Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

I had a pic on this post that really wasn't "Safe For Work" and I like to keep this work safe, so here is a link to the picture. You can click here if you feel so inclined.

Anatomy of a Melt-Down

I really hate melt-downs. Not the China Syndrome kind of melt-down but an emotional melt-down.

I had a melt-down yesterday. Nick was kind about it in his blog, but it was an all out melt-down. It started with a bit of anxiety and ended with Nick holding me as thoughts of personal disgust ran wild through my head.

What is weird is that I am generally a pretty stable person. I do not just tail-spin at the drop of a hat. But yesterday, I think I hit the "perfect storm." I was tired, I was a bit emotionally depleted (the past weekend was more busy than restful), I had just discussed my whole psychological picture, I had some problems with bills, and my tire blew.

I also think something that "helped" precipitate the melt-down was the presence of Nick and my trust in him. By having him near, it was like it was ok for me to just let all the stress and frustration wash over me. I do have to admit that when the whole "storm" was over, I did feel better. I think knowing Nick was there and wouldn't leave me allowed me the luxury of flushing away the emotions. I feel sorry for Nick having to deal with such emotional storms, but I thank God that Nick was here to help me through it.

Monday, October 30, 2006

They Just Don't Exist

Ok, people... I have found Christmas coffee mugs, Halloween mugs, Valentine's Day mugs, Easter mugs, 4th of July mugs, and St. Patrick's Day mugs. But, I have never found a Thanksgiving (U.S. Pilgrims and Turkeys) Day mug. Anyone out there ever find one?


I guess it was good that we weren't cruising down the interstate when this happened. We were on the back roads out of the Detroit area. I really am not a fan of major highways. Granted, they are usually faster, but they just are not very inter sting. The good thing is that the weather was wonderful (about 70 degrees F) and I have roadside assistance. I felt kind of funny calling to have someone change the tire, I could have done it myself, but that is why I bought the roadside assistance, wasn't it? Also, I didn't know how to get the spare off the underside and how to work the jack. I do now! And also, the butt on the guy from the shop wasn't too bad! The face was, aigh... But when he bent over it was nice!!

Nick and I were in Detroit because I had to go to the debriefing of my psych assessment. (Talk about Freudian slips, I originally typed "psycho assessment"!) That is another hoop I had to jump through and now that is finished. I just have to track down two people to do the background assessment and then the process is finished on my end. (I hope!)

I am getting tired of this. I had a fairly major melt-down this afternoon. I thank God Nick was here to help me. Sometimes I just get tired of the struggle. I get tired of being strong. I get tired of having life always be a trial. It was nice to have someone there to just hug me and make no demands. That was something I had come conclusion I would never have.

As Nick posted, I will have Amber this week. This is not really a very good picture of her, she is much cuter.

Right now, Claudia, the more skittish of my two cats is lying on one side of me, and Amber is on the other. In the time I have been posting, Madeline changed spots with Claudia. Maybe there is hope they will get along yet!

Lead Us Not Into Temptation

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Haunted House

Nick and I were out driving around in the country when we came upon this house. Looks spooky, huh?

Friday, October 27, 2006

De Nile

I was a pretty good swimmer in my day. It actually took me a while to get to be good because I was totally afraid of drowning. Once I got past the fear, I could start to actually swim. However, I still have that small fear of drowning.

Now, I don't care how well you can swim, eventually the swim gets to be too much and the body of water is too large. That is the point that I am approaching.

I woke up again dreading the thought of the furnace kicking on. I am making good money, but I bought the house with the concept that I would be making better money. I sound like a broken record, but the money thing bothers me. I have never really had to worry about money and I really don't know how to deal with this. I don't know...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

We Don't Do Anything

Morgan over at It's a Blog Eat Blog World got me thinking about Veggie tales. He has the Song of the Cebu over there so I decided to post "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything." Thanks for the memories Morgan!

