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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.