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

Please Write: ALewisPDX@gmail.com

Monday, June 30, 2008


We've been holding on to this little "Sold" sticker for a week or more now. Waiting for all of the little bits and bobs to come together...the appraisal, the home inspection and related things we have to fix, the financial end of things, etc. But we got way to ancy. So, it went up yesterday afternoon. Hey, we can always take it back down if necessary...right? We've had a ton of drive-by traffic lately and there are two realtors with clients who are still interested in the horrible event that the deal falls through. So, we're headed toward a July 15 or so moving date. (Nice little stomach poking out, eh?...Looks like a little less summertime ice cream may be in order.)

Saturday, June 28, 2008

100 Degrees And Counting

Daddies + Mason + Drinks = Perfect. Gin + Diet Mandarin Orange Sprite + splash of Amareto....not so bad.

Our New Home

I know it's been a little quiet since I posted about the old girl being gone. We've had a myriad of projects that we're working through at the buyer's request -- involving electricians, the City of Portland, drain cleaning services, furnace people, and all of the rest. In addition, we're selling off much of our personal furniture and belongings. There simply won't be room in 881 square feet. Actually, moving day will be rather easy....nothing to haul, quite frankly. The appraisal has been done on our current house; the results are not in quite yet but we don't expect any problems. Our loan documents on the new condominium will actually be ready this coming week, far earlier than we can actually move in. Our buyer here wants to close on Friday the 11th. So, best guess is a move around the 15th. We're moving to a beautiful, brand new condominium in the Beaumont Village area of Portland, along Fremont Street. It's an okay size, but the single bedroom is very small. It features bamboo hardwood floors, slab granite in the kitchen and bath, tile floors in the bath, fantastic GE Profile stainless steel appliances (far more expensive than I'd go out and buy for myself....plus a gas range, something I've never had before). It has 10x10 patio, on the top floor of the building, gas fireplace, air conditioning, underground secured parking, and the coolest windows ever....the European kind that open in several directions -- normally plus lean in from the top to provide a little airflow if desired. The living room has a little Mount Hood view (until the trees grow up or, more often, on those many days in Portland when you can't see a thing!). So, that's it...the update. Today, we have a funeral for a good friend -- a contagious spirit full of giggles and laughter, she was. Stolen from us at age 52 by pancreatic cancer. Ugh. Oh, and that plus it's going to be in the upper 90s here today. And that, my friends, is precisely why I require central air conditioning. (And, I must add, these pictures don't do a thing for the beauty of this place, unfortunately....oh, and one more thing, our unit is on the upper right top floor of the building, in the middle....come and visit, will you?....oh, that is if you don't mind sleeping bags on the floor.)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Panty Auction or Polish Dog??

You'll recall that I've blogged about Pirate's Cove a time or two. And, now, this. A panty auction or Polish dog. I can't decide which I'd rather imbibe in. But strange things have happened to my panties in the past, that's for sure. Maybe I'd make a little more money if I put them up for auction.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Mount Saint Helens

As I flew over the top of Mount Saint Helens (8,365 feet) today, I marveled at how often I get to do this.....it's "my office window." This is a live shot captured from the webcam. And, of course, it used to look like this before May 1980 when it was at 9,677 feet:

And I know you've all seen the blast shots. But in the fall of 2004, it started rumbling again....we actually were able to see it from our bedroom window that particular day....talk about the right time and place. From up close, it looked something like this:
There is a new dome forming inside of the old crater...it's amazing to see. And it's still growing. In fact, it's one of the world's largest actively growing glaciers. We occasionally take a picnic lunch up there in the summertime. It's about 1 1/2 hour drive, 90 miles as the crow flies, and clearly visible from our city. If you haven't been here, you really should put this place on your list of have-tos. There are plenty of people hiking it each year -- I've even been invited (yeah, right).

Volcano Review 2008

Glacier Caves

Here are a few of my own shots:

And here's one I shot with Mount Adams (12,276 feet) in the background.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Rhubarb and Champagne In the Garden

There's nothing quite like a warm homemade rhubarb crisp with its early summer tartness alongside a glass of sparkling sweet champagne. The Compound said they'd be here at 7:30 last evening -- and they were, complete with the best of gifts straight from the oven. The beginning-of-summer sky set the scene perfectly as we sat on our back patio to toast our going away watching the contrails of airplanes headed north high overhead. They are the greatest friends and neighbors....you'll recall one of my more wild posts about them here. Thanks you guys....we love you all to death. And no matter how far down the road we move, it'll never be that far.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Why Advertise?

If you've got it, flaunt it!

Monday, June 16, 2008

She's Gone .......

It's only been a week since I wrote about Lessening Our Footprint. And my good friend over at Left Coast/Right Brain linked to a fabulous article along the same lines too. We had a not-so-pretty weekend at home because hubby is very very sick. Horrible sore throat complete with things that should not be in somebody's throat along with a fever. He's been in bed since Thursday night. So, we had to skip all of Portland Pride's events, a party, and other things that we'd loved to have done. BUT, yesterday afternoon brought a call from our realtor...."an offer has been made on your house!" We were thrilled. It was nearly what we'd thought may happen. She asked for the world. But we countered. We asked her to pay full asking price and we'd cover some closing costs for her. And she bit! Within two hours, our house was sold. We feel very blessed, especially in this housing market, to have received full asking price -- and it's worth every single penny. Now, there's the home inspection and other assorted necessary requirements...but for all intensive purposes, it's sold. Now, we really should find a place to live since we don't have one lined up for sure quite yet......And, oh, about that 11 July move-in date.............
UPDATE: You'll see in the comments that the English majors are out in full force and I stand embarassingly (is that a word?) corrected -- I should have used the phrase "for all intents and purposes."

Hybrid-Be or Not To Hybrid-Be ??

Anybody else getting tired of saying, "This is the most I've paid for a tank of gas...ever!"......and you keep on saying that week after week after week? We're at about $70 per tank each week (250 miles on a tank...15 mpg). We've got an SUV that we love to death...it has everything on it and hauls all of the things we need to think about (walkers and wheelchairs for our parents, dog things, camping gear, airline suitcases). But I got to thinking that we spend about $280 each month to go 1,000 miles...and the future for gas prices going down is not pretty. It's a cost that will continue to rise over the long-term. So, we've been hashing about the possibility of switching vehicles. And I'm picky, I might add. I absolutely hate giving up the hauling space/capacity and I love sitting up nice and high in the SUV. We owe about $13K on ours, the payment is reasonable. So, if you know me very well, you'd know that I've traversed the Internet over and over, inside and out, looking, comparing, reading reviews, etc. I always do my homework. We've come up with several possibilities that have ended up with these on the top: 2009 Toyota Camry Hybrid and the 2009 Saturn Vue Green Line Hybrid. Both would cost us a chunk of change to get into....around $30K. But the fuel savings and emissions-lessening is huge. So, our monthly payment would go up pretty well but our monthly gas bill would lower dramatically. The Camry is a beautiful car, we looked at one the other day to check out the trunk space. It actually gets around 33-35 in the city, more than double what we get now. The only reason the Saturn Vue is on the list is that it's the least expensive SUV hybrid around right now with some fairly decent ratings. The other deal is this: You can hardly even find a hybrid on a car lot right now. And they only stay there for a day or two. The Saturn dealer told me that there are only 200 hybrids in the entire nation right now. And the Toyota dealer told me that there are no Prius vehicles at all right now....and that they aren't even taking orders. This is just wild! So, your opinions? Thoughts? I thought I'd toss it out there for your good, balanced, responsible ideas.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

With Pride on Father's Day

My good buddy Dave at Blogography has been a faithful supporter of all things gay and I want to say thanks to him today. It's Pride Sunday here in Portland. And despite the fact that hubby and me are home with his horrible sore throat and fever, the festivities do continue (albeit not half as much fun without us, I am imagining in my own mind). Dave has written several amazing posts about his support for GLBT causes and folks. So, on this Pride Day, I turn you over to Dave for a scratch-n-giggle about we gays and our agendas.

Here's a look back at my Pride Day last year here in Portland. (By the way, the Ginch Gonch skivvies have been passed on to Goodwill...they were much too, shall we say, form-fitting for this arse.)

And, who can forget Father's Day? As you're well aware from reading this series (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), I was in love with my own and his impact on my own life is great. Today, I commend all of you who are fathers and I wish for happier memories for those of you who struggle with your own. And, sadly, I woke up to read of my friend Nathan and his family struggles this past week.

Friday, June 13, 2008

A Face Is Worth One Thousand Words

My friend Nathan at Nathan Exposed posted a while back about a site called Face Stat. It's pretty easy....you just upload a pic or two of yourself and let others deliver one-word descriptions about your picture back to you. If you're a person given over to easily having your feelings hurt or take things too seriously, skip it. So, I posted two......ONE HERE and ONE HERE. My favorite responses? "Ancient. Very Gay. Unemployed. Creepy." And I think that they may all be true! It's Pride Weekend here in Portland so it's not a bad way to put a smile on your face as we celebrate.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Discrimination ON HOLD in Oregon !!

Well, I can't believe it! It's a fantastic day here in Oregon. The gays, with their agendas, can rest a bit more easily tonight. Looks like there may not be an initiative to repeal our Domestic Partnerships here in Oregon this fall. But, they've vowed to come back in 2010 with a vengeance. Maybe by then, their leader JC will have taught them a few things about peace, justice, and equality. And it's a perfect introduction to Portland Pride 2008 this weekend.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Stand Tall With PRIDE

My friend Kelly over at Rambling Along in Life has put forth his annual Pride Challenge.....this is a picture that he has taken and has posted on his site. He's asking for it to be spread as far and wide (keep it clean here, folks) as possible by others posting this photo and telling their coming out story. So, for today, I'll post this pic -- and in the coming weeks I promise to have my story up for the masses to laugh and giggle at -- I can't believe that I haven't shared it yet. I know you all thought that I have always been this way -- but there was a day, a lot of days, when this gay boy was awfully closeted and doing my best to be a straight-laced little church boy in Idaho. I met Kelly and his partner a year ago next week at Pride in San Francisco. What fantastic, grab-life-by-the-horns sort of guys they are. So, cheers to all of you during this month of celebration. Keep your heads held high, smiles on your face, and be proud of the man or woman you're on the road to becoming. I swear, the gays definitely celebrate and have fun far more than our straight bretheren and sisteren (English majors, leave me alone), don't we???

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Lessening Our Footprint

Becoming minimalists has become somewhat of our mantra lately. I've been thinking heavily as of late about the footprint that I have on this earth. What sort of space do I occupy? What do I do with that space? How do I leave it, live in it, use it. As you know, our house is up for sale. We've been here five years. It's total of 1450 square feet living space plus an big basement and large beautiful yard. Bottom line? We're lazy. We don't do our yard work -- we have it done. And that is getting to us -- the fact that we're lazy and paying to have things done for us. So, we're looking around. Don't want a yard, simpler space to live in, and all of that. We've come up with a list of about 5-8 new places that would work for us. But on the top of the list right now is a fairly small one-level condominium that would have us living in only 850 square feet or so (unit 306 or 307 if you happen to explore the link). The other places are actually larger than what we have now and come with lots of stairs. We love them all. But we're especially partial to this idea of serious downsizing and leaning a bit more toward minimalism. We're actually kind of getting excited about throwing things away, gifting them upward and onward, and (quite frankly) existing on this earth with less than we have today. It's kind of a fetish, right now. We're looking at every single thing we have and wondering how we can get rid of it. It's really sort of energizing, in a twisted weird sort of way. And, I must painfully admit, I opened my jeans closet and spotted 12 pair. I felt a little guilty considering that I only have one arse and two skinny white legs with a little dark fuzz on them. It's odd how we are like goldfish and grow to whatever space constraints we have. If there's empty space, we fill it up. Seriously, I've laid awake nights wondering how we can stuff our hanging clothes into one, single 6-foot closet in the small 10x10 bedroom. And our good friend Alan spoke with us recently about a workshop he attended where they were emphasizing the use of fewer and less "things" on this earth. He was explaining how we actually live in about 20% of the space we have in our homes. The rest of it sits there nice and pretty -- waiting, wondering, gathering dust. It has to be heated, cooled, cleaned. And all without too much of a good return on the investment. And in many countries around the globe, there are many entire families living in small spaces such as the one we're considering. So, that's where we're at right now. Thinking, wondering, planning. And not just for a new home. Really more for the longer-term and in big picture sorts of ways. And, I must be honest, that as soon as this house deal is all settled and we're moved, the amount of gasoline we consume is next on the chopping block. Hybrids anyone?

