I QUIT SMOKING!

Once a smoker, always a smoker. At least for me. Sure I have heard the stories of ex-smokers who have quit for years, and actually I once quit for 10 months no patches nothing and the thought of cigarettes completely left my mind. But I started again.

And using the patch, I can pretty much quit, as I have done gosh it must be almost a hundred times, but the process is a long and arduous journey full of addiction-induced mind games, before I finally reach the point, 6 months down the road, where I am actually nicotine free (no patches), and don’t think about the things a hundred times a day.

And then along comes the ecigarette. I tried the disposable ecigarette sold in most convienence stores here, which was touted to be equal in ‘smoke’ (vapor) to a whole pack of cigarettes. I truly was impressed with it, the flavor and amount of vapor was equal to that of smoking a cigarette, but I burned the thing out in 5 hours. That was not going to work for me at a cost of 7 bucks apiece. I chalked it up to a novelty, and back to cigarettes I went.

Or rather cigarello’s, which are even nastier. Cigarello’s are a combination of cigar and cigarette tobacco, and only cost 1.50 US dollars a pack as apposed to the 6 or 7 US dollars for a pack of cigarettes. This is because of loopholes in the law governing the increase in the price of cigarettes to create cessation from smoking. Since they are not all cigarette tobacco, they are not cigarettes. Gotta love them loopholes.

What they are are very strong and stink something awful. I smoked them for years, ever since cigarettes became insanely expensive, probably delivering twice or even more amount of tar into the lungs. Amazingly, I found them to be even more addicting than cigarettes as well.

One of the things I hated about smoking, in addition to a stinky house and walking around in a cloud of smell like pigpen, which you don’t smell yourself but everyone else does, is oral thrush. Yup, cigarette smoke increases the temperature in your mouth making it a bacteria haven. Halfway into a pack of cigarettes and you are well on the way to a mouthful of bacteria, coating your tongue and increasing plaque on your teeth. Yum. Never kiss a smoker. Or at least ask em to stick out their tongue first. Yuck. Sure as shit, they will have oral thrush.

So when I brushed my teeth, it is first with a gigantic, burning, mouthful of listerine, then a thorough scrubbing of teeth, gums, and tongue. After which I would stick out my tongue and it did absolutely nothing to take away that coating.

Then, a couple months ago, doing my regular oral care, I inspected my tongue and whoa. Something that has never happened before, my normally whitish thrush now had patches in it stained black with tar.

And that was it. After thirty years of the nasty bastards, I had had it. My house, cars, clothes, relationships, and health were all being destroyed by them and it was totally stupid. Determined to quit once and for all, I went out and bought the most expensive nicotine patches on the market, at a cost of 150.00 US dollars.

I quit for 5 weeks and then started again. Can you believe? But it was heaven, absolute heaven. I had also abstained from my normal cocktail hour I enjoyed once or twice a week at home, as alcohol made me want to smoke. So by the end of that 5 weeks, I’ll tell ya, I was stressing big time. I ripped off the patch and that first cocktail and cigarette was just fabulous.

Mom cried. My friends and siblings were dismayed. And my wallet was hurtin too, as I refused to go back to cigarello’s and was spending 6 or 7 bucks a pack for cigarettes. Really the only ‘people’ that were happy about it were my cats, having missed me sitting out on the porch with them all day long in an effort to reduce the smoke in the house.

About 200 dollars in to my new cigarette habit, Christmas came along and my sister gave me an ecigarette kit. Unlike the disposables, these you fill yourself with flavored nicotine juices, and plug the battery in to charge every night. You can suck on the thing all day long and the battery will not run out, although you do have to refill a time or two during the day.

It came with a cookie flavored juice and was sweet and delivered the same amount of nicotine as a Marlboro cigarette. My first day I was having my coffee and had no problem with the nicotine cravings or the amount of ‘smoke’, the problem was it did not taste like cigarette. I made an emergency run to an ecig store in the mall and purchased Turkish tobacco flavored juice, and that solved the problem.

My first week went well with it. I tried different flavors and settled on cherry as my favorite, which went well with my bourbon and coke cocktail hour and also with my coffee. In fact, the cherry did more than just go well with my cocktails, it was awesome!! Yum! During the first 5 days I did smoke one or two cigarettes a day, mostly because I still had a pack left. I was pleased that a whole pack of cigarettes lasted me more than a week, and decided to only have one or two a day with my coffee in the morning or before bed.

