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Friday, October 31, 2008


Today's the day, kids. The scariest night of the year, other than when I discovered crows feet alongside my eyes. And Mason's first birthday is on Saturday. We bought him a new Halloween costume and he's dying to hit the road to be seen. He's such a showoff. Combine that with the election next week and you've got quite a combination. Mason wanted to be Baaruff Obama for Halloween but we told him he couldn't and that he should just Biden his time until the election was over to see how things went. And, besides, everyone else would Palin in comparison. So, he's just a member of the Mc-K-9 Unit, instead.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Sarah Palin Is My Nemesis

Did you know? Sarah Palin and I are tight. Very. We both like attacking animals while they run from us. We like dressing up for the hunt. We like expensive things like designer glasses and lots of rich people's clothing. And we both believe in Drill Baby, Drill -- only it means something different to her than me. And we're both HOT.....all of the straight boys want to do us. Oh, and we both have handsome husbands that are akin to Joe Six Pack. Hot damn.
Today, hubby + pooch + I are driving 500 miles from Boise to Seattle. Tonight is our 10th Anniversary Party given to us by our company. It really is going to be a lot of fun. On Friday, we drive from Seattle to Portland.....ahh, the quietness of home. Oh, and the liberalism too.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Untamed Rifles (a.k.a. National Rifle Association Meets The Spirit)

I think that my favorite part of spending the last week locked inside the compound of good, solid, white church-going, family values, National Rifle Association members was when I discovered an unlocked rifle just sitting idly by in the corner of the den where I blogged from this week. Oh, and did I mention that my two nephews (ages 2 and 3) were visiting. I love that. You can't create that even for the movies. You just can't make up this shit. It's for real, folks.

What Are We Supposed to Do With Bigots ??

What is the proper protocol for dealing with bigots? Bigots in the family with whom one needs to work on some semblance of a pleasant level. Last night it was: "I hope they lose the game after they went on the field at the end of the game and said they were for Obama....I just hope they lose." So, I pleasantly (well, not really so pleasantly) asked: "What's wrong with expressing who someone supports for President?" Oh, boy...that didn't fly at all. Kind of an uncomfortable, gutteral laugh and then.... "Well, you can just read this.....". I am thrust with a three-page copy of some email called "Your History Lesson for Today." It began way back in the dark ages, 1976, when Jimmy Carter was President. And it led straight up to next Tuesday, November 4, Election Day. And how it was Jimmy Carter's fault that "Barack Hussein Mohammed Obama" may very well be our next President. It mentioned every Democrat between then and now and how rotten they were/are. It mentioned none of the last eight years nor any Republican at all. I went to bed steamin' mad. I was ready to pack the car and leave this morning (my husband doesn't even know that part...don't tell him). Except for mom needs my help. Then I hear that Mr. Bigot has been mean to my mother, nothing physical or like that, but in a rude sort of way that made her cry. And, boys and girls, that shit ain't gonna fly with this boy. Not for a minute.

So, please, have your opinions. Enjoy them. But if it ever migrates to the N-Word, hatred, being rude or mean because of someone's race, sex, sexual orientation or any of the other things that make us who we are, you're going to hit a brick wall with this boy. I'll tell you off but proper. And happily. I will always stand up for right, for who people are.

So, now, what am I going to do with this N-Word-Hating Bigot? I'm just about to institute National Grab a Bigot By the Balls Day. And I'll be glad to start it. Thankfully, we're leaving tomorrow for this journey at 06:00 Pacific Time:
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What Are We Supposed to Do With Bigots?

What is the proper protocol for dealing with bigots? Bigots in the family with whom one needs to work on some semblance of a pleasant level. Last night it was: "I hope they lose the game after they went on the field at the end of the game and said they were for Obama....I just hope they lose." So, I pleasantly (well, not really so pleasantly) asked: "What's wrong with expressing who someone supports for President?" Oh, boy...that didn't fly at all. Kind of an uncomfortable, gutteral laugh and then.... "Well, you can just read this.....". I am thrust with a three-page copy of some email called "Your History Lesson for Today." It began way back in the dark ages, 1976, when Jimmy Carter was President. And it led straight up to next Tuesday, November 4, Election Day. And how it was Jimmy Carter's fault that "Barack Hussein Mohammed Obama" may very well be our next President. It mentioned every Democrat between then and now and how rotten they were/are. It mentioned none of the last eight years nor any Republican at all. I went to bed steamin' mad. I was ready to pack the car and leave this morning (my husband doesn't even know that part...don't tell him). Except for mom needs my help. Then I hear that Mr. Bigot has been mean to my mother, nothing physical or like that, but in a rude sort of way that made her cry. And, boys and girls, that shit ain't gonna fly with this boy. Not for a minute.

So, please, have your opinions. Enjoy them. But if it ever migrates to the N-Word, hatred, being rude or mean because of someone's race, sex, sexual orientation or any of the other things that make us who we are, you're going to hit a brick wall with this boy. I'll tell you off but proper. And happily. I will always stand up for right, for who people are.

