The Red has a lot of dirtbaggers, more than the other climbing meccas I’ve been.  When I see them emerge from their vans in the morning I wonder if I should have gone to law school.

When they did that 60 Minutes segment on Alex Honnold and the reporter was expressing her fascination and awe about how he lives out of his car, I was laughing, kind of in the way I laugh at Yankees exploring the south, like, as Susan puts it, Columbus exploring the new world.  In any event, there’s a charismatic draw to the dirtbagger, who is basically living like a homeless person (well, you are a homeless person) only you can still get laid because your Mountain Hardwear and Prana clothing is color coordinated and distracts onlookers from the fact that there are dead bugs in your hair, you smell, and you keep a jug in your car or tent full of your own urine; which you squeeze in before you screw shut and store upright because you know if you don’t do those two things you come home to discover that urine in an airtight space is like a very slow acting dry-ice bomb and the laundromat closed five hours ago.  Not that I know anything about this.

You’ll never be sure about your apple juice again.  It’s certainly not blast proof.

Without some dead gazelle-trampled lion-father back home and a birthright to claim, it’s hard to resist the appeal of living on the road with a mattress in the back of a truck.  Akuna matata!  Enjoy nature while everyone else slaves away in an office building.  Free from a job that would pay for the toenail fungus medication, and your only obligation to resuscitate the vestiges of modern living is to steal a shower once every two weeks when encountering a weekend warrior who expects you not to smell like an armpit before you fuck them.  That’s pretty much all you have to worry about, cause with the abs you have from climbing, they simply don’t assume or don’t care that they’re about to get foot warts, toenail fungus, scabies, and a yeast infection before they’ve even finished putting the condom on.

Not that I’m not envious (well not of the scabies at least).  I do like sitting here watching the door flap open, and then flap closed, and eavesdropping on these people talking about the materials in bungee cords and solar panels.

The unappealing part is that everyone is painfully introverted.  You have to shoot them in the shin before most of them will look up.  Most outsiders would mistake this for arrogance or narcissism, but it’s really an intense fear of other people, combined with the fact that unless they see you for more than three days in a row, there’s a 99% chance they’ll never see you again.  Among friends they’ve known for years, people on the verge of divorce, or with children with failed surgeries, or with dead or dying parents, talk mostly about route beta and RV parts and sex.  It’s probably the more obvious response to a terminal existence; it’s just not the expected one, I suppose because nihilists don’t write from Walden pond.  And if you really want to get grad school thesis about it, I think photography prevails over any other medium because it’s the most immediate means of proving any of this exists.  Kind of in the way Romantics write to prove that they exist. /philosophy


So I did what all great climbers do when they’re running short on money: I quit my job.

“Anything else lined up?” everyone asks.

No.  Nothin’.  My God, should I have not ignored those 500 invites to LinkedIn that I got? I could be like, so linked in right now!  I could be spamming tens of thousands of acquaintances of acquaintances my resume!  And they could be spamming theirs to me!  And we could all spam each other!  And I could spam people who aren’t on LinkedIn with invites for me to be their first friend on LinkedIn!

Ok, so I left on far better terms than this, and I was able to pee whenever I wanted, but I just couldn't not use this.

So I take solace in the typical things people take solace in during times of unemployment.  Mostly, “at least I’m not some poor child in Mauritania,” and “if those people at the Red can live on $100 a month, I can handle this!”

The solace doesn’t last long.  What if I don’t want to loot through Miguel’s dirtbagger/left-behind/freegan box for the half empty jar of pesto?  What if I like my 4G cell plan, my Grindr Xtra, my pork butt?  I don’t wanna be a copy writer for an SEO contractor!  I’m too pretty to depend on winning ABS Nationals to have enough gas money to get me to the next box of half-empty pesto!  I can’t even win ABS Nationals!  The Gay Games aren’t until like 2014, they probably aren’t awarding money, climbing probably won’t be included, and Mikey or Timmy might show up!  And then I’d be stuck in Cleveland, whose only idea of a tourist attraction is the Gay Games!  Maybe Cleveland’s great, I’ve never been.  But I’m too old to get back on the pole!

