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Thursday, December 30, 2010


Finale. Why is it that saying goodbye sometimes feels so good? I'm not a wisher-awayer of time. I believe in taking advantage of every single moment of our lives in a positive sort of way. But sometimes it feels like a cleansing to put things behind us. Like toxic people. Horrible situations. Family troubles. Even entire years sometimes. Which we'll all do in just a few hours. This will be my last post of 2010. It's been a wild ride for all of us, just like they all are. Ups and downs. Screaming, yelling, and bad attitudes combined right alongside smiles, pats on the back, and the power of positive thinking. Funny how they all work together to present us with the thing we call our lives.

January 1, 2011, will produce a Re-Commitment to My Own Life here. I don't see it as a resolution or one of those flash-in-the-pan sort of things. I'm not that kind of guy. I do see it as a reminder. To myself.....that there are things I need to continue to hone in my focus on. To keep on keeping on. To remind myself of my humanity, my weakness, and my goodness. I don't plan on all of the things being "done" by the end of 2011. Or even by the end of my life, for that matter. I will add to the list. I will subtract from it. It is just a good working tool to bring me back to middle ground when the days get hectic.

Bon Voyage 2010. You've produced in me some beautiful things. And you've reminded me that the ickiness of my insides can come forth if not kept in check. But I've appreciated you for what you are. The good and the bad. The curtain must come down on yet one more year of our lives. I hope I get quite a few more years ahead in my life to learn and enjoy.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

First Class

What is it about someone not using "Please" and "Thank You" that irritates me to no end? Or children seated in First Class? Or the children's granny perched up there like the Queen with her perfectly bloated botoxed lips? Or the fact that each one of the little kiddies has their very own DVD player? Or that one of the children, maybe five years old, orders "Orange juice and I don't want any pulp in it." Or that when mommy demands that the child says "Thank You" to me, the little pumpkin turns his head in protest to look out the window. Or that Daddy just sits by himself in Row 1 and stares out the window -- seemingly no connection or interaction with his wife, children, or his parents. Damned good thing Daddy was a looker or else he'd have nothing going for him. Or that this entire scenario plays out departing Orange County -- rich, white, Republican country where they have successfully legislated that aircraft departing their airport cut back on power after takeoff to reduce noise over their highly expensive homes perched along the Pacific Ocean.

No, when I'm thinking of people who are genuinely trying to make a difference in this world, this is not the family I think of first. When I'm thinking of families who give up their own Christmas gifts to go to the local soup kitchen on holidays to serve up meals, this is not the family I think of. When I think of parents telling their children "No" when it comes to excessive toys and fun in order to help mold and teach them about simplicity, this is not the family I think of.

I hate to think what tools these children will have to help build their lives into something with pronounced value to our world. Or the adults, for that matter. Or what happens when the little kiddies turn out to be alcoholics or druggies....and they have zero skills for solving their life's troubles. Or maybe when they are suicidal....or prone to depression.....and need help. Will they know where to get it or how to turn inward and look for answers? Who knows where they'll end up. But I sure hate to see it. Especially in First Class.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Jumpseat Therapy

I told her that perhaps I should go back to being a hetro and she and I could get married. "Umm hmm," was her reply. We've flown together for years. And, I must say, we all learn a lot from each other in what we call Jumpseat Therapy. That's what you learn, hear and experience when sitting ass-to-ass with a co-worker for every takeoff and landing. You hear about kids, school, holidays, marriages, sex, food, hotels, Bible lessons and the like. And, honestly, it's quite entertaining at times. Like today.

She tells me she's got a pooched out belly. And, lo and behold, that bad girl was poked out like she was about four months with child. She even lifted up her uniform vest for added effect and to make sure I could see her distended tummy. "Too much flax seed," she tells me. "I just knew I shouldn't have taken it before flying," she adds. I told her to go into the lavatory (I know, I know, they aren't called "lavatories" anywhere except on the airplane....) and get rid of whatever it was that was giving her that alien-like effect. Sort of like Sigourney Weaver with that Alien thing. "Maybe you should belch or go and pass gas," I professionally suggested....with my bitey personality begin to rear its head. "I've tried," she tells me...."I'm in bad shape." I honestly don't think that her blue polyester could have stretched out much further without the seams unraveling.

