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A message out to the world

05/21/2016 Comments off

Entry 05/20/2016 06:41:43 AM – Mentat 1088

Truth be told I’ve had positively no gumption to posting anything about me, my life or anything else publicly since the beginning of the year. Part of the reason is that with the exclusion of one incident, I’ve been remarkably and incredibly superfluous in the months since both the incident as well as since the new year. While I sort of miss the fact of my being rather intense and laser-focused about this or that, the fact is that I’ve come to learn that laser-focus was part of the price of having incredibly high blood pressure… To the tune of 220/117 and higher (as I’ve no doubt said before). Once I began the regimen of diuretics and blood pressure medications (which according to the doctor were originally used as a means of anti-anxiety), other than the more than occasional rage flare ups, I’ve been remarkably sedate about everything. Sure it’s still a bit high at my last doctor’s check-up… 140/84.. But both he and I agree that it’s significantly lower than it was when I first started coupled with the fact that I usually had it checked no sooner than 5 minutes after my walking both to the bus center (Kennedy Plaza) and then to his office… And believe me when I say I never walk casually anywhere. He believes me when I say that when I’ve checked it at home — when I’ve been rested — it usually hovers around 130/74. Still a bit high — but as I continue to lose weight he believes it should continue to go lower. And with that he’s chosen that the next time I see him is for the annual examination this October.

About the only thing that I’m not really liking about the diuretics (Chlorthalidone) is the fact that because my blood’s been thinned, I’m finding temperatures below 60 F (15.5 C) to being chilly. And by chilly I mean I need to be putting on a sweater/hoodie if I’m wearing a short sleeve shirt. It’s quite the shocking change for me given that I got used to being able to brave through the 40s F (~4 C) and not remotely considering shutting windows and turning on the space heater for a bit of warmth. People are telling me it’s because I’m middle-aged, except that I didn’t have that problem for the last 7’ish years.

Moe and I have reached a wonderful understanding about his time on the desk in the office: he can sit there all he wants, but if he sprawls and causes the NAS or speakers to get knocked down, then he’s off the desk without a warning. This seems to have worked out for the best as he’s liking the thought of sitting on my lap (or on the chair’s backing) whenever he can instead. That’s rather difficult given that he’s usually trying to get on my lap when I’m in the middle of game play, but seems all right when I’m watching a video or six. About the strangest thing I’ve come to find though is that he seems to hide whenever he’s puked up his food — or in the case this morning — seemed to have painted the bathroom floor like a toddler — and that’s to hide under the bed like he knows he’s done wrong. The funny thing is that I’ve always had the policy that there’s really no need to punish or scold cats for this as it’s usually out of their control. So leave ’em there under the bed until I’m through cleaning and then sort him out with a little loving so that he knows he’s done nothing wrong.

Funny thing is that he’s even more squirrelly about loud noises than ever. Be it the vacuum, me dropping something, or anything loud and he’s gone faster than the dust he’s kicked up. It was rather funny this morning as the garbage trucks were out there doing their weekly pick up and when I came up behind him (on my way to the sink), he reacted much like this. In spite of the usual dust-ups between he and I — something I’m still trying to figure out — I guess I’m a lot quieter than I thought. So that’s not helped his skittishness since we’re being here on Federal Hill.

Oh and one more thing about Moe… As I’ve said before he usually doesn’t have much interest in human food and the most enticing I’ve found is the remains of a tuna can as I’m having something with that. Ham? Nope, no interest. Beef? The same. Chicken? Eh he loves the smell, but can’t be bothered other than to smell it… Nope… His love seems to be blueberry muffins and strawberries off the bush. Seems he’ll go out of his way to have those instead even right out of my hand of off the dish. Strange that given that cats by nature don’t have the taste buds for sweet as they tend to stick to salty and meat… thanks to evolution. But I’ll just chalk that up to Moe’s eccentricities and move forward from there.

During my off-time, a friend of mine has been trying to convince me to get into World of Warships and I’ve been hesitant about it. Sure, from what I’ve been watching from The Mighty Jingles and my watching the various tutorials from the MMO; gaming in it is pretty much what I’ve come to expect from Star Trek Online with most of the controls… But what makes me hesitant about going into the game has entirely to do with the cooperative and team playing missions.. Yeah, you know me — if I can’t play with other people, I’m more than merry about keeping to myself and playing with my toys because I just play my way like I did when I was in kindergarten… and I’m more than happy about that. Put me in with other people — especially complete strangers — and I become this raging psychotic yelling at my screen and systematically ignoring people so that I’ll never have to play with them again. Better to stay in my own sandbox instead… I might eventually go into it — but that’s not quite right now.

Warframe I’ve gotten out of my comfort zone and have been doing missions that I was hesitant to do. I still haven’t gamed with other people (see above about that), but at least when I do play — there are at least a small handful of people I can play with if I need to do some mission that I can’t solo through. Well up until a couple of months ago — I don’t get on early enough for most and one has taken a break from the game to pursue other games — like World of Warships and War Thunder.

I’ve given up entirely on Rift for two reasons. The first and foremost reason is that it’s broken on both the Guardian as well as the Defiant sides of the RPG portions of the leveling up story-quests… On the Guardian side it seems to go all right, but then you get this really steep leveling mission that you’ll end up getting killed numerous times. There seems to be some sort of progression break from what I remember of the questlines and it seems to be lacking the adventuring through the various regions and seems to jump ahead in places I don’t remember being able to jump ahead to. The second reason is that it seems to be hell-bent on advertising Subscription Access for the “added benefits”… So much so that that much advertising in a game is off-putting to someone that I did put money into through the years.

And finally Star Trek Online is just something mindless and grind-like that I don’t mind doing for a couple of hours. I think I had a meltdown a couple of months ago when I realized that I was having shit-luck building up the FED-Engineer and FED-Science Captains and in a fit of rage deleted them. After all, I’ve been having better luck and success grinding and getting things with my FED-Tactical and ROM-Tactical… I did rebuilt the FED-Science Officer along with launching a Klingon Tactical Captain — but truth be told they’re sitting in my pick-list collecting dust for the last couple of months. Part of me is sort of loathing the thought of learning that the Science Captain is as clapped-out as running an Engineering Captain, most of me is wondering whether I should reroll it when the new season rolls out called Agents of Yesterday. I’m not sure yet, though it almost sounds enticing.

As for the rest…. Yeah well, other than the occasional blatant, up-front and completely unsuccessful pull from the folk in the area, I’m enjoying my sabbatical from the rest of humanity. Seriously the mind boggles at some of the things gay men say to one another in order to get a tryst, date, whatever. At least the good thing is that I’ve stopped getting the “will you be my daddy?” messages because of my Four Rules. And in case you can’t find those rules; I’ll post them once again here:

The Rules:

1. They have to be over 6’4″ for me to consider eligible.
2. They have to be older than my combat boots (33 years) for me to actually ask them out for coffee.
3. They have to be older than how many years I’ve been out of the closet for me to consider dating regularly. (37 years).
4. They have to be mature, vivacious and so at peace with their issues for me to consider breaking any of the first three rules.

The 20-somethings in the area see that first rule and apparently they’re all appearance intimidated. A good thing all around given that I’ve reached the age in my life where I’m tired of having to train tweens (Tolkien’s use of the word, not Urban Dictionary’s) to being mature adults. And the adults? Well, they’re man children… They’re appearance intimidated more often times than naught, so only the truly ballsy will try messaging me. Or cat-fishing. Either or, it’s win-win.

And that’s about it for the time being. Off to slink back to the quiet, which I’m enjoying. Until the next time.

A Year Later…

03/02/2015 Comments off

Entry 03/01/2015 08:53:39 AM – Mentat 893

It’s hard to imagine that more than a year has passed since that cold (and snowless) day when I moved out of the Valley and a mile up the road to the Hill. Federal Hill that is. The move itself was relatively painless and drama free. There had been no sight of the douchebag ex-landlord. The drunken ex-roommate was probably sleeping through most of it in his typically alcoholic catatonic stupor. The only two that might have seen the move were the two Guatemalans living on the third floor; and I think at one point I stumbled across one of the two of them in the process. The weird one on the third floor (above me) probably hid like a conspiracy theorist… I never did figure out whether his favorite headwear was tinfoil or was simply one of those functional agoraphobics that enjoyed his own company than the company of others. And the artist below me? Bless her heart, I’m still rather amazed she stayed in spite of the lack of storm windows and constant drafts cutting through her apartment.

There of course had been other drama going on… My mother had slipped on the ice when she had been walking her Monster Child (her 140+ pound very spoiled Chocolate Labrador Retriever) and had to spend a month in the hospital and then another 5½ months housebound and hobbling around her house with the Zimmer frame I often joked about needing sometime in the near future as I’m getting up in the years. I was there helping her through her various chores around the house, meeting her visiting nurses at the door and escorting them up and down the two flights of stairs from the outside door to her apartment. I was wrangling that spoiled trouble child during those visits to ensure he doesn’t try licking the nurses to death while they were helping my mother going through her various physical therapy exercises to strengthening her leg and to get used to the pins in her hip. And walking him at the assigned times that he often didn’t like as they were an hour later than the times he thought he should be going out.

In that time, I was getting used to my own little all-black hellion on four legs in the new environment and learning how a change of environment changed several of the habits he had into something between annoyances and health concerns. But any crises I might have been feeling when it came to Moe were quickly abated when I adjusted to those new habits he was demonstrating. Like the fact that the water bowl and the food bowl can’t be near each other in this house like they were for the house in the Valley. Heh, the food bowl is fine near to the door to the apartment, but water needs to be in the bathroom near to the bathtub and opposite to the litter box location. Like the food bags needs to be out of his reach. Like the doors to the cabinet need to be tied closed or else he’ll get in there and snap the mouse traps in there because he thinks they’re toys to play chicken with. Like the top of the fridge is a perfect place to lay down on during the winter because he likes the heat and likes being out of the way when I’m doing the weekly house-cleaning. Like looking out the windows at 2 in the morning during the summer (which he avoids during the day because people seeing him scares him to hide). But I digress; the bottom line is that my cat’s content, well-fed and well-watered.

I know that it took me several emotional purges and a serious voodoo-like ceremony for Emancipation Day (June 25) for me to exorcise the anger and pent-up rage I had been feeling because of the years of working/living under the douchebag ex-landlord. I might still maintain my complete refusal to use his name in any references to him because using his name is deferring respect of some sort in his direction: respect that he most assuredly doesn’t deserve. And the drunken ex-roommate? Pfft, forgotten.

Along the way, I realized I couldn’t have people in my life that were depressed, in ruts of their own (and refused to shake out of it) or were the sort of crotchety that came off as arbitrary or negatively capricious. And so it was the mid-year sort of purge that so many other people do at the beginning of their years. After all, nothing I could do to suggest change was going to change them; and their attitude while not being labeled “toxic” were the wrong sort of energy I needed during my healing process for dragging myself out of the hole I had dug for myself. And like a woman breaking up with boyfriend; I washed them right out of my hair. I haven’t looked back at them or tried to look them up — they are behind me, and I don’t need their negativity in my life anymore.

