arrived smelling like a cheap whore.
Or some gramma with a sinus condition and no sense of liquid proportions. I can’t tell which.
Who knew that reading about war could be so.. so floral?
I am suffering a nasty nasty tenacious cold.
It was a gift from a friend. How thoughtful.
And I didn’t see it coming. I didn’t know at the time. I wasn’t told. My friend never disclosed a thing before we shared a pipe. Nothing. Not a word.
Yet? Shortly after the visit?
It hit me HARD. I started experiencing acute onset of cold symptoms. Chills. Runny nose. Sore throat. Sneezing. Fun.
So? Embarrassed — and realizing the precariousness of the situation — I wrote a highly apologetic note saying, essentially, "I am SO sorry. I had no idea that I was coming down with something. Please watch out for symptoms and try to take health boosting action if possible." I was trying to be courteous. I was trying to watch out for my friend’s well-being. I was trying to protect them.
And the note that I got back in return said, in effect, "Oh, not to worry. I’ve been fighting off three or four colds over the last two weeks."
I could’ve killed.
I could’ve smacked ‘em.
I could’ve backhanded ‘em with a sock full of pig manure.
I just do not get these people. I do not get this kind of behavior AT ALL.
What lack of consciousness!
A person KNOWS they’ve been fighting something off for an extended period of time— then goes ahead & SHARES their contagion?
A while back, another friend wanted to hang out after disclosing that they had a highly-highly-contagious condition — then seemed offput when I suggested, "No, why don’t we wait until you’re better." Another friend of mine (who is sick nearly 24/7) every couple of months or so routinely approaches me with a container of food they’ve been eating (WHILE SICK) — removes the spoon! — and says to me: "Here. Take this," she says, "I can’t eat it all." — as if that macaroni salad they’ve been forking into their salivating pie hole suddenly became “health food” to me. Don’t do me any favors.
I don’t get these people.
Now… Okay. The old woman I see wiping her nose with her hand, then grasping the store’s door handle doesn’t know me. And? The persons I see on train who sneeze repeatedly onto the rest of us (without the courtesy of covering their mouth) don’t know that I have an acquired immune deficiency condition.
But my friends do.
Why would you endanger a friend?
Where is their sense of public health? Honestly.
Have SOME awareness. People with actively contagious conditions should NOT be engaging any more people than absolutely necessary.
And GO WASH YOUR HANDS!!!
I worked for many years with elementary school age children, and I came to know (very quickly) the high contagion risk of being around kids. Kids are walking germ farms. I love ‘em, but they are. And? Kids LOVE to share. "Thanks, Billy." But? They’re kids. Kids have limited consciousness of microbe transmission. Unless they are taught by adults, that is. I was sick nearly constantly when I worked with preschoolers. Seriously. And for many years I used to work with the public in a job handling lots of money. Cash is another transmitter of illness-causing contagion, so we were taught to wash our hands whenever we got off cash register duty. If you didn’t, you got sick. One had to use a lot of hand sanitizer in that job. And it kept us healthy.
But that’s all about dealing with the public.
I’m just aghast when it’s my FRIENDS who cause me illness.
I’ve been sick with this for a week now. Bad sick. My nose is the color & size of a radish. I can’t sleep because I keep “draining” every time I lay my head against a pillow. And I keep reminding myself now that I should’ve bought stock in Kleenex.
I’m coughing. I’m sneezing. I’m sore, aching & in discomfort.
And I have a friend to thank. Gee.
I never used to be a germophobe. But, then again, until I was raped, I didn’t used to have AIDS. I am concerned now because I have to be.
I pick up colds & other ailments now FASTER than I used to — and when I do catch something, it lasts longer. That is what “AIDS” is.
And I should not have to explain that to people anymore.
I especially should not have to explain that to people close to me.
If you’re fighting off something? STAY THE FUCK HOME WHEN YOU’RE SICK. WE’LL TALK OVER THE PHONE! Honest: NOT a problem.
How hard is that.
Not a happy camper.
I’m not a big fan, I confess. I probably didn’t even belong here in the first place.
I am so bored with the internet.
But periodically I’ll check in with a website called “DaddyHunt”. It is a sex/cruising/dating site for Gay men. For older Gay men.
Apparently Gay men actually DO age.
And, apparently, I’m an “older man” now. [AHEM]
Very few of the men pictured there turn me on in the slightest. Not feelin’ it. Not my type. Oh, I’m all for looking at guys who’re into butch drag. Which. Well. Is what it is, let’s be honest. But I just never got the “bear” thing. Does not do a THING for me. At all. Total wet noodle fest. And are there “bears” on that site? Well… I’d ask if a bear shits in the woods. But, quite honestly, I’m afraid one of ‘em would tell me.
