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GUS (Gave Up Smoking) is a community support series for Kossacks in the midst of quitting smoking. Any supportive comments, suggestions or positive distractions are appreciated. We avoid discussion of political issues. If you are quitting or even thinking about quitting, please -- join us! You can add GUS to your stream by clicking on the ♥ next to the GUS tag. The GUS Library at dKosopedia is organically evolving, and stocked with free-range information: quit-smoking links, helpful GUS writing tips, and the GUS buddy list.
"A message to all quitters: you don't have to avoid GUS if your latest attempt to quit didn't work out. We won't give you a bad time and we consider the attempted quits as practice for the real quit." (h/t FG)

This week has been a bit of a struggle for me. Thankfully not in any smoking or nicotine infused ways, just life in general. I've had a tough time finding balance. It's the story of my life, really. Possibly for some of you too? Not at all unusual for one who self identifies with a proclivity towards addictive behavior.

I really didn't intend to write about what I'm going to write about, but hopefully you'll allow me a little leeway. I'm trying to be sincere and honest. It isn't about politics, per se, but it is personal and touches upon the behavioral modifications I've been working on in general.

The recent state constitutional amendment vote in NC has left me in a grouchy mood, on top of the general discombobulation I've felt this week. I don't know why I would have expected an extraordinary outcome when individual state votes on same sex marriage have all turned out the same. It still hurts. I really started interacting online for the first time after the 2004 vote in Missouri. I stumbled onto "The Gay Marriage Debate" message board on AOL and here I am. 8 years later.

the arguments against have pretty much remained constant:

  • )against Bible
  • )never before in history
  • )end of history, humankind
  • )contrary to nature
  • )it's icky
  • )think of the children

and are even more easily and logically refuted now, more than ever. briefly:

  • )The Bible is not the law, has been translated numerous times, and is subject to interpretation. There are people who hold different beliefs. Oh, and it's not the law.
  • )Yes, there have indeed been times in history when same sex relations have been celebrated and accepted. besides now. because like it or not, it's accepted and celebrated. here and now.
  • )the # of people who identify as "not heterosexual" seems to remain fairly constant and in case you haven't noticed the earth is teeming with humanity.
  • )nature, besides human beings, abounds with same sex pairings.
  • )heterosexuality and the attendant acts are generally just as icky to gays.
  • )children do just as well with same sex partners. denying same sex couples equal recognition hurts children right now. something the state is allegedly all about not doing.

all of the above replies generally have the added (although not always spoken or written) addendum of, "educate yourself"

I've been having lunch recently with my two blood siblings. My dad passed a year and a half ago, and it was one of the things he insisted we do, even in his Alzheimer's addled mind. He came from a big family and they were close. He wanted us (me and my older brother and younger sister) to have a better relationship. He was afraid (My dad, Joe's, fear was founded in fact, still amazing because he really was 'not all there' at the end) we'd drift apart. So we started having lunch together in January. Once a month. Granted, it had been more than a year since my dad had passed, but progress is progress. There was impetus to get together and honor my dad's wishes and the three of us all accepted responsibility for our own share of why we weren't ... interacting.

I can't tell you how hard it is to sit across the table from someone you're supposed to love and trust, someone you grew up with and played with and laughed with and cried with and hear words like

"unnatural"
"sin"
"abnormal"
"It's the result of abuse"

and continue to have a civil conversation. or even continue eating.
But I have.
I love my brother and sister. They are good people. I know it would be naive, foolish, arrogant, all of the above, the opposite of communication, on my part, to believe that I can't learn something. I know that their words and thoughts and life experience have merit and worth and meaning too.

I heard someone say, recently,
ok, it's from Madonna's "I'm Going To Tell You A Secret" documentary from 2005, but I only just heard it recently

"you don't have to make something out of nothing, just reveal what's already there."

I'm not finished revealing myself as the someone I've always been.

