Friday, July 27, 2007

Atticus, my godson, enjoys the release of the Harry Potter book in Harvard Square:

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Shh....

It's so quiet in this blog that you don't want to interrupt the peace.

Just kidding! But based on the (severe lack of) comments, I do realize that I am writing for myself. That's okay; that way I always win the debate and heap on praise about well-written posts.

Dylan was great! He can be mediocre in concert or really hot, so I was pleased that this concert veered toward the musically-very-tight-and-creative end of the spectrum. On three different flights during the concert, two wild owls soared majestically over the crowd. That was not part of the staged concert and was magicical!

That's it for now; I'm still very swamped covering two positions at the shelter: Program Director and Executive Director. Which means that I supervise myself.

Kind of like this blog, come to think of it. :-)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Time Out

I'm going to see (hear?) Bob Dylan in concert this evening with seven friends. YAY!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

It pisses me off not to have been able to date the people to whom I was attracted in my youth, in my teens and early twenties, when I was still formulating endless future possibilities, when time was spent mostly in spontaneous bursts of carefree fun and youthful physicality, the time when couples in love throw on backpacks without second thoughts and trek Europe together.

Now it’s more about a mere week’s vacation away from work obligations, returning to an entrenched lifestyle.

Very few people my age are free enough to follow a whim to spend summers together working to help the needy in developing countries, exploring unknown cul-de-sacs of other cultures in the off hours. They don’t lie out in the grass of a darkened park gazing up at the stars before a night class followed by an all-night study session or music jam.

Instead, my dates are more about seeing if my mostly-formed life fits with someone else’s mostly-formed life.

It lacks a sense of the two of us together bounding endless horizons of potential. It doesn’t feel like two mounds of clay massing together to create a new life molded together. Instead, it’s more like two cast sculptures seeing if they can fit into the same d├ęcor of a room that already has a developed theme. Less creative, more methodical and calculated.

The men whom I now meet and with whom I share any hint of such free-flowing pleasures are typically young, single, straight men. They are carefree and have time to spare and share. They might even have a curious sense of sexual exploration. But we are like two parallel lines, that, at best, will enjoy some time together, moving along in the same direction until he finds a mate, marries, has children and the shared time diminishes. There isn’t any sense of the two lines moving closer to each other.

So I’m faced with a dilemma: do I allow myself to enjoy the time that we do have while protecting my heart from desiring anything more? Do I withdraw just enough to have moments of fun while keeping my desires below the radar screen of actually feeling them?

It’s not a great formula for freely jumping in and fully enjoying the moment.

Friday, July 20, 2007

This Just In

My boss was put on paid administrative leave two weeks ago. Today the board asked me to continue as acting interim executive director. So, after holding down 8 jobs at once last year, I find myself again inching up in the number of work-related things that I am doing.

Current count:
  • Hypnotherapist
  • Executive Director
  • Program Director
  • Housesitter

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Light Is On, But...


So I met this guy who has many traits that I value. It got me to thinking about what is love. And the more that I think about it, the less I am certain.

Although I can think too much and since love is, as they say, a matter of the heart, you might be tempted to say to yourself, "Well, of course, Dennis. You can't think your way through love!" But if you have been reading this blog for some time now, you know that I have approached love without thinking, too. You know where that got me and even if you haven't read this blog for long, you can guess where unthinking love winds up. So this time I have been thinking.

I've thought about what it is that I desire in the relationship in which I choose to grow old, about character traits that are important to me. I even made a list of 20 or so of the top 25.

So what is the magic number at which one shares with another enough traits or commonality to call it love? There are many guys in my life with whom I share a great many important values, but the emotion that we share is a brotherly love. I have even shared as many or more of these desires with women, but felt, well, that they were women and I don't feel attracted to women in a way that compels me to commit my life to them.

Is it then a certain number of shared goals, dreams, values and traits plus a special indescribable something? But I have also felt an indescribable something for guys that, in itself, wasn't sustaining, or that, in itself, plus some but not enough of the traits, wasn't "love." So is it having a certain something plus a substantial enough number of shared goals and characteristics before it is a life-partnering love?

It is kind of like I either find myself standing at the gates of Disney World without a ticket to get in, or that I have a ticket and the park is not open.

I am less certain than ever.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

I Made Some Mistakes

Recently, I posted about my consultation with debt management planners. I panicked after that post to discover, after arriving home, that I had left a printout of my debt details on the printer at work. My staff had every detail of my personal finances!

