Sunday, August 21, 2005 : Hello Mom? This evening is one of those times I would have picked up the phone and called Mom. But she's gone now, and I don't have anyone to talk to like I talked to Mom.....
"Hi Mom. How's it going? Liking your new pain-free body? Great. My body is aching a bit this afternoon. I worked out today for the first time in about a week, and then I got one of those "Rug Doctors" from Sav-On and shampooed my carpets. You know I put my condo up for sale right? Yes I know I'm crazy, but I'm doing it anyway. I'm selling and with the money I make from the sale, and from the sale of your estate Mom, I'm going to move to Barcelona and start a new life there. Thanks by the way. I hope you did not die early just to help me out. I know you saw how stressed and unhappy I was with work and all. But I have a feeling your in a much better place now, right?
Anyway, I don't know what do to about Kitty?! He's 17 years old and I don't know if he can take the long trip to Spain. Do you think Julie will take him? I'll ask her.
Anyway, I just wanted to call and see how you were and to let you know I'm getting my condo ready for sale, and things are going well. I only have two more weeks of work and I'm off!!!! I plan to have a little fun here in West Hollywood with my time off, as well as get my own "estate" ready to sell.
Wish you were here, but I know you're having a much better time wherever you are....
Friday, August 19, 2005 : Change at Locomotive Speed
I ended up in Ajijic Mexico on Lake Chapala for about a week. Although the flies had a feast on my ankles, I actually had a really great time. Not because I was thrilled with the town, but because of the wonderful people I met while staying at the bed and breakfast I was fortunate enough to stay at. As I commented to a few of the guests I got to know, the place was like a spiritual vortex which drew us all together. It was no simple coincidence that we were all together in that place at the same time.
Since getting home about a week ago, I have put my condo on the market, and gave notice at work. I am retiring and selling all my possessions and enrolling in Spanish language school in Barcelona, Spain. I will become fluent in the language, find a place to live, and enjoy life! I will strive to keep my life unconflicted (is that an oxymoron?) as this article so wonderfully points out. I will travel Europe, take art classes, photography, write, and maybe even teach English if I get bored or think I need to earn some money. If I return to the States it will be to my favorite US city, San Francisco.
I am truly blessed. Truly.
I will eventually start a new blog which I will reference from here, which focuses on my travels. Perhaps something like a "Retired Gay Expatriate Travel and Photography Blog" or some crazy thing like that.
I've done my homework and research and now I need only to execute the plan. My years as a project manager are paying off now in my personal life as I plan my next reality.
My biggest challenge over the next month or two will be to untangle the bureaucratic quagmire of the Spanish Consulate as I attempt to get my student and resident visas taken care of.
Stay posted for a most incredible and exciting ride!
I only arrived yesterday in what was to be my future lakeside paradise and today I am bored and ready to move on.
But before I say anything more about this town that so many expatriots adore and love, I want to pause and say "thank you" to the several of you who have written me recently to send me encouragement about my job and family situation of late. I must admit I have not logged into my email in a while and so I did not see the messages until today. But THANK YOU so much, your kind words touched me, especially today as I sit here alone and lonely and bored in this Mexican village.
Sure, the Lake Chappalla area is a great place to retire, especially if you don't have a lot of money and need to live on a tight budget. But beware this town is not a tourist town and there is little to do here other than nestle into your new home and watch TV or surf the internet! Especially you gay boys, there are no gay bars or gay life to speak of. Puerta Vallarta this is not! Nor Malibu, nor Lake Tahoe, nor the U.S. with all it comforts.
And now, I am going to cut this short. You know why? Cuz the damn computer I am on in this internet cafe is not working well, and the flies are biting my god damned legs!!!!! I'm outta here! Stayed tuned until I can find a more comfortable and critter free environment from which to give you an update.
In my last post I said that I had lost my job. My employer decided I was "too valuable" to lose so they created another position for me at the same rate of pay. Most would think this is a good thing, and it is. It is one more example of how the Universe seems to take such good care of me, and how I am blessed greatly.
But all the stress of thinking I was out of a job, and my survival instinct, caused me to do a lot of thinking about what I wanted to do with my life. And so I have a grand plan, which I'll share with you momentarily.
First, sadly my mom passed away a few weeks ago. She had been in the hospital for some internal bleeding, which scared the Hell out of me, as I was the only child around to be with her in the hospital and to sit by her side in intensive care while the doctors tried to figure out what was going on. And so my sisters all came from out of town to be here during this awful time, and then suddenly she got better! My sister was still here and staying at mom's house when it happened. My mom had a massive stroke and was found in her bed unable to talk and paralyzed on one side of her body. She was rushed to the hospital yet again, only this time not to recover. She passed away four days later. Sadly she did not recognize me or anyone.
I could go a lot more into Mom. And I probably will do a lot of posts on her over the years. But for now it is all too new and raw for me to talk about, and so I will move onto my grand plan.
Escape is a better word for it. I plan to escape from the prison of what has been my work for the past million years, and start a new life. A new chapter, a different course. Whatever you want to call it, I'm leaving the country and becoming an "expatriate" and retiring somewhere I can afford to do so. I have money saved in my retirement accounts (which I can't touch until I'm 60 without a penalty) and thanks to dear ole' Mom, I have a bit of an inheritance and plan to live on the investment income of that. It's not much mind you, but I think I can do it with careful budgeting and investing. Then when I turn 60, then 65 I'll have my retirement and Social Security (if it's still around by then).
At first I was thinking of going to Mexico, where I've been visiting for the past gizillion years for vacations (most notably Puerto Vallarta) and the cost of living is very low and the exchange rate good for Americans. In fact, I'm leaving for Ajijic Mexico on Lake Chappalla tomorrow for a week to check things out. But I've already felt a tug toward someplace else "across the ocean."
Barcelona Spain calls me. I've never been there, and I won't go into the mystic way I think it's calling me, just suffice it to say my next scouting trip will be there probably in October and if all goes as planned I'll be quitting my job and leaving by the end of the year. I'll sell my estate and condo in Weho, and take off. I'll start in a Spanish language school which provides housing as part of the tuition, and learn the language while scoping out the town, looking for a place to live, and getting my visa's in order.
