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Reconnect.

“I never finished this book.”

It was a thought that suddenly jumped into my mind as I worked my way around the Jacuzzi, doing a bit of spring cleaning in the master bathroom on a Monday night. Two books always sit on the tiled ledge around the tub. One book I have read over 30 times, the other I was still reading for the first time. It had been at least six weeks since I last picked it up.

The book in question was a gift from my friend Gregory. He thought that I would enjoy the book immensely, and from what I have read thus far, he was absolutely correct. This book is very fascinating to me. The subject fits right into my belief system and the words flow easily as I move from page to page.

I suppose there are a couple of reasons I haven’t sat down or hopped in the tub and read in a while. Life has been hectic. Work has been uneven and very intrusive during the intense on-call weeks. I have been traveling a lot. I’ve been fighting the effects of SAD, even though I swore I don’t suffer from that sort of thing. Perhaps it’s not a full-blown disorder, maybe I just feel a really strong sense of cabin fever or the winter blahs. Whatever it is or was, I feel like I have finally moved beyond it.

The cleanliness of the bathroom, a project that Earl and I embarked on last night, lent itself to a ride in the Jacuzzi tonight. I filled the tub with water that was as hot as I could stand. I lit an incense stick. I turned on the jets, picked up the book and began reading right where I had left off so many weeks ago.

45 minutes later I was still being pushed around by the jets, the scent of the now used incense stick lingered and I was four chapters further along in “Out On A Limb” by Shirley MacLaine.

Several years ago, right after I started this blog, I did a lot of reading, studying and contemplating on the subject of spirituality. I have no interest in organised religion; I see that practise as nothing more than a very large corporation that seeks to make money and control those that go along with their plan, however perverted from it’s original intent it may be. Religion has no place in my existence, whereas I am very compelled to further understand spirituality.

Interestingly, the concept of “hell” is foreign to me. The whole idea of there being such a bad place doesn’t make sense if there is such a thing as an “all-loving God”. I remember as a child asking my mother what “hell” was. She told me that she didn’t really believe in it but if there was such a place that it was probably right here. A formative statement? Quite possibly, but I tend to think of our existence here on Earth as “the hard part”. When we pass on and our spirit leaves the vehicle we call the body is when we truly are home and in an environment of pure love. We do our thing on the Other Side for a long while and then we decide we need to learn some more and we come back and do it all over again under different circumstances.

I think Shirley would concur with my beliefs.

I haven’t felt connected to my spiritual beliefs in a while1. Once upon a time I felt very connected to the Universe: I meditated twice a day, I practised yoga, I had a sense of who I was and where I was going, I burned incense in my office on a daily basis (incense is very transformative for me). I felt very centered. It’s not that I feel disconnected these days but I don’t feel AS connected as I did say five or six years ago. I still see guideposts along the way that remind me of what I believe and have learned along this path; I meet those that I feel connected to in a way that feels like a millenium of familiarity. I stumble into déjà vu like feelings from time to time. The other night I had a dream quite similar to what I thought was a dream I remembered from a few years ago. I flipped through my dream log, certain that I had written it down but I could not find it. It was then that I realised that I hadn’t had that dream before but had worked the scene into my morning meditation back in 2003. My mind had decided that it was time bring that scene back to the forefront, five and a half years later, so that I would remember that I had experienced many of these feelings before and that I probably would again.

I don’t know if he’s conspiring with Gregory (and his gift of Shirley’s book), but David2 has been urging me to start meditating again and perhaps start taking a class in the practise. I’m strongly considering it. Earl and I have talked about the subject at length and he agree that I don’t seem unhappy in any way these days, quite the contrary, but I don’t seem as grounded as I used to be. So the meditation class is something that I’m looking into. As I’m writing this entry I’m listening to the white noise of a thunderstorm from my iTunes. I find the sound to be incredibly relaxing. Perhaps I need the focus, and more importantly the relaxation, of the meditation exercise to get myself back into spiritual shape.

I feel very enriched and immensely lucky to have the life that I have these days. I also have a need to give back to the world in some way, but in order to do that I feel I need to be grounded better in order to make a positive contribution.

Perhaps continuing that book tonight was the first step in getting myself back in shape.


1 I realise that my spiritual beliefs are a little unique when it comes to this sort of thing and I understand that there are those that don’t believe in the way that I do at all. I honour and respect the beliefs that others have, even if it’s a belief that there is no such thing as a “higher power”, and ask that the comments to this entry not be a debate as to the existence of such. In the process, I thank you for being part of my journey.

