Saturday, August 23, 2008

I am homophobic

Well, here goes with trying to air out an issue that I have been living with for a long time now. Now, none of you know me, not like we spend time together like my friends and family in “the real world” so I will try to make this simple.

I get a lot of shit from people saying that I am homophobic, hate gay men, am prejudiced, etc. I guess that I am, in a sort of way, but I am going to take this opportunity to explain. I have wanted to write this…and then not wanting to…I think that means that I should. I will give you the nutshell version and maybe one day the full details.

Over the past ten or fifteen years, I have been known to give dirty looks to gay men, glare at them with hate and even give them ‘fightin eyes’ while clenching up my fists. It is not that I have any real issue with their personal choices or that I have any problem with people being gay…just don’t do it or show it around me.

I used to live in an area where there were an abundance of gay men and every trip to the grocery store would get my blood boiling. Having men in the produce isle winking, smiling and making eyes at me just sent my head spiraling into REALLY BAD places.

The people in my life would always give me dirty looks and tell me to relax, let them be, take it as a compliment…or something like that. I try. What has gotten me to this place where I seem to be punishing all gay men is an experience that happened in 1993.

I lived in Boston and had been going through a hard time with going out and drinking a bit too much. On one night, I was at a bar near South Boston “Southie” and as I exited the bar, a bit inebriated, and began my stumble home I walked by an alley where all of the sudden a guy grabbed me from behind, put a large knife to my neck and led me out of sight. The guy was bigger than I, he had a big knife and I was drunk…not a good situation for protecting one’s self. Now I was ready to hand over my wallet and watch when I noticed that that was not what he wanted. Right. I was sexually assaulted by a man. Now I had not talked of this with many people because I felt that it made me feel like less of a man. I know that my choices in that alley were limited…I could have tried to fight, but the steel of the knife blade was a consistent reminder of reality, pressed to my neck. After the assault, I filed a police report, went to the hospital and then tried to forget. Shortly after the incident, I moved to CA.

I know that the gay men that I see in daily life are most likely NOT the man that did this to me, he probably was not even gay…just a sick drug addict or something…but my head has made a connection that I can’t seem to break. I know that I need to get past this because I don’t want to go through the rest of my life with that hatred in my head…so that is why I am posting this.

Yes – I can be serious and deep and personal…no pee in sight.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tinkle on a Tourist

As someone who is pretty straight forward and an avid People Watcher, I don’t think that I’ve mentioned to you all – until now – that “tourists” really get under my skin. Now, I know that pretty much everyone, including me, has been a tourist at one point or another, but…come on…if you are going to be a tourist, don’t act or dress like one. The strength that it is taking me now to hold back the burst of laughter (accompanied by indiscrete finger pointing) or the barely controllable urges to vomit is getting out of control.

I guess that it is the combination of many “tourist attributes” that get to me:
What they wear – black socks with sandals, fanny packs, camera around shoulder, clothing that is obviously NOT appropriate for where they are, etc.
How they talk – usually VERY loud, not in English, etc.
How they act – 9 times out of ten not polite, as if they are more important than any of us, disrespectful to people and the local environment

I don’t know…I mean I know that if I were visiting China, I would not be speaking Chinese or wearing a big sun hat or a Bruce Lee outfit, but I would try to fit in. I would show respect and do what I could to blend in. That being said, I have a hard time justifying my irritation towards tourists, but it still thrives. Maybe I am just a bad person…maybe I need to relax and just accept them as who they are. Fuck that! They annoy the shit out of me.

On our recent trip to the Sequoia National Forest, Insane Mama and I found ourselves utterly in awe of the immense number of tourists visiting form countries all over the world. It kind of makes me think of how lucky we are to live somewhere that everyone wants to visit, but at the same time….DO NOT come to my country and into MY FOREST and push me or walk in front of me while I am taking a picture. DO NOT show up with your family of 7 for a .5 mile FLAT hike with EVERYONE carrying brand new, telescoping walking sticks!(….even the freaking children). DO NOT Pass me on a hike without saying hello. DO NOT wear high heels and a dress for a hike through the woods. DO NOT skip looking in the mirror, at your outfit, if you are going somewhere. DO NOT allow your 4 children to run down to jump, scream and splash around in a river – right where 2 adults are trying to enjoy a quiet moment together. IT IS A BIG FUCKING RIVER!

NO…It was not just this trip. My last trips to water parks, amusement parks, beaches…..even the freaking GAP…all the same. Can we post some rules, basic ethics, manners, code of conduct….or whatever AT EVERY international airport so that sensitive (that is what I will call it) people, like me, can enjoy our nation’s visitors? Maybe we could start a Tourist he borde monitor and correct improper behaviors.

PLEASE know that I am in NO WAY racist or have anything against foreigners….it IS the TOURIST mentality that I pee upon.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ansel TentCamper

I know that you all think that I am some kind of rambling, psychotic, uncaring, maniac, sexaholic who just walks around and pees all over the place…but I am not...not all of the time.

I can honestly say that while camping in the Sequoia’s…I found …the softer side of TentCamper.

