Saturday, March 31, 2012


I have been speaking about integrity a lot lately. After much thought I decided to leave my happy work from home job with the US Navy and move forward with my career.

When I transitioned my job from a bustling office in a Department of Defense office building, to my home office, I was thrilled. My own hours and my own plan. Then, I came to realize that I was just on my own. This is when I decided to move on, and back to a busy office.

Interviewing is an odd part of your life. It's half, self-centered self-promotion, and half being the dorky kid wanting to be picked for the baseball team. But, one word came up in all my interviews. Integrity.

I believe it was my second apartment. Being just a dumb twink, money was tight. Before I knew it I was late on the rent. I walked slowly to the Manager's office after finding a notice taped to my apartment door. The manager of 1160 Ogden Street was a massive woman who once was a massive man. Like a first generation transsexual or tran 1.0 she was happy being a big beautiful gal. But, that day she wasn't happy to hear that it would be three days until she got rent money.

This is when she taught me about integrity. Integrity, is the only thing that can not be taken away from you. You can give it away, but it can't be broken like your will, or deprived like your freedom. Your integrity may be all you have. Sometimes it will be all you need.

I thought about the trans-apartment manager as I sat with the Director that was looking to fill an amazing position. I retold my thoughts on integrity. I left out the part where the police showed up in the middle of the night to haul off the trans-manger due to her embezzling thousands of dollars of property management funds, but hey, it was still a great lesson.

It got me the job.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Just Keep Running

Yesterday I grabbed my new Puma NightFox TR running shoes, and headed towards the gym. I bought these visions of green and blue Puma technology in January and have kept them in their own special carry bag since then. I like to keep my running shoes in pristine condition and only wear them during actual running. This of course, makes me one of those nerds walking into the gym with a bag of shoes slung over one shoulder.

As I drove to the gym, ready for some quality time with a tread mill, I started to mull over why my “strictly running” shoes were not the answer to my shin pain. Even with all the support and cell technology built into these shoes I was having the same problem. Heel strike. I have never been able to really change my stride. It has improved; my crippling shin splints have decreased dramatically with training how to run on my forefoot instead of smacking down on my heels, yet after any amount of running I still had soreness and pain in my lower legs. This is due to the tendons and muscles surrounding the tibia being unable to absorb the shock I force this muscle group to absorb in my bad running form.

When researching how to correct my stride and relieve my pain, I found that proper foot landing during running was critical, but improper footwear, including worn-out shoes can also contribute to shin splints. This is when I started treating my heavily padded Pumas as if they were my children. My new kids were disappointing me. I thought back to an article in Runner’s World* about barefoot running. Proponents of the barefoot movement argue that barefoot running is healthier for feet and reduces risk of chronic injuries, notably repetitive stress injuries due to the impact of heel striking in padded running shoes. Figuring that I would try anything, I stopped off at my local REI store. After no less than five associates warning me to break them in SLOWLY, I strapped my new Vibram FiveFinger shoes on and headed to the gym.

The United States Army recently banned the use of Vibram FiveFinger toe shoes for image reasons* I can see why, they… take awhile to get used too. On my walk from the car, through the locker room, and to the treadmill I had four people stop and ask me how they felt to wear. In spite of the friendly sales associates at REI warning me that if I didn’t break them in slowly my feet would fall off from pain, I hopped on the treadmill and took off.

I would like to report that my feet did not, actually fall off. Today, they feel… amazing actually. My normal feeling of shin splints is non-existent. The barefoot feeling forced me, without me knowing, to land correctly on the treadmill’s belt. Yes, these shoes force unwanted attention down to my toes, but with the help they give me running I’m okay being a toe exhibitionist.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Pain au StevieB

It started on Friday morning. That twinge you get deep in your jaw. Something was wrong, horribly wrong in my mouth. I realized quickly that a filling I had replaced around a month ago had turned against me.

I will spare you the tale of woe, if you have ever had a toothache, you know of the pain and utter ouchiness. What I will tell you about is when I called my Dentist, late on Friday; he prescribed heavy painkillers for the weekend. Steve. On Vicodin.

Late Friday night, after huffing my Vicodin happiness,  I found myself sporting gym shorts and a wife-beater standing in the candy isle of Walgreen's (chain drug store.) I was looking madly for “pain au chocolat” because when I get high, I either turn French or into Eddy Monsoon. Not finding chocolate croissants in a small town drug store, I stumbled upon a dog bed. It was shaped like a Homer Simpson stylized doughnut. My laughs turned into snorts when I thought of my dog lounging in the middle of the glazed treat. My snorts stopped as sadness covered me, I wanted to buy the silk-screened doughnut, but I was convinced I’d get pink frosting all over my hands. When expressing my sadness, I was escorted quickly out of the store.