The girl is from Alabama. Nothing wrong with that. Except that it gives me fodder for giggles and fuel for the laughing fire. She and I can go at it for a bit.....feeding off of one another's comments and jokes. We've even been told that we should have our own TV show on Comedy Central. She tells me about her Momma and her family members who used to be in the Klan. And I tell her about my early childhood girlfriends who made me do naughty things to them and about my churchgoing days. She's amused.

And today she is clutching a bag. One of those orange plastic ones from the AT&T wireless store...you know, the kind that you bring home fancy new electronic devices in? That kind. She's grabbed that bag by the neck like a turkey headed for slaughter. It's her clutch, she says. I suggest, perhaps, that it's more a satchel or European Carry All. And we laugh. She continues on to tell me that it is, indeed, her purse. That another flight attendant actually talked her out of her purse -- he (yes, HE) told her that it would be perfect for taking to his soccer matches. So, she gave it to him. Yes siree, she actually gave him her purse. And now she's stuck with this wadded up orange ball of plastic with all of her worldly belongings in it. She toted that thing from the lavatory to the galley and back about 62 times today. All the while strangulating it by the neck. I wonder if it had contraband in it? Probably just some mad money, a chicken leg, and a spare tampon.

We had to sit down for quite a while today. Lots of turbulence and the Captain requested that we sit. Which left us plenty of time for reading, giggling, and making fun of passengers. Yep, we do. Well, I do, anyway. So, I'm enjoying my memoir of some distant gay guy author type when, just out of the corner of my eye......I spot something. The words "Fatal Attraction" are staring me in the face. She's holding up a copy of National Geographic or some other magazine with an article titled Fatal Attraction. Oh god, it's beginning to feel like the movie....with the rabbit and pot of boiling water. And then she fans through the magazine pages with all sorts of phallic pictures and artistic sorts of work. And some other scary pictures of a plant eating bugs.

That belly never did release its contents. It was just as far out at the end of our trip as it was to start. I suggested Gas X or something. And then I told her how nice it was to fly with her again. And we agreed that it was nice to be together after a holiday. And that reminded me of an old church song....."We're together again, just praisin' the Lord.....we're together again, in one accord....something good is about to happen, something good is in store.....we're together again ..... just praisin' the Lord." So, I sang it to her. Out loud. On the jumpseat. And with that, our day ended. Well, after the laughing died down. It's all in a day's work, really. I hope she gets rid of that horrible plastic AT&T bag by the next time I see her. And her gas. The gas has got to go.

Friday, December 24, 2010


Truly He taught us to love one another His law is love and His gospel is peace. Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother And in His name all oppression shall cease.

I don't really much care if you're a church-goer or not. Nor what your particular beliefs are. Every time I hear these words, I consider how powerful they are. Not for the Christian part. Nor for the church part. Who cares. Their powerfulness comes from the fact that our world is falling apart. And I wish we loved one another. I wish that our gospel was peace to one another. I wish that we broke the chains of those around us who need help. And I wish that oppression would cease. That's why. Pass the peace around. And do it again tomorrow and the day after that too. Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Holiday Change Is In the Air

I hate to let this sort of news out, but I've actually had sort of a propensity toward enjoying being outside the last few weeks. With the cold weather and the chilling winter winds (and we've had plenty of them here in Portland). I don't want anyone to take me wrong, I don't love, love, love, love it. I'm just trying to enjoy it. And, honestly, I haven't been out in it for any great length of time or had to work outside in it -- which may very well make all of the difference in the world. But for now, I'm trying to embrace it and enjoy it for what it is worth. I'm in strong like of trees without their leaves -- when you can just see the stark, jagged branches against a winter sky....with the weak beams of the sun poking through just like in this picture. Painting long lines of shadows on the earth below. Today marks the longest day of our year. Less light than any other day. But, guess what, tomorrow will begin our venture toward more daylight....and you just can't beat that.

