2 Weeks Under The Texas Sun

I’m been meaning to post this for a month now, so I apologize for the delay. You’ll see why soon enough…

As many of y’all know, I made a recent trip home to visit family and friends in the Great State of Texas. I’d you’re new troop my lil corner of cyberspace, Welcome and Yes, I am originally from Texas. Not just Texas in general, but the part where they like to be called  South Texas. A lil history, grew up in a small town, then a population of a lil more than 21,000, with a family farm where I spent the majority of my life being about 15-20 mins out of town. We lived about a mile or 2 off the main highway and at least 10 mins to the nearest convenience store / gas station.

Ok now that you got a lil picture of my upbringing, I had originally planned to make a trip home for a family reunion over the 4th of July weekend,  A few months before I book my travel my mother informs me of a second reunion the following weekend.  So, I make the appropriate plans to stay in my hometown of Kingsville, TX from the 1st til the 17th. A llllllloooonnnng time since I haven’t made the trip home in nearly 3 years.  When I first moved to LA I tried to go home at least once a year, but for the past few years money has been really tight and simply couldn’t afford the trip. So ya, here I start to prepare myself for the boredom and not to mention the humid Texas summer heat. Well, a week or two after I booked the flight, and reserved my rental car, I get a call from mom to say that the second reunion was cancelled due to a tornado that came thru town. Needless to say I was mortified, first to hear about a tornado ripping thru my lil hometown, then the thought of my plans were now ruined. What was I going to do? Especially now that I had even more free time to steam under the Texas Sun in a town I had out grown many years ago.

I get on my phone and the fabulous social media websites we love such as Facebook, Skype and Google Chat and look up my old friends. I was relieved to be able to keep in touch over the years and with the help of my childhood friends plan to split the time between my hometown when a few trips into Corpus Christi and my previous home before LA, San Antonio. Corpus Christi is about 45 mins to and hour from mom’s house in Kingsville. (A lil side note, many know Corpus as the home of the famous Selena, or as the movie put it Selenas.) Living in LA that’s a normal daily commute for most, but back home people travel that far once a week or less. 
I’m in Corpus Christi / Kingsville reconnecting with family and friends I haven’t seen in years,  some since before I left to the Army, right after Highschool, while others I hadn’t seen in a few years, and some we stay in not so moderate communication. One thing I learned while home was mom still is seeing her “friend” and now lives with him and the guys father, has finally left being a slave for Wal-Mart, however recently became one for another giant corporation, McDonald’s. I’m sorry, but I simply am not happy about that, not one bit. She claims to be doing alright, but I’m worried beyond belief about her well-being.

Fast forward 10 days of spending it at mom’s house with her and the “roommates” and I’m off to spend the last week of my trip in San Antonio, catching up with a few long time friends from when I used to call the Alamo / River City home. I got to spend most of this time catching up with my besties Vanessa and Andres. Even talked briefly with Andres about the possibility of moving back home to TX some day. He even offered to let me stay on his ranch, just a few miles outside San Antonio, ’till I got established. One big perk is he also is a dog trainer, so I’ll have access to his pack of dogs which is a big plus since I loved spending time with them while he was at work. See my facebook page for their pictures.

The afternoon of the 17th, I started my travels back home to LA. On the plane, in the airport and for a few weeks I pondered this trip and evaluated it from nearly every angle I could think of. And I have come to the conclusion that I am going to have to return back to TX to help take care of mom. I really don’t have anything other than my volunteer work holding me here and I can still do that from there and commute every month or so for board meetings and events.  Definitely got to fulfill my obligations with LA Leather Pride.

So,  it’s official. I know what some of you are saying…  “Didn’t you say a few months ago that, LA is home and you will never leave.” Yes, that statement is still true and I do consider LA my second home. However, I am Momma’s baby boy, and I feel I have some business to take care of back home in Texas. When will this all happen? Not sure to say, but sometime within the next few months. One thing’s for sure I want to be home by the early part of 2017, at the latest. First, I have some obligations and responsibilities that I would like to complete and/or pass on to a capable person. At least during my tenure with the LA Leather Coalition, I will be commuting to LA to remain an active member of the Board and to remain active with the planning for LA Leather Pride. This will also allow me to keep some participation with other groups such as ONYX, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence and AVER. I will of course be stepping down at the end of this year as President of the AVER’s Greater LA Chapter, only completing one year of the current term, sadly I feel it is only fair. The President is a extremely active role and I can’t do that from Texas, commuting or remotely. It wouldn’t be right, so sadly I informed their Board of my intentions to step down, effective Dec 31,2016. I’m wishing them well and will be a phone call away if they need my help, while they use this time to revitalize and restructure the group. I definitely don’t see them going away with my departure. LA has many LGBT Veterans and AVER is the only organization to represent them in the region, and currently the only active chapter on the West Coast. I’m not going to transfer to the Texas Chapter for AVER or the San Antonio Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence right away as I’m going to try and stay active from afar as long as possible. Eventually I will transfer to their respective local Chapters. 

