Posted
Comments 0

The “$1200 OBO” on my high-mileage, low-frills 1996 GMC Suburban turned into $1000 cash yesterday. I probably could’ve gotten more, but I was glad to let it go.

Six years ago this behemoth was a hand-me-down from my Dad, and I wasn’t sure that I wanted it. I was mostly living on a sailboat in Emeryville at the time, and I’d been borrowing this already beatup vehicle to take to Burning Man every year for a few years already. My Dad used it for making occasional runs to the dump, and not much else by then. At about 12 miles to the gallon, it wasn’t inexpensive to use.

My hypermiling Honda Insight got about 65 miles to the gallon, by contrast. But that lovely little space shuttle looking car did not work so well for trips back and forth to Utah, which I was making more often by that time. And it was useless in any amount of snow, which is where this heavy 4×4 SUV was at it’s best. So I soon had one nimble little commuter for SF Bay Area traffic, and a decrepit but dependable big-asSUV for mountains and snow. I knew the truck well, as I’d driven it a lot over the years already. Pretty much ever since I could drive.

For many years previously, this was my Dad’s primary tour vehicle for his band. I’d guess at least 250,000 of the miles on this thing were put on between shows with 3-5 guys and a ton of equipment in the back. When I was roady-ing (which I’d started doing in high school, and did a lot more of in college), I got to drive back late at night after local shows. It had a memorable scratch or two from me learning to navigate narrow dark alleyways in reverse for load-in backstage.

I never expected to be driving it 25 years later. While parts of this truck kept breaking (the stereo, the A/C, the power locks, the driver side door, etc.), the dang thing just wouldn’t die.

The guy I sold it to yesterday bought it for exactly that reason. “I’m just gonna take it up the mountain and beat it up” he told me, while spitting his chewing tobacco. Perfect!

I had a minor panic wake me up last night when my subconscious realized that I could no longer fit everything I own in one vehicle and drive away. Waking up enough to think about it, this hasn’t been important to me for a long time anyhow.

This Suburban has been a great utility vehicle when I needed one. I’ve slept in it many times, taken on Rockies full of ice and snow with no need for chains, loaded it with impossible amounts of stuff in moves, strapped a huge fuzzy pink adult tricycle on top and taken it out to the Nevada desert, towed trailers and motorcycles, and parked it within inches of very tightly packed fancy cars in the city.

Now I bid it farewell, and set it free to roam the mountaintops in Utah as only a truck like this can.

Author
Categories ,

Posted
Comments 0

Today, I’m reflecting on the act that created each of us. Sex is one of those things I’ve never really talked about much.

Actually, I guess I’ve talked about it a lot — generally. Back when I was in high school, I was part of a very successful teen sex education program. Although as I said in every one of our many presentations, I was the token virgin and really didn’t know anything much, personally. People thought I was brave for saying so, often I got applause for telling that truth. To me I was more of a disclaimer in case I said something wrong or stupid.

But specifically, I’ve never shared much, though I have been asked to on occasion. To me, sex is one of those private subjects that is best kept sacred, and left out of the realm of social conversation. Maybe that’s why I never really have talked openly on the topic, and this post is probably as open as I’ll get.

Here’s what I want to say: it is absolutely possible to live in these modern times and have incredibly positive sexual experiences. This isn’t something I think I’ve ever heard others say, so here’s me saying it. I think that you too can make healthy choices and have a rich and healthy sex life. While I’m a long way from perfection, I believe I’ve had a rich and healthy life in that way.

Obviously, my sexual activity didn’t start in the teen years, I was 22 my first time. For the next decade, it was all her and only her. I feel extremely fortunate to have loved like this right away.

Later, during my couchsurfing years (traveling around the world as a performer, largely staying on people’s couches) and Burning Man period, people tended to think I was out “sowing my wild oats” or something. Nope. In contrast to many of my peers, I’ve never had a one-night stand or made love to someone I didn’t feel deep connection with. While this attitude acted as a natural repellent for the girls in high school, enough women have often found it attractive.

Perhaps this is a common kindness, but the people I’ve been with each told me that our experience together was quite unlike the others. Each was surprised by what they experienced with me, and without exception wanted more. Sometimes this got really confusing for them, which inevitably got awkward for me. Sex is primordial, rarely does anything about it make sense to the sense-making parts of us who like to make meaning and tell stories.

