Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012–The Year that Was

All in all, 2012 was a good year.

2012-celebration

I don’t do resolutions, but I do set goals (which are pretty much the same thing). In 2012, my goal was to begin working on becoming a Licensed Social Worker. I accomplished one tiny step toward setting that goal in motion and that was to find out it would cost a bit of money. So for now, it’s a long-term goal.

January

063The year started with a kiss from a dear friend as I rang in the New Year in Portland, OR. We hit the Eagle and Casey’s, enjoyed the fabulous drag show at Embers and had a tremendous time. Another highlight of the first month of the year was my first trip to Mexico. It was work-related and took just over 36-hours to accomplish.. but oh what an experience!  I have forever been corrupted by the taste of fresh tropical fruits and the amazing people I met there. I certainly hope I can go back and stay a bit longer next time. I could get used to 80 degree days in January.

February – April

The spring went by rather uneventfully. Looking back at my calendar, there was a lot of activity at work; meetings, court dates and training (both giving and receiving). Two kitties adopted me and gave me someone to come home to. They settled in and I experimented with numerous brands of kitty litter to keep the smell at bay. I found that Arm & Hammer Multi-Cat formula works best. There was a brief blip on the social calendar, but distance and other “issues” kept it passionate, but short lived.

May

574971_382576348439407_227863992_nI was given the honor of being named Board Chair of Umatilla – Morrow Alternatives a human dignity group. One of our first events of the year was to attend the Rural Organizing Project Caucus in Woodburn, OR. I heard from other people working with non-profit organizations in rural areas around Oregon. There are a lot of people doing some serious work around the state in places very few have ever been. The weekend wasn’t all about the noble work of human dignity, I got to have some serious fun with the gorgeous male dancers at the Silverado in Portland, even partaking of my first lap dance from the fine specimen pictured at right. Sadly the bar has a “no pictures” rule, otherwise I would have some great fantasy material to enjoy.

June

I participated in my first Pride Festival in Portland. My camera malfunctioned, so there is no photographic proof of my experience. But what an experience! I am looking forward to going again… maybe to Seattle Pride.

July

reed-collegeThe summer rolled along with many opportunities to present the work of UMA at local festivals. We tabled at the local Pride Festival, there was a HUGE difference between Portland Pride and Pride in a community of 200k. Later in the month I was able to attend another conference for non-profit groups at Reed College in Portland. I met a number of amazing people and made friends with a couple of them. While there I had an opportunity to hear a speaker who is studying the tea party movement. The primary take away… Tea Baggers are racist, homophobes… I know! I was as surprised as you!

August

I took time off from work to spend some time with my kids and to help at the UMA booth at the county fair.

September

I took on a new caseload at work that has certainly been a challenge, but one that lends itself more to my passions in life. I also participated in a Diversity Conference in Salem that did an admirable job of shining a spotlight on people of color and females, but did very little to talk about the issues of LGBT individuals who work for the state. I’ve wondered on several occasions if there is anything I can do, anyone I can talk to that would make a difference for the 2013 conference.

October

I had a great deal through most of 2012 with my landlord where I was mowing the lawn for the complex for a reduction in rent. I came home one evening to a letter on my door notifying me that that arrangement was coming to an end AND my rent was going up. On top of that, I was notified that my child support was going up by a significant amount. One of my goals in life is to be financially stable. I make a decent income, but only a small portion of it makes it to my bank account. It is difficult to give my kids anything extra. Such is the life of a divorced father.

November – December

Living a life of austerity, fearing the cluster-fuck the Republicans have set up for us on New Years Day; I had resolved that I didn’t have much to offer a relationship at this time. The amazing thing is that when you stop looking, it happens. I met a tremendous man and I’m enjoying spending time with him. The holidays were stressful because they are so filled with the stress of what the kids want, what I want to get for important people in my life and the limited resources available in the bank.

As the year comes to a close tonight… I’m poorer than I was a year ago, but I’m also happier. Happier with where I am in my career and happier with myself.

Cheers to 2013!

1354465380_horoscope-2013

Sunday Stealing: Triple Threat

  • Three names you go by, other than your given name:
    • Dad
    • JT
    • Dumbass
  • Three screen names you've had:
    • sportsfanjohn
    • blazerjt
    • hermiston_bear
  • Three things you like about yourself:
    • Empathetic
    • Intelligent
    • Good sense of humorbustin-out1
  • Three things you don't like about yourself:
    • Fat
    • I speak my mind when frustrated.
    • I can be judgmental.
  • Three parts of your heritage:
    • German
    • British
    • Scot
  • Three things you are wearing right now:
    • Shorts
    • T-Shirt
    • SmileFreddie-Mercury2
  • Three favorite bands/musical artists:
    • Queen
    • Kenny Chesney
    • Rod Stewart
  • Three favorite songs:
    • Beer in Mexico – Kenny Chesney
    • These are the Days of our Lives – Queen
    • Downtown Train – Rod Stewart
  • Three things you want in a relationship:
    • A kindred spirit
    • Someone I can respect
    • Someone who respects me
  • Three things about the preferred sex that appeal to you:
    • Nice legs
    • Beautiful eyes
    • A good sense of humor
  • Three of your favorite hobbies:
    • Cooking
    • Knitting
    • Traveling
  • Three things that scare you:
    • Being alone
    • Financial insecurity
    • Unfulfilled dreamsbig coffee
  • Three of your everyday essentials:
    • Coffee
    • NPR
    • Facebook
  • Three places you want to go on vacation:
    • London
    • Hawaii
    • New York
  • Three careers you have considered/are considering: .
    • Teaching
    • Social Work with LGBT youth
    • Go-Go DancerimagesCATBH61I
  • Three things you want to do before you die:
    • Travel to Europe
    • Write a book
    • Know what true love feels like
  • Three things you want to do really badly right now:
    • Go to Sleep
    • Sleep well
    • Wake up completely refreshed

