Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Disney + IceCube = Apocalypse

In a discussion with my husband about whether past homophobic, classically remembered, stand up material now warrants Eddie Murphy to usher in Disney 'family-oriented' Fun as a well meaning and <dare I use the word?> snarky Donkey, I couldn't help but wonder how one makes such a spectacular ascension to mainstream America. Unless you consider in IceCube, whose former musical ditties such as 'Straight out of Compton' and 'F*ck the Police' are a stone's throw from the 'Are We There Yet?' franchise in originality these days, but you have to admit you'd be judged on the parenting skill for endorsing the former music samples as suitable for children. They're undeniably damn catchy songs, but if your kids were exposed to them you'd probably cringe a bit, after you ceased wanting to hit whomever was listening in their earshot with a bat.

Before anyone jumps all over me, it's really not that both these "actors" are African American. I know the most racist thing a fat, white, American guy can say these days is "I'm not a racist", so alas, my hands are tied and I'm going to have to let my real life actions justify any kind of assumptions and cross the threshold of name calling and mud slinging. What's the worst thing that could happen? Sticks and Stones, so they say, May Break My Bones. Words do hurt, and for some reason some stories last forever, factual or otherwise.

 Having such a successful pr team to reinvent yourself should probably be available for mass consumption, I'm sure I know of people who'd love to shed the skin of their former past. <This of course being a 'snake' euphemism and in no way related to color or creed. After all, let's face it; Snakes come in many more interesting and dazzling colors than humans and they do, in fact, regularly shed their skins.> Want to know more? Google it, or better still? Go to the library and support the fact that it's open to share information and not just a place where 'hobo's' go to take 'ho baths'; Pun intentionally made.

If the common man can be held accountable for the events leading to their nicknames and rumors that follow from childhood to their 25th high school reunion <and counting>, what secrets of evolution need to be uncovered to justify the reinvention of any one's personality, past history, or what was then rated NC17 now being completely acceptable to the General Audience if there is a rating system <and I cautiously suggest there is>?

I'm nearly sure that just like the Eddie Murphy 'Blue' album where he's in his blue leather suit, and which for some unexplainable reason you can't find anywhere anymore in a world where EVERYTHING is available on EBay or Amazon.Com., tales don't need to be commercially available. The past exploits of the common man don't need formal documentation. They survive rather in Urban Legend  rather than constant radio airplay or television saturation. Of the many examples, the ones that jump immediately to mind are the internally factually based reasons I never bought another Rod Stewart album after 1977 and still believe that kid Mikey in the LIFE cereal commercials is dead because he ate POP Rocks and drank COKE at the same time. I'm pretty sure I don't need to explain why I believe these things to anyone in my age group; This information isn't available in books or on video but is believed based of how old I was when I heard it, and the credibility I granted to the person sharing it.

History, they say, is damned to repeat itself. I, however, can't help questioning the Bible or most events I've read historical accounts for when it's currently ingrained in my logic that in some future eulogy, memoir, or E Hollywood Story some serious, honest, damning truth will be omitted. It's not the writer's I blame, I save blame for the editors and wonder about the motives; At the same time? I sometimes wonder where the hell in the Yellow Pages these editors are listed, and what the current rates are to legendarily and metaphorically 'Wipe Your Slate Clean'. No, not for me.... it's for a friend.  :)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

You Only THINK You Make Sense At 4:30 A.M.

That 'At 4:30 A.M.' is probably not necessary.... but who cares?

John and I had our <read HIS> granddaughter over all this week, her Mom was called away and at a dinner party with too much wine I remembered uttering 'You don't need to ask us, just drop her off whenever you want!' before thinking about the repercussions of what so casually spilled out of my mouth... After the wine did of course.

This week has been too much fun in more ways than I'd thought it'd have been. It's nice when your jokes are new to a young audience, John and I had an outline for what we were going to accomplish that was pretty much discarded by Tuesday, and it's been awesome to have such an enthusiastic addition to the household. I could be sarcastic here but anyone with ANY life experience will tell you that when you have a guest for a week you remind yourself later of what you meant to do and wonder why you didn't do it. NOT the case here, it's been a week of nonstop chatter, laughing, constant exercise <both physically and mentally>, and in summary? I'd do it again. I wouldn't, however, do it again NEXT week.

There are things only an 8 year old can say to you that would be devastating if anyone older than 8 said them to you and it's been hard to maintain a straight face in wake of such abstract, non malice based truths. Sometimes you want to burst out laughing, sometimes you want to return the insult until you hopefully remember 'you're the adult here', sometimes you have to wait til later to dissect 'what the hell just happened?', but in a battle of wits? An 8 year old who isn't giving you a run for your money is either watching TV at the time or is completely disinterested in you and what you're saying.  I'll take the alternative of having someone who reveals to me I am old, I am boring, and the 'off' button I didn't think I had is CLEARLY trumped by her COMPLETE lack thereof.

Our walk to the beach in the morning included a coconut I'd never have considered carrying back home to draw on, instead of walking through the garden noticing nothing we skateboarded all over the garden more than once, and the times in the shops that I had the opportunity to leisurely stroll the toy department and see exactly what I'm missing by not being a kid anymore without looking creepy  <try doing that alone as a middle aged man without being reminded that only The Boogey Man strolls the toy department in any shop alone... EVER!>, I did get to see a few things outside the unexpectedly rigid confines that I believed I didn't have. When you find out what a kid thinks of you it forces you to open your eyes and redefine what you think of you, whether it's a really really good discovery or something to add to the 'self improvement super check list' any respectably insecure person wouldn't leave the house without scrolling through.

So? I've been told I'm old, fat, weird, goofy, evil, and a whole list of other adjectives that I still can't approach without whimpering a bit about when I whisper them out loud, but with the exception of John who I must say is enjoying our second honeymoon phase nearly as much as I am, it's incredibly reassuring to be accepted for who you are in the eyes of someone who'd clearly let you know otherwise because of an  awesome natural ability tell only the truth, the truth from her perspective anyway. I'm going to work a bit more on convincing her that I'm not fat. That one really stung.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

45th Birthday Presence

I'm going to leave out the facts.. those being that I was racing to Sydney to celebrate not only John's birthday but mine as well, and a very anticipated 'Happy Anniversary' that was long overdue considering we were married October 28th... The God's <as if> planned a great arrival gift, in the form of a Total Solar Eclipse that was dimmed by the overcast weather south of Sydney in what's known properly as Botany Bay, but these were small details to consider.. especially since I had endured a thirty hour travel time to arrive in the rain at six a.m. and as an added bonus? Well, the flight was entirely under booked and though there were imbeciles who paid top dollar to recline in first class I can report that everyone in the coach section commandeered three seats, three pillows, and three blankets and stretched across their row and I dozed off last noticing the online mapping system had estimated 14.75 hours of travel remaining to our destination. I woke up and looked at the map again and got sexually aroused when the remaining estimated time was 2.33 hours. I had slept adequately to celebrate my birthday not only lucidly but well rested and down right perky!

After a long awaited embrace and public display of affection that made the nappy hairs on the Muslims in our proximity cringe? Well, then it was champagne on our balcony culminating in a great dinner party attended by  one of our daughters and granddaughters, complete with two versions of Happy Birthday, and I am saddened to report one version was NOT 'Lethal Weapon Style'.. see the movie, I like that version best.

