Seventeen

December 9th 2018 came and went without fanfare.

The phone only rang once all day. The Big Celebration will take place on Friday night, at our regular Friday Night meeting. It is our Anniversary Meeting/Christmas Party. And I will take my cake as well.

I’ve been trying to figure out where I sit in the grand scheme of things, a little drop in the Big Ocean of the Universe. I’ve not quite figured that out just yet, so I am still flying by the seat of my pants.

A while back I had a conversation with a friend who is at year seven in his transition, today. Back then, amid some strife in his life, I told him that “What people think of us is none of our business.”

Not long ago, while talking together he parroted back to me that phrase, but he could not place where he had originally heard it. And I said, “that was a sober thought, and it sounds like something I would have said to you in the past. So it went.

We talked about what he calls being “Emotionally Self Sufficient.” Not relying on others, judgments, critiques, support or not support for us, to dictate the men and women we become.

I don’t usually worry about what people think of me, on the whole. It used to bother me when people, in public would critique my outfits or judge me one way or another. I kind of grew out of that insanity. Albeit, the hard way.

It had to be purged amid a pass through my steps this past Fall.

The one thing that haunts me to this day is the nostalgic portion of my brain that gives credence to the thought that people would grow up and finally want to make peace, after a lifetime of vitriol and hatred. In the back of my head I believe that every human has One Redeeming Quality, that can overcome whatever hardness in their hearts, if only they would find it within themselves. Alas, that has not happened.

I really cannot stomach that there are people in my life who hate me and want nothing to do with me because I am Gay and that I chose to take hold of my life, and go my own way, and do my own thing, and I believe, I did a good job so far. Some people don’t get it, and fault me for leaving a nuclear unit to break out on my own. Let’s remember that these same people, pushed me away and out of that nuclear unit, because I was Gay.

So Fuck Me !

There are so many good things in my life today. Today was my Quit Day, smoking cigarettes. I’ve been on Chantix for more than a week now, and just crossed the second week dosing of higher doses of medication. Which has seriously curbed my desire to smoke. That is a thing.

Working with others has kept me busy and on point. Trying to be the best human I can, and teaching lessons to others, that I learned myself many, many years ago, today. Not too many people pay attention to my stories, but there are three men who will listen.

And when I say to them, TRUST ME … I know what I am talking about, because it comes from a place deep within my soul. From the man who saved my life, and said those words to me, when I needed to hear them, and I have survived more than twenty five years now.

Hindsight is truly a gift these days.

Christmas shopping is going on. I did the bulk of my shopping on Tuesday. I had to travel into the Village for some things. And the central village Metro Station is closed for renovations until next June 2019. So I had to figure out how to get out of our intermodal Berri Station, which houses several Metro lines on three levels, down into the ground. The main Montreal bus station and all associated towers and service offices. There are many ways out of the station, but if you take the wrong tower exit, you end up in a particularly “other” area of town that you actually wanted to end up in.

There is a little snow on the ground. It is unseasonably below average cold, but it should warm up into positive numbers come the weekend. Long range forecasts says that snow showers will fall on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We are hosting a Christmas Dinner party for a friend, his wife and her mom. Their Second Christmas dinner here at our house.

It will be grand.

All in all life is good. I am still sober. And all is well.

Thursday – What’s Going On ?

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The holidays have come to the city-scape. There was a huge kerfuffle this past Remembrance Day, here in Montreal, where a particular shopping mall had scheduled Santa coming to see the kids on November 11th … Remembrance Day.

People were incensed. Lots of people were pissed off because the mall would disrespect the memory of those who died in Canada’s conflicts, with Santa … On the same day.

Cue Indignation and Protests.

Santa came anyways.

Christmas decorations go up, as soon as Halloween is over. That was NOT the case this year. The street workers hung the lights on the street light poles last week, and they are lit tonight.

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The Alexis Nihon Plaza put up decorations over the past few days. This is the tree in the Atrium just outside the Canadian Tire. It spans two floors. And has hanging ornaments up above in the ceiling.

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We usually don’t put up the tree until after American Thanksgiving. It’s not Christmas until the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade goes off in New York City. Hubby wants to change-up our decorations this year, since we have not invested in new ornament nor lights in over a decade. We really need a new tree, but $300.00 for a fake tree at the Tire is just so cost prohibitive.

