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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...

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

I Feel Fat Tuesday

Cliff Notes for this post (in case you don't have time to read it or can't stand the chaos):

1. It is Mardi Gras.
2. World of Warcraft impacts our vernacular.
3. Conference calls can be frustrating.
4. Something about the L Word and writing novels. Can't make sense of this one.
5. Buy Popular on DVD.
6. Indigo Girls are great, but I really love The Rock.
7. It is Mardi Gras.

It's Mardi Gras. Woot.

The Woot is sarcastic, in case you didn't know. (Do people say "Woot" in real life, or is that just something gamers do when they score awesome items in online games?)

I'm just not into I Feel Fat Tuesday this year. Is it the broken toe or the quitting smoking or the fact that it is Tuesday? Why, oh, why can't we have Samedi Gras (you have to know French to get that).

I came to work feeling aggro. Now, aggro is a term that I first heard from The Math Whiz. I have also heard Auburn Pisces use the term frequently. In World of Warcraft there is a danger in making monsters "aggro" - which means they are provoked to attack.

Anyway, I'm aggro. I called in for a conference call this morning and had to hang up because two ladies on the call couldn't figure out how to log in to the virtual meeting room. After 15 minutes of the poor presenter attempting to help The Stupids, I had to hang up. I figured that, even if they managed to log in, I'd still have to listen to their idiotic questions for an hour. That was just too much for me to handle this morning.

I watched The L Word last night on Comcast On Demand, and the show got me thinking I should write a novel. Jenny the Psycho is going to have her novel published, and I see no reason other than my extreme laziness that I shouldn't write a novel. I wish I could find a novel template in MS Word.

File > New > Template > Novel.dot

"It was the best of times, it was the really most awesome of times."

No, really. If there was a Word template I'd totally write a novel.

Speaking of The L Word, I wish that band, Betty, would never ever be on the show again. I hate them and I hate their stupid theme song. And don't call me anti-feminist because of my hatred. I love women, whether they are gay or straight or transgendered or bisexual, but not if they are too stupid to log in to a conference call.

Seriously, I think lesbians make excellent singers. Melissa Manchester, I mean Etheridge (I always get them mixed up) rocks and, by the way, Melissa's wife was so hilarious as Nicole Julian in Popular. (And if you haven't purchased Popular on DVD yet, what in the hell are you waiting for? How much more do I have to rave about this series before you will understand that you must see it!?)

So, what I'm trying to say is...

Um. Oh, yeah. I love lesbians except for the band Betty, who may or may not be lesbians. I don't know and I'm not going to check and see if they have a website cause I don't want them getting any hits from me. Back to my point about loving lesbians. I love the Indigo Girls so much I would marry them. And, yes, I know it is Indigo Girls, but I think it sounds so stupid to leave out "the". And, yes, I know they would probably not be interested in marrying me. And, yes, I know I could only marry one at a time, so I would probably marry Amy Ray first and then divorce her and then marry Emily Saliers. And then I'd divorce Emily (she'd write a sad song about it) and marry The Rock, and we'd live happily ever after. The legality of a marriage between us would probably not even come up because who in their right mind is going to challenge The Rock on anything? I mean, if he loves me he loves me, and it's nobody's business but ours. Just leave us alone and let us enjoy our beautiful partnership and steamy sex life.

I think I meant for this post to be about Mardi Gras, but it looks like other things came up. There seems to be another committee meeting in my head today. I think it might be a full-fledged summit meeting, actually.

Anway, happy Mardi Gras. Woot.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Hot Toddy's Future

I wish all I had to do in life was play GTA San Andreas, WoW, Dice, Cards and Final Fantasy. I can't wait to be in a nursing home so i can have nothing but free time.

Friday, February 24, 2006


I'm really glad I've been reading some books and articles about Buddhism, because I need to learn how to detach more.

Now that I am a non-smoking Buddhist jock (and I'm changing my name to Esther) I have learned to accept things as they are instead of wishing for a different outcome. I must accept the fact that I will never walk again.

