Because I Said So

I have felt soooo good the last couple of days. I’ve been so animated and jovial. Big smiled and giggly. I’ve been fearless, open minded, fool hearted, and mindful of the importance of enjoyment. I guess it does all come from breaking free of the restraints that hold me so close to the past, that shedding away the skin of the homeless man is allowing me to grow, push forward, see the future, and take one step closer towards it with every fear I conquer.

Yeah, since going to MegaCon I’ve been so wildly excited about doing anything, going anywhere. Because I saw that I could….and nothing bad would happen. I was ok. I was fine. I was actually happy. :) I do give Phillip a lot of credit for that. He makes me feel safe. He makes me laugh.

IMG_1678I have a lot of books going out today. Had to take a picture of the packages ready to go for the mailman today. Look at that. Five books and two bears. Nice! Oh yeah! And I planted some Crown of Thorns in a pot with some succulents close by. My books sales have been really nice. And I’m so happy that so many of you have decided to snag it. And! If you’ve received the book with a t-shirt, then I need to see pics of you in your “Mad Man Knitting” t-shirt! Oh yeah! THAT would be awesome. I’ll be sure to share them here and on Facebook.

So, if you haven’t snagged a copy of my new book, go ahead! Get one! People seem to really REALLY enjoy seeing the whole Mad Man Knitting story go from start to finish. Half narrative, half diary entries and blog posts. Its quite the read. Click here to snag a copy.

OH! And on Facebook the other day, I posted a video of Phillip and I in our normal routine. Knitter Vs. Gamer. If you didn’t see it, check it out below. It’s kinda cute. You’ll chuckle. :)

Have a great day everyone. And like I’ve said before and I’ll say again, “It’s going to be a great day. Do you know why? Because I said so….”

IMG_1439To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” or a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here. 

 

Going Mega (Part II)

I  successfully made it to MegaCon and back home again. Sounds kinda ridiculous, doesn’t it? Well, it’s true. And the only time I truly started feeling glitchy was when we got on the bus, hit the interstate, and moved swiftly out of my safe zone. I crumpled the bus schedule in my hand, took a deep breathe, closed my eyes and then just let it go. Once off the bus and at MegaCon I felt much better.

IMG_1667IMG_1646We got there early, probably just shy of 10am, for Phillip was adamant about taking in the whole event, absorbing every bit and piece of it that he could, hoping to take full advantage of the last 6 hours of the event. Now, since many people show up in costumes, Phillip and I were up for the fun of it. I wore my “MAD MAN KNITTING” T-shirt, with my back packed busting with a skein of yarn, knitting needles, and one of my knit teddy bears. Phillip wore a t-shirt with a Domo (I’m still learning all these anime characters myself) and sported a very swanky mask from the Naruto series.

IMG_1660IMG_1658IMG_1653IMG_1662IMG_1240IMG_1241After getting a few signatures of characters for the bear I took with me, and after Phillip snagged a few memorabilia pieces for himself, we had our fill of MegaCon and went home. We truly did have a wonderful time. The costumes were amazing, all the interesting pieces of memorabilia were fun, and I got to see Lou Ferrigno, Norman Reedus from “The Walking Dead,” and Milo Ventimiglia, whom Phillip kept calling “Peter” from “Heroes,” but whom I knew as “Jess” from Gilmore Girls. Yes, we are from completely different worlds :)

The people were truly great. I’ve never known any gamers, or anime fans, or anything  like that, but what I have learned is that they are generally very kind people. This was their world I tippy-toed into, but no one kept me at bay with gazes or glances or even intimidating stances. Nope, everyone was very welcoming and encouraging. I truly had a great time.

But, the best part of the whole trip was actually TAKING the trip, making the steps to battle back my hindrances, and carry on in this year of transition. That was the best thing I could have done for myself. As a matter of fact, on the bus coming back we passed some mini golf and I popped up in my chair exclaiming, “Dude! If I’ve got a couple of extra bucks, the next free day we have we need to come back and go play some putt-putt!!!!”

