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Making pancakes, as I learned at AP's birthday bash at the beach this weekend, is an unbelievably tedious chore. I don't know why I...

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Welcome Back, Hot Toddy

It is Thursday and I haven't been sad all week. It feels great to just cruise through my days without feeling pain inside. I don't know who or what is responsible for the shift in perception, but I'm really relieved that, for now, it seems like the worst is over.

I had a great epiphany on Christmas morning - one that has carried me through the week and helped me to change my thinking. I will share that in a separate post if I don't forget. Which I probably will, so remind me later.

I have worked out a minimum of three days a week for the last three weeks. This week looks good for getting in 4 or 5 workouts, so that makes me happy. I haven't been to the bar much lately, but I've had fun when I do show up there. A couple nights ago I made out with someone at CC Slaughters and got called a slut by some of the other patrons, so I feel like things are almost back to normal.

I'm playing The Bard's Tale on my Playstation 2. The times that I fire up my PS2 are the times I am most happy to be single. Truth be told, I don't know if a boyfriend would put up with my gaming habits. If I'm playing a game I really like, I can't stop. Sometimes I forget to eat. Once, when I was still with CT, he asked me to stop playing The Sims and come eat dinner with him in our dining room. I sat down at the table and said, "God, I have the worst headache." At that moment I realized I had not eaten a bite of food all day. Yet I made sure my Sims family was fed and bathed and happy all day long. So, The Bard's Tale, my latest addiction, has been really great therapy. It helps me turn off my brain and quit obsessing about things over which I have no control.

Oh my god, the e-mails I've received lately have been phenomenal. Every day since right before Christmas I have heard from someone new. Several people who read Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven but have never commented or written me have decided to introduce themselves and share some of their lives with me. It has been wonderful to get feedback and learn more about the people who already know so much (too much!?) about me.

In a couple weeks I leave for Tokyo. I know, can you believe it? I don't even know what to say about that trip. It's so huge and amazing, I can't even fathom what it will be like to visit Japan for 10 days. All I know is that I am going to hit my head on many Japanese doorways, lanterns and maybe ceilings, and I am going to maybe finally get to kiss a real live Japanese boy. I mean, I've kissed dead ones before, but I have always wanted to kiss a live one.

The other night at CC Slaughter's, Ms. Karma said it was great to see me happy again. When a beefy bear with dimples sat next to us at the bar, I started flirting just a little bit. Ms. Karma just grinned and said, "Welcome back, Hot Toddy."

Thanks, it's good to be back.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus

I got exactly what I wanted for Christmas. No joke, I had such a peaceful holiday and found a sense of calm coming over me like an old friend. Gross. I don't mean calm came over me the way an old friend comes all over me. Bad analogy.

I usually get what I want. It's true. I am not trying to brag - it just seems to happen. If I want something (or someone) badly enough, things just seem to work out in my favor. Maybe that is why my latest heartbreak was so devastating. Maybe I'm just spoiled and not used to having my way.

There are those, like my ex CT, who say that I lead a "charmed life", and others (Pony) who say that I seem to come through life unscathed and floating above it all. But, while clawing my way out of the pit of depression I've been in, I've felt neither charmed or unscathed. And being miserable certainly doesn't feel like floating.

I can't say what or who, exactly, helped me to find some peace and happiness this Christmas. There were many moments where I realized that I really am going to be okay. I saw my blessings instead of what I don't have.

Here is what I got for Christmas:

Auburn Pisces cooked a wonderful meal and only required a couple shots of Patron to remain relatively calm on Christmas Day. We had one of our quiet conversations on her front porch this weekend, and I told her I felt at peace. "Right on," she said with a smile.

Auburn Aries had a great Christmas, and the letter Santa left for her made her cry. When I hugged this sweet eight-year-old kid, she said, "I'm not crying because I'm sad, Toddy." I told her I knew exactly why she was crying. "It's because you feel loved, isn't it?" She nodded her little head and hugged me tighter (while Auburn Pisces snapped pictures and cried her own tears of feeling loved).

K9 has been staying with us after a rough time during which he had all of his belongings stolen and lived in his car. Having him around at Christmas reminded me how good it feels to take care of others. Seeing him this morning without a shirt as I offered him the rest of the coffee in my pot also made me feel very good.

My friends, Russ and Carolyn, called me on Christmas Eve and we had a wonderful talk. Carolyn helped me realize that whether you are single or married you can feel lonely. She listened empathetically to my story of the last six months, and she reminded me why we'll be friends forever.

Juju and Metro got engaged at Christmas. I knew they would end up together. You can't believe what a great couple they are. I celebrate their relationship and someday hope to have what they have. And I will, because I (usually) get what I want.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Surviving Christmas

Last night Pony let me eat his meat. Are you jealous?

He cooked a delicious steak dinner for an intimate group of friends, and his new house looked so festive and warm inside. I guess, compared to my spartan home, any home containing more than one piece of furniture looks festive.

In spite of his hard work and the beautiful setting, I arrived with a lump in my throat and the familiar feeling that I was being stabbed repeatedly in the chest. There are times when I'm able to fake happiness, but when my sadness manifests itself physically, as in the case of chest pains, I have a hard time choking back the tears. It didn't help that I drank a couple whiskeys with The Handsome Prince before arriving at Pony's. I guess I thought I could handle it, but maybe it is too soon for whiskey.

Recently I was asked why I fear people will stop loving me if I say what I want. I have to really give that some thought. I find that, even though this is my blog, I sometimes don't write about the way I'm feeling because I fear people will be bored or stop reading. (In spite of frequent reassurance that this is not the case)

Even now, when I've already lost him, I fear that Thor will read my words and stop loving me. I fear that I will become the punchline of a joke. I fear that you, a reader who has never commented or written me to say hello - a complete stranger - will stop liking Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven. See, that same fear permeates everything - not just my relationships. I have to learn to speak without fear.

I am fortunate to have friends that understand. I fear, sometimes, that they will leave too. Sooner or later maybe I will push the limits of friendship, and they will walk away. That adds a certain pressure to my already depressed spirit. Like I have to hurry and get better and be funny again before they all give up on me.

Sometimes I will read something like Auburn Pisces wrote about me, and I will realize that there is unlimited love there for me. Yesterday she wrote this:

"People say that I’m the strong one. I’m often asked how I do it. How I hold it together. How is it I’m able to be strong for so many. Yet I stood before my friend and could feel his inability to breath right now. I could feel the coldness of the depths to which he has fallen and could feel his legs feverishly kicking beneath him, unwilling to succumb to the darkness.

It is you, Sweet Toddy, who is the strong one. You’re surviving it. Each and every day you open your eyes and experience one more day this existence has to offer you, you’re surviving it. Once you get to a place you’re not just surviving it but once again thriving in all this lifetime has to offer you is when you’ll know the balance in your life is back. Hang on, Toddy. You’re almost there.

Hot, please never think of yourself as weak. You have had a tough year, my darling friend. Everything will be okay."

It is Christmas, and this is a time that many of us are filled with sorrow when we want to be filled with joy.

For anyone who lost a love or a family member or a pet or a friend recently - whether your precious one left willingly or was taken away from you, maybe you will share my wish:

I know what I want for Christmas this year. Please let me have a moment of peace. Just one moment where I can look up at the night sky and know that I am going to survive the emotional and spiritual rubble that is pressing down on me.

Let me hear hope in the laugh of a child or in a warm touch from a friend. Let me get out of my head for a moment and see how big the world is and how small my own problems are in the eternal scheme of things.

Let me stare into a fire or the flame of a candle and know that I have what it takes inside to keep going. Don't let the darkness overtake me. Let me feel strong, just for a moment.

Let me eat delicious food and really taste it. Let me see colors and lights and bright tinsel instead of gray nothingness. Let me enjoy being awake instead of yearning for sleep.

And, if I must, let me feel that one moment of absolute sorrow. If the only way through this pain is to face it head on, then let me grieve for the love that I've lost, or maybe the love I've never found. Let me cry and mourn so that I can dance and sing again.

And at the end of Christmas Day, let me drop off to sleep smiling instead of worrying, giggling instead of crying, feeling safe instead of feeling alone.

If I could have this one gift, I would be so grateful. Please give me peace in my heart this Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Moving (and moving and moving)

Friday night I attended a party with Willie and was definitely able to shake off stress. I'm happy that we've reconnected. On Saturday he helped me move my bed from the loft (yes, I'm still moving) to my new home at Auburn Pisces' pad.

Here is the Cliff Notes version of my moving experiences this year:

In July I started moving into the loft and out of The Handsome Prince's house. Thor started packing for his move in July too. We talked about the possibility of my moving to California to be with him, so I got rid of almost all my furniture. I didn't even keep pots and pans. (Idiot!)

In August I finished moving stuff into the loft. Thor left some stuff for me at Auburn Pisces' house (where he was living at the time).

In September I had to get Thor's stuff out of AP's house and into my loft.

In October I lived in the loft but slept over at AP's a few nights a week because I felt lonely.

In November I moved my stuff from the loft into AP's house (including Thor's stuff - the stuff I had just moved out of AP's house a month before).

Now it is December and I'm almost done moving out of the loft. Yes, I'm living in the same space Thor used to inhabit. Yes, it is hard. Yes, I will survive.

Speaking of surviving, that brings me back to Willie. After he left on Saturday I realized that for one entire day I hadn't felt sad. That was so good for me. It really was the first happy day I've had in a long time. Willie makes me laugh and helps keep me preoccupied.

Yesterday afternoon, Willie said he thought we'd make good roommates, and I agreed.

"But if we were roommates we couldn't have sex," he told me. "That would make things weird."

"Oh, well," I replied. "Guess we can't be roommates."

