* * * My Words, My World, My Way * * *

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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Why I'm Gay

I've always wondered. Contemplated. Speculated. Thought. About why I'm gay. And now I know. I can blame is squarely on Blanche, Dorothy, Sophia and Rose. The Golden Girls made me gay:

  • Blanche’s promiscuity is a common model for the personal lives of today’s homosexuals. Most gay relationships last a week.
  • She taught our modern butt rompers to disparage everyone in their orbit. Dorothy taught the gays to speak very fast and have the most superior attitude possible.
  • For Florida, The Golden Girls completely ruined the reality of Miami’s masculine reputation. It was no longer a city of Scarface and Miami Vice.
Check out the article. You'll laugh....at the show, and at yourself. And at the writer. This is the kind of crap that 2010 Christianity in the United States is scaring people with. I've said it for many years -- if the church would actually look on the INside of its four walls, there would be serious trouble. Instead, they continue to choose to look OUTside....blaming others, casting attention outside to avoid the inward focus. I spent the vast majority of my life inside of the church. It hasn't been right for centuries. And it still isn't right today. But at least articles like this continue to give us giggles and laughs. As they should. And, do you suppose, just possibly, that it really was Blanche and Dorothy that made me gay?

Monday, July 26, 2010

An Odd Lot

We are an odd lot, I must say. Fairly pleasant, but odd. We are a conglomeration of so many strange sorts that its hard to put a finger on it sometimes. Bohemians. Alternatives. Grunge. High-tech polo shirt wearers with little names on the breast. Long-haired hippies, both current trendy ones and those leftover from the Vietnam era. We smoke pot. Plenty of us live on the streets either by choice or by default. More than our fair share are overweight, drive mini vans and park in spots reserved for the handicapped. We are filled with lesbians and gays on nearly every street. We drive Subarus and hybrids and Smart Cars. And beat up pickup trucks too. Our east and west suburbs shop at Wal Mart while our inner city urban group snubs their noses at chain stores whatsoever (and that includes me). We are activists and are not afraid to say "No" to government or big business. We are boarders and skaters and used-clothing advocates and we carry our own grocery bags to the store for use. Oh, and one more thing....

We are checked out. Oblivious. Out of it. We ride bikes in traffic when we should not and expect that motor vehicles will actually pay attention and see us -- we demand our bike rights! We pay no attention to bicycle riders when we should be -- by god, they get enough attention! We push oversized strollers right down the middle of sidewalks and expect others to clear out of our way. We take our dogs to places when we should not because we don't think or care. Children are allowed to play wherever they want -- certainly they must be given a voice at age six months...right? We sit at four-way intersections....waiting, waiting, waiting....while everybody tries to be nice and let the other guy go. Meanwhile, nobody goes and traffic builds up. "No, you go....seriously, you go first...." Turn right on a red light after stopping first? Maybe. If we remember that it's okay to do. As for left-hand turns, we wait WAY back behind the line....instead of pulling out into the intersection to the actual point of the turn.....scared, waiting, nervous, not paying any attention. And then the light turns red and its time for our turn and......nothing happens. Nobody gets to go. And I honk my horn, because I have one and I like to use it. It sort of jars people. It sometimes gets me the finger. But most of the time I see the head in the car in front of me sort of glance around, in the mirror maybe, like "Are you talking to me?" We don't get it. It's like we're high on crack or something. Like LSD was our best friend in the 1960s. Our sense of our surroundings has been dulled. We just aren't aware. Maybe its all of the rain and gray skies. Who knows.

I followed a mother on her bicycle the other night. She in the middle of the road with her child on the back of the bike. Looking around, at people, at gardens and homes. And me....directly behind her, with cars piled up behind me. And she is not the exception to the rule.

You've just got to love Portland. Eclectic. Strange. Slow. Weird. We've got it all. We're slow...but we've got it all.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ted Haggard's Coming Around Again

Gay People Welcome -- Gay Marriages, Not So Much.....

Just like Carly Simon, it just goes to show that you can't keep a closeted homosexual meth user down. Ted Haggard is back doing what he loves to do. I remember another sex-related scandal in my own church growing up. Apparently, congregations don't like it when the senior pastor is discovered in bed with one of the elder's wives. Tsk tsk. At least in my church in Idaho they didn't. Good luck, Ted. Be honest about yourself this time around, would you please? It'll be easier on all of us.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Oregon....Home to the World's Tallest Trees

Generally, this bad boy doesn't like being touched while at work. And it happens regularly as you'll remember from this writing. But when it happened today, I begged for it on the other side. My wish was granted. Enough about that.....

