Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Power of 10

Well I have never really done one of these before and I saw it on a fellow blogger's site and thought it would be interesting. I shamelessly lifted it from Mike's blog, Random Thoughts. (Give it a read -- its good. Look for it on my list of links). Here goes...

10 random things about you

1. I am bald, but very sexy.
2. I LOVE classical jazz.
3. I am not upset at the prospect of turning 40.
4. I have been in a bank while it was being robbed, both times in the same month.
5. I had a heart attack at age 25.
6. I do not have cable TV.
7. I am an only child (and not spoiled).
8. I am a proud gun owner.
9. I can be annoying and adorable at the same time.
10. As a child I was bit on the ass by a goose (hate the damn things to this day)

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10 favorite foods

1. Houston's chicken tenders
2. Houston's french fries
3. Fried okra
4. Grits (cheese or plain, don't matter)
5. Bacon (no pig is safe around me)
6. Scrambled eggs (day or night)
7. Italian spinach
8. Banana pudding (served warm, of course)
9. Fried green tomatoes
10. McDonald's sausage biscuit (sad, but very true)

10 wants

1. To be in a loving relationship
2. Compelete financial security.
3. A job with meaning and purpose.
4. To live in Florida.
5. To have an apartment in New York City
6. Access to a beach.
7. Good health
8. To express myself more artistically
9. To look hot in jeans
10. Oh yeah...and world peace

10 things you must have

1. Netflix
2. Beer/wine/liqour (in large amounts)
3. My friends near me
4. Art
5. Good books
6. My sound machine for sleeping
7. Xanax (usually in conjunction with # 2)
8. Coffee
9. Massages
10. Electric mattress pad warmer for winter

10 things you've done this year you didn't think you would

1. Came out
2. Met Joan Collins and Linda Evans
3. Deepened existing friendships
4. Gained 20 pounds
5. Started trying to loose said 20 (so I can be pretty)
6. Flirted with Paula Deen

The rest has yet to happen...

10 things you are scared of

1. Loosing those I love
2. No financial security
3. Tornados
4. Terrorism
5. Not living life to the fullest
6. Camel Crickets
7. Boredom
8. Regrets
9. Freaks
10. Rejection (especially from those I love and care about)

10 dislikes

1. Green peas
2. That hateful evil, evil bitch that lives around the block from me
3. Being cold
4. Not being in control
5. Dogs that jump on me
6. Trashy, ignorant people
7. Undisciplined children
8. The Memphis Mayor (see # 6)
9. Paris Hilton/Lindsay Lohan (again with # 6)
10. That this list is limited to only 10 things

10 things you want to do in the next year or two

1. Find a job that makes me happy (or a job that I don't hate)
2. Find a job that pays decently
3. To live a more relaxed life
4. Go on a cruise (or go cruising, whichever)
5. To find that one special man and love him completely, with all my heart
6. To get myself into better shape physically
7. To have my friends cook for me more
8. To volunteer more
9. To travel more
10. To be a better friend

10 places you want to see before you die

1. San Francisco / wine country
2. Grand Canyon
3. Shanghai, China
4. Bankok, Thailand
5. Tibetan Himalayas
6. Alaska
7. Hawaii
8. Anywhere in Australia
9. Ruins of the Incan empire in South America
10. My next house

10 hot celebrities

1. Ryan Reynolds (# 1 sigh)
2. Jeremy Piven
3. Tim McGraw (phew...dude)
4. Faith Hill
5. Jennifer Anniston
6. Dave Annable -- Brothers and Sisters (such a cutie)
7. Eva Longoria (I would switch for her)
8. Billy Currington
9. Chris Evans -- Johnny Storm, Fantastic 4 (note photo below)
10. Reichen Lehmkuhl (no explanation needed)

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Friday, June 22, 2007

The Velvet Rage

A friend of mine recently commented that she thought my comments and conversations about being gay indicated that my sexuality was becoming my whole identity. I couldn't disagree more. I have always held the belief that sexuality is a facet of one's life - not one's complete self-being - nor should it be. My position is that living as an out individual (as much as I can)I am eager to learn more about this aspect of life in which I find myself. To this end, I have been reading as much as I can on the subject.

