Sunday, January 29, 2017

Feeding My Addiction(s)...

     So… I’m sitting here wishing I had a cocktail. It’s really too early to start drinking and I have a meeting in four hours and it would probably be a good thing if I weren’t drunk off my butt for it. Although, she probably wouldn’t mind. Yeah, she probably would come to think of it. Only because she’d be sober though.
     Ho Hum…
     Last time TAT (That Aussie Tart) and I went out to dinner with some friends after happy hour. We went to this little French style café, which isn’t too bad. Service was a bit on the wonky side, but that is pretty much everywhere here. I swear, I don’t know who some places stay in business to be honest, but that’s a whole ‘nother story for another time. Anyway, this friend asked me if I missed cooking.
     Yep, face plant in a big plate of depression. I miss not being in a kitchen so badly at times I seriously could just cry. I miss not working. I miss not having the adrenalin pumping when your ass is about one minute from going into the weeds. The noise, the heat and then… it’s over and everyone is cleaning and ready for a couple of well-deserved stiff drinks. Yeah, I miss it like nothing else. It’s my drug of choice and it was taken away from me when I was enjoying it the most. But… sometimes that’s the way things go. Who knows, if I could ever convince someone to cut my feet off and I get some of those bouncy prosthetics like that legless Olympian, I could be back in business, just bouncing off the walls of a kitchen once again.
     Speaking of which, the next time I’m in France, I swear I’m going to find a good patisserie and eat my weight in éclairs! I don’t know what it wrong with American bakeries. They can’t seem to get it right no matter what. Oh… and a good opera cake. Damn, I’m craving junk food.
     Hurry, change of subject…
     You know what really burns my ass? A flame about three foot high. That an old quote from a Dolly Parton movie. A good friend, Lisa Schrader, tagged me in a post about some Yankee woman who had never appreciated Ms. Parton for who she really is. Of course so many people think that she’s just some overly made up country singing bimbo. She is so far from that. She is probably one of the most generous people on earth. She gives back to her community like no one ever else has. With all the wildfires that devastated the East Tennessee region, she has promised one-thousand dollars to each and every family affected until they get up on their feet. She’s held a fundraiser.

Here’s the link of the woman who changed her opinion of this icon.  
An Open Apology To Dolly Parton
     She bought Silver Dollar City and named it Dollywood, which I’m sure some of you may have heard of. That place used to only be open about four months out of the year. Now that place runs year round and provides thousands upon thousands of jobs to local and traveling people.
     She also has a mobile library for the kids who are so remote; there is little or no chance for them to get to a library. She expanded on that and is now sending preschool kids’ books in the mail for free! You heard right, these kids have the opportunity to get a free book every month at no cost.
     No, our jezebel wanna be is so much more than a talented songwriter – performer. She is a superstar where I come from and it has nothing to do with her musical abilities at all. So, I’m gonna sing me a little Dolly tonight while whooping up something in the kitchen tonight. I’m thinking Jolene might be the ticket.
     Where’s that damn escalator…
     I so want to jump on my soapbox. I’m just too fucking lazy to walk up the stairs. You might want to be glad that I can’t find the escalator. Trump the chump just pisses me off. Him and his stupid wall. At what point has a wall ever really worked. Let’s ask the Chinese. Or how about the Brits with their stupid wall. Did it work? Or Berlin… how well did that wall fair? Hmm. Walls haven’t worked at any point in history and it won’t work now. Physically or virtually. The anti-Muslim wall he’s erecting won’t work either. It’s only going to piss more people off and play into the hands of the extreme right radicals, Christian AND Muslim. Okay… that’s as far as I can make it without the escalator. Ain’t you glad!?
     Moving right along…
     Did I mention I’m having the wackiest cravings? My doctor put me on a mega dose of steroids for four days and they are kicking my ass bad. It’s worse that smoking pot, as I remember. Makes me want to eat the entire house. I sat down and had a party size bag of Doritos last night with about half a gallon of milk. Damn, I’m going to look like I swallowed a beach ball the way I’m going. Either that or I’m carry triplets, which is impossible. Oh wait… there is that whole immaculate conception thing… who knows… think I could sell that story?
     I gotta goooo…
     I’m gonna close this bad boy up now so I can go and scarf up something good… or not so good, so let me just say… get out there and live life. Be happy. Do something for someone else. You won’t break a nail. It won’t break the bank. Your face won’t crack if you smile. Just do it. Put some of them good Karma Coins in that piggy bank.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

I'll Shut Up Now...

