Posted in life, Uncategorized

SMH

So, at work, we’re redesigning the place. Installing various fixtures, building stuff. Normally it’s Rachel in charge, with me second. I’m always doing this kind of stuff at work. So, I kinda know how to do it.

Today, for some reason reason, Mark was in charge. Rachel was not there. He’s never been a part of these transitions before. But, since he’s a MAN (more like clueless Neanderthal), he knows EVERYTHING.

Continue reading “SMH”

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Posted in Uncategorized

Today, like any other day

Work was average. I was outside most of the time and it was super-hot. Mid 90s with high humidity. Mark acted like his stupid macho usual self. Actually kinda worse. If I hear that how he got shot story one more time I’m going to scream. I think Friday is his last day. I hope he doesn’t return from beyond.

Some lady ran into the side of the building with her car. She jumped the curb. Part of the outside of the building is jacked. Loose bricks and all that. The inside is pushed in and there are big wood splinters all over. Plus, the window is goofed up and all askew. I’m just glad nobody was standing there, or walking by. I don’t see anybody surviving that. I must be bad luck, because everywhere I’ve gone or been this week has some kind of weird stuff happen. It’s either coincidence, or I’m Carrie.

Continue reading “Today, like any other day”

Posted in life

Learning to fit in

When I was 12, we got a new camera. We went into the backyard and my mom started taking pictures. It was one of those Polaroid Instamatics, so, unlike in the past we didn’t have to wait a week for the pictures to be developed.

My mom pointed the camera at my sister and she (my sister) just stood there. She clicked the button and 60 seconds later there was a picture of my sister – standing there stiff as a board.

While my mom was taking the pictures of my sister, I was practicing various poses in my head. When it was my turn I did a Betty Grable akimbo pose. Mom was not happy. She dropped the camera and let it dangle from the cord around her neck.

“Bob, please don’t do that”.

“Why not”, I asked.

“People will think you’re weird, or that there is something wrong with you.”

I want to cry, but didn’t. I felt bad. Like she was ashamed of me.

I had just started going through puberty, so there were all kinds of changes going on. The voice change and all that other mess. I also realized that my parents were becoming more concerned with my behavior. Maybe they always had been, but it was just now that I was noticing it.

My dad didn’t really hang out or do stuff with me. If he had any concerns he always voiced them to my mother, and everything was relayed to me through her. He was more in tune with my sister, so he did stuff and used endearments with her. I was just always getting in the way somehow.

After a while, I began to modify my behavior. I would go against what was natural for me. I would always think about what my parents would say or think about my behavior. Anytime we went clothes shopping everything I wanted was a NO. It had too many stripes, or plaids, or was too colorful. I wanted clothes that would make me stand out. They wanted me to have clothes that would make me fit in.

For a while, it was just my parents who were voicing concerns. It soon started happening with friends and relatives. I stopped talking about things that interested me.

“That’s stuff that girls do”.
“Only sissies like that.”

I wanted to play the clarinet, but picked the drums instead. I wanted to learn to twirl the baton, but joined Little League instead; even though I was awful at baseball. Everything I did was to fit in. I did however, practice with my sister’s baton – in the basement – when no one was at home.

About the time I turned 15 I decided, “This is fucking ridiculous”! I started doing things that I wanted to do. But, I still had that feeling of being wrong and different.

I began to realize why people were so concerned. Oh my gosh, they think I’m a faggot…and they’re right. Of course, we don’t really use that terminology nowadays, but back then it was everywhere.

So, again, I altered my behavior. I had pretend girlfriends. I started doing other stuff with kids and pretending I liked it. I did everything I could to fit in. But, I still felt like I was on the outside.

High School was a complete disaster. I hated it. Every day I would go and try to act like I thought I was supposed to. It was confusing and enervating. The only thing that really saved me was music. I was in the band, so I concentrated on that.

When I got to college, it was completely different. Somehow, I was popular. People liked me and wanted to hang around me. I was Vice President of my fraternity pledge class, and I was always doing something social. The whole time I was just being myself. Nobody seemed to care. Sure, there were a few times when people would say something, but I would just shrug it off.

