Thursday, December 28, 2006

More Snow

We are expecting more snow this evening. Hooray! It has been cloudy all day and rained a little. Hopefully it will get colder and turn to fluffy flakes of white.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Holidays

My Christmas table substituted for a tree this year:



Christmas Eve was a little lonely, but I tried to make the best of it. I didn't really have anywhere to be. So I went to the shelter and passed out some gifts to the men who were there. Then I debated about going to an evening service at church. I wanted to just watch people at the service and not have to interact with them. Since that wasn't possible, I skipped it altogether.

Drove around looking at the farolitos. Those are still magical and stunning. Walked around Old Town for a bit and then retired at home.

Had a good Christmas day, spending the morning with my landlord's family and the afternoon at a friends' open house.

I'm at work today (Tuesday) and taking tomorrow off for a movie (Charlette's Web) and a doctor's appointment. Will take advantage of house sitting to host dinners Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Planning to work on the new year holiday.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Snow Did Arrive

Here was the view driving home on Tuesday.



The path to my house.



My backyard. (Notice Sola, our chicken, who is busy pacing back and forth unsure how to leave my porch and get to her coop without touching the ground.)

Monday, December 18, 2006

Hunkering Down

Weather reports indicate 4-8 inches of snow tonight with gusts up to 45 mph. I hope they are right but will believe it when I see it.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Volunteer!

Every third Saturday of each month, I have an awesome group of volunteers who come to the shelter. They tackle anything and everything that needs done. They are a virtual tornado of cleanliness.

It is fun, too, because they are an interesting group: socially conscious, spiritually grounded, good-humored. I enjoy the conversations as much as getting so much work accomplished.

The 6-12 persons who come each month are acquainted with one another through a philosophy class that most of them are taking.

Here's the challenge:
  • Identify a group of which you are a part;
  • Choose a non-profit organization;
  • Volunteer as a group to help that organization;
  • Share what you are doing by posting back here.
You will make a huge difference!
Another vigil was held in Santa Fe. Others were held across the country in many cities.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Vigil for Homeless Persons Who Died

Yesterday I attended a vigil memorializing those persons who died this year in Albuquerque who were without a home.
  • 200 - number of persons present at the vigil.

  • 50 - number of the deceased.

  • 11 - number of those who had been resident at our shelter at one time.

  • 0 - the number of political leaders present.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Would You Like Fries With That Face?


I just learned that my cell phone can communicate through the ethers to my telephone company, which can communicate back to my computer where I can transfer pics onto my desktop and upload to this blog. Whew! Now no one is safe.

For today, I have my friends Wendell, Odette (who comments on the site), A Man (about whom I've previously blogged), Bill and a couple of dogs.

I'll leave it to you to decide who is who.




Monday, December 11, 2006

Free Dance

Discovered a group yesterday who meet each week to enjoy 2 hours of free dance. It takes place in an old theatre space with a big open floor. They play a wide mix of music and folks just spin and cavort and twist as they feel the urge. Very spontaneous.

Afterwards, my hypno-friend (no that's not an imaginary friend...but that might be a good business angle: create your own hypno-friend and never be alone again!) and I ate at the funky Java Joe's and then spent the afternoon brainstorming our own personal futures. Ended with a Reiki session, my first and certainly not my last. It was great!

Friday, December 08, 2006

Shop & Stroll


Went last evening with friends to eat sushi in Nob Hill. It was the annual "Shop & Stroll," a holiday event with music, dancers, farolitos, free foods & drink while stolling down Route 66 which was closed to traffic.

Best Purchase of the Night

A bumper sticker that reads:
    I don't mind straight people,
    as long as they act gay in public.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Working on a New Look

(Compliments of J. Sadler.)


Actually, with my mustache shaved off (which it now is) the bald face balances better. Jury is mixed on the absence of eyebrows. Funny how accustomed we become to seeing things the same way.

Kind of like over here we don't eat dogs, but over there they don't eat cows. Equally grosses all of us out. Just a matter of what we're used to, I guess.

I'm may start a new group for "Americans Without Eyebrows" to change everyone's restrained expectations of each other. Then all will be free to be themselves: with or without. Just think of it!! Like Dr. Seuss's "The Sneetches" who had stars on thars and those that did not.

Join me and we can call ourselves an institute.

Monday, December 04, 2006

2 AM

Overnight staff failed to show up at shelter, so I am working from 12:30-7 AM. Most of the stress of this job comes in scheduling. It is difficult to find quality people willing to work 5 hours in the evenings, during the night and/or weekends.

I'm wondering what it means that I am one of those people whose life allows such irregular work times.

Friday, December 01, 2006

25 Days

Although technically Advent began last Sunday, my two godsons begin counting down on December 1st. I love the role of godfather. I get to celebrate with them in different ways.

For example, instead of a big Christmas gift, I give them 25 little gifts. Each day they can open one. This year it is a bunch of science projects with components making up the gifts. After three or four days of getting parts of the project and trying to guess the project, they get instructions. I hope they have as much fun as I had wrapping.

Meanwhile, a fellow hypnotherapist who was in school with me is visiting for a few days. He arrives downtown by train at noon and I'm going to use that as an excuse to leave work early. It will be good to have someone with whom to process some of these past weeks.

