Loving the Sacred through Word and Image. Parliament Hill Ottawa. A Wordpress Production


SkinnyFatties Neckties Crowdfund Post

If any of my readers are in NYC or anywhere for that matter, take a look, go make a purchase or get involved with the campaign.
I hope you are having an awesome day. I’m a young gay small business owner in Brooklyn. My company, SKINNYFATTIES, was built by my service of making fat neckties skinny, and now, I’m looking to expand into a full-service necktie company.  I need your support to bring my crowdfunding campaign (http://igg.me/at/skinnyfatties) attention.

For each tie tailored and every tie purchased, a portion of the profits is donated to Career Gear, which helps low income men reenter the workforce, many of whom are gay.

Can you share this initiative? A blog post, newsletter mailing, tweets, newsletter, etc… With a little support, your reach can go a long way.

Campaign page: http://igg.me/at/skinnyfatties
Campaign press release: http://www.skinnyfatties.com/pressrelease.html

SKINNYFATTIES – Redefining the Men’s Fashion Industry with High Quality Products and Social Purpose

Founder of SKINNYFATTIES brings his tie tailoring company to Indiegogo

One year ago, Founder of SKINNYFATTIES, Joshua Adam Brueckner, found himself living in Brooklyn and unemployed. Needing clothes for job interviews, he mastered the craft of tailoring existing clothes he had in his closet. When Brueckner discovered that he could tailor wide neckties into slimmer ones, he launched SKINNYFATTIES, allowing men worldwide to ship their ties in to be tailored. This unique service provides an eco-friendly and money-conscious alternative to buying new skinny ties at retail value. All ties are hand-stitched in Brooklyn and packaged in a round metal tin, which prevents creasing during shipment. SKINNYFATTIES proudly offers free shipping worldwide. For every tie tailored, a $1 donation is made to Career Gear, a nonprofit organization that helps low income men transition into the workforce.

On June 10, 2013, Brueckner shared the SKINNYFATTIES story and unveiled four upcoming neckties part of their first collection. The 2.5” width ties are locally hand-made in New York City and designed by Brueckner himself. On the back of each cotton necktie is a small steal plate branded with SKINNYFATTIES. The ties will retail at $74.00 each. Similar to the tie tailoring service, for each tie purchased, a portion of the profits will benefit Career Gear.

SKINNYFATTIES is proud to support the efforts of Career Gear. Career Gear builds strong families and communities by empowering low-income men to overcome barriers and achieve self-sufficiency. In their 12 years of existence, they have helped over 30,000 disconnected and under-served job seeking men become self-sufficient members of their communities. SKINNYFATTIES is helping fund Careers Gears’ job readiness programming, professional development series and mentorships.

After a year of tailoring and studying hundreds of ties that men love, Brueckner has gained an understanding of menswear design. It’s a project he is very excited about. However, “As a recent college graduate, my student loans limit my ability to fund the project myself,” says Brueckner. Therefore, he has taken the idea to Indiegogo.com in an attempt to raise $20,000 in 45 days. The money will be spent producing inventory, putting SKINNYFATTIES on retail shelves worldwide. In addition to funding, Brueckner hopes to gain brand awareness and international support as they approach the men’s fashion industry with their upcoming collection and existing service.

If SKINNYFATTIES does not reach their projected goal, it might be years before you’ll see their ties on the market. To follow their project, be sure to find them on Twitter (@SKINNYFATTIES) and Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SKINNYFATTIES) and spread the word to your social media networks. Consider donating as little as $1 to help their project come to life. If you decide to donate more, you might be among the first in the world to sport their unique designs.

If you’d like more information about SKINNYFATTIES, or if you’d like to schedule an interview with Joshua, please email press@SKINNYFATTIES.com or send a tweet to @SKINNYFATTIES.

Joshua Adam Brueckner was born and raised in Ohio, USA. After graduating from Vantage Career Center studying digital media and graphic design in 2007, he moved to Chicago to work with City Year, a national nonprofit organization under AmeriCorps that unites young people of all backgrounds for a year of full-time community service. Brueckner assisted in launching City Year in Los Angeles for one more year. His work with City Year involved developing and executing large-scale community service projects to restore homeless shelters, inner-city public schools and community parks. City Year is often referred to as the domestic version of Peace Corps.

Brueckner later went on to study at The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) while interning at the Dolby Theatre (formerly known as the Kodak Theatre), home of The Academy Awards, in Hollywood, California. He transferred to the New York City AMDA campus and graduated in 2011. Brueckner took a full-time position with a commercial photography agency in Manhattan. Upon being laid-off from the position, he co-founded bottledBrooklyn (no longer affiliated); bB donates a portion of each purchase to end global hunger. Brueckner developed SKINNYFATTIES in July 2012. He is empowered by his experiences in community service and motivated to support those striving for gainful employment through his work with SKINNYFATTIES.

Make a list of things you’d like to change. Expand one or all of the point into a post. How do they inform one another? What connects them? What does that say about you?

cruise memere 2 copy

This photo was taken many years ago, I was a young twenty something, and the woman I loved more than life itself was still alive. My Memere …

This was a dream vacation we got to take together because I had a really great job and the ability to take friends and family aboard the ships on the odd occasion. There was no better way to repay her but with a trip to the Bahamas.

Oh by the way, this post is brought to you by Plinky.

It is Christmas. My 45th Christmas. Imagine, I lived to see 45 Christmases.

What would I like to change ???

I saw Sally Field on Oprah last night, speaking about her Human Rights Campaign Award for the Ally for Equality. And in her speech she spoke about her son, Sam. And how much she loved her son and that “God created him” so he’s gay, (then continued … Who the F*ck cares ???”)

And she said about the f bomb, that sometimes it is useful.

The holidays are really hit and miss for me. I love the holidays, and I hate them just the same. I find solace in doing for others on the holiday then reliving the knowledge that my family wants nothing to do with me.

I would change lots of things. I would love to see past resentments finally get rid of in my family. Instead of the way things are. Nobody speaking to each other, however I am in contact with my aunt in Florida. And my cousin in B.C.

Being gay is strike one on me. Being HIV+ is the second strike, and living abroad is the third strike. So what, I made life decisions for myself. It was all about me and not them. However I used them to get where I am today. Just luck my mother was still a citizen when I was born which afforded me a birthright.

I’ve been on the persona non grata list for more than a decade. And I wonder when do we stop punishing each other for growing up and making decisions  in our lives. And when do we move from Resentment into Acceptance ???

It’s not all about Me – or all about You. It’s all about Us …

I sent out 25 Christmas cards today. That two boxes of cards, and postage came to more than $50.00 … A nominal expense, but I enjoy cards. Sending them and getting them.

I wrote out one card to my family, in the states. Just my signature and sealed and set it on the pile. Last night I got balsy and tore up that card and wrote out a second card. With an invitation to dialogue.

You know, I am 45 years old. I am past middle age, when it comes to HIV. I am living on borrowed time, as they say. What would you give to hear your mother say that she loves you? Or your father the same. Or your brother say that he was interested in dialogue after more than decades of silence.

I’ve earned every minute of my life. I am a big man. And though my family lived on tit for tat backstabbing, we all played a part in where we are today. Everybody is guilty, for things we did or said, and for things we failed to say and do.

If I could change some things in the past, like knowing what I should have done when my grandparents had their strokes – they might have lived longer and our family would not have self imploded like it did.

My Memere lived a long life. The regret of my life, is not going to her funeral. That is another sore spot, because my mother did not want her infected fag son to be seen by the family. So she barred me from the funeral and burial. What was I going to say, “f*ck you, I’m going anyways???”

People who believe in the bible so hard, they loose sight of what is really the meaning of life, and what the words in the Bible really mean. How can you espouse the bible and never set foot in a church? Did Vatican authority really force you to think, believe and say the things you all said?

Like Holy Mother Church was in the next room !!!

In sobriety we work our steps. And I have been through my steps. I made my lists and spoke to my resentments and pain. Some items on that step 4 list never get removed for good. There is still bitterness and anger. But what can I do, I am powerless over people, places and things.

I know better than to get my hopes up. My 11th sober anniversary is on Sunday and what a sober gift it would be to reconnect.

All you gotta do is Google me. And there I am. I am not hard to find.

What does this say about me? Family is everything, when you have none. No gay boy or girl, should ever be sent away or forced out of their family just for being gay. No way, No how, No argument. No gay adult should feel less than because members of their own family deny they exist because they are gay.

Time is a precious commodity, once wasted it can Never be regained. We all live on borrowed time, we are all going to die, and would you rather go to your grave with resentments in your life, or a clear conscience, surrounded by family?

Shit, I have a great friend in the sphere and on twitter who gave birth to a gay teenager (well he is a gay teenager today) and the second son is (Gender Queer) and son three is still too young to present. And she loves her boys. So does her husband Adam. I would kill to have a mom like Sam.

Times have changed, and You owe me at least respect.

The bible says “Honor thy father and mother.”

I find it hard to honor a human/humans who do not honor me. Love skipped a generation when it came to my parents. It seems they did not get the memo from the grandparents. They all died too soon to impart the message.

And I don’t know if I can teach an old dog new tricks.

Sunday Sundries …

Courtesy: EverythingsMagic

It is a beautiful day in the neighborhood. It was cold last night. Our first night coming ever so close to single digits. Definitely hoodie and sweater weather. I have to get my toques out of the closet.

I spoke with my friend Sam last night, and after said conversation I took the plunge and opened up a Twitter account. (@jandrews1350). It was the last piece of technology that I had been avoiding since it’s inception. But thanks to Sam, you can follow my tweets. There is a twitter feed on the blog on the top right side of the sidebar.

This morning came early and I set off for the Metro and went to put tickets on my card and the damned machine would not accept my debit card … So I drained my wallet of all my cash to buy tickets.

My fellow community seeker met me for church at the Cathedral. It was a nice service. And I did not know that one of our mutual friends from the room is a deacon at the cathedral. He was getting on ok, without his cane until the end of the service. As usual my spiritual director was on the altar with the rector and the assistant priest (they were ordained together in June).

We stayed for coffee and conversation with a few folks. I joined up for a talk on Spirituality on the 21st of September. (this coming Friday). That should prove to be exciting. Since I have Friday night’s free.

After service we walked back to my friends home and it was beautiful out. I had never been up in that neck of the woods. McGill was hosting a football game so there were a lot of people out and about. And then we crossed Parc – right at the mountain and I spied the cross on top of the mountain. That’s someplace that I haven’t been in a long time.

She showed me her films and we farted around on the blog. You really don’t know the love and care that I put into this site. It’s a lot of grunt work, making all the bells and whistles work.

We had simple lunch of soup which was great. And then I took the bus home. The day is only halfway finished. More to come later on this evening.

The evening grew cooler as the sun went down. I was needed to meet up with one of my friends to help with set up and coffee. I just enjoy this meeting so much because of all the wonderful people that attend.

It was a packed house. And we are two stories from the end of the book that we have been reading for many months now. One more story, then the end of the month tradition meeting and then the first week of October to finish the book, then we move back into reading the Big Book from cover to cover.

We won’t get to the stories in the back for some time because of the first 164 pages are the same in all editions. We will have to make sure folks are reading from a 4th edition because we did not read those stories yet, because the text we are in now only cover editions 1,2,and 3.

Our story tonight was about a man of war located in Europe in the late 1930’s and into the 40’s and WWII. And after more than twenty years in the armed services our man found himself looking at a medical discharge because of his drinking. They let him go, even when he couldn’t see that he had the problem. He had to be hard off to get booted from WWII service.

The thread that most of us picked up on from the story was the connection between our man and his mother. She had done everything for him that she could to the point of becoming pitiless and sorrowed. It came to pass that she was going to turn him out into the world on his own, and at this point, there was nothing he could do to or know how to take care of himself because he was so thick in the drink. But he found the rooms in Ireland. And got sober. And he got his family back and he stayed sober.

I was twisting in my chair all throughout the meeting because my mind was churning. I was trying to find the words to speak what I wanted to say, and it went like this …

The first time I got sober, it was mere weeks into my AIDS diagnosis. All of my friends bailed. My parents bailed, my brother bailed. My then boyfriend bailed on me. Leaving me with nothing but the shred of self respect I had left.

There was nobody to care for me or about me, so why bother?

If Todd and Roy had not saved me from the grip of death and addiction to alcohol, I would surely have died years earlier. They loved me back into life and well into years of sobriety. From point A to point B, when I worked for them and then point B, when they decided to pull up stakes and move out West, I was safe.

Once they were gone I had to reintegrate back into a world I knew nothing about, because I lived in their world for two years never having to deal with the outside on my own. I always had them to guard and guide me.

But they moved away. And for two years I stewed. I wasn’t sponsored. But I was going to meetings. I made a few friends in Miami, where I was now living and I had a job. While that lasted. Not very long …

But the farther that time took me from the protection of Todd and Roy, I was left to  my own devices. And hindsight tells me that that was not a really good place to be (left to my own devices). And I made a fateful decision that facilitated my slip back out the door.

And you would have thought that after everything that I was put through during those next few years that I would not walk, but RACE back to the rooms. I knew where they were.

The sad fact is that after 9-11, We, Me, Us, and everybody else, just could not stop drinking. It was sickening. But I thought tonight that had i stayed on the drink, and not gotten sober, nobody would have been the wiser. I had no family to get back, no friends to get back, no real life to speak of. And that’s the way it was.

Had it not been for Troy taking me back to my first meeting, after his kind and loving care over the weeks prior to him breaking his anonymity to me and inviting me for his cake that very night, I may not have gotten sober again.

And had it not been for Ed, and Fonda, and Charlie and Malaika and Christian, I probably would not have stayed. They cared for me around the clock. For months at a time. They gave me a reason to get sober again. Having other people counting their days like I was was stimulant to the journey to begin in earnest.

Family has always been a sore spot for me because we live in separate worlds. And it is ignorance, stupidity and arrogance that keeps us in separate worlds. Once an abomination always an abomination… There is no salvation there.

I have a reason to stay sober today. And I am grateful for every single person in my life today. Especially my new found friends who make time for me and want to break bread with me and who love me because I am a human being who deserves love and care. It has been a wonderful day.

Welcome to my twitter followers. If you have twitter, add me and follow along the blog on twitter, since I added the link now.

I hope you all had a good day today.

More to come, Big Brother begins shortly.