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A Year in Review

As I close yet another chapter in my life, another year has ended, and another one has begun. I am compelled to share it with you. To my friends, family, confidants, and others that have shaped and help mold my life over the last year, there will be that special recognition here. I just want to stop now, and thank all of you who made an impact on my life, whether it is good, bad, or indifferent…..without you, I would not be the man that I am today.

~*The Recap*~

-*-* In the beginning, Winter *-*-

2007 Started out uneventful as usual, with the dropping of the ball and another day at work. I had been in Long Beach for about 2 months, and really had not met anyone, only one friend had been made at that time, and to this day, with hurdles and potholes, anger, and a lot of shed tears, the friendship remains…..till the end! After being hounded for what seemed like months, to my reluctance, I finally decided to go out on the town for the first time in Long Beach. That night consisted visiting, The Crest, Pistons, The Brit, and The Mineshaft. We will call it a night of barhopping with “BAM”. We will just say that it was an experience that I will never forget nor regret!

-*-* And the beat goes on… Spring/Summer *-*-

By the time spring had rolled around, I was in a relationship, with a great guy, caring, loving, everything that I wanted in a man…..until he said those three little words… STOP THE MUSIC…YOU GOTTA GO!!!!..WAY Too much, too soon, too quick….pheww!! That was a close one. I eventually was to the point where I was going out all the time. I met great people, made some great friendships, and finally started living a life that I had always wanted... (At least it seamed that way!!) As the summer wore on, I was in my groove, just hanging out and enjoying life… Living, Laughing, and Loving! BUT DAYUM…… IT IS HOT!!!! HA HA HA…… Anyway…. I eventually started attending local “Bear” events…Kub Kamp at Mick and Mack’s, Bear Bar at Ripples, and Girth and Mirth Events at Pistons… It was at these events that I met more and more people. Some of these folks I have stayed in contact with, some of the folks were just a Hi and BYE... But all were great meetings!
Moving to a city where most people are superficial, self absorbed, and, lack the common courtesy of at least acknowledging that you are in the same room and within earshot when they are verbally bashing you……is a hard pill to swallow. Anyway summer time is ending by now, work is in full swing, and it as at the end of July/August and it is time for me to come home for a visit! The 27th of July I took that plane ride back home, and to the woman that IS MY HEART!…..{ take mental note::::: I AM STILL AND ALWAYS BE QUEER, I AM OUT, LOUD, AND PROUD!!!!} To a week of the sunny beaches of the Eastern Shore of Maryland….to fun in the sun, solitude on the beach, and a Harry Potter book, I had a blast with the 2 women in my life! Patty and Cindy, 2 great friends of whom I will never forget, and will always have a special bond! The distance between us will never break our friendship…
It was a summer that rivals all others... I have enjoyed the sun, sandy beaches, and sights of Southern California. Sights such as “The Getty Museum” (thanks to Masaki & Ryan). Downtown LA (thanks BAM and George), The Fruit Loop (thanks BAM), Downtown Disney (thanks Russell) Disney’s Grand California Hotel (thanks Rodney, absolutely breathtaking!!) Bubba Gumps (thanks Linzie)West Hollywood, the Hollywood Sign, Beverly Hills, Rodeo Drive, Hollywood and Highland (thanks Masaki) The Santa Monica Pier (thanks Dan) Discovery of Belmont Shores and the Canals of Naples Island on Christmas day 2006 ( thanks Vidal) Vineland Drive-In, City of Industry, CA (thanks Ryan)Big Bear Mountain, CA (thanks Rodney)A Moonlit Night @ Malibu Beach (thanks Carlos) Shoreline Village (thanks Marcos W.)Long Beach Gay Pride 2007 “Harmony in Colors” (thanks Carlos and Will) Long Beach Nightlife (special thanks to BAM) Various swap meets (thanks BAM) ….and lets not forget the cuisine ……Salvadorian (thanks BAM) Japanese (thanks Masaki) Korean (thanks Rodney) Mexican (thanks Glen) Thai (thanks George)….. And my new found love for Tofu…(special thanks to Rodney) Gotta love your tamales (thanks Anna) Salvadorian Quesadillas (thanks Cece) Salvadorian cheese (thanks Cece) Various Chinese Cuisine (thanks Ha Lu & Nhon)…..and much more……

