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I bought this bunalow house built in 1915 last year and have been restoring and remodeling non stop. This month I had some new wiring installed in my master bedroom only to find out the house still had 45 % of the original knob and tube wiring system being used. Most of it was hidden under the installation of the attic and some walls. Not only is this type of wiring not up to to code, its down right dangerous. A week later, it had all been replaced by a professional electrician.
I can do most things myself but when it comes to electricity I tend to say, "no freakin way." Sticking a fork in a toaster at the age of 6 to get a stuck peice of toast out, kinda makes an impression on ya.
One hundred years that wiring performed like it was meant to. It got me thinking how much this old house stayed the same as the world around it changed.
World war One had just started. President Woodrow Wilson was in office, and the Germans sunk the Lusitania. Einstein published the Therory of Relativity, and Congress rejects a proposal to give women the right to vote.
US Population.................................100,546,000 Avg. Income...................................$1,076/year New Home (Median Price)........................$ 3,200 New Car (Avg. Cost).................................$ 642 Milk (Qt).....................................................9¢ Bread (Loaf)................................................6¢ Eggs..................................................34¢/doz. Steak (lb)..................................................24¢
Gasoline 20 cents per gallon
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THE 2015 ACADEMY AWARDS
PREDICTIONS DONE BY BARRICADEBOY
For the first time, I will be predicting the winners of the 2015 Oscars. I haven’t watched all of them so my predictions will be based on Oscar buzz and award season results but mostly who I think will take the prize this coming Sunday night. Some categories are missing like foreign language and documentary because I did not see ANY of the nominees and I did not want to guess a winner.
Dark horse: The Grand Budapest Hotel
Richard Linklater – Boyhood
Dark horse: Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel
Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
Dark Horse: Michael Keaton – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Julianne Moore – Still Alice
Dark Horse: Reese Witherspoon – Wild
BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR:
J.K Simmons – Whiplash
Dark Horse – Ethan Hawke - Boyhood
BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS:
Patricia Arquette – Boyhood
Dark Horse – Meryl Streep – Into the Woods
BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dark Horse – Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of ignorance)
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:
Dark Horse: The Imitation game
BEST ANIMATED FEATURE:
How to Train Your Dragon 2
Dark Horse: Big Hero 6
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE:
The Grand Budepest Hotel
Dark Horse: The Theory of Everything
BEST ORIGINAL SONG:
Glory – Selma
Dark Horse: Everything Is Awesome – The Lego Movie
BEST SOUND EDITING:
Dark Horse: The Hobbit: The Battle of The Five Armies
BEST SOUND MIXING:
Dark Horse: Whiplash
BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN:
The Grand Budapest Hotel
Dark Horse: Into the Woods
Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Dark Horse: The Grand Budepest Hotel
BEST MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYING:
Guardians of the Galaxy
Dark Horse: Foxcatcher
BEST COSTUME DESIGN:
Into the Woods
Dark Horse: The Grand Budapest Hotel
BEST FILM EDITING:
Dark Horse: The Imitation Game
BEST VISUAL EFFECTS:
Guardians of the Galaxy
Dark Horse: X – Men: Days of Future Past
Predicted for most wins: Boyhood (4)
I thought pretty thoroughly about my choices but nothing is set in stone. What are your picks? Do you disagree with any of mine?
On the subject of Boyhood winning best picture…
I watched Boyhood this Sunday and I must say, the movie underwhelmed me but that’s where its magic is. If “Boyhood” was a kid in school, it would be the one that was always being itself. Past best picture winners had a flare for the dramatic and although Boyhood had some intense scenes, those were never the focus point of the film. The reason why it should win Best Picture is because it doesn’t try. Boyhood is a landmark in the film industry and the quintessential independent film.
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Most of you don't remember me when I used to write and beta on a regular basis. However, since the majority of my friends and family don't know much about me - and I'm trying to figure out a delicate balance between keeping my mother happy by not blasting "my unacceptable lifestyle" (trust me, this is a separate issue way too complicated for one single blog post) and keeping my boyfriend happy - I wrote a section of this as a Facebook note, and promptly deleted before posting.
Two years ago, what started to be a slow process to become serious with my then-ex-boyfriend who I really thought I'd live the rest of my life with decided it were best if we took a step back and allowed each other to date other people. He suggested it would be better so he wouldn't feel trapped. I contemplated that if the relationship needed another person into the mix, then we're not the right match to stay together for the long haul.
Two years have gone by and I don't regret this decision. Instead, I reflect on the decision I made, which took two days to formulate, weigh out, and gather enough strength to end things. I don't think either of us were ready to just end things completely, but I didn't think it would have ended well either way. He had too much temptation from moving into a "gayer" neighborhood, and I guess from his raise in status from his startup being bought out, he felt he had to date upwards. I, on the other hand, was ready to settle down, see the world with him, and even started throwing out ideas about engagement (but not to him directly).
The strangest thing happened during this time. I was an emotional mess, the one friend who I met online and we chatted in a coffee shop eventually became my boyfriend. My ex apparently thought SF was too bougie (yeah... I didn't understand that either) and moved to Chicago. Two years tomorrow will mark 2 years I broke up, and 2/20 will mark the day I added my current boyfriend on FB. It's so weird looking back at my facebook timeline and have "You became friends with... February 20th" with a picture of the two of us.
So yeah, what the hell have I been doing? Well for one thing, work's been crazy. (yeah, yeah, we've all heard this before) I ended up getting promoted to a slightly higher managerial position that now requires me to be suddenly artzy as hell. I now do visual merchandising and I have no art degree! Trust me my color coordination is all over the place and people in the company hate how I can generate numbers for the company without being the artzy snotty stature the role requires me to be.
I got a drunk text from my ex that said he wanted to apologize at how he ended things. I'm not sure if I got the closure I wanted, but I think it's safe to say that we're both strong people who take a lot of time to get over something once something's been decided.
