Friday, April 30, 2004

Well that was a first. I sat on my front porch and cried because of someone's silly comment about my cat problem. You don't want to be around me when I'm upset. I turn into a big ole blubbering mess. Why the current mess? I guess it is because I have always had a soft spot for animals. I took care of them on the farm. Decided not to eat them in 1983. Two years ago in May I found four tiny, sick kittens in my backyard and bottle fed them, wiped their poopy bottoms, gave them their medicine, got up in the middle of the night to bottle feed them some more. I found homes for two, but it was kitten season and the Humane Society was just euthanizing kittens the moment they came in. So I kept Princess and Bear. And poor old Joey acted up, and my house has been awful for two years. I tried, I really tried to make it work. When my friend took the two, Joey stopped acting up, I could have a normal house, people didn't look at me like I was a freak or the old lady with a zillion cats. Who wants to date someone with five cats?

So having the two come back and trying to find a good home for them is really stressful and a silly little comment upsets me more than it should. I guess I should be more hard-hearted, but I've never been that way. I'll always be softy Homer.

Bear has lunch, June 2002.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

This is Homer looking sad. Pondering life. You know, it is just like a soap opera. When things are going really well the writers make up something horrible. So in the picture I'm puzzling what to do about Princess and Bear.

Homer, sad.

Perhaps it isn't as bad as I think. It is pre-kitten season so the Humane Society has a lot of cats being adopted. I went and looked and their cages are mostly empty. Princess would be adopted instantly, she is so pretty. Bear is a black cat, not as popular, but they didn't have any black ones there. So maybe it would be okay. But the awful guilt involved. Fucking Christ to Hell and Back.

I think Matt likes Ethiopian food. We shouldn't have gone to the video store afterwards since we were being the most indecisive humans in the entire world. I'm having dinner with Larry and Eric tonight- Italian food. I hope that takes my mind off of my pussy problems. Now I'll get all the perverts finding my blog through Google...

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

If you are in a bad mood, it's good to do something you don't like. Yardwork, for example. I took a few hours off from work and came home to weed whack the yard, rake, pick up all the trash that seems to blow onto my property. Why in a bad mood? Six weeks ago a friend took my two youngest cats, thereby solving the problem with Joey, who was acting up by pissing on furniture. Well, today she calls telling me she doesn't want them anymore. So I have to go pick them up. It is impossible to keep them, I can't handle the stress and the mess. So I'm in a crappy mood. At least my yard doesn't look so awful.

Homer's casa.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Oh my, for some reason I am really sleepy this afternoon. I can hardly keep my eyes open. I did have enough strength to order a new pc with the help of our computer whiz at work. It should show up in a couple of days- I am rather excited since my current computer dates back to 1999.

I've been hanging out with a couple of friends who are in town- John and Larry. It is nice to see them, we sat around and gossiped and talked about old times.

Okay, I'm off to have a little nap. Tomorrow Matt and I are going to have Ethiopian food. Yum!

Lesbian fiction.

Monday, April 26, 2004

Powerful images. I've been thinking about images this morning as I look through hand drawn maps from an archaeology project. Images convey a lot of information efficiently, more so than the written word. Certain images produce an emotional response- good or bad. Politicians are in tune with this, as seen by the recent secrecy over a certain set of images.

Looking for Sam has pondered the issue of the flag draped coffins coming back from Iraq. George Bush and his buddies don't want anyone to see these coffins, which are arriving in ever-increasing numbers. They sneak them in like they were somehow dirty, shameful, or an embarrassment. They claim that they don't want to upset family members. And yet the handling of these coffins is a dignified, carefully choreographed action. The servicemen handling them undergo long training, they move crisply, and handle the caskets with respect. The recently released photos prove this. The photos also reveal the scope of the war. It isn't one or two coffins arriving at Dover Air Force Base, it is entire plane loads. This is what the neo-cons don't want people to see.

This is the same batch that kicked off George's re-election campaign with an advertisement featuring a flag-draped body being removed from the World Trade Center site. I wondered at the time if that particular person would have supported George's re-election. Perhaps it was some ardent liberal who was crushed between cascading floors on that horrible day. I guess it would be possible to research that particular photograph, find out which day and which body it was, ask his or her family about the individual's personal beliefs. You might actually find the person was a Bush supporter, lost among the financial advisors, secretaries, cooks, firemen, and delivery people who perished. But would they still want their body used as a campaign tool?

