December 31, 2012

The Year in Review - Part IV

This final post of 2012 will only mention the best and the worst.

The best part of this was spending time with my friends, my family of choice. We had a great time in the Cayman Islands and it's one of my best vacations ever! We all are very "huggy" type people and we often express out love for all our friends. They truly are my family now.
best


The worst part of the year was the passing of my dear friend Jim McCoy. I have known him for almost ten years or more and I introduced him to his husband Paul. Jim is in the ball cap in the picture below. He was so full of life and was always a fun person to be around. I spent New Year's Eve with them and our circle of friends last year. Who knew then that he wouldn't be with us now. He was having a few health issues at the end of May and was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. He was gone by the beginning of July.
worst

Life is too short to not tell your friends and loved ones how much they mean to you.

Thank you to all my blogger buddies and true friends in life.
I hope you all have a safe and Happy New Year!

December 30, 2012

Year in Review - Part III

Today's post will just be snippets of other stuff that I did this last year.

Books: I have read about 8 or so books this last year. The best one being The Forest Laird by Jack Whyte. A historical fiction book about William Wallace. Loved it! I have now read three of the six by the same author of The Camulod Chronicles. The story of Britain after the Romans left and leading up to King Arthur.

Elections: I hate election years! I hate political rhetoric, posturing, polling, guessing and just the whole process. I am sooooo glad it's over. All I see it as is a waste of millions of dollars that could have gone to much better use in the world. All it did is line the pockets of television company executives and political commenters and so called experts.

Health: I did a lot of biking early in the year but had some bike maintenance issues in September. I then took up jogging. That abruptly stopped when I was hit with some upper respiratory issues in the last couple of months this year. Earlier in the year while I was feeling good my doctor had set me up with another trial of allergy shots. I never had any skin reactions from the shots, but I had the symptoms in my sinus' and lungs instead: congestion and sneezing and all the icky stuff. I finally quit the shots as I thought they brought on my health issues that have lingered on these last few months.

Kittehs: I fell in love with the kitties that showed up at my door in September. The six kitties with their mama were sooooo cute. I loved to play with them and see their personalities as they grew. They've all been adopted out but mama kitteh is still here. She loves me too and purrs loudly when I go out to pet her. I just have to remember to go in and immediately wash the kittehness off my hands before I have an allergy attack. UGH! I would love to have one as a pet inside... but I'd rather breathe too. So, no indoor kitteh for Jim. *sad face* Oh... as I was petting mama kitteh last night she was distracted by a real mouse! This morning she left me a little present; a mouse butt with the tail intact on my front door step. I guess she was proud of herself and wanted to brag or share it with me. LOL!

December 29, 2012

The Year in Review - Part II

This year I turned 51.

I didn't like it. I let it bother me.

By the time Jimmas came at the end of August I came to peace with the fact that I am getting older and there is nothing I can do about it!

Well... I can't change the aging process but I can control how I feel about it. This is the depression and mental struggles I went through in 2012.

I don't like that most of my chest hairs are now gray... and a weird spot on my belly hairs (what's up with the that..??).

Earlier in the year I thought I would just not deal with the gray hairs on my face and shaved the whiskers off! Yikes! I didn't like it and many of my friends (some blogger friends too) let me know that they didn't like it either:
The look of "meh.. no"
Then I went through a phase of growing the goatee back but keeping it very short. Like in this picture of me driving home from the gym one night after work:
Still "meh"
Finally I said: "to hell with it! I don't feel old. I don't act old. I don't wanna look old either!"

I let the whiskers grow out and decided on a good color of "Just for Men: Beard and Mustache" and voilà! I'm back to being happy with the way I look:
OK!
I know there are guys out there that will say that they like the 'silver daddy' look... I'm just not ready to go there yet! I don't care if anyone knows I dye my beard... there are a few stubborn gray hairs that refuse to take color... but who cares right? I'm happy with me. 

I've always said that being happy in your own skin is important and when someone is, it reflects outward to everyone they meet.

This year, in this regard, could be summed up as: denial, acceptance and then embracing.

