Sunday, March 17, 2019

Eat your peedaydas!

 It's St Patrick's day and all I got was this t-shirt!
 Happy St. Patrick's day if you have any Irish in you or were temporarily Irish for this weekend... or if you are a handsome guy and would like a little Irish in you... email me! Sorry that joke is like me... a wee bit dirty. I actually don't celebrate the day anymore, I never was a big drinker or party guy. I used to go to the breakfast buffets, parades and to hear some of the traditional music but not anymore, maybe when I move back to the city there will be more options and I may start to go again.

 I have been playing online all weekend so I figured I might as well post again. I actually posted yesterday evening, about three people had read the post and then I deleted it, (so you didn't imagine reading a post yesterday). I deleted it because I didn't like it, I think that's the first time I've ever deleted an entire published post. I felt the post was immature, a pile of shillelagh as we Irish would say and was embarrassed by it so... zap!

 I missed my little blog family but I'm trying to train myself to be online less, it's not an issue with blogging, it's an issue with being addicted to being on line. I have been doing well until this weekend, I fell off the wagon lol, which is even worse for me since being a country boy I should know everything about wagons, (yes I actually own one).

 Anyway no green beer for me today, I'm going to add broccoli to my lunch, you can't naturally get any greener than that!

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Nothing's wrong but...

 I think I'm going to take a little time away from blogging, nothing is wrong but I find that I often get caught up in the cycle of feeling like I should post something, wanting to see if anyone liked it, replying to them, reading other blogs, letting them know that I enjoyed their blog... having my comment disappear... more than once, screaming at my phone, well you get the picture. Maybe not a total break, I may post but definitely less often for now, not to worry, all is fine.

:(... I'm ok, nothing is wrong, sniff sniff, no seriously just kidding, it's all good, I just need to focus elsewhere for now. If you need me, just follow my trail through the snow.

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Saturday collection of mini posts.

 Sometimes there are a lot of little life moments that are not big enough for one post, so like a box of toys, I'm going to dump them out. For example, yesterday in the cafeteria I noticed something and I felt empathy for the person. A woman who is rather large and has in the past complained about her weight, purchased a salad for lunch; however she then proceeded to pour at least a half-cup to a full cup of creamy dressing on top of her salad. I don't know if she understands that she might as well just buy what she really wants, rather than get a salad and drown it in fatty dressing. The point of the healthy choice was cancelled out by the unhealthy topping. I have a lot of empathy for people struggling with weight issues. People don't think I can relate because I have always been so thin all my life; however for a man to be unusually thin, can almost be as bad as a woman on the heavier side. I understand what it's like not to be able to change your weight no matter what you do. Trust me, when you hear two people talking and one says "yuck, Steve is so skinny, gross... I would never date him", that hurts. People need to understand eating better and not torturing themselves by eating less.

 Speaking of poor eating habits, I'm in there, yes I "know" better but I don't listen to "me" either. One man at work confessed that he has to have fruitloops for breakfast, there are no other options for him. I told him I'm not judging, I told him of my bachelor's supper. It was often chocolate milk and a piece of blueberry pie. We has a good laugh but now I have out done myself. The other night I came home and wasn't that hungry, I had made a lemon pie so I had a piece, later I was still a little hungry so I drank a beer since I find it makes me feel full after. In other words... yes I had beer and lemon meringue pie for supper. It's suddenly become clear to me why bachelors tend to have a shorter lifespan.

 On the radio they were asking about hugs, the host wanted to know if you were hugged by someone and were surprised by how great the hug felt. That the person somehow completely generated a feeling of warmth and friendship to you. Yes, that happened to me and I'm not a hugger, I tend never to hug and I feel awkward doing it. I bring this up because it was Dr Spo from Sporeflections, the best hug I have ever received in my life from a non boyfriend! :)

 During my teenage years I listened to music that was not top forty, I wanted to be like the other kids but I hated most of the music on the radio. Also my school being in the country was a bit of an anomaly, the other half liked heavy metal or were stuck in the sixties with Beatles music. Anyway I mentioned that the lead singer of Talk Talk (Mark Hollis) passed away. Everyone I talked to this week never heard of him/them. I will leave you with one of my favorite songs called "I believe in you" but it's not a sappy happy song, it's slightly haunting, it was written with his brother in mind,who was addicted to heroin and eventually died.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Thoughts on the way home. "Home"?

 Driving home this evening, I was a little late from working longer hours and stopping for gas. The sky was clear, which is something completely rare this year. I could still see some twilight as I was getting close to home, the clock read 6:58 pm, that made me feel hopeful, maybe spring hasn't forgotten us after all.

 During my travels it was announced that the lead singer of the band Talk Talk had passed away, he was 64. That was an eighties band I used to listen to, another part of my youth gone and it makes me feel sad but at the same time, I am getting used to it. Then it was announced that the actor Luke Perry suffered a stroke, at first I was wondering what the heck happened, they said the "aging actor" is 51, oh yes... I remember now, we are entering our senior years, that still shocks me, I forget that I'm not in my late thirties anymore. I never watched 90210 but I know who he is, I remember thinking he was smoking hot.

 Try not to think about it, try not to think about it, just keep driving towards home. Define "home", I never thought the day would come when the farm no longer feels like home. At first it was my anchor when dad died, the one thing that wasn't changing and I clung to being there. After a while however, it did begin to change. When I had to place mom in a nursing home, it began to change for me, it took on a different feeling, not the same comforting feeling as before. It became more like a museum to my parents than a home. Now however two years later as I approach the place, it almost feels like a burden, something tying me down. At other times it almost feels like a library book, I'm just borrowing it for now until the next person gets it.

 Sometimes I feel that the farm is an entity and I'm doing it/her a disservice by staying here, I'm holding her in limbo, whereas a new family would breath new life, new ideas into her. I am ending my stages in life with her, someone else would be a beginning. My only hope is that they will see her for the beautiful lady she is, with all her rich history, landscapes, plus nature... and not just as a business with barns.

Tuesday, February 26, 2019

The little darlings.

 I hope some parents finally get a wake-up call. This week it was announced that many school buses have been cancelled... permanently, parents were told they would have to find their own way of getting their children to school. The reason? A huge shortage of bus drivers, they just don't have the people to drive the buses. Who can blame the drivers, children have been taught to reject authority, they don't listen and the drivers are not allowed to discipline the kids in any way. Yet they are expected to still maintain an orderly bus run and drive safely. Any problems and the news is showing up at the poor driver's house. Hard to drive anything with a load of untrained monkeys behind you.

 I know any of my friends who used to drive a bus, have moved on to something else. They can tell you unbelievable stories about rotten kids and the clueless parents that support the little darlings at every turn. Nobody wants that job anymore and this dire situation kind of proves it. Maybe if the little sweeties have to walk a few miles to school, they will learn to behave and maybe once the parents are inconvenienced every morning for the rest of the school year, they will also learn a lesson, you may think your little darlings are cute... we don't agree.

Sunday, February 24, 2019

Well... that was fast!

  Today was my last day of curling. I played a good game, I'm happy with how it went. Afterwards we had little prizes, awards and trophies, then there was an awesome potluck dinner, I couldn't eat another bite. I had a lot of fun over the last four months, plus I met new people and got reacquainted with old friends that I haven't seen in years. Four months, was it really that long? Feels more like only a few weeks, when I agreed to sign on back in November, I felt it was a long commitment until the end of February and yet here we are. Time flies when you're having fun I guess. I did okay, I need more ice time to practice, one guy who just started after Christmas, is already as good as people who have been playing for years. Some people just have a talent for picking up new things.

 Another lesson for me to learn... is the same one I have spent my life trying to overcome. For years two friends have been trying to get me to join curling. I was too shy, too afraid of embarrassing myself. I gave it much more importance than it actually had. I have no self confidence when it comes to new situations. Now I truly regret not trying the sport sooner, I have wanted to for years. Even if I tried it and sucked, then what...  I could have just said thanks but no thanks. Even better, this league would have said, "don't worry, just come out and have some fun". The people are all very easy going, nobody takes themselves too seriously. Interesting as well, there are people of all ages and all skill levels. Fun is fun is fun, I need to learn to have some every now and again.

 They encouraged me to come back next year and if I'm still living around this area, I will. I'm going to miss it, I felt that the game also helped pass the time during the long winter months. On the flip side, it will be nice to have my Sunday afternoons again. Getting ready to go, then curling, socializing with team mates and visiting mom afterwards, made my weekends short. Anyway, it was a new trick for this old dog to learn.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Oh sorry! Excuse me for expecting better!

  Yesterday I was listening to the news regarding a meeting of Catholic bishops from around the world regarding the sex abuse scandals, they happen in almost every country where the church has members. I was raised Catholic, my friends and neighbors are mostly Catholic so I'm not an outsider with anti-Catholic views just looking to criticize the church. What I heard however; made me laugh with disbelief and embarrassment.

