Thursday, August 8, 2013

Product Review: Rounderwear's Jam Beat Trunks

Photo from
I'm not one to spend copious amounts of money on underwear. In fact, I typically go well over a year before I buy new ones. It's just not my thing; I'd rather spend money on food! That being said, when I was contacted by Rounderwear offering me a free pair of the underwear of my choosing I figured "why not?" So here I am with a fresh pair of underwear, specifically the Jam Beat Trunks (in blue). This was the much simpler choice for me. The other line of underwear that they offer serves to enhance your ass size, something that I'm not particularly interested in doing; I've learned to accept the fact that I just do not possess an ass. Moving on.

My basis for comparison is the boxer brief from Gap, as those are what I've been wearing for years now. The Jam Beat Trunks are definitely a softer kind of cotton, and just as stretchable as the ones I usually wear. The waistband, however, is too big (in terms of height, not length) for my liking. When one has a gut, such as I do, one typically wants to have a smaller waistband. At least that is my own preference. I'm sure that if one has an amazing body (specifically the torso region) then it's not a problem.

The sizing was a gamble, as they do not indicate what waist sizes are implied for each size (small, medium, large). Seeing as how they are, indeed, trunks, I played it safe and requested a medium size. I have a 30/31 waist, and the waistband is just slightly too big for me. The rest of the trunk fits just fine. Perhaps I will have to wear them over to a guy's place and see what he thinks.

Monday, July 15, 2013

In Defense of the "Boring"

Before I sat down to write this I was texting back and forth with a friend that ultimately led me (after he asked me to take a photo of my penis next to a Coke can for "mathematical analysis") to see this Oatmeal cartoon. If you'd like to just enjoy the short and sweet of what my argument is going to be, then by all means go read the Oatmeal, and stop reading here.

Okay, so you're still here. Let me begin:

I don't have a gym membership. I don't drive a BMW X-series or Audi A-series . I don't wear patterned or brightly colored tank tops. I don't go tanning. I don't worry about carbs. I don't drink vodka and soda. I don't utter things like "I have to lose X pounds for Pride." I don't give a shit about Madonna, Lady Gaga, or Cher. I don't care about the next hot party at the hottest club. And yet, these are things that are typically expected of me because I am a gay man. And the question is: who is to blame for this? Well, the answer is, quite tragically, gay men themselves.

For some reason, one which I'm not going to waste my time attempting to find at its source, gay men believe that they must be someone that is defined by their sexuality. (Note: obviously not all gay men are this way. But a significant portion of the "community" takes center stage when it comes to how the "community" is perceived collectively as a group.) They have to have six packs, or spend way too much time attempting to get them; run away from carbs; go to tanning salons; use expensive hair and body care products; wear designer clothing; drive "status" cars; wear the rainbow on their sleeves. Anyone who doesn't fall in line with this mode of being is usually deemed "boring." This is my defense of those who refuse to conform to the bullshit standard.

I listed all the things that do not define me. Here are the things that do define me: I run marathons. I ride my bike everywhere. I drink and appreciate craft beer. I read books. I value knowledge. I'm aware of what's going on in the world. I listen to music that was written by real artists. I write and perform stand-up comedy on occasion. I go to the opera and the theater. Save for the last one, you wouldn't think I was a gay man. That's right; I don't conform to the pandering bullshit that is thrown my way each and every day of my life. I'm a man who happens to be gay; I'm a person first.

During the 14+ months that I've lived in San Francisco I've met far too many men that live their lives according to the standard that they think they have to follow. To be rather reductive, they crave attention. That's not to say that I don't crave the same attention; it's just that I don't kill myself in order to attain it. I don't fault the men that go to the gym (to actually work out for the sake of their health), but I do fault those that see my lack of gym attendance as a fault. San Francisco is by no means flat, and the fact that I bike everywhere, and also walk and run, is indicative of a healthy lifestyle. Fuck you if your sole criterion for being "fit" is a washboard chest. I once dated a guy who wouldn't walk a few blocks to our destination. He opted for a cab. He was "crack skinny." But that meant nothing in terms of being healthy. I was far healthier than he was, and I had extra weight on me--remnants of my obese days--and I still do.

