Monday, March 28, 2016

Passing and Expectations...

     So… did everyone have a good week? Mine? Well… it was okay. I think I got a lot done. This coming week is going to be very busy for me. Gotta get ready for the Rainbow Book Fair in New York City!

     You know, there are times I have no clue what I’m going to write on here until I sit down to write it. This week, I had an inkling of an idea but it wasn’t until Friday that it started to come together, but it wasn’t until today that I actually sat down to write it.
     It was while I was taking a break from writing, and I was scrolling through FB that I saw something that caught my eye. Something that came out of the blue, gave me pause, and made me reflect for a moment. I have to admit, I was a bit startled.
     You see, it was about gay bashing and how this fellow author dealt with it. Of course, I was able to relate completely. I’m not sure that there is a gay man out there who can’t relate to it to some degree. But it wasn’t until I read a comment that made me shake my head a bit.
     Frankly, I never expected things to change. I fought for change. I rallied for it, but I can honestly say, I didn’t expect it. Hell, I never thought I’d see gay marriage in my lifetime. Nope, never even considered it. I never thought that The Supreme Court would ever discuss it, much less pass it. To be honest, I think I’m still in a bit of shock over the whole thing.
Think they would have tried to gay bash this guy?
     Another thing that struck me while reading this post was that this author mentioned ‘passing for straight’. Again, something I totally get. Been there and done that. Just because it happens doesn’t mean I have to like it, but I get it. In no way would I ever put someone down for feeling that they need to do it. It is just a simple fact of life and self-preservation.

     I also have had to condition myself to be aware of my surroundings, frequent places that I know to be so public, where it would be nearly impossible to be assaulted, or I visit gay friendly establishments. I rarely sit without my back to a wall. I don’t like being out at night alone, unless it is a well-lit public place. It’s just part of life. Of course, this isn’t failsafe. Just ask the couple from Philadelphia who were accosted on a well-lighted street, in a gay-friendly section of town, by a group of young, middle class, well dressed, educated… thugs. That is the only word that comes to mind. You just never know when or where it might happen.

Convicted of gay bashing

     No, it isn’t new…
     What I noticed is that things did get a bit better, or I think they did at least, for a little while. I think it was while Bill Clinton was in office. I hope it wasn’t just my imagination, but I do think things were a little better. So why did we go backwards? What has changed?
    Of course this is just my personal opinion, my own personal views, and for sure it is nothing scientific, but things seemed to start going downhill when the Tea Party got hijacked. The right-wing radical conservatives jumped right in and took it over. When I first heard of the Tea Party, what they were saying made sense. They wanted our government to get back to work and do the job that they are paid to do. Then it changed. Really changed.
     Breaking my own rules again…
     I really try and never discuss politics or religion. I learned at a very early age that those were things that were personal and shouldn’t be discussed in public. Yeah, well, that isn’t always as easy as it sounds, and in this case, impossible. I can’t explain any of this without going there.
     So here I go…
     Again, this is only my opinion, but it seems to me that the conservative right wingers have all but waged war on anyone who isn’t Protestant white, bible thumping, anti… pretty much everything that does not conform to their very narrow views. Now, this isn’t anything new, but, and it’s a fairly big but, they now have money, a national platform and media coverage. Did I mention money? Yeah, a whole LOT of money.

     Not too long ago I was watching a television program where a news reporter called them, meaning the ultra-conservative GOP, ‘The American Taliban’. Yeah, that sums it up fairly well. If you were to compare the radical Muslims to the radical Christians, line them up side by side, you’ll see there isn’t a whole lot of difference there. Pretty scary right?
     I have personally known some wonderful people during my lifetime. That includes Muslims, Christians, Jews, Buddhists and those who are… well neutral. I didn’t want to say they were nothing, because they are something, it’s just that I’m not smart enough to know what they are. If they are like me, I’d say they are private. My personal religion is just that: personal, and no body’s business.
     I’d like to think that there is some good in everyone. That when push comes to shove, they’ll do the right thing, but once they have become ‘radicalized’, when they are poisoned by hate, all bets are off. Hate is something that is all pervasive. It will eat your soul. Fortunately, I think that can be reversed. I do think that deep down, people are generally good. That given the opportunity, they will accept love over hate.
     What about this…
     To cure those who hate, I suggest that they be put in a room full of puppies. Who doesn’t love puppies? Puppies are cute, cuddly and just a joy to be around. They offer unconditional love and lots of sweet puppy licks. Who could resist, right?

