Saturday, August 30, 2014

It's a sad, sad day...

     I didn’t do a blog post last week mainly because I was just so busy and I ran out of time. My time seems to evaporate right before my eyes. Where does it go? Why am I not getting all the things done that I really need to get done? I think I’ve caught the ‘squirrel syndrome’. See something shiny, and I’m off to the races. Not today though. 

     Today, I’m sitting here looking at this vast amount of white space and my mind starts to wander. Right now, I’m just sad. Why? I think that there is just so much hurt, violence, political crap whirling about me that I just want to turn the world off. 

     Those who know me know that I tend to be a bit of a news junky. I like to know what is going on around the world. I know first-hand that what happens halfway across the world can have an effect on me and the way I live, as well as others around me. Today it just makes me sad. 

     I’m sad that our education system is now a complete train wreck because of this ‘No Child Left Behind’ crap. It was doomed to fail, and it has. No one wants to admit it because of the billions of dollars spent on it. Again, it comes down to money. Bonuses for teachers, administrators and others only cause cheating in the system, which it has. So sad. They have sold out our kids is the way I see it. Our poor teachers are suffering terribly because of it as well. 

     I’m sad that a longtime friend felt it was okay to lie to me and break a trust that took years to build. Not only is the foundation of that friendship now cracked, I feel used on top of it. That is a real bummer. I guess it wouldn’t have been quite so bad if it hadn’t happened with another friend, or who I thought was a friend, earlier this summer. Perhaps I trust to easily? Probably. 

     I’m sad that someone pointed me to one of the pirate sites where I saw several of my books had been downloaded, more than I’ve sold, for free of course. I guess these people don’t know that I need new brakes on my car. I’m sad because people are making hats and scarves for homeless kids in Chicago for Gay Rom Lit. Isn’t growing up hard enough without having been tossed out like yesterday’s trash, by those who you are supposed to be able to trust? To have what should have been unconditional love withdrawn, leaving them vulnerable and perhaps open to abuse for the rest of their lives. Not only does it make me sad, it sickens me. 

     I’m sad that some people do not want to open themselves up to new experiences, to learn, taste, hear or feel new things. To constantly gravitate or keep a death grip on things that are comfortable, refusing change. I’ve always said that knowledge is power. It is a power that no one can ever take away from you. Yes, my head is full of useless trivia, things that I will probably never need, but I cherish those bits of information. To me, it is part of life’s little experiences that makes living fun. 

     I’m sad that some people think power comes from money, position or social status. Real power comes from what you know and those you love and for those you help along the way. Real empowerment comes from what is inside of us, not what comes out of our wallets or what we are wearing or even who we know. 

     Earlier this year I received a hug from another male author, a big burly bear of a man. His not quite scruff, not quite beard, rasped against my own bearded face. His large muscular arms enveloped me, pulling me against his firm chest. He had a clean masculine scent that surrounded me. For that brief moment I closed my eyes and sighed, the world fading away. It was over way too fast. I wish I could have that same hug right now, only longer. Never underestimate the power of a hug! 

     What I would like to do today is lie on the couch, eat a bunch of junk food and maybe watch some really depressing movies with my razorblade charm bracelets on. Let the dogs curl up around me, feeding them popcorn while lying beneath a thick black blanket trimmed in dark blue. Keep all the blinds closed, blocking out the rest of the world, but I’m not going to do that. Instead I’m going to go out and pick up a few things for a small care package that I’d started putting together for a family in need, who could really use a little moral uplifting. If that doesn’t improve my mood then I’ll think about making scarves and hats to take to Chicago. 

     Never do unto others what you would not like done to you. Live with your eyes open to others needs. Never stop learning new things, no matter how trivial they may seem at the time. Always remember to stop and take in the wondrous beauty of nature’s gift to us. Remember to be kind or at least respect all living things. Make sure to tell those you love that you do indeed love them. Instead of saying ‘I need’, look to see who may need it more and then try and give it. It is a gift to yourself as well as to who may receive it. 

     Until next week, 


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Oh What a Week!

**NOTE: After writing this I had some doubts as to whether to post this or not. I had a few people read it through. Some said no, but most said yes. I didn’t want to come off as whiney. I am so not that. I don’t like to whine and no one likes a whiner. Anyway, here goes. 
Thanks everyone.** 

     Howdy y’all. Here goes another week and yet another blog. Funny how last week I struggled with coming up with a topic, and this week, it…well it came rather quickly, unfortunately. It’s been a rough week. 

     I happened to read another blog which addressed some things that spurred me to remember things that I’d rather not remember, but that wasn’t happening. It is like turning on a light and then trying to recapture that light. That isn’t possible, and neither was the rush of memories that came and hammered my head into submission. 

