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Summer update



Its been a while since my last update, to be honest, with the new year and all of my new life changes I actually forgot about this blog.  But with winter going out the door and summer in sight, I am going to once again try and write blogs more frequently, keeping those of you interested in new adventures in my life.

I moved to Portland, Maine in January, got a job serving, and have been active in writing.  In February I finished writing my second novel.  The first novel is 74,000 words, and the second is around 125,000 words.  I have never been able to sit down and commit to one story for very long, all of that has changed now.

Since February 20th, the day I finished the second novel, I have been on a creative lull.  My hopes is that in updating my blog and writing (even if another style), that it will super charge my creative powers, and help me to pump out a third novel by the end of the year.

While that’s happening, as you may have guessed by my picture, I will be going back to Tennessee this summer to be a white water rafting guide for the second year in a row.  I look forward to the warm and long nights, the hot and adrenaline filled days, and all the crazy, imaginative, intelligent, sexy friends I could want.  I can’t imagine a better way to spend my summer.

As I get ready to pack up and leave, I’ll post more all about it, because one thing I have come to discover is that my life is rarely boring, and never the same twice.


I originally wrote this paper for a blog based out of Old Port, Portland, but with school (which is now over for me till next fall!), work, my personal writings, and my personal life I couldn’t commit to writing for them like I should be able to.  I still wanted the paper to be viewed and to get feedback, so I would love to have comments!



Marijuana Ordinance Portland, Maine:


What does it mean?:  Early this November, a major step in the legalization of Marijuana was taken right here in Maine’s largest city, Portland.  Nearly 15,000 people showed up around Portland’s 12 precincts to cast their vote.  An ordinance allowing the legalization of possession of marijuana as the hot topic.  No one could have predicted the outcome of such a law, many were hopeful, while others were fearful.  As it turned out 9,9211 residential Portlandian’s were hopeful, rather than fearful.  With 67 percent of voters in favor of Ballot number 1, the nation couldn’t help but notice.

As of now, only two states have legalized marijuana, Washington and Colorado, but Maine made history by being the first state on the east coast to have a city in which bounds you are legally allowed to possess marijuana.

What does the Ordinance actually say?  And what does it do?  I will talk about this shortly, but let’s first dive into marijuana, the (harmful?) side-effects, and how it has been viewed and used throughout history.     

History of Cannabis:  A cursory search on the internet of “The History Of Marijuana” brings up “About 161,000,000 results in 0.25 seconds”, the foremost link leading to a detailed account of cannabis, the scientific term for marijuana, and a timeline of recorded history and its use.

 Some may not believe it, but marijuana, or pot, has been used medicinally as well as recreationally since 2900 B.C.! That is nearly 5 centuries of recorded use2.  Chinese emperors, champions of their time in medicine, saw practical use with marijuana, and often used it in their healings.

But marijuana is supposed to be harmful, isn’t it?  In 1936 “Refer Madness” was first released to the general public, demonizing the use of pot.  The movie depicted teenagers going insane, being possessed by actual demons, and the decline in humanity in someone because of it.  Is any of this founded?  Do actual demons inhabit someone that consumes marijuana?

Medical use of marijuana has been legal for a while now, albeit a hot topic, in fact, marijuana was almost always legal up until the 1930’s, when a few people who had a lot at stake, shifted things in the other direction, illegalizing marijuana and still to this day influencing beliefs and mindset; but more on that next.

Marijuana is very versatile, it can be smoked, steeped in tea, or cooked with butter or coconut oil.  It is used to increase appetite in patients who need help to eat or stomach food; it is used to soothe pain of the chronically inflicted; it is prescribed to help lull patients to sleep who struggle with narcolepsy or other chronic sleep issues.  Should I go on?  Why not, for the sake of argument let’s allow marijuana to speak for itself.

