Ghosts of the Past

I haven’t talked about my “issues” here in a long time. Truth is, I haven’t felt bothered by them so there wasn’t a need.

Today, I’ve been overwhelmed with memories of my past. I can’t say anything triggered it. Maybe it’s just ‘my time of the month.’ I’m not depressed by the memories, even though most of them aren’t great. I just can’t seem to shake the progression. One memory will trigger another and down a rabbit hole of deep thought I go…

Anyhoo, it’s been mostly about my step-mother, her family, and my angst at them for never intervening when they saw my step-mother abuse me. I know they recognized it because I would sometimes overhear the adults (her siblings) asking my step-mother, “why are so mean to that boy?” My cousins would just ask me directly. Or they would discuss it amongst themselves in front of me. For many years growing up I worshipped and hated them at the same time. When my family from her side visited, I got a reprieve from the mental torment. It meant things would be more bearable, even if it was just a long weekend. Of course, when they left, I suffered even more for my apparent ‘slights’ while they had been visiting. It was in those moments I hated them most.

When I left home none of them made much effort to stay in touch. To be fair, neither did I. They represented a connection to “her” that was to be avoided. It wasn’t like I was overly stable anyway and there was no cell phones, texting, or even internet. But I didn’t understand that then. It’s only been in the last few years I’ve slowly opened a window to them on Facebook. Being an adult now, my view of them has been complicated. At first, I was resentful more of them didn’t reach out to me. But, I realized that wasn’t fair either. Their lives diverged from mine and I was a distant memory. They had as much reason to reach out to me as I did to them. And it wasn’t like I made a lot of effort either. I kept them at arms length. A small handful made an effort to at least reconnect and “know” me a bit. I’m grateful for that. Our lives are so distant and different so that is pretty much where it ends. We keep a cursory connection at best.

And as expected, many of them tend to be Trump supporters. This isn’t much of a surprise. I only mention it because I routinely chime in when I see them sharing absolute made up stories that reinforce their biases. Reconciling my childhood view of them with my adult exposure has been easier than expected. I’m not sure if that is a good thing or not. lol

Anyway, I don’t have any wisdom to share. I’m just putting thoughts to pad to help me drag the triggers and emotions out into my conscience id so I can examine them properly. I’ll post more if I figure anything of value out.

What Do You Say?

I was having a discussion with a coworker the other day and we got to talking politics. We were specifically discussing some of the underlying dynamics that often lead people to believe into crazy conspiracy theories. Mostly, we talked about how people often reason based on emotion not logic.

I used an example of my little brother. Not because my brother is a crazy extremist, just the opposite. The story perfectly illustrates how even well-meaning people end up on the wrong side of things at times. So the real question is how, in an age of sensationalized media, truly fake news, and bias, do we encourage every day folks to move beyond their base feelings and examine a solution with logic? How do we get people to realize what they “know” is often based on very limited exposure to the world at large?1

Let me get to my example. My little brother grew up not really “seeing” racism. To him, it is something he knows exists but in more pronounced examples. For lack of a better description, he sees it as a very black and white issue. I tried to explain white privilege to him and found it a frustrating struggle. As a white man he has never had to experience the frustrations a person of color endures daily. Because he grew up poor and busted his tail working hard to get to a point where he feels stable, he doesn’t understand how a black person doing the same thing faces many more obstacles. I explained many of the very real world examples to him and while he sort of ‘got it’, because he lives in a rural environment where these ideas are usually avoided, it doesn’t become ‘truth’ to him.

It is hard for people who spend everyday just worried about trying to put food on their table to rise above the squabble and focus on bigger issues like politics. And when they live in an environment where biases are constantly reinforced, it’s easy to see why so many fall prey to the machinations of political hacks who want them to stay poor and ignorant. People who are poorly educated as a whole are easily manipulated by their emotions. Quite simply, their emotions are used against them.

And this is one variable of many leading society towards a calamity. So how do we overcome that? What do you say to someone to get them to truly open their mind and listen? If we could figure that out I think the world would be a better place.




  1. How many “experts” do you encounter on Facebook or twitter these days  LOL []

GHHD #1 2018

Well, GHHD #11 is upon us once again. It is Pride weekend.  The gym has begun filling up daily with out-of-town’rs. *giggle*  I’m sure by Friday it will be overflowing. (pun intended)

However, you celebrate it, I hope you have a fun and safe one. For myself, I volunteered to work overtime again this year onsite at the event. I’ll be working with AMR ambulance services who are the medical component for the Pride permit.2  I’ve worked with them for many years at different events and they are always a pleasure to work with. Ironically, after the Pulse shootings, the Pride committee put in metal detectors and this has cut way down on all the illegal booze being brought in by kids.

