fruitcake history and probable graft


-- चार हजार एक सौ अस्सी छः --

Do you like my new header / logo design? Well, I do! There's one thing I have mixed feelings about it: for some reason Squarespace refuses to allow me to size it any larger, even though when it was just FRUITCAKE ENTERPRISES in plain text, it was far larger. I find that very odd.

The flip side is, I always though the text-only version was a bit too big. It sort of screamed out from my screen, which is kind of inconvenient, say, when I'm viewing the pages at work. I'd be much happier with a happy medium -- this version with the literal fruitcake background, a bit bigger than it currently appears, but smaller than it was as only text previously.

Triva aside! That background is a cropped photo of the plastic-wrapped fruitcake passed around between members of my family between 1998 and 2011, before it died in a melted glob of defrosted freezer contents in Hawaii when Britini lived there in 2012. In the meantime, however, I took photos of the outside of the box most years, complete with a log of who received it each year, but only in 2008 did I actually open the box and take a photo of the actual-fruitcake inside. That photo is the one being used here.

It was pretty funny at the time when Gina gifted me a ceramic naked lady whose boobs were salt and pepper shakers for Christmas 2012, and the intent was for that to replace the fruitcake as the kooky gift passed around each year. It even lasted a few years, going to Leslie (and thus also back to Gina) in 2013; to Ricky in 2014; I can't remember who got it in 2015, but I think it was someone who did not come to Dad and Sherri's place for Christmas that year. In any case, the same kind of enthusiasm for the salt and pepper shaker nude figure never really caught on.

For some reason it was not until last year that anyone came up with the idea of just getting a new fruitcake to start passing around. (I'm a little annoyed that I can't find any record of whose idea it was precisely; I think it was Gina, who by 2016 was kind of over the salt and pepper shaker, even though she was the one who gave it originally. She was also the first to gift the fruitcake back in 1998, incidentally.) I thought this idea was brilliant and was astonished we didn't do it sooner; I was just so bummed in 2012 to hear of the demise of the original one. But, I still had photos of it, and of the log, which I printed out and taped to the outside of the box for the new fruitcake.

-- Which, by the way, I purchased from the very same store Gina got the first one from: Collin Street Bakery. They no longer sold the smaller size with the same box as I had before, which I really wanted -- I wish the new one could look just like the old one -- and instead had to get a larger, square shaped box for like thirty bucks. But, it was worth it.

I'm really digressing here, aren't I? What I'm really trying to get to is the transition of all my Machu Picchu (or, where that proved impossible -- such as on Twitter -- "itsmachupicchu") online handles to being more overtly "Fruitcake Enterprises" in every place I exist on the Internet. My LiveJournal user name was "machupicchu" for fifteen years, and while I still have great fondness for the story behind "Machu Picchu" as a nickname (in college Gabriel used to call out to me "Machoo," instead of Matthew, and then say "Machoo Pichoo" -- it was a while before I even learned Machu Picchu was an actual place in Peru), my connection to "Fruitcake" has an even longer and richer history, which continued in various forms even as I used variations of "Machu Picchu" as online handles.

For instance, my personalized greeting cards. My "fruitcake enterprises" logo (or some variation thereof) is something I've always drawn on the back panel of my homemade cards. I've also been putting it on the back side of envelopes on which I've drawn elaborate designs for snail mail letters ever since I was a teenager.

Between 1990 and 2001, I recorded an annual collection of very amateur original songs and parodies on cassette, and from 1990 to 1995 I called myself "Emenemenem" -- a phonetic pronunciation of my MMM initials (well before Eminem came along, mind you; I can still remember Christopher calling me one say and saying "A rapper stole your name!") After that, though, because I always self-identified proudly as a "fruitcake", for these song collections between 1996 and 2001 I called myself "Fruitcake." The Fruitcake "albums" began well after I started putting "Fruitcake Enterprises" on my envelope designs, although I don't really remember exactly when I started doing that.

I actually did intend to start recording new collections of songs as Machu Picchu, but that never quite came to fruition; I got too old and lacked the time or the patience to create what was ultimately far too mediocre an end product for the effort it took. That said, I did create a CD of a sort of "all-time best of" collection, complete with three new songs, called I Enjoy Being Gay, and which I gave as Christmas gifts in 2008. At the time it seemed a really long time since the last collection I had created, in 2001 -- seven years; it's now been nine years since I did that one. In any case "Machu Picchu" as a sort of "stage name" for songs fizzled as quickly as I attempted to create it.