But George et al. are all about image. He strutted across an aircraft carrier positioned so that the twinkling lights of San Diego were invisible, supposedly so far out to sea that he had to jet in, when it was really just offshore, wearing his crotch-enhancing flight suit. As he "speechified," the Mission Accomplished banner suggested a quick, successful war. Instead almost a year later young soldiers are being killed daily. Shouldn't this picture be more appropriate in Bush's campaign ads?

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Two things. First, the drag kings performance last night was way cool. What I hadn't expected was that the performance included a lot of political and social commentary, much more than you would ever see at a drag queen show. A couple of my friends showed up and we stood close to the stage and cheered Matt and the boys on.

Secondly, I spent the afternoon up on the side of the mountain next to my house, talking to people about the history of Tucson. I spent the morning giving and listening to talks. What was remarkable was listening to three men who each own major companies bore people out of their minds because they spoke in a monotone manner, went on tooooo looonnggg, and did the PowerPoint thingy in which you put your text up and then read it out loud. Cripes, I was flaming bored but couldn't leave until they finished, then had to rush home for lunch and drive up La Sierra. Luckily the people who came by to hear my spiel were entertaining.

Looking north toward my house, which is visible but too small to point out.

Last thing, I know this is number three but no death threats please. My computer is dying- the sound just stopped last week. So should I get a laptop or a regular desktop? I just can't decide. Which is better, and why?

Friday, April 23, 2004

I'm a redneck at this very moment because my head-shoulder connector got a little too much sun today and is flaming red. That's about the only flamey spot on me presently. I was outside today watching a backhoe dig trenches, collecting prehistoric potsherds as they showed up in the backdirt. After the backhoe moved to the next trench my two co-workers and I scraped the walls of the trench with out trowels, eventually finding the places where the trench cut through prehistoric pithouses and pits. In a few weeks we will return to uncover these and excavate them before the area is bulldozed for a drainage ditch. Oh so glamorous, except for the burnt skin and a nasty blister on my right hand.

Going downtown in a moment to catch Matt's show. I'm pretty excited to see his performance.

Thursday, April 22, 2004

It's funny how certain pieces of clothing can become favorites. I like the red plaid shirt that I'm wearing in the Summer 2003 picture at lower right. I also have a puke yellow polyester shirt that I think I paid a quarter for a long time ago at some thrift store in Montana or North Dakota. I have a Chinese light blue silk jacket with beautiful embroidered pink magnolias that my friend John gave me one New Year's Eve. And a bunch of 1950s or 1960s thin silk ties- I have a long torso so wide ties look funny on me. Also those black wingtip shoes that I bought in 1985 for a dollar with the big holes in the soles. They are so cool, and the shoe repair place claimed that they were too worn. I'm going to try again, those shoes are hot.

I guess I'm thinking about clothes because I'll be in New York City in a month and everybody will be wearing their fancy stuff and I'll be wandering around looking like a Tucson bumpkin, but at least I'll be a comfortable one. But I guess I will have to go buy something fun to wear when the blog boys get together and meet- gotta make a nice first impression in person. So should I go vintage- maybe be a 60s bowling team shirt? Should I go dressy? Should I buy a real pair of pants instead of jeans? Maybe a cowboy hat? I dunno if I should even be bothering, guess it's partly because I'm tired of my duds at this very moment.

I think I'll take those wingtips around and get them fixed real good- they are kinda like my ruby slippers, you know.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

He's super freaky! Jane alerted me to this website- what can I say! I couldn't stop looking at the pictures, I'm glad this guy has found happiness in alternative clothing. I wonder what Jimbo would look like in a Peter Pan outfit?

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

I think I paid 20 bucks for my hair clippers two or three years ago and they have gotten good use because I haven't been to the barber since. Today I came home early from work- I get to work all day Saturday at a public meeting- and decided to cut my hair. Setting no. 2, buzzzzzz.



I quick shave- I left the goatee bushy for now- will probably trim that in a while too. The weather is too nice at the moment, sunny and warm. I think I'm going to sit on my front porch and do a little reading.