By the way, I just found out I am a 2005 Red Hot Blogger nominee. There are many good bloggers nominated, including my friend katehopeeden at Lots of Craziness. Hopefully you'll find some new favorite blogs by visiting the link.

Thanks, Red Hot Sexy Papa! Thanks to the person who nominated me too. Whoever you are, I love you.

Friday, December 16, 2005

Shake it off

Okay, this is my third and final post of the day. I can't leave for the weekend with such gloomy thoughts.

Remember that a blog post is a snapshot - it is one moment in time. Things, for me anyway, can change so rapidly, as my buddy Donnie points out in a recent comment.

This afternoon, the clouds are parting. I have a chance tonight to hang out with a great guy. We met a year ago at a Christmas party, and we're going to that same party tonight. Willie has been such a good friend to me since we started hanging out again. He makes me laugh, which is not so easy to do these days. His energy rubs off on me. So tonight should be a fun night.

I worked out three days this week, and I still have the weekend to get one or two more workouts in. I'm working on a submission for a book of essays (somewhat against my will - Juju won't let up on me!), and I have a whole weekend ahead of me (with a chance of an ice storm Monday that may close our office building?!)

So, I see no need to leave for the weekend all down in the mouth. If I could give every single person who reads this blog a hug, I would. And some of you would get a kiss.

With tongue? Hell, yeah.


The Seine flowed gently beneath the old bridge as my boyfriend and I stood holding each other while a small French woman took our photograph. I remember the warmth of CT's body next to me on that wintry Paris afternoon. After she snapped the picture, the old woman smiled at me and said, "Si beau."

"She thinks I am beautiful," I thought to myself. Then she continued. She glanced at CT and then looked back at me. "Comment il est beau. Si beau," she repeated.

As we walked away, Nick asked me what the woman told me. "She said you're hot," I replied with an exasperated sigh. So typical. Jealousy gripped at my heart, and, instead of being proud of my man, I lost the joy of that moment.

Why didn't she say what an attractive couple we made instead of telling me how beautiful my man was? My petty jealousy and insecurities overflowed, so I did the only thing I could do. I pushed my lover off into the icy waters below. As I watched him float away with the current, I shouted over the bridge called Pont Neuf, “NOW WHO IS SI BEAU?! HUH??”

Okay, I didn't really push CT into the Seine. Instead, I allowed my insecurities to fester for the rest of the trip, and The City of Lights became, for us, the City of Fights. I acted as if it were CT’s fault that he was beautiful. Even worse, I acted as if I were not beautiful at all. I questioned why he would bother to love someone like me, and I felt insanely jealous when he received admiring glances from strangers.

I've changed so much since those days. I called CT last week just to see how he was doing. It has been over a year since we've spoken. No, I'm not trying to torture myself, I just felt an overwhelming urge to talk to him.

CT told me he bought a house with his partner, who he's been seeing for a year, and I felt a little choked up. When he told me his partner had two kids, I shook my head in disbelief. My ex has the life I wanted to have with him. Only he has it with someone else. He didn't ask many questions about me, which reminded me of why I ended it in the first place. I wanted to talk to him about my recent struggles, but I couldn't find an opening, so we just talked about him. My voice was shakey as we said goodbye.

Maybe I called because I needed a reminder that even the grief of ending a long-term relationship will pass. If I can get through that, I can get through my current situation.

I almost never think about CT anymore. I care about him, but I don't yearn for a connection with him any longer. Is it possible that someday I will feel that kind of peace and acceptance about my recent loss? I can't see it now, but that doesn't mean it won't happen.

Truth #2

He played a song for me one Saturday afternoon as we packed up his kitchen. He told me it was the song that most reminded him of me. He said he wanted me to keep the CD when he left. I wish I hadn't forgotten to take it with me. I guess he still has it.

I listened to the words, and he could tell I was trying to figure out what the song meant about him and me. I couldn't understand. Or wouldn't.

Now I do. I understand so many things now. Things make sense, but I still shake my head (when I can hold it up) and want to say to him, "No, you were wrong. You were so wrong. You know we had something unbelievably beautiful, and I would have stayed by your side through everything. If only you had faith in me."

If only he could have loved me enough to talk to me and tell me the truth. Maybe things could have been different. That's what hurts the most. I know we could have worked through anything life threw at us. Why didn't he believe that too?

So, I've been cut off. No phone calls or letters. I cancelled my plane ticket to see him at Christmas. I was going to meet his family and was going to feel his arms around me again at night.

If only, if only, if only...

In the absence of his voice, I seek answers in my memories.

"The Road Between"
(Gus Black/Lisa Marie Presley/Greg Wells)

Out on the road between nowhere and hell
I caught a glimpse of my reflection in you
But they can't believe I still want you around

Hung on the line between addiction and this
I can't believe you said I hurt you again
But I can't afford to let you get away
And I cannot take the darkness when you stay

You're all I see
And it's definitely my fault
You're all I see
But don't come near me at all

How many roads between your world and mine
How many broken doors and how many fights
I changed my furniture to make you go away
I'm still overwhelmed at how much space you take

You're all I see
And it's definitely my fault
You're all I see
But don't come near me at all

And I can't have you right now
And I can't get it right now
And I can't have you right now
And I can't get it right now

You're all I see
And it's definitely my fault
You're all I see
But don't come near me at all
This is definitely my fault

Hung on the line between addiction and this
I can't believe you said I hurt you again

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Hot Toddy Becomes Polyamorous (almost)

Last night I met a very beautiful boy, J, who talked to me about his relationship with his partner. They are looking to bring a third person into the relationship, and we discussed what that would be like for me whoever they choose to join them. We talked about it for hours.

Honestly, I've never thought for a second I could do something like that. But when I went home I couldn't get to sleep. I kept thinking about my talk with that guy, and I started fantasizing...

Obviously, there would be some challenges. I think I am too possessive and not trusting enough. I have never been anything but monogamous with my partners. I can't even seriously date two guys at the same time. I have a friend who was in a similar type of relationship, and it got quite messy.

But if I were in a polyamorous relationship there would be some great benefits.

Double gifts - I'd get Christmas and birthday presents from both of my lovers.

Food - I'm sure at least one of my husbands would know how to cook. I could eat again. Like, real food.

Cuddling - When I am watching movies with a guy, I like to wrap myself up with him. If I watched movies with two boyfriends at once, I'd be so wrapped up and cuddled it would feel like heaven.

Double or triple the sex - With three guys in a relationship, at least one of us (me) would always be in the mood for sex.

More blog material - I could write about two relationships at once. What a zany romp that would be!

The funny thing is, when I asked J if I'd still be allowed to go to CC Slaughters and kiss boys, he frowned. He seemed troubled by my question and informed me that he and his partner would want me to be exclusive with them. It made my head spin thinking about the complications and politics.

There is only one way I will be able to make a decision about this matter. Please tell me there was an episode of Sex and the City that dealt with this!

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Fighting Back

Thank you for the comments, for the e-mails, and just for visiting.

Today I am better. I had a wonderful talk with The Professor last night. Let me tell you about him. The Professor came to Portland from San Francisco and sent me an e-mail to introduce himself. We decided to meet in person, and we instantly clicked.

What I enjoy about the Prof is that conversation flows so easily with him. He's well-traveled, informed, open-minded, experienced and genuine. Last night I got advice from him on everything from relationships to enemas, (You don't want to know - well, you probably do, but I'm not telling) and I told him about what I'm going through right now.

I have never struggled with depression. Not in the way I am now. But I have learned from this experience, and I think I will have good advice to give others in the future should they find themselves in a pit of despair. Many people advise that only time can heal. For me, it isn't time that is healing me. It is work. Hard work.

Depression is such a difficult struggle because it requires you to do everything you don't want to do and nothing that you do want to do. It's exhausting. When I feel depressed, which has been almost every day, I want to curl up in bed for days, drink myself numb, watch television, stay away from people, stop eating and sleep my life away. Living like that leads to, guess what? More depression.

So, lately, I'm doing all the things I don't feel like doing. I'm working out, skipping happy hours, eating regular and healthy meals, socializing with friends, and staying busy.

My friend Muscle Chick took me to dinner and the new Harry Potter movie last weekend. We talked about healing and how much work it is. She ended a long-term relationship earlier this year and has become a fitness fanatic. She works out almost every day and is going to compete in the Gay Games this summer. I am so inspired by her. When her mother passed away, Muscle Chick did not get drunk, because she knew that would only make it worse. "Toddy, there is no answer at the bottom of a bottle. You know that," she told me.

Actually, many of my friends have given me that advice, but there was just something in the way Muscle Chick said it that really hit home. Or maybe I was just ready to hear it. If I were to name all the great advice and love I've received from friends lately, I'd need at least an hour to type up my list. Mom, Ms. Karma, Auburn Pisces, Pony, The Handsome Prince, The Toddtender, Willie (I finally wrote about you!!), Juju, Metro, Eclecticon, Verdi, Apollo, Paul, Steph, Katehopeeden, Jodi, Lynda... I give up. There is no way to name everyone.

I owe it to my friends and family to keep fighting. I owe it to myself. So I promised Muscle Chick that I would work out almost every day just like she does. I promised her I would drink less and stay active. I promised her I'd eat better. And I promised to go with her to Chicago to cheer her on (and flirt with gay athletes from all over the world) when she competes.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

On the Mend

I have not written much lately about the break-up. Mostly, because I don't want people to leave mean comments about Thor. He is a beautiful soul, and I hurt to think of him reading angry or insulting comments about himself.

Thor, if you are reading this, know that I don't want you to feel "slaughtered" or hated. Do not feel you have to defend yourself to me or anyone. You are so loved by me, you can't even imagine....


It's still hard. I cry every day. Hell, I am crying as I write this. I miss him so bad. I feel like I've been destroyed and that I am now so fucked up I'll never be okay again. I feel sick. I am so tired of fighting, and sometimes I want to hibernate until the spring. At moments like this, when I try to write about it, the pain is as severe and fresh as it was the day I received his letter. The letter that changed everything....

