Wednesday, December 30, 2009
Call me crazy if you must, but I enjoy this time of year. The color of the sky is such an unusual one. (Well, that's if the sky in Portland is ever anything except for gray...which I also get into.) The blue is a quiet blue. A peaceful and unobtrusive blue. A winter sort of pale blue. There are birds, but few. We do have many flocks of beautiful geese who winter here by the hundreds. I love knowing that they are safe and able to rest here with us in this season of cold and delight. Delightfully barren. I think I also enjoy this time of year because so many other people don't. I tend to migrate toward the underdog in that way many times. The lesser known or enjoyed is often the one I gravitate toward.
It snowed about three inches across our city yesterday afternoon. It was Portland's first measurable snow of the season and created nothing but trouble. Portland is just that way. Some years (last year!) we had about 20 inches on the ground right now. And some years we have zero. It looks like the winter wonderlands that are scripted in fantasy poems, songs, plays and books. I like it when things are asleep. Quiet. In resolve. Peaceful. Contemplative. And that's the way I see winter. Especially this portion when the nights seem to stretch on forever and the warming rays of the sun are not seen nor felt. I was staring at the one of the trees outside of our window just this morning -- watching how the dark, barren branches simply hang. Nothing to do but recuperate from a long growing season. Resting up for next season. For the next big hurrah of their lives. In fact, they aren't made to keep going, to always have leaves on their branches. They are designed to regenerate and recreate each season.
Me too. Happy Fresh New Year my friends. To each of us.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
And we're alone, Mason and I, until hubby arrives in a few hours from his working trip. And it's not unusual for me to be reflective during alone times. I've been considering the many Christmas Eves, year after year, that we spent at my grandmother's home in south Boise along with every other possible family member living nearby. There would be about 30 of us complete with a table of sliced ham for sandwiches, potato salad, a giant green salad with Fritos on it, and baked beans. Great Aunt Ruth would have made what seemed like a million Santa Claus cookies for each person. And my father would drive us slowly through downtown Boise on the trip back home -- so that we could look at the department store windows with their displays and decorations. Christmas morning would find us in our pajamas, cavorting and frolicking around the living room and tree. My mother always having prepared a special holiday breakfast for us. I swear, my parents took the best care of us. I miss my dad on days like this. And I am highly aware of the nearing of the end of my mother's life. It makes me sad. I miss those days.
But tonight, happily, my lover will be home -- in the city and home that we love. We may go to our favorite late-night Christmas Eve service at a beautiful old church in downtown Portland complete with top-notch organ music and followed by everyone going outside onto the nearly-deserted streets to sing Christmas carols at midnight. Mason will be with us, of course. And tomorrow brings ten of our favorite friends and family over to share the holiday with us. We'll dine on spiral sliced ham, roasted pork tenderloin, brussel sprouts roasted with walnuts, garlic green beans, scalloped potatoes, and some delicious dessert. And it will be all better. The ghosts will be gone. Until some other memory prompts their soon return to my head.
Merry Christmas -- to friends and loved ones -- those we see frequently and those who we may never have the opportunity to meet. For those who put up with me, for those who love me and have stood next to me, I thank you. I wish you the best Christmas ever.
Monday, December 21, 2009
PS -- I haven't even brushed my teeth or taken a shower today and have been out in public! It's now 1pm.
Monday, December 14, 2009
From my limited understanding, the SoCals need to end up in the finals on Wednesday in order for television audience members to be able to vote for them for the Friday finale. Obviously, David and his family have a giant stake in this deal. So, check it out, would you please? No orchestra, no instruments, no karaoke. Just hot vocals by a bunch of fired-up folks in this world of lackluster television shows and blah. I hope you'll take time to watch in your busy schedules.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
We stopped first for Happy Hour at another place we'd not been to yet (you'd think we lived under a rock, for god's sake). Saucebox. A very trendy, cool place filled with sexy wait staff in black t-shirts. Sweet potato spring rolls, spicy cold Chinese noodles, onion burgers, and edamame. Oh, and liquid too -- Sidecars! Then it was off for a leisurely stroll up Portland's trademark downtown street....Broadway. Past the historic Benson Hotel and it's annual giant Christmas gingerbread house and pretty lobby tree, through Nordstrom for expensive lip balm for dry cracked winter lips worn out from kissing, into Banana Republic where I did my best to chat up a nice young salesman, a breeze through Columbia Sportswear's flagship store in which I found no shortage of expensive things I wanted, a quick stop for dessert at Flying Elephant's Deli where I looked for my friend Stephen, and finally to the concert hall.
