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Some thoughts over coffee

20181031_174426.jpgI’m sitting in a coffee shop, getting ready for another NaNoWriMo. I posted a blog on my writer’s page, but I though I’d write a few things here as well. The competition won’t begin for another six and half hours, and I’m not one to cheat and start early, but I will start blogging about it, and I have.

As I sit here and look out the window, it’s a cold, gray Halloween. The weeks leading up to today have been exhausting. At work we’ve been scurrying around to get ready for a visit from our Regional Vice President. It has been physically and mentally exhausting. I’ve had very little time to just relax and be me!

But that’s over now, and it seems to have gone well. Of course since I work retail, it only gets a little more hectic. Black Friday is only a little more than three weeks away. I work at a home improvement store, so we are entering our slow period, but for me, as the supervisor over hardware, it’s going to pick up considerably. My footprint in the store has grown to include the section in front of my department, as well as most of the racetrack that leads around the store. I will have a lot to take care of.

That, of course, is par for the course. We all have trying and stressful times. At least I’m healthy, as are my loved ones. I’m thankful for that. Everyday is a gift, and I’m blessed to be living my life. The duality of my life can be trying, but I’m happy to be here, free to live this life. I’m happy that Stefani can be out in the open!

I spent the day today running a few errands. I had to get my car inspected and then registered. As I was at the Santa Fe building in downtown Amarillo, where the Potter County tax office is located, I walked across the hall to cast my vote for next week’s election. I feel as though I really accomplished something. I also did dishes!

At midnight, if I’m awake, I’ll start writing this years novel. Tomorrow, I will continue to write and I’m planning of going to a football game. My niece will be in town with the marching band, and I have to cheer her on. I’m also taking a friend in tomorrow, I hope temporarily. I don’t want a roommate.

I’m also looking forward to a trip up to Kansas in December. I, along with a couple of friends, will be going to see Halestorm and In This Moment. I have my ticket. The only issue there will be whose care we will be taking, when we are leaving, and when we are coming back. We need to get together to discuss this, but so far all plans have fallen apart. I hope the trip itself doesn’t get cancelled.

Otherwise, my life is pretty much going as it always has. There has been no major changes. I haven’t met anyone, I haven’t lost anyone. I’m still contemplating moving out of Amarillo, but nothing’s concrete. I’m just happy to be alive, and honestly, that’s a monumental change in my outlook.

 

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Who am I

I drive myself mad, wondering why
why no one ever chooses me
They tell me that I’m great
and to be myself
but I don’t know who that is
and the doubt oppresses me.

Who am I?

Star Wars: A Force Awakens – My thoughts

I saw Star Wars: The Force Awakens today. Let me ask you, is there a better theme song than the opening Star Wars Overture? Just hearing the strains of John Williams thematic masterpiece gives me chills, and I’ll admit I teared up a bit as song as the opening crawl began. But I digress…

I went in with rapt wonder, waiting for the film to begin, lamenting that I had to wait this long after opening day to watch the movie. I tried to avoid spoilers, but yesterday I read a major one, one that put a little dent in my fangirl excitement. I went in regardless, determined not to let it ruin my experience.

My problem now is that I want to talk about the movie, but I can’t. I won’t be that person to ruin the movie for anyone. I will say that it’s magnitudes better than the prequels, and I enjoyed them to an extent. But they never managed to capture the old magic of the original trilogy. In my opinion, The Force Awakens did. Maybe it was the inclusion of the original cast that did  it. Maybe JJ Abrams and the writing crew just wrote a superior script, but the cast and crew recaptured that magic.

There’s also the new additions to the cast, the next generation to continue the saga. Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are wonderful actors, making me care about the characters they were portraying, as did Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver. They complimented Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher wonderfully.

I loved how everyone had their part to play, not limited in scope due to race or gender. Women were given their due as forces in their own right, without resorting to insulting the male gender. Abrams was deft in his direction of the movie, a vision that it’s not the sex or gender of an individual that defines an individual, but it’s what’s on the inside that makes all the difference.