Things for July and the beginning of August were looking up. I decided on pulling my journal/blogging offline except for when I had some issue that was working my nerves and then I would be off to blasting to my heart’s content. Local government, local attitudes even clear wastes of energy and effort were the targets of that passion. I went at the old mayor (and now the new mayor) with passionate fervor. I went after thoughtforms that were generated by lack of sense, experience or sensibility.

On the other hand, I kept up with my learning and whimsical randomness with Mandelbulb and for the new year J-Wildfire; posting fractals on Mondays (almost religiously) and other times in the week depending on love, pride or “feel the want to share” of whatever it was I produced. I had in that time got back in touch with the Mad Scientist™ within creating the sort of weirdness I could in mathematics and losing the writer’s block in being able to sit down and write to myself without self-consciousness nor the pressure of entertaining people. Sure many times my entries are banal, frivolous, even vapid… But the writer in me is happy to let the words flow. The thoughts run stampede and my feelings to take wing as free and carefree as the local birds in the summer. As you can see here:

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Quite the change from the end of July which was 10% at best just over 75,000 (or so) words.

There was another dramatic moment at about this time. I was getting seriously tired of walking my mother’s dog — mostly because it’s not my dog and he has serious obedience issues when it comes to anyone not my mother nor her husband. The weather was also getting into the humid times of August and while I didn’t mind the walks, his constantly pulling and my needing to be mindful of other dogs was getting on my nerves. It’s my mother dog after all, and as she always told the three boys — “your pet, your responsibility.” It was also a sort of way to getting my mother to walk more for exercise as for the last months was doing nothing more than hobbling about. The walk started off sort of all right — her Monster Child was pulling as always and excited to be walking to the vacant lot.

I didn’t see the man walking his dog in the vacant lot. The Monster Child did first. And that’s when he pulled like he always does. So hard and so fast that he pulled my mother off her feet. She tried bracing and failed; getting her first experience of asphalt surfing on Adams Street toward Marcello Street and breaking her ankle in the process: the same ankle that she broke her hip. This meant for the next 6’ish months more hospital visits, more pins and a plate (since removed because of issues with the thin skin around her ankle), a skin graft, more hobbling around the house for months at a time, more visiting nurses visits, and more of my having to help her with the chores around the house.

When it comes to injury and illness, my mother and I truck along the best we can. We might whinge a bit here and there when it comes to pain, we sometimes even get a bit alarmist if it’s taking too long and we sort of clam up when it’s something that might be frightening but on the whole all we do is keep going and let the body heal according to its own schedule. My mother’s husband on the other hand… Well let’s just say his over-protectiveness got on my mother’s nerves constantly and his issuing orders were often disregarded the instant he was out of eyesight and earshot for the betterment of the situation and the often frayed sanity.

And there was still more drama around September. A flare-up between my mother’s husband and myself. One that I recall distinctly writing about. While I won’t recant the story about this, I can tell you that because of the promise I made to my mother, I have avoided creating any drama against him in the time that she was healing and the couple of months since his recovery. Unlike other parts of my family who always apologize for their transgressions — he refuses. I had a chat with the son that positively hates him and from what I’ve collected from him he a “…narcissistic bastard… that thinks he does no wrong…” So I keep this in mind when avoiding dealing with him. He was also able to confirm that with the amount of whinging he does with his job, his life and frail ego, he’s not the Commissioned Marine that he tries to paint himself as, but instead is part of the armed forces that he constantly derides: an air force officer. I know there’s only matter of time when the opportunity will present itself and I will face off against him again with the energy of taking back what he took when he physically attacked me. Promise or no promise, I refuse to be cowed by acts of a bully.

More drama for the coming winter too… End of October to be exact. Though not so much the negative drama that comes with family, illness, dating or whatever. More like the comedy of errors and over-caution that’s the product of a litigious society. There had been a gas leak in the house — a very small one — caused probably a combination of events between my moving the stove to light the pilot on the space heater and the gas pressure of an added unit to the gas main into the apartment. It was enough to give the place the wrong odor of leaking gas, but not enough to actually be a threat to life, property and well being. I called the utility company to ask them if their checking service was free and they confirmed it was. Stressing it was a gas leak that didn’t involve an emergency call to the local fire department, I told them to send a technician to confirm where the gas was leaking out of. I remember telling the call representative that it’s not an emergency and that it’s a very small leak as it took almost 8 hours to get the whiff of it in my house, he told me that someone was going to be over in less than thirty minutes.

Turns out that I happened to look out the window when I heard sirens racing up Atwells Avenue to see that the full fire company was trying to get up my street as well as parked in front of my house. Seeing the Department’s chief, I quickly sorted out what happened and tried to explain to them that it wasn’t that much of an emergency, and ask that the Chief and one other come upstairs to investigate while I explained to them why the call and what happened.

Two men turned into the whole of the Company, which friends ribbed me about it being a “gay man’s dream” with that many firemen in my house. Sure, it might have been — if my apartment were bigger. It’s roomy for one man and a cat, and perhaps comfortable with a couple and a pet or two… But 12 men in a 20′ x 20′ kitchen all firing questions at me scattershot trouncing upstairs (to the vacant apartment), downstairs to my neighbor’s place (also a quiet person that doesn’t make all that much noise even when her adult children are over), into and out of the basement; it was the sort of chaos I would have rather liked keeping out of the homestead and spending some time with my terrified cat in the closet in the bedroom. After the utility technician showed up and confirmed a small leak in the distributor and one of the non-lighting pilots on the stove — they all filed out of my place with almost a look of disappointment (coupled with relief) it wasn’t as bad as they were expecting.

