Thursday, November 30, 2006

Calling All Humans Who Love God!

”Because our words carry tremendous power, we need to learn to say only what needs to be said . . .words which will bless and edify, not curse or tear down.” ~Joyce Meyer

It’s no secret that I don’t think before I speak sometimes. I say things abruptly when I’m angry and sometimes hurt those that I love the most. It happens. There are times where I find myself saying things unintentionally that make others feel bad. It’s because I fail to think before I speak sometimes. I’m still learning. I've learned to keep my mouth shut and wait 24 hours before I speak when I'm angry.

Words hold so much power. Even psychology teaches us to say it, believe it, and then do it. If you keep telling yourself, “I can’t do it, I can’t do it!” Eventually, you will start believing that you can’t do it. If you tell yourself, “I can do this!” Eventually, you will start to believe that you can do it. Visualization techniques such as CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is another way to establish beliefs in yourself, but verbalizing your actions in my opinion holds so much more power.

People have the ability to influence others with mere words. To my knowledge, I wasn’t aware of how my words affected others- even through my writing. I was getting discouraged, because I sometimes trek over to my reviews of my book, and only see a few sitting in there. The other day, I received an email from a reader who thanked me for helping her. I wasn’t sure if I was making a difference. Then this morning when I woke up, I opened up my email and saw two more sitting in there thanking me for encouraging them to draw near to God. They saw a different point of view from another believer in Christ.

The reason I started writing was through my spiritual encounters I had with God. I quickly started writing what was happening to me, and it manifested itself into a journal, and quickly before I knew it, it then became a book that I published. There were times while writing my book that I felt it wasn’t even my own fingers typing. There were tons of messages brought to me through God that left me speechless.

I thought, “Why me? I’m gay. Isn’t that such a detestable sin?”

I didn’t think I was worthy enough for God to talk to me, because I was living my life as a homosexual. I’m an abomination to God! Why would He even give me a chance to have this beautiful encounter with Him? I was honored. I was also scared at times too, because the feeling of His spirit was so overwhelming at times, it left me shaking and crying out of pure joy. I didn’t think my body could handle this feeling of extreme emotion. I can’t even explain to you how it felt. The only thing I can tell you is- it was real. Like I always say, science can call me on it and say it was a psychotic moment and that my mind produced some type of chemical reaction to make me feel that way. To me? It was amazing. I believe (and know) with all my heart, that God came to me for a reason; a very specific reason.

There are so many tortured souls out there looking for the truth. So many people struggling with their “sin”, or what the mainstream thinks is a sin. In my experience, God called me “His messenger”. No, I’m not going crazy. This is why I am so persistent about my beliefs in God, and why I tolerate such hatred from other Christians. Who’s going to tell me differently from what God has told me? Who do I believe? God or a human?

All scriptures from the bible say that it is inspired by God, right? The people who wrote the bible claim it was from spiritual experiences that they have had. Okay. Think about this though… The bible was written years ago. So many translations of that bible have been tweaked a number of times. I even see the truth in it. I see what they speak of, when they reiterate the fact that homosexuality is a sin. The truth is, they speak of homosexuality in the promiscuous way- the lustful way. They don’t speak of it in terms of a loving relationship between two people of the same gender.

Even heterosexual premarital sex is considered a sin. Now, if the state allowed the gays and lesbians to marry- don’t you think they would try and do the right thing, if premarital sex was seen as a sin? They literally can’t marry due to “people”…not God. Homosexuality is looked upon only in the sexual way. When someone hears, “Oh he/she is gay,” the only thing that comes to mind is sex. But when speaking of a couple that is heterosexual, most likely they will think of a union based in the form of a loving relationship.

Being gay isn’t all about sex. We have emotions, feelings, love and the need for companionship. We desire a life with the person we “love”. Our “orientation” is not an impulse for sexual desires- it goes beyond that. Don’t get me wrong, there are many promiscuous homosexuals, as well as heterosexuals. Fundamentalists can’t see the difference between what the scripture references to. They can only pinpoint the fact that “immoral sex” is bad. Well of course it is! It’s not only bad for the spirit, but it can have a negative affect on the physical body as well if done with carelessness. Being in a union with someone you love unconditionally holds so much more value. God blesses those unions.

God sees our hearts. He knows what we’re going to pray for, before we even speak a word to Him. He knew that some would be gay, some would be straight and others would possibly get lost along the way. This is all meant for a purpose. My purpose is to show those who feel lost in faith because of their sexual orientation; that it’s okay to love someone of the same gender. GOD LOVES YOU! This is His message to them. This is the message to those who are straight and suffering from any other type of guilt their plagued with. I am not twisting the word of God. I am stating what I have heard from Him myself! You can either believe it, or choose to simply ignore my message. That’s totally up to you.

Remember, whatever cross you have to bear, God will see you through it. You’re not alone. Even when you feel too guilty to come to Him- remember that it’s the work of Satan that produces the emotion of “guilt”. God doesn’t give us guilt, anger, jealousy, resentment and depression. Only Satan does. Go beyond this…move forward. Show the devil and his followers or even pseudo Christians that you’re better than that. Step out in faith and know that you will always be loved by God.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christians Chant: "God Hates Fags!"





Matthew Shepard beaten to death because he was gay.

Teena Brandon (or Brandon Teena) was raped and killed due to the intolerance of her lifestyle.

…”Sadly - The only thing Deb and the "Gay Christian" community is doing is 'loving' and 'tolerating' people STRAIGHT to hell.” Dani says.

Isn’t that what Jesus did? He loved and tolerated those who sinned. We’re all sinners- regardless.

This story below proves that Jesus accepted sinners. The most important thing to Him is that you love Him with all your heart. That’s the most important commandment of all.