I Googled "Gay Men."

The point is that I do things that I enjoy doing, and not because I'm gay. Some men--I've gotten better at weeding them out in the dating process--find the things that I enjoy to be boring. I would rather read a book than go to a club filled to the brim with cookie cutter versions of boys in tank tops drinking vodkas and sodas taking photos of themselves to post on Instagram with 25 different, albeit the same, hashtags to the tune of "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga. (Admittedly, and quite obviously, I don't know what the current pop sensation is right now in the clubs.)

And as for the running and cycling, I do those because they keep me healthy both mentally and physically. I don't want to steal anything from the Oatmeal cartoon, but it's true: I thought that I'd lose the extra weight in my abdominal area by running and cycling, but I just haven't. It's still mostly there, and I'm still learning to be okay with that. I know that I could stand to change my diet here and there, but I'm not going to sacrifice the things that I love (beer for this matter) in order to fulfill someone else's wishes. You won't see me joining a gym anytime soon. The world is my gym, and guess what? It has a $0 monthly membership fee. (And dudes just go there to take photos of themselves in front of the mirror and then go blow each other in the steam room.)

Additionally, the fact of the matter is that there have been several men, men that I thought to be completely out of my league, that have found me to be handsome and sexy, despite what I personally feel about how I look in the mirror. And I'm sure that there will be several more men in the future that think the same thing. Surely, though, that's not the only thing that draws them in. Perhaps it's because I'm an individual with a personality, as well. One can only imagine.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

My New Love

This is Edith*, and I'm in love with her.

She's a Bianchi Touring 12-speed. I picked her up, along with a U lock and protective wheel pins, at Refried Cycles (3804 17th Street, at Sanchez) for under $500. That's a steal! And that's not even the best part; I no longer have to rely on Muni for my transportation needs. If you have ever had to rely on Muni (and/or BART) for anything, then you know exactly what I mean.

No more punk teenagers being assholes; no more dingbats clipping their fingernails; no more switchbacks (they kick us all off the bus and tell us to wait for the next one that is "right behind us," but in reality is no less than thirty minutes away); no more $76 (up from $74) monthly payments for a Clipper Card (Muni/BART pass); no more idleness; no more disgusting (and mysterious) smells and liquids.

This is what I was able to do yesterday with the help of Edith: go from where I live (Bernal Heights) to the Marina for an appointment, to the Civic Center to get rent money out (and even run into and have a good fifteen minute chat with a friend), back to Bernal Heights for my first client, then over to Cole Valley for my second client, then over to the Castro for my third client, then over to Ike's for lunch, then to Dolores Park to eat and take in some sun, then over to Noe Valley for my fourth client, then back over to Bernal Heights for my fifth and final client of the day, then home for a break and shower, and then over to the Civic Center for the opera (my first in years), and then, finally, back home for the day. I wouldn't have been able to do even half of all that if I had to use Muni/BART.

(Note: I'm not a hooker; I walk peoples' dogs and feed their cats. Those are my clients.)

Here's what that all looked like. All 31.55 miles of it:

                    Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyRun

*I purchased her on June 26. You figure it out.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

My First Open Mic in San Francisco

At the Brainwash Cafe on April 4, 2013. Hosted by Anthony Medina.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

#JonBrock Live At StageWerx

Come see me perform comedy on Friday, April 27 at StageWerx in the Mission. Details below:

Why the Universe Is Frustrated With Me

© Jon Brock - 2013
I've slowly but surely weened myself off the terrible narcotic that is "online dating." No more OkCupid (too scientific); no more Adam4Adam (too nasty); no more Grindr (too stale); no more Craigslist (, yeah). It's over! See ya! Later! Goodbye! (Although, I'm sure that I'll relapse at some point. It happens. I'm only human.) Without being "plugged in," so to speak, I'm left with (really) only one option: organic, face-to-face, human interaction.

