Friday Fabulous Phonography Fun

This little song reminds me of darker days in my existence. Now don’t misunderstand me by thinking that darker=bad; these ‘darker’ days were merely a transitional period in my life where I was trying to determine my purpose, figure out how I could make a difference, have some fun and I was willing to try anything – at least once. Back then I ate engineered food, lived at the gym, weighed 225 and had 9% body fat. Oh yeah, and I was single. Good times… Good times… Ask Reality cubed, he was there!

This tune earns me no punches on the gay card.

Artist: Creed
Album: My Own Prisoner
Song: One

Affirmative may be justified take from one give to anotherThe goal is to be unified take my hand be my brotherThe payment silenced the masses sanctified by oppressionUnity took a back seat sliding further into regression(chorus)One oh One the only way is OneI feel angry I feel helpless, want to change the worldI feel violent I feel alone, don't try and change my mindSociety blind by color why hold down one to raise anotherDiscrimination now on both sides seeds of hate blossom furtherThe world is heading for mutiny, when all we want is unityWe may rise and fall, but in the end we meet our fate together(chorus)


Satellite Radio

First off, I HATE L.A. Radio. Since the government relaxed the rules on radio station ownership, allowing huge corporations like Clear Channel to own more and more stations in a local market, the quality of these radio stations has gone down and down! Now they’re CRAP!

Last year I decided to buy Satellite Radio and give it a try. I evaluated both XM and Sirius (pronounced: serious) I decided to go with Sirius because I felt the content was much better and they have a Gay & Lesbian channel.

It has been over a year and I LOVE SIRIUS. So much so, that since my original purchase I have purchased one for each car (3 cars) and a boombox for outside. My Christmas wish list includes a portable Sirius Satellite radio with MP3 player (due out in October 2005)

There are 100’s of channels, but here are the 10 on my preset:
The Beat 36 – Dance hits
1st Wave 22 – Classics Alternatives from the 1980’s
Strobe 37 – Disco/Classic Dance
Area 33 – Trance & Progressive House
OUTQ 106 – Gay & Lesbian Radio
Super Shuffle 12 – Sirius Super Mix
The Pulse 9 – The 90’s and now
Big 80’s 8 – The ‘80’s
New Country 60 – Today’s Country hits
CNN 132 – CNN News


Art Apreciation

Each of us is unique and different and we find beauty in distinctive and diverse places (Thankfully)
So I’d like to share with you what I call my favorite painting. It is an oil-on-canvas titled, “The Arrival” by Christopher Richard Wynne Nevinson 1889-1946. The circa on the painting is 1913.
When this work was first exhibited a reviewer commented: ‘It resembles a Channel steamer after a violent collision with a pier. You detect funnels, smoke, gangplanks, distant hotels, numbers, posters all thrown into the melting-pot, so to speak. Mr. Nevinson acted as interpreter, explaining that it represented a state of simultaneous mind’.
I love the complexity, I love how different people see different things and how each time I look at it, I notice something different.
The Tate Modern in London own it and currently has it on display; anyone got a spare ticket to London? It’s all in the name of art!


Gym Memberships

About a year ago, the Hottie-Blonde-Blue-Eyed significant-other asked me to take advantage of a discount my company offers with 24 Hour Fitness. I signed up and made the arrangements to have the monthly fee paid off a credit card. After paying the fees for months are not once setting foot in a gym, I decided to cancel. So I call and wait on-hold for 19:29 before Jennifer answers. Now she is very pleasant and professional. She tries her pitch to keep me onboard, but I am persistent. So she explains that I must give them 30 days notice to cancel. I know this because I paid first and last month when I joined and I ACTUALLY READ THE CONTRACT. Now any reasonable person would assume that I give 30 days notice, they prorate the last month and I get a refund or a small bill for the remaining few days. NO NOT HERE! Jennifer tells me that I had to give notice on my billing date – the 21st of the month. Otherwise I have pay another month, then my last month dues will be use for the following month and finally my membership would terminate on December 19th. HUH??? WTF??? I give you 30 days notice and still have to pay for 90 days???
Where the hell is that in the contract?
Let me tell you where… NO WHERE!
So argue my point and Jennifer does not relent. I protest on the grounds of unethical conduct on 24hours’ part; still no remorse from her. Finally, I figure out how to fix this problem:
The credit card they bill to gets no use other than 24 hour fitness. I tell Jennifer if she doesn’t comply with the contract they wrote and I signed, I’ll simply call the credit card company up and cancel the account. I don’t care – I have 6 other cards in a drawer a home that just collect dust.
My threat was met with, “We’ll pursue you.”
My reply, “for $50.00?!?!?... Bring it on sista!”
FYI, my Social is not on the application. Good Luck to them.
I hung up, called Capital One, explained the situation, they cancelled my card and issued another one with a new card number
HA HA They deserve to get screwed for being such assholes!
I am stunned that a corporation would actually use such tactics to take money from people. I’ll be writing a letter to the BBB.


