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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Glenn Beck for President....And Other Reasons Why I Haven't Been Blogging

Holy moly. I was really on a nice roll there for a bit with my writing. Geez. Been working like a bad boy over the past 5 days as this cute little map will show you.

My MIL has been approved for Medicaid benefits and will be moving from her current nursing facility to a permanent assisted living facility relatively soon. She's a pill, there's no doubt about that. Doesn't like this, doesn't like that, nothing is ever quite right. LoverBoy has been inundated with paperwork, phone calls, emails and the ins-and-outs of getting all worked out. All by himself. He's had no help or proper assistance from those who should be helping him. But, he's been a trooper, like he always is. He often gets taken advantage of that way.

My head has been spinning with a long thread of thoughts in my brain. Regarding my own personal well being and my evolvement on this planet. Remember that Jet Blue flight attendant dude Steven Slater? I think that he may be living inside me. I've had more than my normal, fair share of strange feelings lately. Its unlike me. And its unpleasant. And its not right. I'm a tough old SOB and something is amiss in the house. You think that you get to be 48 years old and that you now have life by the balls. I'm rethinking that theory. If my thoughts ever formulate into anything other than a bitch session, I'll put them on virtual paper for your perusal. Until then, its nearly all that I'm thinking about these days.

As is the norm, "I can't believe the summer is over and that there are only two more days left of August." Have you ever said that? Ever heard that before? Thought so. Me too. We have invitations to Folsom Street Fair in San Francisco and a good friend's birthday bash in Palm Springs in the next month or so. I'm not sure that we'll make either....but we're trying. We are in the middle of the arduous process of trying to refinance our condominium. Plenty of details and pieces to put together for that to happen -- but there's a good chance that we're going to trim some cash off of our monthly mortgage. Smiles all around.

And on a final note, I think Glenn Beck would make a super dooper amazingly delicious new President for the United States...don't you? He would fit right in nicely with the simplicity of thinking in our glorious nation. Did you know that he struggled with "attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder"? Nah, I wouldn't believe it either. (Side note: He's 2 years younger than me.....please tell me that I look better than him....please, please......)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Journey Without Maps

Yesterday morning, I was taxiing from the gate out to the runway in Vancouver, British Columbia. For those of you who have been to Vancouver, it will come as no surprise that this is one of the world's greatest cities. Beautiful. Cosmopolitan. Amazing waterways and mountains surround it and the cool Pacific air breezes through. You can definitely spend a fair amount of time here and enjoy every minute of it. And occasionally I find myself lost in thought. About life, my connection to it, the earth, grasses, mountains, water. And trees. Trees are one of my most favorite things attached to this earth. I was looking out of my jumpseat porthole as we moved along the taxi way yesterday early morning and looking at the tall green grasses. And wondering what it would be like to live in those grasses. Be in them. Lie down in them. I wonder what it would be like to be naked and lie down in them...especially if they were wet. To feel the dirt of the Canadian earth on my back while the wet strands of green grass taunted my face and legs. And just to stare up at the sky. I considered what a vastly different experience it would be to be outside of the airplane looking at us move along the concrete taxi way versus being inside looking out.

And you wouldn't believe what happened shortly afterwards -- I was glancing through my copy of Whole Living magazine and ran across an article by Susanna Sonnenberg titled Journey Without Maps. In spite of the fact that I'm very much a map lover and can't hardly walk by one without stopping to ponder and gaze, I am also a big fan of being a free spirit and navigating throughout life without a map sometimes. I learn a lot that way. Sonnenberg relates the story of moving from New York City to Montana and all that goes along with that.

But not everyone has that built-in compass that permits them to traverse the ways of this world without an internal map. They just plain old don't know how. I am thankful that I am relatively stable, educated, have an innate perception of common sense, and can typically get from Point A to Point B in life without much trouble. Many cannot. I was taught. Some were not. I was shown the way. Not everyone was. And I'm thankful that I have the desire to sit in a Starbucks with a fancy coffee on a busy urban street just as much as I have the want to lie naked in a field of wet grass. Both appeal to me. Both teach different lessons. Both are different journeys with entirely different maps.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


It has occurred to me numerous times in my life that I'm a helper. I do things for people. I help out. It started as a skinny energetic child in Idaho helping Mom in the kitchen and around the house. You couldn't get me outside to save my life -- I absolutely hated being outside. So much so that Mom would put me in my winter coat, put me outdoors, and lock the kitchen door behind me. Just to get me outside. I would lay by the door and cry. And fall asleep. I wanted to be indoors! Helping, apparently. If it was in the kitchen, I was there....or cleaning the bathroom, I did it. I babysat regularly from the time I was 10. They didn't just get a babysitting job out of me -- I cleaned their houses, vacuumed, did dishes, the whole lot. I was a helper.