I am prepared to make a few changes in my life, I think. I've been considering, thinking and drafting up a plan for it for a long time now. And it's now in printed form ready for me to put my pen to and sign it into law. There is always a big risk with putting such an item into public review. It is nothing profound, except to me. Nothing earth shattering, except to me. Nothing of high regard or noteworthy, except to me. For those of us who think the way I do, we are always considering how we can be better. Analyzing how our mistakes of yesterday can be changed. And that time is now for me. January 1, 2011, you'll see the list here. A Re-Freshing is in order. A Re-Invention is in process. And a Re-Commitment to My Own Life is forthcoming. Anybody else want to join me in making their lives a better place to live?

LoverBoy is off on a pre-Christmas Honolulu trip and will return Christmas Eve. And we'll be off and running to downtown Portland to our old church for an old fashioned candlelight service complete with amazing organ music, lots of candles, and the late-night singing of Christmas carols outside afterwards on Portland's Park Blocks. It's a great way to begin the holiday. Christmas morning will find us home. Gladly. Just us, sharing stories, swapping memories, enjoying a moment of respite in this busy life. Christmas afternoon will find us at Alex and Paul's beautiful, warm home just a ways down the road from us. A&P have become great friends through the years and that is precisely why we enjoy spending such pronounced holidays with them. I'm amazed how our friends, and even our family, changes throughout the years. I remember when we were young that my father and mother would always welcome whoever needed a place to eat a seat at our table. I still like to do that. Open the doors to those who need a place to rest or enjoy a meal.

And we have done a nice job of keeping out of the fray, the mess, the holiday-ness of the malls and money-spending cycles of our world. We gave up the gift-buying thing about five years ago -- although I have discretely discovered a few stray small packages stuffed into our mantle stockings. I hope you'll enjoy this week. The blessings of it. The friends and family you have nearby. Take care of them, and let them take care of you. We all need one another in some twisted sort of way. To ease the sharp edges of this rough world. Merry Christmas week to you all.

Monday, December 13, 2010

At The Risk

At the risk of being too vulnerable, I've been working on a Re-Commitment To My Own Life. A long list of things that I'd like to improve in my life. Not that it will be accomplished today. Or even tomorrow. But a list of things that spin around in my head regularly when I make poor decisions or when I react inappropriately. And it is time to get started on heading in a better direction.

You see, the problem with putting things into print -- onto the internet -- is not necessarily that you're any more committed to the process than you were before but, rather, that you are now at risk for any number of issues with those who read it, those who know you better than some. Those very close to you. It's easy to hold something over someone's head when you know something about them. It's easy to be flippant with a reminder to them about the words that they used or the promises that they made. Or to make fun of them for their silly little list of commitments. And it is especially easy when, say, I'm not being a very good example of the Re-Commitment that I've made to myself. I risk others reminding me that I'm failing, or not achieving, the goals that I've put forth. But that's a risk that I'm willing to take.

I consider that my list is a life-long one. That I must be open to complete transformation not only when the list is put into print but to the end of my days. That it is probably a list that will be in cultivation for the remainder of my time on earth. I am fully aware that some of the commitments on my list are things that are deeply embedded in my way of living. And that they will be thorns in my side for many years to come -- to remind me of my humanity, my frailness as a human being. Nonetheless, I must work on them. And they are forthcoming. On January 1, 2011 you will find them here.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Christmas Celebrations

The whites are in the LG washing machine and will then be in the LG dryer which sits atop the washer. Who knew that dryers were tops. LoverBoy is in Honolulu and will be home via a tailwind tonight. I attended our former neighbor's Irish Coffee Christmas celebration last night for the first time in years by myself -- because the warm sands of Waikiki were more important to Hubby than partying with me. And perhaps it was the homemade eggnog with vodka (or the liquor-laden punch prior to the eggnog) that led me into a rather amorous conversation with a straight man about his biceps while his beautiful wife was at the other end of the bar telling me how young I looked and complimenting me on my bone structure all the while her breasts were doing their best to unleash the cage door and set themselves free from her pretty holiday dress. Oy. It was a nice evening.