“Jesus Anointed by a Sinful Woman”

One of the Pharisees asked Jesus to come to his home for a meal, so Jesus accepted the invitation and sat down to eat. A certain immoral woman heard he was there and brought a beautiful jar filled with expensive perfume. Then she knelt behind him at his feet, weeping. Her tears fell on his feet, and she wiped them off with her hair. Then she kept kissing his feet and putting perfume on them. When the Pharisee who was the host saw what was happening and who the woman was, he said to himself, “This proves that Jesus is no prophet. If God had really sent him, he would know what kind of woman is touching him. She’s a sinner!” Then Jesus spoke up and answered his thoughts. “Simon,” he said to the Pharisee, “I have something to say to you.” “All right. Teacher,” Simon replied, “go ahead.” Then Jesus told him this story: “A man loaned money to two people—five hundred pieces of silver to one and fifty pieces to the other. But neither of them could repay him, so he kindly forgave them both, canceling their debts. Who do you suppose loved him more after that?” Simon answered, “I suppose the one for whom he canceled the larger debt.” “That’s right,” Jesus said. Then he turned to the woman and said to Simon, “Look at this woman kneeling here. When I entered your home, you didn’t offer me water to wash the dust from my feet, but she has washed them with her tears and wiped them with her hair. You didn’t give me a kiss of greeting, but she has kissed my feet again and again from the time I first came in. You neglected the courtesy of olive oil to anoint my head, but she has anointed my feet with rare perfume. I tell you, her sins—and they are many—have been forgiven, so she has shown me much love. But a person who is forgiven little shows only little love. Then Jesus said to the woman, “Your sins are forgiven.” The men at the table said among themselves, “Who does this man think he is, going around forgiving sins?” And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” ~Luke 7:36-50

Fundamentalist Christians scare me. Extremists of any religion scares me, because they’re a potential danger to those who are different. They have absolutely no tolerance for anyone who doesn’t fit their standards of being a “Christian” or whatever religion they stand for. Look at 9/11. Extremist Muslims killed for their God. Look at all the hate crimes committed, such as Teena Brandan. Two men brutally raped and beat her up, because she was a transexual. Matthew Shepard- killed and murdered due to his orientation; due to intolerance for homosexuals. How far does it get when one feels the need to “kill off” homosexuals, or those who are different?

It goes with any “differences”. Whether you’re black, Jewish, Muslim, gay, homosexual or in an interracial relationship, people will find a way to ridicule you and possibly hurt you. Has the world become so insecure with themselves that they feel the need to hurt those who don’t live as they do? Some say that the real meaning of being a homophobic is out of insecurity of being a heterosexual.

In my opinion, hating those who are different from you stems from hating something within yourself.

What do you think?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

The Faces are Many...In the Name of Religion

As Dani continues to speak of my “sin” on her blog, I chose to take part in the discussion. Maxime, a young girl who was influenced by Dani was a guest blogger who brought up my situation a couple of times. "How can Deb call herself a Christian if she’s a lesbian?"

I’m not going to say much upon this topic, due to the redundancy. I can only ask if you can view this video below. It shows how intolerant this world is to people who are different. The hatred and violence is beyond it’s limits. People have lost their lives by others who were intolerant of their lifestyle. They feel they have “righteous judgment” and feel the need to convict those who they think are committing a sin. Isn’t it God’s job to judge? Don’t we trust God to do His job?

My question is, how can you be hateful and still call yourself a Christian?

The most important commandment is this: “Hear O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.” The second is equally important: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” No other commandment is greater than these. ~Mark 12: 29-31

These are words spoken by Jesus Himself. Christian extremists and other religious finatics are killing one another in the name of religion. Please, if you have time- watch this video.

EDIT: I'm not sure why the video isn't showing anymore, but if you click here, you can view it from this link.

Monday, November 27, 2006

The Memory Pill

Gamey smelling turkey leftover in the fridge, a few pieces of pie still lying on the bottom shelf and a few pumpkins left over from Halloween still sitting in the same spot. I need to throw them out. There’s an eerie calmness after a holiday. On Thanksgiving, it’s more of a tranquil feeling. There’s still an exciting energy due to the next holidays coming up. Is it excitement or anxiety? I’m not sure.

Wayworn travelers cluttered bumper-to-bumper on the freeways trying to make it back home from relatives’ houses and/or shopping sprees grumble and honk their horns at other motorists, fearing never getting to their destinations. Department stores packed with agitated shoppers and their toddlers screaming and crying begin to settle on your last nerve.

“I need a drink.”
“Okay, let’s head to ‘Friday’s’ for a cocktail.” Amy suggests.

We head over to the big square bar that wrapped itself almost around the entire room. The tables on the side were filled up with overtired and hungry people guarding their shopping bags with their life.

“What kind of pinot noir do you have?” I ask the bartender, hoping to find one I preferred.
“We have a really nice pinot grigio that you may like.”
“No. Any pinot noirs—wait—what red wines do you carry?”
“Oh, cabernet or merlot.”
“Cabernet please.” I said, exhausted from thinking. Amy looked over at me after she ordered a nice easy Amstel Light. She didn’t want to bother boggling the mind of a young eighteen year old who didn’t know a thing about wine. Beer was her thing. Shots were her specialty. Besides, who orders wine at a chain restaurant? Surprisingly, the young bartender brought over a huge beautiful goblet of cabernet…which was actually pretty good. It wasn’t pure vinegar.

Five fish bowl goblets of red wine and two trips to the loo later, thoughts of the past started sinking in. Each Christmas holiday is different for me. As I grow older, I’ve noticed that my relationships with people change somewhat, my location of celebration alters, as well as my attitude towards the holiday itself- it’s become a huge business. The whole meaning of “Christ”mas is lost, due to pressures of gifts and what to get who this year. It should be much like Thanksgiving- family and friends getting together with good cocktails and delicious foods. We also think about those we lost in the past, who have celebrated Christmas with us many times before. It makes you think of who else we’ll lose.

