Pride & Prejudice

So as usual, there is in-fighting amongst all the letters in our glorious alphabet of communities. This year seems to have taken a new twist as people are losing their sh*t over changes to the rainbow flag in PA. Apparently, some folks have decided to add extra stripes to denote the inclusion of race.

For my part, I don’t really care either way. If you want to add some stripes to represent the inclusion of race on the flag be my guest. The rainbow flag is just a symbol. It doesn’t define me or my life so modifying it doesn’t really affect me one way or the other. Symbols are meant to represent us, not define us.

On the one side, racism is just as prevalent in the gay community as it is in the straight world. What harm is there in adding reflections of race to show inclusion? Even though the flag wasn’t meant to reflect race, so what if some people want to include a variation that includes it. I’ve seen so many personal variations of the rainbow flag for years. Where is the outrage on all those variations? No one owns a symbol anymore than they own an idea. Let us all stop acting like changing a recognized symbol will end all our hard earned rights.  

On the other side, I also don’t really think it helps anything. Many of our racial tensions are tied to various socioeconomic issues. Until we work thru these, changing a symbol does absolutely nothing IMO. Actions are stronger than words. How about we stop using disrespectful terms to refer to other races? How about we stop acting like every unflattering joke or mention of race/gender is an attack? Even better, how about we stop marginalizing everyone because of the actions of a few? Instead, let us accept that others suffer differently than you. Be willing to look outside your sphere of existence to see thru another’s eyes.These actions and attitudes are much more effective at stopping hate, mistrust, and fear.

This whole pissing match is a reflection of the deeper issues within our umbrella. These ever growing trends of attacking and/or shaming anyone who disagrees, even in the slightest, are doing the work of our enemies for them. We are destroying our communities from within. Our umbrella of people rarely agree on any given topic. Why must we make enemies of each other over different view points like this? The level of vitriol and disgusting behavior I’ve seen on both sides has been deeply disturbing. This is not how we should be treating each other.We can disagree with our allies w/o labeling them as enemies. We can be patient and show understanding as we try to educate those around us who thru privilege or ignorance don’t understand a given viewpoint. Shock value and strong-arm tactics might sometimes work against our enemies but when we use them on our allies we only further the divide between us.

I’ll be the first to admit I don’t have all the answers, but I still support equality and freedom for all. That makes me an ally even though I’m a person who won’t be shouted down just because I don’t always see eye to eye with everyone else. When we silence the voices of our allies over internal squabbles, what is their motivation to speak for us when we need them? And don’t even get me started on the growing tide of small groups who decide they can’t compromise even a little. They demand to have their way or else. If you refuse, they do everything possible to obstruct or shut down the process. How is that productive? You don’t win hearts and minds that way.

While the LGBTI movement has taken some significant large steps recently, it took decades to get this far. We gained many of our rights slowly one at time. We still have more to accomplish. Many of these new found rights are under renewed attack. We need to be unified now more than ever.

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 []

Trip

I hope everyone out there is having a warm and safe holiday. I’m at work but more on that in a minute. Shawn, Cooper, and myself are all off to LA tomorrow for a few days and then on to Phoenix. I’m on vacation for a week starting tomorrow. Yes, we are driving just so we can take Cooper. Well, that is a part of it. We wanted to make two stops so flying would have been a bit overkill to bounce around so much. Driving just made more sense and since we are driving, why not take the Cooper-Pooper? It has cooled off in Phoenix so he won’t expire from the heat. hehehe

As dreary as that drive can be, I’m looking forward to it.1 This will be our first long road trip with Cooper. I always get so sad leaving him behind when we fly. I often stress about him being scared and lonely while I’m gone. I know I shouldn’t because the roomie spends plenty of quality time with him anytime we’re gone, but that doesn’t alleviate my worry. This time he gets to come along! That might sound silly but Cooper is not just a pet to me, he is my loyal companion and I’m glad to be able to take him more places. He loves to ride in the car so I expect he will enjoy the hell out of it.

As mentioned, I’m working the holiday as it falls on my normal work day. I originally had it off when I signed up for vacation. However, since we only sign up for vacation once a year and have shift assignments twice a year, I got bumped off my days off. More astutely, I got bumped over 1 day on my days off. So now I’m working Christmas day, which is my Friday, and then off for the week. Thank the GSM2 I am off for NYE. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before NYE is the worst day of the year for work and am soooo grateful not to be working.

Be safe, be warm, and wherever you are, know that you are loved!




  1. If you’ve ever driven between LA and SF, you know what I mean []
  2. Great Spagetti Monster []

War

It has become normal for this time of year to include a contingent of haters claiming there is a "war on Christmas." Someone explain it to me. Where is this alleged war? Are they referring to the fact that more businesses and people are aware enough now to recognize not everyone celebrates Christmas? Is that the war? Really?

No one who has complained about said war can show any real proof other than personal bias. I’ve yet to see or hear any real attempts to eliminate or stifle someone’s holiday. A coworker was lamenting they felt Christmas was diminished by generic ‘holiday wishes.’ After asking the coworker why, they could only come up with their own personal preference in a greeting. News flash, that is not a war on your holiday! I just shook my head and walked away.

Frankly, if your personal holiday is ruined because someone wishes you a good holiday with the wrong greeting, the problem is with you. Seriously, just be happy someone took the time to wish you well. I personally don’t care if you wish me Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holiday, Happy Festivus, Happy Solstice, etc. You wishing me good will is enough. I don’t correct you or go out of my way to clarify I celebrate Brand X holiday. I accept your kindness and move on.

