Monday, June 16, 2008
It happens to me, especially when the sun is very strong and it is warmer than 80F degrees. Mrs. McFarland said there was no such thing. And perhaps back then, nothing had been proven. And even now, it's all really speculation. All I know is, I'm pretty consistent about doing it.
Friday, June 13, 2008
I can't help it that I feel let down by your behavior. And what pisses me off just as much is that I am choosing this very passive/aggressive way to let you know about it. Even though I rarely shy away from confrontation and have no problem voicing my opinion, I've decided to post my disapproval on this blog which you will probably never read anyway. And if you do read it, you probably won't think it's directed at you - but it is.
Basically, what you do in your relationship is entirely your business, I guess. But when you go around and spout off about how wonderful your partner is and how much you love him and how lucky you are to have found him - and then I see you cheating on him so blatantly, it just angers me. You may argue that you were only kissing someone else. But in my book, kissing - and very deep, passionate kissing like I saw you doing - counts as cheating. Your partner would probably agree with me.
It's been my experience that those people who boast loudly about their monogamy, don't truly practice it. But I thought you might be different. You were sort of a role model - so open and loving, so accepting of his quirks and faults, and so much in love, or so you said.
From here out I will mind my own business and not say anything more about it. But if I saw you, so did other people. And they might not be as quiet about it - this time or the next.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
With lesbian couples, there seems to be a high concentration of a butch/femme mix. Many of the lesbian pairings I see are made up of one somewhat feminine woman (layered clothes, cute hairstyle, handbag, talking on the phone) and one rather masculine one (ball cap, wallet in back jeans pocket, no makeup). This isn't true of all lesbian couples, mind you, but these kinds of pairings do seem to be more frequent than with gay men.
I rarely, if ever, see the same kind of contrast with gay male couples; differences in age, perhaps, but not much difference in age and almost never a difference in level of masculinity. Taking The BF and I into exception, gay male couples seem to be almost cookie cutter images of each other. The BF and I are very physically different from each other (he's 4 inches taller, I'm 70 pounds heavier, he's 12 years younger - go me!). I used to know one couple back in DC where one was extremely masculine and the other was just a flamer. But that was back in the 80's just as gay men were making the shift from the 70's bathhouse clones to the health-conscious, gym-crazed bunnies of the 90's.
I can't speak on behalf of women, but there are many gay men who consider their partners to be a reflection of themselves. It's a holdover from the importance of being "straight-acting" - we don't want our partner to "give us away" in public if we can pull off looking straight. I'm actually glad this idea is slowly going out of the window. As men and women begin coming out at earlier ages, and thus become more socially acceptable, the need to fit in with what is considered "the norm" is not so prevalent. And then, hopefully, more men will be willing to allow themselves to really look at another man for who he is and what he stands for, instead of just how he stands.
Anyway, it's just something I noticed.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
But as my life seemed to calm down, so did my attention span. So I am now able to commit to reading novels and stories longer than what is considered "bathroom reading". And for the most part, I've found I read more books by male authors than female authors - mostly because I've found that female authors are a bit more descriptive and emotional in their writing. Men tend to deal more with facts (be them fiction or not).
However, I just finished reading a book titled Water For Elephants by Sara Gruen. I originally bought the book for my trip to LA, but I got so engrossed in the characters and development that I was afraid I would finish the book before my trip even started. Told in flashbacks by a nursing home-ridden 90-something year old, it recounts his life following the death of his parents, finding himself virtually homeless, and running off to join a circus as the veterinarian. Every character he meets is so well-defined, and each experience so well-explained, it was like watching a movie in my head. I can easily see this made into a film, and I'd bet money on the fact that it will be. I'm aware that almost every book published is bought by a studio "just in case", but I'm sure this one will be developed.
I originally bought the book because I think elephants are so fascinating. And the story doesn't diminish my interest in them. Some parts of the book reminded me of Mitch Albom's The 5 People You Meet In Heaven, which I also enjoyed. I'm not normally a reader of fiction, preferring biographies and memoirs to anything else, but both of these books were good reads.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
I'm sure she's a nice person and all, but her body of work kinda sucks. I pretty much feel the same way about her brother - I just don't see what the big deal is. Sure, they're attractive in a "nose too long for your face" kind of way, but those doe eyes only get you so far. Just the thought of you taking it up the butt doesn't attract me to you - or you either, Jake.
Monday, June 09, 2008
High school was not a bad experience for me, but I only had a small handful of close friendships. I knew every kid in school, but I didn't belong to a group or clique. So my high school friendships dissipated with high school itself. For a short while, I kept in touch with Dave, Leslie, and Chris. But then life happened - my real life. And somehow high school didn't seem to be a real part of my life anymore. Nor did the people I knew then.
So going into this situation was daunting - I was the first boyfriend The BF would introduce to these people. Of the 7 other couples with whom we shared a beach house for three days, we were the only gay couple. And it was easy to see why The BF has kept these people in his life. All were welcoming an accommodating. They were as interested in me as I was in them, and what I thought would be a painful experience turned out to be friendly and informative.
But back to Charleston - the place was hot!!! Just like during out trip to LA a few weeks ago, we arrived in Charleston at the start of an unprecedented heat wave. The wedding was Friday night and we arrived the day before. Those two days were spent on rehearsals, dinners (we strongly recommend Joseph's Restaurant on Meeting Street) , pool parties and the actual wedding. But on Saturday, as we all said goodbye to each other, The BF and I joined another of his high school/college friends and his partner, and the four of us meandered around Charleston in the 98 degree heat, killing time until our 6:00pm flight back home.
