Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sex and Cigarettes: Diet and Exercise

I must admit that when I say I haven't had sex since mid-December 2009, I do mean intercourse. The totality of everything else since mid-December is like 4 sessions - and I didn't even let it go very far those times. So, seriously - JACK had more sexual contact in a _month_ than I've had in 12. I do consider that progress.

PLUS - I know the name of each dude I fooled around with. That's a HUGE difference.

It's going on 47 weeks without a cigarette, though - and there I have not cheated at all. I have not put a cigarette to my lips since January 4. In fact, I have not touched one, lit one or otherwise engaged in any inappropriate cigarette touching in all this time.

In these two areas of my life I have seen great progress in 2010.

Diet and Exercise? Stop judging me, already!

Seriously, though, I have to really get a grip on my having given up on going to the gym and on eating healthily. Knowing myself as an emotional eater, I wonder if I shouldn't make an appointment with a counselor to discuss some things. I might need his objectivity, and the fact that I haven't seen him in 3 or 4 years would really make a session or two with him actually FEEL objective.

I am realizing that the issue with my First Love is a problem for me. His asking me for my blessing to marry another man was an emotional blow and while I hid it very well, I can't deny that it's been there bothering me. And as I contemplate how much I've eaten in the last week (under the guise of thanksgiving feasting), I really have to admit to myself that the totality of that situation is a heavy weight.

And it is so because I can't confront my ex-wife about the role she played in keeping him and me apart because we're co-parenting and I really can't let all of that out because when she feels attacked and gets defensive, she's like a cornered opossum ... and I've not intentions on co-parenting with a rabid wild animal.

I really do think that if I see that social worker again and just let it out, confess out loud that I forgive her and really do give him my blessing, then I can really deal with how my emotions about it have affected my diet and exercise habits.

I know it may sound crazy - but I am quite self-aware ... and the fact that the one person I have ever been in love with was actually in love with me too and opined for me as much as I did for him really does make me wonder What If.

What if I had the balls to be out the closet when I was in college ...
What if I actually had told him that he was my first boyfriend, that I was a virgin when I met him?
What if I fought for him?

And while I know I wouldn't have my children and my career and the life i currently have - that I would be a different me today, and that I really do love me ... even tough wouldn't change a thing ... I wonder: What if.

It's time I stop the bullshit and answer the only question that makes a lick of sense: What if I actually dealt with this in the here and now?

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I died a little today

I told my daughter that I wanted to make sure we deep conditioned her hair tonight - it was a dry ratty mess and I have this "thing" about her walking around looking like her dad did her hair. I'm a GAY dad, dammit - her hair should be on point. So, this is no new thing - I have been doing her hair since forever. And I've come to enjoy it.

Today she asked me WHY. Why did I want to condition her hair. Um, because it's a dry ratty mess, that's why. So, she called me into the bathroom after she had brushed the conditioner through. And like we've done for going on eight years - I sat on the toilet running the wet comb through her hair making sure every bit of it was untangled ... while we talked. I like those moments while I condition and detangle her hair - we talk about things she thinks about and it's just OUR time.

She had her arms crossed over her chest today. And she kept trying to hide herself behind her arms. I kept wondering what the hell was wrong with her - and then it hit me. OMG - she's growing up. Yes, I understand she's been wearing a bra for the greater part of this year and that she's beginning to fill in those damn trainers. But she's still 8 and she's still my baby girl and I still do her hair!

But, I asked her - "baby, does it make you uncomfortable that I'm in here when you're naked?

"Well, yes."

"Oh - I'm sorry, honey. I can leave."


As I left the bathroom, she said, "thank you."

"You're welcome, baby."

I came back to this here computer to ponder what had just happened - and that while I understood this moment in ethereal terms, it was always far off ... and it definitely wasn't TODAY. I sat in front of my computer and waited for her to get dressed and come on out of her room after she was done with her bath.

"Baby - I'm really sorry I was making you uncomfortable - I just didn't know."

"You're fine," she said as she walked off into the living room holding the stuffed snowman she can't sleep without.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Democrats (via rant)

I pretty much expected the election results - I was pleasantly surprised to see that Democrats held the Senate ... I expected it all to go Red.

Look, I am a Democrat. However, those dumb asses in Congress who couldn't get it together over the past two years? They deserve to be packing it up and returning home. Honestly, how the fuck you have the majority in both houses of congress and the presidency and you can't pass Health Care Reform without back and forth bickering, showboating and months and months and months and months and months going by? All you dumb fucks deserve it. All of you.

And it's the ones that get to pack it up and go home that are getting off easy. Those of you Blue dots left in the House of Representatives chart? Work it out NOW you dumb bitches. This is the bed you made - comfortable or not, get to laying in it.

The profundity of your stupidity, of your stupid ass decision making over the last two years is highlighted by the fact that at the same time the opposing party was fragmenting, didn't have a clear leader and they STILL managed to take you dumb ass mother fuckers down. They don't even fucking know yet who is likely to run for the presidency in 2012, for gods sake. They spawned a goiter known as the Tea Party and STILL they beat you.

I've been shaking my head at you dumb bitches since we lost Ted Kennedy and even THAT didn't get you thinking straight about passing health care reform. I mean, really? TEDDY? Teddy goes to meet his maker and you can't even honor his lifelong efforts towards healthcare reform by taking advantage of your majority?

As a democrat, I don't like it - but as a firm believer in karma? Washington, you is gettin' it good the way you deserve it ... long, hard and without so much as even spit as lube. DUMB mother fuckers. My straight ticket vote this time around was really a vote against the red ... it had nothing to do with a vote FOR your dumb asses. You just happened to be the better of two stupids.

Yes - the better of two stupids. That's all you are to me right now.

My one and only hope is that we go into the next presidential election and people refuse to give republicans the type of advantage and control that the democrats have had the last two years and so this country votes for Obama's second term in order to avoid a republican controlled congress and a republican presidency. God only knows what THEM narrow minded, ethnocentric and homophobic racists will do when they're drunk with power (again).

There's my rant.

Friday, October 29, 2010

I didn't eat

I realized a little bit ago that I totally forgot to eat today. As my blood sugar plummeted this afternoon, I began to feel shaky and light headed. I grabbed a yogurt out of the work fridge and added some of that granola crunchy stuff and finished it so fast, I had to have another.

But I'm sitting here realizing that I've been kind of stressed all day - I was supposed to meet with a friend on Wednesday. He got a new place and I was going to go check it out. He was a no-call and I didn't go. I was really annoyed about it and it kind of felt like getting stood up.

I'm supposed to have coffee or drinks with this dude I've been chatting with - I texted him two hours ago and I still have no confirmation from him - and yes, it's 5:30 PM. Kind of feels like getting stood up.

So, you see why I was in a funk. But usually when I get kind of depressive and stuff I eat like crazy. It's strange that I've been NOT eating. Seriously - strange. I'm a bit of a mess in general, I admit, but I pride myself in knowing myself really well and I really wonder if that whole losing weight issue I've had all year is finally taking root.

I wanted to watch what I eat this week and kind of take off the bloat by eating well and not eating within 3 hours of bed time - and then I was planning on hitting the gym (slowly at first, I swear!) next week when I went back to Indianapolis ... and somewhere deep inside, I am supposing, it stuck. That's all I can come up with with regards to my NOT eating.

Because, people, I'm here to tell you ... I can EAT, ok? I'll have to make sure I have a SENSIBLE dinner and not engorge myself since I'm hungry. Must pick at food - that's what I'll do. I'll get something on the way home. And later I'll have some of that leftover bean soup I made. That's what I'll do.

Ok - got a plan. Off to work it.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Yes, Rare Form.

Today I washed down my anti-depressants with a martini. I could feel the three-pill cocktail press and open my esophagus all the way down to my stomach. The martini didn’t really do much but help it get past my uvula without incident. It didn’t even seem to coat anything on the way down. And I liked it like that – invasive, threatening and slow … until they met with the bile in my stomach. The martini tasted all the more sweet when I thereafter raised the glass to my lips, if for no other reason than it wasn’t chalky, lumpy and pushing my insides to do things it really didn’t want to do. It pleased my palette and ran down my gullet eagerly, effortlessly and carefree. It’s crazy how I needed that drink after today … and that I really needed those pills after weeks of feeling off-kilter … and how they really, really didn’t need each other. It’s like one was my black wife and the other was my Puerto Rican mother – in my past life, both were there, both were necessary and the only thing deeper than the river Amazon was their hatred for each other. I’ll let you figure out who was the ineffective anti-depressant and who was the bitter-sweet alcohol.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Rare Form?

