Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I lost...

Be careful who you moon.

A Rant

Caution: Sarcasm and Crude Humor Enclosed

I fail to see how urging men to grow their facial hair during this month (No Shave November) does anything to "raise awareness" about prostate and testicular cancer. You want to start a "dialogue" and "open a conversation" about men's health? What does any of that modern bullshit mamby pamby language even mean?

Here's an freaking idea guys! Instead of running around like a bunch of slovenly, ungroomed He-apes this month, spouting gibbersmack that it's for a "good cause" in your own version of a teen Facebook or ladies Pinterest trend, how about you Man Up, set an appointment with your doctor, get your junk checked and move on with your life?

Oh...and shave that unkempt, dirty mess off your face while you're at it. The gentlemen who ALREADY have facial hair haven't grown it for some touchy feely, check your balls, I'm a lazy ass reason. They have groomed themselves as men and don't sell their dignity for the price of sloth. They and their magnificent year round hirsute physiognomies are exempt from any and all of the above.

I am sure they are intelligent enough to get their junk checked without any awareness being raised.


PS: The guy in the pic can ignore this rant as well, cause when you look that damn good with stubble, I am not going to be saying anything except "Hello". 

Monday, October 29, 2012


When it comes to deciding what we believe is true, whether or not it’s actually true is not nearly as important as whether we want to believe it.”

~Daniel Oppenheimer

Random bits

I have two day off in a row. A first in a long while. I got to sleep in for a few extra hours and now find myself musing about what to write. I cannot decide on a topic so will this will prolly just take the form of a few disjointed paragraphs about the things that are on my mind. Here we go...

This morning I woke at 5 am with the thoughts of a strange and unsettling dream fading from my mind. Without going into all the strange details, I will try to summarize it simply. I went to my usual club to meet friends after work and decompress. When I walked in, my Dad was there at the bar talking to Danny my bartender and all of my friends. I wasn't sure what to make of it, but introduced him to them all. It wasn't awkward exactly but rather a collision of worlds. He was in "my" space and getting to know all the guys who have made up the fabric of my life for the last several years. Names he had heard were being put with faces and it was good for them to get to know him and more of where I come from. The dream ended oddly with my Dad having another stroke and I could only watch as they loaded him up in the ambulance. I wanted to ride to the hospital with my Mom, (who kind of just appeared) but for some reason she could not hear me when I was talking to her. I can still see all those images in my mind, even now, over an hour later. Unsure what to make of that?

The first thing I read on my Twitter feed this morning from a friend was, "We have to put effort into being honest, truthful and compassionate towards others." This made me think and consider the things that I choose to do each day and the person that others encounter when they meet me. It inspired me to be more intentional and present to those meetings. Making space and room in my life and perspective to live and consider others is something I could definitely work on and benefit from. I love it when little bits of wisdom just jump out and stab me in the eyes and heart.

This is a picture I ran across on one of my favorite websites this morning. Gentlemint At first, as a gay guy, I was struck by how handsome the young man was but then was even more surprised to learn that it is an early photo of  John Wayne. When I hear that name, a certain image and impression jumps into my minds eye and this picture is certainly NOT it. What I took away from this chance encounter was that each of us on this earth have been young once. We have each been all of the different preceding ages that come before the one we currently have. In our daily lives we meet and know other people who are older or much older than us all and that age and image is what often frames my entire perspective of them as a person. The hard thing to remember is that, all of my older friends and family were my age once and also much younger. I did not know them then and certainly do not know all of the life that they have lived. This challenges me to keep my mind open about who they are now and to ask them about their experience and wisdom. Age is not something that is still valued in this country and in not seeking out the stories of our elders and learning from them, we all miss out on the wealth of their experience as well as the stories of their lives. Everyone was somebody else sometime.