I spend my current life in the helping mode. It's part of my career now.

  • What do I do with my stroller? You leave it right here by the boarding door....it will be waiting for you in Los Angeles....minus your child.
  • Where is seat 15C? Out the back door, turn right, it is an aisle seat on the right-side at row 15.
  • What are we going to be served for lunch today? Nothing.
  • Are they going to hold the flight to Medford for me? No.
  • Which gate are we arriving today? N1 on the North Satellite.
  • Which way to the baggage claim area? Follow the signs....to Milwaukee.
  • Can you lift my carry-on bag down for me? Umm, sure. (Good attitude ensues...)
And it goes on and on. I started to count the number of times I was asked questions on my one, simple round-trip to Orange County and back this morning. I lost count. I had full intentions of writing this post and was sort of interested in how often it happens. It is nonstop from the time I get to work until I strip off the blue polyester in my hotel room, or home, at the end of the day. It happens even in the grocery store and in hotel lobbies. I think the uniform is a magnet.

But even outside work, I find myself just in that helper mode. Without even trying to. I see people needing the door held open, and I do it. I see the waitress coming with food for our table and I'm automatically starting to clear space for her to set down the plates. I stack the plates at the end and gather the trash together. Something falls to the floor in the grocery store, and I'm down there picking it up. I have spent the last numerous years of my life helping family members, inlaws, and friends. Seems like someone always needs advice, money, or a visit. It's just automated, built in, ingrained. I'm not sure when it happened, where it came from, or how it all got started.

I've thought for a very long time about the number of people in our world who need help. And its overwhelming. There are far more who actually need help than actually provide help, it occurs to me. There are a million opportunities each day for me to provide assistance or answer questions for people. Partly because of my particular job. Partly because I'm probably looking for the chance to point someone in the right direction.

But sometimes, I hide. I'm tired of it. I don't want to answer any more questions....especially the ones that I've judged to be silly or stupid. And there are plenty of those. And I definitely cast judgment on them quickly and easily. Shame on me. Being a helper is endless and thankless. Those who need help suck the life out of those who help them. They need something, we have the answer, we provide them the help, they take it, they walk on. But just this morning, it occurred to me that it is part of my calling in this screwed-up world. To help. It is definitely my gift. I'm good at it and function well within its parameters. I think I just plain old need to embrace it, enjoy it, go with it. And most of the time I do.

Anybody need help? Give me a call.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Explosion Imminent !

Don't you think? An explosion is imminent? I do. Increasingly. This world has had it. From flipping people off in traffic, to yelling at people who leave their dogs locked in the car while they shop at Target, to blood pressure rising when the vacuum cord won't wrap up right after housecleaning....things just are not right.

I've noticed my own curmudgeon-itis going full tilt lately. I hate children who yell, scream and misbehave. It has left a big old bitter pill stuck in my throat. I look at a stroller and get nauseous. I see a baby bottle and turn my head in avoidance. I see parents come into a restaurant and immediately start looking around for another, far away, table. And it's often the little things that kick 'er into high gear. The glass that is dropped on the counter and broken. The gas tank that is left empty because the last driver didn't take the time to stop and fill it up -- because surely someone else will do it. Traffic is a bitch. Service is rotten. Bank accounts are drained. Proposition 8 in California leaves a ripple effect and bad attitude across the nation. Kicking people out of our very own military because they are gay grates deeply on me. Those who you try to actually help and assist have bad attitudes....nothing is ever right. The dog has to be walked -- even when I don't want to nor have the inclination to. I still have to get up at 04:00am for work....again. And again. For what? To deal with the aforementioned children and parents who don't know how to be....well, parents. Family members need attention, even when they are adults. You'd think it would get better. Not so.