For our flight home, we scored the best seats I've ever had on a plane - two seater exit row with no row of seats in front of us. Somehow, we didn't mind sitting on the plane for 50 minutes between push off and take off. It was nice to finally have The BF all to myself again after sharing him with all these lovely strangers. We've been living together for 6 weeks now, taking two trips, and spending alot of time together. In some ways, it seems like we've been doing this for years, and in other ways, it seems like we've only been living together for a week. If this keeps up, life will be a cake walk.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Who exactly are the "most experienced members" of match.com? Isn't the very idealistic nature of the website supposed to be for someone to sign on, find someone with the same likes and dislikes, go on a date, and then get married and stay together forever? If that defines success, than how can you be one of THE MOST successful? Are these people who only signed on once and found their ideal person when viewing the first profile? Even if it takes someone several tries to find "the
Match.com has alot of things going for it. For one thing, its not e-harmony. Unlike that site, match.com caters to everyone - straight and gay - and I know a gay couple who met each other on match.com about 4 years ago and are still together. Internet dating has a lot going for it. It used to be almost taboo and people were almost embarrassed to tell anyone they met that way. The internet was mostly for looking up information, viewing porn, and finding sex hookups. While it is still all three of those things for some people, it has grown in validity as an acceptable dating tool as well. And match.com is one of the good sites, which is why it bugs me that they now have this current gimmick to get people to use it.
Really, anyone who finds another person to love is successful, regardless of how they met or how long it took them to get there. I doubt one person is any more successful at it than another. When a couple celebrates their 50th wedding anniversary after meeting on match.com - THAT will be a success story. Otherwise, until then, the "most successful" are just people who have found some form of happiness, however long it lasted.
And besides, like they say, it's okay to look.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
In DC, the local exhibitionist lived in a row house on P Street, NW between 17th and 18th. He'd stand naked in his window and then when you noticed him, he backed into his otherwise darkened room. The first time I saw it, I wasn't sure I had, until a few steps later I turned to my friend and said, "Did you just see that?" When my friend confirmed, we basically agreed the dude was weird.
We also thought - erroneously - that it was a random sighting. But not so. Almost every Sunday night, on our walk from the Dupont Metro to JR's on 17th, we'd see the guy. After about 4 weeks of this, I'd had enough. So after we passed the guy's house and saw him again, I turned around to go back.
"Where are you going?", my friend asked.
"Well he clearly wants people to notice him, so I'm going to let him know I noticed him."
"Don't do that! Dop, come back here!"
"No, I'm gonna get to the bottom of this."
So I walked up the stoop to the front door and banged on it.
"Hello! Hello in there! OK, yes, we see you. You want people to notice you? OK, we noticed. Happy? Now what? Do you invite me in? Did you want to hook up? What are you trying to gain by standing naked in your window, you pervert? There could be children out here. You want to be noticed so badly? Well, here I am sweetheart!"
"You're gonna get yourself shot one of these days," my friend said.
"I just wanted to know what I'm supposed to do. He's putting it out there, hoping to elicit some kind of response, so I gave him one."
Perhaps it was mere coincidence, but we never saw him in the window again.
Friday, May 23, 2008
For the leather community, it's life at its most dynamic. And for the rest of it, it's pretty much the best people-watching event of the year: the hunks, the freaks, the clones, the frightening, and all those manimal breeds (bears, wolves, otters, bulls, pups, cubs, etc.) and the disgusting smell that sometimes comes with the whole shebang. In any event, it's a hoot. And like the last two years, we'll be going to the expo one day, and then heading to the hotel lobby to gawk at everyone.
More about our LA trip next week, but for now have a safe and fun weekend!
Thursday, May 22, 2008
More to come . . .
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Last Saturday was a record hot day in Los Angeles. It ended up being 104 degrees! How did we beat the heat? Our friend Stephanie came through for us in a big way. Well-connected, Steph garnered invitations for 5 of us attend the opening of the new Simpsons' Ride at Universal Studios-Hollywood. We entered the park through a side entrance and after being given our VIP passes, were escorted to a roped off area outside the ride entrance. There were free Krusty Burgers and sandwiches and salads and drinks . . . and celebrities! Here is out celebrity sighting list:
Antonio Villaraigosa (the mayor of LA)
The event started off with a man being shot out of a cannon. Matt caught the action on his iPhone - and it's pretty impressive quality for a camera phone.
After a few words of welcome, we were among the first to board the new ride. It's a fast, rockety ride that makes you feel like you're in a cartoon. After that we took the backstage tour and rode some rides, and then, of course, I had my photo taken with Shrek.
More to come . . .
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
We arrived Wednesday night and quickly started the weekend by going to Disneyland on Thursday. The weather was warm and sunny, and because we went on a Thursday in late May, the crowd was practically non-existent. Our longest wait in any line was no more than 30 minutes. In some cases there was actually no wait at all. And to those who say you can't possibly "do Disneyland" in a day, I say balderdash. Here's the list of rides we did in one day:
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Indiana Jones Adventure
Peter Pan's Flight
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
Tower of Terror
Soarin' Over California
Pirates of the Carribbean
That last one was the the one that finally put me over the edge. The word I used to describe the feeling was "jostled", and I think it was an excellent word for the moment.
So many fun memories were made that day, but the one topping the list was when Catherine - soaking wet from Splash Mountain - absentmindedly grabbed her wrap dress from the back to ring out the water, and mooned everyone standing in line waiting to ride: attendants, children, parents, school kids, teenagers, grandparents. Matt joked that at least 30 boys hit puberty at that very moment.
More to come...
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Be back on Tuesday.
Sunday, May 11, 2008
There's no greater devotion in the world than that between a mother and a child. Even at my age, I still need her - mostly as a sounding board than anything else. She doesn't see my day-to-day life like she does with my sister and brothers. And as a byproduct, she probably worries a little bit more about me. Although she has not yet met The BF (due to geography), she knows I am in a happy, committed relationship, and she feels peaceful about that.