What the concert lacked in traditional Christmas-type music, it more than made up for in its energy and enthusiasm. The hundred or so vocalists are from quite a number of local churches and provided a performance that would rock anybody's world. They've been doing this with the Oregon Symphony for 11 years now. It was filled with the spice that lacks in many of the circles that I run in -- good old fashioned gospel Christmas music complete with hand-raising, foot-stomping, and worshiping. Praising and hand waving and standing up in appreciation and honor. It was clear that the four of us gays were like fish out of water. Although I did spot a few other typically Portland types -- sort of au natural, funky-hat-wearing, gray-haired, Subaru-driving, recycling sort of folks. I kept saying to myself, "I love this concert but I don't really fit in with the audience." Weird, but true. Everyone looked conservative. And I had to stop counting the number of fake-blonde-bottle-jobs I saw (are their any white women that don't have their hair colored nowadays??). I kept overhearing people around us talking about "praying for this or that," or "what a good job the Lord gave me." And the cross! The giant gold cross that gentle nestled itself between the aging breasts of the mid-50s woman in the top, center row of the chorus -- it kept catching the rays of spotlights just so and beaming itself right into my eye. But I'm just that way. I like things that are out of my element or activities that I'm not typically a part of. Sort of expanding my four walls in that way. It's good for us. To see how the other side lives.
So, it was a blast. A wild, rockin' explosive time of blues combined with gospel backed up with a full symphony and all done in a holiday sort of way.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
What a day. We've had below-freezing temperatures for many days now. It's been clear, ultra cold, and a bit unusual for us. After my morning turn to Orange County, we headed east out of Portland up I-84 to Multnomah Falls. It's just up a ways past one of my favorite clothing-optional beaches (Rooster Rock), about 20 miles east of us up the Columbia River. The falls are one of the highest in the US. And right now, they're frozen! In fact, there were many such areas along the shear cliffs as we drove along. Amazing views. If you have never been here, it definitely needs to be on your list. And you wouldn't believe how many photographers were out there -- it was at least as busy as a summer day. Enjoy the pictures here.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Today, we mark our 12th Anniversary. (Well, it could be tomorrow, depending on when you're reading this.) Maybe you remember last year's post. Or the 2007 version. Or the one from 2006. December 9, 1997, as we both stood in the dog food aisle of a since-torn-down Safeway in downtown Portland I asked him "If this thing was going to work out between us." And he said YES! Not a church wedding, no pretty gowns showing off our perky breasts, or little mints on the tables. No crepe paper nor roses. And no guest list, nor gifts to bring. None of that. Just a Safeway store. With him. And me. And now Mason.
I've been a tough nut to live with, there's no doubt about that. He's put up with my pickiness and "requirements." Oh boy. I have failed him in more ways that I'd care to admit. I seldom walk the dog. I have a bad attitude sometimes and I get crabby and irritated easily. I've said things to him that I regret -- those words sometimes escape my lips before I have time to stop them. I've behaved poorly. I've had moments of indiscretion and such. I've said "No" when I should have said "Yes" and vice versa. I've rolled my brown eyes and I've sighed heavily. We've had many a sleepless night and early morning. The tiredness has sometimes gotten the best of us. I've cried many times -- and he not so much. I've griped and bitched and moaned from time to time. And I have even used the "F" word in anger....imagine that. I've made him feel uncomfortable and out of place and I've taken advantage of his good-natured spirit.
And still he loves me. And I love him. Dearly in both directions. Our life together has evolved. And our individual lives have changed as well. We are older, more gray, more crinkly -- and the hours of time have marched across our faces. We are a bit less carefree, unfortunately. We've seen death and new life. And we've lived in numerous homes in Anchorage and Portland.
To the man who has shown me how to be a better person, more filled with life and spirit than I could ever have imagined, I say thank you. I love you. And I am more than happy to be living out my limited days on this planet with you. Would you accept my love, today and tomorrow? Would you accept my apologies for the times I've hurt you? Hold my hand, would you, as we continue down this road? I love you. That's all. And that's enough. Happy Anniversary.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
Thursday, December 03, 2009
This is me. Today as my Boeing 737-800 passed overhead Portland, Oregon. I was on my way from San Diego to Seattle. There were six crew members, 16 First Class, and 80 Main Cabin passengers on this very aircraft. He was thinking of me. He's been doing a lot of that lately. Times are tough. Gosh, I look little from his point of view, don't I?
