Friday, July 18, 2014

Emojination

What would I do without my emoji? I'd probably still be using ascii emoticons like some sort of steam punk. I mean no disrespect to those nerds, of course. ;^)

I don't know if Android phones do his, but my iPhone keeps track of my recently used emoji (Emojis? Emojii?) in order of frequency of use. This keeps the little guys I rely upon the most right at my thumb tips.

I began wondering what my frequently used emoji say about me. Any ideas?




Overall I'd say my "positive" emoji outnumber my negative emoji two-to-one. If it helps, the "Anticlockwise Downwards And Upwards" character is my shorthand for "backflip". As in, "Let me express my excitement with virtual acrobatics that would put a person half my age in traction IRL." It's positive, but I wish there were a better character I could use to express this. It kind of defeats the purpose when you have to explain your emoji.

And FYI, the turd is positive. You know that because it's smiling.

I'd love to see what other people's "Recently Used" emoji look like, and what that collection might say about them.


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Mirror Universe

Of course there was some culture shock moving from Upper Michigan to the Deep South. The blue laws down here were a wake-up call. I went from a keg of beer being a gas station impulse purchase to having to plan ahead just to buy a six-pack.

Even more alarming was discovering my contact lens prescription in the State of Georgia was valid for a mere twelve months. After that I need another eye exam to buy more contacts. Seriously? Don't even try telling me this is for my own protection. If Georgia's laws reflected actual concern for the well-being of its citizens as individuals, it wouldn't be such a bass-ackward red mess of a state.

And it can't be a "bible-belt" thing. While the Good Book has plenty to say about foreskins, there's not a single verse concerning vision correction. Unless you count the totally blind. And the motes and planks. And the dead. (I wonder if after waking up, Lazarus was disappointed to find he still needed glasses. And if being astigmatic is really something you want to complain to Jesus about.)

No, I find it much more likely that in Georgia's recent past, an ambitious, greedy optometrist decided to run for state legislature.

This is why I've gotten into the habit of stocking up before my prescription expires. If some sort of disaster were to strike this second, I'd be prepared with one week's worth of beans and tuna, however long the water in the toilet tank lasts, no clean underpants and a two year supply of disposable, oxygen-permeable contact lenses.

I'm getting to the age, however, were my vision seems to change on a daily basis. So when I recently went for an eye exam I was surprised to learn that over the last three years my lens prescription hadn't changed a fraction of a diopter. How can that be? I feel as though I'm going blind. "You just need reading glasses," the optometrist replied as she handed me one prescription for contacts and another for bifocals.

Of course, I only need reading glasses when I'm wearing my contacts. With my contacts out my focus at seven inches is laser sharp. No closer, no further. That's my focal plane. Seven inches in front of me. If it doesn't ever-so-lightly brush the tip of my erect penis, I can't see it.

Since I rarely take my contacts out, I'm used to pausing at the mirror to admire my clear, radiant complexion before skipping out of the house without a care in the world. But when take my contacts out I can clearly see how gross I am. I have wrinkles and spots and terminal rosacea. I realize all my best facial hair comes from the cat. I see whiteheads and blackheads coexisting in harmony and whisper apologies to Martin Luther King, Jr. as I squeeze.

Even though I'm aware I'm only fooling myself, I feel relief when I put my contacts back in. I'm me again.

I've been thinking lately that maybe this is nature's way of helping us cope with age. Just as our looks begin to fade, our vision compensates by blurring our deepening wrinkles, our darkening age spots and my mutating ear-bristle follicles. So when we look at ourselves in the mirror, we see ourselves with the beautiful soft-focus glow of Gloria Swanson with a double layer of Vaseline on the lens.

But taking my contacts out allows me to look in the mirror and see myself as I really am. And I'm never ready for that close-up.

How I see myself with my contact lenses in...



... and with my contacts out.


Rounding up of course, as per customary penis measuring practice. The trigonometric and geometric calculations required to account for hangle and curvature are left as an exercise for the reader.