It's been two days now and I'm remembering certain protocol, and having to remember our ATM password <Indeed I took the card to shop and was completely embarrassed to report that I couldn't remember my number but that 'no, you aren't taking my card'> and a myriad of other social etiquette functions like if you're trying to get someones attention? Whistling at 110 decibels is only polite if you're hailing a cab in Manhattan. Anywhere else? Well, you're going to scare the bejeezus out of not only the shop c.s.r. but also anyone standing in your immediate area, and then some.  Chortle.

The future is looking pretty damn bright for this middle aged married gay couple and we're currently beginning our battle plans for immigration to insure that we're never separated for three months. If I can be so bold, I was thinking it would take a garden hose with water to separate us yesterday, but that's an entirely different fact I'm also going to omit... Oh, wait... Damn it!... I guess the cat's out of the bag... or the 'rutting dog story' I wasn't going to declare.... Happy Winter/Summer, whichever applies to you, all I can report is I'm content and no material possession has ever provided me with the happiness I now experience.. I wish the same for everyone. Happiness is just blissful and priceless.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Halloween, a holiday not ruined by make believe Gods... yet.

Halloween is still one of those holidays that people spend money on... to the tune of an estimated ten billion dollars this year alone. Yet, in a pinch situation, many of us can concoct a costume with items found in our kitchens, our medicine cabinets, and our dirty laundry hampers. Imagination rarely costs money, but the therapy required when creativity reaches twisted and damaging levels can rarely be paid for, so it's important if your children are going to be rendered sociopaths due to ignorance, it's important for the damage to be great...and permanent; disability insurance doesn't pay the bills for those with intermittent symptoms, and children who are merely weird and disassociated these days are a dime a dozen. Yes, they are.

With relatively little money, and just a bit of pizzazz you can represent yourself in a Halloween costume that is not only functional, but will surely have your children remembered as the 'pariah's to avoid' for generations to come.

In the coming weeks, not only will Halloween be discussed for it's true meaning, the candy, but we'll also be debunking popular mythology and in general be celebrating what is still hands down the last remaining holiday to be whored out by the machine, unless you count Anne Romney dressed as a whore, with Mitt in his Tin Man costume which never fails to entertain for it's commentary not only on his 'thoughtful' character, but to perpetuate and invigorate the gay right's movement,  which we all know he highly approves of.

Enjoy the coming month for all it's creepy creepiness, from Dracula costumes to some guy dressed as a  big Boehner? Feelings will be hurt, belief's will be questioned, and in the end, we'll all cast our vote for best costume, and try to for once not just award it to the Elvira with the real hair and big boobs, because really?? Doesn't she walk around like that more or less all the time, minus the cleavage??

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

If I'd Known I'd Have Stayed.... Home?

Before you start thinking whatever it is you're thinking, I've explained dozens of times that a single conversation with me can probably solve years and years of speculation, hypothetical conjecture, and the simply rude tradition of gossip that has been embraced concerning my well being, or let's face it, my complete lack of well being and whether or not I've traveled to not only another country, but to that celestial dimension where you can say anything about me free from any kind of repercussion, without fear of any evidence to the contrary that disproves your theories. I had no idea I was that interesting and frankly still don't harbor the idea at all that I am, but for when I have this all too common exchange.

You - "I heard you were dead."  Me - "Yeah, I get that a lot."

Of course when it comes down to apologizing for not having achieved even such low set standards or a goal such as this, I guess the alternative is to smile and be gracious for such well wishes, genuinely say I have no complaints aside from the satire I write  not paying for every extravagance and the only real tragedy that I haven't found a writer or conversationalist who  makes me laugh harder than I make myself laugh. In the process I not only convince people I haven't died while at the same time making most wish more than ever that I finally will or will soon. Aside from my Mom, people can't take this perky morning person for more than short doses, and anyone who knows me will have to admit to being exhausted by me in some way, shape or form, perky being a cute word for a classic mania disorder. I can apologize for still being alive but you know I kind of wish I had someone who brought a bit of excitement into my life, then had the manners and insight to know when it was time to exit without being subtly urged or not so subtly urged. Would I tell me to go? Probably. Would I have sex with me first? Yes! If I met me, I'd definitely jump my bones. Such is taking that extra effort to not only entertain while at the same time to  repel; it makes it easier for me to just up and leave without having to make up any excuses, or you asking me to have to make excuses. Everybody wins..... Yay, everybody!

That having been said, although I admit freely I have trust issues, there are people, premises, and conclusions that I wholly trust. Among them I trust that my life has only been made more interesting by decisions made by me, for me,  or about me. I trust that I will be misunderstood in the long run, and I trust that in my final moments I'm going to make every attempt to combine humor and insight in my epitaph and fail miserably.

I've luckily met John, a person who can endure me for longer periods of time than I can endure myself, so before this dips too deeply into a depressing tone, don't pity me at all. Pity him for all the wrong words I will spell at the Scrabble table, the messages I will misinterpret or even conjure from nothingness and react to, but most of all pity him having to listen to rants similar to these on a daily basis, maybe even hourly; I have no idea what I do to tip the scales into such favorable conditions considered 'long term happiness', but he seems as happy as I am, which is believe it or not a happiness I hadn't seen coming. Aside from the short doses of laughter I administer to myself, he's dreadfully handsome, consistently patient, and in his cantankerous way provides what I hope to be a continually interesting environment for entertainment for the both of us.

Where's the funny story? - what I heard over my shoulder, and what I've come to expect interjected in my few paragraphs of self centered prose...

I was fifteen, and was at a party held by my best friend in the world then and now. I believe I drank less than three warm, skanked beers. In my defense, they were Heffenreffer's or 'head wreckers' and they lived up to their expectations. I'd also smoked half a marijuana cigarette with a friend, something all teenagers were doing then, I was nervous, especially at parties. I left the party, returned home to my Mom's house, and visibly intoxicated sat in a rocking chair and prepared myself for the interrogation process. I accidentally left my jacket pocket open and had exposed my bottle of Visine,  noting that in some cases it's impossible to 'get the red out'. Mom yelled, questioned, and threatened to limit my freedoms, and tell my best friends Mom what had happened at her house while she was gone. Facing such actions, it's natural to feel complete nausea, and I got up and rushed to the bathroom. With my Mom blocking the way to the door, I throw up all over myself, the hallway, and most importantly, my Mom. Although I'm practically blacked out drunk, the sensation and taste of skanked warm beer coming out of your nose has a strangely sobering effect. I don't remember anything else after that for the rest of the night.

If you're thinking this isn't a funny story? You're completely wrong, you just need to hear me tell it. This is a fact. You may hear other accounts of this story but for some reason, I've never heard a version of this story that makes me laugh more than my version of this story, and I was hardly even there. That's my point I guess, it's not the story, it's the story teller that's important, and if you want me to tell a factual account recalling the horrible parts and tell a horrible story that will hardly be remembered? That's your choice. If you want a  factual account of the same event with emphasis on the entertaining aspects, with maybe a little bit of embellishment for the sake of entertainment? See? I thought so. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

All We Really Are is Matter, But Really? Who Matters?

Today I've been in Massachusetts for two weeks since leaving my husband  <aww>  in Australia due to immigration concerns. I'm staying with someone I'd call my best friend, but 'best friend' doesn't seem to do our friendship justice. She recently bought a house with her better half and together, and with their two dogs of course, they invited me temporarily, and after a while, have said I can stay longer. When I wanted to discuss rent the conversation was a surprising one; They'd not considered charging me any and I wouldn't accept 'no rent' as an option. A truly unique agreement and discussion ensues. In what world does your host tell you your twelve week stay is for gratis? In which parallel world does the guest insist on paying rent and expenses? Certainly this has never happened on my doorstep or when I step on someone else' welcome mat. They're truly excellent hosts, and if you know me personally you know who they are, no one needs to be mentioned by name with the exception of the dogs who go by the names Bruno and Bernie McLovin. You can't make this sh#t up, can you?

