“This book had me laughing to the point I had tears in my eyes.” Review: Will & Patrick Wake Up Married by Leta Blake & Alice Griffiths

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“OMG this book was so good!
Okay Patrick and Will meet each other one night while both of them are drunk in Vegas. Well one thing leads to another and they wake up in the morning married and sore due to the massive amounts of sex they had. Can I just say I loved Patrick’s character so much. He was just so snarky, so many times the things he would say in this book had me laughing to the point I had tears in my eyes.
So due to reasons that are beyond Will’s control they have to stay married until they can figure a way out of their marriage. So many things happen in this book that I was either laughing or feeling sad for Will because of what Ryan does to him. I loved the way the authors wrote these characters and the whole pretense of this story. So I don’t want to give away any spoilers because this book you have got to read for yourself, it was just so good! I can not wait to read the next one to see what these two characters Patrick and Will are up to next.
So all together I loved this book!
I would definitely recommend this book!

I received this book free in exchange for an honest review from Inked Rainbow Reads.”

via Kara’s review on Amazon.com

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HIV Spreads Via Spouses Because Some People Can Be Shitty, Not Because You Can’t Trust Anyone #hiv #gay #heterosexual

In response to this Out.com piece on HIV in monogamous gay relationships:

Okay, okay, okay, I know that HIV is more easily spread by anal intercourse and that the audience for this article is gay men (it’s out.com, so that’s clear), but this article bothered me because the implication seems to be that this is a gay problem, when we all know that HIV is not just a gay problem. Heterosexuals get HIV, too, and they get it from their supposedly committed partners quite often. Anal intercourse is becoming more and more and more common among heterosexuals, also. According to some polls, many younger women say that due to the proliferation of it in porn, their partners are obsessed with getting anal. Not to mention, many women like anal! So, the implication that this is just a gay issue bothers me.

In addition, the message in this article harkens back to that “YOU CAN’T TRUST ANYONE, NOT EVEN YOUR COMMITTED PARTNER/SPOUSE” approach from the 80s and 90s that has been proven to backfire in terms of actually preventing the spread of HIV. (Why has it backfired? There are many psychological reasons behind it, but let’s just sum a lot of them up by saying that going into a relationship/marriage/commitment with the agreement that you can’t trust each other is a recipe for disaster.) People want to to trust their partners/spouses.

Holy shit, Out, what are you saying with this picture? I mean, the message seems to be Marriage = HIV? WTF?

The fact is, welp, sometimes people are shitty and they cheat. That happens if you’re gay or straight. In fact, most studies show that somewhere between 25% and 50% of men cheat. And I’m telling you, just from women I know personally, women cheat, too. The results of that cheating and the outcome for you in terms of HIV and sexually transmitted diseases depends on a lot of things–whether they use condoms while cheating, whether the people they cheat with are being honest with them about their statuses. These are things that can happen whether you’re straight or gay. These are things that we can’t predict. They’re tragic when they happen, but saying, “You can’t trust anyone” isn’t the answer. In other words, this article hit a lot of wrong notes for me.

So, here’s the thing. Sometimes you trust the wrong person and bad things happen, but you can’t live your life never trusting anyone. It’s not healthy and it’s not remotely safe. Sorry, Out, but I think you’ve got this one wrong.

The Story of the Birthday Present That Didn’t End In Divorce #yay #porn

As you’ll read more about in a post I scheduled for October, I’ve had a bout of the birthday blues. This turning thirty-nine thing has really hit me hard for some unknown reason. I gritted my teeth through the tiny, only-us birthday party my husband and child had for me, and tried to appear as if I wasn’t having an existential, omg-I’m-old-now crisis.

The night following the birthday party was plagued with uncomfortable, unsettling dreams of insecurity and vulnerability. Dreams that my husband wanted to divorce me because I just wasn’t “worth it” anymore. I woke up feeling sad, anxious, and vulnerable. The feelings plagued me all morning even though, intellectually, I knew they were silly.

Over a surprise lunch–Hub and I just happened to both come home to eat–I told Hub about my feelings about turning thirty-nine and told him about my dream. He laughed and told me that divorce had never entered his mind in all our years together and that he loved me and I wasn’t allย that difficult. And then he said, “Oh, by the way, I got you another present but it wasn’t child appropriate so I coudn’t give it to you last night.”

