Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Reading from your end you likely can't tell that I'm testing out yet another Blogger replacement app. I didnt like Google's Blogger app when I first tried it, and I havent been overly enthusiastic about the two apps I've trid so far.
So far this one hasnt caught a couple of mistakes the last one would have automatically fixed, but the ui is more attractive. Sadly, I could be likely to just get used to the app based on the pretty.
It isn't that it isn't working, but it doesn't add apostrophes or capitalize "I" when I just put in the lower case version. I could get used to having to do a little work if other facets prove worth keeping.
Before I decide though I have to post a few more times. I need to road test this with more than just this crappy excuse for a post. Right this moment I dont have anything better to offer, so this is what you get.
Realy what I need is to cook up one of my rants. I haven't gone off on any fools lately, and there are plenty out there.
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
If I were able to use my pc to write this I could justice to the form. Had I but the internets flowing I would do the searching for you and give links to tbe books and author bios. You would not want for the wealth of info I would provide.
Alas sucks to be you. I'm doing it near the pc but am relegated to phone blogging still, so any googling that proves necessary is your responsibility.
And now since you asked so nicely and because it's been so long, let's talk of books.
Let us not just look at books in general, but let's focus on the stack of books before me, four from the library and one borrowed from a coworker, which are the five books I've most recently read.
We begin with the one I havent quite finished yet, The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven, by Sherman Alexie. It's a fairly depressing read at times, to be quite honest, which is the reason I put it off. The stories are mostly about drunk indians on the reservation. But then you continue reading and the stories pull you in. They aren't stories of winning against all odds or beating the demon drink. Sometimes they are about succumbing. But even in the sadness is beauty. There is also a sadness for the wrongness of it all. I would recommend this book.
We'll get Christopher Moore out of the way next. I thoroughly enjoyed A Dirty Job, but it was one of those guilty pleasures. I'm not against fun and easily read books, but lately I've gravitated toward more earnest type stuff.
The main character in the story loses his wife soon after she delivers their daughter, and through some accident of fate he stumbses upon the guy who came for her soul. The next few years are a whirlwind of bad forces gaining power because our hero is too busy missing clues. I'm looking forward to more by this author.
Moving on we can discuss The Folding Starr by Alan Hollinghurst. I must say first that I did enjoy the book and in the end only care for Luc out of all the characters. Don't really think of it as Death in Venice, but there are some similarities, older lech falls for young boy, but our Tadzio is a little older and more aware of the world around him, though it doesn't seem to do him much good in the end. I did enjoy the book, though in spite of some discomfort brought on by the protagonist. Will revisit the author.
Another light read was Andromeda Klein, and this one came from the teen shelves. I have admitted to this often enough, but I love well written juvenile and teen and young adult fiction. I even love well written kids books. I'm a sucker for good writing, and the author here, Frank Portman is one of my favorite writers. He has only written one other book. But he's the athor of some of he greatest pop punk songs ever written as Dr. Frank, along with his band The Mr. T Experience.
Google them. Thank me later.
But back to the story. Andromeda Klein is a teenage witch with enough problems. Her best and possibly only friend may be dead, but she may also be trying to send her some sort of message. Her boyfriend is gone but suddenly she's getting texts from his id on her phone. It's also possible that her new friends don't have her best interests at heart. Her parents aren't really helping much as they also have problems to deal with. Okay, so it also isn't really up high on the serious scale, but it's a really great story, and I say that as more than just a fan. I do enjoy Frank Portman's play with language and words, and I enjoy his sometimes silly, sometimes frank humor. Ha! See what I did there?
Finally we get to Jean Genet. I'm still not sure how to take this guy, so unsure that I stopped at the library for mere moments today to grab another of his books. Actually I needed to get some dvd's back before they started costing me, but while there I grabbed a book.
Miracle of the Rose isn't the Jean Genet book that is considered his greatest, but it was banned enough in the US once upon a time. He celebrates the worst of humanity in the form of a man in jail for killing a child and then the only prison guard who ever treated him well. But more important is the sub plot. It isn't so much a sub plot. A book needs a plot to have someting as simple as a sub plot, but for lack of a better word right now let's go with that.