     What did I read you ask? It was about a young boy who was gay bashed in high school. I could relate. I was also. I also happened to get thrown into the dumpster next to the kitchen. Eeewww. But that was where the similarity ended. He somehow thought it was his fault. I never felt that way. Of course, being outted in the seventies was no picnic either. It was pretty rough there for a long time. Tires slashed. Locker painted pink. Another dumpster visit. A good ass kicking. Yeah, it was tough, but at no time did I think it was my fault. Never even crossed my mind. 

     I’m not saying that he wasn’t justified in his feelings. We each have our own way of dealing with the crap other people put us through. I felt very sad that he thought that way. Of course it wasn’t his fault. It was a bunch of insecure youths doing stuff that hopefully they will regret the rest of their lives. Oh, and trust me, they do. They have a huge amount of guilt, well most of them, for a very long time. Karma’s a bitch that way.  

     I also told a longtime friend, for the first time, of my sexual abuse. I think I mentioned it here briefly a long time ago. Well, only touched on it. It isn’t that I’m ashamed of it, or try to hide it. It was a long time ago and it happened and that’s kinda all she wrote. Not something I go back to remember. Why? It wasn’t pleasant. It isn’t something that pushes its way into my conscious. It…just happened. Move on, and I did. My friend gently pushed for details, so I told her. When I was 6 my parents divorced. My father knocked up my sister’s best friend and then married the girl. His third marriage. So he left us. He didn’t pay child support or alimony or the car payment. Things were tight for a while, but my mother trudged on. Anyway, I went to spend the summer with him when I was eleven. 

     He was doing the track circuit by that time, racing horses. He needed to take his horses and the ones that he was training to Montreal. We were currently in Maine. So he basically dumped me with these two college age guys, the sons of someone he knew, for two weeks. Yep, you guessed it. It was a long two weeks. In case I need to explain it to you; I was raped repeated during those two weeks. Orally and anally. The day he was supposed to pick me up he called and said that he wasn’t coming. That the two guys were going to take me to the airport and send me on home so I’d be sure to get there in time for school to start. They did take me to the airport. Of course there was one more ‘party time’ to be had first. I didn’t see my father again until I was sixteen, and that was the last time I saw him. I told him what had happened and he called me a liar. Yep, last time. Never saw him again. 

     Which leads to another thing that pissed me off: I found out that a father was willing to leave his family, destitute, for another woman. Some men are just pigs. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the mother has decided that her eldest son is to raise the youngest son. The father said okay. He wouldn’t fight for him. H just wanted him every other Christmas. 

     Sorry, but I came unglued. Wasn’t even willing to fight for his own son? Really? When will people realize that children are not disposable? Now, realize I think that this probably for the best, since the jerk has done what he has in the first place, but still. I can’t even wrap my head around that one. Just, okay. That’s fine? Yep. He didn’t even flinch I was told. I actually had to go and take a nitroglycerin pill my blood pressure shot up so high. I’m sorry, but that man needs to be neutered. 

    Then I get some more news that just made me see red. I blind Army Veteran is being put out of his mother’s house by the stepfather because he is gay. Right. Not so fast there. It gets better. Not so much because of that, but because this guy wasn’t willing to hand over every cent he had. Yeah, it came down to the money. Yeah, well, he is leaving and keeping his money. He will be much better off without having to deal with that dangling, bleeding hemorrhoid. 

     The topper to my week? Oh, yeah, there’s more. Told you it was a bad week. A friend of mine blatantly lied to my face. I can take all kinds of things. I really am a strong person. But when someone can so easily lie to me, and break that trust, then I’m pretty much done. Not only is that trust gone, but there is the hurt and that is far worse. For me, when I trust and love someone, I do it all the way. But when that is violated, it fucking hurts. I’ve already been through this once this summer, and then to have it happen again? Yeah, I’ve not been so pleasant to be around this week. I think this is why I’ve become such a recluse. 

     I honestly will give anyone just about anything they want if they truly need it. Hell, I’ve even given the shirt, coat and socks off my body for someone in the middle of winter! I really will try and help anyone who needs the help. However, they need to be willing to help themselves also. At least make the effort. I’m all for giving a hand up. I’m not going to do handouts. 

     Yes, I am strong. I never thought about it. Never had to. I take of myself and anyone else who needs me, as much as I can. But do not take advantage. I guess I take after my grandmother and my mother in that regard. My sister is the same way. We are strong individuals. We were a strong family. My sister and I are still very close. Actually, we scare my brother-in-law, which I find rather amusing. Just don’t try and fuck us over. I’m warning you, she’s red-headed and can shoot a twelve-gage from the hip! 

