Pulling It All Together

Writing again from my spot of dirt on this big blue marble that we all inhabit.

I am venturing into pulling all of my web content together so that it’s all linked and easy to navigate.  This is no easy task.  Over the last 10 years I have spread myself out a bit across the web, in some good ways…and in some no-so-good ways I am finding.  So, I thought that with the new changes and updates to my two major go-to sites, YouTube and WordPress, that it’s high time for me to get my web presence shit together.

This will be the focus of my weekend.  I’ve been reading up and watching videos on all of the new things we can do on both sites, the costs associated with upgrading each of them, and I’m pulling all of my social media pages into the mix as well, i.e. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.  I am seeing linking it all together as a way to have some consistency in my presence.

On YouTube my videos are all very old now.  Outdated, and not very reflective of who I now am.  I haven’t been posting much in the last 2 years, and so much has changed.  I have grown and changed in so many ways.  And I definitely like who I am now far better than who I was even 4 years ago.  Life is happier.  I am happier, healthier, and personally more enthusiastic about life and whatever lies in my future.  So, I am going to review all of my old video content and most likely remove most of them from public viewing.  I’ll keep some of the older, funny, or interesting ones but I am sure that most of the over 500 I did will end up on a private list.  Of course, I’ll personally keep them for the hell of it, and to look back on in years to come.

It’s kind of the same way with WordPress.  I need to review and archive many of the less relevant ones.  My blog has been a sort of diary on some days, and those are less interesting and kind of pointless to keep up in public viewing space.  When I upgrade my WordPress to the Premium package it will afford me the ability to do a LOT more with the page, too!  I will be able to share video and audio content, have a direct email address linked to the page and will have an actual web address.  It will be so much cleaner and nicer looking, so hopefully it will be more interesting and/or fun to read my posts.  I’ll depend on all of YOU to let me know; to give me some feedback and to help me tweak things to improve the whole experience for both of us.

…A Little Personal Life Update…

I know that I haven’t been very good getting posts up lately.  I seem to start one and get half way through it and a squirrel runs by….*poof*…it never gets finished or posted.  Story of my life is half-finished tasks….dealing with adult attention deficit disorder and a bit of OCD thrown in for good measure, makes completing things a challenge sometimes. Which is why I have designated this weekend to focus completely on over-hauling my web pages, social media and pulling it all together.

Everything else is going pretty damned good.  Work is going well, I still like my job and just celebrated 2 years there back on January 14th.  Feels like it’s been much longer, but many things can – and did – happen in those 2 years.  I moved into this house on Dec. 3, 2015 and started the job on Jan. 14, 2016.  There were different people in my life back then, and life was not going very smoothly.  I had too many demons in my world at that time.  I was involved in a toxic relationship of sorts, and wasn’t treating myself very good at all.  Not a healthy way to live I discovered.

It took me some time, and I had to go through rough terrain, but I managed to work my way back to a really super good place in life.  I’m far more healthy, and way more happy!  I don’t constantly question if I am doing the right thing anymore.  I don’t feel over-stressed about how other people are feeling or doing.  I’m not trying to please anyone, just worrying about myself and my own happiness.  And through that re-set of my mind, I have found a renewed energy and enthusiasm for living life to it’s potential.

I am very grateful for where I am today.  I have a pretty nice living space, two awesome little companion dogs, my best friend living just up the road, great family support, a good job, and the possibility of a new romantic relationship on the horizon.  What the hell more could I even wish for??

Sure, I still have the stupid things happen, like the thermostat for my heating system shorted out last weekend.  It got pretty freaking cold in here!  I had to go purchase a new thermostat unit from Lowe’s and replace the burnt out one.  I’m glad my Dad taught me to do things like that.  I got it done, but unfortunately found that the furnace burner was bad as well…so I had a repairman come out on Super Bowl Sunday to replace the burner motor.  Luckily it was around 1pm, and not later!  So, I got to go to a Super Bowl game party and watch my team lose…sadly.  But we don’t need to talk about that.  There’s always next season!

I also go pneumonia in January.  But I caught it really quickly and got right in to see my doctor.  Antibiotics, steroids, and an inhaler…and it was gone about 5 days later.  I lost a couple of days of work, but it’s all good.  I recovered and am back to smartass self.  🙂

I now have this kind of attitude that you cannot stop things from happening most of the time.  You can be as careful as you want, and wear your seatbelt, but there are times when things just happen in life and you just have to get through it; deal with it and keep on going.  I find very few things that I face that I cannot handle in some way.  Keeping a calm attitude is the key; not letting myself get unduly upset or stressed out when it’s something that I just can’t change, but have to deal with head-on.

