All Good Things…

I have a problem.  It’s not necessarily a big deal problem, it’s just a problem.  I get bored.  I get bored pretty easily.  I don’t have ADD or ADHD or AED or any other acronym you might think of.  I can sit on my ass for hours watching TV or movies.  If I’m reading, I’ll stop because I can’t keep my eyes open before I stop because I’m bored.  It’s other stuff.

Those of you who visit this blog with any regularity have surely noticed that the posts have tapered off.  It’s because I’m bored.  Well, maybe bored isn’t the right term.  I’m… dissatisfied.

I started blogging last June.  I started my first blog here on WordPress two days before my 33rd birthday and had big plans.  I called the blog “Started Living” because I wanted to get out there and start living my life, something I hadn’t really been doing previously.  I created the blog on somewhat of a whim because I had something I wanted to say and I needed to get it out there.  I searched for a title that said what I wanted to convey and that hadn’t already been taken.  It’s amazing how I’m always behind the times on certain things.  I searched for “Life Starts Now”.  Somebody had it.  They hadn’t updated it in a long time, but they owned it.  I searched for “Starting Life Now”.  Same story.  “Starting Life”, “Starting Living”, “Life Starting”?  Second verse, same as the first!  Finally, I punched in “Started Living” and I got the glorious “this title is available” message.  I ran with it.

“Started Living” didn’t feel especially catchy to me.  I was frustrated with the lack of cleverness or even any real meaning behind it.  In the early days I reported some big events.  Part of my motivation behind the blog was to live more openly about my sexuality and to have a focal point and a reason to get out and start living.  I came out to a few people and I documented it on the blog.  I attended a smattering of events that happened to be taking place outside the four walls of my own apartment.  But all in all, I did not Start Living and so I started feeling unauthentic with the blog title.  I published my final post on “Started Living” on November 6, 2008.  At that point I had posted 81 articles and had 32 comments.  I’d had over 3000 hits.  But I didn’t like the direction the blog was going and I wasn’t happy with the name and so with my November 6, 2008 post “Started Living Didn’t, Finds a new Home”, I said good-bye to my unauthentic existence as a guy who hadn’t started living and hello to my truly unauthentic existence as “A Drunk in a Hard Place.”

“A Drunk in a Hard Place” was a tongue in cheek, unfunny reference to my life.  The reality is I’m not an alcoholic.  I do drink and like so many other people, I occasionally drink more than perhaps I should.  On one particular occasion, I drank much more than I should have and paid a very high price for that poor judgment.  But as a matter of course, I don’t drink a great deal and it wasn’t meant to be taken seriously.  For a time I was reading a blog called “The Drunken Housewife” and I found her writing humorous.  So “A Drunk in a Hard Place” was meant to be a humorous reference to the fact that I do drink, sometimes a lot; the fact that at times my life is really hard (isn’t everyone’s?); and, I hoped obviously, a play on “A Rock and a Hard Place”.  It was meant as a joke, and I think for the most part, it was taken that way, but I became uncomfortable with it.  I left things alone for six months because I hadn’t thought of anything better.  Then one day, finally, inspiration struck!

I spent the last almost three years in therapy, only having taken a hiatus in the last four months to try and get my finances under better control.  I am not, by any means, “done” with therapy.  Insightful Therapist said, “you’re in the middle” during our last (I was going to say “final”, but I hope it wasn’t) session, and I think she’s right, which is why it’s important for me to get back as soon as I can.  Anyway, I have come a long way in the time I have been in therapy and I’m a much happier, better person now.  I feel like I’ve benefited a lot from therapy and I feel like I’ve got something I can share with others and so I’ve started something new.

From today, those of you who read my blog with regularity and desire to deliberately follow me can find my writing at http://riggledo.wordpress.com.  I will not delete this blog and cannot say I will never post here again, but from this moment my focus and my energy will be put into Riggledo.  So, let me tell you about it!

The title is a play on my own name.  I hope it’s something that will be catchy.  In my wildest dreams I hope it’ll become something of a household name, so to speak, along the lines of “Dooce” or “Amalah“.  I’m neither a woman or a mommy so I don’t expect to fall into their league, but it is my hope, that at some point, I will have a following of readers who are as committed as these ladies have and that “Riggledo” will be as much of a “household name” as these ladies.  Perhaps that will never happen but I can certainly give it a shot!

