When I Need A Pick Me Up, by my friend Ryan King

Friday, October 31, 2008


I just signed up here to join the pledge of writing a post every day in November.

A few years back I also wrote a novel for NaNoWriMo and so I'm signing back up for that again.

WHY Alan, you shout at your monitor. For the love of peace, unity, and justice, WHYYYY!!!???

Well, because I can. Because I have two jobs in my career but no children and no wives and no pets. And because I can talk about anything, nonstop, if given the chance.

So this is another chance.

And because I wouldn't mind inspiring you all to do it too. Ned's got a novel in him, and I hope by his recent scarcity this means he's working on it. Shades is a songstress in prose form. And Scott's got the next Great American Novel swimming in media magnetic on his hard drive.

Let's get to crackin' folks!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Upsell ME, BeeYOTches!!!?

So I had just came off a disagreeable phone discussion with the director of the counseling center where I do part time when I walked into the Chipotle. Thus, I was in a bad mood and I'm not ready to tell you why.

But I was on line in the Chipotle for a while, muttering under my breath, trying to get a call through to MFTD for comfort and consultation since his doctorate is in my profession, when I order the burrito bowl with just beans and pork, to which I wanted to add guac on it. That's all I wanted. Keep your rice, your corn, your salsa, your everything else. Server Dude goes, "Guac is extra, okay?" I say, yeah okay, and Server Dude dabs a few spoonfuls on top of the pork. The guy next to me is offered guac on his food too, and he asks "How much?" and Server Dude says "TWO DOLLARS" and I said, actually aloud, "WHAT?!" I told that guy that his was the question I should have asked. After this I told them to put on the corn and the lettuce since I was going to have to pay so much extra. Yes, I said all that aloud.


You tell me it's extra, but you don't tell HOW MUCH extra unless specifically asked?!? And OF COURSE you wouldn't willfully tell that the meager blobs of guacamole you grace us with is TWO whole frikkin' DOLLARS, when the original frikkin' price of the bowl is only 7.61 cents!!!!!


And here I was not even getting the rice and the salsa, and you're STILL going to charge me $9.61 because of a measely 3 fingers' worth of green slime?!?!?

Underhanded, price-gouging, sneaky upselling BASTARDS.

So you know what I did, right? Hellllll right I did.

I took a fistful of forks and a fistful of knives, a pile of napkins thick as my fist, a lil container of lemon slices (the containers are right there, nicely next to the forks for your use), and a lil container of limes, and a fistful of toothpicks.

Ya dammmmmn right I did. Charge me an extra two dollars fer nuthin' willya??!

Never. Again.

Just Because...

...this song always has had an effect on me, and last night I was reminded of it by my Ned.

Sometimes late when things are real
And people share the gift of gab
Between themselves
Some are quick to take the bait
And catch the perfect prize that waits
Among the shelves

But Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man
That he didn't,
Didn't already have
And cause never was the reason for the evening
Or the Tropic of Sir Galahad.

So please believe in me
When I say I'm spinning round, round, round, round
Smoke glass stain bright color
Image going down, down, down, down
Soapsuds green like bubbles

Oh, Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man
That he didn't,
Didn't already have
And cause never was the reason for the evening
Or the Tropic of Sir Galahad

So please believe in me
When I say I'm spinning round, round, round, round
Smoke glass stain bright color
Image going down, down, down, down
Soapsuds green like bubbles

No, Oz never did give nothing to the Tin Man
That he didn't,
Didn't already have
And cause never was the reason for the evening
Or the Tropic of Sir Galahad

So please believe in me

I do. I do believe in you.

Monday, October 27, 2008

One Wrong Reason Not To; "This American Life--10/26/08"

I named this blog after a show that I found Childhood Bud and I both liked to listen to, except I think he might listen far more than I do. The show is "This American Life." While driving between job locations yesterday (for I had went to work after a leisurely morning and found myself working between noon and 8pm), this "This American Life" episode rocked my socks off. It's an hour long and I want to quote the whole thing here, but I'll do my very best to summarize what stood out to me.

The show was about the campaigning for both McCain and Obama in Pennsylvania. The radio reporters doing the recording were hanging out with people that canvassed in a PA town known for Democrats and at the U of P state college. In the town, the campaigners were Democrats who, after Hilary had not gotten the nod, were voting for McCain and wanted to convert undecided Democrats to the same positon. The campaigners at the state college were Democrats registering students and urging them to vote for Obama. A third segment was about the Union AFL-CIO's support of Obama, and Richard Trumka's address to Union members about racial issues.

Until that point, I thought the show was just going to major on the virtues of the Obama ticket, as all good lefty radio is bound to do, but then the AFL-CIO brought up race, and the whole message turned for me. It made me realize that although I haven't allowed myself to stay naive about racial issues, I had decided not to put the magnifying glass on the issue. I had decided to focus on the white support of Obama and take comfort from it.

Well this episode pushed it all in my face yesterday and I just wanted to give the readers here a chance to be exposed to the same information.

