June 30, 2011

Different

As I slid the key into the lock I had a feeling. Not an ominous feeling, just a feeling that I get sometimes. A premonition of sorts.

I knew that when I unlocked and opened this same door that things would be different. I didn't know how it would be different, I just know that something, somehow would be changed.

I was leaving for my journey to Utah a couple of weeks ago when I had this premonition at my door. What would be different, what would have changed in a few days when I returned home? I wasn't quite sure. I just knew change was in the air.

But isn't life always like this? Can't our lives veer in any number of directions in just a split second? And if something drastic doesn't happen can't a slight change in our direction in life put us in a different place years from now?

By unlocking the door and entering or exiting a room isn't it opening yourself up to new experiences too? There would be new things, new outlooks and new possibilities.

I am not being cryptic here, just mentioning a fact of life. Change is one of the constant things we can depend on.

Nothing in my home was different on the surface. There was a little more dust and the plants had grown a tiny bit. I guess the changes were in me.

June 29, 2011

Of mice and men

When I was uploading my pictures of me in all my ties last night my computer decided it needed to shut down. :(

When I turned it back on my wireless mouse decided to quit. :(


I didn't realize how much I use it and rely on it for something very simple. But it made me cranky! I was hoping that it might just be the battery so I went hunting through several drawers where a stray AA might be found.

Nothing! :(

Well, I managed to get my blog post up last night and then headed to bed.

I didn't sleep.

Maybe I shouldn't have gotten so worked up about a little thing like a mouse!

Tonight after work I went on a full scale hunt for a little battery... I knew I had one somewhere. I finally found it and everything is back up and running.

Who knew that I could let such a little thing get me so cranky? I really let this little tiny mouse cripple the man.
:(

June 28, 2011

Tuesday's Tales - "Tales from the Closet"

It's been a while since I've told a tale... I'll try to do better.

I'll call this episode: "Tales from the Closet - Ties edition".

Ok, I have worked in retail and in banking my whole career where I had to wear a tie. Well, I owned a deli and a bar for a couple of years and wore what I wanted, but that's another tale for another time. Anyhoo.... getting back to today's tale.

Let's just say that I have this thing about ties. A weird thing about ties.

I have a collection of ties, just like my shoes. I have a lot of ties.

I have 48 at last count!

Here's the weird part. None of them are diagonal stripes.
Ew.
No.
Diagonal stripes are straight and boring!


What's in your closet?

June 27, 2011

New beers

Saturday night at the Meddlesome Moth may have opened up a whole new world for me.

I am not been a fan of beer.
I have believed it's an acquired taste. Alas, growing up Mormon I never began drinking beer in high school or college like most people I know. It's only been in the last ten years that I have begun to drink any alcohol. I used to like the newer lime-flavored name brand beers like Bud Lite Lime, but still I only tolerate beer rather than enjoy it.

So what do I do when I go into a bar renowned for its beer selection? I have to do a lot of taste testing (which this bar allows). I guess it's like men, sometime you have to kiss a lot of toads before you find your prince.

I don't like the IPAs but I seem to like the Belgium beers. The Duchess de Bourgogne is one of the Belgium beers I tried and really like! It's one of the sour beers, I never even knew there was such a thing. I also enjoyed a Cuvée des Jacobins. It was very sour; it makes everything pucker! *evil wink*
LOL

June 26, 2011

Weekend Adventures... so far

After being occupied by other activities the previous two weekends it was nice to have no set plans for this one! It made me think how much I enjoy, and sometimes really need, a lazy weekend.

After a workout on Friday I decided to finally go see the newest Pirates of the Caribbean movie. I loved it! Of course I spend a fair amount of the time being a pirate on the Impaler, so I really loved this movie. Aarrgghhh!

Our Captain is Spikey Crotch on the left.


Saturday I was awake at 8AM and on the bike trails at 9. I didn't have a wreck, (as in; I didn't fall off of the bike) but I had a mishap where I stepped back so that I wouldn't fall backwards while going up a hill, and a tree was right there. (Damn tree!) It poked and scratched my leg. Although, I might make up a story of a bobcat chasing me and how it almost caught me. That sounds a little more interesting. LOL


After brunch with a friend, the rest of the day was spent doing laundry and chores. I got in some pool time; the tan is coming along nicely!