But you know, that pack ran out and, getting all the nicotine and able to puff away to my hearts content with no ill affect on the ecigarette, I actually went a week before I bought another pack of Marlboros today and settled down for a cocktail hour. And …

I’ll be dambed if it wasn’t the most disgusting smoking experience I ever had. Usually if I go a day or two without a cigarette, that first drag tastes sooooo good. My body loves it. This time I nearly choked!! I wanted my ecigarette! Wow! I mean no shit, wow!! I couldn’t smoke it! It was gross! I mean wait, did you hear that? I c-o-u-l-d   n-o-t   s-m-o-k-e   i-t. !!!!!!!

Never in my life, in thirty years of smoking, have I not wanted the taste of a cigarette. This was crazy. I stubbed that fucker out and went right back to my ecigarette, which pleasure.

So there you have it. I quit smoking. This month is my 51st birthday, and I can say that. Thats a nice present. I’m still addicted to nicotine, and I will work on that, but now all I do is inhale vapor, made with the same harmless stuff that makes the fake smoke for the dance floors and concerts and is used in asthma inhalers for people with asthma.

There is a whole lot to be said about ecigarettes. They are not regulated yet, so you need to make sure you get your stuff from a reputable company. They are not a smoking cessation product, they are a smoking deterrent instead. In other words, you still have your nicotine habit (you can work on that tho – the juice comes in strengths), and your still puffin away, but it don’t kill you. And you can afford it, a pack a day smoker will spend maybe thirty bucks a month as apposed to 250.00 + bucks a month. And of course you gotta learn how to use and maintain the things. One thing I will say is that if you try it, do NOT going higher than 18mg nicotine strength, which is the same as a regular full strength cigarette. You can actually go up to 36mg nicotine strength, which is insane since my research indicates lethal dose of nicotine is 60mg. Like I said, this stuff is currently unregulated. Also, although I already said this, I say again, make sure the company you get it from is reputable.

There is all kinds of shit to talk about, and lots of controversy too.

But you know what? Man! I finally quit smoking!  Wanna kiss?  :)

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Little Mix – Move

music-note_istock_6928800xsmallSo checking out this tune for the first time and I really like it.  I know I like a song when I turn up the volume as far as I can get it on my headphones without either distorting the music or blowing out my  eardrums.  And this song does that to me.  Love it.  Its fast, its catchy, it brings me to the edge of my seat but …..

Is it me, or has this song got me by the balls, bringing me to the edge of my seat, ready to jump up and just go crazy and …

Its not there.  Where’s the fucking climax?  I wanna get up and jump around like crazy and its …,  not there, lol.  I mean, I can find where they consider the climax to be, but this song has potential to orgasm and they missed it.

Terrific song all the same.  You can listen to it here.  Maybe you can see what I mean, maybe not.  But it leaves me wanting to insert a climax, because its missing.  Or at least take what is considered the climax and add to it.  Cause it can be so much more.  Maybe they will do a remix, or maybe there is one I haven’t found it yet, dunno.

Just sayin.  I really do like it, all the same.  The song is fucking awesome, and the group and dancers are adorable in the video, I could eat em up.  Your opinion welcome.  :)

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Halloween Obama Scare

So Obama Care is here.  I was pretty excited for it when it finally went into effect, as I make no money and have a large skin cancer wound on the top of my head that I need removed.  Everyone keeps telling me to go to various different clinics and the hospital for some charity work, but I have been holding out for some quality care covered by my lovely Obama Care package.

 

     In fact, I was so happy and anxious about it I went online exactly Oct. 1st to sign my ass up.  And on Oct. 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 10th, 15th, 24th, 30th.

 

     I think I am signed up.  I tried a thousand times online, and even started to sign up with the poor CSR on the phone who got about an hour into the process and had to tell me the site crashed.  I have tried so many times, I have forgotten my login.

 

     Further insult was when I received notification from my employer today that the meager 46 bucks a month they were putting on a health card for me was going to stop due to Obama Care.

 

     So I will join the everybody in grumbling about Obama Care, altho over a month later people are starting to really get ticked.

 

     I have got several concerns about the whole thing, in fact. 

 

     Several months ago I went with my elderly mother to the eye doctor, which was covered under her medicare plan.  I was dismayed to see there was nearly one hundred people in there, and her appointment took an hour before they even saw her.  It was a total mill, with crappy customer service to boot.  To get a pair of glasses and an eye exam.

 

    So concern number one is exactly what kind of shit am I getting into here?  I would rather have my meager 40 bucks a month health card, at least it adds up and I can use it for a normal doctor and not some clinic mill.

