Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Phone Treasures

I would imagine that all, if not most, lesbians would have a lot of fantastic photos on their phone.  And not just photos - but screen captures of interesting things they see on the internet, or conversations they have with their people.

I have had to dump some pics off my phone recently to make room for new adventures.  As I was emptying them, I tarted laughing at some of them and realized that this might be an amazingly wonderful post about Atlanta, lesbians, relationships, INTJ people, weird internet things, and stuff that made me laugh.


Pour yourself a glass of wine and let's have a look, shall we?





Oh, L@@K!  It's my hot Kelly with the stunning Regina.  I love these ladies.  I took this at the kickoff party for Atlanta Pride at the Georgia Aquarium.  We had an amazing time that night!







I grabbed a pad of paper the other day to make a list of things to do and started flipping past the pages that already had things written on them to find an empty page.  This one make me laugh!  Kelly was apparently taking my last name for a test drive to see how her signature might look if I ever decided to put a ring on it.  

Caught you, Kelly!

(She will die that I busted her)

This text to my son on his birthday:


And this text exchange with my daughter:

(So very thoughtful.  I was only trying to warn her that I may be acting slightly PMSy and she was all caring and sweet and offering to be my sugar dealer)

















Speaking of my daughter, she's been jacking up my chalkboard wall over my bed.  First, she wrote this:


So when I posted it on Facebook, she responded: 
"It's the most enigmatic statement I know. What does it mean? Have sex, acquire money? Forget girls - just make money? FuckBitches(R) tend to have a high income? Or am I saying 'Fuck, girls understand finances'? No one knows."
Indeed, sweet child o' mine... indeed.

But then this appeared while I was in the shower one evening and she has thus far left no explanation.  Fortunately, I have a compliant girlfriend who seems fine with the new rule.  After all, it's in writing...


Moving right along.... is this not the most adorable, perfect dog you've ever seen in your entire life?  I can't stand the level of cuteness that he has...
 


My little Captain Jack Sparrow is the most precious baby boy on the planet!

I also got a few pumpkins to carve with Lindsey.  Since she was born, I was in my "Pray Away the Gay" mode and trying to be a model Christian, which included forsaking the pagan holiday of Halloween.  Instead, she spend her Oct. 31 celebrations at church at Fall Festivals dressed as a Bible character or celebrating Reformation Day to commemorate the day that Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the church doors in Witenberg, Germany.  (Thus launching the Protestant movement).  Here she is chillin and waiting for a knife and instructions since we've never done this before:
 




I apologized to her for depriving her of the experience of walking around, ringing doorbells and demanding candy from strangers.  She responded with her standard measure of sarcastic wit:  
"I could have spent my formative years stuffing my face with sugar and dressing up, but hey, memorizing 95 basic obscure theological principles of modern Protestantism was fun too."
That's the spirit!  And look at how the pumpkins turned out:





I also had a funtastic day with my parents, children and nephew as we celebrated my nephew, my son and my father's birthdays (all born in October).  The joy in my heart that I am able to celebrate another one of Dad's birthday's after his terminal diagnosis last year is overflowing for me.  I am so very, very grateful for these times together:

 


(L to R) My nephew Charlie, my Dad (also Charlie), and my son, Nick

They are all as sweet as they are handsome! 








This is an adorable one of my Dad with my daughter, Lindsey:
 
This is my beautiful nephew, Charlie.  I took him to the sporting goods store and got him a new fishing vest, knife and lures.  This kid is an amazing fisherman and he promised that if I move by him when he's grown (he's living by the ocean), he will bring me a fish every day so I'll never be hungry.  Sounds like a great deal!



This is the unfortunate cake.  My mom is the best cook and this thing tasted amazing.  The frosting just didn't turn out quite how we had hoped.


Okay, that's it for this installment of "Phone Treasures" - enjoy your day!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Take Every Thought Captive



Back in the day, when I was still trying to pray my gay away, I studied to be a biblical counselor to find out what a biblical counselor would tell me to do to fix myself so I wouldn't be a lesbian anymore. 

One of the books that I read in my studies was called "The Excellent Wife" by Martha Peace.  In that book, she talked about forgiveness and introduced a concept that was life-changing for me: taking your thoughts captive.

The way she put it, (from a Christian standpoint) when we become aware that we have an un-Christlike thought about someone, it's like the Holy Spirit tapping you on the shoulder reminding you to stop thinking that, capture the thought and, according to 2 Corinthians 10:5, replace it with another thought that is Christlike.  This could be in the form of a prayer for them, or thinking of something positive or good about them.


