Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Well It's Official...

Ric called Bell South today and arranged to have the line cancelled at the end of the month.

Therefore, I am forced to bid adieu, after the 31st, to the internet.

I will be back mon cherie, and with a much better ISP I am sure.

If it does take a month or two, because convincing Ric I am able to afford it may take a while, I will not neglect my blog...

I have copied the entire blog so far and will maintain it "offline" on my hard drive until I can upload the saved posts once re-established.

I also have the Job Center close to home which allows unlimited internet access on their state-of-the-art computers. It is intended to use for job searches but they don't monitor use and you can easily use their system for general leisure access. I've done it many times before.

But this new development is one more reason why I think it may be time to move on. If the job I am now commited to is great, I will be making enough to look to living on my own again. If it is not, then it may be time to look to living in less expensive digs. Either way, I think my days living with Ric are near the end. And this time, it will likely be the end of our friendship as well. The way I feel lately....eh, no big loss. Certainly other friends like John Chiafalo, Claudia and Rich, Chris Porter, Michelle, Alicison and Wayne have meant more to me yet they are now defunct...how can Ric measure up?

Time will tell, but lately I feel I am embarking on a new plateau. And disconnecting from the oddity of the pod person formally known as Ric may be a nessessary step in gaining ground.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Retro Game Weekend

All weekend long I have been obsessed with downloading and playing some of my most beloved computer games of the past. At the "Home of the Underdogs" web site there are plenty ancient and obscure games available and I've hunted down and snagged some of my favs.

Back in the mid 80's my computer was the Commodore 64 and I fell in love with some of the offerings available for that platform.

Infocom was a software company that put out virtually only one type of game: text only interactive fiction.

This format required something so vitally missing in some of the titles today...imagination!

When I played the "Zork Trilogy", I was immersed in a mysterious ancient underground empire where magick and monsters abound!

In "Leather Goddesses of Phobos" I eagerly awaited the cue to go ahead and scratch the accompanying "scratch-n-sniff" card to find out what odor awaited me in this "room".

I raced through the very easy yet entertaining little "Wishbringer", not even needing to keep a map of my moves as it was so simple.

Got campy for "Hollywood Hijinx", rummaging through kooky Hildebud, the family mansion I hoped to inherit.

And I still remember fondly the excitement and triumphant relief of finally, after days and days of trial and error attempts, solving the Babel Fish puzzle in "Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"!

Found all these and virtually every other Infocom classic at Underdogs, and will be spending some quality wee-hours reliving my past adventuring through their countless "rooms".

Also found these jems:

"Empire Deluxe for Windows"---one of my fav "big theatre" war games...love the rally point paths! Was having difficulty running though, wonder if I installed it wrong. Could be the files though...or the compatibility issues of a 21st century computer trying to run something designed for a 386!

"Pirates! Gold"---a slightly upgraded (graphically) version of the original classic by Sid Meier. Was playing this just before logging on to write this post...man, this game is hard! I keep getting captured! Gonna need to practice up on my swashbuckling skills!

"Legacy of the Ancients"---the first RPG I really got into! Graphics are incredibly archaic (Cyan, Yellow, Black and Magenta were still the prevalent, frequently only, color palates then!) but gameplay is solid and captivating.

"Lords of Conquest"---for years I kept humming the tune that the game played when you deployed a weapon in a territory. This strategy game rocked!

"Red Storm Rising"---I chuckled today when I installed it and began playing...no, not at the blocky, 16-color graphics but at the fact that it had "future" selections of submarines available in the Soviet arsenal as far "ahead" as the year 1996 when the "[Soviet] fleet reaches it's most advanced and surpasses the Americans"...ha! Oh in the Reagan years we really did believe that would have been the case though.

Between these acquisitions and my predominant time-waster, Wikipedia, I have been in this chair with only minor forays out into the kitchen and bathroom today.

Man, my butt is numb! LOL

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Ebenezer Ric

Scrooge has nothing on Ric when it comes to micro-managing every last penny of his money. This is one area where Ric and I differ so much.

I have always had an aristocratic/bohemian attitude towards money. I endeavor to not fret about it one iota. My dream is not to be a billionaire obsessed with the art of making money and subsequently keeping it, but to live in a "world of personal credit", where items and services are not bought or bartered for, they are given with the expectation that the financial compensation would be promptly and handsomely awarded by one of my minions. I am loathe to be aware of the details of the transaction...it is beneath me!

Of course, it would take a vast fortune to be able live like this, and a fair dose of fame wouldn't hurt either. I'm not talking Bill Gates or Warren Buffet rich...they do, I presume, worry about money and spend vast amounts of time trying to build their fortunes. I'm talking Sultan of Brunei, Prince Charles, or Liz Taylor rich. Monetary worth may not be as high as the business "wheelers-n-dealers", but the fortune has ivy growing on it. In other words, they can get by more on their clout than on their cash, baby!

Ric is entirely consumed with setting himself on the "right course" lately. He didn't use this term but I know by his actions this is his thought process.

He seems to actually be taking to heart AA and is going diligently to meetings and meeting new friends.

He is consumed with the re-financing of this condo. In all honesty he should be because his P&I is way too high and this is a result of his zeal to get this place this past spring. I think he paid too much and jumped at an expensive lender offer because they approved him even with his spotty credit history.

He is very concerned about the stability of his job. But, for as long as I've known Ric, the main topic of his life...that's right his life...above family, friends, lovers, has always been his job. So this is not new. Even though, historically he goes through jobs like a baby and diapers.

Now add to the mix the fact that as of June of this year, my rent to him became not just a courtesy to cover added expenses as when I was just sleeping on his couch at Sun Lake, it became a necessary avenue of income by which he could afford to pay the mortgage for this place.

At least that's the impression given....

Remember previous posts where I noted that Ric had, in just one weekend day, spent over $200 on booze, taxis and misc. expenses?

These have been eliminated now. He leads a straight and sober life now thanks to Park Place and AA. If he spends more than $30 a weekend you could blow me down with a feather.

During the chaotic days of his drinking binges and subsequent confrontations with me...(damn!...that was just a few months ago!), I blurted out once that Ric was just "drinking up" my rent check each month. I still believe this but unfortunately I think he thinks that this is my motivation for delaying rent next month. He bitches and moans about the impact of just 1/2 rent on January 1. And today I told him that February may also be diminished due to the fact that my first payday at the new job might not be until the 27th of January.

So, dear reader, in a huff, he is stating that he will pull the Bell South phone line, which I have been paying but would be unable to until February. That means I may have a "hiccup" in my internet service for a while...most likely not until after Dec. 31. In a way, fine with me...I'll cancel NetZero as they suck anyways and once I get revenue coming in will re-establish the phone line and get back online with a better ISP. Heck, if income is as good as I assume it will be, I'll get DSL or cable modem back. Well see.

I'll try to squeeze in as many posts including some FLASHBACKs before the inevitable "blackout", but you know I will be back. This is just yet another ripple in the enduring fabric of the state of koyaanisqatsi!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Fun With "The Sims"

Ah yes, the squandering of time. How luxurious it is to have limitless hours to fritter away doing nothing more productive than re-creating our real-world home in the Sims-world.

Had to take a few liberties due to some of the graphical and/or available objects constraints in this now "old" version of "The Sim's Hot Date", but all-in-all, not a bad facimile of the general layout of our townhouse-style condo. The characters don't really look too much like us though.

This isn't the first Sims re-creation I've done. I designed one house as Osama Bin Laden's "hideout" and one as the Starship Enterprise in it's familiar shape with warp drive nacelles on each side and, of course, all TOS main characters. I also made a fabulous White House resplendent with all the goodies like the "Situation Room" and "Oval Office", and, unfortunately, it's current resident "characters", too. Not to mention the houses of several friends, apartments I have lived in in recent years (which add up, believe me!), and some unique characters I made up like an Odessa File elderly ex-Nazi who likes to conduct "scientific" experiments in his attic, a deposed king of a long-forgotten kingdom, and a gay playboy/jewel theif named Joe Adonis.

I so need help. :(

But meanwhile, on to our show of our current humble abode...

So, here are a few photo album snapshots of one rather ordinary morning at 1 Sim Lane...

Why am I in Ric's room?

From the outside.

Having a breakfast of green beans together. I got no problem with unconventional food choice but 2 things wrong. 1. We never eat breakfast, let alone, together. 2. Ric eat veggies? That would definately confirm he is a "pod person"!

Ric walking towards the stairs from up in the "loft" a.k.a. "ad hoc fitness center".

Here's a shot of the living room featuring the cool decorative table light fixture.

Here I am waking up at the crack of dawn. (Why, it's not like I have a job to get up for?)

Here's Ric after just putting his dirty dish in the dishwasher...this would only happen in the game!

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Cookie Crumbs

First off, just want to mention...blogger's dating system on posts got screwed up somehow last month and the previous post (FLASHBACK June 1982) was really written and published November 19th. But for some reason it got date stamped as November 19, 2006. So when I tried to post after that date it was positioned behind that post instead of in front of it. So, I copied it, republished a couple days ago and deleted the incorrectly dated entry. What a pain. Hope that was just a one-time thing.

Well, became re-employed today. Hired at the company I mentioned a couple days ago but the start date isn't until January 4. Ric knows and though I stated I would still pay him January rent, looks like it will be a tad late.

Also, got a callback from the Mother Job (the most preferred of the ones I submitted my resume towards). It would be back in management (where I belong after all, let's face it) and starts at a decent 38-42K/yr. I completed one interview with the temp agency rep that coordinates new hires and am awaiting a "personality test" email to complete and return as well as a callback if selected as one of the top 5 candidates for one of the 3 open positions. I won't mention the company 'cause one never knows who accesses sites randomly but suffice it to say it is at their international headquarters located just a mile or 2 away in a gorgeously impressive building on a lavishly laid out campus, oozing corporate wealth and prestige. (They have a few "lakes" on the property, one, front and center as you face the main entrance is so large it has 2 tree studded islands). Very swank. And that's saying a lot in this town where each corporate site tends to have their curving flowerbank trimmed drives, magnolia, live oak and sable palm tree shaded parking lots, sweeping ultra-manicured lawns dotted with numerous ponds, themselves accompanied by jetting fountains. Ah, Lake Mary/Heathrow....the capitalist garden of eden. (Hey, John Travolta lives here so it better look good, dammit!)

