February 28, 2006

I hate being poor... Or rather, I hate not having any money.

Before heading out to work this morning, I made sure I grabbed $1.35 out of my change can, so I could purchase a large Dr. Pepper from the Chick-fil-A on Broad Street, out in front of my store. I refill this large drink all day (for free), and what makes me feel not-so guilty, is I periodically purchase breakfast, lunch and/or dinner from them too. I like the free refill policy, although I am quite sure they don't feel the same about my taking advantage of it. Being in commission sales (100% commission), it's a good thing we don't really pay attention to things on a daily basis. Yesterday I worked 11 hours and sold a total of $149.99 in merchandise. To those of us that never pay attention to daily things, that works out to $7.50 for the entire day for me... Now here's the complicated part: the company loans me $7.74 for every hour I work. They pay me that every week, but at the end of the month when the calculate my commission, THEY TAKE IT ALL BACK, I think that sucks! Anyway... We are at the end of the month, and the commission check comes soon, which is great because I was sick a couple of days week before last, and I don't get paid (yet) when I am sick, so the last weekly check I got was pathetic... Hence all the drama.... It's not all that bad. Plenty of food in my fridge!

Talk at you soon... me

February 27, 2006

I got a few emails on my last post. It seems inquiring minds want to know everything... Too bad all.

Get tickets for Southern Baptist Sissies if you can. It was great!

Til next time...

February 26, 2006

Wow... What an emotional roller coaster I have been on these past few days. I had someone tell me they love me (a man that I really like and respect and a man that I would like to continue to spend time with, if he slows down), and I went to see "Southern Baptist Sissies". Not that the two could possibly have the same long term comparisons, they both managed to touch my heart.
Since this man and I are still working through our shared feelings, and I would rather not publish all that here, let me tell you what I thought of the play we saw tonight at Fieldens, yes Richmond does offer provocative theater!
It was awesome! the Del Shores play was performed with genuine emotion by the Richmond Triangle Players. Every scene seemed to be a flash-back of sorts of my own life. I felt so relieved (that I was not the only one that ever felt these feelings), while being entertained. The audience, consisting of people from every walk of life: Gay, Lesbian, Straight (and whatever), laughed out loud, clapped during the drag routine, shared the emotions of the cast, and cried to the point that tears rolled down our faces (ok, so maybe it was just me and few other men that had the rolling tears, but I think there were more). I read a testimonial from the Del Shores website that summed up what I felt:
"Sunday night I had a surreal experience. I saw a play in Los Angeles called Southern Baptist Sissies written by Del Shores, the same genius who wrote and directed the film Sordid Lives. I can only tell you that I laughed, I cried, I cried and then I laughed some more. The show had everything I love about life: beautiful messes with southern accents, resurrection, redemption, tears and hot as hell nudity!"

The RTP Production did not include the hot as hell nudity, but there were some very hot chests shared by the players. Not that that's what I went there for...
I can only say, whatever your walk of life happens to be, spend the time and money and go see this show. The Fieldens Cabaret Theatre is cozy and you feel like part of the performance, in more ways than I can count. I am sure this will make a fabulous movie too, although being a member of the Southern Baptist congregation is alot more personal. This is one that you shouldn't wait for the DVD..
Oh, and to the man that shared his feelings with me, let's do this one day (week, month, year, mellenium) at a time... I promise I won't intentionally let you down or hurt you!

February 25, 2006

The Maymont Bears were a Richmond area treasure. What a shame that the bears had to be put down only to determine if they had rabies. I wonder if the parents of the child bitten feel any remorse or responsiblity for their lack of control and their involvement.

Sometimes I also wonder why the extensive testing needed to determine the presence of rabies can't be done to the dumb ass responsible for getting so close to a clearly marked and labeled wild animal. While I truly understand the choice to put the animals down, and not the child or parents, oh I do wonder...