Me. Shopping for
pain au chocolate.
Saturday found me filled with determination. I was going to the International Auto Show even if I was jacked up on painkillers. It only comes but once a year, so really I HAD to go. I whole-heartily endorse going to car shows hopped up on the drugs, it makes the shiny cars… “real [SIC] pretty.” Although I did ditch the guys a couple of times, once to spend ten minutes in the cab of a Dodge Big Horn convincing myself I owned it, and another time to spend time pondering if I just drove out the side door in a Wrangler anyone would even notice. I think, fun was had by all.

Finally, Sunday came. After a massive pancake breakfast and a trip to a local vintage electronics trade show, I finally slowed down enough to change shorts and head to the gym. This is where my body over-ruled my “man ‘bout town” attitude. As I changed into my gym shorts I fell back into the bed. Eight hours later I awoke. My jaw was killing me.

My weekends are usually non-stop. Even if they are hazed over, drug fueled, Stevie pumped full of Vicodin, goodness. Determined to keep my busy stride, I just really needed to stop and listen to my body. I was; however, very entertaining to my friends. So, not unlike Eddy Monsoon.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Spring Break Beard

Today is my last full day of Spring Break. The only impact it really has is that my “spring break beard” will have to be tamed soon. I liked the fuzziness; although, today I think it changed from lazy college student to homeless man.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Thai Me Up

I have found myself addicted. Again.

I go through phases where I cannot get enough of one type of food. Last fall I stood in front of my favorite, and recently closed, Japanese fast-food restaurant and shook my fist and the locked front door. I had been eating lunch there almost every day for six months and without even consulting me, they closed the location. The betrayal of closing my favorite restaurant helped me spiral down into a cheese pizza tirade that lasted four months.

Although I still visit the cuisine of Japan regularly, I have gone to Thailand to find love. Peanut sauce and curry love. My fascination with the food of Thailand has grown to the point that I’m now the love slave of a nineteen year old Thai boy, named, Chad. I am at the point where I’ve visited his family’s tiny restaurant so many times that Chad now puts in my order as I walk through the door. As he places my over sized plate of chicken and veggie stir-fry, with extra peanut sauce and crispy garlic, he says, “Your favorite, Keith!” He calls me Keith, but that’s okay. Because I love him, he brings me spicy Thai peanut sauce.

Yesterday I found that I am cheating on Chad, as I have started to teach myself Thai cooking at home. After spending thirty bucks in the “Oriental Food” section of my local grocery store, I have all the ingredients to make a  เตะตูด Thai curry. Ya know, coming from a nerdy Mormon boy, I think I'm learning how to make a great stir-fry. This weekend there will definitely be a trip to Sakura Square and a shopping spree for more supplies. Please, don’t tell Chad. He’s sensitive.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

International Auto Show

Ah, Spring. It is the time of year when a young man’s thoughts turn to love. Well, most men anyway. My thoughts turn to the upcoming International Auto Show. Like the swallows returning to Capistrano or gay men booking gay cruises, spring signals that it's time for new vehicles to be drooled over at the annual auto show, coming to town this weekend.

I’m not sure who started the rumor that gay men don’t like cars? Whoever said that gay guys aren’t butch enough to be Gearheads needs a good smack in the head with my Prada bag. Now, granted that most gay gearheads may not want to get down and dirty with gear ratio or pressure displacement, but if you want your bearings packed, look for a gearhead gay. It’s not that we, as a people, don’t necessarily like to work on cars, it’s that we have better taste and lust after cars for the aesthetics along with performance. Ask any gay to name Ford’s line up verses Audi’s nameplates and you’ll see.

This is why, coming weekend, the auto show at the convention center will become the hottest pick up spot in town. The gear-moes will be out in force, shopping for, or just drooling over their new crushes. Of the four-wheeled and two leg kind.

If you need me this weekend, I’ll be sitting in the cabin of the new F-250 Diesel. Or maybe the Dodge Ram 2500. I like them big.

To check out more information about the Denver Auto Show, click here.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Spring Break

I slammed my eight pages of writing down on the Professor’s desk and suddenly it became Spring Break.

In my creative writing class I started to hang out with the cool dudes. I think this is funny because sitting with the dudes would never have happened in my past rounds of education. I like to think it’s because I’ve connected to a couple of them in the gym. Most likely it’s because of our group projects. I like to actually read our assignments and give feedback during class discussions.

As one of the cool kids, last Thursday, we sat in the back of class discussing what we were going to do for Spring Break. There seemed to be a theme of non-shower sittin’ on the couch chillaxin. There was also a lot of mountain road trip talk. This is when I would have said “finally starting the Erik Larson novel and replacing the garbage disposer.” Something told me that this sounded lame even in my standards. Something in my head just clicked; I whipped out the iPhone and my HRC credit card. Finding the Best Western in Santa Fe that some friends were staying at, I booked two nights. Just in time to say, “I think I’m going to head down to Santa Fe, New Mexico for a while, chill out there.”

