I’m a Swimmer

Friday, May 13th, 2016 No comments

Alex and I signed up to take swim lessons together at Portland State. He already knew how to swim, but just wanted to become more comfortable being in public pools. I had never really learned to swim. I’ve signed up for classes before, but either couldn’t go or stopped very soon into the class. We plan on doing some watery things this summer.

This class was short, only 4 sessions. We missed the first one because we were signed up for the wrong class and got our class an hour late. We just got in the water on our own. Afterwards, Alex said it didn’t feel bad at all being in the pool. That was the last time I saw him at the pool. He was busy during the other 3 sessions.

Over the next 3 sessions, there was 1 other person in the class on 2 days and just me on 1 day. I became more comfortable than I have ever been in the water. I swam without any kind of flotation device for the first time in my life. I couldn’t go for very far, but I was able to move. I got pretty good at kicking and doing a breast stroke. I need to practice more. I never really got the hang of treading water, but I can work on that more on my own. 3 45-minute sessions isn’t that much time.

I’m so glad I took the class. I might sign up for another one a little closer to home. Or I might just watch Youtube videos and practice on my own. Look at me. I’m a swimmer now!

A Fishy Hobby

Friday, April 29th, 2016 No comments

Aquarium

I now have fish!

Growing up with my grandparents, I remember having an aquarium. We had gold fish and I’m sure other kinds. I don’t remember much except that sometimes we would wake up to find that sometimes one had jumped out of the tank.

In high school, when I was living with my mom, I decided to get my own tank. All the fish I got quickly died. I didn’t know what I was doing wrong and this was before I had the Internet to use for research.

I think I was in college when I got a betta. I think he died a few months later.

Alex has mentioned to me a few times that he worked in a fish store when he was younger and I told him about the my last unsuccessful attempts at fish ownership. He told me how he had helped friends set up tanks and kind of helped them take care of the fish. A few weeks ago we went to a fish store in Portland called The Wet Spot (heehee) and looked around at all the fish. I figured out about how much I was willing to spend and this past Saturday we went back. I got a 23-gallon tank/stand kit, some decorations and some other necessities. I’m glad Alex was there to tell me what to get. I think being there reminded him of his time working in a fish store, which was one of his favorite jobs. A couple of days later he submitted a resume actually applied for a job there to work around his school schedule. He’s had 2 interviews and thinks he has a good shot at getting the job.  That night we set up that tank at my place and let it warm up. I didn’t have time to go back and get fish the next day, so we went back on Monday. We got a few more decorations for the tank.

Alex helped me pick out some good, hardy starter fish that will help get the tank ready and are not so delicate that they’ll die easily. I have 8 red barbs and 5 black skirt tetras. They all seem to be happy so far.

There’s a lot more that goes into a tank than I realized. The starter fish are going to produce the chemicals that you need for a healthy tank. There’s all this regular maintenance that I’ll have to do one a month or twice a month. It’ll be fun though. I’ve heard that it can be an addictive hobby and that most people have multiple tanks. I’m going to try to limit myself to just one. I wonder what I’ll add to my tank next.

Stop Trying to Change Me

Monday, March 21st, 2016 No comments

I may gut punch the next person who tells me I’m too quiet, I need to talk more, I need to be more outgoing, I’m too shy, etc. I had a great weekend this past weekend, but I got tired of these kinds of comments. After 30 years of this, I’ve had about enough.

I don’t think of myself as shy. I am fucking social butterfly. I’m not nervous around people. Yes, I’m reserved. I often like to listen more than I like to speak, especially in groups. I usually think before I speak. But that’s not the same as being shy. I’ll talk when I want to talk. Fuck off!

Being quiet does not mean I’m not outgoing. I picked up my life and moved across the fucking country. I go out socializing almost every week. I have an organizer role in 2 of the social groups that I’m a part of. I’ve made loads of new friends. I’ve done some dating. I joined one sports team and might be joining another one this week. How much more fucking outgoing should I be? I realize that not everyone pays attention to what I’m doing, so they might think that I’m a hermit that barely leaves the house and barely has human contact.

So, people should stop trying to change me to be more like them. Maybe they’re uncomfortable, but I’m great. I’m in one of the best periods of my life.

Mid Monday Morning Musing

Monday, March 14th, 2016 2 comments

I love social media and I spend a lot of time blabbering on and on using social media each day. For some reason when people aren’t engaging with your posts by liking, commenting, replying, sharing, etc, it’s easy to feel like no one is reading them. It’s almost like you’re shouting into the void or just talking to yourself.

Every once in a while I’ll run into someone in person or chat with someone and they’ll make a comment about something I wrote on Facebook. I sometimes get a little self-conscious, but only for a second. I did put it out there knowing there’s a chance someone would read it.

Just recently things I’ve said on Facebook have let to party invitations, a subtle offer for sex, and an actual date. Some old friends that I’ve talked to or chatted with have asked me about Oregon. So, yeah, people are reading.

Maybe there needs to be a button to say “I read this but I don’t have anything to say about this right now.” Or maybe they should tell you how many times it’s been read. I’ll just have to try not to feel like no one is paying attention just because they’re not liking my posts.