Riggledo is a conglomeration of my last name, Riggs, and what is part of the focus of the blog, to help my readers to remember that they’re “OK” just the way they are.  In other words, my name is Kevin Riggs, and I’ll do just fine just the way I am!  Riggledo (and so will you.)

OK.  End of the shameless self promotion!  And I hope this is not a “good-bye”, but rather a “follow me”.  I’m headed over to Riggledo and I hope you’ll come along!  See you there!

An Epic Epidemic

There is an epidemic that is sweeping the nation, possibly the world. It’s an affliction that is spreading like wildfire throughout the populous affecting us at every age, from the very young to the moderately middle aged.

It came on quietly. At first no one really knew about it, and then slowly but surely it became more and more prevalent.

Ladies and Gentlemen, your humble blogger has been affected by this affliction. I thought I was safe. I thought I’d be immune, but alas, it has proven not to be so. Yes, there’s been a twinge in the back here, a stab in the knees there, while visiting with others who’ve been afflicted, but till now I have not fallen fully prey. This is no longer the case.

Yes folks, it is true. I am officially one of the masses who have become afflicted with the dreaded Wii Arm! But it doesn’t stop there. Oh no. I am also suffering from Wii Shoulder and Wii Wrist. And Wii neck. And Wii back. And Wii thighs. In fact most of my Wii body has been affected by the Wii affliction.

But on a happier note, since setting up my new Wii this weekend, I beat those smug Mii sons-of-bitches Matt and Miyu a couple times at Wii Tennis, and my Wii Bowling game is getting pretty good, though I was pretty worn out at the end and my score began to trail off. I’m a pretty terrible Wii Boxer and I hit mostly foul balls at Wii Baseball… When I hit the ball, at all… As for Wii Golf, well, I’d say, considering my only previous experience with Golf was at my local Putt Putt, I’m doing quite well.

I’m surprised and impressed by how much playing Wii Sports gets your system going and works up a sweat, so I’d say it was a good investment. Now if I can just get the cat to recognize that if he doesn’t stay out of the way while I’m Wii Bowling, he just might be taking a Wii trip down the Wii lanes along with my virtual Wii Bowling Ball.

Conspiracy Theorists Unite!

dancing-with-the-starsI have been a fan of Dancing with the Stars since the beginning and as far as I am concerned it just gets better each season.  More stars, more extremes, less training time and more injuries, all make the show more and more compelling to watch!

The elimination of two of the show’s stars before the curtain even went up was certain to make for an eventful season premiere.  This season the stars only had four weeks of rehearsal time, which seems little enough time already, but then when disaster struck for two of the contestants and producers announced that they would recast those two couples, it seemed sure that the replacements would be among the first to go.  nancy-odellWhen the show began and the thick plotened, it was announced that Nancy O’Dell had dropped out of the competition on Friday, giving her replacement only 48 hours to prepare for the premiere episode on Monday night.

jewel1Poet and singer Jewel, it was announced, had fractured tibias in both legs and was unable to continue in the competition.  Producers replaced her with former “Girl Next Door” Holly Madison (not to be confused with Dolly Madison, something the “star” is clearly not particularly familiar with).  Holly MadisonHolly’s bio on the DWTS web page states her profession to be “Reality Star”. (Hmmm…  Reality… star… By definition that doesn’t seem possible, but I digress.)

My hopes were not high for this former Hugh Hefner honey, but I was pleasantly surprised to see her do a passable job on the dance floor.  After scoring a mere 18 points things look less than certain for this insane brave young woman, but given that she’d had only one week to learn the dance there’s a chance that she’ll improve in the ranks and make a decent showing.

The real surprise came when it was announced that Nancy O’Dell had a torn Meniscus, a piece of cartilage in the knee intended to evenly distribute your body weight in your knee, which left unrepaired could result in arthritis in the knee.  O’Dell dropped out of the competition on Friday and was immediately replaced by recently jilted Bachelor “star”, Melissa Rycroft, who is beginning to come across as a little bit of a media whore.  With only two day to learn and “perfect” her routine it seemed unlikely that Rycroft could possibly make a good showing so it was quite a surprise when she tied for second place with Olympic Gymnast Shawn Johnson (who, by the way, slipped just walking down the stairs in the shows opening).

