Monday, August 31, 2009

Get the Balance Right

So, I didn't go hang gliding down in the dunes? Big whoop. Yes, it was to be an adventure, but you saw a few posts ago how I justified not going. I stick by it.

That is not to say we didn't do something fun and different during our trip: Segway!!!!

Yes, we did a two hour Segway tour of DC. Sooooooooooo cool. Mostly the Segway part. And by 'mostly', I mean 96% of it.

I don't think I've been on a formalized tour of DC since 1978, and to be truthful, while the tour guide here was good, he only told me two things I had never heard before. But again, we weren't in it for the tour as much, as it was the only way to try out a Segway for a few hours.

I will give it up for Denton, because even though I made the arrangements, the idea was all his. At first I wasn't sure of it, but after about 5 minutes on them, it became clear how great the plan was.

There were seven of us in the group - not including the guide. An older couple, a younger couple, a reporter and us. It was amazing how easy it was to adapt to these things. Maybe five minutes in the store showroom.
It's all about balance with the device. Lean forward and go forward. Ditto with back and with turning.

Then we went across the street to a park for about another five minutes to buzz around at full speed (12.5 mph) and to do maneuvers and zero-point turns. All of us picked it up immediately. ....and then we were off.

First stop was the White House - and I think none of us were daunted to go out onto the busy streets of DC. Yeah, there was some sidewalk riding, but most was in the actual street.

If you know the White House area (post Oklahoma City bombing), both Pennsylvania Avenue and E Street are blocked off to most anything but foot traffic. But on the Pennsylvania Ave side, one is allowed to use the Segways. And it is a nice wide swath of road with little foot traffic on it - and it was just repaved last week. Sweet!

We rode along the Ellipse and then around the Washington and WWII memorials - obviously keeping a respectful distance and not carousing through the places.

Yes, there were two of us in this picture, but out of respect, I edited "him" out.

Then it was up Jefferson Ave - along many of the Smithsonian sites, including the new Native American museum (an awesome building outside....slightly disappointing inside).

From there it was down to the Botanical Gardens, the Capitol, Liberry of Congress and the Supreme Court - then straight back down Constitution Avenue.

Two hours flew by, but I could have easily gone another two.

I have no idea how many photos I am taken by strangers. Tourists were just snapping away as we rode by - not that we got in the way of their pics, they were all taking pictures of us.

I am in a number of pictures taken by the reporter in our group. He got my consent prior to the ride, but I don't know if they'll appear in anything. He works and was doing a story for Bloomberg News, so I'll check Goooooogle over the next few weeks to see if anything comes of it. I was hoping he'd just email me the pics, but I don't think that's going to happen (since he never did take my email address).

After the fact, I sent a message to my email gang (who btw, is nothing like the Sugarhill Gang) and Jon came back asking if I fell off like Shrub did. To be honest, I forgot about that.

Now during our tutorial and short video presentation, they showed every possible way of having an accident, etc, which was just enough to scare me into saying "I'm not sure I want to do this"......but it turns out they were all worse case scenarios.

And yes, there was one mishap with the group - and yes, it did involve me. But totally not my fault! Honest.

We, had the right of way when leaving the Capitol. But out of nowhere a taxi just flew by and cut some of us off. At the time, I was coming off the sidewalk with no real way to lean back and stop, but the key-ute guy in our group and who was riding in front of me was off the ramp and did have the opportunity to stop. I crashed right into him.

Though both of us were uninjured, it did make me fall off my Segway, but I landed on my feet. He profusely apologized, and while that was a nice gesture, I assured him it was not his fault. The entire event from crash to me back on the device was all of 20 seconds.

As you can see the day was grey and a little cool - which was perfect. The weather predicted rain and it did - as soon as we ended our tour. I even bought little rain ponchos from CVS just in case we had to use them on the trip.

I would highly suggest checking out Segway tours in your areas - if they exist. I think you'd have fun and enjoy it. It was so totally worth it!!!!

Song by: Depeche Mode

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Wide Awake on the Voyage Home

We're home!!!!

1400 miles - round trip. Nine days away. 5 states and 1 District. One hurricane, one tropical depression. One guest house, two hotels. One losing $333M MegaMillion ticket - and one lunch with the in-laws.

It seems like a lot of activity, but really the time in OBX was really really really laid back. As you all know by my lack of bothering to change clothes, put razor to face, or soap to skin. It was all good. I didn't stink or anything.

I absolutely loved being away. I loved the beach and as always, I love DC.

But I also love being home. What can I say? I missed my own bed. I miss my girls. ...and they seemingly missed us - and they haven't given us lots of sass, though they've been a little vocal.

I missed my own gym routine too. I know - it was vacation, but I missed the pattern I've established for myself over the last six months. ....and I'm back in the swing of it today.

And while I have a pretty shitty week of work coming up - along with reacclimating to just going to work, I at least have 2-4 additional post-vacation posts....along with pictures.

Stay tuned!

Song by: Liam Finn

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Broken Bicycles

Today my friend Morty is riding in a bike race. I'm not sure it's a race as much as an event. I guess it's a Bike Tour for Cancer Research. It's called Pelotonia - which is just downright hard to say, if you axe me. ...and I'm not sure it really means anything.

The 180 mile ride benefits the James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State University. The James, as we call it, was just being built when I had my cancer surgery. ..and I worked with the Oncology units before the James was built too - so I have a close association with what Morty is doing.

Oh - and I have a close association with Morty, so there's that.

So, mile 130 is dedicated to me - or so he says. I razzed him a little bit about riding for those who lost their lives to cancer. I had to mention it was about the survivors too. That's what the research is about - to make us all survivors.

But he's not dedicating mile 130 because I lived. It's because I ponied up $100 for his ride. It is so totally worth it. He's a rock star in so gathering more than $2,400 for this trek.

I'm so proud of the man, it's beyond words.

He's impressive anyways, you know with his fourteen dozen marathons and triathlons and iron mans he's participated in. But he'll always be my friend, the lovable drunk who used to live next door to me - and help save my life from that pesky ruptured appendix.

So Morty - have a great ride. Oh and do not put Ben Gay on your taint afterwards. Totally a bad move.'ve heard.

Song by: Tom Waits

Friday, August 28, 2009


This is a placeholder post. I totally admit it. I'm coasting - but I cannot break my one-year goal.

We're in DC for today and part of tomorrow. There isn't much we haven't seen in this city, but we can always find some museum we have yet to explore. Not that I mind revisiting the ones we have. They're always changing.

The plan is to have dinner with a friend tonite. One I have not seen in a decade and one whom I could not connect with during my two years of travel here. My fingers are crossed we pull it off, but I cannot say my hopes are high.

