Rick has avoidance issues…

OK so I’ve been avoiding my blog.

It’s not because I dislike it or anything… I don’t.  I just dread writing lately.  I worry that I may start a post and never finish it (because that’s NEVER happened before.  Ha ha.)  I worry that I may write too much and nobody would want to read it.  And I worry that I really have nothing to say, after all.

Well, that’s a lie.  I have plenty to say.  In fact, there have been numerous subjects on which I could have said volumes, including Proposition 8, Obama asking Rick Warren to do the invocation at the Inaguration, the holidays, New Year’s Eve and much, much more.  But as time wore on, those subjects either got old or compounded upon each other, and were relegated to the column of “old news.”  

So I’ve decided to sum up some of those things here, and maybe — just maybe — I can start 2009 with a clean slate and go on from here.  So here we go….

Proposition 8 – Clearly, this was a disappointment, and clearly, the GLBT community spoke up and spoke up loudly.  I was touched and moved by the uprising, but I did not participate in any of the protests.  Why?  Well, I missed the first one in Chicago because I already had plans to see my mom that day.  And the second one (which protested the Cinemark theatre in Evanston for its CEO’s contribution to the Yes on 8 fund) was right after the funeral of a dear friend and I just wasn’t up for it.  But the real reason is because, in my heart of hearts, I just didn’t feel the same.  All this clamoring for the title of “marriage” to be used across the board doesn’t sit well with me.  Yes, I want the same rights for all people, and yes I want that equality whether I’m gay, straight or anything… but I feel like we are so focused on the word “Marriage” that we can’t see any other possibilities.  I’m hoping that something good comes of all this in the future … and the possibility that Prop 8 (and the other props in Florida and Arizona) is overturned is still out there — but until then, I wish we could regroup and really think about what we want… and do it right this time.  

Rick Warren – No sooner than this announcement was made, GLBT people were shouting “FOUL” and “BETRAYED” and calling Obama a traitor, worrying that he would do to us what Clinton did with “Dont’ Ask, Don’t Tell.”  I, however, looked at it as a positive.  Yes, the man is evil and has said some terrible things about our community… but the fact that he is there, among Democrats who believe and want everything he doesn’t… is significant.  I truly think his presence there will not have such a profound effect on anything at all.  It is merely a presence.  It actually speaks louder to his ability to see other views than anything else.  Obama isn’t going to alienate what he believes in because of who he asks to give an invocation.  So I kept silent on the issue– until now.  I know my view is not popular amongst my peers… but that’s just how I feel.  

And now on to more fun things…

The Holidays were a joy.  Christmas Day with the twins was full of laughter and love, and the girls were absolutely adorable.  They’ve reached the age where they can actually laugh and enjoy the holiday… and to see them with their toys was so much fun.  For those of you on Facebook, I have pictures up of them opening their gifts and playing with them, here and here.  

And finally, New Year’s Eve was a great time.  I went to my friend Ricardo’s for dinner, and we all shared our goals for 2009 and what we learned in 2008… it was an emotional and sweet moment when each of us professed our love for each other, as friends and as family.  I’ve said it before – I have some of the most wonderful friends a guy could ask for.  I love them dearly.  Afterwards we proceeded to Sidetrack to ring in the new year — the first time I had been to a bar for New Year’s Eve in many years.  I had a great time, and I think 2009 will be a really wonderful year for all of us.

So that’s about it.  Here we are, the first Monday of 2009.  Everyone is back to work, and life continues on from this point.  I’m grateful to be employed, and thankful to be alive and well.  In this day and age, what more can you ask for?

So to all of you, a happy and healthy new year.  It’ll be DIVINE in 2009! 🙂

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Well Hello!

Howdy! It’s been a while since I’ve actually written anything here. The last week or so has been so incredibly busy I haven’t had much time to do anything except work, come home, and crash from exhaustion. Hopefully this coming week will be better.

So how about some updates? Great idea, right? Well here we go:

1. I never wrote him back.
2. I’m broke. At least until pay day. Which is next Tuesday.
3. I’ve been pretty healthy overall.
4. Autumn has arrived in Chicago. Brr! Time to break out the sweaters!
5. The Cubs are starting the playoffs tomorrow. Yay!
6. I watched the debates on Friday. Obama did well, but I wish he’d stop agreeing with McCain and get a whole lot tougher.
7. McCain whistles while he talks. He needs better denture adhesive.
8. Tina Fey is a goddess.

9. I forgot that this was about me, sorry.
10. The Chorus show is coming along nicely. I have an audition this week.. wish me luck!
11. My favorite TV shows have started up again… thank goodness for the fall season.
12. I’m still not dating anyone.
13. This looks like it’s quickly turning into a “100 Things About Me” list. It’s not, I promise.

*Yawn* … Good morning!

So, I’m back from my hibernation, and it was a lovely rest.

And things look different.  Again.

You’ll see that I have once again changed the look of The Launching Pad.  You’ll also notice that the name of The Launching Pad has changed.  I’m all about change.

Summer is drawing to a close, and I’ve been getting the itch to blog again.  So I took a look at things and decided it was time to do some house-cleaning… again.  If you’ve visited here before, you’ll notice that the sidebars are gone. There’s nothing but posts and comments, folks.  It’s clean and neat and to the point – just the way it should be.  I took the inspiration from the Tumblelog movement that is occurring – I figured why re-invent the wheel– just re-tool it a little bit.

Of course, if you REALLY want all that sidebar goodness, just hover over “Navigation” at the top and, like magic, they will appear.  So that’s where you’ll find my blogroll (which is being heavily trimmed, by the way), feed info, and other stuff that used to be on the main page.

