Black lives matter, too!

I feel broken and I have struggled with expressing this, and questioned whether I even have the right to, but I need to say this, even if no one is listening.

I’ll try to explain this in simple terms:

Stating black lives matter is not stating “instead of” or “more than,” it means “too.”

As in: “I don’t think black people should be killed for traffic violations, jogging, bird watching, or doing anything a white person can do a hundred times…a thousand times a day…without fear of death, because black lives matter, TOO, not just white ones.”

It’s just like saying Women and lgbt+ people shouldn’t have special protections under the law. We don’t. We have laws that had to be placed on the books to give us the same rights other people ALREADY had. Ironically, by denying others the same liberties, freedoms, and rights some people already have, you’re enshrining special rights, not preventing them.

Look. I’m a white guy. I don’t know from being a person of color one bit. As a gay man, I do know what it means to be treated as less than for most of my life. And we are no strangers to discrimination, hatred, and violence because of our very existence. But it’s not the same. You can’t tell I’m gay by the color of my skin.

More importantly, I’m human. And I feel sick watching this country brutalize part of its population over and over again, and turn a blind eye.

I don’t know what I can do. I don’t know how I can help. I don’t know what the fix is. But I know staying quiet and complacent is not the answer. So I’m saying something:

Stop terrorizing and killing black people for existing and then blaming them for fighting back. For standing (or kneeling) and saying ENOUGH!

I am not apologizing for senseless violence and looting. But if you can see cops (and self proclaimed white vigilantes) brutalizing and murdering black people every day, for daring to be alive and black and in society like, you know, every fucking other person, and not judge all cops and white people for the action of those “heinous few,” then I’m sure as hell certain you can apply the same rationale when comparing a few rotten apples to a another entire race of people with skin darker than yours.

No more excuses. No more explanations. No more apologies. Unequivocally, people of color deserve every bit of respect, dignity, freedom, fairness, justice, protection, opportunity, support, trust, love, compassion, understanding, acceptance, inclusion, and cooperation that is automatically given to people not born with darker skin.

Their rage is justified. Their pain is real. Their lives are endangered. Their blood is running. And their lives FUCKING matter.

I know this one stupid post won’t matter. I know I won’t change a damn thing. But I have to say it, none the less:

To all of my fellow black Americans, community members, neighbors, family members, co-workers, and friends:

I see you. I hear you. I understand what you’re saying and doing, and I understand why you’re doing it. And even if you can’t see me as an ally, I do NOT see you as an enemy. I see you as a human being in pain. I see you as a community under attack. I see you as a people fighting for your lives.

You may not need to hear that from me. But I need to say it to you.

Until all of us are free, none of us are free.

Yours in solidarity.

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I’m just saying

Look, I’m not pretending to know what a perfect life looks like, but I’m thinking sipping Gimlets while watching the Justice League movie, sitting on the sofa in your air conditioned home, with your beloved partner and fur kids, has to be pretty damn close.

And…umm…Henry Cavill’s chest…just yum!

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And now, a word from my better half…

We just finished watching a new episode of Spiegletown Wild Kingdom. The Dogwood, the Azeleas, and the Lilacs are in full-bloom. And a couple of long lasting flowers are still hanging on the apple trees. (The Magnolia bushes, the Japanese Maple trees, and the Forsythia have already lost their blooms.)

The birds were eyeing us wearily – tempting the dogs, and politely letting us know that we could go back inside at any time. We could see six bird nests from the pavilion. Our flying neighbors always seem more at ease once we’ve returned to the screen porch or gone inside.

Two carpenter bees appeared to be getting ready for a housewarming, while two others struggled to escape the carpenter bee trap. Oh, the circle of life.

Speaking of which, no birds were harmed during tonight’s episode. However, Harvey and Rita Mae made multiple attempts to capture them. We’re pretty sure Rita Mae never actually saw the birds, and just ran because Harvey was running after them. However, she’s gotten a couple already this year, so birdie beware.

We’re enjoying every minute of it, but mornings of late involve so many bird symphonies and sightings that one wonders if we are on the edge of a bird-pocolypse. (Tippy Hedren, where are you?)

Perhaps most interesting was the wonderful music playing, and the wonderful time Sean and I had enjoying it all. (Him: Perfect Gimlets, Me: Gibson Martinis. And the sad emptying of another bottle of Tangueray.)