Friday Fabulous Phonography Fun

So I think I’ll start a little tradition. Each Friday, I’ll cite a song that I heard during my commute that either made me smile, made me happy or made me feel good.
So yesterday while driving home I was channel surfing on my Sirius Satellite Radio and on Channel 8 – Big 80’s this little tune came on. I put my pride in the glove box, threw my dignity out the window, cranked the radio and sang along as loud as I could.
It felt good. Enjoy!

BTW: This earned me 3 punches on my gay-card! 5 more and I can start walking with a swish!

(Right click and select, "Open in New Window")
Sheena Easton - Strut

He said, "Baby, what's wrong with you? Why don't you use your imagination
Nations go to war over women like you, it's just a form of appreciation
Come on over here, lay your clothes on the chair
Now let the lace fall across your shoulder
Standing in the half light, you're almost like her
So take it slow like your daddy told you"

Strut pout, put it out, that's what you want from women
Come on baby, what'cha taking me for
Strut pout, cut it out, all taking and no giving
Watch me baby while I walk out the door

I said, "Honey, I don't like this game, you make me feel like a girl for hire
All this fascination with leather and lace is just the smoke from another fire"
He said, "Honey, don't stop a speeding train before it reaches its destination
Lie down here beside me, oh, have some fun too
Don't turn away from your true vocation"
I won't be your baby doll, be your baby doll
I won't be your baby doll, be your baby doll
(Instrumental break)
chorus repeats out


Peering Down from Up Above

As we all know Hurricane Rita is slowly approaching the gulf coast. I can easily imagine what it must be like as I spent many a summer in Galveston Texas in my youth. I send good-thoughts and well-wishes to those who are in its path.
With that said… what the hell is this gonna do to my gasoline bill?
I’ll admit, I don’t have much room to complain… see, I have a commuter car: A 1991 Honda Civic CRX HF that gets around 44 miles-per-gallon. I recently gave a lot of thought to how high gasoline would have to go, before my budget would start to notice the effects; my estimates, $10.00 per gallon. That would mean filling-up the little guy would cost $75.00. (I can barely squeeze $20 in it now!) Can you image gas at ten-buck-a-gallon? That’s the stuff of post-apocalyptic sci-fi movies. I spend about $1000.00 a year on that little car – most of which is preventative stuff – and each time I pay a maintenance bill, I think, “maybe it’s time.” But where can I buy a good reliable car that get 40+MPG for under $100.00 a month??? Huh?? Bueller… Bueller… Bueller…
Now, It’s not my intention to piss-off the owners of mileage-impaired vehicles, but I have noticed the higher gas prices get, the more you peer down at me while we are stopped in traffic. I know what you’re wondering – here’s the answer, “Nope, it’s not For Sale!”


Suicide in Second Gear

I often find myself pondering the overall value of sitting in traffic. Let’s take today for example: My commute is 31 miles from Long Beach to Irvine. My travel-time this morning was 1 hour and 40 minutes. I estimate my travel-time home will be 1 hour and 15 minutes. Hmmmm, that’s three hours out of my day. Where will I make up that time? Some will be shaved off my work schedule, some will come off my housework this evening, my son will lose some of our quality-time and just to ice the cake, I’ll be a bitch all morning until my afternoon run\therapy session. At what point do we say, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!” The 405 will take 3 hours of my life today and that pisses me off!


Culture & Power

As some of you know, I am working towards my MBA. Often I find the workload tedious and routine, but every once-in-a-while I come across something that is extremely valuable in the big picture. This is one of those little nuggets that could one day save the day.