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Rolling Along

Certainly you remember this from a few weeks back. Well, there's good news! We've graduated.....with honors .... we're on the honor roll! So now,instead of leaving the dispenser totally empty, we're simply putting a new roll on top -- and hoping that the next dude will take care of it. I think this is a step in the right direction.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

What Do You Say About a Woman ----

What do you say about a woman who has had just about as many things thrown at her in her life as anyone could imagine? About a woman who devoted her entire being to raising her family as well as she knew how. About her commitment to getting up early, staying up late, and not napping in between. About a woman who planted the garden, weeded it, and rescued its crops to be used on the table. About a woman who grew up during the Great Depression and took baths in a galvanized tub in the kitchen. About a woman who had only one dress while growing up? About a woman who took her lunch down the street to eat away from other children because she was embarrassed about what she had to eat. About a woman who was beaten? About a woman who was made to watch her then-current husband rape a young girl in front of her? About a woman who was hatefully not permitted to go get emergency care when her appendix burst. About a woman who layed away nights wondering about her children, sister, and others who suffered from alcoholism, depression, and drug use. About a woman who spent years caring for her own mother. About a woman who cared for her husband during his illness with Lou Gehrig's Disease. About a woman who stood tall, held her head high, and told one of her best friends that their long-term friendship was over because the (now former) friend didn't believe in the woman's son's gay lifestyle. About a woman who has the most positive attitude of anyone I've personally ever known. About a woman who does not hate....does not speak ill of others....does not have bad days or bad attitudes. Well, I'll tell you what I'll say about her. I'd say that I want to be like her. I want her attitude, her spirit, and her energy. I want her devotion to good causes, her strength when things are tough, and her ability to carry on in the worst of times. All with a smile on her face. And I must admit that I've even considered the horrible day in the future when I'll lose my mom -- it's a day that I'm not sure I can stand to face. We've gone through it all together. She's had to reconcile her faith in the face of things I'm sure she never anticipated facing. And she's done it with grace and courage. And today, I wish my mom the happiest 78th birthday ever. I love her and have never been more proud of anyone than I have of her. I hope that I'm able to achieve being even half the person she is.

Monday, June 02, 2008

Are You Being Stalked ??

Are you being stalked? I know you are because I am. I mean, if you have a blog, you're being stalked -- right? People come and go from your site, check it out, leave .... maybe they'll be back again, maybe they'll even leave a comment ... and some may email you or whatnot. And then there is the blogroll. Who do you list in your blogroll? What's the criteria? And how about those who you have listed on your own blogroll and whose sites you read but they don't necessarily read yours or ever comment or blogroll you .... do you keep them on your blogroll or 86 them? I know it's a tender topic ... and I expect a wide variety of responses. I read in excess of 100 blogs via my feed reader. And I try to comment if it's a topic that I'm interested in and sparks my interest. Or, if I don't comment on your site this time, I typically will the next time or two around -- it's only polite. But there are definitely blogs that I read pretty faithfully and comment on .... but they have never commented on my site nor have they blogrolled me. I guess that's cool. No harm done ... everyone is adult enough to not get their feelings hurt too much. And everyone's daily lives definitely play into how much time each of us has to read, comment, and keep up the intricacies of the website. But my time, like all of yours, is precious -- and I go through a weeding out process from time to time, clearing, cleaning, getting rid of sites, adding others. I guess I'm just wondering what you all do .... what is your criteria? Do you read sites that don't read you ... do you keep on commenting those who never comment on you? Ahh, the amazing things that this WWW blogosphere computer thing has introduced us to.