November 30, 2005
you had better be filled with cheer, dammit.
Am I just getting old and crotchety, or is the holiday season getting more intense and nauseating? The other day not long after Thanksgiving, Gurl was gnashing her teeth and foaming at the mouth, and I realized she had been grumpy since Thansgiving despite having bought six pies at Giant (she only told me about 3 of them, fyi). I realized she, like me, is probably cranky due to the holidays. There are so many perfectly legitimate reasons to be depressed or cranky this time of year. I was told a story about one coworker who had to get her shopping done soon after Thanksgiving, not out of respect for getting the retail industry into the black, but because she would become increasingly nonfunctional due to depression as the holiday season progressed. She, like me, probably breathes a huge sigh of relief the day after New Year's Eve. Many, many people become depressed this time of year, and it's not necessarily their fault.
I pointed out to Gurl that she was probably feeling grumpy because of all the fucked-up messages we get this time of year, and it's important to be aware of how manic our society gets during the holidays, and to fight it whenever you can, at the very least being aware of why you are feeling like you do:
- This message that you should be full of Joy and Cheer At All Times. When you happen to not be joyful or cheerful, it makes you ask yourself, "What's wrong with me?" when there's probably nothing wrong with you. You just don't have to be cheerful or joyful 100% of the time. It's normal to be pissed off, upset or just plain neutral about something.
- This is a tough time of the year for single people, all the way up until February 14th. The messages you see on TV all show couples and families being Cheerful and Joyful, and clearly if you are single THERE MUST BE SOMETHING WRONG WITH YOU AND YOU ARE INCOMPLETE AND SOMEHOW WRONG INSIDE. No, you just happen to either be choosy, not needy, or at a phase in your life where you enjoy being solo. Frosty is currently single, and so is Rudolph. You can be single too.
- Going into debt stresses people out, but we are told it is our Patriotic Duty to put the retail industry into the black. No, It is not your duty to shop yourself into debt. My neice and nephew are already spoiled rotten anyway, and a gift of any value purchased for them will soon be thrown into the closet with the other toys that were played with for an average of about 30 minutes. Some years I don't get gifts at all, nor do I receive many, and that's OK. This year I think everyone is getting Nationals ballcaps, and all I want is a nice warm wool sweater. And no, I don't like all my sweatshirts to be X-Large anymore. Thanks. And going out shopping with the hysterical masses is not my cup of tea.
- Like I said about Thanksgiving, keep it simple, stupid (K.I.S.S.). With one set of old roomates and on another occasion with the ex, I was nearly forced at gunpoint to be full of holiday cheer and spend a day decorating the house with red bows and pine products. The complexities of decorating, the dire importance of wrapping gifts, and all the things you should be doing this time of year add up. Give yourself the caveat, "No, I don't have to do ________," and you'll feel a lot better.
- I know _________ is no longer with us this year. But you are here and so are some other really interesting and loving live people. Things change and life moves on, and the living are a lot more fun than the dead. Do not use this time of year as some sort of marker. Get a puppy, a guppy, or make new friends. Hmm...that reminds me of a Very Special Christmas I had one year where I got the Best Christmas Present Ever from Santa Claus. I call it my Greek Orthodox Christmas...
I don't exactly recall how I was introduced to this person via the Internet, but he was a friend of a friend from NYC, intrested in meeting up with me over Christmas break while he was visiting family in DC. I had chosen to stay in DC that year and was alone in the house, the roomate was away visiting family. Somehow the only night he could come over was Christmas Eve. Fine with me, that made the evening a little less lonely.
I had spoken with the guy on the phone and had seen pictures, and I was very, very much looking forward to meeting him. He was Greek with auburn hair, a hot schnoz, dense scruff and had a luxurious coat of auburn chest fur matted on an impressive muscular torso. A bitchin' tattoo put the whole fine picture together, and to top it off, he insisted that we snuggle and talk afterwards for some time, or else he wasn't interested in meeting. Umm...you mean I am required to lay my head on your hard, muscular, hairy chest and get initimate after we lay it down? Not a problem. And as we chatted away into the evening I had to send a silent missive to Kris Kringle while my head lay on the Greek's muscular chest:
"Thank You. Thank you Santa!" It was the best Christmas present EVER!
November 29, 2005
santa claus is comin' to town
When I grow my beard out longer in the winter and it gets a reddish color people often compare me to the young Kris Kringle from the Rankin-Bass claymation holiday classic "Santa Claus is Comin' to Town."
I guess it's better than being mistaken for Heat Miser, Snow Miser, or Hermie the Dentist.
old computer for sale, $200
I've finally gotten around to clearing all the porn off my old computer. More importantly, getting rid of it and its boxes will create space in my home for other things. It still works well, just not fast enough for online gaming. It still is great for desktop publishing, graphics and web site building. $200 or best offer - contact me if you're interested. No deliveries.