About 30 years ago, a young man studying to earn his masters degree won a study grant to teach leadership skills to poor, inner city neighborhoods in Miami. He assembled a team to help, and together, they isolated 10 square blocks (100 blocks in total.) The team went around talking with people and soon they had identified 100 people who had the makings of leaders and more importantly, were willing to participate in the study. Out of this initial 100, they conducted some tests to determine the 10 best candidates. A noteworthy fact was 95% of the participants with natural leadership abilities were women and all of the top 10 were women. So these top 10 were trained every Saturday for 3 months on the subject of Leadership. After their class, each of these 10 women was responsible for disseminating or relaying the teachings down to 9 people of the remaining pool of participants. During the final weekend of the 3 month program, a 100 block clean-up project was organized by these 10 women. They were able to orchestrate thousands of volunteers to do the work and numerous corporations to donate the supplies they needed. The leadership skills the 10 women had acquired were proving immensely valuable. There was no doubt they were in control and exercising their newly developed skills and power with grace and dignity: An asset to their neighborhood. At the end of the final weekend, the change in the neighborhood was astonishing. All the streets, houses, fences and alleyways glistened from new paint and repairs. A ghetto had turned into a beautiful and wonderful place to live.

The program was over, but the study was not. Each of these 10 women had agreed to be interviewed 30 days, 90 days and 365 days after completion of the program. At the 30 day interview, the young man who originally obtained the grant was summoned to the interviews. He had concluded his part of the grants’ obligations and the university was taking over the long term interviews. He arrived to find what he thought resembled one of the woman in the top ten; it was difficult to be certain if it was her because she had been beaten so severely. Her face and body were swollen and bruised with copious cuts healing all over her body. He was quickly pulled aside by one of the researchers and told that 4 of the 10 women had been beaten and the women he saw when he arrived was in the best condition of the 4. Needless to say he and the others were shocked. What was happening? What was going on here?

After delving deeper into the situation and lives of these 10 women, an answer came to light. They had been successful in changing the power structure of the neighborhood, but they had neglected to change the culture. And the culture that existed at this time – and often to this day – doesn’t accept women holding positions of power.

So the morale of this story: Change can be good; Just make certain you recognize all of the elements that need changing if you want the change to be successful. Otherwise people get hurt.


Twang Twang Hillbilly Thang

Look around you RIGHT NOW! If you can find a copy of Diana Ross singing, “I’m coming out!” Que and crank it!
I’ve decided to come out-of-the-closet!
You read that right! I admit it!
I like County & Western Music WHEWWWWW!!!! That feels good to say that out loud!
Now before my gay brethren start throwing stones, deleting my numbers from their cell phones and petitioning to have my gay-card revoked: I still like Techno, House and Dance. I can’t help that, I’m gay after all. But there is nothing better than Country music when mixed with some rock and blues; the kind of tunes that tell you a little story about a person, place or time in their life. And as Reality Cubed has discovered, some of these guys are scorching hot! I agree with R.C. That Mr. Chesney is a ten on the yum-o-meter, but he is far from my favorite. Check out Dierks Bentley… That curly blond hair, the baritone voice, that butt.WOWZER!
So what does this prove? You can take the boy outta Oklahoma, but you can’t take the Oklahoma outta the boy.

Dierks Bentley My Favorite, Lot of Leavin' Left To Do

For Reality Cubed -- select No shoes, No Shirt, No Problem -- Enjoy the view!



Over the last two years running has become a part of my daily work activity. Rather than heading down to Carls Jr for a Paris-Hilton-washing-the-Bentley super-sized combo, I hit the trails and carve out between 2 to 4 miles at least 4 days a week. Now don’t mistake me for a runner. I am not a runner; rather I am genetically designed to move large, heavy objects. I’d much rather be in a weight-room. I wish I could break the knee caps of those guys on the trail who sprint around like a gazelles with helium heels. That’d level the playing field. Huh?
Anyway, my afternoon run has become therapy. I start to crave it about an hour before starting. It’s a hunger. Then my mood shifts to dread as a lace up the shoes. Finally, I battle for each step past 2 miles. Once I finish, I feel I accomplished something, my head is clear and I know “that high” will be coming in about 10 minutes.
It feels SOOOOO good.
It is SOOOOO difficult, challenging and arduous.
It is SOOOOO worth it!
Recently Professor Snoutch has decided to take-up this sadistic activity in his 90 day health quest. I hope this offers a reinforcement to him and encouragement to those of you with ketchup on your shirt from that lunch I mentioned. Happy trails and happy shins.


But wait…there’s more.

