I’m so queer that…

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.

Five months in…

Two more months of working from home and things are pretty much the same, except that I’ve actually restored my sanity by taking a couple of very no-contact and socially distant trips.

More random thoughts:

  • I was worried that distractions would be a problem while working from home. That really hasn’t happened. I stay pretty laser-focused on work for eight or more hours a day. I don’t really even do any random web surfing (abandoning a couple of social media platforms has helped in that regard) and I don’t take Perry Mason breaks. I’ve gotten much more done than I probably would have in my office since March.
  • Managing during remote work is just like managing onsite. Your good people do good work and don’t need prodding. Your less good people remain problematic, but they can’t see you scowling and gritting your teeth.
  • I’ve hit a schedule groove: Coffee and breakfast with a hour of work, and then I shower and dress before going back to work for the rest of the day. Lunch at 1.
  • I actually go into the office forĀ  a few hours every two weeks or so to take care of some things that have to be done in person, to stage things for my staff to work on from home, and to remind myself that I do work for an organization with a physical presence.
  • As that physical presence is in fact a university library, I’m glad I work in a nice, locked IT department where no students can ever intrude or exhale.
  • I’m also glad that I still have a job at all, especially one that I can just as successfully (and in some cases more successfully) do from home.
  • The pimento cheese fascination wore off, but not the grilled pepper jack thing. I’m snacking less (thank the Great Pumpkin for that) but also doing less takeout (which may not be a good thing).

I’m curious about others. Are any of the three of you who still read this working from home? How’s it going for you?

Two turntables and…

Thirty-eight years ago tonight: my first airshift on @WUAG was heard by maybe six people, starting as it did after a baseball game that ran way overtime. HIghlights included “Mesopotamia” by the B-52s, “From the Air” by Laurie Anderson, and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” by the Beatles.

I was all of 17 years old.

The number one record in the county that week was “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor. I sometimes feel like my whole adult life has been a reaction to that unfortunate fact.

Getting rid of business

The Triad is finally eliminating all its stupid green-signed “business” interstate highway routes, and idiocy like this will soon be a thing of the past:

These business loops may serve a useful purpose in some areas, where they designate a surface route leading back to the freeway that travelers can use for local services.

That’s not what they were used for here, however. They mainly served as a way to keep something that looked a little like an internet shield on decommissioned routes. In one particularly aggravating case, I-40 also served as Business I-85 for several miles. Apparently the road was good enough to be the primary route of one highway but not the other. The end result has been baffling signage that is getting even more baffling with all the three-digit loops and spurs (I-285, I-785, I-840, and soon I-274) that are sprouting in the area.

Things like this irritate me, and all of us who study highways and expect a little logic in our signage.

Now Business I-40/US 421 will just be US 421. Business I-85/US 29/US 70 will just be US 29. And I-40/Business I-85/US 29/US 70/US 421 will still be a clusterfuck, but slightly less of one.

This will be at least a little better, won’t it?

 

Three months in

Today marks three months that I’ve been working remotely in pandemic mode. It’s probably about the same duration for others who are fortunate enough to have this option, give or take a week or two. It’s all very surreal, made even more so by the fact that there is no definite timeline for when I’ll actually return to work onsite. I have the option to do so now, but we’re being encouraged not to if working from home is still a viable option, and it pretty much is for my department and for the unit I manage right now.

Random thoughts from Stately Otherstream Manor:

  • I watch The National every night on YouTube. I find Justin Trudeau’s hair much less disturbing than Donald Trump’s, even though Justin’s got a little too fluffy for comfort before he finally cut it this week. I’m glad Adrienne Arsenault is now much warmer in her outdoor “physical distancing” co-anchor space.
  • I’ve gotten really into pimento cheese again, not mention grilled cheese sandwiches made with pepper jack.
  • Switching back and forth between my Windows computer at work (via remote desktop) and my Mac at home seems much less odd than it did at first, but when I’m using SSH to my Linux server via the Windows machine and thus have three different OS platforms rolling at once, it still impresses me sometimes.
  • It’s a little embarrassing when I forget to log off the work VPN before accessing sites I shouldn’t.
  • It’s nice having some good takeout restaurants and an Aldi within walking distance. I wish I were actually walking to them more often.
  • While I do miss many of my coworkers, I do not miss in-person meetings and constant interruptions.
  • Teaching a class with a beer in your hand is probably not appropriate. (I don’t really drink much anyway and I’ve actually been doing even less of it since March.)
  • My social life is not appreciably different during a pandemic “lockdown”, and I’m OK with that.
  • I’m not watching Perry Mason nearly as much as I thought I would.
  • I am actually starting to make some progress on the book I’m co-authoring. Finally.
  • If I don’t spend a night outside this town soon, I will surely go out of my mind.