23andMe Spit ‘n’ Ship

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I am BEYOND excited right now. Today I received my 23andMe package. I didn’t want to mess any of it up, so I read all the directions, as a person should, and I did exactly what it told me to do. The first thing was that I wasn’t supposed to start spitting into the tube until 30 minutes after I had my last meal, drink or brushed my teeth. So I ate lunch, drank the last of my coffee, brushed my teeth thoroughly, then I set the timer on my phone for 30 minutes, then I started spitting in the tube lol.

Of course, during this 30 minute waiting period I was signing up for their website 23andMe.com and agreeing to everything, filling out all my deets, and of course they wanted to ask me a lot of health questions. I believe I answered 160 questions. After I had spit in the tube and closed it up, I packaged it up and rode my bicycle to the post office and dropped it off. I took a picture of the tracking number on the package so I could track it, and you know I will be obsessively tracking it lol.

I’m not entirely sure how long it will take for my results to come from the minute they receive my package though. I mean, how many of these packages do they receive in a month? It’s very popular right now, so it could very well take 2 or 3 months before I even get anything. I’ve waited since first learning about my paternal father in 1985, so I’ve waited this long, what’s another 2 or 3 months eh?

Not only will I obsessively check the tracking to see when it will arrive at its destination, but I will obsessively check the 23andMe.com website for my results. I will also continue answering as many questions as they need to ask me so my results come back as accurate as possible. Just by answering 160 questions, they said I have responded to more questions than about 45% of people who used one of these kits, so I’m doing pretty good I think.

I made the first part of my video, and I had to cut it short because I was getting choked up just thinking about finally finding my paternal father and possible siblings. When I get the results, I will film my reaction and probably finish the video. Unless of course they find relatives that are actually in the U.S., then I will probably get a train ticket and go see them, then I will continue filming my trip and actually meeting them.

To be continued…

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I bought 23 and Me

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A couple of weeks ago I received an email from 23andMe with a free shipping offer. I didn’t buy it because I was waiting for the better offer. I believe a week ago during Amazon Prime Days they had the 23andMe + Health that is normally $200 on sale for $100, but I didn’t buy that because I don’t need to know my health, I just want to find my family. If I find my family and they have health concerns, they will let me know. Also, I think in order to participate in Amazon Prime Days, I would probably need to have Amazon Prime, so I would end up paying $200 anyway, and I just don’t have that kind of money.

Today I was looking on Instagram and I found an ad from 23andMe that said they have a 30% off sale going on right now for summer, and I thought this is it, this is the sale I was waiting for. I highly doubt they are going to offer it for 50% off, so I’m just going to bite the bullet on THIS sale while I can. The price is normally $99, but I got it for $69 plus $9.95 shipping.

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I’m saving $20.05 by using this offer, and I’m sure people will say that’s not a lot of money to save, but it is to me. I don’t have the money to spend, so I had to put it on credit, which I did not want to do, but I really want to find my family.

My mother told me about my real father in 1985 on my 15th birthday, but she didn’t give me much to go on. When I was 19 years old I asked her for more information so I could look for him, but she refused to offer me any help. After she took this information with her to the grave, I thought my search was over. In the mid 90’s I sent his picture to a missing person’s tv show called Unsolved Mysteries, but they rejected me because I had no information. I didn’t have his name and I didn’t have his social security number. So them telling me this made me realize I will never find my real father. In 2001 I finally got back in touch with my aunt from Simi Valley and she gave me some hope with some new information, but it still wasn’t much to go on.

Seeing an article about a woman who found her mother after almost a lifetime because of a service like 23andMe gave me actual hope that maybe I might find my real father, and if not him, at least siblings. So, here I am today, with actual hope that my saliva could possibly help me fill that void in my heart and soul that I might actually find what I’ve been missing for 48 years. And yes, I say 48 years because I always knew my step father wasn’t my real father. The day my mother told me that my “father” wasn’t my real father, I already knew he wasn’t my real father. I had hoped for all those years that he wasn’t my real father because I knew my real father wouldn’t have hated me as much as my step father did. I also knew I wouldn’t have hated him as much as if he were my real father. You just know, you know?

So I don’t know how long this will take to receive this DNA test kit, but when I do receive it, I will film it and wait for my results to put on YouTube.