 

     Concern number two is security breach.  The thing is so huge, with crashing servers and fumbling CSR, that I have a real concern over my information being stored in such a mess.  And above and beyond that, the government will now have a record of my health care in addition to my phone calls, emails, and financial information.  When your government knows more about you than you yourself can remember, it tends to lead you to wonder why?  And where is it going?  Of course, this is normal as you age, however, I’m not retired.  I just think its weird, thats all. 

 

     A good thing hopefully that will come out of the health care thing is if care is available, maybe we can get some people some mental health counseling and cut back on all the freaks out there shooting and bombing and killing people.

 

     But then again, hmmm.  Concern number three, is mental health care included, and what would THAT be like? 

 

     Concern number four is that our government released such a mess.  Are we paying these people?  Cause they suck.  Look, there’s the house, there’s the senate I guess, and the president, I don’t do politics they suck and bore me but it seems to me that with all the fail safes that are supposed to be built into our constitution that something is majorly wrong with the whole system.  I mean how can you have a bazzillion ‘leaders’ come together and put out such a mess?  It’s indicating to me a failure of the leaders of this country to do what they are paid at great expense to do.  This fiasco is called The United States of America?  Seriously?

 

     I always give my government, in fact most things, the benefit of the doubt.  For example, all the crap about us monitoring European and Middle America government phone calls.  People seem to forget that previous to all the Snowden bullshit hitting the fan, there were, and in fact still are, reports of American Government and Big Business data bases being hacked by other countries worldwide, with China in the lead.  So I am of the opinion and confidently so that there are REASONS for the Snowden shit.  Some shit cannot be explained by the government because its not public information, leaving us to try to figure out the reasoning behind government actions.

 

     It’s called blind faith, but you know what?  After spending my money to shut down the government and argue for a month, rathing than preparing the health care system for release, what am I putting my faith in?  The billions and billions of dollars spent shutting down the government to argue like a bunch of prima donna’s would have paid for the whole health care data base system.  They say the actual cost is a drop in a bucket compared to the actual money in circulation, big deal.  Bullshit.  The government shut down cost 24 billion.  Divide that by current population of 316997000, and its 75 bucks a person.  While of course income for the government comes mainly from business, I am of the opinion that I am owed 75 dollars.  Why should we pay to have someone throw our money down the toilet?

 

      I say how about we have us a real shut down and take that 24 billion out of the current salaries of our ‘leaders’?  Because that is my opinion, and they work for me.

 

     And by the way, although it has not been said, I am also of the opinion that a good deal of the problems with the new health care data base is due to people sabotaging it.  Which is just costing more money.

 

     Its pitiful, and once excited, I now dread Obama Care.  And I am not too happy with Obama either.  He gets shit done, but he is walking the line on this one.  I expect to see big results, and I am not seeing it.  Quite frankly, if the whole country has had to adjust their income levels as employment (REAL employment, not McDonalds and migrant worker statistics) falls and prices quadruple, then why the hell are these people, the president, the senate, the house, being paid the same?  Can somebody tell me this?  Honestly, their pay should be adjusted on a public opinion scale.  Of course, that won’t solve anything, but it is a good example of how I feel.  Which is ripped off.

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Syria: My Midnight Ramble

Great Labor Day weekend!  For someone who does nothing, I’ve sure kept myself busy these last three days.  So imagine my surprise to finally sit down and have a moment with the TV, only to see that President Obama is wanting to get involved in Syria.

Well, I can say I just do not know what the hell is going on with this country anymore.  One of the reasons I voted for Obama is because he is capable of showing great empathy.  Perhaps a little politically shy, since he is quite young, but I also liked that as well.  My main concern during Obama’s first election was not the economy, although at the time I and most everybody was losing their shirts, but the scorn of the International Community towards the good old USA, after being dragged into the Iraq mess through the UN, to great expense, only to have the US housing market crash shortly afterwards.

Seems when we go down, EVERYbody goes down, which kind of leads me to believe that the damb world runs on the USA.  Which only goes to show how much money we have tied up out there, instead of at home.

Anyway, I liked Obama, especially after 8 years of Bush.  George Bush is a great guy, and an incredibly dedicated and conscientious leader, his greatest fault is once he made up his mind about something, you better get the hell out of the way cause it was gonna get done.  He was incapable of modifying what he put into place, so if he started wandering down the wrong path on something, well, we were all just gonna have to tag along.  And if you suggested otherwise, he could get quite arrogant over it.  Good old USA redneck arrogant.  Not very diplomatic.

