Friday, July 18, 2014


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.