Burn

People always seem surprised that I don’t go to Burning Man. I’m not sure exactly why that would come as a surprise but ok.

Having read their official site, FAQ, and supporting links, I just don’t see the point. I’m not bashing it, I just don’t get it. Not getting it doesn’t make me against it in any way either.1  My only real disagreement is their assertion of “radical self-reliance.” I don’t call packing everything you need to survive for 8 days radical. I call it being prepared. Living in a desert open space isn’t conducive to self-reliance on the environment. Maybe it’s a minor point but it feels slightly disingenuous to me. I wonder if growing up actually relying on the environment to provide for me has jaded me a bit. My idea of radical self reliance involves living off the environment with little to no assistance from the outside world. Pumping in electricity, water, food, sanitation facilities, and Internet is not self-reliance IMO. lol

Anyway, I appreciate a lot of the artistic effort that goes into the event. Some of the displays and constructs are truly a site to behold. Many of the costumes and over the top displays can be equally artistic and beautiful. Is it enough to interest me in camping out? Not really. The reason I mention it is because I’ve begun to hear grumblings from many about how the event is changing. Like anything new and exciting, it is bound to grow and evolve over time. The question is can it survive the increase in size and still maintain the integrity of its roots? Ironically, said issue is discussed on its official site.

Much of the feedback I’ve heard this year has been very 50/50. Some swear it is a life-changing event and revel in the freedom of it. Others complain of feeling ostracized and the very clique-ish feel that is developing. I can’t speak for either side, but have noticed a very distinct shift in the feedback. Time will tell if it will become a victim of its own success.

As for me, I’m not for or against, it just doesn’t appeal to me. From the positive side, I hear a lot about the spiritual connection it invokes. Having found my spiritual center, I struggle to see a need here. My meditation and readings feed my spirituality and I don’t feel it’s lacking. So this aspect doesn’t appeal to me.

Then there is the living off the grid and/or self reliance. Well, I practically lived off the grid most of my childhood. Beyond having electricity, we had no phone or cable. The internet didn’t exist yet. Our water was from a well we drilled. We hunted, fished, and/or grew 90% of our food. Several of my younger years included living with an out – house vs indoor plumbing. My closest neighbor was 3 miles in either direction. The closest emergency room was 50 miles away. I guess this might have spoiled this aspect of the event for me. lol

The artistic expression is probably the single thing that interests me. Being the only interest, it is not compelling enough to make me endure the hardships and fork over $400 for said experience. The latter only meant as a declaration, not a negative vote.

So there you have it. If you’re an attendee, first-timer or OG, feel free to share your experiences.




  1. I’ve gotten hate mail in the past for daring to discuss a different POV. lol []

Connect

Oh look! Another post not Pup related! lolol

As technology becomes more pervasive, the ever present choice of connecting with my family on social networks keeps coming up. Up until now, it hasn’t really been much of an issue as most of the direct family I do assoicate with is not at all computer friendly. My youngest brother and I are the closest and he is and has been pretty much my only link to the rest of them. He asked me the other day if I was on FB. I guess in speaking with some of the cousins, they expressed an interest in connecting with me. I didn’t reply at the time but I’ve been pondering it ever since.

Growing up the way I did, I’ve been very disconnected from most of my extended family. When I did know them, it was rough and they knew it. They didn’t care a whit enough about me back then to intervene or offer up help so why do I need them now? Nor did they ever make an effort to reach out to me anytime since then. Now that social media has made it basically one-click access to my life, suddenly they’ve found an interest. I am struggling to find any value in that. Of course, my younger brother, being closer to many of them, sort of creates an unavoidable bridge. But is it a bridge I care to connect to?

To be clear, there is nothing in my life to hide. Just the opposite, I live openly and honestly. But at 42 years old I also have zero desire to hear the scandals, stories, and whispers about my life and/or actions. Ultimately, the question is do I feel a stronge enough connection to my extended family to weather said drama?

I don’t have an answer yet as I haven’t made up my mind.

Observe

Just some random observations I’ve made as of late.  .  .

Old ladies don’t look when crossing the street but seem to suddenly look up when they are smack dab in the middle of the intersection.

Children under the age of 5 on flights should be sedated. .

A dog can fart and lick your face at the same time.

‘Chubby’ now means very large apparently.

Neon gas has a horrible smell

Cats can apparently defy gravity when a strange dog is near.

If you’re at the gym and discover you HAVE to do number 2, remember to lock the door.

Inquire

I got a lot of inquires after my smitten post. I’m glad so many of you are eager to see my love life improve. hehehe It is still very new and I’m not a lesbian so don’t expect wedding bells anytime soon. But we are enjoying where things are headed.

Some of the guesses were cray-cray. Everything from Apple guy to my roomie got thrown in a as guess. lol Someone even asked if I was reuniting with my old roomie that moved to NY. The latter packs a huge amount of irony. I’m sure we’ll come clean soon. We aren’t hiding it as much as just being cautious. It seems we are almost to a point of throwing caution to the wind and just seeing how things. go. Anyway, if you follow me on Facebook, you’ve already seen who it is as he recently updated our status.

On a somewhat related tangent, I had a regular “buddy” get very upset with me over the revelation. Apparently, he had designs on me and was more than a little miffed. I could only explain I didn’t feel that way about him but it didn’t really seem to help. He hasn’t spoken to me since. I’m sure he’ll come around but honestly, not my issue. I’ve always been honest/upfront with him about things.

The connection that the pup (my nickname for him) and I have is interesting. He seems to ‘get’ me in ways I’m not really accustomed to. Without explaining to him, he just seems to understand and even appreciate my view on many things. It is quite refreshing.

On the flip side, I think I’m the first guy he’s ever been connected to who hasn’t put a bunch of restrictions or controls on him. I have no desire to mold him in an image I want, nor am I trying to limit him out of fear. He is his own man and I respect and accept that. If things are to ever get serious between us it would have to be because it was right and it worked, not because he conformed to my way of things or I his. I don’t want a clone or a servant, I want an equal with his own mind. Now his being slightly more submissive in certain ways certainly turns my crank but that is a story for another day!

I told myself after Apple guy no more LTR’s unless I’m 100% sure it is for life. Granted no one could ever be really sure of such a thing, but I’ll be damned if I put myself thru another LTR that ends within 5 years. Nor am I sticking with it out some left over childish need to validate previously conquered inner-demons. Of course, if I had stuck to my own axioms regarding LTRs, the last one would have never happened. So in some ways, I have only myself to blame for it’s colossal failure.

I can’t say for sure where this is headed. Even if it turns out to be dud on the LTR front, I hope to continue being his friend. We’ve both promised each other that we will both work to maintain a friendship if we decide an LTR is not to our mutual benefit. Regardless of our status, he is special to me and I’d like to keep that.

Hope springs eternal…

Review

Let’s look at the week in review shall we?

Woke up an equal citizen, liked it.

Forked over a grand for the cruise, sort of liked it.

Got an offer to do porn, declined (again).

Smashed my finger at the gym, ouch!

Got an offer to do a porn star, accepted.

Got blurry vision at work, annoyed.

Said the L-word repeatedly, to Cooper.

Finished 3 projects at work, none of which were due.

Told I was going to hell, replied – I’m earning my ticket.

Cut up 6 old shirts into gym shirts, yay!

I’m 3lbs away from breaking 200 lbs again, very excited.

and…

Discovered dog vomit dries into a crispy stinky mass, not pleasant.

*

How was your week?

Child

Someone asked me the other day if I considered Cooper my child. The conversation wasn’t overly serious so this random question took me by surprise in that I didn’t really think about my answer. I just said no. Which surprised both of us. More on my surprise in a moment. The friend followed up with, ‘Hmmm, I would have thought as much love you show him you’d see him that way.‘ Well, I was flattered he could tell I love my dog but I was a little perplexed at the implication that I could only feel the depth of love for a human. And for many that might be a natural assumption but it wasn’t one for me. After I thought a little more about it, I still don’t perceive Cooper as my child. He is more of a companion in my eyes. Do I love him any less? Absolutely not. I love that dog as much as could ever love a child. Just because he isn’t human shouldn’t devalue his worth or my capacity to love him. I know so because I would easily do harm to someone to protect him. I would sooner punch someone over Cooper than anything said person could say to me about myself. That to me is a fine determinant on how much I love my 65lb munchkin.

I guess when I first got Cooper, I did sort of perceive him like a child. I still refer to myself in the 3rd-party as his daddy. In many ways, you might perceive an animal as an eternal child because they always need looking after. So the parent-child aspect can be present but I don’t think it necessarily has to encompass the love we feel for our pets. I can tell you as Cooper and I have bonded and time has passed, I do not see him as a child. He is my friend and companion and I couldn’t love him anymore than if he were human. The latter is the surprise for myself.

I’ve had pets off/on most of my life. I grew up on farm and had tons of animals around me all the time. But until I met Spike when Apple guy and I first got together, I’d never felt the depth of love for an animal before. I loved Spike more than any animal before him and still miss him every day. It broke my heart when we had to put him down. And part of the reason I didn’t want another dog was because I was afraid of betraying the love I had for Spike. Now I see how silly that was but being heartbroken can affect one’s judgment. And I consider myself fortunate Apple guy badgered me into getting another dog. I’ll always love him for bringing Cooper into my life. I don’t mind admitting I love Cooper even more than I loved sweet Spike. It doesn’t mean I love Spike less. I came into Cooper‘s life early on and he is growing up with me. Spike was a full grown adult and already had his bond with Apple guy. Not to say he didn’t love me but it’s just different. Spike will always be the dog that taught me I could love an animal.

And this makes me wonder what changed? Why am I suddenly more capable of loving an animal so strongly whereas before I wasn’t? Was it because I grew up on a farm knowing most of our livestock was food? Did I form detachments to prevent myself from getting hurt when I lost a pet? No, we never ate pets of course, but what is a pet to me might be food to someone else in another country. The separation in our minds is what I’m referring to here. Then I wonder if maybe the misery of my childhood somehow blocked it. Even as a young adult I never loved my pets like I did Spike and now Cooper. My 20’s were about survival for myself. Maybe it was an extension of the block from childhood? When I met Apple guy my life had definitely settled down quite a bit. I’m guessing mostly. I can’t really explain why things shifted. Maybe I just grew up.

Story

Quick & dirty post at the moment. I love when the spam bots try to tell a half-way believable story as part of their spam comments. It cracks me up reading some of them in my comment queue. Some even do a decent job of telling a story, however bizarre it sounds. Others just throw a bunch of words at you in attempt to fool the filters.

I do ponder the day when they get to the point where they can actually write simplistic but relevant comments! Lawd, we’s all in trouble then! lol

Happy weekend all!

Arrogant

I was talking to a friend the other day and I sort of confronted him on something. He has always had an arrogant side and I was genuinely curious where it came from. Some of it I could sort of be expected as he trends on the very good looking side of things. And while not rich, he has a job that keeps him comfy. One might expect a bit of arrogance from such a person.

The odd part is I’ve never really seen it as a connection for this particular guy. It doesn’t seem, to me anyways, that his attitude comes from that aspect of his life. So curiosity got the better of me and I flat out asked him. His answer surprised me. He said his dad had been on the arrogant side and it was often a way to cover up insecurity. Growing up as a boy he’d picked up on it and grew into using it for himself. I guess to a degree that makes total sense but I don’t think I would ever expect arrogance to cover insecurity. They don’t seem grounded in the same causations, so to speak. I was equally surprised he was introspective enough to have figured how why he does it.

We chatted a bit more and emboldened by his honestly, I asked why he’d never attempted to be arrogant with me directly. His reply was again a bit of a shocker. lol He told me he’d never felt a need to behave that way around me. He also indicated he didn’t think I would put up with it anyway, which is true but not the point. I was surprised here because in a previous rant a while back I talked about discovering friends had been intimidated by me before they knew me. He’d been one of them apparently.

Now that I’ve had to digest it all, I’m still a bit baffled. I’ve always seen arrogance as a wasted emotion. And while I still think that, I am beginning to see the facets of it now. From my jaded world-view, it has always been something I contributed to rich spoiled or super attractive guys. I guess on some level I knew it could be associated with insecurity but I obviously never registered it as a conscious thought process. And now I find myself going back thru memories of guys in my past who’d I’d labeled as arrogant and written off wondering if they too had developed it as a coping mechanism.

I still see arrogance as a wasted emotion. And while it may very well sometimes be a coping mechanism, it is a destructive one. It does more harm than good in the end and should be avoided. Besides, being humble increases a man’s attractiveness. The old adage goes, “you catch more flies with honey…” would apply here it seems.

Inferior

I mentioned via various social media profiles that I recently hired a cleaning crew for the apt. Lord knows it needed it. A friend of a friend happened to see my post and messaged me in private asking for details. In the process, he seemed to go out of his way to establish his superiority by demeaning the fact she cleaned homes for a living. I was a bit surprised because there wasn’t really a need for him to inject that into the conversation. I mean if the situation were reversed I just would have asked the pertenent details and went on about my way.

Naturally, I gave him my two cents. Performing menial tasks for a living is not demeaning. Nor does it make you less deserving of respect. Frankly, she does a service that people clearly need and want. She is most definitely doing me a service that I appreciate. I respect her hard work and efforts. I could go on and on about my ideas where this comes from. Be it societal constructs, class wars, blah blah blah not the point. I’m more surprised when I hear it from a gay person because we get treated differently because of a characteristic we can’t control. You’d think that would make us more compassionate and accepting of others. Sadly, not always the case.

I’m pretty sure I got my strong work ethic from my dad. I may not have gotten a lot from him but he did manage to instill that into me very young. My father worked a variety of blue-collar jobs in his life, some more profitable than others. He never begrudged others their higher/lower payscales. My dad always said an honest job, no matter what it is, deserves respect. An honest job is an honest living. And while he worked some pretty physically taxing jobs in his  life, he was pretty content with it.

At the end of the day, I try not to put down others to make myself feel better. I don’t try to elevate myself above them to feel superior. While I am proud of what I do, that doesn’t make me better than anyone else. I’ve cleaned up some pretty disgusting things in my life. And honestly, I was happy to do it. Even a shitty job deserves to be done right IMO.

Strange

It’s always fun when speaking to a complete stranger and watching the look on their face here. I was standing next to a guy in the mirror at the gym locker room the other day. I started chatting with him just randomly. No flirting, just me being me. He gave me this perplexed look and actually said, “why are you talking to me?” My response, ‘well you’re standing next to me butt-naked in a mirror. I figured we could exchange conversation.”  He walked away somewhat wary, as if I had some ulterior motive.

I giggle to myself and went on about my day. I guess it is easy to wall yourself in Cities like SF. I mean you get bombarded by people with a cause, sign here, donate for this, save the tress…blah blah blah. And that’s before you even get to the panhandling homeless guys. lol So, I think it is natural that people learn to keep their shields up, so to speak.

It doesn’t phase me. I get a little disappointed obviously. But, being from the South, I’m gonna keep on doing what I keep on doing and that’s be me. Should you be perplexed or not understand, well that’s your issue.

Happy weekend all.

 

Smile