I used it to change my negative thoughts towards my mom about how she treated my siblings and I and the ways that I felt she had wronged me.  I did this by repeatedly praying God's blessing upon her or thinking about the ways that she had been a good mother, such as feeding us healthy foods, involving us in sports and lessons and giving up her career so that she could be a stay at home mom.  

By using this technique, I was eventually able to move past my hurt and cultivate love and empathy for her in my mind.  Purposefully changing my thoughts literally re-routed my neuropathways towards positive instead of negative!

Not Only Jesus, But This Works With Buddha, Too



Not long ago, I was walking with my girlfriend, Kelly.  We were talking about a mutual acquaintance who had wronged us both.  Kelly was telling me that each time she thinks about what that person did, she arrests the thought and thinks about it in a way that benefits her.

I immediately recognized the technique from my biblical counseling days and asked her where she learned it.  She said she was listening to an audio book called "Buddha's Brain".  Author Rick Hanson wrote about this technique, as well as others, in what he subtitled "The Practical Neuroscience of Happiness, Love and Wisdom".

I found it fascinating that this scientific function has been applied by religions to teach inner peace and well-being. It made me want to read the book Kelly was reading and also to share it with you all since we have both found it very helpful.  


Let me break it down for you all so you have an easy take-away:

  1. When you become aware that you are thinking or speaking negatively, you just won!  Congrats!  (Most people don't realize it and they just continue to be negative and make everyone around them want to run for the hills.)
  2. Make the decision that the negative thought/speech will stop immediately.
  3. Think of something positive to think/say about that person or situation and think/say it. 
  4. Rinse
  5. Repeat
In no time, that lying, manipulative, rude, low-class bitch who trash talks you to anyone who will listen will be neutralized and you will no longer think of her at all.  That bastard ex of yours will become known as a decent sperm donor that made your amazing children and you will acknowledge that his presence in your life, however much pain it led to, was necessary for the joy that it brought you in the form of your kids.  

See how this works?  

You are literally changing your brain so recognize that it does take some time and consistent practice but it works!

You will even start to look for the good in people automatically instead of being cynical and suspicious.  You will give people the benefit of a doubt and be more likely to forgive people.  You will be ready to recognize when people don't vibrate at your level and, instead of ending relationships in harsh and angry ways, you will learn to send them love and go down your own path without the pain that used to accompany such relationship endings.

I hope you will try this and get back to me to let me know how it's working for you.  I'm anxious to hear your stories.

Love (most of) you!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Speaking Truth About the End

Lesbian Relationship Ends on a Good Note

I got an e-mail from a friend the other day.  I wrote about her and her former partner deciding to reconcile in a previous post that I can't seem to find. (Big shocker)  She wanted to let me know that despite their best efforts to make it happen, it wasn't meant to be and didn't work out for them. 

What impressed me the most was how she presented it to me.  It wasn't the typical crap I tend to hear when there is a break-up: the other person was an evil villain who was horrible who victimized her, blah, blah, blah.  Instead, this sweet lady said about her break-up:



I feel empowered because I made the decision less because she was 'wrong' and more about what wasn't right for me. In other words, it wasn't anti-her...it was pro-me. It is a slight difference, but it is a important shift. I am committed to not over functioning and getting the support and love that I need and deserve. And that begins with restoring the love affair I have with myself. So I am good.

Wasn't that refreshing? Healthy? Kind?

Sometimes, it's okay to date someone, even for a long time, and then realize that despite feeling love and affection you have, they are not the best match for you.  It's not that there is anything wrong with them, it's that you are looking for something different and you don't want to settle.  Things you can't know after just dating for a few months. 


When you make the decision that you love yourself enough not to settle for less than you know you want, it doesn't mean you have to hate that person first in order to let them go.  It doesn't mean you have to sell your reasons to others so they don't blame you or think badly of you.  If you are smart enough to walk away from comfort and security in exchange for staying true to yourself, you can still honor the person that you have been with by not making it seem as though they had blame in it.


More Proof

I reconnected with an old friend recently who ended things with her girlfriend while we were apart.  I asked her why and she had an equally lovely answer.  I'm paraphrasing but she said something to the effect of "I honor her as a person and I didn't want to change who she was.  But all of those things that you don't like in a partner, that's what our mutual friend, so-and-so, calls 'The price of admission.' Sometimes, you just don't want to pay that price."

The price of admission?  Hmmmm.

I mentally took that metaphor for a test drive and loved the way it handled my neuropathways.

