Saturday, August 20, 2016

I'm trucking... Um... Ramblin' Again.

     So… it’s been another week and I’m still alive. Okay, I’m still having bits of coughing and I’m so over it. Oh well, I am getting better.
     It’s gonna be a rambling kind of post I think… Truckers work, right?
     Oh. My. God. The right-wing wack-a-doodles in North Carolina would fucking lose their minds here! We went to a pub for a drink one afternoon and I had to go use the rest room. By the way… they really do call it the loo here. Anyway, I go and low and behold, it is a unisex bathroom! Yep, you did read that correctly. There was a row of individual stalls, each with their own solid walls and locking doors. Along one wall was a bank of sinks, and I have to tell you, it was all very foo-foo/she-she decorated. Hell, my own bathroom wasn’t as nice as these. But can you imagine? Everyone uses the same lavatories? Oh hell, those religious nut-jobs would faint dead away, and then convulse over it all, possibly pissing their pants in the meantime.
     Now, I was also told that this is quite common and they were right. Another place we went do had the same set up. I think it is a great idea. Just do away with the whole male/female thing and throw ‘em all together and be done with it. How ‘bout them crackers. Oh, I’m not talking about the people crackers, just plain ol’ saltines would work.

     Speaking of crackers…
     Don’t’cha know that those bed-sheet-wearing fools would lose their shit? Well, I can see it. I mean… anyone who runs around in white sheets, with cone-shaped dixie cups on their heads with a veil aren’t all that mentally stable on the best of days. Bless their hearts, and I do mean that in the most loving Christian way.
     What do ya mean I can’t speak English… Yeah, that’s what I’ve been told over and over and over again. I don’t speak English I speak American. Well… fuck me runnin’ with a jelly doughnut. I do so speak English. Just because some of these Aussies can’t figure out what I’m sayin’ doesn’t mean I ain’t speakin’ it. I mean honestly, what the hell does fair dinkum mean anyway. Really? And then you wonder why I need a translator? Pfft… as long as no one thinks I’m from Texas again, I’m good.

     Now, don’t y’all go getting me wrong or nuttin’, because I have some very good friends who live in Texas. They are wonderful people. Good people. But when people see and hear people like that Ted Cruz fella, well… they tend to think people from Texas are a bit nuts.
     I’m from Tennessee and there are more ties between our two states than you could shake a stick at, even twice on Sundays! But I still don’t want people thinking I’m from there. Honestly, people look at the way Politicians there run things and they shake their heads in bewilderment. They aren’t sure if they are for real or not. Now before you good folk from the yellow rose state try and come jump my shit; start electing people who aren’t so bat-shit cra-cra. Ya hear?
     Oh, and don’t you think for one minute that the good folk of Tennessee don’t have their own whack-jobs, because they do. Yeah, listen to Trey Crowder’s take on some of the shit they try and pull. Just somehow, it don’t make the national, much less international news. I guess somehow we have figured out how to keep ‘em on a short leash.
     Yeah, so I’m a bit crazy…
     I’m not the bat-shit-scare-people kinda crazy though. Okay, sometimes I might scare people, but it isn’t like I’m chasin’ ‘em around with a gun and bible type nuts. I’m just the fun kind of crazy, or so I think anyway. I do tend to sometimes open my mouth and stuff just kinda rolls out. It isn’t like I intentionally try and sound like I just escaped from a mental ward somewhere, but it seems that’s how some people look at me.
     As TAT (the Aussie Tart) so succinctly put it: I’m kitchen while she’s management. I guess that is a fairly good description. She stays all calm and cool when shit goes down and says things way more properly than I do. She doesn’t even raise her voice or cuss none. Me, I just tell them how it is before I tell them to go fuck themselves. If I’m trying to be real polite I’ll just say “Fuckest Thou!” Yeah, that’s about as proper as I get for the most part.
     Now it isn’t like I can’t be management, but it also means that I have to really think about it and hell-fire, that’s just too much work and it might give me a headache. I am Southern after all and I was raised with manners. I can do it, but at my age and having spent most of my career in a hot ass kitchen, yelling, because it’s really loud, and cussing every other word is the norm, it’s really hard to revert to being a sweet Southern Gentleman. Besides, I really don’t give two shits to be honest.

     Was there a point? Um…
     Not sure if there was or not. I’m just gonna move right along because that’s what I’m the mood to do.
     Oh! I have a new love interest. Well, kinda-sorta, but not really. Maybe I’m just a huge fan of Trae Crowder. I’ve shared a few of his video blog posts on FB. The man just cracks me up and if he weren’t straight, married and with two kids, I’d so make a play for him. He’s got really cool eyebrows too! Yeah, he’s my kind of guy. He speaks my language which is hillbilly slang. He makes so many good points about life and just stuff in general. He really does make me proud to say I’m from East Tennessee. I’ve provided a link for y’all to check him out. He’s also on tour. Yeah, I’m so going to make a point of trying to see him live and in person.
And yes, he is wearing a Tennessee Vols shirt. :D
    Check him out... he's hysterical. You can get to know him here.
     Alright… I was mean…
     Yeah, I came down pretty hard on some of the Aussies last week. It wasn’t like the government didn’t deserve it and more. I just saw something about Nauru. Yeah, they need a good Southern Red-Neck ass whoopin’ over that one. Just goes to prove my point though… we all need to keep an eye open. We can make a difference, even if it is just one kid, one person at a time. Yep, we can, I swear we can. So go and do something, no matter how small for someone. Get ya some Karma Coins in the bank.      Have a grrreat week, y’all.

