Learning Foreign Languages: Learning From Books and CDs

If you are learning foreign languages and are looking for the best resources that can help you quickly get a good command over the language, you can easily find thousands of books and CD’s that can prove a very effective tool to help you learn the language. However, it is not very prudent that you should go ahead and buy anything. There are several factors that you must take into careful consideration before you run out and buy the specific books and CD’s.

Do Thorough Research

The first thing that is very important for you before you start the learning process using the books and CDs is to do thorough research regarding what exactly you are looking for. The best way to decide about the books and CD’s is to read the reviews. The reviews are often available on the Internet, like on sites similar to the French Language Dojo Blog. You can also get valuable feedback from the customers who have already used the products. You should take the final decision based on the feedback and the reviews. This way, you will be able to judge what books and CD’s can suit your need and purpose. Another best way is to become a member of a library. A good library often has a foreign language section containing numerous books and CD’s. You can borrow them and see if they are worth your purpose. Your teacher’s opinion is also worth looking at.

Deciding The Dialect

This is also very important when it comes to learning foreign languages. You must keep in mind that there are dialects and forms of the foreign language and they vary by country or by region. It is very important for you to decide which dialect you want to learn to speak. However, a huge variation in dialect is not a big issue because when you learn the standard form of the language, it is very much likely that you will be understood by all native speakers.

Foreign Language Music And Movies

Listening to foreign language music and watching movies in the language you are keen to learn is another great way of learning foreign languages. This way, you will be able to learn new words effectively. The good thing is that when you learn a new word by listening or watching something, they are supposed to be stored in your memory for long. They are not easily erasable.

Overall, if you follow all these simple tips while you are learning foreign languages, you can make the daunting task look easy.

Weight Loss Strategies: Stellar Motivation

Losing weight is a struggle. So many of us are overweight and look to all sorts of weight loss methods in order to lose the extra pounds. Still, the vast majority of people on diets fail at losing that weight. More often than not, they even gain it all back, plus more! What makes us fail so often? Even people who are normally so responsible and motivated tend to fail at this endeavor.

In order to be motivated to do something and see it through to the end, there needs to be a balance between work put in, and the reward you get from that work. The main reason that most people fail at weight loss is because the hard work usually vastly outweighs the outcome. You could eat right and exercise for weeks and only lose a few pounds. Such small progress can be demoralizing and make weight loss feel like an impossible goal.

Instead of thinking in terms of the scale when it comes to weight loss, you can use other motivational techniques to measure your progress. While you may be moving slowly on the scale, you could still be getting fitter and healthier all along. Here are some ways to keep you motivated on your journey to lose belly fat:

Measure yourself regularly
Weight loss doesn’t just mean weighing less. A huge part of the diet and healthy lifestyle goal is to gain more muscle and be fitter and healthier. While you may not be weighing less, you could be losing fat and gaining muscle. Although this doesn’t change the number on the scale much, it will change the way you are shaped. You’ll be slimmer in many parts of your body. Keep a journal and record your measurements once per week. Measure your hips, waist, neck, calves and biceps, or any other area you feel could use a slim down, and write it down. You’ll soon see the inches falling off, and a lot quicker than you would your weight.

Have strength training goals
Are you lifting weights? The more lean muscle you have, the harder your metabolism will work to burn calories. It is a great idea to lift weights and work on target areas such as arms, abdominals, and legs. At the start of your weight loss journey, record how many push ups, crunches, and squats you can do. It may not be many, but don’t get discouraged. After a few weeks of strength training, you may see a drastic improvement in the amount you pull off. Nothing feels better than going from five pushups to thirty.

Sleep better from the activity
Remember when you were a kid and could run around all day? Then when you’d get home, you’d fall fast asleep, out like a light? Children sleep so well largely because they are so active throughout the day. When you are exercising on a regular basis, you too will sleep better. The more activity you get, the faster you’ll fall asleep at the end of the day. Lack of sleep can have a drastic impact on how you feel throughout the day. Keep on exercising and you’ll sleep well and feel great!

Have a healthier heart
Do you have high blood pressure or cholesterol? Before you start your weight loss regimen, consult your doctor. Do all the tests to discover how healthy your heart is. You may find that all of the inactivity you have been subject to for the last few years has hurt your heart and made you more susceptible to heart disease or heart attacks. Now start your weight loss plan. Work out often and eat right every day. After a few months you should visit the doctor again and get your blood taken. Did you improve? Do you have lower blood pressure and lower bad cholesterol? If so, you have been doing a great job. How can you not be motivated to keep it going?

It can be a daunting task to change your lifestyle so much in order to lose weight. It may take the little things in order for us to get motivated enough to do the big things. If we get excited about aspects other than the scale, we have a better chance at achieving our weight loss goals.

Is There More to the Law of Attraction?

Unless you are literally a hermit crab, you’ve probably at least heard about those self-help books, or “personal development” books. They are basically pandering to those that want to feel like personal success can be achieved through some sort of spiritual means.

