Monday, October 20, 2014

Keeping a low profile

Well it's that dreaded time of year again when we have to take midterm exams. Brad was a busy bee last week as he was reviewing his material, and now that exam week is here, it's time for me to buckle down. I always do best when I wait to the last minute. It's hard for me to retain technical material if I study too far away from exam time. 

I tried to get a little studying done last week and over the weekend, but a bunch of people attending GRL (GayRomLit, aka Gay Romance Literature Retreat) kept bugging me the whole time. Well, I might have encouraged the bugging -- some. Well, a lot! Not complaining since I'm always looking for reasons to enjoy good joke and play around. It sorta felt like I was there in person, except I couldn't get any real time hugs! 

I really appreciate all the selfies people sent me and especially the pics of some of my favorite authors. Adding those to my collection.

Oh, and last year a group of people got together for a group photo and dubbed themselves "Matty's Harem." So they decided to make this an annual event and all got together on Saturday night for an update. Can't wait to see the 2014 version of "Matty's Harem."

Brad and I will be posting this week, but maybe not every day. I have responsibilities with my Harem, which I take quite seriously, and then we have those pesky exams which just get in the way of everything! 
We'll be peeking out occasionally and hope to see you here!Emoji

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sundays with Sam: Saved up wishes

Hi every one. It's Sunday again and time for Sam-I-Am!

Today I wanted to give you a little update on a couple of things. When I saw that sign up there it really, really got me to thinking about a lot of stuff. It's funny how a little simple one-sentence sign can make me think about so many different things. And the really cool thing about that sentence is it makes me even think about negative stuff in a positive light. Yeah, I know that sentence is probably a little confusing so let me explain because it kind of blows my mind that I can see negative things in a positive light.

But first the positive:

Since meeting Rick (you know, MY BOYFRIEND in case you have forgotten LOL!! LOL!!), I have been able to let some of my "saved up wishes start coming out" such as finally, FINALLY after all these years of my life (HA HA!!), have a BOYFRIEND! And this might not be a major deal for some people, but I will let you in on a secret: I guess over the years - going all the way back to being a little child - I felt my life was in a deep hole filled with a lot of  sadness. I was pretty sure my whole life for ever and ever would by dark and I would be so lonely except for maybe a few friends I trusted. So one saved up wish that has happened is letting Rick into my life because that made a LOT of the dark go away!

Now the negative:

You guys already know a little about all the trouble I have had with my parents. I was in foster care once and, well, I have had a lot of darkness going on. There were some serious times I didn't even know whether I wanted to go on with my life because it got really bad. I remember a lot of times feeling terrified about all the fighting going on at home. But now...

Even with Rick I am learning that we can have disagreements and even an occasional argument and, get this, it's not the end of the world and I don't have to worry about being hurt physically or emotionally because he has a totally different attitude about problems. I admit that almost 100% of the time I start freaking out inside when there is a problem, but I am getting way better at it now because I know nothing bad will happen.

Like last week some thing happened and this is a good example to use. I was joking around with Rick and I think I was so comfortable with him that I let slip some thing that hurt his feelings. And the thing is I wasn't trying to hurt his feelings or be mean or any thing, but I guess I was feeling a little too relaxed and did not "filter" some thing. So what happened then was Rick asked me what I meant and right at that exact point I knew I had hurt his feelings because I could see it on his face.

So naturally I started freaking out inside like I always do because for some reason I can't control that reaction. I think I am getting way better at it but it still happens. So I started apologizing for what I said and then I couldn't even explain why I said it because I was freaking out inside and all I wanted to do was cry and wait for him to tell me I was a bad person and start criticizing me. And the weird thing is, Rick has NEVER EVER told me I was a bad person. And he has NEVER EVER started criticizing me. So I guess this is from all the years I have been told I was bad and worthless and never would amount to any thing and would be criticized with out any let up.

So instead of making me feel bad because I did not filter out some thing, Rick was patient and calm and explained what bothered him and why it bothered him. And when he explained it, the whole thing made perfect sense why he would feel that way. So I was able to use this thing I learned in my counseling group and I calmly told him, "I apologize for saying that and can see why you would feel that way. I think if you had said that to me, I would probably feel the same way." And then we were able to talk it all the way through, which believe me, was hard! I tried to keep my mind calm because I wanted to prove to my self that I can handle things like this in a mature manner. And I also want Rick and I to have a strong relationship so we can discuss any thing - and I mean ANY thing - that comes up because he is very important to me.

After we got every thing all worked out I apologized again and promised to try harder in the future. And you know what he said? Some thing like, "Hey. No relationship is perfect and that is not even what we should try for. Something like this is probably going to happen again where I say some thing that hurts your feelings, or you say some thing that hurts my feelings, and all we have to remember is that we should always tell each other when this happens so we can work it out."