     So… I’ve been sitting here trying to figure out something nice to say. I don’t know about y’all but my momma told me, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, keep your mouth shut.” Yeah, well that doesn’t always work for me.

     When is a spade not a spade…
     Never. Basically if you’re a liar and a cheat, you’re always going to be a liar and a cheat. Add thief to that and you’ve got a human being that isn’t worth his weight in salt. I never thought I would actually say this about a sitting President of the United States but… Donald J. Trump is a thief, a liar and a cheat. It is easily proven. It isn’t a big surprise.
    I’ve made it a point to not get into this political mess, but after Friday, I can’t hold back any longer. How this happened I don’t know. I just lied. Yes I do. I know exactly how this happened. People didn’t get out and vote. We have the lowest turnout for elections of any westernized country. That is pretty shameful.
     Tha, tha, that’s all folks…
     Since I really can’t think of anything nice to say, I’m going to stop right here. I had another thousand words, but after reading it, I just deleted it. Yep, that’s just… well that’s all. I’m going to head my mother’s advice and shut up now.
     Did you know?...
     Yep, I re-release P.O.W. If you’ve not seen the new cover yet, you haven’t seen one of the most beautiful book covers I’ve ever seen. A.J. Corza is a genius. I’m just blown away by her talent. If you’ve not read P.O.W., it is now available at your favorite book retailer. Please read the warnings though. It won’t be for everyone. It is hard and gritty and not always nice.
Buy links
     But before I go…
     I’d like to thank everyone who donated books for the Zebra Coalition. I’m going to start categorizing everything this week and see about arranging a date for delivery. If I’m able to get it all done this week I hope to have a number to give y’all. Overall, I’m very pleased with how many responded to the request for books. I knew you would. You’ve never let me down yet when I ask for help. You guys rock.
     Remember, we all have more in common than not. Treat everyone with respect and the chances are they will reciprocate. Do something nice for someone else and you will reap those good Karma Coins.
     Have a great week, y’all,

Sunday, January 15, 2017

I'm So Confused...

     So… I’m sitting here pondering about the state of things. I’m so confused. On one hand I want to scream and on the other I want to hide. Oh, and then there’s the feeling I have that I have to put on my happy face and pretend that everything is perfectly okay.
     Why so…
     Angry? You bet’cha. When I order Chinese delivery, and I get an eggroll, I expect mustard damn it! What the hell? Who doesn’t want the hot mustard with their deep fried goodness? Come on now, admit it. Don’t you get a little pissed off when they forget that? I know I do.
     Oh and don’t even get me started on stupid people. I mean, there are those who can’t help it, but then there are those who are just too fucking lazy to get the facts straight. Yeah, those folk who are now pissed that our GOP laden government is going to do away with the Affordable Care Act. They are screaming their fool heads off because they had no clue that Obama Care and the Affordable Care Act are the same thing. Really? Are you really that fucking stupid? If you are, then you deserve exactly what you get… which in this case is nothing.
     And then there are those idiots that seem to have forgotten that there are indicator lights in cars. It’s an epidemic here in Florida. I bet there are probably less that 10% who actually use them. There are times that I want to tell them that they need to either return their new car or have it serviced because obviously, their turn signals don’t work. Grrr…

