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Moving on up to the east side…

To those who used to visit this space on a regular basis…the blog has moved.  And having moved on, let me give you a quick run down of why…
Have you ever thought someone was a friend only to find out their interest in you was only for their own benefit?  I found that out.  The hard way.  In fact, I found that out the hardest way.  I used to write my blogs as emails.  I would write the email, send it to myself, pick it up now and then and edit the draft, resend it to myself, and so on and so forth until the entry was done and I posted it.  The sad thing is that I generally had time at work since I rarely took the time to eat a meal during my break periods.
Anyway, I got REALLY frustrated over a couple of days where two people either slept during their shifts, talked to their wives, or left the department to talk to others someone else in the workplace.  So I vented in my blog.  And then this friend read that blog…and PRAISED me up and down telling everyone at work how they should read the entry and how absolutely 100% correct I was and how much she supported everything that I had to say.  And then the next day told the boss that I had done it, said she was concerned that I might vent about her out of anger at some point, and thought something needed to be done.  Granted, the concern was realistic based on what I had done but the two I vented about had established work avoidance and laziness as a way of life.  Now and then everyone takes a break.  The problem was it was constant for these two…and during a particularly busy period…I snapped…since no one in management took my (or anyone else’s) concerns seriously enough to effect a lasting change.
So again…I snapped…
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not excusing my actions.  I am just saying what drove me to move the blog.  Who knows if I was going to vent again, right?  So I started a new blog, with a new address, and gave the address only to trusted people with the condition that the rat was never given access.  And life goes on…
 
Well, I am somewhere new.  No one at the new job has my blog address.  No one will.  Once burned…
 
However, for anyone who has been checking up…you can find me…months later…at…
 
 
I look forward to seeing you there…
 
Posted in Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness... | 1 Comment

Where do you want to go today?

Interesting question isn’t it?  I only wish I had an answer.  And yet…the answer hasn’t escaped me.  I just haven’t figured out the destination.  I know I want to go there.  I just don’t know where there is yet.  Or do I?  Do you?
Life is an interesting journey.  Anyone reading this is in the midst of the greatest adventure of their lives.  Living.  Not just existing.  But trying to figure out exactly where this existence will lead me isn’t enough.  Then again, and follow me on this, it won’t lead me anywhere.  I will lead it.  That is to say, I lead my life.  I am responsible for each and every action I take.  I am responsible, at least in part, in the reactions that spring from my actions.  Sometimes those actions are mistakes.  Sometimes the reactions are mistaken, but valid nonetheless.
Yeah.  I know.  You don’t know where I am going with this, or what I am talking about.  You don’t.  But someone does.  This blog is about a lot of things.  Mostly, this blog is about the journey.  But first, this…
 
I deleted a blog.  Only the second entry ever deleted.  One was too personal.  It still exists.  But it’s just for me.  The other…was over the line.  I was stressed out about some stuff.  Some work stuff.  Some home stuff.  Some me stuff.  But that doesn’t excuse the things I said.  No, to be sure nothing excuses anything anyone says.  Words uttered are not retractable.  Hopefully, however, they are forgivable as having been inspired by temporary insanity.  Insanity is too strong a word, but as close as I can come.  It’s 4am.  Maybe insanity explains how I could be in a place to allow me to totally disregard all sensibilities (sensitivities?).  I’m not insane.  But whatever that blog was, insanity may be in there somewhere.   After reading it…and I never read a blog once it’s posted…there was nothing me about it.  One thing I can say is that one person who was affected by it read themselves in it when they were never present.  But in reading it, I completely understand why they saw themselves there.  I used a term that could only lead to one place.  I guess that’s the complication of "for lack of a better word" terminology.  To maintain the vagueness, I won’t try to manage to explain further.  Anyone who felt they were targeted, or threatened for fear of being targeted in the future, you have nothing to worry about.
I apologize.  With all of the humbleness within, I am sorry for offending, concerning, or lashing out.
Back to the journey…
 
Everyday I do something that helps my journey to continue.  Maybe it’s one thing.  Maybe it’s many things.  And while I don’t know the ultimate destination of my journey, I do know that I’ve been using the wrong vehicle.  Maybe I need something slower.  Something simpler.  Maybe I need a new vehicle altogether.  I am always travelling forward.  We all continue to move forward…even when we feel like we are moving in reverse.  Chances are…we’re just standing still watching others passing us by.
My journey is far from over.  Tomorrow is the next step forward.  And I have a travel partner who decided to take the same road.  The same pace.  For now, even the same vehicle.  We don’t have the same destination, per se.  But our end points will definitely be in the same place.
 