He has told me this before but every single time he says some thing like this, I feel stunned inside. It is so totally different from what I have been use to in the past. But it makes me feel like Rick truly does love me (not that I ever doubted it), and wants us to have an honest relationship, which is exactly what I want too.

So I will keep trying to remember that when there is a problem I should try not to freak out like I usually do. I guess every time we have to have a serious talk about some thing, it is a good thing, which sounds strange I know, but some good things can come out of working it through.

I guess that is why the sign up there means some thing special to me. I am finally able to let some of my "saved up wishes" start coming out. In this case, I have always wished some one would take me seriously and give me a chance to be a good person because that is what I think I really am inside. I have been told so many times that I am ---- well, I don't even want to use the words here because I hate even thinking about them and I am trying to cleanse all of them out of my head.

So that is all for this week. I hope all of your saved up wishes start coming out. And if they have already been coming out, I hope they continue. You are worth it.
EmojiLove and hugs from Sam-I-Am!Emoji

Friday, October 17, 2014

She likes me better

What is it about boys and their moms? I've always had a close relationship with mine, even though I gave her a run for her money when I was a little kid due to my hyperactivity. But I never got the feeling she resented me for requiring a lot of attention.

Man, I was always into everything. My brothers have joked with me that if some kind of record was kept of how many times my mom said my name (followed by things like, "I'm counting to three. You're in Time Out if I get to 'three.' " or, "Slow down! Stop running, please!"), then my name was used probably ten times more frequently than theirs.

And each variation of my name was coded with different meanings:

Matty = My everyday name. Code: Everything is fine.

Matt = Depending on the tone is which it was spoken. In an everyday voice, it meant everything is fine. However, if it had been preceded by "Matty!" at least three times, then the code was, "I need you to stop right now and pay close attention to what I'm saying."

Matthew = The use of my full formal name (followed by a few exclamation marks) usually meant, "I am not happy with what's happening right now", followed with a requirement that everything come to a screeching halt, after which Mom used her Stern Voice to either have a Serious Talk and/or to Announce Consequences.

Like I said, I've always had a close relationship with my Mom. But I'd be lying if I didn't admit that many times when I was a little kid, I seriously wondered if she liked my two brothers better than me. I seemed to be getting into trouble at a significantly higher rate than them.

And my brothers (all of us being the kids we all were at the times) always seemed to enjoy watching me get in trouble. If my mom ever caught them snickering, then they would get some kind of mild reprimand, which always pleased me.

It was funny this past weekend when my Mom and Dad stopped by to visit Brad and I for a short visit. It's always a treat when they do this because I get to show off some of the home improvement projects I've been working on along with my latest woodcarvings. And Brad loves making a pot of the most delicious-smelling flavored coffee and serving them his latest baked goods, like some homemade apple pie a la mode.

The funny part of the visit happened right at the beginning. I always greet both my parents with a kiss, and then it's Brad's turn. They always give him a kiss and a hug but this time my Mom decides to have a little fun. Innocent fun. If you ever want to know where I get my sense of humor, blame (or credit) my Mom.

When Brad came into the room, my Mom says, "Brad, honey. How are you sweetie?" Nice, huh? Well, all I had gotten was, "Hey honey. How are you?" Brad got the full name treatment along with "honey" and "sweetie." I actually loved watching this because they really do adore Brad and he loves them so much.

So I have my suspicions that Mom and Brad had arranged this little scene prior to their visit because after Mom greeted Brad (remember, using his name and honey and sweetie, while I just got, "Hey honey. How are you?"), she walked by me on the way to the living room and said, "I just love Brad to death."

And! To make it worse, Brad heads to the kitchen to start the coffee and as he passes me he says, "She really does like me best."

Oh man. I really had to chuckle. When Brad returned from the kitchen as we were waiting for the coffee to make, my Mom motioned for Brad to come sit next to her on the sofa! And then she started lavishing all kinds of attention on him. "How's your job?" "Do you still like the Chef?" "How's school?" "Are we going to get to hear you play your guitar?"

So I'm sitting there taking all this in wondering if this is one of my mom's playful setups. And if it was, they were carrying it off with perfect aplomb. It started going a little bit over the top as I was either being completely ignored or my mom would say, "Matty, could you hand me that coaster, please?" and then it was back to Brad.

Well, I was on to them at this point and just played along, getting in on all the fun. And it really was fun. And the cool thing about it was listening to my mom and dad both tell some stories about what I was like as a little kid, a few Brad hadn't heard before, and a few I had completely forgotten all about.

It made me feel good to hear both my parents recall memories they had about me when I was little, and especially to see how they hold on to that history -- the good times and the challenging times. I was about to write "the good and the bad," but "bad" doesn't really capture it correctly. I remember I often felt "bad" because I was always getting into trouble, but it really helped to hear how they can see those times as "challenging" (which is totally true) rather than "bad."