She's lived a quiet and somewhat sheltered life - being exposed to the world through the eyes and opinions of her children. She's never traveled extensively and 99% of her life has been lived within a 6-mile radius. But in contrast, she is as open-minded as they come. When I came out to my mom 11 years ago (yeah, late), her response was "so tell me something I don't already know". When I asked her how she knew, she gave me the very motherly response of "I know everything". And I believe her.
I'd certainly never want to test her. Happy Mothers' Day, Mom!
Friday, May 09, 2008
Last weekend was fun though. The BF and I went to CircEsteem, a non-profit on the northside whose mission is to mission is to unite youth from diverse racial, cultural, and economic backgrounds and help them build self-esteem and mutual respect through the practice of circus arts. The talent varied from small kids simply jumping through hoops to a world class teenager from the southside who escaped the life of gangbangers by finding success and a future in circus arts. Very inspiring story.
After the show, we trotted over to Crew and had lunch and drinks with friends Chris and Justin. This is something I truly need to do more of. I forget how much I enjoy just hanging out and throwing back a beer or two now and then. My life seems so hectically scheduled that I rarely allow myself the time to simply chill out with friends. It was fun, and needs repeating.
On the positive side, The BF and I have been living together now for almost two weeks which, for me anyway, have just flown by. We are taking a little vacation together next week, and I'm very much looking forward to that.
Wednesday, May 07, 2008
First of all, it's not a rule. The rule states that able-bodied adults are to give up their seats for the handicapped, the elderly, and expectant mothers. And for the most part, I do see men do just that. However, it is rare when I see a woman give up her seat for a senior citizen. I ride the Trixie Trolley (#156 LaSalle) everyday, and always sit in the back of the bus in the elevated section. There have been puh-lenty of times I have given up my seat in the back of the bus to a senior citizen who has had to make his/her way through the crowd, past all the seated young women in order to get to my location. Not standing for a woman is showing equality; not standing for an elderly person is just shameful and disrespectful.
And since I mentioned it, I guess I don't understand the concept of a woman - especially a young woman - demanding a man give up his seat or hold a door open for her. I don't argue that it is a polite gesture that men need to be taught while still young in order for it to be ingrained into who they are as adults. But I don't think these gestures should be expected or even demanded. I'm happy to give up my seat to a woman who I am certain is in the latter stages of her pregnancy (key words there are "I am certain"; at times, it is difficult to tell). But I'm not about to stand up for a 26-year old woman just so she can sit down to read.
I've heard all the arguments before, the biggest being shoes. Here's a tip: here's what I do when wearing a pair of shoes all day that hurt my feet. I throw them away. Or, I don't wear them. I'm sorry women feel the pressure of society to wear body altering clothing, but it is ultimately a choice they've made. Just as there is no law that says I have to show a woman any courtesy, there is no law that says she has to dress the way she does.
I am 42 years-old. By all accounts, I look perfectly healthy. But no stranger on a bus or train has any idea what my health problems are, just like I have no idea about anyone else. Unless your health situation is obvious (which even mine are not), I'm not going out of my way to make you more comfortable when I have no relationship to you - or worse, just because you are a woman. I would think you would find that more insulting than flattering. And if you don't, you should.
Monday, May 05, 2008
First, a part on Queer Eye no one really understood, then "The Jury", and now this? If every dog has his day, this one is clearly not Jai's.
Thursday, May 01, 2008
Since I've flown on Southwest about 10 times in the past two years, I've decided to sue them for attempted murder since they repeatedly, and beyond normal circumstances, took my life in their hands by flying me on planes that were knowingly not passing inspection.
How much you think I could get?
Monday, April 28, 2008
All of this has churned up some bittersweet emotions in me. This is the first time since 1988 I have lived with someone who was more than just a roommate. Ex#1 and I moved in together exactly 20 years ago, when I was 22 and he was 23 (coincidentally enough, it was also the end of April). We had been dating for 2.5 months, and living 140 miles apart. Moving in together was more convenience than anything else. Ex#1 and I are still in touch with each other and I get a card or email from him every year around my birthday - mostly because he remembers that I share the same birthday as his mother.
God, I was so young back then! Moving in with someone when you are 22 and 23 is nothing more than just playing house. Not to mention, it was my first gay relationship. I had no idea what I was doing, and within 8 months, we split up. And back in 1989, I swore I would never live with another boyfriend again.
And I haven't . . . until now.
My move-in was pretty simple, with only a few minor adjustments needing to be made. At first I thought I had done so well at purging things I really didn't need. But looking back, it's more to The BF's credit that he made so much room for my stuff. He's sacrificing alot (space, privacy, a bed to himself now and then) just to be around me more often. It's a bit overwhelming. I've never had anyone this "into" me before. But then, I totally deserve it!
As exciting as this new chapter of my life will be, starting a new chapter means ending another one. After 8 years, Ashley and I will no longer be roommates. He's been a constant presence in my life while so many other things have come and gone: he's seen me through Ex#3, 4, 5 and all the men in-between; almost all of my health issues; 3 jobs; 3 apartments and 1 house; 2 remodels; 2 major cities; 2 jeeps (mine and his); countless shopping trips; 3 trips to Provincetown, 1 trip to New Orleans; and nights filled with karaoke, boys, shots, showtunes, dancing, booze, drag shows, dinner parties, and the million talks we've had over the years that were our equivalent to sitting around the kitchen table and eating a cheesecake.
And now we both live in the city we first visited together back in 2001 for Market Days. He's running a successful business and dating a great guy. We probably could have gone on being roommates for life, I guess. But love trumps everything. And I would take one year of living with The BF over a lifetime of living with anyone else.