Many argue that it is “addicting” and can cause cancer.  “The DEA’s general opposition to marijuana is comprised of 1) that whatever medical value it has is already fulfilled by other, equally effective drugs on the market, and 2) that marijuana is highly addictive. Both points can be turned upside down: There is already an abundance of drugs that do the same job as products already on the market, and they receive approval anyway. This seems to run contrary to the DEA’s first argument. And even a cursory look at many of the Schedule II opiates and amphetamines shows that high addiction potential is not a basis for legal classification of drugs. The point is that marijuana is not physically addictive, and even if it was, the DEA would appear to be quite hypocritical arguing this point.3” There is also no evidence that supports that the THC from smoking cannabis is a carcinogen, or cancer causing.  What can cause potential problems is inhaling smoke into the lungs were it burns away at the flesh, but that is true of tobacco also, and yet that remains legal.  And aforementioned pot doesn’t even have to be smoked, but rather you could drink or eat it (by preparing it in a specific manner), without ever having to touch a pipe or chillum (common marijuana paraphernalia), think of those warnings you have heard of certain brownies.

In fact, not only does THC or its consumption not cause cancer, it is often used by those suffering from cancer.  Any one affected will find that cannabis helps alleviate their constant pain, will help them have an appetite when they can’t eat on their own, and helps them sleep on restless nights.

Maybe you agree with medicinal use of marijuana, but are against its recreational use, for which you might have some ground to stand on.  After all, by legalizing it, we are only allowing children and youngsters to come in closer contact with it, and as science has proved, smoking at a young age can cause memory loss, can stop brains from fully maturing, as well as other development issues.  However, on the other hand, alcohol and tobacco consumption can cause the same if not worse side effects, and yet any adult 18 years or 21 years of age respectively can purchase these harmful consumers.  More than that though, caffeine and sugar can cause equally detrimental results to teens, and yet we happily supply those seeking it, the opportunity to consume such things.

“It is estimated that in North America between 80 and 90 percent of adults and children habitually consume caffeine.4”  When you consider how many millions of people that would encompass, it seems silly to keep something illegal for the sake of someone potentially becoming addicted to it, as anything has the potential to become addicting.  As it stands (and this is a difficult test to judge as there are numerous factors), only an estimated 9 percent of daily marijuana consumers will become “seriously addicted.5

As every story has two sides, what is the other side to “Refer Madness?”  After all someone had to budget the film, had to propagate it, and support it, but why go through all that effort and money if cannabis is seemingly a healthy alternative to other drugs, over the counter or not?

Back in the ‘30’s one man stood to lose a lot, possibly everything, with the continued use and growth of hemp, the plant from which cannabis comes from, that man was William Randolf Hearst, and he essentially single-handedly controlled the newspaper media at the time, and relied heavily on the growth and use of tree pulp to earn his money.  “Since hemp is an annually renewable source, which requires minimal chemical treatment to process, the advent of hemp pulp paper would allegedly have been better for the environment than the sulfuric acid wood-pulping process. Hemp had many champions, who predicted that its abundance and versatility would soon revitalize the American economy. William Randolph Hearst, media mogul, billionaire and real-life model for Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane, had different ideas. His aggressive efforts to demonize cannabis were so effective, they continue to color popular opinion today.  In the early 1930’s, Hearst owned a good deal of timber acreage; one might say that he had the monopoly on this market. The threatened advent of mass hemp production proved a considerable threat to his massive paper-mill holdings — he stood to lose many, many millions of dollars to the lowly hemp plant. Hearst cleverly utilized his immense national network of newspapers and magazines to spread wildly inaccurate and sensational stories of the evils of cannabis or “marihuana,” a phrase brought into the common parlance, in part due to frequent mentions in his publications.6


Does it change anything?: Having studied the effects both good and bad associated to marijuana, how does this affect you, and what exactly does the Ordinance passed on November 5th say?

You can read the actual ballot for yourself here,

“Portland Police Chief Michael Sauschuck says not much will change as a result of the city’s vote. ‘State law pre-empts an ordinance of this sort, a local ordinance of any sort,’ he says. The other reason Sauschuck says it won’t change much is because Maine is one of 13 states that has already decriminalized marijuana possession. It’s just a civil offense, punishable by a fine of up to $1,0007.

That doesn’t, however, mean that they will go out patrolling for offenders.  The ordinance allows legal possession of up to 2.5 ounces (people generally only buy an 1/8th an ounce at any one time), and only in the comfort of their own home, or apartment (if the landlord has been consulted and agrees).

Buying cannabis is still illegal, and if someone is busted for smoking it, can have charges pressed on them, as it still remains illegal on a state and federal level.  Although it doesn’t seem like much has changed, to those seeking legalization, the ordinance is seen as a great step forward.