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saturday 9: Same Old Lang Syne

  1. This week's song is the tale of an accidental holiday encounter between former lovers. (Hear it here.) They sit in her car and spend hours catching up, then she gives him a chaste kiss and they never see one another again. Is there a past love who still has a special spot in your heart, despite the years or the miles since your relationship? Yes, there is one special individual who has crossed my life path that I wonder what could have been. We were in different places in our life journey that made bliss impossible at the time. We have remained friends and have wondered about what might have been.
  2. This week's song includes a play on the traditional Scottish song, "Auld Lang Syne." Have you ever visited Scotland?  No, but of course I would love to one day. Hangoverposter09
  3. Mother Winters has long told Sam (the author of this meme, and host of Saturday 9) that if she has a glass of water for every glass of champagne she drinks on New Year's Eve, she'll feel better on New Year's Day. Do you have a favorite hangover prevention tip or cure? I have rarely experienced what would be called a hangover. Maybe I’m just not trying hard enough? But when I have, I have used the same basic ‘cure’ by drinking a good amount of Gatorade to eliminate the effects of dehydration and getting rest.
  4. Do you like champagne? I can take it or leave it.
  5. This year at midnight, Crazy Sam will kiss the nose of her puppy, Chico. Will you be kissing anyone when the clock strikes 12? Sadly, my lover and I are unable to be together to ring in the New Year this year. So my cats will just have to do. 2012-12-19_11-00-12_507
  6. The Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy was the runaway publishing phenomenon of 2012. It was so successful that the publisher, Random House, was able to give its employees massive bonuses this year. Have you read it? No… the one person I know who has says it is sadistic and rather poorly written, which helps me to understand why it is so popular.
  7. 140385713354287345_0fQcTK2o_fYear-end is a time for newspapers, magazines and websites to run lists. According to Askmen.com, Jennifer Lawrence of The Hunger Games is the at the of the year's "Most Desirable Woman" list. People magazine has declared Channing Tatum "The Sexiest Man Alive -- 2012." Do either of these two set your pulse racing? If not, who is your celebrity crush? In 2012, I saw “The Vow” and “Magic Mike”. If there’s a flaw on that man’s body, I haven’t found it.
  8. Pasadena, California, is known for hosting the traditional Rose Parade. It begins at 8:00 AM on January 1, so the people who watch it live must be there very early. Does the thought of getting up and dressed to sit in the California sun, bright and early on New Year's morning appeal, to you? Spending the holidays in San Diego is something I hope to do one day. But I would have to watch the parade on TV just like everyone else. The idea of getting up that early, no matter the day or location is something I resist.
  9. Sometimes aches and pains that aren't serious can still really hurt. For example, Sam just dropped a can of tomato paste on her foot and the little red mark it left is making her crazy! Are you suffering through a bump or bruise or cut right now?  I have been having mild migraines throughout the holiday season. Most likely brought on by the stress of the season that I can’t seem to shake.

Friday, December 28, 2012

I guess I need to try harder

Fuckity, Fuck, Fuck, bugger, shit!

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Police Blotter: 12/28/2012

I’ve been house-sitting the last couple weeks in a beautiful home with many comforts. What it doesn’t have is decent connectivity. I’m talking two bars at it’s best. It’s like being stuck in 1998… making living in the connected world of 2012 rather difficult. Fortunately, they will be back from the Cayman’s tomorrow and I’ll be back in my tiny apartment with a blazing fast connection to the internets.

 barney-fife

It’s time for another installment of the Police Blotter where we take a peek at the calls that kept the men in blue busy over the holiday.

  • Someone stole a chainsaw and a gas can from the Seventh Day Adventist Church. – We didn’t have a tree… I got a tree… Problem solved.
  • Someone painted the word “REVENGE” on a shed. The caller told police this could be an issue with relatives. – Uncle Lou takes the annual Christmas Eve game of Pictionary VERY seriously.
  • A woman called police to report her 16-year old daughter is threatening her. The daughter got on the phone and reported that Mom was drunk and causing problems. – Well, Merry Goddammed Christmas!
  • A railroad employee reported someone had stolen a solar panel from railroad property. – Best white elephant gift ever!
  • A woman called to report that a man had threatened her with a gun and damaged property at a local tavern at 10:25am.  -- I think the time of day is key here. The guy was already so fed up with the family that he was at a bar, brandishing weapons at 10:30am.
  • Police received a call reporting that a man in a Chevy Blazer was harassing a woman walking along the road. – He wasn’t harassing her. He was begging her to get back in the car after he let slip that he thought her family was a bunch of ignorant rednecks and her sister was a stupid cow. **not that this has ever happened to me**

That’s a look at a few of the reports that kept the Po-Po busy during this season of cheer.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday Stealing: Mixed Bag

Today we ripped off a blogger named Cap'n Franko from the blog singularity He did not say who he got it from, But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