But I am on the mend. I just now blew my nose and wiped away the tears and am drinking water. I was so worried someone would approach my desk and find me in tears. I thought I was going to have to use the old, "I just care so deeply about this project. I am passionate about the deadlines and sometimes worry we will not meet them" routine. Fortunately, nobody saw me crying. It is just between me and you 500 people who read the blog.

My mom is worried about me. Then again, she always finds something to worry about. When I lived in Washington DC, she warned me not to get too close to the ducks on the Potomac River because "those ducks can PECK!!"

We've been e-mailing back and forth for the past few days. Mainly, she is asking me for Christmas gift ideas. And she talks about how worried she is about me. See, I never talked to her about my boyfriends before. Not until this summer, when I met the man I thought I was meant to be with.

I was so certain that he was different from all the others. I was so certain that we were going to be together for a long, long time. So, I wanted my family to know about him. And I showed my mother pictures of him last time I was home. In one of the pictures, we were wearing our cowboy hats, and he was holding my hand. (I removed from the stack any pictures of him kissing me)

My mom cried, and, unfortunately, they were not tears of joy. She is just so confused by the fact that her only son is gay. I know she loves me, but it also makes her sad that I am not straight.

My mom and dad are doing the best they can. They try to accept my sexual orientation. They say that they do not judge me, and explain that they just don't understand. And I tell them that I will not try to push them to change since they do not push me to change. But I made it clear this summer, that I want the same rights as my sister and everyone else in the family: I want the freedom to discuss my relationships and to share the highs and lows of giving my heart. And, mostly, they are on board with my wishes.

Maybe it was too soon to tell my mom about the man I loved. In retrospect, I can see that things would be much easier if I just hadn't mentioned him. But I had a strong sense that my family would be meeting him someday. His constant reassurance that we were going to live together and have a marriage and even kids someday made me so certain ..... damn, now the tears are falling again...

(Such a pain in my heart as I write this - you can't imagine. It is like a knife plunging in over and over again)

Anyway. My mom is kinda kooky - kinda dingy - very compassionate - very fun - and she always tries to put a positive spin on things. My mom and I are a lot alike. Her use of emoticons and exclamation points exceeds even my liberal use of those forms of expression. But the wise and loving words of a mother are always a beautiful thing to share with your friends.

So I give you this message from Hot Toddy's mom. She's the best...

Surviving is a mindset ~ there are toooooooooooooo many playing victim these days and that's the most self defeating attitude there is.

I know you won't play that game. You have way too much to offer someone to settle for deceit, lies, lack of integrity and all the rest. When someone violates that, you just have to know that's not a good thing and you aren't open for that type of relationship. So, - NEXT ! ha!

You know it's easy to get carried away with some personalities but learn to read into people more - and try to stay tuned in without getting roped in! It's too much of a hurt factor when it goes off into another direction leaving you wondering what just happened.

Getting wise to your own true needs and what's best for you is the goal.

There are Givers and there are Takers !

I know you are mending - and aren't we all? There are so many unfair things that go on in our lives and if we don't shake them off and have that good mindset I mentioned we do fall into more traps ~ and then it becomes a vicious cycle.

Well, ya know I could have been as good as Dr Phil - but I chose to be a mom with
more advice than you asked for!!!!!!!!! ha - gotcha!

Anyway, life is interesting and life is learning everyday to become better for ourselves! We have to learn to be our own Best Friend !

Meantime, don't let the experience...take You away from You ! get it? and definitely don't let anyone take advantage of your heart again either.

No one should just feel like they can come/go into our most sacred place..
our hearts. Its why I love this song: *R* E* S* P* E* C* T*

Now. go take on the day ! :):):)
Your Mom

Monday, December 12, 2005

Holdin' Out for a Friend

I think I have a natural tendency to create idols to worship. I want to put people on a pedestal, even if they don't belong there. I've done it with many boyfriends in the past, and I've done it with friends. I need a hero. I'm holdin' out for a hero till the end of the night. Well, I was holding out for a hero, but not anymore. I realize what I really need is a friend, not a savior.

Last night I went to a fundraiser with the Toddtender, but since it was an event sponsored by the Oregon Bears, I wasn't sure what I should wear. Neither of us belong to the organization, but the Toddtender is more bear-like and bear-knowledgeable than I am, so I sought his advice.

"Wear something pink," he told me. That seemed wrong to me, so I asked him to elaborate.

"Really? Something pink? Are you kidding?"

"Pink hot pants. Do you have pink hot pants?" asked the Toddtender. Okay, so now I knew he was kidding. Thank god, because my only pair of hot pants is purple. In the end, he wore a sweatshirt, and I wore a turtleneck, and we both had a great time, and he only spilled two beers, which is good for a bartender, I guess.

As you know, I spend a lot of time sitting across the bar from the Toddtender while he performs his magic for thirsty patrons at CC Slaughters (I sound like I'm writing a travel guide or something) but whenever I get to spend time with him outside of the bar it feels like a privilege.

I used to be too intimidated to order drinks from the Toddtender. If he was tending bar, I would purposely find another bartender to order from - one who wouldn't cause my voice to shake or make me nervous enough to spill my drink all over him. After I got to know him, I realized what a kind soul he is, and I began to feel more secure.

But I still didn't know we were friends. What I mean is, I didn't realize he considered me a friend instead of just a customer. Then he came to my birthday breakfast. The Toddtender came to Auburn Pisces' house for the celebration, and at one point I thanked him for coming. I was a bit too obsequious as I kneeled before him praising his generosity of spirit for gracing me with his presence. He seemed to think it was ridiculous that I would thank him for celebrating my birthday with me.

After that, I just accepted his friendship. I began to treat the Toddtender like he was just a normal person which, although a bit hotter than the average normal person (yes, it's redundant, so what), I guess he really is. The Toddtender was now one of my friends! Treating someone like a god does not encourage friendship. Treating someone like a friend encourages friendship.

In the past few weeks, I've enjoyed socializing more with the Toddtender, whether we are playing Bingo with nuns or gritting our teeth through an endless charity auction (where every item has a "bear" theme). I plan on joining his softball team this spring. I like that I can talk to him about movies or television shows or music or boys. And sometimes when he gets off work at the bar, he'll come sit with me and chat and have drinks with me. I still feel proud when this happens. Lots of guys would probably pay money to have him sit with them. I no longer put him on a pedestal, but I am proud of him. I think it's okay to be proud of having someone as a friend. Especially a friend like the Toddtender.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Japan Party People

In January I'll be going with four friends to Tokyo. The trip organizer is Metro. Metro is an awesome person to have on a trip because he has so much energy and is constantly joyful. Seriously, I went on a road trip with him a couple years ago and he was the most consistently happy and easygoing person I've ever traveled with. Metro can speak Japanese, which is a plus. He learned the language so that he could understand Japanese video games. Most people think that's crazy, but I learned Swedish because I think Swedish guys are hot, so I don't judge him. Metro also has more blog names than anyone I know. I call him Metro, his girlfriend Juju refers to him as Link. And on his own blog, a video game review blog, Metro is known as pickypants.

GCB, who has already been traveling the world for months, will be there. GCB is famous in our circle of friends for primarily one thing: He takes his clothes off at parties. Always. GCB gets invited to lots of parties.

Superman will be there too. One of the funniest guys I know, hands down. He was hilarious to watch when he performed the play I wrote last year.

Devo is going on the trip and will provide much-needed balance. Never without a smile, Devo is all about making sure everyone is having a good time and, especially in my case, he makes sure everyone is getting the enormous amount of attention required to make me - I mean us - happy.

Yesterday, we e-mailed each other about getting together this Saturday to talk about the trip.

Hey, Japan Party People. We're meeting at 7pm to drink and plan. It will be glorious. Come early for hot videogame action.

Hot Toddy:
Hot. Videogame. Action. What am I getting myself into?

You can't wait 4 days for me to get back into town, you fuckers?

Bro, we need to meet. I am not planning anything. The name of the game is intuative enjoyment.

Hot Toddy:
Can we change the name of the game to Intuitive Enjoyment?

Is Intuitive Enjoyment anything like "Super Smash Brothers"? Or is it more of a "Root Beer Tapper" sort of thing? Should I bring my multi-sided dice?

Hot Toddy:
Superman, I will show you how to play Intuitive Enjoyment once we get to Tokyo.

It's getting gay in here.

Wow, Tokyo ain't gonna know what sodomized it!

Hot Toddy:
Can we get t-shirts made? "I Sodomized Tokyo"

Oh, they sell those pre-made.

So, those are the guys I'll be with in Japan. This trip is gonna be awesome.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Attention Deficit Disorder and

The pigeons by my office take the stairs.

I don't know why they don't fly up the six or seven stairs leading to the park behind our building. I would never take stairs if I could fly.

I won't say I always take the easy way out of situations. Sometimes, in fact, I make things harder than they need to be. A few weeks ago I was performing on the river boat and got very hungry. We have access to the "Calliope Deck", which has snacks available at all hours. I grabbed a sandwich, but once I saw the label I couldn't eat it. I had to put the sandwich back because the label said, "Ham and Chedder".

My thought process was that if they can't spell the ingredients of the sandwich, it wouldn't be good to eat. I opted for the "Special Sandwich". I don't know what was in it, but at least everything was spelled correctly.

I think I had twelve sex dreams last night. And YOU were there, and YOU were there and YOU were there....

I always wonder if Snow White had just that one dress. I can't remember if she wore other outfits in the movie. I would hate to be on a show like LOST, where you couldn't change into different interesting costumes for different episodes. I think they should allow the actors to play around with funny costumes. Maybe one of the survivors could get hit on the head with a coconut and there could be a wacky dream sequence with chicken suits and nun costumes and stuff like that.

