Sunday, March 17, 2019

St. Pat Tricks Day!

Gay of A Certain Age - Little Nags are the Balmudo of the Psyche

Recently, I went home to visit my Ma, my friends Teduardo and family.

There was no big event or holiday, just an open weekend and some great airline prices comingling and creating love. Speaking of love, I immediately fell in love with Teduardo’s new dog, Bizbee!

He’s a recent rescue and a bundle of energy & endless kisses (that is until he decides to chomp the nose on the face he is kissing). After falling in love with Bizbee and making out with the other dogs I love, we did the usual things; we ate out, ran a few business errands, ate out more, went to the movies, caught Bill Maher’s stand up at The Historic Plaza Theatre, ate out more, ate homemade pozole when I picked up my Ma to take her to an art show in Las Cruces and ate out. The usual stuff.

It was a nice, quick weekend visit and then, I was on a plane heading home, back to the daily grind. On the plane, I felt a little melancholy nagging in the back of my mind. We had a good time, didn’t we? Everybody was healthy and happy, weren’t they? Bizbee was secretly tucked into my carry-on, wasn’t he? (No, he wasn’t.) Then I realized something wasn’t right.

When I was young, every Sunday was Grandma’s day. I remember looking forward to visiting my mother’s mother, Thomasa, when I woke up on Sunday morning. I couldn’t wait to get out of church, go visit the other Grandma (my Alleged Father’s mother and father, whom I loved, of course, but I had a special bond with Thomasa) and happenchance cousins of the week and then drive the endless five-minute car ride to Grandma’s. I loved being greeted by the revolving cast of crazily barking dogs along the fence line as we drove up. I endured the exercise of squeezing through the gate as not to let said crazily barking dogs out of the yard. Then, I would open her screen door and just walk in; it was always open. I’d be greeted by Grandma with a big hug (Sometimes I would talk like Aunt Oralia, imitating her trademark nasal “Hellooo, Tommy! How are you?”) If it wasn’t already on the stove, Grandma would get to fixing us all something to eat. On a not unusual Sunday, you could find my mother with her four kids, her sister Evelia, with her four kids and brother Alonso and his lovely bride, Bertha, all finding or making room to gather and eat in Grandma’s small three room shotgun style home. There was a huge yard on the side and the kids would all play with each other and the dogs (and usually some guest dogs), in later years we made soap opera and movie spoofs with my older brother’s fancy video camera. As I got into my college days I didn’t go every Sunday, but the full days continued with the great-grandchildren. Then, I graduated from college and moved to L.A. And there was the sunset of those happy Sundays. Age finally caught up to Grandma, she developed the Alzheimer's and was placed at the Sunset Haven where she could be cared for around the clock. It’s a natural and logical ending for the chapter.

On the plane the feeling kept nagging at me, I felt a little like I was a character in a non-existent spin-off show. …kind of like Richie Cunningham’s older brother, Chuck, going into the army and finding himself stuck behind enemy lines and having to dress in drag, pretending he’s somebody’s mute aunt, while falling in love with an enemy gas mask sales lady… That never happened, but I felt kind of like that… Then, I realized what my damage was. When I was in college and my Sunday visits were getting spotty, I comforted myself with the idea that this would continue with my Ma. My older brothers and sisters would continue to bring their children on Sundays and I’d be the childless uncle dropping in from time to time, like my mother’s brother, Bo. My mother would live in that house and that’s how it would be. But that never happened. My mother retired early to take care of Grandma, but when that proved to be too much for one person, Grandma went to Sunset Haven and my Ma stayed in her house. I had already moved to L.A., my older brother had moved to San Antonio, my sister, Isabel had erratic hours as a nurse and sister Julie & family always had sports events as participants or coaches on Sundays. That didn’t leave many visitors for my Ma. That’s not the way this was supposed to go! Sunday is Grandma day!

