Tick-tock, good old Xtopher…it’s been a minute since your lazy ass posted anything.
And those bitter and twisted voices in my head ain’t wrong. I’m just not feeling it. My days, Mondays or not, aren’t manic as a certain song might have us believe. This is just more of that ennui that I know and tolerate so well. Well, on the fancy side. On the less fancy side, this is more likely plain old apathy.
Oh, the glamour!
So I thought I’d take a break from my extended existential dread-slash-slomo-breakdown and at least let anyone who cares know that I’m alive. For anyone disappointed in that disclosure, here’s what I can muster content-wise: a joke that’ll make you want to kill me. I told it to my parents today at breakfast and they lolled. Maybe it was more of a good natured groan…
A kid is visiting his grandad for dinner while his parents have a <giggity> date night. His grandad tells him to set the table, and as he does he sees that many of the plates and utensils appear to be dirty.
When he points this out to his granddad, he testily replies, “Those plates are as clean as cold water can get them!”
The boy puts his head down and finishes setting the table. However, when grandpa suggests ice cream for dessert, the boy sees the same problem. Pointing it out once again, the grandad yells, “Damnit, cold water only works so well!”
The boy drops it, idly wondering why his grandpa is so averse to using hot water on his dishes.
Soon after dessert, his parents pull up and honk. The boy shakes his grandad’s hand and runs out to the waiting car, inadvertently letting his gramp’s dog out into the yard. As he climbs in the car, he hears his grandad yell behind him, “Goddamnit, Cold Water, you get back in this house!
You. Were. Warned.
Not sure this will be the jumpstart to my creative juices any recreational or occasional readers might like. I have some stories to share. Vacation stuff. Life stuff. Grumpy old man stuff…go figure. It’s just getting out of my own way to tap these things out. Tonight’s effort is brought to you by Vitamin B
My hope really is that I can clear out some cobwebs and manage a slog through NaNoWriMo, which starts in about two weeks. Perhaps there’s a couple posts for you die hard followers between now and then. My mental back burner is going to be occupied deciding whether to continue building on my existing fiction universe, namely No One Of Consequence; tackle a companion to my non-fiction piece, Dating Into Oblivion, that would focus on worker bee life in one’s 50s versus dating; or take on a separate fiction piece I’ve been kicking around that I would publish under a pen name. I’ve had a couple of publishing folks give me their cards during rides after hearing this last idea, so I’m leaning toward that option. However, it seems like building on familiar frameworks might be an easier exit from this creative dormancy.
I gave up on finished my driving “shift” earlier than I anticipated tonight. Usually, when I drive on Friday or Saturday, I’ll do “doubles”, meaning I’ll go out for ten rides early in the day, take a break and then go out for another ten later to get the Party People to the places they need to be. I’d planned to drive a double today, since it’s a holiday weekend and most folks are off tomorrow. But a regular ten usually takes about three to four hours. However, today that ran to five hours and I’m just kind of done. Thankfully, they were long rides, but since I had an idea of how my day would go – drive, home to exercise, second shower, eat and then drive some more – and that went off the rails, I decided to call it at 8 o’clock and catch a beer at my local, since they are closed tomorrow.
I walked in and there were two parties waiting for tables, no surprise. There were five stools at one of the corners of the bar – two on one side and three on the other – so I walked in and casually placed my order before my butt hit the stool.
I’d chosen the stool closest to the walk-through into the bar area, which was on the three stool side. My beer lands in front of me, I grind some salt onto my napkin/coaster to keep it from sticking to my glass as take a therapeutic lil sippy-sip.
Immediately, my bladder whispers “Hey, remember me?”, so I anon to the can to decant.
I return to find one of the waiting couples has wised up and decided to eat at the bar versus waiting for a table to open up.
Geniuses. Genii? I dunno, let’s go with geniuses.
Not so smart, mind you, that they’d each taken a seat on the corner so they can look at each other without craning their necks, as the Silver Fox and I do. Also, not so considerate that they sat on the two-stool side.
Yup…they chose to sit right fucking next to me. Now, because of COVID, they pulled the stools away from mine, so partial credit, but…still! You know what’s further away than pulling your stool away from mine? Sitting at the other two damn barstools!
To make this perfectly horrible, the woman decided on the fish tacos, which I find particularly – and poorly – fragrant. Ugh.
I would like to assert that misophonia is contagious and mine has spread from my ears to my nose. The smell of these fucking tacos makes me mad. I suggested to the owner that he raise the price to steer people toward other menu items. Surprisingly, he didn’t agree with my logic.
Now, for the short observation behind this post.
Have you ever noticed the inverse nature of the relationships people have with their horn and their turn signal?
Seriously, I swear it’s a thing – and this is coming from a native Portlander, a city frequently called out for its bad drivers.
When someone wants to switch lanes, you can count on at least one tire to be in your lane before their turn signal is even activated. They’re changing lanes before signaling their intent…almost as if no one taught them the proper order. Let alone the entire process, teaching them to check their blind spots and then signal their intent before changing lanes.
That’s right, then it’s literally one blink. I liken that to a civilized one-finger salute.
Conversely, let’s say you’re driving along and inadvertently make an error. Not letting someone zipper in on a merge lane, stopping too fast for a pedestrian…whatever, nothing life or death is what I’m saying.
Oooh, let the horn leaning begin!
These people, these fine, upstanding folk that will retroactively inform you of their intent to change lanes will honk like it’s literally a life or death situation.
How can people who are so blithe about their responsibility to others be so egregiously offended when the same happens to them?!?
I ask here, because I assume it’s a safe space. At least a physically safe space. I know the interwebs can be a mentally abusive space.
This, by the way, comes from the guy who was menaced on the freeway today as he watched a motorcycle rider zig-zag in and out of traffic in his rear view mirror for about a half mile. Then he whipped right around me in a matter of seconds. As he passed, I saw his holstered handgun sticking out from under his jacket.
I guess when you drive like a jackass, you need some kind of backup. God bless the Second Amendment…
I don’t want to step on The Rolling Stones’ toes here, but…you can’t always get what you want. And, true, sometimes you only get what you need. Others, maybe you get skunked…call those times character building.
Still other times, maybe you do get what you want.
Can you – at a minimum – just shut up then? Preferably, I’d like to see us comport ourselves with a little more character in those moments than just nothing. However, given the option between “nothing” and “beating a dead horse” – I’ll graciously accept silence.
