May 31, 2011

Tuesday's Tales - Episode Three

Tales from the Temple

When I mention that I was born and raised in Utah people almost always ask me if I am Mormon. I explain that I was raised in that religion, was a missionary for 2 years but am no longer a member. The next question is usually about the "special Mormon underware". Not everyone knows about them, but they've heard weird rumors and stories about them. This exact conversation happened to me yesterday so I think it would make an interesting blog post.

Temples are not regular Mormon meetinghouses, you have to be 'worthy' to go into one. Meaning you have 2 interviews with church leaders to determine that you are living all the church teachings. This "recommend" has to be renewed yearly.

One can google the things that are done in the temple. You can read the endowment ceremony word for word if you want or read plenty of ex-mormon's experiences. You can also google Mormon garments to see what they look like and read about the symbols in them. I could tell a lot of details about the hows and whys, but this isn't the point of my blog entry.

I don't want to belittle anyone's beliefs and make fun of something that someone believes strongly in. I know how I feel when someone tells me that Pagans are evil. I laughed, but I couldn't believe that someone would try to discount my beliefs.

Anyway... when a good Mormon first goes to the temple they have the garments put on them. They go through several ceremonies where you vow to keep the laws of God (according to the Mormon belief system). Everyone is dressed in white so they have changing rooms where one changes out of their street clothes and into their white temple clothes. I have been cruised by guys when I was in the changing room. Being in a place like this didn't stop some from being themselves.

So after you go for your first time, you can go back again and again, but this time it is for (or in the name of someone) who is deceased. Mormon's believe that everyone has to have and make these covenants with God to go back to his presence. This is one reason that Mormons love genealogy. I remember a few years ago a Jewish group requested that Mormons stop baptizing and doing all these ceremonies for their dead relations.

I think it's kind of unusual, but a lot of Mormon families take the love of the temple to almost a worship status. They love their leaders, the prophet and apostles and they have pictures of their local temple in their homes. Well, the culmination of the temple ceremony is a couple being married for not only this life, but all eternity. The children born to a couple will be "born in the covenant of marriage". That's why Mormons are so big on marriage and families.

Anyway... I don't want to be too wordy, but if anyone wants more details, ask away.

May 30, 2011

New Chapter

Life always goes in stages and cycles. One thing ends, life and time moves on, new and other things begin. It happens all the time: the seasons of the year, friendships or relationships of any kind can change. We change residences, schools or jobs. Sometimes our bodies change and so does our wardrobe. Change; it's part of life.

I think part of my mood lately is that I'm sensing another change coming, one I have mixed feelings about.

You all may have guessed I have a strong passion for one of my hobbies. Something that I love to do. For the last 8 weeks I have been spending time with some dear friends. I've also made new friends and have missed seeing old friends. The Scarborough Renaissance Festival is closing for the season.

Well... now that I think about it, it's been the last 16 weeks that I've been lucky to do something that I love. The 8 weekends prior to Scarborough I attended the Sherwood Forest Faire near Austin. I was down there every other weekend. There too I enjoyed the company of close friends and made many new friends.

But now the faire season in Texas is over until October when the faire near Houston starts.

Why the mixed feelings? I'll miss seeing my friends. I'll miss being a camera whore! (yes, all us playtrons* of the rennaisance faire admit we like being photographed)

But I'm kind of happy too, I can rejoin regular society and have a real weekends with limitless activities! I can lounge by a pool, go to movies and out to the bars to dance the two-step with a hot cowboy! I can plan real get-togethers with my new rennie friends although I'm sure we'll end up telling stories that begin like this: "OMG! Remember that weekend at [any of the 3 faires we went to]... That was so much fun!"

Plans are being set up to keep me busy during the summer; trips, weddings, get-togethers and all sorts of outings. This is the new door opening as I close the faire season behind me.

Here are some pictures of my final days at Scarby, 2011.
There are also pictures of some of my close friends.

It was hot! Even in a kilt and sleeveless shirt.


Mistress Eleanor Sage (one cast member and a good court dance partner)


The lovely Rosie Ruckus


Robert (together we can always find trouble) lol


Eva. Also a great dance partner at court dance.


Taylor and Stephanie. Very period correct in their costumes.


Sunday in the more formal kilt look


A new friend AJ.
Huzzah and farewell dear friends, 'till we meet again.

*Playtrons are patrons who show up in costume who are there just for the fun of it. "Mundanes" are the people who attend the faires in regular clothes.

May 27, 2011

Better

I'm in a better mood... finally!

Dallas has a Thursday night concert series for about 4 or 5 weeks called Jazz Under the Stars. I love attending these concerts; the weather is usually nice (before it heats up). I can sit and sip on some wine, nibble on cheese, crackers and other light snacks and visit with friends.

