Stupefy

Today is brought to you by the letter S.

stu·pe·fy

ˈst(y)o͞opəˌfī/

verb

verb: stupefy; 3rd person present: stupefies; past tense: stupefied; past participle: stupefied; gerund or present participle: stupefying

  1. make (someone) unable to think or feel properly.

And how do we avoid stupefying those around us on social media when presented with a story or “news” item we want to believe but aren’t really sure is true? Let me offer you these short rules. 

  • Read the article. Does it match the title? If not, ignore it. Otherwise,  move on to the next step. 
  • Do you trust the source? Is the source well known or legitimate?1 If not, don’t share. Otherwise, move on to the next step. 
  • Has the source been caught fabricating stories or publishing false and/or misleading edits of stories? If so, don’t share. If not, move on to the next step. 
  • Seriously, go read the article. We all know you didn’t read it. If it really passed the previous steps move on to the next step. 
  • Does the action / event / article cite sources or provide proof to back up claims, accusations, and/or accomplishments? Sourcing yet another article with no proof is not a valid source. If not, don’t share. Otherwise, move on to the next step. 
  • If you’re too busy to read it, can’t go thru all the steps, or you feel the article is too long, don’t share it. Otherwise, move on to the next step. 
  • Does the article attempt to guilt or scare you into sharing it? If so, don’t share. No, you arent helping others “just in case“. Otherwise, move to the next step.
  • Does the article attempt to incite hatred or violence against others based on bias? If so, don’t share it.

If it passes all these steps then and ONLY then should you consider sharing it. Even then, you should still ask yourself if sharing will contribute in any way to the discussion? 

Now you know. Next time you are about to share a news story on social media you know what to ask yourself to avoid stupefying others. 

😜




  1. stating how many people removed from you can contest to its authenticity is not trustworthy ie “my coworker’s cousin’s wife can attest to this and she is  [insert contrived position of authority here]” []

Ever After

The blog title is also the title of one of my favorite movies. It came out in 1998. Drew Barrymore and Angelica Houston were two of the leads, not to mention Dougray Scott.1  It’s the modern day remake of the Cinderella story. It’s quite good if you’ve never seen it. It was on cable again recently and of course I got sucked into watching it. I noticed at the end, I wasn’t wistful or lonesome this time. That got me to thinking. 

Back when I was an insecure mess and still trying to figure things out, this movie always made me lonesome and wistful at the same time. Lonesome for the obvious reasons and wistful for a love that transcended life. I just knew if I could find the ‘right love’ life would be perfect. The movie is the epitome of the love conquers all fairy tall. I was sold hook, line, and sinker.

However, this time around I think a few things occurred to me. Relationships need love. They can’t really survive without it. But the idea that love makes everything ok is utter bullshit IMO. Love doesn’t keep people together. While it certainly helps brin them together, staying together requires a lot more. Frankly, we need to stop force feeding the fairy tale idea to our kids or at least provide some balance. The older I get the more I see love as a lubricant that helps all the other parts of the id slip/slide around each other. Or maybe it’s like a really elastic glue. It stretches to allow growth but pulls individual pieces of ourselves into a cohesive pattern. Like real world lubricant, it dries out and can crack if not nutured or renewed. For gay men I think we spend so much of our lives trying to fit in and belong we get caught up in the idea of the perfect relationship. I know I did. For years, I felt like if I could just find the right guy my life would be all better.2  He’d fix all my problems just thru love. In reality, I wanted someone else to fix my own failings. I spent all my time hoping to find the right guy intead of trying to BE the right guy.l It took me long enough to realize it doesn’t work that way. No one can ‘fix’ you but you. 

Lawd knows I’ve had my bad relationships. And some of them have been doozies. I used to think of them as failures. I don’t anymore. For along time, I was too dysfunctional to even notice much less learn, but I did eventually. I learned relationships take work. They need more than love and even then they aren’t perfect. Perfection is a myth reinforced by our fair tayles. I’m sure I drive Shawn crazy at times, in fact I know I do, but that’s the best part. We can drive each other crazy and still realize we love this person. I’m learning successful relationships are about loving someone for their best qualities and still accepting them for their flaws. 

I won’t pretend to know the future. I’ve certainly been burned rambling about it here before. I am happy Shawn and I have a good foundation. I accept all of him. And while there are times we get on each other’s nerves, I still love him every day. I hope that lasts for us. For the first time in my life I am able to love in a way that is healthy IMO. I’m not clinging to him out of misplaced fear. I’m not with him because I’m afriad to be alone. I’m not with him because I feel incomplete. 