I am a first time author and am looking for some help. I have created a website for my new book (my first one), Skeletons Of A Murder. I would like to have users go to the website http://www.skeletonsofamurder.info and read the Home page, the Prolog page, and the others if interested. Let me know what you think. Does the site generate any interest in reading the book? Is the site organized in such a manner as to be easy to use? Does any page need additions, deletions, corrections? Does reviewing the site interest you to the point of wanting to go to the sales page on Kindle to find out more about the book? Do you think the site is of any value in promoting the book? Any comments will be greatly appreciated. *Posted with permission from site staff*
I have only been out of the house once since January 27th, the date of winter storm Juno, aka. The Boston Blizzard. I made three trips to various stores and groceries the day before in order to stock up on supplies so that I could tuck-in and wait things out. Things went well, my supplies lasted quite a long time. My first journey out was to the grocery again, fresh produce was my target, and in that goal I was successful. The journey allowed me to marvel at the mountains of snow at intersections, easily ten to twelve feet tall, and the fact that the main street (Massachusetts Avenue) that runs through my neighborhood, the South End, was so full of snow that parking spaces will not be found until sometime in late spring. Sidewalks were navigable by the space of the barest width of a shovel and the only way to let oncoming pedestrians pass by was to either climb onto a car height (or higher) mound of snow, hop onto someone's half-assed shoveled steps or get real cozy. No passing. Fun stuff.
Keep in mind that before the date of the big winter storm Boston had previously had only dustings, and then one storm that left about an inch on the ground when the storm began. I watched the snow fall through my oriel window in my living room and from the warm safety of my condo. It fell into and onto my below street level backyard garden and slowly covered everything. About twenty-seven inches of cover, or there about. A few days later, another eighteen or twenty inches (one is never really sure), and then some more, and some more again. We now have, in inches of snow, the high level of seventy-three point six. A record. More is on the way.
Part of my condo exists as part of an 'ell', and by way of description these are extended additions (one to four stories tall) added on to the backs of townhouses all over the city and at some point in history (vague, I know). If one were to look at a townhouse from the side, you can imagine the 'L' shape at the back, hence the name. My building dates to 1857 but I have no idea when the two-story addition was added. But what this all means is that the roof over my living room is in the ell, and the roof is flat. As opposed to the roof of the main townhouse portion, which is peaked. A few years ago, neighbors put a deck on part of it, as was their right. But when snow gets to the levels that we have reached, the snow needs to be shoveled off of the flat part—roof and/or deck.
That happened two days ago. My newish, upstairs neighbor (now newish deck owner) hired someone (who I know) to shovel the snow into the back garden. Fine so far. I saw said shoveler head up the fire-escape as it was getting dark. I usually pull my curtains (big, heavy, velvet curtains) closed around that time, and I did. What I didn't see until the next morning was that all of that snow had been shoveled to the sides. Whatever can be the problem you might ask?
There were two mountains of snow set against the brick wall sides of my home and garden, with peaks in the range of nine or ten feet tall. So? Well, mountains have bases, and the base of mountains left and right, blocked each of my fire exits. One being my bedroom window and the other a steel door egress into the garden level from a second bedroom—with pretentions of being an office. What am I to do?
Funny you should ask.
Since my garden is completely snowed in and I didn't see this as a problem originally, why shovel? It means I could not get into it from its street level gate (reached by a set of stairs, also snowed in) and so I asked my next-door neighbors if they would pretty please open their back gate and let me in. I can access my garden by way of their ell addition and my buildings fire-escape (simplified version). Which I did by walking around the block and entering from the rear. So far, so good.
Now, a funny thing happened on the way to the Emporium.
Accessing the fire-escape was just a few pushes of snow and a completely unnecessary, though fun, break to smash a gigantic icicle hanging from the back of my neighbor's townhouse ell. If you've stuck with me, here is the really fun part.
I make a treacherous step across open air onto the ice-laced wrought iron steps of the fire-escape, and again so far, so good. I tossed my two shovels (kept the straw broom) over the handrail and into the snow—they didn't sink very deep. Hmm. The next step was into the garden and was questionable. What to do, what to do? I went for it, and rather than walk to the bottom and wade through the snow, I straddled the handrail near the bottom and stepped.
I sunk mid-thigh into the snow; my left leg did not follow.
So there I am straddling the handrail, one leg stuck in the snow, the other trapped under a step on the fire-escape and holding a straw broom over my head for balance. Get the picture?
Don't panic, Ron!
It's below freezing (a high of 22°F today), I am below street level, and there is no one who can see me. Will I freeze to death? Will they find my desiccated, freeze-dried body come spring? It's amazing how fast thoughts of not-so-real possibility and craziness can flash through the mind. I had a broom, right?
If you don't panic you can find a way. I was able to unseat my foot from under the step and let my left leg join its partner mid-thigh into the snow. Is this what it's going to be like? From there it was a definite slog, each leg sinking into the depths, until I was able to reach my back door entry. A journey of about twenty-four feet through perilous territory—all under foot and under snow—of planters, patio pavers upturned by cherry tree roots and a pile of pruned tree branches which didn't make it to the curb for recycling last fall.
Well, partial success, anyway. I did free my back door from the clutches of the mountain of ice and snow—it took an hour. But I saved my bedroom window for tomorrow's adventure.
Where does time go? Apparently the last time I posted on here was more than 3 years ago. I still come to GA pretty much on a daily basis, but I am not as active in the forum or in chat as I once was. Anyway, I thought it would be a good idea to recap what's been happening over the past year and have a look at the one ahead.
Most of late 2013 and early 2014 was dedicated to making Jian_Sierra's move to France possible. It has been a long time in the making. There were multiple difficulties to overcome, which we lifted one by one. Maybe he will tell you one day how it looked from his perspective (if he lets go of his PS Vita long enough ). Anyway, he arrived in France in August, just as I had left Paris to get a job in a smaller city. Just in case you wondered, living together beats living 3,000 miles away from each other! Our long-distance relationship could not have lasted 3 years without the Internet, Skype, smartphones, etc., and I am so very thankful for this technology. And now I can say that it was worth the wait
It feels comfortable to live as a couple. I had decided early on that once we lived together, I would not be hiding our relationship, so this has meant a lot of coming outs in the past few months. A few weeks ago, we went together to a wedding in my family. Therefore I am now out to all of my extended family. We didn't receive any bad reactions, which is a very good thing. We hardly raised any eyebrows, even though most people know that I was previously in a relationship with a woman for 12 years. I am told that society's view on gay/bi people has evolved and that it's now no big deal when someone comes out as gay. So anyway, 2015 starts with a lot less coming outs to organise than 2014: I probably still have to tell a few close colleagues at work (it's a small city, so they're bound to discover it at some point), a few other friends or previous colleagues from Paris... It will be fine.
