Sunday, November 30, 2014

It's Starting To Look A Lot Like Crazy

     I’d like to start off first by referring you back to a post I did almost a year ago. You can find it in the archives, December 1, 2013. It was a rather long post, now that I come to read through it. It has to do with why I don’t do Christmas Cards. If you’re interested, that is. I’m not going to go into it again, but it might explain a lot. 

     So…I have this new man in my life, as some of you may know. He’ll be here very soon. It’ll be nice to be in the same time zone. Anyway, he found out today that I have OCD. Not as bad as it used to be, but with some things, yeah, it’s pretty bad. 

     How did he found out? I posted a few pictures of some Xmas presents that I had wrapped. They look all right. Far from perfect, but good enough to where I’m not embarrassed. I think I could have done better, but what the hey? I got ’em done. You see, this is the reason why I hate wrapping presents. They are never quite perfect. There’s that OCD kicking in. 

      Things that set me off? My toothbrush: it has to be in the same place each and every time. I hate toothpaste in the sink. How much time does it actually take to rinse out the sink? I hate getting into an unmade bed. Drives me nuts. The biggie? Don’t mess with my kitchen. I put things back in the same place each and every time. Little Max used to drive me nuts with this. Most of it was just pure laziness, the other was just not caring. Grrrr. Yeah, I am one of those who alphabetize my herbs and spices. I’m better than I was on this. I used to separate the herbs from the spices! 

     Clutter is one of those things that used to just freak me the hell out. I’ve gotten better with this. It’s not one of those things that I have to immediately fix. However, there will come a point when I can’t take it and I’ll go on a cleaning binge. Not such a bad thing in my book. 

     I used to be a lot worse. For example, I used to starch and iron my paper money as well as wash the coins. Yeah, I know… kinda freakish, right? I used to organize my closet first by shirt type and then by color. I don’t do that anymore. Okay, that’s a lie, I still organize by shirt type. And no, I do not hang T-shirts. They are all folded the same way and then organized by type: casual, bar type, gay bar type and then sports. I don’t arrange by color anymore if that helps. Yep, pants the same way, although I sort those by season. 

     I knew I was in bad shape when I started organizing lube and condoms by type, manufacturer, color and expiration dates. Don’t even get me started on butt plugs, dildos and tit-clamps. Let’s just say I knew which ones were dishwasher safe. It was then and there that I decided I needed to do something about it and I did. I’m not totally healed but I sure am a lot better than I was. 

      I can tell now you’re shaking your heads. I can feel it. Before you get all judgmental I have a perfectly reasonable excuse for all my madness. My mother and my sister were/are the biggest hoarders you’d ever want to know. With that comes clutter. It’s a disease that I call surfaceitis. Neither of them had a clean surface on anything—kitchen counters, tables or shelves—nothing. If it was flat, it had something on it, often times never seeing the surface underneath. Drove me nuts as a kid and manifested itself into full blown OCD. 

      The biggest problem with OCD is that it is exhausting. You’re constantly tidying things up, putting things away, washing, dusting, cleaning. If I’d thought about it some thirty years ago, I would have bought stock in Johnson & Johnson. I swear I would have made a fortune on just my purchases of Pledge alone! 

     And before y’all start pointing fingers and laughing, take a good hard look in the mirror. What are your neuroses? We all have them. Come on, admit it. Hmmm? 

     I have four presents left unwrapped. Every year I like to participate in the Toys for Tots drive. Not only does it help local kids have a little brighter Christmas, but I usually get to drool over a hot Marine or two. The problem I have is I want to fucking wrap those presents! UGH… just drives me nuts to have them sitting there begging to be wrapped up in some festive paper with over the top bows. Yeah, more OCD. 

     At any rate, I’d like to issue a challenge. How many of you would be willing to get just one little gift for either Toys for Tots or an equally good charity? Don’t have to go overboard. You can get a really decent toy for under ten dollars. 

     Another worthwhile charity is Lost-n-Found in Atlanta. 

     Normally they have a list of things to get for needy kids, but it either isn’t up yet or they may not be doing it this year. If not, you can buy a brick for the renovation of the new home they are redoing for the kids. Either way…you rack up some pretty valuable Karma coins. 

     Have a grrreat week, y’all, 


Sunday, November 16, 2014

Mad Ramblings...Again

     Sooo… here we are again. Seems I have a way of pissing people off. Eh, it is what it is, I guess. Sorry if I freaked some people out last week. But hey, you had to get all the way to the end to get it the full story. It wasn’t my intention to freak anyone out. Ooops, Sorry. Kinda. 

