Bloopers and Outtakes 2002

While I’m reformatting my life to make it more palatable to the viewing audience (no, really…), please feel free to peruse a selection of rejects which, for whatever reason, never made it to the front page during 2002. It may be that I never finished them or it may just be that I realized how bad they were before posting them. Would that I could show such restraint with the stuff that actually DOES make it to the front page…

Anyway, here’s the 2002 Otherstream Bloopers and Outtakes Reel:

January – never posted:

Recipe for frustration: visit the Chevron convenience store at Sixth and Harrison for cigarettes at about 10:15 on New Year’s Eve. You’ll wait in line behind a crowd of idiots the likes of which you’ve never seen…

New Year’s Eve is the ultimate amateur night, which is why I rarely go out and face the crowds. It’s like Saturday night on steroids; all the wankers and assorted drones who apparently never have any fun all year long decide that they must have it all on this one night. And since they don’t really know how to enjoy themselves, they apparently compensate by getting really drunk, really stupid, and really, really loud…

And they all get really baffled when confronted with such harsh, life-changing choices as “Camels or Marlboros” at the walkup service window. Assuming, of course, that they even make it to the walkup service window. My favorites are the frat boys who, upon seeing a line of twenty people outside and a locked door with a sign saying “use window after 10PM” on it, still assume that the door will magically swing open just for them if they stare at it long enough…

February – never finished, never posted:

When I was a child, I didn’t play well with the other children. And they weren’t too fond of me either. I’ve talked about it before. Try though I may to analyze myself out of it, this left me somewhat instinctively distrustful of other people, not to mention a little reserved and a lot self-conscious. I still am. Even now, I generally talk about my problems and fears and emotions in only the most superficial sort of way…

It’s rare for me to love, trust, and respect anyone. And usually, I can’t do any of the three without all of them being part of the equation. I have to be comfortable talking with them about just about anything. I have to feel that they care about what’s going on with me, and that their concern is constructive and not critical. I have to feel that there are no ulterior motives and that no reservations remain unstated…

I do not seek love and approval from everyone I meet…

February – never posted:

A not so cordial “fuck you” to PG&E this afternoon. Sketchy corporate ethics aside, my power has gone out three times this afternoon, causing a terrific amount of trouble each time. Now if I inconvenienced PG&E by paying my bill late, they’d impose a fine (oops…I mean a “customer service fee”). But if I deducted a portion of my payment for all the inconvenience they’ve caused ME today, what would happen?

February – never finished, never posted:

I’m not going to get into the gubernatorial primaries. I will say that this year’s candidates as a whole (from all parties) seem even more useless than 1998’s bunch did.

Gray Davis may be the safest choice in the general election simply because he’s essentially done nothing and can probably be counted on to continue doing so. It’s hard to do much damage when most of your energy goes toward fundraising for your eventual unsuccessful presidential candidacy…

March – never posted:

A while back, during one of my semiannual link prunings, I deleted many links from my sites. Some were dead, some were old “courtesy links” (they linked me, I linked them) from way back, and some were just to things which no longer interested me, people I no longer kept in touch with, etc…

Only one person whose site disappeared really took issue with it. Note that the only correspondence I’d had from this person in years was through being added to an occasional mailing list I didn’t ask to be added to. But when the link disappeared, the one-on-one correspondence appeared. I ignored it. Maybe that was rude, but I thought it was the more discreet approach at the time…

This was a site which frankly held no interest whatsoever for me. I’m not even sure now why I added it in the first place; I think it was a favor to a friend many years back or something like that. I thought nothing about deleting it; this is my website and I sure as hell don’t “owe” anyone a link, especially if I’m not interested in their site…

I’m pretty anal about only including links to sites I actually like and visit at least semi-regularly. That was one of the reasons behind my pruning, actually. It seems a little pointless to have a personal site with a list of links to anything and everything under the sun and no editorial judgment. One’s links should tell you something about that person. That’s why I limit my links to material related to my sites and also to sites I visit regularly…

That’s not a bad thing, is it? Well, even if it is, it’s still the way I’m going to continue to operate…

March – never posted:

Haven’t done one of these list things in a while. This one seems easy and relatively noninvasive:

  • 1 minute ago: I was getting annoyed with nonstandard HTML.
  • 1 hour ago: I was sleeping.
  • 1 day ago: I was working at a frustrated pace.
  • 1 year ago: I had the hots for a guy in red and black Airwalks and sunglasses on the bus.
  • Word to describe the situation of now: Anticipative (anticipatory?).
  • Things I want: A CD burner, a new city to live in, someone specific to live there with.
  • Things accomplished: Most of my freelance for the week, a little financial planning.
  • Windows open: I prefer Mac or UNIX, please.
  • Things around the computer: Diet 7-up, ashtray, stamps, bills.
  • Thoughts of now: I’ll be in Fresno in seven hours.
  • E-mails: You mean email MESSAGES? Several, thanks.
  • Lyric: Friday on my mind (Easybeats).
  • Random: Stuffy nose.
  • Spell your name backwards: Divad.
  • Where do you live? San Francisco. For now.
  • Describe yourself in three words: Cynical, impatient, selfish.
  • Who is your worst enemy? I hope I don’t have one.
  • If you could have ANY animal for a pet, what would it be? Dan‘s sister’s dog, or maybe a tarantula.
  • Do you know what a spork is? Yes, alas.
  • What is the latest you’ve ever stayed up? 48 straight hours.
  • Ever been to Belgium? No.
  • Toothbrush: Long’s Soft.
  • Jewelry worn daily: A ring and a key on a chain that Mark gave me.
  • Underwear: Currently free-balling.
  • Shoes: Not right now, but sometimes during sex.
  • Nail polish: None.
  • Favorite shirt: Black long-sleeve T-shirt.
  • Favorite pants: My old Levi’s with the big holes in the knees.
  • Perfume: Sweat.
  • CD in stereo right now: Buzzcocks Greatest Hits.
  • Tattoos: Why?
  • Piercings: See “tattoos”.
  • Current music: Background music from “St. Elsewhere”.
  • Wearing: Shorts and a t-shirt.
  • Hair: Very little and even less in a few minutes.
  • Makeup: None.
  • In my mouth: A bad taste, from just waking up.
  • In my head: Some teeth which need attention.
  • Hearing: Boomer about to be raped on “St. Elsewhere”, bridge traffic.
  • Wishing: That I was already in Fresno.
  • After this: I will buzz my head, clean up a bit, and get in my car headed southeast.

March – planned “whatever happened to” series, never finished, never posted:

This being 2002, ten years after 1992 and twenty years after 1982, I’ve decided that it’s time I re-encountered my old friend Mark Harris. I believe that we’re doomed to meet at ten-year intervals for the rest of our natural lives…

We first met in 1982 at the mall when we were both teenagers. Our friendship was short (about an hour) but productive. If you think about that for a second, you’ll understand…

We met again in 1992, when a coworker introduced me to the new guy he was dating. I recognized Mark instantly, but I got to have a good bit of fun later on telling him where we’d met before. This time we struck up an actual friendship; we went to movies, hung out in bars, lamented the lack of interesting boys therein, and generally had a bad attitude about life together. He became one of my closer friends. Then, he moved to Los Angeles and I moved to San Francisco and we lost touch after a few letters…

Now I have no idea where he is, although my address hasn’t changed since 1992, so I guess he could get in touch with me if he were so inclined. Anyhow, if you know him or see him, tell him it’s been ten years and that we’re due to communicate again. He’d be 34 or 35 now, and he might be in LA, Greensboro, or just about anyplace in between…

Just think: all this because Mark (the boyfriend, not the long-lost friend) and I both happened to have watched Fried Green Tomatoes yesterday and it got me thinking about who I saw it with the first time…

May – planned essay, never posted:

A lot of people lately have suggested that it’s interesting watching how my opinion on relationships has “changed” in the past few months (and particularly since I posted this). Which is a little odd, since my viewpoint hasn’t really changed at all…

Many people have somehow gotten the idea that I think (or thought) that all romantic relationships are bad. Nothing, of course, could be less true. I’ve never thought nor said this. My problem is more with the fact that so many people enter into relationships for the wrong reasons and with some really unrealistic expectations…

Too many people spend their entire lives looking for (dramatic drum roll, please) “relationships” rather than seeking out interesting PEOPLE with whom to have them. Maybe it’s because it’s largely expected that individuals should be paired off in order to be completely (and appropriately) happy. It worries me that so many people run about in some futile search for a “life partner” or whatever, and doing so primarily because they’re “supposed to” or because “that’s what people do”…