Carpal Tunnel Surgery

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I have some good news and I have some bad news. Which do you want to hear first? Oh, this is a blog, so you can’t respond. Ok so I will give you the bad news first lol.

The Bad News: My carpal tunnel is getting worse. I’m in pain daily. The numbness is annoying because it’s all the time, and my left hand ring finger is permanently numb and sometimes it hurts really bad. In fact it hurts right now.

The Good News: I talked to my doctor the other day and she asked me if I was ready to have the surgery and I said yes, absolutely. So she faxed a referral to a carpal tunnel surgery clinic here in Bakersfield and they called me to make an appointment for September, which I assume is just a consultation.

So here is more bad news and good news.

The bad news is I will not be able to make any custom items for awhile. I have a current custom order for October for friendship bracelets and after I finish making those, I can’t do any more until the surgery.

The good news is my Etsy shop will still be there to buy anything that I have that is already made and packaged. So head on over to GayNerd.Etsy.com and see what you like and don’t forget to use the coupon GAYNERD for 10% off your order. I still have plenty of items available.

I probably won’t be able to go back to making bracelets or keychains for several months after the surgery. I don’t think the surgery will happen in September, I won’t know when it will happen until I go to my first appointment, but I expect I will be back to normal some time next year.

So I want to thank everyone who has ordered from my Etsy shop in the past and I do look forward to making more creations in the future.

23 And Me

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My life partner sent me this article last night about a 79 year old woman who took a DNA test and found her brother who then told her that her 100 year old mother was still alive.

Adopted woman, 79, meets her 100-year-old biological mom for the first time, after believing she was dead but then finding out she lives just 70 MILES away

It got me thinking, I’ve been searching for my father, but because I only had a picture and no name or social security number to go by, I really didn’t have any information to actually look for him, so I gave up. I found a picture of a man who looked like the guy in the picture that I have, but that was an obituary picture and he was much older, because obviously time has passed lol.

Anyhoo, I was thinking, what if I bought one of these DNA kits from 23 and Me that can show me if I have any living relatives that I didn’t know about? I think it is worth checking out. I will obviously have to put it on a credit card because I don’t have money, but I think I want to do it.

If I do do it, I will record video of myself through every step and put it on YouTube. It will take months of waiting for me to complete this video because first I’ll have to buy the kit on the website and it might take a week to get here, maybe a couple of days, but then it could take 4 to 6 weeks to get my results via email. But I’ve waited my whole life, what’s another 2 months eh?

I am excited and nervous at the same time. I’m excited for obvious reasons, I want to know if I have any siblings out there, and if I do, do they look like me? Or do I look like them? I’m nervous because I have many things in my life that I have been rejected by family and friends for already. My step father rejected me by telling me he wishes they would put all the, and I quote “faggots on and island and shoot them” when I was 13 years old. My mother even called me a faggot when she confronted me about being gay and told me I was going to hell. My older sister told me I was going to hell for being gay. I’ve had to quit jobs after coming out of the closet to people, and I’ve lost friends when they found out.

Other factors are the fact that I was diagnosed with HIV in 1991, and then diagnosed with AIDS in 1994. When I was diagnosed with AIDS I was advised by the doctor of the hospital to just go apply for disability because you can’t work now. Disability gives me medical insurance which helps with doctor visits since I have to see a doctor several times a year, and it pays for my HIV meds. Without medication, I will die. It’s literally the only reason I’m still alive today. I was dead in the water in 2000 when I had 50 t-cells, then the doctor at the clinic I go to now changed my meds and, well, I’m still alive.

My aunt who used to live in Simi Valley made it crystal clear to me when I visited her recently in her new home in Oregon that under no circumstances am I allowed to have a political opinion because she worked her whole life, she earned it. I skated through life on disability, so I did not earn the right to even have an opinion on anything, especially if it’s not the same opinion as hers. Basically, what I’m saying is what if they reject me for political reasons? I’m a liberal democrat, what if they are all conservative republicans and all they want to do is yell at me like my aunt?