These books are usually centered around the concept of the law of attraction. Whether or not you believe in this sort of thing, I thought it would be interesting to dive into this topic.

First of all, what is the law of attraction about? Simply put, LOA is this spiritually-universal “law” that a person can attract certain things into their life just by thinking about it and having the intentions of doing it.

Or, if you think negatively then you will bring negative things into your life.

As for real scientific evidence of this phenomena, I’ll leave the ending searching for you.

Second of all, how do you practice this LOA? To begin with, you’re supposed to use your thoughts and intentions as the main weapons. It’s said people use affirmations and vision boards to set up an idea of what you want to achieve. The idea is that the more your say or see something, the more it influences your subconscious, where it will hopefully influence your reality at some point. From day to day, one would watch what they say, trying to avoid negative words or attitudes.

Now the thing to remember here is that these are just the basics of the law of attraction, and there are just about a bazillion different spin-offs from the idea. They can typically be seen on some site that peddles various ebooks on how to achieve your dreams, and you can read a review here about one of the more popular ones.

Anyway, so what do these LOA people say when they aren’t able to manifest what they want into their life? Do they conclude that LOA doesn’t work? It seems like most hold on to the idea that if they are not able to attract things into their life, then their soul must have something else planned that clashes with what they think they want. Some people believe it and some people don’t — I’ll leave you to be the judge.

How to Cope with Painful Shoes

Those cute shoes looked and felt great in the store, but the first time you’re wearing them to the office you feel you made a mistake. The shoes hurt and it’s getting worse by the minute.
Who hasn’t experienced painful feet? The heart often rules the brain and cute shoes are bought regardless whether they are comfortable or not.

New shoes mainly hurt because the leather is still stiff and has not yet formed to the shape of your foot. One way of speeding up the process is by pouring warm water into the shoe and wearing them until they are dry. The warm water makes the leather suppler and by wearing the wet shoe the leather literally forms itself around your feet. This process can be repeated several times a day without damaging the leather. Of course if you want to avoid this problem altogether you could just search for the best shoes for standing all day nike.

Manually stretching the leather will help too. Stretching can be done by pulling the material between index finger and thumb. This should be done repeatedly.

If the problem is the heel of the shoe, push the leather by the heel with your thumb inwards towards the sole of the shoe, followed by a stretching motion between index finger and thumb.

If you suspect that a new shoe might hurt, take a potato to the office. Stuffing a peeled potato into a shoe also has a stretching effect on the leather.

You could also take a pair of socks to the office and wear them when nobody’s watching. The thickness of the socks will stretch the material.

Depending where the shoe hurts, you could stick a piece of tissue paper or cotton wool at the painful place or wear a Band-Aid.

Then again, you could just kick off your shoes while sitting down. Nobody sees your feet when you’re sitting behind your desk.

You could keep a pair of comfortable shoes under your desk or in a drawer. That way you’re still wearing some footwear, but your feet get a break. Should you need to step into the boss his office or walk around, it takes only seconds to slip back into the stylish shoes.

Generally, avoid wearing new shoes barefoot. One should always wear stockings in shoes, this reduces friction and makes for a more easy fit. For those who do not fancy stockings or pantyhose, invisible foot covers are available at the pharmacy or shoe store.

Until new shoes have reached comfort level, it is a good idea to have a pair of walking shoes to wear to and from the office. Style is nice, but being comfortable is more important.

Hostel: This Movie is Both Amazing and Sick

“Be careful… You could spend all your money in there.”

Paxton (Jay Hernandez), Josh (Derek Richardson) and Oli (Eythor Gudjonsson) are looking for the experiences you remember for a lifetime as they backpack through Europe staying at hostels along the way. On a tip from a fellow benevolent traveler, they are informed of a city in war-torn eastern Europe where incredible women reside who love foreigners and will do anything.

Hoping for the best the three head out to see for themselves if the claims are true. They are amazed when they find a paradise in hell. The hostel is an oasis in desolation with women that live up to the boasts.

Life is amazing as they party with the locals and fellow travelers. It’s all too good, and they get caught up in the whirlwind of women, alcohol drugs and sex.

All seems well until members of the group leave without warning, notice or further contact. What follows is a nightmare beyond measure.

All in all, this movie is worth watching, especially since it’s so easy to find on sites that are similar to tradcds. This movie will keep your attention and make you squirm in your seat. You will be on a roller coaster of titillation and nausea as the movie brings you into the lives and horrific deaths of many people. Some of the plot points are too well foreshadowed so it seems a little predictable, but don’t let that take away from the experience.

Let me state this. Do not bring children to this movie. It contains nudity, drug use, sex, graphic violence, and gore. It is not for the timid or weak of stomach.

Yes, this movie is meant to be seen and is worth the big screen so that you can get caught up with the audience reaction. The downside is that the theatre might have an odor of vomit from the last screening and might contain fresh vomit from the current one. You have been informed and warned.

