So… have you been watching my YouTube videos? What? You didn’t know I was on YouTube? Well, better late than never, eh? Check me out.  I’m a sensation! Ok, so I’m not a YouTube sensation, but I’m working on it lol.

I think as with anything, my personality is shy in the beginning, then I start coming out of my candy coated shell until eventually I’m singing and dancing with a lampshade on my head. I haven’t gotten to that point yet, but I’m much more comfortable on camera, and I’m not even editing anymore. When I say editing, I mean editing out the parts where I start whining how I can’t do this and how I can’t think straight. Now I can literally talk for 20 minutes until I realize OMG I’ve been talking nonstop for 20 minutes! My first few dozen videos were about 10 minutes or less, now I’m like crap it’s going too long lol.

So check me out when you get the chance and see my personality in action. No, really, I need the views, likes and subs lol. PLEASE check me out lol.


Wondershare Video Editing Software



As a new vlogger, I feel like if I don’t have good editing and effects for my videos, perhaps no one will take me seriously on YouTube. I actually don’t expect anyone to take me seriously. Here’s my philosophy, expect the worst, but hope for the best. That’s just the way my life has always been for me. When I was expecting the best, I ended up in a shit storm, so I figure why bother expecting anything good to happen. If good happens, then yay.

So today I was editing this video of our friend Audrey Chavez at Martin’s Meats and I thought to myself, I cannot edit this video without being able to add pictures to the screen. It wouldn’t be right to not show in an image with picture in picture what she was talking about. I also don’t have any way to add a like and subscribe icon, icons of social media and add a video in the screen at the same time. The only way I can do that is with picture in picture. I bought a program that I really wanted on Steam, but it wouldn’t install, so luckily Steam gave me a refund. I ended up buying Wondershare Video Editor from Amazon for only $39.99 as a digital download. I actually downloaded Wondershare’s newest editing software, but my computer is so slow, that I couldn’t watch the video I was editing, I needed an older software.

Wondershare Video Editor is just what I was looking for. It’s easy enough for me to use and it allows 3 pictures in picture. I was able to have the video of Audrey talking and I had a picture on her left and her right. That’s exactly what I needed. Microsoft’s free editor didn’t have picture in picture and other programs that I tried that did have a picture in picture feature didn’t give you the option of having more than 1 image. I was also able to resize the image, and maintain it’s aspect and move it around the screen to the perfect spot. The only thing I could not do was type text. It has a text feature, I just haven’t figured that out yet lol.

I still have much more to learn, but at least I have an idea of what I’m doing so I can edit better looking videos for YouTube. I even bought 20 more mini DVD-r’s so I could continue vlogging for as long as I want. I can do 2 to 3 vlogs per disc. The only problem is the quality of the video. My DVD Camcorder is grainy. I would love a new camera, but that’s in the future.

Vlogging on YouTube


I have wanted to start vlogging for years, but I’ve always been so camera shy. It seems like when it comes to typing what I have to say, I have a lot to say, but when I’m sitting in front of a camera, suddenly my brain turns to mush. I stutter and stammer and I might get a full sentence out, but then I realize how dumb I sound, so I stop talking and figure I’ll just edit that out, so then I start over, but some how the words never come out and I hit the stop button and delete the entire video.

You know how when you are watching YouTube, then suddenly you come across a video and you have to turn the volume up all the way, and you can still just barely hear the person? That’s my phone’s issue. I go to record and when I listen to the recording, I can barely hear myself. I tried recording my voice while playing a game on my PS4 using my PS4 camera’s mic, but when I listened to it, I couldn’t even hear myself. It was barely a whisper.

My phone’s mic volume sucks, except for when I’m on the phone with someone. No one has ever complained about not being able to hear me, but as soon as I try to record myself,  I can’t hear myself.

I tried a sound check with my Hitachi DVD-Camcorder, and the volume is ok, but I have nothing but problems uploading the videos to the computer when I record with the DVD-Ram. I did put an old mini DVD-r into the DVD drive on my computer and I had no problems picking out clips, but in order for me to work with the Hitachi DVD-Cam, I’ll have to use a DVD-r to record, then finalize the disc, then I can upload the files to my computer. The DVD-r’s are 30 minutes, so I will have to record a few vlogs per disc. I’m not going to do 1 vlog, then waste the rest of the 20 minutes or so I have left on the disc. I don’t want to have to go through that because those mini DVD’s are about a buck a piece.