 I don't know what I was expecting, I thought that by now the church would be more educated, have more knowledge and at the beginning it sounded like they were trying to do the right thing. Soon it was evident that they were just saying the right phrases to make positive headlines. The conference on abuse did not allow any victims to speak, did not invite any experts on sexual abuse to speak and did not create any repercussions in the church for abusing people. Instead they created a list of "reflections" for a person to think over.

  Many bishops were surprised by the allegations, I have to ask, what rock have they been living under? You don't get to be a bishop by hiding in the woods all your life! You have to be educated and generally live in a populated area. Other bishops said that sexual abuse was a "western illness", that it doesn't happen in places like India or African and Asian countries, despite many people showing up from those countries with the same horror stories that happened here. The bishops also got bogged down with what "is" actually sexual abuse. Apparently raping a woman is slightly acceptable in some countries but not others, raping boys is for the most part a no no but they felt we need to take in cultural differences. Well... oops, silly me, I thought the vow of celibacy meant no sex at all. I thought that vow would have made it pretty clear as to what is or isn't acceptable. These same bishops would probably tell you that sex between two "adult" males is sick, that's one of the reasons their judgments lost their power over me long, long ago.

 I will be honest and say I was disappointed and actually surprised by hearing this, the hierarchy used to be very conservative but more worldly or better educated, now they sound more like evangelicals. I'm almost expecting them to declare that it's the devil attacking the church and that the victims secretly belong to a cult that was formed to bring them down. This feeds into the people who are too lazy to think for themselves, I remember one older woman who insisted that the victims are just looking for money and attention. That's completely false, I know of men from well-off families that came forward, they were embarrassed to have friends and colleagues hear about sex acts committed against them but they felt compelled by never being able to move on from the abuse until they said something.

 Now I feel maybe this result is actually a good thing, maybe more people will start to see how silly and phony the whole thing is. People need structure and guidelines to live by but it's 2019, time to stop living like it's two thousand years ago, put away the robes, candles and crying statues, let's move on.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Work poop'n.

  There you are, you are having a productive day at work when suddenly you get that feeling, yes you have to go potty... and not just the sprinkling potty, the full stinky potty, you have to go poo! Classy right?

 I hate, with a number one passion, having to go for a number two at work. I can't hold it, people are going to get wind of what I am up to sooner or later. I slip quietly away and try to make my deposit. However I get very tense and being very tense and trying "to go" are a combination that just doesn't mix. It's hard to relax because I am trying to do something private in a public place. First however, how gross is a men's washroom, I always feel that the place needs a bleach power wash to disinfect the area.

 As I place layers of toilet paper down on the seat... and then set them on fire, ok not really, I settle in and try to relax. However without fail some guy will rush in and always pick the stall beside me. There he will sit and then he will start going into labor. He will grunt and groan but worse is the straining noises, like the guy is lifting weights. This totally breaks my concentration and I lose focus. Now I'm too tense... I can't "go" when I am too tense. It's also a game changer when the guy next to you, clearly eats too many spicy foods! I finally go but I am unable to relax enough to go completely, so for the rest of the day I feel like there is a literal, "stick up my butt".

 Later in the evening when I get home, I can relax and go. When I am at work, I learned to play with my phone, read a few stories, it makes me forget where I am, just like the old days where some people used to read the news papers while doing their business. Poop'n @ work , it's gross, I hate it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Tuesday, Tuesday, ba ba.

 Yesterday was a holiday for some of us, it was family day. I hope I don't have to refund it since I don't have a family. It started as a bribe to get a politician 're-elected in Ontario, oh well at least we get something in return. That means Tuesday is my Monday so this week I don't like Tuesday morning since it's like Monday morning for me. I just woke up and now I'm playing with my phone at 2:20 in the morning, yup this thing is not addictive at all. Move over Teddy, I'm coming back to bed. -_-  snorrrr... snorrrzzz... zzz...

Monday, February 18, 2019

Wait! Back the truck up!

 Brace yourself, I will ask you to put on thinking caps and I'm going to stir the pot a little.The other night I was watching a program on tv and it was trying to teach us morals. I always get annoyed when Hollywood tries to teach me morals, especially during a sitcom.

 I tend not to get into debates over reproduction, I'm not part of that life experience, so the people that are, need to work it out for themselves. In the show one of the newlywed women, informed her husband that she didn't want children. The show was hinting at "her body, her rules", the husband was disappointed but kept saying that he supported her choice. Naturally, it is her body and she shouldn't let anyone else make her do something that she doesn't want. First off, I thought that was a stupid premise, wouldn't you discuss something that huge (having children) before marriage? They discussed every other stupid topic on the show, if they wanted to teach younger people something, why didn't they have a few difficult episodes before the wedding where the characters had to work out their differences. I think the writers were trying to create controversy surrounding the show.

 This may get a little intense but don't misunderstand me, I haven't gone all evangelical, just follow my track and you will see where I'm going with this. I have watched other shows that had the character of a wife, think that she is pregnant but doesn't want the child. The husband is expected to only support the wife's decision because, "her body, her decision", anything else and he becomes the show's villain. I'm not going there, that would be an awful situation to be in. Here comes my point and I only bring this up in the name of fairness. In the show I was watching, a distant friend discovered he can't produce children so he asked the male characters for one of them to help him and his wife, by being a sperm donor. Since the men weren't going to have the chance to have children they went to say yes; however their wives said NO!

 WHOA! What!?! Back the truck up! What the? What happened to "my body, my choice"? The guys were portrayed as selfish for wanting to do this and selfish for upsetting their wives. The women were portrayed as being sensible. A sperm donation is easier than a blood donation for Pete's sake. That's why I hate anything Hollywood tries to preach to me, so according to them, the wife should have reproduction rights over her husband? In fairness, the women should have been supportive of the husband's choice to help out a friend, anything less is hypocritical, at least that's how I felt watching it.

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Gay guy, straight guy.

 I remember a time when people used to criticize gay men for being too over sexed, too promiscuous, having too many partners. Straight men were considered to be more monogamous by nature... baloney! I remember thinking that certainly doesn't apply to me. I'm not judging anyone, I just hated when people thought every gay person was exactly the same.  I recall some women saying that straight men would be just like gay men, only that women don't let them, lol.

 On Friday, I was working late and saw something that may be totally innocent or may be something not so innocent. A man was about to leave, he didn't seem to notice I was still working. From my position I could see his computer screen clearly. He clicked on a site and a bunch of profiles of women popped up. He is married and I believe has children, the pictures were not professional work type pictures, they were the type of pictures taken for a dating site. I was surprised a little, this guy is a really nice person, not one of those creepy guys. I am not totally surprised however, I think most gay and bisexual men get exposed to things that the average person has no idea is happening. The man started chatting on line with one of the women so I walked away and made some noise to let him know I was around.

 There is a weird experiment happening with my work place. Men are sent over seas to work for a couple of weeks and then return home. Depending on the man's position, it can be every six weeks to once every three months. I should say because most of the positions are engineering jobs, there are not many women at my work place but they have an equal obligation to travel as well. Usually at first the men call home every evening to say goodnight and say how much they miss everyone. However after a few trips over, they start to get to know the people in the overseas work environment, calls home become less frequent, they start to go out to restaurants, bars, dancing, weekends sight seeing, it's like a second beginning as if they are just out of university and still single. There are always younger female engineers to take them out, show them a good time, constantly looking after them, becoming close friends in a new environment until finally one night they go one step further and they have sex.

 Some of the engineers have a secret girlfriend, some even have an apartment with a girlfriend and their child. Others divorce the old wife and replace her with a newer version, one that is more traditional, she works outside the home but insists on doing all the house chores, every man's dream no matter what they say. I don't want to judge anyone, I have seen wives that didn't deserve the good husband they got so there can be two sides to every story. I just think it's interesting that when average, ordinary straight men get an opportunity to have multiple, younger, or secret partners, many jump at the chance, I thought that was only supposed to be a gay man behavior trait? Also, just like many, many gay men, there are men at my work that don't act this way, they think that behavior is wrong and are dedicated to their partner only. I think people need to judge the individual and not the group as a whole, some men are dogs, some are not... gay and straight.

Now for my next post, I'm going to reveal a shocking truth that many gay and straight men have in common, many straight men will look around nervously to see if any other guys are within ear shot and then whisper, "I tell everyone that I don't like ABBA but I actually do like a lot of their songs"!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Feeling Resentful.