There are police officers who pull triggers with fleeting urgency and leave mentally ill citizens dead. There are those who sue large corporations out of pure ignorance and lack of oversight on the part of the customer or parent. We don't take responsibility. It's always someone else's fault. Period. Helpless animals are harvested illegally out of our oceans and land, household pets are left in their own feces and not attended to by breeders, bicycle riders ride like there is no one else on the road. City and state budgets are zeroed out. Health care companies turn down perfectly legitimate requests for scans or tests. Because they can. Emergency rooms are brimming with idiots. Faux victims. Poor people. Because our world doesn't take care of those that it says it will. Cigarette butts are tossed flippantly out of car windows...and that pisses me off in a huge way. Drivers who don't know how to drive properly stop dead in traffic to decide which way they need to go next. Everyone has to wait for those who are not prepared -- in shopping lines the person ahead of you doesn't have their money out when it comes time, passengers in airplanes can't stand sitting next to rude and loud parents and children, customers who haven't quite discovered yet that First Class is actually a way of life, not a seat on an airplane. Fake smiles rule.

Yeah, I pretty much think we're on a short course for destruction here. From the inside, out. From the human level to the global level. I'm not sure when, or how, but it just can't go on indefinitely in this wild ride fashion.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Target Musical Review

A perfect opportunity to show off your musical skills in a nice, toe-tapping way while still making a valid point. Target doesn't like the gays in case you didn't know.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Continue to Confound the Wise

It will come as no surprise to most of you that I have strong roots in the Christian church in America. Born, raised, practically lived on the church pew. Presbyterian. Assembly of God. And everywhere in between. Giant missionary and traveling musician background around the globe. The stories are endless. But I am still amazed at how different the Christian church in America "looks." To me, to others....compared to the Christian church in other nations or parts of the world. It just looks different. Apparently the same Bible. Apparently the same scriptures. But drastically different visual effects. Viewpoints on nudity, alcohol, smoking and what is, and is not, permitted inside the church vary widely from nation to nation. Somehow, the good ol' USofA has cast its own eerie glow over many centuries-old traditions. We tote it as the gospel truth. Despite the fact that we are one of the younger social groups around the earth. We stand proud and declare that it's our way or the high way. But we're wrong. Well, many of those inside mainstream evangelical Christianity in America are wrong, perhaps I should say. It is not new news to anybody that hypocrisy rules most churches in America today. The examples are endless.

Recently novelist Anne Rice has declared that she is quitting Christianity because she's seen too much hypocrisy. She's not alone. She's not the first person to open her eyes and see it. But she is one of the more popular to call it what it is and want to get the hell out. It's like living a lie. Living inside of a body that isn't yours. I admire her open mindedness and ability to think for herself instead of have a church pulpit think for her. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life completed a 2008 study of faith and religion in America. Check out these quotes from evangelical pollster George Barna:

  • American Christianity (side note: Notice how he defines it as the American version!) is not well, and there's evidence to indicate that its condition is more critical than most realize -- or at least want to admit.
  • Little measurable difference between the moral behavior of churchgoers and the rest of American society.
  • Born again Christians are more likely to divorce than other Americans (an act strongly condemned by Jesus).
  • Born again Christians are more likely to be racist than other Americans. (Duh...)
  • While evangelical Christian overwhelmingly say they believe in abstaining from premarital sex, they are more likely to be sexually active than peers.
  • Every day the church is becoming more like the world it allegedly seeks to change.
  • An unsettling conclusion: Many people who call themselves Christians don't really believe, deep down, in the tenets of their faith. Their actions reveal their true beliefs.
  • Churches in America are said to be the most segregated places in America.
Any astounding conclusions here? Nope. I didn't think so. I love knowing that many of us know this crap already -- and we have for a very, very long time. I wonder when The Steeple will figure it out?

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Way We Treat Them......

This is the way we treat educated, professional human beings who want to serve our country. We get rid of them. I'm telling you kids, I feel like we're in the Dark Ages instead of the year 2010. Something continues to be seriously amiss in this, one of the most powerful nations on earth. These are just two of the amazing folks attempting to serve our nation in the U.S. military but who are not permitted to because they are gay.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Let It All Out, Baby......

By now you've all heard the little story that has made me giggle with a snarky little smirk on my face. Steven Slater, former JetBlue flight attendant, made his infamous exit from not only the aircraft but from his multi-year career yesterday after landing at New York's JFK International Airport. He'd had it. And for some reason, employers frown on telling customers to "F ___ Off." How can employers be so not understanding?