A Learning Moment

A few moments before this picture was taken, this was a lamp shade. This is the second lamp shade I have made and the first big lampshade. So I am still learning what to do and what not to do. NOT TO DO: Do not place the shade on the table upside-down without support, even though the outside is soldered. Oh well, a few(?) more hours of work.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Shortage of Clergy?

I sometimes wonder about the way organized religions treat their clergy. If this were just a situation with me, I would assume that it is just my bad luck, but I have heard of others having similar problems.

My case is frustrating. I left a job as a psychologist for the state of Illinois to go to seminary.

After graduation, I got called to a little church “up north.” When I say little, I mean maybe 40 people on Sunday. And quite often, being in my mid-30’s, I would be the youngest person in the sanctuary.

I was also dealing with a congregation that had become known as “Clergy Killers.” Of the four previous pastors, three left the ministry after being at this congregation. None of them lasted longer than four years. And one left without even leaving a forwarding address.

Well, surprise of surprise! I had problems with this congregation. I was asked why I didn’t “treat” the congregation because I had the psychology background. I said there is a difference between being a pastor and being a therapist. But the synod kept its distance from me and any problems that I would direct their way, seemed to get “lost.”

Finally, I got to the point where I was suicidal and was looking for ways to change my name and just leave. When I finally told the congregation that I would be leaving, only then did the synod pay any attention. And the attention I got was being told that I was just not trying hard enough. And that I was an example of why it is so hard to place first-call people.

It was decided I would leave the congregation on Oct. 28, (2 years, 2 months, and 22 days after arriving). I left with the desire to drive into bridge abutments. I left without any job. I left without any insurance. I left with a prescription for the maximum dosage of Zoloft. And I left being told that the synod could not do anything about helping me to pay for the prescription because they were not a “charity organization.”

Almost a year later, I received another call. This was the call I have just left. For the most part, it was great. (There is never a perfect call.) The call was good enough to allow me to deal with the skeletons in my closet and deal with my sexuality.

That sexuality thing created a whole new problem in and of itself. Now the synod was backing away, not because I was leaving but because I was a “messy” problem. I was told that “we would all be embarrassed about [my] leaving in a few years. But as for now, there is nothing we can do.” Nothing we can do? If it is a law that will be embarrassing, LET’S FIGHT IT! Let’s be the people who said, “We think this is wrong and we are going to do something about it.”

So now, I am working temp, waiting for a call from the ECUSA. Now, denominations are always complaining how they are in need of clergy, but here one sits, answering phones for a helpdesk.

A similar situation is occurring with Nick. He is trying to find a pulpit within his denomination but seems to find indifference and apathy. He will contact people and never seems to hear back from them. Nick has over 20 years of experience in the congregation but they cannot find a pulpit for him. I don’t get it.

We hear the cry that there is not enough clergy. But here sit clergy, willing to work, with no pulpits in sight. I am confused as to what is happening.

It Approaches...


Cheese with that Whine?

Yep,one of those whiney posts.

I woke up thinking about bills. The furnace kicked on and I woke up. I though, "I have to pay for the heat somehow." This is not where I though I would be at this point in my life.

The traveling back and forth between Nick's place and my place is getting old too. It is hard to get things done around the house when you are never here. I know things will get better, I am just getting tired of waiting.

I will be going to get the psych eval debriefed. That is good, maybe we can get the whole Episcopal thing moving!

Enough for now, have to get ready for work. Have a great day all.

Sunday, October 22, 2006


Now let's think about this: If it is just nails, there is nothing more. If there is something more, then it is not just nails.


Nick and I had a great weekend. He does a much better job of describing things than I so you can check out the Sweetest Day Surprise. I guess great minds think alike. Also, on Nick's blog, you can see the picture of me taking the picture of the scarecrows. It is always a good time with Nick. The driving is just getting a little tiring.

I Don't Exist!

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Happy Sweetest Day!

Not Again!

6:24, 6:25, 6:26...Thank you for calling...

Yep, it happened again! I was just about to leave on Friday night, FRIDAY NIGHT!, when someone called. And again, it wasn't something easy like just rebook; NO! It was someone's laptop going on the fritz. And Laptops we have to send out to the manufacturer; no simple fix here.

