Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fickle Finger Of Fame

Of course we know about the fickle finger of fate, but fame too has its own fickle finger. And when we're talkin' YouTube fame, it's REALLY fickle indeed.

Will and RJ have been griping again about the negative comments on their videos, oft times not even pertaining directly to the video's content but rather to viewers' perception of either Will or RJ's perceived flaws. Same old ones: Will is fat. Will (or RJ) is bitchy and mean to the other. They mistreat Dobby. They live beyond their means. They live off YouTube...a big one for many. I gotta say, my old fashioned traditional upbringing also struggles with the concept of how lolling around the house taking videos of yourself all day can be a real job. But maybe I'm letting my jealousy show. After all, doesn't vlogging sound like the easiest job in the world? Makes my current employment seem down-right grueling and oppressive in comparison.

The newest issue the guys are having is that someone is posting their home address again. Well this time it can't be traced back to me. I have nothing to do with it. Though it is cute reading the astonished viewers' comments thinking someone must have gotten ahold of their public records or account profiles or shit like that. Um, no, clueless one, it's actually much, much simpler. All you have to do is be very observant and very patient. Oh, and being really good at geography and map reading is gonna help a lot!

The recent illness of Dobby and possible MRI requirements are putting a strain on their YouTube financed budget. But like flashing the Batman symbol onto a dramatically darkened sky, YouTube fame came to the rescue in the guise of a Twitch live-stream "Dobby-thon" where the boys were able to raise $10K in a day. From their vlog shot that day, and their updates as the day drew on of the amounts raised thus far, I half expected Jerry Lewis with his greased down coif and persistently-refilled glass of scotch to come staggering in, exhale a softly curling wisp of Lucky Strike smoke and belt out a tearful rendition of "You'll Never Walk Alone." Will and RJ would look on this spectacle thoroughly confused and disconnected. They're too young to remember iconic '70s Jerry.

But, getting back to the crux of this post, they aren't TOO young in comparison to the newcomers in the very fickle YouTube young gay vloggers universe. A universe where Davey Wavey is a down-right Crypt Keeper and along with that other gay vlogging couple Billy and Pat are now in the soon-to-be-dead zone of over 30 elder gays. Even the reigning queen of young gay vloggers, the one and only Tyler Oakley can only go so many more years with his pre-teen girl entourage in tow. In other words, watch their numbers drop.

In the young gay vloggers universe, age will set you free. Free of subscribers, that is. Actually, come to think of it, it will do the same whether you're gay or not. YouTubers have always been a young crowd as far as average viewer age goes but it seems to be getting younger and younger. Founding father oldsters like Renetto who used to be cock of the YouTube walk have tried valiantly to make a comeback but as Father Time continues to do a number on them, the fewer and fewer teeny-boppers
are likely to stay interested. It's one thing to do stupid skits and have funny characters with silly voices but start to vlog real life as a mature adult and, well, you now just became their dad and they want none of that shit.

Will and RJ are starting to look haggard and frumpy when compared to the hot fresh young thangs around the YouTube corner like the much younger and adorably cute Matthew Lush and Nick Laws
or the unbelievably hot and super sweet Mark Miller and Ethan Hethcote. Just those two couples' chans have amassed a vast YouTube subscriber base in about a year. Like multiple hundreds of thousands, bitch!

But then there's the uber-youth segment. In other words, the video blogs of pretty little underage gaylings that make old fucks like me look down right pervy to even be watching. Like Pano T, and lohanthony. Oh my, if they only knew what I think of when I see their vids. Gulp. TMI. Now I feel dirty. But, it's a YouTube truism, that for whatever reason people are watching, the content provider should be very young and very cute. Lest they be relegated to that dark, dusty part of YouTube where nobody goes.

Soon, as time does its inevitable thing that it does, Will won't have anything to bitch about. There won't be many negative comments on their videos anymore because at first, the views will start to peter off and subs will tire of the minutia and elder 20s-ish adult shit of "those two old gay guys."

Then the videos will drop from daily to just occasional to eventually non-existent.

But hopefully they'll keep their catalog of videos public for future younglings to see what
it was like to be young, gay and almost YouTube-famous in the way-back decade of the 2010's.

Friday, October 24, 2014

New Apartment Walkthru, Day 5

Now, pretty much the same steps as the first video, four days, and many sub-compact carloads later.

New Apartment Walkthru, Day 1

Here's some video I shot with my phone of my new unfurnished apartment on move-in day.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Goldfinger!

