April 30, 2011

Instant gratification

Everything is right at out fingertips. Our phones connect us to the world in a few seconds. We can get everything right now; we find it an inconvenience to have to wait for something. We can even get booty calls online. I think this instant gratification has affected our relationships too.

I was talking with a friend the other night, he mentioned that a few gay couples he knows have seemed to move quickly into a relationship. And then seem to break up just as fast. He was wondering why. I told him it's because of what I mentioned earlier; we live in a world of instant gratification.

At least it's this way for those of us in the dating world. I often envy my blogger friends that have the LTR already.

Anyway.... it's the weekend! Woohoo!

Make the most of each second you have.

April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding

Of course I watched the Royal Wedding!

Duh! I like renaissance festivals and English history. One of the perks of growing up Mormon is having a lot of my family history mapped out for many generations. We learned that we have a royal link, my 21st great-grandafather was Edward, III.

Here is my family history... I think it's very interesting to know this!
(The bold indicates child and parent lineage - my royal line comes from my paternal grandmother)

1. Jim [Stuff] 1961-

2. Melrynn 1923-2001, married: Dolores 1932-2007

3. Ralph 1900-1944, married: Effie Branch 1901-1986

4. Eugene Elisha Branch 1854-1906, married: Jane Blake 1857-1947

5. William Henry Branch 1820-1889, married: Emily Cornelia Atwood 1819-1869

6. Dan Atwood 1787-1863, married: Polly Sawyer 1790-1875

7. Herman Atwood 1738-1804, married: Jerusha Case 1747-?

8. William Case 1715-1776, married: Lucy Riggs Tracy 1716-?

9. Christopher Tracy 1680-1725, married: Lydia Parrish1687-1725

10. Jonathan Tracy 1646-1672, married: Mary Griswold 1656-1711

11. Thomas Tracy 1610-1685, married: Mary Mason 1611-1654

12. William Tracy 1590-1621, married: Mary Conway 1580-?

13. John Conway 1535-1603, married: Eleanor (Helen) Greville 1539-?

14. Sir Fulke Greville 1491-1559, married: Elizabeth Willoughby 1500-1562

15. Edward Willoughby 1474-1517, married: Margaret Neville 1494-?

16. Richard Neville 1468-1530, married: Anne Stafford (Baroness of Latimer) 1471-1500

17. Henry Neville 1437-1469, married: Joan Bourchier 1442-1470

18. George Neville 1414-1480, married: Elizabeth De Beauchamp 1417-1480

19. Ralph De Neville 1364-1426, married: Joan DuBeaufort 1375-1440

20. John of Gaunt, Prince of England 1340-1399, married: Catherine De Roet 1350-1403

21. Edward III, King of England 1312-1377, married: Philippa, Queen of England 1314-1369

If you go on further it leads to another well known royal line....

40. Charlemange, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire 742-814

William is a distant, distant, distant cousin I guess.

April 28, 2011

Blogging

I was talking with Scott and Todd at the gym the other day. I was telling them of an idea I had for a blog post. Scott said that Todd should have a blog, he always has great stories.

*bing*

The lightbulb in my head goes off with an idea. I told Todd that he should; I have the perfect name for his blog: Todd's Tales. I expanded on the idea, but Todd was having nothing to do with it.

When my good friend, the handsome Dr. Spo, posted a recent entry the idea came up again.

Well, Spo-Reflections is still Spo-Reflections and there goes another good idea down the drain.

*sad face*

Or does it? Hhhhmmm.....

I think that maybe Jim's Stuff could take a detour for a month or so... It's not like I have a theme or agenda anyway.

But... Jim's Tales doesn't have that ring to it. I couldn't call it "Tall Tales", I'm not really all that tall, nor would they be 'made up' stories. I'm going to have to think on this for a while.

Any suggestions?

April 27, 2011

Random Question Wednesday

Complete the sentence: Something I have daydreamed about is __________________.

Meeting many of my blogger buddies in person!

It would be awesome to meet everyone in my bloglist.


Who or what do y'all daydream about?

April 26, 2011

Interesting Plans for June

I just got my tickets to go to Utah in June for my nephew's wedding.

This is nephew #1, he is the son of oldest brother. His girlfriend of several years is very close to me and she insisted that I perform the ceremony.