It is time for me to get around some more coffee and to start my day. It is luxurious to still be padding around the house in my flannel pants and a hoodie at 6:30 in the morning. I am going to enjoy these two days off and hope to fill them with good things and people. I am sure I will be back several times to note things down as they come to mind. These few paragraphs just are what happened to be on my mind at the moment. Wherever you are, have a good day.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

This is all we get

There are days when a moment in time, a thought, a simple idea, coalesces and one become serenely and terrifyingly aware of ones own existence. The myriad autumnal colors on a single leaf still clinging to the branch as the winds blow wetly filled with the damp against your cheek become almost too unbearably beautiful and complex to bear, much less comprehend.

This is such one moment for me.

Life is instantly real, burgeoning with teeming possibility and adrift on wafting memories that flit all too quickly past my singular grasp of the present. All is rushing, swirling, passing, frozen, suspended, stretching, sliding, dropping, clanging, toning, chanting, whispering, touching and leaving. All at once.  Everything is happening and I am aware. I am present. I am still enough, quieted in my core, resonating, reaching within and without of myself to simply be.

Such is the grasp of just one moment of clarity.

Life is full of millions of these moments.

Some I have caught ephemerally and lived. Others have passed me by as I hurried on in my quest and rushing about to get to the next when. The following where. Seeking the new whom. And in not stopping and looking up...I have missed them.

This is all we get.

And it is magnificent.

And it is oh, so very beautiful.


Monday, October 22, 2012


Off Work

I just got home from working for the 14th day in a row and I am incredibly thankful to be home and to have tomorrow off completely to myself with nothing scheduled that can be remotely construed as constructive. I changed into some comfy sweat shorts, an old favorite t-shirt and currently have my feet up and am relaxing listening to some good music.

The car and house are both clean. All my laundry and errands are done, the bills are paid and the to-do list is completely blank. I have a stack of new movies to watch, a bag of books to read, a full pantry and fridge of groceries and I am pretty sure I am just going to hole up at home for the next 36 hours. My phone will be off but if you really need me, shoot me a text. I promise to pick up my phone a few times tomorrow and check to make sure no one has died or is in dire need of something. If in doubt...call your mother.

I hope to set aside some time tomorrow morning to download some of my thoughts from the past two weeks here and generally catch up on my life. I know that one day off is not all that much, but I am grateful for even a bit of time to myself, out of the Kitchen and not on stage feeding guests and taking care of others. "Me time" is a very important commodity and I certainly do not take it for granted. Until I have something to say, I will be over here relaxing. :)


Friday, October 19, 2012

And around I go

I feel a bit remiss for not having written and shared thoughts here for quite some time, over ten days by my count. I have been working and not much else it seems. Due to scheduled vacations of others and the incredible amount of events booked for this month, I feel that I have been living in the kitchens at work. I have been working since the 9th of this month and have found a certain easy pattern and rhythm to each day. I get up at 3:30 am, start the coffee pot, hop in the shower, shave and grab a cup to sip and wake up while sitting outside thinking. Once that cup is gone, I dress for work, close up the house and hit the road. Working days can be as short as eight hours and as long as seventeen hours, depending on what contracts we have in house so I cook and cook and cook.

Once off of work, I usually have a short list of errands I run on my way home. Incidental trips to the grocery store, gas station, bank, cleaners and any of the myriad of details that make up my life. Once home, I have been eating, doing some reading, watching a few movies a chapter at a time, resting and then getting to bed early. It is a simple pattern but I have to say it has its merits. The days go round and round and there are no surprises. I awake. I work. I sleep. I do it all again.

That is how I have been spending my time the last two weeks. I still think of many things. The questions I have about life are still ever present, I just do not have much time to reflect and share on them here. Even now my dinner is in the oven, I will eat and read for a while and then be in bed by eight pm to settle down and rest before rising again long before sunrise.