Review of LG Flatron W2252TQ Widescreen Monitor

I like ultrawide monitors. They give me more space to work on and usually perform better with movies and they definitely give me an edge when playing games. That’s why I grabbed the LG Flatron W2252TQ from the stock room when our new editorial computers came along as testing it gave me the perfect excuse to catch up on some of movies and games I’ve missed since I last picked up a mouse in anger.
I’m not a fan of the ordinary black/gray drab corporate designs of typical LCD displays, and thankfully, the Flatron W2252TQ looks good, with smooth, rounded edges mated with a glossy black surface. All of the connections for the Flatron W2252TQ are located on near the bottom of the unit, so as not to disturb the smooth gloss black surface on the back. The power switch for this 22-inch display is located at the lower left, while the adjustment controls are on the lower right. The monitor offers several viewing modes (internet, movie, normal, user-defined and demo). The Flatron W2252TQ only has two connections-DVI and D-sub, which is disappointing, since the display can theoretically support HD resolutions.

Setting up the monitor takes about five minutes and does not need extraneous tools. Everything snaps happily into place. You can adjust the tilt of the monitor a few degrees up and down; sadly, it won’t rotate easily as there is no hinge for that. One nice feature of the Flatron W2252TQ is when you switch viewing modes-it allows you to view the difference of the viewing modes via a half and half approach-the right side of the screen shows you your current selection while the left side of the screen shows a preview of the scene mode, allowing you to judge the difference right away. You can tweak pretty much everything related to the performance of the Flatron W2252TQ including color temperature, color levels for green, red and blue, brightness, contrast and gamma. There’s even special screen effects like black and white, sepia and Gaussian blur, but why you’d want to use this is beyond me.

The Flatron W2252TQ’s performance is pretty good, with excellent color reproduction all around. It’s Digital Fine Contrast (LG’s version of Dynamic Contrast) ratio of 10000:1 did its part well-as the fade to black for the monitor was pretty fast during our test. I also used the Flatron W2252TQ extensively with games where its 2-millisecond response time proved its worth-I did not notice any significant ghosting effects during my extended gaming sessions. Probably the only complaints I have is the unit’s hard to use controls-it took me a good 20 minutes before I could properly calibrate the thing.

How to Play Game Boy Advance Games on Your Computer

Do you miss playing the Game Boy Advance and the Game Boy SP? Well, I will show you exactly how to play them on your computer! You are only minutes away from playing some popular Game Boy Advance titles such as, Pokemon Ruby, or Super Mario Advance 2.
You need an Emulator
An emulator is a tool that can act like a Game Boy Advance. You need to download a good emulator so that the games you play on it have good sound, graphics, and everything else a real Game boy Advance would have and need. Start by going to Google and searching, ‘game boy advance emulator’. Once type correctly, you it should take you to this website called, emulator zone. This website gives a list of emulators. I personally recommend that you download the Visual Boy Advance 1.8.0 Beta3 because it is the best one. So download it already!

You need some ROMs
Now you need some ROMs. A ROM is an actual game file. Without ROMs, your new emulator that you just downloaded in the previous step is useless. Go to Google and search for a website to download some Game boy Advance ROMs. If you have one in particular, search for it on the search box that’s above the screen. Once it you have it downloaded, you are almost ready to play same game boy advance games! If you are feeling extra spicy then you could go for a more modern game like Pokemon Heart Gold ROM.

You Need to Extract ALL files
You need to extract all .zip files because some games might not work properly. Even the Visual Boy Advance 1.8.0 Beta3 that you already downloaded should be extracted. Once you extract the game ROM files and your Game boy Advance Emulator, you’re almost set to go!

You need to open up the Emulator and drag the ROM to It
Open up the emulator. It should show a blank, black screen. This is where you will drag the ROM file. It should get started and WAH-LAH you should be playing your desired Game Boy Advance. To learn the buttons and things like that, read the Readme.txt file from the Visual Boy Advance. Good luck!

Birthstones: Which One Looks the Best

Whether or not you believe in the power and the hype around birthstones, you have to admit they still look cool. The fact that they are pretty popular makes it so that you don’t look like a freak when wearing some jewelry that has some. We all know what our own birthstone is for our month, and if you don’t know then you should look up a birthstone colors guide before reading further. Below are my top 3 favorite birthstones

  1. The Diamond – An iconic classic and the most popular of all the birthstones, it’s no surprise that the diamond is at the top of my list. It’s look and style is timeless and looks good with anything. The crazy part is that diamonds even come in different colors, it doesn’t always have to be the typical clear look. The reputation and versatility of this April birthstone simply places it in a tier above all the other stones.
  2. The Ruby – This stone ranges from pink to red, so it’s obvious why I would like it. Rubies were once believed to bring good luck to anyone that wore it, but nowadays it’s more of a symbol for love and passion. However you view it, it’s no doubt that this is a head-turner stone that is a sure conversation starter.
  3. The Emerald – A stunning green gem that represents faith, wisdom, and success, the emerald is a bold looking stone. Some may be worried that green doesn’t go well with many outfits, but the truth it you should just let the stone speak for itself and forget about how well it coordinates with your current theme. People are going to say, “Wow that emerald is stunning” not, “Wow that green thing doesn’t match your shoelaces.”