Flight attendants, along with a myriad of other folks working with the cracked-out public, are under stress. Daily. Every single time we turn around there's another expectation that we will overlook some issue, smile when smiling really isn't an appropriate reaction, turn our heads to avoid another confrontation, ask people repeatedly (is there a stronger word than "repeatedly"??) to do various things like turn off mobile phones, be nice to children that should have the crap knocked out of them, help people that are more needy than anything else, and look pretty when our uniforms are covered in soda pop, spit up, tomato juice and sweat. In many ways, it's a simple job. Routine. In other ways, it's a pressure cooker. Stressful. And its worse for some personality types than others. If you're the guy who can ignore things, let it run off your back, and not take things personality, you'll be better off. But, even then, all of that stress has to go somewhere. It has to be dealt with and actually handled -- not just ignored. And if you're the type of gal who has a personal vendetta against people or the world, then you really should just stay home or go find another career. And, its funny, that most of the things we deal with regularly are simple, easy things -- "turn off your cell phones, remain seated, stow your bag" sort of things. But, honestly, you'd think we're asking for a solution to world peace. It's a grade school issue pretending to be of college-level importance. And its not.

In spite of the fact that I don't advocate blowing up and calling someone naughty names, I understand his predicament 100%. Every single day I wonder if what is in my head is going to actually come out of my mouth. And you know me, many times it does. I met a gentleman at a party a year or so ago who is a sort of psychologist/therapist bloke. He found out that I was a flight attendant. He subsequently informed me that his practice is filled with pilots and flight attendants -- and how much stress we are under -- and how we are not provided with proper coping mechanisms and tools to deal with such a wide variety of issues over the course of a multi-year flight attendant career.

My favorite part of Steven Slater's story is when he absconded with a beer from the galley before deploying the emergency escape slide. I hope it was a higher quality beer, at least -- nothing like PBR or Keystone. I mean, hey now, if you're going to end your career in that way, do it right.....right??

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Christianity Revisited

If you've read my antics for any length of time, it probably will come as no surprise that I spent a giant chunk of my life on the church pew. Born and raised and drenched in the spirit. Brought people to Jesus. Youth group leader. Chaperon to more than one church camp, road trip, and outing. Gave sermons, sang solos, directed musical groups complete with those little official looking batons, taught music parts, programs and choreography. Lead Bible studies. Talked my way in and out of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Block countries with my Bible-toting kids. And concert coordinator for many Christian music groups. I loved that. Contacting booking agencies and artists about concerts, dates, time and places. I grew up in the First Presbyterian Church in Boise. From there, we migrated to the Boise Valley Christian Communion -- a giant nondenominational free-form congregation made up of all sorts of people. And it was at BVCC in the late 1970s-1980s that I found myself booking these Christian musical artists. During this time in history, Christian music was finding its name and place. New artists all over the place. The church was discovering that it, too, could have peppy music -- with the words changed to reflect the Bible and church values -- god help us if we actually allowed songs inside the church as written. The words simply had to be changed. And it most definitely had to be "Lips not hips"...dancing was not allowed in my church. Early Christian music began in the 1960s with the likes of Andre Crouch and the Disciples and Randy Stonehill . I remember seeing both of these guys at such events as Jesus Northwest -- giant Christian festivals in the summertime jammed with upwards of 50,000 people in some field somewhere all with their hands up in the air and swaying back and forth. Such songs as It Won't Be Long, My Tribute, and The Blood Will Never Lose It's Power rocked the Christian charts. No, seriously!, they did. It was a new, fresh time for a whole new genre of music on the heels of the Summer of Love, hippie love, long hair and the like. It seems funny today.

I had personal one-on-one communication with most of these artists that I've listed here. Some I actually hauled around in my parents car (this was even before I had my own car). I picked them up at the Boise Airport and toted them to their hotels and to the concert sites and to dinner. I loved it. And now, looking back, it was quite an accomplishment. A really cool thing. In spite of the fact that my faith is completely different now than it was then, I am thankful that I had this piece of history to add to my life's journey.

Sandi Patty -- I remember seeing her for the very first time at Treasure Valley Community College in Ontario, Oregon when she was just getting started in her career....I loved her so much that I followed her the next night to Twin Falls, Idaho for another concert. She was probably one of Christian music's top three artists of all time, in my opinion. I had the chance to sing at her own home church in Anderson, Indiana, later in life on my own tour of the world. (You did know that I traveled the world for many years didn't you? Yep, bringing people to Jesus.....oh boy.....). I also remember her singing the National Anthem on television during the reopening of the Statue of Liberty in 1986.