Knowing me I will work. But I'm planning things so I don't have to. That way I work on my terms, when I want, and I don't have to worry about the salary. I'm going to take classes, art, guitar lessons (I can play and sing already, but I'm rusty and want to get it going again). In other words I will explore my creative side and "discover myself." For work I may do some photography, writing or teaching English as a Foreign Language. Or I'll get a rich Spanish boyfriend who will take care of me (yeah, that'll happen).
I got a new digital camera which takes great pictures and I'll try to take pics and post them on my page(s).
I say pages plural, because since I am moving into a new chapter of my life, I don't really relate to the "I'm gay so what" any more. I will probably start a new blog as an American expatriate living abroad, but will leave a link on this page to get to any new blog I post.
Change has become a way of life for me. I think that is the big lesson that I'm supposed to learn in this life.
I'm sorry I've not written in so long. It's not that I've not been journaling -- I have, but in my own hand-written journal at home. I've been in turmoil and change. Most notably, I've lost my job and as a result I feel very lost, insecure, depressed, and unsure of what I want to do when I grow up. And so my days of late have been trying to determine just what it is that makes me happy, what I can do to serve the world and get paid for it.
I have very little motivation to do much of anything, let alone blog. But I have been taking positive steps. I've been reading books about how to deal with change, spiritually related books that help me to keep a perspective on who I am, and the big picture. I've been hanging with friends, who if it weren't for them I'd probably have ended things a long time ago.
But I'm here, and I really do believe that all things happen for a reason, and that my next job, or life's work, will be better and happier for me.
I'll write again and hopefully it will be more cheery for ya.
Many of you know that my typical annual trip to Puerto Vallarta in December did not happen this season. Instead I worked my ass off for a new boss who treats me and everyone else like dirt.
And so I decided at the last minute to take a trip to Paris. I got the inspiration to go after reading The DaVinci Code which takes place in Paris, and in fact the book opens in the Louvre. I'd been to Paris a few years ago on the tail end of a lovely trip to London, and then took a train to Paris for the last 2 days before returning to the States. I only got a few hours at the Louvre, and decided that day that I must one day return to Paris and get in at least a full day at the world famous museum. And so we go, on Tuesday, with my friend S. for five days. S. and I have been friends for longer than many people have been alive. We lived together, owned a home together (with his ex-wife) and traveled overseas together. So he's a good candidate to share the experience with. We are very excited, but it won't really hit me until I step onto the plane and sink into the first class seat and sip my first taste of champagne!
News of Threes:
1.I got rear-ended during the recent horrific California weather in my new BMW by an uninsured, non-licensed driver. I've never been in an accident EVER until now. The story ends well, the driver's boss, a Malibu resident, has paid me in a cashier's check for the estimated damages. I am taking the car in for repairs while I'm in Paris.
2.My eye glasses were stolen right from under my nose last weekend. In one of the rare days where I braved going out alone in West Hollywood, I was being flirted with while I vainly laid my glasses on the table next to me in the bar, and next moment they were gone. I got my new (and very fucking expensive) glasses on Thursday. They look nice, and I got non-reflective so people can see my lovely brown eyes J
3.My job is up for grabs. My new boss has decided to post my position to force me to apply for it and to encourage others to apply for it as we gear up for the implementation phase of the multi-year, multi-million dollar project I've been the manager of for the past few years. She being tricky about it - making me believe there is another job she wants to move me into (okay, where is it? Post it please) while posting my current. I decided just yesterday to APPLY for the job even though she was not expecting me to. I have a good chance to get it, but I don't even know if I really want it. I'm scheduled for an interview the first day back at work after my trip to Paris. I'll let you know how this one ends.....
I spent most of today doing chores, cleaning the house and doing laundry in preparation for the trip which begins Tuesday. My friend R (S's sort of boyfriend) is house sitting for me and watching after my Kitty.
I'll be keeping a journal while I travel, and so maybe some of that will make it here online.
As I write this (first on paper) it is sunset in California - my favorite time of the day. I'm sitting on my balcony, in Winter, in shorts and a t-shirt, watching the few high clouds in the sky turn color.
When I choose a place to live one of the most important criteria is -- does it have a view? a balcony? My view here in West Hollyood (WEHO) is not bad -- I can see WEHO and the Pacific Design Center and in the distance the hills that separate the West L.A. area from the Pacific Ocean. I see airplanes (don't hear them thankfully) going into their landing patterns for both Santa Monica Airport and Los Angeles International (LAX). But this is by far not the best view I've ever had from my many residences. Nevertheless, I am experiencing the peace that I have during this same magical time -- sunset. The glass of chardonnay helps, yes, but so does the colors of the clouds as they change and of the beautiful aroma of blossoms in the air.
The aroma happens every year this time when the cherry blossoms, like magic, all blossom at the same time all over So. California. And other trees blossom too so that wherever you are you can smell the same subtle sweet aroma. It's wonderful -- almost a spiritual experience.
One of my favorite places with a view was when I rented a guest house on a large private estate in Malibu on a private beach. The estate is one of those behind private closed gates, about seven acres in northern Malibu where the estates all rest on the cliffs adjacent to the Pacific. The properties start higher (about 1 - 200 ft.?) on Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) and then taper down the hillside to the Pacific. My guesthouse was accessed only two ways. One by entering the estate and parking your vehicle near the main house, then walking down a lighted brick pathway that winds its way through gardens to the beach.
The front of my house was all windows -- all ocean and sand. So close to the water that during storms the windows must be boarded up to protect the place. At night around this time at sunset I would take a glass of wine and my cat out to the wooden deck and together we'd watch some of the most beautiful sunsets anyone could ever experience. During winter the sun sets over the ocean, and it is spectacular. I remember often seeing whales spouting during their season, seals, and dolphins (very often). One time a large white/albino seal beached itself on my beach -- apparently to die. It was such a heartbreaking but also beautiful, experience. I had many years of enjoyment on the estate.
Another great view I had - in fact right after I moved from Malibu was in the Castro in San Francisco. I lived in an old but fabulous Victorian where I had the top two floors. From my living room I would sit in the window sill which I converted to a sort of love seat, and looked out over the activity on the street. In fact I looked out directly across the street from the Midnight Sun near 18th and Castro.