Had hot dogs and beans for dinner (I know, how ghetto! But yummy!). Why do people boil the hot dogs in one pan and heat up the canned baked beans in another? I cooked both together in the same pot. Came out great! I should be a TV chef on Food Network.

I can see it now..."Ghetto Fabulous Cookin' With Chef Mike".

I could feature such classics as my Tortilla Soup....(throw lots of leftovers in a pot, add water, a pack or two of raman noodles, a can of cream style corn, a jar of salsa, and wha la, Tortilla Soup!)

Or one of my mom's favs...boil extra fine egg noodles, drain, add margarine, canned condensed tomato soup and cottage cheese...yum!

How about "Shit on the Shingles", taught to me by my great aunt (ma tante) Mable...fry ground beef in skillet, add flour and water to make a gravy (although I use gravy mix), serve on top of toast (I use rice or mashed potatoes).

I got a million of them, maybe I should post my "ghetto chef" resume on monster.com? Hmmm.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

FLASHBACK: June 1982

My best friend Michael called early in the evening. He said he and his friend Jerry wanted to go out to the "Fife and Drum", a gay bar in Providence tonight and was asking if I wanted to join them.

Of course, I said yes. I was 18 and since New Year's Eve just 6 months before, I had been regularly going out with Michael to several gay bars in the area.I had been earlier confused about my sexuality but after "coming out" to Michael, my friend and co-worker from the Howard Johnson's restaurant we both worked at, I felt I had finally "come out" to myself as well.

I knew instinctively within 5 minutes of meeting Michael in October of 1980 that he was gay. Michael was a waiter and at the time I had just been hired as a 16-year old dishwasher at the HoJo's just 2 miles from my home. At the time, I had very little exposure to gay life.

Michael was somewhat overweight and very fey. The waitresses loved him. He always had the right thing to say yet could have a biting wit when it came to bringing someone "down to earth". Michael whirled through the dining area, lounge, fountain and kitchen of the restaurant with the air of a strange combination of superiority, aloofness, glee and drama. He was the sterotypical and quintessential...FAG.

Michael always reeked of either Ralph Lauren "Polo" or Halston "Z-14", was constantly primping in a mirror and re-combed his fair blonde locks, softened and styled with Tenex, repeatedly, to achieve his "mind's-eye" of the early eighties version of a perfectionist meterosexual. Michael wasn't "out" at work as gay, but like the Beverly Leslie character on "Will & Grace"...it was, well, pretty freakin' obvious!

Michael's friend Jerry was even, believe it or not, more faggy than Michael. But Jerry had more of a "bitter queen" attitude. Much more adherent to the exclusive segregationist policies of the Preppy guidelines, Jerry wore his upturned Izod Lacoste shirt collar more stiffly, his pinky signet ring shined more brightly and his condescending sneer was more "sneery".

So....we went out to the club that night and I was again being harrassed (kinda) by an older queen with whom I had been nice to a few weeks past. This troll was not "totally" repellent but was not getting any of my polite hints that I was not interested. Suddenly, a drag queen started a performance not far from the dance floor. She was singing some old tried and true torch song. This was my first exposure to a drag queen. After she was finished I was fascinated to know more about her. I went to her and told her she looked like a member of the Factory entourage, Andy Warhol's groupies and contemporaries from the late 1960's (well, she had a beehive hairdo!). The drag queen looked at me and said, "Andy who??? Honey, I never heard of him but if he's cute, send him my way!". This was when I learned that drag queens were not the "Queens of Gay Avant Culture" I had imagined them to be. They were just regular fags wanting to get some cheap applause by dressing up like a campy chick...and, maybe fool a dumb straight guy into getting a BJ from her.

As I dejectedly headed back to the lounge area, I was approached by a cute younger guy with dark hair. He looked around my age. He said his name was Roger. Within 10 minutes we were making out on the overstuffed sofa in the "pit', a hot pink and purple cushioned lounging area of the bar. We very much wanted to "get it on". But, I was with Michael and Jerry, who, according to custom, had gone off to other areas of the bar to cruise for their own "tender morsals". We made a promise to meet at the Loft, another gay bar closer to our home town of Woonsocket in North Smithfield. We pledged to meet tomorrow.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I was trying to tell myself I had another commitment that night, but I wouldn't acknowledge it. I wanted to get together with Roger and let nature take it's course. It was my first "pick up" in a gay bar. It would be only my second time with a guy. I very much needed this to happen!

When I got home later, it hit home the consequence of that encounter. It was the end of my "fake straight" life. It was the beginning of my true gay life.

The prior commitment....was none other than my senior prom. I was to go with my "girlfriend" of 9 months, Kathleen.

I wrote about Kathleen in a previous FLASHBACK surrounding my memory of our sailing adventure on Mt. Hope Bay.

That afternoon I avoided the thought of the prom. I had already arranged to rent my tux, pick up the flowers a week before but neglected to pick up either order. I just pretended I had never ordered anything.Kathleen called around 6:00. She was just checking on our itinerary for the night. She excitedly told me she had had her hair and makeup done at a salon and was getting her gown ready. She was so excited!

All I could think of was it's now or never. I wanted to tell Kathleen the truth. That I was gay and wanted to meet a guy at a gay bar instead of take her to the prom, but somehow I couldn't.I told her that I didn't want to go to the prom, maybe we could go to a movie instead. Somewhere in the back of my mind I was trying to compromise....declare my freedom and breakaway from the shackles of fake heterosexual mimicry and also, not hurt Kathleen's feelings.

I mostly thought Kathleen would hang up on me and I would be free from having to further explain my behavior, but instead she seemed shocked about the reversal of plans but agreed to go to the movies with me. I abruptly told her I would call her later.

This reaction of her's made me feel ever so much worse. She was willing to for-go the prom and just go out to the movies. I couldn't believe it. I was mortified.

I had never really felt much for Kathleen. Our dates were nearly totally pluetonic. Light non-French kissing and hugs, very innocent. To me she was no more than a "beard" but also a fairly pleasant friend but not a really good one. She was too...passive. Part of me was disgusted by her.

I called her back after an hour or 2 and told her that I couldn't go out to the movies, either. She sweetly and so innocently asked...why? I told her I found another girl and was dumping her. I told her I was sorry and she cried and hung up. I never spoke with her again. In the end...I couldn't even tell her the whole truth.

That night I went to "The Loft" and met up with Roger. We danced, laughed and embrassed each other. We shared drinks together and talked about our interests and desires. We hugged, kissed and groped each other. As our hard cocks beckoned to be set free of our tight designer jeans we hurried out to my 1972 Chevy Astra wagon, got in the back and fucked like horny bunnies. Roger topped me and it was the first time I had been fucked. We fogged-up the windows of my car, attracting the attention of a few other leaving patrons going to their cars in the parking lot...some of them, probably, to do the same thing themselves.

David and I went out a few more times but we had difficulty at that age in getting together for sex. We both lived at our respective parents homes. He too was only 18.

By the fall of that year he had moved off to some college far from Rhode Island and I never saw him again.

Of all the FLASHBACK memories of my life, this one, in which I so dramatically and perhaps cruelly "came out", tends to be the most remembered.

Post From The Sanity-Free Zone


Not so unusual historically for me, I quit my job on a whim a couple weeks ago.

Yup. Just had enough.

So I am busy looking at other prospects. One place seems likely. It is even closer to home...less of a walk, and it pays commission.

It was rather disgusting how at the other place the client company was practically forcing us to sell (although it was never worded as such to keep the sales-job-phobic reps pacified) migrations.

Put my resume for public view on monster.com this time and, wow!, getting unsolicited job offers calling. Luckily I got my Tracfone specifically for business use only so I know it's a job call when it rings. What an age we live in where you can have multiple phones for multiple uses. Like the landline I use for this internet connection (ugh, yes dial-up, I know! It sucks, but alas, I am poor, boo hoo!)...we use it just for that. I think I used it once to make a call for pizza delivery since it was right there, you know? Hopefully noone tries to call us on that line, BTW, since we shut the ringer off and wouldn't even know if someone was trying to call.

Times like this though is when I miss a car the most. Well, got noone to blame but myself for that now, do I?

Ric has been okay about this "transition". In past years he was quite the jerk, but though he is worried (it's his nature...he's a worry-wort) he is not haughty or "Daddy-esque".

I do suspect though, that Ric is a pod person...an "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" facimile of the original Ric that went into the treatment program and never came out. It's okay though. This alien version is a lot more predicatable and we're doing nice sober-friendly activities like renting DVDs, playing RISK and Scrabble, playing raquetball. He was saying he was even thinking of buying an XBOX360, but when I told him the price he toned down that tune...yet I did suggest a PS2 might be more affordable an right now has a lot more titles to choose from. He might get that for Christmas. Yay!

I talked to Phil last week. He called me after noticing I was out a few days from work. Phil knows I'm a slacker so being out a couple days didn't garner any concern, but when 3 and 4 days went by, he knew something was up. I told him I quit, but no hard feelings, just wasn't thrilled about the job and hated being there. You know you need to quit when you look at the clock literally 20 times a day and each time, even just before end of shift, you keep sighing that it's not over yet.

Well, as I am sitting here typing this, Mildred's CD/DVD-ROM drive is making funny noises, though it should need to access any CD right now. Don't tell me it's gonna fail...again!

A running joke in our household when I was growing up was that if anyone bought my Mom an electric can opener as a gift, it was doomed. My Mom knew her way around the kitchen very well, and used appliances like can openers properly and with care, but it didn't matter...them suckers just kept on breaking! It was a weird jinx.