What’s all this got to do with…anything?
Here’s a case in point for ya.
This bar in SE Portland recently came under fire for cultural appropriation.
Esoteric cultural appropriation, if I can say without being branded a racist or someone hissing about my cis-male whiteness. If not, I guess I’ll have to check into the Whiteness Protection Program, but I doubt I’d make any friends there, so I’m hoping there’s room for my opinion.
Do you know why it’s esoteric? If so, then I would imagine you’re among a very few…or maybe I’m just not that hip hop savvy. Anyway, back in the early days of hip hop, there was a group called NWA.
As the aforementioned cis-male, I can only elucidate you on that acronym by saying it stands for A Particularly Hateful Racial Epithet…With Attitudes.
Got it? Ok. Enough on that.
Since they stopped recording/touring after their 4 years of being a functional group, it seems that group members have gone on to post-NWA projects like starting in long-running police procedural dramas or reviving headphones as a viable personal music delivery platform.
So, they’re doing ok. And the post-NWA careers have been longer and much likely more lucrative for these two members in particular.
Which is why I was so surprised to read about the brouhaha around a tap house called NWIPA – short for NW IPA. The critics took issue with riffing on the group’s name equating to cultural appropriation.
Ok…this seems like a great place for the Brady Bunch “Sure, Jan” gif, but I don’t want to be argumentative. I’m trying to keep things low-key passive-aggressive these days versus overtly confrontational.
The owner of the bar responded to the initial social media complaint…by apologizing and changing the name of his damn bar!
Let’s not even mention that when it comes to Portland beer culture being potentially guilty of cultural appropriation there’s this lil bandit
…that riffs on the movie Straight Outta Compton about the same damn group that the bar was accused of appropriating culture from. What blow back do they get?
The best part is that even after his online apology, connectors were still hounding him on social media about his offense.
People, he apologized and corrected the issue…shut. the. fuck. up.
As far as the whole Straight Outta Compton non-issue goes? All I can offer is that we’re Portlanders, and I can’t say we’re known for any consistency in our collective outrage. Meanwhile, I’m sitting over here being all grumpy that a bar in the SE quadrant of town had the gall to call itself NWIPA.
While all this is unfolding, of course, now-former governor of New York Andrew Cuomo was being investigated by the NY State District Attorney. She finds the allegations levied against him to be credible and both sides of the political spectrum go wild, calling for his resignation. Including our Democrat president, mind you.
So, he does.
Then in an exercise I like to call “Why the hell am I still on the Facebook?”, one of my former work colleagues posts this
Ok, I freely admit that it’s funny and clever. However, I think it’s wildly inappropriate for anyone who voted for Trump twice and/or supports the GOP to post. So, y’know…I said so.
As far as politicians being responsive to their constituency and held accountable for their actions and how they reflect on the office they hold? This guy stood up and took the accountability hit. Just like his fellow Democrat Senator Al Franken before him. Looking at the GOP side of the equation
…let’s just say most of them voted for a guy accused of sexually assaulting dozens of women, paying hush money to an adult film star during his first campaign and saying he’d date his own daughter…twice.
I think we can do without the opportunistic outrage of a Trump supporter on this issue.
Look, when you get what you want, just…show some class. Have a little grace. That’s hardly the time to take a victory lap.
I daresay we might have a little larger population in the center of the American political spectrum if we could just stop beating the horse once it dies.
I know, what a shocker, right? Pretty people being petty or selfish?
You can probably guess my feelings on the influencer phenomenon simply from the title. In case you need more, I actually think they have a potential function in society. Sadly, we seem to lack creative independence in this capitalist country, so when influencers worked in a few niche marketing outings, every corner of industry tried to cram itself into that niche concept.
And it was all downhill from that bastardization. Some, I don’t mind – like ginfluencers, who are generally pretty fun to be around and are simply looking more to monetize fun for all. But then there are the ones I call sinfluencers. These are the folks who have gone the completely opposite direction and are basically monetizing erections.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m fairly certain a barker isn’t getting off the ground in the influencer industry…being pretty is a prerequisite.
But the folks who think being hot translates to perquisite wealth…hold on, I’m looking around for an innocent bystander I can slap therapeutically. Yeah, those people are the sinfluencers.
And it’s just getting more and more democratized. Our culture has gone from the blithely sexist “Anyone can be President” to a close call with that not being the implicitly sexist case anymore to a swerving into a tree example of just how tragically fucking literal that saying was.
But who wants to wait five, six or seven decades to gain that kind of attention influence? Let alone work for it.
Let’s tilt that trope a bit and look at a similar phrase…“In America, you can be anything you want to be”.
Did anyone see the answer to that careening from Doctor, Lawyer or Fireman to porn star?
I sure as hell didn’t – and, like I said…it’s just getting easier and easier to do. In the old days, you had to run into the wrong guy or get caught up with the wrong crowd. Nowadays, you just need a vague tether to a guy named Bezos.
That’s right, anything you need to shoot decent selfie-porn is available on good old Amazon. Camera mount, ring light, maybe some sexy undies or toys.
Oh, and a trash can for your dignity.
Why am I stuck on this?
Well, a couple of reasons.
First, I spared you any of these thoughts during Pride month – because I find this phenomenon to be particularly rampant in the gay community. Or what passes for community these days. Too many people I follow on Social Media have updated their profiles to include links to their OnlyFans or JustForFans – because, of course this is now a competitive industry – and sought to monetize their hookups and masturbatory habits. And when that doesn’t happen…
(Un)Fortunately, these ventures don’t always fail. I think that’s bad for everyone – the sinfluencers, their “fans” and even the public in general, since this changes what people consider appropriate behavior.
Behavioral changes that I’ve witnessed on Social Media range from starting an OnlyFans to raise money for “moving expenses” after a GoFundMe for the same reason fails. The GoFundMe was aiming to raise $6000…to move from one apartment to another in the same damn city!
Then there’s the more toxic behaviors that occur as an after-effect of these endeavors. These Social Media accounts tend to become less about what used to be a cute or entertaining person and more and more a billboard for their sinfluencer persona. They’ll start using their Instagram stories like a Reddit Ask Me Anything, and when someone asks them a racy question, they tell them to subscribe to their OnlyFans.
Well, that’s just frustrating on multiple levels for me, as a former retailer and as a consumer.
Didn’t expect that, did ya?