Saturday, afternoon we head back home but will stop to have lunch with Denton's parents. We have not seen them in forever. Well, he has. I have not.

Then it's home to the girls....and the grocery...and the laundry.

I have other pics to post, but they'll wait until my return to the comfort of my own home.

Thanks for putting up with me.

Song by: Jackson Browne

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Frankie Say!

I'm trying. I'm doing. Finally getting into the groove of time off. It always takes me a while. Though I cannot stop the twitching in my right eye. It has been going on for weeks now and I thought vacation would quell that. It hasn't - and I cannot figure what is setting it off.

It is the slowest progressing stroke. ever!

Yesterday was BEAUTIFUL. 90s. Mostly clear sky. It was a day for walking the beach (8 miles or so). Swimming in the Atlantic (three different times) - which no longer seemed nipple-popping cold - though the surf was still a bit rough. But that's ok. I like the waves. And then a nice pool swim too.

I had to resort to SPF 30 - not because I was getting burned, but because we ran out of 15 and I'm too cheap to go buy new stuff I won't use for a year.

...and speaking of plan was to go hangliding this year, but it didn't happen. Yes, part of it was because of my Scrooge-like behaviour, but what it really came down to was a three hour class before you could fly - and another hour before that of filling out paperwork. Je don't think so!

And you only got five goes at the glider and it wasn't from high up at all. If the instructor could run along side you with a tether, how high up can you be? 20 feet?

It really did come down to time. Did I want to spend 4 hours doing paperwork and homework on my vacation during peak tanning hours? I did not.

And speaking of relaxing (don't do it - when you wanna go to it!), I'm a little too relaxed in some ways. Some you don't really want to know about.

Like basic hygiene. Showers? What are those? The ocean is my bath! But the ocean does not have a razor, so I just haven't been bothering to shave. See?

I always forget how fast I can grow more than just scruff. It's only been three days since I shaved last. Three more and it's a full beard. Let's not even touch on my lack of clothes changing habits. It is safe to say I way over packed if I knew I'd be wearing so little so often. That changes tomorrow, of course.

This is me at the pool. The almost always empty pool. We really don't hang there - it's just a stopping place to dive in between the ocean and the room.

Yes, I took pictures with Denton, but they are not posted here. He is the Vera to my Norm. He is the Maris to my Niles. Yeah - they show Cheers and Fraiser a lot down here at night. But trust me when I say some of the pics came out nice.

And with the rough storms earlier in the week, stuff finally started showing up on shore - like these:

Thousands of them. Mostly about this size, but others were the size of dimes and anywhere in between.

To be honest, I didn't know what this was. As often as I've been to the shore, I have never seen one. And this wasn't what I was thinking they looked like.

These look like the bottom of a glass coke bottle - or as I like to call them: my glasses.

There are no inards. No dangling tentacles or whatever they have. None of them did.
Kids were picking them up, stacking them and not getting stung. Then they'd toss them back in the ocean. Oh well.

So today sounds like more of the same. 90s. Sand. Surf. Sun. Then we're done - here. Five days is about right. We have two more days in DC and then home.

Song by: Frankie Goes to Hollywood

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

I'll Follow the Sun

Yes, I'm still blogging from the guest house's "library". No, I have not needed to go to Wendy's to blog - nor have I had the need for a Frosty. I have had one in my lifetime - that was enough. Disgusting, those things are. There will never be the need for one of those - let alone a craving.

I'm not complaining - it's the beach. It's ocean. There is nothing to do. It's what vacation is supposed to be. But of course, I'm all in flux.

My schedule isn't my own. Not that I have anything to do, but everything is off. We have free access to the Y down here, and it has a lot, but it is out of concert of my routine...and they don't have the same machines, or even similar ones. What's a guy with OCD to do?

And it seems I'm becoming my paternal grandmother, where everything was about food. I've been planning my frickin' days around it. That just ain't right.

At least I stocked up on fruit so, I'm trying to be good with the best grapes I've ever had, peaches and oranges. At least I'll be able to fight off scurvy for another month.

The weather is nice. Hot, but very very hazy. Last year the water was like glass, this year the surf is a bit rough. And for all this hurricane shit due to the warm waters....the Atlantic is nipple popping cold! Headlights on at full beam. (yeah, just try to get that out of your mind for the rest of the day! I dare ya!)

Eons ago, Jon mentioned how he has to see the ocean at least once a year. That was before he moved to California and then to North Carolina. It's easier for him to see than when we lived in Columbus. But I'm finding I agree with that thought process. I need sand and surf - at least once a year. It is soooooo calming - if I could just get myself to get in synch with their step as opposed to getting everyone else into mine.

...and yes, I know you guys want pictures. Or at least Brett does.....but that's is only because he is very secretly in lust awe of me. But can I tell you how hard it is to upload pictures on this machine? Each time I do, it puts all this funky html shit into my text and it takes an additional 30 minutes to fix a post.

But here is at least one for you guys.

Look! I'm smiling. I finally found a way to smile where you don't see my squinty squinty eyes: mirrored sunglasses. They also help with looking at guys on the beach and them not 100% sure I'm looking.

I do promise more pictures in the upcoming days. I'm certainly taking them. You'll certainly see them. Or some of them.

Song by: the Beatles

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Hip to be Square

G-d, what a trip we've far. It can only get better - right?

Oh wait - you would have no way of knowing. Not really. You will.

Let's just say, we opted to take Denton's freshly serviced 330xi, because he modified it to put in an iPod dock. No more having to make cds or listening to / be beholden to (groan) radio.

I do not think we made it six miles when the car died. Well, died is a strong word. We stopped for coffee and while it started, everytime you put it in 'drive' it stalled. The only saving grace is we were only six miles from home and not in the middle of Pennsylvania.

So yeah, my ire was up. Not ire exactly, just that in my mind I had a plan and schedule and it was all shot to shit. Ruckiry (not Jon's boss), I was about to jump on (gasp!) public transportation to get my car and come back to move our stuff and get him to a dealership. But the car moved and we got it home - then we switched automobiles. Still though......bother!

We got to DC in a good amount of time, but by then (hurricane) Bill had hit up north and it was torrential downpour in DC. But we made it out to eat and stuff and when we got back to our hip hip hotel (rooftop pool) I knew it would be a bad night.

Hipsters. Everywhere. And even worse - in the room next to us with the door open, so all their friends could come in for a Par-tay!

Yes, I'm an old man by this point. I traveled a lot and finally learned not to put up with this shit when I both pay a lot for my room and that I want to sleep or have to work. If these guys want a party - they can go out or rent a party facility.