IBM Aptiva PC for sale, $200. Includes monitor, modem, external CD burner, speakers, & orignal system installation disks, but no printer. Great for desktop publishing, graphics and learning HTML and Web design skills, but too slow for online gaming. 160MB RAM, 4GB Memory.
Includes the following:
Office '97 (Word, Outlook, etc.)
Microsoft Money '98
Windows Media Player 7.1
Macromedia Dreamweaver 3.0
Macromedia Flash 5.0
Adobe Photoshop 5.5
Adobe Acrobat 4.0
Windows Media Player 7.1
Netscape Navigator 3.0 (for compatibility testing)
Netscape Communicator 4.61
Internet Explorer 6.028
Adaptec CD Creator/Burner
Easy CD Creator
Contact Jimbo3DC@aol.com if you are interested or have any questions.
November 28, 2005
careful with the nail gun, your 'nads
Not that many of you are finishing projects in the home this time of year, but please be careful with the nail gun and the 18-inch chip auger drill bit if you must use such things. Case studies at the bottom of the article.
And avoid using a pair of blunt wire cutters to cut off your testicles either. In fact, just don't off your 'nads at all, even if your favorite team loses the game.
November 27, 2005
the facts of life at the gym
I wasn't a total homebody this weekend. The past three days I did manage to get out of the house to go to the gym, sometimes with Gurl and sometimes by myself. I especially enjoyed riding down streets on my bike this weekend on the way to the gym with very few motorists to threaten my life. At one point on Logan Circle the road was actually clear and I did my best Pee Wee Herman imitation and swerved all over the road just for fun.
Gurl often has a habit of migrating from one gym to the other as their populations wax and wane. It seems that a lot of people do that as the service or quality of one Washington Sports Clubs gym drops when a manager moves to a new location. For a while it was a secret that the new WSC at Gallery Place had few people and a cheerful staff and clean locker rooms. Then it got crowded. The WSC at 1211 Conn. just south of DuPont Circle has been a mess for over a year now, despite me complaining to the manager and writing a letter to their regional offices - with no response. Equipment goes broken for months and you have to hunt around for cable machine clips or handles. And the locker/sauna situation there is just an outrageous circus. When the 1211 Conn. WSC was just opening my ex was managing it's launch, and gave me a tour of the place before it opened. When he showed me the sauna and steam rooms which were tucked back into an 'L' shaped alcove facing the showers, I remember saying to him, "Uh-oh, this one's gonna be a cruiseteria for sure." Sure enough, it is.
But Gurl, being the dutiful gym scout that she is found a new one between K and L Streets in the building that was once the Peace Corps office back when I returned from Kazakstan in 1996. It's very roomy with few people - for now. It has a number of interesting characters there. Me and Gurl like to name the characters of each gym that we frequent and share stories when either of us are not there, such as Choo-Choo Charile who piles towels up on his stairmaster and has to articulate his every breath with gusto, or of course the notorious Wooden Toenail Man, or the long-gone and much-remembered Wobble Board God, replete with towhead hair and empeccable stretching and balance board technique.
At this new gym we've decided to nickname the regulars there after the characters from that 80's television show The Facts of Life. While they're all guys, each of them remind us of the girls from the house, casting call as follows:
Blair Warner (the pretty one): the tall gorgeous Australian who always wears tee-shirts with rugby team logos, works out every night of the week;
Ms. Edna Garrett (dizzy housemother): the dude who has been working out forever, probably wore Zubaz zebra-stripe baggy pants back in the day, with leathery skin that has seen too many tanning booths. Always lugs his gym bag from machine to machine, much like Ms. Garrett did with her purse;
Natalie Green (the big girl): he's always on the treadmill, workin' hard to lose the pounds;
"Tootie" Ramsey (the hyper black girl on rollerskates): the hyper aerobics instructor who says hi to everyone;
Jo Polniaczek (the dykish one with the motorcycle): my favorite, the hypermasculine guy with the hot schnoz and beard who is scowling most of the time, looking out from under his simian brow ( I fucking LOVE that! ). He has impeccable stretching technique, firm junk in his trunk, and runs and lifts dutifully. Jo is what will probably keep me going to the gym through this winter.
November 26, 2005
jellied jimbo brain
I think I'm ready to go back to work now. After playing PC games all weekend jellying my brain to mush and sleeping in until Noon the past three days, I think I'm caught up on R&R by now. I have been going to the gym every day since Thanksgiving though, more to have human contact and get some daylight into my eyes more than anything else.
Damn, November whizzed by fast. Time seems to flow quickly from October through January, then creeps to a crawl until April.