I think that may be the best part of my journey.  The company.  Knowing that we will arrive in the same place by the same method but have a completely different goal and a completely different timeline is fulfilling.  It keeps things interesting.  One sec…hug break…
Aaaaahhhhh….
I’m gonna try and make some sense for you now.  But let me just say this…
 
My blog is for me.  It is where I voice my thoughts and feelings.  It’s my diary, or journal, or log, or whatever a man calls it by today’s standards.  That being said…it’s moving.  Some of my audience was invited by me.  Some of it was not.  And while I have enjoyed meeting new people from all over the world and all walks of life…and many will be invited to the new destination…some things are best left to those who love me…not to those who are acquainted with me.
 
Now…the sense.  There is one thing in my life that makes me feel more like me than anything.  One thing.  And that thing has been taking a back seat at the expense of trying to be more than I am in other aspects of my life.  So maybe it’s time to get back in the driver’s seat.  I’ve been letting random strangers do the driving from time to time.  And they haven’t been reading the map.  Yup.  Things are gonna change.  Better still, the change has already begun.  And only a select few will ever know the ultimate results.  Those who join me on this road, thanks for the company.  When I hit the fork…the memories will be great.
Last week was a hard one.  This week will be a challenge.  The week after that?
 
…..
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
PS: I’ll be sending out a distribution to many of my regular readers in case you want to update your bookmarks. The new blog is already up and running. The name and URL are deliberately obscure. When you hear it I think you’ll get a chuckle though. I always aim for fun and funny. See you on the flipside!
Posted in Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness... | 7 Comments

La-la-la-la-la-la-la-la-laaaaaa…..

OK…I guess I was wrong. I guess American Conservatism still requires a little punch in the head to accompany my pointed mockery. I have to admit, back in the Clinton-years I was impressed with many of the social and political movements I saw in the United States. William Jefferson Clinton spearheaded the revival of the peace initiative in the Middle East, specifically with the Palestinian-Israeli conflict and through peacekeeping, rather than occupational military movements. Clinton understood something the second Bush administration seems to be missing. Change isn’t easy. But change must come at the hand of those who need changing. That is to say, we can’t ask someone to think the way we do simply because we believe it is the right way to think or feel.

More often than not, these people will feel the same way about their own belief system. Also? We’re not Nazi Germany. And for those who know little about Adolph Hitler, his primary belief system was based on the idea that Germans were the superior example of humanity in terms of breeding and intellect, and that German society was the most highly evolved due in part to literature and military technology. This may be oversimplification but look it up. It’d take about 6 months to write even the briefest of summaries of Nazi morality/theory. And it varied based on the position in society of the person being asked. So just take my word for it.

So what’s my point?

George W. Bush, with all the crooked cronies that he can muster into the ranks, raided Iraq for the oil under the guise of launching democracy. Funny how the democratic model took the form of an occupation force with a few locals thrown in to make it legit. Saddam Hussein was far from perfect. He, in fact, is a senile, dictatorial brute. But at least Iraqi society was growing under an Iraqi regime. If Bush really wanted to give oppressed people a chance to change, there are nations that needed it more. But they had nothing to offer. And Daddy hadn’t been left red-faced by any of those leaders had he?

No, Dubya wanted the oil that America sorely needs. He wanted to show Hussein that nobody messes with his family. And he wanted to demonstrate American superiority to the rest of the world. Sound familiar? "Screw the United Nations! America knows better!" The problem is that he made such a massive mess of it all that he’s stuck. Millions are spent daily to maintain a military presence for a people who were never asked if they wanted it. Americans lose their lives for a cause that they were never consulted on in a mission for which they are constantly fed patriotic propaganda. "We are hear to liberate the Iraqis! They need our help!"

They needed liberation. They didn’t need anyone to do it for them. They just needed some organization. And that could have been provided covertly…and far more cheaply. If gays can find secret meeting places and covert contact methods, than reformers can do the same. Then again, do you think Bush would ever take gays as a positive example for anything? This brings me to my next point…the one I actually started writing this blog to make…

The insistence of the Bush-administration to impose Conservative-ideals on its own population is disgusting, not to mention hypocritical. How is it that previous administrations managed to find Supreme Court nominees who believed in balance and neutrality, but all Dubya can find is Conservatives who consider overturning Roe VS Wade and ensuring that immunizations against sexually transmitted infectious agents be left up to parents rather than making them mandatory. The fact that Conservatives have said inane things like "immunizing pre-pubescents against cervical cancer could send the message that premarital, sexual activity is being encouraged" is sad. The idea that the Bush White House has given credence to dozens of Conservative groups holed up in Washington is worse. You can’t go backward, Mr. Bush. Gays may have their progress stalled in your country but their rights can’t be taken away. Imagine if "the vote" was taken away from women? What if the Emancipation Proclamation was revoked? Revolution, Mr. Bush. You would be invoking the very circumstance in the United States you are essentially preventing in Iraq but trying to force change on a society that clearly isn’t prepared. You may as well reintroduce prohibition for all the success it had in curtailing problem drinking.

