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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Sara Bareilles ... Little Voice

Sara Bareilles is the newest chick in my I-pod. Sara grabbed me from the television commercial for Rhapsody where the skinny white guy (maybe I took comfort in the fact that I didn't grow up the only one looking that way) coming out from the shower with his towel wrapped around him, the girlfriend is lip synching at the piano to Love Song and he changes the channel to Bottle It Up. Little Voice is a quiet, comfortable, easy to hear gig. Full of heart and soul and light heartedness. And now the heart and soul go directly into my ears via my I-pod. Thanks Sara Bareilles. You'll be able to hear samples here. And buy it on sale from Amazon here.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Reagan, Dog Pee, and Naked Neighbors

I seldom dream. Not that I remember, anyway. You'll recall that I had some wild dreams during our coming down off of Ambien addiction. And our sleep habits as of late have been quite erratic because of the new family member. But last night was one of the funniest.

I was over at our neighbor's place, two doors up the street....The Compound, as they like to call it. It looked nothing like their house in my dream, of course. Their living room was a giant hot tub, more like a small pool with warm, bubbly water. I was naked in the pool along with our little doggie and T (our neighbor guy). Behind me down the stairs came P, other neighbor dude, naked and jumped in the pool with us. His jumping in scared the dog so much that he started peeing (the dog, not P). The dog pee hit the ceiling and damned near came splattering down on -- you'll never guess who -- Nancy Reagan! She was at the other end of the room, dressed to the nines, and cooking us all breakfast. So, T starts to cry....he's totally verklempt with the fact that Nancy is still able to look so good and cook so well. But, oh no, T can't cry by himself....his wife L comes down the stairs to see what's happening and starts crying too. It was quite a night, I must say. They'll probably never let me into The Compound again...and I don't blame them.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Schmap Guide Photograph Publication

The folks over at Schmap Guides have selected one of my photographs for publication in the Boise, Idaho guide. Click on the Ann Morrison Park section. You may also remember Ann Morrison Park for this reason too.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Bits and Bobs for Friday

You'll notice a brand new "Call Me" Button on the upper left-hand corner of my site. Try it out. It'll direct the call to me! Leave a message for me. Looking forward to hearing from you!
Our holiday was fantastic. Seattle first. And Vancouver, BC, next. We met numerous new bloggers, whom I now affectionately call friends. We kept finding ourselves at just the right place at just the right time. New experiences, beautiful weather, met folks from all over the world, and stayed in some very nice places. Oh, and the obligatory shopping too. I can't think of a better way to spend my 21st birthday. All of your emails, ecards, comments, and phone calls meant the world to me....thank you!

We're home now and back with our little baby, Mason. He's quite a handful. He spent the week with our neighbors J&A. We half expected to find him tied to our front door when we returned. But they persevered. And now he's back with us. They spoiled him rotten and let him sleep with them in their bed each night. We've got a handful of spoil on our hands now. And this potty training thing is a little dicey. And what about him whining and such when we leave, even for a few minutes. How am I supposed to go back to work? It's a full-time job here.

The weather is amazing, nearly springtime like. Daffodils are coming up nicely....and I even saw one in bloom yesterday. Here's hoping that you'll find yourselves happy, hopeful, and content in this, the last week of February.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Vancouver, British Columbia !!

More Pics Are Here of our beautiful trip. My birthday has been filled with coffee, a nice stay at the Nelson House, all of your good wishes/text messages/emails, and a perfectly clear, cold day along the British Columbia coast. Last night, we had the chance to meet Another Hot Blogger and, yet, Another Hot Blogger with both of their hubbys. Nice having dinner and drinks with all of you guys.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Seattle, Washington !!

Pics are here of our holiday so far. In spite of hearing some little trollop in the room next door squelch and squeel like a stuck pig, it's been a great few days. We have been to/seen/done: Museum of Flight including their exhibit on the history of flight attendants and tours of JFK's Air Force One and a British Airway's Concorde; Washington State ferry ride to Bremerton and back including a private tour of the bridge by the 2nd Mate; walked Capitol Hill twice; had a fantastic dinner at Assaggio's and said hi to our friend, the owner, Mauro; had dinner, drinks, and Ding Dongs with several great bloggers from Blogography, My 2 Cents, and KristinWoodKnits; walked Pioneer Square; saw a Chinese New Year parade; visited Pike Place Market. Tomorrow we stop for a tour of Boeing's aircraft factory at Everett, Washington; make a stop at the Peace Arch at the US/Canadian border, and continue on into downtown Vancouver. We're staying at a gay-owned B&B and having dinner with a couple more bloggers that we have never met. Great times ahead!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Taking the Birthday Whacks Like A Man

