Monday, May 30, 2011

Playing Possum


Welp, today is the holiday and I am awake and have greeted the sun. Slowly booting my brain up and listening to some tunes by the amazing Mike Tompkins. This guy can make some music. I wonder if he is a good kisser, too? Prolly :P

Yesterday was a day off and was strange to say the least. I woke up early after I had planned on sleeping in and washed the car. Made my coffee, showered and scrubbed up, threw on some clothes, dropped the top and cruised into the city for coffee. Ran into Jon and Toby at the coffee shop and spent some time meeting and talking to their friends. Kind of gives you a different perspective on your friends when you meet the other people that make up their social spheres. Had a conversation with a little doggie that seemed very distressed each time his master (cute guy) would leave him to get a refill. Read my new National Geographic, well looked at all the pictures at least, was kind of distracted by all the hot guys, and then wandered off for a drive around Mission Hills.

Got to church a bit late, but they were still singing. Ian was leading worship and man, he is talented. When I walked in, I saw that Deth had the mic on his head, so wasn't sure what I was in for. Sat with David and tried to get comfortable, despite the shooting pain in my neck. Didn't work at all. Constant chronic pain is horrible. I have never known what people have dealt with until now.

So Deth gets up to speak and get this, the message was on Quantum Physics, the Heisenburg Uncertainty Principle with random quotes from Thor, the movie, and a wee bit of the book of Matthew. What the hell? This is what I sat inside a building for an hour for to listen to? I don't even know what to think about that. Was it interesting? Sure. Did I take anything away with me that I could use this week? So yeah, church sucked ass. Or maybe I am just a dick. Could be both, I guess.

Rolled out of there into the sunshine and headed down the road. Got a text from Jeff and Jeff and they wanted me to come on over for a Memorial Day Pub Crawl they were hosting, so what did I do? I went. And guess who was there? James. Yeah. I think we all know how that turned out.  He is still sleeping upstairs in my bed.

I guess there are all kinds of factors I could say influenced my decision, but in the end, I have to own the choices I make. I woke up this morning with mixed up whack emotions. On the one hand, it felt great sharing space again with someone I care about and waking up holding him. He sleeps so peacefully and with that little smile I can't ever seem to say 'no' to. But at the same time, I had thought we (or maybe I) had ended this, well, at least the physical side of our friendship? I texted a friend last night, I sometimes feel that this thing in between my legs tends to run my life. I know that this is prolly just confusing James more, how I state one thing and then do another. I really need to set some boundaries or make some real decisions. Either we are together or we are not. It "takes two to tango" and I think we need to have an honest talk about what is going on here. I want to really listen to him and try to understand his side in all of this. I cannot keep sending mixed signals and messages. That is not fair to him or to myself.

So what is up for today? I have no idea. Looks to be fantastic weather and I hope to get out there and play in the sunshine. Got to start some coffee and make the guy some breakfast. He is always hungry as a horse in the morning. I know I sure worked up an appetite. We tore up some chicken and ribs last night but that was eight hours ago. I need some grub!

I will leave you with this tribute to a fallen soldier. I big shout out to all my shipmates still at sea and an expression of gratitude and thanks for those who gave their all, so that we might be free.

Happy Memorial Day, America.

Never Forget. Semper Fortis!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Pain in the Neck

During my stay in Eureka Springs, I stayed up all night with my buddies and watched some stupid Harry Potter (aka Harry Bottom) movie marathon. I must admit, though sheepishly, I do enjoy these movies. The remind me of my childhood and all the stories I used to read and wish were true. I guess in some ways I find a way to identify with the different characters and the struggles they face with each other and finding their way in the world. But I am rambling...

As I was saying, I stayed up all night, propped up by a huge heap of pillows and subsequently fell asleep after day break with a wad of pillows under my shoulders and neck on my left side, and my sleepy friend Seth crammed into my right armpit and wrapped around me like some meat blanket with legs and arms. I slept soundly, as I was incredibly tired and was content to hold and be held by a friend. The next morning though, I have to admit I had some strange cramp or strain in my neck on the left side, when I got up to pee.

I carefully untangled myself from Seth, taking care not to wake him and padded off to the bathroom to take a leak and start my day. I took a long hot shower and thought really nothing of it. The next few hard days of high speed driving and curves kept my attention off the pain and I figured I would bounce back and life would go on.