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Oh the shame...

     So… I ain’t dead. That’s the big news. Woo-Hoo! Yes, I’ve been a little under the weather, which is a major understatement. I’m really not one to whine or whinge when I’m sick. Okay, I really was sick as a dog, so I think I deserve a little whine with some cheese. Yeah, pneumonia isn’t something to take lightly or play around with. It’s taken three rounds of antibiotics to get my big ass on the road to recovery, but finally, I don’t feel like I might hack up a lung at any moment. Anywho… I’m back, like it or not.
Aboriginal art is really unique. This particular artist is pretty cool. 
    You know that ol’ sayin’ about only the good die young? Yeah… well that sure as hell hasn’t happened. Please, God, Buddha, Allah or whomever is on duty today, please, please, please don’t let me be the leering old fag in a motorized wheelie-thingy chasing young men down the sidewalk. Pleeeaaasseee!
     Alrighty then, moving right along…
     As many of you know, I’ve been in Australia for quite some time. I must say I have enjoyed my time here. I’ve seen and experienced many wonderful things. There is a lot here that I have to give the Aussie’s credit for. They’ve really got one of the best medical systems that I’ve ever encountered. I may have to do a blog on just that, but it isn’t all rainbows and glitter here. Yep, if you look hard enough and long enough, you’ll see that they also have a darker side. I guess no place is perfect.
     Warning, a bit of a rant about to happen…
     While driving somewhere, I noticed that there were a lot of Salvation Army stores here. They actually call them Salvos. (I swear the Aussie’s will nickname or abbreviate just about anything.) Now, having had past experiences with the big red shield people, I had to ask if they were as rotten to the core here as they were in the States. “Oh no, they do really good work here.” I was told.
     Granted, the Salvation Army in the States do some really good work too… as long as you go along with everything that they believe and are willing to sit and listen to them preach at you.
     If you know me at all, you’ll know that I do love my research and so I set off to find out, and of course, there it was. Yep… same ol’ shit, just another continent. Oops, there I go again calling a spade a spade.
     While I was at it, I thought I’d check out how they dealt with homeless LGBT youth here. I was really glad to find out that there is help out there for kids. I found an article about how a 16 year old boy was tossed out on his ass because his folks found out he was gay. Oh, and guess what? They were religious nut-jobs. Imagine that! So sure, a young man, who is now homeless, is going to go seeking help from a religious organization, which has in the past said that all gay people should be put to death. That is how the think, although they have been raked over the coals for it in recent years. Yeah, I know they’d be the first organization I’d go to for help. NOT.
     What else did I find? Well, in New South Wales, almost 90% of all government funding to help the homeless goes to four faith-based organizations. How ‘bout them apples? Anyone seeing a pattern here besides me?
     Oh, I’m not done yet…
     Today, a report was released relating to South Australia Child and Protection services. Oh hell, it is as bad as I’ve ever heard. It was far reaching and it only took two years to complete. Talk about egg on your face. Shit, they have egg all over their damn bodies. It was shameful. Wide spread child abuse that resulted in the death of a few kids. Yes, you read that correctly, death.
     And yet it gets better still…
     In the Northern Territory they have detention centers, most of which house indigenous kids. This one made me cry. These kids have been so abused, neglected, locked away and forgotten. There is this one boy who has been there for seven years! They don’t go to school, they don’t leave the building, and there is no rehabilitation if they need it. Nothing. To me, they are treated no better than dogs. Tossed into a cell, given food and water just as if they were in a kennel.
     Everything I’ve said can be verified with very little effort. So yes, as wonderful as I think the Land of Oz is, they have some major problems just like the States. However, I have to admit, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anything quite as horrendous as what happened in the Northern Territory here back in the States.
     Children did not ask to come into this world. They didn’t have a choice in the matter. I don’t care if they are white, black, pink or purple with yellow polka dots. They are just innocents, dropped onto this big spinning ball with no way to protect themselves. They rely totally on adults to do the right thing. The RIGHT THING.
     Yes, I just came down pretty heavy on the Australian government, but I’ve been just as hard on my own government. I’d come down hard on anyone who is responsible for taking care of those who can’t take care of themselves, and don’t even get me started on the abuse that is heaped upon the forgotten elderly who can no longer take care of themselves!

    Plan of action…
     Each and every one of us can make a difference. We need to hold those in charge accountable for their actions, or lack thereof. We need to pay attention and look for the signs of abuse of authority.
    I plan to redouble my efforts of getting more involved. I don’t have a lot of money, but I do try and do my little bit financially each month. I’m going to get up off my big butt and volunteer some of my time. I’m not sure what I’ll be allowed to do, but I’m going to put forth the effort and do something.

     Pay it back. Pay it forward. However you want to look at it, just do something, no matter where you live. Most of all, keep your eyes open and do what you think is best, I know I will.
     There, you have now been challenged. I know you can do it. If I can do some simple research and find a way to help, I know you can too. Get ready to receive those Karma Coins y’all!

     Sorry this was a bit of a rant, but… well I just can’t help myself sometimes. Hope everyone has a good week. And thank you all for the get well wishes and messages, which I’m still trying to respond to.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.