At the end of the day, these birthstones are just a reflection of yourself. If you feel like wearing a certain one then go for it. Wear what makes you happy and wave goodbye to the haters in style.

What Is Fun to Do With the Family?

I am a huge fan of family getogethers and getting to see all of my siblings, cousins, and of course my dear parents. Of course, one issue that I keep running into is what the hell are we all supposed to do together? Are we just going to sit around and watch a movie? Or just hang around the living room and chat all day? Either way, both of those activities will lead to family bickering. I find myself constantly in search for the most fun family activities, especially when kids are around, but I still am not sure what the best activity is.

One thing we’ve tried lately is to board games. By getting the whole family involved, you can have a gay old time! One reason I love board games is because it has a bit of everything: some friendly competitive juices get flowing between siblings and even parents, and of course, it allows for other elements such as teamwork and working together between different family members. And let’s be honest, there is nothing more enjoyable than having your little brother land on Park Place with 3 hotels on it during a heated game of Monopoly! Or breaking an alliance against your parent in a game of Risk, and sending in 30 soldiers to take over a poorly defended country!

In addition to board games, I also like playing cards. Whether it’s Go Fish, Spades, or even Poker, this is another great thing to do with the fam, no matter the season or time of day.

Are Demolition Companies Profitable?

With the gradual expansion of the construction industry in recent years, we’ve also seen the rise of companies that work hand-in-hand with construction and development companies, like demolition and waste removal services. But when it comes down to time to contract one of these companies, it helps to know how they operate and make money so that you know what to look out for.

Even small-scale companies in the demolition field can turn a decent profit, which is surprising since it only requires a modest-sized investment. Due to the fact that most construction and/or renovation companies rely on subcontracting the work of interior and exterior breakdowns, there are countless opportunities for new or smaller companies to get their foot in the door. If you want to start your own successful demolition company, then we have some basic tips to help you at least get started.

  • With low amounts of start-up capital, it’s usually best to get started in the residential side of demolition.
  • Create a business plan and apply for a business license when you are fully prepared.
  • Obtain the correct amount and type of insurance. The different types of insurance that you need depends on many things like the equipment that you are using.
  • Secure office space and necessary tools/equipment. While it’s possible to start the business from home, you will quickly realize how much an actual office will help you stay organized.
  • Make sure your staff is fully trained and certified. Different aspects of the demolition world require different types of training, and each job should have a group of workers that are familiar with these different rules.
  • Study the local laws and regulations so that you are prepared to apply for certain permits to continue with jobs that you are contracted for.

Each step of the process requires an extensive amount of research, and none of them should be taken lightly. Demolition companies have a lot of pressure on their shoulders to make sure the job is done correctly each and every time, and it does get crazy when dangerous materials have to be handles and disposed of correctly.

The Whole Hoverboard Madness

It’s always interesting to look back at recent fads, and marvel at how they come and go so quickly. I suppose with the progression of technology, and the growth of the internet and social media, it’s no wonder that some new invention can just blow up over night. With technology moving as fast as it does, it makes most markets easy to get into for big companies, which in return brings the price down due to fierce competition.

One recent fad that took the world by storm was the whole “hoverboard” craze. I think what really sold the hoverboard idea to the younger generation was when you saw all the celebrities and internet personalities using them and being proud of them. It became almost like a item that changed your social status. The downside of it all is that the hoverboards were actually quite expensive when they first came out, then after time all the chinese models really brought the price down. With the price going down, obviously there were some problems with the quality of the products, so things like batteries blowing up and units melting down actually became a thing.

The fad blew up so swiftly that, almost over night people started hating on them and people that used them. Maybe there’s some jealously working there, but for the most part, I think the overall consensus is that anyone caught using a hoverboard is basically a sellout. You are a dummy that fell for the lame, short-lived teenage fad.

The Easy Way Out for Weight Loss

There comes a time in many people’s life when they decide enough is enough – it’s time to loss weight.

This is especially common at the beginning of the year because is running on a New Year’s Resolution high, and are more motivated than usual when it comes to major decisions like weight loss, or giving up cigarettes. Some stick to their resolution until the end, but the vast majority give up on their resolution rather quickly. Most of the time it’s because they create a goal without really thinking about how to achieve it.

For instance let’s talk about weight loss as a New Year’s resolution. The end of December is coming up, you’ve just enjoyed the holidays with your family and friends, eating big meals at the family gatherings. Then you reflect on the fact that you wouldn’t hate losing a a couple pounds, and maybe the New Year is just what you needed to get yourself motivated.

