good coffee.

Another three blocks saw me at the bus stop so that I could ride to the grocery store.  From the grocery store I walked another two blocks to catch the bus that would have taken me home.  I rolled a cigarette and checked the schedule only to find myself wishing I'd been there ten minutes earlier and debating how long I felt like standing and waiting.  I opted to walk.  The next bus wasn't due for about forty minutes.

Home was another two mile walk, and by the time I finally reached here I almost wished I'd waited.  You'd think with all the standing and moving I do as a cook a little walking would be easy, but my legs, from the knees down, are some achy bastards.

I'm home, have some chicken stock simmering on the stove.  I'll use it a bit later to boil some rice into which I'll mix some leftover chicken and whatever else sounds like it'll be good.  I'll also hope The Boy eats some, otherwise he'll be a hungry little monkey.

And that was the first half of my day.  I've since dozed for a few minutes in front of the television and checked Facebook.  Momma is stopping at the co-op for me and bringing me coffee when she brings the boys later, and as soon as I see her car in the driveway I'll get water on.  The French press is already clean.

Right now I'm hungry and tired.  I really hope the boys don't have any/much homework.  I don't feel like dealing with it tonight, though so far we haven't had any problems.  The Boy is behind where his class mates are, so we're working with him to catch up.  He's a smart kid, and when we work on combating the frustration he easily understands the math.  The reading/writing may take a bit more patience, but it's good for me to learn some of that.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

taint ticklers

People have noticed lately that I haven't shaved in a while, though I have to wonder if they're noticing or just commenting.  Very rarely has anyone had reason to comment on my facial hair, and the main reason is that I really don't grow it in a noticeable manner.

When I say I don't grow it I'm not suggesting that I shave daily in order to maintain my appearance.  No, what I mean is that, whether or not I like it, my face doesn't produce hair in the manner typical for a man my age.  I shaved just over a week ago, and I've just now reached a point where my face looks as if I'm attempting to produce a hair style upon it.

I know when I last shaved because it was in preparation for a visit from a cute friend.  I won't go into that right now, though there could easily be a post out of where my head is lately.  I then didn't shower again till Momma helped me purchase my freedom, and I was able to shed the layer of jail and the stink of bologna.

I just didn't feel like shaving then.  And usually I don't.  I suppose that I'm lucky in that regard.  I do kinda hate shaving, and I don't really feel like I want facial hair, and I certainly have no need at all to shave daily to maintain a clean look, but there's also the part of me that just doesn't like not having that thing that men do.  It's totally not available to me.

Long sideburns?  Handlebar mustache?  Satanesque Van Dyke with pointy beard?  I can achieve none of these classic styles.  Fourteen year old boy who shouldn't need to shave yet but kinda needs to?  Yes, I can totally pull that one off.  I'm doing so right now.

And I don't even like the facial hair on me.  Okay, I'll tell you now that I don't like my own.  It feels unpleasant for the most part.  However, a bit of beard  brushing against my neck?  Let's just not even go there.  That's not what this post is about, and my viewers may include mixed company. 

Every so often I ignore my need to shave, and it does almost look as if I'm deliberately attempting something, and on even rarer occasions I consider for a brief passing moment just not shaving.  I almost begin to pretend that if I don't shave a real mustache will grow while I'm asleep.  That's where I am now.

I feel like I know better, and I'm sure I'll look like the kind of guy that has a van for very bad reasons if I were to actually have a mustache of my own, but I still wanna see, just once.  Just one time in my life time I want to actually have this thing that so many take for granted.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

mouth full of gravel and glass

There's a space between ordering the pale ale and sitting on the ground next to the car while that angry lady across the street yelled at me that isn't even a memory.  I can't justify it any way at all, though my brain can't wrap around this quandary, and I keep telling myself that I didn't have that much to drink.

I don't remember paying my tab.  I don't remember leaving the bar.  I don't remember walking two blocks to the parking garage, and I don't remember any of the drive.

I remember that woman yelling at me about her kids going to school this way and that she'd already called the cops.  I remember looking at my car and thinking that it was facing the wrong direction.  I remember the telephone pole, though at the time I couldn't see that I'd hit it hard enough to break it.  As my arresting officer said, "You cut it right off!"

I remember as the realization of what I'd done tried to crash down on me.  I remember crying.

I remember the cop trying to get me to do the field sobriety test and that I honestly couldn't.  Between being drunk and crying I couldn't do any of the things he was going to ask of me.  I've done those things at least two other times and passed.  I couldn't this time.

And regardless of how absolutely not even a little bit that it matters I didn't have that much to drink.  And that's not a problem because I didn't have that much to drink.  The problem is what does "that much" mean?

One of my "not resolutions" was to drink less.  Wanna know how much I drank Sunday night?  According to the slip I got when I clocked out from work Sunday I left there at about 3:15.  I was at the bar with a bloody mary by 3:30.  I drank that somewhat slowly and then had a beer.  I finished that and ordered another beer and paid my tab at the same time.  According to the receipt I paid out at about 5:00.  I was probably done with that beer and two blocks away at another bar by 6:00.  According to that receipt I paid out and left by 8:00.  I was being processed at the Sheriff's department and sent to a cell sometime between 11:00 and midnight.