Monday, April 19, 2004

I had the vegetarian barbeque burger at Oasis while Matt had the southwestern veggie burger. Mine was a mess, I got barbeque sauce all over my hands and face. Matt laughed at me, I didn't mind. It was nice hearing of his plans, his weekend.

He has some flowers blooming in front of his house- I can't remember the name.

Makes me think about spring time in Michigan. I loved to see the progression of flowers- daffodils and lily of the valley, giving way to tulips and irises, and then in the summer zinnias and marigolds and hollyhocks. Here everything goes so swiftly with spring melding into summer over a period of a few short weeks. So what is your favorite flower? Mine are wild purple irises

Sunday, April 18, 2004

Later- I go out and inspect the fence and find all of the spots I missed. It was getting a little too sunny by the time I quit. Just talked on the phone with Jimbo. Can't wait to meet him in person.

I've got spots of black oil paint all over me. Two and a half hours painting the ironwork fence along my front yard. Lots of these little decorative doodahs and paint splashing on my hands, arms, legs, and face. The paint remover got most of it off, but after a while I got sensitive to it and had to stop. The rest will come off the next couple of days- I hope. Still have half of the fence to do- sigh.

Having an old house means lots of things to fix up. It doesn't help that my neighborhood is having some ground subsidence issues due to the lowering of the water table in the area. Both my house and the guesthouse have developed ominous cracks over the last year- especially the guesthouse. Nothing you do about them, they mostly close up as the structures shift. But still annoying. My next project is to replace the evaporative cooler on the guesthouse and have some electrical work done. Also half of the iron front gate needs to be straightened- its been bent since I moved in. It never ends- but someday I'll have my dream house completed. Just need to kind that dream date to keep me company.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

A dream I had last night continues to run through my head. In the dream I awoke with a horrible hangover. I went into the bathroom to throw up and as I was kneeling in front of the toilet I noticed that my forearms were different- the hair was black and thicker. Someone comes in and it is an older woman. She says, "Pete, I told you not to drink so much at your sister's wedding." I look at her, puzzled. I'm Homer not Pete. I stand up and glance into the mirror and see that I am not me- I am a younger man, darker, perhaps Italian. Fast forward. It turns out that about one percent of the world's population have randomly switched bodies. My "mother" is terribly upset that her teenage son has been taken over by a 40-year-old man. Her son calls from Africa- he has been switched into a black man's body. The news is full of similar stories, including Laura Bush- her body is inhabited by a Chinese woman while her mind shows up in an elderly Swedish man. The dream ends with me calling Jeffrey S. to have him find some way to rescue me from the "mother" who doesn't want me to leave.

Being the practical person that I am, I lay in bed and pondered how such a scenario would play out in real life. For instance, the President finding out his wife's mind was in an elderly man's body- would George divorce her immediately (we know how much he loves same sex marriage). And the fact that I was transported into a hot teenager's body- not so bad. I've probably given away a great story for a movie or a sci-fi novel. Any takers?

Friday, April 16, 2004

Jeffrey S. and I went shopping. At Loews a very helpful woman gave me a discounted gallon of black oil base which I will be applying to my metal fence. I also bought a lovely pink carnation, which will go on my front steps. At Ross I bought a retro black and white shirt which I plan on wearing in New York City next month. At Pier 1 we bought nothing, I hated the overpowering cloying smell of candles. The boy behind the counter was totally hot, though, and there was a cute geeky gay couple looking at chairs, one of whom was a very nice-looking redhead. Back at home the cats all clamored for attention as we look at the paint chips. I'm going to repaint my study- currently it is lavender with gray trim and I just don't like it. Can't be blue as my bedroom and the cat bathroom are dark and light blue respectively. Can't be yellow cause that's the kitchen. So maybe some shade of green with orange trim? I'm all about color. And speaking of that, there is the tiniest orange spider crawling on my computer- damn is it ever cute.

Poppy, front yard, April 2004.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Tonight, green corn tamale with banana sauce at Cafe Poca Cosa. Reggie is in town from Orange County for work and took me out to dinner. It was soooo good, too bad the portions are so huge and I ate too much and now my tummy is way full. Afterward we went over to the Denture Inn for a beer and two small white dogs came and sat on my lap. Reggie wasn't as lucky, the owner's Great Dane Dena came by and slobbered all over him. At home the cats came and sniffed at me, curious about that unusual smell. Full and now sleepy, I think it is time to crawl into bed. G'night all.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

At Evergreen Cemetery today, I was recording the inscriptions on two rows of tombstones. They were moved there in 1907 when the cemetery opened, from an old cemetery where the bodies were left behind. As I wrote down the names and dates for an article I'm writing, I heard cars pull up. I turned and looked behind me and I am surprised to see a hearse and a bunch of cars. Somebody is going to be buried in a pauper's grave.

