If ever there was a reason to upgrade your iPhone to the newest iOS, it surely is the launch of new emoji to use in our everyday texting. I have my favorite emoji to use. The always make the conversation fun, even when you’re pissed. There are so many good ones! You’ve got your basic set of emoji like hearts ❤️💛💚💙💜 and faces 😀😃😄🤣😍😛😒😎😜🤢🤡🤠 to name a few. I use all of them in the course of everyday conversations.
There are times, though, when you can’t find the one you REALLY want, so you have to improvise or combine emoji to bring it on home. So I love it when new emoji launch to make texting even better! Apple just announced that the newest iOS update to iOS 11 will be coming out soon and it will have a bunch of new emoji. Here are a few of my favorites!
I personally can’t wait for the wizards, vampires, and fairies. I also am excited about the dumpling and other food ones. I’m also very interested in the fact that all the new ones come in different sexes (including gender neutral) and skin colors. They’ve really done a great job of being inclusive. Check out the merman/merwoman and all these fun ones below:
And there’s the Stephen Colbert emoji. LOL
So be on the lookout and upgrade when you see them announced so that you van enjoy all the new goodies and you won’t get the black square in your texts because your device can’t see them.See ya round!
Yesterday was my birthday. I’m horrible with birthdays, celebrations, and acknowledgements. For someone so outgoing and extroverted, I can feel so shut down and fearful of people and public situations that it feels a lot like what I think anxiety feels like. I have no idea when it started, but I guess it doesn’t matter. I just turned 49 years old yesterday and the same thing happened. I went to bed the night before so full of hope and excited about the next day. I walked the dogs and said my prayers like I do every day. I woke up on Saturday morning, the day of my birthday, and jumped in the shower and did all the stuff I knew to do to go get coffee and hang out with friends. The problem was I hadn’t made any plans with anyone. I didn’t want to make plans. I knew what was happening because I had done it so many years before and so many birthdays. I would wake up and get lost in the day and see how it unfolded. It usually ended with me being deflated, sad, and even more introverted. Nobody could have pulled me out of it, and believe me many had tried over the years. I was always so mortified that I felt that way but it never felt like I had a choice. It was like a default way of being. I had no choice. I fucking hated it and I hated my life during those moments.
That was yesterday. This is today. I’m 49 and 1 day today.
I’ve thought a lot today about who I’m going to be for the next 364 days and here’s what I’m thinking. Recently I was asked to say a little something about myself that I’d like people to know. I responded with this:
“I love “love” so much, I got the word tattooed on my arm; not only to let others know that love is what I’m all about, but to remind myself when I forget. There is no place I can’t make a difference when love is where I stand. When I embrace all the parts of me that I denied or avoided for so long (my white beard, my being a bear, for instance) it gives everyone permission to completely be themselves around me and in their lives. I can’t think of a greater gift than that.” – Harold Hal Kelly
In thinking about this upcoming year of life I’ve decided to do a couple of things to ensure that by this time next year, I won’t be in the same position of feeling lonely, sad and depressed. So here’s what I’m going to do…
Each day I’ll share something in my life that I’m grateful for. It can be anything.
Whatever I say I’m grateful for I’ll take a picture of and post it here or on some other social media.
Celebrate my life and my skills and my accomplishments as I go into my 50’s.
Plan trips to see musicians and bands I love throughout the year.
Go see places I’ve always wanted to see or want to see again this year.
Love what I’m doing and who I’m with or change it immediately.
So that’s my new year. I have no idea what to expect and that’s part of the appeal here. I can do nothing and get exactly what I got yesterday and today. I’d love to think that I can keep this going on my own but I’ll need reminders from time to time. I’ll put it in my calendar to remind me…that’s a good start.
So here’s to the next year…a year of gratitude, love and celebration of life. Thanks for reading and thanks for your support over the years. Lets do this…
Keeping up with the latest episode of Family Guy, MasterChef and New Girl on Hulu Plus just got a little easier and I am so delighted! Hulu Plus arrives on Apple TV today.