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
Friday, November 27, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
Saturday, November 07, 2009
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Monday, November 02, 2009
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Saturday, October 31, 2009
Two weeks ago we saw Company. A Sondheim musical. Honestly, we've been together 12 years and have seen very little live theater. And that's weird because we both love it. We've never even made time to see the Oregon Symphony which is something we'd love to do. Company starred our longtime friend Andrew. He was amazing. Perfect. And I was able to add Company to my list of things I've done in my life.
Since we live in a condo building where the trick-or-treater component is absolute zero, we decided to go and see Portland's version of The Beggar's Opera tonight. Another good friend Stephen is the director of it. I know next to nothing about opera. I've seen exactly, precisely, one opera in my life -- Mozart's The Magic Flute in Prague....in the very theater that The Magic Flute was performed at in the late 1700s. And the very theater that Mozart himself directed it in. A very very exciting night, to say the least. And, so, tonight.....Portland's Beggar's Opera.
MIL continues to be fine, not great, but at least functioning alone semi-well. You see, in spite of whatever physical issues she has going, her emotional instability plays into the physical easily, quickly, smoothly. She has been prescribed both antianxiety and antidepression medications. But she doesn't take them....well, "unless I need them." She allows her emotions, high-highs and low-lows to take over her body and drag her physical self right down the tubes. She cries wolf. She doesn't ask for what she needs but, instead, makes up little stories and plays games so that everything is a watered-down, clear-as-mud mess when it comes to figuring out exactly what she is saying and needing. The connection between one's emotion/head games and physical ailments is closely knit. A minimal physical ailment can be turned into a full-blown hospital stay within hours......And it's hard to for this type-A guy to play into that crap.
Lover Boy just ordered me The Conscious Cook by Tal Ronnen after I saw him on the Oprah show. "Delicious meatless recipes that will change the way you eat," is his claim to fame on the front of the book. I glanced through it last night and fell in love. Although I do have to say (and this would be as good of time to do so as any), that as a nearly-vegetarian guy, I am not overly in love with a couple of the foods that typically find themselves into vegetarian recipes: Tofu and Mushrooms. I mean, they're okay....but they are not my favorites. And it seems that they are in a high percentage of veggie recipes. So, I'm going to dive in to the book and see what happens (well, not actually dive into the book....but you know what I mean.....don't you????).
Also, as a side note, it will be four years ago tomorrow (November 1) that we embarked on one of our favorite vacations with our good friends. We flew from Portland-Chicago-Krakow, Poland. We visited Auschwitz and fell in love with this perfectly old and beautiful Eastern European city. We took the train from Krakow to Prague where we saw the The Magic Flute (mentioned above) along with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. We left Prague on the train for Dresden, Germany, and had a ball in this city that was nearly totally destroyed in one single bombing raid during WW2. So, in spite of the fact that it looks old today, it actually isn't -- it's been rebuilt to visually look old. Weird.
This crap's gone on long enough for today folks. I've got a bad Halloween attitude to deal with......gotta run (and, please Mary!, could there be any more links in this post.....for god's sake, give it up with the links............)
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
I miss my hubby this morning. For the second time in the recent weeks, he's found his way out of bed in the middle of the night because of an inability to sleep. It's been very stressful being the sole caregivers for the aforementioned MIL -- No other family members here to run errands and take her to appointments and no family helping reimburse us for the mounting costs of helping her maintain her life. We've had little time together, no gym time, and a busy work schedule. And we've had very little Mason and home time. So, neither of us have been sleeping well. We've been trying to find time for a trip to the Oregon Coast -- it's only 1 1/2 hours away and we haven't been there in more than two years. But, there's no time. And I need a trip to Boise to see my mom and sis.....and there's no time for that either. So, all of that to say that we need to get better sleep and regain some sense of normality.
