Random Updates

Just for today, I’m not going to rant or rave about much of anything! The only thing on the agenda is an update of what’s going on in my life at this point in time, in case anyone cares…

A few carefully lit fires — no pun intended — have started getting a bit of reaction out of my insurance company in relation to the pile of ashes which used to be my car. I’m expecting a settlement any day now. I think informing them that they’d be paying for a rental repalcement of my choosing until I have a check in hand may have helped a bit.

No job yet, but so far I’m pretty much convinced that giving Kinko’s the heave-ho was quite the right thing to do. Today was especially convincing; the yuppie slimebags were as annoying as usual. Yesterday I taught an Internet class at one of the outlying San Francisco stores. I was amazed at how different the neighborhood atmosphere was. People were actaully smiling and walking down the street at a normal pace. No one had the perpetually constipated look of the Financial Distrist corporate automatons. It was really nice. It’s a sad thing that so many people let work rule their lives to the point of making them such unbearable substitutes for human beings. Note to the Financial District crowd: take a Valium or at least take a break once in a while!

Side note: a rumor is floating about that Kinko’s is advertising on Pat Robertson’s Family Channel (formerly the Christian Broadcasting Network). I cannot confirm this rumor. Has anyone seen commercials on this highly offensive, rabidly anti-gay and pro-enforced childbirth network? If so, please let me know, and I’ll keep you informed of how my complaints are received.

Had dinner last night with my ex David at the new IHOP South of Market. It is, without question, the creepiest IHOP atmosphere I’ve ever seen. It’s in the basement of an old commercial building and is just too damned well-lit and pastel-tinted. It’s located next to Moscone Convention Center, but the crowd seems to be more “downtown drug dealer” than “conventioneer executive”, although one middle-class mother with teen-age son was inside and looked a little horrified when David and I began discussing watersports. Denny’s is scheduled to open a few doors down very soon. Should be fun to watch.

Ran into Ron, a guy I “went out” with a few times, at lunch today and found out that his band (which was one of two whose debuts I attended recently, the other being Lucifag) is fizzling. We did the “lost your number…give me a call” routine. I never know when that’s meant sincerely or not (sometimes I really DO mean it); we did have fun…

Speaking of bands, I’ll be seeing The Third Sex at Faster Pussycat tonight. It’ll be kinda cool seeing a band on the midwestern end of a tour and then at home on the same tour. Love them…they’re great. (Note: missed ’em…the show moved…found out too late…hate life…)

As for the weekend, I’m geeting back together with this guy named Rob who I recently met in a dark back corner somewhere. He’s terminally cute, fun, shares some of my perversions, and is a pretty danged OK kinda guy, despite being from L.A. He follows orders well, and he scores major points for suggesting — without prompting — Jack in the Box as a food stop on the way back to his apartment Sunday night. More points added for being suitably worshipful about Planet SOMA…I’ll work on pictures soon.

Mom and Dad’s anniversary yesterday. Forty-seven years. Scary. I somehow doubt I’ll have a relationship last quite that long.

Gotta run now…food calls.

Thanks for checking in…

Sex, Love, and Relationships

When I was coming out at age 17, a major theme in my writing was that sex and love were essentially the same thing…there was (and could be) no difference between the two. “How can you be with someone if there’s no love?”, I asked. “How can gay men be so promiscuous?” “Sex without love is meaningless.” I was very young and idealistic. I was later to find that sex and love were not necessarily related in any way.

As I aged, I began taking to heart the 70’s texts which were the only ones available in the Greensboro Public Library . Gay relationships did not need to “ape” heterosexual marriage. A relationship not based in total freedom and mired in jealousy and suspicion is invalid from the onset. Queers are free to develop new concepts where love is concerned. Even now, I don’t disagree; I’ve developed a whole lifestyle based on divorcing the concept of sex and love. It has suited me well for many years.

Or has it? Sometimes I think I have rendered myself incapable of having a relationship based on love, trust, and (assorted gods forbid) monogamy. I tell myself repeatedly that this is not what I want.