I was so ashamed. My staff knew what I spend my money on, my income, my debt! They knew that I was spending $160 in therapy each month. They knew that I owe my parents $7,000. They knew that I owe $38,000 and that I don’t have savings. Gulp! Blush.

Then I thought about how many times I have said how freeing it is to be known. What do I have to hide if I really believe that I am so alike the people I know? Isn’t honest connection what we all crave and need? Can I be okay with people knowing me exactly as I am?

Giving up who knows what about me (at least in this area), I am going ahead with posting this today.

I have $38,000 in debt. I can logically justify it with details that I would repeat in the same circumstances.

But in December, a friend asked me if I would be living differently now and feel differently now were I not in debt. I answered that money doesn’t bother my either with or without. I thought it was true. Upon closer examination, I was wrong.

If I were debt free at this time, I would be helping others more freely and have a lifestyle more closely integrated with what I believe. I would not be necessarily tied to place and job. Money is a problem, a distraction from my values of living an alive life.

So I decided to take an approach from my faith that God will provide. In a very primitive, even fundamental way, I told God that if I received an unexpected $1,000 that I would give it away to a good cause as an action of faith that my own debt would be gone by November 30th, 2007. Crazy? Maybe. But it felt good to be proactive.

Then I cashed in my life insurance (to pay off one of my credit cards--which I did) and it came in at a $1,000 more than I had expected. Tax free!

I am giving that money to a person who was homeless but has now been employed full-time for over a year. He has been scraping by bit by bit for so long and I had been coaching him in maintaining a personal budget. That $1,000 will go much further with him than with me.

Will it also mean that I will unexpectedly be able to pay off my own debt by November? I think so, though I can't imagine how.

Check back in on November 30, 2007 to learn of the results.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Movie Time

You may have thought recently that my taste in movies has changed (see righthand sidebar). Not exactly. I'm housesitting for a family with three kids. The selection of DVDs is limited, but fun!

Monday, July 09, 2007

I Don't Mind Straight People...










...as long as they act gay in public.

Did you read about what happened in New Jersey? Click here to read about it.

I can't wait until wearing straight wedding rings in public, straights holding hands, heterosexual wedding announcements, straight people serving in the military, parents with kids and oh-so-many-other things are banned from public view.

But Of Course!

I bought a package of sliced Tofurky today. Its package proclaims, "New Ultra Thin Slices! 50% More Slices!"

Isn't that redundant?

Thursday, July 05, 2007

What We're They Thinking?



"Adobe" seems a contradictory adjective to use when advertising computers in New Mexico.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

You Don't Have to be Freakin' Einstein

I attended a religious discussion this past weekend about if and how the Episcopal Church might separate from the Anglican Church (read more about this issue).

One guy got up and said, "Well, two plus two used to equal four. Now we're saying two plus two equals six. I don't understand how the Bible used to say one thing and now we're saying that it says something else."

Amazing how one can never escape being told how you don't fit in, even at church.

Since governance was really the focus of the discussion, I didn't continue his angle of the conversation. But if I had bothered to help him see the errors of his way, I would have done so by replying,

Yes. Two plus two equals four and that is all that a first grader needs to know. If we told her that E=MC squared, she'd think we were crazy.
"What do you say?!!!!," she'd scream. "Numbers are added to numbers. Letters are used to spell things, not add, dummy."

And for her first-grade mind she'd be right. At that age, she would only need to know that two plus two equals four. But later, in high school, she'd learn algebra and geometry and all kinds of amazing "new" facts. From a first-grade perspective, they'd seem like blatant contradictions. With a more mature mind, the connections could be made.

At the church gathering, I wouldn't have added, "So grow up, stupid."


Monday, July 02, 2007

Mr. President,

I have a great solution to your missile site dilemma with Mr. Putin. Since you say that it is not at all about Russia, why don't you just let Russia share oversight of the bases you'd like to put in eastern Europe?

Just a thought.

-Dennis

Meanwhile, closer to home:
The municipalities that be don't think New Mexicans know how to walk. The water ditch behind where I live has long been used as a running and walking path. The authorities decided to pave it with asphalt.

They put in a the sidewalk next to the fence. Then--because the new sidewalk requires a certain amount of head and side clearance--they cut all of the vines and trees that hang over the fence.

....Um, why didn't you just place the sidewalk closer to the ditch in the first place, where there is still about ten feet of open space, rather than next to the fence?

Not content to stop there, last week the engineers were out carefully measuring, marking and painting a dotted yellow line down the middle of the sidewalk. Gotta keep people in line!

I was glad to see this morning that most of the joggers and walkers were in the dirt, just to the side of the asphalt, where the ground is more comfortable to the feet.