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Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

All The Right Moves

Posted by Daniel on June 11, 2013

Each day that passes, I get a little closer to the big move.  I have to say that I’m very excited, yet a tiny part of me is apprehensive.  I mean come on, I’ll be fifty (50)  in less than three months!!  Next to Shady Pines and running out of denture paste, big life changes are the scariest thing to the elderly (as Melissa refers to me).

So I’ve had talks with friends who’ve asked me why I’m willing to take this leap.

Again.

Is it my age? (which people are all-too-quick to point out is, in fact, just a number)
Is it my way of escaping the painful memories? (no comment)
Is it the weather? (or lack thereof)
Is it a man? (REALLY???)
Is it a better job? (define better)

To be perfectly honest, it’s probably a little of all of the above. (minus the man part)  I’ve been thinking about San Jose for a long time now. It isn’t even really the fact that many of my friends (not all…but many) either live there or have moved to other parts of the bay area.  While I look forward to being around friends up there more often, I’ll still miss those who are still here.  But hell, it’s just a two hour drive away, and except for a tedious little mountain range, there aren’t any real barriers to inhibit visits.

And yes, I’ll say it, someone recently came out of the woodwork that I kinda crushed on but never stood a chance with.  Until he finally made his move.  So there was that part of me that said “FINALLY!!!  Maybe I should stay then!!”  But I had to be honest with myself as well as him.  If I stay, it’ll be for the wrong reasons in that I will always feel like I missed a chance that I’ve been needing and planning and hoping for for over a year.  That wouldn’t be fair to either of us, because if I can’t commit to him and us without thinking about San Jose, then I’d be no better than those who choose to mix love with regret.  So I told him this.  I know he sincerely understands, yet I know he also feels like we’re missing out.  I say maybe we had some time to teach one another how to come out of our shells and see ourselves WITHOUT limitations.  After all, I told him, if I can’t feel good about myself here, how am I going to be good for HIM?  That part he got.  🙂

Then there’s the matter of the fact that almost all of my immediate family live here in Fresno.  I’ll admit, I haven’t been the best at staying in contact or making good on the visits.  But I love them and think about all of them every day.  But again, I’ll be only a two hour dive from them as well. 

The truth of the matter is that I simply want a fresh start.  I have learned over time that there’s no real life if you’re not willing to take a chance to live it.  It’s not that I don’t want to put down roots somewhere…on the contrary, I most certainly do.  But for now, I just want to feel at ease.  I feel so much more comfortable in San Jose because it reminds me of Kansas City, MO.  A city that is just the right size and atmosphere.  San Francisco is just “too much’ in too little space…and LA is just too much in general.

As for escaping the memories here, sure there are some I’d love to forget, but hey, who doesn’t have those, right?  If I had to attach memories to my reason for moving, it would be that this move I’ll be doing alone.  It’s on me.  I will voluntarily bear the weight of my decision and there won’t be anyone to blame if I fail.  (not that I think I failed here, because I’ve done pretty well, all things considered)  Lets face it, in the span of five years I went from having everything, to having nothing (literally) to having everything again.  Not an easy achievement at this stage of the game.  And it’s very possible I’ll have to scale back yet again once I’m living there.  I don’t mind.  I’ve learned to adapt to a more whittled down lifestyle and I’ve also learned that less is, in the right setting, certainly more.  Travis and Nic were two very important teachers in that, and I thank them every day in one way or another.

But now it’s time to start over.  Only this time it’s on my terms.  And short of hitting that lotto (which might never happen), I’m not really afraid of scaling back on “things” for the sake of comfort.  The upside of that is I already have a place lined up to call home (and Dallas, you still honor me by choosing me first over all those boring choices you COULD have made) and projects planned already (Nic and Shugga, we will do extraordinary things together!!) for the community.

I guess it all comes down to what some people might see as foolish selfishness.  Moving for all the wrong reasons.  I get that.  When I moved from Kansas City, Missouri, I ended up losing a lot of friends in the process.  But that happens.  I choose to see it a different way, though.  I don’t think it’s selfish for people (who are SINGLE) to decide to make a dramatic change in their lives.  Sometimes it’s just a career change.  Sometimes you might move across town.  And then there are times when you just want a complete change of everything (not including friends…they’re not like Kleenex and you don’t throw those away!!). 

A fresh start.

The right move.

We’ve all earned the right to make that choice.  We all deserve to make that move.

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Posted in Family, Friends, Life | Leave a Comment »

As Your Friend, I Should tell You…

Posted by Daniel on April 1, 2013

Time to talk like an adult.

Real friends don’t look at you and say, “You chose these friends over us.”
In grownup land, we don’t actually choose. We don’t have to. In life, we add to our circle of friends. That’s what happens when you venture out of the house…you meet more people. Some of your friends don’t all live in the same areas. So you TRY to balance out the talks and visits. Plans sometimes get crossed, or even changed.  It happens.   But you don’t really think of it as, “Hmmm…I like these people more than these, so i’m just gonna stop talking to this group entirely.”

