My Television Overnight

Never trust the cold-blooded with matters of the heart; never expect children to be valorous. Reptiles thrive among the humans, as do bait-fish. And children, lacking the physical completeness required to intuit their way through nuance or lacking the emotional maturity to look beyond “but why?” and “more?” are mostly abused by Republicans as political fodder.

Ironically, it occurs to me that the cold-blooded are nothing more than the ones who churlishly answer the children’s questions with “because I can” and “not enough”. And this makes me sad. I’d have said “embittered”, but days like today don’t offer the luxury of gesticulated histrionics.

I was in the Mission today trying to get home.

Trying.

After a flash-backed event the night before. After sleep never really came down. After hasty morning preparations and a fast walk to BART. After a transbay BART ride followed by a shuttle ride followed by another walk, followed by accomplishing a necessity so complicated and upsetting and relieving and distressing and important and modal that I lost track of time and space and a conscious awareness of the round trip home. Found the shuttle stop. Got to BART. Got to 24th & Mission Street. Google Maps says it’s 7/10 of a mile to my home. I’m dizzy. Legs not working right. Stumbling. Stopping. Looking for a cab. No cab. Walk further. Stopping. No cab. More walking. Cross Cesar Chavez Street. Stopping. No cab.

Cross Mission Street. Walk past the dead shell of Cafe Commons. Like my immediate state of mind (I’m lucky I remember even that). Finally a cab and I get in. Tell cabbie I’m not well and I just need a ride up the hill. Up the hill. Can’t be more than 90 seconds to my place. A $4.00 charge. I hand him a twenty and two $1 bills and ask for a $10 back. I asked if I got that right and he said nothing. Oh well. I tripped out of the cab and fumbled with the car door and then the back gate and then the iron gate and got in the house.

Having not spoken more than a dozen words all day, I have no voice when I answer the grousing cat.

Water. That’d be good. I gulp a large glass and the coldstreak runs down me and spreads through me and pricks those uncomfortable parts that illuminate harsh realities: the house is empty and I am alone.

I dozed off leaning sideways, feet in shoes, shoes on floor, tears in eyes.

I righted myself at some point later and phoned my folks. They’re always there for me; they always know what to say and what not to say and this is a special blessing on a day where my own voice is a reptile and an impudent child.

I am awake. I am alone. I am disagreed.

Speaker Pelosi

There are some things that you just have to say outloud. And often. Say it with me: “Speaker Pelosi!”

Ahhhhh. There. That’s better.

They should sell a contraption to help all the rabid righties out there untwist their knickers, cuz there’s a lot of that going around, I tell you.

All afraid of something they aptly call “San Francisco Values”.

Tell you what: this country could use more than a little dose of San Francisco Values.

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I’ve Finally Been To Me

NovSo this Saturday is the November installment of a dance club/event called “Bearracuda”. It’s a themed event, geared towards to jovial boys with sometimes jovian bodies, and with lots of follicular, furry, fleecy, fuzzy funness. “And their admirers.”

A couple of months ago I was approached by the producer of the event (a tall, handsome, can’t-say-no-to kind of guy) to be a “model” for their events. I had been to one of these events before, and it was a whole mess of fun, aaaaand, having never done anything like this before, I said, “Sure, why not!”

And so I did.

For the last few weeks, posters featuring me and a guy called David with our shirts off made their appearance on the web and, more germanely, in the Castro. As Paula-Bone and I were walking down the street last week, I came face to face with….ME! There was my visage, in all its circular glory, hanging on the door of an softcore porn erotica store.

Click on the pic and take a look, IF YOU DARE!!!

But by all means, don’t let the bearity of the event, or more likely, my face gracing the poster, stop you from attending the event this Saturday, November 18. The Deco Lounge is a fun place, and everyone’s friendly and there’s zero attitude. It’s classic Bear, without the typical bitchiness from the lookists.

All that said, my favorite feedback so far for the poster comes from my friend Derek: “That poor cub, with the PleasurePiggy stuck to his back!”

I love my friends, I love my friends, I love my friends…

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Dejection Junkie

I’m beginning to think I’m an addict.

I mean, how else to explain all of this? Self-esteem hasn’t really ever been a problem for me, not really. Everyone’s insecure about one thing or another, but overall, I’ve always ended up with a net-positive outlook and self-image.

But I suppose I’m not allowed to call myself an addict. Nor am I allowed to be capricious with the word “positive”, for that matter. Those are reserved for the more deserved, the ones whose trials have created a special mystique from behind which extraordinary behaviors can be exercised without compunction.

What I’ve learned is that suffering doesn’t really get you “get out of responsibility free” cards. The Universe doesn’t protect you from shit and shitheads because you’ve suffered “enough”.