The new job I started in September is going well. I am managing a small team, and they don't seem to hate me yet. Plus, I am getting familiar with all the issues that we have to deal with. Anyway, not going to bore you with the details.
Among my New Year resolutions is to set up a proper running schedule. I have selected 2 marathons for this year. We'll see if training goes well: last year I trained fine but got sick just before the scheduled marathon, which was very disappointing.
In other news, I discovered recently that my PhD thesis was used by several Les Miserables fanfiction writers for background information. Some of those stories have male/male relationships. Hehe, I never envisioned that, as I was poring over 19th century archives to try to make sense of them.
I will also be hitting 40 in a few days. I am not overly stressed about it, despite Jian's teasing that I am soooooo old . I guess that it's one of those meaningful moments in life that one is supposed to celebrate. My family and friends requested a party, so I might organise something in the Spring. Outside parties are not a great idea in the middle of winter.
All in all, 2015 looks like it's going to be a good year. I am starting to plan our summer vacations (but shushhh, don't tell Jian). We might be able to make it to the UK at some point this year, but probably won't make it to the US for a visit to GA and non-GA friends before 2016...
In the early 70's, my family moved to Mississippi from Louisiana. I was enrolled into a military school to begin my high school years. At 14 and being a female it was quite terrifying. My first day to attend classes, I was as lost as a student during his first day on a college campus. The school I was going too also had boarding students and their dorms. It was a new world to me.
I'll never forget the first break of my first day. I sat on a bench alone pretending to be absorbed in a book. Someone plopped down beside me and said, "Hi, I'm Sandra Faye, but everyone calls me Sandi." That was the beginning of the first true friendship I ever had. We spent nights with each other during the week, all our weekends together and weeks on end during the summers between our high school years. We had our first drink together, double dated on our first date and she taught me how to smoke a cigarette.
My family moved back to Louisiana the end of the summer before my senior year. It didn't affect our friendship in the least. I still came back to Mississippi at least one weekend out of every month. We kept in contact almost daily. Even when I went away to college in North Louisiana, we still kept in touch. She was already working in a NAPA auto store. When I turned 20, I moved back to Mississippi and moved in with her. We both worked in the parts store for a year before I met my first husband and moved out from her house. My first husband and I visited with them a lot since we lived within 20 miles of her and her boyfriend, later to be jusband. My marriage only lasted 13 months..
I was her Maid of Honor in her wedding and played the piano at her sister's wedding. I even spent two Christmases with her family instead of my own because they were like a second family to me. My parents would come to their house on Christmas Day to see me. When I met my second husband, which is who I'm married to now, once again, we were apart. She and her husband moved about an hour away. We both had baby girls and kept in contact on a daily basis.
After three years of marriage, Jimmy and I separated for about six months. My daughter and I moved in with Sandi and her daughter. (She was separated from her husband also.) We were like extended family. When my husband and I worked out our differences, I moved back home and she and I kept in contact but since we both now worked time consuming jobs, we had less contact. But every year, on my birthday she called early in the morning. She never missed one. We'd meet for lunch every once in awhile when one of us was in the other's home town at the time.
Her dad died a couple of years ago and I attended the funeral. She and I found time to visit and it was as if we'd never been apart. She was the sister I chose for myself.
I could write a book here and not even tell a third of our history together. Sadness, happiness, mischief, but friendship beyond all friendship.
Sandi died of a massive heart attack yesterday. Her younger sister made sure that I got word of her death this morning. I'm shocked and heartbroken by the news. The part of me that was connected to her is shaken beyond repair at this moment. Hoping that writing this would give my heart a much needed breath of relief, I'm finding it even heavier and I know it'll stay that way for days to come. Her friendship is one that'll never be replaced. To me she'll always be that sweet little red-headed teen that plopped down beside me on that bench that day when I felt so alone and offered me the gift of her friendship.
Rest in peace my friend. An angel has been added to the heavens.
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My novel Silent was selected as the 2014 Rainbow Award Winner in the Gay & Lesbian Young Adult Category! I don't think I ever posted much about it here-- ran a couple of ads at one point, but I sort of suck at advertising and self-promotion. In any case, on the off chance a curious person stumbles by my blog, here's the cover/blurb:
2014 Rainbow Award Winner: Best Gay & Lesbian Young Adult Novel
Alex's life as a teenager in South Central LA is far from perfect, but it's his life, and he knows how to live it. He knows what role to play and what things to keep to himself. He's got it all under control, until one lousy pair of shoes kicks him out of his world and lands him in a foster care group home.
Surrounded by strangers and trapped in a life where he could never belong, Alex turns to the only person lower on the social ladder than he is: a "special" mute boy. In Sebastian, Alex finds a safe place to store his secrets--those that sent him to foster care, and the deeper one that sets him apart from the other teenagers he knows. But Sebastian has secrets of his own, and when tragedy rips the two boys apart, Alex will stop at nothing to find the answers--even if it means dragging them both through a past full of wounds best left buried.
It might just be worth it, for the slim chance at love.
I'm running a giveaway on my blog to celebrate. Enter to win a paperback (+other goodies) or an ebook of Silent. Ends today. http://saraalva.com/?p=1052
I am really in shock of the current events of today in Ottawa in our Nations Capital and on Monday in Montreal. I guess I always knew that this one day may have come, but still, it doesn't lessen the deep sense regret that our lives will be changing going forward.
I will try to sum up the events of the past 3 days, based on the latest news reports and the just finished speech from our Prime Minister Steven Harper.
On Monday, two Canadian Armed Forces members, one in uniform, one not, were hit by a speeding car which changed its direction to run them over. One soldier died later of his injuries. The driver of the car was caught and shot dead by the Police. This person has been described as being a radicalized member of ISIS a year ago. He had his passport seized by the government when he tried to leave the country to go to Turkey and then onto Syria to join ISIS.