Since then it’s been pretty uneventful and a hell of a lot more peaceful. I’ve been getting back onto the socializing wagon, trying to be the charming curmudgeon I was known for before my relationship with the psycho-ex (pre-2000). While I haven’t really met anyone to try to shatter the commandments with, I’ve been more friendly with strangers than I have in a long time. Old friends spotted the change with time, new friends and acquaintances don’t understand the teeter-totter between snarkish, helpful and the overly-opinionated perspective I share with them… Some find it simply funny, others are more to take the ‘respective distance’ until they can figure out that I’m (very) vocal but otherwise harmless. I might still have issues with the way local government is run and take them to task verbally in either a blog entry or with the assistants that answer the phone at the Mayor’s office at least it’s more snarkish rather than vitriolic. I seem to remember days where it didn’t matter whether one was a pedestrian or not: walkways and sidewalks were always shoveled. Days long since passed where pedestrians now are nothing more than second-class citizens… But again, I digress.

I’ve also been doing daily exercises since the beginning of October and couple this with the rather surprisingly gross amount of water I drink (7 or more cups) and more than 7½ hours of sleep at night, I find myself better able to handle whatever stresses that come my way on a day to day basis. I still have some obsessive-compulsive habits; but at least those habits don’t consume hours of my time and energy in the process as they used to in the past. Oh, I’m definitely not buff, or lean… But instead maintain the illusion of a teddy bear; but with a little more bite (and strength) than before.

And that’s it for this year on the Hill. Now it’s time for me to do the dishes I used for lunch and perhaps work out playing a game or three with my very verbal hellion on four legs wanting “lap time”. In the end I know, I am back. Even if not everyone sees (or fully understands) it. Until the next time.

Fighting the No-Win Scenario

01/16/2015 Comments off

Entry 01/16/2015 08:59:04 AM – Mentat 852

Christ on a drunken rampage… You’d think I’d know better sometimes (but I don’t). I get into a discussion with some teenage bisexual girl about her inherent disdain about the use of the label bisexual and feeling constrained by the baggage associated with the word, struggles to find a better word to use. The conversation makes its way to a part about self-editing and how everyone does it. She of course denies that she does in her offline life yet does so online… All right… She’s wrong there, she provides proof that she does edit with the general public but she goes on anyway happily defining how it’s selective and continues to whinge about the limits of the word bisexual and tries to drum her point on and on trying to create a no-win scenario.

It naturally doesn’t work with me. I don’t allow myself to be limited by choices other people try to foist on me. If I don’t like the choices given to me, I have always made my own. I provided proof to this in the form of a brief story about as a kindergärtner I have always been ridiculed for my perspective.

The no-win scenario continues as she shifts the debate turns into some sort of attack against her and her bisexuality and how its an amateurish psychoanalysis. Seeing that answer I’m reminded all too keenly of the non-stop debates and battles with my ex Rick and no matter what I could possibly posit during the debate was going to be always wrong.

I typed the typical response: told her that if that’s what she thinks, nothing I can say will change that and the thoughts I’ve had on this will go untyped. I went further to wish her well and hoped for the day that she found a word that she felt comfortable with and moved on from there.

I find myself feeling like Roger Moore’s character in Ffolkes and his absolute disdain of women.

I am also reminded of a friend in New Jersey when talking to his daughter always said, “I should throw away my set of encyclopedias because you seem to know every fucking thing!”

I had worked up a rather good response, but because I’m tired of fighting a no-win scenario with someone that already seems to know-it-all, I’ve decided I’m going to put it here.

The plain and simple fact is, the baggage associated with bisexuality isn’t new. While there are elements of it that are unique, the fact is ANY sexuality other than heterosexual has come with its own depressing sort of negative baggage. Take for example when I came out of the closet back in 1979. It’s only 10 years after the Stonewall Riot (or the gay shot heard around the world). Being gay wasn’t glamorous. The baggage it had was ugly. Being forever alone when invited to friends and family parties, weddings, etc. Being STD (and shortly after) and AIDS carriers. A life at the bars with nothing more than one-night stands. I can never have a family or children.

The thing is I wasn’t going to have any of this. I wanted a husband. I wanted the house with a picket fence. I wanted the children and the pets (cats… not dogs… I always preferred cats). I changed my label to queer (in defiance) and went forward chasing my dreams. Back when I came out I was told by peers — straight and gay — I was a dreamer (at best) or delusional (at worst). Still I followed my dreams…

Fast forward 20 years and we see my dreams weren’t so delusional or the products of some demented dream. And while I can’t remotely claim to have revolutionized the social transformation and perception of the gay & lesbian community, I can take a little pride in the fact that I wasn’t alone in this. I had — in my own demented and stubborn way — helped it along small and humble as it was.

The thing is this woman that I ended up discussing and walking away from isn’t alone in her plight either. There are plenty of other people even if she can’t see them — going through the same struggles of fighting against the stereotyping and the baggage associated to being bisexual. While she might not be in contact with them, I have seen that they exist. Some simply bow to the pressure and choose a side (straight or gay) to make their lives simpler. Some stick to it and prove — through their actions — they are more than the stereotypes (and baggage) associated to the label.

I tried to explain to her that if she wants to fight against that stereotype to do so. Damned the torpedoes full steam ahead… Take a label that fit her and put her tits to the wind (as Bette Middler once said in a comedy sketch years ago). To listen to the sound of her own drum and march to it. After all, she did so when she defiantly tried to redefine the part of the conversation about self-editing (it was still wrong — everyone, even her self-edits — she just edits herself to the general public. But the point was she did so with the pride necessary to break other limitations). She had it within her to do the same against words she didn’t like or fit her.

