Dating Into Oblivion, ep2

Here we are…Bachelor Number 5.


If January was an embarrassment of no-shows, February was mostly a cluster fuck of bad timing.  Ultimately, Bachelor Number 5 had a lot more qualities about him that worked against our compatibility than just bad timing, though.

That bad timing was mostly a product of my being sick for a week, struggling to get fully recovered for another and then dealing with some pretty hostile BS at work for a third week.

The free spaces in the shortest month of the year outside of those three weeklong timeframes didn’t really leave much for me to work with.

Sidebar:  the only man on my early morning MAX to work this morning happens to be a cute, lil twink nerd.  He’s mostly sleeping a couple rows up from me, but just woke up long enough to stick his finger in his nose and then bite his nail.  

I’m screaming inside. 

Ok, so…Bachelor Number 5.

In a moment of questionable optimism – and probable inebriation – I created an OKStupid dating profile.

While it’s not overtly a hook up site/app, it still qualifies as asocial media in my book because of its swipe culture:  left to reject, right to express interest.  These swipes are encouraged based mostly on the picture, you don’t really get a lot of data about the person until you open their profile.  Really, we’re dismissing people based on looks here, aka:  fuckability.  But it’s got an addictive quality to it, this swiping.

Once you actually click on someone’s profile, you can see what they have to say for themselves.  What they like, how they spend their time.  People are encouraged to answer questions ranging anywhere from values to politics to dating to sex in order to help the algorithm determine compatibility with the most important person in the world:  you.

Still sounds fun, but it gets a little tedious.  Questions aren’t filtered based on the basics you provide in your profile, so I get questions like, “I think I would enjoy experimenting sexually with someone who is the same gender”

Definitely me.  ✔️

But in the case of Bachelor Number 5, I could also discover that we are both tops, so that was helpful…if not poorly timed since I swiped first and found this out later.

We had only traded a few messages beyond the initial “Hey, how are ya”.  It wasn’t something he was making a priority, a minimum of a day passing between my messages and his responses.

I tend to read that as a sign, part of my E.O.G. charm as The Silver Fox and Little Buddy have pointed out.  In this experiment, I was keeping that impatience in check.

Over the course of the week we traded messages, he went to visit Shittatle for the weekend.  I tried engaging him about what neighborhood, whether he goes up often, how I lived there for a decade, etc.  He still just gave me…not much to go with.  So, by the time he messaged me back on Tuesday after his trip, I’d learned he was a top and not really looking for friends.  At least not putting any efforts into creating friendship with me.  That partnered with his geographic undesirability – Beaverton, if you can believerton that – it was pretty easy for me to check him off of my list of potential mates.


But, February wasn’t a total bust.  I did finally get a chance to connect with one of my January Bachelors early in the month.

He’s a cute kid.  Twenty seven, now, not really a kid…but he hasn’t really come into his own yet.  I feel his struggle.  But I’m not engaging with it, as is my usual reflex.

So, y’know…coming out of last year without that habit was good for me.  

Remember, this particular bachelor is someone I tried to meet unsuccessfully three years ago.  To his credit, this time around he was dealing with my grumpy old man-ness with jovial alacrity.

Or not really paying attention.

Speaking of geographic undesirability, he lives about 30 minutes away in Vantucky.  With me not driving, that puts a lot on him, effortwise, if we’re gonna see one another.  Which is another solid plus for him since I don’t even have a parking space to offer a guest.

When we finally got together, it was just a shared bottle of wine at my place.  He took about a half a glass to warm up and then it was off to the races.

Talking, you depraved perverts.

Unfortunately, he was kind of just barfing out his life story, not conversing.  But we finished the bottle and I learned some stuff about him.  I didn’t get a lot of talking in, so he probably only learned that I could listen and decided I was cute…which is always nice to hear.

We decided to do it again the following week, so naturally, I had to get the plague that was going around.


We texted throughout the week and he was gracious about my frailty, but over the next ten days or so…pffft.

His responses started getting further spaced.  And shorter.  There’s not much I can do with “Hey” greetings or “Yea” responses.  So…I don’t.

Maybe we’re just meant to be acquaintances.  Which is fine…but he is just so darned tasty looking – a feast for these old, lascivious eyes, if you will – that it is a little disappointing.  But ultimately, I want to nourish more than my libido.

Alas, poor Whorick.

Dating Into Oblivion, ep2

Birthday: Love

Impressing myself with my own delusional contortions while writing about all the food I consumed over my birthday weekend yesterday, I mused that I wasn’t full from overeating.  No, rather, perhaps my heart was over full from all of the birthday love I had gotten.

