Sticking around a while


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(I almost regret drawing this now)

I haven’t written much here recently, mostly because I’ve been so busy.  My life seems to have been caught up in some kind of whirlwind that has been propelling it forward at 4x the normal speed.  So many good and bad things that it would take about five posts just to summarize it all.

That said, I have some good news to report.

After He Who Shall Not Be Named became president elect, it really felt like my country had suddenly become a place I was afraid to live in.  Not because I’m one of the many who are literally threatened by his proposals, I’m fortunate enough to have the ‘right’ skin color and gender, but because of the people who look like me that supported him.  And, would you want your tax dollars going to that asshole?

But it’s not just that.  For the past five months I’ve been working on a book about spirituality and life.  As an agnostic (basically someone spiritual without a specific religion), I became obsessed with writing something that would basically be a bible for people like me.  I was making a lot of progress and was really, really excited about where it was going.  It’s a totally new way of looking at life and death, at being open minded and appreciating diversity.  In a lot of ways it’s a really beautiful set of concepts that I think could unite people around positivity instead of dividing them.

The thing is, He Who Shall Not Be Named actively goes against every single part of my new ‘religion’.  Literally, point for point, that asshole violated every guiding idea that I came up with.  It’s all about truth, equality, and being accepting of those with differences.  Half the time he violated all of those in a single tweet.  That’s terrifying.

I couldn’t sleep the night of the election.  I was horrified.  Not only was this country a far, far scarier place than I ever imagined… A MAJORITY OF THE PEOPLE VOTED AGAINST EVERY PRINCIPLE I HOLD DEAR.

I almost threw away my book, my cherished project.

I wanted to leave the country, after throwing up everything I had ever eaten.  I wanted to crawl in a hole in some far part of the world and hide, hoping the end of days would miss me.

That feeling lasted for two days.  I was shopping for cheap property in Canada.  Not kidding.  I’ve been to Canada a number of times, it’s a truly amazing place that deserves a lot more recognition than it gets.  I’d consider that an upgrade in almost every way.  Did you see how awesome they’ve been with the Syrian immigrants?  Makes me tear up.

But then I had this thought.  The only reason that He Who Shall Not Be Named got elected is because of fear.  A lot of people who are normally smart and kind allowed fear to blind them to the obvious faults of someone who never should have even been in the running for political office.  They allowed fear to mislead them.

Which meant, if I let fear of the future influence my decisions, I would just be promoting the same mistake.

So, instead, I decided to stay and fight.  Not with fists or even words, but with love and compassion.  I’m going to try to live up to my own ideals and continue to promote them.

I picked up my book and kept writing.  I also made a few phone calls to various charities to see what I could do to make the world a better place.

That’s where the good news comes in.

This week, I heard back from my favorite of the organizations.  Without naming them, they support a lot of people that have earned it and really need it.  They’d like my help organizing a new program to spread their message and raise funds.  I’m ridiculously excited because the program is really cool, the charity is amazing, and I’ll get to help out one of most deserving groups of people.

I guess the message is this, no matter how scary the world might seem, no matter how bad things look, it’s worth sticking around and standing up for what we believe in.  And every one of us, no matter our talent or ability, are still capable of improving someone else’s life and making the world a better place.

That asshole doesn’t represent me, what I do represents me.

The Writing Bug


Inspiration is a strange thing.  A week ago I finished the first draft of my latest fiction project.  Yay, go me.  My regular pattern is to immediately start the next project.  You see, it’s really difficult, almost impossible, to edit something you’ve just written.  It’s too close, everything seems right because you just wrote it.  It’s more effective to finish the next project then go back to edit the previous one, it’s easier to see the errors and things that need to be changed.

So, as soon as I was done I started brainstorming the next project.  I already had a couple ideas bouncing around but nothing that jumped out.  I’ve found it’s better not to try and force a project that I’m not feeling at the moment, so I kept looking. Continue reading

Valentines Day – FML


Anyone who’s read this blog for at least a year knows how much I hate Valentines day.  For new readers: I really, really hate Valentines day.

