Thursday, March 29, 2018

Objets de Culte

Objets de Culte was created in March of 2018. I used the "pour" method of creating this piece. I wanted to create something to represent the things we worship in life, from religious totems, to cell phones, to weapons, to computers, to anything else you can think of. I do not wish to create controversy, but I do want us to look at the fact that we place certain items above all else, including other people. We should remember that people come first. We don't all have to agree, or even like each other, but it would be nice if we set aside material things for just a moment and considered each other.
I have also created a t-shirt design with this painting, which is currently up for voting at:
Please vote for my tee, and help it get put into production. Thanks!

Monday, March 19, 2018

The Remix 1005C All-Over T-Shirt

Over the weekend, my buddy Tim modeled one of my t-shirts for me. When I talked to him about doing this, he told me to pick the design I wanted him to model. I chose this one because I really liked how it turned out on the all-over shirt.

Society6 prints their all-over shirts using a process called sublimination. This can cause flaws in the shirt, that are often unique to each shirt ordered. I've noticed that they are caused by where the shirt folds. Before the shoot, I thought I might "correct" the flaws in the photos digitally, but seeing the shirt on Tim, they mostly disappeared. 

Tim and I had a good visit, as well as having a good photo shoot. We even did a couple of photos together, and I'm wearing my Purple Elephant design on a tee from Redbubble.

If any of my readers pick up one of these shirts, or one of my other designs, I'd love to see a photo of you wearing the shirt! And let me know if you'd like to see more photos of regular people wearing my shirt designs (and not the mock-ups on the various sites). 

Take Care! 

Saturday, March 17, 2018

It's All Connected...

Or something like that....

It's been a day. This morning I had a photo-shoot. A friend did me the favor of modeling one of my t-shirt designs (stay tuned - you'll see it soon). We had a good visit. He and I were talking about friends and connections, although we didn't get too deep. I expressed the frustration that so many people find it difficult to hit reply and type a line or two. This friend always gets back to me. I am grateful that he did the shoot today, and grateful for the chance to visit with him as well. 

This afternoon, I went to a funeral. The deceased was my Mother's Goddaughter (as well as my Godfather's daughter). I went with my parents, and the service was held in the church I grew up going to. The church was packed, with seating outside. I thought the ceremony was well done, and I'm sad that a beautiful and wonder-full woman is no longer in the world with us. 

With these two things, I was thinking about connections and relationships. There are so many friends I miss, and would like some contact with. Seriously. How hard is it to hit reply in Messenger and type a line or two? We're not 20-something anymore, and I certainly don't want to hit the bars every Friday night, but how hard is it to find time to have lunch with a friend a couple of times a year? I know that we all grow up, get married, stay single, do or do not have kids, have parents to take care, etc... I work for myself and take care of my parents. I'm busy too. I can make the time.

After a while, I stop trying. I get tired of rejection. I get tired of initiating things.

I mentioned to my friend today that all my local guy friends are heterosexual. It's true. I stopped hanging out with my gay friends. I was tired of all the backstabbing (and I'm sure I stabbed some myself). I also got tired of being made to feel bad because, as permissive as I can be, I do have some morals and live by them. Am I perfect? Of course not. But I try to be the best I can be. That said, I also got tired of how, with few exceptions, I've been treated by my gay friends.

I did get to see a long-time friend a few weeks back. Scott came over for a visit, and we had a Great visit! I spoke on the phone with him the other day. I loved reconnecting with him, and I hope we keep it up. I see my best friend Susan every week. So some of my local friends do come through. I'm hoping to see some of my non-local friends at upcoming comic shows, and if possible, meeting in the middle at other times.

I have depression issues, which I don't keep secret. I will share (and sometimes over-share - sorry 'bout that) because sometimes venting helps me deal. If you don't want to hear it, tell me. I also share so that others know that they aren't alone. 

I isolate myself. It started many years ago after a near-death experience. It's something I don't like to talk about, so I am just going to talk about the aftermath of it. I don't drink, so I don't go to bars... but it got to where I didn't feel safe going. I will go out to a movie at night, however. Generally, if I don't feel safe, I don't do it. I retreated. I was hugely depressed, and probably a gigantic drag to be around. I'm sure I still can be at times. A couple of friends were there for me, but when it was time for me to be there for them... they kept me in the dark. And for those I failed, all I can say is that I'm sorry.

I got involved with someone. It was a weird, non-relationship of sorts. We both made mistakes in that situation, and I feel we both are to blame. He won't agree with me, I'm sure. This isn't a blame game or an outing. I walked away from it, but the damage was done. Except for Susan, my friends were not there. Oh sure, they were on Facebook, but not in real life.