Let me set aside the amount of food I consumed – it was all of the food – and tell you how that little bit of pithiness has managed to kick around my noggin for the last day.

Can one be so full of love that they feel physically satiated?

Well, there’s a thought dripping with derp.

The sincerity that I experienced over the last weekend has probably (definitely) always been there with my friends, I’m sure this birthday of mine was just such a focusing agent that the emotions are lingering.  Definitely more present, even 10 days later.

But it’s been coloring my life view lately, too.

Moms with their kids.

Hell, families.

Young couples.


Old couples absolutely take the cake, though.

Mmmm.  Cake.

Seeing old couples tottering through the airport together makes me smile.  Always.  Moreso this last week, though.

Feeling it, I am.

Strangely, I can’t even imagine or conceptualize the type of committment and discipline that’s required to nurture a decades long relationship.

Check that.  I can conceptualize it, actually, it’s the life long partner that’s difficult to imagine.

You have to forgive me, though.  For 10 of my 30 years of adult dating life, I’ve been not dating.  That’s a measly one-third success ratio.  That may suffice for a pro baseball player (I dunno, does it?!?) but in relationship terms, that seems to lack any certain luster.

Especially when spread over two relationships versus one.



I did end my last relationship with the forethought that I may have been ending what was – and has certainly proven to be this far – my last chance at a relationship.  That wasn’t reason enough to try and hold on to something that wasn’t mine, though.

And I think we’re both better for it.  The last thing – in retrospect – that I wanted to do was hang on until Rib woke up one day and asked himself how the hell he ended up with an old boyfriend.

Oldie Hawn, he would call me…and I kid you not when I say I loved it.

But me dying alone or not, at Myrtle’s whim or not, is not the issue that’s been on my mind.

Right, Myrtle?

For once.

Rather, it’s been…surreally, can one be so fulfilled with the experience of loving another that it sustains them through their lifetime?


Now, there’s a derp-full thought.

Tangentially, can one be sustained by less intimate love?  Without asking the question directly, I assume that’s what the cool septua and octa genarians are rocking these days…although Grace & Frankie would have me doubting that assumption.

Personally speaking?  I’d say maybe.  I knew Rib might be my last shot and I did what I thought right for us both.  Since then, I think I’ve followed my Orangatan spirit animal – which is often misconstrued as grumpiness – and just not tolerated foolishness in dating.

I’m starting a movement, too…there’s a legacy.

Sure, I’ve been hoodwinked a couple times. Mostly cuz I’m dumb.  And slightly weak.  I blame my penis.

But I still have a ripcord that I pull when shit gets too bovine.

But I find comfort in the comfortable warmth and familiarity of my Chosen Family…when sincerity sustains more than postcoital pizza or Ben & Jerry’s, I think you’ve stumbled onto something.

It’s made me take a longer, more thoughtful look at young widows and widowers who never remarried.  What is it they know that the rest of us haven’t had the misfortune to figure out yet?

It’s definitely food for thought.

By the way, after all the food I ate last weekend?  Look at what “holiday” my traitorously supportive calendar told me fell on my birthday.

Birthday: Love

Birthday: Food

My birthday was a week ago.

There may be (there is) a cake and fork situation in my refrigerator.  Only just barely, now, though…

But that cake is just the icing on a fantastic birthday celebration.

This is my big landmark birthday and it fell on a weekend.  The perfect recipe for breaking those diet resolutions I never bothered to make.




Plus a secret gold star that I survived…but might be too big a shock for people who know me to survive.

The food started on Saturday with a solid four dozen peanut butter cookies that a couple of my co-workers made.  They were taking up too much desk space so I pared them down by a good half dozen in the first half hour.  

A full third were gone by day’s end.

At which point, I had to run out to get ready for my surprise party.

God bless The Silver Fox, but when Little Buddy called dibs for Saturday night, I knew something was brewing.  For his part, he kept the bond of trust, never admitting there was a jig, up with which to be.

And I threw out some doozy theories in the week leading up to the big day.  Seriously, I had the whole thing being filmed by any surviving Zapruder.

Little Buddy had told me she was inviting The Fox, who then made his apologies in advance for missing the get together because he had tickets to a play with Sallory.

“Like you won’t be changing those plans!”, I taunted.

I went on through the week with scenarios like, “The big surprise will be when I show up and announce that I’m only 40”.  

The Fox invited me to join he and Sallory at the hotel bar next door – he and I are…regulars – and kept changing the time.  I teased him with accusatory questions like, “How long does Little Buddy need to sneak in and decorate my place?!?”

It’s not that big and there’s nowhere really to hide.  But if that was the plan…I’m fortunate to have folks who would be bothered to go out of their way  for me.