But, seriously, those are the fronts on which I’m offended. If someone is trying to sell something and a potential customer asks a question, “Buy it and find out” is not the proper answer. Someone who wants you to pay for something you might not like is merely a charlatan who is counting on you being a rube.
This has all been on my mind lately because one of the few sinfluencers that I still follow on Social Media had a pretty sad comeuppance. I like this kid. By all appearances, he’s a sweet kid – turning 30 next week, so not a kid-kid – that I automatically credit as being smarter than me since he’s Polish and speaks his native tongue, English and several other European languages. He seems to be rather accomplished outside his OnlyFans, too. He owns a photography studio in Poland and is apparently quite the photographer in addition to his work in front of the camera. He also publishes a calendar annually that he sells for…I dunno, $20 that you can pay extra to have signed. That, I find industrious. Not so industrious that I buy one, mind you – where would I put a calendar…by my landline? Hehe.
I started following him a few years back when I was writing under my Fitfy theme because he drinks beer and has abs. Plus, he’s charming.
He also fed my withering wanderlust, since he travels rather extensively. I’d put the estimate at 4-6 trips per year. Some, just around Europe, but others are overseas.
You can do that when you have a thousand and change subscribers at $9.99/month!
Well, last week he and his traveling companions came home to their Spanish vacation villa to find all of their possessions stolen.
Nice humblebrag at the end, there. I don’t think I own $50k worth of possessions in total, let alone enough that would fit into suitcases to move from Poland to Spain for a couple weeks.
The real tragedy to me is that this kid literally hasn’t become an adult. Not only has he not had to deal with adversity in life that would afford him the emotional base to handle this type of left field tragedy
He’s also been released into the world without being shown how to budget or manage money. This guy makes over $10k per month off his OnlyFans, not to mention rent income from his photography studio. Who failed him? Parents? School? Gay Kulture?
I’d be a little embarrassed to pull in over $100k a year and have to beg for money to replace stolen property. Then again, maybe that’s just me falling for his charm and assuming he can’t when the reality could be more that he doesn’t want to pay out of his own pocket to have it replaced.
What’s a 29 years and 51 weeks old guy to do in a case like this?
Obviously. And, I guess you better start plugging that calendar…although if all your photos and computers were stolen, it’s gonna be tough to pull that together in the next eight weeks.
Of course! You can’t even afford a new toothbrush…better leave Spain and head to Germany!
Can you tell his charm has started to fade?
Sadly, I think this is becoming an all too dominant trend. Making others accountable for your actions and problems. And they take cash in a variety of forms, just don’t offer advice or ask questions. They don’t need that kind of negativity.
One of the running themes I try to include in my novels is helping others out. Whether it’s direct or emotional assistance, I think that’s important in a society.
Its absence from Gay Kulture is one of my biggest pet peeves about my community. I shorthand that by saying that “there’s no unity in the gay community”.
But that’s another blog.
Last night, I got to see a version of this in play in real life and it made me so happy. And I didn’t even have to leave my block!
I had wandered into the restaurant next door for dinner. I was celebrating completing back-to-back challenge weeks – which equated to two weeks of 135 rides in about 50 hours. For context, a more normal week for me is 40-50 rides in about 20 hours.
Ow, my ass.
I knew from the owner that one of original kitchen staff was returning as of last Friday. I didn’t know that one of the servers was going to be taking over Sunday and Monday bartending duties from the owner starting last night, though.
That was a nice surprise. Apparently, he’d expressed an interest in bartending during his interview and business and timing worked out.
But on top of that, when my friend made it out of the kitchen to say hi, I learned that she’d been hired as a chef and not just as part of the line like she’d been before. She was glowing with pride at that accomplishment.
I left the restaurant with a belly full of good food and drink and a heart full for the professional development this restauranteur has been able to create for two nice humans. So, tonight – to keep up my end of the whole “living in a society” deal – I had to take a moment to pull the owner aside and tell him how satisfying it is to see someone providing true opportunities for people. I think part of my ability to see that comes from the reality that during my retail career, leadership tended to punish people for being effective by not promoting them. Much easier to hire and train one person from the outside versus having two people new to their roles at the same time, right? So selfish.
Funny how I couldn’t sit in my driver’s seat any longer yesterday, but my ass handled a barstool just fine…
Over the past week or infinity, I’ve crossed paths with several *woke* people or groups. People, actually, whose values and politics align with my own.
Strangely, it has not gone well for me. Witness:
Facebook: Minimum Wage
I’m not going to lie, I’m still scared to look at my Facebook notifications for fear of seeing what a woke mob of Portlanders has left there for me. As a matter of fact, since this happened, I’ve likely opened my Facebook app less than a half-dozen times.
My crime? Standing up for a local restaurant chain called McMenamin’s. They had posted an ad for cooks.
Actually, that was the lead comment by a woke Portlander who saw the ad on Craigslist and decided to post it on the DamnPortlanders Facebook page. A page that I’m quitting, if it hasn’t already expelled me.
Let me tell you about McMenamin’s crime before I go into details on my own. They posted this Craigslist ad for cooks: minimum wage (which is currently $13 and change, but moves to $14/hr on July 1st and $14.75 next July 1st) plus tips, medical/dental, 401k, PTO…not bad, in my opinion. Most of my service industry friends have no insurance since they are usually consigned to part-time positions. And 401k? Forget about it.
This woke Portlander was offended that a company would offer a minimum wage job in today’s job market, particularly in Portland.
My crime? I simply pointed out that Portland’s minimum wage is nearly double the federal minimum wage and that maybe there were other levers to pull to ensure Portland remains a livable city for our service industry workers – particularly since it’s such a big part of our culture. I may have also mentioned that attacking our own liberal policies made us look a bit schizophrenic.
Remember our unofficial town motto: Portland, where young people go to retire.
Anyway, I wasn’t expecting gratitude from my comment. I just wanted to throw a little voice of (t)reason into the dialogue. I’ll tell you what I wasn’t expecting…attitude.
I’m not even kidding. Given where the comment melee ended up, it actually started in a benign – if only by comparison – place. The OP claimed she worked on the minimum wage campaign five years ago and that it was out of date already. Without citing context, of course. She said that $15 should be the minimum.
I reminded her that $14.75 and $15 are pretty damn close, wondering if she was really upset about what amounted to $10/week. I also pointed out that she shouldn’t be upset by employers offering the minimum allowable wage – they were meeting the state’s baseline requirement of employers.