This is no actual tragedy. My Ma lives with my sister Julie, not the Sunset Haven and she enjoys days out and visits here and there, and it’s all nice. I enjoyed my visit with Ma, and of course, she loved her visit from me. I JUST KNOW SHE DID. Anyway, this post isn’t really about a Sunday tradition that petered out, it’s about the realization itself. That nagging feeling was pretty strong and until I was able to suss it out and move on, I was a bit haunted and not feeling whole. I began to wonder how many other things that are cluttering up my mind and heart are all related to events that never happened or things not being how I thought they were gonna be-

SIDE BAR!!!- All through high school I had one of those nagging feelings. I felt like I wasn’t doing it right and couldn’t be 100% happy or comfortable. I finally realized that I didn’t look or feel like I thought I was going to because when we first got cable, GREASE was on Showtime on endless rotation and I watched it, at least, 4 and a half bajillion times! While my issue wasn’t that I wasn’t bursting into song at any moment (Don’t think I didn’t) it was that my expectations of my high school experience were based on 30 year-olds playing teenagers! I’m fairly certain that I was aware that John & Olivia weren’t 17 year-olds when I was watching the movie, but something in my psyche absorbed the idea that I, and my friends, were going to look and sound as mature as Sandy & Danny and we would lead the kind of lives where we shared our secrets with each other, went to nationally televised dances, rode motorcycles, had PJ parties and gathered at the local soda shop. I’m also pretty certain that I literally expected a big carnival with game booths and a carousel & other rides in our football field on my last day as a high school student.

(I seriously thought this was gonna be me...)

I wonder if these little nags are strong enough to be debilitating. Could these little nags be stopping me from doing things I want or should do? Do I have a little nag keeping me from finding a partner/lover/husband/maid? I do not know. What I do know is these little revelations come randomly, but not necessarily unexpectedly. Not unexpected because once I realize there’s a nag, a little introspection and self-reflection will help draw the nag to the surface and identify the root. OMG! Is this why people go to a therapist??? Wow. All this time I’ve been my own therapist and didn’t even know it! Think of all the money I’ve saved!

As a Gay of A Certain Age, I’ve learned that melancholy and a lack of feeling whole can be addressed by figuring out what I am feeling and why. I’ve also learned that you can’t force this stuff, it comes when it comes. Finally I’ve learned, no matter how many times a person has seen GREASE, their life will most likely be like GREASE 2. …And I’ll take it!

Plus one more shot of me and Bizbee 
It's LOVE!

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

He Don't Even Know! - Thank You For the Music

Meet "George"
I fell in love with him because of his spontaneity!
He's always whisking me away on
sudden adventures
and always says what he thinks & feels.
I love it!

In this moment,
a song popped into his head.
He just took a seat on the sidewalk on Hollywood Boulevard
and sang away.
He made a few dollars, 
from passers-by
which spent on Vanilla Lattes, later.

The only bad thing is
he also expresses his sexual desires
anytime and anywhere!
So, sometimes
the song we're singing
is coming from behind a parked car 
or large cardboard cutout of  the cast of 

So, George, 
Thank you for the music 
and the song we're singing.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

This Is Why I Am Single- Guest Column

One day, recently, I was on that Facebook contraption and I happened upon my friend George Unda's post, (He's an honorary DAB - Die Alone Buddy).  I thought, while I read it, that this is quite dead-on with the spirit of DieAloneWithMe.Com. and I think may help some of y'all that might be going through stuff.  In order to not be a spoiler, I will simply get to it.

George writes:

In my adult life, I’ve only had two mentionable relationships.

My first that lasted 13 years. (17 to 30)
My second that lasted a little under 2 years (30 - 31) But remained intimate friends for a total of 6 years.

While both were polar opposites on the surface, the deep kernel proved to me the they were very much alike in the dynamics that make us functional/dysfunctional.

My first was hypersexual, while my second was practically non-sexual.

My first was impulsive, crass, chaotic and fun, while my second was erudite, methodical and tightly-wound.

Both were intense in demonstrating intimacy and compassion, but both always ONLY did this on their terms and their way.

Both were incredibly self-observed, and lacked empathy and compassion when things weren’t about them. And both had a visceral cruelty and callousness when things finally didn’t serve their benefit.

Both, as I’ve come to understand now, are narcissists.

At first, this realization hit me hard. Feelings of resentment were mixed with feelings or realization and relief. And when I finally understood the correlation to my romantic choices in life, I came to discover something incredibly deep about myself:

I picked these men, not out of love, but our of familiarity for the man in my life that acted the same way. My father.

I became my mother, whom had/has spent all her life trying to fulfill the recognition of a man that barely gave her any.

My sister has done the same thing with her toxic and abusive husband, whom this very day has been the crux of our family dissolve.