     Even with everything that has gone to shit this week, I am still optimistic. I will still go out and try and do something good for someone else. It is as much for me as it is for them. It makes me feel like I’m a better person. Who knows, maybe I’m earning Karma bonus points, like I get gas points at Winn Dixie! 

     There is a song that has been going through my head today, and I’m going to share it. Here is a link with Tennessee Ernest Ford, who I met as a youngster. There's another story for another time. I also found the sheet music. Maybe some of you will be able to sight read it or play it for yourselves. It was my grandmother’s favorite hymn and she told me that if I lived my life like this, everything would work out. I still believe her.
In case this link doesn't work.
Open in new tab to download

     So just do it. Go forth and do something good for yourself and someone else. Amen. 

     Here’s to a better week, y’all! 


 Sorry, no sexy picts this week.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

A New Beginning

     Well here we are again and here I sit wondering what the hell to write about today. I haven’t had a clue until a reader asked how long I’ve been writing. As most of you know I have pretty much covered this, a few times. Maybe what I haven’t covered is why I retired. Some know, some don’t.
Yeah, I wish I looked like this.
     I am now just shy of my fifty-fifth birthday and I am retired. That may be over simplifying it. I was forced to stop working and go on disability. Now, before everyone jumps to conclusions, I did everything within my power to not stop working. I went to doctor after doctor. I did the acupuncturist. I did massage therapist. I followed every doctor recommendation. Nothing was working. My feet were simply shot from standing on them for over thirty-two years on concrete.

     Years ago, when I first started working in professional kitchens, and I use the term loosely for some of the places I worked, there were no such things as fancy pads to stand on. No one warned us to get better shoes, other than sneakers. Of course, in your teens and early twenties, you know everything anyway, so most of us probably wouldn’t have listened. It wasn’t until many years later when I went to culinary school that it sunk in that I was killing my feet. What I didn’t realize was the damage was already done, I just didn’t know it yet.

     Side note here: I went to culinary school years later because for me to advance, I needed that little piece of paper. I may need to do a separate blog about going to school so late in life. I had a blast, and that is all I am going to say for now. 

     Anyway, back to the story at hand. I really was at the pentacle of my career and having the time of my life. I’d gotten much further that I had ever thought I could go. I loved my job. I was doing something that I truly loved. It didn’t hurt that I was finally making really good money. It’s amazing what a difference that little piece of paper did. Yet another reason I push education. 

     Yeah, well that ended and rather abruptly. I had my first heart attack at age forty-nine. That set me on my ass for a while. Between that and the feet, I was done. I might need to also say here, that it isn’t just my feet but my knees also, although not as bad. Oh, and now the ticker. I had my second heart attack three years later. It was worse than the first. 
Yeah, I wish my doctor looked like that!
     My doctor sent me to a Social Worker and she got me all fixed up and sent off all the forms to Social Security. Now I had been warned that it sometimes took several times to apply and that I may have to appeal the decision, not only from the Social Worker herself, but from others who had been unfortunate to go through the process. One guy told me, while sitting in a wheelchair, that it took a year for him to get approved. To prove how bad a shape I was in, I got a positive response in only six weeks. Yep. I have a train wreck for a body. 

     I was damn lucky. I had already emptied my savings with paying all the doctor bills. I then cashed in my 401K to pay other bills and to have a little something to live on. That first year after quitting work was the worst year of my life. Not only did I feel like crap from the heart attack but I was depressed because I really missed my job, and the money. 

     Like most jobs, once you leave, the friends you had slowly start to fade away. After all, you’re not part of the group anymore. You don’t know about the daily grind and the things that went on “at work”. Yeah, I had a few friends outside of work, but the majority of colleagues I had been working with or had worked with in the past. Trust me when I say that the people in the food industry are a tight-knit group. Well, tight-knit until you’re no longer part of the group. 

     Basically, what I’m saying here is, I was looking at losing everything I had worked for because I didn’t have a paycheck. I was sitting in a house that was quickly going downhill because I couldn’t take care of it, alone. I became so depressed I truly thought of suicide several times. I felt worthless. I couldn’t do anything and I am the type that can’t just sit still and do nothing. I later moved into an apartment, which was killing me. I hated it. 

     That is when I was contacted by an online friend (about the only friends I had at the time) who said there was a woman who needed some advice and a beta reader for a book she was writing. It was a crime/romance type thing that had a couple of gay guys in it. She wanted to make sure that the two gay guys were true to life. 

