Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Many, Many Thanks. Email me if it's you!!
If you lived closer, I'd give you a big old lollypop.
Monday, December 29, 2008
Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 26, 2008
Thursday, December 25, 2008
Man, I swear I've got all kinds of emotions and things and feelings and thoughts in my head. And my heart is sort of tied to them all too. And I'm sure that I'm no different than any of you. I miss my childhood Christmases. I miss being at Grandma's house on Christmas Eve with a million family members with my father bringing the ham (he was a butcher). I miss helping my Grandma set up the table for the evening (that should have been a sure clue for anyone observant enough to notice...there's no straight boy in his right mind that would have been helping Grandma set the table). I miss stopping at Gem Furniture on Broadway Avenue in Boise on the way home from Grandma's on Christmas Eve....to look in their Christmas windows to see the moving Santa and decorations....and the slow crawl that my dad would do in our 1967 blue Chevy station wagon up Main Street in downtown Boise to look at the pretty lights. I miss the warmth of my bed and hearing my mom set up our breakfast -- always the one, she still is, to make sure that there is good food with some little surprise on the table for us. I spoke with her this morning....she said that she thought it was going to just be her and my step dad for dinner today, just the two of them. I said, "Things sure have changed, haven't they?" She said, "Yes, they sure have. But, you know, I have a long list of wants in my life and not one single thing on my NEED list." Always the purveyor of good spirits and energy, she is. A very wise woman.
My honey fixed our Christmas Eve meal for us last night....it was ready when I returned home from my very delayed morning turn to Phoenix and back. We, well "I" really, struggled to find something Christmas-y on the TV and to make it all seem okay. And it was, I cannot (nor am I) complaining. It's just different. I know you can relate. We finished up the evening with my brother in law coming by for a hot drink and to watch the end of It's a Wonderful Life. You remember it, I concur....the part where they all hug and the little bell rings on the tree and the angel gets his wings. My father in law has only been gone a few months -- he always brought "the voice of Christmas prayers" to our table...today, he'll be missed. And word late yesterday from a fellow friend and blogger in Africa that his partner of many years passed away yesterday evening. And another blogger buddy in Texas that is struggling through horrible radiation treatments that burn his skin beyond belief. My honey's continue struggle to figure out what is going on his his throat to cause it to hurt. Ugh. I know you've all got your own lists to deal with. But a very nice surprise phone call from my buddy Anthony on an overnight trip in Seattle...just up the road, really...except that the road is covered with snow and ice right now......we were going to try and spend Christmas together.
Today my mother in law is coming over along with our good friends Alex and Paul for dinner. We've invited a few other friends who may not have friends or family to spend today with. We're going to enjoy turkey breast, yummy ham with a killer Paula Deen glaze that my hubby made yesterday, au gratin potatoes, lime-curry roasted carrot spears, spicy Thai brussel sprouts, and homemade cake by Alex! It's going to all be delicious. And honey and I spent the morning enjoying a homemade hot breakfast together....a rarity for us. Oh, and we've got NPR's live holiday mix streaming on the laptop. And if my sister hadn't sent two lovely Christmas gifts to our little pooch Mason, he would have gone without this morning.....and he has been a very very good boy this year.
Tomorrow brings the longest list you've ever seen before our trip to Albany, New York, on Saturday to spend New Year's with Sean and Jeffrey. Tomorrow list include: Packing, going to the storage shed to get our big giant suitcase, gym time including yoga, haircuts, teeth bleaching, washing our sheets so they'll be nice and clean when we get back home, taking Mason to his Aunt Melanie's where he's going to spend the week, making sure the I-pod is charged up and synced, shave a bit perhaps, check in for our flight to the east coast, and take down all of the Christmas decorations. We'll be up early!
So today, I say HAPPY and MERRY to you all. Whatever you're celebrating, I hope it's a ton of fun. It's odd that we've designed so much attention around a single solitary day of the year....a mere 24 hours. I'm of the same ilk many of you are....that we should find reason to be happy every single solitary day of the year. If we can't, we've got some work to do. And if we already can, I'm sure there is someone nearby that could use our help in doing so.
Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Monday, December 22, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Today was a trip to Las Vegas and back for me....complete with a lovely lady dressed to the hilt and sipping on Courvoisier. There was nothing unusual until she proceeded to stand in the center aisle of an airplane on a mobile phone conversation and dive into the language of a truck driver. There she stood in her pretty little hat, beautiful hair cascading out from under the hat, and her potty mouth in full swing. And loud, may I add. Did it matter than 150 other people stood within spitting distance of her? Um, no, not so much. I'd have spit on her but I don't waste my hard-earned spit on trash (well, sometimes I do...but that's a whole other bottle of wine). I'd call her classy...except that it'd be a lie.
We've got an amazingly full Saturday planned.....up at 03:40am for a trip to San Jose and back. Then coffee with our former neighbors, a follow-up trip for hubby to the eye doctor regarding his new contact lenses, then drinks at Crush for a friend's 39th birthday party (yeah, right, sure you're 39), and then a trip to his home for some coconut cake concocted from the recipe files of Ms. Paula Deen (um, yeah, like that's on my list of eatable treats....I've asked for unadorned carrot and celery sticks to be served....on a silver tray).
Christmas Eve will bring work in the morning followed by some sort of delicious meal at our house during the dinner hour with my recently widowed mother in law. Following dinner we'll listen to my brother in law's radio program from San Luis Obispo, California, streaming on the WWW. Late night Christmas Eve will bring one of our favorite activities of the year -- an organ concert on the GIANT pipe organ at a church that we occasionally attend followed by a traditional candlelight service and then singing of carols outside in downtown Portland at midnight. Christmas morning will be spent with just the three of us, pick mommy in law up around noon, dinner at our house at 3pm, and then maybe a movie on the TV. Friday is completely filled up with preparations for the trip outlined in the next paragraph.
We're getting very excited for our trip to Albany, New York, next Saturday the 27th to see our buddy Sean and his hubby. I've met these two handsome and polite men....my honey has not. it's the first time we've ever gone away during the holidays. It snowed in Albany all day today....I hope the roads keep clear for their trip to Boston to retrieve us from the airport next Saturday afternoon. Hats and gloves will be packed.
I've been reading about many of you who are just not quite in the spirit this year (whatever that really means). It's amazing to me how much emphasis is put, and money spent, on one single solitary day on the calendar each year. And, I must add, that I feel differently this year than ever before. Not necessarily sad or depressed or any of that. But different. Low key. Subdued. Which is good for me. We've been putting tons of emphasis on the gym and yoga....and that's one of the greatest holiday gifts ever to ourselves. And our trip to Albany will be a heck of a way to ring in the New Year. But as far as the traditional buying/spending/eating/partying scene, we're not delving into it this year....thankfully. I just can't support the commercialism, the hype, the emotions and everything behind it. I stick with what I know.....my home, my honey, my pooch, my friends, my family, simplicity, no drama, easy and good times. To celebrate with those near you should happen daily, year round. Not on one day a year. And I don't find anything compelling about spending hundreds of dollars on people when I don't have it and they don't need it. There's nothing good about that. So, I search easily for happiness in my life. And I have it. Very much so. So, there's not much else that could possibly be put under a Christmas tree that would have any more redeeming qualities than that.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Please, come and help us say goodbye to the Bush.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Because today I get to go to San Jose and back to Portland. And because tomorrow I go to Orange County and back to Portland. And because I have many fetishes and one of them just happens to be trying on sunglasses in stores and taking pictures. And because it's been in the single digits and windier than you-know-what and that's why I am sporting the tuque. And because the dive in our old neighborhood is having a chocolate-covered party! Well, they had one, anyway. Do I need any more reasons to post erroneous pictures? And there are plenty more where these came from. And just one more thing...if you're looking for a bit of holiday cheer and Christmas happiness, don't forget to check out the upper left-hand corner of my site....the "Encouraging Words for the Day." They'll make you feel all cozy and tingly inside.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Hey kiddies, I know that many of you live in perpetual cold weather climates much of the winter. But we don't. Rain, oh yeah...we get the rain. But rarely do we have truly winter weather. Starting today, it's not going to be above freezing for the entire next week....which is really odd for us here in Portland. It's 30mph winds, blowing snow, and icy roads. Check out our local KGW Channel 8 website and our local weather forecast. If I were of the gay persuasion, you may even find me breaking out in a happy-go-lucky version of SNOW from the movie White Christmas. Schools are closed for tomorrow along with many businesses. We edged our way down the hill to the gym earlier....thinking we should keep right on with our business of staying healthy.