Now I just need to get Brad a t-shirt like the one up above. I might even have one custom made for when they come visit us next time -- or for when we go to see them. Only I might get them to add "Your" before the word "Mom."

I love hearing my mom laugh. She's got one of the best, most heartfelt laughs ever. Like I said, I think I got my humor from her. And I think she'd love seeing Brad wear that t-shirt. I know I'm looking forward to seeing her reaction.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A friendship mirror

Thanks to Ann Marie for
sending me this quote recently.
We were talking to Sam (aka Sam-I-Am, our friend who guest posts on Sundays) about how important friends are. He was saying how much he's gotten out of the comments everyone leaves him each week and how a lot of the comments help him see things about himself he's never even thought of before.

He was actually surprised to heard Brad and I both say that's how it is for us also. Brad then showed him some comments some of you left him on things he's written that helped him understand himself a little better.

And man, oh man, did I have plenty of examples to show him from my posts!

Some of you tell us how much our posts mean to you, which means so much to us because we try to put a lot of thought into what we write. Well, except for those occasional silly posts we write for pure entertainment purposes! LOL! But Brad even pointed out that some of those silly posts mean something, too, because sometimes people say something like, "I really, really needed a laugh today. Thank you!" So I guess that counts, too, huh?

But that quote Ann Marie sent me about how friends hold a mirror up to each other really got me to thinking -- not only about how the blog has helped us understand  ourselves better because of the "mirroring interaction" with you guys -- but about how this mirroring works in real life.

For example, I was chatting with Ann Marie about my children's book and about how I was a little worried that doing this as my Independent Study for academic credit might cause me to lose some of my excitement and passion for what (and why) I'm doing this. This Independent Study means I have to develop a model that meets academic muster and I don't want that academic emphasis to dampen the passion from my heart.

Her very brief response to my concern was a prime example of "mirroring" and helped me understand myself better. It was as if she held up a mirror to me so I could see inside myself better:

"I can completely understand not wanting to lose your passion. You won't though. The project is too close to your heart."

And then I was talking to our Mary G recently (well, on a number of occasions), and she frequently asks if she can give me some feedback (which is a form of "mirroring" if you think about it). Then she will say something that takes what I was just telling her and combines it with something I shared with her in the past, and this new "mirroring feedback" enlightens something that had been a major blind spot to me. The mirroring reflects something about myself in a clearer light and I end up seeing something I hadn't seen in myself before.

It's like a mirror is being held up to me so I can see myself (often my deepest self) in a clearer light. Sometimes I don't like what I see. Sometimes what I'm being shown through the mirror reflection is something I might not particularly like. It might conflict with what I thought was going on -- or with what I wanted to see. The reflection I'm seeing in that mirror might challenge me to open my eyes wide and see -- really see -- what's going on inside me. 

And then I might have to change some erroneous belief I was holding onto, or change some perception about some person I was feeling negative things about. And change is always hard for me. Seeing an accurate reflection of myself might mean having to let go of incorrect beliefs or perceptions. Sounds easy, but believe me, it's hard. For me it is anyway.

Brad and I hold up mirrors to each other also. I suppose everyone in a relationship does. True friends are doing this all the time, too. But then that's for another post. I'm in such a pensive mood now I need to give my brain a rest. LOL.

Does any of this make sense to you guys? About how we often hold up a mirror to friends and other people? 
Wow. I need to take a nap now!Emoji

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Different faces of my masculinity

For me, expressing my masculinity is...

... wearing slightly baggy jeans with some wear-tears, a T-shirt, a baseball cap, slightly ratty sneakers with no socks, and having a messy hair style, knowing I look like your average "boy next door" because that's how I'm feeling inside that particular day.

... wearing whatever makeup I feel like on any particular day and knowing I look pretty because that's how I'm feeling inside that day.

... putting my hands over my mouth and giggling when I'm feeling so giddy inside in that particular moment.

... wearing tight skinny jeans, a tapered shirt, and canvas shoes on a particular day and feeling confident and strong inside when I walk to class.

... not shaving my face for three days and liking the very slight scruffy look I get which allows me to feel a different kind of masculinity than the smooth look.

... waking up each day and letting myself be aware of what kind of gender mood I'm in and thinking about how I can express that mood in my attitude that day.

... feeling proud of myself for winning (with honor) those small battles I have with the different parts of myself.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Spooky reading

I LOVE Halloween so much! We usually go to Salem (aka Witch City) and join in the festivities there. I mean, they know how to celebrate this holiday right!

Anyway, I've written before about how I love reading dark stories. I'm even somewhat of an minor expert on film noir. But this year I'd love to immerse myself in some good scary, suspenseful, ghost stories, or anything that might be great Halloween reading.