Monday, July 7, 2014

The Happy Birthday

I apologize for the radio silence, it's been a crazy few weeks. For me gay pride month didn't exist. The summer solstice blew right by without notice. I couldn't have cared less about the three-day Independence Day holiday. For the past few months my focus has been on July 3rd. My partner's birthday. And this year JB turned fifty.

I easily forget that JB is two years older than me. I always think of him as the younger of us. I think that's because he doesn't have cynical or sarcastic bone in his body. He wears his heart on his sleeve with no guile or duplicity. Even when he tries to hide his feelings, I can instantly tell with something is bothering him. His genuine and caring nature imbues his personality with a childlike innocence.

No, JB's not like me at all. He's better.

That's why I had to make sure this special birthday was properly observed. My greatest fear was somehow disappointing JB. That this milestone in his life would come and go and he'd be left asking himself, "Is this it?"

This was also my greatest motivator.

Thursday evening when we walked into the venue I'd reserved and he saw a room full of friends waiting for him, the tears in his eyes told me I could relax. JB was happy.



Thursday, June 19, 2014

ASCII Pr0n

What Scruff would look like now if Steve Jobs had never been born...


                                                                                                              .  .......
                                                                                                                        
                      ...'''';::clooc;..                                                                                
                   .':oododdxkkkO0KKK00kdl:.                                                                            
                .:lddxdoxxkkkO0O00KKKKKKKK00d;.                                                                         
             .;oxdddddxkkkO00K0K00Ok00KKKKXXXKKk:.                                                                      
           ,ldxddxxkkkkkkkO0OkdodkdodOO0KKKXXXXXKKx:                                                                    
         'dkOOOOOOkkkxxxxkkxolclll;,;ldxO00KKKXXKKKKo.                                                                  
       .lk0KKKX0OOkOOO0Oko:,,',,'....;oxxkO0000KOOO0K0c                                                                 
      .d0KXXNNNK00Okkkdl:,...........':oxxxkOkxxxxxxkkkd'                                                               
      oXXNNNWWNXK0kdol:;,.............,:loodxxdodxkkxddol                                                               
     .KNNNWWWNNK0kkolc;,'............';:coolodooooxxddoll;                                                              
     dXWNNNWNNX0kxxl::;''............';cloolclllclloddxdloc                                                             
    dNNWNNWWNXKOxdoc:;,''...............',,;:::::clllodl;,c'                                                            
   .KNNNWNWNNX0Oxol:;;;,'....................';;;::cll;.,coc,.                                                          
   .lXWWWWWWXKOxdlc:::;;,,,;:lodlc:;,'.........,;;:c:,..'..;c'                                                          
    .:KWWWWWXOxdllccclccldkKXK0kdc;,''...........,:cc,..'....'.                                                         
      .dXNNWXkdddooolcoxOKK00OOO00OOdc:,..........';c;..lxl,...                                                         
        ,o0XNkdxxkkkko:coxxO0KXXXKxc,..............,:::,.';;...                                                         