As always, there are those among us who complain about all that is wrong with Pride. We know gurl, you hate it. Next! This year, it’s over the idea of adding a few extra colors to the rainbow flag. For a community that is supposed to be all about accepting others, we sure do have some rigid ideas when it comes to symbolism. If you don’t like it, use the one you like. Stop bemoaning attempts to make other marginalized communities feel included under our umbrella. I personally am not defined by the rainbow flag or any other symbol. I enjoy the symbols and support them but there isn’t any reason a symbol can’t change or evolve over time to better represent it’s purpose.

I still support Pride as an event. While we have gained a measure of equality since the legalization of gay-marriage, anti-LGBT crimes have sky-rocketed since the current POTUS took office. There is clearly still a need to show our solidarity, especially for our Trans brethren. Frankly, I feel we have an obligation to help pull those behind us still facing daily discrimination in their lives to the front of the line.

So while I am working my booty off to help keep everyone same, I am with you in mind and spirit. Let your freak (or not) flag fly! Whether you wanna look like a Warner-bros cartoon character or an average Joe, get out and celebrate. Maybe you can volunteer at a shelter, food back, or AIDS org as a way of celebrating. It doesn’t have to be prancing down the street or standing on the sidelines. Do you and support those doing them.

 




  1. Gay High Holy Day []
  2. Large permitted events require a medical plan to help off-set the need for emergency services. This assures a modicum of care and prevents overwhelming the normal emergency system. []

Daddy Issues

I know, I haven’t posted in forever. I’ve gotten several strongly worded emails reminding me of this fact. Never fear, I is here.

So, I discussed my age and aging in general a while back. (It’s been like forever, I know)  I thought I’d share a different perspective since a few folks thought I was getting all negative comments about my age.  That wasn’t my intent at all. It is just the opposite actually. I’ve apparently reached full daddy status. Or at least, a lot of the comments I get online indicate as much. hehehe  I don’t live for labels, but I don’t mind it at all.

The downside, unfortunately, is I’m not really into younger guys. And by ‘younger, I’m referring to being old enough to be your actual father. If you’re under 30 I usually feel like a dirty old man trying to paw at you. The irony in that is I used to live for guys in their 40’s when I was barely out of my teens. I’d get the vapors just thinking about it.1  I had zero hangups about the age difference when I was in my early 20’s. And I don’t really have any hangups about it now, I just don’t find myself attracted to guys with overly boyish looks.

Of course, now that “I’m” the older guy, I almost feel obligated to return the favor. lol  I’m sure plenty of guys would kill for the attention but it doesn’t really do much for me. I do keep a positive perspective on it as someday there won’t be much attention at all. We hate to admit it, but age (specifically how we look) does matter to our attractions. So I take it in stride and am appreciative.

From my own perspective, I don’t mind the label, even though we often put way too much emphasis on labels in our community. Ask 10 guys what the term “daddy” means and you’ll get 10 different answers. As for my own attractions, my range hasn’t changed much. Shawn is 10 years my junior, but being in his late 30’s, he is clearly well within my range. And to be fair, there are the random exceptions. Overall, I still find myself into guys in their 30’s, 40’s, and 50’s.

One thing I am noticing is there are fewer guys my age that work-out. I definitely notice the age difference in the gym, even here in SF where the median gay age is in the late 30’s. They aren’t non-existent, just a smaller part of the crowd now. And as I approach my 50’s, I still don’t mind my age. I like the wisdom that has come with my life experience. My only worry for the future is my libido. I’m 47 and I still have the same libido I did when I was 27. I don’t wanna be one of those old dudes leering at guys in the showers (or where ever). lolol  But hey, for someone who never thought he’d see 50, that is not a bad worry to have.

Hope springs eternal. . .




  1. I think in hindsight it had a lot more to do with a lacking father figure in my life and a burgeoning sexuality….I know, someone call Dr Phil! []

Swamped

I know, I know…It’s been like forever since I updated. I am a very busy person.1  Lawd baby jeebus, the last few weeks have been hella busy. Work was off the charts for a couple weeks there. Then I was out for a few days as well.

I came into work today, polished off the mornings workload and then sat around a bit gobsmacked that I wasn’t behind. The next batch promptly showed up and erased all that but still… Yes, I’m still fighting my morning schedule. Ugh!

Who's your Daddy?
Werk, bitch!

In other news, I’ve been hitting the gym pretty hard lately. I’m a whopping 218! With the exception of a chunky phase a few years back, this is the heaviest I’ve ever been. Most of it is the good kind of weight, albeit muscle! Yay! lolol  I was determined not to break my motivation streak so even when work was just messy I still made it a priority to keep to my gym schedule. I’m happy to say my arms and chest are looking ‘tight’! heehee  My poor legs are still looking boney as hell though. I’ve neglected them for so long and talked about working them out for so long as well. I’ve finally been putting my money where my mouth is but they are still behind the rest of me. I actually see it now so I’ m all about bringing them back into balance.