Obama is different.  He MANAGES.   He will check something out just as thoroughly as Bush, and he don’t give up either, but he is capable of correcting his paths.  His political shyness would put the International Political Community at ease, his empathy would shine.  But is that now kicking me in the ass?

I would be unable to imagine living in a country where your own government would use chemical weapons on you just because you disagree with it over something.  Which is why there are international laws against it.  Who put em in place?  The UN.

So what the hell is Obama doing?  I mean there are procedures in place to vote in the UN for action, so why is he not going that road instead of announcing to the whole world that the USA is going to take action.  Its total disrespect for the international community and international law, and individual countries pocketbooks.

Its not the reason I voted for Obama, and its pissed me off a little.  Its like this country has this great political need to enforce in everybody’s minds just how great we are or something.

Yes, I agree something does need to be done with this mess in Syria.  What happened over there was unconscionable.  People watched their parents or children or friends die horribly.  Chemical weapons are just so ghetto, seriously.

The problem is, naturally, Syria’s.  But its ours as well.  If a country can just shrug and bomb their own people with chemical death, it isn’t going to reassure their neighboring countries of their own safety.

But it is a international problem, not a US problem.  Its everybody’s problem.  So EVERYbody has to find a solution.  For Obama to just step on everyone’s toes is wrong.  I think he figured that out and that is why he is sending it out to congress to vote on.  Meanwhile, the UN is still investigating, very slowly I might add.

Remember what I said about Bush and Obama and their decision making earlier.  Obama’s has taken the wrong path, but he is adjusting it I think and correcting his path, unlike Bush, who would probably already be over in Syria by now doing God knows what.  So we will see how this plays out.

Remember the days of old and isolationism?  An old fashioned idea.  Today’s world is so much different with modern internet and instant access to everything and everybody regardless of where they are in the world.  But I dream of the day when this country will stop funding the international community to get things done out there.  We need to pull our money in, correct our debt, and focus on ourselves.  Hell, just pulling international funding, you know the pay to get your way thing, would be a gigantic step in correcting our own economical mess.  Why do you think Germany is doing so good?  They just quietly do their own thing and not waste money.

That said, what would the world be like without so much American involvement?  If we just let everybody do their own thing, good or bad?  Its an interesting thought.  Since we are capitalists, I might even add, how can we turn a profit from that?  Because we can.  We pull involvement out, and its going to leave countries scrambling for resources.  So its not like this is totally undoable.

Love my country.  Love my president too.  I cant imagine what it must be like to have to run this country.  And all in all I still think Obama is doing a fine job.  And he is still my hero because of it.

He has got my attention for sure.  Lets see if I am right about that path thing.

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Yearning

Yearning.  To have an intense feeling of loss or lack and longing for something.

It also means to be filled with compassion or a warm feeling.  Hmmmm.  That throws me for a loop, so I will write about the first definition, which was my intention before I checked to make sure it was the right word.

Do you yearn for something?  Are you sad?  Depressed?

Interestingly, everybody yearns for something, whether they admit it or not.  Think about it.

Everybody is attracted to someone or some type, and will yearn for someone they see that is attractive, gay or straight.  That’s natural.  I call it instinctual, actually.  Interestingly, sometimes you have to stop and ask yourself, ‘Am I yearning for that person just because they are good looking’?  Often times, you are not.  Its more something ABOUT that person that is attracting you.

But I digress.

Older folks may yearn to be young again and do it differently.  Shoulda, woulda, coulda.  Some yearn to be older.  Hell, there are folks that yearn to yearn.

Nobody has everything they’ve always wanted.

Some yearn to have a house.  Some yearn for kids.  Some yearn to be married.

Lots of people yearn to be rich.  Yearn to win the lottery.  Yearn to be successful.

Lots of people yearn for attention, and spend lots of time trying to gain it.

Some people yearn for friends.  Some people yearn for a day without pain.  Some people yearn for food.  Some people yearn for water.  Some people yearn to breath.  Some people yearn for more time to live their lives of yearning.

Some people yearn to meet celebrities.  I love Led Zeppelin, and would love to spend time alone with Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones.  I see them interviewed through the media, and they say something I totally relate to, and I will yearn to meet them.  Never happen of course.  It’s a yearning.

On the other hand, celebrities yearn for freedom.  They have it all, and they have nothing.  They yearn for the ability to fly cross country for a thousand bucks like everybody else, instead of FIFTY thousand dollars in special arrangements and security details.  They live in giant mansions with lots of property.  We yearn to, too.  But be careful what you yearn for.  Those giant mansions are their whole worlds.  Of course their big.  Its not like they can drive down to Pizza Hut to have a slice.