I may have mentioned this before; but let me restate this:

I am an ordained minister of Universal Life Church. I am legally entitled to perform the duties of a minister. I have officiated at three weddings already. It's an online church that is nondenominational. Coworkers asked me if I had to take a bible quiz or exam or something, but no, I just enrolled online. I have the title of Druid in the church. Crazy huh...

So on June 18, 2011; gay, pagan, Druid Uncle Jim will be preforming a wedding in Utah for two strong Mormon families.

My nephew and niece are not religious and haven't been in a church in years, so they're excited about it.

Oh... fun times ahead! LOL

This is the first wedding I performed. It was a toga wedding and I was dressed as a monk. There is more to the story than that... but it's NSFW. You'll have to email me if you want details. LOL

Ya gotta make life interesting!

April 25, 2011

New addiction

A half mile from my home they built a new Aldi store. I had seen the stores before but never went in one.

My mistake! OMG I love the store.

I bought some of these for a coworker who loves Chex mix:

We now refer to them as Cheddar Crack!

Let's not talk about their lunch meats and their oatmeal... seriously they're some of the best I've ever had!

And I don't know if y'all have caught on to this little known fact about me, but I love sorbet, gelato and sherbet. I bought some of these:

I am seriously addicted.


I don't want an intervention though... they're comparable to Weight Watchers! And I was just at the gym and my body fat was only 12.9%. I can cheat with these....

April 24, 2011

Easter in the Park


This year it was almost cancelled, or rather, moved to another weekend with more "kid friendly" things added. WTF?


Lee Park is in the gayborhood! The gays have been in the park, not some church, for about 25 years! Enough people called and emailed; the festivities were put back on. Yay for the gays!


The weather cooperated and there was a huge turnout!



To the several people that told me that they read on Facebook that I'm Pagan, I informed them that I was celebrating what rabbits are commonly known for...
*evil grin*

BTW, this is what was on my t-shirt:
Universal Life Church

April 23, 2011

Another reason I like renaissance festivals


I met this couple, very nice people.


This guy is a new character; Glen Cameron, manliest man from the Isle of Man.
He has a nice Irish brogue.

He's dreamy!

April 22, 2011

Earth Day

“The wealth of the nation is its air, water, soil, forests, minerals, rivers, lakes, oceans, scenic beauty, wildlife habitats and biodiversity.”
– Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day


Along with our connection to other people we should also be connected to the earth. Our natural resources are not unlimited and we need to have a healthy respect for the earth and the other living creatures we share it with.

As I learn more about the Pagan beliefs and in trying to incorporate them into my life I realize that this has always meant something to me. I love being outside. I feel energized and more calm when I am outside.

I have started to change the way I do things. I realize I can make a small difference in my own way, in my own community. And by talking about it in this forum. I can encourage everyone to respect the earth. Each person doing a small part helps, locally and globally.

Start with something small if you're not already. The little things add up.

Have a great weekend y'all.

April 21, 2011

Influences

Have y'all ever thought about the effect we have on each other? I think about it all the time. People affect me more than I realize. And in ways I never expect.

I spend 9 or more hours with people at work. I think I know these people well, but really only one side of them. We all have an affect on each other, if someone is in a bad mood others take notice, and we all love to share in some one's good news. Occasionally I get to see them outside of the work environment and it seems weird.

The gym is different. I see the same people everyday but rarely talk to them. The gym isn't a social place, only a little bit for me. I usually try to stay focused and spend the least amount of time there with the most benefit. I think I give off an air of being unfriendly or something.

I usually drive home the same way and I see the same homeless man, always in the same spot. He even has an affect on me. I try to imagine myself in his shoes, or wonder what his story is; how did he get to this place in his life? Could I live without many of my possessions? I guess I could, many people in the world have far less than I do and they survive.

We all judge people, evaluate them, criticize them, and label them everyday. We form an opinion of others and we hardly even realize we are doing it. But I really try not to. We are all in this life together. We all affect each other, we are all connected like threads in the fabric of life.

I think about this and wonder: "What mark am I making in this world?"

April 20, 2011

Random Question Wednesday

To whom could you turn if you needed money?

This is a difficult question for me to answer.

I think it's because I have learned to be self-sufficient and have been so for quite a long time now. I would have a really, really hard time asking anyone I know for money, even if it was an emergency.