Jeffrey (aka Mrs. Sassybear)

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Do Not Disturb

If I don’t go to bed at my allotted time, and Harvey gets to my spot first, he refuses to budge. As far as he’s concerned “first come first serve.”

Sure, he only weighs 5 pounds and is the size of a large croissant, but when he’s nestled in and stubbornly refuses to move, he’s just an adorable lump of dead weight and he’s harder to move than you’d think. I’ve spent many a night contortioned around him until he finally gives in and let’s me lay in my spot.

Lesson learned. Get my arse to bed at a decent hour.

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Adult Toys

Nothing reminds me I’m a grown up more than getting excited over a new kitchen appliance.

The little food processor on the left is the first (and only) food processor I’ve (we’ve) ever owned. We got it as a wedding gift 21.5 years ago, and we’ve gotten by with it until now. The shiny big one on the right is the new one we got in the mail today.

After years of wishing I had a larger, more powerful food processor with a few more bells and whistles than my two speed, single blade 2 cup Cuisinart, we finally ordered a 12 cup multi option Hamilton Beach model.

I took it for a test drive tonight and shredded some cheese for fondue. It hummed and purred and shredded 3 cups of cheese in 30 seconds (give or take.) I’m definitely going to be playing with it more this weekend.

Don’t judge me! I’m sure I’m not the only man deriving great pleasure from an electric device purchased through the mail.

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La Familia

I don’t feel trapped with these three…I feel damn lucky!

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Hello, 49!

I thought it was going to be a low-key birthday weekend of quiet, rest, and solitude with me, Jeffrey and the dogs.

Wrong!

Much to my pleasant surprise, this guy came to celebrate my birthday with us:

I haven’t seen him since early March and have missed him horribly. These guys (along with many others) have made my birthday incredible, even in isolation:

I love these guys with all my heart, and they gave me a birthday to remember!

We did puzzles:

We did Mad Libs:

We ate (Gluten Free) donuts:

We played Skip-Bo:

I got balloons delivered by my Mom and Sister and a “Happy Birthday” serenade from the car:

I got cards from fabulous friends (thanks AM and Java!)

There were gifts and decorations:

We watched Gerald perform:

We had cocktails:

My dogs were an essential part of the weekend as well (of course):

Texts, emails, phone calls, and FaceTimes from so many people made my heart swell. If I didn’t know better, I’d thing I was dying.

Such an incredible weekend. And that it was all a total surprise made it 300% better.

Just goes to show that the right people can make even a lockdown birthday feel like a fabulous celebration – never underestimate the people you love (and who love you back!)

I’m feeling the love, folks.

Happy Birthday to me.

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Scraping Bottom

I’m trying so hard to adjust my attitude about work. I keep repeating it’s just a job. It’s not worth the anxiety and stress and anger and frustration it fills me with day in and day out. I just need to put in my 8 hours each day, then turn off the computer and enjoy my life away from work for a few hours.

This is what I tell myself every morning, as I start the day with confidence, and conviction to have a better day. I remind myself I’m good at what I do, that I worked hard to work my way up the latter, and that I don’t have to take other people’s crap to heart.

I remind myself I’m doing it for my family, for my security and health benefits. That I just have to make it 6 more years and then I get to reap the rewards of a 31.5 year career that I’ve hated for the last 2/3 of the way.

But the world feels like it’s crumbling all around us and I have to wonder…is it really worth it to keep struggling?

I’m just not feeling very sassy these days, and the well I draw from to make it through every day is running dry. What happens when I just don’t have the strength to show up for one more day of hell?

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Truth in advertising

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Nature sucks!

Today, a Bee found its way into our screened-in back porch, probably during one of the thousands of times throughout the day we opened the screen door for the dogs to go out and back in. Rather than kill it, we caught it under a glass and released it back into the outside. We were really proud of ourselves.

Later this afternoon, I let the dogs out, and within a few minutes, I heard a cacophony of screeching birds. When I ran out to see what was going on, I spotted Rita across the yard with a dead bird in her mouth. It broke my heart. I still can’t get the image out of my head, and I feel so guilty. Our yard is full of birds. We have 4 different occupied bird nests, and I worry the bird Rita killed may have been the parent of one of the nests-full of hatchlings.

I guess it’s the balance of things – one life saved, for one life lost.

Nature can be a real bitch some times.

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