And finally, what if I am the subject of ridicule because of the circumstances for which I was given life? My mother basically slept with a married man. The way my aunt tells the story, he was separated from his wife, and so they were in a relationship. I mean, she left that part out when she told me about him before I wrote my book, but still, what if they reject me for the very fact that my mother slept with and got pregnant by a married man? I have no judgement toward her for getting pregnant by a married man, but other people might, especially if my mother is the reason my real father and his wife were separated. They might take their anger out on me.

What if I do find my family and they don’t care about any of that and they welcome me into their family with open arms and they actually love me? That’s the dream right there. That’s the fantasy I’ve had my entire life. Finding my real father and he’s still alive and he wants me in his life and he loves me unconditionally.

I think negative about the whole thing because that’s how I’ve had to think my entire life. Expect the worst, but hope for the best. If it turns out bad then at least I tried, but if it turns out good, then at least I tried and it worked out.

I will start recording myself the day I decide to buy the DNA kit on their website and I will record myself along the way. The video isn’t going to be as exciting or good quality, but I work with what I have.

To be continued…

#MeToo

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I am very proud of Rose McGowan and Tarana Burke for starting a movement that exposes Hollywood executives, producers, directors, actors, and anyone who physically and/or sexually assaulted anyone, man, woman or child. Yes, men can be sexually assaulted as in the case of Kevin Spacey who is accused of allegedly sexually assaulted countless teenage males. We are also familiar with Corey Feldman’s story of sexual abuse by members of the entertainment industry in Hollywood. The casting couch has never been a secret, in fact, it’s been joked about for decades. We all know that some actors male and female have to perform certain… how should I say… jobs? to be cast in the role they are seeking.

None of us are completely in the know about all the details of all the accusations where any person accuses someone else of abuse. Someone accuses someone else of x y and z and without any proof we all believe them because we are conditioned to believe the accuser even when the accused deny the allegations, and the accused are guilty until proven innocent, wait… no, that’s not right, they are innocent until proven guilty. Right?

Now you are probably saying to yourself, but Mike, you have accused your step father and many family members of psychological and physical abuse towards you, and we’re supposed to believe you, right? Well, I have left that up to you to believe me, but I don’t expect anyone to believe me. My sister was there, she saw it first hand, yet she calls me a liar. She was also one of my abusers and she is telling people that I was the abuser. And this is my point. I don’t expect anyone to believe me because honestly I have absolutely zero proof of anything. I have witnesses, my aunt from Simi Valley who we lived with for a year. I also have other aunts who witnessed a lot of the abuse, but they only witnessed maybe 5% of all the abuse I took because it was mostly all in private. Even my own mother and my 2 sisters only witnessed 5% because they weren’t always present. So I invite you to believe what you want to believe based on my stories.

What if a accused celebrity says now hold on a minute, yeah we had our arguments, what relationship doesn’t have occasional fights? That doesn’t mean I physically, psychologically or sexually abused them. Take what Chris Hardwick said in his article on the Fox News website. Believe me, I didn’t want to link from them, this article was sent to me and I searched for the same quote from another website, and I found articles on websites that I’d never heard of, so I didn’t want to be accused of “fake news” so here it is from Fox.

“These are very serious allegations and not to be taken lightly which is why I’ve taken the day to consider how to respond,” he said in a statement Friday night, according to the website. “I was heartbroken to read Chloe’s post. Our three year relationship was not perfect—we were ultimately not a good match and argued—even shouted at each other—but I loved her, and did my best to uplift and support her as a partner and companion in any way and at no time did I sexually assault her.”

“When we were living together, I found out that Chloe had cheated on me, and I ended the relationship,” Hardwick continued. “For several weeks after we broke up, she asked to get back together with me and even told me she wanted to have kids with me, ‘build a life’ with me and told me that I was ‘the one,’ but I did not want to be with someone who was unfaithful,” he added.

“I’m devastated to read that she is now accusing me of conduct that did not occur. l was blindsided by her post and always wanted the best for her. As a husband, a son, and future father, I do not condone any kind of mistreatment of women.”

I have been a fan of Chris since I saw him hosting the show Ship Mates in the 90’s. I was absolutely crushed when I saw the allegations against him by Chloe and I tended to want to believe her too since I don’t think she has any reason to lie, but again, I don’t even know these people. I can wish something wasn’t true because I am a huge fan of them, but I was not there, so I can’t say who I should believe. I am reserving my judgement against either of them because it’s really none of my business. Who am I?

I saw a tweet from actor Robert Kazinsky today backing up Chloe’s claim.

There are several tweets from him on the subject, so go read them and decide for yourself. Also, read the comments on this particular tweet.

At first I was thinking ok why is Robert Kazinsky tweeting on behalf of Chloe? Well, it could be because they are currently in a relationship, so what I see is a guy who is just defending his girlfriend. So, once again I am reserving my judgement because like I said before, who am I? I’m nobody. In fact, who is even going to read this? I hardly ever blog so I’m most likely just talking to myself right now.

Why don’t I want to trust or believe anyone’s word? Well, here’s a great example. Remember this? 10 Years Later, The Duke Lacrosse Rape Case Still Stings. It was actually 12 years ago. This article is from 2 years ago.

The media’s coverage of the case inflamed race, gender and class divisions locally and nationally. But upon further investigation by North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper, Mangum’s allegations were deemed false. Cooper exonerated the students, saying in April 2007, “We have no credible evidence that an attack occurred.”

Here is an example of how someone tried to ruin Aziz Ansari’s life.

I went on a date with Aziz Ansari. It turned into the worst night of my life

Here is an interview on NPR

Grace says that things got physical at Aziz Ansari’s apartment after dinner. They kissed. He performed oral sex on her. He asked her to do the same. She briefly did. He was eager to have sex. She says she would try to move away from him and used, quote, “verbal and non-verbal cues” to show she was uncomfortable with the situation. Yet he kept trying. She eventually says she’s going to call a car. He gets her an Uber, and she leaves. And she feels violated.

Someone being uncomfortable with a situation doesn’t mean he raped her. He performed oral sex on her, then she on him, right? Then she probably had time to think about what she was doing and she probably felt uncomfortable and decided she was done. But in no way does that mean he raped her. You can’t use a powerful movement against a person because you felt uncomfortable performing oral sex on someone after you asked them to perform oral sex on you. You don’t have that right to try to ruin someone’s life over something you regretted doing. I’ve done more with a person I felt uncomfortable with, but at no point in my life have I ever tried to ruin their life just because there was a movement that I could take advantage of. I’ve been raped, I know what rape feels like. This situation is not a rape situation.

YouTube star Toby Turner was involved in his own controversy several years ago, and in this video he tells his side of the story.

Like I said at the beginning, I applaud Rose McGowan and Tarana Burke for starting a movement, but at the same time it has opened up a huge can of worms where anyone can accuse anyone else of something with absolutely no proof and ruin them for the rest of their life.

I just want to repeat what Toby says. The #MeToo movement is important, but it only works is everyone involved is telling the truth, and unfortunately without proof, we will never know if someone is telling you the truth or not, my story included. So reserve your judgement until actual proof is available.

WOW So a huge update on the Chris Hardwick story. So Chris sent Chloe a text on July 1st 2015 and linked is that text and here is the article from TMZ.

New professional bag sealer for Etsy

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I’ve had my Etsy shop since 2013 when I broke my arm. It’s funny to say that because I had a broken arm and I decided I wanted to start making keychains which required both hands. But I was able to make them with very little pain. I made so many keychains that people told me I should open an Etsy shop, so I did.

I only started packaging them a couple years ago, before that I just had everything in a drawer. I decided it would be easier to find things if I had them packaged in plastic bags with folded business card sized card stock hung up on the side of my desk. I had some plastic bags meant for loaves of bread which I bought specifically for my bread machine, and I bought a battery powered bag sealer which not only sealed the bags, but also cut them to size, so that’s how I discovered I could make my own bags. But, that plastic was too thin and could tear too easily, so that’s why I bought the bag sealer and roll of poly tubing plastic roll in the image above.

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So as you can see I have organized everything that is hanging on the side of my desk. Keychains, paracord bracelets, stud earrings, beaded bracelets, friendship bracelets and kumihimo bracelets, then beaded rings and knitting supplies. All the hanging earrings and packages of 8 pairs of stud earrings are all boxed up in a drawer and I currently have 1 beaded bracelet in a box on top of my desk above these hanging items. I don’t quite have enough craft items to actually open up a shop, that’s why I have an Etsy shop.

I probably don’t get enough orders to warrant a bag sealer and a professional roll of poly tubing plastic, but if I do get a sale, I at least want them to look and feel professional.

Everything is handmade and hypoallergenic, and it took a long time to make this stuff. I only buy quality ingredients like DMC and Loops and Threads embroidery floss, Pepperell plastic lanyard and paracord. I buy hypoallergenic earring hooks and plastic earring stems and rubber ear nuts from Etsy. I have very sensitive ears, I’m allergic to basically everything and I wore earring hooks and the plastic stems each for 48 hours to make sure they were hypoallergenic, because if they don’t work with my sensitive skin, they probably won’t work for yours. I wouldn’t sell something that will harm someone.

So please visit GayNerd.Etsy.com and help me make my credit card payments lol.

My YouTube Channel

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I posted a video from a TV show onto YouTube on my original channel called Xanapus several years ago and it went a little viral. When I say viral, I don’t mean it had millions of views, I mean it got about 20k views or so. Since then it has around 45k views. Anyway, when it had reached a certain number of views, YouTube handed me monetization on a silver platter. Wonderful, right? Well, today they took it away from me.

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So here’s the new rule. In order for me to be monetized, I need 1000 subscribers and I  need to have 4,000+ watch time minutes per month. Well, I have the minute views, I just need the subscribers. I currently have 548 subscribers (as of right this very second) and I am sure that number will grow, eventually, but I don’t think it will go up if I don’t beg people to subscribe to my YouTube channel, so here I am, on bended knee, but not really because I have bad knees lol, but you know what I mean.

By the way, I am not relying on monetization for an income, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to receive a check for $100 every now and then. I’m on a very limited income with Disability, and I was getting $100 every few years from YouTube, and it did help when I was getting them because then I could actually afford to buy groceries. I am not dying of hunger though, so don’t feel obligated, I’m just saying everything helps, you know what I mean?

I cannot make good quality videos with the equipment I have because all I have is my phone, which apparently takes horrible grainy video in my bedroom. I have acceptable lighting with my desk light and my craft light and I have a cell phone mount that attaches to my desk. I don’t have an acceptable space to film since the only place I can record is my bedroom on the edge of my bed. My life partner of almost 24 years doesn’t take my vlogging seriously. In fact, he looks at me like he’s about to 5150 me every time he sees me talking to the phone lol. He thinks it’s OK for other people, but not me, so I literally have to wait for him to get on the phone with someone, sleep, or leave to be able to film. We have a good relationship, he just doesn’t take anything I do seriously. He didn’t even want me to write or publish my book. Besides all that, I have a brand new computer, so editing video doesn’t take forever like it used to, but I am terrible at editing and the video is still grainy from the phone, so my bad editing is another reason I have terrible videos.

All that said, I still ask that people subscribe to my boring bad quality, no good editing and no effects channel lol.

PLEASE SUBSCRIBE LOL.

Here’s my channel. www.YouTube.com/DiaryofaGayNerd. Thank you for your time and thank you for subscribing.

UPDATE: I have to make an update here because I do believe I have misunderstood the terms of monetization. Here is an email I received from YouTube explaining to me what criteria I must meet to be eligible.

As of today, your channel, Diary of a Gay Nerd will no longer have access to monetization tools associated with YPP because it doesn’t meet the new threshold of 4,000 hours of watch time within the past 12 months and 1,000 subscribers. If you meet the new threshold at some point in the future, you’ll be automatically re-evaluated for YPP. The reviews typically take 1-2 weeks.

So when I originally read the requirements, I wasn’t paying attention to the word hours, I thought it said minutes, and I assumed that because when I looked at the stats (screenshot from above) it shows minutes. When I saw the email today, I saw that it said hours and it gave me a little more of an understanding.

Here is a screenshot of the last years worth of views, and again, it only shows minutes, it doesn’t show hours.

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I Googled how many hours is 54,894 minutes and the answer is 914.9 hours. So… I do not in fact meet the hours requirements. I bet if I had more videos (I currently have 97) and if I had more followers, those yearly watch time hours will rise to meet the requirement.

Again, not in any hurry. I’m not desperate, so no big deal.