When you get to be a certain age, and you’re away on your own, you start to become your true self and not care what people think. Or at least not as much as you did when you were younger. But, it has always stayed with me. There are still times that I alter my behavior to fit in. I still wonder, in certain situations, if I’m acting the right way. I guess everybody feels that way.

Posted in prompts

Tropical

Every time I hear the word Tropical one of two visions pops into my head; Toucan Sam from the Fruit Loops cereal box, or that ugly carpet that runs throughout the Tropicana Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

If this were any other day I’d probably write about one of those. But, just yesterday, I learned something very interesting.
I really like the song 13 Beaches by Lana Del Rey. At the beginning of the song there is some dialogue. I just always assumed that it was Lana speaking. But it’s not. It’s dialogue from the movie Carnival of Souls, spoken by the character Mary Henry (portrayed by Candace Hilligoss).

Carnival of Souls was a low budget atmospheric horror film from the early 60s that wasn’t very successful. It resurfaced in the late 80s and garnered a lot of interest. It eventually reached cult status and was shown in cinema art houses and at film festivals. It was directed by Herk Harvey, who also portrayed the main ghoul in the film. It’s a creepy movie, and not the least bit tropical. But, 13 Beaches IS tropical (sounding, anyway).

On a semi-related side note, if the movie dialogue in 13 Beaches had been from Dementia 13, instead of Carnival of Souls, it would make a great Jeopardy before and after question.

An early Roger Corman film, directed by Francis Coppola, and a Lana Del Rey song

What is Dementia 13 Beaches

Posted in prompts

Liebster

Crushed Caramel has nominated me for the Liebster Award. I must admit that I’m not all that familiar with it, or how it works; but it seems pretty straight-forward. So, I’ll make an attempt, and try not to screw it up.

Here are the 11 questions I’ve been asked:

1. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE TYPE OF CANDY OR SWEETIE?

I suppose I would have to say Skittles. A favorite seems to depend on my mood, but Skittles are never out of mood territory.

2. WHO OR WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START A BLOG SITE?

I guess that it’s the fact that there is such a thing AS a blog. My blogging history is somewhat erratic. I have the personal, private ones; but, I also have this one, which is fairly new, and still trying to figure out what it’s supposed to be.

3. HAVE YOU EVER BEEN BULLIED?

For sure. Growing up as a gay teenager in the 70s AND in the Bible Belt of the good ole USA made it virtually impossible not to be. As a kid it’s hard to stave it off, but as an adult I’ve learned how to deal with it and fight back.

4. WHICH IS THE BEST WAY TO TRAVEL – BOAT, PLANE, WHEELS?  WHERE WOULD YOU GO? (SORRY I KNOW THAT IS TWO QUESTIONS)

I’m peripatetic by nature. But, longer travel dictates some faster mode. I’m not a fan of planes. More for claustrophobic reasons. I suppose it would be car. You’re more in control and it’s better for sight-seeing along the way.

5. HOW DO YOU VIEW PEOPLE WHO CHEAT IN MONOPOLY?

I’m not really sure how you cheat in Monopoly, unless you have loaded dice, or steal money from the bank when nobody is looking. Anyway, they’re cads.

6. DO YOU PREFER POEMS THAT RHYME? (IF THIS IS TOO CONTROVERSIAL A QUESTION – YOU COULD SHARE YOUR FAVOURITE HOUSE-KEEPING TIP INSTEAD)

I like the euphonious rhyme, but I also like the non-rhyming freeform. Rhyme makes you look clever. Non-rhyming can confuse people and make you look smarter than you really are.

8.  FANCY DRESS PARTIES – WHAT HAVE YOU DRESSED UP AS?

I’m not really familiar with fancy dress parties. I’m from Arkansas.

9. WHICH SONGS WOULD YOU SING IN THE SHOWER WHEN YOU THINK NOBODY CAN HEAR?

Roxanne by The Police

10. IS ANYONE ELSE IN YOUR FAMILY A BLOGGER OR VLOGGER?

I have a cousin who has a photography blog. Everyone else is like, “What’s a blog”? They’re still living the decemnovenarian life. Luddites!