It's all very exciting . . . and scary . . . and fun . . . and strange . . . and wonderful. I never thought I would get to this point in my life, yet I've arrived, seemingly without even trying. In a way, I feel 22 again - only this time I've got 20 years more experience.
Friday, April 25, 2008
Not thinking much of it, I walked over to ask an associate to look in the back for me. Some stores, like American Apparel for example, keep their XXL sizes in the back, I guess to save room on the sales floor. All you have to do is ask for an XXL. In a way, it's kinda fun, like a secret no one else knows. So when I asked a Gap Associate for my size, I was told that Gap was no longer carrying XXL in the stores and I would have to order everything online from now on.
I'm not sure what I felt at that moment, but part of it was embarrassment. Regardless of the words the associate used, all I heard was, "we're not serving your kind anymore". I felt discounted and almost ashamed for some reason. Basically, Gap hurt my feelings. But as I turned to leave the store, my feelings of inadequacy quickly turned to anger. On my way out, a different associate approached me with, "find everything ok?" to which I could only muster a boisterous "NO!" and walked out.
How dare they do this to ME? Me, who's been a faithful shopper to that company for the past 20+ years. Me, who worked for the company in both full and part-time positions for a period spanning 8 years. Me, who stuck by Gap even back in the late 90's when they had their identity crisis and then subsequently apologized to an abandoning public. Me, who has mentioned that I love Gap on this blog about a dozen or more times.
Being my size, my choices are already limited. I can't buy stuff at the mens' boutique shops because nothing is above a large. Another favorite store, Club Monaco, usually only stocks one XXL in everything and there seems to be someone beating me to it all the time (and CM doesn't have online shopping). My choices have been pretty much reduced to Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy. And since all of those stores are the same company, it's a pretty good bet that Banana and Old Navy will follow Gap's lead if they haven't already. Which basically reduces me to zero options.
I sent a letter of complaint to Gap and asked for the reasoning behind this situation, but all I got back was a canned apology, thanking me for my correspondence and telling me how important my feedback is.
Eventually, I guess, I'll get used to this. I just won't be able to run in and pick up a new shirt for a party or trip or even just to make myself feel better. I would think that in today's economy, no retail company would want to disclude any type of shopper, let alone make the process more difficult.
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Clearly, Etta hasn't flown on an airplane or used any form of public transportation in, say, ever. She clearly has no idea what an airplane would sound like if anyone, let alone a gabby 13-year old, could use a cell phone. Has she lost her mind?
I just flew this past weekend - traveled home to see the family. Behind me sat three Asian women speaking in their native language. I'm sure it's a lovely language, but at 30,000 feet and engines blaring in my ear, the sound emanating from these women was pure annoyance. In front of me was an 18-month old crying for her mother during the entire trip. Funny thing was, momma was right next to her, completely oblivious to the child's cries. How does this happen? The mother did nothing. NOTHING! The father walked the child once or twice - when he wasn't on one of his 14 (yes, I counted them) trips to the rest room during the 90-minute flight.
I lost about 2 million brain cells during this flight, and Etta wants to add cellphones to this mess. This policy should never come to fruition. If it does, the car rental industry will be getting a lot more of my business.
Friday, April 18, 2008
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
So was it worth it - all you republicans who voted him back into office in 2004? Here is a list of historically recent presidents and their approval ratings upon leaving office:
In just seven years, Bush turned a record budget surplus into a record deficit.
He took our national reputation from an unprecedented high after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to an unprecedented low, a downward slide that has been mirrored by his approval ratings.
He has repeatedly asserted the authority to operate without oversight and ignore laws and judicial rulings with wild abandon.
He has conducted domestic surveillance of American citizens without warrants, in violation of federal law and the Constitution. He has repeatedly admitted this crime, even bragged about it, on national television.
He facilitated the use of torture in Iraq, Guantanamo Bay and elsewhere, in violation of both American and international law. His administration regards the Geneva Conventions as "quaint."
He has waged a reckless and expensive war in Iraq that has killed hundreds of thousands and breeded a new generation of terrorists on the basis of deliberately misleading and fabricated intelligence.
Perhaps the scariest thing of all is that he still has another 9 months in office. Imagine what else could possibly go wrong.
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
I've been to Ford's Theatre (the site of the murder) many times; I've biked Booth's escape route out of DC; visited the Surratt Tavern where he picked up supplies and carbines after fleeing DC; visited Samuel Mudd's house where Booth had Dr. Mudd set his broken leg; and even visited Booth's grave in Baltimore and his Gothic revival childhood home, Tudor Hall, in Bel Air, MD.
The latter is dichotomous in American History: on one hand it was the dwelling of man who committed the first Presidential assassination in America and changed the course of history forever. On the other hand, it was also home to the two greatest Shakespearean tragedians of the American stage: Junius Brutus Booth and his even more talented son, Edwin Booth. And while the house was more or less spared demolition because of Edwin, the true source of wonder is Wilkes.
I visited the house (now an office for Harford County's Center of the Arts) one Saturday last June when it was closed, roped off, and generally off limits. I went anyway. And much like the initial feeling I had when I entered Ford's Theatre for the first time, as I walked down the long driveway to the house, I couldn't help but get the feeling I had been here before. As I slowly neared the house, it all seemed familiar -- it could have been the numerous websites I've read about the place and even the details I garnered from the 15 or so books I've read about Wilkes and the Booth Family.
a few added trees), the path is the same.