On to more important issues. It will come as no surprise that I love living where I do...Portland, Oregon is an amazing place. The Pacific Northwest is filled with trees, water, rocks, ocean and lots of green growing stuff from bushes to grasses. What I didn't realize until today is that the coastline from British Columbia south to Northern California is home to some of the world's most tall trees. The trees here are typically 130 feet or better. And small patches of the Redwoods in Northern California actually reach nearly 200 feet! They are hundreds of years old and are hit hard by strong Pacific winds and many inches of rain each year. This article was on the front page of The Oregonian today. I rarely read the newspaper any longer but this caught my eye and held my attention. It goes on about the earth's carbon and how much we release back into the oceans, air, and ...... trees. It just confirms one more time why I count my home as one of the world's greatest and most beautiful places to live.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

July 20, 1969

Anybody remember this day? I do. Black and white Magnavox television, rabbit ears perched atop angled just right, and we three kids and my mom piled around the set in our living room. If this video doesn't get you, I think you're minus something inside. It should get you. It should remind you, change you, cause you to challenge our world today. We have so much now. But, yet, we have so little. This was one of the world's greatest days. Today we're used to these sorts of technology challenges being met with ease -- and they happen so frequently that our senses have become blurred, tempered, dulled. Let this take you back. 41 years ago today.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Roasted Corn Salad with Maple Dressing

We seem to have very little time (or very little summer, for that matter) for sitting around enjoying the evenings. And I was actually considering going out again tonight after I picked up LoverBoy from the airport. But I decided to throw together a salad with whatever I had in the refrigerator. Now, if you know me, you'll know that my culinary creative juices flow nearly constantly. I can't walk down the grocery store aisle without an endless plethora of ideas careening through my head. Without further adieu, tonight's creation:

Begin with thick slices of crispy cold iceberg lettuce -- don't shred or chop it...leave it sliced thick. Top with whatever vegetables you have on hand. Tonight, I used halved grape tomatoes, paper-thin sliced Walla Walla onions, shaved celery, green apple chunks, carrots, small amount of Gorgonzola cheese, a few peanuts, and red pepper strips. While I was putting all of that together, I grilled one ear of summertime corn....until just blackened a bit. I shaved off the corn from the ear and divided it between two salads.

Dressing: Mix together the following and drizzle over the salads: Olive oil, balsamic vinegar, plenty of maple syrup, garlic, fresh cracked black pepper, bit of salt to taste, hint of orange juice.

I grilled some garlic bread at the last minute on the BBQ and served with it. You just can't go wrong. It was so good!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Third Week of July

And....we're back! From Bear Week 2010 in Provincetown. A week in an old house with ten good friends and no bad apples this time around. An excellent relaxing week without drama or attitude or babysitting. If you've ever been to P-Town, you'll know that it is one of America's most gay meccas. Filled with "those people." This time around, however, it was a bit of a different mix -- containing far more straight people, cute girls in short dresses, and tons of children and strollers. I thought I was getting away from my work on the airplane and was going to be able to enjoy a week without strollers and yelling children -- but, alas, it was not entirely to be. There was definitely a strikingly different group of people in the town this year....in addition to the thousands of big old handsome hairy bears. And, for the first time, I encountered "that look." You know that look, don't you? The look by an overweight older straight guy who has been living in the parking lot at Wal Mart for a while and who has good Christian values....who looks like he would just as soon shoot you as look at you. I mean, here's the deal...the town is filled with same-sex couples holding hands, kissing, enjoying, relaxing....in an environment where we are actually able to do that sort of normal thing without fearing for our lives and getting bashed for who we are. But this time around, it was a bit different. And I did encounter "that look" -- the look that wanted to know what in the world two men were doing holding hands. And I didn't like it.

Don't you get tired of supposed adults who can't quite give up thinking they are victims in this world? Those who renege on their responsibilities and promises. Those who think that because someone else may happen to be more well off than they are that the other guy can be the one to pay for things "because they have it and I don't." I'm getting increasingly cranky when I encounter those who take advantage of friends, family and others and decide that "You can afford it, I can't" when it comes time to keeping up with responsibilities. Shirking off to others what is your responsibility is not something I call pretty or smacking of adult behavior. My buttons are getting pushed and this boy ain't enjoying it one little bit.