  1. How many songs are in your library? 6,745
  2. Do you like Christmas music? Yes, I do. I’ve even been known to listen to it during other months of the year.
  3. What magazines do you have subscriptions to? Social Work Today, 1859 and TIME.
  4. What is your favorite scent? Acqua di Gio
  5. Do you give money to charity? Yes, Basic Rights Oregon, the Western States Center and Umatilla – Morrow Alternatives.
  6. What is your theme song? These are the Days of our Lives – Queen
  7. What's in your wallet? Drivers License, insurance card, a couple of those frequent shopper cards, a punch card for Dutch Bros., business cards (mine & others), a free drink ticket to Casey’s PDX, and $2.
  8. Do you generally think before you act, or act before you think? Generally, I think (a lot) before I act. I have been known to do the opposite, with negative consequences.
  9. Is there anything that has made you unhappy these days? I was pretty disappointed when the apocalypse didn’t happen on Friday.185129_425582270810617_974487131_n 
  10. Do you have a good body-image? Absolutely NOT!
  11. How are you spending your holidays? House/dog sitting for a couple traveling in the Caymans (I know, rough). My kids will be here on the 26th through the 2nd.
  12. What have you been seriously addicted to lately? Dutch Bros coffee. They just built one in Hermiston, so the new is still fresh.
  13. Tell us a secret? The Colonel’s “11 herbs & spices” is Lowry’s Season Salt.
  14. What’s the last song that got stuck in your head? “Last Christmas”
  15. What’s your favorite item of clothing? My Oregon State hoodie
  16. Do you think Rice Krispies are yummy? Om Nom Nom! Yes, very tasty.
  17. Is Santa real? As real as the spirit of giving you exhibit.
  18. What should you be doing right now? Taking a Shower.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Saturday 9: Happy Holidays

  1. ralphie santaSome children are reluctant to climb into Jolly Old St. Nick's lap. Did you enjoy the tradition or were you shy? Or did you by pass it altogether -- either because you wrote him a letter or because your family didn't celebrate Christmas? I was/am an ADD kid, so I’m selectively shy, usually at the wrong times. I recall participating in the annual ritual of sitting on Santa’s lap (plus,there was photographic evidence). Although, I do not recall what I told him… probably a rambling story of something that happened to be running across my mind… SQUIRRELL! When I had children of my own, their mother and I attempted to take them to see Santa one time, which resulted in screams of terror! The chore was never repeated. Honestly, we tell our children… Don’t talk to strangers. Don’t take candy from strangers. Don’t sit on random laps of creepy old men… Then what do we do?
  2. Are you currently on the Naughty or Nice list? How did you get there? I believe I am currently on the NICE list. As in other areas of mythology and spirituality, I do not believe it is YOUR job to give the performance evaluation on MY life. I put in a good day’s work, I pay my own way (and a sizeable chunk of my X’s way), I give to those less fortunate (apparently I will be involuntarily giving MORE on January 1st, because of the fuckin’ Republicans), I give of my time and I don’t harsh the groove of others (well, sometimes it’s my job).
  3. Did you ship any gifts to friends and family this year? If so, which one traveled the farthest? I barely have the space in my budget to get a meager gift for my kids. I certainly hope the X uses my child support to get them something nice. To answer the question, I didn’t; I hope my friends can simply enjoy the pleasure of my friendship until I get out from under this court mandated poverty.
  4. Did you buy yourself a gift this year? Does electricity and gasoline count?
  5. What's your favorite holiday-themed movie? As with any other movie genre, I enjoy different movies for the different feelings they elicit. For a laugh: Christmas Vacation or Scrooged. For nostalgia: A Christmas Story or White Christmas and for fun… The Grinch.
  6. Thinking of movies, Christmas is lucrative for Hollywood. Have you ever gone to a movie theater on Christmas Day? Yes, but usually I watch one of the movie series I own such as the Indiana Jones trilogy (the 4th movie does NOT count), or the Star Wars Saga, or the now complete Batman trilogy.f07b_tea_earl_gray_hot 
  7. Have you ever suffered an embarrassing moment at the company Christmas party? One of the benefits of having ADD it’s very difficult to remember embarrassing situations, mainly because they occur so frequently.
  8. What's your favorite beverage in cold weather? Tea… Earl Grey…Hot
  9. What will you remember most about 2012? I will be posting a retrospective on 2012 next weekend. The simplest way to sum up 2012 is that it has been a great year. Much has been accomplished and experienced and shared this year that money could not buy and I intend to carry that positive outlook into 2013.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Police Blotter: 12/21/12

barney-fife

Most people believe that life in rural America is free from the ravages of crime, that we sleep peacefully without the wail of sirens in the middle of the night. All it would take is a peek at the police blotter many small town newspapers print to be proven wrong.

  • A call at 12:35am to report that a 6 ft. tall, 190 lb, 20 year-old man with brown hair and eyes was leaving the neighbors house wearing a tan windbreaker with the collar pulled up. – Perhaps he should have turned off the the Grindr app? At least they left out if he was a top or bottom and whether he was into cuddling or not. 
  • The Assistant Manager at the Walmart called to report that an employee who works in the firearms department was to be fired and she worried about his instability and his frequent statements that he had a gun in his car. – Yeah, nothing goes together like instability and a firearms… anywhere but Walmart! 
  • A woman called police to report she had been living with her parents for a month when she left for the day to visit her husband. When she returned she discovered they had moved and taken her children to an undisclosed location. – It took me a month to pack a 2 bedroom apartment to move. What was this chick on that she didn’t notice they were able to pack up grandparent level accumulation AND kid stuff in order to move in one day?
  • A woman arrived at a local hospital complaining of burning and swelling of the eyes after using the public restroom at a park. – Sweetheart, you’re doing it wrong!
  • A caller reported a man in a mask and fatigues “with a large knife” was walking along Main Street. – Crocodile Dundee?
  • Police warned a church group to stay out of the road while they were handing out flyers. – Unless it’s in the King James you can’t tell those Christians anything.
  • A woman reported to the police that her children were assaulted by a “mean girl” with a hockey stick. Upon questioning, police learned the children had been playing hockey on the community ice rink. The officer explained that some assaultive behavior is part of the game. – An integral part. Seriously, how protective is this mother that she conjured up a story of a “mean girl” and an assault from a game of hockey? I’m wagering the kids had a blast.
  • Police were called to the community ice rink on a complaint that a german shepherd dog was interfering with children playing hockey. Police seized the dog, took him to the city pound and contacted the owner. – Oh Please! I bet the mother with the assaulted kids called it in. She incarcerated a dog who was PLAYING with kids who were PLAYING a game. Why, in my day he would have been part of our defense strategy!