  • I don't want to pay because I realize I've seen this show before
  • I've become emotionally bankrupt from being in this show and I can't keep paying
  • I don't want to pay because I don't like horror flicks
  • I don't want to pay because this show is not very entertaining, anymore
  • I don't want to pay because I work in this show and someone should be paying me
...you get the idea.  It's a keeper!

Anyway, I have become fascinated with why people who love their partners and seemed thrilled with the relationship one day can be rejected by said partner the next day and suddenly, the person who rejected him is the devil.  They will not stop talking to anyone who will listen about all their faults.  They hold themselves up as a victim to be pitied. (See my previous post for more about these types).

It is SO NICE to hear from two people who had ample opportunities to drag their exes through the mud and go the way of other less introspective people, but chose to stay on the high road.  After all, the view is so much better up there and both of these women moved up a few notches in my book of classy friends.  I am so glad to see these healthy examples of how to handle the end of a lesbian relationship.

May it be a lesson for all of us.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Silence: Is it Golden?


I was having dinner with a friend not long ago.  (A lesbian friend) 

(Had to work that word in for reasons). 

She was telling me about a breakup that she had with her partner.  She told me that, in an effort to try to garner sympathy for herself and influence her friends to side with her (and perhaps not spend so much time with the ex), she did a lot of talking.  Her ex, however, didn't talk much at all.  As a result, the ex got the shit-end of the stick and my friend got all of the support that she was looking for.  Looking back on it now, she regretted it.

As she was telling me this, I reflected back to when my ex and I broke up.  The same thing happened.  As an INTJ, I sort of laid low, not wanting to involve our friends in all of the complexities that led to the end of our relationship, including wanting to protect my ex who was suffering from an illness.  I didn't want them to have loyalty conflicts so even though we spoke, we didn't speak about my ex or the break-up.  But soon, I found that I had ended up on the outs in some of our circles because they heard her story but never heard mine and felt sympathy for her.  

I didn't crave sympathy or attention because I was so full of grief.  I didn't want to give them a blow-by-blow of how I lost any sense of trust with her or why I decided that I would never be able to take her back.  Because at the end of the day, I realized that even if I didn't trust her, they still might.  And I didn't want her to lose her friends because I was angry and hurt.

I told my friend my story and how sad I had felt that some of our mutual friends had formed an opinion of me without knowing my side or even asking for it.  And as the words escaped from my mouth, I wondered about what I just said:
  • If you are the mutual friend, is it better to ask for someone's side of the story after heard the other side?  
  • Is it incumbent upon you, as a mutual friend, to seek both sides? 
  • Or is that just none of your business?  

You could be considered a bad friend for prying 
                                                           -or- 
                                         you could be considered a bad friend for not asking.

Is taking the high road and remaining silent when someone is attacking you really a good thing to do?  Because people form opinions of you without really realizing it.  And if you're not speaking, they only get input from an injured party.

There is a lost art of candor.  You should be able to speak your truth without an agenda to elevate yourself or lower your ex in the eyes of a mutual friend.  You should be able to go to anyone that you trust as a friend and pour your pain out without it being for the purpose of persuasion.

Your friends can't really know you if they only know the happy, pain-free, no- current-problems-or-concerns version of you.  Friendships are built on honesty.  But they are also built on integrity, trust, investment, trials, forgiveness and transparency.

At the end of the day, I think I will always hold in higher esteem a stoic who keeps their mouth closed than I do about an attention-whore who goes chasing sympathy from people just to feel pitied by people who don't even know what really happened.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Atlanta PRIDE 2014: A Synopsis for my Parents

I had a wonderful, very gay weekend at Atlanta Pride.  I got to see so many of my friends - it was great to reconnect with everyone.  The only thing I regret was that my parents weren't there this year.  In the past, they were banner-carriers for PFLAG (Parents, Family and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).  Here is a pic:
Since Dad got sick last year, he's been laying low and kicking his brain tumor's ass.  He just finished his final round of chemo last week and was taking it easy at home.  I decided to take a  shit-ton of pics for my parents so they could enjoy the parade as if they were with me, since they were in spirit.  So Papa and Gigi, consider this post as a series of virtual postcards this message on every one: 

"WISH YOU WERE HERE"

It would read,
 

Dear Mom and Dad:

First of all, y'all already knew how taking Kelly to her first PRIDE would be like taking a 5 year old to Disney for the first time.  You've seen it all before but you can see it with new eyes from someone seeing it for the first time.  Needless to say, she responded exactly as we expected.  Here we are just before the parade began:

We positioned ourselves across from the best entertainment of the parade: the cra-cray protestors.  You guys should have heard them screaming their hatred and bile.  What a bunch of losers!