Last night I did have an excuse to shower and dress up as I went out for dinner with Josh, The Conjecturer. Sharp as a tack and cute as a button, after dinner I showed him around the changing 'hoods, as his family is from here and he's been around the block here a few times.
November 24, 2005
happy (stress free) holidays
The turkey is in the oven in a bag, rinsed, patted dry then dabbed with olive oil and sprinkled with pepper and salt. There are onions in the cavity. Cook for two hours at 375 degrees farenheit.
It's really that simple, despite all the complex suggestions given freely by others when they heard I was cooking the turkey - mostly from The Gays who seem to enjoy stressing out over the holiday season insisting on making things waaay more complicated than they need to be.
My favorite suggestion was for me to "Use a turkey fryer," followed by the caveat, "but it's dangerous." They would always say the last part with a crazed twinkle in their eye. I'm amazed at how many people consider playing with pyrotechnics to be fun on days other than July 4th. Here's some reasons why I won't be using a turkey fryer:
- We eat enough fried foods - and I don't wanna hear about how fried foods make you fat after you chow down on a greasy-ass turkey leg;
- How am I gonna bring a big-ass turkey fryer, a propane tank and several gallons of grease home on my bike? You should have seen me hauling home the turkey and other groceries on the handlebars of my bike;
- Huge grease fires are not my thing on a holiday;
- Keep it simple - that's what ovens are for.
I've turned off my cell phone until my part of the celebration is over. When the turkey is out of the oven I may consider turning it back on. I have been receiving hysterical calls from The Gays every 15 minutes about what I have or should have or what someone should bring. We have food, we're OK, we will adapt if need be.
Today I'm thankful I'm not on a plane with screaming babies, not trying to make a fabulous gourmet feast a la Queer Eye or Martha Stewart, and in a very quiet city at the moment. The same will hold true for the Christmas season. Keep it simple and you will also be thankful for those around you, rather than what you think you didn't get done the right way or the way everyone says you're supposed to celebrate the holdiays.
Redhead Hottie Holiday Scruff Alert! A special Hallmark Hall of Fame movie, "Silver Bells," will premiere on Sunday, November 27th on CBS TV, 9-11 PM ET/PT, starring crazy woman Anne Heche and scruffalicious Tate Donovan (from The O.C.) starring as a hottie scruffy Christmas tree farmer.
This holiday season, do your duty to grow out your holiday scruff. It will make me happy.
November 23, 2005
lsten to what I have to say
I managed to fenagle the ability to "work from home" today to do some work tasks that don't involve the need to actually be at work, so I'll be writing some news articles, answering e-mail and possibly brochure design. Considering little happens on the day before a holiday at work anyway, I should be able to get a lot of things done.
Practice your turkey call and one day you too will be able to bring turkeys into your backyard!
An interesting letter to the editor from the San Luis Obispo (CA) paper, providing a solution to both sparse supplies of avian flu vaccine and those who don't believe things (like flu viruses) evolve on the extended entry:
SOME DON'T NEED VACCINE
Recent news about the avian flu virus has raised concerns from main street to the White House. There is the possibility, even likelihood, that the virus will mutate into a form that can more easily infect humans. As the president pointed out, a vaccine cannot be made until this evolution occurs.
This raises the concern that it may be impossible to create enough vaccine fast enough to protect all of our citizens.
But there is hope. Gallup polls tell us that up to 45 percent of Americans don't believe in evolution. Since random mutation is the engine of evolution, these same people must believe that the virus cannot mutate.
Therefore, there is no need to waste vaccine on folks who believe there is no possible threat to themselves -- thus leaving a sufficient supply for the rest of us. Perhaps the president, given his doubts about evolution, may wish to demonstrate his leadership by foregoing vaccination.
This approach has added benefits. Polls also tell us that disbelief in evolution is more pronounced among the less educated, the poor and conservatives. If the anti-evolutionists among these groups were to opt out of vaccination then, through immediate deaths and natural selection, we would reduce poverty, raise educational attainment, and become a more progressive society.
November 22, 2005
One built a vast empire, the other made great strides in shattering a country's morale in an attempt to do the same.
Chaka Khan. Chaka Khan. Chaka Khan.
Chaka Khan, let me rock you
Let me rock you, Chaka Khan.
Let me rock you, that?s all I wanna do
Chaka Khan, let me rock you
Let me rock you, Chaka Khan.
Let me rock you, let me feel for you
Chaka Khan let me tell you what I wanna do
Do you feel for me, the way I feel for you
Chaka Khan let me tell you what I wanna do
I wanna love you, wanna hug you, wanna squeeze you too
Let me take you in my arms
Let me fill you with my charms, chaka
'cause you know that I'm the one to keep you warm
Chaka, I'll make you more than just a physical dream
I wanna rock you, Chaka
Baby, cause you make me wanna scream
Let me rock you, rock you.