Before you go thinking I'm a wet blanket, I gave them until 11:00 pm to wrap it up and go out. This was a no-go in their minds, they wanted to party in a small hotel room in their slutty dresses that were new but trying to pass them off as vintage.

I called the front desk. The thumping bass stopped.....for about 15 minutes. I decided to let it go until 12mn - because I'm such a good guy. ...and let's face it - i AM!

But when I had to open the door because two such 20-somethings were leaning/sitting against our door having a 'meaningful conversation' - as one can only have at 12:15 a.m. drunk in a hotel hall - and actually seemed stunned that it bothered me and had to ask 'oh, do you want us to move?'. It stunned them more when I told them to 'get the fuck out of the hallway - and away from my room'.

(truth be told, I thought of Becky sleeping in a hotel hallway in Dallas while waiting for Morty to return after he ditched her for a more interesting 'date'.)

One more call to the front desk who acted like this was all news to them.

The next morning, upon check-out, they knew something was up since my parking had been 'taken care of....'. Uh-huh.

The girl (yes, girl!) checking me out seemed to not care that I cancelled my upcoming reservation for later this week there. She never asked why. Another worker did - and seemed a bit concerned when I told her why, not that any of them truly made the plea to accommodate me in any way, beside $9 in parking.

Yeah, I'm a no-fun kind of guy when it comes to expensive hotel rooms - so be it.

We made it to OBX without much fan-fare. Weather is ok considering we're just post-hurricane. Oh - and there is no wi-fi and I'm not sure I can upload pictures via the hotel computer. I found out Wendy's (yes, that Wendy's!!!!) has free wi-fi, so I might have to go there to blog. LOL. Killing me.

...and do not even start me on losing the guest house's Y membership card, or Denton misplacing one of our room keys. ...and it's only day 2. We are fucked if this streak keeps up.

Song by: Huey Lewis & the News

Monday, August 24, 2009

Record of the Month

I figured I'd do a monthly 'what I'm listening to' kind of thing. This could be viewed as a lame placeholder kind of post. And probably it is. But it's my blog! So there!

I have always been a fan of Patti Smith. She's been around for eons and never really seems to age.

Loved her early work and can even still stand her only true hit, "Because the Night". Anyone who liked that song and got duped into buying Easter might have been in for more of a disappointment if they didn't really know what she was all about.

More poet than singer, more artist than musician. I never felt she deserved the moniker of punk priestess. I think it was too hard to define her - and that's not a bad thing, but most people need some kind of silo to put others in.

About two years ago, I saw Patti live shortly after she was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall o'Fame. That is where she actually 07:00. Great way to start the morning, I say.

She did the songs people expected and then launched into her then new cover album - Twelve. ....and you know what I think about cover albums.

While I like Patti and thought her choices were interesting, if sometimes not just downright odd, I would give her the benefit of the doubt if I could.

The more popular songs tend to suffer - in my opinion, though they are not horrible. I thought Tori Amos did the more definitive cover of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit", but Patti tackles it fairly well. Ditto with the odder choice, Tears for Fears' "Everybody Wants to Rule the World". I think she did it more as a slight commentary on the GOP.

She favours the '60s for sure as she covers Hendrix, Neil Young, Jefferson Airplane, Dylan the Stones and what I think is my favourite song on the disk, the Doors' "Soul Kitchen".

Smith has always been pretty good about annunciation with her songs (again, more the poet than the singer) so many of these take on another kind of mood and sound.

She didn't really play it safe, and that I can respect. It's not a great covers album, but it is not a horrible one either. And she just doesn't record that much, so sometimes you just have to take what you get.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Site of the Month

I'm not sure my friend, Jon, has ever provided me material for Site of the Month.

Becca has. Morty has. Denton has. David has - multiple times. But never Jon. Not that I can think of. I could be wrong - and as I am pre-setting these up for publish and am on a deadline, I can't really go back through 1500+ posts.

Nothing says 'family fun' like game night. And nothing says 'game night' like Decalouge.

I mean - it is a family game if you're the Flanders family. But - ugh - playing the Ten Commandments?

Ok - not the movie. I love the cheesiness of the movie. But I think I've covered that. Yul Brenner. Anne Baxter. Edward G. Robinson! Not a jew amongst them, I'm betting.

So, I don't know if they are using the commandments from the Talmud or some St. James bible - or whatever those crazy catholics use.

And if it truly is a game on the ten commandments - aren't there really only TEN questions? How extensive can this game actually be?

"yes are lord, my've already said that!

It's packed with knowledge and fun - but only if you're 8 and older. Under 8 can burn in hell!

I think my favourite (potentially) are the Fate Cards. I'm sure I already know my fate - and I don't need to spend $29.95 to have it confirmed.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Holiday Road

It's been a long eight months on the job, but I am so ready for a vacation. So as of this morning, we are hitting the road and heading toward the beach.

Like last year, we're heading to the Outer Banks. Not the most original thing, but it is a great place to decompress because what few things there are to do down there - we did them last year.

This year it is beach. And pool. Food. And drinks. I might have one trick up my sleeve, but that's for a later post - if I can make it happen.

And of course, all this is predicated on there being no tropical storms, depressions or hurricanes on our trip. I should have kept my mouth shut last week when I mentioned hurricane season has been unusually light. Then like that, there were three brewing at once. But it seems that Bill will skirt the southern states and hit farther north.

Yes, we're going to a location that has one causeway on and off the island. Lucky us. Hopefully we will be lucky.

As promised earlier this year, I will have a post every day. I am setting up posts that will automatically publish on the off chance that we have no internet connection to post more real time events.

If not - no worries. I'll fill you in upon my return.

We're hitting DC each way - down and back. Because nothing says summer like spending time in a big city that's built on a swamp. Seriously, I love the place and we'd move there in a heartbeat if we had jobs that allowed us to afford living in the district.

Anyway - we're off. Hasta la Vista and all that.

Song by: Lindsay Buckingham

Friday, August 21, 2009

Shopping with Blobby

Yet another installment in the drudgery that is everyday shopping. The camera-phone makes it a bit more fun - though I get looks whenever I take pics of products. Like I care what people think! Is there anyway I can do something with this entry without offending (in no particular order) sperm banks, the powerful banana lobby or the AARP?

I'm thinking not.

At least when I took the picture it struck me as amusing. I'm not quite feeling it now, but maybe you guys will.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

What Would Brian Boitano Do?

Has Food TV lost their frickin' mind?

I'm just axing.

Brian Boitano has a cooking show? Is there now anyone who doesn't? It would seem not.