He insisted that wasn’t the case, but when he had casually suggested the day before that we stop and get his Key Buddy key made for my new place…well, c’mon.  You don’t have to be an Olympic caliber conclusion jumper to arrive at the too easily drawn…conclusion.

All my scenarios be damned, though.

I show up at Tanner Creek Tavern and it’s just The Fox and Sallory.

We have a beer, they ordered food because somehow they hadn’t changed their tickets. There is only one opening night!  Even at The Armory.

I’ve been wrong a lot in my life, so I rallied pretty easily.  Plus, Sallory had brought me a present!

Presents: that which I secretly love but publicly play it cool.

This was still a nice upgrade from last year, though, when The Fox had bothered to be out of the country for my birthday.  I just love busting his chops.  He could light me on fire and he’d still be the best friend I’ve ever known.

This year, Rib and his new boyfriend had taken a page out of The Fox’s birthday playbook and gone to watch the Australian Open live, which inconveniently occurs around my birthday.

So, there we are, us three.  Beer and wine raised to toast the eve.  I’m happy to have them for even a little while.

And while I’m enjoying a simple moment with dear friends, I find myself following four eyes across the bar, focused on black balloons parading from the door and headed in our general direction,

Ok, that one I did not see coming.

Little Buddy.



The good and getting better friend…he really will need a blog name at some point.

All parading toward our table.

Well, that can’t be a coincidence.

Wires having been crossed, I was expelled from the bar and left to cool my heels in the hotel lobby so our table could be staged with all the required fiftieth birthday party accoutrements.

You know, I’m lucky to have people I love in my life who also tolerate me.  Less surprising to me, but perhaps me alone, is that there’s a bar in my life that doesn’t mind setting aside a table for my friends to mark my pickled ass’ birthday.

On a damned Saturday.

In downtown Portland.

On the Onesie Pub Crawl weekend.

Whatever.  I was here first.

When I returned from my lobby exile, the Filipina Fox and her husband had joined the birthday melee.  So had a new instant friend that I’d met at LB’s and 2.0’s wedding last summer (more on that in a later blog, promise) and her younger, better looking and more Asian blooded version of my doppelgänger boyfriend.  Little Buddy had rallied quite a bar busting group for this lil surprise shindig.  

I was pleased.

So, Little Buddy had made this cake.

It was glorious, but also a shituation, as I learned.

She had been aiming to do a cake-homage to both my Star Trek fandom and my Red Shirt Diaries blog theme.  The red fondant hadn’t cooperated and she’d scratched it and taken it back to the drawing board for a slam dunk of subtlety that bumped the overt Enterprise shaped 30th birthday cake to second place in the Best Ever Cake category,

Sorry, not sorry, Sacha.

It was a Tribble Cake.

I mean, I ate a bunch of those tribbles and a healthy slice of cake.

And a second beer, duh.

Happy as I was, I learned that this party was portable.  There was a table waiting for us at Nostrana.

It’s a tres she-she Italian restaurant that I’d never been to.  I’ve eaten several times at the Pearl District sibling restaurant, but that’s just a front for $50 pizza.  Nostrana is a mother lode restaurant.

We ate the pants off that place.

Remember, I was full from beer and cake.  

Let that stop me, I did not.

2.0 started us off with a charcuterie plate that featured typical sliced cheeses and cured meats as well as a few terrine options and fucking lengua.

Yeah, that’s beef tongue.





Little Buddy corralled the Som for some wine.

We were also downing bread like Dr Atkins was heading our way in slo-mo with a scale.


Then…the pasta main course.

The plan had been to take my Michael Douglas ass out to a bar after dinner but the trifecta of the Onesie Bar Crawl, 2.0 comfort considerations (in a gay bar) and my grumpy old man refusal to pay cover to be ignored in a bar landed us back at my place drinking The Fox’s wine.

It was perfect.

But the weekend wasn’t yet done with my belly.

Sunday morning was brunch with The Fox. No doubt penance for not canceling his opening night plans the night before.


Check that…obviously he shouldn’t have made those plans in the first place.


I mean… he knows how extra I pretend to not be.  It’s like we had never even met.

But a one on one brunch with my NSLP – Non Sexual Life Partner – was beautiful.  What a delightful way to usher in day one of my 50th.

It’s surreal to type that.

Post brunch plans included a pre-family dinner nap…and I kind of needed it.  One big meal left in my weekend and I was already ready for my food coma.

We were eight for dinner.  I definitely didn’t get too hungry for dinner with eight.  But I nearly ate my weight with those eight.  If only our table had been at 8:00, that could have been a seizure inducing alliteration.