I love the idea of growing old with Shawn. Two crotchety old fools getting on each others nerves but never wanting to be a part. I totally love love LOVE that idea! And I could see it happening. But…if things change and one of us felt unhappy, not fulfilled, or we just grew apart, I’d be ok with that too. I love hime enough I’d still only want him to be happy. I’d like to think I love him for the right reasons and I’m secure enough to want him to be happy over us staying together. I don’t think that means I care less, just the opposite actually.

I’ve always said love with limits is just a form of control. True love isn’t a testament to how long a relationship lasts. To me, true love is loving someone knowing it might last a lifetime or it might not. True love is based on how you love, not how long you love. So while I can enjoy the fairy tale movies, I realize these stories are meant to inspire us to love, not to teach us how to love. 




  1. Boy, he used to do it for me. hehehe []
  2. I should post some snapshots of my really old journals. They were so sad. []

Recovery

I’ve been avoiding social media and most of the news these last few days. It’s all been so depressing and sad I just needed a chance to recover before I dove back into it all. And on queue, everyone is jockeying for the moral superiority. What a total turn off. Ugh.1

Believe it or not, some of my readers are/were Donald supporters.  I know, crazy right? I make no bones about supporting mostly democrats these days. It isn’t because I’m a hard core party line groupy, they just often make the most sense and/or are will do less damage based on the choices given. I was an ardent (and still am) Hillary supporter. She would have been good for this country, all the rhetoric notwithstanding. She had her issues that concerned me, but so does our current President. Anyway, I got a few snarky humble-brag emails from a couple of aforementioned readers. My response to them is my response to all, “careful what you wish for, because once you get it, you’re stuck with it.” In this case, we are stuck with Donald for at least 4 years. Watching the disaster that is his transition has been both hilarious and frightening. These clowns can’t even manage a transition and yet magically we expect them to manage a country, foreign affairs, the national budget. Really? 

I hope we recover from this. I’m a pretty optimistic person but I see this as sign of bad things to come. I truly hope I’m wrong. And unlike everyone trying to point fingers, I don’t blame the people who voted. I don’t blame the people who voted for Donald, Jill, or Gary. At least they got off their asses and voted. They exercised their right to help determine their future. And while it certainly played a role, I don’t blame the voter id laws or the clowns trying to intimidate voters at polling places. It is arguable that without these influences Hillary might have won. Now imagine if half of the non-voting voters had actually gone to the polls. A mere 25% of the absent voting publc would have changed everything. It would have offset all the attempts above and then some. How do I know this? Statistics don’t lie. Statistics repeatedly show lower voter turnouts benefit the republicans. Even with all the shenanigans above, Hillary still won the popular vote by over a million votes (and still counting). That means the crazy, insane voting block, which represents only 1/25 of the total, consistently swings elections because other voters stay home. Over and over again we see it play out. And we saw it again this year. Not voting for your interests is a vote against them. 

I don’t buy the bullshit argument we need to coddle straight white men. We don’t need to coddle them. We need to get more women, minorities, and LGBTI foks to the ballot box and kick their selfish asses to the curb. As a collective we outnumber the selfish white men. And here is the crux of the problem IMO. White society is slowly realizing the system no longer predominantly represents them anymore. It scares the shit out of them. Deep down they are afraid of becoming the minority and discovering what it feels like to be discriminated against. This is what drives the cognitive dissonance that allows people to look past Donald’s racist, sexist, xenophobic, etc, etc, etc behaviors. They can’t reconcile the contradiction so they block it out. This is what won the election for Donald IMO. 

I’ve said it before,2  indifference is going to destroy us. The more we abandon our cherished rights and freedoms, the faster they will be taken from us. We run to social media to whine or we run into the streets demanding “something be done“. Meanwhile, the people in power keep on doing what their doing. They know there is very little consequence so what’s to fear? 

The republicans do get credit for reading the writing on the wall. They took full advantage of the openness3 of the internet and social media. They never let up with their false attacks on opponents. Social media has become the perfect dissemination tool for “story” after story of half truths and flat out lies to confuse an increasingly poorly educated populace. Even our normal media outlets have shifted away from truth and facts to trying to garner ad-clicks. The flashier or more outrageous the headline the better. Doesn’t matter anymore if the headline matches the story. People then see these shitty stories, shared and reshared over time and develop a completely contrary view of reality based on lies and half truths. It’s only now, after it might be too late, suddenly social media is taking notice. No mention yet from traditional media. Maybe they just need to die out and be replaced. 

We’ve built the perfect democracy busting engine using a trifecta of parts; indifference, ignorance, and a media platform devoid of integrity. 