Last night some friends invited me to bike into the city with them for the concert. The concert is on the lawn of the Dallas Museum of Art and is about 6 miles from my home. The bike ride in was fun! The leader of the group has 2 baskets on the back of his restored bike; he supplied the wine, blankets to sit on and some snacks.

The evening was beautiful! I met some new people and then just laid on my back listening to the music and conversations around me. It was really nice to just "be in the moment"!

Here are some pictures I snapped:




The concert ended at 10. We started packing the bikes up and said our goodbyes. One of the couples I met were actors in local theaters and both very good looking!

I reached home after 11pm. I probably will not bike in again. I was too sweaty and full of adrenaline to go immediately asleep. I finally cooled down and drifted off to sleep way way way after my usual bedtime. I'm a little tired today.

Happy Friday everyone!

May 25, 2011

Satisfied

Sometimes I'm not feeling very satisfied with my life.

MEH.



I know I should know better. I know I have told myself this a thousand times; I just need to be happy in the moment, right here and now.

But sometimes I feel like I'm still missing out on something exciting. Or I feel that life is just passing by and I'm sitting there on the curb just watching it while waiting for a parade to come along.

I've been in this mood for a few days now and so maybe if I write about it, the feeling will soon pass.

Maybe it's that I want more and more... or at least more than what life really is. I sometimes focus on what I want rather than what I have.

What do y'all do to get out of a slump like this? Can we ever really be satisfied with life as it is?

MEH.

May 22, 2011

Post Rapture

Weekend Adventures

It's been a busy weekend! The weekend seemed to start on Thursday night when I joined some friends for a free outdoor concert at the Dallas Museum of Art. The Jazz Under the Stars is something I love to attend; I love jazz, the weather is really nice this time of year and it's just a great evening hanging out with friends.

This was our view.


Friday I headed down to Waxahachie, TX for Pirate Weekend at Scarborough Faire. I got a hotel room so I could be hang out with my friends who came in from Houston, Austin and Corpus Christi for the faire. Almost all of the crew of the Impaler was there! OMG we had a great day, we all knew we wouldn't be taken! I was sitting in a rum tasting at 6PM, I guess that's why I'm still here. The only thing is that I got the "rum flu" later that night and the next morning. Ugh!

Me and Robert before we got to march in the parade with the regular pirates.


Sunday morning things were moving slow for me. The crew began their voyages to their homes and I went back into the faire. This time, no leather jacket and hat, I went "pirate lite":



There was something taken in The Rapture though... our pirate flag! We had it flying on a flagpole about 15 feet in the air above our sailing vessels cars. When we were walking out we realized it was gone! Someone stole our pirate flag! It was an awesome one too:

Who could have stolen it? Our only conclusion is that it was taken in "The Rapture!" Jesus loves Pirates!

May 20, 2011

Because we all want to look our best

A lot of talk has been going on for the last couple of days about the impending Rapture that is supposed to happen tomorrow. So imagine my surprise when I went to the gym this evening.

Guess who was getting in a "Pre-Rapture" workout?

Yes!! I know... it's Him!

OK, here's the story behind the picture: I actually saw 2 guys working out with shoulder length brown hair and facial hair. As soon as I got on the elliptical machine for my cardio I started texting some friends to tell them of this... vision that I was having. Once my time was up I went in search of either one of them. I passed by a buddy who was talking on the phone to a friend about the same thing! OMG!! I told him I was going to get a picture.

I cruised around the gym and didn't see either of them. Damn! Then I headed up to the locker room and there He was. By the time I got my stuff from my locker and headed to the elevator there He was, still waiting. My buddy Darren was standing there and he's the one who got the picture. (It's hard to get a discreet picture like this at the gym.)

So Darren immediately uploaded it to facebook and I was his Witness; "I saw him too!" *raises hands in praise* heehee

I know for sure I'll still be here tomorrow. *evil grin*
LOL!

Have a blessed weekend y'all!




The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.
~Mark Twain

May 18, 2011

Random Question Wednesday

Complete the sentence: A recent movie I enjoyed was ________________. I liked it bcause __________________.

I realized when I got this question that I have not been to the movies for a very long time, so any that I have seen have not been very recent.
And then there is the part about enjoying a recent movie.

I saw The Social Network when it was in the theaters, it made me think, but I really didn't enjoy or particulary like it. The last movie I saw before that was Avatar. I liked most of it until they went to war. I really hate movies about war. I do not like violent movies at all.

I guess the last movie that I saw, liked and enjoyed watching was The Hangover. I can hardly wait for the new one to come out later this month. I liked it because it was fun, something unexpected was always happening and Bradley Cooper. YUM!


What recent movies have y'all enjoyed?

May 17, 2011

Tuesday's Tales - Episode Two

Tales from the Trails

I took this picture while I was out riding today.