I’ve also deactivated the PostReach comments – those little icon thingies at the end of every post that allowed readers to make wordless comments.  I decided that if you want to comment, you can write a line or two telling me what you think.  Plus they just didn’t match the feng shui of the new look. 🙂

**UPDATE** I’ve also just converted my comment system to Disqus, at the recommendation of a fellow blogger.  Disqus allows a lot of really great features including comment threading and video comments.  Fun fun fun!!!  So you have no excuses– commenting is fun again! 🙂

So I’m back – and what’s been up?  Well, in all honesty, I’ve been spending more time with my friends and family, and just trying to spend LESS time in front of a computer monitor.  I spend 8+ hours, five days a week, in front of a computer.  I needed a break from that on my own time.

That’s not to say I haven’t been spending time in front of my computer.. I’ve just been doing different things.  My latest obsession is SingSnap.  In case you haven’t heard of it, it’s basically online karaoke.  My friend Teddy clued me into it a few months ago, and in just those short few months, I’ve become something of a rising star there.  I’m not saying I’m ready for a record contract or anything, and I’m much too old for American Idol… but it’s been rather fun, and it’s been a better waste of time than looking at porn or cruising the gay meat markets.

Other than that, I’ve gone camping a couple of times, and spent a lot of time with my friends.  And, of course, I’ve spent more time with my family and my adorable nieces, Abby and Emily.  I can hardly believe they’re already 6 months old… and getting cuter by the minute.

So I’m back, I’m refreshed, and I’m looking forward to a new direction for my blog.  Posts will be shorter.  Photos will happen more often.  And I’m just going to have fun with it.  And like before, if I have nothing to say, I won’t be posting.  I decided that I really like being a part of this world, and I didn’t want to leave it… I just wanted to make it what I want it to be.  Having all of you is just the cherry on top of the sundae.

Here’s a few pictures to get things started… See you soon!

Market Days Madness under the Rainbow Pylons!
Market Days Madness under the Rainbow Pylons!
Camping in Saugatuck - with new and old friends!
Camping in Saugatuck - with new and old friends!
Beth with Emily and Abby at Grandmas house
Beth with Emily and Abby at Grandma's house

Re-igniting the fire

Full Moon Festival
Fire twirler at the Full Moon Jam, Foster Beach, Chicago.

I’m back.  Did you miss me?

It’s ok, you can say no.  I won’t be mad.  Really, I won’t!

After all, I’m the one who practically abandoned my own blog– you didn’t do anything. 

So yeah I took a little break.  I needed it.  Badly.  I won’t get into the whole story of why I was gone for so long.  Just know that I needed the break, and now I’m back and feeling a lot more energized.

So what’s been up with me lately? 

Well for starters, I’ve been hanging out with friends again, keeping busy with work, watching my beautiful nieces grow up like weeds (see the pictures below), meeting new friends, cleaning up my financial situation, and preparing for an exciting summer.

And that was only in the last week or two.

I’ve also dealt with a horrible case of writer’s block for the past few months.  So instead of pressuring myself to come up with something witty or clever or not-so-depressing, I chose to chill for a while. 

But now I feel like the clouds are clearing and brighter days are ahead.  So time to sally forth and see what happens.

Thanks for coming back. 

 Me with Emily

Abby with Grandma Aiello

Catching up

“Hello again, hello!
Just called to say hello…”

OK it’s been a few too many days since my last post, so it’s time for a quick summary of what’s been up with me lately…

Kitchen floor

It was a disastrous mess, but it’s over.  The floor looks fantastic!  Of course it took me a few days to wash EVERY SINGLE DISH I OWN after the guys left, but now I have a new floor AND my dishes are all clean.  So what more can one ask for, right?

The twins

They are growing so fast!  Abby is 11lbs. and Emily is almost 9.  Abby is quickly becoming a little version of her daddy and Emily is looking more like her mommy.  I’m hoping to see them again in a couple weeks.  In the meantime, my sister started a new job yesterday, so we’re all hopeful that things go well for her in that area.

Dating life

Nothing new here.  Still nothing.  And nothing on the horizon.  I don’t know what will ever become of this, but I remain strangely hopeful… and with spring in full bloom (more or less), I feel even more hopeful.

Living situation

The guy who has lived in the apartment below me for the past 6 years just moved out, so now I’m starting to worry that some bitchy queen – or some bitchy bitch – will move in.  I have gotten quite used to having nobody live under me.  The guy who moved out was a flight attendant and was almost never home.  And when he was home he never once complained about me being up at all hours or my cats chasing each other at 4 in the morning.  Time will tell what happens when the new person moves in.  Maybe if I make a cinnamon swirl bread he or she will like me right away.  Hmmmm…

The earthquakes

I didn’t feel a damn thing.  Not the first time, not during the aftershocks– nothing.  I slept through all of it.  Honestly when I am sleeping the walls could be crumbling and I wouldn’t know it.  Which is a good thing, in case I end up dating a snorer.  But still, a 5.4 magnitude quake and I didn’t feel or hear ANYTHING?  Damn!

Money

Oy vey.  Money has been a source of much head and heartache for me lately.  I and quickly trying to devise a plan to find more of it somehow.  It won’t be easy, but something has to work, and soon. Stay tuned there.

OK, that’s all I can think of for now.  I really and truly do hope to write more and more often.  But once I got behind I didn’t know where to begin to catch up.  Much like life, isn’t it?

Is there anything I left out?  If so, let me know.