Just because... LOL

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Straight Men Having SEX With Other Men... Part II

     So… I’m going to pick up from where I left off last week… If you’ve not read Part I, you should go and do so now…
     This all stems from Johnny, a character in ‘My Hero’ and several things that I’ve read, seen or heard over the past few weeks. Not sure where this is going to end up, but here we go! I do love research…
     There is a large number of gay men who seek out ‘straight’ guys to have sex with. This is nothing new. I’ve known that this happens for decades now. Personally, it never really was my thing. Of course there are many gay guys out there who fantasize about Firemen, Policemen, UPS guys and such. Then there are those who purposefully go out with the intentions making this happen. (OH, and don’t forget… there are plenty of ‘straight’ men who are out there looking for gay men to screw around with!)
    An old friend of mine, Morris, did this for years. You’d never know that Morris was gay by looking at him. He was an old-guard, leather-biker-dude who looked about as rough as a three-day tequila binge. He did clean up nicely, but that happened about once every five years or so. If I saw him clean shaven and manicured, I’d ask him who died.
     Anyway, he would go out to the titty-bars, get lap dances from the girls, who all knew him and what he was up too, just to turn the hot guy next to him on. He would then lure the guy out to his truck and have sex with him. The guy was probably well on his way to being drunk, totally turned on and more than likely would fuck a knothole by the time Morris got a hold of him.
     I’m sure the poor slob didn’t think about having sex with a guy when he ventured out to watch women stripping down to just about nothing, their nipples to the wind. No, Morris knew exactly what he was doing. Oh, and Morris never drank. He was a sober as a judge, if there are any of those these days.
     I ran across another article while doing this bit of research, written by a gay guy in conjunction with a ‘straight’ guy who has sexual encounters with other men, preferably gay men. In this little jewel, they list five reasons why a straight guy should have sex with a gay guy. I found this hilarious and oh so true…
1. You’ll never have a better blow job than from a guy. Gay men make better lovers, from a sexual point of view of course.
2. You’ll never have as much fun during sex than with another guy.
3. You don’t have to follow up with a phone call, flowers or awkwardness when all you really wanted was to get laid.
4. You never have to be turned down by a woman when you just want your ass played with. There is nothing as good as a good rim job.
5. It will make a gay guy very happy.
     In my experience when a straight guy is involved in a situation like this is: a straight guy just wants to watch a ball game, have a few drinks, a few laughs, some good raunchy sex and go then home. Nothing more, nothing less. Maybe they feel like they’re bonding with another guy? I’m sure that is part of it.
     One guy in particular expressed how much he liked getting fucked, but would never admit this to his wife. He really loved his butt played with, a fantastic rim job and a good hard ass pounding. The man was a born bottom. One time, after a few beers, he said how much he enjoyed coming over but how much he loved his wife and kids and the life he had with them. I was a bit curious, but never pushed it. I figured that was his deal and now wish I’d questioned him.
    Oh my… I can feel the steam radiating off of some of you…
     CHEATER… yeah, well as my good friend Alan (Crystal) Clear said all those years ago… “Honey, if you can’t keep your husband at home, don’t expect me to send him there.”
     That may sound a little harsh, but in reality, if it wasn’t with me, it would have been with some other guy. That’s just the bottom line here (pun intended). I’ll say it again; when I started this little fling I had no idea he was married. When I did find out, I figured whatever harm was done, was well… done. We had both agreed when we’d started having sex that it was just for sex and a good time. That’s all either of us wanted from the very beginning. Last I heard, he’d taken up with another guy (gay), who I knew. I’d since moved away. As far as I know, they are still seeing each other.
     Let’s talk about labels…
     Yeah, I don’t give them much credence anymore. Why? Because they are either incorrect, they change or they do nothing but put a stigma on people. Gay, straight, bi, tri, quad or whatever. Quite frankly, I really don’t care. I try and look at the person as a whole, not whatever they do with their genitals or who they play with. And yes, I purposefully used that word ‘play’, because in this instance, that is exactly what it is.
     I have no doubt in my mind that some of these guys were actually straight but only wanted sexual release and a little fun with another guy. Some of these men don’t actually consider it cheating if it is with a guy. Maybe that’s a little fucked up, but that is how they see it.