 When I was younger I often didn't get involved in most activities around this area. I didn't hang out with "the crowd" I didn't play on any sports teams. The results are that I still don't get invited to most parties or fun activities to this day. I'm ok with that, I'm not a kid anymore, they just don't think of me when planning an event, it's not an exclusion on purpose. Plus I have some good friends around here and I enjoy my time with them. All is good, that is until...

 What does really bother me is when there is a really crappy job to be done... I'm the first person they think of, "Let's get Steve to help". There are not a lot of younger people around but the ones who are, don't have much community spirit, they don't volunteer for anything that doesn't benefit them personally. I got a message last night, "we are shoveling the snow off the church roof, we need you to be there for ten". I'm not twenty five anymore, I don't go to church and yet I'm expected to climb onto a slippery tin roof and shovel off snow, literally almost up to my waist. I try to avoid shoveling as much as possible here. They could have hired someone, it would be safer. I was too nice, I usually wouldn't say no but I have to think of myself these days.

 The same with other requests I get. I don't mind looking after friends places when they go away but if I haven't heard from someone in years and suddenly I get a call asking me to look after their place while they go south, are you kidding me? If sports teams use a facility and I'm asked to help clean it up... oh I see how it is, even though they are strong and healthy, they are too good to get their hands dirty or maybe that's not fun so we will ask Steve instead. Seriously, if people want the opportunity to use a church, park or whatever, they have to learn to support it. I can understand some of the problems, most people around here are my age or older, people stopped having children and what few kids there are, immediately go to the city when they are old enough. I am however not some misfit that you call only when there is unpleasant jobs to do, it's insulting. Well I have a new hobby and that is inventing new ways to say no!

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Hmm, that grass looks greener!

 One of the quirks of my personality is I often feel that the grass is greener on the other side of the fence. Having been around cows, I understand that statement better than most lol.   Today was Valentine's day and one of the things that drives me crazy about the day is that when I'm single, the day means a lot to me. I feel left out of the holiday, I am envious of all the happy couples who have celebrated this day with love and romance. When I am dating someone however; I ignore the day and think it's a gimmick to sell flowers, gifts and evenings out at a restaurant. It's nothing special, just another day. I'm such a dork.

 My favorite Valentine's day was my first with Dan, he came over to my apartment and I made him supper. I remember feeling a little nervous about giving him a card, I wasn't sure if he would think I was immature or worse... being too clingy, too fast. I remember after I gave him my card, he had this smirk on his face, went to my hall closet, pulled a card and a little bear from his jacket and handed them to me.

 Maybe if I make a promise to Cupid that from now on I will try to keep Valentine's day, he will draw his bow and send me my true love. If he even does that anymore, maybe he just swipes right.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Back around again.

 Today is a snow day so I'm home from work, I have never seen it snow so much... so fast. The next person who says the climate is not changing, will get a snowball to the head. The levels of snow and the size of drifts this morning are beyond belief. It seems like every second week we are breaking some bizarre record.

 I was visiting with friends on Sunday and one asked how are things going, she knows all my issues and so it wasn't a general, "how are things" where I am supposed to be polite and just say fine. I just shrugged my shoulders and said it's the same crap over and over and over. I told her the same issues that I complained about a year ago have all come back, as they did the year before that and the year before that. It seems that I tackle each one and eventually everything is finally settled, when all of a sudden, a law changes, companies change or something else changes and everything falls apart and I am back to square one.

 One of the things weighing heavily on me now is the nursing home where mom stays has decided to close, they gave me six months to move her. I had a chance to move her last fall but left her there because she is happy and they never told me they are closing until after I turned the other place down. Mom has a social worker that helps us navigate through the system and is helping me place her. Unfortunately the place we like most has a huge waiting list, we can place her in another home until the one we want has a spot open.

 It was hard the day I left mom where she is now, one of the hardest things I ever did. I knew it was for her own good but I felt partly like I was abandoning her and also partly like she had died, her body was still alive but by placing her I was admitting to myself that "mom" was gone. Now I have to do that all over again and this time maybe twice. I am one of those people who can't let things go, this is stressing me out (plus many other problems), I feel this is going to shorten my life.

 My aunt called me for a shoulder to lean on, she is married to my mom's younger brother, unfortunately he also has dementia and is almost at the same level as mom. She is trying to care for him while waiting for a spot to open as well. I can hear the stress in her voice. I felt so horrible when she said that by placing him, she feels that she is abandoning him, she cried a little. I'm pretty blunt and told her the truth, that it will feel awful but once the dust settles, she will see it was for the best. I told her to make sure her daughter is with her to make it easier. Then she said something that people in our situation will understand immediately, there is a saying that "alzheimer's or dementia in a person, is the longest funeral a family has to attend".

Monday, February 11, 2019

Gays in snow.

  I didn't get the memo but apparently there was a winter gay pride parade on the weekend. Naturally there wasn't as big of a crowd, since it was freezing with a nasty wind chill factor. People had to trade in their feather boas for knitted scarves. That's an interesting idea, I will have to google to see if it was the first winter pride parade ever held. Wouldn't that be fun to take part in, can't you just see a big fabulously dressed drag Queen with snowshoes on and a large fake icicle on the end of her nose, hmm maybe a costume idea for next year... not.

 Unfortunately the news said that there was also a protest against pride. I was surprised that something like that happened in Ottawa. It's unsettling that people hate us so much that they would take the time and effort, to go out on a freezing cold day to heckle us. Their hate was drowned out by people chanting, "love, is love, is love". I was furious when I heard this. I wanted to find out who organized the idiots, that protest just didn't "happen". As usual the media was trying to make a mountain from a mole hill, turns out it was only eight people. What the heck are they protesting anyway, do they think we are going to turn straight? That is like me waiting for one of them to become intelligent.

 All the feelings of being upset were washed away this evening with a story about a goalie in the NHL who has amongst other things, a rainbow flag painted on his goalie mask. He did it to show support for gay friends and to help gay people feel welcome to the sport of hockey. Tonight or tomorrow night, the local team (Ottawa Senators) are having a pride night at the game, to make gay fans feel welcome. Now I know what you are all thinking... "gay people don't watch hockey"? You are forgetting the thousands and thousands of Canadian and American lesbians who love the game and could check your judgemental butt right through the boards. Joking aside, there are a lot of gay and bisexual men who watch it religiously as well. A huge majority of the players in the NHL are actually very open, friendly, decent people. The players are always helping out with children's hospitals, mental health, sports equipment for low income families etc, so I am not surprised. I'm just waiting for the invitation to the showers after and then I'm in for sure!

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Times, they are a changing!

 I was reading about a beautiful home for sale and one of the features advertised was a sex dungeon. Yes, you read that correctly. It seems a married couple had a great sex life together, the wife passed away and the husband doesn't want to live there anymore. He is not embarrassed and doesn't want to hide what they were up to, I guess it's his way of honouring the memories he and his wife made. Neighbors are starting to realize why the couple's answering machine, constantly said they can't come to the phone right now because they are tied up. You have the option of removing the "equipment" or leaving it there. A sex dungeon sounds like fun, it would be a great conversation piece during Christmas holidays if you have family staying over. I'm sure you could get safety features if grandma and grandpa wanted to try it out. I would however want all new equipment, using the existing slings, cuffs, whips and nipple clamps, would be to me, like wearing someone else's dirty underwear. The couple apparently had grown children, they tried to reach them for comment but their therapy facilities said they were in the middle of a session.

Saturday, February 9, 2019

About the "T" in LGBTQ.

 Regarding the person who is transgender at work, I understand now that some of the "buzz" was created by the human resources department sending out an email. In it, the department stated why the person was away in order to prepare everyone for the change. This way there would be no startled looks, no stupid questions, we would address the person by a new name, make them feel at ease and move on. I think happily most people see it as an opportunity to show how inclusive they can be. Some are a little uncomfortable because they are not sure what to say or if something is even required to be said. I see this being a non issue within another week.

 The surprise for me was that it's not the person I suspected. There is a person in the offices that makes me feel like they are somewhere on the scale. It was however one of the engineers, I was really surprised and didn't see this coming. I guess I'm not as LGBTQ savvy as I would like to think I am. I don't know this person so I feel it would seem patronizing to go and say something to them but at the same time I wonder if it would help to know they have me firmly in their corner. Her coworkers are clearly on her side so I think the best thing to do is let things run their normal day to day routine. I certainly feel she is "home", as a man she looked scruffy and slightly unhealthy, as a woman she looks like she is where she belongs.

 The other night the person from the offices happened to come down in my area. I always saw "her" as a woman, I was thinking she looks like many of my lesbian friends. She has a lot of masculine traits, a woman but with some boy-ish features. While in my area she... walked into the men's bathroom. That really surprised me, now I'm totally curious just for the sake of being curious, is this person a guy that looks like a woman, a gay man embracing his feminine side or female to male transgender person. I think it's so fantastic that this is just part of the new normal, what I like the most about it is everyone seems to be "meh who cares", which is how it always should have been.