What’s next?:

Since the ordinance didn’t seem to change much, the logical question is, what’s next?  With this year’s election come and gone, another step won’t be taken for a while, but you can be sure that more cities in more states across America will start to follow in Maine’s foot steps towards first, decriminalization of marijuana consumption, and then secondly, towards outright legalization.

Any who feel passionately for one side or the other can find ample causes, foundations, organizations, and blogs to follow or support to help their side.  For my humble opinion, seeing as cannabis was legal before the 1930’s, I believe that we will see an increase of pro marijuana activists, and as is the case with Gay Equality, Maine will be one of the state’s leading the way.

But please, don’t let history repeat itself and take just one man’s word for it, study it for yourself, clear your preconceived notions, good and bad, and discover the truth of the matter for yourself.


Further Studies:

“The Union: The Business Behind Getting High” by Canadian filmmaker Brett Harvey

And the following cited works:








Senator Diane J. Savino (from the 23rd Senate District in the New York State Senate) argues from the heart about why marriage laws need to be equal for all peoples.
She is inspiring and thought provoking, and she says it so well that I won’t other to write on it anymore, just watch the video!

Back on track, I have to answer my English class question (I’ll be posting two this week), What do I find most helpful and problematic about social media? 

There are many benefits, as well as some definite downsides, social media is just a tool though, so it all depends on how you use it.

Pros:  I travel a lot, I meet a lot of people, and I like to keep in touch with as many as possible, I even write old fashion letters to a few people, but that is outdated, slow, and takes time from our already busy schedules.  With Facebook and Twitter (or even this blog) I can keep in touch with an infinite amount of people, all with the click of a mouse.  I can update people on my whereabouts, my adventures, I can post pictures and tag old friends, I can meet new people and stay up to date with old friends.  I can create a birthday event and instantly have people invited to my party.  I can create a fan page and have people follow my books or my writings, honestly the possibilities are pretty endless.

There are some snags however.

Cons:  One of the major problems with social media is the fact that even if people aren’t commenting or “liking” your posts or pictures, many people will still read what you have to post, and falsely believe that they are current with your life.  The problem with that is then that people stop feeling the need to talk to one another, instead just scrolling back through someones “wall” and “catching up” rather than ask about specifics.  Another major issue, my biggest pet peeve, is that with the instant results of the internet, people are now finding less and less time to hang out with one another, and meet face to face.  I ask to go out to coffee with friends three or four times a week, and maybe one of those will happen.  it is sad really.

It really all matters on who you use your instruments, in this case social media.  Are you going to use it to gossip and talk behind others backs, or are you going to post inspirational and uplifting messages?  The choice is yours, but for me having the use of social media is a great thing.   

I came on here today to write my next blog for my English class, but instead I have turned my attention momentarily to something I feel very passionate about.

I clicked on a “homosexual” tag and it brought up an article by The Young and The Restless Catholic, entitled “Are you born gay, or do you choose to be gay?”

The link to that article is here, and my response is below.


I believe that it easy to misunderstand homosexuality if it isn’t something you have dealt with yourself, or if you don’t have a very close gay friend or sibling willing to let you in on all the messy and confusing thoughts. I have tried to explain myself to straight friends and they can’t seem to grasp what I am saying. I open my mouth, and already my gay friend understands.
I do not know David Bosen, I have never met him, but I have met and read about plenty of men that have “Left Homosexuality.” For a long time I thought that I could do it too. I did all the right things according to my religious upbringing, but nothing, no one, nada could change me. I started looking into the men that had supposedly changed, and I found a load of bull.

It took me years to accept myself, and start to grow beyond the bigotry of my upbringing. When you deny homosexuality to yourself you are suppressing a part of who you are.  And that comes with dire consequences. Sure people can not act on those homosexual feelings anymore, but the thoughts will never leave. If I were to walk past Mr. Bosen today (again I don’t know him, but I know plenty like him), I guarantee I would catch his eye.

When you suppress part of who you are, you can never really, truly, be you. And if you can’t really be you, then who are you? What are your likes and dislikes? Those things are all decided by the environment in which you reside, and though you may claim to like something, pretend to like something, maybe even convince yourself you like something, all you are doing is putting up a facade, wearing a mask.  This is detrimental to your health, especially when you are young and impressionable.