Wrath of Khan + Chaka Khan mashup.
November 21, 2005
My weekend wasn't as disappointing as it was for these two guys, it was actually pretty good. I relished my first Saturday off from rugby in 10 weeks and it was nice to get many, many chores and small tasks done that had been ignored for so long. And I got a massage from the man with the hands. It was great but he didn't spend enough time on my tense neck. Don't think I'm tense?
I am going to kill that fucking leafblower guy outside my office window. He's been at it for two weeks. Really, can't we use a fucking rake? I'm going to shove that fucking leafblower up his ass so that he'll be able to blow out a bonfire from his mouth and his eyeballs are gonna pop right out of his skull. Then I'm going after the guy with the bug zapper in his backyard...
While I was zipping about downtown on my bike I decided to catch up on phone calls and have a DC Moment, parking my ass out in the park across the plaza from the White House. It really looks quite white on the outside, as most of the dirty scum is on the inside.
Last week my mother reminded me that I was conceived in Texas. This explains why I am lactose intolerant despite being raised in Wisconsin. She probably told me once before but of course I forgot. Thus the existence of this blog. My progenitors shagged at a military base in Fort Wolters, Texas, a training base for helicopters. It later became a starting place for Hmong immigrants after decommission. The nearest town was Mineral Wells, near the Pecos River. On the way to Dallas, eastward, you could pass the King Ranch, the biggest ranch in the state.
OK, OK I'll frikkin' get City of Villians already!!! Jeez! Everyone is talking about their new evil bases, and soon even the good guys will be able to build a base as well. But as Gurl pointed out the other day: "Dammit! Now I have to worry about paying virtual rent as well as the real thing!"
Not surprisingly, rent in Atlas Park is lower than rent in Washington, DC.
November 20, 2005
it ain't over until the fat bear sings
Andrew Sullivan touts The End of Gay Culture And The Future of Gay Life, claiming a revolution in how the younger generation perceives themselves and how it will dissolve the instituions whe identify as 'gay' today.
Oh, I don't think so. While I admire his positive utopian outlook, there's still a lot of work to do. Even if we gain complete acceptance and acculturation into some "mainstream" lifestyle, I think we'll still gather together to talk about shared experiences - and of course to check out the hot guys.
It's the closets that have changed, as evidenced by the continual flood of faceless shots on hook-up sites, new gay ghettoes like Fort Lauderdale (tagged as a "cumdump" by Geekslut) replacing the old, and kids saying "I prefer not to use labels," instead of avoiding the subject or denying outright when asked. An unlabeled closet is still a closet. A recent skittish guy invited into my home for a "massage" (What he called sex - we have to euphamize everything here in DC) had to claim that he "didn't do this kind of thing too often" in a city where it's fairly acceptable to be out at work and in daily life. Despite all the visibility and acceptance we have in the media and in politics, there are still an awful lot of gay people out there who can't handle being what I call "out."
With homosexuals still being wielded as a mighty tool by the right to scare the bejeezus out of many Americans for votes, it is still plainly apparent that gays are marginalized by society and by their own. I liken it to looking into the divination font of my morning cereal bowl, where clusters of Cheerios will always gather into groupings of their own. Our gatherings are a litmus test of how we feel today, where identifiable sub-sub-cultures are still forming. Even if the Bear culture appears to tout masculine secondary sexual characteristics that supposedly identify them as "masculine" (read: "like straight people"), it's still a scene borne of the need to gather by necessity. And it's still a kind of drag, described by many as the new Castro Clone look. And younger gays are seeking to gain membership into this scene, proving that there's still a need for identification and acceptance into a non-mainstream grouping of similar people. And most Bears, or anyone in a specific subculture, still rarely interact outside of such groupings.
Copperred Carl once claimed I was "Post-Bear," and I had to correct him that I was "Never-Bear." As I like to say, I'm a hairy fit guy with facial hair who likes the same in other guys. But I'm still gay, Gay, GAY! as the day is long. And as long as gays are still calling other gays "faggots" it's evident that we have a long way to go.
And try claiming we have arrived anywhere between the great coastal metropolises that incubate our safe havens from where we make these claims. There is a lot of ground in middle America where many urban gay writers still fear to tread. It's easy to pontificate from your beachouse in Provincetown or from Chelsea or DuPont about how we are so integrated into society. Can a guy in Rhinelander, Wisconsin try to share a same-sex dance in a mixed bar in the Northwoods without word getting out and him getting fired? Does he still have complete protection under state and Federal law? Will people shelter their children from him on the street as he walks by?