The bear I took to MegaCon got a lot of attention. I had a few people come up to me and ask if I had actually knit it. “Yeah! I did! I tell you what! Google ‘Mad Man Knitting’ and you can read all about it!” So, I decided to make up another one when we got home last night. Since I still have 7 skeins left of this really great Ornaghi Filati from Italy, I’d like to go through that stash, sorting of claiming this bear as the one that I clung to as I burst out of my shell. So, each time I finish one, I’ll post them here. I had to share this pic of him with Phillip. Thought it was cute as hell.

Oh! And don’t forget to get an autographed copy of my new book! That truly TRULY helps me out. More than you may think. Ok. Yesterday I got to take the day off and go to MegaCon. Today, I need to buckle down and get back to work! Oh! If you’d like to adopt the bear, click here. He’s ready to ship with a signed card by me. And he’s huge!

 

IMG_1439To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” or a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here. 

Going Mega

Ok, let’s start with my feet. Hold my hand, don’t worry, follow me. One of the hardest things homeless men deal with is a bad case of trench foot. If you can’t change your socks, nor wash your feet everyday, you lend yourself to some serious problems. I was no exception. My feet became deplorable. You can google trench foot and look it up, I won’t show you pictures.

Even after I had the money to move into my apartment, my desire to constantly keep my boots on was some moment of PTSD. I’d wake and put my boots on immediately. It all erupts from a fear, or an understanding, that Mario and I would have to move now, leave now, keep going. No permanence. Even after three years of living in this little apartment, I still had my bag ready, my boots on, a pillow case set aside to stuff Mario in should we have to bolt….as we had before.

Over the course of this last week I started shedding my “issues,” so to speak. I began confronting them. I began dealing with them, rather than making them my eccentricities. Walgreen’s had a pair of simple slippers, the rubber kind you’re aware of. Sole with a strap over the foot. I got some foot medication and then dealt with the harder part. “As long as you pay your rent, no one is going to make you leave…..” So for a week, I would wake, spray my feet, slide on my slip-ons and go about my day. And in that week my feet cured (and look really soft and nice!) and my spirit rested, some nervousness was smashed. I no longer felt the high intensity, hyper tension of always having to wonder if I’m going to have to leave.

The other issue I had to deal with was my agoraphobia. I haven’t left my 10 block radius in three years. I couldn’t do it without flipping out. “Feeling glitchy” as I call it. I’d get white faced and flushed, my heart would race, I’d sweat like crazy and become immobile. “Get me back to my apartment now!” In the last week, I’ve gone further, breaking further, pushing my boundary further and further out. It was all preparation for tomorrow.

Tomorrow? My friend Phillip invited me to Mega Con. (You’ll have to google that, too, if you’re not familiar). But, in a nutshell, a huge convention of comic book, sci fi, and anime fans. Now, I’m not into that, but upon some investigation, it looked like a lot of fun. And once Phillip bought me a ticket, I knew I had to go. It means so much to him.

“Everyone will be dressed as their favorite character, from their favorite book or film,” he said. And my mind went to racing. I can do this. Its a good 10 miles away, which is way beyond my zone, but dammit. I can do it. Imagine his surprise when I said that I was going to not only go, but dress up.

“As what?” he asked.

“Mad Man Knitting,” I replied.

Oh, can you imagine what I’ve done? Ha! Busting out, rather than slipping out. I’m going to Mega Con wearing my usual jeans, boots and ball cap, but wearing my “MADMANKNITTING” t-shirt and carting my back pack, with yarn, needles, and a teddy bear sticking out. Yep! Phillip said I shouldn’t be surprised if I’m approached by people wondering what anime story I’m in. I could only laugh! I’m really looking forward to it! It will be the first time I’ve gone further than a mile in years! YEARS! My camera is charged and ready. We leave on the bus at 8am tomorrow morning.