Highlights (or Darklights);
1) One of the Democrats knocking on doors to sway undecided Dems to vote for McCain was a black male. It was put to him by a member of a family at one of these homes why he wasn't supporting Obama, since he was a black male Democrat. His answer was that he did want to see a black man in the White House, but he hoped it would be at another time in his life because he thought McCain was the better choice at the moment. I was confounded. The man sounded young. He must think there's plenty of time in his life for this opportunity to rise again if Obama loses. I hope to God he's right, but personally--I want it NOW, while the opportunity IS RIGHT FREAKING HERE RIGHT FREAKING NOW. Oh my God! It's like walking up to a pile of a million dollars, and when given the chance to take it you say, "Well, no actually, I like the earnings I make right now. But hopefully some day, I'll find another pile of a million dollars, and I'd be glad to take it at that time--provided all the conditions are right..." WTF?!?

2) The best recruiter in the segment with the state college seemed really obsessed. Almost as a personality flaw. But her technique was the best. She went everywhere on campus to get kids registered. She went to tailgate parties, she was at the games, she was at frat parties where she could hardly hear herself. She never took no for an answer. but one guy, a drunkish frat boy, had a little surprise for her. He showed her (as described by the audio reporter tailing her) his cellphone which had a little animation of Obama's face turning into a monkey. The boy then slurs, "This is what we think of him around here!" The recruiter went directly to another group and continued her dogged pursuit of registering kids. But the radio reporter jumped into a lull in her work to ask her what she thought of that boy's cellphone display. The girl paused, and then her voice grew shaky. She said that she couldn't let that get to her or else it would destroy the energy she had to do her job. The more she spoke, the more upset she sounded though. In a few more seconds, she was heard bawling. The radio reporter said it was because of all the pressure and exhaustion. But I wanted to bawl my damn self. The boy was a student at a college. And to him, one of America's youth, this is an acceptable joke or display of opinion? In 2008 A.D.?!? IN TODAY'S GENERATION?!?!?!?! WTF?!!!!!!

3) The AFL-CIO segment brought due attention to many people who answered by phone about who they were going to vote for, being Union members and Democrats. The show focused on those who answered the canvassers by saying, "Definitely not Obama!" Some said it was because he was a Muslim. Eventually they admitted it was because he was black. Some said they weren't going to vote for "no f**kin' nigger." To me, the most haunting testimony came from a Union phone recruiter who discovered that a co-worker and friend wasn't going to vote for Obama because of his color, and the recruiter never knew that about his friend. The recruiter, a white guy, tells how he tried to reason with his friend, also a white guy, but his friend kept revealing how threatened and hostile he felt being around so many blacks and having to see his kids playing with so many blacks at the school, and how if Obama got in "Jesse Jackson would become one of his advisers and next thing you knew Al Sharpton would be in the White House too." Yeah, right next to Colin Powell and Condoleeza Rice, you forkin' DOUCHENOZZLE. This phone canvasser sounded devastated to discover that his friend, even though they both worked with blacks and ate lunch with blacks, had this mindset.

So now, here is that Richard Trumka video the show talks about;
The most important thing I've heard come out of this segment was the presence of advertisements which said the following "There are many reasons to vote for Barack Obama for President of the United States. But there is one wrong reason not to."

These were the fears I've harbored--oh--I think---all of my life. Yeah. All my life. That the unseen nooks and crannies of the world harbored dark and vitriolic thoughts like these and it would affect me based on nothing I could control or even want to. Things that would see me stomped to death in an alley somwhere.

Another thing said out of the AFL-CIO segment was that this race situation was a thing that was "a two-hundred year-old wound with a sixty year-old scab" and I whooped in my car when he said that. Because it's so true. And I've known this all my life.

But I will still choose to focus on the thing that brings me hope.

DESPITE the truth of this report from Pennsylvania's nooks and crannies, Obama is leading in the polls. He is getting equal airtime. He is a contender. A serious candidate which all my white friends who do not want him to win are all saying they think he will win.

Despite the hatred and ignorance that so many Americans still harbor (and oh my dear sweet Jesus GOD will it EVER stop?!?!) Barack Obama is a black man who this country has "allowed" and accepted to rise to the prominence he has today. A man who in two short weeks may very well become the nation's President. A black American man who all the planet Earth has noticed.

I don't think I can ever make my white friends know how important this is to me personally, but I can only do my best to represent it in this post and hope the right eyes read it. Meanwhile, I urge you to listen to this weekend's "This American Life". Put the information in your heads for future discussion. Let it sharpen your own thoughts about race in America. Let the next sixty years pass with even MORE advancement and even MORE dissolution of hate and fear and ignorance. For the love of all that is literally Holy.

Do it for me.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Downward Spiral--HALTED

So what you guys don't know is that not only did I stop my diet, but I've put all that weight back on again. When I dropped those ten pounds--and only ten, mind you--I was able to do something I'd never done in my life. I was able to tuck my t-shirts into my underwear. Now, this may be no special thing to the men out there with flat bellies (except that you might not be a t-shirt/underwear tucker) but I saw this in a few locker rooms and I tried it. It's remarkably efficient for preventing the t-shirt to come unmoored later in the day. The underwear band really grips that sucker.

