V-Day

Yet another made up holiday is fast approaching. Whether you are single or not, please do not let it get you down. Way too much emphasis is spent on some randomly made up day to show “your love.” If anything it’s just another commercial scam to increase consumerism. Frankly, if you truly love or care for someone, you shouldn’t need a day to tell/show them. More astutely, it is and should not be some sort of signal you are less than others simply because you are not currently coupled.

While I am currently in a LTR, Shawn and I do very little for the holiday. We basically acknowledge it and move on. There is no pressure, expectations, or obligations for either of us to “demonstrate” our affections. We each find our own way to show each other we care on a regular basis.

So if you are dreading the adnauseam ads and displays, I’m with you. Hang in there, it will be forgotten the very next day.

hugs and tugs

Tinkering

This thing has been running awhile without much tinkering on my part. However, as everything keeps getting upgraded, some old plugins have been depreciated or abandoned by their creators. It is time for me to start updating and replacing older plugins w/new ones.

You could care less, I’m sure; however, the blog may display unexpected delays or errors while I work on it. For you subscribers, I’ll turn off the auto notify feature so you don’t inadvertently get spammed. One of the plugins being replaced has to do with hidden or private posts on my blog. My concern is after I remove the plugin the other one may suddenly see new posts and try to blast out emails. A small but possible error. I rarely most my daily/weekly journal updates simply because they are many and very tedious. I’d hate for the site to start blasting hundreds of those out. lol

So if you visit and notice errors, downtime, or random stuff is missing, don’t fret I haven’t gone anywhere.

 

Petty

I try not to be too petty but sometimes I just can’t help myself. I am still a work in progress after all.

About a year or so ago this guy flirts me up on IG.  He was moving to SF and looking to “make friends“. He came on pretty heavily. I’m sure you can read between the lines on that meaning. We chatted off and on for a bit and eventually he asked if he could text me. I text him and he immediately tells me, “wow did not realize you were a ghetto android user” and then proceeds to ghost me. I clucked to myself and promptly moved on with my life. I’d forgotten about it until recently.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago, he apparently moved, or at least was visiting as he sees me in the shower at the gym. He decides to get all “flirty.” To be clear, it was obvious he recognized me. My first thought was to be gracious but my pride got the better of me and I wasn’t having any of his shenanigans. I’m excellent at giving resting bitch face Right before I exited I leaned in for a moment of privacy and said, “I still own an Android.”

I did get to witness the brief look of shock on his face. I won’t lie, in that moment it felt delicious. I did feel guilty for a bit later on but also got over it just as quickly. I know it should have been beneath me but I couldn’t help myself. Frankly, if you’re that effin’ shallow, I’d rather not “know” you anyway. It’s one thing to joke or just “fanboy”, it is quite another to be so incredibly shallow.

51

It’s here folks, I’ve hit 51 today. Parts of my body definitely feel 51 but overall I don’t feel it. I always appreciate well-wishes, kudos, etc, but if you know me you know I don’t make a fuss about it.

On the flip side, realizing I’m half a century old does feel a bit weird. So what does 51 years mean? Well, I can remember when cellphones (and pagers) didn’t exist. I can remember when one had ‘friends‘ they were people you actually knew in person. I can remember the ‘before times’ when there was no internet, social media, or “apps”. I can remember when TVs had 3 or 4 channels at most and that was depending on which frequency bands you could get on your rabbit ears. [1]And god help you if you plugged in a VCR and didn’t set the TV to channel 2 or 3. “Streaming music” meant jamming an 8-track tape in a flap that did nothing to keep out years of accumulating dust and listening for the warble of the tape drive kicking in before you turned up the speakers with an actual knob. So yeah, a lot has changed.

Shawn always finds a way to do something incredibly nice or generous for me, so I’m sure it will be lovely. Age comes to us all and most days I’m just grateful I’m still here. If you read w/any regularity you know my younger years were rough and even my initial arrival in SF was a personal struggle. Having come thru it all stronger, albeit w/more scars, I feel good. One of several reasons I started this blog was to help me discover the man I wanted to be. I felt like a blank slate in many ways and needed to find my path in life. I used to think less of myself because I had been convinced I wasn’t a particularly good or moral person. I spent many years doubting I even had a sense of morality or a moral code. Considering the state of affairs today, that irony is not lost on me. Hell, I’m practically a saint by the standards we see in our politics and leaders today. All hail the great and powerful nobody….

As I move into my 51st year, I find myself trying to keep my mind and spirit focused on the things in my life I can control vs letting myself “feel some type of way” about things I have no control over. With age comes wisdom and I’m certainly trying to apply it to myself. I don’t waste a lot of time on regrets, as it just seems pointless. “Shoulda, coulda, woulda” never makes one happier. My life has been and is what is because I never gave up on myself. That pretty sums up my thoughts on my birthday. I still miss my beloved Cooper. His anniversary is just 8 days away and it’s already in my thoughts.