So maybe I’m not really an addict, and maybe I’m HIV-, but I’ve fallen prey to the notion of entitlement nonetheless. Had a lover die? Check. Lived in pain for months? Check. Been betrayed, stolen from, put at health risk by a trusted someone? Check. Check. Check.

Loved ones will tell me that after all that, I “deserve” happiness, that I “deserve” someone who will put as much energy into caring for me as I do them, that I “deserve” to be far away from the bad stuff, but the Universe doesn’t really give a flying fuck about that.

No, to be far away from the bad stuff, addict/PWA/widower notwithstanding, one must keep one’s self away from the bad stuff. Happiness is a nice idea, and a purposively elusive goal, but the trying, always trying, must never stop (thanks, Joshie).

I am known to friends and others for using sharp and harsh words. Here they’re usually wrapped up in the turbid bundles of multi-syllabic obfuscation, but they still make quite a bludgeon when propelled by the sheer force of my will.

So what happens when the unstoppable force of personality meets the immovable object of unassailable nice-guy reputation?

I suppose we may find out, but I hope not.

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Enemies of the Third Dimension

Bless me, Blog Fathers, for I have shunned [this blog]. It has been a week since my last entry. These are my sins (I was raised Catholic, can you tell?)

To be direct, I don’t need a confessor. But then, that seems to be the only thing I am not in need of. My spirit suffers from too much not-enough, as the world outside seeks to turn their own abundances into caricatures.

As luck (luck?) would have it, my thoughts and feelings are corralled into a space of my own choosing, but not of my own will—no, I’m not sure what I mean, either.

Life cannot find reasons to sustain it, cannot be a source of decent natural regard, unless each of us resolves to breathe such qualities into it. — Frank Herbert

I’m running out of breath.

It’s not just the new calisthenics of going back to work, nor of over-obligations with other business. Breathing is just respiration, but respiration is so much more. It’s the exchange of affluent and effluent. One expels carbon dioxide because one accumulates it. One inhales oxygen because one consumes it. Same with food. Same with gratification. Same with sex. Same with job.

It’s good to recognize what you take, and what you excrete: armed with that knowledge and a sense of decent natural regard one can take only what is needed, return what one can, and have no other faith than that others will have the same regard, the same decency.

Of course not everyone does that. And when you look around you, when you’re surrounded—by fiat or by choice—by those who are not of decent natural regard, and when you see them moving forward faster or living easier or choosing less or bogarting the simplicity you wish you had, it’s that much easier to disregard regard and to find decency unnatural.

Nature, if nothing else, moderates. With give there’s take, and take there’s give—that’s how cycles happen. And cycles lead to rhythms, rhythm to pattern, pattern to nuance.

Words fail, never better than a bludgeon when what you need is a jeweler’s loupe and tweezers.

Well, there’s always song..and I have several playing in my head, all from different angles:

Only in Your Heart by America<br/> <br/> Mary, have you seen better days? <br/> And will you find different ways? <br/> And does he really mean that much to your heart? <br/> Carry, all of the weight you can, find another man <br/> And lead him directly there to the source <br/> You’ve got to chart his course <br/> <br/> ‘Cause it is only in your heart <br/> This thing that makes you want to <br/> Start it all again…<br/> <br/> Wake up from an elusive dream <br/> You’ve got to change the scene <br/> It’s getting so hard to see to the end <br/> Break down, all of the walls you can <br/> You need a helping hand <br/> I’m sure there’s someone there just for you <br/> He’s trying to make it, too…<br/> <br/> […]<br/> <br/> You can’t disregard your friends <br/> But life gets so hard when you reach the end

All This Useless Beauty by Elvis Costello<br/> <br/> […]<br/> <br/> Nonsense prevails, modesty fails<br/> Grace and virtue turn into stupidity<br/> While the calendar fades almost all barricades to a pale compromise<br/> And our leaders have feasts on the backsides of beasts<br/> They still think they’re the gods of antiquity<br/> If something you missed didn’t even exist<br/> It was just an ideal — is it such a surprise?

Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell<br/> <br/> […]<br/> <br/> Tears and fears and feeling proud<br/> To say “I love you” right out loud<br/> Dreams and schemes and circus crowds<br/> I’ve looked at life that way<br/> <br/> Oh but now old friends are acting strange<br/> They shake their heads, they say I’ve changed<br/> Well something’s lost but something’s gained<br/> In living every day<br/> <br/> I’ve looked at life from both sides now<br/> From up and down and still somehow<br/> It’s life’s illusions I recall<br/> I really don’t know life at all

I’ve Got A Dark Alley And A Bad Idea That Says You Should Shut Your Mouth (Summer Song) by Fall Out Boy