And I get my own hypnotherapy session!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Friday, November 24, 2006

All of the cool drawings in this blog are the work of Sam Brown. You can visit his site: Exploding Dog to see more.

Black Friday


Did you know that today is called "Black Friday"? It is the beginning of the season that retailers hope will help close the year with their books in the black. Most make 40% of their yearly sales in Nov. and Dec. with 50% of their profit also occuring during this time.

Meanwhile, holiday's are always a bit strange when you are homeless. The streets are empty; you know that the day is supposed to be special, but it is like any other except tha there are fewer things to do. You are keenly aware that everyone's focus is on home and family. You make do with what you have and try your best to face the world squarely with a smile. Sometimes that feels more like a grimace.

One of my shelter residents, who is about my age and very clearheaded, twice gave me a big hug last evening and told me that he had tried to call his family but that they wouldn't speak to him. He gestured around the room to the 70 other guys in from off of the streets and said, "I guess this is my family."

The guys are pretty amazing when it comes to coping with all that is in their lives. I feel petty when I struggle with my own.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Thanksgiving

Went this morning to a ranch west of Albuquerque with Odette. Incredibly beautiful day to walk in the sun and explore old Native American ruins. The ranch has an archaeological site with loads of pottery shards, some arrowheads and some remaining wall outlines of buildings peaking through the soil. It reminded me of being a kid and looking for rocks, exploring the fields and woods. I hope to go back and spend a lot more time.

(Odette is the same friend who gave me a copy of "Scrooge" and said that she thought of me when she saw it. Hmm...)

Now I'm at work procrastinating. Most of the staff had family and friends to be with for Thanksgiving, so it made sense for me to come and cover for their absences. I'm working from 1-9. Not very motivated to be honest. It's extremely quiet right now and will be until 5. Then from 5-9, the guys will be here and that should hold my attention and keep me busy.

Busy is good because it helps me to take focus off of what lately feel like the beginnings of an acute anxiety attack. Mostly they pass, but there remains a little gnawing feeling in my gut that serves to keep me nauseous. I'm doing work to alleviate the inner stress, and it is work on spiritual, physical, mental and emotional levels. Makes it hard to be present at work or anywhere else for that matter, but being responsible for a schedule keeps me doing the one day at a time thing.

Happy Thanksgiving for you Americans reading this and Happy Whatever-Fall-Festival when you have it to readersin other countries!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Nice.

Came to work to enjoy the new paint job done over the weekend by the volunteers I mentioned. My office looks great! It's kind of a sea foam green with an accent wall of this deep hunter green. (I left the color cards at home and can't remember their actual names.) Anyway, I wore a green shirt today so that I could blend in.

I had some good conversation with friends over the weekend. One was with the saxophonist whose album I have featured on this blog in the past. We drank lots of wine and decided it was time for me to have another bonfire (smaller this time: a rug, more books and old papers, the pair of jeans I was wearing at the time). And I had a really meaningul talk with my landlords who are great at being supportive of me. Also, I went over to the home of a couple from church to have dinner with them and watch "Waiting for Guffman." The movie is so funny.

Oh, yeah. And I shaved my head completely bald.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Saturday

Awoke early and watched numerous flocks of Sandhill Cranes rushing south. They are late for the Festival of the Cranes (Bosque Del Apache...Nov. 14-19) and seemed intent on making up for lost time, their usual lazy, ill-ordered flight patterned abandoned for a more formal "V" to maximize airstream velocity.

I went on to the shelter to meet my volunteers. Picked up some coffee and Dunkin' Donuts and the 10 warm bodies went to work. They cleaned the van, began construction on additional bike storage, painted my office (sea foam with an accented deep forest green), re-organized the back room storage and dismantled forgotten belongings that we will give to Goodwill, redistributed bunk beds to alleviate overcrowding, and re-installed a partition of walls. Wow. It is so good to have a crew of such dedicated persons who are willing to work so hard.

My own work time has been, as I mentioned yesterday, mostly consumed by the homeless shelter. Thirteen hours yesterday and an extra work day today for 5 hours, utilizing the volunteer help.

That's the joy. The sadness (both are present in life as I posted earlier) lies in the ineptness of the guy that I previously had interest in to be able to support even a normal friendship. I make up that he only allows himself to be capable of superficial connections. When I shared that I am struggling in life right now, he replied that he has things to do this weekend and might be able to connect sometime before he leaves next week for vacation.

Yeah, right. "How 'bout them Bears?" (For my foreign readers: that's a reference to a movie quotation when actor Steve Martin jumps from his bed and offers this line to the guy he was sleeping with as a way to imply that nothing was meant by their being together.)

Sheesh. Why do I endlessly attach myself to unavailable and/or shallow people? Bad trait, that. I'm working to improve my record and for the time being am ridding myself of superficial connections. Down with the infidels of "How are you?"/"I'm fine. You?"!

As that translates into practicality, at least I'm freeing a lot of digital memory in my cell phone as unnecessary numbers are deleted.