It’s all well and good to encourage abstinence in teens. It’s fine to promote Christian ethics of saving sex for marriage. But the separation of church and state seems to have fallen between the cracks. No offense, but one man’s religion is another man’s hedonism. Jews are not going to follow Christian ethics. Muslims are not about to start accepting a Hindu way of thinking. A society will faithfully follow its political leaders, as long as those leaders guide their populace through reason and shared philosophy. And shared philosophy means democracy. Jesus was never a politician. He was a preacher. Jesus didn’t force people to believe as he believed. He supported everyone and encouraged loving your fellow man. And that means respecting diversity. It means accepting that everyone doesn’t follow the same moral code, but that everyone can find a way to agree on a guiding principle if given a voice.

So if you want people to believe you are a good President with the best intentions for your people, then you need to give them a voice. Hold referendums. Hold your beloved townhall meetings without restricting the audience in attendance to your supporters. Give your people a voice. And that means listening to those who aren’t Christian. It means listening to those who aren’t parents. And it means listening to people who aren’t Conservative.

Good luck, Georgie. You’re gonna need it.

Posted in News and politics | 2 Comments

S to the A to the D

Do you ever have one of those periods where everything is just blah? Nothing is really wrong, but nothing feels quite right either. You’re not quite sure if you’re bored, depressed, or just out of sync with the world around you. I’m in the midst of one of those periods. For the past couple of weeks I just haven’t had the same drive as I usually do. I think it is attributable to the change of seasons. The shorter days. The longer nights. The colder outdoors are especially discouraging. The weird thing about it all is that it was a completely unexpected change in my mood and energy. I don’t remember the day it happened. And all of a sudden two weeks went by that I was in a bad mood. I wasn’t angry. I wasn’t sad. I was just…blah. But what am I going to do about it?

Well, Seasonal Affective Disorder hits me annually. And I seem to be surprised each and every time. I think mostly because the days don’t seem to gradually get shorter. It just seems that I wake up one day and there are only 3-5 hours left of daylight left. And I am usually on my way to work when the sun sets these days. Let me tell ya, working nights is no way to live. Maybe if there were more 24-hour businesses…but I’m getting sidetracked.

I haven’t blogged for awhile and there’s a good reason. I’ve been blissfully happy and there’s nothing bothering me. I have a great guy who makes me happy. We are casually looking for a new place for the two of us to live. I am already well into my Christmas shopping so I will be done well ahead of December so I get to avoid the insanity…and I love it. I hate crowded malls and then tend to spoil my Christmas spirit. I tend to finish early for that very reason. And my job is pretty good, albeit stressful at times. So overall…there was nothing to blog about. There were no big political issues that I felt required my attention. Bush is digging his own hole so he doesn’t need my help. And when idiots do stupid things, pointing and laughing is all I feel the need to do. Again…sidetracked.

So…S.A.D. Why bring it up? Well, besides the fact that it has hit me right on schedule, it seems to be impacting a friend of mine. As far as I am concerned…I have to get back to the gym. Before the summer hit and outdoor activities took up the bulk of my exercise, I had been going to the gym regularly. I had slimmed down and toned up and was feeling great. I was sleeping better than usual. Being in shape was encouraging me to eat better without feeling like I was depriving myself. But once you fall out of going to the gym, getting back into the groove is pretty difficult. But I will. I’d like to start tomorrow but I think Tuesday is most likely to be the first day back since it is my next day off. After that I will be going before work.

So…my friend. He recently blogged that he was feeling down. He was finding it difficult to get out of bed. Now, when we hang out there is always a sense of camaraderie about us. I think mostly due to the sarcasm and acidic wit that the two of us share. That and the fact that we’re both queer. And karaoke fans. He’s more blunt than I. In a lot of ways, he’s stronger than I am as well. But he’s depressed. Now, I am sure he has more than one reason to feel depressed that I can only attest to from the outside looking in. Other than making the time that I can to be available for listening and encouraging, there’s little I can do to change that. One thing I learned in a lifetime of battling anxiety and depression is that the only person who can change me…is me. So the blog is dedicated to him, but is out there for the millions of people (if they find me/it) who suffer from depression, and more specifically, Seasonal Affective Disorder. And in reading the stuff below, any treatment can be used to combat everyday depression as well.