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Man turn offs.

 The buzz this week is over a certain singer who sang with his shirt off during the halftime show at the big football thingy last Sunday. I don't care about his nipples, I was grossed out by the walking tattoo nightmare that he has become. I liked Maroon5 twenty years ago and probably wouldn't mind seeing him shirtless back then but now it made me think of that relative that eats at the table during family gatherings with their shirt off, making everyone feel uncomfortable.

  I was thinking about the top five man turn offs for me. Things that immediately deflate a boner like one of Tom Brady's balls.
 1) Tattoos all over a guy, especially face and neck. Makes a guy look dirty to me. One or two can be hot but more than that is a turn off for me.
 2) "Woman butt", sometimes I see a really cute guy walking towards me, then I notice that he has the thighs and a butt like a woman does. It's game over for me when I see that.
 3) Long hair, especially long hair with a man bun. That shuts off the attraction button for me.
 4) Piercings all over, particularly I can't stand any on the face. The lip, nose, eyebrows or cheek makes me feel like I'm talking to a pin cushion. Earring or nipple done is ok for me but please no jewelry on the wee wee!
 5) Wig or some kind of hair piece, it creeps me out. If done really well then ok but most are not and end up looking like a raccoon crawled on top of some guy's head to die.

 There are more but I notice these the most when doing some man watching. Just like with window shopping, it's ok to watch and drool every now and again. ;)

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Steve makes a funny at work.

 Today at work, one of my coworkers (let's call him Khan) was using a chemical that is nasty. He wasn't wearing gloves and I warned him that he should wear gloves to protect his hands. We sometimes use surgical gloves, they protect us while giving us mobility at the same time. He actually took my advice and put on a pair, he is not used to working with gloves, plus he was working with very small parts and soon became annoyed. Holding up a gloved hand, I heard him sigh in frustration and say, "I don't like having to wearing this, I can't feel a thing with this on", so smart ass me says, "ah Khan, men have been saying that for years". It took him a second but he burst out laughing.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Ass biting Karma.

 I just love it when karma comes calling. A woman in Canada won a small lottery of 50 thousand dollars. Now it's not a million but 50k is nothing to sneeze at. When the woman went to claim it she was told no, that she is not getting a cent. You see the woman likes to steal from people (dirty and used a stolen credit card to buy the ticket. According to Canadian law you are not allowed to keep any profits resulting from a crime, that includes writing a book about your past crimes or having a movie made about your life of crime. Also includes lottery tickets that you bought with a stolen credit card. I'm sure this person hasn't learned a thing, I bet she is walking around whining and complaining about how unfair life is to her, she probably feels that she has been shafted. Sometimes you just have to believe someone or something is dipping a hand into daily life. Lol!!!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Trust broken.

 This week while I was on my way to work, there was a sudden urgent message over the radio about an early morning shooting in a mall and they were asking people to avoid the area. I was thinking to myself that it was probably another gang shooting, unfortunately Ottawa has become a very modern city and lucky us, we now have our very own drug gangs fighting for territory.

 I learned this weekend it was actually a confrontation between a police officer and an indigenous person. Yesterday there were native protests, seems a little fast to jump to conclusions but to be honest I no longer blame them. I was raised a good Catholic boy, in a good family and I believed in the rule and the fairness of law... then I grew up.

 In Canada, fortunately you can't just apply to be a police officer or get voted in, you have to take college and university courses, training etc. I can just imagine how hard the job must be so I don't want to take anything away from that fact. I was a person who always believed that the police were good and the ones saying otherwise were just scum looking for a way out. That belief is completely broken now, with video cameras and cell phones we have witnessed the police completely lying about a situation and the wild, crazy, almost unbelievable version of the person charged turns out to be true. Even for the gay community in Canada, we have just gone through a court hearing where a man confessed to being a serial killer, he killed and chopped up at least eight men that he admitted to. The police kept denying that there was a gay serial killer, I guess because we gays are such a flaky bunch that we will just disappear from our family, friends, pets and careers without saying a word to go off somewhere and have sex in a secret place... for years?

 I like when I'm taught a lesson in judgment, I often do it automatically but much less so now thankfully. For example, I remember some indigenous women saying that the cops in their area will let them go if they have sex with them, some said the cops almost force themselves on the women. At the time I was outraged, I remember thinking that these women were probably picked up driving drunk, selling drugs or selling themselves and were desperately trying to get off. I had a "ya right" attitude, there was no way I would believe such a crazy story for one second. A few weeks later, some female police officers said that they were often sexually harassed, sexually assaulted and raped on the job by male coworkers. Now I don't know what to believe anymore but my mind is wide open, if you rape your coworker on a stake out, what would you do to a woman that society looks down on.

 Closer to home a teenaged boy was badly beaten by a group of cops, he suffered many injuries. They said he resisted arrest and it took a group to get him down to cuff him. The kid told a different story however; he said that as soon as the cops showed up, he lay on the ground and gave up. He said the police then jumped out and attacked him for no reason. Sure.... ya right... as if... like cops are going to just start beating some skinny kid for no reason. Turns out that one of the stores had a camera facing the parking lot, they gave the film to the media. What we see next is this skinny kid ( who did just steal) walking out into a parking lot late at night, suddenly a bunch of cop cars appear. The kid is startled but knows he is caught. Before anyone even steps out of the cars, he lies face down on the ground with his hands behind his head. A smart move I thought, no use making a bad situation worse. Then we see a group of police pour out of their cars, run over and just start kicking and punching this kid.

 My trust is broken, I know there are plenty of good officers but we don't know which one is going to show up in a time of crisis. There are many more stories like these examples sadly. I have had neighbours that pull out their gun and start shooting at everything that moves, I certainly wouldn't want them as a cop! My mind is wide open about the incident last week, I hope it's not racially motivated, I will have a lot of empathy for the cop if he was placed into a dangerous situation but sadly I'm just not so sure anymore.

Saturday, February 2, 2019

February blahs!

 Goodbye January, don't let the door hit your ass on the way out! This winter is bad, really bad, there is a never ending, well below normal temperatures, constant freezing your butt off weather pattern here. Plus to make matters worse, it's constantly snowing. Normally if it's arctic temperatures, it's also usually sunny... not this year. I'm constantly getting texts from friends feeling isolated and trapped. At least with February we know we are on the home stretch. I'm thinking about turning on the outside lights again just to make it more cheerful. I've heard of Christmas in July, I would probably be committed for starting a Christmas in February trend. I'm going to search around for another fun holiday to culturally appropriate, it's worth a shot.

 I know in this area when they asked the groundhog to come out and check for his shadow, he said "you're joking right"?

Thursday, January 31, 2019

The "Buzz" Today.

 Everyone was buzzing at work after lunch. I asked what was wrong, apparently a guy who works in the offices upstairs, went away for a couple of weeks and came back this week a woman. I have an idea who it might be, there was a young person that I felt was in some sort of transition. I don't know anyone from that group so anything beyond that is just workplace gossip. I really liked one of the responses from an older technician when one woman started asking him if he had any extra information. He said that he has enough to worry about regarding his work load than to worry about something that is none of his business. Everyone went back to work thankfully, they got the message.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

"They" as in the gays.

 I'm currently working for a group that has a lesbian as the lead engineer. It's so amazing but she takes coffee breaks, eats lunch and wears socks... just like normal people do! It's funny to hear the comments when she is not around. They are not hateful comments, at least we seem to be past that point. They are basic lack of knowledge comments regarding gay people, statements made out of ignorance. It's comical to see how some people are surprised by gay couples and the totally mundane tasks that they do... just like everyone else has to do.

 I guess I shouldn't mention to them about the magical unicorn dust that every gay person uses to complete boring household chores, like cooking dinner or doing laundry. This way we have more time to listen to ABBA while applying glitter to all our clothes and reading poetry.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Translation for the elderly please!

 Last week two younger radio hosts were giving an older host a hard time over phrases. The older host is my age so still young, hip and cool like me. The phrase was "Netflix and chill", apparently among the younger crowd it means, why don't you come over, we'll watch a movie and then have sex after. Did you guys know about this!?! I didn't get the memo! I can't believe this! I can't count how many times I have turned people down because I don't really like watching movies, I thought it was about movies!

 The younger hosts went on to say that Netflix and Chill is actually a thing of the past now, nobody uses it! Now I'm going to be paranoid that I will miss some new phrase, one of my friends is going to ask me something harmless like maybe we should go for waffles and I'm going to panic, not knowing if we're going out to eat or should I wear a jockstrap and bring condoms. Being down with it... is hard work!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Now where do I go?