I have to say, back in the '88 (?) Olympics, whomever was broadcasting them did an 'up close & personal' segment. Bri was sitting near/at Pier 39 in San Francisco looking out over Alcatraz.

At this point, I don't remember what was truly said - or what Jon and I began ad-libbing, thus making it our own history. I am pretty sure Brian said "sometimes I look over there and just wonder what went on in there..." Again, we might have made that up. I don't think we did. I think we just burst into laughter and followed-up with "we bet you did!".

And then I think there was something about wanting to start his own restaurant and call it 'Boitanos'. Again with our laughter.

It is possible we were drinking. And of course, by possible, I mean probable. But that all being said - we never needed booze to have this kind of fun. ME-ow!

So he might not have his own eatery, but he has his own cooking show. lordy.

If nothing else, he's played off of the South Park song very well with the show title: What Would Brian Boitano Make?

I imagine using the South Park song as his theme and changing the words from "I bet he'd kick and ass or two" to something that has the word 'stew' or 'rue'.

Sure, it's kind of funny - but does Food TV's major demographic get it? I don't think they share the same audience as Comedy Central.

Je think not. Je think not.

Song by: Cartman, Stan, Kyle & Kenny

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Record of the Month - Classic

Another installment of a disk I have enjoyed over the years. I'm trying to keep the Record of the Month posts to be fairly new releases. Classics are going to be ones that are at least 5 years old.

Never heard of the Philosopher Kings? I'm not surprised.

A Canadian group from the mid-90s that never quite caught on in the States. They blended pop-funk-soul-r&b and yes, some easy listening aspects, all in one disk - Famous, Rich and Beautiful.

They were fun and talented, but make no mistake about it - they were slick. Tightly played and produced. Lead singer, Gerald Eatons was like a Terence Trent D'arby, but without the attitude and baggage. Just an upper ranged flawless voice that could rock when he had or wanted to.

Why they failed to make a dent is beyond me. I can't say what kind of impact they made above the border. I will say I saw them live in 1996 and they were incredible.

Their video "hit" (or one of the few I ever saw) was "I Am the Man". Loved the vid, loved the song - still do. It is probably their most uptempo, which was why it was the initial release from Famous. And Eatons is not hard on the eyes either.

But I love "Hurts to Love You", "You Stepped on My Life" and "You Don't Love Me Like You Used To". Man this guy has loved and lost!

They do a decent cover of Godley & Creme's "Cry". And I'm a fan of "The New Messiah". Since I couldn't find the video for "I Am the Man", I thought I'd include one I could find - "The New Messiah".

You can get this via import - but even iTunes ain't carrying it. What gives?

If you ever get the opportunity - check 'em out.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

She's Leaving Home

My oldest niece is leaving for her first year of college this week. Thursday, I believe. It's great - and it's a bummer.

It is a very exciting time for her. I think she's a little more nervous than she cares to let on. The same can be said for her parents. Both my sister and brother-in-law I think are going to be a little lost when they get back home and realize she won't be back later in the day.

I feel worse for my nephew. Katie was always so "out there!" that Matt could slink into the background and do whatever he had to or wanted to without too much interference. Now it's just him. Two more years of just him. Poor kid. He'll never escape my sister's attention until he's packed away to college.

But times are so different. We were all talking about taking our Peaches crates (if you had Peaches record stores) and our 100s of albums with us to school - along with your turntable, tape deck, receiver and speakers. Now it is all on your laptop. It's makes the move that much easier.

And the cellphones. I had a rotary wall phone in my room. They now have micro-fridges. I couldn't even have hot plate. Don't get my started on my manual typewriter.

Yes, I sound like Abraham Simpson talking about wearing onions on his belt because it was the style at the time. ""Give me five bees for a quarter", I'd say".

Anyway, I've written now and again about Katie, my niece. She's pretty (and not just a proud uncle saying that). She's smart - an honor student and who got a nice academic scholarship for her hard work. She's a gifted athlete who gave up tennis because she was never thrilled at the competitive aspect of it. And she's a talented guitarist and songwriter.

Truth be told - I bet she'd rather just do music than study, but here's hoping she can balance both.

But I am bummed she's going because she was always a lot of fun to hang out with - she got my sense of humour and she and I could talk music to death. She loves all the stuff I've given her and is now really into the Smiths, which I think is so cool (her mother, does not share the same sentiment).

I knocked off a couple of cds for her before she left - the new Morrissey, some Arcade Fire, Talking Heads. She oddly enough wanted the last Killers cd - which I didn't think she'd ever like. And I gave her a cd of songs I think she should cover that would suit her talents and voice well. We'll see if she takes my advice and posts any of them.

But I don't have to miss her too much. She has set up video-conferencing, so with the new laptop, I'll be able to talk to her and see her. That will be fun. I think. She might just find it annoying.

I thought I'd post her new song/video here, but opted for her doing a cover of the Beatles, "I Want to Hold Your Hand". It was done about a year and a half ago, so she's aged, matured and progressed as an artist. I'll let you sample her original stuff on your own time. You can find it here.

Song by: the Beatles

Monday, August 17, 2009

The Prisoner

I'm not a big fan of reunions - family or otherwise. I like members of my family, but I'd rather determine when, how and who I interact with.

My mother doesn't see it that way sometimes.

Annually, one of my uncles has some gathering which my mother passively-aggressively gets us to go. My sisters and I will get an email from her saying that "I told Tom you'd all be there!". Excuse me?

As with my father's side of the family, most of my first cousins are 20+ years older than us kids are. Their kids are our age. And now, those kids have kids, so my cousins are grandparents. It's all very odd.

I don't mean (?) to be point fingers, but I guess when some of those second cousins have kids when they're 16 and become grandparents at 35.

I don't even know these second cousins. I certainly don't know any of my third ones (assuming that's what they're called) - and most of those are under seven years old. So my uncle points out Shawn....or Sean. I really have no idea. Nor do I figure I'll ever have to.

"He looks pretty good - considering he just got out of the slammer 10 days ago, huh?". I think he said that tongue in cheek. I think. My cousin Marilyn just looked at Tom (behind his back) then at me and scowled and rolled her eyes. It seems she was not happy Sean/Shawn was there.

I conversed with only a few folks and sat and ate some grub, when all I really wanted to do was get the hell out of there. While I sat and ate, I'd hear others mention Sean/Shawn. Apparently his stint in the clink was for the last four years. I have no idea what he did to get himself there.

I will say this, he seemed nice enough to the little kids - and Denton mentioned that on the drive home. Naturally that spurred a comment from me about what he might have been in for.