He dashed upstairs to where he’d hidden this clearly sexual-in-nature gift. I had to wonder, “What was it? What could it possibly be?” I considered lingerie and sex toys, but those aren’t really in character for him. What he returned with was 100% in character and absolutely his style of gift…and something that he knew me well enough to know I’d like.

He handed it to me and I stared at it for a moment.

“It’s a porn parody,” he said, just as I read the words she sucks but in a good way.

Then I recognized the girl.

“Oh, my God!” I yelled. “I love Lexi Belle!”

He cracked up and said, “I like her, too.”

I said, “Holy crap, this is awesome! Look at this! This is amazing! Oh my God!”

He laughed some more and I turned it over to look at the back, checking out the very adult scenes back there.

“Oh, wow, that one looks hot. I wish one of the guys was James Deen, but they look good. When are we going to watch this?”

“Soon. When Bird’s not here.”

“Awesome!”

Buffy the Vampire Slayer was one of our shows and he’s always loved dirty, filthy parodies and anything that’s a bit ridiculous, and he knows me well enough to know that I kinda-sorta like the porn, yo.

I bounced up, grabbed him in a hug, and said, “Oh, man, I love this so much! Thank you!”

He laughed some more and kissed me.

Then I said, “You do realize you just gave me porn for my birthday present and I loved it. How many women are like that? Some women, if you gave them porn for their birthday present, they’d divorce you or something.”

He laughed some more.

I said, “Why would I dream you’d ever leave me? I’m clearly awesome!”

The End

Pat & Billy are GETTING MARRIED! #vlog #gay #marriage

A friend of mine suggested to me that I watch Pat & Billy vlogs on YouTube awhile back when I was having a bad day. She guaranteed that these videos would cheer me up and bring me joy. Oh my gosh, you guys, seriously, these vids have become my absolute go-to videos for feeling good.

So, let me walk you through some highlights so you can also fall in love with them and start to follow them on YouTube (and Twitter and Instagram) like I have. *cough*

1.ย How they met which is a charming, wonderful, sweet, and awwww-my-heart story. (Though please ignore the one moment of ableism which they at least seemed to catch and cut off quickly.)

2. How they got engaged. Loved it because it was realistic and not some over-the-top story of full-on dance numbers and hot air balloon rides.

3. Their discussion of PDA and if they do PDA and why or why not.

4. Will they take each other’s last name? This one isn’t so much darling as just really interesting. As a woman, I had so many of these same issues when I got married. I liked seeing dudes struggle with this.

5. And they answer with charm and hilarious adorableness the really annoying question of “Who is the bride?”

6. Pat and Billy react to the many outraged reactions to their announcement that they were not going to have a traditional tiered wedding cake. Hilarious! Adorable! Too cute!

Now, admit it! You love them, too! Go forth and follow them on social media far and wide! Do not follow them in person, though, because that’s creepy.

A Love Story

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This story was published in the beginning of our Marriage Service pamphlet which my daughter unearthed recently from a box in my closet. She was captivated by it because it is the story of her parents, not because it is a truly captivating read. If anything, it’s charming and sweet–which probably explains a lot about me.

A Love Story

Once upon a time, there was a boy and he had his eye on a girl. One morning he bravely handed her a white rose on the school bus. Seven years later, when he asked her to marry him, he again gave her a white rose. So today, on their wedding day, the girl carries white roses in honor of this history.

***

We started dating at 14 and 16, and basically it was this from the beginning:

I’m gonna marry you.
Plan your life accordingly.

It was a good choice. We were smart cookies.

So, yes, we were high school sweethearts who, against all odds, were actually right for each other. We’ve been married now for fifteen years this May and have been together for twenty-four years this past November. There were some hitches in there, some break ups, and some bad times, but we’ve always come out the other side together.

May we be lucky enough to always continue coming out the other side of whatever we face in the future still together and still in love.

Happy Anniversary to us!

Gay Marriage: “There are a million houses where I don’t belong. The warm lights look like honey from out here.”