I have always been an outdoorsy person. Our family lived on the edge of the small town and my backyard extended into a creek bed and endless fields, mountains and canyons to explore.

As a teenager when I wanted to escape from the family and drama of high school I would go out walking or bike riding. I was teased about being gay in school and at home I was just one of the kids (I was 4th child of 5), being outside and enjoying nature was my way to cope.

Being in and around nature energizes me! As I say it: "I am able to get my head on straight" while I am outside. I like biking because I can get in a great workout and I think about life and where I am in it.

I've owned a bike for many years and only recently gotten back into riding on off-road trails. Fortunately for me the Dallas/Ft. Worth area has a great organization that built and maintains off road trails. Check out the DORBA site here.

Here is a map of a typical trail that is near my home.

Picture from the DORBA website.

I also find it a challenge to maneuver the hills whether climbing or speeding down them while trying to stay on the bike.

I know it's not a very social sport, most of the trails I ride are like the pictures below, just a single lane:



Occasionally I like to ride on one of the many bike paths in the city or I'll bike through some local neighborhoods. Dallas is becoming more bike friendly and even has biking groups. I love it. These times, on the wide paved trails, is when I can ride and visit with friends. I've done the street and paved trails in my life more, when I lived in Denver I biked a lot! I even biked the 10 miles or so to work a couple of times.

Biking and being outside helps me keep my sanity (although some may argue I never had it anyway).

Larry asked me once about getting a camera for my bike helmet so everyone could share in the experience. I think I'll let you come visit me in Dallas and ride along behind or beside me.

May 16, 2011

Weekend Adventures

It was a fun weekend.

Friday evening the weather was beautiful, even a little on the chilly side. I joined some friends out at a very cool, undiscovered bar in south Dallas called Lee Harvey's. I tried a new cider, the only one they served, and I really liked it; Strongbow. It was more dry than it was sweet, like me!

Saturday I slept till about 10am. It felt so good to be sleeping in. I met up with my buddy Robert at the faire and he suggested we go out after faire in our rennie garb and kilts. Awesome! I drove home, got in a quick nap and then headed to north Dallas to hang out with the straights in an English pub called Sherlocks. They had a really great band, and we, of course, got lots of attention. Robert is more flashy than I am, his kilt was red and the feathers in his beret were taller. But he likes to be the center of attention more than I do, so that was OK by me. We did kind of draw attention to ourselves and posed for many pictures. My drinking horn (yes Larry, it's a real bull's horn) had more girth where as Robert's had more length. Guess who made jokes about it all night? lol

I got home Sunday morning around 2:30am and slept till after 10 this time. I was a wee bit more hungover than I was on Saturday morning, so I just had a lazy morning sitting out on my patio sipping coffee.

I headed back down to the faire in the afternoon where I joined in all the court dances. I am finally learning the dance steps well and learning the names of them too. I got more into the character of the dance and quite enjoyed myself. I ran into my friends, the owner of the Sherwood Forest faire in Austin and his partner. I hung out with them in the evening and really enjoyed the nice weather.

A beautiful sunset greeted me on my way home and I snapped this picture at a stoplight. I thought it caught my mood of the day very well.



Hope y'all had a nice weekend as well.

May 15, 2011

A funny thing happened on the way to the faire...

As I was was walking into Scarborough Faire yesterday I was stopped by a buxom blond. She was dressed up with the tight corset with plenty of boobage showing. She was smiling and very happy to see me. She gave me a big hug and said: "Oh my God! You're Honest Jim" (that is a name I get called at faire, given to me by friends many years ago). She reminded me that we met at Sherwood Forest Faire near Austin in February. "You're the straight curious guy when you're drinking" she said, "I have some great pictures of you!" I said: "Oh my, who was I kissing, you or your husband?" She laughed and said both. "Oh my... " was my response.

She asked for my facebook name and said she would find me and tag me in the photos. I told her how to find me. We hugged again and promised to meet up later.

I don't remember meeting this woman! I don't know her name. I remember meeting a lot of people at the Sherwood Forest Faire, and I remember kissing a few women and their husbands and/or boyfriends. I was a little drunk and having fun that weekend.

Geeze, I hope that "what happens at faire stays at faire".

LOL

May 14, 2011

It's all in the angle

I like stuff that makes me laugh.









I think this last one is awesome...


May 13, 2011

Blogger weirdness

I couldn't get into my dashboard at all yesterday afternoon and evening! At work this morning my last post wasn't there... and I know two people had made comments.

I had all kinds of things to say last night too, but couldn't get in. *mad face*

So with more time to think and less writing actually done, I thought about what blogging is... why do I do it? I know I have some faithful readers (Thank you, all of you who read and leave comments). But do I really have a target audience? I guess it would be gay men and friends. I don't always have something interesting to say, I don't make political statements or commentary. I try not to make this a step by step diary of my day. Am I really just writing just to write? Or is it an over inflated ego? Do I think I'm that special that people want to know my opinions?