     There is a scene from one of my favorite films, “The Women” where the mother is trying to explain this to her daughter. (Not the remake, which was complete trash, but the old one from 1939.) What she said was such good advice I can’t help but think of it here.
    It went something like this…
     "When women get bored or feel that they need a change in their life, they go buy a new frock or change their hair or get a new hat. Men can’t do that. Stupid creatures that they are, look to see themselves in a new light in the eyes of another woman." In this case, in the eyes of another lover, which here, means another man.
     Personally, I think this was a very wise woman. Her further advice to her daughter was to do nothing. “Don’t even mention it. Let it run its course. He doesn’t actually love the creature.”
     Of course, that isn’t what she does. What kind of plot-line would we have if she hadn't? She mentions it, divorces the poor guy, which pushes him into the arms of the other woman. In the end, they get back together and all is well. By the way, there are so many good one-liners in this movie, it is like my number one must see movie to pass Gay 101.
     I once got an email from a female reader once who found out her husband was cheating on her with another man. (I’m still not sure why she contacted me in the first place.) She was pissed, hurt and every other emotion that goes along with finding out your man is out there having sex with someone else. She also had this thing about competing with a man.
     When I started asking some rather pointed and somewhat personal questions, she got all pissed at me! Yeah, well you gotta keep them home fires burning, honey.
     Some of the questions I was asking…
     How important do you actually make your man feel? Do you listen to him or is all you ever talk about is the kids, the house the dog the… whatever? And then there are times guys just need a break from it all. Not an excuse, just the simple plain truth of the matter. I told her all this, not because I was trying to be hurtful, but I was trying to get her to see what might be going on.
     She did later contact me and apologized and said that they were getting counseling and she thanked me. I’m not sure I did much of anything, but who knows, maybe they worked it all out.
     So why do straight guys have sex with other men? Who knows? What I have learned in all of this is that there are too many variances to give a general answer here. It is my opinion that each case is different. It might be part of the Kinsey scale. It might be boredom. It might be that a guy just needs to get off. I saw this… “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” – Dr. Fraud.
     And so there you have it…
     So all of this came from a little research for why a college freshman would actually have sex with another guy in a fictional book. Oh and some of the things that I’ve seen and heard over the past few weeks too. Remember that word ‘fluid’ that I used last week? Yeah, I’m totally sticking with that. Some guys (and most women) are just fluid in how they view sex, their own sexual orientation and desires. It doesn’t make them gay or bi, it just makes them… well sexual beings. Who knew it could be that simple… well it isn’t I suppose, but for me, I guess it is. I’m totally gay, and have never done the deed with a woman. I can’t even relate to that, so I can’t say that I’m that fluid. LOL I’m still a Gold Star gay after all!
     As I’ve said many times, sex is supposed to be fun! So… go forth and have some fun. Oh, and while you’re at it… you might try and do a good deed and rack up some Karma Coins.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Straight Men Having Sex with Other Men... Part I

     So… there has been a few things that have come up lately so I’m going to call it fate and go with it. So, no rambling today. This one is rather long, so bear with me…