I bought a mic on Amazon recently for my phone, and it arrived, but it didn’t work at all on my phone, and it didn’t work at all on my DVD-Camcorder. I still have my old Samsung Galaxy SIII, and the mic worked on that phone, no problem. I did a test video with audio and video on that phone, but when I tried to load the video to my computer, I got an error message.

So far I have a mic that doesn’t  work on anything but a phone I don’t even use anymore. I can’t upload vlogs from my Hitachi DVD-Camcorder using a DVD-ram disc because I won’t be able to upload them to the computer. My new phone’s volume sucks… I can’t afford a new camcorder, and I really wanted to Vlog, so screw it, I started vlogging with my Hitachi DVD Camcorder.

The first vlog was bad, in the beginning, but I kept going until it was over. It was like ripping a bandaid, but I did it. I think I recorded 9 minutes, but with all the edits I ended up with 6 1/2 minutes. That’s ok. My 2nd vlog was a lot easier, but I had a moment in the beginning where I said I can’t do this, but then just kept going. I had 1 or 2 edits in the beginning of the 2nd one, but then I didn’t have to edit anything else until the very end. The 3rd vlog on that first DVD-r had a lot more edits, but I think I did good, and I was much more relaxed by the time I was on the 3rd vlog.

So far I have 3 vlogs posted on my new YouTube page which is at If you are reading this, PLEASE visit my vlog and watch my videos, and if you like them please hit like and subscribe. I edit them during the day, then I publish them at or just before midnight Pacific time, and I will be doing this every night.

The mini DVD-r discs hold 30 minutes, so I can record 3 10 minute vlogs or 2 15 minute vlogs. Today we went to Martin’s Meats and Deli in Bakersfield and I sat at a table with Audrey Chavez about her suspended sandwiches and Bakersfield AIDS Project. I told her it would only be a few minutes, 5 at most, and it ended up being around 15 minutes lol. Ooops. I felt like a reporter lol. But my main goal was to show America what a wonderful person Audrey Chavez is. I’m also going to send the link to that video to the Ellen DeGeneres show. I think Ellen should know about Audrey.

I only had 4 blank DVD-r’s, and I’ve already used 3, so I have 1 left which I will most likely record on when my partner goes to church on Sunday. I was told the best time to vlog is when there are either no people in the house, or wait for everyone to fall asleep. My partner sleeps like a cat, so all I can do is wait for him to leave the house, then I can vlog. I have 4 more videos waiting to be edited, and I have a list of 4 more ideas for vlogs. I’ll probably check 3 of those off on Sunday. I also bought 20 more DVD-r’s for future videos.

The only thing that I hate about my vlog is that I have to do it on my bed because that’s the only spot I feel comfortable vlogging from. I would love if I had a sound proof room with a desk and a professional mic where I can feel free to vlog without feeling like someone can hear me, and they have their ear on the door lol. I would also love to have a desk to sit at, like my desk for example lol. It needs to be straightened before I can do that, so maybe I will focus on that this weekend. I also don’t like the image on the screen. It feels like the video is washed out or something. Perhaps one of these days I will have a better set up so I look more professional, like these pro’s I watch every day. GOALS!

So until that happens, I will just have to make lemonade  with the lemons life has dealt me.

YouTube Channel



I’ve had a YouTube channel for years under the name Xanapus, and I wanted to start vlogging because I want to advertise my book a bit more than just with Twitter and Facebook. YouTube would give me another audience. I created a second YouTube channel from my Diary of a Gay Nerd Google+ account, and I was surprised the name was even available. Good thing I didn’t wait too long.