Did you know that most (all?) schools nowadays have a zero-tolerance drug policy -- and I mean no aspirin, Tylenol, no nothing. So, one of my family members in 8th grade found that out the hard way. She found some sort of pill underneath a school desk and split it with a classmate. (I know, I know....very very silly.) She's a bright, educated, smart, intelligent and beautiful young lady and it surprised me more than you can imagine. So, another classmate watched them do this, turned them in to the school officials, and they were both suspended immediately for a minimum of five days while the school Board sorted out the issue. That's how it works. No questions, no nothing .... you get expelled .... no matter the drug, the story behind it, nothing. She went to the ER and had a drug test which showed no narcotics in her system. Then she is required to go before the School Board and plead her case, just like in court. The fine for actually being the "distributor" of the drug? The remainder of the semester off....until January! Fortunately for her, the School Board believed her story and allowed her to return to school with a requirement to attend some sort of drug classes. So, be warned, zero tolerance means exactly that.
My increasingly slow Sony Vaio laptop is bugging the hell out of me. I do all of my regular scans for viruses, run the defragmenter, clear the cookies, and all of that.....but it's not all that much better. I mean, I click on something and it's like I don't even know if it's registered the click or not...I wait, and wait. Dial-up speed (remember the OLD days??). Nothing appears to be wrong, and I can't find a definitive answer. So, I'm not sure what to do. It's just one more thing to add to my list of life's annoyances right now. So, after we climb into bed last night, hubby appears to be asleep when I see his eyes closed but his mouth say, "Aaaapppplllleeee." And then, "Maaccc Booooookkkkkkk." And then pretends to be snoring. I rolled him over and pry his eyes open to look at me. He said, "Just make sure they save one more for me because I want one too." I guess we both have a hankering for a Macbook. He tells me that he won't be surprised to see one on my desk when he returns from Seattle today.
And one more little teeny tiny thing: The Northwest Airline's pilots that accidently overflew their destination a few days back? You know, the ones that went 1:20 without radio contact? The ones that said they were having a heated discussion about company policy in the flight deck and were distracted? Fire 'em. Now.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
As you well know, my MIL has been in the hospital and now in a rehabilitation center for two weeks. She's a horrible patient with even worse patience. It's always like dealing with a child in an adult's clothing. Yeah, okay, so I can sort through that on my better days -- I've known her long enough. But what I can't deal with is the effect that her actions, words, and thought processes continue to have on me, us, both of us. She has officially set "Wednesday as the day I'm going home." Oh, really? No doctors have been consulted, no social workers have advised, no home care has been arranged, and she can't even walk more than around 20 feet at a time. At home she's got an aging dog with breathing difficulties, has to cook and clean for herself, and her apartment is filled with so much furniture that you wouldn't believe it -- all things that we've tried to get rid of for years in an effort to simplify but are all things that she just has to have. She lives in a senior apartment without assistance or care. By herself. I told her yesterday that her going home has a giant mental heaviness that sits on my head because we are the only two responsible for her -- that I'm concerned for her being by herself and that it's us that have to deal with her continued issues. It's like talking to a doorknob. She doesn't care. "I can do it -- I just have to get out of here," she says with that wild-eyed, throw-caution-to-the-wind sort of look in her eyes. Um, yeah....okay, we'll see how that goes. And all of this from a woman who, in a fit of rage and anger, told me several years ago to "Get the hell out of my house and don't ever darken my doorway again." Makes it really tough to even want to help out. And it's not like I don't think she doesn't appreciate our caring....it's simply that I don't think it just doesn't make any real difference many times. It's never quite good enough. (Note to self: Remember this paragraph when we get a phone call in the middle of the night......)
I'm the sole driver in our family -- neither she nor my partner drive. And her other two sons don't live here and have minimal involvement on any sort of productive, essential level in her day-to-day care. Remember, you never know exactly who is going to be wiping your ass at any given point in your life. And if you're looking for a "thank you" from those that you should be receiving a "thank you" from, good luck with that. Caregiving is a real bitch sometimes. And I've honestly really had to sort through that in my mind for years now. And at times like this, I don't do a very good job at it and realize the brutal harshness that is my frail humanity. The pressure's on and there a lot of extra things that have to be done right now. I am solely responsible for anything that requires driving -- her trips to the grocery store, to get her prescriptions, to take her to doctor's visits, to get dog food when she runs out, and and and and........ and, again, I've reached my limit. I don't have the luxury of saying, "No." Occasionally I do. But I feel badly for knowing that I've denied an elderly person their sense of well being and that I'm not being nice. But I just have to draw the lines sometimes. I just cannot do it all.
