I kissed a boy…

And yeah, I liked it. Duh!

Last Friday was the reintroduction of Tank night at our local gay bar. Tank night was the once-a-month leather night event— until Covid. It gives guys (and gals, but mostly guys) a chance to get dolled up in leather hoods and parade around a darkened bar.

Last Friday was the first one since the before times.

Also, I guess calling it a “leather” night is a bit of a misnomer. It’s really a gear/fetish night. So jockstraps, latex, neoprene, singlets, masks, uniforms… it’s all good. Just so long as it isn’t chinos and a polo. A lot of guys do wear harnesses and such, and a LOT of boys wear jocks.

Anyway- I busted out a pair of leather shorts and a harness and went. The leather shorts have not seen an event since roughly 1998- and that was IML. But I can fit into them again, so praise be!

While I was there, I kept crossing paths with a tall kid in a singlet and baseball cap. He kept looking— as did I— but he was with his friends. At one point he did walk by and brush up against me as he said, “Hey daddy.” I replied in kind “Hey boy.” He smiled.

Later, I decided to go out into the “non gear” side of the bar— just to parade myself a bit. And to see the shower boys (naked guys shower in public at the bar and get hard for the crowd). And to see if I had any friends out and about.

I ran into tall boy again. This time, sans friends. So we started chatting.

He likes daddies and liked my beard. I liked his beard and that he was 25. He was flirty. I was flirty. He said I was making him hard. His singlet did NOT hide it well. So we decided to head back into tank where it was a bit darker and more private.

Where we made out for a hot minute or two. Or several.

Yeah yeah. His singlet left nothing to the imagination. Neither did him placing my hand on *it*. And just between you, me, and the fence post? It is a fence post. 😳

Did I mention this kid is 6’4”? He’s also fairly sporty (plays softball, skis, bikes, fishes, etc). And he’s pretty darn cute.

He’s also 25. And lives 30 miles north of the city. And he’s 25. And he works part time at the bar. And did I mention he’s 25?

So naturally I’m not thinking this will amount to a hill o’ beans. But at least a bit wanted to but his beard on my beard. And that doesn’t happen to very often for me, so… win?

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DirectTV— a saga

I am a DirectTV subscriber. It’s basically the service that we get rolled into our condo association fees. It’s the cable tv (and I think WiFi). I have the DVR box setup, although I almost never record shit.

Anyway, for the past few months I’ve been having issues. Nothing major- just small, nibbling little things. Like my remote control being finicky and difficult to use. Or slow response when trying to see the guide or when changing channels. Cut to last Thursday and the fucker just quits altogether. Blue screen of death.

So I call DirectTV on Friday… and proceed to wait in hold for about 25 minutes. When I finally do get a service rep, I’m basically told they can’t do anything and I need to contact the folks who rep the account for our building. But I’m assured that in the meantime I can continue to enjoy great programming using the DirectTV app! Or by accessing my account online!

Bullshit. It took me about 2 hours to reset passwords and login- only to find restricted content access and janky workability. What a goatfuck.

It at least I have a little bit of the TV that I’m paying for

I then start calling the other service rep folks. After much key clacking they tell me that I’m going to need the service rep to come out and can I be available between 8 and 5?

No. No I cannot because I work. At work. So I ask them to just send me a replacement box. And they won’t.

So then I have to try to line up with my condo building manager to have him let the tech into my place when I’m. Or there (which I am not a fan of). I get all of this lined up with several more phone calls and emails and the tech is set up for today. Thursday.

The tech came last night instead.

What. The everloving. Fuck.

At least he called and at least he worked with me so it was after 6. But the tech calls me in a dither because he can’t come Thursday because he’s out of town and can he come Wednesday evening instead?

The only thing that worked in my favor was that he didn’t have any more DVR boxes and he had to drive back to whereverthefuck to get one, which bought me time to get home to let him in personally.

Aaaaaand after much ado, he got my new box installed and running. Remotes programmed. Everything is just hunky dory.

Oh- but he left me the old box. Which evidently I am responsible for. I have to take it to a FedEx hub and ship it off. Because he can’t chuck the goddamn broken equipment in his tech van?? So now I, the consumer, Get the joy of wasting time and money driving around to deal with this.

Jesus.