I need a new goal - and quick. When I decided to give up fucking (because we're into euphemisms here in The Refined Ghetto) I was able to concentrate on other things.

In January I quit smoking. Have I mentioned to this point that I was one big crabby bitch and a half during the first quarter of 2010? I mean, I was impossible. But it kept me focused on making sure I was being a good parent. That note from my daughter to Santa is still pinned to the cork board above my desk. I mean I was FOCUSED.

Then I decided to train for the half marathon. That was cool. And then my knee got all swollen. That wasn't so cool - but I focused on physical therapy and did all I had to do to make sure I was good. I rejoined my group at the end of the summer and kept going.

Last month, I ran the half marathon. Successfully raising $1200 for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and crossing the finish line in celebration of that accomplishment and my having quit smoking.

Since then, I've taken it easy - and haven't even been to the gym. The result? If I don't get to fucking soon, I'm going to lose my got. damn. mind.

So, I need a new goal to focus on - and I think it's going to be calorie counting. I did that in 2005 and actually made it all the way back to my college weight - it took me 10 months of that shit. But I was FOCUSED. I may need to do that ...

... or I may just need to suck the skin off a dick.

(oh, I wonder how many calories that is ...)

Friday, October 15, 2010


When I took a job in Chicago and rented a 1BR apartment here, while still owning a house in Indianapolis, I thought I could make it work. The truth was that while it looked ok on paper, the life I would have to live if I stuck to that paper budget would look like this:

Yuh - so I pretty much lived off my credit cards for a year - and I already had balances, and before you know it I have more than I can pay back. Seriously, I came into this with impeccable credit and multiple credit cards with upwards of $20,000 limits. I'll spare you the sticker shock and not disclose exactly how much in debt I was.

I made this concerted effort to get out of debt. I did not want to file bankruptcy so I decided to pursue debt settlement. I felt better about settling the debt because it's not like I was walking away from it - hell, if the lender wanted to accept less than the amount owed and forgive the rest, then it was agreeable, lawful and moral too.

So, that's what I did - but I still had to shell out a pretty penny, took my savings down to zero, lost my credit cards and today made the last $1,700 payment on a debt that was larger than life.

Now, there is one card with an itty-bitty $2600 limit that I still use and will need to take down to zero, but it's the one that I maintained in order to have SOME semblance of credit. My once credit score of 740 or so is now more like 620 - and I need to show myself more responsible going forward.

So, although I am broke, I'm also free from that mountain of debt. Whew! I had a ham sandwich for lunch yesterday because I ran out of cheese and didn't have money to buy more - and no mayo either. Tonight, I'll have the same dinner I had last night - PB&J. I got paid today, but after that last payment and paying my rent to my roommate, I'll have $10 left. I probably won't buy cheese with that. I'll need it to get back to Indianapolis next week.

The portion of the debt that the banks forgave? That will get added to my taxes as income and I'll owe taxes on it. So, guess who is now having the job take out an extra $500 in federal taxes out of every paycheck until the end of the year?

Right - me.

So, it will be next year before I can start building a savings again - Thank god for stability in my job right now. Thank. God.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Tolerating Intolerance

That Paladino guy who is vying for the governor job in New York State said in a speech that children shouldn't be "brainwashed" into thinking that being gay is normal.

A professor at Michigan State University sent an email telling Muslim students to get out of this country.

Paladino isn't apologizing and MSU isn't requiring the professor to recant a thing. It's ok, apparently.

I've had conversations with folks about how "christian" this country really is - or isn't. I'm told it was founded on Christian principles and by Christians and that this is a Christian nation ... except, I don't see anything Christian in the actions or words of those who insist on ignoring the raping, pillaging and killing our forefathers did in order to obtain this great land from the natives. (You might know them as Native Americans). They say with their mouths that this is a Christian nation and yet say things to the contrary, letting live through them the true American spirit of using whatever brute force necessary to overpower those of lesser number and get whatever the fuck they want anyway.

Christ - the epitome of Christianity, right? - was a forgiver ... was kind to the woman at the well (who was in all likelihood a whore) ... forgave Peter who denied him three times .. etc. etc. etc. He was come to fulfill the law so that we wouldn't be bound BY the law ...

and yet still we have a Sodom and Gomorrah mentality, thinking we can rain fire and brimstone from the skies at anything we deem threatening or "immoral."

But research shows that gay couples raise well adjusted kids. Why wouldn't this "free" country embrace a population that is consistently raising well adjusted kids? Are the straights all over the south side of Chicago doing a great job raising their young?

Heterosexuality does not a good parent make.

Christianity does not a good person make.

And I'm tired of the hypocrisy already. Just tired.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

That married guy ...

I was in my college roommate's wedding as an usher. I looked pretty cute in that tux, if I do say so myself. That was in the late 90s. It was something I probably should not have done, I can admit in retrospect. It really was awkward standing up for that marriage, vowing before God and everyone that I would do everything possible to keep it together ... but I decided that part of keeping that vow was NOT telling her that I had slept with him while they were dating.

They're divorced now. (You're shocked - I know)

After that experience, however, I made a vow of my own without the aid of a tux, a church and a priest ... I vowed never, ever to sleep with a straight guy again. I mean, people ... it was fucking AWFUL. Just plan ole bad sex. It was so bad that I actually told him ... "man, you really ARE straight."

That did wonders for his ego ... because, people, really - he was just experimenting. Believe me. He was REALLY *just* experimenting. I know some people have a hard time believing that a guy could mess with another guy and not be one drop gay, but this dude was seriously just trying to exhaust every possible anything.

We had gone out drinking the night before. It was my ninth semester (out of eight!) and my last. (that's a totally different story - shh. Later.) And I had wanted this man in bed for several years. But we were friends and it was college and we just drank and acted like retards. That night, we were draggin our asses back from the bars and my dorm was closest and on the way to his. There was an enormous hill (There had to be a 25-30 foot change in elevation from bottom to top) between my place and his and to make a long story short ... we crashed at my place, both passed out on my full size futon.

The light of the next morning was poking at my eyelids while I slept and I tried desperately not to notice the red behind my eyelids. I felt myself taking deep, steady breaths trying to stay relaxed so that I could fall back asleep but a strange sensation came over me. I don't know how to explain it - through the dry hangover I felt watched. So, I opened my eyes and there he was, awake and staring at my face while I slept. I smiled, turned around and reached back to pull his arm around me. And then I went back to sleep. He didn't stop me, and he didn't pull away.

Later that day, we ended up back at my place - night had come. Conversation got interesting and we beat around the bush talking about what gay sex was like. I'd had it - he hadn't. Eventually, I told him I could kiss him and show him. He didn't say no. I approached him and placed one hand on each arm of the chair and leaned into his face. "Can you handle it?"

"Yeah," he said.

I licked my lips, drawing closer. "I'm serious, man."


Then I traced his lips with my tongue.

He kept his eyes closed as I looked to see his expression when I was done. He was steadying his breathing.

Then, I kissed him - full on. And he kissed back. And our tongues rolled together until I had to stop to get his shirt over his head. Eventually, he was completely disrobed.

He laughed quietly and became a bit shy. "I'm naked in front of you in your room," he said.

"That's the the problem. The problem is ... I'm *not*"

He took my clothes off in the clumsiest of fashions and I wished I would've just done it myself. He was better endowed than my ex ... the one man I had had sex with to that point, and I wasn't sure I could deal with all of that. But I took him into my mouth anyway ...

He had told me that he was frustrated with his wife because she couldn't get his whole dick in her mouth. I wasn't sure I was going to be able to either. I think I was about half an inch shy of doing so ... but I tried.

And that's pretty much how everything went. I tried to do everything his wife couldn't ... and he would do a fucking thing. As a passive participant, I think he felt it made him not necessarily gay. He continued to be clumsy, say things in the least sexy way possible and had an overall detached experience with me ... and it showed. For two years I wanted this experience ... but I wanted him to want to be there with me. And, he really didn't want to be ... he just felt safe with me - safe enough to experiment and not have anyone know. And I'm good for it - I didn't tell.

