* * * My Words, My World, My Way * * *

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Friday, January 26, 2007

It's Finally Here!

The bags are all packed, suntan lotion included, sunglasses, cruise documents, book to read, snacks, camera....and thong (powder blue). We'll be home on Monday, February 5, so I won't be posting or able to read your sites until then. Maybe a post or video from the ship....we'll have to see. So, tonight we leave Portland on this:

We'll meet my parents in Seattle and then we'll fly from Seattle-Miami overnight (arrive Miami at 07:00am Saturday morning). We fly on this to Miami:

We'll meet our limo driver and cruise along in this:

The limo will take us to Fort Lauderdale to The Bahia Mar Beach Resort.

We'll spend Saturday sunning and relaxing on Fort Lauderdale beach and maybe take a ride around on the Water Taxi. On Sunday morning, we'll take a short taxi ride to Port Everglades where we'll board this:

Happy days to you all. I wish you a week of health and happiness. Cheers!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

You Tube Test Video

I'd like your comments if this YouTube video loads any more quickly than the identical video just below it. How's the quality? Any difference between the two? Thanks.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Video Test #3--Driving to the Airport

Driving to pick up my honey at the airport......another test video!

Test Video #2--Driving in the Neighborhood

Driving through my neighborhood....testing the video thing out!

Test Video.....

Today is VIDEO TESTING DAY.....It's my first test videos. I'm wandering around our kitchen, talking about the yummy lasagne I made today (recipe on my blog), and then driving to the airport--showing off the beautiful day we're having here. Enjoy. (They will get better, I promise!)

Lasagne ala Lewis!

I make different types and styles of lasagna each time I create one. No two are the same. No recipes are ever followed. Today's feature included:

*28 ounce can diced tomatoes with liquid
*One 15 ounce can black olives, each one halved, no liquid
*One 15 ounce can whole white beans, drain most liquid
*Half of a sweet onion and a fairly large red pepper, sauteed in skillet first
*Half cup of dry white wine, your choice (and drink the rest).
*Three cups of your choice of cheeses (today, I used a mixture of asagio and shaved Parmesan)
*Few tablespoons of flour
*Plenty of fresh-ground black pepper
*Teaspoon of salt
*Dash of nutmeg
*Dash of cayenne pepper
*Few tablespoons of oil (today I used garlic oil, olive oil would do just fine)
Mix all of the above together in a large dish.

Most of the time I do not cook my noodles first....today I did but only until al dente. Always spray your baking dish with cooking spray first to help with cleanup (it's one of my many fetishes, but cooking spray and me are the best of friends in the kitchen, not the bedroom). I use a soup ladle and begin and end with the mixture on the bottom and top of the dish. I'd cook it at 350 for 45 minutes-1 hour. Tonight it will be served with a spinach salad including green olives, lots of coarse fresh black pepper and shaved Parmesan. There will be hot crusty bread alongside. Oh, did I mention the Querceto Chianti Classico Reserva 2000 straight from Italy? Yup, it'll be there before, during, and after. Invite your friends over and enjoy.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Why Didn't Anybody Tell Me???

A few weeks ago, hubby and me were in the basement cleaning, sorting, getting rid of all of our cardboard boxes and moving everything into those nifty clear plastic storage containers. In the midst of that fun, we ran across multitude numbers of memorabilia that brought back many memories including the following excerpt from a family newspaper that I had started in February 1974. From the Editor himself, I quote:

"Lewis' Party......On February 17 lewis had a party too be remembered. He had 6 boys for pizza and then to stay over night. At 2:35 A.M. Barb got up and said a few words. Ha Ha."

As if that wasn't a dead giveaway as to my sexuality, I continue with the very next entry:

"Today at 2:00 Lewis and Anne are going to a play "fiddler on the roof." It is suppose to be just like a Brodway Hit."

And the very last entry in the paper...which pretty much cleared everything up:

"Lewis said that the gifts were great. Aunt Ruth got a blouse and Lewis got a dark pink shirt, socks, and plad pants."

Why didn't anybody tell me sooner? I could have saved us all a ton of heartache. Sigh.