On a light note, a group of friends and I are going to brunch tomorrow and then to see "Southern Baptist Sissies" at Fieldens. It should be fun. I will offer a review in my next entry.

Oh... by the way, I think NBC and channel 12 did an awesome job covering the Winter Olympics this year. I do not have cable, so all the "networks of NBC" meant to me was my favorites on channel 12... GREAT JOB!!!

February 23, 2006

Today I thought of adding an open letter to those of my family that have decided to ignore me, threaten me, hate me, and spread bad things about me. Unfortunately, I cannot change the way they feel, nor can I feel their feelings. The feelings they have are their's and their's alone. The only thing I can do is tell them I love them, and that I will help them in any way they want me to.

I did not choose to be gay. Likewise, I did not choose for those feelings to be so overwhelming after the events of this past year. I cherished the life I lived with all of them, without question or thought. I would never change a minute of it, bad or good. It made me who I am, and I suppose it made them who they are too. My choice to live the new life I have been blessed with, was not done to intentionally hurt anyone. I just wish the feelings they have decided to share with me were not intentional either. While I have been trying very hard to live my life within the parameters of "The Four Agreements", I feel I have taken all they say a little too personally, and let it hurt me way too much. It's been almost 5 months and I am not going to let it hurt me anymore.

I hope when they are ready to let me into their lives again, it's not because something else has happened to hurt them. I would much prefer to have a happy reunion, whenever the time is right for them. I love you all, and I will until I take my last breath.

February 22, 2006

For my 50th birthday this past year I decided to not only come-out, but also chose to jump-out of a perfectly good airplane. Thanks to the staff down at West Point Skydiving Adventures, , (about an hour from westend Richmond) it was one of the most awesome experiences of my life.

After arriving early Sunday morning, we sat down and, in triplicate, signed and initialed our lives away on the company release waiver (I have not signed that many documents since my last home closing). I perfectly understand why the releases are necessary however, to the faint at heart, they may have been somewhat intimidating.

Since my friends and I had chosen to do tandem jumps, where we would be strapped tightly to the front of our instructor (A few of us felt there was nothing wrong with that picture), the training was somewhat abbreviated. We were shown the proper way to walk while strapped together, the correct way to exit the aircraft and arch our backs once in free-fall (again this back arching thing came naturally and more easily to a few of us). The instructor then gave us an idea of what we would encounter during the free-fall, the deployment of the chute, the rest of the ride, and finally the landing. None of us chickened out through this process so it appeared we were good to go.

The plane used that day was the size and shape of a Henrico County school bus. Not as air-worthy appearing a I thought it should be, but then, I had made the choice to leave it in mid flight, regardless of it's flying abilities. Picture that school bus with benches running it's length on each side, then picture the entire senior class at Hermitage High School climbing aboard all with their 40lb book bags strapped to their backs. As tandem jumpers, we got to board first and sat on a bench in what we later reffered to as first class. The rest of the plane filled up very quickly. By the time we were ready to take off there were bodies everywhere. Oh and just an FYI, since we all had parachutes, I assumed the seat belt laws did not apply, so I didn't expect myself to be not only strapped onto my instructor but strapped into my seat too.

We reached our jumping altiture of 14,000 feet after about 15 minutes. The climb up was very noisy as the ramp on the back of the plane was partially opened. The experienced skydivers used this time to practice their mid-air version of pilotes and periodically glance over and make freightening jestures our way (I guess it's always fun to tease the new kids). Once we got to the right altitude the pilot lowered the ramp so that we could start our deplaning. The experienced jumpers wasted no time as they exited in groups, I imagine to execute some difficult formations using their arms, legs and heads while falling at 120 miles per hour. The tamdem jumpers go last, I suppose so as not to get in the way of those wanting to go 125-130 mph. Before deplaning, our intructors sinched up all the straps holding us together, we then spend an awkward 5 minutes trying to stand from a very uncomfortable sitting postion. Once on our feet, we aim for the rear of the plane and the ramp leading to nowhere.