I bring this up because I’ve been faced with a very precarious decision.  Do I try to somehow amend the hurt feelings of a few people who I’ve always counted as my friends?  Or do I tell them to grow the fuck up and learn that just because they FEEL slighted and ignored, that isn’t necessarily the case.  Now, I’m a little heated at the moment because I just had my apology for an absence turned into what amounts to a “fuck you…go on with your happy life with your new friends…we’re good”.  In this heated moment, I’m tempted to grant that wish.

I’m guilty of spending time with friends who don’t live in the same city as I or some of my other friends do.  It’s true, I prefer that city over this one simply because the air is cleaner (and my allergies love that), there is FAR more to do up there and the people up there are, for the most part, drama-free.  Not that my friends here in this town are more drama-ridden.  Not wanting to imply that at all.  I’ve just seen them as busier and not as accessible lately. I’ll send a text asking what’s up and depending on the response (if there actually is one), that will tell me what’s happening here.   No biggie, I’ve formed no opinion about that other than, “Eh, they’re busy.  Hmmm…wonder what’s happening up North?”  Quite literally, that’s about as much thought as I actually put into it.

I have, just today, been informed that I, for all intents and purposes, am a gigantic asshole who chose one group of friends over those here in Fresno.  Not true.  Since January, I can see the texts (all 5 of them) from one of you who responded to my texts with absolutely no obvious interest.  Again, no biggie.  Sorry to bother ya.  But where (since December) is one single text FROM you (actually, ANY of you) initiating anything even remotely resembling even the faintest conversation?  So when you tell me “All of us are thinking this…I’m just the only one willing to step up and say it to you”, you’ve just said far more than you expected.

Friendships work when everyone understands all the variables.  I’m always conscious of the fact that my friends can be, and occasionally are, busy or tied up.  They have their reasons.  If they are coupled, there’s always that.  Or they’re working, have other plans, whatever.  I understand these things.  Even when I don’t hear from them, I’m not assuming they’ve dropped or deleted me from their life.  I figure when they text me, they text me.  No biggie.

I guess I just have a problem when I’m not afforded the same patience.  Things come up.  I have work, school, extra classes, MORE work, and other things that come into my life.  Not the least of which is trying like hell to cultivate a long overdue (and highly fought for) dating situation.  But I have no intentions of intentionally avoiding local friends or deleting anyone from my life.  I don’t work that way.  I’m all too happy to admit, I am just as capable of screwing up and occasionally making friends feel (unintentionally) neglected or left out as anyone else.  But again, that isn’t intentional or what I’m actually wanting.  That’s friendship…it can be screwed up here and there, but we know our friends are still there for us no matter what.

I love ALL of my friends.  I don’t play favorites or dump one for another.  I don’t judge them for their silence or their having lives.  But I know they are there for me, and that means everything.  I just want them to all understand it works both ways.  If you want to talk, text or call or come by!!  Don’t wait three months and then be mad when something pops up and plans change.  That’s life.  I accept it when you have to change plans.  Why is it worse when I have to?

I’m not trying in any way to insult, demean or rub your nose(s) in your hurt feelings.  Quite the opposite, actually.  I’m sorry plans changed and I screwed up by not letting you know at that moment.  But it doesn’t mean those plans were more important than YOU…just unavoidable.

So again, we’re all adults here and as such, we deserve to show one another a bit more patience and understanding.  I promise to try to do better as your friend…will you?

Posted in Friends, Life, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Neverday’s Seeds

Posted by Daniel on March 16, 2013

There’s a seed of inspiration sewn in every conversation I have.  I glean these seeds from family, friends, ex’s and “Oh’s”.   Today’s seed was planted by a simple word.   Left me thinking about what I’ve gained and lost by aiming for that word…”Companionship”.  How can I attain this state in the present or future if I’m unsure of what I’ve learned from the past?   After all, there’s no past that I can bring back by longing for it, only a present that builds and creates itself as the past withdraws.

So I reflect back on my memories.   The good, the bad and the ugly.   I can honestly say, without hesitation that I have tried to spread as much or more good as I have ever received.  But I also recognize that I am guilty of causing pain – however unintentional – to others.  I’m inspired by a friends’ random act of kindness that he passed along to an elderly couple.  I take heart every day in the strength and worldly wisdom of someone who, to me, is and lives the very definition of beauty.  I try to live up to their examples every day.  Not as a means of erasing the red marks in my life, but to guide my actions in a positive way moving forward.  It is in this realization that I learn, grow and gain strength enough to stop looking back at the past with such relish as to refuse to see the beautiful, newly revealed views before me.

