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Monday, July 25, 2011

A Story of Transformation

The story of transformation is powerful.  Progressing from our past into our future.  From what we used to be into what we are now....or what we can become tomorrow.  Leaving behind old things, things that are worn out and no longer need to be a part of our lives......and moving ahead into the new. 

Being open, honest, and making one’s self available to change is a moment in our lives that won’t soon be forgotten.  The very blip of time in which we signal to ourselves that it’s okay to be different....better....than yesterday.  The moment in our lives that we realize how our former attitudes sucked the life out of us and that the old way of doing business was leading us down a road that led to nowhere. 

Yes, there is something quite powerful about that split-second of time in each one of our lives when it all comes together in our heads.....and when our heads align with our hearts.  It is then....only then....that we can move forward.  Until then, we are bogged down....backwards.....even fighting a dark sort of internal battle.  And after that, we begin to feel better.  Happier.  Like a weight has been lifted.  We’ve all been there.  And we’ll probably be there again.  But looking for....actually even expecting.....those moments creates an atmosphere of possibility.  That there may actually be hope for us.  For tomorrow.  That there is at least the most remote chance that we don’t have to continue to react the same way we always have.  That we don’t have to be the same person that we’ve become quite comfortable being. 

The story of change seems to give us permission to say NO to the old and YES to the new.  It’s so easy to get complacent....and used to....having the same reactions to past troubles rather than to have fresh new responses to each day.  No, I haven’t arrived.  Nor do I honestly expect to.  But the road looks differently than it used to.  It feels better.  And I’m glad that I’m on this path, on this journey, rather than on one of the many others that I could be walking.

I can’t imagine getting to the end of this thing we call life and having made the same choices at age 80 that I made at age 18.  I think it’s time to refuse to play games that just can’t be won and to instead focus our energies on a more positive time of life.  A time of life that points back to the old days and the less-than-stellar choices -- and points ahead to living the second part of my life differently.  More honestly.  More in  balance.  Treating others better than I have in my past.  And giving myself permission to add to this world rather than take away from it. 

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The Bears Return to the Forest

Good lord.  What a week.  Bear Week 2011 in Provincetown.  Summer in Cape Cod.  From drinking as much water as I could to minimize the effects of the strong summer sun to using a whole can of sunscreen, it was quite the week.  Well, and then there are the alternative drinks -- the Poolboy, the Pineapple Paradise, the Watermelon Vodka Soda, the beer, and the shots of Cranberry Vodka.  I'm exhausted and more than happy to be home....listening to the rains of mid July in Portland fall on the rooftop this morning.  No, honestly, I'm glad to be here.  I had a delightful week with my friends.  My good buddy Don has always made sure I'm well taken care of, welcomed, and pointed in the right direction.  He is just that kind of guy.  I owe him my first born.  A few of us took in the Pam Ann show which was geared totally to the Bear audience....amazing night.  It was her first foray into Bear Week...and judging from the turnout and response, I'll bet that she'll be back.  Oh, and she brought her Trolley right out into the aisle like any good Air Hostess would do and gave my buddy George and Me each a cold weiner...or a hot dog if you prefer.  There were early mornings and late nights at 1am with pizza.  There was plenty of loud dance music and crowds so jammed together at Tea Dance every afternoon that it made it impossible to even move which proved to not be my most favorite parts of the week.  There were scantily clothed muscle bears, Santa bears, otters, cubs, dolphins, gummy bears (don't ask), honey bears, polar bears, and panda bears.  Oh My. 

We took in the Long Point lighthouse way out at the very tip of Cape Cod, ventured into the new basement digs of a leather store -- and scampered out of there like scared puppies....You Want Me to Do What???  There was one night of lighting, thunder, and torrents of rain....and there was one day of high humidity and heat that made this skinny white dolphin migrate toward shade and ice cubs (no, wait, cubes....) in cold drinks.  And there was this unpleasant part of the week which seems to rear it's head whenever you jam several thousand horny guys into small spaces.  Grindr and Scruff were at record levels according to my sources.  And as flirtatious as I am as the next guy, feelings get all wound up  easily.....and you see people doing things that you hadn't quite prepared for -- things that left me uncomfortable and unsure about.  Sometimes at the end of a long day of staring at handsome men, it's nice to chill and relax and have a change of pace and divert the conversation from the sexual hype and technology that has become our world.  It's hard to do in groups like this one. 

