Friday, September 29, 2006

If It's Friday Night...It Must Be High School Football!!!

I just got in the door from a memorable evening. An evening spent with two dear friends in the stands of a high school football game. My first high school football game in over 30 years, mind you.

The last high school football game I was at on a Friday night was one I was in. My life back then was centered around football. It engulfed me from early April until late November. I've written about it here in the past. I won't bore you with all of that again.

My best friend in the entire world calls me up the other day and asks if I'd like to go see his daughter do her thing with her dance troupe during half-time at the football game of the high school she attends. As luck would have it, I could attend, and so I did. I didn't think for a second about having Football Flashbacks or High School Hallucinations. I was just thrilled that my friend and I were going to get to spend some time together. Then, I found out that his ex-wife, a fabulous person who I haven't seen in years, would be there as well. Back in "The Day", the three of us logged many, many hours hanging out together. I was their pothead friend who never knew when it was time to go home. The guy who spilled beer on the carpet and burned a hole in the sofa with a joint. Remember that guy in your life? Well, that guy was me.

So, I found myself tonight, sitting amongst a crowd of proud parents, self-involved teenagers, and awe-struck gradeschoolers, watching the pageantry that is High School Football with two people whose most easily-accessed memory of me involved Pink Floyd's "The Wall" and the lingering smell of dirty bongwater. It was, like, layers of weirdness for me, because I was reminded of things I used to be, but no longer am.

I LOVED every second of it.

I loved the chaos of the crowd, but was drawn immediately to the exhilaration of the players - they were SO excited to be suited up, like warriors, in pads and helmets. They jumped up and down before the game began, and smacked their helmeted heads together. I couldn't help by chuckle at the littlest and scrawniest. Some of them were 5'5" or 5'6" and maybe weighed 140 pounds. Didn't matter. These boys meant business!

The cheerleaders kept busy performing for the crowd, chanting things which I had a real difficult time deciphering (I swear to God, at one point a cheer was about someone having "big lips" - I think...Maybe I'm just going deaf in my old age...), shaking their pom-poms (because nothing says "spirit" more than looking like you've got Parkinson's Disease), waving to their boyfriends in the stands, and checking their hair - both their own, and each others. These young ladies also meant business.

The band pulled off what I simply must refer to as a Clusterfuck during half-time. As if playing your instrument while standing up isn't challenging enough, what sadist decided that making these kids march forwards, backwards, side-to-side, in between each other - to form moving representations of Davy Crockett at The Alamo and the signing of the Declaration of Independence - was a good idea? There was a group of kids twirling flags. Another group twirling staffs, or batons. Another group doing an interpretive dance that had me completely confused. It was a swirl of movement and color and I had no idea what the hell was happening, but I was laughing and hooting and allowing the hoopla to wash over me. How they pulled it off, I'll never know, but one thing was certain: the band was amazing. When the Band Nerd parents cheered, I cheered right along with them.

When my friend's daughter, Emily, and her dance troupe came out, my jaw hit the floor. Here was a little girl whom I recall as being about 3 years old now all grown up, in a sparkley costume with a low cut front and showing leg all the way up to her neck, dancing like a poised and talented young woman. All smiles and jazz hands. Oh, my God, she was beautiful and I was old. The routine was to a version of AC/DC's "You Shook Me All Night Long" which, until you've heard done on trumpet and trombone, you just haven't heard!

Her parents, my friends, beamed. And I beamed, too. Everybody in the stands over 40 was beaming at somebody, at some point. Suddenly, I wanted to parent a teenager. For, like, 30 seconds, maybe. I get carried away, you know.

Something interesting I found out was that this high school is being used by the producers of the fall television series "Friday Night Lights", which premieres Tuesday night. The school is very excited about this. Their school, locker rooms, auditorium, and some football game coverage, will be featured throughout the season. Lots of filming is occurring and kids are hoping they'll be seen on the show. Now I'll be glued to my set on Tuesday nights as well, looking for shots of Emily.

And I doubt this will be my last high school football game.

It was just wonderful.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Monday Night television

I work around tv all day long. I work for the Programming department of a cable company. Hence, when I get home from work, the last thing I want to do is turn the boobtube on. In this age of Reality tv and CrimeScene television shows, I REALLY don't want anything to do with most of prime time network television.

HBO is more my style. Their original series seem..well, original.

But, there are some things I will watch. "My Name is Earl" delights me. "Grey's Anatomy" is a guilty pleasure (the plotlines are weak, but the actors elevate the material. And the music soundtrack is, week after week, brilliant).

But I have found myself rooting for two new shows that fall on Monday night on NBC: "Heroes" and "Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip".


Normal people start discovering they have unusual powers. An jananese guy can teleport, a cheerleader cannot be cut, stabbed, burned, or have her bones broken. A painter can see the future. Comicbook soap opera. Probably sounds pretty dumb. I'm digging its heart and spirit.

"Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip"

The guy who brought us "The West Wing" puts on a show about a show, as he did with "SportsNight". This is about a live comedy show, a la SNL. I'm sorry, but this guy can write. "The West Wing" was infused with politics, current events, and tugged on our sense of patriotism and idealism. It's doubtful that "Studio 60" will reach the level of "West Wing", but I just love to watch this guy work. I'm a fan. I'm not sure this is going to succeed, but I'll be watching.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Who Wants Pie?