My life partner is so paranoid that his conservative Republican born again Christian family members might find out I wrote a book, then actually read it. When I published my book, I was going to advertise it with my other blog on my website, and he begged me not to, which is why I ended up buying and started the blogging all over. I also had to create a page on Facebook for my book because God forbid they see my book advertised on my personal Facebook profile. I swear that boy (he’s 21 years older than me by the way lol) is going to have a stroke or a heart attack one of these days from the stress if his family ever found out about my book. I’m sure they’d be fine with it and probably wouldn’t even care, but he’s so private, and he just doesn’t want them to read it because the less they know about my life, the better. I think more importantly he thinks I wrote a lot about our life together, and that’s what he’s afraid they will read. I was very vague about our relationship in my book, as per his request, so even if they did read my book, they wouldn’t get that much more information than they already have.

So as you can tell from the screenshot (above) I have an icon and a banner. I have a DVD camcorder that my partner bought for me a little over a decade ago, and it works fine. Not great, just fine. Like I said, it’s old. It would be awesome if I had a DVR camera so I can record to a hard drive in the camera, then I can upload the videos with ease. It took me an hour just to do a sound and video check. I uploaded the video to my computer using a program that came with my camcorder called Image Mixer 3, and after 5 failed attempts, I figured out it’s not the camera, it’s not Image Mixer 3, but it’s Windows Movie Maker. I add or import the video and it renders it, but all I get is sound, no image. I watched the video and it played just fine on the media player, it just refused to show me the images in Movie Maker.

Another problem for me is lighting and sound. I added a wired mic that I can put under my shirt and just clip it to my collar, and I added a camcorder light and software to a wish list called YouTube on Amazon. I would love to start vlogging sooner than later, and I can buy the mic and light soon, but those don’t do me any good if I don’t have the software to edit the video. Perhaps I can use the editor on the YouTube website, but I don’t know how that works since I haven’t tried it yet. Maybe I’ll just record something, then upload it and mark it as private, then see if I can edit it through the website.

My next problem is my face lol. Here’s the thing. I know people see me when I’m outside, and I don’t have a problem with them looking at me, mainly because I don’t see myself outside, I only see them, so it doesn’t bother me. But when I can see my face on the screen while I’m filming, it freaks me out and I start getting nervous about recording. Obviously I have to be able to see myself to make sure I’m in frame, but I just don’t want to see myself lol. I wish I could just record myself without actually having to see myself, but then when I go to edit, I have to look at myself… again lol. And my voice! UGH! I hear myself every time I talk, but the voice I hear when I talk is a different voice I hear on recordings. It’s way different. I think I’m more ok with my voice than I am my face, and I know I have to get over that if I want to record video.

The final problem I have is being on video alone. I live with someone who also hates being on video. Heck, he hates having his picture taken. I’m surprisingly ok with having my picture taken lol. I think that if I were to record a video of myself with someone else in the video, then perhaps I won’t stutter and stammer so much. I talk on the phone with people with no problems, so you would think if I can chat on the phone with no problem, then I can chat in a video with someone with no problem.

I am ready and willing to start vlogging, I just need the mic and the light. If I can edit within YouTube, then I will worry about the software another time, but if YouTube editing doesn’t work out, then I will need to get something affordable. I want to get this thing started because the sooner I start vlogging, the sooner I will get over my fears and then I can start advertising and reading excerpts of my book on YouTube.

Of course I would appreciate any advice anyone can give to me. The camera I have is a Hitachi DVD Cam GX3100A. I am using a DVD Ram disc to record video, then I have to use ImageMixer 3 to upload the video files to my computer. My computer specs:


I am also looking into getting a animated intro. I might have to go to Fiver for that, but if you can help me, please let me know. Any advice would be awesome. I’m poor, so I can’t get started if I can’t afford to buy the things I need.

UPDATE: I have a pair of headphones with a mic attached to it, so I thought I wonder… I didn’t use my DVD Camcorder, instead I used my phone to do a sound check with the headset, and unfortunately that didn’t work out. I could barely hear my voice with my mic a decent length from my mouth. When I had the mic practically next to my mouth, I could hear, but it wasn’t loud enough. You know, when I watch YouTube, which is every day on my TV using my PS4, if I come across a video where I have to turn the volume all the way up to 100 and I can still barely hear their voice, I move on to the next video. So I just want to make sure people can hear me without having to turn the volume all the way up. If they can’t hear me, why in the world would they care what I have to say? The lighting issue is one thing, I can vlog in the morning when the sun comes up and I can go in the back yard to do it. No problem, but if they can’t hear me, then there really isn’t a point in doing it.

The Jig Is Up!


Paracord Bracelet Jig

My Etsy shop is expanding to include Paracord products. I finally bought a Paracord Bracelet Jig and it arrived today. I’ve made the cobra and fish tail bracelets and chokers with hemp, and I’ve made lanyards with the plastic lacing, but I think paracord is so much better.

Before I got the new Paracord jig, I bought some pink and black paracord because my partner promised a pink and black ID lanyard to someone last year when he was in the hospital. He told me, but I really hated making the ID lanyards with the plastic lacing unless I was being paid to make them. The plastic lacing lanyards take about 2 hours to make, and they cause numbness and pain in both my hands. It’s not a pleasant experience, so I avoid making them at all costs. Making this paracord ID lanyard was so much faster and easier, although my hands did go numb and I had to shake it off, shake it off. Sorry, Taylor Swift got a hold of my keyboard. I was just making it without trying to make it perfect, so it got a bit twisted up. She’s getting it free, but if someone pays for one, obviously I will make it straight.

I used the remaining pink and black to make a cobra bracelet, which I gave to our tenants daughter. I also made a tan fish tail bracelet for myself, and I love it. I also made a trilobite bracelet, but I made it smaller than I can wear just because I wanted to make it for the picture. I kind of wish I made it bigger though, because I really love it. I hate the color, but I love the pattern, so I will make one for myself eventually.

What I really love about the paracord bracelets is that you can put them on and take them off to match your style or mood. I also love that there are so many patterns, so I literally will have many options to choose from on my Etsy shop. Of course I will have to make them, then give the option of size and color.

I hope the paracord bracelets, keychains, ID Lanyard and eGo e-cigarette lanyards will sell more than my other products, which don’t seem to be moving as much as they used to. Then again, perhaps paracord products will give my other products more visibility, I hope so.

Why did it take me so long to make paracord products? It’s expensive, and I didn’t want to pay for a bunch of colors with no sales. I don’t just buy a few feet at a time, I buy spools so I don’t have to keep going to the craft store. Unfortunately, until I know I will be successful, I will have to buy packs of 10-20 colors with 10 feet of each color. If someone requests another color, I will have to go to the craft store. I’d rather be safe than sorry since I have tons of the plastic lacing, and no sales.

Last year before Christmas I said I was closing my Etsy shop due to lack of interest, but I just put it in vacation mode for a couple of months. I figured I’d keep the shop just in case I really needed the money, and when I was eating Top Ramen for lunch and dinner, I had the Etsy shop so I could beg people to buy stuff so I could eat real food lol. I’m not eating Top Ramen now, but I’m almost there.

Shadow People (Book Excerpt)


shadow people wikiThis is a book excerpt from my book Diary of a Gay Nerd which you can read for free if you have a Kindle and Kindle Unlimited and/or Amazon Prime. Instead of opening my book and searching for the paragraphs, I’m just going to type it all out from memory. The reason I’m doing this is because this memory is haunting me (pun intended) and the only way to shut it up is to write about it.

When I was 7 years old, I saw my first shadow person. We were living in Sepulveda which is part of Los Angeles at the time on Orion Street. We had just moved to a new apartment building and I had my own room. Unpacking my toys was very stressful for me because of the way my step father treated me. He had set up my bed and put my bedside tables in place, and I grabbed a telephone out of one of the boxes, it was a real telephone, but it didn’t work which is why they gave it to me as a toy. My step father picked up the telephone and threw it across the room and yelled at me and hit me.

I think a week or 2, maybe longer had passed and my sister and cousin Tabby were in my sister’s bedroom playing, when one of my sister’s dolls was thrown under the bed. My memory of this event is as clear as day. I can remember it as if it had just happened yesterday. The doll flung out from under the bed and it was thrown at us, at which point we all screamed like girls, well, to be fair my sister and Tabby were girls lol, and we ran to the living room to report the strange activity that had just happened, and the adults told us that it’s just our imagination and to go back to playing.

This is not something someone forgets. Shortly after I published my book I told Tabby about it and she had no memory of that. Well, I certainly do.

I forget how much time had gone by, but I was sleeping in my bed one night and I woke up in the middle of the night around 3amish. I felt like I was woken up. When I opened my eyes I could see a person standing at the foot of my bed, but it wasn’t a person, it was just a dark shadow figure of a person. When I say a dark shadow figure of a person, I’m talking head, torso, arms and legs. I had never seen that before, and it scared me. The next day we went to school and we were in the cafeteria eating lunch and the Principal came into the cafeteria shouting SILENCIO SILENCIO and she called my and my sister’s names and we both had a feeling of dread, like we were in trouble for something, and the other kids thought so too because they were oohing. We saw our mother, and she pulled us out of school because her mother, our grandmother had passed away in the middle of the night.

Coincidence? Could it be that my grandmother had passed away in the middle of the night, then she came to see us kids to let us know? Or maybe just to watch over us? I am curious to know if that’s what I saw. I don’t recall seeing this shadow person too often in that apartment building. Perhaps selective memory? I don’t know. What I do know is there was something in that apartment and I was afraid to go into my sister’s bedroom.

We moved to another apartment building in Van Nuys, California on Sherman Way. We lived in one of the apartments for several months, maybe longer, then we switched to the Manager’s apartment because my step father became manager of the apartment building. It wasn’t too long after we changed apartments when I think my great-grandmother passed away. I don’t think we were pulled out of school for this because I honestly have no memory of her passing. I don’t know the timeline. I’m just guessing because I started seeing 2 shadow people in front of the closet in our new apartment. Again with the timeline, I’m not sure how long we were there before I started seeing them, I just remember it was 2 this time, and they were there every night for months, maybe even a year. Every night I woke up at around 3amish and they were standing in front of the closet and every time I saw them, my body froze solid from fear. I could move my head and eyes just enough to look to see if they were still there, and I would close my eyes and hope they would go away, and sometimes they did, and then I was able to go back to sleep.

I’ve been told that I imagined the shadow people because shadow people don’t exist. Well, check out the Wikipedia article on Shadow People that says they do exist. Here is one paragraph from that article that makes me curious.

Although participants in online discussion forums devoted to paranormal and supernatural topics describe them as menacing, other believers and paranormal authors do not agree whether shadow people are either evil, helpful, or neutral, and some even speculate that shadow people may be the extra-dimensional inhabitants of another universe.

Believers and authors do not agree whether shadow people are either evil, helpful or neutral. Hmmm… When I told my mother about them she didn’t believe me at first. One night I told her I was so scared and I didn’t want to sleep in my room anymore. I asked if I could sleep on the couch and she told me absolutely not, under no circumstances am I allowed to sleep on the couch, but that night I woke up like clockwork at 3amish and there they were, and I had the courage to get up and run to the door and I opened the door and closed it and I ran to the safety of the couch where I fell asleep. My mother woke me up the next morning and told me that I wasn’t allowed to sleep on the couch and I told her I was so scared from the shadow people that I needed to get out of that room.

You have no idea what a child is going through if you are not also having the same experiences. There’s a saying about walking a mile in a person’s shoe, well, some people are so close minded that they are not willing to walk a mile in your shoe, nor are they willing to believe you.

Finally I think either my mother started to believe me, or that’s what she wanted me to think because she told me she believed me and that if I wanted the shadow people to go away to say the Lord’s Prayer and they will go away. That night I said it from what I could recall of the Lord’s Prayer, and I never saw them again… in that apartment building.

I believe it was in 1982 that we moved to Bakersfield to manage another apartment building. I didn’t have any sightings of spirits or shadow people for a long time. Well, let’s just say I wasn’t woken up from a dead sleep at 3amish until after we saw a movie called E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. After that movie came out I was woken out of a dead sleep and I looked at the clock and it was 3am. My heart sank in my chest because I knew that something was coming to visit me again. If my grandmother’s passing brought a shadow person, then my great-grandmother’s passing brought 2 shadow people, then who died and how many shadow people will I start seeing from now on? Well… the answer will surprise you. I didn’t see any shadow figures at all, instead I saw something a little more comical. I saw E.T. himself standing in the doorway of our bedroom. The door was open and I could see into the hallway and there he was staring at me with a lit cigarette. Every time he took a drag from the cigarette I could see the red light pulse from inhaling from the cigarette.

OK, now that sounds like I’ve gone crackers, doesn’t it? I actually didn’t feel threatened, probably because it was E.T. E FRIGGIN T! How could anyone be afraid of E.T.? So I went back to sleep and never saw another shadow figure nor figure from a movie (lol) ever again.

The shadow people were gone, but I think because when you get older you stop believing in such things, but since I had such a strong memory of “such things”, I knew I would never forget. I have seen spirits here and there, I even started seeing auras for awhile, but that’s another blog post.

I shared my memories of the shadow people in my book because like it or not, it’s part of my story. People can say they don’t believe me, and that’s fine, I’m not asking anyone to believe anything I say in my book. You have your own beliefs and I respect that, so respect my beliefs. These are just my experiences.

Never be bullied into silence


never be bullied into silence

Well I said that I was going to make this, and I finally finished. I really wish I could give the person who created the pattern some credit because they deserve it for the work. I honestly wasn’t even sure if I would have the patience for this, but I did and it was actually fun. Some parts on the top are stretched in certain spots, but that’s fine, I’ll stretch the rest out to even it out, or maybe it will even out on its own.

It took me a couple weeks to make this because I was sick when I started this project. It took me a couple days to make the red, then another couple days to make the orange and so on. The green, blue and purple one day each. Actually I did the purple and the words on the same day. The reason I say it took 2 days for the first few colors is because I could only work on it for so long before the pain in my back came to stop me. This pattern is so detailed and the thing that took the most time was every time the embroidery floss knotted up as I was pulling it, and it was always in the back, but I always managed to remove them so I could continue. I didn’t have to use more than 1 skein of each color. In fact, I used less than a full skein for each color.

So some people may wonder why I would want to create something with the words “Never be bullied into silence.” Well, you see it’s personal to me. When I was a child, my mother knew I was being abused by my step father, she just didn’t want to admit it to herself. My little sister had bruises that the pre-school teacher saw. She was taken to the hospital and my mother was accused of abusing her, which in all honesty was false accusations. My little sister was so hyper that one day when I was sitting with her while she was playing on the stairs, cement stairs mind you, I was literally watching the bruises form. My parent’s were never abusive to her, but they were to me. When the guy from child protective services came to the house, my mother took me aside and threatened me. She told me so help me god if you say one word to these people, you will have the beating of a lifetime you will never forget. She knew I wasn’t going to accuse them of abusing my sister, she knew I would accuse them of beating me. So I was bullied into silence by my mother.

Another reason I would want to create this is because my sister does not like that I wrote my book. Her “friend” wrote a horrible review of “my book” (but it wasn’t a review of my book, it was an attack on me as a person by someone I’ve never even met). He said in his “review” that I am fooling my readers into thinking my lies are true when they are in fact lies and that I need to change the genre of my book from autobiography to fiction because it is full of lies. My response is it is not full of lies. This is my truth based on my memories of what happened in my life. I am allowed to tell me life stories, and if someone doesn’t like that, they can… and this is the part where I have to edit myself lol.

I wrote my book Diary of a Gay Nerd based on my memories of what happened to me during my childhood, when I was homeless at 15 and 17, and then homeless/sleeping on couches and living in motels until I was 23. And then of course my 3 bad relationships and my final relationship with the person I have spent the last 22 years with. These are my truthful life stories that I wanted to tell.

So I will never be bullied into silence, and that’s why I made this.

I said in my previous post that I was going to make this into a pillow, but my partner has convinced me to frame it instead. Since he wants me to frame it, and I still want it as a pillow, I’ve decided to compromise with him by making a second one lol. It was kind of fun to make and I want to make another one.