Andrew, I invite you to come with me as my date to my brother's wedding this summer in Western Wisconsin and let's see what you think after that.
November 18, 2005
TILDA TILDA TILDA !!!!
I went to see Jarhead last night and it was OK. I just don't like "real life" movies that much to start with, Jake Guildenhildenhall wasn't that hot as all the gay hype stirs up, and the story didn't seem to go anywhere other than to say, "War sucks, even if you don't get to kill anything." I did like the cowboy from Texas in his unit, played by Lucas Black, who's grown up a bit since "Sling Blade". I guess I'm all about Texas this week. Yeah, the theme this week was Texas.
Although I am excited to go see the newest Harry Potter flick when the crowds die down, and am nearly having conniptions about seeing "The Chronicles of Narnia," featuring TILDA SWINTON as the White Witch. I love her every time I see her in a film. Perfect casting in her case. I read that entire series about 7 times and can't wait to see this interpretation of it.
I am not going to Texas for Thanksgiving, nor to Wisconsin. I'll be staying here in DC this season and cooking a big fat meal in my huge kitchen with my fabulous new kitchen table and fancy schmancy plates that I have hardly used yet. Gurl and Jeremy and a British music professor who's so nice and polite all the time I wonder what I did to offend him he's so polite to me.
November 17, 2005
History Lesson from The Old Skool, in the Interest of Keepin' it Real: back in tha day, before the 1st Bingham Cup was held in 2002 and hosted by the San Francisco Fog (also just plain rugby I might add - which was nice), there was once just a plain 'ol gay international rugby tournament in DC in 2001. Bingham was actually there, I went to the hospital with him. There were just four teams at that time: San Francisco, Manchester, DC and Buenos Aires. We had a tournament followed by a social in a bar. We had an on-site ambulance, port-a-potties to shit in and minimal effort was needed to organize such things. Granted, it was easier with so few teams, but call me conservative when I wish things could be kept simple. Play rugby, drink up afterwards. No official DJ, schwag bag handout or ceremony required other than rugby tradition. It's not rocket science.
Posted by jimbo at 9:49 AM
November 16, 2005
Talking squirrels, Whatzaap!?
jimbo: True schitophrenics in Farragut Park and DuPont Circle knew this for years. I see them talking with squirrels all the time.
schitzo: Ha ha! but enough about your sex life!
November 15, 2005
see you in the spring
Awww shit...here comes another hot PC game: Dungeons & Dragons is now online, just like World of Warcraft, Star Wars and City of Heroes/Villians. And I haven't even gotten to Civilization IV yet. Many of my more A.D.D. friends have pretty much migrated over to City of Villians while I've still just scratched the surface of City of Heroes. There's just not that much time in the day to be a geek.
Kazakstan government worked up over Borat the reporter (played by Ali G). Listen, Nursultan, your country needs all the exposure it can get. Winning the equestrian events at the olympics isn't going to pull your country out of obscurity.
Get this one...African-American DC pastor makes stereotype, whines about gentrification, then cries all the way to the bank with $10 mil in pocket:
"See, I found out that the rent is gonna be so high that only the rich homosexuals and lesbians will be able to buy this condominium," pastor Theresa Garrison tells the congregation.
As the Washington Post article states, part of what the pastor says is true: The condos will be priced from $400,000 to $1 million, with no set-asides for affordable units.
Yeah, but this sinful homo won't be sitting his pretty [white, as you imply] ass in your church, cuz not all homos, especially lesbians, are rich. Find some other focus for your scapegoating and stereotyping because all you're gonna get is a big FUCK YOU out of me. Nasty bitch.
November 14, 2005
hurricane rains and leaf stains
I was thinking it was time to post an entry about my time spent here in DC, as the fallen leaves and fall hurricane rains always remind me of when I first landed here after Peace Corps. I remember walking to and from the hotel I was put in Arlington, VA after landing in this area and walking through a warm rain looking at the wet leaves staining the sidewalk, and how it never, ever seemed to stop raining. At the time I didn't know it was the remnants of an Atlantic hurricane system, and thought it always rained here like that. From living in Portland, Oregon for a time I just thought it was normal, if not a bit heavier rain than on the West coast. I remember spotting my first mockingbird in Arlington, and how amazed I was at the number of gay-looking people I spotted in downtown DC. Looking in my handwritten journal, I found an excerpt from May 1997:
Got here in October, by January I'd moved into this house of 5 people, and by March I'd got a job. In between all that, I'd met scores of people and have had tons of urban adventures. This is a pretty exciting part of my life, and an important step.I had to double check the date of that entry and realized I'd been doing my math wrong - I've now been here 9 years instead of the 8 years I had been clocking myself previously. No wonder I've been feeling antsy and seeming to need a change. I seem to get itchy at 1, 3, 5 and 10 year intervals for some reason, favoring odd numbers and increments of 5 as moving points in my life. I don't know why that is, but there seems to be a pattern. It reminds me of a number theory of Bob's where he makes the following claim about dating patterns:
1 month : 3 months : 1 year : 3 years : 7 yearsI don't know if he's on to something or if it's in our blood, but I've definitely been restless lately with my relationship between me and DC. At the 2 year mark in my current job I feel like I'm still into something but have also been working towards a goal or two in developing my career and working towards a graduate degree. I'm enjoying the classwork and am still making gains in accomplishments at work and how I interact with coworkers. I've become more professional and confident in my skills and abilities. Next time there is an interview, I feel like I can easily say, "I can do that," or "This is how I get things done."