Today, this morning, a normal morning in our Nations capital of Ottawa. A gunman jumped out of a car and shot a soldier, Corporal Nathan Cirillo, 24, who was doing ceremonial duty at the National War Memorial, the tomb of the unknown Soldier. He was unarmed. He was shot in the back. The gunman then went into the Parliament Buildings and started opening fire in the Hall of Honour underneath the Peace Tower. He continued to fire his weapon and made his way to where the Prime Minister was meeting with his caucus. The shooter was confronted by the Sargent of Arms, a ceremonial position for the security of Parliament. A former RCMP officer, he shot the gunman dead. Thank god for him being armed.
Just recently it has been learned the gunman's name is Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, 25, from Quebec. He has a lengthy criminal history for drug and some assault charges. He too has recently had his passport seized by the Government for going overseas to fight with ISIS too.
The fact that all of this has happened on Canadian soil is something that we have never seen before. I am always amazed how places like Great Britain and the US and other countries have kept a stiff upper lip (a British saying) as they deal with this. Now, I guess it is time that Canada will be doing the same.
How this will change us? I'm not sure. I really hope that things that Canadians hold as values don't change. We are generally a peaceful nation that doesn't really have gun issues except with gangs that is everywhere. We believe we are safe in our homes, at work and at play.
I imagine you are asking why these people were free when they had their passports seized? As the police said, you can't arrest and lock someone up and take away their freedom for their thoughts. I generally agree with this, but I imagine this will change too. The RCMP have said that there is 90 Canadians across the country that are 'persons of interest'. I know that these people may be looking at increased scrutiny from law enforcement since these two incidents have happened this week.
Another thought of mine was, would we have been better off to have just let them leave and go join ISIS? Immediately I knew this was the wrong. As I personally grieve for the two soldiers lost, I know that we have to take care of the ISIS threats within our own borders rather than let them join the groups in Syria and Iraq. There, they could be part of killing thousands. No life is expendable.
Some say it shouldn't be a surprise. Al Qaeda and as recently as a month ago and ISIS has declared Canada as one of their targets. The US, Britain, France and Australia are the others named. I guess when you don't have any experience with dealing with this, just how are you supposed to react?
Now, why I put this in my blog, I'm going to get a bit political.
Canada has basically 4 national parties. The right of centre Conservatives who are currently in power, the centre Liberals, the left of centre (some refer to socialist) New Democrats, the official opposition, and the far left Green Party.
Parliament recently debated sending Canadian fighters to Kuwait to participate with the alliance to do bombing runs against ISIS in Iraq and Syria. With a Conservative majority the motion was passed and yesterday the planes and support staff left for the Persian Gulf. All opposition members voted against it.
What irritated me beyond belief was the speeches made by the the Liberals in Parliament and outside. They recently elected Justin Trudeau as their leader, the son of the former long term Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau. I will not share my opinion of his father, as this could go on for weeks. Justin had the gall and audacity to not only insult our Military in this country but said Canada could do more good by providing food and aid to the people in the Mid East fighting ISIS. He insulted everyone's intellect by saying that no Canadian military action was necessary in the Mid East.
I will give the New Democrats credit, they voted against the mission based on ideological reasons, but did not insult or demean our Military or anyone.
Well I wonder what the Liberal Party's messiah is doing now? Was he in Parliament today putting his body behind his words? Was he trying to go out and buy lunch for the gunman and talk to him to show him the error of his ways? I think we all know the answer to that. Probably was under a desk screaming for someone to protect him, (my opinion).
I grieve for the family and friends of these two dead soldiers. I grieve for the change in what we maybe knew would happen, but actually has.
If anything, this blog has helped me put my thoughts down in order.
One last thing. I work with a Muslim lady at work. We have discussed how the MAJORITY of Muslims in Calgary and Canada speak out and actually help the police and such with identifying the radicals that are hiding within their community. She personally has told me that if one of her family members were to go down the wrong path, she would ensure they were held accountable but would still have the unconditional love a mother would have. She was nearly in tears today as the news came out. I have to agree with her. Not only does she grieve for Canada, but because of what, 90 people, millions will be judged going forward. Not only is this a horrible day for me, but for the 99% of Muslims that will have absolutely nothing to do with ISIS or other radical Islamic groups.
Please do not turn this blog into a racist, hate filled commentary on Muslims in general. You will do yourself nothing but exposing the flaws of your logic....in my opinion.
I don't usually like to talk about guys in terms of "types"--it seems unnecessarily reductive. But, if I must say that I have a type, I would say that I like my guys extra gay.
You know what I mean. I like them on the nellie side, I like them sparkly, I like them singing musicals and quoting RuPaul's Drag Race and wearing skin-tight pants because for so many years of my life I pined for the straight ones and broke my own heart with it.
I came out fully the summer before college, not because of uncertainty in my sexuality, but because of all the time I was spending in completely hetero locker rooms before then. I was my school's best half-miler and a decent cross-country runner, so the time spent in communal showers in Bumfuck, Oklahoma didn't lend itself to me shouting about how much I loved licking a guy's taint (hypothetically, of course, since I had done no taint-licking then). All of my friends were straight jocks, my best friend the jockiest of all, with broad shoulders and strong arms and long legs that just drove me wild on nights when I couldn't keep the gay away and longed in my bed.
I yearned to be with him, to feel his arms around me and his mouth on mine. Reading stories on this very site didn't help--I was so wound up that even our play wrestling and random weightlifting sessions had me even more in love with the thought of him I'd built up. So thorough was my own self-afflicted heartbreak that I have since gone 100% to the other side, preferring instead to go after the especially gay ones now that I can find them. (As an aside, DC is the best place in the world to live if you like that type.)
My roommate is a graduate student, which comes with the perk of getting to meet and hang around with other cool grad students. We go to bar trivias together, we hang around and play video games, but most fun of all there is a core group of us that gets together to watch football. That's how I met Nick, and how I somehow made it back to the same exact position I was in at the age of 15, when I could still feel the burning sensation in my cheeks of stealing glances at my best friend's body and hoping in vain for a miracle, that he would realize his love for me and we would spend forever together. Thinking about it now just leaves me embarrassed.