Getting back to nature again I was fortunate enough to live in Lake Tahoe on the North Shore in Incline Village. This was with my partner at the time. The home we had there had a great deck that peeked through the pine trees and had a spectacular view of the Lake. We bought an outdoor heater so that no matter what time of year I could partake of my favorite pastime -- sit on my balcony with Kitty in my lap, a glass of wine and watch the sky change color at sunset.
I remember one summer evening sitting and seeing something I never had seen before or since. I saw, over the tops of the mountains on the east side of the lake (east of these is the desert south of Reno) were clouds forming out of nothing. Where there was nothing there were clouds being born and then moving to the north. I sat for the longest time, amazed that I was witnessing the birth of clouds! This is something you have to see to believe or to even know what I'm talking about.
Shortly after my ex and I broke up I bought a house above Reno that must have had the best view of the entire valley of Reno of any house ever! I had a private balcony off my bedroom that was my Sunset Sanctuary. I was only there a short time but remember most sitting on July 4, the year of 911, watching the fireworks displays of three cities/municipalities. I also remember watching in horror as all the planes sat grounded at the Reno airport the days after 911.
The move from Reno brought me back home to So. Calif. where I moved to the beach in Santa Monica. From my 7th floor apartment I could see all the way down the coast to the Palis Verdes peninsula and Catalina Island on a clear day. The pedestrian walk was in my view and I'd spy on gorgeous guys as they skated by on their blades. I had a July 4th party here and again, we watched as somewhere down the coast were some fireworks.
Its dark now. The chimes from the nearby Catholic church just chimed signaling it is 6 P.M. They chime every day at 8 a.m., 12 noon, and 6 p.m. The tradition, as I was told was to be 6 AM, 12 noon, and 6 PM, but 6 AM was too early for the neighborhood so they moved it to 8 AM. The chimes in old times were a reminder to the faithful to offer up prayers to God.
There are more fascinating "views" but I'm out of time and out of light for now. Cheers.
Here's a quick update on what's been going on with me lately:
I have a new boss and I've been soooo busy at work the past several months, including over the holidays, that I've not had much time to blog. By the time I get home from work, I don't even want to LOOK at a computer.
I turned in the leased Mercedes for a purchased BMW 325i. I love the new car. It rides so much nicer than the Benz did and I intend to keep this one for many years to come. It's black, and beautiful.
I'm still investing. Not rich yet. Not lost my shirt. Still learning a lot. I really really want to get filthy rich so I can quit my damn job.
Still single, and not looking.
Still working out and staying in good shape and health. Weigh 178 lbs @ 6 feet 1.5 inches. I love it when young hot guys take a second look at me, and even flirt with me. I need that at my age.
I usually go on a trip somewhere in December, but this year because of work, I did not go anywhere. Typically I go to Puerta Vallarta. Last year I went to PV and to wine country to a bed and breakfast with this guy I was dating at the time. This year I stayed in town and just relaxed, read a lot. Spent time with Mom and the Sis and my niece and her fiancé....
I'm going through a self-paced training course I bought and I'm enjoying it (can't tell you what it is, it's CIA stuff and I'd have to kill you if I told you).
See! You're not missing much. Every once in a while I get these ideas of "hey, that subject would make a good one for my blog" but I don't seem to get there. I promise I'll get creative and start writing some interesting stories for you.
I'm sad to admit that until this year I actually have never participated in the West Holloween party. I tried to go last year (or was it the year before?) but it was raining and nobody was around. This year of course it fell on a Sunday and the weather was great and there were so many thousands of people! Some friends of mine talked me into wearing a costume (provided by them at the last minute). I wore a rather tight dress and a blonde wig and some funky sunglasses. It was really quite fun. I could be a goof-ball and nobody even knew who I was! People were taking our pictures and seemed to really enjoy our costumes.
What got my attention the most was the fact that so few people got dressed up! All the straight people come to West Hollywood to see the "fags" dress up and it was pretty disappointing. But I'm glad I dressed up and I'll probably do it again (with a little encouragement from my friends).
I should have provided some pictures for your entertainment right? Well I'm sorrrrrryyyyyy! OKAY? It's all I can do to even keep writing (as you can see from my lapses).
I've been busy and well, LAZY and have not been writing. So sue me already.
For those of my fans who must know what I've been up to here's a quick update:
Trip to Denver. Warmer than I expected, and had lots of drinks and food and...
The kitchen sink got stopped up and it took the plumbers 3 trips to finally fix it. First they replaced all the pipes under the sink (it was leaking and flooded the apartment below me), then they "snaked" the pipes from the top floor to the garage and it was still stopped up. Finally "they" came into my unit and plunged the sink to their hearts content and it finally started draining again (does life get any more exciting than this?)
My weight is stabilized at 178 lbs. Works for me! At my age and standing 6' 1.5" tall, I'm pleased with that.
The investing is going better than expected. I'm managing three accounts. One is a stock account (my largest), another is an options account, and the last is a futures account. I've done pretty well in the past three months on the stock and options accounts. I'm being very careful with the futures account, and have lost a small amount there. I recently bought some investing software that allows me to back test my trading strategies and "optimize" them. So far things look very promising.
The election. FUCK Bush.
Getting up at 4:30 a.m. most mornings to be in the office by 6;30 to be there when the stock market opens
Refinanced my condo! I've only had the thing for a year and a half and already the value has gone up $100,000. I transferred my first and second into one first and the payments went WAY down and I got cash out. I'm using the cash to pay off all my consumer debt and put some into my investments. I should have no reason or excuse to EVER get back into debt again. I'm very grateful.
Trip to a couple days at the Ojia Vally Innn and Spaw. Yippers
Sorry I can't seem to do any better than this today. I'll get creative again, I promise.
This morning I awoke to the sound of a public "happening" in West Hollywood in the vicinity of the Pacific Design Center. My condo has a view of the Design Center and when WEHO has events like Gay Pride, Halloween, etc., I can hear the bands and the crowds.
Today was 2004 Aids Walk Los Angeles. I was reminded of the Walk when I heard the noise. I decided I wanted to go down and check out the event.
It rained all night last night here in Los Angeles. A big deal since it's the first rain we've had in six months. So the air was clean and fresh, and the sun was beginning to pop out to greet all the Walkers.