Initially I’m overwhelmed.  But gradually I realize it’s like a wave.   Resist, and I’ll be knocked over.  Dive into it, and I’ll swim out the other side.  The only real failure is my failure to try, and the measure of success is how I cope with disappointment.  But it’s also true that the person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing.

All of this and I am still afraid.  Will today’s seed take root?  Can I, after all this time, open up and allow myself the chance to be the gardener I once was?  Is companionship really so attainable?

It’s all too unclear. 

All I know about the future is that it will be different.  But perhaps what I fear is that it will be the same. So I must celebrate the changes, because, as someone once said, everything will be alright in the end, and if it’s not alright, then trust me…that’s alright, too.

Posted in Family, Friends, Life, Love - Or Something Like It | Leave a Comment »

The Season Of Giving Cutbacks

Posted by Daniel on December 21, 2009

PhotobucketEvery year it seems we are all faced with harder decisions when it comes to the holidays. And for those of you who STILL think the recession doesn’t reach every nook and cranny of society, just check out your shopping lists and address books. Tell me both aren’t being whittled down a little each year.

Tell me that someone who, (in an otherwise better economy, normally pisses you off and yet still gets a Christmas card from you,) hasn’t been ceremonially axed from this years mailing list. Where last year you had to buy three boxes of cards to mail out, this year you put one box back on the shelf telling yourself, “Ah, I see them every day, I’ll just tell them it was mailed.”

You try to reconcile this in your head by convincing yourself that due to recent household cutbacks, your stamp budget has suffered and you have to make that one book of stamps really count this year.

Same goes for gift-giving. You really want to shop for everyone in your life…family, friends, co-workers, street-walkers, prison pen pals, etc. Unfortunately, over the past few years the current economy has given rise to all of us having to really put everyone and our relationships WITH them under the holiday microscope. It is now when we really weigh out the value of this friends’ loyalty or that siblings’ unwillingness to share her recipe for “Flaming Figgy Pudding”.

That’s when you begin to notice your adventures in holiday shopping are getting shorter and less harried.

And you tell yourself:

Self: “So what? Carl and I have known one another since first grade. We’ve been through every part of one anothers’ lives and have always been there for each other. He knows I’d give my life for him. A REAL friend would already KNOW we’re friends and not EXPECT a gift as a reward. Besides, I didn’t get shit from that asshole last year…not even a card. Hey, come to think of it, he forgot my birthday, too. And he’s hinting that he wants a new fishing pole??? What kind of nerve is that?!?! Some friend!! He isn’t getting shit from me!!! I wouldn’t piss on that asshole if he were on fire!! I hate him!!!”

Wife: “Honey, we just got a Christmas card from Carl and June. Awww…it’s so sweet.”

Self: “Fine, we’ll get them a gift card and mail it to them…but I’m wiping my ass with the stamp!!!!”

Okay…so maybe all of that is just me.

But we have noticed that the economic downturn HAS played a huge role in our Christmas experience.

I know…I know!!!  Christmas is supposed to be a holiday of the heart and the season of love, peace and goodwill towards all men.

Well, in THAT case, we hope all of you enjoy the “presents” we are sending you with our hearts and minds.

Posted in Family, Friends, Holiday Fun, Life, Our Writings | 2 Comments »

Sometimes Opportunity Knocks Too Often

Posted by Daniel on October 8, 2009

Okay, so it’s been a while. And judging from the Tweets, Comments, emails and IM’s I’ve been getting, this hasn’t gone as unnoticed as I originally thought.

So thank you all for not only noticing, but for your continued patronage.

First off, Seth went to visit family and friends and to attend a wedding in West Virginia for a week. He just got back this past Monday. Let me tell you, it was a very hard nine days to get through without him. And even though my BFF/Sister In-Law, Theresa, kept telling me to just enjoy the “Princess Time”, it was the first time in over 1 1/2 years that we had been separated.

Not fun…no, not one bit fun.

I can’t tell you how many texts we had between the two of us during that time. Thank goodness for unlimited texting.

While he was away enjoying his life/vacation, I was here doing yard work, major plant overhauling, house cleaning to the point of OCD and also having to keep telling our dog and cat that “Daddy moved away because he stopped loving you…probably because of something you did”.

You know, that usually has a better affect on actual children…pets just look at you like you moved their food dish.

Now, I won’t tell you everything Seth did while he was away…after all, he’d do a better job at that IF/WHEN he’d ever get his ass on here and write.

(Brian: I suggest you text him and guilt him into writing his story down here…he seems to listen to you. Gawd knows why!!)

I WILL, however, give you a visual image or two to help draw a picture…

Seth...a/k/a Anita Mann

Seth...a/k/a Anita Mann

I TOLD Him NOT To Flame Out In Front Of His Family!!!

I TOLD Him NOT To Flame Out In Front Of His Family!!!

Obviously, He Didn't Listen.

Obviously, He Didn't Listen.