Being gay is what I took away from the book. And being gay in the late forties and early fifties was so much different than what I'm used to in the nows. The Jean in the book seemed to except that being gay made him a pervert and possibly a kind of monster. It's hard to imagine having so little support for something so inherent to oneself, to imagine knowing that your orientation was inevitable and that you were a pariah because of this thing.
At the same time only gay men can realy know this exact version of the feeling, and all too often we still feel the stigma and the disdain and even the hatred.
But read the book. Your mileage may vary. I know I haven't described it worth a damn, but don't let that stop you. I really would have given a better synopsis/review, but I don't know that I can.
I've begun another Jean Genet book, Querelle, and I expect more moral ambiguity. I'm also looking for some little bit of the history of gay men. This book was first published right around the time we started thinking about not apologizing and hiding so much. Now we need to work more on acceptance of both ourselves and others like us.
To be quite honest, I'm sure I will soon need more lighter reading. I can only throw so much at my brain before it needs a day off. The lighter fare I've mentiond here is good for that, and any good fiction can be good exercise, but I alo love a book that asks for a little work in return.
And now I have to ask, what are you reading?
Do Georgia fans stil ask, how bout them dawgs? I may have mentioned it a few times last fall when our local boys failed to best the team from Athens, and it may hve been somwhat alcohol fueled.
None of that is really the point, and neither dog representing either of the above teams is represented by my family and our doggie family.
The dogs all live with Momma, and two of the three are more hers in that she picked them herself. Or we could say that one of the three was part of the family since the old days, the in-the-closet time. She is now ten years old and is a small, black mix of unknown breeds.
Though Momma picked the next two dogs for herself I still accept my parentage duties. The first is just over three and was the runt of a litter of long haired chihuahuas. He is light brown with great white accents. The new guy is only almost eight weeks old now, and he already is almost twice the size of the smallest dog and close enough to our older girl in weight while already seming to tower over her a little.
This dog is near enough seventeen pounds according to the friend from whom he came. She found the mother on a local interstate, missing fur and emaciated and also, our friend learned soon enough, pregnant. The mom is also obviously a German shepherd, while the father is of course a mystery.
Looking at his big lovable face and his paws that are nearly half as big my hand gives you ideas of a father. We're thinking lab or pit bull as possible, but we can't really know. Either could be a great mix.
The humans in the family have all fallen for this growing beast of a dog, though the dogs are taking their time. They didn't seem to get the memo about the pack expansion, and they haven't quite decided how to take the news.
Our old lady seems concerned that she's going to miss out on something. She seems to know her place is secure, but that damn chihuahua is always a concern and often enough a pain in the ass for no obvious reason.
Of course the chihuahua is being exactly a chihuahua about it. He's the boss, and you better recognize his place in line. Of course he isn't the boss and is made to realize and forced to accept this often enough, but he'll be damned if any dog gets his place in the pack. He can't know that this usurper will soon be too big for the cute and cuddly place that only a darling little bit of a chihuahua can fill.
My own getting a dog is still a ways off. I would love to have a dog but don't really feel that my life at the.moment is any place for a dog. Perhaps soon enough I'll have figured some things out, but for now I have plenty to worry about helping the newest brute learn what "outside!" really means in doggish.
Friday, February 24, 2012
The wind has been kind of a bitch the last few days. It sems like whichever direction I pedal the wind figures out how to get around in front of me and push me in the face.
I wonder if I would mind as much if it were ever behind me helping, or maybe I just don't recognize it when it helps. I'm sure I'd know, so of course it never does.
Once in a while when it isn't in my face it sneaks up to wallop me on either side, and it usually gets me just enough to make me notice but not enough to really run me off the road or knock me over. It ain't for lack of trying on the wind's part. It's after me.
Yesterday the wind was attacking, but other than the threat of rain the weather was awesome. It was so warm and nice when I got lucky and didn't have to battle my unseen foe. Today the weather is cooler, but the wind turned cold. It couldn't get me through brute force, so it teamed up with its partner.