I kinda like how that frames some aspects of my ongoing personal progress. I'd like to think all the positive direction I've applied to my self and life over the course of the past few years is a building up of something new. But looking at it as a peeling away of the layers I placed to help hide me, the real me, from... the real world gives me some new perspective. I've worked so hard to get to the point where I almost like and accept who I am most of the time. I'm not ashamed. I'm not unnatural. I wasn't abused. We're all sinners. And that's where I'm at. A story:

Back in my youth, at the scrap yard (yes the scrap yard) during the late 70's, when I would have done anything to rid myself of the albatross that was my virginity hanging around my neck but was horrified that I had same sex attractions and would do one thing more than anything to hide that additional perceived albatross, one of the people I worked with and who had been there for a time was a guy nick named Mi-bel (his real name was Mike, but he said a drunk woman at a bar had given him (or slurred, more than likely and him being inebriated as well it's not too hard to imagine) the nickname and he liked it and adopted it as his own. He was in his 30's and always claimed he started his day off with a 12 pack of beer and as much weed as he could smoke and toluol as he could inhale (we worked next door to a paint and solvent company) before he ever showed up to work. At 7A. I had no reason to doubt him. Because of first hand knowledge, let's just say, for the sake of some brevity (although I never did glue, just so we're clear on that [huge eye roll] anyway, I have a point, I'm getting there ... (I know all 5  4  3  2 of you are wishing, sweet jeesus anod, how long is this going to take and would you please just wrap it up and prattle on about your bike and get to the buddy list...)

So Mibel (just go with it) asks me one day, "what kind of music do you (meaning me) listen to?" Who do you (meaning me) like?" And my almost immediate response was "Led Zeppelin"

"Led Zeppelin?? Danny," (just go with it) "you can't dance to Led Zeppelin"

A point that isn't entirely accurate, but does have some merit given the time period and his age. I understood what he was trying to say. And yes I realize I'm dispensing thoughts from a known solvent huffer and passing them on as something worth sharing. There are people tripping harder than me any, and every, day. Without any additional medication or substance intake. So... he was out to pick up women, at drinking establishments, and the skill of dancing served as a means of doing so. I was less than 21 and unsure of everything, to put it mildly. For me to have embraced dance music at the time, i.e. disco, in my part of the heartland, in my circle of friends, would have meant social shunning and labeling at the very least and serious injury at worst. Because (and please don't quote me out of context here) disco was for fags and queers, like everything that isn't or wasn't cool, and why haven't they seen me trying to score with any girls and me not even sure of my own desires and not wanting to admit to some of those desires and just wanting to fit in and wanting to be different and just wanting to get laid and wanting way more than just wanting to get laid and my mom just died and my forever on the road dad got remarried to someone and she has four kids of her own and we're all going to live together and let's smoke and have a few beers and sample from the apothecary so to speak and now I can drive and get away from everyone who pisses me off and I'll never need that fucking bike to get around with again and you have to hurry up and decide what you want to be right now and go to college and get married and while you're deciding here's a part time temporary summer job that you'll never want to keep because it's hard and hot and dirty and but and wait and huh and why and ...

Good gawd, that story and paragraph is a mess. I don't know if it really makes any sense or if there really is a point after all and I'm leaving it that way, and this is going to be as tidy a tying up of all those loose thoughts and ends as its going to get:

I'm not finished revealing myself as the someone I've always been.

You've read part of the conversation I'm having, this year, with the two people who rank right up there as far as being closest to me. And, so, yeah. here we are.

Progress is progress.
We're all making it (hopefully) in our own ways.

And then there's the Buddy List. I did a user search for everyone who is on it, and linked everyone's name to their member profile. I found these issues, and fixed some minor punctuation. I'd be happy to share the code with anyone who wants it.

Boney mojo
"Georgianna Darcy"
"GN1927"