Today I am seeing a therapist. Some of you are probably shouting "THANK GOD" right now. The thing is, he specializes in gay and lesbian issues, relationship issues, depression, and Attention Deficit Disorder. We are so MFEO.

I am a depressed gay man with relationship issues who has Attention Deficit Disorder. If I don't score some kind of prescription from this session, something is seriously wrong.

I am finally at peace about being single. Now that Nick Lachey is available, I see why I had to go through that heart-wrenching breakup.

Sorry if this post gave you conversational whiplash. I can't focus today because I keep thinking about my trip to Tokyo next month (which I really need to write about) and my trip to the Gay Games next summer in Chicago. And pigeons. Of course I'm thinking about pigeons. And Snow White and therapy and Nick Lachey and one or two other things.

If you can't come up with a comment about at least one thing in this post, I don't know what to tell you, Scooter. Think of something witty.

Friday, December 02, 2005

Letter from a Friend

For today I just want to share a tiny part of a beautiful letter I received from a dear friend. I've never met him, but he warms my heart deeply. Here is what Eclecticon has to say, and, if you are facing tough times, I hope this helps you stay strong.

Stay deep, Toddy. Examine the vast new territory that has been opened up to you by this relationship. I don't know how I know this, but I sense that there are great new magical places that you can now explore that would have been closed to you a year before. However, for this, you need courage, stamina, a sense of adventure and your friends. Oh, and love. There's lots of that around you. Notice it. Cherish it.

At first, this will be painful, but observe how plants flourish - particularly blooming plants like roses. At the end of every blooming season, you want to rid them of all their greenery. Strip off the leaves. Denude them of all those gorgeous leftover blooms. Pare back branches that steal away precious nutrients. Why? Because it's time for the core of the flower - the roots and the stem and the branches - to grow, get stronger, reach out, and prepare for ever new greenery, leaves, flowers, a new season of spectacular glory.

This is you, Toddy. Life is stripping things away. It is so severe it feels as if the very flesh is being flayed from your bones. Stand tall. Observe how life must now rebuild your core, make you stronger, make you MORE. Draw strength from it. Meditate on it. Find a quiet place where you can sit for a long time (which, for you, would be about two minutes, forty seconds), and feel the earth under your spirit. Look inside yourself for the new lands. What is it like, there? Try to see the newness. Clear away the scars of this last year so that you can explore yourself.

This is not a process for the weak - but you are not weak. However, it is also not a process for loners. Your strength, Toddy, comes from Auburn Pisces, the Math Whiz, the Handsome Prince, Auburn Aries, the Toddtender, Pony, Chopper, (Makers Mark!) - all those people who have remained constant in your life. Ground yourself in their love and their presence. Go to each one, look in their eyes, search out their love, and then GIVE. Pour out your love and affection to them. Give them hugs. Kisses. Where appropriate - gropes. Admire them. Let them know what you love about them and then seek to encourage them in all the ways you have been denied. When they seek to give to you, gratefully accept, and then pour the blessings of their love back upon them. Take these new lands, find the wells and the lakes and the oceans and channel them into fountains of joy, love and peace.

You can do it, Toddy. I know you can.

Seek magic. It's there. It's in you. It's beating upon you to be let out.


Thursday, December 01, 2005

Road Trip

I will be on a road trip today.

Actually, my body will be in a training for the next two days at work. But in my mind, I am on a road trip. I'm in the backseat of a warm car on a rainy day. Three friends are on the trip with me, but I'm sitting quietly in the backseat staring out the window.

Music is playing on the car stereo, and everyone has a hot cup of coffee (I'm spiking mine with a little flask of whiskey). We're all at peace and enjoying the warmth of our friendship and mutual love.

The others comment on landmarks and billboards. They chat about people back home, and they talk about all we'll experience at our destination. But I'm silent as I reflect on all the people who have come and gone in my 39 years.

I think about Jackie, the girl I almost asked to marry me. I wonder how she got on with her life after I disappeared. Now I understand what she must have felt. Having someone disappear is the worst feeling.

I think about CT and our seven years together. I think about Kody, the first boy I kissed. I remember my crush on Patrick and my love for Pony and my fascination with Michael. I think about Jose and Brad and Henry and others who wanted me to love them and, although I tried, I never could.

I think about my family - both biological and chosen. I think of AP and AA and the way I've been welcomed into their home. I think of my friends at work, Ms. Karma and Juju and The Math Whiz. I reflect on The Handsome Prince and the intricacies of our friendship and all we've been through. I think of "The Mad Sheep" - my college buddies. Their influence in my life still runs through my every thought and deed.

As the rain falls outside the car, I think of Tim, who died a few years ago. Tim was a friend from college, younger than I, who died from a brain tumor. He was taken too soon. He bought me tickets to see Les Miserables and went with me to the show and laughed at me when I started crying at the opening chord of the overture.

I think about the guys I knew for one night - the ones who never even knew my last name. But I remember the way I felt with each one of them. I think about the many, many people I've met through Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven - the ones I've met in person, the ones who e-mail, the ones I've talked to on the phone. So blessed, I am.

Of course I think about Thor too. I think about how he made my heart feel - so different from anything I've known before, and I don't know if anyone will make me feel that way again. I look out the window and wonder where this car is headed. I am on a road trip to somewhere unknown. Maybe somewhere on the other side, I'll meet up with Thor again. Maybe I won't ever see him again. But he's here now in my heart, along with hundreds - literally hundreds - of others I love and always will.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Hot Toddy in Two Acts

Act One

Now that Thor and I are no longer together, I'm working on letting go, and it's so hard. I haven't been there for my friends the way I should be, because my soul is wrapped up in the fetal position.

Auburn Pisces' latest post made me feel so guilty. I have been going through the motions. My body is there, but my spirit is hiding. After I read Thor's letter, in which he asked me not to call him anymore, I helped my friend AP hang Christmas lights. I wasn't really there with her; I was just a tall robot performing a task.

The other night she was upset, and I handed her a cigarette. Then I went into her room to try and clean up the mess that had upset her. I wasn't very successful. I had just returned from a night at the bar, so my feeble attempt didn't accomplish much. Next, I went downstairs to my bedroom and threw myself onto my bed, where I cried and screamed at Thor. I muffled my face with my pillow, but later learned that AP heard me anyway. While she was upset and hurting, I was in my room feeling like I would rather be dead than deal with my pain. Like her, I feel I have nothing to give.

For the past two days, I've tried to change that. I have dressed in new clothes and worked out and tried not to drink too much. Friends tell me I seem lighter and stronger than they've seen me in months. I am making an effort to pull myself together. I invited lots of friends to join me for happy hour yesterday, and we had a great time. I cracked jokes, flirted, played, danced my special "Hollaback Girl" dance, and made sarcastic jabs at Pony. (He can take it as well as dish it out)

Act Two

The Professor has been away, so I had to catch him up on the story of my being dumped. His thoughtful words and kind heart moved me. And I found myself getting real, in spite of my resolve to entertain the masses.

As an actor and blogger and musician and writer, I've learned to find my value in my ability to entertain. You performers will understand what I'm talking about. If I am not moving you emotionally, I'll worry that I'm not doing my job. So, when I heard a song playing in the bar that made my heart hurt, I began to falter. My act started to bomb. I started to lose my shtick. Between that damn song (Late nights, playin' in the dark and wakin' up inside my arms. Boy, you'll always be in my heart and I can see it in your eyes. You still want it. So don't forget about us...) and my honest talk with The Professor, the facade began to crumble, and so did I.

Mz Karma saw it first. The tears came to my eyes, and she started to reach for me. I shook my head, because her kindness would only make me melt, and I quickly walked away from my friends. I want to make them proud. I want to inspire them. I no longer want them to see me cry. I don't want Thor to know I cry about him, and if he ever talks to my friends again or reads this blog, he'll find out I'm not doing so well. I know he wants me to get on with my life.

I came back and sat down again. I made a couple more jokes, but they were weak. I sat back and watched friends who are couples and friends who were flirting with each other. I tried so hard, it was almost as if I could physically exert myself to have fun. But my energy ran out and another song began playing, (Here comes the rain again
falling from the stars, drenched in my pain again, becoming who we are. As my memory rests but never forgets what I lost, wake me up when September ends)

Before I knew it, everyone was leaving to go to dinner. I said that I wanted to be alone. As I was hugging Pony goodbye, I began to cry in the arms of this man who has been a constant friend to me. A year ago I was crying over him. Now I find myself crying in his arms over somebody else.

I'm trying. Really, I am. I don't want to sit around and mope. I don't want to hurt anymore. I agreed to go on a date with a certain Volkswagen. Actually, he invited me to sleep with him, but I insisted on dinner and a movie.

Monday, November 28, 2005


Last night The Handsome Prince and The Math Whiz wanted to take me out and get me drunk, but they couldn't because I was already drunk.

It was great to be with my two former housemates again. We had a great time out on the town. I had to apologize to The Handsome Prince because he shared some concerns with me a few months ago, and I hardened my heart towards him because of it. I let our disagreement drive a wedge between us, and I've missed him terribly.

The reason that I love him so much is because he understands me. He told me that I have nothing to apologize for, and he told me that he wished things hadn't turned out as he'd feared.

I doubt this will do any good, but there are a lot of speculative comments regarding my HIV status and the status of a couple guys I've dated. I wish this would stop. I have never posted anything about the status of any of my boyfriends, so anything you have read here about that subject have been anonymous comments by people who have no firsthand knowledge of anything. The only time I've addressed HIV and how it impacts my life personally is in this post.

Please remember that comments can come from both friends of mine and from people I've never met. Sometimes I share the opinions of my commenters, and other times I couldn't disagree more.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Thanks and Penguins

I appreciate all the supportive comments. Also, the e-mails I've received have meant so much.