Actually, Melissa Rycroft’s performance was quite impressive and she absolutely deserved the 23 points she got.  Head Judge Len Goodman, however, outed Rycroft as being a trained dancer, pointing out that she clearly had some dance training and he believed it to be ballet.  (Correct you are, sir!  Plus when not plastering her face all over your reality TV shows, she works as a Dallas Cowboy’s Cheerleader.)

Can you say “Ringer!”?  It has got me thinking…

Now, I should probably be wearing a tinfoil hat, as I’m turning into a bit of a conspiracy theorist, but here’s what I think is going on here.  Ms. Rycroft wants to be famous (and really, who can blame her.)  This is why she studied ballet to begin with.  This is why she became a Dallas Cowboy’s Cheerleader.  This is why she auditioned to go on The Bachelor.  And things were looking really good for a while there.  I never have, and never will, watch an episode of the Bachelor so I can’t speak to how things went for Rycroft while she was there, but I know that she made it to the end and received the marriage proposal.  I also know that in the “after the final rose” special that immediately followed The Bachelor Season Finale, this past Monday, she was unceremoniously, and from what I’ve read (thanks bloggers) rather cruelly dumped.  What a bitter end to an otherwise decent run.  What to do?  What to do!?

And then it became abundantly clear!  Dancing with the Stars was just about to start and she had a background in dance!  She may not win the entire competition but at least she can make a nice showing for herself.  But, damn!  The show has already been cast.  No problem!  Tonya Harding has nothing going on and she needs to eat… A lot!  Seriously, have you sent his?

tonya-harding1

So she hired Tonya Harding who conspired to attack Nancy O’Dell and injure her knee, put her out of the competition and then Melissa can step in at the 11th hour and save the day.  A brilliant plan!

On the other hand, I suppose it’s possible that Nancy suffered her injury legitimately and Melissa was the first person they could get to take on the challenge with such short notice and she only did it because she already has some dance experience and won’t look a total fool.  I suppose it could be that.  Maybe.

Move It or Put A House Number On It!

Driving to work this morning, running late (as usual) and I get stuck behind this:  red-mustang being driven by him:  old-man.  I’m driving to work.  So I’m fairly certain it’s not Sunday, but don’t tell that to Gramps there ’cause he and the missus were our for that kinda drive.

For a moment, (I had plenty of them to choose from driving behind this guy) I imagined the day he bought this car.

He hobbles up to the vehicle on the lot, a look of loving desire in his eyes, and maybe just a hint of a tent, in his pants and reaches out his lone free, gnarled hand (the one not steadying him by holding on to the cane for dear life) to touch this thing of beauty.

A salesman walks up.  We’re not sure if the look on his face is lasciviousness savoring the moment he’s going to take the old man for 15% more than the asking price; or if it’s resentment, angry at this old coot for taking up his time when surely he’ wasn’t going to buy such a beautiful specimen of a sports car.  “She’s a beaut, isn’t she?!” the salesman says, “Would you like to take her for a test drive?”

The old man just shakes his head and smiles.  “No thanks son.  I’ve already made up my mind.  I’ve been waiting 50 years to own me a mustang, and now I can afford it.  This is the one I want, right here.  I’ll take ‘er.”

The salesman is a little surprised now but happy to oblige.  “Well yes sir, Why don’t we step inside and get the paperwork started.  While you’re doing that, I’ll take your new car and get it detailed and fill up the tank and then you’ll be on your way!”

That salesman did the little old man and me and the world a disservice because let’s face it!  If you’re too timid to even drive THE SPEED LIMIT, then you have no business driving a sports car!

Such A Twit

twitterI’ve recently fallen pray to a new addiction.  It’s called Twitter and it’s more fun than one person is entitled to have.

I “follow” 52 people, most of whom are famous celebrities.  I have 13 followers following me.  Many of whom, again, are famous celebrities.  I interact with these people every day.  I read their messages, I laugh at their jokes, I click on their links.  We have a good old time.  ‘Course none of them are talking directly to me, and with one notable exception, I’ve never received a reply to anything I’ve directed at anyone specific.  Yes, that’s right!  @therealnph (to use proper Twitter lingo) has tweeted at me… ‘Course the jury is still out on whether he’s really the real NPH, (That’s Neil Patrick Harris, for those not in the know) but I guess I can now say “I’m friends with ‘therealnph’.”

I’ve really enjoyed being on Twitter.  It’s open on my computer all the time, whether I’m at home or at work.  I’ve got two separate apps on my iPhone for accessing the Twitter platform.  I’m always on Twitter and it’s great fun.  However, I can’t help wonder what Twitter feels like to someone who is like I was most of my life; easily discouraged, insecure, feeling unloved and unwanted.

You see, being on Twitter tests my ability to handle rejection and judge my own self worth.  Having been clinically depressed most of my life, having based a lot of my self worth on whether or not other people wanted me around (or how I perceived whether they wanted me around), I could understand how someone who experiences these things would quickly be discouraged, possibly even hurt, by being a Twit.  It would be easy to develop a false sense of popularity, or cool…ness.  I don’t have five real friends so 52 twitter friends seems pretty impressive, ‘course most of them don’t know I’m following them. (Doesn’t that make me more like a Twitter stalker?) I’m just one of a legion.  And those that follow me, probably follow everyone who follows them.  Let’s see…

hal-sparks-autographHal Sparks is being followed by 656 people and  following 327 people.  I’m one of those 327.  OK.  I guess I’m special.

hayden-panettiereHayden Panettiere is being followed by 341 people and is following 81.  Not only am I one of them but she added me as someone she’s following within minutes of me adding her as someone I’d follow.  I guess that’s kinda special!

gavinnewsomNow, Gavin Newsom is being followed by 1351 people and is following 1262 people.  I’m one of those people, but that’s 93% of the people following him.  More importantly, Gavin Newsom is the Mayor of San Francisco and running for Governor of California.  I’m sure his following me is politically motivated…  More importantly, I’m certain Gavin Newsom himself rarely, if ever, sees his own Twitter timeline and the person/people really seeing my tweets are interns working on his campaign.  Me?  Not so special.

livestrong3I follow the LIVESTRONG foundation.  Livestrong has 5905 people following them and they’re following 6182 people.  This would imply that they’re following 100% of the people following them and then some.  Once again, me not special.

scharzenegger_narrowweb__300x3790Arnold Schwarzenegger is being followed by 16,760 people and is following 16,487 people.  I’m one of those people, but that’s 98% of his followers.  Among the masses, am I.  (Who let Yoda in here?)  Arnold is our current Governor so obviously his Twitter activity is politically motivated.

maria-shriverMaria Shriver (mostly just ’cause I can) is being followed by 6708 people and is following 5515.  Well, that’s only 82% and she started following me pretty much immediately too.  I guess that would be kinda special but she’s the Governor’s wife.  She has her own political function.  Again, pretty sure it’s an intern of some sort running her show.  Besides which, nothing has been posted in her name since I signed up.

barack-obama-for-presidentOh, and then, of course, there’s Barack Obama.  Followed by 298,345 people and following 287,407.  That’s 96%.  I’m one of them, added on the same day.  I’d feel special but I’ve never been more sure of anything than I am that The President of the United States is not running his own Twitter account.

I seem to have gotten a little lost in my point making.  Oh yes.

While I could be wrong and one or two of the people I listed up there might have found something interesting in the very slight bit of information they might find about me, I doubt it very much and can only assume that adding me as someone they follow was somehow a political/career move on their parts.  If what they thought of me mattered, or if I was counting on Twitter Popularity to make me feel good about myself that would probably hurt me.  If I had some real hope of becoming friends with famous people because I Tweet (and if you’re reading this, I do want to be your friend.  Let’s do lunch!), I’d certainly be setting myself up for a fall.  But I don’t expect that’s going to happen. I take Twitter for what it is and I do not expect anything more than what I’m getting.

Clinical Depression is not something that just goes away.  For me, it’s under control now.  I’ve learned a lot about myself and about life and I have, at least some, of the tools necessary to deal with it.  So while I admit that I get pangs of unwarranted negative feelings about what happens on Twitter, I am quick to remember that this is not where my value lies and not what my self worth is based on.  It’s just a fun thing to do!

Oh!  And Hal, Hayden, Mayor Newsom, LIVESTRONG dudes, Governor Schwarzenegger, Maria or President Obama (or any of your Interns), if you’re reading this, thanks for following me on Twitter and for stopping by my blog!  You’re my favorite Comedian, Actress, Mayor, Charitable Organization, Governor, State First Lady, or President (or any of their Interns) reading this at this moment!

What Have You Done Today to Make You Feel Proud?

This song came up on my iPhone Genius Play-list today.  It is appropriately used as the theme song for The Biggest Loser.  It was also used at the tail end of the very first, and very last episodes of the US version of Queer As Folk. Also very fitting by my estimation.  I find it tremendously inspirational!

Proud, by Heather Small

I look into the window of my mind
Reflections of the fears I know I’ve left behind
I step out of the ordinary
I can feel my soul ascending
I’m on my way
Can’t stop me now
And you can do the same

What have you done today to make you feel proud?
It’s never too late to try
What have you done today to make you feel proud?
You could be so many people
If you make that break for freedom
What have you done today to make you feel proud?

Still so many answers I don’t know
I Realise that to question is how we grow
So I step out of the ordinary
I can feel my soul ascending
I am on my way
Can’t stop me now
And you can do the same

What have you done today to make you feel proud?
It’s never too late to try
What have you done today to make you feel proud?
You could be so many people
If you make that break for freedom
What have you done today to make you feel proud?

Yeah, We need a change
Yeah, Do it today
Yeah, I can feel my spirit rising
Change, yeah
We need a change, yeah
So do it today, yeah
‘Cause I can see a clear horizon

What have you done today to make you feel proud?
So what have you done today to make you feel proud?
‘Cause you could be so many people
If you make that break for freedom
So what have you done today to make you feel proud?
What have you done today to make you feel proud?
What have you done today
What have you done today
What have you done today to make you feel proud?
You could be so many people?
Just make that break for freedom
So what have you done today to make you feel proud?

Lunch Chat Highlights

Unsvelt Girl who Runs and I went to lunch today at the local burger joint.  This is entertaining in itself as UGwR recently decided to become a vegan/vegetarian.  She said she read something that made her never want to eat an animal product again.  I told her she could feel free never to share it with me.  I like my animal products just fine, thank you,  and I don’t need unpleasant imagery while I’m eating just about every meal I ever eat!

We talked about the Grammy’s.  I know.  I’m three days behind the rest of the world.  I don’t care.  I hate commercials and this is how I watch TV.

Jennifer Hudson

APTOPIX Grammy Awards ShowWhat was she thinking with this dress?  It looks like she’s got a dinner napkin stapled to the front of her.  I mean, really!  If it had been tailored in some way, maybe.  If it had more of a shape to it and somehow wrapped around her waste, it might have worked.  But it didn’t!  It’s squared off at the bottom.  Maybe my mind filled in the blanks but I could swear I saw the glint of light reflecting off of metal like I could see the safety pins that could have been used to attach the dinner napkin to the dress.

Here’s what I think happened.  Ms. Hudson and her management team, including her stylist, went for a nosh before the show.  As so frequently happens to women with largeish sweater puppets, she dropped something on her chest and stained her beautiful designer dress.

“Oh my God!  What am I gonna do?” she asked in a panic.

“Don’t worry, hun,” says her stylist, “we can deal with this!”  And with that he whipped out his trusty murse (Man Purse), pulled a stapler and can of hairspray out, grabbed an unused linen napkin from the next table over and went to town.  A little hair spray to give the top some shape and staples to hold it in place and she was good to go.

Unsvelt Girl who Runs said there was another person with a similar look.  I don’t remember it.  She says it was the same color as the rest of the dress, so maybe it worked.

On the other hand Jennifer Hudson looked fantastic while performing You Pulled Me Through and she almost brought me to tears (thank God for my frozen heart) as she struggled to get through this emotional song.  It was obvious she must’ve been thinking of her mother who was recently murdered and her eyes were glistening with tears by the end of the song.  It was a truly touching moment and I really felt for her.

Coldplay

chris_martin61“That guy is a freak!”  said Unsvelt Girl, speaking of Chris Martin.  “What was with those clothes they were wearing!?”

“They were ugly, that’s for sure!  Did you see them apologize to Paul McCartney for stealing the ‘Sargent Pepper’s’ look?”  I don’t think she understood that reference.  “And his pants were too short, but that’s a style.”

“Oh good!  Then I don’t have to buy new pants for my son,” she said.

“Um, yeah.  Your son is 13 years old and not a rock star.  You have to buy him new pants.”

“Damn!”

I think Coldplay faked their entire performance of Viva La Vida.  First of all, there were four musicians on stage, including Chris Martin.  Chris Martin wasn’t playing any instruments, one of the guys was playing only a guitar, one was playing a guitar and a keyboard and the fourth guy was playing kettle drums and a bell.  We apparently weren’t supposed to notice the plethora of stringed instruments, not of the guitar variety that are part of that song, but weren’t represented by instruments on the stage.  I could accept that some of it was coming form the keyboard that was being played, but then the guy walked away from the keyboards and the strings were still playing.

Toward the end of the song there’s some humming, or ooo-ing, or whatever-ing.  On the stage the four boys joined around one microphone to sing them.  Chris Martin had his hand mic by his side and was late getting to the other boys but the sound was full.  It was also full when he turned away before they were finished.  And finally when he said, “Thank you” at the end of the song, he wasn’t at the microphone and hadn’t picked his hand mic back up.  Where did the sound come from?

Late last year, Coldplay performed this song on Saturday Night Live.  I don’t remember whether there were other musicians on the stage then, but what I do remember is that Chris Martin acted in very much the same way, including ending the song on his knees and lying back on the floor.  “I guess they don’t think out side of the box much,” said Unsvelt Girl who Runs.

mia-grammyM.I.A.

O.M.G.

‘Nuff said.

Actually, I just read that she start feeling contractions just as the show started.  I’m not a fan of rap, and didn’t think much of that performance (The Rap Pack) but that girl was shakin’ her groove thang, (Yes, I am very white) and this revelation makes that movement that much more incredible!

And speaking of rap stars…

American Boy

Iamerican-boy happen to like this song.  It’s a catchy tune.  I’ve got it on my iPhone.  I’ve got it… ON MY iPHONE!

“Oh my gosh!” I whispered conspiratorially, crouching low to the table.  “I totally didn’t realize Estelle is black.”

“Really!” Unsvelt Girl said sarcastically as she picked up her iPhone and pulled up the song to show me the album cover… Same one I’ve got on my iPhone.  “Really!  You didn’t realize she was black?”

“I guess I never paid that much attention to the album cover.”

kanye-estelle1It’s a fun song and I enjoy the version with Kanye West, but boy does that man need to cut his hair and HOT DAMN!, how did I not make note of this dress last night?  She looks like a cone coffee filter.  And she was sitting down at the beginning of that performance.  How is this possible?  I feel sorry for whoever had the misfortune of sitting next to her

“I had to turn on the captioning while they were doing this song.  There’s a line in the song that I just haven’t been able to figure out,” I told Unsvelt Girl.

“Really?  What is it?”

“I have tried and tried to figure out what that line is and the only thing I’ve been able to come up with is, ‘I’d really like to cook naked with you.  Will you be my American Boy?’.  But that doesn’t make any sense.  Well, maybe it does.  Hmm…  ‘I’d really like to cook naked with you.’  Could be fun I guess.

“Every time the song comes on I listen real close to try and figure it out. I’m like, ‘She’s not saying “cook naked” is she?  She wouldn’t be saying “cook naked” right?  I mean what kinda sense does that make?’

“Anyway, the line is ‘Come pick it’… Wait.  That doesn’t make much sense either.  Well, that’s what the person typing the captioning heard anyway!”

(A quick Google search has revealed that the line is actually “come kick it”, which, all things considered, makes far more sense.)

The King of Wishful Thinking

go-west“You know,” I told her, “it’s really funny the things we think we hear in songs sometimes.  Back in 1990 there was a song by an obscure group called ‘Go West’.  They had one popular song called The King of Wishful Thinking.”

“Never heard of it,” she was quick to reply.  (Turned out she had.)

“Well the song says, ‘I’ll get over you, I know I will.  I’ll pretend my ships not sinking…’  But Green M&M told me that for the longest time when this song was out she heard the line differently.  She said she couldn’t believe it could be what she heard when they’d play it on the radio but she just couldn’t figure out what else the lyrics could be.

“Green M&M said she thought the lyrics were ‘I’ll get over you, I know I will.  I’ll pretend my shit’s not stinking…”