I met some friend at a cool bar last evening called The Meddlesome Moth. They have a huge selection of beer... they even have Lambic on tap! OMG, I was in heaven. I even tried a few new ones that I really like. There were also a lot of good looking people there! This was the first time several of my friends had been to this bar and they fell in love with the place. We ended up on their patio and it was a beautiful night weather wise.

I was home at 1:30AM but for some reason could not fall asleep. I remember seeing 3:30AM on the clock before I finally drifted off to sleep. Needless to say, I am dragging today. I think a lazy, do nothing day is in order!

Hope y'all are having a great weekend.

June 24, 2011

StoryPeople

I found a new website that I really really like: storypeople.com.

I love the sayings and the artwork!



If you haven't had a chance, go check them out. I just signed up for the daily emails.

**UPDATE**
Happy Friday y'all.

Oh yea... this is my 777th post. YAY!

June 23, 2011

Old toys

While I was visiting with my middle brother this last weekend one of the things I found in the box of old letters that mom had was this:

I loved my Tonka trucks!

This brought back a flood of memories. Middle brother and I had many tonka trucks, jeeps and a few cars. One day during the summer my brother came home from a hike with some old log cabin syrup cans shaped like a house. He found an area where someone had dumped tons of these and all types of rectangular cans. He had the idea that we could paint them like a houses for our tonka trucks. Mom let us buy white spray paint and other colors in small bottles so we could paint these cans to look like houses and buildings. That summer we went on a lot of hikes to this old can-dumping site and found a lot of ones that we eventually built into a city.

Our backyard was partially an area of just dirt and this is where we built our small towns. We used coal to mix with the mud to make paved streets and we planted and tended to small weeds that looked like trees and shrubs for our villages. We found old railroad spikes that we used for streetlamps too. It was quite the project and kept us occupied all summer.

I know mom took a picture and it's hidden somewhere in all of photo albums. It gave some 10 and 11 year old boys something to do for the summer. We lived in a very small town, there wasn't a whole lot we could do.

I think this is a great memory and now I have my own tonka truck to keep and remember fun times from my childhood.

What childhood toy do y'all still have? When you see it, does it take you right back to a particular place and time?

June 22, 2011

Utah wedding & weekend update

The weekend was enjoyable.

I was kind of dreading the trip a little but it all worked out. I know that when you're around siblings and family one can fall into the same old habits and ways of doing things, and feelings, of when you were a child. But a friend reassured me that things would be fine; all I had to do was relax and enjoy the moment.

I stayed with my niece Jamie and her beautiful children. Usually I don't like babies; they seem to me to be just crying and pooping machines. But my little nephew (or great nephew I guess) was so much fun to be around and it does light up the moment to see life from their point of view. He has such a fresh outlook on life. I was touched by his sweetness.


My nephew, the groom, and his fiance were busy. I saw only a small part of what goes on with planning a wedding. Well, one without a gay wedding planner. I almost told them that they needed one, but don't look to me, I don't want the job.

The wedding was beautiful. I was inspired to take the vows to a very personal level for them and tried to bring them into the moment of the busy day. I had them take a deep breath and talked to them about love and how they should enjoy this moment that they were in. They could use this feeling to go back to when life isn't so perfect.

Here are some pictures of the wedding:




The rest of the weekend was spent with my niece and my brothers. We had fun reminiscing of our lives growing up. I went through a box that my brother kept that was in my mother's things. She saved a lot of old letters and things that I thought were lost forever.

But after this many days in a small town just outside of Provo, Utah I was ready to get back to my home and my things.

Yesterday I spent the Pagan holiday of Midsummer doing laundry, catching up on mail and emails and then the evening was spent with friends.

Kind of an uneventful weekend but rewarding none the less.

June 20, 2011

I've missed blogging

I have a few moments to think and try to get some thoughts out before I go shower and finish packing for my trip back to Dallas.

I'll save the details of my trip and the wedding for another blog post when I can have more time to think.

But I have missed blogging and being part of the blogging world. I miss reading everyone's blogs and hope to catch up on everyone's lives when I get back.