     Not sure what to ramble on about today. I’ve been trying to think of something substantial to say, but nothing has really come to mind. So, I’m just gonna wing it and see what happens. Who knows what that might be? Knowing me, I’ll piss someone else off.

     Earlier this week I was challenged to post at least five pictures that made me happy on FB. So I did. I think I posted more than five. I actually could have posted a lot more. I think I might just do that on my Tumblr page sometime today. I’m in that kind of mood. 

     One of the pictures was of a plate of escargot that I had in small bistro in the Marais district of Paris. It was one of the goals I had for when I got to the capital of France. I wanted honest to god éclairs. That was at the top of the list. There is nothing better than real French pastry. I also wanted a good bowl of French onion soup. Sadly, I didn’t get that though. I’m thinking it is a winter thing. Then I wanted snails. I love escargot; one of my favorite treats. 

     When I posted that photo I got all kinds of remarks. I think you either love ‘em or hate ‘em. For those who have never had them, give them a try. You just never know, right? 

     I’ve had them and made them all kinds of ways. I had the traditional way, in shells, baked to perfection with lots of garlic butter and parsley, served with French bread to sop up all the yummy goodness. That, as I said is the most traditional way, but not the only way. 

     I’ve had them in dishes, especially made for snails. These are great if you’re working in a kitchen. You’re not having to mess with the shells, making sure that they are all sitting up right before sticking them in the salamander. When using the dishes, just drop the little suckers in the hole, cover with garlic butter and fresh parsley and in no time you’ve got these rich and delicious delicacies ready to savor. Don’t forget the bread! 

     Another way is in mushroom caps. Equally scrumptious and sometimes they are even topped with phyllo pastry and parmesan cheese. This has got to be one of my favorite ways to have these little morsels of heaven. Really need to try these. 

     There is a reason why they are often only served six at a time. They are so rich, that if you have more than a dozen, I’m afraid you’d be sick. Yes, they are that rich. So, give ‘em a try some time if you haven’t. I think that some people may be turned off by the shell, so try them another way. I highly suggest the mushroom cap idea. 

     I don’t think that I’ve said much about my time in Paris this past summer on here, have I? Well, it was a trip that I had only dreamed about, never thinking that I could possibly make it there. Well, I did and it was the trip of a lifetime. I kept thinking that I would like to actually live there for a year and just write. I came back with so many story ideas. 

      My good friend, and French translator, Bénédicte Girault, was a real jewel of a find. She arranged for me and the lovely, simply lovely, lovely-lovely, K.C. Wells, a.k.a., the little English washer woman, to do a book signing there. That was a trip. (I’ll include more photos of this on Tumblr as well) I have to say, I was a bit overwhelmed at the turn out. What I found to be a lot of fun was going to the Café, and having drinks with quite a few of them after the signing. 

     We stayed in this apartment that was god-only-knows how old. It was so old that the treads on the stairs were concave from all the foot traffic. It was great. Close to everything that we needed to be near and was on this street that was, to me, perfect. Yes, it was on the third floor, but I didn’t mind the climb. I was in Paris after all! 

     One of the highlights was going to Père-Lachaise, the famous cemetery and final resting place of many famous people, such as… 

Frederic Chopin, Oscar Wilde, Sarah Bernhardt, Claude Debussy, Edouard Manet, Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir, General Lafayette, Napoleon I, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette and nearly all the kings and queens of France, Honore Balzac, Jacques Offenbach, Stendhal, Heinrich Heine, Hector Berlioz, Marie and Pierre Curie, Voltaire, Rousseau, Dumas, Victor Hugo, Emile Zola, Edgar Degas, Gertrude Stein (and Alice Toklas of course), Marcel Proust, Moliere, La Fontaine, Amadeo Modigliani, Colette, Georges Bizet, Camille Pissaro, Francis Poulenc, Heloise and Abelard, Jim Morrison, Auguste Comte, Eugene Delacroix, Georges Seurat, Isadora Duncan, Richard Wright, Edith Piaf, Francois Truffaut and Charles Baudelaire. 