Think of it like this.  Everyone has a favorite color, maybe we don’t think of it like that anymore now that we are adults, but there is a color that sticks out to each and everyone of us, that turns our faces just a little when we scan over it.  For me, my favorite color is green, specifically forest greens or antiqued greens.  Whether I am looking at wall paints, toe nail polish, or a dress, those colors always catch my eye.

Now, suppose growing up you loved green.  Everything about it, the warm earthy tones, the comforting shades, the calming sensations, but your parents and friends all told you that the color green was evil.  Deep down, inside, you know that you love that color, but you trust the people around you, so you try to not think about green, you try to force yourself to like blue or purple instead, but you dream in green.  You are torn up, to everyone around you it appears as if you are fine, but deep down inside you HATE the colors blue and purple, all you want is to sleep in a green room.  You feel guilty, your religion and god tell you that to like the color green means you go to hell.  You pray, you read, you cry out, nothing seems to work.  It must be you, you must not be doing something right, you just have to try harder, work harder, pray harder.  You reach the end of your rope.  You like green, you know that, you can’t deny that, but you know that that means you will go to hell.  You grow sick and tired of pretending to like the other colors of the rainbow, none of them bring you the comfort that green does.  You have two choices, the first) continue to live as you are, suppressing your love of green, and live in a blue world, and pretend to be okay with it, but be secretly miserable, or second) call it quits.  You have tried to stick it out, you have prayed for change, you have sought help, but nothing works.   It has now been years and years that you have been denying your true love, and it has destroyed you inside.  No longer do you see the world as wondrous and beautiful, a planet to be explored, but as a hell hole.  A place where people that don’t like the color green grow and thrive, while you and those like you deny and suffer, a self inflicted punishment wrought by the believe that you are inherently not good enough.  Struggle with that long enough, and even the most life loving individual would take the plunge off the deep end.

That may be a very innocent, or maybe naive analogy, but it gets to all the points pretty simply.  To deny who you are, is to destroy yourself.

Ironically, my religious background taught that to let go and give to god was to have freedom and relief, a fresh start, however, I didn’t find those things till I let go and trusted myself, turning my back on my past.

I never used to believe I was good enough, I believed I deserved to be punished, and in fact should be punished.  From small things like being proud on a particularly good exam (pride), to feeling guilty if I didn’t help a friend even if I was busy (selfishness), to fantasizing about a male teacher (lust and homosexual thoughts, double wammy).  Once I stopped using the old standard of judging myself, and allowed my mind to open, I realized that those feelings are human!  I wasn’t a terrible human being for feeling or doing those things, I was simple being human.

Now that is not to say that I am now a prideful, selfish, lustful homosexual, I just don’t belittle and berate myself for having those occasional issues.  I believe in balance, karma if you will, be good to others and others will be good to you.

Freeing myself from my old standards has opened my eyes, shown me (once again) the wondrous and beautiful planet in which I live on, that is waiting to be explored.  I now believe that I am good enough (there is a drastic difference between arrogance and confidence), I believe that I am a good person, and I don’t deserve to be in misery and pain, and I now believe loving another man can be a beautiful thing.


Another English class requirement, why is social media and communication important?   Well the obvious is that social media (Facebook, Twitter) has the outreach.  With Facebook you are able to reach hundreds and hundreds of friends with a click of the mouse.  Online blogs however, don’t have as high an audience rate as Twitter would, but offer you far less restrictions while writing.  With the combination of the two, outreach and no limits, the possibilities are greater.

What happens next though?  How do you get people to follow the link you posted to Facebook that connects viewers to your WordPress?  That in itself is another question altogether, and might even require a degree in marketing to really fine tune.  In today’s day and age it is hard to capture the attention of youth, and more and more so with young adults and the older generations too.  Whatever you have to say, you have to say it fast, otherwise you have already lost their attention.  Think Twitter, 140 characters max.

By fusing your social media sites and online blogs together, you have a higher audience and can potentially reach more people.  And although no all of your “friends” will click on the links to read your deeper insights, there is always the chance that that one person will read something you wrote, and be inspired.  With today’s capabilities we are able to reach exponentially more people around the world, than has ever been possible before.  Let’s use this our benefit.

