Thursday, May 29, 2014

Pac's Next Vacation?

Hard to believe it's almost June. It was around this time last year that I committed to getting in shape for my first big gay cruise that was still nine months out. I was pleased with what I accomplished, but disappointed in myself for not keeping up the intensity these three months since.

Have I gained weight? I'm guessing about five pounds, I haven't really stepped on the scale since then. But if I know anything about myself, it's that unmeasured numbers tend to drift. And usually not in a good way.

A month ago I got an e-mail from RSVP offering advanced booking for the next big gay cruise in February 2015. I seriously considered it, if only because it seems to be an excellent motivator for me. But there are other reasons beside that. It was one of the best vacations I ever had. So good in fact, that I'm afraid the quality of the experience would be hard to repeat.

A big part of what made the cruise so fun was the people we traveled with. Will I have as good of a time with a different mix? I know it wouldn't be the same without StevieB. But looking at it realistically, I considered myself lucky if I got to spend an average of 20 minutes a day with him between breakfast and that evening's festivities. Fortunately, every minute with Stevie is quality time.

It was almost like we were on different cruises. While I was at the aft pool, Stevie was wrapped in seaweed. While I was tea dancing, Stevie was taking in a drag show. While I was at the wine bar, Stevie was in the cigar bar. While I was at bingo, I have no idea what Stevie was doing but I saw the steward outside his cabin futilely febreezing bear musk.

Would I still enjoy going on a cruise without my best friend? Maybe, but why on earth would I want to? Plus I don't think I can swing a cruise in February and still hit Oktoberfest in Munich this year. Not with the kitchen remodel, career uncertainty and a whole other family wildcard I can't get into right now.

It would pretty much have to be one or the other. Cruise or Oktoberfest? They're both so fun. And so very, very gay.

Hmm... Hey Stevie, möchten Sie Bär Moschus in München sprühen?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

One Magical Summer

When I was eleven, I asked my parents for some money to buy a mail-order book of magic tricks. Despite mental images of their son attempting to saw his siblings in half, they gave me an advance on my allowance. I suppose they thought I could use a hobby to keep me occupied over the summer. One can only imagine their dismay when a few weeks later they found me deeply engrossed in what was essentially Witchcraft for Dummies, Volume One.

A few days after trying out my first spell – for fortune – the credit union accidentally deposited sixteen thousand dollars into my Christmas Club. Recognizing an entirely unexpected talent in their second born, my folks shipped me off to spend the rest of my summer vacation with Crazy Jesus Aunt. Hogwarts this was not.

As gullible as I was at that age, Auntie's version of Christianity seemed a bit far-fetched and illogical to me. One part that sticks in my mind was her campfire story about the kids who, frightened by their first brief dalliance with the occult, tried to burn their Ouija board and perished in the flames. I'd earlier suspected the campfire was intended for my magic book, so at that point I was fairly certain the bitch was out to kill me. I think about it every time I taste a s'more.

But what I remember most about that summer was all the time I got to spend with my cousin, Dave. He had an amazing amount of body hair for a young man of fifteen. And something changed when I saw him naked. Forget about occult books and demon-possessed board games. That summer I caught my first glimpse a power growing inside me that was going to haunt my days and nights with fear and angst and longing and excitement for years, no, decades to come. It was the Best. Summer. Ever. Coincidentally, Dave is a fireman now. I often pray to Jesus for the safety of his fur.

I'm sure my muggle parents would have preferred if my magical experimentation had turned out more like this...

Ooof! Right in the IKEA.

This animated gif had me laughing harder and harder each time it looped. And thank goodness it loops. Like my twelfth summer, there are way too many layers of hilarious to appreciate the first time through.

Maybe it's all the home renovation projects, but the funniest part for me is the wallpaper.

And the duck painting. I'd sell my soul for that duck painting.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Varmint Liberation Front

I had to repost this year-old entry after reading Stevie B's recent rabbit exploits.

It seems my suspicions regarding the motives of "cute" bunny rabbits have finally been confirmed, as news from Denver indicates the cuddly critters have taken to vandalizing automobiles parked at the airport.

In what is obviously a gang-related attack – perhaps even the first wave of a coordinated strike against our traditional human values and way of life – rabbits have been climbing into engine compartments and chewing through cables, belts and hoses. One can only presume their goal is to trap unwary red-eye travelers in the parking lot, where they are hunted for sport, robbed of their iPhones and slowly nipped to shreds.

The report further relates how panicky Denver residents have resorted to protecting themselves against the ferociously adorable rodents by dousing their rides and even their children in coyote urine. As a result, the price of coyote piss (known on the street as "C-Pee" and "Wile-E-Gold") has skyrocketed, creating concerns of price-gouging, a growing black market and rampant consumer fraud in this largely unregulated product sector.

I attempted to verify this alarming story through my Denver contact, StevieB...

There has been no further word from Stevie. All we can do now is pray.

In other health news, there is a nation-wide shortage of rabies vaccine. Officials point to Colorado, where hospitals report a spike in emergency room admissions due to coyote bites and scratches.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Groom And Gloom

I think I've reached a crossroads in my beard experiment. Now that some of my whiskers are nearing two inches, I'm feeling pressure to either trim it back drastically or shave it off completely. Pressure from JB, that is. And those guys from Duck Dynasty.

But I've also received encouragement to keep it growing, some of it from unlikely sources. There's a woman at work that keeps touching it. I'd take it up with HR if I wasn't so starved for validation at home.

I've also discovered that maintenance increases proportionally with length. Beard trimming, conditioning and fluffing now dominates my morning grooming ritual. I've had to cut back on flossing and ear-hair patrol to make it to work on time.

I now have to make a conscious effort to nap on my back to avoid "bed beard". And try as I might, I can't seem to stop disheveling myself with absent-minded stroking. This prompted me last week to buy an office comb on my lunch hour. A comb. I haven't spent money on my own comb since my hair grew back from the Flat Rock Elementary Picture Day Louse Pandemic of 1980.

And the other day I actually caught myself saying, "Not in the beard! Not in the beard!"

Yes, it might be time for a clean shave.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Squatch Free

I was going to do that pic-a-day in May thing, but I may have to postpone that until June. Between work and home renovation projects, I've had time for little else.

A few weeks ago the publicly traded company I work for was acquired by a mysterious private concern with deep pockets. Since the announcement I've been shoring up my indispensability whilst secretly updating my resume. And secretly updating one's resume is easier said than done after your boss befriends you on LinkedIn.

Meanwhile the bear we hired to scrape the nasty 1980’s texture off our ceilings has finally finished and moved on to greener pastures. Of all the contractors we met with, Jimmie seemed the most qualified at 6'6". (Please don't get me wrong. Anyone who's met my partner knows that I obviously don't discriminate based on height. And when it comes time to bid the flooring, the nuggets are going to the front of the line.) Although hairiness wasn't a factor, that would have won Jimmie the contract as well.

Efficient and conscientious, Jimmie used acres of plastic sheeting to seal off room sections as he destroyed them. It was like living in a maze that changed daily. This provided me several opportunities to make E.T. jokes that no one got. ("What's wrong with your voice? And who's Elliot?")

Over two tumultuous weeks, Jimmie's presence was absorbed into the fabric of our daily family life. (Along with 50 pounds of dust.) It was like adopting a stray sasquatch which, while turning your house upside down, endears himself nonetheless. Hey, that might make a good movie premise.