The house was closed and no one was around so I had free range of the grounds but couldn't go in. Not sure how many renovations the inside of the house has experienced. I tried to get some pictures of the inside, but the bubbled glass in the windows made it impossible to get a clear shot. The weird thing was that even though I was alone on the 8 acres of land, I still got the feeling I was being watched. So I didn't dare climb too close or be too aggressive near the house.
Wilkes apparently loved his initials so much he even had them tattooed in the crux of his right hand between his thumb and forefinger - this tattoo was later used to identify his body after being shot himself on Garrett's Farm near Port Royal, VA on April 26th). But that window has been long removed and it is uncertain where on the house that window originally belonged. Still, there is something a little haunting about the balcony.
In 1973, Tudor Hall was included in the National Register of Historic Places with a historical boundary of 136.5 acres to maintain the rural surroundings and distant views since Tudor Hall had been a farm during the Booth period. In 1982, the State of Maryland reduced the protective boundaries to the 8.33 acres, despite the oppositional pleas of historical experts.
As I walked around to the other side of the house, I noticed a window - nothing special about it - but there just seemed to be something to it. Could this be where the original JWB window had been cased? Was this the bedroom window young Wilkes would look out of when planning his future of following in his father's and two older brothers' footsteps on the American stage?
Wilkes would leave this place finally in 1857 at the age of 19 to join the Arch Street Theater Company in Philadelphia. At his request he was billed as "J.B. Wilkes", a pseudonym meant to divert attention away from his famous family. In 1858 he was accepted as a member of the Richmond Theatre, Virginia, stock company, and became increasingly popular, called "the handsomest man in America" by reviewers. He stood 5 feet, 8 inches tall, had jet-black hair, and was lean and athletic. His performances were often characterized by his contemporaries as acrobatic and intensely physical. Eerily prophetic to his "final performance" on the stage at Ford's Theater on April 14, 1865.
Monday, April 14, 2008
Also impressive are the shows put on by Kohler. Yes, there are actual performances at KBIS. Kohler partnered with MOMIX to put on a show at the top of every hour. The performances were very fluid and water . . . ish - a lot of flowing materials and movements and quite captivating. And the dancers were hot.
Aside from looking at all the chic cabinetry and spying on design diva Candice Olson, The BF and I spent time running around trying to find out which company was giving away all the delicious looking cupcakes. No such luck.
After spending some time at KBIS, The BF and his parents and I had dinner at Rock Bottom Brewery. I've only been around his parents twice (his mom, three times), but it all seemed to be a pretty comfortable situation. I believe I am the first boyfriend they've met, knowing exactly who I was when they met me. There didn't seem to be any tension or ill-ease whatsoever. It all looks pretty good.
Sunday, The BF and I attended a 10th Anniversary Brunch for friends Neil and Bob. It's truly wonderful that two people - gay or not - can commit to each other for 10 years without there being any legal recourse. They made a decision 10 years ago and have honored and respected their decision and each other ever since. So admirable! What made the event even more impressive was that there were two other gay couples who have been together over ten years. In sitting with buddy Jessica for an early dinner after the event, she stated that it's sometimes difficult for her to believe The BF and I have NOT been together for 10 years. I told her that perhaps in another year or so, The BF and I will host a small get-together and call it our "It Just Seems Like Our 10th Anniversary" Party.
In just under three years, he has really become the biggest and best part of my life. It's almost difficult to remember my life before him - it couldn't have been this fulfilling. And it's only going to get more so - again, more on that later.
This was a weekend filled with love and acceptance - neither did I ask for nor expect. But I got it in spades from some very special people.
Wednesday, April 09, 2008
In Asperger's Disorder, affected individuals are characterized by social isolation and eccentric behavior in childhood. There are impairments in two-sided social interaction and non-verbal communication. Though grammatical, their speech may sound peculiar due to abnormalities of inflection and a repetitive pattern. Clumsiness may be prominent both in their articulation and gross motor behavior. They usually have a circumscribed area of interest which usually leaves no space for more age appropriate, common interests. Some examples are cars, trains, French Literature, door knobs, hinges, cappucino, meteorology, astronomy or history. In my nephew's case, it's medieval history.
John is aware of his condition. And he's taken it upon himself to host a group in the AutismSpeaks Walk-A-Thon back home this weekend. His fundraising goal is just $1,000. If he could meet or even surpass the goal, it would give him a sense of accomplishment that he doesn't get a chance to feel very often. If you can donate anything - $20, $25 or more - it would be greatly appreciated.
Tuesday, April 08, 2008
I share my birthday with Patricia Arquette, Julian Lennon, John Schneider, Barbara Kingsolver, Gary Carter, Michael Bennett, Vivienne Westwood, Fred Ebb, Betty Ford (who turns 90 today), and Buddha - with whom lately I seem to share so many physical traits.
But I share the actual birth DATE with sexy British racing driver, Mark Blundell; accomplished Brazilian footballer, Mazinho; mean-looking Nigerian K1 fighter, Bobby Ologun; and beautiful American actress, Robin Wright Penn. Today, we all turn 42.
Aside from my birth, here are some other noteworthy things that happened on April 8th:
1994 - The lead singer of rock band Nirvana, Kurt Cobain, commits suicide by shooting himself.
1990 - AIDS activist Ryan White dies at the age of 19.
1986 - American actor Clint Eastwood is elected Mayor of Carmel in California.
1967 - Bare-foot English singer Sandie Shaw wins the Eurovision Song Contest for the United Kingdom with 'Puppet On A String'.
1953 - Future Kenyan President Jomo Kenyatta is convicted in Kenya of involvement with the terrorist Mau Mau organization.
1940 - World War II: Germany invades Norway.
1925 - The Australian Government and the British Colonial Office offer low-interest loans to encourage Britons borrow the money to emigrate to Australia.