It was an hour after the start of the walk, but I decided to sign up anyway and I caught up with the crowds. I dedicated my first Aids Walk ever to my ex-roommate Richard. The last time I even came close to walking in an Aids walk was about seven years ago when I met the guy who ended up being a con man and a thief. He stole all the donations I had collected for the Walk and I ended up not doing it.
Today was my first walk. Dedicated to Richard.
Richard was one of many who applied to my want ad in the San Francisco papers asking for a "House Boy." I had just come out of the closet, got a high paying job in San Francisco and was living in a huge apartment overlooking the famous Castro. I was looking for a "house boy" who would clean, cook and watch my cat while I traveled for work, in exchange for free rent. I said "no sex required" since often the connotation of a house boy was that sex was part of the deal. The person would have their own room, but we'd share a bathroom. The place was a 2 story "five room" old Victorian right across from the bar Badlands.
The deal with the ad was that all candidates had to reply to the ad to a post office box I set up and write a letter explaining why they wanted the job and include a picture.
I could dedicate a whole post just to the responses!
But this post is dedicated to Richard.
Richard got the job. He was very sweet, and felt awkward not paying any rent so offered to do so. I accepted and ended up with a roommate who paid rent AND cleaned and cooked! And he and Kitty got along fine.
I remember well when Richard suddenly got very sick. It was a December right before my annual trip to Puerta Vallarta Mexico. He had gotten pneumonia and was home recovering. He said he was feeling better and so I thought nothing of it, and went to Mexico. When I returned he was still sick, and worse. I was concerned about HIV, and asked if he was tested, and he said no. I insisted he must get tested! He said he would when he next saw his "doctor." Well he ended up walking to see his doctor and his doctor said he'd "be fine" and gave him some medication. That night I heard Richard calling out to me in from his room while I was sleeping. He could hardly breathe. He asked me to call 911. I did. They came. They asked me if he was HIV positive and I told them I did not know. They took him away.
The next morning I went to see him at the hospital. He was in intensive care on a breathing machine. His lung had collapsed. Probably from the long walk to see his doctor. The doctor who said he did not need an HIV test and the doctor who let him walk, and the doctor who said he'd be fine.
Richard insisted we not tell his mother or family he was in the hospital. He did not want them to worry about him. I insisted he get tested for HIV. Of course the medical staff had in mind to do just that. The test came back positive. He was not only positive but had a very advanced case of HIV. He'd had it for a very long time. And now he was very sick.
Over the course of the next several days he ended up having I think 2 surgeries on his lungs. To plug up the holes that were forming on them. No success. They would not be able to remove him from the lung machine until he healed. And it did not look like he would heal.
By now the doctors insisted that he let his family know what was going on. He was sick with HIV and it looked like he was going to die. Richard did not want the nurse to call his mom, so he asked me to do it. I told her that her son was in the hospital, that he had AIDS and that he may be dying. You should come to see him.
And of course she did. As well as the two sisters. They all stayed in my place during the ordeal. And through all this my "ex" thief friend was with us and staying with us. Richard's mom, even aware of all the problems we'd been having, said she thought we should be together. She could "tell" that we both loved each other very much.
The day before Richard died he told me he saw angels. He saw little children running happily around his bed while he lay there in the hospital. He told me these things by writing them down on paper, since he could not talk with the tubes running down his throat. During his "last days" only me and his mom were allowed in his room. The stress from other family members, especially his estranged father, was too much for him.
The day Richard died the doctors called me and his mom in to his room. Richard had made the decision to "pull the plugs" and die. His mind was very coherent and he was well aware of the decision he was making. The doctors wanted to make sure that his mom and I concurred with the decision.
Ah JEEZ! I'm thinking "I'm just the guy's room mate for Christ's sake!" How did I achieve the status of a dying gay man's lover? I thought that for a split second and then became overwhelming aware of what a privilidge, what an amazing thing it was, to experience this.
"Yes" I said, I agree that we should pull the plug, and I told Richard that I loved him and hugged him. He mouthed back to me "I love you too." I said I did not think I should be in the room when they did it, that was something that should be reserved for his mother. They agreed.
I left the room and stopped in the hallway between where his room was in intensive care and where the rest of the family was waiting and began sobbing. A very kind doctor stopped to see if I would be okay. My ex walked in and put his arms around me. I was balling. I had just said goodbye to my roommate for the last time and in minutes he would be dead.
I was in the closet and celibate during the worst of the Aids epidemic. I did not experience ANY friends who got sick and died. Richard was the first person I knew who had AIDS and died.
The family was not intending to have a service and I felt bad about that. His friends at work and elsewhere did not even know what was going on and they would need some closure to this sudden death.
So I volunteered to organize a memorial service for Richard. His place of work, a famous restaurant overlooking the Bay in Fisherman's Wharf, offered up a free banquet room and food service for the memorial. It was a perfect location since many of his friends and coworkers could come to the service.
Lot's of people said lots of nice things and it was very touching. It was especially nice that Richard's mother could hear all the nice things people said. It gave her a glimpse into the life of her only son that she did not have before.
Richard's mom held up amazingly well during all this. She never once cried. She seemed almost unemotional. But after the service, and as I escorted her out of the restaurant, she broke down. She said "did you feel that just now?" It was Richard who just brushed us by. I had to admit I did feel it. We both did. We got outside and she broke down. Began sobbing for the first time. I held her.
That is about the last of what I remember about Richard's death from AIDS. His mother "adopted" me as her second son, but over time the level of our communications has dwindled.
Today I walked in AIDS Walk 2004 - Los Angeles. I dedicated it to Richard.
Sunday, September 19, 2004 :
I decided I needed to have a little social life and so I went out to the bars Saturday night for the first time in quite a while. I did meet a guy who told me that I was "the best looking guy in the bar" which of course I fell for and I went home with him. "Home" was his hotel, and he was visiting from Santa Barbara. It was good for my ego to be worshipped by a 22 year old hottie, who called me a "hottie" and was all into me. He had some spandex shorts that he insisted I put on, and he really liked that. I have to admit I did too.... :)
Sunday I worked out and I saw my trainer (who I don't use any more) and we had a conversation. Several times during the discussion, he told me how great I looked! He is 24 and HOT himself, and to hear this was of course nice to hear. Since we first met and began working out together, I have lost 13 pounds and admittedly do look better and leaner.
