Favorite Forks and Regular Guys

I have a favorite fork. You underprivileged souls with nicely matching silverware sets might find that concept a little foreign. I understand. It would be quite difficult to have a favorite fork when all your forks look alike.

My silverware, though, is — well, let’s call it “eclectic”. It’s been acquired through trips to various thrift stores. None of it is particularly noteworthy, with the exception of one set, of which I have about three settings. All the pieces have little sputniks on them. I love little sputniks; I even have saucers with little sputniks.

I have a favorite spoon, too. It’s an ice cream parlor spoon, so it’s bigger than usual. It’s great for cereal. Do you have a favorite fork or a favorite spoon?

Do you think these regular guys do?

Interesting site that last one, huh? Don’t get me wrong; I think it’s great that they have a group dedicated to sports and “guy stuff”. But my god, could they use the word “masculine” a few more times? Sounds a little like a penis size contest to me, although they make it clear the group is not at all about sex.

I’m not into sports, and therefore I guess I’m not masculine. But that’s OK. It’s not something I really aspire to anyway. I think, though, that if I were forming a group of my fellow sodomites who were into sports, I’d refer to it as “a group of sodomites who are into sports”, rather than a group of “masculine men”. I guess all the sissy sports fans I’ve known wouldn’t be welcome.

Nor would I. And that’s OK too. Trust me on this one.

Non-masculine things I’ve done today:

  • Yelled “where’s my damned trivet” while cooking dinner.
  • Crossed my legs in the unmanly knee over knee fashion.
  • Admitted publicly (in front of, gasp, women and heterosexuals) that, until last night’s news, I didn’t even know that Tennessee HAD a pro football team.
  • Addressed two of my houseplants by name.
  • Discussed my silverware online.

No, I don’t fear “masculinity” because it’s “threatening”. I fear it because I have no earthly idea what it’s supposed to be (and I don’t particularly care).

Today in History

Glad everyone got a little chuckle out of the regular guys. Good response to that one, which proves (once again) that people never respond to what you think they will.

Turns out the wording on my contact page has given some people the impression that I don’t necessarily read all my email. This is not true. I read everything; it’s the responses that I’m treating a little too casually these days. I’d love to say it’s getting better, but it’s not. Which is sad.

Eighteen years ago today, I met my friend Jeff in a public toilet. We’d met before, but this time I realized that neither of us was really there to take a piss.

Seventeen years ago today, I had a first encounter with someone I believed to be a really nice guy. We had nasty sex in my grandmother’s house (I was house-sitting). Didn’t see him again until sixteen years ago tomorrow, and that second reunion started a very unpleasant 1984. I looked at the coincidence involving the dates as a sign that this was something good. Now I realize that said coincidence was merely unfortunate.

Fifteen years ago today, I was in Raleigh, crying my eyes out, but we covered that a few months back.

Thirteen years ago today, I was developing a crush on a skate rat who later invaded my home for several weeks. He was cute as a bug’s ear, but h only liked girls.

Twelve years ago today, some friends did a Culture Club song in drag. it was pretty good.

Not that any of this really means anything, and not that anything particularly significant happened today, but this time of year is one of those which has historically produced events which seemed worthy of journal entries at the time.

Not this year, though, I guess…

Off to Fresno

Took a road trip this weekend and didn’t even take the camera. It was kind of nice for a change, although taking the camera wasn’t really an option anyway, since I haven’t gotten it fixed yet.

I just love Fresno, and I’ve yet to find anyone who really agrees with me on this one. It’s such a strange place, physically and psychologically.

I’ll restate the basics first: Fresno is (I believe) the largest American city not served by an Interstate or US highway. There are no VHF television stations there. Test marketing and surveys are often done here because Fresno is apparently one of the most typically American cities to be found.

Which is surprising to me, simply because I find Fresno so very odd. While progress has moved northward, the southern and middle sections of the city has remained virtually unchanged physically (although the demographics have changed considerably). Fresno is like a lab, possibly the best place around to study the history of urban development since the 1950s.

Downtown Fresno was deserted by traditional business decades ago, but Fulton Street bustles with local, largely Latino-owned shops and restaurants. Old department stores have been transformed into bazaars selling electronics and counterfeit Nikes. The former Safeway on Ventura Street looks exactly as it did in 1965 (avocado, orange, and purple interior intact), the only changes being a new sign out front and a large map of Mexico above the meat department.

Old shopping centers from the 1950s flank the wide boulevards, set at approximately one-mile intervals. These centers often house some of the same stores they did on opening day. The clientele has changed, but the stores opted to adapt rather than to flee.