Well, now that he’s back – and the fire, I presume, is out – it’s back to the daily grind for him. Actually, he’s a bit busier now. Last night he got a call from a local TV Station Manager wanting to interview him for a position on the 10 O’Clock News.

Great…just when we BOTH have adjusted to his manic schedule of his current two jobs, he wants to interview for this one as well.

Rebecca, can you help me explain to him the definition of “overextending oneself”?

Oh, and just a couple of add-on’s…

Yesterday morning he tried to walk out onto the front patio area, and ran face-first into the screen door. Then, after I finished pointing and laughing at him (because I use all the opportunities I can get), when he walked back indoors, he saw the TV and the news was showing a story on the new statue of Helen Keller being unveiled in Washington.

He actually asked me, “Helen Keller Died?”

Just before I started round two of pointing and laughing, I answered him, “Yeah, her husband, Fred Flintstone killed her.”

Geeze Seth…I think the folks from MENSA want to talk to you.

Posted in Family, Friends, Life | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

Camping It Up At The Campsite

Posted by Daniel on September 9, 2009

The View From Camp

The View From Camp

Over this past weekend, Seth and I went up to Shaver Lake to join my brother, his wife (my BFF) and some friends for an overnight stay. We were using that trip to celebrate my birthday as well as to celebrate the fact that Seth had off for three days for Labor Day.

This gave us a chance to use our new tent (Seth’s b-day present last month from my brother and his wife). It was far bigger than the one we used the last time we went up there with them. For my birthday, Terry & Theresa bought sleeping bags, a fishing pole (okay, it was a toy pole, but they knew that would tickle me), some kind of SURVIVAL KIT and some other camping odds & ends.

You want to see funny? Watch two gay guys setting up a new tent, then watch and see how the straight guys do it…

Style Is Everything

Style Is Everything

Our tent is 9 X 7 feet, sleeps four, so it’s was very roomy. My brother Terry and his friend Mark (who had just finished putting together Marks tent) were needling Seth and I because they were SURE we wouldn’t be able to get the thing put together without their help. Not only did we do it (including using the smaller pole to make the top piece “tent” out over the door), but we did it very fast and didn’t even need the instructions.

Naturally, though, once we finished the setup, we realized there was something missing. So we headed out into the woods and collected some stones and foliage that we could use to spruce up the overall look (okay, so we called it “presentation”) of our tent. We even added some support magnets (pilfered from the truck) and specifically bought a garden gnome that stood guard outside the door. (Oh, and the sign below the gnome read “Nuttier Than A Squirrel Turd”…in case you were wondering)

No one at our camp knew that we were doing all of this, so imagine their reaction when they saw it. Terry was especially bowled over and insisted Theresa take a good picture of it so that he could put it on his picture board in their great big camper. (yeah, THEY slept in the camper) Needless to say, it was the hit of the weekend.

Now, remember where I mentioned all the poking and prodding Terry & Mark gave Seth and I, saying we wouldn’t be able to get the tent up without their help or instructions? Well, take a look at THEIR handiwork…

The Work Of Knuckle-Draggers

The Work Of Knuckle-Draggers

Notice something missing? Well, aside from the fact that there is no decorative additions added, nor any color or “Home Sweet Home-ishness”. The small pole that SHOULD be propping up the beige top to the tent is absent. You can’t see it in the picture, but that pole ended up leaning up against a nearby tree all weekend because the GUYS had no idea what the heck it was supposed to be for. Even after they saw our tent, they still had no clue how we got it to work. Because of that, not to mention the sloppy way it’s all done, that tent looked crooked and sad. But hey, who are we to judge, right?

Score one for fairy magic.

Anyway, the weekend was fantastic, and a great escape from the horrid heat of the valley.

Everyone got drunk the night we were there…including Theresa and I. Well, we don’t exactly compare to the rest of them. I mean Theresa and I don’t drink but RARELY (if ever). Theresa downed like six Smirnoff Ice (yeah, I know, but for us that’s like Crown Royal shots) and I had one and a half. Both of us were hung over the next day to beat the band. The sucky part is that the actual drinkers (Seth, Terry Mark & Lorena) showed no signs of hangover, and Theresa and I hated that. Hell, Seth alone drank nineteen beers that night!!! But I got something out of his gluttony, though…just after he crawled his drunk ass into the tent, he had to dash back out and run to a nearby (and obviously VERY UNLUCKY) tree to puke…loudly. I couldn’t help but laugh. Poetic justice.

Oh, and the next day I went for a walk to collect some decorative branches that Seth wanted to bring home and I got lost, but I won’t go into all of that. Suffice it to say that I really should have brought that SURVIVAL KIT Terry & Theresa gave me the night before.

In all it was a great weekend and though it will our last time up there for the Summer, we can’t wait to go up there during Winter to see the eight foot snow.

No, I didn't fish...it was just for effect.

No, I didn't fish...it was just for effect.

