Saturday, February 19, 2011

Too much information... proceed if you dare...

I'm surprised I've never been asked the following question, because it's something I ask myself just about every day...

"How do you live with Irritable Bowel Syndrome without killing yourself?" 

The answer?  Well... I guess you've gotta have a pretty good sense of humor about it all.  It's one of the more humiliating things you could have wrong with you.  I mean, I guess I could have a conjoined fetus attached to my head, but I think South Park did a good job of making that a socially acceptable condition.

If only the fetus had IBS... now that's comedy!
It's a terribly painful disorder when it's got its flareups.  I'll let you Google Image Search photos like fissures, ulcers, and hemorrhoids (which, luckily, I've yet to experience) because I don't wanna get my blogger account suspended.  The best way to describe the IBS sensation...

I've spent a good chunk (Get it?  Chunk?  Poop?  Huh?  Huh?) of my spare time sitting on toilets, contemplating all the reasons God hates me.  I figure it's because of my lack of hate for gays.  But I digress. 

It's this toilet time that really, really adds a layer of humiliation to folks like me.  I'm sure there are twelve Farelly Brothers movies that have to do with some unfortunate dude that's stopped in to wash his hands over at McDonald's only to be trapped with someone making obscene sounds behind a stall door.  Granted, public bathroom etiquette dictates (at least in my mind) that if you're gonna cop a squat, you should do it as quietly as possible.  There have been many a times I've killed time at airports where weary travelers are making some ungodly noises - grunting, straining, heavy's enough to make you wander exactly what they're giving birth to next door.  Come to think of it, next time I'm in that situation, I should take an audio recording so I can post that to Facebook... though I'm not sure how to tag strangers...

There's nothing wrong with being quiet and trying to maintain some dignity while doing very undignified business.  Making a scene just leads to snickers and pointing.

And staring, apparently...

When I was on the road, wrestling, I was given the distinct opportunity to use bathrooms in rest areas, gas stations, and community centers.  I'm fairly sure that's why my IBS changed from moderate to severe - I must have picked up something from those hell holes. 

Rest Areas, surprisingly, seem to be the cleanest of the three.  If you can manage waiting until the border, you can usually get some choice seating at a visitor center rest area.  Those tend to be maintained pretty well.  Though, you have to be cautious of the auto-flush mechanisms because a lot of them are so sensitive that the second you shift your weight (to limit the amount your legs go to sleep), they flush and you get a nice dirty-water bidet treatment.  I'd go during the day, if at all possible.  At night, cleaning crews aren't on hand, and you may be better off just going around back.

Gas Stations are pretty bad, as you can imagine.  Most folks that are desperate enough to cop a squat in a gas station toilet are the kind of folks who would do it in a port-o-potty (guilty), so you're dealing with pools on the floor, lack of paper, and gang-signed seats.  I still haven't figured out the whole "tagging the toilet seat" thing.  Maybe by getting into the proper toilet seat tagging position, they're preparing themselves for prison life... I assume toilet taggers would be the bitch in a prison situation.  Avoid gas stations unless you have no shame.

Community Centers tend to be made for little kids.  Toilets about a foot off the ground, three squares of paper left, and no locks on the stall doors - if they have doors at all.  This is the most terrifying time to have IBS when you know some 7 year old can bust in on you and start pointing and laughing, knowing full well you can't do jack shit about it. 
You're lucky my pants are around my ankles
So what causes all this trauma?  Life, generally.  Stress factored in with poor dietary choices.  It's amazing how little things can cause such chaos.  

Vampires have garlic.  Superman has Kryptonite.  I have fiber and lactose.  This week, more specifically, I had Wasabi Peas.

Please note my restraint on using "Give Peas a Chance"
So things that wreck my week?  Let's see.  Milk.  Cheese.  Butter.  Greens.  Beans.  Apples.  Bananas.  Animal fats - bacon, ground chuck, dark meat chicken, etc.  Juice... am I leaving anything out? Water perhaps?

So what things to I eat to get around having these stomach issues?  Well, there's bread.

That's about it. 

So to recap... avoid Gas Stations.  Poop with the grain.  And learn to laugh... cause it ain't getting any better. 

Next week, We'll tackle my colostomy bag. 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

School's out...

But I've yet to find steady work.  Maybe it's time to start blogging my funny stuff again, since I've got nothing else going on.  That doesn't sound the least bit pathetic.