My flights were perfect -- but of course knowing the crews always helps.  My ride on Amtrak in the business class car was delightful and too short.  And I had the chance to meet people from around the world that I would never have been able to.  I checked out a baby seal that had beached itself one day for a rest and I was able to wear a fancy loaned D&G swimsuit from my friend Matthew.  We stopped in the many tourist shops, looked at cool sunglasses, oh and I did buy a brand new wallet -- one that is less thick as my former one so that it doesn't look quite so poofy against my skinny pale aging ass. 

But I needed to get home.  To be with my center point, the balance in my life, and the peace that knows who loves you more than anyone else in the world.  I'm here.  I'm queer -- as was clearly exhibited this week.  And I'm happy.  Too all of my favorite Bears and to my housemates at the Center Street Compound I love you all........Grrrrrrrrr.........

Monday, July 11, 2011

Tip of Cape Cod

To the Tip.  The very tip.  Of Cape Cod.  Today.  You can walk there from Provincetown.  If you don't mind walking over rocks, through marshland, in the water, and taking several hours.  Instead we're taking the Long Point Shuttle....a ten-minute ride out to the point.  There's a light house out there. And sand.  And the waters of the Atlantic.  I'm really looking forward to the quiet, the sand, a bit of reflective time. 

The Bears are out in full force this week.  Plenty of good looking, fuzzy, muscle-quality sort of things to cast one's gaze (no, not "gays"....) upon.  The last two afternoons at Tea Dance have been chucker block full.  Zero room to move or walk.  The weather has been amazing.  More friends arrive Tuesday and again on Thursday.  The house we stay in is the old Railmaster's home.....at the end of the railroad line that used to run out to Provincetown.  And no, I haven't been out until all hours.....I've been in bed at quite a respectable hour.  Gladly. 

Monday, July 04, 2011

Jaunty July Juxtapositions

(For the record, NO, I have no idea what the title means...so don't ask....the words are far and above me, I know not their meaning....nor care to.  And on that note, I pass you along to the rest of this delirious post......)

Well well, it's the 4th of July.  No, not just a date on the calendar, but the birth date.  Happy 235th birthday, US of A.  You've come a long, long way.  And you've got a long, long way to go.  Let the sparklers, watermelon, and bar-b-ques begin!  It is one of my more favorite holidays.  I love the community feel, the whole front porch and backyard gathering romanticism of the day.  The sunshine, the outdoors, the after-dark colors in the sky.  It should have been my own father's 80th birthday.  But he didn't make it past age 62.   I think he'd still be full of vim and vigor if he were alive today.

Friday will see me on my way to the Northeast Coast of the US.  Provincetown, Massachusetts, for Bear Week.  Year three.  We stay in a home that used to house the rail master.....Provincetown is at the far tip of Cape Cod....and the yard next to the house we stay in was the turnaround point for trains.  And the railmaster lived in the home we now stay in.  The town is filled with thousands of good looking men who either are bears, cubs, otters, dolphins, or some other form of animal.  Don't ask.  It is a busy week filled with all sorts of activities from morning until late at night.  A couple of things are on my list this year that I have not done in years past:  Spiritus Pizza with hundreds of guys at 1am and the boat shuttle out to the Long Point lighthouse that sits, quite literally, at the last piece of land on Cape Cod.  I can't wait.  Plus, I have tickets to see Pam Ann for a one-night-only show. 

I'm continuing to put in a ton of work hours on a special, ongoing months-long project developing training for our flight attendants.  I've really had to get my head around the thinking, plotting, planning, writing, developing piece of this whole thing.  I've been out of practice on those sorts of things for years.  Serving drinks year in and year out can lead one to a soft brain.  The piece that I'm crafting is Being the CEO Of Your Own Life.  Taking charge, being the boss, not being the middle manager of....you.  Just you.  Your choices, your decisions, your reactions.  It has been through redraft after redraft already -- and I imagine that process will continue until the mid-September rollout.

We finally have a bit of summertime temperatures here in the Pacific Northwest.  I'm telling you, there's nothing like the mornings and evenings -- with the blue skies, light breezes, and all of the amazing natural beauty that our area offers.  I did try to get out to Sauvie Island one of our two clothing-optional beaches last weekend.  The Columbia River water levels are super high right now which led me to having to wade through more than two feet of water just to reach dry ground.  The mosquitoes were something else.  But I did enjoy a few hours of sunshine.  I'm more than looking forward to more trips to the beach as the summer progresses.  Our other beach, Rooster Rock, is well under water for at least a few more weeks.  Here's a map that I developed a few years ago.