I received a letter from Thor yesterday, and he explained what is going on with him. For the first time in months, he poured out his heart to me. It was a very hard letter for him to write, and it was hard for me to read. There is a lot of love between us, but things are complicated right now. He is a beautiful man, and my love for him has not diminished one bit. It's just that he needs time to figure some things out, and he doesn't want (or can't) cope with the emotions with me in the picture. Sure, I feel rejected, but I do not and will not believe he means to hurt me in any way. And who is to say what the future will bring? Life is full of surprises.

In the meantime, I'm living day by day and thinking of interesting new ways to meet people. Here is the note I handed a boy at the bar Wednesday night:

"Hi, Michael. I think you are hot. Do you want to dress up like penguins and play basketball with me sometime?"

Don't question me. It is a special new screening process I'm implementing.

By the way, Michael never did call. And I thought everybody liked basketball.

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

What Would Renee Do?

A year ago I found myself wondering what Renee Zellweger would think of me.

Today I was thinking about Renee and her ex, Kenny. Renee handled the end of that relationship with class, and what's good enough for Renee is good enough for me. Besides, do any of us really want to endure another round of weeping and gnashing of teeth on this blog? I sure don't.

So, to make Renee Zellweger proud of me, I'll just say that I am single again. It was not a mutual decision, but the relationship I was in seemed to be a different one than the one Thor was in. When he left, everything changed, as I feared it would. I love him very much, but one phone call a month (maximum) doesn't make me feel special.

Since I no longer have any way of contacting him, I can't even talk about this decision with him. Yes, it hurts like hell and I feel lied to and fucked over (okay, Renee probably wouldn't say that, but I'm doing my best here...)

I guess the situation was summarized quite well last evening when I had this conversation with a friend who recently popped back into my life...

W: So, does this mean Thor and you are no longer together?

HT: I guess so.

W: Oh. So, does that mean we can have sex?

HT: I guess so. Sometime.

W: Cool.

HT: But I don't want a relationship.

W: Perfect.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Truth #1

The truth is, I have not heard from Thor in over a month. The last time we spoke, he shared devastating news with me, and none of the letters I've written him since have been answered. I have tried to support him through the difficulties he's facing, but yesterday I accepted the fact that Thor has not been truthful with me. Hopefully, some of what he has told me over the past six months has been true. It would be nice to hold on to at least some of the sweet loving words he said to me.

Details will be shared when I feel ready, but I find it so interesting that my friend Verdi left this comment for Thor last week:

*** A NOTE TO THOR ***

Dear Thor,

This is rather forward of me, and not very proper, but ~ I can't help myself. I hope you'll forgive me. . .

Likely you are aware of this fact, but - you are the envy of the Western world, man. Perhaps you are a shy person; perhaps you aren't entirely thrilled to have Hot Toddy express his love for you here, almost daily. . .

BUT, Thor, you've had more beautiful prose-poems addressed to you, here, than Hadrian ever stamped coins with his lover's ( Antinous' ) visage ~ so many lovely temples, Todd has built, just for you.

Does it, or would it, or could it, detract from any of these things if I
( meekly, humbly, on bended knee ) observed that, in Todd, you've got the MAIN CHANCE, that so many of us never got, and never will ???

I know, I know - cut the Mahler. ( I am always guilty of saying far too much. ) But there's a wonderful man, out there, who loves you with all his heart, who will hold your hand through everything that could ever happen, care for you in the most unselfish way, and simply be your BEST FRIEND, until the house lights go down.

I know, I know - I'm always ( always ) too bold. I am so weak, Thor, that I've even said a word. What will happen, will happen. What you WANT, will happen.

But, unlike so many of us, you CAN have what you want: even if it's as little as a perfect friendship. ( And that's no small thing. )

I am just 40. I have had no luck in love, and no chances ~ which is OK, because I have so many stellar friends. But, unless you really, really, love opera, please don't turn out like me, Thor, singing, under your breath, every day, "Chi mi frena in tal memento ?" ( "What, what, holds me BACK, in this precious moment ?" )

That's all I have to say - and I've said far too much ( unconscionably too much ). I simply hope that you'll have the kindness, and charity, to understand that these are words
( however vain ), from a distant friend. Given in care. For friendship, or for love: please take your perfect chance.

Abashedly, from afar,
"Verdi" ~ xoxoxoxo

Thor, I love you like an ocean. I wish you could accept that kind of love.

Monday, November 21, 2005

My Enemy

"You are not as unhealthy as you think you are!"
-- Nurse Practitioner to Hot Toddy as I sat crying in her office over my recent weight gain

"We have to get you past this idea that all of your relationships will only last two months."
-- Thor to Toddy on one of our dates

"Why do you think you are so unworthy of love? "
-- Juju to Toddy on a break at work

"No, you are not pathetic for buying ready-made mashed potatoes at the grocery store. "
-- Auburn Pisces to Toddy after my trip to the grocery store

"You are such a loser."
-- Hot Toddy to himself

Last weekend I walked into a local bar, and a table of guys whistled at me. Some of them were acquaintances, and some of them were strangers. But I felt bad inside, because I thought they were being sarcastic. I thought they were mocking me. Later the same evening this guy who likes me "that way" said he envied me, because all those guys (he was one of them) had whistled at me when I walked in. I didn't tell him that I had misinterpreted their whistling and thought they were making fun of me.

A couple years ago at Pride, a guy in the bar squirted me with a water gun. I felt bad inside, because I thought it was an act of hostility. It wasn't until later that day that I realized one of my friends was squirting boys he wanted to flirt with. It occurred to me then that perhaps the water gun incident had been an act of flirtation.

Yes, I'm damaged goods. (Personally, I think everyone is damaged goods, but there are way too many people out there who won't admit it.)

I'll admit it. I've got issues.

This morning I went for a check-up and, after being weighed, realized that I have fallen off the bandwagon. Actually, I have fallen off the bandwagon and tumbled down a steep embankment into a sewage ditch but not before splitting my head open on a boulder. But, unlike the lady in the commercial, I've fallen and I can get up. I will get up.

My new doctor is very compassionate. She reviewed the concerns I'd listed on the form I'd filled out upon checking in for my appointment. She asked about my heartburn, and I told her that I haven't been going to the gym and that my heartburn usually goes away when I'm getting enough exercise. We agreed that my renewed commitment to fitness could be the key to feeling better. Then she asked about my depression, and I told her that in the past year and a half I have found myself feeling heartbroken about every three months. Then I told her that I am currently in a long-distance relationship and that I am having difficulty eating and, sometimes, sleeping. My voice started shaking. She pushed a box of Kleenex towards me, and I lost it. If I am hurting and a person shows me kindness, I'll most likely break down and cry.

I told my doctor that I've been avoiding a checkup for a long time, because I didn't want to know how much weight I'd gained. I didn't want to admit how angry I am, because I have let myself go. If I don't eat regularly, I don't lose weight. On the contrary, my body stores fat at an incredible rate if I do not keep my metabolism up by eating frequent small meals. For the past couple months I've been drinking almost every day and frequently skipping meals. And for the past year, I've barely worked out at all. As a result, I feel like a failure.

As I told my doctor that I plan on committing to myself and to the gym and to becoming healthier, she was supportive, but still seemed rather surprised. "Todd, you might need to lose a few pounds, but you are not as unhealthy as you seem to think you are."

Story of my life. Granted, it is no mystery to me why I don't feel good about myself right now. But, damn it, why must I be my own worst critic? I kick myself when I am down. I tear myself apart for the smallest things. I am surrounded by people who love me and give me their hearts, and all the time I feel that I don't deserve it.

Why would you read my blog/be my friend/be my boyfriend/want to kiss me/burn me a CD/buy me a drink/call me/write me/love me?

Inside of me, there is a "Hot Toddy". Inside of me there is also an "Ugh, Todd". They don't get along well. Hot Toddy is the kissing bandit who will kiss two boys at the bar even if they are standing two feet from each other. Hot Toddy loves to make everyone laugh. He makes fun of himself, but doesn't really mean it. He dresses great and smells great and feels great.

Ugh, Todd is a different story. He sucks. But he's going to go away now. I have the workout clothes ready to go today, and the stack of Men's Fitness magazines at my desk must weigh 5 pounds. That may be too heavy for weak lazy Ugh, Todd to lift today, but in a week or two Hot Toddy will tackle it with no problem.

Thursday, November 17, 2005


Sometimes I struggle with my ego. It is huge, and I find that there are days when I really think too highly of myself. It is really hard sometimes to be smarter and so much better looking than everyone around me. That is why I post Defirmations on my bathroom mirror and say them out loud every morning.

This morning I was chanting, "I am a gross monster and am virtually undateable" to myself and instantly felt my self-esteem lowering to an acceptable limit. But after I put some molding cream in my hair and threw on my new Michael Kors coat, I started to think I looked pretty good. So I picked a different Defirmation and started chanting all over again.

"I am getting fat and old. And I drink far too much," I said vigorously and quickly followed it with another mantra, "People don't really like me. They tolerate me!"

By the time I left the house this morning, I was a wreck. I felt completely average and realized I am no smarter than anyone else except my supervisor.

Those Defirmations are really doing the trick. Not once today have I walked into a busy street expecting traffic to stop for me. I rode in the elevator with two ladies at work and did not assume they both have a crush on me. One of them probably does, but not both of them.

If you are a raging egomaniac, you may find this little Defirmation helpful the next time you're feeling that all-too-familiar sense of entitlement:

God, grant me the serenity to accept the fact that I can change nothing, the courage to walk out of the house looking as hideous as I do today, and the wisdom to remember where my office is since I am such a stupid idiot.

God, this is a dumb post. I suck.
(See?! It's still working!)