I’m finishing up this week on a bulking routine. I switch over to trying to lean up a bit next week. This means I have to actually start eating better. I don’t eat a lot of fast food but I tend to eat a lot of rich foods. This isn’t helping my waist line. heehee  I’ve already been weening myself off the rich foods. I don’t honestly think I will struggle too much. My biggest challenge is keeping the food I need to be eating in the apt. Between Amazon Fresh and Instacart, hopefully I will maintain. Wish me luck!

Cooper & Shawn
My two favorite fellas!

Cooper was feeling good this past weekend so we got out for a lovely walk. Just around the hood but still. He’ll be 8 this next month and while he is still energetic, he just doesn’t endure the walks like he used to. I remember Spike at this point would barely walk 2 blocks to the park and back. hehehe He was such a rascal. Cooper is much more energetic than that so I’m still liking where he is health wise.

My sister from another Mister is coming to visit in late May. I miss that old heifer so it will be great to catch up. The only thing I truly miss from back home are my two besties dirty snatches. I need to contrive a way to get them both up to Cali.

Right after that, we are off to Disney World. We are treating ourselves to flying first class. Trust me when I tell ya we can’t afford first class all the time. This is a rare treat and I’m actually looking forward to it. The few times I’ve flown first class were free upgrades from friends in the business. Of course, we are going for Gay Day’s. I’m saving up my liver for the round-the-world drinking binge at Epcot on Sunday. hehehe

Ugh, duty calls. A new batch of work just arrived to keep me busy for the rest of the day.

 




  1. Said in a very affected nasally voice. lol []

Boring

I wish I could say my life has been extremely busy lately, which would account for my lack of blogging. Nope. Just the usual boring stuff. Daily life revolves around work, dog, gym, video games, sleep, and repeat.  Exciting huh?

Let me delve into the excitement further since you are just dying to know more, right? lol1 Work is work. I STILL struggle with my schedule. I have just resigned myself to it though, even though I hate it. I hate working 10 hour days. I usually waste the 3rd day off as Shawn works. I often nap and video game the day away. Beyond that, I stay pretty busy at work so there is often no dead spots to blog. We are still incredibly short staffed. Our director has been hiring out the wazoo, but it’s only staved off attrition so far. I am confident the new staffing will make a dent eventually. Beyond that, same sh#t, different day. I joined a 2nd committee with the Union I belong to. Lawd, what was I thinking? Drama to the max.

Dog. Cooper is fine for the most part. He is getting older now. He’ll be 8 in May which is old age for bullies. He had some scares this past year but has been fine since then. I’ve had him on a diet and he is down to a slim 57 lbs. heehee  The goal is to hit 55. He hasn’t had any limps or unusual flare ups with discomfort so hopefully, the drop in weight is helping. He has developed this lovely groaning noise out of the blue. When he stretches, hops up quickly, or rolls around too much he’ll let out a sort of audible groan. It isn’t something he consciously does. It’s kinda cute. If I hadn’t just had him tested for cancer a few months ago I’d be freaked out. I just chalk it up to his ever lovely personality. He doesn’t like to do walks as much as he used to. I make up for by taking him for a ride in a zipcar anytime I have to run errands. He loves it.

Gym. Gym is progressing nicely. I’m back in the swing of things and have been for a while now. I’m liking the new routine I designed for myself. It works with my longer work schedule, even though I still end up rebelling when it comes to bedtime some nights.  I’ve put on a few lbs of muscle2 and lost a few lbs of fat. I’m almost to the peak range I like to be in. I don’t kill myself dieting, which is why the fat loss is going slow. I happy overall with where I am so I don’t feel compelled to put myself on a super strict regimen. I am trying to cut back on eating out as much. Some weeks I succeed, others I fail miserably. I’m still a bit heavier than I want to be so I continue to trim away at it. My belly is the biggest area needing work. I miss the days when my ass got fat. It all goes to my belly now.

Video Games. I’ve almost completely lost interest in Destiny 2. It has been a let-down of sorts. It doesn’t hold my attention like disc 1 did. It’s hard to explain. It isn’t one big thing but many smaller things that just make it less fun. I picked up Metal Gear Solid: Phantom Pain. I played the short version they originally released it it was ok. This one is a solid game, albeit an oddly chaotic and confusing story line. Since the game has bounce around on Nintendo, Sony, and now Xbox, you would probably be in the minority if you knew the entire story-line. I finished the campaign and have been going back thru leveling up thru side missions and extra hard main missions. I’ve been at it for months now so I’m slowly wearing out on it. I discovered last month they finally ported one of my all time favorite games to the XOne, The Darkness II.  Sadly, no port of game one. However, even with the old cheesy graphics its been fun playing again. The story is simplistic enough but it manages to pull you in and you get hooked. I still enjoy playing it. I have a few new game sin the queue that need some attention. I expect to get to them shortly.