So I moved into the new place over this past weekend and now that I have bigger digs, I got room for more stuff. So, like George Carlin identified years ago, I've fallen into the MORE STUFF endless abyss. Now that I have more room, I have to buy more stuff...until I have too much stuff and then will need to move so I can have more room...for more stuff...and so on and so on.

But for now I'm enjoying the thrill of playing interior designer. Only bad thing, unlike outfitting my creations in the digital world on a game of The Sims 3, shit in the real world costs REAL money!

Much like the Bond-film-esque musical cue ascribed to the occasional mention of the mysterious "Mr. F." in the third season of "Arrested Development," I hum (to myself) the opening notes to the real Bond film song "Goldfinger" every time I even think about buying something for the place. Like the eponymous character in that film, I'm acting like a madman about money. Only instead of nuking the gold in Fort Knox, I'm nuking my credit cards. Well, not really, I'll pay them off. Only now it will take more time. Like maybe years. Ugh.

Just got done ordering my new loveseat and bed from IKEA. $850+.

GOLDFINGER!

Last night I spent over $200 at Walmart on area rugs, bath accessories and knick-knack items.

GOLDFINGER!

Still need a dining room table and possibly the chairs.

GOLDFINGER!

And my the bedroom walls and windows look bare.

GOLDFINGER!

Well, good thing I can't be billed for royalties on songs I sing to myself in my head. Otherwise Eartha Kitt's estate would be demanding a big check from me.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

FLASHBACK SPECIAL: The RIARC Summer Vacations

When I worked in the group homes of Northern RIARC, or just RIARC as we commonly called it, it was a custom for staff to hook up with one of the residents each summer for a week long vacation to a relatively local destination of their choice. Over the course of several summers in the early nineties I had the following very memorable road trips with some very special residents.

Alfred in Maine

Probably the summer of 1991 since I do remember having a beer or two (or three) when bowling, eating out or back at the hotel. Though Alfred chose Maine, he couldn't define where in Maine or why Maine in particular. I knew he liked fishing and the water so I selected a destination near Old Orchard Beach. We fished for all of an hour or so before he wanted to go bowling. And everyday for the rest of the vacation in this picturesque touristy seaside Maine town, all he wanted to do was go bowling. Alfred was obsessed with bowling. And smoking. And, as you could do back then, smoking while bowling. I bowled with him but mostly I just kicked back with cold one and chilled, enjoying a free vacation while getting paid. Oh yeah.

Doris in Quebec City

I think it was the next summer, in '92 when Doris and I went to Quebec City. Though technically an international trip, for French-Canadian descendants of Woonsocket, it's just considered akin to a ethnic pilgrimage to the homeland. Doris wanted to see Canada, and she especially wanted to see the "old" Canada of her family verbal folklore. I knew well what she meant. My family too had many a tale of the "old country" when gathering for festive occasions. But when we got there, other than old historic buildings and structures, there wasn't what she really wanted...a bunch of olde tyme Cannucks sitting around the sugar shack singing drinking shanties to a fiddler's strummin'. They didn't offer this in the travel guides and brochures. But she did enjoy the old fort with the period costumed staff and the museums. One vivid memory of this trip though was the fact that I probably risked Doris overdoing it physically as I had just lost a lot of weight recently and was very fit walking rapidly to and fro all over town with Doris panting and sweating to keep up with me. Oh, and she was overweight and in her 60s. Oopsie. Well, luckily she didn't have a heart attack and she probably lost a couple pounds herself, so all's well.

Doris in Pennsylvania

The next summer, I though about Doris' wishes to see "olde tymers" and thought, "How about the Amish?" Turns out, there was a bus group that was organized by a local travel agency that had regular week-long vacation packages out to the Pennsylvania Dutch country from Rhode Island. With everyone else on that bus in Doris' age group, I was the only person under 30, but this was the trip she wanted. I gotta say, I had fun too. We stayed in a regular "English" motel, of course, but visited the Amish farms and shops that were open to the public and each evening sat down to a real farm-fresh Amish feast. It was cool and right up Doris' alley.

Alfred and Mary in Kingston

Now that I was working at the Elm Street apartments group home I took Elm Street residents on vacation but it turns out Alfred had moved from Gaskill to Elm so I again went on vacation with him, this time with his live-in girlfriend/fiance Mary. Mary was non-committal on any specifics, she was fully willing to do whatever Alfred wanted to do so he chose our destination. He again suggested Maine but knowing that last time all he wanted to do was bowl I suggested a summer cottage nearer to home in "South County" Rhode Island. (It's really Washington County but Rhode Islander's call it South County.) This week was a bit of a chore since all Alfred wanted to do, again, was go bowling but now, once there, Mary wanted to do other things and balked at the non-stop bowl-a-thon ambitions of Alfred. So they fought. Oh only verbally, of course, but they could both get very loud. So much of the week was spent just sitting around the house doing nothing with me having to calm each of them down when they got into each other's face. They were two stubborn people set in their usual rituals. Not really a great mindset when on vacation. We ended the "week" a couple days short and once back home they both fell back into their usual routines and were much nicer to each other. Traveling was never going to be their thing. Oh well, live and learn.

