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.