It was all just a big waste of my time. I didn't really enjoy myself at all. AT ALL. And, you know what ... I really don't think he did either. It all just got awkward. Mechanically, that is - his movements weren't fluid, he wasn't really into it and he just wanted me to make it all happen. And I wasn't nearly experienced enough to be all that right then.

We're friends to this day - he's the biggest whore I know. He's hot as hell and the women just love him ... and he does love himself some pussy. He gets laid more than anyone I know. And I've heard about lots and lots and LOTS of his conquests over the years and since his divorce. And once he send me a pic of his then girlfriend's tits ... holy fuck they were huge!

People - for real. He's straight. And I won't ever sleep with a straight dude again.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Monday, September 27, 2010

Childing: The kids' side of parenting

The boy
I spent about 15 minutes on the phone with my son - he asked me to guess his favorite Football team. The Colts. Right.

Second Favorite? I just couldn't remember and then he gave me hints. The Broncos.

Third favorite? Omg - there're three? uhhhh -

Look, he's 7 and I don't follow football. Clearly - that's going to have to change. I told him I would start watching so we can talk about it. Seems he spends sundays at his moms watching FOOTBALL. *sigh*

The girl
My girl was acting a fool and really doing things that were uncharacteristic of her. I confronted her about it - gave her examples of her behavior, that usually pointed to her being rude to me. It told her she needed to think about it really good because I was expecting her to tell me WHY she was behaving this way.

later that day, she told me that I always do things for her brother but not for her ... and SHE had examples: I read him a bed time story ... she has to ask me to tuck her into bed ... etc. etc.

Now, that bedtime story? My son ASKED me to read it. I don't do it on the regular now because ... well, folks - they know how to fucking read!

Tucking her in? My son hit the mattress and is asleep in 0.4 seconds. So, I go in there with him to tuck him in. She, on the other hand, gets up to get water ... then gets up to pee, then reads ... and when she's ready to go to sleep, she calls me in to tuck her in.

So, I'm not playing favorites, but clearly she's noticed that there are differences. So, I explained the differences to her from my perspective and that I wasn't trying to play favorites. I loved on her and we talked for a good long while. And I could tell she felt like daddy's little girl again.

The dad
I learned a lot in September.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I did it!

On January 4, 2010, I quit smoking. Sometime in April, I signed up to raise $1200 for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and run the Chicago Half Marathon. On Sunday, I crossed the finish line!

I trained all summer for this thing, taking four weeks off to do physical therapy on account of my knee fucking with me. But I did it - I did all my exercises and stretches and everything I needed to do to get back in it. And yet still, about mile 6, my knees ached. At mile 7 they bothered me. At mile 8 they officially hurt. At mile 9, I walked a lot more. From mile 10 - 11.5 ... I walked exclusively ... and then I just dug in deep and ran through the pain.

The course was beautiful, up Lake Shore Drive on Chicago's south side with a gorgeous view of the city and a perfect sunny, humidity-free day for running. My children were there cheering for everyone and waiting for me at the finish line ... and it was all just so fucking GREAT.

But I learned late in the race that all of my training, all of my fund raising, that entire race ... it was all about the last 2-300 yards to the finish line. I cannot explain the flurry of emotions I underwent as I approached the finish line. I screamed, I pumped my fists, I sobbed (but quickly got it together!) ... I felt proud, happy, glad my children were there ... I felt, EVERYTHING. For 2-300 yards. EVERYTHING.

And then I crossed the finish line, grabbed fists full of chocolate chip cookies and bananas (look, that's all they had!) and stuffed. my GOT-damn. face. Because, BBAABBBYYYY, I was hungry.

To anyone disabled by HIV and/or AIDS and relies on the AIDS Foundation for food, shelter, medicines and support ... I really had no idea what you go through. No idea. I'll gladly sign up again to do this again in 2011 ... and I'll be bringing people with me to fund raise and run.

To any reader who feels so led: here is my fund raising page. If it's a penny, we'll take it!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Back and Forth

I must admit that sometimes I'm not so optimistic about finding the right guy for me - other times I'm expectant and just know it's going to happen for me. Right now? Eh, kinda down.

I don't know how to explain it - but I do know that I appreciate my mountain tops because when I'm in a valley like I am now I miss them. It happens to me during holidays - even though Labor Day weekend has never meant much to me, I always feel like everyone else has something to do - and I never do.

I suppose that's why I try to schedule something during the holidays to try and host dinner or whatever - but I don't always do it. I made zero plans for this weekend and I've found myself feeling down in the dumps - it sucks.

But I'll bounce back - I always do. I'm teaching this week and being on platform has a way of making things disappear. I get into that zone and it's a good thing for me ... even if what I'm teaching is relatively boring material.

Anyway - I've been texting quite a bit with my date of last week - that's promising. And I think I'm just ready to go back to Chicago. Indianapolis can really depress me.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Condoms and lube

I was cleaning out my work bag and there's this zipped compartment that I never go into and when I opened it, it was full of condoms, female condoms, and lube ... and I had totally forgotten about all that nonsense JACK carried around.

I admit I was a little bit disappointed in me for having need to carry all of that around with me in order to be ready at a moments notice to add another notch to my bedpost. It feels good to be past it.

I had a date earlier this week with a really sweet guy. We talked a lot and laughed a lot and all in all it was a decent, normal date. We walked to the red line together - I heading north and he south. We hugged and kissed on the cheek and said our goodbyes. And texted all the way home.

Reminded me of this old song ... remember this?

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Happy Birthday Papito

My son turns seven today. I can't believe it - he's my youngest and he's SEVEN!

Today, it's all about him - his affection, his smarts, his sheer good looks, his sense of humor - the totality of him .. HIS day.

He makes me a better dad - and can make me feel so unconditionally loved, like no man can. He is focused, loves his Wii and anything hot wheels ... and I can't wait for him to come home and enjoy the evening with him. I won't even make him go to bed early even though it's a school night!

(Don't tell him mom!)

Because I knew your name before I was old enough to vote ... because you are more than everything I imagined a son could be ... because you taught me the ability to love more ... because you're you ...


Sunday, August 29, 2010

To mean something

I've been thinking about what I miss most about being in a relationship - and I've come down to one thing: I want to mean something to someone. I want thoughts of me to be dancing around in someone's head, fueled by the thoughts of him dancing around in mine while I work, travel, or do whatever it is I'm doing when we're not together. I want an out of the blue text about being missed, a basket of fruit in my hotel room when I get there just because or a simple card with simple text: "The "L" in TTYL is NOW!"

You know, I spend so much time and energy on other people ... not that it's all bad, of course. I invest time into my kids, into my job and, therefore, my bosses, into my friends, etc. And although my kids have definitely taught me what unconditional love is all about, I know that my relationship with them is designed to allow them to leave. But I would really like to be equally invested with another man in a relationship designed for us both to stay.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I'm not broken!

Had a conversation today with an ex co-worker who is at least 20 years my senior. It was an interesting conversation about what gay sexual freedom was, that he remembered people being arrested for simply BEING in a gay bar ... before the stonewall riots. I can hols my own in such conversations.

He wondered if maybe AIDS wasn't a good thing for the gay community because it really made us THINK about sex instead of being so cavalier about it. I thought that was interesting. DEEP. But interesting, or maybe lemonade out of lemons-like.

At the same time, he decided to tell me that I was neglecting a large part of my life. That I spent too much time traveling and all that and that I was giving too much of myself to my children and not taking care of ALEX. Although he respected my role as a parent and how important it is to me, he thought I needed more.

I tried to explain to him that I made a conscious choice last year NOT to just have sex for sex's sake and that I wasn't crazy. I went a year without sex from the last time I touched my ex-wife to the next time I felt ready to really do anything ... these past 8 months for me aren't a dry spell, or some sign that I'm broken. This is how I do - the real me isn't comfortable with casual sex for sex's sake and I have to be true to me.

Apparently, according to him, it's unnatural not to have sex.