So I am stuck in the call center, 6:45 pm on a FRIDAY NIGHT! and I have no idea what I am supposed to be doing and no one to ask and I WANT TO GO TO NICK'S! I don't want to be there! So I get the guy taken care of (I know, bad sentence structure)and head out.

On the way there I stop to pick up something for Nick for Sweetest Day (But that is another post!).

Thursday, October 19, 2006

A Picture I Didn't Take But Wish I Had!

The first pictures with the new camera!

The possessed cat (Claudia)and my messy house.

6:26, 6:27, 6:28, Thank-you for calling...

That is what happened tonight. Two minutes until I could clock-out and a call comes in. And not just any call, but a call that needs to have hardware dispatched which means a whole bunch of forms and jumping all over the intranet to find the right information. Finally, a half-hour later I got to go home.

But there was good news! My camera, the camera I have had for four years and loved dearly, got taken into the store to get fixed. (You see, it was roaming around the neighborhood at night and would start humping my leg in the middle of the night, oh!) I had about 10 days left on my extended warranty. I got a call to bring in my receipt, they cannot fix the camera, so I got a new camera! They were supposed to give me a camera of similar technology (I wish it were similar price!) but since my camera was only a 2 megapixel, the camera that I got HAD to be an upgrade. So I am now the proud owner of a 5 megapixel Canon. It is so tiny! I hope it takes as good of pictures as my old one.

So, in honor of my old camera, I will do a mini-retrospect of the pictures it has taken.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

What are we doing to ourselves?

I read something today that got me upset. Now before I continue, I want to state that I could be totally off base. I could be misunderstanding what was happening. And I may be opening myself up for similar attacks in doing this. But hey, I could get killed for this or for telling someone that they dropped their napkin when they threw it out of their car.

I am going to be rather vague about the situation, it is not the situation itself that is sad but what the situation says about us, as gay people. If you recognize the situation, great, if not don’t worry about it.

The situation appears to be a group of bloggers attacking another blogger. Now, this was done on Oct 13 (which was a Friday) and may have been a joke. But, to me at least, it wasn’t very funny. The bloggers that were being attacked are a long-term, happily partnered couple. Their blog is a slice of their life, including all the small things like where they went to dinner and what they watched on television. It sometimes can be a bit sugary, but what is so wrong about that?

Then on October 13 there was a spate of posts parodying this blog. These parodies were not in fun but were mean-spirited. What it felt like is a bunch of bloggers who were not happy with their own lives needed to attack another. So therefore, they could not allow these others to be happy either. Since these bloggers that were attacked were happy and leading a normal, boring life, the other bloggers decided to make them the objects of ridicule.

I think it is sad enough that we have people running around telling us that we are abominations and we that we don’t know how to live a “normal” life. But when we have people who have been together for eight years and are still going strong, who have jobs and are happy, who do not go out and cruise the streets, become the object of ridicule; well, we, ourselves, have become as much a tool of the fundamentalist as Jim Dobson or Alan Chambers. When we attack each other, all we are doing is presenting the world with another point to say, “See, THEY are just a bunch of immature deviants. They don’t even want to try to act civil.”

Now, maybe it is the age that I was when I came out, but I want the white picket fence. I want the person waiting when I get home at night. I want the dream. And I don’t think we should ridicule the people who do actually have that dream. If that is not something you want, fine. But just because you don’t want it doesn’t mean it is wrong.

You Pollute My Air, I'll Pollute Yours!

See of Change

Yes, I know, you are probably thinking, "He spelled 'sea' wrong!" Well, no, I really wanted to use the word "see."

What I mean is that I have been seeing a change in myself. By looking back at my blog postings, I have noticed that they have moved from angst about being gay to more angst about life in general. Now, I would like to be rid of the angst all together, but if I have to have angst about something, I am glad it is not about being gay.