To start watching Hulu Plus shows instantly, find “Hulu Plus” on the Apple TV home screen. If you are a Hulu Plus subscriber, simply enter your username and password to start streaming last night’s episode of Modern Family from the biggest screen in the house.
If you do not have a Hulu Plus account, you can easily sign-up two ways:
1. Go to www.huluplus.com/appletv and register online. Launch Hulu Plus on your Apple TV, log in with your new credentials and start streaming.
2. Create a Hulu Plus account directly through Apple TV by using your existing iTunes account and following the sign up instructions on the screen. If you sign up for Hulu Plus through Apple TV, you will be emailed instructions on how to complete your registration so you can use Hulu Plus on all other supported devices. After your free 1-week trial ends, your iTunes Account will be charged $7.99 per month as a recurring transaction.
Learn more about setting up Hulu Plus on your Apple TV by watching their Getting Started video.
For those of you who are new to the service, Hulu Plus is the only online premium video subscription that streams current and classic TV programming on demand from hundreds of content partners, including top broadcast networks ABC, NBC, FOX, The CW and Univision. Hulu Plus subscribers can watch on any enabled devices for $7.99/month with limited advertising. For many popular shows on our service, Hulu Plus offers every episode of the current season. Hulu Plus subscribers also have access to back seasons and full runs of some of TV’s greatest shows, including many that were not available online before, in HD whenever possible.
Happy watching! I know I’m already exploring all the cool new stuff with my free week! I may just stay a while!
While looking for some fun ideas to do for holiday parties this year, my catering team and I came up with a very simple idea to do with strawberries, icing and brownies. We made little Santa Hats with the ingredients and presented them a few different ways to show them off. As normal, I took all the shots with my iPhone. If you need the recipe for any of the items, let me know. I’m happy to share!
Immediately after Chic-fil-A decided to remove the Jim Henson Muppet promotion, the moved up The Berenstain Bears promotion of giving out free books with purchase. The Berenstain family has posted on their website a distancing of the promotion and saying they have no say in this promotion. It was decided to move forward with it well before this whole anti-gay thing started.
The book being distributed is heavy on the Golden Rule…which seems a little ironic given the situation. I’ve always loved bears…now I love them even more!
Brother Bear says…Bullies can point out what about you is wrong, but a good friend can show you what about you is strong.
I think I’m beginning to get a little better understanding of what is happening on the planet at this time. All of this talk of gay rights, Christianity and chicken got me so upset over the last week that I seriously began to doubt that we, as a species, would ever really find a way out of this. It felt hopeless. I have never felt the level of despair and hopelessness I’ve felt recently. As bad as it has ever gotten for me and my life, and believe me I’ve had some rotten times mixed into the great stuff, I’ve never ever lost hope that it could get better. Until I saw how people treated each other this past week. The things that were said were hurtful on both sides. All of a sudden you either believed in Jesus Christ and his selected bible passages…or you were a total heathen and deserved death, hatred, or at the very least, to be vilified.
I’ve lived a pretty sheltered life for the most part. I didn’t have the same experience of coming out as a lot of teenagers and others have had. My parents accepted me the minute I told them I was gay. That was at 11 years old. At 9 years old I remember telling my dad that I was different than the other boys. I didn’t know why I was different…I just remember liking my boy friends and loved being with them. My dad and I sat on the floor in my parent’s bedroom and talked about it. He assured me that there was not a thing wrong with my feelings nor about my feeling different. He told me it was normal and that it may change, but not to worry about it…just be myself. Then we listened to music together…Roger Whittaker to be exact. The song I remember from that time is New World in The Morning. The lyrics went like this:
Everybody talks about a new world in the morning.
A new world in the morning so they say.
I, myself don’t talk about a new world in the morning.
A new world in the morning, that’s today.
And I can feel a new tomorrow comin’ on.
And I don’t know why I have to make a song.