Well, CD-ROM drives are for me what electric can openers were for her. This Mildred (remember, she is the 10th) alone has gone through 2 already. Though, yes I've had to replace other components of 'puters over the years (like hard drives...what a bitch when they die!) none so frequently as CD-ROM drives. And this current one is a nice DVD burner and all. Arrrgh!

Anyway, it's now "...8:15 in the city..." and I gotta get ready for an interview scheduled for today so I can soon be singing "Workin' Nine To Five!". (I think I'd make a great drag version of Dolly!)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Welcome Back!....You Knew Your Dreams Were The Ticket Out!

Unlike Mr. Kotter, Ric didn't have to endure the task of trying to deal with Barbarino, Epstien and Horshack.

Well he's back and he seems okay.

He's going on and on on how great sobriety is!

But it's (so far) not in a preachy...follow my rightous lead or burn in hell...way.

We'll see what happens.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

The Long-Awaited Return is Near!


No... Not "Him"...but Ric.
(Though Ric may think he is the Messiah, he, undoubtedly is most certainly not!)

He should be "set free" on the 14th.

His friend Scott in Indiana and I have been postulating what he will be like when he returns.

Scott remembers first-hand, a few years back, when Ric had underwent out-patient program for drug addiction (crack cocaine). Ric became all "Holier Than Thou" and chided his family and friends who were continuing to be "users" of their "drug of choice". He was a Born-Again prohibitionist and felt everyone in the whole world should take on the challenge of ridding themselves of drugs and alcohol like he had been so victorious in doing.

I empathize with the feeling of superiority on achieving a milestone re-invention of habits and personality. As indicated in the last FLASHBACK, I too had underwent a similar transformation over a decade ago, though not with the assistance of faith-based brainwashing and 12-step program psudo-psychology. I did it by sheer willpower. Since I did it alone, I thought myself pretty close to being God. My, how my facade as tumbled over the years...I now see how powerless I really was and continue to be.

But anyways (as we say in "Woonsock-ET", the Franco-Canadian-New England dialect of my humble hometown), Scott thinks he will again don his shiny halo and attempt to be the Carrie Nation of Lake Mary, bestowing words of his Wisdom heavily laden with misdirected blame, faultless conceit, AA slogans and Bible Belt Ol' Time Religion.

I have been talking to him at least 3 times a week by phone, of course, so I'm not too sure. I've seen Ric on one of his Wagon Rides before and frankly, although he hasn't said so directly, I don't think he's apt to change a thing. In fact, I predict he will have a nice big blow-out on the evening of his release and will likely be hitting almost every bar he hasn't been banned from in town!

I better call the Coors Brewing Company and have them make extra deliveries of Coors Light to the neighborhood watering holes. They're going to need to be well stocked!

You see, he will be released on the 14th. His next court date when he presents the physician assessed results of his month-long stay, and, when, subsequently, he will have the remaining bits and pieces of his sentence imposed, will be the 28th. That gives him 2 weeks of "Last Days of Pompeii". He's still off on LOA from work 'till December. Let the Bachnalia reign! This is how Ric thinks. Once the sentence is handed down, then we may see the Second Coming of the Lord of Sobriety!

Soon we will know which Ric is to emerge.

So very soon....

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

FLASHBACK: April 1992

Smash!!

In disgust at his "perfect life", I reached into the far left cabinet near the sink, pulled out one of my leaded crystal goblets I bought several years earlier, rarely used but kept for special occassions, and hurled it at Wayne's closed bedroom door shortly after he bid me goodnight, went into his room and closed his door. It shattered loudly into a million pieces.

Wayne was a friend of my best friend Linda.

Linda introduced me to Wayne in 1990 with the hopes we would be a match. Linda loved playing Dolly Levi, Matchmaker. She even did it, in a way, for a living through her Friends Program at the Blackstone Valley Center for Retarded Citizens. She arranged for dates among the clientelle of the program. She and I while I worked there and even after I left Blackstone Valley, supported this important social resource for the developmentally disabled.

We went one one date and although he had a great personality, I knew it would go no where as a relatonship.
1. He was way too hairy on his body, and was balding on his head, big turn off for me.
2. He was one of the most swich fags I've known outside of the bar queens. I need a man.
3. He had a very long nail on the pinky finger of his right hand . I mean, really about 3 inches. He said it was just a "fashion statement" but I was convinced that it was for snorting coke. (It turns out as years went on and I got to know him that it was indeed just a fashion fad.)

I didn't reconnect with Wayne until Christmas of 1991.

On December 7, 1991 I encountered one of the first major instances of frustration with trying to come clean from alcohol abuse.

I had resolved a week earlier to rid my life of alcohol. I had noticed that I was drinking an average of a case of beer a week and it was affecting even my non-drinking thinking...that is, even after the hangover and subsequent sobriety, I was left with periods of doubt, ineffective thinking, and diminished cognitive abilities. I was also gaining weight again having lost the 50 or so excess pounds I gained in 1987. I was up to 240 lbs.

On this day, I opened my fridge and saw on the condiment shelf an unopened can of Coors Light. (That was my favored beer back then).

Within seconds I was one my knees in front of the open fridge, crying my eyes out. I was torn. I wanted so much to drink it, but I also so much wanted to not drink it.

For alcoholics out there, I think only you could relate. The feeling is so disturbing. You don't know which impulse is really you...the you you have supposedly known all your life.

Eventually I succeeded in dumping the beer down the drain but it was not the end of my struggles over the next few months.

Around Christmas-time I knew that living alone was a detriment...too much freedom to drink. I found out that Wayne had just moved to a small apartment in a gay-enclave area of Providence, but wasn't really happy about the size of his loft studio apartment and the high rent.

I arranged through Linda to meet with Wayne again. Other than our ill-fated date, Wayne and I had been together in the fall of 1991 to arrange and attend Linda's 40th birthday bash with rented limo and reservations at her favorite Arabic restaurant in Worcester so it hadn't been that long ago I had spoken with him. (I had seen him at at least one Blackstone Valley theatrical event he was working for as well...he worked at Blackstone Valley Center (BVC) with Linda...at the time I was working for Northern RI Assoc. of Retarded Citizens (aka NRARC))

Wayne and I got together and subsequently went out to our favorite club "12 Caesars" a few times.

Though now we were on a purely pluetonic relationship, we bacame very close friends very quickly.

We both agreed it would be a great idea to rent an apartment in a safe neighborhood in Providence together in February 1992.

By March we had found our perfect apartment. Affordable, spacious, and recently remodeled. the landlord, Dan, a yuppie/preppie himself, immediately realized the value of renting to gays and was head-over-heels in desire to have us sign the lease. Wayne and I felt it was the right place so we signed a 1 year lease with him.

Wayne and I were on very opposite shifts so even though we now lived together we didn't really get to know each other fully, early on.

He would wake up around 6 am to go to his 8 am to 5 pm job and I would wake about 9 pm to go to my 11 pm to 8 am job. He liked to get at least 8 hours of sleep so he usually went to bed around 9:30. So we'd see each other for about 1/2 hour each day.

Even though I initially wanted to stop drinking altogether, I slowly found myself easily slipping into a habit again.

I sanctioned some of the drinking, at first, as sleep-endusing assistance.

Since I was on a thrird shift schedule, I needed chemically help to overcome fatigue during work hours...easy enough! COFFEE!! and I drank lots of it. But when I got home in the morning I needed to wind down in order to sleep while the sun is up, the neighbor kids are playing, the cars zooming by, etc. So I started taking nightcaps. At first just a few beers before lying down, but I felt I needed more and more so I eventually bu April was up to a 12-pack and half a fifth of bourbon every 2 days.

That fateful April afternoon I had run out of Jim Beam after drinking a few beers and a few shots of the remaining bourbon. I got in my car, drove to the neighborhood package store (can only buy liqour in Rhode Island from package stores), bought another fifth of Jim Beam an brought it home.

Wayne came home at 5:30 or so and I could hear him outside playing with the neighborhood kids. The little rugrats had been part of the reason I was still up, they were loud and obnoxious little punks. Still Wayne got along with them and I could hear he was enjoying entertaining them. Wayne is the type that gets along with anyone! He generally likes all kinds of people!!

I don't remember waht occurred over the next few hours but all I remember is feeling that he didn't care about me. He cared more about the little neighborhood brats than he did about me.

For some drunken-induced reason, this pissed me off greatly.

The throwing of the glass though, was a total impromtu impulse. And, within seconds of doing it I was shocked at what I had done and come to realize I was so NOT in-control!!

This was the first time in my life where I felt I was not capable of controlling my own actions and it scared the hell out of me!

When Wayne came out of his room and questioned me in shock about why I had done what I did, I couldn't come up with any reason. I just started to ball loudly and Wayne came over and hugged me and held me while I cried harder than I ever had on his shoulder for what seemed like hours.

The next day I vowed to never drink again.

I handed over the remainder of my Jim Beam to Wayne, he stored it away and he took on a few Al-Anon meetings to be able to deal with his alcoholic roommate.

I "came out" as a recovering alcoholic to work, friends and anyone else who would listen. I was free of the effects of alcohol in my life and proud of it.

I went on a subsequent diet and fitness program and turned my life around.

I lost over 65 lbs., adopted a philosophy of healthy living, stayed sober totally for at least 4 years and kept slim and fit with regular exercise for at least 6 years.

A Call From Park Place

Ric called about an hour ago. He says he was rushed to the hospital last night because during his intake interview his blood pressure, which was being monitored, was spiking higher and higher. Ric has high blood pressure but refuses to take medication for it. Now he has been placed on medication. He says he will discontinue it once he is out of there.

He didn't mention much more of what it was like there since I told him I was not able to get into the mailbox today and he is worried I will not be able to get his credit card bills and pay them with the prepared checks he has left. My key, for some reason, didn't seem to want to open the mailbox. I'll easily get this fixed since we have a spare key incase mine is defective somehow, but, of course, the worry-wort he is, he was fixated on this issue during our short phone conversation. Apparently there is a time limit on calls.