Everyone I know likes SOME kinda pie. Who doesn't like pie? I like most pies.

Some folks are more fond of cake. They would rather have a piece of cake than a piece of pie. But that doesn't mean they don't like pie. They would just prefer cake.

Me? I'm a pie guy. I dislike very few pies. Mincemeat pie and rhubarb pie I'd rather not eat. But I might, if I was hungry enough. Cream pie, fruit pie, chess pie, custard pie, pecan pie, even pizza pie, chicken pot pie or a nice quiche: they are all yummy to me.

For people who claim they don't like pie, there's always Boston Cream Pie, which is really a cake. But it's got "pie" right in the name there. And for people people who dont like cake, there's Cheesecake which, come on, is really more like a pie. But "cake" is right there in the name, too.

Do you like pie? I'm sure you like SOME kinda pie. Who doesn't like pie?

Let's have a cup of coffee and a piece of pie and talk. That would be nice. Pie makes people friendly and open up to each other. The United Nations should serve pie. Maybe we should send pie to the Middle East. Include the recipe on the bottom of the pie plate. If they like the pie, they can make it themselves. Couldn't hurt.

What's your favorite kind of pie?

Be prepared to discuss all things "cookie" at some point in the future.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Sunday Mop Up 09/24/06

Panic! At the Condo

I'm not the most organized guy you've ever met. I have a tendency to lose things. In fact, there are somethings I can't help but lose. Jewelry is probably tops on that list. I've bought rings and been given chains- bracelets and neckwear- and never cease to lose them. Keeping track of little shit just isn't my forte. I know this, and have made adjustments to my life on account of this. I've come to accept it and deal with it.

But, when I can't find my eye glasses, it's another story. I FREAK out. I think it's because I know that replacing my glasses is a major pain in the ass: digging up my prescription, going back to the store, finding frames that fit my watermelon-sized head, having to decide about the UV protection/scratch resistant/auto-tinting lenses, and then waiting all day in a store that promises you'll get your shit "in about an hour". Fuck you. Meanwhile, I'm gonna try on every pair of frames in this god damned place and hog the mirrors. Maybe THAT will motivate you to hurry up with my friggin order.

So, I hate losing my glasses, right? Well, yesterday I couldn't find the sons of bitches.

I had them Friday night. I came home with them. I usually take them off when I get upstairs and place them on my computer table. Usually set them on top of the cpu tower on the corner of the table. The problem was that Friday night, as I sat here in the computer room, I did some cleaning up. Uncluttered the room a bit, as it were. The room needed it, and I felt productive afterward.

Saturday I got up and decided to go to the horse track: go play the ponies a bit, hang out amongst the beer-bellied cowboys and farmers and alcoholic gambling addicts. Yay! I dressed and reached for my glasses as I headed for the truck. Not there.

Okay, deep breath. Did I throw them away? Of course not! I eyed the trashbag that I had used to unclutter the night before and was certain I had NOT tossed them in. I surveyed the floor of the room. Nothing. Got on my knees and looked under the bed in this room. Nope. I check the pockets of the shirt and pants that I wore the day before. Not there. Bathroom? No. Bedroom? Looked on the shelves next to the bed, on the dresser, under the bed. I pulled back the bedding to see if they were tucked in between the sheets. Nada.

Wait! I stopped in the kitchen before coming upstairs. I HAD stopped at the store the night before, sometimes I leave my glasses next to, or on, the stove. Not in the kitchen. I looked at the trash basket in the kitchen, where I had tossed the groceriy bags after putting the food I bought away last night. Was I going to have to root around in the trash? No. No way I threw my glasses away!

It was a this point that I started going a little nuts. I looked IN the refridgerator. I looked IN the freezer. I had started a load of dirty dishes before going to bed so I looked IN the dishwasher. Fer Chrissakes! I went to the laundry room, even though I hadn't been there in days. I looked IN the washer and then IN the dryer. I'm starting to sweat. I grabbed my car keys and went out to the truck. Searched that motherfucker over. I began cursing.

I came back upstairs. I RE-CHECKED the very pockets of clothing I had JUST CHECKED. Like I missed a pair of glasses the first time? I went to the bathroom and looked IN THE SHOWER. C'mon! When was the last time YOU wore your glasses in the shower? It only left one possibility...the trash. Fuck!

Yes, I opened both trash bags, the kitchen one and the one had had taken upstairs to "unclutter" and began rooting around. Such a task is NEVER pleasant. Chicken bones and...nevermind...I'll spare you. Point is - NO GLASSES. Seriously, I knew I hadn't tossed them and was kinda pleased to confirm this, but I had run out of places to check. I was now, officially, out of control. I dug out my flashlight and began the Under The Beds search again. On my belly in two bedrooms. Fat Man Crawling. No glasses, but found some socks to put back into rotation. Also scored a little over two dollars in loose change. That's an extra bet on a horse. If I ever GET to the track!

I was now a sweaty, hyper-ventillating, swearing psycho. I plopped down in my chair at the computer table, right where I am right now. I put my elbows on the table and held my head in my hands as I stared at the floor. Right below me, sitting amongst the electric cords that power my pc set up, sat my glasses. I, my friends, am an idiot.