I just finished The Velvet Rage: Overcoming the Pain of Growing Up Gay in a Straight Man's World by Alan Downs, PhD. I have found this to be perhaps the most helpful and profound book on the subject I have yet to read. From a psychological standpoint, Downs examines the shame and pain that permeate the lives of gay men and the destructive patterns and choices that gay men often make. He states "Yes, we have more sexual partners in a lifetime than other groups of people. At the same time, we also have among the highest rates of depression and suicide, not to mention sexually transmitted diseases. As a group, we tend to be more emotionally expressive than other men, and yet our relationships are far shorter on average than those of straight men. We have more expendable income, more expensive houses, more fashionable cars, clothes, furniture than just about any other cultural group. But are we truly happier?"

I, like the author, would submit that the answer would be a resounding NO. As Downs points out, the gay community is truly a wounded lot. In essence, young gay men have no role models in the home, no one to guide them through feelings of insecurity. They know deep down that they are different, but as young people do, they don't view that "difference" in a positive, healthy light. They come to believe that they are inherently flawed, unlovable, second-class citizens. With this incorrect thinking comes shame followed closely by anger, which, in turn, is directed inward.

The book is broken down into three stages of development for the gay man. The first stage is "Overwhelmed by Shame". Usually this stage begins in childhood. The feelings of being unloved and flawed prevent the self from developing a healthy emotional state as it would in a "normal" straight boy. Not just children -- adults can find themselves in this stage as well. The individual learns to fake being straight. Essentially, he is searching for and receiving a false rather than authentic validation that ultimately does not satisfy his need for authenticity. Inauthentic validation leads to rage. The author likens the enraged gay man unto a trapped animal - cornered, trembling, and snarling. Thus begins the downward spiral. The rage pushes people away from him, and with them goes the validation he so desperately craves. So he hides his anger in a "velvet glove" and becomes for all the world to see, the gracious friend and lover he aspires to be. Yet he remains extremely sensitive to the slightest invalidation which is met with his swift rage.

The shame stage is followed by the compensation of shame. Generally, this appears to be the longest (and for me, the most fascinating) stage of development. At this point, the gay man is usually, but not always, out. Being out does not necessarily man that one's identity crisis has been solved. Usually, far from it. The gay man will compensate for this toxic shame by becoming the very best at whatever it is that he does in order to reduce the feelings of inferiority that continue to plague him. It becomes a quest of acquisition: houses, cars, art, perfectly chiseled body, worldly sophistication, and usually numerous sexual encounters with beautiful men. Of course, these never satisfy as the validation that the gay man receives is still inauthentic. Eventually, the trappings of the success that he so desperately chased will leave him empty and unsatisfied and the vicious cycle of more, more, more, more continues.

The final stage, "Discovering Authenticity", proves to be the ultimate goal of a gay man's life. Usually this stage comes later in life, as the gay man becomes comfortable with his sexuality and learns by trial and error that all he had been striving for is empty. Only then he begins to search for real meaning, purpose, and integrity. While this is the best stage of a gay man's life, it is also the least visible. He is more likely to withdraw from the clubs and social scene because he doesn't need it to fulfill him. The ironic thing is that the contented man is enjoying life at home while his younger, conflicted counterparts who need to see and be around him will, more than likely, not get the opportunity.

I have to say, I read this book over a period of just a couple of days and was absolutely riveted. Honestly, I can say that I bumped into myself on quite a few pages. There were several "A-Ha" moments where I realized - THAT'S why I do what I do. I would tend to think that a lot of the information found in the book would be directed at middle-aged gay men, but I would think that the younger one is that reads this, the better chance he would have of saving himself a lot of heartache.

For me, the most important aspect of this book is that it advocates the mentality that gay men are NOT victims and should not assign blame to others for the situations in which they find themselves. Rather, the author encourages gay men to make active and positive choices that enhances their lives rather than bad choices that will damage their lives and ruin their self-esteem. He even provides a list of real, practical steps to becoming an authentic individual.