Okay, that was a bit dramatic. What I meant to say is that I must accept the fact that I will never play softball again.

Okay, what I mean is, I will not play softball for six weeks. That is how long the orthopediatrist or orthopediatric or orthopedic guy said I have to wait. That pisses me off so bad. I bought a new glove and cleats. I shake my fist at the heavens and shout, "New glove and New CLEATS, you evil gods! Does that mean anything to you!"

I find myself asking once again, what would Renee Zellweiger do? She probably would have caught the ball, so this wouldn't be an issue for her.

Well, I am trying to look on the bright side. I can elevate my foot and play World of Warcraft this weekend.

I have a new iPod to use at the gym and, although I am not supposed to get on the elliptical trainer, I can safely use the stationary bike, according to Ortho Man. (I can also safely use stationery.)

Damn it. Well, que sera sera and c'est la vie and all that crap.

I've never broken a bone before, so I'm sure I'm whining way too much about this. At least it wasn't my femur or tibia or fibula or, as Matt might suggest, my vulva bone.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006


I just got back from getting my foot x-rayed. My toe is fractured. In two places!

I know, can you believe it? This would never happen to me if I were in a play. If I get injured in a play, it is usually something that happens to my character, not to me, the actor. Like the time I played a guy whose uvula started bleeding because he was giving a blow job to a very well-endowed ex-con.

Maybe I should play a jock instead of trying to be one.

To be honest, I am kinda bummed. This means I can't practice this weekend with the guys, and I obviously need the practice since I can't manage to catch a pop fly and prevent it from breaking my damn toe.

I have been steady and consistent in my workouts. I don't know when I'll be able to get back on the treadmill now.

The cute x-ray technician couldn't believe it when I told him that I crushed my toe by missing two pop flies that landed on my toe. He suggested I switch to a different sport, like swimming or something.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Jock Update

It is Sunday night (this is my very first time blogging from home) and I need to put ice or heat on my toe. Not sure which. I guess if I am going to become a jock, I need to learn when to apply ice and when to apply heat.

My toes is injured because softballs are, apparently, highly attracted to my toe. If I had worn my glove on my foot today at practice, I would have caught lots more balls.

Oh, and batting. Let's not even discuss batting. I can't bear to think about it.

But, do you know what I'm not too bad at? Throwing! One of the guys at rehearsal - - sorry - - practice, said that I have a good arm. That gave me a glimmer of hope, let me tell you.

The Toddtender connected with just about every pitch he was thrown. I was proud to be his friend today. He said he was proud of me too, and I beamed as I told him that I had a sports injury! My toe is going to be so sore and my toenail might even fall off. Then I showed The Toddtender the grass stain on my sweats from where I dove to get the ball. (I didn't dive to catch the ball, mind you. I dove just to get it off the ground where it was sitting.)

So, as I pointed out my dirty grass stain with a flourish (think bend and snap from Legally Blonde), The Toddtender started laughing so hard. He told me that most jocks don't point out the stains on their uniform during a game.

Okay, okay. I won't do that during games. But today was just rehearsal.
Practice, I mean.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


You should have heard me cussing while I was setting up my "tranquility fountain" at my desk yesterday. It is the Envirascape Rock Garden (with Light) model that Juju gave me a couple years ago when we were roomies.

I told Juju that I was really going to need the fountain by the time I got it set up. I kept dropping the rocks on the floor, and then I would hit my head on the desk as I picked them up. (Must. Have. Cigarette.)

I had to go fill up a vase with water so that I could put it in the fountain, but once I got the vase under the faucet in the tiny bathroom sink, I couldn't get it out. Unless I angled the vase, but that caused almost all the water to pour out of the vase. I tried this three times before the nicest man at our whole company (Randy, the old man who wears the Hot Rod Flame shirt on casual Fridays - Juju adores him!) came into the bathroom and said, "How are things, Todd?"

Toddy, don't say "fuck you". Don't say "fuck you". It's Randy, the nicest man at our whole company. For god's sake do not hit him in the face with that vase. Just reply quickly and leave the bathroom and nobody will get hurt and/or summoned to HR.