What the fuck!? For the love of Jesus, we all spent the majority of our lives NOT having sex. I'm not saying I don't enjoy it - I'm saying, I've got shit to do. I refuse to let my dick point me in the direction I should go ... instead, I determine my destiny and I get there.

He admitted that he doesn't have kids and isn't at all paternal. In fact, he said he would toss a baby into the trash if he had one. (Graphic, I thought). In the end, we agreed to disagree, I think. I'm not sure. I don't think I got through to him and I think he's actually trying to pluck feathers off a chicken and shedding the blood of a goat in the name of getting me back to normalcy.

But I want to be perfectly clear about this. When I had conjured up JACK in order to be able to really handle promiscuity, I never once neglected my children. I wasn't late to pick them up from daycare .. even thought I was 200 miles away. I never once forgot to feed them, bathe them, help them with homework, give them their asthma medicine before bed, read with them ... tell them how much I love them, or kiss on them or love on them.

I have NEVER brought home a piece of ass, or otherwise introduced them to a bevvy of fuckers I've dated or bedded. They have a stable life, albeit it with parents who don't live together. They are intelligent, well-rounded kids who will contribute positively to society and through them my legacy as a father will live on far beyond my grave. That's important to me. And I was able to maintain that even when I was fucking a new dude every month ...

And you know what? Whether I am a whore or no, my kids won't have to deal with a FRACTION of the nonsense I had to deal with as a kid - the fighting, the arguing, the police, the lovelessness, the stealing, the lying, the taunting, the oppression. NONE of it. My role as a parent has nothing to do with my sex life, and I'm not giving TOO MUCH of me to my kids. It's ridiculous.

The truth is that my decision to STOP being promiscuous? It's for the same reason that man thinks I should be fucking my brains out. Because I deserve it.

Except I don't deserve sex. I deserve a man - the totality of a man. And I'm not going to find him treating my dick like a metal detector and men like pieces of scrap iron.

That's how I'm taking care of ALEX.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Equal and Opposite Reactions

So, no sooner than that fool cancels on me TWICE in one weekend ... I come across another seemingly nice dude. I've decided that I'm all about meeting new people for the sake of meeting new people. I'm not trying to hose everyone down in gun oil or otherwise try to bed a fool ... Even if it's to get to know someone on a friend level ... or whatever. Look, even if I'm not interested, I figure I need to expand my network in case the dude I'm not interested in has an interesting friend.

You follow me?

I scheduled a dinner date tonight with someone else. It's partly a statement that I'm not going to sit around and be a fool for nobody.

In the end - I think the dude that canceled did me a favor. I totally fell asleep for a 4 hour nap. yesterday. I slept right through the time I was supposed to be out with him. After running 11 miles on Saturday, I was tired as HELL.

Anyway - a date tonight. Latino (I know, right?!!), my age, has two kids like I do ... He's probably got a lazy eye, a missing front tooth and can't pronounce "sexy." *shrug*

If he cancels, I'm going to repost yesterdays' blog. LOL.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

History is a good predictor

So, this brunch date? He canceled. I was fine with it ... today he called and asked me to a movie tonight. I thought it was quite the upgrade from brunch, and since he had to cancel, I accepted.

At 5pm I text him and he says:

"I have no excuses but I just can't make it. I'm sorry."

My response: "I had a feeling. ok"

See, I'm going to need people to stop asking me why I'm still single. I get that a lot. The answer is quite simple - I've got too much shit going on to be bothered with nonsense. I have not asked this dude for a reason, not when he canceled for brunch or for why he canceled the movie. I don't intend to, either - because quite frankly, it's not important in my life. I don't know him like that and the whole point of the date was to get to know him ... and I feel as like I've gotten to know enough already.

I won't be seeing him - I don't care what the reasons are - I just won't entertain anymore invites to meet. Eventually, he'll contact me less ... fewer texts, fewer emails and then it'll be like before we chatted ... he won't be in my phone and I won't be in his and I'll continue doing what I do.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Dating Pool

The dating pool is definitely a public pool ... defined by overcrowding, inattentive lifeguards and a bunch of minorities who can't swim.

(Let the analogy marinate for at long as necessary - then read on)

Some of us test the waters with our toe, some cannonball in and others just wade in the shallow end refusing to get our hair wet.

(Ok, enough with the analogy)

Mr. Old Navy tried to start a text conversation with me again. He asks how I'm doing ... I say that I'm good and with the kids and ask, "How u?"

*dead air*

He's really a trip. I don't have disdain for him, mind you - he just isn't comin' wit' it like he ought to.

In an effort to not focus squarely on black dudes, I canceled my BGC account. The reality is that no one hardly ever spoke to me on there anyway, especially since I began to advertise that I wasn't about nonsense or tomfoolery anymore. All of the people worth anything have materialized and I have some great friends as a result of that stint.

I still have my adam account and have the same message on there. I got a message from this screen name I didn't recognize. The picture seemed somewhat familiar though and the message seemed to connote that we'd spoken before.

And in fact, we had. It dawned on me who it was - a dude I chatted with last year. The same dude who I spotted i my cell phone earlier in the day while going through my address book when I was at the kids karate class. The SAME dude I had decided to call next weekend when the kids went back with their momma.

I thought it was uncanny.

We spoke last night - same voice, same blah blah blah. Last we spoke, he was just getting out of a pretty bad relationship. This time, it's a year plus behind him. So, I was intrigued.

I asked him how he found me on adam, since he was using a new account and I wasn't listed as one of his friends ... AND I had moved my account to another part of the city when I moved with my roommate. He skirted the issue - was he looking for me? hmmm. I'm still unclear, but it was nice to touch base with him again.

Long story short - we're having brunch on Sunday. It'll be the first time we meet in person. Should be cool. Ever onward and upward, I figure ...

Monday, August 2, 2010

ow - my knees!

Apparently, your knee cap travel up and down in this little space designed for it. Mine, however, prefer to glide up and outward ... so, this half marathon attempt of mine is hanging precariously in the balance since I develop Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome. Holy bum knee, batman!

Several physical therapists have taped up my knee trying to force my patella to glide directly upward, but that motion is not natural for me, since I've got, on I don't know ... thirty-four years of experience doing it wrong! It's the weirdest feeling in the world to walk with my knees all taped up.

Today, she taped them up again after my physical therapy and I've managed to put up with the discomfort this time. Progress? Maybe. When I asked her if I can run .. I got a very interesting response:

"Until it hurts."

Now, "The Gays" are at the ready to take that comment all out of context ... so, before you weigh in, I've already heard:

"My OB/GYN said the same thing"
"or until the hurt feels good ..."

So, you've got to come pretty good to top those. (or maybe I just did with that one right there ...)

At any rate, I'm sure I look sexy as hell with medical tape on my right knee and a little bit of a limp. All I need is a gap between my teeth and a cane and I can be THAT old guy in the club.

Friday, July 30, 2010

The horizon is futher away

Some time ago I dated this wacko of a dude who is gun-totin' police officer. He asked me what I would do if I knew there were only 24 hours left until the end of the world. I told him I would be with my kids. He said, "but what if there wasn't enough time to get to them?" I answered, "well, I'd die on my way." He said I was bullshit - and we went back and forth for a bit before I realized it didn't matter that he didn't believe me. But then he told me what he would do. He would shoot people and rape dude and just do whatever the fuck he wanted. I cut the conversation short - he noticed it bothered me and claimed I just wasn't understanding him. Gotta go - bye.

Some many months later he was in my neck of the woods and called me. Turns out, the dude he was on my side of town to see had stood him up and he wanted to know if I wanted to do something. I had nothing better to do and since this was most certainly not a date, I figured - why not. So, he picked me up and we went out for a drink.

He asked me a poignant question, this black man who doesn't date black men. "Are you still only focused on dating black guys?"


"How's that going for you?"

I gave him a stank look, stared him up and down and quipped, "not very good, apparently." He laughed. I laughed it off and whatever. I was annoyed by this man who wouldn't date black men when he himself was black. This was one of the reasons I have dated latinos, even though I have a preference for black men. How could I refused to date latinos and then chastise a black man who won't date black men?!? I *had* to date latinos ... because, I live to chastise people.