By changing up my attitude, and adding the right vitamins, I avoided the seasonal depression that I usually get.  This winter has actually been pretty good.  Right now I can’t even remember the last time I felt depressed – which is awesome!  I like the happy-go-lucky me WAY better!  I have more energy and physically feel stronger and healthier than I have in quite a few years.  I am eternally grateful to modern medicine for that.  By keeping my chronic health condition in check and staying true to my recovery program, I have improved my health immensely.  It’s just good to feel good.

I still have my share of worries.  I worry about the toxic political climate in my country.  I worry about my aging parents.  And I worry about friends who are struggling.  I try to do as much about those worries as I am able to do.  I stay well-informed about world happenings; politics and events.  I keep a close eye on my parents, calling them daily to check in and make sure they are well.  I call, text and email various friends, just to stay in touch and to let them know I am thinking of them.  While I wish I could be more of a help on all fronts, I realize I am doing all that I can possibly do as it is.  I try not to let worries take up too much space in my head.  Space in there is expensive and worries don’t pay rent!  I have many more important things to think about, to plan and to do than to fill my head with worrying about things that I cannot control.

That’s what’s been going on with me.  January and February are always fairly slow months.  My birthday was in January.  My family gave me an Amazon Echo (Alexa) and I really love the thing!  I use it to do lots of things, from listening to music to making lists for shopping, tasks, appointments and more.

Thus far February hasn’t been very eventful.  I’ve had to do repairs on my truck, and repairs on my heating system.  I’ve been watching the news about the chaos and calamity in Washington DC and getting angry over that sporadically.  It’s this gut-level sort of anger.  Anger at why those grown men and women cannot seem to ACT like adults, and have so much scandal and corruption going on constantly.  I admit that I am a new junkie; a political pundit of sorts.  I have some strong opinions and views on these topics – as you probably already know from some of my previous writings.

I’ll wrap this up here.  I am going to drop in a few photos of the snow, Nola, Lulu and myself all taken in the last couple of weeks.  Tell me, how has your winter been going?  Done anything fun or interesting so far in 2018?

Peace…~MB

 

 

 

Depression, Meds, and Life Stuff…

It’s the end of July 2017…it’s a cool, rainy day here in southern Maine.  I am wearing a long sleeved T-shirt and jeans because it’s too cold for anything less!  I’ve got the windows shut (most of them) and the doors closed today.  Brrr.  This weather is just strange for this time of year.  Normally it’s 90 and humid as fuck.

Well….that got me far…I started this days and days ago.  Just never got back around to finishing it up.

I’ve been in a serious funk for about a week.  I’m in the midst of switching up my anti-depressant meds, for those of you who can relate, it’s not a fun time.  Your brain gets to depend on those chemicals to stay in balance.  So when you remove them things get a bit haywire.  I’m just lethargic and without any kind of will to do anything.  Living is a chore.  But, I’m not one to quit, so I’m hanging in and waiting on the new medication to be approved.  Fucking insurance companies.  They hold our lives hostile at times.  Evidently this new medication I am going to be taking, Trintellex, has to be pre-approved by my insurance company.  It will be a week tomorrow that I have been waiting.  And 3 weeks with no anti-depressants in my system.  Depression takes different forms for each of us.  With me it’s the lack of desire; the lack of enjoyment of life that really manifests.

I have a ton of shit to get done around here.  I’m behind on my gardening and the lawns really should be mowed tonight.  It’s 5:30pm now, so I am thinking that I will get ready and mow the lawns around 6:45 when the sun is setting and it’s at it’s coolest – and yet still enough daylight to see.  Normally I do enjoy mowing and grooming the yard.  It always makes me feel good to have it looking neat and tidy.  It also gives a temporary sense of accomplishment and well-being.

The veggie garden is going gang-busters.  It’s producing lots of nice cucumbers and zuchinni squash.  Tomatoes are green still, but will ripen soon (I am personally NOT a fan of tomatoes, but I grow them for others).  My herbs are really growing well.  I am not sure how to dry them, but I am going to research it and dry what I can for future use.  I have basil, rosemary, mint and others.  Damn, see I can’t even remember simple words at the moment, I had the list of herbs in my head and I cannot bring the names of them to the forefront of my brain to type here….another side effect of depression and lack of medication.

I have been researching some herbal anti-anxiety remedies, since I am banned from any benzos now.  I can no longer get the lorazapam or xanax.  So, I found two that are of interest to me.  Here are two pics of the bottles that I took while I was in Walgreens waiting for my weekly script.