Her counteroffer was that the minimum should be $22/hr, $26 if you work downtown.
Ok, merely moments before, she’d declared that $15 should be the minimum. Now she’s saying $22 should be the minimum – do you feel like I was necessary in this debate? She seemed to be negotiating against herself just fine.
The split minimum wage is nothing new to Oregon. We created a three tiered minimum wage when we voted on it back in 2015.
There’s also a Rural tier that’s not pictured. The interesting thing from this last round of increases is the unexpected fallout: job loss. We’re famously one of the few states where you aren’t allowed to pump your own gas – we’re job creators like that. However, after the minimum wage hike, rural communities were allowed to eliminate those jobs and customers pump themselves there.
Basically, in small towns where there are fewer jobs, we managed to make things worse under the auspices of making them better. Now, don’t get me wrong…I’m all for a livable minimum wage. I’m also all for friggin’ oil and gas companies not getting away with crap like that.
I’m also the guy who pulls up to a gas station in Vancouver, Washington – and now Hood River and beyond – and sits in his car waiting for no one to come pump my gas. Basically, I’m a big dummy.
Asked the OP if she really thought the guy that takes my order at my favorite food cart downtown should be making $52k a year, because that’s what full-time work at $26/hr nets out to annually. I also asked if she thought a food cart could sustain that salary level, since I very much doubted that the owners of the cart made that much.
It got crazy from there.
One guy did a lovely math story problem for me involving rent on a one-bedroom at a crazy $1800/month rent, plus medical insurance, utilities, etc minus working full-time at $15/hr. Yes, the result was a negative number.
Also yes, he thinks a minimum wage earner is going to be dumb enough to live in the Pearl. Or alone. He seemed offended by my reply – a story about people having roommates.
Then someone jumped in suggesting a $30/hr minimum wage. Because, of course Portland should be 4x the federal minimum.
Who the fuck are these dumbasses?
I made another attempt at pointing out how taxing companies and the wealthy appropriately versus letting them hide profits and grow wealth through loopholes would help us provide healthcare for all. Oddly, that’s kind of a wash for employers in my mind, since they would have to pay taxes but wouldn’t have to bear the burden of paying for the administration of a healthcare plan. It’s a double win for employees, too. They wouldn’t have to pay a portion of their employer’s healthcare offering, plus the obstacle preventing employers from offering full-time jobs versus part-time jobs would be eliminated. Well, one of the obstacles, I know that some employers still need part-time workers to allow for scheduling flexibility.
Honestly, after that immersion into literal liberal retardation, I wouldn’t be surprised if I didn’t just opt out of the DamnPortlanders group, but go as far as deleting my Facebook profile altogether
Regardless, this is a great example of people not thinking for themselves – or maybe not having the critical thinking skills to extrapolate an action plan that is actually actionable…and solves more problems than it creates.
Last time around, we eliminated a few pump jockey jobs. This time around we’d be eliminating small business if these woke jokers had their way.
But they don’t seem primed to compromise. A behavior that makes me think they might just be happy being unhappy.
I recently shared a post that I came across on the AppleNews feed on my Twitter page. It was an opinion piece by a former member of Congress.
Overall, pretty innocuous re-post. In it, the author lays out a case that I was surprised to find out wasn’t common sense. Then I remembered 70 million Americans who would bristle at the accusation that they possess common sense and were willing to vote to prove it.
Enter the overwoke feminists.
The first comment came in: Can we try that again without the misogyny?
Ok, A) “bitch” is nearly as versatile a word as “fuck”, so if you know me…feel free to assume my intentions. If you don’t, methinks thou art projecting too much. Maybe try seeking first to understand instead of leading with an attack.
And, B) of all the people who need a feminist to have their back…Marjorie Taylor Greene hardly seems high on that list. As a matter of fact, I bet she’d decline any defense of her character and respect-worthiness from a feminist.
But this former follower of mine – a female using a gay pride flag emoji in her Twitter handle – wasn’t going to let anything like non-consensual support stop her. I encouraged her to check her assumptions and maybe try assuming best intentions versus worse, but she wasn’t having that. She even tagged in a friend of hers to join in the attack. I felt like the wounded gazelle to their simultaneous hunter lionesses and scavenger hyenas. As noted above, this woman is blind, but I’d be surprised if perhaps she was only blind to the opinions of others.
Once again: the problem with liberals is that when we have a chance to do something for the greater good, we distract ourselves with infighting versus collaboration. The result is an epic display of ineffectiveness.
TheStreet: Racial Justice
On the anniversary of George Floyd’s murder, there was a vigil-protest here in Portland. Because that’s what you get in a woke city whose unofficial forecast is “Cloudy, with a chance of protests”.
Commemorating nothing, I’d gone out to Kelly’s Olympian for a couple pints of the good stuff after clocking my 10 rides for the day. As I left – crossing 5th & Washington on the diagonal – I heard bucket drums behind me and turned to look once I’d cleared the intersection.
Sure enough, there was a wall of people dressed in black bloc just coming across 4th and up Washington toward me. A little excited to be catching a front row seat at one of my city’s marches in support of social justice, I pulled out my phone to capture a video.
What I hadn’t seen was the marchers’ advance team. Usually a few folks on bikes or motorcycles that ride ahead of the march to stop traffic prior to the marchers’ arrival. Because: safety first! I hadn’t noticed these two because they were on rented e-scooters – which I generally pay as much attention to as a mosquito.
They took issue with me taking a video. More accurately, they deferred authority to a vague “them” figure instead of being adults and just asking me not to film.
That’s not very Darnella Frazier of them.
I’m not someone who can physically defend myself, so I’m not sure why I mouth off as frequently as I do. I am good with words, though…so, maybe I do know why I pop off like I do.
I also bristle easily at intimidation. And these goombahs menacing me without owning it kind of demanded fucking with. I actually posted the video – along with my frustration – to my Instagram. It was there that one of the local protest pages filled me in on a possible rationale for the protesters request to not be filmed: videos could potentially be subpoenaed as evidence or to help identify marchers.
Ok. Sure…it’s a stretch, in my opinion. But I can respect a reasonable request with some context versus a vague threat from a disembodied “them”.
I actually thanked the local page that provided the insight, because I hate not knowing the “why” behind something I’m expected to do. Hate it. As a matter of fact, my complain-asking these types of questions and listening to the rationale behind things like ACAB, Defund/Disband the Police, Trans Rights, TERFs, and countless other movements that initially repelled me due to a too liberal use of hyperbole for my taste has helped me understand the actual meaning behind each group’s messaging.
