Men Behaving Badly – Las Vegas

About eight years ago I was looking into moving to Las Vegas – no snow, lots of opportunities, lots of new housing. During a few of the visits out there I would check out AA meetings (which were pretty good) and modify my online profiles (gay men meet up sites) to let guys know I would be in the area.

Before one particular visit I met a guy online who lived out there and we started up conversations leading up to my visit getting the small chat out-of-the-way. He had a nice looking photo and didn’t come across as an axe murderer – a good sign in my book. We arranged to go to dinner and the movies when I got into town, it was opening weekend for the Matrix Reloaded and I really wanted to see it. He agreed to pick me up at my hotel – so about 15 minutes before he was to arrive (I do these things to myself all the time – why do I wait 15 minutes before an event? not one clue, but I do it for almost everything) I was outside enjoying comfortable weather in Las Vegas.

When he pulled up on time in an old beat up collector type convertible (I don’t know car brands, models and crap) I wondered if he was running late and had his father come to pick me up for him – he appeared much older than his photographs online. But he assured me it was him and then explained that those photos were about 10 years old. *sigh* Now you might think this is an uncommon occurrence, surely most people have a current photo on their online profile, but I’ve found numerous profiles with this same issue. This was also not the worst part of the date.

The conversation on the way to the movies was good, he didn’t frighten me with erratic driving, nor scream at the other drivers even though I wanted to. Sure he looked older than the photograph, but he seems like a genuinely nice man. So when we picked our seats in the movie and he smiled at me before the lights went down I thought this might have potential. Then it happened….

His cell phone rang. Wow, I hate when I forget to turn off my cell phone in a movie and I get all embarrassed… probably nerves from the first date I think… but no – he starts to have a conversation on the phone during the movie. Yes, the conversation was brief, yes he was quiet, but several people glanced back at us and I really wanted to move several seats away from him. What seemed to me to be an eternity of him talking on his cell phone finally came to an end and he said “Work” with a half-smile, like that was supposed to make it all better.

So having been distracted from a movie I was just starting to enjoy I took some time in my head to go over the incident and thought perhaps he only had the conversation because he had forgotten to turn the cell phone off and was a bit flustered. This wasn’t a black mark on the date, people make mistakes and he probably wouldn’t do this again. But sure enough, twenty minutes later his cell phone rang again and he had one more conversation with – what I’m sure was the same person from before.

After the movie I ask him to return me to my hotel, he asks if I’m sick or something or if he’d done something wrong. I stare at him aghast that he doesn’t know how rude his behavior was and I figure if he can’t figure that out on his own then my telling him certainly wont help.

Now I’ve been to the movies with doctors, lawyers, judges, EMTs and they’ve all managed to put their communication devices on vibrate and a few times have left the movie to respond to an emergency – but this guy, he managed a hotel and couldn’t be bothered.

 

REASONS THERE WAS NEVER A SECOND DATE:

#1 PHOTO OVER 2 YEARS OLD ON HIS PROFILE

#2 TALKING ON HIS CELL PHONE DURING THE MOVIE – TWICE

 

Naked Truth

Two of my favorite things to do on vacation are sun-bathing and swimming in the nude. Not at the YMCA or the community pool, I go to places where it’s perfectly legal to shuck off my clothes and just lie around in the buff. It’s freeing, relaxing and truthfully feels really good. Yes, all the important parts have several layers of SPF, I wouldn’t want to burn something I had plans to use later. I’m not a gym rat, don’t have six-pack abs or sculpted pecs – I’m just an average guy with love handles, but I’m perfectly comfortable in my own skin and have no reservations when it comes to taking it all off.

I’ve been to several “clothing optional” resorts in Ft Lauderdale and one in Palm Springs, most of them are male only, but a couple would have allowed women to also run around nude – never happened while I was there. While at one of the resorts the local health inspectors came to do a tour of the facility and one of them was a woman. Each resort is a little different in design and those who are attracted to the place. One place I stayed at in Ft Lauderdale targeted couples, another mature men; most though are just clothing optional guest houses that cater to gay men.

Almost without exception (the exception is the one place I stayed in Palm Springs) very few guests actually partake in the “Clothing Optional” part of the resort. Guys who DO have six-pack abs, sculpted muscles galore  with glistening golden skin that makes your mouth water – nope, they keep their trunks on. Even at night these guys, and yes, some of them are just average looking fellows and some have bigger tits than Dolly Parton, keep their trunks on. It boggles my mind.