Now that I have your attention...
     A few years ago now, which seems unbelievable it was that long ago, I put a book out called ‘My Hero’. In this book there was a guy, Johnny, who was supposedly straight and then fell in love with the other main character, Rich, who happened to be gay. Yeah, well… I never went into much detail about that. I did make him mess up, caused all kinds of trouble, and then it all worked out in the end.
     When I wrote that, I did some research then, even though I pretty much knew the answer. What did I research? Why do straight men have sex with other men? And why do so many of them do it with gay men? Oh, and why and/or how did I already know the answer? Pfft… been there, done that and have the T-shirt(s). Yeah, I’ve been with married straight me a few times.
     Okay… maybe more than just a few. Now, before you go thinking badly of me, most of the time I didn’t know they were married. Hell, I didn’t even know they were straight!
     Oh… I can hear y’all thinking all the way from here…
     Yes, a straight man can have gay sex and it really isn’t that uncommon. Matter of fact, it is a lot more common that you may think. But going back to Johnny; his circumstance was more fluid. After doing the research, and what I didn’t go into was that there are some men… and women… who are more fluid, in their emotional sexual orientation. Did you notice that word? Fluid.
     That’s a fairly new term, but it makes complete sense to me. I’ve known a few people who really don’t care what the plumbing is. All they care about is the emotional connection and go from there. Personally, I thought that was pretty cool, and has only in the past ten years really been explored. There have been many studies and quite a few books written about it. Medical books to be exact (get your minds out of the gutter now).
     But back on topic…
     So why do obvious straight men go looking for sex with other men? To answer this I went digging again. A professor of women’s studies, Jane Ward, recently published something about this. Of course, she went way overboard in overthinking this in my opinion. There is one quote of hers that I think is pretty good though… “When straight-identified women have sex with women, the broader culture waits in anticipation for them to return to what is likely their natural, heterosexual state; when straight-identified men have sex with men, the culture waits in anticipation for them to admit that they are gay.”
     That pretty much sums that up, right? Yeah, not so much. There is a lot more to it than that.
     Joe Kort, Ph.D., in clinical sexology and licensed clinical social worker has numerous publications and has been a featured speaker many times over on this topic. He’s given some pretty spectacular insight to this subject. Here are some of his thoughts as to why straight men sleep with other men…
Acting out early-childhood sexual abuse: This is also known as “homosexual imprinting.” These heterosexual men are not homosexually oriented. They do not sexually desire, nor are they aroused by, other men. However, they compulsively reenact childhood sexual abuse by male perpetrators through their sexual behaviors with other men. If a basically heterosexual boy is molested by a male relative, he may keep “returning to the scene of the crime” to defuse his emotional pain or desensitize himself to it. When his original trauma gets cleared up, the “homosexual” behavior he’s reenacting ceases. This isn’t about gayness; it is about sexual abuse.
• Sex work or escorting: These heterosexual men voluntarily engage in sexual behavior with other men for the financial reward, but they lack desire for other men and are aroused by the sexual behavior, not by the man. It is widely known in the porn and sex work industries that straight men who have sex with men are paid more than they would be for sex with women.
Seeking intensely arousing but personally shameful experiences (e.g., penetration by a dildo, bondage): These are heterosexual men who are strongly interested in various sexual experiences that many people might label “homosexual.” To avoid being identified in this way by women, they seek out men, whom they perceive as nonjudgmental.
First sexual experience: Sometimes heterosexual males experiment with other males sexually, usually in adolescence and/or young adulthood (up to age 25), for the experience or to satisfy curiosity.
Availability/opportunity: These straight men have high sex drives and are sexually aroused easily. They connect with men for physical sexual release, which can be quick and easy and allows them avoid having to emotionally engage.
Father hunger: These are heterosexual men who crave affection and attention from their fathers and seek sex with men as a way of getting that male nurturance and acceptance.
Sexual orientation toward men but emotional/romantic orientation toward women: These are men who are romantically attracted to women and are usually partnered with women. They can be sexual with women they love, but they are predominately aroused and driven sexually by desire for sex with other men.
Narcissism: These are straight men who are self-absorbed and have a constant need for attention and acceptance; they use sexuality with men to be worshipped and adored. • Out of Control Sexual Behaviors: “Gay” sexual behavior can be the result of problematic sexual behaviors. But even a “cured” man who no longer struggles with out of control sexual behaviors may still feel attracted to sex with men.
Cuckolding: These straight men enjoy fantasies of — or the reality of — their female partners having sex with other men, either in front of them, nearby or with their knowledge about when and where it occurs. They’re often sexually aroused by feeling humiliated that their female partners are being pleased by another man whom they see as more potent and better endowed. Other men enjoy being sexual with another man’s female partner in front of him, or at least with his knowledge. Sometimes they engage in sexual behavior with the man, but only in the presence of the female partner.
Exhibitionism: These straight men enjoy being looked at by both men and women as long as they are being admired for their bodies. Many are body builders and muscular and enjoy the homoerotic attention of gay men and might even flirt with gay men to encourage more admiration.
Sexual release in prison: These straight men engage in sexual behavior with other men in prison. Their sexual release with another person occurs with men only because men are what’s available. Once released from prison, these men no longer engage in sexual behavior with men.
     Oh wow, I know a guy who actually falls into three of these categories. And yes, he’s married with three kids. And yes, I had a fling with him. It was a lot of fun I must say. Again, I didn’t really know he was married when it all started.
     I like the way that Dr. Kort explains a lot of things, but there are a few things that he didn’t get into that I think needs to be mentioned here.
     While doing some further digging, I found some other doctor’s research where men would give a brief explanation as to why they were seeking out sex with other men, even though they identified as been heterosexual. This is what I was really looking for! I wanted to hear it straight (pun intended) from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.
     One man – "My wife and I have been married for sixteen years and we now have two children. My wife is a very loving wife and takes care of all of us and I love her deeply. (Cutting part of it out and going to the heart of the subject.) She’s cut her hair and looks like a tomboy, no makeup, shorts or sweats all the time and all she talks about are the kids or other family. She has no interest in sex and we never go anywhere because she says we need to keep the money for the kid’s college fund."
     Basically the guy met another guy and they started to hang out and one thing led to another and now they are lovers… but he’s still married.
     And then we have this guy – “I have sex with other men all the time, mostly because it’s easier than with women and more available and because I need variety, another great thing is it comes without drama, one night of sex is exactly that, one night. Men understand the need for sex, unlike women, and know that sex is just sex and nothing more.”
     Another guy said that his first sexual experience was with another boy as a young teen. He didn’t have sex with another male until his late 30’s. Again, a married guy who just wanted a sexual outlet and found it with another guy, who also happened to be ‘straight’ and married.
     The one thing I know about guys is that most men can separate love and their emotional relationships from sexual encounters. Here’s another example - “Men can have sex without the entanglements of their feelings or the demands put upon them from their female companions. They can have sex with other men without the need to do the cuddling, the after care, the expectations or trying to explain their feelings.”
    Okay, this is getting really long…
     How about I continue this, because there is soooo much more information that I’d like to explore. I’ll continue working on this and pick it up again next week. Maybe we’ll get to the bottom of why ‘straight’ men have sex with other men… perhaps. Who knows? I’ll keep digging though.
     For now…
     Go and do something for someone else who might need a little pick-me-up. It doesn’t hurt ya know. I did my part this week, did you?
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Yes... We Can!