I think I’ll get both of these products this week when I stop in there again this Wednesday and try them out.  Herbal is better than nothing I suppose.  And the valerian root extract that I tried made me kind of sick.  I didn’t get the relaxing results, but I sure did get a stomach ache and headache.  If you know of any really good ideas for anxiety reduction – besides meditation and reducing stress – those things are a given, and it’s not that I want to be under stress any more than anyone else does, but in order to live this weird thing that we call life you must be under pretty much constant stress.  You have to survive, and that in itself is stressful.

Ok, I’m off to mow those lawns….rawrrrrr!  Peace!  ~MB

Saturday…More of DC…

It’s Saturday, a beautiful Spring like day too.  Unusual weather for the end of February. It’s been a mild winter this year, thank the powers that be. I opened the door in my office that goes outside/out back and let the fresh air pour in today.  It was glorious. Sunshine and sweet cool air.  It felt good in my lungs and on my skin.  The dogs were loving it too.  Lulu took to running giant circles in the yard and into and out of the house, over and over.  Nola basked in the warm sunshine on the porch, watching the world.  Yes, it’s a very nice day.

I’m going to jump ahead in the DC story to when I lived on 14th and T Street in DC itself.

I moved into a group house on the corner of 14th and T Street in NW DC.  It was an area heavy in prostitution and street crime, but the house was a gorgeous 4 story row house of brick and mortar. I loved the place. The owners had completely gutted the place and redone it, so it was very nice.  Five bedrooms, a bathroom on every floor and a great open space living room and kitchen with a bar that separated the two.  Sweet digs.

I moved in with my lover, Jaye.  She and I were on the top floor where there were two bedrooms and a shared bathroom.  We had a guy from Italy living there on the top floor, who was one who exuded hair in the shower, it was always a beef of mine that he didn’t clean out the shower drain when he was done.  Italian dudes are hairy.  And Matteo was no different.

I was the only one that worked in the house.  The rest of the residents, all of 5 others, were students at American.  Including my girl.  The house was full of very good, studious kids who were working hard to make it through school and into real life.  I was a blue collar worker who busted my ass to make enough money to live.  I should have stayed in the Army, I recall thinking that a million times over the years.  By the time I moved into this place I had gotten a job back in the pool and spa industry, a more up my alley line of work and something I had experience in and loved to do.  I was working in Gaithersburg for a regional supplier of hot tubs, spas, steam rooms and saunas.  It was hard work, but I loved it.

Living in the prostitution district gave me a lot of new things to learn.  Like lock the back of my truck up or they would use it to turn tricks.  Also, everytime I parked it on the street I would be approached by two or three girls before I got to my door step who wanted to know if I needed a “date”…this was always amusing to me.  I used to play it up with them and teasingly ask ” why?  you offering me something?”  or “no, I have plenty of girls in the house here….do YOU need a date?”  Over time I came to know some of the regulars and they recognized me and realized I lived on the street. It was a very African American neighborhood, so seeing a dumb white dyke from Maine wandering around was bound to get looks.

One time I had a friend of our living in our room for a short time, she’d been kicked out of her rich parents’ home in DC. She also attended American and was into theater quite heavily – she was also a stripper in a swanky Georgetown men’s club.  Grace was quite the character.  Loud in voice and appearance, her bleach blonde hair and very provocative manner of dress got her recognized as a handful.  She was funny, fun to hang out with and fun to party with, but she was trouble too.

Grace, when she’d been evicted from home, stole one of her parent’s Mercedes cars.  It was silver and a damned gorgeous automobile.  She let me drive it a few times, and it was awesome.  She was always hiding the car because she didn’t want them to find it and take it back.  They of course, never called the cops about it, so I never understood why she was worried.

She would come in at all hours of the morning loud and drunk or high.  She had a girlfriend who was sometimes with her.  Both were pretty much strung out most of the time.

One night around Christmas time when there was snow on the walkways and it was freezing cold Grace and I decided to play with the hookers for fun.  I was a wise ass, and pretty rough around the edges.  The hookers knew me, but their pimps didn’t as they weren’t usually around.  Grace and I got this idea, from her theater teachings, and so we staged a show for them.

Grace drove up to the house and parked out front in the Mercedes, I opened the door and yelled at her “GET YER HO ASS UP HERE!” from the front porch.  She made a big scene coming toward me and the working girls on the corner started to watch us.  As she got closer I was yelling at her about “Where you been?!” and “Where’s my money?!” kinds of stuff. When she reached the steps I hauled off and smacked her upside the face (not really, just a theatrical slap, we had planned this) and she stumbled backwards and fell in the snow.  The girls on the corner were getting visibly upset at my actions, I could see them talking and gesturing as I was continuing to put a theatrical beating on Grace.  Suddenly, unexpectedly, a black sedan pulled up next to the Mercedes.  Uh oh.  A guy in the sedan started trying to talk to Grace. He was obviously a pimp, and this was his street.  I thought I would now be killed.

