Wednesday, August 31, 2016

If every pork chop were perfect...

...we wouldn't have hotdogs. 

And that is how my day is going. I got yelled out by a friend, although that's worked out by now and didn't have much to do with me. I have been waiting all day to take my car into the shop, but time and tide got away from us. It happens, I'll get it in tomorrow. I've written my trivia and now I'm trying to find a ride to work, as one does. I have faith, it'll happen, just have to get all the ducks lined up and marching straight. 

A day of minor inconveniences but nothing worth fussing about. I feel sort of jagged, but in the mood to laugh with friends. Luckily, it's karaoke night, so that's a given. 

Blah blah blah, sis boom bah. 

Sunday, August 28, 2016


My starter is still broken - to be fixed this week - and I haven't got so much as a spare dollar, so today is sort of odd, quiet, and boring. Happens sometimes, I guess.

All my hangout friends are night time people.
I'd go for a walk, but it's 98 degrees outside and I would die. Possibly literally.
I have data entry I need to do for the upcoming festival, but really?
There's trivia to be written for tomorrow, but I'm not feeling inspired.
Had I a car, I could maybe get laid, but that will have to wait.
I could clean, but fuck it.

Hmm. Fuck it. I think that may be the phrase I'm looking for here.

Not at the local Mexican restaurant drinking two for one margaritas and eating tacos, thereby upsetting my plans for healthier eating.
Eventually I will get bored enough to get some work done.
This isn't my general situation or attitude, so I don't feel guilty about wallowing in cabin fever a little.
My cat is really cute. Here is a picture of Johnny trying to help distract me.

No, I don't wear a shirt when working on the computer. This is Florida.

music on a sunday

Saturday, August 27, 2016

big man

Fat at 25 is a world away from fat at 40. Fat at 25 is largely an aesthetic issue. If you like being big, if you are attracted to big people and confident that people will be attracted to you, go for it. It can be hard to find clothes that fit and you likely won't win any foot races, but you can certainly be a big kid and keep up physically.

By 40, your body's starting to chug anyway. That time your knee got kicked out in a mosh pit isn't just receding comfortably into the past, if you know what I mean. Your back aches because your mattress sucks. You get a weird elbow pain and hope it's not impending elbow cancer. So maybe having a bunch of extra weight on you starts to be more of an issue. You're panting goes up stairs. You don't want to take a trip across country because plane seats are a pain in the ass. You worry about your blood pressure, your heart, all the inside bits.

So you start to weigh calories in verses calories out. You cut back on your beer some. And then you remember that if you could do all that shit regularly, you wouldn't be a big fat guy.

So, trying to lose weight. Not sure if I want to talk about it or not. Definitely don't want advice - thanks, though, heard it. Just putting that out there.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I just can't

Whoa, I'm having a hard time getting my feet under me today to work on trivia. Usually I wake up, take a shower, fill my water mug, and start doing that thing. But not so much right now. I ate a tuna on rye. I watched a little Star Trek, I got as far as deciding what my picture round will be. But putting that thought on paper seems to be pushing my luck.

I have a few dishes I can wash - often, the physical can kickstart the mental. And even if it doesn't, I'll have that chore done. Beats sitting around reading Steven Universe fanfic.

Monday, August 22, 2016

a moment

Johnny Karate, lolling in the tub. He did not expect to be suddenly covered in catnip! Oh, the meeping and writhing. Oh, the licking and rolling. Now he's looking off into space, occasionally twitching, cleaning his paws without a care. High cat, living the kitty dream.

Friday, August 19, 2016

won't crank

My starter's gone bad. That's not a metaphor, I really mean it - the starter on my car has gone bad. That means it mostly works, except when it doesn't, and when it doesn't I might be able to get it to work again by banging on it with a piece of rebar.

So I have a car, maybe? And now there's this constant question of whether it's worth trying to go do stuff. I may get my errands run and come home without incident. Or I may wind up sitting in hellish heat in a parking lot, waiting for a friend to come by and scoop me up.

I'll have the money for a new one soon enough, but until then I'm trying to be philosophical and see the whole thing as an exercise in handling uncertainty. Plus, I don't work today, so I guess I could just get really high and clean my house.

I've had worse ideas.

triviaman's friday

It was a good night at trivia. The scores were close, no one seemed left out. The music round was both nostalgic and silly. I did a thing I do sometimes, which is write a round of fake personal ads from historic figures or presidents or parts of your body. In this case, Disney characters.

