So I’ve gotten more than a few questions about my opinion on the whole United debacle. I relented and commented on a few FB friend’s posts regarding it. I say relented because I pretty much avoid FB for anything other than fun chat and dog videos. It has become too toxic and successful discourse is rarely possible anymore.
Anyway, how do you think I feel? I’m appalled. The idea that a passenger who paid full fare for a ticket can be physically yanked off a plane for overbooking is reprehensible. I don’t care if it was United Express (contracted by United). I don’t care that it was a security official not an actual United employee who did the beating/dragging. I don’t care that it’s in the fine print a paying customer can be booted off a flight for virtually any reason. Greed should not be more important that humans.1 I don’t care about all the reasons why he could have complied. This person paid full-fare to board a plane and fly home. It is not his fault the flight was overbooked out of the misplaced idea that profit is more important than good service. None of that matters. We should all be appalled at the very idea this can be allowed. And lastly, I don’t care another flight might have been delayed or *gasp* other people might have been inconvenienced. You know what? Sometimes we get inconvenienced. The world does not revolved around our personal bubble of existence. There were plenty of better ways to handle this.
Don’t get it bent, I’m not dragging out the lynch mob torch for United just yet. Frankly, I think people are missing the forest for the trees here. This could just as easily have happened on any airline. United just ended up being the unlucky beneficiary. I know many United employees (from the both the old Continental and United) who are very dedicated to their jobs and I’m sure many of them are struggling to fend off drama from both sides right now. And being a long time Southwest customer, I can tell you first hand they routinely kick people off flights. All major airlines have the same or similar policy. The big picture here is how many people feel it was perfectly justified. It was NOT ok. And the fallout witch hunt to demean and degrade the victim aftewards was just as disgusting. When your moral code justifies physically dragging a paying customer of a plane to avoid inconveniencing someone else, perhaps you should re-examine your sense of morality. That is the real tragedy IMO.
Our society is crumbling around us bit by bit. Greed, anti-intellectualism, and personal indifference are destroying our sense of right and wrong. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it as long as I have breath to say it. The one good thing out of this debacle is the outrage was so bad I’m pretty sure no airline will ever try this again. Maybe we’ll see some good reforms put in place to ensure something we used to take for granted would never happen will actually never happen again. Either way, I’m sure everyone will have forgotten all about it next week when the next faux scandal comes along.
- Notice I said ‘should not be’ vs ‘isn’t. This clearly demonstrates it’s past tense now. [↩]
It shall be known as the great beard-tastrophe of 2017!
I had an accident while trimming the other day. I use my beard trimmers to trim my head about once every week or so. With so little hair, it doesn’t make sense to have two tools for one job. hehehe Anyway, clumsy Cletus forgot to put the guard back on when moving on to the beard and sheered a good chunk of it off. It looked weird so I had to shave it all.
I actually don’t think my face has been this bare in about 5 or so years. It’s no secret I am not a fan of big beards.1 That said, I love scruff and fuzz. I had a goatee and scruffy beard back before it was trendy and all the ‘man-bear’ rage.2 I routinely keep it short. I had first opted to keep my sideburns but Shawn was insistent that they looked stupid. “You look stupid two little patches of hair on the sides of your face.” I disagreed but when you have a hubby, you learn to pick your battles. heehee
I’ve had the goatee since I was about 25 or so. I think I’ve only shaved it once since then. I never liked my face w/o a goatee. As soon as I could grow one out full enough, I did. I’ve had it ever since. To me it just fills out my face better.
Anyhoo. Fear not fellow mortals. It will be back soon enough. It takes me about a week and half to grow a full one so I should be back to normal in about two weeks. I consider myself lucky that I survived the catastrophe!
The blog title is also the title of one of my favorite movies. It came out in 1998. Drew Barrymore and Angelica Houston were two of the leads, not to mention Dougray Scott.1 It’s the modern day remake of the Cinderella story. It’s quite good if you’ve never seen it. It was on cable again recently and of course I got sucked into watching it. I noticed at the end, I wasn’t wistful or lonesome this time. That got me to thinking.
Back when I was an insecure mess and still trying to figure things out, this movie always made me lonesome and wistful at the same time. Lonesome for the obvious reasons and wistful for a love that transcended life. I just knew if I could find the ‘right love’ life would be perfect. The movie is the epitome of the love conquers all fairy tall. I was sold hook, line, and sinker.