I know I am going my copy to one of my very best friends. I hope it opens his eyes as much as it did mine. Needless to say, this would be an excellent choice for a book club as it just screams to be discussed. I found my copy on Amazon. Last check, the price had been reduced to $8.96. It is a surprisingly easy read and, I promise, you will feel like you are listening to a warm, caring, non-judgemental friend. I can only say, do yourself a favor - read this book and take it to heart.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

You're the one that I want...

Again - not really anything substantial to post here today, (I promise I am working on something with a tiny bit of relevance) but I thought I would give all my readers (I think the grand total comes to 6 now) a little glimpse into what makes me tick. Well, here he is...Mr. Ryan Reynolds. Not the best actor, but...phew. When ya look like this, you don't need acting skills. This boy is one of a few guys out there (celebrity or not) that can make my heart melt like buttah. Just look at him in those chains waiting for me to be his knight in shining armor and take him away into the sunset. If only life could be so kind...Until next time...

Monday, June 18, 2007

High anxiety...

In light of the fact that I have nothing substantial to report today, what with it being a slow weekend and all, I thought that I might offer up a humorous perspective on my all-consuming, debilitating fear of flying. It's why I take Xanax after all. At least thats what I tell people...Enjoy (after a couple of Xanax, I always do).

All too rarely, airline attendants make an effort to make the in flight "safety lecture" and announcements a bit more entertaining. Here are some real examples that have been heard or reported:

1. On a Southwest flight (SW has no assigned seating, you just sit where you want) passengers were apparently having a hard time choosing, when a flight attendant announced, "People, people we're not picking out furniture here, find a seat and get in it!"

2. On a Continental Flight with a very "senior" flight attendant crew, the pilot said, "Ladies and gentlemen, we've reached cruising altitude and will be turning down the cabin lights. This is for your comfort and to enhance the appearance of your flight attendants."

3. On landing, the stewardess said, "Please be sure to take all of your belongings. If you're going to leave anything, please make sure it's something we'd like to have.

4. "There may be 50 ways to leave your lover, but there are only 4 ways out of this airplane"

5. "Thank you for flying Delta Business Express. We hope you enjoyed giving us the business as much as we enjoyed taking you for a ride."

6. As the plane landed and was coming to a stop at Ronald Reagan, a lone voice came over the loudspeaker: "Whoa, big fella. WHOA!"

7. After a particularly rough landing during thunderstorms in Memphis, a flight attendant on a Northwest flight announced, "Please take care when opening the overhead compartments because, after a landing like that, sure as hell everything has shifted."

8. From a Southwest Airlines employee: "Welcome aboard Southwest Flight 245 to Tampa . To operate your seat belt, insert the metal tab into the buckle, and pull tight. It works just like every other seat belt; and, if you don't know how to operate one, you probably shouldn't be out in public unsupervised."

9. "In the event of a sudden loss of cabin pressure, masks will descend from the ceiling. Stop screaming, grab the mask, and pull it over your face. If you have a small child traveling with you, secure your mask before assisting with theirs. If you are traveling with more than one small child, pick your favorite."

10. "Weather at our destination is 50 degrees with some broken clouds, but we'll try to have them fixed before we arrive. Thank you, and remember, nobody loves you, or your money, more than Southwest Airlines."

11. "Your seat cushions can be used for flotation; and, in the event of an emergency water landing, please paddle to shore and take them with our compliments."

12. "As you exit the plane, make sure to gather all of your belongings. Anything left behind will be distributed evenly among the flight attendants. Please do not leave children or spouses."

13. And from the pilot during his welcome message: "Delta Airlines is pleased to have some of the best flight attendants in the industry. Unfortunately, none of them are on this flight!"

14. Heard on Southwest Airlines just after a very hard landing in Salt Lake City the flight attendant came on the intercom and said, "That was quite a bump, and I know what y'all are thinking. I'm here to tell you it wasn't the airline's fault, it wasn't the pilot's fault, it wasn't the flight attendant's fault, it was the asphalt."

