Look Up

I have had a LOT on my mind lately – my personal daily/weekly/monthly schedule has been overrun recently with work and personal matters that ALL need my immediate attention. Sigh… Some days, it is exhausting just being me, LOL.

Anyway, today at work, I did this. TWICE:

skyIt was amazing both times. I sometimes forget that we are all connected not only to one another but to our planet as well. I found both my brief visits outside very “grounding.”

I read a piece once by an author living in Manhattan, who shared that he had not walked barefoot in the grass for more than a decade. I remember feeling sorry for him.

Tomorrow I will be staying with my Dad for an overnight visit. After he falls asleep, I plan on walking around in the yard I played in as a child, in my bare feet. I’m looking forward to it…

Advertisements

Comfort

As most of you know, my father (Pop-pop) is very ill; he will, in fact, probably NOT get any better. He is resting in a hospital tonight, recuperating from a small surgery today, a surgery with the goal of making him more “comfortable.”

Comfort is a word – a concept, really – that keeps cropping up in Pop-pop’s life…

comfort

My Dad’s illness has advanced to the point that hospice care is now on the scene. As many of you know, hospice does not “treat” illness, they simply make the patient more COMFORTABLE during his/her illness. As part of the hospice service experience, my Pop-pop now has a “comfort care” box of meds in his refrigerator, in case any of the hospice workers need medicine immediately. I helped my father take a shower during my last visit home and, as I was helping him get dressed, I noticed his pants boasted a “Comfort Waistband.” I assume this waistband somehow expands and contracts? Who knows? Finally, in getting updates about Pop-pop tonight, I was informed the hospital staff was going to send him off to sleep around 10P, after making sure he was comfortable. Comfortable. Comfort…

It is maddening to me that the medical field, and other related healthcare enterprises, strive so hard to ensure comfort. Heck, hospitals look like mid-range hotels now. So maybe this corporate pursuit of happiness is not all that bad. I do wish that instead of the pursuit of comfort – we could have a more tangible way to measure the level of comfort. And, I have to be honest – after more than a decade of sobriety – the “comfort” pictured below is looking pretty dang good to me right now… Good thoughts and prayers for Pop-pop, please. THX!

Southern Comfort

30 Days till CarnEVIL

Every year, our dear friends, Mike and Chris, host a RIDICULOUS Halloween Party – this year’s theme is “CarnEvil.” From their invitation: “Prepare for a scare this spooky season, as a show unlike any other comes to Northeast Ohio for one night only! An evening of terror under the big top awaits, as the Brookholts proudly present their annual Halloween Spooktacular: CARNEVIL! This year the Ringmaster is requesting that you come dressed as your favorite sideshow freak, circus performer, carny or create your own original oddity. We hope you can join us to discover the horrors that lie beneath the tent on Saturday, October 25th. Find all the frightening fun at… Will you make it out of CARNEVIL alive?”

CarnEVIL

Here is the super clever invite – address “blacked out” by me for security reasons, LOL!

So, we are ONE MONTH out and, of course, my Sweetie and I are considering costumes. This is what I have to work with: I am a “big man” (portly is often how I am described), I have a beard and I have a devastatingly handsome husband. So, we could go simply as “two circus friends with benefits”

two guys

or I could go as the ever-present and always-popular side show attraction, “The Fat Man”

fat man

If I utilized my beard, I could “let my feminine side show” (side show – get it?)

bearded lady

As a couple, we are usually joined at the hip – we could take THAT as inspiration

Siamese twins

Or , finally, we could REALLY go all out and go as these two lovelies

freakspinheads

We’d wear more glamorous “frocks” though, LOL! Whatever we do, and whoever we “become,” we will have an AWESOME time – why?

Chris and Mike throw amazing parties – last year, they planned a scavenger hunt with competitors so ruthless, some almost came to blows,

We will be with many of our friends, some that we see almost ONLY at this party and many that we simply do not see often enough (life gets in the way),

My beloved Martin LOVES Halloween, LOVES dressing up and LOVES parties. And most importantly of all,

I LOVE Martin and he LOVES me back. No matter what we do, we always have fun. So, get ready, Brookholts/CarnEVIL. We are coming…

Problem Child

If I were my own parent, I’d ground me (think about that for a minute – I know, it’s a little hard to follow, LOL!) The thing is, I have a task that I have been avoiding for several days now, something I call my “Adult Homework” – balancing my checkbook. Ugh. It.Is.Torture.

do-your-homework1(Frankly I know nothing about this image; I found it on BING and it made me laugh out loud)

Anyway, so yeah – I have been “avoiding” my checkbook for several days now, probably because (like always) once everything is balanced, I will be sad to see what remains. It is an ongoing problem in my life – a paucity of excess income. (Nice SAT word, right – paucity?) I know I have shared more than once that my beloved Mom always said, “Timmy? Be grateful that you always have enough.” I’d like to put this offer (challenge?) out to The Universe: “Universe? If just ONCE I looked in my checkbook and said – after balancing everything – holy CRAP, where’d THAT money come from?” well, listen… If you think I am grateful now, well, just make that happen. You’ve never SEEN grateful.Whaddya’ think? Hmmmm?

While you are pondering my proposition, I’m off to do some online banking/bill paying, hoping that maybe, somehow an extra $100K got deposited into my checking account… Maybe.