Anyway, doing that simple act made me realize that I had actually lost the gut. In two weeks of Nutrisystems, I had lost my gut. Well, it's back. I can't tuck my t-shirts anymore without looking like I'm smuggling a bowling ball out of the house. Well, a small bowling ball.

I'm reporting this because this is about to change, again. And it's about to change for a very good reason. My Grizzbabe was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. She's going to blog about it, but I'm beating her to the punch. When she informed me, I went into comforting-her mode, and pointed out all the positives that comes from having to monitor your sugar intake, and all the health benefits attached thereupon. And the hypocrisy stick bashed me square over the head as I typed the words out. Because what did I know? I wasn't the one who was faced with mandatory dieting. I was, however, the one ranting about buttercream icing. Idiot.

Here I am extolling the vices of irresponsible eating while My Grizzbabe faces a disease that will change her eating habits, like, for the rest of her life. And I thought, why should she have to do that alone? And why should I keep indulging in food orgies when there are so many people forced to do differently?

So no more downward spiral. Every time I tried to diet, it was for vanity. Now it's for Grizzbabe, and every other person out there who has to regulate their eating ... or die, basically.

We humans are ridiculous. We create things that destroy us. We spend frivolously on things that cause us irreparable harm. We support industries that if left unchecked, would destroy us as a global civilization.

And speaking of ... Worst Case Scenario Man has struck again. The news about Grim Jester's lady is terminal. Such a mess. But I did barge into his life yesterday, and it was a good visit. He was receptive and I didn't have to do anything therapeutic except be there. But he was every bit the Grim that I knew he could be in times when I call him my friend and mean it. His commitment to his girlfriend is the stuff of legend. My respect for him, despite all the things that piss me off about him, has quadrupled exponentially. All the times that he's come through for me, I now know that to be the real Grim.

And again it reminds me, who am I to squander my ability--my privilege--to be in good health?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Oddity In The Oddest Places

So you know how I tell you guys about my 'friend' Grim Jester? Who, as I realize, could find these posts about him at any time? Well, I'm discovering my own complicity in our relationship. ie., I'm not that good of a friend. But I'm working on it.

Thing is, when I'm feeling more samesexual, I want to be around him more. I want to get that rough, grizzly, masculine vibe off him. But when I'm feeling more independently hetero, then he and other mancrushworthy dudes become a little grating and jealousy-provoking. The testosterone that I at other times admire, provokes me to manly aggression. I'm ready to bare my canines in response and engage in a snarling woof battle. And the thought of feminine conquests under their manly hands makes me want to pounce on them with a mammoth's jawbone and drag their women off to my cave in conquest.

Once, a long while ago, Grim Jester was getting up out of a chair and he winced and groaned. I asked him what was wrong. With a sly expression of pain mingled with cocky assurance he said, "You know." Which in nanoseconds, I did. He was indicating that he threw his back out during some adventurous sex. Sex that I wasn't having. A pang of jealousy and longing shot through me like electricity and left my heart pounding. To this day I still can't identify it any better than that. Jealousy or longing? Did I want to be him, or did I want to be her? Either way, I wasn't happy. Similarly, way before this, I had the same experience with George (see Labels; George). In brief, I'd made friends with a lovely exotic woman in our workgroup while I was friends with George. George was paying her a lot of attention too, and everyone else in my workgroup told me that George was banging her on the sly. George was married, and I was friends with his wife as well (through him though--not independently). One fine sloppy morning, George decided to expose himself by banging our ladyfriend workmate in the car in the parking lot of the workplace under the surveillance cameras. Among other places that he'd banged her on the sly. It was the talk of the workplace for two shifts before I hit the doorstep the following night. I was devastated. I went out to the loading dock and bawled my fool head off for nearly an hour. I was miserably jealous, as well as betrayed. Did I wish I were her or did I wish I were him? I dunno. I think I just wished someone, anyone, wanted to bang me under a security camera. I don't guess I cared which one. It was never the same with George after that. Even after I actually did live with him for nearly two years (some 15-20 years later) I just fundamentally disliked the man. But that was George.

My relationship with Grim is different. He's younger than me, for one. And two, I met him well after the scorch marks from the George incident had scabbed over. So I tried to be a little more cautious with my attraction to Grim's world. It still hadn't quite worked--I still felt slightly hurt, slightly betrayed, slightly left out when my buddy would hint at hooking up with his cavewoman. I haven't broken down crying again when these pangs of exclusion rip through me, and the more it happens the less powerful the pangs are. My hope is that they will disappear altogether one day. Probably when I'm gettin' mines on the regular.

Well, breaking news now is that Grim's cavewoman is seriously ill. And Grim doesn't seem to know how to handle it. After a prefunctory announcement, he informed us that he was going to cut off communication with us until he got his head together. Now, he KNOWS I'm a therapist. He's teased me about it plenty of times. Scorned me for it, in fact, in true knuckledragging fashion. "Just tell them to get over it," he would scoff. Now he needs some compassion. Some listening-to. And he won't let me do it. He tried to call me one night, but I was in the middle of a session. Soon as I could, I called him back, but he didn't answer. All he said by way of voice message was that he needed a favor from me. SO TELL ME WHAT IT IS, GRIM, YOU JACKASS!

