Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The white stuff please...

You either love it, or hate it and if you are a fan you then must pick a team. Red or White. I'm betting that the title had your mind in the gutter which was no accident. The topic at hand is in fact Clam Chowder. Not to be confused as racist, I only eat white.

I grew up surrounded by salt water. The son of a long line of fishermen, clam chowder is in my blood. I have many fond memories of eating chowder with various family members through the years. My favorite are with my Grandfather down at the pier. Taking turns feeding the seagulls a french fry and dipping the next in that creamy concoction before savoring one myself. Yes, seagulls love french fries.

Here at a mile high in the middle of America, fish is foreign. "Seafood" restaurants are where one gets fried frozen Pollock and fries. Denver is the home of Green Chili, which is amazing and I'm sad the the Salmon heads back home have no idea what it is, but it's not Chowder.

To get my fix these days I find myself stalking the TARGET meat department for their once every month or so delivery of Ivar's Clam chowder. I buy all the tubs they have and horde it in the freezer. I feel like a Chowder junky and well, admitting it is the first step to recovery.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Number 40?

I've always found it strange when someone has the same car for years, I mean I get the appeal, financial stability and well some cars just fit you so well you make a bond and they become family. I've only been in car love a twice. My first car, a 1979 Saab 900 GLi.
It was my Grandfather's car that I bought from him with money I made fishing in Alaska. I was 15, and one night I snuck the car out at the adult acting age of 15 with a friend to drive around the Island. We ended up jumping the car 127ft through the air before doing 360's spins for a 1/4 of a mile and coming to rest backwards in a ditch. My Father made me fix the car and drive it for the next two years. I miss it's airplane cockpit cabin and ignition down on the floor and the way it's odd egg shaped silhouette would swallow three bales of hay, but not the way it flew. I'm suspicious of it's Airplane heritage the way it fell nose first from the sky.
I can still remember the smell of that car, like it always had a fuel leak, and the disconnected feel of the shifter and every time I see one of those quirky Swedes I melt.

I traded the Saab to a Croatian man for a 1967 Lincoln Continental Coupe that had been sitting in a barn for twenty years.
There was so much dust and chicken crap on the car you could barely tell the car was white. The first time I sat in her she felt like home. Much what I imagine Arnold felt like in the movie Christine when he slid behind the wheel of that haunted 57 Fury. Instead of the scent old Chrysler Vinyl, I  was greeted with a musty waft of hand worked leather seats and and one of my favorite examples of functional automotive art.

I spent the next month making the road worthy and had the car for twelve years. The liquid torque that she had and the way she would glide past 100 mph like a supersonic sofa, the Concorde had nothing on her. Bad decisions and my twenties made me abandon the car and my dreams of being buried in it. 

I had one more Saab, and two more Lincoln's and well, maybe about 38 other cars from almost every other brand except Nissan, but none have made a home in my heart yet like those two. My daily commute has me back in American Eco Luxury by the name of a carefree plastic West Coast Haven... Malibu. Sexy and sinister, like the Bat mobile Sans Balls.
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Sunday, June 9, 2013

And so it begins.

                 Maybe I should have known, that when I stopped blogging that may have been an indication that things just weren't right. I'm so inconsistent in some habits that I thought it was just another thing I had lost interest in as I aged. At any rate, here we are. And for whatever reason I have an itch to vomit some thoughts onto this virtual paper, it's been too long. I guess the bigest poblem is where to start. I have little training so please don't expect a real format here, it's all ramblings and rhea for this ride. Get comfy, grab a drink and take a load off.

                I find myself at the end of a five year relationship, a year longer than the last but but still the end. It took me places I would have never gone on my own, sometimes pouting and bitching as I went. But hands down the best experience yet. Apparently it's the thing to do in this day and age, meet online, fall head over heals, relocate thousands of miles, realize that you didn't actually get to know the person even though you spent countless hours talking on the phone until one of you fell asleep on the other end, to move in together and spend the next few years actually getting to know each other to realize you are actually better friends than Life Partners. Funny how you think you both speak the same language until you live together and then although you both speak English neither understand what the other is thinking or saying. I wonder if Skype and Facetime romances will be more successful?
               
                  What do you do, after that long you have routines that aren't really yours they were developed to be part of a we and now you are there not being a we and you've not made plans with someone so you can check with the wife and there is no wife. I always thought of myself as independent, I was always so annoyed that I had to schedule time to do nothing, but now I'm almost overwhelmed with the freedom of options. I'm sure it's like riding a bicycle.

                    I work in a field that is dominated by straight men, I have as long as I remember even  before I realized I wasn't and I just learned to fit in. Until moving to Denver I didn't even have any Gay Friends besides a rouge lesbian here and there but everybody has one of those, they are like a Swiss Army Knife. Anyway, at work I stepped onto the tool truck to catch the tail end of a conversation where an ex convict was slandering his cellmate for being a "Fag" for wanting to cuddle after they had made the beast with two backs. It was the first time in a long time that I felt uncomfortable in  my skin and was confused by human nature.