Last year, when my Dad was ill... and I mean very ill, my parents' friends were falling all over themselves to visit, bring food, check in on Mom, check in on Dad, etc... Except for Susan, my friends were nowhere. I unfriended one because I knew him long enough that the very least he could have done is send me a message. I was so hurt by his silence. I'm still hurt by it, but I stopped driving him to Wal-Mart, so he had no use for me. Another friend, who I was reconnecting with, lives 10 minutes from me. I nearly begged him to come over and hang out. Because I didn't want to pretend to be 25 again and go party, he flat out refused to come over. I guess there was nothing in it for him. I lost this friend at the end of last year when I wound up treating him the way he treated me. It was shitty of me, but I had had enough. There were bright spots last year. When I went to MegaCon and saw Cory, he hugged me and asked how Dad was doing. Dan asked as well. Whenever I went to his shop, Donnie gave me a big bear hug. There were many people who reached out, and I only know them through Facebook. I hope I get to meet these people in person one day.

So, with depression comes tunnel vision. It's so easy to see the bad, and I don't want to do that. I am grateful for every person, good or bad, who has been a part of my life. If you know me, and feel I've been unfair to you here, talk to me about it. I tried to only mention names positively. I'm not perfect, and it often takes two to tango.  I also believe the past is the past. Send me a message. Let's get together. If money's an issue, we can just meet up at a park and shoot the breeze for an hour. 

Earlier, before I started, I had something in mind about how we're all connected, and that doing good for someone today may do good for you later. Sometimes, "doing good" means asking for a favor, or admitting that you need someone's help. I had more in mind, and it got away from me. Sorry about that. But, I'm keeping the post title I started with. We have connections in our life, and I realize that they sometimes fall away. I also realize that friends disappearing from my life may have nothing to do with me. I've let go of some friends because of what was going on with me, and not from anything they did. I apologize for whinging and whining in this post. I've rambled on for perhaps too long now, so I will go.

Again, I am grateful for everyone who has touched my life... from my long-time friends, to those who have fallen out of touch. I'm grateful for those I know in real life as well as those I only know online. 


Sunday, March 11, 2018

Love Yard Sign

On my daily walk the other day, I spotted this yard sign. It's an awesome sign, and I've seen it as a meme before. In case it's too small in the photo, the sign says: Love They Neighbor*  *Your Black, Brown, Immigrant, Disabled, Religiously Different, LGBTQ, Fully Human Neighbor

I live in Jacksonville, FL, which is a moderately conservative city. I'm more likely to find conservatives than liberals. Most of the yard signs I see are the "Pray For Our Nation" signs that popped up during Obama's tenure as President. It made seeing this a pleasant surprise.

We should love one another. And we should embrace our differences. I find diversity to be interesting. I find that having an open mind is the best way to be. I've certainly learned things and had preconceived notions shattered in the course of my life - all from being open to others. 

Now, I took this photo with my phone. I angled it to show grass and not the house, mainly because the house number would have shown in the photo. To me, the photo was about the sign and not the house. They were also flying an awesome peace sign flag!

Saturday, February 10, 2018

For The Love Of Food & Dogs

So, this morning I'm feeling "Meh!" and I'm looking for something cheap to go do. I've been Very Depressed lately, and not handling it as well as I could. So, I'm checking the events on Facebook and I spot the For The Love Of Food And Dogs food truck event. I see that one of my buddies is interested in it, but like me he checks the "interested" box on a lot of events. Anyway, after wresting with it for a while, I decided to get in the car and go. It wasn't too far away, and I could use a change of pace. I had thought about seeing if my friend would be there, but decided against it. I shouldn't make my go or don't go decisions based on who will or will not be there.

So, I get in the car and go. The event is a small one, held in the parking lot of a strip mall that has a Pet Smart and a couple of home decorating stores in it. I remember the days when Borders Bookstore was in this strip... >sigh< Well, they've been long gone, and I had food to find.

 I walked the length of the food trucks and vendors, knowing that I wanted Mexican food today. I still wanted to check things out. I only saw one dog while I was there, even though the event page said that furry friends were welcome. I was somewhat early in the event, having arrived about fifteen minutes after they started.

I settled on getting my food from El Agave Azul. I ordered the chicken torta and a Mandarin soda. The soda was sweet, tangy, and enjoyable. I love orange soda, and had never tried this brand. The torta was amazing. I couldn't believe how big it was. On it, along with the chicken, was mozzarella cheese, avocado, lettuce, cilantro, and onions. It had a sauce on the side. I told them I wanted the mild sauce, and if this was mild, I'd hate to try the spicy. It had kick! I could eat it for two bites in a row, then I needed two or three without to balance out. Even though it was hot (to me, at least), it was tasty! I really enjoyed the torta. 

