Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Snap Out Of It

The closest my partner and I ever got to anything that could be considered "domestic violence" was about seven years ago. In a fit of anger he belly-bumped me. Immediately struck by the juxtaposition of pissed-off rage the and gentle sploshing of our subcutaneous abdominal fat, all I could do was laugh. We both laughed until we cried. I love that even if it crossed his mind for a second, he could never bring himself to hurt me. That's the kind of person I hope I can be too.

Yesterday I came quite close to slapping JB across the face. Not Joan and Christina style. More like Cher and Nicholas Cage. I just wanted to snap him out of his panic attack and focus on the fact that the situation we currently find ourselves in is temporary.

It's just some light remodeling.

Like the first sneeze of cold & flu season or the first Dove bar of PMS, I've learned to recognize the initial warning symptoms of JB's anxiety arcs. And I fear we're in for a heavy-flow cycle. I may need to pay the contractor a bonus. Why on earth didn't I budget for that?

This morning JB woke me up to inform me he had a nightmare. "Did I survive?" I asked.

"I don't think you were in it."

"Then why are you waking me up?" I know, but sympathy is hard to muster when it's 4am and I'm sleeping in the kitchen.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Servo Sunday

Another Easter come and gone. My post-holiday depression is exacerbated by symptoms of Reese's Peanut Butter Egg pre-diabetes and the fact that I'm still decorating my Easter eggs by dipping them in colored vinegar water.

Seriously. It's twenty-fucking-fourteen and I'm using the same technology popularized by Pontius Pilate, who felt throwing plain white eggs at crucifixions just wasn't festive enough. (Let's keep a lid on Pilate's flamboyant homosexuality. The Family Research Council would have a field day with that.)

Except for the occasional curve PAAS likes to throw at complacent dopes who think that after forty-plus years they have the instructions committed to memory. Yesterday morning I took the three dozen eggs that I hard-boiled on Saturday night out of the fridge and sat down to work, only to find I was supposed to grind the enclosed wax coloring crayons onto still boiling-hot eggs. Don't even get me started about how I spend my Saturday nights.

Well no more. As Jesus is my witness, I will no longer celebrate his undeath like a stone-age gentile. By this time next year I'm going to be the proud owner of one of these bad boys...

That's right. Why stain my fingers when I can express my passion for Christ with three-hundred bucks worth of servo controllers and ten thousand lines of code? The future of pseudo-pagan religious tradition is robotic, my friends.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014


One of the great memories I have from the Big Gay Cruise is getting to know all the Denver Bears I met by way of StevieB, who obviously has impeccable taste in friends.

Someone once told me his impression of Denver is that all the straight guys are primpy, exfoliated metrosexuals while all the gay guys are beary, butchy men's men. That may well be true; I don't think I met any straight guys in Denver. To be fair, I've only been there once, with Stevie as my tour guide.

The whole week at sea in the company of so many follicularly gifted men, I never once felt self-conscious about my naked face. Not until my former boss commented on a Facebook photo I was tagged in. "You should grow a beard."

I knew he was making a witty allusion to Sesame Street's "One of These Things..." game. But instead of shapes and numbers, the objects in this game were stereotypical gay sub-types.

As I was still in post-cruise vacation mode and had five days' worth of nearly-visible stubble, I decided to take his unserious suggestion seriously. I'd grow a beard. I've attempted this before but always aborted the first time someone told me I have spiders making love on my lip.

Those who have read my Twitter profile know I describe myself as a "bear wannabe". Not only because I'm attracted to bears, also because I so admire bear culture that I wish I could belong to it.

All the way back to my preadolescence, long before I would even dare to admit to myself the possibility I was gay, I dreamed of the bear-like qualities I'd attain once my pituitary began spurting androgens like a summer lawn sprinkler.

It wasn't to be. In his infinite wisdom, God saw fit to grant me only enough secondary sex characteristics to pass as male while keeping open the option to transition without depilatories, should I ever so desire.

I find this highly unfair and hypocritical. Everyone who's seen Michelangelo's work knows that God is the Beariest. There are cherubim and seraphim riding his back fur, for heaven's sake.

Now Jesus on the other hand... From the neck down I can totally relate to the body of Christ (minus the abs) in that I too appear fully Nair-anointed. But that beard is perfection. Depending on the artist of course.