                     After thinking long and hard I have discovered the secret to happiness, Village Inn Peanut Butter Pie. Try it.


                   

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

You Get what you pay for.


My Mother use to cut my hair, she might as well of put a large Tupperware bowl on my head and trimmed around it. I would show you the proof but I burned all of the pictures. After putting my foot down my Father took me one of the local barbers. He was 90 and half blind, after almost cutting off my ear twice my Father agreed that maybe he should retire and we could try the other barber. Don Kellogg was a retired army barber from the way far right. He had various political cartoons hanging on the wall next to a loaded weapon. There were also six photos of haircuts you could choose from, never mind you always got a modified "High n Tight" or a "Flat Top". I think he flipped a coin in his head to pick for you.

After a couple of years of that my Mom took me to the "Beauty Nook" where most of the local "Ladies" would get their hairs did and an earful of gossip. Maybe this is where I became gay? I always pretended to not be listening to all of the salacious dirt while I rummaged through the pick a prize toy chest that was filled with treasures from the orient(Cha Cha China). I'm not sure why we stopped going there, I can only assume my Mom was the topic of a round of gossip.

The next haunt was Harumi's Salon and nail, nail was written Very small as I recall she hated doing them. I got my haircuts there up through high school, I loved it. Hair wash, massage and she always knew how I liked it. I never had to say a word.

After college I found a girl that I grew up with had gone through the Gene Juarez academy of Beauty and she would cut my hair for a twenty and it was always perfect! I got spoiled not having to explain to someone how to cut my hair. I mean isn't that their job? shouldn't they be able to look at my head and just know what will look best? I moved off of the Island and lost my regular Stylist. I spent the next five years bouncing from shop to shop looking for a happy ending with no luck.

Three years ago I moved to Denver, I have tried no less than twenty five different people. Floyd's has done better than most and they give a great back massage but I have become kind a cheapskate when it comes to a haircut. Why pay $20 to have your hair cut????

Well tonight I have proved myself wrong again. I went to Cost Cutters. I have been there before and was treated well and walked out not hating my profile. But tonight, I walked in @ 27 minutes to closing and was greeted by Sharpie eyebrow #1 & #2. #1 asked me if I could pay ahead of time so #2 could count out the till, Mkayyyy? I payed and gave her a $5 tip. I was then told to gos sit over there in the first chair. I walked over and picked up the hair poncho to be greated by the previous clients dreads and things all over the chair. I swept them off had a seat and waited. A couple minutes later she returned annoyed and asked me what I wanted. I told her and she started digging through her drawers and then her purse to find the guard for the clippers, it was right next to her Marb 100 ultralights and her silver and turquoise encrusted Bic lighter. She buzzed away and then stopped and handed me a mirror so I could see the back, then handed me the clippers to hold so she could go talk to her baby daddy who called because he wanted to know what was for dinner. When she returned she asked me what I thought............I asked "About my Hair"? I pointed out the waves and divets in the sides of head. She strapped the hair poncho back on and proceeded to give me a sloppy "high n tight". She pulled off the poncho before I could say another word. I asked if I could have a couple of dollars back from the tip and she politely apologized, "The till is all put away". Of course it is. I looked at the clock and it was still ten minutes to closing. She told me to have a great night, so I will do just that.

I think I'll just go back and see Floyd. ;)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

You can in fact pick your Family.



Two, what seem to be very short years ago I moved to Denver to follow love. If I told myself ten years ago that I would not only leave the small town I grew up in but I would move 1500 miles from it I would have committed myself. I grew up knowing people from kindergarten through High School. And usually ended up in their weddings. When I moved off of the Island to the mainland in my twenties it was a culture shock. You could go to the store without seeing people that changed your diaper or your parent's. And people didn't seem to have the same close bond, they were fragmented. I made new friends but they just weren't the same and I wrote it off to the fact that people didn't grow up in a test tube like I had. I kept going back to the Rock and the good friends that had been my life for decades thinking it would never change and it doesn't get much better.

Besides my love I found something else in Denver, I found an Amazing Stepdaughter, Stepsister and Mother in law. I found a group of friends that are more like family than friends much like what I had grown up with but so much different. I found that outside the fishbowl that I grew up in there was huge beautiful world to explore and lessons to learn and new Family to meet. And best of all I found myself.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Bigotry is alive and well.


I grew up in a small community as obese gay boy of bipolar Mother and Vietnam Vet. At the age of thirteen I spent my first of six summers as a commercial fisherman. My senior year of high school I lost one of my best friends in a car accident. I entered the automotive field the following year. I have been teased, mocked, harassed, I have laughed and I have cried. I am no stranger to conflict, ignorance, intolerance or the general perception of what a "Man" is or is supposed to be or not be. All of these things have shaped who I am today and wouldn't change a single thing!