Seriously, though - it would be hypocritical, right? But recently, since I've given up casual sex (on account of it being cold, emotionless and flat out just not good sex at ALL) I've given that question of his a lot of thought. How *IS* it going for me? And for a hot minute I considered just refusing to date black men altogether because I've had zero luck finding an attractive, intelligent, single, gay Black man who is Black first, Gay second and is actually attracted to me. Instead, I've found some dumb-ass, lazy-eyed mother fuckers who salivate at me but refuse to actually BE gay because it's taboo. Or, I find decent guys who are willing to date on the DL ... because they already have a partner, or a wife! Or I find perfectly suitable men who just aren't that into me. I almost decided that that crazy gay police officer was right ... this really wasn't going well for me.

But I couldn't do that - instead I realized I had to broaden my horizons to be more inclusive, not more EXclusive. So, I've been paying attention to white guys more. And, you know what ... it's plausible. Possible! IN fact, one of those dudes at the kids day camp mighta coulda gotten it in the bushes. But I digress - in the spirit of expanding my list of potential mates, I'm adding white dudes to the mix.

But Asians and Indians better not be holding their breath ... I'm seriously not at ALL attracted.


(Shut the hell up, dammit - slow progress is progress nonetheless!)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Only me?

Remember my first love? The one who told me I would always be his first love and that he will always love me and wanted my blessing to ask his boyfriend's hand in marriage?

Yuh, him.

So, we're still cool and I see him FB-ing about his engagement ceremony and keeping the list small, etc. And so, whatever, right?

He IM's me asking, "If I invite you to the engagement party, would you come?"

"Yes, I would. But aren't you paring down the list?"

"Stop it! You're my first love - what's more significant than that?"

So, I'm seriously baffled ... because that wouldn't be *MY* line of thinking as I embark on a forever journey with my man. But, ok - whatever.

He tells me to bring a date, though. I kid and say I would bring my female BFF from college (who almost broke us up) and he laughs, but insists that I bring me a dude.

"If I'm seeing someone then, ok - but if not, I'm rollin' dolo! (I just aged myself there, didn't I?)

And to make this short ... he mentions that I should have someone on my arm because last time he saw me it wasn't easy to keep his hands off of me.

I mention that I noticed it when we were saying goodbye ... that he struggled with not KISSING me goodbye.

He admits that that's true ... but that his "DICK said SLEEP WITH HIM!"

So goes this life of mine - the ones I want don't want me and the ones that I want nothing to do with (on account of being ICK or being taken) are the ones that tell me this shit. Why the fuck can't an intelligent, single man without hang-ups ever come on to me?

(You're free to comment about how ready my ex is to get into this marriage)

Monday, July 26, 2010

My new motto

Reciprocity ... or Return to Sender

At work, I get back so much mail from people who don't know their damn addresses it's unreal. Seriously, I had one application from someone who wrote down their address, complete with the wrong zip code. IN INK!

How the fuck you don't know where you live?

(Actually, how the fuck and I already digressing?)

So, as I was saying - for various reasons I get lots of mail returned with that yellow sticker from USPS ... RETURN TO SENDER [insert reason here]

: No mail receptacle (wait - your dumb ass don't have no mailbox?!?)
: No such address (are you fucking kidding me?)
: Recipient No Longer At This Address - Forwarding Time Expired (Fuck. Me. How long have you been using this bullshit address?!?)

... seriously, the list goes on and on and AWN! ugh.

Remember this dude I had been on a date with? Who was nice and I was going to look past all the things JACK would focus on? The one who I picked up (he has no car). I picked up the tab because *I* was the one who asked him out. Yeah - him.

He's made zero attempts to see me again, rarely initiates texts or IM conversations and doesn't really call. I've even been to the store he works at ... I ask for permission and he said he was looking forward it ... I went, saw him for about 30 seconds and the text I got later was "I'm glad you came by - it was good seeing you again"

But no attempts to take the reigns and actually ask me out ANYWHERE.

So, I got to thinking about how mail is the only thing that seems to come back to me. At least it comes back with reasons. And from that place grew my motto - like a seedling taking root in bad situation to teach me something new:

Reciprocity ... or Return to Sender.

From where ever he came, he can return. I haven't heard from him since except a 3am message this weekend, "I just passed your crib," alluding to his drive back to his house from downtown or boystown or wherever. I didn't respond - I'm just sending him back to his momma.

No really, he lives with his parents.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

My momma's a bitch

Did the title get your attention?

Allow me to preface this post by saying that I love my mother. Mainly, however, it's because my culture demands that I do. Sons in the Latino culture are supposed to look after their mommas - we're just supposed to. And my family is good about laying on the guilt trip to make sure the sons do their mothers' bidding. In the absence of that culture, I might actually abhor my mom, though.

Her actions made it very clear to me growing up that she did not want me. But I sought her love and affection anyway. And it never came - ever. Yet still, if something or somebody makes my mother cry ... I can't explain it. If I hear her cry, a little part of me feels like its dying.

Today, my cousin called me to tell me that our second cousin was shot and killed in Florida. I didn't know this kid, but clearly he was family. See, my mother is the youngest of 5 siblings and I am HER youngest. In our family, I am the youngest of the cousins and my cousin who lost her son today? She the eldest of my mother's eldest sibling.

Get it? We're completely different generations and didn't spend much time together. But the call came in that my aunt is in mourning and is a mess at having lost her grandson. She wants her sisters. Like, my mother.

But no one can find my mother - so I get a call with all this information.

I go crazy calling her numbers and no answer. I know my mother MUST be in some casino somewhere and sure enough I eventually get a call back. It went something like this:

Mom: I didn't know that kid, Alex.

Me: Ma - I didn't either - but your sister is a mess and is ASKING for you.

Mom: Well, I'm at a slot machine and it's GIVIN' it to me and I'm happy.

Me: Ok. Have fun.

Are you fucking kidding me with this shit? Your sister, who recently buried her son who succombbed to AIDS-related illnesses, just lost her grandson ... and is ASKING for you. And you won't walk away from a slot machine?

People, I'm stunned. I'm just stunned. That's some cold shit right there - selfish, coldhearted shit. And I can't even be bothered with her right now.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

How do I make it stop?

I'm picky. I'm so fucking picky, it's unreal. I have this perfect man for me designed in my head and I always juxtapose reality against that fictitious being that only my mind's eye can see. And this perfect man for me? I considered going into detail, describing him for you ... but, really - it's pointless. He's made up and I'm not an author creating a novel for the world to enjoy ... it's a character that doesn't need to be drawn up with the letters of the alphabet ... he just needs to fall back into the non-existent space he resided in before I conjured him up.

Because, people, he's a problem for me. In the time since my divorce, I have managed to be genuinely interested in 3 men. Interestingly enough, they are so very different from each other ... each making up his own distinct 85% of the perfect, fictitious perfect man in my head.

The first? I opined for him for far too long. It was a long distance thing. We met online and time after time he would avoid meeting in person. He was the real-life version of my fictional man because he too would refuse to materialize in the flesh. That hurt me - and it took me a long time to finally let go.

The second? He couldn't commit - and although we met in person, the relationship never materialized ... and in fact, he got spooked and completely cut me off. That hurt me - and it took me a long time to finally let go.

The third? He's just flat out not interested.

I'm realizing that I need to stop using this made up perfect person as the yardstick with which to measure the value of potential mate. I've managed to turn away more than twice as many suitors, genuinely interested in me, but possessing little to none of the qualities of the dude in my head. Let's name him. Let's call him Peter.

I'm going to need to crucify Peter ...even if he requests to nailed upside down. He just has to go. But nails have proven ineffective at piercing fake hands and fake feet. I have no idea how to get rid of him. No idea.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Darwinism, circa 2010

I read the following:

Typhoon Conson turned billboards lethal on China's southern resort island of Hainan. The state-run Xinhua News Agency said a falling billboard killed a motorcycle rider Friday night

And immediately wondered ... what the FUCK are you doing out on your motorcycle during a hurricane?

*throws hands in the air*

I'm through.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

One last thing ...

So, I quit smoking and I stopped having casual sex and I started training for a half marathon ... but I have only halfheartedly taken up the whole eating right and losing weight thing ... I had lost all of my quit smoking weight and pretty much put it all back on in the last month. The yo-yo between 165 and 175 is a mess for me and it's annoying the fuck out me too.