My room is the 'man cave' of the house, I say this so you know that someone has made a major concession in my staying here. Truly a good guy letting the male friend of his female partner stay in the only place he can escape to a wonderful  land complete with a large flat screen television, a leather recliner, and a door; A door that can shut out  estrogen, essence of canine, or any other outer turbulence, I can't thank him enough, or even correctly. Neither of us communicate very well verbally so it's hopefully a given that one person is generous and the other is appreciative. The door shuts, I am able to escape into what seems to be too many television channels on an Australian level, and I can miss John to my heart's content and make appearances and conversation on a basis that is mutually acceptable. Have you ever tried to host people who require too much micromanagement? You wind up wishing they'd  leave sooner than they ever will. Have you ever tried to stay with people who plan every minute of your stay resulting in the need for a rest when you return home? You wind up wishing you never went as soon as you ever did.

I find it funny that whenever I leave the cave to enter to the house, the dogs seem to not remember that I ever arrived. They are as fiercely defensive as two very small dogs can be given my large stature, and to see a strange long haired, bearded, and what I call 'stocky' individual entering their domain they are vocal in their serious yet humorous system of protecting their loved ones and their many possessions. The are defensive every time I enter as well, I disappear apparently long enough that they simply forget that I am staying in their home. It could be that I'm just not important enough to them to be memorable, but that would damage my sense of self and I never want to admit to having an ego that is so fragile that two lesser mammals could maim it or chew it in play-like fashion as they do with their squirrel toys and balls.

Today is also the eleventh anniversary date of the passing of my Mom. It's impossible for me to be sad, I do miss her, but all the lady ever did was make me laugh and give me unconditional love while at the same time I remember trying to outsmart her while giving her every gray hair she ever had on her head. I love to tell stories about her, I love to remember her, and she's one of/if not most important person I've been lucky to have in my life. I hate the fact that I can buy an option on my cell phone to talk to my hubby 9000 miles away but there's still no 'celestial' calling plan. I have so many things to say, from the newest jokes and what's happening in my life to snitching on my sister which I probably turned into an art form. My sister has never been a patron of such artwork and when thinking about it I can absolutely understand why.

So, I choose to write today about people who matter in my life. Whether it be people so close that you and they may sometime wish there was more or less space, people with whom there's too much space distancing you and you wish 9000 miles was made more simply passable by teleport all ready, and people with whom there's a complete dimensional and impossible to measure gap that can only seem smaller when you use your imagination and memory, these people are close to you.

When you matter to someone such as your friends, family, and husband it's probably because of something you do or have done. When you don't matter to someone such as two protective canine's who know where all their toys are yet can't remember you exist at all within two hours? Hopefully that's because of something you do or have done and not due to the fact that you were completely forgettable to begin with.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Wedding Video aka How the Hell did I get so Lucky?

Wedding Video.. John and Brian 10/29/2011

This is a very short entry. When I got to Boston, I was happy for about twenty minutes.
I'm very excited to see my friends and to visit places I haven't seen in a long time.
But this video is exactly what my life is about now, and I don't lose sight of it,
and it sustains me and let's me know whatever is happening here it less important than
what I'm missing at home. John, you're nothing short of amazing and I love you.


Copy and paste the above link and you can watch my life become complete in
seven and a half minutes. Shalom

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Bored Views From a Broad... Abroad

Sitting here two days away from my long trip back to the USA, a trip I'm reluctantly making, but making because it's easier to do my final changes in person than by proxy, the phone, or the internet. I think it's funny that the internet will take your credit card as your identity for a multitude of purchases ranging from iTunes to some of the most sordid pornography one has ever accidentally <my story and sticking to it> discovered while Googling. You can't legally change your name in another country, and to be completely honest? I have no Australian healthcare, but pay for American healthcare and my sight woes and sight ability these days are as important as Free HBO you get on cable for those weekend passes..... I want it for as long as it's available, but I won't be surprised the day I find out it's been discontinued with no warning... after all, easy come, easy go, right? But it never hurts to stop by the cable company and apply for an extension.

I've had as much fun as one can have in a new country that's also supposed to have become my home over the last eight or so months, I can now shop and be unapologetic when I push people out of the way to get what to what I want, like say.. the counter. Being rude isn't an instinctive quality, but I prefer 'survival of the fittest', here, if you don't nudge your way in eventually? You're not getting in without assertive tactics... from the teenagers with absolutely no time to spare or the elderly ethnic woman in or out of  the rascal scooter, who also apparently has more pressing issues than you; It's obvious from the way she runs over your toes with not so much as a look in your general direction but the minute the sales clerk says 'Who's next?' and you honestly assert that it was you? That's when you get the look of disdain whether it's from behind a spectacled white haired Aussie woman or the more emotional gaze you receive from someone in a full burka. The eyes really are the windows to the soul after all, aren't they? Do you know what it looks/sounds like when you're receiving a curse from a Greek woman? I do now thanks to my transplantation here, and my inability to be endlessly polite when I too would like to make purchases and return home at an appropriate time to lunch.

I would not like any cheese with my whine today. That's not my point. I'm nearly sure it isn't.

I've decided to make my trip now because under existing law, I need to leave the country for at least ninety days before I can be issued a new Visa. There's a show called 'Custom's Wars' that I watch with fear; Fear that I'm ultimately going to be the next 'contestant' who gets nervous, befuddled, insulted, and turned away at the border of the country that separates my husband from me. Being turned away comes with a bonus prize of a 'three year exclusion', three years without seeing John unless he comes to America may as well be called  'three years without seeing John'. For him it was a nice place to visit, but it's not in his top fifty places that he'd like to return to right away. Dare I have to save money for months on end to be reunited with my loved one in Istanbul? Indonesia? New Zealand? I have no problem going to these places as long as I don't have to speak. Once your American accent is recognized everything is more expensive, everyone talks more quickly so you don't hear ALL the insults, and I have to admit when John and I shop even in Sydney I tend to shut up in spite of my all to ready and willing middle finger which makes appearances by reflex, it's like I honestly have nothing to do with it anymore. It is my alter ego which is unrecognizable only to me. Did you know the middle finger is NOT the universal sign for 'f*ck you'? I can tell you it's not. I had a series of pictures taken of me and when Mr. Middle made his appearances, everyone thought I was pointing and would look in the general direction he was directed at. It's humiliating to not be able to quickly and quietly insult people as you have the right as American to do as well as I once could. I feel less empowered without that....er .. power.