However, this time around I think a few things occurred to me. Relationships need love. They can’t really survive without it. But the idea that love makes everything ok is utter bullshit IMO. Love doesn’t keep people together. While it certainly helps brin them together, staying together requires a lot more. Frankly, we need to stop force feeding the fairy tale idea to our kids or at least provide some balance. The older I get the more I see love as a lubricant that helps all the other parts of the id slip/slide around each other. Or maybe it’s like a really elastic glue. It stretches to allow growth but pulls individual pieces of ourselves into a cohesive pattern. Like real world lubricant, it dries out and can crack if not nutured or renewed. For gay men I think we spend so much of our lives trying to fit in and belong we get caught up in the idea of the perfect relationship. I know I did. For years, I felt like if I could just find the right guy my life would be all better.2 He’d fix all my problems just thru love. In reality, I wanted someone else to fix my own failings. I spent all my time hoping to find the right guy intead of trying to BE the right guy.l It took me long enough to realize it doesn’t work that way. No one can ‘fix’ you but you.
Lawd knows I’ve had my bad relationships. And some of them have been doozies. I used to think of them as failures. I don’t anymore. For along time, I was too dysfunctional to even notice much less learn, but I did eventually. I learned relationships take work. They need more than love and even then they aren’t perfect. Perfection is a myth reinforced by our fair tayles. I’m sure I drive Shawn crazy at times, in fact I know I do, but that’s the best part. We can drive each other crazy and still realize we love this person. I’m learning successful relationships are about loving someone for their best qualities and still accepting them for their flaws.
I won’t pretend to know the future. I’ve certainly been burned rambling about it here before. I am happy Shawn and I have a good foundation. I accept all of him. And while there are times we get on each other’s nerves, I still love him every day. I hope that lasts for us. For the first time in my life I am able to love in a way that is healthy IMO. I’m not clinging to him out of misplaced fear. I’m not with him because I’m afriad to be alone. I’m not with him because I feel incomplete.
I love the idea of growing old with Shawn. Two crotchety old fools getting on each others nerves but never wanting to be a part. I totally love love LOVE that idea! And I could see it happening. But…if things change and one of us felt unhappy, not fulfilled, or we just grew apart, I’d be ok with that too. I love hime enough I’d still only want him to be happy. I’d like to think I love him for the right reasons and I’m secure enough to want him to be happy over us staying together. I don’t think that means I care less, just the opposite actually.
I’ve always said love with limits is just a form of control. True love isn’t a testament to how long a relationship lasts. To me, true love is loving someone knowing it might last a lifetime or it might not. True love is based on how you love, not how long you love. So while I can enjoy the fairy tale movies, I realize these stories are meant to inspire us to love, not to teach us how to love.
- Boy, he used to do it for me. hehehe [↩]
- I should post some snapshots of my really old journals. They were so sad. [↩]
That nerd of a hubby of mine has gotten me addicted to Zelda, the game. He surprised me with my very own Nintendo Switch. When he pre-ordered his, he ordered me one too. Oh he is a sneaky one! hehehe
So, I was kinda so-so on it. I’ve never been much of a Nintendo fan after the 64. It just felt cheap and childish. I know, those are fighting words for some. haha As Sony & Microsoft seem to be trying their best to out-do each other in processing power and graphics, Nintendo seemed to be obsessed with portability. And while in the beginning, that meant cheesy graphics and retro style games, I have to give them credit. As a device the Switch is pretty polished for a portable console.
The gimmick is you can dock it at home to play on your tv and just pick up the console and walk away and keep playing. And you can! It is virtually seamless. If your mid-game, it automatically pauses and you can pick up where ever you are. It’s light, clean display, and easy to carry around. All good things in the portable world. That isn’t to say it doesn’t have it’s drawbacks. There are more than a few, but not necessarily deal-breakers. First, the online environment is virtually non-existent; no chats, not even messaging. Adding someone as a friend is a bit laborious. You have to give them your friend code outside of the console. You can only do it from the console if you are connected to the same wifi network. Your left posting by email, chat, social media, etc to gain friends. It doesn’t appear to have bluetooth; however, the consoles connect wirelessly to controllers so either it’s bluetooth or wifi direct.1 And don’t get me wrong, you can play other players online. Depending on the game, you can play with friends or find random people. But besides their eStore, there isn’t much else. Apparently, Nintendo is planning to open up and expand an online option. Shawn says it’s been in the works for awhile and appears to be coming to fruition soon. Of course, the simplicity of it isn’t such a bad thing. Simple means less clutter and less distractions. I kinda looked down on Nintendo for this but it isn’t really that bad. If they added a better option to find friends, it would be a win for them IMO.