And now I'm at the pub enjoying a Dig pale ale, collecting my strength for the ride down the street for tobacco. My face isn't quite as wind blown feeling, and my hands are warm again. Perhaps vanity will piss off and let me pull a hat down over my head and hair. My hair isn't cold, but it looks fairly okay, and I hate to mess with it.
I'm looking forward to nice weather over the weekend. And while I work all day Saturday I'm off Sunday. Perhaps it's time to head south to the close mountain bike trail. Chances are the wind will folllow me, and chances are it will catch me unaware and thow me into a tree.
Did I mention that the wind is after me?
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Tonight was conference night at The Boy's school. Momma was at work, and Big Brother stayed after school to watch a movie. More on that later.
I have to brag about The Boy. In our town kids begin their standardized testing in third grade, so The Boy has that to look forward to. They've recently taken a practice test, and apparently The Boy is the smartest kid in his class. While that may not really be what his teacher said, what she did say was that the only thing she could really think of would be for him to read out loud more often. It's on the test.
Apparently when he reads aloud he seems to read at third grade level, but his teacher knows he does better reading by himself.
I love that he's reading. He took his own time about it and only consented to read when he started school. Keep in mind that both boys were homeschooled up till January 2011, and while I'm not going into that right now, to many of the people at school he seemed to start from a disadvantage.
And it wasn't that he wasn't reading then,he just wasn't at school standard level. We never really pushed it much, but we did always provided enough help and maybe some coaxing. But he was approaching it and being given some time to get to it. And he was figuring it out.
Our other example, Big Brother, with much the same offers of help and much the same, if not more, coaxing, very rapidly figured out reading almost entirely on his own.
From the elementary we went to the middle school to meet Big Brother. His school was hosting a group from the local university. It was kind of like a science fair for grownups trying to lure in the kids. The different booths all had something to do with alternative energy, mainly biofuel. We built plant cells and looked at switch grass and used both light and wind to power cars.
We also had chicken sandwiches. I didn't have any hot sauce, and I'm not convinced suggesting they provide some next time would be polite.
His teachers all seem to like him well enough, and his grades are fine. But he doesnt seem to really like school, and he makes me miss homeschooling. I really wish we were still able to do it.
We did have a fun night hanging out, and we also have some beans and dirt. The beans are supposed to sprout, and the dirt is of course for planting. Tonight wasn't all biofuel apparently, and assuming these guys sprout they will very likely go in the ground soon enough.
Totally off topic, but our daffodils started blooming about a week ago, months early, all over town.
And now I'm at Momma's house waiting for her to get off work so I can go home. I borrowed her car to tote us around and have to pick her up and give the car back.
Tuesday, February 14, 2012
The shoes really could have ben retired, and they once had been. They came out of retirement with the cold weather and a rainy spell.
As a rule I tend to wear my shoes plumb out. That's the correct wording where I live, by the way. And yet another pair has finaly become too destroyed to wear.
Because I make bad shoe purchases sometimes, I have a backup pair, a pair of Nike indoor soccer shoes in which I've never played soccer indoors. Because I so seldom wear them they are in very good condition. They are a bit wider than the shoes I'm having to part with but still fit in my toe clips, so I can ride my bike.
The shoes I'm having to part with have parted with themselves. The sole on the right shoe was, till a few short hours ago, still mostly attached, though I had noticed that hold becoming more tenuous lately.
Indoor soccer shoes will never again be on my shoping list. I don't hate hem, and I did in fact choose them intentionally as some sort of fashion statement. They do have nice lines, but they aren't especially comfortable and don't have great traction. I should imagine they'd be better in some sort of soccer setting, though outside and on real grass is not that setting. I did try them there and can be quite frank about this.
Perhaps a trip to Target is in order. Or perhaps I will accept these damn shoes as my fate for the time being. I could certainly stand not to spend money on shoes at the moment, and I do have a few miles left in them after all.
Friday, February 10, 2012
As of recently enough I have second job. Starting next week I will be picking up a couple of nights at the pub. It's been one of my favorite places to drink a beer, and I did work there many years ago.