15. Overheard on an American Airlines flight into Amarillo, Texas, on a particularly windy and bumpy day: During the final approach, the Captain was really having to fight it. After an extremely hard landing, the Flight Attendant said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to Amarillo . Please remain in your seats with your seat belts fastened while the Captain taxis what's left of our airplane to the gate!"

16. Another flight attendant's comment on a less than perfect landing: "We ask you to please remain seated as Captain Kangaroo bounces us to the terminal."

17. An airline pilot wrote that on this particular flight he had hammered his ship into the runway really hard. The airline had a policy which required the first officer to stand at the door while the passengers exited, smile, and give them a "Thanks for flying our airline." He said that, in light of his bad landing, he had a hard time looking the passengers in the eye, thinking that someone would have a smart comment. Finally everyone had gotten off except for a little old lady walking with a cane. She said, "Sir, do you mind if I ask you a question?" "Why, no, Ma'am," said the pilot. "What is it?" The little old lady said, "Did we land, or were we shot down?"

18. After a real crusher of a landing in Phoenix, the attendant came on with, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please remain in your seats until Capt. Crash and the Crew have brought the aircraft to a screeching halt against the gate. And, once the tire smoke has cleared and the warning bells are silenced, we'll open the door and you can pick your way through the wreckage to the terminal."

19. Part of a flight attendant's arrival announcement: "We'd like to thank you folks for flying with us today. And, the next time you get the insane urge to go blasting through the skies in a pressurized metal tube, we hope you'll think of US Airways."

20. Heard on a Southwest Airline flight. "Ladies and gentlemen, if you wish to smoke, the smoking section on this airplane is on the wing and if you can light 'em, you can smoke 'em."

21. A plane was taking off from Kennedy Airport After it reached a comfortable cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement over the intercom, "Ladies and gentlemen, this is your captain speaking. Welcome to Flight Number 293, nonstop from New York to Los Angeles . The weather ahead is good and, therefore, we should have a smooth and uneventful flight. Now sit back and relax... OH, MY GOD!"

Silence followed, and after a few minutes, the captain came back on the intercom and said, "Ladies and Gentlemen, I am so sorry if I scared! you earlier. While I was talking to you, the flight attendant accidentally spilled a cup of hot coffee in my lap. You should see the front of my pants!" A passenger in Coach yelled, "That's nothing. You should see the back of mine."

Thursday, June 14, 2007

X most definately marks the spot...

Last night, for lack of better things to do, I sat and watched two of my favorite movies -- X-Men 2 and 3. I can already hear the collective groans from my friends who consider themselves superior. Yes, I am a geek and I am proud to be a geek. All I can say is ... they do not understand and I will not cast my pearls before swine. Of course, I saw these films in the theater when they came out, mostly interested in the action and how they would resolve a Phoenix plotline, but for some reason, watching last night and knowing the plotline, I viewed these movies for the first time from a gay perspective and I must say it was certainly eyeopening.

Those of you that aren't comic fans probably don't know that the X-men are mutants that have been given a special power, a gift. (Also, please note how special they look out of uniform.) Problem is the world at large doesn't understand these powers and fears these mutants that have evolved to a different level. Some of these powers are extraordinary. The ability to manipulate weather, fire, metal, even a person's mind. These mutants want desperately to fit in and have sworn to use their gifts for a world that hates and fears them. I know I've been called dense before, but how could I have missed the parallels to the feelings that a lot of gay people have to endure such as loneliness, alienation, guilt and self-doubt.

The last of the trilogy, X3, The Last Stand, has an opening scene with a young man (Angel) whose mutation was the growth of wings, locked inside a bathroom trying to cut the newly sprouted wings from his back, from the shame of being different. To make matters worse his father barges in and sees him in the act of self mutilation. It was very clear that this scene serves a a parallel as to how a young person discovers and deals with his homosexuality.

The father of this young mutant then goes on to produce a "cure" for mutantism, that once injected, would permanently close down the mutant part of them forever. Ex-gay reparative programs, anyone? AND, AND the main facility of the cure is located on Alcatraz. Hmmmm... And it goes without saying that doctor responsible for the cure is trying to legislate that all mutants be forced to submit to the cure. Needless to say, thoughtful mutants take umbrage at this action.