The new part is the controllers come off the main console. You can play with both controllers or share one with a friend to play multi-player. This is the ingenious part. It truly makes the game portable. The only down side to this is if you want to connect to another tv,you have to have your dock with you or they have to have one. Apparently, there isn’t a cord adapter…yet. Playing multi-player on a small screen isn’t the best option so this will need to happen if they want it to really succeed here. You can also buy a full size controller (much like a Xone or PS4 one) as well. It’s a bit of a sticker-shock but it works. But, they include an adapter to attach both of the console controllers to that makes it feel like a full size one. It’s really quite ingenious. So if you don’t want to spend the bucks, this will still work fine. I use both or either and adjusting to the feel and grip is pretty simple. You can ‘share’ to social media so the idea is basically the same in connecting to find friends.
Shawn started playing the new Zelda game and after watching him for a bit, I was intrigued enough to play on my own. To my surprise I like it. Actually, I love it. And the game play is phenomenal. I’ve already put in about 90 hours and I’m only half way thru the game. That’s stellar for any console. My biggest annoyance is the need to stop and read story-lines. It kills motion and rhythm. And while it still annoys me, it isn’t overly bad. You get plenty of action and movement without interruption when you’re not trying to interact with denizens of the game. Shawn has almost beat his now. I’m still doing all the side quests. It’s surprisingly addictive.
Beyond Zelda, there aren’t many other games that interest me so far. Being new, that isn’t unusual at all. Much like the latest versions from Sony/Microsoft, the Switch isn’t backwards compatible. However, the new style controller gives rise to all kinds of fun ways to play. Better than Microsoft’s gimmicky Kinect add-on.2 Hopefully, a few other games will grab my attention. I definitely like the mobility of it.
Of course, Destiny Disc 2 is dropping soon. It will completely steal me away from the Switch for awhile. hehehe If you can afford it (and can find one in stock) it’s worth a buy if you’re already a Nintendo fan. You’ll be pleasantly surprised. If you’re not, find a friend and try theirs. You might end up being a convert like me.
- To be fair, this could be changed with a software patch. [↩]
- We unplugged ours. Shawn was creeped out that it always welcomed him when he would walk by the tv while I’m gaming. heehee [↩]
Click on the image for the full album
I know, I’ve been horrible about keeping up lately. Forgive me. 🙂 First things first. The trip to Hawaii! OMG it was amazing. I totally didn’t know what to expect but it was nice and very relaxing. Our host, and my friend Rick, was so great and made the trip that much better by being such a great tour guide and a wealth of information. He really went all out helping us see and do anything we wanted. We stayed in his guest room but he also has a lovely AirBnB if anyone is going in the future. No seriously, it was gorgeous. And apparently, the biz is growing there so the rates were exceptional. I was shocked how cheap it was compared to the over-priced hotels. Anyway, I digress… We had a great view of the beach from our patio and it was so relaxing. The morning birds annoyed Shawn a little but I loved them.
I didn’t realize how big the main island was. It’s huge. Granted, I didn’t do much research but I always thought of Hawaii as being small and tiny. I remember Oahu being much smaller. I also didn’t know that it was mostly undeveloped. Oh there are a couple big cities with a few small towns scattered about but the big island as a whole really isn’t that developed. I couldn’t get over that part the whole time we were there. lolol Rick made sure we got to see a lot of local culture and history and helped us find all the things we wanted to do.
As you can see from the album of pics, we got around! We could have done and seen so much more but we didn’t want to spend the whole trip driving in a car all day. We had to cut some of the site-seeing short so we could squeeze everything in. We decided before we left we wanted to do a luau, see the volcano (and lava), and go snorkeling. Obviously, we wanted to spend some time at the beach as well. It was Shawn’s first time meeting Rick in person and they got along great. I also got to meet the famous Bubbles (Rick’s bulldog) as well as Freddie and Elvis, their other 2 dogs.
