Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I Want to Travel While I'm Young...

So I've really been thinking lately about traveling while I'm young and not tied down. There are so many places that I want to visit inside and outside the States, but right now I'm really interested in international travel.

I don't want to be single forever, but while I am I wouldn't mind taking advantage of the perks for as long as I can. I've always had a "special place" for Europe and Australia/New Zealand in my heart, although I've never been there. There are so many places to visit and so many things to see! My family is originally from Italy (Sicily, to be exact) and that is one place that I want to visit before I'm either to old to travel or kick the bucket. Over the past couple of days, I've been looking in to travel options for later next year to London and/or Italy. When I was at work yesterday, however, a guest was telling me about how she had been to New Zealand a couple of times and has always wanted to go back; she's supposed to be bringing some booklets or something for me.

I don't want to be one of those people who always wished that they had traveled but never did. I want to have stories to tell. I want to have pictures to tell stories. I think that international travel is going to be amazing and it's something that I can't wait to do! Obviously I'm not going to be able to go all the time, but once every couple of years or so wouldn't be too bad! It would also be nice to, when I find someone be able to take trips like that with them so that we'll have experiences that not really that many people can share.

I'm kind of thinking that I might take my taxes that I get back this year and put that towards a trip and then save some money here and there when I get the chance.

Wishing you happy travels in whatever you choose to do,


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Life's Unexpected Turns

Today I was actually having a fairly good day. Today was the start of my "weekend" away from work and, after lunch and getting a haircut I went shopping with my soon-to-be step-mother. After we went shopping, I went back to Dad and Audra's to drop off a couple PJ outfits that I bought for Kenna when we were out today. After playing with Kenna and talking to Dad for a little while today I decided to get home because I knew that dinner was ready and I wanted to get my stuff put away before my shows came on. The night seemed like it was going to be uneventful until my phone started to vibrate; my mom was calling.

When I picked up the phone my mom was crying and I thought it was news about her grandmother who we know isn't doing too well. As it turns out, my Uncle Kurt who lives in Tennessee passed away tonight. This comes as such a shock to the entire family, even my Dad and Grandma (Dad's mom) who aren't even close to my Mom's side of the family were taken aback. Right now we're waiting to hear something from the authorities or the hospital where his body has been taken. Luckily, from what one of my other uncles had told me, Kurt's boys weren't there when he died. My Grandparents aren't taking this well, obviously, but I can only imagine what this is doing to them. Unfortunately since Kurt and the boys lived down south we weren't very close, but he's always been a part of my life and now I don't have that any more.

I suppose that everything happens for a reason, but this totally came out of the blue. I'm hoping that we'll have some sort of an idea fairly soon but only time will tell. I keep thinking about what's going to happen to the boys. Kurt and the boys' mom are divorced but (from what I understand) lives in TN as well so I'm assuming that they'll stay with her and her husband? I really can't even think what to write. My mind keeps going blank mid sentence and I have to keep starting over.

With this news it just goes to show that you need to live life while you can. Life every day like it's your last.

I love you, Uncle Kurt!!!

Every Gay Person

This is a video that speaks volumes. This is a video that speaks the truth. This is a video that a gay person in America shouldn't have had to make. This is a video...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Is It Really That Time Again?

Well ladies and gentleman... the holidays are right around the corner. Halloween, the start of the holiday season is almost here! This means that as soon as the ghoulish decorations come down, it's time to put up the Christmas decorations in the store. Granted, we still have Thanksgiving to get through, but when it comes to the stores there really isn't much that they put out.

In these tough times it's not that hard to find people (more than usual) who don't want to talk about Christmas simply because they aren't going to have the "normal" gift giving money. I honestly have been thinking about bringing up the idea of just either postponing or canceling the holiday for the older people in the family. I say just the older people because no kid should have to go without a Christmas when they're growing up. Christmas is, along with many people, my favorite holiday but it's not because of the presents. Let's face it, the gifts are always nice but that's not what the holidays are about. Many people forget that Christmas isn't about who can buy the biggest gift but about spending time with your family and being thankful for what you have.