Anyway, after ninety days, I should be able to reenter the country for another questionable period or permanently, depending on the decisions of the parliament, if they decide to act at all or put it off for another year, as happened in 2012. I have however promised not only John and our newly extended family but also dear friends of ours that I would be attending our wedding anniversary, John and I have birthday's separated by only two days in November, there's Christmas on Bondi Beach which is supposed to be a midnite bonfire experience that would be cold if it weren't for the summer weather in Sydney, southern hemisphere capital of the world. Crosby, Still's, and Nash' 'Southern Cross'? Yup, we've got it, though I have to admit the song is better than the actual constellation, which I found boring compared to say 'delphinius' or 'o'rien'. I've also invited and intend to honor introducing all these wonderful new people in my life to a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, complete from the beginning nuts to ending pie. I have a separate entry as far as Thanksgiving food and how I address it. My father worshiped Archie Bunker the way some people here idolize Mohammed, and let's face it, Thanksgiving is this weird holiday with a history of betrayal, underhandedness, accidental intoxication and manipulation of emotions, and separation of good and evil spirits' intentions at the table. That's only in my family Thankgivings, with NO regard whatsoever of the HISTORICAL significances of the holiday. Try explaining to anyone who isn't American why Thanksgiving is a national holiday and make it a game of counting how many times you have to say 'no, you don't understand' before figuring out that you probably don't understand how ruthless and barbaric it is to celebrate it. I'd feel worse about it but hell, we're in sunny Australia and when someone points out how horrible we were to our Nations original civilization at least I have the ability to throw in my two cents about theirs, and we can sit and argue about who treated who worse over too many cocktails, a myriad of food, and a cornucopia of different personalities all ready to chime in their idiotic, drunken opinions. And isn't that what Thanksgiving's always been about? Or was that only at my house? See you in the States, you big old sillies.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Can I have a 2nd Opinion? Ok, You're Ugly as Well!

I'd like to thank the people who invented the premise that bad things can only happen on Friday the 13th. It tends to make people more pensive in their actions if only for one out of 365 days in a year, and that's only if you're prone to put any credence into the premise. Albert Einstein worded it simply, "Time only exists so everything doesn't happen at once". For those people with real life experience and a bit of insight or hindsight, time line speed is what changes a ride on a merry go round from a frolicking event that a child remembers fondly into something akin to 'shaken baby syndrome', an event that a child will probably not remember too fondly if at all considering the damage that can be done. They're the same motions and movements, just forced into a shorter time frame making those actions more jarring and injurious.

While traversing life's floor routine you're only as stable as you were completing your last action as you head into your next action, depending on your rate of speed and recovery time between those actions. Landing a bit askew in your footing and you're not in a perfect position to focus on your chosen future path, and in life we've been told that our movements should be a fluid perfect motion, our actions to be exacting and occurring as though planned in advance with the absence of effort. This is the performance we want all to be witnessed and attempts to disguise imperfections should go unnoticed to anyone else's perception.

If you land your last event on shaky ground take the time to regain your posture before your move ahead to your next endeavor. This pause may or may not go unnoticed by only your perception but your future landings will be more precise to the one's who continue to watch your performance in life.

This entry may be buried in pretension but it's not hard to understand why we don't always land where we're supposed to, why we don't have proper footing when instigating our next move, and why we find ourselves landing outside our targeted mark as often as we often do. We're not perfect machines and this is something we should be aware of and never have to apologize. That we move in any direction is by choice and not by force of anything other than ourselves. That we continue to recover and pursue our direction in spite of variables we cannot control is courageous and that we all do it at our own pace or not at all if that is our choice is our individualism. That no one can credit himself for  all of someone else's success or put blame on someone else for all of his own failures is more than likely factual. That no one has the right to judge what is a success and what is a failure to anyone but themselves is even more likely factual.

The next time you land poorly in life? Don't look at the calendar, look at the position your feet are pointed.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

"So you think you have Demons?" - A Survival Pamphlet

I was thinking of a friend we'll call Molly for anonymity's sake that I hadn't talked to for years and then was remembering that I probably wouldn't hear from her anymore for a plethora of reasons that seem to ooze effortlessly from my mouth during conversation. I guess sometimes when you don't know what to say, going with your gut instincts and spouting whatever comes into your head first can have it's repercussions. 

One of the many now famous conversations that pass through my head when I lie awake thinking about everything like I do have me convinced that humor does have it's limits even though I believe it will always be my compulsive urge to find it in any given situations. It can be summed up in this brief dialogue.

Molly - "So, you know how I told you my Mom has breast cancer? Well, we just found out that my Dad has lung cancer. He starts his radiation treatments a week after my Mom has her surgery and starts chemotherapy".

Me - "Wow, you're parents really DO enjoy doing everything together, huh"?

It was supposed to be a take on how they were probably the most functional couple I've probably known up until then or maybe even now; After how many years and how many successes and failures and children and Christmas's they were obviously still very much in love. Even Mr. Idiot with the long hair, beard, and glasses could see that. Add in that Molly's Dad was a very attractive guy, a little tidbit that I was constantly reminding Molly whenever it seemed oddly appropriate, it'd be no surprise what my comment would be on my next visit after both parents had entered into their mutual chemo/radiation treatments and would settle into the 'Edith and Archie Bunker' chairs in the living room they watched tv from, ate dinner at, and watched life pass by next to each other within radiated hands distance at any opportunity given to them. You really can't make this shit up. They are that close. 

"So, now you're Dad's 'hot' in more ways than one, ain't he?" - Even I wince when I remember saying that one.

That I take away a lesson from this now broken beyond repair friendship is important. Unfortunately, I'm not entirely convinced the lesson should be 'You can make fun of my parents' cancer, but please stop telling me how attractive you think my Dad is'... I think the lesson I came away with should be "Hey, I stopped your sadness long enough to divert it to anger at me, and I got you laughing during a very stressful series of moments in your life because it's something I'm good at".

Before you ask, both of her parents fully recovered and now spend all their free time still enjoying each others' company while chances are Molly and I will never speak to each other without yelling and free associating some clever adjectives to define how we may or may not feel about each other until we wish each other dead in one awful way or another. If there is a bright side, neither of us has ever wished cancer on the other. We both still care at least that much about each other.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Core Values vs. Schizoid Paranoia

I have beliefs I was born with and some of the mirkier/quirkier ones I've picked up along the way.

Lying and stealing are wrong, don't hang with people who do, unless you believe they won't anymore.

Have friends that keep you out of trouble, not get you into it. If they'll accept half the blame, that's okay too.

Someone teaching you a lesson is never as much adrenaline fueled fun as learning that lesson first hand.

If you can be happy without money, you can be even happier with money.

If you can't afford to tip, you can't afford to be sitting in the chair of a bar, a restaurant, or a barber.

Don't gossip. You'll eventually have to hear at least one bad review about you.

If everyone around you disagrees with you it doesn't absolutely make you wrong; well, maybe it does.

Be careful about what you wish for, you might get it. Wishing you had rent money is always a safe wish.

Life is a merry go round, not the universe. No one can be at the center of either of them.

Horrible things can turn funny afterwards. Funny things can turn horrible afterwards.

Drugs make it impossible to walk a straight line; Literally and figuratively speaking.

You never know what life has in store for you. You can't plan for surprises; if you do, it's not a surprise.

If you think magic doesn't exist, try explaining why two complete strangers can meet and find true love.

 Push the limits of comedy, time continuum, and survival safely only if you're a cartoon character.

Villians sometimes look like good people; it's then easier to take unfair advantage of good people. Good people sometimes look like Villians; it's then easier to avoid giving Villians unfair advantage. Look beyond looks.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Brian Meets John

I first met John in 2006, I want to say I was in Boston at first. I am a member of a chat site that I use almost exclusively for keeping in touch with friends. I spent time in California, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, and Massachusetts again. Phone numbers change, addresses change, but profiles on this site seem to stay, and if you're looking for someone to send a message, it's pretty much guaranteed that eventually they'll get it and return it, unlike email. The website shows people who are in your state depending on what you put as your address, and you can have a friend list to keep in touch with people everywhere. Once you have looked at everyone in your state, the profiles jumble, different locations, different people. This is how I met John, or should I say I found John? I don't have a type per se, but when I saw his face, I knew I had to look at the rest of the pictures. This being a gay site, standard protocol dictates that you say something along the lines of a pickup. You can choose standard greetings such as 'you're hot', 'woof', 'you're sexy', 'nice honker', but immediately I wanted to separate myself from the rest of the pack. I usually do this by sending something nonsexual, and wait for either question marks or 'whatever' or a pat on the head and a 'thank you'. He was Australian, he was polite, and he had a very handsome face, one that made me stop, pause, and pursue.