And every main character has their strengths and their weaknesses. Every one gained something and lost something they hold dear in victory. On of my favorite scenes is when (minor spoiler) General Leia and Rey find each other after the battle and embrace each other in abject grief, in stark contrast to the rest of the troop who were jubilant in celebration.

I loved this movie. I want to watch it again. Then again. And I can’t wait for Star Wars VIII and IX. I need to know what happens next. I need to follow their journey, to see each one of the character’s journeys as they grow. In the end, that’s why we follow a saga. It’s not only what happens, but rather is how our heroes react to their trials that makes us care. In a way, we want to be the heroes we see on screen, and I want deperately to be as awesome a Leia and Rey.

 

Soapbox

Yesterday I went to the University choir concert to support my cousin who’s a music major. Afterwards, me and my friend left to grab a bite to eat before heading home. While I was sitting there, I received a message from a friend from Facebook decrying the appearance of Christmas merchandise so early in the year. I agreed with him. It annoys the hell out of me that retailers set up holiday merchandise way too early. Can’t we wait at least until after Halloween to set out Christmas trees and the like?

This friend – who I haven’t met but is a friend of another friend on Facebook, who I haven’t met either but is my real life best friend’s cousin – then asked me if I would be wiling to help him put a petition of Whitehouse.gov demanding that the government make business wait to put out merchandise until later. I declined stating that I don’t believe the government should interfere with businesses. He never responded.

I’ll admit that there are times when I feel that certain things should be illegal, not because they’re inherently evil but because they annoy me. You understand, right? It can be businesses, organizations – political, secular, religious – or other entities you don’t believe in that you want to shut down. It’s all fine and good until someone else wants to shut down the organizations you agree with because the don’t agree with them or because it annoys them. It’s ridiculous!

Honestly, the best governments are the least intrusive. Sure, sometimes they do have to enact legislation to make things equitable, or to keep us safe, or prevent discrimination, but the less they do it, the better. I see them as a necessary evil. We elect people to represent us, and they tend to represent only their bank accounts, so the less power we give those ass-holes, the better off we will be.

I know, I’m a bit anti-government, and if wasn’t for the fact that anarchy is such a bad idea. I’d probably be an anarchist except for the fact that it’s wrong for exactly the opposite reason. How will keep us safe from the other countries or even from our own neighbors who would like nothing more than to revel in lawlessness for there own personal gain. Shit, can’t win for losing!

There are not words of wisdom here, just a rant that is wholly unrelated to my usual posts, but it was something that irked me. I don’t believe in censorship. I don’t believe the government should intrude into the business world, except in a very limited way. I don’t believe they should have a say in our lives. Thanks for listening.

A tale of two blogs

20150913_163414I’m a blogger. Well, actually I’m a writer who blogs. It’s how I survive, how I take these kernels of thoughts and ideas and nurture them into something more. Sometimes they’re profound, sometimes they’re silly. I’ve bared my naked soul to the world.

It began simply as a way to cope with a break-up, and eventual divorce, from my wife. That marriage had been broken for a while, and I suspect it had never been whole to begin with. All the same, as much as I was glad to be rid of her, there’s some part lurking in everyone that misses that presence, no matter how toxic it may be. You become used to that proximity. Also, my ego had trouble accepting that she left for another man.

I worked through my pain, and then the pain of another failed relationship. I was broken and I typed my pain in a vain cry for help. No one heeded it. Sure I got the occasional sympathetic comment, how it would get better, that they were praying for me, but I needed more. The only blessing is that my writing prevented me from bottling everything up. It was my outlet. That blog was my saving grace.

That was over four years ago, and I still maintain it, though now its focused on my stalled writing career. I post short stories and book reviews. I talk about ideas and my fears, my hopes and my dreams. It’s still an oasis in the middle of a barren life, and still I have relatively few followers. I don’t get many hits

This blog is different. So far today, I’ve received more views than I had for the entire month of September of my other blog. People read me here, and people have shared my posts in forums that bring me traffic. My friends listen to me patiently as I gush about my stats. They listen sympathetically as I grouse that no one cares about that other blog, about that other, male me.