Who the fuck cares anyway right? I like me just as I am.

December 28, 2012

Year in Review - Part I

If anyone has followed my little blog for any amount of time this year (and thank you for stopping by!) y'all know I love renaissance faires!

I have so many great memories from 2012 while I was dressed as a pirate or in a kilt. Huzzah!

Here is my favorite picture from the Sherwood Forrest Faire near Austin:
Jimmy Ricketts, Hornigold and Spikey
It was cold! (and y'all know how I feel about cold weather) But my friends made it worth it. This was also the faire where my close friends Robert and Rose were married. (sorry, he's still married Cubby). I have some great memories of weekends spent with these friends in February and March.

April and May was the Scarborough Faire just south of Dallas. 
Here is my favorite picture from "Scarby":
AJ and Jamie O'Really
There is no camping at Scarby so the whole crew only comes up for Pirate weekend near the end of May. I still went most weekends and saw many old friends and made some new ones. I had a lot of fun adventures and treasure my friends from this faire!

Our crew got together other times outside of the ren faires. The Irish and Scottish festivals in Dallas. We had the Sand Fest in Corpus Christi in April. The July 4th weekend "shore leave" party at Lt. Dan and Jeanie's home (where we caught his field on fire with our fireworks) and then Jimmas and Codystock and Lizfest. (birthdays) And of course Halloween!

September was the Celtic Fest in Sherwood Forrest Faire.
Here is my favorite pic from that weekend:
Abbey girl and me dancing

Then there is TRF (Texas Renaissance Faire) just north of Houston in October and November.
Of course here is my favorite pic from the adventures of ren faire camping:
Onsie disco
We always seem to make every weekend together an epic adventure. We really should write down some of the stories. (y'all wouldn't believe some of the trouble we get into! LOL)

The best rennie/pirate event EVER.... Pirate week in Grand Cayman in November.
My favorite picture from the trip:
Pirates in the Caribbean!
I must give credit to my friend Liz who took this amazing photo! What a great trip it was. (and not just because I felt like a rock-star with the paparazzi) But it was great to spend time with my friends doing something we all love.

This post isn't just about all the renaissance faires I attend... but about some pretty terrific friends! 
I love my friends!

December 27, 2012

End of year stuff

I am one who, at the end of December, likes to think back on the year that has just flown by. I find it hard to believe that this time next week it will be next year!

It's nice having this blog to go back and read about my life this last year. I reviewed my posts here to come up with my list of negative things I wanted to burn and symbolically let go of for going into the new year on Yule evening. But it was also great to review and reread about some of the great things that 2012 brought my way.

The next few days I'll be reminiscing about the last year... There were some health issues and some depression issues... but there were way more great times than down times!

So... stop back by this weekend and see more pictures from the Cayman Islands or from a ren faire. Come back and read some more stories about Jim's life from 2012.

December 26, 2012

More Holiday Stuff

Happy Boxing Day!
I celebrate this day since I lived in a British commonwealth country (New Zealand).

Also...
Happy Kwanzza!

I like the 7 principles that Kwanzza stands for.


The best part of the day for me though is.... the major Christian holiday of über commercialism won't come around for 364 days!! That alone is cause to celebrate the day! Woohoo!

December 25, 2012

Merry Christian Holiday!

To those who celebrate the day:
May your halls be decked with boughs of holly!
May your Yuletide be gay!
May all your puddings be figgy!
May all your eggs be nogged! (filled with rum)
May your balls be shiny and bright!
May your stockings be well hung!
May your bells be jingley!
May all your 'ho's be tripled!
May your mistletoe be hung at your belt!
May your candles be well lit!
May your turkey be well stuffed!
May your packages be bulging!

May you find peace and joy!

December 24, 2012

Christmas thoughts

One cannot escape this Christian holiday even though many do not celebrate it.

I am one that does not celebrate it. The traditions of Yule are much the same as Christmas, but I try to make a clear distinction of not involving anything religious in what and how I celebrate. But it is a part of my past... I can't deny the memories I have of celebrating it with family and friends in years past. This has caused a dilemma in my mind this year.