Tuesday, November 15, 2005


Don't you hate when you feel like going to happy hour but you can't because you have to go put on your rhinestone-studded white tux and sing classics of the 1950s on a riverboat on the Columbia River?

I know we all go through that same scenario from time to time. I just needed to vent.

Friday, November 11, 2005

My Guy

Six months ago you blew into my life with all the force of a tropical storm. You shifted everything around inside my heart. You told me I'd done the same for you, and you promised we'd always be together. You held my hand, tickled my feet, stole my heart, and won my devotion. You took me hiking and washed my feet before you put my shoes back on.

For me, there has never been a man like you before. I can't and won't stop loving you now, and there will never be anyone like you in my life again. You have more of my heart today than you did yesterday or the day before that.

Thor, you and I have been through so much in six months. The logistics of being with you have never been easy, but loving you has been as uncomplicated as breathing. Seeing forever is hard sometimes when you are so far from me. But sometimes, I feel you so close that I can't believe you're gone. Last night I came home from my singing gig and hurried to the bedroom, half expecting to see you waiting for me in bed. It wouldn't be unlike you to surprise me that way. It almost seemed odd that you weren't there smiling at me when I walked into the room. Maybe you really were there with me after all. Sometimes, I can still feel you sending me your love.

I can't imagine my life without you, and I promise to stay strong for you. I know where I stand in your heart, and you know where you stand in mine.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Bitch Slapping Auburn Pisces

She acts like she's such a humanitarian.

But you should see her at CC Slaughters demanding more boy porn, hooting and hollering for Patron Silver (which CC's now serves), and trying to steal handsome barbacks away from me.

The barback-stealing is what riles me most. Yes, I am spoken for, but if a person knows that I find a certain new barback to be extremely appealing, that person should step off and allow me to bask fully in said barback's attention. The other night as Auburn Pisces' flirted with MY barback, I felt my face growing red with anger. Moments before, my barback and I discussed adopting babies together someday. Sure, he's straight, but he'd make a good father, and I told him so.

Then this hussy - this Jezebel - this woman who claims to be my friend and is also my landlord started flirting shamelessly with the father of my adopted children.

After a couple minutes of restrained silence, I finally found my voice.

"Hey, Auburn Pisces. For the first time since I've known you, I'm seriously considering bitch slapping you."

The weird thing is, she didn't seemed threatened. Not in the last. Maybe she really does have ovaries of steel.

Monday, November 07, 2005


Last night I had a dream that I took a bunch of free popcorn from CC Slaughters at happy hour and put it in a big white bucket. Then I put Saran Wrap over the bucket of popcorn and brought it home. I lovingly placed the bucket of stolen happy hour popcorn on top of my dresser so I could eat it later.

I think I may go to the bar too much. Does anybody want to take a stab at interpreting this dream?

Friday, November 04, 2005


Two days ago I was walking through the lobby of the building where I work and saw the most beautiful male specimen. The specimen was so well-muscled and immaculately groomed, that I decided to further study him. I examined my specimen from head to toe, but primarily focused my examination on the subject's torso. I walked by several times and noticed that he was speaking to one of my co-workers in a language that is foreign to me. The topic was possibly construction or digging or some type of manual labor, because my specimen's biceps flexed as he made extremely manly rugged sexy gestures.

There are a limited number of reasons to linger in the lobby. First I pretended to listen to voice mail on my cell phone while trying to hide the lust manifesting itself in my eyes and one other place. Then I strolled over to the stamp machine a few feet away and simulated window shopping for postage stamps. I contemplated the myriad of choices in the stamp machine and tried to seem as if the decision-making process was baffling me. I reached into my pocket for change, making some minor adjustments while I was down there, and proceeded to count out money for stamps.

The two men were still talking, and my beautiful male specimen stood in a very macho stance, legs apart and t-shirt straining against his pecs. My specimen continued talking about digging or building things or, possibly, the idea of wrestling me to the ground and making me submit to his will. I knew my charade had gone on for far too long, so I left the lobby. I only glanced back seven times as I headed for the elevators.

If I were capable of subtlety, the entire examination could have remained completely undetected. Nobody would ever know of my obsessive interest in the beautiful male specimen.

Today in the bathroom at work, I chanced upon the co-worker who had been chatting with my foreign muscleman. That is a complete lie. I was walking to the mailroom, saw the co-worker going into the men's room, and followed him in with the sole intention of finding out more about the guy he was chatting with the other day.

"Hey, was that your brother you were talking to the other day in the lobby?" I asked nonchalantly, wiping drool from my mouth. I had that question planned two days ago when I made the decision to research my subject further.

"No, he is - - "

I interrupted my co-worker in an attempt to seem like I had a reason (other than lust) for asking the question. I didn't want to be too obvious. "Oh, I thought he was your brother. Because he kind of resembles you. And because I heard you both speaking - what was it - Russian?"

"It was Romanian," said my co-worker.

I then started asking random questions about the origins of the Romanian language, listed a detailed description of my own passing familiarity with Swedish and French, and tried to figure out how to get to my point: Who is this beautiful male specimen!?

I washed my hands, but I couldn't leave the bathroom without answers. So I actually started preening at the mirror like a Hollywood starlet in a 1940's film. I brushed my hair back from my face, ran a finger across my eyebrows, and then brushed my hair back some more. It was as if I were sitting at a vanity in a black and white movie talking into the fake mirror that is really the camera. All that was missing was cold cream and a towel wrapped on my head.

I had already completely messed up my chances of getting back to the subject of my beautiful male specimen with my inane talk of foreign languages. So, I did the only thing I could think of. I backpedaled.

"Anyway. He looked like he might be your relative or somehow related to you."

"I know him from church," said my co-worker. I choked back a sob and left the bathroom heartbroken. I knew that asking if I could go to church with my co-worker sometime would be, well, a little too transparent. As if I weren't completely see-through already.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Singing on the Queen

Yesterday when I posted, I thought it would be obvious that #5 was the lie, but I guess there are other parts of my life that are equally unbelievable. All those other things really happened. I retract what I said about Jaden. She is not a hoot. She is actually, "a little spitfire". (Better, Jades?)

Tonight I shall mount the Queen of the West and sing classic songs of the fifties and sixties. That, too, is a part of my life that seems a little bit unbelievable, even to me. Sometimes when I am on the riverboat in my rhinestone studded white tux jacket dancing and singing "Love Potion No. 9", my life seems a bit unconventional.

Today my heart feels big and sore, trying to push right through my skin....

I miss Thor so much. We talked a couple days ago, and at least I got to tell him I love him and hear him say those same wonderful words to me. I know there is nothing anybody can say other than "hang in there", but I wish there were magic words to make me stop feeling so sad. Maybe singing tonight will help me to put my focus on others instead of on myself.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005


So much has happened lately at CC Slaughters. Guess which one is the lie.

1. I met Jaden, my BFF, when she came to Portland. She is a hoot. A hot hoot. But my BFF wouldn't let me call her by her name. Kept making me call her Nancy or Lorraine or something. I didn't cooperate. I was, like, "Sorry, Jaden, for calling you Jaden. From now on I will be sure to call you Lorraine, Jaden."

2. Clayton came up to me while I was playing Word Dojo and apologized for throwing a beer at me and Thor when he saw us kissing. He said he wants to be friends. Then said that I deserve to die alone. Then he said he didn't really mean that. Then he asked me not to call him Angry Bear anymore. Then he said he loved me. Then he told me that he knew I had a thing for Thor from the moment they both took off their shirts in The Vortex to see who had better chest hair. Ummmmmmm.....

Sometimes it is hard to think of something to say in reply to certain things people tell you.

3. I met The Professor, who reads Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven and sent me an e-mail letting me know he was living in town for a while. He teaches at a local college, has a fabulous head of hair, a sparkling personality, and a hot boyfriend. We are so much alike, obviously. Well, except for the professor part.

4. I threw Smarties at Jesus on Halloween night. He didn't notice, which really caused my faith to waiver.

5. Somebody offered to buy me a drink, and I said no.

Spot the lie and win a prize. You must be present to win.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Hello, Dolly!

Oh, man, I am so glad to have my car back. Dolly has been my car for four years, and after my accident I had to drive a PT Cruiser for 12 days. Knowing as little about cars as I do, I mistakenly told people I was driving a Pacer.

Cruiser/Pacer. Whatever.

I remember the day CT took me car shopping. I had a bankruptcy on my credit and had no money put away. We found Dolly at a car lot that specialized in financing for losers like me. I did not even have a down payment, and there is no way in hell my partner would ever give me money, so the car dealer accepted my CD player as a down payment. I didn't tell them the CD player didn't actually work. Only the radio and cassette player.

I think that buying that car was the start of my independence from my partner. Once I could get in the car and drive to karaoke or rehearsals, I made new friends. I spent more time away from CT. I spent more time around other guys who treated me as if I were not completely undesirable. Dolly was there the night I kissed a boy who kissed me back passionately and made me think about what I was missing with CT.

I missed Dolly's accessories, lovingly placed over the rearview mirror. The Rosie the Robot keychain, the armband Thor wore on his bicep, the hawaiian shirt air freshener. I missed the way Dolly's CHECK ENGINE light comes on for apparently no reason, which has been a concern of every single boyfriend who has ever been in my car. I always enjoyed telling them to just ignore it the way I do. It made me feel so "Holly Golightly".

Looking back, I realize that my car has had several different boys in her passenger seat. She likes Thor the best though. Dolly, who enjoys a threesome as much as anyone, especially liked the way Thor would push me up against her trunk when he kissed me goodnight.

It feels so great to be reunited with my old friend Dolly. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder. If my reunion with Thor feels this good, I won't be able to stand it.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Hot Toddy is Fed Up!