The Imperials -- Wow. This group went on and on for many years with a variety of artists joining and leaving over time. It was four guys with an amazing talent for music.

Ann Kiemel -- Not a musician, a speaker. She had quite the knack for sharing the simplicity of her life and stories about her neighborhood and the children in it. She inspired audiences via her personal appearances and books for many years. I still have multiple letters handwritten by her that we shared together.

Ernie and Debby Rettino
-- I remember specifically having them in the back seat of my car on the way to the concert and them both vocalizing and warming up quite loudly while I drove down the road.

Amy Grant -- I saw Amy in about 1977 when she had just released her very first cassette tape. She was in a long white conservative dress. Crazy how far she went. She was always one of my favorites.

The 2nd Chapter of Acts -- Totally hot group. Brother and two sisters who rocked the church with their new version of upbeat contemporary Christian music. Matthew, the brother, had an amazing voice. Tons of #1 hits including Mansion Builder and Which Way the Wind Blows.

Babbie Mason
Steve Greene
Larnelle Harris
The Archers
Michael W. Smith
Steven Curtis Chapman

Keith Green -- Keith was widely known for his controversial lyrics and accusations of others in the Christian community. He wouldn't put up with anybody saying one thing and doing another and would make it well known. He always felt like Christians were often hypocrites (duh!) and angered some in his life. He was killed in a small plane crash in 1982.

And one more whose name will remain unspoken in this writing....Randy Ma*******. Randy did a concert at my church in Boise one night and I was going to drive him from Boise to McCall for his gig the next night. While I was taking his bag out to my car, I noticed that his bag was unzipped and that a fifth of Jack Daniels was in his bag. Horrors! This was the day and age when Christians did not smoke or drink. At least in public, anyway. There would have been serious reprocusions if I'd mentioned it then. I remember the first time that I discovered that someone in the church actually smoked. And nowadays, it's quite commonplace for wine or beer to be served at gatherings. But not then. This would have been a serious problem for Randy and his mission had I said anything.

I know that many of you have had similar experiences as I have -- growing up in church and probably know some of these same musicians. It seems like a lifetime ago. I have had many, many opportunities in my life that I am thankful for....in spite of the fact that I would have been disowned by all or most of them for being gay.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

The Long and Winding Road

We hold these truths to be evident -- that we are created equal. That we are all humans. Fallible. Capable of a variety of actions ranging from overly beautiful to horrendous. In the course of the fleeting moments on this earth that we call our lives, we are born and we die. Its the in-between parts that get us sometimes. We are this. Or we are that. We do this. And we do that. We are know for being an insurance adjuster or flight attendant or grocery clerk or computer guy or police woman. Whatever. It doesn't really matter. Who cares. It's such a small portion of what actually comprises who we are. Our essence. Our being. Who is inside, rather than outside.

I'm telling you kids, I'm a little emotional today. I often consider the human factor, the race that the people of this world are on. Their errors in judgment. Their falsehoods. Their fake smiles and the games that they play. They are good many times. They say one thing and yet do another. Regularly. They say they are a honorable person and yet they are not. They say they don't judge others and yet they do. I'm losing a friend today. Well, not really losing....just a temporary separation. I'm going to miss them. You see, they are going away for a while. Quite a while. And I'm sad. We all learn, we all fail, some miserably. There are so many lessons to learn if we avail ourselves. I'm afraid I have many to learn. I have failed in some very serious ways in my life. Nothing earth shattering but I have hurt myself and others in this life, there's no doubt about that. I like to learn. My friend is learning. Painfully. And I'm learning in the process. About error. About habits. About how we look at difficult situations in our lives. I've discovered that some things we are told to be true are not. In fact, they are many times false. And things that are supposedly bad are found to be quite good. I question nearly every single thing I hear or see, both positive and negative. I take next to nothing at face value.

We are called to be witnesses to both good and bad in this life. And just when you think you've seen it all, something else comes along. I'm rarely surprised. I don't really have a start and finish to this piece. It could go on for a very long time. A steady stream of thoughts flows out at times like this. I just know that when I put my head on my pillow at night, as has been the case with many nights this year, I have a lot on my mind....including my friend. For safety and peace. For resolution and protection. For happiness. For learning. And if I have all of these things on my mind, I can't imagine how much they are on his mind. 2019 is a long, long way away. Isn't it? Or is it? I extend the hand of peace to my friend today. When we wake up each morning, we don't really know precisely how the day will end up going. But when we rest our heads on our pillows at night, the day is over, complete. It has passed in exactly the way it was supposed to. We must rest in that assurance.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010