I'm into numbers, and the repeating patterns they create. If you've been in any kind of relationship for longer than 7 years, take a look back, and tell me if this rhythm applies. Life is all about repeating patterns, and being swept up in the rhythms it offers us.
With relationships I have had some rotten eggs and some euphoric experiences. Much to my surprise I've discovered these days I'm a lot more romantic and dedicated, and less kinky and slutty than I thought I was. A warm snuggle and intimacy is more valuable to me than a hot one night stand - but the combo of the two is still appreciated. I can spot trouble a mile away but am still able to recognize and appreciate what I'm looking for in a man.
Many of the friends I made when I first got here are still true, and many more rich friendships have developed while others have faded away. It is by far the most vital group of people I have ever bonded with, and worry if I moved I could accomplish the same level of friendships.
I have been lucky or sagacious enough to avoid many pitfalls of urban gay life. I'm not easily addicted, haven't fallen into a meaningless pattern of self-ghettoziation, and have put the latex on when necessary. In many cases I cite divine intervention and/or dumb luck to be in the good shape I'm in today. The worst I can think of, as far as I know, is a few infestations of tiny, unwelcome arthropods.
The biggest disappointment I can account for during this time is my lack of monetary prosperity. Only during a brief period riding the dot-com wave did I get ahead with finances in this expensive city. Rising real estate costs have also driven up rental prices, and my sanity depends on living solo. Last year a windfall inheritance helped abate that slow bleed, but moving into a low-paying university job has started the slide back into hand-to-mouth wages. But I've learned that satisfaction with a job trumps a high salary to me any day. I am by no means in any kind of financial distress, but there's a nagging in the back of my head that at 34 I should have more savings than I do. Am I waiting for some fantasy point in my life where this all turns around? The answer always seems to point to moving to what I consider a more liveable city, that is where one doesn't always have to worry about the next bill and paycheck. To me DC just isn't a good buy - to pay $1000 bucks a month and still have to pick up crack packet litter out back doesn't justify living this urban life. I don't live an extravagant lifestyle, don't go out to dinner and movies like I used to, and thankfully don't feel the need to go out to bars, which adds up a lot. Like my brother once said, "You go out to bars and drink, and then piss your money down a urinal drain."
I have recently applied to a job in British Columbia, possibly to tickle my fancy but also to keep my resume up to date. The job explicity states that Canadians get preferential treatment in the hiring process, and I'm cool with that. Again, I'm only just starting to feel settled in my new job and from unemployment 4 years ago, which shook me down to the core. I'm not actively seeking to move, but the feeling is there, and I'd be ready for it if the right opportunity comes up.
My mother always reminds me of the time during swimming lessons at the municipal pool where we were to jump off the diving board for the first time. I had my swim wings on but it didn't matter to the little duckling that jumped straight off the end into the 10' zone. That's how I do things. Like my English students in Kazakstan once told me, I'm bezpredelshik, or without limits.
November 13, 2005
Where my bitches at?
This weekend ended a good season for my rugby team where we experienced our first fall league win of our team's history, a tie, and many nail biting and competitive matches (9 in all) against local teams in our union. We had the best team recruitment and retention ever, with the ability to play and practice two full sides most of the season. While my bones ache and I'm bruised all over today, I've come out without anything broken or cut (as far as I can tell). I'm not going to bother working out for a while, as my body needs a break for sure. I'm prepared to play next season too, should my grad school courses not become too overwhelming.
Our A-side earned the tournament cup from this weekend's matches in NYC. It was great weather for a day of rugby. Both our A- and B-sides played three matches each, at 20 minutes a half against a pool of 5 teams:
A side: Renegades 17-0 over Boston, 33-0 over Suffolk, and 48-0 over Gotham (NYC) for the Championship.