So you do what most other people would do, you get a gym membership. Now I’m not saying it’s a bad idea to get a gym membership, but what I am trying to say is that it’s only half the battle. The other half is learning how to eat proper meals. Without a regular diet, working out at a gym could result in much smaller gains than if you were eating and resting properly.

Some might even try a shortcut like forskolin weight loss – it’s like another one of those plant extracts that promises to do this and that, and especially help with easy weight loss. So in the end, it makes sense that someone might turn to forskolin to cheat their way to weight loss, but even if the stuff does work, you still haven’t done anything to strengthen your discipline to live a healthy lifestyle.

The Most Extravagant Wallpapers Ever

So the other night I was alone browsing the internet for some specials or deals during this holiday season. I typically don’t venture over to Pinterest because I find most of the stuff so spammy, and I’m not even into women’s fashion anyway so what’s the point. Anyway, somehow I stumbled over there while looking for ideas of how to spice up my living quarters some. Turns out there is a whole world out there that I didn’t even know about – the world of amazing wallpapers. I came across this post for a website of wallpaper Singapore, and literally everything they have, you want to buy.

Not only are the wallpapers cool and modern, but they also have vinyl flooring and mural art. The mural art was what I was originally looking for, but after seeing the styles and selection of wallpapers that they have, it has made me second guess everything I’ve been thinking. They have these awesome wallpapers that look like real textures, like stone and brick walls. They even have some vintage wallpapers that are to die for – but they aren’t the traditional vintage you’re thinking about, they’re more like a modern take on old time wallpaper styles.

My idea is to find a wallpaper supplier here in the States that can sell me some stone wall wallpaper. What do you guys think?

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Finding a Rental When Traveling Abroad

This sort of has to do with my time traveling earlier. Like I mentioned before traveling to India was an amazing experience, not in a white school girl’s sense of amazing, but it really was a chance to get a better understanding of how other countries and cultures operate. The patterns and mannerisms are very interesting when you really focus on them. All of that is great of course, but it’s not like you just book a plane there and go check it out – you need to plan your trip WAY ahead of time, to figure out the optimum period to go so that you can experience everything that you want to. Beyond that, you need to be sure you aren’t over-paying for everything. If you are staying somewhere abroad for an extended period of time, I would highly suggest you find a rental car to use.

If you haven’t done any research about rentals in other countries then you should check out a CarTrawler Booking to get a better idea of what the rates are in the area you want to visit. Even if you aren’t comfortable with booking the actual car over the internet, it will at least give you a solid idea of what you should be paying so you won’t get ripped off when you go to rent in person. People often underestimate the power of negotiation when overseas because they are used to it not being a thing from shopping in big brand stores.

Greasy Face Syndrome

Have you ever been walking down the street on the sunny day when you are suddenly blinded by the sun reflecting off someone’s greasy-ass forehead? Ever seen a picture of someone and there’s a lens glare coming off the forehead because of the face bouncing off the layer of grease?

Sure it’s fun to poke fun at it, especially if you don’t personally have to struggle with it. I mean for real, dealing with forehead pimples is probably one of the most annoying and embarrassing problems to deal with. People will look at you like you are some unkempt moron that can’t even manage to give his face a scrub once or twice a day. When in actuality, there are some people that have actual biological circumstances that make a shiny face almost inevitable. These are the real people you should feel bad for.

I’d rather have my eyes burned out by someone’s greasy forehead over having a massive zit on my face any day.

 

WTF Furniture

Being in the city you see all sorts of wacky shit. The other day this guy was talking about how he has a horse water trough on his deck that he likes to relax in when the whether is right.

……

He mentioned it being over 120 gallons, but still, you’re almost better off with a kiddie pool from Walmart. On top of that (no pun intended), you can’t even fit 2 people in it. Pretty much a complete waste of space, but I guess this is what people do when they want to be the edgiest ever.

What is it going to be next?

Having an old chicken coop as a book shel-

I should stop before I give them anymore ideas.

Worth it to get a drone?

Coming up to my trip, I had many thoughts about getting some sort of drone to help record some memorable shots while I’m out and about. The only real downfall to this idea is the actual fact that I would need to carry around a massive case that it’s usually stored in. So basically it would look like some crazy guy running around with a metallic case full of butt plugs.

I was lurking about the internet looking at random outdoor quadcopter reviews and realized this is what I was really looking for. If I was going to get something like a drone, it better not be too pricey since I feel like I will inevitably crash it into something at some point. At the same time, maybe if I purchase some cheap one it’ll just break on it’s own before I get a chance to ruin it.

In the end I opted to not purchase one seeing as it would just be too much effort and I could better use the funds to party with locals.