I was lying in bed a bit ago before rising. The Pooch and I snuggled in tight per our usual morning routine. And you already know of my freakish thinking...right? I got to thinking about people I've met in my lifetime after watching Family Guy last night....the episode about Star Trek The New Generation with Patrick Stewart in it. So, to bore you silly, here's a list of people I've rubbed noses with.....well, not really noses.......but you understand:

Patrick Stewart (Star Trek), Gillian Anderson (X-Files), Jeff Goldblum (The Fly), Elisabeth Perkins (Big, Cats & Dogs), Brian Grant (Portland Trailblazers), Timothy Hutton (Ordinary People), Anne Heche (former of Ellen DeGeneres), LeAnn Rhimes, Neil Sedaka, The Stone Temple Pilots (rock music), Telly Savalas (Kojak), Melissa Etheridge, Steve Allen (original host of The Tonight Show...I saw him regularly up until 2 weeks before he died), Rosanna Arquette (whose right hip I had to dab spilled water off of....long story), Melanie Griffith plus her daughter Stella Banderis, Debbie Boone (You Light Up My Life!).......and now, to coin a phrase from Sordid Lives, "My Mind's a Blank."

Plus, there's a pretty significant list of older Christian music artists from the 1970-1980s. I worked closely with them in my former non-gay life. Shall I go into that here????

And that's a non-complete, partial wrap. (What I really mean to say is that's all I can think of right now....as soon as I post this, I'm sure I'll think of others......)

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Summertime and the Livin' Is Lackluster

It's getting to be that time of year again. August 1st always reminds me that I only have one month, perhaps two, of summer left. And that two months of it has gone. Disappeared. And how much I have not done this year. Again. Every year its the same. I'm not a regretful sort of person. But I do like to take advantage of as much as I can in life. If I get invited to a party, coffee or dinner, I do try to say yes as often as I can. It seems like summertime goes by more and more quickly as we age. I'm not sure what that particular phenomenon is called but time does have an innate ability to shift in how it actually "feels" to us -- as adults rather than children.

So, back to the topic at hand -- the storage shed sits full of camping gear. A brand new tent, cook stove, sleeping bags and foam pads, pots and pans, dishware, the whole works. We used to use it regularly and haven't now for several years. Each year I try to see where we can fit camping in to our schedule only to be disappointed that it just isn't going to work. We had a great vacation in Provincetown in early July but that has sucked the life out of my checkbook and work time. I'm now working as much as I can. Plus, we can't leave town now with our responsibilities to my MIL. She is in an assisted living facility right now at least and needs me in town for the driving and errands....I'm the sole driver in our family. I have five days off starting next Saturday but hubby doesn't. And that's the only stretch of days for August. I swear, the schedule just never fits. And, so, no camping this year.

We have been able to go to a few of Portland's free Summer Concerts in the Parks, thankfully. The beach has been a lost cause with cloudy days, cool weather, and responsibilities with MIL. It's August 2 and I've been twice since April. We have yet to have a BBQ at our condo. At our other home, it seems to me that we had backyard get-togethers regularly but perhaps my perception is skewed. I wanted to see more of my little puppy dog friend Wink this summer -- we were supposed to get together with her Mommies and go to the park. My buddy James had back surgery and I have yet to check in with him. I haven't been to the Oregon Coast for several years. I'd love to go to San Francisco, Seattle or Vancouver BC Pride some year....but it probably won't happen. We've been invited to Folsom Street Fair at the end of September -- what do you want to bet that won't pan out either. And I'd love to see my family in Boise more often but...... And I got a nice photo ID and access to a very nice doggy park to take Mason this summer. He went once and was bored within five minutes. We haven't been back. There was a huge celebration of all of Portland's bridges over this last weekend. We didn't go. And a buddy has a 1970s party this coming Saturday -- but I'm not so sure I'll be there. And Rolfe and Stephen wanted us to have drinks in their backyard this summer. Who knows.

Something always comes up. In the way. Requiring me to leave early, come home sooner than I'd like to....it just makes things too complicated. And I don't do complicated. I know, I know.....focus on what I HAVE been able to do. Count my blessings. Be happy with what I have. I know. I get it. I'm generally that way. But there's something about summer that drives me nuts -- wishing, hoping, thinking for more. And generally being disappointed. Summertime just isn't what it used to be.