"Fine, Randy," I said cheerily as I left the bathroom with a teeny tiny bit of water in my vase.

After much struggling and grunting and cussing, I got my lovely relaxing fountain set up. It is supposed to improve concentration by masking distractions. In my opinion, they need to manufacture a model for people with ADD who are trying to quit smoking. I picture it as sort of a fire hydrant or small geyser, because that's what it takes to mask distractions from me right about now.

The light is supposed to provide a dramatic effect. Honey, if you want drama just walk by my cubicle and say hello. There is not a lightbulb in the world big enough to outshine the drama of Hot Toddy these past four days.

As I sit here meditating and listening to my tranquility fountain's gently trickling water, I find myself coming to a new level of awareness. Namely, I am very aware that I need to pee.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Hot Toddy Smells Good

I can't stop smelling my fingers today. They smell so clean and so good. Not all smoky and nicotine-y.

I hardly ever talk about the fact that I've smoked for the past ten years. Why? Mostly to avoid being chastised. I've always hated when people preached at me. "Smoking is so bad for you. You should quit."

Honestly, that makes me want to blow smoke in the person's face more than it makes me want to quit smoking. I've seen it happen to my fellow bloggers. They mention smoking, and suddenly the comments are full of reprimands. Who needs it?

I have smoked since the summer of 1995. I quit a couple times (usually because I liked a non-smoking boy), but I always went back. I won't go into exactly why I started, but I will tell you why I haven't stopped before now.

I never stopped smoking because I thought it would be an act of conformity. I thought it would be like surrendering to the forces of good when I wanted to play with the forces of evil. I thought if I smoked I could be bad.

Actually, I never really wanted to be good. When I was a kid, I was labeled a good kid and always felt like such a goody two shoes. In grade school if I played kickball at recess the other kids made a rule of No Cussing. I know that people find that hard to believe, and now that I'm an adult I'm quite amazed that I had kids like that at my school. But it's true. They considered me to be someone you should never cuss around. Like I was an f-ing (just kidding) nun or something.

My sister always called me "Mary Ingalls" (the obedient and well-behaved sister on Little House) and my cousins called me "The Crown Prince", because it seemed I could do no wrong. When I started smoking, it felt really wrong and really fun. Smoking made me feel rebellious. Independent. Uncontrollable. See, I was "dedicated" to God by my parents when I was a baby. I grew up in church and signed a contract when I was 14 saying I would never drink or smoke in my whole life. I went to a college where smoking and drinking wasn't allowed. Neither was dancing. Neither was going to class without socks. I didn't make a break from organized religion until 1995, about the same time I burst out of the closet.

When I first met CT, who did not smoke, I had only been smoking for a couple months. It would have been so easy to quit. I asked him if it bothered him that I smoked, and he said, "No, I actually think you look cool when you smoke." So, of course, I didn't quit. I guess somewhere along the line (about 3 years later) CT decided that I no longer looked cool when I smoked. Now I had a three-year habit. It was so hard to quit, but I did.

I started smoking again after about 6 months. I missed my cigarettes too much. I started feeling too cleancut and proper and way too good. I wanted to stay bad. I loved the feeling of smoking behind CT's back. Secrets are fun, and kind of bad. I know this to be a fact because in all the movies I've seen where there is a secret, all the hot kids run around looking so sexy and intriguing until someone who witnessed them killing someone turns up to inform them that they know what they did last summer. That's so hot.

Lately, something has changed in me. It is one of those significant shifts in perception that happens, for me, about once a decade. I'm entering my fourth decade this October, and so far I have only experienced three truly significant shifts in perspective my whole life. The first shift occurred when I came out for the first time to a couple friends and realized I was no longer isolated and alone. The second major shift happened years later when I left religion behind. The third time I felt such change was when I found the courage and strength to leave CT.

My fourth shift (oh, god, it just occurred to me that Oprah would call this an A-Ha moment) happened at the end of last year. I have no doubt that I will never be the same. I had to give up someone so precious to me, and it nearly killed me. I'm not exaggerating when I say that. I almost didn't make it out of the dark, but I did. And over the past few months, I've become so strong. Inside I can feel it. I am really strong. I am safe. I don't need to fear the future or fear being alone.