At this point in my life some see me as jaded, callused or guarded. Some get the pleasure of dealing with the other me. If you are the first to come up with the fat joke or have the best one, the person who tries to get your goat has already lost because your joke is better. If a coworker calls you a "dumb fag" but you are always the one who has the answer they need, you win because you are smarter than them. If anyone tries to put you down but you can cut them deeper with your tongue or make the crowd laugh at them they become insignificant. So I thought. As I get older I have learned that all of these "rules" have only insulated me from life and keep people at a distance that prevents you from truly living life.

The last two years I have made considerable changes and I have grown because of them. One of the major changes was the decision to stop living in the closet. I was teased for being a fag at a job once long before I knew I was gay. Years later I watched a coworker get laid off after rumors circled that he was gay. The fact is that I work in an industry filled with straight men. And as far as we have come on the subject, there is still a vain of insecurity and intolerance beating in our workforce.

There are currently six people at my job that I am open with. And none of them care, they don't see me any differently or I no longer care if they do. I never realized how much energy it took to put up a front or how great it can be to have real friends at work. Which brings me to today.

All of the customer's keys are kept in a cupboard next to my boss's office door. As I reached to open the cupboard door my boss asked me through the open door if I had a Girlfriend. I walked into his office with a puzzled look hung on my face. "No, Why"? He said that he always sees me on the phone early in the morning and thought it might be a Girl. Without any thought I responded " I'm Gay so that would make it My Boyfriend". Now, I need to stop and say this. If you know me at all then You know I have a certain sense of humor and a knack for delivering shocking bullshit with a straight face. And on literally five occasions of coming out to someone they thought I was kidding and I had to convince them that I was in fact being "straight" with them. Well, my boss's reaction was "No, your not gay your from Seattle". Me, "Because all homosexuals are from San Francisco"? Boss, "Yes, and then spread East". Me, "Like the Plague"? Boss, "Yup".

In that moment I had no words. I kept trying to read him to see if he was serious. I started to rationalize that I had put those words in his mouth. But he didn't disagree. He didn't laugh. I turned on my heels and walked out of his office. I called my partner and told him the story still in shock and disbelief. The rest of the day I kept bouncing from the verge of tears to rage and back again. I recalled the numerous times that he had referred to difficult customer as "That Faggot" or the girl who he didn't hire because when he asked her why she looked like a boy she said it was because she liked Vagina. From the beginning I though he was a douche but now I am loading him in the the right winged bus with Ann Coulter and the Fox News staff to be driven off a cliff.

I guess I only have myself to blame, I have done such a good job not being myself that people will let their true colors show? Unfortunately if I had been open from the beginning I wouldn't have this job or this great lesson of life.

I can not change what people think of me, I can only continue to grow into the person that I am and try to learn tolerance along the way. In the words of the great Flavor of Love contestant Saaphyri, "Lord give me strength not to beat this Bitch's Ass".

Has anyone seen Lip Chap?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wood

Hi! So it has been 11 months apparently since my last blog. I am not sure if it was the whole sidetracked by life thing or that I just didn't feel like I had anything witty to say. At some point the draw to blog was gain fame. And then I realized that there was five or so of you that tolerate my misspelled poor form of humor and generally tilted view of things. But to my five adoring fans and loving Husbear I promise to write you all into my will.

Felling the need to entertain myself and all y'all I asked a question of 25 or so people today. That question has been haunting me on and off for years now and I feel that it is time to put it to bed. Well that and the fact that it was really slow at work today and I had no intention of mentally participating in our technician meeting today. The question in question is: How much wood could a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood? Now I understand that this was not intended to be a riddle as much as a rhyme and is most likely just a rhetorical question designed to be a conversation starter. But what if it is really a riddle to be solved? Having the interwebs in my pocket I Googled this very question and the first thing that I found out was that a woodchuck and a groundhog are the same thing. See, I thought the same thing........bullshrimp! Why would there be two separate names for the same furry pelt. Go ahead, do your own research I will wait. Marmota monax is known as the groundhog, woodchuck and landbeaver. Dont say I never taught you anything.

Anyhow I received a dozen "A woodchuck could chuck........", Two "Assloads" and a few other random guesses. The closest being 100 lbs submited by a Graduate of the Colorado school of Mines. My favorite answer was "Personally I can chuck about 7 inches. After that there's a little gagging".

Not felling like I had a solid answer and figuring that someone somewhere had been paid by our government to figure this exact thing out I turned once again to Google. Questions were raised by some as to the woodchuck's desire to chuck wood, the density of said wood, his need to chuck the wood and his ability to chuck wood. But then like a beacon of truth in the fog there it was.

The amount of wood that woodchucks would chuck on a given day varies greatly with the individual woodchuck. According to a Wall Street Journal article, New York State wildlife expert Richard Thomas found that a woodchuck could chuck around 35 cubic feet of dirt in the course of digging a burrow. Thomas reasoned that if a woodchuck could chuck wood, he would chuck an amount equal to 700 pounds.

I am now content and will sleep in peace knowing that if a woodchuck can chuck 700 lbs of wood then I can write another blog, stay on a diet and go back to the gym.