We started chatting in full sentences right away, and it was very comfortable to meet someone who was married but wanted to talk to someone from overseas. We had similar tastes and backgrounds, and John even showed my picture to his husband out of respect. We weren't  doing anything but chatting, just like the site said it was good for. Since the time difference was over twelve hours, it turned into weird hours for both of us when we saw each other. I looked forward to our chats, we even got clever and would have wine or drinks while we talked. It was always weird hours for one of us, the other would be drinking during regular business hours. We carried on like this for years, we were miles and miles apart, but friends. It was unlikely we'd ever meet in person, but we could talk like good friends about anything, offer objective opinions when we were having problems, and I have to admit it was nice to have someone who I could anticipate seeing online.

We were both experiencing problems that we didn't address. John's partner was sick but they'd been together for over twenty years, and believe it or not, I was homeless for a good portion of our getting to know you banter. If either had talked about these issues, we would have known exactly where we stood, but fear of the unknown made us keep our peace. Rather to have what we had than rock the boat with hardcore life issues. We both say now that it was odd that we didn't discuss these things.  I don't know about John's problems, but I can tell you the least attractive thing you can probably disclose to someone it that you're homeless and live in a shelter. Who needs or wants elaboration on that? Let's face it, it's ugly.

After John's partner passed on, he developed a traveling bone, and visited different continents, countries, and locations. It was only a matter of time before he came to the States from Australia. Unfortunately, I was also unsettled, and moved around from state to state, working, not working. We nearly missed each other one year when he visited Las Vegas, I was in Wisconsin. We laughed about that. He said he was visiting New York City, in nearly ten months, and we planned for a maybe meeting. I counted the days, really hoping that I wouldn't have to leave, and believed him when he said he'd travel the additional four hours to meet in Boston. I showed his picture off, I talked to my friends about him. I purposely didn't meet anyone close and neither did he. We had friends that couldn't believe we were planning something ten months in advance. It seemed  as though something would  screw us up. It didn't, we made our plans online to kiss as soon as we saw each other on the train platform. The Amtrack came and through the glass, facing the opposite way I knew it was John. He grabbed his bag and came through the door and indeed two bearded guys shared a kiss in South Station. John will tell you he fell in love with me on the train to my house, and I'm telling you when I saw his hat, and how tall he was, with the face I'd imagined animated and not a snapshot I knew I loved him before he came into the station.We were only supposed to be together two days, but that turned into five chaotic, spontaneous, dreadfully romantic days. The powers to be were working hard to dissuade us, we were oblivious. Once he'd left and returned to NYC, we chatted and it was different. It didn't take long for both of us to know that something wonderful had happened.

We had a real connection. He asked me to visit him for a month, I accepted. Before I left, we decided we couldn't be apart that long and he came to the States to stay with me. September sixth he came and within a few weeks we planned our wedding. We postponed the date til Halloween and each would ask "Are we really going to do this?" We were married in my sister's living room before the eyes of God October 28th. It wasn't a hasty decision if you consider how many years we'd been talking back and forth and imagining that we knew each other. Unbelievable is the fact that our imaginations were accurate. The man of my dreams and the sweetest human I know wasn't a myth at all, he was even better in person. As an added bonus, he seemed to have the same inclination towards me. How I could be so blessed I'll never know, but it must be because here we are.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Zombies Vs. the iPhone

People all over the world think Florida is a synonymous for both life and death. It's the retirement location that most of the United States citizens dream about, and nowhere else do you think of when someone says 'Neon Graveyard'. I find it funny that the fashion population of South Beach, Miami hasn't made this connection, since the disco queens  have invented, upgraded, and financed the ability to stay looking as young as possible under an unforgiving fluorescent light that is the sun. Vampires do exist, and they come out of the closet once but by their fifties only at night, sunlight is the enemy. This tends to hide the scars, wrinkles, and flaws of what once was a picture of youth. Anyone who looks past the surface can see a look of history past in someone's eyes, and convincing someone you're younger than you actually are is supposed to be the goal of both middle aged men and women. I know this isn't exclusive to Florida, but it's more obvious than even in Las Vegas where a fifty year old 'dancer' will compulsively tell you she's 29 because she's convinced herself that the reason she's stopped menstruating was due to her eating disorder rather than menopause. Age is something we all have to deal with, whether we do it in gradual steps or fight it every inch of the way til the steps become a cliff that you fall off of one night and wake up appearing 70 as if it had occurred overnight. I quote Andy Warhol's Bad - "Look's aren't everything."

I can't even begin to recreate the events that led up to quite unsavory fodder for tabloids this week. A man who's been called everything from a sweetheart to a person with real anger issues eating someone's face? I've been around for nearly 45 years and I don't think I've heard anything quite like it. Who knows what goes through someone's head that would deem this action worthy or thought in the first place. Turning the thought into action is a real stretch of what has to be psychosis, and to hear this escalation could be caused by bubble bath, or 'bath salts' is an indicator that the world has taken a most radical turn. It pains me to think that a Mother drowning all her children in a bathtub can be one upped so easily these days, and that the tabloids raced to one up the zombie apocalypse in Florida. Someone pulled their intestines out and threw them at the police? Really?

When the fear of death starts to dissolve in the heart, when someone's life has reached either it's zenith or nadir and your conscious thought has you convinced that you've seen and done all there is to do, the rational person sits and weighs his options and will generally find any direction to make forward progress in this spiritual realm, maybe by learning a musical instrument or making a career change. These can be seen as erratic or eccentric changes but who's to judge how one gets from point a to point b in their path to a complete person.

A zombie story has the ability to make the common man prefer death to a front row seat in an altercation like this and it's this trait that makes it such a dangerous event. It's one more image added to the unwritten list in people's minds in a subconscious game of "I'd rather die than..." that we play around the campfire, laying awake at night before sleep overcomes us, or while we're walking back to our cars from horror movies that have evolved from a man stitched together from spare parts of the dead.

Is it the public media that has us convinced that we should be trying to look far younger than we should lest we be unhappy or is it our decision? Is it the movies that make us think that our death has to to be a historically grotesque event lest it be remembered or are we simply bored with common passing? I like to think the world isn't that much different than when I first came into it. The desire for things I didn't need flashing on television, at the movies, and in the music I listened to didn't overcome my common sense to possess them. What more can we be convinced we need whether invented or discovered to make life worth living? 

