1996. Damn, was I ever really that young?
I thought about letting this post be my farewell to a site that’s long past its “sell by” date. My web presence is officially old enough to have graduated from college and to have lived on its own for a few years. I should probably think about turning its bedroom into a den or a library or a dungeon or something. Otherstream (or its predecessor) has outlasted six cars (sort of), five computers, four addresses, three area codes, two years in grad school, and one husband. All the other blogger kids stopped doing this years ago. And honestly, I mostly stopped doing it years ago as well.
In the past 25 years, I’ve gone from being an underemployed retail manager in San Francisco to a tenured university faculty member and librarian in North Carolina. I’ve successfully negotiated two major medical crises and many major financial crises. How we’ll I’ve navigated the several personal crises depends on your perspective. My hobby is travel now rather than sex. I spend my money on books rather than beer. I like to think I’ve becoming a more interesting and pleasant person to be around even though I was becoming much less social even before it was mandated by the current public health environment.
Most of my creative energy now goes into work and into Groceteria.com, though you can still find my random personal and pop culture sharing on Twitter. I’ve made lots of really good friends here, some of whom are even still around. Thanks!
Anyway, I’m not committing to updating in the future. But I’m also not committing to not updating in the future. I no longer have several hundred people checking in every day like I once did, so I imagine there will not be much anguish and distress either way. It’s pretty much just down to what I care about at this point. And I’m now old enough that I don’t stress over things nearly as much as I used to.
I did the big nostalgia thing five years ago. But I should probably do something to celebrate this time too, right? After all, it is still McRib season…
So today marks nine months that I’ve been working from home. It’s probably about the same for some others out there as well. That third week in march is when (some of) the country really started shutting down. I didn’t think I’d still be doing these quarterly “work from home” selfies for so long. Now I’d say there’s a pretty fair chance there will at least be a March 2021 edition as well. It no longer feels odd, and that worries me.
I’ve created something pretty cool over these nine months (hint: it’s not a child)but I can’t share it just yet. Soon…
So for Thanksgiving (U.S., observed), I:
- Tried unsuccessfully to sleep late.
- Texted greetings to several friends.
- Finally ponied up for a full paid subscription to Newspapers.com since there’s a sale and it will have tremendous benefit to my research (and it’s cheaper and more useful than Hulu or Netflix).
- Made disparaging comments about Lutheran sushi egged on by Andrew Turnbull.
- Went for a drive downtown and in the surrounding area and took pictures.
- Spent some quality time with Perry Mason (on DVD rather than on the aforementioned Hulu or Netflix).
- Did a load of laundry.
- Killed off some leftovers.
- Tugged the turkey for a bit (inside joke).
- Did not resent for a single moment the fact that lining up to get into Walmart later tonight would not be an option.
- Considered (and then thought better of) trying to fix my bathroom sink.
It was actually just the day I needed.
Ten years ago this month, it felt like my life was falling apart.
I had sex for the first time on National Coming Out Day.
Actually, it was 11 October 1980, and there wasn’t really a National Coming Out Day yet; that didn’t happen until 1988.
But it was good enough for me, anyway.
I was 16. My parents were doing something that night and I had the night off from McDonald’s, so I drove up High Point Road to the neighborhood dirty bookstore. Somehow, without being told, I instinctively knew that was a place where things might happen. Maybe it’s because the place was called “Dudes.” Once illegally inside, I browsed the literature that was on display, much of it more photographic than textual. And older guy (he must have been thirty) approached me and somehow coaxed me into one of the video (actually 8mm film, I think) viewing rooms in the back. Things happened. Surprisingly many things. I was not as shy as I might have expected.
It was not really all that enjoyable. I wasn’t really excited by the guy. I was just excited by the fact that it was finally happening. There was a certain inevitability about it; it was something that just needed to happen with whomever happened to be handy. I have no idea what the guy’s name was. I didn’t really care all that much. I still don’t. To be brutally honest, I just sort of needed to get it over with so I could (a) know for sure it was what I was supposed to be doing, and (b) start focusing on doing it right with people I was actually attracted to.
I may have done it at that bookstore one more time, but I quickly graduated to the tearoom scene, because the mall was ultimately a safer place for a high school kid (especially one with a fairly recognizable car) to hang out than the dirty bookstore. I had fun with it. I regret nothing.
As an adult, though, despite the fact that I had sex in some fairly lurid and semi-public places, I never really did the bookstore scene again. It always kind of gave me the willies.
My first time was a checkbox on a list, not a romantic scene from a movie. And I’m really OK with that. I think the number people who hear angels playing harps or whatever the first time they have sex is probably not very great.
And just to complete this romantic story, Dude’s Adult Books became a sketchy used tire store several years ago.