So, to avoid the search for a new job, I’ve been devoting myself to the great distractions of reworking the Homo Climbtastic web site and planning for the next convention.  This, however, brings its own frustrations.

First, planning the conventions involves a lot of talking to potential attendees, and if there’s one rule of talking to potential attendees, it’s that the more they want to talk to you, the exponentially less likely they are to actually come.  Second rule is that somehow, someway, the HC web site or facebook group or our reputation or something does a magical job of scaring away the “masc dudes seeking other st8 acting guys to just chill with”.  It’s an amazing phenomenon, but also poorly understood.  You probably wonder how it is that the people who show up are who they are, and somehow there’s a certain element missing.  Where did they go?

Well, usually, the conversation loosely follows them asking me if there are attractive masculine guys there, and me saying,

“yes, but if that’s the only reason you’re coming, the people there will probably laugh at you, crush your projects, and joke about rubbing their groins down with chalk and teabagging you.  and that’s just the women.”  (i would use the phrase “cis women”, but they just get confused and i don’t feel like explaining it.)

and then they say, “oh that’s cool.  so lots of hot guys?”


“what’s the climbing like?”

“like, stiff 5.10 i guess.”

and then it’s something about how they’re really better at kayaking or fishing or monster truck rallying or whatever but they just bought one of those hand squeezey things at the athletic store and they think if they use it everyday they totally might be totally able to go, cause, you know, that’s all that’s holding them back from 5.10, their lack of resolve to use that little hand squeezy thing on a more regular basis.

First I'm gonna teabag you, then I'm gonna spike this football into your nuts!

so after the brief thought that i’ll never get that hour of my life back, i turn to trying to improve this free-ish wordpress web site, which led to the recent concern on the Homo Climbtastic Facebook comment boards about me boldly removing the page devoted to photos of hot shirtless climbers in HC.

“WHY?” asked Timmy.  “Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy?”  He even posted it twice, and I’m not sure if it was to express his intense dissatisfaction, or because his IPad posted it twice, which would make sense, because his IPad is gayer than he is.  (And by “gayer”, I’m not referring to anachronistic notions of being effeminate, but simply to the desire to suck cock like a packed blunt.)

Anyfuck (I’m co-opting Kelly’s phrase) I know I’m being hypocritical, cause I know I go to Lah Fitness and do my little roman chair exercises and crunches on the inflatable ball and such, but it’s just that sometimes, when I see pictures advertising gay sporting whatever…

I've been waiting for the moment I could break out the poses that don't need one hand to hold the iphone! And yeah I'd fuck the one in the middle too. Sue me.

…I just wanna die.

I’m not saying that I don’t want to be able to walk into the mall and see Rafael Nadal in his underwear and stop in front of the poster for about five minutes having a mind wank, in fact, I think that’s exactly how I want it to remain.  What I want to forestall is the homo world’s trending into this strange territory where gay men keep seeking and getting modeling gigs, getting paid minimum wage, and listing their Facebook occupation as “model” because some creepster photographed them all day for about 5% of what a stripper would make if they kept the g-string on.  Someone needs to step in and tell these poor children on the ab machines that the only way to make money simply by being a good looking man (after discounting the cost of roids and the gym membership) is by either working the pole or selling real estate.  And the market for real estate is not rebounding, if these emails I keep getting from my agents about how it’s definitely rebounding are any indication.

I suppose I could be swayed if Timmy took some photos that were so provocative that I just couldn’t not post them.

Apologies to those who’ve only known me since 2011–seems I haven’t been myself, and I’m sorry for only letting you experience the docile simulacrum. (I should have taken the absence of haters as a warning sign!)  It just took me a hot minute to remember how to chalk my groin.  Welcome to 2012, mother fuckers!

Bowser y'all!