There’s another saying that comes to mind in all this: “sticks and stones…” A word can only hurt you if you allow it. A name can only hurt you if you take it personally. If you succumb to the title, the label and feel negative (either in anger or in sadness) those labels have taken possession of you.

Was I hurt by the labels? The stereotypes? The baggage associated to the label? Damn Skippy. I’m human and not impervious to the name calling. And while I can understand the need for wallowing in that pain in that self-pity, but yet… somewhere along the line I turned it into an act of defiance. I would not and will not succumb to those stereotypes.

The last bit of wisdom came to me in the late 70s (about the time I came out) that went: There are three kinds (of people)… The wills, the won’ts and the can’ts. The wills accomplish everything, the won’ts oppose everything and the can’ts won’t try anything. I promised myself I would be one of those that will. And haven’t stopped since.

And with that I’m through proselytizing. Off to shop for ingredients for a slow-cooker recipe I want to try out. Until the next time.

The Parochial Tendencies of Society

01/12/2015 Comments off

Entry 01/11/2015 09:18:19 AM – Mentat 846

As I sit here this morning while I wait for my coffee to brew and debating whether I should enjoy an English Muffin for the mid-morning break, I was struck with an interesting thought as I reviewed a conversation with someone on one of the dating website I have a membership with… That thought being: When did we (as a people) become so parochial?

Men on the dating site seem to be completely uninterested with any sort of communication with anyone outside of a specific driving range (which seems arbitrary based on personal tolerances for driving distances); so much so that they will ignore any comments, notes, compliments or assertions made in their direction. The man I mentioned moments ago is getting ready to make a transcontinental pilgrimage to a city that I had spent some time in has made it pretty damned clear in his profile that he wants to shed not only his possessions but any emotional entanglements old and new for this trip. In fact the primary reason for his conversation with me has to do with my knowledge of the area he’s moving to. Whether it’s going to continue from there remains entirely to be seen; though I suspect it’s going to end as abruptly as it began. Watching the dance of people that I see and encounter (here in the Tundras of New England) they seemed determine to only pay attention to whatever is in their immediate vicinity and often ignore anyone that falls outside the qualities to determine validity (sight and more importantly touch).

I’m not talking about the family we’re born into. Blood is thicker than water and all that, but let’s face it — unless we’re totally alienated by that family we’re born into, we often keep in touch with them regardless of the distances. No, what I’m talking about the family of choice that we create, establish and reinforce when one reaches adulthood and ventures out into the world.

I recall from my history and literature classes in high school, stories from the Renaissance when the postal networks were establishing and how people would maintain both correspondences in love and dalliances as well as the various letters involving friend and equals, swamis (gurus and other religious teachers) and their disciples, as well as teachers and students. Many of these non-romantic letters going well beyond the lessons that brought them together to establishing friendships that lasted as long as those to people closer to home. As for romantic correspondences, there have been books written about them that rivaled the sort of love that comes from meeting someone closer to home. It had become a continued (and eventually established) form of communication for romantic, platonic and professional communication through the expansion into the world and into the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.

I have my proof in the treatises of Alice A Bailey that correspondences and written communications had reached midway into the 20th century. Written communications that continued to be there well after the establishment of telegraph and telephone communications in the latter part of the 19th/early part of the 20th centuries. Even though radio communications were here at the time, it’s not really used (which had been more for military and transportation services than for the everyday “Joe”). And yes, even through the advent of the CB Radio fad of the 70s.

Yet something shifted toward the end of the 20th century. With the establishment of the Internet for households of the common man and heralded the dawn of the Information Age, this had a way of opening up the world to everybody and allowing them communication with people halfway around the world as equally and easily as across the street. It had given an extension on an expiring thoughtform that had been created in days gone by. That is to say, there had been a brief revival of the concept of the long-distance love affairs. Of writing e-mails (along with Instant and Real-Time Communications) with someone one found mentally and emotionally attractive across the vastness of miles. Yet somewhere near the dawn of the 21st century that novelty wore off. With the ability to obtain instantaneous information and coupled with the growing skepticism and cynicism (based both on personal experience and word of mouth) that the person you might be talking with might not be where they’re saying they’re from or even who they actually are; the mindset changed into a sort of common sense rule from looking (and perhaps even reaching out) globally to only dealing with folk locally. If there is any such global interchange it is done publicly and casually, much like those of a fan or casual follower with no more interaction than to either sing the praise of who they follow or to respond their approval in the forms of likes, re-tweets or simply watching with words unsaid.

I see that there are exceptions to these new rules. Those folk that have made relationships work in spite of the distances. And while I knew of some folk — straight and gay alike — in the last 20 years work beyond (or perhaps in spite) the distances between them, I seem to have noticed since the inception of the 21st century it’s more the acts of the young. But these of course are only the exceptions. Not the general rule…

So it raises the question… Well several questions as I sit here and review what I said versus the thoughts I still haven’t committed to writing: Is long-distance correspondences (romantic and/or platonic) an instrument for the young?† As we (humans) get older, more weather-worn, more skeptical and of course obtain more baggage along the way, do we lose the necessary naïveté and faith that make such long-distance correspondences possible? Do we become more parochial as we get older wanting our gratification, satisfaction and perhaps even our continued ability to learn something only to be done from a local perspective?

Or it is something more intrinsic? Does the everyday man simply lack the elements of (blind) faith, (long-distance) trust and of course the fortitude of character and determination to making such romantic and platonic relationships (regardless of the distance) work?