I don't know if it's an old fashioned pride or just being stubborn or what exactly, but I really cannot ask a friend or family member for a loan, even on a temporary or short term basis.

I think my dad instilled this in me and I have learned some difficult lessons about friends, family and money; they don't mix well. This was proven to me when I worked in the Trust department at the bank. I dealt with trust funds and families and all the legal issues that can come with inheritances. It left me with the feelings I have now.

So honestly my answer would be; a bank.

April 19, 2011

Jokes

OK, here are the jokes from yesterday's punch line:

Three pregnant women were talking; the first woman told her friends that she knows the baby will be a boy because she conceived it while she was 'on top'. The second woman said that hers must be a girl then, because she was on the bottom. The third was a blonde, she started to cry....

What is the difference between a gay guy and a refrigerator?

A pirate walks into a bar with the ship's steering wheel on his, um... 'long john silver', and the bartender brings this to his attention. The pirate replies.....

What is better than roses on a piano?

A guy walks into a bar and asks for 3 shots of the hardest liquor they have. The bartender say; "you must be celebrating something" and the guy says; "yes, my first blow job!" The bartender says; "That's great, let me buy you another one". The guy says....

A Frenchman is touring a farm in rural Scotland. They see a ewe with it's head stuck in a fence and the Scot says: "watch what we do in Scotland mate". He lifts up his kilt and, um... shags the sheep. He turns to the Frenchman and says: "would you like to have a go at it?" The Frenchman says....

What is the difference between love, true love and obsession?

Hope these made you chuckle.

April 18, 2011

Punch line

I think y'all may know I have a weird sense of humor. It's a hit or a miss whenever I try to tell a joke. Sometimes my timing is right on; other times people just look at me weird.

There is a pub sing at the renaissance faire and they have this interesting part; it's called punchline. See how many of you can get the joke.

You only get the punch line:
  • I'm going to have puppies!
  • The refrigerator doesn't fart when you pull your meat out.
  • Aarrgghhh, it be drivin' me nuts.
  • Tulips on an organ.
  • If 3 shots won't wash the taste out I don't know what will.
  • Sure, but do I have to stick my head in the fence?
  • Spit, swallow and gargle.

April 17, 2011

No Itinerary

Some of the best vacations I have had was when I had no itinerary. Has anyone else done this?

The first time I made a trip with no set plans was when I was living in New Zealand in 1983. I went back to marry Dawn, but I knew in a few weeks it wasn't going to happen; I considered it just to get a work permit, but that's not a good reason to marry. Anyway... A friend of mine was getting married up in the north island, I was living in the deep south (a town called Gore) and I decided to go. I bought a bus and rail pass and set out across the country. When I would get to a city in the evening the first thing I did was find a place to stay. I liked the motor camps as they were very inexpensive and I had packed a sleeping bag. Then I would find a place to eat once I got settled and then I would go explore the city. It was great fun, I had many great adventures!

The next trip was in 2004 when I made a trip into California to drive the Pacific Coast Highway. All we had was a flight into LA, a rental car and a flight home from San Francisco a week later. It was another great trip and very relaxing. Later the same year my boyfriend and I at the time, continued the trip from SF to Seattle. I will always look back on these trips with very fond memories.

I think I've kind of lived my life this way. I had no set plans; I took opportunities that came my way. I had some great adventures and have met some wonderful people along the way. Sometimes I think back and wished I would have had more focus to finish college and maybe pursue a different line of work, or as I talked about earlier this week, I sometimes wish I had planned for retirement better. But this journey called life has been good. I've made some mis-steps but also had some amazing adventures along the way. I try not to live with too many regrets.

Have y'all lived by an itinerary?
Has anyone else taken a vacation like the ones I described?
Please, share your thoughts and your stories.

April 16, 2011

Ft. Worth Main Street Art Festival





I have been attending the Art Festival in Ft. Worth for about as long as I've lived here. I like to walk alone or with friends; look at the art, listed to the music and people watch.

I went for a while last evening; it was a very cool vibe. The bands playing at opposite ends of the streets were great. The people watching was great. I had some chicken tacos and some wine (not so great) but I had a nice evening all in all.

Here are some pictures of the art I found interesting:




I love Art Festivals!

Have a great weekend y'all.

April 15, 2011

Note from the office

It's been a slow day considering it's tax day. We suspect that Monday will be busy since it's the deadline this year for the country's citizens to account for their tax payments.

