Category Archives: Journal

90 Days

I chop up my year into four quarters but instead of going off the traditional fiscal year, I mark the beginning and end with a birthday. Yesterday was January 23rd meaning I have 90 days until I turn 34. I have lots of things I’d like to accomplish by April 23rd.

The past few weeks have been very challenging for reasons I can’t readily discuss. Not suprisingly, I’ve got a terrible cold and am now up at 6am on a Saturday waiting for my antihistamines, decongestants and pain killers to kick in. It is that awful dead zone type cold where you don’t feel absolutely terrible but as the insomnia starts to mount you feel worse and worse and you sleep with your mouth open so you’re always dried out. I think Ron is getting the cold as well now.

Working a lot these days, taking the laptop home to put in a few extra hours each night.

My first video debuted to applause at our Friday meeting and the blog readers seem to be enjoying it.

The cats are restless this morning. Ron is tossing and turning in bed as he gets a bit more sick.

I’m hoping some gym time in a few hours will help move things around in the internals.

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Folsom Street Fair 2008

Alrighty it is time to write a blog post. I’ve been particularly negligent of my writing since we moved to San Francisco but have been trying to not guilt myself too much about that. But eventually you feel the anti-creative plaque hardening in my writing arteries and know that you have to gobble some mental oatmeal to get it all cleaned out.

We went to the 25th Annual Folsom Street Fair. I was surprised it is only for one day, it is on a Sunday and only lasts 7 hours. There were thousands of people though. One highlight included seeing a guy pop his load out of a second story window. He had on a hood and a jackstrap and was jerking his cock slowly as the crowd cheered, transfixed. He started to gush and the thonged throng went apeshit and then the big moneyshot – presumably sprayed on the eager mouths below – and much cheering and clapping.

We had seen a similar second-story load-popper during the Dore Alley festival. Ron would later deduce:

We’ve only been in San Francisco for 6 months and we’ve seen two guys pop their loads out a window. That’s an average of every three months.

We’ll have to be more alert come December.

Folsom was fun. I got to see pony-play for the first time live and some furries. Some slaves pulling rickshaws. Several bondage and whipping demonstrations.

I guess this stuff doesn’t seem that subversive to me anymore. On the way out we saw a guy blowing another guy and I thought: ‘Yeah, you’re so rebellious. You’re doing this against the Corona truck.’

Later in the evening booths of porn stars could be seeing plugging away.

It seems the women at Folsom are much more creative than the men.

Leather daddy usually boils down to chaps and straps but many of the women were decked out in all manner of corsets and finery.

One group was in their best Merchant-Ivory period wear with linen suits, dresses and parasols and called themselves the Prim & Proper Queer Tea Party:

All with a potpurri of pot smoke, sweaty leather, lite beer and chicken kabobs.

What I always find fascinating about the leather/BDSM scene/lifestyle is the amalgamation of biker chic, cowboy, Victorian age, Inquisition, punk and uniform fetish into a testament to the centrality and/or frivolity of sex. The over-sexualized, hyper-masculine style is aggressive at times, playful at others. Everybody gets to be fuck-able.

I didn’t think we’d be there for five hours so I didn’t slather on sunscreen. Six days later, I’m almost done peeling.

More conservative folk think that this is what San Francisco is like every single day of the year and that there are children walking around being traumatized. I only saw one person underage and it looked like a mom and kid that had taken a left turn at Alberquerqe and she told her daughter to look down while they made it through the crowd.

We did see the Sexiest Silver Fox in San Francisco again. Ron and I saw him on the train a couple months ago and I was entranced – sexy, silver and inked up. We see him every few weeks and here he is at Folsom:

Add to the list of Guys to Look Like When Older.

BSG, Impeachment and Other Concerns

Yeek my nails are getting long I need to trim them before I rip/chew them off during a boring meeting. I also need to get the eyebrows trimmed. I find myself tugging at them to pull out the super long eyebrow hairs (we’re talking like 3/4s an inch!).