It’s a strange dichotomy that dwells within me, two distinct halves that vie for dominance, though I know neither would survive without the other. It irks me that I can’t find an audience there where here I have found a voice. Perhaps it’s not so loud as others may have, but I appreciate every receptive ear, every click on my stats. I appreciate every kind word I have received. I’m nothing if not grateful.

But male me would like to find that voice, too. He would be overjoyed to gain a wider audience. I won’t share a link, this isn’t what this is about. Instead, it’s a fascination with how one person with two separate identities can have widely different successes. Stefani and male me are one and the same, but we might as well be strangers. In a way, I suppose we are.

A day of simply nothing

11753914_10204790725275108_568390893_nI spent the most perfect Sunday ever! Okay, most of you wouldn’t think so, and even I would have to admit that it could have been better. All the same, I found the opportunity, and took advantage of that opportunity to spend my day all alone, away from everyone and everything. It was heaven.

I didn’t do much of anything, besides get caught up on laundry. I sat at my computer, playing World of Warcraft, and pretty much ignoring everything else. Yeah, I know playing WoW may not be your idea of fun, and I really play anymore, not since separating from my wife four years ago, but when I have the chance to play, I will.

For the past few weeks, I haven’t had the chance to just do nothing. I need to do nothing, to recharge my batteries. I need to avoid people, I need to just be by myself, to find peace in my solitude. That’s how I survive. Without it, I can become rather unpleasant.

The only downside is that I couldn’t be Stefani. I’m only allowed to come out when I’m totally alone, or when I’m at my friend’s place. At home, well I have to be in boy mode, and most of the time I can deal with it, but being me is a therapy that nothing can replace.

But today solitude was much-needed and greatly deserved. I recharged and I’m ready to face another week at work. My next day off won’t come until Friday, and I’m already obliged to help my cousin with a project. Lately, it feels I’m just going from one thing to the next, without a chance to kick back and center myself.

Tomorrow, I’ll head to my friend’s place, spend the night, and hang out as Stefani. I need to remember to bring a book another friend has been begging me to read, and one I promised I would. I also have my own writing projects to complete. Regardless, today was appreciated. It’s nice to have nothing to do for a change, even in boy mode.

All I want for Christmas….

It’s about time to start getting ready for Midnight Mass, and of course I’ll be posing as “Steve.” I’ll be sitting there, looking at all the girls in their cute skirts and dresses, make-up and hair done up, and I’ll be schlepping along as the guy people think they know. If only…

I wish I could wear something cute to church, nothing overtly sexy, but definitely feminine. I wish I could be part of a family that could accept me for who I am, both religious and blood. There’s nothing but hatred for my kind from the family, and to many in my religion hates the LGBT crowd, unaware that we exist among them.

But I cannot deny neither family for belief. It’s also part of who I am. I have not acceptance as “Steve” or Stefani. I’m the perpetual outsider looking in. 

If there’s one thing I want for Christmas, it’s to be who I am, without fear, without rejection. I want to stand before God as the woman I should have been, instead of the accidental man I was born. Instead, I’ll sit their through the Mass, grimace as I wish others a Merry Christmas, and know that I will not get my holiday’s desire.

But it could be worse. I’m thankful for the blessings I do have. I just have to remember that.

The Mask

I’m awake, dressed in boy mode, and ready to go work. Sometimes I feel my everyday life is a sham, that I’m playacting through life, wearing a societal-approved costume. I envy those women who can make the transition and live fully as the person they truly are. They have more courage that I ever will.

So I put on my mask, and hope no one can see through the facade, and live another day pretending to be the man everyone believes me to be.

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Who or What

There are days when I wonder who I am, and there are days, like today, when I wonder what am I? I look in the mirror and I’m torn between what I see and what the ideal man is, and the ideal I want for myself which in itself is a contradiction.

  • I want to be a man, tall and strong, secure in my convictions, a man to be respected.
  • I want to be woman, beautiful to behold, with an inner strength that makes me dangerous.

Who am I? What am I? In the end, I feel like neither, a freak to be shunned, and I want to close my eyes and know nothing forevermore.