The holidays start becoming more of a reminder of who and what we lost during the course of our lives. People become angry, sad and depressed over the holiday, instead of happy, jovial and appreciative. I’m trying to keep that “holiday spirit’ in check, but it’s hard when you have things to remind you each time you do something to celebrate. During this time, there are more suicides and suicide attempts. People tend to be more depressed. Is it because of their memories? It’s not necessarily bad memories that make them depressed. It’s the good memories too, that make them long for the good ol' days. “Christmas won’t be the same without him/her…” Whether through a break up or a death, it still hurts knowing that special someone won’t be there this year. Divorces are especially hard when it comes to the kids. Who do they spend it with? Christmas Eve with one parent and Christmas day with the other? I’m not sure how the other holidays are sort out as far as dates go, so that’s why I’m referring to Christmas right now. It’s what I know.

They recently just came out with ‘the memory pill’. This pill is known to erase tragic events that took place, and can erase unwanted memories. There’s a huge debate about it. One debate explains that it may decrease our learning capabilities. For instance, if you make a fool out of yourself at a party, you can erase that memory and forget about it. But what about the learning process behind it? It’ll make you remember what you did, leaving you to only do what’s best…to not do that again. It makes sense. But then you have the debate, where a woman was tragically raped. It replays over and over inside her head. They showed this on 20/20 last night. She has been living with this horrific memory for thirty years! They gave her the pill, and it detached the emotions that went with the memory. So now, whenever her husband goes near her, she doesn’t hesitate or become distant. She is so thankful for this pill.

Researchers believe that if they do put this out on the market, people will get doctors to sign a prescription for those who are lying about a certain memory. Instead, they wipe out a tragic thing that they did themselves. What if a pedophile can’t resist his/her temptation, and completely wipes out the memory of their crime so they don’t feel guilty? What about in court, when the person can’t remember the crime they committed and on the lie detector it shows they were telling the truth, only because they can’t remember it anymore due to this “wonder pill”?

Our memories are there for a reason. If we don’t go through certain things, like bad relationships, rough break ups, deaths, losing a job or any other negative experience, how are we supposed to handle things in the future better? It would be as though we were going through it for the first time. And remember our first time in a bad break up? Remember our first relationships? I know for me, I have learned a whole lot about myself through bad relationships and what I “wouldn’t” do today. I personally feel that this memory pill is not only dangerous, but it’ll make us naïve and careless in life.

Your thoughts?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Gratitude

The world is not always a peaceful place to live. Encounters with fear, worry, and difficult circumstances encroach regularly. But it isn’t Gods desire to allow the negative aspects of life to steal your peace, joy, hope, and confidence. God wants to help you deal with your fears and worries. When you fully understand that the battles and struggles of life are not yours to fight alone, you experience divine peace and gain the strength to live your life fully.

This peace from God is unlike the natural peace you experience in your life. That type of peace fluctuates with circumstances. Divine peace is dependent on your relationship with God, and as long as you are living in close communion with Him, it is a constant in your life, no matter what is going on around you. God’s peace supernaturally calms your fears and serves as an assurance of his presence. What a blessing!

Divine peace in your heart and mind is not subject to the whims of circumstance and fortune. It is a true and lasting peace that grows as you learn to trust God. If your life is filled with turmoil, ask God to fill you with divine peace. Your circumstances won’t necessarily change, but you discover an inner confidence and know that God will be there to see you through whatever life has in store. ~GRQ Inc.

It’s safe to say that I’ve been living under feelings of guilt, fear, depression and anxiety. All of us go through these emotions- I know that. For me, it's a matter of getting rid of these feelings that plague me. I need it to go away. These past few days, I’ve realized that these feelings will not go away on its own. I have to consciously make an effort to deal with what I have on my plate. I have to stop being so independent, and more dependant on God. (Independent in terms of trying to fix things or make them right- on my own, without God's help.) Even if things never change in my favor, I have to make other options to make myself happy.

All of these negative emotions causes extreme lassitude on my entire body. I’m constantly fatigued, worn out and have no desire to do the things I normally love to do. My writing has been suffering and my love for music (playing guitar & song writing) has come to a halt. Usually, this time of year, I look around for a part time job bartending for extra money during the holidays. I have absolutely no desire. I was about to apply for one particular job, which I know pays really well, and I just walked away from it.

There’s so many things in life that some of us take for granted. I know I do. I don’t realize at the time, and then when I’m calm, content and at peace (which is rare), I find myself appreciating all the things I nearly forgot about. Everything seems bad at the time. Things aren’t going right, or things aren’t moving as fast as we want them to. It basically boils down to patience with me. I don’t have an ounce in my body. But, while waiting for God’s gifts to come, I simply forget what’s right in front of me for the meantime and for the rest of my life hopefully.

1. My family. They’re always making me laugh. Laughter is the key to my heart. They have helped me through so much. For that, I am thankful.

2. I sometimes forget the love and support I get from my friends. They always encourage me and lend me their ear when I need to vent. Thank you.

3. When I was about five years old, I always wondered if I’d have my parents when I was in my thirties. I do. And for that, I am very thankful that I have the both of them, healthy and full of spunk.

4. The place I live now. I rant and rave about being too close to comfort to the parental units, but to tell you the truth, it’s truly a blessing that they are so close by. I’m so thankful that I have a roof over my head and a great place to stay.

5. I’m glad I went through all the negative experiences that I’ve encountered. It made me stronger and it definitely had me learning quite a few things about situations…and about myself. God puts you in situations for a reason. If He brings you to it…He’ll see you through it. I totally believe that.

6. I can’t emphasize enough what a joy it is to see the sunrise every single morning outside of my window, beyond the mountains. When I lived in a condo, I didn’t get to see this gorgeous view. It’s breathtaking.

7. My black coffee every morning. I know it’s a small thing to be grateful for, but without it, I’m a grouch! So other people in my life may be grateful for that too.

8. For years, I was legally blind. I decided to get lasik surgery. They told me that my cornea was so thin, that there was a chance they may cut through it by mistake, leaving me blind. I’m so glad I see 20/20 now…and my corneas are just fine! So I am grateful for my beautiful female surgeons who did a fantastic job! (I didn’t know they were that gorgeous until after the operation!)

9. My ability to write and express myself on my blog as well as in my books. I’m so glad I have a few hobbies, like playing guitar, song writing, photography as well as art to keep my mind occupied. These are the gifts that God gave to me, and I’m so thankful for that.