Now, we didn’t have the money to get autographs and photo ops with famous people. Alex Kingston will be there! I actually really like her! As well as two of the people from The Walking Dead, which would be great. So, we don’t have the funds for that, so instead, this is the bear I’m taking with me. Follow my plan….

IMG_1548I’m taking this bear with me. See my little signature card I have attached to him? Well, I’m gonna get as many signatures as I can….but, they’ll be character signatures. If I see a Wonder Woman character, I’ll ask her to sign the card. Spiderman? I’m gonna get his, too. Batman, Soul Eater, Dr. Who, anyone and everyone that is charactered up well, I’m gonna get them to sign the tag on my bear. And come Monday afternoon, this bear will be shipped out with all those signatures. Would make an awesome gift, especially if its personalized for someone who is truly into the Mega Con sort of thing, or a kid who loves superheros. That would be awesome! So, if you’d like to adopt him, click here.  Selling this bear would truly help out. It would allow me a day to go to Mega Con. And! We’ll be taking a ton of pics of me getting the bear signed while I’m there…..OH! And if you ARE going to be there (they said 60,000 people will be), come find me! Say hello! Say hello! The more friendly faces I have outside my comfort zone, the better :)

IMG_1439To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” click here. “Will Knit For Food” is only available on this blog. Paperback, 488 pages.

To order a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here. 

A Cotton Candy Bear

IMG_1544This is the last bear made with this really great variegated wool Shayla Morgan sent me. There is just a pinch of this yarn left, not enough to do another bear with, but maybe enough to do a sweater on a bear. But, it will be the last bear made with this yarn, which makes it kinda special. It really does have this massively soft plushness akin to cotton candy. He measures 12″ tall and is ready to ship with a signed card by me. He’s the only one, so act fast! If you’d like to adopt him, click here.

I’ll be blogging more later today about my previous post and my absence over this last week, but for now, I needed to go ahead and get this little guy adopted out. So, snag him if you can! Oh! And don’t forget my signed books! Talk to you later today.

IMG_1439To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” click here. “Will Knit For Food” is only available on this blog. Paperback, 488 pages.

To order a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here. 

Not the Proud Gay Man

I know I’ll lose a few of you. Forgive me for speaking my mind,

So I pinch myself.

I wander over to write something, slip back, biting the nails and recoil. “No, I can’t say that.” The truth is, in this world we’ve candy pumped for ourselves, one false move on the internet, one strange statement can kill you. And that concerns me. It terrifies me that if I should write what I want to say, there will be a legion of people that will not only no longer follow this blog, but will tell others, “destroy him….”

We’ve been doing too much of that of late. Too many calling for the heads of those that disagree with us.

I’m not proud of being a gay man for a number of reasons. To begin with, it’s not something I had to aspire to, nothing I had to fight for, nothing I accomplished. Being a gay man is no more impressive than my having brown eyes. I was born with it, there it is. No work needed on my part. Another reason could be one that is mired in the political sphere that everything seems to fall into these days.  A cavernous, jagged place where no one can return from uncut, unscathed, despite what side of the cavern you fall. My sexual interests do not determine my personality, nor do they define my politics. I’m too smart for that.

And all it took for me to realize that I have to say what’s on my mind was the issue in Indiana (see your favorite facebook share to see whom says what and why), and of all people, Elton John.

How dare he decide to call a boycott against someone who disagrees with him. I’ve hated his music since he sobered. I’ve hated his music since he was Disney-fied. I’ve hated his political ideas. Doesn’t mean I want people en masse to destroy him. No, I’ll listen to his music on the radio and hum, but I won’t buy it. But, you see, in this community, this gay community, you’re supposed to follow the leader. Don’t you dare go astray.

I’ve never been fond of calling myself “a gay man.” I’m so many more impressive things. I’m a slew of wonderful amazing accomplishments….and at the bottom of the list, is a disclaimer. “Oh, by the way, I happen to be….” I’m not a gay writer, not a gay knitter, not a gay anything….I’m a man who happens to be…..hopeful, tolerant, caring. And those things that happen between the sheets? Well, as a matter of respect, because I was raised that way, those things are private.

