The Calm Realizations


Entry 03/31/2012 11:36:22 AM – Mentat 637

An intelligence test sometimes shows a man how smart he would have been not to have taken it.” – Laurence J. Peter

Yes, I’m feeling rather accomplished (not to mention more than a little bit relieved) at the moment. Because of the temperatures last week had gotten unusually warm, I decided to order a new CPU case because three (too many) fans had burned out/stopped working on the case that I currently owned. So I went with the Antec DF-85 as a replacement, mainly because I was looking for an easier way of cleaning the filters from the fans and an easier way of swapping out/installing drives on the case. Honestly I have routinely been more than a little jittery when it comes to building/rebuilding desktop boxes because of the bad experiences I’ve had in frying a couple of motherboards (like the one that happened last year around April Fools). Fortunately for me, replacement went mostly without a hitch though I had one scare and two bits of frustration. The scare came from the fact that I thought I was hitting the power button — and the lights/fans on the case didn’t come on. Turns out that I was hitting the reset button instead. The first was when I had messed up the SATA data cords to the motherboard and the bootable hard drive wasn’t being recognized. What happened was that I swapped the order of the SATA ribbons and the 2 TB SATA-6 drive (which is my storage and data repository drive) was changed to being the 1st boot primary drive (making the system unbootable). But after a shut down, a re-check of the wiring for the drive hub, and then getting into the BIOS to change drive orders for the hard drives everything came up without a hitch. The second annoyance was when I was putting the case through the paces to make sure everything was plugged in properly, 2 of the 4 front USB plugs (3 2.0 plugs, 1 3.0 plug) were working. Turns out that after checking through the manual, I had accidentally plugged the USB connector into the FireWire socket. Another quick shut down and resort of the wires, and everything (front and back) are working properly.

The reviewers (and reviews) weren’t kidding when they said it has superior ventilation and circulation; as you can see from this screenshot of my Fan Monitor. The CPU is running a full 10 C (12 F) cooler than it did in the old NZXT Tempest I was running for the last 3’ish years. On the whole, I’ve been very happy with the acquisition, and I might have worked out a slight noise/vibration problem on it as well. Seemed that after running for 24 hours (I tend to keep my box on, because it’s simply more convenient for all the thing that I generally do) the middle front fan seemed to have developed a vibration problem. At first it was easy enough to remedy — all I had to do is open and close the fan. But after looking into it a little bit more, I realized that the problem is because the case isn’t even. I pulled out the woodworking level and with a little handiwork, I was able to remedy that problem. So far, it seems to have fixed the problem. *knock on wood*

When I was through putting the new case in place (and re-ensuring everything about it was running according to spec), I decided to throw the old one out into the trash, given that there really wasn’t anything more that I could do with it. The fans in the Tempest won’t fit the current case as replacement and the chassis is entirely different (so it wasn’t as though I could use the screwless drive installation system). Wouldn’t you know, as I was sitting here putting the new box through its paces to see what it could do with heat shunting, I watched this car drive up to the garbage that was just put out. Watching with a sort of morbid fascination, I saw the man go to the can that had the case and start yanking the wire out of the case. It took me a moment to realize what he was doing and why he was doing it: it was for the copper. Then drove off leaving the case in the garbage. Seriously? He would be lucky to get a penny back from the copper and knowing what I know about recycling — he would’ve gotten more money from the scrap from the case alone. Which some hours later in the quiet of the evening, another car stopped in front of the garbage cans out front and I watched the driver get out and take the case before drive off. Mark wasn’t kidding me when he said that people around here will take things if they’re not chained down/nailed down. I’m just amazed at the level some people in the neighborhood will go through to make the nickels and dimes that they do.

Yesterday was the day that the gas company came out to change the gas meter for the apartment. Even with all the research I did about the local ordinances on this, I’m still pretty surprised that that it needs to be done. The man that changed the meter didn’t look old enough to confirm it being done in the 80s, but he was able to tell me that it’s been done since the 90s when he started working for the company. The replacement went without a hitch and in about ¾ hour, the meter had been changed out all the pilot lights relit and all checks for leaks done without so much as a pause. He wasn’t able to light the pilot on the space heater (because of the difficulty in moving the unit), though I told him it wouldn’t be a problem, given that we’re going into warmer weather now, and it’s something that can be worried about next autumn when things chill down. Good thing too, given that it’s one thing that I don’t have to deal with when Mark’s remotely cold and decides to turn up the heat to maximum.