After what I went through last year, giving up smoking is nothing. I've already given up a much harder habit, my need to diminish myself to make others appear stronger.

Lest I give the impression that this whole journey is easy, let me tell you about my morning. As I got ready for work this morning, I looked forward to stepping outside with my mug of coffee and a cigarette, when I suddenly realized I quit three days ago. Damn.

On the way to work I felt so irritated. I wanted to pull into a convenience store and buy a pack of American Spirit yellows so bad. Instead I just sang along with the CD Matty sent to me. But I had to replace some of the words of the song by singing swear words. I was so tense I wanted to chew through the roof of my car. I don't know how else to put the feeling of nicotine withdrawal into words. (When I passed the restaurant where I celebrated someone's birthday with him last August, I felt my heart sink. I realized once again that I've already survived a Herculean task much more difficult than giving up cigarettes.)

When I got to work today, I climbed several flights of stairs up to my office. I think its four flights, but who's counting? I started taking the (70) stairs on the first day I quit, and, though I'm not sure how many there are (70), I know it feels like there are more stairs going up (70) than coming down. Maybe if I substitute a bad habit with a good one, this will be easier. I climb the stairs about four times a day, so I'm not sure how many stairs that would be (560), but it must be a lot.

I have been going to the gym a lot more, and I have been so disciplined about what I eat. I will be damned if I gain weight from this. I used smoking as an excuse to keep from gaining weight for so long, but I really hope that if I exercise more and eat healthier, I can avoid excessive weight gain. Anyway, if I think about gaining weight it makes me feel like I need a cigarette, so let's change the subject.

So now it is lunchtime. I just finished, actually. This is when I would normally go outside and light up. I don't feel the urge right now. I honestly don't. Who knows when the next one will strike (happy hour), but I'll be ready when it does. I can go back to CC Slaughters once these urges pass.

Maybe people will start calling me The Crown Prince again, but, I'm not worried that I'll conform or be too good. I have realized that I can find plenty of ways to be bad without abusing myself. The best part about quitting (besides how good my fingers smell) is the release from shame. For the past few months I have felt frustrated with myself and kind of ashamed because I was a smoker. I never felt that way before, but something changed. I found myself looking away from people who walked by me as I smoked on the sidewalk. It felt like I was publicly urinating or something. In the elevator (not the stairs) at work I would think, "God, I bet I smell awful." I became so conscious of the way my fingers smelled just like an ashtray.

It has only been three days, but I already feel much better. I'm looking people in the eye. I'm taking the (70) stairs, I'm working out, and I'm winning a battle that, for many years, I've been to scared to tackle.

I am still fighting the urge to walk up to people and say, "Smell my fingers."

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Help. I'm Surfing and I Can't Log Off

Yesterday I wrote that sappy valentine for myself, and I'm sure you're reading it going, "Yeah, yeah, we know. You love yourself, Hot Toddy. Trust us. That is quite apparent. If you love yourself so much, why don't you just go have sex with yourself?!"

Well, I did. Over and over - sometimes gentle and sometimes rough, and I will have sex with myself a couple more times today, I'm sure. After all, it's Valentines Day.

But here is what I want to talk about now. (Don't worry, it is still totally about me. No danger of my raging egomania dissipating anytime soon.)

The new computer arrived yesterday, and I got it all set up in about two hours. It only took me two calls to Metro and one call to Pony! Setting up the wireless internet connection was a bitch, but I figured it out once I got some information from Comcast.

Last night I followed some of the links you all suggested. Oh, and I received my very first chat, and it came from Phil.

Greg, I think that Zombo is amazing. I love it. You can do anything there. The only limit is yourself.

I am completely and hopelessly addicted to Pandora. I've created several radio stations to listen to on my computer. My radio stations so far are: I'm So Gay, I'm So High, I'm So Cool and I'm So Deep. I can e-mail the stations, so send me an e-mail if you'd like me to send you one.