So, now, what am I going to do with this N-Word-Hating Bigot? I'm just about to institute National Grab a Bigot By the Balls Day. And I'll be glad to start it. Thankfully, we're leaving tomorrow for this journey at 06:00 Pacific Time:

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Guilt and Obligation

Well, it's probably not either one...guilt or obligation. Because I don't do either one well at all. Obligation drives me away, quickly. And guilt and I don't know one another. But because I've decided it's the right thing to do, I have decided to head back to the gym...pronto. We've belonged in the past. Had personal trainers that drove us to the brink of collapse and all of that. But here's the deal: I don't like to sweat. I don't like to be hot. I just plain old hate exercising. A pussy. A real wussy. But, boys and girls, this tired old body is in the throws of middle age....whatever that means. It has put on 12 pounds in the last 18 months or so and weighs more than it ever has. Not that much, but for what it is, it's too much. And it's much easier to shed 12 pounds or so than more (or at least distribute it more evenly so that no one knows...shh, don't tell anyone). And being the analytic that I am, I have been toying with this for about six months...should I do it, how can I make it work best, what will motivate me?, why should I do this at all? I absolutely would not do it if I were going to stop it in a month or two...that's not me at all. Unless I commit, I ain't gonna do it.

So, today I have come to peace with it....I'm signing up as soon as I get home. My peace has been had, sort of. My heart and head will be in balance with this soon. I know, I know...many of you go regularly....and I'm jealous every time I hear about it, see your pictures, or listen to you talk. So, in the spirit of committing myself to the deed -- and in the spirit of supporting the local economy -- I visited a friend's Athlete's Foot store today and purchased a great pair of Brooks running shoes along with a t-shirt and shorts for the gym. Overkill, I know. But I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it does the trick and keeps me on course. I just plain old know that it's the right thing to do....for the weight, to keep the aging muscles as taut and sinewy as is humanly possible at this age, to kick up the oxygen and blood flow, and maybe even shed a few tensions and stresses along the way. My good buddy Sean has been kicking his own ass into gear lately.....there is absolutely no excuse for me not to follow his fine example.

In addition to all of the above BS, there were a few lighter moments in today's journey:

I mean, the boy had to have a Halloween costume...right? More of Mason and his Halloween and Christmas outfits here. (In spite of the fact that it's a totally satanic holiday and that I'm offended by it.) And then just a few more for kicks. (He's gonna kill me, I swear it....)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Exhibitionism At It's (Not So) Finest

In the spirit of promoting my exhibitionist side, I send you on your way to Idol Eyes and a Dormy for his first edition of Undie Monday.

What Are You Doing New Year's Eve???

A slight bit early, perhaps. But, then again, maybe not. So, what are YOU doing New Year's Eve? We've been waiting to break the titillating news but just can't stand it any longer. For years, we've discussed going away for the holidays...like many people do. We rarely do because our family is close by and we see them regularly. Plus, travel in the skies at the holidays is not easy for us. But this year is going to be different. We're doing something we've never done before. We've been invited back to Albany, New York, to the home of this total stud muffin and his handsome beau. You'll remember that I was just there a few weeks ago (check out posts from October 8-14 in the archives). They treated me like royalty -- truly one of the family. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I'm afraid that a beautiful relationship has developed with these guys -- one of those "couldn't have planned it if I'd tried" sort of things. We've been trying to figure out a way to spend more time together, short of actually picking up and moving from one coast to the other. And they casually mentioned us coming out for the holidays. Well, imagine their surprise when I passed along our flight arrival times and information! As soon as they stopped the fluids from leaking out in their trousers, they said YES! I think they must have been delirious. Nonetheless, we're thrilled. Beside ourselves with excitement about being with these hot men and their friends for the ushering in of 2009. In a place that we've not been before. Life is short....and we're trying to take new advantage of every new opportunity. How long do you suppose it will be before I convince them to move to Portland? I'm hoping not long. Now, I've got to get busy packing.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pulling My Hair Out

I swear to god, every time I'm with my family, I think that they are crazier than they were the last time. (Sorry, sis...I just have to say it out.) As you know, I'm here because my mom had total knee replacement surgery and I'm helping her out with transportation needs and all of that. But this place is about as quiet and peaceful for her recovery as a good old fashioned Kansas twister. My step father drives me batty. He's an 83-year-old child. Full of energy, noisier than hell, slams every single door he ever walks through, drops things regularly, pulls all of the dishes out of the dishwasher that I just loaded because "it wasn't quite right," goes out to his little gardening shed in the back yard where he does who knows what like a little high school child, does not help out in the house with cleaning and doing things that need to be done, doesn't like the food that my mom prepares for him (she's an amazing cook, by the way), always has a long belabored story to tell, wakes my mom up from her rest just to ask silly questions or say some unnecessary bit of trivia. He's a bull in a china cabinet. And the list goes on. Plus, the phone rings off of the hook....and they always answer it, unlike me who rarely actually answers my phone. Neither of them can hear so the TV volume has to be nearly as loud as the set will allow....I mean, it's deafening. And asking questions of anybody is next to impossible. They can't hear you ask....so you end up repeating it over and over. Combine that with the conservative politics, religion, and hatred of "Californians, Mexicans, and Blacks," and I'm just not cut out to be here very long. It's just plain old not my home any longer.

