Smelly

WTF is wrong with these guys that go to the gym and bathe with cologne products? I’m not talking about the roughly 99% of scented products either. And for the f**ker that decided to bathe in Patchouli products today in a enclosed shower space, there is a special place in hell for you! Jesus H Christ Mary Joseph & David!

For the record, if I can smell you more than 3 feet away, you stink, period. I do not care if it’s BO or cologne, no one needs to smell you that far away. Frankly, I place these people into two categories: you stink and are trying to cover it up, or you are insecure and using cologne to try and cover that up. Either way, a little dab is all it takes….NOT a bath in it!

Now get off my lawn, you kids!

Gloomy News

If you’ve been living under a rock, it came out this week Facebook has been lying to us all along. A whistleblower came forward and spilled a bunch of dirt on the down right shitty behavior of FB, not that any of us should be surprised. Social media has become a poison in our lives IMO. It does far more harm than good. I get that social media is what we make it, but that argument only holds up in an unbiased scenario. FB has demonstrated they are manipulating us.

I’ve been weening myself off FB to the point I spend less than 15 mins online on any given day. Mostly, I peruse a few comments/profiles or share the occasional news article. There are days I get caught up in the “someone on the internet is wrong” mentality, but those are rare now. Frankly, it’s not worth it. I plan to eventually phase out sharing any news content at all as well. I turned off notifications for FB sometime ago and it has panned out to be an excellent decision.

Then we find out last week AT&T was the primary sponsor for the propaganda site OAN.1 The world is so used to scandal now, everyone just seemed to give a collective sigh and move on. I guess that was probably the goal. I already don’t use their products so can’t cancel my service….I highly recommend you do. OAN is the far right cousin to Fox News, with little to no pretense at propaganda. In a word, its vile.

I know I sound all doom and gloom, but the news as of late has me in a bit of a gloomy mood. I’ve been saying for awhile, we are headed for a calamity. Honestly, I think it’s coming soon. Scary stuff for sure but all I can control is me. I can control the content I read, use, and share. I can control my actions. I can control to whom I give my time and energy. If it wasn’t for my never ending sense of optimism, I think I’d need medication. I can see how folks get caught up in it and just go off the deep end.

These days my online presence is usually IG2 for gym inspiration and “the TikTok”3 for humor. I’d love to abandon social media all together, but I’m not there yet. I’d give in and be back. I figured this way, I’ll eventually just ween myself off. Hey, one can hope right? hehehe

  1. I wont’ link to them. []
  2. Yes, I know FB owns it []
  3. I love seeing folks go apocalyptic when I use “the” with the name []

Work, Bish!

My work assignment in records ended a couple weeks back now. While it was an enjoyable and relatively easy gig, I’m glad to be back on the main floor doing my primary job. If you missed it, I was assigned to records for my Department for the last five years. And yes, it’s as tedious and mundane as it sounds. However, after 15 years it gave me a break from the daily onslaught of negativity from handling life/death calls.

I took the assignment because I recognized I was becoming bitter and resentful toward the public. I mean no one calls 911 because they are happy, right? I consider myself fortunate as I seem to handle it well. I don’t dwell on bad calls or worry about the outcome. To do so would constitute a no-win scenario. In other words, I would burn out. However, handling life/death calls day in and day out for 15 years creates a trauma all its own and I needed a break.

My hubby thinks it’s weird that I’m happy to be back. I’m going from a comfy administrative gig to live fire, so to speak. I can see how he could think that, but I am happy to be back. The five-year break was exactly what I needed to reset my clock. I also didn’t sign up to be an admin clerk for the rest of my career. While it is a fine job, I’m overpaid for that type of work. I even miss the indignant callers.1

The best part is no more alarm clock! I’ve gone back to my old shift, 1500-2300 hours (3pm to 11pm) Mon thru Fri. Because I work out 3-5 days a week, the 10-hour schedule really pulled down my mental well-being. And we know gym is like church! hehehe Every day I felt constantly rushed to get everything done so by the weekend I just wanted to veg. The COVID restrictions only made it easier to just stay home. I didn’t have to find reasons to get out of doing things because we couldn’t. I’m glad it’s over. The downside is being on my old schedule comes with a lot more rigidity and getting time off beyond my required vacation sign ups is very limited. So it isn’t all rosy. lol

The early hours were rough enough, but the constant feeling of being rushed sucked major donkey balls. I am soooo happy to be back on a swing shift. My body fought the early shift pretty much the whole time. While I did adapt a bit to the early hours, after about a week my natural clock was already back to normal, and it feels great! I’m loving going to the gym before work and not being up a daylight-thirty. Shawn noticed the first week and pointed out I was almost giddy.