I don’t even need them to take off their trunks for any kind of sexual satisfaction – I just can’t grasp why you wouldn’t go naked if you could. It’s like going to Amsterdam and not smoking pot or hash while your there (I’m practicing sobriety so that would be a no-no, but I had ever gone when I was still using and it was perfectly legal there I damn sure would have) and even suggested to a boss a few years ago that she be sure to try hash if she never had during her trip there. You’ve booked a room for a few days at a clothing optional resort, but you keep your junk all confined – ridiculous.

During one stay down there, another person that liked being naked checked in during my stay – he was a senior citizen and most of us watched him walk to his room with the bellman. When he came out wrapped in his towel I was glad that another person wasn’t shy. Not only wasn’t he shy, he was a close talker and sidled up next to you whenever he struck up a conversation. He chatted with everyone and it was the exact same each time. It was uncomfortable, not because he was naked – that would have been ok, but rather due to one of his testicles being the size of a softball. It was the elephant in the living room, we all were kind of looking at it without looking at it and when he was sidled up next to us and chatting away we were doing whatever we could to not look at it and find a way to get away politely. So, yeah, OK, in that circumstance maybe staying in your trunks could be advisable, but he was probably very happy to have that nut hanging free in the breeze and the pool.

I know there are naked gay camp sites, but I’m reluctant to go to such a place – I’ve never been a fan of camping. Give me a nice clean pool, a lawn chair and some SPF 30 and that’s all I need.

A Heifer for Heffner #heifer4heffner

Tomorrow was supposed to be my wedding day. It was something I was really looking forward to, an event that brought me happy tears just planning it with someone I thought loved me. We had picked gorgeous flowers, a novelty cake, a quaint church with stunning views of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge (if the fog would have allowed), sappy music, dancing, delectable food… yep, we were going to go all out and celebrate our love for one another with our closest friends and family. But two months before the wedding he dumped me with no explanation and no goodbye.

Cold HeartedWritten by Zac Brown and Nic Cowan

Fell to my knees with a knife in my back,
Never thought you’d be the kind to do something like that,
But you did
Cold hearted

You talked so sweet, and your smell it made me weak,
And I fell so fast that I never thought to ask
If you were
Cold hearted

While planning the wedding we had some debate about a gift registry and I wanted donations sent to Heifer International, a great non-profit that provides animals and training of how to raise those animals to needy communities in all parts of the world. It’s pretty smart idea “teach a man to fish” and all that… The former betrothed was adamantly opposed to this idea as a vegetarian (er, sorry pescatarian – someone who eats some animals [fish] ) as these needy people would just wait for the volunteers to leave and then butcher the animal for food. I tried to reason with him and show him the documented evidence on the website, but he was stubborn and adamant about it. One of many reasons people think I probably dodged a bullet by not marrying him.

An eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth
I want someone to hurt you, make you die the way I do
I don’t think that I could be so
Cold hearted

Pretty little words covered your dark and crooked heart
With a forked tongue I fell in love,
Then I fell apart
You are so
Cold hearted

Since he called off the wedding and I still have a resentment festering inside (yes, I am indeed poking it with a stick several times a day). I’ve decided to buy a Heifer through Heifer International to benefit some needy community. I urge you to also, it’s a great opportunity to help end world hunger. If you want to take the special time to honor my not getting married check out Heifer’s website and maybe make a contribution to them. I know times are tough right now in the US, but it’s a lot harder to live in some countries and we can help.

Eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth
I want someone to hurt you, make you die the way I do
I don’t think that I could be so
Cold hearted

Tomorrow night I’ll be dining with some friends at Fogo De Chao,  a Brazilian steakhouse – the more meat the merrier, they just keep bringing meat until you’re satisfied. A bunch of friends are joining me for dinner and friends all over the country will be joining me in spirit going out of their way to chow down on some meat! Love me some beef!

An eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth
Want someone to hurt you, make you die the way I do

I don’t think that I could be so
Cold hearted 

What could be better than a cow for some needy community – besides the fact that I don’t actually have to spend any time in San Francisco or San Antonio ever again if I don’t want to. Life goes on, better fish in the sea and all that…

So today, please help me spread the word about Heifer International, stop and have a burger or a steak, shop for some leather, or pull a Palin and shoot something from a helicopter. Do it for Hefner, do it for the Heifer… My heart will appreciate it. Moooooo

And if you’re going to chow down on meat tomorrow please use #Heifer4Heffner on your Twitter feed.

And buy this song from the Zac Brown Band: Cold Hearted

Over Not Under

I have peculiar habits – I assume most people do. For instance when doing my daily dental activities I

  1. Use the Waterpik (which if you don’t have one I highly recommend)
  2. Rinse with Plax (it loosens up the existing plaque before you brush)
  3. Use my SonicCare toothbrush (love this)
  4. Rinse with ACT

For some people, that might seem like a lot and for other people they’d be shocked to hear I don’t floss also. I do all these things because I really have no desire to let Dentists mess up my teeth or even fix up my teeth unless it’s absolutely necessary. (On several occasions I’ve had huge panic attacks while in a dentists chair, usually before they can even say “Hi how are you today.” )

It goes OVER!

I also am a firm believer that the toilet paper goes OVER not under. I have even taken steps in other people’s homes to correct this situation when it arises, which thank the gods has not happened very often. I can’t wrap my head around having it under, it makes absolutely no sense to me. Why? How should I know – it’s just tantamount to blasphemy!. Blasphemy, I say!

So Tuesday afternoon when I arrived at home I was stunned to see the roll in my bathroom placed in the under position.  Every other Tuesday is when the cleaning lady comes – so I know who did it, and she’s done it before. The last time she did it she replaced the roll with a new roll as it was almost out – I could understand that and thought “Perhaps she was in a hurry and didn’t realize that she put it on incorrectly.” It’s possible… or so I thought, until Tuesday that is.

See as a precautionary measure I’ve been making sure the rolls are pretty full on the days she comes to the house to avoid this affront to humanity. This time it was deliberate, she actually removed the roll to place it back in incorrectly! *Gasp*

I was really upset about this and thought it might ruin my whole day – then I remembered that I’m fortunate enough to have a cleaning lady come to the house twice a week for a reasonable fee. I can manage to put up with this little thing and maybe she’ll eventually pick up on the proper way to roll – OVER not under.

Restraint of Pen and Tongue

I’m trying to behave.

"George Washington Gagged"

DC’s Change

DC Comics announced their plans this week to relaunch the DC Universe this summer renumbering most of its current series and giving almost every hero a makeover to make them into heroes that would fit into the modern world. You can read about on USA Today, CNN or Facebook and probably even on DC‘s very own website. Most of the fanboys I know are not very happy about this news – we’ve seen it before and it hasn’t gone well and usually ends up screwing up the continuity even more than before.

I started reading super-hero comics quite by accident really. My Mother would have copies of Archie or Casper the Friendly Ghost and the like but it was never anything like Superman or Spider-Man. Then one visit to my great aunts I found a beat up copy of the X-Men – by beat up I mean this thing had no cover, was missing a few pages and was ripped here and there. What was inside though was beyond my imagination – heroes unlike any that I had ever seen before on panel after panel and all working as a team. I was immediately most in love with Ice Man – and this was before he became all glossy and sleek, he was still more snowman than iceman but he was my favorite. I was really confused about all their powers and didn’t have a clue about their origins but my whole universe changed as a result of that comic book – it became an obsession.

For the next few years I would search out comic books wherever I thought they might be – the grocery store, Ben Franklin, magazine stands at road side cafes anywhere that might have the slimmest I would scour the store for an issue of anything that looked remotely entertaining. When I was fifteen, living with my grandmother I was fortunate enough to find a local store that not only sold comic books, but didn’t realize they should be taxing me for them – this lasted for about 2 years before the merchant caught on and then was nice enough to let me know why the prices went up – I didn’t know they should be taxed either. It was in that store that I found a copy of Crisis on Infinite Earths – which I only bought because I had read everything else the store had to offer. Back when I first started reading comics were about .35 cents each.

