You think your life is fucked up? Try living a piece of mine.


Happy Birthday, L!
You didn't think I would forget about you, did you? I hope your day is as wonderful as you are.


Reach out and touch someone--with a garrote!


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OMG, for the past couple of days, This Man and L have really been at each other's throats!

It seems that every time I've called her, we've ended up arguing like an old married couple (I'm going to leave that one alone). But what I don't understand is why she's so damned defensive to everything that I say to her. Not only that, in addition to having her guard up, she's also super-sensitive. This Man can't win. Either she's upset at something I've said or she's attacking me. And God forbid if I should say something about R, she totally flips.
And frankly, This Man is over it!
So L, here's what I have to say about you, R and where it concerns me.
I'm never going to like R. Period.
There's nothing that you or anyone can do to change that. It urks me that whenever he's in my domain--and you know it. And, as I've explained before, it's beyond that Alpha-dog theory. It angers me when you get the balls to attack me when I voice my opinion of him--and usually it's you who asks for it.
Also, in cast you have forgotten, I've been nothing but cordial to R. Not because I like him, but because you love him and you're my best friend.
So please stop calling me ridiculous, immature and all of those other names because I don't welcome him or go out of my way for him. I don't have to nor am I ever going to.
It's that simple.


Dirty 30!


Suprisingly, I didn't wake up crying this morning! That's right, it's that time again and This Man finds himself another year older.
Today I spoke with L and she asked if I felt 30. The truth is, I don't feel my age but I can tell that I've gotten older just by the way that I think and interact with those around me. And perhaps, given that the majority of people that I come in contact with are in their 20s, maybe that has something to do with it.
So today, rather than spend the day bawling because it rained or because I missed the bus and would be late for work (that happened once), I'm crouched here in front of my bunk, on our fine warship, watching a movie.
Happy Birthday

Humanitarian Relief or...Football?


I can't believe the Navy practically gave us a day off to watch football! That's pretty much what's happened out here today with This Man and the crew of our fine warship. We're still in the vicinity of Indonesia, but the workload is starting to lessen and what's more important, football or humanitarian relief? Exactly!
So to occupy my time, I've been doing a little online shopping, sending instant messages to my friend, S (even though she's only 1 deck above and a few feet away) and getting caught up on my email. Sadly, there's nothing of interest worth mentioning.
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We received snail mail this afternoon. I got a Christmas card from my grandmother. I know what you're thinking and I was a bit surprised too that she even bothered to send a card to me in response to the one that I sent to her--a month ago (did someone say snail mail). But I should be thankful because she didn't have to send it all, but now that I mention it, she didn't have to be so formal either (she addressed the card to Mr., I mean, what's up with that?). Nonetheless, I still have it in my pocket and for a brief moment, it kind of made me feel bad for not staying in touch with her much better than I do.
I also received a package from L and let me tell you that it's amazing how something so simple as a package of jacks can liven up and otherwise dull Monday afternoon. She sent me two packs of jacks ( I gave S a pack and kept some to myself) and it wasn't long before we were out in the passageway playing jacks like two kids on a Saturday afternoon. Nevermind that This Man couldn't get past onesies, the moment was grand.


Destination ----> San Diego, CA


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I was up so late last night, talking on the phone with L that it should've been no suprise that This Man overslept this morning. Thankfully, no one really noticed and I sure as hell wasn't going to say anything.
But it was great talking to her. I think it had been a couple of days since I'd spoken to her last so we had a lot of catching up to do. Mainly we were just reiterating what wasn't expressed in our emails, but it was great hearing her voice. She's finally back on stable terms with her guy, R and I guess I should be happy about that. I mean, she's truly in love with the guy. I, personally see him as an emotional wreck (I can only await the response that she's going to leave for me), but I figure after the roller coaster of a relationship that we went through, if there's any type of guy that she's equipped to handle it's one who's an emotional wreck.
She mentioned that she really wanted me to try and make something happen with J. This after, I told her that he and I had starting making plans to take a road trip once I got back to San Diego. All in all, I think she and I just want to see the other one happy.
So on to today. Been a slow day and it's still hot and humid--as I've come to only expect from the Indonesian region of the world. Nothing else of real interest is going on. My good friend onboard just invited me to take a trip to Virginia with her to meet her sister but I'm really not sure how I would be able to make that happen. And I just received an email from a guy in Italy,
who'd checked out one of my many online profiles. I have no idea what I'll do about that one.
And that's it. We're starting to receive word on when we'll be heading back towards San Diego. Of course, scuttlebutt (nee, word of mouth) put the date almost right on the mark so it was no suprise when the official word came out. Having said all of that, This Man will probably spend this afternoon taking some more pictures and just laying low, flirting with a couple of guys and staying cool.


The Damned Survey.


Don't you get tired of getting those damned surveys that your friends email you? The ones where you're supposed to cut & paste, respond and send it on to your friends. Well, This Man received another one of those today and instead of responding and sending it on in the hopes that my friends will send it back, saying that they know a little more about me than they already did, I've decided that I'm going to paste it here and just send them a link to my blog. So this way, they can come and check out my site and read all of the other postings as well. Image hosted by
So here it goes...
1. First Name: Byron
2. Were you named after anyone? NO
3. Do you wish on stars? Yes, whenever I see a falling star especially.
4. When did you last cry? January 1,2005 (read the post--it explains it there)
5. Do you like your handwriting? Yes. Even though everyone says I write like a girl.
6. What is your favorite lunch meat? Turkey
7. What is your birth date? Jan 28th 1975
8. What is your most embarrassing CD? Madonna's Bedtime Stories (Hey! it was a good one)
9. If you were another person, would YOU be friends with you? Of course! If only just to try and sleep with myself and borrow my clothes and shoes.
10. Are you a daredevil? Hmmm, no.
11. Have you ever told a secret you swore not to tell? As soon as I hang up the phone. Like the time when L thought...
12. Do looks matter? Sometimes
13. How do you release anger? It used to be I'd smoke, but lately I just take deep breaths.
14. Where is your second home? Fort Worth, TX.
15. Do you trust others easily? No.
16. What was your favorite toy as a child? My Big Wheel.
17. What class in high school do you think was totally useless? Chemistry. OMG, that class is only useful if you plan on running a meth lab--ugh!
18. Do you have a journal? Yes
19. Do you use sarcasm a lot?'s part of my charm!
20. Your nicknames? None that I know of.
21. Would you bungee jump? Sure--why not?
22. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? If I remember to.
23. Do you think that you are strong? Yeah, I can hold my own.
24. What's your favorite ice cream flavor? Peanut Butter cup.
25. Shoe Size? 10 1/2
26. Red/pink? Lately, it's been pink.
27. What is your least favorite thing about yourself? My nose.
28. Who do you miss most? Lucy, Donovan, Rose, Javier, Jose M., Adrian, Jose P. & Pete.
29. Do you want everyone you send this to send it back? Nah, just read it here and leave a comment.
30. What color pants and shoes are you wearing? I'm wearing my blue, Navy issued coveralls and my black steel-toed boots.
31. What are you listening to right now? U2-Zoo Station.
32. Last thing you ate? A PowerBar Strawberry Harvest grain bar.
33. What is the weather like right now? Sunny & really humid. That's Indonesia for ya!
34. Last person you talked to on the phone? L
35. What is the first thing you notice about the opposite sex? Breasts (hey, I'm still a man by nature).
36. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Of course! My friend, Mario is great!
37. Favorite Sport? Baseball & Tennis
38. What is your favorite drink? Absolut & Cranberry juice.
39. Favorite TV Show? Law & Order
40. Hair Color? Black
41. Eye Color? Brown
42. Do you wear contacts? No
43. Name of Pet? Martin, the fish
44. Name of Favorite Childhood Pet? Starr & Thumper--my cocker spaniels
45. Favorite Food? Seafood, Barbecue ribs or Chipotle on the weekends.
46. Last Movie You Watched? Walking Tall w/The Rock
47. Scary Movies or Happy Endings? Either or.
48. Summer or winter? Definitely Summer. Come on, I live in San Diego!
49. Hugs or Kisses? Both.
50. What Is Your Favorite Dessert? cheesecake
51. Who Is Most Likely To Respond? Without a doubt, L.
52. Who Is Least Likely To Respond? Probably Jose
53. Living Arrangements? Live with my son, D and L--the best roomies ever!
54. What Books Are You Reading? Just finished reading The Kite Runner by Khaled Hossemini It was fantastic!
55. What's On Your Mouse Pad? A guy about to launch a Navy figher jet--more Navy propaganda.
56. What Did You Watch Last night on TV? Skipped it and just watched a porno on my portable DVD player.
57. Favorite Smells? clean laundry, a well-groomed man, calla lillies.
58. Rolling Stones or Beatles? Rolling Stones
59. Do you believe in Evolution or Creation? Creation
60. What's the furthest you've been from home? The Persian Gulf
61. What's your biggest indulgence? Shoes or jeans.


Paxil, some cigarettes and a surfboard to ride the wave.


This evening turned out to be one of those evenings where This Man wishes he could've taken a Paxil, smoked a few cigarettes and rode out the wave of depression.

But as it turned out, that was not to be and I would, in fact find myself slowly getting on my own nerves with the unnecessary bitching and complaining (don't you hate that). Then, to make matters worse, when I was chatting with a good friend, S, she said something that made me feel even worse than I was initially.
The conversation went something like this.

TM: "...and I've decided that when we get back to San Diego, I'm going to actually go to the parties that I get invited to. And I'm going to meet some new people and make some new friends!"
S: "Yeah, so this way you can let people know that you are alive and living. And you won't feel like such a nobody."

I laughed at her remark but at the same time, I wanted to wail because she was telling the truth. She later explained that she was referring to herself and not me but I could feel free to take that remark and do with it as I pleased.
It did get me thinking though. Every couple of months or so, This Man reexamines his life and then do a little personal housekeeping. I always end up listing all of the bad things about myself or the small things that could use some changing and then try and take steps to change. For the longest time, I would always point out that I needed to quit smoking. So now that I've done that, I'm no more closer to my own personal happiness than I am after I've convinced myself that a new pair of 7 jeans will lift my spirits (the only person in that situation who's spirits gets lifted is the salesguy working on comission at Nordstrom).
Needless to say, I've been walking around looking sullen and long-faced (which is not attractive, at all) for no real reason. I'm ready to get back to San Diego. I'm tired of these same people and I'm just all around frustrated and upset today.
And there's always tomorrow.


(FYI, This Man stopped taking Paxil almost 4 years ago. TG_H)

Do you see what Farsi?


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I saw this story on Yahoo today and have been having a good time laughing about it every since.

SAN FRANCISCO - The number of Arabic linguists discharged from the military for violating its "don't ask, don't tell" policy is higher than previously reported, according to records obtained by a research group.
The group contends the records show that the military — at a time when it and U.S. intelligence agencies don't have enough Arabic speakers — is putting its anti-gay stance ahead of national security.
Between 1998 and 2004, the military discharged 20 Arabic and six Farsi speakers, according to Department of Defense (
news - le="color:#ff0000;">web sites) data obtained by the Center for the Study of Sexual Minorities in the Military under a Freedom of Information Act request.
The military previously confirmed that seven translators who specialized in Arabic had been discharged between 1998 and 2003 because they were gay. The military did not break down the discharges by year, but said some, but not all, of the additional 13 discharges of Arabic speakers occurred in 2004.
Aaron Belkin, the center's director, said he wants the public to see the real costs of "don't ask, don't tell."
"We had a language problem after 9/11 and we still have a language problem," Belkin said Wednesday.
The military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy allows gays and lesbians to serve in the military as long as they keep their sexual orientation private and do not engage in homosexual acts.
"The military is placing homophobia well ahead of national security," said Steve Ralls, spokesman for the Servicemembers Legal Defense Network, a nonprofit group that advocates for the rights of gay military members. "It's rather appalling that in the weeks leading up to 9/11 messages were coming in, waiting to be translated ... and at the same time they were firing people who could've done that job."
But others, like Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness, a conservative advocacy group that opposes gays serving in the military, said the discharged linguists never should have been accepted at the elite Defense Language Institute in Monterey in the first place.
"Resources unfortunately were used to train young people who were not eligible to be in the military," she said.
In the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 543 Arabic linguists and 166 Farsi linguists graduated from their 63-week courses, according to a DLI spokesman. That was up from 377 and 139, respectively, in the previous year.
Experts have identified the shortage of Arabic linguists as contributing to the government's failure to thwart the Sept. 11 attacks. The independent Sept. 11 commission made similar conclusions.
Ian Finkenbinder, an Army Arabic linguist who graduated from the Defense Language Institute in 2002, was discharged from the military last month after announcing to his superiors that he's gay. Finkenbinder, who said his close friends in the Army already knew he was gay, served eight months in Iraq (
news - web sites) and was about to return for a second tour when he made the revelation official.
"I looked at myself and said, `Are you willing to go to war with an institution that won't recognize that you have the right to live as you want to,'" said Finkenbinder, 22, who now lives in Baltimore. "It just got to be tiresome to deal with that — to constantly have such a significant part of your life under scrutiny."
The Servicemembers Legal Defense Network last month sued the government on behalf of 12 other gay former military members seeking reinstatement. They argue that "don't ask, don't tell" violates their constitutional rights.

There are so many sides to this small story, but leave to This Man to tackle all sides. I'm sure I'm going to offend someone, either those in the military or those that are gay and in the military. But it's just that after reading this and coming up with as many jokes as I could (and believe me, some of them bordered on just plain awful), I did go back and take note of the content and after the tenth time, I still couldn't get past the fact that in 2005, the military still refuses to accept the fact that some of it's men and women march to a different drum (and if anyone suddenly had the urge to say, "what if it's a Cher remix, I swear I would loose it).
Let's go back to when This Sailor came into the military (we'll get to closets later, just bear with me). It was in 1994 back when recruiters could and would ask you if you'd ever engaged in any sexual activity with a person of the same sex. And you were expected to answer. Sure that question is a bit disturbing--especially when you're a 19 year old male, who'd only had sex with one other person. So nervously I did. Fortunately at the time, it was with a young lady.
Moving onward.
It wasn't until a couple of years later when Bill Clinton was in office that gays in the military was outed and brought into the spotlight. And even then, none of my friends or myself could really figure out what the big deal was. Let's face it, when in the face of danger or even in the normal routine of military life, is it really important who the man or woman next to you is sleeping with? As I've progressed in my thinking and beliefs as well as moved up and around in this military institution, the conversation of gays in the military has come up many times. I've heard some complain that they would feel uncomfortable if they knew that one of their co-workers were gay and some really didn't care. Then of course there were those who felt it necessary to point out that they just couldn't fathom the thought of another man checking them out while in close confined spaces. To which I would assure them that they had absolutely nothing to worry about. I mean, if the straight women would have nothing to do with them, what makes them wonder if a gay man would? Ugh!
Okay, I've wondered way off the subject.
What was it?
Right, Farsi and homos (for an instant, I wanted to say Farsi and Faggots, but I could hear the Offensive siren so I had to pass on that one). But now let's talk about Don't Ask Don't Tell and where This Man stands on that issue. I'll regale you, dear readers, with a nice example with a moral at the end. And, I'll do it in less than 6 sentences (place your bets). In 1997, a friend of mine, whom I was stationed with in Washington, wanted to get out of the Navy and go back to the fast life of prostitution in Baltimore. He and I argued about this on many occasions and even his mother got involed, begging me to convince him that he was about to make a bad decision. So we continued to argue back and forth and on and on, but ultimately here's what he did.
He went to our Master-At-Arms (police, for you civilians) and told them that he was gay and that he was a prostitute. He was discharged immediately.
Don't Ask; Don't Tell.
The Navy didn't ask him, he told them.
Another story. In the three duty stations where This Man has served, I know there have been on occasion many speculation about my sexuality (to tell the truth, I kinda like that). "Is he gay? He doesn't seem straight. He has a son. He was married, I thought." And on and on they go. I hear the talk and I've even had some bold friends come up to me and politely tell me that there was talk going around about me. I mean, even I was intrigued! Hell, I wanted to know if That Man was a homo! Now here's the catch, in the middle of all of that talk and speculation, none of my friends or co-workers ever asked me if the rumors were true.
They didn't ask and I sure as hell, didn't tell.
So my point on top of this whole story is this. I'm jealous! There's a whole world of men that I could've been friends with and learned a new language at the same time. Is there no love in the gay community? No, This Man holds the "Don't Ask; Don't Tell" policy to the letter. In other words, keep your mouth closed. There are some things that we should take to the grave and then there are some things that just really aren't anyone's business and that includes who I or you are sleeping with. I like to keep things professional in my workplace. I don't blab about how my weekends were, the latest man that I've met or am dating or any of that nonsense. Because just as I don't want to hear about Joe Hetero's latest conquests, I sure as hell don't bring up my own.
So after reading that article one last time, I still hold true to what I'm about to say and it may sound a bit insensitive. The queens who were discharged from the military were let go because they felt the need to disclose their personal situation. And just like one of their good friends would have told them over cocktails, This Man says, "Had you only kept your mouth closed, then you wouldn't have found yourself in that situation. Next time just shut the fuck up."


I've convinced myself that the next 4 years will not be a repeat of the previous 4. Just as I settled on the fact that this country didn't have a President (atleast in my head, we didn't), the first thing I saw on Yahoo( today was that designers Badgley Mischka would be designing the gowns for the Bush twins (who I'm convinced are really drag queens--I mean, look at them). Granted that's hardly important news to this man--I much prefer to follows the trials and tribulations of Paris Hilton, it was enough of a reminder to the fact that after being tea-bagged by Dubya Bush for the past four years, we the people have opted to allow ourselves another shot at swabbing the sack that belongs to our dear President. Yeah, that was pretty harsh, but you have to admit, it was funny.
I'm sure everyone's probably wondering why I still haven't accepted the fact that he won the election. The truth is, I really don't know. I just feel like at any moment now, someone's going to scream out, "GOTCHA!" and I'm going to see that he will not be residing in the White House once again and that the U-Haul that I'd pictured to be pulling up to the service entrance would indeed be there to pack up their things.
Now here's the crazy part, this man didn't want John Kerry to win either.


A Father's Figure?


Only a handful of things can bring tears to this man's eyes such as: the night I put a big dent in my Jeep (it was 2 a.m. and I was out of cigarettes), whenever the half-yearly sale @ Nordstrom comes around and I miss it because I'm out to sea, the night Donovan's entered this world (I fainted and then I cried--I suppose, you had to have been there) and whenever I think about how much I miss my mother. I could go on, but at the risk of suddenly bursting into tears as I type this, I'll proceed to my point.
Last night before bed, I was reading the February 2005 issue of Men's Health
and in there, there's an interview that Mike Zimmerman does with county superstar Tim McGraw and in the interview, McGraw is discussing, not his successful career or his marriage to the beautiful Faith Hill, but he's talking about fatherhood, what a good father is made of, and how one becomes a good father. And just as I was about to pass this story over, I turned off my music (Destiny's Child's Destiny Fulfilled) and tuned in to what he had to say. After the second paragraph, I felt that this man and I had a couple of things in common. McGraw, like myself, was raised solely by his mother due to the fact that his father did not acknowledge that he was in fact his son. While I know who my father is, I can safely say that I know very little about the man and it's been almost 20 years since I've seen him. While eventually, Tim and his father did make amends and go on to somewhat build a father-son relationship, he says it was, "...more like uncle-nephew." I've pretty much given up the notion of even meeting my father. But I can agree with the singer that you do have to get over the hard feelings towards your dad. For me, that was one of the easiest things I've ever allowed myself to do with no regrets. However, as I've gotten older, I've found myself wondering was that the best thing to do and by making such a crucial decision (for the record, that decision was not made out of hatred), have I taken that piece of myself and kept it from my own son?
But when Mr. McGraw pointed out that the biggest mistake a father can make is not being there. I was floored! More like, I was literally reduced to tears. There, dear readers was the honest truth. The gospel in black and white. I could feel the tears sliding down my face. What you have to picture at that precise moment is my location. Bear in mind that I'm still onboard my naval warship and we're still in route to provide some assistance and relief to the tsunami vicims. I'm lying in my "coffin" rack with the light on, curtains pulled back so anyone of my other berthing compradres could walk by and see this man crying, while reading a men's magazine. But I didn't care.
You see earlier that day, I'd spoken with my son and we just exchanged dialog about absolutely nothing. He'd mentioned that my barber had asked about me. He told me that my car was still safe, and the home being built in my neighborhood were coming along as planned. We also talked about some other things, like him starting a new third grade class, he'd finally gotten his glasses repaired an his grandmother was heading back to Texas the following day. Small talk.
What's remarkable about it all is that whenever I hang up the phone with my son, there's never any doubt in my or his mind that I miss him or that he misses me. I can tell in his emails that he doesn't forget the rituals that he and I share. I know without a doubt that my son loves me and I know that he knows that I love him and that there's no place that I would rather be than with him. In the 8 years that we've been in each other's life, that's one thing that we've always managed to maintain.
The knowledge that no matter what happens or where we are, we're always together.
This whole discussion brings to mind a conversation that I'd had with my therapist 2 years back. I told her that when it's all said and done and I'm no longer around, I want there to be no second guessing that I loved my son and was willing to do anything for him.


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