-*-* That time of year….Fall/Winter*-*-

Well by now it is balls to the wall at work, and my spare time and free time have dwindled due solely to exhaustion, working crazy hours, and trying to keep up with the pace. L.A. is MUCH more different than back east work-wise. It feels though it will never stop or end. I keep my mouth shut, keep my head down and hustle, trying not to draw attention to myself, and try my best to blend in with the rest of the crowd... If it weren’t for the Big Blue Uniform I would.
As the fall moves forward, I find myself being more quiet and reclusive, pushing away those that I love the most, and wanting more from those that are not as close as I would like. This is the time of the year that I feel the most alone. I long for family and home, and this year for the first time in 5 years have been “Bitch Slapped” by a reality that I have forced myself not to face since leaving Tennessee that Sunday afternoon in 2002.
Well, as fall turned to winter I found myself moving from an absurdly overpriced house to a beautiful 30’s era 4-flex in the “Gay Ghetto” neighbor hood. It is absolutely fabulous, with all the old world charm still intact! I really love this place, and see myself living here for many years to come. Thanks to BAM and George, the move into the apartment was not as bad as I thought. I’m not going to say there was not any tension there, because there certainly was. I am moved in and loving it! I am within walking distance of everything that I will ever need.
These days I spend my time walking and exercising, trying to reach my goal of 190 lbs, by walking about 5-6 miles per day, attempting to get healthier, listening to my MP3, reading, and waiting... Waiting for him, waiting for a phone call, waiting for a message, something! But, I cannot wait any longer. I feel as though I have been waiting for a dream and expecting something more from him than he can or is willing to give. Letting go of someone that you love, is never easy. There is heartache, there are many a tear shed, there are many sleepless nights, and to my surprise there is no anger… Only love, respect, and gratefulness resides in my heart for you. By the time you read this post you will have received the letter than I sent to you, and with tears in my eyes, and a sad heart, I say….Good Luck, God Speed, Thank You, and Good bye.

-*-* Special Thanks*-*-

For my Mentor – James P.,
I know that I have told you thank you, but I can’t say it enough. Without your confidence in me as an individual, and an employee, I would not be here today. A little over 4 ½ years ago, I walked into your office for the interview that changed my life forever. I thoroughly enjoy my career, and all the opportunities that it has afforded me. I have been able to travel, meet extraordinary people, and been moved back and forth between locations, and eventually from the East to the West coast, of which NONE of it I regret! You have been a great to work for, although you can be difficult most of the time, (HA HA), you always guided me in the right direction, to make me a better manager. Thanks will never be enough!

For the woman who has by heart and soul – Cindy R.,
You are my rock, and foundation on which I stand. Without you I am nothing!! I cannot put into words the love that I have for you. I am blessed by God, to be able to share space and time, with a person as wonderful, caring, and understanding as you. Our friendship means the world to me. Thank you for reading the “weird” emails and not judging me, nor saying a word about it, but understanding that I was just going through a bad time in my life. I will never forget that Tuesday morning, when I held you in my arms, and said “I don’t know if I can do this”…you said that everything would be ok... It has been rough as you know, and I have only 1 regret….leaving you! I can’t wait till we can retire and set on the porch with our canes!!! Remember IRELAND BABY!!!! Spring/Summer ’08!!!

For my Midnight Caller – Jennifer M.
“Enough Said”

For my best buddy – BAM
Thanks for forgiving and understanding…We had a blast in ’07, let’s make ’08 EVEN BETTER!!!

-*-*In Conclusion*-*-

As I sit here, and type as fast as I can. I feel that I have the cheesiest smile on my face, and can barely hold back the laughter, and joy! 2007, so for was the best year of my life... I have cried a lot, laughed a lot, partied a lot, and I woke the hell up!!!!!! 2008 is blowing winds of change at my back, and I am gonna start off running! I am gonna laugh more, I’m gonna appreciate more, and I am gonna work harder than before. Harder for the things that “I” want! Harder at my career, so that I can start climbing that proverbial ladder to a career success! Harder at being the FABULOUS person that GOD wanted me to be! Harder at being an all around GREAT HUMAN BEING! I AM BACK TO LOVING “ME” AGAIN AND I FEEL FABULOUS BABY!! 2008 is going to be “MY” year! I cannot and will not apologize for the decisions that I have made. They are what make me unique, and different from all the rest! I love me, for me, and all my faults! I am in no way perfect, and do not claim to be. All of you are welcomed to come along for the ride, but I must warn you…. You are in for the ride of your life. 2008 is a year for change!!!

I hope that you enjoyed reading my year in review! Your comments are welcomed! Now I gotta get out of here, Its PARTY TIME!! Happy New Year, to you all!!!

NO APOLOGIES, NO REGRETS!

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