Saturday, January 31, 2009

Happy Meal II

Sometimes I kind of, somewhat, wonder what folks think of me when I take pics of seemingly random thing. Not that I really care.

I snapped this at the cafeteria at the new workplace.

I did it for the obvious.

I didn't eat it as I think it said 35g fat. YIKES. I don't care that there is no trans fat.





Song by: the Cardigans

Friday, January 30, 2009

Following

I'm loopt-ed.

It's a little 1984-ish, but via your cellphone people you chose to track you, can track you.

I don't think anyone can really tell if I'm at 7-11 or Popeye's, just that I'm in the general vicinity. ....and it's not like I have a ton of people who I'm following or allowing them to follow me. As you can see from the map below, I've got bi-coastal coverage (thanks Moby, thanks Brad).



Now, if you want to get really really personal, just team up loopt with my new most favourite (yet untested) iPhone application
Yes - use loopt to find which bathroom I might need to use at a moment's notice. CREEPY.



Song by: the Bangles

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Mr. Plow

We are about 3" away from having the snowiest January on record.

Yesterday, though the news says we got less than a foot. They are liars. Or at the very least, they didn't measure at our house.

Before work, Denton cleared about 4" of snow. Not a lot, but we knew more was coming and we did not need those additional flakes when one of us got home and had to clear again.

As it turns out, when I got home, there was at least 10" in the drive......and I know from 10". (bada bing!) Though that would have been hard to navigate anyway, naturally, the plows and other cars had done their damage at the end of the drive.

Since we live at the end of a street, we get folks turning around in the drive. Just enough to pack it down. Let's compound that with the street plows that covered that packed snow with the 10" that were actually on the street, but now resided in the first five feet of our drive. Bother!

So I park in the street and trudge my way up the drive to get the snow blower. Since our drive is 80' long, it is a necessity. But get this! The snow blower won't turn over. I cannot get it started. Now, I said something much worse than 'bother'. Much much worse. For miles around, women covered their children's ears. Rightfully so.

I call Denton, who swears he can fix it when he gets home. I know better than to wait and get out the handy-dandy shovel. I start at the bottom of the drive and dig out about 7 feet. Not bad. I had also dug out a shovel length all the way down the drive too. At this point, I'm tired so I figure, I'll just dig another length that accommodates the width of our cars. The rest of the snow can wait - right?

Just then, I'm reminded there might be some superior being - I mean, besides Ina Garten....or Aaron Eckard. A private snow plow, truck guy is driving down the street and I hail him like I'm trying to catch a taxi. We negotiated a price. And by that I mean, I asked what he'd charge, he told me and I paid it.

Within a few minutes, we were dug out and I got my car off the street.

As for the snow blower? Well it seems when Denton was using it this morning the key had fallen out. I didn't notice - clearly. Now the key is probably somewhere in a big big big snow pile at the end of our drive. I'll look for it in May.




Song by: Linda Rondstadt & Barney Gumble

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Man With the Child in His Eyes

Since I started my new job mid-month (or actually, since I left my old job mid-month), my benefits from the former place were still good through the end of this month. Now I signed up for a high deductible health plan, so it didn't make sense to try to get a bunch of stuff done the only month I was going to be part of it. That's crazy talk.

But I did cash in on the vision piece of it. Last year I got contacts, this year, I went for a new pair of specs. You can always use those, right?

I usually feel I end up settling on frames - and the older I get, the worse my eyes get. And the worse my eyes get, the less creative I can be (for the most part) with the frames that will support the lenses needed to actually see.

So I found a new frame place. The amount they had was overwhelming, but the owner was great (and funny) and he helped me find - ok ok, he found - a new pair of frames. Not coincidentally they were the most expensive I had looked at, but the insurance made it a great deal.

...and they are a bit different.

In the picture above, they seem to disappear, which is kind of cool. In person, they look a bit more neat-o. They contain chrome accents.

The arms of the are bowed a bit and they don't even touch my temple. Nor do they wrap around my ears. That's a good thing.

But as I saw this self-picture above, it has come to my attention that I am about one step away from being Dr. Bunson Honeydew.



Song by: Kate Bush

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Happy Hour

Well, I went out again. Yes, again.

It seems I've been going out a lot and drinking more lately. I'm not complaining.

But I warned you all - I went out with ex-ex co-workers/friends. Two of them. One married, one in the midst of a divorce. And then me - one gay, but still in a more committed relationship than they. I'm not judging.