I found out today that my uncle had a heart attack ... again. Yes, again. This, the same uncle who had a quintuple bypass the last time ... yuh, him. He's gotten to eating badly again, not taking his meds the way he's supposed to and stressing out like crazy at work. Really?

My father had a quadruple bypass a couple of years ago.

Soon after, my aunt had a stint put in.

Clearly - I had some fucked up genes ... why am I still eating like this?

So, I'm going to add another marked focus - but I'm not trying to get crazy with it. I'm not trying to get back to 145 pounds (can you see it?) ... My plan righ tnow is 165 pounds and hold steady instead of getting there and then eating at every fast food joint I can name ... Simple plan ... get there (like i know I can) and stay there ... for the rest of the year.

Nothing major - nothing ridiculous ... just something else.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I hadn't realized it ...

Last week's date was a decent date by most standards. He was interesting, conversation was good, the food was good - and he didn't try to lick my tonsils when we kissed. He's intelligent, doesn't sag his pants - and he actually owns slacks! Not bad for starters ...

... if you kept up with my previous JACK blog, you know I've had some ridiculous experiences when I was out there just fucking for fucking's sake. And this was a date - like, an actual DATE. And I know it was an ACTUAL date because ... well, I might as well tell you ... I was the one who asked him to dinner.

So, of course it comes up that I've made some significant changes in my life over the past 7 months or so. I quit casual sex sometimes before Christmas - I quit smoking in early January - I started training for the Chicago Marathon in May.

And he asked me a very good question: Why? Why all of these things all at once?

So, I answered honestly. I really did. I have been wanting a relationship for about a year now - and by last fall I was so frustrated that I wasn't in one that I took inventory, and I realized that I knew exactly what I wanted ... but I wasn't any of those things. And I needed to fix that.

So, I've been focusing on improving me so that I can be worthy of the things I am looking for - of the man I want.

Look, readers - that's 100% true. I am quite self-aware and I know exactly from where in the depths of me the last 7 months of my life have come from. But I didn't really realize the actual value of the statement, or of my knowing so, of my having actually gone through with this self-improvement for the sake of being able to be a positive influence in the life of a man who positively impacts mine. I know I don't want no junk, so I won't BE no junk ... but when I told this man all of this, answering his question I found him to be unresponsive for a few seconds.

For a few seconds he just stared at me and I wondered if maybe he just thought I was crazy. Or maybe *HE* was crazy - all glassy-eyed and frozen ... not moving a muscle. And all at once it hit me ... the power of my statements, of the reality of the past 7 months of my life. I've never actually considered what it would be like to TELL a potential suitor all of these things ... but here it is ... and I promise you I was watching the man have a mini brain orgasm.

When he came to, he said, "wow. that's a great answer."

"Well, it's the truth."

"You just became so much more intriguing to me just now."

"Did I?"


I smiled and took another bite of my lamb - which, btw was off the mother FUCKIN' chain ... but I digress.

I'm pretty sure I'm in a good place. As I've mulled things over since that date, I've realized that I want to get to know him better - for the time being, at least as much as I would need to know him in whatever capacity in my life. No cart before a horse here ... I just want to be able to call him friend right now and if things happen down the road or no, then so be it.

I do need to tell him that though - and I'll make sure it comes up next time we speak. That's where I stand and he can't just be "waiting patiently" for me.

Interesting turn of events, eh?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Did I really just do that?

Went out on a date last night. Didn't get home until 2am. Fogged up the windows in the car ... but, *officially* it's still been six months.


Right - no intercourse ... just fun.

Interesting thing is that this guy really does make me smile ... and he's really into me. It's all just very nice.

But there are some issues - and I've got to make sure I don't let this get too ahead of us. I asked him over dinner what were his short term and long range plans ... and he had nothing.

"I'll have to get back to you on that."


We won't be rounding third base, boo - but we can chill there.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Martinis love me. Watermelon Martinis - mmmmmmm.

I went out after work with some coworkers (and two interns) and four hours and five martinis later, I left. You'd think I'd have issues this morning, but instead I was up with the sun, bright eyed, bush-tailed and got to work at 8:15am!

It seems I really needed that. And it felt good - I feel good, and things don't seem so bleak.



(and for the mini slivers of ice they put in them ... omg, they make me moist)

Chris Brown et. al.

I am not affected by staged tears dramatically wiped away with the back of the same hand that is swung at women. No - I'm not moved. No - I'm not convinced. No - I'm not spending money on anything Chris Brown.

He bites women - I'm through.

Much like I was through with MJ for touching boys. And through with R. Kelly for touching pre-pubescent girls. Nan-uh-one-uh da three of them will see a penny o' mine.

If you disagree - don't bother commenting. I don't care.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Open Mind

So, this dude who is trying to woo me ... I think JACK would have a lot to say about all the things that are wrong with him. I am trying to keep JACK in check, because I really did kill him off. I ain't tryin' to have him rattle chains and haunt me up in this bitch, ok?

Not quite as financially stable as I would like - a little bit more overweight that I typically care for - the mohawk (it's low and tight, but it's a mohawk!) ...

JACK, STFU, carajo!

Alex focuses on the fact that he seems to be genuinely nice - he's intelligent and tells me that it's my own intelligence that intrigues him. He told me he's trying to get to know me, not trying to fuck me ... (and he said it eloquently!) ... He's not caught up in any ex- drama (that I know of) and took a vow himself to cease casual sex and he's three months into it. (I'm six months into my own vow)

So - I'm keeping an open mind. Because when we speak - he makes me smile. Genuinely. I think this is what the whole "not fucking for fucking's sake" is about. He's fun and maybe eventually I can find him intriguing ... maybe in a few months I might LIKE him, like him ...

... or maybe in a few months we'll be boyz and making fun of stupid bitches who wear 4" heels for a walking tour of the City of Chicago.

I'm good either way.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Reevaluating again

You know, if one person blows you off - so be it. If two? Wow. But THREE? Clearly, I've got to take inventory of all things Alex and revamp. I can't tell you how emotionally draining today has, having dealt with the true colors that folks emanate on pride weekend. To some degree, I suppose I can understand being treated this way - I do indeed live two separate lives in two different cities ... and I choose to drop off from people's radar when I'm with the kids in parent mode. I own that, and clearly, it's come with consequences.

I think I expected people to be more understanding that one can safely expect friends to be. Perhaps it's a bit much to have a friend who disappears 1/3 of the time to a different city - well, not perhaps. Obviously. And I'm going to have to take a few steps back and just chill.

I had a rough week, I admit - My daughter had pottery camp at the Y in the next county, my son stayed at daycare near my house, the boy had karate after work on Monday and they both had swimming after work Tuesday and Thursday (all extra curriculars in the other county, where their momma lives.) To boot, we stayed out past 11PM on Wednesday to watch Toy Story and past 11PM on Thursday to watch Karate Kid - so, it was a full week. And I was drained.

But I drove to Chicago to enjoy pride weekend - and I didn't enjoy much of anything. Blown off of Friday, I dressed up my room instead, putting up curtains and putting on a new bedspread. I ran 9.5 miles on Saturday morning and then went to the pridefest festival with a bunch of people I didn't know. While it was cool to meet new people - I've got to say, it wasn't the same as enjoying the experience with friends. And it weighed on me.

Today was the parade - and I thought I'd see a potential date today ... he didn't call or text until after 5pm, saying he had a hellish afternoon and was just getting to the festivities. By that point, I was already drained, disappointed and damn near dead tired. So, I told him to have fun.

I accepted an invite from a friend of a friend to do the parade today - except the friend of MINE didn't seem too happy about it. Complained about now having to take an additional car, in fact (and I drive!) - so, after having accepted the invite, I bowed out. Who the hell wants to be somewhere he's not wanted?

In short - I'm going to take a step back and slowly distance myself from these friendships. Clearly, the problem lies with me. I've got to admit that the common denominator is MOI. And it seems I'm more of a nuisance than welcomed company - and I really do need to figure out why.

... and having slept 5 hours this afternoon isn't a good way to conduct this reassessment. I'll let you know how it all pans out.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Run, Bitch - RUN!