My other big issue is with the contingent who somehow believes that being in a relationship is some sort of cure-all which fixes anything that might be wrong with someone as an individual. This is utter bullshit. Finding a partner is not going to make a weak individual magically become strong, nor will it add any personality trait to someone in whom that trait is not already present. If someone is so uncomfortable with his own company that he seeks a partner merely to avoid being alone with himself, the relationship is doomed. And the whole thing will probably turn out pretty ugly too…

If your “completeness” as a human being is contingent on the presence of another person, frankly, there’s just something wrong with you. And no relationship is going to change that fact. It may even make things worse…

While I may have numerous character flaws (please refrain from pointing them out at this time, thanks), I think I’m relatively “complete”. The fact that I may be quite seriously involved neither negates my flaws nor creates my strengths. That’s not to say that my life has not been significantly enhanced since meeting Mark, nor that we don’t complement each other. But if I’d been looking for a “relationship” to “make my life complete” (as opposed to having met an individual whose company I enjoyed), this whole thing would have been over and done with months ago, and I’d still be looking…

In vain…

May: never posted:

I’d like to think this letter to the editor in today’s Chronicle was written with ironic intent, but I fear it wasn’t:

Whenever I hear someone use a word that ends in “ist”– as in terrorist — I mentally replace that word with “fellow human being.” When I hear a word ending with “ism” I replace it with “fellow human beings.”

Terrorists are fellow human beings. The war on terrorism is a war on fellow human beings. This works well with other “isms.” People who we label as racist or fascist are also fellow human beings, and we were all created equal with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

He forgot rapists, arsonists, and (to coin a phrase) murderists…

June – never posted:

Unrelated: since childhood obesity is America’s trendy national heath problem of the week, does every TV station in America now have one cameraman whose sole job is to go out and shoot footage of any fat kids he might see? Particularly if they’re in the middle of eating? I’m not one of those “we must protect the self-esteem of our children at all costs” freaks, but this trend does seem a little bit rude. It’s sort of a shitty thing to do to a kid…

June – posted in altered form:

A thought for the weekend:

“I pledge allegiance to the rainbow flag of the San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Questioning, and Related Adjectives Movement, and to the groupthink for which it stands: one culture, intolerant of individuality, with dissent and independent thought for none.”

August – posted in severely trucated form:

If Tuesday is a reliable predictor, this is not shaping up to be one of my all-time favorite weeks…

Sorry if I’m being cryptic, but I’m a bundle of nerves right now. It’s not really about the big upcoming changes in my life. I’m about as certain as I could be that I’m making the right decision on that, although I’d be lying if I said there weren’t a little stress associated with it, as there is with any major life change. All in all, though, this stress has been pretty minimal…

At the same time, though, I’m examining all the other little nagging aspects of my life, from my pile of debt to my lack of a real career focus to my eating habits to my overall health, and I’m feeling stressed because I can’t remedy a lifetime’s worth of questionable choices overnight. It takes time, and it also takes more of an attention span than I seem to be able to muster…

It’s a semiannual thing with me, but maybe I’m just noticing it more this time around because I’m about to be sharing my life with someone else for the first time, and because I’m scared of causing any problems for someone who’s done a considerably better job of managing his than I have of managing mine. While I have no hesitation about the decision, I’m a little preoccupied with the results of the self-analysis which has inevitably accompanied it…

So to my friends: if I seem distant and lacking in anything but the most superficial communication skills lately, it’s because I’m somewhat preoccupied, and because — to be brutally honest –I don’t much feel like talking about it one on one right now. But I’m also having hard time making myself talk about much else. So I’m avoiding doing much talking at all, at least of the interactive variety…

It’ll get better soon, but for the next few weeks, I’m going to concentrate on myself and on ironing out all the little things which keep me from concentrating on the other, more important things like assembling a home with the one I love, staying in touch with friends, etc. The unanswered pile of email will probably stay relatively unanswered for a time, although I’ll keep the website updated and, of course, I’ll respond to anything urgent.

But I most likely won’t be terribly chatty for a few more weeks, unless it’s here. And I must admit that I’m not going to feel terribly guilty about it either. I hope…

October – planned essay, never finished, never posted:

Question posed via email today, which is valid and bears answering, I guess, particularly since I’ve not had much else to say for the past few weeks:

“So are you all monogamous now or what? It seems like kind of a drastic change of pace for you, and I was just wondering.”

