Bricks and Musings   
Bricks & Musings 2004
General Writer Spouting off

    There is always something to comment about and nothing is off the table. Sometimes, I just gotta get up on my little soapbox and pour my heart out. It is always interesting to look back at what I've written in the past. Feel free to comment.

The Tarheel Writer - On the Web since 24 February 2003. Celebrating 21 Years on the Internet!

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Sunday, October 11, 2004 - 12:30AM with mostly clear skies and 63 degrees
    Where in the hell has the writer been? Well, in one word ... busy. Yep, real life took a major bite outta my ass! Let's back up to the beginning of the summer when my daughter decided it was time to make me a grandfather for the second time!
    Let's back up a bit more ... when I was still wet behind the ears (pre-teen), my grandparents were in their sixties! Excuse me! I'm in my forties and a grandfather times two! Yeah, I had the "you DO know what's causing this" talk with my daughter. Hell, I even offered to buy her condoms! But, it's a little late for that. So Evan has a brother now ... Tyler.
    Now while the daughter is in the hospital having her second son, my mother decides to "fall out" on me. Ok, let's see ... eyes rolled back in head, can't stand up, won't answer me ... yep, time to call 911. So after the ambulance, fire trucks and rescue squad show up at the house, I'm riding to the hospital wondering what the hell is wrong with my mom. (Turns out she has a urinary track infection ... white cell count over 10,000 ... makes your delirious ... she was in the hospital for a week.)
    Reality check ... my daughter in one hospital and my mom is in another ... at the same time. Can you say back and forth back and forth back and forth ... and this was just the START of the summer. It went downhill from there.
    One of the advantages of working out of the house is having time to write. One of the disadvantages is having a partner deciding to leave you holding the bag. So now I'm doing the work of two people during the busiest time of the year for my business. AND ... to add to that, I'm doing more business now than the company has ever done. I'm swamped. So I get up in the morning and work until 10 or 11 at night ... go to sleep and get up the next morning and do it all over again ... seven days a week. I am finally getting a handle on it all ... time management ... jeez ... I fukkin hate that word! Anyway, suffice it to say that I finally have a grip on things and am able to budget time for each project ... including writing stories.
    And, of course, there's all this political bullshit that we all wish would go away. I've tuned it all out and have decided to do something I have never done before ... I'm voting a straight ticket ... hehe, yeah, I know ... straight! Anyway ... I'm walking into the booth, hitting the Democratic button and walking out. If the Republican Party wants to pass legislation that makes it illegal for me and Jeff to get married ... then fuck 'em. There's lots more reasons for voting Democratic and I won't go into them here. The important thing to do is ... go vote.
    So I'm outta here for now ... and back to the grind in the morning ... but the writing continues and I hope you won't be disappointed. I've got some ideas for plot twists that I think you'll like. Check ya laters!