But what if the choices were not so clear cut? What about those mutants who would willing give up their gift for the very reason of fitting in? One of the characters, Rogue, found herself in such a position. Rogue's power allowed her to temporarily drain the power of another mutant or the life of a regular human just by touch. She couldn't touch her own boyfriend without the risk of killing him. No physical contact -- no shot at every having children. Storm told her there was nothing wrong with her. Later in the film, we see that she did choose to take the cure and was concerned about how her fellow mutants would regard her after making such a choice. Would they treat her as a traitor or accept her decision, based on her circumstances? Interesting to think of how many people in our community who never wanted to be gay and have had so many problems dealing reconciling it in their life, would willingly give if all up if they could just to become "normal".

I have friend (also having been accused of being a geek by the so-called superior-minded) and we would discuss which X-man ability we could have if we could choose. While I certainly was drawn to Wolverine's claws, those can be a bit brutal and not useful in every situation. I loved Storm's ability to cast lightning at people and I was highly tempted to choose that one as so many people around me are sorely deserving of shock therapy, but I think I would have to go with Jean Grey's telekinesis and telepathy. Subtle but powerful. Plus, she turned out to be the most powerful one of them all (I know, I know - its a control thing). But her alter ego's(Dark Phoenix) quest for unbridled and absolute power was what ultimately destroyed her. A lesson here, perhaps... But its fun to speculate.

Like I said earlier, due to my density, I am probably the last gay person on the face of the earth to read deeper into these films, but that's just me. Anyway, its my blog and I can write about what I want (grin). I certainly had a lot of food for thought last night... Of course, the most important thing about of this goes completely without saying: they left it open for another movie. Next time I promise a post with more meat on it... Happy weekend, bitches.

Monday, June 11, 2007

A life in Mississippi...

Ok - I just got finished reading THE best book. But before I get into all that, let me just say I am BEYOND PISSED at how the Sopranos ended. I was waiiiiting for Tony to get whacked. And all that tension build up right there at the end -- that strange man coming in, Meadow having trouble parking and running in the restaurant and then...nothing. I mean nothing. I thought the TV messed up. Oh, well - I guess I should have expected something sly from those guys. Anyway -- book. Mississippi Sissy by Kevin Sessums. I don't even know where to start except that the author was just nominated for the prestious Quill Award for Literature and his work is every bit worth it. In a nutshell, it is the memoirs of child growing up gay in a small town in Mississippi during the late 50s and early 60s. I wont go too much in detail regarding the events that took place in the author's life as not to spoil the discovery.

What is simply amazing and breathtaking is the Sessum's command of language. This book reads almost lyrically. Coming from the south, I can fully appreciate the nuances of Sessum's writing as he not only examines his environment but himself as well. "The first freak I ever recognized...was my own reflection in a Mississippi mirror." Sessum's must come to terms with his homosexuality in a world where anything different was to be destroyed. His beloved mother instilled in him a love of language and literature that children today just cannot appreciate. As a small and sensitive child, his escapes from the world consisted of getting lost in the writings of the great Katherine Anne Porter. His mother told him "Always read. Never stop reading." (One thing I can thank the author for is that he made me go straight to the library and pick up a copy of Porter's Pale Horse, Pale Rider).

Sissy is not just your average coming of age tale. On a larger scale, it is a judicious commentary of the era of the author's childhood as dictated by both events and locale. He examines the first hand the effects of racism and the Kennedy assassination as they shape him and his views of the world. There is a sadness to the author's childhood, but it is not sadness that you take with you. You understand hope and survival.