I am thankful for this busy time. It keeps me occupied and focused on the simple things. While my mind strays at times while driving or I get lost in thought in the few moments I find to myself, I need to be distracted from all the things that press on in the back of my mind and heart. Maybe this time, as it goes, will bring me a measure of healing and rest. I will return when I have something to say or share.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Benny's Gym

This simple film took me back to my youth. I remember those times, feelings and confusing friendships. Beautifully done.


A moment to listen and read.

Words and thoughts are slippery things indeed. I have been awake for over six hours today, taking in the day and whiling away the time, happy and content to be at home, but still in many ways lost in thought and an inner turmoil and fog that seems to steal away, in little bits, at the purpose of my being.

I look at pictures collected and assembled by another and let my mind turn to day dreams. Music plays softly in the background and my feet are comfortably propped up on my desk as I write here. A cold beaded bottle of water, a sturdy, rugged earthen mug full of strong coffee are my sole companions and dappled sunlight filters through the leaves of the trees, dancing and wandering in golden spots over the floor. I often pause and simply sit. A walk around the yard left me looking intently at my different plants and bushes as they slowly change in response to the cooler days and even colder nights. Time is passing by.

Solitude can, at times, be a very beautiful thing. To shut out all the noise, bedlam, cacophony of the outside world and spend time with oneself. To truly think and let my mind wander. So many questions unanswered as of yet remain, but that seems to be a constant state of being at times. Curiosity will always be a friend of mine. I wonder a lot. I have wandered near and far.

This is my one day off. A span of time carved out of a week for me. Each one holds a space of opportunity for many things, but lately, my interest in so many things has waned. I lose myself in books and to my music. Writing has not held much for me but that does not mean it has no worth. Even now I sit here and put words together trying to define this slightly odd feeling that seems to hover over me and turn inside me. I am rested and fed. Nothing that I can describe is bothering me. Perhaps it is the changing of the seasons, the unrest of being a man and a wistful longing for what was with a dash of hope for what will be.

It is on days like these that I miss people. Faces, names, friends and places that have come and gone over the years as people often do. I miss love. That spot in my heart that is so often filled with thoughts of another and becomes the residence of that spark that holds two people together seems empty. A small bare shelf on a wooden wall. A little carved curio box left open to show its missing contents. People come and go but their memories can hang around, waft by us, like smoke that never dissipates. Sometimes a memory can kick us directly in the gut with such force as to compel tears, a crumpled face and desolation, but mostly their favored guise is the simple, wistful longing like a far away train whistle and clatter as it moves further away on its way to someone or some when else.

I will sit in the space today and be present. There is much to be learned from difference. Missing things is perfectly okay. It does not draw me down into a pitying state of mind, but rather graces my mind, face and heart with a smile of thankfulness for what we have shared. To sense the loss and longing that goes with absence illustrates fully what amazing love and life we have had. You cannot miss what you never have had.

Slippery things these words are, I tell you. But who can hold onto even one moment in time? I am going to let it keep pouring through my hands and be grateful for it all. All of it. This life.



Friday, October 5, 2012

Good morning

A few words this morning as I wake up before work. Life has settled into a new routine of early morning risings and early evenings of turning in. The work week now includes an extra day for myself but I am slowly adjusting to finding more free time in the afternoon and evenings, rather than two days off, as has been traditional.

Not a lot on my mind, to be honest. Awoke to odd dreams of church, old friends, hot rod cars, helicopters, bullying with just a sprinkling of sex in there to keep it all strange.

Coffee tastes good this morning. I seem to have lost my muse for words. I am content with life and find in each day a certain peace and symmetry to my work and time spent. Fall is upon us and this brisk morning makes me smile.

I hope you are all well, wherever and however you may be. I think I will hit the shower and start my day.


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself

I find most "self-help" themed writing to be hapless quackery at best. Typically it is just some ego-stroking, blame shifting excuse fodder that precludes common sense and wastes the life and time it takes to wade through it. This short list proved to be an exception to that rule. It isn't nice, doesn't spare your feelings and could care less if you like it or not. In short, it's the hard mean conversation we all need to have with ourselves periodically but don't have the guts to do. Take a look if you like. I came away with some good ideas. Consider it a good smack of reality up side your head.