Well... see what happens when I can't get online and check the blog; the comments or the stats or my blogger buddy's thoughts. My mind just runs amok!

Anyway... hope y'all have a great weekend.

May 11, 2011

Random Question Wednesday

If you could have an article published in a popular magazine, what would be the subject?

There are so many things that I'd like to say from my soapbox... how do I narrow it down?

I would love to write about driving courtesy, gym courtesy, health and fitness for the average man and about my Pagan beliefs and that we're not evil! (just to name a few)

I think I will write more about health and fitness for the average man in another blog post; my blog could be my forum for putting my ideas out there to help others.

But I'd like to think I would write an article to be published in Playboy or Penthouse about how straight men should be more open to their bi-curiosity or more willing to be freer in their sexuality and not just limit themselves. I would like to think that I could some how convince men to be more open and not bound by society and what they think a man should be. I would talk about how organized religions have turned sex and being sexual into something based in shame and guilt; especially same sex relations. I really do think that more men are curious or open to trying something. To prove my point I saw a postcard sent in to PostSecret of a hot naked male torso. The secret was from a guy saying that he wanted one night of hot passionate sex with a guy just to shut up the voices in his head. (I wish I would have saved the picture!)


What would you write about if you could be published in a magazine?

May 10, 2011

Tuesday's Tale - Episode One

A Tawdry Travel Tale

In the late 1980's I took a trip to Rome. My hotel was near the Spanish Steps and I had a great time exploring the city and ogling the hot Italian men.

I planned a good part of one day to spend at the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican. I had my camera and I was getting a lot of great shots of this masterpiece of art! While I was snapping pictures I noticed that a very attractive man was eying me. I don't remember the details, but we started talking.

He had typical Italian looks, which is very much my type; dark haired, olive skin and a beautiful man. I was a little disappointed that he was American; he was from Portland and had brought his father back to Italy to visit family. We spent the rest of the afternoon together in and around the St. Peter's Square. His dad was feeling a little tires so we dropped him at their hotel.

We then headed straight to my hotel.

Wow! I could see why Michaelangelo loved to paint and sculpt the Italian male body. He was a beautiful man who was not at all like Adam (above) or David, if you know what I mean. *wink* Let's just say he had one of the biggest I've ever seen!

Awwww, the memories! *big smile*



So yea, I picked up someone in the Sistine Chapel. And no, he was not a priest. LOL

May 9, 2011

Glee got it right

I admit it; I like Glee.

Of course I like cover songs.

I love this clip from Glee, the dancers are great, but I really liked the song; I had to find out who did it originally. To be honest I like the Glee version better then the original.

Here is the Glee cast:


Here is the original Amy Winehouse version:


Amy had a nice vibe to it, but I think the cover by Glee was better.

What do y'all think?

Is there another song where you like a cover better than the original?

May 8, 2011

Honorary Mom

I think a lot about my mom on days like today. It's fitting to think of her and honor her memory. I love you and miss you mom; Happy Mother's day!




But there are also other women in my life and I look on them as an honorary mom today. One such friend is a faithful reader of my blog and frequent commenter. I see her name on a lot of comments on fellow blogger's pages. Today, I'll wish a Happy Honorary Mother's Day to Anne Marie in Philly. Although we are close in age and she could no way be old enough to be my mother, she get's the honorary mention as a friend who has an influence on me.

Thank you for reading Anne Marie in Philly! Thank you for your comments that always make me smile. I hope you have a great day as well.

May 6, 2011

New Blog Feature

A few days ago I mentioned a new idea for my blog. Read it here. I have finally decided on how to do this.

Next week I will begin a new series: Tuesday's Tales.
Each week will feature a new theme:

Tales from the crypt (deep dark secrets)
Tales from the crib (memories of growing up)
Tales of travels and trips
Tales of Tails (NSFW) *wink wink*
Tales from the gym
Tales from the office
Tales from the liquor cabinet (drink recipes)
Tales of classic tales (books I've read)
Tawdry Tales
Tales of the city
Tales of the abyss
Tarot Tales
Fairy Tales (about being gay)

Tell me what other Tales I can tell?

May 5, 2011

Five of the Fifth


If you don't know about Five On The Fifth, you take five photographs on the 5th of each month and post them on your blog for all to see. Each month has a theme, or if you don't feel inspired by the monthly theme, you can simply take five random photos. Five On The Fifth was started and is directed by Stephen Chapman at The State of the U.K. Nation.

This month's theme: "Clothes" or "Happy"

Here is my take:


What am I going to wear today?



(Nine hours later)
Leaving work! YAY!



Coming home from the gym



Feeling pumped after a good workout



Heading out to meet a friend for dinner and drinks.


Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!