As I crossed over into the state of New Mexico, I started to giggle. I love road trips. Live for them actually, yet I couldn’t remember the last time I took one. The nineteen year old dudes in my class think they are pretty smart using me to do the majority of the class work, but they don’t realize that I’m using them quite a bit more. I used them to realize that when you get a Spring Break, you should use that time and enjoy life.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Demolition Man

There was just enough room between the last pole of the chain link fence and the side of the house. The fence was festooned with warning signs. “Keep Out” and “Guard Dog on Duty” but I knew there weren’t any dogs. At least I didn’t think so, at any point a couple of muscled watch-dogs could have leapt from the old Victorian house. I stopped halfway between the fence line and the massive edifice, hearing only my heartbeat and Interstate 25 humming off in the distance, I trusted that if there were dogs, they would have attacked me by now.

In my youth I did this almost nightly, just to look inside the hulking manors before they were ripped from the ground. My motivation was to be the last human to walk the decks of the Titanic before the rust and water pressure turned the iron to dust. Back then I would wander around theses houses thinking of the Silver Barons that built the brick and mortar, and within days the reception parlor and massive staircases would be gone from the Earth. These 1890’s monuments, sitting in the city’s once finest neighborhood were replaced by condo buildings to overlook Interstate 25 and downtown.

Now it seems the tide of obliterating our Victorian history has turned. The thinned out herd of massive mansions, with their stone and wrought iron filigree, do not get hunted down and murdered as they sleep anymore. Some survived. Somehow. In our new, enlightened and mature sense of preserving the past, the houses that once sat in the finest neighborhoods turned skid-row has now returned back to the city’s finest neighborhood.

“I hadn’t done this in years.” I thought as I pulled a sheet of plywood from a back window. I guess I didn’t need to. “They hadn’t torn down a Victorian house in ages.”

As I made my way through the house I could see a considerable change, this particular mansion wasn’t set for the chopping block; it was being prepped for “restoration.” Fifteen years earlier I explored the house that once stood next door. In a gaping hole in the upstairs bedroom I jerked off watching the city below me. Now condos “priced in the mid-300” have taken its place.

The feel of this house was different somehow. In the dozens of house I’ve explored I felt the Green Mile death walk sensation, this feeling was one of anticipation. Looking out of an upstairs window, out at the city, I started to jerk off. As I glanced over at the next-door condo building I met the eyes of one of the tenants on their balcony.

“Guess it’s all changed.” I said to the front parlor room as I kicked out the plywood on the front door. I ducked into a homeless shelter-turned-hipster club as the cop car turned the corner.

Monday, March 12, 2012

My Furry Happy Weekend

We had three great days of sunny, warm weather over the weekend. Maybe our first truly warm days since fall, fell. You can tell that everyone was jumping on the chance to enjoy the great weekend by the hordes of people spilling into the park and jumping at the chance to go out on the town for dancing and mischief-making. Visitors to Cheesman Park were trying their best at soaking up the sunny weekend, not knowing when they’ll get the chance to feel it again. The running path in Cheesman was crowded as runners gave up the treadmill and ventured out into nature.

I watched all this unfold from behind the plate-glass of the coffee shop on 9th and Downing Street. I spent my weekend writing a paper on the topic of homosexuals and how they were portrayed in mid-century media. How movies and literature portrayed homosexuality as a sickness, something to be feared or pitied. As I typed away on the topic of self-loathing in the GLBT community, two twenty-somethings sat at the next table hatching a plan to raise funds to bankroll an awareness campaign for our local meal delivery program for people living with HIV.

I did put down the lap-top long enough to attend Bearracuda: A fun, friendly party for Bears, Cubs, and other wildlife. It’s like a circuit dance party for the happy, furry set. I’ll blame the weather, but I had an amazing time. My good friend Gary Givant was DJing and it's always a great to dance to his tunes. Gary is a DJ and constantly has his feelers out for new tunes; he seems to always have new, upbeat songs before anyone else. My opinion may have been skewed by the hot muscle dudes tromping around, but it seemed like just the perfect prescription to top-off the weekend.

The thesis of my paper was how our GLBT community had their identity originally formed by fear mongering, agenda driven media types. This was an attempt to drive self-hatred down into our very collative soul. It may have worked for a while, yet this weekend proved to me that we have come a long way.

Friday, March 9, 2012


My first thought of Twitter was that it was just randomly shouting into the dark. Spurting 140 characters then watching the traffic of porn stars and early adaptors speed past. I didn’t understand the attraction, why were all these porn stars and narcissistic celebrities just blurting out “I forgot how much I love pickles!” for the known-world to read?