So it was at the very moment that I discovered my tendency to search out “LOVE” in men that are so easily attractable, and so charismatic in getting you in their grasp when they want, but can flip on you like a light switch with little to no remorse, that was when I KNEW, that my happiness can and forever WILL only come from ME.

That knowledge, while complex and deeply seated in behaviors and traumas that will take years to re-direct, will and has allowed me to have the perspective of what real love is.

That is why it is SO much better to be single, respectable and on your own, than coupled, but very much alone.

My advice to you all this Valentine’s Day is, respect yourselves. All you single and coupled alike.

For those of you coupled and living a lie, and fearing loneliness, understand that breaking that fear of rejection and loneliness will give you new life, strength and happiness in the end.

And for those of you, single, depressed and alone, remember that you’re not alone. Your integrity is secured. Your value, intact. And you will neither sacrifice those or yourself for a lie, not until you are at peace to find true love, without rush, without desperation, simply out of blithe happenstance.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

This Is Why I Am Single - Craft Night 2019 - The Cards

This Is Why I Am Single; I would prefer to stay in on a Saturday and craft Valentines for nobody with friends, than go out and look for love (And somebody to give a Valentine to.)

I think I've been doing Craft Night for 13 years and it's grown into a lovely tradition for many folk and I'm glad to do it.  Aside from the therapeutic elements, like cutting out shapes and exercising the creative part of our brains, it is a great opportunity to see friends, catch up and laugh.  Unfortunately, the actual event can get a bit crowded and I get busy playing host and making sure that everyone is taken care of with materials, drink & stuff, so I don't get to actually craft much during.  I sometimes craft a little before, if I'm set up early and I always craft for a few days after, as I slowly tear down the set up.  That said, sometimes I'm struck with inspiration and I must sit down next to a pal and knock one out.  Once in a while I'll make a naughty card, but lately I've been trying to craft clean, because if I do actually send out a card, it'll be to my Ma- and she don't need no naughty card. 

This year, I was fairly clean:

Those aren't really suited for my Ma, so I went with one I made last year:

It's clean & simple, mayhaps a little elegant?

Anyway, while I have been moving toward cleaning up mu act, it seems everyone else has taken the challenge of seeing how naughty they can get!  The naughty ranges from a little innuendo to straight on pornographic. much so, I wonder if I can actually post them here...
What do you think?






 I'm not Sure







You can see the much naughtier ones here

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

This Is Why I Am Single - Craft Night 2019 - The Guests

Yes, it's that time of year; the time when couples rub singles' faces into the poop of their own loneliness, Valentine's Day!!  Of course, I had my annual  Craft Night, we I invite a bunch of friends over, we talk, drink, snack and craft Valentine's for people unknown.  This year there was a big rain, so I had a lot of cancellations- but, it was still a great time because with fewer people there than usual, I had more time to actually sit and visit with friends.  Please understand that this event has gone from six people sitting around my dining room table in 2006 to some 60 invited guests darting in and out between 4 pm and 11 pm at my larger dining table, plus two other tables crammed into my living room.  It's tight, but cozy and people usually have a nice time.  Like I said, this year was a little lighter, so I was able to participate, rather than host, more than usual.  I got to make a few Valentines with everyone else, like this one:

This Is Why I Am Single: I probably don't invite the guy who's gonna be my husband!  But there's so many people on the guest list already!

I invite so many people because I'd hate to hurt anyone's feelings, or make them think that they were judged lacking in crafting skills and weren't invited back because of it.  It's not true.  It's just that my place is not large and a few moments last year, we almost got to the point where someone had no place to sit.  I thought about creating an annex in my bedroom, but that has since become the photo op place.  take a look:

This isn't everybody who showed, but it's a fair representation...
Anyway, I'm trying to find a solution to my quandary over how to manage my invite list. 
Space wasn't an issue this year, but I can't count on heavy rain in the future. I'm sure I'll figure it out. meanwhile, I'm grateful to have this problem, because while I may be single, I'm not alone...

This last photo features the delicious Bryan Thompson and the sabroso Paolo Andino
notable because Paolo is marking his 10 year anniversary return to Craft Night.

His Previous visit was in 2009 as a guest of muh DAB, Dennis Hensley!  This year, he had his very own invite!
Welcome back Paolo!