Monday, January 21, 2019

Hairy Weather

     Male pattern baldness affects nearly 75% of men to some degree, and is thought to be a combination of your genetics and a hormone known as dihydrotestosterone. Basically, if your mother's father had any baldness, chances are you will, too. (Blame it to the lack of redundancy in our XY chromosome pairing.)

     Long time readers of Stuff will note that the iteration of my hair in this comic has gone through some wild swings over the years; a mirror of real life as I, too, have tried new looks every now and again. But, mostly, I have "enjoyed" having a large, thick, wavy mane. (It has had it's trials, too.) But astute readers have probably also noticed that, over the last year, or so, I have also included a small detail to the back of my head; when it becomes visible. (Because who likes to look at the back of anyone in a comic, right?)

     Yep, I have a small bald spot on the back of my head, now. It also doesn't seem to want to grow too much in the back.

     Thanks, grandpa.

     Recently, though, I have also been playing with extreme new looks for myself - because midlife crisis - and have come across a style that not only looks cool, and kind of reflective of my new self, but also manages to deal with that small spot on the back of my head well enough. The one downside to this cool, hip, gothy look, though, is that - unlike a giant bushy mane - it's quite susceptible to the wind. And, in fact, can become more of a living creature than my old long hair used to.

     Joel, who runs the team at the day job, probably also had a bald grandpa, and doesn't seem to be bothered by the wind too much. Lucky him...?  As for me, I haven't thought too much on how to deal with this, if indeed I even need to. Socially, there's this odd stigma around male pattern baldness; where bald can be sexy, a full head of hair shows health and vitality, but anything in the middle is... pathetic?

     Right now it's not much of anything, and I don't mind it, much. Though, to be truthsome, I would love my unruly mane back. But then, hey; two toned buzzed sides is kind of working for me, these days. So...

Monday, January 14, 2019

Chat Storm

Oh, for fuck's sake...

     I had hoped I was done with emotionally draining comics with 2018, but it rears its ugly head one more time as a long time, and what I had come to think on as good and close, friendship disintegrates over, of all things, women and being poly.

     Polyamory is a word mixed of Greek (poly: many, several) and Latin (amor: love), and is defined, basically, as "the practice of engaging in multiple sexual relationships with the consent of all the people involved." Wikipedia goes on to add to this definition with "it has been described as 'consensual, ethical, and responsible non-monogamy'."

     I have bumped up against poly lifestyles for the better part of two decades, now. I can count on one hand the poly relationships and marriages I know of that have remained stable and viable... and still have fingers left over. (As of this publication I have learned that another has just tanked and is heading for divorce.) So, it's safe to say that, for the most of that time I have been a big detractor of the lifestyle. It appears to not work; spiraling down into all kind of trust and communication issues, and the usual kinds of petty hang ups that someone of my more traditional upbringing would find obvious.

     Then, this past year, I became entangled in something best described as "monogamish", and I'm getting this interesting view of the thing from the inside. And I find I am having to revisit my thoughts and views on the whole of the thing. (Point of full disclosure; I have, in the past, reaped the benefits of the "open relationships" of friends and associates, so it's not like I'm treading a whole new territory, here, I suppose.)

     You know what I've been finding? It's not so much that thing thing is bad, per say, as it is the people who try and engage in it. My library now includes a couple books on the subject because, well, let's face it, I am studious like that. And, with all my reading and asking around, I've found that, in my experiences, a lot of the people who engage in this aren't so much people with a lot of love to spread around as they are people looking to control, be regarded in a higher manner than they ought, or are looking for radical change after a series of unfortunate events. Often these people are also the kind that want to have their cake and eat it, too; controlling others, demanding accountability, and fitting themselves to a social center without, themselves, being held to as much.

     Yeah, people suck, sometimes.

