Posts Tagged With: facebook

Being Cool Comes Naturally…. Just As Insecurity Does

Cool” comes so easily and naturally for some people.  I look at Adam Levine of Maroon 5 and ask myself – how “cool” can one guy be?  Enrique Iglesias may have genetically inherited his ability to ooze “cool” in multiple languages.  Making people laugh makes Wanda Sykes MUY (very) “cool” in my book.  Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie even make being over 40 with kids look “cool”.  I could chill beer in the presence of this line up… but what “cool” factor do these people have in common?  Ok – other than being one sexy bunch – they support the gay community and its causes.

Adam Lavine loves and is very supportive of his gay brother Michael and is proud as a judge on “The Voice” that the show does not try to suppress contestant’s sexuality like American Idol does (remember contestants R.J. Helton, Jim Verraros, Clay Akien, Adam Lambert?).  Enrique admittedly loves his gay fans and has even serenaded a gay guy with his song “Hero” at the G-A-Y club in London.  Wanda Sykes “came out” at Las Vegas Pride to lend support to defeating Prop 8 that would recognize only marriages between 1 man and 1 woman in California.  Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie gave donations of money and time to also help defeat Prop 8.

All my life I have wanted to know how it feels to be “cool”.  My idea of being “cool” would be to have  confidence, be secure about how I feel about myself while also being apathetic of others opinions.  Even as a mid 1980s runway model with a 28″ waist, I never felt confident.  I had earned a swimmers build by actually swimming, tan-lines that were the result of the sun – not a tanning bed and actually did not look bad in a swimsuit!  But still, I cried myself to sleep wishing I was not so thin…. now I cry myself to sleep wishing I was thin again!  Talk about serendipity!!  Even when I may actually have been a little cool… I did not or could not see it!  My “coolness” was blinded by my internal struggle with own identity.

The saddest thing is I could not identify my internal conflict.  Coming to terms with having been sexually molested as a child by a guy in my neighborhood created BIG TIME insecurities that I still carry today.  Not understanding how this may or may not have affected my sexuality made for a lonely time in my late teens and early twenties.  I also came to terms with “religion” as I knew it wanted nothing to do with me.  At that point in my life, I never knew any gay people, was naïve about celebrities being gay,  much less noticed straight celebrities that were “cool” and/or supportive of the gay lifestyle.  I do not think that being gay is an issue of being “cool”, but back then, to know it would not be “UNcool” to be gay would have saved a lot of dark thoughts that I had about myself.

Even in my confusing high school experience, a classmate when added to my facebook a while ago let me know he thought of me as one of the “cool” kids in high school.  When I was growing up, if I could have had the positive examples from the gay and straight communities that exist today…. I would have been “cool” or been able to see myself as having the possibility of being “cool”.  I do not hold up my “cool” line up to unreasonable standards, I can imagine at some point (or even now) they lacked confidence in themselves.  Enrique is a performer that may feel his father’s shadow over him; Wanda Sykes was once married, so she had issues with her sexuality also; Angelina Jolie is famously from a dysfunctional family… now Adam and Brad’s confidence issues are much less evident!

Adam Levine has “Moves Like Jagger”, a voice that is smooth like silk, bad boy tattoos, and looks that can kill harder than James Bond!  Adam is also my ALL-Star “COOL” guy and my straight guy crush!  Enrique will be the gay community’s “Hero”.  Wanda Sykes will tell you “I’ma Be Me”!  Brad and Angelina will wait to marry when gays have the same right.  I am 44 years old and still fight insecurities on many levels, but the key difference… I realize I am not alone…. if everyone were honest… we would admit we all have insecurities… even the people we think are “cool”. But in the mean time….some kid somewhere is seeing not only gay celebrities, but also straight celebrities stand up and say…. I am confident of who I am and not worried what others think….. and I will stand with gay friends and family… and even if these kids miss the support at home…. maybe they can find support with a growing crowd of people who love them and want them to understand no one can “BE COOL” all the time!!  Enjoy your “cool” moments!!