It's nerve-wrecking to get tested. I know it is. Thankfully, I've always tested negative, but it doesn't make it any easier to get tested. The fear, uncertainty and blah blah blah ... it's still there.

When I gave up smoking in January, I felt like I needed to do something - in April, I signed up to run the Chicago Half Marathon to benefit the AIDS foundation.

I've been training since May 8, running everywhere I go - most notably, across the Woodrow Wilson bridge when I was in DC for business. I also ran along Lake Michigan from downtown Chicago heading south, in the rain. It was just amazing. Last week, I ran with my pace group - 8 miles.


I had no idea I had it in me. But, apparently, I do. Saturday I run 9 miles. I'm a bit excited about it. Here's my sponsor page with The Team to End Aids:

Take a peek - and if you feel so led ... make a donation to support my endeavor. Hell, I don't care if it's a penny.

I'm astounded at how good it feels to run - I mean physically and emotionally. My feet and my ankles? They don't feel so good - it surely takes getting used to. And the hunger?!? OMFG - I be hOngry as a mother fucker, I swear. This ain't no weight loss program, folks. No, siree.

Well, as I keep on trying to focus on all things productive, keep me in your thoughts. It's been six months since I've had sex and at times I wonder if I'm not just going to accost the next fool I walk by ... and it's been 25 weeks since I've had a cigarette and I wonder sometimes if I'm not going to light one up after I accost the next fool I walk by.

Damn summer.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

You too?!?

Remember my last post? There must be something in the air. Maybe it's the onset of summer. While I do find myself thinking about a relationship a lot nowadays, it's been that way for about six months now. But within the last three weeks, three dudes have said they're looking and are ready or are lonely and want it ... or miss it and want it.

Is this what summer does? It's new to me because up until this point summer just meant I had to wait longer until night fall to go and get some NSA dick. Hmmmm - it's a whole new world as a grown up.

(i don't think i like it)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Chain reactions

It seems I always like the wrong people. I've cleared my head of the nonsense that was my misplaced intrigue and here comes along a blast from the past, hitting me up and all but asking me to be his. But I'm not feeling him that way, so I tell him so.

"Why not?"

What the fuck ... I have to explain this shit? He tells me that he's husband material, and I can't think of something more subjective right now. Look, I don't care if you think you're husband material, I'm just not that into you.

Problem is, I suppose, that I've slept with him before. And unbeknown to me, it's been something he can't shake. What?!? Well, DAYUM.

He knows I'm not doing casual sex, but he insists on being "the first one." I asked what that meant and he means he wants to be the one to have me first after my long wait. So, it's about the sex ... I get it. The sex is good, so now you'll tell me that you want a relationship because you know I'm not on the casual sex bit.

I got this one figured out.

Except, tonight he starts texting about how he's been lonely and wants to be in a relationship again and I try to be a friend and tell him that it takes time, that you don't come out of a 17 year relationship and adopt a single man's world view immediately. And this is for real - he's really going through it ... and REALLY wants me to be his man.

So, I didn't have this one figured out.

The reality is that he's confused - still trying to see the world from the eyes of the man he now is and not the man he was for 17 years, partnered and such.

I'm trying to be a friend here, but I'm finding it difficult because I'm afraid he'll become attached to me emotionally ... wait. Is he already? Damn, I haven't seen him in eight months; this is nuts.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Stumbling Blocks

Did you know I was training for a half marathon? I've hit the 5-mile mark and while that's great - my team is actually running the 7-miler tomorrow. I feel like I haven't kept up. At the risk of sounding like I"m making excuses, it's simply a pain in the ass to be on single-parent duty and find the time to fit in a 6-mile run.

I tried - I really did. I took the kids bike riding and I ran along side - 3.5 miles later, we were at home and that's all they could give me. I mean, I'm proud of them and my knees WERE killing me, but I was annoyed that I didn't put in my six miles.

Then I went on vacay with them - and I can't very well LEAVE them and go running - so I didn't.

Vacay was great though - we spent some time in Chicago - did the Willis Tower Sky Deck (the glass floor is freaky!) and they met my roommate. Then we went to Six Flags for two nights, three days. It was a blast.

But no running.

I just checked, and I've gained 6 pounds that I had lost and I haven't been to the gym in A MONTH! Seriously, I'm beating myself up right now. I'll visit a trainer on Sunday, though, and get me back on track. I'll also try to get two trainer visits in in Chicago this week. And I'm running my 8-miler with my pace group NEXT Saturday (that is, if I don't die in the process)

Wish me luck

(if anyone is even reading this ... lol)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Freeing me, Freeing him

On the heels of my last post about Emotional IQ, I write about my emotions. Did I tell you that earlier this month my first wrote me an email to tell about about how much he would ALWAYS love me and that he was going to ask his boyfriend to marry him?

(I don't make this shit up - the ridiculousness of it is just about right for the shit I deal with)

He wrote: I did promise myself years ago that I would make love last next time. I think I truly can this time. But I couldn't in good conscience tell [my boyfriend] how special he is to me without telling the first man to fill and break my heart that I will spend my years and death loving him too.

My roommate came into my room the night I read this in Chicago ... I don't even remember what he wanted. But whatever my grunt of a response was, he said, "are you ok?"

I was processing the whole of his email - I mean, we revisited this thing already and I don't want to spend the rest of my life reliving this shit. I don't want to live in the past. We were young, we were stupid .. and now we're 700 miles apart and I didn't really find him at all attractive when I saw him last year (after 12 years of pining for him!) and realizing that he was wanting my blessing to move on was a bit heavy on me.

So, I mustered all the grown-man I had in me and responded:

I am so glad you are where you are, that you can more than entertain the notion of a lifelong love ... that you are actually embarking on that journey. I do understand that no one else could ever be first, but I'm sure [your boyfriend] is better in every way ... more recent, more close, more there - and loving me pales in comparison with being IN love, in every way. Go, with my blessing, and be the best husband you can be.

Tonight he changed his FB status to "engaged." His boyfriend has said yes ... and deep down inside I'm happy for him. I really, truly am. On the surface, however, it stings slightly that he never, EVER responded to my email ... and I feel used. Like, he read my response - got from it the green light that he wanted and I didn't even get a thank you.

So, here I am, ready to let it go with two simple words:

You're Welcome.

Emotional IQ

I must admit that my emotional intelligence quotient had lagged behind the rest of me by at least a decade. I remember college well, in that I spent a LOT of time crying and moping and letting everything fester. When I lost my first love, I hit the lowest low I thought possible. I opined for many years. MANY.

And then there was my divorce - I was riddled with Christian guilt, couldn't figure out how to get out of a marriage I didn't want but that God wouldn't let me out of ... couldn't figure out how to enjoy my sexuality without making Jesus cry ... so instead, I had a melt down.

Suicidal ideations began at that time and I caught myself (Mainly because I just don't want to die!) and had to figure out how to get it all together. I was bluntly honest about things at that time and I was able to get through it. I bottled in a lot of issues and let it all out that one day when I had a nervous breakdown of sorts ... my then-wife took me to the stress center and I ended up seeing a counselor for some time thereafter to get it all situated and get my head on straight.

Funny, though, that I didn't realize how far I'd come with regard to my emotional IQ. Over the past 6 months I've been dealing with feelings for two very different people ... feelings that I had decided a while ago were just completely misplaced. So, I said nothing. I dealt with it in that very same way I learned how to from my counselor from back in the day (it's been YEARS since I've seen him and his shit STILL works!).

Recently there was one little small issue I needed resolved, and it's done. I got what I needed and after one day of feeling bad about it, I'm good to go.

No tears - no whining ... no nothing. Just a clear head, a sound mind and a newfound realization about how much I love me, how much I can handle and how far I've come in determining what's important to stress over and what is simply not an issue.

... of course, my kids are with they momma in Orlando and I thought I was going to have a heart attack that morning knowing they were surrounded by aircraft grade aluminum shooting through the sky without me. I don't care what ANYBODY says ... I'll always be an emotional wreck when it comes to them. I so love my babies.

Did I actually grow up? Wow. 21 weeks without a cig, 5+ months without sex ... I've taken up running (half marathon in September!) ... and I'm growed up? Who knew!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Finishing Touches

I have been working on my plan to be debt free by the time I'm 40. It's taken some real patience that I simply don't have. Whle talking to a friend, it occurred to me that I could borrow money from my 401(K) and pay MYSELF back.