10. People I have met through blogging. Yes, I am extremely grateful for all of you who read me, and give me advice, suggestions, opinions and your thoughts. It’s practically better than therapy! I can’t tell you how much I have learned from all of you through your writings, your comments- even if they were opposing to my thoughts. So thank you for sticking it out with me and still reading my blog!

So, what are you thankful for in your life?

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Come On Rosie!

As a gay person myself, I’m totally appalled about what Rosie O’Donnell said to Kelly Ripa. Rosie basically pulled the “homophobe” card out. It all happened when Clay Aiken was co-hosting for Regis on “Live with Regis and Kelly”. He put his hand over Kelly’s mouth because she was talking over him. Kelly got offended, and Clay said, “Oh, now you’re mad at me,” and Kelly responded, “Well I don’t know where that hand of yours has been!”

Rosie thinks it was geared towards Clay being a homosexual, as she made that clear on “The View”. Kelly explained that due to her having kids, Clay shaking hands with everyone of his fans and the fact that it’s flu season had her worried about her hand over her mouth.

She is totally right. Now, as I stand—as a gay person with OCD---I am applauding Kelly for standing up for herself! I cannot stand it when gay celebrities pull out the ‘gay card’, just as though some people of different cultures will pull out the ‘race card’. Kelly would have said it to the most gorgeous straight man, if he were to do the same exact thing that Clay did to her. Rosie thinks Kelly is a homophobe. Come on!

What do you think of all this?

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Trying to See Past the Fog

A pile of rubble in the middle of the room. It’s making me claustrophobic and irritable. It’s all my miscellaneous worries, fears and misfortunes stacked up right before me, in the proverbial sense. There’s a ton of cleaning up to do before the holidays. I feel like I’m being tugged in so many directions. Guilt, fear, depression and anxiety have all taken center stage. I prayed to God for something positive to happen. He was able to give me a happy thought for the meantime, just to tide me over. It worked and I went on about my day. Today’s a new day though. I need His help again. The constant imbroglio consisting of family and friends as well as my lover has me in a bit of a quandary.

Bleck! I think it’s the time of year, to tell you the truth. I tapped into the posts that I wrote this time last year. I realized that I was in a gloomy state of mind, and ranting about depressing things. I even displayed a picture of how it looked outside- the same scene that I’m viewing right now. It’s foggy, rainy, dark and gloomy. I went to see my therapist the other day. He said to me that this is the time of year where people are most likely to commit suicide or at least attempt it. November becomes darker during the days much earlier. It’s typically a rainy month.

Sad, rundown, listless, hopeless, weak, fatigued, not caring about things I enjoy, outbursts, rebelling against those I love, and angry are all things I feel right now. (It sounds much like the symptoms of depression on an antidepressant medication commercial.) It’s too much for one person if you think about it. I’ve lost trust in people. I was taught to never trust people; that people would always disappoint you, but God would never. It sounds so pessimistic, doesn’t it? I was never one to be this negative, but I’m feeling it a lot right now. No one’s responsible for my happiness and wellbeing. I know that. I’m the only one that’s responsible, however I’m not doing a very good job at it. Maybe I just don’t care anymore.

A nice gesture as, “What can I do for you” will send me over the edge responding as, “I have no fricken idea what to do for myself!” Sure, I can send advice and suggestions to other people who are feeling down, but why is it that I’m the only one left not knowing what to do about my own depression? I’m lashing out to those who are trying to genuinely help me.

I really need to read the book I wrote and published last year. I mean, I give all this great advice about depression and other topics and yet, I have no idea what to do about ‘me’. Maybe it’s just a phase I’m going through, or maybe it’s just how it is...how it’s going to be forever. I know things could be worse, I realize this, but at the rate of the stagnant pace I’m going, I feel I’m not going to give it much more effort. I may soon give up. Or maybe I’ve given up already. Somebody told me today that I already threw in the towel.

Manipulating Pub’s Clientele

Please click on the picture above, in order to read how Amy & I manipulated a few guys sitting at the bar. A true story that will be told to my grandchildren!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Blogger Etiquette

In all of the fifteen months that I’ve been blogging, I’ve never really discussed my thoughts on just that…blogging. I had just written my first book, and I needed an outlet of some sort, for random nonsense talk about anything type of writing. But where? Then a friend of mine suggested I start a blog. What the heck is a blog? I never heard of this before. I even tried to start a website on Yahoo Groups—but that quickly died out. I canceled it and thought there was really nothing I can do, but to write a journal in my word document.

Starting off in blogworld, I decided it was going to be focused on my religion in Christianity and focusing on the gay and lesbian lifestyle, which is a contradiction to many people. They see me as this deceitful sinning Christian, who uses chicanery to persuade those who are happy with their lives as homosexuals. There were debates (still are) and many anonymous emails directed to myself, either communicating their beliefs and opinions and/or just tactless ways of criticizing me with their words. I was prepared for this. The amount of choler and angst was enough for other people to jump on the bandwagon and tell their views, as they see fit.

As more people logged on and started commenting, I started reading their blog. Some were intellectually written with political views, some were comically enhanced to drive you in looking for more entertainment, and of course you had those blogs that were basically just like forwarded emails that you get from a friend you haven’t spoken to in a long time…just to keep in touch. I was never one to create a list of “100 things about me”, or questions regarding personal issues. I just wrote about them, as if it were a story. My issues are all laid out on the table for everyone to read. Some feel blogging is all about narcissism, but it's our blog, right? It's all about 'us'!

I didn’t realize how many “adults” were blogging. I thought it was more like a journal for kids to spew their thoughts and nonsense in- sort of like “Myspace”. I quickly found out that there were so many intellectually stimulating adults blogging about everything from politics, religion to relationship advice and comical material. It was amazing. There were some blogs I couldn’t stop reading. Everyday, they would have a new subject. How they did this- I had no clue. Then you had your bloggers who wrote about absolutely nothing- but the details of their entire day. I had no interest in the amount of laundry that you’ve done, nor did I have an interest on how you got your bowels moving.