Everybody talks a bout a new world in the morning.
New world in the morning takes so long.
I’m very appreciative of my parent’s love and acceptance of me. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t experience that kind of love like I did. Whenever I did experience being called a fag or other hateful words intended to hurt me, I paid no attention. I embraced it for the most part. If you were going to call me fag or gay, then I’d be the best fag or gay you’d ever met. It was the ultimate in revenge really. In Junior High and High School I went so far as to wear makeup to school and dress in crazy clothes. Luckily it was the 80’s so you could pretty much get away with crazy stuff like that and everybody thought it was cool….mostly.
So here we are in 2012 and arguments are being started, wires are being crossed and a few people are stirring the pot for whatever reason. It reminded me when I read Plato’s Republic. The metaphor of the cave in particular, I believe, applies to this situation. There are a group of people in a cave. (cave could be interpreted to be life here). The people inside the cave can only look upon the shadows cast upon the wall of the cave before them. Light comes to them from a great fire burning behind them, higher up, and at a distance. Located between this fire and the people of the cave is a road at a higher level along this road a low wall has been built. Here other people have puppets, which they use to cast the shadows upon the cave wall.
These shadows are given names by the people in the cave, and they consider them to be real things. However anyone outside of the cave in the bright sunlight would no longer see the shadows (or be under the illusion manifested by the puppet show). The people inside the cave cannot stand the bright light of the sun outside, and so always avert their eyes back to the shadow wall.
These are the people who seem to be asleep to the spiritual world, dreaming a dream of worldly consciousness, and afraid of waking up. The process of ‘waking up’ or turning away from the obsession with ego, and the mundane awareness, away from the shadows and back toward the light, is Metanoia – the transformation of the mind from that which is worldly to that which is the light of true consciousness.
People, at any time, can choose to not be enamored by the shadows in the cave. The shadows have names…freedom of religion, the right of a business to operate however they want, the right to be married, the fear of God’s wrath when we say we know better than Him. All of this is just a temporary distraction from what is really going on here…there is a brighter place that we have feared to go to together. There are puppets used as distractions so we stay in the cave. There is fear that you will wake up and stop believing all this. But it’s really hard to save face and change your mind. There is an art to changing your mind. Christian’s can change their mind and stand on higher principals of love and acceptance. But if they did they would have to accept love in all it’s forms. My gay brothers and sisters would have to have a lot of compassion and understanding while we all grew together and come out of this cave. And we’d have to remember that there are going to be those who are SO committed that we stay where we are that they will use any means necessary to keep us there…including dividing us, killing us and separating us inside our communities. If there is a devil…surely this is it.
So what now? We are on the cusp of something big…I can feel it. All the distractions and smokescreens that will be thrown our way cannot take us off course from our journey together. But they will try. Chic Fil A is a distraction/shadow. Sarah Palin eating at their place and flaunting it is a distraction/shadow. Hate groups aren’t anything new…but they are also a distraction. The KKK was a distraction. It’s ALL a distraction. It’s nothing but shadows. So let’s get our head back in the game here and look for a way to bring this together. There is a new world coming…and a new world in the morning, that’s today.
Be kind to each other. For everyone (all of us) is fighting a hard battle.
Thank you dad (and mom) for the inspiration for this. You did a great job with me and I love you for it.
There’s a video out there that’s been really pointing to a possible inspiration for Heath Ledger’s character performance of The Joker in The Dark Knight. It is uncanny to watch Tom Waites interview…and while I originally went to see what all the fuss was about, I stayed to watch the whole interview because it is fantastic. Take a look at the video…what do you think? I think it’s pretty amazingly similar. It really made me miss Heath Ledger and wonder what his role would have been in The Dark Knight Rises…given some of the older characters who showed up…Rest In Peace Heath.