I am staging a sit-down strike at work today. Nobody is really paying any attention to my protest, however, because my job pretty much entails sitting at my desk anyway.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Yeah, so yesterday I wore clogs to work, cause I'm a dork. Then I fell off my clog. I was standing up at my desk, and my foot slipped off my clog. I fell backwards and landed in my chair. I started laughing and told Juju, "I just fell off my clog."

"That is the gayest sentence I have ever heard," said Juju.


No Offense

Auburn Pisces' daughter, Auburn Aries, often starts her sentences with "No offense or anything..." and then finishes her sentence with her opinion that she thinks boys are messy, or something like that. She is very concerned that I'll be offended, but I never am. I think it's cute.

Maybe I should have started yesterday's post with a statement like, "no offense or anything, but I am going to write a story about a woman who took the whole Rosa Parks thing a bit too far..."

I am not sure how anyone could think I was disrespecting Rosa Parks, since the post was not about her. But, for those who said I was irreverent, I will give you that. Reverence is not my strongpoint. I was yelled at by the high school principle for dancing down the church aisle at my high school graduation ceremony, which was held in a large auditorium owned by a religious organization.

I don't feel like I need to write a tribute to Rosa Parks in order to honor her courage. I doubt there is much I could add to the millions of voices on the Internet applauding and honoring her. I have nothing unique or interesting to say about her passing. So I made something up that, in my opinion, was satirical. It was in no way a comment on the life of Rosa Parks or the contributions she made to our society.

Anyway, no offense was intended. Sometimes I offend without even trying. Maybe I should have written about how I fell off my clog yesterday.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rotten Rosie

Rosa Parks passed away yesterday at the age of 92. Her laudable act of civil "disobedience" will be remembered forever. On a more personal note, my great aunt Rosie Parker also passed away yesterday. She was very inspired by the life of Rosa Parks, and she modeled herself after that great woman.

When I was a child, my Aunt Rosie used to take me to church with her every Sunday. We rode the city bus to the Presbyterian church a couple miles away from her little yellow house each week, and all the people on the bus knew her by name.

Aunt Rosie, known by many as Rotten Rosie, once refused to give up her seat to a white man on the city bus. I was so proud of her that day. I remember her grabbing his white cane and hitting him over the head with it several times. She was a wonderful woman.

Rosie wasn't afraid of anything. Like Rosa Parks, my aunt defied authority in spite of incredible opposition. When we rode the bus, my aunt refused to give up her seat to pregnant women and elderly people. Once she tripped a veteran as he was trying to board, and she also made mean faces at small children until they cried. Sometimes she would throw peanuts at the back of the bus driver's head in an attempt to distract him and cause a collision.

I remember the way Rosie would strike up conversations with widows on the bus and steal things from their purses as they chatted about the good old days. Rosie had a Bingo habit that wouldn't quit, so the stolen money came in quite handy. She financed several overseas trips for the two of us with her Bingo winnings.

I remember the flight to Fiji very well. Aunt Rosie refused to give up her seat to everyone walking down the aisle. They were just heading to their own seats, but she refused to give up her seat to them just the same. In fact, she refused to give up the two seats on either side of her and had the whole row to herself all the way to Fiji. God, I admired that woman. I remember her refusing to put her seat in the upright position for landing too. She also kept her tray table down and refused to stow her carry-on baggage safely in the overhead bin. Oh, and she slapped the flight attendant for "looking at her funny".

So, my Aunt Rosie is gone. Yesterday she was stealing some Girl Scout cookies from a little girl selling them in front of the grocery store, and a security guard attempted to interfere with my aunt's civil rights. She bludgeoned him with her shoe and was arrested. This caused an incredible strain on her poor heart, and she died peacefully in the back of the police car. We will all miss this woman very much.

Rest in Peace, Rotten Rosie.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Going Inside

These are trying times. Yesterday we had a tragedy at work, and last night I was in a car accident. I was struck on the driver's side pretty hard, and it shook me up quite a bit. I'm okay. Poor Dolly, my car, is not.

It feels as if the universe is trying to tell me something. Now is a time to just shut up and stop babbling. I need to go inside myself for a few days and be quiet. I need to reflect on what is important. What do I want to hang onto? What do I need to let go of?

I'll return soon. The great thing about people who read Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven is that I always know I'll come back to lots of love and support. I adore my blog friends.

Take care of yourselves and each other!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Crazy Faith

I know you don't understand, when I tell you I'm going to wait for him to come home. You want me to stop putting my life on hold. You wish I would just let go and move on. But I have crazy faith in him. I don't know how to describe my situation other than to say I am incapable of taking back my heart.

When you tell me he's going to disappear, I remember his promise to prove you wrong. "He'll be dancing at our wedding someday..."

You tell me I give too much of myself. That I trust when I shouldn't. That I deserve better.

How can there be something better than loving someone so much that even the bad times don't cause me to bail out of the relationship? With him, I have no instinct of self-preservation. I'm on a plane in a thunderstorm ignoring the safety instructions from the flight attendant.

I'm not looking for the emergency exit. In fact, I fear that falling out of love with him may just be the end of me. It is belonging to him that keeps me going lately.

You shake your head at my stubborn commitment. Sometimes, when you aren't looking, I shake my head too. But I won't let you see that, because I fear that you'll use that against me. "A-ha! You doubt him! You're afraid!"

Sometimes I'm afraid. What if I put all my hopes into him, and he fails me? I guess I'll take that pain over no hope at all. Of one thing I'm certain...this is me. This is what I do. If I love a man, there will be nobody else. No back-up plan. No side bet. This is it for me, until he tells me otherwise.

Christmas is coming. And, after that, the dancing.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Back to the Aladdin

Tonight Auburn Pisces and I are going to see Dar Williams in concert at The Aladdin.

She is one inspiring performer! I've always loved a great songwriter who can write lyrics that move me. She is one of them.

I also love the songwriter who wrote these lyrics:
"You take the good, you take the bad, you take them both and there you have the facts of life, the facts of life..." but that wasn't Dar Williams.

Anyway, I'm heading back to The Aladdin, and this time I promise to be quiet during the opening act.

Monday, October 17, 2005


I've been waiting to announce my new job title for a couple weeks, but the time has come. Hot Toddy is now officially a Cruise Ship Singer!!

Starting this week, I'll be performing classic songs of the 50's and 60's on steamboat cruises touring the Columbia River.

I went to check out the venue on Friday night with the other Sh-Boomers, and I was very impressed with the beautiful boat. I'll be singing bass in a quartet, so I've been practicing along with a video tape of the show. The Handsome Prince performs with the group, and he recommended me to them as a part-time replacement. For the next couple months, I'll be quite busy as there are several performances requiring my services. The money is quite good, and the group is a lot of fun.

Last night I was doing laundry at Auburn Pisces' house, and I was practicing one of my solos from the show. Little Auburn Aries came to chat with me and walked in as I was singing, "Now I don't have plans and schemes, and I don't have hopes and dreams, I don't have anything, since I don't have you..."

Thinking I was singing about Thor, which I guess I sort of was, Auburn Aries said cheerfully, "You have ME, Toddy..."

"Oh, I know sweetie," I said, giving her a little hug, "I was just practicing a song. But I guess it does sort of fit my life right now!"

She giggled and said, "I can still feel Thor's spirit here, can't you?"

My eyes welled with tears. I told her that I could, indeed, feel him as if he were standing right there with us. When she saw tears in my eyes, she asked me how old I was.'

"Thirty-nine," I said hesitantly, thinking she was going to tell me I was too old to cry.

"Tell me thirty-nine memories of Thor," she said.

I was speechless. This girl is smart and quick and very compassionate.

We spent the next several minutes telling each other our happy memories of a man we both love so much.

Remember when he took us for ice cream? Remember the water fight we had in the front yard? Remember how he would laugh in that silly way? Remember how we all went on a date to the restaurant?

When Auburn Pisces walked into the room, her daughter prodded her to participate in our game. "Mom, we're listing 39 things we remember about Thor. You think of one."

"I remember how he used to leave dirty dishes in the sink," she said laughing.

"No! Good ones! We're listing good memories," she chided.

We continued talking about Thor, and I glanced over at our picture on the fridge. He's got his arms around me, and we're wearing our cowboy hats. One of the happiest moments of my life is captured forever in that picture and is stuck to AP's fridge as a reminder of how good love feels.

Some of the memories we shared made my heart ache, but I've got to hand it to that kid, she knows how to be a great friend. She gets it from her mother.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Pub Quiz

Last night my friend, Apollo, called me to say hello. I was sitting in my car (and had been for at least 20 minutes) listening to a sad song.

"Are you crying?" he asked.

I told him that I was having a hard time at the moment and couldn't figure out what to do with my evening. I didn't feel like being alone. I didn't want to cook dinner and eat it by myself, but I am so sick of hanging out at bars just to avoid loneliness.

"I'll meet you for drinks in 20 minutes. And make sure you walk to the bar. You need to get your body moving. It will cheer you up!"

An hour and a half later, he called to let me know he wouldn't be able to make it because his boyfriend wanted him at home. Damn couples.

Anyway - I went to a local pub and participated in the Thursday night pub quiz. Most teams had 2-6 people. I was a team by myself, and I came in second to last place. I was beat by a team called "The King Shits of Fuck Mountain".

Can't get much lower than that, huh?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Pagan Frivolity

I can't stand to look at that post from yesterday for one more moment. I was seriously spun up yesterday. About everything!

Yes, it's true. I sometimes blow things out of proportion. For example, my birthday drunkenness. It was explained to me by several people that you are allowed to have too much to drink on your birthday. The bouncer who carried me out of CC Slaughters that night said it is almost mandatory that you overdo it to the point of not being able to walk at least once in your life.

