Sunday, July 20, 2008


So I just got back from a nice weekend at the family beach house. I've always been a beach bum and I'm always a happier and more relaxed person when I'm there. An added bonus of course, is that there tend to be plenty of hot guys with an excuse to walk around with no shirt (as well as a few who should never be excused from wearing a shirt, but hey, can't win 'em all). It was a really nice weekend spent with various immediate and extended family members and on a beach that was 10-20 degrees cooler than my home just an hour and a half away.

Work continues to go pretty well. I had a decently successful week this past week and hope it continues this coming week. Grad school is just about 5-6 weeks away, which is going to creep up really quickly.

It feels like the one part of my life that just won't get it's act together like the rest...the love life. Unfortunately, I'm not seeing that turning around anytime soon, but hey, I can hope right?

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Things I'm in Love with this Week

So my two obsessions this week, Viva La Vida and Men's Diving.

I've always been an on and off Coldplay fan but I love their new song, Viva La Vida. I've listened to parts of the rest of the new album and it just hasn't (at least not yet) clicked with me. That one song however, I've been listening to non-stop.

As for Men's Diving, what's not to love. I've always been a swimmer, so I will enjoy being able to see that on TV this summer. I've always loved watching diving though. Today's trials did not disappoint. My favorite at the moment happens to be Chris Colwill. Aside from looking pretty damn good in a speedo, he did a dive with a 3.9 difficulty rating today, making him only the second American to do that in international competition. He also openly discusses the fact that he has a disability (he's deaf and has 60% hearing loss). I think we'll be seeing more great stuff from him in the next few months.

Monday, June 2, 2008

I Got In!!

So it's official, I'm going to grad school. I found out over the weekend that I was accepted to the Masters program I applied to. I start in September. It's going to be a few years of hell since I will still be working and doing everything else I do, but it will be worth it.

In other news, in case anyone hasn't seen, Australian diver Matthew Mitcham, who will be in the upcoming summer Olympics has just recently come out. The great part, is that he looks like this...

The even better part is that we'll be seeing a lot of him wearing only that...

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Memorial Day

It's hard to believe it's Memorial Day yet again. And yet again, I am struck by how Memorial Day falls at such a hopeful time of year. The weather is getting warmer and we're seeing more of the sun. Things are starting to turn green again. There is a sort of hopeful and joyous feel to the season. I think this is really what Memorial Day should be about. We remember those who have died during or after serving this nation and others. Despite a falling housing market and rising food and gas prices, we still live in one of the greatest nations on this planet. We ought to remember those who have sacrificed for us and be hopeful for the future they have fought for.

As an EMS officer on a fire department, I also ask that in addition to the brave men and women we honor who wore military uniforms, that we remember those who serve in fire and EMS departments and who have given their lives for others. So far this year, there have been five line of duty EMS deaths as well as forty-eight firefighter line of duty deaths including that of Raymond Barrett Sr. here in my own state of NJ.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sometimes people suck, but a lot of the time they don't

So in the past week, I have had to deal with an unusual number of people that suck. There was the person that did something terrible to one of my clients. There was the person who sent me a nasty email for doing my job. There was the person who sent a friend a nasty email for something completely petty while they were dealing with the loss of a family member (and yes, I let the nasty email sender on that one have it good).

But, I am reminded as I type this, that it is the people who do lousy things that we preoccupy ourselves with, but for each of those people, there was at least one who did something, perhaps unexpected, that was done solely to make things better for someone else. There was the co-worker who surprised me with a completely silly little gift on Friday. There was the group that went to the wake for my above friend's family member, even though none of us knew the person who had passed nor any of the friend's other family members. There were the folks who offered encouragement as I went to interview for grad school this past week (oh yeah, that happened too). There was the co-worker who really stuck his neck out to help one of my clients and my boss who backed him up when he needed it. So as I type this, I am doing my best to push out of mind those people who failed to show respect and decency in favor of recognizing those who did the little things that made my week just a little bit better.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


So what do folks think? Is it sketchy to make introductions to someone you've never met via social networking sites, particularly those that cater to those looking to find significant others, hookups, etc.? I have communicated with a few of my readers here via AIM. For some reason, I don't find that odd. They have read all about my life, and contacting me on AIM seems a perfectly logical connection. I'm not sure why that seems so perfectly normal to me. What I'm wondering about are sites like MySpace,, etc. If you see a guy on a site like that and you think they'd be interesting based on their profile, is it OK to contact them? I think even more than that, would you consider it a "normal" thing to do? Would it be sketchy? I suppose that if they have put this information on the site and indicate that they are looking for something in particular, ie. relationship, hookup, friends, etc. that they must be ok with hearing from people? For some reason, I've never found it something I'm terribly comfortable with. I just feel like there's such room for misrepresentation. Perhaps, for better or worse, I just don't trust people, especially folks I have not met through someone I know or that I have never met personally. For those of you now wondering, no need to go back to former posts. My AIM screen name is traumajunkie1046.

In other news, life is so busy at work and I have so much going on with my clients, that my boss has basically given me access to two of my co-workers since I haven't quite mastered being in three or four places at once. It's mostly good stuff, but man, I never pictured being this busy.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

And the App is Done!

As of today, all of the required materials have been submitted to the grad school I'm applying to. Both of the folks I asked for letters of recommendation have mailed in the letters. That leaves only an interview to schedule. It's seems weird that I'm actually applying for grad school. It wasn't very long ago that grad school seemed like a far off goal. If I don't get in, it of course could remain a far off goal, but hopefully that won't be the case.

Work continues to be busier than I ever could have imagined. But, I'd rather be busy than sitting around wondering what I should do next. And given the current economy, I'll consider myself damn lucky to be working somewhere that's busy.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Calculating Risk...

But first a little history...
A little over two years ago I came out to my immediate (and some extended) family as well as all of my good friends. Over a period of months, I gradually came out on my campus. Overall, with very rare exception, I found folks to be extremely accepting and to be happy for me. I found a boyfriend and was in many ways living the life I had long thought was impossible.

After graduation last year, I moved back to the town I grew up in. I currently have my own apartment in that town. The big problem? I'm not out to anyone here except my family. One of the reasons for this is my volunteer work as an EMT. The police/fire/EMS community is like a frat or a football team in many ways. And to be honest, neither frats nor football teams are groups high on my list of those I'd like to have to come out to. Homophobic language is something I face on a daily basis. The word "gay" is the most frequent "insult" used by these groups.

So on to calculating risk...
One of my interests aside from actual emergency response as an EMT is emergency management and planning. I've been finding myself, for better or worse, applying principles from this field to the significantly more personal matter of coming out. One of the interesting topics in planning for disasters is that of probabilistic versus possibilistic planning. Probabilistic planning is planning for those things most statistically likely to occur. Given where I live in the northeast, preparing for thunderstorms, snow events, and hurricanes off the coast makes good sense statistically. Preparing for tornadoes and earthquakes would not. Possibilistic planning involves, to the extent that one is able, preparing in such a way that you can respond to any kind of event and realizing that relying on a handful of specific scenarios is not the safest bet. I personally advocate for using both. It makes good sense to prepare for the events most likely to occur but to have a plan that can be adapted for the things you never could have thought of or wouldn't expect.

So that's enough of that. Applying that to my current situation. I have, and continue to, toy with the idea of coming out here. The probabilistic part of my brain tells me that this will likely be OK. It went well for me at school. Most people I know will react well. The probability is that I will survive and will likely be better off for it in the future. Then the possibilistic part of my brain jumps in and starts coming up with horrible potentialities. My life could become hell as an EMT. People might stop respecting me as a lieutenant. People might verbally harass me. People could physically harass me. I might suddenly stop getting promotions or not be recommended for renewal of my current officer position. All of these things are possibilities.

So I don't know what the answer is. I do have a question for both both my gay and straight readers. Part of what scares me is that a lot of the people I associate with on a regular basis make frequent comments in which they call others gay, or fags, and any other number of things that aren't particularly pleasant for me to listen to. Do people do this out of ignorance or because they actually intend it to be mean to a certain population? I've always hated phrases like, "That's so gay" or "That's retarded." I have a hunch that these things aren't necessarily intended by most folks who use them to be anything more than expressions they've adopted. But still, I'm never quite sure. What do you folks think? If you're someone who has come out, did you have folks around you who would (or continue) to say things like that? What has your experience been?
If you're a straight individual, do you use phrases like that? What do you actually mean by them?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Hello Again

So an interesting thing has happened. In the last few weeks, the number of folks visiting this blog has skyrocketed, as has the number of comments received. I have absolutely no good explanation for it, but it has motivated me to post here for the first time in awhile. I kind of let the blog go as I sort of felt like I had said much of what I needed to and as I became increasingly busy with work and EMTing.

But due to popular demand, here I am.

So, some updates on life.

The job is going very well. It's very crazy and busy, but I like what I'm doing. While I'm always tired at the end of the day, it's usually a rewarding tired.

I'm still single and still in the closet to most folks here. I miss being out the way I was at college, though I haven't quite decided how or if to come out here.

I'm applying to graduate school in the field that I'm currently working in. I have several friends graduating college this year who are panicking about what they're going to do. I've been trying to tell them that if you know exactly what you want to do when you're in high school or even college, you might be selling yourself short. You haven't had real time to explore. I didn't discover the field I'm in currently until after I graduated and started working and now I'm in the middle of applying to graduate school in the field. I feel very very fortunate that things have worked out the way they have.

I'm still renting my own apartment. It's so nice to go home to your own place at the end of the day.

I'm still EMTing and am now a lieutenant (in case I hadn't already sold my soul to the EMS gods and the gods of never being allowed to sleep).

I also remain active with the church I've been attending. I've taken up singing in one of the choirs. The music background helps, as does singing with folks who are way better than me and who I can really learn from.

I'm going to do my best to stay motivated to post here. The comments that have come in have had a lot to do with me coming back, so if I see that folks are continuing to read, I'll try to continue to post.

Thank you to all who have commented. It's much appreciated. Due to a reader who rather correctly pointed out that the text is blending in with Zac, I have attempted to change the text to a better color, but after several tries, I can't seem to find anything that works real well.