When the author becomes older finally leaves Forest, MS for life in Jackson, MS, he finds himself embraced by a literary circle and becomes friends with Eudora Welty. His anecdotes of the time spent with one of the greatest American writer's of the twentieth century alone would be reason enough to read this memoir. But it is the humanity that shines forth that makes it unforgettable. He writes with a sincerity and poignancy that is rarely found in literature today. This is one of those books that you don't want to put down but about halfway through, you realize that you should slow down because you don't want it to end. I read that Sessum's is working on a novel for his next work. I honestly don't know how any subsequent writings can stir the soul like this one. In more ways than one Mississippi Sissy puts me in mind of Harper Lee's To Kill A Mockingbird. For me, they will sit side by side on my bookshelf. Harper Lee only wrote one book in her lifetime. After producing a work of such greatness, simply, what else can be said? Although I look forward to anything this brilliant author produces, I will be surprised if anything surpasses this heartfelt life story. Kevin Sessum's proves far and away he is more of a man than many.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Happy weekend, bitches...

Not much to post today - except WE GOT RAIN and PARIS HILTON WENT BACK TO JAIL!!!!!!! God, we needed it... the rain and the jail sentence. That girl is stealing my air. Why is she newsworthy? why? why? he asks in vain. To the five people out there who read this... have a super weekend!!!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007


During the drive to work this morning, I found myself contemplating what I should post today. For several days now, I have been completely stumped as to what I can write that would prove meaningful and relevant and just could not seem to come up with anything substantive. This blog was originally meant to serve as a venue for documenting my life since coming out. Suddenly, I came to the realization that, while I have indeed come out to my friends and have mentioned it from time to time in this space, that I have yet to tell the full story here. It occurs to me that the coming out moment, if you will, sometimes proves anticlimactic in a gay man's life. Rather than that space in time, when the words are blurted out, what I find more fascinating is the evolution of a person which brings him face-to-face with himself. That is sort of what I intend to do here. To finally commit to words who I have discovered I have become and how I got here. For my friends reading this, you can skip right over it as you have heard most of this before at some point in time. It appears that I have a few readers who occasionally stop by and visit my little corner of the world here. I welcome any and all comments because it makes me feel connected to a larger community. Believe me, it is nice to know that I'm not all alone out there. I just wish ya'll lived in Memphis so I could get to know you and have you in my life. I don't know - I think this entry is really for me, most of all. I hope it will force me to look inward - where I've come from. You know what they don't know where you're going if you don't know where you've been.

So, here goes. I'm born -- no, no I wont do that to you. I am currently a 38 year old man (some people like to refer to this as middle-aged. I do not feel middle-aged and I do not like to be told that -- but that is another post). I was born and have lived in Memphis, Tennessee for most of my life. I am an only child and am thankful to say that I had a good childhood. But, like everyone else, it was flawed and it has only been in the past few years that I have begun discovering exactly what those flaws were and how to come to terms with them. I was very, very fortunate to have parents that loved me and put my needs ahead of their own. The sacrificed financially to send me to a good private school and following that, paid for college. I guess to some extent, I would fall into a pretty stereotypical home environment for a child with gay tendencies: domineering mother and passive father. I have always had a much closer relationship with my dad than I do with my mom. To date, I have chosen not to come out to them. Considering where they come from in life, I just don't think that, at the end of the day, anything beneficial would be gained from my disclosure. Who knows, maybe someday...

I suppose it was elementary school when I began to realize that I was "different". "Different was an abstract notion at the time. My little mind had no way of grasping just what "different" would eventually morph into. I noticed a same sex attraction from very early on. The first one I can actually recall was that I had a crush on the Six Million Dollar Man. I would use every excuse in the book to stay home from church on Sunday nights (more on that in a bit), but it rarely worked. The memory is still just as crisp today. The feeling in my stomach every time Col. Steve Austin jumped onto the screen with that beautiful bionic body, praying he would take his shirt off (I have since come to learn that I am a chest man). But however young I was, I was not stupid. I had absolutely no concept of what homosexuality was at the time, but something told me that my youthful infatuation with the Six Million Dollar Man somehow wasn't right. But there was no one around to explain it to me so I endured these feelings in silence.

The school years rolled along relatively easily. Never one to get into trouble, I was considered a full-fledged stick-in-the-mud. I guess in school I had a pretty low self-esteem due to the fact that I was generally considered a sissy. Not being very into sports in a school that was athletically driven can be somewhat problematic. This preoccupation with sports reflects and reinforces society's image of what a man should be -- and I found myself rapidly falling short.