I have a ton of email I’m ignoring right now. Not work email – but personal/biz email. I need to remedy that situation. I think I’m getting tech overload. When I get home I don’t want to do anything but sit down and watch telly with Ron.

We just started Battlestar Galactica and it is absolutely stupendous. Wonderful wonderful wonderful television. It is quickly moving up into my pantheon that includes Twin Peaks, Twilight Zone, Star Trek, (most of) 24, (most of) X-Files and (most of) Lost. Simpsons and Seinfeld are in a separate bucket since they pushed the boundaries of comedy and social commentary. Everybody on Twitter is jealous that we get to watch the entire thing without waiting week to week for a new episode or months for a new season. Wikipetey says the show debuted in the UK first which is probably why it is so good.

You know that Oreo commercial where the father and son are on a teleconference and they share a cookie together and the son is going to bed and the father is just starting the day in Tokyo? I think the dad is hawt.

It might be my own greying or The Advocate’s flogging that grey is the new blond but I notice grey-haired men more lately. I do want to say I think it is beautiful when an older woman lets her hair grow long and has grey in it – trying to think of someone that does that. It just seems very freeing.

Anyway. Saw one of the sexiest men I’ve ever seen while we were riding the train to the Castro. He was probably mid-40s or 50s with mostly grey hair. White and black striped long-sleeved shirt that hugged a pretty fit physique. Tattoo ink peeking out from his neck and sleeves. Jeans. And a new white iPhone 3G. Very handsome and virile and sexy. Wished I’d asked him for a picture.

Chatted up with one of my long time chat buddies. This guy and I have been on eachother’s instant messaging lists for at least 9 years. He’s in Phoenix. Ron already has a crush on him because he’s another PWB: Pasty white boy.

I was sick most of last week with headache on Monday and Tuesday and then very bad cold and congestion on Wednesday and Thursday. Heavily medicated for the Blogher convention which was on Friday and Saturday (still need to finish my write up from that). I think I’ve been spreading my plague because Daisy at work is sick and then Ron had a really realy bad fever on Sunday night. Shaking and such, ice cold hands and feet. Some naproxen brought his fever down and he seems to be over the hump after calling in sick the past couple days.

Astro is doing laps. Downy is using the router as a pillow. They slept on Ron a lot when he had a fever. It was like sleeping with a charcoal briquet.

It is captivating to me the camerawork in use on Battlestar Galactica. The shaky-cam during the intimate scenes gives things a much more immediate feel and the zoom-pan-swing! aspect to the spaceship CGI footage makes it seem so much more realistic. It wasn’t until I saw this style that I realized how much my view of science fiction spaceship dogfights is shaped by George Lucas with his operatic camera swinging and too-perfect composition. It also seems they are influenced by the 24 aesthetic of big-momen-zoom-in-and-then-even-closer!

MOst shows would have crapped out on Sharon’s gradual realization of who she is but they are doing a great job in portraying the additive madness that you might be someone else – an enemy – a traitor.

I am glad that Kucinich’s impeachment articles are making progress. Even if they don’t get out of committee at least there is a historical record that someone tried to get this criminal out of office. I just finished Vincent Bugliosi’s ‘The Prosecution of George W. Bush’ for murder. Need to do a real write-up but it is absolutely stunning stuff. The evidence is pretty air-tight and the legal arguments are all there. I might have to read all his books now.

I’m fine with Obama. I think his moving to the center is completely stupid and flipping on telecom immunity is apalling for a man who is a civil rights lawyer. Completely disgusting. McCain is a fucking nightmare. But never underestimate the power of scared stupid white people. If you scare them enough they’ll vote the way you want them to.

Ron is lightly snoring. Downy is still on the Netgear. Astro must be in one of the computer chairs.

It is 8:13. Almost time to hit the showers. I’m still working on my conversion to Movable Type from WordPress. Got Mario working on the port of my theme. I was using the latest release candidate of MT and got an error and am not sure if it is me or the code so I have to ask one of the Perl magicians on The Other Half of the building for some help.