We did the luau first and it was ok. We had fun but would probably skip it in the future. It was a good, ‘yeah we did it‘ event. The next day saw us driving to see the different sites, and waterfalls. Rick was our guide again and took us to several great spots. We stopped at a local gay owned cafe in Hilo for lunch. All the driving really drove it home how big the island was. Rick made sure we stopped for malasades, a local pastry. We got lucky the day we visited the volcano as you could just barely see active lava in the pit. The whole experience was awesome and a tiny bit unnerving. The steam vents were probably the part that creeped us out. The idea of walking around on top of a volcano active enough to continuously spit out steam from the ground gives you a moment of pause. hehehe The plant life all around the crater felt almost primordial. It was a serene and surreal environment. I loved it! The lava tube was also eerie. You could see the lines cut into the rock from the flow of lava as it churned thru the tube at lord knows how much speed. Just being in a massive tunnel created by flowing molten rock was awe-inspiring. I think having been to the volcano itself before visiting tube helped a bit. I think the impact of what we were seeing was made ‘real’ by having just seen the vents and actual lava.
We saved the best for last. The last day before we flew out we went snorkeling. OMG what a great experience! I’ve only ever been snorkeling off the beaches of Galveston when I was a kid. It was no where near the experience of being in a coral reef.We even saw a whale on our way to the cove. It was literally in front of the boat and they had to stop. hehehe
I was a bit out of sorts at the very beginning. We got in the water and for whatever reason I couldn’t get my breathing sorted properly. It only took a few minutes to adjust but I remember feeling weird and a little irritated it might ruin my experience. After a few minutes of practicing, I got the hang of it again and I think the old muscle memory kicked it. Shawn was originally a bit nervous as he’d never been at all. However, he seemed to grasp it right away. His only trouble was getting used to the fins. We both opted for little float belts as the water was pretty deep around the boat. I hadn’t been actively swimming in ages and I was a wee bit concerned I’d get tired too soon. As it turns out, we probably could have skipped the float belts. The fins were fine. Shawn got the hand of his as well.
Swimming around the coral and seeing all the amazing fish was amazing. It was like being in a tank at the Aquarium. So much diversity and most of the fish ignored us. The tour group offered lunch on the boat and I opted to hop back in the water after lunch. Far fewer snorkelers meant more fish! There were a ton more fish casually swimming in/out of the coral the second time. I cruised around the whole cove. It was by far the highlight of the trip for me. I’d be doing it here if the water wasn’t so damn cold.1
We lounged on a beach for awhile after the snorkeling trip. I didn’t spend much time in the water as my eyes seemed to have trouble adjusting. I think I might be developing low tears or something. I simply could not keep my eyes from burning every time I got a tiny bit of salt water in them. It was never a problem for me when I was younger. Having had 2 eye surgeries might have impacted me as well. Regardless, it made playing in the water a struggle. The beaches are much more rocky on the big island and finding smooth sand is a hot ticket for beach goers. We drove out to a couple of remote beaches and even those were very busy. I still had fun relaxing in the sand. The funny part is we barely got any sun. We were both afraid of getting burned so we stayed covered in SPF spray.
That’s it in a nutshell. It was great to see my friend Rick and his family. We socialized and caught on on things. The dogs were a treat as well. Seeing Bubbles madem
- Ocean water this far north stays cold year round. [↩]
We are headed to Hawaii this week! OMFG I am sooo excited. We’re going for the obvious reasons and to see my buddy Rick who moved back home from SF a couple years ago. He (and his partner Jeremy) graciously offered to put us up at his place so we are saving money as well. Win, win! I’m also looking forward to meeting Bubbles, his version of Cooper. She is a brindle and white bully and looks ever so sassy! I can’t wait to meet her. Sadly, I can’t bring Cooper. He is too old to fly, even inside the plane. And I’d never forgive myself if something happened to him.