[Last Edited: 03/31/2012 03:44:54 PM]

As for me. I’ve been having a “fun” time the last couple of weeks. I’ve had a mini-obsession with watching LGBT-themed storylines that can be found in Soap Operas from all over the place. Part of the reason is because I’ve gotten tired of feeling like the token homosexual in my life, part of the reason was purely academic in that I wanted to see how far soap operas have progressed when it comes to including gay couples. Part of the reason (which people will probably laugh at), some characters being impossibly disproportional archetypes and have been giving me ideas on how to approach the problems I mentioned in previous journal entries about defining what kind of man I want in my life, instead of defining by what I don’t want. Sure, I’ve gotten my fair share of ribbing from Glenn on this — “turn it off,” he says… “it’s a soap opera, it sucks,” he says (in so many words). The thing is though, when all is said and done, I really do like the stories — when taken in doses. As one of my favorite characters once said (when asked why he was watching a soap opera), “your country’s one and only contribution to the arts. It concerns family, love, honor courage… all that is noblest in the human spirit…” Sure it also contains infidelity, lies, deceit, thievery and all sorts of train wrecks and high queenly drama too… Though at least with the way that I’ve been watching this on YouTube, I get the chance to watch just the storyline that I want to watch. And eventually I’ll get tired of this and move on. As I have over the last 30 some-odd years that I’ve known of soap operas existences.

I will say this much though — I’m very aware of the stark differences between American Soaps vs. the ones that I’ve seen from other countries. So much so that it’s a joke at how surreal American Soap Operas have become over the years. Especially with gay characters in the stories. It seems that for American Soaps and gay characters, it’s like the soap box for Public Service Announcement type messages on the bad things in life. But once you get around the PSA message, the characters are muppets. The Luke & Noah story on As the World Turns for example, once you get beyond the standard message of how difficult it is for teenagers to come out of the closet, it was a parade of messages starting with “Drinking is bad”, “Cheating in School is bad” “Hiding in the Closet is bad” and “Drugs are bad”. Seriously I got tired of that story at that point, as Luke Snyder (played by Van Hansis) became a complete balloon and the story made him out to be some sort of dysfunctional hot mess while trying to be one of the Hardy Boys.

Then there was the Kyle & Oliver story on One Life to Live. The story while having classic archetypes of All-American coming out of the closet and rekindling a college romance with a man that has caused quite a lot of troubles since the two of them were college. Sure, the story started out promising, but the ham-handed way that they used Oliver’s coming out to launch him into a lecture about acceptance quickly turned into uncomfortable watching. I bailed when it became a hot mess dealing with some other character who was pregnant and having a baby to… oh hell, it’s too convoluted even for me — let me just sum it up that the one time Oliver (played by Scott Evans) had sex with a woman, she got pregnant by him… I bailed. From what I understand, the soap opera bailed from it not too much after that, cancelling it for reasons of “poor ratings”. Given what kind of a mess and how convoluted things were, I’m not in the least bit surprised.

Oh, and another things about these two stories that I need to bring up about American Soaps before moving to the stories I find myself more entertained by: that is the rigidity demonstrated on human sexuality. Both of the American stories I watched practically sledgehammered the point home that regardless of whether or not you’re in the closet. That message being: once you’re gay, you’re always gay. Even I know as a Kinsey 6 (100% homosexual, 0% heterosexual tendencies), I am a rarity within the community. Figuratively the 1% of the one in ten. Listening to these two soaps ham-handedly say this is the way for all queerfolk got tiring for me really fast.

On the other side of the big pond, I’ve become enamored with two storylines. First is the Christian & Oliver story on Verboten Liebe (Forbidden Love). While it has a classic coming out story given that Christian is in the closet and becomes a boxer who later comes out… The story isn’t completely over the top that it turns surreal or even unrealistic. So far, I’m two years into this story (keep in mind all these segments are rarely over 10 minutes a pop, so it’s pretty easy to get caught up on one story line) I haven’t seen hide nor hair of any sort of PSA-type message (other than the coming out, but given Christian was in a relationship with a woman when I first caught it, that’s not surprising). Oh wait, there’s one — when Oliver was gay-bashed by a boxer that Christian had fought in the ring. But even that story wasn’t ham-handed at all as it flowed with the story at the time. Hell, even with the occasional bickering going on between the two, they have been the most well-adjusted and stable out of their friends (especially Judith, but I digress). Seriously, this is the sort of thing I had seen so much in my life — couples that were happy together and doing their best to keeping everyone else happy in their life; with it falling somewhere between busy-body (on the one end), to good friends counseling good friends (on the other). Of course I’m having a lot of “fun” as it’s giving me the chance to brush up a bit on my German (with the help of some pretty accurate subtitles). So much so that the other night I actually had a dream about speaking German. Sure, it was gibberish, but some of the words and grammar were on the mark.