Here, have a few:

1. Looking for a pleasingly plump guy who likes to dance, eat ants, and not wear pants? I don’t make much money – okay, I don’t make any money – but I manage to get my needs met. Seeking laid-back love to take a float with me down this river we call life.
2. I give and give and what do they call me? A witch. Well even a villain needs love. Big, beautiful woman with intense hair looking for a seaworthy mate. Must like eels. John Waters movie and chill? 
3. Short guy fed up with too many goddamn roommates in search of a woman who can cook, clean, and sooth my angry soul. I’m pretty sure there’s a sweet core deep inside me, but it’ll take someone pretty fucking special to crack my asshole exterior. Whatever, screw it, no one will respond. Never mind, this is just pissing me off. 

4. Look, you may not be a furry, but you know you always thought I was cute. Dashing outlaw type needs partner in crime for night time rescues and good natured class warfare. Love a girl in a wimple. 

So that's what I do to keep the lights on. I don't blame you for being jealous. 

Shit! I just heard a crash from the kitchen, but Johnny is sitting next to me licking between his toes. Ghosts. 

[1. Baloo 2. Ursula 3. Grumpy 4. Robin Hood]

Thursday, August 18, 2016


I didn't have friends in middle and high school. Did I? One or two, but not past that. I was heavily bullied. I remember crying over McDonald's commercials that showed a group of friends hanging out. 

I did survive, I did get older, and I did fill that gap, thanks to the queer and punk scenes. I don't think I am able to consider myself popular, but I suspect that I am, at this point. But of course that kind of misery left scars (a few literal). 

Being part of a crew makes me a happy man. A contented man. Nothing makes me feel safer and more centered then being able to reach out and put my hand on a friend's shoulder, slap someone's back, touch elbows. Pull someone into a hug for no reason at all. Ruffle hair, bump knuckles, all those little physical ticks that help define us as a group. I love having a shared anthem, a song that gets us all up shouting with our fists in the air. 

That gang dynamic helps shut down that little voice that is still, decades later, whispering the back of my head that it's all a joke. That my friends are lying to me and will turn on me someday and point and ask how I could ever think it was anything but a prank. The damage remains, but it doesn't run me. I have my people. 

Tuesday, August 16, 2016


It's one of those weird, unanticipated results of the internet age. Woke up to the news that a friend is dead. We knew each other for 15 years, closer or further, but never in person. He was Norwegian and an anglophile. He loved the Smiths and had very good hair. At one point, I think we flirted, but by now he was simply a queer kid I'd known since back in the day.

I asked this last time and I still won't know next time. How do you mourn a friend you've always never known?

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

thank you, Joanna, for this cat

Johnny Karate is a scroungy little bastard, but I love him. He started out among the horde in a hoarder's house and wound up looking at me through the bars of a cage, ready for rescue. I'd just lost my evil familiar Bagheera, the most amazingly violent cat ever hatched, an elegant villain in a black and white tux. I missed her and wanted an orange male or something equally unlike her.

Instead I picked up this scrawny baby, curled him into a ball on his back, and tucked him into the crook of my arm. He accepted it, calmly meeping, and so it was done. He had hernia surgery - he's not a healthy boy - and came home to papa. Look how pitiful, poor little guy.

Took me about two weeks to figure out that my cat was broken. Sweet as sugar, friendly as you could hope for, and so sick that I first named him Humbert Humbert. This is gross, but he pooped constantly. All the time. On everything. Runny, horrible poop. For a while, I just gave up having anyone over. We suffered through six months before I figured out, through trial and error, that if I fed him gluten-free food he'd be okay. You have no idea, the sheer relief when he started to get better and I realized I wouldn't have to put him down. I replaced all my cloth-covered furniture, ruined and stained. I moved into a new apartment. I invited friends to hang out.

During those six dark months of poop, my little guy also survived a fever that scrambled his brain. He's not bright, but who cares? He's a cat, he was never going to write a best seller. He's still tiny, at almost three, and probably always will be. He doesn't meow - doesn't seem to know how - still only emits tiny meeps when he wants to make a point. He still prefers to sleep on his back in my arms like a baby. His fangs hang out of his lips, his claws never quite retreat into his paws and he sometimes gets hung up and limps for a few days. Every so often he forgets how to eat and I have to syringe feed him for a day or two before he remembers. His favorite game is kick-it-off. His breath is just foul. The boy ain't right.

But he's at my hip or in my arms all day. He'll walk on a leash and you can't freak him out. He's not smart, but he's good company. I'm glad of him.

Monday, August 8, 2016

time free

Between the storms rolling in and it being a dead week for FSU, I have an unexpected day off. On the down side, no work no pay. On the up side, I am not the least bit mad about having time that is unassigned to any task or triviality.

To daywalkers, it's getting on toward evening. You're thinking of supper and how you wish you hadn't already watched all of Stranger Things. But for me the day stretches out into possibility and a beautiful, thunder and lightning sort of night. I'll attempt to gather in a few friends, play a few games, drink the beer that's lingering in my fridge. Or read a book or maybe cut a stencil for a project I'm working on. Get high and read Steven Universe fanfic. Design a new flyer for trivia night. Sit on my stoop, fight with the cat.