That’s a look at the rash of crime that kept the citizen-monitors busy this week in Rural Eastern Oregon. 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sunday Stealing: Deleted Meme

Today we ripped off a blogger named Javier from the blog Our Page. Bud left it for us in the event that I got desperate, I cashed in this weekend... but alas, the blog has been deleted.... So... But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

  1. 516J8nNdBVL__SS400_Who is your favorite artist (Any field.): The musical artist I follow changes with my moods. Before the Christmas music season hit, I was listening to my catalog of The Rolling Stones. The Boys are touring in celebration of their 50th year as a band, recording amazing music. Seeing the Stones in concert is on my Bucket List. Currently I’m enjoying Rod Stewart’s new Christmas CD, Merry Christmas, Baby.
  2. Describe yourself: 6’0”, brown hair (I think the grays are reaching a majority, so I’m not sure how much longer I can say that), brown eyes, seriously overweight. Well educated, professional seeks the man of my dreams… wait, this isn’t that of site. Um… I’m a social worker who does volunteer work, donates to human dignity causes and…  I VOTE! I love to read, listen to music, go to movies, I knit scarves for fun and profit. I have a wicked sense of humor, I speak fluent sarcasm and I’m told I have a giving heart.
  3. How do you feel today: I feel like I have a cold coming on; achy scratchy throat… no bueno. I’m relaxing on my couch, watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer and there’s a handsome man making breakfast for me.
  4. Describe the area where you currently live. I live in a relatively medium sized community in rural Eastern Oregon. Currently the landscape is dreary and brown, during the spring/summer it’s dreary and green.
  5. If you could go anywhere, where would you go? I love weekends in Portland… going to the bars, Powell’s Books, IKEA… just basking in the vibe of that amazing city.
  6. Your favorite form of transportation: I currently drive a 1999 Subaru Outback. When I’m in Portland, I love riding the MAX light rail, I understand the people who ride it everyday don’t share my feelings.
  7. Your best friend is: A guy I’ve known since high school. For over 30 years we’ve shared good and bad times. While we don’t see each other as often; when we do get to see each other it’s a lot of fun.
  8. You and your best friends are: We always seem to be looking for a weekend where we can plan a get together. Competing schedules are a bitch.
  9. What's the weather like: 38F and cloudy with a threat of snow.
  10. Favorite time of day: 10am-1pm, it’s post coffee, but pre mid-afternoon swoon. You know, the time that 5-hr Energy tells us we need their product.
  11. If your life was a TV show, what would it be called: Those Who Matter Don’t Mind.
  12. What is life to you: I’m beginning to think that life is pretty depressing and the trick is finding a way to make the best of it.
  13. Your relationship: I haven’t had much luck with relationships. For the first time in almost two years, I’ve met someone who seems very special. We’ll see how this pans out. Cheers to 2013!
  14. Your fear: Dying alone.
  15. What is the best advice you have to give: Be who you are and say what you feel because those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.
  16. Thought for the Day: It isn’t about restricting gun rights, it’s about adequate funding of mental health services and increased access.
  17. How would you categorize your soul's present condition: My soul is just fine, thank you very much.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Saturday 9: Christmas Carols

  1. What's the first holiday song that comes to mind?
  2. Are you sending cards (either by postal service or email) this year? If so, have they gone out yet? Last year I bought cards, special festive pens, holiday stamps and wrote a personal sentiment to each of the friends on my mailing list. I only received four cards in return. This year, I am so unmotivated I just thought ‘fuck it’. So far I have not received a single holiday card. I guess other people are feeling the same way. .
  3. Can you see any holiday decorations from where you're answering these questions? Yes, my collection of Nutcrackers and a fully decorated tree.
  4. Do you wrap gifts in paper or take the gift bag route? I’ll go the gift bag route for gift exchanges and secret santa at work, but I’ll wrap gifts that go under the tree.
  5. The holidays are an important fundraising time for charities. Here's an opportunity to do a shameless plug for your favorite. What organization or cause do you wish got more support at the holidays, and all year around? Umatilla-Morrow Alternatives and Basic Rights Oregon. I regularly support the Western States Center and OPB throughout the year.
  6. Andy Williams was famous for his family holiday specials. What TV family would you most like to spend Christmas with? The Griswold’s 
  7. The holidays are a big time for travel. Where did you go on your first airplane flight? Sadly, my first airplane trip took me from Seattle to Boise for the funeral of my X-wife’s grandmother.
  8. Does the weather have an impact on your mood? I get grumpy when the weather gets too hot (over 100) or too cold (under 20)
  9. Snack time! You're about to make yourself your favorite sandwich. What ingredients do you need? Rye, pastrami, sauerkraut and russian dressing.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