     So… I’ve been sitting here trying to think of something to say on this blog post today. After a few hours… I’m sitting here… stunned.
     I’ve been trying to play catch up with all the social media stuff. Something that really is a chore after being out of touch for a while as I roamed the Outback of AU. So I’m scrolling around, looking about and came across this.
“A father has reportedly refused to claim the corpse of his gay son killed at Pulse nightclub, because he disapproved of his homosexuality.”
     Taken from the Gailygrind and verified.
     Okay, I understand that the Latino, Hispanic and Arab communities are not all that open to having gay children, but even in death? Really? This is your child and you won’t even claim his dead body because you are embarrassed? Really? This is when I don’t know whether to feel sad or infuriated. Deep breath. But to deny your child after they’ve been murdered? That to me is just unforgivable. I don’t care if you’re Arab or not. He was your child!
     Okay, going to go take a break, have some coffee… with something in it… like Bailey’s or something…
     Just to let y’all know… tequila and coffee don’t go so well together… back in a few…
    Alrighty then, I’m back after a stiff cup of coffee and a cigar. Feeling much better thank you… The bourbon helped I do believe.
     I guess it all comes to who your family really is. Ru Paul said it best. “I pick who my family is. Don’t fuck with my family!”
     I think kids have it harder today, even with all the acceptance, than ever before. The internet is way too convenient a tool to use to bully people. The news is no longer news, but a mind numbing, constant barrage of hate and misinformation. Teen suicide is up, the majority of them being LGBT youth. Is it any wonder?
     A little while ago I was chatting with a friend that I went to highschool with. She’s kind of kept up with people from way back then. She tells me that she’s fairly certain that at least 10% of those we went to school with came out as gay if not maybe a bit more. Whoosh, like an instant time travel thingy… I was back there. All the hurt, anguish came rushing back at me. Yeah… not a good time. Where were those kids when I was there getting my ass kicked? Doesn’t really matter now. It’s all old history, but I do remember.
     Yeah, I got bullied, tossed in a dumpster, but I made it. It does get better, but I didn’t have all these external influences hounding me day in and day out. I didn’t have parents that tossed me out because I was gay. Okay, strike that. I didn’t have a mother to do that. My father on the other hand… yeah well he was a piece of crap, and his opinion didn’t matter one bit to me.
     There is no doubt in my mind that is why I try and support charities that reach out to LGBT youth. Lost–n-Found in Atlanta, and now the Zebra Coalition in Orlando. I know what it like to be bullied. I know what it is like when family turn their back on you, call you names and try and act like they don’t know you when you happen to run across each other in public. Been there. Done that.
     The more we find out about the killer in Orlando, the more I’m convinced that his heritage, his background, his religion were all bricks in the wall that isolated him. Is that any excuse? Of course not, but I want to understand. Personally, I’m of the opinion that this guy was probably gay and all his life and he’d been told how bad that is. How gays should be thrown from a roof top or killed in some way. Bad. Bad. Bad. That may have been all he’d known, his feelings and self-loathing must have been like being in a torture chamber. How sad is that? I think we all have a breaking point, and I think that is what may have happened here. He finally snapped.
     Final thought on that for me is… there were actually 50 victims. I have this gut feeling that he was also a victim: a victim of the society around him.
     What about the father in California who’d rather shoot his son dead than have an openly gay son? Yes that happened. What about the kid left on the side of the road because he was reading a LGBT themed young adult book. The teenage girl who was raped because she announced she was transgendered. Yes, all these things happened.
     What can I do? Pfft… I can do a lot. I can support PFLAG. I can support LGBT youth organizations. I can do my part, as little as it may seem. Yeah, I can do all that and so can you.
    The Trevor Project has outreach programs, as so many other organizations, worldwide. There are special safe houses set up. There are places for these young people to go to find help. They just need the support from the community and funding. Sometimes it isn’t very much, but together, we do make a difference. A lot of these places have wish lists. You can easily do a one click shop and buy some poor kid some underwear, a bus pass for the month, some snacks all on Amazon.
     Remember that whole thing about it takes a village to raise a child. How about we put that into practice? Will you do your part? We can make a difference. We, together are a powerful force. Who knows what that might bring? We might have helped the next Freddie Mercury, Leonardo da Vinci, Alan Turing or Sir Isaac Newton! Now wouldn’t that be something?
     Yes… we can. Have you done your part? As soon as I’m done here I’m going to go see what’s on the wish list this month. Gotta get my months’ worth of Kudo Coins!
     I hope everyone in the States enjoys their 4th of July. Happy Independence Day. Happy penal farm day to my friends down under. He he he Go blow up some fireworks. BBQ, drink, be merry. Thank a Veteran. They deserve our appreciation for all they have done and do!
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.

Friday, June 24, 2016

G'day, Mates...