Keep in mind that nothing I have to say, whether or not it comes from a reliable source, can take the place of seeking professional treatment or counseling. I take 30mg of Paxil everyday. I am not embarrassed by it. I can tell you it has made a great difference in my life and helped me to accomplish things I never thought possible. But I can also tell you it comes with side effects that some don’t feel are worth the trade off…and there are days I might agree…but most of the time is definitely worth being a little annoyed.

So here’s a brief rundown and a link you can use to get more information:

Seasonal Affective Disorder is basically depression that comes on with the winter season and is alleviated in the late spring. There are many ways to offset the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.

One method is phototherapy. Most people find it difficult to find the time to sit in a brightly-lit space for three unproductive hours. You can find the time by eating your dinner or watching television in a brightly-lit space. This is not something you want to do within 2-4 hours of going to bed or you will find it difficult to sleep. Studies have also shown that an hour in winter sunlight is as effective as 2-3 hours of artificial, bright light. So while going outdoors isn’t necessarily the first thing you want to do, getting out for some window-shopping isn’t always a bad idea. Just bundle up and head out with a hot drink in your hand. Another popular alternative in the winter months is going for tanning sessions. The ultraviolet light closely simulates sunlight and people often report feeling rejuvenated after a winter tanning session. Be sure to start off slowly and do not overdo it. Be sure to use sunscreen. Even with sunscreen you will tan. It will take a couple of sessions to achieve the same results as some others but only one of you will end up without melanoma and wrinkle-free. And if you’re tanning, exfoliate and moisturize daily…that is also important in winter anyway.

Something else you can consider is your diet. When depressed, we tend to crave sweet and starchy foods. But putting on weight will just give us a new excuse to get down on ourselves. So eat natural sweets like apples, bananas, or grapes. All are sweet and juicy and all expend more calories to consume than are being ingested. So it’s win-win. As for the starchy foods, oven-baked french fries are lower in fat than the fried versions and they allow you to be creative in experimenting with your own style of spicing/flavoring. And another spicy, starchy oven-baked food is pita chips. A little spice, some olive oil and you’re on your way.

Finally, nothing stimulates happiness more than exercise. You can spend time alone to dance around the room to your favorite tunes or get out to a club with good friends to dance the night away. FYI: bottled water is better than empty calories…and light beer has the same fat just less alcohol so you drink more to get the same effect thus increasing your overall fat consumption. You can take part in your favorite activity too since all movement expends calories. Exercise is key to stimulating endorphin production that will help alleviate some of your depressive symptoms. Burning calories and fat can improve your self-image and give you a better outlook. Do some chores. You can be productive and healthy all at the same time. Just remember not to gorge yourself after you exercise. Put down the fork between bites. Share a meal with hearty conversation. The same dining habits apply. But have fun with your meals too. Eat at different places. Try new foods. Shake up your routine.

Above all else…if all else fails, see your doctor and follow his/her advice. And now, my lengthy, blathering complete…I will leave you with this fun fact…

A study recently completed in Africa among 3500 men concluded that circumcision lowers the chance of HIV infection by 60%. In fact, the group that conducted the study suggested adding circumcision of males to the current efforts to curb the rate of HIV infection in one of the hardest hit regions of the world.

Posted in Health and wellness | 3 Comments

A rolling stone gathers no Moss…it can’t find it…

Kate Moss snorts cocaine. What? A model? A model ingests narcotics that increase her metabolism while diminishing her appetite? No. I won’t believe it. It’s too unlikely. Why would a person ever take stimulants when they look like that? I mean, her gaunt, almost sickly heroin chic appearance is SO-O-O natural. Why would she ruin it with drugs? Lots of women are that skinny naturally. Well…lots of models…and actresses…and mysterious celebrities like Paris Hilton or Nicole Ritchie (in different rooms mind you). See? Perfectly natural.

In case you missed it, that previous tirade was dripping with sarcasm. How any person can believe that Kate Moss is the first supermodel to use cocaine, or in anyway make use of unnatural means to maintain her figure, is beyond comprehension. Her only mistake was doing it in a public venue that allowed her to get caught. At least she entered rehab. Of course she did. If by rehab you mean temporary denial. She may even gain weight in the short term to maintain the media blitz on the forthcoming [alleged] change of her ways.