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Pride Redux

Well, it was Pride 2.0 this weekend. We had “pre Pride” back in June, where there was an informal Pride at the normal time. But Covid pushed “real” Pride out into July this year. So we technically got two of them.

This second version was… ok.

I did the Pride Beer Dabbler on Friday. It was the general good time it always is- although this year it was held in the Sculpture Gardens. Which was a cool venue for it. My favorite beer of the evening was this smoky jalapeño cream ale. So darn good!

The only downer was running into a friend of a friend there who doesn’t particularly like me and he was really shitty to me. This is after I had gone out of my way to be nice to him by giving him one of the extra pretzel necklaces that I made for the event.

When even one person treats me like a leper, it tends to depress me. I shouldn’t let it bother me, but it does. Especially since this person and I have overlapping circles of friends so we interact often.

Anyway. Saturday was a long bike ride (38 miles!) and then I hit the Eagle for the bear night aka Bearricade. It was mostly like a regular Eagle night, just a bit more crowded and shirtless. I wore a harness and kilt for something different. It was nice to show a little skin after working pretty hard to get in shape. Not that it garnered me any particular special attention.

Sunday was another bike ride (28 Miles at 18.5mph!) on the Cinelli. Then I had to get ready for a pride pool party! Yes, I finally made “the list” ans was invited to the Sunday pool party.

I’d heard whisperings about this party for years. It tends to be fairly tame and a good time for all— but when the sun goes down, shenanigans can happen. And by shenanigans I mean more nakedness possibly leading to sexytimez.

Having never been invited, I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect so I prepared myself as best I could to be a good guest. Food. Beverages. Sexy swimwear.

In the end, the pool party was just that. A relaxing pool party with drink and food and lounging in/by the pool. And hot tub. The guests were all fairly handsome, and I knew more than a handful.

And while there was perhaps some kissing and light groping on occasion (by others) I was not involved in any of said activity. Much to my dismay. Especially given that there were more than a few handsome gents there.

As I type all this in, I’m tired and cranky. Too much sun and fun (and drinking) this weekend. I’m a zombie.

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You ever get that feeling…

Sorry for yet another “new job” post, but I think this warrants documenting. Even if it’s just from a curiosity standpoint.

The people that I work with are, by and large, attractive. And by “people” I mean the men. And by “attractive” I mean 7’s and above. Thin, fit… hot even. And mostly (if not completely) straight.

It’s a little weird.

This isn’t just because I’m gay and in a new work environment either. I’ve been around the proverbial block enough to be able to separate gay wishful thirst from empirically handsome straight men.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. Eye candy is eye candy. But I mean, statistically there should be more population variation here. Even in this small of a company.

Ok- and not everyone is hot. The old guard folks that have been here 20+ years looks like they’ve sort of been “grandfathered in”. Figuratively and literally. But the newer engineers? All Handsome.

And a disproportionate number seem to have thicc asses on them, too.

Here’s a brief list:

  • S- test engineer. Early 40’s. Starting the salt n pepper thing. Solid frame. Piercing Blue eyes. Looks like a straight porn actor.
  • D- test engineer. 20-something Asian kid with serious cakes ans thighs. Wears extraordinarily tight jeans on a daily basis.
  • A- mech engineer. Brand new SE Asian kid fresh out of school. Faux hawk and handsome with a big smile— and an even bigger ass
  • K- summer intern. Senior in college. Totally cute and shy. Kinda doofus-y (in an endearing way). Scruffy mustache and stubble. Doesn’t yet realize how handsome he is.
  • J- product dev. My work crush. Later 20’s and ridiculously hot. Plays guitar on breaks. BDE for days. Also a thicc ass in dem jeans.
  • J- materials eng. later 20’s. Blonde and blue eyed, small framed. Looks like a sit com actor. Whip smart and twink adorable.
  • B- test engineer. Early 30’s Nordic hipster with a handlebar mustache (the good kind) and glasses. Quiet sexy.
  • Z- engineering tech. 20-something frat bro type and all that that implies. Floofy hair and all.
  • J- Maintenance tech. 20-something and rail thin. Nerdy cute.
  • J- test manager. Late 40’s? Tall. Fit. S-n-P going on. just a handsome guy’s guy. Again, looks like someone you’d see in straight porn.
  • D- Fabrication eng. Looks like a quintessential leather daddy but in work drag. Fit. Wiry strong. Silver beard, probably early 50’s. Could totally see him in chaps and a Muir cap.