I am a spiritual person.
I acknowledging that Buddha was a spiritual leader and can learn from his teachings, but I have a difficult time with the varying teachings about Jesus from the many versions of the Christian Bible. Yes, he was a spiritual leader and taught joy and peace but I feel many churches today have gone far from those things. So much so, that I want to make a point about their obvious contradictions.

But not all Christians are zealots. They're not all fanatical and mean-spirited. They try the best they can with what they know. But I still get a little offended when well meaning people make the assumption that I am a believer in this Christ. I have tried really hard to not immediately snap back at people to tell them that I don't celebrate Christmas. I only do that on a case by case or "need to know" basis. Certainly those who read my blog know this and those close friends on facebook. Many co-workers do too but not all... or else they just chose to ignore me.

So tomorrow I will wish those that celebrate the holiday a Merry Christmas and will try really hard to bite my tongue and not roll my eyes to those who say it back to me.

At least I'm glad that [major bank] gives me the day off!

December 23, 2012

House Stuff

I got in a house cleaning mode...
bandito duster
Because I'm allergic to dust and the pirate scarf worked well! 

Dollar Store stuff
  Because it's so much easier to buy them than to scrub and clean the dirty ones!

December 22, 2012

Apocalypse update

Now that was the most boring apocalypse EVER!

Yule night sunset. 
I got some grocery shopping done.
Wore my new torc all day.
Got my vehicle washed.
Got some firewood.
Had lunch at my favorite Indian food place (dot not feather).
Went for a quick visit to the doctor to see why I'm still feeling kinda puny.
Got 3 new meds that will hopefully help.
Did stuff around the house.
Cooked a nice meal and tried a new cider, one with apple and cherry in it. It was just OK.
Had some lambic and some more cider.
Sat in front of a nice roaring fire.
Had some more lambic.
Made some hot spiced cider.
Looked at the interwebs and read some blogs.
Went to sleep (a little drunk).

I really didn't think there would be an apocalypse anyway, even after I made some plans with my friend... just in case. We were putting together lists of things we though we would need. LOL

'Twas a Merry Yule indeed!

Now I'm back to being a Grinch until after the Christians celebrate their holiday!

December 21, 2012

Yule!

This is the day I celebrate this 'holiday' season. 

There are ancient customs and traditions that predate Christianity. Most of your ancestors celebrated the birth or re-birth of the sun after this, the longest night of the year! The days will be getting longer now but today is the start of a new cycle, a new phase of life, a day to pause in your busy life and be thankful for the bounty of the past year. And to hope and dream on the coming year. 

Join with your family and loved ones and share the bounties of life! Hold close to you all that you have and cherish them. 

Tonight when I burn my Yule log I will think on the last year. I will remember the good and write down all the bad things that happened. Then I'll burn that list! Let go of the bad that happened last year in my life. I'll let the memories and the pain of them go up and away with the flames so that I can start the new year with a fresh outlook on life. 

These traditions and thoughts make much more sense to me than the commercialization of the Christian holiday. If you don't celebrate this day, just pause and think of the cycle of the earth and how these changes are a constant thing and natural occurrence in the world.

Think of me and lift a glass to toast all the bounties of life you have right now.

December 20, 2012

Winter Solstice Eve

'Twas the night before Yule...
and what did I find on my doorstep when I got home from work?
(you weren't expecting this to be a poem were you?)

Anyhoo... Several months ago I ordered a torc from The Cetlic Croft. It had finally come in!!

Woohoo!!
Here is a close up look at it:
I rather like it!

What a nice Yule gift for myself!

December 19, 2012

The forecast for this week

Really....?? Really!
Does anyone really believe this will hapen?

December 18, 2012

Random Stuff in the middle of December

So.... how are you?

Lot of stuff going through my mind. I haven't been blogging much lately because I don't have much to say that makes sense once I get to typing. I guess I'll do a post of just little snippets.