Money Matters

And it is Wednesday. Our money discussion went well last night. I’d created a budget for us that outlined how much we both contribute to the joint account, how much we each have in our separate accounts and how much we have left after we pay rent and utilities and all the other things that have a fixed monthly price that isn’t going to change.

RON: What about shoes?

ANDY:What *about* shoes?

RON: What if we want shoes?

ANDY: We can buy shoes. How many pairs do you want to buy a month?

RON: I don’t now. One each? Or underwears?

ANDY: Are these like $130 Nordstrom shoes or $50 gym shoes or BOGO..?

RON: I don’t know. We just have to have a place for shoes and clothing.

ANDY: Yes, that is under entertainment.

The great joy came when Ron found an error in my spreadsheet where I’d been calculating by pay period instead of month – meaning we actually had twice the amount available. This was after he’d started talking louder and louder and eventually forced me to come to the dining room table and write all this out by hand and go over it line by line. As he punched it into the iPhone.

RON: Do you see what you did now? You’re just confusing yourself with that thing. (the spreadsheet)

I’m not going to give it to him this easily.

ANDY: I understand where the error happened. I’m glad we found it together.

RON: You would have turned this in like this if this was a math test.

ANDY: That is why I wanted to walk through it with you.

RON: Do you see what you did wrong?

(a long pause – I make Ron beg for it)

ANDY: Yes, honey. I was wrong.

(he tries not to smile)

ANDY: Stop smiling! I’m wrong! Just add it to the list of things I’ve been wrong about. Then hold on to it tight until you’re ready to lash out at me.

I can never remember the list of things Ron’s been wrong about. Nearly all of this is in jest.

I imagine our kids’s math homework:

RON (on the phone to one of our kids): Okay honey. Yeah go ahead and send your math homework. I’ll look at it when I get into the hotel. Just fax it to the front desk. I’ll make corrections and send it back.

The good news is rent it the biggest chunk of money and we’re hoping to reduce that by a quarter if possible by the end of the year. And Ron’s union contracts get re-negotiated this year so by 2010 he should be making what he would have been making before 9/11.

It is Sunday. Ron is lightly snoring. Woke up to Astro sleeping on top of me purring. Downy is usually at our feet.

Downy has a strange attraction to cords and cables. One his favorite nooks is between the TV stand and our big box o’ cords that we haven’t packed away from moving (you know: every telephone cord, charger and ethernet cable you’ve ever owned). Yesterday he was camped out by the router and cable modem box. I don’t know if those emit warmth or if he just likes being a sentry for something. But a few times a day I’ll check in with him to verify: “Are the ethernet cables okay Downy? Is there anything else you need?”

Usually what he wants is soft food. He’ll stare at you mournfully with big doe eyes like we never feed him. We probably give them some soft food every two days or so. I’ve found any fish-based soft food makes Astro wretch and any kind of soft food makes the litter box unliveable.

Ron and I had a minor tiff yesterday resulting from trying to have a rational discussion while we were both hungry. My explanation that I thought that shopping was a waste of my time got extrapolated and ended up with several hours of silent death march through The Embarcadero. The one highlight was we sat silently on Pier One (the actual pier, not the store) and watched sailboats go by. A quiet walk home and immediate napping helped to remedy our icy schism and things are fine now.

Ron and I got joint-checking on Friday. Bankers are always so tailored. I think I’d like to be a banker because you get to wear a suit and be all debonair all the time (of course, I’m forgetting the masses of bad customers I’d have to deal with on a daily basis). Our guy at Citibank was named Abdul and had long eyelashes and a nice pinstripe suit with an icy pink tie tied in a knot that seemed too big. A joint-checking account will help us track our shared finances together – we aren’t sharing everything yet – but following a monthly budget will be easier if our shared expenses are from one account.

Work was fine this week. I did a fantastic bit of QA that I can’t really talk about but I got kudos from some of the programmers.

