Celebrity Sighting

A couple months back, I was looking at one of my associate’s phones while she gushed about Carnie Wilson and Enrico Colantoni having come through her store at PDX.  What had really set her gushing was that Carnie had apparently come back through a few weeks after her selfie-session and remembered my associate.

I could see that being kinda exciting for one of us Normies.

Then Fred Armisen wandered through her store being his low-key, awkward self.  He left without making eye contact, buying anything or being recognized by my star struck employee.

Cue inward laughter.

Seriously, how did she recognize someone as obscure as Enrico Colantoni and not one of the stars of the show named for and filmed in the town she lives in?

Oh, well.

I didn’t have the heart to tell her.

But, championship timing, Universe.  Really, well done! 

Later that week, my parents took me out to lunch to enjoy the last hurrah of Summer.  Well, it could have been the last hurrah.  Turns out, it wasn’t.  In these parts, though, Summer is kinda like a virgin’s erection:  it could finish up without warning.

So, there we were, Mom, Dad, me.  Their dog, Buddy…sitting outside enjoying lunch.

I always enjoy my lunch visits with the parentals.  Even more so when Gus Van Sant is sitting over their shoulders.

It got me thinking about the game Black Sheep Bro and I would play when we went out drinking with our respective mates of the moment.  He was living with one of my employees from Linens ‘N Things – Jackie Jackass – and I was with <gulp> Sacha.

JJ was the one who introduced the game.  She was also – is! – this amazingly vivacious person.  There is basically sunlight pouring out of her eyes.  She also has an amazing ability to connect with people and bond groups of fairly disparate backgrounds.

Me, because of our mutual workplace connection.

Sacha, through their shared creative passion.

Black Sheep Bro…I don’t know what it was. Maybe she has a thing for guys with small johnsons who don’t take too long.  Who knows?

Since Jax suggested it, we were all pretty much game for the game.  She has a gift for making everything sound like a good time.

If she suggested a theme park based on awkward medical procedures, I’ve no doubt that she’d find investors.  

“Let’s get another Colonoscopy!”  Can you imagine the souvenir shop?

And then – poof! – we were playing Celebrity Sighting.

Simple rules:  do nothing but what you’d normally do, in our case that’s chat incessantly and drink obsessively, and when someone with the slightest resemblance to a celebrity crosses your field of vision, mutter “celebrity sighting” and state your case.  I think this is where I developed my ability to resist looking around like a crazy person when someone says, “Don’t look now…”

<Glares at Silver Fox>

Anyway, we had an uproariously good time with this little game.

Everything from <insert ethnicity here> Yul Brynner whenever a bald guy with any minimal degree of sex appeal walked by to Paddignton Bear if someone crossed our paths wearing a yellow hat or blue wool coat.

The more ADHD you are, the more successful you will be at this game.

Oh, and there’s no score keeping.  Your efforts either earn you a “No way, not even close!” type comment or your entry was the best one ever.  

There was really no in between.

And it seemed so familiar.  I didn’t discount the possibility that Jackie Jackass had been exposed to this through some other channel, nor did I find it outside the realm of possibility that she just made it up and living in LA had made it all feel familiar.

How can you ever really know?

Of course, when I saw the movie Kiss, Kiss. Bang, Bang I immediately thought “Native American Joe Pesci” was comic genius.

I didn’t immediately assume that Jax had riffed on the game from this movie, either.  The movie came out well after she introduced us to her version of this game.

Plus, if we made a celebrity behavioral mannerisms version of this game, she’s easily a frenetic personality match for the movie’s star, Robert Downey, Jr. so if she had stolen it from the movie…meh.  Whatever.  That didn’t happen.

The game has just been around.

Shortly thereafter, I saw this Facebook post and was reminded of the time I was getting my haircut at my Stephen’s Salon in Long Beach.  As I’m leaving, I’m walking backwards-ish talking to my stylist as I leave and turn around and run right into the wall known as Dolph Lundgren.

I have too many similar run-into stories like that to credibly deny that I’m not a celebrity hazard.  I bet the union distributes “How to Avoid Galby Injuries” pamphlets like my employers distribute flyers about avoiding Slips, Trips and Falls.

When I was working at FAO Schwarz in the Beverly Center, I came out of the stockroom, finishing a conversation over my shoulder while going through the door.  Stepping on Sally Field as I exited.

She’s so tiny.

Strangely, another time heading into Stephen’s Salon, I was running late and weaving through the courtyard crowd.  Unfortunately for her, Chaka Khan ended up being an unseen obstacle in my path.  Fortunately for me, I didn’t knock her over.

Not all the way, at any rate.  She’s kinda built like a weeble, as it turns out.

My first serious normal boyfriend took me on a date to a comedy show.  It turned out to be a filming of a VH-1 comedy show called Stand Up Spotlight, starting one Ms Rosie O’Donnell.

I don’t remember much about the show, itself…it was – god – almost 30 years ago!

I have to go be old now.  Bye.

I guess that means that I’ve had this t-shirt hanging in my closet for close to 30 years, then.

Now I’m depressed.  That whole time of my life was so sweet and innocent.  I hadn’t yet learned how to be jaded and embittered about my past.  And the few years prior had been a collectively hellacious learning experience.

Ok…more better memories.

I ran into Gordon Sumner – better known as Sting – many times while I lived in LA.  Of course, I’d seen him perform live a couple dozen times, so running into him was somewhat organic.  Have you ever heard the urban legend about the guy that fell off of his bench while eating ice cream in Palm Springs and landed on Sting?  

That wasn’t me.  I doubt it really happened. Total urban legend.

Sacha and I went to Europe a few times during our relationship.  On one trip, I think it was Amsterdam-Paris-Monte Carlo but my memory gets our trip legs confused, but one of us popped off with a Macy Gray non-sequitur that had us both Holy-Shit-Best One Ever-ing.


It was her.

That morphed into us seeing posters for her shows in every town we visited, vis-a-vis, Macy Gray stalked us through Europe.

Ok, jumping around in time, now…

For no reason, D-Slice invited me to go see Elvira, Mistress of the Dark one year after we had both moved into the same adult dorm.  The invite was for no apparent reason, that is.  The reason to go see Elvira is obvious: she’s awesome with a side of awesome.

She was screening her campy self-titled movie, which has the added bonus of containing one of my favorite movie lines ever.

Let me set the scene:

She’s helping her all-American boyfriend (she has an all-American BF, there’s hope for me yet) set the marquee at his movie house.  She’s up on a ladder and reaches down to get a letter from him, hitting her head on the marquee as she stands back up and falling off the ladder.

Classic Slip, Trip, Fall scenario, right there.

Anyway, she falls in dramatic, B-movie slow motion before being heroically caught in the arms of her boyfriend…

BF:  (concerned) How’s your head?

Elvira:  (discombobulated) I haven’t had any complaints.


I’ve got this blog-entry placeholder just called Thomas.  It’s about a guy I worked with at Linens ‘N Things in Houston.  Maybe I’ll put some legs on that before my Staycation ends.  Who knows?

Anyhoo…also during my time in Houston being a busy worker bee for LNT, I was lucky enough to run – not literally, for once – into Mary Lou Retton while she shopped.  Good lord.  Have you ever heard the idiom/career advice about finding a career that matches your personality?  Yeah, MLR did that, for sure.  What a dynamic personality that lil dynamo had.

Plus, she makes Sally Field look like a giantess.

Speaking of giants – and monsters – Barbara Bush, Sr shopped at that same store.  The first time she was in, while everyone else hid behind drapery displays peeking out at her as she <gasp!> shopped just like a Normie, I got to reluctantly assist her with a tablecloth.

Me:  What size cloth do you need?

BB:  90”.

Me:  Ok, here you go, sweet cheeks.  (That last part is just editorial)

BB:  No, that’s not big enough!  I want it hang to the ground!

Don’t we all, sister?  But that’s not really practical now, is it?

Me:  Ok, well that’s gonna be a custom size, you know.  This cloth will only have about a 12” drop, depending on the actual diameter of the table.  

BB:  (getting agitated) I told you…it’s a 90” table!

Jesus.  She has a literal 90” dining table.

Me:  Oh, well…like I said, that’s gonna be a custom job.  Normal people don’t have tables that big.

Let alone, somewhere to put them.  I’d bet the dining rooms in most homes aren’t even 8’ across.  I’d also bet most wallets wouldn’t afford a 120” diameter tablecloth, nor the table it would go on, let alone the house that has a big enough room for it.

But that didn’t stop this Houston Home Girl from being butt hurt and side-eying me like I didn’t know what she was talking about as she walked off.

At least I didn’t knock her over.


The next time she came in, I was busy doing busy manager stuff and didn’t see her until she was checking out,  I walked by the register just as my associate was gushing, “Mrs Bush, I just want you to know that my husband and I would take a bullet for you!”


Like a bullet would dare even try to mess with Babs.

She saw me walking by as she ripped the check from her book and gave me an impressively withering look.  She’d been working on her side-eye game in her retirement,

That same associate later bought the Former First Lady’s check as a memento.

What the actual fuck is it about celebrities?

I think I prefer Jackie Jackass’ game much more than real life celebrity experiences.  Luckily, Portland provides plenty of opportunities to play Celebrity Sighting.

Even if I’m only playing with myself these days.  You’re welcome, Diezel.

There’s this David Ogden Stiers lookalike that rides his Segway through the Pearl.

The Fox and I see him during our morning coffee excursions and occasionally later in the day while we hang out at Thelonius Wines.  He’s a character, I can tell by the way he corners on that Segway like he just doesn’t give a fuck.

“What are you gonna do, Mail-Truck-I-Just-Cut-Off, hit me?”  If he had a free hand, I’m sure it would be sporting a one-fingered salute.

It’s a nice surprise to see my David Ogden Stiers Celebrity Sighting while we sip wine. The proprietress and The Fox like talking all things Game of Thrones during her downtime.  The Silver Fox is just happy to talk to someone that likes the show and understands what the hell he’s talking about.  He also loves that she casually let slip that she used to go to Bonetown with one of the stars.  

While that led an extra layer of amusement to this screenshot that I’d sent to The Fox

I’m still just not a fan of the show, and without my wreckless segway commuting David Ogden Stiers doppelgänger, I’m stuck with only a skateboarding Captain Jack Sparrow to entertain myself with during their conversations.

Now, that’s quite a Celebrity Sighting in itself, but if I spend too long thinking about him, I can easily talk myself into believing the person behind the celebrity caricature could easily have some of the less amusing pirate traits…

So, I don’t.

Ok, I’ve gotta go.  There’s a t-shirt I need to put up for sale on eBay…

Celebrity Sighting


Admittedly, this is not as exciting or fulfilling as my August vacation with the family.  To be honest, this vacation is the result of my testing the new vacation request system at work so I knew how it worked.

But, The Boss approved it…so, Bob’s your uncle.

Speaking of uncles, mine flew in on Wednesday from Houston.  Coming to Oregon from Texas for some dry weather, I reckon.  I didn’t get to see him when he landed because I had a meeting that ran long.  I’m not entirely sure when I will see him, actually!  Mom-Donna threw out a few weekend ideas for get togethers, but I had commitments both days and had to pass.

Of course, both things fell through, because this is my life…where the Galby Effect originated.

So, here I sit.  Balancing bursts of housebitch activity on this vacation Saturday with bouts of couch surfing…and now WordPressing.

Couch Surfing round 1 was Miss Congeniality.

I’ve got Miss Congeniality queued up and ready to watch, but I’m not quite ready to commit to that…yet.

Which means, a lil vacay update for you all instead of finishing one of my two dozen blog drafts.  

It’s my vacation…rhymes with procrastination.

Let’s not pretend that’s a surprising development.

Let’s see.  My vacation started after a six day stretch at work, which ended only an hour later than I projected.  Good thing, too.  That gave me just enough time to get home, change and let The Silver Fox cajole me into an inaugural vacation beer before the hotel tour I had arranged to see the guest facilities of the new hotel next door.

I’d see the bar, that’s for sure.  Besides serving one of the best Oregon beers – Breakside IPA – Turner Creek Tavern also offers up some pretty tasty morsels.

Some of them are even on the menu,

But after watching my view over the last 18 months go from this

To this

To this

And, finally…this

I felt like a view from their rooftop patio was in order.

Plus, The Fox has a great nephew that is going to PSU and he’d love to have the boy’s parents stay so close by when they visit.

You could say that our recent twice weekly and now this tour was recon.

It was a good start to my work break.  It’ll be my last break until probably March/April next year.  I’m hoarding the last two weeks and rolling them over into 2018.  I’m not sure I’ll stay in my present job later than that – it’s frustratingly dysfunctional and I simply don’t earn enough money to secure my financial present and future on my salary.  So, if I leave within that timeframe, I’ll have four or five weeks of vacation time – and hopefully a bonus – to take with me when I leave.


A few days before my vacation started, I’d told The Fox that I had been thinking maybe I should date again.

If you ask him, he might tell you I was trying to kill him by saying that to him.  But, it’s about time.

After Sacha left me on our “seventh” anniversary (it was our sixth) I was alone for six years before meeting Rib.  He and I were together for four.  I released him back into the wilds of Capital Hill three and a half years ago, so…math.

Math says that it’s time.  My process is complete.

Actually, when I broke up with Rib, I did so with full cognizance of the fact that it might have been a reasonable assumption that he’d be my last boyfriend.  I’m gonna be 50 in a few months.

Maybe – definitely – I was past my gay expiration date.

But that’s another blog.


Having said the words out loud, I wasn’t surprised to find myself attracted to the guy giving us the hotel tour.  What did kind of surprise me was that in my thank you email, I gave him my phone number and offered to take him out for a beer.

That also afforded me the opportunity to creep myself out, since I’d basically hit on him at work…breaking my dating rule about hitting on guys in their work place.  Obviously, that’s what Missed Connections are for!  

Sure, it was just an email and a fairly innocuous one, at that.  It’s not like I told him I wanted to put my Tab D into his Slot B. 

It’s just a beer.

And he’s new in town and said he loved IPAs.

Speaking of dating rules – well, this is more relationship advice – get one that’s new in town.  Especially small towns like Shittatle and PDX.  Less cross-pollination.

Unless his boyfriend followed him to Oregon.  But I’m pretty sure that only happened to him because he and I would eventually cross paths, share an attraction and this is my life.

Of course he’s going to be in anunfilfilling relationship.  Because that’s what could possibly go wrong.

But, we’ll still have a beer.

It’s not like I have anything else to do this weekend since I’m on vacation, my weekend plans fell through and The Fox is out of town.

I can’t watch Netflix the entire weekend!

But, I can go do my recycling and then hit the sofa for round two of couch surfing for today.

I am going to potato my couch so hard…


Farewell, Summer

Yesterday was the first day of Fall.  It certainly showed here in the PNW, too, all cool, gray and drizzly.


Another reminder of how pecadelicious – Chrisism- my body is.  With my AC set at 70 in the Summer, I’m comfortable.  With my heat set at 70 in the winter, I’m freezing.

However, I was reminded as I noted the change of seasons that I never shared my vacation story, and it’s been a month.

It’s funny, I’m about to step into my sixth decade – ok, stumble or possibly stagger – but I can still be the bratty kid that complains to my parents that we haven’t had a family vacation forever.

I really rather rely on my elder and only sister for this type of stuff.  Her three younger brothers are borderline loners – at best.  Once Mom-Donna officially retires from her holding-the-family-together duties, the mantle will be hers to wear.  Mom has tried a few slow steps back from her matriarchal role, but still steps back in with statements of the, “I’d like to host one more holiday while I still can” type.  

She’s such a Prince Philip sometimes.

The result of my mild tantrum, nevertheless, was the parental gift of a summertime family vacation this past Christmas.

Finally, after a long break we were getting the Galby clan back together again in Central Oregon’s high desert retreat, Sunriver.

It’s always fun.


We’re together under one roof again, yet still free to pursue whatever we want throughout the day, coming together each night for dinner as a group.  Everyone takes a night of cooking duties, which is enjoyable for everyone.  Dad’s night – being the patriarch – is hosting dinner out at a restaurant.  The ‘Phew, as the youngest on the other hand, dips into his hard earned Birthday and possibly allowance fundage to treat us all to pizza delivery on the night of our arrival.

It’s a good ritual.  Plus, it provides me a chance to cook for people, which seldom happens outside of MNSC.

It just occurred to me that the last couple of family get togethers in the desert have proved near – or actually – fatal.

The last trip out for a Christmas getaway a couple years back was interrupted by a Christmas phone call from my ex, Sacha to tell me he had colon cancer…a story for another time.  Maybe.

That Christmas holiday was – more importantly to me – also marred with our family’s collective concern for dad, who had recently had a coronary procedure after which he wasn’t feeling well.

The trip before that was Rib’s first family vacation.  This was maybe five years ago?  Before the pizza even arrived, we were booking a flight for him to ABQ to attend his grandmother’ funeral.  Enviably, as I tap this out in a coffee house, he is with his new beau and family at Munich’s Oktoberfest.​

​I love that this video he sent me of his family vacation was so timely as I reminisced about mine.

Beyond those recent vacation danger moments, I’d say our other vacations were reasonably trauma free.  


There was the Bike Ride Incident and The Nose Hair Situation, both of which I blame exclusively on my Black Sheep Brother.  Only one of which is near funny.  Black Sheep Bro and I went trail riding with the ‘Phew, I think he was still aged in single digits at the time.  We were having a blast leading him through the trails with a vague goal of finding a path to the ever elusive Benham Falls when he just barely nicked a fallen log that had been cut through to preserve the bike trail’s passability.



Flying.Poor kid.  Right into a tree.

Little fucker scared the hell out of me and BSB before walking it off.

Talk about a dodged bullet.  I thought for sure my only nephew – at the time – was going to spend the rest of his Halloweens dressed as Stephen Hawking.

Things have changed since then.

I’d sent my bike home with mom and dad the week before after they came to town for a lunch date.  Er, doctor’s appointment.  When they picked me up, all I had to do was show up on the curb with my suitcase.

And a case of wine.

That’s a good change, in my opinion!  My sister had put in a request for some of that good stuff I’m always going out to Hood River for, so I took two bottles each from two of my favorite wineries out there.  I was reserving those for my night of cooking.  But since it’s also Summer, I rounded out my case with eight bottles of Rose.

My parents clucked their tongues at my “extra” baggage.  Not only because their car was also full of their bags, food for the week and doggie travel needs, but also because they had also brought a case of wine.

Great minds…meet the Galby clan!

We made it all fit.

Plus, a growler I’d gotten at 2.0 and Little Buddy’s wedding the day before.

And a huge watermelon The Silver Fox had gifted us.

As we made off on our way, I rationalized two cases of wine being barely enough if even four of the six legal drinkers partook with any regularity.  Really, that’s an easy three bottles a night, closer to four.

Five.  Five a night, tops.

As I mentioned, we all still take our bikes, but only my sister’s family unit rode together.  I put in daily rides, except for arrival and departure days.  It was good.  I’d spent the prior couple of weeks in spin class to trim up a bit.  But nothing prepared my ass for 15-20 mile rides in the saddle of a real bike.  My butt was less bun, more hamburger by the time I left.  But a nice 60+ mile four day stretch was good for me.  

After a successful jump start in spin, with minimal discomfort to my never-healing knee, I had aspirations of riding to the top of the Cinder Dome of the mega-volcano Newberry Crater.  Once the hills hit “straight up” status, my knee straight up refused.

Oh, well.  I still got plenty of exercise and just enough sun, even without the view from the top of the dome.

For my brother’s part, he pedaled to the store one evening, only to return grumpy or confused.  Hard to say.  He was all disturbed at how everyone he passed greeted him.  

I told you…loners.

Anyway, I’d noticed it on my rides. too.  It hadn’t bothered me, though.  I enjoy the social nicety of greeting passersby.  I was more interested in the range of greeting; from the apex vocal salutation to this:which was kind of a very minimal entry.  It was also an indictment for the homogenized environment we were spending the week in.  The darkest skin in this high desert mecca was simply overexposed and under sun screened.

This was the first time we didn’t – not a single one of us, let alone the group – spend time laying about at the pool.  There was a sister’s family rafting trip and a brother and nephew kayaking excursion, otherwise it was fairly pedestrian adventures.  Shopping in Sunriver or heading into Bend for some…shopping.

My sister and brother-in-law took the ‘Phew to look at COCC – that’s for you, Diezel.  He was considering Central Oregon Community Colkege for his first two years, but came back ambivalent.

I cannot believe I’m days away from having an 18 year old nephew!

While they were doing campus tours, the rest of us took off for the High Desert Museum.  Quite a way to spend an afternoon, with some self-improvement undertones.  It’s a nice mix of self-guided educational exhibits and nature path wanderings.

There were way more pics taken than I can comfortably squeeze into my humble blog post, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t throw something in just for Diezel’s enjoyment, so he knows he’s never too far from my thoughts.

So, enjoy, my friend and chosen family member!

Just to shake it up, no humans died or had close calls this time around.  But Buddy, my parent’s dog decided to give us all a scare, with a late day trip to the vet.  The local Sunriver vet wasn’t equipped to handle his situation and escalated him to Bend, 20 miles away.  This resulted in a doped up doggie and my parents enjoying my carbonara reheated.

But, in spite of the changes, the important things remain…

Each of us, being there, for one.  It was touch and go for me.  Mom and dad had picked a seemingly random week in August, the month that usually works for all of us.  Little did we know that we’d signed on for the biggest travel debacle in Oregon highway history: the 2017 eclipse.  

With the increase in tourists traveling in and me working at the airport, I was fairly certain I’d be asked to cancel my vacation.  The request was just to be back for the two days prior as people landed and one million tourists and 27,000 rental cars hit the road.

I was more than willing to fly back instead of risk the road trip…ODOT was tactfully suggesting that people take not only plenty of water for their travel, but also relief vessels, if you get my drift.

I don’t want to be that close to my family.  Hello, Alaska Airlines!

In addition to being there, also the food!

I think cooking for people is the simplest way to show love.  It’s demonstratively caring for them by providing sustenance.  Sharing stories and time over the table.  Figuratively or literally breaking bread together…there is – to me – no better way to illustrate family.

And every night, there we were…gathered at the table celebrating our bond.

Not a bad Christmas gift, parentals…thank you!

Farewell, Summer

Introducing Your Ex

I was at coffee with The Silver Fox a couple weeks back and he was recounting a great night out with his ex – oh, let’s call him…Casey – and their old group of friends.  I dunno, I think there was a trivia championship or karaoke or something at some bar and he was able to see the whole group together again, which has been pretty rare – obviously – since the break up.  Not that he normally participates in anything karaoke or trivia related.  This particular excursion was heavily weighted by the benefit of seeing people he doesn’t often get to interact with any longer.

He was still jazzed – he’s such a social animal, sometimes I wonder how curmudgeonly old me got to be his best friend – from the energy of such a large gathering.  He’d even gotten introduced to new people, after a couple of years there were new boy/girlfriends and just some general new additions to the group. As excited as he is to be involved with a large social dynamic, add in fresh social blood and he’s gonna have quite a night.

It’s an enviable social skill.

Naturally, what I took away from this recounting was him telling me that Casey had introduced him as his friend.

Now, this is by and large a heterosexual group and Casey didn’t come out to this group of his friends until well after beginning his relationship with The Fox, but that didn’t stop me from clarifying that he was introduced as a friend versus an ex-boyfriend before letting him continue with his social waxing.

So there’s the backstory on this little social thought exercise I’ve been kicking around for a while:  It’s weird within our culture to introduce ones ex.   Continue reading “Introducing Your Ex”

Introducing Your Ex

Life’s Work Blog

I was in Seattle last week pulling some of my personal belongings out of my condo to feather my Portland nest.  In the interim between planning this trip and executing, the place sold, so there’s that.  However, I decided just to do the day run anyway and make the next few weeks of my Portland life a little more plush.

I drove up with The Silver Fox, leaving at 7:15 in the morning.  It was one of those fantastic middle-aged mornings, where I woke up at 4:30 to pee and couldn’t go back to sleep.  So I went to a 6:00 spin class and was 15 minutes late for our 7:00 departure.  We counted the number of times Hello by Adele came on XM Radio on the trip up as a way of passing the time.

Three, if you were curious.

The trip was fast.

A little rain.

A little traffic.

But we arrived just before 10:30, so I’d put that squarely in the “Making Good Time” column…even though it took us 30 minutes to get from SeaTac to Seattle proper – 15% of our travel time to cover 7% of our trip’s distance.

It helps that we didn’t stop to pee.

Unless you ask The Fox, then he might say that the 10 minute Rest Area detour would be worth it. Continue reading “Life’s Work Blog”

Life’s Work Blog

The Second Son

I set out late last week to write an entry about my ex in Seattle, who stubbornly – but in a good way – kept popping into my consciousness over the week.  The one relationship I’ve had that doesn’t make me look like an embittered old man and I choked.

Couldn’t do it.

It was surprisingly emotional for me, so it remains a draft that quasi-haunts me…Xtopher’s Rib.


Meanwhile, my number of blogs in draft status has crept back up to 23…just under 50% of my total posts, so I committed to myself to crack out a couple this week and get that number more in line.  One-third of my content in draft status just makes me feel like I have issues completing things.  I don’t need that, I have two partially completed novels to make me feel like a failure…they don’t need any help.  As a matter of fact, my blog is the reason I use for not working on my book ideas.

Then, I saw on Facebook earlier today – while stalking a friend’s page – that I had missed National Sibling’s Week.  Well, even though I got you the same thing for NSW as I typically do for your birthdays – nothing – I wanted to apologize to Chuck and Lizard Breath for missing the opportunity to tell them that I love and appreciate them.

Every week, too.

Not just some random week that the internet made up.

Which brings us to the awkward fact that I have three siblings and one is estranged. Continue reading “The Second Son”

The Second Son

The Sucks At Cheating Ex

Ok, time to set aside the procrastinating.

Well, not procrastinating, strictly speaking, although that’s certainly a big part of it.  The other thing that has been keeping the safety on for this entry is that I just don’t like the blog name that I’ve assigned this guy.

He’s not a bad guy.

Strictly speaking.

We were just totally different ends of the social behavior spectrum.

Totally.  You know it should be a sign when you enjoy the company of your boyfriend’s parents more than his company…well, I know it now, anyway.  Seriously, though…they are awesome fun.

But that name, The Sucks At Cheating Ex…I don’t like it.  Didn’t fit right.  But the longer I go referring to him as The Sucks At Cheating Ex, the longer it takes me to pull the trigger on polishing and posting this entry, well, the worse he looks.  It over-vilifies him, while I only intended it to be cheeky, since he will tell you that he never cheated.

Strictly speaking.

Although he did leave me for another man.  More on that later.  Yes, that reads as “moron”.  No entendres intended.

So, The Sucks At Cheating Ex needed to evolve in my mind.  It was a place holder name.  I was kicking around making it an acronym.


Maybe add an accent over the “E” to give it some flair.  He likes flair.

Saché.  Nah, too RuPaul-y.  Although, did eventually sashay away.

Sacha…maybe.  My only reluctance there is that my Little Buddy’s dog is named Sacha and well, that’s not fair to the dog – who is just wonderful.  Plus, if The Sucks At Cheating Ex ever found out, well, he’d default to insisting I was implying he was a dog.

He exhausts me with how seriously he takes himself.

Not that he’d ever actually find out.  I mean, who reads this drivel?



He and I are not socially linked, so I’m imagining that there’s some two or three degrees of separation magic happening here.  I seriously doubt he spends any time Googling me.  But one morning I wake up to a comment awaiting approval on a past post.  It’s from a WordPress user named…SucksAtCheatingEx and I think, “Oh, no…I hashtagged someone else’s handle!”

Nah, it was just him.

While we’re not linked socially, I do still have his phone number and email address and I know he still has my phone number.  But, no…he’d taken the time to create a WordPress profile and attempt a public whatever-you-would-call-it on my admittedly meager comment thread.

Uh-uh.  This is my house.  I approve what happens.  And, while I’m not opposed to a negative comment hitting my thread, it’s not going to be something more damaging to the poster than to me, who probably totally deserves it.


One of the things I do try to do on my blog is not call anyone out by name, good or bad.  If I would have approved his comment, which was basically him snarking that I don’t have a complete accounting of our six years together – boo hoo – well, approving that makes his profile name clickable and guess what?  Boy Genius used an email address to register for his butt hurt WordPress handle that has his, oh…actual name in it.

So, there goes your anonymity.

You’re welcome.  Not that you’re reading this.

Oh…just a thought…you could text me.

But the thing is, yeah, I didn’t like the name I had given him as a place holder and suddenly I was warming up to it because he was being so classically him.

Not that you know him at all.

Ok, maybe four of my Facebook friends know him, excluding my family…who I would very seriously doubt are would-be moles in this scenario…so four of you know him.

On the other hand, all of you know me, to some degree.  Knowing me and my wry sense of humor…it wouldn’t surprise you to learn as you read the blog post about a guy I lived with for like 18% of my life – at the time our relationship ended – turns out to be kind of the hero of his blog post.


What’s that called?  Burying the lede?  Lead?

Lede.  Thank you Google.

So, about that social spectrum I mentioned earlier.

We were just different.

It took us six years to figure it out.  Or admit it.  Whatever.  I was a pretty basic tee-shirt and jeans guy.  Where’s my beer?  An aspiring Portland Dirty Millionaire.  He…well, he was all sorts of things.

Just coming out.

A recovering fat kid.

Total Jan Brady.  And I don’t think I could go into the details…traumatic, yet…telling.

Fancy cocktails.

Complex…and he just took himself way more seriously than I take myself.  Likely because he needed others to take him seriously as he evolved into the man he is today.  His true identity.

He’s a brand.  I swear.  All that work, the gym, the diet, the socialization, the bling…all foundational work for creating the Sasha brand.

The grown up Sasha.

And truth be told, he’s a good guy.  My judgment may be questionable sometimes – yes, I did need that last drink that I crammed in right at closing time…if only because I could cram it in, don’t judge – but it isn’t so completely out of whack that I’d spend six years living with someone who was a terrible person.

The wrong person, sure, but not a terrible person.

I’d just started to figure that out and deal with bringing it to the front of my consciousness when he dumped me.  My mom, brother and I had taken a day trip to Spirit Mountain Casino and as we were driving, I mentioned to my mom that I didn’t think Sasha and I would be together much longer, but that I didn’t know what I was going to do about it.

I did nothing.

This was prior to me figuring out that no boyfriend was a better situation than the wrong boyfriend.

Hey, I never said I was perfect.  Far from it!  About as far from perfect as the last guy that woofed at me on Scruff was from me…I look real good from 6500 miles away, it seems.

So, there he was, dumping me.

On our sixth anniversary.

He’d given me an anniversary gift – another difference, he was big into gifts…symbols he like to call them, I am more the buy what I want when I want it type – and as I unwrapped it, discovered he’d bought me my first pair of what I call $300 jeans.  The brand was Seven For All Mankind.  I sat there holding a pair of jeans that I didn’t want – frankly, I don’t have a $300 ass, so Levi’s are always fine for me – while he stood there looking proud of himself.


“Get it?”

No…I didn’t get it.

“Because it’s our anniversary!”

Our sixth anniversary.  Really, it’s not like him to forget shit like that.  Symbols.

“We need to talk.  I met someone else.”

<blink, blink>

Get out.

An extreme oversimplification of what likely actually transpired, but I spent several months after that moment A) Hating him, B) Crying over a relationship that I knew was broken ending, and C) Wiping out brain cells at an alarming rate…so this is the paraphrased version of the conversation that survived in my mind.

It was a waiter.


But I definitely got that…waiters, bartenders, baristas…Xtopher likes being taken care of by hot hipsters, so I got that attraction.  But they aren’t people you leave a relationship for, they’re transitional people.

Unless you know a hot hipster bartender, barista or waiter who’s looking…definitely put us in touch!  I’m not in transition.

So, a bag he packs and drives off.

I assumed to his parents, but found out later that he had apparently done his best Felix Unger impression and shown up all my-boyfriend-threw-me-out-ish at the waiter’s place, who opened the door and said something along the lines of, “What are you doing here?”


And that’s why I actually named him The Sucks At Cheating Ex…cuz that didn’t exactly demonstrate a competency for the required adultering skill set.

Not that a decent person would be offended to be told they sucked at adultery, but here we are.  I don’t think he thought his offended posturing through very well.  Not that he cheated.

Strictly speaking.

Sue me, I was raised Catholic and went to Parochial Schools for a good deal of my education…so I totally had the “If you’ve committed the sin in your heart, you’ve as well as committed the sin” nonsense drilled into my head.

I feel like I missed an opportunity to say nun-sense in relation to my schooling.

So, by that rubric, I cheated every time I turned my head at the gym.

And I was not subtle.  Ergo, I sucked at it.

Clinton sucked at it, too, so we aren’t in terrible company, all us folk that suck at both fidelity and infidelity.

I even kissed another man once.  And being the cool guy that I am, completely failed to pull that move off.  But I sure didn’t leave, even if I didn’t know why I fought so hard to stay.


Well, hindsight and all that.

But you know what, for all of his foibles and all of the things that made us incompatible or just a shitshow of a match…we had fun.

For whatever he gained from our time together – survey of him probably says…nothing – I know there were some things that I wouldn’t have likely done without him in my life.

My first trip to Europe.

And the second.

I think there was even a third, but I might have been confusing one trip that seems too long for one excursion.  Traveling with him could have that never-ending feeling.

Picture it, two ill-matched mates traveling together.  Ugh.

First, there was the premise of getting a trip to Europe as a gift from freelance money he earned on a yearly project, about $2500.  The trip cost about…oh, $5k.  Do I bitch?  I don’t think I did, this was really a priceless memory for me that we made together.

Goddamnit.  Somewhere along the lines, I also picked up his sentimentality for symbolic gestures.

Second…man, he’s competitive.  That Jan Brady.  So, we’d be in the airport and they would start boarding the plane.  Do you ever notice that moments after the gate personnel explain that the plane will board in groups, right when they announce the first rows to board, that everyone gets up and rushes the gate?

Yeah, everyone but me.  And there’s Sasha worming his way through the crowd, jockeying for position, turning around and looking for me over his shoulder and expecting me to be behind him.  Raising his eyebrows like a stressed out mother dealing with a dimwitted or poorly trained child once he realized I wasn’t on his tail and giving his head a significant jerk in the direction of the gate.

Me:  <palms up>

We’re not getting anywhere any sooner or later than anyone else on the plane, so I preferred to board at my leisure and with a little more dignity than like someone with an urgent need in line for the ladies honey bucket at Sasquatch.

I had put a deadline on a rite of passage that I imposed on myself:  buying my first house by the time I was 30.

He was all for that.


He led the charge when it came to looking.  He had a Monday through Friday 9-5 type job, I worked retail.  Poorly managing a now defunct retail store at the time under the mantra of “If it doesn’t get done, I’ll just work more” instead of consistently holding each member of my staff accountable for producing.  So I was working six day weeks, 12 hour days.  He had to lead the charge, and he had the free time to do it.

Sure enough, he was the one who surprised me by picking me up at work for lunch one day with a picnic packed and we went and sat in front of this little cracker box house on North Kerby Street and ate.  Eventually running out of food and reasons not to go knock on the door and ask to look…and fell in love with the house.

Me for the fireplace and the wood floors.  And the tile floor in the kitchen.  And the tongue-in-groove wood panelling accenting one wall in the living room and running through the hallway.  It was perfect!

He fell in love with the potential the house had.

Oops.  Did I say that communication was our strong point?  Enabling, perhaps…communication, not so much.

But without his drive, I wouldn’t have closed on this house just  a few months past my arbitrary deadline.

Then we spent the next few years overspending on manifesting the house he envisioned on our spontaneous tour that rainy day back in 1998.  Damn my objections…I mean lack of vision.  Also manifesting a significant amount of debt, living the American dream and refinancing our house every few years.

Man, when I moved to Seattle and sold that house in 2006, I think I cleared about $7,000 on it.

But it was fabulous.

I’d cashed in my 401k to stubbornly remain in the house after he left…but it was fabulous.  We’re about ten years – give or take – post breakup and when I went by the house a few months back, there’s still touches that he envisioned and created himself on the outside of the house.

I’m sure he’d feel good and/or enjoy knowing that, mole-reader.

That was what spurred the conversation with my mother on that day trip to the casino, I had realized that he and I were just fundamentally different.  Sure, I enjoyed the cosmetic things that gave him pleasure, but for him those were not pleasure inducing items, they were symbols that validated his worthiness.

To him – and I frequently challenged him with this – it was better to look good than to be good.  There wasn’t a foundation of values in his life at the time as much as there was an assemblage of valuables.

But that’s just where he was.

The funny thing is, there’s actually a psychological term for this type of behavior…although it is more common in later life.

Shut up.

The Repair of Narcissistic Injury.

Basically, as people age, you start to see them wearing brighter clothes, more expensive labels, more jewelry…fancier cars.

Those ladies with the purple hats?

Mrs. Roper?

Everyone’s grandparents with the Cadillac?

Rings and brooches galore?

All that.


All to compensate for the loss of the natural beauty of our youth as we begin our age of decay.

Or you could call it Growing Old Disgracefully, as I like to.

There’s a G.O.D. to believe in…it’s damn near factual and usually tangible.

But that doesn’t mean that it can’t be an effective leveraging tool for younger people.  As folks struggle through the coming out phase of their life, it’s not unusual to see some people cope with this by using expensive accessories – cars, clothes, flamboyant gestures or affectations – to either draw the attention from what’s going on or validate it…somehow.  That’s a question that may have different answers for different individuals.

Look, I’m no psychologist.  I’m just riffing here…and, yes…that’s another blog.
perhaps the next blog post.  It’s good timing.

I think that’s what Sasha was doing and what I was doing tacitly just because I didn’t fight it more.  Ok, maybe I couldn’t have fought it more…but because I knew that if I didn’t acquiesce, the alternative was an earlier end to a weak relationship between two otherwise decent guys.


There were so many other great experiences that we had together, too.  I mentioned in an earlier blog post that he really helped up my fitness game.  That’s been a blessing and a curse over this last decade, but I have to say…I’m kind of a lazy person, so without his drive to pull me along to the gym, I doubt I would have been as passionate about the results I achieved after our breakup.  Once I stopped drinking to excess about it, that is.

In the end, looking back on a relationship that included world travel, home building and health and fitness…ok, and a huge amount of social drinking – and we were very social – you can’t really objectively call it a bad relationship.

Even if all that great stuff happened between two people who realized, subconsciously at first, that they were definitely on different trajectories in life.  I realized it, vocalized it and pushed it down.  Like I said, I wasn’t at the point emotionally where I could actually recognize that it’s ok to be alone.

His exit from the relationship certainly couldn’t be classified as graceful, but you know what I say about that?

At least he fucking did something.

He managed to bumble through something that realistically boils down to staying true to himself.  I’m positive that he didn’t realize it at the time, it was more wrapped up in being dickmatized by some hot waiter, but he didn’t sublimate his instinct into another expression or manifestation of our relationship.

No, *sadly* we were not the Portland trailblazers who started the whole open relationship or polyamorous relationship trend…thank god.  Unconsciously, I think he knew that the whole thing with the waiter – someone who was also very likely ill equipped to provide the material foundation, symbols if you will, for a relationship that Sasha needed at this point in his life – was just a shitty means to an end that was probably overdue in its arrival.

Like I said earlier, the bravery to take that kind of risk is kind of heroic regardless of execution.

But I do hope that his sense of appropriate timing has improved over the years.  Hehehe.

Hey, Sasha…you suck at cheating.  That’s a good thing.

The Sucks At Cheating Ex


The other week, I caught an Uber because I was running late to an appointment.  Or it was raining.  The driver turned out to be someone fairly inspirational in that he mentioned offhandedly that “he majored in business and minored in innovation”.  What an amazing, random comment for me to hear.  It made me remember this entry that I had started some time ago.

I started it in a fit of irony when musing about one of my many made up words after a conversation about it with a friend.  Yeah, one of those DNGN Guys, if I can quasi-plagiarize Star Trek:  the Next Generation in the creation of yet another Chrisism.

DNGN Guy:  A Does Nothing, Goes Nowhere Guy.  Does Nothing, Goes Nowhere being an acronym from the Enterprise’s Engineering Department.  Whenever there was a generic crawlspace needed to set a scene, it was almost always a DNGN Tube or Accessway.  The phrase kept things vague enough for the story to go on without accidentally creating a massive geek orgasm because they inadvertently created a continuity mistake by being too specific.

So, a DNGN Guy would be a generic guy who’s presence in my life literally went nowhere and did nothing to improve or impact my life.  See also:  Lost Boys

I can’t recall the specific Chrisism that we were discussing, but I think I was modestly taking credit for Portland’s Food Cart scene.  We’ll get to that.

My conversation with the Uber driver caused that flashback and what I came out of that car thinking was of the old days when I proclaimed myself an idea man because of the words I make up and the random ideas that I have.  Sometimes I discuss them, sometimes I don’t, sometimes I post them on Urban Dictionary.

Sometimes, they take on a life of their own with zero effort on my part…those damned food carts, for instance.

A long time ago, when I worked for Linens ‘N Things – no…I’m not taking any credit for how they imploded, but I do know what happened – and I was growing more and more frustrated with the company, I threatened to quit and start my own business.  My idea was to borrow $30k from my 401k to buy and start three Hot Dog Carts to place throughout downtown during the M-F lunch hours.  Pedi-cab type contraptions so that they were easy to move from place to place and didn’t require use of a vehicle or permanent locations.  It was a genius idea.  Permitting was easy enough.  The idea was basic, but at the same time the simple ideas usually have some legs.

As a business person – albeit a retailer – I knew the demands of the day usually created a need for personal sacrifice, ie:  lunch.  Knowing I wasn’t the only person in this shituation, I figured an outlet for people to run out for a literal quick bite was important.  This was somewhere between 1997 and 2002…there were a handful of carts presently around town, but not a pod in sight.  And we’re talking a handful of two that I can think of off the top of my head.  My idea was to offer a basic dog with gourmet-ish alternative toppings to provide a little sense of indulgence to take the edge off the day.

Of course, my ex – well, not at the time, at the time he was just my super materialistic and unsupportive boyfriend, he had yet to become the Sucks At Cheating Ex (that name may not stick) – totally poo-pooed the idea because his lifestyle needed the support of my corporately secure paycheck, so it became a sort of DNGN Idea.

Let’s see…now there are pods of food carts around town and I’m unemployed and single.

Yup, my life is right on track.

Maybe Sucks At Cheating Ex does need his own entry.  Story for another time.

The important note here is that I would wax Quixotic to any random-yet-valuably-therapeutic drinking partner at that time in my life.

My ex was definitely not listening.

One of those drinking Benedict Arnolds is probably responsible for the acreage of food cart pods you run across in Portland these days.

Loose lips may sink ships, as do well lubricated lips.

Although, I also remember talking to a guy that I had worked with after I left LNT about this, if only in basic concept.  He was part owner in a restaurant that I liked.

Total side story, but I had first been taken to this by a Portland Police Bureau Captain of some local notoriety and was later surprised to learn of my co-workers connection.  Of course, that surprise wore off quickly when his restaurant opened up a mobile outlet and I saw it parked in the lot at my gym one day.

Probably just a coincidence, but if it isn’t, then I prefer the notion that I inadvertantly – versus drunkenly – gave away my idea to a co-worker, providing one of us an out from the glamor of retail.

Let’s flash forward and back to the present-ish, though…dwelling in the past is so passe.

There’s a lot of old sayings that could describe some interesting things that have happened to me over the last few months:

Throw it against the wall and see what sticks.

Deja vu.

Putting it out there.

But they don’t exactly capture what I’ve been experiencing recently.  Anything from blurbs of deja vu where something seems familiar, only to trace it back to an idea or comment I have made in the past to something way more solid like having a friend and former co-worker quote one of my precious little Chrisisms back to me.

Like I said, this has been percolating for a bit, but a while back when I was talking to a former colleague, she mentioned WINning in reference to prioritizing things in her life and it just made me chuckle.  WIN is an acronym that I helped create at work back in my Meier & Frank days here in Portland.  It stands for What’s Important Now.  I liked it then when it helped give associates and junior managers a little perspective in the fast-changing world of retail priorities, but I still like it because I can apply the same perspective to life’s daily changes.


My self-proclaimed idea man status revolves around a lot of creative masturbation I have done.  From fantasy life stuff that would provide an escape from my corporate world to stupid words I made up for fun and onto some serious social conspiracies I am responsible for…accidentally, of course!

Take Red Heads, for instance.  Not long ago, they were on the verge of social extinction – if not actual extinction given the Royals’ apparent reluctance to continue inbreeding…I joke.  Nonetheless – and quite the coincidence, here – the Sucks At Cheating Ex had just left me and my friendship with the Silver Fox had just begun.  Back before Asocial Media got out of hand and ruined gay culture – just my opinion, but look at that whole food cart thing…I have good opinions.  One of the things we used to chat about while we were getting to know each other on a site called Manhunt was what I was looking for in a guy.

I wonder if Manhunt is still around.

Anyway, I told him I wasn’t really ready to date, but that I had a list.  This wildly excited him.  Turns out – and I had no way of knowing this at the time – that he’s quite a little caretaker.  So, his enthusiasm for the list wasn’t just because it was kinda crazy and kinda funny.  He honed in on the different qualities on that list, things I thought I would want in a prospective boyfriend, and reminded me of them whenever someone I dated met one or more.  Although, I admit, I didn’t mind checking them off the list one at a time.

Apple Cheeks.

Short Guys.

Strange Name.


Other Stuff.

Anyway, that was one of the many times that I had mentioned Redheads in a sexual or romantic fashion.  The habit went back to my days as a Chicken (what young, smooth gays were called before someone – not me! – came up with Twink) in the LBC, when I would mention to my friends Dennis and Petur (gays are so fucking precious with their names sometimes) that I wanted to get with a particular guy or two at the bar.  Specifically, Long Beach’s only two redheaded gay guys.  I never managed to score a date, nor even a rendezvous, and Dennis and Petur never stopped looking at me with squinty eyed expressions or outright sneers of disgust at my attraction to these two redheaded men.

Not that I let that stop me from being attracted to them or pursuing a random redhead.  I actually realized, based partly on Dennis and Petur’s reactions and partly on personal observation, that many redheads are simply monstrous looking.  I’m sure they are just fine people on the inside, but on the outside they look like vulva.

No offense to actual vulva.

Or Redheads!

So, way back then in the early 90s the search for the Elusive, Good-Looking Redhead had begun.  A topic of conversation, to be sure, way before I put it on the Fox’s radar by disclosing to him that there was a list.

Then it became a fetish amongst the gays and Redheads started peacocking around like the prized pigs they wanted to be.  About the time I lost interest in them.  Or focus on the interest, to be more accurate.

I also brought back the color orange.  I don’t really have the time nor the inclination to go into that story, let me just say…Orange Couch.  Leather.  Envy.  Resurrection.  Orange.

Random Chrisisms?  Some of which can be found on urbandictionary.com with credits by up to 30 other authors, supporting the theory of tandem evolution…I guess.

– Fauxgasm:  When a guy has an orgasm but nothing comes out.  Still feels great, though…and no, I shouldn’t go have that checked out.  Shush.

– Fagabond:  A young, gay guy – hell, why does he have to be young?  A gay guy that crashes at friend’s houses or apartments in order to travel on the cheap or get his legs under him so he can get his own place.  I’ve been this guy, it might be an autobiographical construction.

– Faguar:  This one has gotten around!  I gave this its first hard mention back in Seattle around 2006, but had been spinning it around conversationally for years before that.  Probably around the time The List first came into its electronic hard copy form with the Fox on Manhunt.  Anyway, it’s an older serial dater type gay guy that dates younger gay guys.  Not a Daddy, because Daddies tend to have a steady guy they date.

– Voice of Treason:  The Naysayer.  Someone who openly opposes popular opinion.  Usually in response to a group of people self validating an incorrect idea…someone has to set them right.  That person is the Voice of Treason.

– Shituation:  Basically, a really not a good situation.  Close to the phenomenon of getting quoted back to myself?  After the Broken Poet left (the second time), the Fox gave me a sympathy card that he’d picked up…just in case there was a need for it.  Sometimes, I think the Fox should work for a circus.  Anyway, the card read, “You didn’t need that relationshit, anyway”.

The other day – ok…week, now that I think about it – I was watching a Black Mirror episode that reminded me of my idea for Government Subsidized Gyms.  They were free, but you had to go a minimum number of times per week, based on age and your general health level.  The “free” memberships were paid in time on cardio bikes and machines, which were configured to generate and collect electricity.  The gyms essentially becoming large power plants.  Americans, let’s call America the pilot program, need to get healthier anyway, right Mrs. Obama?

And one more Chrisism?  One that perfectly encapsulates the theme of this entire blog, potentially?

Whimbecille:  Someone who thinks they are being clever but is really just toiling in obscurity.  Alternately, someone who looks like an idiot when trying to be funny on their Facebook page or what-have-you but misspells or misuses a word in the process.  Think Their/There/They’re, It’s/Its, et al.

That’s the Chrisism that caused my breakup with Urban Dictionary.  I submitted it and they rejected it.  Working Theory:  it took too close a hit to a lot of their submitting contributors.  Take a look at that place, bad English all over the place.