Friday, April 25, 2008

Dad at Sixty Nine



I've written quite bit lately about my father in my blog. So much could be said about this man, but no one else would probably think it was all that great, but to me he is a great man, who has accomplished great things. Dad was raised the third of six children by a single mother during the 40's & 50's. He was a typical kid and a rebellious teen, having to spend time in a boys school because he refused to attend school. While there he learnt how to apply himself and once he was out he began to work odd jobs here and there. Carpenter work, painting and yard work to name a few. He loved to draw and would spend hours drawing and painting. A passion he continues today. He met my mother when he was 14 and they soon became "a couple". On again, off again they finally married in 1959 when he was 20 years old. They will celebrate their 49th Wedding anniversary in July.



Dad in 1940, at the age of one

Even though dad did not have a father most of his own life, he was able to see the importance of being a father. He insisted upon his own children to be honest and responsible. If we were ever caught in a lie, there would be a price to pay. He raised us with love and discipline. This was in the day when parents could actually discipline their children, and as I look back on it now I am thankful for it. I certainly wasn't then, but I realize as a father myself that it wasn't the discipline he handed out that was necessary, but the respect he garnered from it, as it was always done with love and we never had to question his love.





Dad worked for over 40 years from the age of 14 to 62, retiring from the local school district as a maintenance engineer in 2001, yet he continues to paint, do small carpenter jobs, and leather working. He stays active by bowling several times a week and sings and works in his church. To this day we all know (all three sons, daughter in laws, significant others, his 8 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren) that his love is honest and pure.





I salute my dad today on this his 69th Birthday!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #24


I recently listed 13 of my favorite movies for Thursday Thirteen, so today I thought I'd take a shot at listing 13 of my favorite books...
THIRTEEN FAVORITE BOOKS (not in any specific order)


1) To Kill a Mockingbird ~ Lee Harper

2) In Cold Blood ~ Truman Capote

3) The Witching Hour ~ Anne Rice

4) Interview With a Vampire ~ Anne Rice

5) Running With Scissors ~ Augsten Burroughs

6) Glass Menegarie ~ Tennessee Williams

7) The Great Gatsby ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

8) The Count of Monte Cristo ~ Alexandre Dumas

9) The Biograph Girl ~ William J. Mann

10) The Blackwood Farm ~ Anne Rice

11) Mansfield Park ~ Jane Austen

12) The Adventures of Tom Sawyer ~ Mark Twain

13) The Last of the Mohicans ~ James Fenimoore Cooper

Saturday, April 19, 2008

On a Scale of 1 to 10


I found out a very interesting fact yesterday at work. I sometimes act "more gay" than other times. I do not think I am one of those stereotypical, flaming, squeeling, sashsaying homosexuals. Well maybe at one time when I first came out...but now, I really didn't think so.
Apparently though, there are times that I tend to be a little more flamboyant than others. Should I be offended by this? No, the ladies that shared this information are true friends of the gay community and in no way were they being offensive. Maybe trying to be funny in a lame kind of way, but never offensive.
It seems to them that earlier in the morning upon my arrival at work I am closer to a 3 or 4 on their "gay scale" which is almost (but Lord please don''t think I'm straight) straight acting. However by noon my "gayness" tends to present itself more outwardly as I move to a 5 or 6 on their "scale" I just thought is was the fact that I had not had my coffee yet, and I am not yet quite awake.
It also seems to them, that as the week progresses closer and closer to Friday I get more and more "gayer". (As oppossed to more and more straighter??) By Friday at 5:00 I am almost a 10!! Damn !, to be at the top of any scale should be an honor right? Especially a 10!
So as I pondered this apparent change in my behaviour I decided, maybe I should take a test to see just "HOW GAY" I really am!! Well here are those results...