And finally the story that has given me a whole lot of time visiting ghosts of my past has been the Aaron Livesy story on Emmerdale. Between many of the mannerisms that Danny Miller does for the character, to the storyline between Aaron and Jackson Walsh (played by Marc Silcock) it’s left me having at least three different dreams about Tommy in the process. One involving a memory of a time when the three of us were in the barracks, and Glenn and I were having one of our long and protracted discussions on metaphysics. The other two being about living on base in the base housing developments sometime after our finishing AIT. Creepy those two given that it was entirely on bits and fragments of memories of times when Tommy and I used to spend time alone away from Glenn and the barracks. It was like it was becoming old hat for me to dream about Tommy — to the point where I didn’t mind dreaming about him so much — and instead feeling as though I were putting on an old, comfortable pair of jeans after a long day’s work. Much the same as the time when I was dreaming in third person for months (a disconcerting feeling given that those dreams for those six months had positively nothing to do with me, or anything going on in my life. It was like watching television in my dreams).

*taking a deep breath*

After watching all this the last couple of weeks, I know what I want… What I need too…

When everything is said and done in my day and in my life, I need someone that can trust me. The one element that the three men that I have loved truly, madly, deeply in my life trusted me without words, without deeds, without my having to prove it to them. They knew it in faith. They knew it by simply looking at me. It is in the same way I demonstrate my faith and trust in them (and in all people around me). By simply giving it and allowing them to be themselves in order to prove that my faith in them isn’t misplaced.

It is from that faith and trust that I feel the most grounded. That I am willing to take the necessary risks for the betterment of the world around me. Let’s face it — alone I will do what is necessary — but the problem with this is I am more conservative about my risks. To the point where I won’t necessary do something that I should. Or worse, I will act too harshly than the situation dictates (because let’s face it, I’m rather extreme or intense), because I sometimes need a sounding board (of reason) to convince me that I’m not seeing things as dire as I am.

I want someone that is expressive with their feelings. I don’t care if it’s in word or deed, but I need input to know what they’re feeling without my having to read them or probe them with 20 questions to find out what the problem is. Hell, I don’t care if it’s a look… A look can convey a thousand more words than looking on blankly or keeping all emotion out of one’s expression. Admittedly communication is important, but not everything needs to be conveyed with a diatribe of words. Sometimes an admonishing look is more than enough for the likes of me. Take Tommy for example to this. I used to love the enigmatic smile he would give me when he got me to second-guess something I was discussing with him. Or the simple shake of his head when he didn’t want to be included in the debate that I had going at the moment. Darin could do the same thing with me (when he wasn’t completely introverted about something that was bothering him).

I’m not going to hold my breath that lightning’s going to strike twice on this one, though it would be nice. I need someone to be able to understand me in spite of the fact that I can make things very complex verbally. Damion had this one down in spades. It didn’t matter what I said, he knew precisely what I was saying when I was saying it. I carry a lot of complex metaphysical understandings in my head. Sometimes it’s really, really nice not to be feeling like I’m speaking some incomprehensible alien language. Oh sure, I can write it out… People comment that I’m a capable person — but what they don’t know is that sometimes it takes quite a lot of hours of work (oftentimes) to get me to put down things that I’m thinking and feeling in a coherent manner.

I need someone to be patient. If I don’t get a good vibe from them, I don’t need them to push (like one did from Connecticut not too long ago). Decent enough man, but I didn’t have the want to speak to him on the phone. While he the decency to respect my wishes and write instead — he lost interest quickly because I wouldn’t honor his wish to call him. When I offered my e-mail address instead (one of my MSN/Hotmail Accounts), he didn’t use it.. And let’s face it — writing takes patience. If you can write, then you have the patience to put up with someone like me, my family and the chaos that has a habit of blowing in and out of my life on a semi-regular basis.

Well, that’s about it for the time being.. It’s a start and it was hell to write about. More on this soon. Right now I’m off to lay down and pass out in bed. Until the next time.

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