  1. I know this article is probably too long to hold the attention of most folks so I won’t bother with the ‘long rant ahead’ admonishment. I mean even the headline is devoid of anything flashy. hehehe []
  2. And again, I hate being right here []
  3. Read no regulation on what’s called news []

Old

Someone asked me the other day if I thought I was too old to workout? Uh, no. Is that a thing? Is there an imaginary age where [gay] guys just give up working out? 

I guess if you’re doing it for the attention or admiration I can see a shelf life. And I’m not judging here. Many of us develop an obsession with working out as a coping mechanism to combat deeper issues.Who am I to cast stones? It’s kind of a natural progression honestly. We used to be thought of as weak so working out breaks that stereotype. That said, I never stuck with working out when I did it to impress others. It wasn’t until my mid to late 20s when I decided I really wanted to be better than I was that I finally stuck with it.  I took a real interest and got over my anxiety. Lawd, I was a scrawny turd back then.hehee

Fast forward, to my mid 40s and I still enjoy working out. I’m in excellent shape without being ripped or massive.The latter were never my goals anyway. I feel better after a good workout. Of course, the narcissist in me likes that I get more attention, but that is a side benefit. It would be silly to pretend I don’t enjoy attention.1  I think anyone who works out would tell you the same if they are honest. However, I don’t personally think there is a shelf life for working out. I’m not Miss Cleo so I can’t see the future, but I hope I continue working out well into old age. Working out has proven to help keep you healthy and fight off aging. I might end up an old doddering fool but I’ll be a strong doddering old fool!

So no, I don’t think I have reached an age where I’ll be giving it up. And it’s never too late to start. 




  1. truer words were never spoken! []

Here

​My poor blog has been so neglected lately. What can I say, life has just been busy. You know my motto, life first blog second. I’m still here. I haven’t abandoned anyone. 

Lawd knows I have plenty to say just so little free time. After a 10-hour work day, gym, and food, there is just enough time for a quick smooch from Shawn, settling the Cooper, and then off to bed. And who blogs on weekends?

Quick updates: Work is good. I am STILL struggling with the hours though. And as usual, it isn’t the getting up part, it’s the going to bed. I simply have the hardest time getting to bed for a full 8-hours. Hopefully, my body will just adjust given enough time. It is a 5-year assignment after all. I’ve been volunteering for a lot of off-site overtime gigs. We get hired occasionally to help dispatch the medical components at private events like Pride, Outside Lands, Bay to Breakers, etc. As an agency, we are well respected for our work. Anyway, the gigs are always on overtime and fun. I just worked Outside Lands this past weekend. Because of all the heightened security and tighter restrictions on illegal beer vendors, it was much smoother this year. I got to spend a big chunk of time watching the shows. Major Lazer puts on a good set btw.

Home is good. Cooper, other than his never ending allergies, is good. hehehe  Of course, GHHD #2 (aka Up Your Alley fair) just passed. We had fun. 

Overall, life is stable, fulfilling, and busy. Life has settled but I try not to take the things I have for granted. I got a great man and a great dog. Who could ask for anything more, right? I’ll try to put out more updates. I’ll tell ya a secret. I miss the blog too! 

Funny

**Thru a random keystroke I accidentally posted this before it was complete. It’s what I get for mutil-tasking and watching the Sharks game. For you subscribers, sorry for the double emails…**

I ran into a random blog reader a couple weeks back at Starbucks. He was very excited to meet me. I was a taken aback just a little bit by his anxiety though. He seemed absolutely terrified! I say it as a declarative, not to poke fun. Tommy was so timid and I could tell it really took a lot to come say hi. We sat around for a bit chatting and killing time. Apparently, he lives in LA but happened to be in SF for a weekend and just happened to bump into me. He has been reading my blog as a lurker1 since 2005! I know, right!

Anyway, after we had chatted for a bit I guess he realized he didn’t have to be nervous. He confessed he was surprised 1) I was so friendly, and 2) I was so funny. This always gives me pause because if you know me in person, you know what a nutball I can be. And this isn’t the first time someone has mentioned it to me. I guess I just don’t do a good enough job bringing my sense of humor out in the blog very often.2

I blame the lack of humor on why and how I blog. In an effort to train myself to be objective about my behaviors and triggers, I somehow managed to filter out my humor. I also tend to be speak very directly. In person, this is softened up with my inflection but online I’m sure it can come across more terse. I think my humor does peak thru from time to time, but I admit I think I do a poor job of really letting it shine.

