Now, I’m Not Saying I’m Not Wearing Underwear…

For about a week now, the hosts of my favorite morning radio show have been promoting National Commando Day today.  Sometimes the tangents they go off on are not… the cleanest.  They stated that when a woman goes commando it’s called climando.  I think that’s disturbing.  (Which begs the question, why did I include it here?)  I know what that means and I’d prefer not to think about it.

Anyway, I wondered what this National Commando Day thing was all about.  I mean, it seems like every day is some sort of national day of something (though I have no idea who decides.)    Today the LOLCats seem to think it’s National Popcorn Day:

courtesy icanhazcheezburgers.com

But can we have competing national days?  Am I supposed to kick back and watch a movie while eating disgustingly over-buttered popcorn while not wearing any underpants?  I’m confused.

I did a search for “National Commando Day” on Google and the first item in the results says National Commando Day 2009.  In 2009, there was a National Commando day, but it was July 31st.  Later I found there was also a National Commando day on July 29th, 2010.  Nothing on 2011 and certainly nothing about today.  The link points to www.nationalcommandoday.org/ a website that focuses on bringing attention to Prostate Cancer and the need for early detection.  OK, I can get… ahem… behind… that.

The next relevant result was for GameStop.  September 20, 2011 was a GameStop-declared “National Commando Day”, but it clearly was not the same thing.  Apparently, that was the day that Gears of War 3 came out.  I’m not so sure I’m amused by their use of “commando” for their purposes, but that’s just me.

There’s a link to a Facebook group for National Commando Day, but it’s the same organization and it appears to refer back to the 2009 date.  And there’s a link to a site called http://www.prostateconditions.org/ which then has a link back to National Commando Day.org.  Nothing about a 2012 event.  There is, of course, a link to “going commando” on Wikipedia and not entirely surprising, there’s a link to the Sarah & Vinnie podcast from just this morning discussing National Commando Day, where supposedly, all of the on-air personalities of the show were going commando (or climando – ew) today.

At one point Sarah & Vinnie mentioned something about Betabrand which I’ve never even heard of before this week.  A quick search for Betabrand on Google reveals that the clothing manufacturer (who happens to be here in San Francisco) does make a product called Couch Commando Drawstring Pants.

Okay!  Now I get it.  I just click on the link to Betabrand’s website.  Apparently, I’ve had it wrong all along.  Today is actually Intergalactic Commando Day.  Here’s the deal.  According to Betabrand’s website, lots of authoritative, know-it-all types (like the Farmers Almanac, among others) agree that today, January 19th, is the coldest, most brutal day of the year, here in the northern hemisphere.  A quick downward swipe on the face of my iPhone tells me it’s about 50 degrees outside, so…  I guess I’ll take their word for it.  The challenge is:

On this auspicious and frigid date, men around the world (and beyond) are encouraged to spend the day 100% underwear-free. Our modest goal is 100 million participants: a massive, free-balling force of spirited gentleman dedicated to showing Old Man Winter who’s really boss. (Tropical commandos are welcome to join this effort in spirit.) In addition, Betabrand is asking all available women to report for spot-check duty in order to enforce the (un)dress code.

It’s actually a joint effort with an organization called Veterans Expedition.  I’m not really clear on what Veterans Expedition does, and I’m tired of reading other websites instead of writing on my own, so I’m just going to say that it’s an organization that does something that benefits Veterans, and that’s never gonna be a bad thing.  Anyway, for every purchase of Betabrand pants that occurs(ed) on January 18 & 19, 2012, they will donate $10.00 to Veterans Expedition…

And now I have jokes about what the crossed purposes of prostate cancer screening and Veterans Expeditions might be and exactly what kind of expeditions we’re talking about, going through my head and begging to get out my fingers, which… no!  Just no.

Anyway, as I said, I’m not saying I’m not wearing underwear, but…  anyway you look at it, it seems like it would be for a good cause…  😉

Dreaming

I work for a company that purports itself to be big on diversity.

Actually, I guess I shouldn’t say it that way.  We rank 90% on the Human Rights Campaign‘s 2012 Buying for Workplace Equality guide.  The company provides Domestic Partner benefits, financial benefits for adoption services.  We allowed same-sex couples to visit their spouses in the hospital before it was federally mandated.  Our physicians are trained and encouraged to respect other cultures and their alternative belief systems in regard to medical care.  Periodically, we are required to attend sensitivity and cultural diversity awareness training.  So, I guess they are pretty big on diversity.

It is for this reason, that I find it fascinating that I AM NOT OFF WORK TODAY.  What the hell, man!?!?  I think if the mail doesn’t run and the bank is closed and kids are out of school, I should not have to work either.  Whatever.

The truth is, I think the significance of this “holiday” is lost on a lot of people, these days anyway, and as the time goes on, it will be lost on more and more people.  Not because Martin Luther King Jr. doesn’t matter.  Not because what he did for this country isn’t invaluable, but because as time goes on and we age, it’ll be harder and harder for the surviving members of our population to imagine what this country was like before MLK did his thing.

I remember learning about Martin Luther King, Jr. in school.  I remember the first time I heard the “I have a dream” speech:

I have a dream that one day…little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.

I looked around my classroom at the faces of the non-white boys and girls in my classroom and I thought, “how could it ever have been different.”  Certainly I was naive, but I couldn’t imagine a world where people were mistreated for their differences.  It’s funny how things change.

In my book, there’s a scene when Calvin (the lead character who is in no way based on my own existence and any similarities that may exist are entirely coincidental – *whistle, whistle, whistle*) has gone home to visit his family for Thanksgiving.  His sister Haley picks him up from the airport and as they are chatting on the way to their mother’s house, she tells him she’s dating a black man and “mom doesn’t know.”  It was something Calvin should not, and would not want to, tell their mother.