Friday, November 17, 2006

End o' the Week

Although it is the end of the work week, I do plan to work at the shelter tomorrow morning with a group of volunteers. One task will be painting my office. I picked out and bought the paint last evening and am looking forward to refreshing my work space. I have a pretty cool view west of the volcanoes. Now I'll have a good interior view as well.

I'm reading a couple of good books (see column on right) and plan to spend time immersed in them.

Had breakfast yesterday with Melissa and her son at Melissa's house. It is so nice to wake up and have a morning meal with someone.

Today I got a card from a lady in PA thanking me for helping her son during his stay at our shelter. It's cool when someone that far away takes notice and gives thanks for the work of our homeless shelter.

That's about it for now. Figured I should balance out the gloomy picture that I've painted the past couple of weeks. Both images, of course, are true: sadness and joy. Sometimes sadness is just more cathartic to write about. Most times joy is more fun to read, unless the author is JD Salinger or Stephen King.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Had another little backyard fire. This time burned some books, tablecloth, old ristra, birdfeeder, painting, chair and lots of paper. I feel lighter.

Visited a philosophy class last evening that a group of my volunteers are enrolled in. Interesting discussion on shame vs. guilt, PTSD and killing during times of war.

Have exceeded my capacity for small talk and am in search of substantive friends--ones who actually live near enough to visit.

Friday, November 10, 2006

How to Pass Time

My substitute Team Lead called in sick for tonight. Since the other substitute is already working the overnight shift, I am spending my Friday night at the shelter until midnight.

The only social interaction I've had in 2 1/2 weeks has been one Sunday brunch, a drink with one friend and one dinner with another friend. The rest of my time has been spent alone, so I figure work is a good way to kill another evening.
I kind of wish that the Democrats had not won the Senate.

With control of all Congress lying with one party, now we will be able to easily blame Democrats for things we don't like, just as Republicans could be easily blamed in the past. I would rather have seen the Senate tied so that VP Cheney would have to step up and vote to break ties. That would have helped to make a clear distinction about which direction on issues each party was headed.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Healing the Past


Only now have I begun to understand a little about what I learned from an event that happened 12 years ago.

When I came out to my parents at age 28, my mother asked my younger brother if I had ever molested him. She was so certain in her beliefs about what gay people were like that she didn’t pause to think, “Well, if Dennis is gay, then I must not understand what it means to be gay.” Instead, she held to her beliefs concerning homosexuality and questioned whether or not she knew me, her son.

I’ve had no conversation with my parents in the 12 years since that incident that suggests they’ve ever been willing to question the validity of their beliefs about what it means to be gay: emotionally, physically, logically or spiritually. They hold to the belief that I am wrong, that I am created straight and must be choosing to be, or at least am deceived into thinking that I am, gay. They say that they love me, but it feels like they love their belief system even more.

That’s what it is like to come out to friends and family when they hold to their beliefs about what it means to be gay and question their beliefs about you. It makes it difficult to accept their statements that you are still loved. If they really did love you, would they not perhaps examine their beliefs about homosexuality against what they know to be true about you, rather than the other way around?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Paper Ballots

Here in NM, we used paper ballots, they didn't require voter ID cards, and I walked to my polling place, an elementary school around the corner. I liked the small hometown feel of it.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Election Eve Bonfire

Had myself a little backyard bonfire last night. Burned up a bunch of old cards, brochures, mystery shopper info, some decorations from my birthday party and old credit payment history.

It was an extremely hot fire. I think the old credit stuff made it burn brightest.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

The Memory of Running

Some quotations from the book that I just finished reading (click link in the column at the right for info):

    Sometimes there are moments when a person has to make a decision, opposed to letting things just happen. A person then has to happen himself. (p. 77)

    The longer you wait and put off the nice things you should do on a regular basis, the harder it is to do them, until finally you have to force yourself to be nice, to be thoughtful, and it isn’t easy, because you’re embarrassed about not having done those easy, nice things in a natural kind of way. Also, the people who you’re nice to come to expect your regular niceness. That’s it in a nutshell. (p.222)

    I put people off. I must…. I knew some people, sure, to nod to if I saw them in Stop & Shop or the drugstore, but as people I could, say, call up at night or go to a movie with…well, I wasn’t connected in that way. It’s a very New Englandy thing, this being alone even though you don’t want to be. It proves, I guess, that you’re above being lonely and can take or leave friendship. So, then, I was a loner who wished not to be alone. It’s something I have thought about and thought about, and I now feel that at any given time there are a lot of lonely loners out there. We just don’t understand the process of making some friends. The complicated format of friendship. It’s not easy. (p. 227)

    If I were a person who felt sorry for myself, I’d say that all the time. ‘Poor me. Poor cripple.’ It’s ugly, isn’t it? It’s hateful. That’s why I don’t say it, and that’s why I don’t feel it. Okay, I’m tired. Okay, Bea’s sick. That’s life, Smithy, we can’t get away from that. We have to go on and be strong, and the best way to be strong is to rely on people and be brave enough to trust them. (p. 296)

Friday, November 03, 2006

As Promised

Happier, lighter times....

Check out my new recommendation of music on the right. Richard Shindell is like a very country-fied version of Michael Stipe. Well, sort of. Pretty good CD.