Black-ish

Saturday, February 27th, 2016 No comments

I’ve been hearing a lot of talking about this week’s episode of Black-ish, which from what I hear dealt with police brutality and institutionalized racism. I haven’t watched the show since early in the first season. I wish I had kept up with show. Maybe I’ll get caught up one day.

I luckily haven’t had any major incidents with police. I did get stopped while walking my dog one time because I supposedly looked like somebody they were after. It was embarrassing, but there was no physical harm done. Most of the overt racism I experience is getting called names online.

Over the past few days I’ve seen several black friends on Facebook admit that they had similar feelings to what was expressed in this episode on the night President Obama was elected in 2008. It’s like everyone’s been keeping that inside for over 7 years and now it’s safe to admit it. Personally, I don’t remember being especially afraid for Obama’s safety before election day. I talked to my sister that night after he won. There were fireworks going off where I was in Mississippi. She and her husband were having a celebratory glass of wine in Georgia. She said that she hoped he could be kept safe from the crazies and would be able to carry out his term. Wow! I hadn’t thought of that. I don’t think about that all the time now, but even after 7 years there are still people who hate that he’s president simply because he’s black. I’m friends with some of them on Facebook. I hope he’s able to finish out his term and lives a long, happy life after he leaves office.

Taking a Step Back

Saturday, February 27th, 2016 1 comment

What a difference a week or few can make?

I haven’t been to rugby practice in a few weeks. It was taking up too much time and I had things that I needed to work on at home. I missed a week of and at the next practice it dawned on me that I wasn’t having fun anymore. It was resenting the amount of time I was having to devote to it and it was starting to feel like a job. It was supposed to be recreational fun. A lot of the people who were coming out to practice weren’t coming out anymore and I was missing them. For now, I’m taking a step back and just supporting the team. Today the Lumberjacks play their first game and I’ll be out there cheering them on. Maybe I’ll be out there playing sometime soon.

I had a great Valentine’s Day weekend with the guy that I was seeing, Alex. The next weekend (which was also last weekend) things were different. Simply put, he’s got some things he needs to work through, so he needs to take a step back and just be friends. It was a shock to me because everything was great up to the moment he told me this. He assured me that I hadn’t done anything wrong, though. We’ve been in contact throughout the week. We had drinks last night and I feel optimistic.

That’s how life goes sometimes. Life is still good.

Valentine’s Day 2016

Sunday, February 14th, 2016 No comments

At the old age of 37, I can say that this is the first time that I didn’t spend Valentine’s Day alone.

I haven’t mentioned here that I’ve been dating someone since January 1. I’ll have to write a separate post about that later.

Neither one of us are too big on Valentine’s Day. When I asked him about it, he said that ht always celebrates it as Darwin’s Day. He did want to spend the day with me, however.

After spending the previous afternoon and night together, we had breakfast together, played video games, cooked dinner together for the first time, and watched return of The Walking Dead. There was a break when I had to record a podcast. He studied while I did that. It was the first time we’ve been around each other for that long. Things went well.

I got him a Darwin-inspired gift, which he liked. I just took him home a little while ago.

Life is good.

Portland Lumberjacks

Wednesday, January 20th, 2016 No comments

Because I’m a little crazy, I went and joined a recreational rugby team. It’s a new team called the Portland Lumberjacks.
Portland Lumberjacks Logo

It started out with an informational meeting at a local bar last October or November and we’ve been having practices since then. I joined because I thought it would be good to be involved in some kind of physical activity and I thought the social aspect would be nice. So far I’m having a great time. I’ve even gotten a couple of friends to come out to practice.

It’s a gay, inclusive team. The Lumberjacks are the first gay rugby team in Portland since the previous team disbanded about 7 years ago. Yes, there are some straight guys on the team. We’ll be playing other teams in the Oregon and Washington, including other gay teams. The vast majority of us have never played before. I had only seen a little bit of rugby on TV previously. It’s a little intimidating trying to keep everything straight, but I’m sure it’ll become more natural.

I’m pretty average. I’m not the oldest, not the slowest, and probably not the strongest. Tonight I found out what positions I’ll probably be playing. It looks like I’ll be a hooker and sometimes a loose forward. I was told independently by 2 different people that hooker is the most dangerous position out there, the most likely position to sustain injury. We didn’t have any say in our positions, probably because we don’t know enough about rugby, but I’m not worried though.

We started out practicing on Saturdays, but for the past couple of weeks we’ve been practicing on Mondays and Wednesdays. They’ve been fun and informative, but also tiring. I’m usually sore the next day.

Earlier in the month some of the Seattle team came down to do a bar crawl with us and they practiced with us the next day. We have two scrimmages planned with them in about a month. I don’t feel ready yet, but we’re playing their B team, which is full of brand new players. I’m sure it’ll be fun.

I’m looking forward to the rugby season. I’m already enjoying making friends and learning about the game. It may be a while before we actually win a game since we’re so new, but I still expect to have a good time.

Christmas 2015

Thursday, December 31st, 2015 No comments

Another Christmas has passed and another New Year is coming. I was thankful not to spend Christmas alone this year. Thanksgiving was a little tough. Seeing everyone post pictures of food and family while I was sitting at home playing Fallout 4 was a little sad.