“I sentence you to one hour, twice a day, to the puppy room for the next year. In between your puppy session, I sentence you to watch puppy movies.”

     Now, that would be the perfect sentence if you ask me.
     As a side note... is there anything sexier than a hot guy with a puppy? Nope, didn't think so. 

     Were you able to do something for someone else last week? Sure you did. I have faith in all of you. Let’s see if we can’t do something really special this coming week to make up for all the bad things that are happening all around the world.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all,

Monday, March 21, 2016

Cut vs. Uncut... As Requested

     So… how’s this Monday morning thing working out for ya? I see it as a fresh new start, so I’m ready to go.
     A few weeks ago I did ‘Let’s Talk Dick…’ and didn’t get to the cut vs. uncut debate. Well, let’s see if I can’t rectify that.
     Here we go…
     Cut vs. Uncut: I am not one of those gay men who are of the opinion that every male should be au natural, or think it was criminal for a boy-child to be circumcised. I’m old enough to have had it both ways, not my own mind you, and I’ve come to appreciate both.

A before and after photo. Oh hell NO! Not as an adult!

     I’ve been privy to some very handsome circumcised dicks and some… not so much. I knew a guy whose dick was spotted. Other that the odd discoloration, he had a fairly nice cock, pretty fat as I remember.
     Then I’ve seen some spectacular uncut/uncircumcised penises, the foreskin framing the glands perfectly. Personally, I’m not really a huge fan of a lot of loose, crinkly foreskin. I know those who are, but it just isn’t my cup of tea. But hey, if one was presented to me, I’m not sure I’d turn it down either.

     In my experience, those who managed to escape the knife, seem to have a lot more sensation around the glands, which is great, I assume. Ahhh, but then sometimes that can be a not so good thing. During a blow job, they become so sensitive that it becomes painful. Now, if anyone were to ask me, I’d say that could work to one’s advantage. But then… I’m kind of evil like that.

It's a party! Woo-Hoo!

     I used to work with a woman who refused to circumcise her little boy, but then had an issue with keeping the kids little winkie clean. Come to find out, she wasn’t comfortable with washing that very well, and her husband didn’t do much in the way of taking care of the kid. That’s woman’s work ya know. In the end, the child started having issues and ended up having to have the foreskin removed at age two. Poor kid is all I can say.

     It was quite a while before I saw my first uncut dick. I can’t remember any of the guys that I went to school with being uncut. Of course my first thought was “What’s wrong with it?” Yeah, I was pretty dumb back then. Hey, give me a break I was new to all that stuff… okay, maybe not so much, but an uncut dick was new to me. Needless to say, I was a little fascinated by it.
     A little history…
     Why do so many here in the US insist on circumcising little boys? How did this madness start? Well, it seems that there were some doctors who thought that whacking off the foreskin would prevent young men from masturbating. The reason? Jacking off caused all kinds of maladies like simple-mindedness, lack of balance and all sorts of ridiculous theories. Yeah, that was… just… hell, I don’t even know how to respond to that. Nuts I’d say.

     There was one advocate who really pushed for circumcision: Will Keith Kellogg, of Kellogg cereals. He, along with his brother, John Harvey Kellogg, who was running some kind of sanatorium, following the Seventh Day Adventist Church doctrine, claimed that it would keep young men from the sins of masturbation. They also claimed that it would ruin a man’s mental health and all sorts of other illnesses, including blindness. Somehow I have the feeling that didn’t really work all that well. No offense to anyone, but I kinda think that the Seventh Day group are a bit nuts to begin with. Just my opinion mind you.
     Of course there is the whole religious aspect that has been around for centuries. Most all men of the Muslim faith are circumcised. Astonishingly enough, they quote the Hebrew portion of the story of Abraham to support the theory of Allah being circumcised for whatever reason. However, they can’t seem to agree on when this should be done. It can range from birth to teenage years. Can you say OUCH!?

Uhh, just no. ICK

A Bris Tool.
     Most Jewish males are circumcised eight days after birth by a Rabbi. The famous ‘bris’ ceremony is quite common. Poor kid…having everyone watching while is wee-winkie is being trimmed up.

     After World War II, the Brits, after starting their national health care system, decided that there was no real benefit to hacking away the foreskin and decided that they weren’t going to pay for it. Guess what? Very few circumcisions happened after that. Ha… there’s that money talking again.