I guess I have a thirst for knowledge. It’s like a sickness…
My question though: Why can’t the advance team use a specific reason like I was given after the fact while making their request versus just barfing out a “Hey, we don’t care, but they might…” and expecting me to fall in line?
Seems like police level bully behavior to me. “Because I said” is such a winning argument with me.
Instagram: Body Insecurities
There’s a fellow blogger and indie gay writer that I follow(ed) on Instagram as well. He lives in the UK and shared many of my frustrations with The Gays – apparently, we’re a global pandemic with our carelessly selfish behaviors.
But he’s also one of those gays that has self-diagnosed with anxiety and depression. I should have known that many red flags would only lead to bullshit shenanigans.
Last month, he posted a close up of his lower face with only the caption “It’s time to shave”. He sports stubble off and on, so I thought he’d been referring to his body’s follicular pigmentation betrayal.
Ok, so I assumed incorrectly. I suppose that gives him carte blanche to return the favor by incorrectly assuming my own intentions. Where I thought I’d been on his wavelength and sent a cute comment, he’d been referring to gawd knows what else and chose instead to assume I’d been trying to offend him. By the time I came to awoke the next morning, I was blocked and he had apparently deleted the post. As you can see, I originally liked his “post deleted” comment because I thought he’d been responding playfully…then I scrolled to the final message.
It’s not like we were ever going to have an acquaintanceship outside of social media, but I’m still sad about his decisions. But that’s the trouble too often these days – and I refuse to use the term too liberally, so I’ll just let you get there on your own. Perhaps, though, if he didn’t allow himself to react rashly after listening to his more self-sabotaging demons, he wouldn’t be self-diagnosing with anxiety.
What do I know, though? I’ve just been dealing with a bunch of the same crap he whines about regularly for a couple decades longer. Of course, I’m the enemy.
The truly sad news is that I’ve likely forgotten some recent examples. But overall, it seems people are – and I don’t know why this surprises me – just sleepwalking their way through wokeness.
My take? Being woke may as well be broke if you aren’t willing to think critically about the conversations you participate in. If all you’re doing is regurgitating talking points or assuming worst intentions without listening to the other person, you’re not going to help anyone.
More likely, as in my case, you’re likely just going to alienate likeminded folk.
Ok, admittedly, that possibly makes you work to decipher my post’s meaning.
It’s about a Bar Fight that I found myself unable to avoid last week. Don’t worry, though, I’m neither lover nor fighter, so before you worry…it was a non-physical encounter.
But seriously, if this type of scenario is how I finally punch the clock on life, someone needs to write the Redshirt Diaries entry on it, okay?!?
This just happened to occur the night after we emerged from Lockdown 3.0 here in Multnomah county. We came out of it on a Friday, but I did my usual drive time from 8-midnight that night because there’s an 80s music show on my local station that I like to listen to.
Plus, bars on weekends…<shudder>. My saying is “I don’t drink with amateurs”; so weekends, St Patrick’s Day, Cinco…all those big drinking holidays, you can find me comfortably situated on my couch.
For Kelly’s Olympian, though…I ventured out on a Saturday.
Solo, of course. But I was still there showing support for my local favorite. Plus, it was a Saturday in the ghost town that is downtown Portland these days, so I figured it would be pretty empty at 9 PM. I figured I’d go in, have a few beers and do a lil video lottery before the mandated 11 PM closing time.
It started off with the best of intentions. I walk in, chit-chat with the two bartenders after ordering my Pallet Jack until one of the other three customers comes up to order something. I make my way back to the video lottery corner of shame lounge area.
It. Is. Packed.
The six machines have been reconfigured in three back-to-back pods to promote social distancing with one two top bar table positioned by one of the pods. Strictly speaking, it’s not perfectly socially distanced, but it’s not usually heavily populated enough to make it that much of a concern.
Saturday night, I was a little uncomfortable, but less so knowing I was two weeks-plus from my second shot. I took a seat at the only free machine and started spinning, removing my mask only to sip. These minor inconveniences aside, I managed to make a little small talk with the two guys chowing down on bar food while a friend of theirs held court on my preferred machine.
“Held court” was too nice a phrase…he was full on bloviating. I hadn’t gotten a good look at him on my way in, because I know what my eyes can do even while I’m policing them. Adding a mask to that situation makes it worse.
And I hadn’t placed the Foghorn Leghorn quality of his voice yet.
You see…I’d run into this blowhard before. I just hadn’t realized it yet.
The last time – as would turn out to be the case this time – he had brought a co-worker with him. Throughout my stay there, he had pretty much bashed this woman into obliteration over work frustrations and stuff. She was pretty much on the defensive the entire evening, apologizing and trying to placate this fat old white guy. From the sounds of it, he’d brought her in on a project with his company and at best seemed disinclined to let her forget his role in her good fortune. Worst case, it sounded like she was outperforming him in their partnership and that was not something he chose to view as a feather in his cap for choosing such a great business partner.
For my part, I endured his booming drawl, letting him off with a few glares he chose to ignore. I was, however ready to say something if the conversation turned to sexual orientation in any way. Not to profile, but she had a very low maintenance haircut, if you get my drift. They also seemed to be in the construction or related type field.
On Saturday, though, as this blowhard started to alienate the other gamblers, I realized that five of the eight people in the lounge were with him.
Co-workers, once again.
The other two players gave up on peace and left. Apparently, I’m not the only person who doesn’t appreciate this guy using our bar as a WeWork.
Figuring I could manage his company for another hour before closing, I changed machines just to be out of the direct path of his sound waves. He’d already hit the ATM once, so I figured he was on the downhill side of his stay, anyway. I decided on the machine right by the ATM to be as out of his way as possible.
A couple of his captives cohorts went out to smoke and never came back. Another drifted out a few moments later for a drink. It was just him, one poor victim and me.
Somehow, he got louder.
Oh, it’s because he was standing right behind me at the ATM. Must be having a bum luck night. And have either higher withdrawal limits than I do or was tapping multiple accounts to finance his evening’s entertainment.
I turned and glared at him as he yelled across the room behind me. In a moment of self-awareness I was surprised he possessed, he realized I had leveled my eye beams at him.
“Oh, sorry”, he mumbled from behind his mask.
“I appreciate that. I just moved to get away from you.”