His speech seemed slurred and he mentioned he was tired because of the blood pressure medication. It seemed to make him forgetful as he couldn't recall some simple details during our conversation.

Meanwhile tonite I made American Chop Suey (macaroni, ground beef, spaghetti sauce and chopped onion...a real no-brainer meal), sucked down a six-pack of Killian's Irish Red and am sipping a bottle of Pepperwood Grove Cabernet right now.

Should I be in there with Ric?

I kinda envy the fact that he will have no excuse to NOT quit drinking.

He'll probably loose a good amount of weight due to less beer-supplied calories and mediocre institutional meals.

As mentioned before in a previous post, and supported by personal experience of a past recovery effort by Ric from his life-long friend Scott, Ric will likely become more of a ravenous zealot once he is released, and I'm not too looking forward to that, for sure.

It is a bit lonely without him here. Very quiet!

I think Ric doesn't really realize how much I actually do care for him.

I think I'll make a greater effort to make him aware of this when he returns.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

DO NOT PASS GO!! DO NOT COLLECT $200 !!

Well, fortunately it's not a direct sentence to county jail, just rehab for a month.

Finally, Ric and I went to his Pre-Trial last week and his lawyer made some arrangement with the prosecutor so that Ric would be able to avoid jail time and do 30 days in a treatment inhouse program. The revisitation of his case upon the acceptance of this treatment was determined to be Nov. 29.

Ric states that his lawyer said he may be reduced to a reckless charge misdemeanor rather than 3rd DUI felony. That would be very beneficial for his job.

But the treatment facility he is entering as of this evening is called Park Place Behavioral Health...thus the Monopoly connection.

Hopefully he will get the treatment he needs. You, loyal reader, have been witness to the issues I've dealt with with him regarding his drinking.

I, in the meantime, have a month with the house to myself...woo hoo!!!

Hope I don't burn it down! LOL!!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Just Another Ordinary Day or maybe My Own Ulysees-esque "Bloomsday"

Woke up at 6:12, just before the alarm clock was due to go off at 6:15. I frequently perform this little phenomenon of waking just before the alarm. Odd my sub-conscious can keep an internal sense of time, yet when conscious I am forever glancing at my watch or a clock to check the time.

Walked to work without incident, traffic very light. But then it always is everyday, isn't it? Though I-4 was jammed with cars, I smirked in defiance at the gas-guzzling metalic masters and their hapless, zombified enslaved humans trapped inside them as I passed on the bridge overhead. I strolled easily all the way to work with not one other pedestrian causing a sidewalk traffic jam.

The weather is getting just slightly more mild here in Central Florida...great for outdoor activities but one big ugly side-effect is the fact that most large building AC systems haven't been tweaked to compensate (like work, stores, etc.) so that they tend to get very cold indeed by afternoon-time. So, while it's a mild walk to work, I will freeze by end of shift. Yikes!

Today was one of those hell days at work. Crotchety caller after crotchety dumb-as-fuck caller! To make it worse, since I slept poorly, my mental capacity was well below par and it made even the simplest of problems difficult. (Ever have one of those days where you swear you're Charlie in "Flowers For Algernon" AFTER the experiment starts to fail!)

Phil is a good guy and I enjoy spending time with him at the parks and all, but his ultra-sweet demeanor with these callers is an injustice to the carefully crafted attitude of emotional-displacement/aloofness/sublime distain that most of us "seasoned" (aka "jaded and burned-out") CSRs have developed with experience. Ah, he's a nubie! He'll learn. (I so feel like David Spade in the Capital One commercials, he he!)

Phil gave me a ride to Albertson's where I bought some rather meager groceries since last week I had to visit the Walk-In Clinic to have my little fleshy blob (nick-named "Ralph" by the nurse) near my right arm pit removed. It got inflamed and threatened to be accidentally ripped off. $195, thank you, for 10 minutes, a pair of scissors and what amounts to a battery-operated souldering iron! But, at least I didn't bleed to death as would have been the outcome had I attempted the proceedure myself. Yea!

Ric is home BTW. He started his LOA (for his clinical depression, aka, preparation for his trial and possible ensuing 30-day jail sentence) last Thursday and already he is unknowingly making waves in my preferred routine.

Came home this afternoon and he proudly announced he made dinner. Oh yes, and the house reeked of it! Chicken tacos... (how difficult! he must have slaved in the kitchen for hours! LOL!!) ...and spiced so much as he likes it, with a cup and a half of garlic salt in the mixture (it tasted like it!).

TV...his preferred programming. Though I liked his choice. We watched the second half of "Frequency" with Dennis Quaid...excellent movie. I had seen it at least 2 times before. Some really huge gaps in the logic of the plot but it is a "time-travel-in-a-way" sci-fi/suspense flick so you have to take the science of it with a grain of salt (or a mouth full of Ric's chicken tacos which supply a lot more than just a grain of salt!)

We then popped in a DVD Phil lent me called "The Final Cut" with Robin Williams. Deeeeeep! But despite my penchant for "intelligent" movies, I think the director of this film was aiming too high. The science in it really had no foundation in reality and though Robin did a good job, I think he was trying just a little too hard. The traumatic childhood incident which haunted Robin's character was seemingly tragic, but a man in his profession (a "cutter", a final editor, if you will, who reviews a digital playback of a dead person's life in all it's highs and lows and presents a sanitized, neat Remembrance video for loved once at the funeral) would have nullified his own experience by the no-doubt more horrific sins and mistakes of his clients' lives. Or, at least, not have been so utterly obsessed with it to the point of hysteria...I just didn't buy it.

After the movie, I made a ramen noodle snack (well, actually 2 packs of Nissin noodles and a can of Campbell's chicken and wild rice soup mixed in!) and went here to play with Mildred while Ric watched "Supernatural" a new TV series. I have gotten into only a few TV shows this season...

"Surface" on NBC. I like the first 2 episodes but last nights was a bit of a drag. The biggest special effect of the night was either the "once daring and enterprising scientist turned Pentagon sell-out" using the creature's "fluids" to make his hand impervious to the flame of a bunsen burner, or, the "nerdy pre-pubescent teenage boy and his best buddy sidekick's" playhouse-turned-baby-beast-hideaway getting struck by lightning! Woo Hoo! Let's hope it gets better.

"Lost" on ABC. It's an enigma, wrapped in a riddle, inside a mystery! Or some shit like that! I have the strong suspicion that the show's writers brainstorm each week and come up with the next episode's quicky twists and turns of plot on the fly. Probably not, but it has that..."Hey, what if they found this!!!", or "What about if they saw this!!" feel.

"Invasion" on ABC right after "Lost". Im 50/50 on this one though. It seems like it is trying to be like "Lost" where there is very little evidence for what is going on until they have time to use many "tense" and "emotional" scenes for character-building. That way, when more of the "alien" mystery is slowly revealed, we, the audience feel more of a connection to the character's experience. Problem is though, it's done pretty much in "real-time", not "flashbacks" like "Lost". Also, the whole "alien-body-snatchers" (if that's where they're going) is sooooo over done.

Well, it's getting a bit late and I do need to be up at 6:00, so....I think I'll quickly check out the boys on "Flirt 4 Free", briefly zip over to Corbin Fisher's to see if he's updated or not yet (maybe get in a quick self-gratification), sip a bit more of my iced pink lemonade Crystal Light and let my pretty little Benedryls take me away to La La Land!

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

FLASHBACK: Fall 1997

I met him online in a Male-for-Male forum on AOL. AOL was a lot more liberal back then and though there may be restrictions on it now, the Gay and Lesbian Forum back then had plenty of opprortunity to view bios and pictures of potential Mr. Right's or Mr. Right-Now's.

I was no stranger to hooking up with fuck buddies over the "Information Superhighway" as was the moniker in the early days.

I first found "satisfaction" in an on-line BBS, dialed up with an ancient 2400 Baud Modem in 1993 to a site headquartered in Iowa (of all gay places!) called Modem Men BBS. This cost a subscription price which is probably equivalent (not accounting for inflation) to the common porn sites today of the median $25-$35 per month range. PLUS!, back then, before the widespread availability of the Internet and local dial-up ISP numbers, there was the long distance costs which applied by calling the BBS line in their local area code. I lived in Rhode Island and called Iowa. Long Distance. Very Expensive. I remember $80-$100 long distance charges per month, back then!!!!

His name was Justin and from the IM and email conversations we had after I responded to his modest personal post on the MTM Forum on AOL, we were quite a match.

Intellectually he could keep pace with every ever increasingly difficult query I posed to him. For the bright people of the world, this is not a test as such but a mating ritual, to be sure there was indeed compatibility.

He had a huge Great Dane named Buckminster Fuller-Beans. When I was easily able to determine the inspiration for the name as the noted engineer Buckminster Fuller, designer of the Geodesic Dome, he seemed quite surprised as noone before had surmised this.


When I finally met Justin in Septmeber of 1997, I felt he was "The One". And, perhaps, at the time, he felt as well. We moved ahead in relation terms VERY quickly. Over he next 2 weeks I would go to work in the morning and immediately return to Justin's apartment in Lake Mary in the afternoon. We would watch a VCR movie or 2, get amourous, fuck, then fall asleep. This was the same pattern for the full 2 week period. We rarely went out together, usually only a foray to the area fast food restaurants in his town of Lake Mary (now, ironically, my home town).

Justin was the quintessential twink. Blond, very young, very smooth, and swimmers build. But what I didn't realise when we first hooked up was his penchant for the Trinity of Relationship-Killers in the gay community:
1. Drag Queens: He so much wanted to be one but he was no-where near Central Florida Club standard so he was ostricized and becaus of it was "A Bitter Queen"!
2. Club Culture: he was just starting (at the tender age of 23) to experience the dangers of the club scene: aloof, bitch queen-hag aquantences, bad sexual encounters, exposure to copious amounts of drugs, and an overall perversion that the gay lifestyle was only about physical experience.
3. "Adonis-Perfect" Imaginering: Justin loved the fact that I had a good build, had dark hair and green eyes, and especially marvelled at my big dick! But he also wanted my personality to fit into his Mind's-Eye image of his perfect mate. My frank, sometimes too abrasive and ascerbic attitude, at times very focused on and verbal comments about what i may percive as right or wrong...for whatever audience may be, may have confliced with his ideal mate's views.