Add to that the fact that I attended a fundamentalist, hell-fire and brimstone Southern Baptist church (just so you'll know, I am currently a Recovering Baptist). Now this is where the fun starts...I mean, the guilt and shame. Admitting to myself that I might be gay was enough, in and of itself, to drive someone to drink (wait...I do) but to attempt to reconcile the truth about who you really are with an intolerant faith pushes everything right off the chart. It has only been recently that I have questioned what I have been taught over the years. Keep in mind, I didn't say I questioned God - just what I have been taught about him. It has been a HUGE leap for me to believe that possibly, what I have been taught has not been all that correct. Remember, I'm coming from an ideology that says if you question anything at all, you are the wrong one, to be condemned. Trust me when I say that a lifetime of that can fuck with your head, big-time. Since coming out, and I might add, growing up, I fully embrace the fact that you can ask questions. I believe that is what God wants of us.

Anyway, fast forward several years -- college was the absolute best time of my life. Being a late bloomer, I blossomed socially in college. Had a blast - wouldn't trade it for the world. Fast forward a few more years and I am a single young man watching every one of his friends pair off and get married. I knew I was different, but I wanted so desperately to fit in that I prayed to God to make me un-gay and send me a girl to marry. I remember being extremely pissed off at God for not allowing that to happen. It's only now, with hindsight, along with some insight, that I can say I'm truly thankful that God did not give in to my self-destructive, ignorant wishes, that maybe He has something better for me.

Which bring us to the present. I will not bore you with all the minute details of how I came out to each person. That's secondary to the fact that for once in my life I stood up and acted like a man. A gay man. These past few months have been the happiest of my life, not to mention much less stressful. Granted, I haven't told everyone about me, just the people around me that I love and care about. Now, I don't have to worry about what someone else might think or "getting caught" or what someone will say to someone else (an affliction common to southern towns). A curtain has been raised on a second act -- one which I intend to enjoy fully. I can finally relax and be the man I was meant to be and hopefully find someone who will want to be with that kind of man. So that's pretty much it. This is who I am. Thanks for taking the time to read it.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Would you like fries with that...

Saw a really good flick last night. "Waitress". Go see it. I tried hard to find a photo that I could download from the net, but, alas, I was a failure. So I submit another pic of a hottie. Back to the movie. If you hail from the Southern United States, you will absolutely LOVE this film! You may love it even if you are a Yankee -- that is all fine and good (we'll pray for you anyway), but for those down here in Dixie, it can really hit home. The setting is a small, unnamed southern town that I will swear I have passed through on occasion during my 38 years. This town really could be Mayberry. Going nostalgic - must stop. Our girl Jenna (Kerri Russell) works as a waitress (duh) at Joe's Pie Diner. Keeping it short: unexpected pregnancy, abusive husband, unlikely love. Andy Griffith hisveryself, shows up in Mayberry in what proves to be a completely charming role. What took me by surprise was the appearance of Mr. Nathan Fillion as Jenna's doctor. Mr. Nathan was the star of my favorite TV series of ALL time (except for Dallas, Dynasty, The Golden Girls, and Designing Women) -- Firefly and the follow-up movie, Serenity. It was just odd seeing him as something other than Capt. Mal floating out amongst the stars.

The real beauty of this little indie flick lies in its genuine sweetness. That's about the only way I can put it. It makes the film work perfectly. The good thing is that it does not dip into that driveling, sentimental crap that makes one prone to vomit. Its just plain nice to watch a movie that makes you feel good and at the same time, touching on themes such as hope and redemption. The most powerful and poignant aspect of this piece of art has absolutely nothing to do with the film in and of itself. Unfortunately, last fall, director and writer Adrienne Shelly, who herself does a bang-up job in one of the supportive roles, was found murdered in New York City. Not sure at all about the circumstances involved. However, the reality of her death certainly takes her final creative offering to deeper level. I found myself thinking, afterwards, about her fellow cast members and the hole that they must have in their lives due to their friend's untimely departure and how they must be dealing with that loss. What a send-off, though. Great picture. Do yourself a favor and experience it for yourself.

