Tag Archives: advice

Ask Amanda: Construction Site Concerns

Dear Amanda,

I work for a construction company and work with mostly straight guys.  They know I am gay, and for years it has not been an issue. Recently a very handsome and young new employee was hired and somebody joked asking “Would that work for you?” I agreed that it would.

Now there are stories going around regarding proctology exams performed  by me on the new employee. I am used to being the butt of jokes (sic)
however, I feel bad for the new guy and feel partly responsible for the teasing he is now getting, and of course he is not happy with me either.

What can or should I do?
Not-In-the-Closet Carpenter

My Dear Mr. Carpenter:

Goodness, how butch – a real carpenter. But Amanda digresses.

You are in a difficult spot and the solution might not be much fun at first but will, in the long run, work out very well.

First of all, I hope you now realize what you can say in response to stupid questions from your co-workers and what you cannot say. They sound pretty evolved if they accept you as you are but some of their red-necks are showing in the fact that they would take the response to the next level and put you and the newbie into the situation they have. Trust seems to have been eroded and Amanda hopes you have learned from that.

Secondly, Amanda would sit down with the new guy and explain exactly what happened and make sure he knows you didn’t mean any harm by what has transpired. He may not wish to hear what you have to say at first but it would be a very good way to mend the fence with him. At least you will have tried. Make sure he knows that what has turned into something uncomfortable really began as a compliment to him and assure him that you are not looking for anything from him except a good working relationship (and certainly not a proctology exam).

If you can pinpoint one of the ring-leaders of the rumor, Amanda would also talk with him and let him know how uncomfortable things have become for you and that it was not really fair what happened.

From this point on Amanda would recommend never talking about anyone within reach of your tacky co-workers.

Now, with all that said, how does one keep their mind on driving nails, setting beams, and snapping plumb lines with all those hunky construction workers around? Not that Amanda has ever had a construction worker fantasy – but really?

Kiss, Kiss, Amanda

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Best Advice

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer , Cleveland, Ohio

” To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I’ve ever written.

My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone…

4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your credit cards every month.

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone..

8. It’s OK to get angry with God. He can take it.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first pay check.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12.. It’s OK to let your children see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don’t worry; God never blinks.

16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful..

18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie.
Don’t save it for a special occasion, Today is special.

22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important sex organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will this matter?’

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone and everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give it time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles..

34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn’t do.

35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now..

36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved..

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere..

40 . If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come.

43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up.

44. Yield.

45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

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Lessons from dad

Dad taught me how to:
1. Tie My Shoes

Untied shoelaces won’t do. Dad taught me how to lace my shoes and tie them firmly in place. The laces need to be tied properly to give your shoe a proper fit and to make sure straggler laces don’t trip you and cause a skinned knee from a fall.
What I Learned: From this I learned that life at times can trip you up. A little effort and preparation before taking steps down life’s pathways will make your journey less treacherous.

2. Ride A Bike

My mom likes to tell me the story about what good little bike riders my sister and I were when we took turns riding on our shared bicycle. My older sister and I are Irish twins, I am ten months younger. Dad taught us both to ride without the help of training wheels on the sidewalk out in front of our home. Later, he taught us about bike safety when we became first graders and were given new bicycles to ride to school.
What I Learned: From this I learned about sharing, responsibility, and also the importance of balance.

3. Jump Rope

I was in tears one day after school because the other girls at recess would no longer let me play jump rope with them. I was a terrible rope jumper and was teased on the playground. Dad backed our car off the carport making room for me to practice jumping. He coached me on what I was doing wrong and helped give me the confidence to jump better.
What I Learned: From this I learned the importance of feeling confident.

4. Grow A Garden

In the summertime my parents had a large vegetable garden growing in our backyard. Dad toiled with the hoe, carving out the rows. My sister and I got down on our knees and pushed in the seeds with our “green thumbs.” With my father’s strong hands cupped over our smaller hands we covered seeded rows of radishes, carrots, beans, and corn with the freshly tilled soil. In the weeks to follow we helped to water and weed the garden.
What I Learned: From this I learned the importance of nourishment and caring for the bountiful earth.

5. Fly A Kite

My first kite cost 15 cents! It was yellow and I loved it. It came with a ball of string. Mom gave me a few strips of fabric to tie on its tail. Dad marched my sister and me across the street from our home to an open field where we could fly our new kites. He tested the direction of the wind and gave us a few instructions. After a few failed tries, my kite was soon soaring high in the sky.
What I Learned: From this I learned the excitement of being a part of something higher than myself.

6. Play Fair

Every child wants to be a winner. I was no different. My dad made sure that I didn’t cheat or take short cuts to secure the winning prize. My family and I played lots of indoor and outdoor games together. It didn’t matter what the game being played was (croquet, ping-pong, badminton, monopoly, or rummy), cheating was not allowed.
What I Learned: From this I learned how much sweeter winning is when the game is played fairly. And, I also learned the joy of play, win or lose.

7. Play Chess

My father taught me how to play many games. Chess is one that I never learned how to play very well, not for the lack of trying. But the lessons I learned from playing it have served me well.
What I Learned: From this I learned the importance of strategy. There are many different ways to win a game or survive a loss. And the most significant lesson that I took from this game as a young girl was realizing that the Queen (the female gender) had more moves than her King. Women are significant and powerful.

8. Shoot Hoops

Both my parents played basketball on their high school teams. To this day they are huge basketball fans, regularly attending the Hawkeyes games in Iowa City. I fondly remember shooting hoops out on the back patio before supper time. Dad patiently taught me how to hold the ball and aim for the basket.
What I Learned: From this I learned the importance of focusing on a goal, aiming for the best score, and most importantly that practice, practice, practice is an important element in becoming your very best.

9. Hunt For Mushrooms

Each springtime we would go trampling through the wooded areas looking for morel mushrooms. Dad would give my sister and me a few tips where to look for them. I loved these nature outings and often times picked more wild flowers than mushrooms. However, I fondly remember the afternoon I discovered a motherload of shrooms growing under a lush patch of mayapples.
What I Learned: From this I learned that some of life’s best treasures come from nature… and they’re free!

10. Save My Allowance

I credit my father, both parents really, about learning the value of money. I was given a weekly allowance but was not allowed to spend it freely. I was cautioned to save half of it each week so that it would accumulate into a larger sum. I was raised in a Christian home and was also taught about tithing.
What I Learned: From this I learned the importance of securing a savings account and about charity.

Thanks Dad!

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ASK AMANDA Gay Marriage

35-gold-wedding-ringsDear NSNMF,

The subject of gay marriage is one near and dear to Amanda’s heart and should be a vital concern for all of us in the community.

Amanda believes (strongly) that we need the right to marry – NOT to “be just like straight people” but to have the loving and long lasting relationships we find ourselves in sanctioned and validated by society (not that Amanda believes society has been a good judge of what is right and wrong up to this point). And God forbid we have “marriage that is identical to theirs”. Marriages in the straight community fail at a rate higher than 50% and then they blame us for demise of marriage and the family – STRAIGNT PEOPLE WAKE UP.

First of all lets get some definitions cleared up.

A wedding is a religious ceremony – actually a worship service within which two people become united into a couple. In the US we have unfortunately considered this a marriage and that has caused many to drag along a religious reason to object to gay couples tying the knot in a religious service. Amanda feels this is unfortunate. It is America and if the Baptist church doesn’t want to marry Amanda and her partner (If she had one – always looking – and please excuse the personal reference) then good for them – no one will make them do it. There are a number of denominations that will allow same gender ceremonies, the United Church of Christ being one WAY out in front.

A marriage really is a legal contract between two people that is defined and sanctioned by the government and in this light should, by common sense, be a right of anyone living in that governmental unit who wants to take advantage of that right and therefore gain the rights AND responsibilities afforded others.

Now that Amanda has defined the process for you allow her to shed some light into your overly non-conformist little heart. Get over yourself!! People should and do have the right to live anyway they wish, in singles, groups, couples and they have the opportunity to call it anything they wish. People who do not believe in the concept of marriage – DONT DO IT. Much like the old abortion slogan – If you Don’t Believe in Abortion – Don’t Have One.

For those of us who would like to be in committed relationships and receive the benefits of said relationship AND fulfill the responsibilities of that relationship – we should have that right.

To answer your question – middle ground? on this subject? That may not exist. But Amanda is very VERY adamant about this – if people within our own community fight the right that so many of us desire we will never win the battle of equality. This has been evident in most of the human rights battles we have fought. We rarely come together as a community to fight for our rights – we have so many subgroups who dilute the battle with personal causes and specific agendas that we rarely win. Our opponents are united in one objective – deny us rights – thus – they most often win.

The gay community needs to come together to fight for rights – the same rights everyone else has. Amanda has the right to own a cat – She doesn’t (thank God) but She believe you do have that right and would fight for it – right next to you, if that were necessary.

Get on board this fight – and if you don’t believe in it working in your life – don’t participate in the right when it is achieved – but PLEASAE do not help the other side by standing with them.

Kiss, Kiss (in spite of Her Feelings)

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