     Hell, even the Egyptians got into the act. The god, Ra, is supposed to have circumcised himself, and it wasn’t soon until it became all the rage. Men cutting off their own foreskins. Yeah… I’m not so sure about all that. There was something that I saw once about it being a big ceremony. I just can’t for the life of me seeing how a man would want to do that to himself, but then again, that’s me.
     Now a lot of this comes from ancient health conditions. Sand, poor sanitation and more than likely, just plain ol’ bad hygiene. Whatever the reason, it has been going on for thousands of years.

Docking. It can be kinda fun.

     As for me…
     I don’t mind an uncut cock. Well, let me follow that statement up with a clean uncut dick. There is nothing worse than having a smegma smelling, nasty dick around. Whew… that is some serious stank for sure.
     I did have one experience that I will share with you. Once upon a time, there was this very cute little bear who chased me for a while. I agreed to go out with him and then do the deed. As soon as he took his pants off I could smell it from across the room! I couldn’t get him out of the house fast enough. I think I used a whole can of Lysol to get the smell out of my bedroom. For some reason, he thought it was a turn on. Uh, not so much.
     Here’s a little joke for ya...

     Where does blue cheese really come from? Uncircumcised Smurfs, that’s where. 

     Yeah, that was bad, but still funny if you ask me. So there’s my scoop on cut vs. uncut. Did you learn anything? I think I did.
     Just so everyone is informed… My friend, TAT (The Aussie Tart) has been working hard in getting my stuff up on Smashwords. I had no idea how far that went or how involved it was. All I knew was that it was near impossible for me to deal with it. As you probably know, I can’t deal with all that technology stuff. As I’ve said before, it’s damn lucky I can turn this damn box on.
     Anyway, most everything I’ve written is now on Smashwords, which includes Barnes and Noble, Kobo, Kindle, iTunes as well as Scribb. ( I didn’t even know what that was.) Hope that helps y’all some. Spread the word to your book geek friends if you don’t mind.
     Did you know that sometimes just listening to someone is doing them a huge favor? Yep, that can get you a few Karma Coins in the bank. Being a friend who is willing to offer a shoulder to cry on, let your ear be bent, is just as important at times as is helping the little ol’ lady cross the street. Be kind. Listen. Be objective and do the best that you can. Be good to one another.
     That’s about all there is folks.
     Hope you have a grrreat week. Knock ‘em dead.

I need to know where this bar-barber shop is!

Monday, March 14, 2016

A Blank Canvas

     So… It’s Monday. Yay! I know that some of you dread Mondays, and I can understand that. For me… it’s a blank canvas, ready to be painted on. This is the first Monday post I’ve done, so let’s see where this goes…

     I mentioned last week about people touching my beard. I’m not sure why anyone would want to do that, but it does happen. And yes, I don’t like it, but some people just can’t help themselves it seems.
     Why do I bring this up again? Well, I’m gonna tell you, so hold your horses. Sheesh...

     I didn’t always have this beard, or this style of beard I should say. When I was working full time, health regulations were pretty strict. I could only have a beard if it was one-half inch or less. If it was any longer, I’d have had to wear a beard-net. You know, kinda like a hairnet except it is strictly for beards. Yeah, that wasn’t going to happen. Those things are itchy and I really don’t like things covering my nose and mouth. Anyway, while I was working full time, I always kept my beard and mustache very short.
     Now this is where it gets interesting…
     When I was forced to retire for medical reasons, I was bored out of my mind. That’s when I started writing, for those who didn’t know that tidbit of information. Then I got very depressed. I wasn’t able to do the things that I loved, including work. I got a bit sloppy with my appearance. I mean why bother. Who was going to see me?
     The result was that I turned into a shaggy mess. My hair was… well long, at least for me. My beard got really long. I’d look in the mirror, shrug my shoulders and move on. This was also the time I started gaining weight. I probably gained over twenty pounds within six weeks. I wasn’t working, which kept me active, and I wasn’t even working on my yard, which I'd always been passionate about.
     It wasn’t until a friend of mine, a fellow Chef, called and asked if I was up to helping him at a charity event. Now this event was special to me. It was a charity event that I’d participated in for several years, so of course I jumped at the chance. I wouldn’t be cooking, since I didn’t have a restaurant backing me, but I could do other things. I ended up supervising the support staff for all the Chefs. Most of the staff were culinary students, and that was okay with me. At least I was there.