Whiner? Perhaps. I'm not above confessing and sorting through my shortcomings. Just serve me a nice Brie with the whine, would you please? And a glass of chilled pinot gris would be lovely as well. I do it rarely but I'm afraid that I'm about to be doing it more and more often. These are issues that started long ago and battles that I've waged in my own head and soul for many years. And the feelings have not been resolved. And it's these pressure cooker sort of times that bring out either the best or the worst in folks, you know. I'm an organized, straightforward, logical, common sense thinker sort of guy. I get things done. A mover-and-shaker sort of dweeb. I do not do well at playing games, living with drama and the same old tired stories that I've heard for years. And that doesn't play out well in the land of Oz -- where fantasy, dreams, wishes, and hopes rarely come true.
I wish I were more like my own Mother sometimes. She's quite the woman -- always putting herself second and others first. I consider her and my long-passed grandmother frequently. They both had that innate quality of beauty, consideration for others always, and the gift of providing for others at all costs without complaint or the bad attitudes that pervade me today. I wonder if I can buy, purchase or even steal a better attitude? Either that or somebody's going to strangle somebody.....I swear it. I'm looking for duct tape, bed sheets, and razor blades as we speak.
Saturday, October 17, 2009
My mother in law has been in the hospital and now a rehabilitation center for nearly two weeks now. She lives alone since my father in law passed away more than a year ago. It's not the first time I've given this ass-wiping ceremony some thought. I've had more than my share of illnesses in my family. But who in your life right now, today!, will be by your side to clean up after you, cook for you, buy your groceries for you, take you to your doctor's appointments when you can't drive, pay your bills for you when you are living on straight Social Security and can't afford them, and yes, wipe up your bottom properly? Will it be your children? If you have none like me, then you can shoot that idea right out the window (maybe I should adopt a handsome young 18-year-old for these purposes??). Maybe a neighbor will help out. Or a friend. Or someone in your church, club, or little group. Or, perhaps, a combination of all of the above. I do know that you can't truly depend on anyone in particular -- children move away and have nothing to do with their parent's day-to-day care any longer except for an occasional obligatory phone call ..... husbands and wives and partners die or move or divorce ..... friends and family come and go. I'm not sure that anyone can truly be counted on for those end-of-life years that really look better on paper than in real life.
So, go ahead, push that call button that's been clipped onto your sheets -- push it and just wait....wait and see how long it takes for someone to show up to help you get onto the toilet. Or who shows up. I wonder who it will be. Let's see now, where is that call button........
Friday, October 16, 2009
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
Sean and Jeffrey didn't come to Portland at the very last minute....something about a little bowel obstruction, tubes down his throat, a lengthy hospital stay, and possible impending surgery. But, nonetheless, we have hospitals here.....(kidding, so don't start the hate mail). Needless to say, I was very disappointed.
My Mother in law fell and injured her leg. She's just finished six days in the hospital and is now in a rehabilitation facility. She's cranky and a very bad patient with a bad attitude. And she's gone way down hill. I'm hoping for a speedy recovery but, I have to say, when you take an 80 year old and stick 'em in bed, it's not a good idea. Our days have been filled with talk of Living Wills and Powers of Attorneys. Fingers crossed.
I've been sick and have felt like doing absolutely nothing -- but, instead, I've been doing everything...... Congested, head cold, bit of a sore throat. That always makes things better, doesn't it?
We had a giant party here on Sunday evening (to remember Sean and Jeffrey who were not able to join us, celebrate National Coming Out Day and the Equality March, and Christopher Columbus too). Lots of good friends, drinks, and food.....but it probably wasn't the best time for a party.....in spite of what you'll see in this picture.
Holiday? Vacation? Not so much.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
In addition, my MIL took a fall when her legs became tangled in a dog's leash yesterday. Not good when you're more than 80 and already have a hard time walking. So, 911-ambulance-ER = No broken bones. ....whew. But, I do have to admit, that sitting in the ER waiting room for numerous hours provided me with enough fodder for six year's worth of blog posts. Let me put it this way: Wal Mart has NOTHING over the ER that I sat in last night. Nothing. There was a young lady cornered by two hospital security guards and asked about her reason for being in the hospital, who she was, what she was doing, etc. They told her they'd be right back with her. And what did she do? Made a bee-line for me....ME! She came right over and sat next to me in her winter coat with the hood pulled up and her little cutsie pajama bottoms and slippers. I should have offered her a cocktail.