Several partners have asked me to tell others what I know. One former partner went on to teach classes to other women about what she learned of her own body by being with me. It’s all very flattering for this humble late-bloomer, but…it feels incredibly weird too. No, I’m not going to teach sex! I don’t even like to talk about sex, unless it’s in an intimate conversation with a partner.

It’s not that I’m ashamed of it. I feel very fortunate that I was never shamed or insulted about sex (not by anyone I was sharing it with, anyway). Yes, I’ve certainly had some comical and embarrassing moments! Those have a tendency to stand out in the memory, though they are surround by many other incredible and affirming memories that negate any lasting emotional damage.

I’m quietly proud of my carnal ability, though I know I’m nothing special. Just man with the same parts and pleasures as other men, and I’m not terribly masculine as men go. If I have any advantage, it would be my mouth. As one former partner of mine told her friend “every woman should date a beatboxer at some point in her life”. But even with that, there is no technique or special enhancement power that I’m aware of.

While we are all mostly the same, we are all also specifically different. Because each partner of mine was different, I was different with them. I was there to enjoy joining with them, and I did. I also did my best to ensure that they enjoyed joining with me. And without exception, they did. No regrets here, just happy thoughts.

The reason I’m posting this is that there are so many negative messages out there, I wanted to share something positive. As a cisgendered / heterosexual male raised in the San Francisco Bay Area around a lot of blatantly sexual craziness from a very young age, I came out just fine. Now in my mid-forties and living in Utah of all places, I’m not repressed either. My sexual encounters have been great! Not so many partners for me, it’s true. But then I started late and have been, I dunno, picky, I guess. It’s quality not quantity that matters, right?

Also, to share what I think I was being asked to share, I’d like to offer to you the only thing I’ve ever done in bed, in case you haven’t tried it yet yourself. This is either is either an anti-teaching or a meta-teaching, I’m not quite sure. Simply feel into the other person. With curiosity and with patience, feel deeply. Explore deeply, pay attention expansively. Play the edges, ride their breath. Enjoy yourself, no tricks, and please don’t be done when you would usually be done. There is much more to explore after, whether that be emotional or physical. It may not feel safe to go there (and in truth, it isn’t!) but in my limited range of partners it has always been very much worth going there.

That is if you’ve chosen your partner wisely. Please chose wisely, people. Messing around with people you don’t care about is a poor recipe for feeling cared about yourself. That’s how I’ve always looked at it anyway. While sex is profoundly physical, it can be much more than a physical act. Sometimes incredible and unexplainable things happen, it’s mysterious. Even if it’s a partner you’ve been with for a decade, you can still fully be in this mystery with them.

I can say that because at age 45, I’ve been in decade-long relationships with two women now. One from my first ten years of lovemaking, and one for the previous nearly ten years. It’s still good, it’s still incredible actually! We’re very practiced at opening and satisfying and loving each other.

Keep exploring. Keep opening. And most of all, please keep loving in the best ways you can. You are worthy of love, and I believe the love you have to give is perfect gift for carefully selected someone.

If you have that someone in your life now, lucky you! And don’t let up on that element of mystery. You know who they’ve been maybe, but not who they are now or tomorrow. Enjoy, and give thanks for this marvelous experience we can share!

And if you don’t have a partner currently, the last year has been a rough time to find someone, I’m sure. As things start to open up from lockdown, be mindful of what you want, and who you want to be that way with. Long stretches of loneliness make true connections and deep satisfactions even more cherished. Be loving of yourself by being vulnerable with others — the right others. Be as picky as you wanna be.

No judgements from me. Sex predates all the social rules we’ve since constructed, and whatever works for you, get consent and by all means go do that! Safely, of course.

I just wanna give a plug for intention and attention. It’s worth it to be picky! Waiting for the right person more often might just make you more worth waiting for.

Author
Categories ,

Posted
Comments 0

One week out from Daylight Savings here in 49 out of 50 of these United States, time may be on your mind more than usual. Especially if you’re trying to coordinate with anyone in other countries, who likely have not thrown their Daylight Savings switch just yet. Or unthrown it, if they are in the Southern Hemisphere, I guess.