Really, I have nothing good to say about the holiday.  If you’re single than for weeks you’re subjected to all the melodramatic commercials, TV shows, and the couples reveling in their non-singleness.  If you’re a guy in a relationship than you’re expected to “prove” your love with money, gifts, gestures, etc.  Female partners have it fairly easy, they put out and the guy is happy, but he has to solve the riddle of his better half and the stakes are his love life.  He has little to gain and everything to lose.

I’m a romantic but I hate big gestures.  My role model was my dad, who is the absolute king of small, everyday ways to demonstrate his feelings.  He takes care of everything around the house before mom asks, he remembers what she says and supports her in everything she does, he fills Mom’s car with gas, he does all sorts of little nice things to make her feel appreciated.  Of course, he had to be good at those things because he is the embodiment of the strong, silent, stoic type of guy.  He’s not going to write her poetry, sing her a song, or buy her diamonds.  A grand gesture?  His idea of one would be some flowers (maybe) or a humorous card, bringing home something to eat so she doesn’t have to cook, and letting her pick the movie for them to watch on the couch (while jokingly complaining the whole time about how “girly” it is).  My mother forgives his lack of grand romance because he’s constantly doing all the small gestures, she always feels appreciated.

When I’m in a relationship I’m just like my dad, always paying attention and doing the little things to show I care.  Then Valentines day comes along and undermines all my efforts.  It’s a holiday that basically says all the daily attention and affection I give doesn’t mean anything, to “prove” my affection I have to make some grand gesture, preferably by making an ass of myself or spending a lot of money.  Money is it’s own topic, putting a price tag on love makes me want to gag.  I’m like my dad, if you’re with me on Valentines day the most you should expect is some flowers (probably not) a humorous card (does an e-card count?), dinner (fast food), and a romantic movie (that I jokingly complain about).  Does Warm Bodies count?  Is a rom-zom-com romantic enough?

I really hate Valentines day.  If everything goes according to plan I’m going to stay home with a bottle of tequila and Netflix, probably spend all day switching between binge watching Spartacus and porn.  Take that, Hallmark!

#TeamAJ – Just Friends


This morning I kind of gave Ann an ultimatum.  I felt like we were in relationship limbo and couldn’t stand it anymore.  I told her I wanted to figure out a way to move forward, I was sitting at the negotiating table and needed to know whether she was going to sit down or walk away.  She agreed to talk about it over the phone this evening.  She wrote A short list of desires about what she wants and what she needs.  At the end of the post you can see her internal tug-of-war over the our discussion.

All day I was sweating, I knew what was going to happen.

Ann was going to do the right thing and dump me.

I totally deserved it.  If you read her post My Biggest Heart Break, you’ll know that just before their marriage her ex dumped her, they got back together but she was devastated and she never looked at him the same.  She regretted not listening to her gut and leaving him then, she never wanted to make that mistake again. Continue reading

Retroactive Conversion


I had a long phone call with Ann the other night.  We’re still sorting through injuries, it’s kind of hard to see the forest for the trees right now but we’re talking.

We were trying to figure out why everything was fine then suddenly wasn’t.  I went from 0-60 almost immediately.  There wasn’t any build up, where did it come from?  There weren’t any warning signs, it was like the ground just dropped out from under my feet.

I didn’t communicate better because it caught me off guard as much as it did her.  So, we’re trying to understand it.

Basically, I was completely fine with where we were until she went out with another guy (do I need to remind you that it’s not about sex?).   There were a hundred little things over the previous month but I was okay with them, they were completely understandable and acceptable at the time.  I thought we had a solid foundation, rationale, and everything made sense.  Then, suddenly it didn’t. Continue reading

Rough few days


Probably the most interesting part of yesterday was seeing the various commentary on different posts.  There are quite a few people who seem really eager to paint me with a variety of vulgar colors.  Some of them even quoted parts of my posts and tried to analyze me.  Most believe that the sex was the problem… which indicates their one dimensional outlook on relationships and a complete ignorance of most everything I’ve written.