Saw my first flock of crows this morning. Their migration to Los Arboles seems very late this year. Now, with them arriving, Fall feels more complete.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

As I said before, I realize that I risk turning this blog into a depressive whine. So I’ll write once more on the subject and then return to the surface happiness that is more fun to read.

The moral of this post is:
    People give you what you want
    Until they get what they need.
If you don’t like that sentiment, I suggest you don’t read the rest of this post. Just return in a couple of days when things are happier.

This is from my personal journal; beware, it's sappy:

"I write this on the back of a card you sent. Some words about friends lifting up and supporting.

I believed those words at the time, foolishly took them to mean more than they did. Thought that after nearly 15,000 tomorrows of hope that I’d found in you a chisel to compliment my hammer, that together we could dismantle my wall.

So I leaned into you.

You weren’t there.

I tumbled and, on my way down, chanced to see that you were not a chisel, but instead the last brick in my wall."

Or, more poetically, kind of like a weepy country song:

Thought you were a deep friend
Thought maybe we had more
Learned I was convenient
As you walked out the door

Thought you were a deep friend
Thought you’d keep me from the fall
So it’s sad to realize
You’re just the last brick in my wall

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

An Inconvenient Truth

I’ve finally awakened to the fact that everyone thinks I will be the perfect partner…for someone else.

Before you tell me that this isn't true, ask yourself if I'm the one for you. I think you'll see what I mean. Everyone has a good reason.


I came back from Greece to good friends, all at friendly, respectable distances. That includes the guy I was interested in. He is at a friendly distance, too.

I think of Ennis in the closing scenes of “Brokeback Mountain” and understand his reclusivity. Perhaps I was never meant to be shared.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Back in New Mexico


Greece was fantastic! Lots of dancing and seafood and general soaking up of culture. It seems too daunting of a task to attempt some description here, but I'll briefly say that I love:
  • traditional Greek dancing
  • swimming in the Aegean Sea
  • seafood served right on the beach
  • eating dinner at 11 PM
  • good company
  • ancient, ancient history and ruins
  • volcanic hillsides
  • latenight explorations of city labyrinths
  • ouzo
  • not working
  • and countless other things about which we can talk live.
That's Mykonos on the left. Although I'm back at work, my mind is still overseas. I'm have adjusted back to the time change, although I did arrive an hour early at church today having forgotten the daylight savings switch.

That's all for now. Just wanted to check back in. I did update my sidebar and the banner at the bottom of the page. Don't forget to click on the Google Ads as your clicks send me money. (You don't have to buy anything.)

Friday, October 13, 2006

Soundtrack of My Life

Ever feel like you can hear the music that would be playing if your life was up on the screen? I spent this past week trying to alleviate my mind and emotions of the awareness of time by making a mixed CD. The songs are pointedly sad, although somehow I found myself enjoying them.

If you want a crudely made copy, send me a note and I'll see if I can burn you CD of "Love & Melancholy," which contains 20 songs.

Meanwhile, I am at work...my last day for awhile. I am attempting to stay focused on tasks at hand, but am ready to bolt.

Greece will clear my mind. I plan to sink into the adventure of being in a foreign country and enjoy myself. It was also be very good to be with Sharon and Matthias. I probably won't be blogging again until the 30th.

Naturally, I plan to spend some of my time there in reflection. Can I just let go and enjoy myself in life, without craving more? Am I able to engage socially while remaining alone without going crazy?

I have a small suspicion that Greece may be preparing me to return to solitutde in ABQ. But what I really want is for it to bring me back to surprising wholeness. It feels like that is part in my control and part in others'. I can't form relationship alone, but 40 years of experience tell me that alone is what I get.

I will try to allow time to form the questions, as well as the answers. Maybe I will learn how to be open without being vulnerable, engaged without feeling wounded.

It would be nice to put my brain and emotions into neutral and just function as a body. Surely there is some B-rate horror flick out there with that premise!

Thursday, October 12, 2006

I'm Leaving on a Jet Plane

Two more days of work and then I'm gone. Ahhh....



Headed to Greece for two weeks with wonderful friends: Sharon from San Diego and Matthias from Germany. Not there mentally, yet, as I have lingering emotions from these past weeks. But am certain that this will be exactly the time I need.

Haven't yet packed anything. Did borrow a suitcase last evening. Tonight is devoted to selecting and packing clothes, doing dishes (house is a wreck) and getting some time-released food for Alpha.

Will try to blog tomorrow before departure.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Then I'll Put It Down

One more time on the old saw...

Is the trick to managing life in having shallow connections? Is that how people survive? I find it difficult to not hurt deeply when I connect deeply. Am I overly sensitive?

My friend and I spoke Sunday. I told him that it hurt me too much to talk to him this week, that I'd see him in November after my vacation.

"Okay," he said. Poof. No communication.

I guess I should respect that he is responding to my pain. But I wonder if it just is easier for him not to call or see me. I make up that I am the one struggling with the absence of our friendship. How is it that he can so simply disconnect?

We saw each other only once last week for five minutes in a convenience store parking lot. We won't see each other again until November. Is that enough, even as close friends? Somehow he managed to get together with friends who aren't going anywhere three times last week. That is part of what tells me that the interest and pain is mine and not shared.