A short while back I read Josh Lanyon's The Ghost Wore Yellow Socks, and really loved it. 

But do you guys have any recommendations? It can be in any genre, as long as it's a good scary story that would be great reading for the Halloween season. 


Monday, October 13, 2014

Happy Columbus Day

Wishing everyone here is the U.S. a Happy Columbus Day. 

This is the day we celebrate the day Christopher Columbus discovered North America and, equally significant, didn't sail his ship off the edge of what they thought at the time to be a flat world!

We don't have school or work today, so we might go apple picking or take a day trip down to New Bedford and visit the Whaling Museum there, which we've wanted to do for a while.

What are you guys doing today?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Sundays with Sam: Straightening my crown

Good morning, my lovely Online Family! Wow. That felt so cool to say. I know I tell you guys all the time how much each and every one of you mean to me, but it's the honest truth. Those are not just simple words you're suppose to say because you're being polite. I seriously mean what I say and I guess I want to make sure every one of you know that. So I will say it one more time:
Good Morning My Lovely Online Family!Emoji
I guess you can't miss that big sign at the top of my post. Brad and Matty sent it to me this week and when I read it the first time I went from dry eyes to extremely wet eyes in like the space of one second. I was not exactly sure what the last line meant ("And walked away like a boss."), but I finally figured it out. You know how I have talked about how I want to be in charge of my own life instead of letting other people like my parents and those who don't like gay people? Well, that last line means I am "straightening my Crown" (I like that image!!) and I am walking away from all the negative influences in my life because - are you ready for this? - I Am the Boss of My Own Life!

That's pretty cool, huh? The Boss of My Own Life. Well, I was talking to Brad after the guys sent me the sign and I told him how much I liked it, and then I told him, "I'm trying to be the Boss of my life, but I'm not quite there." And then he was pointing out some ways I have become the Boss of my Life and helping remind me of how far I have come, but I guess I am a little bit stubborn because then I said, "But I'm still not all the way there." And guess what he said to that? "Yet."  And he explained that probably no body is 100% in charge of absolutely every thing in their life, because we all have to deal with stuff people have told us about our selves. But we have to keep pushing past all that stuff and keep moving forward, and THAT is what makes us the Boss of Our Life! Get it? I love that so much!!

So today I wanted to give you a couple of updates on how I am "pushing past all the stuff and moving forward in my Life." Remember last week when I told you guys about the "Remember the Positive" project at the counseling program I go to? Every day I have been writing down one positive thing about my self or one positive thing that happened to me during the day so I can concentrate more on the positives.

Well now it is almost two weeks I have been doing it, and guess what? Some days I have been able to come up with more than one thing! Like some days I have 2 or 3 things to list! How cool is that? It has really been helping me a lot, and now it is not as hard as it was in the beginning, so do you know what that means? Give up? It means "I am pushing past all the stuff and moving forward in my Life." It is so cool to me how much this helps so now I am going to keep doing that because I am on a roll now and it really helps me out a lot!

So, there is one other thing I have not told you guys about, but it sort of fits in today's post and I feel more comfortable talking about it now. Going back up there to that sign where it talks about "all those hurts, scars, and bruises" I have been through, and how they were suppose to kill me, or at least make my life miserable, I am finally taking some action on some thing that has bothered me for a long time.

My counselor talked to me a while back about some thing that has always made me very self conscious. And I have finally decided to do some thing about it now after all these years. I have this problem with stuttering. And some times it is really hard for me to control it. My counselor talked to one of the doctors that is connected to the counseling program and they both think it might be a good idea for me to get it checked out by a special doctor to see if I can do some thing about it. They said there is some thing called psychogenic stuttering (I got them to write that down since it is a mouth-full of words) and if that is what it is, then it is caused by trauma you have been through.

I don't stutter all the time, and I can write out my thoughts without any problem at all, but some times I do have trouble talking smoothly. So they are going to make an appointment for me with some specialist who can maybe help me with this. It is not clear yet what kind of stuttering this is or what caused it, but I'm ready now to see if maybe some thing can be done about it. Other kids in school use to make fun of me all the time, and I don't know if that falls in the category of bullying or if this is just what kids just do, but it really made me feel like I was so screwed up and stupid and dumb and all kinds of bad things.

So I am listing this in my "Remember the Positive" list. I am glad I agreed to go to this appointment they are making for me so I can see if I can conquer this. I know my stuttering does not mean I am any of those negative things, like stupid or dumb, but it makes me feel that way inside sometimes. It keeps me from expressing myself like I really want to and so I keep quiet, even when I feel like I have some thing to say.