I can plainly see that this is, yet, one more summer that will be passing without us going camping. We've got a full compliment of camping gear in a storage shed that sits unused year after year. We used to go fairly regularly and loved it. But now, responsibilities and work seems to keep the lid on those sorts of things. And I'm not asking for sympathy. I'm simply stating facts and wish that our schedules and things that keep us close to home were different.

In case you didn't know already (yeah, right...), I have this way about me. I call it the "Church boy who had the lid kept on the kettle for far too long" syndrome. You see, that's what happens. You tell someone, anyone!, "No, no no" for long enough and they are bound to turn it into "Yes, yes yes!" sooner or later. I grew up covered, sheltered, in church, and without the ability to be myself in some ways. No regrets, just the facts. Nowadays, I'm a brassy and sassy dude. Mouthy, without filters on my mouth sometimes, don't put up with BS, and call people on their little games. If I see a good looking dude, you'll see my head turn....and possibly, even, a gutteral utterance. I keep my mouth shut until I can't any longer -- and then you'd better look out. I make sexual innuendos. I make comments that I shouldn't sometimes. People take me seriously sometimes when I'm not. And vice versa. But, hey now, that's life. It's led me into trouble more than once. It's caused mixed reviews when it comes to people actually liking me or not. It's created rifts in friendships and I've had myself removed from more than one friend's Facebook lineup because of it. I'm a nice guy. I'm not a sweet guy. But I'm me. I don't apologize for me, for who I am. If you want to get the job done, you'll call me. If you want to chat about how mean people are to you in this world, you won't call me. I love my friends. And most of them even love me. And that's enough.

We are in the middle of a lot of work after our vacation in Provincetown. But as many nights as we can, we go to one of Portland's free Summer Concerts in the Parks. We take a picnic, our lawn chairs, Mason many times, and head to the park. The music is all different, it typically draws in the local neighborhood of wherever the park is located, and it is nothing but a great way to spend one of Portland's warm summer evenings. We've been doing it for more than ten years now. We invite friends, anybody is welcome. There are food vendors, children, pets and bicycles. It makes us feel good.

Friday, July 16, 2010

The Final Day

Today is our last full day at Bear Week 2010 in Provincetown.
  • We've seen far more of these than last year: Lesbians, children, strollers, tour/bus groups, hot straight men with their girlfriends.
  • We attend the Tea Dance at the Boat Slip each afternoon from 4-7pm. It's been unbelievably crowded....thousands each afternoon.
  • Did you know that a leaf blower can actually be used on stage in a production in a person's mouth?
  • I was called a sexy Metrosexual yesterday.
  • We saw the Varla Jean Merman show last night -- a staple here in P-Town. Excellent!
  • Walking through narrow city streets in the midst of thousands of people in a group is difficult. You really have to adopt a "No Rules" sort of plan -- where anybody can do anything at any time. No rules. No hard feelings. No biggie.
  • We typically drink about 50% of our annual alcohol consumption during these seven days. I actually think we've been a little better this year.
  • I'm amazed at the dollar amount spent on a single cocktail or on a single restaurant entree. It's not for the financially weak of heart.
  • Most of the shops are staffed by foreign workers -- I remember last year they told me they were from South Africa and Eastern Europe. Many struggle with their English. They also work more than one job per day....some even three jobs. They are here from May-November.
  • My neck is nearly broken from trying to spin it in multiple directions at any given time....there's just so much to see....if you know what I mean. (Umm.....Bradley from Texas.......that's all I have to say....).
  • We've met all sorts of people from Boston, Vermont, New York City, England, the Midwest, Washington DC...and the list goes on. (Those damn British failed to pay back my husband for the added cost of the one meal they had with us.......).
  • Daddy had a shave in the Bear Barber Shop by a hot guy. You should have seen the hot men lined up for shaves -- GGrrrrrr.......
  • Dessert is my friend.
  • I have stopped more times than I can count to say hi to the hundreds of pooches in the streets. I've had two of them on their backs with all fours in the air....the dogs...the DOGS!
  • My tee-shirt fetish has been properly embellished this week.
  • My Husband has received far more attention from the attractions of others than I have this week.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Just Another Day in Provincetown

Bear Week 2010 in Provincetown is shaping up quite nicely. How do a town of several thousand drenched bears running for cover sound? Oh boy. You should have seen us after we ran, ran, ran through town in the pouring rain. We were as wet as if you'd run us through the washing machine today. And tonight, it has cleared up beautifully -- we sat on the front porch at the Gifford House for an evening nightcap. A perfectly good period on a nice day. We had lunch with our friends Mike and Rob from Albany and sat at Tea Dance in the pouring rain, unable to move. Tonight lots of good food with eight of us......our friends Alex and Jason arrived today from the Pacific Northwest.