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Last night, North Carolina overwhelmingly passed a vote amending their constitution to deny homosexuals the rights afforded to heterosexuals. Twenty years ago, when my friend came out to me in high school, I was naive enough to believe that by now he’d be able to marry the person he loves in any state in our union, because I believed that our country stood for liberty, freedom, and the pursuit of happiness. I was so wrong. I was so naive. Twenty years ago, I had believed in my bones in the future of this country as a place to champion the downtrodden and oppressed, a place where people could grow into the best human being they could be, flourishing in all the beautiful ways that God intended for them personally and individually. I thought that God’s love would touch enough hearts and change them so that they would see the beautiful people in front of them for who they really are, and not cover those people in the shit of their fear and bigotry. And yet here we are…twenty years out, and people are still defiling God’s creations with their hate disguised as morals and righteousness.

This morning I had to pull over into a parking lot because I was crying too hard to keep driving. I was crying for my friends and for complete strangers who have been told that 60% of the voters in North Carolina harbor enough animosity toward them that they actively went out and voted to restrict their rights as human beings in this country. I was crying for myself for living here, for not being able to do more, for that deep helplessness that descends when I consider that massive shadow of the so-called ‘moral-majority’ whose aim seems to be controlling people with laws and rage, so full of arrogance, instead of allowing for God’s power and grace to deal with his children. Do they not think him capable of it? Do they not trust enough in their own beliefs to think that God will handle it? Or do they fear that maybe God will do nothing about the thing that so offends them, and so it is up to them to control and condemn, to hurt and punish?

The thing is…God will do nothing. And the reason isn’t because he is waiting for us to do something for him. He’s more than capable. It’s because God made these people in his own image just the way they are, they are a reflection of God’s love for his creations just as much as any heterosexual. Just as I am. Just as you are.

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Sometimes I think it would be easier if I didn’t believe in God, so that I wouldn’t suffer the confusion of seeing people act in his name in ways that are so blatantly against the love that I recognize as God’s eternal presence. It is all I can do not to ask them, “Who is this God?” Because God isn’t fear. God isn’t loathing. God isn’t putting other people in ‘their place’ before they contaminate ‘our place’. (They can’t contaminate our place. Only we can do that, and we do it by attempting to control other people. We defile our own lives with anger and disgust when we do that.) God isn’t interested in having us act as his police. He’s got this. He made this. Step off.

Part of my emotional reaction is no doubt due to having watched this video yesterday. You should watch it, too. And then make sure you all have wills and Healthcare Power of Attorneys in place. Because even heterosexuals need those. So, here’s a gay guy who wants to make sure that no one, straight or gay, has to go through anything like what he’s experienced. Watch this. Please. Pass it on. Share his voice. Speak up. We all need to speak up before it’s too late.

I guess I’m still naive.

Listening: How About I Be Me (And You Be You) by Sinead O’Connor

I admit, like everyone else, I kind of figured that Sinead O’Connor was done. I had put her away with musicians that I would always love but from whom I didn’t expect too very much. Though, I was probably one of the twelve people who loved some of the songs from her album Theology, out in 2007. In particular, the song “Something Beautiful” has become one of my all-time favorites — though for some reason I associate it with Christmas time, and always put it on my holiday mixes.

Wow, I’m off topic. This should come as no surprise to those who know me well. Let’s get back to what I really want to talk about, which is her latest, brilliant, wonderful album How About I Be Me (And You Be You). I’ve had the album on constant rotation since an acquaintance of mine (hi, Scott!) mentioned that he couldn’t stop listening to it. Apparently, ‘can’t stop listening to it’ is catching.

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One of the main things I noticed about album, and the live performances coming out of it, was that she was in much better voice than I’d heard in recent years. Check out this lovely live performance of one of my favorite songs on the album. It’s an upbeat, beautiful song, and it fills me with happiness whenever I listen to it. I have actually cried thinking about the lyrics of this song. Um, that is because I’m a massive sap who is ridiculously lucky in my life, and I’m fully aware of it. So I am apt to cry, yes, from gratefulness and joy simply hearing this woman sing:

Your smile makes me smile
Your laugh makes me laugh
Your joy gives me joy
and your hope gives me hope

That’s relationship, and love, and live, and I look at my husband and my daughter and I get all teary about it. I hope you do, too. I hope that every last person reading this has someone in their life that they can look at and feel this way about. Because it’s beautiful and every single one of you deserve that with someone — with your child, your mother, your friend, your boyfriend. Someone. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Amazing live performance of “The Wolf is Getting Married”