So, let me make this abundantly clear IT’S NOT ABOUT THE SEX.

Let me put it this way, our relationship status is a perfect analogy;  Ann open, me closed.  That’s pretty much it in a nutshell. Continue reading

Post Visiting Ann: The relationship talk


One of the things on our “To Do” list for my visit with Ann was to have the relationship talk.  Yeah… I wasn’t really looking forward to that one.

Ann and I have a problem, none of the general relationship statuses work for the two of us.  Monogamous, non monogamous, polyamorous, etc. No matter what we tried someone was going to start chaffing.

Open – At our distance, open makes sense and that’s what Ann needs right now.  I’m fine with open but Ann was really hurt when I went out during our open phase, which was why we switched to closed until my August visit.

Closed – A closed relationship at a distance?  Yeah, that could be problematic.  I can do closed but Ann just got out of a rough, 15 year marriage and needs her freedom.

Uneven – Ann open, me closed.  During my marriage, I was cheated on several times.  I need an honest, up front and even relationship. Continue reading

Cat and too much history


I’ve written a bit about the open marriage with Cat and how it was the best two years of the marriage.  Well, whenever I write about it I get the inevitable question;

“If it was so great, why did you end up getting divorced?”

That’s a great question, it really is, and not one that is simple to answer.

During the open period Cat and I might have been able to get along, trust each other again, be happy and healthy, but ultimately our shared history was too much to overcome.

When you first meet someone they’re like a blank canvas, full of potential, one big mystery.  Each experience with that person adds something to the canvas.  Nothing is ever removed from the painting, good or bad, it’s there forever. You can’t take back memories. When you have mostly positive experiences the collage is bright and colorful.  When you have mostly bad experiences the collage is darker.

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Visiting Ann: Leaving my love


**I recently returned from spending ten fantastic days with Ann St Vincent.  These posts about the visit aren’t going to be in any specific order, there is too much to write on too many topics.  So, don’t look at these like one long story, they are more like post cards or snap shots from a fantastic trip.  This particular post was written my flight home.**

(I wrote this post on the plane ride home after the visit with Ann.)

American Airlines has this weird boarding music, a solo piano player doing top 40 hits with no vocals. It’s an interesting, slightly disconcerting sound track. You sit down, hardly noticing the quiet, slow paino tunes until it tickles an ear worm… then you spend the next three minutes trying to figure out what song it is.

(Not my video, but glad someone else thought it was strange enough to be note worthy)

In theory, the music should be pretty neutral, pop that has been toned down a bit by the solo piano. However, on this flight, for some reason every tune seems distinctly melancholy.

But maybe that’s just me.  Leaving is always a melancholy affair.

Once again, I’m on a plane flying away from my love. Considering the awful experiences I’ve had with the airlines, I’m starting to feel like I’m being kicked while I’m already down. It’s not fair, but then life rarely is.

Continue reading

Long Distance Support


One of the things that’s so frustrating about long distance relationships is they are… long distance.  So many of the little things that we take for granted in regular relationships get really obvious and difficult when you’re so far apart.  You can’t hold each other’s hands, you can’t curl up at night with each other, you can’t do all the little sweet things for your partner when they have a rough day.

My love has hit a rough patch and there’s only so much I can do from here.  Were I there in person I’d hold her, tell her how wonderful she is, how sexy she is, I’d take her to bed early and give her a long massage.  I’d kiss her all up and down her body, whispering sweet nothings.  If she was up for sex, I’d leave her sweating, trembling, and utterly satisfied.  If she didn’t feel up for sex I’d wrap my arms around her, pull our bodies together tightly, and let her fall asleep in my embrace.

But I can’t do any of that from long distance.

So…  What can I do?

I can send her flowers.

flowers s Continue reading