1908 - King Edward VII appoints Liberal politician Herbert Asquith as British Prime Minister following the death of Sir Henry Campbell-Bannerman.
1907 - Britain and France confirm the independence of Siam (now Thailand).
1904 - Britain and France settle the foreign affairs differences under the auspices of a newly negotiated 'Entente Cordiale'. Britain recognizes the Suez Canal Convention and surrenders its claim to Madagascar.
1838 - Brunel's 236 foot steamship Great Western leaves Bristol for New York on her maiden voyage.
1513 - Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon discovers Florida.
Monday, April 07, 2008
Friday, April 04, 2008
10. De'Cody Fagg
9. Homer Bush
8. Albert Pujols
7. Irina Slutskaya
6. Ron Tugnutt
5. Assol Slivets
4. Dick Butkus
3. Johnny Dickshot
2. Dick Trickle
1. Chubby Cox
Flumesday followed this list, inevitably, with Top 10 Dirtiest Names in Sports: The Sequel.
10. Gregor Fucka
9. B.J. Johnson
8. Pete LaCock
7. Danny Shittu
6. Harry Colon
5. Lucious Pusey
4. Dick Pole
3. Dean Windass
2. Misty Hyman
1. Rusty Kuntz
Thursday, April 03, 2008
Transfers cost money. My bus ride should cost me $2.00 (which is pretty sad in and of itself). I shouldn't have to pay the extra 25 cents to transfer to another bus. CTA already gets plenty out of me already; I don't need to pay an additional $1.25 a week, or $5.00 a month, or $260.00 a year for no reason.
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
At first I thought my day was starting off well. I walked to the corner bus stop to find the bus actually approaching. This is indeed rare. After boarding the bus, I found it practically empty which meant I would get a single seat instead of having to share a double seat. Being built like I am and having shoulders that are a bit wider than most, sharing a double seat can sometimes get . . . uncomfortable. Especially when my seatmate decides to actually sit on me. But I digress.
So for a few brief seconds, I am sitting in my single seat and thinking that today would actually start out well. And then it all begins:
I hear a woman talking somewhat loudly on her phone. As I turn to give her the "keep your voice down" eye, I realize that she is not on her phone, nor is she talking to another person. I've seen her before on this bus but never this early in the morning. She sounds articulate, and she speaks like she is actually having a conversation. But unless she is speaking to a giant, invisible rabbit named Harvey, she's spouting her theories to no one in particular. Her rants are peppered with terms like "black power", "second class citizens", "african chains", "Jesse Jackson", and "bitch". And she never shuts up. She has every right to ride the bus, I guess. Just not the bus I am on.
As soon as I accept what this ride will be like, the bus pulls over to allow an older woman, walking while pushing an empty wheelchair, onto the bus. This means the extension of the ramp, loading her on, raising seats to accomodate her - which is all fine. But as soon as she boards the bus, she starts commanding the bus driver to not pull out until her wheelchair, which is actually loaded down with bags, is locked in. One warning? Understandable. Two warnings? Maybe. A 4-minute harangue while she shuffles into place all the while yelling at the driver to not pull out until her wheelchair is locked in? Priceless. And unnecessary.
She finally sits. "Black power" is still sputing out her views on what it is to be her. The bus travels a few more stops, then on boards the freshmen Spanish class of Lincoln High School - all 36 of them - and their three advisors. I hated freshmen, even when I was one. It's that awful age between insufferable child and real person (this is where Justin calls me an "anti-juvenite"). So all 36 climb on the bus, each one talking on his/her cell phone to another student who may or may not be in the group (one kid in the back of the group was actually talking on his phone to another kid in the front of the group). Meanwhile, they are sharing their rudimentary bilingual skills as they continue to pack into the bus like "sardinas". One "chica" decided my left shoulder was the perfect place to rest her backpack, until I asked her to move it. I must have forgotten to remove my red clown nose before leaving the house this morning because for some reason she and her "amigas" thought I was hilarious.
Finally, when I figured my blood pressure couldn't take anymore, I opted to get off the bus at West LaSalle and find another way to get to work. Anything - taxi, rikshaw, being dragged by a horse for the 15 blocks - would be better than this. It took me a solid minute to exit the bus because, apparently, bilingual children can't hear. Who knew? After realizing my "pardon me"s were falling on deaf ears, I invoked my unwritten rights and just powered my way through. I think I still have a kid wrapped around my ankle.
Needless to say, the day did not start off well. But it could have been worse. THEY could have been on the bus, too.
Monday, March 31, 2008
The BF finished that race though, but at both physical and emotional sacrifice for both him AND me. This time however, yesterday, everything went very well. The weather was about 40 degrees. And where he and I could not find each other in the marathon crowds, I was pretty much the only person standing at Jackson and LaSalle at 9:50am when The BF strode by at mile 2.5, making this run look effortless.
After he passed, I walked two blocks south to catch him at mile 3.5, where he didn't even look like he was sweating yet. He finished in his best time:
overall: 880 out of 22,588 (top 4%)
men: 769 out of 10,383 (top 7.5%)
division: 212 out of 2,690 (top 8%)
Compared to his stats from when he ran the same race in 2006:
overall: 3,535 out of 20,407 (top 17.5%)
men: 2,764 out of 9,707 (top 28%)
division: 710 out of 2,462 (top 29%)
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Monday, March 24, 2008
The Old Stone House was built as an inn in 1818 by Jesse Tomlinson, who chose Little Meadows not only for its scenic beauty but for its opportune location on the National Pike about a day’s ride from Cumberland (today, it's a 20 minute trip by car.)