I feel like my writing has really gone into the shitter lately. My blogging too. I feel generally bored with most things around me. I think the nihilism surrounding current events was energizing at first but prolonged hopelessness can be draining. It makes me pull in my circle of concern to be less global and more selfish.

I’m going to go back on Zoloft. I’d gone off before I moved here thinking that having more sunlight would help things. But I’ve started having frequent panic attacks and am feeling that slight ‘entropy’ of depression – that slight slowing down. Hitting the gym daily isn’t really repairing that either. I don’t see depression as this crippling force – I don’t want mom and dad to worry about it. Right now I see depression as a tendency – a neurochemical tendency to be less than pleased. Need to get a refill this week.

Got measured at the gym. The good news is though my body weight has stayed the same (about 192# – what the fuck!) I’ve lost about 3% body fat. My chest is getting bigger which is good news. It is odd: Ron’s chest seems to grow deeper and bulgier – my grows wider. Lots of fat loss in my legs. I figure I’ll lose fat in my face next, then back and finally stomach. Maybe I shouldn’t be so self-obsessed with how I look. Maybe it is because I’m gay, or I’m a modern man newly socialized to be ultra-vain, maybe it is a reaction to the out-of-control world around me. Maybe it is the desire to have peak performance in all areas of my life.

Got an awful haircut at a place down the street. $60 later it doesn’t look like they cut anything at all. And I’m sitting in the chair staring out across the street on Embarcadero and there is a goddamn Supercuts across from there. I’m never going to go to this salon again. The haircutter was a nice guy but just didn’t do what I asked. And he implied I should start coloring at my grey hair. I liked the guy in Castro much more that was some kind of retired military guy in a mechanic’s jumpsuit – he had his trimmers attached to a vacuum attachment. Nice tight buzz-cut: ready for the military service or prison term or maybe even a term of service in a military prison. I’ll go back to him. Or to Joe’s barber shop which is also in that neighborhood and manages to be a barbershop booked four weeks in advance.

It is 9:01.

I have too many ideas. I had a fantastic idea for a blog yesterday but I don’t have the time to put it all together.

Astro is running around playing soccer with a fake mouse. We got a big blue rug from Overstock.com and so he can now do his hunter routine of tucking a toy under the rug and then acting like he forgets it is there and then discovering it and attacking it. Downy is sitting on the bed now, sitting on Ron, gazing out at the Bay Bridge.

I find that at work I sometimes get frustrated. I think that I have clear opinions about things – hell don’t we all? – and I think after spending so much time working solo that I just get ate up that things can’t just move faster. Why do we have to do all this talking? Why do we collect input from people whose input shouldn’t even matter? Do I have to pretend that it matters and go and do things our way regardless?

My current literary agent officially said no to a rather rambunctious book idea. It is an idea that anytime I mention to anyone they say ‘Oh my God you HAVE to do that!’ Trying a second agent based off of a recomendation – after that I’ll probably just make it a manifesto or something.

Working on the French and Spanish rights for Blogwild. The publisher hasn’t sold them yet and I figure I should snap them up myself and distribute the books myself.

Had great results at the dentist on Friday. This is a guy we met through a fellow flight attendant and is a Filipino dentist with an all Filipino staff so you know he has to be good. Actually, Dr. Alan Pineda was a very good dentist. Very considerate – always checking in. And h has very soft hands. People always tell me I have soft hands (from piano days but lately I have weight-lifting callouses). But he had soft warm hands like soft warm sourdough bread. I have one small cavity developing in the back that needs to be attacked and then we’ll do some whitening. All this compulsive tea drinking has stained my teeth. But he did say several times that I have perfect teeth and kept asking if I had to have braces. Nope, my poor sister is the one that had to survive a headgear and braces in middle school.

That was a funny line from Will/Grace a few nights ago when Grace talks about how she was popular in school except for the year when she had a headgear – attached to her scoliosis brace. I remember when they checked us all for scoliosis – it was one of the times they separated the girls from the boys – the other time is the big ‘Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon’ movie where they indoctrinated the girls about their menstrual cycle while I think we watched Empire Strikes Back on video tape.