For whatever reason, he went back to yelling at his co-worker across the room. I went back to my trademark grumpy old man low key seething. Nothing worse than someone who apologizes for something and then keeps doing it.
That’s about when he started in on specific complaints about work. Apparently, he wasn’t getting his therapeutic value from generic bitching.
He pointedly began by reminding his sole remaining hostage that he brought them into the project. That earned him a little fealty.
But not enough, I guess?
Because his next move was to start talking about how hard it was for him, since his company was requiring minority business partners in the contracts they were awarding.
There it is.
Maybe it’s that the other four Latin business partners of his had seemingly permanently decamped to the outdoor seating so they could smoke…or not be around this dickwad, but fealty and deference from one Hispanic man wasn’t cutting the mustard. He’d ordered up five sycophants and was only getting one.
He started going in full bore on the manners in which this last guy – I’m guessing the boss or most senior of the group? – and his company were not delivering. In a fit of “no leg to stand on”-ness, in the 20 minutes I listened to this guy hammer away at this fella, he listed not one specific or actionable criticism.
Or…there’s so many other companies I would have chosen if I could have.
And this poor guy on the receiving end was just vaguely apologizing for equally vague complaints.
Me: You know, I’m not sure how your business is set up, but every organization I’ve ever worked for – as a people manager, mind you – has had private areas for these types of conversations. During business hours, no less!
Foghorn Leghorn <looking stunned>: Why don’t you mind your own business? This doesn’t involve you.
Now, the guy he’s been berating this whole time turns and gives me the most genuine look of relief I think I’ve ever seen. But then turns back to the guy in full suck-up mode. I felt bad.
Me: Since you don’t seem to have an inside voice and we’re barely 10 feet apart, you’re forcing your business on me. It’s non-consensual.
FL: Look, I don’t know what your problem is, we’re just trying to talk.
Me: And I’m just trying to have a few beers and blow a few bucks in peace. But since my complaint wasn’t specific enough for you: I’m tired of listening to you “you people” this poor guy. You’re a racist, I get it. I don’t want to hear it anymore. Shut up or go outside.
FL: <sputters indignantly>
His hostage assures him it’s ok, he understands. I didn’t. I realized that Foghorn was blaring something at me, but I’d been straining to hear what his companion was saying. I wanted to gut check my position, maybe I had heard wrong or blown something out of proportion – but I didn’t think so, I’ve been a victim and know what it sounds like. Foghorn’s victim not saying I misunderstood led me to believe my ears hadn’t deceived me.
Foghorn was still blaring at me about minding my own business. I cut him off.
Me: Look, it’s one thing when it’s an isolated incident, but I know that the last time I saw you here, you were doing pretty much this exact same act with a woman. So let me just say that, as a bystander, your misogynistic and racist bellowing is not ok. If you truly think I’m wrong, have me thrown out.
His co-worker was still in placate mode – although I saw the flash of understanding in his eyes when I pointed out I’d seen this behavior from Foghorn before. He said he was about ready to call it a night, and invited Foghorn to go with. Surprisingly, Foghorn acquiesced.
I breathed a sigh of relief and enjoyed the next few minutes of peace.
The bartender came back to bus and I could tell he was smirking behind his mask.
“Sorry…I wasn’t trying to cause a scene or start anything. I just couldn’t validate his words with my silence.”
The bartender laughed and told me I wasn’t wrong. It made me wonder how often people in positions like his are put in similar scenarios…and can’t say anything because: customers.
That made me sad. It also clued me into this guy’s possible MO. Taking folks he secretly hates or resents out on his expense account to dress them down for not owning a dick or being non-white away from work. Curious behavior, but one I completely have no trouble believing.
What’s shocking is that none of his victims have complained over his good old boy head. Since I know this was his open tab from how he permissively encouraged the others to get another drink or round while I was present, it would put his actions under the umbrella of any anti-harassment or zero tolerance policies his company has in place. I hope one day this impotent skid mark of a human either gets his comeuppance or (preferably) sees the errors of his actions and makes amends.
Sadly, based on my own past experiences, I doubt either will happen. That’s a barf situation that is anything but aight.
But if you read my blog regularly, you probably saw my call to action at the end of a post a week or two back encouraging everyone to respectfully but firmly stand up and point out an unacceptable behavior from our stupider American country people. Maybe I was more buzzed less respectful than I could have been Saturday, but I am out there stumbling walking the talk.
One of my favorite things to say back when I was giving 50-60 hours a week to the man was:
Today’s been one hell of a week.
Chrisism. Use it in good health.
I reworked it last year for quarantimes into “2020 has been a hell of a decade“, but it just didn’t hit as hard.
Anyway, 2021 has kind of started off distinguished only from 2020 by a singular event for me: the inauguration of an adult as president. Otherwise, SSDD.
Case in point, even though I declared my dating exploits over at the completion of the yearlong effort that led to Dating Into Oblivion (I swear that there’s a link to buy it somewhere on this blog page, should you be queerious), I still maintain a profile on Adam4Adam and occasionally recreate a profile on the human cesspool known as Grindr.
But, despite the Silver Fox’s assertion that I’m too hard on people, I maintain a standard when it comes to asocial media.
While that standard may look like me doing my damndest to die alone, I swear it’s really a filter that allows others to unintentionally self-select out of my dating pool.
Basically, everyone blocks me all of the damn time.
Por ejemplo, just last night, I had a guy launch into his schtick with me. For those of you wondering what a millennial gay considers a best foot:
No punctuation, no introduction.
I can reasonably assume that the string of vowels and consonants in his profile’s headline is his name, still…confirmation would be overly taxing? It looks both unpronounceable without a little guidance and vaguely Hawaiian.
Also, to his credit, there is blessedly, no butthole pic.
This is really what happens…do you think any reaction would be reasonably considered “too hard” on these friggin’ ass clowns?
Since Grindr is nice enough to alert users when someone looks at their profile, I cannot help but notice that Sup has not looked at mine.
So…I look at his, just to kill some time in case there’s somehow a backlog in what I’m sure is the very high tech and sophisticated alert system on this…mess of an app.
Uh-huh. We’re both tops – Google it – and he specifically calls out that interested parties should not be over 35.
Really, I guess I should be flattered that while my actual age is an anagram of 35…I am most decidedly not 35, but somehow made it through his filter.
Did you read my profile?
Impressively, he responds in the negative and enthusiastically says he will do so right now. Then logs out.