And to end an already pretty interesting weekend (at least for me, the working stiff that I am) I got a call from the guy I was dating late last year for a few months. I haven't seen him since we broke up and he was "in town" and wanted to stop by and get some books he left at my house. It turns out he got a new Mercedes convertible, like the one I have! It was nice visiting with him and getting caught up.
Let's see, what else. I shampooed the carpets last weekend and this weekend I cleaned the sliding glass doors and windows. I forgot what great view I have from my condo! And speaking of the condo, my equity has increased significantly over the 1.5 years I've owned and I am refinancing and will be lowering my payments significantly and getting cash out. I will pay off some debts and will be able to save a significant amount of money per month for my investment activities.
I've been reading and studying significantly the stock markets and investing. I believe I am close to testing some investing methods and techniques that I am able to back test with some incredible software that is available. I'm looking forward to testing it out, using the money management techniques I've learned about over the past few months. With the extra cash I'll have due to the refinance, I'll have plenty of working capital to test my investing theories! One thing I have learned from my studies is that very few people ever make money in the markets. In fact, over 90% of all investors (day traders especially) lose their money within 9 months. That means only 10% or less make any money, and they make it from the other 90%! I'm trying to understand what the 10% know and do to be successful. I do not intend to be part of the 90%. I believe I've made significant progress on my studies and plan to move forward agressively, but carefully over the upcoming months.
Monday, September 06, 2004 :
My ex is out of jail again.
I have to be honest that this guy has had much more of an impact on me than I like to admit. He was the first guy I fell in love with after I officially came out of the closet nearly 8 years ago now. Then he turns out to be a con artist, liar, and thief. Even so, I had some of the most amazing sex I've ever had in my life, and felt a bond and love that I've rarely felt. I've certainly not felt love to that extent, since then. And now he's out of jail and has emailed me. He sounds very happy and like he's grown up significantly.
All this has me depressed and thinking that I've been wasting my life away. No significant relationships, no dating, nothing but work, eat, gym, sleep, work..... a lonely existence for a guy who from all appearances has his life TOTALLY together! Successful career, intelligent, handsome, sense of humor. But eternally SINGLE! I feel certain that if I really wanted a boyfriend I've have one in a heartbeat. But I don't think I really want one? Or maybe I'm afraid of one. Fear of intimacy, fear of rejection, fear of another botched relationship. Fear of being conned again by someone I love and trust?
I don't know.
But right now, I'm walking down to Santa Monica Blvd. with a book to the Gay Starbucks. If you see me, please walk over to me, smile and say hello. I could use a nice warm smile and a friendly hello right about now!
It is a bit frustrating that much of what I would want to write about here and that is significant in my life at the moment, I can not write about.My job, where I work, where I drive every day, the people I interact with on a daily basis.These things I can not write about here because I would put my job in jeopardy.It would identify who I am and I'd get busted for being gay and I'd be fired. This is a very sad thing, but true.
So finding something to write about is sometimes a challenge!If all I'm left with is to write about my personal life while I'm in West Hollywood, then things are pretty dull, because I have no personal life or social life to speak of (at least lately).
So here's the dull and boring in a nutshell:
I've not worked out in nearly two weeks.I'm pretty sure though that my weight is still somewhere near 175 lbs.
The weather this summer in Los Angeles has been mild and very near perfect.It's times like these that I wonder why I ever thought I'd leave L.A. and move to New York.
My Kittty turns 15 this month.We've been together since he was a kitten. He still loves to run, play, and sleep in my lap. He comes to me like a dog when I call him. He has been the best companion EVER over the past 15 years. We've been roommates and moved together at least 12 times over that period of time.Been through a couple (yes, only two) lovers over that time.
My work is getting very busy. The busy I've been expecting for over 18 months has finally arrived.
Sorry, but that's about all I can come up with today! My creative juices just aren't flowing!
After arriving home from work yesterday afternoon, I sat on the back porch to relax and pull my thoughts together. I'd been in a total fogged out zone for the whole weekend, wasting away my time and my life playing video games. Part of me thinks I'm just getting all the stuff out of my system that I did not do when I had a non-existent, or minimally unhappy, childhood.I thought, I deserve to stay up all night playing video games.Another part of me says that I could be doing better things with my time. Like meeting people and making new friends. Maybe even a boyfriend?
But back to my thoughts on the porch.Sometimes when I sit and reflect, which is not often these days, I wonder "am I missing something?"Is there a point to Life that I am supposed to get, but that I just keep missing? I stopped and asked myself that question. My mind began to wonder all over the place. "Discipline" I thought.Stop all the wandering thoughts and bring your mind under control! But NO I thought.Let your mind do what it wants! Let it be creative! Stop trying to suppress your mind! Let it fly!And so I did. (Do I sound a little psychotic?)
I thought about things like Whatis the next big THING to happen in the world? THINGS that sort of sneak up on us and catch us by surprise until we look back on it and see how important it was. Like the manufacturing revolution early last century. The "information" and technology revolutions, and ultimately the Internet and all the amazing ramifications that has had on our society (like the free exchange of information for the first time EVER, as an example).
So what IS the next big thing?Is it some amazing new discoveries with Biotechnology?Is it something (as suggested on web sites like www.wingmakers.com) like the discovery of scientific proof of the human soul, which leads to contact with a cosmic society outside our own planet and travel through space and time?Do our scientists discover another dimension and find out ways to access/travel to it? I don't know, but it could be these things. It is probably something we never can even IMAGINE right now.
As I sat there on the porch, watching, listening, observing, thinking.... I asked myself the question "is there anything that I don't want to think about because the truth of it hurts too much?Is there a reality staring me in the face, that I don't want to see?The current state of pessimism and terrorism and war came to mind. We no longer live in a world where we can feel safe and secure.Our world faces the certainty of nuclear annihilation if we don't figure out how to get along. And I really don't think we'll figure it out. So either we enter into a new age, post nuclear, or we get some help from some supernatural's or superior beings, or something like that. Personally, I think it could go either way. I think there is a real possibility we destroy ourselves and those who survive will be living without all the wonderful technological contraptions we've all become so accustomed to using every day. I also think some Beings, that may have been watching and helping us for a long time already, could step in and keep us from destroying ourselves. Again, maybe like suggested in the Wingmaker's materials.