Alas, my family all traveled the 20-30 miles into town to join me at the newest Pok Pok. This is a Portland “It” restaurant from years past.  I’d never been, so they had opened a new place “ten” blocks from my place to tempt me.  I’ve been meaning to get there for months since they opened.

This was the perfect excuse.

I think we split nine entrees between the eight of us.  They recommend an entree for two people to share, so we were a little over that ratio given our census.  But best safe versus sorry, right?  Plus, I think I forgot a few in my tally.

Here’s my gold star moment:

My whole life, I’ve been a picky eater.  My list of “No’s” for food looks – and probably is – longer than any single person’s list of disqualifies for potential mates.

And yet, I don’t starve.

Because in my years I have learned to think of others, I made sure that our order included the mushroom salad for my mother, who may have single-handedly in life made mushroom farming a viable vocation.  

Seriously.  She loses it for mushrooms.

One of my favorite mom/son bonding stories is of our family table growing up.  At our pre-Chuck family dinner table on La Cour, I had a side of our six top table to myself.  My sporty siblings sat across from me and I sat next to my mother on my side of the table, obvious gay son dinner table placement, right?

Me being the petsnickety culinarian and my mother making her food budget pennies scream to feed her Galby Five, there were a lot of what I would call lesser filler ingredients.


The Peppers Bell.


My awesome mom would sit next to me and eat these Xtopher-only deemed lesser ingredients off my plate.  Right out of their individual and separate piles I’d created for each at the perimeter of my plate.

Talk about a Niles Crane worthy OCD moment.

Talk about symbiosis!

Obviously, I stipulated that this Xtopher anathema of a mushroom salad be placed at the end of the table nearest Mom-Donna, furthest from me.  You know that bitch mushroom salad ended up getting passed to everyone and ended up at my corner.

It was my personal hell.

Me, being both a newly minted legitimately grumpy old man and a dick, I quietly engaged in the dinner table conversation with my family while quietly – and for attention only – eating off the mushroom salad plate.





I even casually and without irony said things like, “I think there are mushrooms in this” and yet…nothing.

I’d only had a glass of wine and a complimentary glass of champers at Thelonious Wines before dinner and a cocktail with, so I wasn’t even buzzed when I made the decision to choke down some mushroom salad, defiantly.

And no one noticed.

So I went home and ate some of Little Buddy’s bday cake…planting a fork in it for future and what turned out to be frequent use!

I’m still full a week later.

And that’s my birthday.

Of course, with so many people I hold dear in my life turning out to celebrate, my grinchy old heart might just be so full that it’s pushing down on my stomach, making me feel that I’ve over eaten.  

Toss up, eh?

For your amusement, the song Pandora barfed out as I’m wrapping this up was Knocking On Heaven’s Door by Bob Dylan…you can’t make this shit up.  It’s my life!

Birthday: Food


I’ve been sitting on this draft for about 18 months.  With the clock winding down on the applicability of the adjective “early” to my grumpy, old man shtick, I figure I better either throw this out there or abandon it forever.

I’m no quitter.

In addition to being a grumpy, old man, I’ve also been described as a Grammar Nazi.


With my ellipses abuse and run on sentences.

That’s just how stupid people can be.  Essentially, I believe it’s all good natured fun because I have such a defined reaction to people using words like “aks” and “Warshington”.  (Sorry, Mom).  Instead of  acknowledging that those aren’t words and – oh, I don’t know – attempting to use the correct pronunciation, I’m the Grammar Nazi.

Sidebar:  I went to diction classes after school when I was young because of a speech impediment.  My Rs came out as Ws.  

Pretty awful when I pronounced my own name as Cwis or Cwistofuh.

But my parents cared enough to make sure I didn’t go through life sounding unnecessarily stupid.  But yet I’m the Grammar Nazi.

Did I mention this class was run by nuns?  In the 70s?  There were motivational rulers involved.

So, yeah…my grumpiness came early.

But on those same lines, my subculture does some shit that really bugs me.  It’s the polar opposite of what my parents tried to spare me, I think.  My people are dumbing themselves down and calling it cool.

Not, it is.

I call this Gaybonics.

I’m not saying gays made each of these so-called words up.  But once the gays got hold of them, it was off to the races and suddenly you can’t get away from them.

Don’t get me wrong, in my day – no, wait, I can do better.  When I was young we gays weren’t exactly the paradigm of maturity.  We called each other “Mary” and “Queen”.  But we didn’t make up words to differentiate ourselves.

So let’s see what exercises in nails on a chalkboard that today’s gays are committing, shall we?


I don’t know.  I really don’t.  It’s like they have to re-reappreopriate this word from the earlier generation of gays.  What next?  Need to reboot Stonewall?  I know, history is so dated.