All this makes me wonder if our CEO might have a little sugar in his gas tank.

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Pros and Cons

Well, I’ve been at my new job about 2 months now (about a week shy of that mark). I guess it’s okay so far. But the verdict is still out for me. I think this is because I’m fundamentally burnt out in what I do for a living.

I’m fairly committed to at least a year. I owe them that much of a ye olde college try. But right now I’m trying to weigh if I made a correct decision or not. So I’m looking at Pros and Cons.

Pros Include:

  • Not a toxic environment (politically)
  • People are generally nice
  • Smaller, so easier to affect change
  • They are letting me “run with it”
  • pay is comparable to last job
  • Development opportunity (lead auditor training)
  • No direct reports
  • Better, cleaner office
  • Cool tech/industry
  • Can wear nice clothes daily
  • HSA contributions
  • 401k contributions immediately
  • Close to my gym

Cons include:

  • Daily time cards for management
  • No vacation time
  • unclear bonus structure
  • Dysfunctional training
  • High deductible health plan
  • very isolated/siloed work environment
  • Won’t have friends here either
  • Can’t ride bike to work
  • Place is disorganized and hoarderish
  • Too many “hats” to wear

I think the last 5 years or so working in a toxic environment and dealing with my parents failing health and juggling my life/needs has really taken its toll on me. I’m burnt out. And I really don’t enjoy what I do. I think I need a nuclear option hard reset on my career. Or as other friends have called it- finding your second career.

We have a big audit in Mid August here. That should give me a better understanding of the shape the company is in. It will also provide me with familiarity in how they audit this industry and give me direction on what to fix in the subsequent months.

It remains to be seen how tenable my current situation is.

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Blue Monday

Another holiday over. Summer is in full swing. I’m kinda in a mood. So here are some guys hotter than a fire cracker!

I need these shorts… on my floor.
Double your pleasure?
One to end on….
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More bikes… dammit.

Ok- so the other week on FB Marketplace there was a bike for sale. My size. Vintage cyclocross Van Dessel. I really kind of loved it, but by the time I reached out to the person selling— it was gone.

Damn.

And yes. I am fully aware that I need another bike like I need another hole in my head. But there are worse things to spend money on. And at least its exercise— right?

Anyway- so I keep half-heartedly looking for vintage mountain/cyclocross bikes. (I’m still kicking myself for selling my Cannondale!) I think it would be nice to have a kick around mountain bike to ride through town and occasionally go off the bike trail with. And There are some decent trails in Theo Wirth park which is nearby.

Oh- and I have this fantasy about driving west with a camper top on my FJ and a mountain bike on the back and riding in Arches national park. Or some such.

So cue my friend Reece in Colorado who finds me a Craigslist listing for a 1985 Bridgestone MB-1 in my area. It’s an old school hard tail mountain bike, but a brand that has a definite cachet.

Bridgestone (yeah the “tire” company) also made bikes. Really good quality bikes back in the day. in the mid-9”80’s they hired a designer/bike enthusiast named Grant Petersen who sort of turned the Bridgestone bikes into legends. Way ahead of their time. And since they don’t make them anymore, people search them out (kind of like FJ cruisers).

So now I have the option to perhaps buy an all original (except for the tires) MB-1. Arguably the most sought after model (other than maybe an RB-1). And it’s near mint. The only thing is it may be a bit big for me. I’m not sure.

Decisions, decisions.

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Practice Pride Hangover

This weekend would have been Pride Weekend here. But it was shifted into July this year. Probably due to pandemic and timing, etc. But to most gays in the city, this still felt like Pride weekend- even though it wasn’t.

I did the Eagle on Friday after work. It was my first weekend in town for awhile so I wanted to make the most of it. Friday was busy at the bar and I saw tons of folks, which was nice. The not nice part was when I was kind of invited to join some people for dinner, and then they left without me.

I thought I was over letting things like that affect me, but it did. It just sort of sucks being excluded, you know? But hey. In the grand scheme of things, no big whoop.

Saturday was truck maintenance, clothes shopping, the gym, and book club. Book club was different as we went to a restaurant instead of meeting at a member’s house. It was a good time (even if I didn’t finish the book).

