Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Birthday Eve

I like to think of today as, “Birthday Eve.” It’s the anticipation that something good is good to happen. Although whenever I think of it in these terms, I begin to sing the old Kate Bush song, Cloudbusting Ooh, I just know that something good is going to happen… I don't know when, but just saying it could even make it happen.” The simple fact about is, I love for my Birthday. And the anticipatory thinking is just one of the best parts. The best part began last night….
We were walking through the grocery store. It was “date night” and my idea of a great date was a hamburger, followed by Krogering. I casually mentioned that I needed to pick up a boxed cake mix, because I wanted to bake a chocolate cake for my birthday. The look that was upon my date’s face was heart-melting. He had already planned to bake me a chocolate cake from scratch. God, I love my Birthday.

My day will bring adventures around the city. With one notable exception. Readers of my blog over the years will remember that there is one restaurant I go to on my Birthday. It is a historical fact, and unwavering tradition that I eat my Birthday Dinner at Le Central, Denver’s legacy French Restaurant.  That will change this year. After thirty-four years in business, Le Central closed last September. My Birthday tradition is gone… just like my youth.

But, I will eat cake. And celebrate. My friends, will gather around, regardless of the physical location. I will celebrate the forth anniversary of my fortieth birthday. Meanwhile I will quietly sing… “I just know that something good is going to happen… saying it could even make it happen.”

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Back to Class

Monday marks the beginning of the Spring Semester. Just the thought of this makes my head spin. It seems that just moments ago I was celebrating the end of the 2015 fall semester. My MacBook has not even cooled down from the massive amount of writing that I did, now it is time to crack it open, and log on to my on-line classes again.

Today finds me feeling a bit nostalgic about going back to school. There is no longer a formal return to the sacred and hallowed halls of my college, since I began taking all on-line classes. I somehow forget during these times of misty eyed revisionist history that the physical returning to the University also brought months of sitting in a class headed by close-minded idiot professors, droning on about their personal agendas. Although, if I am honest with my self, what I miss most was sitting behind hockey players who had allergic reactions to wearing pants.  If I really examined my attending of classroom based classes, it was a trade off. Yes, I now avoid the close-minded Professors by taking my classes via computer, but I also miss hockey players falling asleep in class with the gym shorts slipping lower and lower.

But, I don't regret switching to my electronic class room. This means I can do my school work at one of the cities gayer coffee shops. With a wider variety of boys in gym shorts. On Monday I will have to scope out my territory. My new classroom.  I will then quickly begin to countdown the days until May 9th. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Heteronormativity and Oral Care

Being in a same-sex relationship has it challenges. I know that was the understatement of the century. We all know that living in a hetero-centric society, when you’re not the norm is ripe with issues. Yet, is seems that most of the time being part of the GLBTQ rainbow is down-right amazing. This different view on life, makes us happy to be unique.  When asked about her struggles in life, Carrie Fisher stated "Find your tribe. Don’t wander around feeling different than everyone else.”  This speaks to beginning a relationship with someone. The romantic path seems to be the same for everyone. Yet, in a society that sometimes unknowingly gives easier steps to male-female stereotyped relationships feeling different is sometimes hard to avoid.

I thought about all this as I stood in the oral care isle of my local grocery store.  I was getting to the step of buying a toothbrush for my Sweet Baboo. If you have never been in love before, this is a critical step in mating. You wake up at the other person’s house and discover that they have gone out and purchased a new toothbrush for you. It means that they think you’ll be sticking around. It symbolizes a bond; a next step in the dating world. I was ready to make this plunge and declare my deep “like” by presenting him is his very own toothbrush. It was a huge step, and I was nervous.

This is when I noticed how toothbrush manufactures were a bunch of heteronormative jerks. Jerks I say. Every two pack of toothbrushes had a perceived masculine color and perceived feminine color. Oral-B- Purple and green, Colgate- blue and pink, even Reach had only blue and pink. It was a straight couple toothbrush conspiracy. From standard to electric brushes, if you wanted to save money and by a two pack, you were forced into hetero-centric roles. Sure, it’s easy to buy to separate blue toothbrushes, but it’s the point of having to buy two separate toothbrushes. To cram them together, like your just like everyone else.  Straight couples don’t have to buy separate packaging. They don’t have to decide who gets the blue brush. What? One of use should be forced to decide to take the pink brush role?!?! Outrageous.  

Being in a same-sex relationship truly does have challenges. But, I refuse to wander through the grocery store feeling different than everyone else. Carrie Fisher wouldn’t want me to do that.  For now, my same-sex partner and I have separate packaged toothbrushes.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Run Towards Something

Over dinner a friend was detailing the cycle she was in over breaking up, then getting back together with her girlfriend. This was a relationship where it seems impossible to create a solid, healthy connection, and seemed impossible to end and moving forward. It was explained as an endless cycle of mistrust and conflict. No matter how painful the situation was, it was explained that it felt safer to continue the conflict than simply committing to ending the connection. Like the idea of being single, ending a toxic relationship was simply life-ending terror. More terrifying then the endless emotional abuse, relationship rollercoaster that was over-taking her life.

This puzzled me. Like ending a relationship somehow is an indication of failure. Like having the strength to let go is less important than the perception of the outside world judging the relationship. It truly isn't a case of running away from a "good fight" it is a case of running towards a "good choice."

“You don’t need strength to let go of something. What you really need is understanding.” ~Guy Finley

We have a tendency to crave and depend on external emotional support, we get this primarily from our relationships. Then, when we need emotional support because of our relationship, we feel there is nowhere to turn. We wait and re-live the same damaging issues over and over. Somehow expecting another external means of support,  so that we don't have to be strong. This is a means of bypassing the perceived lack of inner strength to rely on someone else’s. Meanwhile our inner voice continues  to scream that it is all wrong. This starts a vicious cycle of self-abuse. Feeling to weak to change your own situation, secretly wanting someone else to fix it.  Giving the conclusion that the problems and obstacles appear to be insurmountable.