This time of year always brings up what I now see as a funny story. But at the time, it wasn't good at all. Conservative little church boy here in the Presbyterian Church in Boise, Idaho, used to be in the youth group with the church janitor's daughter. She and I hung around together. And I started helping out at the church cleaning floors, classrooms, and all of that. What I didn't know was that the church janitor had a dirty little naughty secret that he was hiding. He liked little boys ... like me. How lucky for me, eh? So, birthday time rolls around. I go to the church after school and Bob tells me to come upstairs and down to this one particular classroom, our junior high meeting room. We talked and talked like I still like to do and he finally got around to my birthday. He had a card for me and was going to take me out to dinner with his family. But there was just one more little teeny tiny present he wanted to give me. A birthday spanking. He thought it was time. So, tried to grab me and put me over his lap. Oh no, this wiry skinny white kid was going to have none of that. So, after a whack or two, I let the inner girl out by kicking and screaming. No way this janitor was going to treat me like his cleaning rags. In quite typical form, I marched my white ass right down to the churh office and asked to see the church's senior pastor.....can't you just see this 6th or 7th grader doing that? I told him what had happened and they should fire that guy. And they did. Years passed before I heard about Bob and his family. His daughter called me when my own father passed away. Bob was in Montana. In prison. For giving one too many birthday whacks to a few too many boys. Bob, please. Wait until they're 18 and they like that sort of thing.

Last year on my birthday, I asked for as many text messages, phone calls, emails and comments as I could muster up. Just to meet as many of you as I could personally. I made some very good friends through that. In the meantime, we're off on holiday to celebrate our recent domestic partnership, Valentine's Day, and my birthday. I'll be absent the reading-commenting-posting scene for a week. Yesterday, I had the pleasure of meeting this local Portland blogger for coffee. Fantastic guy with beautiful artwork to show for himself. On our holiday, we're going to Seattle for three nights and will be having dinner with Hot Blogger #1, Hot Blogger #2, and Hot Blogger #3. Anybody else in Seattle, you're welcome to join us for a little informal dinner on Saturday at 5pm. Email me for details. We're also going to have dinner at an amazing Italian restaurant owned by celebrity chef Mauro Golmarvi. Mauro was the on-board chef on our Holland America Caribbean cruise a year ago. We've been nearly beside ourselves waiting to taste his cuisine!

From Seattle, we're driving further north and stopping at Boeing's Future of Flight Aviation and Tour Center. This is their widebody plant where they produce the big stuff. And then we're on up the I-5 corridor and right on through the busiest uncontrolled border in the world. The International Peace Arch is here too. That brings us to one of my very favorite cities in the world, Vancouver BC. We're staying downtown at a gay-owned B&B and are really excited. This is where we're going to meet Hot Blogger #4 and Hot Blogger #5 for dinner and drinks. Anybody else in Vancouver is welcome to join us Monday evening...email me for details. And also where I'll spend my birthday, February 19. The day before John Glenn orbited the earth. I wish you all wellness, wholeness, and peace while I'm absent. See you in a week.

PS....Hot Bloggers listed above were not listed in any particular order. The order should not be construed as an element of the actual hotness of any particular hot blogger.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Whiter Than Snow -- Really?