When I worked there I didn't even have a kitchen. I used the end of the bar and set up a panini grill. I made great use of that grill. I actually sold a fair amount of food in what was, at least at the time, a fairly brilliant idea and great menu.
I won't discuss any of what they're up to right now. I plan to both hate and love working some there, and I won't be working more than one night a week at the main job. I do hope not to lose any hours at the main. I have plenty of availability, I've just narrowed it a little.
I also haven't had a drink since Sunday. I'm not quitting drinking, but I'm still kinda pissed at myself. I blew more money than I needed and wanted, though I did then come home and did laundry and took a shower. That's worth something.
But I'm still unhappy with the evening, and I've known for a while that Sunday continues to be my downfall. I never have much in the way of plans, so I sit at the pub and slowly pickle my liver. And though I did take my nearly long ride, I did also proceed to let a quick beer turn into several. I even watched most of that damn football game.
And since I did a bad job of cutting myself off Sunday I've cut myself off til Saturday, which isn't to say I get to be an idiot if I just wait long enough. And I've already made plans Sunday to help a friend get ready to move. My long ride can easily be to her house, so I accomplish a pair of good things.
And today, my day off, I sort of did stuff. I ran a couple of errands and essentially confirmed I was taking the new old job by giving the current manager the new availability. I hope to go in tomorrow and see the new schedule, but I doubt he's finished with it yet. Can't possibly get it on the wall more than two days before it begins.
But that's a general restaurant rant, and tonight's post is all about kissing my own ass, and I'm pretty sure I covered that, so I'm out.
Wednesday, February 08, 2012
Really what I need are some ear muffs. I would also like a hat made for cycling, one with ear flaps, because it's my ears that get the worst of it. But then I wouldn't need ear muffs.
I have a toboggan (it's a knit hat in the south) that tends to keep my head warm, but my cycling position means that the hat gets pushed up the back of my head and half way up my ears. At stops I can pul it back down, but as soon as I lean forward...
And I don't really have the money for that now. None of that nor the clear lens glasses that I'd like to think would keep the wind out of my eyes. The wind makes my eyes water, so my night rides involve tears running down my cheeks. I can dry with my gloves, but they just leak again and again.
Of course right this moment I'm warm and comfortable. I've ridden my ride for the night, the square to home, and it really isn't a very long ride.
I even have a nice, hot cup of coffee in front of me to help. The heater is roaring like a fire place that blows hot air instead of burning wood for heat. I'm listening to NPR so the classical music can make me smart and cultured. Actually it's becase the college station has shit for a signal over much of the town, but I don't dislike classical music.
And I do realize that I'm using the word classical as an umbrella term for numerous genres and subgenres. I don't really care so long as no one starts singing. None of that is even the point though.
There isn't a point at all. I just wanted to complain right at first, then my coffee was ready, and the smoke calmed me down as the chill lifted. Suddenly I didn't have that gripe, and from there this whole post just fell apart.
I really can't apologize enough. I really feel like I should get on to writing something truly awe inspiring. If you'll only give me a minute I'll get right to it. I'm sure I have a delightful nugget of grand eloquence just waiting to get at my thumbs.
P.s. I'm also sorry about not labelling my posts. I haven't bothered to figure that out, and this app doesn't seem to have found them.
Friday, February 03, 2012
New Belgium's new spring seasonal is called Dig and is a pale ale. Lately I can't seem to get enough hops.
It isn't as boldly hoppy as Sweetwater's IPA, but then it shouldn't be. It does have a nice hop quality about it assuming you aren't in it for a hop asault.
Admittedly I was kinda looking for more of the upfront and in your face hoppiness, so my first taste feels like a bit of a letdown. But let's not leave it there.
Dig is a good beer. The more subdued hop flavor gives a more balanced approach to the flower. One can taste more of what it's fullly capable of. And if you taste each sip you find each one showcases the hops a little differently, or maybe I'm giving the beer time to win me over and noticing the nuance.
And remembering that honesty thing I might have mentioned I can honestly say that enjoying beer in a sensible way feels really nice. When you average binge drinking more nights than not you get to where you don't really notice the things you realy like about beer. You get to where any old beer will do.