To me this begs the question: Is facial hair supposed to be a symbol of manliness, or of godliness? Or is the beard supposed to represent man's connection to God?

Any answer to that will depress me. As a man born without sideburn follicles, I find myself alienated from the divine. Along with all women. So I'm in good company anyway.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Mal De Wank

Man, I've been a slug this past month. This wasn't supposed to happen. My intention was to maintain the healthy momentum I established preparing for the Big Gay Cruise to launch me straight into pool season. I even took the extraordinary relationship step of mixing my socks with JB's in order to dedicate an entire drawer to my low-mileage swimwear collection.

The alternative was to smoosh all my cruise stuff in a Space Bag to stash in an IKEA storage bin. But then I daydreamed about unsealing my Parke & Ronen time capsule in the Spring of 2016. Overcome with nostalgia, I try on my skimpy, so-three-seasons-ago swimsuits and stand in the mirror. And I ask myself, "Was I really thin enough to wear this? What happened to me? How could I let myself go like this?"

Nope, I thought, snapping back to the present. Not gonna happen. I'm keeping these boys front and center next to my underpants.

But only days after returning from vacation I came down with bronchitis and a head cold. Then one morning a few weeks ago I got out of my spinning bed and fell over. Google suggested I had a rare neurological condition caused by spending too much time at sea. But when I further read that 97% of those suffering of Mal de Débarquement Syndrome are female, I knew I had to keep looking. (Me and my Münchausen's ain't got no time for a chick disease.)

StevieB said I probably acquired a parasite. Or a brain tumor. JB's diagnosis was "hangover". But my doctor said "upper respiratory infection". When I asked him about the dizziness, he said it was most likely my cold virus caused a minor inner ear infection. "Nothing to worry about, you'll live."

"You sure about that? Because Stevie and WebMD told me differently."

I felt better learning the medical term for my condition was "labyrinthitis". It sounded every bit as exotic as Mal de Débarquement Syndrome, but so much manlier. Like a Minotaur with jock-mange.

While my illnesses might explain my slug-like qualities of late, I'd be hard-pressed say it justifies the half-dozen boxes of Girl Scout cookies. Or the pint of Ben & Jerry's. Or coming straight home from work to lie on the sofa in front of the television until bedtime. Or the uptick in masturbation frequency.

And even that has been lazy and sluggish. I normally dedicate substantial amounts of planning, technique, paraphernalia and network bandwidth to my auto-erotic endeavors. But lately I can barely bother myself to lift the laptop lid. It's gotten so bad that these past few times I've just jerked off to the guy on the paper towel package.

In my defense though, he is pretty hot.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Lessons From A Gay Cruise

I learned to never judge a book by its cover.

I learned that, statistically, my husband gets hit on approximately 2.5 times more than I do.

I learned that if the norovirus is even half as contagious as body glitter, the only way to avoid it would be to spend the entire cruise barricaded inside your cabin with wet towels stuffed under the door.

I learned that on a gay cruise, the distinction between swimwear and underwear is fluid and subjective.

I learned that in photos posted to Facebook, the distinction between swimwear and underwear is actually quite obvious.

I learned that glass elevators are a magnet for ass prints.

I learned that, while bears are generally low-
maintenance, they do seem to be responsible
for a disproportionate share of pipe clogs.
I learned that if one gets up at the crack of dawn and puts towels on the best deck chairs at the pool, he retains ownership of said deck chairs should he and his buddies decide to make an appearance later.

I learned I can sleep in and still get a great deck chair – and make friends in the process – by being social and giving instead.

I learned more than I ever wanted to know about the various gauges of genital piercings. I did not, however, learn how those guys got their junk through the metal detectors.

I learned that at sea, just as on land, lesbians gravitate to bowling alleys.

I learned I should never stand between my husband and Carl whenever a talented pianist plays any selection from the Beaches soundtrack.

I learned that if you have a balcony stateroom, it's a good idea to wear pajamas. Just because there's nothing but open ocean as far as the eye can see when you go to bed doesn't mean you won't wake up at port to find a Disney ship docked thirty feet away.

I learned that working on a cruise ship is probably not as glamorous as The Love Boat made it seem. Especially on a gay cruise, there are some chores you couldn't pay me enough to do. I kept picturing some poor soul laundering our sheets and towels and dreaming of a promotion to glass elevator squeegee-er.

