The Want of Journalism

For the past nine months I have been consumed by producing my school’s newspaper the Renegade Rip. As my teacher likes to share, is that it’s a tradition of almost 100 years and we were the next to carry the torch.  With them I followed ledes, wrote stories, photographed events, and for one semester was the Photo Editor.

Now, my time is coming to an end with the paper and I feel so unbelievably lost. It’s weird the little habits that become all too familiar until they’re no longer there. I would bitch about the chaos and consuming nature I had allowed it to play on my life (because I like to complain as it gives my misery purpose) but in reality I loved it. Without it… Well, I will go on, because I survived without it in my life before. It is just that after having experienced it has made me crave something I never knew that I wanted or needed.

During these months the two things I held as my own was a column I wrote each issue called “The Gay Agenda” and the calendar. The second was not as glamorous, but the first won me an award. I won 3rd place for my first column that recounted my two times coming out to my mother. The columns that beat me out for first and second place were both about goddamn Colin Kapaernik which gives me a reason to join the conservative masses that dislike him. Except he has personally affected my life as opposed to just “offending” me.

One of my fellows editors says that we are a unique fraternity and that no others will understand what it was like to be an editor. I truly agree with him. My biggest worry in regards to my frat brothers is that we will drift apart. I’m sure we will, that’s kind of the nature of college life when you don’t have the same classes and are at varying degrees in the life of higher education. I will try to keep in touch but… Life gets in the way.

This Wednesday will officially be the last day of class. It will be bitter-sweet. I imagine the two people in my life who will be more than enthused are my boss and my husband who both dislike the all-consuming nature the class has played on my personal and business life. Whatever. It is definitely an experience I will not soon forget.

 

Advertisements

Literary Stretches

Even though I have been writing a column for my school newspaper every other week I have noticed my writing seems to be rusty. Especially this last week. I could not think of a topic to write about. And when I attempted one I ended up not liking it because it didn’t flow or sound as good as I wanted it to. In the end, for this one assignment I wrote 4 columns. One might say “at least you’re prepared for the next issue,” but they were all crap. The thing is, I KNOW I can do better. Like I said before I’m just rusty. 

It seems that most of my blogs are about how I’m not writing enough or that I’m not good enough. The first one is very true. The second… I have come to believe and understand that like any athlete or musician it takes practice to keep myself in tip-top writing shape. I further confirm this with my need to start and restart any piece I write. I used the example as of trying to start a lawnmower to my husband. The first couple pulls didn’t get the motor running, but i finally got the engine to turn and start humming away. 

One of the biggest traps I fall into is that I get halfway through something and either lose interest or tell myself, “who cares?” I’m curious where that idea began. When I was younger I didn’t care and just wrote. Maybe it was my own inflated sense of self as a teenager that kept me going. It would seem strange to reverse myself as an adult and become even more insecure. 

I did this workshop called the landmark forum. I’m convinced it’s a weird cult. However, it helped a lot. It definitely gave me more confidence than I had held before. And I’ve definitely learned to accept my faults. I think even this blog post is a result of that class. Before I would have said I’m a shit writer, I’m not very good, why do I try… Now I just know that it’s practice I am severely lacking. 

A man of no land

Today I am no longer an American. The ideals of the president elect do not reflect how I feel is the American ideal. He and his ilk represent the selfish bigotry of the dark side of humanity. I hate everyone that voted for him and I despise any person who voted for a third party and are upset with the results. You brought this on yourself.  

I have resigned to the fact that I am here because I was born on the wrong continent. I have no attachment to the people or place that I am. It is not my home nor will it ever be again. The very site of the American flag disgusts me. It represents hyprocrisy and lies. I piss on it. I spit on it. Fuck that fucking flag. 

This is truly a turning point in my life. I have so much anger and hatred in my heart that I will never be the same. At one point I felt love for my fellow man and now not a speck remains. 

I will be told I’m a poor loser and I don’t care. I truly don’t. I have sat through 8 years of these people bitching about Obama and the bull shit republicans have pulled only to pass the entire government into their hands. Of course the government was broken because they threw the fucking wrench into the gears. They broke it. They were why nothing got done and the things that they did were in spite of them. They were nothing but obstructions. They should be hanged for their crimes against the government. 

I have resigned to never stand for the pledge or anthem, nor will I applaud or show any semblance of respect for the armed forces. Fuck them. They’re nothing but a bunch of uneducated hicks that had no other options available to them BUT to go into the army. 

I will forever refer to any and all that voted for orange face douche bag as racist misogynists because that is what they are. 

I know without little doubt I will once again be demoted to a second class citizen being a gay man. The ideals asshat sold on the campaign trail was more devisiveness and derision. It did not speak of community and togetherness. It spoke of white male christian privilege. 

I cannot wait for the day when they are no longer the majority. And imagine how obnoxious they’ll be as a minority. It’ll be the temper tantrum antics from the last eight years. 