It turns out, five tequilas on a Monday evening might be too many for the start of a work week. Or it just means I'm a bit out of practice.

We actually had a nice time. Honest to g-d, we had not been out together for almost three years, so it was fun to be with them - even in their heterosexual way. I know that sounds weird, but some of my other non-gay friends just aren't this straight.

We did vow to not wait another three years to do this. And we actually have tentative plans to hit the wine bar where I got drunk last Friday.

In the future, some of you might have to save me from myself.



Song by: the Housemartins

Monday, January 26, 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!


Heard of Lisa Hannigan? I'll assume the answer is a 'no'.

No real reason you should. She's been a good Irish vocalist, appearing on a number of projects - most notably Damien Rice's last two studio disks. Hannigan does a great job being the harmony to his melody. She has also shown up on Snow Patrol and Herbie Hancock recordings.

But now she's put our her debut solo disk, Sea Sew.

Just because she is a good collaborator does not make her a great stand-along artist. I was bummed. I was hoping for a stand-out album. What is good in theory becomes 10 songs of extremely similar nature.

What she is good at on Rice's disks she has spread out for her entire song selection on Sea Sew. I like a bit of variety, even if the style remains the same. Hannigan only has one song that breaks that mold, "Keep it All".

That is not to say the other songs are not serviceable. They are well put together, and well executed. But they are just bland - at least when played back to back. I find that her strength is being that stable vocal figure to someone like Rice - who can sometimes go manic on his songs (listen to their "i remember" from his first solo disk). I think she could break out of that role and I think this album is decent - just safe.

I don't have a video of her solo work, but you can see/hear her on the below video, as she sings with Rice on his song, "volcano".

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Every Picture Tells a Story

It's Sunday. What can I say? I'm being lazy.

My sister was nice enough to provide me the below picture, which came from the NYT site.

I assume she meant for me to use it on the blog - though she didn't say so specifically. Either way, I'm running with it.

Let's face it, if I could have snapped the pic myself I would have. But someone did the work for me, as I was not over in England.

Tomorrow should have a more 'real' blog entry than this one. But it is still funny and it made me laugh.



Song by: Rod Stewart

Saturday, January 24, 2009

This Drinkin' Will Kill Me

My first week of the new job is over. No damage done. Work-wise.

After work, I met my man-date, Scott, out for a few drinks. For those who don't remember, Scott is a straight, former co-worker whom I have a strong non-sexual bond with. Or as most call them: a friend.

My long-term friends would absolutely love him and would bring him into our co-hort without hesitation. ....and he can drink with the best of them. BONUS!

Last night, it was a wine bar. Neither of our significant others were present - meaning my partner, or his wife.

The place was brand new - not even open a week. If tonite is any indication, it will be successful. We got there early enough to snag two bar seats. There were specials on martinis and beer - but c'mon, this was a wine bar. We still went low brow for the house red, but it was pretty frickin' good.

We attempted to not talk about my old employ, where Scott still works, though it was really sweet that he seems a bit displaced there without me. Yeah, that's how much we got along there.

I think we were on our 2nd glass of red when we were joined by two women. Yeah, you heard that right. Char and Tiffany. Apparently Char is not short for anything - I asked. You know I would. I wasn't drunk enough to make a mall-singing reference to Tiff, though it crossed my mind.

Char was a talker. She was fun - for a republican. We were all hitting it off. Scott chuckled when I leaned in and said, "I am so going to hit that!".

Brad, our bartender, chose to pretty much ignore us unless we went way out of our way to flag him down. ....and we were sitting at the bar! We opted to name him Brad, as we truly didn't know his name - and then it went to Bradley, as so many gay men go by their full name.

We had no idea if he was a 'mo or not. He did wink at me once, but that means nothing........or does it? The girls who were now with us, thought they'd get his attention with their skimpier outfits - but it did not do the trick, further making the assumption that he did not like women, in that way.

The now four of us played some game where you had to name 12 anatomy parts that have only three letters. Tit, ass and nip do not count. Apparently neither does 'taint'. It is not three letters, but I couldn't stop myself from saying it. They all laughed, so I guess they all know what it means. I think Scott and I were on our 4th glass by this point.

The appetizers Scott and I got were good - pistachio crusted scallops (2) and jumbo prawns (2) in an asian slaw.