I know: I should probably have years of therapy to untangle this twisted web of how I don't relate well to relationships.

Or I could just settle on going to the bars.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Did you know…

Turns out that
does not have a card that reads:

“You don’t need my shit right now.”


There is something weird about wanting to be there for someone when how that person needs you to be there for him is by not being there.

As the song says, “Love hurts. Love breaks.”

This weekend I cried myself to sleep. Three times. Even when simply paying bills, the tears dripped unexpectedly down onto the papers on my desk. I feel weak and ashamed; like I should be able to enjoy my life and be emotionally strong, but instead I find myself wanting to be held and unable to engage in the simple acts of friendship.

Surely I’ve had enough experience living alone that I should be good at it by now. Instead, I discover that I am emotionally raw, once again telling myself that time will make things different. Right now I only believe that time just wears one out, that feelings subside out of exhaustion not out of resolution. One moment I feel my better self coming to the foreground. For a moment, I look forward to daily activities. The next moment, I find myself wondering what is the point and have difficulty getting out of bed.

Over the years I’ve noticed that my social interactions earn me lots of admirers. Unfortunately, that only amplifies the sounds of silence I have when I go home alone. Eventually the potential mate tells me that the timing is bad, that I’m a great friend but that he is not interested in more, or I find myself no longer attracted to him.

People say that true love finds them. I suppose the same is true of singlehood. That it just finds you without your looking for it.

My resolve now is to double efforts at paying off debt so that in a year or so I can take a non-descript job and live in solitude without agitating the part of me that seems destined to end up disappointed.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Fall Weekend

Saturday I went to a Blessing of the Animals, hosted by our church in the Poblanos Open Space. Afterwards, Brian and I explored the corn maze that they construct annually. This year it is in the shape of a lizard.

Afterwards, I curled up on the couch at the home where I am housesitting and enjoyed the PBS slate of cooking shows. Went to the Parade of Homes and enjoyed hanging out at Tracy's home while he worked. Then a group of us enjoyed the sunset and some wine.

Sunday was Michaelmas, our church's patronal feast day. Lots of great music (including mariachi) and a delicious potluck. I attended my monthly hypnosis peer review group in the afternoon and then went home and passed the time by reading and self-analyzing.

The reading was more interesting.

But the self reflection picked up from a comment I had made to Brian in the corn maze, that I have difficulty living ordinary life; sometimes the day-to-day fills me with an anxious dread. I have not uncovered the source of that yet.

Until I do, it can take a lot of focus for me to maintain calm and centeredness. I don't know why I overthink things; perhaps it is a defense mechanism that helps me think I can burn others out and return to the (false) comfort of being alone.

Mostly, it is likely due to my immature ability to know how to reach out in healthy ways and to have patience and faith in those connections when I am alone. I do know that I am a good friend, but I've never figured out how to be more. It would be nice to discover a balance of being.

Perhaps my meditation quota is low.

Friday, September 29, 2006

1.20.09

That's George Bush's last day.

If anyone actually still supports this man, please read the following excerpt (released in today's press). I'd be interested to read your comment as to why this Commander-in-Chief deserves any respect. It'd also interest me to know if you've read Franz Kafka's The Trial.
====

By Tom Curley
The Associated Press

Editor's note: Tom Curley is president and chief executive of the Associated Press. This column first appeared in The Washington Post.

NEW YORK -- Bilal Hussein, an Iraqi photographer who helped the Associated Press win a Pulitzer Prize last year, is now in his sixth month in a U.S. Army prison in Iraq. He doesn't understand why he's there, and neither do his AP colleagues.

The Army says it thinks Bilal has too many contacts among insurgents. He has taken pictures the Army thinks could have been made only with the connivance of insurgents. So Bilal himself must be one, too, or at least a sympathizer.

It is a measure of just how dangerous and disorienting Iraq has become that suspicions such as these are considered adequate grounds for locking up a man and throwing away the key.

After more than five months of trying to bring Bilal's case into the daylight, AP is now convinced the Army doesn't care whether Bilal is or isn't an insurgent. The Army doesn't have to care. Bilal is off the street, and the military says it doesn't consider itself accountable to any judicial authority that could question his guilt.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Now for Something Completely Different

My ususal mode of dealing with confusion is to hole up, pity myself and try to plod along alone in my imagined sadness. This time I decided to call the guy and ask to talk.

A new approach for me; I'm not that good at being vulnerable.

Turns out after further conversation, we agreed that there is something between that feels to be more than friendship. Not that there is any more clarity or certainty in that. But by our not packing the emotions into a friendship box--which doesn't feel genuine at this time--I feel like I have a companion who is at least on my level.

I don't feel as alone in groping about this unknown landscape.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

PS

That didn't take long. We spoke. He just wants to be friends. I'm back to focusing on being single.

Clarity

So I'm asking the guy I mentioned in yesterday's post to help me decide if we want to date or to just be friends for awhile. Although subtle, knowing changes little interactions like going to dinner. As friends, we might just meet there. If dating, we might hold hands along the way.

Subtle, like I said, but my heart is not so tense if I know general expectations up front.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Maybe the Moon is Quieter


I'm a bit introspective these days, partly as defense and partly as healing.