     That day changed my life. I felt somewhat useful for a change. We became friends and she sent me a few books. Then she said that there was a whole M/M genre and that I should check it out. I did. What I found was a plethora of books that I could relate to. Okay, for the most part. Many of them made the same mistake as my new friend had made and tried to put a dick on a chick. There were some good ones out there and then some really rank ones. I became a reviewer for a short while. I wasn’t very good at it. I have a tendency to speak my mind and I don’t hold back. Not a good thing if you’re reviewing books, I found out. 

     So this friend pushed me into writing. She really pushed me. Made me join a writing group which pushed me into writing very short shorts. I’m talking five hundred words or less. That was tough. BUT I did master that. I got very good at it actually. I then wrote a short story and the moderator of the group pushed me to see about publishing it. Yeah, right. That’s going to happen. Well I’ll be damned if they didn’t take it. I made $25.00! Woo-hoo! 

     Hey, it wasn’t much, but it gave me some hope. I was pushed some more, this time from another woman. This little English woman pushed, and pushed, and then pushed some more. See, I had written several other short stories and a novel of sorts. Okay, maybe it was more of a novella than an actual novel. Anyway, she pushed me to self-publish a short story and then another one. I wrote another novel and it went over pretty big. Oh hell, it was number one on Amazon for a short while in gay romance. I was over the moon! 

Now this is the way to celebrate!
     That first published short story saved my life. Even though this hasn’t been the easiest last few years, I’ve learned a lot. Made a lot of new friends and have had a good time. I also was able to go to Paris, a lifelong dream of mine. I must have gained ten pounds in a week! 

     I would just like to thank those who pushed me, encouraged me and took the time to help me. Without you, I don’t know that I would be here. 

     This is a good time to say it. You know what I’m gonna say, don’t you? Yep, it’s that time again. If this doesn’t prove to you that what you do can help someone along the way can make a difference, I don’t know what will. Even the smallest of things can give someone hope. Lift them up just enough to get through another day. May even safe a life. I know this to be true. So please, take just a moment to do something nice for someone. It doesn’t have to cost anything except a little time. Believe me, you will benefit from it as much as the recipient, if not more! 

     Have a great week, y’all! 


Yep, just because I can!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Who needs COFFEE!

     Okay, now what? 

     UGH. Not enough coffee. Had one of those nights where sleep didn’t come and now my butt is really dragging. Need more coffee… 

     Coffee: how does anyone not like coffee? To me, coffee is the nectar of the gods. Coffee is how I survive the mornings. Coffee is like my life’s blood, which without, I would surely die. For those who follow me on Facebook, you know how I like my coffee, served up by a hot man!

     When the lovely K. C. Wells and I arrived in Paris, I downed like three double blacks, one right after the other. Damn, that was some good coffee. In London, I also had a mega cup of coffee. Costa is the equivalent of Starbucks here, only it’s much better coffee. Not quite as good as what I had in Paris, which would put hair on your chest, but good. 

     Speaking of hair on your chest… I recently saw an article pleading with men to stop shaving, waxing or manscaping. I whole heartily agree! Personally, I like men to look like men, not prepubescent little boys. Hey, I’m a gay man, not a pedophile. I remember way back when, when I looked at porn, men had full pubic bushes and hair on their balls. None of this plucked, waxed or shaved bull shit. They looked like men. Of course it was also the age of the Castro Clone, which of course I never managed to replicate. Oh well, that was then. Now I just don’t give a rats ass!

     It was a comment that the wonderful author, G. A. Hauser made on that same post that made me sit up and take notice. What was her comment you ask? Her comment was that crabs were about to become extinct! What? Really? No, not the crabs you eat, silly people. Pubic lice! Sheesh. Yep, those little critters also known as crotch crickets, dick scorpions, snatch monsters (ewww) and Bucky’s pets are near extinction! Oh. My. God!

     Think about it! We have yet another species, being wiped off the face of the planet, all because of depilation! What’s to become of the little dears? I say stop! Save the crabs! Stop shaving! What is to become of the little gay boys, whose rite of passage into slutdom going to do without crabs? No little Bucky biters crawling up the crab tree, often referred to as the treasure trail for some of you?
No. No. No. 
Yes. Yes. Yes.

     We need to act now people! I think we need T-shirts, buttons, bumper stickers or whatever it takes to save ‘em. “Save pubic lice! Quit Shaving!” Of course put a cute little picture of the adorable crotch pets so people know what we’re talking about. Who’s in? Wouldn’t you want one of those T-shirts? I know I want one.


     Kinda catchy, don’cha think? 

     Okay, short one this week. I have lots to get done. Finish a few books, make up T-shirts, mow and grocery shopping. Busy, busy I tell ya. 

     As always, please take the time to do something for yourself by helping out a fellow human being. It really doesn’t take much. Everyone needs a helping hand from time to time. 

     Have a great week, y’all! 

Because I can!