On the way home, we did the unhealthy and stopped at one of our favorite Chinese joints, The Ambassador. We walked in the door in our gym sweats and everyone was dressed up in dresses and suits and ties -- we'd obviously crashed some party! It was The Ambassador's annual Christmas party for it's employees and customers. I dove into a steaming fresh plate of kung pao veggies. And we both slurped down a hot chocolate with peppermint schnapps (even though we're not over 21 yet...shh). What a great place. And the drinking isn't over yet....as soon as I hit "publish post" on this little diddy, I'm off to incorporate some rum into hot low-fat eggnog (honey doesn't know about that quite yet but I'm sure he won't object).
And we're less than two weeks from our week-long visit to see some of the Northeast's hottest guys. I met them back in October but my honey has not....he's getting nervous! They invited us out for New Year's and we gladly accepted. And don't forget Sean's Undie Monday tomorrow!
Happy holiday week ahead to everyone. Email me! Tell me something hot to keep these cold days warm and toasty! Send me a picture that will turn a cold day into a hot night!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Man, tonight must be a full moon or something. But at least this dream didn't involve dog pee or Nancy Reagan.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Do you like my new winter coat? About sixteen of us could have fit into the 47 yards of material that made that coat up. I felt a bit like Sarah Palin.
Monday, December 08, 2008
Sunday, December 07, 2008
..."There's one thing to be said about masturbation: you certainly don't have to look your best..."
..."You're lips are turning blue. You look like you've been rimming a snowman..."
Quotes From Boys In the Band which we just saw for the first time the other night.
Saturday, December 06, 2008
Friday, December 05, 2008
We don't "do" yoga. We "practice" yoga. Much as our lives are a journey of practicing. Over and over. I still have trouble keeping my focus. I find myself thinking about errands or things that have to be done. I do my conscious best to NOT look at the clock in the room....and I'm pretty good at that. (Except that today I found myself thinking about a very hot pair of boots that my honey and I found last week....he really wants them....but if they were in black, they would so be on my feet right now...except that yoga is done barefoot....which I love). I look down at my toes and see them pushed into the mat so deeply that I think they may go through it. And that makes me happy. To have this one hour of pushing my body behond its limits and make it do something it doesn't want to do. And I think of this friend in New York and this friend in Florida (sorry if there are others I've forgotten) who also practice yoga and how much it sort of brings us together in this unique experience....makes me feel like we have this ethereal common denominator that unites us. I hear the instructor's voice saying to push myself, to test my abilities, to do something that I have never done before. And I push a little harder at that point. The testing of one's soul, mental capabilities, and the pushing of one's physical limits is an experience hard to put into words. But if you've done it or been there, you know exactly what I'm talking about.
But one of the coolest things I've learned is the word Namaste. If you're not familiar with it, you should be. We all should be. In yoga, namasté is said to mean "The light in me honors the light in you," as spoken by both the yoga instructor and yoga students. I had no idea what gibberish they were all saying the first time I went to class. It is said at the end of class when we're all seated, legs folded, hands at heart center, eyes closed. And the instructor utters "Namaste." And all of the students utter it back. Silly and simple, I suppose. But, on the other hand, it actually has the potential to change entire relationships, families, and even nations. One can only hope. Wouldn't it be funny if a simple yoga practice were the single thing that could change our entire universe?