Jaden (BFF) called last night to tell me to stop being so dramatic or she wouldn't be my locker partner next year when we graduate to middle school. Actually, she threatened not to hang out with me when she visits Portland this month, but the warning still hit home. You can find my birthday drunk dial to Jaden here. And I have absolutely no memory of making that call.

Apparently I talked to Sunney One for about 15 minutes that night too. I told her the story of the guy ripping off his shirt and giving it to me. Then I told her the same exact story, word for word, a second time.

I'll try to tone down the guilt a bit. It's no fun, I know. It's just the way I was brought up and some of that guilt still rears its ugly head from time to time. Maybe I can borrow some of Auburn Pisces' spirituality.

Auburn Pisces helped me curb my Christian Guilt with her laughter. She cracked up as she told me the story of trying to get me into the house with my jeans hanging down around my boots. I managed a smile when I heard that I actually fell off the bed while sitting down on it. If you want her rundown of the evening, you can read it here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Uff da...

It's the only expression that fits the way life is going right now. Uff da!

I'd like to thank my Norwegian ancestors for providing me with this phrase.

And, once again...


Monday, October 10, 2005

A New Direction

Seeing so many warm birthday wishes in my comments makes me very happy. Thank you to everyone. I was honored to get phone calls from blogger friends all over the world too. I am feeling the love!

I celebrated my birthday with some beautiful people.

Auburn Pisces made breakfast for me and these great friends:

Tim, the Toddtender, who has a big warm heart and makes me feel loved.

Pony and his boyfriend, Chopper, who never let me down. Ever.

Juju and Metro, with whom I feel an unbreakable bond of friendship and love.

The Handsome Prince and his boyfriend, The Math Whiz, who have seen me through some of the hardest times I've ever faced and, somehow, have never given up on me.

And Auburn Pisces, who should win some kind of award for loyal friendship, even when the payback is much less than she deserves.

It was wonderful to be with people who love me.

Auburn Pisces and Pony got me a CD player for my car, which was totally unexpected. AP and I went to get it installed Saturday afternoon, and I am loving it!

It is at this point I should probably stop writing instead of inflicting my truth on the world. Many bloggers know how to put a positive spin on their lives and leave out the dirty details and shameful indiscretions. I'm not one of those bloggers.

I would be lying if I said the day was everything I'd hoped for. Everyone knows that my heart's desire was a surprise visit from Thor. I knew he probably couldn't make it back to Portland for my birthday. He told me so himself. But I still had this not-so-secret hope....

Sometimes drinking too much can be kind of funny. Cute, almost. Sometimes drinking too much can be disgusting and very, very unfunny. Saturday night I had more to drink than I ever have before or ever will again. The drinks were free, and everytime I turned around, I was being handed another whiskey. I drank to the point of not remembering anything the next day. By 11:15 p.m., I was gone. It was ugly. I was ugly. I'm told I had to be dragged to Auburn Pisces' car and poured into it.

It is embarrassing to admit that there was a certain point where Auburn Pisces nearly called 911, fearing that I had alcohol poisoning. She stayed with me until she was sure I'd be okay, but she tells me I had her very worried. When I woke up the next day and had no memory of leaving the bar or being put to bed, I was scared and remorseful. A huge chunk of my evening was missing.

I want to apologize, but I'm not sure who to apologize to. Maybe to myself? I am questioning how I got here? When did I become so reckless? When did I stop caring about my life?

If anything good came out of the whole mess, it is a new resolve to make some changes in my life. I want to be healthy and happy. I don't want to become this tragic figure I seem hell-bent on becoming. I want to change my direction and start on a new path.

I want to be alive when I'm 40.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Not 39 (yet)

Tomorrow is my birthday. I only want one thing.
Guess what it is?

Thursday, October 06, 2005


Last night at CC Slaughters, I overheard two guys talking about me. Pony was being asked some questions about me, and I heard him say, "When it comes to boyfriends, you could do worse than Todd."

I smiled smugly and secretly to myself as I sipped my Long Island Iced Tea gaily (how else would I drink it). My legs were swinging happily as I sat on my bar stool. I think I started humming a happy song in my head. Something like, "La, la, la. I am so hot. I am the hottest boy in the w-o-o-o-r-l-d. La, la, la..."

Then I heard Pony continue...
"You could do a lot better than Todd..."

WHAT!? I couldn't believe it.

I sat there wishing I hadn't overheard the conversation. I wondered why Pony would tell this guy he could do a lot better than me. I mean, not that I'm available anyway, but it would have been nice if Pony had said something kind about me.

Then I heard the guy say, "That is so sweet of you to say!"

I muttered to myself as I slurped my Long Island Iced Tea. "Yeah, I'm sure you think it's sweet. He's telling you I'm not good enough for you. Bastards. Both of you. I hope you both die. I hate you so much Pony. I wish I had never gone out with you. You are dirt. You are the dirt on the bottom of a pile of dirt."

"Todd, did you hear what Pony said about you!?"

I answered that, yes, I had indeed. "I believe Pony's exact words were that you could do much better than me," I snarled.

Pony looked at me in shock. This is not a new look. He has given me this look many times, usually right after I do or say something incredibly stupid. I wondered if I had just said or done something incredibly stupid. Probably, I thought to myself.

"I said he could do NO better than you," Pony said. His inflection indicated there was a silent "dumb ass" at the end of his statement.

"Oh. That changes everything. And I was so mad at you, Pony, wondering why you would say such a mean thing about me."

Pony shook his head at me. "You think I would say that about you?" (Another silent "dumb ass"). I realized then that if I am going to ever make it as a spy (I'm not), I'm really going to have to brush up on my eavesdropping skills.

I decided not to pursue the conversation further. I turned my attention back to my Long Island Iced Tea, and began singing verse two in my head...

"La, la, la. You could do no better than me. I am the hottest boy in the w-o-o-o-rld. Everybody wants m-e-e-e-e-e-e. Nobody's better than me. Thor is the luckiest man alive. La, la, la."

Tuesday, October 04, 2005


1. My mother, upon finding out that I am going to Tokyo in January, asked if I could hand out fliers on the street for a new business she's involved with. They plan on launching their product in Japan next year, and she thought it would be good if I could start getting the word out.

2. Marcus, who had drinks with me in Las Vegas at Hamburger Mary's, made a point of telling me he was straight. He spent the rest of the night taking me to local gay bars, buying me beer, rubbing my back, and pouting when I said I didn't want to go dancing at a gay nightclub. He drove me back to my hotel and asked if he could join me inside for a nightcap. A straight nightcap, mind you, but I still said no.

3. I stood in line behind a lady ordering lunch at a local deli. She asked for a Cobb Salad. "Do you want everything on that?" asked the girl behind the counter. "I don't know," replied the woman. "What do you put on a Cobb Salad that I don't like?"

Monday, October 03, 2005

Don't Let Anyone Steal Your Sausage

Dreams can be so crazy. I can't stand sausage thiefs.

Last night I had a dream that my friend, Christian, died. The thing is, I don't know anybody named Christian. But coping with his death was traumatic in my dream. Christian had given me some sort of Chinese engraving made out of jade. Maybe I had that dream because I talked to Kiks yesterday. (No, he's not dead. He's Chinese)

The best dreams, for me, usually involve a visit to Paris. I have Paris dreams quite frequently. In many of these dreams I spontaneously decide to hop on a flight to France some Friday afternoon and fly back to the states on Sunday evening. In one dream the trip was so impulsive that I didn't have any clean clothes for the journey, so I brought my laundry bag to Paris and decided to just wash my clothes when I got there.

My favorite dreams, lately, involve just being with Thor. Sometimes the dreams happen while I'm awake, like when Auburn Pisces was doing a house blessing ritual for Juju and Link Friday night. While participating in the ritual, I had such a strong daydream about the day that Thor and I move into a home together someday.

I don't always remember the details of my dreams about Thor. I just wake up with a feeling of safety, and I know that we were together in my dream. When we're actually back together in our waking hours, I'll never take his companionship for granted. Just being in the same room with him will make my world so much brighter.

"In dreams and in love there are no impossibilities."
-- Janos Arany

Friday, September 30, 2005

A Negative Post

My HIV test results came back negative today. Negative can be such a positive word.

Gay men experience some things in life with more regularity than other people do. For example, we probably go to more Margaret Cho performances and Sound of Music sing-a-longs. That is why some of us crave community with other gay men. We wish to share our common bonds and talk about the things that "nobody else understands".

Most intelligent people realize that HIV is not just a concern for gay men. On the other hand, statistics show most people who contract the disease do so through male-to-male sexual contact. So, when you're a man who sleeps with other men, it's important to get tested regularly. Even if you hate it. Even if it scares you and stresses you out. Even if you are "pretty sure" you've only engaged in safe sex.

I called the results line and gave them my confidential patient number. My heart pounded as I sat there imagining how my life would change if a voice came on the line and said that my results were positive. Or if they said I had to come in for my results which, for me anyway, would mean the news was so scary they wanted to make sure I was locked in a private room so they could help me through the ordeal.

For the past week, I've tried not to think about getting my results today. And I almost completely forgot to call. But I called the results line and gave them my number, and now I was sitting at my desk waiting to hear...whatever. I stopped breathing while I waited for the results. And, after two hours - okay, 30 seconds - but it felt like two hours, I was told that my results were negative.

I exhaled deeply and said, "thank you." I hung up the phone and closed my eyes and tried not to cry. I was relieved, but I also thought about all the men who call the results line and hear bad news. I thought about friends and past boyfriends who are HIV+, and my heart went out to them. They are strong people, and they have conquered much and survived more adversity than many of us. I only personally knew one friend who died of AIDS, and that was over a decade ago. I thought of him today too. Kerry, I hope you are at peace, and I send you much love.

Most days I wish my boyfriend would call me more often, and I wish I could lose weight, and I wish I made more money. Today, I'm just happy with things the way they are. I'm feeling really positive about being negative.