 Often we hear the phrase, "life is a journey, not a destination". I always liked that statement because I feel we are always on a journey, it's the only way our little minds can cope with constant change and if I have learned anything... it's that life = change. Alternatively if you believe that life is a destination, there is only one destination that we all reach sooner or later and that is a depressing thought regarding life.

 On our journey through life, we have many side journeys. I had become obsessed with my sexuality and placed a lot of focus on that journey. I think we often have to forgive ourselves when we get to a place where we are finally comfortable with where we are. We can't beat ourselves up (which I do) for not arriving sooner, it's healthier to think, "how did I get here, what correct steps did I take". Looking back we will see that it usually wasn't an "ah ha" moment, it was probably many little moments that add up over time.

 One of my side journeys, like many of you, is spirituality, I was raised in a Catholic home, we went to church every Sunday and holy days, I attended Catholic school, almost every neighbour around me was also Catholic. I can't tell you the suffering I had, the hatred, bigotry, homophobic bullying... no actually I'm kidding, I know many expect me to say that but it's not true. We were also lucky to have many kind priests and nuns like the Julie Andrews character, not those ruler beating kind. My parents, (especially my Dad) were very religious but it was more about a personal relationship with God than being a self righteous butt wipe.

 I always found religion interesting, I wanted to learn about it but not just my religion, I loved hearing about other religions. Sometimes I felt inside that it was cute in an innocent child like way, how people in other religions just accepted their stories. It would make me smile when people started telling me that a crow or a turtle would do something like open a clam or an egg and two people jumped out and started humanity. There comes a time however; when all your own stories that don't add up... start to add up. Talking turtles, talking crows or talking snakes with apples stop making sense to practical people.

 Suddenly the path I was on ended but instead of a fork in the road, I found myself standing in an open field. What direction am I supposed to take from here? I often read about people saying that they choose to follow "this particular religion" or they choose to be an atheist. I didn't "choose" anything, if it makes any sense, as I go through life, I feel like something is choosing me. I'm a realist, I prefer to rely on evidence based results, I "believe" in facts. I do however; have an open mind because I like to learn. If an angel suddenly appeared in downtown Ottawa, during the day, when everyone is sober, to all people religious and non religious, with cameras around that didn't conveniently stop working and said, "hey guys we are the real deal", my belief system would not collapse.

 I know that science is studying things like dark matter and dark energy, some say that what we perceive around us may only be about ten to twenty percent of reality so there is a great unknown. One day maybe there will be a discovery that will shock us. Until then I find myself standing in this field feeling a little lost but also at the same time... a little free.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Spending the night with Stu.

 I'm having Stu tonight, Stu can be so hot, I love Stu, so yummy tasting... oops stupid spell check, I mean stew as in homemade chicken stew. It has been simmering all day and I was having day dreams about some homemade stew all week. Some of the vegetables are from my garden so I was looking forward to the fresh taste.

 However (fffuck) I had to buy carrots and I didn't notice that they picked up a musty smell and taste from wherever they had been stored before reaching the supermarket. The cooking brought out the awful flavor and there is nothing I can do to save it. It tastes like the smell of an old damp basement. There is nothing more satisfying than having a good project ruined.

Well at least it looks good... :(

These are my purple potatoes and my regular potatoes. I like the purple ones slightly better, they have more flavor however I don't know what will happen now.

Friday, January 25, 2019

A bit too late.

 Meanwhile back at the ranch, we find our gay hero contemplating a relationship between Adam or Mabel the cow. At least Mabel listens better and is much more predictable. Suddenly Adam sees me as a potential boyfriend or at least someone to hang out with boyfriend-ish like. I thought of Adam as boyfriend material once, I really liked him at first and could see trying to make something work between us. The thing is that now I see him as flaky, we might enjoy ourselves for a while but I no longer have any trust in him. Instead of feeling excited at the prospect of a new relationship, I envision the difficulties that will come between us. I see dating him as a chore now and not a great life moment.

  He certainly has been asleep at the wheel, he was obsessed with flip flopping around regarding relationships. Right now, I no longer have any interest in a relationship with him, he waited too long, was too indecisive. He is too late or... he is really going to have to work at this.

Monday, January 21, 2019

Neighborly Down Through The Years.

 Over the weekend we plunged into the -30 Celsius range, in Deedles (or Fahrenheit) that is about -23 F, at that temperature I can think of another word that begins with "f". The unusual part was we got walloped with a lot of snow and high winds that caused huge drifts. Mother nature was not sticking to her deal she made for winter. Usually the deep frigid weather is offset by clear sunny days. The air on freezing cold days is dry as a desert so it doesn't snow. That is until this past weekend.

 I ran into trouble because my old tractor has a senior citizens clause in her contract, she doesn't work below -16 Celsius. I warmed her, I begged, I pleaded but no, she refused to wake from her sleep. With temperatures dropping and still more freezing days to come, I had to call in the big boys.

 My neighbor has an excavating company, they also do some snow plowing. I called and even though they were swamped, he came in about half an hour to dig me out. With the right machine he was done in about thirty minutes. I appreciated him coming and paid him for the job. While standing there talking to him I realized something that speaks about living in a community where families go back generations. He is younger than me and I told him a story about when I was a child my father became ill with pneumonia, like this past weekend there was a huge snow storm and we were snowed in. One of the neighbors had a snow plow and came to open up our road, I remember it being such a relief for mom. That man who helped us out, would be this man's grandfather.

 It's part of country life, that circle of people who are around and are reliable, it helps people get by. I often think that is what is missing in the city, a community, it's how individuals fall through the cracks or feel alone while surrounded by people at the same time. It's sad to me that most people don't know what it's like to have good neighbours for generations.

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Through the bridge to Grandma's house.

 When I was a child, almost every Sunday afternoon we went to Grandma's house, Grandpa was there as well some times but when we were little, Grandma was the star of the show. I remember trying to figure out who she was, it was like having another mom only older, more patient and kinder. Plus she had some crazy baking skills unrivalled by anyone on earth. It made total sense to me that she was my mom's mom when I was finally old enough to understand. I have a lot of great memories connected to our Sunday visits.

 Like a story in a book, "Off to Grandma's House", go by the church, past the fields, down the hill, through the covered bridge on our way to Grandma's house. Every week that was our routine. The covered bridge, a local secret, the road is an obscure road mostly used by farmers and summer cottage types. I'm not sure how long it's been there but had the title of being one of the few remaining covered bridges in Canada. Once while in a doctor's office, he saw me staring at his painting of a covered bridge. It was giving to him by the previous elderly doctor who himself, had received it as a gift back in the 60's from a patient. The doctor said to me that no one knows where the bridge is or if it even exist anymore. I told him, "yes it's still there, I know because it's about two miles from my parent's farm", it was the bridge found in my life's story.

Yesterday however that story ended because of the destructive nature of some people. On a cold winter day when everyone was staying off the roads, some piece of garbage set fire to the covered bridge. I can't tell you how sad that made me. A local landmark, a part of our heritage gone forever. It's like we can't have anything nice these days, some idiot has to ruin it for the rest of us. If I had heard that the person or persons got trapped while doing that, I would have no sympathy, I'm so sick of this garbage.

 I have always been worried about something like that happening. There was someone setting covered bridges on fire around here years ago. I was uneasy that some government sites started advertising the bridge as a tourist attraction. I think what saved it for all these years was the obscure road it serviced. Only a few weeks ago I passed through it and was going to take pictures with my phone and blog about it. I changed my mind and felt I should return with my camera for better shots. I regret that so much now. It's also unsettling that there is someone so destructive like that around. Sometimes they start with bridges, then houses closed up for the winter, then barns. The thing that drives me crazy as well is, if they catch the person who did it and they are local, ninety nine percent of the time that person's parents were scum when they were young as well, generations of idiots and they will get off with a slap on the wrist.

 I feel sorry for the residents on the far side, many will have to travel far to get to work. Many farmers have farm land on both sides, making them have to travel for hours with machinery this summer. It will probably take a couple of years before a new bridge is built because it's not a main through way, it will have a low priority on the construction list but definitely one thing for sure... it won't be a covered bridge, it will be a modern, functional bridge that you won't even notice crossing.

This is for Debra, the seeker! :)

 Debra, no need for seeking, if you like unicorns then prepare yourself for a sugar unicorn rush! Hope you enjoy this.

I will post later about "stuff".

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Coasting Through or Past Life.

 On Thursday during my lunch break, one of the younger guys in his thirties, was talking about a family member he is concerned about. She is in her twenties and in love, her boyfriend moved in and is working on living happily ever after. He is working on it more because it's a perfect arrangement for him. She has a good job which is perfect for him because he is one of those special people that is too good to work. His life of sleeping in, playing video games and watching t.v. is too important to be interrupted by work. My coworker is worried that they will get married before she sees the light or worse, he gets her pregnant, then she will have two babies to look after.