When you stop chasing the wrong things you give
the right things a chance to catch you.
30 Things to Stop Doing to YourselfAs Maria Robinson once said, “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”  Nothing could be closer to the truth.  But before you can begin this process of transformation you have to stop doing the things that have been holding you back.
Here are some ideas to get you started:
  1. Stop spending time with the wrong people. – Life is too short to spend time with people who suck the happiness out of you.  If someone wants you in their life, they’ll make room for you.  You shouldn’t have to fight for a spot.  Never, ever insist yourself to someone who continuously overlooks your worth.  And remember, it’s not the people that stand by your side when you’re at your best, but the ones who stand beside you when you’re at your worst that are your true friends.
  2. Stop running from your problems. – Face them head on.  No, it won’t be easy.  There is no person in the world capable of flawlessly handling every punch thrown at them.  We aren’t supposed to be able to instantly solve problems.  That’s not how we’re made.  In fact, we’re made to get upset, sad, hurt, stumble and fall.  Because that’s the whole purpose of living – to face problems, learn, adapt, and solve them over the course of time.  This is what ultimately molds us into the person we become.
  3. Stop lying to yourself. – You can lie to anyone else in the world, but you can’t lie to yourself.  Our lives improve only when we take chances, and the first and most difficult chance we can take is to be honest with ourselves.  Read The Road Less Traveled.
  4. Stop putting your own needs on the back burner. – The most painful thing is losing yourself in the process of loving someone too much, and forgetting that you are special too.  Yes, help others; but help yourself too.  If there was ever a moment to follow your passion and do something that matters to you, that moment is now.
  5. Stop trying to be someone you’re not. – One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that’s trying to make you likeeveryone else.  Someone will always be prettier, someone will always be smarter, someone will always be younger, but they will never be you.  Don’t change so people will like you.  Be yourself and the right people will love the real you.
  6. Stop trying to hold onto the past. – You can’t start the next chapter of your life if you keep re-reading your last one.
  7. Stop being scared to make a mistake. – Doing something and getting it wrong is at least ten times more productive than doing nothing.  Every success has a trail of failures behind it, and every failure is leading towards success.  You end up regretting the things you did NOT do far more than the things you did.
  8. Stop berating yourself for old mistakes. – We may love the wrong person and cry about the wrong things, but no matter how things go wrong, one thing is for sure, mistakes help us find the person and things that are right for us.  We all make mistakes, have struggles, and even regret things in our past.  But you are not your mistakes, you are not your struggles, and you are here NOW with the power to shape your day and your future.  Every single thing that has ever happened in your life is preparing you for a moment that is yet to come.
  9. Stop trying to buy happiness. – Many of the things we desire are expensive.  But the truth is, the things that really satisfy us are totally free – love, laughter and working on our passions.
  10. Stop exclusively looking to others for happiness. – If you’re not happy with who you are on the inside, you won’t be happy in a long-term relationship with anyone else either.  You have to create stability in your own life first before you can share it with someone else.  Read Stumbling on Happiness.
  11. Stop being idle. – Don’t think too much or you’ll create a problem that wasn’t even there in the first place.  Evaluate situations and take decisive action.  You cannot change what you refuse to confront.  Making progress involves risk.  Period!  You can’t make it to second base with your foot on first.
  12. Stop thinking you’re not ready. – Nobody ever feels 100% ready when an opportunity arises.  Because most great opportunities in life force us to grow beyond our comfort zones, which means we won’t feel totally comfortable at first.
  13. Stop getting involved in relationships for the wrong reasons. – Relationships must be chosen wisely.  It’s better to be alone than to be in bad company.  There’s no need to rush.  If something is meant to be, it will happen – in the right time, with the right person, and for the best reason. Fall in love when you’re ready, not when you’re lonely.