I just want to wake up and live and laugh, know that I love and am loved by someone, and when I feel full and tired? I want a goodnight kiss before I doze off to sleep and dream of doing it again.... and maybe again and again.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

"Haven't you ever lost anything Bronx? your wallet? your car keys? - Medicine Man

John and I were drinking wine on the veranda <porch> yesterday, when we decided to take a break and go to the shops to pick up lunch, essentials and what nots when he looked on our dining room table and didn't see his wallet. Of course our cocktail function quickly turned to a search party, one that ended quite dismally when it was called off until the following day. At dinner last night, we both had our theories which we could not back up with any solid proof. There was no accusation in either of our voices when we ultimately surrendered any and all hope that it would be discovered, and it was suggested that we just considered it gone. Gone, gone, and gone. To do otherwise would have been the futile, spastic, somewhat psychotic overturning of every object in our home, whether it be likely it could hide a wallet <the couch> or a bit less likely <under the soap in the shower>. Ce la vie, indeed. It's best to relinquish pride to retain whatever you have left of your sanity.

The natural thing to do is to find the optimistic side, for me anyway. I'd had absolutely no money before, it's got to somehow be better to have money that you can't possibly access for a day than to be down and out with no prospects of a better future, and then I remembered what I wanted to talk about over the wine.

I had a dream. No, not an awe inspiring dream such as those of Dr. King but a dream none the less. I was working at an old location of a printing company in downtown Boston, more or less a sale satellite. There were no presses, minimal machinery, but we were in a large pair of office buildings, and our customers were somewhere in the 44 stories of each tower, where we would smile, offer excellent customer service, then jump through hoops to ensure the promises we made in the morning were upheld by closing time. In my dream, I broke my thigh, not easy to do, and had to walk around with my femur in my hand until I had my surgery the following day. I know. Believable so far, right? I had a clear and lucid conversation with my boss as well that stood out in my mind, a boss I learned a lot from in many different ways, and I woke up happily discovering that both my legs were in tact. They were larger than I'd like them to be, but hell, I guess that's another dream entirely.

Being the kind of guy who normally wakes up and reads and writes, I decided to do a bit of sleuthing. After all, Lisbeth Salander isn't the only dragon tattooed person who knows how to do a bit of  'hacking', be it on social sites or Google. It didn't take me long to find an obituary of my old boss. Damn, I have such poor writing skills. He was three years my senior and at 45 I'm reluctant to call anyone old....  my past boss. I was depressed we hadn't kept in contact as we said we would, I was sorry that he'd passed away, and in a fit of selfishness I had to acknowledge that death at 47 of natural causes was possible... ack! As one of the extraordinary people who've entered and now left my life, I could take this information and proceed two ways. Appreciate the people who are in my life and make an attempt to contact them more or I could get bitter, health conscious, and grow wary of people whom I may become attached? I'm a glutton for punishment, and my boss was a perfect example of someone who could give me constructive criticism, let me call him a dick, and not fire me. Good people have a way of turning you into a better person. Hold these people dear.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Any Given Saturday, Military Style.

It's Cinco de Mayo and I'm half reminded of every drinking event that I may or may not half remember in the first place. When reality makes a hasty retreat if you're a lucky soul the imagination takes over and sometimes lends itself to a much better version of events, if only for story telling purposes. If you're willing to totally commit you can spin a yarn that may ultimately have you committed but the only story worth telling is one that is probably a mixture of fantasy with a smidgen of truth to keep it grounded.

It was 1992 in Northern California and it was any Saturday. Vallejo was a Navy town and if you didn't have to serve extra duty on the weekend you were allowed out in public to mingle where the Zodiac killer  had historically found victims roaming the semi quiet streets, ones that were frequently punctuated with biker bars and fast food restaurants, but had really not other ambition other than to eventually put you in the wrong place at the wrong time while being under the influence of the wrong beer and in the wrong state of mind.

As an elder <over 21 years of age> in our military school, I was more prone to hang out with the dorky teachers than the students; these people were more my age and intellect in a world where half the students were too young to drink and the latter half were too busy getting drunk in groups.... in a virtual reality card game called Dungeon's and Dragon's. How's that for a social order? Sad, more sad, and most sad...

I could fall asleep standing up, I could stay awake until four in the morning knowing that our muster was at quarter past five, and I had a whole slew of home remedies and superstitions to keep me out of the barracks petty officers view and more importantly, off their report rosters. I had toothpaste in my pocket for breath, quick responses that were nearly reflexive, and more importantly, I was a funny drunk guy so most of my defense team was comprised on the guys in my room, in my classes, and more importantly on the staff that had been out the night before with me. While standing at attention in line, it's got to be difficult to report someone who you were pouring a beer for the night before, even more difficult when you were pouring the beer into an imaginary glass in your mind, while you were dumping a pitcher of beer all over the pool table in reality. It was a reality you didn't want anyone to bring up during work hours or even in the bar the next night. A gentleman never throws past events in your face, and a drunken gentleman never remembers them in the correct order of events anyway. We were under a lot of stress and we had our method of decompressing; it didn't need any modifying. It was the alcoholic version of 'Don't ask, Don't tell'. No one asked, we weren't telling.

There was a student in our class I'll call Louis, and from every perspective you looked he was an inadequate person who was not fit for military life. While out with my teaching compadres I had been warned that he would come to ill fate if he ever made it onto a ship in active duty, and that they had devised a plan to ensure that he would never reach graduation and deployment. In their scheme I was supposed to put a trash barrel over his head and push him out a window. I'm not sure if it was because they thought I was easily suggestible while drunk but I'm certain it's because they knew I was physically adapted, I went to the gym every day for two hours and ran five miles four days a week, feats that will never occur in my life again or that you wouldn't expect that I'd ever been capable of judging by my appearance now. Schemes like these were a near nightly event; they would dilute and the act of returning to the barracks in one piece would become the common goal by closing time.

I was returning back to our barracks with my drinking buddy, a great big tall Polish guy who was also a Marine. Marine's and Navy guys had an unspoken 'no fraternizing' rule that neither of us paid much attention to; he was old enough to drink, I was old enough to drink and we had a great vibe out at bars, if that vibe was that neither of us knew how to keep our mouths shut but at the same time we were both too large and ominous to be told to shut up... or be shut off. We stumbled into the barracks and we headed to the vending machines, we'd returned too late for the McDonald's to serve us food on the command, and we had to rely on the machines for a crappier alternative than fast food; we also had to rely on what change we had in our pockets. Zoom pulled out a ten dollar bill and found the change machine broken, our class leader came out to survey the damage we'd caused ourselves and was snickering standing next to us. Zoom turned to him and asked if he had change for a ten, and he said yes, took his ten dollars and put it in his pocket, gave him nothing in return. Zoom thanked him, then the unbalanced exchange registered in his mind and he fumbled with the nothing in his hands. He looked over to me for backup, and I'd put a dollar in the vending machine that was not being accepted, instead it was entering and exiting the bill slot while I was trying to no avail to grasp it. Times like these were not times for defense, instead we'd be in tears of laughter trying to decide who'd had too much to drink and who's fault it was. These were fun nights, soon replaced by less fun nights, but who wants to talk about those???

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

You tube?.... I don't. Guitar snobs be wary.

This was supposed to be a 'Yay' commentary about me purchasing some amplification equipment and a microphone/stand to start writing music once again. In researching amps, I did decide to go with a Fender amp, I read review after review about it's 'reliable, louder than it should be' reputation, and many messages from experienced to inexperienced musicians praising the clean channel as well as the distortion. I mean, in this day and age, what musician wouldn't consider distorting the sound of their acoustic guitar if their artistic integrity was on the line? 

Imagine my surprise that even now at 45 in 2012  it's a popularity contest. For some people it's appearance; No one wants to be seen in a Toyota when they could drive a Mustang. For others they've gone all psuedo technical with their own jargon and specifications and whatever the hell tubes are. Who'd know in the high school that is music and my life, my equipment is still the 'Irkel', the 'Skippy', the 'Horshack', the 'Screech'.... in other words? I purchased and now own outright 'dorky' equipment.