I’m not fond of what the gay community has been doing to people who don’t approve of gay marriage. Our venomous turn has moved into the mainstream, into facebook and twitter, into the hellish removal of all those who don’t agree. And I don’t subscribe to that. I don’t admire those who wish to destroy those who have a different opinion. That’s not what we do. We listen, we hear, we disagree….we freely move on.

Simply because you and I don’t agree doesn’t mean that I should take to the wire and have you destroyed, your livelihood, your income taken from you. What manner of compassion is that? What example of tolerance is this? Not one that I can readily hold and claim and shame someone else with. I won’t do it.

So, I’m not proud of the way the gay community has been behaving of late. I don’t want it to be the singular issue we cling to, to separate us with, in order to claim equality.

I am a man. Done. You need to know nothing more. A tolerant man. A creative man. A caring man. A hopeful man. And if you were to ask me how I’d scream of my need for equality, my first choices would be that you were also tolerant, creative, caring, and hopeful as me. That’s equality…… and not a thing about your sexual interests.

 

IMG_1439To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” click here. “Will Knit For Food” is only available on this blog. Paperback, 488 pages.

To order a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here. 

It’s Not A Wink!

Well, I guess you can say it’s finally Spring when certain things happen. Sure, the calender marks a moment, flowers bloom, bees sting, sunlight shines…..and hay fever wreaks havoc on your eyes and sinuses.

A friend of mine was going to come over today and help me film some instructional videos I’ve been wanting to tackle. Sounds like fun, huh? However, I woke up this morning with one eye puffy and red, shut tight and dry. Dang it! Ah, well…..as long as its nothing serious it just ends up hysterically ironic. It’s just a case of springtime ragweed allergies. Hey kids, it’s picture day! Ewww….except for you….

So, we plan to reschedule for Sunday. But, I am looking forward to it.

IMG_1482Here is my bear for the day, made with yarn that was hand dyed and spun by Shayla Morgan. He ended up bigger than my usual bears, for the yarn is nice and thick. It’s also nicely variegated, moving from blue to green, to purple. Very nice yarn. But, because the yarn is one of a kind, so is this bear. There will never be another like him. And with this my last season, I like doing more of these “one of a kinds.” So, if you’d like to adopt this little bear click here. He measures 14″ from head to to, and is ready to ship with a signed card by me. I think he’d look really great in an Easter basket, surrounded by jelly beans.

IMG_1462Oh! And really, snag a copy of my new book, “Will Knit For Food.” All copies are autographed, so that’s pretty cool. But, you can take it one step further, if you want, and get it personalized to you, and shipped with a t-shirt. Which I think is even cooler. And the more copies of my book that sell, the less I have to knit, and the less I have to knit, the more I can rest my arm, catch up on orders, and start setting my eyes on what happens next in the continuing saga of “Mad Man Knitting.” Cheers! No, really, I’m not winking, one eye is just a little puffier than the other :)

 

IMG_1439To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” click here. “Will Knit For Food” is only available on this blog. Paperback, 488 pages.

To order a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here. 

 

In Bed With Boys, 22, a Connection, and Ice Cream

I’m having a really interesting and lovely day. The weather is gruesome today. Grey skies, misty air, a bit of a chill. So, I decided to do something I rarely do. I decided to work in bed. Now, you must know that’s simply not my style. Once I’m up, I’m up and working at my desk, knitting and writing my long spidery fingers off, long before the coffee is ready. But, I had been toying with the idea for a while. Leave the boots off, gather your yarn, curl under the blanket, grab some soup and knit in bed. And you know what? I have thoroughly enjoyed myself. Here it is nearly 2 and I still haven’t put my boots on. I’ve been watching classics….and I don’t mean 1940’s or such. I mean 1970’s. Films I’ve never seen before. Like, “The Boys from Brazil,” “The French Connection,” and “Catch 22.” I’ve actually been much more productive than I thought I’d be. I had the notion I’d be lazy and just drowse in and out with the needles poking me should I roll over. But, no!