I looked into it and I think it will keep a lot of nonsense at bay. So, I'm in the process of borrowing about 30% of the current value of my portfolio, to be completely paid back by the time I'm 39. I'm not sure why I didn't think of it sooner. The payments are so much more doable and I'm paying MYSELF back with interest and really it makes no sense to have all that money sitting there making 2% in the current market when I'm now paying upwards of 15-20% to carry balances on credit cards.

Once this process is done (by July 1, for sure) my stress level will decline considerably.

It all came to a head when I freaked out at my monthly payments to credit cards and how much I owe and I immediately wanted a cigarette. I'm 20 weeks since my last cigarette, after being a fiend for a cigarette for 15 years, and this cannot be the catalyst that takes me backwards. Towards that end, folks, my borrowing from my 401(K) is a good idea. I can't, I can't, I CAN'T become a smoker again.

AND, it gets me all out of unsecured debt by age 40. Good. (And truth be told, I don't see a stark rise in the markets now that the Gulf of Mexico is actually a sludge of gunk)

Now, I've GOT to get my arms around my own budget and I've GOT to stick to it. I'm going to focus n that next and really budget my expenses, which quickly got out of hand the last 2 years as I tried to juggle living in two cities by spending on a whim and without thought.

If you've got any budgeting ideas, share them. But please keep in mind that I prefer to use spreadsheets because I'm good at them and if I add another thing to do (like learn a new software program) I might lose my mind ....

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Unrequited Like, The Haunting Past and A dog.

I have had my full of emotions for the time being. I've been holding in too much shit and I just about had me an anxiety attack last night for trying to be all things to all people, trying to do too much again ... trying to do it all, bare it all and say nothing .

You know, I do know better. And it's been a conscious effort on my part to put on a strong front. I suppose my mini meltdown was inevitable. I can at least say that it didn't drive me to drink or smoke - instead, I focused on the things I could change and I changed them. I think maybe I *am* gettin' my grown man on.

Unrequited Like
There's no harm in liking someone for who they are, and I admit that I've had me my own little crush for a while now. I'm sure he knows and I'm sure I don't care that he does. I'm not ridiculous about it and I'm quite clear that the sentiment is no reciprocated. My problem is that I've entertained it for way too long in my head and didn't realize how much until there were several days in a row I woke up with him on my mind. Laying in bed there about the fourth or fifth day of this happening, I thought - What the fuck am I doing? And then I resolved to make some changes. Since I made that decision, there have indeed been consecutive days without him on my mind first thing in the morning. So, some progress.

The Haunting Past
My first love ends up sending me a message on facebook. I didn't realize what I was in for when I opened it, but it was a rehashing of his feelings for me, feelings that are some 13 years old now, and I wasn't ready for that. I really wasn't. I was a mess after reading it - because, look, he and I finally got back in touch a year ago to find out that we opined for each other for years and years and never knew it. I loved him - loved him HARD and he'll always be my "first." But did he really need to email me that he will "always, ALWAYS" love me? That I will always be his first love? That he needed me to know that before he asked his boyfriend to marry him?

Seriously - it was a bit of a dramatic, gay, Gemini mess.

(that upset me and left me to cry myself to sleep that night - but you didn't hear that from me)

Financial Messiness
I sorta forgot to carry over an uncashed check from March into my May financial register. It was my IRS check for over $1,000.00. Clearly, I've been in lala land. It came on through the bank like a bull in a china shop. And what bounces? My rent check to my roommate.

I had the money in another account, though, so I handed him the cash as soon as he told me it bounced. I swear to God that was stressful. My mind's just not been right, you see.

The dog
My roommate and I agreed that I would take his dog to Indianapolis and if the dog adjusted, then I would keep him. Except, it was a bad idea. As soon as we got here last night, the dog went ape shit. Oh, did I mention he's a pit bull and my mother-in-law (my roommate here in Indianapolis) has a poodle?

Clearly, not well planned nor well timed. I should have invited my roommate down with the dog for several visits before I brought the dog down here alone. Fucking pit bull jumped on every bed n the house, was up on the kitchen counter and was trying to stomp on the poodle ...

I thought I was going to stroke out right there.

I took the dog back this morning - napped for 2 hours and drove back to Indy. So last night, I drove to Indy from Chicago - this morning drove BACK to Chicago and this afternoon came BACK to Indy.

Smooth waters
I came back to my kids - who missed me as I've missed them. My son seemed down.
"What's the matter?" I asked.

"I missed you"

"I missed you too. SO much," I said and I held him for a little bit.

My daughter walked in the house and said, "I *so* missed this house!"

And then I realized that everything was going to be ok. The dog is gone, I gave my first love my blessing to go get married, I'm working on getting over liking the dude who clearly doesn't care that I exist romantically, my checkbook is balanced again ... and my kids' faces have calmed the anxiety within me that I was sure was to kill me last night.

I love the SHIT out my kids. I don't know what I would do if I wasn't a daddy.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Come here doggie ...

If I don't find this damn dog already ...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Introducing ... Alex

Hi all. My name is Alex (not JACK). I've taken off the JACK cloak and stepped out into full visibility ... because, quite frankly, it's time. I'm happy about the decision to start anew, blogging without pretenses and without feeling the need to blame the crazy on some fictitious, made-up me.

Actually, it's funny that I thought I was actually HIDING the crazy by creating a fake person, pretending to be him and blaming him for all of the nonsense I didn't really want to admit was all me. Seriously, it's like putting candy coating on an m&m and then trying to convince people it's not chocolate. Dumb.

But I have felt lately that I've rediscovered me. And I think therein lies the catalyst that eventually brought me to this place where I lay down the JACK. On January 4, 2010 I smoked my last cigarette, for starters. 15 years worth of smoking, and I totally just let it go.

My daughter really got to me when she wrote that note under the Christmas tree, asking Santa to have me stop smoking. My ex-wife, their mom (damn shame I have to explain that), was diagnosed with breast cancer last year and the kids have watched her undergo chemo, lose her hair, lose her breasts and eventually her ovaries [rumor has it she was just fine to give her ovaries away] and their pleas for me to quit smoking so that I would not get cancer were heart wrenching. I decided that my smoking was now an indication of bad parenting ... and I can't have that. So, I let it go. Today marks 14 weeks without a cigarette. And it feels like a new me.

Before Christmas, in December, I decided that casual sex was just not working for me. I've met and slept with a ridiculous number of losers, more than I care to admit, and all in the name of "what the hell, why not!" And then I figured out why not ... because it's loveless, pointless and most of the time they're not very good anyway. So, we're going on about 17 weeks since I've had sex. I don't have a man, so I'm not fucking. It's actually pretty straight forward. And you know what? It's simple too. Now when I meet a fool, I don't have to wonder if he's bedable ... or (if he looks young) if he's mattress legal ... none of it even occurs to me at all. It's simple. "What's up, man" "Good to meet you" and then I keep it moving.

And guess what - I've actually met good people! Good people who stick around ... with whom I can form friendships that mean something. Those dudes just plain rock. It's nice knowing that if I need back-up, all I gotta do is say so. You know, as opposed to having a bunch of names in a little black book that each need a little explanation so that my memory is jogged.

First Name:John
Last Name:(Morris Ave nigga - 2nd Floor, rear door)

Nope, people actually have REAL first names and REAL last names. It's nice.

And you know what - I've actually been enjoying my kids more! Unfathomable, but true. I really enjoy listening to them more, and want them to tell me everything, and their hugs and their kisses are so much sweeter now ... and when they call me daddy and run into my arms, I'm reminded of what is really important.

My kids need to have a father. A father that's centered - and focused. A father who cares about them and talks to them and shows them what love looks like, what family looks like. (because Lord knows I didn't have that image growing up!)

And the bonus is ... If I'm centered and focused, only THEN am I really available to a man to be his man ... and I owe JACK that much. He's helped me realize that the more I let the nonsense persist, the less likely I am to find the very thing I'd like to have ... a dude that compliments me, inspires me to be a better father and wonders where the hell I've been all his life.

Until then ... I've got a whole lot of Alex to impress and to be impressed with.

I'm on my shit now.