Today I'm getting the sheets all washed up for C.S.N. We both get totally turned on by clean sheets. It's been a month today since my MIL passed away. And at the urging of my friend Blobby, I've just spent a few minutes downloading Apple's new free "Find My iPhone" app -- it used to be a pay service part of MobileMe. But now that piece of it is free. You can actually lock up the phone or wipe its data remotely if the phone is lost or stolen.

I'm continuing to fine tune my Re-Commitment to My Own Life which has been in formulation for many months now. I'm really excited to be putting my best foot forward on making sure my life is happening the way I'd like for it to be. But right now I need to go grab a piece of toast with chunky peanut butter and seedless blackberry jam. And some orange juice too. I've been up for three hours and need something on my tummy.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Lucky 13

We're just now revving up for starting our 14th year together tomorrow. Today is our 13th anniversary. We've come a very long way....in such a short amount of time. We've had quite the journey, not unlike most couples. The ups and downs attributable to any relationship. And we're not married because they don't let we types marry in this country. But we're happy in this our (approximately) 113,880 hour together. Honestly, we have a blast together. We've been to Europe three times, on three cruises, several trips to Provincetown, and many many other various places. He loves me, I know he does. And I adore him, you can be assured of that. I'm staying right here. And glad to do so. I'm feeling like it is only going to get better as time goes along. So, today, I confess my undying love for a partner who takes such good care of me. Who encourages. Who allows. Who permits. Who opens doors when there aren't any. Who respects. Who brings the biggest smile and cheeriest heart ever. I love you, LoverBoy. But that's not news to you. On we go....into the future, into who knows what.....with our hearts in as close of tune to one another as is possible.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Nose to the Wind

Or hand to the plow. Or whatever. It seems that if you're a salmon trying your best to swim upstream, the force of the water will do its best to get to you. Or if you're an airplane trying to buck heavy windstreams, that there will be some bumps along the way. No big news to anyone who has tried to make their lives a more pleasant place to be. I'm headed in that direction. Call it what you must -- mid-life crisis or whatever. That's fine. I've alluded several times to the fact that I've had a written list for a while now on things that I'd like to do in my life to make sure I'm going where I want to. Not actual things I'd like "to do"....like Disneyland or Europe or places. Those things come and go far too easily. I'm talking about internal sort of things that I know just are not quite right. Things that I know perfectly well are not in order and need to be. So, last Monday I put the list into a document. I'm refining it. Thinking it through. I want it to be a very fluid list -- with the ability to add to, and take away from, as needed. I've been working on it for the better part of a year. But I'm thinking that New Year's Day 2011 may be a nice time to put it out there. To commit to it. To put it to the next level on life's path. But like many of you already know, once you put it out there, devote yourself to some good cause, that's the perfect time for headwinds to blow even harder in their quest to knock you off course. I'm ready for that. Stay tuned......

We've ventured into the holidays nicely. Just a couple of small, quiet gatherings which is just the way we like it. We usually go to Happy Hour every single Tuesday with a group of friends. Tomorrow, we're having a Holiday Happy Hour right here in our condo. Our home has been awfully quiet since my MIL passed away three weeks ago. Hubby and I have been in a bit of an introspective mode, thinking, wondering, cleansing, clearing. He's doing amazingly well in his ability to sort out his feelings and emotions. And he had to have a last-minute kidney stone removed this last week. He's feeling better. This Thursday will be our 13th anniversary. I can't believe it.

And so, we're headed into a beautiful holiday season minus a family member this year. We're headed into it here in Portland completely by ourselves for nearly the first time in our years together. A busy season. With fairly quiet hearts. And looking forward to a new year.