Category Archives: Pictures

Porn and my 88-year-old Grandmother

I’ve been going through a tough time since the break-up.  But, I’m getting better.  Frankly, I just haven’t felt like writing or being creative.  I’ve been drinking too much and watching too much TV, not to mention watching too much porn.  I’ve been very lazy.  Over the last several weeks, however, I feel like I finally have turned the corner and am on a new and much improved street.

But let’s get back to what I’m sure caught your attention in the first paragraph.  Porn.  Now, I realize that I have a rather diverse, yet small, group of readers.  And I’m sure that all of you have strong feelings about this topic.  Some of you may be “disgusted” by it.  Some of you may be “confused” by it.  Some of you may have numerous online subscriptions to various porn websites.  Whatever.  There is room in this world for all of you.  And I’m not here to discuss the benefits or detriments of porn.  So please don’t turn my blog’s comment section into a porn discussion board.  Different strokes for different folks.  eh hm.

Anyway, in the interest of full disclosure, here’s my perspective.  After all, it is my blog.  I like porn, I like nudity, I like sex.  I always have.  And I treat it like I try to treat anything else in my life:  Moderation in all things.

Here’s a little history of me and porn.  It all started in 1985 when I was in 5th grade.  A friend of mine named Bret invited me to his house to show off his stash.  Evidently he had been slowly stealing Hustler magazines from his dad’s collection.  As I entered his bedroom that special day, I had no idea what awaited me.  But, I was lucky, Bret was already a porn “pro” and was able to explain to me what all the parts were and what they did.  Honestly, 24 years later, I still haven’t thanked Bret for what would be my initial lesson in sex education.  My parents were not what I would call communicative. We did not discuss problems or even really have any kind of discussions at all. Especially when it came to sex.  So I was clearly on my own.  Until Bret stepped up to the plate.  Thanks, Bret, I owe you one.

Without getting too graphic, let’s just say I learned on that very special afternoon a lot about human anatomy.  Honestly, I don’t remember much about the woman in the picture.  But I can still describe to you in full detail the man (including his feathered, bleach blond hair and 80s porn ‘stache).  It was enough to fully pique my interest.  And from that moment on, I was incredibly curious about men’s anatomy.  My imagination went wild.  Which is why I loved my new best friend…the JC Penney Catalog.  You see, the JC Penny catalog had like a 5 or 6 page spread of men in their underwear.  It was like the holy grail of soft porn.  And when my Grandma would receive her quarterly catalog, I was in underwear heaven.  It was like being allowed to visit a guy’s locker room–without the teasing and shame and threats of swirlies.

I think this model (on left) is actually Ashton Kutcher's dad...

Well, my history with porn strangely came full circle this past summer when I was home visiting my grandma.  While sitting next to my grandmother showing her pictures that I had taken at the Iowa State Fair, I inadvertently entered into a very special and very private section of pictures in iPhoto.  Shit.  Yes, that’s right.  I accidentally showed my 88-year-old grandmother gay porn. Full on, hard penis, legs spread, gay porn.  And this was G-ma’s response to seeing some random dude in all his glory: “Ohhhhhhh.”  Immediately my fingers fumbled across the keyboard, in an effort to close iPhoto, only to forward through several more naked photos. Finally, flustered and unable to stop the peep show, I just slammed the laptop shut. I took a deep breath, feeling my face burning red, and slowly slid away from G-ma.  After several minutes of painful and complete silence I simply said, “I’m kind of tired, Grandma, I think I’ll go to bed.” And that was that.

My family has mastered the art of not talking about things, at least directly.  So I called my sister the next day and told her.  It’s just how we communicate.  I’m fairly confident Grandma and I will never talk about it.  Just like we never talked about why the men’s underwear section of her JC Penney’s Catalog was always missing or left tattered.

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I’m still here, but my hair isn’t.

Hello, all.  I’m just dropping in to leave you a little note.  You know, just to be polite.  I haven’t forgot about you.  This past month or so has been quite difficult.  I haven’t had much left in me for blogging.  Which is fine.  It probably just means I’ll have a lot to write about once I’m ready.  All I’ll say for now is that I’m single again and pushing forward. So please hang in their with me, I’ll be back before you know it.

Oh where, Oh where did all my hair go?

Oh where, Oh where did all my hair go?

This is how I feel today…

I saw this snail inching its way across the sidewalk outside my doctor’s office. My allergies have kicked into full gear this week. With all of the antihistamines I am taking and the slimy goo seeping out of my nose (I know, too much information), I felt like I had a lot in common with this little guy.