Damn him. I'm terrified for him. He's had this girl since I met him, and way before that. Going on ten years if not more. If he loses her, what's going to happen to him? How will I be able to help? What if he goes psychotic? Could I handle it? I've often thought he has a touch of schizophrenia. He has some really strange ideas about life. Strange ideas that he actually believes. Like living out in the woods like a post-apocalyptic survivor is the answer to life's problems. Like he hates the island of Manhattan because everyone there is rich and beautiful and bastards. Like he'll never vote because it's all corrupt. Like he doesn't eat cute animals. Yes, Grim, I'm talking about you. You're my odd duck, friend. Now get off your high horse and talk to me.

Ah life. What a mess.

So here's what I'm going to do. I'm going to leave him a message, telling him I'm coming over. It's going to be this Saturday. It's going to be early. He can see me or not. But I'm coming. And I'm taking him out to breakfast if he'll come.

What else can I do?

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

So The Lady In The Bakery Says To Me...

"I hate people like you."

And I threw my head back and guffawed, replying, "You have no idea!" Even though I wanted to leap across the glass case and lather her with kisses.

Can you guess what led up to this exchange?

Updated 10/22/08, The Mystery Revealed;
So, I go into the bakery with the best buttercream icing I've found since the demise of Pakula's in Spring Valley, looking for slices of cake for sale. They have none. So I scope out the birthday cakes, remembering that not long ago I had a birthday, and instead of cake I had tears. So I'm feeling indulgent and reckless, and I get a price for the cake with no chocolate, no writing, and lemon on the inside, like my dream slices were. She said to me "14.95".

And I was like "WHAT?!" Because I'm pretty sure that when I was a lad buying Pakula cakes, they were that same price. I challenge anyone to walk into their local, best-in-butter-baking bakery and price a birthday cake.

That thing was so affordable and I was SO jonesing for a mouth full of that buttercream. Or two. Or an evening's worth. The lady looked at my expression and she said, "Oh so they picked you to come get the cake, huh?" thinking that the torn conflict on my face was due to someone else. I shook my head and grinned a little.

"No," says I. "I just...I originally hoped you'd have just a slice instead. The cupcakes have the same icing on it, right?" This was my attempt at small talk. I knew good and damn well what was on the cupcakes. But if I kept my mouth running I thought I'd be able to buy time while my superego clicked in and prevented a cake sale. Because I'd have that cake eaten by the weekend if I took it home. Alone.

"Ah, somebody has a sweet tooth," the bakery lady said.

"How do you do it?" I asked the lady. How can you work here and not eat everything all day?"

"I don't touch the stuff. I can't stand it."

"What?!?" It was as if she had just told me that sex was a plot by Bush to make people slaves of the Alpha Centurians.

"Isn't that terrible? I don't eat it, and yet look at me."

I did my best not to. She was referring to her portly frame. Very Rosie O'Donnell. What was I supposed to do?

"And yet here comes someone like you, who gets to eat all the sweets he wants. And look at you." she said. "I hate people like you."

And I threw my head back and guffawed, replying, "You have no idea!" Even though I wanted to leap across the glass case and lather her with kisses.

She was implying grandly that I didn't look like a man who needed to monitor his weigh, or care about his buttercream intake.


I do, at various times, recieve sideways compliments about my looks, AND I LOVE IT. I feel like I'm on the upswing of a new wave of attractiveness. The whole "am I gay, am I not" thing had me feeling unformed, unattractive, unsure, uneverything.

Now I'm starting to notice the compliments again.

Feels good.

Even with my belly, I'm starting to feel like one sexy poppa.

Oh by the way, I walked out of the store with three cupcakes, no bag. They were et within the hour.


Monday, October 20, 2008

Media Me!

Go to my socially palatable site for the link to a radio interview about my production hobby involving My Hero. About 60% into the show the interviewer and the guest (My Hero's successor) talk about lil' ole me (YAY ME!) and play a clip from the upcoming show.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Loving America

So lately, yeah. I have friends who remain loyal to themselves and their own ideals and beliefs, even when it takes them away from what's important to me. I've learned to accept this. Who doesn't have the right to their own opinion? Their experience is uniquely theirs, so they will formulate a worldview based on what they see out of their own eyes and feel through their own heart.


That said, I do wish that they knew how good I felt about being an American these days. I've never ever felt as American as I do right now. I've never felt as accepted in this country, by this country, as I do now. And it's because you guys want Obama.

You want him because you believe in his politics, or because you've always voted Democrat, or you despise Bush, or McCain gives you the creeps, or whatever. But what's important to me is that the color of Barack Obama's skin did not make him illegitimate for the Presidency in your eyes.