Shawn is still loving his new job. He is settling into a routine and has yet to come home upset over anything. It’s been nice. hehehe

So you see, I’ve been very busy not being busy.




  1. I have several readers who live afar who yell at me when I go too long without blogging. []
  2. sadly, it’s just gaining back what I lost before but I’ll take it []

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 []

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.

Blood Draw

Who knew getting your blood drawn could make you feel so much better!? As previously mentioned a while back, my blood has gotten too thick as of late. The thickness was leading to high blood pressure and was causing my heart to work harder.

I finally got around to scheduling the appointment and what a difference it made. I’d sort of settled into a routine of taking a low-dose BP med every morning to keep myself from getting throbbing headaches. However, by bedtime it would be back to a dull throb which often interfered with my ability to fall asleep at night. I guess I hadn’t realized how much it impacted me. I mean it did progress slowly so it sort of snuck up on me. The first couple nights afterwards were lovely, no throbbing, no discomfort, no weird sensations. Lovely.

I’ll probably have to start going on a regular basis. Depending on how quickly it builds back up, I could need a treatment every 3 to 6 months. I can just barely feel the tension/pressure now. The lady at the blood bank was raving at how great my blood looked. She kept ‘tsk tsking’ about how it was such a waste to throw it away. I’m not sure why but I was tickled by it.

Having brought it up in conversation a few times in the past couple months, I discovered the procedure is way more common than I realized. I had several friends who do or have done it. The blood bank has whole blocks of appointments they set aside just for this type of service. Who knew?

Old Man

In the last year I’ve had several interactions either in person or online with younger guys behaving poorly when I didn’t return their affections/advances. Many of their not so nice replies often revolved around my age or lack of hair when they didn’t get the answer they were hoping for. As it either of those things would injure me in any way. 

One particular guy online started adding  “old man” to the end of all his comments, as if I was somehow hurt or injured by it. Of course, the less I got upset the more intense he became. I finally took pity on him and asked if he thought he was accomplishing anything. He ignored my question and kept at it until I started sending him random old man shots from the web.1  Every time he said it, I sent him another picture. He got upset and told me to stop, yet he kept adding “old man” each time. And he continued to get another pic. Realizing he wasn’t going to bait me into an argument, he gave up.

Weeks go by and I get another reply from him. This time he is polite and asked, “what’s wrong with me?”  Since he appeared to be trying to make amends I took the time to reply:

Let me first say, there is nothing wrong with you. Nada, zero, zip. You are a nice looking young man. The fact I am not personally attracted to you for nookie doesn’t negate any of your positive qualities. We are just not a match. I am literally old enough to be your father. That doesn’t work for me. But honestly, the reason(s) shouldn’t matter. You should never assume something is ‘wrong with you” over a lack of interest. Not everyone can be your type and as such, you can’t be everyone’s type. Rejection is a part of life and learning how to handle it will make you stronger as a person. 

He went on to apologize more earnestly and thanked me for offering wisdom. Normally, I would have just blocked him but I get in a mood at times where I am not to be tested. Since I’m not actually angry at the other person, I routinely ‘win’ these little battles as I can have the patience of a saint when I don’t really mind no “winning.” 

I kinda figured fewer young guys would go thru it now that we have more visibility. I guess I was wrong. I must admit I don’t understand it. Ok, well maybe I do. I mean I understand it stems from insecurity over being rejected. I get that part, but when has lashing out at said interest every worked to lure them back?  I won’t say with 100% certainity I never did that, but I honestly don’t ever remember having behaved that way. And we all know what a f**ked up mess I was back then. I do remember getting my feelings hurt quite often for many of the same reasons. I internalized  it and made it about me self-worth vs just attraction. Over the years as learned to value my self-worth differently, the anger, hurt, and pain went away. 

As for guys my age I think a lot of them struggle at this point. They aren’t the youngest or prettiest anymore and it’s intimidating. Interactions they took for granted no longer present themselves so readily. It can sting for sure. I’ve seen it play out for years. I’m grateful I’ve come far enough to avoid such trappings. It only services to make you sad and/or bitter. I’m grateful my self-worth and confidence are no longer based on how much attention I get. And if you find yourself in that category, learn from your mistakes. If you value your self-worth based on attraction, you’re doing it all wrong. Or, as the saying goes, “that’s not how this works…that’s not how any of this works!.” 




  1. They were of the biblical sense. I figured I’d return his generosity. []