"ZZ Top" over on the left had a shirt that said "No Homo" and the crazy lady in pink with the rainbow skirt sounded like the angriest, most closeted lesbian known to man.  Here is a link to her Facebook page - she is off her damn rocker! 

The parade started with the bikes.  (And let me just say that the roar of their engines was a much needed sound relief from the satanical voices of those protestors!)  Here are some biker shots with the horrible signs in the background:



And these women got off their bike and gave each other a little love to the applause of the crowd:

Then this pretty lady walked by in her stunning dress...

Suddenly, these men walked past us with some giant pansies...

...so they could block some of the ugly signs!  I later learned they call themselves the "Pansy Patrol" and I love this idea so much!



Dad, I know that you have a special place in your heart for vets.  I missed them marching by but I know that many of the men holding the various flags were vets and I am so glad that they were honored in the parade, as they should be.  

So many LGBT people served quietly in the military, not able to be who they were in exchange for serving their country - like Jeff Cleghorn.  I am glad that at this parade, they got recognition for BOTH aspects of who they are! (and by the way, thank YOU for serving, Dad. You and Jeff are such honorable men!)

Delta was a major sponsor of the parade and they had a LOT of their employees march in the parade and hand out pretzels.  

Oh, look!  More pansies showed up:

Then legendary civil rights leader and fantastic congressman, John Lewis, walked by.  I regret missing a better shot but I'm proud of myself for recognizing him!
...and more pansies showed up causing the crowds to cheer almost as loud as they do when PFLAG comes around the corner.

At this point, Diet Coke came by and handed out smallish cans of cold Diet Coke - oh, Kelly and I were so happy!  It made me think of you, Gigi!

This is the equality flag carried by the Human Rights Campaign:

I know you don't watch "Orange is the New Black" but this is one of the main characters on the show and she is kind of a badass. Meet Lea DeLaria:
It didn't take her long to see the protestors and she gave them a piece of her mind (and her finger):

Gigi, check out this colorful float!



This was the first float that was covered with cute, dancing gay boys:

Kelly said she was most affected by the Atlanta Police contingent.  They allowed all of their LGBT officers and supporters to march - there were more than were in this photo but you get the idea.  Kelly had a "goosebump" moment when they marched by:
 

Then this guy was dancing on the back of a truck and it was very entertaining:
Then a float with drag queens....

Remember those friends of mine that you met and fell in love with at my graduation?  Arlene and Mandy?  Well Arlene was chosen as the Grand Marshal of the parade this year for all of her work and volunteerism in the community.  Here she is (with Mandy riding in the front seat):

Then these old queers came by and made us smile SO BIG:
 
Okay, parents... there is a LOT more but I've run out of time.  I'll post more in a few days.  But I at least wanted to show you how the Pansy Patrol ended up blocking the ugly "God Abhors You" signs.  Check it out: 

I like to think that flowers grew where hate was planted.  I love you both!

-Shannon

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

What the fuck is happening in America's malls?

I hate to shop.  Really - I hate it.  (That's what I have a girlfriend for.) 

But today, I had some time to kill in between appointments so I went in looking for something to wear to a gay PRIDE event this coming weekend.  I walked in and the first thing I saw was this grown-ass woman riding past me on an electric giraffe:


I know it's been a while since I've gone to the mall but can someone please tell me when this became a thing?

Monday, September 29, 2014

Lesbians, Friends, Family and Partyboobs

I'm sure by now, you all think I've abandoned you.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I have been busy with life and the few times I felt like I had something to contribute in written form, I was not near a computer.  

I shall now catch you up on what I've been doing since graduation:

Girlfriend

Things with Kelly have been rolling forward very nicely.  We've had some of those great talks that move barriers out of the way so that you can make tracks toward common goals.  It's a good feeling when you know you are moving in the same direction as the person that you love and that the barriers that had been in front of you are now behind you.  We also realized collectively how much it sucks how your past can sometimes try to ruin your present so that you don't have a future.  When your past calls, don't answer.  It has nothing new to say, anyway. 

We are moving ahead with our collective goals!

One of our goals as a couple was for us to watch "Game of Thrones" and "Dexter" and we have really been rocking those out.  Let me tell you, nothing is more satisfying than binge-watching an entire series about a serial killer that you absolutely love while having your butt rubbed by a hot blonde girl in your bed.  Nothing...

Family

My dad!  We just celebrated the ass-kicking of his brain tumor.  Over a year ago, they gave him 3 months to live.  He is at 13 months now and still doing amazing.  My mom takes great care of him and he is doing so well.  I expected nothing less from a man who never ceases to amaze me.  Here we all are (Lindsey, me, my mom and my dad - and I want to make a disclaimer that the light is hitting his head so he looks bald but his hair is there and beautiful!)  Go, Dad! I am so proud of you!!!