We travelled to his family's homestead in Ocala and entered the empty main-house of the plantation-style dwelling of his ancestors. He got really weird and pulled a chiffon dress out of the closet and put it on and wanted me to fuck him in it. Not my style at all so I didn't partake!

He was able to convince his roommate to lend him his small pick up truck in late September to allow me to transport my big apatment possessions from Orlando to Altamonte Springs. (I couldn't affort to keep up rent in my one bedroom apartment in South Orlando so I went to the GLCS (Gay and Lesbian Community Services) and found a compatible rooomate situation in Altamonte Springs...15 miles north of where I was living but only 7 miles from Justin's house, and 5 miles from work.)

During the transit, as I was driving the truck (since it was standard and Justin only knew automatic), my mattress flewoff the back of the truck in the wind and I had to circle around to retrieve it, though Justin was in the back of the truck assigned to keep the mattress stable. Needless to say I was not a happy camper and as we drove down the final stretch of road towards my new home in Altamonte, I barked at Justin because I saw the mattress was coming loose again.

Justin later commented on how hurt he was by my attitude toward him. He felt I was too violent-sounding.

Justin broke up with me on his birthday, October 3, 1997.

We stayed in touch over the next few months and occassionally went out to Southern Nights (our favorite Orlando gay club) for a while but after a failed reunion attempt on our part which involved coke-snorting and a near-four-way orgy, Justin called a halt to any resumption of our affair and I carried out my plan to move back to the security and sanity of Rhode Island.

In late January 1998, I left Florida with all my worldly possessions to return to my home state of Rhode Island.

The result was, of course, failure, and I'll highlight more in future FLASHBACKs.

But, to get back to the topic at hand, I saw Justin after I returned to Florida in March 1998, but our interaction wasn't long. I sucked face with one of his friends as he looked on in glee at Southern Nights.

When I returned the next week, I saw hide 'nor hair of him and his friends.

I've never seen him since.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Photos of The Former 'Hoods

Thanks to MSNBC, I was able to copy and crop these bird's eye views of the neighborhoods I stayed at in New Orleans...

Of course my Spain Street home got the worst flooding, being close to the 17th Street levee breach and the shores of Lake Pontchartrain. In this photo, the structure I lived in is completely immersed! BTW, Alicison and Albert, who lived in the main house seen above the caption, are fine! As well as the dogs Reece and Shep. Stay safe guys!

The 2 houses I lived at in 2003. The blue one first in the spring and the orange roofed one in the fall. Sandra is the sweet landlady. Alicison used to live on the first floor of the 2nd house at that time as well. My apartment was on the 2nd floor. I had a great view of the New Orleans skyline as this house is only a mile or two away from the CBD/French Quarter.

The long white house on the northwest corner of this intersection is Jay and Reagan's house. This is a before photo. There wasn't an after shot available, but the neighborhood is flooded. Hope the ferret is okay ;)

Sunday, September 11, 2005


Oh Metrobius!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

In Katrina's Wake

In 1985 I painted one of my favorite oil paintings, "In Gloria's Wake". It was a seascape created as a composite of a couple of photos of the storm ravaged beach homes and a lighthouse from the Cape Hatteras area that summer when Hurricane Gloria tore up the east coast. Gloria affected New England as well so after seeing the photos in Time or some magazine like that I decided to paint a beach scene depicting a hurricane wasted landscape. It was a cool painting, very dramatic. I gave it to my friend Linda and she loved it. She proudly hung it in her front hall of her home and, I would expect, to this day it is still there.

Hurricane Gloria was the first time I experienced a hurricane first-hand. I was working at Wrentham State and being direct care staff at this institution, I had to drive into work despite the fact a state of emergency had been declared and driving was prohibited. Sure enough, with my luck with police, I was stopped but after I explained my job, I was alowed to proceed.

The hurricane was still a couple hours away but the feeder band gusts had caused some tree damage and I had to drive carefully since many branches were littering the roadways.

After I arrived at work, as the hurricane was passing over this area of southeastern Massachussetts, the windows of the residence building I worked in rattled and the scene outside of rain and wind was intimidating. We workers had to be subtle in our reaction to the storm so as not to distress the clients. But in fact the clients, being as they were mostly profound to severely MR were pretty much unaware of the hazards of such a storm.

Hurricane Bob was a more intense storm a few years later but it didn't pass over northern RI, it struck Newport hard but I think it veered northeast after that so I don't remember it so well.

Hurricanes have always scared me. I used to have nightmares as a kid of tornados and hurricanes alot.

Last year, I was fortunate to have not had to experience the hurricanes that hit here in Central Florida. I had left Florida for New Orleans in August and a few weeks later the Orlando area got hit by the first of three storms that summer/fall.

While in New Orleans, I did decide to stay in my little cottage to ride out Ivan.

All the same precursers and preparations for that storm were as with Katrina (except the Mandatory evac, it was Voluntary).

Ivan missed N.O. and it was no worse than a severe thunderstorm for much of the area. Except for the lakeside.

I lived near the intersection of Robert E. Lee Blvd. and Elysian Fields Blvd. The day after Ivan passed near, I walked to the nearby Lakeside Park bordering Lake Pontchartrain. The waters of the lake had flooded the park and Lakeside Drive. They eventually receded over the next few days and New Orleans soon got back to normal, thankful it had been spared again.

Well, not this time.

I'm distressed about what is going on right now in New Orleans. It will take a long time to recover.

My mind keeps bringing up memories of the friends, neighbors and co-workers I knew and what their fate might be right now...

Jay and his family...even Regan though she and I never really got along well. I'm sure their house is under water...I wonder if the ferret survived?

Alicison and Albert? Their homes were surely affected by the floods. Alicison evacuated for Ivan without a moments hesitation last year so I'm sure she got out...but what will she come back to? She'll probably move back closer to her family in Alabama. She's been through so much these past couple of years, she didn't need this. Albert's been through hell too. He won't leave N.O. though, it's his hometown. Everyone he knows and loves is in New Orleans. His family's been there for generations.

Parker, Murray co-workers Dixie, Robert, Cathy, Jennifer, and Chris?

John and Laurel from USG?

The streetcar operator with the cheap lime-green framed sunglasses?

Sandra on Dorgenois?

And I think of my favorite places...what has become of them.

I already saw my favorite mall in Metarie was heavily damaged.

What about the great chinese restaurant with the fabulous Mandarin Chicken a block away from there?

Jackson Square?

City Park and Audubon Park?

Oz and the Bourbon Pub?

Six Flags New Orleans and the great MegaZeph "wooden" rollercoaster?

My heart truely goes out to all these people and the great places of New Orleans and vicinity as they hopefully are safe, and remain so...in Katrina's wake.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Adventure Lives On!


Finally, after more than 2 years, I'm back!

Back at Universal Orlando Theme Parks with a 2-Park Power Pass.

Unlimited visits for a full year to either park, barring some blackout dates.

My first pass was purchased in spring of 1999. Within 6 months, my friends and I visited the parks well over a dozen times. That year and the next was the "Era of the Theme Park" for Ric, Jay, occassionally Steve and Roger, and me.

We all worked together at DM and the office was, convieniently, only about half a mile away from Universal. It was mostly Jay and I who ventured together to Disney and Sea World as well. During those years I had annual or seasonal passes to all three park clusters (Universal, Disney and the Anhueser-Busch parks Sea World and, over in not-to-far (with a car) Tampa, Busch Gardens).

By fall of 2000, Jay and I were calling ourselves by our self-created character names (Capt'n Blowtox and Monkey Boy) so as to more "thematically" fit into the atmosphere of the parks. I think it just indicates how drunk we were most of the time.

Oh, those Glory Years were fun. But they didn't last forever.

Jay was fired from DM in the spring of 2000 and his subsequent financial collapse put a strain on "keeping up" with my spending and I was eventually picking up the tab for him too. But at an average of $80 a visit each (mind you, we had passes and his was still good 'till 2001 so we got in "free"...the $80 each went for food and drink...mostly drink!) we eventually gave up the park-hopping for much cheaper (and efficient, if getting fucked up was your goal, and then, mostly, it was) bar-hopping. By the new year 2001, he couldn't even afford that and we just stopped going out altogether. Also, he started taking up with, the (I guess) cheaper alternative, pot. He and his buddy Jason were busily constructing ever-more elaborate bongs and became Total Stoners. Then Jay moved to New Orleans. Well, actually I drove him and his truckload of crap including the semi-feral cat Sylvester to New Orleans...but that is another post ;)

I left DM in summer of 2000 and had some bad blood, in a way, between Roger and his sidekick Steve, so, needless to say we didn't hangout at the parks together anymore. I kept visiting with Jay and Ric, but after Ric got pissed about Jay becoming homeless and crashing at our place at Rosewood, and Jay subsequently shutting out Ric because of his attitude (what else is new), the three of us never went together to the parks again. I either went with Jay or Ric...kind of like when you get through the castle for Dueling Dragons and you must "Choose Your Fate...Fire or Ice?"

Ric met Gary in the fall of 2000 and from then on if he was apt to go to a park on his day off it was with Gary. Especially early in their relationship, they wanted to go by themselves as a date. By summer 2001, we all three, Ric, Gary and I would go together regularly, but it wasn't the same. Gary was a boyfriend. Plus, he had to mooch for everything. Thirdly, like all Ric and Gary interactions, it was rarely smooth and carefree like it was when your just hangin' with your buds...they never mutually respected each other so whether we actually stayed late enough for the nightly pyrotechnic shows, there were always "fireworks", ie. conflicts, whenever we went out together.