So there ya have it! I’m BACK! lol

  1. It’s hard to explain but after so many years of doing this job, they bring a sense of normalcy. It would be weird to be back and not encounter them. lol []

Mask-less

I ran a small experiment on FB the other day to prove an idea. I asked, “Why did you trust the CDC recommendation to wear a mask but don’t trust them now saying it’s ok not to wear one?1 And it worked in favor of the discussion that the CDC under trump was constantly being meddled with but is now being run based on the science with no interference from the Biden HHS appointee.

The answers were varied but pretty much what I expected. A common thread was many would continue “out of an abundance of caution.” And to be clear, I’m not trying to shame anyone or even be judgmental. My thoughts couldn’t be further from that. You should do what makes you feel safe. It did validate my theory though. Human beings have a hard time updating their moral/ethical standards. They do not adapt well to standards that changes too quickly. It cuts to the core of how we process our reality. When the idea of right and wrong changes too quickly many people develop of sense of disbelief. This disbelief can lead to fear, anger, shock, judgment, and/or even a larger disconnect from the world around them. When you add in a lack of knowledge (willful or otherwise), religion, or other biases it only serves to increase the disconnect.

Just as one example, look how many gay men fought the idea of PrEP.2 PrEP has been around for years now and has consistently and repeatedly proven to be a better preventative measure to the spread of HIV than condoms. However, there are still contingents within the community who know better. The latter is often based more on biases and personal judgment than science, but that isn’t the point today. The triggers are deeper than than. After 3 decades of having the idea that “safe sex is sex with a condom” pounded into our heads, many men (and women) simply can’t process the idea of it suddenly not being applicable anymore. I see it more in older gay men, many of which witnessed the agony and suffering caused by AIDS and it’s devastation on our community. To wake up one day and be told, “condoms are fine but bareback is now perfectly fine IF you use this drug” simply does not compute. In our brains, we “know” what works. We understand the simple idea of placing a barrier between ourselves and others as a form of protection. The idea of removing that physical barrier we can see in favor of a drug treatment barrier3 just “seems wrong” to many.

Another common answer was people “couldn’t trust others to be honest about their vaccination status.” That is an admirable approach; however, why is it your responsibility to protect those who are willfully ignorant or refuse to get vaccinated, especially since we don’t do this for other vaccinations? Why is this one suddenly different? Is it really caution or the disbelief in a suddenly changing moral standard? Hmmm? And looking at the risk, it is no longer an equal equation. We collectively make a social contract to protect each other by each person respectively doing their part. When it was equal you saw me constantly encouraging folks to wear their masks and social distance. I’m all about harm reduction. As a vaccinated person I’m not really keeping anyone else safer now by wearing my mask.4  As an unvaccinated person, you should continue to wear your mask and avoid overly crowded places. However, if you refuse to get vaccinated, it is no longer an equal equation and you are shifting the burden onto others. The social contract is broken.

If you are still worried for yourself due to other health issues that is certainly ok. Again, at no point is this discussion meant to dissuade anyone from doing what they feel is right for themselves.

Vaccinations are readily available almost everywhere in the US now and availability is increasing every day. Vaccinations are free and you can now get a free Uber/Lyft ride to your local vaccination sites. You have no excuse not to get vaccinated. We have so many doses of the vaccines now we are sending them to other countries still in dire need.

The last popular argument was a lack of trust in the CDC over pressure to reopen. I do think the CDC feels some pressure to ‘open up’ society, but not at the expense of a rising death toll. They know some will still become infected and potentially even die. However, our safe guards are about harm reduction. From a medical viewpoint, we will have to COVID in our lives for years to come. The degree of danger from it is lower every day now. We have reached an important threshold, even at just 50% immunity. Our emergency response systems, including hospitals, are unlikely to be overwhelmed by new patients. It is likely we will eventually reach over 60% of the country being vaccinated, 70% if we are lucky. And while still below the “herd immunity” threshold, that just means, as alluded above,  we will end up with yearly booster shots, much like the flu virus. It could be with us indefinitely due to variants or just a few years until we reach a real herd immunity. Eventually, those not vaccinated are likely to contract it. They could also suffer reinfection from variants, but again much like the flu, they are less likely to be hospitalized or die after surviving a first infection.