Today we spent the whole day shopping, getting ready to pack, and choosing our clothes for the cruise. We leave next Friday and this was our last full day together before then. Hubby needed a few things (have you ever tried to find shorts and flip flops in January in Oregon??). But I am the one who made the haul: Beautiful Clark's dress shoes (they are SO soft and comfortable), Old Navy Jeans for $4.99, two pair of shorts and kahkis, cool striped boxer briefs from The Gap, a book from Barnes and Noble, two ties (required in the dining room on the ship), and several t-shirts. (I always get a comment or six when he is the one that we're out shopping for and I'm the one that comes home with the goods.) We also took in another tanning session and BS'ed with our buddy who owns the tanning place. As always, he made us a perfect nonfat vanilla latte after we were done. I think we're pretty much ready to go. Wish we were all going together! Anybody up for a blogger get-together here in Portland sometime?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

The Fruit Loop and the Cops

We've been under snow and ice for a week now...like many of you have been. (Don't you just wish we could all be together, fireplace going, drinking hot drinks, eating amazing food, and have the heat turned up......oh, and snuggle under the warmth of a down comforter too.) Reminds of of a number of winters ago.....ten or more....when I was living in horribly conservative Boise, Idaho. You see, what happens there when you're horny is that you go to the Fruit Loop near the east end of Ann Morrison Park. You sit, wait, flash your lights, go around again, rub your crotch, hope, wish, pray. Now, every guy in the whole region is there: gay, straight, closeted (many), Mormon (many more), conservative Christian (crazy numbers), bi, whatever. You're all there together staring at the same piece of meat. The park used to close at midnight. Somewhere along the line, it shifted to "dusk." It's snowy, cold, and piled deep in snow this particular winter night. 11:30pm. I'm naked, totally naked, in the front seat of my pickup (every boy in Idaho has one) with some other guy who is also totally indisposed. Truck is running, heater turned on. It's an easy spot to keep one eye on the park entrance.....to watch for police who come cruising in to harass the weenie-seekers. So, things are progressing nicely until I happen to look out the back window of the truck and see a police cruiser just starting to turn into the parking area where we're at. Damn! How did I not notice that cop coming in. Must have been preoccupied. So, I start driving. Naked. There's no way that I'm stopping to exchange pleasantries with the Boise City Police Department while my pants are draped across the back of the passenger's seat. Not a chance. About this time, the cop thinks that I'm trying to escape....so on go the red and blue flashers and HER voice booming out of the speaker on the top of the car...."please pull over." No way...not until I can get my thingy covered up. It's cold, definitely scared, and the "boys" are hiding. And I am too. So, I'm driving....a manual shift truck, of course. Pulling up my jeans, putting on the other dude's t-shirt backwards and inside out, and no shoes or socks. My little cold toes are hitting the gas to keep my distance from the police until I get it all covered up. The other guy, whose pallor has turned ashen, has my shirt on. Who cares. I pull over. I can see her coming up in the rear view mirror. I'm more nervous than Dick Cheney's hunting partner. About that time, here come two more cop cars directly at me from the front......lights are on, roaring into the park.....she's called for backup since I started driving away. Now I'm blocked in. "Good evening. Do you know that the park closes at dusk?" God, she's nice. And, now, here come two other cops....every one of them a chick! You've got to be kidding. So, that makes three lesbians plus us two scared/married/gay??? guys all in one spot in Boise. Sounds like a convention. And all of this while the rest of the world sleeps away. In peace. She writes me a ticket for being in the park after hours. And visions of jail and telling my wife dance through my head. I went before the judge, paid the $5 fine, and left. Wonder if it's still on my record? And, bigger issue: What do I do with the other guy's t-shirt? Do you think my wife will mind washing it for me before I return it to him?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Cruising Virgins and Expensive AC Adapters

Yesterday I bought the most expensive AC power adapter ever for my laptop. The old one must have had a short in the wiring or something. It wouldn't power the laptop any longer and was flipping back and forth between the battery and AC constantly. So, I go on the prowl for a new adapter. Do you think that is easy? Dell makes it pretty difficult. Nothing would work. So, with SK twisting my arm, I bought a new laptop....making this the single most expensive AC adapter in the world. It's a new Sony Vaio C140G. It's very nice and I'm totally enjoying it. It's much lighter in weight and a little smaller...which will be perfect for my traveling lifestyle. Disappointing, though, that I still need to get an AC adapter from Dell for the old computer so that I can get all of my pictures and documents off of it. And standing right there by my side was my wonderful husband.....the perfect support and sounding board for my questions and decision making. I've jumped into the webcam pool and will be attempting some video blogging sometime soon.