Of course, aging in the gay world has its own challenges. And it isn’t really a secret many gay men struggle with the lack of physical attraction as we age. I’m not tucking, jabbing, or cutting anything to pretend I’m 20 years younger than I am. I have no problem w/physical touch-ups but I’m seeing people in their 20’s, 30’s getting botox over the tiniest of lines. I weep for them in their older years. More importantly, I earned these f**king wrinkles! Luckily, I live in an area where the average age is higher so I’m not really ‘struggling‘ much…yet. 😉

I usually giggle when I hear or see folks inferring my age should deter me from activities I enjoy. Frankly, what you think of me is really none of my business. But I won’t lie, I did have to remind myself of that a few times this past year. It is one thing to be realistic, it is quite another to let yourself be pressured into avoiding life’s pursuits because of the selfish projections of others.

Lastly, I took off from work so I get a nice 5-day weekend. We didn’t really plan any trips, courtesy of Omicron [2]that bitch! but just being off is its own reward. Here’s to another year… above ground!

References

References
1 And god help you if you plugged in a VCR and didn’t set the TV to channel 2 or 3.
2 that bitch!

Broken

I think I broke FB’s algorithm. heehee Or at least I hope so. I’ve been limiting my daily use for some time now. Lately, I’ve noticed the app displays the same content for days vs a random refresh every time I open it.  My thought process is the app thinks I haven’t viewed enough of my feed so it keeps showing me the same content hoping I’ll doom scroll thru it. You’d think it knows I almost always view my feed using the “recent” view option. 

Of course, it could just be yet another bug in the app they never seem to stop updating. They get it working fine and randomly a “security update” for the app rolls out and everything goes nuts for a week or so. The same thing has started happening with IG too. 

I’m not sure why I’m so tickled. I just find it humorous. it’s the little things I guess…

You

More and more I see gay men locked, or at the very least, struggling with our ever increasing labels. We’ve gone from having labels to having labels within labels it seems. You can’t be a bear anymore, you have to a specific type of bear. You can’t be a daddy, you have to be a specific type of daddy with various different new labels “instead” of the term daddy. lol You can’t be a gaymer, now you have to a specific niche of gaymer. I could list a hundred different examples here. It is enough to drive you crazy if you let it.

This time of year tends to encourage folks to ‘look to the future’ with resolutions so my advice to anyone reading… make resolutions to break away from your labels. Just be you. I’d bet money you are only hurting yourself. From my own past, I learned to let go of labels after spending years feeling isolated or “left out” from parts of gay life I saw as more desirable. In reality I was just insecure about myself and thought if I belonged to said group(s), I’d be less insecure. (Hint – it never works. You just get better at hiding your insecurities.)

It is ok to identify as a label, but step away from feeling like all you are or have to offer is said label. You are more than just a description of labels. Even if you think you fit squarely inside a defined label, there is still more to you than that. More importantly, you do not have to feel defined by the labels given to you by others. One, you will never live up to the expectations of others. Instead, work on setting your own expectations to strive and work toward. Two, strive to accept all of what and who you are. Strive to better yourself on your terms, whatever that may be.

Of course, it is easier said than done. We literally write pathways in our brain by allowing ourselves to become a “label.” But no one will make it all better for you. It is up to you to find the will to change it.

I wish you all a better year than last. 2021 wasn’t great for me, but it also wasn’t terrible. I’m hoping for an even better 2022.

Hope springs eternal….

Perky

Ever have one of those days where for no apparent reason you have an extra pep in your step? You feel extra just for being awake? Or, you just feel awesome for no real reason? I had one recently and I was tickled pink when I realized it. I guess it has been so long I had almost forgotten what it felt like. At face value that sounds kind of sad, but considering the state of the world these last couple years anyone could be forgiven.

I tend to be a rather upbeat person. It is just my nature. As I push 51, it is also a mark of pride I still have such days. My job has certainly had an impact on a subconscious level. Being on an assignment for the past 5 years definitely helped. In general, I believe life’s responsibilities and worries tend to wear us down and take the “shine” off our world view. That said, I definitely missed the feeling and hope I’ve found enough of my old optimism to have more of them. The irony here is in some of the roughest times of my life I was the most optimistic. Nothing really seemed to tarnish my boundless good moods back then. One could say I’m a bit more jaded now.

I can’t help but wonder if my recent attempts to limit my social media exposure has anything to do with it. I spend less than 15 mins a day on FB or Twitter. About 90% of my IG feed is thirst traps and gym motivation. My brain gets its fill of context switching from TikTok, where I’ve curated a feed of comedy and funny home videos. [1]Context Switching can be highly addicting and destructive to your work day or motivation I’ve also started denying myself the urge to check media/news apps first thing in the morning. I deliberately avoid them for at least 30 mins to an hour to give myself time to wake up and just be present. I pick up my phone and briefly scroll the notification panel for anything truly urgent and then just avoid it for a while.

I’m fond of saying “hope springs eternal” here and it has been a struggle these last 4-5 years to follow that mantra. Not to go all doom and gloom but I’m seriously worried for our way of life. Greed, bias and anti-intellectualism has replaced integrity, truth, and science. But, at the end of the day, I can only control myself. I cannot control others. My innate desire to “correct someone on the internet who is wrong” is slowly being replaced by a “leave it alone“. Successful discourse online is all but dead. I firmly believe my avoidance of that toxic environment is having an effect on me. I’m eager to test the theory.

So….hope springs eternal… (you knew it was coming.)

References

References
1 Context Switching can be highly addicting and destructive to your work day or motivation

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

References

References
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