It gives me a moment to write a blog post, something that rarely happens. I just got back from lunch. It's sunny outside but windy. A few parts of the Dallas area got hail but at least no tornadoes. I guess we're now in tornado season.

My department used to celebrate each person's birthday during the month and it seemed like we were always eating cake. Today is our first "once a month celebration". The cake was good.

I'm so glad it's Friday! WOOHOO!

But still it's been a long week. Here's to the last sucky week... I'm glad you're over with!

April 14, 2011

Random Stuff

Today's post is sponsored by the letter "P"

I like and but not together!

My favorite dessert is

I'm not shy

I wish I wasn't allergic, I would love a

If I wake up in the middle of the night, I sit down to

When I'm down I sometime say I'm a sad

Someday I hope to travel back to

No, seriously... if I'm half asleep my aim is not so good.
It's better than having to clean the floor a lot.
Heehee

April 13, 2011

Random Question Wednesday

Complete the sentence: If I were much younger, I would _______________.

If I were younger I would start saving more for retirement.

I never thought much about this when I was younger. I made choices that took me in the direction of where I am now. I started college but never finished. Instead I followed a dream and a whim and when back to New Zealand. At the time I thought I would get married and this whole gay thing would go away. I felt that I would feel settled and grounded with a wife and children. But, nope... I couldn't do that.
(This picture is me when I was 21 years old, this was my "girlfriend" at the time.)

I came back to the States without a scholarship to finish school and I had no money. I felt I had to get into the 'working world' so that I could get away from the constrains of my Mormon family and upbringing. I moved with my job and was finally making what I thought was good money. But I never really thought about savings and planning for retirement. I guess I was in Peter Pan mode; thinking I would never have to grow up and eventually retire! No way... I was young and having fun!

Again my life changed course and I knew I had to get out of retail. Was money really better than happiness? I decided that I wanted my own business. My partner and I owned a deli and bar in downtown Baltimore. If anyone who has owned a business before, you know; you sink a lot of money into getting the business going. Again, I was living in the moment, not thinking about retirement. But... isn't that a good thing; living in the moment?

A few years later I sold my business, eventually moved to Texas and changed careers again. In May of this year I will celebrate 15 years at [major bank]. Not bad I think, until I went to a 20 year anniversary celebration for a co-worker who is younger than me! He has his college degree and is making much more than me.

Well, no use worrying about all those "should haves" and "could haves", I made my life... I have to live with it. The other choice is to whine about it and wish things had happened differently. But it didn't. I have to be happy with where I am right now.

So reality is; I'm not younger. My life is what it is. I'll deal with it. So I can't tour the world when I retire.... I can't do that now anyway, so why worry and whine?



Have y'all thought about this? What would you do if you were much younger?

April 12, 2011

Favorite music

One of the few TV shows that I like to watch is Dancing With The Stars. This should not be a surprise to someone who reads my blog and knows I love dancing, and knows that I ballroom danced at BYU.

Anyway... they had all the dancers dance to more classical music rather then popular music.

I liked this! It made me remember that I love classical music. One of my favorites is Andrea Bocelli, some in the classical circles think he is too "pop" but his voice is incredible. Here is one of my favorite songs:


This makes me long to go back to Roma!

April 11, 2011

The Ever Evolving Jim

I was recently told that my blog personality is different than the real me.

I know it is. What I write and share about myself online is only a small slice of my life. And it's only what I chose to share. People who read my blog think they may know me, but I admit, I am different in real life.

"How so?" I was asked. I really do try to be open and honest in my scribblings on my blog. I try to be careful with my words and not put something out there that really isn't me. I don't want to mis-represent myself either, so I've been giving this a lot of thought.

When I write my blog I usually put a lot of effort into an entry. I write, read, edit, re-read, edit again, then check punctuation and spelling. I proof-read again because sometimes my brain works faster then my fingers.

My real life isn't filtered in this way. It's Jim in real time.

I have a bit of a stutter if I'm nervous. I've been told I don't have a good poker face, people can immediately read my reaction to something. My body language is part of who I am in real life too, even a slight arch of my eyebrow shows what I'm really feeling without me even saying anything.

I know I am soft-spoken and on the quiet side when in a large group. I never want attention from too many people at once. But all of this doesn't come across in writings on this blog.