As much as I hate to admit it, we're virgins. Cruising virgins and not THAT kind of cruising. We're talking about water, ships, etc. On Friday, January 26, we're leaving with my parents for a week-long cruise of the Southern Caribbean on Holland America's Westerdam. Stops include their own private island plus Aruba and Curacao. We've never done a full-length cruise before and neither of us have been to the Caribbean. PLUS, I won the cruise...for four people, deluxe veranda outside staterooms, and it included the airfare to/from the cruise too. Amazing! It'll be especially welcome after the last week of freezing cold temperatures and snow. We're going to do a stingray and dolphin encounter and we've reserved the Green Cabana on Half Moon Cay for the day--it comes with drinks, snacks, umbrellas, chairs, shower, air conditioning, and....the best part....a cabana boy for the day to run around, get lunch and drinks, whatever we need.....remember here, kids, we'll be with my parents. So no fooling around.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

We've Returned!

We've returned from the deep freeze...temperature in Boise this morning before we left was a balmy 7...."seven." Brr. Pics are posted of our visit. We had a blast. Lots of family time, yummy food, getting Mom and Dad organized for our cruise together on January 28, helping out Sis with a few things. All of that while we wove in and out between the droves of Republicans, Mormons, and most conservative of Christians. We always have plenty to talk about when we return! But, hey, it's where I'm from....and it's my family. I love 'em to death. Don't forget to check out the pics at http://www.flickr.com/photos/alewispdx/sets/72157594477616658/.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


I'm off to see my parents and family in Boise, Idaho, and will be away from the computer and email through the end of the week....sorry, no reading all of your great blogs and emails and all. You see, once they get electricity in Idaho, they'll be able to think about getting the internet and all. Just kidding....all of my Idaho friends.

BTW, the Music and Passion concert was 100% unbelievable and amazing. So NOT typical Barry Manilow. Seriously, in spite of the craziness that you all think I was participating in, it was so full of high energy and dance and special effects. Lots of music from the 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s. Really great stuff. HOWEVER, we were the youngest people there. And we were not dressed in the traditional, time-honored-fashion of most Portland audience members: sweats, sweatshirts, baggy clothes. As for gay men, we saw maybe just a small handful. It was not the audience that we were expecting. We did, however, participate in teeny-tiny plastic cups of horribly expensive wine from the wine bar. And his closing number, One Voice, sang acapella, was nothing short of a breath of fresh air.....crazy, I know, but very true. God, we need more of that kind of spirit, aliveness, and positive energy in our world. Talk with you all when I'm back late on Saturday or Sunday. Today, I hope you'll find your own voice and be the change you want to see in this world.

Just one voice singing in the darkness
All it takes is one voice
Singing so they hear what's on your mind
And when you look around you'll find
There's more than one voice singing in the darkness
Joining with that one voice
Each and every note another octave
Hands are joined and fears unlocked

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Sex with the Saints in the Sheets

