We left mid-day, I felt it should have been earlier. The drive to Niobrara was long and tiring. But I was with Michael, so there was bound to be good conversation. We were limited in song selections, but we listened to the good stuff.

Making short stops, we drove through small towns. Towns not even considered small, or maybe even towns for that matter. I enjoyed one the most. I don't recall its name, but they had an OK Auto, OK Tire and just and OK. I don't know what that would have been, I assume something with fixing things up.

You know you're getting closer when the land starts to dip and rise to hills and pine trees grow from the ground. It reminds me of Colorado in a way. I love it there. We make a couple turns and arrive to a dirt road. A twenty minute ride through ranches and cow crossings and we come to our camp grounds.

The river was pretty. It raced slowly through rocks. The edge was untouched with flowers of all sorts. A small boy played by himself in the middle.

The tent situation was interesting. My last time roughing it in a tent was when I was a cub scout in second grade. With no instructions, we erected our tent. Michael did it mostly, I held poles for support. We can thank his several years in Boy Scouts for that.

That night I slept in my underwear. It was too hot for anything more. I also slept about two hours.

The next morning we were tubing down the river. We left around 9 a.m. All 16 of us piled into a bus covered in dust with coolers in the back. I slept most of the way. We reached our destination past Smith Falls. I wanted to see the big waterfall, but I was informed I couldn't.

The cooler I brought was giant. I named it Goliath. It was made of steel and instantly weighed the tube down, dragging it along the rocks. I applied my SPF and grabbed a Coors Light. I was tapping the Rockies.

Tubing was nice, minus the shallow parts where someone had to drag all 20 tubes into deeper water. We came to the first waterfall an hour or so after floating downstream. We think it may have come from South Dakota, but no one is sure. The water is ice cold. So cold any buzz I may have had was gone. People who tube yearly called this the jacuzzi. There I dipped my head to toe under the arctic water and we saw a prehistoric mosquito the size of a hand.

Awhile later we came to another waterfall. But first we needed to go over 'dangerous rapids' which involved us hauling the tubes down rocks and through stagnate, dead water. This waterfall was like steps. Giant steps we climbed up. It seemed like we were the first ones to ever step foot in it. I loved that.

After more river we made it back to our camp. We had a good dinner, thanks to Michael. I craved ice cream, but then again, I always crave ice cream. The older kids (us) stayed up all night, the young ones couldn't keep their eyes open.

My pyro side surfaced. I found a bottle of lighter fluid and started squirting it in the fire. I was sad to see it didn't last very long. I threw a bag of Fritos in. Happy to see a 99-cent bag can burn brightly as long as 20 minutes. From Frito bags to sour cream dip containers, beer bottles to whatever I could find that wasn't being used.

The best part of the night was discovering citronella candles are flammable and burn until the wax is gone. We had our camp fire and three citronella burning. We called it our sacrificial fire to spirits. After naming it that, a locust flew down from the trees and sacrificed itself in a candle. It made a loud pop. Best part of the night. We were all 12-year-old again.

We left early the next morning. I made the decision to never sleep in a tent again. If I would have to, to at least have an air mattress. The ride home seemed faster. Passing through the small towns again, I waved to OK Auto. I don't mind driving, as long as I have good music. It's my 'me' time, my time to think. You can only imagine how happy I was to sleep in my bed that night. It was heaven.

To see more photos from the trip.


american doll posse tour

Praise Jesus, Tori Amos is finally coming to the states! Let's see how many I can get to!

October 9 – Albany, NY
October 11 – New York, NY
October 12 – New York, NY
October 13 – Syracuse, NY
October 15 – Philadelphia, PA
October 18 – Boston, MA
October 21 – Montreal, Canada
October 23 – Toronto, Canada
October 24 – Buffalo, NY
October 26 – Washington, DC
October 27 – Detroit, MI
October 28 – Louisville, KY
October 30 – Pittsburgh, PA
November 1 – Cleveland, OH
November 2 – Indianapolis, IN
November 3 – Milwaukee, WI
November 5 – Chicago, IL
November 7 – Minneapolis, MN
November 9 – Lawrence, KS
November 10 – Omaha, NE
November 12 – Nashville, TN
November 13 – Charlotte, NC
November 14 – Atlanta, GA
November 21 – West Palm Beach, FL
November 24 – Dallas, TX
November 25 – Houston, TX
November 26 – Austin, TX
November 28 – Denver, CO
November 29 – Salt Lake City, UT
December 3 – Vancouver, CAN
December 4 – Portland, OR
December 5 – Seattle, WA
December 7 – San Francisco, CA
December 17 – Los Angeles, CA


now you know jack

While browsing the isles of Target with Amy, I stumbled upon a new product. Jack - soaps, lotions, shaving creams, and so on. What caught my eye was the square soap. Not only did it appeal to my eyes, it smells very good (the signature scent, not the other two). On first use of the soap I found myself to be very happy. It lathers extremely well and it gives you a tingly sensation. Plus, you get three bars (or would they be squares?) for around $5. Not bad if I say so.

one night only

Two and a half years ago a lovely bar closed. Joy was one of the few gay bars in Omaha. I enjoyed going because of the atmosphere and good drinks - they also played bangin' music. I'm not sure why it closed, but all the queers had to go to Max from that point on.

After closing, they re-opened it as Joseph's, a 30s single bar that failed.

Last night, however, Joy opened for one night only. A drag show of all the original N'Joy girls took place and they filled the place by 10 p.m.

This photo doesn't do this behind any justice. That is the rear end of the owner of Joy, Eric. He now does drag and does wonderfully at it. Jeffrey also did a great show of Spoon Full of Sugar/Umbrella. The closing performance of Eric was entertaining. Kevin made a rad backup dancer. Kevin, if you're reading this, please return my boxer briefs asap.

Matt's after hours are awesome as always. I don't know how people stay up so late. But I made it until 4 a.m. I was proud of myself. I love nights like these. You get to see people you don't always get to see, and that's a very nice thing.


wiped away

The other day my MySpace disappeared. I'm not sure where it went but it peaced out.

I now have 0 friends. No name. And I went from being a Sagittarius to a Capricorn who doesn't want kids.

It makes me a little sad. Not that my life is on a downward spiral with no MySpace, but for the fact of finding all of the out-of-towner friends.

You're a thorn in my side. Damn you, MySpace.


for the first time
since the storm drew in
and clouds covered
what was once a sunny, peaceful day
in the face
after branches split
and rain fell
all over the bathroom floor
from the burn
of illusions
of things that were upside down

i'll leave that to the minors
plant seeds
in true green fields
away from the grass
blades that can cut
away from clouds
blankets that cover our eyes



i'm swimming
watch me dive
for the first time
i dove
belly-flopped at first
swim to the bottom
away from those
those thoughts
that haunt me
please tell them to leave
they follow me all day
and all night
when i sleep
when my eyes are closed
they are all there

i'm stuck in three stages
with waterfalls
and scorpions
let me find my keys
and move to the next one
i'll dive in and go
just please
let them go

i'll dive
i'll swim away from them
just like a dolphin
i'll be fast
and they won't find me
fast like a dolphin



Happy Birthday you old thang.

please girl
clean your guns
your system is failing
independence is lost
when you have the blind leading
independence is lost
when you can't love
please girl
find a way
you're more than them
our souls are hungry
and jesus is eating fast food


birthday boy

Today this little boy turns four! I've never met a kid who has so much energy but is as lazy as I am. His party was yesterday and let me tell you, I wish I was a kid again. He got so many cool toys. The bulk of them being Transformers. Babe and I tried to transform some of them, but they can be tricky. They ended the day with swimming in the ice-cold pool.

After their bath he asked me to play Star Wars with him on XBox 360. I asked him if it would be too hard for me and he said no. For anyone who has never picked up an XBox paddle, there are about 10 extra buttons than the original Nintendo paddle. After awhile of playing he was stuck playing R2D2 while I got to be some guy who a light saber. He kept yelling at me that I was doing things wrong. He put down his paddle and said, 'I'm going to go play with Ellerie, but you can keep playing.'

Then Gavin, Ellerie, Babe, and I sat down and watched an old school episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a Scooby Doo movie. It was past 10, so they really got to stay up past their bedtime. When Dawn came down to say it's time for bed, he laid on the floor and exhaustedly said, 'I am just so tired of walking.' So I carried him up and we headed home. Such a good day.


oh, love

Thursday evening a couple of us grabbed some blankets and wine and headed to Elmwood Park. Well, I just brought wine, everyone else brought the other things.

Jen was performing in Shakespeare's Love's Labour's Lost. She did a wonderful job. Below is a little snippet of it. I feel like she is a celebrity now, maybe I can ask her for an autograph?

When darkness said hello, Andrea showed up. I took a picture with her and the flash accidentally went off. The one security officer in the entire place yelled at me to keep the flash off.

It was a bit tricky to follow the story - with the wine and food involved. But it was a wonderful play. The weather was perfect and so was the company. Who's in for more Shakespeare?