Posted in Family, Friends, Just For Fun | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Societies Incurable Cancer

Posted by Seth on June 8, 2009

My family is very conservative and religious. Coming from a small town in West Virginia, this is the norm. One thing that is not normal is being gay. In our “progressive” society, we are taught that gays are sinners, pedophiles, deviants, and a disgusting life form that the world should be rid of. Only if it was known how many closet cases there are you see at family gatherings, the super market, and at church. Are they not considered “sinners” because they’re not out on display for people to ridicule? No. Why? Because they’re the ones hiding behind their finger pointing.

Just because you don’t understand what it’s like to be something you’re not, does not give you the right to belittle, lie, spread rumors, and OH YEAH…JUDGE! How Christian is that to cast your judgment on others while claiming to be pure and perfect. John 8:7 He who is without sin cast the first stone!  But wait…that part of the Bible we’ll just forget exists. Why? Because it impedes our gossip time. Doesn’t God speak against gossip? Oh yeah….Whoever secretly slanders his neighbor, him I will destroy. Psalms 101:5

I have been told I “pick and choose what I want to believe” the Bible. Honestly, yes I do. Everyone does! How can you not? There are so many contradictions and implications in the Bible, it is impossible to follow it word by word. Conservatives and the religious claim they don’t, but they do! We have NUTS in this world that say “God hates fags!” or “AIDS is a gift from God!” Both are lies and cries of fear instilled in people by our politicians and evangelicals that “accept donations”. It’s not gays and lesbians that are making this country fail, it’s ignorance from people like Fred Phelps that preach hate. Look at Al Qaeda! How long is it going to take before conservative extremists start suicide missions into AIDS clinics and gay owned businesses? Oh wait…it’s already happening!

Why?! How did America go from “…Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” to “God Hates Fags!”

Homosexuality is NOT a choice! Who would choose to risk the love of their family, their reputation, friends, taking a chance on being beaten to death in the woods, or raped in a school lockerroom, risk their faith for fear that what they were raised to believe is wrong is “infecting” you. Why would someone choose to go through discrimination? It’s like saying “Hey! Wouldn’t it be fun to go back in time and be a slave working in fields being beaten by a whip?” No! That’s just as ignorant as “choosing” to be gay. I’ve been asked before, “How do you know you’re gay?” All I can say is, “How do you know you’re straight?” You don’t and neither do I. It’s not something that can be explained. Why should I have to explain it. I’m not a threat to anyone. I’m not out to “ruin” a family or “take their morals”. I don’t threaten your marriage, divorce threatens your marriage. The divorce rate is now at a staggering 50%! What is the #1 cause? Finances! Not gays!

Another “defense” from anti-gay groups is Sodom and Gomorrah. Don’t throw that in my face. God destroyed the cities because they wanted to gay rape two angels? I don’t think so. I’m pretty sure the cities were destroyed because…“Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.” Ezekiel 16:48-50. Though I do NOT believe the cities were destroyed because of gays, I do believe there was fire and brimstone falling from the sky. I found it very fascinating when I watched the History Channel, yes I am nerdy, and they were running a documentary on the destruction of the cities. It was not so much a story in the Bible to teach people a lesson, but it was a pretty accurate recording of a geological event. I know it’s very hard for some people to connect the Bible to science, but it is possible. The documentary investigates the possibility that a volcanic eruption occurred at the time this story took place. It is very insightful and fascinating! I highly recommend it!

It saddens me to know that not only my family, but so many others are not willing to move outside their comfort zones to just think! Most of them are just afraid to be proven wrong about what they were raised to believe. It’s almost funny to me. I was always taught to pray for wisdom and learn. I remember his first sermon when our church moved to a new location. He was having trouble getting some of the church members to follow him to the new building. I’m can’t remember exactly why, but I believe it was simply because of the name on the sign outside. Anyway, he got most, if not all, the members to come to the first Sunday service. I remember his first sermons title was “Moving Outside Your Comfort Zone”. I don’t remember what he said in his sermon, but I love the title. I can almost say I kind of live by it. My thoughts are, how am I supposed to grow as a person or a Christian if I don’t have the willingness to learn or see someones point of view. I have to see other peoples points of view. It keeps me humble.

This is just something I’ve been dealing with for a while. I don’t understand how we are all supposed to grow as a race if we live by the instructions of people 2000 years ago. Gays didn’t threaten cultures back then and they don’t now. I just want to ask everyone how do gays and lesbians threaten your religion or your life? Gays aren’t going to convert you or steal your religion. No one can make you do something you don’t want to do. We’re not going to make you go gay and you’re not going to make us go straight. So many people are afraid gays are going to take God and morals away from them. Well, all I can say to that is I’m a gay Christian and you can’t take that from me.

Posted in Because You Count, Common Sense, Family, Friends, GLBT, Life, Op-Ed, Our Writings, Politics, Religion, Today's Rant | 2 Comments »

Barely A Peep From Easter

Posted by Daniel on April 13, 2009

PhotobucketOkay, so another holiday has come and gone.  And we barley noticed it’s passing.

