Below luck-level, never imagining some lottery
Will change her load of pottery to wings.
Her only levity is patience,
The sport of truly chastened things.
i ain’t forgot about y’all…
"How the Media Failed Women in 2013," courtesy of Miss Representation. This is mind-boggling and you must watch it right now.
Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Powell’s!
Every year since 2009, during the holidays without fail I daydream about my Christmas present being your presence in some form — whether a surprise visit, a letter, an e-mail or even a tweet. Just this morning, I posted a privacy-protected Facebook status message that said, “I think that if you’re over 30, it’s time to stop using words like ‘illest’.” And yet here I am, embarking on a fifth holiday season in which my heart beats for an imaginary boyfriend to the tune of music from Glee.
Online dating is such a bummer, Linc. Gemini keeps encouraging me by reminding me that it’s a numbers game — the more I send out messages, the more chances I’ll get a reply. It’s a classic case of easier said than done. Maybe I can stretch myself to a limit of twenty, but when you’ve sent out thirty messages in a single week, and you’re in your umpteenth account of an umpteenth dating website — where, to your horror, you’re seeing some of the same guys over and over — it starts to take a toll. Also, lately Clara has been watching a lot of those crazy crime documentary shows on Netflix and the last thing that I want to end up as is the baseline for the notes of some Investigation Discovery producer, even though I keep trying to remind myself that these are only the most sensational cases and, by and large, most people are either harmless or indifferent. (Hopefully.)
RQ guy’s visit last month was a wakeup call. If I can’t have him — or you — then I certainly can find someone. Whereas online dating inspires the pointlessness of chasing after my own tail or hauling a boulder up a mountain, interacting with RQ guy and fanboying after you fills me with this ridiculous motivation/energy/excitement about meeting people, meeting guys. Not long after RQ guy left, I signed up for this gay men’s volunteer group. I’ve done two events with them and although I haven’t run into any prospects yet, that’s not (only) the point. The point is that I know what kind of guy I like and instead of trying to find him on an online dating website that is like hunting for the proverbial needle in a haystack, I’m putting myself in situations that reflect who I am. I know how obvious that should be but whether it’s the lessons learned from age, experience, or arrested development, I finally see it so clearly: the man of my dreams is lurking somewhere in my love for helping others, for baseball and science and religion and… General Hospital?
When I was still regularly chatting with RQ guy, he kept pestering me about opening up accounts on Scruff and Grindr. (I get the feeling that he knew I was starting to like him and, in that subtle midwestern manner that makes deflection so charmingly easy like Sunday morning, he was trying to steer me toward other options.) The truth is that I am not a Scruff and Grindr kind of guy. The truth is also that I don’t think I am all that different from the kind of guy who has Scruff and Grindr accounts. The difference is that my exposure is all internal — right here. Instead of taking a selfie with just my junk concealed, I’m exposing matters of mind and heart. Even though I am much more comfortable with my body now than I have ever been, I don’t think I will ever become the kind of guy who bares all for a hookup website. In fact, I don’t even know if I am a hooking up kind of guy. I’ve done that once, and it was interesting, and I have not really had any desire to do it again.
You know, I still laugh when I think back to some of the text messages that RQ guy sent me over the summer, like when I was telling him how there are lots of things about sex that mystify or outright gross me out even though I can be pretty amorous. He texted me, “If you don’t like looking at dudes junk and if you think sex smells so bad, then what DO you like?” I was working at a temp assignment at the time, so I used work as an excuse to not answer him. He didn’t pester me about it again. So I guess we’re both pretty good at deflecting. (Also, I admired his correct usage of ‘if, then’ construction.)
I realize that I’ve remarked about this already but I am really curious/impressed by your media silence following the announcement of your re-signing. I know, of course, that you have a personal life and are entitled to engage in it outside of your very public career. But still. I’m a fanboy with a crush. A gay fanboy with a crush. On a straight guy. Anyway, it’s my prerogative to wonder about what you’re up to. Are you vacationing in Hawaii like in that one off-season I had read about in the news? Are you… married? (You know I was gonna ask.)