So there you have it, my Two Weeks Under The Texas Sun has changed my life. You can say it is for the best, since I’m going to be closer to mom in this tough time. You can say it face me the fever. How long will this move be for? Not sure, could be for a few years to get mom in a comfortable place, or could be permanent. I’m leaving that to the universe. To be quite honest, I’m terrified. I know it will be some getting used to, especially since I’m accustomed to the luxuries and perks of living in a big metropolitan, like LA. But, I’m sure all will be fine and I’m get accustomed to living amongst gun toting Republicans in no time.

Now that children is something I’ll leave for another time. I grew up around guns however then have new “open carry” laws in Texas. Come back for story time, and we’ll discuss that topic there. Until next time, peace & love to you all!

Thoughts on the Metro – 10 Sept 2015

Now that I’m using the Metro again to get around I can’t help but use the time to sit in somewhat quiet, especially if I’m using my headphones, and ponder the great many questions about life.  This morning was nothing different, given I was half asleep and we got stuck in the tunnel on the East LA extension of the Gold Line.

With the upcoming LGBT Veteran Event I’m producing at Patriotic Hall, I have many things going on upstairs and have difficulty concentrating on anything for any extended period with out my mind drifting over to the planning and coordination of the event. If you have no clue what ever I’m referring to,  please visit http://op-dadt.aver-gla.org and educate yourself.

Any who,  between thinking about if certain political leaders have confirmed attendance and where I will be placing the many service providers,  I took a moment to enjoy the scenery. And did I ever…. There was this stocky Latino standing across from me, and this guy was a looker. I found myself studying him,  the way he was dressed,  how his head was freshly shaved, the artwork and possible meaning behind his tatts, how he carried himself,  how he walked across the platform,  how he shifted his weight when standing. OK,  I’ll admit I was starring, but I tried not to make it overtly obvious that I was.  I tried to camflauge my stares by looking down at my phone.  And, I ask you what would you be doing in my shoes?

I bring this up cause I finally came to the realization that this is the “type” of guy that gets my attention and I find the most attractive.  I know, how cliche…  Listen up,  I have dated many “types” and races, even sexes… And no not just a typical man and woman,  I’ll let that fester for a min………… When I’m asked what is my “type” I always say,  I don’t have one and that I like all kinds of guys, but at times Latin guys get my attention most of all.

So,  this morning while being stuck in the tunnel I came to realize that I truly have a infatuation, you can say with Latinos. Not just any Latinos, I like the “type” of guy that looks unapproachable, but is a giant teddy bear,  the guy with a shaved head or a very tight fade,  dark brown skin and tattoos. Tattoos and modest body jewelry make any man extra attractive in my book. For the most part, it has to be tasteful and public friendly. Sometimes the gang tatts make me wanna sit on the guy’s face…  OMG, did that just come out? Sorry Mom, I know you’re probably reading this. I’m just being candid and honest. Hell, this my personal blog, and if you’re a new reader thanks for checking me out. Consider yourself warned that there will be times were I throw caution to the wind and let you have it!

Well there you have it,  that’s what I like,  and upon  reflection has been the “type” of guy I have dated or even been with the past few years…  If you find this type to be scary or is a trouble maker, that is not always the case.  I have found that every “type” has its problems, you have to be willing to give everyone at least a chance, you never know what may be right in front of you. I will close on this thought, my “type” of man has proven to have been the best provider and caretaker, and one hell of a lover! 😜

Iraq war poetry | PTSD | Poem by a Marine veteran of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars living with post-traumatic stress disorder

Many have asked me what it’s like to live with PTSD and/or what it was like to serve in a combat zone. It’s difficult to explain to someone who had never served, as the experience is unique, and it also effects everyone differently. For some the experience is so traumatic that they literally break down immediately and can never recover, while others go on to live normal everyday lives with little to no impact on their well-being. For the most part many come back with a degree of PTSD. This poem I found recently let’s the world see thru the eyes of the Veteran. I recently shared this with the Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, as I am a vocal Gay Combat Veteran, and felt some of them needed to be educated on what some elements of my everyday life is, as well as many other Veterans.