Some people yearn to get away.  Some yearn to just stay in one place.  Some people yearn for that new car driving down the road, not knowing that perhaps the driver, yearning for friendship, would give you that car for a chance to be your friend.

Some people yearn for drugs.  Some people yearn for no drugs.

Some people yearn for a roll of duck tape to patch their roof.

Some people yearn for those departed.

Everybody yearns for something.  Because, no matter what, you can not have it all.

If your yearning with a deep sense of loss, or sadness, or longing, your definitely in a funk.  Anybody can tell you that, because we all yearn.

What’s interesting though, is if you make a list of what you HAVE, somebody out there is yearning for it with that same deep sense of longing, loss, sadness.

Think about it.  You’ll feel better.

Everybody yearns.

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George Zimmerman Versus Trayvon Martin

Ah, the talk of the day.  Zimmerman vs. Martin.  One can not escape it, it is on the television, on the radio, and being talked about everywhere.

But even with the verdict of NOT GUILTY, people are still saying he is.  Which I find amazing.  Because you can not say that.  Show me the evidence that he is.  The State of Florida could not do that, and neither can you.

Nobody likes to hear of a senseless death, more so a senseless death of a child.  Trevon Martin was not seventeen, as the press keeps saying.  He was sixteen at the time he was killed.  But it is what it is.  Shit happens and this was shit.

When I was in my late twenties, I was beat up by a group of three Hispanics in downtown Orlando.  At least according to witnesses because I never saw them.  I did not have a chance to see them.

Such a stupid story too.  I was walking home from a bar on a major road in Orlando with heavy traffic.  It was a three lane highway, meaning each side had three lanes.  However, it was in downtown Orlando, so do not get the impression that it was some major highway with cars zooming by at 70 miles per hour.  The speed limit there is 35 miles per hour.

Anyway, the stupid part.  I am walking on the sidewalk, a truck comes by and blats its horn at a car.  Scared the crap out of me.  I jumped three feet in the air and purely out of instinct said ‘fuck you’, in the direction of the sound.

Well, the direction of the sound was in fact I guess three Hispanic kids, who pulled over and chased after ignorant me, who had no idea that they were coming up behind me and was continuing merrily down the sidewalk.

The first strike must have been a full body BUMP from behind.  I went flying at least three feet in the air and landed skidding on my face and elbows and knees, breaking one of my knee caps.

What came next is kind of amazing to me, since this was a heavily trafficked road at 35 miles per hour.  For the next 30 seconds I was kicked or punched in the head as I lay dazed on the sidewalk.  Then I was dragged into the street, and the kids ran off.

A witness, who almost ran over me, stopped his car and pulled me out of the road, and an ambulance was called.  I had road rash on my face, all down my arms, a sprained arm, a broken knee cap, and a possible concussion.  The State of Florida actually paid my medical bills, under their Victim Impact program, which is a great program we have that helps victim’s of crime.

When the guy pulled me out of the street, I had absolutely no idea what happened to me.  I mean, I never had a chance to know, but beyond that, I was having trouble even thinking.

So I can attest a little bit about George Zimmerman’s state of mind when his head was being bashed.  If someone is waling on your head, you can not think straight.  You just can not.  Ask anybody in a similar situation, and they will tell you the same.  It knocks you for a loop.  You are completely dazed.  So actually, I find it amazing that the guy was even able to pull his gun.  Anybody that suggests that this guy calculatedly said ‘I have had enough’ and pulled his gun, aimed it directly at his heart where he knew it would do the most damage, and cold hearted shot the kid dead, is an idiot.

In fact, having been there, I know that what happened was the guy somehow managed to get his gun out, did not aim at anything but the general direction of the assailant and shot the assailant in the hopes of stopping him from beating the shit out of him.  It just happened to go to the heart and kill him.

And honestly, having been there, I absolutely amazed he was able to do that.  Because after a couple of heavy blows to the head, of which we saw the bruises, it was not just cuts to the back of the head, his head was bashed in the back, and both sides, and nose punched, but after a couple blows like that, you start fading out.  It completely takes you out.  You start losing your ability to think, moving towards unconsciousness.  So at that point, based on the evidence, George Zimmerman, luckily, did the only thing he could do to stop this kid, and Trevon Martin got what he deserved.  Because while the kid was just walking from the store after buying goodies, and he was unarmed, just talking on the phone, he spent 4 minutes circling around with the intent of ambushing George and attacked him.