And I even have a fresh haircut. Mine is a good life.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

wild in the street

Six years ago, a friend of mine named Biro got saddled with the creation of a local music festival. Everybody else sort of fell away, and there she was. She'd never even set up a house show. First I sat around saying "this ain't gonna work," because I am sometimes an asshole. Then I said, "I could help with that," because only sometimes. And now I help Biro set up a great big shindig every year, with a hundred bands playing on a half dozen stages over the course of a day in a two block area. Gaines Street Festival, it's a thing.

Every band that applies gets in, pretty much regardless. From bar cover bands to instrumental metal, they all get 20 minutes and a good time. Plus all the rest of the stuff you need for a street party - food, tanks of beer, oceans of booze. Local orgs, dogs to adopt, artists and bellydancers and a guy who gives you a piece of fruit if you draw something for him. We partially fund it with nudie calendars every year.

So, the season is upon us. Between now and November 12, I'll devote more and more time to the Festival and less time to everything that is not the Festival. I'm sorry, friends. I'm sorry, family. I'll try to leave time for karaoke.

Friday, August 5, 2016


I don't like needles. More than that; needles scare me. I like the results of needles. I love my inked skin, my typewriter and boxcutter and the crayon letters in bright colors across my belly. But those needles are tiny and held in another person's hand. I'm in favor of immunizations, obviously, because I am not insane. And the life I live would not be possible without needles. My voice, rich and round and my main source of income, sounds like that because of needles. My scratchy chin, my hairy arms, my entire ability to live as a man in this society - all thanks to intramuscular shots of self-administered testosterone.

It's been a year since my last shot.

I don't make a lot of money. I'm happy, mind you, and I cover my bills, but I seldom have extra for stuff like blood tests and doctors and scrips for T. So I get a few shots here and there off friends - this is a thing trans guys do sometimes. It happens. I've had a vial for a couple months now, but I've been putting off doing the shot. First I had to get more needles - a pain in the ass to do unofficially. Then I didn't have any alcohol swabs. Band-aids. Time. Bravery.

See, all those testosterone-created changes don't just go away when I stop taking my hormones. I take to the stuff well, and I stay my regular, manly(ish) self without it. For a while.

You want to see a mad motherfucker? Talk to a trans man whose body has decided to bleed again. And then, tonight at trivia, my voice cracked slightly. Oh hell no, y'all. Fuck a whole bunch of that.

My friend Lindsey came over and sat with me. No question, just turned up at the door in her pjs with a smile and a strong shoulder. I laid out my gear like a druggie. Rolled up my pants, drew up the T into the syringe, prayed. Laughed at myself, shivering. Prayed again. Gulped, sighed, pushed the needle into my thigh. It doesn't hurt if you do it right. Emptied that illegitimate hormone into my muscle. Pulled it out - no blood, no leak, thank goodness - slapped on a band-aid.

There's no sudden rush. It's not an upper. But endorphins are an amazing thing, as is the satisfaction of simply having finished a hard task. My muscles relaxed. Lindsey hugged me tight, we said goodnight, she headed home. I feel quiet and pleased and a little as if I've fought fiercely against a familiar foe.

I have a few more shots' worth. If I do this again once a week for a month, I'll be okay until the next time a friend hooks me up. My voice will stabilize or maybe even drop some. I'll be alert but more even keeled. I'll stop bleeding, bless us. I'll be horny as hell. More active. I can't wait.

Manhood in the modern age.

Thursday, August 4, 2016

end of the day

If you make yourself a late meal before turning in and it's 5:30am, you can call it breakfast if you want. If you make ramen, add soy sauce and powdered ginger and crack two eggs from your mom's chickens to poach in the boiling broth. Watch something soothing while you eat it. Watch a mystery you already solved. Don't think of better soups, enjoy what you have.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

the karaoke rules

You may think you are the exception. You are not the exception. 

1. Do not sit down when singing. This is not your unplugged.
2. Do not sing a ballad. No one cares.
3. Do not take your friends on stage with you if you are nervous. You want them in the crowd, where they can yell and clap for you. 
4. Do not boo the singers. Karaoke is at least three of most people's biggest fears rolled into one public experience, so everybody gets a E for effort.
5. If you pick a song everyone knows, nobody cares what you sound like because they are too busy singing along. This crowd wants to sing. That's why they're at karaoke. 
6. No one with ass ever sings Baby Got Back. I do not know why this rule exists, but it does. 
7. All Meatloaf songs are too long for this. 
8. Guitar is not the only instrument one can air. 
9. If you can't think of anything else to sing, there's always "Say It Ain't So."
10. Tip your DJ.