Easter isn’t one of those holidays that I actually celebrate – well, not in the usual sense, anyway – as I am not a religious person.  As a matter of fact, there are many who would look at how I “celebrate” Easter as being weird, but also somewhat sacrilegious.

Hey, it’s what you make of it, right?

Every year since I met my friends Ray and Scott, it has been my adopted tradition to watch “The Exorcist”.  Not that pussy of a remake…no, the original sphincter tightening version.  That’s a little treat that Ray turned me on to and we watch it for the laughs.

Last year, I made Seth watch it with me, again for the laughs, and then we made a diorama if peeps butchering a marshmallow bunny.  Blood and all.  And who can get through an Easter weekend without catching at least ONE showing of “The Ten Commandments”?  My favorite part is when Moses’ Egyptian mother Bithiah (played by Nina Foch) bangs on a gong, throws the gong hammer and yells, “Fetch my chariot!  I’m going to Goshen!!”  Which is something I would always repeat when someone told me I was needed elsewhere.

This year, however, was a bit different.

Since I only have Sunday’s off each week, we got up a bit late yesterday.  During our coffee time, Seth reminded me that I needed to call my mom.  We usually go over to see her and the family most Sunday’s, and then bring food to my brother who doesn’t so much go there…ever.

Mr Nibbles

So I call Mom, who suddenly breaks into her Catholic gig, “Why do you never call your mother??”  Yikes!!  This is going to take some serious sucking up.  Which means paying her a visit (no matter that I was dead tired from the work week…duty calls), and a subsequent stop for a dozen of the most beautiful roses.  Not red…but amber with burnt sienna ends.  Which almost killed my niece, but that’s another story.

We went over there for Easter lunch and laughs (Thanks Shannon) and then left to do some shopping.

Easter Pole Dance Pictures, Images and Photos

When we got home, there were no peeps.  Oh, we HAD Peeps-A-Plenty a couple of weeks ago, but they were long since scarfed down.  And of course, we put a couple into the microwave just to see what happens.

As a side note, if you ever nuke a Peep, do it on a paper plate because what is left after cooling is an immovable and disgusting stain of burnt sugar…with two pathetic little eyes still staring up at you from the carnage.

Anyway, we decided by then that e were still feeling a bit lazy and wanted to do nothing more for the day except be lazy sloths.  You know, watch movies and eat.  Trouble is that the TV that we inherited from my brother had the shittiest picture (either too dark or too light, depending on what you tried to watch) and it was unable to adjust correctly.

So…I figured it was about time we went and got one that we could actually watch without going cross-eyed.

Within one hour, I had gone online, priced and cross-priced many different models, found the one we liked in our price range, gone and bought it, brought it home and set it up.

Then we watched “Milk”.

The end of this post really doesn’t tie the rest of the story together, I know.  But this was pretty much our way of answering the oft-asked question, “How was your Easter?”

Hope yours was all you hoped it would be.

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Not Bad For A Non-Gambler

Posted by Daniel on April 7, 2009

I’ve lately grown fond of us driving up into the mountains with Shane & Cole to go to the biggo casino.  It’s a long scary drive, but not too bad if I don’t have to do the actual driving.

Since none of us are actually into the whole compulsive gambling thing,   (honestly, I am more into the loud noises and pretty shiny sparkly video effect on both main and upper screens) we all pretty much stick to the one and two cent slot machines.  That is, if we can actually get one.  I swear there are times when you have to practically pry the cold dead hands of some pretty trashy people off of those machines.

This past Sunday after a great day out on the lake getting some MUCH-NEEDED sun, we went back to the casino.

Wizard of Oz Penny SlotThe very first place I b-line it to is the Wizard of Oz penny slot machine.  I love this one because you can play all night on VERY little and yet I’ve been very lucky on it.  All told, out of all the visits up there, I’m ahead on that machine by about $300+.

Then, just when I feel that I’ve got a pretty good groove going on with Dorothy, this casino goes and puts in a new set of machines.  First there is now a different version of the Dorothy machines, and also a new set of Star Trek ones as well.

First off, I have yet to get to play the new Dorothy machines, because they are always busy.  This past Sunday, I decided to wait it out next to them for the next available one, then pounce on it like Oprah at a buffet.  There are only four of these lined up and some white trash couple were playing three of them.  seriously, the skanky girl was playing one and had her leg up on the chair of the one next to her and she would hit the button on that one once every ten minutes.  Just as she lost all of her credits on that one, her body odor-wreaking boyfriend handed her a $20 to put into it.  then she turned to me and smiled big enough to show me all four of her teeth and said, “It looks like you’re going to have to wait a while.”