Since Saturday was a gloomy and rainy day, I didn’t get in a bike ride. So I went on Sunday instead. I took the Nago out for a 34 mile ride around the city, averaging 18 mph. Not bad for an old geezer. Then I decided to hit the Eagle again.

The Eagle was ok on Sunday. It wasn’t very busy early on, which left me feeling disappointed. But it picked up, and once again I saw some faces I hadn’t seen in over a year.

But, as Pride weekends and Sunday’s are wont to do, I started feeling a bit maudlin. So many people out with groups of friends or their boyfriends/husbands while I was out with “by myself”. Looking around I always get a bit jealous. And depressed.

I rode my bike home and on the way I blew my back tire so I had to walk the last bit. Seemed a bit too “on the nose” given how I was feeling at the time.

So naturally today I’m tired and in a bit of a funk.

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Instruments of Merrimaking

I sort of have a problem when it comes to impulse buys. Specifically impulse buys in my hobby areas. Art collection. Rocks and minerals. Bicycles. And musical instruments. Yesterday I purchased another instrument.

I got a Yamaha 4-Valve euphonium.

Now, I’m really hoping my serendipitous streak continues with this purchase. I seem to kind of “luck Into” finding things and then they work out well in he end. (Cases in point: several bicycles, 2 trombones, and a euphonium).

In this instance, it was Amazon prime day and I was feeling all chuffed because I had avoided Amazon all day. Which then led me to do an eBay search for bikes— just because it would be a fuck your to Bezos. As I was on eBay, though, a thought popped into my head. “I should look to see if they have any 4 valve Yamaha euphs for sale. Maybe I can find a deal.”

The first listing? A 4 valve Yamaha euph that was a good deal. Now, this being eBay, it may have been too good a deal. The thing may not be playable (valves stuck, tuning slides frozen, rattles, etc). However, the listing said it was in very good playing condition- albeit little else. I always get nervous when they don’t list a Serial number or have definitive information about functionality.

There weren’t a ton of dents or cosmetic issues showing in the pictures. Some laquer wear and overall patina (which I actually like). But the seller doesn’t appear to be a music store, although they did have a picture showing about 15 instruments in cases (like a band is getting rid of horns?).

Anyway, it was in the “what the heck” price range for me, so I took a flier on it. In other words, it was more than I can spend without serious internal debate, but not so much as I would beat myself up mercilessly if the horn turns out to be a dud.

But I’m optimistic that with some cleaning and my basic maintenance I can turn it into a great horn to play.

I’m doubly-optimistic as all this happened just one day before I received an email indicating that concert band was returning g in the fall. So, maybe this was a sign?

Keep your finger’s crossed for me.

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A Return to Normalcy?

I don’t team my mean “normalcy” as it refers co coming through a pandemic. Or not quite through as the globe is still struggling mightily. It’s more about my little corner of life.

I was back home this weekend again. Mom was released from skilled care (again) and is now back in her home. I went down right after work on Friday so I could be with her to make sure everything was going smoothly and so I could monitor her transition.

Right now she seems to be doing ok. She’s slow, and her ankle is really bothering her (the fused one), but she is able to get around and do things. She’s also thankful to be in her own space again- in the quiet. With her own food. And tv. And no snarky nurses to contend with.

She has an aide coming all this week in the mornings and she also has PT coming. And neighbors/friends to check on her. So I’m hoping she’s well on her way (which will decrease my stress level immeasurably).

Also decreasing my stress— I had my Lead Auditor class all last week and I took the final exam on Friday. I think the exam went well; there was only one question where I was semi-iffy on my answer. But it was essay so hopefully my explanation was adequate.

One panic moment though. During the exam, I had finished it all and decided to go back through to review my answers for thoroughness. While doing so, the computer glitched and booted me out of the online exam. I. FREAKED! This was a digitally proctored exam, and I lost my video/audio, etc. luckily I was able to re-log in ans all my answers were still there. But there was a good five minutes of blind panic as I emailed their tech support and such.

But it’s done. Getting this certification was part of the stipulations of my being hiring into this new job. So it’s been looking over me all this time. Now I just have to wait to hear whether I passed or not.

Regardless, a couple stress hurdles have been cleared and my week is fairly clear— no “to do” requirements any evening this week. And chorus is done for the summer so I am obligation free for the foreseeable future.

I’m already feeling my shoulders unclenching a bit.

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