          .,lxkOKXNXKO:...'cdkOOkd:,'..............;:c:;.......                                                         
             .0NXKKKKO;.......',,;;;,'............';cll:'....':                                                         
              ;xkOKNN0;............''.............;:loocc;'..c:                                                         
               .;ONXX0;.........''''.............':ooolllllldd.                                                         
                 ,kkOk;.........':c:;''.........,;lxkxxdxdoodd.                                                         
                  codd:;,'.;dOko:',;c:,''.....',:cdkkOkkkkkdlo,                                                         
                  'lddddddoxdool:,'',,;,,''''',:coxOOOOOOkkxodo.                                                        
                   cddxkO0XXXXK0Ododxkxxd:,',;cloxO000000Okdoc::.                                                       
                   .ldxkO0NNNNK0OOxO00KKK0xc:lxxkO0K000000Okxl,,:.                                                      
............       .,odxOKNNK0O000kddl::lddddxk00KKXKKXXXKKOkl'.............. ........                                  
.....''.:xc,'.      .oxxkKNKKKK0xlc:;;;;;:clxkO0KKXXXXXNXNXKO:.............         .......                             
...'....'c,''.     ..cO0kONXXK0OOkxkkxdollldO00KKXKXXXNNNX0dc,............                .......                       
''','......',.     .'lxOXKXNX000KKKK0Odlc:lkO000KKKXNXKKK0d:,''...............           .....   .....                  
'''',,,,'''',.      .;lOXXXNNKKKKKK00Oxddxk0000O0KKKK000ko;,''......................    ......       .........          
',',''''''',,.      .;dO0KXNWWNXKKK0000000000000K0000Okkc;,,''................................       . .........        
....'',,,,,,,'      .;:okKXNNWWNNNXKKXXKK000K0KNNXKKKOd:;;,'''..................................  .................     
......,,,,,,,'       .'co0XNNNNNNXXXNNNNKX0O0K0KXXK0Ooc:;;;,'''.........    ........................................    
....'',,,,,,,'       ..';d0XNNNNXXNNNNNNNNX0O0OkO00Odc::;;;;,,'.''........ ....... ...................................  
',;::,,,,,,,,,        ..,o0KXXXKKKXXXXNNNNNXK0000Okdolc:::::;,'''''.................................................''. 
cll:;,,,,,,,,,..     .':ldkOOKKKKKXXNXXXNNXXXX0OOkkxxdolllcc:;,'''''..................................''''','''......',.
lc;;,,,,,,,,,,......':loddxkO0000KXXXXXKKKK00000Okxxxdolloolc;,'..................................'''''',,;;;;,,'''''',,
:;;;;;;;;,'........:loodxxxkkOOO00KKKKK00000000OOkdolllcccll:;'...................................''',',,,,;;;;,,,,''',,
::::::;'...........loodxxxxxkkkkOO00000000000OOOkxol:;,,,,,;;,'....................................''''''',,,,,;;,,,,,,,
cc:,............',;lodxxxxxxkkkkOOO00000000OOOkxdolc:;,'...''''......................................'''''',,,,,;;,,,,,;
'..........',;:clllloddxkkxxxxxkkkkOOOOOkxxddollcc::;;,''...''...''''.................................''',,,;;;;,;;;;;;;
.........';ldd;,'':loddxxxxkxxxxxxxkkxxddolcc:;;;;;,,,,,''''''..''''''''...............................'',;;;;;;;;;;;;;;
;'...'';lxOOxc'...'loodddddxdddxxxxxdddoolc:;;;;,,,'''''''.............................................'',;;;;;;;;::::;;
ll:;;cdkOko;......'cllllllllooooodddoollc:::;;;;,,''...................................................'',;cc::::::::::;
ccloxOOd;........,:cccccccccllllooolllcc::;;;;;,,,''....................................................'',lxoc:::::::;;
cdO0Od:'.......,:::::::::::cccclllllcc:::;;;;,,,,,''....................................................'',:kxlc::;;;;;;
xkkd:,,,,''.',c;,;::::::::::::::ccccc::;;;;;,,,,''''...............''''.................................'',;kxlc::;;;;;;