So obviously I'm speaking to you, my white people. Everywhere I go and see an Obama pin on a white person's backpack, or an Obama bumper sticker on a white driver's car I feel like I've been hugged and welcomed into my own country. I feel like I finally know how some white people feel when they look at me. I feel like some walls have finally come down.

And it's enough for me. I want Obama to be the President, and if it doesn't happen, I'll understand why. Yes, there are people in my country who will say, have said, "There's no way I'm voting for a nigger!" but that particular voice is the minority. On the whole, those who don't vote for Obama is doing it because they have always voted Republican, or they are concerned about their money and believe that Obama wants to destroy their financial security, or whatever. But most people who will not vote for Obama will choose this based on their own political beliefs, not because of the color of Obama's skin.

And for that, I am thankful. I finally feel like I have my place in society. I finally feel like the ignorant things said behind closed doors no longer matter to my future and the future of my children and their children, and their children's children.

So let the white lady clutch her purse in the elevator when I walk on. Let the white driver lock their cardoor at the stoplight when I'm on the sidewalk. Let the white sales clerk follow me around the store until I'm done shopping. Let 'em. That's their individual ignorance, and it means nothing to me.

country supports the idea of a Black President.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sunday Morning, Rain Is Fallin' ...

...steal the covers, share some skin."

There are two directions you need to go in order to get the fullness of this post, but I don't know which way to point you in first. so let me get this out of the way; I reposted the "Nick & Nora's..." review.

In it, you will find the continuing saga of my conflicts about sexuality. You will also find a description of a guy from Geek Central who I blatantly insist that I would not take an opportunity to reveal my struggles to. For brevity, I'll reprint here what I said;

"So now this guy is a fountain of information for me, right? A veritable Fort Knox of sexuality. So do I spill...?

No I do not. Becaue I do not want to identify myself as such. I do not want to make the leap into lifestyle. I do not want him to begin equipping me in the war, supplying my front lines, or breaking down my defenses for that matter. I don't want a gateway in, I want a gateway out.

That's what I want. I want not to."

Grizz, as sexy as your scenario sounded for the way I got my date last night, I'm afraid it's not so. My date was with the gentleman in question, the former pastor.

While I insisted that I wouldn't, I knew that I had to.

Dawn, you felt that God gave me a b-day present in this date. He did, even if not for the exact reasons you may have meant. Former Pastor and I shared our stories, and he was extremely gracious in allowing me to deny myself, struggle with myself, and resist myself--although in essence I was denying, struggling with, and resisting his sexuality. Instead of being offended, he was understanding and he's going to join us here at Redeemable Life to help me on this journey. That's a b-day present fo' yo' ASS right there!

And here's something I haven't widely shared, but since I'm processing, I might as well go ahead and process. And
Eliel, you already know this-- Steve Carell has nothing on me. I've now got him beat by four years and going strong!

So yeah.

I've another thing to say, too. I feel like I need to apologize for the misleading post about having a date with a boy. I didn't ask to have dinner with Former Pastor with romance in mind, and I don't think he interpreted that way either--but he knew I had something brewing behind these eyes when I discovered more about his history.

But having posted it, and seeing how much support you guys would give me if I were to take a date up with a dude ... well ... I'll be honest.

I didn't want it. I wanted someone to rescue me. If I could find the dial for my sexual determination, I'd dial it to a slobbering, knuckle-dragging, beer swilling, fart-in-public, belch-without-restraint maximum hetero-ness setting. (And then I'd dial it down a notch, because farting in public? Euw!) But having gotten the support and the love ...

Ned, I am sorry. You're my family. I cherish your support and pride. I need it, in fact. Do I have to be gay to earn it? I'm gambling that the answer is no and I think my odds are good. You're filled with more integrity than I feel that I possess right now, and I think you understand, as you've done so often already. I need you understand and help me with this.

Eliel, here is the heart of the matter; how do I determine my sexuality without giving myself a chance with a woman?

I like breasts! I love a good set of hips that sway down 5th Avenue. I still want to press the side of my head against the flat belly of a maiden, and yes, my jawline would be capping her feminine V like a hat brim.

Please be patient with me guys and gals. If you think I seem a mess, imagine what it'd be like to BE me. Not all fun & games, lemme tell ya.

But I so love you all. so much. so so much.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Save Me


I have a date on Saturday.

With a boy.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Figure Eight ... As Double Four ...

So why did this make me cry?

Earlier today a memory leapt unbidden to the fore. Oddly it involves a boy named Scott. Picture a pre-teen alien trying to bond with the earthling children in a primitive ritual they called Touch Football. No one was fooling anyone. You got that ball and your ass was quite literally grass. Scott was the neighborhood don. Somehow, perhaps because he was the most psychotic, he commanded the most respect from the underlings. In this little gem of backyard games called "touch" football, his dominance manifested itself in the position of quarterback.

And there I was, volunteered to play just because the moment arose (like my temporary insanity) and I made my bid to jockey with the other boys for Scott's favor. So there I am, trying to belong. To me, as he is formulating his plays, Scott says, "Alan, you're rushing!" To wit I immediately respond, "No I'm not! I'm American!"