Hmmm. Actually, it’s not such a drastic change of pace considering the fact that I got really bored with looking for sex over the past few years, and wasn’t doing much of it even before I met Mark, but it’s a valid question all the same, given my, ummm, adventurous past…

I’ll start by stating that I really don’t like the term “monogamy” and all its assorted vocabulary, such as “cheating” and “infidelity”. The whole verbiage grates on my nerves a bit; the only “cheating” occurs when one is dishonest or behaving in a manner which is detrimental to the health (mental or otherwise) of one’s partner. And “infidelity” is actually synonymous with “lack of truth”. It’s the sneaking around which causes the problems; yes, my ego might be a little bruised at the beginning, but I’d ultimately feel much worse if I thought my partner didn’t feel comfortable enough in our relationship to be honest with me…

That said, I will admit to the viewing audience that I have only been with (in the euphemistic sense) one person in the past year. Not because it was expected nor because I’ve felt I had to, but because that’s all I’ve really wanted for the past year and I’ve been quite satisfied with this state of affairs beacuse anyone else would pale in comparison, dammit…

That’s not to say that the situation won’t ever change. I’m the first to admit that if some completely hot boy who jiggled all my fetishes and fantasies were to ring my doorbell, drop to his knees and start giving me head, I’d be hard pressed to tell him to stop. That’s called “human nature” and efforts to negate its influence almost universally lead to failure and frustration. However, I’m not actively seeking that out right now. If it happens, it happens, but I’m not inclined to expend any more effort than answering the doorbell (in other words, no effort at all) in the process. It’s just not high on my list of priorities, and there are other things I’d rather be doing…

By analogy, I use Lever 2000 in the shower. If I were confronted with a situation in which some other suitable soap were available and I wanted a bath, I’d most likely use the other soap. That doesn’t mean, though, that I’m running off to Target browsing the soap aisle looking for all the hot new product. If something jumps out at me (like a sale on soap which comes with an Elmo-shaped dispenser), I’d consider purchasing it. But Lever 2000 is my favorite, I’m happy with it, it’s what I want, and I’m not going out of my way to find other soaps to use…

Did that make any sense at all? If so, I’ll try to deal with this other, more baffling email query (submitted at Groceteria) tomorrow: “I need babie clothes and stuff for a 18 month and 4 month”…

November – planned essay, never finshed, never posted:

I read the newspaper almost every day. And I always read the letters to the editor, usually just for a chuckle. While I occasionally find a fairly interesting observation or even a witty barb, I usually find lots of tidbits from people who couldn’t argue their way out of a paper bag.The writers seem to fall into a few broad categories, year in and year out:

Most common is the angry white guy from (insert suburb here) who’s convinced that the paper is way too liberal for its own good. This guy is invariably convinced that some liberal conspiracy is keeping him from reading the news the way he wants to read it. The biggest problem, of course, is that he never states any position or viewpoint on any specific issue other than some generalized complaint about how liberal the paper is and how he can barely stand to read it anymore. Somehow, though, he summons up the stamina not only to continue reading the paper, but to write the same damned letter every year.

Code words and jargon can render a letter completely unworthy of serious consideration. When a writer refers to a trailer park as an “alternative co-housing community experiment”, or to such claptrap as “the gay agenda” or “the dominant paradigm”, I know that no new ground will be covered and no original thought will be expressed. And if any writer refers to himself either as a “progressive” or a “Christian patriot”, I’m convinced from the start that this basically means that he’s a parrot, incapable of thinking for himself.

Also popular, especially in San Francisco, is the smug nonsequitur. You know: the people who ask stupid rhetorical questions like “if we can send a man to the moon, why can’t we cure the common cold?” as if the two concepts had anything whatsoever to do with each other. These folks also tend to be prone toward the use of clichés as well. While they seem quite amused by their wit, most intelligent readers are just plain baffled and haven’t the vaguest idea what they’re talking about.

Then there are the quotation mark freaks, the ones who are trying to be “ironic” and “humorous”, but end up with a “letter” which is both “silly” and “cluttered”. Another favorite is letters including the phrase “I know you won’t print this.” My gut feeling is that all of these letters, no matter how insipid, see print.

And by the way, Mark‘s and my first tandem Thanksgiving gathering was quitre wonderful, thanks. Maybe pictures later…

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