My tiny crush on Nick started innocently. His apartment is very close to mine, so we walk home together after outings, and he's a few inches shorter than me, and funny, and wicked smart. He was cute, and very obviously athletic--strong calves atop high black socks were displayed underneath his loose football shorts. But it was nothing more than passing interest, and maybe some glances at his strong, tan forearms. We became quick friends, and see each other often.
Today, the core six of us got together to watch football, a regular Saturday activity, but today at Nick's apartment. We did some drinking, perhaps a little too heavily, and I found myself drifting farther and farther towards him. While we were talking, for the first time I really noticed his eyes--which are stunning, a sort of amber color against his curly, dark brown hair. He made some joke about the Split-T and I chuckled weakly, trying to get myself together.
At some point, I'm not sure how, his foot moved towards my thigh. And I spent a bit too long looking into his eyes. And now, I can't seem to stop replaying it in my mind--despite my best efforts, I'm crushing on a straight friend again. Something about how he looked at me made me feel it all over, even though I know it's all in my head, I know it's all pointless and will get me nowhere. What's that sor Juana line? "'Tis corpse and dust, 'tis shadow and nothingness."
So, all this is to say that crushing on straight guys is just the worst. But, I can at least spend a little time hoping for a miracle, right?
I remember when I met my former best friend who was straight. It was in the break room at the department store we worked at. He was cute with his baby face and the way he was shy and didn't know how to interact with anyone was adorable to me for some reason.
I opened up to him, seeing that he could use his friend. He gradually opened up to me and we became best friends. The amount of things we had in common was completely unreal, from our favorite television shows to our ideas of what is right and what is wrong; I had felt like we were destined to meet.
So I found myself becoming more and more attracted to him, and I was developing romantic feelings for him. My friend got to know me really well over all the times we shared together and I absolutely know he caught on quickly to the attraction I was developing for him. At first, this wasn't an issue for us, even though he knew about it, and I knew that he knew about it, and he knew that I knew about him knowing about it. It was basically an unspoken ordeal and we both nonverbally agreed that we would never discuss it, and that it would never go anywhere.
Well one day I was watching television with him and I had asked him about his day and he told me his feet were so sore from standing all day at work. His feet were by me on the couch, and without giving it much thought, I grabbed one of his feet, put it on my lap, and started massaging it. He was completely startled but made no attempt to move as I massaged his feet. I don't have a foot paraphilia or anything, I just did it to be nice, and he became so relaxed and happy that I was glad I did it for him and he eventually took his foot away and rested his other foot on my lap and I did the same to that one.
This continued to happen as we met each time to hang out. We would be watching television or something and he would wave his foot in front of me and I would massage his feet for him, and he absolutely loved it. He never offered to reciprocate and I never implied that I wanted him to. I was more than happy to do this for the guy I fell for.
Well one day after I finished his feet he backed his back up to me and told me his back was sore. I felt my face flush and was glad he couldn't see it. I massaged his feet because feet were pretty platonic for me but backs weren't, but this is something he wanted me to do for him so I did it. As I massaged his back the fabric of his shirt was bugging me and I put my hands under his shirt to massage his back. His back stiffened and he asked what I was doing and I explained it to him and he relaxed as I massaged his back under his shirt.
This feet then back routine continued, and it eventually led to feet, back, and calves, which eventually led to feet, back, calves, behind knees, and entire torso (front too). I learned where his muscles were and knew how he liked each section massaged. I'd massage all areas formerly mentioned at least once each time we hung out.
Some may wonder how my friendship with him ended when he clearly liked getting massages from me and things seemed to be working out great. One may guess that I made an inappropriate pass as I was massaging him. I didn't; I respected his boundaries completely. What happened was the sin of jealousy. I was his best friend, which meant I got to hear all about his luck with the ladies and one day it just became too much and I was angry and yelled at him. He yelled back and told me he knew why I was upset and I said if he knew why he shouldn't be saying those things to me and he told me he's sick of me being jealous and hung up on me. I angry texted him nonstop for like an hour and he ignored me so I left him a nasty voicemail that night and the next day. I regret what I said in the voicemail but my feelings were hurt and I never been hurt as bad as that and didn't know how to cope. I tried connecting with him later but he wouldn't respond to apologies. I'm still friends with him on social media and we will write on each other's walls when it is one of our birthdays wishing the person a happy birthday but that is all I ever get from him. It's been three years now and I still have a chunk of my heart that isn't repairing and I know I will never get my best friend back.
Thanks to those who read this. I really needed to get this off my chest so I can maybe move on. I feel like now if I ever did have an unrequited love with a best friend I would know the "dos" and "don'ts," having learned from my past mistakes.
Dear Digital Dairy,
Today I was at the bus stop waiting for bus, when something sparked my interest.
There I am some semi-sheltered college student sitting at a metro bus stop in the rain, waiting to go home. So I sat back under the stop's roof getting my umbrella out when this homeless woman came along. She had four huge bags of stuff, two of which were in a small cart, and a worn out child's bicycle. She sat her stuff a few feet away form me.
Now we were at a horrible intersection. It's six roads across. There's traffic. There's bad drivers. And there no street lights or any sort of stop signs. It's a war zone. I would never cross this intersection. I mean I rearranged my entire bus route so I would never have to cross it. Even being near it, I'm scared I'll get run over.
But this homeless woman picked up one bag and walked across. She didn't even look both ways or walk cautiously. She just carried her bag across six roads to a burger king on the other side. Then she walked back and got her second bag doing the same thing with it, all it the rain. I just couldn't stop watching her scared someone would hit her. She at one point looked over at me watching her. I think she thought I was looking down on her with disgust or discomfort. Probably because most people do. But I was looking at her because I was curious about why she was crossing this terror street. But then I realized something, she NEEDS to cross it. For whatever reason she needs to do that for survival. That's how our bodies work. I've never needed anything like that. There difference between feeling hungry and starving. When I think about I've always had money in my wallet (don't matter how little), a cell phone in my pocket, and someone to call. I've never needed to cross dangerous roads.
Now has that helped me or hurt me? I don't always know.
Some may ask why my heart bleeds.