I’ve only been to Hawaii once and it was back when I was a wee lad at 18. I was invited along by a guy I was dating at the time. All I remember is the visit to the lava and booze.1 We also went to one of the smaller islands. This time, we are headed to the Kona on the big island. I’m really looking forward to the trip. The closer it gets the less focus I seem to have. hehehe
Shawn surprised me with my very own Nintendo Switch this week. He also managed to get me hooked on the new Legend of Zelda gama. hehehe I’m usually not a Nintendo fan; however, I admit to enjoying the game. I don’t want to bash Nintendo as a console, but they are usually pretty basic. The switch is pretty polished and nails the potability factor hands down. I’ve yet to play any online games so can’t really review the process so far. It’s a tad more basic in design and graphics than Xone or PS4 games; however, Zelda also clocks in a roughly 80-hour game time. That’s pretty damn good for one game. It should keep us busy on the loooong plane rides to and from. And I’m always flattered and appreciative of Shawn’s kindness.
I’ll try to remember to take pics while I’m gone. I’m horrible about taking pics on vacation. Ironically, being on IG this past year may help me to remember. heehee For you folks that have been to the big island, feel free to send tips or great places to see/do.
- I drank way more before I turned 21 lol [↩]
In the utterly mundane and shallow, I hit a new personal best at the gym the other day! I’ve come close a few times in the past but now I’ve officially hit 200lbs using dumbbells on the flat bench. And for some that is probably no big deal, for me it is. When I started weight lifting I could barely bench a 45lb barbell by itself.1 To have come this far is very rewarding.
I was actually giddy picking up the 100lb dumbbells for the first time. Hahaha You always see those weights at the end of the rack but being able to actually lift them is completely different! I was grinning ear to ear I was so excited. I know it was silly but I couldn’t help myself. I’m sure I looked like a proud peacock at the time.
I’ve been focused this last year on totally revamping my workouts and focusing on pushing my muscles to exhaustion vs doing a set routine. I’m definitely doing much better than years past. I’ve actually noticed the growth in my arms visually, which is hard to do when you see yourself every day in the mirror. I’ve let go of the idea of how much weight I’m doing and focusing purely on consistency and timed reps. I’ve been working out 4-6 days a week and I’m proud to see some good results.
I’m very happy with where I am, especially since I’m working around an old shoulder injury and two metal plates in my collarbones. And speaking of injuries, my arm tendons have all but healed up. Sadly, one of my triceps’ ligaments is sore in its place. UGH! It is hell getting old. I had to cut my arm workout short yesterday. The ligament has been a little sore the last couple weeks. I’ve been stretching it to minimize the soreness; however, I could tell yesterday it was on the verge of a real injury so I stopped. Sadly, my abs are still covered in a layer of fat. I blame those damn girl scouts! They setup every corner in the gayto and they make a killing! Devils in skirts I tell ya!
In other news, we are headed to Hawaii next week to see my buddy Rick! I probably won’t see the inside of a gym the whole time I’m there. I haven’t been to Hawaii since I was like 18 so I barely remember it. We’re hitting the big island where Kona is. That is where my buddy lives. He was kind enough to offer us a free place to stay so we are saving a shit-ton of money on travel expenses. I can’t take Cooper but he’ll be in good hands with my neighbor Chuck.
- I was soooo scrawny as a young man [↩]
An interesting situation presented itself to me recently. Not too long after I moved to SF, I was flirting with a guy online I had seen at the gym and around town several times. In my view he was damn near perfect. Perfect is always a subjective term but he definitely turned my crank. Now keep in mind, this was pre-mobile app world and even before blogging. Hehehe Anyway, he went out of his way to demean me and attempted to shame me for assuming I was at his level. At the time, I was still pretty dysfunctional and while I didn’t let him know it, his comments hurt my feelings pretty bad. I still had such low self-worth back then and it just fed into my compulsive behavior and insecurities.
Fast forward to a few weeks ago, he literally runs into me at the gym, and clearly not realizing who I was, proceeds to put the moves on me pretty hard. How should one respond to that? How would you have responded?
Before I give my actual response, let me step back for a second. I’m not the man I was back then. I’ve found myself. I’ve struggled for sure but gone are the days where such comments would even phase me. While I certainly recovered from his slight, it did give me enough pause at the time to wonder if I had made a mistake in moving to SF.
