Early Afternoon Thoughts ~ Male or Female

One of the more difficult parts of learning a language is what is a female item and what is a male item.  It’s important to know this as it makes a big difference in the sentence structure.  I’d always assumed that English was devoid of “this item is male, this item is female” until today …. and so, hot off the “intertubes”, where everything on the “net” has to be true right?

Male or Female?   

You might not have known this,

but a lot of non-living objects

are actually either male or female. 

Here are some examples:  

FREEZER BAGS
They are male, because they hold everything in, but you can see right through them.

PHOTOCOPIERS
These are female, because once turned off; it takes a while to warm them up again. They are an effective reproductive device if the right buttons are pushed, but can also wreak havoc if you push the wrong Buttons.

TIRES
Tires are male, because they go bald easily and are often over inflated.

HOT AIR BALLOONS
Also a male object, because to get them to go anywhere, you have to light a fire under their butt. 

SPONGES
These are female, because they are soft, squeezable and retain water.  

WEB PAGES
Female, because they’re constantly being looked at and frequently getting hit on.

TRAINS
Definitely male, because they always use the same old lines for picking up people.

HAMMERS
Male, because in the last 5000 years, they’ve hardly changed at all, and are occasionally handy to have around.

THE REMOTE CONTROL
Female. Ha! You probably thought it would be male, but                 consider this: It easily gives a man pleasure, he’d be lost without it, and while he doesn’t always know which buttons to push, he just keeps                 trying….

A Moving Tale (2) ~ Early Afternoon Thoughts

Previous post about moving –>here<– I got the keys to see the apartment, and upon entering ~ I actually loved it. There was a much larger living room, an actual hallway to the bedroom (Le Mutt would enjoy the running room) and, of course, the washer/dryer connections off the kitchen . . . just right to clean and cook, right? The patio was larger and only needed some weedkiller for the forest primeval that was attempting to grow there. All seemed to be well and what I was looking for in living space.

Now came the difficult part, actually making the decision to move. I weighed all the options, made innumerable lists comparing the pros and cons . . . and finally decided that I would once again move. Again, it was only 150 yards down the way. . . and down a short flight of stairs into the apartment or down cement steps OR a slight grassy incline into the porch. Shouldn’t be much of a problem.

I had decided that there was no way I was going to pack and move myself. Somewhere I felt there was one of the moving companies that would pack, move and unpack. That was a correct assumption, but you would have thought I was moving into the White House based on the conversations and prices I was quoted. I was stunned to find out what the charges would be just to MOVE things that were already packed. So now I was faced with doing it on my own ~ so to speak. While I was contemplating this turn of events, I got into a discussion with my daughter. My son-in-law, in order to add extra money into their personal stimulus plan had been doing a number of “side-jobs” on the weekends. I decided that I would hire them for the move. . . and pay them quite well for it.

This proved to be one of the best decisions about the move I could have made. I decided on moving the last week of December. The move would occur the 24th of January. My neighbors were planning to make their move to a different complex the same weekend, so we would be able to share/commiserate during the ordeal of boxes and dumping and hauling and sorting.

During the week of the move the weather reports were quite typical for Houston. . . in other words, no one really knew WHAT the weather was going to be like during the weekend. Of course, there is always the chance of rain or storms ~ but nothing such as that seemed to be on any one’s mind. The day of the move was actually quite cool, overcast, light wind and some rain was forecast at some point during the day. My daughter, Son-in-law and the 2 grand kids showed up ready to begin the day . . . I was actually ready to begin it myself. Very shortly. however, I was banished sent to the new apartment to oversee the arrivals and to place and unpack them as well.

What my Son-in-law has done was hire four men that work on his construction sites to come and do the lifting, hauling and placing. This meant that he could arrange, box and get things finalized (with the rest of his families help) and they would simply “hoof” it over to me. Talk about an incredible time-saver and energy saver! Very shortly furniture, boxes, tables, beds and all the etc. began to arrive to be placed and/or unpacked. What the moving companies had told me would take two days (!?!) was accomplished in a few hours.

The best moment of the entire move was the arrival of Bonzai (who had been in his large crate the entire time to prevent him from trying to help/hinder the move!) I’m old(er) enough to remember the spectacle of Elizabeth Taylor’s entrance into Rome in the movie Cleopatra. The dog arrived much as she did – with one guy on each of the corners of the crate. They carried him through the complex and down into his new kingdom. We were all laughing but I can report that he was “not amused.”

He was even less amused when Daughter, Son-in-Law and grand kids all went to dinner and left him behind.

So now I had moved into my new space without too much difficulty (only one slight damage to a piece of furniture) and I was awaiting the quick connection of the phone, Internet and TV.