Was George stupid to follow him in the first place?  No.  No he was not.  He was the neighborhood watch.  That is what they do.  And he was being asked first to provide Emergency a narrative of what Trevon Martin was doing and where he was heading.

I’ve done this.  My neighbor’s have done this.  We watch out for each other, and if we hear something outside, we look out the window, and if we see someone acting suspiciously, we call the police, and we go outside, and we watch what they are doing.  We have done this on numerous occasions.  And that was what George Zimmerman was doing.  He was not stalking him.  He did not confront him.  He was watching him, he lost him, he continued to look for him,  in the meantime the kid was circling around behind him and then the KID confronted him.  So sorry, I see nothing wrong with George Zimmerman following him.

Did George Zimmerman racially profile him?  I have to admit, he did profile him as a possible criminal.  He did identify him as African-American.  However, he also knew that all the previous numerous home invasion’s were identified as being carried out by young African-Americans. Which was why he was suspicious of him in the first place.   Trevon Martin was dawdling his way to where he was visiting, maybe stopping along the way, maybe walking in circles, because he was on the phone, and it just looked odd to George, since it was pitch black and raining.  The perception was ‘Why is this guy hanging out in the pitch black in the rain?’

So I can see how it happened.  He profiled him, and he was wrong.  That is alright to me.  In a normal world, the cops would have gotten there faster, questioned him, Trevon would have been insulted perhaps, but whatever.  He would have gone on his way.  He certainly was not doing anything wrong, other than gabbing on the phone.  Not the best circumstances to have conversation, but kids love to gab on the phone.

His mistake was to ambush and attack George.  He spent four minutes circling around George, calculating a confrontation, which was just plain stupid.  I mean, if I am worried someone is following me with possible bad intentions, I certainly would not stay where it is happening and I certainly would not confront the person either, let alone attack him.  I would go home and call the police.  So unfortunately, he got what he deserved.  He was not some innocent child walking home from the store being stalked in the dark.  Yes, he was doing nothing wrong at that point.  But he committed a crime, however, when he decided to ambush and attack George.  Because that is not what one does in his situation.  You go home and call the police.  The state says, well maybe he was afraid to go home to where his 12 year old step-brother was waiting for him.  But in fact, he had his cell phone on him.  He was ON it.  Did he call 911 and say ‘Hey, some strange guy is following me in the dark’?  Hell, I would have.  In a heart beat.

So the ill will, like it or not, belongs to Trevon Martin, who rather that call the police or go home, decided to ambush and attack George Zimmerman.

And its clear as day.  The only reason George Zimmerman was arrested is because so many people were screaming it was because he was African-American.  Which is wrong.

I am well aware there are racists out there.  I hate them.  They infuriate me.  Nobody has the right to condemn a person based on skin color, sexual preference, or anything else.  Just because they are ignorant, is no excuse for this.

Unfortunately, ignorant people exist, and we gotta live with it whether we like it or not.  BUT, each time that one says another did this or that due to racial bias, when in fact that is not true, it diminishes the crime of bias, and pretty soon people stop paying attention and do not care anymore about it.  They say, ‘Oh, here we go again, someone called someone something or other, someone did this or that to another because they were gay or black’.

I saw on CNN today how the NAACP is considering filing a lawsuit against George Zimmerman on the grounds that Trevon Martin was racially profiled.  And you know what I thought?  I thought, ‘Here we go again‘.

Lets all take a moment and think about this.  There are real instances of racially motivated crimes out there.  This is not one of them.  To pursue it as such will only strengthen those that commit these crimes.  Is that what we want to do?

I call for everybody to reflect a bit on this.  Because, as Don West said, like it or not, we do not need this to go from tragedy to travesty.  As a gay man, I understand the hurt of bias, trust me.  If you misunderstand what happened here, and listen to those that want to say this is racially motivated, for what ever self-gaining purposes or because they are just plain ignorant or uneducated, your probably really hurting, and pissed.  Do not do this to yourself.  Racial motivation is not what this was about.  It was about self defense, and nobody is going to throw someone in jail and ruin their lives because the issue is misunderstood and people are being misled to where they are really hurting over it.

Think.  Lets keep the issue of discrimination, racially or otherwise, clearly defined.  It exists.  We have to fight it.  But we have to do it correctly.

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Do You Support a Gay Straight Alliance For Middle School Kids?

I was glad to hear of the recent decision by the Lake County School Board here in Central Florida to allow the kids to form a Gay/Straight Alliance Club at one of their middle schools. The decision was made very reluctantly, after a threat by the ACLU to sue on grounds of freedom of speech and equal access. The decision to allow was a temporary one until the end of the school year next month, at which time it is to be ‘further reviewed’ for upcoming school years.