     Hiding… I got a new throw (blankie) for Xmas. It’s a big orange UT one that is so nice and fuzzy. (Thanks TAT. I love it!) There are days when I just want to stay in bed and cover my head and relish my blankie. Okay, I do like it that much, but there are some days that I don’t want to face the world.
     To be truthful, I really, really don’t want to go to the grocery store. It is bad on the best of days here but on Saturday? Why did I put it off till today? No matter what day you go, it seems to always be busy. Well, unless you go as soon as they open at 7 a.m. No, not one of my favorite things here.
     I want to hide from Facebook and other social media lately. There is so much hate and bad stuff erupting everywhere that I just want to crawl under my blankie. Why can’t we be civil to one another? Has etiquette and manners completely disappeared? Do you think these people would act this way if the other person/people were sitting across the table from them? I highly doubt it. I wish everyone would take a deep breath and imagine that person sitting in front of them before blasting their business for the entire world to see.
     Did I mention that I really like my new blankie? Maybe everything else is just an excuse to be all comfy cozy. I may have to think about that… under said blankie of course!
     My happy face…
     My mother told me once that no one wanted to hear my woes and for the most part, she was right. I think I’ve mentioned this before. When someone asks how you are, they don’t want to hear your crap. That is why I put on my happy face and move on. Compartmentalize is the key here: putting things in nice little boxes to deal with later. I’ve gotten pretty good at doing that. I think it’s a good thing to be able to do.

     There are times when I think it is easier to put on the happy face. It keeps things in balance. People won’t ask you what’s wrong, or what is going on with you. It’s easier, let’s be frank. I’m sure that there are times when we all have to do that, whether we like it or not. It’s just part of life I think. I also think that there are some people who need to practice this a bit more. Trust me when I say, it comes in handy.
     Where’s the fork…
     Done. And there you have it. All my emotions spelled out… or spilled out, all over the page. No wonder I’m a mess here lately. Of course, it could also mean that I’m going through dirt withdrawal. I’ve not been out digging in the dirt in a few weeks. Now that I think about it… I’m sure that’s what the issue is. I need me some dirt time!
     Oh… and did you know…
     I got the rights back to a book I wrote years ago. P.O.W. In my humble opinion, this book was never marketed by the publisher. Actually, at the time of release and until I got the rights back, it wasn’t even available on Amazon in e-book format. Why, I’ll never know. I also think that is was so overpriced that no one bought it.

     It now has a new cover, thank god, and has been re-edited. I’d forgotten what a good book it is, if I do say so myself. I feel that part of that was because I was so disgusted with how it was handled by the publisher that I almost hated the thing. Now that I have the rights back and I’ve read it again, I’m surprised at how powerful this book is. For sure, it is not for the light of heart. There are some difficult scenes in there.
     Anyway, it's available for pre-order. Here are some buy links.
Happy Dance…
     Wow… thanks to all the wonderful authors and readers who have sent books for the Zebra Coalition library. So many books have come in that I’m a bit overwhelmed. The kids are going to flip when they see how many.
     The postman handed me the mail the other day and thought that something was wrong when he didn’t have a parcel for me. I told him not to worry, that UPS had gotten there before him, so all was good. I had to smile at that. It won’t be long before they are all ready to be loaded up and taken to the center. I’ll try and get some photos for y’all.
     Again, thank you all so very much. As always, you guy come through for me each and every time. If you didn’t buy/send a book, there are still things you can do. Sign up for Amazon’s Smile program. You can pick them as a favored charity where part of your purchase price is donated to them. Or you can check out their wish list, which you have to actually click their name under ‘wish list’ to see what they need. A lot of things are under $20.00. I try and get one thing each month. I usually do it right after I’ve paid all the bills. It makes me feel a little better. Just think of the good Karma Coins you’ll be able to put in that piggy bank!
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Another New Year...

     So… it’s a new year. Am I the only one who is finding it hard to write 2017? Not so much that I was in the habit of writing 2016, but just difficult to wrap my head around the date itself. I find it hard to believe I made it this far.

     Putting it away…
     Over the holidays, I’ve received numerous greeting cards. There were a few that really cracked me up. Some people know me too well. Many of you know that I hate snow. I’ve come to detest cold weather, mainly because I find it painful, so when I got a card that said “I Love Snow” with a cute snowman, I at first frowned. Then I saw who it was from and had to laugh. I got another one that was so funny and sooo me, I almost pissed myself. There are a few that I think I’m going to keep and pull back out next year. They’re too good to throw away.
     I did manage to send out a few cards myself this year, not many. That was the first time in several decades that I’d done so. I did avoid doing it the day after Thanksgiving, but I still found it a little difficult. And of course, putting it off meant that several of them didn’t make it before Christmas, but I figure they were ‘Holiday cards’ so it still counts.
     Speaking of…
     No. No. No! I do not do snow! I hate the stuff. Yeah, as a little kid I liked it well enough, especially when it got me out of school. I however, learned very quickly to dislike the white, wet, cold, disgusting crap at a very early age. You see, I had a paper route. I rode a bicycle to deliver papers. Those papers had to be delivered come rain, snow or heat wave. Have you ever tried to ride a bike in ten inches of snow? Yeah, it doesn’t work. When it snowed I ended up having to walk that damned route. Cold, wet feet is not my idea of a good time. So, yeah, I hate the stuff.

