She looks pretty good for 164, dontcha think? And I love how she’s not so set in her ways – unlike me, still gendering genderless things – and can make progress toward being a better version of itself. <- I did it!
Anyway…that’s what’s going on in my world today, February 14th, 2023.
What’s everyone else up to? Anything exciting going on for you all today?
Ok, ok…before I get lambasted; yes, I know it’s Valentine’s Day.
I’ll be marking the occasion the usual way, with my annual Valentine’s Day three-way. It’s practically my favorite day of the year!
Get over yourselves you big pervs…what other possible meaning could three-way have? At least for me.
When we started dating and I found out his family was from a reservation in New Mexico (he was born and raised in SoCal, but spent summers on the rez growing up) I honestly didn’t give it too much thought. If anything, it was more a matter of, “Well, that has to be better than either of the Dakotas, right?”
Anyway, my home state’s area code is 503 and I found it interesting that New Mexico’s is 505. That’s all it was, though, a passing point of interest that amused my brain, that our area codes were adjacent.
Ironically, Rib’s also the high water mark in this story. Deservedly, so – don’t get me wrong. Our relationship was good. Fulfilling, even. Eventually it just ran its course and instead of letting it die a slow death, I pulled the plug on it. We’re still friends, too, so like I said…he’s earned his position at the top of the heap in this story.
I moved back to Portland a year or so after Rib and I parted ways. Shortly after that, I started dipping my toe back into the toilet disguised as a pool that is dating in Gay Kulture. It’s my usual rhythm, too: I was usually single about half as long as my prior relationship. In Rib’s case, that penciled out to about two years.
For me, not him. He was single for about three weeks. I never said the transition from dating to friends was smooth.
Literally the first guy I showed an interest in turns out to be a transplant from New Mexico.
…aaaand enter the Broken Poet. My dumb ass thinks it’s a second chance at the 505.
Three chaotic months later, he’s run off back to New Mexico to live with his dad.
Flash strangers forward about six months and I start running into the same guy all around town. Jeo. All around town is overstating it. I rarely leave my quadrant, so more like all around my neighborhood.
Mind you, this is not his neighborhood, so it’s fairly remarkable. But we share coffees, the occasional slice of pizza and even rarer adult beverage. He’s not much of a drinker, but down to watch me drink – not something I’m a fan of.
My favorite moment with him was introducing him to my favorite guilty pleasure – Ground Kontrol. It’s a classic video game arcade in Old Town, just across Broadway from my place. As we walked in, I finally noticed the address of the business immediately nextdoor: 505 NW Couch.
Hilarious. Of course, I pointed it out and mentioned he oughta feel right at home.
Turns out, the reason I ran into him all around my hood is because he works here. I was usually catching him before or after a shift – or in between work shifts. Turns out, both of his jobs were in my hood.
Gotta love gumption.
Anyway, it was fun. I was enjoying getting to know someone without the unspoken agenda of getting them between the sheets and then between their legs.
All courtesy of me not being particularly attracted to him – probably not busted up enough for me, knowing my type – and him being emotionally unavailable. Turns out, he shared one day, that someone back home had kind of strung him along and he was still emotionally tethered to him.
I had found out early on that he was also from the 505 – as I was now openly calling it. It would be a couple more months before he told me the guy’s name and I eventually figured out it was the Broken Poet.
This could only happen to me.
Anyway. I wish I had a better lock on my WordPress archives so I could find the Broken Poet posts to link for you. But I don’t, so you give the search a try. Maybe it’ll work for you from the hashtag menu when I post this.
Jeo didn’t get a hashtag. I don’t know is it’s because we never really dated or if it’s because he wasn’t the typical Lost Boy that Gay Kulture tends to barf out at me. I’m leaning toward the latter. I enjoyed our time as friends and hangout buds. He just didn’t have a ton of spare drama overflowing onto my sneakers.
Refreshing. To be sure.
Until he kissed me out of the blue one day.
Caught me off guard, he did. I wasn’t offended, I just wasn’t prepared…and I don’t think he understood the difference between the two responses.
I’m going to jump ahead now. I’ll shorthand the interim with this: there were other guys from the 505 that I came in across and didn’t suffer, I’m less optimistic about the caliber of person that area code can produce than I was back with Rib. Hell, when I was a hiring manager, I had to actively set aside my misgivings about the residents of the 505 to avoid them coloring my decisions and potentially putting my employers at risk. I’m glad I’m either self-aware or professional enough to know to do so, though.
Flashing forward to the fall of 2020, I find myself down a “You busy?” fella. Someone to bang out with – now that I’m openly retired from dating. It’s not so much about efficiency as it is about boundaries around my own self-care. I can’t put it as succinctly as “come, cum, go”, because I do enjoy an intimate connection with my occasional erection. But I’m not investing long term here.
I’m sampling the menu, not buying the restaurant.
I’ve done a 180 on my attitude toward bisexual men. When I was younger and seeking a relationship, they bothered me. Most likely as ungettable. Now that I’m post-dating and more into relating while mating, they hold a functional and appealing disqualifier. Or, rather, I do: no titties. Or whatever it is that appeals to those fellas who can’t commit to a single gender dating pool.
We’ve been on and then off and now on again since November of 2020. Our first run was populated by interrogatories like “How long was your longest” this situation and “Do you think I’m maybe just mostly gay” type things, which I deftly batted aside like I’m King Kong atop the Empire State Building and they were attacking bi-planes instead of questions from a bi-guy.
The notable break came when he started dating a rack seriously and failed at juggling me to meet his needs that she could not.
“To thine own grumpy old man-ness, be true”, Me
Turns out, I’m not only his “what’s missing in his relationship” but also his adult, because when she dumped him…back, he came. Not for the sex, which he eventually got, but for the perspective, methinks. I don’t tell people what they want to hear. But I do tell them what maybe they need to hear.
He was in a mood to hear it this time around. To his credit.
Oh, and did I fail to mention he’s from a small town just north of the border in an area code known as the 505?
Sorry, that’s just bad storytelling.
Seriously, though…I am left to wonder why this isn’t my second question to someone. First, who are you? Second, from where are you?!?
Out, it always does, though. Surprised by it, less and less am I. Because, of course you are from the 505 if you run into me.
Ironically, that’s not where this story ends – even though BiBoi is texting me now that he’s off work.
Nono. As my neighbor, CrazyTown, has ridden further and further off into the insanity sunset, I’ve become more and more interested in leaving my building before I become associated with a tragic headline.
This has manifested in my joking to the Silver Fox that I was going to just move into his condo across the park. Mostly, that threat was meant to spur him into recamping to Portland from his ex-wife’s country estate. I get that being decamped there provides him with stimulation – not that kind – that he doesn’t get from life in the city: a free range dog, gardening, ok…farming, hot tubbing under the stars, non-tent-dwelling neighbors, no neighbors. Things the city life can’t offer.
Still, he has a two-decade long history with every older person’s most significant of others: doctors. If not for them, I might never have seen him after his pandemic escape. And his condo just sits there. Empty, aside from the every-other month-ness of his doctor appointments or even rarer relatives coming through town and crashing there for a night or two.
His counteroffer to my idea of establishing squatters rights? Use his Fox Network of relationships, both established and newly formed in pursuit of a friend’s in-need-ness, to find me a place in his building that is not…his.
The not-yet-exhausted option he’s sourced?
Because, of course it should all culminate there for me. If it happens, I don’t see myself getting out of it alive. It’s too neatly wrapped up.
Not that it comes with an executioner, by any means. But, don’t be surprised if it did!
No, I just mean that with the familiarity I have with his neighbors after running into them in elevators and hallways and (unescorted by a building resident) on the rooftop deck and on sidewalks and bars over the past couple decades, it would feel like home.
For as long as I myself, alone (of course) shall live.
There’s a certain fucked up I don’t know what-ness about the potential. We’ll see how the 505 saga ends…
This could all be an exercise in how emotionally broken and busted up I am.
Or what have you.
But I watched some movie and now I want to talk about it.
Merry Christmas Eve, by the way!
Anyway. I’ve fallen into this avoidance trap. I don’t know why, but I’m doing anything in front of the TV to avoid watching Christmas movies. Maybe it’s because I watched Bad Moms Christmas last year and it put me off the whole genre? Nonetheless, this has manifested by me creating my own themes to binge.
One of these was gay themed movies. The two I want to discuss today both put me off watching them for one reason or another – fine, they both annoyed me – if that tells you how hard I was resisting Christmas themed movies.
How can a movie annoy me before I’ve even seen it, you ask?
Not surprisingly, it was the usual trigger for me: idiots.
When Bros came out and the first weekend earnings were reported, they lacked a certain luster. It made less than $5 million in its opening weekend. The writer and star blamed straight people for not seeing his rom-com because the main characters were gay.
Ballpark cocktail napkin math, there’s 20 million gay men in the US. Countless others who identify as queer, questioning, gender-fluid or trans. And then a handful of lesbians who sympathetically tolerate gay men.
Y’know what, that’s too complicated. The old rule of thumb (and by “old” I mean outdated) is that 10% of the population is gay. In America, that translates to around 35 million people. If just ten percent of that 10% <ahem> came out for opening weekend, that’s a $35 million opening weekend.
Bitch, your own people didn’t show up for you. Trust me, having written a couple of gay themed books, I understand the phenomenon. Don’t blame the straights, it’s your community.
So, yeah…that kinda put me off.
Conversely, the other gay themed movie is been awaiting was My Policeman. After the media hullaballoo surrounding star Harry Styles’ other movie release this year (Don’t Worry Darling) I was looking forward to something I could enjoy without experiencing a shitshow of humanity-baiting press beforehand. But the idiots came through and pissed me off again.
Several of the reviews went out of their way to mention Styles’ English accent sounded contrived and unbelievable.
Harry is from the United Kingdom.
What the hell is wrong with people?
After overcoming those frustrations – at least to the point that the idea of watching them bothered me less than the idea of viewing Christmas content – I made a weekend of it.
Are you ready for this? Gird your loins. No, on second thought, you little peeves put your loins out of your minds altogether. I’m sorry I mentioned it.
Months and months ago, I heard about this gay movie that was coming out this year called Bros. It was written by and starred Billy Eichner, who I am not a fan of – he’s just not my cup of personality tea. Conversely, it was directed by Nicholas Stoller who brought us okay titles like Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Get Him to the Greek. It was also being produced by Judd Apatow.
So there was plenty of recognizable name power behind it. You gotta assume that if anyone could succeed at being a gay-centric rom-com into the mainstream, it was a crew like this.
I spent the time mentally playing Russian roulette. This wasn’t a movie, it seemed as it was a sentence.
Don’t get me wrong, I was only mentally playing Russian roulette, not literally, so it wasn’t that bad. But even weeks after watching it I’m still trying to figure out if I’m bending over backward to not hate it.
Here are me takeaways:
1) There’s some (singular) guy candy. The whole premise of the trailer is that nerdy gay Billy can’t grapple with the reality that hot co-star Luke MacFarlane could be into him. Ok, I feel that particular struggle. Anymore what used to be surprise at learning someone was attracted to me has turned into outright suspicion. Like when a good looking guy pays attention to me my response isn’t to be flattered, it “What do you want?”
2) Sadly, Luke’s character – as easy as he is to look at – has almost the entire patchwork of gay fucked up-ness in his quilt: your basic gym bunny of a commitment-phobe, hyper-sexualized, Homo. Even when the story opens him up a little by giving him a totally out of character secret dream to make him look vulnerable, it’s immediately thrown in the dirt and stomped on by throwing his gay-shame in our faces when his family visits the Big Apple for Christmas.
3) Stunt casting is alive! But maybe not well? Several out actors played roles in this film. That was nice to see – even if the community didn’t come out for the show, it supported the community of out entertainers in its casting. The winner for me was Amanda Bearse playing Luke’s character’s mother. The conservative mindset of the character explains some of Luke’s dis-ease with Billy meeting them, but it was her eventual understanding of how her narrow worldview impacted others that did it for me. It was nice to see Guillermo Diaz play a het dad instead of an unhinged killer. Jai Rodriquez playing Luke’s uber-masc brother pretty much made me realize casting members of the community was more important than casting people who could sell the characters they were playing. Debra Messing is a moderately bright spot in the film playing herself as an out of date star that basically has a meltdown during her scene over being famous for being a fruit fly.
4) The Gays can’t seem to evolve professionally. In the 70s and 80s, we were all basically hair burners and retail queens. Now we’re all drag queens or caricatures of people with no real depth or involved in something that serves our ungrateful and entitled community. Case in point, Billy’s character is a podcaster who is named to lead the blah-blah-blah LGBTQ center. But first he had to build it, which is a central theme in the movie. The closest we come to an actual profession is Luke’s character who is an attorney who does estate planning. To further the programming of The Gays and reinforce that we should not aspire to such respectable professions, he hates it.
5) For as much as we call ourselves a community, there’s truly no unity here. Again, The Gays didn’t go to the movie, but if they had, all they would have seen is the usual selfish infighting amongst the alphabetical factions.
6) The Gays are as self-unaware as ever. Bowen Yang (more stunt casting!) plays a billionaire media mogul who briefly comes into the orbit of this storyline. The scene ends with him dismissing the main characters by telling them he has to go to a Pride pool party and they are too “old” to go in the pool, so they have to leave. Now, I’m all for cleverly bitchy wit. I’m also one for accountability, too, and watching this scene play out made me cringe. Excluding people based on things that are out of their control like age or genes is just not ok. Yang is no underwear model, so I can’t imagine how he felt delivery such an ageist line. If he’s the typical ‘22 model of The Gays, I’m sure the point was entirely lost on him.
Honestly, this is pretty much how I felt about the whole movie. I couldn’t figure out if it was just basic or if it was trying to lampoon was passes for Gay Kulture these days but just wasn’t smart enough to pull it off.
That’s my main takeaway – confusion.
Honestly, props to those involved for taking a big swing on this. But that doesn’t change the fact that it’s a big miss for me. If you want to see a gay movie about a nerd and a stud falling in love with an out of date TV star having a meltdown…see 1999’s Trick. Tori Spelling was an amazing bit of stunt casting in this indy flick whose meltdown is truly a memorable moment. Plus, Coco Peru’s cameo alone is worth the ticket – rental, now – price, because…it does burn, Coco!
After bracing myself for Harry’s inability to pull of a convincing English accent, I settled into this little slice of life time capsule. Then again, after watching Bros, it was pretty easy to settle in with the expectations bar set pretty low.
This movie takes place in two different times in the three main characters’ lives, separated by 40-some odd years and splices the events of the two points together as the story unfolds.
I’m not going to try and do that here. Suffice to say, it ends up unfolding as a three-way tragedy.
The movie starts with an infirm old Patrick being delivered by medical transport to the home of childless couple Tom and Marion. He’s just recovered from a stroke and is here to convalesce. Marion is glad to have their old pal from decades earlier back in their lives, not to mention someone to take care of to give her days some purpose. Tom is not so happy about the arrival, spending his screen time walking the couple’s dog on the beach.
As the story hood between the past and present, we learn that Tom is a retired policeman who early in his career was a lone singleton in his precinct who was told that single officers don’t get promoted. Enter Marion who is a school teacher that is instantly smitten with the handsome young Tom – let’s face it, regardless of which side your bread is buttered on, Harry Styles is pretty easy to look at, weak-assed English accent be damned.
Tom introduces Marion to a young Patrick, who he claims to have met after an accident.
The three become friends. And it’s a friendship independent of the marriage. Marion and Patrick enjoy cultural outings together without Tom. Tom, for his part, enjoys his alone time with Patrick in…other ways.
Marion does what wives in the 50s-ish era did, ignored the signs about the true nature of Tom and Patrick’s relationship. On that note, maybe we understand a little more of Marion’s motivation behind inviting Patrick to their home to heal. Certainly, it’s easier to understand Tom’s absence in the house.
But it was nostalgic viewing for me. Even though my early relationships with men occurred in the late 80s and early 90s versus the 40s or 50s, the closet was still the room I spent the most time in. Beards – as the women in relationships of convenience were called – were still commonplace. A friend of mine who was a bank VP in the early 90s was told the same thing Tom was. Being a VP versus a beat cop, his response was more “Who the fuck cares?” versus pairing up, but it still happened.
Maybe nostalgia is the wrong word. Because the end result was that I was mad at the memory. The secret life gays were forced to live. The way women were treated as results. The emotional costs on both sides of the transaction.
Regardless, it was a far better depiction of this type of gay-straight love triangle than Threesome. But that probably went without saying – even if you never knew that movie existed…
What upset me most, though, about My Policeman was knowing that the current – or recent – generations of The Gays are oblivious to the trauma of the reality so many generations of their predecessors existed in. Their own culture. But it’s not their problem and certainly nowhere near as traumatic as their realities. Y’know, the one where no one gets their pronouns right and they don’t make enough on their OnlyFans to support their undeserved caviar tastes, leaving them no choice but to self-diagnose with anxiety and/or depression as a result. That’s tragedy.
So while I quite enjoyed watching the story of My Policeman unfold – as well as Harry’s too-infrequent naked ass – the movie left me angrier for what our culture has lost than anything else. That loss is history. Such an important piece of any culture and one of the reasons I spell the word with a K when I pair it with the word gay.
Still, as a counterbalance to my reaction to Bros, I feel like my emotional Geiger counter might not be as broken as I alluded to in my intro. I was still a bit intrigued by the fact that neither of these stories really had the emotional impact upon me their creators would have imagined.
I rewatched Top Gun: Maverick.
Sixteen minutes in and I am shedding tears the way I wish I could shed belly fat: fast and voluminously.
“What the fuck?!?” I asked Myrtle, who opened one eye at the question to let me know it was my problem and not worth rousing her from her nap.
If it would have just been that one instance of nostalgic tears, I could have written it off. But sixteen minutes later, there’s I was again, wiping my face – not my eyes, my face – with both hands.
Then fourteen minutes later.
And it really didn’t let up for the two-plus hours of the movie.
Top fucking Gun fucking Maverick. That’s the movie that provoked an emotional response from me?
Maybe I am more emotionally busted up than I want to let on.
On the other hand, maybe before I decide I should survey a bunch of naval aviators to see what their response was to TG:M. If they didn’t have a strong emotional reaction to the movie, maybe that’s my out: if you’re in the community, there’s a normalizing factor that familiarity breeds where you’re more witnessing the story versus becoming emotionally invested in it.
Call me what you will: cynical, crazy…whatchu got? But when my ex – Rib – texted this morning asking if we could talk, my mind immediately went dark.
It’s been a few years since we’ve talked outside of random social media interactions. Even longer since we’ve caught up in real-time.
Note to self: chill that white burgundy I got on their wine tasting trip to Portland. That’s gotta be 6 years old now?!?
Anyway. Out of nowhere came the thought, “His mom died”, and I was immediately sad. Thinking about her in the past tense. Thoughts like “She was the same age as my dad!”
Welp, I’m happy to report that guess was wrong. But the dire spirit was warranted.
He’s getting divorced.
That was in my top two reasons he’d want to talk, but by all (observed) accounts, they were strong.
Despite the reason Rib gave for them getting married – he needed insurance, which is a typical Rib dodge to a question he doesn’t want to answer – they seemed pretty solid. They’d bought a house together a year or so after getting hitched. They recently sold it for $400k more than they bought it for and had an offer on a million dollar build.
They were able to get out of that with less hoops to jump through than Elon trying to get out of his Twitter deal.
But the benchmark of our relationship was that we ended as friends. I figured breaking up with someone 18 years my junior when I was in my mid-40s was gonna be it for me, relationship-wise. A prediction that has held up, but I thought finally having an ex that became a friend was a good high water mark.
Or I had inadvertently strayed into lesbian tendencies territory. I did avoid buying a Subaru when I went car shopping, so I think I’m not in any danger of losing my Gay Card.
Using it is another, less likely story scenario.
Another moment of…not pride, but, y’know…something pride-adjacent was that he wanted to talk to me before he spoke to his family.
Especially his sister. Ironically, she’d gotten married for the same reason. Hey, I never said Rib used original material. That union also ended in divorce. After living in separate states for most of the marriage.
When I’d ended my relationship with Rib, I’d laid out my view of his worldview pretty plainly: he’d moved from his mom’s house, to his sister’s to mine. He needed to figure out who he was before he could be a real partner for someone. “You need to get the shit kicked out of you by the world for a bit” were my exact words.
We found an apartment for him and got him settled in his new life. Two weeks later his sister fixed him up with his soon to be ex-husband and they were immediately inseparable.
I was pissed at her, not him. He was just doing what he knew. She should have known better.
Anyway, a decade later, hearing his plan for his fresh start and then him finishing with, “That’s what you told me that I should do when we broke up. You were right. I don’t even know who I am right now, much less what I want!”
He was a real brat when we were dating. Fun, but a brat. But when I told him I was t dating someone with no job, no education and living with his sister, he batted down my objections with actions. Well, two of the three, he got a job a few days later and a few weeks later was asking me for help filling out financial aid paperwork for college.
I was really impressed by what this guy could do when someone expected something of him. There wasn’t much I could reasonably expect from him on the housing front, but four years later, we fixed that. At least for a few weeks.
Now he’s closing another circle in his life and I gotta hand it to him for having the insight to be able to look at his actions the last time he found himself single and decide what he wants to do differently this time.
I may not have had kids of my own to release into the world, but my MO when dating younger ‘mos had been to leave ‘em better than I found ‘em. I’m happy that I was able to see the results with Rib not once, but twice now.
Here’s hoping I get to witness the rewards he reaps for the work he’s signing up for, too. But I’m not taking my chips off the square that says “Takes his half of the house money and moves away” either.
You know how when you meet a lapsed Catholic and religion comes up in conversation? Eventually it comes up as, “Oh, you’re Catholic, what are your thoughts?!?”
The response? Well, obviously, it’s varied. They’ve left the cult and can now exercise free thought and expression. But it usually starts with a clarifying variant of “Non-practicing Catholic” before any deeper response is given.
It’s like “Let me be perfectly clear, here…”
Well, that’s me and my sexuality.
People usually want to know if I know their gay friend when they are introduced to me by a mutual acquaintance. “Oh, Chris-Chris?”, they ask. our mutual friend like my eyes and ears aren’t connected to my brain.
Mentally I add, “Non-practicing” before they even finish their sentence. But I have managed to perfect the mental eye-roll. A few of those made it awkwardly out into the wild. I wasn’t the first to realize it, either. Not even always the second. I had to ask myself a few times whether the person-I’d-been-introduced-to’s eyes widened before or after my friend’s overly dramatic coughing fit began to figure out the appropriate level of chagrin or combativeness to display.
I say all this by way of introducing my topic tonight: I deleted the sole dating app on my phone a couple weeks back.
Sidebar: This is dating not mating app I’m talking about. I rarely act on the opportunities that prostrate present themselves on the mating app, but I enjoy opening it to “see who’s around”. It used to be fun to surreptitiously open up Grindr while shopping or at a show with plenty guy candy present just to see if there were other gays around. Now, though, it’s so much easier to profile gays in a crowd. Well, queers in a crowd. What with the rise in visibility of gender fluidity over the past 5-10 years, I’m no longer wondering if that hot guy is gay so much as I’m curious if that guy wearing nail polish isn’t gay. This is what I lived through the AIDS crisis for? Seems like a lot of trouble in retrospect.
So, yeah. I deleted OKStupid a few weeks back.
Not like I was actively using it. But at least I could tell myself I had a line in the water, right?
Don’t get me wrong, I was completely fine letting them app linger, tucked away in the social media folder on my Home Screen. But a while back, they sent me this bullshit:
Yeah, GoPuff knows a lot more about marketing than the folks at OKStoopid. If I wanted manipulative behaviors like that, I’d date. So I ignore it thinking, “Save me the trouble, will ya?” But, just like dating, they kept coming back like they hadn’t thrown down a failed ultimatum.
“No, they don’t.” It’s just the same Lost Boys I encounter in the bars or on the truly asocial media apps trying to assuage their shame by having an actual dating app on their phone. Poor stupid, stupid dears.
Or, channeling my inner Groucho Marx, riffing on not wanting to meet anyone who would want to meet me. In case you missed this the last 100-ish times I’ve used it…
The thing I didn’t like about this app experience wasn’t the caliber of the offerings – I’m sure it would surprise no one to hear that my expectations were set appropriately low and we’re still unmet. It was that the app was just a gaslighting shit show.
I’d keep seeing the same guys. My mental conversations would be something like, “I know I’ve swiped left on that train wreck before.”
Being <ahem> situationally charitable, I’d assume the best. About the app, not the person. When it came to the people, my thoughts would range somewhere near the “Who is this hard luck case (from me) trying to fool with a new profile?”
Turns out, it wasn’t the people trying to juice interest with a fresh profile, it was the app recycling people I had no interest in by presenting them as potential matches again. Like “It’s been 3 months and you haven’t met anyone, are you sure you can afford to be so choosy…at this point?”
Yes, I can. 1000%.
I finally gave them a hand and deleted the app myself after getting another “Your Profile Will Be Deactivated” email from them.
I’m not kidding, the next day I got two emails from them. The first was another “Your Profile Will Be Deactivated” email that briefly made Gilbert Godfried my dominant personality.
The second email almost earned Apple a repeat sale on my phone. Check it out…
Two hours after a “WTF, I deleted my profile, why are you still sending me emails?!?” email, they’re trying to lure me back with my epically useless Super Like.
Hey, OKStoopid, I kinda super like myself – at least compared to any of the people you actively call Users. I think I’ll be ok.
That’s not a declaration I make capriciously, as I admit I am wont to do. Nono, this comes years after the 50th-birthday-party-turned-dating-intervention. That led to a year of focused dating effort – also where the loathsome OKStoopid app earned its place on my Home Screen.
That led to this –
And it’s all been diminishing returns since then. Turns out, if I want oddly unsatisfying entertainment, I can binge watch a quirky series on one of my many streaming services. Cheaper than dating, less frustrating and much less potential for follow-up therapy! Plus, unless the internet goes out, binge watching always shows up.
Not to overthink the classics, but you’ve heard the old chestnut, “You make your own luck” or the not dissimilar “Luck is what you make it”.
Ok, well…could someone please explain what they fuck I’m doing?!?
Is it bad that I’m crowdsourcing that information? Check it out, though, and weigh in…because I can’t decide if the universe is flirty with me, sending me warning signs or possibly both.
It started with this:
Ok. Sure. Let’s make a Will. For all of you conspiracy theorists out there, this could be my own fault. I’d literally said “I guess I’d better make a Will” after I opened my parents’ gift from grandpa’s estate.
Not that I’ve got anyone to bequeath my plant collection to – but that’s another blog. Let the government have it. That’ll piss off plenty of folks…just letting the state have my shit. Not my family, of course. There’s perks to being the brokest bitch in my family. Well, outside Black Sheep Bro, that is. But anyone that knows me will tell you that self-referencing “bitch” comment was not figurative and that I’m sure as Hell not rewarding that history.
So, there’s that. I wrote it off to a not-incorrect coincidence and went on with my life.
Then things leveled up a bit.
I came downstairs last Saturday afternoon – thank you, good night sleep herb – and from well inside my lobby, could see bikes whizzing by on the street outside.
Racing the wrong way on my one-way street.
The street I was parked on the night before.
All I’m thinking is that my car got towed. Then I’m incensed because shit goes on in my neighborhood all. the. time. So I know what to expect when something is happening..
This is out of the blue, though. Literally. I’d walked home from my around-the-corner bar the prior evening around 930 pm. Usually, when something of this magnitude is happening, I have – at worst – last ditch reminders…like they’re setting up booths and tents and johnnies-on-the-spot in the park the night before.
And this is the last ditch visual reminders. Before that, there’s No Parking signs posted on the trees lining the streets for weeks ahead of time. Plus flyers taped to the building doors so you can’t miss them.
This? This is gotten a flyer about a half dozen trips to the recycler ago. Ok, fine…it was a good month and a half back.
So, what was it?
The Portland Criterion.
I don’t remember this happening in the six years I’ve lived in this building. Apparently, though, it used to happen all the time. Local legend has it that ol’ uniball (Lance Armstrong) used to ride it before he started winning Tours de France.
If you believe that kind of scuttlebutt.
Anyway, it’s a nine block course – if my mental mapping math is correct. A three block straightaway, up a block, back a block, up a block, over a block and down two to the start.
But did I mention that my car got towed?!?
(Un)Luckily, I’d run into the chattiest mailman ever on my way out. He was telling me that the parking situation was a real shitshow. He’d had to park a half dozen blocks away instead of right in front, as is his norm.
“Oh, all the bridge and tunnel folk?”, I asked, knowing full well he is one.
“Yeah! Well, that and all the cars they had to move off the route!” My ears perked up.
“Say what now?”
“Oh, yeah. They call it a ‘Courtesy Tow’, but it’s not doing me any courtesies!”
Ok, maybe my luck is on an upward swing. All I had to do was scour the neighborhood clicking my alarm remote until my lights flash.
Knowing my neighborhood, some crazy would flash me before my Angela did.
My car was right around the corner.
Luck: fully functioning.
I did whatever I’d needed to do that afternoon and then realized there was the neighborhood dysfunction to deal if I went home, and decided to kill some time.
Hello, app of Lost Boys.
It’s an indictment of my decaying subculture that a man my age, in my wavering physical condition can get laid with only a modest amount of effort on these loathsome asocial media apps. But there I was, finding a safe harbor to park my lil tug in to ride out the Criterion storm in my home port.
I’m still offended.
It’s like I’m the gay equivalent of Groucho Marx.
Nevertheless, I am heading home from my afternoon delight and my drinking buddy neighbor from the Silver Fox’s building asks if I wanna meet at the neighborhood joint for dinner.
This is also promising because somehow I conflated this with the Criterion being complete.
The car in the lane to my right’s bumper literally peeled off the car and flew right at me.
Interesting life choice for a car. Upon closer inspection, though, the car looked like it should have the theme from Sanford & Son emanating from it. Checking my bitchiness in an attitude of that-bumper-missed-me gratitude, I checked myself and admitted that this car was likely someone’s residence.
Oh, yeah, the bumper missed me. Mostly thanks to me not being where I was heading toward being once I saw it depart its logical location.
I pull past this “How is this street legal” moving violation and glance in the window.
Let me tell you, I’d just gotten laid in the first time in too long and my sunny disposition had nothing on this driver.
“So, great, she’s under the influence, too.”
I swear, this shit could only happen to me. A bumper leaves home a few feet ahead of me in a once-in-lifetime occurrence? Yeah, just me.
Nevertheless, I make it home without further whatthefuckness. Until I have to park, and then I realize the Criterion is not finished.
Go figure, my original towed-to parking spot on my “Street Closed” street is taken. Turning around, I pull across the intersection and part in a Loading Zone with 7 am – 7 pm restrictions Monday-Saturday.
It’s 650 pm on Saturday night.
“Fucking ticket me”, I say as I walk away.
Minutes later, when recounting the afternoon’s events to my buddy, I recall that this is exactly what had happened last time I gambled on that. But that was a pandemic ago…so who’s winning now!!?
The next morning, my tire was flat.
Here’s why there will never be a musical about my life: days like last Saturday. You couldn’t write a song about that day. There’s no rhythm to it. My fortunes that day were nothing if not psychotic.
By comparison, a couple Saturdays prior, I’d had breakfast with my parents, they’d cavalierly tossed out a check I with more zeroes than my dating history and they’d bought. Then I went home and watched movies and snoozed the rest of the day.
That’s plenty of Saturday for me.
Criterion Saturday? Do not need.
In other random “luck” housekeeping…
Yesterday – Payroll Monday, as I like to call it – turned out to be just Monday. No payroll. Too much other shit going on, so I decided to punt and process payroll today.
On the other hand, I got it done in 2.5 hours. This is something that appeared to be taking 16+ hours when I came on board, so there’s that.
Additionally, I arranged to have the local tire joint – who I have unpleasant history with – look at Angela’s tire today. I was betting it would be $100. The Silver Fox was telling me they did it for free whether you bought tires there or not. I just didn’t want to risk putting a can of Fix-a-Flat into the equation and then getting in the freeway to the Costco for the free repair I was entitled to after my tire purchase there.
So, here I am…still living haphazardly but thinking critically!
I’d called ahead and was told a patch was $20. Fine. Get it done.
I drop it off three minutes before they open this morning and hoof it home – cajoling Jessla into a coffee along the way…barely missing my “late” start time of 945.
At 1030, the call me – but I’m on a Teams call and can’t talk. Voicemail. When I get a chance to listen, it’s some guy you know is hot but totally selfish in bed and barely functional in life telling me they couldn’t find a problem.
I hold the phone away from my face and wonder aloud if they were looking at the wrong tire. I watched my onboard count down four pounds of lost pressure on my nine blocks up, eight blocks over trip to drop Angela off. So I call back and tell them to take another swing at it.
It took a few hours, but eventually I got a callback that said they were able to find the screw and patch the hole.
At 415 I feed Myrtle her 15 minute overdue dinner. Well, half of it because I can tell she’s gonna eat like she’s never had a meal. I figure, I can manage that and feed her the rest after she’s had time to digest a bit.
We’re talking 1.5 ounces of wet food here…and she still threw it up before 430.
I tell my coworker over Teams that I’m fucking off to clean up cat puke and then go get my car. I know I’ll come in tomorrow to an arms length of cat rearing tips – none of which will be “Don’t adopt a cat three other people returned”, but still well-intentioned.
I hike up to the tire place and am told it’s complimentary. Just remember them when I need new tires.
Goddamnit, the Silver Fox was right!
For free…unlike the person they paid to tell me the wrong answer.
Mind you, writing this out, I know it’s all nonsense. I got towed, I got laid, I got a flat.
Whatever, right? Free range bumpers notwithstanding.
But here’s what I didn’t tell ya: I’m between waking up on Saturday and getting laid on Saturday? A lot more happened.
I wouldn’t have been leaving my house at all that day if I hadn’t woken up to this random text message “from my bank”.
“Here’s the one-time verification code you requested”…only, I hadn’t? But, also…I had.
Days before. It was an aborted attempt to link my main account to my car loan – since my car loan had revamped their app (for the better) but had t imported any sensitive data. Basically, I had to set it all up again – because what benefits them, fucks me. Natch.
Sadly, that all ended in tears for the poor bastard I made help me after three failed attempts to link my main account to their new and improved shit.
But did I get three verification codes or just two? Was this random text something their new-but-still-having-a-stroke system buried out after a few days of rest or a legit scam?
I call the bank. It’s noon on Saturday.
By 1215, I’m being told that my account has been closed – for my protection.
“So, basically, you’re telling me I have 45 minutes to get out of bed, shower, shampoo and shine and make it over to my branch to re-open an account before they close at 1 or I can be penniless til Monday?”
“We’re super sorry (inferred, they didn’t say that) but our grocery store branches are open until 3! You can try this one in Portland’s version of Alabama.”
I Google “my fucking credit union’s branches in grocery stores” and counter that asinine attempt of theirs at help with, “How about I just go to this store a mile from my house?”
So I do all of this and end up leaving the branch with a new account and new debit card. It’s 245. I’m dreading all the new debit card ordeals ahead of me.
Assorted bill pays I have set up to my debit card.
This is gonna be Billy Hell.
But they’ve assured me that my direct deposit is flagged to transfer. Me, being an adult, resist telling them that that is literally my job so I’m not worried or asking what they do with my money that has them giddy that the flow will be uninterrupted.
Fine. Maybe I’m a little bit of that conspiracy theorist I maligned earlier. But only for my own entertainment!
On my way out, I ask if my pending bank to bank transfers will flow through, since I suspect they are still incomplete. My “transfer to” bank shows the deposits are funded, my “transfer from” bank closed my account without bothering to ask.
“I don’t see anything pending, so everything is good!”
“You’re telling me you could see transfers initiated outside the credit union?”
“Yup. Everything looks good.”
I woke up today to an email saying my $3000 transfer (the max allowed) had been rejected because of insufficient funds.
“Or a closed account and idiot banker” I mumble to my phone. Whatever. It only cost me time – since my investment account doesn’t charge for returned transfers and my credit union seemed to at least know not to trifle with that after my Saturday ordeal.
And that’s why I wanted to fuck someone after leaving the bank on Saturday…I knew my own fucking was coming. At least it was gentle?
I swear, if I find out Pam Ewing dreamed this whole thing…well, that might actually explain a few things.
Certainly a chat I don’t want brands I value to seek to be involved in, either.
But this is America. We ruin everything.
And as hard as we fight to not beinclusive, except when it comes to money, there are exceptions. Companies in America gotta get everyone’s money – so they’re gonna at least act inclusive.
One of my favorite examples of this is corporate rainbow-washing every June for Pride month. And then the month ends…
It amuses me – this observation, but it doesn’t bother me. Not because I think The Gays, collectively, have become unworthy of anyone’s support or pride (which is true) but because it’s also such an stupid American cultural reality. It’s the End of Christmas Morning Phenomenon: “Is this all I got?”
So, yeah. Complain, please…that you got a spotlight for a full month, you ninnies.
Anyway, then there’s BMW entering into a courtship with what is arguably America’s largest and most diverse subculture. Actually, it might be the unacknowledged dominant culture.
The “sub”culture, not BMW. They might be geniuses.
What are they doing?
Pandering to the group of Americans who ignore the squiggly red line under words they type…because spell-check is wrong, not them.
How? Just how does a multinational – global, even – manufacturing company target an audience like this?
Believe it or not, it likely didn’t involve anything as spectacular as running head-first at full speed into a wall or ripping whip-its before sitting down to develop content. Very likely, I’d imagine it was rather organic.
Picture it. The setting: HR. Aaand…scene!
That’s it. Can you picture HR without the mental image of the employee it conjures being a ubiquitous Karen?
That’s all it takes. Someone who embraced the rampant misuse of the word “literally” so long that a dictionary gave the fuck up and rewrote its definition to align with the misuse.
You think they’re gonna hire people who would demand a high level of detail from themselves in their work? I’m talking in any department, too, not just in advertising.
I just don’t want you walking away from this post laughing at stupid creatives in stupid corporate America. I want you horrified, chagrined and slightly frightened of how pervasive the problem is.
Oh, you want to actually know what got me going on this? Not that the pic at the top of the post didn’t bury the lede, but…check it:
The caption says “Your BMW Has Our Undivided Attention” – italics are my addition, for emphasis…in case you’re one of them and don’t know it.
Call me crazy, but to me, undivided implies focus. Presumably, that guy is wrist deep in my BMW.
His hands are inside my car.
Where are his eyes?
Where?!? What are his eyes focused on?!?
Not watching what the fuck his hands are doing, that’s where.
So the collateral that BMW sends me to earn my business by demonstrating their attention to the service they provide is a picture of them not providing a commensurate level of attention to the service they provide.
Got it. Yeah.
Don’t mind me. I’m just over here observing shit.
What really bugs me is that I got this in the mail on a Saturday. My day off. Well, the one that overlaps with USPS service.
My day off from running payroll for a laser manufacturing outfit.
That’s five days of me seeing people that manufacture lasers but can’t manage to remember to punch back in from lunch. So I spend a good deal of time each week being surprised lasers work as intended, given the poor performance our employees have at such an entry level job expectation: making sure they get paid accurately for their time by punching a damn time card.
But, hey…if our lasers work on potentially nothing more than dumb luck, maybe that BMW tech will manage to not fuck up my car while giving it what passes for undivided attention while working on it?
Or I’ll pop the hood on Angela one day and find a windshield wiper where there should be a dipstick. Which scenario seems more likely?
Figuratively more likely, by the way. I know a windshield wiper would never literally fit where a dipstick belongs.
I could probably just end this post at the title without leaving any mystery as to how I feel about how little my subculture deserves a fucking parade. Far be it from me to be succinct, though. But I also don’t want to bore you with my feelings about standing outside at a parade some stupid American would happily make a massacre of with a bunch of people who pretend both that I’m visible and that they’re decent people for one day a year.
Also, far be it from me to show restraint, so let the fact that I’ve been kicking this post idea around for about a month be known. Give that a damn parade. Rest assured, that’s not proChristination, either. I have literally been trying to decide whether posting a Pride month entry needed to happen. It didn’t last year, thank you for noticing.
Plus, being the volunteer voice of treason for my subculture has gotten me nothing but disavowed by said subculture. Not that I was expecting anything other than a culture I could feel pride in from those jokers. Me and my unreasonable expectations.
But that’s all I have to say about that. I’m Gay Kulture’s voice of treason, not their Don damn Quixote.
So I’ll just leave you with a little story. The Silver Fox has already kind of heard this – and I hate to bore my number one reader – although he may have unremembered it, as he likes to say.
Someone recently asked me if I had big plans for Pride month. Not sure how deep they imagined my pockets or clear my calendar might be when they asked, but it sounded like in their imagination, I’d be off traipsing around the globe, careening from circuit party to circuit party in some sort of cum-drunk stupor all month.
Ok, that grossed me out. Me.
Happy to burst their bubble – but with the style and panache a straight ally expects of their GBF – I set her, um…straight.
Here’s what I said, basically. She was rightfully near death when I finished.
“I dunno. I’ve been thinking about getting a haircut.”
I could see her translating my sentence from straight to gay and imagining me with rainbow colors died into my ‘do.
She needs a lot of setting straight. Straight setting? I don’t know what the proper Queen’s English would deem proper English syntax there…
“But then, I dunno. I’m kind of invested in the length at this point.”
“It’s never been this long before, has it?”
“Nah. Could’ve never pulled it off when I was working professionally. But that’s not the point.”
I see her confusion and debate dragging her along a little longer or moving in for the big finish. Knowing how tragically short American attention spans are these days – especially when the topic is not themselves – I decide not to risk losing my momentum to the “Squirrel! Phenomenon”.
“Yeah, at this point the rejection I get from trying to date The Gays just isn’t as fulfilling as it used to be.”
She’s starting to slow down during our walk, like a 70s-era robot being defeated by an illogic loop.
“So I’m thinking maybe – I dunno – maybe I’ll just grow it out to Locks of Love length and then try to donate it, because I’m sure they’d look at it and tell me in no uncertain terms that cancer patients would rather be bald than sport this stringy nest I call a mane. That seems like a man imminently satisfying level of rejection.”
Dead. She died right there on the sidewalk, dutifully swearing to me that my admittedly neglected hair was gorgeous. These are the types of transparent lies people who love me trot out…and that’s why I love them. That and their last gasp is apparently supposed to be an ego-boost to their favorite (only) homo.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go check the weather app to make sure it’s still gonna pour rain on Sunday’s parade. I will culturally fucking appropriate a dance if I have to…
I had an unexpected palate cleanser of a TV experience last night. I watched – at the enthusiastic recommendation of a co-worker with dubious taste – Senior Year on Netflix. Since I don’t really know this person that well, I had to leverage her enthusiasm about the show with the unknowns of her viewing tastes.
I’m an Olympic caliber mathlete when it comes to rationalizing.
Plus, it was the Silver Fox’s last night in town, and he surprised me by taking his guts out for a tentatively exploratory drink with me. I hadn’t expected to see him since he had an afternoon wine date with some neighbors. But after jealously teasing him about what he planned to drink at this wine:30
…he followed up a couple hours later with “I’m saving my alcohol consumption for you!”
How could I refuse?
I had asked if he wanted to go out or stay in with wine and a movie. I think I might have mentioned – his imminent departure aside – that I wasn’t up for starting another series at the moment because, A) I can tell he’s itching to indulge one of his binge passions: subtitles. I can’t blame him. Regrettably, I’m already watching a 50/50 subtitled show and that’s giving me all the fix I need there, luckily it’s one based off of his recommendations so I’m in the clear as far as watching it without him. Back to that list, though; B) I don’t have the emotional bandwidth to invest in another series right meow. And it is an emotional investment. There’s the cost of simply committing to a series, for one thing, but then there’s subject matter to deal with.
We’d just come off of tearing through It’s A Sin on HBOMax and it was heavy! It’s the coming out/coming of age story of six friends who find themselves and each other in 1980s London.
Unlike Sex and the City, the city of London isn’t the unintended co-star. AIDS is. Hence the heavy.
I was glad to watch it, because: important. Even though I lived through that era in America, I needed it as a touchstone to the days when Gay Culture actually contained a culture versus <gestures vaguely> whatever these Lost Boys are trying to pass off as a community or culture today.
But lots of tears, speaking only for myself. So consider yourself warned.
But last night’s drink with The Fox ended up being an out of the house affair, sidestepping my fragility. At least initially. The topic of a movie eventually crept back in, but was ultimately rejected because of the time commitment. Today being a travel day, the Silver Fox didn’t really need to be up past his normal bedtime just to watch a movie. Me, having nothing else going, though…well, I was free to stay up and watch what I pegged as a little Brain Candy.
By and large, it was.
20 year coma.
Cheerleader returns to finish high school at 37.
Brain Candy about brain trauma? Sure!
But the unexpected component was the wokeness of the project. The cast was diverse and the characters representative. I’m quite sure the male actors portraying gender fluid teens and dressing thusly will be quite the trigger for the vocal religious minority in the states.
It might actually account for the low rating on IMDb.
Might? Surely. It’s not a great movie, but the inclusivity that the movie portrays as today’s high school culture squares off nicely against the less-than-stellar experience high school was in reality for most any Millennial or older generational outsiders.
And I needed that optimistic thread in this story to offset the heaviness of It’s A Sin, which I’d say should be required viewing for anyone in the LGBTQ+ community before they’re allowed to take a pic of their junk or download Grindr.
It reset me to where I’d been when the Silver Fox rolled into town two weeks ago. Hopeful that the crop of gay dipshits I encounter every week might somehow collectively find their way out of the moniker Lost Boys.
Before the Silver Fox made his return to town, I took another of his recommendations and watched Heartstopper.
Oh, my hell. <injects insulin> What a deliciously sweet story.
Goofy, gay art scene high schooler meets straight-but-secretly-questioning jock and they fall in love?
I am so jealous of the environment younger generations are living in. I mean, sure, I know it’s not all rainbows and unicorns…plus, they’re inheriting the planet we’ve all but destroyed, so they deserve a more idyllic youth. But this is exactly what my and the generations before me have been living toward these past decades: the ability to live life out of the closet and experience your true self in the open.
All those protests and pride parades and lobbying of politicians for equality under the law?
It was for this. So a couple of queer or questioning kids could fall in love.
Representation matters 100% – which is why people were so mad about Florida’s Don’t Say Gay law. Even more so about Disney’s initial silence over such a law going into effect in its backyard. You think your gonna make billions and billions on the back of our collective talent and get away with a shrug when we come under attack?
TV, movies, theater and music…all of that art both imitates life and portrays the sometimes ugly truth of it. It’s cyclical. Sometimes art is a story or reflection of how something is. Others, it can be a representation of how it should or could be. In those instances, exposing non-allied individuals to something they are uncomfortable with through art can be a non-threatening way to introduce a topic and demystify or de-vilify it for them.
Again, representation matters…and with it, before long – a mere 50 years and counting in America – you’ll have boiled that taboo frog.
It was nice to watch a show – before I knew I needed it – that produced big, happy tears. I was so enthralled by the story and execution that I burned through all eight episodes in one night.
Again, it’s not like I’ve got anything else going on that would require me to be up and at it at a reasonable hour on a weekend.
The Fox’s return was pretty much hot on the heels of that viewing, so when he asked if I wanted to watch Young Royals, my answer was a heartfelt
Despite the fact that I suspected it was subtitled. Turns out, only dubbed. See? The Silver Fox challenges me to be a better me and me is rewarded with less work than me thought a better me would require. Of me.
Another high school coming of age/coming out story? Sure, why not?
And the trope isn’t totally monochromatic.
The boys in Heartstopper were both middle class Brits. This one was about a poor, working class Swede and a literal (well, in the show, not real life) Swedish Prince.
Ok, well different enough that it’s more of a fairy tail tale premise could be digestible for someone who couldn’t connect with a depiction of an uncomfortable topic in the shadow of their own class.
I know I’m aiming high to even think the representation these shows provide is on a straight line trajectory to the people that can’t/won’t/don’t accept the LGBTQ+ population.
But those who aren’t resistant, just underexposed can see this and be better armed against the hateful rhetoric that seems to be the default of that further out group. That we’re deviants or abominations or – even worse – have designs on their own perceived imperiled and precious little pooters.
No, thank you.
Even better, the representation these shows provide may equip the kids who are questioning their sexuality and where they belong on the spectrum of this intensely important part of the human experience. It might equip them to be able to start the conversation with someone who couldn’t nurture and enable their coming out as their true selves…especially if that someone is themself.
If the weather is t as glorious where you live as it is in Portland this weekend, treat yourself to one of these – maybe not It’s A Sin if you’re new to gay culture. I can’t promise you that you won’t tear up, but I can promise you some feel-good entertainment…and that it won’t make you gay.
Damn universe, always teaching me lessons…like crippling humility.
So, there I was…having most of it. Gently nudged into balance by the Silver Fox. I’d gotten Angela all spruced up for her annual check-in with Lyft, but was focused more on those other pillars that make me feel like a normal person productive: writing and exercising.
No big news on the writing front.
Couple blog posts. I re-read my prime WIP, by way of seeing where I need to tweak formatting before I hit publish. That’ll happen this month.
So that’s something. Hoorah for lightly edited stories.
I exercised twice as many days in March as I had in February. That ain’t nothing. April’s looking good, too, there’s a Class Every Day challenge and I’m on track. But balanced old Xtopher is keeping in mind that some days will be ride days, others will be strength…but mixed in will be days that are just a longer than my usual 5 minute post-ride stretch classes or even yoga classes.
Also helpful? And this is where all that foreshadowing nonsense comes in: I got de-platformed by Lyft.
You read that right. Boy, they rogered me but good. Real good.
But that’s another blog.
I chose to look at it optimistically. The removal of a barrier to a balanced day.
The thing is, though, my temp gig doesn’t pay that well. I mean, I can’t complain, it’s not minimum wage – which I’ve certainly done as I explore non-career level employment. And it pays the bills. And-and, in a real Pinocchio twist, they started making sounds about converting me from a temp role to a real boy job.
The pay talk…we’ll see. I’m looking at it as a positive – even though the talk happened on April 1st. That’s just how my life goes. It was a good talk.
Except, the universe being the lesson teacher that it is, I was de-platformed by Lyft after dumping about $3k into little repairs for Angela that I’d been putting off. That was the month after the surprise $2500 I’d put into her in January, no less.
And after all that I had boldly (ie: no drink in hand) faced my taxes.
The day after I’d done my first draft of the taxes was the day I got the dry fuck from Lyft.
I’ll tell ya…I don’t believe in god, but I fully embrace the notion behind the phrase “If you wanna make god laugh, make a plan”.
And that’s what I had done. Made a financial plan that included making quarterly payments to the Feds for my $11k tax bill.
Thank god it was only a first draft. The second draft is a much less traumatic $8k, but it’ll still require an episiotomy after my main revenue stream gave me the same treatment it gave the driver that raped a passenger here in Oregon.
That seems fair. My punishment is the same as a rapist. My crime? I got two speeding tickets in a 12 month period. Yeah, well stick with “sounds fair”.
More on that later, I’m sure. You know how loquacious I can be when I get going on something.
Now, look…I may be seriously fucked right now, but I’m all Mr Bright Side, damnit! Even if that just means I jump off the bridge with the best view in town – that’s a tough one here in Portland – and don’t take anyone else out with me.
So that naive dumbass Mr Bright Side fella is looking at this as a way to achieve balance. Less opportunities for proChristination. Fewer distractions.
Bright side. Mr. Me.
But since my temp job doesn’t keep me in the happy hour budget I like, tax debt or no, nor does it afford the luxurious $30 treats Mistress Myrtle prefers…I need a second income stream.
Reluctantly, I signed up to be a delivery old man boy with DoorDash.
I hate it. It’s boring. It does give me that “in service to others” paycheck I found I missed after leaving retail. So, that’s a plus. And it pays around $7-10 more and hour than the temp job, so there’s that, too.
But it’s sooooo fucking boring.
Bright side? I can really only tolerate doing 5 deliveries in a shift. More than that is excruciating. Ok, that last part wasn’t very bright side, I admit. But, dashing out to do 5 deliveries after work a few nights a week and then a double or triple on a – singular – weekend day leaves me plenty of time for happy hour hangouts during the week – and it gives my budget the wiggle room to offset said indulgence. It leaves me the time for writing and exercising.
There’s plenty to be grateful for. And since I hate it, the ~20 hours I give it each week balances my books. Well, excluding the G-men obligation. I might have to see if there’s a niche market for barely out of shape old men on OnlyFans to solve that problem. God only knows what weird shit passing as erotic that The Gays are lapping up these days.
But I think I’ve got a third draft of my taxes in me. I just need to make a phone call first. I think we all know how long I could drag that task out. So I’ll also file an extension…sometime between April 14th and 17th.
It’s good to have a plan.
And goals. Since my goals are work, exercise, write and not “pay less in taxes than Trump” I think I’m in a good place.
Fuck, being optimistic is a weird feeling. I should’ve stretched more before this post. Anyone else miss grumpy old Xtopher?
Don’t worry, he’ll be around. Until then, cheers to the bright side and cheers to you for reading. Thanks!
Look how my thigh is about the same size as my thumb in that pic. You go, Chicken Legs McGee!