Many times I use the blog for getting ideas out that have been rumbling through my brain and would sound stupid if I tried to express it in words.

Both are me; these words are from me and the guy you meet in person is me too. These words my stay around longer than I will. Centuries from now will someone be reading this and try to understand who this man was? I presume they will; but so do I, I sometimes wonder who I am.

One thing for sure, both are also changing; evolving into, hopefully, a better person.

How do my blogger buddies feel about this? Have you thought about it and expressed it before? Write a blog entry or leave me a comment; "How are you different in person from your blog persona"?

April 10, 2011

Rennie fun

I decided to wear the gold and black jerkin. It was very warn in Dallas and I didn't want to be wearing anything leather.

This picture was taken a few years ago.

I look basically the same.

It met up with old friends, made some new ones and had a great day. I participated in the court dance, they first teach you the dance steps and then they have the whole cast and anyone else dance to renaissance music. Even though I hadn't done any 16th century dances in a year the steps all came back to me. If I stumbled, no one noticed, all you have to do is have a big smile on you face and no one notices your feet.

I'm going back this afternoon although with a different shirt, no collar.


Hope y'all are having a great weekend!

April 9, 2011

Some LOLZ for today

What cats are really thinking part 2

I posted the first video back on October, 18, 2009.



April 8, 2011

A Mad Renaissance Weekend

The renaissance faire in Dallas opens tomorrow. It's called Scarborough Faire and yes, I'm going. I don't think I'll be gathering any herbs though... LOL

The whole crew of friends won't be coming from all parts of Texas; they will all gather on April 30 and May 1st, and then again for Pirate Weekend on May 21 & 22.

Tonight I'm deciding what to wear:
The new 14th Century garb (in the photo)
The Gold and Green jerkin and crown
The kilt
The Swashbuckling Musketeer
The Black and Gold jerkin
The Monks robes
The peasant
The toga
Or any of the pirate looks?
(Yes, I have this many outfits) LOL


I also got the 4th Season of Mad Men on DVD.

I love that show and can't wait to watch it.

April 7, 2011

Evening out on the town

This evening I skipped the gym and headed out to the Bishop Art's District in Dallas. They have a wine walk the first Thursday of each month and I met up with some coworkers.

This place is only a mile or so from my home so I decided to bike over so I could try out my new lights I bought for the bike so I can ride after dark.

There are more hills in this part of Dallas than the rest of the flat prairie that Dallas sits on. I had worked up a sweat by the time I got there. We chatted, had sushi and some wine. We ended the evening in a fun local tavern. As I was leaving I reached into my pocket for the key to the bike lock.... but it wasn't there! Holy shit!

We retraced our steps from the evening and we found it! Apparently I dropped it in the specialty chocolate shop and someone turned it in to the owners! YAY!

I'm now home, safe and sound. The lights worked great!

Tomorrow is Friday! YAY!

April 6, 2011

Brothers

Today is my oldest brother's birthday.


He was 5 years old when I was born. When we were growing up I don't think he liked his littlest brother hanging around him and his friends a lot. When we grew older he grew out of it.

He became a policeman in our small town by the time I graduated from high school. As karma would have it, he would always catch me when I "borrowed" his motorcycle after school when I knew he wasn't at home.

I dated women when I was in college and he would flirt with them when they were around. I really didn't mind... they were only "friends" anyway. LOL

His kids were my first niece and nephew. I kidded that he named his daughter Jamie after me. I nicknamed her James.

We're still kind of close; he is the least judgemental of my siblings.

I always felt kind of bad for him; he had birthday competition. Mormons believe that today is Jesus' birthday too!

April 5, 2011

Five on the 5th

Here is my contribution to the Five on the Fifth:

Stephen Chapman in his blog “The State Of The Nation UK”, has a monthly feature called “Five on the Fifth” in which bloggers may participate by posting five photos on their blog and exchanging links with his. They may be random or may follow his suggested theme, which this month is “Blur”.


Me on the way to the Sky Lobby.


I'm usually sitting in the main lobby reading
so that's why I have my book with me.


I work in one of the most beautiful areas in downtown Dallas.


I thought the view from the different levels
would be interesting.


Even from different vantage points.
I thought this picture was cool.


I guess my sub-theme is "reflections and angles".