Rick (my BOYFRIEND) has been helping me with this. Lots of people jump in and try to finish my sentences because I some times have a hard time getting it all out because I stutter. And that just makes it worse when they do that because it puts more pressure on me, especially if they get it wrong and then I have to put pressure of my self to correct them so I can say what I want to express. And it also makes it worse because I feel like I am under a spot light and that makes me super self-conscious. And then I imagine they are thinking I am screwed up because I can't even talk normal.

But when it happens with Rick, he always just waits on me to get the words out on my own. And he does not even look uncomfortable when I stutter, like so many people do. I can tell it makes other people uncomfortable, but Rick is so patient and waits for me to get it out, and the more he does that, the less I stutter.

Well, I think I will end my post for today. I am getting so much out of my Positive List and if you have never done one, you might be surprised at how much it helps. It's funny how doing some thing so simple as writing down one positive item each day can make such a major difference. At least it has for me.

Anyway, like that sign up there says. . . .
I am now going to straighten my crown---->Emojiand walk away like the boss of my life!!
I hope all of you have a Great Sunday and a Great Week.

Until next Sunday, Love and Hugs from Sam-I-Am-the-Boss! HA HA!

Friday, October 10, 2014

To My Bradley

Quiet love...
I don't fully understand "insta-love." It's difficult for me to understand something as important and powerful and meaningful as "Love" just happening in an instant. Not there one minute -- there the next.
But when I first laid eyes on you, I know something out of the ordinary happened. It felt important, powerful, and meaningful, but I had no words to match what was happening inside me. Maybe "insta-attraction"?
We dated for a while, got to know each other, and over a period of time those feelings grew into something more than just "feelings." Whatever it was grew into something with depth and substance. And it's now become something "essential" to me. I can't even come close to picturing my life without you.
I keep thinking about "quiet love" when I think about us. Or really when I think about you.
Quiet love

Your quiet courage and determination to always try to be your true self inspired me to have the courage to do the same. I remember you never wanting to be "showy" about wearing your eyeliner and nail polish and makeup. You wanted to see what your comfort zone was as you experimented with being more open in public. And as silly as it might sound, I remember last summer wanting to push my comfort zone, too, by getting my hair cut in a Mohawk -- something I'd always wanted to do, but forever stopped myself because it made me a little too self-conscious and moved me out of my own comfort zone.
Your quiet courage and determination to stretch your comfort zone with your makeup inspired me to tell my barber, "Here's a picture of what I want." And I remember walking out the barber shop that day feeling very proud of myself. When I got home, you have no idea how happy it made me when I walked in and you said, "You. Look. So. Good. I love it!"
Quiet love
You're one of the very few people in my life who took the time to research all about ADHD after I told you about it. I loved how quiet you were about researching it. I had no idea you were "quietly" reading up on it so you could understand me better, until that night when you asked if we could talk.
"So, can I ask some questions about the ADHD?" I loved that you had been reading up on it. And one question led to another and we ended up talking for a long stretch that night.
I was initially anxious about having this talk, because my ADHD had always been something I had some shame about. It always triggered feelings of inferiority when I compared myself to other people. But you were fascinated with it and kept saying things like, "Oh. So it's better not to have intense and involved talks late at night when your meds are wearing off?"
All of this was motivated by your quiet love of me. Nothing showy. Just trying to quietly understand me better, thus allowing our love to grow and deepen. I never felt judged by you. All I felt was your quiet love as you wanted to know more of me -- the "real" me. Not the "broken" me I thought I was.
Your quiet love allowed me to see myself through your eyes. And when I saw myself through your eyes, all I saw was my beauty -- my inner beauty. Not broken, but whole.
Quiet love
So let me just say this. Your quiet love speaks loudly and lovingly in my head and my heart. When I tell myself, "Who am I kidding? I can't write this children's book?", I hear your quiet voice saying, "Only you can tell this story. I believe in you."
When I tell myself, "I'm just a blue collar carpenter. Look at my parents. Look at my brothers. What happened to me?", I hear your quiet voice saying, "Look at the beauty you create. You make beautiful furniture. And look at your woodcarvings. You're an artist."
Quiet love
Your quiet love runs deep. And it runs deep inside me now.
Love you with my all my heart.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

To My Matty

1. I love how, when we first wake up in the morning and I'm so self-conscious of my breath and my hair and my eyes being matted together with sleep, you have that look in your eyes that tells me you're happy to wake up next to me.

2. I love how you help me when I'm in one of my brooding moods. You always seem to know the difference between when I just need my space, and when I need help coming back to earth. Those times are special when you sometimes jump up without any warning and start your goofy Chicken Dance. I always get in a better mood when you get me to step out of my comfort zone by grabbing my hand and we jump around the room in the impromptu choreography of that Dance.

3. I love it when I'm washing the dishes and you come up from behind, wrap your arms around me, and start smelling my neck. You know what that does to me -- and I know you'll do the dishes for me later.

4. I love it when we're in the same room doing separate things and I look over at you and see that certain squint in your eyes and that subtle smile you do, and I can tell you've been thinking about me.