So I said, “Fuck this.”, and went around the other side of them where Cole and Shane were playing the new Star Trek machines.  As I told them what was happening on the other side of them, the guy playing next to Cole said that I should tell security, as players are not allowed to play on more than one machine at any given time.

Okay, now before I go on, I want it understood that I am NOT normally a buttinsky, but these trashy stinky people were, to be delicate, being complete dickheads.

So I told security, who quickly went to them, saw for themselves what I was saying, and told them they must give up one of the machines or leave.  He also told them that since I was next in line, they had to give me the machine.  Instead, they bitched, then let some other guy who was behind me sit down.

The male half of the trailor house-betting duo looked over at me and said, “Nobody likes a tattle tale, dude.”  Then, for added measure, the toothless wonder (girlfriend) walked over to me and said, “You are such a fuckin’ snitch!!!”

In a way, I felt bad because like I said, I don’t ordinarily go that way, but there was just something about the way they were acting (and smelling) that compelled me to cry to security.

Star Trek slots RULE!!!!

Anyway, having lost any possibility of EVER getting on one of those for the forseeable future, I gave up and waited for a Star Trek machine.  Ten minutes later I was on one and doing so well, that Cole kept cussing me out (they lost $126 on them).

I happened to notice that when you collect a certain number of badges during the game, it changes the entire game for you.  since I liked all the prettier colors of the advanced play, I was hell-bent on getting my 40 badges before I left.  Which I did, after two hours…and still won $100.

So, when the tally was complete, after taking into account cost of drinks and initial bet amounts, we left with $203 more than we arrived with.

Which came in handy, since Seth lost $100 last time there when he mistakenly used a quarter slot machine.

Posted in Friends, Just For Fun | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

A Visit From Home

Posted by Seth on March 27, 2009

I have been away from home for nearly two years now. In those two years, I have made three trips home. The third trip, Daniel made the trip to West Virginia last April right before we moved here to Fresno. While living in Kansas City, I only had one visitor. My brother. The only reason why he came out was because he was on a business trip. So, that doesn’t really count. It was merely out of coincidence. Anyway, it has been nearly a year since I have seen anyone from home. (Yeah…it’s been a YEAR here in Fresno!) That record was broke last week. My two best friends came in for a weeks visit! I was so happy!

I’ve known Nicki for about 11 years, and Mary for roughly 14 or 15 years. So, I’ve pretty much grown up with them. They’re a couple gals that I am proud to show off. Mainly because they have no shame and I love them for that.

Nicki is more or less the female version of Chris Farley. She’s hilarious, boisterous, crazy, and makes great faces and voices! But she’s also level headed, smart, and would make a best friend to anyone. Oh, and she hates ghetto kids, which is a HUGE plus!

Mary is…..well…..I guess you could describe her as an anomaly. Picture Meg Griffin from Family Guy. That’s her! Very tragic! But I love her dearly. She has a weird sense of humor that mirrors mine. She’s the type of girl that would cut her throat on a cereal box, have a scar on her arm from a pretzel, and agree to being kidnapped by a stranger who happens to be an old woman. These are actual occurrences I might add. She’s a certified genius, but lacks common sense. She’s a gem!

They were only here for about 5 days. Not NEARLY enough time to do everything there is to do in this state. At least I got to see them though. I was happy with just that.

They arrived last Monday evening. We didn’t do anything but go out to eat and come home to rest. The next day was more fun. It was St. Patrick’s Day as well as our friend Cole’s birthday. We did the usual bar hopping. Finally, after hours of running around, we settled on one bar. Being a special holiday, we felt left out because we didn’t have any S.P.D. bling. So, Daniel proceeded to “borrow” some from other patrons. Which was great! We ended up with 4 necklaces, hideous glasses, a pretty tiara, and a green bottle of beer. He was going to get us a cool goblet type glass, but you couldn’t pry it out of the fat whore’s cold, drunk grip. We did reach our goal though. We got the girls drunk! Well, at least Nicki.
Me, Nicki, Daniel, Mary
Nicki and Mary drunk

After hours of drinking, we made a trip to Jack in the Box, ate, and went to bed.

The next day, I couldn’t figure out what the hell to do and they couldn’t decide on anything. So, I just took them around town and showed them the sights. Well, since it’s Fresno…I showed them the sight. Which is just the Tower District. There are a few cool little shops and restaurants. They bought a few things and that was about it. Later that evening we went to the casino, where we usually just break even. It was a lot of fun, considering Mary had never been to one and Nicki had only been to a dog track. They were impressed by all the machines and how pretty it was.

Seth and Nicki
Mary and Daniel

The next day, we felt like doing something real. We went for a trip up to Sequoia National Park. We were all excited about it. It’s only about an hour away from here. My only concern was snow. I didn’t know if it was closed off, if we were going to be able to do anything, if we should dress warm, if I should take a pill because I get vertigo and the road up there makes me twitch…luckily everything was fine.