Friends:
The ususal after-church brunch group took John's ashes to Sophia's (our lunch spot) on Sunday. We ended up being about 20 in number and let John pay for it. Then we took the urn to the cemetery and had a final ceremony there.

Shelter:
We are in the process of interviewing for our new executive director. I hope that it will be someone who is very fun to work with and who gets a lot done. I am interviewing for a resident assistant and need a second one as backup. My assistant also gave notice (mostly because I need the job to be an office administrator and she enjoys doing direct service more...I offered her the resident assistant job, but she can't work the evenings....hmmm, there's the discrepancy), so I'm searching for help there, too.

Hypnosis:
I've had more clients than I can comfortably see right now with all of the personal time crunch. I currently have 5 clients, each that I'm seeing weekly, or--more accurately--every other week. Today's session was pretty draining as it involved regression to a time when a 4-yr. old was sexually abused by a parent.

Relationship:
I've been seeing a guy for a couple of weeks who seems to be exactly right for me. In fact, I think I am perfect for him, too. At the very least, we mutually swept each other off our feet.

Now he needs space. The better part of me thinks he is right, that if we go slower, we will both trust the relationship to last.

The other part of me thinks, "Oh I recognize this part. It's the part where the relationship dwindles and I go on my way alone again."

I am trying to have the patience to wait. You know, the ol' If-you-love-something-set-it-free kind of thing. Which generally sucks. But since I actually do trust this relationship, I am willing to wait. How long, I don't know. It's only been one day.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Why I've Been Remiss

“Is he floating right now, or walking up a staircase?”

Austin, still holding my hand, broke the silence with this question. We had both just witnessed the passing of his dad, John, and were sitting bedside with tears of sadness and joy streaming down our faces.

Two weeks ago, I posted that my friend had been diagnosed with cancer. It was in his lungs and liver and moved quickly. He died on Saturday, Sept. 16.

I had spent the night and that morning with the family. John was slightly coherent in the morning as Tracy (John’s partner) and I helped him to the bathroom and back into the hospital bed erected in the bedroom. We then took Austin, their 11 year-old son, out for breakfast and to visit a home they were having built.

We returned early in the afternoon. John was no longer talking coherently. His jaundiced eyes were not blinking. Before Tracy left to pick up his own family from the airport, we had to move John back onto the bed. He had twisted crosswise on the mattress and was muttering, “You can make it, John. John, you can make it.” To us he just said, “I’ve got to get to the door.”

John’s breathing had become apneic at this point and we knew it was a matter of only a short time before he died. Tracy left for the airport. Austin, who had said he didn’t want to see his dad dead, came into the room tearful and afraid. John’s staring, yellow eyes were alarming; when coupled with his gasping breathes, it is no wonder that Austin reached out to hold my hand. He sat in the chair next to me as I held onto to him with one hand and held John’s hand in the other.

As we sat, I explained to Austin what was happening.

“Can he see us?” asked Austin.

“Well, it’s kind of like when you are in a daze,” I said. “Your eyes are open, but you don’t really see anything. He can hear you, though. You can talk to him if you want.”

After about 10 minutes of explanations, Austin was a little less tense. We sat waiting until John stopped breathing. I leaned over to listen for a heartbeat and to listen for any air.

I told Austin that his dad was no longer with us. We settled back into the silence, held hands, and let the tears flow.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Update

Sorry that postings have been so infrequent. I promise to do better.

My friend with cancer continues to deteriorate. His skin is jaundiced and he is in pain and without much appetite. But he is in good spirits. He says that he is ready and will only miss Tracy and Austin.

I went to the State Fair with Tracy and Austin on Sunday. Tracy decided to watch while Austin and I proceeded to ride every thrill in sight. Yesterday (Monday) Tracy picked Austin up early from school because he was really sore in the neck. I think it was payback: I was sore and bruised after Cliff's with Austin and this was his turn to be sore after all the rides. (Don't tell him that my back is sore today.)

Friends have really gathered around during this time in community. I'll write more about that soon.

For now, I have to find out if I am supposed to be at a speaker's training with United Way. If so, I need to cancel a hypnosis client. Meanwhile, at work, I fired an employee on Friday and am interviewing and hiring two more positions. Plus the shelter is in search of an executive director.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Questions, No Answers

Why was Homeland Security involved in the JonBenet Ramsey investigation?

Why did they arrest a guy who wasn't guilty of this crime?

Why did all of this happen just after a federal judge declared President Bush's wiretapping illegal?


Hmmmm....

Friday, September 01, 2006

Last Weekend

A good friend of mine went to the hospital last Friday with pneumonia. They discovered that he had suffered a heart attack. Then they discovered that he has cancer throughout his lungs and liver. The doctors told him that he has less than 2 months to live.

I spent most of the weekend with him and his partner. They have a 10-year old son. It is very sad.

I realized that I am also grieving the loss of something I don't even have: a partner/family of my own and the love that I see through their pain in this experience. Lots to feel and think and live through.

On Wednesday, I visited A-Man. He remembered me (though not my name) and we went for a walk. When I replied no to his quetion of whether or not I was married, he told me not to worry.

"You're very choiceable," he said.