I’m a complex creature.  I hate this word and love this meme.

The kid reminds me of my juvenile self.

I think that it’s funny, I use it in texts and comments as shorthand for my enthusiastic agreement for something.






I overhear gays talking and instead of “uh huh” and “mm hmmm” as the lazy active listening cues that accompany head gestures, I hear varying degrees of this fucking word. 

So, my dinner date the other night was fine.


But then at the end, the check came and we both just sat there.

Oh, gurl, uh-uh.

And I’m just thinking, like he invited me.

Yaaaas.  Right?

But he’s not treating, and I’m all…WTF?


(It’s approaching orgasm intensity at this point)

So I reached for it and then he offers to split it!  And I’m all thinking, I could have taken myself out to dinner with a good book and not have to listen to your boring ass for an hour!  

Yaaaaaaaas, Qween.  Tell it!

So, we split it.

Well, at least you didn’t have to put out.

I didn’t have to.  But just cuz he’s stingy doesn’t mean I have to be.

Yaaaas, gurl.  You do you.

It’s like we’ve all become caricatures of drag queens versus having our own personalities.


Over the top.  Too much.  Way to much.

Really?  From gays.

How do we say this about one another (I don’t) when we collectively embrace a coded – yet juvenile – language of our own?

Irony, we are all extra.  Why we must use it perjoratively against one another…well, it doesn’t boggle my mind, unfortunately.  It’s the old “tear another down to build yourself up” mentality.

Very mature.

Of course, most of the crap we make up has to do with sex.  We’re like OCD when it comes to labeling one another.  If only that tendency to label enabled us being organized enough to have our own shit actually together.

Some of these I actually think are cute or quirky in a fun way,  Others, not so much.  The ones I really don’t enjoy tend to be the ones that infantillize – is that a word? – sex.  My $.02, if you can’t say it like an adult, maybe don’t do it…you’ll only end up getting hurt or – more likely – hurting someone else.

(Mom, you might want to skip over this part…not sure of the depth of detail yet, fair warning)


I hear this word and cringe.  


Gays didn’t create nor did they sexualize Daddy, and I’m not crazy about it.  But Zaddy is gaybonic for someone with all the characteristics of a Daddy, minus the age.

Ok, first of all, having a Daddy boyfriend – regardless of the gay/straight filter – connotes you need to be taken care of, most likely financially.  As a man of a certain age, I think that should be a temporary situation and that the younger person in this scenario should be working toward becoming a fully functional member of society who happens to have an older boyfriend.

Let’s call that Why I’m Single #44.

So this Zaddy person is likely a peer.  Getting this straight, your shit isn’t together enough to the point you need the guidance of a sexual parent.  It is not at all hard to believe you’ll give someone from your peer group responsibility for your well-being.

When I cringe at this word, I also mentally make a note to never accept this person’s judgment as reasonable.


Someone who usually needs a Daddy but settles for a Zaddy.  Someone who will probably still be looking for a Daddy when he’s my age.

When I was young, we called bois “twinks”.  The worst thing that could happen to a twink was to still be a twink at 29.  

God forbid.

Nevertheless, we handled these situations with the correct verbal and public pergatory…by calling them twunks or twonks.  These two words are basically an onomatopoeia for an expired twink.

While we are kinda on the topic of baby talking sex – ok, we were a paragraph or two ago, just go with it – there’s a lot of probably misogynistic in origin words for female body parts.  Gays have collectively embraced terms like “man pussy” and “mangina” in reference to their ass.  

This is not hot.

No, Paris.  It’s nawt.

Someone please explain to me how two gay men referring to a mangina is sexy sex talk?  It’s kind of not sexy to bring up a bastardized version of the opposite sex’s sexual organ in any manner during a homosexual sexual encounter, isn’t it?

Am I somehow out of touch with hot bedroom talk?

I have a hard time envisioning lesbians talking about their “lady boners” in any sexualized manner.

These words make us frivolous…and there’s a time and a place for that talk.  I just don’t like it to be the bedroom.  Let’s play like adults, boys.


As much as I bemoan the existence and usage of these words…I don’t loathe them all.  Some of them I even find cute.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say I find cake cute…but when I hear it, I don’t die a little more inside.  My self-analysis is that I give it a pass because it refers to something I envy:  namely, a shapely butt.

Now, when I was young…we called this shapely bum a bubble butt.  Descriptive, but not codifying the subject.  Now, heaven forbid anyone talk about an erogenous part of the body like an adult, so we have cake. 

It does make openly discussing analingus a little less daunting, but it’s my birthday weekend and I’m going to be old…so help me god, if I get confused about the concept of birthday cake and end up in bed with baked goods – well, I mean, that doesn’t actually sound too bad.