I'm just not used to it. I am a peaceful, relatively quiet, person. I enjoy nothing...peace....quiet....zero. I rarely dis on my family. I love them dearly but, truthfully, I'm always ready to go home. I require quiet. And there just isn't any here. I think I'm going to go home more gray than when I arrived. In fact, I know I am. Thankfully, my hubby arrives tomorrow to help take the edge off of this nasty attitude I've picked up.

Sunday Afternoon Map

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I Can't Decide

Maybe you can help me. I simply can't decide which of these books I want to read first. They are all in my parent's bookshelf -- situated alarmingly close to my right elbow this week as I blog from their den. I hope they don't rub off on me.

Anybody want to join me for a book review club this week? Come on over!

From the Toilet to the Tub

I don't know quite how this all came together, but it did. Way back in October 1997, I started to get horribly serious for the man that is now my husband. He made me silly that way. He likes to take baths. I am not so fond. So, one of our first memories was of being in his apartment in downtown Portland with him in the bathtub and me perched like a good potential husband on the toilet. Lid closed, by the way. You know how those most poignant of early memories can lodge themselves into the cracks in one's mind? Yup, it's still there. Elton John's Big Picture album had just come out. And he had a cassette tape of it that we played in the little cassette player that sat on top of the medicine cabinet above his bathroom sink. The hot water in this old building took forever (can I just repeat "forever"). Literally, there were times it would take 15 minutes to get even warm enough to bathe in. So, we'd wait and wait. Then, he'd dive into the tub, bubbles would ensue, and we'd begin blabbling about this and that. Should we become lovers? Or not? Where was this thing going? Anywhere? What should we do about the fact that I lived in Boise, Idaho, at the time and had never really been in a long-term relationship with a member of the same sex before? Man, those were the days.

And they haven't quit. Seems like that's become some of our favorite times. It's continued happening wherever we've lived -- numerous places in Portland as well as Anchorage, Alaska (near Wasilla where Ms. Palin has dibs on Palin). We always find ourselves discussing the world's troubles, how to do this or that, should we or shouldn't we, are we still in love with one another (kidding!), who to invite over for dinner, and where we should go for dinner. I've hauled my laptop in there to look up this or that. We've planned world vacations in there. We've looked up things we didn't know. We've probably even looked at things we shouldn't have. And lately politics have become quite a bit of our discussion. We've strategized, planned, giggled and laughed, and I normally always offer to scrub his back -- though he always says no. I shave his neck from time to time so his neck is as slick pretty as the rest of him. One thing we try never to do is discuss work. That's out of bounds. And, NO, I've never done "that" while I've been sitting on the toilet with him.
We have stopped listening to music while doing the duty. And he rotates what kind of smelly bubbles he lavishes himself in. And you wouldn't believe the beautiful puppy that often joins us to sleep on his daddy's pile of clothes next to the bathtub. It's all a part of those little unexpected moments in our lives that we find ourselves in. The rituals and habits. Plain and simple, it's just the things that we do. And we're planning on doing it for years to come. Well, as long as we've got a bathtub and toilet, that is. And the bubbles. We simply must have those.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tiny Bubbles

Hey, if good friend and Mr. McHotness 2008 can do Friday Funnies, so can I. Right out of the heartland of Boise, Idaho -- and you thought they never had any fun here! Ha! Well, you'll notice it is a heterosexual couple....what with keeping with family values and such. Plus, I'm on the hunt for any Men on a Mission since this is serious Mormon country.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Land Of -- Oz??

Well, I made it. To the land of "I Pray" license plates, John McCain mailings laying out on the kitchen counter, little fish on the back of many cars, giant SUVs and pickups everywhere, Wal Mart mommies and daddys with their little cute sayings on the back of the sedans, new construction of a JC Penney store, traffic so bad I can't begin to describe it, and every single Republic yard sign you can imagine. I feel so at home, warm and cozy. Now, where is my Obama-Biden kit? Pray for me, would you please......I need it.

And thanks to those of you who text messaged and called me on my journey today. It was a fantastic day for travel.

La Grande, Oregon

Idaho Bound

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wanderings for Wednesday

Tomorrow will bring yet another journey:
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My beautiful mom had total knee replacement surgery yesterday and is doing fine. But she is the sole source of transportation in the household and that's where I come in. I'll be the driver for all groceries, doctor's visits, meetings, and whatever other trouble Idahoans find themselves in. Plus, I'll get a little time with sister....and she'll have adequate time to remind me that I'm several years old than she. Pleasant, she is. Plus, it's going to be a little difficult to be entrenched in one of our nation's Republican strongholds for a week -- the very week before our presidential election. I made it clear that I simply could not be in Boise on Election Day -- there aren't enough drugs in the world to provide me with solace. Blogging will be intermittent at best for a week.

Following my time in Boise, hubby and I will be going to Seattle for our 10th Anniversary celebration soiree with our company. They'll wine and dine us properly, I hope. I've bought new underwear and fresh set of unscathed pearls for the affair. We'll be home on Halloween day in time to start one of the busiest months of work that I've had for a while. And, I have to say, I'm actually looking forward to getting back to work, making enough money to actually pay the bills, and refocusing a bit.

Speaking of November, I will be having the opportunity to meet yet another fellow blogger in Vancouver, BC, during the month. TurnipHed and I share similar professions and are fortunate enough to find ourselves in the same city on the same day. I can hardly wait -- who knows what he's thinking. He's probably searching for a new bottle of Valium.