I spent twelve years of my life, off and on, traveling with the Christian musical group The Continental Singers. (That's an entirely different story which I'll share with you after a nice bottle, or six, of Pinot Gris or Merlot....and is well deserving of a full-length novel.) Each tour was 1-3 months long and consisted of 20-40 members. We traveled all of the 50 states and most countries around the world doing concerts for Jesus every single night. The tours were run quite strictly. We were expected to adhere to numerous rules and regulations including no guy-girl relationships (like that was going to happen with me). But it also included no relations of a homosexual nature. So, let's see here, you're going to ask 20 testosterone-laden guys from different churches around the world to be on the same tour, all of them having been told "no no" when they've ever wanted to fool around or even masturbate, all of them with strong actor/musician/artistic inclinations, and then ask them to spend the night in bed with one another for three months in a row and not expect anything to happen? How do you spell denial? And it did. And I did. The rules were that you would be sent home immediately if anything happened. Horror! I can't immediately recall all of the times there was foolin' around going on but it happened to me more than once. Many more times than once. There was my friend G who was the cutest little tenor on the tour. Artsy and flamboyant. We went nearly the whole tour being friends and giggling like little school girls together. Do you think anybody knew? It was about two weeks before the end of the tour when, in some old couple's home in Cottage Grove, Oregon, I discovered that he had a curved wee-wee. I was in the basement bedroom somewhere in the Quad Cities area of Iowa with K on another tour. He was a beautiful African-American guy who went on to be in Miss Saigon on Broadway. He dressed beautifully and smelled so good. The black guy and the white guy went crazy on each other in that basement bordello that night. And the next....and the next. Another time, I was with T somewhere in the Midwest when we starting getting all handsy in the middle of the night. I think we just masturbated. For some reason, I remember the shame and guilt after that particular Midwest madness. In a Quality Inn in New Jersey on a steamy hot July night, I remember being in one bed with some dude while two other guys slept in the other (queen?) bed. We started doing the nasty....god, it was so hot in that room....and we were so scared that the other two guys would wake up or see us. Maybe they did. Another lustful time, I was in Haarlem, The Netherlands, with my assistant director M when all erotic-sexual-hell broke loose late one night in the upper floor where we slept....with the unassuming Dutch hosts sleeping soundly on another floor down beneath us. He had been joking with me for weeks about getting a foot massage from me. And I couldn't keep my eyes off of those little skimpy European-style briefs that we US boys would never wear. So, that night he went to take a shower and I went to bed. He came up later, climbed into bed, and we started joking about the foot rub thing. So, I started, and he started. I had just finished with one of his huge, beautiful British feet and was just starting on the other when he grabbed me in a moment of Christian-bad-boy-gone-even-naughtier, wrestled me down, and got what we both had been wanting all of these weeks. M and me went on and on...sneaking into each other's rooms during the night in an old farmhouse in the quiet countryside of Denmark.....in his parent's home (actually in their private shower!) in Birmingham, England. Another time was in the hull of a Polish ferry crossing the Baltic Sea at night from Ystad, Sweden, to what was then East Germany. The tiniest and most cramped little room you've ever seen.....and that damned Irishman "J" took advantage of me. (I almost sound like a poor little victim, don't I??). Shall I go on? Suffice it to say, that we did everything we were not supposed to. Over and over. Again and again. Some of these guys went on to get married (like me!). Some I have seen since then, some not. Some were too ashamed to face me or anyone else after that. Others went right on like nothing had ever happened. Sometimes the tears of guilt and shame poured onto the alter during a come-to-Jesus meeting later in the tour. And some are probably even very happily sleeping with boys to this very day. Just like me.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Music and Passion

Knock it off! Stop the laughing, the jokes, and the snickering. Next Monday, we're going to see Barry at the Rose Garden. It's one of only two performances that he's doing this year outside of his full schedule at the Las Vegas Hilton. My first time to see him was in 1982 at Boise State University. We slept all night on the hood of my buddy's Camaro so that we could be one of the first in line for tickets. Two things I remember: My friend screaming "I love you, Barry" over and over and then "I'm not gay" Manilow himself riding out...perched, really....on the top of a gigantic pineapple to open the second half with Copacabana. He wore gray slacks and a red sweater. I went the next day and bought both in remembrance. (Again, stop laughing.) As I write this, S is ushering me into the next level of heaven with a collection of Barry's tunes on our grand piano. S is an amazing pianist...but he's a Barry virgin. Never seen him. And boy is he excited too....along with our good friend A who is coming along also. My second trip to see him was in 1986 at the Riviera Hotel in Las Vegas with my long-lost friend Rosemary. Her sister was singing backup with a choir for him on the song Weekend in New England. We sat in the theater, all dressed up for the dinner show, and then Barry crooned for us.....all night.....Wow. Nothing like an old style Vegas showroom. The thing I remember about that night was seeing Telly Savalas (anybody old enough to remember Kojak??) standing in front of the hotel. I marched right on over, put my hand out, and said hi. He was horribly polite as he shook my hand. And now next Monday. We're ecstatic. The dude is 60 or so and still an amazing showman. If you haven't seen his Vegas show yet (or at least the DVD) it's awesome. Tons of energy, dance, and music. It's so not old style Barry Manilow. It's Manilow on steroids. I'm guessing that we'll fit in well with the stylishly-dressed collection of gay men and 40-something couples with bangs and bleach-blonde hair that will be there. We're thinking that we need to have some sort of retro shirts or jackets for the big hoo-haa. Something tight, flashy, slinky, and sexy. Oh, maybe some velour too. So, laugh and cackle if you must. But we're stoked. From my first introduction to Barry (while driving along in the front seat of our 1967 blue Chevy station wagon listening to Mandy) in 1974 to now I've loved his music. The songs are so sappy, lovey-dovey and all of that. But they make you feel good, happy, and crazy in love by the end of the evening. And I'm all about feeling good....especially in this day and age.