I Am a Burner Part 1: Just Before the World Changed

It’s that time of year. People are figuring out how to attach 250 2″ PVC pipes on the roof of their coffin-covered car with a U-Haul in tow. Faux fur is coming out of Target plastic bins and Burners are hosing out the inside of their playa-ridden Coleman tents. The town of Gerlach’s girls basketball team is readying to deliver hundreds of truck loads of ice to fund their uniforms and sports gear needs. Not to mention the newbies who will travel to Black Rock City with only sandals, silver pants, a boa and a 30-pack of bud and hot dogs.

I wish I were going this year; alas, I am not. Burning Man is SUCH a part of me in so many ways. I learned to stop worrying about being who I was. I still have many twinges of this, but I am challenged to figure out what I’d be if I hadn’t attended the Man. I spent some time a few weeks ago scanning old photos and pulling older digital ones off my external drive. Of course, I stumbled across photos from my ten years of attending. I made wonderful life friends there and learned to live without a cell phone and internet. And, to eat vegan.

I first attended in 1995 when it was only a few thousand people. The first time I went by myself, having read about the event in a magazine. I was that guy that took lots of beer and no food and planned to sleep in my 4Runner (the one before the one below). I didn’t take a camera, and photos from 1997 and 1998 still need to be scanned. So, my retrospective begins later…

In honor of The Sweet Spot, here’s a look back at a decade.

In Part 1, I’ll share 2001. It was just before 9/11 and as I look back at these, it’s strange that the whole world was going to change in two weeks and we would never have thought it.

Burning Man, DanNation, packing for Burning Man

2001 - on my new 4Runner (I still have it 170K miles later)

Burning Man, camp setup, Burning Man 2001

Building the camp on Monday

Hot Women at Burning Man

Lisa and Roxann on art bikes

Burning Man, sunset

My favorite photo that I've ever taken at Burning Man

shirtless boys, Burning Man

Seth and brother Daniel ready for Black Rock City

Burning Man, the Burn

Debra and I heading out to the Burn

Burning Man

The Burn

Burning Man

Friends from across the Playa

Someday, I will go back. We are thinking perhaps 2011. Wanna come?

Tune in tomorrow for “I Am a Burner Part 2: I’m OUT!”

Neil and David…Adopt Me!

Neil Patrick Harris David Burtka

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka walking dogs in Los Angeles.

Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka recently announced that they were expecting twins through a surrogate mother this fall. Good for them! We need well-known gays setting a good example. Guys, if you need an older brother for the twins, I am available!

It’s HAWT in the Bay Area

With the current heat wave in San Francisco (yes, I know, the rest of you in the U.S. have had miserable summers), I want to be this guy!

Uh oh…my husband is gay

UPDATE: Apparently this site is satire – the problem is, with all the Christian and right-wing press that I read on a daily basis, this could almost be real. Pardon me – I was fooled.

The very extreme website Christwire.org loves to call us gays “bigoted” and “flamboyant” among other things. When I read this story, I thought I was reading The Onion. This can’t be serious, I thought. Well, I was wrong…

Is My Husband GAY?

Right now in America there are over 2 million couples secretly struggling with homosexuality in their marriages. Are you one of them? Are you having intimacy issues? Are you suspicious about your husband’s late night activities? Or are you oblivious to a problem that could be putting your health and the livelihood of your family at risk? Don’t tell yourself that you’re simply being paranoid without taking a closer look!

Homosexuality can pop up at any time during a long-term relationship. Your spouse may have been experimenting with the “gay” lifestyle even before you met. Maybe he’s just using you as unwitting cover as he seeks playmates in the heterosexual world. For these types, the shame of being “outed” is so great that they will go to extremes to hide their lustful activities, even tricking a woman to marry them to appear normal in society. Sometimes it’s the nervous family who has rushed a young man into marriage out of a fear that his secret will be exposed. For others, homosexuality can appear later in life when men crave some escape from the monotony of careers and home life. Same-sex experimentation is also connected to drug or alcohol abuse. Crystal meth and other narcotics are proven to lower inhibitions and to drive people to take incredible risks to feed their habits.

For the wife unsure about her husband’s proclivities, the most important thing is to first confirm your suspicions. Drawing on the expertise of spiritual and medical professionals, Christwire has put together a list of 15 commonly-accepted characteristics of men struggling with homosexuality within a marriage:

1) Secretive late night use of cellphones and computers
Porn addiction is closely associated with homosexuality and a secretive nature implies he’s trying to hide something from you. Be on the lookout for a man who doesn’t want to web surf or answer phone calls in your presence. Texting is another favorite trick used by adulterers. For the sake of trust, a married couple should share everything, including phone logs, email accounts, chat friends and website histories.

2) Looks at other men in a flirtatious way
When you’re out in public, does he spend too much time looking at other men? Is he fond of winking at people? Does he get visibly upset when someone does not return a compliment about his physical appearance?

3) Feigning attention in church and prayer groups
Have you noticed a lack of interest in spiritual issues? Does it ever seem as if he’s just using church as an excuse to spend time around young men? Does he volunteer to mentor in all-male groups?

4) Overly fastidious about his appearance and the home
Natural men have a certain amount of grit about them. They sweat and they smell. Homosexuals often abhor this sort of thing and will also be incredibly particular about the cleanliness of the home. Does your man tweeze his eyebrows, trim his pubic hairs or use face moisturizers? Is he picky about brand name shampoos? Does he spend more time getting ready for a night out than you do?

5) Gym membership but no interest in sports
Gay men use the gym as a place to socialize and to have secret liaisons in the bathrooms. They like to work out their bodies without the competition of sports play. Afterward, they use the showers and steam rooms to engage in sexual activity beyond the prying eyes of women. If your man returns from the gym too exhausted to talk or have sex, that is a worrisome sign.