If the last supposition (posed in the form of a question) is indeed true, what does that make me? Exceptional?

For even at the half-century mark, I continue to maintain contact with those that are willing to continue correspondences regardless of the distance. Friends that I have never met, I continue to strike up conversations with them whenever possible. In Canada, in other parts of the United States (Florida and California for example), occasionally even farther than that. I continue to put out the feelers for new communications in the hopes that it will flourish into something more than just casual and more importantly — personally distant. I continue to do so, sight unseen… When mood or common interests seem apparent, I am trying to make that connection. By listening and sharing either in earnest or in humour, with insight, with sagely advice handed down to me by my grandmother and with whatever observations and opinions that I form on my own I offer it without hesitation in the hopes that it will build the bridge necessary for friendship to flourish.

If I am the exception to the rule, why does it often feel like I’m on some parapet, soap box or mosque tower projecting my thoughts out into the void and yet no one seems to hear the underlying message? Or worse… With the common sense handed down to me and my inherent ability of working in means and averages (I never went into statistics, but I admit having a modest grasp of it), are the exceptional so isolated that they are all crying out in some form or another and simply not being heard? That there’s just the right sort of distance between these voices that they cannot hear each other?

In conclusion, as I said to Mr. James Radcliffe, so I should take my own advice… I have thrown this stone into the pond with this entry. Now I just need to wait — patiently — for the ripples from this action to reach all parts of the pond.

Until the next time.

(I’ll exclude professional because money drives that and there will always be that for self-employed individuals and companies.)

You Know You’re an Influence When…

12/10/2014 Comments off

Someone chats me up on one of the local dating boards and goes off on a random rant about how so many people seem to come visit his profile but no one ever seems to hit him up. He blames it on queerfolk wanting Superman that lives a block away…

I responded with:

One of the biggest problems with profiles comes from the way people try to make their profiles all – for lack of a better word – hetero norm. Add to the fact that many of us here (and yes I admit I’m one of them) comes from the experience of personal ads in local rags and our inherent ability to try to read between the lines. Things end up getting translated from one thing to another and whatever charm one might have aimed for is translated to something completely different. Why do you think I wrote my profile the way I did? For people to translate the scary to terrifying and the good to bland. It would take someone of exception character to realize the truth of the paradox.

I then went on to say:

I can tell you the fact I didn’t respond was because your six things you can’t live without didn’t include coffee. With coffee not being on the top six (or some explanation as I had) I wasn’t sure whether you’d fully appreciate one of the few vices I live by. I also try to avoid people that live next door; instead looking farther away from the New England area. You see, I am a living example of, “writers – when they’re alone, they’re prophetic; when they’re with people, they’re pathetic. They’re just too in their heads. ” I am not in a rush to meet and have coffee. I like learning about people from their writing instead of face to face as I can learn more by what they write about than what they project.


 

The thing is that no sooner than he read my response, he updated his profile to include the hows and the whys. He even went so far as to accentuate the one thing I didn’t bring up: his height (I might get to that in a minute). He re-wrote it to being a little less (what I call) hetero-norm. He added elements that people don’t often talk about: spirituality… I mean sure I’ve seen plenty of people professing one form of Christianity or another, but not so much Buddhism or other spiritual paths. Of course the price for this wisdom and this change of approach with his profile is he stopped talking to me and then went to blocking me.

While I expected most of his response to the advice I had given him (stopping the conversation and perhaps even the block), it got me to thinking about the conversation I had with @JayTheManDater over on his blog on WordPress. While I found myself relieved that the conversation didn’t lead to embarrassing and potentially shallow admissions on my part (I am looking for someone taller than me, not shorter), at the same time I find myself modestly disappointed not even a “thank you” was given for what I said… After all this man was 12 years older than I was and was definitely raised to know what manners were…. It did also give me a giggle on how he had admitted that part of the reason why he moved away from Boston was because of the Non-Bostonian Hate that he would get for being from Boston. Why the giggle? Because Rhode Islanders call people from the state north of ours “Massholes” and it struck me ironic that he did precisely the thing that causes Rhode Islanders to call them that…

It also got me thinking about how manners in the Tundras of New England have changed so much. As a world traveler, I continue to be amazed about how people around here avoid anything and everything with strangers that require manners or politeness to be used. The older people (I’m talking Octogenarian) might nod in your direction or say “hello” as you walk by… My age and younger positively avoid it. During my daily walk I’ve watched people ignore me, look away, sometimes even so much as cross the street in order to avoid being remotely civil.

The only response I have for queerfolk here is, “and you wonder why I look outside of the area?”

Still though, it makes this old queer proud. I might not be thanked, I might even be ignored… But at least people hear what I’m saying and making use of it. And with that, I’m off. Time for some inspirational music and to read through some of my news sites before it’s time to take the Monster Child out for his afternoon walk. Until the next time.

Moments of Thought (during a 4 KM walk)

12/03/2014 Comments off

Entry 12/03/2014 06:40:38 AM – Mentat 811

Nothing like completely screwing up my sleep patterns in one day.  I laid down early last night listening to Psychobabble and then the Relic Radio Podcasts that I collected yesterday.  Ended up listening to the first one (from the Science-Fiction collection) from beginning to end (20 minutes), then when I moved onto the others (Thriller, Suspense and the straight on podcast), I fell completely asleep during each and every other podcast afterwards.   Oh sure, I woke up at the end of each and every one, start the next, get comfortable and then **BANG** out like a light once again.  So all in all I drifted in and out of sleep during each of the podcasts.  I remember listening to the last of the podcasts at 11:30’ish last night.  I stayed up for a couple of hours then went back to bed only to wake up again at 10 to 6 of which I’ve been up since.  Sure, I got something like 9+ hours of sleep, but thanks to the program I’m using, it doesn’t count.  Bloody annoying that…   But that’s what happens when one is working with a program and all the various quirks that it comes with.