The economic malaise which has gripped Fresno and much of the Central Valley over the past few decades has allowed much of the inner city to look just the way I remember cities looking when I was a kid. Malls and “big box” stores are not in evidence (although they do exist in the northern part of town). The Baskin-Robbins in the dying Manchester Center still has simulated wood paneling. There are still local supermarket chains and drug stores.

Sadly, I must admit, too many of the Denny’s have been converted into the terrifically annoying faux 1950s “Denny’s Diner” concept, which looks like some sort of “laverne and Shirley”-inspired nightmare. We are not amused.

Maybe it’s just comforting in a strange way. More tomorrow, including queer bars, strange radio stations, and the drive-in I finally managed to eat at over five trips and six years…

The Family

They buried my uncle today in Greensboro. Of course, I wasn’t there. I feel sort of bad, but there was no way I could go east right now. This is the third time I’ve had an aunt or uncle die since I’ve lived in California. I haven’t been able to go home for a single funeral. The time and cost factors are just too prohibitive when you live 3000 miles from home.

I fear it will be a more frequent occurrence in the next few years. Each time there’s a death among my parents’ siblings or their spouses, I think about the fact that my parents are getting on in years too. They won’t be around forever, and I don’t want my last memories of them to revolve around phone calls and one single visit home every year.

I’d like to get to know my parents again before it’s too late.

It’s not as if we’re estranged or anything, and it’s not as if I’m expecting them to die anytime soon. We get along well and we talk often. But we can only maintain a superficial relationship via long distance and email. I want to watch TV with my dad and go shopping with my mom. I want to listen to stories and to go out to dinner with them and even to indulge in the occasional hug.

I’ve spent most of my life running. Running from my hometown and running from all the attention I got as an only child. I often felt that I needed to get as far away from home as possible in order to live my own life on my own terms. And all my life, I’ve kept things from them fearing more that they’d worry than that they’d dispprove or lecture.

Except, of course, in high school, when I was doing lots of rally stupid things so they WOULD notice and stop thinking of me as their “perfect little boy”. But that’s another story entirely…

I don’t feel that urge to run anymore (at least not from my parents). I have my own life, and I think it’s less dependent on geography. I’m not really planning on moving back to my hometown. I just don’ t particularly like it there, for a number of reasons. But I am planning to move a whole lot closer and to do it fairly soon.

I think I can go home now.

Maybe that’s why I had such a great time in Fresno this weekend. Or maybe not. Anyway, the promised “more details” will be coming soon, as will some pictures from the “Mary and Rhoda” hot dog feast Sarah and I had last night…

Randomly Friday

Lifestyle links du jour:

And now, our regularly scheduled journal entry…

I was home sick most of the day yesterday. I’m over it now, but I was feeling moderately crappy, an definitely felt no urge to drg my ass to the evil part-time job. So I watched movies and TV all day. I sat through an entire half hour of Misterogers Neighborhood. It’s been a long time, but I still instinctively recognized that musics and I knew that we were about to go to the Land of Make Believe when he started rolling that toy trolley across the table. I still got a little excited too. Should that worry me?

I also started the tedious process of teaching myself both Dreamweaver and Adobe Golive. And the other tedious process of doing my annual pruning and re-modeling of Planet SOMA.

The re-modeling won’t be major; I’ve fiddled with the design enough over the past year and I like it the way it is. But I’ll be eliminating lots of older, weaker, and out of date pages. Some of them are already gone, the seriously outdated sex club guide being one of the first to go. Some older rants are being edited and dropped into the journals. The road trips are being edited as well, in hopes that I might actually go on a new one sometime soon.

Of course, deleting pages is not difficult. Deleting all the links to them is, especially when there are several hundred pages on the site.

I’m also working on the long-overdue new issue of Did You Bring Bottles. Stories and pictures are, once again, actively solicited. In addition to a few more pages on the Safeway saga, I’ll be starting an A&P section. Soon.

It’s time for lunch now, methinks…

Don’t Fear the Reaper

It’s always a happy thing to walk into your corner queer bar to the sound of Blue Oyster Cult.

I had larger than average dose of nightlife this weekend: two nights. Based on my recent track record, that’s noteworthy. And all in all, it didn’t suck. Ran into some friends I hadn’t seen in a while, heckled some yuppie idiots in front of Julie’s Supper Club, got wet, etc.

I didn’t get laid, of course. That would be too much to ask. This has a lot to do with the fact that I didn’t really see many appealing prospects. But the main reason, of course, is that I’d cleaned up the house and changed my bed, which is almost a guarantee that no one would get a chance to see it. Never fails.