The Bs fought hard all afternoon: Philly Gryphons A 12-0, Toronto 18-5, but fell in the finals 3-35 to Drew University. Those boys were tough but we came back in the second half more competitive. The Philly team beat us earlier this season but we came back in a brutal match. At one point I was so deep in a dogpile I could not see light from the bottom of it all, and I saw my leg bent at an unnatural angle and was thankful I'm dedicated to good stretching technique. I played OK scrumhalf moves but did manage to get in a lot of rucking and mauling. I rucked over and cleared the ball a couple times too.
Despite such a successful season where we played far better and more competitively as a team than ever, one disappointing question remains in my mind:
My friends, both straight female and gay male continually ask me, "Oooh, introduce me to some rugby players!" Since our team is now 50/50 gay/straight, there's something for everyone these days. Even the promise of free beer and food was appealing to some, where others simply requested to see a how the game is played.
So this season I was diligent to send out nothing less than full-on press releases for each of our home matches complete with a background story of our history with each team and the possible outcomes. Links to pitch locations and start times for both the socials and matches were provided. I even documented the matches on my blog, or provided the same match information of the wheres and whens on entries the week before. With the exception of Joe Tresh and his mighty camera, not one of my friends showed up this season. I understand that the game may be more fun to play than to watch, and that the weather for many of our home matches was far from pleasant, there were many opportunities to come watch. So where were my bitches at? In the future, refer to our match schedule if you're interested in coming in the future.
Anyway, many of the Saturday matches were played on a cool astroturf pitch near the brand new Icahn Stadium with very inspiring and dramatic architechture. Here's to hoping the Big Gay International Rugby Tournament finals are held there too - with visible, accessible and present on-site medical/first aid support from the host team. It was my first time on astrotuf and it was fun, but you can get tackle burns from it. Philly had a hot scrumhalf named Mark whom I gave a comforting pat on the head during one tackle, and an adorable winger named Chris who was from Wisconsin, so that made him double hot. Hi Chris! See you this spring? I couldn't stalk well enough to find Chris' picture, but he was cute and had a trim beard. During the social I saw my favorite dreamy Gotham player and geek icon Jeff, who administers a part of the OFFICIAL Dungeons and Dragons website, so I was totally in awe of him and hope I didn't sound like a complete stalker and D&D groupie when I chatted with him and when I had to give him a big smooch. It was all I could do to not giggle uncontrollably like a 12 year old girl in heat while I was talking to him, despite being a little drunk. Unfortunately he was resistant to my macking and had to move on.
November 10, 2005
When the gales of November come early
"The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy."
In accordance with this week's maritime theme, I bring mention to the 30th anniversary of the sinking of the ore frieghter Edmund Fitzgerald into the bitter cold waters of Lake Superior on this day. The tragic tale inspired a top-forty hit by Gordon Lightfoot and a legend that lives on.
Meanwhile, the legend of Michael Fitzgerald has only just begun.
I took today off for fear that my trip to the DC DMV for a driver's license renewal would take all day. At the advice of many I did it at the service location in Georgetown with the promise that it wouldn't take as long as the one in downtown DC. For the most part it was true, and my trip would have been cut down to a mere half hour had I not heard the dreaded line, "Oh no, the camera broke." But it was back up and running in no time.
Our last practice of the year is tonight but I'm standing on the sidelines to give my calf a break. It got kicked square in the meaty part on Tuesday and is now swollen and stiff. It does better in warm indoors than it does out in the cold. Hopefully I'll be able to run on Saturday. We leave by bus tomorrow afternoon, and this year, don't share the bus toilet with all the other teams, OK? No more blue geysers of shit on the way home this year.
November 8, 2005
things that make you go "HARRR!"
OK, so I guess this week's blog topics will all have a seafaring theme. I am amazed and very happy that there are people in the world who are still legitimately using the word "harrr!" News about the pirate attack on a cruise ship astounded me. Even more fascinating was the cruise ship's line of defense: a sonic blast device straight outta City of Heroes. We are living in an amazing world where sonic blast guns and pirates are still a reality.
I'm going to say "HARRR!" a lot this week.
I saw Tos yesterday morning at the MetroRail station. I did not initially recognize him in his dapper work outfit.
I keep forgetting to mention that Alanis Morissette has been promoted to Goddess in my book (as expected), ascending from her former position as Miss Saint Alanis. Comparitively Madonna is merely a fabulous mortal whom Alanis watches from her celestial perch. With the release of her latest single, a cover of Seal's 'Crazy' and a new look, she's just too much to be a mere human being. I loved Seal's first album, and then having Alanis cover a single from it is almost unbearable. Music in general has been crap lately but this was a recent pleasant surprise. Alanis has achieved deific status for several other reasons:
- Alanis is Canadian;
- Alanis is younger than me (supposedly);
- Engaged to Ryan Reynolds (another Canadian), a total bearded hottie, whom she clearly deserves;
- Tsunami survivor (she probably started it in a fit of anger, actually);
- Actually played the role of 'God' in a film;
- Puts out albums you can play over and over and over and over again;
More ramblings regarding Ryan Reynolds as The Flash over on Trusty Sidekicks.