TMI Thursday: The War on Christmas

**Inspired by Sean at Just a Jeep Guy**
Fox_War-on-Christmas
  1. Which religion or faith do you belong to, if any? I was raised in a fundamentalist home where abuse and profanity flew through the air six days a week and on Sunday we put on our "Sunday Best" and went to church to act like decent humans. I imagine that since I learned you can hide socially unacceptable behavior behind religion; it was natural I could hide my sexuality behind the sacred. This doesn't work (period). I learned that religious people are generally sanctimonious pricks who love to live the lie. I attended a denominational university for my undergrad where I learned that if you follow the primary teachings of Christ to “Love others as yourself” and “Whatever you do unto the least of these, you do unto me”. A philosophy of acceptance and helping our fellow humans… there would be fewer DICKS in this world.   
  2. What is your opinion of seasonal greetings and salutations? If someone offers me a seasonal greeting I return it. As we get closer to the day, Generally at this point in December, I wish people “Happy Holidays”. As we get closer to 12/25, I say “Merry Christmas”. Basically… Don’t be a Dick about it!
  3. Holiday music on the radio? I have a couple hundred holiday tunes on my iPod. I’ll listen to the all holiday, all the time stations occasionally. Usually this is short lived because they foolishly play “Santa Baby” or some other equally heinous tune that I must change before I gouge my ears with an ice pick.
  4. What is your policy for exchanging gifts? In an effort to save feelings I do not exchange. **Don’t be a Dick”**
  5. Gift cards are... AWESOME!
  6. Christmas cards/family update letters are... TEDIOUS
  7. Snow is... fine in the mountains.
  8. Have you been a good little boy or girl? I’m not sure.
  9. RAPID FIRE FAVORITES:
    1. Food – Pizza
    2. Dessert – Cheesecake
    3. SongGrown Up Christmas List
    4. Movie – National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacationgriswolds1
    5. Tradition – Cinnamon Rolls for breakfast on Christmas Morning.
BONUS… Christmas sex:
  1. tmiWhat have you done under the mistletoe? Just kisses
  2. Have you caught daddy kissing Santa Clause? Not yet. Maybe this year?
  3. Have you done it a Santa suit? Seems like that would be awfully sweaty and itchy, don’t you think?
  4. Did you come down the chimney? No but I’ve done it in the shower a few times.
  5. Just how merry have you made Santa's helpers? I do try to spread Holiday cheer through Growlr and Adam4Adam.
POST YOUR TMI ANSWERS
Post and answer the questions on your blog or tumblr page and then post the link in the comments so that others can read your answers, visit your website and get to know you too. I post my answers on Thursday.

Blogging Challenge: Stress

** Go HERE for links to previous posts **

I am certain that if Powerball would cooperate, I wouldn’t have stress.

stressOk, I’ll confess… most of my stress comes from avoidance in so many areas of my life. If there is something I have to do, that I don’t really WANT to do. I believe my marriage lasted 15 years because of avoidance of the fact that wedded bliss ended almost 10 years before the life support was actually removed.

The simplest daily manifestation of this phenomenon occurs every morning when my alarm goes off at 6am. You see I don’t WANT to get up that early. I would much rather sleep until 8am. Problem… that is when I need to be at work. I’ll lay there muttering profanity. Then I’ll turn the TV on and watch the news. Then I’ll look through my blog reader. Sometimes I post to this blog. All the while keeping an eye on the clock calculating the absolute latest time I need to get in the shower so I can dress and be to work as close to 8am as possible.

As anyone who knows me can attest I’m terrible at math so I’m usually 5 – 10 minutes late to work… which causes me stress.

Seriously, I am stressed by the timelines which are a key part of my job and the sheer amount of paperwork. As with any job, there are the unexpected events that can send the whole day off the rails and throw those timelines into chaos.

As with most people, I’m also affected by financial stress. Contrary to what the X believes, declaring bankruptcy didn’t leave me flush with cash. It merely cleared the credit obligations that I was saddled with in the divorce making my monthly obligations only those of my own making. That didn’t stop her from seeking and getting an increase in child support just in time for the biggest ‘off the books’ financial obligation of the year… Christmas. With her ‘raise’, I have just enough net income to pay my bills, buy some gas and if I access the food bank, I can feed the kids when they are here.

As of today, I don’t have the funds to get them anything for Christmas… unless Powerball cooperates.

Yes… I’m stressed.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Blogging Challenge: Dream Wedding

** Go HERE for links to previous posts **

With Marriage Equality coming to my neighbors to the north and the Supreme Court agreeing to hear a challenge to DOMA; the possibility of being not only being able to get married, but having it recognized by the government is becoming a possibility. I will be attending a meeting tonight with Basic Rights Oregon as they start taking steps to put Equality on the ballot here in Oregon.

My favorite place on Earth is the Central Oregon Coast. It is my wish to be cremated and my ashes sprinkled at Nye Beach. It is also my hope that once I find my last best friend that we are able to be married at Nye Beach. I would ask my son to be my Best Man and hopefully many of our dear friends and family would be able to attend.

View%20From%20The%20Classroom%20-%20Nye%20Beach

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sunday Stealing: 11/11 Meme

Today we ripped off a blogger named Zoe from the blog Mama Geek. She states that she got it from Mummylish. But, it was probably stolen there as well. So, of course, that will be as far as we go. Tracing back our theft's thieves might take some time. Take the time to comment on other player's posts. It's a great way to make new friends! Link back to us at Sunday Stealing!

The idea of the 11 Questions Meme is that you are given a set of 11 questions to answer by a fellow blogger , and then once you have answered them you have to think up 11 questions of your own to ask, we consider that part of the meme a bonus and optional, so.. feel free to come up with 11 questions, ONLY if you feel like it. Dead-Until-DarkFun stuff. –NO… I don’t believe I will--