Sean, over at Ilde Eyes and A Dormy "come out" as an atheist. I applaud him. I do not think he is militant about it at all. I respect him more because he is clearly stating his beliefs.

I want to "come out" myself on Facebook about how I had my name removed from the records of the LDS church several year ago and about how I do not regret the decision. I think I'm waiting for the "right time"... whatever and when ever that is...??

I started going back to the gym this week after several weeks off from my health issues. I've been feeling like a slug lately. It feels good to get back. I forgot a reason I love working out... all the hotties at the gym!

While I was recuperating I watched a marathon of Weeds on DVD. I feel better that my life doesn't have all that drama in it!

So to end... I'll just quote my friend's teenage son: "It's just whatever..."

December 17, 2012

Cold feet

I notice that I get cold feet a lot.

Not metaphorical cold feet... but actual cold feet!

Have I mentioned before that I hate cold weather? I do! I would rather be sweating than a little bit chilly. There aren't enough layers to warm you up once you're cold.

This winter, maybe because I've had more down time while trying to heal, I've noticed that my feet often get cold. I always change clothes when I get home from work or the gym and I don't like wearing shoes in the house.

And I don't like to wear socks when I sleep... I don't wear anything! I don't like sleeping alone because I can't warm my icy toes up between another man's legs or gather his heat while snuggling. So how do I warm up my paws?

A blanket at the foot of the bed used to be enough. Now that doesn't seem to help. I'm grumpy when I wake up in the middle of the night with frosty toes. I HATE cold weather! ARGH!!

Maybe a fire will warm up my toes. Oh... this reminds me. I need to get some firewood for a fire for Yule that is coming in a few days!

December 14, 2012

Holiday Cheer

This represents my feeling about the Holiday Season this year:

December 12, 2012

12 on the 12th on 12.12.12

6:15 AM
Shaved

Driving

Marge

Art

Parking


Lunch
View

Tacky

Bread

Pineapple

Bills


December 9, 2012

Song Pop and music stuff

There is a new iPhone game that I like. It's called Song Pop.

Basically it's "Name That Tune" for the new generation.

I love music! I have a large variety of music tastes... from classical to some rap (I'll call it lite-rap)

But the thing I noticed about this game is that I realized I don't know artists names and song names. I know and recognize the song and melody quickly... but to choose from a list of song names or artists is difficult for me. I've never really paid that much attention to that before.

I often use another iPhone app called Shazam.

You hear a song on the radio, party or bar and you hit the Shazam button and the app will match the song you're hearing with the artist and name of the song. I'll use this later to go buy the song or the album on iTunes... but that's as far as the names stay in my memory.

Anyway... the app gives you a genre or a category like: Disco or 70's Hits or Today's Hit's...

Do y'all know names of songs and artists? I seem to be losing in all the games I play on here but it's kind of an education for me. I'll finish a game and they give you a review of the song names and artists and you can also buy a song from iTunes right there in the middle of a game too. But I'll think: "huh... so that's the name of that song. I never knew that!" Or: "I know this song but I never knew they [this group or person] sang it!"

If anyone plays it, challenge me in a game. My user ID is: jima828

December 8, 2012

Happy Hanukkah!

To all of my Jewish friends... Happy Hanukkah! A fraylichen Chanukah!


My doctor said the pneumonia is all cleared up now but I am still coughing a lot and blowing my nose. I hate being sick! I know my body will heal and I know that getting a lot of rest helps... I'm just ready to get back into life.

That's about all... I can't wait for the holidays to be over!

December 5, 2012

Spo-meme

The good doctor Spo made his own meme. I thought I would give it a go too:

Tea, wine, or champagne? Wine. A nice Riesling... I'm not picky. If I drink tea it would be an herbal tea.


How left handed are you? I'm right-handed. I have made myself ambidextrous just out of boredom; though I haven't tried writing in cursive with my left hand in a long while.
The loudest item of clothing I have ………….. If you don't count all my renaissance outfits then the loudest article of clothing I have is a lime green tie. Otherwise I would say it would be the red kilt (Royal Stewart tartan)
The Best Friends: who is they? My pirate crew!