Deep beneath this external facade lays a boy that feels lost.
He's conflicted and filled with self-hatred.
He just wishes he could be sedated.
To forget all this pain.
Lost in his despair, he feels that this life was never fair.
His gender, his identity, did not conform to who he was.
The parts that caused him pain he wanted to cut off, just so he could somehow belong.
But the labels, the names, set all in this game of put downs.
Life isn't fair, he had lost his will to care.
Like a marry-go-round he was caught by the forces that be.
Living life going from tree to tree, flower to flower, like some little honey bee.
Most forget that the thing between your legs dosen’t make who you are.
It’s almost like a health scare knowing that you’ll never be whom you know you should be.
The world likes to place the blame, call you out as weird and a freak every day of the week.
As if this identity has somehow made you weak.
But I don’t care. I am what I am.
I'm sure many of you know how much I love poetry. But after watching this video this is what came to my mind. I absolutely love slam poetry and the way it expresses ones deepest of pains or desires. I'm not saying this poem above is an epic tale, but it's what my heart spoke from the other side. Hope you liked it.
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I don't know what it is about politics that makes us all foam at the mouth. Sometimes--like the people who rubberneck at terrible auto accidents on the highway they're traveling--I can't keep myself from looking at the comments to political essays posted to the Internet, but most of the time it just depresses me. People are mean, hateful, and ignorant on matters of politics, and they seem to be enjoying being those things and beating up other people with those things!
We had a politics-place in the Forums here once. And, predictably, it got mean and ugly too. And that's why we don't have it anymore and why we're not allowed to talk about politics here.
I'm a team player and don't wanna tick anybody off. The good people here host me and they make decisions they feel are best for the health of the site. And I'm not gonna argue (much) with them...athough from time to time I poke a little bit of fun at the enforced "niceness."
But a thread devoted to exploring people's visions of the future got locked here because people couldn't keep politics out of it...and something in me offered up a silent "hey, now, waitaminnit."
How you gonna do a vision of the future without reference to politics? The state of income inequality? The environment? Etc., etc. At the heart of all our hopes and fears for the future are realties which are inescapably political. So I guess we just can't talk about the future at the Forums.
Or the state of health care in this country and the rest of the world? This is no inconsequential topic, and it actually has some specific relevance to gay men as gay men, though not only to them. Seems like it would be something we should be able to discuss here.
Or how about how society looks at and treats people of Our Community. Marriage is only one of the issues in this category. These have inescapably political ramifications, too, and seems like we could have some great discussion. But I'm not sure how to discuss these without venturing into politics.
Is your state board of education trying to put non-science in science books, rewrite history for their history books, and legislate about the moral worth of gay people? Doesn't seem like we can talk about it here, because it inevitably involves politics.
The more I think about this topic, the more subjects it appears we can't talk about here in the forums. Because politics touches us all over the place.
Which leads me to wonder...instead of banning a topic from the site, can't we just warn people that the political threads will be aggressively moderated, and that we have a two-strike, or even a one-strike-and-you're-out policy regarding rudeness or incivility or flaming or whatever it is that has made political discussion taboo here? Maybe that would take up too much time from moderators, but would it take any more than they're having to give over to it now, locking down threads and warning people? That way the people who play nice would retain their ability to discuss, and the "problem children" would be escorted out and sent to the nursery to play with the Duplo blocks.
And we could have a fun thread like "What's your vision of the future?".
Just my wandering brain, wandering and wondering.
Dear all (or to the few who will read this ;-),
Thanks for joining me on my odd journey of writing about not so topsy wolf shifters ... While I'm stuck at MetaWolf Book IV I am following the old tradition of procrastination by doing something else which promises quick gratification.
In this case, I was admiring a photo which shows my perfect CE (see character in MetaWolf): http://www.pinterest.com/pin/221591244139597694/ ...
And before I will attack chapter 12, I will continue to mull over the puzzling question why most m/m wolf shifter stories seem to be written by heterosexual women for heterosexual women ... any ideas?
As of late, some of you GA members may have noticed that I have been sharing some quotes about books, the value of reading in general, as well as some inspirational citations by famous and not so famous people as regards the value of books and reading in general, as personal “status updates.” As I happen upon these “quotes” in articles and books, as well as on the Internet – I’m an incurable bibliophile with an unquenchable thirst for a good narrative – I find myself getting excited by these literary nuggets I chance upon and will often wonder what the take of my fellow GA authors and readers would be when presented with these “wise sayings.” And that is the reason why I share it with whoever want to share it with me…
On and off during this past week I have been mulling these quotes over in my mind, and then an idea struck me, took hold of me and swept me away. Just throwing out a citation or two, to you girls and guys, was just not satisfactory in the fullest sense of the word. Other thoughts started to pop up in my consciousness, and I thought, “Why not write a blog-entry about what’s milling around in my mind about the sheer pleasure and joy of reading?” and the end result is these very words you are reading right now, my first attempt to share something that is uppermost in my mind.
Everyone of us on this delightful GA-site, are readers in the true sense of the word, no matter what our personal motivations actually happen to be. Some of us are here for the mere sensual kicks we derive from reading a really good erotic story. Some of us are looking for kindred spirits to share our thoughts with, and some looking and desperately searching for community. Remember the wise old saying from the book of Proverbs, apparently written by the wisest king who ever lived (though I have my personal doubts about this one), but irrespective whether he was really the wisest or just promoted because of national pride by a small desert-dwelling group of people or not, he happened to jot down a very apt and wise saying, “Iron cuts iron, so does one person the personality of another…” And that’s what we are actually doing here at GA. We are busy forming and shaping one another through published stories, reviews, and at times plain wholesome bantering. Most of us have never set eyes on one another, but here we are: a group of dedicated authors and readers.
Have we ever sat down and really thought it through just why we are reading in general? Try it, and see what pop up in your individual minds.
I want to share with all of you who are reading this first blog-entry the reasons why Rano values reading so much. Some of you may agree with my take on this subject, while some will disagree. That’s also okay. But consider for a few moments the following:
For the shear pleasure thereof
To avoid boredom while maybe waiting for a bus or train
Waiting for someone to meet you for lunch at a local eatery
While waiting your turn in a queue (and here I have one of those very long rows in mind...)