Thursday, December 04, 2008
ME (Spoken with heavy sarcasm as is my typical devotion): "The gays and the old people are the only ones going to Palm Springs. They can be so demanding."
HER: "You outta know, honey, you're both!"
Damn her.....she knows me so well. And wouldn't you just know, the truth can be such a bitch.
Now, exactly where is my wheelchair, poodle, shawl, and cocktail??
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Sunday, November 30, 2008
But, let's not get ahead of ourselves. You really must go back and reread When HIV Strikes Close to Home from two years ago on World Aids Day. This will lay out the story more clearly for you. The above story dates to the fall of 1997. I knew next to nothing about HIV. And the journey I was embarking on was not clear. At all. What happened in the next few months was that this friend and I moved in together. I moved to Portland and we set up house together. He never did exactly know how he was infected. I bought every book known to man on the topic in order to educate myself and to help provide him some support. He was recommended to a great HIV doctor and we began the every three months trip to the doctor for the testing of his T-Cell count and all of the other counts that have to be measured. We started an herbal therapy program that kept us very busy. He went through the typical "Do I just have a common cold or is it my HIV acting up" feelings -- never really knowing for sure what it was that was going on. It became just as much an emotional guessing game as anything else. A game that drove deep scars into the psyche of each of us. We kept a complete stock of gloves, antibacterial cleaners, and ways to never touch his blood. We were religious about being careful sexually. Every infection was treated with huge care. Every time the night sweats happened, we just knew that he was one step closer to you know what. All the while, he was a trooper. A world class act. He did what he was asked to; he kept his doctor's visits; he did his best to do things that would help out his body...like stop smoking. We told those who had to know. And kept it horribly private to those who may not know how to deal with such privy information. I mean, the stigma! The shame. It wasn't pretty.
My family in Idaho was one group that we kept in the dark about his diagnosis. I mean, it was all they could do to simply deal with my having just coming out during the last year. There was no way they could deal with HIV information...as far as they knew, they knew no one with HIV. Oh, but they did...they just didn't know it. It was three years later when we were visiting. My partner had gone into the bathroom and I had my mom all to myself for a very short time. My heart was pounding in crazy ways. And I just dove right in and told her that "He is sick...he is HIV positive and has been for three years....I hope you understand and will still love him and treat him the same way you have been." He came back from the bathroom and had no more entered the living room when my mom got up from her chair and move straight across the room and directly toward him. He glanced at me and knew I had told her. With only the heart and spirit that my mom could have, she told him that "He was just like another son to her and that nothing would change....and that she still loved him." And with that, she tossed her arms around him and hugged him. She did her best to educate herself in the following years.
We continued our visits to our neighborhood doctor. We had moved across town and no longer went to see the HIV doctor. It was now seven years later. His numbers still looked remarkably good. Things had settled down. There were no bouts of sickness that kept him down for any length of time. All of his blood counts remained consistent. And during one visit, our doctor recommended that we go visit another HIV doctor....just to be sure that all was being done that should be. This was now February 2005. Years had passed. So, we made our way to an expert in the current affairs of the HIV field. And he wanted to "Start at the beginning, just to be sure we've got a clean baseline from which to work....I want to recheck you for the HIV virus and we'll go from there. Are you aware that there is the most remote of possibilities that you are not HIV positive?" And that's where this whole story started. He drew blood and explained that he was going to recheck for the presence of the HIV antibody. He knew that this had been done at two different, reputable, clinics seven years prior and that all of the tests and retests had been positive. He asked us to come in a week later. But, he said, if there just happened to be any good news, he would call us first thing.
May I just tell you that every single time the phone rang over the next week, we ran for it. Hearts palpitating, hopes running high in spite of knowing that this never happened. I mean, there were false-positives -- but they were caught in the recheck. There were never repeated positive tests....over and over. So, February 16, 2005, we went back to the doctor for the results. The room in the corner at the end of the hall -- I recall it very well. The door was left open and I remember the doctor coming down the hall....I could see him coming toward us. He came in, sat down, and tossed a file full of papers on the desk. And it went this way:
"In all of the 30 years I've been in this field, I've only heard of this happening. It's never happened to me personally. I've never had the opportunity to tell someone this.....But I am happy to tell you that you are NOT HIV positive." It was at this point, that I glanced over to my husband....his mouth was hanging open. Wide open as he stared at the doctor. And it was also at this point, that I started crying. A lot. I can't tell you the deep-seated emotions that flooded over us. Years of worry. Years of shame. He went on to explain that we could second-guess it forever. It could be this or that. But it was strictly guess work. We would probably never know for sure what it was that gave multiple false readings. But, he said, I want you to go from this room and live your life to the fullest...you have been given a new lease on your life." I will never forget walking from that office, into the hospital elevators, and seeing other people around us. Did they know? Could they tell? No, of course they couldn't.
After seven long years, we were hearing information that tossed our whole lives up into the air. We will celebrate our 11th Anniversary together on December 9....just a few days from now. We spent the first seven years in fear and with question. We've spent the last four years shedding ourselves of the preconceived ideas that we had built into our lives. I mean, I never even thought that he would still be alive today for me to be writing to you about it. I fully expected to be partner-less by this point in my life. I was prepared for it on that day way back in 1997 on "the day that started it all. Fear of rejection on his face and in his voice. And my weak struggling words "Of course I'll be your friend." I reached out and, for the very first time ever, pulled his hand and mine together.....down between the two of us where it was warm, dry, and safe. I knew it was time to draw together and not be apart. That's what friendships are all about. For healing and not for hurt.
My dear friends, may I just reiterate that age-old piece of wisdom that we've heard over and over: That we just never know what tomorrow may bring. Simple, isn't it? Sort of rings hollow, even. But it's the truth. For good or bad, we just don't know. This was one surprise that I could never have crafted or created or even dreamed of. That day, that specific ten seconds of time, will be driven deep into my soul forever. I will never forget it. Today, open yourself to good. To happiness. To being better. No matter what.
Today, to my dear beloved husband, I want you to know how much I love you. Your smile, your core, your being. The kindness you bring to my life, and to the world around you, is immeasurable. I never thought I'd have you as a part of my life in the year 2008. I never even thought it would happen. I can't tell you the nights I stared into the darkness wondering. And, today, you're here. I couldn't be happier. I love you. Dearly.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
They sported such pretty clothes as nice bright red pullover knit golf sweater vests with bright yellow Nike polo shirts underneath. Complete with Bandon ballcaps and sunglasses that rode up top of the ballcaps. It appear they would have been much more at home in the middle of a Hooter's Restaurant looking at girl's boobs than pretending to be First Class passengers that they certainly were not. (It's more than a seat....it's a way of life, boys.) They looked like they'd have been right at home with a 24 1/2 pound bucket of chicken wings in front of them....I'll be that every one of them lick their fingers and yell "Hot Damn" when the chicks pass by. And, dare I say, that I doubt a chick has glanced at any of them in many years. Oh, and I could clearly see a couple of their belly buttons through their skin-tight polo shirts......they were both outies. Ick. They bantered back and forth about the game, their wives back home, football, golf, and other nonessential, shallow life things like "It's 4 1/2 hours until my boys kickoff." I've never come closer to screaming out "Who gives a shit!" in my life.
Now, believe me, I am all about letting people be who they are. God knows that I've been accused of needing to tone down my hair cuts, clothing, where I shop and where I go more than once -- "Now that you're in your 40's," people say to me. But, I must tell you that I have a harder time permitting certain groups to be themselves than others.....shame on me, I know. It's something about the drawing of attention to one's self at that age that is odd to me. Second of third grade, perhaps? It's like they don't even know who they are as people, nor where they are going in life. It feels like a life with minimal dimension. It's annoying. And I've never been a fan of loud people who expect every one around them to simply put up with them.
So, in spite of the fact that I'd like to slap a straight boy's ass, today I wanted to slap the face of six straight men.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Hubby told me that my attitude has been in the dumps for several years now -- and that when he first met me (11 years now!), I used to be the one that drove the whole thing. Time? Life? Stresses? Pressure? Reordering of priorities? No kids? Middle age? Who knows. A bit of each, perhaps. I can't stand the commercialism, the crowds, the kids running all over the stores, the traffic and parking lots. None of it interests me in the least. I'm more than happy to relax with coffee, friends, dinner, and the most simple of times. No fuss, mess, hard work.
So, while he drove me toward this today, I'm walking around with a cattle prod just about as far up my Holiday Ass as it can get. It's right up there with a candy cane or two from last year. If it weren't for the fact that we are going to spend New Year's with this hot man and his husband in New York State, I think I'd just fast forward the clock to January.
My god, I sound like the Scrooge of Christmas Past, don't I?
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
You'll recall my Thanksgiving post from two years ago. And the truth in the message is still there -- current and meaningful as ever. But what in the world would I write about this year? It seems like I do write with ease about being thankful numerous times throughout the year; so possibly when it comes to having to do it on a particular day and time, I just can't. If you're a writer, you know how it is when the spirit moves you. I mean, you have to write NOW. Not in a minute or two...or the thoughts and emotion disappear sometimes.
Consider that I have a healthy and long list of gifts and people in my life for which I am ever grateful. The first of which is myself -- sounds selfish, doesn't it? But I am thankful for the gift of breath and life. The same breath that gives me the ability to move from day to day, helping others, being a partner and friend, doing what I do. And an easy one is how grateful I am for my life partner. He is one hell of an amazing man. I was thinking two days ago about the things other people say about him -- the things that I often hear from others with regard to him. They often talk of his smile and his kindness. He has an amazing way of making others feel warm and welcome. He's done that for me in his life. And, believe me, he puts up with my antics, my crazy thought processes, my wanting to try this or that, and still loves me...for who I am. Honey, I love you and am thankful for you today. For the happiness you allow me to live with through you. And my job, my health insurance, the many friends I've made in the blogosphere, and for my family. And we mustn't forget the beautiful condominium we are fortunate to live in. We've got the pooch, the amazingly delicious food that comes out of our kitchen, our health, and our sincere happiness to be living life. Frequently, we comment on our thankfulness to one another. It's very often that we see a hillside covered with trees or a field of golden grain and comment on how much we love life.
So, you see, I do have plenty of people, places, and things to honor this year. I guess my message of thanks sort of came together easier than I thought. I hope yours does too.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saturday, November 22, 2008
I was doing crunches on the big inflatable ball. It was hurting my neck and lower back (I'd rather do them on the ground) and I told him so. He said, "Cool, let's just go to the Miss Buttercup program....maybe that'd be better for you." Again, a giggle or two. So, I finish my crunches and sideways plank core exercises. And we head to the leg machines for a lower body workout. We just kept up this bickering and bantering back and forth about too much weight and all of that. At one point, I stood up and said to him that it was apparent that he didn't understand why I was actually back in the gym in the first place. He didn't get it that I am 46 years old and have been in a gym a total of about six months in my entire 46 years. I told him that I didn't care if I ever looked like him or any of the other hot guys in the gym. I reminded him that I was here to enjoy myself, try to have some fun, and do a little workout. I told him that "I can't blow my whole wad at the beginning and then have nothing to use later." He laughed, uncomfortably. I told him that I wanted to still be coming to the gym for the remainder of my life and that I absolutely had to enjoy my time here or I'd stop coming. And, the clincher, I mentioned that it may be better if I changed personal trainers.
He was understanding, I must say. He apologized and backed off. He said that what he was asking me to do is just about the minimum. I pointed to the weights on the machines and reminded him there were several notches below/less than what we were doing already....and why couldn't we use those? He concurred. We finished the workout in much better shape. It just wasn't good. I've got two more sessions and then I'll be on my own. I think that'll be much better for me. We ended it on a good note -- both of us apologizing and reminding ourselves of the importance of clear communication and understanding for each other. He is a nice guy, he really is. And I appreciate the desire to keep me moving. But, I swear, if this isn't a pleasant experience for me, I'll stop going. And there's no way that's going to happen.
Friday, November 21, 2008
When she looked up at me with those small, round dark eyes and her mouth unable to be closed completely, I broke. Unable to speak, nod her head, or hardly even sit upright without help, she shook and wobbled with the effects of Cerebral Palsy. She may have been 30 or even 40, I couldn't quite tell. She had a folder with her complete with a few names and contact phone numbers at her destination including her Resident Manager -- she must be living in a group home. She couldn't even hold out her hand to point at any of the drinks I was offering her....I chose a can of Coke for her and set it down in front of her. And what exactly did I think she was going to do then? Reach for it? Um, no...she couldn't. I put down a plastic cup next to the can of Coke. She couldn't do a thing for herself. I poured some in the cup for her thinking it may be easier to drink that way. But there was no way she was going to be able to pick up that cup and drink for herself. She couldn't even participate in that simple activity. I was going to actually have to help her drink. Now, we are not required to assist anyone in actually eating or drinking -- just opening the food and making sure they can reach it. But for god's sake, what human being in their right mind was going to just let her sit there and not help out. I knelt down next to her shaking body and struggled to get as much Coke as I could into her mouth. It went everywhere. Down her front....I put napkins under her chin to catch most of it. By god, she struggled her best to get a drink. I was so proud of her. The rest of it ran down her face and onto my hands and right into the ring that my partner bought for me several years ago -- the stickiness of the sugar drenching her and me. The ring is engraved with the words beauty, joy, faith, love, wish, dream, hope, peace, spirit, and soul. She exemplified every one of them. I swear, there is something that pokes at my heart when any of us helps meet the most basic of bottom-line necessities of someone's life. It breaks a guy's heart right in half. My cool, temperate heart gave way. The crustiness and sassy front-running emotion in my life fell hard as the tears gathered quickly in my eyes and then I began to cry right out loud -- in the middle of the aisle way, on my knees, in uniform, with a Coke in my hand. I made my way forward to the galley to compose myself.
God help me if I ever complain that things in my small little life aren't quite how I'd like them to be. I would consider myself a total loss, a failure, a human of pissy proportions and not worthy of a place on this planet if I ever find myself in a position where it becomes apparent that I am not counting my blessings or if I ever see myself as a victim. Thanksgiving is coming up this week here in the United States. I wonder if it will cause me pause to consider those with less than I.
These moments of learning only come to those whose hearts are able to be broken open. To those who are willing to change, to feel, to see without the blinders of greed and self. And only to those whose spirits are yearning to develop a sense of gratefulness. I'm trying. I really am.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Our new Aussiebum panties arrived today all of the way from Australia....they are HOT. Smokin' hot. Very cool colors (how gay is that statement?). Pics soon, perhaps. For a select few. And only after the joint smoking ceremony mentioned in paragraph #1 above. Oh, and now, a serious upper body workout will be in order to give those arm holes on the workout t-shirt something proper to sport. Curls for the gurls are in order!!
I had a fantastic trip. Light passenger loads, nice crew, great weather, all just perfect. Two more days of work Friday and Saturday before two days off. I got to talk to my good friend in Toronto last night....he called me and surprised me during my overnight in Vancouver. What a nice man he is! In spite of the fact that he tells me that my "in person voice" has a different meter to it than my "telephone voice." I'm still trying to figure that out.
Thanksgiving dinner will be spent at a local hotel located on the beautiful Columbia River. We decided to do that instead of cook this time around. It's just going to be hubby, me, and my mother in law. It's the first holiday since my father in law passed away. I'm glad we'll be together.
Listen, kids, I love ya all dearly. But you'll excuse me while I go and shower away my grimy pits and my nether regions (gym workout earlier). And then we head off to our monthly homeowner's association meeting. What a life.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Last night I concocted an amazing dish for dinner. I hope you'll consider making it for your own household. I guess I'd call it Roasted Vegetable and Sweet Potato Au Gratin. Chop a mixture of whatever vegetables you like -- I used asparagus, purple onion, and red pepper. Chop them into small pieces and toss into a skillet with olive oil, a few tablespoons of water, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Cook just until softened. Set aside. In the meantime, peel and slice thinly one yam or sweet potato. Grease a baking dish. Start with a layer of sliced sweet potatoes. Smear a thin layer of fat-free sour cream, a little sharp cheddar cheese (or cheese of your choice), and a few of the cooked vegetables. Add another layer of sweet potatoes plus sour cream and veggies. Keep doing this (like a lasagna). Finish with sweet potatoes and layer of sharp cheddar. Cover and bake at 400 for 45 minutes. Remove the cover/top and broil just until bubbly and browned. It's amazing. Kind of like a sweet potato lasagna! You'll love it.....with a simple green salad on the same plate.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Friday, November 14, 2008
I've always had my eye on this sign that hangs in Touchstone Coffee House, one of our favorite little coffee shops here in Portland. And in light of this month's uprising with regard to Proposition 8 in California and other states as well, I thought it only appropriate. One of my favorite signs so far has been "No More Mr. Nice Gay." I mean, if we can't start standing on our own two feet and speaking up for what is the right thing, then when will we ever stand up?
Thursday, November 13, 2008
ME: (I extend my hand to her.) My name is Lewis and I just want to take a moment to tell you how nice it is to meet you and how much I've admired your work. (I'm not exactly quite sure to which work I refer, but...oh well....I do like her.)
ANNE HECHE: (Big smiles) Oh, that's so nice of you. It's nice to meet you too, Lewis.
ME: Are you on your way to work?
ANNE HECHE: (Still with amazing pleasantry and looking me straight in the eye.) No, I'm going to see a friend.
We chat on about the weather, brief interlude about politics, and this and that. She never once did not look me straight in the eye with a giant smile. I feel like we could have shared a pint or two with one another.
Oh, and she did ask me to assist her with her belongings. Gladly. Good manners bring about good manners. I was impressed. And she had a good day. I guess we both did. I should have given her my phone number.
And it wasn't all that long before I was meeting my new friend TurnipHed -- another fellow blogger for dinner and ale. He's as big of a smart ass as yours truly. So, I felt right at home....and a bit competitive. He took the time to meet me and spend his time with me...and for that I appreciate his friendship. He's such a nice man. We chatted Canadian viewpoints on this American "thing" we've got going on right now. We blathered on endlessly about airplanes and aircraft. We had a blast with lots of smiles, quite frankly. I know we'll see each other again. He's never been to Portland and I've never been to Toronto. That'll change sometime. Thanks, my friend!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Tuesday-Wednesday-Thursday will find me navigating the skies above the West Coast. You can sort of see it here although it's not a great map. You can also see more detail here. I will see approximately 650 bright and shiny faces over seven flights over three days -- all locked inside of a metal tube. Who knows how many drinks they will consume. I will spend Tuesday night in San Francisco and Wednesday night in Vancouver BC. The air mileage appears to be 4,724 miles. This is what I will look like:
And this is what my office will look like:
I hope your week is just as exciting!
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 09, 2008
This week will find me in Palm Springs, San Francisco, Vancouver BC, Los Angeles, and San Jose. I'm meeting yet another blogger to add to my list and I couldn't be happier. Friends are what make the world go 'round, you know.