Not two weeks after this decision was made, I saw on the local news that the decision to allow the kids their club is possibly being tabled again, on the grounds that school clubs must be in support of critical thinking and school curriculum.

So I’m thinking of writing a letter to like everyone under the sun about this. Because it is fucked up. Hell, the world is fucked up. But if people don’t start getting it, its going to stay fucked up.

My letter would go something like this:

Ok, I understand that, in this day and age, there are still people out there that just can’t get the whole gay thing. The ones that constantly continue to argue that being gay or straight is a personal choice, and if kids are steered in the wrong direction, they will make the wrong choice. The ones that see the gay people on TV acting out, or being promiscuous, and are so appalled by it that they just can’t fathom supporting a minor in their early to middle teens in coming to terms with their sexual preference, let alone openly talking with them about it and allowing their gay or straight child join a club that supports homosexuality.

I understand because, as a 49 year old, childless, relationship-less, homosexual man, I lived through the discrimination and the shame of being homosexual in a time when it simply was not discussed at all with minors. In fact, unless you were openly gay, it was not discussed at all.

Let me tell you about my childhood, with emphasis on how it shaped and formed who I am today.

I grew up in a family of eight. My parents had three girls and three boys. Mom is an incredibly strong woman who to this day has never had a drink or drug in her life other than prescribed. Dad served in the Korean War and was honorably discharged around the time I was born or shortly beforehand. We would joke that we were the dysfunctional Brady Family.

My earliest memories of attraction to the opposite sex are when I was six years old. Since two of my sisters and two of my brothers were older than me, they had their own teen idols that they worshiped. Posters on the wall, the whole works. I had a crush on my sisters’ then current teen idol (ok, if you must know – it was Bobby Sherman, lol. I look at him now as he was then and I am like, ‘ugh!’. But he sure was the bomb when I was six!).

Way back then I knew I was not like my other sisters and brothers. It was a deep secret that I shared only with my younger sister, who is a year younger than me.

School was difficult for me. I didn’t like being different from other kids and tried so hard to hide it. I could fool the adults, but kids just KNOW, and they figured it out and harassed me about it pretty bad. In fact, it was so bad that by the time I was in middle school, and note that I said middle school, I was sneaking away from the bus stop, waiting for my parents to go to work, then going back home to spend the day alone by myself. I did this for nearly the whole school year. The school actually thought we had moved, and finally caught on and contacted my parents at work.

My parents freaked out. I had missed nearly all of seventh grade. I told them it was because I was being bullied. They made me go back to school, and my father argued with them to not leave me behind, I would make up the work, which I did. I was an extremely bright kid. But when you slam nearly a whole school year into two months of learning, its not going to stick, and it didn’t.

After that lovely year, my parents moved us from the country to a cheaper house in the city. I finished the final year in middle school ok, then went off to start high school.

High school was a disaster. If I thought the kids were mean in the country, it was awful in the city. It was so obvious that I was gay, all of my mannerisms leaned that way. I mean I was what I was. I didn’t walk around talking like thisssssssssss, that’s just gay people acting out. But I was different. I shied away from other kids. If there were kids like me, I didn’t know them. I didn’t like sports and hated gym class because I would have to undress with other boys in the changing room.

My studies are what most suffered. It was all I could do to deal with being so different from everyone and trying to understand that. And getting thru the day with out being harassed. Back in the day the school bus drivers would turn their backs and allow the kids to smoke cigarettes on the bus on the way home. One day a kid ground his cigarette out in my arm. To this day I still have that scar. The harassment and bullying were just awful.

My school was a good 8 miles from my house. I started to purposely miss the bus after school and walk home. It took hours to get home and in the winter my hands would get so cold they would crack open. But I did this rather than endure the bus ride home.

By the 11th grade, I would ride in on the bus in the morning and immediately upon arrival at school leave the school grounds and rather than walking, now I started hitchhiking home. My parents never knew. As a child in my middle teens, I was molested at least three times by older guys who picked me up when I hitchhiked. I’m not ashamed to say I wasn’t against it either. I was a fifteen going on sixteen year old kid whose hormones were raging and I had literally no release. I didn’t even have anyone to talk to about it in a normal fashion without feeling ashamed. However, when I look back, I will call it molested. These were older men who in this day and age would be in jail for what they did. This was not normal sexual development and experimentation with kids my own age.