And not to be outdone, we've rubbed.....a, er....noses.....shoulders really.....with two porn stars: Jake Deckard and Johnny Hazzard. Yep. Jonny stood right by us during the rain storm with his umbrella....and minus his nice little white pit bull pup that he's been in town with this week. I asked him where the pooch was. And then Jake and I chatted with another dude about pink cupcakes and washing them down with Red Bull. Let's just say that they are only two of thousands.....seriously, thousands....of hot men in this town. My head is spinning like an owl.

We're having a great time. There's no doubt about that.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Barbie Q

Provincetown is no stranger to drag queens. They abound here. We were at The Monkey Bar yesterday afternoon when Barbie Q strolls in. The sweat dripping off her brow. The hair askew. We are lined up at the bar -- drinking a creamy, milkshake and liquor concoction called a Mudslide -- when she walks in, the door closing loudly on the warm, humid afternoon behind her. She drags her yards of black dress material onto the bar stool and announces that "I've just had my dress ran over by a guy in a Hummer...he must have a short dick." Of course, we turn our heads. She announces within the next 90 seconds that she's had a hellish day. Lost her boyfriend at 4am that morning and another boyfriend at 5am. Her right fake breast is exposed, twisted and loose since she put it in earlier in the day. I try to help her with the expose'. She remarks, "Oh hell," as she yanks that bad boy out and slaps the titty on the bar....nipple side up. Giggles and laughs ensue as iPhone cameras photograph the evidence. We buy her Jack Daniels and Sprite. She gets her legs up on a second bar stool and pulls up the dress -- "I need to air myself out...it's hot outside today." She tells me to look for her later that day at The Boat Slip Tea Dance. I'll be the guy in the tight jeans. I never did see her again. I looked.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Engines are Started.....

Teeth are in the middle of being bleached, the nails have been groomed, bags are packed, laundry is nearly done, bedding is almost done, groceries purchased, MIL all set in her abode, the dog is headed to Aunt Melanie's tonight, I have robbed enough banks for cash to fill a suitcase, and the leather vest we purchased in Chicago awhile back is jammed into an overly packed suitcase. Tomorrow we leave Portland and fly nonstop to Boston. We're staying in a very nice hotel on the Boston waterfront. And honey and I are going to head straight out and enjoy a few of Boston's Freedom Trail sites before having an Italian dinner in the North End.

Saturday morning we take the ferry from Boston to Provincetown....way out at the very tip of Cape Cod. It's quite the place. This coming week is one of the world's premiere Bear events in the world. it will be filled with thousands of handsome, hairy, muscly men from the East Coast and, in fact, around the world. We're joining several friends in an old house for the week -- it's a low-key, no drama week filled with getting up leisurely, having coffee, coming and going to a huge variety of activities, and meeting lots of new friends. There will be hikes to take, sites to see, and a bit of shopping. Each afternoon at 4pm will find us on the waterfront deck of The Boat Slip for Tea Dance. I'm guessing that there are a thousand or more people at the Tea Dance each afternoon.

So, that's it. Blogging will be minimal. Facebook will be active. Stay cool and have yourselves a great warm summer week.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

After the Holiday Weekend

  • I was confused for Neil Patrick Harris a few days back. By an older sort of gentleman. He was so kind to me as he passed me and did a double-take. "Are you Neil Patrick Harris, I must ask....?" I laughed. And then said thank you and offered my autograph. He remained rather flirtatious. I played along.
  • We depart on Friday morning for Boston and then on Saturday morning from Boston to Provincetown for Bear Week 2010! We're going to do a whirlwind Boston tour Friday evening.
  • My head cold has moved into my chest -- I feel pretty good but have this horrible cough.
  • I've been working like the devil. Tomorrow is day 6 in a row after only one day off just prior to the 6 on. But then I'm off until July 19th!
  • Mason has been under the weather -- he peed the bed (I think) about five nights back. He's been trying to chase his hindquarters as if he's irritated and something's back there. He is nervous, pacing and unsettled. The vet checked him over and isn't quite sure. They gave him an antibiotic shot in case it was a bladder or urinary tract infection. And they expressed his anal glans. If you're not familiar with this precious procedure, I hope you'll enjoy this video. Apparently, even I can perform this little act at home. Just before dinner or drinks, for added enjoyment. He's feeling a bit better.
  • We are thankful for all of those in our lives who help us out -- from our friends and neighbors who check on Mason while we're away to those who text us, phone us, email us and work and live with us. We appreciate our friends and how much good they bring to our lives.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Today's the Day.