Big mistake.

Over this last week, the pain has only become worse and now this morning I woke up to muscle spasms and a piercing pain at the left base of my neck that is now shooting down over my shoulder blade and into my arm pit. It is so bad that my triceps and biceps keep going into spasms and if i turn my head wrong, I let out some weird yelp involuntarily. Tylenol, ice packs and stretching out each morning and night is not helping. I have had to switch my work out routine up to favor the pain and it got bad enough the other day that I actually was googling "heart attack symptoms" on my phone when out with my friends.

What the hell is this? Why is my body not fixing itself?

My guess is I have some pinched nerve in my spine that is causing the pain and I am reluctantly going to have to go to the Doctor to have him shoot some x-rays and get to the bottom of it. I hate going to the Doctor, or the Dentist or anyone else who pokes and prods at my body like some mechanic with tools and stuff. I am not body conscious and don't mind being naked or examined, it is just the idea that something may be wrong and I can't mend on my own without some help.

Ready for work now, slurping some coffee and trying to ignore the pain. I know I am a big baby when it comes to pain. Though I have suffered some horrific things in my life due to sports, car wrecks, accidents and physical violence, I have nothing in my coping skill bag to deal with chronic and re-occurring pain. I guess maybe that is why I am whining here on my blog, like some little kid who wants someone to kiss it and make me feel better.

I am excited about today though. We prepped all day yesterday for a huge wedding banquet and feast we are hosting tonight for 500+ people. The trucks kept arriving all day bearing produce, exotic fruits, meats, cheeses, wines and all the ingredients that we will fashion together into a night for this wonderful family to remember. The decorators have been working for three days in the Grand Ballroom turning it into a wonderland of white satin, exquisite flowers, flickering candles, Waterford crystal and canopies of lace and taffeta. I cannot wait to get to work!

We will have three carving stations of Baron of Beef, Filet Mignon cut to order, Turkey and Duck, and Honey Baked Ham. There will be three buffets of salads, sides dishes, vegetables and breads and 3 hours worth of work for the canapes and hor dourves. Champagne fountains, white and red wines, full service bar. It is going to be a long but rewarding day. I cannot wait to see the couple, their families and their guests faces when they show up. I hope we will make this day fit for a life time of memories. They are certainly paying us to! Total food cost alone is well over ten thousand dollars. Eep! is time for me to hop in my car and motor off into this Saturday morning. I am going to miss my guys breakfast and meeting again for about the third time but know I will see them all at church tomorrow. Thankfully Sunday is a day off. It has been several weeks since I have been able to get to service and I sorely miss my friends. Hope you all are well and that this crappy pain will just take off. I made the mistake of telling my Mom about it, so I am sure she will hound me till I get to the Doctor.

Have an awesome weekend! This one is certainly different than last years. This time last year, I was following Seth and Alan down to the lake, where I ended up losing the whole summer. Hopefully this one will be more productive and healthy for me. Staying busy is a start, yes?


Thursday, May 26, 2011!!!

Fresh Baked Breads, Red Velvet Cheesecakes, Triple Layer Chocolate Cakes, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup Torts, Assorted Cheese Trays, Mixed Fruit Trays, Salads, BBQ Smoked Ribs, BBQ Roasted Chicken, Sliced Beef Brisket, Grilled Lemon Pepper Chicken, Fresh Mashed Potatoes, Au Gratin Cheese Potatoes, Green Beans with Bacon, Butter Grilled Corn on the Cob, Steamed Fresh Broccoli,  Jalapeno Corn Bread, Deli Platters of Roast Beef, Turkey, Honey Ham and Corned Beef, Fresh Focacia Rolls, Sliced Cheeses, Kettle Cooked Potato Chips...and on and on and on...

This was my morning and afternoon and I am absolutely beat on my feet but have the biggest smile on my face! :D

THIS is what I was made to do.

Ima take a nap now. Be back later...

*and no...he doesn't work in our kitchen, but he is more than welcome to apply!

A new Adventure

Last evening I went to bed with that little boy feeling that Christmas was coming! I set my alarm clock in my bedroom carefully. Then, after considering the storms we have been having lately, set the alarm on my cell phone as well, in order to ensure I woke up on time if there was a power outage of some sort. Then I got my coffee maker prepared and set the alarm and start timer on it. There is no way I was going to miss the start of this day! My clothes, I carefully laid out and then laid down to sleep.