I have nothing against Sean/Shawn - I don't know him and I'm guessing I'll have very limited interaction with him at all, if ever. Hell, even with my best relations on my mother's side, I only see maybe them once a year. Maybe.

I'll give them all this though - they are all seemingly very accepting of Denton and myself, even after two decades they can't spell his last name correctly.

Song by: Howard Jones

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Power to the Meek

I've got 13" - and I'm not afraid to use it.

Oh clean it up people!

I mean, in theory: I WISH! But I'm not talking about that. You big pervs. You should all be required to stay 1,000 yards away from schools and playgrounds.

I was talking about my brand spanking new MacBook Pro. Or as I call it - my surprise birthday present. ...and this 13" has more power and will get used more than that. Ok, this one isn't mine. I couldn't take a picture of mine because I have yet to take it out of the box. I'm too excited and nervous to actually set it up and use it. Odd but true.

Of course, there is the daunting task of migrating five plus years of information on my old PowerBook G4 over to a new machine.

Last April I posted about the current laptop going south. There is no unplugging this for any period of time, as the battery just dies. There is a slowness to it too, but it's been a great machine and has lasted what I think is a very long time. I think we'll clean it up and have be Denton's office computer

Yes, I had a hard drive malfunction, which irks me to this day. Not because of the machine, but because of Apple's "Genius" bar. Douchebags.

So yes, the new MacBook has a built in camera - so look out. More pictures? iChat? Video Blogging? All real possibilities. In theory.

I'll just assume I do/will not come across all that well in video. I'll have to attend the Lee Strasburg School of Acting and take lots of diction lessons before that happens. And maybe get some plastic surgery.

Who knows exactly what Denton unleashed when he got me the new purchase. Of course, I have to actually take it out of the box for any of those possible functions to happen. I probably will today.

Naturally, Becky had to rub in that she has 15" MacBook Pro. Size Queen King.

Song by: the Eurythmics

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Mother's Pride

So by now - you all know I had a crappy week. But the week has ended and I have to move on.

And while I thank all of you who wished me a happy day on Thursday, I got one special email that made me a little emotional. Normally, I'm not swayed much by stuff like this - but I'm chalking it up to my crappy week. ...and it just hit me in a certain way.

Happy Birthday dear Blobby. Happy Birthday! I love you so much!!!! M.

The M is my mom. ...and no, she didn't really call me 'Blobby'. She put my real name in the email.

So I did call her - as I always do on my birthday. The reality is, I did nothing on this day. She did all the work. I just kind of showed up. It is really mothers that should be celebrated on these days - not their snot-nosed kids.

But I called and told her I liked her email. She wasn't buying any of it, but I plead my case - and I told her about Fred. I didn't say I was probably feeling emotionally vulnerable, but maybe she figured that out.

Mind you - all that good will got flushed straight down the toilet when I got home and she had dropped off a card that (and I'm paraphrasing) told me what a pain in the ass I am.

...and just for the icing on the cake, she put my father's initials on the envelope. Now my father and I have similar initials, and sure, she's known him longer, but still...........

Now she's claiming to have done it on purpose, and I ain't buying it. In reality she knows I hold power of attorney and will throw her in a home given half the chance for being senile.

Song by: George Michael

Friday, August 14, 2009

Let Me Roll It

After a few post this last week, I thought I could lighten it up a little bit - not that I regret one word of what I posted.

Fred was a great friend and I have been fortunate to have many others - real, imaginary and cyber.

The cyber ones are being added to my blogroll today. At least some of them.

I have a weird and not so weird little group I follow. Except for Kris and Becca - I know none of them. Not really. Never met. Never chatted on the phone. Some have never exchanged an email with me. Ok - actually, that last part is not true. As I re-perused my blogroll, I've exchanged emails with all of them.

I don't add just anyone. I'm quite picky selective.

The ones being added are folks who have either commented on my blog consistently or in one case, I'm a fan of his blog.

Now before anyone goes getting their panties in a wad (a phrase that Kris taught me...let's 1993?) no one is more important than the next. But let's face it, as bloggers go, Brett Cajun is kind of a rock star in the gay blogosphere. Or even just the blogosphere.

You know that Intel ad about 'our rock stars are not like your rock stars' (which totally just cracks me up). Yeah, it's like that. This is big-time.

When he commented on a piece of mine the other day, honest to g-d, I walked on air for about an hour. "Brett Cajun reads me???" Oh pass me the smelling salts!

Ok - was that a bit dramatic? A tad over the top? So be it. I stand by it.

Brett is a good blogger and he's fun and funny - and he loves his animals, and even some that are not his. That is just a sign of a good guy. Oh, he's kind of handsome too, but I swear that's not why I read him.

I axed him if I could blogroll him and he readily agreed (there's that email exchange!).

But Brett is not the only other addition. I have others who comment regularly on my blog, and I reciprocate the read - and even sometimes comment myself. So I am adding Birdie, Arnie and Larry.

And while all are hyperlinked in this entry, you'll find them on the right - in my blogroll.

Song by: Paul McCartney & Wings

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shades of Grey

I've said since the age of 22, that I would kill for the chance to go grey - as it seemed I would have zero hair by the time greying would naturally occur.

Yes, I am follically challenged, and I'm ok with it. More than ok, actually. I can't imagine having to deal with hair, and product and getting it dry and looking "just right". It is quite liberating.

Now that I turn 46 today (or really, starting my 47th year), I no longer have to worry about not going grey. I am indeed going grey, for what hair I have that is left over. Yay me. Seriously.

I have more than a little grey in my goatee and in my sideburns. I do not let what hair I have left on the dome get long enough to really show the grey, but in the right light, that schnauzer cut shimmers in silver from just the right angle.

But there are two grey hairs that seemingly bother me - and they are my oldest two. They reside in my right eyebrow and have been there for years. They are a metaphor for my current life.

I will admit to plucking these two buggers. They grow wild and are a different texture than any other hair I have. And even with the tweezer action, they come back. They are a sign that I never really am able to hide from age.

The irony is, of course, I never thought I'd live this long. I've covered this in all my birthday posts over the last six years, I believe. Yet here I am - 46 (or 47) and with grey hair.

Up until a year or two ago, even I would have said I did not think I looked my age. People would continually assume I was in my late 30s, which was great, I guess. I chalk it up to never smoking and not being in the sun for any long periods of time.

Unfortunately, lately I feel as if I look every day of my age. The gym takes care of certain things, but the eyes tell all - and not the glacially greying eyebrows. Just the sag of the skin under the eyes. Granted, much of this is probably helped by a (un)healthy case of insomnia

That all being said, I was at a training session the other day when during a break, the instructor was playing Led Zeppelin's "Rock and Roll". Now, this song - whether you like the group or not - transcends just one period in time. But some woman in the group said to me, "oh you probably aren't even old enough to know this song!".