Just after I published my last blog, I noticed an abnormal number of police cars in front of our house. Seven police cars to be exact. And two more in the alleyway behind our house. I immediately when into lockdown mode. I double checked all door locks, turned off all interior lights and turn on all exterior lights. My spouse was on the phone with me as this was all going-down. I could tell he was very upset and feeling very helpless. The police came to the door and asked to search our backyard. I agreed and three officers came through my home, with guns drawn and into the backyard and performed a textbook systematic search of every area. – thank God I cleaned the patio and picked up poop! The police helicopter light overhead turns night into day, if you take the fear out of the equation, it’s a rather beautiful sight. They were searching for a robbery suspect one told me as he made his way back to the front door. Strange as it may sound, this type of thing doesn’t frighten me. Maybe years of Los Angeles have jaded me.

Regardless, I’ll make the best of it. I’m gonna put on my best Angie Dickinson Police Woman outfit and crawl into bed. If they need help, I’ll be ready!
Tomorrow will be a better day... Now where'd I put that damned wig????

The Perfect Life

Sometimes we see other peoples life and think, ‘Wow, what a perfect life.’ I have been told by others that they are envious of my life. I’ll admit I have much to be thankful for; but then there are days like today…

My company recently announced a small lay-off. A few of the people were long overdue in being shoved out the door. A few of these people were assets that were cornerstones of integrity; they add culture and value and made it a better place to work – You know who you are. I had to say goodbye to some of these today. I managed to hold back my tears, dreading what tomorrow holds without their presence. Change is difficult no matter which side you are on.
I drove home on my normal route – also-known-as the 405 parking lot. I hate that freeway more and more each day. My only amusement is watching the road-rage around me.
After an hour and fifteen minutes to go 30 miles, I picked up my son and we starting our routine discussion about his day, he describes his lunch, recess, classroom activities and the names of other kids that were bad. Then he tells me he got a warning from the teacher for pushing. I typically don’t punish for unsolicited honesty -- I was raised that way -- so he didn’t get punished, unless you consider a very firm discussion punishment. He got the point and quickly.
Upon arriving home I discover that Schnauzer 2 has decided that today is a good day to test out the boundaries of potty-training: “Number 1” and “Number 2” on each side of my bed. We has a little ‘meeting-of-the-minds’ to re-evaluate her decision to stop using the grass in the back yard. During this time, she decided to take a snap at me. (see her description below) at which point all my diplomacy was lost and our meeting turned into a good old fashioned ass-chewing.
After I finish my gnaw-fest, I go outside to do the daily patio clean up and poop patrol. We have two Chinese fire trees in out backyard shading our patio. They are beautiful trees until they finish flowering, when complete they drop their leaves and stems. It’s a fricken mess that requires daily cleaning. Oddly enough, I often daydream about a chainsaw when cleaning up after them. It is also imperative to clean up after the dogs each day. Four dogs can create an unbelievable amount of poop. I think they get bored while we are at work and hold contests to see who can crank out the most. (for those of you not in L.A., we typically pickup after dogs. Land is scarce and valuable and it’s difficult do lots of outdoor living amidst landmines.) Anyway, on the patio, the Bassett Hound has decided to take up the Fashion Model diet and barf all over the patio – including her newly washed dog bed. It’s no wonder she held a barf-o-rama, because when she is not being a Basset Hound or taking the lead in the above mentioned contest, she doubles as a Hoover. So now I have leaves, flowers, stems, poop and barf. UGH!
Normally, my other-half would help out, but here is away on business so I am in single-parent mode.
Dinner plans were scrapped. On the menu instead was an appetizer of vigorous broom action, followed by a dustpan. As a second course I had an ample serving of “pick-up after the dogs daily contest” all of this was wetted down with a good blast of the garden hose and finally the main course, left over pizza from 2 nights ago.
Thank goodness the kid doesn’t mind.

Tonight for desert, my son read to me Chicka-Chicka-Boom-Boom my favorite children’s book. And as soon as this is posted, I’ll crawl into that big empty bed and count the minutes until it is full again. At least his side still smells like him.
Sweet dreams.

Bitchy Inner Fat Girl

Okay, I’ll admit it: deep inside me, down in my inner-self is a Bitchy Fat Girl trying to come out. A few of my friends have seen her emerge on that rare occasion (See Scott’s Blog.) But for the most part she just lives inside, layering on clothes and buttering on the Mary Kay. So far the only sure-fire way to get her out-of-the-closet is the dawn a pair of bowling shoes and shove her manly fingers into a 16 pounder. Now I must admit, I only tried league bowling once…and I ended up with the highest handicap in the league. So she’s no help on the lanes, but she can shove that 16 pounder down the lanes with the same panache as Kirstie Alley pile-driving french fries down her pie-hole.