One of few recreational practices that could transform you into a companionable conversationalist (obviously, depending on what it is you are reading and who you are conversing with.)
Books have the ability to rapture us to other spheres; marvelous strange worlds of sheer magic and marvel – all through an incredible, fanciful interaction of expressions that constitute extraordinary utterances.
I could add some more reasons, but then this entry may become too long, and the last thing I want to do is to bore anyone with this first entry... I’d rather have you share your personal insights as well.
You can learn so much from the sages of yore. As an example, consider the following witty remark that Alexander Pope (1688 – 1744) jotted down. I actually wonder if he had ever considered that more than two and a half centuries later, people would still be able to read what he had to say, marvel over it, and even enjoy a good chuckle because of the wit locked in it. Here it is:
There was a time that books had an influence on the world, now the world is influencing what is written down in books.
Or this one by Joseph Addison (1672 – 1719):
Reading is for the mind what exercise is to the human body.
When asked what kind of person, in his opinion, is the most to be pitied, the philosopher-author, Benjamin Franklin replied: "People who on rainy days dislike reading."
Fellow bibliophiles and GA-members, if nothing else, we can console ourselves with the knowledge that amongst one another, we are in good company.
(artwork © Rano)
So, I've finally posted the first story since January. It's called My Little Secret, and it's very personal to me in so many ways.
You should check it out and let me know what you think.
Chapter 2 is already posted! https://www.gayauthors.org/story/insurgency/mylittlesecretorg
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I'm sad to report that, with a mere 3 weeks of training remaining, I was dropped from the Marine Corps Officer Candidates School. While, at the end, I was training at a level even with, or above, most other candidates, my performances in the beginning suffered greatly from an overall lack of military knowledge and familiarity, and my overall progress, therefore, was unsatisfactory. While this occurrence has been incredibly disappointing, I thank those special few for their unwavering support.
I took a risk on something I was passionate about and on something I thought I could contribute meaningfully to. I worked harder than I ever knew I could, and achieved things I never thought possible. In my heart, there is no regret, only deep, painful disappointment. I would not have pursued the military if I didn't honestly believe it was the right thing for me to do; I have always been chiefly concerned with living a moral and meaningful life, and I thought that devoting myself to the military's cause of righteousness was the best way to do this. Failure is never pleasant, but it is always what you make of a defeat that decides your future.
Despite the discouraging result, in a way I am thankful. I have learned that, no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there's something stronger, pushing right back. Perhaps most importantly though, this experience has shown me that, no matter what, as long as I have virtue and determination, the fight isn't over.
It's been a few weeks since I've turned eighteen. Metamorphosing from teen to adulthood was kind of scary when I thought about it. But I'm more scared of being an adult.
Under my sugarcoated happiness and weirdness, I have fears of things that it's sometimes stupid and childish at most but also maybe it's because I'm having an early mid-life crisis.
Under my armor, I'm scared of what will become of the future. The unforeseen sights and events that could occur in my life. I wonder what is my existence in life sometimes when I'm alone with random thoughts in my head. Not only that, but I also wonder if I will have a impact in this world that I live in before I leave this world. Because events can occur randomly without knowledge. The world works in a strange mechanism and I live in it. I just want to experience everything and live to my fullest before my existence is gone with just a blow of breeze in this world. Maybe I'm just having a depressed moment. I can't even understand myself sometimes or should I say most of the time. However I do know that live and let live is what I should do and continue with my smile because the world is already depolarized with the melancholy events that have already occurred throughout my lifetime.
Hey maybe even I will find my significant other next week. The world goes in strange movements.
(Thanks for reading my random rant...)
Nine years. I've been a part of GA for just shy of a decade. I've seen it grow from only a few forums and some scattered author websites to a community of thousands of people across the world with millions of visitors every month. I was member 937 to join the site. GA is now approaching the 25,000th member. I joined this site on a random Wednesday and it turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. The people I've met through this site have guided me and made me who I am today and I couldn't be more thankful. Without them, who knows where I would be.
From the first core group of regular chatters, I was hooked. Viv, Snowdog, Myr, Robert, Lugh, Nate, Krista, Vic, and so many more that I can't even list. They were there to listen to me bitch about high school homework, my first crush on a boy, getting my drivers license, my first relationship and subsequent breakup, graduating college, moving across the country God knows how many times... they were there to listen to me and help me through it. They gave me advice when I needed it and told me to grow a pair and man up when I needed that too. Meeting up with them in San Francisco and Dallas was a blast, but having them guide me through some of the roughest parts of my life was more than I could ever ask for.
I will be officially stepping down in all areas across the site. I will no longer be a moderator, admin, or board member for the parent company. It's been an amazing nine years, but I can no longer hold up my end of the workload and need to part ways to allow someone else to grow with the site as much as I have. The growth this site has seen is nothing compared to what else will become of it. The teams running everything behind the scenes are dedicated to making this site the best possible place for everyone when it comes to gay fiction stories, and I have no doubt it'll continue to grow for many years to come.
Without trying to sound like I'm accepting an award of some sort, I'd just like to thank everyone on the site that has made it what it is and made me who I am. I'm truly grateful for all of the conversations and guidance you've all given me throughout the years. I'll still be around from time to time and may even take a stab at writing some more, but for the most part, this is my final goodbye to Gay Authors. It's been a great journey, but it's time for me to move on with my life and see what else awaits.
Good luck to everyone on the site. I hope you find happiness and gain as much from being a part of this community as I have.
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I'm not sure when was the last time I was active here, so I might as well be new here.
Deep apologies to all my friends here. I know I've been an awful awful friend; whether you still consider me a friend anymore is purely up to you.
I'm not sure how active I'm going to be here, but I'll try.
Just a few updates if anyone is still interested.
Finally finished uni for a while, I think. Two years studying here in Australia I've decided that should be the end of schooling years for me until I decide that it's time for me to do my PhD, if I do it at all.
Got engaged. Steen and I have been together as a couple for more than two years now. We have our ups and downs but I still love him very much.