I was a bassist for years <gay, 80's style, you dig?>... years ago now, and picked up an acoustic guitar in 2006 for the simple reason that no one ever says to a bassist; "hey, crack that bad boy out and play us a song....". If that ever occurred, I'd be certain I had crossed over to bizzarro world, the notes are too low to stand alone, and they're empty to sing to without percussion, and while you're at it... 'Where's the freaking guitar?!?' Bass guitars fame alone belongs to five second snippets during Seinfeld, which were fresh twenty years ago and still sometimes if you happen to be caught during a rerun. But alas, the bass player in most bands is the unsung geek who is only doing his job properly when he perfectly blends into most of the song, sings backing vocals only, and in my case was originally hired not because of ability but because my hair was longer than anyone else's in the factory we were working at. Did I mention it was also dyed blue? No, I tend not to mention that, but in my defense, it was 1986. I played the part well; I had some talent, but not enough that I couldn't completely screw up the second set depending on how much I was drinking that night, but really who cares? It was a time when people really weren't listening too much to our playing, other than a steady drum beat, and the guitar solo in the middle, and it sounds just like.... well, it sounded like something we've heard before. Heavy metal, simply so simple that the louder you play it, the more talented you sound. Amen.

Flash forward to when I gave up my dreams, enlisted in the service, got <thrown> out and moved to Boston and took a job in an.... gulp!, accounting office, where I languished until 2002 and found other priorities, which we hopefully all do by about thirty, right? Wrong, I guess. In searching for equipment, I've found that people who've not won a Grammy, released an album they haven't had to give away, or have hardly dusted equipment to open the basement vault and expose it to the fresh air and sun are 'professional musician status'. They alone know what is boss and what to avoid at all costs. I think the status is attained when you can finally afford those high priced ticket item toys you read in the guitar mag's when you were fourteen and indeed purchase them, then play with them and adjust your sound to perfectly imitate Yngwie J. Malmsteen, and only you <and whomever's basement you're inhabiting> ever hear the 'soft fuzzy feeling of the tubes., and the 'secret dragon oil subtleties' of... or whatever the hell you believe. 

Standing in  the music shop, I actually heard someone say they wanted a particular amp because it was orange, and that made it sound better. It was an adult which makes it that much sadder. What made it tragic is that the employee agreed that the orange one was way better for it's orange-ness. The amps were virtually identical in a different color cabinet, but of course employee's pander to someone who's spending over a thousand dollars on mindless crap. I didn't want anyone in the store to ask if I needed anything, I was quick, had a list, and bought every generic cord, strings, stands and made a hasty get away, to be greeted by a friendly redhead at the register who was laughing at pretty much the same things I was, including the worst version of Eruption by Van Halen I've heard played by a rather ambitious teenager. I'm not sure it was a teenager, but I was afraid to look over and find out it wasn't. If it was someone my age playing that sloppily in public <at home is different> I'd have cast my equipment down and run out in front of a moving car. 

The musician's prayer?
 "God, I know I may not be the most talented person in the world, but please tell me I'm better than THAT schmuck. Amen."

I went to another store directly after that I'd researched on the web. I'd seen the amp I was looking for for two hundred dollars less than the store in Sydney, and the price was only thirty dollars more than a used amp <same model> had sold on e-bay only days before. Although it was a piano shop, they said they specialized in guitars and violins. It wasn't easy to find the location but the service was impeccable even when they had no idea if we were there for picks only, and when we weren't it was an easy purchase anyway. I told them what I wanted, they agreed it was a great amp for it's price, and didn't try to upsell, downplay the solid state circuitry, or casually lure my view to the 'orange' one. They saw my purchases from the other shop, and apologized for the horrible customer service they assumed I'd received there. When asked who helped me I said 'noone, I had a list and moved with stealth, the only person who talked to me was a sarcastic redhead and we laughed at stuff. Wouldn't you know it? The redhead was his girlfriend, and you could immediately agree with the connection. Quiet guitarist meets quirky redhead, happiness ensues, at least til the end of University. I feel the same way about my equipment, although I did see a canary yellow Ibanez guitar that I hope makes it around my neck. What can I say? I want to play my three power chords and have someone look at me and say 'see that guitar? that guy must be awesome.'

Friday, April 13, 2012

Perkiness: A Survival Tactic

Anyone who knows me outside of Facebook, my notoriously bad first impressions, or instinctively defending a friend without knowing all the details knows that once you break through the deliberately placed initial sour taste you get in your mouth, I ain't such a bad guy. In spite of me, it must be true. I still have friends or so they tell me.

Free loving, tree hugging, nauseatingly tolerant expectations I may drudge up in your imaginary flower child scenario's be damned. I have few shades of gray when it comes to belief's I hold dear so far as morality, manners, and loyalty. I see things in black and white, right and wrong, and yes and no. No gray, no ties, no maybe's. I can be a rigid son of a bitch <what did you call my Mom?>.

I'm not a saint by a long shot, and I also make mistakes on a regular basis, so much so that it'd be easier to say 'wow, I really Brian-ed that up, huh?' but in the moment, and when it comes time to act, I'll grant as much time to logic as I can possibly muster, try to be more like 'Touched By an Angel' than 'Judge Judy', and will react in appropriate time with an apology or justification of sorts.

I have to confess that I've felt the sting of being judged wrongly without prudence, been excluded based on appearance <which always amazes me, considering how highly I regard myself>, and feel like from initial introduction, which is the easy part, that it's an uphill climb for me to overcome whatever subconscious message that's harbored in your hippie fantasy. Yes, I have tattoos, No, I haven't been to prison, capisce?

Let's face it, when someone says 'My gay friend is coming over, and he's smart, funny, and cute' {assuming that's what people say, it tends to be what I hear in my head, ha ha} I'm pretty sure the last person anyone expects to walk through the door would be a guy who represents as a tattooed, long haired, fat guy. I'm hardly your conventional looking person and I make no apologies for this. As a gay guy, I right off the bat offend many a straight friend or stranger in a party environment, and have learned to counter every request right out of the gate- such as <"Don't be starin' at my ass, dude, I'm not a homo'> with a quick retort. 'You don't have to worry, I'm only interested in men' is one of my favorites. 

What you may not know, unless you're a gay guy, is that gay men turn selective thought and stereotyping people into an art form. There's no winning a room over when the wheels of a witch coven starts churning the pot. What's worse is you can't beat those people up; mentally you're too buzzed or caught off guard to be quick with words, and fisticuffs is not an option; These people have been tortured in gym class for years and know how to dramatize and over dramatize for drama's sake. My nightmare is having to defend my sexuality on a stand in court, trying to convince a jury that I'm 'gay enough' to not be eligible for conviction of a hate crime, and 'THAT queen deserved a smack and noone who was there would deny it' is kind of a weak argument unless you're lucky enough to have a gay jury. If I could dream a dream, my jury would be in complete drag, comprised of Tanya Tucker's, but that's a story for another time.

Having confidence in the face of adversity takes many years of overcoming having no confidence in the past, and I'm lucky enough to know a handful or so of people who remember me as the quiet guy who just wanted to be left alone throughout my scholastic career who can appreciate my evolution to sarcastic smart ass that defends not only himself, but causes of a personal nature. I tell John all the time that I'm not right about a lot of things. We can agree on that, and I don't need to close my eyes to see John's head nodding with that expression that says 'if you only knew how often and how wrong you can be'.