What is needed is a possibility. A vision of what life could be. That safety and happiness can grow away from the confines of the relationship. Of any relationship, and on our own terms. This leads to a simple choice. A rational decision to seek happiness, and go search of it. The fear of ending a relationship is soon replaced by a unshakeable conviction that there was something better out there, and an unwillingness to ignore that knowledge. This rarely comes form external forces, but a commitment to one's own well-being. It’s about finding clarity on what you want instead. Giving yourself a goal to go toward rather than run away.

Monday, January 11, 2016


The boy I'm dating has gone away. To Thailand. On vacation.

I was very excited to learn about his exciting adventure when it was first shared, so long ago... I believe it was our first date. Sitting over pizza hearing about the far distant future plans. As I got to know him, the date of the over-seas trip still loomed so far out in the distance. He would share plans, how his group of college friends planned to all take the trip together. The person heading up the plans for the group was a "A-type" trip planner, I had full faith that the trip would be safe and fun.

Suddenly it's January. At the last minute the couple whom were instrumental in coordinating the trip had to cancel. When I first heard of the cancelling of the coordinators my Daddy Bear protectiveness wanted to kick in. I asked if the boy friend was still going to go. When I was told, "yes" I started asking, Do you know the hotels? Do you know were you're staying? Your flights? Have you packed?  That means that the Sweet Baboo was flying to Thailand without a lot of the preparation. He had relied on others to plan.

Last Friday I kissed him goodbye and set him off on a plane. This was after he forgot his own luggage, realizing it upon check-in at the airport... I told him that I wasn't worried... There are certain times when you realize that you have fallen in love with someone... times when you don't doubt that love for a second. I am positive he and his friends will have a blast in Bangkok. But, just don't tell him how much I am worried, or how I miss him. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Four Eyes

It is time for new glasses. I've been putting it off for months, and by months I mean a year. But, my procrastination ended yesterday. I was excited more for the idea of shopping for some sexy frames, than being able to see again. I wanted something "Clark Kentish" I imagined pulling my big, chunky black framed glasses from my face. Maybe to prove the importance to an issue I'm discussing with a co-worker. I'd whip my European frames from my nose, pausing, then expressing concern to this quarter's budget. Holding my chunky frame in one hand, I'd say " Look Alex! We need to push the P&L in third" or.... something like that. I don't actually don't know anyone named Alex. You you get the picture; its 20:20. 

My exam went as you would expect a exam would go. Well, until the Optometrist, as he completed my written forms, stated out loud, "God, I can't spell today." And I slowly and loudly recited "T--O-D-A-Y" After what felt like an eternity of him staring blankly into my face, attempting to soak in my.... humor, he calmly explained how I needed bi-focal glasses. 

With my written prescription in hand, I now still seek those perfect new frames. Who knew it would be so hard to find Clark Kent's glasses? 

Monday, January 4, 2016

Apple Watch

I honesty didn't see the reason for an Apple Watch. Mostly because my phone hasn't actually left my hand in over a year. Well, when I sleep I guess. Then it's on the pillow next to me. Seriously. I guess during sexy time, but sometimes even then. Don't ask. The only time my phone isn't on my person is when I'm showering. So if my phone is always in view why would I need another version it it on my wrist? 

That all changed when I unwrapped the most amazing Christmas gift ever.  Well, after my Slaughterhouse Five tee shirt. As soon as I began to bond with my wifi enabled friend, I learned what all the hype  was about. It's simply amazing. The best part, other than looking like Dick Tracy as I send texts; is the ability to send and receive texts in the shower. And, change songs by simply touching my wrist. 

Using my Apple Watch during sexy time  will leave my hands free. Think of the possibilities. 

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Goodbye 2015

You hear a lot, this time of year, on how New Years sets the tone for the entire year. New Year's Eve of 2014 was a bad time, full of bad choices. But, that very night served as a catalyst to rewrite my whole world. My New Years resolution for 2015 was to rebuild Steve in a whole new way. And, as I stand on the door step of 2016, I'm happy to report that I successfully accomplished it. 

I shrugged off a toxic relationship, a toxic job, and a toxic life. In spring of 2015 I closed a lot of doors behind me. I said goodbye to a home and relationship that was serving to feed unhealthy and abusive behaviors. I also resigned from a job that had me stuck on a never-ending treadmill. It took until June to discover me again. In a new home, surrounded by unconditional support. I had a new job where I was rediscovering what progress felt like. By the end of December 2015, I was figuratively a new man. 

The re-set button has been pressed; let's see where 2016 takes me. 

New Year

It seems that New Years has an almost magical quality to it. A time when everyone takes a moment to check in and take an inventory of their lives.  An off shoot of this movement is all the "New Year - New You stuff. It can be easy to dismiss this as a bunch of bull, mostly because it thrown around as a catchphrase. Tossed out by advertising to capitalize on half-dedicated folks that may not take a New Years resolution all that seriously. 

During this time of resolution making, why not focus on committing to treating your physical body, and soul better? But, here's the catch; it is super easy to say you'll go to the gym. There hardest part is showing up. The follow through. 

Resolutions aren't built on the deciding of a new path, they're forged by walking down that new path. Over and over. So ignore the resolution hype, instead just decide to take action. To take actions to build a better you. Let me quote a master  of committing to new principals when I say, "Do. Or do not. There is no try."