Scott fell out. Oh, I had scored bigger and better than I ever would through some game of brute force. I made Scott truly and deeply laugh.

And I've never stopped trying since.

My weapons and my defenses are words. My ministrations are words. I speak them, I sing them, I write them, I purr them. I bring life and I slay dragons with words.

Today I turned 44. In those days when I found humor was my salvation, I would spend Saturdays inside the house watching TV until my mother came home from work. Eventually my attempts to keep the neighborhood bullies at bay with humor failed and it was just easier to stay upstairs than try, like Scheherezade, to entertain my way past a death sentence. Schoolhouse Rock would play between the SuperFriends and the Blue Falcon and Hong Kong Phooey. I learned the Preamble to the Constitution through Schoolhouse Rock, as well as my 3x's table, and how a bill becomes a law. But that Figure 8 toon would always capture me.

Such a lonely and plaintive melody for my favorite number. And that little girl's voice. Who was this little girl? Is she so self-satisfied and confident in her daydream that she sounds like that? Or is she as lonely as the melody she's singing with? Is she as lonely as me--a latchkey genius kid in the land of the Lord of the Flies?

Figure Eight ... As double four ... Figure Four ... is half of eight

If you skate, you would be great
If you could make
A figure eight

That's a circle that turns round upon itself

Place it on it's side and it's a symbol meaning

... infinity

I just wanted something to symbolize turning 44 on the 8th, but...

Am I the only one who cried today?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I'm Askin' You 'Cause You Know About These Things...

(Title pinched from Whitney Houston's "How Will I Know?" Following article pinched from Robert Reich's Blog via my Childhood Bud with whom I never shared my Pakula's cakes with, because I don't read political blogs except Ned's and my Tribe's and Scott's and because I was an only child--in that order.)

The Meltdown (Part I)
via by Robert Reich on 10/6/08

Global capital markets have seized up. Confidence is evaporating. Put simply, no lender trusts any borrower to repay, fearing that that borrower won't be able to rely on anyone else to honor obligations. Even banks are hoarding cash, unwilling to lend to other banks. Everyone with any savings is heading for the hills -- for gold, for under the mattress, for wherever savings can be watched. We're witnessing a huge international bank run. We have not seen a global financial crisis on this scale since the 1930s.

What's happened? Put simply, the Bailout of All Bailouts has been a dud, at least so far. Most obviously, it hasn't done what it was intended to do -- reassure financial markets that the Treasury and the Fed would have enough money to handle any financial crisis.

So it's everyone and every institution -- and every country -- for itself. Several nations (Ireland, Greece, Germany) have basically guaranteed all deposits. As a result, global capital is moving their way. They're also thereby creating a new form of socialized capitalism. At the rate they're going, these nations will soon own and run their financial markets, and maybe a big chunk of the world's.

I fault Hank Paulson, first and foremost. He never succeeded in explaining to anyone what exactly he'll do with the bailout money -- how, for example, an auction to acquire mortgage-backed bad debt would work, and whether and to what extent he's planning to recapitalize the banking system. Even now, the American public has no idea what he's up to. Nor, for that matter, do many insiders.

Leadership isn't just about passing a big piece of legislation. It's about explaining and thereby gaining trust and confidence from a public -- including a global public -- that's otherwise afraid and confused. A credible and powerful explanation is necessary right now -- about where we've been, how we got into this mess, and how a particular plan (in this case, the bailout), will get us out of it. Yet Paulson has proven himself uniquely unable to explain anything to anyone. George W. Bush, for his part, is hopeless and hapless. Worse than a lame duck, he's a seriously disabled parakeet, with no remaining store of public trust. Ben Bernanke seems like an able fellow but his capacity to communicate is almost as bad as his predecessor's. Congressional leaders are too busy pointing fingers of blame to be capable of explaining much of anything and summoning confidence. And fewer than three weeks before a national election, both candidates are inevitably caught up in partisan wrangling. Obama does understand what's happening, and could calm global capital markets if he were already president. But he is not president as yet, nor even president-elect.

The leadership vacuum could not happen at a worse time. If credit markets remain frozen, we'll soon witness a huge round of business bankruptcies. We're in completely uncharted terrain

Monday, October 6, 2008

Current Events, Much To My Surprise

The fact that I'm commenting on the following is what is much to my surprise.

I'm watching too many people I know getting worried, and so now it's bleeding over to me. Lord knows I'm no stranger to worry, but I was remaining outside of the influence of this one. Until now.

Wall St. keeps falling.
The 700 billion dollar bailout doesn't seem to be doing anything for people's fears. The article says people are still selling their stocks. And one of the articles I read about the bailout was that it was going to allow the government to assume the "toxic" mortgages that had so many homeowners in a bind. That was great news to me on behalf of my friends who are facing trouble and possibly losing their homes, but I didn't see where that connected with whole Wall Street situation. And it looks like other people don't either. I dunno what any of it means though. It's been mostly like a war in a wizard's school. I could only watch the pyrotehnics on the horizon. But now I'm starting to worry if all that fuss is about to make it rain red fire on my head.