It's one of those fine lines: I should be happy she doesn't think I'm old enough for this song, while in reality I was very much aware of it when it was originally released. On the other hand, I'm like 'what the hell?'. I guess there is no pleasing me. News Flash!

So yes, I'm balder, greyer and older today. But I guess that is true of every day.

Song by: the Monkees

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Thanks To You

I really appreciate all your kind words about Fred.

As I said, it was probably written too soon after the fact without getting my thoughts and feelings straight. But I don't worry about throwing it out there - it was genuine.

Granted, I kind of got through the day yesterday with a bit of confusion and lack of focus, but I guess that's to be expected.

Yoga yesterday helped me take the edge off. That and hanging with my cousin. It's been so fun since finding him. It was just the two of us again - no spouses/partners. Dinner. Drinks. And laughs.

I'll give it to my friends - they can always make me laugh, even in the worst of times.

I'll be back to normal blogging tomorrow - but I'm just taking a breath and not stressing over today's blog post. Because, all you're getting is this. : )

Song by: Emmylou Harris

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ode to a Friend

First off, I recognize this is way too soon to be writing this - it is just that I am at a loss right now.

This is my friend Fred - one of my oldest and longest lasting friendships. I've known him longer than David - who you read about here and there on this blog. I've known David for 25 years (this month!). I've known David longer than others you read about here: Morty, Jon, Dith, Becca.....and even Denton.

Fred I knew a bit longer, as we worked together in NYC. He was just one of those guys you immediately connected with. The kind of guy you knew by the end of week one, we'd be friends for life. And we were.

Unfortunately, life ended for Fred yesterday. Unexpectedly.

It was just one of those calls you never expect to get. Another buddy of ours let me know - and it literally took my breath away. How could this possibly be? He is my age!

Fred was one of those joie de vivre guys - but when you're 20/21, we'd never call it something like that. Or if you were straight....which at least he was.

But straight/gay didn't matter to Fred. He loved me for me. It never bothered him. He was never less affectionate with me because of it. He is possibly the first man who ever hugged me. On my last day in NYC, he held onto me in grips of which I rarely have known. He got them right back.

Fred is the only man I've been to Staten Island for. It's where he was born and bred. He is the only person I've gone to the Jersey shore with. He made me do shots of some horrid drink called 'slippery nipples'. He even got me the ID to get into the Jersey bars with. That was the same weekend I did my first hard drugs - not a moment I think either of us are proud of, but it happened.

Fred and I had our favourite chinese restaurant in China Town. Hop Kee. Once a week, we'd head up there at lunch and eat what is still the best chinese food I've ever had. When I go back to NYC, I try to get there, but not everyone is as fond of it as we were.

We'd also head to Washington Square Park with beer in brown paper bags like we were common drunks. It's the only way you could sit outside and drink. Open container laws, and all. So many days of getting out of work and having fun. I saved not one dime from that internship.

Oh - and big time wrestling. Fred had to take his little brother and dragged me with him. It was ok. Madison Square Garden and the height of the era with the Captain Lou Albano days (along w/Cyndi Lauper), and Roddy Piper. It was even cheesier then than it is with WWE.

Or the time we saw Purple Rain when it opened. I am 90% sure we were the only two caucasians in the theatre. ...and another audience member provided me one of the funniest stories and best lines I still use to this day. Fred and I would use it often and laugh and laugh.

There were the dive bars we went to - under the Brooklyn Bridge that smelled of the nasty side of the Fulton Fish Market - not the pretty touristy side. No, the one where they clean and gut the fish and leave it in barrels - in the heat, next to "the bar", which I'm sure was some illegal operation.

But you know, these are all memories I have thought about often of the last quarter-century, and all with affection and love.

Though I've told the story often, to many folks, I can't do it justice here. But it was my last night, before my last work day - and they all took me out. The tequila. The subway. The passing out. Somewhere in there - as he headed to the Ferry - was that hug.

It was a hug I probably misinterpreted for years - and probably on purpose. One I probably wanted to be something else, but I knew it wasn't. And it didn't matter - not really.

As long-distance friends do, communication became less frequent. I made the effort after 9/11 - as we both worked right under the towers. He had gotten a different job and moved to Jersey. He got married. He had kids.

As with any friends and these situations, there is regret. We tried to have lunch each time I was in the city. Last time I couldn't. I had time for two non-work events and it was lunch with my sister and hanging with David. There'd be other times for Fred. Or so I thought.

We talked a few weeks ago. The plan was to meet in early October. He was getting back in touch with Mitch, who is the one who let me know. I even texted them as they were going for reunion drinks (one bad night with them 25 years ago turned me off of sake for life - thanks Mitch!).

I hate not ever knowing his wife or two young sons. I'm so glad they all got to see Paris last month. I hate the fact that I won't be attending his funeral. Besides work conflicts, I am not sure I'd know anyone but Mitch - assuming he went.

I hate the fact that two days ago I ignored some seemingly stupid Mafia Wars game he invited me to play on Facebook. Would it have hurt to play it with him?

I bemoan the fact that even though he was taken too early - and he was - as there was no greater good or g-d's plan in shit like this. And I hate that we are of the age where these things now happen and with more regularity. I hate that!

I am sad. I am angry. And yet when I think about him, I still smile. I will cry for his wife and boys. I will cry for him and I will cry for me - no doubt. Those kids will know how great their dad was because dozens will tell them so during their lifetime.

If you're out somewhere - raise a glass to Fred. He was a prince among men.

Song by: Jann Arden

Monday, August 10, 2009

You're Too Hot

Meredity will disagree with me, but I can't really complain about the heat. It is only our second day over 90 for the entire summer. Yeah, it's kind of a bummer not to have a/c (no, not anderson cooper), but we're talking an uncomfortable feeling for 5-10 days per year versus twenty grand to add it to the house.

80 is supposed to be the high on Tuesday, so big whoop. I mean it was 53 three mornings ago. And I have said before, you can't really complain about the heat if you bitch and moan about the bitter cold - which I do.

If I have a complaint, it is that this heat is not drying up my lungs and sinuses. Bother!

So, on the hottest day of the year, Denton and I walked up the street about a mile to neighborhood "arts" festival. Yes, that is in quotes, because unless the holy roller church giving away free water and the boy scout troop giving away - swear to g-d - 'free tang', is now considered art, there was none to be found.

On the plus side, I probably lost three pounds in sweat (ooooh....I already lost another two pounds anyway, as yesterday @ the gym, I weighed myself the first time in a month. That's a full stone I've dropped since mid-February!)