Has been discontinued. I'm happy just messing with Jimmy's Jukebox. I'll be loading new tunes in it weekly, and I may mention something about a particular track here on occasion. Like: Check out the track "Breathe Me" by Sia on the player. For those who remember "Six Feet Under", this is the song that played during that amazing montage at the very end of the series' finale. It still makes my heart stop.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Karma Is A Bitch

Not so long ago, I ranted about what a useless waste of space Paris "The Living Pap Smear" Hilton is. Can not STAND her.
Well, let's add another name to my list of Those I Can Not Abide:
Anna Nicole Smith

I didn't mind that a billionaire wanted to leave his fortune to her. I was kinda glad that his stick-up-the-butt family took it in the ass. I even watched some of her reality show, because I think I delighted in watching what a fat, drugged out pig she had become. Maybe I felt kindly toward her because she had really just ballooned into such a freak show and because the inheritance is nowhere near settled.

But, now the news is that she is selling pics of her son to the press for some $600K. - her 20 year old son who died in her hospital room days after she gave birth to a baby. Jesus!

This is, perhaps, the most disgusting, pathetic, and creepy twist to this story of what a trainwreck of a whore she is. This catches me in the throat and makes me say a little prayer for that young man. I feel the need to offer my respects to him, since his own mother doesn't feel that responsibility. I doubt this is the end of the suffering in the miserable little life of this wretched and souless woman. She'll get what's coming to her.

I'm sorry, Daniel. Rest in peace.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

A Former Co-Worker Has Some Serious Fun

On my way out the door to lunch at work today, I bumped into a guy I had worked with for several years here. He was a total hoot to work with. Got let go this spring for being too much fun, I guess. I miss him.

Well, turns out he is still a goofball. He pointed me to YouTube to see the project he worked on with his friends. He wants to get into television and film, ultimately. Watch this, and you'll get a sense of the Energyforce that is Corey. He cracks me up. There's a sequel not far behind, from what I understand.

And, a little behind-the-scenes video:

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

*Heavy Sigh*

Sometimes, deep in the heart of winter, I'll rub just a VERY little suntan lotion on my forearms so that, while I'm slogging away at my desk at work with my arms firmly attached to the keyboard, I can smell a little summer vacation around me.

No one else has ever noticed, for which I'm grateful.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Sunday Mop Up 09/17/06


About two years ago, I began calling a gay chat line on the telephone. I found this to be a very surreal experience, with most callers using the line for phone sex, others using the line just to be stupid and obnoxious and abrasive. There was another group of people I discovered who called in to check in with other friends they had made on the line, complete strangers except for these conversations which covered all manner of topics. Over time, I’ve gotten to know several really nice people. People I have no other way of reaching except via this phone number: Bobby in West Texas, Tony in the Bronx, Tony in the Poconos, Jeff in Philadelphia, Gary in Chicago, and – in a round about way, Michael from Ft. Lauderdale.

Michael was not someone I was immediately interested in talking to. He tended to jump into a room and act like an idiot. It was obvious that Michael was an older gentleman with a thick east coast accent that made him sound, well, Jewish. Because he sounded like an old man, he was teased mercilessly by the young callers. I realized fairly quickly that he had been calling for years and was legendary at being a bit of a buffoon.

Eventually, Michael’s antics began to get under my skin. I would listen to him act like an ass, then listen to the ridicule. The nice-guy friends I called in to talk to never chided him and he would often drop the Idiot-act and try to participate in our conversations. The young guys who only called to be ugly to each other would have none of that. Since Michael had a distinctive voice, if and when he tried to speak, he was put down and shouted down. The punks would not allow the man to be a part of any discussion. So, he would just act like a moron right back to them. I couldn’t believe that Michael didn’t see that his actions were fueling the cruel attacks that people were launching at him. The phone line has a feature that allows you to talk one-on-one with each other, by punching in a numeric code given to you when you first call in. If I type in your code, and you type in mine, we can talk in complete privacy.

About a year ago, whenever I heard Michael being picked on, I would swap my code with him, and we would talk privately together.

Turns out that Michael was a smart and articulate retiree living in Florida. He had made a very comfortable living in the garment industry and split his time between Ft. Lauderdale and Connecticut in his retirement. He had married early in life, fathered a son, and then had to divorce his wife when he realized that he was gay and could not live a lie with a woman. He came out to his wife, broke her heart, and was filled with guilt and shame. He never allowed himself to find a longterm relationship with a man and had lived for many, many years alone and desperately lonely. He didn’t deserve Happiness, he told me, so he never sought it out. He knew no other gay people. The phone line was his feeble attempt to find gay friends and a sense of belonging to a community. And that had backfired when he turned himself into a cartoon, a clown. He didn’t know what else to do but accept his persona and be the butt of the jokes. At least people knew who he was. Negative attention is, after all, still attention.

The more I talked with him through the months, the more he expressed a desire to stop being a caricature and insist upon being taken seriously on the phone line. He would call in and speak like the mature, sane man he actually was. But, he always sounded like a Jewish grandpa. The punks were relentless. I really kinda hate young, arrogant, snotty gay boys. Sorry, I had to throw that in there.