I've also told him that when in a crowd, I may tell everyone the sky is green, and that regardless of it being correct, it's his duty to concur. I have agreed to reciprocate. There's plenty of time to be wrong, like when we're at home and he can explain to me why I'm mistaken, preferably over white wine. 

What's your perception? We could be seen as the 'distorted facts couple' but I like to think of us as 'blissfully and idiotically united'. The way I see the world because it always makes sense to me and no one gets hurt. As soon as John surrender's to my logic, it will be utter harmony.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Free Bird is no longer my signature song.

In the last twenty years or so of my life, I've noticed a pattern of leaving both common and proper nouns in my wake as I've hightailed it into the sunset. The Schoolhouse Rock definition of 'noun' must be sung, and I indeed do 'find it interesting, a noun's a person, place, or thing.' That chuckle aside, and after some forethought or hindsight <whichever makes me sound more inflective>, I can say for the most part, I may not miss the places, I may not miss the people, but damnit, I miss the stuff!
I've left entire apartments full of furniture, clothes, and electronics, CD and book collections, movies in so many formats I couldn't play them if we were ever reunited, and a myriad of other possessions in a mad dash to liberate myself from drama or situations I was partially or totally responsible for  in one way or another, and let's face it, if you don't have a beast of burden or at least an F150, these are things you can't pack in your bag and hit the road with and make a clean getaway.

By the time I reached Wisconsin, and got a new job and apartment there, I wouldn't be able to physically or mentally make a purchase of more than tv, laptop, stereo, and futon for months in fear that I wasn't going to commit to living there much longer and  my mood changed from day to day. It was a great job with lot's of potential, downtown Sheboygan may seem like a tiny town, even to the locals who called it 'Sheer Boredom', but it had everything you would look for in a small city; the pubs all had happy hours that lasted four hours, cigarettes were under four dollars a pack, and it was on Lake Michigan. If you can imagine a salt smell it's as close as you can get to being on the ocean without being anywhere near one.

When I would shop for anything other than food, the internal argument would start with the 'do i want this?' phase of the purchase, which is pretty much self explanatory. I'd then graduate to the 'do i need this?' phase of the purchase, and I'd imagine the many uses and benefits of purchasing a  <let's say> couch for my living room in the event I decided to have people over and not have to pretend to notice the expression of awe on their faces when they walked into my two bedroom apartment that with the exception of a 'nerd nook' was completely barren. The last and most crucial phase of the purchasing procedure was the 'can i leave this?' phase. It entails not spending so much money or getting emotionally attached to anything that you couldn't easily leave behind if you couldn't take it with you. It would be a real strain to pull out my checkbook and fork over an entire paycheck for something that was ultimately going to make my neighbors dream come true once it was fished out of the dumpster area. I had to make sure I was willing to make the temporary commitment while also reminding the couch at least weekly that 'this is only a temporary thing' and when it got too comfortable or I sensed it was too needy, I was quick to give it the 'you knew what this was about when we got together' speech.

I really like to think I'm over this phase of my life now. Married to a better guy than I probably deserve, I've managed to become an international traveler, and have relocated hopefully for the last time <and yes, I pretty much left all my stuff to donations when I broke my lease and said I wouldn't be coming back to the States as early as I had originally intended> and am settled in our new home situation in Australia which is also subject to it's own fair share of idiosyncrasies as far as permanence. We lie in bed, and chat about where we could go, where we could live, and when we'll be able to afford to travel back to the States, a formidable expense in any budget of any size income. I'm making my first major purchase this week, I'm buying a new guitar amp so I can practice guitar, plug in a mic, and hopefully get comfortable enough to either recruit a band or put cymbals between my knees and be a model 'geek'. It weighs over 50 pounds. Even if I could get it back to the States I wouldn't be able to plug it in due to European socket configurations. It wouldn't fit into my bag if it had to. It's taking a lot of thought to relax and say to myself 'if i buy this amp, I'll never need another.' I can't quit smoking, I still drink. I still believe, however, that this is one habit that it's definitely time to break..... maybe.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Happy Fall! in April....

I stopped at a tavern yesterday afternoon and saw a friend I know from the complex John and I live in, it was nice to see a familiar face, the weather was great, and the tables and ashtrays <yay, ashtrays> were paired up on the openfaced cafe style seating in front. My neighbor was born here, and likes to fish early mornings, he's a bit 'not quite right', but he's harmless, eloquent, and doesn't ask for cigarettes or beer money. I've learned to like that latter aspect of people a lot. He doesn't apologize for being unmedicated and usually his wife will catch him before he does or says anything politically incorrect or illegal. I really admire her for that, and John too for that matter, but that's not my point.

He introduced me to a mate of his, a tattoo artist from Beverly Hills <they have one here, they're not similar at all> and with the three accents plugging away; one Australian, one Irish, and my butchery of English which is the American way, it would be an understatement to say our conversation was frequently punctuated with 'aye?', 'what's that?', and 'say again?' for two reasons. One was the obvious clash of tongues, but the other was we had clicked right away on a variety of subjects from Iron Maiden, skateboarding, New Zealand, fishing, tattoos, and each of us had a lot to say and wasn't really waiting for their opportunity to speak. We spent the last hours of the afternoon covering topic after topic, and what was funny was each of us at one point or another had said 'Australia is an interesting place because there are so many different kinds of people who've made it home'.  It's not uncommon to hear more foreign languages in your elevator here than you do at a party in America at the same time.'

Having been given that forum, it's great to hear a different take on not only political and economic situations, but also what is popular in a range of cultures so far as music, celebrity, and sport. People will come and tell you right out that they 'hate America, but like Americans' here, I'm still working out what that means considering I've heard it from not only strangers, but from people I consider 'friends I've made' since I've been here.

So, while sitting in this convention of minds that were differently molded from three different corners of the globe, I wondered when at home how often this would happen, and was feeling evolved in the ways of international diplomacy.... That is, until I looked in the glass of the tavern store front.

I was pulling a cigarette out and lighting it, and brushed the hair away from my face. I hate the smell of burning hair and ponder often why God would put hair so close to where my cigarette and fire utensil collide. I caught a glimpse of the three of us in the glass and said to myself  'If I were a casual observer, I'd be curious as to what kind of conversation three pony tailed, bearded, tattooed, middle aged white men, drinking outside a tavern well before the end of a work day afternoon were having'. I wonder how it would go.

The laughable exchanges of the likes of Beavis and Butthead, Cheech and Chong, and even Ren and Stimpy went through my head, and I excused myself, got up and went home to cook dinner. I guess I still have to work on that positive thinking thing, and to not be concerned as I am about what imaginary people are saying or what generalizations they're making. My therapist would be less than pleased. You know, the one I haven't seen in four months since I've been here. I also would  have sworn I heard someone utter 'Dave's not here, man.' as I departed from the table.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Past, Present, Prose

I remember the fights, the scars and the bruises.
I remember the names "you're the king of the losers."   
All the scenes in the streets when the drinks ran amok,                                                                                      
the "I never loved you's" the "I don't give a fucks!"

And then in the middle of a nightmare like this,                                                                                           
I stop and remember the one perfect kiss.    
My hand on your face and your head tilted down,                                                                                         
That was fireworks and passion stirring around.

Memories like this make me look to the sky,                                                                                        
you're no longer with me and I don't know why.        
But I think of this kiss and remember the taste,
because it's this, your sweet kiss, that I
never could hate.