This weeks English class blog question caused me to pause for a minute.  What event did change me?  The simple answer, all of them, and none of them.  Let me explain.  This summer I focused heavily on myself, my problems, and my past.  Not in an egotistical way, but one that would help better me as a person.  During that time time I started to go back and track growth throughout my life.  It showed me how much I had already changed, areas I should revert back to, and areas where I was wrong both then and now, and still needed evaluating.  Even though all of them helped shape me into who I am, no single event defines who I am.

For my response to the blog question though, I would have to answer; The event that defines who I am, would have to be coming out as a gay man.  Now above I said no single event defines me, and coming out was no single event either.  I had several coming outs, which used to be the norm, but now-a-days kids are coming out younger and more to everyone at the same time, rather than in waves like I did.  The process of me coming out was around a two year period.

Everyone always wants to know, did I always know I was gay?  The answer, yes.  Or, as aware of my sexuality as any young child is.  I remember being 5 to 8 years old, my aunt bought me a human physiology CD Rom.  You could see all the different parts and systems of the body.  Bones, nervous system, the veins, as well as being able to see the man (or woman) completely nude.  It was an educational disk, and I learned a lot about bones which I always found cool.  But I also liked to look at “Adam,” as the male version was called.  Adam usually had a fig leave covering his privates, but with the click of a button you could remove that.  Not knowing about sex or even sexuality at the time, I didn’t know why I liked Adam and not Eve, but that was just how it was.

Fast forward to my early teens and I had confusing feelings.  All the guys around me suddenly became interested in females, when just the summer before we thought they were gross.  I was confused further when I became more interested in my guy friends, than I did about the girls they were talking about.  I always kept it hidden, it was my dirty secret, no one could know, and no one did know, not for a long time.  When I was 17 I confessed to my parents that I was “struggling” with homosexuality, and I wanted help.

Anytime you suppress a part of who you are, a defining characteristic, you run into problems.  Stress, depression, anger, bitterness, and the list could go on.  With more years of “struggling” with my sexuality, of seeking help from professionals and other gay men that had “left homosexuality,” years and years of prayers and tears, I still was unable to change.

I spent my first two years at a pretty famous Christian college, and sought help, prayer, and the bible for answers.  But while I watched prostitutes, drug deals, and woman abusers all seemingly grow and change, the one “sin” that was never able to be helped was that of one man loving another.  I stuck with the college though, confessing to more and more people I was “gay, but working on it,” and went on to apply and be accepted within the school for missions work in Brazil.  That fall I had five online courses, a full time job, I was working on support fundraisers and news letters, and I was busy going around to other churches and groups of people to raise awareness and support.

In February of 2011, a month before I was due to go to Brazil, the school called up and dismissed me.  They wouldn’t give a straight answer (and still won’t to this day), but I was being “let-go” (as they called it), because of my sexual orientation.  Something that is literally not able to be controlled.

In hindsight I probably could have legally pressed them for that, but at the time I was too hurt to even tell anyone.  That might have been difficult at the time to handle, I see now that it was the catalyst that would start my growth, or probably more aptly, my re-birth.  No, I am not talking any form of mythical Phoenix death and re-birth, but a new start and out look on life.

Fast forward another two years, to the present day, and you have a maturing and proud homosexual man.  One that is not afraid to be different (where I used to hate being different), one that is not afraid to be true to me (even when others don’t accept me), one that realizes being gay isn’t a choice, and ISN’T a sin.  In other words, a brand new man.

It may not have been a single event, or even a short period of time, but coming out has defined who I am today, and it has taken years, more than a decade honestly, to be able to say this, but I am proud to have been born gay. 

My favorite place…

This week for my Professional Writing class I am to blog about my favorite place, and why it is my favorite.  That’s complicated in a couple ways. 1) I have many favorite places, from the camp I grew up going to on Belgrade lake every summer, to missions work in the Amazon in Brazil, and even down South in the Smoky Mountains, where I spent the summer working as a white water rafting guide.  I love them all. 2) My computer just this past week fried and took ALL of my data with it.  Thousands of pictures, over 12,000 words on a novel I was working on, an countless other docs.