Or send me JPEGS.
But I’ve got some friends on there. I’m there mainly for conversation. I do like a nice bit of dialogue. And, yes, it IS nice to be able to have an ADULT conversation with friends from time to time. No kids looking on. No disapproving women tut-tut-tutting. Can’t fuckin’ do THAT on “Facebook”.
So yeah… It IS a site “for older Gay men”. And their admirers.
Sometimes these “admirers” are really cute. Sometimes the “admirers” can be rather fetching. But with 50 “older Gay men” to every 1 “admirer”? Well… The odds aren’t good for even having a meaningful casual conversation.
But the “admirers” aren’t hunting for the likes of me anyway. They’re out hunting for A-List “bears”. They’re hunting for the muscled “gym-toned” UB2 men who have high incomes, own their own homes in the city, drive a nice car, are well traveled, and can whip up a killer quiche on a moment’s notice.
I’m lucky if there’s a can of Campbell’s soup in the cupboard.
So I really don’t fit in at that site at all.
Honestly, there is SO much raw male testosterone oozing out of that website that visiting it practically induces involuntary trips to the hardware store.
And how many allen wrench sets do I actually need?
Even all the blinking banner ads pitching every possible sexual purchase known to humankind are out of my price-range. Even the ads have more testosterone than I do.
Which is why I found it so funny the other day when I went to check a message that a friend had sent me and there was this GINORMOUS across-the-top advertisement for LIZA MINELLI!!!
Never could stand that bitch.
And JEST when you think you’ve got it figured out — it throws you a curve ball.
Or a potted cactus plant.
Sometimes it throws the potted cactus plant AT you, which is never quite as pleasant. In fact, sometimes Life it is throwing many of the cactus plant. Fastball cactii. Many in a row. BLLAT! BLLAT! BLLAT! BLLAT! BLLAT!
Those are the sorts of time that Life… It is not so funny.
Unless you are really super fond of the cactus plant.
In which case maybe now you like that you’ve got all the beautiful potted cactus plants that Life it has been throwing you. So now you have the beautiful garden. So now you can open up that little cantina, throw some tortillas on the parilla… Put out a big jar of orchata for the kids… Margueritas for the gramma… Cervezas for the home boys…
And now, you see? Now you got a party…
Life. It is funny.
Awww… Boo-hoo-hoo. Po’ widdle Washington. Dey have a widdle 5.8 earthquake, and they evacuate the whole frickin’ Pentagon.
WELCOME TO THE WEST COAST WORLD, BABY.
We do 5.8’s in our sleep out here. Hardly even worth noticing. I mean… You almost don’t even look up from your granola til you’re talkin’ like, what… maybe 6.5… 6.7…
Out here? We can do a 5.8 walking backwards — in high-heels — carrying three trays of filled water glasses and not drop a spot.
5.8… Gimme a break. Delicate East Coast pantywaists…
"Mohamar"? "Muammar"? "Khadafy"? "Gaddafi"? He won’t tell me how to spell his name correctly, so I’ve taken to calling him "Chuck".
Got Chuck chucked up back up in what used to be the coal bin… Behind the bread-&-butter pickles I put up last year and the boxes that old all my old 8-track tapes.
He showed up on my doorstep last night lookin’ all wrong… I mean… What was I gonna do. Cats… Homeless women… Jehovah’s Witnesses… Lost relatives… Friends that run outta pot… They all just show up on my doorstep. It’s the curse of being a saint, it really is.
So, yeah, I had to take him in. San Francisco IS, after all, a “Sanctuary City”.
I took him down some chicken soup & a blanket last night after he’d settled into the coal bin. He didn’t want to eat the chicken soup. Said he couldn’t eat anything without his “taster”. The man was thin as a rail. Probably hadn’t eaten in days. (And you know what kind of meals they serve on SouthWest.) So I told him that Condi Rice had just been up to my house last night from Stanford — and he ate the whole bowl of chicken soup lickety-split.
Speaking of lickety-split…
If I hafta listen to Chuck describe his Condi lickety-split fantasies one more time, I’m gonna upchuck on Chuck post-haste. And then I’ll have to dump his ass over in the Haight. Let ‘im hafta deal with the street punks over there — THAT’ll clean up his act.
If anyone has some weapons of mass destruction? Chuck keeps asking for ‘em. I told him that I’ve got a ginzo knife upstairs, but that’s about as “weapony” as I get.
I also told him to keep the hell outta my bread-&-butter pickles.
If anybody feels like keeping an ego-maniacal ex-dictator for a few days, though, let me know. He’s making my cat a little nervous.