Each and every year the holidays sneak up on people; while the days go by so slow, the weeks just fly by! We're half-way through October already!!! Fairly soon here in the Metro area we'll have one radio station playing Christmas music 24/7 until December 26th. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE Christmas music but that's just a little extreme. I'm sure, however, that I'll find myself going back and forth between 104.5 (Christmas over-kill station) and others that I normally listen to... this way I'll be able to get a little more variety.

I know that some people, for whatever reason don't like the holidays and that's cool with me; to each his own, but please don't try and impose that on others. There may have been something that happened in your past to make you not like this time of the year or you may just simply not like what the holidays have become, but there are some people, children included who live for Thanksgiving and Christmas for one reason or another.

I have been lucky enough to have been brought up in a family where I was taught what the real meaning behind the holidays is. My family is in no way "comfortable" when it comes to money so we've learned to live with what we have and that we can count on one another for just about anything. This was reinforced each and every year when I was growing up at Thanksgiving. Granted, we were all looking forward to Grandma's Thanksgiving dinner and Grandpa's homemade sides and desserts but we were, at the same time glad to be together if only for a couple of hours. This really is the time of the year to come together; set aside your differences with others if at all possible.

With all of that being said, let me be the first to wish all of you Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Inspiration... What's Yours?

Each day I try and find something to inspire me. Yesterday I read an entire book in my 8-hour shift at work and it was truly inspiring, but I needed something more. When the phones were slow I took a little trip to the Gift Shop and was just going to get something to drink but these mugs and clocks kept staring at me from across the room. 

A couple of months ago, I was in the Gift Shop and was having a rough day and just needed a pick-me-up and I came across a mug with a saying from Thomas Fuller, "Great hope makes great men". Those simple words were enough to keep me going that day. Since then I really haven't looked in that corner of the shop, but yesterday my curious mind overtook me. Two things stood out yesterday, a mug that said "Live as brave men" (Cicero) and a little desk clock, "Character is man's guiding destiny".  It may seem silly to some, but these two things, I have each sitting on my desk at home, just make things easier for the time being. All I have to do is remember those two quotes and I'll be good for a while. 

Inspiration can be found in many forms. Each and every day I'm inspired by something or someone. I am incredibly grateful for each day that I am allowed to spend on this earth. I am inspired by the things that I see going on around me; they teach me to either never do something or to always push forward. Each of the people in my life, even if I have only met the once have inspired me to be a better person. Each interaction that I have with a guest at work, either good or bad inspires me do what I do best, make a difference in this world. 

As I have said before, it only takes you smiling at one person that you pass in the hallway or on the street to make their day better. By taking a split second to smile or say "hello" to someone, you may have made a bad day a tiny bit better or a great day 10x better that it was before. Each of us have a specific purpose in this life. If you have yet to figure yours out yet, please, I beg you to keep looking. It will come to you. 

So, today I ask, "What is your inspiration?". Your inspiration could be your children, family, friends, striving to be a better person, the beauty of nature or many other things that I did not list. 

"Live, inspire, be inspired..."

Friday, October 10, 2008

National Coming Out Day 2008

Tomorrow, October 11, 2008 is National Coming Out Day. For members of the LGBT community this, aside from "Pride" is a day that we can celebrate who we are. Slowly but surely, the United States is coming around to seeing that being gay isn't a bad thing and are actually starting to acknowledge it. 

Today for instance, Connecticut was the third state in the Union to overturn the ban on same-sex marriages. Although the governor said that she doesn't agree with the decision she wasn't going to fight it because she didn't think that trying to overturn the decision would work. Even though the Court decided to allow same-sex marriage, Connecticut, along with California will have the chance to either "shoot it down" or change the two states' Constitutions. 