A backhoe pulls up and efficiently digs a 6 foot deep hole. The two cemetery employees bring the lowering device as more people arrive. A group of men in bright outfits step onto the gravel, they hold instruments and soon mariachi music was being played. Every once in a while a loud "Aye-yi-yay!" is shouted. After a while, six young Mexican men carry a brown casket from the hearse and set in on the lowering platform. A group of 5-gallon-buckets are set out and one by one people set bouquets in, most still in their clear plastic wrappers. Somebody had brought a huge red rose arrangement. I continued to record names- Frank Weston- 1901; James Martin Hildebirn Jr- 1898; Pearl, wife of I. L. Ardis- 1893- as the mourners one by one drop handfuls of dirt onto the coffin after is descends, the gravel crunching as they walked away.

I wondered who it was. Why they were in the pauper's section when so many people were at the burial. Whether they had a good life. I had to stay for the entire ceremony since my car was boxed in. So I finished quietly recording names- Ellen Miller-1907; Capt. B. Rogers-1884; Phillip S. Melluish- as another person joined them in the earth.

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

At the Middle Eastern restaurant, the falafel was awful. In contrast the hummous was excellent, as was the hot Lebanese waiter- you could bounce a quarter off his ass.

When I was a freshman and sophomore in college I played a lot of quarters- the drinking game where you bounced a quarter into a shot of beer. Every weekend was spent partying. I guess I was making up for my boring high school years- my parents didn't allow me and my brother off of the farm, dear old Dad had some social pathologies that involved wanting his kids at home under his control at all times. So getting trashed was a new experience for me and one that I pursued vigorously until I finally decided that it was really no fun to have a hangover the next day. My freshman roommate was also the dorm drug dealer and watching him slide downhill that year made me carefully think about the dangers of casual drug use.

The crowd I hang out with now may smoke a joint once in a while and some like their liquor, but nothing more hard core, at least as far as I know. An ex-roommate of mine hung out with the druggy set a few years earlier and it was really unpleasant to see them gradually fuck themselves up, especially the one who took Special K and promptly drowned himself in a pool

I've been thinking about this because a female friend is doing crystal meth and another close friend has taken to drinking heavily. There is nothing I can do to help either person- at this point they either deny there is a problem or blame it on someone else. I'm glad that I never aspired to be a crack whore- although I hear the benefits package is great. Maybe I should have asked the two hookers I saw on Stone Avenue at 6:30 this morning.

Monday, April 12, 2004

It pays to read the fine print. I feel like a goof after the frickin whine-a-thon yesterday 'cause it turns out the $1,000 deductible is, it turns out, paid back after I send them proof of payment. Of course the whole process seems kinda stupid and involves a couple of stamps so it is going to cost me 74 cents. The injustice!

And to make matters worse I got a lovely check from the mortgage company today for excess escrow payments so suddenly I will be credit card debt free. Holy crap! What can I charge up now? A plane ticket to Washington DC in September for my birthday suddenly seems like a totally good thing to do.

Hmmm, I made vegetarian French Onion soup tonight for dinner and it was rather good. I think onions are my favorite vegetable, followed by parsnips and then potatoes. And about potatoes, the big question is- MASHED or BAKED? Opinions?

Sunday, April 11, 2004

I watched so many episodes of season 1 Queer as Folk that I am actually sore. No, not bed sores, couch sores. It is a horrible affliction of couch potatoes. I probably watched more telly this weekend than I have watched over the last four months. Mark B. asked me which of the QAF guys I liked the best and I said Ted, although I'm not sure if that is really true.