There are always other health variables for an individual to consider, so you should do what makes you feel safe. For myself, I trust the science and am comfortable with my decision to go mask-less where it is allowed. I think many of us aren’t really worried as much as we are conflicted on an evolving standard.

  1. If you came here from the FB post, thanks for your response. []
  2. Pre-Exposure Prophylactic []
  3. that many often do not understand completely []
  4. Yes, there are exceptions but those are in the small minority. []

Assignment

I got my final orders today. I return to my main job on July 5th. What the hell am I talking about? Well, let me ‘esplain’. I’ve been assigned to records production for my department for the last 5 years. It is a voluntary assignment we bid for and I was fortunate to be selected, but now that assignment is ending. In my assignment we handle subpoenas for criminal/civil litigation, freedom of information requests, human service agency requests, and various other types of requests for records relating to dispatch.

I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it but my biggest struggle has been the hours. When I originally signed up, the hours were more to my liking. Due to the typical broken internal communication of civil service, I discovered after I was reassigned my hours would be earlier and longer than originally planned. If you read here with any sense of regularity, you know I am NOT a morning person. More astutely, I’m not an early to bed person. To be fair, I could have declined the assignment once I discovered the error; however, I had already made a commitment and I really needed a break from operations. I decided to stick it out. I could have also pushed for different hours from my counterpart in the office. That would have most likely led to friction and an uneven work load. I didn’t want friction or drama and I got lucky in that I get along really well with the other person assigned to records. I’m fond of saying, “we get along like two peas in a pod”.

There have been some great perks to the assignment. The work is tedious but not hard at all. It becomes routine pretty fast. We do have a manager but we are mostly left to ourselves. We are experts in our assignment and no one in our department can really match our knowledge base. Perhaps the biggest perk is the flexibility with my daily schedule. I will definitely miss that. My normal schedule can be very rigid and getting time off can also be very hard due to staffing shortages. In my assignment, I only need to make sure my coworker can cover for me or isn’t taking the same time off. If we finish our work early on a given day, we can take discretionary time and leave early. If we need money we can work overtime on the floor at our choosing. For myself, if I want to go the gym mid day I can. I just need to ensure I still put in the required workday hours before I go home. I can’t workout on the City’s dime obviously. That would be really rude, not to mention unethical. And we go out of our way to ensure our hours are properly accounted for and tracked. But yeah, the flexibility has been nice. I’ve also learned a lot. Knowledge is power and the more you have the better you are at making good decisions. I know so much more about the inner and outer workings of my department and my own work now.

All that aside, I am ready to go back though. Shawn is surprised I would rather go back to handling emergencies vs keeping a nice comfy office gig. And I can see how that might sound, but I didn’t sign up to be a general clerk cranking out paperwork all day. It has been a much needed break, but that is over. He also tends to think I’ll hate going back to my normal job as I routinely bitch about calls I deal with in my current assignment. In my regular job taking phone calls is my job. So while it can be stressful, I still feel productive. On my assignment taking calls is a distraction from my work so it is way more frustrating. It may some conflicting, but in my mind it is clearly defined. I love that he worries for me though. And it isn’t like a I have a choice anyway. My assignment is up, it is someone else’s turn. My replacement has already started.

The one good thing about dispatch is never worrying about what’s on my plate. When I’m in Ops, I do not think about work until I show up. And when I leave, it is forgotten until I return. In records, I find myself often worried about incoming work, how much work is on my desk, etc. Every time I get a news alert for a major crime or incident in the city, I audibly groan knowing my next work day is going to be overly busy. I am definitely looking forward to having that care-free attitude when I’m not at work.

I decided to go back on my old shift, which was 1500-2300 hours (3pm to 11pm). I have seniority so I still get weekends. I can actually pull weekend days off on any shift I choose now. Better still, no more alarm clock and no more feeling rushed every day on a 10-hour shift. I can go to the gym without feeling rushed and I sleep in as needed. It is amazing what that 2 hours in a day can make. I didn’t realize it but the shift combined with the very early hours was damaging my emotional well-being. I rarely want to travel or do things on weekends. Shawn gets credit for basically dragging me places he wants to visit. I just never feel motivated to do much at all beyond local events. And being in SF can leave you a bit spoiled as we have so many events here every year. The pandemic only made it worse as I got really complacent with my video games. I think the only reason I still have an ass I can measure is I had cut out most carbs right before the pandemic hit.