IMG_1458I felt inspired, rested, and cozy in my little turtle shell of blankets as I knit up this little bear. He kinda reminds me of ice cream. I don’t know why. But, everyone’s perception is different, isn’t it? You may see something else. I saw ice cream. The yarn is by Ella Rae in 100% wool. I just love his face. He’s the only one, so if you’d like to adopt him, click here. He’s ready to ship with a signed card by me. If he finds a home today, I’ll put my boots on and rush across the street to get a nice warm bowl of Pho to Go, come back, slip back under the covers and knit some more while taking the occasional sip.

IMG_1462Oh! And as I was getting out of bed, I took notice of my stack of books all piled up.  I thought it would make a great picture. So, be sure to check that out, too.

Alright, time to publish this blog, sit back, and finish my movies.  It’s a great day for Pho! Pho to Go!

 

IMG_1439To order an autographed copy of “Will Knit For Food” click here. “Will Knit For Food” is only available on this blog. Paperback, 488 pages.

To order a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here. 

 

Faith and the Greater Good (Audio Excerpt)

Thanks to Kevin Potter for the advice and to everyone else for the encouragement. Another attempt at an audio excerpt. Perfect for Sunday morning.

IMG_1439To order a paperback copy of “Will Knit For Food” click here.

To order a Limited Edition personalized, signed paperback copy with t-shirt, click here. 

 

 

An Especially Good Start to Spring

I think today is the second day of spring? Is that right? Well, regardless if its the second or third, it is a great day, an especially good Saturday and a wonderful way to start the season. My t-shirts and books are all safe in my hands. Isn’t that awesome? I tell you, I was so proud to open that big huge box and and see my book finally in print, finally standing on its own, finally cataloging this long journey.

IMG_1439Now, as much as I wanted to model a great shirt myself, I just don’t fit into them :) I ordered large. Figured that was a pretty standard size. But, just to see how I looked in one, I slipped into the shirt and disappeared. Sure, pretty easy to do for a 6 foot gangly man who ways about 135. (I’m all sticks and legs). So, my friend Phillip decided to model it for me. And he looks so much better in that t-shirt with his tattoos and muscular forearms. So, thanks, man! Doubt people will confuse you for me!

IMG_1436We did take a quick shot of me reading it and just look at the glee on my face. What a smile! A smile of accomplishment, I tell you!

I’ve spent the afternoon signing copies and that made me feel….official? Yeah. That’s it! Official! So to celebrate, I had a Cuban sandwich, a cafe con leche, and a sit in the sun. Being in the house finishing up the book has made me pale :) When I got home? I kept on smiling.

 

IMG_1444It’s an awesome start to Spring. All the info you need about my new book is on My Book page. You can order a regular paperback, or  you can get a signed copy with the t-shirt. So step on over and take a look.

(Gonna go back to the other half of my Cuban sandwich now…..wow, those are good). All that’s missing is a silly cigar and a swank Fedora. Have a great Saturday everyone!

Week in Pink Pt. 2

IMG_1413This little one isn’t quite, full on pink, but pink striped with some powder blues. Perfect for a newborn, or maybe in an Easter basket, this little bear feels like cotton candy. :) This is more yarn from A Hundred Ravens. Truly love this sort of merino wool. Tender, fluffy, soft against the skin. This little bear is ready to ship with a signed card by me. Only one available! Click here to adopt him.

IMG_1433Oh! And check out my new t-shirts! Woo hoo! Pretty fun, eh? They’re only available when you get the book, “Will Knit For Food.” Thought I’d model one myself, but not even the small is a little roomy on me. But, here is my friend showing off his tats sporting my new t-shirt.