Friday, December 01, 2006

Pearl Harbor Day

It is Worlds AIDS Day. I had wanted to write a piece about my best friend Larry. It won't come. I cannot seem to write anything that in my mind does justice to him. I can tell you that he was born on May 25, 1945 and died December 7, 1984. That in those early days of the epidemic, when hysteria ran high and people were abandoned by friends and family, Larry's friends and family rallied around, arranged care rota's and there was always someone with him and caring for him. Those are only facts, what I can't seem to write about is that he was the best friend that I ever had. How he made me feel loved and valued in a way I never felt before I met him, and never have again since he died.

I can tell you that there is a six and a half foot tall whole in my life that will never be filled and will never really heal over. I think about Larry every day, and miss him. Occasionally I will still cry when I think about the fact that I will never see him again, and about all the things we never got to do over the past 22 years and all the things that we will not be able to do together in the future. Life goes on for the living, and I know Larry would not want me to spend my life grieving it away because of his absence and I don't. But on this day it will be hard not to feel sadness and longing bite down a little harder. I'm just happy that I was wiser than I knew at the time, and always let Larry know how much I loved him. I still do.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Age appropriate

Today is my first open thread. I will be asking the question, is it all right for me to be seen in public dressed like this? I was inspired by a conversation I had yesterday with a visiting faculty member. We were talking about people of a certain age wearing clothes that were designed for people younger than themselves. So, should I be wandering around like this, or should I be keeping myself decently covered?

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

What a waste

Waste has been in the news for the past few days. If it hasn't made the headlines, it has at least been on NPR. I heard a report first on food waste, appropriately enough, on the day after Thanksgiving. It would seem the average American throws out 600 lbs. of food a year. They tracked people who did not consider themselves to be wasteful. Among the top items to be thrown out were fresh fruit and vegetables. It seems that these are people who like to think they eat healthy, so they buy fresh fruit and vegetables, because that is what healthy people eat and then wait for them to go bad and throw them out. Part of the problem it seems is overbuying. The other is the days on which people shop. It seems that I, who consider myself to be fairly thrifty, shop on the best days. They advised people to do their shopping late in the week. The other item was the portions that were prepared. Plan your meals and only prepare what you are going to eat. That doesn't work so much for me, since the people they were working with have an aversion to leftovers. I, if I am cooking more food than I will eat in one sitting, do it on purpose so that I will have something that doesn't require preparation the next day. Roast chicken and meatloaf, just to site a couple of examples of how I try to get out of cooking meals every day, especially on work days. I am in a minority, but I kind of like leftovers. If I am going to cook, why not make something I would be willing to eat 2 days in a row.

The other item was consumer electronics. We are being overburdened with electronics that are designed to wear out, something the manufacturers admit, so that we will go out and buy the replacement. The real problem with the electronics is disposal. Once you make these things, you have to find some responsible way to dispose of something that is chock full of hazardous materials. Some environmental groups are trying to get the designers and manufacturers to plan their products so that the components can be recycled. The reasoning is that companies would save money on the production of these ephemeral consumer goods and would at the same time be a lot friendlier for the planet. Needless to say, these businesses are very resistant to the idea.

If you think about it we throw things away constantly. I know that my office is far from paperless, though most of my work is done on a computer. We receive packages all day long, and the boxes that they arrive in have to be disposed of. Then most of the products in the box are in boxes, quite often with blisterpack on the actual item in the box. Germany has very strict packaging laws, and vendors there would never get away with the excessive and difficult to dispose of packaging solutions that we embrace in this country.

It seems like a pretty simple equation. Stop buying so much, and stop buying things you don't need, stop buying products with the life expectancy of a mayfly. It seems simple, but after a lifetime of exposure to my fellow creatures and several years in retail, common sense never prevails and so we are going to continue to waste things until there is nothing left to waste. The only things left on the planet will be waste. Humanity had better hope the space program moves ahead with plans to start settlements on the moon and Mars, cause we're gonna' run out of room down here.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Funny hats

I have learned something interesting. If you want some attention, wear a silly hat. Among the activities I pursued during my week off from work, I updated my Manhunt page. I have had an account with Manhunt for over a year now, and to be frank, it hasn't been all that successful. I was innocent of some conventions, so my first mistake was to list my actual age. I have learned subsequently that you automatically add 5 years to anyones profile. So in Manhunt years I am 56 years old, which is rushing things a bit. While I can see 60 looming on the horizon, it's not quite that close. I have also learned that home naked shots are not as easy to take, even with a camera with a timer, as one might think. All I can say is that it's a good thing no one can see into my apartment easily, when I am taking new photos for the add. Then there is the profile itself. Some people, most of them delusional I might add, manage to toot their own horn. The list of people and things they are not interested in is staggering. I have also had to learn a whole new shorthand of 3 letter acronyms, a.k.a. TLA's. I never knew that so many men are VGL (very good looking) and it would seem that all of the men in Boston are hung like horses. I had also been hitherto unaware at the number of men in Boston that had access to professional photographers. (Either that or scanners and a staggering collection of pornography) I have had to struggle along with my digital camera and all of my physical faults. All in all, after a few months I have come to view the whole thing more as a source of entertainment, rather than an alternative to the bars for, if not dates at least some cheap sex. I did meet my FB Flip through the site so it wasn't a complete waste, but it is not the bottomless well of sexual gratification that it has been touted to be.

Having developed a sense of humor about the whole thing, I decided on Black Friday to do a holiday posting, so I put on my Santa hat and a cock ring and posted a picture of myself. I have, it would seem discovered the better mousetrap. I have had more men hitting on my site than even I know what to do with! Now, honesty compels me to admit that most of the hitters are not exactly prize winners. I think it must be the jolly fat man thing, because the vast majority of the hits have been from, well, ample guys. But that seems to be my fate usually anyway. I am a magnet for the overweight. I am not just talking about bears here either. One of these boys profile stated 5'8", 230 lbs. Yikes! There have also been some guys that have been pretty nice looking and at least in chat, don't seem to be suffering from any bizarre psychosis, other than being attracted to men in Santa hats.

For me there are a number of reasons for trying dating sites. I really don't enjoy going to the clubs anymore. Even on nights when I contemplate the virtues of going out, I usually fall asleep before I make it out the door. On the increasingly rare occasions that I do manage to go out, I never spend that much time at the club before I get bored and leave, after having had a couple of very expensive bottles of water. So online dating is the answer. Sort of. I also get bored with that and will go weeks, and during good weather, months without signing onto the site. Usually because, like the bars, I don't enjoy all that much success and if the weather is nice and the days are long, I'd rather spend my time out in my garden.

Which brings us back to silly hats. Have I found the secret to success? Is what has been missing from my life all this time been silly hats? Maybe a whole holiday theme motif for the future. Little wings and a bow and arrow perhaps for Valentine's Day? I'm not sure, but I have New Years and Valentines Day coming up to do further research on my theory. Now if you'll excuse me, I have to write back to a nice young man who wants to sit in Santa's lap.