     So… here I am, sweating my ass off. Still not feeling 100%, but doing okay. I know that several people have asked, and thanks for that.
   Now for what’s been going on this past week… As most of you know, I am in Australia. The TAT’s mum gifted me/us with an excursion into the outback of Oz, ending up at the top part where Darwin is. This is supposed to be their winter. Pfft… it’s hot. Each day has been in the 90’s here. Normally, I don’t really mind the heat, until it comes to bedtime. Then I tend to be a bit grumpy if I’m hot. Yeah, I’ve been a wee bit on the grumpy side. The a/c in the camper isn’t keeping up with the heat. Oh well, I’ve lived through a lot worse and we’ve only got 2 more days here and I intend to make the most of it. Alright, Zathyn Priest, you were right… it is hot up here. LOL
     I’ve learned a lot about this big country. There is a lot of culture, a lot of history and a lot of very handsome men. I think it is an unwritten law that most adult men must have great legs. I swear, at least 99.9% of the men here have the best looking legs I’ve ever seen. It really is astounding. Oh there was this one guy. I thought, ‘Wow, he’s got skinny legs, so it isn’t everyone’. Yeah, then he opened his mouth. He wasn’t an Aussie. So, there ya go. I’m back to great legs, and often, really cute butts to go with them! Oh, and this goes for men of all ages too.
     Another things I’ve observed while here. These guys aren’t waxing, shaving or manscaping. Woo-Hoo! I’m not sure about the ones in the larger cities, I admit. But the ones that I’ve seen around the outback are au natural. Just the way I like ‘em. Not that I’ve been able to sample any… damn it all to hell. Oh well, such is life.
     For those of you who keep up with me on other social media, you’ll know that we took a train from Uluru to Darwin. Along the way we stopped at Katherine’s Gorge and took a boat ride to see some of the oldest native rock paintings known to man. That was way cool.
     But back to the train…
     It was a truly magnificent experience. I felt as if I was in an old Agatha Christie novel. Had the sleeper stateroom. They had a bar and lounge. The restaurants, and yes, that was plural, and the kitchens, and yes, that was plural as well.
     Of course you know I’m going to talk about the food. The food? Superb. And yes, I did sample the local fare. Smoked emu: outstanding. The crocodile sausage, fantastic. The kangaroo, marvelous. The sauces were great as well. Plate presentation was beautiful. All this on a train!
     On a slight side note… I saw one of the cooks while waiting to board the train. I only wish he’d been on the menu. “I’d like him and a big bowl of whipped cream please.”
     The one thing that really impressed me on the Ghan, the name of the train, was the service. The dining experience was unbelievable. Great service. These people were trained extraordinarily well. Impeccable. I highly recommend this journey to anyone who might even consider it.
     A little about Darwin...
     This is a jewel of a little city. I thought it would be much larger, but it isn’t. We stopped for a brief visit to Fannie Bay. You just gotta love a place named that. Had a fantastic lunch. The water was so clear. It reminded me a bit of the Gulf of Mexico… just better. Oh, and they had this waiter… and yep, you guessed it… great legs. And boy was he purty.
    Let’s compare…
     I could never afford to live in Oz Land. Things here are so very expensive. The cost of living here is exorbitant. Why? Ahhh, here is the perfect argument against higher minimum wage, which I used to all for. Businesses will not just sit on their hands and say, “oh, okay, we’ll eat the extra charge it costs us to make something.” Nope, they are going to raise prices on goods and services so that their profit margins don’t take a nose dive. Yep, it’s a vicious cycle, and a lot of you don’t want to hear that, but that is the bottom line. Raising wages isn’t going to solve the problem of people living in poverty while working a full time job. Education is the key here I believe. No, not everyone is going to be cut out for college, but then we really aren’t promoting or paying for any vocational training either.
     Another thing is their medical care. I still shake my head in wonderment as to why we, the US don’t have universal health care. I think we are the only first world country who doesn’t. I do like the way the Aussies have set things up. Everyone has health care. Those who make a certain amount are obligated to have secondary insurance, or a private insurance policy. That takes the strain off basic healthcare. It all works. They also have dental and eye that is included. When was the last time you got premium eyeglasses for ten dollars?
     I’m glad to see that their politicians are just as fucked up as ours though. I guess there are some things that just don’t change. The one thing that is different, is that you don’t see a bunch of religious zealot nut-jobs running things. Come to think of it… I really don’t see many religious whackos anywhere. It just isn’t here.
     Words and language…
     They say they speak English, but… yeah, not so much. They abbreviate everything. If they don’t do that, then they have a nickname for it. It really does get a bit confusing. I will often look to TAT for translation. Oh, and words… oh hell, if I hear lovely one more time, I think I will hurl. I’m sure that is left over from the English, but fuck me, do you have to use it in every other sentence?
     Another one that is universally overused is actually two words. “No worries.” That seems to be the automatic response to just about everything. If someone says thank you? No worries. Sorry? No worries. I just stabbed your wife. No worries. AAaarrggghhh… find something else to say people, like you’re welcome. Although TAT says that is just as irritating in the States. Pfft… what does she know? No worries, mate!
    Alrighty then, time for me to sign off. I’m sorry I’ve not been around much, but the internet and phone service out this way tends to be a bit hit or miss. I’d like to thank Graeme Cheater and his partner, Darryl for their hospitality and letting us use their internet. They’ve been great hosts here in Bachelor! And damn, what beautiful gardens they have.
     Did you do something nice for someone this week? I bet you did. You may not have even noticed it. Keep on though, it will come back to you.
     Have a grrreat week, y’all.
     (I have tons of photos that will share at a later time... of the trip! Get your minds out of the gutter.)