KINSEY TESTcreated with QuizFarm.com
You scored as KINSEY six
SIX: face it hon, you're as gay as they come
Suprised? I wasn't.
I don't really think that I am any more "gayer" in the afternoons than I am in the mornings. I think it's just that I am more awake, and maybe in a possible better mood at the end of the day than I am in the mornings. I mean I have NEVER been a morning person.
But as I think about this scale, I think maybe...just maybe that there should be a scale for everyone. You know a scale of how heterosexual acting you are, or how more female acting you are or maybe one even better for all those female co workers I am with every day...
I think they should take this test... HOW BIG A BITCH ARE YOU?
Come on girls, take the quiz, let me know!!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Did You Ever Know that You Were My Hero?

My Thursday Thirteen today is in honor of all the heroes out there. Last week in one of the suburbs of Cincinnati, two firefighters gave their lives doing their job. Last week, Matt Maupin, an area hero of the War in Iraq was finally verified as a casualty of war and no longer MIA, this weekend his funeral is taking place in the Great American Ball Park here in Cincy. Some of these people listed below may not have given their lives, but at one time in my life, and some of them still to this day are my idea of heroes...




THIRTEEN PEOPLE THAT HAVE BEEN MY HERO (in no particular order)
  1. My Father: So many times in so many ways my father has been my hero throughout my life. even when I thought he knew nothing and I knew everything, Dad was still my hero and still is today. I recall a day as a child he ran across the street to a neighbors house and saved her young son from possible death due to an epileptic seizure, from that day on I looked at my father in a whole different light.

  2. My Mother: As my father impressed upon me the importance of responsibility and honesty, my mother taught me compassion, sensitivity and love. Her love for my father underpasses anything else I know. Her love for her sons is amazing, and totally unconditional. Her heroic acts may have been subtle and un-noticed by most, but in my book she is one of my greatest heroes.

  3. My Grandmothers: My mother's mom worked all the time. At least it seemed to me. She was a small lady but very large presence in my life. I learnt from her why my own mother was who she was. My father's mother raised 6 children on her own in the days before welfare, child support and government assistance programs. Her husband left when the last child was born. I never heard her complain about her lot in life, or being saddled with six kids. She raised each of them to be strong outstanding adults.

  4. My Cousin Gary: He wasn't really my cousin, he was my father's cousin, but he was a hero to me. I remember as a small little boy the party we had for him before he was to go off into the army and into Vietnam. He stood so proud in his uniform, and to me was larger than life. He never came back to a welcome home party but like many other young men in the 60's he came home in a flag draped coffin. Gary was a true hero in our family.

  5. My Grandfather: Unfortunately I never realized just how much a hero my mother's father was until I was older. As a kid he was kind of off to the side. There but not in your face or in the forefront. As I grew older and learnt about all that he did and accomplished in his life, his heroism became more and more real to me. A WWII veteran, his ship was sunk in the Pacific Ocean and he was adrift for days and even declared missing in action and possibly dead by the US Navy. Yet, he returned and for the rest of his life would suffer excruciating back problems because of it. But he never complained. Then 6 months before he passed he was diagnosed with bone cancer. His valiant fight with this painful debilitating disease was heroic in it's own right.

  6. A Childhood Friend: I knew him from the age of 8 and it seemed to me he had it all. The perfect home, the perfect family, and as we both grew older he had the perfect car, the handsome face, the nice clothes...the list goes on and on. In those few short years between puberty and High School graduation, he was a hero to me. Now as an adult and a father and grandfather I realize we were probably each other's hero.

  7. My Dad's Brother: To me, he seemed like the perfect father. I saw the passion he had for his children. I also realized when I got older that he became a father to all his brothers and his sister after his father left them. He was also in the Air Force during Korea and Vietnam, retiring as a young man after 20+ years of faithful service. He continued to work hard and provided well for his family. His battle with diabetes late in life, and loosing a leg was also an indication of the hero he really was.

  8. DJ: Any one that could put up with me on a daily basis would have to have some kind of heroic abilities!! But seriously, DJ is one of the most enduring, passionate, compassionate, strong and responsible person I have ever known. His love is unconditional and true. A hero every day in my life.