doc:;,;;::::od;...,:::::::::::::::::::;;;;,,,,,,,'''''............'''',''.............................'''',;kxocc::::;;;
c::;::::::ldc'....,:::::::::;;;;;;;;;;;;;;,,,,,'''''''............'''',,'.............................'''',;dxollccc::::
:cccccccooc,''...'::::::::::;;;;;;;;;;;,;;,,,,','''....'..........',''''''............................''',,;xkxdoolccc::
clllloddc;,,,,;;;::cc::::::;;;;;;,;,,,,,,,,,''''''''''''..''......',;,;;,'''..........................''',,:OOOkxdollccc
lllooo:;,;;:::c::::cccccc:::;;;;,,,,,,,,,,,'''''''''''......'...'',,;:;;;,,,''''......................''',;l000Okxddollc
c::;;;;;::ccc:::::clodollcc::;;;,,,,,,,,,,,,,''''''''''.''''...'',,,;;;:;;;,,''''....................''',,;xKKK00Okxdool
:;;;;::ccclc:;::::clx0kdolc:::;;,,,,,,,,,,,'''''''''..''''''''.',;;,;;;:;::;,,'''''.................'''',;cKKKKK00Okxddo
ol:::clllc::::::::clk00kxolc::;;;;;,,,,,,,',''''','''''....''''',,;;,;:::::;;;,,,,,'''''''''''''''''''',,;xXXKKKK00Okxxx
kxooooll:::;;;;;;::ld0X0Oxolcc::;;;;;,,,,,,,'''','''''....''''''',,;,;ccccc:::;;;;,,,,,,;,,,,,''','',,,,;;ONXXKKKKK00Okk
Okkxdol:;;,,,,,,,,;;lkXK0kdollcc::;;;;,,,,,,,,,,,''''''''''''''''',,,;clollcclc:c:::;;;;;;;;;,,,,,,,,,,;;;oXNXXKKKKK000O
OOkxolc;,,,'''''''',;ckNKOkdoollcc:::;;;;;;;;;,,,,,,,,,'''''''''.'',,;:ldoooooolodoc::::::::;;:;;;;;;;;::::kNXXXKKKKKKKK
0Oxdlc,,'''''''''''',,:kX0Okxdoollcc::::::;;;,,,,,,,,,,,,,'',''''',;;:clodxxxdxddxxdlcccccccccc::::::cclcl;lXNNXXXXXXXKK
0kdo:,,,''''''''''''',,:OX00Okxddollcccc::::;;;;;;;;;;;,,,,,,,',,,;:::coddkkkkkxxxxxxdooooololllclccoookkl;;ONNNNNNNNXXK
OkOc;;,'''''''''''''',,;c0X00OOkxxdooollcc:c::::::;;;;:;;:;;,,,;:::;:ccldkkOOOOOkOkkOkxxxxxxkxdddooodx0Ko:::xNNNNNNNXX0k
ONWd:;,,,''''''''''',,,;:dNX000OOkxxoooolcclccllc:::::::;;;:::;;:::ccllloxxOO0O000000kkkkOOkkkkxxxxkOOdlc:::xNNNNNNXK0Ok
WMWd:;;,,,,'''''',,,,,;;:oKNKK000Okxdddoooooolllccccc::c::::cc:ccllloloooodkkOO000KK000000OOO0O0000Ok:::::::xNNNXXXKK00O
WWxc:;;;,;,,,,,,,,,,,;;;:l0NNXK000OkxxxddddddoooolllllllllllcllllooddooolloxxxkOOO00KKKKKKKXXKKK0Oxxd:::c:ccxNNXXXKKK000
Xkcc::;;;;;;,,,,,,,,,;;::oKNNNXKK00OOOkkkkOkxxddddoodooooolloddxxxkxdolllloddddddxxkOOOOOOO00OOkxxdddc::ccccxNNXXXKKK000
Xxccc:::;;;;;;;;;;;;;;::cdKXXXXKKK000000OOOOkkOxxxxxddxddxddxkOO0Okdllccloolooooodddddxxxxxxxxxdoooddl::ccccdXNXXXXKKK00
xdolcc:::::;;;;;;;;;;::cldlxKXXKKKKKK000000OOkOkkkxxxxxxkkkO0000OxolccccclolloollolllllllloooolllloooocccclldKNXXXXKKK00
oddollccc:::::::::;:::cldo::OKXXXKKKKKKKKKK00OOOOkkkkkOkO00KKK0Oxollccccclllooooollllccccccccccccllooolclclld0NNNXXXKKK0
doxddollccc:::::::::cclodc::xKXXXXXXXXXNNNXXK0OOOO0O00KKKKKKK0kxdolllllllllodddddoollcccc:::::::cllooooclllldOXNNXXXXKKK
ddxxxddoollcc::::::cclldllddxKXXXXXXXXXNKXXXXKKKXXXXXXXKKKK0OkxddollllllloooddddddoooolllcccccccclooooolllllxO0NNNXXXXKK
kxdxxdddolllcccccccccldoclllkKXXNNNXXXXXXXXNNXXXXXXXXXXKK00kxxdddolllllolooodddddxddddooolllcccclldooodlolooxOOXNNNXXXKK
kxdoloooolllllcccccllodccllx0KXXNNNNNNXXXXXXXXXXXXXXKKKK0OkxxxxdddololoooooodxddxdddxddddolllllllooooodoooooxOO0WNNXXKKK
kxdolllllllllllllllooxlllodOKXXXXNNNNNNNXXXXXXXXXXKKKK00Okkxxxxdddooooolooooddddxxxxxxxxxddoollloooooodooooox0OOXNNXXKKK
kxolllllllllllllloodxollloO0KXXXXXNNNNNNNXXXXXXXXKKKKK00OOkkkxxxddooooooooooodddddxxxxxddddoolloooolodxddoddx000KWNXXKKK
xxolllooollllloooodxxllllx0KKXXXXNNNNNNNNNNXXXXXXXKKKK00OOkkkxxdddooooooooooodddddxxxxdddoooolllllllodxdddddk000KNNNXKKK
xdoolllloooooloooddxoloooOKKXXXXNNNNNNNNNNNXXXXXXXXKKK00OOkkxxxdddddooooooooodddxddxdddddooollllccllodxdddddk0000XWNXKKK
xdooolllooooooooddxdooood0KKXXXXXXNNNNNNNXXXXXXXXXXKKK00OOkkkkxxdddddooooooooodxdddddddoooolllcccclloxxxxdddkKK00KWNXKKK