I hung out with Matt for a couple of hours tonight. I had a chocolate caramel Cadbury's egg- a little too rich for me. I made kosher vegetarian soup and got a shock in the mailbox- the new frickin company insurance has a $1,000 deductible so the frickin company can suck even more money out of everyday people to hand over to frickin fatcat CEOs, may they rot in frickin hell where they have to get a colonscopy without anethesia every frickin day. And it rained again. Last night it rained so hard, with the wind roaring about, that the electricity went out for a couple of hours. That was so 19th century.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

Lazy day for Homie. I've been watching videos of the first season of the American Queer as Folk. I've watched the British version a couple of years ago. So far the two are very similar, I can't say one is particularly better (although the original typically is). Hanging out with the cats- they are each getting some quality time, which involves getting combed. Thankfully it looks like the shedding season is finally ending.

I've added two blogs to my list. Ryan is a guy that I knew a few years ago in Tucson who has since moved away to Philadelphia. I ran into him at a party in Phoenix last year- one thing I've learned is that guys up in that sophisticated town hate facial hair. Ha! Jimbo lives in DC and is into rugby- that sport hasn't arrived in Tucson, as far as I know. I'm not so sure I would be any good at it anyway, since I'm tall and skinny and would snap like a twig if I was trying to tackle somebody.

Friday, April 09, 2004

So many new friends sending me emails lately. Rosemarie Wade wants me to have a larger penis using her deer antler extract. Serena tells me she can get me an extended auto warranty for half off! Kent Grady suggests I get a free quote for insurance. Really, what would I do without these new found friends who bring such joy and remarkable happiness. Without them I would be lonely and unfulfilled, plus I would be missing out on Ci@lis and V1@g@r@ and my head would grow balder faster and I wouldn't have the opportunity of re-financing my house 11 times a week.

Oh, and Rosemarie, honey I don't think so...

Thursday, April 08, 2004

Swatting flies. I'm so happy George doesn't spend his time swatting flies. He spent the day chillin' with his NRA buds, out hunting on his fly ranch, while those 20-year-old 'merican boys were being hunted over there in Eye-rack. If you live in one of the 17 or so states that are considered competitive in the upcoming election, you'll understand why I scream at the telly, 'Shut up, shut up you dumb fuck!" every so often.

Matt made me dinner last night. I'm posting a pic of the tofu and carrot dish for Jonny. It was yummy. I'll tell you what, Matt is a good cook. And he showed me his new piercing. And he has pretty eyes and eyelashes. It is an adventure hanging out with him. We didn't waste our time swatting flies either. To tell you the truth, I catch bugs and let them outside rather than swat them. Robert would be proud of me.

Umm, ummm, good.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

I’ll warn you. This is a long, rambling post. I spent a couple of hours going through my two boxes
of photos, looking for images. It has made me ponder self esteem, how I have view myself through the years. I wasn’t sure whether to start at the present and go backwards, or the do the opposite. As a historian, it made more sense to progress from the beginning, so let’s take a little walk through time.

I was born in 1963, a few months before Kennedy was assassinated. There aren’t many photos of me when I was a child- we were pretty poor and I was the fifth child, there was less interest in documenting my life and my mother had her hands full.

I was a skinny kid, undersized, gawky, and uncoordinated. Did poorly in gym class. So scrawny my mother had to sew my pants until I was 12 years old. By the second grade my teachers noticed that I was a tad smarter than most of the other kids. One complained on my report cards that I had read my entire English book in the first two weeks of class. At about the same time a teacher moved me to the back of the classroom, away from a map I liked and I burst into tears. I was sent to the office, they reasoned that it was because my grandfathers had both recently died. The reality was that I was so near-sighted that I could no longer see the chalkboard or the map. Finally, in fourth grade, they screened the kids and discovered I needed glasses. The ones I got looked just like Jan Brady’s- I was so proud of them. They didn’t last long, I soon had to get a new plastic pair- much more durable.

Homer in 1972, 1974, and 1976.

In 1974 my father stopped driving truck and we moved and started a dairy farm. Things were not so great- my father was gone much of the time when I was younger and suddenly he was there attempting to take on this role that he knew little about. He really hated farming, and we were never successful. The end result was a great deal of verbal abuse directed at me and my brother. I don’t know how many times I was told that I was worthless, no good, ugly. The first two didn’t stick, but being told you are ugly by your father can fuck your head up pretty good.