That last step was interesting. As we fell, legs first, into the baby blue Central Virginia sky, the air flowing under the plane caught our legs and flipped us end over end. The instructor levels us out and taps me on the side to signal me that it was time to arch, which I promptly did. Now let me try to describe what you hear while all this is going on. When you have a chance, go over to your TV, tune it to channel 3, turn off your cable box and VCR/DVD, and turn up the volume on your 500watt surround sound system, with your head between the front two speakers. There is absolutely no vocal communication while free-falling, everything is done with pre-determined hand gestures. After what seemed like about 10 minutes, our 30 second free fall came to an end as the instructor tapped the altimeter on my wrist and I pulled the cord on our chute. You can feel the fabric start unfurling from the case on the instructors back, but until it opens and catches the sky, you have no idea what it feels like to be stopped in mid-air. You also rethank your instructor for checking and tightening those straps one last time before exiting the plane. What started out as a blur accompanied by a mind deafening noise, suddenly became the most tranquil, heavenly experience. The instructor tells me (yes you can hear at this point) that he is going to loosen the straps now, and that it may feel like he's letting me go (he actually said that to me) but it would be more comfortable for the remainder of the jump if the straps were loosened. The balance of our ride was like nothing I can describe. It had all the thrills of an "E" ticket ride at Disneyland (which by the way also turned 50 last year) and all the serenity of sailing in Biscayne Bay on a clear cool Miami autumn day. The flight after deployment of the chute probably didn't take more than 5-10 minutes but it seemed (in a very good way) to last 3-4 times that. As we got closer to the ground the instructor reminded me to lift and hold up my legs as we land (once again some men do this easier than others) so as not to get in his way as he tries to soften the landing. I held them up as we came down and in for our landing, which started out as a 2 point, on his feet, landing and ended up with both of us on our bums.

I could not have asked for a more enjoyable 50th/coming out experience. Thank you Lee, Philip, Tim, Andre, and the wonderful staff at West Point Skydiving Adventures, you guys all ROCK!

If you ever thought you'd like to try skydiving, JUST DO IT, you won't be sorry!

February 21, 2006

Hello from Monday night/Tuesday Morning. I have met a "real" blogger online today. His name is Ricky and he can be found at , he started out small like me. a few years ago, and is now a huge (not that we are size queens) success.

I admire Ricky for several reasons:

1. He recognized my intent/talent
2. He recognized the importance of hearing things from a gay perspective
3. He cannot hear anything (as he is deaf) yet we managed to communicate without prejudice.

I only wish I could express my feelings with the same conviction that he can. Wow... I am so overwhelmed with his words. They (the words in his blogs) ring with so much tone and depth, that I am embarassed to be the one that CAN hear. Why is it that people with abilities less than what we all consider normal, seem to have abilities far beyond what we consider the same? I have always appreciated the abilities of people with talents that far exceed my own, regardless. My own talents being far less impressive, I worry that I may bore a reader, rather than entertain them. not that either is my intent. My blogs are for me, and at this point in my life, It's all about me!

I will continue to chat and communicate with Ricky. I hope you will too.

February 19, 2006

Happy Sunday! One of my good friends from work asked me this afternoon (yes we furniture sales associates like working the 6 hour Sunday shift) if I could puppy-sit for him tonight. I almost feel like this puppy's "Godfather" as I went with my friend the day he found this adorable mix up at Pauley's Pups in Ashland, about 3 weeks ago. Of course I said YES...

Oh my.... My house-mate has 2 very nice Boston Terriers (both male and both "sissy boys"). I write this entry, trapped in my room with my "God-daughter" Vida... It seems the boys are a little more territorial than I expected. Mikey, the more aggressive of the two, about bit this little pooch's head off (quite literally), but after sniffing her little puppy body parts he (Mikey) dicided to NOT bite her head off, but rather nibble it off a little bit at a time... I could not possibly be mad at him, as I had introduced this new little (female) creature into a house of gay men and sissyboy dogs. I instead decided to lock us up in my room, so as not to upset any apple-carts, Boston Terriers or other senscient beings.