On the writing front I've just started picking up writing again; those of you who follow me on Facebook would know that I felt the writing addiction again. Been trying to get stories published somehow after Slash Books and Uni of Sydney anthology. So far, no luck in that department but I do have two shiny rejection letter. So this time I'm writing for a specific anthology call. Will be needing betas soon.
So yeah, I'm new here. My name is Kev de Cauchery. Nice to meet you. What's yours?
I'm having second thoughts on the title for the story. It might have something to do with it was only uttered once but the title really doesn't match the stor's theme.
My only concern is that I have posted nine chapters already and 10 is in its edits. The other concern I have is that it will alienate the readers.
So it is your choice GA. Should I change it or no?
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Mozzila's CEO had to step down after it was revealed that he supported Proposition 8 banning gay marriage in California. Not only had he face the opposition from employees, the last nail in his coffin most probably came from online dating site OKCupid that blocked access to their website via Firefox.
Whom we love is as much a statement about those whom we reject. In the glut of romantic fiction out there, a lot of books gloss over the rejection inherent in the romantic love because really why do we want to feel sad for the poor sod when there's a ooey gooey love to gush over. We gloss it over. We find ways to minimize it. Or we turn the rejected character into an asshole, someone who deserved it, a crazy idiot, or worse, an other.
This brings me back to the book I was reading Bitter Eden. The story is much about pure love as it is about the cruel rejection that made the love possible. Warning, there are spoilers. Actually it's the whole plot summary. Either way you're warned.
The narrator Tom is a masculine, single, POW, and by default straight. He first bonds with the married Douglas, who is effeminate and mothering. No one in the prison camp really likes the fragile Douglas. Even the self-identified gay prisoners don't like him. Tom eventually comes to accept Douglas because underneath his fussy mothering ways, Douglas is loyal and honorable.
After a year of being Douglas' 'mate'(all platonic), Tom is more open to his queer side. He's part of a theatre group run by a gay pow. He regularly submits himself to have his portrait drawn by another gay prisoner who 'studies his face but draws his genitals.' Then he runs into another british pow, married Danny, who's a man's man and is for all intents and purposes straight. Danny is simply more fun. The bond between Tom and Danny is natural, quick, and goes deeper because they both share wounds of childhood traumas. And oh, Danny can't stand Douglas in the slightest.
Tom rejects Douglas for Danny. Make no mistake, the rejection is cruel and pure aggression. And you know if Tom hadn't learnt to accept Douglas, he would not have had the capacity to love Danny. The latter half of book is sweet as much as it is bitter, Tom and Danny blossom albeit in their sly not-overtly sexual way while Douglas goes insane.
Throughout the latter half of the book, Tom grapples with his responsibility in Douglas' demise. Yes every man is responsible for his own heart, but was the rejection necessary for true love to flower? I kept hoping the men would look beyond myopic delineations of his and mine and use the spark of love to forge something more universal. You know like a brotherhood of sorts, but that wish is a fantasy really. When the death, hunger, torture, stare at you daily, the urge to possess something for yourself only is all that there is.
The rejection speaks to the struggle between the feminine vs the masculine that permeates the whole book, and how being masculine means the rejection of femininity. When Tom decides to play Lady Macbeth, the experience almost breaks their relationship as the pair go to absurd lengths to re-affirm their masculinity. The irony is while Tom is more willing to explore the queerer side of himself and Danny much less so, it's Danny who wants to continue the relationship after the war ends. But Tom is too afraid. He gets married and doesn't speak to or hear from Danny again until after his death.
A sad book yes, but a real and touching book. Douglas' tragic end rings through to the last pages when Tom in his older years is trying to find some resolution to his complicity. Not only did he let Douglas down, he let Danny down big time.
It's sad how it takes extreme circumstances to discover hidden dimensions of yourself, but as soon as the pressure goes away and the situation returns to the mundane, your expanded horizons shrink back and everything resets to a bland and stifling normal. In the end Tom wishes to go back to the Bitter Eden of the pow camp. The possibility of creating a new Eden in the midst of his homely, freer, normal is not one he seriously grapples with, and that's just sad.
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OK, I might not be in the best frame of mind as I type this, but I seriously need to vent - you may want to brace yourselves for some choice language. It's either rant here, or tell a few people exactly what I think of them.
Been a nice quiet morning on my ward.
Sure some of the kidides are suffering side effects from the chemo, but they were all in good spirits and at least they all managed to keep breakfast down.
For a change, we have full nursing support on the ward - first time in weeks where we have had the nine nurses we are supposed to have, and not the seven we have been struggling along with.
No emergency admissions overnight for me to worry about.
Yeah, it was all too fucking quiet wasn't it. I should have known my nice quiet morning wouldn't last.
The older sister of one of our long timers (who I'll call Clare for the sake of this blog) has recently had a baby. Clare has been really happy about becoming an auntie, even the nurses have started calling her Auntie Clare. When her sister comes up with the baby, it seems to lift the spirits of most of the kids on the ward.
Well, what do women do when they have a baby? They breastfeed of course.
Now what the fuck do you all think happened when Clare's sister started breastfeeding her baby on the ward an hour ago? Oh yeah, we had comments and complaints from some of the other kids' families. It's like they've never seen a woman breastfeed!
It's one of the most natural things in the world, and half the fucking parents were acting as though we were exposing their kids to the worst kind of pornography.
Long story short, we ended up having to call security to calm the situation down. After a whole load of shouting and use of language by some of the parents in front of the kids that was far worse than them seeing a woman breastfeed inthe first place, things have kind of calmed down.
The situation now is:
- five of the parents have been barred from the ward and three had to be physically ejected by security
- because of certain things that were said by a few fucking arseholes the matter had to be reported to the police
- we've got several younger kids who are distressed, confused, and upset over the whole thing and they have no fucking idea why
- Clare's sister is blaming herself for the whole fucking mess
- Clare is in tears
- not to mention I'm fucking pissed off
On top of all that, I now have to type out a report of what happened and there is talk about restricting weekend visiting to one person per patient with a maximum visit of 30 mins at a time.
I've only been in work for 3 hours, I've still got another 6 hours to go!
Well, rant over. Hope everyone's day is going better than mine.
- five of the parents have been barred from the ward and three had to be physically ejected by security