Needless to say, my excitement woke me up an hour and a half before any of my alarms went off! But I am getting ahead of myself here. Let me back up a bit...

I had returned from my trip the Eureka Springs refreshed, relaxed and happy. The vacation was a huge success and I had an amazing time carving up the mountain roads, eating at fantastic restaurants, making new friends, hanging out with old ones and wandering all the beautiful art shops during the day and catching the best live music at night. There were some amazing escapades along the way and stories I will keep with me for a long time. Ran into a few snags along the way, namely a friend (Seth) from my last summer at the lake, but all in all, a great trip.

The first few days of settling back in, I hung out with my buddies, spent some time with my parents and started wondering what to do with the rest of my year. The only things really on the calendar were Thanksgiving and Christmas which left a lot of free time. I jacked around a bit, planning a few trips and kicking the idea of more traveling around but hadn't given too much thought to what I might do.

So yesterday,  I get a phone call from Casey, who used to be my busboy when I worked at the Stadium Club. He had ended up in AZ playing baseball for the University and was back in town catching up with the guys. We talked a bit, laughed over some of the past and basically picked up where we had left off. I confessed the mad crush I had on him and Heath my other busser and he cracked up and let me know they had certainly been aware of it. At least they had the common sense to not tease me too bad but they certainly had fun making me uncomfortable at times.

Anyway...once he found out my life was pretty free, I guess he called his Dad who has always been up on the restaurant scene and hospitality industry around the country. Back in the day, he was the General Manager for the restaurant group that we all worked for. Long story short, Bill, his Dad, gives me a ring and asks me what I am planning on doing right now. I filled him in on my current dreams of going to culinary school and where I hoped that would eventually take me.

Turns out, he is now the GM of the Marriot Hotels here in the city and offered me an internship with his Executive Chef! A couple hours later, dodging the tornadoes of course, two interviews and some great conversations, his head Chef agreed to take me on as an apprentice and teach me over the summer, letting me work in all of their different venues and concepts as his protege! OMG...for real?

I am going to get to do what I have a passion for, be trained by an amazing Chef, work all over the city AND get paid for it all! I don't even know what to think! I am SO EXCITED! :)

So there you have it. I have a new adventure for this summer. I am so thankful to old friends and new friends but especially to God who certainly pulled this all together for me. Even when I am a total fuck stick and make a mess of things, He still loves me and gives me good things as His kid. Grateful. I do not deserve this at all, especially after the past two weeks or so. Man, pretty amazing!

So it is time. I am going to get myself around some breakfast and coffee, take a bracing shower, slip into my new slacks, white coat and clogs (yes, I went out and bought some Chef's all about the shoes) and head out to see what this is really all about. I hope you are all well and safe and that today brings a huge smile to your face and peace to your heart. Wish me luck. Ciao!


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Gay Parents: What do you think?

I watched this video last night and also posted it on my FB page. It is worth the watch. I have friends that have gay parents as well as some that are gay parents themselves. Very moving...

Guess what May is?

Yup...that is right. May is officially National Masturbation Month. A big thank you to my friend Davey for giving me this important piece of information! I just about laughed my butt off, but then I do have an odd sense of humor. If you haven't been observing the holiday correctly, the good news is you still have several days to take care of it. Get busy!

On a more serious note though, I am back from my trip and have some great things to write about and tons of questions to process and work through. I'll prolly be back later tonight. Peace,


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Ready to hit the Road

 Welp, I am worn out and a bit weary but am going to bed with a smile on my face. I spent the day preparing my car for the road trip and I am not satisfied that it will not only perform flawlessly, but also look fantastic. Tomorrow morning I head out on a road trip for beautiful Eureka Springs, Arkansas to join 250 other car enthusiasts for 5 days of driving the curves and attempting to pack as many miles into smiles as we can possibly manage. New brakes and rotors, fresh leather interior, oil change, filter changes, tune up, plugs and wires and set the timing and compression up a few notches for added performance. He is washed, waxed and ready to hit the road. Zoom, zoom! :D

The last few days this week have been an amazing time of setting my life in order and communicating with family and friends the new direction and purpose that I am setting out on and seeking. I cut loose some people in my life that were bringing me nothing but negativity and shrugged off the job that was doing nothing to advance my career and peace of mind. I truly feel like once again I have a clean slate and the time and resources to explore what my future holds. This vacation will be a great time to think and ponder what my next course of action will be. I know culinary school factors into the near future, but the where is still up in the air and I am okay with that.