I'll update sometime this week.  If I don't... then maybe I've earned a job... or started playing in traffic again... either way, I'll be able to make a dent in my student loans.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Sweet smell of death

I am hunter. 

I am killer.

I am genocidal.

I am man. 

What makes me such?

This does

Do I feel bad about murdering thousands upon thousands of innocent spiders in my garage?  Hell no.  They brought it upon themselves.  And if history's any indication, my wife's not willing to root out and kill all the eight-legged-freaks herself, so it's on me.

What brought this up? 

A little backstory...

A few years ago, I found out I was going to head out west and go to film school at USC.  Awesome.  What's not awesome?  Traffic.  I used to commute 45 minutes to work and 45 back - this was back when I worked at that god-awful, two-bit Fox TV station - and covered about 70 miles round trip.  Trying to get 70 miles in a DAY in Los Angeles is generally considered suicidal. 

The thought of spending vast amounts of time in my car not going to a wrestling show, sounded like kind of a bummer.  So, I did the only logical thing I could think of. 

I manned up by proving I have a small penis

I picked up a 1998 Yamaha Virago for a few thousand bucks and started putting rubber to the road.  Lane splitting, ocean air, and year-round operation way outweighed the fact that I would have been zipping around the second largest city in the country on a donorcycle with about three months experience. 

Of course, when we got out here, it took about six months just to get used to navigating Los Angeles, let alone figuring out the traffic patterns.  But that didn't seem to matter much, since the Virago's engine seized up three months before we moved. 

What does this have to do with spiders, you ask?  Well, I'll tell you, Mr. Impatient. 

Before the Virago stopped a-runnin', I gave it a real good wash-down.  The whole shebang.  Wash.  Wax.  Leather treatment.  That saddle was as slick as the Gulf of Mexico.

This was when I found it.  I pulled the pillion (passenger seat, pile-on seat, bitch seat) and found the world's biggest spider nestled in the world's biggest spider's nest. 

Like this, but in nightmare form
I wasn't even aware that spiders nested.  I thought they just spun some webs, talked to the occasional pig, and sometimes tried to take over the world after nuclear explosions.  This particular spider was a potential world destroyer at, perhaps, the size of a quarter. Obviously just a few days into its nuclear reaction, this little pest was using my Virago as a growing ground, feeding on the random bugs that liked to crawl all over the newly treated leather seat. 

And, now that I think about it, that little jerk was probably biding his time, waiting for the perfect moment to kill and eat me.  He was like a farmer, but four times as effective (because spiders have four times the arms).  Maybe that's why I put on so much weight after I quit wrestling. 

Or it could have been the gallon a week...
In the most man-ish, high pitch squeal I could muster, I reached for the only weapon I could find.  A full bottle of Windex, which I unleashed with a terrible aggression.  Half a bottle later, the man-killer had either been poisened to death or drowned.  I was OK with either.  Had I been able to find the remains, I'd have mounted that sucker for the world to see.  Sever its head and mount it on a toothpick, warning others to stay away from my ride. 

For all I know, that spider enjoyed his bath, and just ducked under the main seat, waiting to absorb the Windex as a super-grow nutrient formula.  Maybe it was for the best that the bike broke down. 

But nowadays, I have another mode of transportation.

Bigger engine means even smaller penis
And this Suzuki Boulevard C50 sits in my garage with a very inviting pillion just beckoning to the black widows and brown recluse and all those other creepy crawlies to hitch a ride down the 405 just to snack on my liquefied insides.

Not on my watch.

I finally took the time to clean out the garage properly.  I uncovered so many spiders, my skin's still crawling after two weeks.  I can't believe I'd let it go so long.  Who knows how many time I've cheated sure death on the interstate.  If one of those guys crawled on my hand going 70 mph, I'd be tempted to dump the bike just to try to squish the sucker against the center barricade. 

So I set off the bomb. 

And there's nothing left to worry about. 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What happened to customer service?

This week's update is going to be a short one, as I've not had a lot of sleep lately, and I'm getting some medications zeroed in.  Long story... 

But this has to do with said long story. 

Is customer service a thing of the past? 

There used to be a time, really, not so long ago that one could walk into a department store and be asked by some brat kid with a mohawk "can I, like, help you or something?"

Now, they're just creepy looking

Now, you're lucky to even have a cashier at the grocery store.  I know this is a reach for the spirit of this blog, but it's my blog and dammit, I'm gonna reach around until I find something manly in here...