Someone emailed me asking, “Why don’t you blogroll people?” I didn’t know what this meant. Blogroll? A girl told me that it was basically putting my favorites on my sidebar, so I can quickly click over and read my favorite bloggers. I created one, and started to put the list of my favorites from my browser, into my blogroll. This created a bit of anxiety for me after a few months, because I would get emails asking why “they” weren’t put on my blogroll. Was this a blogger etiquette? If I blogroll you- you have to blogroll me! It didn’t seem right. But I started doing it. I felt bad. After time, I realized I wasn’t trekking into these blogs, that I felt guilty about, so I deleted them off. I use the blogroll for selfish reasons only—so “I” can quickly move into the blogs I want to read. I’m sometimes not at my own computer; therefore I can’t go into my favorites in my browser. So the blogrolling feature is strictly ‘for me’ to use, as well as anyone else who wants to check out my favorite reads. If I don’t like a blog, I do not blogroll them. I’m not being mean, I’m just being honest.

What about commenting? Did you ever think to yourself, are people really reading this? Or are they scanning and commenting, just to receive a comment back? You really have to wonder. But, then you’re soon relieved by that analytical person who leaves a novel in your comment section telling you about their views on the subject you left them pondering about. I remember once, Mike had written a post about a certain subject (forgive me- I forgot which one it was) but it was hysterical, because he basically trapped people to see if they were scanning his blog. He basically set up a ‘dream scenario’ about a vacation he was going on, and at the end, he revealed that it was just that—a dream. In his comment section, he kept getting, “Have a nice vacation Mike!” We had quite a chuckle over that one! (Mike, if you can, link that post in my comments?)

What about the whole blog traffic fiasco, like Blog Explosion or any other type of service that increases your readership? You literally have to read about a hundred blogs in order to receive so many credits, so that they advertise you on their site. This is always good of course, but you really have to put a lot of effort in weeding out all the crappy blogs that they fling your way. And then you have the “pinging” services. Basically, you ping your blog (which puts your blog on the top list of sites on major search engines like, Google, Yahoo, MSN, etc) and having people come in for the wrong reasons. Of course this increases your traffic, but most of the time, it brings in the wrong traffic. I started to realize that the number of your hits isn’t what’s important, it’s the number of ‘come backs’ that makes your blog worth reading. How many times on your site meter have you found someone searching on Google for, “sexy panties worn on a horse” and found YOU? (Of course none of your material had any of that subject matter, but you did have a couple of posts including the words, sexy and a horse you once rode at some ranch up in the country, as well as one describing the great lingerie you bought in Victoria’s Secret.) They mix and mingle words, so that these freakshows log on, in hopes of finding the perfect article.

Then you come across that one blog, that is much like looking at a bug under a microscope. You don’t comment, because your views are quite different, yet you need to keep coming back for more. You become their anonymous blog habitué lurking at their random spew of intriguing wackiness. You didn’t know there were people like that out there. They’re hidden under an anonymous name as well as a cartoon-like picture. No one knows them, so they can say what they want and feel. That’s the beauty of blogging sometimes.

Did you ever notice that some of the best blogs out there, hardly have any comments? It’s so fascinating to see this! I found a few out there like that, and thought to myself, “Why isn’t anyone commenting?” They write---because they love to write. They don’t care about readership. But, on one of these blogger’s stats, it showed their traffic to be quite large! But the baffling part about it was that no one was commenting. I’ve also noticed some bloggers don’t even give an option to comment. There’s an article out (please forgive me that I can’t reference to it—I read it a while ago) that says when you start a blog for the first time, disable all comments and see who comes in and out. Once you have enough readership, then open up the comments. Usually, they come out of the woodwork—and there you have it. I thought that was pretty clever, and at the same time not so great. I remember the first time I blogged, I left the comments open in hopes that someone would say, “Hey, I agree or disagree!” Just to get a response. And, I absolutely love to come across a newly born blog. I’m sure you’ve seen this before. You log onto a blog that has it’s first post ever. Isn’t great to be the first commenter encouraging them on? (Even if it’s just a frivolous subject matter.) “Good luck” is all you have to say sometimes.

So whatever reason you’re blogging…do it for you. Write because you love to write and get your views and opinions across. Write because it’s therapeutic. Comment on other blogs, because you feel a strong urge to. Write without expectations and know that your thoughts are your own. Develop a thick skin for those who disagree with your views. Comment back to your audience, if you want to, not because it’s the ‘blogger etiquette’ way of doing things. Don’t feel obligated if you don’t feel like reading other people’s blogs that day. Read blogs, because you enjoy them, not because you want them to read yours.

Why do you blog?

Friday, November 10, 2006

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Wolf in Sheep's Clothing

The ability to give is an incredible gift. The ability to give without expectations and/or resenting it later on is definitely a trait in someone’s character that’s admirable. In the back of your mind, you always have to wonder what people’s motives are. The ‘do gooders’ in life- why do they go out of their way, to just throw it back into your face? Are they sincere at the time of their generosity? Or do they already know and premeditated a plan to let it all come crashing down, once the ‘receiver’ has been satisfied with the gift at hand? A “thank you” isn’t enough. Some ‘do gooders’ want your blood. They want you to serve them forever- reminding you of every good deed they have done for you.

There are some ‘do gooders’ who feel that their good deeds will be noticed by God, or worse yet, be noticed by other people. “Oh what a wonderful person Jane is! Look at her charity work! She is a Godsend!” Do they look for that special pat on the back? Or do they expect some sort of treatment that is equal or beyond from what they’ve done? If I do this much for them, then I need this much back, type of scenario.

It’s a shame, because I find myself seeking the motives in people’s generosity. If it’s too much, I find myself declining. If it’s even a small gesture, I wonder what that person wants from me. I don’t like to dwell on the negative aspects of giving, but lately, I’ve come across people who have hidden agendas and motives. They want to appear as ‘do gooders’, and look good to those around them. “Look what I did!” I won’t let people do that to me anymore. I used to think, “Wow that was really nice of them…what a big heart he/she has!” Now, I’m like, “What’s his/her deal?” And it’s sad to think that way sometimes, because there are genuine people who are very giving and loving. So it’s not fair to them.