One thing to think about is LGBT Veterans also face an added layer of anxiety as they also faced discrimination for being who they are. Some of which, like myself, where kicked out of the service for loving someone that the military said was unnatural. This stress along with the stress of surviving combat is something I would never want to wish on my worst enemies. It is however part of wgat makes me the man I am today, and why I have dedicated my adult life to helping my fellow Veterans navigate the hell that is the VA System, and life.

Take a look at the original poem here as well as some of the others on the site that Veterans have written. Their words are a peek into our lives that the world will never truly see…

The Following Are Some of the Feelings
That Most Will Never Know

By Robert R.

Today I freaked out in a store where danger was non-existent.
Maybe if I stay up all night doing coke there won’t be any nightmares.
But I can’t go without sleep.

The war is over for me.
I don’t understand why I panic or break out into sweats
or fits of anger.

Today I saw most of my family for the first time in a year.
Nothing felt real; everyone was but a stranger passing by me on a street.
“Dissociation” is the term, I believe.

I feel like my mind has shattered
and that I left my soul in Iraq.
I don’t want to admit that I’m hurting inside.

When my emotions were shut off,
I didn’t get to choose which ones I would keep.
I feel utterly lost.

I used to be strong and proud.
Now all I can think about is what I saw, what I experienced.
Nothing in the world seems to matter beyond that.

I think more now, and when I speak it’s with a sarcastic tone.
Months of feeling dead inside are followed by a week of depression and tears.
I feel weak and frail, my identity and faith shattered.

In “The Odyssey,” Homer asked:
“Must you carry the bloody horror of combat in your heart forever?”
The answer still eludes me.

I encourage everyone who reads these words to really take a moment and take them in. Try and see the world thru the eyes of the reader. May they help you better understand the horror of what living with PTSD is…


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Words of Wisdom #5 – 20 Things to Remember If You Love a Person with ADD

Thanks to my buddy Juan for sharing this…

This is something to consider for dating someone with PTSD, as they also suffer from most of these. As a Combat Veteran with PTSD, I know first hand how hard it can be to be in a relationship with me. However, if you take the time to look past these problems then it can really be worth the time and effort. So today’s Words of Wisdom is to not judge a person based on their ability or in this case their disability.

People who have a mental disorder such as ADD, ADHD, PTSD, TBI and the list goes on have some social problems, and can be hard to love and/or get to know. Just take the time to scratch the surface and see who is beneath the mental disorder is someone who might just change your life. Who knows he or she might be the one, if you take the time to really get to know the person.

So read the article in the link below and share it with someone you know, knowledge is the key to success:

http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/20-things-remember-you-love-person-with-add.html

P.S. Who wants to go out, and get to know me?


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Words of Wisdom #4 – Trying (Official Music Video) feat. Lisa Be…

This video was sent to me this past weekend. I had to share it with all of you here. The video is titled, “Trying” by Mike Flanagan. I recommend that you all check out his YouTube Channel: www.youtube.com/MikeFlanaganMusic

“Trying” is a very heartfelt message of two men that meet and fall madly in love with each other. They are of course not excempt from the challenges of having a relationship. We see in the video the struggles each partner faces in “trying” to make it work. The words of the chorus pretty much address one of the biggest problems we face in today’s world, …”I keep trying to love, someone who does know how to love…” Those words alone hit home for me in a big way, as my past relationships failed for that reason. At first I didn’t know what I wanted or how to give or receive love. Now that I believe I have a good grasp of what I want and am learning how to love myself and others its difficult for this one reason. I have so much love to give that the other person doesn’t know how to receive it, or I’m not giving enough love for the other person to feel loved.

The video shows two burly men meeting, falling in love, and then growing apart. It shows one of the men, thinking about the happy times they.shared such as being in the park with the dog, coming home to each other after a long day at work, and cuddling up on the couch with a pizza. I don’t know about you but that is something I want to someday have in stable healthy relationship. Let’s all put the drama of our lives aside and learn to love. With love, true love we will become a much happier community. A community where we can find our soul mate, and not have our hearts broken over and over. Just like the guy in the video, I know the pain of heartache. The feeling of losing someone you really love is a pain that lasts forever. It may over time fade, however once you allow someone into your heart they are there with you ti the end of time. I know in my heart there are a few good men and women, family and friends as well as men I considered to settle down with. I do have to say I been saving one certain spot for Mr. Right, just hope he comes along some day soon.

MRF – Trying (Official Music Video) feat. Lisa Be…:


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Chandelier

Sometimes you just got to.break from of all the stress and frustration we deal with in our day to day lives. I personally hear the words of this song and wish I was swinging from a chandelier or on a mountain top screaming to let it all out. Some people say screaming doesn’t do anything but hurt your throat. I believe if done right it can be a very stress relief. Hell, when things get bad for me I will sometimes scream into my pillow not to scare my neighbors or roommate.