This week, I did some Winter shopping. I needed some new shirts, because my old Winter standard under shirts and Henleys are ripped and torn, and every year I just sew them back together after the Winter.

Have thread and needle – will sew …

I could not find the White nor the Green Henleys I really wanted, Gap shirts. I even went to Gap to see if they had them in stock. I saw a boy on the bus to Ottawa wearing one (Green) and I really liked the color, but I wasn’t going to ask him where he bought his clothing !

I was at Winners yesterday, and they had over stocked their Winter gear. I found a white Henley in the style I wanted, and it’s off white … I also found a couple of winter shirts in red and purple to go with my wardrobe. I need to be able to accessorize my tights collection. I found some BAUER hockey thermal gear (I don’ play hockey) at the Tire last week so I am set to go.

Last night I was searching my platforms for clothing. I usually comb Ebay and my assorted sites that send me email sales flyers. I’ve been looking for a purple long sleeve Under Armour shirt, on a particular site I shop at, and the shirts are cheap, but are on back order for three weeks, but shipping is a kick in the ass at $32.00 per item.

If the shipping cost MORE than the item itself, that’s a deal breaker.

Back on Ebay last night, I am always on the hunt for rare pieces that nobody else is selling anywhere world-wide. Hot Ticket tights are rare. And I’ve searched all over the world for stuff I see on Tumblr and Pinterest. They give you photos, but not necessarily a sales point to find them.

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I was trolling the list when I came across a “RARE” Skins brand pair of tights that were white. They were authentic, and I carted them for a few minutes while I completed my scan. I ended up buying them because they came in really cheap. I paid a total of $40.00 U.S. plus shipping. After I completed the sale I thought about the item that I had just bought.

People selling on a platform don’t necessarily do their homework before they put an item up for sale, like, is it a “RARE?” Is anyone else selling something similar ? Is that RARE item available from the specific sales point (read: SKINS) ?

People tend to haphazardly list an item with no searches. And when that happens you can get away with a RARE for very little money.

This afternoon, I wrote the seller and told him he lost good money selling a RARE for little cash, when he could have sold that specific item for 4 to 5 times the price he sold mine at, and made some serious cash in his pocket. Because SKINS brand tights sales begin at $100.00 and go up to over $200.00 depending on where you are shopping and the exchange rate in either the Euro, the UK, or Australia. Plus shipping.

Today I ran errands all afternoon and took a power nap, before the meeting. I forgot one particular piece of information. I got up, sorted new clothes to wear, showered and coiffed, (I got my hair cut yesterday – it’s quite sleek now). I got dressed, and walked up to the bus stop, got on the bus and when I arrived at the church realized that I indeed forgot that: THE MEETING WAS CLOSED TONIGHT.

UGH – I hate Old Timers Disease.

The weather here is slowly moving towards Winter. Nights are cold, going down to minuses with a little rain. Which under the right conditions will turn to snow flurries, which leads to snow itself. We are still sitting in flurry territory this week.

That can all change depending on what direction the wind is blowing from.

Hopefully this year we might get a white Christmas.

More to come.

Thursday – The Quiet before the Deep Freeze

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The weather, as we speak, is going where it has not gone yet this season. Double digit Minuses which will last for the next 48 hours or so, with another dump of snow coming over the weekend.

But this IS Canada, don’t ya know !

It has been said that Winter has come much earlier than forecasters had told us it would, or that they had expected …

And I have to be out tomorrow afternoon, Christmas shopping.

It snowed the beginning of the week, enough that the plows and dump trucks have been out two nights in a row. And the bane of our existence, are those trucks with the sirens on them, that drive up and down, SOON TO BE PLOWED streets, alerting the owners of cars parked in PLOW zones, that they must be moved immediately or else be towed at the owners expense.

It has been a quiet week. Another quiet week on the front that really needs some noise. I am beginning to believe that, people who don’t want to see you, or won’t make time to see you, are not worth waiting for, any longer. This saga has been going on for two months with no resolution.

I’m just not hedging my bets any longer that I am going to get the answer I seek. And the other day a good friend of mine that I studied with, and he played the organ at our wedding said this to a question posed …

How many sins must one repent and atone for, before God accepts our sacrifices to Him ? And the answer was stern and swift ….