Oh no! Run for the hills! Isn't there an app for all of this?! Get my phone! No! No! No!

It's throwback time, bitches! Time to go back to the days of generations past; the days when if you thought someone was cute, or funny, or desirable in some way, shape, or form, then you fucking approached the person and engaged him/her in a conversation. None of this "Looking?" or "Sup" bullshit. Whatever I may be looking for, I guarantee you that you're not going to satisfy that search with a shirtless photo of yourself, followed up by a photo of your cock and/or ass. Sure, I'll jerk off to it, but I could have easily done that without your (typically) unsolicited "explicitives." (Yes, I just made up a new term. Tell your friends.)

Right...where was I? Oh, yes: human interaction, and why the universe is frustrated with me. Now that I must resort to meeting people out in the real world, I've been putting my social skills to the test. The odds are forever against me, as I'm both shy and extremely introverted. Despite those menacing truths, one can only get better at socializing with each subsequent interaction. (That's what they call conventional wisdom.) Anyway, let's fast forward a bit...

The last guy that I was dating--we'll call him X--was playing host to his three friends from San Diego last weekend. It was nothing out of the ordinary; people have friends that visit all the time. But my sister (who lives in Los Angeles) was also in town that weekend for a work conference. As I do with all new visitors to this great city, I got a car and drove her straight to the top of Twin Peaks. You can see the entire city from that vantage point. That was something that I had done with X on a previous occasion. Naturally, I was surprised when, soon after arriving at our destination, I noticed X pull up with his three friends. We huddled up--it was cold and windy up there--and went through our introductions. As it turned out, X's three friends were attending the same conference as my sister. And they had even been to some of the same conferences in the past, but were not made aware of such until that moment.

So, here was this guy, X, whom I had much more connection to than I had previously known, and I couldn't help but think that the universe was just fucking with me. "(Finally), here's a good guy for you. And he's connected to you in these different, and good, ways. Go for it!" Maybe it all appears tenuous, but maybe it isn't so. Moving forward.

I needed my fix before work yesterday, so I went to Philz Coffee in the Castro. I placed my order and then went to pay for it, where a guy that was totally my type--can you guess that one?--rang me up. After giving him my debit card, this conversation occurred:
"You must be from Washington?"
"How would you have guessed that?"
"Because your card is from [credit union]."
"Oh, right!"
"I'm actually from there. A little town called 'Kent.'"
"No shit! I'm from Kent!"
And from there we proceeded to chat about where we specifically lived and went to school. It turns out that he lived just a few miles south of where I lived. So, again, what are the odds of me crossing paths with someone that was super cute and nice, grew up in the same damn town as me, and just happens to be gay and living in the same city as me now? These all can't be coincidences, can they? The problem was that I failed to act on an oft -late impulse to attempt to engage the other person again. I didn't say, "Hey, if you'd ever like to get together sometime and talk about growing up in Kent, give me a call," and then give him my number. Nope. Instead I did what I have always done: get awkward and run for the nearest emergency exit.

That was the universe, again, attempting to push me down the right path. But I fucked that one up, too. The moment in which it could have been completely organic, and not planned or contrived, has passed, and all because I failed to do what people did before the internet and smartphones. But failure isn't forever. One of these days I will stop missing all the pins that the universe sets up for me, and I'll finally get a strike.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Love Like A Balloon

My Love is like a balloon.

Wait. That's not enough to describe it.

My Love is like a balloon that has been, for whatever reason, let loose into the open sky. Let's say that I hold my Love in my hand. It's in the form of a balloon, and its connection to me is tenuous (it's held to my person only by means of a ribbon). At first, it's grounded; under control.