My recently-government-approved husband often plays his grand piano. He's good. Very good. And although he plays a huge variety of music, we do have a book called The Big Book of Hymns. Church-y stuff. And I know that some of you know them full well, many by heart, from your days of sitting in church pews. You may be familiar with Whiter Than Snow. I wasn't until a friend of mine introduced it to me in 1983. He was my director on a Christian singing tour through the Western US, Canada, and Alaska. Popular, good looking, visually and verbally everything anyone could want. We were sitting together one day and talking about hymns and music. And he said that this was one of his favorites: Lord Jesus, I long to be perfectly whole. I want thee forever to live in my soul. Break down every idol, cast out every foe. Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. He had our group sing it from time to time throughout the summer. And I've remembered it ever since. Without doubt, it always reminds me of him. Good looking, horribly charismatic in his religious walk and life, smiling, happy, and quite a type-A personality. Dressed well, polished shoes, coiffed hair. A really fantastic person and developed into an excellent friend. But it had started out the previous year when I saw him performing in a traveling Christian stage production. And he nearly demanded that I stick around after the show to say hi to him. We went to coffee and drove around a bit before ending up back at my parents home where I was living. One thing led to another and, before you knew it, he was on the floor with his shirt off and asking for a backrub. Fine. No problem. I drove him back to his motel and walked him up to his room. And then left. Nothing happened. I ended up traveling with him for six months during 1993 all over the US and seven countries in Asia before our friendship nearly came to a screeching halt. He became innundated with the beautiful young man who was our piano player. And the rest of the tour member suffered because of it. Our good friendship was nearly ruined. We went many years without speaking. And then, a stroke of craziness hit me and I decided to get married. We were in Denver and saw this friend again. He asked if he could take me to breakfast. Absolutely. He apologized for the past and said he had a very important question to ask me. He, too, was getting ready to ask a young lady to be his wife. He said that he knew full well "the struggles with homosexuality" that both of us had faced...and just exactly how did I resolve those and how was I able to make my marriage work." He was really fishing and searching here. He seemed as unsettled as I did. I mean, these are daunting questions for a struggling guy. He went on to marry her and now has several young girls. He's been a pastor in a lovely horrible successful and well-known Baptist church in California and has been on staff at numerous Christian organizations leading Bible studies and taking groups to South America on mission trips. He won't communicate with me any longer. Won't email. He didn't comment on my recent happiness of domestic partnership. I'm afraid that what I know of his past is a huge threat for him. Plus the fact that he lives a lifestyle that isn't completely congruent with what he knows is true of himself. Struggle. Confusion. Yup, I've been there. And, horribly thankfully, am not any more. But he is. As are many others. The words still strike me, "Whiter than snow, yes whiter than snow. Now wash me and I shall be whiter than snow."

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Introducing Mason....

I must freely admit, that ten years ago when my honey and I met I was not an animal person. I wouldn't let them near me, touch me, hated shedding and hair, the smell, and the thought of a bare naked ass looking at me was not pretty. Didn't want them near me, at all. Over the last couple of years, on many occasions, I've looked up to see my honey shaking his head while looking at me saying, "I can't believe what I'm seeing." Me, petting a dog or saying hi to a passing pet. And still, I have not wanted my own. But I'm afraid it happened violently and quickly. I have been stricken. Yesterday we spotted a cute little thing in a shop window that clung to me like you know what on you know what. Today, we went back to look and, guess what, the sign in the window said "Hold for Michelle." I have to say, my heart sunk (but I'll deny it to the end lest anybody see my softer side). The nice shop lesbian lady redirected us to a cute little boy Poodle-Maltese mix born on November 1. We've named him Mason. He's home now, freshly bathed, new bed, and seems exhausted. It's been quite a day for him on, this, his first day in a new home. It's the very first animal that I've ever purchased or owned, other than the ones we had growing up. 45 years old and a brand new kid. Amazing. We've got neighbors coming over in a few hours for a champagne toast and snacks in celebration of our new domestic partnership. And, boy oh boy, won't they be surprised. Married and child. All in the same week. Baby pics are here.

Celebrate -- Mardi Gras Style !!

So, what does the month of February bring to mind other than Valentine's Day, my birthday, Chinese New Year, President's Day, our brand-new Oregon Domestic Partnership, bulbs breaking the ground here in Portland anyway, and........Mardi Gras! Our friends J&J hosted their annual shin-dig last night. It was a giant evening filled with a million people dressed in the most amazing costumes and beautiful clothes, lots of sparkling beads, drinks in hand, candles everywhere, music blasting, spicy hot jambalaya with cornbread, and lots of beautiful decorations. It was even a rain-free day in Portland (miracles do happen!) and we were able to be outside with a fire burning. I can't say enough good about what a fun evening it was....thank you boys! All pics are here. Enjoy and Celebrate! And if you haven't found a good reason to celebrate lately, start looking for it and expecting it. Life is worth it.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Moderator Approval and Visual Verification -- Why?