What was inside for me was absolute confusion – I didn’t know any of these heroes and the infinite earth thing was really a lot for me to try to wrap my mind around. I think this was the third issue, I eventually found a copy of the first and tried to piece together what was going on. There were heroes in the story that I did recognize: Flash, Batman, Superman, Supergirl, Wonder Woman, Robin, Green Lantern, Spectre… but there were also alternate versions of some of these characters which kind of kept me in the dark for a while. I did manage to collect all the issues and I honestly cried when Supergirl sacrificed her life for her cousin Superman – for me it was a defining moment, there are somethings worth dying for. It made superheroes something more for me than just some silly drawings on a page, they stood up for what was right and made the world a better price, no matter what the personal cost may be. It mattered to me at 15, and if I reread those issues today it would still have an effect on me – it was a great story.

Crisis was supposed to help clean up some of the notorious continuity issues that DC had for the last 50 years or so – they were going to make Superman more super and really make him the last survivor of his destroyed planet, Pre-Crisis there was Superman, Supergirl, Power Girl, Superman from Earth II (which was really the first Earth)… well there were suddenly an awful lot of Kryptonians for a planet that had been destroyed when Kal-El (Superman) was rocketed to Earth as a babe. One of the ways to do this was by killing Supergirl. She wasn’t  the only hero to die during this series, we lost The Flash (Barry Allen), Kole, Robin and Huntress (the old ones not the new ones) and a bunch of others…

However, Supergirl is not dead anymore – I’m getting off track here, go read my post about dead heroes not staying dead: “…and it sold comics“.

In 85 or 86 I met my friend Ted who introduced me to a darker side of comic books that I had not yet known. He showed me Cerebus, Magic, Hellblazer, Nexus (which helped me get the US Military recruiters to quit calling – long story) The Titans (ok, maybe not dark, but definitely outside the scope of what I was reading), Swamp Thing, (Mike Grell’s) Green Arrow – it was pretty amazing. We would read for hours on end these spectacular stories that took us to a different world, away from all the troubles that happen to trouble two teen outcasts in rural Wisconsin. Ted even introduced me to the Dark Phoenix saga, which I had missed – most of the X-Men issues were not regularly stocked at the store where I got books. Ted also introduced me to Westfield which delivered comics to his home – wow, unheard of for me. Ted was also the guy took me to my first comic book store – geek heaven, let me tell you (In my adult life I’ve been to much larger comic book stores across the country but the one in Eau Claire was pretty amazing for a small town boy). Ted and I had dreams of writing comics and owning our own store when we were young… sometimes you grow up and dreams change.

Present Day: Books and Comic books can be read on portable devices – some of you may remember the movie with Tom Hanks in 1988 called Big. During that movie Tom had a job at a toy company and he proposed electronic comics way back then and today it’s a reality.

I can read DC, Marvel, Image and whatever other companies are out there making comics on my phone, my iPad, and even on my computer screen – and the comic book companies are charging me the same price they would charge for an actual comic that I could hold in my hand and read smell and touch. This technology has to change the way that comics are made and distributed – and I’m sad to say that it’s probably for the best, but I’ll miss the old ones.

So back to the point of my rant here, DC is relaunching 52 titles over the next year and giving almost every character in the DC universe a makeover. They say they’re doing this to clear things up for new readers and bring in new readers as well as keep old readers. I don’t know that that’s what’s going to happen nor do I really believe that that’s their sole purpose here. See some people think all of these #1 issues are going to be worth big bucks, but I’ve been around long enough to remember all the “Alternate Covers” back in the 90s that they printed hundreds of and sure enough suckers bought em, but I don’t think most of them are worth what they paid for em.

If you want to know why some comic books are worth a lot of money from way back when you really need to see a documentary about it from the History Channel (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0373763/ ) and realize that those comics were around during the war and parents (and children probably) donated them towards the war effort making the remaining copies the rare finds that they are.

So to DC I say, good luck guys and gals. I’ve been reading DC and Marvel comics since that first X-Men book and chances are I’ll continue to read them until my eyesight fails. But I hope for their sake that this isn’t a gimick, that this wont be like the episode of Dallas when Bobby was in the shower – change is necessary for everything, but meaningless change wont help you here . Also, as a 15 year old boy I cried when you killed Supergirl not just because it was a tragic sacrifice, but because at the time you had made the story so engrossing I actually cared about her – return to those days with your stories, return to the days when a death had more finality and a hero was believed in because they brought a sense of hope and wonder to the minds of readers. Make us care again and make it worth out $2.99.