Nope! Not even for him!

     Having lived through the blizzard in Washing D.C. back in the 80’s, and having to walk from the subway in two feet of snow in my work clogs only made me hate it that much more. When it snowed in Atlanta, and things shut down, I knew that as soon as I could, I’d be moving even further south, which I did. I swear, if Global Warming, or whatever the PC name for it is now-a-days, causes it to snow in Florida, I’m going even further south. I wonder if I could move to Cuba. I bet I could find me a cute cabaña boy there! I could perhaps even afford one there!
     Marching on…
     Last week I think I mentioned trying to do better. I’ve been thinking a bit this week about that. It’s not as easy as it was when I lived in Atlanta. Things were closer and there was more need. A LOT more need. Here? Not as much. Not that there isn’t need, you just don’t see it as readily. I’ve decided to continue my focus on LGBT kids.
     It still amazes me when people think that gay kids aren’t tossed out like yesterday’s trash, by their own parents, just because the kid is homosexual. That in itself proves that there is still work to be done and a thus, a need. I personally know what it is like to be bullied because of it. I personally know what it is like to be rejected by family. I personally know how hard it is and the fear that comes along with it. Kids have it hard enough without piling all that shit on them as well. Kids should have the chance to be just kids.
     Here… have a look if you dare. Yes, I do dare you. I double-dawg dare you. 
     When I lived in Atlanta I did what I could for ‘Lost-n-Found’, a great organization that helped displaced, homeless LGBT youth. I believe that everyone should help out, whenever possible in their own community. So when I moved to Florida, I found an organization not too far from where I live and have tried to concentrate on doing what I could for them.
     I did a book drive to help build their small library. If kids have books that they can relate to, perhaps they’ll read more. Reading is always a good thing if you ask me. I also push to help clear away their wish list, which is really easy to do. I did the same thing, the wish list that is, for ‘Lost-n-Found’. Many times there are things listed that cost less than $10.00, so it is affordable for me to do a little something each month.
     There are so many things that one can do that doesn’t really cost much at all. A friend in Georgia made hats and scarfs for kids on the streets for the winter. Another makes afghans so a kid can have something warm that they can call their own. There is so much talent out there, I’m sure everyone could think of something that they could do.
     Look into your own community. See what needs there are and see if you can’t do a little something to make a difference. If each of us does just a little bit, think of how that could add up. Oh and think of all those good Karma Coins you can put in the bank. Karma is a funny thing sometimes. Whatever goes around comes around and often it comes back with interest! Woo-Hoo! How cool is that?
     So go forth… do your best, be your best and remember, kindness doesn’t cost a thing and manners do matter.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.

Monday, January 2, 2017

I'm Coming Out...

     So… I sit here feeling… I’m not even sure how I’m feeling to be honest. My emotions are kinda all over the place. I think that maybe for the first time I’m going to open up a bit about some of the things that I believe in. Sorry, but I’m going to use this as a little self-therapy and hopefully it will help me sort out some things.