 This had people commenting on today's millennials, I hate that to be honest especially when there were a couple of really good employees sitting with us who are in that age group. The truth is they were not born that way, if you do absolutely everything for your child and shield them from every awkward moment until they are twenty one, no wonder they have zero social and work skills. I pointed out the unfairness of the statement, I reminded my coworkers that there were lots of people in each generation, the baby boomers and generation X, who coasted through life.

 I thought of a situation that is really sad, not sad as in the actual definition but sad more like a pathetic waste of a life. I was thinking about a friend of a friend, let's call him Mark,  this guy is a couple of years older than me. Mark is university educated and was often at the top of his class according to my friend. He is from a wealthy family and so understands the finer things in life, friendly, good personality, (he was) tall, dark and handsome. Everything that a young man could ask for to get ahead in life.

 However Mark's life plan is this, live for free by house sitting at wealthy friends who travel most of the year, collect welfare for spending money and wait out your parents in hopes to inherit their fortune when they pass. At some points in time, he has written articles for newspapers and they being totally impressed with his work, many times have offered him a job, which he promptly turns down.

 I find that to be such a waste, especially for someone with many talents. I should also confess that I am a classic underachiever at times as well, so I don't want to appear to be on some high horse regarding this man. I often say as a joke but not a joke, I'm smart enough to know how dumb I am, there are positions at work that I would love to have but I know they are beyond my level. I never want to be in a job where I am know as "that guy", the one who tries hard but is just not that good at what he does. We see it all the time, "I really like Bill but when I need to count on a project being done properly, I always go to Jeff".

 How sad is it that Mark let his life go by, he could have had great adventures but instead has to ask people to lend him money for beer or groceries at times. He's not mentally ill, just chronically lazy it seems. There is also a frustration for him now, when you are a handsome twenty four year old, people see you as a free spirit and still welcome you as a friend, when you are a fifty four year old and haven't changed, people see you as some sort of sponge and want nothing to do with you. I have to wonder with all his intellect, if he ever thinks to himself, "what have I done"? It's a little naughty of me but I also can't help wishing his parents a long, long and healthy life.

Thursday, January 17, 2019

That moment of, uh oh!

 Today was really cold, -31 Celsius, in Fahrenheit that's blah blah go google it because I'm too tired to do the math. Anyway I dressed up nice and toasty warm, a little too warm. They had the heat turned up at work and the lab was warm. The shirt I had on made me start to sweat at times and then after lunch, I hit that moment when you think to yourself... uh oooh... my deodorant has stopped working... crap!

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Comfy food.

 I stopped in to get some groceries on my way home from work and I saw they were having a special on raisin bread. I haven't had some in years. The bread had just arrived and smelled so fresh. Raisin bread is something I have to be in the mood for, at any other time I could be grossed out over it. Sometimes there is nothing more soothing than when you get home late from work and don't want a big supper, you can just have some tea and toasted raisin bread with butter. Good enough for me on this cold, cold night.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Not a Fairy tale.

 Once upon a time, there were these magical creatures called gay people, many of them looked just like people and could blend in without detection. Some people thought they were just like humans but they were very different in a negative way, certain people took it on themselves to keep the world purged of anything gay so as not to harm the children, THE CHILDREN, will someone please think of the children!

 Today while driving home, I heard the Catholic school board in Ottawa is going to ban the book "Drama", it's a book for children and it has a gay character in it. What kind of a message would that send to children, they will become confused and turn gay. Happens all the time, I don't care what you say. As if kids live in some kind of bubble, what happens when they see same sex couples kissing. I hate that kind of bull... I'm so tired of that homophobic crap, I don't feel like blogging about it anymore. One good thing is the way people are laughing at them, like some nutty group of people who wear tinfoil hats and think they have been abducted by aliens.

 Trust me, we are not a creature in a Fairy tale, we are very real, we're here, we're queer get used to it..... dumb ass!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Ahem, a little embarrassing but

 I pulled down the blinds, I don't want anyone to see, I keep the offending rooms dark to hide my embarrassment. With all the running around I had to do, I have to confess to you guys... because I know this community is a safe space and for the most part.... most of you are non judgmental but.... I haven't had time (or the energy) to take down my Christmas tree or most of my decorations! I'm going to do it now, maybe, right after I look at some pics of men on the net. Ho ho whoa! Look at the size of that guy's... ummm... hands!

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Steve's adventures in curling.

 I posted before about taking up curling, it's a lot of fun and forces me to get out and socialize. I was doing a lot of filling in for one team and was asked if I would become a permanent player after one team member had to step down. I happily agreed and then entered into a strange rollercoaster of being part of a team to not being part of a team. The final straw came when part of one team was hurt in a car accident. They decided to combine the remaining members of that team which were left, with the original players on my team. I understood, those people paid to join back in the fall and have been doing it for years.

 Losing my spot had become a reoccurring issue, people were getting hurt, some left for vacation, some tried to come back after their injuries, no one's fault really but after New year's, I said thanks but no thanks. I started to enjoy my Sundays to myself.

 This week they created a new team because missing one team was throwing everything off regarding who was playing who.  Two of the other guys had less experience than I do! One guy just tried it for the first time last week. Our skip (like team captain) is an elderly man who had been badly hurt in a car accident. I think I have watched this scenario many times during Walt Disney movies, Bad News Bears or Mighty Ducks. Before we started playing, I made it clear to the team that our strategy was to just have fun, they all laughed and agreed with me, the new guy saying let's just try to keep from embarrassing ourselves too much, I agreed. The game started and as usual, whenever you are having fun, it's two hours later and suddenly everything is over. Keeping with the Disney tradition, we had won!

 As I said last time, there is a small bar at the arena and all the teams meet to go over what went right, what went wrong, what went really wrong and how we can't really do anything about it!

 I started playing back in November and they said it runs until the middle of February. I was thinking that is way off in the future and wasn't sure if I wanted to commit to a winter schedule. Time flies and here we are, January will be half over Tuesday, next thing I know we will all be saying goodbye and to have a good summer. Leaving the arena, I witnessed something great about this time of year however, something that really picked up my spirits, when we walked outside, instead of the usual darkness to greet us, it was still daylight, the sun had just set but "day" hadn't followed it yet. One woman remarked, "this is wonderful, we made it through".

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Happy Birthday Mom.

 Today my mom turned 80, it seems so unreal to be typing that. However days add up to weeks and then years, suddenly here we are. We had a small gathering after supper with the people in the home, I brought cake, she likes sweets now and really enjoyed her birthday cake. The nurse asked mom if she was surprised to be turning 80, she said,"oh not really, I feel 80". The nursing home is more like a home and they treat the patients like family. They had a collection of decorations on the wall in the shape of balloons, in each balloon was how much an item cost the year mom was born. A nice house was $6000, a car was $750, rent was $28 a month and a can of soup was about 4 cents. I thought that was an interesting idea.

 I think back from when she was a girl, at 16 she finished high school and headed to the city. She took a course to become a secretary, one of the few jobs women were allowed to have. She loved being in the city and always regretted moving back to the country... but that's the price you pay for falling in love with a farmer and getting married. She was considered old when she got married, 23!

 When I was young she had her pelvis crushed in a farming accident, she spent months in hospital and then a wheelchair, they were afraid she would never walk again, she was determined to walk and eventually did. Many times before and after the accident, when dad was ill, hurt or called away, she held everything together with the farm, kids and work. Like most moms, she had super mom powers, even though she was barely above five feet.

 Her dementia was her main issue as she was still healthy and mobile. That appears to be changing now, this week we realize that her health is starting to slide as well. Even though we don't usually celebrate birthdays, I felt today was a milestone in birthdays and so wanted to make a little fuss over her. She covered her face when I walked out with the cake and we all started singing. I had a good visit, she joked with the staff and other people. Even though she won't remember any of the celebration within seconds of me leaving, I know there won't be too many more birthdays and wanted to do this. A few days ago we didn't know what tomorrow had in store for her, let alone a little birthday party, to be honest I think the birthday celebration was as much for me as it was for her. Happy birthday mom.

Friday, January 11, 2019

A Runny Nose Crisis?

 This morning I was listening to the radio and they were asking for donations of something I never heard being asked before. They were asking for tissue donations. It is cold and flu season so I began listening more intently. I have heard requests before, regarding items that we just never think about donating but makes total sense to donate. Items like soap, shampoo, deodorant, underwear, socks and even things like feminine hygiene products. Along with food and clothing, many of the homeless or working poor would appreciate getting these personal items.