Secondly, they're finally reporting on the mystery I brought up last week (seven days ago, exactly); 'Oil Prices Say "Eff You!" To The Economic Crisis'

Okay, so I paraphrased. But I did take this picture yesterday morning;

And I took this pic THIS morning;

Gas Wars!!
Nothing but GAS Wars!!
Kooky Nutty, GAS Wars!!

Edit: Hey!! Something just occured to me. People are selling their stock. That's what's making the Dow Index go down.

They're SELLING their stock.

They may not be getting the money they expected to make, and they might be losing some of the initial investment, but they'e SELLING their stock.

That means they're putting money back into their pockets. They're taking it off Wall St. and putting it BACK into their own hands.

So how exactly is that "bad" for the economy? Didn't Dubya come up with an ingenious plan some months ago to help Americans do exactly that? Give us more money in our hands to "stimulate" the economy? So, people having more money to spend, as oppsed to letting it sit in the neverwhere of Wall Street's shadow economy--this is a bad thing?

I sense shenanigans from the alarmists in the media. I say let it crash. Let's get rid of this get rich young economy and let's go back to Real Products for Real Money. If you make money, let it be for a new invention, like a system for re-greening the planet for instance. Otherwise, let every slick dealer go out and get a real job. That way, with more people making 50-70K a year, instead of 500-700K, maybe the cost of living will go back to reasonable instead of ridiculous.

And yes, this pertains directly to me. I want to live in a glassy, shiny new highrise apartment in Manhattan. And I work dammit! Two jobs! I've got my Masters' degree! I'm doing it honest! The American Way! So if the whole economy has to fail to in order for me to earn what I deserve, instead of giving it away to the Old Boy Network--then oh well. Look out below!


Welcome back, Geovanie! I appreciated your comment and agree. So I put it into practice.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Nick & Nora's Excellent Adventure

So yesterday I had an appointment with a movie. Over at Geek Central there's a subforum where the NY geeks shout out to one another and occasionally set up a meeting or two. Earlier this week, a few of the gang set up a gathering for "Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist," which was a novel I had never read. But it starred Michael Cera, and it appeared to be a movie along the lines of "Juno", which I loved. These are movies about emo, angsty white late-teens in today's most excellent, effed-up society. (You gotta love the white people, which I totally do, as you all well know.)

Well, the appointment was set at the Union Square Regal Cinema, just south of Union Square park, where the emo, angsty white late-teens and early twentysomethings hang out skateboarding and lounging in an "Urban Living Room" which was a couch and a Twister board set on the concrete in the park. There were scores of them piled on top of one another. Oh those crazy kids.

Being that I got there mad-early because I wanted out of the house to capitalize on my one day off, I bought my ticket and went on the wander. I headed further south from the theater down Broadway, meandering. Went back to my old street, 8th, where I used to work at the Starbucks which no longer exists. I reminisced about the Gray's Papaya westward on 8th St at 6th Avenue but decided instead to go east where 8th St. would turn into St. Mark's Place. That's where the karaoke bar is that I like to rent a room and warble, and I had thoughts to do so, but I was craving sweets instead. So I went through St. Mark's instead of into it, and landed on 2nd Avenue, hunting sweets. I needed to hit up a Bank of Solvency...I mean, of America to get some cash in my pocket, and saw the oddest sight. An apartment over a corner deli/convenience store with huge storeroom windows. It had an attempt at curtains, but mostly was exposed. And although it was broad daylight, I saw a shirtless man walking around up there.

And here we go.

I mean, the man was good-looking. Trim with enough muscle to carry him. No handlebars, muffintops, or Pillsbury dough in sight. Dark hair accentuating his abdomen definition and giving his pecs a broad, superhero, pen-and-ink pattern.

And so my mind returns to it's haunting grounds. Dozens upon dozens of beautiful women singletons passing me on the sidewalks of New York on a chilly Saturday afternoon, and the most notable attraction I experienced was the shirtless Italian-type fitness model dude.

I'm just so gay.

So what am I doing and what do I want?

I want to fit into the society at large. I don't want to be a subset of a subset of a section of a subset of the population. I don't want to explain a "boyfriend". I want to be accepted, not just tolerated. Never wanted that. Ever.

Now here's irony. Two of the guys I went to see "Nick & Nora's ..." with are gay (not unlike the characters actually IN the movie). Out, openly, unequivocally vocally homosexual. This I learned at Geek Central, by their own posts. Neither of them "trips my trigger," so I am more inclined to hang out with them because they like what I like. Movies like "Nick & Nora's..." for instance. And comicbooks, for another instance. So I respond to gatherings when they put them out. And all the while I know that possibly the only difference between myself and them is 1) experience, 2) self-acceptance, and 3) a sad depletion of melanin (but we'll allow for that. They can't all be Black Like Me).

So why haven't I told them about my Time On Planet Earth? Why haven't I soul-shared? I'll tell you why. To share it with gay people I "know," as opposed to gay people I blogread, is like making a declaration that I'm not prepared to make. I can write about it, diary-like, but I can't say it out loud (too often, anyway). Because still, I don't want to be gay. Is that so hard to understand?! And who am I trying to convince?! Am I yelling?! I don't mean to be yelling!!