When I started this process, I wanted to get to the point where I was not "Gay Pastor Ottaia." I wanted to move to the point where I was "Pastor Ottaia who just happens to be gay." I think I have moved in that direction. Now granted, I am not even "Pastor Ottaia" at this point, and that may have something to do with my attitude. I am in an area where being gay does not really matter. I wonder if my attitude will charge when I get involved again in the whole church process. I hope not. I know that the ECUSA is less worried about sexuality, but there is still there.

Monday, October 16, 2006

"Thank you for calling..." Part Deux

Ok, I made it through my first day ... sort of. I actually took three calls and didn't do too bad. Granted, they were fairly simpl things like resetting passwords, but I did do it! Then, for some weird reason, they sent everyone home; in effect closing the helpdesk. I was getting kind of charged to take more calls and then "poof" we are sent home. I don't get it.

Oh well, tomorrow is the big day, the new build is going out over the whole system and we are expecting a large quantity of calls as people become acquainted with the new system.

"Thank you for calling..."

Well, I officially "go live" today. Done is the "training" (I use the quotes because I really didn't feel like I got a whole lot of training) and now we are really answering questions. I also have an additional assignment of contacting people who have had a patch put on their computer. I have to remove the new patch and put the old patch back on.

I am really kind of nervous about all of this. I wish I could feel more comfortable. I know that once I get in the flow of things, I will be ok. I am a fairly bright guy and I am sure I will pick up on things once I can get them into context. Oh well, que sera, que sera.

After work I have to quickly drive across town to rehersal. I work from 10 am to 6:30 pm and then have rehersal from 7 until 9. It makes for a long day, but I have done long days before.

Nick has been great, putting up with my mood swings as I deal with my perfectionism and fear of failing. He is great to put up with me. Now we just need to find him a job here so we can quit playing this "house tag." I am almost to the point where I can drive from my house to his and back, and many permutations of the trip, in my sleep.

One of my kids is getting more comfortable with Nick and Amber. Madeline will come into the room and will actually come up to me even with Nick and Amber sitting on the futon. Claudia is a different story. I haven't seen here in a couple of days. Hopefully she will come around too.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

"Battle Shits"

Here is a great scene from "Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle"

The other day when I was at work, I had to "go"! So I went to the bathroom and unfortunately, there was a person in the other stall. Well, I tried to not just let it all out but there comes a point where you really cannot moderate the rate of expulsion. So things just kind of went. Then I started to think of this scene and almost couldn't keep from laughting. Little snorts would come out between spluts and splashes. I quickly got out of there and then started to laugh once I got out of the room. I figured the guy next to me would not understand if he heard a toot and a splash and then heard uproarious laughter!

Friday, October 13, 2006

Beta Problems?

Has anyone had success using Picasa with Blogger beta? I can't seem to get it to work.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

National Coming Out Day

It is kind of odd, this year.

Last year, I remember National Coming Out Day, I don't remember if I told anyone or not. But I do remember e-mailing some (gay) friends and telling them that, hey!, this is my first Coming Out Day.

This year, after The Letter, and The Talk, there is not too many people who don't know. I guess I could have told people at work, but since I have just started and because it is a temp job, I really don't want to be too out there yet. I have not denied being gay, I just have not felt the need to state it either. Maybe that is a cop out. Oh well...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Funeral Music

I was tagged by Janna over at One More Drop In A Bloggy Ocean to do this meme. It is kind of interesting. The question is: What five songs do you want played at your funeral?

Now, this is kind of hard, because there are the songs that I would like to have and then there are the songs that would be more appropriate to a funeral.

First off, I will give you the "appropriate" songs I would like for my funeral.

First, I would like the song O Come, O Come, Emmanuel. I know it is an advent song, but I like it and I think it is appropriate for a funeral.

Second, I would like the song Soon and Very Soon.

Third, I would like Give Me Jesus

Fourth, would be We Are Called. Sorry, I could not find a link to this one.

Fifth, would be an old standard like Amazing Grace.