I did finally meet Shane, two and a half years after the first time we tried to hook up in Kansas City. That was a bonus. We talked, I tried to convince him not to move here, I asked about some other friends in KC, and we discussed how many other domain-owners were lurking in the Hole at the same time.

I watched a little uninspired group sex at My Place, and then went to the Eagle, arriving quite damp, thank you. There I divided my time between two friends who don’t get along too well (always fun but they were on good behavior) and smoked a lot of cigarettes on the patio.

I went home before last call and pondered having a nice wank, but I decided to sleep instead.

Now it’s Sunday afternoon and I find myself with a shocking urge for cheap sex. Of course, this being Sunday afternoon, there are few places where it’s available (or at least few places I’m inclined to visit).

So I think I’ll go to the grocery store instead. A reasonble substitute, I reckon…

Death, Rain, Love, Hate, Etc.

Death:

My uncle died a week ago, followed by a third cousin I hadn’t seen (or really thought about, I confess) for 15 years or so. Once I’d finished thinking about the family, Charles Schulz passes on just as his final strip runs. And then tonight came “death night” in prime time, with a guest bimbo on “King of the Hill”, Maude Flanders on “The Simsons”, and Giardello on “Homicide: the Movie”.

Rain:

I love rain, and I try to enjoy it in the winter since it doesn’t rain here in the summer. Rain is probably my favorite weather, with dense fog a close second. But enough is enough, already. It essentially hasn’t stopped raining for four days. Forecast for next week: rain on Mondy, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

Things I love today:

  • Valentine’s Day candy is already being marked down.
  • Green Apple Books

Things I hate today:

  • Puddles. Everywhere.
  • The idiot in the Mercedes who came within six inches of hitting my car today while turning in front of me (I was going straight) from the INSIDE lane.
  • Nicotine addiction.
  • The bitch in the BMW who rode my ass all the way down Bayshore Boulevard when (a) she could easily have passed and (b) I was already doing 50 in a 35 zone.

Final question:

Why does it seem the more expensive the car, the greater the likelihood the driver will be an asshole?

Ella, Sex, and Weight Loss

Two Ella Fitzgerald specials in one week. Yer humble host is in heaven. She’s one of the few singers I remember seeing on the Ed Sullivan show as a young’un. Loved her then and until the night she died. That night in 1996, I just happened to connect with a very adorable boy in Sacramento. We listened to Ella and fucked all night. On the way home the next day, I heard about her death and knew I’d always remember both her and the boy.

It’s one of the few celebrity deaths I remember quite so clearly. I also remember hearing about John Lennon, at the end of a really rough night working at McDonald’s when I was 16. That was rough. and I was at my grandmother’s house when Elvis died. That one didn’t affect me much at all. Probably because he’s really still alive, huh?

But lest this get morbid, I’ll move on to something more positive. I think.

It seems my sex drive has returned. Tentatively. As I mentioned in email to a friend in the UK this week, it nearly scurried right back in last weekend when confronted with the distinct lack of selection in my neighborhood watering holes. Maybe it was the rain. Or maybe I should have gotten drunk. But this crowd would have required getting REALLY drunk…

All the same, yer humble host senses that he might allow himself to be persuaded to do the nasty at some point in the next few weeks. Perhaps I’m just tired of watching the same old porn over and over again. Maybe I’m just excited that I can once again wear clothes I haven’t been able to put on in years.

This half-baked scheme features no guaranteed results. Ultimately, I’ll probably get bored with the idea and remember that I LIKE not having to chase someone out of the house early in the morning. I guess I could just do it in public like I used to, huh?

I’ll keep you posted, though…

19 February 2000

I moved Irma into the living room tonight. I thought she deserved a change of scenery, and it was part of a general rearrangement to make way for the three latest members of the family. I’m now harboring twelve houseplants. I’m never lonely…

Dinner at the Pizza Joynt with Jamie tonight. Bob Coffin was pumping the organ for all it was worth, with the standard fare and also (are you ready) a Wurlitzer version of “Stairway to Heaven”. I don’t think Jamie quite believed me when I gasped at the realization of what we were hearing, but soon the recognition overtook her as well. A Led Zeppelin song played on a pipe organ is not something one forgets easily.

Afterward, there was Super K-mart in Oakland which, I repeat, is perhaps the purest and most wonderful shopping experience to be had.