11. DO YOU BELIEVE IN THE MAGIC BIN FAIRY (WHO COMES IN THE NIGHT AND EMPTIES YOUR BINS MIRACULOUSLY WHILE YOU ARE SLEEPING AND WIPES ALL THE SPILLS ON THE BIN AND ON THE WALLS AND FLOOR AROUND IT)???  OR ARE THERE MEMBERS OF YOUR HOUSE-HOLD WHO BELIEVE IN THE MAGIC BIN FAIRY?TRAVEL – BOAT, PLANE, WHEELS?  WHERE WOULD YOU GO? (SORRY I KNOW THAT IS TWO QUESTIONS)

Well, I do all that stuff, and I’m gay, so I guess yeah, I believe.

Well, that was cathartic. I’m supposed to nominate 11 other people, but I haven’t really been around long enough (in this blogger biosphere) to even know 11 people. I am going to do that in another post at a different time. I hope that’s acceptable.

Anyway, thanks to Crushed Caramel for being a dear and thinking of me.

I know I didn’t follow the official rules, but I’m kind of an unofficial type of guy.

Posted in prompts

Imagination

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.”

Albert Einstein said that. I have a t-shirt with a picture of him and the first part of the quote on it. It’s old and has rips in it. I can’t throw it away.

Most of my interests are right brain and imagination driven. Music, art, literature. As a music major in college, I focused on composition. I never became a world famous composer, but I have had pieces performed.

When it comes to art, I’m not a natural. I do however get inspiration from the masters, which carries over into other areas of my life. I tend to favor the more abstract and innovative. And I have a deep fondness for the Impressionists.

I have enough imagination to never be bored. I know so many people who don’t understand that concept.

You have to rely on yourself, and not others, for life enrichment. Even if I know I might not be good at something, I’ll still make an attempt. Being open to new concepts and ideas helps to become a more well-rounded person.

The more you use your imagination, the more it grows. I’ve accomplished things that I thought would never be possible, just by using a little imagination and making an attempt.

Posted in Poetry

My Brain it Abrades

I willy over here

I nilly over there

I intense over yonder

I retreat and then ponder

then stop

then change

I passion over this

I obsess over that

I tango to the closet

and waltz back with a hat

that’s new

that’s different

when will I stop

this jack of all trades?

the itching and scratching

my brain it abrades

Posted in music

Convenient Music

I love my Amazon Echo. I pay the $3.99 a month for unlimited songs (for the most part) via Amazon. I love how specific it is. I can say play jazz from 1957 to 1963 and it will do it. You can even do it by month and genre. The only thing is that if different versions of a song are out there, it might play the song 2 or 3 times in a row. I’ve had that happen.

There are all kinds of games you can play on it, but I’m already over that. I use it mostly for music, or as the occasional timer.

I also have the iTunes music subscription. There are more obscure songs available on it. I can link the phone to the Echo to play them, but it seems like the sound quality isn’t as good.

I don’t really use Pandora anymore. Ads after every 4 or 5 songs. I don’t feel like paying for the no ads version. I have those other two subscriptions, so it’s pointless.

There are so many ways to listen to music nowadays. I even still bring out the vinyl every once in a while. Especially for jazz.

But, it’s just so convenient to say Alexa, play so and so…

I like all kinds of music. So, I go through phases. One week it might be nothing but metal; or the Beatles; or Jimi Hendrix. Sometimes I mix it up. I have playlists of my favorite songs. Sometimes I’ll listen to that. It all depends on mood, or what I’m doing. If I’m reading, crime, pulp, or murder mysteries I’ll listen to CSI music.

I remember how back in the day, I would sit around for hours waiting for my favorite songs to come on the radio, so I could record them on my tape recorder. The kind with a microphone. You had to be quiet as not to pick up background noise. I remember having cassettes of music with my mom, or sister talking in the background. Or somebody coughing or sneezing. When the straight from radio to cassette came out I was so excited. No background noise.

Now, it’s all so convenient. Younger people don’t know how good the have it.

But, I must admit, it was more personal and adventurous back them. I would get so excited when a song I liked came on the radio. Now, I can just tell some device to play it. Convenience kind of takes the fun and mystery out of it.