Alright kids, I don't often get off on a rant about too much (well, that's not entirely true, but don't hold it against me)...but here goes. What's up with many of your blogs requiring BOTH entering a visual verification code AND still being required to go through moderator approval? Sounds like you're trying to protect Fort Knox or something. I don't have either. It's so easy for me and for my commenters. And I'm considering not reading those sites that require me to spend extra time entering all of those codes.....I mean, I read more than 100 blogs a day and the extra keystrokes and can be a daunting task sometimes. I'm trying to simplify and be less complicated this year. I've had only minimal spam comments or abuse on my comments. And it's as easy as deleting them. So, give it some thought, would you? Oh and, yes, I know that it's your site and you can do what you damned well please.....I know all of that. I'm just asking. Begging? Hoping? I could possibly understand you wanting one or the other, but both? And you could just throw caution to the wind and do away with any of it.....for the sake of your readers, I beg you! And you know that I love you all so don't be trying to pull the "You don't love me" card. It just won't work. Cause you know that I do!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Good and The Bad

The good always comes with the bad, doesn't it? So, when I saw this early yesterday morning, I was elated and I knew you would be too. It's not long, my friends. Life will soon be returning to the earth, although I find it more than a great place to spend the winters on this earth.

And after that good news, here's a little giggle for you. I mean, what is this kind of shit flowing out of a perfectly good Baptist minister's mouth? It's so totally bogus that it's like there are two or three people inside of him trying to get out. But after Super Tuesday, I guess we don't have to worry so much about another talking mouth like Huckabee. I can't stand any more time with a Baptist-Minister-Turned-Wanna-Be-President-Politician personage. As Donald Trump would say, "You're Fired Huckabee." Um, buh bye.

Mike Huckabee: "I believe that all men are created equal."

Bullshit, Mike. You and I both know full well that you don't believe that. And on that note, we'll bid you farewell.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Hitched -- At Last !!

After ten years plus a couple of months, we have finally been recognized by the state of Oregon as Domestic Partners. We just returned from the county building and were the 106th couple registered on this, the first day that same-sex couples have been permitted to be legally recognized. There were lots of volunteers from Basic Rights Oregon helping with paperwork, the paperwork process, and even handing out flowers. As we came out the glass doors, the lobby full of volunteers erupted into applause along with a television camera crew taking our photos. I don't think we can really get our head space around this whole deal. The significance of its impact. Its relevance in history. The sharp trendsetting edge that it is. It, my friends, is simply not just another day. And I don't know that it's a day that we ever truly expected to ever dawn. But it did....and we did! I guess that unless you've ever been a part of a group of people that were not treated with equality, fairness, and justice because of who you are as a person, it may be difficult to comprehend. I'm very proud to call myself his husband.....er, a.....wife? Whatever it is, we're quite happy.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Domestic Partnerships in Oregon...Judge Has Lifted Injunction!!

In late-breaking news, Federal Judge Michael Mossman has lifted his temporary temporary injunction on domestic partnerships in the state of Oregon. Both KGW and Gay Right's Watch are reporting that this conservative judge has sided with us in this case! Excellent news for those who were supposed to have been able to file back on January 1 for their Domestic Partnership in our state. Celebrate with us, would you?

More News Links:
Blue Oregon
Just Out

What Do You Call Me ??

So, I'm wondering, what delicious sort of name do you call me? No, silly, I don't mean the one you utter in the dark behind tightly-closed doors. I mean, when you're talking to someone else about an article you've seen, or story you've heard, on my site. I mean, do you start it out with, "A friend of mine.....;" or "A blogger friend of mine.....;" or "An internet freak I found......;" or "Some brain-washed Oregonian...." Exactly what is it? I've found that I've struggled, only slightly, when referring to things I've discovered on your sites. I've used "friend," and then suddenly realized that many of you I don't even know personally. So, can we still be friends? And I've used "Blogger," and had people stare at me like I've got a protrusion erupting from my left ear because they are so in the dark and have no idea what a blogger is. And I remember when I first was on my way to Orlando, nearly a year now, to meet with this bunch of hot guys. I was with people that I didn't know and they were wondering what I was going to do in Orlando. I said, casually and stone-faced, "Oh, I'm going to meet a few guys that I found on the internet." Talk about stirring the pot! Which is exactly what I love to do, I must say.

So, now I'm feeling pretty good about just using "friend" when referring to each of you, which I do regularly, I might add. Your lives have become intertwined with mine in mysterious, wonderful ways. I've learned from you, listened to you, shared with you, even a couple of tears here and there. We've emailed, blogged, texted, phoned, met in person, and sent cards and letters and gifts. And we've met on levels that even some live, breathing bodies aren't able to accomplish sometimes. I think that everyone should try out blogging. It's an element that adds dimension, happiness, and depth to one's life. And so, today, I'm more than happy to count you as my good friends, my comrades, and my mates.