In short, it is a time in the world when everyone in it seems to be asking, “what time is it there?”

Let’s take a moment to get to the root of that question, with another: Why do we tell time based on location?

After all, we’re all here on the same planet here. Our gravity and our clocks all work the same way.

When you want to call me or meet up on Zoom, we don’t want to fuss with timezones or daylight savings or which hemisphere you’re in or I’m in or what time it is if we happen to change our locations between when we make our agreement and what time the thing is.

We just want to know when the thing is! What time do we show up?

It doesn’t matter that it’s breakfast for you and dinner for me and somebody else’s lunchtime. Just set the meeting already!

There is no good way to solve this right now. Go to doodle.ch or timeanddate.com or something?

Why not just say what time it is on Earth and be done with it. We’re not astronaughts and this shouldn’t be rocket science. Simple math outta do it.

So I got fed up and made some. It’s incredibly simple, though it looks a little scary at first. Stay with me here.

The answer is to use Base60, just like the ancient Sumerians did. This is how we ended up with hours and minutes and seconds in sixty part divisions in the first place. (Btw, I’ve played around with metric time too, but it isn’t pretty.) The Mayans used Base60 for their time calculations as well.

How does it work?
  • 1 Second x 60 = 1 Minute
  • 1 Minute x 60 = 1 Hour

Yeah, I bet you knew that part already. You probably learned about the big hand and the little hand in kindergarten.

But then after we finally get that all figured out, we go to the calendar?!? A calendar is an entirely different tool with entirely different rules that we use together with a clock to say where in time (based in location) something is going to be.

I say entirely different rules because they really are. The more you look into it, the freakier it all gets.

We use the cycles of the Sun and Moon to count up all time after Hours. Clocks are left to tick and tock to themselves, and that sound and lovely method of counting are completely disconnected from our calendars. Which is pretty weird, don’t you think?

Sure, it makes sense if you have Days that are governed by the relationship of the Earth to the Sun, and Weeks and Months that are based in lunar cycles. I mean, it makes sense if you don’t move around the globe much, and you don’t need to teleport your voice or your image across the planet often. And if you keep falling asleep and hitting the reset button, and the snooze button on the calendar occasionally.

These days, though, our Days are quite different. We do that kind of teleportation all the time, so to speak.

What time is it on Earth?

It’s all the times, all the time!

We divided our planet up to (roughly) 24 increments because there are 24 hours in our days. Then we spread this around the world as lines of longitude. Again, if you don’t hop across those lines of longitude routinely, or go visit Santa at the North Pole or hand with penguins at the South Pole, it (mostly) works fine.

Did for a few millenia, anyway.

Since the last turning of the millenium, not so much.

On Earth, which is (roughly) a sphere, is always daytime AND it is always nighttime. Half the planet is in shade, while the other half receives the ever-shining rays of the constant Sun. We spin around and call it night and day, but what does the spinning have to do with what time it is? I mean really?

There are 365 days in a year only because our planet spins around that many times getting to the same position relative to the Sun. But so what?

And while we’re at it, why are there 366 days in a year sometimes? (Yes, I do know why we have Leap Years, and how often we have them. I’m asking why we do calendars so stupidly that we need them.)

Every year should have the same number of hours, minutes, and seconds in it. The fact that it doesn’t is plum crazy! Historically, it wasn’t. And now it very much is. Crazy, I mean.

How many times the moon goes around us here on Earth never, ever line up with how many times we go around the Sun, either. We have all sorts of truly bizarre calendrical calculations to fudge that into some kind of sense. Yet there is no kind of sense to it, and there never will be.

Then there are the seasons, which have to do with how far over the Earth is wobbling. Unless you’re in the middle and the wobble doesn’t change things for you. But again, anytime it’s Summer (and Daylight Savings) somewhere, it’s Winter (and not Daylight Savings) somewhere else. And verse visa. I mean, vice versa. I mean, it’s all so unnecessarily confusing when everything is double-backwards that I don’t know how we’ve made it this far, honestly.

I’d say it’s high time for a change, wouldn’t you? An upgrade of the ages to the way we tell time.

What if we stopped trying to do the impossible, and just continued with everything you learned in Kindergarten?

Sixty Seconds to a Minute.
Sixty Minutes to an Hour.
Sixty Hours to a… um. Well, let’s not call it a “Day”.