I'm quite relieved, actually. I wasn't sure I could still pleasure myself to completion without a broadband connection and functioning graphics card.


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Fanning The Flaming

A while back I mentioned how my oh so gay gym was closed a week for "renovation". During that time I visited other LA Fitness locations which provided a preview of the state-of-the-art technology incorporating the latest breakthroughs in exercise kinesiology, biophysiometry and iPhone connectivity that I was soon to enjoy when my own gym re-opened.

Futuristic wonders like treadmills with touch-sensitive HD displays which allowed me to catch up on Judge Judy or – better yet – simulate the experience of running along a winding trail beside a forest stream, complete with simulated butterflies fluttering on a refreshing breeze. Only the breeze wasn't simulated. Each treadmill had its own ventilation system. Built in.

When my long wait was over and my gay LA Fitness reopened, I have to admit to being a little underwhelmed. All they did was move stuff around. And yes, we did get new treadmills. Well, we got different treadmills. But the "new" treadmills are even more basic than the ones we had before.

I feel like I'm running backwards.
No HD display. No television tuner. No built-in fan. Not even so much as an iOS/Android companion app. Where the old treadmill at least had an oval of red blinking lights to show my position on a virtual quarter-mile track while text prompts berated me like my high school gym teacher, this electro-mechanical relic has a quaint row of seven-segment LEDs. Numbers. Like I'm some kind of mathematician or accountant.

I used to challenge myself to working out at an incline until I reached my virtual elevation goal of 1000 feet. But I no longer have access to that sort of information. Speed, time, distance and incline. That's it. That's all they think I need to know. It was good enough for gramps so suck it up crybaby.

Why wouldn't the gayest gym in the chain get the latest equipment available rather than what appears to be hand-me-downs from a senior center fire sale? I'm surprised they didn't pick up a few of those old jiggly belt machines while they were at it.

Perhaps a better question is: why do so many of us still put up with this place? I know the answer for me is location. It's the closest gym to my house that doesn't have a boxing ring or make me flip tractor tires in public. And it doesn't hurt that the boys are, for the most part, pretty. But recent events have me reconsidering my slavish devotion to convenience and eye-candy. Especially since the so-called renovation didn't even touch the locker room.

