Last Night’s Episode Is Probably My Last


Ben and I came into The Walking Dead at the beginning of season two and spent a week or so playing catch up with season one. We’ve both really enjoyed the series.

But this past season has been disappointing on so many levels, and while Ben abandoned the show a couple weeks ago, I soldiered onward, hoping there would still be something to keep me coming back for more.

But there isn’t. I’ve lost all sympathy for any of the main characters and simply do. not. care. any more whether they live or die.

Tom & Lorenzo (who I actually stopped following a couple months ago because of their constant bitchiness about pretty much everything) actually hit the nail on the head; the reason myself and apparently many others are abandoning the show:

Good job, TWD creative team! Attaboys and girls! You did it! It took you all some time, but you’ve effectively chipped away all the coolness from your few cool characters. You’ve managed to turn Carol into Andrea, Morgan into Dale and Daryl into season 2 Carl. Brilliant. We expect Michonne will start trying to run in heels any episode now. At the very least, they should have her flip her car into a ditch on an empty road, for old time’s sake.

We’ve spent roughly two whole seasons listening to Rick & Co. talk about how unprepared and naive the Alexandrians are, only to watch Rick & Co. consistently do idiotic things to demonstrate that they’re really no smarter or better equipped to handle the world than anyone else. Because really, is Denise the dumb one for leaving the safety of Alexandria in pursuit of can of pop or is Carol the dumber one for leaving the safety of Alexandria because she’s tired of killing people? Because you know what happens when you leave the safety of a place like Alexandria? You’re almost immediately plunged into life-or-death situations that call on you to…kill people to survive. In other words, Carol left Alexandria because she’s killed too many people, and then within hours of leaving, she kills another half-dozen. How does this make Carol anything but, well… an idiot? Then again, literally EVERYONE who walked out those gates—all of whom are counted among the best fighters in Alexandria because they’re all Rick-ites—are insanely and implausibly stupid for leaving the compound right after having declared war on a rival group by attacking and killing them.

Christ, what an awful episode. What a waste of time watching these people all inexplicably turn into other people for no reason than to service a plot that seems fairly weighted with inevitability and expectations at this point. Someone Important Is Going To Die. And in order for that to happen, Everyone’s IQ Has To Plummet.

And right on schedule, as we’ve been predicting all season, the Saviors suddenly and without warning went from a ragtag collection of smug Barney Fifes to the type of people who can sneak up on Daryl and shoot him before he gets a chance to react. Ugh. There is not one person in the cast right now whose death would upset us. Michonne, maybe. But it’s hard to remain concerned with (or even interested in) the fates of people who go dumb at a moment’s notice.

Even Kris, a friend of mine from DISH who is a hardcore fan responded to a text this morning wherein I told him I thought I was done with the series because of all this crap. “For me it’s the plot issues—the fact you can tell every episode has a different director. Doris and I very frequently look at each other and say ‘He/she wouldn’t do that!'”

At this point, I believe that whatever horrible things happen to Rick’s band at the hands of Neagan (I don’t follow the comics so I don’t really know what’s going to happen, but I have a pretty good idea) are well deserved. Rick & Co. have turned into exactly the kind of people they’ve been trying to avoid since the beginning of the Apocalypse.

I could go on and on, but I’ve already expended more energy on this than I’d intended, and it just isn’t worth it, but I will leave you with this thought posted by a commenter on another board:

“There doesn’t seem to be an end game or conclusion to this story; just endless suffering.”

Treasures

I received another little gift from my sister today: my mom’s daily planners from the mid 60s through the late 70s.

Some of the entries are cryptic: Bob/1. Some are humorous in that she recorded them: Owe Mark $3 Lawn. Mark started work at Sirloin Stockade. Others are bittersweet, like my class schedule for the first semester at college:

8:00-9:00 (M-Th) Russian
9:00-10:00 (M-W-F) Freshman Composition
9:00-10:00 (T-Th) Graphic Communication
10:00-11:00 (T-Th) History of Western Civilization
11:00-12:00 (M-W-F) Algebra
11:00-12:00 (T-Th) Graphic Communication
12:00-1:00 (T) Graphic Communication Studio

She also recorded every doctor/dentist appointment for myself, my sister, my dad, and herself. Student holidays, PTA meetings, early dismissal days, plant watering/fertilizing schedules, hair appointments, dinner parties, and some very personal stuff that I just simply didn’t need to know about.

If nothing else, the woman was very methodical. I guess that’s where I got it from.

He Say…

…you BRADE RUNNAH!

Six months ago I didn’t even know this record existed (even though I’d had the CD version since its release in 1994), but once I did of course I had to have it.

I’d forgotten how hauntingly beautiful this score was. My friend Barry wrote an excellent review for the SF Chronicle back in the day that I was hoping to quote from, but while attempting to locate it just now I realized that it—along with so many other things—has gone missing, no doubt tossed out in a fevered purge at some point.