We’re gonna need two new words.

Because I’m writing this, I’m going to propose them. If you have better words to propose, please add your contribution in the comments.

Okay, here goes:
  • Span = 60 Hours, aka 2.5 days
  • Spread = 60 Spans, aka 150 days or 5 months

Then we can have
Spread : Span : Hour : Minute : Second

And suddenly any event that you’re planning to meet someone at, virtually or otherwise, very likely fits inside that five-part identifier.

Because that’s nearly 25 years. All in the span of ##:##:##:##:##. That’s as many characters as your Social Security Number, but much better organized and easier to remember in five chunks.

Pretty nifty, huh?

As an extra bonus, it also now becomes possible to count the seconds/minutes/hours/etc between any two points in time. That’s really hard to do with the current calendar model. So how long does anything take? There’s always a question, usually confusion, and plenty of mistakes that we just shouldn’t put up with one minute longer.

This is cool and all, but exactly when is/was 00:00:00:00:00? That is, what is the zero hour on our new clock? And how does it intersect with the time we grew up with?

Yeah, this part is totally arbitrary, it’s true. But so is the current calendar where our zero hour is supposed to be at the birth of Jesus — who was apparently born in the year 4 B.C. because the math in our current system is so wonky! No kidding.

For our Earth Temporal Standard, I propose using the same zero as International Atomic Time which started on January 1st, 1977.

And that would make the time of this posting today 47:01:11:36:30

Yes, if you’re paying attention you’ll notice the odometer on our new chronometer spun around a few times between then and now. We’ll cover the other terms outside the scope of our human planning needs in another post soon. (Hint: it’s just more Base60 slots, with some super-useful twists as we calculate back in time)

Author
Categories ,

Posted
Comments 0

Tomorrow I turn too old to be young anymore. At 45, there are likely more years behind me than ahead.

I never paid much attention to age, personally. But then I’ve always looked young and healthy, and largely took these gifts for granted.

Anything I should be doing differently in the world? Any general advice from here forward? Comment below please, that’d be a nice gift :)

Thanks for dropping by, and thanks for reading and caring and daring to think for yourself and feel for others.

Author
Categories

Posted
Comments 0

Like most people, I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with “The Facebook” (as Zuckerberg originally called it).

Once upon a time, I was one of the first few hundred thousand non-college users to sign up. As an international performer in the decade from 2005-2015, I used it a helluva lot. By the mid-twenty-teens, it had soured on me quite a bit. And I still ended up using it a lot, though less and less.

In recent years, I’ve gone on frequent social media fasts. And on the first of these, I never went back to WhatsApp. Then after another mediafast, I never turned Instagram back on.

Last year, during the pandemic, I probably used Facebook less than any of the previous fifteen. And now I don’t think I’ve been on Facebook this year at all (other than to help my mother-in-law deal with yet another hack to her account the other day). This will change soon as I go back to catch up on it a bit for my birthday this weekend.

I think three to five 10min increments outta do me for the year, though.

There are many reasons for me essentially abandoning my profile. The extreme privacy issues, the US Election cycle and its fallout, the bad business practices, the general smarmy nastiness of the people running it, and the voices of the people running from it who are horrified by what they helped build. Hey, I’m not telling you what to do, just sharing my reasons.

And here’s the main one: it Zucks my will to live.

Ok, so I’ve never been suicidal. But I have be apathetic and angry and sad and anxious and distraught as a result of Facebook and my interactions there. Actually, quite a lot.

At this point I often feel like my friends, family, and fans are being held hostage from me, and I really don’t appreciate it. This is one of the reasons that I’ve made such an effort to write here so consistently. Though almost nobody ever comes here. I see the stats, I know. Thanks for being an exception. You’re looking very exceptional today, btw ;)

Anyway, Facebook has become something I no longer care to associate myself with. It doesn’t make me happy anymore, quite the opposite.

I have many memories of many good times that are forever archived there on Facebook. I miss the connections I used to have with all the people who I used to see there. I’m not deleting my profile or anything, but I’m probably not coming back to it either. Other than to occasionally check for messages people leave for me, and ensure that I’ve not been hacked lately.

I remember a world before Facebook. And these days I prefer to live in a world after it too.

Author
Categories ,