Here is where I need some help. After downloading three or four music players last evening, I am now totally confused. I can't figure out which one I should use to rip music and which I should use to play my playlists. I think I need to delete at least one of them and start over.

Monday, February 13, 2006

My Valentine

I am just writing to say Happy Valentines Day. I've never written you one before, and I'm sorry it has taken me so long.

I have searched for many years hoping to find you, and I am so happy that I'm finally getting to know you. You really are an incredible man, and there are so many who look up to you. You are talented and beautiful and kind.

Those who know you best realize that your love is authentic and truthful. You live your life exposed and vulnerable. If you get hurt, you never let it stop you from giving your heart again and again. It's just the way you're built. You never give up on love.

I know that for a long time, years and years, you haven't thought of yourself as anything special. You have longed to be somebody else. Anybody else. In fact, I remember for many years you hated yourself. Really and truly hated yourself. I'm so glad those days are behind you. I'm glad that you are finally being kind to yourself, and you've figured out that you can't neglect your own happiness in your efforts to make everyone else happy.

And you do make people happy. You know you do, because you hear it almost every day. Sometimes you still don't see it, but in your heart you know it's true. You are uniquely gifted with a talent for making people feel good inside. You can make them laugh when they're hurting, and you can make them feel loved when they're lonely.

You have looked all over the planet for a person that you can love with your whole heart. It has been a lonely and frustrating search.

Finally, you're understanding that nobody is more worthy of your love and affection and respect than you.

Happy Valentines Day, Hot Toddy!

From, Hot Toddy

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Something's Coming

I have never owned a computer before. Well, there was the green iMac that CT bought for us in 1999, but most people agree that doesn't count. All of my blogging, surfing and e-mailing takes place throughout my workday when time allows. I've written two plays, several comedy sketches and a couple articles at work over the past several years.

So you can imagine my excitement at receiving the above notification in my e-mail today? The luxury of having a computer at home will change my life.

Auburn Pisces told me to stop feeling guilty about charging it. "You're a writer, for god's sake. You need a computer!"

Soon I will be able to access some great blogs that are blocked by our firewall at the office. (I have no idea why these particular blogs are blocked and others aren't)

I'll have 24x7 access to e-mail and instant messaging. I will be able to upload pictures from the digital camera I'll eventually buy. I can finally get an iPod so I'll understand what all the fuss is about.

I'll be able to check out personals, profiles and porn whenever I want.

I'm going to do nothing but download music (Kiks sends me music all the time and I can never listen to it!) and watch media clips for days on end.

World of Warcraft awaits. Life is good.

What are some sites I should visit? Share your favorite link with me! The more obscure, the better...

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Liza and Me

Juju and I just had a really girly talk about hand lotion as we sat at our desks and moisturized with Philosophy's "Be Somebody Extra Rich Body Cream". Recently Juju used some kind of lemon shea butter stuff on her hands and told me it was divine. I asked if she wanted me to gay it up a bit for her so she'd feel like she was talking to a girlfriend. "Grrrl, I'm gonna get me some of that," I said. Immediately after I said it I cringed and said, "Yuck, I hate acting that way."

When I first auditioned for the sketch comedy group that Juju was part of, I told her I didn't like to play gay. It makes me feel uncomfortable to act flamboyant. I'm not bothered (anymore) by men who are flaming queens, but I hate acting that way.

I'm absolutely 100 percent gay. I am not sexually attracted to women at all - no, not even Angelina Jolie or [insert name of hottest woman alive here]. However, there are some areas of my life where I probably don't seem gay (whatever that means!) to people. Recently, I wrote about a woman in Tokyo who could not identify me as one of the two gay guys in our group. I don't have an incredible eye for fashion. I don't think I'm a very snappy dresser at all. I have never knitted anything. I never wrote a blog post about my anticipation over Brokeback Mountain's release. In fact, I haven't seen it yet. I don't own any Barbra Streisand cds (but I know how to spell her name). I've never seen Valley of the Dolls.