We struggled with farming for years. In 1979 my father abruptly decided we had to move to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan- he seemed determined to make things worse than they already were. Perhaps the only good thing that happened was that I got to go to a half decent school for three years, allowing me to at least escape in 1982 to the University of Michigan. I have to thank my mother for that, she was always behind me, pushing me, telling me that I could. Telling me to call my grandmother for the cash I needed to pay for tuition- the year my father tried to force me to drop out of college and return home to become a farmer.

I was still a skinny kid when I went off to college- I think I weighed about 145 pounds and was about six feet tall. I grew another two inches in the next three years- one result of having a very late puberty. I discovered that a lot of kids had nicer clothes than I, who went away to school with my single pair of shoes. I was also pretty ashamed to find that I was the only one with crooked teeth. Luckily the University of Michigan had dental school and I worked up the courage to make an appointment my sophomore year at the orthodontics college. The grad students who evaluated me were horrified- “Why didn’t you have braces?” they asked. I told them the truth, ‘We couldn’t afford it.” They accepted me and Grandma paid the $1000 for Anne Marie from Belgium to fix my smile.

October 1985, I brought Anne Marie a bouquet the day she took my braces off.

That was a pivotal year. I had stayed in the dorm my junior year and the guys down the hall decided to have a “No Fags” party. I sat in my room so angry, no one knew I was a queer. The next week I called the counseling center and went in and joined a “Coming Out” group that was forming. It was the best thing I have ever done.

Back in 1985 there was no gay presence in the media. A single movie, Consenting Adult, had appeared on network television. I watched that with Jeff from across the hall, who had a gay cousin. He doesn’t know how important it was to watch that film with him. There were no readily available magazines, this was pre-internet. The only gay people I had met were not role models. But in the coming out group I met Les, who has been my best friend ever since, the person I can talk about anything with. And I guess I blossomed. Les certainly helped with the wardrobe, as well as trips to Value Village in Ypsilanti. Still, there was still this idea in the back of my mind that I was homely Homer. It didn’t help that another person in that group had made some pretty evil comments to me, I guess in an attempt to ameliorate his own self hatred. I got the better of him when the braces came off in the fall of 1985, after only 361 days, and I suddenly transformed from the ugly caterpillar to some sort of butterfly. I met a guy and actually dated for a while before heading off to New Mexico for the summer for my first archaeology dig.

Rasmi and Homer at the Rosebud bar, Mountainair, New Mexico.

The following year I ended up dating the hottest gay guy in Ann Arbor, the one the jerk had always wanted. My new self confidence allowed me to apply for a job in the Park Service and off to North Dakota I went, where they actually paid me to dig. I met three of my best friends on that dig and 17 years later we still talk on the phone and trade emails all of the time. In the fall I came back to Ann Arbor where I applied to grad school, moving to Arizona State in 1988 after another summer with Pat and Melanie and Becky in North Dakota.

Becky and Homer in North Dakota.

So if you don’t have a car in the Phoenix area your social life sucked. I still ended up meeting two guys who became boyfriends, hockey player Paul and German swimmer Philip. Oslynn and I started going to the gym and I lifted weights for the first time. Surprisingly, my body responded and I developed a chest and biceps, actually putting on 10 pounds of muscle.

Homer and Paul, 1991.

I remember being at the March on Washington in 1993, surrounded by all of those beautiful and political men, and deciding "What the fuck, I'm taking my shirt off." I'm pretty sure Les was mortified, but I didn't care. I think that was a turning point, deciding that sure I had been a mutty-looking kid, but that (as Al Franken would say), damn it I'm good enough, etc, etc

Les and Homer, March on Washington.

I moved to Tucson in 1993. I bought my first car that October, ending years of riding my bike 10 miles a day (geez, I had great legs back then!). Time has speeded up. I dated Larry in 1994, started losing my hair in 1995. Went through a couple of dry spells- it can be hard to find a good man in this town.

Clean cut Homer, 1995.

Jeffrey S. and I were an item in early 1997, and then I met the Ex in 1997 and really fell in love. I thought that was it, that I was happily ever after.

A Happily-Ever-After moment, 1999.

But in August 2002 he abruptly announced it was over, done with, finito. I had my little nervous breakdown, which most people never knew about. Went to the shrink, had some pretty pills for awhile. All of the self esteem issues came roaring back again. "He must have left me because I wasn’t cute anymore or I’d stopped going to the gym." It’s funny how we re-run certain aspects of our lives. Finally I realized he left me because of something inside of him, not because of the way I looked or acted. As you might guess, it's still a touchy topic.

