TBT – Throw Back Thursday

I have a rare contribution to TBT. This pic is from the early 90’s. I don’t remember the exact date. I found it in the oddest place looking for a blank CD-rom. I have no idea how this pic got in the cabinet, but there it was.1

People never believe me when I tell them how skinny I used to be. Here is a prime pic of how truly scrawny I was. hehehe  I no longer know the 2 guys in the pic so I didn’t think it fair to share their faces w/o permission. I barely recognized myself when I stumbled over this pic. But look at how damn skinny I was!

My body isn’t the only thing that has changed since then but I’ll get to that in a second. You can see the genuine smile on my face. The one thing I always had, even then, was my optimism. For a frame of reference for you long time readers, this was a few years after my near suicide but before my stint at being homeless. I didn’t have a pot to piss in and yet I greeted every day with excitement. Life was carefree and simple.

tubs baby

But to know me then was to know a contradiction. Maybe not the best term but it’s the best I can think of at the moment. I was so damaged and yet so happy to be alive. I woke up every day and eagerly ran out into the world. There was no fear of what might happen, just my determination to keep going. So few ever knew how truly conflicted I was inside. I think in part because I didn’t consciously realize it myself then.

Tangent/  If you look closely, you can see a black bracelet on one wrist and a watch on the other. The bracelet was a cheap piece of rubber but had so much sentimental value to me. It was the last thing M, my first love, ever gave me before he was killed and I wore it for almost 2 decades of my life. I’d also developed a knack for collecting cheap but unusual watches and probably had about 30 of them at this point. I wore a different one every week. This was all still pre-internet. /tangent

It should come as no surprise I moved around a lot. I was searching for a place to ‘fit’, a place to belong. I wanted it, but more importantly I needed it. I also tended to move-in with any guy who showed more than a passing interest in me. I was living in Galveston at the time but was preparing to move to Houston. I needed a place to put down roots so I could move past just surviving. Years later, when I got a chance to move to SF, I jumped at it. I almost fled I left so fast. SF gave me a chance to start over yet again but this time for myself. I didn’t move for a guy or anyone else. I moved for me. Without knowing it, it gave me a chance to stop and assess my life. Having a new place far away from everyone and everything I knew gave me a chance to dismantle the shell I’d built for myself. It gave me a chance to shed my coping mechanisms. I left behind not only a weak body but also a weak mind. I worked hard to get ahead in every way possible. And I’ve come so very far. I’d never have thought it even remotely possible back then.

Today, looking back on it feels as if I’m looking at someone else’s life thru my own eyes. I remember how damaged he was and how hard he struggled to survive. I remember how hard he worked to make sure no one ever knew how horribly inadequate he felt 24/7. I remember how he chronicled and buried his pain in journals. I remember how he hung onto any ounce of praise or attention sent his way. I also remember the few souls who truly befriended him, some who are still in his life today, some not. He was like a tumbleweed just blowing in the winds of life. And yet, all of that aside he was happy. (Ok, no more third party references to myself)  A total contradiction. But, I had survived so much by then why wouldn’t I have been happy? Actually, I was obnoxiously gay and happy at the same time. *giggle*

In this silly picture I am reminded my past gives me strength to face my future. My past failings do not define who I am today. So while I remember that broken shell of a young man, he is not me today. I honor his struggle to move forward the best way he knew how. I rejoice at his silliness, his indomitable spirit, and his unwavering desire to survive. All of which is still with me today.

 




  1. I converted it courtesy of the Google+ Photoscan app, which works surprisingly good. []

Absent Minded

So the last picture post here was supposed to go to my photo blog. Apparently, my dumb-ass forgot I changed some passwords a while back so it stopped updating. To make matters worse, when I updated it, I forgot how I had setup the transfer and ended up creating a new IFTTT1 applet.

When I originally setup the photo blog there wasn’t a direct way to import my photos from IG to WordPress. I had to create a work-around that sent the pic from IG to Tumblr then to WordPress. It was a bit messy but it worked pretty well. Best of all, it was automated. Well, all of the API’s have been updated since then apparently. There are multiple applets in IFTTT that allow you to import directly. My IFTTT account has my blog settings not my photo blog so when I “reconnected”, I connected it to the wrong site. hehehe Not the end of the world mind you. I just thought it was funny.

It’s all fixed now. I still need to go back and manually import all the pics that got skipped but it’s all automated again. Yay!

In other tech fails, I installed Chromium on an old laptop and for some reason, the CD drive will not re-install windows. Granted it’s an old copy but it should work. The BIOS settings are all good and the drive is functioning so I’m leaning toward blaming the install disc.  It crashes after loading the software and drivers to install and I get the blue screen of death.  I’m not too upset as I hate Windows 10. It’s clunky, ugly, and just not user friendly. It tries and fails to be a universal OS between desktop and mobile. I’m thinking of just installing Linux. I don’t use the laptop that often, but Chromium is still just a wee bit too simple for my needs. If I could just port Android it would be fine.2  Since it wasn’t ‘designed’ to run Android or Chromium both versions are modified ports, courtesy of 3rd-party vendors. Said vendors aren’t really in a position to provide support. Anyway, first world problems.

 




  1. If This Then That []
  2. I used to run Android thru Bluestacks when I had windows installed and I loved it. []

United We Stand

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.  




  1. Notice I said ‘should not be’ vs ‘isn’t. This clearly demonstrates it’s past tense now. []

Beard-tastrophe!

beardless
Missing beard

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!

🙂

 




  1. They creep me the f**k out actually []
  2. yawn []

Ever After

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. 




  1. Boy, he used to do it for me. hehehe []
  2. I should post some snapshots of my really old journals. They were so sad. []

Zelda and the Switch

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. 




  1. To be fair, this could be changed with a software patch. []
  2. We unplugged ours. Shawn was creeped out that it always welcomed him when he would walk by the tv while I’m gaming. heehee []

Return Trip

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

 




  1. Ocean water this far north stays cold year round. []

Hawaii Trip

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.




  1. I drank way more before I turned 21 lol []

Personal Best

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.




  1. I was soooo scrawny as a young man []