     Above, though, there's another layer going on. This former friend got called out on some shit he pulled, and got butt hurt over it. His retort? Well, after some social hints that he wanted to amend and repair things, pulled the above chat storm with me after my "So long, 2018" comic. Why? In an attempt to belittle me and exercise dominance? To inflate his fragile ego and assert some sort of superiority? To sooth his smarting conscious? You know, I really don't know, and at this point I really don't care. I wish the actual conversation had been this easy, but it was lengthy, drawn out, and ultimately painful; I never like losing a friend, and this guy, until now, had been a good one. And what came between us? I became friends with one of his partners without his permission.

     It is funny, however, that when we first parted ways, he had said he was putting distance between us, including not reading Stuff any more, only to find that he's never stopped. So, because I know you're still here, thanks for your continued patronage.

     As for polyamory, well, I've got news for all of you who are its disciples. No, it's not the future of modern relationships for the whole of society and the human race; most people are still, by nature, monogamous. It's your thing, and just your thing. That doesn't make it a bad thing at all. But some of you may be in it for the wrong reasons. I suggest seeing someone; it might help.

     But, for those of you making a good go at it, and I know some of you personally, you get on with your bad selves, and get all the love you can spread around. Because people all love differently, and there's, generally, nothing wrong with being different. You can even kick some of that love down my way, if you like. We're all good... ish.

     If you've been a long time reader of Stuff, you know that Love isn't one of the strongest suits in my deck. This new dimension in my life has been... interesting... to say the least. There is precedence for it, though, in my world, with some of the non-romantic, yet very personal and connected relationships I have had over my almost forty five years of living. So, maybe this becomes a thing, or maybe it's just me taking a trip into a foreign and unfamiliar land, just to say I have been to that place, I have met those people; building an understanding so that I can appreciate my fellow humans.

     And, in the end, isn't that what's most important.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Hello, 2019...

     New Year's Resolutions...

     I really don't know who started this whole thing, but the whole "new year, new you" thing has felt overplayed in the past... until this last couple years, that is. And for myself, and many folks I know, this past year has left us all wanting for something new and better in our lives.

     For some of us that isn't going to be much of a challenge; seeing how 2018 came along.

     I, for one, am keeping it fairly simple, this year. Last year's shitastic plot complications got me inspired to improve my health. Originally this was a reaction to being heinously dumped, but now has evolved into something else. And, because of reasons, my attention has turned to amateur boxing. Yeah, I know I'm kind of small for it, but I might as well give it a shot. Hey, take your midlife crisis and run with it, I say.

     Yeah, that's probably where the motorcycle thing is coming from. But with traffic in the San Francisco Bay Area so bad, now, they make more sense than ever. Plus, I was raised on the back of one - my dad being a wannabe biker at one point in his midlife crisis, so it seems only natural, I suppose.

     I know there's been nothing from Galactic Gun around here in quite a while, but it's coming back, I swear! And, by the end of the year, it should wrap up and I'm going to see it to paper and hopefully to sale. As much so I'm also putting the finishing touches and a novel, The Runner, I've been working on - a bit of a Sci Fi chase thriller, that I seriously want to get legitimately published. MY dream is to see it on the shelf at a bookstore with a Del Rey logo on it. But I'm not too picky; as long as it gets up there, I'll be happy.

     In the mundane world I am a twenty year veteran of Corporate Facilities Building Maintenance and Management here in the Bay Area. I've resisted taking the big step up into full on management because I have always felt best when I am doing the actual work, not calling the shots. However, given various factors, like the cost of living and how dumb it is for me to be this old and experienced and NOT be a manager, I'm moving forward with getting my dumb ass to the next level, and making myself worth more in this fucked up job market. Hopefully, though, the book will sell and make that moot.

     This year, I swear, I will learn to play my damn guitar.

     There are a few other little things here and there that I am working on in 2019, but these are the main points. They aren't many, but they are kind of big and important. I know, though, with hard work and sticking with it, like I did with my fitness last year, I can get these. So, here I go!

Happy New Year to you, and all of yours. 
May you strive for, and reach, all the goals 
you set before yourself in this year of 2019!