     Oh my…
     It was then I took a good look at myself. I was a mess. Shaggy didn’t even describe my appearance. I probably could have passed for a homeless person. Hair long, beard and mustache even longer and I was fat. I had one Chef Coat that I could almost get buttoned up and it was tight.
     I had five weeks to get myself put back together. I went on a crash diet, which I’m never good at, but this time I stuck to it. I made an appointment with my barber. (I do miss that man. I always got the perfect haircut from him.)
     When I walked into the barber shop, Tracey, my barber, was stunned. “I thought you’d moved away. Damn, what happened to you?” Yeah, I was a mess. I asked him to clean me up as best he could. He started with my hair, giving me the table-top flat-top that I’d been wearing for I can’t even remember how many years. Then it came to the beard.
     He looked me over, squinting his eyes. Tracey then asked me if I wanted it trimmed short again. I kind of lost it, becoming very emotional. I explained to him what had happened, that I wasn’t working anymore, so it didn’t really matter what he did with the beard. It’s what he said next that kind of made me smile.
     A blank canvas…
     “You can do anything. It’s a great length and the possibilities are endless.” We talked about it for a bit and decided to hold off on the beard until I decided where I wanted to go with it. I’m pretty sure I’ve talked about research before and how much I love it. Well, that’s just what I did. I went and researched facial hair.
     I’ve always hated shaving. It irritates my skin, especially my neck. When you’re in a hot kitchen, the last thing you want is to have a neck rash with a stiff collar rubbing on it, so I rarely shaved, even my neck. I kept it trimmed with a small beard trimmer. But, as I said previously, I kept it trimmed super short. Now, I had the opportunity to do something different.

     I spent an entire day looking at photos, traditions and fashions of men who had beards. The possibilities were amazing. Men sure have been creative with their facial hair over the centuries, that’s for sure. I was actually excited about the prospect of having a new look!
     A look…
     Now, a beard can be very hot, especially in the south. I was still living in Atlanta, and the weather there can be miserable during the summer months. Hot and sticky. That’s the only way to describe it. I took that into account when I came up with a style that I liked.

     I decided that I’d keep the beard short and do something creative with the mustache. What you see today is a combination of a Fu Manchu and a handlebar mustache, with a very short beard.

     Here we go…
     I got out my scissors, trimmers, laid down a towel and looked into the mirror. With La Boehme blaring in the background, I started. The trimmers buzzed. The scissors snipped and about an hour later, I had it. It took another three hours trying to figure out how to get it to do what I wanted. Total fail.
     Squaring my shoulders, I took a shower, got dressed and went to see Tracey. No appointment, which was risky. He was always booked solid. Luckily, he’d had a no-show and ushered me right in. He listened to my tale of woe and then taught me what I needed to know to achieve the final look I was going for. Trust me when I say, it wasn’t easy at first. So much product goes into this look.
     To be honest, I don’t use all that stuff anymore. I’m basically lazy when it comes to my appearance. Normally I just throw on a pair of jeans or shorts, a T-shirt and go. Or that was what I used to do. Now, there’s a process. A little glue, a little wax, a minute with the blow dryer and I’m good to go. In the beginning, it took a lot longer. When I became more confident, it took me a lot less time. I’ve got this down to a science now. I can get this thing whipped into shape in a matter of minutes.

     A side note…
     It was during this time that I also was being pushed into writing. I’ve talked about it before, and I’m sure y’all are tired of hearing about it, so I’ll skip all that.
     The event…
     I was able to shed about ten pounds, so I was able to button up that Chefs Coat, comfortably. I had my new look and I was feeling good for the first time in ages. I’d just had my first short story accepted into an anthology, which was a total shock. Can you believe it? Someone actually gave me money for a story. It was only twenty-five dollars, but hey, it was real money!
     Off I went to the charity event, feeling good. The beard was a hit! All of my former colleagues thought it looked great. I think a few were jealous, if I am to be honest. The evening was a huge success. A lot of money was raised for children’s education and I was on cloud nine.

     It has been a rough year, but I’d managed to come through it with a new career and a new look. I think that the beard and mustache has become part of my brand, or that’s what I’ve been told. It sure wasn’t my intention, but there it is.
     Another side note…
     Yeah, it isn’t always pretty. There have been mornings when I wake up and look in the mirror. Oh hell, it is amazing what this hair on my face looks like sometimes. One morning in particular, I looked at my reflection and wondered if my beard hadn’t gone out and partied while I was asleep. One side was sticking straight out in front of my face, while the other side was plastered against my check, glued down by drool. Yeah… so unattractive. It’s a good thing I sleep alone. That look would have scared Freddie Krueger!