Anway, we confirmed the lack of art when we ran into friends/fellow homos, Joe & Carl. Nope, no art.

I can't say the trek was a total loss. I mean, we got out in the 'hood, which I love. We ate lunch at an air-conditioned mid-eastern restaurant. And, I got my clown reference for the week. Two, actually. I saw the actual clown, but didn't think to pull out the iPhone to snap a pic. But I did get one of his flyer.

Damn - my friend Kathy was right. You cannot go a week without a clown reference. She got hers too, since I emailed the picture to her.

Song by: Deborah Harry

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Summer Evening

Last night we had plans. Nothing formalized, mind you, but in our minds we kind of had plans. Mostly a movie.


A late afternoon nap for Denton kind of blew the movie and schedule out of the water. So we just opted for dinner. Not that we had that plan. A beautiful summer evening and we had not solidified dinner plans......except for the fact we didn't want to make it ourselves.

So out we went. Place #1 and 2 had massive waits. Well, I don't wait or anyone. I'm me! So off we walked to place #3...or was it #4 - since we almost stopped our stride to look at #3 and opted not for italian fud.

We must have been 200 ft past it when something caught my ear. Some crazy lady was running and yelling - and waving something, so I assume I dropped something - not that I had anything on me to drop.

That crazy lady? My mother.

She and my father were at the italian place and saw us walk by. So, there's nothing like an octogenarian bolting from a restaurant and waving her napkin to flag down her one and only son. How she saw us in the first place is beyond me. It's not like they were sitting outside.

Oh yes, 'they'. My father was with her. She never even told him why she ran out.

But it was nice, we ended up joining them for dinner - the second Saturday in a row. I guess we could have begged off, but we like having time with them and we won't always have these opportunities.

So, the best laid plans are not always the best.

Song by: Gillian Welch

Saturday, August 08, 2009

The Air That I Breathe

Cold-wise, I thought I was doing so much better the last two days. I was a little congested, but only a little and even had long periods of dryness. And nothing had turned into the heavy heavy chest that would turn into cough.

That was then. This is now.

I'm still don't really have a runny nose, but I woke up this morning gasping for breath. Somehow the manual override to switch from nose-breathing to mouth-breathing didn't automatically kick in.

So, there I lay - struggling to breathe in bed figuring this is how, one day, the end would be.

If so, at least I'll have the cats next to me making it for an easy transition to death's door. They loved having a dad awake who'd pet them in the early early morning.

It's odd, because other than that whole "breathing thing", I don't really feel bad at all. I'm a little sleep deprived and my throat is a bit dry due to having to mouth breathe, but other than that.......

I'm not sure it helped my sleep habits that I dreamed about vampires most of the night. I distinctly remember waking up at one point thinking I no longer ever had to read or see that Twilight / True Blood stuff because it all just came to me in my dreams. Then I realized they weren't actually the same thing - and still realized I didn't need to see or read either of them.

But of course, they live in coffins (ok, at least Barnabus Collins did!) and not sure how much air they need to get through the day. Just a pint of B+. Right now, that seems totally like an option!

Song by: the Hollies

Friday, August 07, 2009

Pretty in Pink

How can John Hughes be dead?

That's just impossible.

That is how I found out that John Hughes was indeed dead. Well, that and a quick confirmation from No offense to Rebecca, but even her sources need to be verified. (and my, someone updates wikipedia immediately!)

Whether you liked his stuff or not - and it was very very hit or miss - for a long time, Hughes defined teen and family movies. Even if you're not of my cohort, the movies that are of today are direct descendants of his work in the 80s.

Just last week (?), I posted his Sixteen Candles done in 30 seconds by Bunnies. It was fun, but not as great as the real thing. That ranks in my top 10 movies of all time. Yes, it's not Citizen Kane (which is also in my top 10), but it's a great 100 minutes of film fun. Every line a great quote. Seriously.

I wanted to like Breakfast Club so much, but I could never buy into it. Did anyone buy a 33 year old Judd Nelson as a high school student? I liked the concept, just not the execution.

I didn't even like either the concept or execution of Pretty in Pink. Ok - I liked the fact that Annie Potts got work. And who doesn't like it when Duckie sings and dances to "Try a Little Tenderness"? Maybe if she ended up with Duckie and blew off 33 year old high school student Andrew McCarthy, I could have bought into it.

What I really don't get is why I liked the exact same story so much better when it was repackaged a few years later in Hughes' own Some Kind of Wonderful. (Morty will now deny it, but eons ago we claimed it as a guilty pleasure.)

Oh - and in Pretty in Pink, we had to endure OMD's "If You Leave"....and more than once!

Of course I don't know anyone who doesn't like Ferris Bueller.

I will cop to not knowing he wrote National Lampoon's Vacation. As funny as that was - and let's face it, it was - you still had to endure three (three!) Home Alones.

They cannot all be masterpieces. And if nothing else - we have Sixteen Candles.

Maybe when Rebecca is in town this weekend, she'll come over and we'll just get some beer, and Rainbow Chips Deluxe (yes, it is as gross as it sounds) and kick back and watch it - and have some good laughs.

Song by: the Psychedelic Furs

Thursday, August 06, 2009

Poker Face

I'm not a Chris Daughtry fan - at least of his music. He's got a pretty good look though - for the most part. I'll admit it. Gimme a man with a shaved head and he steps to the head of the line.

I am definitely not a fan of Lady Gaga. I don't get it. I don't get her. I guess I'm gay - but not gay enough.

Of course, you're probably wondering why I know anything about her. I first came across her on Anderson Cooper/Kathy Griffin's New Year's Eve special. Whatever song she did was unmemorable. And now that I take Spin class, I'm forced to listen to "danceable" tunes that people instructors think are HI N-R-G. (fyi - if I have to pedal through Rhianna one. more. help me g-d!)

I will admit to wondering if Lady Gaga was really talking about "Poke HER Face". You know - penis-to-mouth kind of stuff. You just never know.

So, I was amused to hear about and eventually look for, Chris Daughtry doing a cover of "Poker Face".

Turns out it is not that amusing. When he gets to the chorus and sings/screams it - it is not so far-fetched to think that he couldn't have done this originally.....or anyone of his musical genre.

It just kind of proved to me that the song is banal in multiple formats.

Song by: Chris Daughtry

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Tymps (the Sick in The Head Song)

Lovely image, huh?

Well, I'm not feeling lovely or even can muster up the energy to pretend that I am.

When it comes down to it, I'm probably a lousy patient. At least on some levels. I'm a great surgery patient, but when it comes to aches and pains and sniffles, the world should revolve around me.