Monday, May 17, 2004 - 3:45PM with clear skies and 78 degrees
    Three things of importance happened today that need addressing ... the first legal gay marriages in Massachusetts, the fiftieth anniversary of Brown vs. the Board of Education and our President's reaffirmation of his call for a constitutional ban on gay marriage.
    First let's look at Brown vs. the Board of Education. Fifty years! Yes, it's been fifty years since the beginning of the civil rights movement for black people. It's hard to believe that it's been that long. I remember my father had the job of chairman of the town's recreation department. He had to oversee the integration of the city pools. I had no idea what he was doing until years later. I was impressed that he did that. Fact of the matter is, there are still idiots our there that are racists ... both white people and black people ... arguably more white than black, but still people of both races that are prejudiced. And it's been fifty years! Those that are impatient for gay rights to become a real thing need to take a look. Prejudices are not overcome in a couple of weeks. It takes years and years. I don't say this to be negative ... just realistic. The need to fight for what is right will never go away. So don't give up ... the right or hope.
    Second is the story in Massachusetts. I've watched with interest as the story developed. I watched the fights in the state legislature and the governor trying his best to stop it and then trying to limit it ... but there was no denying it. It was coming and it got here. I once read somewhere that there are over 1200 rights given freely to married couples including inheritance, health issues, insurance and social security. A straight friend of mine asked recently what I thought about the whole thing. Here's what I had to say ...
    Equal rights for ALL. I think that kinda sums up how I feel. Interesting you should ask this on the 50th Anniversary of Brown vs the Board of Education. AND, the first day of legalized same sex marriages in Massachusetts. Over 1200 rights are given to married couples. That's over 1200 rights that Jeff and I are denied because we are the same sex. You are entitled to be included on your husband's employer's insurance, as he is entitled to be included on yours. If something were to happen to him, there would be no question as to letting you see him in the ER and even decide what treatment he gets. And if he were to pass away, you would get social security checks and would inherit everything that is his without question. Those are just some of the over 1200 rights denied to Jeff and me. So, yes, I am very pro. Thanks for asking!
    In retrospect, there's a whole lot more to it than that. Yes, the rights are very important, but then there's the psychological and emotional side of it. I watched as people who had been together for 15, 20 even 25 years finally were able to declare their union legally. For the gay parents who've adopted, it brings stability to the family unit. It gives the child a stable union on which to grow.
    I used to be in the camp that believed "civil unions" was the way to go. But then I heard the argument that separate doesn't mean equal. It means just that ... separate. Let me quote the Declaration of Independence: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
    All men are created equal. I'll say no more.
    Now, on to the illustrious leader of our nation. He chose this day to reaffirm his backing of the movement to amend the constitution to ban gay marriage. And he chose to speak in Topeka, Kansas about equal rights! What an ass! He will NOT be getting my vote. He swaggers around the world like John Wayne, even whipping out his "pistol" and shooting people who disagree. Read military here. He has no regard for the United Nations and continues to act like he's Leo DeCaprio on the bow of the Titanic ... "I'm King of the World!" ... well, Mister President ... we all know what happened to the Titanic!
Friday, April 30, 2004 - 11:45PM with cloudy skies and 61 degrees
   First of all, I can't believe it has been soooo long since I last posted a musing. Things have been kinda rough on the homefront ... life reaches up and bites you in the ass and all that.
    I've been reading a lot ... a LOT. Not writing :( but reading. Story after story after story. And, I have to be honest ... if I can't be honest with you, who can I be honest with? After all, you don't really know who I am .. so I can REALLY spill my guts ... right? ACTUALLY ... you probably know me better than the people I see every day. You know what I think. You know how I feel. You know the REAL me. So back to ... I have to be honest ...
    My mind has been in a blender on puree! So many burdens to shoulder ... so many people who need me ... so many responsibilities ... so many people who depend on me every day ... so many calls for help ... so many people who need my money ... "Dad, I need a hundred dollars or they're gonna cut off my water." ... "Dad, I'm really having a tough time with work and I need some help with the rent." ... "Dad, I'm gonna have another baby." ... "Dad, I AM gonna get a car for my birthday, right?" ... "So asshole, you are gonna pay your child support on time, right?" ... "Can you put a 78 record on a CD. It's my mother singing and she just died. I'd really like to have that." ... "The church really needs a website. Do you think you could give us a hand?" ... "Sorry, but your mom really needs round the clock supervison." ... "Sorry to bother you after all these years, but I just went though a divorce. My husband is gay." ... "My mom caught me and my best friend jacking off together and now she's sending me to a Christian School to 'straighten' me out" ...
    Yeah, sometimes life can be hard. BUT, ya know what? How we handle what life throws our way makes us who we are. I could choose to dround my sorrows in a glass of burbon ... hehe, yes, I've done that probably a few times more than I should have ... or I could choose to suck it up and do what I do best ... help other people. I think it's a calling ...
     I was reading this story tonight and came across an author's comments that struck me like a BOLT of lightening! Here's what he had to say:

Authors Note: Several of you have written and have been most encouraging and I appreciate all your support. I want to tell you of a rewarding matter I have experienced since embarking on this journey. There is one young man (who's name we'll keep confidential) who wrote me early in the story and was seriously close to ending his life. Fortunately, we began a dialogue and he promised to take one day at a time with me - now he has found some renewed hope and local support and has been pulled away from the precipice! I take no credit, but I am so thankful for this forum and this opportunity that Nifty has provided to be a source of hope and help. Sure, there are plenty of gratuitous sex stories here, and a certain element of questionable characters - but all told, when I was going through my own experiences, my world was so limited for help and resources. Ten years ago even, perhaps this wonderful boy might have had a different outcome. Thanks Nifty!!

    Pretty cool, huh? Been there, done that. And, AND ... I'll be here again and again and again. I've helped people through alcoholism, abuse, coming out, physical violence, hate, grief, loss, love, lonliness, lack of self-esteem, and this list goes on and on. BUT, ya know what? I wouldn't change one single thing ... NOT ONE. If I can go to sleep at night knowing that I helped someone make it through another day ... I can sleep contented ... complete.
    Jeez, I sound like I should have been a social worker. NOT ... too overworked and too underpaid! LOL! I joked with a friend of mine the other day and told him that if I hit the lottery I would buy an old hotel, renovate it, and make it a home for kids that were thrown out of their homes for being gay. We laughed about it ... but ... it's the truth. SO, if ya got a spare million or so, donate it and I'll do just that. I'll open a hotel for kids that feel unloved ... thrown out like the trash ... unloved ... unwanted. NOBODY and I mean NOBODY should have to go through that just because they're gay!! God didn't make us the way. He didn't make us so we can be kicked to the street. He loves us. Every single one of us ... hetrosexual and homosexual! And I don't give one flying fuck what Fred Phelps has to say about it! Than man will burn in hell for his hate! God and Jesus are about LOVE ... not HATE.
    If you're on you last string ... if you're ready to give up hope ... if you're so tired that you just can't take it anymore ... stop ... think ... there are actually people in this world that really give a shit. People you don't even know! Do NOT give up hope! I care. And many others do too.
    Sorry ... I really needed to get that off my chest!