Still, I do fit a lot of the gay stereotypes. First and foremost, I love men. I love biceps and chests and the way men smell and the way they talk and walk. I love how my face and neck get a little sore from making out with a bearded man. I can be aroused just by hearing a deep male voice. So, that's pretty gay, I'd say.

On Sunday, after watching the game, I did one of the gayest things ever. I watched Liza Minnelli on Inside the Actors Studio. Oh, and I took notes.

There, I said it. I took notes on a Liza Minnelli interview. Allow me to explain. She talked about the way her mother (Judy Garland, for those of you living under a rock) taught her to rewrite memories. Judy's philosophy was that if a memory is bad, you can just rewrite it. When the interviewer (James Lipton for those of you living under a rock) asked if Liza agreed with that way of thinking, she gave a great response. She most definitely agrees with that way of thinking and said something like "they're your memories - you're the one who has to live with 'em - rewrite 'em!"

I thought about the memories I'd like to rewrite and spent a lot of time reworking some things in my head. There are things I wish I had done differently in relationships. There are so many times - too many to count - where I wish I had spoken up to people and stood up for myself. Why did I never say, "Enough. You are not being open with me. I'm sharing everything with you. I'm being truthful and authentic, and if you can't do the same this relationship won't work."

Well, if I could rewrite it, that's what I would have said. "Oh, you love me? Why don't you show it in your actions and not just your words?" I guess I thought I'd be rocking the boat if I spoke up. I thought I'd be left alone if I said too much. Well, guess what? I didn't say enough, and I still ended up alone. I claim to be truthful and authentic, yet I haven't been honest about the times I don't feel happy in a relationship. So, I've been a liar too. But that will change. I may not be able to rewrite history, but I can have a hand in writing my own future.

All that from a Liza Minnelli interview. That's so gay.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Superbowl XL

We watched The Diet Pepsi Superbowl Extra Large yesterday at home. In attendance: My bartender buddy from CC's who now has a blog name (JR), JR's boyfriend Vidal, Ren, Auburn Pisces, and her daughter Auburn Aries. Pony made a surprise appearance later and also left early due to a rather serious-looking hangover.

Remember when I said I am becoming a jock? Well, watching Superbowl Extra Large was a big part of my transition from sports ignoramus to sports enthusiast. So I took the whole thing more seriously than I ever have before. Still, I couldn't help making fun of the corporate sponsorship of every single aspect of the game. That was so ridiculous. "Welcome to the George Foreman Grill Pre-Game Show! Coming up next, the Massengill Kickoff Show. Stay tuned for the Dunkin' Doughnuts Halftime Show!!"

I kept waiting to hear, "Ladies and Gentlemen, please rise for the Cingular Wireless Star-Spangled Banner!" Then the crowd would cheer as the Burger King Pittsburgh Steelers entered the field to play against the Capital One Seattle Seahawks!

I wasn't the only one complaining. Vidal (guess what he does for a living?) noticed that none of the announcers dressed properly. "Ew. Look at his tie. Oh my GOD, look at HIS tie. CHRIST ALMIGHTY EVERYONE HAS SUCH HORRIBLE TIES!!"

I didn't respond. I am a jock and was just watching the game. Being a jock, however, does not mean I am no longer gay. I almost broke my neck looking up at the screen when the commercial came on that started with the words, "14 and a half inches longer..." - I have no doubt that people watching the game in gay bars across the nation erupted into laughter when that commercial aired.

Sometime during the second quarter, I saw an electronic Yahtzee game sitting on the end table next to me. I casually picked it up and started poking at the buttons. About 25 minutes later, I could feel Pony staring at me from his position next to me on the couch. He began to taunt me. "So, I guess you are done being a jock now?"

"I am playing Yahtzee. That is a sport," I snapped.

I announced later that I only played Yahtzee for one quarter, so it didn't count as not being a jock. Pony pointed out that the fact I was watching the game, not playing it, might cause my disqualification as a jock. I disagreed. You have to start somewhere. Maybe I will play in a future Superbowl. Maybe Superbowl Double XL.