5. I love how, when you know I'm almost home, you sometimes have a bubble bath waiting for me when I work a long evening shift. You're so adorable sitting in there with me telling me how sweet I look in all those bubbles. I feel so cherished and cared for.

6. I love seeing you look around trying to find me at the cafe when we meet for lunch on campus and your face lights up when you spot me. I literally get all tingly inside when you break out in that big smile of yours and walk over to lean in to kiss me like we're the only ones there.

7. I love those random times when we've driven somewhere and before we get out of the car, you reach for my hand, tell me how much you love me, and tell me to wait in the car while you go around and open the door for me.

8. I love how, when we're over visiting someone, your presence lights up the room, but you always stay right by my side with your hand on the small of my back until I'm comfortable with the setting.

9. I love how you sometimes sneak out of the house early on Sunday morning to pick up some fresh croissants from the bakery down the street and set the table with fruit and coffee and leave a note on my plate that sometimes just says, "Ask me why I'm so happy and I'll hand you a mirror" or "Being in love with you is the greatest thing that's ever happened to me." You always seem so embarrassed by what you write and say you know it's corny, but they're precious to me. I need to get a new scrapbook soon to hold them all.  

10. I love knowing I have your heart and you have mine and that we'll always be there for each other no matter what.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

My book: Inspiring others

I haven't said very much about the ADHD children's book I'm in the process of writing. I've discovered it's a lot easier to have the vision of what I want than to actually bring life to that vision.

I keep telling myself I've very capable of doing this. But man. It's a lot of work, at least in the stage I'm in now. I'm not even close to doing the actual writing, other than making notes on plot ideas and sketching out characters and dilemmas and how to resolve those dilemmas.  

If you recall, I'm doing this as an Independent Study for credit and everything has to be totally organized to fit in an academic format. That's adding a layer which is both helping tremendously but also complicating things.

When someone does an Independent Study (at least in my school), you're part of a Seminar with others who are also doing an Independent Study. And since we're all in the Business School, we speak the same language and have been trained to see things using a business model as our format.

It's been very helpful to meet with the other small group of students who are working on projects of their own and get very helpful and constructive feedback, even though their project is not authoring a book for publication. It's been nice to get their support and encouragement and several ideas they've made have helped me clarify a better sense of direction going forward.

On the other hand it's complicating things because I've had a really hard time trying to "fit" my work style and process into an academic format. Up until just recently I was resisting this in a major way (hey, I can be quite stubborn when I want to! LOL), but the Seminar has been extremely helpful in getting me to think through how to translate the academic format into my own personal format and process.

Writing this children's book is really important to me. When I was telling the Seminar about why I chose this project, one of the helpful comments another students made was, "You really want to inspire others." It hadn't even dawned on me to put it in those words. But it rang true and then got me to thinking about all the other ways I want to use my life to inspire others.

I'm hoping this book will inspire little kids to see their ADHD is a positive light and to show them how the two friends in the story (one with, and one without, ADHD) become even closer friends because of, and in spite of, the ADHD. I sincerely hope my story is an inspiration.

I keep telling myself, "I can do this. I can do this. I can do this." I'm hoping by the time I get done, I'll be able to look back (like the sign above says) and say, with some pride, "I knew I could."

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Slow progress

I have tried to spend time sorting through the complexity of the legal issues with the Supreme Court's decision not to take any marriage equality cases during this year.

Those who support marriage equality see this as a positive sign. It looks like now well over half the country will have marriage equality because they're not going to take up any cases. The number supposedly goes up to 30 states now. That's a good thing.

I know the legal process is extremely slow in this country, so I'm trying to see this as a positive move, but it remains extremely frustrating to me that an issue this important is taking so long to resolve. Under the constitution, each individual state is entitled to regulate marriage. But the central question is how to resolve the conflict between this and the constitutional guarantee of equal protection, etc.

Here's what The New Civil Rights Movement is saying about the Court's decision NOT to take any marriage equality cases this year:

The lower court rulings will now go into effect for all same-sex marriage cases, meaning same-sex marriage is now or will shortly be legal in Utah, Oklahoma, Virginia, Indiana, and Wisconsin.

In addition, same-sex marriage will become legal in eleven more states, by virtue of them being in federal circuit court regions. 

"Other states under the jurisdiction of appeals courts that struck down the bans will also be affected, meaning the number of states with gay marriage is likely to quickly jump from 19 to 30," Reuters reports. "The other states would be North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina, Wyoming, Kansas and Colorado."

Progress. Slowly but surely.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Musings on my ass

Not to be outdone by Matty's writing about his 7" cock last week, I decided to share some musings on my ass.

I swear there's never a dull moment with Matty. Let me give you an example.