  14. Stop rejecting new relationships just because old ones didn’t work. – In life you’ll realize that there is a purpose for everyone you meet.  Some will test you, some will use you and some will teach you.  But most importantly, some will bring out the best in you.
  15. Stop trying to compete against everyone else. – Don’t worry about what others are doing better than you.  Concentrate on beating your own records every day.  Success is a battle between YOU and YOURSELF only.
  16. Stop being jealous of others. – Jealousy is the art of counting someone else’s blessings instead of your own.  Ask yourself this:  “What’s something I have that everyone wants?”
  17. Stop complaining and feeling sorry for yourself. – Life’s curveballs are thrown for a reason – to shift your path in a direction that is meant for you.  You may not see or understand everything the moment it happens, and it may be tough.  But reflect back on those negative curveballs thrown at you in the past.  You’ll often see that eventually they led you to a better place, person, state of mind, or situation.  So smile!  Let everyone know that today you are a lot stronger than you were yesterday, and you will be.
  18. Stop holding grudges. – Don’t live your life with hate in your heart.  You will end up hurting yourself more than the people you hate.  Forgiveness is not saying, “What you did to me is okay.”  It is saying, “I’m not going to let what you did to me ruin my happiness forever.”  Forgiveness is the answer… let go, find peace, liberate yourself!  And remember, forgiveness is not just for other people, it’s for you too.  If you must, forgive yourself, move on and try to do better next time.
  19. Stop letting others bring you down to their level. – Refuse to lower your standards to accommodate those who refuse to raise theirs.
  20. Stop wasting time explaining yourself to others. – Your friends don’t need it and your enemies won’t believe it anyway.  Just do what you know in your heart is right.
  21. Stop doing the same things over and over without taking a break. – The time to take a deep breath is when you don’t have time for it.  If you keep doing what you’re doing, you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.  Sometimes you need to distance yourself to see things clearly.
  22. Stop overlooking the beauty of small moments. – Enjoy the little things, because one day you may look back and discover they were the big things.  The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.
  23. Stop trying to make things perfect. – The real world doesn’t reward perfectionists, it rewards people who get things done.  Read Getting Things Done.
  24. Stop following the path of least resistance. – Life is not easy, especially when you plan on achieving something worthwhile.  Don’t take the easy way out.  Do something extraordinary.
  25. Stop acting like everything is fine if it isn’t. – It’s okay to fall apart for a little while.  You don’t always have to pretend to be strong, and there is no need to constantly prove that everything is going well.  You shouldn’t be concerned with what other people are thinking either – cry if you need to – it’s healthy to shed your tears.  The sooner you do, the sooner you will be able to smile again.
  26. Stop blaming others for your troubles. – The extent to which you can achieve your dreams depends on the extent to which you take responsibility for your life.  When you blame others for what you’re going through, you deny responsibility – you give others power over that part of your life.
  27. Stop trying to be everything to everyone. – Doing so is impossible, and trying will only burn you out.  But making one person smile CAN change the world.  Maybe not the whole world, but their world.  So narrow your focus.
  28. Stop worrying so much. – Worry will not strip tomorrow of its burdens, it will strip today of its joy.  One way to check if something is worth mulling over is to ask yourself this question: “Will this matter in one year’s time?  Three years?  Five years?”  If not, then it’s not worth worrying about.
  29. Stop focusing on what you don’t want to happen. – Focus on what you do want to happen.  Positive thinking is at the forefront of every great success story.  If you awake every morning with the thought that something wonderful will happen in your life today, and you pay close attention, you’ll often find that you’re right.
  30. Stop being ungrateful. – No matter how good or bad you have it, wake up each day thankful for your life.  Someone somewhere else is desperately fighting for theirs.  Instead of thinking about what you’re missing, try thinking about what you have that everyone else is missing.