Something weird happened though. My stats revealed that from June 6 through the 15th my pageviews jumped to between 300 to over 500 hits a day. They're now back to normal. Has anyone experienced anything like this before?

I did talk to my niece about setting up a blog she is thinking of, hopefully I can add her to my blog reading list.

Hope y'all had a great weekend!

June 16, 2011

Go west young man

By the time most of you read this I will be on my way to Salt Lake City, Utah.

My nephew finally proposed to his sweetheart of a girlfriend and they asked me to officiate at their wedding. The wedding is Saturday!

Yes, gay & pagan Uncle Jim is officiating at a family wedding in Utah for a mostly Mormon family. I'll be sure to remember some stories to tell in the next edition of Tuesday's Tales. Tales of a Pagan/Mormon wedding.

To be honest, I have not been looking forward to the trip. I am no longer a Mormon and really don't want to "come out" again as a non-Mormon. You see, I haven't told my siblings that I had my name removed from the LDS church records. I don't think they'll be happy about it, but I really don't care at this point. But, I am going because I love my nephew and his soon to be wife. The day is about them, not my feelings about the Mormon church. I will be putting good vibes out there so that no bad karma mars their wedding day.

I was looking at some weather reports so that I know how to pack for the trip, besides bringing my suit. The thought did cross my mind to wear me kilt, but the attention should be on the happy couple not the weird uncle. LOL.

Anyway... the temperature in Dallas has already hit 100 degrees. The lows in Utah will be in the 50s. While some may think I would welcome the break from the heat... that is a FIFTY degree temperature drop! I'm going to bring jeans, long-sleeve shirts, socks and shoes (that is unheard of for Dallas in June!)

Hope y'all have a great rest of the week and a fabulous weekend.

June 15, 2011

Self-esteem

You can search throughout the entire universe for someone who is more deserving of your love and affection than you are yourself, and that person is not to be found anywhere. You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe deserve your love and affection.
~Buddha

Why is this such a difficult lesson for us to learn?

I finally bought the book my therapist recommended: Intimate Connections by David Burns, M.D. One of the first chapters is titled: "The First Step: Learning to love yourself". It goes on to say: "Learning how to love and appreciate yourself is a necessary prerequisite to getting close to others."

I was raised in a home where I was taught to not be proud, that pride was a sin and that you should never be too vain. But I also wasn't taught to love and respect myself either. Someone may tell me that I'm good looking but I look in the mirror and see all my faults. I really need to stop that!

Good self-esteem is an attitude and all about how you feel about yourself. A good blend of humility and ego. The perception of myself is all in my mind, therefore I can control it. I can no longer tell myself that I am average or too old. I have to learn to love myself in this journey called life.

I've heard of someone starting a blog challenge; take a picture of yourself as you are right now. Post it on your blog. I'm doing this now as part of accepting and loving who I am.

6/15/11 9:40AM

June 14, 2011

There's no place like home...

Last night as I crawled into bed I realized how nice it is to be in my own home and in my own bed.

I love to travel. I love to spend time with friends and see different parts of the country and world. But that first night when you're back home and sleeping in your bed is wonderful!

I think about my friends that travel for a living and often live out of a suitcase part of their lives. A small part of me thinks this would be fun but I like my things around. I'm used to my own routine and knowing where things are. I like drinking out of my coffee mug in the mornings. I like that I don't have to plan out a wardrobe a few days in advance. I usually over pack and I feel like I'm just taking some of my clothes on vacation too, away from the other clothes in the closet.

As I was waiting to board the plane last night I heard someone say that they wished they could walk on a plane with no luggage. Just get to their destination, buy clothes as they needed, and then leave them behind so that you're not worried about if your checked bag is going to make it to your destination too. Or that you're not worried about fitting your bag full of extra shirts and pants into the overhead bin.

But alas, we all love to travel and maybe that's part of it, maybe we travel so that when we get home we appreciate it a whole lot more.

June 13, 2011

Royal day

'Twas a beautiful day in the mountains of Colorado. The air was fresh and cool, but it was due to get up into the mid 80s. I, of course, was loving it! I can handle that better then the upper 90 degrees in Dallas.

Sundays morning are always a bit slow. Most of my friends were nursing a bit of the 'rum flu'. Luckily I was doing fine!

I was feeling cooler without the leather jacket.

Finally my friends showed up and we started posing for what seemed like hundreds of photos. The dirty barbarian women clean up nice, don't they?


I also met StevieB and his friends. It was fun to meet them all and hang out for a bit, one does need a bit of a break from all the ren-paparazzi! heehee

The day ended with all the Utah rennie group in someone's room at the hotel. I realized I suck at playing one of their favorite games: "Famous movie quote" where people try to name the movie that the quote is from. Eh. I don't like the typical Hollywood movie.

Today I head back to Texas for a few days before heading to Utah for the wedding. The best thing about today? I'm on vacation! Woohoo.

Hope y'all have a great Monday.

June 11, 2011

Colorful Colorado

The flight into Denver was nice. It's really nice to be out of the 90 degree weather and into more normal spring weather.

I got into the airport and picked up the rental car. There must be a hottie convention in town because Denver airport was crawling with the hot menz!

I met up with friends that I haven't seen in over 2 years and we toasted our friendship and all the good times we had and the good times yet to come.

The Colorado Renaissance Festival opening day was great. I ran into people that I last saw 2 years ago and we went right back to being friends, just like it had only been a week since we last met. I also met new people and had a great day.


I speak Barbarian, I make a good translator!



Friends are waiting in the hotel room downstairs for me to rejoin them.

Hope y'all are having a great weekend.

Huzzah!

June 10, 2011

Random Stuff

I heard a new artist a few months ago on the NPR music station here in Dallas.

I like this slow, almost folksy sound to the song.


I'm off to Denver today for a long weekend.

I'll get to see friends that I haven't seen in two years so it will be a nice reunion with them. It's also the opening of the Colorado Renaissance Festival. Yes, I am a ren geek!

I also hope to meet a new blogger friend StevieB.

Y'all have a Happy Friday and a safe and happy weekend.

June 9, 2011

Pride month

Dallas doesn't have a gay pride parade in June. We have ours in September when it's cooler and we're not competing with other cities across the nation to draw crowds in for the event. I feel sometimes disconnected with the rest of the country in celebrating June as gay pride month.

But all that shouldn't stop me. I am proud of who I am!


I am proud of those who paved the way for me back in the 1960s, when I was just a mere child.
I am proud of the young kids today who are out and proud in high school.
I am proud of my friends who post their status of "married" to their partner in very public places like facebook.
I am proud of my new blogger friends that are out and proud and talk about their lives. *
I am proud of my friends taking their first steps out of the closet.
I am proud to work for [major bank] that has very strong policies and views of acceptance of their gay employees.
I am proud of some TV networks that have gay characters in major shows.
I am proud of my straight friends who love me as I am and fully accept me.
I am proud to have friends that want to accept whomever I love into their circle of friends.
I am proud of the few members of my family who stand up for me and accept me with open arms into their lives.

I am gay.
I am out.
I am proud.





*Thanks Kelly for the photo, count me in on posting your picture for pride month.

June 8, 2011

Good advice

There is beauty in imperfection; because it is authentic and real.

Embrace your bad hair day!

Celebrate your typ7os!

Rejoice when you get lost!

And most of all, learn to love those around you who make mistakes...

so they can return the favor when you make yours.

June 7, 2011

Tuesday's Tales - Episode Four

Tales of Classic Tales

I love to read.

When I was in my small Utah high school I only remember having to read a few books and only one major book report. So I never read any classics like most people say they have "when they were back in school".

I am currently reading Les Miserables by Victor Hugo. I was a little intimidated to start it; I judged it to be laborious because of the number of pages. But I am about 100 or so pages into it and I love it! Even though I know how it ends I love the detail it goes into. It makes me appreciate the musical even more now that I know more of the story.

A few years ago at Barnes and Noble I got some of the classics in hardbound copies. I have read all of them and now I am adding a few more as I can find them.


I love to get lost in a book; to be so engaged in the story that it's like a movie playing in my head. There have only been 2 books that bored me, and one of them I hope to finish one day. The other one, I really don't care how it ended, the story bored me so much that I completely lost interest in the characters and the storyline.