You don’t have to. He has made the sacrifice; offering himself to God and to man. Live your life. As for those who cannot accept you, “leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” Their stubborn pride is their shame, not yours.

I also listened to the advice given to me a few days ago about taking care of my self and my spirit. I have been doing that. I’ve spent time with people I enjoy being with, I had coffee with an elder last Friday night, and I’ve devoted much of my Christmas to my friends and people I care about.

It’s funny really, our Christmas Lists are very short. Hubby does not ask for anything for himself, it always has to do with cooking or food. Hence, home.

I don’t really need anything that much, because I have everything that I need. And today was pay day and I had errands to run, and gifts to get into the mail first thing this morning. I did my grocery shopping, I got my hair cut, and finally came home.

I trolled every site that sells stuff that I think I need. And after that run, of so called “Window Shopping,” figured out that I really did not want to buy anything.

My friend Lisa says this about shopping soberly …

  • Do I need this ?
  • Do I really need this ??
  • Really, Do I need this ???
  • If you answer No to any one of these, then don’t buy it.

I only have one running list of BOOKS, I would like.

I have found the ease and cheaper pricing of Amazon.Ca. I bought a couple of books from them, but my heart rests firmly at Indigo Book Sellers, right up the Green Line.

Twitter is wonderful for news and shopping aggregation.

The New York Times Best Sellers List, The New York Times, Best Books of 2016, are great, and the popular Indigo Recommendation page is also good. I gave hubby a list of books I wanted to add to my library, and in case he gets me a gift card, I can use it online to buy all the books that are presently collected in my virtual shopping cart.

  • The Return by Hisham Matar
  • The Dispossessed by Szilard Borbely
  • Barbarian Lost – Travels in the New China by Sasha Trudeau (Brother of the PM)
  • Israel and Palestine by Alan Dowty – EXPENSIVE at $80.00 cad
  • Where Memory Leads by Saul Friedlander
  • Fragrant Harbour by John Lanchester

All of these come highly recommended, so they are currently, like I said, sitting in my cart. And at night I get that little email saying … “We think you left something in your cart, are you going to buy them?” Hopefully, one way or another …

With Christmas, I either get maudlin and angry and resentful, or I can turn it around and remember that I have the choice to do what is good for myself and my friends.

I chose the l latter of the two.

This afternoon I did some laundry and around 5, I was gonna take a nap, but that did not happen, because my mind was racing. I’ve been re-reading Ben Ehrenreich’s … The Way to the Spring, Life and Death in Palestine again.

I wanted a Kaffiyeh, Because Rafa has one that is beautiful. Thank you Amazon. I also ordered a book,

“Palestine, Drowning in the Tears of God,” by Rev. Anthony J. Mucciolo D.D.

There is so much terrible in the world, and innocent civilians, men, women, and children and young men, are dying by the tens of thousands because of war and strife.Not All Men are created in the image of a terrorist. And outright killing everybody, is a WAR CRIME for sure.

The question of Palestine and Israel is a subject I rarely talk about, because it is complex and fraught with complications, that dipping my toe in the water of education, would take decades. But I know enough to know where to stand in this debate.

Firmly in the Middle of the road …

Like my best friend, and probably because of the way HE sees the world, he encourages me to study the hard truths. And So I’ve been slowly doing that, reading good books, by good authors. Ben Ehrenreich was on the ground, in the thick of it, when he wrote his book about the conflict from the Palestinian side of the equation.

So that is a thing …

After that I decided to to some serious heavy lifting here on the blog. My first blog has been sitting dormant for almost a decade that I’ve been paying for upkeep, space and domain. Why pay for two blogs when I only use one.

That First Blog, has been exported off the main frame, and imported into this one. There are close to 4,000 entries now indexed in the back end. And over a thousand images sitting in my image bank now. When I attempted to do this a few years ago, images would not transfer across, now they do. I purchased an image bank upgrade to complete the import, so for those electronically inclined, there is fifteen years of blog in the archives.

Tomorrow, well, in a few hours from now, when temps will be in the MINUS double digits, my intrepid lady friend who lives across town is meeting me for a shopping extravaganza trip so that I can shop for Baby Mama and Baby Lu Lu.

My quest is simple. I need to find the perfect Christmas Present that will knock to socks off of a two year old little girl. Not to mention her mother as well.

Christmas is coming to those I love dearly this year.

It will be merry and bright for sure …