Monday Memes 21 (Black)

Years ago, when I moved to Cleveland, for a short time I managed an indie coffee shop – LONG before the meteoric rise of Peet’s and Starbucks and Caribou and the like. The coffee shop  was called Arabica and it was in a trendy-cool little mall called Coventryard (yes, it IS spelled that way). The year was probably like 1984 or 1985 – I was in my mid-twenties, a fresh-faced farm boy from Shelby, Ohio, now living in Cleveland – a HUGE city compared to where I had come from. Anyway, for about six months, I managed this coffee house and it was here that I met my first openly gay man (Wade) and my first self-proclaimed bisexual man (Douglas). I adored them instantly and we became fast friends…

Wade and Douglas were a colorful pair – at one time they had been lovers (briefly) but – in a moment of sincere love for one another and logical thinking – decided they would be better best friends than boyfriends (plus Douglas had that whole “bi” thing happening). Anyway, they were great to me, nurturing and patient, loving and paternal, and helped me really get comfortable with my own sexuality.

They had a zillion ridiculous stories but this is one of my favorites:

One day, without any preface, Douglas looks at me and says, “Wade and I wore all black for six months. I mean, black EVERYTHING – shirts, shoes, pants, socks, underwear, everything. I even bought some black condoms.” (Remarkably, there was a condom store in our trendy little neighborhood called, appropriately enough, “Condom-nation”).

I was intrigued.

wearing black

“Why?” I asked, seeking to gain some enlightenment or understanding that the experience had imparted to Wade and Douglas. “Why? Why all black for six months?”

Without missing a beat, Wade – who was standing behind the counter with us, making an iced coffee, sashayed past me and announced, “Just to see if we could do it.”

Design-Quote-until-something-darker-comes-out-copy

That was it – a 180 day trial of endurance, just to see if they could “do it.” I asked what happened on the the 181st day.

“Nothing,” said Douglas. “I just started wearing other colors of clothes again.”

At the time it made me smile, and it still does. I guess this story popped into my head recently because I ran across these memes. all relating to black, wearing black or seeking out black. As a designer, my life is full of color and yet I still find myself oddly and irresistibly drawn to black. Maybe Douglas and Wade had some insight they never shared with me…

black

I think about those days from time to time, and wonder what ever became of those two. I had heard that Wade passed away in the early 90’s, a casualty of HIV; I saw Douglas once, a few years after our work experience together, walking hand in hand with a knock-out woman at our local “high-end” mall. I didn’t speak, and I kinda’ regret that.

I hope those two somehow know/knew what a positive and important impact they had on my life and personal development. And how – in addition to everything else – they instilled in me a love and respect for black. Not brown, not orange, not navy blue – black will ALWAYS be black.

Fossils

So, my Beloved and I have been doing a bit of closet cleaning/re-organizing around our apartment of late, and one of the items we have decided to say goodbye to is a like-new VCR player. OK, stop laughing – yes, I said a like-new VCR player. In fact, I think I still have the original box somewhere AND the “Owner’s Manual” is in a zip-lock bag in my desk drawer…

Panasonic-VHS-player

This isn’t our exact model (ours is a SONY) but it is very much like this one. The thing is, Martin and I have been together for 6+ years and, in that time, we have NEVER watched one single VHS tape from my “archives” (over fifty titles, mostly gay art films from the 80’s and early 90’s – things like “Farewell My Concubine, The Lost Language of Cranes, Maurice, Edward II” – you know, all the art house stuff, not porn). Since we never watch them, we have decided to “give it all away.”

Sad thing is, no one wants it. Our VCR is SUCH a fossil, we might as well be giving away a flint and a steel – you know, like to build a fire with. A VCR player – while in reality maybe 25 years old is 150 years old in “tech years” (tech years are like dog years, only longer).

flint

And – know what is REALLY sad? At least the flint and steel are “cool” – I mean, they are a cool way to start a fire. But now the cool way to watch movies is to “stream them” off the internet. No one has started a movement to make watching movies or television shows on VHS tapes “cool.” I mean, who says this? “Wanna’ come over later and watch the premiere of American Horror Story after work? I TAPED it last night.” No one does. No.One. 

The last series I “taped” – religiously – was “Dynasty” with Joan Collins and Linda Evans. God, I LOVED that show…

So yeah, I guess we will just be throwing away our old VCR – I hate that (I am of German descent; we are a frugal people. LOL!) But maybe we won’t. Maybe we will start hosting “Retro Movie Night,” inviting friends over for dinner (some sort of casserole, no doubt!) then clustering around the VCR as we watch ambiguously gay/artsy films from 25-30 years ago.

Oh – to start, I have that “Limited Edition, Commemorative 25 Year Anniversary Release” VHS tape of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Maybe we could all do the time warp again in my TV room…

Or you could just stream the entire The Rocky Horror Picture Show by clinking the link above. Sigh…

Why Not You?

Given all the celebrities, historical figures and learned men and women since the dawn of recorded time, I would have never guessed that one day I would be sharing a quote from Jillian Michaels, celebrated personal trainer made famous by the reality TV show, “The Biggest Loser.” And yet, here is her quote/question:

why not

I stumbled across this meme as I was searching for images for another topic I had planned on blogging about, and Jillian’s question really, really resonated with me. Why not me? 

Given recent events in my life, this seems the perfect opportunity to answer that question with another question: Yes, why NOT me? I’ll keep you all posted as I work out the answer… 😉