I spent a lot of time alone as a kid, and I’ve continued doing so as an adult. In junior high and — to a lesser extent –high school, I was not what you would describe as popular. Most of my weekends were spent alone, reading, driving around aimlessly, and immersed in thought. A positive result of this is that I’ve become quite comfortable with my own company. I don’t need someone around in order to complete every little activity like eating, going to a movie, traveling, etc. In fact, I often prefer to do many of these things alone. Unfortunately, the experience has also left some of my critical social skills a bit lacking.

Also, I am selfish by nature — blame it on being an only child if you like — and I often see myself as totally unwilling to commit myself to another person. This is not necessarily a bad thing, because I shouldn’t expect anyone else to do the same for me. But there’s a paradox here. Sometimes I do find myself willing to commit, and then I expect the return, which is often not forthcoming.

Is it any wonder the longest “relationship” of my life lasted a scant six months? It’s a very unusual thing when i find myself willing to commit to a relationship, and when I do this, I tend to expect a more than satisfactory return on my emotional investment. If I’m going to suffer and pine away, I want the other person to suffer and pine away just as much. If I’m going to break all my own rules and get completely “hooked”, I expect the same in return. No wonder things get so strange; life and relationships just don’t work that way.

Of course, communication is a big factor. I often complain that “I don’t know where I stand”. I think this is a pretty universal problem; there is precious little actual communication in most relationships. In my case, I realize that it stems from my inability to let myself show traces of vulnerability by actually admitting how involved I am. So how can I fault someone else for not doing the same thing? Also, I have a big fear of screwing things up by over-analyzing and of scaring other people off by “talking about it too much”, even though I realize I’m screwing up even more by NOT talking. Maybe I’m too worried about causing the other person problems to pay attention to the wear and tear I’m exposing myself to.

Why can’t sex just be sex? What’s wrong with a series of “fuck buddies” with whom you may also share friendship, but not necessarily traditional “love”? I’ve always thought I’d grow old with a few good, non-sexual friends and get my urges taken care of on the side. I have really high standards for the people I call my “friends”; very few manage to make it for the long haul. But what happens when someone meets these standards and there’s also a “romantic” connection? Is it time to re-evaluate the concept that the people I really like and the people I have sex with should be completely separate? Is it not possible that I’m not always after “the wrong boy”?

Obviously I have a lot on my mind right now, and while this current round of analysis may have been triggered by a specific scenario, it’s a pattern I often ponder, and obviously worry about as well. Boys will continue to come and go, but will I allow myself to keep them around for a while?

Living with a Slob (Named Me)

I’m a bit of a slob, there’s no denying it. Housekeeping is not my forte. Probably never will be. My room is a mess comparable to that of the legendary Oscar Madison, clothes and papers everywhere, a few dishes scattered around, just a vaguely neurotic disarray surrounding me on all sides. Perhaps it’s the sign of a cluttered — if active — mind. Long ago, I reconciled myself to the fact that I’ll never live in an immaculate picture perfect house. It’s just not gonna happen.

Strange then that I’m so obsessively clean of body and that my work space (including the computer desktop) must be so stunningly and neatly organized or I go completely nuts. And that I empty ashtrays with an almost psychotic furor. Go figure…

Today’s lesson will be in part about ways to deal with a resident slob, or at least this particular one.

1. Sarcasm doesn’t work.

Or at least not in my case. My dad tried it when I was a kid (“Here…I’ll pick up that dish for you”, “It’s OK…I’ll put that towel in the hamper.”) Obviously it didn’t work. All it made me do was shoot the bird at him behind his back. I found out today that it still produces this reaction.

2. Sometimes guilt works.

Sulk around, looking exasperated at the mess. Occasionally pick up something. Be an “enabler”. With me, this usually results in a guilt-induced cleaning spree which would make June Cleaver proud.

3. Learn coping skills.

Despite our nature, slobs can usually meet you half way. we can keep our messes confined to a certain mutually agreed upon area. It won’t always work, but usually we’ll try to keep things in order as much as possible. sometimes we may let the mess linger, but we’re usually acutely aware of it and will have a sudden energy boost which will rectify the situation eventually.

OK, I got a bit pissed today when the roomie made a remark or two about things I left sitting out in the bathroom. He had every right to be mad, but by phrasing his complaint the way he did and then leaving before I could respond — probably a wise move — all he accomplished was adding to my already pissy mood. Most days I wouldn’t have let it bother me but today was not most days given my current collection of insecurities.