Besides the internal changes I’ve made over the years, I’ve also packed on quite a few pounds of muscle from those days. Maybe that’s why he’s sudden change of “heart.”? Honestly, the why doesn’t really concern me. And in the simple act of realizing I don’t need to know what changed his mind, I was given an affirmation of my struggle. An affirmation to the near death of my crippling insecurities from those days. And I know I’ve posted several times over the last couple years about my random affirmations or epiphanies. I think there is a deep part of my id that refuses to accept my transformation. A tiny seed of doubt is still there. And because I recognize it, I stay vigilant against it ever growing into anything more than a seed.
At that moment, a lot of things ran thru my head pretty quickly. I admit a tiny part of me was tempted to say yes. I mean I am an opportunist after all, and he is still pretty hot in my eyes Heehee But My first thoughts were “why now?” And then my second thought was “why do I care why now?” That spawned an idea to test the waters so to speak. I declined his advance and began to walk away. As I did, I heard him mutter, “your loss.” I wasn’t even tempted to reply or act as if I’d heard his obvious barb. I just kept walking and went back to my workout.
A few things occurred to me as I walked away. One, he clearly hasn’t grown or changed since the first time we met. Two, the potentially delicious joy of rubbing his face in it after we’d hooked up would have been more about revenge than attraction. And three, I felt a great swell of pity for him. He is trapped by his own insecurities and his protective coping mechanisms are crippling him much like mine did to me. The problem is as he ages those protective acts/thoughts won’t hold up to the harsh realities around him.
I think this is the first year I haven’t been sad during the anniversary of my mother’s death. It snuck up on me and the grand day arrived before I even knew it.
In year’s past, without even realizing it on a conscious level, I would get sad for anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks. I’d start searching my thoughts and feelings to figure out what was wrong and realize it was her anniversary. And for you long-time readers, I’m sure you know I’m referring to my foster mother, not my step-mother.
I’d like to think I’ve reached a point of happiness and contentedness in my own life that I no longer yearn for her in my life. She was only in my life for a few brief years as a child but all my best memories of childhood revolve around her. Even though I was adopted1, I never felt like she treated me any different. I was her baby boy and the memories I have of her are full of love and good things.
For most of my adult life I always wished she was still around. I felt like I needed her. I felt like if she’d survived that brutal fight with cancer my life would have been vastly different. I can’t know for sure how things might have been different. My soul ached for her in the early (miserable) days of adulthood. I still remember crying myself into exhaustion on her grave one year in my late 20’s. I’d been away for several years and felt like I was disrespecting her memory. I was so lost as a person back then. I felt robbed of her love and potential influence. I remember being embarrassed it took longer than I thought it should to find her plot. The cemetery had grown and changed over the years and many of the familiar markings were gone. I remember how completely adrift, cold, and utterly alone I felt when I left her grave that day. It was probably the second saddest day in my life.
Obviously, I survived and moved forward. And yet, every year around this time a wave of sadness would hit me. Some years I knew in advance and embraced it, other years it just happened and I would scramble to figure out why I was so sad. This year the big day came and I was fine. It was a shock to look down at my phone and realize the day. I felt a small pang of sadness for a moment and then smiled.
I still remember her and wish she had been a bigger part of my life. I still wish she was here in this world with me. None of those things have changed. So what has changed? I haven’t forgotten her. Is it just time and age? It might be a bit of both but I like to think it’s another sign I’ve grown up. Gone is the injured boy locked inside the body of a young adult man. In his place is a man mature and experienced enough to handle the world and his own shortcomings head on. It’s certainly been a struggle but I like to think that. I think she would be proud of the man I’ve become.
The memories of her grows slightly more fuzzy every year now. It used to be so crisp and firm in my mind’s eye. I still remember her face but even it is starting to change. I don’t have many pictures of her but the few I do have help me keep her face alive in my memory. I have zero contact with anyone from her side of the family. I haven’t seen any of them in over 25 years. (Many of them didn’t like that I was adopted, from what I’ve been told) There is only my older brother and myself now to remember her. He is in prison and he never talks about her. We’ve never discussed her once since she died actually. He is many years older than me and we were never overly close, even back then. I certainly wasn’t the little brother he wanted. But, as long as he and I remember her, she still lives.
- I didn’t know it at the time. [↩]