Every year about this time I have to take seasonal allergy medication. I've tried over-the-counter stuff but nothing works as well as what I get from my doctor. And what I've been getting lately hasn't been doing the trick so I scheduled an appointment to see him for a physical since I haven't been in for a while.

While there, my doctor asked how much exercise I've been getting. I said nothing much, other than just walking across campus to get to my classes. We estimated the distance and frequency and he said I should be doing more. I said okay and he started typing all this into my medical record. And I thought, Oh man. Now I have to follow through on this since he always reads his notes from my last visit out loud to me each time I see him. 

When I go in to see him next time, he's going to ask me if I followed through. He's real big on accountability! So I was talking to Matty about how I can get motivated since I also seem to have a lifetime severe allergy to exercise. LOL

So he suggested going with him to the gym (which I immediately vetoed as boring), and he said I could use my ear buds to listen to music to make it more enjoyable. I also vetoed that since I didn't want to associate something enjoyable (listening to music) with something not enjoyable (exercising).

Then he suggested we get into a regular routine of riding our bicycles together. He said he had read that if your immune system is strong, you can fight allergies better. I vetoed that because I just couldn't generate any excitement using rational facts as a basis.

He then changed tactics and said bicycle-riding would firm up my ass.

ME: "Are you saying my ass needs firming up?"

MATTY:  (*looking nervous*) "Oh no. I didn't mean that. It's fine."

ME: "But you said it would firm up my ass. That means it needs firming up."

MATTY: "It appears I might have meant that, but I just meant it would help keep it firm."

ME: "But I have a firm ass already?"

MATTY: "Yes. Definitely."

ME: "But it's been firm all these years without any bicycle riding."

MATTY: "Hmmmm That's true. It'll still be good for the cushioning."

ME: "There's not enough cushioning?"

MATTY: "There's plenty of cushioning."

ME: "You're digging yourself deeper. You realize that, right?"

MATTY: "Yes. Can we discuss this after my meds kick in? I need time to unravel this conversation."

ME: (*giggling*) "Yes. You know you're too cute, right?"

MATTY: "I think so. I just can't remember my point."

ME: "I'll make a deal with you."

MATTY: "Okay. What's that?"

ME: "If all this bicycle riding makes my ass 'too firm,' or adds to the cushioning, would you agree to always give me an ass massage after we go biking?"

MATTY: "Oh yeah! Definitely! I totally agree! Every time. Every single time. Promise!"

ME: "So that means bicycling might make my ass tighter or add to the cushioning?"

MATTY: "Is this a trick question?"

ME: (*smiling big*) "Sorta."

MATTY: "Well. We can do this as an experiment. I agree to always pay attention to your ass. If it looks like it needs any attention whatsoever, I'll work up a good massage."

ME: "You're too cute."

MATTY: "Thank you. Wanna go riding today?"

ME: "What kind of 'riding'? Riding my bike, or riding my...?"

MATTY: "Is 'both' as acceptable answer?"

ME: "Yes. Of course."

MATTY: "Then let's go riding."

I'll leave it to your imagination about which "riding" came first. But I will tell you I think I finally found the motivation I needed to get more exercise. 

My doctor will be so pleased at my next visit.

And I think I'm going to be pleased with the "results."

And I know Matty looks pleased now.
As far as I'm concerned, it's a win-win-win. And that's the best kind! Emoji

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Sundays with Sam: Positivity

Hello there, every body. Guess what? It's Sunday and time for the one, the only, The Sam-I-Am-Show! HA!

Did ya miss me from last Sunday? I sure missed all of you. The guys had some kind of computer meltdown and were off line most of the week, but it looks like they are back now. And boy did Matty come back online with a blast! I mean, he posted a pic of his... "cock"... and when I saw that I was glad to see the pic was a wood carving he did of a rooster! HA HA! I knew it must be some kind of a joke because I doubt very seriously he would post an actual pic of  "it." OMG I can not believe I actually wrote that sentence. *cough, cough* So moving right along!! HA!

Anyway, I wanted to share some thing I am doing in that counseling program I go to. In case you don't remember, I have an individual counselor there and I also go to this group counseling once a week. This program has really helped me out a lot because it is the first place I have ever been allowed to say what ever is on my mind and discuss my feelings about things and the coolest part of all is you are never judged for any thing. I mean, they have rules about how you have to keep every thing private and confidential, so you can never discuss what another person says outside the group.

And they also have a rule about never saying any thing to make another person feel bad for opening up and talking about some thing important to them. It's like every thing you bring up, even those things that might not be important to you, if some body brings up their feelings about something, then you have to treat it with respect. So it's a totally cool place to discuss any thing, even those things you might think might be embarrassing or silly or stupid or childish. I have never been allowed to open up like this and I'm still trying to get use to the freedom to do this.