     I specifically went to visit my all-time idol, Frederic Chopin. I even listened to most of his Polonaise while standing there. Gave me goosebumps. The sculptures there are just amazing. I could have spent an entire day, or two, just wondering around. Unfortunately, I had an appointment that I had to keep with Armando Santos, Mr. Gay Europe. All I’m going to say about that is that you’ll be getting to know him a lot better in the coming months. Nope, not even going to give a hint. 

     The experience is something that I will always treasure. Honestly, there is no other place I’ve ever experienced like Paris. The closest I’ve ever come is New Orleans, which, of course, was modeled after this wonderful city. I hope to go back in the very near future. I know that I mentioned him before, but the homeless lad that we kind of helped, Alexandre, has been on my mind a lot lately. I know it is getting cold there and I can only hope he has gotten back on his feet and is no longer on the streets. If there is anyone out there who lives in Paris, and in the Marais district especially, ask around and see. I would really like to know how he is doing. The little bit of change in our pockets had enabled him to get a cheap phone so that he could receive calls for possible employment. I hope it worked out for him. 

     Do you know what is coming next? I hope so. 

     Please, do something for someone else. A reader that I’ve become friends with recently recited a story about how she helped a disabled man at a grocery store by helping him get a case of bottled water down from a shelf. She told me that while doing it she thought of what I’ve been preaching. It doesn’t take money. It takes heart and a moment of your time to sometimes help someone who can’t do it themselves. Such a simple act of kindness will not only make someone else’s day, but will make you feel good as well. 

     Keep racking up those Karma coins, people. It will all come back to you with interest. 

     Till next week, y’all, 


French Meat. :D

Sunday, November 9, 2014

I Have a Confession

     Howdy y’all. Sorry I’ve been MIA this past week. I had this stupid cold that I finally got over. Sniffles still linger, but that’s a cold for you. Feeling much better, still feel a bit weak and out of sorts, but getting there. Thanks for all the well wishes. This will be a short post this week, I’m afraid. Have a lot to do and not moving all that fast, so takes me a bit longer. 

     So…as many of you know, I’ve had a rough couple of weeks. Yeah, it’s been really rough. Unfortunately, I tend to fall into some old habits when I get really down. Of course having a cold didn’t help all that much. It only compounded things which made it worse, if you really want to know. 

     I have a confession to make. Yeah…well…here is my confession. I started drinking… a lot. I went through a gallon in two days if that gives you any indication as to how much I’ve been drinking. Sometimes I’d start right after my morning coffee. That is something new for me. I usually waited until at least after a late breakfast or even lunch. Nope, I was that bad off. 

     I’m not talking about some little glass either. I’m talking sixteen ounce tumbler size glasses. I’d pull one out and just fill’er up. Down that hatch. Glug. Glug. Glug. Yes, I’m ashamed of my actions, but I just couldn’t help it. I was pretty down. 

     One day, I had finished the second gallon, took a nap and when I woke up, I went and got another gallon. I at least waited until I got it home to open it up. It would have been really bad if I had started drinking when I was driving not to mention messy. But once I got home…damn, I went right to it. Ended up having two naps that day. I have a problem. I know it. No needs to tell me. 

     It could have been worse, ya know? If they delivered it, I’d be a goner. I would be willing to bet that if they did deliver it, I doubt I would have left the house over the past week or so. I’d have stayed in bed and just drank myself into a total stupor. Now that would have been a pretty sight. NOT! 

     So, this week I have promised myself to take it easy. I will make an effort to make one gallon stretch. We’ll see how I do I guess. I may be reaching out for support. I have a problem and I know it. I need to put on my big boy pants and just deal with it, right? Sometimes I am weak though. No one is perfect, especially not me. 

     Hey, at least I have taken the first step in admitting that I have a problem right? Things can get better. I know they will. I just need to be strong right now, which is easier said than done. Maybe I need to think about a twelve –step program. 

     Anyone know where there is a Milk Anonymous group? 

     Wait—what did you think I was talking about? Milk people. Milk. I’m a Milk-a-holic! 

     Sheesh…so much for support.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all. 


Sunday, November 2, 2014

Pushing Back

     What can I say? Ha! Plenty. One of the reasons why I took myself off Facebook is because I thought I would open my mouth and really spout off. Not a good thing. When I am this angry, it is best that I just step back, take a deep breath, give myself a time out and then think about what I want to say. 

     To the dismay of most, I have a pretty thick skin. Spending over thirty years in a professional kitchen will do that to you. Don’t believe me? Read Anthony Bourdain’s Kitchen Confidential. You want to know what tough is? Read that book. 