So let the words wash over you. Sit back close your eyes and imagine yourself cutting loose just like the girl in the video, with not a care in the world.

Sia – Chandelier (Official Video):

http://youtu.be/2vjPBrBU-TM


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Pondering the past weekend – 5 Oct 14

Well this past weekend as been a whirlwind of emotions and everything has been all over the place… Last week the Muscle Cub and I had been getting a bit distant and I figured it would happen as he is under lots of stress and his mom is now staying with him. What I was not expecting was that I would find out via social media that he was talking to another guy as well.

Let me back track a lil, for the past lets say month maybe longer we had been having trouble finding time to do anything. Only time I would get to see him or even talk was when I was driving him home from work. We had before that decided to take things slow to really get a chance to know each other. This of course was not happening and we had to cancel plans after plans and say we will try for another time. Well this past weekend I found out that some of the plans were cancelled so he could hang out with the other guy.

I at first was hurt and felt betrayed, however it really made sense as to what had been going on. I had felt like something was up, just wasn’t sure. When I asked him about what I found he got upset and said I was being too nosey and he felt uncomfortable as he didn’t think he had to say anything. I was like papi, wr are supposed to be getting to know each other and see where things would be going. Even if we were to.just become friends, friends talk and don’t be shady about things. From my point of view it looks as if he has one live that I’m part of where his family sees me as more than just a friend of the family, and then there is this other person that parties and forgets those close to him. I don’t know if I have the energy to be in a complicated friendship or any kind of relationship like that.

Don’t get me wrong, I still care deeply about the guy. He was the first guy in a really long time to really accept me for the person I am, and not judge me for being a Drag Nun. I felt really appreciated and comfortable with him, I still do. Physically he is not the type of guy I would consider would give me the time of day. He is a 5’8 naturally smooth bodybuilder, the type of guy very opposite me as I’m a big hairy not fit guy. He really made me feel special, and his family accepted me as one of there own.

Lately I have spent many nights torn as to what to do with this guy. I have gave up a lot to show him I was serious about wanting to get to know him. I have shed many tears wondering what I did wrong for him not to open up or want to spend time together as late. If this was anyone else I would have walked away and shifted focus to taking care of my self, however I see him struggling with life and I can’t help but wanna be there for him anyway I can. Just after recent events I am wondering if this is worth the time and energy. I can see beyond the party guy and see he wants something serious, however I can see he is damaged and afraid to get hurt. I understand that his background has scared him, and know from experience what he is going thru. When I think about walking away, there is lil voice in the back of my head saying don’t give up on him just yet. Give him a lil more time.

I can see him and I really being close friends that can trust each other no matter what comes along, or even a strong happy couple. I would so love the latter, however if the universe only allows us to become good friends, then I will gladly accept that as well.

Back, to the events of this weekend… We had a heated argument which ended with him walking away pissed. I had not wanted to bring it up, but when he got in the car ge saw that something was bothering me, and I broke down. I know that might not have been the best time to ask him about things, but I could not hold it in anymore. Later that day, while he was at work we talked via email and aired this out a lil, however he said he wanted to sit and talk things out in person so we both are on the same page. This is something we been wanting yo do for awhile, and haven’t had a chance for one reason or another.

To make things even more complicated this past week marked 2 years since I was laid off from my last job. I have been such an emotional mess because I dunno if I will ever be able to hold a regular 9-5 job again, as my PTSD related Stress, depression and anxiety have been getting the best of me. I filed for an increase in my VA Disability, however they are dragging their feet. Meanwhile, my bills keep piling up. I saw the only good thing going for me, giving me something to want to wake up and get outta the house, giving me a reason yo smile again.

I just want to feel love and give love to another person. With all this stress, and nothing going right I have been thinking about giving up and retreating to the family farm or a friend’s house in San Antonio, where I can isolate and think about what I wanna do with myself. The thought of giving up on life has also crossed my mind, however the thought of hurting my family keeps those thoughts from manifesting into reality. It scares me that I have had these kinds of thoughts. I would so want to live a long and happy life here in LA, a place where I truly feel at home.

As for the Muscle Cub, I don’t know what the future will hold just yet. We still haven’t sat down to talk, was hoping to this weekend, but he had plans to go out with friends and we really didn’t talk much. Supposed to see him tomorrow so we will see what happens. I also have noticed the interest of some other great guys, however I just can’t start talking to another until I know for sure where I stand with this one. I don’t want to complicate my life anymore that it is. One thing is for sure, I can’t wait around for things to manifest into what ever the universe holds with the Muscle Cub. I have to start looking after me, I need to stop putting him and others before my personal needs. I’m giving myself a few months to find a reason to stay in LA, such as a job or a man to love. I know it might be a bit much, but I want to be happy again. I don’t want to have to cry myself to sleep every night as I can’t cope with the stress and heart ache.