Wednesday, March 24, 2004 - 10:00PM with clear skies and 53 degrees
    Writing three stories at the same time never was planned. It just kinda happened. As a result, it takes longer to get chapters posted. As a reader myself, I know that can be frustrating. Today I posted the latest chapter of "The Nineteenth Year." The last chapter was posted just before Christmas. It has never taken me that long to write a chapter before and I find it ... well, frustrating. But, looking back, I also realize that I wrote seven chapters of "The Magic Behind the Magic" and two chapters of "Craig." I also realize that MBTM chapters are very short (5 pages in MS Word), Craig chapters are medium sized (about 10 pages) and NY stories are relatively long (about 15 pages). But I still find myself frustrated in the fact that it took three months to write the latest chapter of NY. MBTM started as just something fun to do but it has quickly escilated into a very popular story. Craig was the first story I ever posted on Nifty in the ever so popular "highschool" section. True to its popularity, Craig garnered an unusually high volume of emails. Which I love, by the way. Now with all this writing going on, I also accepted the position of Editor for the Gay Authors Newsletter. Putting together a newsletter can be quite time consuming, but it allows me to interview some rather famous authors. Myr the Wizard (Harry Potter and the Parliament of Dreams), Ty (Storm Front) and even Dean Lidster (Dean and Hanson). More on that later. I guess I'm just sitting here typing this and wondering. Have I lost my direction? Do I have too many projects? Should I be concentrating on just one? Hell, I don't know. But I can't concentrate on just one and put all the others on hold. I learning I guess.
    Oh, I guess I should mention that I'm swimming my laps at the Y with the high school swim team. Do I hear the beginnings of a story about Speedos?!?! LOL!

Friday, February 7, 2004 - 1:00AM with rain and 33 degrees
    The countdown is on! February 24th is the day ... the one year anniversary of The Tarheel Writer being on the Internet! I can't believe it! I simply can't believe it. One year ago I was just finishing writing The Watchers and now a year later, I finished one more and have two more I'm working on. Site hits have gone from two or three thousand a month to over thirty thousand! Jeez ... I guess I'm doing something right. You people that keep coming back for more ... thank you! I am humbled by your patronage.
    It is also the occasion of my birthday ... hehehe ... yeah. I'll be gathering with my close family on Sunday for a small get together. Mom is giving me a membership to the local YMCA. I look forward to it. I was a member years ago and worked out religiously. I hope to get back into the groove of swimming laps on Tuesdays and Thursdays and weight training on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. I recently stumbled across a picture of me from when I was working out regularly. Damn! I looked good! *blushes*
    So it's a month of milestones, anniversaries and birthdays ... jeez, it's good to be a Aquarian ... creative, emotional, and GAY!

Thursday, February 5, 2004 - 10:00PM with rain and 33 degrees
    I have been so busy! Damnit! That sounds like an excuse, but it really is the truth. I hereby promise to be here and spout off on a more regular basis!
    Oh, by the way, Jeff and I will be gone in May. We're going to Boston to get married. Hehehe! Great big congratulations to the Supreme Court of Massachusetts for their proclamation! Not allowing same sex couples the right of marriage makes them second class citizens and that's against the state constitution. My friends, there is an ever growing conservative movement to ban marriage and even civil unions between same sex couples. This is a movement against US! While I'm not fighting for the right for a "church" wedding, I am fighting for the rights that are given to every straight married couple ... inheritance, health insurance, the right to medical decisions, tax benefits, retirement benefits, etc. These are BASIC rights freely given to every American citizen, unless you're gay! Excuse me! That ain't right! I will be closely following the leading Democratic candidate John Kerry, who recently called Bush a gay basher! Really! He did it after the "State of the Union" address, which was more of a conservative Republican political call to action than anything else! These people are out to make it illegal for me to openly declare my love for Jeff and to receive the benefits straight married couples receive. The head of the NAACP recently came out and said it's not right. He said it's a fundamental civil rights issue! Thank you! Thank you!
     Politics is the most boring topic I can think of, BUT nothing gets me more fired up than some fukkin politician telling me I can't love the person I choose to. Well, buddy, screw you!

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