Oh who am I kidding? I'm a Leo. The world does revolve around me. What was I even thinking?

But to be frank, I cannot control everything - as much as that pains me. This cold has got me by the balls, so to speak. It's not allergies and yesterday I ruled out H1N1. It's just a summer cold. And there ain't nothing I can do about (whoa-whoa-whoa.....).

So I got into the family medicine clinic where I work. That will be the last time I do that. I believe Emma Lazarus wrote a poem about this place.

It was the dregs. I was the only one there who didn't bring my kids or parents. Oh, and the doc to see me happened to be the chairman of the department. A guy I interviewed with over a year ago and he turned me down. Awkward!!! (say it in that gay sing-songy voice. you know the one.)

Even more awkward was giving him my entire medical history and coupled it with the thought that if I had to run such a department that was so heinous, I would have jumped off the nearest bridge.

So - what did I get from this experience? Zilch. Basically.

It's a cold. Nothing they can do. It has to run its course. It's going to be a miserable week - for me and all who come in contact with me.

Fairly be warned! Arrrrgh.

Song by: Fiona Apple

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Because It Keeps On Working

....well, it doesn't. Or wasn't.

Not sure what's going on with my blog. But I'm also moderately over-medicated, so there's that....

I drafted and set up my blog to post yesterday and according to the editor, it went off without a hitch around 04:00, but I couldn't get to it. I tried directly to my url and then through the editor.

Through the url, I just got the blog from Sunday on back - nothing for yesterday. Through the editor, I got one big honking error message.

But then again, I'm well-medicated, so there's that....

So let's hope it works today and tomorrow....and forever. Or as long as I choose it to go on.

My illness still remains too. I feel awful - and it is also making me skip the gym and yoga. I'm feel all discombobulated. I already had to miss Sunday. But I refuse to spread this around. I mean - what if it's H1N1?

If it is, I hope I passed it along to 3-4 people in the office. They totally deserved it.

But I only say that because I'm there's that.

Song by: Cock Robin

Monday, August 03, 2009

The Pain That I'm Used To

My timing for illness is uncanny.

Rarely will you find me getting sick on a Monday-Thursday. No, any symptoms have to wait to manifest themselves on a Friday where you always assume there is some hope they'll pass. When they don't, you're well into Saturday or Sunday. And you're fucked.

I guess I could have gone to the ED to get checked out, but it's a bit pricey. Though Saturday and Sunday mornings at 03:00, I was actually considering it, as I could not sleep and each contraction of my throat sent me to new waves of pain.

Pain that I'm eerily used to - hence the title of this post.

This affliction does not happen often, but when it does, initially getting it resolved took eons. There are tons of bad doctors out there who never ever diagnosed the problem correctly. I've spent tons on incorrect antibiotics that never did the job. They'd mask the symptoms for a week or two, sure - but then BOOM!, everything was back with a vengeance.

Even one time I went to the Keys with this problem and ended up blowing out my ear drums on the plane - the little commuter one from Miami to Key West. I heard nothing for 3-4 days of that "vacation". A vacation I sat in a local doctor's office three times during that time away from work.

It was one man who put me on the path to better health - in more ways than I can say. I knew he would be my PCP when he walked in the exam room and had - gasp! - already read my chart. He didn't come in asking, 'so tell me what's going on'. He actually read ahead.

And while some could call it bravado to not really check with the patient, I found it refreshing.

All other docs were trying to treat me for a strep infection that was never there. Not because my culture came back positive, but because all the symptoms were there. The pain I had, to me, was in my throat - seemingly.

Dr. Graman told me otherwise. Before even examining me he said it was my Eustachian tubes. Looking over my chart and what I had been given in the past, he gave me one last antibiotic. He warned if this did not work he would have to aspirate my ear drums - which is just a more controlled way than putting me up in a plane to the Keys and letting an unpressurized cabin do it for me.

Ruckiry (not Jon's boss), the drugs did work. But here I am again, with the same problem - but at least I recognize it. And now I can steer whatever new doc I will see today (since Dr. Graman no longer practices in Ohio) in the right direction.

I should be happy that we were not on vacation when this happened (three more weeks people!), or in a plane.

Song by: Depeche Mode

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Outside Myself

The best part of this summer? Outdoor eats.

We've become regulars at a neighborhood place called the Grotto (I know - not a horribly original name).

My man-date, Scott, and I started going there after work just for drinks, but after it became nice out, Denton and I like to hit the outdoor patio to hang, eat and drink.

It's fun to watch people on the Square, going to or from the movies, or the independent coffee shoppe. That's just the gravy, as the wine list is good and the menu is a good one. I have yet to have a bad meal there.

We even have a favourite server - Angela. And she calls us her favourite customers. But you know she says that to everyone. However, even when we're not in her section, she still waits on us....and we tip her well.

They do have a few bad servers too. Douchebag Dan, for one. I always make Denton laugh when I do Johnny Depp, as Willie Wonka, talking to Mike TeeVee: "MUMBLER! Honestly, I cannot understand a word you're saying!". He's just horrible - Dan, that is.

Unfortunately, Angela was off last night and we were stuck with Dan. Oh, and we took my parents there for dinner. Even with Douchebag Dan, I think my parents had a good time and good meal. It would have been better with Angela doting all over us, but whatta gonna do?

Maybe next weekend, when Becca is in town, we can go there. I'm sure she'll be bored at her high school reunion (now that she has DIS-invited me to be her date! I know - right!?) and leave early, then we can take her for wine.

See - even when I'm dumped, I'm still a nice guy!

Song by: k.d. lang

Saturday, August 01, 2009

Touch and Go

I don't think Tornwordo jinxed me or anything, but it is a good of an excuse as any.....

I got nothing.

He implies his blogging buddies don't have anything to write about either. I don't know if I am included in that list of his, but I feel a bit stymied.

It's been a tough week, that's for sure. Mostly work - and for the most part, I don't blog about work. Definitely not about specifics of the job.

And we have a sick house. Poor Denton has a summer "cold". It seems worse than that - but will he go to a doctor? NO! And of course, I woke up two days ago with a sore throat. Naturally I blame him. And why not?

We have three more weeks until vacation! Thank g-d.

We will be going to Nags Head again. We had the opportunity to go to Mexico with friends, but the timing is off a bit for my work schedule and I'm not willing to jump through 2000 hoops to get us there. Maybe next year - as these guys go annually.

Ok. I'm off to the highlight of my day - Spin. I'm not saying that sarcastically either. I've really really come to enjoy it. ....and not just for Andy, though I won't deny he is a good reason to work out for an hour.

Song by: Any Trouble