Kenny in Boston

Kenny was closer to my age so he was enthusiastic to do younger things and liked the idea of visiting and staying in a bigger city so we set off for Boston. He (and I) were really into exhibits and educational/cultural activities so we went to the Computer Museum, Science Museum, Art Museums, outdoor concerts and a Broadway musical. Budgets were fairly ample for these vacations (the money coming from some grant or donor I guess) so I made sure we made the best of it. We were pooped from this high-energy vacation by the end of the week but I'm sure he talked about it for years afterwards.

The Games Landlords Play

I'm in the midst of the moving game. That's where you find yourself frustratingly playing games with both your current landlord and your soon-to-be new landlord. Not surprisingly, they each have their separate but similar goals...to fuck around with you simply because they can.

Let's get you up to speed. As you know I decided not to renew my lease here at the NOT luxurious Bellagio. After a grueling day of munching on reality pie I found it rare to find a decent new apartment in my acceptable price range but I finally settled on one that was...okay. Now the thing about this new place isn't so much the amenities and physical appearance of the apartment. I have yet to see those, even though we've been going through the pre-lease process now for almost three weeks. It's the behavior of the staff there. Amazingly, it reminds me exactly of the shady-ish staff here. Is there a college course in apartment leasing management that teaches people how to be this, well, weird?

You know about Alex (aka "Stretch") the maintenance guy here at Bellagio who during a repair visit rubbed out incriminating evidence of poor maintenance as he's vowing he's all about doing a good job for the tenants.

Then there's Miriam, the lady in the office. She's not the original one who I signed my first lease with but she's the one I signed the second with. Is she the manager? On the web site it seems to indicate that position belongs to a guy named Will who I've seen through the glass wall in his office but never met. Well this chick was the one who sat there and poorly tried to justify the retroactive billing of yet another dubious fee which the leasing company somehow "forgot" to bill us for over the previous year. She didn't have her rebuttal script rehearsed very well and was ill-informed as to what the fee was for and why I shouldn't be upset over it.

Let's not forget Edwin. Though he seems so nice and our mutual gaydars should set off some unspoken "family stick together" bond so I can get special treatment, especially as a respected Elder Gay, I get the sense he's been screwed over for a promotion in his job. A couple years ago, he was acting as the de facto manager before Miriam and Will showed up. He pranced around the property with his little chihuahua and made sure everyone received a queenly wave. Well, maybe he wasn't that obvious but it felt good having a visible, approachable management team member around.

The soon-to-be new place, Landmark at Woodland Trace reminds me of Park Central a little, Though I'll see the place tomorrow, my unit should be very much like the apartment I had at that complex so many years ago. It'll be, believe it or not, my first solo full one-bedroom apartment since 2002. (All Koyo dwellings have either been studios, shared, boarding rooms, or just a temporarily available mattress or couch.) With vaulted ceilings, updated cabinets, and an in-unit washer and dryer, it really will be like my pre-Koyo life. Or so I hope.

The staff at the new place have been a bit flaky and I've caught them several times already "forgetting" concessions or discounts promised. They have a funky system insulating them from calls too. I swear, it seems like if they don't have your phone number "approved" your call to them automatically goes to an off-site call center where the rep implies they're in the leasing office and the manager is "not available right now but they can take a message and have her get back to you" sounding like a well-repeated script. Very shady. The reviews online for this place are almost as bad as the reviews for Bellagio. Well, almost. They have a 38% approval rating. Bellagio's is 9%.

Well Daniel, the twink "family" leasing rep at Landmark who's been handling me of late just called back, and within an hour of me calling him so I guess that's a good sign. The apartment is ready for my walk-through later this afternoon. I told him I'd be able to come by tomorrow. Oh, but he surely doesn't neglect in informing me that the lease will be forwarded over to me for me to sign. Oh yea, he wants me to sign it first before even seeing the unit. Ugh. Doesn't he know us Elder Gays are too smart for that?

Plus, I'm a freakin' dinosaur, I want to sign my name in real ink on real paper. The way we used to do it over a decade ago. Back in the stone age.