I can't tell you how much I had to drink at the second bar.  I drank a beer that I ordered and at least two parts of a beer that the bartender gave me.  He's a friend, and the beers he gave me were overpours, some of it run off from filling a growler.  I remember ordering a second beer, and that's the last thing I remember before that lady yelling at me.  My receipt doesn't reflect what I drank, and once you black out from drinking you don't know what you did unless someone tells you.

I do get that "a lot" of alcohol varies from one person to the next.  I have a fairly high tolerance because I drink a lot.  It's slowly starting to seem less like a badge of honor.

How much is a lot to drink?  For me it's somewhere past a six pack.  I can really put away cheap beer if I start early enough.  Add to that the fact that my recent history sees me drinking cheap beer (and by cheap I mean PBR.  I still have some kinda standard-ish) and at least a six pack a night. And that's just an average of what I'm likely to drink in an average day.

I feel like there's so much more to say.  I feel like I should moralize and preach, condemn the beastly drink.  I feel like I should loathe it so that I swear off the evil beverage, but I know I won't be doing that.  The fact is that it's not beer's fault.  It's not the fault of anyone person or thing other than me.

This feels like it's all part of some bigger conversation about drugs and the nature of addiction, but it's not a conversation for here and now.  I stand by all I've ever said about these subjects, but I feel like I'm going to have to start being more honest with myself about my own drinking.  I can say all day that I'm going to drink less, but until I really look at what I'm doing and where I am I'm not going to make any progress.

That's not going to happen tonight.  I am drinking beer as I write this.  The couple I have will hopefully ease the pain in my ribs that I have to assume is courtesy of the seat belt, and they will also help calm my nerves after the hell that is jail even if only for a couple of days.

The only other thing I can say is I'm sorry.

Friday, January 07, 2011

is they or aint they

Chic-fil-A, home of one of my favorite chicken sandwiches, is owned by people who happen to be Christian.  They are also closed on Sunday.  The restaurant I work at is owned by an older couple who have their own belief system that they've not shared with me.  I have no system of religious belief, and I don't believe in a host of other things.  I'll freely admit to wishing that I had a unicorn for a best friend, but that's neither here nor there.  Also, we used to be closed on Sunday until the owner decided we could do some bidness adding brunch to our schedule.

fwiw, I hate working brunch.  It's the very bane of restaurant life.  Most people hate it.  May you always go to good brunch places and never suffer the indignity of a pre-broken yolk on  you benedict.

Anyway, somewhere there's a conference involving a couple of churches and Christian couples learning how to be married in the proper Christian way.  Of course that proper Christian way involves someone's interpretation of someone's interpretation of bronze age myths, and it filters through other filters on the way to the conference which lasts a day and a half or something. 

I imagine Christian couple sleeping in cots in the gymnasium, holding hands across the empty space.  Being gay I'd probably have found some nook in which to trap my partner and commit sinful acts, but that's just me.  We wouldn't be welcome anyway, so that's really beside the point.

Chic-fil-A, in addition to being a slight pain in the ass to type, may or may not donate money to random organizations.  I don't know.  I haven't looked.  Some intrepid blogger may well do it for me.  I am sure that they sometimes possibly donate food to groups for events that might also involve some amount of people who don't like gay people.

The Chic-fil-A sandwich is not something I'm willing to boycott.  Their waffle fries may not be as good as McDonalds regular ass fries, but they are the perfect side dish to the sandwich.

Chic-fil-A is sort of a reward for not killing anyone at the mall.  I sorta tend to live and work on the square.  It's a nice public space in the heart of downtown.  There are a variety of buskers through out the day.  There's the homeless guy selling our town's new street paper.  Right now there are the last remnants of the ice rink, and in a couple of days there will nothing left of that but the increasingly smaller piles of ice.  Sometimes you'll find someone passing a football with a friend American style, though only the employees of the Mexican restaurant across from where I work ever seem to pass a football international style.  At almost any time of the day or night you're likely to see someone walking their dog, and sometimes it's a dog you know and can say hi to.

The mall is made up.  It's a "public" space entirely devoted to commerce.  It's full of mall people, and while I don't necessarily not like them, I don't necessarily like them at the mall.  Maybe it's a turf issue.  Maybe it's that they're all so seemingly alike.  Maybe it's me and not them.  Either way the mall can sometimes stress me out a little bit, and sometimes there's only one antidote for that stress.

Chic-fil-A's sweet tea isn't too bad at all, for what it's worth, but it really is their namesake chicken sandwich.  It's a decent sized breast half, deep fried, served on what was once a toasted bun with a couple of pickle slices in the middle.  I eat around the last pickle bite personally.

It's served in a small bag, white paper with a foil inside, and if you rip that little bag down the seam on the underside and then rip it open along the crease at the bottom you have room to lay down your waffle fries and create your little piles of ketchup and mayonnaise.  I put them next to each other so I can mix them in the middle and still have either one by itself as well.  On the sandwich I put mayonnaise and hot sauce.

And while I enjoy that fast food paradise, the mall melts away, disappears around me and ceases to exist.  All my worries are gone, and I can see heaven in the distance.

Okay, not really.  I'm still being catty in my head about all the mall dorks, but at least for a while my mouth is full and mostly free of words.  I can sink into the goodness.

p.s. the whole point of this post is thanks to the fine people at  I really do love the blog.  The link HERE is just the latest in a story that is ongoing.  My own comment that is this blog post is in answer to comments that I've read here as well as other blogs.  It's easy to sit back and laugh, so I do.