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Summer 2014

Well, I have this blog and don’t really post too much. I’m going to start to change that and try my damnedest to post something everyday. So, strap yourself in cause this journey is about to take off. Prepare yourself for the twists and turns of what I call my day to day life.

Well, let me start off with a brief run down of my past summer. I will start off over the Memorial Day Weekend, I started what I plan to have as a long line of Veteran themed fundraiser’s thru my alternate persona (Sister Mariposa Patriota). Sister Mariposa along with the help of the Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence took over the Bullet Bar in North Hollywood on a Sat night, for an event called Remembering Our Heroes. The event was a huge success, raising money and awareness for Homeless Veterans in Los Angeles County, and brought in over $800 which stayed locally and helped those in need. Im trying to coordinate another repeat for November around Veterans Day, and will definitely be repeating the Memorial Day Weekend next year.

I usually also put on an LGBT Military Ball as Sister Mariposa over the 4th of July Weekend, however it was decided that it would be postponed to a later date this year, or might skip this year. I was looking at holding this event at Cobra in North Hollywood which would have been the 3rd Annual. The first year we did the LGBT Military Ball at Oil Can Harry’s in Studio City, and the 2nd (last year) at Ripples in Long Beach. I’ll keep y’all posted when the details start to firm up…

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had been interested and involved in a complicated friendship/relationship. The guy I thought was someone I could really see myself being close with, either as a friend or more. Well towards the beginning of summer he dropped me to move to North Carolina with a guy he met online, and of course it didn’t work out. I tried to be there for him the best I could all the while try and keep my own life in balance. I failed and he recently told me I was a jerk for giving him space to get his life in order on his own terms, while I battled my own demons of depression and other personal problems. I’m I was not there to drop everything and be there like I had before, but I had to take care of myself for a change. Sorry he decided to end our friendship, however I wish him the best. I will always have a spot for him in my heart and will be checking up on him from afar even tho he blocked me from his social media.

As mentioned earlier, this summer was a tough one for me. Usually Vets with PTSD have boughts of depression during the summer and the holidays, with the holiday season the worse of the two. However, for me it always is the summer as the worse. I dunno why, maybe its the heat or something in the air or water, but the summer hits me really hard. This year it did so extra hard, think it could be since I’m still unemployed, or haven’t really dated in years… I was on the verge of losing it and started to contemplate checking into the VA psych ward, as I was starting to have thoughts of giving up on everything. Was hoping that I would fall asleep and simply not wake up. Then everything changed over the 4th of July Weekend.

That weekend I was one the apps and had come across the profile of this one guy in Hollywood. We had been chatting for two weeks I think and agreed to meet up towards the end of the weekend and see what was up. As two gay men meeting via a phone dating app, you can imagine what we were looking to get into, however we talked and played a lil. Then agreed to meet up again. Well that was two and half months ago, and we still are talking. We haven’t really given it a label and are not in a hurry to either. If asked I would say we are dating and getting to know each other. We both have the idea to get to know each other and become close friends before we make things official. With that being said I’m not going to disclose who he is just yet, however for future reference I will use the psuedoname of Muscle Cub when I refer to him in a post. Like any other couple we have our moments of love and moments of disagreements & misunderstanding. Hell, this relationship, whatever it is, is still in the early stages and we somehow make it work. He is 33 bodybuilder, half Puerto Rican & half Arabic, a perfect combination cause he is a sweetheart and very passionate. He’s also going to school full-time and works full-time so we don’t get to spend much time together during the week. However, he’s determined to finish school and be the best man he can be. We try to schedule time together during the weekend. He also has met Sister Mariposa and is ok with her. In the past when I tried to date, guys would freak out when they found out we were a package deal & would either say they weren’t interested or simply disappear. However, the Muscle Cub is supportive of the work she does, something I find very much a turn on. I’ve even met his family recently and they love me and make feel welcomed & at home. Been spending time with them during the week while he’s at work, helping his mom go on errand runs, and must say she makes some fabulous food. She’s trying to fatten me up I think…

So far things are off to a good gradual start. Who knows maybe the Muscle Cub is the guy I will take home to Momma. If he is then I may definitely get to have that magical wedding I always dreamed of. For now we will take it one day at a time and see how it goes. We both aren’t perfect, and have had some rough times in our pasts and we are working through our hang ups.

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