Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year Wishes


One of my friends sent this to me.  We've all seen it before. . . .and it will do our hearts and souls  good to see this again. . .to watch faces and to hear K.D. Lang singing HALLELUJAH !

We've all got so much to SING about. . . and I'd like to do this with each of you!  Thank you for being part of my life. . . 

 For one moment our lives met, our souls touched.
~Oscar Wilde

HUGE FLOODING IN NE AUSTRALIA [an area size of Texas or of both France and Germany ! ]

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  1. News for flooding in australia
  2. Australia Floods to Worsen in East As Cyclone Looms in West
    3 hours ago
    By RAY BRINDAL CANBERRA—Floods devastating large areas of Australia's Queensland state will worsen in the coming days, with more damage expected across the ...
    Wall Street Journal - 2615 related articles - Shared by 10+

  3. Australia flooding affects 200000 people - World news - Asia ...

    More than 200000 people have been affected by relentless flooding in northeast Australia, with the flood zone now stretching over an area bigger than France ...
  4. 200000 people affected by flooding in Australia - Yahoo! News

    Dec 31, 2010 ... More than 200000 people have been affected by relentless flooding in northeast Australia, with the flood zone now stretching over an area ...
  5. - Australia floods larger than France strand 200000

    Dec 30, 2010 ... Military aircraft dropped supplies to towns cut off by floods in northeastern Australia as the prime minister promised new assistance Friday ...

New Year Wishes from The Dean. . . .;-)

Thursday, December 30, 2010 11:21:01 PM

G'day JustinO,
It's New Year's Eve in Oz. May I take this opportunity to remind all the people who wished me Happy New Year last year to try a bit harder this year. Nothing happened. Zip. I'm still as grumpy as ever.
However, I would like to thank JustinO for his blog which has kept me occupied making comments, most of which he posted. The ones he didn't post were the best ones, but I'm not allowed to say what they were.
All the best for twenty eleven
May you be blessed with manner from Heaven
And meet your Mr Right named Kevin.
And all your sandwiches be topped with devon.
(and pickles)
I shoulda been a poet. And if you happen to meet a Mr Right whose name is not Kevin, then write your own bloody poem.

Thursday, December 30, 2010


Posted: 30 Dec 2010 06:11 AM PST
GAYTWOGETHER.COM - Quotes & Quips"If we can be proud of who we are, share our love with who we want, be at peace with our self, and hope for the future - I believe that 2011 will be an amazing year!" -  Udi Behr

Pgt 0909 g2g arms
click to enlarge

I couldn't resist. . . THANKS, MICHAEL, at
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2011  from ALL of us on The Dunes

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Gary's Conversion? roflmsao

G'day, JustinO

I didn't believe in all that heaven bullshit until I saw this short vid on Youtube.  Now I do.

Intimacy and Freak Out ! part 2

The author offers some practical suggestions to help us look at ourselves with a sort-of  IntimacyChecklist. . . suggestions which may assist in our own personal inventory.  Prudently, he does not enter into any therapy here:  one size does not fit all.  We need to personalize things for ourselves, try different things on, etc.  Good luck. . . .enjoy intimacy.  Those who can't/ won't do know what they are missing. . . .a little any way. . . . . justin

Posted: 27 Dec 2010 05:01 PM PST
Intimacy Freak-Out & Gay Men - Part 2 This is the second installment in a 2-part article series about struggles with intimacy that are relatively common in gay relationships. In Part 1 of the series, “intimacy freak-out” was defined and the reasons why gay men are prone to this phenomenon were discussed. This article will address some of the common intimacy fears that could block your potential for true connection with your partner and will offer some tips for enhancing your comfort with intimacy to help you achieve ultimate relationship bliss!

The “Freak-Out” Checklist: In my training and work with gay men, I have found some common intimacy fears that can prevent us from experiencing the depths of fulfillment that love can offer. Take a look through this list of fears to determine if there may be anything getting in the way of your ability to be uninhibited and free with your lover. Identifying your emotional blocks to intimacy is the first step toward freeing yourself from their grip. Add your own to the list.
fear of abandonment fear of rejection and being neglected fear of engulfment or being suffocated/smothered fear of loss of control threatened by loss of personal freedom fear of being disappointed or “let down” by partner low self-esteem, fears of not being “good enough” fear of affection and sex fear of exposure, of being known for who you really are difficulties with trust difficulties expressing one’s emotions/feelings fear of failure other
Self-Analysis: As you can see, any one of the above intimacy fears can stifle you to the point that you’re not fully able to be “at one” with a partner because you’re holding yourself back. Fear may be too strong a word for some of the items---any hint of uneasiness or discomfort is indicative of an “issue” of some form. While it’s important to have boundaries and protect yourself from emotional harm, these characteristics can act as a barrier to experiencing love to its fullest capacity if they become a patterned response.

In addition to these fears, it might be helpful to examine some of the contributing factors that led to the anxiety in the first place. Here are some questions to ponder to get you started in looking at how the difficulties with intimacy you may have could have developed.
·How did your parents show affection and intimacy when you were growing up?
·Any childhood wounds, abuse, or loss from the past that make relationships difficult?
·Any unresolved family-of-origin issues that create baggage for you?
·Are you unable to grieve and “let go” of the break-up of a prior relationship?
·How about internalized homophobia? Low self-esteem?
·Any negative experiences with other males growing up that left an imprint on you?
Whether you’re partnered or single, knowledge of your intimacy blocks and contributing factors can help armor you in defeating them so you can have the most ultimate relationship possible.

Become An Intimacy Champ: So you want to be a pro at this intimacy stuff and really super-charge your relationship and knock your partner’s socks off? While it won’t happen overnight, with persistent practice of the following tips, you’ll begin to see a positive evolution take place in your relationship with more connection and emotional intimacy.

What You Can Do As An Individual:
·Face your anxiety head-on. The more you run from it, the stronger hold it’ll have on you. Learn and practice relaxation techniques to calm and soothe you.
·Identify your triggers. How are your “freak-out” symptoms manifested and under what conditions?
·Combat your male gender socialization script by becoming more proficient in emotional intelligence and expression.
·Develop positive self-esteem and confidence through taking risks to further your personal growth and work aggressively at defeating any internalized homophobia.
·Identify any negative, limiting beliefs you may have about relationships, masculinity, and being gay and counter them with new, affirming messages. Read up on cognitive restructuring techniques for help with this.
·Gain closure on unfinished business from the past. Your past doesn’t have to keep you stuck, no matter how traumatic it may have been. You have the power to shape a new destiny. 

What You Can Do As A Couple:
·Make your relationship the number one priority in your lives. Devote lots of quality time together and protect your partnership from competing outside sources.
·Build a relationship tool-box filled with skills in communication, conflict negotiation, boundaries, and problem-solving.
·Cultivate a hot sex life together, filled with creativity and passion.
·Develop a shared vision and goals for the future together as a couple.
·Give each other frequent “positive strokes,” appreciate each other for who you are, share your feelings, take responsibility for your issues, and practice the art of forgiveness.

Through a relationship with another man who is just as motivated as you to nurture a positive connection on all levels, you too can experience one of the most powerful and healing forces life has to offer. It’ll mean confronting some of your anxieties directly and being receptive to encountering a wide range of emotions and experiences. It’s worth it! After all, the road to gay self-acceptance and happiness has been hard enough to then rob yourself of one of life’s most precious gifts; you shouldn’t have to sacrifice what’s rightfully yours to claim and enjoy. You deserve love! Cheers to your intimacy quest.

*References: The term “intimacy freak-out” taken from Crowell,Al(1995). I’d Rather Be Married: Finding Your Future Spouse. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
©2005 Brian L. Rzepczynski
Brian Rzepczynski, Certified Personal Life Coach, is The Gay Love Coach: “I work with gay men who are ready to create a road map that will lead them to find and build a lasting partnership with Mr. Right.” To sign up for the FREE Gay Love Coach Newsletter filled with dating and relationship tips and skills for gay singles and couples, as well as to check out current coaching groups, programs,and teleclasses, please visit .

~~~~~ many thanks to MICHAEL at GAYTWOGETHER for allowing me to repost these articles at JustinDunes.  Some of us find these quite helpful ! 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Freak Out

  This is an area far more common than we'd like to admit. . .in varying degrees, as with all things.  I think there are many insightful, helpful areas covered here.. . . . justin

Posted: 27 Dec 2010 04:59 PM PST
Intimacy Freak-Out & Gay Men - Part 1 “Intimacy freak-out.” You’ve seen it before. You’ve probably encountered it during your dating escapades. It happens when things seem to be going famously with that special guy you’ve been dating, and when things start getting just a little bit serious, BAM! He disappears, never to be heard from again, for no apparent reason. 

Or those men who will have sex with you, but they refuse to kiss you during foreplay and then they’re immediately clothed and out the door faster than a speeding bullet after they’ve had their climax.

Or perhaps you’re in a long-term relationship and your partner isn’t a real big fan of cuddling or showing displays of affection. He seems distant, aloof, “cut off” from you at times. Or maybe you, yourself, struggle with detachment from your lover or have been told by him that you’re “too needy and clingy.”
Welcome to the wonderful world of “intimacy issues!” Intimacy deficits are a phenomenon and common cause or symptom of relationship problems in both gay and straight partnerships. It’s been called a “man thing”, but gay men can be particularly vulnerable to “intimacy freak-out”. Part 1 of this two-part article series will address the reasons behind this and help you gain a better understanding of the dynamics invol ved in intimacy in gay relationships.

What is Intimacy Freak-Out?

To understand this concept, an understanding of what constitutes intimacy is needed. Most people immediately think of sex when the word “intimacy” is used, but that’s not what we’re talking about here; that’s just one component. Intimacy is the ability to be emotionally close to another man, being able to be who you truly are with no facades or defenses, to be uninhibited and express yourself in a reciprocal way with your partner so both of you feel safe and open to share and communicate about anything and everything. There’s no need to feel guarded or defensive with each other because you’ve established a foundation of security and unconditional love and acceptance in your relationship. You know you are loved for who you are.

Intimacy is not just about “togetherness” though. Healthy intimacy requires a balance of “we” and “me”; there’s a flexibility between the amount of closeness and space that exists between you and your lover. You both exercise good boundaries and respect each other’s limits, knowing that it’s important to have your own individual identity as well as your identity as a couple. It’s like a dance the two of you do together, flowing back and forth between merging and separating. But you don’t stay stuck in one for too long and you both develop a rhythm and synchronicity, communicating your needs and feelings all the while and being attuned to your partner’s. “Mature intimacy requires both a capacity to be independent and separate and a capacity to be close to the other emotionally and to acknowledge needs for attachment, connectedness, and dependency” (Greenan & Tunnell, 2003). Intimacy is the ultimate validation of your relationship.

Sounds good, huh? Not an easy feat to accomplish! “Intimacy freak-out” is a term coined by Al Crowell, MS in his book “I’d Rather Be Married” (1995) and basically describes this process as being a defense we put up to cope with disappointment and ambivalence in our relationships. He goes on to say that we all have different thresholds for tolerating intimacy, and when we don’t match up with our partner’s level, fear and “freak-out” occurs to protect ourselves from perceived vulnerability by putting up psychological walls and barriers to closeness.

For example, sometimes when couples fight, engage in negative “drama”, or retreat from each other, these types of conflicts could actually be signs of intimacy overload and the behaviors are used as a way to ward off this feeling. So the next time you and your boyfriend have a knock-down, drag-out argument, don’t be so quick to assume that you’re incompatible…it could be an example of differences in your abilities to tolerate intimacy!

The key is to learn how not to act-out these feelings and to achieve a better balance with your partner through assertive communication, productive conflict resolution, nurturing each other, gaining more self-awareness about your particular triggers and issues surrounding intimacy, and other strategies. More to come on these!

Growing Up Gay
The ability to be intimate requires positive self-esteem and a solid “sense of self.” Growing up in a homophobic society, gay men internalize an onslaught of negative messages from many different sources that denigrate our identities. As such, most of us grew up feeling different, inadequate, defective, and anchored with shame. We may still even feel that way now. Internalized homophobia settled in and the idea of having a genuinely intimate relationship with another man became very triggering of that shame that was instilled.

Nonetheless, many of us eventually ventured out to explore our sexualities with other men and sex became a way to establish a sense of connection. Navigating into relationships, some men who were successfully able to negotiate the coming-out process were able to replace sexual conquest as a means for connection with men with needs for more relational depth and substance (emotional intimacy).

For others not quite comfortable with the idea of emotional closeness with another man, fleeting and superficial sexual involvements may remain the objective to meet their needs and keep themselves safe from getting in “too deep” (and there’s nothing wrong with that considering that one is honest with himself and his partner and that he genuinely is not looking for more than just sex as opposed to it being a defense against getting close). While still others desire true intimacy in their relationships, yet remain blocked by their fears. These are just a few of the many scenarios that exist.

Socialization as males in our society teaches us that we are expected to be strong, independent, self-reliant, and emotionally self-sufficient---at all costs. These traits don’t always mesh so well in intimate relationships which require vulnerability, exposure, and some degree of dependency. In addition to overcoming the traditional male gender role programming that limits true intimacy potential in relationships, gay men have the added burden of conquering internalized homophobia and its psychological consequences in achieving the capacity for intimacy in their lives. An unfair and challenging de-programming process it is, but that’s why we gay men are so resilient with our experiences in dealing with adversity!

As one can see, man-to-man relationships are fertile grounds for potential problems with intimacy. Below are two interesting quotes from the book “Couple Therapy With Gay Men” by Greenan & Tunnell that are relevant to our discussion here:

“As males, gay men have been exposed to the same gender acculturation that all males receive: Men should be strong and not show their feelings. But, for straight men, male-female relationships are one of the few culturally sanctioned contexts where a man might reveal the full range of his feelings without censure or shame. In heterosexual romantic relationships it is permissible for a man to let down his guard, show his feelings, and not be judged weak. This is not to say that considerable numbers of straight men do not find intimacy difficult, since adult emotional intimacy violates their earlier years of male gender acculturation. But part of gender acculturation is the male’s expectation that females will be more tolerant, accepting, and encouraging of his shortcomings and self-doubts, given their supposedly stronger interest in mutuality and connection.” (p. 38).
“Intimacy with another man can provoke a man to feel unmasculine and worthless, whereas distance may render him lonely and depressed. For such men, sexual orientation is experienced as a perpetual double bind, permitting no comfortable solution and causing havoc in their couple relationships.” (p.27).
Put two men together who have been conditioned with the same gender role socialization and expectations, coupled with potential sexual-identity struggles, and that lays the foundation for the possibility in their relationship for excessive competition, pursuer-distancer “dances”, and discomfort with tenderness and emotional abandon with each other.

Whether you’re a single or coupled gay man, how comfortable are you with the idea of “letting yourself go” completely with another man? If there’s the slightest hint of uneasiness, you could be missing out on one of the greatest feelings and experiences life has to offer. What’s holding you back? What consequences do you essentially suffer as a result? Do you derive any potential benefits or gains out of having these blocks? Are you willing to do the hard work and to take the risks involved in facing your fears and resistance?

This article covered a lot of theory surrounding intimacy as it pertains to love relationships between men. In Part 2 of this article series, the “how-to’s” of enhancing intimacy will be addressed. Common fears of intimacy will be examined and practical suggestions for strengthening your comfort with intimacy and bridging more connection with your partner will be offered.

In the interim, explore the role that intimacy plays in your relationships. How much “intimacy freak-out” exists in your life? Do some journaling surrounding the areas of childhood experiences, internalized homophobia, male gender role socialization, emotional blocks, and self-esteem and their association with your development as a gay man and your current capacity for intimacy.

Finally, recognize the gifts that true intimacy can bring to your life and begin thinking about ways you might be able to “get out of your own way” to invite more intimacy into your world if you choose.

*References: Crowell, Al (1995). I’d Rather Be Married: Finding Your Future Spouse. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger Publications, Inc.
Greenan, David E. & Tunnell, Gil (2003). Couple Therapy With Gay Men. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
©2005 Brian L. Rzepczynski
Brian Rzepczynski, Certified Personal Life Coach, is The Gay Love Coach: “I work with gay men who are ready to create a road map that will lead them to find and build a lasting partnership with Mr. Right.” To sign up for the FREE Gay Love Coach Newsletter filled with dating and relationship tips and skills for gay singles and couples, as well as to check out current coaching groups, programs, and teleclasses, please visit

~~~~~ Thanks, Michael, at

Sunday, December 26, 2010

N E Weather. . . . ."all down hill "

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Provincetown, MA (02657) Weather

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Being out on the Cape Cod peninsula we currently are on the edge of the storm.

The winds tends to be on the wild side here on the dunes. . .waves are crashing loudly down on the beach. . . nice night to stay home. . .the whole family is settled in for the duration.  Any travel plans are 'blowing in the wind. . .the plans. . are blowing in the wind. . . "  hahaaa

And the fishing fleet is in safe harbor for the next few days. . .hee hee heee  So we shall manage quite well. . . yepper   ;-)

Updated: Dec 26, 2010, 6:25pm EST

Nearby TruPoint Locations: Logan International Ai... | Cape Cod National Seas... | Your Address
Right Now Next 36 Hours
Rain and Snow / Windy Tonight Tomorrow Tomorrow Night
Rain / Snow / Wind Rain / Snow / Wind Snow Shower / Wind
Rain and Snow / Windy Rain / Snow / Wind Rain / Snow / Wind Snow Shower / Wind
34°F 32° 39° 24°
Feels Like: 20° Low High Low
Past 24-hr:
Precip: 0.38 in (est.)
Snow: 2.6 in (est.)
Chance of Precip:
Chance of Precip:
Chance of Precip:
From ENE at 33mph gusting to 50mph
NE at 46 mph
NNW at 43 mph
NW at 43 mph
Humidity: 87% 86% 76% 59%
Dew Point:30°      
Pressure: 29.49 in Falling Pressure      
Visibility: 0.6 mi      
UV Index: 0 - Low -- 1 - Low --
Time Until Sunrise: 12 hrs 21 min Sunset: 4:15 pm Sunrise: 7:08 am Sunset: 4:16 pm
Through 12am: Rain showers. The rain will mix with snow at times around 8pm. Cloudy with strong and gusty winds. Temperatures steady or slowly warming to the mid 30s. Winds NE at 40 to 50 mph. Additional snowfall about half an inch through midnight. Periods of rain and snow. Very windy. Low 32F. Winds NE at 40 to 60 mph. Snowfall around one inch. Winds could occasionally gust over 60 mph. Rain and snow in the morning, becoming snow in the afternoon. Very windy. Morning high of 39F with temps falling to near freezing. Winds NNW at 35 to 50 mph. Chance of precip 70%. Snow accumulating 1 to 3 inches. Winds could occasionally gust over 60 mph. Very windy with snow showers early becoming more scattered later. Low 24F. Winds NW at 35 to 50 mph. Chance of snow 60%.
Click for more weather info

COSTS $$$ for being a Gay Couple. . . .

Your Money - The Higher Lifetime Costs of Being a Gay Couple -

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Thank God you are in Massachusetts!:)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day on The Dunes

Merry Christmas to you and all dear to you. . .

Felice Navidad!  Joyeux Noel !  Merry Christmas !

Here at the O'Shea-Bouvier ranchero on the Dunes we're sorta quietly settled into some 'down time'  after all  wonderful traditional Reveillons  festivities. . . added to it this year
Father Jon, from-college-circle of friends of my parents. . .in their 'hippy days' right thru to their Yuppie Days [daze] -- all still friends.  Fr Jon is with us for a few days.  So we celebrated Mass in the large family room with Tree all lit, and fireplace flames dancing gayly. . . it was a beautiful liturgy. . . . peaceful, loving, fun. . .something tho was missing from the days of crowds and the smells and bells and incense and all those very Catholic things. . . . .we sang the carols. . .and the youngest grandson age 4 carried Baby Jesus and put him in the manger "cuz there was no room for them in the Inn. . ."  so we opened our home to Them.

Following the old tradition  there was large lit candle in the front window shining out as sign there was room for Mary and Joseph with us.  The youngest child went out on the veranda aka porch and knocked on the front door. . .he was carrying Baby Jesus. . we were all gather near the door to open it and welcome Him and lead  "Them" in and Tim placed the little Lord Jesus in the manger for there was room for Him in the Inn of our home and hearts. 

Mass and the telling of the Bethlehem [house of bread. . bakery!] Story and the angels and shepherds and kings. . . and then we were fed with The Bread of Life and drank from the Cup of Salvation.   "God became like us that we might become like Him."

Then supper. . . .oh what a feast. . . .because of the granchildren we didnt wait for midnight. . .we began earlier so everyone could be quite awake.



Sat, December 25, 2010 12:02:43 PM
Kisses for Christmas

              I hope you and yours have a blessed day today.  I know this is a bit late. . . .maybe?. . .but you might want to share it with your readers.


Friday, December 24, 2010

A Good Christmas Story

...A Really Good Samaritan

,G'day JustinO
A Good Samaritan  story just in time for Christmas.  Even an old grump like me had to make a grab for the tissues.


Thursday, December 23, 2010



you need to cut n paste this into your browser. .
count_your_blessings.wmv (6707KB)

To All Those Near and Dear to Me. . . A Blessed Joy-filled Peace-filled Christmas-tide. . . .

For some while now I have been reflecting on a number of important people, events, things in my life. . .dealing with "Matters of Consequence" as the Fox says to The Little Prince. . . one of my most favorite stories.

Recently the Prophets from the Financial Temples  proclaimed to all who would listen that  in order to he happy you really ought to have a yearly salary of at least $75,000.00.  Well, well, well. . . guess what!  According to the Prophets I am likely doomed to a life of misery and deprivation!   ho ho ho. . .I do not believe that for one second.  I have never ever had anywhere near that kind of money . . . and assuredly I never will.
And I do not care in the least !   Because I know they are woefully wrong.  ho ho ho

I've been counting my blessings and I have discovered I am a very wealthy guy. . . .very wealthy.  You see I try to live a life of gratitude. . . I include this video in my attempt to share with you and to invite you to be grateful with me for all the many gifts and blessings in my life. . .and in your lives too.  We are indeed blessed and have every reason to shout out MERRY CHRISTMAS  as we enjoy all the gifts we have.

May your hearts be merry and bright. . . . .THANK YOU !
      J u s t i n   &   P e t e r

Hmm. . .an early gift. . .

Peter gave me this last evening. . .a pre-Christmas gift. . . .. 

Is this like a pre-engagement gift ?  ;-)

I know, Gary, I know. . . none of the horizontals is straight.  lol
Well, they are currently as straight as I can do them. . . .ho ho ho

Welcome to all our new friends. . . .

It is 11:30 a.m. here on Cape Cod.  I am just checking emails and The Dunes.  Yesterday there was a high of 228 'readers'.  We are at 138 so far today. lol

Here are some new friends.  The first time I see visitors from Finland and Ireland.  Welcome.  And to Saudi Arabia also.  ;-)
  Saudi Arabia - 5. . . .Finland  3. . . .Ireland 3. . . South Korea . . .3

And we cannot forget our friends from South Korea. . . plus all the other folk from several other countries. BTW. . .LOL. . .there are 96 guys from the USA hanging out here now.  Cool, guys.  Thanks.

Make Changes

Making significant changes in our lives is tough.  Human beings don’t generally like change.  Most of us would have remained in the womb if we had been presented with birth as an option. 

It’s not that we lack hope.  One of the most popular classes offered by a local self-improvement program is titled, “A Year from Today I Will be Married.”  We’re full of hope!  We just aren’t sure how to move from hope to reality.  And the accumulation of years of unrealized hopes makes us doubtful about the possibility of change happening at all. 
Most of us make changes most easily when the consequences of not changing bother us more than the hassle of trying to do things differently.  If you’re not there yet, that’s up to you.  Accept your decision to live with the status quo and stop nagging yourself.  You can revisit your decision later when you’re ready.  It’s much healthier to acknowledge to yourself that you’re not interested in making that change right now than to pretend you are to quiet the critics.
Want to make changes that stick?  Here are some suggestions: 
Be realistic about your commitment.  Why do you want to change?  Doing something because someone else (your doctor, your mother, your partner, your boss) tells you that you “should” makes it doubtful that you are committed to doing something differently.  In fact… 

Beware of the words should, ought to, need to.  These words often indicate that your motivation is less about living your life more successfully than it is about getting the critical parent who lives inside your head to get off of your back.  “I ought to get a better job” isn’t the same assertion as “I want a better job.”  Ought is about nagging; want is about your desire to have things be different.  Desires are powerful in making change happen.  Nagging just gets you into an argument in your head. 

Strategize.  How will you get from where you are to where you want to be?  Think of the change in positive terms – what affirmative change you hope to see, rather than what you want to stop.  Think about what you need to do, including the smaller changes that will support your bigger goal.  Taking small steps is usually a great idea.  Making the steps too big just sets you up for failure.

If you slip-up, don’t give up.  Remember, change is difficult.  Monitor your progress and cut yourself some slack and get back to working toward your goal.  Accept responsibility for your choices without getting self-critical.  And celebrate successes when you make progress towards the change you’re seeking. 

Get support.  Friends can help.  Know when to get professional help, especially if you’re having trouble making change happen on your own. 

Know what success looks like.  Don’t assume that this is obvious.  How many people who want to stop smoking really mean “stop buying cigarettes,” while still bumming smokes from friends? 

Change is perhaps the only constant in life.  What better time than now to take responsibility for creating the life you want? 

John R. Ballew, M.S. an author and contributor to GAYTWOGETHER, is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Atlanta. He specializes in issues related to coming out, sexuality, relationships and spirituality. If you have any questions or comments you can submit them directly to GAYTWOGETHER or John R. Ballew, M.S. -

~~Merry Christmas, Michael, and THANK YOU.   These articles from your blog are helping a lot of us in various ways.. . . . justin 

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


G'day JustinO,
I was shopping the other day when I met the real Santa. Took me a while to pluck up the courage to ask him if I could take a pic. Then I said, "Now I'll be able to tell everyone I met the real Santa!" And he said, "Yeah, not one of those bloody fakes." Santa's got an Aussie accent by the way.

Second thoughts. . . .

Hello Everyone:
I apologize for my indiscretion in posting the Elves, etc.  I wasn't quite comfortable with it, regardless of how funny I think it was, when I posted it this morning.  I should have followed my gut.  ;-)  The combo of characters, together, didn't quite fit in my thinking. So it's gone.  I removed it.  There was no complaint, except from me.  lol

Carry on happily; I plan on it,  ;-)

        j u s t i n

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Odds n' Ends from The Cape

Mister Man. .I am soooo bizzeeeee  I meet myself comin' n; goin'. . . .We are getting ourselves ready for all the holidays. . .storing in the vittles, beverages, cleaning. . .. oh yeah big time. . .Mom thinks every nook and cranny has GOT to be cleaned "for all the company"!  Hell with that!  If they think it is dirty, let them pitch in and clean it. . . .as if my thinking on that would pass muster with Ms O'Shea, the original Mrs Clean !

AND who is free, able bodied, available, nothing else to do?  MOI, ME. . Justi. . . m'boyooooo, yepper
the one, the only, the original youngest son who still lives at home, pays no room and board, and has all the services to enjoy. . . .so I work, therefore I am bizzzeeeeee. . .plus I also drive a Honda Fit where the back seats go down - like the Ho's around South Station, so I've heard. . .hahahaha -- and so there is tons of room to carry all the holiday supplies back home to the DUNES!

THAT'S what I am up to these days. . .. . my computer weeps with loneliness. . . . ho ho ho.  Yesterday we hauled in from near Faolmouth/Hyannis -hehe-  the ten-foot Christmas tree. . . which still leaves room for the giant star. . in the grand room which has 12' floor to ceiling
. . . . .

and so last night while Dad was home too we decorated the bloody tree. . . .so it is all lit up like a Christmas tree. . . .well. . it  IS  a Christmas tree. . . .. ho ho ho. . . .

and. . .during the early morning hours I awoke. . around 3:20 and discovered I had been sound asleep in my recliner. . .stretched out full length. . .why wasn't I in my loverly bed. . you've seen the pics, even though you don't like my curtains at Mme Bouvier's. . . .I have the same bed structure here at home too. . . .the metal frame is very simple and has been tested to hold 2400 lbs. . . did they think a bunch of horny pachaderms were gonna orgie on it??. . . it has a 10" memory foam mattress which is so groovey to sleep on. . . so anyway I had fallen asleep in my chair. . . so you bet your hunk ass  I got mine undressed and into/rather onto the memory foam. . . . .zzzzzzzzzzzzz till around  8 a.m. I hadta pee. . I decided to stay up. . .make my coffee and sleaze out a bit more with you. . .

"All Ya Need Is Love. . . Love Is All Ya Need? - the Beatles

Posted: 22 Aug 2010 10:10 PM PDT
Gay Relationships: Is Love Enough The radio is full of love songs.  Greeting card shops stock hundreds of love notes.  Bookstores have dozens of books poetry about love, self help books about love, romantic novels and biographies that celebrate love and lovers.  Everywhere you turn it’s love, love, love.  It’s enough to make you a little crazy – and we’re not even talking about Valentine’s Day here. 

Were the Beatles right when they sang, “love is all you need?”
Love is a critical ingredient in both life and relationships.  Without love, we tend to shrivel up.  The world can be a cold place; a loving relationship is like a warm refuge from the chill. 
When we’re dating, finding out that we’ve got the chemistry with another person that we call “falling in love” is a wonderful thing, a bit drug-like.  We feel the rush of emotion and delight that comes from being close to the object of our affection, and we’re bathed in a rich formula of hormones that feels fabulous. 

And then the feelings shift.  Sometimes the passion changes into something that can burn for the long haul – a warmth that may not be as intense as it was at first, but which remains something we value and hold close to ourselves.  Other times, the excitement just burns itself out and in a matter of weeks or a few months it’s just gone.

Love is a lot, but by itself it’s not enough to form the foundation for a life together.  A strong foundation requires some fundamental emotional health and healthy patterns between the individuals involved. 
Have you ever fallen in love with someone who clearly wasn’t a good choice for a relationship?  Most of us have.  We felt an intense attraction and infatuation.  It may have even become a bit of an obsession.  Eventually – perhaps painfully – we discovered that something was missing.  His feelings didn’t match ours, or he didn’t treat us in a way that felt considerate of us.  Or there was some pattern in his personality that was fundamentally unhealthy.  It didn’t necessarily lessen our love for him, but if we tried to build a relationship on love alone, we got a painful lesson on codependency and losing our sense of self. 

Healthy relationships require many things every bit as much as they require mutual love.  An ability to communicate feelings, for instance.  Mutual respect.  A common approach to life and a compatible attitude towards family and friends.  Without these things love is not enough, no matter how much we might want it to be.

In relationships, love is a choice, not only a sentiment or feeling.  Love requires commitment and regard for the other person’s feeling and making the choices that sustain and nourish a healthy couple over time.  It requires that we make the other person a priority in our lives and invest our time with him.  Unless both parties involved are willing and able to make the choices that are required to sustain a relationship, love ain’t enough. 
Don’t let the love songs fool you.
John R. Ballew, M.S. an author and contributor to GAYTWOGETHER, is a licensed professional counselor in private practice in Atlanta. He specializes in issues related to coming out, sexuality, relationships and spirituality. If you have any questions or comments you can submit them directly to GAYTWOGETHER or John R. Ballew, M.S. -

Thanks to Michael -

Soldier mixed on DADT

Who knew soldiers went naked 2.4 hrs per day.......
Soldiers Mixed On 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal
by NPR Staff
December 20, 2010
[7 min 27 sec]
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December 20, 2010
As President Obama prepares to sign into law a repeal of the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, soldiers at military bases around the country are expressing both nonchalance and worry that serving with openly gay troops will be a distraction.
The Senate approved a measure to end the 17-year-old ban on gays in the military on Saturday, and Obama could sign it into law as early as Wednesday. The repeal won't take effect immediately, but the policy could be over in a matter of weeks.
The Pentagon's top brass supports the change, and a Defense Department survey regarding "don't ask, don't tell" indicates broad support or indifference toward repeal. But front-line troops are more mixed: Nearly 50 percent of the Army's combat elements told surveyors that repeal would have a negative effect.
NPR talked to service members and their families about their views on ending the ban.
'Now Was Not The Right Time To Do It'
Near Fort Drum in upstate New York , even talking about "don't ask don't tell" makes people uncomfortable. Fort Drum is a sprawling post of 20,000 soldiers. Like many military communities, the surrounding area is rural and conservative.
Manju Sampson, a towering sergeant in green camouflage who recently came back from Iraq, says that as long as soldiers "concentrate on doing their job" and "don't let their personal life interfere with their work life — then I have no problem with nothing."
[If] you like flowers and daisies, like flowers and daisies, but don't do it while we're trying to stick together so we can come back alive.
- Pvt. Devere Artis
Melinda Merrill's husband is a sergeant at Fort Drum . She says preventing openly gay soldiers from serving is wrong. "I don't think it's fair," she says. "I think they should be allowed." But Merrill admits the new policy will take some getting used to.
Over at Quantico , one of the biggest Marine Corps bases in the world, located about 30 miles south of Washington , D.C. , groups of Marines didn't break stride as they responded to NPR's question about the repeal of "don't ask, don't tell."
"No comment," many said.
But in a coffee shop inside the base, it was a different story.
Capt. Jason Moore says the burden of fighting two wars makes the introduction of openly gay service members a matter of bad timing more than anything else.
"I think it will be a distraction," Moore says. "I think that it's just an additional variable in a Marine Corps that's already been tested to the limit for the last nine years. I think if they wanted to change the policy, now was not the right time to do it, if at all."
At Charlie's Number One Military barbershop in downtown Quantico, one of a half-dozen barbershops along main street, Andrew Robinson says he doesn't have any personal objections to a Marine being openly gay — but the new policy won't be easy to implement.
"It just depends how they bring it along. If they force it really fast, it's probably not going to work," he says. "They need to gradually let this come into play."
'Nothing's Going To Change'
Meanwhile, at Fort Campbell on the Tennessee-Kentucky border, thousands of soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division are waiting to ship out to war. Among them is Pvt. Devere Artis, 22, who deploys to Afghanistan in March.
"I know numerous gay soldiers that I serve with, that are in my company, that I fight side by side with," Artis says.
Artis, who has already served two tours — one in Iraq and one in Afghanistan — says deployments mean close quarters. "I would say 10 percent of the time you're over there, you're going to be nude in front of another soldier, washing up, changing your clothes, getting yourself ready for work," he says.
He's fine with lifting the ban on serving openly, but mostly so he'll know for sure who is gay. He says he still doesn't want homosexual behavior in his face.
Still going to go do my job, do my duty, and nothing's going to change just because some policy changes and somebody's living a different lifestyle than me.
- Spc. Brad Baldwin
"[If] you like flowers and daisies, like flowers and daisies, but don't do it while we're trying to stick together so we can come back alive," he says.
Miguel Lopez is retired after being injured in combat. He joined the Army after serving in the Navy, where he says it seemed more acceptable to be gay — but not for infantry.
"Now that's a whole different world right there," Lopez says. "I think you should know who you have on your team. You should know, because when the moment comes ..." Lopez stops himself, saying there's no reason to believe gay soldiers are any less brave.
There are combat troops who see no problems. Spc. Brad Baldwin leaves for Afghanistan next year.
"Still going to go do my job, do my duty, and nothing's going to change just because some policy changes and somebody's living a different lifestyle than me," Baldwin says.
Reporting by Blake Farmer of member station WPLN, David Sommerstein of North Country Public Radio and NPR's Art Silverman