I'll try to search on that virtue in the dating groups. Perhaps someone else out there is very choiceable.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Once Again, From the Beginning

I awoke this morning with a smile on my face. Well, not literally. I'd had a very disturbing dream. But that's another story. I awoke, at least figuratively, with a smile on my face. Why?

The astute audiophile may have noticed in the column at the right that I am currently listening to the new Bob Dylan release of "Modern Times," before its official release of Tuesday, August 29. I am privy to early release notices on bobdylan.com.

The newest album, hinted at by Dylan in his recent Rolling Stone interview as the second in a trilogy, picks up where "Love and Theft" left off. It's a bit Willie Nelson, a bit ancient blues and wholly Dylanesque.

At first the sound, the music and its chords waft over me, hypnotic. Then, without effort, the lyrics take over as the main driver. One can't help but be drawn in by the lyrical storytelling of Dylan. Each listen demands yet another, until I am absorbed by the experience into a world of dark, unspeakable understanding.

I think you'll enjoy it, too.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Almost Normal

This past week was probably as close as I get to a schedule full of what I consider to be ordinary life things.

  • Monday;
    Worked from 9-5, then went to Melissa's for dinner with her husband and son. Afterwards, she and I went exploring the town for all manner of quirky, fun places.
  • Tuesday:
    Worked from noon-8 on Tuesday. Nothing much to report.
  • Wednesday:
    Worked from 6 AM- 1:30 and then had a hypnosis session. Went shopping for fish stuff for Alpha.
  • Thursday:
    Attended an advisory board meeting for a housing coalition group and worked until 5. Home for dinner and a DVD.
  • Friday:
    More off-site meetings and re-structuring (at least on paper for now) some of my staff and their work. Then I visited a friend in the hospital who'd had a heart attack. Went to the mall with his partner and their son afterwards.
  • Today:
    Finished my last day as "The Whirlpool Guy" and am off to an art auction.

The one thing that kept it all in perspective was my attempt to call a friend to go for a walk last Sunday. I was trying to think who might be available and when I'd figured this out and made the call, he said, "You know, I woke up this morning and decided that I should move to Miami."

"That sounds great," I said. "Do you want to come by, or are you too busy making plans?"

"I'm driving through Amarillo right now," he replied. "I left this morning!"

As Melissa said Monday evening, it figures that I'd have friends like that.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Sola Steps Up

Our transgendered chicken, Sola, who clucks like a hen and crows like a rooster, stepped into Rosa's role last evening. As I crossed the yard, Sola ran up to me and crouched in a submissive position. I took her cue and scooped her up. She seemed to enjoy the attention and petting. Who knows? Maybe she was watching Rosa and decided to get some of her own human contact. Whatever the prompting, it was cool to see a chicken act as an affectionate pet.Photo credit:
Kathryn Blythe Daly. Her work is copyrighted and may not be used for personal gain.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

I'm in between client sessions. 2nd client is in lobby filling out paperwork. This post is to keep anonymous happy about more "regular" posts. If regular was referring to content, not much I can do there.

Moved from James's and Craig's home where I was housesitting to my landlord's house. They are gone until Sept. 5. At least I'm housesitting in my own backyard.

Client is ready...gotta go.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

A Time for Firsts

On Friday, I received my first steady paycheck since August 2005.

Yesterday, I paid up house rent... the first time since March.

I also went to see a movie at the movie theater for the first time since I can remember.

This morning, I made my first contribution towards paying my 2006 pledge at church.

The bank account still favors my debtors, but at least the holes are being plugged.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Quick & Brief

(Kind of like "down & dirty.")

Have been preoccupied by learning the balance of my new job (a.k.a getting over not knowing what I don't know) while still running my hypnotherapy practice. Getting into the swing of things now and promise more postings.

Today, I'm at the shelter for an hour or so, then off to see a hypnotherapy client. Back here later this evening to meet with residents.

I am housesitting for James and Craig for a week. (Yeah, I still do that, too. But I promise I'm not as busy as before.... Only 3 more "Costco Saturdays.") I will mow the yard this afternoon, a nice change of pace for me.

My godson, Atticus, was here from Saturday-Wednesday with his dad, Jeff. It was great to have family here and we managed to spend loads of time together.

Now my focus is on establishing a work rhythm that promotes my living my life. What a concept!

(So much for quick & brief.)

Monday, July 31, 2006

Why do cats scratch around in the dirt after pooping like they are trying to cover up their mess, but rarely--if ever--check to see that they were successful in doing so?

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Cluck Like a Chicken

With the death of Rosa and her two friends, we have one chicken remaining. We call her "Sola," which is short for "Solamente."

The odd thing is that she has started crowing like a rooster every morning. She never did this in the past, so it may be connected to grieving or her new aloneness. However, it is so exactly like a rooster crow - and not some hen cackle - that we have decided she may be a transgender chicken.

Until I know what her rights are, I will keep removing the eggs from her nest so that she doesn't get embarrassed.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

New Work


I began my work as director of the Albuquerque Opportunity Center yesterday. To kick off the day, I celebrated with a breakfast of Dresden Stollen that I had saved in my freezer since Christmas. Thanks, Matthias!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Call the FDA, SPCA, FEMA...Someone!