About a year ago I snapped out of that whole business and decided, ‘Enough’ and decided that goddammit I was heading toward 40 and I was going to be happy. I grew a beard, shaved my hair off, I was like Madonna for a while, changing my image just because I could. And surprisingly, I decided that at certain moments I can be hot stuff and that gay guys really like a little attitude. So there you have it, a rambling, illustrated discourse on many of Homer's issues about body image and self esteem. I'm certain that I haven't covered everything- of wait, that goddam balding thing! But I'm pretty happy with life and I'm looking forward to whatever adventures happen in the future.

Scruffy Homer, 2003.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

I'm going to go through my photos- you know, those archaic images that were once printed on Kodak paper- and find some of me. Panchesco and Mark have recently done so. Unfortunately, I was not as photogenic as those two cuties. Around 1972 or so I got slapped pretty hard with the ugly stick and did not recover until 1986. I have to find the senior picture taken that year. It happened to be the day Anne Marie, my cute orthodontist from Belgium, removed my braces and ohmigod I had perfect straight teeth. Prior to that I had been a candidate for Extreme Makeover.

In other news, I'm going to be in New York City from Wed. May 19 through Tues May 25. What adventures will take place?

Lastly, American Idol is on the telly as I type this. All of the contestants I've heard so far suck so utterly! It is embarassing to hear them, even the underage cute redhead. Do you agree??

At 3:54 in the morning the train passes through town, sounding its horn or whatever it is they call it. The cats are moving about in my bedroom, excited because I have just let them in. Puff decides to pick on Joey, and they growl at each other. I can't sleep and puzzle over things in my head.

A couple of days ago I tried very earnestly to thing of good things that George Bush has done in the three years and couple of months since he has been in office. Perhaps he "united" people after 9-11 and perhaps his initial efforts to subdue the Al Quaeda terrorists were worthwhile. But that is it. Nothing else. If one is a greedy religious person, then George Bush is a great guy. If you believe in ensuring that people are treated equally and fairly, in a clean environment, in not harming innocent people- Bush is basically a bastard.

I'm thinking about this because two people I know- one a gay man and the other a white woman married to a black guy- are planning on voting for George in November, primarily because they approve of his economic "policies." Apparently they agree that tax cuts are wonderful. I still don't understand how running up an enormous deficit is helpful. My sister Susan, who is a tax accountant, told me that the cuts are primarily going to her wealthy clients. Susan and I agree that it is better to pay your bills than run up debts and that rich people should help pay for the infrastructure and military that ensures they will remain rich. Susan voted for Bush in 2000. Now she says, "I'll never vote for that fucking idiot again." She doesn't swear very often, she's really a very nice person.

It is very upsetting to me that any gay person would vote for Bush. Hiss supporters hate us. They wish we would go away, convert into straight people, die. If George wins he will be appointing as many as three Supreme Court justices. Given that Bush has stated that admires Antonin Scalia, I don't think he'll be nominating people with favorable opinions on gay rights. What good will tax cuts be for gay Republicans when we will be treated as second class citizens?

The cats have started to settle down, but I'm wide awake, worrying about the future, wondering what will happen if the Republicans win (or steal the election again!). I hope for the best, I don't know if that will happen, but I can always hope.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Indian food for dinner. With Bob and Steve, we talked about politics and pets and gossiped. They are such nice guys, I adore them. I'm a little full at the moment and a little sleepy, probably because I awoke last night from a yukky dream and ground my teeth when I finally fell asleep.

Pansies are my favorite flower- how appropriate is that? I miss the flowers of my childhood, where we would order seed packets and plant them and watch them come up. I haven't been able to master that here in Arizona, and so I end up buying nursery flower sets. Not the same, not the mystery of wondering what color the hollyhocks or zinnias might be. I really like flowers- if you've followed my blog long enough you'll know that because I like to take pictures of them. The ex gave me flowers maybe twice. The second time was on mother's day because I had been taking care of four orphaned kittens, bottle feeding them. Oh I cried and cried because he gave me flowers, it was so sweet. Sigh. Next boyfriend better get me flowers more often, that's an order.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

I sit on my front porch and listen. What do I hear?