My notifications are still showing me as invisible to The Gays, so I know he didn’t check me out and then – reasonably – run off into the woods.
Seventeen hours later he messages me back, seemingly having missed my anagrammatical eligibility to put Lil Xtopher somewhere I know he doesn’t want him.
I point out our disparate definitions of the term “right now” and…he blocks me.
Far be it for me to brag, but this happens multiple times a month. I know. Every month, I’m blessed to be able to demonstrate to people the benefit to themselves of not knowing me.
Namely, that without me in their lives, they can carry on blindly running full speed into pain walls that they themselves built. Heaven forbid, someone actually want to help another person become a better version of themselves. Or, y’know…a decent human being that contributes more to Gay Kulture than supporting their local STD clinic.
Remember…this is a Valentine’s Day post.
I really don’t know why I tease you by dangling that carrot shaped sex toy that – I hope – got mangled in the garbage disposal while awaiting its return to service.
That was graphic. Maybe now is a good time for a shot break.
This is my life, folks. And you wonder why I proChristinated my colonoscopy…
Except…every now and again someone seems to be looking out for me.
Now, a wise person – as I consider myself to be…shituationally – knows to take a fix up at about 1/1000 of its face value.
This is a brief tale about that one time a bar owner tried to set me up with the only other gay guy at the bar. And by “at the bar” I mean in the Pandemic Pivot of a Beer Garden that the owner of Big Legrowlski has managed to pull off. It’s really something. Five tents, broken into a group of two and three by a fire pit. Each tent has a physics defying heater mounted to the roof, meaning when I come out in December and January to support my local…I’m freezing my giggle berries off.
Anyway, last weekend, the bar owner comes over to keep me company for a second. He leads with a few seconds of small talk and then – in a fit of foreshadowing that makes me momentarily worried about the quality of his wife’s sex life – plunges into the real reason for his visit.
Hey, do you see that guy behind me?
Literally ever guy at the beer garden aside from he and I. I give him exasperated eyes.
To the left!
No mate, my left. Sorry. Sorry.
Cue up the Throwback Offenses!
Just as every Black person had likely heard a version of “I’m not normally into…but…”, every gay person has had a well intentioned abortion of a fix up from a well-intentioned straight friend who tries to fix up the only two gay people they know. Or, as in this case, the only two gay people in their general vicinity.
Argument against the existence of God: this phenomenon.
Somehow, this guy ends up joining us. Around my table, it’s: mine truly, the bar owner and then this…guy, and finally an empty seat in the clockwise position.
Buffers are important. Even when not needed.
I’d already told the bar owner “Hard pass” once we nailed down The Gay In Question. I’d even helpfully pointed out a few of the other guys at the fire pit that could eat crackers in my bed, just not this guy.
He was one of those classic “Is over 40, acts under 30″ gays.
How he ended up at my table – or why – was a short lived mystery. After being introduced by name by the bar owner but getting nothing in return (classic basic fag move) I also come to realize that this guy is a low talker.
It’s an exhausting – read: excruciating – 10 minutes. I should have just taken the hit and dragged Mumbles off to the giant elephant statue in the park for a blowie to get rid of him.
Glad, was I, that I did not.
As clumps of sand broke through my life force hourglass, I began to realize that Mumbles was into the bar owner.
The straight, father of two bar owner.
What an idiot.
Read the fucking tent, man.
Alas, this socially illiterate ‘mo starts playing grab ass with the bar owner’s nipples. That is something I will endure in a goddamned gay bar, but within normal societal watering holes, you keep that shit tight.
Not this clown college drop out.
Only minutes passed, I’m sure…but it felt like one hell of a week between meeting this guy and him crawling back into the sewer that birthed him. Small victories, though, I was still in possession of my table.
That’s enough for me. I might be perpetually single, but I can hold down a goddamned table in a beer garden in a rain storm.
You’d think that would be enough Dating IntoOblivion visitations for me for 2021, but no. Like a trooper – a. very. bored. trooper. – I maintain my usual divided attention at home while watching TV.
Shameless vs Words With Friends.
Then on the next episode, Shameless vs Adam4Adam.
Then on the next episode, Shameless vs Instagram and Facebook in a Battle Royale of short attention spans.
Lather. Rinse. Repeat.
The end result being that maybe I got my own date.
Slated to meet this coming (all over) Sunday at the Big Legrowlski. He seems nice, but if nothing else, this purple haired, four off-the-ears-facial-piercings guy in his 30s – I know, so many piercings for a guy that age…but at least he can commit! – will serve as a visual aid to the bar owner as to the type of guy he should drag before me in the future.
Crappy Valentimes, errybody! And, yes…I know that Part Deux preceded Part Un.
Part Un is…special. Maybe bring tissue. Or your label maker and a box to store your jadedness in.
I’m not sure I’m going to be able to handle this. It’s so much bigger than I expected.
I mean, you hear the words…10 inches and think you understand what you’re hearing. As if you can conceptualize the size of such a large unit. But then you see it and your mind just…🤯
Wow. That’s just…a bit much.
*cat pictured for scale
Wait. What did you think I was talking about?
So, yeah. I got a new TV to replace my problematic 55″ Vizio that I’d had for about a dozen years. For whatever reason, it just decided to die stop turning on.
The newby is an early indirect birthday gift from my parents, who rained shekels down upon me during a car-bound coffee date earlier this week. They’re so awesome, I joke about being their favorite child, despite my occasional feeling that I’m the most disappointing. Thank gourd for Black Sheep Bro, he puts considerable effort into being disappointing. If it weren’t for him, well…I think my personal list of achievements would be looking pretty grim.
I still suspect my parents’ actions with BSB makes him feel pretty fortunate, too, regardless of how hard he campaigns to look like a bastard and ingrate.
My parents being great parents and deriving joy from the happiness of their kids waited several hours before checking in to see if I’d gone TV shopping yet. So, yesterday I caved and took my search from virtual into the real world.
Mind you, this 36 hour delay is remarkable for me. Particularly compared to the reality of the still uninstalled hummingbird feeder that I made off with from my parents’ shed on Christmas.
All I needed to do was hit up a hardware store for a hook that would clamp onto my balcony railing…
Regardless, I’d been advised by a Blog Buddy to wait until after the StoopidBowl to shop because people are rubbish and will buy a TV to watch the big game and then return it after. He swore by the open box steal. Having been a career retailer – granted, not in electronics – I knew the phenomenon he was suggesting.