“You don’t need her beating on you, come with me.” he said to Gracie.

We were in a heap of trouble I thought, but Gracie knew these guys and their kind better than me and my back-woods upbringing.  She’s grown up in DC and knew the street wise ways better than I did.  Somehow she got out of talking to him, he drove off and we retreated inside the row house to safety!  Jesus.  It was something I never tried again.

After that incident the street girls treated me a bit different. They were convinced that I was running girls for hire out of the row house, which I thought was very funny.  They gave me a wider berth when I drove up to park, they were nicer to me and even would try to engage me in conversation on occasion.

We had some good times in that row house.  Christmas came and all the kids in the house went home for the holidays, I had to stay and work.  No “school vacation” for this working stiff.

On Christmas Eve I was on the phone with my mom in Maine. I was lonely and alone for the holidays in DC.  It was a particularly ruckus night outside, I could hear the banter on the street and hear the cars squealing tires etc.  I had walked over to the corner store and gotten cigarrettes and called home when I returned. As I was on the phone with Mom I was sitting at the counter that separated the kitchen from the living room, sort of facing the stone wall in the corner.  Suddenly there was a crack and a bullet lodged itself in the stone work just past my head, little stone chips flew.  I immediately dropped the phone and dropped to the floor.  My Army training kicked in.  I picked up the phone, tried to sound like nothing happened as I sat on the floor, below window level and finished my call.  When I was done I went over and found the bullet hole in the window.  I was lucky.

It was soon after this that we moved over to 5th and H in NE DC….where the riots had devastated the city  years earlier after the MLK killing.

No where in DC is completely safe…and you would think that being the capital of our country it would be the safest place to be…not so, not so at all.

Thoes of Thursday…

2016-02-25 14.16.21Called out of work sick today. I woke up with a headache and just couldn’t take the light in my eyes.  I suffer with migraines, I have for years.  They are not as frequent or as bad as they used to be (before menopause) but they still happen occasionally.  When I get them I have to basically halt all activity and lay still, eyes covered and silence.  I take prescription migraine meds, but I find that the OTC Excedrin Migraine works just as good if not better sometimes. Today it was one Excedrin and some down time and I was okay. But it wasn’t until about 9:30am that I could really function again.

It was the first time I have called out sick from work.  I felt bad, but I just couldn’t go in like that.  Hopefully they had enough people to cover.  I notice that some people call out quite frequently..I am not like that.  If I call out it will always be that I am legitimately ill or something  really serious came up and I had to call out.  I hate when I’m on shift and someone I depend upon calls out and I know it’s just because they wanted a day off.

I went to the barber shop this afternoon and got my hair cut and edged.  It feels so good to have a spiffy new fresh haircut.  I always enjoy the feeling it gives me.   Plus as you all know I love my visits to the Loaded Dice Boston Barbers immensely.  I wrote a description of the place out to someone today, and realized again how fucking cool that place IS.  Although I still miss Johnny, my old regular barber who isn’t there anymore for some really fucked up reasons.  I hope he’s doing okay wherever he is.

So tomorrow is Friday.  I have no plans except for dinner with my parents (steak!) and am just going to chill for the weekend.  I hope maybe a trip to the beach will be in store if the weather is good enough.  Today it was 63 degrees F when I went by the big digital sign on the way to Rochester.  Yup, 1:32pm and 63’…you can’t beat that for February 25th of any year!  I hear from the news guys on TV that it was a record setter for most of New England.

I plan to do some writing this weekend.  I will give you another chapter of the DC story.  I’m keeping the story concise and a little bit in brevity as I plan to write out the longer more detailed version later.  But still the story is fun and the best part is it really happened!  I’m still working on digging up some of the photographs from DC.

More to come….

Peace & Love

~MB

 

Writer’s Block & Publishing a Book

I have just discovered that there is an app for Writer’s Block.  Yes, it’s true.  Someone had the where with all to figure out that us writers are occasionally mentally constipated and need a brain laxative of sorts to get things flowing once again.   The app is aptly called Writer’s Blocks, see what I did there?! ehehe   I even made that a nice hot link so you don’t get lost trying to find what I am speaking about here.  I’m a smart ass I know.  It becomes me sometimes.  Sometimes it just makes me look like a jack ass.  Who cares.