I also found …….. MY NEW BLOGGER ICON (PICTURE) !!!!!!!!!!!

Well...........WAHT DO YOU THINK?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Tent Camping With Black Bears

First off, I’d like to say that this trip to the Sequoia National Forest was to be my first encounter with Black Bears. Before leaving, as most of you know, Insane Mama (and many other people) told me all of their stories about bear encounters up there and I have to admit that as excited as I was, I was a bit nervous.

After our first night camping, I woke to no signs (or stories from other campers) about bears having been in the campground that night. Believe me…I asked just about everyone. I was a bit disappointed and quite honestly…a bit scared to come back to you all with no bear stories. On our second night there, after sitting by the fire and carving a large stick that I’d found into the ‘world’s best bear spear’…to protect us from our impending encounter, we actually opened a big can of baked bean and left them on the table at the site next to ours (nobody was there…we are not that cruel) to see if we could attract a nice big bear that would enjoy this friendly offering. Again with NOTHING! Anyway, we spent two nights at that campground (full post to come) and then decided that maybe we should head deeper into the forest…”where the bears live” for a few nights.

At our second campground, which was DEEP into the National Forest, the campground was a bit on the empty side and we ended up with a pretty cool site, in the woods right on the edge of the Kings River. We drove around the campground until we had found the site that bears would like the most. Again…NOTHING! I got a bit pissed and started “accidentally” dropping food around our site…and even calling into the woods, “bears….oh bears….come out and play”…Along with other ridiculous absurdities. At the site right next to us, there were 2 guys and a woman who were from another country and obviously did not know that being nice…and social with the campers around you was the proper thing to do. We did not like them…for that reason…UNTIL…on the second night, I heard one of the guys from that site yell, “BEAR!” and then start banging on a pan with a rock that he’d picked up. My eyes widened (out of excitement, not fear) and I jumped out of my chair. I turned and called for Insane Mama, who was in the tent …putzing around, to get her ass out of the tent. I grabbed my bear spear and basically threw it at Mariah while I snatched up our camera and ran to catch up with our neighbor, who was trailing the bear, warning the campers ahead of him.

When I reached him (in like 2 seconds), I asked him where the bear was and he pointed ….I saw it! In the dark I saw the outline of a fairly big bear. I had to get closer. I was going to get a picture of this beast. Armed only with my little digital camera, I darted toward the big black outline as he (or she) made it onto a campsite across the way. The bear stopped at the picnic table (where some idiots had left out trail mix and dried dates…I will thank them later.) The bear stood up and cleared things from the table and grabbed what it wanted. Meanwhile, people were yelling, throwing rocks and sticks at the ground near it, banging pans and blowing whistles…all of this while crept forward until I was about 15 feet from it. I started snapping pictures. They were coming out all black…not enough light. I fidgeted with all of the settings, snapping as I went…not really paying any attention to the 500 pound bear who could have reached my position in about 3 seconds if it wanted to. Seeing the bear only through the camera’s viewfinder, I took about 15 pictures before the bear started to move on towards the next loop of campsites. I did not care what the others were doing…I HAD to get a good shot. I trailed the bear into the woods. Once I came to the next campsite, where a large Chinese family was camping, I warned them and asked the dad if he’d seen the bear. I then heard an young voice from inside the tent a young boy’s voice frantically say, “Is it going to eat us? Are we going to DIE?” I, noticing that the bear was gone…and I was the only one who had followed it into the woods, decided to tell the family that they’d be fine and then I turned back through the woods.

As I got back to the site where thee bear took the food, I heard the woman yelling at her ??? husband that he had better get them packed and the hell out of there within the next few minutes. This lady really meant what she was saying. I did not stop, and when I got back to our site, Mariah was sitting by the fire awaiting my triumphant bear story and pictures (although her face said something like this, “ok…what happened? Oooohh….you saw a bear?…want a medal? You really are my hero….NOT!”

Anyway I told her about the “chase” after she informed me that as soon as I tossed my “Bear Spear” to her…she just returned to our site for a glass of wine. I guess seeing a bear was not such a big deal for her. She swiped the camera from my hands and started going through the last bunch of images taken and then looked up at me, shaking her head and said, “there is nothing here…it’s all black.” I told her that with the magic of Photoshop…I could get them to come out.

Here is what I have to show for all of my efforts.

OH....and by the way...bear are NOT attracted to the sweet smell of sex!

In tent, at the river on the rocks, on hiing trails, etc. No problems there!

I Peed In The Sequoias !!!!

Ok Folks….No need to worry…Insane Mama and I are back from Sequoia and King’s Canyon.

I have to say that it was one of the most incredible camping trips that I have ever been on. We stayed at 3 different campgrounds, saw some HUGE-ASS trees, frolicked in streams and rivers, hiked to waterfalls and famous meadows, made friends with forest creatures (mostly Insane Mama), tracked rampaging bears at night ….and lastly, saved the Sequoias from burning down today.

Posts on all of the above will be forthcoming and I hope that the post I had up whilst away did not turn any of you into ‘haters.’

I have to run and help IM unpack the car….damn!

I’ll be catching up with you all this evening.


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