During Mick Jagger's performance I heard Ren incorporating some lyrics about Viagra into the song, "Satisfaction". I couldn't make out everything she was singing because I was focused on my third Yahtzee in a row thank you very much!

Anyway, knowing that I was outscoring the Seahawks, I returned to the game sometime around the Lipton French Onion Soup Third Quarter. Other than a couple more breaks to answer the hilarious drunken text messages I was receiving from The Toddtender, I watched most of the game. At one point I even out-butched my friend Auburn Pisces. It seemed completely backwards that she was flipping through a Pottery Barn catalog while I watched the television screen. Admittedly, the catalog is mine, but that's not the point.

By the time I get to the Gay Games this summer, I'll probably have a subscription to Sports Illustrated. But I'll still get the Pottery Barn catalog too.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Crazy People

This morning Auburn Pisces would not stop whistling "Moonlight Bay". Just the first two lines. Over and over and over. I think she might be going crazy.

Since the woman lost her job, she's taken to torturing me any way she can. She tries to make me late for work every day. This morning she tried to bribe me to be late to work by leaving a cinnamon roll on the dryer in my kitchen (pretending it was from Auburn Aries, her daughter).

She also cooks these delicious meals (last night it was roast beef and potatoes) and then tries to force me to eat while the food is STILL HOT! How am I supposed to eat solid food before I have a few drinks after work to unwind? I tried to explain to her that my happy hour lasts until about 8pm. So, if she has dinner ready at 6:30 it is just going to have to get cold as I finish up my whiskeys.

Speaking of whiskey, I enjoyed my Makers Mark immensely on Wednesday night at CC Slaughters. I have been drinking less whiskey and am reserving it for nights when I feel confident I will not dissolve into a sobbing mess of tears. Anyway, the new bartender (I think Aub has named him "Sweet Face", so I'll use that for now) has taken to giving me a tumbler full of olives everytime I sit down at the bar. This is because I mentioned one night that I was hungry enough to stick my hand into the garnish tray and dig up a fistful of olives to shove in my mouth (such a class act, I am), so Sweet Face scooped some up and made me a little cup of hor's d'oeuvres. I honestly do not know why those guys at CC's treat me so well. I really adore them. They are such good guys. And the things they put up with from me...

For example, on Wednesday (oh, right, that's where I was going with this whole thing - Wednesday night...) one of the bartenders (who really needs a special blog name) had the night off, so I got to sit with him on my side of the bar. I had a great talk with him. At one point I was talking with a crazy old man who came from "Minnienapolis, where the people are nicer". Now, I have some family in Minneapolis, but I have never heard of Minnienapolis - it might be near Minneapolis - I don't know - but that's not the point. The point is that my bartender buddy, sitting on my right, pulled me away from my conversation with the crazy old man on my left.

"Toddy, I need to talk to you for a second," he said to me.

"Excuse me crazy old man from Minnienapolis," I told the man on my left.

My bartender friend then quietly informed me that he really didn't need to talk to me. He was just "saving me". I explained that I didn't need saving. I enjoy talking to people, crazy or not, and, plus, I needed blog material and figured the crazy man from Minnienapolis might be provide me with fodder. So, I turned back to continue my conversation with Crazy and discovered he was gone. But he left behind his pants. I'm not kidding. There was a pair of sweatpants sitting on the stool, but no crazy man inside of them. I wasn't sure what to make of this, but at least I had my blog fodder.

Later, another crazy man who was very drunk, fell off his stool. My bartender friend got up to help him up and to let him know he was cut off. I watched as my friend counseled the crazy drunk man. He suggested the guy drink some water and sit in the bar for a while to sober up. I began to feel sorry for my bartender friend, because he had to deal with drunk customers on his night off. So I brought my bartender friend's cocktail over to him. When I tried to hand him his glass, he said, "Toddy, I love you, but can you take that away please?" Looking back, I guess I didn't use my best judgement. Probably not a good idea to bring a cocktail to someone who's convincing a drunk guy to quit ordering drinks.