It’s been a while

So it’s definitely been a while since I fired up the blog but I wanted to get back to business. I recently had a visit to India, where I explored quite a bit (being cautious of course). Luckily I had a tour guide that knows all the good places to visit, and I didn’t have to waste my time really mapping out the entire trip or aimlessly wandering around.

I have many stories from the trip as you can imagine, but one thing I wanted to touch on real fast was the Golden Temple Vellore in Thirumalaikodi Village.

Just by the name you can probably start to picture in your head what it might be – a golden temple. I think at this point some of us have been desensitized to the glory of these magnificent places because movies and TV shows cram it down our throats.

I have to say…this place is on another level. It apparently took seven years just to finish the construction of this place – and it’s pretty much all gold. Needless to say it’s the largest temple of it’s kind in the world, and consists of 1.5 tons of pure gold.

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I highly suggest anyone interested in traveling to India to take some time to visit this amazing temple. Just being in the area was like being in a different world.

Be sure to take notes on the rules and expected manners you should maintain while on the grounds.

PS Sorry for no pictures from there but phones and cameras were not permitted while I was there.

Monday, June 30, 2008

You Asked For It

It’s been almost two months and people have been hounding me for a fresh, new blog entry. The wait is over, and I’ve written a whopper! After wrestling with many possible gay-pride-related topics that would ultimately end up being viewed as fluff, I decided to share a fun little story about a recent experience on public transport.

A very attractive young man turned to me during a train ride last week. I didn’t know how to react at first. It was one of those moments that every awkward young man dreams of. I thought to myself: “YES! Cute people DO want to talk to me!”

Him: Do you have a minute?
Me: Yeah.
My thought: Oh fuck yeah!
Him: My name is Daniel.
Me: I’m Richie.
Him: I was looking at you just now and I thought you’d be perfect for our group. A bunch of other guys like me meet up every week…
My thought: ::drool::
Him: … and reach out to the world through our savior’s teachings.
Me: FUCK

The beautiful, steel grey-eyed hunk of a man was a God warrior, one of three things I hate to encounter when I'm on public transport. The other two are hobos and drunk girls.

There are four tactics that I use at the gay bars whenever I encounter a creepy man who wants a slice of my pie and I don’t feel like sharing. Surprisingly, these tactics can also be used against God warriors, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and Mormons.

  1. Giving fake contact information.
  2. Politely excusing yourself to the restroom so you can make an escape.
  3. Saying that you have a boyfriend.
  4. Letting on that you are mildly interested, then starting to pick your nose.

I opted for the third tactic, announcing that I had a boyfriend. How would he react when I told him that I wasn’t attracted to people with self-lubricating genitals? I thought that would do the trick, and watching the color drain from Daniel’s face left me with the same satisfied feeling I get when I tell children that there’s no such thing as Santa Claus. But Daniel quickly regained his composure and inundated me with questions about the validity of my homosexuality.

“How do you know that you’re really gay?” he asked. Before I could answer, he tried to draw parallels between my homosexuality and some dude from the bible who built an army for God. The only parallel I could see was the fact that both me and the soldier were constantly surrounded by men who haven’t seen women in ages, but I digress.

I can go on for hours about the fifteen minute conversation - nay, clash of faiths – between me and the annoyingly handsome (and possibly sex-starved) God warrior. We kept invalidating each other’s arguments with even more intriguing arguments much in the same way that Daffy Duck pulled a gun on Marvin the Martian, but Marvin pulls out a ray gun, then Daffy pulls out an even bigger gun, then Marvin pulls out an enormous cannon, until the weapons get bigger than the actual planet. It was getting out of hand.

In an attempt to end the madness and to get my mind off of the fact that he suggested that homosexuality is indeed a choice (because he talked to a lot of experts on homosexuality), I proposed a compromise. I would agree to meet with his little God warrior group and listen to what they had to say if he would agree to come with me to a gay bar and ask the patrons there if they chose to be gay. His response: “I won’t do that.”

I asked him why, and he said “because where I come from, that isn’t acceptable.”

I said: “where I come from, that’s called a double standard.” I told him that we’d reached an impasse and politely excused myself. And with that, I got up and exited the train. It was four stops away from my actual stop, but I just had to get out of there.

I’ve probably missed out on every major march on Washington for gays and lesbians, every hate crime protest, and every gay marriage campaign since I came out eleven years ago. But that day on the train, I felt like there was an opportunity to contribute to the cause in some small way by defending my own homosexuality. Aggressors toward homosexuality don’t always stand on podiums in Washington or run the Americans for Truth campaign. Sometimes they look cute and try to chat you up on the train. Be prepared to defend yourself!

It’s good to be back.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Made only from rags, but I wore it so proudly


I always told myself that if Dolly Parton ever went on tour, I'd sew a coat of many colors to wear to her concert. My boyfriend and I had been working on our coats for weeks, and I have to admit that I was a little apprehensive about wearing a patchwork coat in public. After telling someone about the idea, they said that I'd look like I was wearing a clown coat and that people would make fun of me. Every stitch I sewed after hearing that made me ever squeamish about doing it.