Yeah, the Glory Days of the Theme Parks Era were pretty much over by mid 2001. We eventually allowed our annual passes to lapse and eventually neglected to renew them. Like a precurser to my late 2002 financial collapse, I began losing my passes one by one...Disney: offers the most parks (4), but astronomically expensive (around $250 back then, close to $300 now). Universal, and eventually the cheaper but much more limited Sea World/Busch Gardens...you had to pick just one park...that sucked!

Which brings me to this past Friday. I played hooky from work (again) and decided it was high time I got the seasonal pass. Seasonal passes here in Orlando are really annual passes with just a few blackout dates. Unlike most theme parks around the country, the weather and the non-stop influx of tourists, keep the parks open year round. Six Flags parks, beachside landmark amusement parks like Coney Island, and mega-coaster meccas like Cedar Point all have their lure, but they aren't open Every Day of the Year, baby! Plus, they are a full 12 months from date of purchase, so I'm good now 'till mid August 2006.

It was great. Though alone, I did my usual conversation strike-ups, especially with foriegn tourists, to enhance my "vacation" experience. Jay and I used to meet people all the time this way. It's fun and oh-so-weirdly uncomplicated striking up conversations with total strangers while you're in line for a ride, getting to know about them and their lives and you sharing stuff about yourself, building a little temporary friendship, riding the ride and then parting to go separate ways to other attractions in the park. I especially love meeting "first-timers" for a particular ride and watching their expression, especially if they are timid of rollercoasters. It reminds me of when in those Glory Days of Yore, I too was a "first-timer".

Needless to say I can't wait to get my mileage outta this $130 pass. Without a car it's a bit tricky, but it can be done. I will have fun this year. Like the TV ads that ran recently for Universal Theme Parks, I feel like my jobs and need to keep working my "nose to the grindstone" (there's another one of those really odd, confusing and disturbing sayings) over the past 2 years are conspiring to keep me away from my "vacation".

Well, dammit! I tore up roots from my comfy little life with all the built-in support systems in Rhode Island years ago in order to live the Good Life in "Vacationland USA". I planned too long and too hard for this life.

So like the archway at IOA says in the photo above...

...The Adventure Lives On...

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Loco For "Locomotion" Explained

I have gone nuts for this very simple but addictive computer game called "Chris Sawyer's Locomotion". Like most of the games I buy it is a simulation/strategy game where you have scenarios to complete. Your task is to build a transport empire in various time periods utilizing the existing transit technology of that decade. Buses, trucks, trains, ships and planes are built and managed by you to transport people and commodities around the map, allowing the cities to grow and your company's value and cash to rise.

The game was produced just last year but it was already in the Bundleware pile at Wal-Mart. $15 for this and Roller Coaster Tycoon 2 Triple Thrill Pack (made by the same guy, Chris Sawyer) bundled together. Not bad.

The graphics are retro but in games like these playability and AI are more important and it does a fairly okay job in those areas. It is not the best game in my slowly-rebuilding library, but it can chew up time as effectively and effortlessly as Civilization III: Conquests.

Speaking of Civ, Civ IV is due out soon. Too bad Mildred is way too weak to handle it. Boo hoo.

Who's Mildred? Why this computer of course. Actually, she is named Mildred X, as in "the 10th".

Mildred X is the 10th PC I've owned.

Here's the timeline of the succession of the Mildreds:

1992-1995 Mildred I 386sx 33MhZ 4MB RAM
1995 Mildred II 486dx
1995 Mildred III 486sx
1995-1996 Mildred IV 486dx
1996 Mildred V Intel Pentium I 100MhZ 32MB RAM
1996-1998 Mildred VI Intel Pentium I MMX 120MhZ 32MB RAM
1998-2001 Mildred VII AMD K6-2 3-D Now! 300MhZ 64MB RAM 4G HDD
2001 Mildred VIII AMD K6-2 3-D Now! 300MhZ 64MB RAM 20G HDD
2001-2004 Mildred IX AMD Athlon XP 1800+ 1.5GhZ 256MB RAM
2004-now Mildred X Intel Celeron 1GhZ 256MB RAM 2) 20G HDDs

I know, technically Mildred VII and VIII are the same except for a hard drive upgrade but VIII didn't last long anyway. She came into being because VII's hard drive fried and I ran out and bought a new hard drive, got it home and found out that I had, over the years, lost my bootleg copy of Windows 98. So I broke out my credit card and had to buy a full version of the then most recent Windows ME. The bitch is if I could have just endured another month without a computer, I could have bought a full version of the much better Windows XP which had yet to debut. But I was impatient.

Mildred IX's power supply bought the farm last summer and because of the chaos of last year I was sans 'puter for several months until they were getting rid of some PC's at my then workplace in New Orleans and I was able to pick this baby from the trash heap for free.

It's a downgrade and I will need to save up for the next Mildred to play the oh-so-3D games of late but it's okay for now. Play Locomotion well, and lately, that's what it's all about, baby!

Well I'm playing hooky from work today (naughty me, tee hee!) so I got the whole day to play with myself...er, ah, via the computer game, of course! (wink)

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


Loco For "Locomotion"

Monday, August 01, 2005

Another Wild and Crazy Weekend!

This was my weekend on at work so I was, relatively speaking, the good boy, but not Ric.

It seems like he is in a contest to see if he can out do himself each weekend lately. I know it has to do with his building anxiety about the trial coming up...eventually. I think he knows he's running out of delay tactics. His lawyer is good but, come on people, even if you waive the whole "speedy trial" right, it won't postpone it forever! Especially a felony, I would think.

Ric came home Saturday night around 8:30 and was already 3 sheets to the wind. (What does that saying mean anyway, did you ever wonder?) He was in a very loud mood. Jovial but obnoxious, of course. I'm used to him on the weekends by now, but a few things immediately went right up my ass.

1. I had just hunkered down to watch K-PAX, a great movie I've only seen once before and loved it so I was looking forward to seeing it again.

2. He was getting into the whole "just another organism" thing again to needle me, no doubt.
(About a month ago or so Ric and I had both gone out drinking and later adjourned to the kitchen and continued to drink some Coor's Lights. We got into our Christianity vs. atheism verbal swordplay again and I got pissed and told him we all are no more significant than single-celled organisms like bacteria...even Gary was no more important in the Universe than the thousands of germs I am killing now (then I smacked my hand palm-side down on the counter, wiping out, I would think, a few micro-organisms, though, I would hope, not thousands of them...I do keep a clean house!))
Granted this was an insensitive thing to say, but I was drunk and I don't rub my beliefs in his face as much as he preaches from his imaginary pulpit to me! It was inevitable to pop out of my mouth sometime.

3. As he was pulling another can of beer from the fridge, he said "I noticed the headboard is missing from your bed, you must have accidentally broke it and tossed it in the dumpster." I told him there never was a headboard on that bed and he smirked and said I didn't have to cover it up, it was okay with him.

Well, that did it. I turned off the TV and started in on him very adamantly. He was being a total jerk, not believing me at all, assuming I was now lying to cover up my attempt at deception because I was supposedly embarrased I had broke once of his furnishings or because I was afraid he was going to want me to pay him for it.

"THERE NEVER WAS ANY FUCKING HEADBOARD!!!", I screamed at him in a rage. I saw the look of a mix of shock and indignation on his face, and at first he started to apologize, I guess, finally realizing I was not lying, but I stormed off to my room and slammed the door, and, making it sound very audible, locked it. Then he started to get pissed I was yelling at him so he started screaming back at me through the door...saying shit like "I don't care about a headboard but if you really want to fight, then we'll talk about your "beliefs", then I can get into it!"

I soon calmed down alone in my room and eventually a few minutes later went out to pow wow with him and all was cool within a few more minutes. He really wasn't looking for a fight, he just didn't expect my reaction. But I hate it most when I am wrongly accused of something.

And, ultimately, I am getting very tired of his drunken weekends.

He says that when his sentence is handed down to him he will abide by the ruling and comply with the restriction on drinking in earnest for the duration of his probation which will be at least one year. I'll believe this when I see it. He's well into his chronic stage and heading quickly for critical, with his disease. He'll likely need to turn to the "Cult of AA" for support in his abstinence attempt. "All Hail the Power of the Higher Power!"

What's more, his religious zealotry will likely increase as his fears and anxieties build as August marches on into September, the likely trial month. Yay, I say to Thee Verily...more verbal "fire and brimstone" for the wicked heathen I am.

...Pardon the oxymoronic pun but..."God help me!"

Thursday, July 28, 2005

FLASHBACK: Christmas 1978

My sister got a guitar. It was a nice acoustic complete with needleworked shoulder strap. I remember my parents bright look of anticipation as my sister was unwrapping her largest gift, which was saved for last. I could tell they thought it was special. And my sister didn't disappoint...she just about broke into tears once it was revealed.

My parents were not rich and I now know that especially in those late '70's years, they were very much in debt having in just 3 years bought a house, furnished it with new furniture, remodeled the interior, in some cases taking out walls, installed a new back door (again, taking out walls), a new brick patio and first an above-ground pool and 2 years later replaced it with an inground pool. Oh, and new vinyl siding and roofing as well. All between 1975 and 1978.

We were all given very nice gifts each Christmas. My mother especially loved to go all out. I estimate they probably spent an average of $300 per kid. That's 3 kids. $900.

My father probably took home from his textile factory job about $300 a week then (actually pretty decent in 1978...yeah the powerful '70's unions!), my mother worked in a circuit-board manufacturing plant, don't know what income she made but it was piecework so if it meant rapidly soldering them capacitors in mass-quantities equaled more money for Christmas for her kids, my mom, no doubt, worked her fuckin' ass off.

We are primarily French-Canadian but, on my mother's side, are a bit Polish too so our Christmas traditions melded the two cultures perfectly. My mother would prepare days in advance for the Christams Eve dinner. Extended members of the family all came to our house because it was so popular. She and my father, and by '78 all us kids too, would help prepare the (phonetically spelled) Kapusta (pork, cabbage, sauerkraut and barley stew), Gowumpkies (rice and pork stuffed cabbage rolls), and especially labor intensive Pierogies (potato and cheese stuffed pasta turnovers). Regarding this dish, these were NOT the frozen things in the supermarket. They were pasta dough from scratch, filling from scratch, assembled, boiled and covered in sauteed onions from scratch. Hours of work, but the taste....totally worth it! For the French-Canadian portion, my father's mother, my Memere (there should be an accent above the last E in that French word for grandmother but I don't know what ALT-key combo produces it and don't care to try to find out, ;P) brought over the Pork Pies (cinnamon and clove spiced ground pork and potatoes in a pastry pie shell).