So this is to server as a reminder and warning. Occasionally you might see me “go-off-the-deep-end” on some strange topic. Be mindful that this is not me, but rather that damned BIFG has taken a dive into the deep end to prove the theory that fat floats!

Wants vs. Needs

Wants vs. Needs and the 6 year old mind

So last night my son brought home a school book order form. You remember, they had books and games and stickers. My favorite was Mad-Libs. I loved them.
Anyway, we went through the list and picked out about 13 books totaling $53.90. My son’s demeanor was eluding that these books were just part of life and he was entitled to them. (We have ordered from them many times before.) So I decided to take the opportunity to teach him the difference between a NEED and a WANT.

We had a TWO hour discussion about needs and wants. Now I admit this is a very complicated topic for a 6 year old mind… sometimes it’s a very complicated topic for a 34 year old mind, but I felt it is better to start now, so the concept isn’t foreign later.
He kept stating that the books were a need. I explained 10 different ways to demonstrate they were a want. He started to cry because of frustrated; he couldn’t figure out how to make books fit into the need category. [Litmus test: Can I live without it? If yes, then it’s a want.] I eventually brought out his Big Ben piggy bank and emptied it on the kitchen table. I explained that this was all the money he had in the world. Some of which he could use for needs and some for wants. I explained that needs were things like a house, food, clothes and water and wants were legos and books. So I asked him to separate his money into two piles. One to pay for needs and one for wants – like the books. He kept all the pennies (37 of them) and gave me all the silver coins (around $4) He realized that he gave me most of the money. This was a good sign, but 37 cents isn’t enough to buy a book – he doesn’t understand the power of a dollar. (That’ll be our discussion tonight.) So I gave him back his four dollars and we talked about people in the Gulf Coast who had lost everything. He chimed in and said, but if they had money they could buy a new house and food and clothes. I agreed (my academic/economic mind wanted to delve in further, but I decided that’d have to wait a few years)
I asked him to separate his money into two piles again. Donate to Hurricane victims and to keep and spend on books and legos; without a thought he shoved all his money at me and said give it to Mississippi. Good for him, I thought. We practiced some more on examples of needs and wants, and then I dropped the subject. After he went to bed, I put the money back inside Big Ben and Pulled out $5.00. I wrote his name on it and put it back in my wallet.
This morning when I dropped him off at school, I asked him if the books were a need or want. He quickly answered, “a want,” then he said, “I love you” and walked away. I waited for him to disappear into the cafeteria and quietly went inside and handed the teacher the completed book order form and a check for $53.90. I asked her not to tell him about the order. I still have that value-of-a-dollar lesson to work on. On my way out, I put that $5.00 bill with his name on in the jar of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarter his colleague had so innocently and eagerly collected.


My WebSite

So I decided to take the plunge and create a website for myself. It is written in Flash for those of you interested in the technical details. I am not a flash programmer, rather just using this as an excuse to learn. It is very much a work-in-progress. When time permits, I go and add a few things here and there.

I appreciate your input about my site.


The Basics

To give you a foundation from which to work, let’s start with who I am:
I am 34 years old, I have a partner who wishes to remain anonymous (he hates these things). I have a son who is 6.
Together we have 2 Miniature Schnauzers, a Jack Russell, a Bassett Hound, and 2 cats.
We have a house in suburban Long Beach.
Summary: Me, Partner, Kid, 4 dogs, 2 cats

Brief descriptions:
I try my best to be a friend, a lover, a partner, a dad, an employee, an asset and many other things. I am college educated with a Bachelors in Computer Science and Business Administration currently working towards my M.B.A. I hope to complete in early 2007.

Blonde hair, pool-blue eyes, and a come-and-get-it look that buckles my knees – needless to say he’s HOTT HOTT HOTT.

An excellent mannered little guy who is ALL BOY.

Miniature Schnauzer 1:
Alpha male, a lover who takes sh*t from no one.

Miniature Schnauzer 2:
Biological sister of Schnauzer 1, sweet, loving and at times a bitch.

Jack Russell:
Calm, relaxed, lazy… most of the time.

Bassett Hound:
Clumsy, fun loving, verbal.

Cat 1:
A grandmother at 19 years old, mildly tolerant of the dogs, loves to cuddle.

Cat 2:
Aloof with a broken meow and a keen instinct to hunt.