Back in April of this year, Michael called in and was distraught. I could tell right away. When I asked what was wrong, in private, he didn’t want to talk about it and hung up on me. A week later, I ran into him again. When I asked what was the problem the week before, he got flustered and said he didn’t want t talk about it. At least he didn’t hang up on me. So, we talked about other things. He had started seeing a therapist to deal with his guilt and shame about his sexuality. I was very proud of him and told him so. So we talked for two Saturdays (Saturday was the day I always called the line) about his therapy.

The third Saturday he told me what was going on. He had some medical tests done, and a lump was found in his lungs. Michael has inoperable lung cancer, which has spread throughout his body.

He stopped calling the line after that. The last time I spoke with him was in early May. He vanished so quickly, the Retards on the phone line started asking where he had gone. They seemed to miss him. In a weak moment in August, I told the callers what I knew. The jackasses replied that it was about time an old troll like Michael die. I couldn’t bear to hear their ugliness. I went off on them. They simply turned their mockery toward me. I became the butt of the joke.

I was sure Michael was dead. No one had heard from him in months and months. Then, a few weeks ago, he showed back up on the line. His voice trembled and wasn’t very strong. He’s very sick. He moved from Ft. Lauderdale to Connecticut to live with his brother and his brother’s wife and children during the summer. A month after that, his brother was killed in car accident. He’s so weak he has decided to move into an assisted living facility adjunct to the hospital, which is caring for him. He moves there next week.

I’ll be talking to him regularly, directly, from here on. I want him to know that he has a friend who cares and that he can talk to any time he needs. I’m considering visiting him on the east coast sometime before he dies. Is that crazy?

I wonder about what my life will be like should I ever get to the point that I am old and ill. Will I be alone? Will anyone care when I am dying? Michael’s family had mostly turned their backs on him when he announced that he was gay. My family didn’t do that, and I am certain that when I need help, my family will be there for me. In that respect, I am very blessed. Michael is teaching me about courage and bravery as he faces his mortality. I tell him that I love him every chance that I get. I'm grateful that I have the opportunity to talk with him a little longer.

Life is a precious, fragile, bittersweet thing.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Tell me, how do you make a Superman?
With Courage and a Steady Hand
Conviction and a Do-Good Attitude
Spiritual and Moral Fortitude

Don’t forget the flowerparts
A Soft Touch and an Open Heart
A rainbow and some Empathy
Compassion and Sympathy

Don’t forget the “I Love You”s
Oh, and “I Forgive You, Too”s
-It’s The Little Things that separate
The Good from The Great

Tell me, how do you make a Superman?
With Honesty, with Discipline
Endurance and Stamina
Icy Stare, Steely Jaw

Don’t forget the flowerparts
A Soft Touch and a Bleeding Heart
A rainbow and some Empathy
Compassion and Sympathy

Don’t forget the “I Love You’s”
Oh, and “I Forgive You, Too’s”
-It’s The Little Things that separate
The Good from The Great

-Bob Schneider, "Flowerparts", from 'The Californian'
It's Track #2 on Jimmy's Jukebox above. Have a listen!
I love this song.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Of Chubs And Chasers

As a big guy, I realize that I am labeled a “Chub”. This is a term for overweight gay men. I hate the term, which is funny, because I don’t mind the “Bear” label at all. “Chub” just seems so derogatory. Straight women get the “BBW” acronym. Gay guys are just “Chubs”. Well, until they hit a vaguely unspecific weight range, when they become “SuperChubs”. The conventional wisdom places this differentiation at around 400 pounds, depending upon height and general body structure.

I am well aware that there is a subset of men who are interested only in heavyset men and women. The term for these men is “Chasers”- short for “Chubby Chaser”. A ”Chaser” can be any of body type.

I am constantly asked if, as a large man myself, I am a “Chaser”. Am I only interested in other heavyset men?

Here’s the dealio:

I believe that our bodies are only the bags that we live in. Some bags are little, some bags are buff, some bags are big. I am interested in the mind and soul that lives within the bag, not the bag itself. I am attracted and drawn to personalities, attitudes, and intellects.

Sure, upon first glance, I have body types that catch my eye. I think I've stated before that I'm fond of the hairy, bluecollar masculine look. But all that goes out the window when I get to know someone. I've found myself surprisingly attracted to some slender men I've met. I've been completely enamoured with guys bigger than myself. Likewise with physical endowment of the genitalia: size doesn't mean much to me. I'm an admirer of exceptional endowment in a man, in an eye-candy kind of way. "Wow, look!" Sure. I think even straight men can appreciate a serious package, probably because most of us wish we were a little better endowed than we are. It's universal: big dicks command respect. No problem. That doesn't mean I want that python anywhere near me when we're in the dark together. Nice to meet you, you sure are handsome, not a chance in hell that I'm interested in what you've got. Sorry. you scare me and, quite frankly, I don't want to work that hard tonight.

But, that's not what I wanted to talk about. I got off track a bit.

I know there are skinny guys who only are into fat guys. Just as there are fat guys who are only into fat guys. Hey, there are lots of skinny guys who are only into skinny guys! What I can't quite wrap my mind around is fat guys who only want skinny guys. Chubs who won't give other Chubs the time of day because they are fat. Fat guys who know the pain and rejection of being dismissed for being too fat themselves, turning to another and rejecting that person for the same reason. How could a fat guy, who undoubtedly has been hurt by someone for not fitting into a physical ideal, do the same to someone else? Who should know better that you shouldn't judge a book by it's cover than a fat guy?