Like so many of the numerous parties my parents threw (they were party animals!), lots of beer and liquor would be quaffed by all the adult, and admittedly, some of the under-aged partiers. We kids, though not given free-reign to suck down as much as we could, were allowed at these occasions to have a "couple". That "couple" could all too easily be increased to "several" if we wanted, we each discovered.

Yes Christmas times in the late '70's were grand and I'll write more FLASHBACKs of X-Mas memories as this blog trods along in time, but for now, let me get back to that guitar.

The guitar brought about a new Cindy (my sister). She spent hours in her room studying instruction manuals on playing the guitar and tried to teach herself to play. It dominated her free time for the next several months. She did pick quite a bit from her self-tutoring, though she never became really well versed in it. With the skill of stroking out a chord here and there she then started turning her attention to song writing. Eventually her playing practice times waned as her her time devoted to writing songs increased. This shift occured progressively throughout the winter of '78/''79. By Spring of 1979 with the onset of pleasant weather, my sister pretty much abandoned her musical career aspirations in favor of outdoor activities.

But in those short months of my 13-year old sister's musically-creative burst, my sister did write and perform a few songs which, oddly enough, to this day so many years later are still remembered by me. She used a lot of gibberish words to compose her songs (perhaps she was saving the real words for another audience? More on those assumptions later). She liked folk-style songs and each of these tunes have a folk kinda' melody. I don't know music notation so I can't write down the melody but for each but think 19th century folk classics like "I've Been Working On The Railroad", mixed with John Denver and The Osmonds and that's the sound!

Song 1:

Colenegay Kalala Chum Chum Chum Chum,
Colenegay Kalala Chum Chum Chum Chum.

Song 2:

You and I,
We have been through much together,
and
although
You are Black and I am White...
Well Baby,
We!
We Can Make It Together!
We!
We Can Make It Together!
We-Can-Make-It-Together!
Like I Planned!

(And finally the ditty I was humming on the way to work this morning which inspired this post)
Song 3:

Saraspunda Saraspunda Saraspunda Ret-Set-Set,
Saraspunda Saraspunda Saraspunda Ret-Set-Set,
Adore-ay-oh,
Adore-ay-boom-day-oh,
Adore-boom-day-ret-set-set,
Awsay-Pawsay-Oh

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

FLASHBACK: Summer 1981

I had met Kathleen at a party earlier in the summer at the Providence home of one of the executive officers of the Rhode Island Chapter of Junior Achievement. The celebration was for the winners of the annual NAJAC awards. These awards were given out at the annual banquet at the oh-so-posh Biltmore Hotel L'Apogee Ballroom about a month earlier. Categories were in areas of business accomplishments such as Most Profitable Company, Top Salesperson, Most Innovative Product and Best Speaker, etc. I won for Best Speaker, I think (it was a long time ago and a whole different mindset:) Kathleen had been on one of the more profitable companies, I think, I really don't remember.

At the time I was still confused about my sexuality. I had already had a pretty hot fling with my best friend earlier that year but my love for him went unrequieted. He just wanted an easy blow job every now and again. I'll mention more of him in his own FLASHBACK some other time though. There are pages and pages of memories about him. Most of it sad and pathetic, I'm afraid.

Kathleen and I struck up a conversation and her attraction for me was very evident. Being shy and not one to come on strongly, I nearly missed the flirt but I caught it in time before the end of the party and arranged to go on a date with her.

On our first date we chose to go sailing. Her family had a house on the Kickamuit Estuary a body of water opening up towards the south into the larger Mount Hope Bay (itself eventually opening to the even greater Narragansett Bay) on the east coast of Bristol, Rhode Island, bordering Massachusetts.

The boat was a little fiberglass Sunfish. If you've never seen one, it's like a plastic rowboat with a sail on it. I had never been sailing before so Kathleen literally showed me the ropes. It was very easy and the boat was very manuverable since it was a warm and clear but gusty summer day.

We had decided at first to only sail to the head of the "river" where it meets the bay but since we were having such fun we decided to sail right into the bay. Once in the bay proper it really got exciting. Sailing a tiny boat which gets tossed around very handily by the smallest of waves into a broad expanse of salt water with deeper swells and choppy waters...let me tell you is quite invigorating and a little bit frightening.

Kathleen knew of a small sand spar in the middle of Mount Hope Bay called, plainly enough, simply Spar Island. It was just a spit of rocky/sandy land about 15 feet wide and 50 feet long and encrusted with empty and cracked shells of all kinds and lots of bird guano. I think she had the idea it would be a great little make-out spot, and from the empty and broken beer bottles and remains of crude campfires, so did other couples think that (...don't know where these past visitors had gotten the wood, of course there wasn't a tree, bush or even a notable sized patch of grass anywhere, maybe they brought it with them). I made no "move" on her, though (big surprise, huh?) and after some brief sunbathing decided to head back to the house.

On the trip back, I took the ropes in-hand and now that we were heading into the wind we had to tack back and forth along our general course to catch the head-on wind and fill our sail to move our boat in diagonals against the wind. I got a little too rambunctious and suddenly lost control of the sail. It filled with a strong gust of air and since we were not prepared properly to "go about" (shift weight on the boat by moving to one side to compensate for the pull of the sail to the other side), our boat promptly capsized.

As we were flipping over for some weird reason I wasn't the least bit concerned. I was thrilled and the unexpected plunge into the deep dark grey waters of the bay was welcomed. I even have a feeling in all honesty, hindsight being 20/20 and all, that I probably intentionally caused the "accident". This too despite being a couple miles at least from shore, and, being teenagers too cool to look pathetic wearing bright orange lifejackets, we were sans floatation vests.

Luckily, the water was relatively warm for New England sea water (nothing like the steamy piss water of Florida, of course) and Kathleen and I were very good swimmers. (Back then I had a tight swimmers build and powerful legs from biking). Also in our favor the Sunfish is really lightweight and watertight so it was a cinch righting it and bailing out the few gallons left in order to set her quickly on course again.

My big regret though was that my Sperry Top-Siders sank speedily to the bottom of Mount Hope Bay. Gee, they were so lightweight I would have thought they could float, but they didn't. Back in 1981 for us college-bound New England middle-class kids, it was "so the rage" to emulate the Preppy lifestyle, and a nice well-worn pair of Top-Siders were essential to the well-dressed preppy.

Kathleen and I would continue dating for the rest of that year and on up to the Spring of 1982. Our breakup at my insistance is a whole other episode though. We never had sex, yet we did make out and had some light petting. Really tame stuff. She was a pretty timid Catholic school girl and I probably came off to her as very respectful and pretty pious, but we know that wasn't why I was abstaining from making attempts at anything more than first base...she just didn't have the right junk down there, of course. Perhaps she even suspected I was gay but she never complained and never asked if I were or not.

Ask me no questions, and I'll tell you no lies.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Mirror, Mirror, On The Wall

This time of year in Florida reminds me of deep winter in Rhode Island. It's a time when weather plays a big role in your psychological health. If you haven't visited here or lived here in central Florida, let me tell you...it is HOT! I understand that for much of the country that is the case right now, but if you are in a northern state (North of say, Maryland), you know you will cool down by late August. Here, it may not be as intense or unexpected or unprepared, but it lasts a long time....October at least. And, as you should know, it's a humid heat...very uncomfortable!

Well, that's my little bitching about the weather, because I walk to work 3 miles each day. But, at least it's good exercise.

The past couple weeks have been very introspective. Odd dreams about my extant but incommunicato family, ups and downs in my tolerance of Ric and his ideosyncracies, and of course, the ever-present dynamic duo of late: dissatisfaction and regret about my employment and subsequent opportunities for improvement (ie. mo' money) available and my chronic and persistent nagging health issues.

I'll fill you in on these more thoroughly as time goes by, dear reader, but for now I must adjourn...for the laundry doth not launder itself; the dinner doth not cook itself, and finally; the phone, which is ringing, and I think it must be Ric calling with some boring details of his workday, doth not answer itself.

'Till morrow? Or whenever, dude! Later!

Friday, July 15, 2005

An Original-Movie Style Oompa-Loompa "Morality" Song For You:

Oompa. Loompa. Oompa-de-doo!
I've got another puzzle for you...

What do you get when you cannot create,
A better sequel to a film that was already great!

Depp's Wonka gives you the out right creeps,
Like Michael Jackson's little friends playin' Hide and Go **bleep**.

You get what you would expect...medicore crap.


I'm admittedly not a Johnny Depp fan. In every role I've seen him in, it seems too apparent he is acting his part. A good actor should make you feel that sense of suspension of disbelief and you should see the character as more real than the actor portraying him/her.

In Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, Depp seems too disconnected from the quirky character of Willy Wonka as if he him self were rolling his eyes when reading the script and saying "Who would believe this crap?"

In one scene this problem of never quite getting immersed into the sense that this was anything but a movie was hightened in fact by Wonka excusing his dazed behavior after a cut away to a flashback scene of his childhood by saying to Mr. Salt: "Oh sorry, I was having a flashback." I'm sure the writers thought that might be cute but especially in a fantasy film where the audience is being asked to let down their guard and believe the unbelievable, lines like this hurt that sense of disassociation with reality.