In any event, to me, it’s like selling your soul to the devil. “Oh, no, I got this.” As they pick up the tab, in front of everyone at the table. Do they truly believe karma will pay for dinner next time? Maybe. But, these people seek much more than a payback. They want your blood. Their thirsty to take you in, make you their slave for life and expect you to be there at any given moment.

What about those who are really sincere about their good deeds? It’s hard to tell with so many bad eggs around, isn’t it? You don’t know who to trust. It’s literally impossible to see the wolf in sheep’s clothing. They’re greedy people incognito running around manipulating reverse psychology on everyone; making them appear as the angel of light.

I don’t mean to discourage anyone from being grateful to those who are generous. Just keep an eye out and an ear open when you’re around someone who is constantly doing ‘good’, but constantly throwing it back in your face later on. Not only that, but they’ll insist they didn’t get a ‘thank you’, when in fact, you went beyond the means of saying thank you. Sometimes, you even begged them not to. “Oh, I wouldn’t have it any other way!” They insist that you take their offer. “No, no, I feel bad, let me pay for it.” And they rush off with the ‘tab’ or whatever good deed they spilled out, to give you an illusion of kindness, when it’s nothing more than a mere set of motives.

The wolf—she’s out there. She’s out on the prowl looking for her next victim. Be on alert, because if she comes after you, they’ll be payback! They’ll be hell to raise and they’ll be a tab that’s already taken care of…with tons of expectations behind it.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

It's Time to Hit the Gin!

You probably come across this all the time. The dilemma of ‘what to do on the weekends’. For me, plans can be made, but plans always change. I can’t stick to a certain plan. Spontaneity always rears its beautiful head. It’s as if plans totally strap you in- not letting you back out. Sign on the dotted line, and if you don’t pull through with it, your integrity is at stake. It’s just like keeping a promise. Promises aren’t supposed to be broken. But what if our mood changes, and we feel like going bowling instead of the movies? Why not do both? What about going to the winery instead of heading out to the farm market? Dilemmas.

Anyone that knows me really well is certainly aware of my quick turn around decisions. They know that if they ask me on Monday to go out to a jazz club on Saturday, they also know that this may change at any given moment. My partner is used to it by now. She makes fun of me, and laughs when she comes home, expecting to go to restaurant A., when in fact, I changed the reservations and made it for restaurant B. I’m glad she’s flexible. I’m not sure why I do this, but I can assure you that during the course of the day, my moods fluctuate. If I’m in a spunky let’s dance kind of mood, I may want to venture off to a lively restaurant, where there’s entertainment and music, and head off to the local club to go dancing. It all depends. If I am in sort of a quiet mood, I love going to a nice tranquil upscale restaurant with a good wine list. It depends.

I’m always asking my partner, “What do you want to do tonight?” See, the thing is, she never wants to do what ‘she’ desires. She basically sacrifices. She always says, “I don’t care, what do you want to do?” I’m sure she has some sort of inkling of what she’d rather be doing, but she isn’t telling me. I hope that she would, because it would be a shame to take her out and having her be unhappy about it. I guess it isn’t too bad, since we have fun wherever we go. Even if the place is empty, we make the party…

My days are filled with indecisive thoughts; random acts of spontaneous moments that have me doing things I never planned on. Some say it’s a flaw in one’s character. I’m not sure about that. I think it definitely has something to do with having many interests—but not enough time to put it all into action.

The funniest thing to do is to watch me order a beverage at a restaurant—before knowing what I want to eat. For instance, I’ll be looking at the menu, and the waiter will come up to us and ask what we would like to drink. I always ask for water first, because if I have chicken, I may just want a beer, or white wine. If I have a pasta dish of some sort, I may want the red wine. If it’s steak that’s tempting me, a nice cabernet would do the trick. So many choices! If I’m craving some Chilean sea bass, I may just want a martini…or two…or three. I order my drinks according to what I like it to go with. Maybe I’m too picky.

I’m full of thoughts. My mind is always racing. Even my outfits have to match up to the places I go. If it’s a sport’s bar—I throw on a pair of faded out jeans and a nice top. If it’s a fancy restaurant, dress pants and a nice top and/or blazer with tank top. Depends. If I’m indecisive and go out not knowing where to go—I dress up. You can never go wrong by dressing up a bit too much. You can go anywhere. I would never walk into a fancy restaurant with a pair of jeans. It’s just not how I work.

Piles of clothes toppled over my bed. Different shoes sprawled out on my bedroom carpet. I have nothing to wear! I have no clothes! I scream this out of the closet I’m sitting in. It’s ironic that a lesbian is sitting ‘in’ the closet to begin with. But, these problems strike me minutes before I have to leave the house.

God forbid a pair of pants gets a little snug on me—I feel fat for the ENTIRE evening! If a shirt isn’t buttoning up too well, or as loose as I once wore it—my image of myself is awful. If you don’t feel good about yourself, people will notice that. But if you feel great about how you look, and you’re having a great hair day, people will be more drawn to your positive aura. It’s true. The better you feel about yourself, the better your attitude and mood is—leaving people to believe you’re a friendly and happy person. When you feel like crap, and think you look like crap, your demeanor is different. You’re not smiling as much, because you become shy and withdrawn, making people assume that you’re probably not as friendly, and don’t want to be bothered with socializing. It’s all psychology. (I should know, I’m on the receiving end of it!)
Sometimes it’s just plain ole PMS that strikes. During that time, you don’t even want to ask me what I want to do. I have no idea who I am for the love of God! I’m crampy, cranky, agitated, annoyed, hyper, turned on, turned off, exhausted and in pain. I can’t go out and have a few cocktails because I’m already tanked up with 800 mg of Motrin. I go through such excruciating pain, that I’m not able to even leave the house. Thankfully enough, I work from home, so it’s not that much of a problem. When I used to work in a 9-5 office, I’d have to take off a day or two each month! That’s a lot for a corporate company to be taking off that much. I’m in total hibernation mode when I’m menstruating. Forget about it- don’t call me, don’t come over and don’t ask me if you want to go out. It’s not happening.