I didn't think I'd wear it out, but I did (thanks to the diligent efforts of the boyfriend who spent his whole day finishing it for me). As soon as I put it on, all of the apprehension melted away and I marched toward the Chicago Theater with my head held high. A lot of people stared, but the stares were accompanied by smiles and seemingly genuine gasps of astonishment. Fans at a Dolly Parton concert are some of the nicest folks around, and no one said one negative thing about my coat that evening.

After Dolly sang "Coat of Many Colors," a crazy man ran up onto the stage and showed Dolly his own coat of many colors and I fumed. Have you ever seen what happens when two gay boys wear the same thing to a party? One of them ends up leaving with scratch marks on his face. But things weren't that serious at the concert. I didn't run up to the stage to show my coat off to her like he did, but part of me wishes that I did.

People loved the coat and complimented me and my boyfriend on the effort, which was good enough for me. What was more important was that there was a lot of love stitched into the coat on his behalf, much like the coat that Dolly's mother made for her.

After the concert, the woman sitting behind the crazy man came up to me and asked why I didn't go up and show mine up against his. The crazy man's coat only had about four colors, whereas mine had about 5,000 colors. But pointing something like that out is the Sin of Pride, and Dolly wouldn't approve of that behavior. We did get a good laugh out of the whole thing because she and the rest of her friends sitting next to her had dubbed him "The Freak of Many Colors."

Oh no, that's the Sin of Wrath! Don't tell Dolly!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

BYOB? NFW!

Parking cars on the lawn isn't the tackiest thing I've ever seen.

I was one of 78 people who got an e-vite this week for a "Spring Kickoff Martini Party." This is from someone I barely know. In the opening line of the e-vite, he states that he's got a martini shaker that is "just itching to be used" and I had a sneaking suspicion that he actually intended that tag line for the e-vite to his big gay orgy.

Invitees were also informed that this party is strictly BYOB and due to a large number of invites, people are advised to provide their own glassware.

Let me get this gay: He's inviting me to a martini party but I have to bring my own liquor AND my own martini glass. How tacky is that?

Fortunately, not one of the 78 invitees has agreed to attend. It always makes me happy to know that you can't always pull the wool over everyone's eyes the same way that Big Momma and Juwanna Mann try to do in those films.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Sushi Survivor

I remember watching talk shows like Sally Jessy Raphael and making fun of the deluded women who pined over the men who abused them. It would always be a man who emotionally abused a woman by talking down to her, taking her money, and making her wait for him while he was doing god knows what. The abused woman would also comment about not being satisfied by the man, which would always surprise me because most of the men who do the emotional abusing would be very attractive. After repeated abuse, the woman would always go back to the man because he'd offer her something that she couldn't refuse like empty promises or something shiny. Audience members would goad the abused woman, asking her why she kept going back to the man and she'd reply: BECAUSE I LOVE HIM. It would be years before I truly understood what the abused woman was going through.

I went to eat at a sushi restaurant called Tank this past weekend. I'd been there many times before and it's not always my first choice, but I hadn't been there in a while so I thought I'd give it another chance. No matter who is at the helm of Tank's host podium, you can always count on being treated like you're a street urchin who'd just wandered into Cartier. They never greet you, but just coldly ask: "How many?" as they roll their eyes and usher you to the back of the room where they throw the menus on the table and walk away like they just lost thirty seconds of their life that they totally could have used to file their nails or treat someone else like shit.

If you're wearing a rabbit's foot and a four leaf clover, you'll be lucky enough to get seated in less than 45 minutes (even though there are always empty tables). Be sure to take a picture of your waiter because you'll be going so long without seeing him or her that you'd need it to remember who exactly you have to kill to get a refill on your $3.00 soft drink.

We couldn't read the menus because it's so poorly lit inside Tank. It was like being in an actual tank. I almost had a heart attack when I saw how they'd raised their prices. The soft shell crab roll is $14.00 at Tank and it doesn't even give you the power to become invisible like it should for that amount of money.

The music is so loud in there that people have to yell at each other in order to be heard. It gets so loud that you sometimes think that you're in a noisy cafeteria, but with better wall decor. It doesn't help that all of the tables are so close together that you end up backhanding someone when you gesture during the climax of a funny story involving fantastic sex and parachute cord.

We waited for 58 minutes before our food arrived and we scarfed it all down in nine minutes. Afterward, we were still hungry. We'd wasted almost two hours, we were treated poorly, and we weren't satisfied. I remembered that this is why I hate going there and that I'd said this so many times before, yet I still come back. Suddenly I realized that I was that abused woman on Sally Jessy Raphael.

Whenever I tell people about my terrible experiences at Tank, they ask me why I keep going back. I tell them that I love the sushi.