—that ordeal will follow . . . and it was an ordeal!

It’s My Party And I’ll . . . ~ Early Evening Thoughts


Today is my birthday – a wonderful milestone for me. . . it’s been almost 1 year and 6 months since I decided to live sane(r) and sober. . . it’s been almost 1 year and 6 months since I re-connected with my kids and grandchildren that I thought might be lost to me forever.

It’s been an interesting journey with some wonderful highs and some rather interesting “valleys” . . . but, as I reminded someone today – there is little good grass that grows on the mountain top ~ particularly above the tree line!!

So, how did I celebrate all these milestones? By doing exactly what I wanted to today, sharing with some friends and enjoying the day and my life.

Cornify

Now that may be a very small button – but press it and press it again and again and help me celebrate my birthday with unicorns and rainbows!!!!

A 60+ S_ O _ _ R ~ Early Afternoon Thoughts

Leaving all the “Sturm und Drang” that I last posted at length about –here– I want to move forward to the merry month of May. A wonderful time of may-flowers (except for those that were being flooded or frozen) and supposedly a welcoming of spring. In my case, it was the welcoming of yet another surgery. Over the years, those who know me have realized that walking had become much more difficult and sometimes quite painful. (bad joints for 100, Alex)

In the month of April, I realized that something was going to have to be done ~ and quite soon. I was walking as if I had been riding horses for 100 years (bow-legged really doesn’t even begin to describe it. I was beginning to look like the curved sides of a ship!) And I was beginning to be unable to walk for all but a short distance without having to sit down and let the knees recover. All of which contributed to making me fell exceptionally old and somewhat feeble. This time I began to plan and research 1) where I wanted to have it done and 2) who I wanted to have do it. (shocked friends and relatives for 500, Alex)

Several years ago I had researched the cost of getting my knees done as a cash up-front patient. The results were absolutely stunning overwhelming…out of all the major hospitals in Houston ~ for cash payments I would have been able to literally buy a house for a little more than what the two knees were going to cost me! To one business office (after THREE days of trying to get in contact with them.) after she quoted me the price I simply told her ~ “Look honey, I am not buying the operating room or donating a new one! I just want to rent the one you have!” At that point I simply decided the operations were not going to happen until I was on Medicare or had won the lottery. As both seemed to be long-term before they happened. I gave up.

Now, there was no giving up. Things had to get done and I was the one that was going to have to make it happen. I had decided WHERE I wanted to have it done. It’s a small (79 surgical beds) hospital located just on the edge of the medical district called University General Hospital. I found out that the hospital is operated partly by the University of Houston, Baylor College of Medicine and the doctors who are affiliated with the hospital. So far so good . . . So, I simply called and asked for a list of Orthopedic Surgeons. There were five that were immediately recommended. Armed with Google and my own determination I went on a surgeon hunt. The first name on the list had not only his own website, but was on several others. He had a list of accomplishments a mile long and even had a video on his website that showed through animation what would be done during the operation. –>here<– (it’s not a graphic movie folks!!)

I made an appointment to meet with him – and without a moments hesitation on my part (after we looked at the x-rays) I was scheduled for surgery on May 9th ~ having to be there at 5am . . . A time I hadn’t seen for several years, and wasn’t sure still existed!!!

Of course, once you have something like a total knee replacement surgery scheduled ~ the horrors begin the come out of the woodwork . . . each with a different view of how terrible the operation is going to be and how horrible I’m going to feel once the operation is done and I’m on my own. These were usually prefaced by “Of course, yours might be different BUT my (cousin, uncle, sister’s friend’s aunt three times removed or I read about) . . . whatever had or ended up doing …. whatever. I’m sorry now that I didn’t write them all down. They would have made a wonderful plot line for a soap opera or a lifetime of Lifetime disease of the week movies!

–more tomorrow on the adventure and more clues on the hangman puzzle in the heading!!

And The Beat Goes On ~ Early Afternoon Thoughts

Normally I use early afternoon thoughts for elegant time wasters, I found there actually were legitimate times wasters in the real world over the last several weeks. In the recent spate of headlines there were several news stories about a councilwoman who objected to another councilman saying that the “paperwork would disappear into a black hole. . . ” I always thought that astronomical term was perfectly respectable, and could be used to describe the mythological place where things (even the socks from the dryer) could be described as disappearing.

Evidently the PC Police feel otherwise. Now, had the man said “black Ho” I might have understood – but black hole? What is this woman going to demand – that Astronomy change its term? That the Black Hole of Calcutta of history be renamed? Hold up on the cards the letters, I DO know that the Calcutta story has been debunked . . .