Other:
"bluedust" duplication eliminated
"Inventor" capitalized
"Kai99" capitalized
"Kodiak54" not found found him and added as "Marc E Andersen"
"Over the Edge" as three words
"burrow owl" replaced with "johnny wurster"

edited 5/28/2112
added "PowWowPollock"
added "KrazyKitten"

edited 6/1/12
added "Tim DeLaney"
added "Friend of the court"

edited 7/10/12
added "MotoGP"
added "TracieLynn"

edited 7/14/12
added "glorificus"
added "Leo in NJ"

edited 7/15/12
added "stonekeeper"

edited 7/17/12
added "jillwklausen"

edited 7/23/12
added "Hugh Jim Bissell"

edited 8/6/12
added "Dr Teeth"
added "vulcangrrl"

edited 8/8/12
added "sidnora"

edited 8/27/12
added "GreenMountainBoy02"
added "vc2"

edited 8/28/12
added "peglyn"

edited 9/7/12
added "Maxiemax"

edited 9/27/12
added "katchen"

edited 9/30/12
added "Isaacsdad"

edited 10/19/12
added "Lonely Liberal in PA"

edited 10/21/12
added "claude"

edited 10/25/12
added "docreed2003"

edited 10/28/12
added "oceanview"

edited 11/8/12
added "Lorinda Pike"
moved "I said GOOD DAY sir" to appear after "I love OCD" ... sometime in the last 30 days, I think when I added "Isaacsdad"

edited 11/14/12
added "entrelac"
added "David54"

edited 11/18/12
added "Olkate"
moved "A Man Called Gloom" to appear after "3rdGenFeminist"

edited 11/26/12
added "AoT"

edited 12/12/12
added "history first"

edited 12/20/12
added "nokkonwud"
added "suesue"

edited 12/28/12
added "cactusgal"