So, today is going to be spent sorting out MIL's condition, whether she can go home and function alone or not. And to top it off, she has a really bad attitude about hospitals and doctors. She is agitated, upset, irritated, and angry. It's not pleasant. I can hardly wait.
The weather has been more than perfect. Cold nights, fantastic fall days. I love it. In fact, I love weather....all kinds. So, that's a good thing.
Oh, by the way, do you all have your orders placed with Amazon for Going Rogue, Sarah Palin's latest and, perhaps, greatest? Hehehehe. Smooches.
Friday, October 02, 2009
A week from today, Sean and Jeffrey will grace us with their presence in our villa. Small villa, but villa nonetheless. Sean has done a superb job of spelling things out for us all. Honestly, I haven't been this excited for a while about much -- I love enjoying brand new experience with people. It's friends like these that make the world a better place. We can hardly wait boys! And, by the way, if you're in Portland, you are more than welcome to join us at our condominium on Sunday, October 11, at 4pm for a get-together....bring a snack and share it with some of the world's greatest people.
I finished a 24-hour layover in Los Angeles yesterday and had the chance to meet two more amazing bloggers that I'd only known online until yesterday. Jim from Jim's Notes picked me up at my hotel and took me to Hermosa Beach where we sat up on the second floor over looking the Pacific Ocean on a beautiful sunny day. Jim and I snarked ourselves up and down the streets trying to find the main drag to take us where we wanted to go. We practiced the latest in cuss words, made fun of people, cruised handsome California beach boys (well, I did....he was wondering why my head kept snapping in every direction), and walked out to the end of the Hermosa Beach Pier and watched the fisherman. What a day. And then, I coerced Wil from WAT Central into coming ALL of the way in traffic at dinner time to my hotel after his long day at work. We enjoyed snacks and a yummy Amaretto Sour in the hotel's restaurant. We bantered about life, relationships, fake people and why they have such a hard time existing in relationships, his family history and his job. He's a honest guy and, like me, will always tell you the truth in a matter-of-fact sort of way. Many, many thanks to both of my newfound in-person friends for making time for me. I really appreciated our time together.
And to continue the "meeting new people whirlwind," I had the chance to meet, laugh and giggle with Derek of The Thoughts of a Princessa of Mexico. We live in the same city, we Facebook together daily, and yet we'd never met in person....but that's all changed now. Derek is fun-loving, happy, pleasant, and positive to be around -- he leaves you feeling good about life. Derek, you're a doll and the pleasure was all mine.
And now, for more exciting fashion news, my hair is longer than it's been for a very long time. I'm not quite sure why or how long it's going to get or exactly what the style is supposed to actually be or look like....but I've decided that I'd like to have it a little longer, a little shaggy sort of look maybe. So, we'll see. It's sort of like starting out on a cross-country road trip without a road map. But, hey, that's all a part of the goodness of life...right?
Friday, September 25, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
Secondly, I'm off to Seattle this afternoon to rendezvous with my Hubby for our annual Recurrent Training. He's done a nice job of telling what we're required to do in his post. I'll be glad when it's over and the pressure is off. We've done this for many, many years so you'd think it gets easier. It does in some ways. In other ways, it's always a nerve-wracking to be yelling and shouting airplane evacuation drill commands.
We had the chance to meet Mark and His Hubby from Tales of The Sissy. What a nice couple....we really enjoyed their casual and relaxed company. They loved Portland -- so, who knows...we may have them as permanent residents at some point in the future.
Our summertime has not come to an end yet....we're going to be basking in the 90s again over the next few days -- it's such a lovely city and the blue sky always shows it off so nicely.
We've got out-of-town visitors coming in October for nearly a week -- that story will be forthcoming very soon! Suffice it to say, that we're excited for the visit and the opportunity to say Hi to these friends again. I know, I know....you're on pins and needles with anticipation......
Hope you all enjoy your week, wherever you are and whatever you're doing.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
My work schedule plays a pretty big part on what I get to do in life and what I don't. I typically get up at 4am and am in bed by 9pm.....in addition to being out of town much of my life. Those work hours don't play well with typical Monday-Friday sort of schedules and it has kept me from being able to participate in many activities throughout the years.