When they announced the impending renovation, my first thought was: Finally! They're going to replace that worn-out, dirty, smelly industrial wall-to-wall carpeting in the locker room with tile! Or linoleum. Or some other suitable material that can be sanitized without a flame-thrower. I pictured travertine. I can't even say for sure what travertine is, it just sounds like something a gay gym locker room deserves.

Imagine my disappointment upon reentering the gayest non-bathhouse-sorta locker room in Midtown to find the same soggy, musty grey carpeting. Ugh. There's not enough Tinactin in the universe to convince me to go barefoot in there.

And that fan. While it's 2014 and my treadmill remains embarrassingly fanless, that same old 32-inch portable industrial fan continues its futile mission of keeping carpet moisture, bacteria and toenail fungus at bay.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure the locker room situation would be much worse without the fan. It's just that the air stream generated by this industrial-sized blower invites an unsavory element to what by all rights should otherwise be a pleasant naked space. I call them "the ball dryers".

There's nothing quite as unsettling as turning the corner to confront the spectacle of an old scrotum flapping like a windsock.

Yes, I think I'm ready to try another gym.


Dramatic reenactment of a recent locker room visual.
It has been edited for the benefit of those who are reading this at work.
Or have a weak constitution.








Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Bear Deli

My infatuation with Scruff seems to go through phases. Like the Moon and my weight. I can easily go six months without launching it. Other times I'm glued to my pocket woof-o-meter. I believe this has to reflect some sort of previously unrecognized hormone cycle. (Hey, I read somewhere men have them too.)

About a month ago I saw my neighbor, Jeff, on Scruff. Jeff is the guy who lives in my building although we only met last February on the big gay cruise. When we're both at home, Scruff says Jeff lives 700 feet away, although my FitBit says it's not even half that. Seriously, I could throw a rock from my balcony and break his window. Probably not the first try though, I throw like a girl.

What I find odd is that Scruff consistently shows at least 30 guys between myself and Jeff. If that were true, that would account for every unit in my building. And I know that can't be right. Not that we don't have our fair share of bears at Colony Square. But of all the residents I know, Jeff is the only one I've seen on Scruff.

There's a hot bear upstairs that I always see around the building. Monday though Friday he gets in his Mercedes wearing a suit and tie. This always makes me think of StevieB's office porn fetish. (Is that still a thing?) On the weekend Hot CEO Bear is tanning at the pool, his furry pecs glistening with a sheen of oil and sweat. This isn't really relevant to my story, but humor me.

The other day my Hot CEO Bear stepped on the elevator with me and, despite the butterflies in my throat, I worked up the nerve to strike up a conversation. I kind of regret that now. In the time it took the lift to go from "P" to "L", my image of Hot CEO Bear went from "Grrrrr" to "Grrrrrl".

Le sigh.

Anyway, Scruff... I don't think it's bear positioning algorithms are entirely accurate. My working theory is that this has to do with the several high-rise condo towers surrounding our squat, three-story community. I suspect the stacks of "looking" horndogs to my immediate North, South, East and West are somehow confusing Scruff into assuming there's a constant man sandwich happening at my house.

Bear orgy at my place! BYOLP.
I can assure you this isn't the case. Not that I'm opposed to a big ol' bear Dagwood, per se. It's just that I have enough trouble keeping the bathtub drain flowing with only one bear in the house. And he's barely cub-sized.

Sunday I got woofed by a guy that Scruff told me was 350 feet away. We started chatting and I, being the curious Pac I am, asked him which building he was in. My suspicions were confirmed when he said he was in a penthouse at Park View. So the woofs weren't coming from inside the building. First relief, then surprise. Glancing up then back to my phone I typed, "Wave your right arm." Hmm, that could be a coincidence. "Now your left." Really? "Now both arms." Yup. I could actually see the guy I was scruffing.

It may be time for another Scruff break.

I could see him but, thanks to my trees, he won't see me until November.
Then my bedroom pretty much becomes a Macy's window.
In an attempt to help him see me in my bright shirt,  I typed,
"I'm the guy with the yellow thirst."

That was a most unfortunate auto-corrrect.