I ate at my car, standing beside it. No real place to sit down. That was fine. There was a breeze, so I just had to keep my eye out and make sure napkins didn't blow away. It was a nice day out, and I checked the temperature on the way home... 86 degrees. That's Florida for ya!

So, I mentioned above that I've been very depressed lately. Some of it is the holiday/seasonal depression I go through each year. Some of it is because I'm in a sales slump, which is normal after the New Year. Some of it is because it's a day ending in "y". I find myself eating my feelings a little more than I should be doing, and fortunately haven't gained any more weight because of that. I also find myself reading more when I should be working. I also haven't been creative. 

I am trying to work my way out of the fog, so to speak. Going out today was a help. I've been working with written affirmations. I see a therapist, and after my session with her last week, I agree that I need to work on a written battle plan of some sort. I don't feel I need a formal business plan at this time, but I need to start writing out some sort of plan. It's also time for me to pick up Chris Hardwick's book, The Nerdist Way, again and make use of some (or most) of what he puts forward there. I also probably need to reread one of RuPaul's books. Don't knock what a drag queen has to say. I find Ru to be a very inspiring and positive person, and queens have LOTS to do to put themselves together!

I'll keep on, and see you guys later!

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Shirtless #14 featuring Eleazar

Formerly Sans Shirt, #14 of Shirtless is now available for the Kindle! This is a monster at 94 pages of Eleazar! The e-book is $5.95. You can pick up your copy at:

A print version will be available soon. It will be $19.95 due to it's larger size. I will post here when the print book is available to order.

Future issues of Shirtless will likely be at the regular size of 50-60 pages I've been doing. Some issues will feature multiple models, while most will focus on one model.

Take Care, and Have a Great Weekend!


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Men Sharing Affection With Each Other...

So, I've run across some images online of men being affectionate with one another, and it got me to thinking about man to man affection in my life. I am posting some of the photos I found, sticking to the vintage images.

Now, I was raised fairly formally. We were not an overly affectionate family. I mostly remember hugging Grandma or Granny when we saw them. Certainly the men did not hug other men. My Grandfather was a politician, and there was always an undercurrent of "what will people say" to our actions. I, of course, eventually rebelled against that. To this day (I'm 48) I still dye my hair purple and don't really care much what people think of me.

Now, one of the things I miss from my last relationship was the physical affection we shared. We were often affectionate, which included shirtless contact, without it leading to anything else. That was nice, and it's about the only thing I miss. It would be nice to find someone, who I like and care about, to share something similar with. The down side? All my local guy friends are heterosexual. And, for some reason, it feels almost impossible to ask for affection, where, if I wanted sex, I wouldn't hesitate. Because of my upbringing, the idea of sitting next to a friend with my arm around him or his around me feels... odd somehow. I hate that. I have experienced that, and it's nice to be able to share affection with someone, but there's that feeling too that it's somehow inappropriate.

I see images all the time of two (or more) men being affectionate, with about a third of those images involving shirtless contact. Okay, so if you're at the beach or the pool, not a biggie. But, at home, it feels inappropriate. Of course, since I'm 48 and male, society seems to make my desire for affection into something that makes me a perv. I'm isolated enough already without that being added into the mix. And I get it. If I say "hey, let's take off our shirts and be cuddly", it does sound like an attempt at low-key seduction. If I want sex and/or romance, I have no problem saying it.

With my depression issues, it's hard for me to reach out. It's hard to ask for help, or to say "I need/want this". I do hug friends hello and goodbye. Sometimes a friend's hand will linger for a moment or two on my shoulder or arm, and that's nice. I certainly don't want to be inappropriate with anyone, and I don't want anyone doing anything that makes them uncomfortable. I wish I felt more comfortable with saying "I need this" or "I want this". I never thought I needed affection very much until I was with my ex. Then, I realized that I was starved for it. That said, I'll get by.

Solutions? Well, I do need to get out more and meet some new people. Existing friends may not be the solutions, but maybe new friends are. I need to learn to speak up more. I'm certainly okay with a friend saying "no", and I respect No. If I lose a friend because I asked for affection, then maybe he wasn't really my friend to begin with. I know there are people out there who like me and care about me. I know I have friends. It often feels, with the exception of my best friend, all my other friends are online. The people I know locally, well... I reach out, ask someone to lunch or to hang out, get a "yeah, we should do that", and then nothing happens.

This was a deeply personal post. I was getting emotional as I wrote it, and I feel like I've left things unsaid. However, life goes on. I can say them in another post. Maybe I can lose some of the fears and hangups from my childhood and reach out more.