Special thanks to towleroad.com for reminding me how great he was…
Oh how I love Alanis. Her lyrics are so amazing. Here she sings of moving into being a guardian not only for her new child…but for herself. So amazingly put in her song that I wanted to share it. She’s taking care of her child…but she’s taking care of herself so she can do that. I love that! Her new disc is coming out soon…
This little boy wrote a speech on acceptance and about people loving whomever they want. He sounds so amazing and loving. His speech was originally banned from his doing it in school so they brought him to New York City Council to give it. It’s really amazing and beautiful and so well spoken. I hope more kids grow up like him! Great job!!
About a week ago I was commenting on some photos on InstaGram. Someone had posted a really horrible comment about gay youth and how they should just go ahead and do everyone a favor and end their lives. They also said some crappy things about the suicide rate rising among gay youths was a good thing, that it was taking care of a problem in society. These comments were coming from another teenage girl. It was hard not to get angry at her. And her friends were equally disgusting. They freely quoted the bible as the justification for their comments and reasoning. My first reaction was to bombard the posting with comments of my own, which a lot of people seemed to be trying to do. But these girls were armed with enough information to hurt others, which is what most people do when they don’t understand something. And most disturbing…they learn this from people in charge. Parents who say things and people from their church who spew hate while preaching love and tolerance. I’m not the first person to post something about this so this isn’t anything new. It feels hopeless to ever try to change their minds or their thinking.
But then I remembered something that I had made a huge difference for me! I remembered that I don’t have any control over their speaking and thinking. I don’t have any power over the adults who will continue to pray for us but spew hateful things while singing hymns. I don’t have any control over any of that. But….I do have control over me.
I don’t believe I was born any certain way. I don’t know if God made me this way. I don’t know if my upbringing, my friends, my baby food, my medicines, my clothes, our financial status when growing up, or having all sisters made me gay. And in the long run, would any of that really matter? Would it really matter if any of that was the source of my sexuality? I love being gay and I thank God every day I got to be the man I am.
So, No. It wouldn’t matter. Because here I am now. Lady Gaga sings Born This Way. I think it’s something bigger than being born this way and so we can’t help it. It’s not our fault…we were born this way. I think Mother Monster actually meant something bigger. (I love you Lady Gaga!!)
10 years ago I actually chose my life. I chose the life I have. I chose to embrace who I knew myself to be and gave my self permission to choose to be gay. That’s right. I said I chose to be gay. I chose everything that is including in that choice. I am responsible for my life and who I am right now. Not the people who think they can pray for me or hope I change or ask God to forgive me for my “ways.”
I remembered this while those little girls where saying what they were saying. I remembered thinking to myself “they don’t have a choice.” They didn’t have a choice to be accepting or not. They are being fed this constant stream of out-dated thinking toward other people. They are baby girls with futures in front of them just like every other child out there. And their future isn’t any less bright than any other child’s future. And our job is to educate them that they have a choice, too. They can choose their life, exactly as it is, and exactly as it isn’t, but they don’t know that! And when you can choose your life this way, you have freedom. You have the freedom to be whomever you want to be or not to be.
So, my response to the InstaGram stream was simple. I hope it makes a difference for anyone out there struggling with this. Being born this way (any way you think you might have been born) plus choosing the life you have, equals amazing power and freedom.
So to all the teens out there struggling or wondering if something is wrong with you….no matter what anyone says….no matter what anyone in charge may say…no matter what your parents say…no matter what your pastor says….no matter what your family says, you are perfect. And you are fabulous in every way. But don’t take my word for it! The best way to find out if this is true is to go live life so fully and fabulously that even the dirt on the street says how fabulous you are!
Go…live life and be fabulous! And choose life every time! If for any reason you, or someone you know, is struggling with their sexuality or thinking they are not worth living life fully, it’s our job to remind them how awesome and amazing they are.
I love you and honor you and wish you nothing but the best in life. You can email me or comment here if you need any help! Click the picture below to be taken to the Born This Way Foundation that Lady Gaga and her mom created or you can go to BornThisWay.org. Thank you for reading and I love you!