I think a Chub who won't give another Chub a chance is really projecting his own self-loathing onto others. Here's a man who hates being fat himself, so YOU must hate being fat, too. Here's a man who is as full of judgementalism and prejudice as the paper-thin pretty boys who mock him while he desperately searches for love and acceptance. I think a fat guy who only wants to be with skinny guys has a duty to get his ass skinny as well. He wants the best of both worlds: to be allowed to be fat, and to not have to tolerate any other fat guy.

I've taken alot of heat about this when I've talked about it with friends. I can't seem to find anyone who agrees with me or thinks I even have a valid point. I just think fat people who ridicule other fat people are the worst.

We are more than our waist size, our bra-cup size, or our penis size. We are human beings, ALL of us- men and women who are complicated creatures, layered with subtleties and eccentricities. When we objectify and label each other, we are short-changing our own life experience.Who knows what wonderful people we may have dismissed during our lives as we categorize and pigeon-hole each other?

I want to open my arms to the Universe and greet and welcome any and all into my heart and into my mind. I want to look for the Good and the Noble and the Beautiful in everyone. I want to live a life of Inclusion, not Exclusion. I seek Connection, not Isolation.

That's what I wanted to talk about. I think I might be sounding a little nuts, or New-Agey. I'm really not one of those kind of people. It is my Intention here that is important. I was just trying to connect with you, the Reader.

Sorry if I got carried away.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

A Little Rant About Work

There's some serious stupidity going on at my job. People who I KNOW are smart and creative and competent are acting like morons lately. Is it the weather? Texas summers can bake the brains right out of your head, but temperatures have been fairly moderate the past week or so. I'm chalking it up to people just buckling under the pressure of being expected to operate at 110% capacity at all times. If your environment at work is continually a chinese firedrill, good judgement and common sense and logical thinking are eventually going to suffer.

I'm trying to give these folks the benefit of the doubt. What I WANT to do is shake some of them by their shoulders. Slap them and tell them to "Snap out of it!".

Chances are, they've wanted to do the same to me, at some point. Maybe I should get off my high horse.

I've got one guy in my department that is the "PC's suck and Apples don't" guy. If you work around computers, maybe you know what I'm talking about. There's always one geek in the office that swears that everything that ever goes wrong is the fault of Microsoft, or Windows. Now, to be sure, computers can be a pain in the ass, and I wouldn't be surprised if Apples are, indeed, more reliable than PCs. But, guess what? Our company is FILLED with PCs. We don't have a choice but to use them. So, like, shut the fuck up already?!? Shut up! Just shut the fuck up, okay? You're not helping by pointing out that our network is all Microsoft product. I know that. My boss knows that. Stop. Just stop. Not another word. No. Zip! Don't.say.anything!

He's a very hard worker, but either part autistic or idiot savant. He's a real challenge.

At least he is consistent. It's when other co-workers, ones that you generally can rely upon to problem solve and contribute in a positive manner, turn into Rain Man that I go a little crazy.

It's been like that, lately, at work. I'm hoping things turn around.

Monday, September 11, 2006

As If We Could Ever Forget

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Sunday Mop Up: 09/10/06

Yeah, I know. I said I'd post more and I didn't. I'm going to stop worrying about it. Maybe I'll pick up momentum after some time. Maybe this is as busy as I can get on my blog. I don't know.

The most exciting things that happened this week were, of course, the gift of the mp3 player, and getting together with friends last night to watch the University of Texas play Ohio State.

Who did we think we were kidding?

After having Vince Young lead our team to the National Championship last year, it was really weird to see our new quarterback, Colt McCoy, try to fill Vince's shoes. Kinda like watching Opie Cunningham star in some porn movie. I mean, you appreciated the effort, and all but...

Don't get me wrong. The kid has a good arm, but he has A LOT of maturing to do. Too bad this huge game came so early in this team's season. The Texas defense looked like it was on cough syrup. We were ranked #2 going into this game? Whoa. Ohio State hardly broke a sweat. I'm surprised that the score was as close as it was: 24-7.

Now, I am not the kind of fan to rip a team apart if they lose a game. Hell, I'm from Nebraska: we KNOW how to lose there! I'm a loyal fan of any team I root for, whether they win or lose (which explains how I can so dearly love the Houston Astros). I will enjoy watching this team develop. I think the head coach, Mack Brown, is a terrific coach. I was just kinda stunned at how puny and lethargic we looked.

I watched the game with a group of about 8 friends on a big screen HDTV. Good food, cold beer, hilarious commentary from the assembled homos: it was just a lovely day.

What else?...oh yeah, my macaroni and cheese was well received. Shut up.

Oh, oh, wait! One more thing! Blogger is featuring a blog that is really clever. I've added it to my links (filed under: "Huh?"). Please take a second and check out "Indexed". A star is born! Thanks for pointing this out to us, Blogger!

Jimmy's Video Stash (bottom of the page, please)

The band Ok Go! with two of the most retarded and wonderfully choreographed videos of all time. Something tells me that they spend more time on the dancing than they do on the music, but why not? So does every act you see on MTV. Enjoy!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Looks Like I Found An MP3 Player!

(Ed. note: okay, I'm a people pleaser and the guy who found the player obnoxious got to me, so I went into set-up and found how to keep the player from starting upon page download.)

Oh, My GOD! I'm so excited! Big hugs and thanks to Mr. Lactose-Intolerant for finding this for me.


Any feedback you can give me about whether the player works on your pc will be appreciated. I'm just playing with this while it's a free beta test.

I just threw a couple of .mp3s up to see if it works. I'll get serious about a playlist later.

I think the thing is set up to begin playing automatically. If you just can't STAND it, click the little stop button on the player.

I may change that setting in the future, so as not to be all obnoxious and in your face with the tunes, but right now, I want the fucker to fire up right away.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Boys and Their Toys

Man, long weekends sure screw up my internal calendar. I'm sitting here, munching on korean takeout and perusing some of my favorite blogs (your "Smut of the Month" is always a favorite, Melissa!) when I snapped to the fact that today is not Monday, like it feels, but Tuesday. And a Tuesday of a non-paycheck week, at that! Which means tomorrow is Wednesday of a non-paycheck week which is, of course, "Cleaning Lady Day Wednesday"! Holy shit, I'm sitting back on my fat ass, and I've got to clean the house before the housekeeper shows up tomorrow!

I take a lot of shit from friends about this. "Seriously?", they ask. "You clean the house your house BEFORE the cleaning lady comes?"

Yes, I do. Well, okay, what I do isn't really cleaning, but picking up, organizing, hiding, and stashing. Look, I'm a middle-aged gay man. I've got some shit that heterosexual women don't wanna deal with, okay?

I'm a bachelor and live by myself. Just before a visit by Little Miss Civilization, I have to do things like collect the scattered clothes that seem to just explode off my body when I get through the front door from work during the oppressively hot Texas summers. I have a bad habit of letting coffee mugs and empty Diet Coke bottles litter my computer table. You know, that kinda picking up: dealing with the Sloppy Guy stuff. Felix Unger, I aint. In order for her to get the real hardcore cleaning accomplished (mopping floors, dusting, scrubbing the kitchen and bathrooms), she needs to be able to FIND things like the floor and the counters and the furniture. That's my job. I unclutter and she cleans.

But, it goes beyond that. Anything remotely sexual in nature is filed away. Not because I'm ashamed or afraid that the cleaning lady will find out I'm a homo- no, I've explained that to her. She has assured me that she is cool with whatever my lifestyle is, that she's just here to provide a service. But I've had others tell me that and things weren't exactly 'cool'.

flashback: 2001

My ex had moved in with me earlier in the summer. When Christmas rolled around, I wanted to do something special for him as a gift. He had mentioned during the previous 6 months that he wished we could afford a cleaning service for the place. Two grown men in a small 1,000 sq.ft. townhouse could really do some damage, trust me. But I thought hiring someone to clean was an extravagance and a waste of money. So, my gift for him that year was a coupon for a year's house cleaning by a professional service. He was delighted. I had no idea what I had gotten myself into. I soon found out.

I discovered, as I began shopping for a service after the new year, that the big-time cleaning services were just too expensive for me to handle. The median price was around 90 bucks PER VISIT. I wanted someone to come in once a week. I was shouldering this expense by myself, and I couldn't swing that. I quickly realized I was going to have to find a person, not a company, to hire for this job. I hit the classifieds in the newspaper.

Several phonecalls into the process I realized that hiring a person who spoke english would probably be a good idea, since I speak no spanish what-so-ever ("Uno mas cerveza, por favor" is the extent of my bi-lingual skills). And that was going to complicate matters, it seemed. The phone interviews were disasters.

I finally found the number of a "Debbie" who was starting her own little cleaning business "One Day At A Time Cleaning". Sweet and easy-going on the phone, Debbie explained that she was a 12 Stepper and trying to get back on her feet. I invited her to the house for an interview. When she came over, she was completely professional in her appearance and demeanor. She assured me that she could whip the place into shape for 50 bucks a visit, twice a month. I was relieved. I could afford that. I made it a point to explain to her that she would be cleaning for two gay men and asked if she had any problem with that. Oh, no! Not a problem at all.


I told her that we could try it out and see if this worked for everyone. She agreed to start the next week.

Now, at the time, I had just been promoted at work, and was into having my dress shirts laundered and pressed at a nearby dry cleaners. It was expensive but, damn it, those places can make a dress shirt look fresh and crisp like I never can. Regularly, I was hauling loads of shirts to the cleaners, and bringing home a plastic-wrapped, hangered, and bundled batch of management-ready couture. Over the course of time, lots of hangers and bundle-bands kind of collected. Admittedly, it was getting out of hand. My ex would sneer, in his best Joan Crawford, about the wire hangers, and the bands that were these 4 or 5 inches in diameter, plastic, flexible circle-things that held all the hangers together for transport. I tried to keep the shit thrown away; the band thingies, the plastic bags the shirts were wrapped in, the fucking wire hangers....

Debbie's first visit was a rousing success. When we came home from work it was evident that the woman busted her ass throughout the house. I was so impressed that I tipped her an extra 30 bucks. She smiled when I handed her the cash, but didn't look me in the eye.

The next visit was less impressive. Things weren't dusted. The bedroom was, well, maybe vacuumed, but that was it. My ex and I had tried hard to keep a level of orderliness and clean since the last visit, and I thought we had made things considerably easier for her. When I asked her if everything was alright, she just mumbled, took her money (I tipped her 10 bucks this time, for a very half-assed job) and got out of the house as quickly as she could. My partner spent the better part of the evening pointing out things she didn't do that she should have done.

My first thought was that this woman admitted she was a recovering alcoholic and drug addict. I suspected that she was stealing things, and began an inventory to see if anything was missing. Nothing was. She wasn't stealing.

Two weeks later when we got home after work, Debbie had already left. I hadn't even paid her. The kitchen floor was swept, not mopped, and the toilet and tub was scrubbed but nothing else was touched. The kitchen counters weren't wiped down. The vacuum hadn't moved from it's corner in the closet.

"Are you going to pay 50 bucks for this?" my ex asked.

"I'll call her to see what's up." I said.

When I called her she talked very coldly to me.

"I'm sorry, but I can't work for you" she said.

"Debbie, what's the matter? What is going on?"

"Look, " she said. "Nevermind...but in the future when you hire someone to clean your house, you should be more careful about what you leave out for the person to deal with!"

"What? I...I don't know what you are talking about." I stammered.

"Do you really think I should have to deal with your sex toys? Do you know how gross that is?"

Sex toys? What in the fuck was she talking about? We didn't OWN any sex toys.

"Excuse me?" I was completely baffled by what she was saying.

"You know, my husband said that I shouldn't work for faggots, but you seemed like a really nice guy. I should have listened to him."

"Debbie, I don't -"

"Look, good luck to you, but there's no way I'm going to work for queers who leave their cockrings laying around for me to have to pick up!"


And she hung up on me. When I related the conversation to my ex, his eyes brightened.

"You have a cockring? When did you buy a cockring?"

"No, damn it, what was she fucking talking about? We don't have any sex toys!"

"Do you want to go get some?" He had always wanted a big dildo, and was taking a shot at it. Again.

"You know, you're not helping here." I said. I was perplexed about her comment, angry that I was called a faggot and a queer (for the first time), but mostly distressed that I was going to have to start the search for a replacement. For someone who initially didn't see the value of a housekeeper, I had gotten used to the idea of coming home to a clean house. Paying someone else to clean the toilets is a beautiful thing.

A few weeks passed and I hadn't found a new housekeeper, so I jumped into the cleaning chores myself. I wanted to handle this alone, since the housekeeping thing was my gift to my partner. I made a day of it. I tackled the bathrooms first, stripped the bed, did laundry all day, dusted and lemon-oiled the teak furniture, mopped the kitchen, scrubbed the counters, and did a load of dishes. Even dusted the fucking ceiling fan blades. Me. Jesus! I finished off with a thorough vacuuming.

As I was doing the carpet in the master bedroom, I opened the closet door and did a quick pass with the sweeper. Something in the corner caught my eye. Suddenly, it all made sense.

I was laughing out loud as I came down the stairway into the livingroom, where the ex was watching television.

"I think I found one of our cockrings!" I announced. I was twirling one of those huge plastic bands from the dry cleaners around an upheld finger as I approached him. "She must have thought I was hung like a horse!" I threw the band, ring-toss style, at him. It landed on his head, looking like a halo.

"Dream on!" he roared, taking the band and fitting it around his fist. "If you were hung like this, I wouldn't want a dildo!"

end of flashback

So, ever since, I keep an eye out for anything even REMOTELY looking like sex stuff and stow it away before the housekeeper arrives. It's just too hard to find good help nowadays.

Now, excuse me, there's an issue of "Grizzly" somewhere around here that's still unaccounted for...

Monday, September 04, 2006

Labor Day, 2006

I guess I'd like to take this occasion of a National Holiday to vent a little about Politics. I suspect this will drive the three readers I might have away, but I've been wanting to say this for awhile.

George W. Bush takes a lot of heat for getting the U.S. involved in the shitstorm that is the Middle East war. Hey, I'm not happy about the situation myself; I think we have made one blunder after another there and I really don't think we have a clear strategy (or 'strategery') and the whole thing is a fucking mess. No doubt. But, I DON'T think Bush has ulterior motives with our involvement. 9/11 freaked us all out, and he jumped in to be pro-active and protective of our interests and the guy was just trying to do the right thing. I think he fucked it all up, but I think he was trying.

What I hold Dubya accountable for, and the real travesty of his tenure in Office, is what he has allowed to happen domestically. The President is a puppet and pawn of Corporate America and we are all suffering because of it. "Business Ethics"? Oh, please! Fuck you.

Big Business is running amok in this country. In the name of "fiscal responsibility" we, as the working class, are getting squeezed like tubes of toothpaste. Used up and disgarded. Everyone I know, no matter the type of company they work for, is being pressured to do more and more, for less and less. Companies continue to "down-size" and then dump extra work on the grateful remaining employees. Employees who should just be thankful that THEIR positions weren't eliminated are being bullied and frightened. I swear, my friends tell me, to a person, that they are doing the workload of three people right now. Name the business related issue: healthcare costs and job benefits, over-time, minimum wage, cost of living, outsourcing of jobs, the dismantling of Unions, illegal immigration - Corporate America is doing whatever the hell they bloody-well feel like and this administration is showing no signs of attempting to rein them in. And, all the while, CEOs and Corporate Elites are making obscene amounts of money, while legistators are taking their money to fund their campaigns coffers. We are, seriously, in the throes of a Class War here in this country.