http://www.out.com/features/2011/08/Adam-Levine-Will-Be-Loved/index.asp?slideshow_title=Adam-Levine-Will-Be-Loved&theID=1#Top

http://www.canada.com/topics/entertainment/story.html?id=c53bc1bf-e789-4d74-a74d-7622e3d4f19c&k=18714

http://blog.zap2it.com/pop2it/2008/11/wanda-sykes-wif.html

http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive/ldn/1980/91/8091813

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You Won’t Win If You Don’t Play

You won’t win if you don’t play, is an expression I have heard a good bit from people that play the Lotto.  While I do admit to being an occasional Lotto player myself, I am not counting on the Lotto to fund my retirement.  But what I enjoy most most is the time between buying my tickets and checking my numbers…. until those numbers are checked…. it still could be me with the winning number combination!  This possibility of hope is founded as long as I played!

Since I have been on disability, I do not have a lot to hope for day to day other than hoping for a good day, a break from disabling Multiple Sclerosis, or do I?  I have discovered online sweepstakes.  I enter as many as I can.  There are some that require help from friends.  There was one for me to win a new shed, friends could vote that the shed we did have was original and creative – it is a 18-wheeler trailer that Dad took the wheels off of and added a storm door! lol  Instant shed.  At the end of the contest, our shed had the most votes, but we will have to see if the judges agree!  I should know soon if I won.  But like the time between buying a ticket and checking the numbers, so was the anticipation to check each day to see if my vote count had increased, had my friends and family taken the time to “help” me possibly win.

The new sweeps I am asking help with is “about.me”. It is a site that for me is like an online directory. This one site has quick links to all of the other places I “am” on the web – including this blog. It also links my facebook and twitter. As my presence online grows, I will include them on my about.me page (www.about.me/thomasjohnston).  In the about.me contest, the winner will receive a trip to New York City and be featured on a billboard in Times Square. Not since my early 1980s modeling days with Nunnery’s and Our Gang or being photographed by Barry Boyd and Tuminello’s Photography have I been a possible model on a Times Square billboard!! lol (long ago days at that).

After 24 hours in the about.me sweeps, I was in the top 10%…. then 48 hours I was in the top 5%, but now I have stalled in the top 5%.  I have 245 friends on facebook and yet when I post to go vote for me on facebook … I am lucky if 5 go to actually vote. 😦  I have received a few compliments on my writing, but to date – NO ONE has felt the need to used the paypal button to donate and encourage my efforts financially! lol  So I need to find a way to be more persuasive with my writing. I am finding it difficult to get friends to simply click one link then click vote (it does not even require anyone to enter an e-mail lol).  I have had over 8,500 people view my blog in the last year, but only 9 have been persuaded to subscribe to my blog.  So now I will ask the few that read this post to this point to maybe comment on how I may persuade friends to vote, subscribe or possibly even donate.  I NEED a NYC Times Square billboard appearance!  lol  😉

I will anxiously check each day to see how many hits I get for this post, how many votes I get in the sweeps and enjoy the moments of hope that comes with each.  Although it can be discouraging at times it is what keeps me aspiring to be more.  With feedback, help and encouragement from my readers…. I’ll find winning numbers one day!  But it can’t be said I won’t win if I don’t play – I am PLAYING!!

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The nonSocial Network

MySpace blazed a trail that Facebook paved over with a massive Interstate, iTunes has pretty much killed retail music stores, Amazon is now beginning to conquer book stores and Hulu and NetFlix are biting away at traditional TV and video stores like Blockbuster.  Our lives are moving more and more online, but calling it social media does not make being online social.  But there are some that just cannot keep up – rural America.  Believe it or not, there are areas of the United States that has no dsl service.  Poor souls like me are limited to satellite internet services like HughesNet or Wild Blue.

What few gather from the advertisements for HughesNet is that they limit the amount of information that can be downloaded in a 24 hour period.  So, one is able to feel they have something similar to dsl until they try joining the social network of life online.  The download limits prevent enjoying youtube, hulu or or even network tv streaming services.  To aggravate these customers with limited internet access even more, NetFlix changes its plans to a streaming service for all (even the ones that cannot take advantage of it) and eliminates the multiple dvd plans for only a singular dvd plan.  This results in even less movies per month on dvd for these rural customers with satellite internet.