I do plan to work on it. I hate the idea that folks would come away thinking I’m too serious or ‘no fun.’ Lawd, if you only knew! On a side rant, I’m headed back to Texas for the first time in like forever around the end of the month. I’ll be reuniting with both of my besties which should be the final test of Shawn and I’s relationship. If he can survive a whole weekend with the three of us terrors together, it is definitely love! hehehe




  1. Affectionate term given to those who read but never comment []
  2. I’m not sure I convinced him to start commenting though. []

Too Old

I’ve reached an age where people have started asking me “if I’m too old for [insert behavior] that.” One of the biggest is video games. Let me just say, anytime you ask someone if they are too old for video games, you clearly don’t play video games. If you played with any level of frequency, you’d know better. Most video games are made for young men but they appeal to a broad spectrum of players. And with ‘mobile’ eating into the console market, it will only get broader.

As I’ve mentioned here, I don’t mind aging. I don’t have a desire to chase my youth, as the phrase goes. The shortest answer I can give anyone is I’ll be too old when I’m bored or dead. Beyond that, I just giggle and keep going. And honestly, even if the person is too old for something, if they are happy and not hurting anyone, who cares? I kind of used to be that way. There was this guy back home that dressed like he was a teenager. He was well into his 40’s at the time and it was painfully obvious. I admit I kinda looked down on him a bit. I thought he was trying to hold onto his childhood. But so what if he was. He never harmed me or anyone else by it. And he seemed happy. Shame on me for looking down on him. Being an adult doesn’t mean you can’t have fun or do things you enjoyed as a child/teenager.

To date, I’ve been asked if I’m too old to: ride motorcycles, rollerblade, play video games, watch cartoons, wear tshirts, and even to blog. There are more but you get the point. Who sets these arbitrary age limits anyway? hehehe Anyway, while I’ll probably stop riding motorcycle/rollerblades some day, I’m no where near that day yet. I love cartoons, albeit animated movies mostly these days. I’ll play video games until they bore me or my fingers are too gnarled to mange a controller. I will always wear tshirts and who knows how long I will continue to blog. I will say I won’t give up on anything because someone thinks I’m too old.

 

Week

I reached a new milestone at work this year. As of April, I’ll have been employed in the same job for 15 years! And with the glorious news comes an extra week of vacation moving forward. The fact I’ve worked in one place for so long is news in itself.

I bounced around a lot when I was younger from job to job and place to place. Without realizing it at the time, I was searching for a place to call home and it wasn’t until I hit San Francisco that I found it. While I had some good jobs over the years, some I liked, others I hated. They all benefited me in one way or another. It wasn’t until I landed in emergency services that I seemed to settle. When I took the job here, I had other offers on my plate and I took it almost on a whim. There were several very random occurrences or coincidences that helped push me into this line of work.

Fast forward, here I am 15 years later still at it. I’m fully vested here and consider myself very fortunate. I won’t have to worry about income or health benefits when I retire and I’ll be able to provide for myself and Shawn. For someone who came from such poor means, I’m so very proud of my accomplishments. I’m not rich and never will be but I’m proud of my work and it gives me comfort knowing I’ll be ok when I get older. It wasn’t always so easy. When I first started it was right after the PGE rolling blackouts and just before the dot.com bust. Even then, I had a hard time making ends meet. I made a lot less than I do now and eking out a living was tough. I stuck it out and thru several busted/broken relationships and 15 years I’ve reached some stability. I make enough to keep more than just the bills paid and can afford a few luxuries. The irony is I’d do quite well pretty much anywhere else on my salary. Of course, I also wouldn’t make said salary anywhere else either.

A few weeks ago I was discussing the old days with a former blogger and he mentioned the passing of my father. I was so broke at the time I ended up soliciting donations on my blog so I could afford a trip home.1 There was no such thing as gofundme or indiegogo stuff back then. All we had was the "tip jar" button that was tied to PayPal. I was a bit embarrassed and felt a little guilty when I did it but I sure appreciated those who reached out to help me. Several complete strangers offered money and it was just enough to push me over the edge to make the trip. Thankfully, I’ve come a long way since then.

So yeah, I busted my ass and stuck it out. There were several times I wanted to quit and just walk away. The stress, drama, and negativity builds up on you over time. Luckily, I persevered and I’m still here. And while the idea of living here for the rest of my life still appeals to me, the cost will eventually push me out of the city. Its just too expensive.

Either way, I’m stuck here for another 15 years. I don’t plan to retire until I reach the max benefit, which requires 30 years of service and be age 65. Plus, I like working and I want to max out what I can because once I retire I’m on a fixed income for the rest of my life. Of course, if you had asked me 15 years ago if I’d ever be happily engaged, financially stable, debt-free, and a plan for the future, I would have laughed at you. It was never even in the realm of possibilities for me back then.

So I move into year 15 of my career with an eager look to the future. I hope the next 15 years treats me with the same growth and progress that the last 15 have.

Hope springs eternal…




  1. He had sent me a nice check for which I was eternally grateful []