Quote of the Day

THIS.

As some of you may know, I live in North Carolina.  This bill is a travesty.  It not only denies protection by the state, it legally strips away all local laws created to protect and assist LGBT (particularly trans) citizens.  If you follow me on twitter, I made it very clear how unacceptable this is to me.

North Carolina voted Barack Obama into office and elected a female governor and senator from the democratic party eight years ago and since then the Republican party has gerrymandered districts, passed a law requiring state id’s to vote, and passed every anti LGBT bill that’s come across their desks.

It’s time to fight back.  If you are not a bigot, you have eight months to get your state id and voter registration sorted out, because no single person who voted for this bill should be allowed to keep their seat.

Let me make a few things very clear:

If you do not vote in this election in North Carolina, you are implicated in the ruining of the lives of LGBT people.  You are a party to the discrimination against and assaults on trans people in NC.  You are the one holding the gun.

And if you decide not to show up at the election because you are unhappy with the democratic presidential candidate that the DNC chooses, you are guilty of bigotry and hypocrisy.  I know there are some of you out there that are very salty that it looks like Hillary is going to win and I’m no huge Hillary fan, but if you’ve been telling every person you meet about how Bernie Sanders supports the LGBT community and you don’t show up to support the LGBT community, you are a hypocrite.” ~ Princeless

This law was pushed through in an “emergency” session yesterday because the city of Charlotte, NC passed local ordinances supporting trans and LBGT+ rights.

This law was introduced, voted on, and passed in 12 hours in direct response to the largest city in North Carolina wanting to do right by its community.

“Bathroom defense” is bullshit. There have been no reported incidents of assault being perpetrated on women in restrooms by trans men ever. The more I read, the more infuriated I become, and at this point I’m convinced that—as usual—the republicans are projecting again. Projecting about sex in bathrooms? Yes. Because I would venture to say that a vast majority of those fucksticks know all about bathroom sex, and it doesn’t involve women at all.

Vote. In. Your. Goddamn. Local. Elections.

Thankfully major corporations who are on the side of equality are speaking up. Can Atlanta really afford to lose Coca Cola or The Walking Dead?

What these sad “religious liberty” laws are pointing out more than anything else—much like what happened with marriage equality itself—is the need for Federal LGBT protections—and ironically that may be the unintended consequence that comes from all this, proving if nothing else that the Christianists’ invisible friend in the sky has one wicked sense of humor.

And speaking of unintended consequences…

On Frozen Pond

“Not only is the Universe stranger than we imagine, it is stranger than we can imagine.” ~ Sir Arthur Eddington, English Astronomer (1882-1944)

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft spied several features on Pluto that offer evidence of a time millions or billions of years ago when—thanks to much higher pressure in Pluto’s atmosphere and warmer conditions on the surface—liquids might have flowed across and pooled on the surface of the distant world.

This feature appears to be a frozen, former lake of liquid nitrogen, located in a mountain range just north of Pluto’s informally named Sputnik Planum. Captured by the New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) as the spacecraft flew past Pluto on July 14, 2015, the image shows details as small as about 430 feet. At its widest point the possible lake appears to be about 20 miles across.

A lake of liquid nitrogen…now frozen. Mind blown.

Fucking Internet

Damn you, Discogs. You’re allowing me to find records that I never thought I’d see, much less own.

I’ve had THP Orchestra’s 1977 LP, Two Hot For Love, in my collection from the start, and it was one of the first I found when I was piecing that collection back together after selling it all in the 80s. Almost from the day it came out I’d heard rumors of it being available on white vinyl, but I’d never seen it anywhere, and  I frustratingly learned back in the day that you only got colored vinyl from Butterfly Records if you were in the right store at the right time, were a DJ, or knew one.

I was listening to the record a couple weeks ago and thought, “Why not Google THP Orchestra Two Hot for Love white vinyl?” and see what comes up.

BOOM! There it was. And the seller wasn’t asking a hundred dollars for it either; only ten.

In Memoriam

He would’ve been 55 today. And it’s doubly sad to realize that he’s now been gone for more years than he’d been alive when we first met.

It was the night of the summer solstice, and typically warm for Tucson. I’d just come out of a disastrous three week affair with stunningly beautiful mortician’s assistant, newly arrived in Arizona from the wilds of upstate Michigan. The man was gorgeous and the sex was great; unfortunately he was completely and utterly unavailable. This was turning into an all-too-common scenario that had played out again and again in the year or so that had passed since I’d begun exploring life and love after having moved out of my parents’ house and into a place of my own.

In fact, I was becoming so disheartened by these turn of events that I started questioning whether this “lifestyle” was all it was cracked up to be. Did straights have it any easier?

Angry and depressed—and against my better judgment—I went out that evening. I was young and horny and figured what better way to get over a broken heart than to try and score a little skin-on-skin action with someone new? (Hey, I was 23. Cut me some slack!)