Whatever happens in the days and years ahead I think it will be something so different, so amazing, that few of us will have predicted it, and all of us will be changed.Life will be incredibly different.Better or worse I do not know. But I have the distinct sense that our lives and our world is about to change BIG TIME.
Yep, I'm still here. I'll always be here. But sometimes I get distracted and don't blog all that much. At other times I blog twice a day! Go figure.
I've been doing lot's of reading, studying, working, changing. I'm up at 5 a.m. every day now and in the office by 6:30 a.m. to greet the opening of the stock markets on the east coast. People like me on the west coast have to be damn serious (or crazy) to be ready for the daily opening of the stock markets. Only thing is, I've picked a really hard time to begin to get serious about investing. But I am learning, and if I can gain the virtues I need to be successful (right now, patience would be a good one), I believe I can ultimately do ok in the markets. Right now I'm waiting for all this craziness to pass (a few months? a year?).
Last time I weighed in at the gym I was at 174 lbs. That is my ideal weight. My broken toe is nearly healed, so I'm going to start changing up my workout routine again.
Well, that's about it for now. Sorry I've been so silent. I will try to post here when something interesting comes up!
For the first time since I can remember, I'm taking a vacation but not going anywhere. I'm at home. The purpose of the time off is to try out the new daytrading system that I have been studying and preparing for. As it turns out I picked the worst two weeks I could have to do that. The markets are very erratic and not following traditional patterns due to the turn over of power in Iraq and the anticipated interest rate hikes this week by the Fed.
So I'm on vacation and I'm getting up at 6 a.m. daily to start my trading day. I've not done well so far (surprise!). I'm keeping a trading blog/journal that I may share/link one of these days.
I also plan to keep a private blog on my spiritual development. I've been doing a lot of very interesting reading and it is some pretty cool stuff, but somehow it does not seem appropriate (yet) to share on this site. I'll link that site one day perhaps.
One thing I did the last five days was a "five day detox/cleanse" of my colon, liver, kidneys, gallbladder, blood. I've never done this before, and it will be a LONG time before I do it again! But I do feel great, and clean! Today is my first day off the cleanse. I weighed myself at the gym and I am weighing in at 175 lbs. I got this idea from the book "Secret's of the Miracle Doctors." This book is free on the internet and I highly recommend you read it. I stumbled across this book and devoured it. I never have found in one source all the things that I've been doing for several years now, and what took me a lifetime to discover -- such as supplementation, enzymes, hormone replacement, proper diet, exercise, etc. Since I've been doing all this, I hardly ever get sick anymore, and most everyone I know can't believe I'm as old as I am. Most put me at 10+ years younger than I am. Anyway, give it a look.
Watched the hummingbirds fight over my feeder on my porch
Saw an AWESOME meteor fly by as I sat on my porch last night. It was HUGE. And CLOSE. I could see the mass of the thing. It really appeared to be as low as the planes that fly into Santa Monica airport. And the city lights are really bright, so you gotta know that it was bright and close. I'm guessing close to 1,000 feet. It burned up before impact. Just earlier on the news I saw a story about a meteor that crashed through the roof of some lady's house! And what is even more weird is that the book I'm reading is about UFO's. (yeah yeah, it's my first! really! i got interested in reading about the subject after seeing some very convincing footage on the History Channel about alien abductions!)
Times have changed since 1882. When Venus transitted the sun then, police were called into a New York park to keep order because so many people were crowding the 10 cent telescopes to take a peek. Even stock brokers took a break to see the event.
This time it will pass and hardly anyone will notice or care.
60 years ago the world was on the brink of being taken over by a dictator. A lot of people died to prevent that from happening. How many of us remember that? How many really care?
I'll tell you what. If Venus does NOT transit the sun today -- if it is somehow missing, we are all fucked.
What's my point? I have none. Other than maybe to remember. To not take things for granted. To appreciate today.
If Venus is missing, that will be even bigger news than Reagan. Speaking of Reagan, don't miss my sad but sincere post below.....
I have a bag of mixed emotions surrounding the passing of Ronald Reagan, former President and Governor of California.
First, I'm pissed at the media (yet again) for yanking on my emotional chain by showing the crowds hanging around Los Angeles waiting for the funeral motorcade to pass by. It pisses me off because I know what they are trying to do, but at the same time, I fell right into their trap and got all choked up and actually starting balling last night as I watched the media coverage.
Jeez, I did not know how deeply I felt about the man. Now that I've been forced to remember Reagan, I remember he was really a pretty cool dude. He seemed very genuine, gentle, and caring. He seemed to really care about this country and took his Presidency pretty seriously. He was light-hearted and made fun of himself before anyone else could. This and other characteristics endeared him to the American people. I'm not a Republican, but I really like the man.
It is amazing the influence his passing is having on Southern California. A LOT of people took Monday off to mourn. The moment of silence in the stock exchange in New York for two minutes was moving. The markets and the government will shut down Friday for a day of mourning for the man. All this is a bit overwhelming for me. My commute home last night was the lightest it has been since I began this new commute over a year ago. My pass through one of the top five busiest freeway interchanges in the world during rush hour, was like a Sunday morning. It is all too fucking much!
I'd go to Simi Valley to pay my respects like everyone else but I don't want to fight traffic and 8 hours of waiting, just to get to the coffin and find myself in a state of shock, pain, and a loss of how to express myself. Then I'd start sobbing, and I'd be a wreck and a blabbering, idiotic cry-baby. And Southern California can not handle a blabbering, crying, faggot standing at Ronald Reagan's coffin. No sirreee. Nope. Nada. Nine.
Instead I'll go home and watch the news, let them yank my chain, and I'll cry my eyes out.
I weighed in again at the gym and I lost two pounds. I'm down to 177.9 lbs.
Saturday night I decided to go out and went to Trunks to play a bit of pool. I got bored of that and took a stroll over to Mother Lode. I like Mother Lode. It's cruisy and friendly. Not a lot of attitude like some of the other bars in the area here. Some handsome gentlemen introduced themselves to me and their friends. One guy came in with a friend all dressed up and he began flirting with me. Turns out we'd met before, but he did not tell me that, and played me for a while before I figured out I'd met him about a year ago. I won't say more than that, but that we had a repeat performance and it was a lot more memorable than the first time. And this time I got an invitation to a "brunch" party coming up later in the month....