The original 1971 film aside from being more magical because I was a kid when I first saw it at the baroque-decorated old Stadium Theater on Main Street in Woonsocket, RI, it was also one of the best musicals ever. The current film has a few Oompa-Loompa sung songs as well as Danny Elfman's score and they seemed okay but it was not a musical. Bad choice I think. Re-tooling all the original songs might have been interesting buit perhaps they thought they shouldn't mess with greatness. (Although that didn't stop Direct TV from using that comedian from Curb Your Enthusiasm and murdering the Golden Ticket song in thier commercials)

Another thing was the special effects. Those that were CGI were very apparently CGI and scene for scene, despite the advance of 34 years in FX technology, the original was BETTER.

Take the scene where Violet Beauregarde turns into a giant blueberry. Despite the use of CGI, not much more astounding than the original. In fact, the skin turns blue in a very fiberous way, as if her veins and capillaries are filling with blue fluid, a bit more gross than the original. (I sit close to the screen to be able to see details like that, once it's released to video you probably won't notice that on a TV).

The scene with the trained squirrels "rejecting" Veruca Salt and tossing her in the garbage funnel seemed oh so fake and, again, a bit darker than the original. Those hundreds of squirrels pouncing on here en masse seemed scary. And what was wrong with the original's golden goose room...I mean Veruca's whining to her father demanding a special gold egg-laying goose does seem much more the epitomy of the brat who wants the most opulent of things...a trained squirrel doesn't compare. And her rejection at the end of her musical tirade as the result of being designated a Bad Egg in the original was much more effective than a CGI animated squirrel knocking on her head and declaring her a Bad Nut. What gives?

And last but not least, in the original there was the underlying core of the tale, Charlie's pure heart and goodness. Don't get me wrong, this Charlie was great, Freddie Highmore looks great in the part and he played his role fantastically. The writer's did well in showcasing his good morals and values and loyalty. But it was done more with lines and deeds in assisting Willy with repatriating a relationship with his father...all well and good and I liked the difference in this end story. But, if you remember, in the original, there was the underlying temptation of Slugworth's offer: a large sum of money for an Ever-Lasting Gobstopper. You knew that each of the other kids were going to run, not walk, to Slugworth with the Ever-Lasting Gobstopper the second they were out of the factory. And the overwhelming poverty of Charlie's family would lend one to think, would he too, out of absolute nessessity need to go that route as well. When Wonka declares that Charlie has forfeited the Grand Prize because he broke the rules and sampled the Floating Fizz with Grandpa Joe, it looks like Charlie will be dismissed and will return to his family's hovel dejected. I remember thinking that I would show Mr. Wonka up and sell the candy to Slugworth in a heartbeat out of spite. But what does Charlie do? Charlie calmly places the Ever-lasting Gobstopper, worth thousands of dollars, on Mr. Wonka's desk.

Even as a kid, and to this day, whenever I see this scene it tears me up. Charlie would rather keep his honor and principles of fair play and standing by one's word rather than accept a gift worth a fortune from a man who could not keep his word.

Monday, July 11, 2005

Shall We Play A Game?

I was at the Mobil On-The-Run store on my way home from work this afternoon and as i was buying some refreshements, I glanced at the glass top counter and saw a selection of scratch-off lottery tickets. I am not much of a "gambler", but I thought: "Gee, it's been a while since I bought a lottery ticket, why don't I get one." I was preparing to pull out another dollar bill to buy one ticket when I looked down at the price of the ticket under the glass. It was the kind you see in the image below, "Gold Rush". Then I checked out the price. TWENTY DOLLARS FOR ONE SCRATCH-OFF TICKET!!! How much of a total f'ing loser do you have to be to be stupid enough to put down that for these shitty odds:

*Odds of Winning
$500,000 1-in-2,500,000
$10,000 1-in-75,000
$1,000 1-in-6,000
$500 1-in-175.95
$100 1-in-30
$50 1-in-30
$40 1-in-15
$20 1-in-5

*Direct copy n' paste from the Florida Lottery web site.

I immediately rethought my impulse and was reminded of the famous quote (though stated for a very different game indeed) that the computer program named Joshua, controlling NORAD's W.O.P.R. super-computer, stated in a moment of silicon-chip epiphany in the film "War Games": "The only way to win the game is not to play at all."

What The F***!!!

Top Ten Stupid Things People Say When Calling Cingular Customer Service

(ie: you will not get good customer service if you say these things)

10. Hi, I don't know my wireless number or account number.
9. Am I speaking with a live person?
8. My phone keeps dropping calls but I am calling you on it.
7. I have been with AT&T Wireless but ever since Cingular took over things have been terrible.
6. I need to speak with a supervisor!
5. I just saw a great deal for a free V3 Razr on the web...what can you do for me?
4. I was in the Bahamas and didn't know I was racking up $2.29 a minute in international roaming charges. Can't you lower this 'cause the Bahamas are just 16 miles off the coast of Florida?
3. You are the 8th rep I have been transfered to, I hope you can help me...
2. I hope you don't hang up on me like the last person!
1. If we get disconnected, can you call me back?

Sunday, July 10, 2005

Hurricane Haiku


my cousin dennis,
troubled and twirling. to. fro.
bother us no more.

All Quiet On The Western Front


All Quiet On The Western Front...at least here. Dennis has grazed our western front but so far out as to not make any appreciable fuss. Not the case for our fellow Floridians in the western panhandle. My heart goes out to them...may they be safe.

All Quiet Here

Ric got in around 2:30am or so I guess, I only heard the door shut. He must have been pretty quiet since I didn't fully wake up. Checking out the scene in the kitchen this morning, doesn't look too bad...a couple dried up french fries in the sink and a crumpled Steak N' Shake bag in the trash...he obviously had the taxi stop there on the way home.

I know he makes good money and all but he does have high overhead. Credit card debt, court costs and upcoming anticipated penalties and fees due to the DUI, and now the costs of owning this condo. Of course I know my rent reduces his effective expenses regarding monthly mortgage and association fees, but I fear he would not be able to maintain his payments with out my $500 per month.

When you add in the costs of just one of these binge nights, and the fact they occur at least once or twice a week, it gets expensive indeed.

I estimate yesterday cost the following for him:
*Wings, tomato caprasi and beers at Uno's....................$30
*Tucher beers at Thirsty Whale.....................................$40
*Taxi to Parlaiment House in Orlando, 30 miles away....$35
*Drinks at P-House, cover charge, dancer tips, etc........$60
*Taxi back home, and stop at Steak N' Shake...............$45
Total for nite................................................................$210

He realizes, I think, that this lifestyle will need to change once the judges gavel is rapped down on his bench in a month or so, we expect (although this pre-trail date has been pushed back strategically by multiple docket hearings and motion hearings put forth by his lawyers for almost a year now). Although Martha and I reassure him that the case is weak and will likely be dismissed, I really don't believe that. Ric's story of the events of the night of his arrest morph slighly each time he tells it. And, ultimately, I can see in his eyes he knows he was guilty. But if he is charged, he'll likely get the minimums as prescribed by the request of the prosecutors and state law. Bitch is, state law is precise in it's constrictions placed on individual judges. The conservatives were successful a few years back in creating mandatory minimum fines and jail sentences for DUI convicts. Ric is looking at 30 days minimum in jail, 10 years revocation of driver's licence, probation, mandatory monthly drug testing, group counseling, DUI classes, etc. But the worst is it would go down not as a misdemeanor, but a felony. This could be very bad for his future with his employer. Insurance companies frown on their agents having felonies, I'm sure.

Time will tell. I do hope for the best though, yet I think he should have gotten the DUI classes and Victim's Impact out of the way before entering a plea IF he is going to plea out. But his lawyers want him to stick with it. They think they can get it reduced to Wreckless Driving. A misdemeanor and far less penalties. Also, no state law required minimum sentencing restrictions imposed on the judge.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Fasten Your Seatbelts, Boys...It's Gonna Be A Bumpy Night!

Well, Ric just got in, and, as predicted, he is totally wasted. But does he call it a night and go to bed? Noooo. Does he decide to play it safe now and sip a few of his Coors Lights he has in the fridge? Noooo. He has a cab waiting for him downstairs since he is gonna continuing the Party Of One ('cause he's so fucked up that's all it will be) at the Parlaiment House.

As long as I've known Ric (about 8 years now?), he has fostered quite a reputation at the Orlando area gay bars. P-House is one of the few remaining that will tolerate him. He's been banned by more than a couple gay and "straight" bars. When I first went clubbing with him a few years back one of my friends scooted up to me when Ric was in the restroom and told me he's known as a trouble maker in the community. Just a few years ago, a friend from my then workplace who was gay, after meeting Ric told me he had once seen him at a leather/Levi bar get into a heated argument with another patron. The guy got so pissed at Ric, he walked up to the dart board, pulled out a dart and threw it at Ric while Ric's back was turned. Ric was apparantly so drunk he didn't even feel the dart which had logged in the back of his neck. It stayed stuck there for a few minutes until it finally fell out on it's own, all the while several other patron's, who had witnessed how much of a jerk Ric was being, laughed at him behind his back.

To keep the reader up to speed, Ric is not my boyfriend, we have never had an attraction for each other sexually, and I have no desire to ever attempt a move in that direction. Up until 2003, in fact, I had a lot of reservations about even being close friends with him. But a lot has happened to both of us in the past few years, for myself, I regard my situation as that of a state of koyaanisquatsi, life out of balance. For Ric, I don't think he really has ever been in anything but a state of koyaanisquatsi. For Ric, his tool of choice to "clear the cobwebs" of his state of being, kinda like the degauss button clears the built up misaligned magnetic fields in a CRT monitor, is booze. For me it has been the same as well but I feel the days are numbered for that self-destructive path and I'm hoping other means of escapism or expression, like this blog, can help achieve results to that desired effect, yet a hell of a lot more healthy.

At times I feel sorry for Ric, but other times feel he does look for it and thus gets what he deserves.

I expect in a few hours, after the bar closes (or earlier if he gets thrown out), he'll come stumbling in. I'll be assleep by then hopefully and the condo is big enough end soundproofed enough so I shouldn't be too bothered by his moaning and wailing while soaking the wee morning hours away upstairs in his bathtub. It's very nice to have bedrooms and adjoining baths on different floors. I will be thankful for it tonight.