I live with debilitating Multiple Sclerosis and the Internet is the main way I can keep connected to a world I am not always able to take part in fully.  NetFlix was a salvation for entertainment since this little rural area has no movie theater and my limited driving even negates the local Blockbuster as an option to be my movie source.  Congress feels no need to discuss issues of accessibility.  Actually the US has now fallen to 27th  in the world for household usage, broadband penetration and 22nd place in broadband use by population. As progress is made, the US is not only NOT the leader, the US is falling behind the rest of the world.

So many think of rural areas as redneck, backwards and a little lost in time, what does this say of us as a nation that it acceptable to leave so many behind when as a nation, the US is falling behind on many of what used to be its leadership.  Americans will be seen as the world’s rednecks – not that there is anything wrong with being redneck (speaking of being dated, let me see who got that Sienfeld reference lol). 

I have limits because of my MS, I am limited for social opportunities being gay in a small town, I have limited entertainment options and even have limited download capacity to interact and be social with the world.  Not that it matters, someone recently said to me, “I did not know you were back home.”  I replied, “I told everyone, I posted it on facebook.”  How social am I being to not even call, text, or e-mail anymore that I let a facebook post be my social interaction with friends and family?  How nonsocial am I becoming?  Where will this lead us as a nation to become so socially – nonsocial where we are already behind the rest of the world with the application of this technology?

Recently I have been trying to win a trip to New York City and I invite friends and family to “vote” for my about.me page.  I have about 250 friends on facebook, but only have 45 votes after 2 days of requests for friends and family to vote (some of those votes are people who vote each day).  Socially I am striking out in my social network because I cannot even get friends and family to clink one link to help me win a trip! lol  It is prom and I am campaigning to be King in a school where few even want me to have a ticket! lol  But so few even care if I have a ticket! 😦  It is like the paypal button that NO ONE has used in the year and a half since I added it!  lol

1 http://www.prweb.com/releases/2011/8/prweb8748530.htm

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Repeating A Lie Does Not Make It True

Repeating something or saying it louder,  does not make it true.  “A lie told often enough becomes truth” – Vladimir Lenin,  “There’s nothing so absurd that if you repeat it often enough, people will believe it.” – William James; these are quotes that apply to today’s political environment.  Fox News repeating that they are “Fair & Balanced” does not make it true but: Fox News – A Voice for Conservative Americans – now that is truth!  Everyday I see and hear smart people repeating tripe that make me ask, how gullible can you be, or to ask them to cite their sources.  Rhetoric is not a source.

Recently a friend posted something on Facebook that reported President Obama would cancel The National Day of Prayer, observed in May each year.  He was offended and then the post made some asinine comment about Muslims. He also asked in the post, “If you agree, copy and paste no matter what religion you are, this country was built on Freedom.”  Even though this report is untrue, it has made its rounds on Facebook since Obama became President.  Now here is my taking it one step further – If, ” this country is built on Freedom” – why couldn’t President Obama be free to end The National Day of Prayer?  Why can’t he be free to be a Muslim?  Or is the American Freedom they speak of only freedom to believe the same as them?  Why are so many outraged when someone (especially in leadership) has a thought or belief different from theirs?

Real Time with Bill MaherOne reason I love “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” and “Real Time with Bill Maher” is because these shows point out the exaggeration and hypocrisy used in politics and the media today. The Daily Show with Jon StewartFox News, conservatives and now birthers (people who do not believe President Obama was born in the U.S.) make themselves easy targets to be mocked by these programs because  of the huge doses of hyperbole that they use.  I feel the reason is they only hear themselves!  They are spewing this misinformation nonstop and never stop to listen.

Obama Birth CertificateBirthers began demanding, “Show us the birth certificate!”  Once the birth certificate was made public, they questioned its validity. When the State of Hawaii verified the birth certificate was legitimate, they started making up things about how Hawaii did birth certificates in 1961 that make it a fake.  The excuses why they cannot accept that President Obama was born in the U.S. has to based on some crazy conspiracy theory similar to U.F.O.s in Roswell, Area 51 or the Kennedy assassination conspiracy theories. Obama was born in the U.S., we have freedom of religion so why would it be a problem for him to be Muslim instead of Christian, and what frightens them most ….. could it be the one point they do not argue… he is black.  They need to just stop and listen to how ridiculous they sound, but with a majority of Republicans believing President Obama was not born in the U.S. – crazy is something we may have to get used to.