My story begins at the Rite Aid down the street from me and my mission to refill my Class B drug of choice: Adderol.  This is a very taboo drug in Los Angeles.  Everyone is on it, but no one really needs it.  We're all really ADD but it's because work is boring when it's beautiful outside and we're surrounded by ridiculously good-looking women all the time.
Ridiculously good-looking

But my journey into normalcy created by said Class B drug has had a lot of speedbumps along the way.  First...the pharmacies are on to all you doctor shoppers.  No one in the greater LA area carries Adderol's generic.  They carry the brand name and the Extended Release, which is close to $200 a month for 15mg without insurance.  Thank God for USC's anal insistence that students carry health insurance, else I'd have to take out some student loans to pay for all these obscenely high costs...

Maybe they should require college insurance.  Because man, if I could get away with just a co-pay for this 6-figure education...awesome...

I'm stuck on money... I need a positive USC distraction...

That's better

So, it turns out the only place within helicopter distance to my pad in the Valley that carries my particular prescription, dosage, and amount was the Walgreens in Tarzana.  Yes.  Tarzana.  The town named after the jungle man that happens to be situated in the desert.  Fair enough.  But this whole idea of driving (or riding) 15 minutes up the road to drop off my script, then wait the obligatory 20 minutes that inevitably equals out to 40 minutes worth of roaming the aisles, then the 15 minute ride back seems a bit silly when I have a Rite Aid 45 seconds from my pad. 

So I finally took the plunge and dropped off my script with what has to be the most inept bunch of medical folk I've encountered.  By law, one of them is supposed to have a Ph.D., right?  I can't imagine which online college the lady in charge graduated from, but my guess is it was an off-brand DeVry.

Study to be a doctor, a lawyer, and a basket weaver

I was under the impression that Rite Aid was world renowned for their customer service, answering prescription questions, and helping people escape the clutches of the automated blood-pressure machine.  But this place is different.  I immediately got the stink-eye for handing them my valid prescription. 

"Let's see:

Student?  Check.

Motorcycle?  Check. 

Cheap haircut? Check.

This guy's gotta be a pusher."

I know that's the inner monologue bouncing around in her melon.  "This guy's gonna cash in selling little blue pills to his classmates at $5 a pop.  I bet he's staying in school with the sole purpose of banking the possible $700+ a month this particular prescription could be worth."

Never mind my schooling is costing me $40k a year, my potential income as a screenwriter is somewhere between nothing a year and a few million a year, depending on how awesome I am...and if I have access to the medication that's gonna keep me thinking about words on paper instead of wandering from shiny thing to shiny thing.
Or shiny things...plural

 So, here I am, in my head, defending my need for a doctor prescribed medication to the pharmacist.  When I'm not in the mood for it, I don't deal well wih confrontation.  I tend to get walked all over. 

Maybe that's the man thing I need for this blog to be relavent.  Real men stand up for what's right, no matter how hard it is, or how uncomfortable you may end up feeling For instance...check out my facebook debate with Rebekah about gay marriage. 

Ha, I knew I'd find something if I reached around long enough.

Anyway, so it turns out, that they're going to fill the script.  So I ask a general, no harm question.

"Since I'll be a returning customer with a particular prescription need, will you keep this medication in stock, from now on, so that when I have to come in and get a refill, I don't have to wait 2-3 days?"

"No, we need a prescription."

"But you have one... in your hand."

"We don't carry medications without prescriptions..."

... I tried to fish for a smart ass response, but she literally turned and walked away.  Literally. LITERALLY. No thank you.  No I'm sorry.  No nothing.  Just walked away. 

I'd be inclined to believe her, since she is a Ph.D.  But there are (again) literally hundreds of bottles medications sitting on the shelves in my eyeline.  I know they carry the non-generic Adderol in smaller amounts.  Why would it be that difficult to carry my prescription? 

I wouldn't get an aswer, because she literally walked away.  This Rite Aid's customer service is balls.

That's right.   End on a high note.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pepperoni Pizza on the BBQ Grill

Is there anything more manly than cooking over an open fire?  Ok, maybe killing lions with your bare hands. But grilling is up there on the man-o-meter.  And grilling a turkey pepperoni pizza is infinitely less dangerous than hand-to-hand combat with large, predatory cats.  Plus it's more humane.  Unless you're a turkey that is.
Do I get to have some pizza too?
It's also a great way to score brownie points with the ladies.  Devin seemed to enjoy it.  And if you wasn't sick as a dog I'm sure I'd be bathing in money, love, and power...but she's sick and will forget about the pizza by the time she's better.