Tomlinson’s inn was built to last, of blocks of stone 2 feet and 3 feet square, with chimneys 30 feet wide at the base and 2-foot-deep windowsills. A community center, the inn housed a general store and the county’s first post office. Stagecoach passengers feasted on mutton, venison, turkey, pheasant and brook trout for 50 cents per person; the wagoners, whose trade was essential, got a discount, plus corn whiskey at 3 cents a shot.
According to the historical society, celebrated 19th-century guests at the inn included Henry Clay, Jenny Lind, P.T. Barnum and four U.S. presidents: Jackson, Taylor, Polk and President-elect William Henry Harrison – en route from Ohio to his fatal inauguration, maybe?
Of course, there are ghost stories. One of the bedrooms is said to have a perpetually bloodstained floor. The historical society passes along an even better legend:
The most intriguing story is about a beautiful, heavily veiled woman with quantities of expensive luggage bearing foreign labels, who got off the stage to spend the night at Stone House. She had her supper brought to her room and did not once set foot outside of her door. The next morning one of the little servant boys brought her hot water. But she had disappeared. All of her baggage remained, but there was no trace of her. The woods were searched as thoroughly as possible, but she was never found; and to this day no one knows who she was.From the outside, the building seems to be in good shape. It’s a private residence now. Here is a postcard by John Kennedy Lacock:
Friday, March 21, 2008
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Ending one of the most brutual winters Chicago has seen in decades, the city is still seeing daily temperatures in the low to mid 30's, with the temperature during the next 5 days hovering at 35F. Tomorrow's forecast:
Friday... Snow. Snow may be heavy at times. Snow accumulation of 3 to 5 inches. Blustery. Highs in the mid 30s. East winds 15 to 25 mph. Chance of precipitation near 100 percent.
The flu epidemic has been widespread throughout Illinois for the past 5 weeks with no sign of easing up. And despite the fact that the city hasn't had a significant snowfall for the past several weeks, there are still snow mounds in yards and on sidewalks.
But Spring is here. Or so they tell me.
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Flo is from Opa Locka, which is why the choice of name. Otherwise, he could have chosen:
- Mary Land
- Al Abama
- Dela Ware
- Ari Zona
- Missi Ssippi
- Al Aska
- Cali Fornia
- Louis I. Ana
- Col O. Rado
- Georgi A
- Minne Sota
At what point does the whole thing just become ridiculous?
Monday, March 17, 2008
Friday, March 14, 2008
So much so that CARA has adopted a cute little word for runners they consider to be "heavy" or "larger": Clydesdale. What's a Clydesdale, you ask? Basically it's a big horse, known for pulling heavy things. Isn't that uplifting? CARA calls large runners Clydesdales.
I'm betting none of the people who came up with this moniker weigh over 160lbs. Are runners weighing under a certain weight given a nickname? Heck, no. They may as well just called us Rhinos. Rhinos run. So do Elephants. And Oxen. Hippos run when they are on land and hear a frightening sound. Is Clydesdale supposed to be more noble? And get this description from CARA: big athletes may never finish first in a race, but they are excellent athletes among their peers and deserve to be recognized for their efforts and accomplishments.
If I want to compete, I want to compete against everyone, not just "heavy" people. If I lose, its because someone was better than me -- just someone, not someone heavy. I don't need to be given a nickname to make me feel better since "I may never finish first". I mean with a confidence boost like that, why should I even bother?
You want to compete? Come lift with me at the gym sometime. And then let's see what cute little name I can think up for you.
Tuesday, March 11, 2008
What the few smart members of our apparently idiotic viewing public will question is - did Sharpie just pay a gazillion dollars for the use of David Beckham's name? I'm sure we can all agree that those are not Beckham's hands, despite the fingernails being smartly and metrosexually manicured.
Question #2 would be why is Sharpie paying a gazillion dollars for the use of a sports star's name when there are already celebrities out there actually using their product free of endorsement? Or isn't Jude Law hot enough anymore? For that matter, does Beckham really use Sharpies when he autographs? And is that even Beck's autograph? Even his own wife doesn't know it.
Which then also makes me wonder: does David Beckham really need another endorsement? In 2006, he brought home a paltry $11.1 million in endorsements alone, which was down 11% from 2005 due to a lost endorsement. I'll be he's glad this Sharpie thing came through for him, otherwise how could he afford to feed his wife and three kids?
So let’s review our sex scandal formulas when it comes to politicians:
Man-On-Woman Lovin’: Democrat
Man-On-Man Lovin’: Republican
Any politician that falls outside of these proven facts is a freak of nature and shall be shunned, ridiculed, called hypocrite and immediately have the suffix of ‘former’ placed before their current title. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Monday, March 10, 2008
Saving is used here as a verbal adjective (a participle). It modifies time and tells us more about its nature; namely, that it is characterized by the activity of saving daylight. It is a saving daylight kind of time. Because of this, it would be more accurate to refer to DST as daylight-saving time. Similar examples would be a mind-expanding book or a man-eating tiger. Saving is used in the same way as saving a ball game, rather than as a savings account.
Nevertheless, many people feel the word savings (with an 's') flows more mellifluously off the tongue. Daylight Savings Time is also in common usage, and can be found in dictionaries.
Adding to the confusion is that the phrase Daylight Saving Time is inaccurate, since no daylight is actually saved. Daylight Shifting Time would be better, and Daylight Time Shifting more accurate, but neither are politically desirable.
Friday, March 07, 2008
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Anyone who knows me knows my immediate response is to dramatically roll my eyes, heave a sigh, and physically communicate to this person how he has intruded on my space and ruined my life merely by approaching me. But for some reason, I bought it. And gave him $5.