But we also do special projects that I get a lot out of, and today I wanted to share the theme for this month. It might sound a little silly because that was my first thought when they explained it, but since I have been working on it, it's really pretty cool and is helping me out a lot.

So they announced that the theme for October is "Remember the Positive." When they were explaining this theme they said when people have had a lot of negative things happen to them, they usually get swallowed up in all the negativity and start looking at life through a negative lens. And when you do that, well, every single thing looks negative and then when some thing positive happens, you sort of miss seeing it because (according to the group leader) it doesn't "fit" in your outlook. I hope I explained that clearly.

Boy does that apply to me big-time. Not so much now because I have put a lot of effort into taking charge of my own life instead of letting other people tell me who I am and what I should believe.

So the project is this: Every single day we have to write down one positive thing about our selves or one positive thing that happened to help us recognize the positive when it happens. They said it might be hard to do this at first because it is not a regular thing we do, but with practice it should be easier. So this is what I have come up with so far this month:

OCTOBER 1 - I 100% accepted a compliment from Rick, my BOYFRIEND, today instead of down playing it and changing the subject. He told me I was smart and interesting because I know so much about landscaping. See, I would normally down play that by saying some thing like, "Oh, any body can learn about landscaping. It's not that hard." And I almost said that but instead I said, "Thank you. It's some thing I really enjoy." And he said, "I love it when you sketch out those landscape designs. It's like you concentrate so hard and know exactly where things should go to make the area beautiful." I never realized all the concentration I put into it, but it made me realize I can sort of see the whole design in my head first, and putting it on paper helps me see if things are going to work like I imagine them in my head. Then I can change things around if I need to. So we talked about that for a while and I suddenly realized hearing him tell me that made me feel positive and more confident.

OCTOBER 2 - Today I finally finished reading a super cool book on my kindle. My friend Brad gave me this book on my birthday and reading it has helped me feel more positive about my self. The name of the book is The Red Sheet and the author is Mia Kerick. [Brad is suppose to put a link to the book in the post]. There is one character in the book named Scott who has been through A LOT of bullying and what I got out of it is this: All the abuse he has been through has not defeated him but has made him take his life seriously and ends up making his life stronger. I LOVE that. And you get to see how Scott forgives Bryan (the guy who bullies him) when Bryan tries to make up for it. I learned a lot from this book and it is helping me to understand my life a lot better.

OCTOBER 3 - One major positive thing I have done is move away from my parents. Living with roommates who are nice and considerate to me has helped me a LOT. I use to hate going home and was always anxious because I never knew what I would be walking into. It got scary at times and I did not always feel safe there. But now I look forward to going to my new home because it is calm and relaxing and I really, really like my roommates. And we all like to joke around with each other which is so cool because it makes me feel like they enjoy me being there. And we even have a House Meeting every two weeks where we discuss chores and different things that need to be done and we can also discuss any problems that need to be talked out. And everything is done in a calm and orderly manner. Living there has been so positive for me and I am glad I made that decision.

OCTOBER 4 - I have two of the best friends any body in the world could have. I have known Brad for a long time and now I have Matty, too. They opened up their home to me when things at my parents got out of control and I didn't feel safe. I think both of them are pretty special people, and I always felt -- and still feel -- welcomed when I visit them. They have helped me be more positive in my life and it still blows me away when they say they enjoy spending time with me.

OCTOBER 5 - I write a guest post on Brad and Matty's blog every Sunday where I talk about different things going on in my life. This helps force me to think how I am doing and I love bringing up different positive things happening in my life. So writing the post is a major positive thing in my life. And the other positive thing about the post is how people who read it seem to like what I say and I get so much out of their comments. It is kind of like they have become a Big Family to me because I always learn from what they say.

So, that is all I have come up with so far. Each day I am making an entry in my notebook and that really helps me see the positive things I might miss other wise.

Well, that is all for this Sunday. Maybe some of you might like to keep a list like mine. I can guarantee it has helped me a lot and we can all use more positives in our lives, right?

Have a really nice week, and I will see you next Sunday.

Love and Hugs, Sam

Friday, October 3, 2014

My literary cock

Just one more pic of my cock(s) reading.

My cock(s) are literary cocks. This is a pic of them reading one of Herman Melville's short stories titled, "Cock-A-Doodle-Doo! or, The Crowing of the Noble Cock Beneventano."

Melville named his cock Beneventano, which I think is a city in Italy.

My cock(s) need names. You can tell by the expression on their faces they are somewhat shocked to see their Italian ancestor in literature.

They are wondering why I haven't named them and I can't think of a good reason I haven't. They are now wanting me to do a genealogical search to discover their family tree. Not sure how to conduct this search, but they are insistent.

I said I would do my best, but they got rather cocky and are expecting results by the end of the month. How does one do a genealogical search of one's cock? I'm stumped.