And as I've been going about my washing, scrubbing, cleaning, packing duties for the day, I've had this good friend on my mind. His post today reminded me of the ups and downs that each of us face in our lives. Some appear to have it better than we do. Others clearly have it worse -- like the sinking feeling hubby and I had in our hearts a few days back when an ambulance raced past us down the road. We nearly always say to each other, "Someone's having a bad day." And imagine our even deeper sadness when we discovered the ambulance had pulled up alongside Our House of Portland, our local HIV/AIDS home. But when I read my comrade's heartfelt words that "Maybe I can't smile right now. Maybe I don't love everything and everyone in the world and maybe sometimes I want to curl up into a fetal position in a private corner in my room and bawl my eyes out for no particular reason." it causes me a moment of pause. As much as I hate it when I have these types of feelings, I hate it even more when my hubby or this good buddy has them. I just hate to see people struggle. I encouraged him to have bad days and tears and struggle with purpose. With a specific purpose in mind. Call those feelings exactly what they are -- name them. And then have them with meaning and purpose. Embrace the feelings of wanting to be miserable and selfish and pouty (his words). It's the beginning of having power over them. He's made it clear that sharing them out in the open is far better than bottling them up inside. And he's right. I'm so happy that whatever forces you believe in brought us together as friends.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Get Busy

"Get Busy, Get Busy!" You ought to hear me. Over and over. Waiting, and not so patiently. You see, we're on the top floor of a condo building and have to take our little sweet pooch Mason out for each crap and to take a doggy leak. My hubby says it's just the way it is and it's good exercise for us. He's trying to embrace it. Me, on the other hand....well, I'm ready to strangle something. Soon! I hate it. I stand out there. Saying, "get busy" repeatedly. Mason usually goes to the door and stands there when he needs to go out. But he's figured the whole gig out...and does it just for kicks now. And as the weather starts turning, I'm not looking forward to false alarms in the rain and winter weather. I get totally frustrated. I feel like I'm doing nothing but participating in silliness. Wasting my time and my life. I just get something started and have to get up. Just start working on dinner and have to go downstairs. Just start writing or working on the laptop and, whammo, he's at the door. And then we just stand out there. Him sniffing, me huffing. It's not pretty. I'm afraid that this tired old goat isn't cut out for the nurturing and patience required for this fatherly crap. I hate it.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Under(wear) The Weather

I've been a bit under the weather the last few days with some head congestion. I've been being a good boy and using my NeilMed Sinus Rinse. I feel pretty much fine other than that. So fine, that I got in a little trouble yesterday.

We were scheduled to go and spend a gift card that hubby had at Under 4 Men, a locally owned Portland underwear store. Unfortunately, being a nearly commando man, I had no excuse to even be going except for moral support (no pun intended). What is it about underwear that would turn on a commando guy? I'm afraid I fell. Twice. Once Here and Once Here. I do have one thing to say in my defense....I seldom buy underwear at all, let alone expensive things to hold up my babys (and when I say babys, I mean it). But, these are some of the softest, most comfortable things ever....seriously. So, that's what happens in the same weekend you go and vote for a black guy for President...you go buy expensive underwear too. For support.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mandate to Be Better

Many of you know the tale of my sister and her remarkable story of recovery. And numerous of you have been right there by my side through much of it. I'll outline a few of the posts at the bottom for you if you care to check them out. She is quite the person. So much so that I hope each of you is able to have someone just like her in your own life in the future if you don't already. Someone to show you that no matter how dark and destitute the journey, tomorrow can be a different experience. I've said it over and over to those struggling in their lives: "If she can do it, anyone can." I mean, her road has been crap, folks. A horribly long story that maybe she'll allow me to pen in its entirety sometime. But now, she has just finished a weekend with a group of AA women in the beautiful mountains of Idaho. She wrote to me to share of her weekend experience. And I wrote her back the following:

You already know I love you. And this just brings the added icing on the cake...and a big smile on my face for you. For you experience, for your gratitude, for the smile that brings your soul to life. I can just see that lights-out deal. Those are moments that shape us, form us, allow us to move on, to put old things behind and continue becoming new. Just talked to mom. I'm still coming on Thursday...probably be there 3-4pm. I told her that you and I would talk after her surgery on Tuesday afternoon. Love you and am, always, proud of you. I want to give you permission. Permission to be better. Permission to not have to do the same old things. Permission to make the second half of your life extravagant...in huge ways. So, there's your mandate. Get busy, my darling little sister.

I have the same wish for this wickedly crazy world we're in. The ups and downs. The impending sense of doom that seems to be mounting as the days go on. Cling to life. Cling to those who give you life and don't take it from you. Hang with positive people. Get rid of dead weight and those that drag you down. Be strong and of good courage. I know that many of my readers struggle. With alcoholism, drug use, lack of finances, children that test their very ability to be good parents, partners that come and go, mechanical breakdowns with cars, and jobs that seem to suck the life out of us. And I'm afraid that I don't possess any particularly good answers to solve those most troubling of situations. I only know that today is all we really have. To make it right. To choose a different attitude. To make the rest of our lives, from this day forward, different than the past. I'm not really sure where this whole post came from, nor where it's going. But I had to pass it along. Something overtook me and made me. For you, for me, for all of us.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

The Deed Is Done !!