When someone special comes along I slowly begin to lose my grasp on the ribbon. I may let go of it quickly, or slowly, but eventually my grasp is not firm enough to hold onto my Love; my balloon. It sets off into the abyss of the open sky. What does it see? What does it experience? It rises quickly; perhaps too quickly, but Love is difficult to manage. It doesn't want to be managed. It runs rampant. It draws the "oohs!" and "ahhs!" of all that see it as it progresses, getting higher, and more intense.

But as it gets higher, more pressure is put upon it. The Love starts to experience its true test. What once was magical and mysterious quickly (almost instantly) comes to an end: the balloon implodes from too much pressure and falls swiftly to the unsuspecting earth below. No one ever sees it happen, but they know that it will; they know as soon as they see that balloon escape my grasp. The problem is that my grip gets firmer with each balloon that escapes me.

As I write this, a red balloon floats past my view of the city landscape, keeping a consistent altitude. I think that person's Love will make it.

Friday, June 29, 2012

San Francisco City Hall: My First Time

Earlier this week I walked over to City Hall to pay my water bill. The building itself has much more grandeur than even the Washington State Capitol. However, I'm not interested in remarking on such things at this time. Instead, I'd like to point out the rather ominous feeling that overcame me when walking inside. Everyone knows the horrific event that happened within its walls: on November 27, 1978, Dan White snuck into the building through a basement window and murdered Mayor George Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk.

I thought being on the ground floor was eerie enough, but I was wrong. The basement is far more upsetting. I couldn't stop thinking "Dan White was down here. He got in through a window, with a loaded gun and extra bullets, and he was on his way to murder two of his (former) coworkers, one of which was gay." I got out as soon as I could.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Adam4Adam Profiles

Sic throughout:
Not looking for anything serious but fun time will be great

Not into crazy scene!! no 420, bareback, leather and nasty stuff. I'm "normal" as human and you better too! have a face that I knw im not talking to an alien

And sorry to looking at your profile without leaving you a msg, thats becuz i am too shy to say a word~ smile~

Out going but stay indoor Confuse?? Lollll
Where do I even begin with this?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Deconstructing a Dream

Last night, as I slept, I was transported to an unspecified clothing store in Los Angeles. I was with the last guy that I had dated, Joey, and his friend, Jason. As I tried on clothes, I could sense the agitation that Joey was feeling as he waited for me to finish with whatever I was doing. No words were spoken by me, but he finally snapped. "Why are you even here? No one wants you here?" he shouted at me.

My mind put me there to seek reconciliation; to retrofit a bridge that, in all rights, doesn't even exist. The bridge was there one day, and gone the next; it left no trace. But reconciliation isn't always possible. Sometimes it's better to just accept what the circumstances are and move on with your life. "If you want to get something, it's fine. I'll pay for it," Jason told me. He clearly felt a bit bad for me, but he was still on the side of his friend in that moment. Why was I there? I shouldn't have gone to Los Angeles. It was time to go. I told him "no thank you" and then I woke up.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Writing Under the Influence

Mustaches are divine, to say the least. Well, that's not entirely true. Let me back up and say that mustaches are magical. Yes, that's better. They're magical. They enchant those that see them; they disgust those that see them. There's always been, and there always will be, two camps: those that find mustaches appealing, and those that find them appalling. It doesn't make any sense. How can anyone be pushed away, instinctively, by a bit of hair on someone's upper lip? Questions and answers.

I worked with a gingerized twink who, upon sizing up my facial experiment, decided that I would be referred to as “Mustache” from that point forward. “Hey Mustache! When are you going to shave that thing off? He would ask me; insult me. The joke was on him, as he never knew how much more attention I was getting from my fellow fags. Mustaches, apparently, are definitely not straight-acting.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Deconstructing the Word "Fit" in Gay Online Profiles

I'm fat. Scratch that. I used to be fat. I still consider myself fat, though. Once you're fat, you never ever think of yourself as anything other than that at most times. I'm flabby; I have a gut that droops over my belt. It's not pretty. Depending upon how straight I'm standing, you can hardly tell that that's the case. This is probably why people tell me that I'm thin. "Let me take my shirt off for you and then you can tell me that again."