What I really find amusing is the stance by the fashion world that they are, at least temporarily, excising her from their ranks. So…Donatella Versace? Are you listening? If ever there was a fashionista cokehead…but I digress. Well, who are we kidding? I constantly digress. Why stop now? Some people watch Maya Rudolph’s larger than life "interpretation" of her and think it is so over the top that it couldn’t possibly be accurate. Ever see Donatella on a talk show? The idea that I can understand more in Italian than in English is bad enough. The fact that she has trouble focusing on the person to whom she is speaking is laughable. But Kate Moss…she wears the clothes. So her drug use, among other chemical ingestion, is the scandal…or is it the scapegoat?

The thing that makes me wonder is when someone else will get caught. Will the blame Moss for their fall from grace? Will they claim the drug use as an isolated incident? "It was cocaine? I thought it was icing sugar. I have this wicked sweet tooth! Snorting it seemed the easiest way to get that sweet rock..err…rock candy…yeah…into my system. *sniff* *snort* Y’know, right? Wow. Listen, you know where I can score some more? I mean, I wanted to bake a cake later."

Cocaine is really just on the surface of the fashion underground. What about anorexia? Bulemia? Smoking? Drinking? Botox? Lipo? Augment this? Enhance that? I mean…is anyone [remotely clued in to the world around them] really fooled by Kate Moss’ exile? She lost her most-lucrative contracts, sure. But I doubt this is the last we’ve seen of her. She’ll either get resigned following a brief stint in rehab, or she will be in next season’s fall line-up with a TV-movie and a book deal. Snorting Thin: The Kate Moss Story. Or there will be a very special Degrassi featuring a student who starts snorting coke to get skinny for the school play. Either way, this B.S. will get bigger before it goes away. And then it will go away.

Posted in News and politics | 2 Comments

Not sure if you heard, but…

There appears to be great concern over the planned "witch hunt" to out and ostracize gays in the seminaries. To be honest, I believe that this is one battle to which the gay community should happily surrender. There are so many churches out there that are willing to embrace gays in service and faith to which the community can contribute. If this is the latest method of distracting from years of abuse and the underhanded cover-up, then let the Catholic Church write its own demise.

The GLBT community should not allow the Church to make it their personal scapegoat. And while I can appreciate, but not understand, the desperation with which some priests have pledged themselves to serve God (in the hope of being cured of homosexuality) being true to oneself is the greatest honor one can bestow to their God. A God that had a hand in creating that self. Otherwise, it is just one more way for the Church to pretend to be addressing the scandal while quietly sidestepping decades of the <slimy> pastor-relocation program. You see, for those not in the know, that was how the Church used to deal with reports of priests abusing children. They basically bought the silence of the family who reported the issue by taking the priest out of the offended community. Of course, rather than have that priest charged with gross misconduct and sent for treatment or to prison, or accepting responsibility for outrageous negligence, they covered up the reports and moved the priest to a new community. And now that the scandal has cost the Church millions of dollars in settlements and a huge dent in the holier-than-thou reputation…they need to deflect the blame. And many of the <now> adults who are suing the Church were male, and molested by priests…so who’s to blame?

To be sure, it is unfair to pin a crime on sexual identity when almost a century of study has shown the majority of child molesters to be heterosexual…regardless of the gender of their victims. If gays leave the Catholic Church behind, it doesn’t mean anyone loses their Christian faith. I think what it will mean is that the Church will then have to admit that they are unwilling to fathom the idea that priests should be allowed to get married. They will finally be forced to end the sexist patriarchy that prevents women from serving on the altar in more than a secondary role because there will be almost no one left to enter the priesthood. The change that has been pending in a Church (NOT a religion) for too long will be forced to come, or the Church will be forced to fold. I, for one, will be only too happy when that happens.

The Roman Catholic Church (an organization, less a religion for some time, of which I am a baptized member) is misled and misguided by decades of reinterpreting scripture and revisionist history. After years of reflection, education, and disillusionment I only marginally keep up these days. In fact, I have embraced my mother’s Jewish faith in many ways that I feel Catholicism has failed me. I think I have learned to incorporate the best of both worlds, while taking what I have learned about many other faiths in the world and inserting my own pragmatic belief system to maintain my own sense of faith. I have learned to separate my God from the worldly Dominion. God is divine. Man is flawed. A Church led my men, therefore, is inherently flawed.

I practice my faith by living everyday as a person who makes an effort to contribute to an improved and happier society. It is what the Bible asks of all Catholics. I don’t need to go to an assigned building to hear the same stories regurgitated and reinterpreted in sermon each week to reinforce my faith or my beliefs. No one does. In any event, to support a religion that considers me a deviant, a scapegoat, and a lesser version of any God’s creation is ludicrous to me.

Posted in News and politics | 1 Comment