I often suffer from not knowing what to write about. Lately I ‘ve been focusing more on a book that I would like to compile and publish, a book of short stories of incidents and situations I’ve encountered in my very bizarre life.  I’ve lead a very interesting life and had some pretty wild, and some mild, experiences.  I’ve met some great people and I’ve met some looney tunes…and I want to write a book and introduce my readers to them all. Won’t that be fun?  eheh…I think it will be for sure.  Good thing I have a very good memory, plus I have oodles of journals that I can reference if I forget the details.

I’ve been toying around a bit with Writer’s Block the app and I think I am going to like it – a LOT.  Which means I have to throw up $119 to buy the actual program once my free trials is expired in 14 days.  But if it works as well as I am hoping it does – and so far so good – it will b well worth it to organize myself for some better, more professional and better writing.  Especially if I am really going to put my ass in gear here and do this book I keep talking about.

I’ve talked about writing a book for years. I was personally life-partnered with a publisher for 14 years and she always encouraged me to do it, but I just never felt good enough.  So why am I thinking that I am good enough now?  Well, for one I have read some books that were published that I thought were terrible and couldn’t believe that a publisher actually picked up the book and did it.  I know I can and will write better than some of what I have seen get published.  Secondly I just feel like it’s time for me to get off my ass and do it.  It’s in me, I can feel it and I know I can do it.  I’ve just been a lazy and fraidy cat fuck. It’s a very vulnerable thing to put yourself and your work out there for the public to read.  I do it every day with my blogs, so why not with a hard copy book?

I have great inspiration in my writing.  I am a big fan of Ivan E. Coyote and S. Bear Bergman for two. They both write in much the same style that I intend to write in – short stories.  They compile books based on true short stories of incidents and the goings on in their lives.  These two write a lot of about being Butch and now about being Trans also.  I shall write about those things too, just from my own perspective and angle.  There are not enough Butch writers out here doing this, we need more anyways.  (I have hot linked both Ivan and Bear’s names above to their web sites. I encourage all to visit and check them out. They are two of the best LGBT writers alive today. And I guarantee you will love their work.  Ivan even has several Youtube videos if you like to hear examples of their work).

I get contacted quite frequently by young Butch girls who are trying to figure out how to be in life. Mostly teenagers and some younger 20 something Butches too.  One question came up the other day that intrigued me coming form a 17 yr old.  She asked me “If I am Butch does that mean that I have to grow up to be Trans and be a man?”    She says her friends say that she is supposed to want to be a man, and that being Butch is only a half way point between the two.  I wished like hell I could have sat these girls down and had a really serious conversation with them and learn where they are getting these kinds of thoughts.  Today’s world is so confusing for these kids.  I can just imagine what it would be like to be growing up Butch in 2016….much different than when I grew up in the 60/70’s and we just didn’t talk about things like this.  It’s good that it’s so open now, but is there such a thing as too open?  Are there really any boundaries anymore?   It seems all so technical now, and there are soooo many words and definitions (remember my recent blog on definitions?) that it confuses even the best of scholars I am sure.  So here are these two kids trying to figure out if Butch means you have to choose to be a man when you grow up….without adult guidance; the guidance of someone who is knowledgeable and keen on the subject even, they are destined to flouder until they find the right answers.  I am go glad that there are GSAs in most schools now.  I should probably be volunteering to help out with the GSA at the local high school here too.  Because this stuff frightens me and these kids need mentors and people to look up to who have been where they currently are now.

So, tonight I will work on Chapter 2 of the Washington DC story…I’m sure you’ll see it by week’s end.  I’m also certain that it will be more than 2 chapters, so it may take me a bit here.  I am going to use Writer’s Blocks to produce the next segment of the story, so I will let you all know how that goes as well.

Peace & Love

~MB

 

 

“Great Blogs Thrive…”

I saw something on Dancing with Fireflies blog that I wanted to re-write to align with Butch Perspectives here:

This is how Crysta on DWF put it……”Great blogs thrive because of comments. Dancing with Fireflies is a community, and you are part of it. We would love to hear what you thought of this article and anything else on your mind.”  (http://Fireflydance.net   or  http://dancingwithfireflies.wordpress.com)

So, I want to basically say the same…I am always about trying to draw more community together for conversation and discussion of important topics to us as the LGBTQ community as well as to us as members of society in general!  

“Great blogs thrive because of comments.  Butch Perspectives is part of the LGBTQ community, and invites you to be part of it – LGBTQ and allies alike – I would love to hear what you think of my articles and anything else on your mind.  Questions and topic requests are always welcome as well!”  ~MainelyButch