The rude host, the ungodly amount of time we spent waiting for something that ultimately didn't satisfy us, the fact that the prices were prime examples of highway robbery, and my inexplicable love for the accursed ambrosia after all of the harrowing experiences are all consistent with the talk shows like Sally Jessy where audience members tell the abused ones to "kick him to the curb!"

I'm sure that Tank is aware of this and that's why they've got that one thing that keeps people coming back for more. There's that one thing that is just so attractive that it makes people forget all of the emotional distress and allows them to justify any future turmoil. With the abusive men, it's the promise to buy the abused woman a romantic trip to Branson, Missouri. With Tank, it's half price sushi on Saturdays and Sundays. We need to wake up and smell the mental anguish!

There are a lot of wonderful men out there who are better than the slime balls you used to see on Sally Jessy and you have to understand that the same is true for sushi restaurants. In the long run, you'll be a much happier and better-adjusted person if you just close your eyes and make the leap.

In the rare moment of lucidity after leaving Tank that day, I gave my friends permission to shoot me if I ever mentioned the desire to go to Tank again.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Importance

It's been difficult to write blog entries that are new and exciting, so I decided to use one of those online topic generators to help things along. The first prompt that came up read "list things that are very important to you." This was indeed a stroke of fortune because I think that listing things that are important to me will help people understand the uniqueness of this blog. To keep things simple, I'll just make a numbered list and discuss each item.

  • It's important to stay informed about current events. The three most important letters in the world are "C N N." Nobody cares about what goes on in Port Charles because the world is waiting to see what witty things are going to come out of Anderson Cooper's mouth. I watch so much CNN that the logo is burned into the bottom left hand corner of my television screen.
  • Too much technology is a bad thing. Our ancestors didn't have Tivo and they were able to survive. How much more fun can you have reading The Da Vinci Code for the fifteenth time instead of mindlessly tapping away at a Nintendo DS? LOTS!
  • Never have a one night stand with someone you picked up at a bar. Bar chastity is one of the few unspoiled treasures that gay men have. If you start spreading your legs for any hot man who buys you shots of Jim Bean, then the whole community will start whispering behind your back like you were in elementary school: "Raunchy Richie whose crotch is itchy. He's such a whore and he's always bitchy!" Take my advice and don't go out to bars thinking that sex is the only thing that matters.
  • I love having sex with women. Every time I have sex with my boyfriend, I imagine that I'm a Dutch soccer player and that he's a girl with a strap on. I love the softness of a woman and the way her body trembles when I take her to that moment of ecstasy as our bodies undulate in an explosion of sexual energy.
  • I especially love April Fools Day. And if you haven't already figured out that this post is a joke, then you don't know me as well as you think you do!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

This is not what I meant when I said "Exposed Wood!"

If you're like the other dirty birds in Chicago, then you're probably hard up for places to go when you want anonymous gay sex in the mid morning. Foster Beach isn't warm enough during this time of year. The back room at The Ram does open at 9:30 A.M., but all of the better-looking felchers don't show up until after six. So what's a fella to do? He goes to the nearest Home Depot!

I went to the Home Depot today to pick up some trim and was surprised to find that there wasn't a lesbian in sight, what with all of the jokes about the lesbians loving the Home Depot. I really think that they're doing a great job of catering to the gay clientèle with all of the cute boys they've got in the customer service area and all the sassy, big-bootied black women ringing people up at the registers. Everyone knows that sassy black women make the best fag hags and that lots of gay men fantasize about customer service butt sex. But I digress.

There are a lot of dark corners in the lumber section, (which is surprising when you consider how much fluorescent lighting that place has) and I had the unfortunate pleasure of witnessing a man briskly walking away from another man who was zipping his pants back up when I passed by. It didn't take a rocket scientist to know that I'd interrupted a public sex act. It turns out that I wasn't the only queen in the Home Depot looking for some trim!

I do notice that I get a lot of hungry stares from the men who shop there. At first I thought it was because they didn't think that it was right for Asian/Hispanic hybrids to do home improvement, but now I realize that it's because they possibly wanted a piece of my pie.

I guess I shouldn't be all that shocked to discover that sort of thing going on at Home Depot. When you think about it, the whole home improvement genre is rife with sexual innuendo. Things get nailed, screwed, and you sometimes use a tool called a 'stud finder.'

Thursday, March 20, 2008

You Spell Potato

Someone named Jen was nice enough to bring this to my attention:
I was just surfing the web and I came across your website and I have to tell you that you've been misspelling the word Oblogitory. It should be Oblogatory with an "A" not an "O" because the word Obligatory has an "A". That's all.
I only inherited two things from my mother. One is the gene that causes male pattern baldness and the other is the need to point out when someone is wrong. I'm going to use one of these gifts here today.

Sorry, Jen. While you do raise an excellent point, I must point out that "Oblogitory" is not a word, so there is no way that I could have misspelled it. In this case, it's a proper noun that doubles as a neologism. If there's something that just has to be addressed in blog form, it's Oblogitory.