2 Here is more information on the men I’m talking about in this blog entry.

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Absence.

I’m back. I haven’t written in my blog for nearly a week and a few people are concerned that I have vanished off the face of the earth.

Heh. I hear Mars is nice.

Last week I got hit with a 24 hour bug and spent most of Wednesday trying to sleep that off. Thursday I wasn’t in the mood to write anything and then I kept pretty busy this weekend so here we are at Monday.

I wish I could say I was in a great mood today to match the sunny weather, but neither my disposition nor the weather is sunny. I feel I match the gray of rainy skies well. Tomorrow will be another day, I guess.

I haven’t cranked on Daylight Saving Time yet this year but I can say without a trace of humour in my voice or on my face that I am not a fan of going to DST earlier like we have for the past couple of years. Has anyone besides me noticed how dark it is when the alarm goes off in the morning? The alarm did a little dance at 6:30 this morning and it was pitch black out. And I’m suppose to be happy and cheery when I get to work after stumbling in the dark as I crawl out of bed and then subsequently blinded by the light of the bathroom when I discover where I left the shower? Please. Just leave the clocks alone and as they were originally intended, with “noon” equaling where the sun is highest in the sky or a reasonable facsimile of this concept.

I should probably write with a touch of whimsy, as I have been told that I am too surly in my blog lately, but I can’t say that I feel whimsical. Perhaps when the sun comes out, I lose 20 pounds or so and when my skin clears up I will sound less surly behind the words but for now I wait for spring.

Not patiently, mind you, but nonetheless I wait.

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Wiped Out.



052.365, originally uploaded by iMachias.

I just got back from dinner with my blogger friend Mike. I call him my blogger friend because he was the first person to recognise me in the mall courtesy of my blabbering on right here on my blog. Mike is a month and a day younger than me and a really nice guy. We hadn’t seen each other in about two years, it was time for us to reconnect and break some bread again.

I had a really good time and I’m glad he made the drive out here for dinner.

I’ve been completely wiped out today. My latest round of on call really wiped me out to the point that I seem to have caught a little something that threw me off my balance. I’m not sick as I am basically only visiting this planet and am traditionally not susceptible to human like diseases, colds and the like, but something has knocked me off my game a little bit. I plan to have it kicked in the morning.

So for now, I smile in the picture and head to bed.

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Freedom.

So the latest round of on-call is now a memory. To celebrate the event, I got home from work and promptly took a two hour nap. This gave me that “freshly rebooted” feeling. To celebrate, Earl and I headed to the local Panera for a small dessert and some wi-fi time. Sometimes you need a change of view.

I ordered a low-fat hot chocolate (is there such a thing?) and then watched the assembler literally flood the mug with whipped cream from a can. Hot chocolate spilled over the sides of the mug and all over the counter. She didn’t seem to care. She was too busy snapping her gum.

The wi-fi seems to be struggling today. I blame the Dell computer at the next table. There’s probably a virus or something eating up all the bandwidth. It certainly isn’t my Mac creating the havoc! I know I sound like the stereotypical Mac user. I’m just being uppity and funny at the same time.

I actually think it’s the huge Packard Bell 486 laptop in the back corner.

Am I the only one that finds it mildly disturbing that there is a wicker basket on the floor with a sign proclaiming “Freshly Baked Baguettes! $2.59!” and that said baguettes are not wrapped? I think I find this to be against some sort of New York State health code.

I could sit and watch people all day long and not complain about it. I often complain about the state of our society, and I believe that it is spiraling in a downward motion at a shocking rate, but at the same time to watch it to be entertained. I chuckle in the corner like some sort of middle-aged crazy man. The feeling is not unpleasant.

The Thurrott Pose

Harsh.

ring, ring

Me (slightly irritated): “Hello?”

Woman (obviously uninterested and reading from a script): “May I speak to the person knowledgeable about your company’s telephone service?”

Me (snap!): “This is a residence on the do not call list. Since you obviously are ignorant and unemployable, may I also add that you work for a company that does not have balls as evidenced by your blocked caller ID. Go suck it.”

Happy Monday!

Insomnia.

So as of this writing I am wrapping up my latest week of on-call. I will officially be off call in three hours and 48 minutes. My next round of on-call is in four weeks.