Sure call what I’m doing now a temper tantrum. It is. But it’s also resigning myself to being nothing and realizing I hate everyone and everything. I have no respect for authority or my elders. I no longer show respect to those I do not feel have earned it. 

My American dream ended this election. My very Americanness has ceased to be. I am no longer a citizen of this ridiculous country. I hope this truly is the beginning of the end. And I hope it all goes in a blaze of glory. I don’t want to limp away from the wreckage. 

Wealth

Wealth disgusts and enrages me. Some might say it is just because I don’t have it and I am green with envy, which is truthfully not the case. It sounds silly but when I do see it, and see it at its douchiest, I get sick. None of it makes any sense to me.  I suppose my parents somehow instilled in me the idea that it’s not the possessions you have that make a great person, but who you are and whom you surround yourself with. Or I may have learned that from the countless movies I watched as a kid.  Who knows?  Either way, when I see a 7,000 sq.ft. home within a gated community, equipped with a fucking safe (larger than my living room) for guns it wrenches my gut and makes me incensed.

I have two reports I am working on, both proposed new construction, and located within gated communities. They are the most sickeningly opulent and over the top abodes I have yet seen in my profession. (I’m an appraiser, by the way.)  Three car garages, built-in bars, giant rec rooms, safes, pools, gates… All of it meaningless in the big scheme of things.

Today I went to do a visual inspection of the site of one of the homes my boss and I are appraising and couldn’t even do that because this particular home is proposed to be constructed in a gated community within a gated community.  It’s not enough to sit behind one set of gates, they have to be behind another, ultra-exclusivity.  I mean, why bother being behind one set? Those homes aren’t cool enough.  They’re trash, really.

What I fail to understand is why do they need such monstrous houses? Do they have a family of 12 inside there? Probably not because they wouldn’t be able to afford such a huge house. Kids are fucking expensive and they would get in the way of having such trappings that give the illusion of wealth and success. That is the real thing I can’t quite understand.  None of that shit matters. Build your ivory tower higher and higher, but once you lose the wealth, and they will, everyone will see that all this while you were just a piece of worthless matter that has no real semblance of humanity.

I swore to myself that if I ever got a modicum of wealth I would not flaunt it in such a manner. I want to live in the same house with the same shit. I would have it go toward bettering the lives of others. I don’t want thanks I just want to make a better life for everyone. I suppose I’m very socialist that way.

The only problem with my pledge is that my husband will not agree in the slightest. Already he’s bitching about our house being too small. He wants bigger and better. He wants the trappings and baubles that make one look like a winner. (A winner at life? Everyone loses in the end.) He wants the huge house behind a pair of gates, he wants a huge, expensive automobile, he wants to have the expensive, tailor-made clothing.  WHY?! IT MEANS NOTHING! NO ONE GIVES A SHIT! In reality, it makes one think less of that person.  (Example: me. Right now.)

I don’t know if I gained this worldview before or after the Landmark Forum. I am fairly certain that it was a perspective that existed prior to the event, all the seminar did was solidify it in my mind. For whatever reason money has no meaning to me. Just as long as I have enough to keep living comfortably I am fine. There is no drive to have more. At a certain point it is just a number sitting in an account, more than likely, gaining interest to accumulate more wealth that will do nothing for no one.  It’s just a superficial “score” that no one cares about but the holder of the title himself.

Visions of puppy dogs dance through my head

I’m much too excited to sleep. All I can think about are puppies and the process of Whelping. What will it be like? How much involvement will I need to have? Will we sell all of the pups? 

If it isn’t obvious, our dog Lucy may very well be pregnant. We dropped her off to be bred on Monday and a professional breeders ranch in the mountain community of Caliente, or what I have jokingly referred to as “sexy summer camp.” The breeder informed us yesterday that she is certain that the deed is done. At this point we just have to wait to see if she is in fact pregnant. 

Despite not having any real confirmation or knowing it won’t be until October 3rd at the earliest, hasn’t dampened my enthusiasm. This is another one of those things I have had on my list of things to do in my lifetime, alongside publish a book and have kids. It’ll be a whole new experience for us and for Luce and I can’t wait to get started. 
As it stands I have watched a slew of videos on YouTube. Some professionally done, by vets and professional breeders, and others by regular joes. Each of them spouting similar facts and figures when it comes to breeding and birthing puppies. All I want to do is fast forward time until that moment when I can roll up my sleeves and get them into the world. They are the cutest goddamn things. 

The best part about it is by the time they will be grown enough for new homes it will be Christmas time, and nothing says merry Christmas like a new yellow lab puppy with a big red bow under a heist mad tree. 

And while this is something exciting and new I know there will be a dark side as well, and I’m not talking about late nights and overwhelming sadness when they’re gone. What I refer to is the negative backlash we will inevitably get from our friends and family, who are very much “pound saving” dog people. I commend them for that. However, my husband and I are not those types. We are pure bred dog owners. We’re snobs. So what? 