- the distant buzz of traffic on I-10
- the closer sounds of cars and trucks on Congress Street, Grande Avenue, and Palomas Avenue
- birds chirping and whistling in the trees in my front yard and in the taller pines across the street
- a few chickens cackling somewhere nearby
- the splash of water in the puddles down the street as cars drive through them

It rained again this morning and afternoon. My allergies should be better but I decided to clean out my bedroom closet and raised a lot of dust. Found that moths had eaten at my great-grand grandmother's crazy quilt pillow. Tossed a few things, sorted a few other things to take to the thrift store. As I wait for Matt B. to call Joey sits on my lap, she makes the little noise that means "Pet me" as she rubs her face on my arm.

What can you hear?

Saturday, April 03, 2004

Overcast and quiet today. I sat on my bed reading a book last night and fell asleep at 8:00. I awoke and thought, it must be the middle of the night! Instead it was 11 PM and dreary- cold and rainy. So I stayed in bed and got up at 6:00 and spent the morning doing chores and reading. Just back from the pet store where I patted a couple of dogs. The uber cute guy that works there was missing, sending me over the brink of despair. So I went to Borders and got a couple of books- Middlesex (recommended by Poyser) and Eragon, as well as a CD, "O Brother Where art Thou," which plays as I type.

The palo verde trees are blooming all over town. The trunks and branches of this tree are bright green and the zillions of flowers are bright yellow with a spot or two or orange. Very pretty!

Palo verde in bloom.

So quiet and cool here- I'm ready for the rain to go away.

Friday, April 02, 2004

April showers. The rain continues... and continues... It was pouring a while ago and my feet are rather wet. The desert really needs the water, we have been going through a rather long drought here. But of course the grass that I trimmed on Monday will grow like crazy and I will have to weed whack again soon.

Raining on Tom.

Very quiet at work, I have been productive despite some ongoing computer problems. You would think that being an archaeologist was always exciting and dangerous and I'd be whipping people and findings idols. Instead I have to re-format documents and make sure the numbers add up correctly in tables.

Yesterday was Puff and Joey's fourth birthday. It seems like a moment ago I was lying in bed and I heard this little mewing sound and I realized that Calico [now Mama Cat] had started having kittens. She was a stray that came to the back door for food and one day I realized she was both pregnant and had some sort of lung problem- she was coughing badly. So I reached down and grabbed her and dropped her in the house. She didn't like that, but too late. She was caught. I took her to the vet and he said- "She's going to have kittens in a week." So six days later out popped five kitties. I kept two and the other three went to new homes. Joey was the tomboy- always doing everything first, while Puff was the baby, he just liked to snuggle with me. My mother noted that they have gender identity issues and I would have to agree. So four years later the three are still keeping me company. I just wish they could clean their own litter box.

Homer and Puff.

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Zombie dream. I am at the local Catholic cemetery, asking the unhappy Hispanic girl to show me the location of a grave. It is unmarked and we talk about the plants as we walk back to the office. I admire one grave with really nice tomato plants. Suddenly the girl's co-workers are running toward us, screaming "Run! Run!" Something is wrong and I lose her as we start to run away as well. Across a street, loaded with heavy traffic. Someone gets hit by a car and there is a bunch of cars hitting each other as well as a bicycle. Standing on the sidewalk, I'm asking someone to call 911, "Something is wrong, we need the police!" And then the bicycler gets up and I realize something is really wrong. "Look at him!" I shout and he comes toward me. But someone else steps in front of him and the bicycler's attention is diverted and he pauses to rip the guys head off and immediately thrusts his mouth into the mess of blood and tissue of what was once the guy's neck. Everybody screams "Run!" and away we go. As I run into the mall, I'm screaming over and over, "Run!" The people walking toward us look puzzled, and I shout "Run!" at them again as the crowd swells and more and more people begin to run away.

And then I wake up, heart pounding like crazy. I've never had a zombie dream before- I suspect that reading about the Dawn of the Dead movie, which Chad and Ali saw last weekend, was the cause. Crap, that was a scary dream. Much scarier than the typical "Hurry, hurry" dream I have, trying to get people to leave burning buildings. In part the zombie dream is also the product of shitty current events that I do not want to see- peoples' bodies mutilated and that sort of crap. It's pretty awful when reality is as bad as a horror film.

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