By the end of the 11th grade, I left school and ran away from home. I was ‘adopted’ by the family of a girl I knew from church back in my old town in the country. They were a nice normal family who took me in thinking the girl and I had something going relationship wise. The girl did too. I would just pretend and tell her I was old fashioned when it came to sex, and we never so much as experimented in the three years I was a part of that family. I got a job at a local bakery and was so good at it I became highly sought after. At that time I ended it with the girl, and her family. It broke my heart because they were so nice. It also broke my heart because I had a huge crush on both of her brothers.

By the way, she got married not 6 months later and is still happily married to this day.

I continued to work for the chain of bakeries for 25 years. I was very good in the bakery and enjoyed a good paycheck and bought a modest home. They eventually were bought out and my position was automated, making my job as a bakery chef with them obsolete. Since the job was so physical, with me working 65-70 hours a week, often all night long, 6 days a week, I decided to go back to school and obtained a high school diploma and an associates degree at a local community college, which I did. My math skills were terrible. I literally had to start at the bottom and work my way up through college algebra and trig. I attempted to further my education to a bachelors at a local state college, but by this time I was in my late thirties and, unable to afford an adult college, gave up rather than continue the embarrassment of going to school with the young kids.

Today, I am a virtual CSR rep for a local call center. I make under 20 grand a year and am losing my little house I bought. I know that I will be able to make it thru retirement with some subsidized housing somewhere, and strategic spending, but my retirement is not looking all that bright. In fact, it looks damb grim. Not that I am complaining. I know I will make it as I am skilled at least on the computer, and have time to maybe get certified in something to supplement my retirement money from the government when the time comes. But it could be better, if only I had a little support when I needed it back in the day.

I have never had a deep relationship with anybody, male or female. Female for obvious reasons, male because what I suffered through when I was young and in school never left me. I was and am a loner. Even in this day and age, I find it difficult to discuss my sexual preference with people, let alone opening myself up to form a relationship with someone. In fact, I even have trouble making FRIENDS with people, and at this time can honestly say I HAVE no close friends. Acquaintances yes, and people like me too, usually, although I can be a hard ass at times. But I open up to no one.

The point I’m trying to make to you is: do you want your kid to be like me? I may open up to no one, but on this I’m taking a stand.

Being gay is not something you control. It is instinctual. It is the instinctual attraction to another human being. You cannot change it any more than you can change say, the fight or flight reaction. At least understand that much.

And understand when you see gay people being promiscuous or camping it up, they are acting out. Acting out because of the ignorance in the world regarding homosexuality they have had to endure.

Here‘s the deal. Kids need support, all the support you can give them and then some. Straight kids in high school will talk about sex, and experiment. It is normal. Gay kids will too, if you let them. Or you can force them to do it the way I had to do it and be molested. Your choice. Do a sexual predator search on the internet. I think you will agree that there is plenty of opportunity out there for a kid that wants to know about sex, gay or straight.

It is hard enough in middle school and high school to get thru your studies while at the same time your hormones are racing and you are developing into an adult person. As the parent of a straight child, you are responsible for that child to identify with ALL people and respect them just as they would themselves prefer to be respected. Together we stand and all that. This leads to success.

As the parent of a gay child, you are responsible to ensure that your child has support and understanding to the very best of your abilities so that your child can develop into a person who respects him or her self and has as much opportunity as any other child to make it in this increasingly difficult and challenging world.

As a school board, it your responsibility to make sure that ALL children have support, understanding, and opportunities provided to them by a good education so they can grow into mature, responsible human beings that are comfortable with who they are, respect and have compassion for other people different from them, and contribute to the common good of everyone in order to lead a happy and productive life. Are you thinking of what is best for the kids? Or are you thinking of yourselves and what you or a parent are comfortable with doing? Because its not about you at all.  Its about doing right for the kids. 

I’m asking you today to consider my story, and not deprive these children the right to self identify.  To feel equally accepted even if they are different.  To understand those that are different.  To allow them to concentrate on their studies and not worry about themselves, that at the end of the day we are all the same, to know we love them, and we will not fail them. 

What do ya think, my very, very, very, very, very, occasional stumpleaponmyblog person? Definitely needs work I know, but hey it’s the middle of the night. But I would like your opinion. Feel free to leave a comment if you would like. You can also check it out on the local news website, here.

PS  -  I actually tried to email the thing to the email contact listed at Lake County School Board - it was rejected by their email server and sent back  – reason banned content!!  How depressing lol.  And annoying.  Makes me want to plaster this all over town hahahaha.  I guess they are blocking the email due to high volume of public response.  Poor kids.

 

 

 

 

 

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