Now that my mother’s home from the doctor’s office and about to start her morning chores on ironing what little clothes that need it, I’m sitting here having a rather interesting time trying to come up with the energy for some of the thoughts that I’ve had watching and listening to some of the various podcasts, YouTube videos and stray thoughts that usually assail my mind during the early evenings and especially when I’m taking my 2.5 mile (4.02 km) walk through the neighbourhood.

I’ve continued to mull over the lack of “neighbourhood” in the urban sprawl of Providence and in its place is what retail companies think “neighbourhood” should be.  Especially now that my walk routine’s changed a little bit and surfaces along Atwells Avenue near to De Pasquale Square.  I mean Broadway has never truly felt like a neighbourhood.  It’s almost always been completely renovated from Residential to the sort of Commercial zoning synonymous with Doctor’s/Dentist’s Offices and…  ick…  Lawyers.  What little retail stores while being a Ma & Pop of some sort or another, don’t really give the feeling of a neighbourhood store (that I remember from my childhood).  About the only exception to this is the Sutton & De Pasquale Street block on Broadway (where DASH Bicycles is).  Between the bike shop, the gaming store and the “corner” pizzeria there, it definitely has the right sort of “neighbourhood” feel I used to get when on the Hill 20+ years ago.

But Atwells?  No sir…  Taking the walk through the neighbourhood here and what I remember of the neighbourhood when living here  is near completely gone.  Sure, there’s the old tattoo parlour and Sicilia’s Pizzeria at Dean Street..  Sure there’s the corner mart diagonal from it…  Sure there’s even Caserta’s on Spruce (a block off of Atwells)…  But the rest?  Ugh!  Restaurants and Boutique stores up the ass and especially in De Pasquale Square itself.  There’s some stores that I remember from 20 years ago — but they don’t seem to be open much anymore.  Like the old Federal Hill Liquors (which the security shutters are closed on all the time), or the Jamaican Dive Restaurant (where the laundry I used when I was living with Darin used to be).

What’s worse about it is the fact that with the invention of the leaf blower — a lot of these trendy boutique store have the nasty habit of blowing everything away from their store fronts, instead of putting it in one pile to pick it up (and throw it out).  This of course leads to a metric shit-ton of various flotsam — leaves, paper trash and bags) to end up in the neighbourhood immediately behind and around the storefronts to look polluted…  And more importantly changing the various old-age and character flaws of the neighbourhood to look…  Well, more depressed than it should.   It’s sad really…  Having moved up from the Valley (just a few blocks difference) and what I end up in is hipster and trendy hell.

As the saying goes, “the more things change…  the more they remain the same…”  At least when it comes to the conformity of retail…

Then there’s the other thoughts I had yesterday during my walk on how much has changed with being a queer in the new millennium.  I remember back in the mid 80s, the generation before me had been blaming my generation for dropping the torch that was handed to us.  I remember vividly at the time my generation had been accused of “resting on our laurels” by not continuing fighting for the rights of LGBT folk in the USA.

Sure, when it came to getting states to pass laws for domestic and partner benefits (and turned it into a hell of a fight with the hydra forcing groups & activists to approach companies instead of states), DADT has come and gone…  DOMA is being stigmatized and given of feeling of being a blue law as Domestic Partnerships has been passed in many more states.  Or my personal favorite, watching how coming out episodes went from “After School Specials” to Coming out become statements of the every day on YouTube.  Of seeing queerfolk being queerfolk without the mockery, the spectacle and even the mockery from 30 years ago…  Love & Hate and annoyances….  Or my personal favorite the bickering that happens in love.  You know what I’m talking about when it comes to every couple:  the really intense sort of comments (snide or otherwise) made at the other that makes anyone watching extremely uncomfortable.  I don’t mind them of course, they remind me of the times when I was in a relationship and know it’s not as bad as it looks.

I know there’s still a really long way to go…  A hell of a long way to go still…  But perhaps what was always needed was viewing it all from the every day instead of when I came out 35 years ago and only being a taste of it given to middle of nowhere America in the form of news snippets on Gay Pride.  Make them see it’s not all about deviations and parades…  But instead the everyday and the ordinary…  Even if folks like me see the color that might be missed by everyone else.

There were a couple of other thoughts, mainly the sort of thing that I find myself reminiscing about things in my personal past.  Like how Battey Street off of Broadway seems to have gotten longer than when I was living in the neighbourhood.  Or how the houses in my neighbourhood are certainly weird and wild and of course pre- and Post-Victorian odd…  With sections of the building jutting out or the wild window work (like some of the houses I’ve taken pictures of during my 2012 picture of the day and might again for 2015…).  Or how many of the houses have preservation plaques on them (especially on and just off of Broadway).  Or finally the quirkiness I seem to stumble across while I’m walking….  like the church off of Tobey that has French Services (this is a predominantly Italian & Spanish neighbourhood now).

That about it for the time being.  Off to simmer a thought or two.  Until the next time.

Surprises, Bumps & Train Wrecks

10/09/2014 Comments off

Entry 10/09/2014 09:57:21 AM  – Mentat 756

Nobody, as long as he moves about among the chaotic currents of life, is without trouble.” – Carl Jung

Ah, what a train wreck yesterday turned out to be.