So, if there's currently little to nothing in it for me, why make this pizza and not just call Papa Johns? 

F Papa Johns.  That's why.

Plus, you're gonna pay a ton of money for a crummy pie from a pizza joint.  Little Ceasars has the $5.55 pizzas that taste pretty terrible, and anything you get anywhere else is gonna cost you $10-$12 and probably taste about as good as the carpet my dog sleeps on.

If you give me a minute, I'll put a topping on it
So what do you do?  It's fairly easy. Here's what you need:

2 cups of bread flour + extra (up to another cup)
1.5 pkg of active dry yeast (Fleischmann has got a pizza yeast that I tend to use)
2 tsp. kosher salt
2 Tbsp olive oil + extra
2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp honey
2/3 -1 cup of lukewarm water + additional for kneading process

You'll notice quite a bit of additionals in here, and there's good reason. I've found that pizza dough all depends on humidity, temperature, moisture of your flour, how active your yeast is, can be a guessing game, but it's like guessing how many hands a person's usually two, but sometimes you can be surprised.
Wrong again...
This is infinitely easier with a big ole Kitchenaid Stand Mixer...but since you're a guy, most likely you're like me and don't have one.  Or you're poor like me and can't afford one.  I'd recommend a hand mixer, but since mine got burnt up during the making of this post, I'd recommend using it only during the first cup of flour.  After that, the dough gets too heavy and you'll bust your motor.

Here's what to do:

The yeast (1.5 pkgs), the 2 Tbsp sugar, and 1/3 cup of water go into a large mixing bowl.  Nuke your honey for about ten seconds and squeeze in your Tbsp of that, too.  Whisk (or just mix...or use your hand mixer) this stuff until its all dissolved.

After about ten minutes you'll get a nice head on top of the liquid, like a terribly bready-smelling beer. This is when you start adding some goodness.  Get your mixer going and slowly add 1 cup of your bread flour.  Before you finish adding the flour, add your 2 tsp kosher salt and the 2 Tbsp olive oil. 

At this point, let this mixure benefit from the electric mixer.  It'll save you some kneading time, and will help build some big time gluten, which will make for a very stretchy pizza dough.  While it's mixing, go ahead and add the other 1/3 cup of water. 

After a few minutes, you should have what looks like very sticky pancake batter.  Start sprinkling in the next cup of bread flour.  Once the mixture starts getting heavy and your mixer starts slowing down, turn the mixer off and begin mixing by hand.  You're basically kneading at this point.  Just let the dough incorporate as much of the flour as it wants.  When it stops being sticky, you know you've got enough flour in. 

It may take the whole 2 cups, it may take less.  I added a bit more water this past batch, and it soaked up almost a full cup extra.  This sounds stupid, but listen to the dough. 

You're done kneading when the dough softens.  It's one of those things that you just know it's happened.  Anywhere between 7 minutes and 20 minutes of kneading is needed (get it?) to get your dough to this point.

Loose as a goose
What's next?  Get a bit of olive oil back into your mixing bowl and shape your dough into a ball.  Roll said ball in your oiled mixing bowl and cover the bowl with a sheet of saran wrap. Tuck this away for an hour somewhere warm.  A sunny window is nice.  I tend to go for the oven after I preheat the broiler for about 30 seconds.  You want it warm enough to make you sweat, but not hot enough to melt your plastic wrap. 

Think San Fernando Valley in the summer.

After and hour, your dough will have proofed, and more than DOUBLED in size...

Should I add the topping now?
Notice the gigantism that has affected the dough.  Turn this out onto an olive oil lubed cookie sheet - this will make for easy transportation later. 

This would also be a good time to preheat your grill.  I use a Char-Broil two burner propane machine. You're more than welcome to use something as big or as small as you'd like.  I hear this is good on charcoal grills, too.  But condo complexes aren't the best place for Fireball Jr... You hear me next door neighbors?

Safer than cooking with a pet dragon
So, back to the dough on the cookie sheet. You're gonna stretch the dough out.  If your dough isn't stretchy enough, it's okay to roll it out, but you'll score more points (and have a better dough) if you can stretch it out real thin.  You can even toss it like you see on TV.  But when you drop it, make sure the girl doesn't see it, or you'll have to start all over.

Once you get it the size you want it, make sure both sides have a light brushing of olive oil and head out to the grill.  This would also be the time to grab your toppings.  I did turkey pepperoni and Mozzarella cheese, but the photos I took were when I did Mexican cheese and ground beef.  A basic sauce is useful.  Dried herbs are optional - Basil and Oregano are my favorites.

Things you'll need at the grill:

Your dough
Olive oil in a small cup
Tongs and spatula

Awesomeness is often mistaken for toppings
Flip your dough onto the grill (which you'll turn your burners to low, so you don't burn the crust).  You may worry about the dough falling through the grate, but the second it hits the hot metal, it'll kinda solidify. 

Low heat = no char
The edges maybe fold over, but a lift with the tongs will keep them level.  It'll bubble and hiss (the oil will pop).  Put the lid down and let it cook for a minute or two.   It should look like this when you lift the lid.

Bubbles = flavor
Brush the top with some of your olive oil and get ready for the quickness.  Flip it over with your tongs and spatula and once again brush with olive oil. 

Grill marks = grilled pizza
A bit of sauce on the top, sprinkle with cheese and the pepperoni.

Grilled pizza = manly
Lower the lid and cook until the bottom browns and the cheese melts.  Once you're there, slide that bad boy onto your cookie sheet and slice it up.  This is what mine looked like:

Heaven from the fire
Now go put the brownie points to use, buddy.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fox News Article Thoughts

Memphis Christians Fear Discrimination if Revision to Anti-Bias Policy Gets OK

The nuts and bolts of the preceding article (for those of you who don't want to be caught with Fox News in your browser history...or those of us who don't like to read...) is that Memphis Christians are unhappy that a ban on discrimination towards homosexuals is being considered for city employees and those who have contracts that utilize city money.

Construction Guy and Cop are safe, but the Cowboy is so fired
This is an issue because the Christians believe that such a ban would screw up their right to exclude people for reasons they believe are immoral and/or personal choices.  In essence, a construction company CEO with a weekly Sunday date with the Big Guy and a gig building the new high school drama building feels he should be able to fire one of his man servants for turning down his lovely daughter in favor of his macho son.

Yes, sir, she's in wonderful shape...but...I'm gay
Now look, this is America and you have the freedom to hate anyone you want.  I get it.  Dogs hate cats.  Democrats hate Republicans.  Southerners hate blacks.

Oh, I misunderstood.
But c'mon.  Is this something really worth fighting for?  You think something (or someone) that someone does is icky and/or wrong so they can just be ignored?  I mean, I wouldn't think catching someone biting their toenails or picking their nose at the mall would be a fire-able offense. 

You've got no future, kid
This seems to me to be a case of "we got picked on in high school and payback's a bitch."  Though, I'm not sure "the gays" are the proper target.  Odds are they weren't the ones beating you up for being a "Jesus Freak" because they were too busy getting beat up for being "faggots." 

Is the issue at hand the fact that you can't stand up to the people who are the real problem in society?  I mean, heaven forbid you focus your efforts into a cause that means something at the end of the day.

God will take care of it

Don't worry, I got this
From my experience growing up in and around church, and in a Christian school, I think that there's some kind of intention there.  Unfortunately, it's misguided.

For years and years and years, the Christian community (and people in general, for that matter) have had some enemy to rally against that helps bring us closer together.  In 2001, it was the Muslims.  Before that, it was the Hippies.  Before that, the Jews.

Just doin' Gods work, here
If there wasn't a common enemy to work against, it's hard to imagine people coming together.  Since the dawn of time, there's been some form of evil to fight against.  It's what we, as humans, are all about.

Eight years of George Bush brought Democrats the together to grab control of all three governing bodies (House, Senate, Prez).

I'm trying to think but nothing happens
The fear of this control brought the Republicans together to try and stop anything from getting accomplished.

This healthcare bill would look really good with an "aid to North Korea" clause
Even something like Global Warming has been a common enemy for both sides.  The left claims pollution is the problem.  The right claims it's a scare tactic.  Ultimately, this common enemy that's "worth fighting for" blurs out what the true problem is.

I is cold. Can I haz a towel?
Why is this whole "state financed gays" debate even worth fighting about?  Have we forgotten that it's our differences that makes us human? That our different cultures, religions, and values help to strengthen us as people? 

Peace comes from our differences.

Do you think he could ride another cat? I don't think so...
Understanding comes from differences.

You mean this isn't right?
Love comes from differences.

She gave me warts
That whole thing about opposites attract is very true.  Look at your own relationships.  Do you tend to date those like everything you like?  Have the same viewpoints that you do? Have all the same tastes as you? 

Seven nights a week cause cheese is our favorite kinda milk
Probably not.  Take my wife and me.

When we met, I was a homebody tennis player that spent 99 percent of my social time in the gym or on the court. Now, there's nothing wrong with hanging with Dave Terry and Bob Mooney, but I was kinda boring. Oh, and I had stupid hair.

Wanna make out?

Devin was an adventurous party girl that had friends all over West Virginia Wesleyan. She claims she worked out (treadmill) but after being with her for almost eight years I kinda think that was bogus.  And she was a snazzy dresser.  She had taste.  She had style.  She had class.

Cake is classy
And what makes us such a good couple? The fact that we're different.

Before I met Devin, kids were not something I was all that interested in having.  These days, I'm very hip to the idea.  Before Devin, I'd wear shorts and t-shirts almost all year. Today, my clothing collection - while still very inexpensive - is more geared towards some kinda style and substance.  And pre-Devin, you couldn't drag me to a show choir concert.  Now, I watch a show choir concert on TV every week.

I watch begrudgingly
Devin's changed too.  She rides motorcycles with me.  She listens to Howard Stern.  And though she won't admit it, she watches pro-wrestling with me.

She watches begrudgingly
The bottom line is that there are way more important things out there to get up in arms about than whether "the gays" can drink from the same water fountain as you.  Millions of people die as a result of something as basic as unclean drinking water. People are still being enslaved for the benefit of giant corporations. Malaria kills over a million kids a year. Malaria! We've got a vaccine for that.

In this day and age, for someone to desire a position of superiority over another human being because you believe that what they do in their personal life is offensive. 

Arguments in the coments section of that article:

The act of being gay is a sin.
Transgenders are just gross.
I'm worried about going to the bathroom with them.
I'd have no problem if they wouldn't flaunt it.

Moral views and plain old science aside..."gay as a sin" as an argument to oppress a people is ludicris.  If you believe that you should be able to fire someone because they're living in sin by being gay, then you should have the right to fire someone who missed church last Sunday to watch a ball game.  Or cheated on his wife. Or because you saw them coming out of a bar Friday night.  Or because they're a Democrat.

God don't listen to the left.
I'd be willing to guess that most folks that posted on Fox News don't know any transgender folks.  I do.  And they're good people.  And that's the thing.  They're PEOPLE.  Not hurting anyone, not wrong or right, not moral or amoral.  They're people trying to live life like everyone else.  They tend to get a bad rap because "tranny" is a dirty word that gets used as a punchline more often than not.

Recycled picture for emphasis
The bathroom argument is silly as well.  The last time I got my dick checked out by a gay dude in a bathroom was...well...never. As far as I can tell, at least.  Hell, maybe they have security cameras set up in all the urinals of the country because they really get off watching me take a piss. 

If you're worried about peeing in front of a guy, it shouldn't be because he's gay, it should be because he has a pee fetish. Your hatred is misplaced.

This way, the gays can't get a look at my Tic Tac
And the flaunting thing...okay, I grew up in a very small town. The most we ever heard of gay people were the over the top, limp wristed, lispy, tranny dudes in Oz. I could see how it would be distracting in the workplace if a dude came up to you with his shirt tied in a knot and his Daisy Dukes spilling his sack out of both sides and offered to blow you for some coke.

But 99 percent of the gay dudes and dudettes that I know dress and act just like you and me.  There's no flaunting other than instead of asking my buddy "how's your girlfriend doing?" I ask "how's your boyfriend doing?"

If private choices such as homosexuality are things that should be left at home, then maybe the unhappy Memphis Christians should be held to the same standard and stop flaunting their heterosexuality.

Good luck getting one of these, gays
In conclusion...I'm terrible at wrapping up essays.  But how this all pertains to being a man while surrounded by estrogen is that the true meaning of being a man is being strong. 

And strength is measured by your actions.  And loving your fellow man is one of the most powerful things you can do.  And by that theory alone, gay men are more "man" than any of us.

I'm not sure where that leaves gay women, bi-sexuals, or transgenders...but I'd say you're at least ranked higher than the Memphis Christians as decent human beings.