As I return to a schedule I really want, I am hope to get some of that eagerness and excitement back outside of work. Ironic, I know but I’m excited. If it ever affects how Shawn and I spend time together, I would of course reevaluate it, but for now I’m looking forward to it.

Post Pandemic Travel

I took a trip last weekend for the first time since the pandemic hit. It was our firstbesties trip since January 2020 when we went on the cruise. Of course, I had to go see my bestie. It was supposed to both besties but Mikey had to work and couldn’t come down from Dallas. (We were in Houston)

At least Trev and I got to spend quality time together and reconnect our friendship. Overall, it was a great trip. Prior to the pandemic, we had two trips planned to spend time together but that all went to sh*t obviously. It’s been roughly 2 years since we’ve all seen each other. I’m headed back in July for Trev’s birthday and Mikey will be there then.

Our friendship has spanned a lifetime and I am grateful it has survived so long. We didn’t do anything crazy, just dinners, socializing, and a small pool party on Sunday.1  I was pleasantly surprised how many places still required masks. Pretty much every restaurant or business we visited required masks to be worn for entry. No one was being an ass or making a fuss about it. It was an affirmation that while Texas politics might be crazy, many of the folks who live there are still very sane. Well, except the bars. We went out Saturday night and it was like there was no pandemic once you got indoors at the bar. Barely a mask insight. Even half the staff weren’t wearing them.

To be fair, Houston has been pushing vaccines hard. Plenty of billboards were advertising for free vaccines and where to go. New cases are stable so while part of me was a bit shocked, it was my hope many of these folks were vaccinated. SF is now 70% for their 1st shot and 45% fully vaccinated. A few people I spoke to indicated they had had their shots so the overall experience was net positive in my mind.2  At this point, I’m pretty much over the ignorant folks.

Since originally it was supposed to be three of us, I didn’t feel the need to torture Shawn by making him go with me. (The two besties and I together is more than poor Shawn can handle.) He ended up traveling to Phoenix the same weekend. Ironically, he encountered a similar experience at an outdoor bar there as well.

The trip home was uneventful, but I was absolutely giddy when I got home. It felt so good to get away and do just normal things. Socializing and seeing friends and just being out in the world felt so good. I definitely came back feeling like we are really coming out of this now.

Sadly, it is looking like we won’t reach heard immunity because of all the idiots refusing to get vaccinated. We are still ahead of the curve at least. The current crop of vaccines are effective against all the variants out there so far. There are a few variants now that could potentially allow a person to become contagious or sick, but they would not get sick enough to die or even require hospitalization. And with speed the vaccines can be modified to incorporate immunity to new variants, I’m resigned to just getting a covid shot every year with the flu shot.

It was a great trip and I feel rejuvenated in many ways. I’m so excited to get back out into the world this year. Every day, we get news of more and more events being allowed due to dropping case numbers. SF is expected to reach herd immunity by the end of May. We could end up having no restrictions ahead of even the rest of California if this trend continues.

Hope springs eternal…

 

  1. Everyone in attendance was vaccinated. []
  2. Both Trevan and I have had our shots and with the current CDC guidelines we didn’t feel like we posed a risk to anyone. []

Terrible

I admit it, I am a terrible person. Why you ask? Well, because I gloated to myself over another.

Ok, so I don’t feel terrible but I also know I shouldn’t gloat. Let me ‘esplain’. There is a guy at the gym who pre-pandemic was all about his fitness. That, of course, is a good thing, except he was always humble bragging about how important fitness is to one’s health and side-shaming everyone around him. He would routinely make rather insulting comments about anyone he didn’t think put in as much effort as he did. I personally witnessed him fat shame a couple ladies on treadmills to one of the few guys in the gym who would socialize with him. I could go on but I think I conveyed the point.

Oh, and he is also a grunter. Any and every exercise was like he was dying to get that last set in, except it was every set. The worst, right?!

After seeing this guy and his snotty attitude for years at the gym, imagine my surprise upon seeing him lately. OMG! He gained like 40 or 50lbs of chunk. Yes, I know this is the “I’m terrible” part but I can’t help it. And maybe gloating isn’t the right word. I mean, it isn’t like I ran up to him and said, “hey fatty” or made any of the off-hand comments in his presence he used to make about others.  No, I did not do any of that. I’m just a little gleeful to see him get some comeuppance after years of his shitty attitude.

So while I work on keeping the smugness off my face, my hope is that whatever experience he had during the pandemic has taught him a lesson. Yes, fitness is important. However, it isn’t always easy for someone to dedicate themselves to the gym. And talking smack about people on a fitness journey sure as hell doesn’t encourage them to get better or stick with it.