6) Clothes that are too tight and too “trendy”
Gay men don’t need words to communicate their availability for sex “hook ups.” They silently broadcast the news by showing off their lean, hard bodies in designer clothing labels. If your husband owns skinny jeans and looks at his buttocks in the mirror or if he wears an inordinate number of small-sized t-shirts, it is probably worthwhile to pay more attention to his private activities.

7) Strange sexual demands
Fetishism is a sign that a man is seeking a harder thrill beyond the normal intimacy of heterosexual relations. The woman may not appeal to the deep desires that are coming to the surface as the marriage drags on. If there is a sudden interest in sodomy, sadomasochism, lubricants, role-play, sex toys or other non-traditional intercourse methods, this is clearly an indication of deep emotional abnormalities.

8) More interested in the men than the women in pornographic films
Pornography is a dangerous element in any marriage but there are many Christians who feel watching it does add something to their sexual lives. If you have gone down this road and find that your man perks up at the sight of the men in these sorts of videos, you should be concerned. If he selects films because of specific male actors, this is an obvious sign that he is suffering from a crisis of ego and desire.

9) Travels frequently to big cities or Asia
Some husbands will spend a great deal of money traveling far from home to hide their deplorable same-sex actions. Big cities offer indulgence of every kind. From gay bars and clubs to prostitutes and sex bathhouses, a man seeking encounters can find them easily if he’s so inclined. Is there ever really a good excuse for a husband to visit Thailand or San Francisco without his wife?

10) Too many friendly young male friends
Someone who makes an extra effort to surround themselves with younger men should raise concerns in any community. If this is the case with your husband, ask yourself if he prefers their company to that of women. Do they touch each other or embrace in long hugs? Do they exchange expensive, personal gifts like scarves or cologne?

11) Sassy, sarcastic and ironic around his friends
A man who is secretly engaged in homosexual activity with others may exhibit feminine qualities when they get together in a group. In a sense, he has “let his hair down” and this will be seen in excessive back talk and speaking with one’s hands.

12) Love of pop culture
It’s quite common for young men to enjoy the science fiction end of popular culture, but when your husband becomes overly obsessed with romantic and feminine shows, that is cause for alarm. Gossip websites, Glee and The Golden Girls are three well-documented icons of the gay movement that genuine heterosexual men avoid.

13) Extroverted about his bare chest in public
Does he go shirtless in the back yard or at picnics when other men are around? Does he wear a speedo at the beach? Does it seem like he’s purposely standing right in the middle of a crowd to show off his chest and arm muscles, peppering people with questions about how strong he looks? He may be craving physical affirmation from other men and desperately looking for hints of shared desires in those around him.

14) Sudden heavy drinking
Sometimes people dealing with an unbearable emotional issue like homosexuality will turn to alcohol to hide their distress. Does your man disappear on drinking binges for long hours without answering his cellphone? Is there a strange odor about him when he returns, some strange mix of cigarettes and gel? Does he cry frequently?

15) Ladies, have you dated men in the past who turned out to be gay?
This is an important question to ask yourself when your marriage starts to have problems. Statistics have shown that women who have encountered gay men romantically in the past are the most likely to repeat this mistake in future relationships. If you answered yes, you should ask yourself whether you’re honestly looking for a man or just a shopping companion. Is sharing gossip more important to you than raising children? Ultimately, it’s a question of getting your priorities straight!

Is My Husband GAY?

Following all this is a series of links for “additional resources for the worried wife.”

You can click over to another informative story on the site: “Bigoted Gays Flamboyantly Celebrate Overturn of Proposition 8.” Wow – WE are bigoted? They fooled me. Here are my favorite tidbits from this story:

“Got Milk”.  Gay men often refer to their life seed as milk, because they know at school kids drink milk cartons. So when they sneak to the playground they say, “Got Milk” and try to act like they were just asking about lunch if they are caught, and if the kid says no and goes with them to get milk, they will end up missing and on a carton.  This is why parents must teach their chidlren (sic) that no, it is not okay to talk to strange people and especially man, because it is probably a prowling gay.

And of course, there’s this one…and no shortage of “news” on how we are unhealthy:

Gay mouth disease occurs when backside sins enter the mouth, then the gingiva become impacted with fecal matter.  This results in the typical black gums and foul breath that is common for gays in their community.  Dentists say every year, there are over 23,ooo deaths due to gay mouth disease and it is contagious.

And don’t forget our love of conga lines:

It seems these celebrators have formed a Conga Line, which is the gay’s favorite dance.  If you ever see a line of people giggling and touching each other’s backsides, especially two men in a row, they are probably celebrating something gay like strawberry cake day at the litte (sic) secretary office jobs they work at  or maybe their friends “Chris and John” finally getting a place together.

Nothing good ever comes from these things and nothing good will come from Prop 8.

You can see my original video of this “conga” performance here. No, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go to the doctor for my “gay mouth disease.” And the writer of these “articles” should definitely use spell-check.

“A Dog’s Purpose”: A Must-Read

A Dog’s Purpose Book Trailer no URLs from W Bruce Cameron on Vimeo.

I just finished this book on my iPad – being the dog lover that I am, I found the book inspiring and touching. Not to mention that I balled my eyes out at several points in the book. The story follows a dog looking for the purpose of life as that canine is reincarnated as a stray, a golden retriever family dog, a search-and-rescue German Shepard and finally as a black lab. Of course, the latter hit close to home as Louie is a lab.

Anyways, you can order the book here. You’ll love it.