This has been one of the busier on calls I have ever had, and because of this my sleeping patterns have been completely out of whack. Friday and Saturday night my pager went off at seemingly random intervals. I would just start to fall back asleep and 20 minutes later the pager would ring again. This went on from around midnight on Friday until 0700 or so on Sunday.

I managed to take a good, solid nap Sunday afternoon and I think it’s because of this that I am wide awake at 0400. Of course, being Sunday night doesn’t help matters. I have never been able to sleep well on Sunday nights. I discovered that art back in high school when I would somewhat panic on how I was going to accomplish my homework during homeroom. (Homeroom went from 0800-0808). I always got my homework done adequately though.

Now I lie in bed on Sunday nights counting the hours until I have to get up for work. Very bizarre.

So here I am typing on the upstairs computer because I can’t fall asleep. I’ve read blogs, I’ve checked e-mail, I have even walked around the house in the dark.

I’ll probably be tired when it’s time for the alarm to go off.

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Y?

The SciFi Channel announced earlier this week that they are rebranding themselves come July.

The new name of the cable channel will be “SyFy”.

Personally I think this is one of the most idiotic ideas to hit the boob tube in a long while and I look forward to watching the crash and burn at this attempt of a retread.

As a proud geek that enjoys science fiction television, I find this rebranding pedestrian, predictable and highly insulting.

That clicking sound you hear is the sound of me changing the channel.

In the spirit of the old SciFi channel, I share this.

Actually I can’t post a video of the opening from the original Bionic Woman on here as originally planned because NBC/Universal pulled it from YouTube. They suck.

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The Other Side.

So I know everyone is whipped up about gay marriage (amongst other things) these days and I honestly can’t imagine what all the hoopla is about. I mean, as a gay man that has been happily partnered for longer than most heterosexual marriages I know, I have to say that I don’t know why a certain segment of our society gets themselves all worked up over the word ‘marriage’. I’ll leave your imagination to ponder which segment I’m referring to when it comes to those getting worked up, but I will say this: as long as I am guaranteed the EXACT same rights as my heterosexual counterparts but still referred to as a “civil union” then I have no issues with nomenclature. Most look at it as that marriage is “better than” a civil union but I tend to spin it around and look at it the other way: I wasn’t forced to eat a stale cake, I didn’t have to dance for dollars and I didn’t have to do the hokey pokey. To me, civil union means the same thing as marriage without the organised religious influence.

While I certainly want and demand legal recognition of my partnership, I’m sure many gay men and lesbians will agree with me that there is at least one advantage to not being able to declare “married” on our federal tax return. Many gay men and lesbians are rather affluent and bring in a good amount of income. Let’s say Dirk makes $200,000 a year and his partner Bruce makes $100,000 a year. Together they make $300,000. Dirk and Bruce have been together a decade or so and dump all of their income into their jointly owned house, land and smattering of bank accounts. Because Dirk and Bruce are not legally married and there union is not recognised as valid by Ol’ Glory, they are not obligated to report their income as combined, therefore Dirk makes $200K in the eyes of Uncle Sam and Bruce makes $100K in the same way, easily skirting that coveted $250K limit where the taxes get really deep and the hands of Uncle Sam get really grabby. Granted, we miss several tax breaks for not being married but when you’re starting to throw around the big numbers I think this becomes negligible.

Now I realise that this is a consolation prize in the grand scheme of things and legal recognition is what most of us really want and to be honest I believe that if I’m not allowed to be legally partnered on the federal level to the person I love then I shouldn’t have to pay full taxes anyway, but there is a very small amount of smirkiness I feel knowing that I could be skirting a part of the tax code on THEIR technicality.

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Peek.

So it was about a month ago that I did the photo shoot with my friend Kevin. Well, maybe it’s been three weeks but nevertheless I have had time to look the photos over and pick out which ones I like the best. Kevin took a LOT of photos during the shoot, as did his studio partner Dale. I haven’t seen Dale’s photos yet as he used film and is still in the process of tweaking the photos to his liking. Kevin says that they are considerably different than the photos he took. I am intrigued, to say the least, as I really liked Kevin’s work. Back when Kevin first gave me the photos I shared some shots here on the blog.

There were actually many different moods and clothes throughout the shots that I haven’t shared with the general public yet. I don’t know if it’s because I’m shy in a way or because it shows a side of me that I don’t usually show for public consumption, but I have decided to share another photo.

And here it is. I’ll let you decide which one piece of clothing in this shot is not mine.

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Photo © 2009 Kevin Miller Photography