I personally tend to wish everyone a Happy Kwanzaa. People often either have no idea what it is but have heard of it, or giggle a bit and wish me one as well. Yeah, it’s a tiny passive aggressive act but it tickles my funny bone.

So Happy Kwanzaa!

Thanks

Well, today is the holiday and while I don’t really celebrate Thanksgiving in the traditional sense, I do find time to be thankful for the things in my life. If you had told me 15 years ago, I’d be at this place in my life now, I would have laughed in your face. The idea that I could come so far, as a person, in such a short amount of time would have been unbelievable. But here I am.

I have a lot to be thankful for in my life. And as much as I get wrapped up in the minutia of day to day drama, my life is pretty good at the moment. I’ve finally accepted it is possible for me to be this content and have so few worries. It’s taken a couple years to sink in but I’m getting it. Most days, life is deliciously boring. No drama, no tragedies, no failures, just boring day to day interactions. Gym, dog, work, home, hubby, video games, dog, sleep, repeat.

Like Madam used to say, "It’s been a long climb to the middle." For some being grateful for such a life might seem odd. It is probably a starting point for many. I accept that and good for them. I used to regret my life and how hard it was. Over time I realized the struggles I faced helped make me who I am. The odds were definitely against me getting this far. So many things could have gone different, even slightly, and I wouldn’t have made it. I’ve lost count of the small chance occurrences that kept me sane, well, and even alive.

I have the good fortune to be in a good place in life. I try my best not to take that for granted. I am grateful for good friends, a partner in life who gets me, and a slobbering farting bulldog who lives for me. I crawled out of debt this year. I’m overall pretty healthy. Again, all pretty normal things to be grateful for but reading the news and seeing the tragedy here and abroad, I’m still grateful for it all. I bitch and moan about my first world problems but I keep it in perspective. Wherever you are this year, find joy in the good things in your life, no matter how small. I think happiness is found in those ‘little things.’

I’m working as usual. I’ll be stuffing my face at work with a large feed and keeping the officers and city safe as best I can with my coworkers. If you’re not doing the family thing and feel like you are alone, volunteer for a shelter (Human or animal). You’ll be surprised how less alone and bad you feel about your own life. Whatever you do, find some way to pass on the gratitude you have in your own life to others.

Be safe my friends. I wish you a warm, fuzzy, and "stuffed" holiday.

NY

One has to only look at the pic to know

image
Me and the Pup

what the focus of my new year has been. March will be the 2 year mark that Shawn and I have been together and I couldn’t be happier. Things are still awesome and I’m still grinning ear to ear.

2014 has been a good year for me. Shawn and I are still doing awesome. I’m sloooooowly converting him to life in SF and as much as he hates to admit it, he is adjusting. hehehe Cooper is still strong and healthy. Overall, I’m healthy1 and doing well. Beyond that, life is just simple right now. In many ways it is totally boring but we are boring together and that’s what counts.

This year saw me threw 2 separate eye surgeries, both of which I came out of just fine. The eye is still a bit of an issue but it seems things are getting better. It will be months before I know if an additional surgery is required. I’m optimistic my busted eye will fall in line and I won’t have to have the extra surgery. *Crossed fingers*

I need to get my squishy ass back into the gym more. Now that the surgeries are over, I’m trying to get back into it. All my pants are getting tight. lol

*

Looking forward, I’m eager for the next year with Shawn. I’m so happy sometimes I think i worry too much something will happen to ruin it. Old habits die hard and old demons die harder but I’m settling into the contentment that is my life right now. ​

I hope you that you and yours are doing well. I wish you all a very happy, loved, and prosperous new year!




  1. even though I feel all squishy from missing the gym too much []

2013

Well, 2013 turned out to be an amazing here for me. It was a time for personal reflection on past mistakes. It was a time of emotional and financial recovery. It was also a time of joy and happiness.

The year started rather ho-hum. Nothing bad or good, just rather uneventful. I switched shifts at work for a software project. This put me on day shift, which I lamented repeatedly. Ironically, the timing of my assignment was instrumental, even if I didn’t recognize it at the time.

As time went by the year just got better and better.

There is, of course, my beloved Cooper. He always brings me joy. His unconditional love is a constant light in my life. I will never understand how anyone could abandon such a wonderful animal. Being a special needs dog only makes me love him that much more.

Of course, unless you never read my madness, there was my meeting The Pup. Knowing each other online for years, this was our first year to meet in person. I believe that life brought him to me. The coincidences and alignment of occurrences were all too obvious to ignore. My time on the project gave me a lot of flexibility to visit back and forth while he was still living in Phoenix. I truly believe I was meant to be with him. He has taught me the meaning of true love and what it feels like to be loved unconditionally. I eagerly anticipate our future together. I simply cannot imagine my life without him.

My finances came together and are well under control again. I’m still carrying a debt load but knowing I’m on top it takes a huge stress off of me. It will take a couple years to get it down to what I want but getting a consolidation loan most definitely helped. The interest was slightly higher than what I wanted but I can apply for a refinance in a year so I’m pleased.

As always, I struggle to be better than I am. It is not a NY resolution as much as an approach to life in general. The struggle continues. This past year didn’t test me as much as reaffirm my growth in this area.

I won’t miss 2013 as much as look back on it fondly. I am excited to greet 2014.