Government is not a business, and should not be run that way. Businesses are not the Government. Yet, each seems to be modeling themselves after the other. For that matter, I'm having a bitch of a time keeping Religion, Business, and Government straight in my mind. The lines are being blurred. While "The Worker", the poor slug and sluggette upon whose backs this country was founded, are being treated as a mere commodity.

We are human beings who deserve to be respected and fairly compensated for the work we do.

Do you work hard at your job? I bet you do. Today is your day. Be proud of how hard you are working. Meanwhile, watch carefully how your freedom of lifestyle is being erroded away. Next time you vote, ask yourself this question: Am I better off now than I was 8 years ago?

The middle class needs to find a leader willing to be their voice. I just pray someone is up to the challenge.

Let's find that person.

But, for now, let's take a day, drink a toast to our little lives and the fading summer that slipped past us as we worked our fucking asses off.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sunday Mop Up 09/03/06

My alibi for not blogging

Okay, I did a really lousy job of keeping up with posting this week. I blame this fact entirely upon my job and the beginning of college football season and the NFL.

See, my job gets hairy at this time of year because part of what I do is co-ordinate content of sports events and productions in association with the University of Texas for an exclusive subscription channel on the cable system. All UT sports, all the time. Video On Demand. We call the channel BEVOD ( Bevo, the school mascot, + VOD, video on demand, = BEVOD). Wanna watch our team win the Rose Bowl and the National Championship last year? We have that game, and a bazillion little segments leading up to it and after it, all for the viewing pleasure of our customers, available whenever they want.

And not just football. We follow the basketball season of both the men and women, the UT baseball season, women's volleyball, we carry tennis and a little track and field as well. But, without question, football season is when viewership and subscriptions crank to their highest levels and the pressure is on for my department to churn out content like a well-oiled machine. And, at this time of year, my department needs a serious blast of WD-40.

So, the first UT football game of the season was this weekend, and preparing for the roller coaster ride that ensues had me totally pre-occupied this week. Well, not TOTALLY pre-occupied. I was also consumed with preparing for a pre-season NFL game that the cable company was given exclusive rights to show and insert local commercials into. This ratcheted the pressure up another 10-fold. Being able to tout to the public that you can catch a Houston Texans football game only on our cable system is like gold to our Marketing department, not to mention the Media Sales department, who can charge big bucks to local clients to have their commercials included in the telecast. That game was Thursday night. I'm telling you, it was a hellacious week for me.

The game Thursday night was a real challenge. Master Control became a REAL television switching center: we had the network conference-called and took our cues to roll our breaks from countdowns delivered by a silly bitch in a production truck sitting in the parking lot of the stadium. Hey, live tv is a clusterfuck behind the scenes, to be sure, but the boneheaded female who was there to keep the affilliates abreast of what was going on and what to expect was an obvious virgin at the orgy. At one point, she actually jumped onto the phone and shrieked, "We're way behind on our local breaks! Affilliates, take Break 15 NOW! NOW! (pause, 2, 3, 4...) Wait, nevermind, cancel that!" It was like that the whole game.

I hope to get back into posting more regularly next week.

Jimmy's Video Stash (very bottom of the page, amigos):

Have you heard of Bob Schneider? He's an Austin musician and performer who has been around forever. The hardest working man in the Austin music scene, I swear to God, Bob puts together bands and projects more often than some people change their underwear. Back in the day, when Sandra Bullock lived here, he was more known as "Sandy's boyfriend", which was a fucking crime because he is such an amazing talent. They broke up a few years back. Her loss.

Well, Bob has a new cd out. It's called "The Californian" (click on the title to see the cd and have access to snippets from each track) and I am loving it. Recorded in just four days, with minimal overdubs, this record is raw and rocks and I haven't been able to get it out of my cd player in my truck. Corrine Bailey Rae has been replaced by Bob. -Move it on over, baby, I love your shit, but Bob has just pulled his cock out!-Anyway, there are no videos out yet for anything on the cd, so I thought I'd dig out the videos from his LAST cd ("I'm Good Now") and post them, just to give the uninitiated a taste of what this badass motherfucker is capable of. If anything for this latest album ever surfaces, I assure you I'll link you to them.

For what it's worth, Bob is an excellent example of why "American Dildo", "RockStar: PretentiousTurds", and "The Vaginal Discharge Formerly Known As Paris Hilton" make me sick. Here's a guy loaded with talent, charisma, and savvy who doesn't fit the mold of "The Next Big Thing". Although handsome, he doesn't rely on his looks to advance his career. He's in it for the music. His music. Music HE fucking creates. He has worked his ass off in small little venues, honing his craft and flexing his creative muscles, and still does. When he breaks big, it will be on his own terms and he will shine like a Star. I can't wait.

Hey, speaking of waiting, laundry and housework waits for me.

I'll talk to you later.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Outing Another Gay Site

Found this by by following Dop's My View From The Jeep blog. What the world needs now is more gay cartoons, don'tcha think? Click on the pic to get to the site, and then wander around. I giggled quite a bit.

Mr. Grisby's Totally Gay Pet Shop