This new TV is a 65″ Samsung and it’s rather overwhelming. Watching it makes me feel like that guy from that vintage stereo ad.
Or was that a speaker ad? (I know who will know, so keep your eyes on the comments…!).
I knew there was room to play with a larger screen, since my old TV had plenty of space on the sides while sitting dead atop its perch. However, once I got the new TV upstairs – no easy feat, given my singledom. Thankfully, the salesperson took pity on me and helped me load it into the car. So at least there was that.
Once upstairs and in front of my TV console, I began to think I’d overestimated my space. The salesperson had suggested that the extra 10″ would shake out to about the width of a 2″x4″ beam on each side. A factoid/estimation that my high school math classes backed up. Still…this visual gave me pause.
But I told myself the screen wasn’t as big as the box. Which was only right by about 2″.
Magically, given the absence of anyone in their 20s or 30s to help, the set up was fairly breezy. It didn’t take long at all…
That’s a pretty quick and easy installation!
Now, it’s anyone’s guess how long it takes to get rid of the collateral debris.
My salesperson gave me a 60 day return window just in case it was too big or not the right TV for me. Unless it breaks, I think it will more than fit my needs. But should I still keep this stuff around for 60 days in case it breaks down?!?
Oh, and best part? That reader I mentioned earlier? He still had my back, even this morning. I woke up to an email featuring an ad that he was passing along. It featured a similarly sized Samsung for a few bucks less than what I’d paid last night – except it was a generation behind the one I got. As if that’s not enough to make me feel like good folks are looking out for me to make sure I get a good deal, here’s an ad from a competitor’s website for the TV I got.
Not a bad deal, especially as an open box…but I paid $275 less!
You know me…every day is just another opportunity for me to put my affairs – not that kind, Diezel – in order before I die alone.
Today was no exception.
It was a day that started out strangely well, considering a night of whack sleep. I’d fallen asleep for <30 minutes last night on the couch around 8, but was then completely wide awake. I didn’t take my new favorite weed syrup sleep aid before bed because I was meeting my parents at 10 this morning to go look at bathroom fixtures and entry lights for a few projects they have going on at Galby Acres and I didn’t want to oversleep.
Naturally, I woke up at 730. <eyeroll>
No matter, I had errands that I could run before meeting up with M&D at 10 and actually managed to overcome my usual morning torpor and get to it. Of course, my parents surprised me with an en auto breakfast – restaurants are closed to dine in customers here in Portland, so we got take out and ate in the car like hippies – and after we hit the kitchen/bath/lighting shop, they re-surprised me by letting me tag along to watch them car shop.
It was a good morning.
When they dropped me back home, mom admonished me to take the rest of the day off, like spending my morning with them had been some sort of chore. I fully intended to comply, but then decided to just pop out for a couple hours.
I was out for just under three hours and only had six rides. Most of my time was spent sitting on the 5 northbound since it was after 230, and even in a pandemic under lockdown orders, the idiots that live across the river in Washington – with its lower property taxes and no income tax – but come to town for our higher paying jobs and sales tax free shopping have found a way to make a three mile drive take 15+ minutes. I had one ride that took me to the second to last freeway exit before the state line and the next two hours were spent with me getting almost back to the city core before being called back to one of the last two exits before entering Vantucky.
Actually, my third ride was to pick up my second passenger, because he got nauseous being that close to Washington completed his errand quickly and I was still the closest driver. That was a first: a back to back repeat rider.
After yo-yoing between almost downtown and the state line for the next two rides, I decided to put my app on Home Mode and call it quits. Earnings were crap, since I’d spent most of my time sitting in traffic…and none of those apparently entitled bastards understood how gratuities work. Or their sense of entitlement made me driving 15-20 minutes to fetch them for a 6 minute ride seem equitable.
I’d roll my eyes, but they are still sprained from the last epic eyeroll…
I got one ride on the way home.
In true Portland style, this is my passenger’s avatar.
Well, that looks like it is gonna be an entertaining ride. If it was a cis-woman, I was prepared to be hyper aware of how easily she could snap me in half. But I suspected it was merely another queer youth expressing his gender-fluidity.
I was right.
Still, we had a nice and amiable chat during our 8 minutes together. I learned he was going to his boyfriend’s for an at home date night, which sounded super sweet. They started dating just after lockdown 1.0 and have been together a little over six months.
I don’t know why I was surprised to pull up to his boyfriend’s house and think “I’ve picked someone up here before…”
Imagine my surprise when my passenger replied.
I vamped and said that I thought I’d given his BF a ride before. I immediately called up a mental picture of the guy – like a stoned out, slightly-too-old-for-it skater boy who was newly missing a front tooth when I picked him up. He awkwardly came out to me during our ride after bitching about how picking up an extra shift at work was better than hanging out at home with his bitch ex-wife, who he also worked with so it was not easy to manage time apart.
He talked a little about the guy he was seeing before I dropped him off at a dispensary a few blocks away.
Imagine my surprise as I sat in the driveway trying to decide whether to head left or right and a call came in, taking me to the left. A right and a couple of miles had me pulling up to my next ride…at the sister store for Mr Nice Guy.
I think it’s because something weird like that would only happen to me, but it might also be because I’m one of the few who would notice that type of coincidence.
Still, if I dropped the woman I picked up at the second shop at the house where I’d just picked up my previous ride, I was fully prepared to laugh all the way home. Luckily, that did not happen.
Back to tonight, though, I tell the guy that I think I’d given his boyfriend a ride before and asked if he worked at a weed shop.
Me? No, I work at a pizza joint.
Clarifying I had meant his BF, while thinking that even with his tendency to capture makeover moments on film – he was not wearing any overt makeup tonight – that he should be able to do better than the guy inside that house, my young, gender-fluid passenger laughs awkwardly and gets out of the car.
Affording me the opportunity to see the Mr Nice Guy logo on the hoodie he was wearing.
Fuck my life.
Luckily, I’d ordered a beer delivery from Big Legrowlski whilst sitting in traffic on the 5 and it was presently waiting for me at home. A Pallet Jack or two oughta set me just right, allowing me to forget that a burnout type guy missing a front tooth can get a boyfriend and I’m sitting at home drinking alone with the ever disdainful Mistress Myrtle.
Because, with Myrtle around, you’re always alone. I hope she ends this game of cat and Xtopher she’s playing soon and puts me out of my misanthropy…