Luckily, my friend Joel invited me to a Christmas dinner party that he was going to. He’s in the Portland Gay Men’s Chorus and some of them had a fun party that night. My company and my runner’s group had Christmas parties the week before, so this was my third one this year.  I had a great time and it was fun connecting with new people.

What did I get for Christmas?

  • Blue Snowball microphone
  • Star Trek shirt
  • The Firefly board game
  • A wooden box that I plan on painting and keeping stuff in
  • A pair of briefs
  • Guitar Hero Live
  • Game of Thrones coloring book
  • Game of Thrones season 4 soundtrack

I hope I remembered everything. I’ll be getting something from my sister and family later.

This year I decided to end my tradition of watching The Lord of the Rings trilogy in December. It’s just becoming harder and harder to find the time and this December I was trying to re-watch all of the Star Wars movies (The Force Awakens was awesome, btw). Last year was I believe the 10th consecutive year, so it’s probably a good time to end it. I’m a little sad because my favorite traditions are ones that I’ve started myself. I always said that the year couldn’t really end until I heard that Annie Lennox song at the end of the third movie, which I always watched on New Year’s Eve.

I think I stopped setting goals for the upcoming year after I moved to Portland. In case I’ve never said this before, I hate calling them resolutions. I posted some 2016 goals on Facebook the other day and figured I would post them here to make them easier to find. Some are repeats of things I did this year. #1 will be completed on January 1 and #2 may happen before the end of basketball season.
1) Go on at least 1 real date
2) Attend at least 1 pro sports event
3) Get more sleep
4) Get organized again
5) Keep doing the good things I started this year
6) Take more pictures
7) Not forget about this list

Usually I don’t do out on New Year’s Eve, but I am tonight. It might be the first time I’ve ever done so. I’m going to a private party at my friends Ez and Andrew’s place. I was also invited to hang out with the Chorus people I spent Christmas night with, but I had already committed this one. It should be a great time. I guess this will end my tradition of buying a bottle of wine for myself on New Year’s Eve.

I had such a great 2015. I put myself out there more and made many new friends. I don’t have a lot to complain about, and what I do I hope to change in 2016. I hope everyone has a happy and successful 2016.

Twin Peaks Festival 2015

Monday, November 30th, 2015 No comments

I’m going to catch up on blogging about some of the events I participated in this year.

Back in July I returned to the Twin Peaks Festival. It was my second year. I didn’t think I would go back after last year, but after news broke that Showtime was bringing the series back, I decided I wanted to go back. Matt H and Mel were coming back, but also coming were Caitlin (from The Twin Peaks Podcast and Intro to Brisco) and Matt A (from Hooplecast and a frequent contributor to several podcasts that I listen to). We all rented a cabin together about in Snoqualmie Pass, which is 20 minutes away from where most of the festival activities were.

Since it’s been so long, I can’t remember the day to day that well. I got there the morning the festival started. I intended to get there the night before, but I had to stay to get some work done. They posted a video of the cabin on Facebook the night before, so I at least got to see it. When I got there the trivia contest was about to start. Matt H participated in it and did pretty well.

I remember going on a a hike to see Ronette’s Bridge. We climbed over a fence to get a good view because the way we came was closed. On the way back I hurt my knee a little bit on the landing. It took a day or two for it to feel better. I also poked a hole in the top of one of my shoes. I still haven’t replaced these shoes yet. We met some people on the bridge. One is from Portland. I may be having a transplant dinner with her and her friends on Christmas Eve.

I remember the bus tour, which was fun, but pretty much the same as the year before.

I remember eating at Twede’s and seeing Kimmy Robertson at a nearby table.

I remember the celebrity dinner, where I got to meet and get pictures with a few cast members, including Ian Buchanan and Catherine Coulson. Unfortunately, Catherine Coulson passed away from cancer a couple of months later. She seemed fine that night. The dinner went really late, so we didn’t stay for the costume contest or the dance.

I remember drinking with some new friends: Gary, Stephanie, and Michael. Stephanie and Michael knew each other. Gary went with us as we toured some of the sites and all 3 came back to our cabin to play board games with us one night.

I remember the picnic, where we got rained on a good portion of the time. We got a walking tour of a few more sites afterward.

I remember my car not starting when we were supposed to go the last official event of the festival. It was a long drive and I was bummed out about my car. We got to see more shooting locations.

When we got back my car still wouldn’t start, and I had to have it towed to a nearby city early the next day. It cost a lot to get it fixed. I had to miss out on the rafting trip we had all planned to go on. It took 8 hours for them to finish with my car because they were backed up. I spent time exploring the city I was in. I can’t even remember the name of it now. I arrived back in Portland after dark. That whole ordeal put a damper on the end of the trip and my car hasn’t quite been the same since.

I’m glad I went back to the Twin Peaks festival. It was good seeing friends I made the previous year and making new friends. David had been in North Bend a week or two before the festival and I believe filming started on Season 3 shortly after the festival ended. Maybe I’ll go back in a few years, but I don’t see myself going back next year.