Now, anyone who knows me is wondering, "Who are you and what have you done with Dop?" I know, right?? Like that is so totally not me at all, you know! I've brushed off more panhandlers than I could ever think of counting. But something about this guy seemed genuine to me. Could it be that at some time in my life I had been stranded myself and needed a handout in much the same way? Could it be that it's been so freaking cold in Chicago and the thought of anyone having to spend any amount of time outside seems unnecessary if I can help it? Could it be that although I work for a charity, I rarely find myself in a position to actually help someone out directly?
Probably not. Tonight I was probably just a sucker. But I'm allowing myself to think that I wasn't, just this once. For whatever the reason, this guy needed money. I can overlook what his reasons for needing the money were . . . on another cold night in Chicago.
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
As I closed the bathroom door, I noticed something resembling a cat suit hanging on the back of the door. So, being a gay man, I decided to try it on while I waited for the water in the shower to get as hot as I like it. The suit, which looked more Cher-like and less Halle-like, seemed to fit me just fine but it never occurred to me what it was doing there or even who it might belong to.
So then I jump in the shower and as I finish and step out, my brother enters the bathroom with three other people. The first thing I could grab was the bathmat and wrapped that around my midsection. As I stood there naked and dripping, I realized I recognized two of the people with my brother as being Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip of Great Britain - both of whom didn't seem the least bit fazed by my presence.
This dream preceded a really nasty head cold I've been dealing with for the last two days. It only makes sense I guess.
Monday, March 03, 2008
Tea is the simplest thing on the planet: a bag of leaves and some hot water. That's it. There's no foam, there's no double shot, there's no ordering it "skinny" -- it's just a bag. And depending on where you might order your tea, sometimes it's loose leaves filtered through a napkin. What could be more rustic and rudimentary??
So why are tea drinkers treated like red-headed step-children? I am a proud drinker of tea (Earl Grey if you have it). And I demand to be treated just as good as someone who is drinking Maxwell House, Decaf, or even a 13 shot venti soy hazelnut vanilla cinnamon white mocha with extra white mocha and caramel (which, by the way, costs $13.76 at Starbuck's).
Friday, February 29, 2008
2004 - The Oscars were on this night. I returned back to DC from a weekend at my parent's place. Had dinner at Lauriol Plaza with Ex#4, then watched the Academy Awards at home.
2000 - Went to Baltimore to assist on a photo shoot for Guilford Pharmaceuticals's annual report. Came back to DC to attend the local AIGA seminar at the Mayflower Hotel.
1996 - Worked at my Gap store from 12:30-9:30. Vice President Peter Brooks visited the store. Attended friend Monica's Absolutely Fabulous party. My friend Joey called from New Orleans.
1992 - Classmate Mary's One-Person Show at ShenU. Friend Corey had a party at his house. Afterwards, Ex#2, Matt, Joshua and I drove to Deer Park Lodge to hang out with friends Matt, Jeff and Akili.
1988 - Worked from 9:30-5:00 at Peskin's, then drove to Ex#1's house for the night in Sterling, VA (140 miles).
1984 - Play practice at 7:00 for Senior play Harvey.
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
So I went to Chase Bank to cash the check. The teller asked me if I had an account with them and I said no. Then she said, "You know there's a $5 charge."
"For cashing a check?"
"For cashing a check drawn on YOUR bank where you can look into the account and see that there is a balance?"
"What's the $5 cover?"
"Well, it doesn't cover anything."
"It's a surcharge?"
"To cash the check."
"Because I don't have an account?"
"So where does the $5 go?"
"Yeah, where does it go? How do you account for it?"
"I don't know that?"
"Pizza party, perhaps?"
"Can you waive the fee?"
"Would you if you could?"
"I just think it's ridiculous."
"Yes, sir. Do you want to cash the check?"
"Do I still have to pay $5 to do it?"
"Do I have a choice?"
"You always have a choice."
And with that, I walked out of the bank with my $265.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
. . . wait, what? . . .
No, no. I'm talking about taking separate vacations. You didn't think I meant "breaking up" did you? Silly.
I am going home to visit my family for a few days and The BF is going to visit our friend Matt in Hawaii. I was invited to go to Hawaii too, but I feel like it's time for me to actually spend some quality time with the parental units and the siblings. A lot has happened back home that I feel I need to be home for, and to do this I need to give up a tropical vacation with the man I love. And because he loves me, he understands I need to do this. Like I said - a real maturity in our relationship.
I'll miss him, naturally, and I know I am missing out on a fun experience with him. I am glad he decided to go without me because it would bother me more that he didn't go because of me. Besides, the opportunity will come around again. And really, it doesn't really matter where we go together - he's constant fun.
So for the next few days - aloha!
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
I’ve also recently spotted Goil on TLC’s Trading Spaces. He really has lasting power in the industry, which I think qualifies him as “fabulous.” I’m not going to lie; if Bravo gave Goil his own show, I would totally watch it.
I'm glad he's landed on television again in a design capacity. As far as I know, he's the only one from the original Top Design that acquired such a deal. And even though this will make me sound like I'm a thug from Jersey, "You go, Goil!"
Friday, February 15, 2008
Right. Like they would ask someone to put an entire line together and NOT let him show at Fashion Week. Perhaps BRAVO won't air the fourth show on television, but trust - all four will show at Bryant Park.
The contenders: Rami, Christian, Jillian, and Chris.
The three who will be televised: Rami, Christian, and Jillian.
The winner: Rami, third. Christian, second. Jillian, first.
Even though Christian is the most talented, he will get second place, as is the tradition of the show. The most creative people always gets second place: Kara Saun, Daniel and Uli.
Wait two weeks and see if I'm not right. 'Cause I will be. I'm as sure of this as I am sure that Ricky will cry, Jack will camp it up, and Elisa will imbue the upholstery with the energy of the Goddess of Ghindy (God, I can't wait for the reunion show!)