I guess the only thing to do now is take a shower and hit the sack. I will be gone for awhile but am excited about the fun I am going to have with old friends and new people in a little town that I love. I have not been down there for 2 years and am anticipating a fantastic trip. Hope you all are well!


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Stand Up!

Dawn's Piece

The morning is quiet here.

I awoke before the sun and found my way slowly through these early hours

Padded softly, did I,  through the spaces penned by others, perusing portraits and aching beauty.

Almost weep, could I, at their way with words and grasp of life. To turn a phrase thus so?

Sometimes I wonder if I will ever truly shine so bright.

Each new beginning brings found joy and a gentle smile to my lips.

Well scrubbed and polished for this day, clad in cotton, eyes bright.

I hope.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Winds of Change

Sometimes life can become confusing. There are days when we all wake up, look around at the circumstances that surround us and begin to question our existence and the myriad of simple choices that have brought us to a certain point in time. Such is my story and journey this day.

I awoke at 4:30 am to the cheerful sound of bird song and the quietness of my home. This may be the very same bird who held watch and kept me awake all night on Saturday some 300 miles away. At least it sounds remarkably like him? I slipped on a pair of worn jeans and a thick sweatshirt and stepped outside onto the front porch to survey the beginning of a cool and clear day. The moon, near, full and luminous on the horizon, shone like a bright white beacon and stunned me with her beauty. I sat down on the porch and took it all in.

It is time for a change.

Now, typically, when one hears those words, one may get a certain idea of altering circumstances or possibly making different choices. I feel that this is something far deeper and more subtle than making a few decisions that will change the outcome or picture of my life. This is more of a  momentous shift in being not in doing.

I have had time to think. A space to pause. A short trip to clear my mind and blow out the cobwebs of the whirling circumstances that are my life and it has been good. My conclusion, while not easily found, is this.

I do not like who I have become. I am not pleased with the choices I have been making. What I have been doing has been at odds with who I should be being. My focus has been wrong and my life has become a direct result of these choices.

Vague statements aside, I find it rather easy to put into words what this means for me. I will try to spell it out rather briefly, if only to see it in writing for myself.

Faith: I have lost my way. I have been ignoring God. I no longer was spending any time praying or reading the Bible. I continued going to church as a social activity but have not really had my heart and mind open to anything that may have challenged the choices I have been making. When others attempted to guide or help me, anything that was offered that did not fit my selfish and narrow world view was discarded as an attempt to control or hurt me. I have been confused and frustrated about my emotions and how I relate to the people around me and as a result have sought out comfort in all the old ways that I am so familiar with. It is time to start listening and seeking once again.

Vocation: This last November, I made a rather poor choice(in hindsight) to enter the service industry again. I felt I had a rather good grasp on what it entailed and felt that with the maturity I had gained in the past years that I could keep a firm handle on the drain on life that it can become. I started working in a restaurant with high hopes of enjoying my time there and picking up useful skills in my goal to attend culinary school and become a chef. In this attempt, I have failed miserably. To be clear, I have made some great money, had a "good time" and made plenty of friends. On the surface, it is the picture of a good career move. In reality, it is a complete mess. My life, both personal and public, has become entangled in the lives of those I work with and the days have dissolved into long hours at work that blend directly into the long hours of partying that tend to follow such a high stress and intense environment. I do not like who I am and what I have become there. I have been working hard and playing even harder. The reputation and person I have lived out to my peers at work is not who I wish to be. I no longer feel this environment is healthy for me emotionally, spiritually and socially. Today I will be resigning. I feel that anything less than total separation from this place and those people I have called friends will help attempt to repair the damage I have done to myself in such a short time.

Identity: The tug of war between my faith and personal identity has been a struggle writ large across the entries of this blog. I have battled back and forth with myself as to how to resolve that interior juxtaposition that is my belief in God against what I consider my most raw and basic foundations as a person. No where has this been more plain than in the conflicting and baffling posts that have come out of my head on these pages. I do not have any simple answers. There will be no broad general sweeping statements.

These things I know. I am a Christian. I am gay. I do not know how or even if these will ever agree with each other in my soul, but I know them to be the truth of my life, as I understand it. The decisions, choices and actions that I have engaged in over the past few years have not brought peace and comfort to my heart in these areas. Trying to mesh my old life with my new life has not occurred in the seamless transition I had hoped it would be. When in a relationship, my mind did not rest easy for many different reasons, many which were tied to faith and the conflict I was experiencing within and without.

This was brought home to me in a conversation with a new friend over the kitchen table in his home. My other friend had gone on to bed around 1 am and I had stayed up to talk to his room mate and his roomies girlfriend. I shared my story with them and we had been discussing things for a few hours when he asked me a very simple question. He asked honestly and quietly...

What if a gay guy came to you as a friend, said that he was new Christian and wanted to live his life for Christ but had no intention of changing how he lived. What would you tell him?"

This pierced me to my core. I could not answer that question. I still cannot answer that question. I hope that soon I may be able to in some tangible and real way.

Now, before you worry that I am going to run off on some ex-gay jack ass rabbit trail, please be assured that I am not. I do not subscribe to the idea that one can alter or change ones sexual orientation for whatever altruistic reason someone may have. I do believe that I have a choice in the actions and choices that I make with my body and heart. What I am saying here is this...

As a Christian, I feel that there are things in my life which have not lined up with what I profess to believe. To be blunt, my life has been a picture of how NOT to be a Christian, or an illustration of how God wants me to live. I party hard and am better known at my local gay clubs and bars than I am at church. When I am not working, I am out drinking and hanging with all of my old friends from my old life.

When I am single, as I find myself right now, I am as promiscuous as I have always been. I have sex with whomever I want with no concern as to the consequences to myself or them. I have done nothing except please myself for quite some time now and it has not worked for me. I have run away and am so tired of running. My soul is thin. I have to stop. For a season, I will remain sober and celibate. Let me see how I fair then. I want to explore the ideas of Repentance and Purity.

The winds of change are blowing. I am not sure where they will be taking me, but my sails are filling even as I speak and I know that this port of call has not been my friend. I am headed out towards open water and my eyes are starting to fill with the early morning gleam of the rising sun. The horizon beckons. It is time to set a new course.

Feel free to tag along. I think this is going to be an amazing journey.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Road Trip: Brain Fried: Heart Full

I just walked in the door from driving across the entire state, non-stop, after about only two hours of sleep last night. Well worth the lost hours for the conversation and advice found with new friends! Shout out to David, Kyle and Shannon. Sorry I was so beat when I left. The morning sapped me of any remaining brain function I had.

Thank you all so much for sharing space, time and words with me. Never underestimate the impact of a listening ear.

I have to fall into bed now and sleep a bit but will be back later to post up about my impromptu trip and the great people I met and spent time with. Off to bed with me now.

Tip: Continue to improvise at life. It is amazing what can happen! When did I forget that?

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Just talking to myself

Woke up at 3 am this morning, but that was prolly due to going to bed somewhere north of 10 pm last night. I ended up having a short night at work and will still pretty beat and weary from the long days put in this weekend for the holiday and what not. Mother's Day was crazy busy and each group and party that came into my restaurant seemed to be social and emotional vampires desperate for our crew to impress and make their day fantastic. I think we were pretty successful, not only financially, but also in welcoming them to our space and providing the food and fun they were looking for. I met Mom's from age 23 to 96 and each had an amazing smile and sense of pride for the family they had or were raising. So many different stories on such an array of faces and circumstances, each one unique, but the love and strength was the same.

I got to see my Mom really early in the morning. I had picked her up some roses and a corsage to wear and wrote her a hand made card that expressed my love and thanks for her being my mom for each and everyone of the thousands of days she has taken care of me and made my life fantastic. She truly is the best Mom on the world, even though I am sure there are many contenders for that title. :)

Being on my feet and running like crazy for 48 hours has a tendency to wear one out. I spent yesterday morning sleeping in a bit and then ran into the city for lunch and some playing at the park. My friend James and I headed to the park and had a blast flying kites, playing soccer with some amazing strangers who schooled us and tossing a Frisbee around with an eclectic and strange bunch of art school students on the massive lawn of the Nelson-Atkins Art Museum. We both got some great sun and smiles and then headed over to Broadway Cafe to cool down and slurp some Iced Tea. It was a great day.

Kind of rambling this morning, I suppose. I have to head over and drive a friend to work in a few hours. Kind of odd how people start depending on you. I try to help out as much as I can but at times it can become a bit taxing. I cannot imagine what having a family must be like. It is hard enough just keeping up with friends and co-workers much less trying to keep some children alive and love a husband. Someday maybe, but for now, care free seems to suit me well.

The list of ideas that I have to blog about just keeps growing and I never seem to be in the mood to tackle any serious writing. I guess that might be the curse of Springtime? The sap is definitely rising and my eyes and heart seem to be full at the moment. I have been going through some pretty big changes internally and hope to find some "me time" to process them when I head out of town for vacation in two weeks. To say I have a lot on my mind is a bit of an understatement.

I am reconsidering my choice of school for the fall. Nothing like waiting till the last minute...I know? But I am having serious reservations about placing myself in an institution for an education that demands that I compromise so much of myself. I was planning on moving in August to a private university to study for a B.A in Hotel and Restaurant Management as well as a Minor in Culinary. After really thinking hard about the schools religious, political and social stance, I am thinking about pulling the plug on them. I do not agree with them in so many areas and placing myself in that rigid structure will only detract from my studies. They are severely conservative, deeply political and vastly homophobic. I don't think my soul can take another stint of being forced back into the closet and muzzled about what I truly believe and who I am. At least in the Navy I had the space of DADT, small comfort that it was. I haven't told my parents yet, but will be doing so, as soon as I have things lined up to attend a state university. Whatever may happen will be what it is, but I do have a peace about not going to my first choice. I cannot and will not live in deception or silence.

Think I need to mow the yard today and trim all the landscaping. After all the rain we have been getting, it is starting to look a little wild out there. It is that time of year again. Going to do some laundry and all the other things that we do in order to keep our lives going smoothly. I might be able to squeeze some play time in but for the most part, today will be about being responsible. Adulthood kind of sucks at times. They never told me that. Or...maybe they did and I didn't listen. :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

Born this way...

So I totally got caught watching Glee this afternoon (one of my guilty pleasures since Season 2), quite by surprise I might add. A friend felt compelled to tell me he loves me and then BAM! Total Glee moment!

And yeah, this song was blaring. LOUD. Kind of hard to miss...

Enjoy! :)

Beautiful day

It is 10:37 am and I still can't seem to wake up today. Must have slept really hard but I guess I needed it. Picked up Stephen last night from the dealership and drove him back to the house that he is watching for friends over the weekend. Amazing home with all kinds of collections of neat things. Antique cameras, sail boats, tapestries and cool dogs to play with. Kind of interesting to take such a personal peak into some strangers lives. To see how and where they live without them watching.

Ended up staying up way too late talking and catching up on life. Good to have solid friends who don't need or want anything from me except my presence. I think we are going to head back to Colorado this summer again. At least, that is what we have planned so far. If he was gay, he'd make a great husband, but he knows that. I am glad he's not though, cause that would just make the great thing we have more complicated. Kind of strange which friends stick and the ones that don't. He gives great hugs and is always listening. Glad he is a part of my life. Love ya, Stephen, and yeah, sometimes I do write about you here... :)

The sun is out, the flowers are blooming, birds singing and all that jazz. I want to get out, drop the top and do some driving today, but I am still a bit subdued knowing I am working tonight. This scheduling me on evenings lately has really screwed with my plans and it is hard to get into the swing of work at night, especially after a full day of errands, fun and life. The place is making me a bit weary at times. Such is the life in the service industry. We sell happy and dreams, for a price.

Guess I am kind of rambling now, trying to kick start my brain into gear. Spring is finally here and the sunshine does put a smile on my face, even though I am still a bit bleary eyed. Need to hop in the shower and scrape this scruff off of my face. Kind of strange to not shave for two days. Other things on my mind. I smell like a man, kind of a musk. Must have dreamed some strange stuff. I know I woke up horny and kind of disgruntled. Stupid hormones and pheromones. Such is life as a male.

Think I might head into the coffee shop and get in a few laps around the lake. Maybe fly my kite and tune out for a few hours before work. Still need to get a hold of the admins at college and make some final decisions for this Fall. Ever just not feel motivated? I think it is the inner dog in all men that kind of makes me happy and dumb on days like this. The word 'loll' comes to mind.

Still reflecting on the camping trip, spending time lately with my friend James and getting by with the simple things in life. Not too much of note to record here but I need to get back into the swing of writing. It seems to clear my head and keep me focused. No worries. One day at a time.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Ex-gay people make no sense to me

I posted this video on my Facebook wall this morning and have now been having a discussion with a couple of my friends about LGBT issues. One, in particular, who identifies as Christian and "ex-gay", really takes exception and offense to the idea that LGBT people should be granted any of the same rights and liberties that the heterosexual people in this country enjoys. That kind of baffles me. Here we have someone who lived as a gay guy for the majority of his life but now, due to his rigid faith system, feels that others like himself (or his former self) should be discriminated against, all in the name of faith, or religion, or God. How do you go about loving someone with hate and marginalization?

People are entitled and free to believe as their own conscience dictates but when they start enforcing their belief systems through legislation and repression, I feel that they have crossed a moral line that invalidates everything they profess to be true. Those who are the most outspoken opponents of gay civil rights seem to feel as they have some mandate from God to force others who do not view reality in that light to adhere to their rules and defined systems of morality.

To hear these very sentiments from another gay guy (let's face it, there is no such thing as ex-gay) kind of saddened me. I find more love and acceptance from my str8 friends than those that I should have more in common with. Ex-gay seems to be a synonym with self hate, homophobia and internalized loathing...all in the name of God, ersumshit.

Odd that. Ya think?

For those who might be reading this and be experiencing a person like that in your life, a friend, maybe your parents, a work situation or something that brings pain to an area that should be happy and full of peace, this song is for you. You are loved. Never, ever forget that.

It does get better.

I promise.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ever had this happen?

Loved this one... :)

In the Company of Men

As I am waking up this morning, back in real civilization, I realize I have too many thoughts, questions, ideas and experiences swirling around in my head to be adequately addressed here in a single post. What I will attempt to do in the coming days is to slowly process them here in order to able to take a close look at them as time permits.

I spent the last three days on a camping trip with the guys from my life and church. It was a space created for us to all get away into the outdoors and simply spend quality time in each others presence, have a good weekend, play, eat, talk and live but also tackle some of the things that we face as a diverse group of guys in this crazy world we live in. I think the only criteria for the Mens Retreat was simply to have a penis. Everything after that about who you are is just fine.

Yeah...already I am realizing that I can't start pulling these things out of my head yet. Suffice it to say. I had an amazing and thought provoking three days. It has been many months since I have packed so much life, play and conversation into each and every day. After sleeping twelve hours, I can see that I probably could not sustain that pace of life indefinitely.

This weekend we talked about being male, about masculinity, how we experience God, morality, dreams, family, relationships and sex. A lot about sex. The guys I was with included married guys, single guys, divorced guys, straight, gay and bisexual. We had a great cross section of ages, identities, orientations and experiences. I hope to be able to sort through much of what was covered and get it out in words here.

We didn't have some speaker who preached or talked at us, but rather, a series of hosted conversations and we were a self facilitating group. Topics were thrown out and then discussed and anyone who wanted to jump in on the discussions could. There were no "leaders" or teachers. You didn't have to attend anything at all if you did not want to. The time was yours to involve or seclude yourself as you wished. Plenty of space to play and have a good time, a lot of hiking and of course...lots of fire! We closed each night with a huge bonfire that sometimes lasted almost till dawn. Guys basically came and went as they wanted to. There was no enforced structure, merely a frame work to participate in, if you wished. I spent time resting, talking, listening, hiking, playing games, cooking...all the things that made the weekend work and enjoyable for myself and everyone else did the same. You make of it what you want.

I realize I am rambling now, so suffice it to say, I had a great time, learned so much about myself and my friends, made new friends and gained even more perspective and insight in what it means not only to be a man, but also to live in a community of men. In all my life, I have always deserved my enemies, but never have I deserved my friends. These guys and men in my life make it so much richer. I truly love and cherish being known and being accepted, just for who I am.

More on all that later. I need a shower and some coffee.