Monday, June 4, 2007

the weekend...

I have to say I had the best weekend. Especially yesterday (Sunday). It was the prettiest day I have seen in a long time. I am part of our local city beautification board and I had to judge downtown residential properties for Memphis' Business Awards. It was really cool to drive and look at all those pretty houses I will never be able to afford (sigh). I went to the baseball game with one of my best friends and it was so relaxing. I have to tell you about what I ate. I already admit I took a detour from my diet. But when you hear this you will fully understand why. BBQ nachos. For those of you not from the South, Memphis is known far and wide for their BBQ. We have all sorts of cook-offs and contests -- our big one just concluding last month as part of our Memphis in May festivities. It is really one of the few really positive aspects of living in Memphis. Picture this...corn tortilla chips covered in pork BBQ, sauce, cheese on top of that, and covered with dry rub. I don't know if it has an official name, but my vote goes for Throw Me Down and F**K Me BBQ Nachos. Ballgame, beer and BBQ nachos. Yes, people, life doesn't get much better than that. Except it does...after that, I met a really good friend of mine at a local gay bar for their Tea Dance. Talked to some nice guys and felt really comfortable in the bar setting (remember - newly out). Following that - I returned to friend number 1's house to watch the next to last episode of the Sopranos. Tony's gonna get whacked -- I just know it...

Friday, June 1, 2007

Have a good one, pEEps...

All The World's A Stage...

I have come to realize that blogging is perhaps not the best activity for the twisted-minded with too much time on their hands. I'm taking a detour from my otherwise deep-thoughted topics to pursue a whimsy. I know I'm going to get in trouble for this, but trouble is always delicious. And I am always open to spankings. OK - don't ask me how this came to mind, but I thought if my life were a movie for a play, what would it look like? Actually, I prefer a play, what with my artistic bent and all. Please note that I said "artistic", not "autistic". And my life certainly has enough drama to warrant the services of Mr. Aaron Spelling. The following is the cast I have secured so far:

Me -- played by Jeremy Piven (of course)
Lisa -- Bette Midler
Marshall -- Colin Farrell
Teresa -- Angelina Jolie
Whendy -- Jennifer Lopez
Lori -- Sandra Bullock
Cindie -- Susan Sarandon
Chris -- Daniel Craig (new 007)
Grant -- special guest appearance by David Hasselhoff

The plot will be loosely based on my life (in Hollywood circles, that means "not at all"). Generally it will go like this.

I, of course, will be played by the ravishingly handsome and rakish Jeremy Piven, currently of Entourage fame. It appears that Jeremy must save the world from a maniacal, evil lawyer (is there any other kind, really?) named Marshall, who has threatened Jeremy's friends with imminent arrest. The beautiful Cindie, as portrayed by Susan Sarandon, is a ruthless, extremely neat and neurotically organized clothing retailer in the vein of Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada. The Daniel Craig-esque boyfriend sits around drinking beer and playing video games in the nude. Not sure how the other characters will flesh out at the moment, but at least its a start. In the climax, Jeremy confronts the evil, maniacal lawyer and a bloody fight ensues, in which Jeremy gives the lawyer a much deserved thrashing. The lawyer then begs for mercy and promises to mend his evil ways. But Jeremy being the handsome, wise sage that he is, doesn't believe a word of it and beats him some more. Next, we see Bette, fresh from cheering on the lawyer's beating, standing in her brand new, state-of-the-art kitchen, wearing a red gingham dress and holding a tray of badly burnt Texas toast. As smoke fills the room and the alarm goes off, she performs her signature hit "Wind Beneath My Wings". Jeremy socks her. Parting shot of Jeremy as he finally gives in to the advances of two very hot guys (see below) and rides off with them into the sunset. All the other characters are too busy messing with cats and dogs to notice Jeremy's happiness.

What a fun exercise in creativity. I call it exercise as you quickly get into shape running from those people who simply can't buy the "loosely based" thing. I encourage all of you to try a similar exercise on your blogs. And now, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up.


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