Now that there are birthers elected into Congress, I see them the same as all politicians – only concerned about themselves.  Many campaigned on cutting wasteful government spending, but they will not try stopping the farm subsidies they receive.  Rep. Stephen Fincher, R-TN (over $3,000,000); Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-MN ($251,973); Sen. Max Baucus, D-MT ($230,000); Sen. Gordon Smith, R-OR; Sen. Ken Salazar, R-CO; Senator Charles Grassley, R-IA ($654,000); Rep. Stephanie Herseth Sandlin, D-SD (her father received over 750,000); get farm subsidy checks from the government, but Congress is NOT trying to cut farm subsidies.  Instead they are trying to cut: education, Head Start, school nutrition programs, elementary education, Pell Grants, the EPA, transportation, Planned Parenthood, Americorp, financial regulators, health research, the CDC, job training, heating for poor families.  I see them as bullying the poor. Why are they not wanting to find and cut waste in the Defense Budget?  Finding ways to cut and find savings in Medicare/Medicaid and/or Social Security?  They prefer misdirection to hide their hate and lack of compassion for the poor and needy!  They need you to be afraid and HATE also!

The distance to being poor is closer than your backdoor!

Not checking the accuracy of reports and further, asking others to repeat inaccurate (lies) reports, is irresponsible.  This is happening more and more! “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat, but as temporality embarrassed millionaires.” – John Steinbeck.  As Americans we need to care more about kids, the poor and the jobless than the defense!  Maybe that is where we can or should agree to begin!  I look forward to the day when Congress is looking for “who” needs help more-so than their own personal interest. To quote Jesus, “And he will answer, ‘I tell you the truth, when you refused to help the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were refusing to help me.” Matthew 25:45.  This is what should be repeated and loudest because it is TRUTH!!

http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/03/31/welfare_tea_parties

http://washingtonexaminer.com/blogs/beltway-confidential/farm-subsidies-paid-congressmen-why-congress-shut-down-database

http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/members_of_congress_receive_useless_subsidies_apart_from_their_salaries/

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I’m A Writer?

Me - July 4, 2010

Does writing  a blog make me a writer?  In a technical sense – yes! I am writing – therefore I am a writer.  But my mother writes checks and does not consider herself a writer. lol  I think the key for me to be considered a “real” writer will be to have readers.  My intent is for someone to enjoy what I am writing.  Maybe one day when I also get money for writing I will move from being a writer to – author.

Now, are my writing skills perfect – NO!  My high school English teacher, Debbie Wilson, would be ashamed of my poor grammar!  But even William Faulkner pushed the boundaries of proper use of grammar.  I am trying to express myself, not pass a course.  As I experiment with blogging, I hope to improve my skills.  But friends and fans reading the blogs will push me to improve.

To explain again my 2 blogs – This one, Thomas Johnston, is my personal blog.  Here I will write about whatever crosses my mind – love, broken-hearts, politics, movies, music, memories… just about anything.  The other blog, Tomass Gringo is to tell a story…. a gay story and targets my gay readers.  The main character -Tomass- based  very loosely on me and will have more adventures and yes even sexual adventures that the real Thomas does not!  Always keep in mind – Tomass is not real and is only a character.  lol

I have a new “page” on facebook strictly for the Thomas Johnston blog .  I sent invitations to all of my friend list but it can be found by searching Thomas Johnston and there will be a small “author” under my name.  Click like and you will get updates about my blog there.  The Tomass Gringo (gay) blog will be linked to the Tomass Gringo fan page on facebook.   Just search Tomass Gringo and you can also join the fan page.  People who enjoy my writing and encourage me to continue can join either or both pages to receive updates about the blogs!

Anyone can follow me on twitter now also – thomasajohnston .

I encourage feedback on both from anyone!  There is also a “donate” link through paypal for anyone that wants to encourage me that way!! 😉

Most of all – I hope you enjoy!!

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