This Week’s Number One Douchebag

Pope Benedict XVI in all his Douchebagness

Pope Benedict XVI in all his Douchebagness

Just in case there was ever any doubt, Pope Benedict XVI is the single most out-of-touch person in the world.  And when you consider the other religious leaders and politicians that he is in competition with for that title, this is no small feat.  Congrats!

He secured the title during his trip to Africa this week.  In case you missed it in the news, here is a link to one of the articles covering it.  Here’s my summary of what went down:  The current Pope made his first trip to Africa and proved that he is completely out of touch with reality.  He said that condoms are not the way to stop the spread of HIV, they actually contribute to it.

Seriously.  The use of condoms actually increases the risk of HIV?!  What a jackass.  Someone who is this completely out of touch with reality cannot possibly understand the damage that is done by saying condoms make the problem worse.  He clearly is blinded by his own antiquated dogma.

Obviously, yes, with abstinence there is less risk.  If you aren’t having any sex then you probably are not ever going to come in contact with HIV.  But, that’s not the reality.  People have sex.  A lot of it.  Not only is it unrealistic to expect magnetic couples (one person HIV+, one person HIV-) to abstain from sex, it is also unrealistic to expect single people to not have sex.  All religious mumbo-jumbo aside, people are going to have sex.  Period.  So why would anyone actually take a stance that essentially guarantees the continued spreading of HIV?  Who would do such a thing?  A true douchebag.

If you doubt that condoms are a good means of having safer sex, then you only need to educate yourself.  Do your research. My preferred HIV/AIDS resource is at www.thebody.com.  A specific entry on condom use and efficiency can be found by clicking on this link.  The article may be a little old, but it is still relevant.  There are countless other resources that can be found by searching the web or going to your library.  If it is your own personal religious beliefs that prevent you from accepting the use of condoms, then I say to you, please leave that for your own relationship.  Don’t ever suggest to someone else that they should not use condoms or that their only option is to abstain from sex.

In conclusion, please do yourself and everyone around you a favor by not propagating the myth that condoms contribute to the spread of HIV.  And most importantly, please do not listen to the Pope.  He clearly supports creating an environment where people must hide their sexuality and live under a blanket of guilt and shame.  Coming from one you grew up in such an environment, I can say that guilt, shame, and self-loathing are some of the biggest threats to safer sexual practices.

A Blast from the Past

We live in a very digital world. Or, dig-i-kal, as my grandma would say. Everything is seemingly turning digital. I’m fine with that. I’m so glad we don’t need to haul bulky vinyl records around in order to hear our music. For me, the ease of use and accessibility of music in mp3 format is unbeatable. It gives me access to my entire music library whenever I want it.

I was reading that there is a major rise in the use of vinyl. I think that people just love to go retro. I can almost hear the purists now, “vinyl just sounds so warm…” In fact, CDs are already on the decline, perhaps due in a very small part to the resurgence of vinyl records. And who would have thought? It wasn’t even 10 years ago that people were hauling around dozens of CDs and plopping them into CD players everywhere. However, the new standard is mp3. Everything is becoming iPod accessible and I love it.

But, this is about more than just music. As I said, this is a dig-i-kal world we live in. This includes music, movies, pictures–basically, all our information. I have spent a lot of time making the conversion. I’ve scanned countless photos and converted many CDs.

I have a small stack of old CDs leftover from my college years that I’ve been looking at it for quite some time. Actually, that’s not totally true. They are tucked neatly away in a container in a storage cabinet. But, every time I go into that cabinet I see them. It’s annoying really, I hear them saying, “convert me. converrrrrrrt me.” Ok, already. Geesh. I decided the time had come for me to convert my old Impact Brass and Singers’ CDs.

It’s not that I want to listen to them over and over. I just want them converted for archival purposes. You know, in case I want to listen to them later. Well, I couldn’t help myself. After spending an hour or so converting these gems from my past, I had to listen to some of it. I discovered that the best perspective on your life comes in the form of recordings of you singing in college.

I haven’t listened to this stuff for years, probably close to ten years. My first thought was: wow, this sounds old, like the early 90s. Of course, it was recorded in the early 90s. My second thought was: wow, I have changed…a lot. I look different, I sound different, I think different. In a moment of weakness I decided to play one of my songs for Jeff. I’m not sure that he’s fully recovered just yet. It was like a taking him in a time machine back to 1992.

Poor guy. At least he didn’t leave me. I really did go to Bible College and sing in a group that traveled around performing Christian cover songs and skits, all with a slide show going on in the background. It’s hard to paint a proper picture without actually pulling out the CDs and old videos, which thankfully are not in my possession.