One of the drawbacks of doing academic theater is that — in addition to being a training ground — it is essentially a form of vanity theater. Its publish, at core, is essentially a form of self promotion; and the audiences such theater generates are in large part a good deal dependent upon the goodwill of all the various intersecting personal social support networks each participant in such theater brings to the table. Academic theater isn’t generally a well-advertised event.
Last night — at the “TEN MINUTES TO CURTAIN. TEN MINUTES TO CURTAIN!” call — we had one (1) person sitting in the audience.
At “FIVE MINUTES TO CURTAIN! FIVE MINUTES TO CURTAIN!!” — we had three (3) people sitting in the audience, one of whom was the music director’s wife. (Lovely lady.)
A shockwave of backstage energy pulsed. And so forth…
Stage manager calls a five-minute curtain delay. And so forth… All of it quite standard.
CUE: OVERTURE. ENTER “THE MUTE”.
APPLAUSE! Cabaret audience of about 25 people. (Most of them 18-to-20.) Great crowd. Very responsive. VERY responsive. Act One? You could HEAR the script SPARKLE!!!
The play was IN THE AUDIENCE (not in the actors onstage). [Not until Act Two, that is…]
Of course, of course… THE MIME in this MUSICAL got the most uproarious applause that night.
How’s THAT for Irony, eh?
It’s now exactly two weeks until I hit Ohio. I love Ohio. But it’s been a long long time since I’ve spent any time there in late November. You really get to see the place in its bare roots & mud.
I love Ohio. Going to Ohio is like time-travel.
Going to Ohio is like time-travel in one sense because of its past. Ohio is rich in history. Ohio is rich in pre-history.
Ohio is rich in history because the territory was once a powerhouse in late 19th-Century & early 20th-Century politics. It was the California of its day. Eight (8) U.S. Presidents came from Ohio. Ohio was an Industrial Age mecca (and many of the relics still persist). And Ohio has long been central in eastern continental trade routes — even long before "America" ever came to exist.
Ohio is also therefore rich in PRE-history, if you get to know it. Most records were intentionally obliterated by the European migration into the rich land of Ohio; the European slaughter & usurping of human beings already living there upon Western “discovery” is, unfortunately, one of the poorest documented genocides from early American history. And yet human habitation in that part of the world goes back 10,000 years or more. Millions of people lived there before the Europeans ever came warring. Unfortunately, the new “settlers” created a mythology of tabula rasa, “a blank slate”, which erased most of what had come before them the previous 10,000+ years. So?Ohio is now a place of new discovery (or re-discovery). There is much archeology being done, and many archeological sites to visit. Growing up, I always wanted to be an archeologist. Archeology has always been a passion.
But Ohio is also like time-travel (to me at least) in a different sense. It is like social time-travel. Coming from the coasts, going back to Ohio is like social time travel. Going to Ohio is like going back in time, it really is. And it appears to have been like that for a long long while. After all… Our great American humorist, Mark Twain, famously remarked, "When the end of the world comes, I want to be in Cincinnati because it’s always twenty years behind the times."
And, yes, coming from the coast, yes, Ohio DOES feel that way. At times.
Now, I’m not necessarily sure that I’m all that hopped about going back to re-visit 1991. 1991 wasn’t all that great a time in my life. It was, in fact, among a set of difficult & lonely trying years.
But I am hoping that all the mud & bare tree forests of Ohio at that time of year, late November, will have the bracing, tonifying effect I envision. We are, after all, going back for the harvest festival.
So, yes, I am thankful.
But I also no longer know how to pack for Winter travel…
But I think they put sandpaper in there by mistake.
I don’t know how it is that a paper manufacturer can get that many splinters into one roll of “bathroom tissue”.
And it’s all bleached so hygienically white.
Bleached to the color of “purity”, yet the experience is pure hell.
It’s the sort of toilet tissue that Hitler might’ve designed. “Here. Give THIS to the gypsies. It will make them dance.”
One of the things I fear most in the coming collapse of our cheap petroleum world is lack of access to comfortable toilet tissue.
For, when it comes right down to it, the one thing you really don’t want to mess around with in life is “The End”.
My neighbors & I — because I have a 100-year-old acoustic piano that I can’t keep my hot little hands off of — have a mutual agreement that weekend mornings before Noon will be commonly held as community quiet time. Not all of us rise at the same hour.
At the same time, the Chinese nationals re-constructing the old auto mechanics garage into a massive multi-unit rental property just across the way from our bedroom windows here have no such “morning quiet time” agreement.
So Saturday morning when I flung open the front door and stepped out onto a gorgeously warm patio — it’s been dry, warm upper-60s all Winter here in the Bay Area — imagine my surprise to have been greeted with music.
"The Sound of Music", to be specific.
Only this wasn’t your usual "Sound of Music".