Pick and finicky like a fricken cat. Everything has to depend on circumstances, moods, and levels of self-esteem for that day. Nothing’s constant and nothing’s written in stone. Things are planned, in hopes they stay that way. Sometimes it’s just pointless to even pass a thought my way, I’ll probably say yes. Give me a few hours though, because it’ll most likely be a different.

My moods are a force to be reckoned with. They change constantly as well. I get very upset very easily, over things that people wouldn’t even assume I’d get upset over. For example, I may be angry at my girlfriend for a particular something that she has no clue about. My mood is off, my demeanor is a bit quiet and reserved. I’m not saying much, or joking around like I normally do. I’m very abrupt, short-answered and usually not listening to a word she’s saying. My communications skills go right down the drain. My girlfriend has no clue what’s going on, other than ‘she’s just in a mood’. It usually has to do with something.

I take pride in my work, and I feel as though sometimes it’s not noticed as much. People go on and on about their life and their jobs, because it is important to them. For me, I feel my life and my work is all too insignificant to be ‘talked about’, or discussed. I’m always asked to be involved in whatever projects are at hand with my girlfriend or friends, yet, never once is there a plan to encourage me with my work or think up new strategies to make things better. Am I resentful? Naw, I just feel a bit sad about it. Maybe they think I got everything under control? Well, sometimes I do, but it would be nice for the people closest to me to come up with solutions or ideas, just as I do for them. Not that I expect the same treatment as I give others, but I do feel a bit sad about it all.

Sometimes the question gets thrown out there, “How was your day? Tell me all about your day.” As soon as I go into the first sentence, it’s cut off with the challenges of the day they had. I don’t mind listening and giving my two cents to people who really need it, but sometimes it would be nice if someone really asked how my day was…yet meant it.

It’s as redundant as someone asking you, “How are you?” It never gets answered, and if it does, they don’t truly want to hear it anyway.

Scenario:

Person A: “How are ya?”
Person B: “Hey, how are ya?”

They say the same thing back. They don’t want to be bothered. The entire meaning of “how are you” has changed into a ‘hello’. Interesting, right? It’s lack of interest on what people are up to…or how their wellness is. The insincerity is appalling sometimes. You might as well pass by and nod hello—don’t even say a word. Just walk by…and nod.

If you want to get really technical and knit picky, try the concept of saying “Good morning” on a Monday at your office. Let me tell you how many people say this term like a fricken robot!

Person A: “Good morning.”
Person B: “Morning…” *grumble grumble*

Then the people who really say good morning and really say ‘how are you’ and truly mean it---they’re the ones who we avoid. They’re annoying to us. We don’t want to be bothered. Go away with your happy-cheery self! It’s Monday for the love of God! Go home! Go back to your office! I haven’t had my coffee yet! Get!

Hopefully, you’ll all have a great weekend and think about what I said in this long ass post. You’ll think about ordering your dinner before your beverage, you’ll think about making that final choice either to go to the movies, or go bowling with your sweetie. You’ll ponder over the thought of either wearing that pretty blue dress, or throwing those old comfy jeans on. You’ll contemplate on whether or not someone’s “how are yous” are sincere, and if they really want to know about your wellbeing. Don’t overanalyze, just be observant, and watch the insincerity spew out.

Enjoy your weekend!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Are You Depressed?

Am I getting SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), or am I just going through a funk? It’s been a while and I have my moments of being happy and jovial, to being tired and depressed. I guess it’s normal. When I’m in my good moods, I tend to throw down more vitamins, work out more and make sure everything is ultra clean…including having antibacterial gels handy at all times. When I’m a bit blue, the OCD kind of goes away. I’m no longer concerned with the possibilities of germs or phobias about certain idiosyncrasies that I have.

Damn infomercials with their redundant spews of poor advertising. “Are you run down and listless? Do the things you once enjoyed, no longer interest you anymore? Do you oversleep? Do you suffer from insomnia? Do you have thoughts of suicide? Have you been experiencing weight gain or weight loss? Do you cry a lot? Do you get muscle aches? Well, if you do, these may be signs of clinical depression.”

I mean, how many of us get a bit tired and run down from time to time? How many of us sometimes don’t enjoy our usual hobbies? Insomnia and too much sleep? That’s an oxymoron right there—just like weight gain and weight loss! So if I sleep too much…I’m depressed. If I have insomnia…I’m depressed as well. What’s the right amount of sleep then? Isn’t it different for everyone? If I eat less, I’m depressed… If I eat more, I’m depressed as well. It just doesn’t jive.

Then the ‘professionals’ want to jam a ton of meds down your throat for kickbacks. Great. Side affects include, nausea, diarrhea, weight loss, weight gain, thoughts of suicide, heart palpitations, increased heart rate, drowsiness, hypertension and possible death.

Give me depression any day! I mean seriously. One doctor wanted to give me a medication that had the Stephen Johnson’s Syndrome listed as one of the side affects. If none of you are familiar with the side affects of this disease, it usually causes blistering ulcerations of the cornea, mouth, rectum, genitalia, skin, and urethra, accompanied by a high fever and generalized weakness. TENS involves the entire skin and mucous membrane; the skin literally sloughs off of the person's body. ...Just lovely.

Give me a martini and make me laugh, will ya? I can’t go through this type of crap. These doctors are all drug dealers! They get these kickbacks for selling you a particular drug from a company that they’re affiliated with. Don’t buy into it. Really. These drugs are more dangerous than heroin!

The best thing that someone can do is force themselves to exercise. Go out there and just do it. (I’m doing this today- all tired and grumpy too!) Call a friend or two and make arrangements to go out for dinner and drinks. Trek over to your local book store, grab a Starbuck’s and read a good book. Rent a comedy. I know, for myself, when I’m feeling down, the best thing I could do is rent a stand up comedian DVD. It works every time. Laughter is the key to kicking depression in its ass!