As I prepared breakfast today, I reached past the corn oil (made from, not surprisingly, corn), past the sunflower oil (made from sunflower seeds) and even past peanut oil (made from peanuts) to get olive oil. Guess from what that was made? That's right: olives.

So you can imagine my horror upon taking a shower afterwards when I reached for the shampoo...and read that it is made with -- BABY OIL!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

No Time Like Time Off

I'm sitting in my office with a mug of tea waiting for my first client of the day. It has been a good week to enjoy time off. I had a $100 gift certificate to spend at a posh store (The A-Store) in Nob Hill and $40 at Peacecraft, a workers' rights import store. Got a haircut yesterday and have used other time to establish a list of the places to visit and things to do that I've not been able--or have not done--during the past season of busyness.

It's funny that the endless jobs may have actually served to keep my attention. In either being at a job or rushing off to another obligation left little tiime for me to dwell on my own loneliness or depression. Perhaps that is one of the things that having a kid does for you; it keeps you present in just getting life done without the option of wallowing in too much introspection.

Now that I am shifting into more focused and regulated work, it also means that my time alone and not at work will be more noticeable. I'm aware that that has been difficult for me in the past here in NM. I'm not too concerned, just aware and taking precaution to be sure that life outside of work has meaning and holds enjoyment for me.

Some of the meaning includes:
  • meditation;
  • prayer;
  • hypnosis;
  • making sure that I connect with friends;
  • and perhaps more involvement with church, either in becoming a reader for the Sunday service and/or joining the choir.

Some of the activities include:
  • visiting museums and art exhibitions on a more regular basis;
  • getting memberships to parks, museums and the like;
  • shopping at interesting world food markets and actually taking time to cook for myself;
  • attending local theatre productions;
  • reading;
  • hiking;
  • some regular membership exercise like Bikram's Yoga;
  • and I have a little pouch with a photo of me hang gliding into which I am sticking spare cash to save up for lessons.

Tomorrow I am going to Cliff's Amusement Park with a 10-yr. old friend from church.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

My Week

Ahhhh.... No work obligations other than hypnotherapy clients! I met two new clients today. One scheduled a follow-up appointment and one scheduled a 6-session package. I have one repeat client and another new one both on Thursday. Other than those appointments, I am using the week to clean house, get a massage and use gift certificates from my birthday to shop at cool stores.

And I'll get a hair cut.

This time, I'll return to the Blue Door Salon and my trusted hair stylist. I have been going to the cut-rate salons and barbers to save money.

At the last place I went to, the mother of the woman cutting my hair was sitting in the chair next to us chatting away with her daughter. They didn't mind including me in the conversation, which went like this:

Mother: Well I tried to get a job this morning.

Daughter: Where'd you go?

Mother: The Cherry Blossom.

Daughter (nodding to me as if I knew the place): You know, the massage and sex parlor south of Osuna.

Mother (referring to the physical environment, not the type of business being conducted): It was kinda dirty though.

Daughter: But if they pay good money, I'm sure you would be good at it if you wanted to.

Mother (to me): Of course I'd just be the receptionist.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

10 to 3

  • 10...the number of posts since July 7

  • 3...the number of comments since July 7

  • (2 from same reader; 1 from someone I don't know.)

    This means that:
    • my writing is really boring,
    • the government has blacklisted me,
    • I have private and quiet readers, or
    • all of the above, plus the fact that Johnny Depp refused to online chat on this site turned folks away.
    If you do read this blog, did you notice the new layout for the music and book selections that I post in the righthand column? It finally occured to me to use some HTML code to order that stuff.

    If you click through to order on Amazon any of the titles, I receive about 4% of your purchase. I try not to post stuff that I wouldn't recommend as worth purchasing, but my taste may not be your taste.

    Saturday, July 15, 2006

    Wal-Mart Statistics


    "Wal-Mart's sales are greater than the next five biggest U.S. retailers combined. By itself, Wal-Mart is China's fifth-largest trading partner, ahead of Germany and Great Britain. It employs 1.6 million people, four times as many as McDonalds. 300,00 more Americans now wear the Wal-Mart uniform than are currently on active duty in the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines combined." (Source: the Albuquerque "Alibi," quoting a book. I forgot to detail the source credit in my notebook.)

    I'm off to go work my 5 hours at Costco.

    Friday, July 14, 2006

    Thursday, July 13, 2006

    I disconnected my land line telephone yesterday.

    Update...7-25-06

    Here's the current summary of percentages for the quiz posted on this blog at Straight Ahead or Gayly Forward:
    Gay:Straight:
    • MissyMussy - Undisclosed, Incredibly High Queer Factor
    • Odette - 50
    • Dennis - 47
    • Anonymous - 47
    • Mattias - 27
    • Jonathan - 10
    • John - 7
    • Andy - 7
    • Andy -63
    • Odette - 50
    • Jonathan - 23
    • Dennis - 20
    • Anonymous - 20
    • John - 17
    • Mattias - 7
    Bi:
    • John - 64
    • Jonathan - 67
    • Mattias - 66
    • Dennis - 33
    • Andy - 30
    • Anonymous - 17
    • Odette - (0...or 100?)
    Add your stats to the list by taking the quiz.