Let's see here, I'll try to put this as gently as possible -- Is it wrong of me, or improper or unpatriotic perhaps, for me to say that while I love my country I don't like many of the people in it? Tsk tsk, I hear you say. "How could he be so unpatriotic." "Liberal. Rebel." Whatever. Perhaps. It doesn't matter to me. But the truth remains. That I love where I live. The country, the city, the state. But there are times, many times as the years roll by, that I don't like large chunks of people in my country. I don't like those who hate. Those who inflict pain. Those who ruin our nation. Those who dump their trash out of car windows. Those who thump a Bible and look at me with a glare in their eyes and a feeling of sin in their heart. I don't like mini vans full of kids pulling into overgrown evangelical churches while mommy bleaches her hair with a Clairol bottle and daddy does the church secretary after work on Wednesdays. It has nothing to do with an old fashioned patriotic march or popular, catchy country music tune with fancy words in it. The red, white and blue bumper stickers with political phrases will disappear one day. And the use of the word "Pride" may actually mean something sometime. I could go on and on. And each of us has our own list.

There are long lists of "things" that people have tried to tie to being a part of the good ol' US of A. Some may be partially true. Others are so far off that it's not even funny. We think we have the market cornered on many things. And we do, in many ways. But we're seriously defunct in others. I think a good dose of humility does a body, a country, good. And, no, this is no slam fest. I love this land. Period. It's just some of the people that I don't get. And I suppose that's the truth everywhere, for that matter. So, today I celebrate. Our nation. It's rich history of immigration and hard work. Its multicultural origination. Its mixed up people. Where it has come from. But let's leave off the parts of it that we've created ourselves. The false ideas. The suspect opinions -- those tossed about as if they are the truth. Let's set those aside and enjoy the simplicity of our country. Today and every day.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Fresh Beginnings

July 1. Canada day. A new month. And a new blog template and colors. Wild, eh? I've had the same blog template since its beginning in October 2006. And everyone needs a little freshening up from time to time....right?

I've just returned from a Boston layover. My one day off before a six-day stretch of Austin, Phoenix, and several trips to Las Vegas. After that? Bear Week 2010 in Provincetown! Here's last year's memories from P-Town. We're staying in the same house as last year....it's the prior home of the guy who would help turn around the trains at the end of the rail line in Provincetown. If you don't know it already, Provincetown is at the very far end of Cape Cod....protruding out into the Atlantic Ocean. And don't tell the folks over in Plymouth (remember Plymouth Rock where the Pilgrims were supposed to have landed first?). But actually Provincetown was the first stop after their journey across the ocean. Shh. You'll screw up history if anybody finds out. We are with a few new friends this year, and minus a few old ones from last year. Change is good.

Once we return from P-Town, Portland's free Summer Concerts in the Parks will be in full swing. We have been going to these for more than ten years now. They run on most nights of the week in a wide variety of parks across the city. We take a picnic, the pooch, and our sand chairs and enjoy. It has become a powerful memory of our years together and reminds us of how much we really dig this city we live in. If you're in the area, you should join us.

I see that Google has become another of the growing number of companies helping to cover the "Imputed Income" that domestic partner's are required to pay for their same-sex health insurance coverages. In case you didn't know it already, I have my domestic partner listed on my health insurance. And he has me listed on his. But since we are not married (and not permitted to be married in the state of Oregon) it means that my employer is required to tack on "Imputed Income" to our taxable income each year. It amounts to about $3,500 for each of us that shows up under additional income. Then we pay taxes on that additional amount. Those of you who are married do not. Unfair. Yes. Thankfully, Google is yet one more company that is helping cover that additional financial burden on its employees. Remember, it's the home of the free and land of the brave.....where we have liberty and justice for some.

Summer time has been slow in coming here. We had one of the rainiest Mays on record. And the wettest June ever. We have had one day reaching 80 so far. The rest have hovered in the 60s and 70s. Personally, neither of us mind it. We're not prone to the throws of depression or that sort of thing when the grey and clouds hang around forever. But, come on, toss us a little bone here. Just a little sumthin'.

I have a growing collection of hats. A few of the baseball variety. But even a few more of the variety that you'll see in this picture. Of course the red one is from Portland's Red Dress Party and I've simply added the others to the collection over the last few months. I sort of like them.