Sometime later in the year when I finally will finish Le Miz I'll again ask for suggestions on good books that y'all have read. Until then... I'm getting back to Jean Valjean.

June 6, 2011

McMutt

I got several texts from my cousin in Atlanta last week. She was wanting a copy of our family history. I emailed her a lot of information and she texted me back asking where the Scottish side of the family was.

Well, I searched www.familysearch.org through all of our family; I knew I had seen Scotland somewhere in our heritage. But the closest one I could find was Malcolm III, King of Scotland who lived in the 11th century.

Yesterday afternoon I attended the Texas Scottish Festival.

This is my 4th or 5th year attending and really enjoy it. This year it was a little too hot to spend too much time there, but I was on a mission to find something.

On Friday I got an email from The Celtic Croft store that my order was being shipped! My fly plaid, belt and buckle would be shipped! YAY!

To hold the fly plaid onto your jacket or shirt you need a broach pin. Yikes, maybe I should have ordered one when I ordered the other things. Well, that's what I went in search of at the Scottish Festival. I found one... how convenient!

I got a text from Brooke (my cousin) who was attending a renaissance festival. Her husband was wearing his Davidson family tartan kilt. Aw! So that's why she wanted to know where our Scottish roots were.

My Douglas Modern is not the family tartan, I believe that we are Clan Ross. But I'm not 100% sure. It would be nice to have strong Scottish or Irish heritage. But alas, I am a mutt; a mixture of English, Scottish, Danish, Swiss and Norwegian.

June 5, 2011

5 on the 5th


A fun blog challenge created by Steven Chapman:
"Take 5 photographs on the days leading up to the 5th and publish those on your own blog and then add the link to my blog, State of the Nation UK so that others can see your images. "

You can either take 5 random pictures or follow this months theme, which is: NEW

Here are my entries:
(Also it's a weekend adventures update)

New tan! (Or I hope that I get the change to relax more by the pool like this) My weekends have been busy so it was nice to lay and do nothing!


My condo association just had the pool resurfaced. I like the new look.


New sunglasses and a new haircut!


I loved this movie! I think this new X-Men movie is a must see, I highly recommend it.


What? Jim is taking pictures of a hairless twinkie dick-dancer? I know... this is new! The gayborhood in Dallas had a big street party called Razzle Dazzle. I met friends out and we had a good time.

Don't worry... I'm not into the young hairless thing you see in the picture. In fact some other young creatures were hitting on me later in the evening. Although I have embraced my 'daddiness' I don't want a son; I don't want to raise and take care of any children!

Hope y'all enjoyed a peek into my weekend through these pictures. Have a great rest of the weekend y'all!

June 2, 2011

At a loss for words

I have no idea what to blog about today.



Really.... I don't!




Um.... Last night as I was coming back from eating chicken masala (Indian food) I walked by a magnolia tree with many blooms. I love the scent of the magnolia blossom. I never smelled one until I moved to Texas.

I picked one and put it in a vase at home. It smells so good.



Happy Friday tomorrow.


Maybe I'll think of something to blog about. :-/

June 1, 2011

June Tarot

Two of Pentacles reversed

The card tells me that when I feel life is pushing me around and I don't know where I'm going - look around for the deeper meaning to the experience. Note any similarities to past events - then compare them, so that I'll have the vision to find a new direction.

It also tells me that I have become overly passive to the point of inactivity. Waiting and watching - afraid to jump into the heat and passion of life and now, the game of life has become forced. This is not a time of disappointment, but a time of expansion.

I need to ask myself: What two or more situations are you handling with ease? What are you adapting to? What do you want to change in your home, profession, status, finances? What are you juggling in order to keep stable - money, weight, finances, lifestyle? In what ways do you play and use your excess energies? What calls for diplomacy?

Well, in June I will be off of work from the 9th and returning on the 22nd. This is probably the longest time I've taken off of work in a very long time. I will also be traveling so I should probably watch my expenses very closely. I'll also be traveling in Utah and will be around a lot of my Mormon family. I have to find a good balance so they don't piss me off... I have to remember that I'm there for my nephew's wedding.

A close friend is telling me I need to get out and date more too. This might be difficult with the travel this month.

The juggling act isn't going to go so smoothly this month... hhmmmm.