 I was puzzled however; by the urgent request for tissues, I wondered to myself if there was some obscure reason people down on their luck needed tissues. I was also thinking that they are not that expensive, 99 cents will get you a box of the no-name brands at many stores. Listening further revealed the need. Now maybe because it's almost -25 Celsius here, I can claim "brain freeze" as my excuse, I'm not blond but if it's not too politically incorrect to say this, I had a blond moment. The radio host was asking listeners to sign their donor cards because there is always a need for organs and tissue donations.

Thursday, January 10, 2019

...and Katy Perry says!

 My gay dance genes allow me to enjoy pop songs. One of the pop artists I always enjoy when a song of hers comes on the radio is Katy Perry, I don't have any of her CD's but I find her music upbeat, fun and I like a lot of her hits. Now I understand that most of you are not young, hip and cool like me, you probably don't know who Katy Perry is unless you saw someone pretend to be her in a pride parade. Many of you are probably still asking, "is a CD that thing like my record albums or is it like my eight tracks"? All you need to know is Katy is a top forty pop dance type singer.

 Adam reminds me of one of her songs... a lot, I hear it in my head almost every time I message or email with him. "You... change your mind... like a girl changes clothes (a woman wrote that, don't shoot the messenger). The song is Hot'n Cold and communication with Adam is like living the lyrics. One minute he is coming on to me like a man driven by white hot passion, then the next day it's like a completely different man. Sometimes I get three emails in a day and then I don't hear from him for a day or two or three.

 "Steven, I really feel connected to you, I don't want you to think I'm the kind of guy who would just use you". Wow right? Then we communicate back and forth a bit. Next day I will say something about meeting up for dinner or drinks etc and I get no response or worse, "oh hey Steve, how was your work today, I went shopping for socks, I wanted dark blue ones but they only had the light blue ones". Cue the music... "You're hot then you're cold, you're yes then you're no, you're in then you're out, you're up then you're down.

 I like to add my own lyrics, "you like toasted then you like baked, you're an oddball or maybe a flake, you're a butterfly then a bee, best to use you as an f.w.b". I missed my calling as a writer of pop songs. I suspect he is probably hot and heavy into me until he gets some alone time with himself at home, after a few minutes on the internet, he probably cools off. He is a cute guy and has a nice personality, I confess that none of this really bothers me because I am on a mission, I don't see him as boyfriend material
but if we are alone together and something starts to happen, I am not using my brakes. I find it helps when you can visualize a person, even though he is not Latino, his nationality makes him appear to be at times and he thinks it's funny when people speak Spanish to him. He sort of reminds me of Jay Hernandez, the gentleman who plays the current Magnum P.I. and is also currently one of my top three tv boyfriends. :)

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Use to this?

 I wasn't going to blog about this at first but sometimes I look back in my blog to remember certain events and time lines. It's odd to say but when I was answering some of your comments, I was actually sitting in the emergency ward with mom. A lot of the time it's a question of hurry up and wait, wait, wait when you are there and so to kill time, like most people, I play on my phone.

 I wasn't going to blog about it because I don't want people feeling sorry for me, this is my life now, this isn't something extraordinary, it happens frequently and it's only going to get worse. Mom had tiny episodes before Christmas, she blanked out for a few minutes a couple of times but seemed to recover fine. Yesterday she did it twice and the second time they couldn't get a response from her, mom's eyes were open but she was just starting straight ahead and not responding to anyone.

 I was called to meet her at the hospital, driving down I was thinking this is something new, maybe it's a stroke, this could be the end. Honestly, yes I would be sad because it's my mom but I also would be okay with it, I have said my goodbyes to mom long ago. However when I got there she was responsive again and recognized me coming down the hallway which is actually a huge thing for her. She asked me when I got there. A little later she said the doctors were slow, they don't have enough staff on and that she doesn't have all day to wait on them (lol). I felt it wasn't a stroke by then, plus she was strong enough to go with a nurse to the washroom again.

 They feel it's mild seizures and are going to try medication. She would never sit through any tests and as the doctor said, even if they found something, an operation would probably be too dangerous at her age and the state she is in.

 A good friend was asking how I was doing and I told her to be completely honest, I am fine, a little rattled at first but I just went into caretaker mode, I told her "I'm use to it" which is sad in a way but "it is, what it is". If anything is going to bother me, it's usually later after everything has been taken care of. I'm not Mr cool and calm inside however, during the moment when I have to be strong, I am strong. I am really stressed about this situation as a whole, not about the hospital visits if you understand my meaning, and that is a blog post for another time.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Words Matter.

 Having been raised in the wilderness where most of your neighbours are cows, I have slipped up from time to time with some of my sayings, phrases or view points. I have repeated phases that I often heard without really thinking about the meaning behind them. I say this to point out that I won't pretend to be Mr perfect when it comes to being respectful towards others. I have made mistakes, I try to learn from them, I try to do better and I'm not going to judge someone else for a slip up.

 I say this because of something innocently said to me in a text yesterday that stung me when I read it. I kept thinking about it yesterday and this morning, I was wondering if I was being over sensitive but I don't think I am, if it's brother me, that tells me something. I know the person meant no harm so I'm not angry "with" her.

 It was when I was texting back and forth with a good friend of mine yesterday. We were discussing her nephew and his boyfriend and about me picking them out in the photo. She was wondering how I "knew" and I was joking back that "we can sense our own kind". I made the comment about how good looking he is and about the nice shape he keeps himself in. That's when she text back, "yes gay guys are always so good looking...  what a waste"! That phrase stung like a slap on the face. Now before people jump on my friend, I know she was just repeating a joke that straight women often used to say, she loves her nephew and has always been supportive of me so she didn't realize what she just said.

 Still it was an internal ouch, I often heard that phrase but didn't pay much attention to it when I was younger. I haven't heard it used in a long time and now it felt really hurtful because it means that I am a waste to society, I am not straight therefore I am taking up valuable space that could be used by a straight man. It also means that our relationships have no worth, that the only value is the potential of a future relationship of a straight person. Love is love is love as long as it's between two straight people, anything else is just a funny joke.

 I will text with her tonight and let her see the error of her comment. I am upset with the phrase and not actually the person who said it, I would like to help make this phrase become extinct.  I know she will feel awful, that's why I will wait until after work, she is a sweet person and might actually cry if she thinks she hurt me. I will do it not to scold her or argue with her but to help her, as people helped me when I (often) put my foot in my mouth.

Monday, January 7, 2019

Don't tell me what I know!

 Sometimes I stumble into the non politically correct stereotypes regarding the gay world. In the past I have tried to talk about the differences between gay and straight men, how they carry themselves, body movements, style and voice. Usually that is a hornets nest and similar to a child poking the hornets nest with a stick, people come flying from every angle, wringing their hands saying, "no, no you're wrong, those are just stereotypes".

 Today one of my closest friends sent me a picture of her children, nephews and nieces. I have watched some of them grow up, many I haven't seen since they were little. A great looking bunch of young men and women, now on their way into adulthood. Happy at how they have turned out but the photo was also causing a little sadness in me to see them becoming grown-ups.

 I know that one of her nephews is gay and I knew just by looking at the photo, I would be able to pick him out. One young guy had really good style, (clue one), he had a really good haircut (clue two), slightly avant-garde jewelry on (clue three) he was in nice shape, as in he worked out and not for just health reasons (clue four) and there was something about the way he was standing. I picked the correct one out. Also there was another guy there and I was thinking he looked like a team player as well. Later I would find out that he was the boyfriend.

 I have learned not to doubt my gaydar, even if they are married with five kids, sometimes years later I find out that they are gay. I know, I know, I know not everyone fits the stereotype but there are signals, signs and special connections that can be seen and felt between two members of the LGBTQ community, otherwise we would have never found each other in the bad old days. Lucky guy, starting out in life with a huge family behind him, boyfriend, career on the horizon and he is really  cute too. Still however; no matter what people say about stereotypes, I was able to pick him out in a split second :p

 Interesting fact, we may be hearing from him in the future.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

Toy Unwanted.

 Tomorrow is the sixth of January, many of the old timers used to call it little Christmas and didn't fully remove all the decorations until then. It is also Christmas eve for Orthodox Christians. I like to leave my decorations up until then because I enjoy them and because I'm lazy so I want to maximize my decorating efforts! While starting to put things away, I suddenly realized a funny Christmas story that has constantly been staring us in the face for years.

 There is a doll that stands in a corner of one of the bedrooms. It has been standing in a corner literally for about forty five to forty six years untouched, unwanted, unloved. Back in the day there were these dolls called Suzy Walker dolls, I'm not sure if they still make them but they were large and walked if you held their hand just right. My sister did not like dolls, she always pleaded with people not to get her dolls for Christmas. Instead she preferred boy's toys, she would ask..... ((gasp)) for toy guns, toy cowboys and Indians native American people, sports equipment etc, etc. She also had an artistic side and enjoyed paint sets or something to do with drawing but most definitely not uuugh... dolls.