At the time there were less than a handful of gay bars in Tucson, and of those, there was only one real dance club: The Joshua Tree. JT’s as it was known, had been around in one incarnation or another for years and never failed to draw a nice crowd from the university. Just what the doctor ordered.

Not unexpectedly, the evening had not gone well. It was one of those nights where everyone sensed the thundercloud hanging over my head and steered clear of me completely. After about an hour of being summarily ignored, I decided to give up, drive down to the Bum Steer (a straight pickup bar a few blocks from campus) and see how the other team played. I mean, no harm in a little “experimentation,” right?

As I was getting ready to leave, I remember telling the Universe, “If you want me to keep on being gay (like I had any choice in the matter), you’d better send a sign—and quick—because I’m walking out of this bar—and away from everything it represents—and I may never come back.”

As I was pushing my way through the crowd streaming in through the narrow entrance hallway, I locked eyes with this cute strawberry blond boy coming in. He looked at me and smiled. Even as the crowd behind jostled me out the door, time stood still for the brief instant our eyes met.

Once outside, I thought about what had happened and I immediately turned around and went back in.

A few minutes later I found him sitting out on the back patio sipping a beer. There was only one place to stand where I could get a clear view to safely flirt from a distance (because there was no way I could just go up to him and say hello) and I grabbed it straightaway.

It didn’t take him long to spot me standing there. We kept making eye contact, and I was trying very hard to look cool while swatting away the insects swarming around the neon sign that was unfortunately located right over my head.

After several minutes, with a big smile on his face, he nodded for me to come over.

Conversation was easy, and it took very little time for us to decide to go back to my place and get to know each other better. During all this I remember thinking, “Oh LORD…what am I getting myself into this time?”

Little did I know.

Sex wasn’t great that first time, but there was something that drew us back together the very next night. And the night after that. And the night after that. And it was then that something happened. As we lay there, looking into each other’s eyes we simultaneously blurted out, “Something special is happening here, isn’t it?”

Yes there was. And apparently those simple words were all that were needed to help him come to a decision about something he’d been struggling with; he returned home the next morning and came out to his mom.

It was not well received. I believe her exact words were, “You can either not be gay, or you can get the hell out.”

All of a sudden, and quite unexpectedly I had a housemate boyfriend lover.

It was a first time relationship for both of us, and given the option, I don’t think either one of us would’ve chosen this particular way for it to begin. But as they say, you deal with the hand that fate has given you. Unfortunately, I didn’t exactly do all I could to encourage and nurture it, either. Being fiercely independent, after two weeks I was climbing the walls having this other presence invading my personal sphere. Sensing my discomfort (no doubt because I’d gotten absolutely surly), after long, drawn-out negotiations, he came to a working truce with his mother and moved back in with her.

But after only one night alone, neither one of us could bear the solitude, and that “something special” we noted would not be ignored. He started spending nights with me again.

This was in direct violation of the agreement with his mother, and a week later, finally accepting the sweet inevitability of what was happening between us, I opened my heart and home to him fully, and he moved back in.

Six months passed and we moved into a new apartment—one that was ours—but now neither one of us was happy. Once again he made peace with his mom and returned to his childhood home, leaving behind most everything he owned “to pick up later.” (I think he must’ve known it wasn’t going to last this time either.)

He was right. While we didn’t see each other for the next week, we were on the phone every night until finally his mother picked up one of the extensions while we were talking and said, “It’s obvious you boys love each other. Get back together and work things out, will ya?”

We did. And while as lovers we didn’t last more than a couple years beyond that fateful conversation, our friendship deepened and endured for another decade until AIDS snatched him away forever.

Dennis Shelpman
18 March 1961 – 29 January 1991

Pray For Me

So I’m going to try for my certification again. No ETA yet, but it is a goal for 2016.

The difference between now and when I had the formal training and still failed the test spectacularly two years ago is that I have that much more experience with OS X under my belt and it’s something I actually want to do (instead of it being something that I had to do).  I’m also realizing that as I make my way through the lessons that I already know most of this stuff.

I have no need of a Mac cert for my present job, but it builds my own knowledge for knowledge sake, looks great on a resume, and I would still like to move into supporting a Mac environment at some point. For that, it will be a necessity.

I told my boss the other day (who’s also a OS X user at home) that now—more than ever—after fighting with Windows 10 every day (even keeping in mind the problems inherent in OS X that I’ve written extensively about here) that I want nothing more than to go home every night and kiss my Mac.

He Spoke French to the Counterman

December1, 1940. Schrafft’s, 625 Madison Avenue, NewYork

“Patrick and I just stuffed ourselves at Schrafft’s. Do you know what your silly nephew did? He spoke French to the counterman. Imagine anybody speaking French to a counterman at Schrafft’s. Show-off.”

If you don’t know where that quote came from, please just turn in your gay card and your copy of the Gay Agenda immediately.