I am not the type of person that will chat you up every single day of my life. I won't call you on a daily basis nor feel obligated to email you, check in on you, or "make sure you're okay"...unless there's a need to. If you need honest help, I'm the first guy to be there to assist -- I will run to the grocery store for you, walk your dog for you, drive you to the doctor, cook a hot meal for you, and even do your laundry and, yes, clean your bathroom for you. I'm all of that, and more! But I'm not the pat-you-on-the-back sort of guy nor do I frequently exhibit the warm and fuzzy feelings that some require. I am the sort of guy that enjoys a beer or coffee with you, digs getting to look at gardens and trees and flowers and the sky, loves learning about new places and things, is more than happy to sit and stare at the earth and all that she offers. I have ended friendships over the other party "needing" for me to check in with them every day -- over others "requiring" me to spend my free time with them. I am the kind of guy who will not typically over analyze our relationship -- I will consider it good and fine and okay unless there's a good solid reason why it isn't. I won't lay awake nights wondering if you like me or that I do, or don't, like you. I'm the kind of guy who can go without seeing someone for six months, or even a year, and pick right back up where we left over -- without guilt, without wishing that we hadn't waited so long, without feeling badly. I love it for what it is, not what it is not.
So, I have been thinking about the long list of 123 friends that I have on Facebook not to mention the others on Twitter or who read my website or that I know in person or that I work with or that I meet via a mutual friend (can I actually use the word "friend"??...maybe its just an acquaintance.....) or that I say hi to in the coffee shop downstairs or or or or. And then I consider the many times while I've got Mason outside in public when I say to him, "Look, Mason, there's another nice lady....she's our friend"....trying to show him that she is not our enemy and that he is supposed to be nice to her. Maybe I should stop lying to him and tell him that "There's a lady we've never met -- don't trust her because we don't know who she is or what she is going to do to us." I counted them this morning......I have actually met 77 of my Facebook friends on at least one occasion. I certainly don't count all 123 as "friends and family"....most of you are, indeed, "casual acquaintances" that I enjoy and don't mind using the word "friend" at all. Some of you I see much more regularly than others. Others of you I have only met once -- and the reality of that is that may very well be the only time we will ever have the good chance to actually meet in person. I honor that time. I don't count it badly that it won't happen again. Others of you, hehehehe, may wish that you'd NEVER met me....... ahh, it's all good times, isn't it.....
I've discovered this whole Facebook and Twitter and texting world to be quite shallow. There is rarely depth amidst the posting and Twitting. It does not take the place of conversation, or phone calls, or one-on-one dinner or chatting. If we're looking for any sort of depth, it won't often be found online. So, I take it for what it is.....good, acceptable, enjoyable ..... the posts, the quick updates, the "here's what I'm having for dinner." It allows me to keep in some sort of contact with a huge number of adorable people that I would never have had the opportunity to meet otherwise. So whether I call you friend, family, casual acquaintance or something else....it is what it is and I appreciate it for that.
I guess what I'm wondering is now that I'm not this friend's friend on Facebook, what am I? Oh, that's right, it's a casual acquaintance. It's an interesting world we live in, folks. Laden with technology, I've been relinquished to a casual acquaintance in spite of knowing the guy for years. I'm going to have to think about that for a bit, I'm afraid.
Monday, September 14, 2009
The article leans toward the fact that positive people have a bit more influence on negative people than the other way around. It also points out that there is always a common denominator in any group -- something that has drawn them together -- and that it is difficult to sustain outside of that common denominator for any length of time. Say, for example, that there is a group of friends who have known one another for quite some time because they walk at the mall every single day of their lives. Within this group, it would be difficult to be a part of it and not enjoy walking and good health. Your time within that group would be limited. It goes on to say that smokers have a tough time hanging with non-smokers over the long term. And that overweight people typically don't tend to migrate toward a group of gym rats and folks to try to take care of themselves -- and that happy people don't hang with negative for very long.
It's interesting food for thought on what ties us to our friends. We certainly have differences but there has to have been some common ground to bring us together and then keep us together. Differences? Commonality? What is it that has brought you to reside within the group of people you spend the majority of your lives with? Are you the influence on them or are they the ones influencing you? Interesting.