  1. What is your favorite possession? I have several things that mean a great deal to me. Things that belonged to my grandparents. Things that my kids have given me. Over the last few years, I’ve lost a great deal of ‘things’, it forces you to know what truly has value.
  2. Do you like to read? If so, which books do you love best? I love to read. I enjoy books that vary with my moods. I enjoy murder mysteries, stories of international intrigue and historical biographies and novels. I’m currently working through the Sookie Stackhouse Novels by Charlaine Harris.
  3. Do you have any pets? I currently own a pair of rescue kitties; Reuben & Cleo. They are now one year old and they are both enjoyable companions and highly annoying beasts.
  4. What was your favorite food as a child? Is it the same now? My favorite food has been, is currently and forever shall be… PIZZA.
  5. What is your favorite thing about blogging? I enjoy exercising my brain to put my opinions and experiences into hopefully well crafted words. I’ve been out of practice, so I’m taking baby steps through meme’s. I also enjoy connecting with other bloggers from around the world and reading about their experiences and opinions.
  6. If you could live anywhere, where would it be? I want to live in the mid-Willamette Valley of Oregon. Near the coast and near Portland, without being too congested. Someplace like McMinnville or Newberg.
  7. What is your favorite number? 42… it is the answer to everything.
  8. Which of these things would you find hardest to give up for a year? Chocolate, reading, coffee or smoking? Chocolate… meh, Smoking… I only smoke socially. Reading would be difficult, but Coffee, I barely survive until 9am without getting a splitting headache. No, that doesn’t mean I have a problem, you have a problem if I don’t have some good coffee.
  9. If you could make your life into a movie, what would you name it.. and who would you want to play you? “Those Who Matter Don’t Mind” and I would be played by Richard Gere.
  10. If you had £20,000 for a shopping spree, what would you buy? According to current exchange that would be $32,000 and some change. I would make the co-pay on Lap Band tumblr_lwt9iufKGm1r92bbio1_500surgery, buy a gym membership and get new clothes to fit my svelte physique.
  11. If you could eat lunch with one famous person, who would it be? President Barack Obama

You can find the original meme here.

Blogging Challenge: iPod on Shuffle

** Go HERE for links to previous posts **apple-ipod-touch-4g1

I have 6,756 songs in my iTunes library… everything from A-Ha to ZZ Top… let’s toss the dice!

  1. Paradise City – Guns n’ Roses
  2. Crazy Love, Vol. II – Paul Simon
  3. Another Way to Die – Jack White & Alicia Keys
  4. Be True to Your School – The Beach Boys
  5. I Write the Songs – Barry Manilow
  6. I Love the Nightlife –Alicia Bridges
  7. Open My Eyes – Jeff Anderson
  8. Baby, It’s Cold Outside – Lady Antebellum
  9. Crash and Burn – Savage Garden
  10. The First Noel – Tony Bennett and Placido Domingo

Some 80’s metal, holiday classics, disco, oldies, country and Christian. I am truly a puzzle.

Saturday 9: Blue Christmas

220px-Elvis_Presley_Blue_Christmas_2Welcome to Saturday: 9. What we've committed to our readers is that we will post 9 questions every Saturday. Sometimes the post will have a theme, and at other times the questions will be totally unrelated. Those weeks we do "random questions," so-to-speak. We encourage you to visit other participants posts and leave a comment. Because we don't have any rules, it is your choice. We hate rules. We love memes, however, and here is today's meme!

 

  1. 4db77_ORIG-look_at_all_the_fucks_i_giveDo you ever suffer the blues during the holidays? I suffer anxiety because I don’t give two fucks about the pressure of commercialization that causes people with a limited budget to feel like losers because they can’t afford to spend $500 per person for those they are “supposed” to buy gifts. So basically, I wish it were January 3rd and jump over the whole fucking thing.
  2. More than 18 million visitors have toured Elvis' home, Graceland. Have you ever been there? No
  3. Elvis dyed his naturally light brown locks black. Do you dye your hair?I’ve thought about it. I don’t feel like someone who would have gray hair.
  4. He also insisted his young girlfriend, Priscilla, dye her hair jet black. If your lover asked you to change your hair, would you? Yes
  5. Elvis served his country at an Army base in Friedberg, Germany. Have you ever been to Germany? No
  6. Elvis famously had an affair with Ann-Margret during the filming of Viva Las Vegas. Have you ever indulged in a dalliance with a coworker?  Ewww… No!
  7. Thinking of his movies ... Elvis was, by and large, unhappy with his film career and once said, "The only thing worse than watching a bad movie is being in one." Are you happy with the way your career is going/has gone? Yes. I’m working in a field I’m passionate about. I hope to one day to actually do work I’m proud of.
  8. Elvis lost "the battle of the bulge" toward end of his life. Are you happy with your weight? No, I haven’t met anyone who is.
  9. As a teenager, Elvis worked as an usher at a movie theater. What was your first job? I was a dishwasher at a buffet restaurant. It was the grossest experience ever! I still have flashbacks from having to clear the walk-in of rotting chicken after a power outage.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

TMI Thursday: Social Media

waitingSocial Media is everywhere and linked to everything - blogs, FaceBook, Twitter, iTunes, Apps for: hooking up, shopping, banking, photo albums, music, and so much more. How plugged are you and how do you feel about it???1.

  1. Mac or PC? PC… I have a DELL Studio laptop. I got it when I was in Grad School 3 years ago… OMG! Has it been three years?
  2. How plugged in are you and why? I’m VERY plugged in. I have Facebook, a Blog, a smart phone, Instagram, Foursquare and a couple online dating profiles.
  3. What would do if you were completely unplugged for a month? I cannot imagine! I have tried self imposed periods… the most I can sustain is two days and I have to be otherwise occupied.
  4. Low Self esteem issues aside, if a pic of you turned up on a site like TapThatGuy, Hot or Not or People of Walmart, how would you react? I would SO not be on TTG or Hot or Not… but since shopping at Walmart is a necessary evil where I live, I consciously make sure I’m not wearing something to qualify me for a slot on that blog.
  5. FaceBook is.... a guilty pleasure. One that way too many people take WAY too seriously.
  6. Should you be able to post political and social views/opinions without loosing your job? Yes, but I realize that is unrealistic. Most businesses/agencies don’t deal in rational thought, they have to deal with irrational community members and possible community backlash.
  7. List at least 5 of the social Apps you are on: You are looking at one, I posted links to three more in #2… so that’s FOUR. So… it’s not complete yet, but you can take a look at my POF profile. Let me know if you know of someone who may be my type. tmi

BONUS

What question did you think of that could have been asked?TMI Questions… How often do you masturbate to a Tumblr blog? Way… way too often!