So here we sit, and yes Vida is actually on my lap watching me type this, with her head on the inside of my elbow checking everything out while watching the olympic cross country skiiers on the screen before us. I did manage to lock her in the bathroom while I escaped our prison to pour a glass of my favorite new wine. It's a wonderful blend of Cabernet & Merlot with a touch of Zin for sweetness, called Menage a trios (sp)... funny what some people will call a good wine ( I hope I spelled it correctly) ....

The weathermen called for snow this afternoon/evening, and well.... It hasn't happened yet (not that that surprizes me). Perhaps it will make an appearance tomorrow, President's Day? We'll see... I know neither Vida or I really care.... We will both survive!!!

February 18, 2006

Happy President's Day Saturday... Richmond Virginia's weather has to be the most difficult to forecast in the nation. In the past several weeks, we have had snow, sleet, freezing rain (I think), and temps ranging from the 20's to the 70's. No where else can you be scraping snow and ice of the windshield of your car in the morning, and be driving the same car, on the same streets, that afternoon with the convertible top down.

My cousin is a meteorologist and I am quite jealous of his career choice... I mean, in what other job can you be Wrong more than half the time and still get a raise and a promotion. Unfortunately he works here in the Richmond area where, like most of his counterparts, the half wrong rule applies in spades.

In my next life I think I will be a weatherman in South Florida. I lived there for almost 30 years and the weather forecast was always the same "Partly cloudy, muggy and warm, with a chance of afternoon thunderstorms" I think all the meteorologists in Miami have that phrase tatooed to the inside of their eyelids.

Unfortunately, I sell furniture for a living (don't get me wrong I love what I do) and this weekend is always very busy. I just hope today's weather doesn't keep all the people away. I think there is still milk and bread available at Ukrops, so the competition may be tough...

February 17, 2006

Well, here I am again.... Watching Jay Leno and adding to my Blog. I went out and played some pool tonight, and watched the "Drag" show with the African Americans at Z2.

Curious... I have ancestry back to Ireland/England and Sweden, does that make me Irish/English, Swedish American? hmmmmm I think if you add Gay to that it could make a wonderful drink, but only if you put one of those colorful little umbrellas in it. I think, if we all just do away with the labels and call ourselves Americans, (which is a label in and of itself), we would all have less to bicker about.

I have signed up as a volunteer with Equality Virginia, I figure since I am now officially Gay, I'd better start helping the "cause". Not that I agree with all the issues on the table, but hey, I'm Catholic and have been a Picadilly (cafeteria) Catholic, picking and chosing my beliefs, since John-Paul II proclaimed that the Priests caught fondling young boys, would be forgiven and allowed entrance into heaven (because they know what they did was wrong), but the gay and lesbian catholics live in sin every day and will never be forgiven (maybe there is a gay/lesbian heaven elsewhere? Like the one for dogs and cats that don't have souls).

Damn... Look at this, I have talked about religion and politics in the same blog... What is this world coming to? I need to keep more of these feelings under wrap....

February 16, 2006

Hello All.... This is the first of my blog postings....

I am so happy to finally be the person I know I was always meant to be... I would not change a single part of my life to this point. I am just glad my life has brought me to this place.

My love has been mean and hurtful to me, but I have come to terms with that. The anger and hurt they feel is thier's... not mine. They will always be in my heart.... ALWAYS! (you know who you are).

For those of you reading this, I highly recommend "The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz, I refer to it often and it is the best book I have ever read. It may sound deep, but so is life. I believe we all owe it to ourselves to look deeply into what makes us.... US. Without the thoughts and advice contained in this book, I could not have survived the past several months.

I promise to be more entertaining on future entries, but tonight, I need to be me and be honest about myself. Afterall, this new life is "All About Me" right now.

See you tomorrow