When I went to answer this blog, I thought, “easy, I can do this.”  And maybe it would have been, only I lost all of my Brazil photos (except for an unimportant few on Facebook), and was discouraged from writing when I realized this.  I decided to go with Belem, Para, Brazil (Near the basin to the Amazon River), but had few good photos to choose from.  But one decent one I could find was me climbing a palm tree.  At least, that was the goal, till my friend and I were bitten a hundred times or more by red ants.


My friend was even courteous enough to talk the picture at an angle were it made it look like I did any climbing at all.

Even though I had great times on Belgrade Lake, and in the Smoky Mountains, Brazil has always been my dream.  When I went to Belem for ten days in May 2010, I fell in love, a piece of me stayed there.  I fell in love with the heat, and the rain (it cooled you down, but dried up quickly), the jungles and the wildlife, and mostly the people and the language were beautiful, and it gave me a greater appreciation for what I have.

I have not been able to make it back to Brazil since then (although I promised someone that lived in the Amazon Jungle I would be back), but I will one day, and it will be great when I do!


Tennessee Summer Summery


“Fun Run” Trip with fellow guides.

This summer I had intended to post more, however, that was before I realized the demand of work, the time spent with friends, and all the writing that I was doing (outside of blogs).  Whatever I thought this summer was going to be like, it was not, it was much, much, more!

Life in the South was something that I had never known before, sure, everyone hears different things about “down yonder”, but hearing about it, and actually knowing are two different things.  If you know anything about me, you will know that hearing about something is not going to be enough for me, I have to know myself.

That doesn’t mean that I didn’t go into this summer with some presuppositions, wrong presuppositions, but premeditated judgement nonetheless.  I assumed that everyone listened to country music, that people were more concerned with their farms than they were with relationships, people would be less educated in the country than in the cities, and that everyone was conservative when it came to religious and social beliefs.

Although some of those presuppositions proved to be more true than up here in the North (people in general are more conservative down South), people down below were more understanding and accepting than I had experienced before.  Being an openly gay man, I was not going to go back in the closet as I headed to my summer destination, and try to hide my sexual identity down there.  I was afraid though, that when people figured out I was gay, that I would be lynched, or some equally terrible, violent act, and would be leaving within the first two weeks.  After all, I would have given it a shot, no one could have told me I didn’t at least try.

Instead?  I met some of the coolest, nicest, most self-educated people of my life.  I grew in ways that I am sure I won’t realize for years to come.  Instead of listening to country music (which I ironically discovered I liked), I got to listen to new music (Daft Punks new album, Pretty Lights new album, White Panda, STS9) .  I didn’t find people more concerned with their farms, quite the opposite actually, this summer I had to try and find time to spend alone.  We were all such a social outgoing group, that none of us wanted to miss out on any of the fun, spending all our time together.  Education turned out not to be a problem, most of my friends were in college, had been, or were already graduated.  For the ones that hadn’t gone to school, were self read, and could keep intellectual debates going all night, as we often  did.

The summer was a remarkable time, I expected the worst, and was quite honestly given the best.  Moral of the story?  Discover for yourself, don’t judge a book by its cover.


This post comes in the middle of me writing about my summer, but don’t worry, I will catch ya’ll 🙂 up on my summer following this post.

For now my English class that I am taking as prerequisites for the Masters program I want to get into at the University of Maine,  has asked that I answer this questions on my blog; As a writer, I will consider myself successful when

For me, writing has been a life long passion, a means of therapy, and a way to express myself and my wacky life.  Writing has never been about success or failure, it was just a great hobby.  In the past few years I have really started considering writing as a way of life.  I have started taking writing more seriously, but have continued to put my dream of becoming a published writer, on the back burner, for classes I thought were better or would be more beneficial.

Having graduated last year, I have put furthering my education at all on the back burner, instead spending sometime traveling and seeing other places and cultures (Ohio, Macedonia, Tennessee) as top priority.  This fall I have decided to re-attend school, and get closer to my ultimate goal of becoming a published writer.

To sum up, I would say I would consider myself a “successful” writer when I am able to publish my writing, and show everyone the different and diverse worlds that I have imagined up.  Getting money for this would  only be a bonus, not the goal.  I have a creative mind, and I want to show people all about it.


I am moving back home to Maine this coming week, I promise to post more about the last half of my summer soon!