November 7, 2005
thar she blows
Homer is a nice guy. Over time I've learned to appreciate nice people and to actively move away from those who are not. Bad people are toxic to anything around them. It is easy to discern such people, even at an early age. Build a snowman and see who helps you, or who comes to knock it down. Call me a moralist if you will, but it's all the litmus you need in life to avoid poisonous people. In certain places toxicity is so common that you can't differentiate between its gradients, eventually becoming indifferent to it until it ultimately consumes you. I hope I never get that way.
Our last league match of the season was this Saturday. I did not play well, and might as well have forfeited my position to someone who could have learned more from it. Eh, I'll be more fired up for the big gay rugby tournament up in NYC this weekend. Some old teammates now living up there will be stopping by and it'll be good to see them.
Yesterday's weather was glorious, and I spent much of the afternoon maintaining the reputation of both DuPont Circle and 17th Street as a place frequented by those who are gay. I'm not normally one for public displays of affection, but managed to trample a decent sized swath of grass in the Circle proper in a two hour public cuddle and mackfest on the turf. One interesting moment was when a straight couple and their two young children camped out right next to us to enjoy the weather as well. They were either oblivious or didn't care about the the two boys snuggling like rhesus monkeys next to them. Their two kids, a 3 and a 5-year old, were running about and didn't bat an eye to a same-sex embrace going on right next to them. Probably because their parents didn't give a damn either.
And everyone had a nice day in the park.
November 4, 2005
Matthew Fox "not shy" and reportedly well hung
Hat tip to JoeMyGod for the link that tells us word from the set of 'Lost' implies Matthew Fox is "not shy" about public nudity. A commenter from that blog entry claims that Fox is also dubbed "The Pendulum" on set for his propensity "for swinging his impressive appendage back and forth so it slaps against his belly".
I need a cocktail.
Jeff, our lovely patron from a geek shop in Pittsburgh came through with some free Dungeons & Dragons miniatures and various schwag items in celebration of the 2005 Worldwide D&D Day. The package includes a module, miniatures, and some very cheesy bumper stickers:
"I Brake for Kobolds"
"Beholder on Board"
"I Played D&D Before it Was Cool" (that one is mine)
"Don't Make Me Roll for Initiative!"
We will be playing D&D this Sunday. Last rugby match of the season on Saturday, then a tournament up in NYC the following weekend. Looks like the weather will be nice.
November 3, 2005
some blogs are actually interesting
Here's a blog by a former DC resident now living in Russia. She got a Fulbright scholarship and used to work for the Alliance for Justice which is a nonprofit that monitors judicial nominations. Anyway, her account of expat life in Russia is fascinating.
I have been very busy at work herding faculty around the building trying to get them photographed. I have had to deal with more hypersensitivity about getting your photo taken in the past few days than if I was the father of a middle school cheerleader. In one case I shepherded one of our Italian national faculty members to get his photo taken, him kicking and screaming the whole time, whining about his hair and his appearance. He's had a month to schedule and prepare, and did neither, so I have no pity for him. While he was getting his photo taken by the Italian-American photographer they were discussing things Italian, interspersed by bitching and moaning about getting your photo taken of course. I interjected into the conversation asking our Italian faculty member, "So does the word diva originate in Italy?" He stopped whining after that.
November 1, 2005
Dorkapalooza. Or, Rufus brings all the 'mos to the yard.
I'm not the biggest Rufus Wainwright fan in the world, but last night's concert was fun - thanks to Blogstar Brettie for getting the tickets. Rufus is talented and clearly enjoys what he does. The crowd was cute and generally adorkable too. I was cruised by a woman and did what I always do in such situations: I freaked out and ran away screaming. A guy with his girlfriend in front of me kept himself busy by rubbing his back against my swelling crotch while his girlfriend was ignoring him while she was leaning on the railing, as she was more obsessed with Rufus. Clearly, Rufus gets the chicks and the straight/bi guys hot for homos.
I'm glad I could escape Halloween night to the concert...there were children screaming and clawing at my door all through the night beforehand and I was very scared. I had to sneak into my house through the back just so they wouldn't see me go inside. I was worried as I had no candy, only several rolls of Girl Scout Thin Mints that I would have had to part with if they caught me. "Preciousss Thin Mintssss...I will not part from My Precioussss...nasssty children taking jimbossss Thin Mintsss."