I’m terrible.

 

8 Years

The hubby and I recently passed our 8-year anniversary. There wasn’t much fanfare or hullaballoo this year because….COVID. He doesn’t like a lot of fuss anyway. We’ve settled into a life together so the milestone seems almost unimportant.

This last year has been rough because…COVID. He hates working from home and I don’t blame him. I could not work from home. Or let me rephrase that, I could not work from home successfully. Home is sanctuary and there are simply too many distractions and no motivation to keep me working. I could not imagine being tortured into working from home full time. Maybe, and I stress the maybe, if we had a big enough space to have an office setup that we only did work in. It couldn’t be a multi purpose room as anything else would probably distract me. Then, maybe, I could be productive. Maybe…

Having had our vaccinations, we are both finally venturing out there again. In the beginning, I almost felt guilty for not having to worry. We had a friend visit from Florida that wanted to have lunch while he was here and we agreed.1  That seemed to be the impetus that pushed us back out there. We both were so pleased to have such a simple social interaction it was like a breath of fresh air. I think that lunch made us realize we had passed a milestone. Now we are both eager to get out there again. And now that the CDC has clarified vaccinated people cannot inadvertently spread the virus, we’ve planned trips for the end of this month!

I just hope we keep up the pace of vaccinations before a wild variant pops up fully resistant to the current crop of vaccines. Shawn seems to think it won’t happen, but I am not so sure. I guess my faith in people has been damaged because I am definitely worried about it. And yet, I’m so eager for some normalcy again. I honestly don’t think I could survive another year of isolation. And in a bit of good news, even with the isolation depression, we didn’t have any big fights! I guess that is a good sign we are well suite for each other. I mean 8 years! Who does that?2

 

 

 

  1. I’ve had friends I’ve met up solo with for lunch but this was our first outing together since the beginning of the pandemic. []
  2. Of course I’m being sarcastic. []

Awkward

**Disclaimer – an adult rant today about gay shit, you’ve been warned.**

I’ve been navigating the “apps” again recently. I haven’t settled on any hard and fast rules that guide me as of yet, other than honesty. Having had my vaccination shots, I’m relieved on so many levels. However, I still need to worry for those around me as the science isn’t clear yet on the level of protection. Going thru a year of very limited human contact takes its toll. And things are moving so quickly now, it may be moot by the time I figure it all out.

Anyway, I was on one such app when a rando decided to send me a long winded message telling me how non-masculine he felt I was. He was particularly detailed, which would have been comical if it weren’t so sad. He clearly lives local and has seen me around1 as he listed a varied “suggestion list” of things I could do to butch it up. I’m not willing to dwell on the idea he may have actually thought he was being helpful as it would make me very sad.

The joke is on him though as I wasn’t bothered by it. To be fair, there was a time in my life when I would have been secretly devastated. However, that was a long time ago and that particular insecurity has left the building, so to speak. Lawd knows I’ve beaten that horse here often enough.

Our little letter in the alphabet mafia has had a continuing obsession with the idea of masculinity. Ask 10 of my fellow homos the meaning of the word and you’ll most like get 10 different answers. Western culture has become so dependent on the broken idea of hyper-masculinity I doubt we’ll ever sort it out.

I keep getting off topic, sorry I am a bit rusty at this.

The guy listed out my demeanor in public as a ‘dead give away‘. Well, no shit Sherlock!  I do not mold myself in the view of how others see me. I didn’t struggle with the shackles of one broken stereotype to take up another. In a word, I can be awkward at times. While I still have a few small triggers to put on my “big boy” voice, I strive not to put on a facade. My hubby calls it my work voice. Anyway, some random task or action can invoke my rather absent-minded approach to things. There isn’t a lot of forethought put into it, I just act. If that destroys your image of me, oh well. We have a saying for that where I’m from…bless your heart. I’ve learned my demeanor also has the affect of putting people at ease around me. People rarely feel threatened or triggered by me and without realizing it often relax into a more authentic version of themselves.2  It was quite a revelation when that little kernel of knowledge dawned on me all those years ago.

Of course, now that I’m an elder and on the council I do have to maintain an image. lolol I politely told him his ‘advice’ was not needed. I didn’t feel the need to thank him though. *giggle* Was I too subtle?

 

  1. His profile was of course devoid of any photos…I know, right!? lol []
  2. There are few who have the opposite reaction and think I’m an easy mark. They often find out quickly I’m also not stupid. []