Here’s our group picture. I’m the blond guy in the back wearing the burgundy suspenders, the over-sized glasses, and a sheepish smile…

Stand Strong! (and down.)

that’s for all my fellow survivors.

A Sentimental Day

My, My how times have changed over the last decade. I’ve been feeling extremely sentimental lately. It’s been 10 years since my mother passed, 10 years since I graduated from college, 10 years since I left the midwest, 10 years since my life took the dramatic turn that has led me to where I am today.

Frankly, in retrospect, I find it amazing that I am where I am. A secular gay man working in the airline industry and living in San Francisco. I still suffer from culture shock on occasion. Ten years ago I was just leaving the midwest after 6 years of Bible College. I was just starting an exciting job with an up-and-coming mega-church in Arizona. The job didn’t last long, and the next thing I knew I was working for my first airline. Then I started coming to terms with a life outside the Church. I realize that is a horrible summary of an extremely turbulent 1998. But, I don’t think I’m ready to broadcast all of that on my blog…nothing personal. Really, it’s me, not you.

The point of this post is not to elaborate on my journey from point A to point B. I’m just amazed at my starting point. I think that I’m mostly amazed that people change. More specifically, I changed. I mean, shit, I voted for Bob Dole in 1996. Ouch! Wow, that hurt to type those words. I. Voted. For. Bob. Dole. The only thing I have say in my defense is that I did not vote George W. Bush in 2000 or 2004. I remember sitting in my dormitory lobby gathered around the TV and feeling the immense dread of another 4 years with Bill Clinton. And now, I think that Bill Clinton was a great president! And that’s actually my point…I started thinking for myself.

I totally get why so many of my Bible College friends have a hard time understanding me these days. I’m not the same Tyler that they knew in college. There are parts of me that haven’t changed. I still love music, even some gospel music. I’m still just a little odd, a little geeky.

To be fair, it also freaks Jeff out a little bit to envision the Tyler from 1998. When I’m feeling a little bit ornery, I’ll whip into a rousing rendition of How Great Thou Art or Shout to the Lord. My friend Jaclyn likes to hear one my special prayers. You know the type that involves lots of thee’s and thou’s, blessing’s and tribulation’s. Oh yeah, I can preach, too. I reserve that for when I’m feeling just downright mean. And every time I pull from my personal experience in Bible College, I also have a moment of gratitude. I’m happy to be where I am now.

For old time’s sake, here’s a picture of me from my Bible-thumpin’ days. This was taken at my senior piano recital. I had no idea that my whole world was about to change…

Good Vibes

Today was totally a lesson in sending out good vibes. I worked with my all-time favorite captain. Her name is Jan, and she is absolutely wonderful. I want to be her when I grow up. She’s one of those obsessively optimistic and upbeat people that just seem to find the best in every person. When you talk to her you just can’t help but smile. It’s infectious. Yes, at first, she can be overwhelming. But, after awhile you see that it’s coming from a totally honest place. She really does want to brighten your day.

On the other end of the spectrum, I was also working with a flight attendant who had the complete opposite energy/vibe–totally icy and a mute, really. It made for a very interesting day. And it made me think, who am I or how am I? Do I make people wanna smile? Or, do I make people wanna avoid me? Do I brighten people’s day? Or, do I drag them down?




Hmm. That’s a tough one. Maybe I’m bipolar, but, I can easily go both ways. Some days I’m way up and some days I’m way down. I wish I had the persistent upbeat-ness of Captain Jan. I’m afraid, though, that I don’t. It doesn’t always come natural for me to be friendly and smile. I guess that’s why I created my mantra which I haven’t talked about for awhile, but still recite almost daily. Be kind, be generous, be honest…be kind, be generous, be honest. I don’t want to walk around with a scowl on my face so I also tell myself to “soften” my expression as I’m heading down the street.

It’s amazing to me that when you place a smile or at least a pleasant expression onto your face, it works itself inward. Some days I’m all bent out of shape over life and have to really force that damn smile onto my face. But, if I persist…eventually I feel better inside. I know that I’m sounding all warm and fuzzy today, but it’s true. Those who smile a lot and laugh a lot feel better on the inside. And I’m all for feeling better on the inside. It’s a slippery slope that leads downward toward being a total grump. You have to fight it–unless, of course you have a chronically happy disposition like Captain Jan.


So, that’s just a thought for today. Sometimes being happy takes work. You’ve gotta laugh and you’ve gotta smile. Don’t make me come over there and beat that smile outta ya. I will… and I ain’t frontin’.