Being gay should not prevent anyone from being able to marry who they love. Just because I'm gay doesn't mean that I can't have a husband some day; I'm am American, I should have that right. People think that by letting their neighbor get married they are somehow going to be affected. NEWS FLASH... It won't affect you at all. There is one thing that is going to harm the institution of marriage, and that is divorce. 

Here is something to think about... in this time of economic despair, what is one thing that could boost an economy? Answer: allowing gay marriage in your state. Let's think about it... your state is considering allowing gay marriage and you are a small business owner. If I were to get married I would want a real wedding... flowers, tuxedos, cake... the whole nine yards. This means that I would somehow have to come up with the money to pay for these things which end up going in to your bank account and, at the same time help the economy. We have to have to pay for a marriage license, catering, the church (or some other rental site), invitations, EVERYTHING... all of that is putting money back in to the economy. Now, multiply my wedding by thousands of gay men and women in your state who want (and deserve) to get married and... KA-BOOM... money in your pocket and the economy starts to hurt less and less with each wedding. 

For the many of you who have other "social networking sites" (MySpace, Facebook, etc.), I ask that you show your support for your friends and family and here's what you can do... update your status to show "(Your Name) is _____ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or if you support the LGBT community, ally)". 

Also, if anyone is thinking of coming out but can't quite figure out how to do it or you need someone to talk to, please feel free to contact me... my MySpace and e-mail address are in my profile, so feel free to check that out!!! 

Have a GREAT rest of your night! 

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Unexpected Visitors

There are few things that I hate more than people who I don't know or don't really like dropping by unexpectedly and it just happened. Two people from my dad's past just, out of no where came to my house and are now chatting it up with my grandma at the dining room table. 

Many of the people that my dad are in his past for a reason and it's better that they are. My dad wasn't always the "poster child" for what a teenager should be, but who really is? Dad is doing really well right now, or as well as can be expected of someone living in today's society. He is getting married next June, he has 2 boys (I'm 20 and graduated and Blaine is a Junior in high school) and a 1-year old girl that is amazing; I would hate to see him get mixed up with the wrong people again. 

One of the people who are here right now I kind of know and she seems like an okay person but the other person I don't ever remember seeing in my entire life. In the beginning of the conversation happening behind me, my grandma had mentioned something about the guy having been in and out of rehab a couple of times and you can TOTALLY tell!!! Two of my cousins are here and I don't really condone having at least one of the people here for that reason alone, but this isn't my house and I really can't say anything. It's not like my cousins are babies but they're still young enough. 

I'm sure that some people reading this won't agree with me because anyone who can come out of rehab and not be doing drugs/drinking right now is someone who should be commended. I understand where you guys would be coming from but I just don't want kids even around people like that unless it is someone who is speaking to a class/group. I have very strong opinions on things (as is well noted in the blogs posted below) and this is one of them; I don't know that anyone will be able to sway me on this. 

I just needed to get this off my chest and since I can't really say anything to anyone else I thought that I'd blog and see if that helps...

Have a great night, kids! :o) 


The Zero Dollar Bill...What does that mean to you?

Artist Laura Gilberts' print 'The Zero Dollar' protesting the breakdown of the American economy. Gilbert distributed 10,000 of the fake greenbacks in front of the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday, Oct. 7, 2008 to call attention to the economic crisis gripping the nation.(AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

On the subject of our economy and our look of demise...I caught this article as I was about to log off the computer tonight. It really caught my attention.
This is a real stand out protest! This artist also handed these out in front of the Washington Monument and I think they said even the White House.
Rock on Laura!
I'll probably write more later but it is 2:00 a.m. and I need to sleep!
Here's a thought to ponder... By creating the "Zero Dollar Bill" she was able to express how she feels and get her thoughts and opinions out to people. What would you do?? How would you do it?? And with that said...why aren't you doing it?? Think about that!!

Monday, October 6, 2008

The Future of NASA

I was just reading on the New York Times that, from 2010-2015 the United States' space program will now be reliant on the Russians. From what I can gather from the article, and this isn't really surprising to me, George W. Bush made the decision to "86" the shuttles without consulting with the folks at NASA. First off, (and I know the president is above the vice-president) the VP is the head of NASA and secondly, shouldn't we have at least talked to them to see when it would have been feasible?