But then you start to wake yourself up and decide to stop drinking like a frat boy. It's still a thing I'm working on, and it's nice to be able to notice and consider the use of hops again.
The first Dig is already history. Was it that good, or did I just chug my first beer of the night much too quickly? Honestly, it's a little of both. I'll drink one more to test the theory, but then it's off to bed.
Thursday, February 02, 2012
My whole point I was trying to make in that last post is that I'm not even a bit sure what it is I'm supposed to be doing. When I was in the closet I was so used to lying that I did it without even thinking about it.
I'm not doing that any more, and I sometimes still don't know how to talk to people without the lies of the closet. Honesty has made it hard to blog. But I want to and need to and need to be honest.
Maybe that's the hard part I wasn't willing to be able to recognize, that I used to lie a lot.
Truth-I'm closer to forty than I want to admit. I have two sons, thirteen and eight years old as of now, though one is closer to nine, while the other is going to be taller than me within a couple of years if not sooner.
I accept that I'm gay and am happy with that. I'm not really doing anything about it, not having sex for the most part. I'm not averse to getting busy, but I have figured out that I'm not happy with hooking up or random sex. Knowing that one of us will be rushing out the door soon after the deed is done leaves a bit of something to be desired. So I'm not doing that.
I'm under paid at my job and will probably always be, and I'm too old for the job. I can't do it forever but don't really feel like I've got any skill set that would take me into a better job.
There is some growing need in me, a feeling that I need to do something if only I could figure out what that is. I need to create something big.
Getting back into something like a habit writing this damn blog feels like the begining of moving myself forward. I do miss writing, and I definitely miss the feeling of knowing people are reading and sometimes commenting.
And now I feel like I've circled this thing enough. It's time to shit or get off the pot. Or maybe I'll just sit here a minute more to make sure I'm done.
My boss let me borrow his Willie Nelson cd. He has more, but the one he brought to work is obviously from a gas station somewhere between here and elsewhere on an exit from I40. I don't fault the cd its beginnings because it's a great bunch of tracks, Willie Nelson and other singers doing random songs.
I'm also thinking about my blog. I'm trying to post again, and even though I have to use my phone I'm bound to get the hang of it. Even though my mouth runsover with words, and even though the mouth has to speak through the thumbs . . .
I started the blog to air my own whatever when I was the stay-at-home-dad and homeschooler. Now I'm the working again father of the same kids who now attend public school and who now also have a mostly openly gay dad.
I say mostly openly because I'm not as out as I could be at their schools. But then it hasn't really come up. They probably assume Momma and I are together because at least half the time they see either of us they see both.
And blogging over the past couple of years has been, at least in my mind, somewhat fraught with perils. That those perils are all either imagined or non-problem-thinging hasn't seemed to get through to me.
So I've not blogged too often, and I've had a great excuse. Honestly I've always got great excuses.
I've written this same post any number of times, but I'm not sure how often I posted it. I want to hink that most posts about posting were left in the drafts-to-be-deleted bin. Not this one of course.
You're welcome to wonder how any of the preceeding relates to each other, and you'd be welcome to. The song on the cd with Dolly and Willie is on right now, and I kind of wish you'd just let me listen.
Wednesday, February 01, 2012
I rode up Momma's hill today in third gear. That's a first for me I think, though I may have done it accidentaly once before.
Tomorrow is bike maintainence day, so maybe I'll straighten out that rear derailer finally, but until I do I don't have my first or seventh gears available.
I also need to wipe him down, clean off the last of the mud from when I rode where I shouldn't have, and the chain is in dire need of oil.
But back to my gearing, and this is just me bragging, but I've been riding in eighth gear for the most part lately until very recently. I'm now in ninth!
I have twelve available gears on my bike. Really I only have ten because of that whole derailer thing I've already mentioned. Of those ten I use only one for the vast majority of my riding. There are some hills that require a smaller high gear and some that make you go really low. But for the most part I don't really change gears a whole lot.
For me to now be more comfortable in the slightly higher gear can only further prove my own personal greatness.