Well guess what I discovered last night. One of the two gay guys? Used to be a pastor of a church. Actually of two churches. For SEVEN years. So, yeah. He's not a pastor now. He doesn't even largely resemble a pastor, in fact. In fact-fact, I had no earthly idea. He's as angsty, suggestive, funny, and profane as they come (no pun intended). In the few times I've hung out with him, I've heard him represent his outness with candid little details about his what trips his trigger. Now, while it isn't clear to me if he has had a prior relationship with the other gay guy in the party, I have eavesdropped on their conversations enough to know that they share intimate details about guys. And it was those graphic and humorous details that never indicated in the slightest that this man had clergical service in his history, let alone seven whole years of it.

So now this guy is a fountain of information for me, right? A veritable Fort Knox of sexuality. So do I spill? Do I drop at his feet in an eruption of unburdening? Nooooooooooo, not me. Last night I drug out most of the details of his experience, and kept mum about most of my own. Oh, I told him about my years in Bible school and where I split from the doctrine as it became evident to me that my black face wasn't going to fit in their conception of the family portraits--but did I tell him a nagging feeling that dudes rock has derailed the consummation of every female relationship I've ever had? That religion was the perfect fallout shelter from the nuclear storm of adolescent sex at age 16 until ... well, now?

No I do not. Becaue I do not want to identify myself as such. I do not want to make the leap into lifestyle. I do not want him to begin equipping me in the war, supplying my front lines, or breaking down my defenses for that matter. I don't want a gateway in, I want a gateway out.

That's what I want. I want not to.

Meanwhile, most of the places I visited yesterday before the rendevous to the movie? The reason why I detailed my travelogue at the start of this post? They were IN the movie. It was the most surreal, funky cool, badass experience I've had in a movie theatre since watching The Dark Knight in Imax while sitting next to my own personal real-life superhero.

If you want the visuals to my city experience yesterday, I urge you to run, don't walk, to watch "Nick & Nora's Infinite Playlist." The church where Nick gets menaced by homoerotic homeless was three blocks south of the theatre on Broadway where we were watching the movie. The nature of these fellow geeks allowed for going to those locations after the movie to squee and giggle. We went to eat at the restaurant, in fact, where a poignant pairing of Nick & Nora occured, Veselka (I called Childhood Bud from there because when he used to live in Brooklyn and we used to play D&D at the Geeknasium he took me there one night when I drove him home. We're trendy like that. And I just found the coolest-ass html-map of 8th Street that I've ever found. Go here. Oddly, the karaoke bar is missing from the map, but if you scroll down the page into the first St mark's Place block, on the right, just above the "St. Mark's Comics" link is where the karaoke bar should be located).

Anyway, so I have a new resource that I can use if I ever decide to declare myself openly homosexual, I mean in the real world. I have an option. And I don't want it. It's clear to me that I don't. It's as clear to me as it's clear to Ned that his relationship with SF is over. And I wish that could be the end of it. I swear I do.

Until the next shirtless dude struts by. And then what?

And this is why I feel like I'll never be with anyone ever. This is why I can eternally encourage love between men and women, and revel in the successful pairings, and mourn the unsuccessful ones, but never enjoy one myself. Destined to live vicariously. Folded on the inside.

And sometimes, it doesn't feel like a life worth living. It feels like living death. It feels like I'm inside a dead body, looking at life through the film formed over dead eyes. Sometimes.

And sometimes, like now before I've started my workday here in Edison, NJ on a Sunday near-noon, I have to blog for two hours before earning my salary because I couldn't take my day seruiously without processing this. Because when you're the living dead, facing the 44th year on Planet Earth without a pulse, you don't really give much of a damn if you're stealing the company's money by blogging instead of working.

And really, that's all I wanted to say today. Well, that and "Oh Don Piaaaaaaaaaaaaano."

Comments welcomed.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Breakup--With Flash

I mean, if you have to divorce, do it this way--

NA na na NA na na na na na na na na-nah.

I mean, in the video with P!nk is her actual husband, Carey Hart. Ex-husband? Publicity husband? Publicity stunt?

I love P!NK. I love these dangerous crazy-ass white girls. Amy, move over!

Bah da da da da-dah.

But, Still I Don't Understand...

If we're in an economic crisis, why is the price of gas still going down?

NOT THAT I AM COMPLAAAAAAaaaaAAAAAAAINIIIIING--!!!! But still, I don't understand.

Why is gas still over 3.00 a gallon? Why was it EVER almost 4.00 a gallon (in Jersey)? Why?? If the people who made it expensive did it in the land of sand and Arabs, why don't they do it now--now that the dollar appears so threatened and devalued on the world market? Surely Ol' George looks worse now that our banks are failing and our stock market is in a freefall toward the snowcapped mountain range wherein lies cannibalism for the survivors?? SURELY??


The above picture was taken today, Oct 2nd, 2008, four days after I took the last one.