I've been waiting for this moment for a very long time. It actually gave me a few goosebumps when I finally saw his name on the ballot. It's so wild, after all of this time, that it is here. Oregon has statewide mail-in ballots. Mine arrived today and will be returned promptly...just to be sure. Do you suppose that the election officials are standing by downtown, waiting, pondering upon which date my ballot will be returned? I suppose they have better things to do. Oh, I was going to write my own name in as a "Write-In" but didn't think I stood a chance.

Friday, October 17, 2008

My Projection

This is my personal projection for the upcoming election. I know, I know...there are many things in flux right now. And there are numerous states that may go one way or the other -- I call those BiExual States.

A quick rundown and personal thoughts: Florida and North Carolina -- It's the South, folks. Think about it. It is not the year 2008 in many parts of our country. Missouri -- Nearly always goes Red and I will err on the side of the GOP, unfortunately. Virginia -- I'm giving it to the Dems this time around based on the sheer number of new Dems in the northern suburbs. Nevada and Colorado -- Again, history says they are going Red and I don't want to overinflate Obama's map. If he wins them, it'll be the icing on the cake. New Mexico -- I'm giving it to the Blue Boys. Ohio -- I think we all know that it's a big Red stronghold...again, I'm erring on the side of conservative. And my map projection doesn't require Ohio for Obama to win. Pennsylvania -- Blue Boys!

I follow the individual state polls carefully. I watch numbers of people moving in and out of individual counties. And I know full well that this nation believes we're headed in the wrong direction...and we are! But I also know that we are a nation of emotionally-driven people. We spout off. We're reactive, not responsive. We say we're going to do one thing and then do another -- and that's where things get scary with polls and such. Remember when we all thought that John Kerry had things wrapped up....and then the evening began to turn Red. Unfortunately. And there are several presidents that have turned around and won when the other guy had a double-digit lead. So, I'm being conservative in my projections. I've given Virginia and New Mexico to Obama....and hope he holds them. But the biggies like Florida and Ohio I'm keeping Red for now. In spite of the polls. I know how things can end up dramatically different than we expect. So, my excitement actually makes me feel good...that I am being pretty conservative and Obama STILL wins. And that makes me feel rreeeeeaaaallllyyyy good. My apologies for the map not being able to be seen completely....I wish I were more computer savvy, but I'm just not. I'm projecting Obama with 277 electoral votes and McCain with 261....you can't see that on the map, unfortunately.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What's For Dinner Tonight???

Just look at what we're having for dinner tonight. Hehehe. Haven't seen one of these in years. And I've never put one in my oven. But there's a first time for everything. Homemade turnip oven fries will accompany pan-fried chicken tenderloins with tomato and onion relish along with garlic asparagus.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Nope, No Thanks

Well, looky here at what the Willamette Week has put out today. I couldn't have said it any better. And as long as I'm on a Kick Palin's Arse moment, Check This Out....make sure your speakers are turned on and start clicking around the room. Hehehe.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Endearing of Souls

Exactly what is it that connects souls? One to another. A group to another group. Couples to each other and to other couples. Plain old people to people sort of hookups. Sometimes geography, mutual friends, belonging to the same club or group, or just meeting in public somewhere. Who knows. But I do know one thing -- I've become a victim. And if you know me, you know that I rarely believe anyone is a victim....but, rather, usually volunteers. So, for me to claim to be a victim is something.

I can't tell you the joy it's brought me to have been the house guest of these guys:

Sean and Jeffrey treated me like the princess I've always deep down thought I was. I had my own room with fresh sheets. The refrigerator was stocked with drinks and yummies. I found fresh hot coffee available every morning when I got up. They picked me up at the Albany airport after a busy work day when I'm sure they'd rather have been relaxing at home. They introduced me to a million of their close-knit group of friends. I was able to participate in one of Sean's favorite activities with him....A Cosmo at Rocks bar in Albany. And (giant sacrifice!) they got up at 3:30am today to drag my tired arse back to the airport for a 6am flight to Chicago and then on to Portland. All without complaining. In fact, with smiles and happy thoughts. I even talked Sean into dragging out his trombone and playing a few diddys. He really enjoys playing and I always enjoy good music so it worked out well. And Jeffrey entertained me forever with the stuff I am totally into like all of Albany's historical data and stats. How far it is from here to there, the history behind things, who votes for whom, etc. And I love hearing people's family histories, where they've come from, and where they want to go in life. And who can hold out for a good old fashioned game of Who Is the Biggest Pervert. And the showstopper of the evening had to be this apron shot:

Sean whipped us up some yummy food (in spite of the fact that we had pasta for days the entire time I was there). We barely ate any of his food last night. But the Naked Chef Extravaganza was second to none.

They treated me to brunch at The American Hotel in Sharon Springs. Allowed me to lounge, in whatever shape or form I was in, on their couch -- the three of us with laptops in hand, blogging, emailing, chatting, watching news and politics, listening to music. It was so low-key. So comfortable. So perfect.