I saw Day After Tomorrow over the weekend. I loved it. That's all I'm going to say about it.
I started another blog site, which at this time I am keeping private. It is a journal of my investing goals and daily trading activities. I'm taking this daytrading thing seriously, and I'm tracking my thoughts and profits/losses on a blog site, which maybe one day I will share.
I saw the movie Troy last weekend. I have to admit when I saw Brad Pitt naked and rolling over on top of that lady, I got a distinctive rise in my groin area. It was like soft porn! Brad is such a turn on for me. And he is 40 years old! I love that (that he is THAT old and looks SO good).
I really hope my mom never reads this blog!
Oh, and while I'm remembering things, and going all over the map of thinking space, I weighed in at the gym on Sunday, and I am at 179 lbs.! This was such a relief for me, considering I broke my toe several weeks ago and have not been able to do fat-burning aerobic exercise. I've been working out to stay toned, and I've changed my diet to lower net carbs, bla bla, and it all seems to be working. I am quite pleased about this....
Hey Brad, wanna come play with me? We can wrestle and throw javelins together! Just email me and I'll give you my phone number.
Damn, I've been busy lately. Or maybe preoccupied is a better word. I've been seriously studying the markets and searching high and low for investing opportunities. I'll be sure to let you know if I strike it rich.
Two Sunday's ago (or is it three?) I saw an open house at a condo just up the street from me in West Hollywood. I was on my way back from shopping at Whole Foods groceries and I saw the open house. I bought my condo a year ago and was curious to see what the condo market was like in my hood. I entered the front entrance to the open house at the exact same time as another guy. We chatted briefly, and rode up the elevator together. Everyone at the open house thought we were together. He introduced himself to me and we left together, and he asked if I'd like to have coffee sometime. Not being one to turn down an offer of a date, I said yes. I don't know what it is, but it seems all the guys that come on to me lately are all in their 20's! I'm flattered, sure. But why that age group? Is it because all the cuties in their 30's and up are all in relationships? Or they don't have the confidence to be aggressive with me? I don't know. But I am getting much better at knowing immediately if someone is not right for me. This one was not. So after an initial date of dinner together in WEHO (which was a nice time), I knew I would not be able to date the guy. So I told him so on the day we were scheduled to get together again.
Ya know, I guess I really don't mind being single?! If I really wanted a boyfriend I'd have one. Will I ever want one I wonder?
Oh by the way, the condos were in the $700,000 range!!!! OH MY GAWD! That is toooo much money for a condo!
There are a number of subjects I've been wanting to discuss here but I've been a little preoccupied with other tasks. The subjects are:
My interesting experiences of Sunday night while still in San Francisco
What I learned about my ex boyfriend who was arrested and got out of jail a couple years ago...
The story of the 24 year old I met this past Sunday and what he wanted from me....
I don't have time for all this now, but let me start with my ex. This is the guy who has borderline personality disorder and got busted defrauding another guy in Arizona and got arrested for fraud. He got out of jail a couple years ago and moved back to San Francisco. He emailed me immediately and gave me his cell phone number. I did not stay in contact with him, but since I was going to San Francisco, I was tempted to look him up. It has after all, been 8 years. And I was after all, madly in love with this person.
Anyway, I had heard from the guy in Arizona that he had violated his parole. So I did some fishing and found a web site where you can look up information about inmates and I found out that my ex is back in jail! Has been for several months!
That solved that problem. The temptation to see him vanished into thin air.
Sunday, May 23, 2004 :
Okay my innner bombshell: don't miss the more important posts beyond this one....
Va-Va-Voom! You're inner Bombshell is Mae West. You've definitly got a lot of wit, a lot of smarts, and you know how to use people to your advantage. Ever heard the phrase "doesn't take any crap from anybody"? Well that's you! Just like Mae you never want to settle down, and can't imagine being with just one man for the rest of your life. You don't care about conventions and have no filter from your brain to you mouth. Check out the movie "She Done Him Wrong" to see your inner bombshell in all her voluptuous glory!
"Wow! thanks for explaining that. It really helped. I have just one more question. You said that God created most gay men to be that way, but hasn't god clearly designed humans to have sex and relations with the opposite sex? I'm curious to see your point of view.
Good, I'm glad it helped. BTW, I posted my answer to your email on my blog site. I did NOT reveal your identity.
I can answer your latest question with what I know/believe to be the correct answer, but you need to do some research on your own and believe it in your heart.
Yes, of course God created humanity with the ability for man and woman to have sex for the purpose of procreation, to continue the species.
But he also created some of us to be gay. In history, many people who were gay were actually considered special, in touch with God on an amazing level. Many of the spiritual leaders in ancient times were gay and gay was not an issue. Gay people were considered to have all the aspects of God, both male and female, and were even worshipped!
But I digress. When I was trying to figure all this out, I ran across a book called "What the Bible Really Says about Homosexuality" by Daniel Helminiak (the name doesn't do much for public relations on the book, granted). You can get it online probably. If not, any gay bookstore in a major city will have it. If you can't find it, let me know and I'll get you a copy.
There are so many things that are said in the church that we take as truth, when they are not truth. The story of Sodom in the bible is used so much to condemn homosexuality. But that is not what the story is about at all! The book goes into great detail about that. Certainly Jesus never condemned homosexuality. No where in the bible can you find such a statement. The story of Sodom is about inhospitality, not homosexuality. But you need to decide that for yourself, and only by doing some exploring and reading.
If you are interested in doing more exploring, I can do a little research and give you some sources to back up what I'm saying here, if you don't find them yourself. I'm writing this on the fly and don't have my sources handy to quote them. But I'd be happy to do so if you ask.
I had an email question from a reader that I want to post here. I get a lot of Google searches from people searching for answers about being gay, so I'm posting this post for all those who are seeking some answers.
Here's the email, without identifying the person who sent it:
"hello. i have a sort of weird question for you. you don't have to answer it if you dont want to. my question is, what was your childhood like, and when did you first realize that you were gay? i'm a bit confused about how somebody becomes gay. i heard some people say that it's a gene, but i don't think thats true. > >I'm sorry if these questions made you uncomfortable, i'm just a bit curious. > >thank you,
I don't mind answering.