So, let's just be honest, guys. When you say that you're looking for "fit" guys, what you really mean is that you're looking for skinny/slender/slim guys. The flabby need not apply. And I don't. It doesn't matter than I can get up right now and go for a ten mile run without much, if any, difficulty. Oh, I'm fit, but I'm not the fit that you want. I can think of one person that I know that can't walk more than two blocks without considering hailing a taxi; you would consider him "fit" because he's very skinny. All other qualities aside, if you were to put us next to each other and select the "fit" person, you would (probably) pick him.

Speak the truth: you want someone skinny. And I'm done.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Poetry In Motion

Imagine being the person that is just having the shittiest of days...and then you get on board this train.

All Those Innocent, Weather-Worn GAP T-Shirts

Discovered on Broadway (near Jackson Square).

My Morning Commute

Yesterday was the first time that I saw rain in weeks. Strange. Other than that, my commutes over to San Francisco have always been pleasant, due in part to the fact that this is where it begins: Walnut Creek BART station.

My New Favorite Brewery: 21st Amendment

Not the BFOD IPA.
I no longer have the luxury of going into a bar and asking for a Manny's or Mac & Jack. (Oh, how I miss you both!) That being said, I have to find something new; something that will match or exceed the taste and quality of the aforementioned microbrews. And in doing so, I discovered a magnificent brewery in South Beach: 21st Amendment*.

I walked over there from work Thursday night, found a place at the bar, and ordered myself a Brew Free or Die Hard IPA. By their own admission, it's their top-selling beer, and I can see why that is. It's fucking delicious. After I polished that one off I merely ordered by pointing at whatever looked good around me at the bar. The gents that were sitting next to me had the beer pictured to the left. Unfortunately, I forget which brew it is. After the first beer I was starting to feel hungry. So I ordered a Reuben, and it was well worth the $11.95. Good beer, good food. (Fuck you, Ram.)

The best part is that while you can absolutely order from a huge list of specialty microbrews--they have a fucking wheat beer that is fermented again with watermelon!--these babies are available in cans in local stores around town. My only concern, thus far, is where in the hell I'm going to keep all my beer cold when I move in to my new place next week. (There's hardly any room in the refrigerator!)

I highly recommend you check it out; if not at the brewery itself, then pick up a six pack and go have fun at Mission Dolores Park.

*Named after the amendment to the U.S. Constitution that repealed Prohibition.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

How They Hire Those Shirtless Boys to Open the Door for You at Hollister

Watch until the very end. Enjoy.

Via Towleroad.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Starstruck: Meeting Robin Williams

When I worked at Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park, Washington, I was lucky enough to be the only available cashier when Robin Williams--yes, the Robin Williams--walked up to buy some magazines. He was filming a scene for "The World's Greatest Dad," and he was on a short break. The scene that they filmed in our store is shown within the first five minutes or so of the film. It wasn't anything too exciting, except for, you know, fucking Robin Williams being in our bookstore!

Here's how my conversation with Robin Williams should have played out:
"Hi, there!"
"Just these for you today?"
"Yes, please."
"You know, I must say that your performance in
 Dead Poets Society was absolutely amazing."
"Well, thank you very much. I appreciate that."
"You are very welcome. And thank you!"
"Have a good day now."
"You too, Mr. Williams!"
(Note: Money would have been given, and change returned, but I didn't feel it important to necessarily include that in the dialogue. Get over it.)

Now, here's how my conversation actually played out:
"Oh, well, thank you."
"... "
"Have a good one."
"You too."
My coworkers all had the same response when I told them what happened: "PATCH ADAMS?! ARE YOU FUCKING SERIOUS?! WHAT ABOUT (insert any number of good Robin Williams movies, or any number of awful Robin Williams movies)?!

Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby"

This actually looks really good.

(Also, excellent choice for the background music: Jack White's cover of U2's "Love Is Blindness" from their 1991 album, Achtung Baby.)

Finally, A Song for Marathon Runners!