     Yes, I may have lit a firestorm off with a guest post blog on Love Bytes, but it surely wasn’t intentional. 

      Somehow, my words were taken the wrong way. In no way, shape or form did I mean to put any female down, especially female authors. For fuck’s sake, one of my best friends is an M/M author who happens to be female. I read her stuff all the time. If I see something that I think isn’t quite right, I tell her about it. Don’t believe me? Ask her. 

     I will say it once again: If I offended anyone, I am sorry, it was not intentional. 

     Years and years—and more years—ago, when I was but a wee child of like four, I remember my father saying something to my mother about not liking something on the television. Granted, this was years before remote controls and as I remember the T.V. was actually black and white. My mother’s response? Then get up off your ass and change it. 

     I feel the same way about books. If I don’t like a book then I put it down and move on to the next one. I sure as hell don’t throw a pissy fit and cry about it. One reason why I stopped doing reviews. Sorry to say, most of the ones I was given were total crap. I had a hard time saying that. Not only did I not want to hurt someone’s feelings, because I know what it takes to write a book, but I also felt that if I didn’t have anything nice to say, then it is best to not say anything at all. 

     After reading some of the comments left on that blog, I’d say some people didn’t get that lesson. Yeah, I can’t point too hard. I often don’t say very nice things, but I sure don’t say them to be hurtful. Or at least I try not to. Of course, I know where most of it came from, or rather who. Bitch has been riding or after my ass for almost two years now. She really does need a new hobby.

     Now it has come to my attention—again—that I have been accused of bullying and now even assaulting Zathyn Priest. That is an outright lie. I never bullied the man and never touched him until the very last day of GRL at the breakfast where I hugged him and even kissed him on the cheek, although he did have a cold. Yes, there were witnesses. WTF? AND if that wasn’t bad enough, I’ve also been accused of bullying Kade Boehme at LAST year’s GRL. That would have been difficult since I only met the man this past summer. I had no clue as to who or what he was till then. 

     Just more twaddleness—or would that be twaddling?—to add to the list of GRL. Oh, don’t worry about not allowing me to come to another GRL. I have no intention of ever going again. I didn’t even want to go this year and would have cancelled had I not promised that I would be there for others. Plus it would have meant leaving a roommate high and dry. I graduated high school many decades ago and reliving it isn’t something I care to do again, first time was bad enough. So you can keep that shit. No need to worry, I won’t be going again. 

     Yeah, yeah, I can hear the gasps and groans from here. ‘Oh Max, what have you gone and done now?’ Why can’t I keep my mouth shut? Just not my style and quite frankly, I really don’t give a damn about what anyone thinks of me other than my family and close friends. I’m fairly certain they know I’m not a bully or a chauvinist. Pig yes, just not a chauvinist. 

     Now, as to my future…well, that remains to be seen. I think I am going to give this whole retirement thing another chance. Heaven knows I have enough to keep me busy without having to deal with all this self-publishing stuff. It is a lot of work, in case you didn’t know. 

      Between all the whiney ass bitches blasting me, the piracy of books, and the issues with Amazon and ARe, I’m just not sure it is worth it anymore. I’m at the age where all I really want is peace. If I do choose to write again, it will be for me. It will be what I want to write. I will write as an openly gay man with decades of experience of being a gay man. If someone wants to read it, then fine. If they like it, fine. If they don’t, then move on. You can’t  move on, then just whine to someone else, because I really don’t give a flying rat’s ass. I have a life. If you don’t, that's not my problem. 

     Anyway…thanks to all who have supported me and continue to buy my books. 

     I finally found that bicycle shop that I’d been looking for while riding the lovely, simply lovely, lovely-lovely, K.C. Wells and wonderfully snarky Lauren around town while they were here. Monday, I’ll take it in to be refurbished for that poor kid down the street. Might see if he is available to help out with some yard work around here so that he’ll have a little pocket money for xmas. I’ll let you know how that goes. 

      For those of you who read my mad ramblings know what is coming next. Go forth and do something for someone else, please. It is getting cold out and we still have way too many young people, gay and straight, out on the streets, homeless. Show them a little love, won’t you? My charity of choice is Lost and Found in Atlanta. They take in gay youth who are homeless. They always put up a Christmas Wish list for these poor kids. Search them out and see what they need. While out shopping, pick up a little something for some poor kid that has basically nothing. A lot of times it is just underwear.

     Have a grrreat life y’all.