The first Blogger.

In my eternal quest to be one of the cool kids, I trudged on trying to “get” the avant-gardeness of being a Twit? Tweetaphile? Twttererererer? Like jumping into a swimming pool in Florida; there’s always the chance that a wayward alligator may be resting at the bottom, yet you jump in anyway. With my Über social awkwardness tucked under my arm, I jumped in and began to see it as a way promote myself, a billboard for all things… blogger me. I quickly realized that Twitter was just a series of advertisements for people, a 1984 Apple commercial for people’s egos. But, for me it has become a place to hang out virtually with the “my dudes” talking dirty, and flirting.

If Twitter is hanging out in the garage, getting dirty with your buds, and Facebook is sitting with your family in the living room, blogging must be spending time in the study. Relaxing on the couch, talking one on one. Laughing and retelling old stories about each other. So, it was odd to find myself last night stuttering at a simple question.

“What’s the name of your blog?”

This was asked by my English Professor. We were discussing my thoughts on the Mormon Church, and he asked if I ever thought of writing my story. Without thinking I mentioned that I have a blog and write about it ad nauseam.  Now, I have never shied away from telling people about my little backwards corner of the net, without getting too metta, I clammed up.

There is a place for everything, twitter with its unruly rugby team mentality, blogging, and English class. At that moment I stood frozen, like trying to pee next to François Sagat. You know he’s going to look over, and he has seen a lot of other dicks…. This was the very first time I felt guarded about my blog. It was a strange feeling. A feeling I don’t really care for, yet it was the same feeling I had when my niece asked if she could follow me on Twitter. Having an English Professor read your formal term-paper is one thing, sitting with him in the study as he does it is quite another.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Logo TV

I’m sure you have heard the news. The bell tolls for the death of Logo, the gay TV channel. It won’t be a nice peaceful death, covered in olive oil, reposing in a Beverly Hills’ Hotel bath tub. No. The corpse of the little gay TV network that brought us Rick and Steve and Jeffrey and Cole will be gutted, and reanimated like Frankenstein’s Monster. The Network will arise from the slab attempting to look like so many overly processed Housewives on the Bravo Network.

If you read my blog for long you’ll notice that I stay away from anything political, there are much better and more astute bloggers for popular news stories. That being said, when I read about Logo changing its platform, I felt as if RuPaul had just told me to “sashay away.”

Logo has decided to attempt a Bravo Network format. This grabbing at Bravo’s Housewives franchise will be mixed with some Lifetime channel and other female centric shows, along with reality shows just to make the train wreck “fabulous.” If the channel’s inauthentic reality show, The A-List was the canary in the networks coalmine. The bird is dead.

I will miss my Logo channel. It won’t pass peacefully and much as it will be murdered.

America will have a new source for faux reality shows about the housewives of mobsters, forcing their toddlers to compete in pageants as tables get flipped in arguments over the bidding of abandoned storage units. Must avoid TV.

For a short time we had a channel for us. Like when MTV showed music. My hope is that young gays will be able to grow up remembering how this channel helped them come out and not remember how The A-List made inauthentic stereotypes of our community.

Any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for gayTV...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Crunchatize Me Cap'n!

I have been craving huge amounts of cereal this week. I’m finding that it doesn’t matter what kind, just cereal. I have ventured to the grocery store several times trying to find the next brightly colored box to get my fix.

Yesterday I stood in the middle of the seemingly endless breakfast food isle. A parade of cereal cartoon mascots mocking me for the staring contest I foolishly instigated with Tony the Tiger. Keeping my gaze fixed on the buff tiger, I pulled out my phone. I dialed my ex boyfriend. I was about to ask him if he remembered that type of cereal I loved to eat back…. eight years ago? Because... that’s a normal thing to phone your ex boyfriend and inquire about.

I lost the staring contest with Tony as it hit me; I needed to listen to my body. It was trying to tell me that I was in serious need of something. I did know it wasn’t a carbohydrate craving. I know how those urges that make me want to be number two in a human centipede with the Krispy Kream conveyor belt feel like. This wasn’t a carb-hole, my body needed something more. Whole grains? Fiber?

After exploring dietary nutrition information, reading about the benefits of fiber, and re-reading my multi-vitamin bottles, it dawned on me. It wasn’t my body that was making me crave whole grains, it was my head. The happiest way to escape stress has always been for me to sit in my underwear, eat Cap’n Crunch, and watch Superman cartoons.With my work and school stress this week, my head was urging me to have some underwear clad cereal time.

After going for a run, finishing a paper on Shakespeare’s, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and finishing my monthly reports for work, it will be time to unplug and watch some serious amounts of Cartoon Network. Time for me to just relax in my Under Armour with the Cap’n.