The Buddy List:
1BQ, 3rdGenFeminist, A Man Called Gloom, Abra Crabcakeya, Actbriniel, addisnana, AfroPonix, aishmael, Alise, Alpha99, ambeeeant, American in Kathmandu, amk for obama, andsarahtoo, angry marmot, Anne933, anodnhajo, aoeu, AoT, aquarius2001, arcadesproject, Archie2227, arodb, Arthur Wolf (in memoriam), assyrian64, awkawk, b4uknowit, bamablue, BARAKABETH, barnowl, b barrie, bdizz, beatpanda, beefydaddy18, BFSkinner, bgblcklab1, BigAlinWashSt, Bike Crash, BirderWitch, BJKay, bleeding heart, blingbling65, blue husky, Blue Intrigue, bluedust, BluejayRN, BlueJessamine, Bluerall, bluestatedem84, BoiseBlue, boudi08, Brahman Colorado, breedlovinit, BrenP, Bronxist, BrowniesAreGood, bsmechanic, buddabelly, bumbi, BusyinCA, cactusgal, Carol in San Antonio, CathiefromCanada, CathodeRay, CDH in Brooklyn, cee4, Cen Den, ChiTownDenny, ChocolateChris, ChurchofBruce, ciganka, cinnamondog, citizenx, ClapClapSnap, claude, Cleante, Code Monkey, codobus, Coldblue Steele, Colorado is the Shiznit, coloradomomma, common green, commonmass, Common Sense Mainer, congenitalefty, coppercelt, dadanation, dangoch, DarienComp, dauber, Dauphin, Dave in AZ, Dave in Northridge, David54, deedogg, demkat620, Dexter, Diana in NoVa, Dickie, DiegoUK, Dingodude, dirtdude, distraught, djMikulec, docreed2003, dolfin66, donnamarie, Donna O, dotsright, Dr Teeth, DRo, droogie6655321, Dube, duckhunter, Eclectablog, Eddie C, EdgedInBlue, effervescent, elbamash, El barragas, el vasco, entrelac, ericlewis0, Everest42, Ex Con, ezdidit, fhamme, Fineena, fiona2, fishhawk, Flea, flumptytail, Friend of the court, fritzi56, FrugalGranny, Garrett, Gator, gchaucer2, GDbot, Geiiga, GenXangster, glorificus, glpaul, gooderservice, gooners, gravlax, GreenMountainBoy02, greylox, grndrush (in memoriam), GrumpyWarriorPoet, gzodik, Haole in Hawaii, HappyinNM, henlesloop, HeyMikey, hideinplainsight, High Tide, hiliner68, history first, hold tight, Hugh Jim Bissell, hulibow, I love OCD, I said GOOD DAY sir, Im a frayed knot, imisa, Indexer, indubitably, indyada, Interceptor7, Inventor, Isaacsdad, itsbenj, Jahiz, JamesEB, janl1776, Janeo, JayinPortland, jayjaybear, jbou, Jeffersonian Democrat, jillwklausen, jmadlc55, jmonch, Joes Steven (aka Steven), john07801, johngoes, johnny wurster, jsfox, JVolvo's Mom, jwinIL14, Kai99, kailuacaton, Kamakhya, kat herder, katchen, Kelly of PA, kestrel9000, khloemi, Khun David, Kitsap River, kittania, KrazyKitten, Kristina40, Ksholl, labwitchy, Lady Kestrel, ladypockt, Lahdee, langerdang, LarsThorwald, LA rupert, last starfighter, LaughingPlanet, Laurie Gator, Leo in NJ, Lipstick Liberal, litoralis, lmdonovan, lockewasright, Lonely Liberal in PA, Lonely Texan, longislandny, Lorinda Pike, luvsathoroughbred, maggiemay, magicsister, mango, Marc in KS, Marjmar, Mark E Andersen (Kodiak54), marknspokane, marsanges, maryabein, Matt Esler, Maxiemax, mdemploi, Meteor Blades, Micburke, michael1104, MillieNeon, minerva1157, MinervainNH, Missys Brother, mjbleo, MnRaindog, mntleo2, Morague, MotoGP, Mr Bojangles, mrsgoo, mskitty, msmacgyver, MsWings, Murphoney, nannyboyz, ncsuLAN, NearlyNormal, Nedsdag, Nick Zouroudis, nokkonwud, notgivingup, NY brit expat, oceanview, OleHippieChick, Olkate, one pissed off democrat, Onomastic, operculum, OrangeMike, Ordvefa, Overseas, Over the Edge, Pager, paige, PaintyKat, paradox, parryander, paulitics, peglyn, Pennsylvanian, phrogge prince, Positronicus, post rational, PowWowPollock, Proud Mom and Grandma, psycho liberal, ptolemynm, Purple Priestess, PvtJarHead, racheltracks, randallt, ray bob, real world chick, red mittens, Reepicheep, regis, relentless, revelwoodie, revsue, Rex Manning, rexymeteorite, RiaD, rickeagle, ridemybike, rightiswrong, Rileycat, rincewind, rkex, roadlion, Roger Fox, Rosebuddear, roses, rscopes, Rudini, Safina, SallyCat, Sanuk, Sark Svemes, sboucher, scooter in brooklyn, Scrapyard Ape, seenaymah, sfbob, sgary, Shahryar, sheddhead, shesaid, Shifty18, shmuelman, shopkeeper, sidious666, sidnora, slowbutsure, smartcookienyc, smeesq, Smoh, snoopydawg, snorwich, SnyperKitty, SoCalHobbit, sofia, soonergrunt, sostos, sowsearsoup, SpecialKinFlag, spmozart, spotDawa, SpotTheCat, StateOfGrace, Statusquomustgo, stiffneck, stonekeeper, suesue, sunbro, Super Grover, Syoho, tallmom, Tay, tdslf1, teknospaz, theatre goon, The Eyewitness Muse, TheGeneral, TheStoopingRabbit, TigerMom, Tim DeLaney, tiredofcrap, TomP, tonyahky, Toyotabob7, TracieLynn, TreeFrog, triciawyse, tripodisblack, trs, trueblueliberal, ttanner, Tulsonian, Turn VABlue, Turtle Bay, Tyto Alba, uc booker, UncleCharlie, Unduna, Unforgiven, ursoklevar, USArmyParatrooper, VA02 femocrat, Vacationland, valadon, Vayle, vc2, Vetwife, vgranucci, Village expects idiot home soon, vulcangrrl, waytac, webranding, weelzup, Wes Opinion, Whimsical Rapscallion, willy be frantic, willy mugobeer, Wood Dragon, wolfie1818, Wordsinthewind, Wreck Smurfy, x, xopher, yet another liberal, Zotz
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     Fri AM: flumptytail probably out of town this week, so .. open
     Fri PM: open
     Sat AM: effervescent
     Sat PM: open
     Sun AM: Safina
     Sun PM: open
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Coming Attractions:
bsmechanic hosting Saturday 5/19!
eeff hosting Friday 6/1!

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