This is gay-speak for That Hottie Over There.  Hearing two people use this word in a gay bar is disorienting.  A couple of years ago, I heard it so many times over the course of one beer that I momentarily thought I’d wandered into a smart gay bar.


Now when I hear it, I kind of want to chat the subject up just to show these all talk kids how the art of conversation works.


And…we’re back to perjorative language.

Maybe I could just not be so grumpy.


Maybe others could just not be such judgy bitches.

It’s truly a toss up.

Not sure it’s easier for me to be less grumpy or to change all of gay culture.

So, this translates to desperate in normal American vernacular.  I’m not saying it’s not a part of reality, some people are desperate.  

At least they know what they want.

My favorite occurrence of this is when I see someone use it in the same conversation that they personally reference a THOT.

So rewarding.


Some of the words gays make up and use at one another are mean.  Just mean.  Thicc is a standout compliment is the made up gay vernacular.

When someone has a solid core, six pack abs, defined obliques – crassly referred to as cum gutters – and the like versus a wasp-like 28″ twink waist, they are thicc.  Ditto tree trunk like thighs.  Thicc.

Nice to know we can be nice to each other on occasion.

But, in true bitchy qween style, we’ve misspelled it to drive home the point that anyone that spends that much time on their physique has a box of rocks between their ears.  It’s my supposition, at any rate.  I was, after all, just a bitchy qwueen.  

In less than a day, though, I’ll be a legit grumpy old man.  Since the 80s and 90s wiped out the better part of a couple generations of potentially old gays – and since gays over 40 are pretty much invisible anyway – we haven’t gotten around to creating a gaybonics word to describe what I’ll be tomorrow.

Wait until the world gets a dose of me.  



My E.O.G Game Is On!

I think I just level-upped my Early Onset Grumpiness.

Leveled Up?

I dunno which is righter.

No.  Wait.  I know neither is actually acceptable and just give up.


The Silver Fox and I are sitting here in our neighborhood cafe, drinking our coffee and discussing Trump denying he used the phrase “shithole countries” the other day when something happened.

I’d seen this guy walk up with his dog – a young yellow lab, so I was attenuated on The Fox’s behalf since his dog share is also a lab.  The guy ties his dog up street side and comes into the cafe.

I give the guy a look that fails to register, but conveyed my, “You gonna leave your dog outside in the wet while you come in here and eat?”

Anyway, he ordered to go, as it turns out.  He’s standing there waiting for his sandwich and the next thing he or I know his dog is in the street greeting a passerby jaywalker.

With the table he was tethered to.

Now, I saw the guy come into the cafe sans puppy and assumed he had been lashed to one of Portland’s many bike racks.

No, our brainiac tied the dog to a table that is just a lightweight metal legged, wood slat top situation.  Patio furniture, basically.

The dog is enthusiastically greeting this jaywalking lady who is trying to pick the tabletop up out of the street and the dog has completely entangled himself in the leash and tablelegs.  Not that that is dampening the pup’s enthusiasm at all.

The owner finally arrives and handles the dog situation.  

I wonder if the dog knows the woman, explaining the overwhelming excitement of the animal toward her.

She’s now picking up hardware out of the street so cars don’t get screws stuck in their tires.  After she’s collected the attaching screws and whatnot, she carries on her way.

The guy comes in, picks up his sandwich and leaves.

I give him a hard stare as he walks by my window, which he adroitly ignores.

I walk up to our Substitute Barista and ask if the guy said anything to her about the table.  She’d missed the entire thing, helping customers.  Two of whom are standing right by me waiting for food and had seen the entire thing.

Neither of them confirm my account, so Substitute Barista and I go outside to assess.

The guy had set the detached top back on the legs and left the hardware sitting on the window ledge adjacent.

Substitute Barista declares that situation unsafe and I suggest taking the table into the cafe’s storage area.  She agrees, I grab the top and she grabs the legs.  She’s still talking about how could people do something like that.  One of the other witnesses is leaving as we’re coming back into the cafe and holds the door, saying, “Nice timing!” at her helpfulness.

I glare at her in disbelief, still she’s said nothing.

I go back to The Fox and pick up on our conversation, “It’s nice to see the GOP acknowledging that they are likely to lose their majority in Congress.  I just wish they would realize it’s not because incumbents are retiring or resigning so much as it’s their actions that will cause them to lose their majority.”

We went on to discuss the Trumpster Fire’s use of the phrase “shithole countries” some more, specifically how NPR had actually quoted the phrase and not bothered bleeping it.

The point I was making was how the mainstream media and congress have largely stood by and not specifically called out Trump for his bad behavior.  This is how he is able to continually get away with his devolving statesmanship.

No one speaks up.

Much like the two customers standing immediately by the dog owner today.  I watched what happened, stood up, crossed the cafe and narced on the guy who damaged someone else’s property and said nothing.

And why should he, given the example of our country’s leadership?

Well, I saw something and I said something.  

Then I said, “I hope that guy is a regular and you get a chance to call him out.”

Not that I want Substitute Barista involved in a confrontation, but I do think someone should be able to respectfully and safely say, “Hey, that wasn’t cool.”

When the guy walked back by with his dog as I wrote this, I debated going outside and saying something to him.  The Fox kind of talked me out of it, which is good since I may fail the “respectfully” part of the conversation…but I glared at him real good.

My E.O.G Game Is On!

Fitfy 49:49

Well, I guess this would be my golden post? 49 weeks into my 49th year…

Some different things have been going on lately, too.  It’s been kinda nice to experience these last few weeks of the Galby existence.

I’ve been pretty consistent about exercise recently, pulling off a steady three workouts per week.  My shoulder tried to register its complaint initially, but slow and steady got me through my ramp up without actually re-injuring myself.

A while back, I also commented that I needed to start getting my legs more involved in my workouts.  I wasn’t sure how to effectively integrate this opportunity into my home-based exercise regimen, until it hit me:  stairs.

Talk about two bird(leg)s with one stone.  I’m running 30 flights of stairs three times a week as part of my regimen.  30 flights up, 30 flights down.


That carrot my acupuncturist dangled a while has actually inspired me to find a way to re-incorporate my favorite form of exercise back into my routine.  Little warning twinges from my foot and knee reminded me to take it easy at first.  Warming up to the fresh movements after a three year absence with 10 flights initially allowed my grumpy old joints to get accustomed to the idea of this repetitive motion again.  Taking the stairs has actually been less stressful than plain old road running.

At the end of the day, I’m feeling great about this addition to my routine.  It provides that ballistic movement to my exercise once again.  I finish my workouts feeling like I’ve accomplished something.  Not just getting sweaty, but also shaking off some of the mental drama of my day.  Stuff that would have carried through with me to bedtime is just gone.

Once again.

This is the part of running that I missed most. The piece that retiring from running most significantly impacted me, the mental benefit of this physical fitness.

I’ve missed it so.  

Happy Galby.


Don’t get me wrong.  I’m still the grumpy guy I’ve always been, but I find my grumpiness has more perspective now.  

Or, again.  


That’s helpful, like I said, less important stuff doesn’t remain with me.  I’m clearer about what actually bugs me and can focus better on more significant frustrations…hopefully in order to actually be able to effect change.

All while quitting soda and significantly curbing my caffeine intake.

And no one died.

It happened quite by accident.

I was out of soda and it was cold, so I remained out of soda.  

People were getting sick around me at work, so I started hydrating at work instead of grabbing a soda or coffee to drink absentmindedly.  

After a few days, I didn’t want soda.  I found myself at the grocery grabbing some bullshit hipster bubble water to satisfy my carbonation craving instead of grabbing a Diet Coke.  Bad news for Coke stockholders, good news for me.

Before I knew it, I was five days in without coffee or soda.  On my days off, of course I indulged in my weekly coffee time with the Silver Fox.  Walking away from that with the thought, “Two days a week for coffee ain’t bad”, which was all the impetus the universe needed to dangle temptation in front of my nose.

It came in the offer of coffee from a co-worker.  I love the message that I take away from offers like these, that I’m not an entirely evil boss.  If someone that reports to me wants to take me out for coffee?  I take that as a good sign.

Way better than someone that reports to me simply wanting to take me out.

Of course, I accepted – albeit with the admonishment to not spend their hard earned money on me.  Hey, that’s still only coffee three days a week.  It’s an average I’ve been able to stick to, too.  At most, three times a week.  It makes coffee a reward versus a ritual.  That’s a good thing, in my book.

Also, sorry to you people with money in coffee stock.

But wait…there’s even more!

I was eating well, too. Don’t worry, that couldn’t possibly last.  But it’s – once again – pretty much due to me being out of food and it being cold.

For those of you keeping track, the cold has officially dealt me a triple whammy:

1) no soda

2) ran out of healthy food

3) you should see my Double Oh C recycling.  “Out Of Control” is the Chrisenese to English translation you were looking for there, BTW.

But I’ve come off of that week-plus of solid healthy eating with a sense of moderation when approaching things like hamburgers or pizza.  That ain’t bad.

All this led up to two solid days of exertion when I moved last week.



My family were all out of town at the ‘Phew’s basketball thingy.

The Fox was helping his some move, and also being sick.