     To start…
     I’m somewhat terrified. I had hoped against hope that the election wouldn’t go the way it did… but it did. I think deep down I knew it would, but one must always have hope. What this means for me personally is that I’m going to have to take steps, pretty quickly, just to survive. That may sound a little overly dramatic, but it is the truth. I’m not going to get into the details, but its a horrible position to be put in. I don’t think people completely understand what is about to befall them, and a good deal of them are going to find out the hard way.
     I think so many of us have become sheep. We will automatically follow the one in front of us without question. Realizing I was gay in the early 70’s turned me away from the pack I think. It is the only time that I can pinpoint when I started to question… just about everything. You have to realize, that Stonewall had only happened a decade earlier, and living in the Bible Belt, it took a loooong while for the fallout of that event to trickle down to make any kind of difference in my life. The only thing positive about that event was that it did open people’s eyes that gay people existed openly.
     But (Yeah, I know you’re not really supposed to start a sentence with but… get over it.) when you are being bullied, not only from your social peers, but your family as well, it tends to make you separate yourself from the crowd and start to try and figure things out on your own. Basically, I only had myself and a one other person that I could rely on: my sister.
     When you are put in that kind of situation as a very young teenager, you really don’t have much of a choice. That is when I think I broke away from the herd. Okay, I also was in a school system that really did teach you how to think on your own. As a kid I never knew how fortunate I was to grow up where I did. It was basically an isolated think-tank with brilliant people all around me. I was extremely lucky. However, that didn’t shield me from the stigma that went along with being gay.
     Don’t do it…
     My mother told me from a very early age that one should never discuss politics, religion or money with anyone but your closest inner circle and even then, tread with caution. This advice has served me well for most of my life. I never really discussed politics but I basically didn’t give two shits about it. That changed.
     What made me jump, head first, into politics was the AIDS epidemic that surrounded me. It was so pervasive in my life it was suffocating. Men I knew started to disappear. One day the light clicked on and I saw how politics directly impacted my life. What an eye opener that was.
     When I started to pay attention and think for myself about politics, what I saw sickened me. That was when I began to scrutinize the actions of our elected leadership. I think I was too immature to connect all the dots at the time but I knew things weren’t quite right. Financially things were getting better, or so I thought, but other things were getting worse. I didn’t know how much worse there were going to get. I still don’t know where it is going to end because it is still happening.
     What I saw happening had a word; a name. I had never heard the word before. Never knew it existed, but as of today, I do now and it scares the ever-living shit out of me. I am going to provide you with a link. If you have any interest at all in the well-being of others, you might take the time to read it. I will warn you now, not only is it disturbing, but you really have to push through it all. There are some of you will simply dismiss it as rhetoric, but having lived this long and having witnessed the changes described, I see it quite plainly. Of course I don’t believe everything in this article, but for the most part… I think it is spot on.

     This morning I’m feeling very old. I am fast approaching fifty-six, which many of you will not say is not old. In fact, in gay years, I might as well just ship myself off to the glue factory. Ageism in the gay community is quite prevalent, let me assure you. Once you turn fifty, you’ve become obsolete. If you are honest about your age, you are politely shunned, at first. Get to fifty-five and you’ll soon start to feel as if you’ve got leprosy and it is all over your face. That is the simple fact of being a gay man in this day and age.
     Within the heterosexual community, I’m told how young I am and how I am not old and that I have so much going for me. That works well for them and I’m glad. It is a comfort to some degree I guess. I blame the lack of education within the gay community for a lot of this.
     I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Gay History should be taught in schools just like Black History. It will do two things right away: One, it will cut down on bullying. Once it is talked about, the stigma lessens. It won’t do away with it, especially with all the right-wing bible thumping, gun-toting, ‘do-gooders’ abounding, but it will help. Two: It will teach gay youth to respect the gay people that came before them and fought for the rights they take advantage of today. I don’t think they get that. They don’t understand what it took for them to be openly gay in school, hold hands on the street or have the right to say “I do” in front of friends and family. This is lost to them because there is no one telling our story. Yeah, so I’m feeling a bit melancholy with all this running through my head.
     I still have hope. Why? Because that is just the way I’m wired I guess. In my mind, if I keep pushing, helping others, doing what I think is best, in the end it will all turn out all right. That might be walking around with rose-colored glasses on, but hey… it is better than drowning myself in Bailey’s laced coffee, pulling a black blanket over my head and crying about how unfair life is. That is just not me.
     Nope, I’m going to happily put on my special glasses and keep on doing what I’m doing. By focusing on others I know that I’m at least making a difference, one little baby step at a time. Without a doubt I am delusional, but my days of outright activism are long past. This is about as much activism I can muster at this point in my life. I can point out things, and hopefully educate as I do what I can to make someone else’s life a bit better. Gotta get them Karma Coins somehow ya know.
     The one thing that I want for this New Year is that people find kindness. There are many more things that we have in common than not. A friendly word, a kindness shown will make everyone’s day a little better. Remember that manners do matter. Go forth and shine brightly.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.