The new Indiana Jones movie is okay. I really don’t think it could ever live up to the hype foisted upon it but it is fun to see familiar faces back at it. Shia LeBouef is no tough guy and can’t pull off being a sincere greaser unless that was kinda the joke of his character. He’s a schlemiel – that is why he was good in Transformers – he was more of a wuss than Peter Parker in Spider-Man (which we watched on TV last night – God he’s such a WIMP!). But here he is trying to pull up off a greased up do that looks more like a fro than anything else. I was happy to see Karen Allen though they styled her a bit frumpy – she has so much charisma though and I thought it was an apt choice to put her next to Harrison as a love interest instead of a pretty young thing. Cate Blanchett is absolutely wonderful of course with a thick Red-Scare accent. The movie starts out with class Spielberg Americana themes and manages to hit notes of the cold war, the nuclear age, post-war bravado and Happy Days retro all at one time. It was fun to see the movie at the Castro Theatre movie palace complete with NO previews (!) and pre-show organ music and clapping among a primary homosexualist audience that squealed at Harrison’s first entrance and you could hear lesbian hearts a-flutter when Karen Allen finally graced the screen.

I wonder if we’ll always idolize the 1950s? Nostalgia for a past that never happened. TV dinners and Googie architecture pushing down sexism, racism and xeonphobia.

I’ll always love Temple of Doom the most because it is so relentlessly dark, includes Anything Goes in Mandarin and has the best evil temple chant EVAR.

Topless Tapas

I got to bed super early last night and so I’m now awake at 3:33 in the morning. Half of the support team is onsite this week so we all went out to dinner last night to a tapas bar.

RON (in Orange County): What did you have for dinner tonight?

ANDY: I went out with the support team. We went to a tapas restaurant.

RON: Topless?

ANDY: Tapas.

RON: A topless restaurant?

ANDY: Tapas. You know. Small things on lots of plates.

RON: Oh. TAH-PAHS.

ANDY: Right.

I was skeptical that I’d leave full. I always see tapas as an excuse to convince people they are eating a lot while exchanging plates in front of them several times. Usually you are living a lie but in this case we had a pretty good stream of goodies including buckets of fried potatoes.

Came home to catch the last half of the first night of the final Idol finale. I think Archuleta has it. Though it doesn’t really matter. ‘There can only be one American Idol.’ I always silently add ‘This year.’ when I see that. Or ‘It doesn’t matter, they’ll both still have huge careers.’ It doesn’t really matter. Archuleta is completely harmless so is a perfect canvas on which to graft the American Idol marketing machine. David Cook is a good singer but he just does not seem at all distinctive. And where oh where is Taylor Hicks?

The more I think about moving to a more neighborhood-y area the more I am convinced that will be what happens in November. Now that I’ve had some changes to walk around Castro (I hate calling it THE Castro just like I hate calling the avenue along the Bay THE Embarcadero – plus I still think of Fidel – with Castro not Embarcadero). The neighborhood is calmer than I thought it would be. I was advised during dinner to begin looking now for a place to move in for November.

The cats are running around in the living room doing their morning laps. I’ve already cleaned the cat box today – that is how awake I am at 3:43. They are reaching the end of this batch of litter and I absolutely hate that our Walgreens is so far away and I have to drag a box of kitty-gravel several blocks for these furballs. But I love ’em.

I have been re-visiting some of my book ideas in my head and there’s one that has kind of been orbiting my brain for years now. It is a bit nutty but I feel like I have to try it out. I have a wonderful sub-title picked out.

Nowhere

Last night Ron and I kinda admitted to eachother how isolated we feel. I think it is our lack of neighborhood. No, this is not a surprise at all. We live south of the financial district with no color and no culture – just tall concrete buildings. Maybe we can find some place close to the airport-bound train and near a bus that goes to work for me. Our lease is until November – we’ll be fine I know. It is just odd to feel so disconnected. Like I told Ron, ‘There’s nobody that’s glad to see us.’