Now other songs that I think would be fun at a funeral would be:

Always Look On The Bright Side of Life

I'm Going Home

I think that is it. It was kind of fun! Now I think I will tag Lemuel over at The Greedy Maelstrom.

"Why do gays only talk about being gay?"

I read a post over at A Rainbow Flag in Narnia where Steve was answering a question about people feel that "being gay" is the most important thing in a gay person's life. What is interesting is that I was just thinking how "Flaming Heterosexual" so many people seem to be.

Case in point: I have just started a new job. I already know that my trainer is married, has lived with his wife before he was married. Does not go to strip clubs because of what he has at home. Has a wife that likes to initiate sex. And "you know you are married and you want to go to bed to sleep."

Now, if we were to place a gay person in that situation and the same things were said, the person would probably be out of a job.

To the heterosexual population, they don't see what they say as being out of the ordinary. So when they hear us talk about our life, we are "throwing it in their face." What they don't realize is that their activities are constantly in our faces. We are just supposed to say nothing about it.

I actually am kind of upset at the actions of my trainer. I find the conversation to be totally inappropriate for the work-place. I wonder if I should say something or if then I will be written off as someone who isn't willing to have some fun.

I really don't know if I am offended because I am offended or if I am offended because of the disparity in treatment.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

October Crickets

I find crickets in October to be kind of bittersweet. Especially here in the upper Midwest, it is, well, difficult. It is a comforting sound, but it is also sad. You know that eventually the weather is going to freeze and the crickets will be dormant until the next spring. It is a wonderful sound, but a sound full of feeling that it cannot deliver upon.

Today it was warm. Tonight there are crickets. I wonder how much longer they will be around. Soon, they will be gone.

Today, at work, I was listening in on the conversation of some of my co-workers. It kind of made me sad. They were talking about gays.

The guy said that he really didn't mind "them" as long as they didn't hit on him.

I got to thinking. He probably considers himself very open and hip. But what he said is still homophobic. How would he like it if he had to worry that every time he talked to a woman, she just might deck him or maybe even try to kill him.

And then another guy said something about "and then they get so mad if you say that they chose to be gay."

Then the first said, "And why do they have to talk about it all the time?"

I probably should have called them on it. But I just sat there and said nothing.

I am shocked how much heterosexism permeates our society. If I were to do to Nick in public what I see others do in public, we would probably be in jail. But for the hets, it is ok.


The job is interesting. I am getting paid to sit in class, learn about 20 minutes worth the stuff, and play computer games for the rest of the time. I guess I would rather get paid almost $17 per hour to play games there than to sit at home and do it for nothing.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Heterosexual Agenda - EXPOSED!

Here it is! Possibly the most explosive news of our decade!

For Ur-Spo


Man, to steal a term from Lemuel over at The Greedy Maelstrom, my "Hunkdar" has been working overtime today.

Although the trainer for my new job is nothing spectacular, I am kind of glad I am not in the other training session, I would never get anything done! The guy is just the right height, just the right body build, and BALD! I wouldn't be paying attention to what I was supposed to be doing and I would have to stay sitting all day. Nick said he was happy I wasn't in the other class either!

Then there was the guy who was sitting next to me during rehearsal for the choral I am in. He was kind of my "other ideal." (if that is possible.) Dark, goatee, a little cheek bristle, hairy, and a great bass voice. He was kind of a jerk though.

The picture is a barn on I-80 in NW Illinois.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Let's Rush The Seasons!

I saw a commercial advertising Christmas toys for Wal-Mart, today. Way too early!!

New Job Tomorrow

I start my new temp job tomorrow. What is really kind of sad is that I have been unemployed long enough that having to get up for work seems to be a bit daunting. But I am sure I will get used to it. Yes, I am whining, but that is why I have a blog!

I also have my second rehearsal tomorrow for the choral I joined. It is fun being part of a semi-pro choral, especially since my sister used to hassle me, as a kid, that I couldn't sing. This is something I couldn't do before because there was so much always going on at the church.

It will be nice getting back to doing something more than just sitting around the house.