In reality, my sister did briefly date a black man in college and she never told my mother he was black, largely because of her reaction when our older brother dated a black woman when he was in college.  Our mother insisted, and for the most part, I really do believe, that she is not prejudice, that she doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with interracial relationships, she would just rather her children not engage in them “because of the hardships you’ll endure because of them.”  The fact that my brother’s girlfriend was also, “a witch” and that her brother turned out to be gay (while attending a Christian University), were certainly not points in her favor…

I can’t help but wonder what my mother’s reaction would be if I ended up married to a black man.  Would that be two strikes against him, or has even she progressed enough not to care about race any longer.  The fact that he would be male, would be problem enough for her.

Anyway, a world where black people were not treated as a welcome and equal member of society was just unimaginable to me in my naive, teen years.  I didn’t think discrimination existed in this country any longer…  And then I realized I was gay and it was a whole new ballgame.  But that’s a different story.

I knew my commute would be light today and I was glad for that; I was running late yet again!  As I rounded the corner to the parking garage entrance I thought how nice it will be for the garage not to be so full for once.  Once again, naiveté rears its ugly head.  Nobody parks in this garage but employees of the company for which I work.  Today is not a holiday at the company for which I work.  The garage was as full as ever.

At lunch, I had two errands to run; buy cat food and pick up a library book that’s on hold for me at the branch by my house, four miles away.  I bought the cat food first, three miles in the opposite direction…

So like I was saying, if the mail doesn’t run and the bank is closed and kids are out of school and the library is closed, I should not have to work either.

Whatever.

13 Years Old

I noticed this “ad” at the top of my blogs dashboard a few minutes ago.  First I read it and thought, “why would I want to do that?”  And then I accidentally read it again and I started to laugh.

Heh! "Do Me."

What can I say?  I am a boy.  Sometimes I’m a 13 year-old boy.

Ah, c’mon!!  Aren’t we all 13 year-old boys sometimes?

Sing a New Song

It may be somewhat surprising to learn that, despite having grown up in Oklahoma, I was not a fan of country music.  All that twang and depressing subject matter just wasn’t of interest to me.  One of my favorite jokes was always, “What happens when you play a country music song backwards?  He get’s his wife back, his dog back and his truck back.”  This was only made that much better when I once saw a country music video showing an overhead shot of a cowboy lying in the back of his truck with his girl and a dog lying on the ground next to the truck.  As the video progressed the woman disappeared and then the dog disappeared and I burst out laughing thinking, “what happens if you play this video backwards…”

I was forced to listen to, and then eventually came to like, what was then modern country music, in the mid-90’s, when I was dating a girl who I thought I was going to marry and who decided that she was going to become a country music fan and always had it on in the car.  I listened to country music pretty regularly for a while after that and it was only after I moved to the bay area where there is no country music station that I quit.  I had a number of country music albums by that time though and most of them have made their way into my iTunes and therefore, fairly regular rotation in my music listening routine.

Michelle doesn’t dislike country music though it is a LOOOONG way from being her preference.  Our tastes overlap fairly well, though she does like some of the more… urban?  R&B?  stuff.  I’m not even sure what you’d call it.  Let’s just be really tacky and say that her tastes are more ethnically correct…

Michelle also doesn’t like anyone to hear her sing.  She thinks she has a bad voice.  Truth is, she sings fine.  She may not be recording any albums anytime soon, but she shouldn’t be embarrassed for anyone to hear her singing.

On the way to Cache Creek Wednesday afternoon my iPod in my car was, as always, on random and there wasn’t anything that she might object to that came on.  At one point I even heard her singing.  I started to say something, only, every time I tell her I can hear her singing she stops  and I didn’t want to embarrass her or have her stop singing, so I didn’t say anything.  I was surprised at first at the song she was singing, because it was, shall we say, more ethnically appropriate for me…  Also, it was from October, 1994 and it surprised me that she’d be familiar with it.  But she does have a couple of years on me and she was actually far less sheltered than I (I didn’t really come to know the song until about five years ago, so…)

As we were driving through the parking garage at Cache Creek, a song by Terri Clark came on.  The song is called Cure for the Common Heartache.  If you have iTunes (and who doesn’t these days) do me a favor and go listen to the preview.  I tried to find a way to post a sample here, but I’m just not that technologically savvy…  Anyway, the song is quite twangy:  “This mornin’ I’m achin’ all over.  Cain’t eat.  Cain’t sleep.  Cain’t rest….  Is there a cuuuuuure for the common heart ache.  An unknown prescriptiooooooooon, any loser can take…”

(By the way, for the record, there has only been one Terri Clark song, ever, that I didn’t really like a lot, so I’m not saying anything bad about her!)

I turned to Michelle, right before I turned off the ignition and said, “This is a country music song… In case you were wondering…”  I was making a joke, because the song is the epitome of country twang (though I still like it,) but she thought I was apologizing, or in some way making a joke that suggests she doesn’t like country music.

“I was singing that other song,” she said somewhat defensively.

“Which song?” I asked.

“You know.  The one about the cowboy and the horse.”

Now this is not much of a description to know which song she was talking about, except that I immediately thought of the song I heard her singing earlier and had a feeling that’s the one she meant.  I sang a few bars, “I’m a cowboy.  On a steel horse I ride…?”

“Yeah, that one,” she said as I was unable to keep from laughing.

“Honey,” I said a little more condescending than I meant to, “that wasn’t country.  That was Bon Jovi!”

(Also?  Heh.  The clothes!  My Goodness!!!)