I had similar questions when I was much younger. I had suspicions that I was gay because when I would see a good looking guy and girl, for example, in a magazine or on the street, I found myself drawn/attracted to the man. It took me a long time to admit this to myself, because I was brought up a Christian, and in our society it was/is not acceptable to be gay. So I suppressed and denied all that.
No, I do not think being gay has anything to do with how you are brought up. MOST people who are gay were born that way. I know this from experience, which I'll explain more in a bit.
I say MOST because I do know there are rare exceptions where a young man (I guess it could happen to a woman, but I only know about the man's perspective) is molested or raped or something along those lines by a male figure. It could be a father, neighbor, policeman, etc., but against the young person's will. I believe that in some cases these people might think they are gay because this happened to them, and so they "program" themselves into believing they are gay and so "learn" to like men. Other young men may be effeminate and everyone teases them that they are gay, but may in reality be straight. But all the teasing could make them believe they are gay and they act like it the rest of their life.
But I truly believe the vast majority of gay men are that way because that is just how God made them. Or if you prefer, they were born with those traits and there is nothing in the world you can do to change it. I am one of these. I tried everything to change it. EVERYTHING. But I love men, and when I finally admitted that to myself and others, and realized I was OK to be this way, I was so much more happy and free.
For the small majority who were molested and were maybe not really born gay, those are the rare people you hear about in these "recovery" programs who suddenly "turn straight." I've been through the recovery programs myself, and know that hardly anyone ever "turns straight" or gets "healed" of homosexuality. The few who do were never gay in the first place. What they got healed of was the trauma that made them think they were gay in the first place.
P.S. to the person who sent me this.... I may not have answered your question, and will be happy to give more details about my childhood if you want it. Email me again if you want to ask more questions.
Sunday, May 16, 2004 :
Hello from San Francisco! Via sattelite.
I arrived Saturday with no plans for what I'd do for the weekend. I debated calling one of my friends but you know what? I decided to remain anonymous and just go with the flow.
I visited my old neighborhood the Castro and did some window shopping, had a drink at the corner of 18th/Castro (was the Elephant bar, I've forgotten the name for now) then went back to the hotel to finish the book I bought at LAX before departure.
About 8 pm I headed back to the Castro with the idea I'd have a drink and dinner at one of my old favorite restaurants. I stopped in The Bar on Castro(that's the name!) for a drink but the place felt unfriendly and the bartender seemed put out he had to serve me a drink. I said adios to that place and went to Badlands where the real fun began!
While having a very delicious drink served by an equally delicious bartender, an EXTREMEMELY gorgious guy gave me a warm, friendly smile. His name is Jonathan, he's French, 25, and a model. He was with his friend Al who was from San Fran. Jonathan, visiting from Paris, seemed to act as if it was his job to make everyone around him feel good about themselves. I hung out with them a bit, bought them a drink then decided I better get dinner. Jonathan insisted I return after dinner and rejoin them. I did, but more on that in a minute.
I had dinner at my favorite restaurant in the world. It's called Luna. It used to be called Cafe Luna Pienna. It is right on Castro St. East of 18th. What I love about it is the garden seating in the back. Rain or shine, year round you can enjoy eating in the garden that includes a pond, and just the right amount of canopies and wind protection (and heaters of course) to make you comfortable. There is even the intermittant sound of frogs singing which apparently come from next door at the nursery. I was sure it was a sound track like they have at Disneyland but the waiter insisted it was real.
After my lovely dinner I returned to Badlands and found my new friends. We danced together and there was another very cute guy who was flirting with me. The boys wanted to go to a place called Este Noche, the only bar in the city that has a tranny show and it is mostly latins who go. I had always wanted to go because this is the place my ex, Ricardo liked going to when he visited the city when we were still partners. It reminds me a lot of the main bar in Puerta Vallarta, Paco Pacos. No wonder Ricardo liked this place so much, it reminded him of home!
We watched the tranny show then the boys left and I stayed on and met the very wild and crazy Mel, who was visiting with friends from Monterrey (Calif.). Thinking back on this is weird because it is from Monterrey, Mexico that Ricardo was born. Mel and I danced until 3 am. If you saw us you would not have called it dancing, actually. I won't give you the details but suffice it to say I'm blushing even now as I think about what we were doing in front of all those hot gay boys!
Mel is visiting LA next weekend and I'm debating if I want, or can handle the wild adventure of Mel in my own hometown...
Today's only Sunday and I can say I've already had more fun in one day than I've had in many' many years.
It is 1:30. What will I do with the rest of this lovely day?
I'm going to San Francisco for a quick business trip and decided to go a day early and spend the weekend! I've not been in several years and I'm very excited. I lived there for two years and some of my best friends still live there. Watch out San Francisco!
I've decided to get back into some serious investing. I was really into it until the markets busted a few years ago, but realize now that I've waited too long to get back in. Not that I can't make some money, but damn! I wish I'd gotten back in last year! At any rate, I'm back in and I really enjoy it. That's what I've been doing with my spare time lately instead of blogging. Studying the markets, reading newsletters, making trades, repositioning my accounts. I've been burned badly in the past and so I'm being very careful this time around.
I'm really trying to get control of my finances. I have a huge amount of debt, and realized recently that I will never have enough money to retire unless I get really serious about making outstanding returns for the rest of my working life. I've also reduced my telephone services, cable services, etc., to cut out all the crap I don't use or need. I'm even making my own sandwiches for lunch! Now for me, THAT is SERIOUS s**t!
Oh! I weighed myself yesterday and I weighed in at 178 lbs! I was quite happy about that. I suspected I'd lost some weight, because my watch is loose on my wrist (for the first time in over 6 years) and I'm looking pretty damn good in the mirror! And all that with a broken toe. I'm still working out, but I can't do any aerobics. Once I'm able to do that again, I suspect I'll get even leaner and harder. I've readjusted my diet to lower/better carbs, and that really seems to be helping (along the lines of a South Beach diet program).
Formerly "A Day in the life of a Gay Guy", I've changed the name to reflect more of how I'm thinking. Being Gay is not the focal point of my life. I'm a guy with interests like everyone else, I just happen to be Gay.