On our way up there, Nicki and Mary were taking picture after picture. It is a very scenic drive. There are certain areas that look like Ireland, Tuscany, California, etc. Since the drive there is every vertigo patients worst nightmare, I “drove slow so they could get pictures.”  I’m talking about thousand foot cliffs, being on roads where you can see miles over the mountains, hair-pin turns…yeah…they can take as many pictures as they like! After white-knuckling the steering wheel all the way up to the park, we reach the gate to the park.

YAY! We’re finally here! Big trees, big pine cones, and potential death by a mountain lion! Exciting! Unfortunately, none of it looked familiar. There was a small parking area, a gated off road due to snow, and a road that lead further into the park. I knew that wasn’t the way to go, because Daniel didn’t go that route when we visited before. After about 30 minutes of circling in this parking lot that held about 20 cars, I realized that the closed off part was a road that we had to drive on to get to the good shit. Finally, we found a parking spot and started walking. We didn’t realize though, that it’s two miles to the recreation area. So, we got some walking stick from some fellow park patrons and started tracking two miles in about 1 1/2 feet of snow. Luckily it was about 60 degrees. So the snow was only keeping us cooled down. Mary even got a sun burn!

About an hour into the hike, we finally made it! BIG TREES! YAY! Unfortunately, due to Nicki and my long strides, Mary’s legs just couldn’t handle it anymore. Right as soon as we got to the park, Mary screamed at us, because we were about 200 feet in front of her, “I’M DONE!!!” So, she had it. She sat down on a fence and rested while Nicki and I left to retrieve cones. After an hour of tracking through two feet of snow,  fighting off bugs, and falling down multiple times, we found big cones and left. The trip back down the hill was much easier and faster. Unfortunately for Mary, she has no balancing skills. So, she was entertaining to watch.

Taking pictures of a babbling brook while I get a shot of Mary's babbling butt crack Guards of Hell's Gate
Nicki tracking through the snow Mary at her best

On our way home, we stopped at a couple stores looking for souvenirs and trinkets, but was unsuccessful. We just found crap. At least we got some big ass pine cones! We got back that evening tired, warn out, and exhausted.

The next day was quite a battle. The girls really wanted to go to Hollywood. I did too. I’ve never been there. The only problem was Daniel’s schedule. This entire time they were here, Daniel didn’t really get to spend any time with them. They thought it sucked, I thought it sucked, and Daniel was especially upset about it. It was no fault of his. His boss is a complete PRICK! He is a disgusting piece of shit old man with no reasoning or logic skills, who finds it necessary to fuck things up and lay the blame on everyone around him. He treats Daniel like shit and I’ve had it! His boss knew we had friends in, and made his work days harder just so he couldn’t spend any time with us. This is the type of man he is. He’s completely crazy! Of course Daniel has to play nice guy and take the bull shit that gets thrown at him, because we’re in a precarious situation. I don’t blame Daniel one bit. He’s playing it as smart as he can.

Anyway, after a little tiff between Daniel and me, and a little phone call to his boss about a “doctors appointment” Friday morning, we were well on our way to L.A. It is a 4 hour drive to L.A. from here, and in that time Daniel received a few forwarded calls from new tenants and his boss. He handled them very well, and even rented a couple of apartments while driving! Now how good of a fucking employee is that?!

We finally made it to Hollywood and started doing the touristy stuff. We visited Grauman’s Chinese Theater, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Capitol Records, and the Hollywood sign. I know there are a ton more things to do, but we got a late start. Everything is right there together, so that made it easy. Except the Hollywood sign itself. Since we had no clue where we were going, we had to take a picture of a tourist route map to find out way. It turns out it showed a road that led to an observatory in a park overlooking the city. Blah blah blah. After we figured out that we were lost, we turned around and came back into civilization. We asked a cop where we could find the best road to the sign and he was nice about it. He gave us directions and sent us on our way. We found the road, which was actually just about 10 minutes away from where we originally turned, and found it! So, we drove through a cute neighborhood to get as close to the sign as we could. Lucky for us, it was damn close! It made the girls happy, so we were happy.

Mary and Harry Potter at Grauman's Nicki and Harry Potter at Grauman's

Daniel and the sign Seth and the sign

Me, Mary, and Nicki enjoying the viewNicki got a little sleepy on the way there

Their last day in Fresno was sad. I didn’t want them to go home. I was trying my hardest to convince Nicki to quit her job and stay with us, and Mary to leave her husband (or bring him back here) and stay here. I miss my friends so much. It was so good to see them. I just hate it that they’re 3000 miles away. Hopefully we can look forward to more visits from friends or to friends this year. It did me a world of good to see them. They needed it and so did I.

Nicki saying goodbye to her new friend, Kitty! Mary "broke" the bed when she was packing

Saddness....just before their flight

Posted in Because You Count, Family, Friends, Holiday Fun, Just For Fun, Life, Our Writings, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »