Bias

One of the main reasons I’ve grown to loathe Facebook most days is the growing bias. Selective bias is slowly replacing our idea of logical reasoning. Just pick practically any topic and scroll thru your own friends list. You might be surprised it is closer to home than you think.

When social media came along, I just knew it was going to be a unifying force in the world. I was so excited and hopeful. Sadly, all it has done is allow folks to selectively reinforce their own biases. More and more every day you see people who favor bias over truth, honesty, or any sense of integrity. Talk about an unexpected outcome. hehehe In the past, the rules (and manners) of social interactions helped curb outrageous ideas, conspiracies, and all round nutjobs. they were confined to the fringe where they belong. Now can reach out to others that with like ideas with just the click of a button. This has emboldened them and we see many ideas and concepts considered absolutely insane break into the national consciousness.1

I don’t blame social media so much as our own failings. Our technology has outpaced our ethical ability to keep up with it. Our social media outlets have changed the world, just not necessarily for the better IMO. Oh don’t get me wrong, they do some good. You see fundraisers, goFundMe pages, outreach, etc. Local tragedies can grab national even global attention at times. But I find myself pondering whether the good it does outshines the harm? Sadly, I am beginning to think it doesn’t. The level of vitriol and toxicity is so very disheartening. After all my attempts to ditch FB in the past, this is the one that is slowly pushing me further and further away.

I wish I could say it was mainstream stuff and not local communities. Sadly, no. Be it NextDoor, FB, twitter, etc. It is all becoming one toxic hole of spite, triggers, and/or attempts to shame each other. It gives new meaning to the idea of mob-mentality. People are tried and convicted based on click-bait articles, regardless of the lack of details. We are seeing the fallout even within our own LGBTI umbrella. We find allies fighting each other over the tiniest slights or misunderstandings. Conversations are polarizing discussions of who is right or ‘more wrong’.

There are times where I just kick myself for even bothering to try to point out distinctions. Our biases and indifference to others are forcing us into a sort of devolution of sorts. For myself, I can only control my actions. I continue to strive to bring things into my life that enrich it and avoid those that stain it. Social media is falling into the latter category more and more lately.




  1. Flat-Earthers, Anti-vaxxers, Holocust deniers, etc []

Good Decision

Moby & Shawn March 2015

Today marks the anniversary of my decision to move to San Francisco just under 18 years ago.

It was my 3rd or 4th trip and I’m walking down the Castro just enjoying the “scenery.” I distinctly remember making the decision after seeing a drag queen, a leather daddy, two gym bunnies, and two mommies with strollers all roaming the streets in the hood. No one cared about their differences, no one was even phased by the diversity from several walks of life. It was just all out there.

It was at that moment I decided it was time to make a move. It was a good decision and I have never once regretted. It wasn’t easy as I loved my job at the time. I was living with one of the besties so home life was good as well. Life was going smoothly but I never felt like I belonged. It wasn’t until I moved here I felt I finally found a place to call home.

Fast forward almost 18 years, a failed job offer, several moves around town, 3 significant others, several wonderful dogs and I’m still loving it. The city has and is changing but that is always true of any city. There are things I miss but bemoaning and being bitter over it solves nothing. I prefer to look eternally forward.

It is hard for me at times to look back on my life and believe the scope and depth of growth and change I’ve been thru. Life can be a funny beast. I’ve got at least 14 more years here (until I retire I’m pretty much tied to the bay area). After that, who knows? SF can be a very hard place to live on a fixed income. I remember all too well struggling for several years when I first got here. I was barely making ends meet. I don’t plan to end up in a similar situation when I do finally retire.

Anyway, I’m feeling nostalgic a bit today. I might go for a ride along the beach on my motorcycle later. SF, you are not perfect, but you are very much my home.

47

I’m officially 5 years older than the meaning of life and everything! As I move into my 47th year, I don’t really feel 47. Or more astutely, my mindset doesn’t feel 47. Three years away from being officially ‘ancient’ in gay terms. (I’m totally kidding)  It’s an odd juxtaposition; in some ways I feel my age and others I still feel like I’m in my 30’s. I know, I’m a weirdo, what’s new? hehehe

So what pearls of wisdom can I share having made it this far? Just be the best you you can be. Don’t put expectations from others on yourself. Don’t live for others, live for yourself. Accept your failings while striving to overcome them, whatever that might be.

Shawn and I were actually flying home on my birthday. Shawn had to go to Nashville for work so I took the opportunity to tag along to see my brother. He is about 3 hours south of Nashville. Sadly, I didn’t get any time to sneak over to meet Large Tony.1  The trip went as smoothly as one could expect. The flights on Virgin America (while it still exists) were very comfy and on time. Not a single complaint. Other than being freezing cold in TN, the trip went off without any major problems as well. It was good seeing my little brother and my nephews/nieces.

I’m Southern but they sure do like their boots in Nashville. There was a boot store practically every 20 feet in the business district.  Anyway, we flew home on my birthday but we celebrated with my brother and his family the night before. They all got to meet Shawn for the first time. Of course, they liked him.

Shawn got me VIP tickets to see the Bianca Del Rio comedy show coming up in March. She is by far my favorite from Drag Race. She has gone on to do bigger and better things and is funny as hell! I found out by following her on IG we have several of the same idols from childhood. I’m definitely excited to see her show in person.

So now what? I’ll keep being me. Not much has changed. I appreciate the wisdom age brings but I still don’t feel it. Maybe when I’m 50?




  1. One of these days… []

Don’t Give Up

One of the sadder parts of my job this time of year is the increase in suicides. People get extra lonely and/or their demons ramp up because of the apparent isolation of the holiday season. I’ve been there myself so I always take these calls to heart. I’m not currently on the dispatch floor; however, I had to pull one for court recently. It made me so sad to hear the person feeling so alone. He was straight but it didn’t matter. His pain was once my pain and it touched me to my core. *I’m feeling a bit long-winded today. Grab some caffeine!*

I’m sad to say it but many of these wounds are often self-inflicted. And I say that not as a judgement. Much of my pain from back in the day was my own doing. And while you’d never have known it to see me, holidays were absolute torture. And I inflicted it upon myself over and over again every year. I wouldn’t wish that sort of pain on my worst enemy. It is my hope that my sharing struggles and how I survived it will help others.

*

When I put myself on my journey to discover myself, I developed a few axioms to live my life by. Psychologists often teach us to put reminders in our daily lives to overcome our personal conflicts. For me, it turned into blogging. My blog became my therapy. And thru it, I posted my new found axioms (at the time) in the ‘about’ section here for many years as a daily reminder to myself.

  • What you think of me is really none of my business.
  • No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.
  • Be the type of man you’d like to date.
  • Treat others the way you want to be treated.

These are still a big part of my life. They are the foundation of much of my personal growth over the last 25 years. If you are feeling down, sad, worthless, or unloved, these apply to you. Dear soul, you are not alone. So many of us go thru it. Some of us overcome it, some of us avoid it by maintaining unhealthy relationships or setting standards so high no one can ever measure up, some of us deny it, and some of us just suffer thru it. Regardless of where you are, know that I understand 100%. I’ve been there.

It took many years of working on myself to overcome it. Here is my best advice to help you overcome it. But, and it is a very big but1 to overcome. You have to face yourself and be brutally honest. This simple step will stop everything if you can’t do it. If you can then:

What you think of my is none of my business. It takes a bit of time to wrap your head around this one. Many of our internalized insecurities we inflict upon ourselves. Primarily because of how we think others see us or how we think others want to see us. We twist ourselves into pretzels trying to avoid negative views or stereotypes. The reality is you have to let go of that. Modeling your image after what you think others want you to be will just make you miserable. And you’ll never live up to it because this idea is different from person to person. Or, you will mold yourself into an image so constrained by the view of others you will be even less happy. This is a dangerous path to go down. Instead, just let it go. Focus on what you think. Your opinions, ideas, and thoughts matter. You matter. Don’t worry if someone doesn’t like xyz-thing about you. Focus on making yourself happy. Focus on what you think and believe. This all might sound kind of trite but it will bring power to your struggle, and with power comes confidence!

No one can make you feel inferior without your permission. Happiness within is something only you have control over. If someone tries to put you down, shame you, or otherwise be negative, you have to agree or ‘let them’ make you feel a certain way. If you didn’t believe it yourself, it wouldn’t matter. When you reach a point where you are happy within, this one becomes much easier. You find other people’s projections onto you roll away. Stop focusing on what others think of you and focus on what YOU think of you.

I was fortunate enough to realize I wasn’t happy with myself in my late 20’s. I was even more fortunate to realize I didn’t hate myself so much as I didn’t love myself. I felt woefully inadequate and insecure. Childhood mental/physical traumas left me feeling utterly worthless and undeserving of love. This drove me to believe love was all I needed in my life to “fix” me. I desperately wanted to be loved so being loved would fix everything right? Wrong.  I could post several novels worth of text from my old written journal of me lamenting this.

And when things didn’t work out with someone, I always felt something was wrong with me. Anytime someone rebuffed or ignored my interest it was back to being unworthy in my mind. I stayed in unhealthy relationships out of fear of being alone. These were and are self-inflicted wounds. And they don’t just go away. They become set pathways in our brains. We have to fight to overcome and change them daily. Examine the moments that make you sad when engaging with others, be it in person, online, etc. Find you trigger and examine why you think that way and then work on changing it. It is a slow painful process. It will bring up even more self-loathing until you finally break the cycle.

Listen to my words. Stop focusing on what you need from someone else and start focusing on yourself. It took me years of continual effort changing small behaviors and examining my triggers to do it. Honestly, I didn’t even realize I had until well after the fact. It just sort of snuck up on me. And even then, some of my new found “adulting” made me an enabler for others. I had to then break thru that as well. It isn’t an easy process but it is beyond words worth it.

Be the man (or woman) you’d like to date. I know for many of us in the LGBT umbrella, loneliness and a sense of belonging are severely lacking.2  Ironically, it dawned on me once while a previous boyfriend who I’d remained friends with was at dinner with me ranting and railing about ‘where have all the good men have gone‘.  I finally got so annoyed I just blurted out, “why don’t you focus on being a good man first!”  He wasn’t amused to say the least. However, that moment was more of an epiphany for me than him. I felt many of the things he wined about. At least he was detoxing by getting it all out.

As part of the struggle to actually be a man you’d like to date, you will discover you become a better man. Until you let go of the idea that someone or something else is needed to ‘fix’ you, you will never over come this. You will continually get into codependent relationships that feed on your insecurities. I know from experience! I spent so many years torturing myself with ‘if onlys’. If only I could find a man to love me. If only I could be more masculine. If only I could be more attractive. If only, if only, if only, if only…  It never ends!

When you finally start living for you, not for what’s missing, you’ll find the better man is less of a focus and that yearning for a ‘fix’ will dissipate. You might still want a partner in crime and then again you might not. Either way, the idea will shift from being unhealthy and painful to a healthy pursuit of a life goal.

You might also be pleasantly surprised that more men will be into you. We are innately drawn to confidence in others, romantic or platonic. When you tackle this and overcome it, your natural confidence will increase and I guarantee you others will notice.

Treat others the way you like to be treated. This is routinely known as the golden rule. And it is. How you treat others should be more important to you than how others treat you. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t to imply you should let people treat you poorly. However, when this becomes a mantra, you find it reinforces the first one above. You cannot control the actions of others. You can control YOUR actions. Being a better man doesn’t mean always being right. This is a painful lesson in the gay community. A big one for me revolved around the sexual conquest that is so much a part of being male. In our carnal or romantic pursuits, we tend to value others we see as less-attractive less. This lends to treating them poorly or as unworthy. This is one of many examples. I mention it because it touched me personally. Your struggle here might be different.

*

These four little phrases drastically changed my life. I still strive to live by them. And I don’t always succeed. But like any goal, it is the struggle to get there that gives it meaning. You are struggling this year, reach out to those closest to you. Even if they don’t understand, they can listen. They can help YOU get it off your chest. Just the act of admitting it out loud can be therapeutic. It doesn’t have to be family, it can be a friend, a coworker, or an old booty call you connected with. If not, call a local hotline. A quick Google+ search will give you help. Don’t let it beat you. You are worthy.  If this once utterly broken soul can do it, so can you.

If you made it thru my rant, I wish you love, warmth and happiness.

And as always, hope springs eternal….




  1. hardy har-har. pun intended. []
  2. And let us not forget the folks who deliberately feel alienated by the stereotypical view of our community. This angst is also self-inflicted. []

Resist…

…the carbs!

I’ve been good so far which not being sucked into eating all the fatty holiday treats. Being detailed to the admin side at work creates a challenge as several folks routinely bring in treats to share. Said treats are almost always of the sugar or carb variety. lol

My fat ass is trying to slim down! I gained a ‘few’ lbs a while back and while I’ve lost most of them I’m bound and determined to get back down into a full size 32 jean.1 The ‘stretchy 32s’ I’m wearing now are fooling me. I dare not dream of a 31. My hips are too wide and I’d have to get really skinny to pull it off. I spent most of my teen years being so scrawny I gust of wind could blow me away, I have zero desire to ever be skinny again.

I don’t beat myself up other than routinely “feeling fat.”  I keep it in perspective as my struggle is minor to the very real struggle so many face to lose weight. I go thru my phases where I don’t ‘feel pretty‘ though. It’s mainly when I stop going to the gym consistently. I don’t actually feel fat, I feel flabby. All the tightness goes out of the muscles after a while and I hate it.

Anyhoo, back on point. I’ve been good so far at avoiding most of the holiday fatness. I apparently do it backwards because I always seem to be at my leanest during the holidays when everyone else is enjoying ‘the bulk’ or off-season. Some years I seem to be completely uninterested in anything fatty and others I find myself struggling to avoid practically everything that looks tasty.

I would blame the hubby’s penchant for fast food; however, that wouldn’t really be fair. I may not eat much fast food but I eat out more than he does usually. The calories still add up. I could go on and on about the struggle with my 10-hour days but I’ve already beat that horse into glue. My schedule is what I made it so I get to sucked it up or change it and changing it just isn’t practical right now.

I’ve already tweaked my workouts to avoid being in the gym for too long. I tend to get there just before the 5:00 rush. If I bust my hump and get Cooper walked and head out the door, I can be finishing up just when it starts getting crazy. Our gyms here are small by most standards and the Castro gym is hella over-sold so it is often just a royal pain to try and get thru a solid workout w/o wanting to cut a bitch for playing on his phone instead of working out.

I’m off-topic, again! Lawd where is my brain today. If you’re struggling like me, I feel for ya. Hang in there. Take it one success (or failure) at a time. I find when I don’t give up after “splurges”, I eventually get there. I’ve given in and made cardio a consistent part of my routine. I’m not as active on weekends like I used to be in my single days2 so cardio is a necessity now. Some days I go the high-intensity route and others it’s slow grind on the stationary bike or treadmill. Either way, I begrudgingly admit it helps.  I ate like a pig for thanksgiving and I’ve lost the several lbs I put on already. I’m back in my “safe” zone but as mentioned I want to be leaner.

The struggle is real bitches!




  1. I’m hovering between 33/34 []
  2. primarily because I was out being a filthy whore []

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

I am completely shocked that Moore did not win in Alabama! I fully expected he would win. The bias we see in news and social media these days is sadly getting worse and worse.

While Moore’s loss renewed my hope in the decency of people, when you delve into the numbers, we clearly have a lot of work to do. People of color turned out in much higher numbers and they saved us all from this incredibly hypocritical religious nut. A profound thank you to all who exercised their right to vote. Voting matters and it matters more and more every day now. Moore lost by the tiniest margin.

Reports came in that Alabama saw much larger than usual voter turn out. Historically, this is always of benefit to the Democrats. However, I don’t care what part you vote, just perform your civil duty and vote. It was good to see many “republicans” calling out the party line approach and either not voting or voting against Moore. If more of them had spoken up I think the party in general would not have embraced Moore as they did. Party should never come before what is right or moral.

The increase of “you agree with me or else” approach is increasing the divide between us IMO. I’m a little guilty of this myself. So many things in the public eye right now affect our very way of life. Of course, we take it personal! However, when you delve past the crazies, you find that most people often vote their conscience not out of malice but out of self-preservation. We all need to be better at recognizing that and be more willing to extend an olive branch to others.

Tangent/ Some of you know our mayor here in SF passed away yesterday. Mr. Lee wasn’t a friend to me or my department. He recently back-tracked on his statements to help us. I personally felt very let down by his actions. However, even in my frustration with the man, I am saddened by his death. People who knew him well all agree he wasn’t malicious and tried to be ‘real.’  It doesn’t matter whether I agree with him politically or not. I can give my personal bias and issues a rest for a few days out of respect to allow his friends and family to mourn his death. And yet, immediately online you see people trashing him or using his death to trash SF politics in general. Even the Chronicle posted a piece on the day of his death discussing how it “complicated” politics in SF!  The day of his death!  /tangent

The fallout got me to thinking about how the divide between us is growing. Even within our own umbrella there is so much more in-fighting and vitriol toward each other. This is not how we solve problems. This is not how we overcome our mutual enemies either. Isolating ourselves in our individual groups or identities will not allow us to overcome the inequalities we all face.

So for myself, I plan to work on how I view those I disagree with. I will continue to avoid those who rely solely on deceit and lies. For the rest, I hope I can offer, thru example, the type of respect we all deserve.

Grateful

We didn’t do anything exceptional this holiday but I still felt truly grateful. It is all the little things adding up lately that made me feel so good.

We went to LA to see friends. It was the traditional style dinner with a group of like-minded folks enjoying the company and camaraderie of being together. In a word it was lovely. We got some good news a couple times right before the holiday so I’m sure it lent itself to my mood.

For myself, I’m still pretty healthy. I got a scare this year but I just need to continue working on my diet and exercise. I’m still employed and have a roof over my head. My bills are paid and I have no outstanding debt.

Shawn got laid off from his job at the end of October. However, je got very good news right before we left for the trip. He got a new job with a decent pay increase. Needless to say, I’m very happy for him!

As you probably read, Cooper had a bout of illness and we were worried he might be in trouble. It turned out he is ok. He’ll just need some occasional meds to help his arthritis. The news was as good as it could have possibly been.

My little brother who became permanently disabled almost 2 years ago due to a back injury finally got approved for permanent disability. He and his family will have a decent holiday now and won’t have to worry about whether their electricity will be out or have food on the table. It has been a very tough year for them.

And while many of these things don’t involve me personally, I’m truly grateful nonetheless. I consider myself fortunate and try to recognize the good things in my life, especially this time of year. In a word gone shallow, I’m very grateful for the good things in my life this year.

Headache

I used to get horrible migraines. It started in my late 30’s and plagued me for years. I tried everything under the sun to make them better and nothing really helped much. If you’ve ever had a migraine they aren’t pleasant. Mine would usually last two or three days. They would get so bad even the slightest exposure to light hurt. I get two types. The worst of the two, typically started in the base of my skull and built like a fog bank rolling up and over my head until it reached my eyes. By then I’d be hiding in dark corners. The other and often less painful of the two would slowly build behind my nose and eyes and erupt upwards. These I could usually survive.

After I had all but resigned myself to a life of painful headaches someone mentioned a home-remedy, honey. Having tried everything else with no luck, I figured I would give it a try. All the nose sprays and pills just made my nasal passages dry and the rest of me cranky. The great Flonaise everyone was touting at the time didn’t even put a dent in it. Anyway, the trick is to buy local honey, the more local the better. The friend of a friend who recommended it made sure I knew to stick it out for a few months. We have several local beekeepers who sell honey at all the farmer’s markets here in the city. I tried it and after a few months I noticed my migraines weren’t necessary gone but they were less often and less intense. After a few more months I was down to very manageable headaches.

At least, they were down to manageable headaches. Being off my regimen, they are apparently returning. I got a whopper of a headache a few weeks ago. It wasn’t quite the killer one’s I used to get but it still stuck around for several days.

I’m not big on toting home-remedies but I swear by my honey regimen. I’ve had some folks tell me it didn’t work for them so clearly it isn’t a one size fits all solution. However, it works for me and that is all I care about. I’ve started my daily dosing again. If you are prone to migraines, I highly recommend the honey regimen. It is not immediate. It takes a few months to really kick in and closer to 6 months (for me anyway) for the migraines to truly disappear. You have nothing to lose as honey is good for you anyway.

If you’re one of the folks that it doesn’t work for, my condolences. Knowing full well what you go thru, I hope you found/find a good treatment that works for you.

Sickly

I am recovering from a cold. If you know me, you know I’m usually the worst when it comes to being sick. I hate being sick. I turn into the biggest baby usually.

This time around the cold wasn’t that bad and I wasn’t too terrible. The ailment part, where you feel achy, coughing, stuffy-head, blah, blah, blah part lasted about a week. The aches and pains always bother me the most. I can handle the stuffy-head and coughing but the aching is what always gets to me. I tried something a little different this time around. Instead of taking a one pill for everything approach, I took Muscinex for the coughing/flem and ibuprofen for the aches during the day and NyQuil at night time. I took the NyQuil mainly to help me sleep. I struggle with sleep anytime I’m sick. I was also worried my tossing and turning would keep poor Shawn awake. He seemed to survive it ok. He’s probably used to my normal tossing and turning enough he didn’t really notice a difference. Anyway, the Muscinex/ibuprofen combo really helped keep me sane. I wasn’t as groggy and “out of it” like I normally am doped up on cough meds.  I missed a few days of work and was grateful my admin assignment gives me the freedom to not feel pressured to return to work. It’s amazing what naps will do for you when you’re sick! lol

I’m still coughing a bit today but it is diminishing every day. Overall, I feel almost normal. I’m off all the meds to alleviate symptoms so my brain is clear again.1  I’m so glad to be on the mend. I went to the gym a couple days ago to do cardio and as much as I hate cardio, I felt so good afterwards. Tangent: I felt icky, ugly, and fat of course! So imagine my surprise when a cute pup was cruising me in the locker room. Totally yanked me out of my funk and made me feel better. hehehe /tangent

I can’t really complain too much because it’s been years since I’ve been sick with a cold or flu. It’s been long enough I can’t actually remember the last time I was sick. It was definitely before Shawn and I got together and that’s been almost 5 years now. I’ve come close a few times but no full blown illnesses in quite some time. *knock on wood*  I guess I was due for something and hopefully I’m over it again for many more years! I like to think my continued struggle to remain fit has helped.




  1. Well as clear as it can be for my crazy ass. []

Old Gay & the Gym

Someone asked me the other day1 if I thought going to gym was a waste of time since I “clearly wasn’t ripped” and I’m getting older. I originally thought the person was just trying to get in a jab out of some misplaced shortcomings. Then I got to wondering if other gay guys really think that way.

First, I don’t go to the gym to get ripped. I go to keep myself in shape. And while I tend to fall off the wagon from time to time, I don’t see that as a failure. I don’t live for the gym. It isn’t my sole focus. And my own shortcomings, be it laziness or my schedule, are part of the equation. I don’t have an expectation I always have to be at my fittest or that others have to constantly validate my attendance with compliments. If you’re going to the gym for any of those reasons, you’re doing it wrong! I gave that up in my mid 20’s.

To answer the main question, I do not feel going to the gym is ‘wasted’ because I’m not ripped. I don’t want to be ripped. That has never been my goal. I like to eat way too much to ever get to that level. I’m ok with that. I go to the gym, regardless of my current weight set, to stay in shape. I get lazy, complacent, or just willful at times and don’t go. I always seem to gravitate back though. I like how I feel after a hard workout. And as much as a bitch and moan about cardio, I’m getting used to it. I like feeling in shape and fit.

As for my age, I don’t see that as a deterrent.  If anything, it motivates me more. Study after study after study has shown that working out prolongs your health and life into old age. Is it a silver bullet? Of course not. However, if it helps me stay active and healthy longer, I’m all for it.

On a totally narcissistic view, I hate droopy skin. Lawd baby jeebus help me stave it off as long as possible! I’m not kicking anyone as it eventually comes to us all, but I hope to avoid it as long as I can. Call it one of my few vanities.2  And don’t even get me started on the flabby booty. Oh, hell naw!

Joking aside, I hope no one reading this thinks they are too old to go to the gym or that it isn’t worth it because they can’t achieve perfection.

 




  1. rather sarcastically I might add []
  2. I have no idea if I’m using that word right, but I’m too lazy to look it up right now. []