 I’d rather eat rats in Tewkesbury than…… liver and onions! EW!
How many of these have you done?:
1. Been to an opera Yes. La Traviata is my favorite
2. Read a novel by Dickens Yes. Great Expectations and David Copperfield. I tried Bleak House but just lost interest in it... it was too bleak!
3. Drank Bourbon Probably. I've tried a lot of alcohols. But it has not been memorable. 
4. Been to Key West Yes. I loved it! I stayed in a beautiful guest house across the street from a place called the Island House (but I never went in there). I hear there are guest houses there with lots of 'options'.
5. Visited The Stratford Festival of Canada No. I've only heard about Dr. Spo talking about it.
6. Spiders give you the heebie-jeebies. It depends on the size of it. The big ones freak me out. The little ones just get killed quicker.
7. Been to Michigan No. it is one of 3 states that I have yet to visit. I hear I must go....
8. Rolled down a grass hill. Only as a child. I wasn't thrilled by it... it made me dizzy.
9. Ate Synder Pretzels. Yes. No opinion one way or another on them. 
10. Used the word ‘rubbish” in the past 30 days. No. That word really isn't in my vocabulary. Should it be?
11. Worn a bow tie Yes. I have worn one but never tied one. Only the kind where you clip it in the back or pin it to my collar.
12. Have a set of Viking horns. No. But I do have a drinking horn that I drink from when I wear a kilt.

December 4, 2012

The truth revealed

Here it is... the truth of the matter.

Have I been crazy and gone face first down a cliff or do I hate Jeeps?

Y'all should know me.... I'm a bit crazy!

#3 is the truth!




















My oldest brother is very out-doorsy and he took up rappelling many years ago and each time I would go visit I would join him. He once told me how he and some friends put the harness on backwards and went face first down the cliff. Of course I wanted to try it too!

I walked off the ledge, 75 feet up, and then I shouted over my shoulder: "what do I do now?" I realized at that moment it was harder to do than I thought it would be! Oh well.... I took another step and stumbled. I only slid about 4 feet to a small ledge scraping my elbows in the process.

After a deep breath I stepped off again and then made my way down the cliff. At the bottom I couldn't remember what he told me about pulling my legs out so I came to rest on the ground in a push up position. "Well that was fun!" was my response when my brother came down.


The lie is about the Jeep. I would love to own a Jeep. Maybe someday!

Thanks for playing along!

December 3, 2012

Truth or Consequences

Do y'all remember the little meme I started last week? Called a Little White Lie....
Anyway, I'm finally getting back to it. A little illness (pneumonia) and a trip to the emergency room last night kind of interrupted me.  :-/

OK, so # 2 is.... the truth!

But it was a long time ago and only on local Utah stations. When I attended BYU, in a whole other life ago, I sang in the University Chorale and we often sang at events and televised church meetings.

But also earlier I was on TV while I was marching with our small high school band in the Pioneer Day parade in Salt Lake City on July 24th.
That's me down in front on the left with the white pants and the white hat. And yes, this was the whole marching band! We only had 200 students, more or less, in our high school.

December 1, 2012

December Tarot

The Knight of Swords

Either a mental challenge is coming this month that I have to face to move on... or a charming man will come swiftly into my life, but will leave just as quickly.

Either way... I need to stay focused and keep a clear head!

To Tell the Truth

Here is the next true thing about me from my recent post.

#1 is... the truth!
I was playing with some guys at a local pool in Utah when I was in my mid-30s. I turned around at the wrong moment when a ball was spiked hard onto my side of the pool and there my face was... right in the way of the ball! 

It hurt like hell! I couldn't open my eyes for about 10 minutes and over the next few days it swelled up. At the time I was in a low paying job (this was just before I moved to Texas and got into banking) and I did not have any health insurance at the time so I didn't go to the doctor.

I never really noticed it until my partner, the doctor, mentioned it to me a few years ago. "Oh yea..." I said; "I guess I broke it... I've just gotten used to it."

So... a boring story, I know.... but it's the truth!