Later, The Toddtender showed up to work [insert Hallelujah Chorus here], and I told him what had happened with the crazy drunk man. The bartender sitting next to me said, "Toddy, you have fallen off your stool before too." I was mortified.

"I have never fallen off my stool," I said firmly.

"Yes, you have," agreed both bartenders. Everyone was looking at me. I had to respond but didn't know what to say. So, in my best Shirley MacLaine, I retorted, "It TWIRLED UP".

You know you're at a gay bar when you quote Postcards from the Edge and everyone gets it.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Dating Buddha

"If we live by truth, we may have pain, but we will always rest securely within ourselves"
- Charlotte Kasl, if the Buddha dated

The end of my relationship last year has been emotionally harder than anything I have ever dealt with. That statement surprises even me. After all, I've survived a gay childhood, adolescent hell, and I even escaped from a cult. But, I've never known anything like the crushing blows of the last several months. As I've mentioned before, climbing out of this hole takes a lot of hard work and determination, but I'm reading a book that is helping me tremendously as I work to resolve the confusion, bitterness and anger in my heart. I would heartily recommend it to anybody who is trying to understand how to seek, and, hopefully, find, a deep and spiritual love.

I haven't yet finished the book, if the Buddha dated, which was recommended to me by my therapist, but I have already had a wonderful epiphany. I realize now that I just need to date Buddha.

No, I guess that is too lofty a goal. I guess I need to just live truthfully and seek a relationship with a truthful man. I understand now what I am really looking for in a partner, and I jotted down a couple of the thoughts that really hit home for me.

"We create our suffering through our attachments and demands that things be different than they are."

That really is what is causing my suffering. Everyone gets hurt, but we don't have to suffer the way we do if we can learn to let go. I've been through other breakups, but I haven't understood why this one has caused such intense suffering. Now I am beginning to understand that I have not accepted the truth that my love was not who he pretended to be. I am not able to accept that he was the kind of person who would deceive me. I could never have believed he would hide things from me. I never hid things from him and just assumed everything he told me about himself and about our future was absolutely truthful. Well, until I accept this person and this situation without wanting things to be different, I will continue to suffer.

"While we have preferences, the minute we start insisting that people and situations be different, we create inner turmoil, anger, hostility, sadness, and so on."

I wanted to spend the rest of my life with him, and he told me he wanted the same. Now I am beginning to understand that this was a path of sensual pleasures and romantic fantasy. At the end of the path was a door that promised beautiful moments and a fantastic future on the other side. But when I opened the door, there was a dark void. The door actually led to nothingness, and my eyes could not believe my dream wasn't on the other side. My heart sank when I saw the empty canyon before me.

I turned questioningly to my lover. He would reassure me as always. He would tell me about our house and our kids and our dogs and how much happiness we would share. But, suddenly, he was no longer there by my side. He had vanished. I began to scream that this was not happening. There was no way this could happen. He promised to be there and said that he'd prove to the world that he was sticking by me when he and I danced at our wedding.

But now, he is gone. I am alone.

No, that is where I have been wrong. For so many years I have loved my partners fearfully because of this false notion that I am completely alone. As I work to grow and heal, I'm learning that somewhere in my heart I have believed that I'm destined to end up alone. I've never really understood, until recently, how much this story I've told myself has informed my life.

I am no more alone than any other soul on this earth. We share so much. Every person on this earth has had to live every day of their lives, with all the ups and downs and in betweens, just like I have. Nearly everyone around me has at one time felt sorrow at being deceived. They have felt the excitement of a first kiss or experienced butterflies when touching someone beautiful.

I've never really told the story of what happened. It is so painful for me to think about, let alone write about, and I know it would cause him pain too. So I have to just accept what happened, let it go, and move forward. That is what he really wanted for me all along, I think. I know that I loved authentically and wholeheartedly. Every word from my lips was truthful, and my heart was absolutely devoted to him. What more can I ask for? I did the right thing. I can rest securely in myself.

"When you say goodbye to someone or decide not to see them again, remember you are a moment in their story. Make it a story that doesn't leave a scar."
- Charlotte Kasl, if the Buddha dated