Social Life & The Lesbians


Yes, I am still working my SEO and need to work the word "lesbians" into my blog fairly regularly.  But it's cool - most of the pics here are of lesbians so no deception is at hand.

I've been able to actually go places now that I am not in school or doing homework every waking moment.  It is so nice to feel like I have a real social life now. I actually forgot what it was like to have "free time" where you can go places and do things with people that you actually want to spend time with.
 
This adorable pic is my beautiful girl, Kelly, and my very hilarious daughter, Lindsey. (She wants you all to know that she is NOT a lesbian.) (But I've decided I'm going to love her and accept her, anyway)

We spent one particular Saturday morning at the DragonCon parade watching a lot of very strange and entertaining people march on downtown Atlanta.

We then hopped on this train where Kelly wanted to pose with Lindsey who could find no place to hide when my camera came out.

We rode on over to a small enclave of Atlanta - Decatur.  It is the lesbian capital of America.  Some people (namely redneck men) like to pronounce it "Dick-hater" as a way to stereotype lesbians. Isn't that hilarious?

Every Labor Day weekend, Decatur has a book festival.  Lindsey and I hit it hard each year.  This year, Kelly came along and enjoyed the ambiance, the wild train ride there and of course, laying on a blanket in the grass on Decatur Square.  Here we are:



It was a lot of fun!  And look at her boobs...  (As if you weren't!)

Kelly & I have also had a few opportunities to go out and socialize:

We went out with a lot of our friends to a local club and just had the best time visiting with everyone.  

Clubs are not normally my favorite thing to do but when they are filled with a lot of friends and it's only once in a while, I don't mid at all.  It was also nice to introduce Kelly to my friends that she hasn't had a chance to meet yet.

One of my pals that went with us is a fantastic kid I met in one of my classes at Southern Poly.  His name is Sean and he is such good company.  Here we are together:

Handsome stud.
(And Sean is cute, too!)

Then, we have our other pals that I've had a few chances to connect (and in some cases, re-connect, with):

This is me with two of my amigas, Kari and Mandy.  For a while, Kari was lost.  I allowed someone to come between us and I didn't act like a very good friend to her.  When we reconnected recently, she was kind enough to accept my apology and I am overjoyed to have her back in my life.  The smiles don't get more real...




I don't think I've ever introduced you to one of my bestest besties, Arlene.  I literally never, ever, ever get tired of talking to her!  She is so wise. Here are a few of us together:


and....


 

Could this girl be any cuter?  I don't think so...


A ladies night out complete with a nerdy guy in the background photo-bombing us by throwing horns.  Since I am a heavy metal aficionado, I left him in the pic with me, Lisa and Kari.


Kelly & I also had the opportunity to go see a show by the daughter of our friend, Kimber.  Here is Kelly, Kimber & I enjoying cocktails:

 The newspaper that I work for was having a big shindig and I got to hang with some of my favorite peeps.  This is Lisa and she is one of the most chill, laid back and down-to-earth people I know.  Love her to pieces!

More from the party.  Left to Right: Maeve, Lisa, Lisa (I wanted to type "Cult Jam" there but I digress), Mandy, Arlene, Kelly, Me and a new girl whose name I forgot.  Sorry, blonde girl.  (You were very nice, though...)

Nobody told me that Regina and Mandy were comparing tongues.  It's a good thing, too, because I would win this contest HANDS DOWN!  Here are theirs...
 and here is mine:
 Winning!

Life is always made better by the fun-loving and happy people that you surround yourself with.  I am glad to have them in my life. Speaking of great people, here is one more with my beautiful girl, Kelly:
I don't know why my cheeks look like I have the mumps here but it's such a good picture of Kelly that I felt criminal not sharing it.  Is she not a stunner?  

And yes, Lindsey is still sending me texts that make me laugh:

Okay, thanks for playing catch-up with me!  On the horizon for the next month:
  1.  Garage Sale to end all garage sales
  2.  Atlanta's Gay Pride (including Aquarium Party, dinner with friends, PRIDE parade, a fancy-schmancy hotel and taking Kelly to her first gay pride event EVER!)
  3. A visit from my son for his birthday!  He's going to be 23 - HOLY SHIT!
  4. Job interviews!!  All of the applications have started to pay off and I have finally started to get some interviews lined up.  Cross your fingers and toes for me to get the right job at the right place!
  5. Winter-proofing my house.  I have to keep my dyke skills sharp!
Until next time....