     And again…
     Did you do something nice for someone this past week? I bet you have. Just think of all those wonderful Karma Coins you’ve accumulated. Great feeling isn’t it? Here it is… a new week and all kinds of possibilities to do something wonderful for someone else.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all,

Sunday, March 6, 2016

What Do You Want?

     So… I’ve made a decision, and yes it did hurt.
     I’ve come to the conclusion that I really need to have at least one day off a week. Therefore, I’ve decided to move the blog to Mondays. Don’t go reading anything more into it other than that please.

     I’m glad that so many people have enjoyed my mad ramblings. I really don’t have any rhyme or reason for what I write on the blog. Sometimes it is something that I see on Facebook, or an article on the news. Once it was a guy walking his dog. Most of the time it’s just a jumbled mess that comes spewing forth cluttering up the page in no particular order.
     Now… I got some crazy followers on here, which I love. Sometimes I’m amazed that anyone wants to even read the crap I throw up on this thing. Thank you. Some of the things make me laugh. These past two weeks have been no exception.

     “What about balls?” Yeah, I think I’ve done that one, but who doesn’t like playing with balls, so I may go after that one again, especially with warm weather fast approaching. And yes, that does have something to do with it.

     “How could you talk about dick and not mention cut vs. uncut?” Yeah, well it was already getting long and I didn’t want to bore anyone. I’ll consider going after that subject in the future. I might have to do a lot of research on that just to get my facts straight. I do love doing research. The only problem with that is that I tend to get lost in it and forget what I’m supposed be actually doing.
     “Is there really demographics about penis size?” Oh yes. I really found that interesting. I think I might go into more depth about that. I really found that funny.
     I like to laugh and if I can make some of you laugh too, then I feel I’ve done well. It’s true; I get a kick out of those of you who leave comments saying I made them laugh. In my humble opinion, that is what a writer is supposed to do. Make a reader feel something, right?
     I want to know…
     What is it y’all want? Is talking about the writing projects too boring? Do you really want to know?
     There are times when I get really personal. Is that stepping over the line? Do I put some of you off?
     I wish I could promise you to stick with a theme each week, but well… that’s just not happening. There are times that I really have no clue what I’m going to write about until I sit down, and then… well even then there are times I’m clueless.
     There are times when I get an idea in the middle of the week and I can just sit down and bang it out. There are times it is a few hours before I need to post it and still haven’t started it. Those are the days that I tend to just ramble on like a crazy person.

     Oh, and the pictures. I do try and pick things that either go with the theme or just a few that I like. Of course I’m going to pick hot hairy men. I like hairy guys. Always have. I’ve even blogged about that. Yeah, that was somewhat personal. If some of you don’t care for the photos, sorry about that. Going to have to get over that part. I like ‘em, so they’re staying.

     There are times when I feel as if I’m a bit to preachy about doing nice things for others. I’ve tried to lighten that up a bit. I really believe in it though. It was something that I was raised with, so it is a major part of me. Do I come off preaching it too much? Not enough? You tell me.
     Things I avoid…
     Politics. I used to follow politics rather closely, but for me, that’s too personal. I have my opinions, but I almost never talk about them. I might mention them to close friends, but even then, not very often.
     I used to say that I never talk about religion. Well… I kinda fell off that bandwagon didn’t I? Sorry, but after some of the things I’ve witnessed and things that I know, there are times that I can’t stay away from it. Again, that is something personal and I do have very strong opinions about it, and it tends to bleed into the blog at times. Oops.
     That’s about it though. Everything else is fair game as far as I’m concerned. I’ve been told I’m very outspoken. I think that comes from spending so many years in a professional kitchen. In that environment, there is almost nothing off limits, and since I started at the age of fourteen, I guess it is ingrained. Just part of the way I am. Take it or leave it, it is a lot of what makes me, me.
    Most of you won’t believe it, but in reality, I’m really shy. I’ve always been a wallflower of sorts. I like to watch from a distance. Big crowds bother me. Whenever I go to a book conference, on the inside, I’m a bowl of jello, all jiggly. I have to give myself a talking to and make myself get out there. Oh, and it totally freaks me out with people want to touch my face and beard. Yeah, I get it, the beard is now part of my branding or trademark, but honestly… please refrain from touching. Hmmm, that could be a blog post all on its own: my beard and how it came to be. I’ll have to put that one on the back burner.

     So Monday’s…
     A fresh start to a new week. I don’t look at Mondays as most people do. To me it is a blank canvas, ready for a new work of art. That means that I have a lot of opportunities to do something good for someone else. It can be so easy to do. So go out and rack up some of those positive Karma Coins.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all,