I learned that if you're looking for Stevie,
check the buffet, the spa, then the European
sunbathing deck, in that order.

Monday, March 17, 2014

No Such Thing As Life-Proof

A year ago I wrote how my partner, JB, broke his iPhone. (The Stages of Upgrading) And how I got the blame because I pushed him out of a moving vehicle, causing his phone to smash to the ground, shattering the screen. Or so he claims.

My side of the story is a little different and, dare I say, not insane. He just couldn't accept the fact that his own carelessness caused him to break his Precious. But I long ago learned that being a scapegoat is just part of the job description as JB's life partner. It falls right after ghostwriting all his formal correspondence. And just above never, ever again comparing him to Meg Ryan's character in "When Harry Met Sally".

Fortunately his old iPhone 4 was due for an upgrade, and life soon returned to normal. In order to insure I would never have to take the fall for breaking his new iPhone 5, I splurged on an pricy LifeProof case for it. This thing not only guaranteed protection from drops, it was waterproof.

JB used this case for the better part of a year before losing the arm-band accessory and then the headphone pig-tail plugs, rendering it no longer waterproof. After this he decided he'd like something with a little less bulk. It was while trying out new phone cases that he discovered his iPhone 5 had suffered some serious damage within the LifeProof case.

He insists he has no idea what happened to his phone. So of course he's blaming the LifeProof case for the damage. I can see a tiny dent on the back of the case right where the iPhone is bent which tells me the phone suffered some sort of trauma which bent it in spite of being inside the protective case. In any case, JB demands satisfaction. Which means I'll probably be ghostwriting a letter to the LifeProof company soon.

In the mean time, JB doesn't dare remove his iPhone from the LifeProof case lest it fall to pieces. Kind of like how M. Night Shyamalan's pickup truck was the only think keeping the top half of Mel Gibson's wife alive in the movie "Signs".

Monday, March 10, 2014


Great. Carpal tunnel
and mercury poisoning.
Man, I've sucked at blogging lately. Life has been a blur since returning from the big gay cruise. It started with my first day back at work to find, with the exception of my cube, the entire floor of the office had been cleared out. Welcome back, right?

I finally tracked down my team in another building. It seems that while I was gone we'd been re-org'd into a different department. I moved my belongings into what I assumed was my new cubicle. I made this assumption based on the fact it was the only only vacant cube near my team, occupied by only a large building support column and a stash of florescent tubes.

Saturday JB uploaded a bunch of vacation pictures to Facebook. It was fun to relive all the good times and to know it all really happened, and that it wasn't just a dream. Then I made him take them off. Unfortunately not before my sister saw a photo of me in my underwear.

I've used my $2000 gym bag only once
so far. To move a Dell workstation.
I'd managed to successfully steer clear of Facebook for the better part of two years. I have a much easier time relating separately to my various groups of friends, family and acquaintances on more targeted social media outlets. Twitter is for my blog friends. LinkedIn is for my college friends, previous co-workers and business contacts. Yammer is for my work colleagues. Instagram is mostly family and my in-real-life friends. I even dabbled in Google Plus but haven't fully committed yet.

But since meeting so many great new friends on the cruise, I've been getting a lot of friend requests which has compelled me to reengage with Facebook and my tangled ball of "Facebook Friends". This mass includes all the above groups all mixed together with absolutely no context whatsoever.

And that's my problem with Facebook.

You can fill-flash my ass, Al.
As our big gay ship was docking in Saint Maarten, JB and I looked over our balcony and saw a beautiful, super-gay rainbow. I snapped a quick photo with my iPhone just before it vanished. I ran it though my Dynamic Light app to draw out the colors and brighten JB's face. After buying some internet time ashore, I thought my photo worthy of sharing on Facebook. My first post in over two years and the first comment was from a college roommate I haven't seen in twenty years.

"Pat, turn on the fill-flash next time. It'll help with the shadows."


I need to start a book club
for the humor challenged.
Later I made a post asking why, under Facebook's "book suggestions" for me, the first two recommendations were "The Bible". I mean, just because Facebook thinks it knows more about me than anybody else does, now I'm a heathen?

Again, another college acquaintance felt the need to chime in. "I recommend Plato's Republic, or Crime and Punishment by Dostoyevsky."

God, I hate Facebook.