What? Yer Humble Host is not feeling on top of the world? What could be the problem in Mecca? Oh you know, the ususal mundane things like someone burning my car to a crisp, realizing (sometimes in horror) that I’ll be unemployed in two months, having a thing for someone who’s 2000 miles away, being (gasp) bored with fags in general and (bigger gasp) even slightly bored with the City. Today was a bit of a roller coaster ride; I usually keep a pretty positive frame of mind going, despite my cynicism. Today it went from pissed off to edgy to almost inexplicably bawling while walking around in Border’s. Strange…maybe it’s hormones…

Of course, just for effect, it was really cold and windy and gray today, but that’s usually a plus for me.

Ah, but I’m getting whiny. This must stop. Things are generally good, despite my vague unease with the planet. “The Simpsons” have returned for the fall, hits are up on the old web site, I got a very favorable comment on a “secret” picture of myself which lies within the confines of Planet SOMA (ego boosts are a good thing) from someone who didn’t even know it was me, I bought a cool Route 66 video tonight, and The Third Sex is playing in town on the 13th. By tomorrow, I’ll be thinking happy thoughts again. I promise.

But it’s a safe bet I’ll be absolutely no better at housekeeping.

I Quit

Work has been pretty exhausting, and my weekend started with an eleven hour sleep marathon last night. Serving the corporate clones is starting to drive me insane; one more run-in with a condescending stockbroker or lawyer is going to send me over the edge and it’ll be yuppie-kebobs for lunch. This week a customer threatened to sue us because he had to wait more than 2 minutes to pay. Another sleazoid got pissed because we wouldn’t spend fifteen bucks to messenger her ten dollar order to her. It’s a truly frightening thing that these stressed-out corporate stooges are pretty much in control of the country. Fortunately, I’m starting to have some nibbles on the new job search.

OK…enough on crappy customers. The purpose of this rant is to announce that after seven years and two months in my current job, I gave notice today. Granted, it was a long notice — over two months. And no, I don’t have another job lined up as yet. But there sometimes comes a point when you gotta get out, and that time has arrived for me. I really hate that I’ll no longer be seeing a group of people I really love on a daily basis; the people I work with are the absolute best. Hell, I even like my boss (imagine that…)

This is kinda big news; I have this tremendous fear of being unemployed and I’ve only had two full-time jobs in all of my adult life (I tend to hang on along time…) I think the company will survive without me and I’m pretty sure I’ll survive without the company. At any rate, I’ve developed a certain inner peace which is quite pleasing for me right now!

If you’re in need of a pretty nice guy who writes decent HTML and does OK with English too, let me know. I’m available soon.

I Hate My Job

Over seven years ago, I began my current career in cutomer service management (which followed my previous four-year career in customer service management). Things have gotten steadily worse over the years, especially now that I work in an atmosphere which caters to Financial District corporate slime.

I don’t understand these people. I don’t speak their language. I do not share their priorities. It has always been my belief that you get better results by being nice to people than by throwing attitude from your first encounter. I am completely unwilling to go out of my way for customers who are condescending and rude from the minute they walk in the door. Unfortunately, coprorate culture — especially in large cities — seems to have brainwashed its clones into beleiveing that rudeness is perveived as an efficient, assertive, and businesslike attitude. Rudeness gets results! Yeah, right…

Some recent highlights in my career: I’ve been called stupid by a for not having the psychic powers to decipher an order messengered to me with no instructions, told I was full of shit for following federal law, called sexist for waiting on a man who was in line in front of a woman, called racist for asking a gentleman who was not a customer but had been using the phone for an hour to let actual paying customers use it, and told to “fuck off” for not dropping all pending business to do the impossible immediately for a stockbroker swine.

Today, a woman threatened to sue me. This has happened before, when a job was not comlpleted on time for example. Lawyer-swine love to threaten “lowly” service employees with litigation, assuming we’re too damn stupid to know that (a) they have no case, and (b) our corporate lawyers can most likely kick their asses. This woman, however, threatened to sue me because I told her I’d call the police if she didn’t get out of my store and stop poking me in the face. Yuppies hate it when you remind them they’re breaking the law by physically assaulting you.