Of course, I will say it, and you knew this was coming… PRAY! Really, it works. Pray sincerely and hard. Open up the bible and let it talk to you. Pray for happiness and also, pray for a huge belly laugh. It usually happens anytime I pray for that. God will never steer you wrong.

Sometimes people love the feel of pure adrenaline. They’re adrenaline junkies. Once that high is over, they’re depressed…much like myself right about now. I found this passage in a book that my friend Lisa gave me called, “Proverbs for Life for You”.

“Many people confuse happiness and joy. Happiness is a temporary feeling of pleasure or contentment that fluctuates according to your outward circumstances. Buying a new car, for example, may make you happy, but when it breaks down, you aren’t so happy anymore. The Bible speaks of a permanent feeling of pleasure or contentment that emanates from within and is based in a person’s relationship with God. The Bible refers to this as joy. It’s never changing because God is never changing. It’s one of the evidences of his presence in your life.”

It’s sad to think that happiness can be only temporary, but it’s so true. We think we have to be happy consistently. There are ups and downs to life. With God, there’s a constant flow of joy that happiness follows. For whatever religion you follow, studies show that there are more people content and happy with their lives, other than people who don’t believe in anything. Is it just the way our minds work? Or is it really the help of God? Anyone has the right to believe anything. So I’ll leave that up to you.

I guess I’m not only trying to encourage those who feel down today, but I’m also trying to encourage myself to get back into the ‘happy go lucky Deb’ I once was a few days ago. I know it’s temporary.

I’ve came across numerous bloggers who wrote that they felt depressed, but didn’t know why. I want to say that it may have something to do with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), which is basically a lack in vitamin D, which the sun gives off. During this time of the year, when it gets dark at 5pm now, people lack the sufficient amount of vitamin D to give them that ‘happy endorphin’. The best way to get this is either taking vitamin D supplements, or spending ten minutes in a tanning bed per day, which holds the same ultra violet rays as the sun does. Don’t overdo it of course, just get the needed quantity. It really does work. Some people even buy an ultra violet light that’s specially made for those who suffer from SAD. Do what works best for you. Even get outside more during your lunch break, so you can be exposed to the sun. The sun isn’t your enemy…it’s when you worship it…then it becomes a risk for skin cancer. Everything in moderation, right?

It may not be the case, you may not have SAD, I may not have it either, but it’s worth checking it out before we rush off to these pill pushers giving us deadly medicine for kickback purposes.

Overworked, underpaid, tired of waking up to wake up the kids to feed the kids to getting the kids on the bus to driving them to soccer to making sure that they’re well fed, to making sure the spouse is happy as well. Your boss sucks and you want a raise. He/she doesn’t value what you’re worth. You feel cheated. Life owes you everything and you put so much into it. Your significant other doesn’t understand you. You’re frustrated, irritated and angry, because you want to be understood and you want them to read your mind. Aren’t they mind readers anyway? Shouldn’t they know what we want? We want more sleep, we don’t have enough time. We have too much time, and we need less sleep. Your mother-in-law is a pain in the ass, but how do you tell her that in a tactful way? She calls 24/7 and you’re just about ready to pull every strand of hair out of your head. You’re in debt and can’t get your bills paid off in a timely manner. You have collection agencies harassing you while you eat your Swanson’s dinner—already angry that your other half didn’t take you out to a nice restaurant. You can’t write a check because you think it’ll bounce like a basketball. You gained a few pounds and just popped off the button on your new pair of pants—almost poking the eye out of the guy in the cubicle next to you. Alison’s complaining relentlessly about the $2.00 she has to donate for Sally in accounting because it’s her birthday, while you sit there and try to figure out how you’re going to pay off your mortgage before they foreclose on your house.

Hang in there, it gets worse. Might as well enjoy the ride and order yourself a Ketel One Martini…straight up!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

No, Wait!...

Never before, in my entire blogging experience have I written a list of things that annoy me. I’m a storyteller, not a list maker. A true storyteller—never fiction, but I never thought about making a list like this before. I’ve been thinking way too much about what annoys me in life. It’s mostly the news I get from the media that drives me batty. First one thing is good for you, and then the next day, it’s totally bad. What am I to believe? What are we to believe?


1.) Red wine is the only alcohol that’s good for you. The grape seed in it has some beneficial qualities for your heart. No, wait--now, they’re saying that you have to drink a gallon per day in order to receive the benefits from the grape seed. Great. There goes any thought of AA.

2.) Red wine isn’t the only alcohol good for you—a shot of vodka, a shot of any whiskey—hell, even beer is good for you now! So drink up and live longer. They never mention liver failure…ever.

3.) Spinach has e-coli in it. Now it’s all lettuce! Wait—red meat just got recalled! No, wait--let’s make that certain types of cheeses that have listeria bacteria in it.

4.) Eggs are the perfect food. No, eggs will give you heart disease. No, now it’s okay for you. What’s the real deal?

5.) Antibacterial hand gels and soaps are a wonderful way of preventing the flu or germs from getting you sick. No, wait—now if you kill all the germs, you’re making yourself less immune to these little suckers! Don’t wash your hands!

6.) Drink bottled water. Tap water has chlorine and other things we don’t know about in it. No, wait—they just discovered that bottled water has much more bacteria in it just by sitting on the shelves not moving, than regular tap water. Drink the tap instead!

7.) Go low carb! Do the Atkins diet to lose weight! No, wait—how did Dr. Atkins die again? Oh yeah, a heart attack, right? Low carb is bad for your brain. Please include carbohydrates in your diet!

8.) Oxygen bars are a great way to increase your health. No, wait—now it’s bad, if you have normal amounts of oxygen within your system. Don’t overdo it!

9.) Coffee is bad for you. Don’t drink it, because it’ll age you faster and cause kidney stones. No, wait—coffee has much more benefits in it than ever! Drink a cup daily if you can!

10.) Eat fish twice a week if you can. No, wait—fish has too much mercury in it! Try to limit your intake now!

I need to go take some meds and wash it down with a nice martini. I hope that's not bad for me.