The production of the album is also fantastic. This is probably best demonstrated on the song “Take Off Your Shoes“. But I’m only linking to it instead of posting it here, because the photograph used in the video is one from at least fifteen or twenty years ago, and it’s a pet peeve of mine to see new, awesome songs by aging female (or male) artists associated with older photographs, as though their aging appearance is unacceptable or a turn-off. But I know that’s just me. Regardless, if you want to hear a beautiful, powerful, spell-binding song with lovely production values click above.

Instead, let’s talk about the next song. The cover of “The Queen of Denmark” by John Grant. Here we have our pissed off Sinead, the one that no album by her would be complete without, but there’s something quite grown-up about this anger, even as it discusses doing something as immature as pissing in someone’s coffee. There’s just this world-weary attitude, this ‘been there, done this ten times’ feel to the anger that feels older to me, less like a person who is thrashing about in massive ‘victim’ mode, or whining that their life just isn’t what they want it to be. Instead, it’s got this legitimate, exhausted anger, and I love it. “Why don’t you take it out on somebody else? Why don’t you bore the shit out of someone else? Why don’t you tell somebody else that they’re selfish?” (Also, I’m not entirely sure that all of this is directed outward. I suspect that Sinead — and many of us — aim such horrible crap at ourselves on a pretty regular basis.)

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Cover of “The Queen of Denmark”; it blows the song out of the water in every good way.

The last one I’m linking in this blog post is “Old Lady” and it rivals “The Wolf Is Getting Married” for my favorite song on the album. There’s a lot of kind of creepy stalker lyrics in the verses, hahaha, but the chorus just makes me smile my damn head off. And, for some reason, I just kind of get over the stalker lyrics pretty quickly, because the fact is my husband makes me laugh like an idiot and so I get it, Sinead. I do. ๐Ÿ™‚

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“Old Lady”

I feel like I’ve failed utterly in explaining why this is a great album. It just is. Go buy it. ๐Ÿ™‚ You’ll probably end up listening to it way too much, just like I have.

Oh, and, uh, not from this album, but who wouldn’t love this version of “I Don’t Know How to Love Him“?

Sinead, I’m sorry I doubted you. You rule the world. Thank you for getting older and staying your bad-ass self. I love you.

Planting: Seedlets

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We had a successful garden a few years ago when our daughter was three, and then we kind of…let it go to hell for a few years. Life happened! Laziness might have been part of that life! Also, we were busy being less than stellar at life, and (see my header) we’re now working hard at that goal again! Anyway, the mister started our seeds for the garden early in January, and we had to re-pot some of them a few weekends ago. And while we did that, our kiddo washed her rock collection.

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The pumpkins are getting out of control already. I’m not sure if that means we’ll have early pumpkins? That is how little I actually know about gardening!

What I wanted to talk about, though, is how the mister and I are often on the same wavelength without really discussing it. For example, this gardening thing. Ever since spying on hope with The Fabulous Beekman Boys, I’ve been wanting to get back to our garden, and really grow some of our own food. I even planned to talk about expanding our garden, and making a bigger go of it. (Oh, the mister didn’t spy on hope with me, by the way. He didn’t read the book, and the television show — upcoming post about that! — was something I watched by myself on the nights when he was working the closing shift, and I was alone.) But I never actually got around to tell him these thoughts.

Then, voila, I come in one day and he’s starting seeds, and he’s got plans for a bigger garden, and I said, “How did you know I wanted to do this?” And he said, “I didn’t, but I’m not surprised.”

The romance! The passion! (*snort*) The…mind reading about the garden! We are truly MFEO! Seriously, why can’t he read my mind about not leaving his socks all over the living room floor? We are otherwise so in tune!

Anyway, yes, we’re going for a bigger garden. We’ll see how that pans out. I mean, the mister is in charge of making it dog-proof, and last time he tried to make our garden dog proof, I looked out and saw our biggest and our littlest dogs had managed to move aside the fencing and climbed in to eat the tomatoes. Then, I kid you not, they moved the fencing back! Smart ass dogs, I tell ya!