When I got back to the ‘hood at midnight, there was not a parking space to be had. I’m not really sure what the hell’s going on down here tonight, but from the parking scene, I have a feeling I’m glad to be missing it. My return to the world of the promiscuous will just have to wait one more night. I’m going to bed…

That Annoying Weekend

It’s just a little creepy when people recognize yer humble host in bars just because of this website. It’s happened quite a number of times over the past four years (and again tonight), but I still haven’t quite gotten used to it.

How is it that I always forget that Bear Rendezvous Weekend is in town and always make the mistake of going out? Nothing against bears, but they’re not really the “type” I’m looking for while on a sex quest. And everyplace was annoyingly crowded all weekend, which might explain last night’s parking drama.

Anyway, I met this nice boy at the Eagle last night. As a matter of fact, he was the only one in the whole place I was interested in, so I was pretty pleased when our smiles turned into conversation. He was cute as a bug’s ear, and he started playing with my ear (which was more fun than it sounds). I was getting all hot and bothered, and then, out of nowhere, he left to go back to Sacramento with his friends. I always have drama with boys named Christian.

At least I found some really good asparagus this weekend. That may have been the high point…

Surreal Things, Love, and Hate

I didn’t think it could get much more surreal than hearing “Stairway to Heaven” on a pipe organ in a pizza parlor on Friday night. I was wrong.

I was changing channels tonight and something caught my eye on one of the local PBS stations: a rerun of “The Tennessee Ernie Ford Show” from about 1961. The strange special effects in the first musical number were bizarre enough, with singers “floating” against a blue sky background (body parts kept disappearing). The “Peanuts” opening sequence as a little odd as well.

Midway through the show, though, came the piece de resistance: Ernie Ford and Tony Bennett and a full orchestra singing Hank Williams songs. This was about a strange as it gets. “Your Cheatin’ Heart” with a horn section was followed by “Jambalaya” with both the horn section and a collection of about 15 perky white singers in evening wear. All in brilliant, headache-inducing color on semi-demagnetized 2-inch videotape.

I sort of hoped it would all end in a commercial for Martha White Flour, but it didn’t…

Things I love today:

Things I hate today:

  • This chest cold, which is showing signs of getting nastier and nastier (no doubt spurred on by cheap cigarettes in San Bruno).
  • Hot, sticky weather in February.
  • Waiting until the last minute to pay my car insurance and finding AAA closed for the holiday.

Interviewed

Interviewed. Me. Imagine that. And with only one inconsequential misinterpretation regariding hits…


Still life with Kleenex, Alka Seltzer, and orange juice nastiest cold in the world. Maybe even the worst cold in a couple of years. Oddly enough, this one seems to have moved from my chest to my head, instead of vice versa which is my usual pattern. It kept me away from my part-time job today (like that’s particularly difficult…) but it didn’t stop me from looking like a heroin addict at a meeting about some freelance work.

What really sucks about being sick in San Francisco in February, though, is having to drag your ass out in the freezing cold and pouring rain to move your car on street cleaning night. Of course, just about anyplace else, the cold would be colder and the rain would be harder, so I guess I shouldn’t bitch.

But I’m sick and I’m cranky. I’ll bitch if I goddamn well please. Why should this be different from ny other day?

Things I love today:

Things I hate today:

  • Kleenex rash.
  • That useless, tough, taste-free corned beef brisket I bought at Safeway this weekend.
  • The aroma of that homeless guy who sat down next to me at lunch today.

28 February 2000

Why no, this picture has nothing much to do with anything. But wait. Come to think of it, I did have lunch at Burger King today. Maybe it’s a subliminal thing. Or it could just be that I liked the picture…

Either way, lunch at Burger King was about as strenuous as it got today. I’m getting a little better, I guess. I can breathe again, but my ears are still stopped up and I’m still a little achy. All in all, though, things are improving. And my gardenia bloomed.

So in case no one noticed, I uploaded a remodeled Planet SOMA yesterday. There are some subtle page layout changes, and I’ve added a search form on every page. A lot of older pages are now gone, bringing the grand total down to a still unwieldy 420. I’m still playing around, so there may still be a few minor changes. Let me know if you run into problems.

Funny thing, the hit on my front page are way up over the past few weeks. I’d been averaging about 350 a day, while it seems to have blown up to about 425-450 lately. One day last week, almost 500 people came in through the front door. Maybe this “hands off” policy, where I’ve only been updating the journals, is a good thing. Odder still, though, is that overall site traffic has stayed pretty stable, despite all the additional hits on the front page.

Now that you’re thoroughly bored, I’ll sign off, so I can attempt the sleep I didn’t get last night. Whatever I have, it’s starting to grate on every remaining nerve in my body.