I don't know what you call it. Divine intervention. Happenstance. Whatever. It was great. To have made a connection with those I'd never met before. Some said we were both crazy -- him for allowing me to fly across the country and stay with them sight unseen and me for wanting to do it! We both took a chance, lived adventurously, and tossed caution to the wind. We're both that way in that sense. But I can unequivocally say to the naysayers that they were 100% wrong. I can't exactly put my finger on it. But this is one set of friendships that will be around for a long, long time. And I am confident that my life is sweeter and more complete for having met them. So, to my good friends Sean and Jeffrey, tonight as you put your heads down on your pillows (sans me in the guest room) I want you to know what a beautiful impact you have made on my life. Like a meteor that crashed into earth and leaves a giant deep hole. That's what you've done. It'll be there for a long, long time. Saying Thank You seems shallow and trite. But it's polite. And it's horribly true. You're the best. My entire collection of photos is HERE. And Sean's collection is HERE. No blackmail, please.

Albany Airport-Going Home

I Miss Clyde

Layover Chicago O'Hare

Monday, October 13, 2008

I Couldn't Say It Any Better

I couldn't say it any better than my handsome host.....so -- drumroll, please -- I give you over to my fantastic new friend Sean for his wrapup of our Monday morning together. Oh, and before you go there, don't believe a word he says. Well, believe the good things......

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Albany + Erotic + American Hotel + Friends + Food

I swear, how much better can this trip possibly get? Sean and Jeffrey are treating me like royalty. And being a pasty white peasant child from the fields of Idaho, I don't know much about royalty. They have introduced me to some very nice new friends. We've eaten pasta every single day. Visited their friends Garth and Doug who own The American Hotel in Sharon Springs, New York. Hey, if Rachel Ray can be friends of these guys and love the hotel, so can I! Here's a map of our trip out to Sharon Springs, although we took a slightly different route through some beautiful colored tree country. They treated me to an amazing lunch at the hotel which started with roasted butternut squash soup and finished with seven-layer maple cake -- complete with maple syrup straight out of the trees up in this neck of the woods. Tonight we'll be venturing back out to Rocks for free pasta and to see if we can round up any bears in leather! Now, to be honest, we had sort of tossed around the idea of being drug down to New York City to be models for the Gay Erotic Expo. But they weren't going to pay us enough. We simply had to say NO. And here is Sean's naughty take on the whole day so far.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Albany Tour and Photos

Here is the first section of photos from Albany. We're home from a great morning at the Miss Albany Diner, a walking trip around downtown Albany including the Empire State Plaza and Capital Building and up to the top of the observation deck of the Corning Tower. Then we took a drive to the west of the city out to the boy's new home. We're home now, a nap ensues, and then Sean is cooking dinner for us before we head out to see the new Bill Maher movie Religulous. You'll see Sean's pictures from our day here.

Sean and Jeffrey's Backseat

Getting Our Cosmos On at Rocks

So, here's the deal. One of us was up all night unable to sleep. The other? Sound asleep compliments of a delicious cold Cosmo at Rocks. So, one of us had the chance to recap the whole day's activities in the Capital City of NY. Enjoy it here. I loved meeting the iBears and seeing what they all do every week.

Friday, October 10, 2008

How Racism Works

How Racism Works...
What if John McCain were a former president of the Harvard Law Review?
What if Barack Obama finished fifth from the bottom of his graduating class?
What if McCain were still married to the first woman he said "I do" to?
What if Obama were the candidate who left his first wife after she no longer measured up to his standards?
What if Michelle Obama were a wife who not only became addicted to pain killers, but acquired them illegally through her charitable organization?
What if Cindy McCain graduated from Harvard?
What if Obama were a member of the Keating-5?
What if McCain were a charismatic, eloquent speaker?

If these questions were seriously confronted, do you really believe the election numbers would be anywhere near as close as they are?

This is what racism does. It covers up, rationalizes and minimizes positive qualities in one candidate and emphasizes negative qualities in another when there is a color difference. You are The Boss... which team would you hire?With America facing historic debt, two wars, stumbling health care, a weakened dollar, all-time high prison population, mortgage crises, bank foreclosures, etc.

Educational Background:

Obama: Columbia University - B.A. Political Science with a Specialization in International Relations. Harvard - Juris Doctor (J.D.) Magna Cum Laude.

Biden:University of Delaware - B.A. in History and B.A. in Political Science. Syracuse University College of Law - Juris Doctor (J.D.)

McCain:United States Naval Academy - Class rank: 894 of 899

Palin:Hawaii Pacific University - 1 semester. North Idaho College - 2 semesters - general study. University of Idaho - 2 semesters - journalism. Matanuska-Susitna College - 1 semester. University of Idaho - 3 semesters - B.A. in Journalism.

Now, which team are you going to hire?

PS: and what if Barack Obama had an unwed, pregnant teenage daughter ....

Guess Who Is Missing His Daddy?

Guess who is missing his Daddy? And who is sleeping right square on top of his Daddy's vacant pillow. And guess which Daddy is missing his Daddy and his boy? Man, this is confusing.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Pasta In the Belly

We're stuffed like a pig on Thanksgiving, kids. The boys and their good friend Dan took me to Buca di Beppo in Albany. If you haven't been there, it's a family sort of joint where everything is served family style...you just order small or large of every item. So, we ordered large. And I swear to god, I didn't know food could be THAT big. The afternoon was beautifully warm when Sean and I took the pooch out for his big dump of the day. He's such a looker, that dog. He took his nap today on the pillows of my bed so I can hardly wait to climb into bed tonight and put my head where cutie pie Clyde napped today. The leaves on the trees are definitely on their way to fantastic shades of yellows and reds -- it's a perfect time of year to be in New York's capital city. We talked 9/11, family history, their new home, jobs, economy, and other such nuisances. Sean has put up a few pics on his site...scroll through to see them.

And I can't say enough about the handsomeness of these guys. Not just in looks but in spirit. They are genuine, pleasant, polite, and are so easy to just relax with, talk to, and basically do nothing with. It's exactly what the doctor ordered although I do miss my my hubby and pooch who have been left on their own way out on the West Coast. Especially after the events of the past week, I hope that my dear, devoted husband is okay....not too sad. I miss them. He tells me that Mason slept on my pillow all of last night without moving. Bliss.

The Morning After

It's my first morning in Albany, New York, with Sean and Jeffrey. I can't tell you how nice they are. So, what's a guy to do when his hosts get up extra early to go to work. All so that they can get off work early to come home and be with their guest. And all of that after a late night of cavorting back and forth with ease and giggles. I swear, these guys are the best. Very polite, their home was spotless, they had the guest room all made up to a T, and offered me every convenience in the world. I hope I can return the favor someday. Plus, their handsomeness makes them all the prettier. So, I'm up now, drinking the hot coffee that they left for me and catching up on the internets of the world. I suppose that I should put some clothes on though. I don't recall permission to lay about with my few extra pounds showing. Oh well, that's what vacations are for.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

I Just Can't Take It Anymore a.k.a. The Spirit Meets Idol Eyes

I just can't take it anymore. The getting laughed at. And that's precisely why I'm leaving today for Albany, New York. To see this dude and his husband of many years. In fact, my own hubby and I are within two days of being together the same length of time as these guys are. Eleven years. And anybody whose been together THAT long will tell you that there are days it seems like the time flies by and other days that seem like the movie "From Here to Eternity." I told hubby that I'm outta here....going on a vacation....alone. And I swear, he thinks I've lost my mind. Going completely across the country to actually stay with people you've never met. Yup, that's what I need a little more of in my life. Adventure. Spirit. And Spunk. I also told hubby that I'd send for him, the household belongings, and the pooch when I've found work in NY. (Reality says that I'll actually be convincing Sean and his hubby to move out West to Portland....shhh, don't tell him my ploy!).

I've been meaning to write for some time now about my getting laughed at. Well, sometimes it's more closely related to a giggle or snicker....but many times it's a full-blown laugh. Right straight at me. You see, he thinks that I say things "funny." Or that I use strange phrases or words to describe certain things/events/procedures/whatever. He'll even ask me to repeat certain things that I've just said. For an extra rib-tickling giggle. Or he'll lead me over to an item in the grocery store and ask me to "say this name for me." He's nuts, I tell you. Certifiably crazy. But lovable, I must add.

He thinks I say the following words/phrases strangely: Crips * Sandwiches * Sandwich bar (instead of let's have sandwiches) * Taco bar * Potato bar * Fuel (instead of gasoline) * Vehicle (instead of car) * Let's have a hot meal.

I suppose it's not horribly funny to anyone else. Maybe it's one of those "just between the two of you moments" that I'm trying to capture here. But, honestly, he'll actually drag me over to a bag of snacks in the store, point to it, and ask me to pronounce "Crisps" for him. And he just giggles and puts his hand up to his mouth as he laughs.

And so, I've had it. Right up to here! And I'm just not gonna take it anymore. So, I'm off to meet some new friends today. I'm not really nervous. But I have a sneaking suspicion that Sean may be. In fact, I'll bet that Sean's hubby is probably wondering why in the hell this dude from the other coast is coming to stay in their guest room. Weird? Maybe. Wild and fun. I hope. I just love meeting new friends and I feel completely confident that it's going to be a very nice time with the opportunity to meet some new buddies on the East Coast. I hope they feel the same way. So, think of us at 6:23pm Eastern time when I'm prancing my lily white arse through the airport looking for two of Albany's hottest (the only two??). I wonder if they'll laugh at me too?

Monday, October 06, 2008

Newfound Friends in the Empire State

Wednesday morning will carry me on a flight from Portland to Washington Dulles Airport and onto the state capital of New York, Albany. It's at that point that nervousness will ensue. As I leave the airplane, venture through the terminal amidst the waiting throngs of humanity, looking, waiting, heart racing, is my makeup evenly applied, pupils dialating rapidly, sweating like a pig and looking for these cute, young things who, apparently, will "be the guy sweating bullets in a mumu and stilletto heals wearing a giant foam cowboy hat" (his words!):

Okay, okay....I know, they probably don't still look like this....but, then again, I'd need to check their ID if they did. So, there is a possibility that they've aged a bit more perfectly toward maturity like a fine wine. They may actually look a bit more closely like this:

But it really doesn't matter. I just have this tremendous sense of adventure in me that is making more excited than ever to meet some new friends. Sean, Mr. Idol Eyes and a Dormy himself, and his hubby of many years have graciously invited me to spend a very long weekend with them at their home near Albany -- along with their handsome pooch, Clyde. And there's even a possiblity that this handsome man may hook up with us too! It's kind of weird, flying across the country to stay with someone you've never met. My own hubby thinks I'm crazy, quite frankly. We've emailed, blogged, phoned, voice mailed, texted and all of that. But, still, there are those who think we're both crazy -- me for going and them for having me! Ahh, I say, it's all good. It all adds up to this thing we call life -- full of sweetness and good times. I have this feeling that we are going to seriously enjoy one another's company and that, at the end of my time with them, we'll consider each other good comrades. And it doesn't get any better than that, my friends. Who knows, we may even be at the point where we'll actually want to add each other into, say, our little black books or our Christmas card lists. Whoooweeee! So, to my newfound friends Sean and Jeffrey I say I can hardly wait. To meet you. To enjoy you. To say hi to you. And to throw my arms around you at the end of a long flight across the country. Thanks for the invitation. And please, I beg you, don't make fun of my crow's feet or other assorted wrinkles. Nor the other body parts that are falling at the speed of light. I'm bringing my most favorite of Mardi Gras face masks and hope you don't mind nor are embarassed by it.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

The Kiss of Life

We all wish for things in our lives that we will never have. And we all wish for things to be out of our lives that will never be. The list of things we have always talked about having and the list of things that we've always talked about not having.

My father in law passed away without much pain from what we could tell. Thankful! The whole experience lasted a relatively short period of time. Thankful! I'm so grateful that his days of struggling are over. I'm glad that his caregiver, his wife of 59 years, no longer has to struggle emotionally about how to fix him meals that he won't choke on or how to get him in and out of his chair or how to even help him to and from the toilet -- one of life's most basic and bottom-line activities. There is a strange, nearly selfish, sense of relief. For him, of course -- but for her and the rest of us who helped him in his efforts to achieve a good quality of life. I loved to kiss him on his forehead. And I know that when I did, I felt such a sense of zing and connection. Because I felt it back, in return. He was one who really didn't have any close personal friends since we moved them up to Portland six years ago. And I really haven't had any mature, fatherly type men in my life since my own father left this earth 14 years ago. So, there was this connection, this invisible rope hooking two unlikely candidates in harmony. I've said before, he liked me. I liked him. There is always something energizing between you and someone outside of your normal circle of friends and family. The outside connection that adds zip and pizazz to your life, the one who makes you smile, the one who brings something to your life that even one's partner or spouse cannot. The one you like to hang around because they not like the one's you normally hang with. And he did that for me. And I, him. We were on the same wavelength many times. I could walk into the room and feel his frustration from whatever had just been happening before I got there. I could see it and feel it in his eyes. And then he'd spot me and things would change. And then, the kiss on the forehead or the shake of the hand.

I wish him happiness on his journey. In his transition. I hope it wasn't painful or a struggle. I hope he went with joy, knowing that his contribution to our earth was worth it. Without regret or wishing he had or had not. And I hope that he didn't know of my gasp, or my eyes filled with salty tears, while I envisioned my own father in his last remaining minutes on the globe. And I really hope that he knew of my kiss on his clammy, cold, pale forehead just a few hours before he left the confines of his earthly body. The kiss that sent him away and said that it was alright to go. The kiss of life. Between two unlikely candidates. The kiss that I hope sent him into eternity in peace.

Thursday, October 02, 2008


After moving to a nursing care facility yesterday afternoon, my father in law passed away this morning -- within the last hour. I will be back with you later with more of my good memories and thoughts. Suffice it to say that your comments and emails have meant the world. Off to a busy day now........

the transition is complete. No more feeding tube, oxygen, struggle.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Resting Comfortably

You know what's odd? Or funny, or weird, may be more like it -- is when I hear a complaint that "You haven't posted since Sunday....what's up?" I guess one never really knows what kind of stalkerish-personage is actually keeping tabs. So, an update on father in law. He has opted out of any invasive, aggressive testing and all of that. The hospital was discussing a bone marrow biopsy and another CT scan of sorts and do you want CPR and do you want this and that. "Nope. No thank you. I'm exhausted," were his answers. He's 83. He's had a good life. From being born in Evanston, Illinois, and his father being a professor of Economics at Northwestern University to growing up and going to Ohio State University in Columbus, to being an on-air radio DJ for the campus radio station in the 1940s, to moving his wife out to Southern California where he raised his three boys along the coast. He retired from the commercial paint business in 1986 and left the business of SoCal to move up to the Central Coast of California where they lived until "You forced us up to live in Portland" about six years ago. To keep a closer eye. To have a better grasp. To deal with this and that. A bit more easily for us. So, all of that to say that he's had it. He wants to be comfortable. That's it. He has a feeding tube from his inability to raise up his hands too well. And his struggling ability to even swallow. And so, today, he moves to a skilled nursing care facility not so far from our home. He likes me. And I, him. I've said before, that we understand one another. We're sort of kindred spirits. We share some common beliefs and traits. And one of those is that we're realists....to a fault many times. We believe in black and white. We believe that in spite of what we hope, we often know the truth. And that reality will prevail.