So I just did it.

I am a SNOB, after all…Society if Native Oregon Born.  Home of Nike, so I just do it, naturally.

Hush, Diezel.

Bed?  Moved.

Sofa?  Moved.

Bookcases?  Moved – or sold.  The new place is slightly smaller.

Dresser?  Moved.

Ok, that last one was a bitch.  But, just done.

After all that, I expected to hurt.

For a while.

But I just didn’t.

I’ll chalk that up to doing a lot of little good things for myself consistently.  And that’s what this year has largely been about.  That and accepting my present physical situation for what it is and fixing what I reasonably can while accepting – forgiving – what I can’t.

Honestly, there’s still room to fix or improve.  And I will.

But The Brazilian made another guest appearance in my life the other night, and when he complimented my butt…I didn’t correct him!

“Alex, I’ll take Self Acceptance for priceless, please” – Me!

I can live with this.

Fitfy 49:49

Getting Lit

First of all, not that kind of “lit”.  Although I live where it’s legal, I suck – thank gawd – at smoking, be it weed or nicotine.  Pretty good at puffing a stogie, go figure.  Still haven’t indulged in that for over a decade.  So, in regards to getting lit-lit, I’d be vaping or partaking of the edible variety.

But I was riffing on lit as it refers to literature.  You see, lately I’ve been quite distracted by books.

So much so, that I haven’t posted a blog in a couple of weeks.

It all started with Ready Player One, which I purchased for my work trip back on the 12th.  I spent my flight alternating between reading my new book and writing a blog post.  Ditto my return flight, which was the last entry I posted back around the 16th.

Of course, in between flights I fell in like with a co-worker at the work conference.

The new read continued to occupy my time on my daily MAX commute, which I usually spend writing my #MaxBlogChallenge posts.

The book is super enjoyable.  I’m not a big video game fan or home gamer, but Rib was, so I kind of know the culture second hand.  Plus, I do enjoy an occasional visit to Ground Kontrol for a few beers while I blow a sawbuck worth of quarters.  


But I am definitely a fan of 80s-90s pop culture…Oingo Boingo music, John Hughes films.

Good times!

I intended to finish Ready Player One over Thanksgiving at my parents’, but you always forget something when you pack for a trip, right?

Enter, The Witness.

My mom brought me a stack of books to choose from:  The Witness, that ubiquitous Wally Lamb book and the second volume of The Tales of the City omnibus, which I had loaned her a few months back.

I always mean to re-read these old favorites of mine, but never make the time.  Instead I loan them out to The Broken Poet and – more favorably – Mom-Donna.  Heck, even Mistress Myrtle seems to enjoy my old books!So there mom is, trying to soothe my distress, always the Mom!  I decide Wally Lamb is too aggressive for a second book and pick The Witness. 

Lemme take a minute and tell you how I feel about reading multiple books.

I don’t like it.

Tried to.


It’s like dating more than one guy.

No, actually dating, you tramps.

You have to invest emotionally in books.  Giving up your imagination in this relationship versus your heart, in order to really get everything out of a book you can.

So, I tend not to do this…which is partially why I looked like a pouty baby when mom was handing out secondary reading options.

I got a few chapters in during my three day stay.  I packed it to pick up again when I finish Ready Player One.  It might go somewhere…but ever since I read Fifty Shades of Grey, my ability to fairly assess a book has been a bit wonky.

Talk about lowering the bar.

Oh, and I packed The Witness and forgot Tales…because you always forget something when you pack.

<eye roll>

The next day after work I went to get a haircut.  Naturally, in the Barber Lottery, I once again won my pink haired – and eyebrowed – trans barber.

Once again, we started off with innocent enough chatter.

Innocuous.  Hair talk.

But as soon as she started snipping, our innocent chatter veered awkwardly off course with “How was your Thanksgiving?”

She asked me, and I responded with enthusiastic yet low-key examples of our small family gathering.  When I asked her how hers was, I realized my mistake.  If I’d glanced down at myself in the mirror, I’m sure I would have seen this guy staring back at me.

You really just can’t win with some people.

As I’m listening, I glance down at her work station’s shelf and see a stack of five books.  I ask her if they have special significance to her and she just casually responds that she’s reading them.

“Simultaneously?, I ask.

“Of course!”, she replies, “But two of them are actually textbooks because I’m teaching myself Hebrew.”

Of course.

And, no, I didn’t pursue the conversational thread about how one teaches oneself Hebrew effectively with a text-only resource.  I just sat there and enjoyed the literal, physical manifestation of how different she and I are as individuals.

As if the pink eyebrows weren’t proof enough.

Then she cut my hair too short.

Getting Lit