The other thing that always happens around this time of year is that I contemplate moving back to Maryland. I get absolutely nostalgic when I look at NBC 4 and Washington Post news articles about life back home. Pop and Ma aren’t getting any younger and I am not any closer to giving them grandchildren. I really want to spend more time with them even though I haven’t yet gotten myself together in all the ways that I want to get myself together — speaking of which, there’s this:
You know, it’s such a cliché. The single most important ingredient for success is to work your ass off. I don’t know how else to put it. Anything that is really worth spending your time on should be worth working your ass off and that should be for your job, for your family and for your health.
That’s from an interview I read on LinkedIn. Lisa Stone is a mover and shaker in the social media world. And when I read that part of her interview, I felt this clarity that’s as close to the clarity I had when I sat down to that Giants game back in 2009.
The thing is, I’m planning on taking 5 classes next semester. I barely survived three this semester. I have to be ultra-focused, Linc. I’m not good with managing distractions, especially when they are essential distractions like paying rent and buying food. But when I’m focused, I work miracles. (Self-congratulatory, I know.) Ideally, I want to lock myself in my old room back at home for the next three years and just breeze through the rest of my degree program. For now, though, I’m thinking of a more realistic way to fully commit myself to school: whether it’s finding a more conducive living situation here in San Francisco, or just (momentarily) folding up shop and going back to Pop and Ma.
It would be a shame. This past Sunday, I was busy with community stuff. I’d spent that morning giving a presentation in support of my church’s food pantry program, which is in danger of being cut. Later that afternoon, I helped that gay men’s volunteering group decorate the Christmas tree in City Hall. And then I topped off the day by going to church as I do every Sunday evening.
I do not say that as self-congratulation. I say it to bring home the point that I have ties here. I have spent most of my adult life feeling like a visitor to San Francisco. But the feeling is creeping up on me that if I moved back in with Pop and Ma, I would just be as homesick over there, too.
Spencer, Ray, and I are going on a road trip on Friday, after Thanksgiving, that we’ve been planning since the summer. For three days, I’m going to escape from real life with two of my best friends. Real life has lately been an endless series of full calendar entries. I looked ahead and I’m sad that I’m only going to be in church next month on the 6th, the 7th, and the 8th (and the 9th for a leadership meeting). I might try to make it on the 15th but that’s the weekend right before Clara’s wedding. I know I’ve written that she’s already married, but they actually never had a formal ceremony. This is the real thing. For the last few weeks, I’ve been in a whirlwind helping her this rather last-minute winter ceremony. And that’s the thing, Linc: I’ve got church and friends in San Francisco. Relationships. Ties. Roots. These things can’t be easily reconstructed elsewhere. Life is a tree. You can always plant one somewhere but it takes a long time before it becomes part of the land.
If you’re someone who has been looking to take part in the consumption frenzy that is Black Friday, but have no desire for things like TVs, preferring instead to buy baseball ephemera, you’re in luck.
Here are a few deals going down this week where you can plunk down your dollars and walk away happy. Also, if you see any deals not listed, leave a comment, or tweet at me, bro.
Homage: Sign up for email touting Black Friday goodies. No idea what that will be though.
Mitchell and Ness: 40% off with code VIP2013
Ebbets Field Flannels: 20% off with code Small13
Blowout Cards: A number of baseball card boxed sets are on sale with additional lightning sales during the day.
Steiner Sports: Many autographed baseballs cut in price to $89.99.
Your Local Team Store: If you live in an MLB city, there’s a good chance that the stadium’s team store is holding some kind of event and/or sale on ticket packages. Check the appropriate official website for more info.
McFarland Books: Publisher of many baseball books has a 20% sale through December 31st with code HOLIDAY.
I’ll be updating this post as more come in (there will certainly be something through the MLB.com shop at least), so check back if your checkbook is too full.
That’s a joke. No one uses checkbooks anymore.