Currently NASA is in the middle of making plans to get us back to the moon but it seems as though we have another runner-up in the return to space... the Chinese. According to many, China's space program is quickly on the rise. The US is trying to make it back to the moon by 2020 but people think that China is going to get there quicker. 

For years the future of this country was in the hands of NASA making a name for the US again. After the landing on the moon, which is still a subject of controversy, we really haven't done a whole lot of anything. With Bush cutting the space program until we get the new launch program "Constellation" off the ground we have to rely on a country who, just a couple of months ago was thought to have been starting the next World War. I don't know about anyone else, but I think that this is going to affect the view that many of our allies, provided we still have any left, have on the United States. 

The discontinuance of the current space program is going to cut a lot of jobs in an already struggling economy. The good thing is that both candidates have vowed to get us back to the moon and not leave NASA behind as a thing of the past. 

From where I stand, the country is basically screwed even more so than we were when Wall Street took the 700+ point drop a few weeks back. This is a scary time and nothing should be taken for granted. I'm going to advise that everyone live life to the fullest before we don't have a life to live anymore. European markets took a nose dive this morning so it isn't something that's just happening at home. It's a domino effect that can't lead to good things in the future. I suppose that we could look at it this way... after the Great Depression the country rebounded and was stronger than it ever has been, so is that what we need to happen again? I'm not looking forward to the next 5-10 years if the economy stays along its current path...

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sarah Palin's Run for the White House and Other Political Rants

After the VP Debate this past week, many analysts have said that Sarah Palin feels as though John McCain can't win this year (I think that's more evident now that he's pulled out of Michigan). There have been many speculations that she is "testing the water" for her own run for the White House in 2012 (as if we haven't had enough of her already). Granted, Hillary wasn't my first choice for president, but why would Americans elect another woman, except for Nancy Pelosi maybe, to President of the United States before Hillary Clinton??? 

I fully expect to see Hillary's name thrown back in contention for the "highest office in the land" in 2012 if John McCain wins (God willing that won't happen...) or in 2016 when, if he wins, Barack Obama gets out of office. I'm making a prediction here and now... within the next 4-8 years we are going to see many new, young faces in politics taking a page out of Obama's book and trying to make it big while they're young. Just across the river in Omaha, we are seeing new, younger faces that are trying to take out the people that have been in office for as long as I can remember; I'm sure this is a familiar scene throughout the country. 

The people of this country are finally sick and tired of the "status quo" that has taken over Washington in years past and are standing up for change in America. Like I said in my previous post, I really don't care who you vote for (well I do, but that's not the point I'm trying to make) so long as you get out and vote. The only way that things are going to get done is if "we the people of the United States" say "NO MORE" to what we have come to know and welcome change with open arms. 

Granted, with everything comes with consequences and a trial and error period, but can we really do any worse that what we've done this far? I really wonder what the founding fathers of this country would say now if they could see the shape this country is in... Interesting thought, isn't it???

November 4, 2008

November 4, 2008 is going to be a history making day in the United States and around the world. We as citizens of the United States have two decisions to make; vote or not to vote and Barack Obama or John McCain for President. It is none of my business who you decide to vote for, but I do hope that you vote. 

Attached is a link to a PSA headed by Leonardo DiCaprio and many other stars who are getting the message out there that this is the biggest election of our lifetime. Voting isn't required by law but it's something that every eligible American should do. If you aren't registered to vote, please get out and register. I am also attaching the link to the "Declare Yourself" website that gives information on early voting and voter registration

It is imperative that in this election every voice is heard. It is imperative that we stand up for change. It is imperative that we leave a better future for our children. It is imperative that we vote.

I ask you to send this to at least 5 people hoping that they will do the same to get the message out there that, to stand up for change we can't be silent. 

PeaceProsperityLiberty... Vote '08


Declare Yourself: