Wednesday, August 29, 2012

I hope you have a lot of faith...

Humpy Hap Day! Remember to keep smiling, even if it's a sardonic smile. (ESPECIALLY if it's a sardonic smile!)

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Monday, August 27, 2012

A quick Monday wrap-up...

I went on a home repair call with my buddy Bret, a good Christian brother and crazy Cajun from my church. I learned a lot from paying attention to the interplay between the subcontractor (Bret & me) and the contractor (another dude from the church). First thing I learned: Bring a hat. Holy cow, the sun is bright and blazing. Second thing: Inspect the job before you accept the bid. Some drunk flunky looked at the job and measured the house all wrong, and we got there and there was a lot more work than originally projected. We had to renegotiate the price of the job.  Third thing: get plenty of sleep. I thought I was gonna fall off the scaffold. Yikes.
Trying to decide if I'm going back to the walk-around-Home-Depot job. A new job opened up, still walking around Home Depot, but less stressful, and more of a helpful position, not a pestering the customer gig. (I really need to finish the screenplays and escape this realm, anyway.)
Until next time, keep your eyes on the road and your hands upon the whee-ull...

Monday greeting, August 27, 2012

Happy Monday, everybody! Have a great week, and remember to bring home the bacon. Unless you're a vegetarian. Then just send the bacon to me.

Friday, August 24, 2012

I was worthless today...

OK, you know when you reach that point where you've said "screw it", and lost all initiative? I think I reached it today. Much like Peter in Office Space (and no hypnosis necessary!), I came to the realization that I just don't care. I did a perfunctory attempt at the job, so it can be said that I actually did try to try, but the "screw it" motif permeated the atmosphere like a low-hanging fog bank. I'm not sure if all the refusals I received were a result, or if the people were planning to shoot me down anyway, but it was a fruitless effort today. Tomorrow, I travel to Dripping Springs, to ply my trade there. It's about an hour away. Let's see how that turns out. Sometimes when I say "screw it", doors open and magical success occurs. Other times, I say "screw it", and it gets screwed. I do place it in the hands of The Almighty and let the chips fall where they may.
I do hate to let apathy be a driving force in my life, and I question the notion that apathy is a driving force at all. Who's ever driven by apathy? Perhaps it's more of a "cruise control", but even on cruise control, the driver still has to steer, and avoid other drivers and sundry road hazards. But, note that I'm not apathetic about my life and my goals; merely apathetic about this particular job. I think I'll look for something else; as I stated before, I might have to carry plates. As I absolutely loathe waiting tables, I have to pick the least sucky (in my mind) option. I rule out Denny's and IHOP. I also don't think I can handle the "awesomely excellent" chain tavern genre, like Chili's and Applebee's. Someplace I can wear my own clothes and not feel like a total dweeb. There should be a few of these kinda "hipster-type" places; this being Austin, after all.  This chapter of The Shoehead Chronicles sure is fraught with uncertainty. Meanwhile, I'm practicing saying "More iced tea, sir?" without having a complete meltdown...

A sense of normality has returned...

My Friday greeting...

Happy Friday everyone, and remember--Go crazy, or go home! OR, go home THEN go crazy. Either way...

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thirsty Thursday...

I'm still thirsty, in fact, because I didn't drink tonight I know what you're saying--"Shooey, no Bud Light Cheladas tonight?" To which I will respond, "Why, no, good friend. I had none of that delicious elixir of beer, tomato, and clam on this fine evening. But I most certainly will tomorrow!"  Today was a decent day. I'm staying on track with my previously-stated goals. I went to my weekly sales meeting today, and it reinforced that I really do suck at that walk-around-Home-Depot job. It's not so much the walking-around-Home-Depot part that I suck at; I'm actually quite good at walking around Home Depot. It's the getting-people-to-sign-up-for-shit-they-don't-really-want part that I really suck at. I'm sure that I'm not nearly aggressive enough, but I don't like to be bothered by sales pitches at Home Depot (or anywhere, really) and I'm quite certain that neither do most people. It's like, I'm live spam.  *sigh* I guess I'll have to just ratchet up my obnoxiousness, and just throw myself at everyone I see. Ugh.
But in a related Shoehead story--hanging around Home Depot so much has been giving me great ideas for Camp Shoehead 2.0. I'm really stoked to do this, It feels good. I know my dogs will love it! I'm planning the layout of the bathroom, kitchen, all the good stuff! It's gonna ROCK!!! I'm leaning toward New Mexico, an hour's radius from Las Cruces. The mountains near Ruidoso would be pretty sweet. Or maybe the desert between Deming and Silver City. I would set up a wind turbine and solar panels and never pay a power bill again!
So, as a Thursday wrap-up, I'm taking the advice of the Most Interesting Man in the World, and I'm staying thirsty, my friends. Tomorrow, I'll have two BL Cheladas for Fubar Friday!

Here's the situation. (No, not that momo from "Jersey Shore")

After a very inspiring an motivating conference call from my Herbalife leaders, I'm very determined and focused. I also got involved with a new opportunity to market Solavei--an unlimited 4G text/talk/data for $49, and I've had a modicum of success with that, too. I'm trying to winnow out the negative people in my life. Not abandon them, because I don't do that to people, but lessen their influence on my life, my moods, my attitude, and my endeavors. So, with all the aforementioned factors, I've reached the conclusion that I need to proceed at all costs, and do whatever I need to do do make my goals happen. I'm about to go back to being "5-Job Jimmy" until I reach the next level. This 'just-getting-by' crap is... well, crap. As much as I hate waiting tables, I think I'm gonna suck it up and carry plates for 3-6 months. I'll treat it like a sentence. I've been to jail--waiting tables is better (slightly.) I'll sock away every penny until I'm able to climb out of the morass my life has become. In the meantime, I'll work on all my other endeavors with a new sense of purpose. Here are my goals, by category:

Herbalife: I'll become a supervisor in 30-60 days, and have my own nutrition club in 6 months.
Solavei: They make it relatively easy an attainable to hit $1000/month, so I'm shooting for that by the end of the year.
Screenwriting/Producing: I will put the rap script into pre-production, and the vampire script second draft completed in 30 days.
Acting: Get my SAG membership back on track, and secure an agent. Get back into the auditioning circuit in 3-4 months.

"Whatever it takes" is my new mantra from now until these goals are completed. The next phase will be to begin implementing Camp Shoehead 2.0, beginning in the Spring of 2013! So, that's the Situation, and not the Snooki...

And, I'll finish it out with something kinda funny:

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I love when he does this!

I already have the rocking chair!

I'm gettin' QUENCHED!!!

This was on my apartment bulletin board

This is a silly vehicle! Just silly...

Hope floats...

I'm not even sure why I posted that title, but let's see if I can work in. My blogging has been sucking of late, and I apologize. I feel like anyone who takes the time to read my blog, I owe them something; and something not-too-short of brilliance. Luckily, brilliance is subjective, and if I declare a piece brilliant, then by golly, brilliant it is! Unless it really sucks. But, no matter. Hope floats. So, as you see how I brilliantly carve a blog out of nothing--this week, I am filled with hope. That's right, the floating kind. Last week, I was really in a foul demeanor. Like, almost a Sylvia Plath-level funk. All hope seemed to be gone, and your ol' pal Shooey's usually optimistic manner was as scarce as a telephone booth. Luckily, I got a really good message from The Almighty this past Sunday, and when I taught the Sunday school kids, the lesson was so applicable to my life.  It lifted my head out of Sylvia Plath's oven and back to the optimistic world of floating hope.  I picked up a little freelance work, I'm making headway on my screenplays and writing projects, and I'm fully committed to my "Little Cabin in the Woods" plan. (Either referred to as 'Camp Shoehead 2.0', or 'Uncle Shooey's Cabin'. Not sure which I like better. Maybe both.)  My job is crazy. Prowling the aisles of Home Depot trying to get people to have a salesman--I mean, water technician to come to their house.  Luckily, this is a stop-gap job. Not at all a career move. I do like the company I work for, and the people are very nice.  So, it could be better, but it could be a lot worse. And just for laughs, if you see me lurking the Home Depot aisles looking for prey, chances are I'll look something like this:

Have a great week, my good and faithful readers! Be well, and don't eat the brown acid!

Monday, August 20, 2012

I'll definitely miss that laugh...

#RIP Phyllis Diller... A funny lady :'(

Sunday, August 19, 2012

My happy tune!

Steely Dan"s "Bad Sneakers" on the sound system. Now I'm in a good mood. :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

My latest folly (or, my newest obsession, as it may be...)

I have been lamenting recently about the fact that I'm 46, and still renting (at a cheesy apartment complex, no less!) and I've never own a piece of real estate in my life. We came close, with the place in Firebaugh CA, but the Lovely Mrs Shoehead decided to retire at age 33, and our deal fell through. Plus, now I'm financially way behind the 8-ball. But, I have a few tricks up my sleeve. I've been looking at options for starter homes, and getting very creative. I've always contemplated living off the grid, or quasi-off the grid. Getting some land dirt cheap, and putting a small house on it. Just me, and the dogs--with a fenced-in little yard to protect them from the coyotes. Then, it struck me yesterday. I was sent to a Home Depot way on the far end of town, and I rolled into this alien parking lot, and there it was. Or, they were. Whichever. The display models of TUFF-SHED cabins! They even had second floors, like lofts! Very cheap, too! There was a "Ranch" style, and a "Barn" style. They were everything I need to set up the new and improved camp Shoehead! Camp Shoehead 2.0!!!
I'm already doing my research, and looking for the cheap land. Somewhere a little higher elevation, and near an interstate, or at least a major highway. And no more than an hour outside a fairly big town. Since I lived and put some roots down in Las Cruces, I've been looking in Ruidoso, and Cloudcroft; as well as Truth or Consequences and outside Silver City. There are good land deals to be had, with water and electricity.  I think I can do this for under $100K, I'm thinking possibly under $75K! I also started looking into homesteading websites. Living off the grid will be a challenge, but I think with the resources available, I can pull it off. There's a lot of information and helpful hints from people that are doing just that. I believe also, as society gets more out of control, I think a lot of people will be doing this kind of thing.

These are the two I looked at  in the Slaughter Ave Home Depot parking lot.

This is the Ranch, for only $21,000!
This one is really cool, the Barn, for only $41,000!
So, anyway, that's my latest great scheme. It's all coming together!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A recurring dream I used to have...

I was discussing dreams with some friends of mine, and I was reminded of a recurring dream I had probably 20 or more times over a 10 year period. I've always been fascinated by dreams, and I studied dream interpretation for about a minute and a half. I even put on my friend's Gandalf robe, and had a dream interpretation booth at my friend's nightclub in Redondo Beach in 2001. (That was fun!)
So, anyway, for years--late 1980's or early 1990's to around 2008 or so--I would periodically have a dream that I was crossing the Newburgh-Beacon Bridge, coming from Newburgh, on the western shore of the Hudson, towards Beacon (and my home town of Cold Spring) on the eastern side. I went to school from fourth grade to ninth grade in Newburgh, and crossed that bridge to and from every school day for five years, so the trek is engraved in my childhood psyche. In my dream, I would always be leaving Newburgh, and coming to the "home" side. Never the other way. I would usually start out driving, and somewhere along the way over the bridge, I'd find myself walking across the bridge.  I don't know what became of the car. it would just kinda vanish, and I'd continue on foot. The further across the river I got, the more precarious the walk became.  The bridge would somehow transform from the sturdy, massive bridge I knew, to a rickety, partially-constructed jumble of girders and trusses. Soon, I'd be walking--with no handrail of any kind--along an I-beam or a wood plank. I'd have a sensation of being scared to fall, and I could clearly see the river beneath me. Usually about this time, I'd wake up. I don't think I ever made it to the safety of the eastern bank in all the times I had this dream.
I might have to bust out a dream interpretation book. There are a lot of elements in here. Bridges usually symbolize change or transformation. Is my transformation incomplete? Am I not to make it "home"? I'll dig a little deeper to see what the imagery might suggest. do any of you, my awesome readers, have any insights? Let me know...

The Newburgh-Beacon Bridge
The pedestrian walk, to get a feel of what my dream was like.
This is a great aerial shot of the bridge, with Newburgh on the left, Beacon on the Right

Is there a tip-line I can call?

This newscaster looks really nervous, too...

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Just got a Las Cruces update.

I was gonna blog tonight about my recurring dream, but I think I'll save it for another post. I was just chatting with a friend of mine from Las Cruces NM, who was very involved with me in the downtown revitalization. It seems that after I left, (of course, not because I left, but after I left) downtown Las Cruces revitalization efforts stalled out a bit. After opening the northern Main Street remodel, and beginning construction on the southern portion, it seems now that downtown is once again a dead zone. I was really connected with the rebuilding efforts--I'd walk every day along the construction project, and marvel at the progress. I just found out that La Iguana had closed. This was somewhat poignant to me, because my first day in Las Cruces, I was shown the construction, met the owner, and awaited its opening. It opened in December 2010, and I had eaten there several times, and enjoyed a pretty decent friendship with the owners. It seems that other businesses are closing down too, and once again the promise of a revitalized downtown in Las Cruces vanishes like a desert miraolds once again for ge. I toy with the idea of moving back there. I have a lot of friends, and it's a nice little town. But I really had hopes for a thriving, vibrant Main Street. We'll see what the future holds for Las Cruces. Here's the coffee cup from a cute little downtown boutique, where I had a very good relationship with the owners. I got them on Magic 105. Good times! Whenever I drink my coffee, I think of them...

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Here come the Perseids!

I was just reminded tonight that the Perseid meteor shower will be very full tonight. I'd almost forgotten completely about them! I've been watching them since I was a little kid--every beginning of August. I missed them last year, and I'm not sure why, because the New Mexico desert would be an amazing venue to witness this marvel. I last saw them in 2010, in a field outside Fresno, with the Lovely Mrs Shoehead. We were separated for over a year, but at this particular point in time she was "around"; often adding to the tension I was already having with my landlord at this difficult chapter of The Shoehead Chronicles. Kinda like a recurring character,  à la Lilith from Frasier. But I digress... We hung out in a field and did nothing but talk (not about anything of substance) and watch shooting stars. Cowgirl and my two dogs, Bocce Ball and Butch-Butch were there, too, as were numerous coyotes we could hear lurking about. It was a very traumatic and painful time for me, but for some reason, watching the Perseids in the field with my soon-to-be-ex-wife was kinda nice. Like the eye of the shit-storm that was my life; a brief pause in the action. It was also one of the last times I saw her.
Now, I'm not going to let the Ghost of Wives Past sully the joy of watching the yearly celestial spectacle. Your ol' pal Shooey is a lot more cheery and optimistic than that. It just gave me pause to reflect this year. The shower is supposed to be around its peak tonight. I'd love to see some of it, but I'm in a heavily populated suburb of Austin with a lot of surface lights. I could possibly drive out to Hill Country to see some, but I dunno...
Since I haven't seen The Lovely Mrs Shoehead in about two years, naturally I haven't seen my beloved Cowgirl in as long, too. She's an awesome dog, a red Queensland Heeler, who I miss more than the wife sometimes. I think about her all the time, and my two little guys miss their big sis very much. It's a hope of mine to have a picnic--like we did two years ago--with my three babies reunited for an afternoon, and Mrs Shoehead all together for one last time; just laughing, and having fun. Here's the last picnic we had together, and we watched the Perseids later that night...

Bocce, Butch, and Cowgirl - August 4, 2010

Friday, August 10, 2012

HAPPY FRIDAY from your ol' pal Shooey!

Now, I'm just messing with him...

Today 9:23AM
Good morning Mr Sosa! I waited all day yesterday for the check to arrive, but it did not. I hope those poor children will be OK. Shall I wait today as well? MAYBE the check will arrive today.

Today 1:38PM
Well, Mr Sosa, it's Friday and I've done as you asked waiting by the mailbox all week. Will you be paying me my $700 salary today?

These were the two texts I sent to the scammer today. I just can't resist! I haven't heard from him, nor do I expect to. I'm trying to decide if I should keep pestering him, or to drop it.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

I think I got "fired" from the scam "job"...

I haven't heard from "Mr Sosa" my "boss" in the Nigerian-style scam job today. Now I feel kinda bad. Did I just get sacked from the non-existent job? And what about those poor fictitious foster kids and orphans? I feel like I let all of them down.  I checked the mail today once again, and the bogus check never arrived. Now, is there supposed to be a check sent to me? Or does the scammer just try to get me to wire him money under the time-honored ruse that "check's in the mail"? He did ask that of me on Monday, and I told him I couldn't. I've been pushing my push-back a little too hard, I think. I started asking him the name of the foster home, and who the director was, so I could call him to reassure the waifs and urchins that their money is coming. That might've tipped him off. My understanding of this version of the Nigerian scam, is that since Craigslist is free to post job offerings, "Mr Sosa" more than likely placed ads in every city, and could possibly have a few hundred "new employees". Since I began questioning him, and giving some push-back, he probably stopped wasting his ever-so-precious time with me, to devote to his other intended victims. Sorta makes me feel less "special". I really thought I was the only one he took the time to scam. Now, I'm hurt. *sigh*
In other Shoehead news, that ultra-hot Barret Swatek has been blowing up my phone! OK, so maybe she's not personally texting me, but her tweets are going off every few minutes. It seems she recently discovered tweeting. During my brief Twitter addiction of early 2010, I had about 25 people's tweets  updating to my phone--some friends, some people I thought were cool and relevant, and some--like the sweet Ms Swatek-- just plain HOT. Since then I deleted all but maybe, two or three of these phone updates. I'd skipped turning off Barret Swatek's updates because A) She's HOT, and B) she didn't tweet that often, so she was way under my radar. That is, until recently. Within the last few months, she's just been tweeting like crazy. And, since now that like, two of my friends update to my phone, every one of her copious tweets set my phone a-buzzin' and a-beepin'. I'm considering turning her updates off, too. I can then tell people--truthfully, but somewhat inaccurately--that Barret Swatek was blowing up my phone, so I had to delete her. Ah, yes! Sometimes, being Shoehead is a burden I bear for the rest of the world, so no one else has to be Shoehead; other times it's pretty damn fun to be Shoehead! I've been Shoehead for so long anyway, I don't even need to put much effort into it any more!
And, finally--I think this is funny:
There! (I feel like this past week of blogs has been a little light, so I'm trying to make up for it!)
Bonus nachos, everybody!

A quick one, for some holy venting...

Here goes, as I'm dead-tired, and not inspired (cool rhyme!).  OK, ready? I love Jesus, but Christians are starting to piss me off. I've recently been on the receiving end of some judgment by other Christians--you know, the kind of judgment that makes the rest of the world hate us, and turns away more people than brings in to the Kingdom of God... Yeah, that kind of judgment. I've been getting some at my church (and I love my church) about my female roommates. No one's business. Keep your noses out of it. Then today, I had a lady at this other church I was visiting, sit there and preach to me; acting like I've never heard of Jesus. I told her I've been saved for many, many years. She told me I need to pray. I said I pray every day. She asked me how I pray. I told her. On and on. She was relentless, and had an attitude like I was some heathen pretender to the Kingdom. I understand she meant well. I understand that the Great Commission is that we go out and preach to everyone. I get it. I'm not at all the preachiest guy around, and when I do meet another Christian, I don't test their faith, and ask twenty grilling questions to see if they measure up to my standard of Christianity. This lady (whom I'd never met before) put out all kinds of assumptions about me. She asked me what kind of work I do. I told her film and TV, but for the moment I have a sales job. She told me that the sales occupation is very greedy. Oy, vey! This broad really tried my patience!
So, in closing, I really believe these highly-judgmental Christians do more of a disservice to God's Kingdom than a benefit. Jesus said to love one another, not judge one another. He also said "judge not, lest you be yourself judged" (Matthew 7:1) So all you hyper-religious, overly-judgmental Christians, please keep this in mind--we have an enemy walking the earth. The Bible calls him, "The Enemy" or, Satan. You don't need to be attacking other Christians, they're on your side!  Please, back off. Love ya...

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Scammers. Damn scammers. Damn flim-flammin' scammers...

The scammer called me back today, from that job posting I found last week on good ol' Craigslist. I was trying to play it out--I'd called the authorities, and was just waiting for his bogus check to arrive, but I think the dude's on to me. He started out his usual demanding self, and I kept telling him things like, "I'm so glad to be helping these poor children" and "I won't let these kids down". He ceased texting me rather abruptly, so he might've seen through my counter-ruse. Oh, well. I was starting to tire of this cat-and-mouse thing anyway.
The whole thing leads me to ponder--the majority of these scams seem to generate from Nigeria. If these Nigerians are so creative, web-savvy, and industrious when it comes to scamming people, how come they can't re-focus those energies into building a legitimate economy for their country? Nigeria could become an economic powerhouse in Western Africa if they'd take all the efforts and energies put into web scams, and actually create something positive with it. Tremendous amounts of effort are put into these scams. If they only gave it a shot. Nigeria's still a typical sub-Saharan shit-hole. Maybe, just maybe, they can turn the country around. Become the Silicon Valley or the Seattle of Africa. Maybe they can improve the quality of liofe around their country, and maybe the region. At least they can hold their heads high, and say "We built this!" instead of "I scammed some old American lady out of this."
I'm just sayin'...

Monday, August 06, 2012

Send in the clowns... Don't bother they're here!

So, those of you that read this blog know that I have a new gig walking around Home Depot on behalf of the water treatment people. As you may recall, the same day they called, I got a hinky "job offer" as well. This was an "Office assistant" job, that I can work out of my home--basically running this important big-shot's schedule and visiting orphanages and foster homes on his behalf, bestowing gifts to the needy waifs and urchins. This was to pay me $700 per week. Naturally, it sounded too good to be true; especially after the guy offered me the job after the first email! No interview necessary! (Gotta love Craigslist!) I didn't hear from the guy in a few days, and--lo and behold--today, he texted me to tell me my first "task" as his "employee" was to receive a "check" and go "buy toys for orphans". I'm to deposit the check into my account and keep $150 of it for myself! Yay!  What an awesome "job"! Anyway, after an exchange of texts in which he was trying to get my banking information (I gave him bogus info), I went along with it, explaining to this clown how excited I was to be working with kids. I said that several times, just to see if this prick has a shred of self-decency. Obviously, he does not, or he wouldn't scam people for a living, but I digress. I punctuated every sentence with, "The kids need us" and "helping the kids", both to remind the guy he's a douche, and to let him mistakenly think I'm some kind of naif. Too much fun. So, tomorrow, some kind of check should arrive. I'll probably just "return to sender--address unknown"
So, anyway, your ol' pal Shoehead can't seem to catch a break without some clown rolling up and trying to steal my cookies! Well, after this "orphan check cashing" things is done, I have an offer from a Nigerian businessman to go into business with him. He wires me some money, and all I have to do is...

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Back in the workforce...

I haven't blogged in a while. I'm really trying to stick to my "Blog Every Day" credo, but I've been preoccupied. First, the Chick-Fil-A flap, and its subsequent fallout burned me out to the point that I needed a mental detachment from my computer and the web itself. Yes, the WORLD WIDE WEB. Oy vey, the headaches!  Secondly, I'm once again trading my time for a little bit of money; this time it's water treatment equipment that I'm promoting. Something of a big deal here in Austin, where the water quality is rather hard and mineral-laden. So, I suit up, boot up, and strut around Home Depot inquiring do-it-yourself-ers and suburbanites about their water quality. Actually, the job is just enough to keep the Good Ship Shoehead afloat until I finish the vampire re-write, get the rap script into pre-production, and hit my next Herbalife level (the money level). So all-in-all, no complaints here. The other notable aspect of this job is the reinforcement of my long-held maxim that I hate jobs. I'm just not wired to be a time-card punching wage worker. I'm either a contract player (i.e. actor or film crew) or an entrepreneur.  Plain and simple. Some people are wired that way, some people have no choice, but it's simply not for me.  I don't look down on the employees of the world, but I'm not comfortable wearing that mantle. So now it's hammer time. I seriously need to get it in gear. No one's gonna do it for me; no one's gonna do it but me. Pass me a Bud Light Chelada, I'm goin' in!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Another crazy day...

So I did get hired and start tomorrow at a part-time sales assistant job. Yay. It'll be good to be back in the work force again.
I also learned a valuable lesson today about tolerance, intolerance, and intolerant people that claim they can't tolerate intolerance. I'm very neutral toward the gay-marriage issue. I see and understand both sides of the issue. I lean a bit toward the gay side of the argument in fact, as I really don't care if two people want to get married, as long as they're happy and consenting. On the other hand, as a Christian, while I may be somewhat more open to the idea of gay marriage, I understand that people's religious and moral beliefs lead them to hold marriage as sacred, and not to be re-defined. It bothers me greatly that the pro-gay side thinks it's all about hatred and oppression towards them. It really isn't, and Christians are greatly oppressed in today's society--as much, if not more--than any other group in America. People feel they can be as mean and nasty towards, impugn, ridicule, and lampoon Christians at will. But my point in the whole flap had nothing to do with gay marriage, either for or against it. I--somewhat passively--supported Chick-Fil-A strictly on the basis of free speech. Dan Cathy has as much right to have an socio-political opinion and voice it, as Sean Penn, George Clooney or Matt Damon do. Private citizens can choose not to patronize their chicken shacks, or see their crappy movies, that's fine. I took umbrage at the fact that left-wing big city mayors used the power of their office to try to ban Chick-Fil-A from Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco (although no shock there). I found it overstepping and pandering, so I took a stance that, while I may agree or disagree with Chick-Fil-A's position, I think it's wrong to have big city mayors ban them like that. Nobody's banning any mosques, or kicking muslims out of any big cities, or picketing Dearborn Michigan, although the imams openly preach and prescribe the killing of homosexuals. (And almost everyone else.)
With that, several of my lefty friends (I have many) jumped in, opened up with both barrels, and asserted that I am somehow intolerant! Suggesting that I was bigoted! If you believe that about me, then you really don't know your ol' pal Shooey. I love and respect everybody. I make it a point to try to see all sides of an issue, and I stand firm on my principles of individuality and the "Live and let live" credo. Friends that I know, and actually hung out with de-friended me from Facebook, and presumably from real-life, too. While I'm constantly seeing socio-political posts and memes that I personally disagree with from some of these same "open-minded" and "tolerant" people! Am I expected to delete them, and begin hating them too? Is that what "open-mindedness" and "tolerance" is? I'm just not wired to hate that easily.
So, as I've mentioned numerous times (today alone!), anyone can stand up for free speech if they agree with what's being said. That's easy. The true test of championing free speech is when you don't agree with what's being said. That's when you lose a lot of the so-called "tolerant" and "open-minded". And once again, I'll throw the Voltaire quote out there: "I disagree with you 100%, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it."