  9. Superman: What person my age did not have Superman as a hero growing up. I'm not talking about the Dean Cain, Tom Welling Superman, I am talking about the George Reeve Superman of the TV, and the Christopher Reeve Superman of the movies back in the 70's and 80's. TV's George Reeves/Superman to me was my first glimpse of a hero. And what a hero he was. As a teen and young adult Christopher Reeves brought Superman back to life for a whole new generation, then his own battle as a quadriplegic and his fight for research and cure was the true hero in him.

  10. My Best Friend Silver: Many times over the past 13 years I've seen him deal and cope with many issues and trials. He has also seen me do the same. Yet, he always faces his issues with a quiet strong peace. He has the ability to look at issues in the face and be able to see beyond them which allows him to deal with them. Not only that, I think he is one hell of a father to his son. Hats off Silver, a true "gay" hero! Just kidding, but he is a true friend and that is true hero not only to his son, but to me as well.

  11. My Friend Veruca: He over came so much from a young child and pushed himself to be the person he is today. Successful, educated, and a believer in dreams that can come true. Even though our paths crossed for a short amount of time considering the length of our lives he impacted my life in a very powerful way. I am so blessed to have been able to have him with me as we both "come out".

  12. My Kids: Now let's talk about some REAL heroes. These four individuals are truly heroes in my book. My three sons and my beautiful daughter. Against all odds they have rose from the ashes so to speak and are making something of themselves. Yes, dad kind of let them down over the years, but that has not stopped them, and so far they are all four doing quite well becoming adults that a parent can be truly proud of.

  13. Myself: It has taken me almost 50 years, but finally I have realized that I too am a hero. I love who I am, not in a vain sense, but in a sense of being happy with who I am. A lot has transpired in these 47+ years, but I'm here. A father, grandfather, son, brother, friend and lover. I am proud of who I have become, even though it was not who I had planned to be as a kid ( I wanted to be a psychiatrist!) It is who I am, and I know I have so much more to give. I like who it is that I see every morning when I look in the mirror and I think that in itself takes a heroic amount of work.

So, who were or are some of your heroes?

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tuesdays


I love my life. Really, I do. Sure I have regrets and some days I wish I could do over. Some days I wish I'd never gotten out of bed, but most of the time there is really no certain day of the week that I loathe as some do Mondays. Except...


Tuesdays!


Tuesdays, you say? Yes. Tuesdays. I mean seriously what is there to look forward to on Tuesdays? Let's take a look at the days of the work week first. Of course there is the dreaded Monday. Back to work, school,... whatever. But honestly, is it really all that bad? I mean you've had the weekend to frolic and do what it is you do. Family outings, crotchet, whatever... then it's back to the same ole same ole shit come Monday. But you've had the weekend. You should be ready, rested and set to go! Excited to start your mundane week. Then there is Tuesdays...we will come back to that.


Wednesday, it's hump day, you made it through Monday and Tuesday and now it's all downhill from here. You can celebrate with your friends with a chain e-mail that you've reached hump day! Two days left to work and you are looking forward to that overnight you have scheduled with all your girlfriends. (Or boyfriends, whatever the case may be) You have a goal and you see yourself getting closer to it on Wednesday.


Thursday..it's almost over, Friday is just in sight! One more laboriously long dull day and it will soon be FRIDAY!! Then there is Friday! The biggest day of the work week. This is it, you've made it and now it's time to head to the local pub after work and enjoy happy hour and talk about that knitting class you have in the morning!!


Then there is the fabulous WEEKEND!! WOO! It is YOUR time. Do what you want, when you want and who you want to do it with. None of this having to go to lunch where you don't want to because the co-workers can't eat McDonald's because they all think they are so health conscience that just thinking about McD's makes them want to revert back to their bulimic ways. Hell it's the weekend baby, you can have McDonald's for breakfast lunch and dinner...both days if you want. Chances are you'll see that same co-worker in there munching down on her Quarter Pounder with cheese and scarfing a large chocolate shake with her 5 kids.