By this point I was ready to get on a roll of time wasters, and was perusing the blogs I follow on a regular basis when I was literally knocked off my soap box (which was pretty large by-the-way) by the following from the blog Joe.My.God . . .

For some time I had followed a blog called Coopers Corrider where a gay man adopted two children and aside from being an incredible writer allowed us inside his life and feelings.

Joe titled his post:

Apology Revoked
(And Munchausen-By-Blog Syndrome)

And then the OMG portion of my day began –

“Oh, gentle readers, what a twisted, fascinating, maddening, saddening place is this thing called The Internets.

Remember Cooper? The firefighter gay dad of two adopted boys who pulled his widely-loved blog after an “attack” of malicious comments and emails from the readers of this blog? Causing me to get extremely bent of out shape and offer Cooper a heartfelt (really) public apology? Over the last few days our little blogosphere has retched forth some unpleasant, uncomfortable revelations about Cooper.

The short version:
He is not a firefighter.
He is not an adoptive father.
He is not gay.
He is not, in fact, a he. “

(OK ~ now I’m really intrigued.)

“Intrigued? The long version:

The story began to unfold at Sweet/Salty, the blog of a woman named Kate, a young mother dealing with the death of her infant son. On the day of the supposed attack on Cooper’s blog by JMG readers, Kate had emailed him, extremely distressed to have discovered that Cooper had lifted many of her gorgeously written posts verbatim, including photographs of her husband.

Upon receipt of Kate’s surprisingly kind request to remove her plagiarized material, Cooper deleted his blog and apparently then concocted the JMG attack story to placate his legion of starry-eyed readers, people who avidly followed Cooper’s Corridor as a place where they saw their most earnest ideals about gay parenting realized.

Shortly afterwards, Cooper’s Corridor resumed as Nico’s Niche, a private blog where Kate’s material continued to appear. Kate found my public apology to Cooper and emailed me about the situation. Knowing that Father Tony has had a longtime internet friendship with Cooper, I put him on the case. What he uncovered may blow your mind.

According to the bizarre confession wrangled by Father Tony, Cooper’s Corridor/Nico’s Niche was written by a woman, a 52-year-old British Columbia grandmother named Jo, who says that ever since she was a little girl she has felt that she is a gay man trapped in a woman’s body. Cooper/Nico (Jo claims) was a concoction created in order to deal with her lifelong gender identity disorder. She says she calls her inner gay man “Nicky”.

Oh, but hang on a minute, it gets curiouser still. Turns out that there are extremely similar aspects between the Cooper/Nico story and another infamous case of blog imposterism. Years ago there was the (now-infamous in the gay blogosphere) case of A Priori Ad Lib, a blog supposedly written by a gay Canadian grade school teacher slowly dying from leukemia. The dying gay teacher’s name? Nicky. Who lived in British Columbia. Who turned out to be a woman, exposed when a blog pal of mine attempted to actually visit “him” in the hospital only to find no such person existed.

As the initial outrage and sense of betrayal about Cooper died down a bit, there have been some rather generous expressions of pity towards Jo/Cooper/Nicky. Kate (the blogger whose occasionally tortured, but always lovely prose was stolen) has been by turns baffled, angry, stunned…but most of all, kind. (Her readers, understandably, not so much.) Even as evidence was put forward that Jo had plagiarized other blogs, the conversation turned to pleas for understanding for the mentally ill.

Go read Kate’s initial angry post, then you absolutely must delve into Father Tony’s post, where in addition to publishing Jo’s emailed “confession”, he muses in his typically artful way about the anonymous nature of the internet and how much we can ever really know about people, even when we think we have an insider’s view of their day-to-day lives.

To my readers who leapt to defend “Cooper”, I thank you for your kind words to him, however misguided we all were. I know some of you had even sent Christmas presents for “Cooper’s” nonexistent children, so I can only imagine how incredibly betrayed you feel. Jo has told Father Tony that she’s been suicidal over being exposed, but has found a mental health counselor and is considering gender reassignment surgery. Color me extremely skeptical on that, but at the end of day what we have here is a very troubled person who needs help of some kind.

Even this post may please the sort of person who engages in what I call “Munchausen-by-blog syndrome”, but consider this yet another unhappy lesson about trust, gullibility, and how we as gay people are sometimes overeager to find our heroes.”

Aside from leaving me speechless ~ A difficult feat in itself ~ I was struck by the last paragraph (as in the solar plexus). I have to take a little issue with Joe on the last line, I don’t think it’s only gays that are overeager to find heroes ~ I think many people have fallen into the “Hero de Jour” trap.