Things seemed to have been going remarkably well.  I started my morning with the extreme surprise of coming in contact with someone I hadn’t seen or even heard from in almost 30 years.  A bar-friend that I used to get together with that used to trawl the old bar, No Name — long since gone and replace with a state agency — and then afterwards head to the old Seaplane Diner for a late night breakfast to work the alcohol out of our systems.  While I didn’t remember him when he messaged me — getting confused with someone else from about that time — when he told me he was from North Providence, I remembered correctly and instantly.  I remember that he used to dress up like a hair-glam rocker; complete with clothes and hair.  I remember he was mostly a shy one when we were out.  I remember when we used to go out, he would order himself a plate of fries and then drench them in condiments.   I remember a couple of his friends.  Chris B who I tried to date and failed rather spectacularly.  And I think another Italian kid who I only remember his name as Dante.   And a woman name Lorna…  Heh, I couldn’t remember her name and Chris had to remind me; thought it started with an R…  But at least it has an R in it.

Interesting memories back then; some of which I’m rather surprised I can remember so clearly and so precisely being so close to the time of the car accident back when I was about 20 years old and somewhere between that time and when I had been raped 2 years later is a very messy time for me to try to remember through.  On the one side, I no longer had my journals for that time (destroyed in a flood) so it’s not like looking at 2004 – 2005 after my break up with Rick…  And reading into those journals seeing an entirely different person I don’t remotely recognize writing them…   On the other hand, sitting here — in the here and now — it’s rather surprising how clear those memories are in spite of the dire times back then.   Sure the memories seem to be darker than average — but it’s more about lighting (and the lack thereof) more than the mood.  Well that and the smells of cigarettes, bad smoke machines and spilled alcoholic drinks.  But those were the times outside of work…

Going on simultaneously was a rather surprising chat with someone — who’s name will be discretely omitted and referred to as C — on a chat/meeting site.  The fact that he admitted being able to sing gives him automatic respect (as I’ve said in the past — me singing produces the same sounds as torturing cats).  He was flirtatious, gregarious, he was keeping up with what was going on and most importantly I didn’t have to reiterate constantly what I was trying to say and perhaps even what I meant.  A definite plus and something that I find attractive.  He was even closer to my age than most of the men I’ve flirted with in the last couple of years.   It made the afternoon go well given I wasn’t at the Deskside, instead watching my mother’s Monster Child (stories to be told in a moment).

Then the train wreck.  As I was wrapping up my time at my mother’s during the last 45 minutes.  The conversation takes a turn into surprise.  C doesn’t want to chat anymore and wants to meet.  Given the intensity and the change of direction it had taken me completely be surprise.  In those moments, I didn’t know what or why, but I reacted hard.  I became brutally honest and in doing so pushed him away hard.  It fell apart after that…  C was distracted by driving…  I was flummoxed and having anxiety.

I can tell you that because of it, I had my first absence (petite mal) seizure since being back in the Tundras of New England.  It wasn’t long — longer than normally experienced.  A fact that if my mother were to hear about this would demand my going to a doctor pronto.

I can tell you that I fell immediately to sleep and slept uninterrupted through to the morning.

I can tell you I feel both embarassed and guilty because I didn’t handle the situation properly.  I apologized, but expect nothing in return.  Nor that he would return.

And this morning after meditating and beginning this journal entry, I can tell you precisely where the anxiety came from…  It started in the unconscious.  It came from seeing the similarities of C’s situation and the years of hell living with Rick a decade before.  It came from the emotional torment and blame that I had gone through at his hands.  And most importantly it came from the similarities I had been seeing.

– that C had a child
– that he was only recently out and not out to many people.
– that there was a travelable distance between where he was and where I am.  60 miles (96.5 km)  which compared from Atlanta to Dalton is close enough for government work.
– that I don’t drive and haven’t for 21 years now.

Combine this with the memories of constant incrimination and derision that I had gone through with Rick and it all came flooding back in flood and fear.

I know, I know…  they’re different people, different circumstances and on and on and on…  Consciously it makes perfect sense and is perfectly logical.  Unconsciously?  No matter what mastery one can have on conscious thought — it’s a dark place, full of emotions and deeply hidden problems that can creep up and pounce when you least expect it.  And that’s precisely what it did.

The best I can do at the moment is ride through the regrets that I had created and let them pass.  I regret bring such demons so early to the table.  I regret that I scared a good man with baggage I thought that I had gotten the best of.  And I regret how it’s ended.  But hey…  It’ll pass like it always does…  I just have to face what it was that scared me and handle it better.

As for what I mentioned earlier in this entry.  Earlier this week she was in for getting the plate removed from her ankle/foot because it was sticking too close to the surface and was interfering with the healing process.  So in the morning and through until about the time that her husband gets home, I stay over her place watching the dog and ensuring he doesn’t have any abandonment issues through that time.  Jack — her monster child — being a rescue still has it months later.

Further developments this afternoon comes from my aunt who received a voicemail from my mother telling her she’s going into surgery for it again this morning.  My aunt couldn’t hear her mostly because she’s going hard of hearing and won’t do anything about it… So I left a message on my mother’s cell with the hopes of finding out more news on this…

There’s more to this too.  My mother’s going to be going back to the hospital next week for a more detailed mammogram.  Last week when she went for her routine examinations — or as she’s fond of call them “breast squishings” — they reported finding a dark spot on her results from her other breast.  I can’t remember which one, just that it was the other one that had cancer in, in the past.

I’m not too worried about it.  It’s one of those wait and see what’s going to happen next with her.  I just wished she would stop smoking..  That would make it a bit easier.

Well that’s about it for the time being.  Until the next time.