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Open and Honest

     So… I sit here wondering WTF! Bear with me while I try and sort it all out. I can’t guarantee is will make sense.
     Some things I’ve been feeling…
     Sadness. Depression. Pain. Tired. Lifeless. Sluggish. PAIN. Joy.
     I’d actually considered giving up writing. That’s not quite correct… I did make the decision to give up writing. Why? There were several reasons. I’ll only go into one though: mean people. There are some really awful people out there. Hurtful. Spiteful. Nasty. I’m talking about some of the folks who are in the M/M romance world. Yeah, that was part of it. The other part, while also part of this whole genre, is very personal. I’m not going into it because I’d like to think that I’m not one of those who are hurtful, spiteful and just downright nasty. But damn, it hurt and pushed all my buttons. Then of course I got mad and that is where I left it. When I can’t say anything nice, its best to just keep my mouth shut… which is really, really hard for me.
     I’ve also had some medical things going on, which are also personal. And no, I’m not going into that either. As far as I’m concerned, whining is not the answer. I don’t want sympathy or pity. However, it does contribute to a lot of the feelings I’ve been having. ‘Nough said.
     Pain… I can’t even express of my shock and sadness at what occurred in Orlando. Not only was it close to home, but the sheer magnitude of senseless slaughter of innocent children. Yeah, most were kids in my eyes. Cut down before they even had a chance to know themselves. To share all the love and joy that they would no doubt have experienced.
     Okay, and yes, I snuck off and left the country. Now, part of that was unexpected and a wonderful surprise for me. Unfortunately, it came at a time when I was physically not all that well and also caught me completely off guard. While I was supposed to go to Europe, my doctor actually forbid it. After undergoing some treatment, I was given the okay to proceed along with some new medications. With some finagling, a lot of last minute planning, I left for Australia. I was concerned at first, and while I didn’t feel all that great, I’m glad I did.
     I am having a wonderful time, even though I’m having to take it much slower than I’d like. I hate feeling like an old man, but… well can’t help it. Not sure if it is part of the new medications or part of the last treatment, or what exactly, but my ass sure is dragging. Don’t walk too close behind me or you’ll for step on it.
     On top of all this, I had three book releases all going on at once. My Hero: They Olympian came out in French and Italian. I was supposed to be in Italy during its release, and that makes me so sad that I had to miss that. I was then supposed to go to Paris to celebrate its release, which broke my heart. The city that captured my heart, the readers and so many friends I didn’t get to see. That put me into such a funk, I can’t even express how down I was when I didn’t get to go.
     Then, ‘Life After Living’ was going up for pre-sale and then was released day before yesterday. I should have been promoting it but with lack of internet and almost no energy, I had to sit back and hope for the best. I do have to thank the loyal readers who did pre-order. I hope that you enjoy the book. I put a lot of time into researching this novel. It is unlike anything I’ve done before. It does seem like I say that about most of my books. LOL I try and keep things mixed up I guess.
     I’ll come back to the book release in a bit…
     Then yesterday… I got a huge surprise. Something that made me smile and give me hope. We stopped at a little roadhouse that is literally in the middle of nowhere in the Outback of Australia. There was an Aboriginal art gallery attached to this… shack of a building. What is the first thing I see? I see rainbows. Quite a few rainbows. Art. Here, in the middle of the desert of Oz is a group of native artists who have painted rainbow art, all of them titled ‘Pride’.
     I turned to TAT and asked, “Am I seeing this correctly?” And yes, she confirmed I was. All I could say was “Wow”. Yeah… just wow. I’m not sure, but I have a feeling that the curator/saleman was family. I also have a sneaking suspicion that he may actually be Mr. Dixon Mumu, the artist of the piece I purchased. Not certain, but… I just got that feeling.
     Anyway… that small little thing, which isn’t really all that small, made me smile. And yes, it made me proud. I wish I could have gone and hugged each and every artist that had participated in celebrating Gay Pride Month. I wish I could have photographed the exhibit, but it was strictly forbidden. It really touched my heart, my soul and more importantly, made my day.
     OUCH… that hurt so good…
     Alright, so Aleksandr Voinov kinda kicked me in the ass the other day. I expressed my disappointment in the M/M community and told him of my decision to quit writing. After a fairly long chat, I decided to reconsider that decision. He gave me his ideas and some solutions to how I was feeling. We’ll have to see how that goes. But thank you kind sir. Your words of wisdom were not wasted.
     And now… Lynn Schmitz… I am continually amazed and the energy and strength of this woman. Why do I mention her? Well this is why. Follow this link and you’ll see. No it isn’t by her, but it could have been. Whenever I see something about PFLAG, I think of Lynn and all the time she commits.

     Thank you, Lynn, for all you do.
     Alrighty then…
     About ‘Life After Living’… here is a brief excerpt.
     After a trip to the bathroom, Vance made his way to the coffee maker. He stood there a moment, mystified as to why there was no coffee. As the cobwebs finally cleared he remembered that Jeff was no longer here. He was the one who had always set up the coffee maker the night before. Sighing heavily, Vance went about making coffee.
     “Was it four or five scoops?” Vance asked out loud, even though he was the only person there.
     The black-and-white Border collie, Bonnie, cocked her head to one side as she watched the human struggling with making a simple pot of coffee. Vance looked down at the dog. “If you think it’s so easy, you do it.”
     Bonnie whined and then turned and went out through the doggie door.
     “Yeah, didn’t think so,” Vance grumbled while he filled the pot with water.
     When the smell of coffee started filling the kitchen Vance sat down on one of the stools at the breakfast bar and waited. He looked out the window over the sink. It was another beautiful sunrise. The sight was so familiar that he could close his eyes and still visually see the hues of deep purple fading to pink that would turn to pale yellow as the sun rose higher in the sky. Even so, it was as if his eyes were open, he had it so firmly imbedded in his mind. It was a sight that he never grew tired of. Only now he would be seeing it each morning alone. Jeff was gone.
      And the video blurb… 

Life After Living

     What you might want to know about this book… I did a lot of research for this book… a whole lot. It is quite different from what I’ve written previously I think. I wanted to take the approach of getting to know each character slowly. To let the relationship build in a non-romantic way. Oh and… well there is almost no sex. Yep, you heard it here. There is some… but nothing like what I normally write. It is all about raw emotion. There is pain. There is growth. There is love. The biggest thing I’d like for everyone to take away from this book is understanding. Might want some tissues for this one, because… I did my best to rip your heart out. I do give it back to you, but you’ll have to finish the book to get it. So ha! If you do cry, big ugly, snotty nose cry, then I’ve done my job. But honestly, it really is about putting you, the reader, into someone else’s shoes for a while. I hope you take up the challenge. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
Buy Links:

     In closing… I admit I’ve not done much of anything for anyone else in a while. I think it is due to me closing myself off from the world. I’m going to make a concerted effort to change that. I’ll let you know. Meanwhile, would you please consider doing something for someone else? It would make me feel better.
     That’s all I’ve got for now. Have a grrreat week y’all.
Okay, one small photo...