 This of course lead to people trying to shove dolls and little dresses down her throat, mom gave up trying to do that almost from day one and warned others not to push it. One year my sister's godmother saw one of those Walker dolls, that actually looked a little like my sister at the time. Against my mother's warnings she went ahead and bought it as a Christmas gift. I will never forget the look on my sister's face as she pulled off the wrapping paper. I can only described it as the look just before a dog bites somebody. She then looked at my mother with complete disgust. Mom, quietly said "we will just set it up somewhere, don't break it". That doll's existence was in jeopardy but she did understand not to be disrespectful and so listened to my mother.

 It's funny how people will try to push the norms on children even if it makes them completely unhappy. They feel it's better to ruin Christmas or a birthday party, just to satisfy their ideology. Many times my aunt would ask, "does she play with the doll"? We would say no, and so she finally learned to buy the right gifts.

 That Christmas evening after we came home from my grandparents, my sister carried the doll upstairs and stood her in a corner, there to this day the doll has stood waiting for someone to come play with her... because that's what happens when you buy a hockey playing, fort building, horse back riding, future lesbian in the making... a doll.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Apology Accepted.

 I received (after a little prodding) an explanation for the sudden silence of Adam. It's a little flattering actually, seems when he was thinking about an "us" it never occurred to him that we were just getting together for some fun, (like 97% of gay men do) in his mind it was the beginning of a full on relationship between us and having just come through a breakup of his marriage (to a man), he felt it's not fair to me that he has so much baggage. I honestly thought he was looking for a friends with benefits type situation and I would have been cool with that, he is attractive and a nice guy, I don't see myself with him as a life partner, we have too many things that could come between us in a relationship.

 I let him off the hook in a sly way that allows him to keep from feeling embarrassed. I told him that everything is fine between us, that I felt he was just joking as he has made sexual jokes in the past. Then I proceeded to ask about a store he went shopping at, that way the subject transitions in a way that appears casual. Plus I don't want him to think about our emails too much, otherwise he may realize I was being a typical gay guy and just trying to be a dog. In my defense that seems to be the gay norm, I no longer expect a gay man to assume "relationship" as the first go to move, maybe I have become jaded.

 It was nice to be thought of as boyfriend material, it was nice that he didn't want to "use" me for sex, those were his exact words. If it weren't for the issues that I could see coming between us, I know that I would go for this guy. I know how to win his heart over from the jerk he was with, they wouldn't know what hit them lol. All is good, I can't be upset at him for being honest. He probably didn't expect me to bite at his hinting, he probably started to over think what had occurred between us and that's fine because the more I thought about it, the more I knew that I don't want a relationship with him either. This just makes me want to find the right guy even more.

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Resolutions, dating & other bull.

 I don't do new year resolutions but if I did I think I know exactly which ones to pledge to. I know that I often spend way too much time on line. Out here can be lonely and I often feel like I have stepped into a room full of friends when I get online. In my mind I am connected to society, I'm no longer alone. I don't "think" I am addicted to being on line, I actually "know" that I am addicted, to the point where it interferes with my daily life, to the point of costing me a lot of money. Yesterday was a good example, I wanted to send a simple text to a friend, he is on his way to warmer climates for the winter and I wished him good luck. That was at 9:45 am, before I shut my phone off, I wanted to check out a few blogs and send a couple of emails. After a few minutes, I felt that I was starving, I wondered to myself, "what time is it anyway"? It was 2:05 pm, I couldn't believe my eyes, what did I just do.

  My other thing to get on top of is my eating habits. Not dieting but diet, I used to be really good at watching what I ate. I remember when I got tested about eight years ago, the doctor told me that I had the lowest cholesterol levels he had ever seen in a person, he said to keep doing what I was doing. Unfortunately I didn't, now I would be afraid to see those numbers. As I become more youth challenged and pro couch potato, those are a combination that doesn't mix well.

 I was emailing with a blog buddy yesterday, in my view he has taken on the roll of the older brother I never had, a reflective, sensible and incredibly handsome older brother. I was telling him about how one of my new gay acquaintances, let's call him Adam, (I will say acquaintance because we're not at a friend level yet) started to hint at "something" between us. I kind of joked back but at the same time not a joke. Adam messaged me a really nice message about how he sees me and about us clicking together, then he also said a few really cool and erotic things to me. My blog buddy joked maybe things were looking good for 2019, I was hoping. I messaged back to Adam that I think he is very attractive, a great guy and that I am interested in getting to know him better. He never got back to me, I know he was on line, I know he read my message, I just don't get people these days. If it was reversed I would immediately reply, either yes let's go further or no I'm not ready, interested or whatever but at least I would reply. There is nothing he can do now to repair that mistrust, it shows me that he is clearly not boyfriend material, people are so weird.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

One last Christmas goodbye.

 Well another holiday season over, all the effort into which ever or whatever type of holiday people took part in or didn't take part in, the lights, songs, wishes, parties, gifts, movies, stories, cartoons and food, food, food. All over, now we settle down for winter but at least we know the darkest days are behind us. This holiday season didn't feel like it flew by, it feels to me like Christmas was a month ago instead of only a week. I'm actually still in a holiday mood, I am going to leave my decorations up until the weekend. I want to try and have people over before I take them down. Watching Charlie Brown Christmas clips on YouTube just recharges my Christmas spirit more lol. This was a good Christmas for me.

 I don't mean that anything extraordinary happened over the holidays, to be honest it was a lot less exciting than other years. I just mean that I didn't feel lonely or lost as I have the last two Christmases. I am surprised that I am still here, I thought last Christmas was my final one on the farm. I think that is what made it easier, I have said all my goodbyes to past memories and traditions. I have accepted moving on from here. This is probably going to be boring to most people but it's something I felt I wanted to put down in writing to look back on.

 There was one final goodbye that I wanted to make for myself, one final acknowledgement. Christmas day was beautiful here, a clear sunny day and not too cold, in other words a good day to drive. When the sun began thinking about setting, I took mom to her seniors home but I didn't want to return home myself just yet. I wanted to return to where I used to be celebrating Christmas at this time of day, my grandparents house. We were close to all our grandparents but more so to my mom's parents, we spent every Sunday there. At Christmas we would have a Christmas lunch and then go to my grandparents house. It was the typical hallmark movie, country Christmas. A huge gathering of family, lots of fun, lots of food and there was a skating rink across the street. I know now how lucky I was to have that.

 I drove to the town where my grandparent's house is, I parked across the street where the rink fortunately still exists. No one lives in my grandparents house now, no one has lived there for about five years. I shook my head at the contrast of the house being in total darkness, unkempt snow filled driveway and path. Compare that to Christmas lights, people, laughter, talking, smells of cooking the usual Christmas stuff of old... but eventually everything changes and I'm ok with that now, I don't feel like life has a vendetta against me.

 It wasn't a negative experience, it just was an experience. In fact the center was beautifully decorated in lights and Christmas trees, some of the surrounding houses were also well decorated so it wasn't a total gloomy feeling. I don't really remember our last Christmas there, once my grandparents started to get ill, holiday plans changed. I wanted closure of some sort, so as I drove away, I said softly to myself, Merry Christmas grandma and grandpa, thank you for the great memories. Then I proceeded down the back roads that would take me home like we used to do. I was thinking that it has probably been more than twenty five years since that happened, driving home with the bright moon shining on the snow, I was remembering all the times that we had done that as a family, tired and full but still a little bit excited at the end of a fantastic Christmas day.

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

It's 2019, really? Already?

 Happy New Year... yup blah blah, new beginning, blah blah, fresh page blah blah things are going to be different blah, starting over blah blah blah. The main difference here will be the new calendars that I will put up today. My family never celebrated the new year, I don't see it as anything special, to me it's another day that followed a different day that will be followed by tomorrow. It's 2019, seriously, really? Yikes I better get busy! What happened to the 80s, even the 90s for Pete's sake! The year 2000 has been gone almost twenty years, that seems unbelievable to me! I remember it like yesterday when the computers shut down and all the planes fell out of the sky!

  I feel that 2009 was probably my worst year ever for many reasons but mostly because of helplessly watching my father die. This means everything hits the ten year mark, that's startling to me, ten years. This year (2019) will neither be good or bad, as long as nothing catastrophic happens, the year can only be what I make it to be. I am not pledging to make any changes, I either will or I won't and no amount of dramatic promises to myself and others will affect that. My one new year wish for everyone reading this blog is something that my parents always valued and that is good health, if you have that or at least close to having good health, then everything else can fall into place, they used to say without it, nothing else matters, so I wish good health to everyone in 2019... that still seems crazy to be writing... 2019.