Finally the weekend is over and its back to Monday.


Now look at Tuesday. What do you get? The weekend is over, you have exerted all of your left over energy from the weekend into getting through Monday, so you are tired, cranky and probably just got your period...or missed your period whichever the case may be. Your boss, who also is reminiscing about his glorious fun filled weekend at the Tractor Pull, is now constipated from all the tacos he ate and blames you. It's not hump day, it's three days before Friday and the start of the next weekend excursion to the Golden Corral... it's Tuesday! And to top it off, this Tuesday happens to be TAX day!! So there you have it. Why I hate Tuesdays...


There is one redeeming quality about Tuesdays. Kids eat free at Gold Star Chili, but what the hell good is that if you don't have kids??? God I hate Tuesdays!!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #22


Today is my younger brother's 43rd birthday. Over the years we have had our issues and disagreements, but now that we are both grown men with grown children we seem to understand one another a bit better, so for my Thursday 13 today, in honor of my kid brother I give you...


Thirteen Redeeming Qualities of my Younger Brother

1) He is a true family man, loving his wife and children with a passion that far exceeds most.

2) His convictions, whether I agree with them or not, are strong and unwavering.

3) Steadfast. You don't have to second guess him, he is always the same no matter where he is or whatever the situation.

4) Hardworking. He has made a good life for himself and family and works hard for the things he has obtained.

5) Honest. Brutally honest. Sometimes his honesty pricks your heart, but again there is no second guessing, you know how he feels on a subject and he will let you know.

6) He loves our parents with the same passion and compassion as he does his wife and children. He recognizes that who he is , is a reflection of the two parents that raised us.

7) Thoughtful. There is never been a year as adults that he has not called me on my birthday and wished me a happy birthday. Even when we were not as close, he never forgot.

8) Courageous. During his recent bouts with cancer he has faced it head on with a strong conviction that all things happen for a reason and he will face it regardless of the outcome.

9) I have to admit he is a handsome guy...maybe not as handsome as myself, but handsome nonetheless... we do look alike I may add

10) Persistent. He never gives up. Even as a kid he persisted in everything, never willing to admit failure.

11) Even though he is a man's man, a true rugged persona, he has a sensitive quality that is both redeeming and sincere.

12) Funny, he has a side of him that is very funny. His sense of humour is great and honest as he is. I see a lot of my father in him, and that is a great thing, trust me.

13) A true brother. Even when we were at odds with one another, and even when he turned away due to not understanding my "lifestyle choice" as he called it, I never questioned his loyalty to me as my brother. I knew that if it came down to it and I needed him, he'd be there for me.


Happy Birthday Brother, hope it's a good one!

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Office Saftey


How many people get hurt at work each year? I'd say the number is staggering. In 2006 the Bureau of Labor Statistics recorded 4.1 million work-related non-fatal injuries! That's a lot. They even break it down by demographics, gender and job title. Professional and Business Services, which is the category I would fall into accounted for 21.2 % of that 4.1 million number.


How does one get hurt at work in an office? Well, let me tell you...


It's not pen related, nor is it over exposure to the copy machine or the coffee machine. It's not even related to cubicle depression. But if any one is going to get hurt at work in an office environment, it would be me of course. I'm not talking about carpal tunnel syndrome, which is the #1 related injury for office workers, I'm talking about full on open wound, ER treated accident.


Yesterday as I was removing a file from my Attorney's office, the file divider that it was placed in slipped and fell. As I tried to catch those files from falling onto the floor and scattering legal documents from one end of the office to the other, the metal file divider came in between my index and second finger, slicing a nice piece of flesh. I now have five stitches in my right hand between those two digits. Not too much pain yesterday, but today...well let's just say this post is taking me a while to type. But one of my avid readers insisted I update my blog...


So I am now included in that numbers for work related injuries for 2008. Hey at least I belong to something now!!