I have in the past couple of weeks or so, gone through and renamed myself on all of my social media channels, so Machu Picchu actually no longer shows up anywhere (although you still have to use "itsmachupicchu" with other keywords to find archives of my tweets on Twitter). My handle on Facebook is now; Instagram is fruitcakeenterprises; Flickr remains "machu_picchu" because those bastards won't allow you to change your sign-up URL, but I guess I'll live. For twitter I had to compromise a bit, because "fruitcakeenterprises" has more characters than they will allow for a username, so now my Twitter name is @fcakenterprises, which uses up all the characters allowed. I presume some people have noticed all these changes here and there, but no one has said anything. In any case, it finally occurred to me a couple of weeks ago that with the shift from LiveJournal to the Fruitcake Enterprises standalone website, it made sense to have that connective tissue on all my social media channels.

Oh, shit! I only now just realized I needed to update those links under the header right here on my website! DUH. Okay, I just fixed that.

. . . Well! I just spent way more time, space and energy on all that than I had any idea I would when I started writing it. Moving on!

-- चार हजार एक सौ अस्सी छः --


-- चार हजार एक सौ अस्सी छः --

I had my semiannual cleaning at the dentist this morning. And guess what? I now have an appointment for a consultation in November to see if I need to get a skin graft on my gums, because in front of my lower front teeth they are too receded. They have mentioned this as a possibility more than once before, regularly telling me to be more gentle when brushing (if I'm any more gentle now, the brush would just be hovering above my teeth, for fuck's sake), but only now have I gotten the recommendation for a consultation appointment.

Just thinking about this makes me feel like I'm going to throw up. We're talking oral surgery here. I don't care how "very straightforward" my dentist tries to assure me it is. Scott once told me he had skin grafts on his gums, was supposed to get something like four treatments, and only did two and never did the rest because it was so awful. I mentioned this to the lady dentist this morning, although I acknowledged that everyone has different circumstances -- but Scott's attitude about it did not exactly endear me to the prospect.

They also told me it was "just a consultation," as though I could take solace in the possibility that the guy will not recommend skin grafts. Do they think I was born yesterday? I'm already pretty much accepting this as an inevitability. I mean, I don't want my teeth to fall out. Then again, how long would it take for that to happen without a skin graft, I wonder? I should look into that. In any case, if I find that it's definitely going to happen eventually, I'd rather just get it over with than try to keep postponing it. I guess I don't have to worry about it until November 13, which is the date of the consultation.

I actually said to the dentist this morning, "It scares me," and she did her best to put me at ease. She did make it sound as though it's not likely to be as bad as Scott's experience, but whatever. Who wants a fucking skin graft? And here they tell me it's because of years of brushing too hard. Jesus Christ. First I wasn't brushing enough as a kid, then I'm brushing too much. I can't win!

I mean, I suppose in the grand scheme of things I can. Claudia was just talking to me about how she and Dylan were looking at the photo I posted of my haircut while they were at a Halloween party last night, and they both talked about how I "make such a great gay man." Dylan apparently even commented on how pretty my eyes are, and he's a straight guy! Anyway, my point is, people love me and I live a charmed life. I should just assume that whatever happens with these gums will play into that just fine as well. As in: I'll be fine, because I'm always fine. Usually better than fine.

-- चार हजार एक सौ अस्सी छः --

So. Yeah: that was the highlight of my evening last night -- my semiannual haircut. I walked straight to Rudy's on Pine from work and a woman cut my hair who I think had a moderate case of body odor. She kept going back and forth to even things up so much that it turned into one of the shortest cuts I've had in ages. I don't think it's been cut shorter since 2008 (that year again!). Somewhat ironic there, since historically hairdressers have taken my request to cut half the length off of my hair as "maybe 40% off." I think that's what I'll actually say when I go back for my next cut next April -- cut about 40% off. I don't really want it to be this short again. But, as I said in my original photo caption, it's all good: it'll grow.

I then walked to the library to pick up a book, went home and made pasta with pesto cream sauce, and watched four more episodes of the hilarious (if manic) Lady Dynamite on Netflix. Not sure when I'll have time to finish it -- or even get started on season 2 of Stranger Things -- as my weekend is so incredibly cram packed.

-- चार हजार एक सौ अस्सी छः --


[posted 12:44 pm]