Fun, slightly embarrassing questions designed to reveal Too Much Information for my blog, between you and your significant other and among you and your friends and/or family.

POST YOUR TMI ANSWERS

Post and answer the questions on your blog or tumblr page and then post the link in the comments so that others can read your answers, visit your website and get to know you too. I post my answers on Thursday.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sunday Stealing: Not So Manly

1. Boxers? Briefs? Boxer briefs? Thongs? Bikinis? Commando? – Boxers

bizzaro-roby-crizzly-adams2. What’s your fussiest personal care routine? – Trimming my beard and hair. I like having the beard, but I don’t want to look like I could fit in at a Doomsday Prepper convention.

3. Do you have a favorite tool? Power or manual? – My favorite tool is fully automatic baby… my smart phone.

4. Can you change your own oil? Do you? – I can, but I don’t. I’m a job creator.

18926-custom-ribbon-magnet-sticker-Support GLBT Rights5. What’s the “manliest/womanliest” thing you do on a regular basis? – You shouldn’t assign gender stereotypes and judge individuals on your determination on how much they meet that standard. There are children, and sometimes adults who endure a living hell at school and at work from people who feel it necessary to taunt and terrorize them because they fail to meet this standard. I know this from personal experience. “Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who matter don’t mind and those who mind, don’t matter”.

6. What’s something “manly” that you never learned how to do? – I didn’t go hunting until I was in my 20’s, I don’t see the point when there is perfectly tasty meat available to me down at Safeway.

7. Do you ever cry? If so, what’s your trigger? – I become verklempt over military homecoming’s, emotional movies/TV shows… Holiday ad’s for Folger’s,

8. Do you have a chivalrous streak? How does it manifest itself? – My Mama taught me to hold open doors, say Sir or Ma’am and plus, being considerate of others is just a healthy way to live… until they treat you like crap, then it’s GO TIME!

9. Do you have a chauvinistic streak? How does it manifest itself?“I'm smart, you're dumb; I'm big, you're little; I'm right, you're wrong, and there's nothing you can do about it.” A quote from the movie “Matilda” (also one that makes me tear up"). I do have a tendency to believe I’m right.

10. What’s your favorite movie? – For that answer… go HERE.

11. What’s the dumbest, testosterone-inspired thing you’ve ever seen? – The GW Bush Administration.

12. What quality do you think makes a good man good? -- Do you have that quality? – See answer 8… I think there is a fine line between being an honorable individual and being a dick. I try to be honorable, but I can be a dick if the circumstances are right.

13. Toilet seat up or down? – My cats like to jump up on the counter in the bathroom to watch me do my routine. One time, the toilet was open and they got wet… nothing is sadder/funnier than a moist kitty. I put the seat down for their safety and because it just makes the bathroom look tidy.

14. If your significant other is away, do you cook for yourself or eat out of cans and boxes (or rely on local drive-throughs and delivery)? – I am fully capable of cooking.

15. What societal expectation of being a man / women do you most resent? – The one that says that men shouldn’t show emotions, they should be into hunting and guns, or men cannot be crafty. On Halloween a co-worker and I pulled a prank on our supervisor. The next morning there was discussion on who had perpetrated this ‘crime’, someone suggested that it could have been me. The boss replies, “No, not John. He’s not crafty enough”.

The_infamous_scary_Capital_One_Vikings16. What’s the best part - societal-wise - about being a man / women? – Men get to do all the war mongering, subjugating of marginalized populations, raping and pillaging of societal groups, and the bug killing. Women get to be bitches and blame it on a natural cycle.

17. Will you stop to ask for directions? – No, my GPS does just fine.

18. What’s one thing about your significant other that you just cannot understand, no matter how hard you try? – I cannot understand why I don’t have one… I’m a catch!

19. What do you need to have in the shower? – Hot water, soap, shampoo…. what else is needed?

20. Do you burp/fart/scratch? Do you do anything stereotypically male? – If you don’t burp/fart… you’ll explode and that will be a challenging clean-up even for Oxy Clean.

Thank you for playing this week on Sunday Stealing! Please leave a comment or link when you have posted. Stop back and visit other player’s posts. That is really what this is all about, making new friends! Have a great week. See you next Sunday!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Saturday 9: Beer Barrel Polka



1) Have you ever danced the polka? – Umm… No
2) Frankie Yankovic was a stellar accordion player. What instrument have you mastered, or would like to learn? – I took guitar lessons for years. I wanted to be Eddy Van Halen and my teacher wanted me to be Roy Clark; there was a fundamental breakdown in communication. I’ve only mastered the playing of one instrument… it has taken daily practice and dedication to various fingering techniques.
3) When Frankie died in 1998, his obituary proclaimed him as "America's Polka King." Lucille Ball was "The Queen of Comedy" and Michael Jackson was "The King of Pop." What royal title do you deserve? – I am Lord Octavius of Mayfair, and shall be referred to as such. drunk-urinal
4) Do you like light beer? – Light beer is for people who just like to pee a lot.
5) In 1901, daredevil Annie Taylor successfully went over Niagara Falls in a barrel. She was badly bruised but otherwise fine. How much money would it take for you do to do something that dangerous? – One day Satan himself appears to me and says that he will give me fame, health and wealth in exchange for my eternal soul. I scoffed at him and he snarled at me with flames bursting all around me. He screeches, “I am the Lord of the Underworld, why aren’t you cowering in my presence? I reply, “I was married to your sister for 15 years, nothing scares me anymore”.
6) When was the last time you visited a pet store? – Monday
7) What's your favorite salad dressing? – Depends upon my mood… Ranch, Catalina, Balsamic Vinaigrette Bleu Cheese and Russian.
8) Sam Winters is crazy about her smart phone. She uses it to take pictures, record videos, listen to tunes, answer emails and surf the net and, oh yeah, she even uses it to make calls. How indispensable is your mobile phone in your day-to-day life? – After being off the Smart Phone bandwagon for about 18 months, I recently got back on. It is amazing how often I feel it necessary to check it and I’m using idle time to search for interesting apps.
9) "Kocham ciÄ™" is "I love you" in Polish. Can you say "I love you" in a language other than English (and Polish)? --
CzGIZ