Another thought we had was what if these pups are purchased and the people end up not wanting them/it? We decided that we will let each family know that if for any reason they can’t take care of them or have had a change of heart we will take them back without question, and not to expect any kind of refund.

And there’s a dick

Last night while attending a friends birthday BBQ, a discussion was brought up of a scenario I for the life of me did not know happened and find mind boggling that even continues to occur. 

Imagine that in a board meeting room there is a machismo-bro executive and a well dressed young woman alone. Then without warning or apropos to the subject the man produces his genitals from within his trousers and let’s them hang there. This was the scene painted for me that occurred to a friend of my roommate. 

The thing I can’t seem to grasp is what the fuck were these men thinking and what was their end game? Do these douche bags think that their dicks will be so entrancing these women will just drop hypnotized to their knees and begin giving them oral sex? Then the thing that frustrates me further is this was an actual event that occurred and this woman isn’t pressing sexual harassment charges. 

How is this okay?! This asshole should be fired from his position and be mandated to register as a sexual offender. This is unwanted sexual advances. 

What followed this tale were four more almost identical situations with varying degrees of severity. One story had a man completely naked with an erection in a women’s restroom. Another was a guy getting nude and walking into the ladies facilities where his co-worker was otherwise indisposed. 

I am dumbfounded! I wish I had the gall to be alone in a room with a man and just whip my dick out and just have it hanging  there to see how they would respond. Not in a sexual way. In no way would I want them to be overwhelmed with sexual desire that they feel the need to pleasure me. Oh no. That is the hopes and wishes of an egomaniac. I just want to see how uncomfortable they get and if they would report me to a superior. 

Then the most terrifying is how casual these women were in these situations. I even remarked that I would post these stories on Facebook and tag the offender so that others could see what huge pieces of shit they were, but one of my companions was so mortified by that notion he begged me not to. If I didn’t know how kind and giving this one friend of mine was I would have to question his character. 

I can’t imagine what it must be like to be a woman. 

Are there similar moments anyone knows of?

Joshua Revised

For the past few days I felt as though I had been regressing from my transformation after my completion of the Landmark Forum, causing me to panic that a return of the whiny bitch that used to run my life. To combat the potential relapse I started trying on different reasons for my cantankerous attitude. The one that held the most truth was that I hadn’t written something in awhile and it was wearing on me. I am a writer after all and if a writer doesn’t do his craft he begins to grow weary and out of shape.

So let me backtrack a bit. I’m sure I threw out some words or phrases that are absolutely foreign to most, making one ask “what is landmark forum?” I’m glad that question piqued your interest as it has become a large part of my existence.

Honestly when I first heard of it I was absolutely hesitant. It sounded like some weird cult bent on getting money. And At the time I thought that was my voice telling me that, but little did I know it was the voice of the pissed off 5 year old that was running the show. I can proudly say that now he has been put to bed in the past and won’t wake again. (That’s right, I killed him.)

The forum is pricey. Don’t get me wrong. I lucked out because the man that saved me from the most miserable job offered to change my life again and put out the $652 to get me enrolled. Even then I did it because I felt pressured to do it, but that was just another story I was telling myself. No one can make one do something he doesn’t want to do. What I know now is that the real me was begging, pleading for change. My life had fallen into a rut and all I was doing to get myself out was spin my tires and drag me further down. (Like they said often in the forum: “the more things change the more they stay the…”)

When the day of my forum arrived I told myself that I didn’t want to waste Steve’s money and I opened up my heart, ears, and mind to whatever change the forum had to offer. I didn’t want to say that I didn’t bother to at least try. Plus, my boss said it changed his life and I wanted the same.

Real change didn’t come until day two when one of the others in the forum read a letter he had written to his deceased mother. His honesty and pain struck a chord with me I could not comprehend and during the first break I called my mother and mended my fences.

Following later in the day we did an exercise where we dredged our past of fear and extracted it from our lives. In the course of an hour (which truthfully did not feel that long) I realized how much stock I put into wanting people to love and accept me. It went all the way back to first grade. Memories I had long forgotten were pulled up with this muck and actual snot. As a result of this exercise I discovered that I carried a physical manifestation of my pain in the form of sinus problems. Every instance when my nasal passage got stuffed up rushed through my minds eye and I found the connection. And when I was finished the amount of snot draining from my nose was embarrassing. I mean… Legit strings hanging from my nose down to the pool on the carpet.

Left raw and exposed the leader, Jerry, polished us up and I came out transformed. The baggage of the past was stripped away and all I had left was the possibility of my future.

One of the craziest and most fulfilling side effects of the forum is that my addiction is gone. I mean… Gone. I say it and feel it without the faintest hint of doubt. I couldn’t be happier. For so long that bull shit plagued my life and now it is gone.

Now left with me, the real me, I have so many things I want to accomplish. Things I will accomplish. First of all will be the promise I made to the entire forum on the final night: “I will create a future for myself and my life by BEING integrity.”