Joke me something awful just like kisses on the necks of “just friends”
We are the kids who feel like dead ends
And I want to be known for my hits, not just my misses
I took a shot and didn’t even come close
At trust and love and hope
And the poets are just kids who didn’t make it
Who never had it at all

And the record won’t stop skipping
And the lies just won’t stop slipping
And besides my reputation’s on the line
We can fake it for the airwaves
Force our smiles, baby, half dead
From comparing myself to everyone else around me

Please put the doctor on the phone because I’m not making any sense
Blame everyone else but me for this mess
And my back has been breaking from this heavy heart
We never seemed so far
I’m hopelessly hopeful, you’re just hopeless enough

But we never had it at all

I’ve decided to be less opaque and more literal by bold-facing the particular lyrics from each song. No, not a single one is directed at any person but myself. It’s about fucking time it’s about myself.

Anyhoo.

Those who step away from the natural are easy to spot: they’re the ones who mistake simplistic for simple, who cling to the desperate convenience of a label. They are those who mordantly stab at their own pasts in hopes of the absolution of circumstance.

They flatten their lives into a cartoon and call it an imprimatur. They label the dangerous, the stupid, the deadly, the acts of arrogance into toothless candy-colored lozenges. “Tina”, “barebacking”, “serosorting”, “bear”, “twink”, “otter”, “bug hunting”, “gift giving”, “god”, “daddy”, “boy”, “slave”, “pup”, “pro-life”, “sanctity”.

The soft pink bunny is unassailable.

But I guess that’s the point, isn’t it?

So as I said, I’m nearly out of breath. Out of breath from trying to inflate my surroundings back into three dimensions. Out of breath not for them but for myself. What will happen to my decent natural regard if I’m plunged into Flatland? Maybe I’m not strong enough to be resist what’s easier.

Then again, when you burst into tears because you’ve lost so much, recent and distant, maybe it’s not a good time to write in your blog.

Lone Star Sunday

2006-07-09 Lonestar (20060712)-Thumb

So I met up with Fred the Plumber and the crew (Derek, Scott & Matt, Marci Darci, James, et al) at the Lonestar. Haven’t been there with the gang in a while and it was a blast. Too many Happy Shots® were bought and rounded, but thankfully the beer bustin’ includes soda bustin’ and that’s mainly what I did….the older I get, the earlier Monday morning arrives.

I love my friends. Fred and I even touched tongues. (Ew!!)

Click here or click on the thumbnail to visit the pages of pictures from the day, brought to you by iWeb, .Mac and a MacBook Pro

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San Francisco Botanical Gardens

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This morning, I had the great pleasure of spending much overdue time with Dave and Lisa (previously referred to in these pages as my Sherpa guides to Cultural San Francisco), and the even bigger pleasure of bringing Poet le Pooch along with us. We went to the monthly plant sale at the San Francisco Botanical Gardens in Golden Gate Park.

I had a fancy, schmancy camera with me, took a bunch of RAW images with it, and used a powerful application near and dear to my heart to crop, color-correct and organize these RAW images, and then post them automatically to a web gallery.

Check it out. I’m not all that great at taking pictures, but the camera is.

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Unsorted

The usual phrase is “out of sorts”, I know, but I’m not frazzled, nor frenetically enfeebled. Nor confused, nor depressed. Nor happy nor sad. Seville Orange, anyone?

No, not even that.

This is one of those times where what you thought was terra firma has been whisked away, revealing that bedrock is actually further from firmament than you thought. And I suppose that the dowsing realization’s most dismal prospect is that of losing Heaven. Or at least proximity thereto.

When I remember that that isn’t the case, when I look at the fog over the City and take it as evidence that Heaven is only as high up as you imagine it to be, I’ll have sorted my life—quickly, bubbly or binarily—into something where balance is restored and the devils of mediocrity, mundanity, modernity and [insert alliterative multisyllabic “M”-based muttering bon mot] will just have to go back to not understanding the sublimities that usually infuse and orbit my magical me.

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13

Thirteen years ago today, I arrived in San Francisco. I walked into my new house at 11:45pm on Wednesday, June 30, 1993.

Thirteen years later, San Francisco is different, but that only makes it more the place I fell in love with when I first saw it with my own eyes. I am different, improved. Older, and wise enough to know that wisdom comes only with experience, not intellect.

Thirteen years ago, I was 29 when I arrived and Allen was 35. We had a dog, Randee. I worked for a little Mac software company two blocks away from where I work now, the center of the Mac universe.

Thirteen years ago I knew I would survive a partner. And a dog, for that matter. I knew I would survive no matter what. For the rest, I had no idea what was in store for me, and I liked it that way. I could list the bad things that have happened, and it would be a very very long list.

But the good things? Those are ineffable.

For me, ineffability always beats the torpor of a file of complaints.

Thirteen years later, that has not changed.

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