Blogging Challenge: 16, 17 and 18

** Go HERE for links to previous posts **

16 – NICKNAMES

The earliest nickname I can recall is “Johnny”. I believe this developed amongst my family members as a means to better differentiate between myself and my cousin John, who was about 6 months older than I and most likely was just an easy leap from the practice of using our middle initials as a means of getting our attention. He was/is John A. and I’m John E.

My next nickname memory came from the failed attempt by my best friend at the time to call me “Jack”. I think this was attempted around the time we were learning about President Kennedy and how John and Jack are interchangeable. Honestly, I wish this one had stuck, because I like the name Jack. 

The one that did stick was applied by peers in Middle School; I’m sure there were countless pejorative nicknames, but those are stored in the dark recesses of my repressed memories of that time. My official nickname is “JT”. A brilliant combination of the initials of my first and last name. Many of my lifelong friends still refer to me as such and occasionally some stumble upon it like they’ve arrived at some brilliant discovery. I took much joy in the discovery that my youngest daughter has also been assigned this nickname by her softball teammates. The joy came from the sound of hearing “JT” chanted from the stands as she came to bat, or when she accomplished some great diamond deed. John 072208

17 – FAVORITE PIC OF MYSELF OF ALL TIME

I don’t like having my picture taken, so there are very few from which to select. The one to the right was taken in July 2008 after I had lost 100 lbs. Even I have to admit, I look good. Unfortunately, this is when my marriage was falling apart and I was spending 2-3 hours a day at the gym to avoid going home. That fall I began grad school and that level of dedication to the gym was unsustainable and the weight began creeping back. I would really like to look like that again, I know what to do to accomplish it, I just have to Git’er done!

18 – SOMETHING YOU’VE LEARNED

seuss

Thursday, November 29, 2012

TMI Thursday - Powerball

Some months ago, Sean over at Just a Jeep Guy began TMI Thursdays. Several of the blogs I read regularly participate and I thought I would jump in the pool. With the latest furor over POWERBALL, the multi-state lottery jackpot that was last listed at upwards of $585 million. I buy lottery tickets from time to time when the feeling strikes, regardless of how big the jackpot. But when it gets crazy big, I buy a couple tickets for myself as well as participate in the obligatory office pool. Hope springs eternal that the lightning bolt will strike me. I hear that someone in Missouri and Arizona has a chance to allow their dreams... or nightmares to come true.

LOTTO FEVER - What would you do... or NOT do? **I've actually given this a lot of thought**

1. For your family - I would set up accounts with the Oregon College Savings Plan for each of my kids. That way they have to meet academic criteria in order to access the funding. I would also set up trust funds for each of them that they wouldn't be able to access until they've achieved some level of maturity. But for right now... we would go on vacations. And they wouldn't want for anything.
2. For your Friends - I've watched those "Post-Lottery" shows enough to know that there will be countless "friends" who come out of the woodwork. For those friends who have stuck with me through the last 5 years, those who helped me out of tough spots., those who were there when I needed a shoulder to cry on or someone to listen to me whine... I know who you are. You will share in my fortune.
2a. For my Ex - I would hire a real lawyer and try to reverse the ass-reaming I got in the divorce when I bought into the bullshit that it was all so amicable. I would also have a legal document drafted where I would offer her a a sizable chunk of the jackpot for her cooperation. After all, while she is a hateful, vengeful, angry religious nut... she is the mother of my children.
3. For yourself - The usual... a new car, a condo on the coast and one in the Pearl District in Portland and the ability to travel... I would be able to afford the Lap-Band surgery so I can lose weight become more active, more self-confident and look good for the 25 year old muscle bear I intend to woo. I would be able to afford to gain licensure as a LCSW (Licenced Clinical Social Worker). Since I would no longer have to work I would be able to work on my passions.
4. For Charity - I would set up a foundation that would offer grant funding to organizations that promote GLBT rights, assist people living with HIV and education to prevent the spread of HIV. I would also give a LARGE chunk of money to Basic Rights Oregon as they work to get Marriage Equality on the ballot.
5. For Revenge - Living well is the best revenge.. See Item 2a.

6. For PURE EVIL - In the State of Oregon children in divorce proceedings who are 13 and older are allowed to choose where they live, as a part of reversing the ass-reaming. I would allow my children the right to choose. They weren't allowed that last time. In fact it was written into the mediated agreement that they didn't have that right. As I mentioned... she is an angry, vengeful, hateful religious nut; and after four years it hasn't moderated.  Also, if I can't snare me a sexy muscle bear on my own, I'll buy one. There are plenty of sites when I can find me a rent boy.

POST YOUR TMI ANSWERS
Post and answer the questions on your blog or tumblr page and then post the link in the comments so that others can read your answers, visit your website and get to know you too. I post my answers on Thursday.