I think we had one more glass of wine before Scott wanted to head out. But as Char so aptly put it - it was a good first date.

And here I was worried that next week, with my newly divorced friends, that they'd want to go pick up chicks.





Song by: Dwight Yoakam

Friday, January 23, 2009

D.I.V.O.R.C.E.

It seems a number of my straight friends or colleagues are getting divorced.

I can't say I'm friendly with them as couples, as most of these are people I work. When I do socialize with them outside of work, spouses and partners rarely or never attend. I'm ok with that.

Not that I have lots of straight single friends, but I can only count on one hand the number of weddings I've attended or been invited to in the last decade. However, I can count the same number of splits on the same hand just within this last 12 months.

I swear, these guys telling me they are getting divorced is something like coming out. It can be an awkward part of their life that they didn't want anyone to know about, let alone how to tell them. And then of course, on the receiving end, there isn't anything to say that doesn't seem out of place.

One or two of them, it is like an 'oh!'. But on another two, it was like, 'thank g-d that's over'. The wives were absolute shrews (my apologies to shrews), you could just see that they were not meant to be a partner for anyone. Though marriage is supposed to be equals, this was clearly not the case with these couples.

I find it ironic that the gay couples I know of roughly the same age, have been together much longer than the straight ones divorcing. 10, 15, 20+ years. Even we passed another year, this last week.

So next week, I'm going out for drinks with two of the now, or soon-to-be single guys. Separately. At least there will be alcohol.

g-d, I hope they don't want to hit on chicks!




Song by Tammy Wynette

Thursday, January 22, 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!


This shopping event is brought to you via Mexico.

mmmmm......Mango Pops.


Or as Morty called it, Turd on a Stick!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Work

Snap!

No, not in that sassy black girl way. More like in that, I'm on my way to my first day of work, almost out the door, and my shoelace breaks, way.

Frick!

I said to Denton, 'well this seems like an omen'. He claimed it wasn't. But then I went down to the campus where I'll be working and where I thought my orientation was. It wasn't. Strike Two.

Honest, I looked at my instructions, but clearly not good enough. I went to where the second day was to be held, not the first. Oy. I take complete fault for the fuck-up, but to be fair, the map they included was only for day two. The written instructions were clear. Still - why only one map? Ruckiry, (not Jon's boss) I am always early for these things, and I made the 25 minute drive to the actual location with time to spare. Don't you want me running your department?

Time enough to end up sitting through seven hours of mind-numbing 'welcome' classes and benefits talks. Snore. In all my years, they've never taught me anything that couldn't have just been put into an info packet.

Yesterday, I got to sit through four more hours. Shoot me. Then believe it or not, I had to go to my first contract negotiation discussion over in Youngstown - two hours away. Nothing like throwing me right into it. I haven't even seen my office yet. That is today.

This will be interesting. I am still not 100% sure what I've gotten myself into, but what the heck.




Song by: Jimmy Eat World

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Feels So Different

g-d, this must kill some folks - you know?

Forever our history was changed a few months back, but today it is a reality. Done deal. Locked in place. I'm loving it!

I was almost going to go all Sesame Street on your asses and call this 'One of These Things is Not Like the Other', but the following line, I remembered, goes, "one of these things does not belong" - and that just wasn't right. He does!

But as Sinead sings, things do feel different. If nothing else, we have a president who can actually form sentences, pronounce words and say them aloud. Bush's "folksy" Texas twang, via Maine and Connecticut was an insult to us. No Child Left Behind should have been started because of him.

There is opitimism too. I'm very hopeful for Obama. No doubt he's got a hard road ahead. We all do.

Why presidents are judged on their first 100 days is a mystery to me - other than after that, they have to start their re-election cycle. But the issues we face, the ones GWB left us, won't be solved in 100 days. Or 300. If that 100 days is what history will place on Barack - it is a sad sad day.

But as we talk about history and how presidents are viewed, you must read Leonard Pitts Jr.'s piece on Shrub and his place in history. On the plane ride back from Mexico to Ohio, I just smiled as I read it, and crossed my fingers that it all comes true.

I am totally bummed I have to work and cannot watch this all take place - even on tv. But thanks to DVRs and 24 news, I have no doubt I'll be able to catch it all when I get home.



Song by: Sinead O'Connor

Monday, January 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.


Here's a disk I can almost assure none of you have listened to - except for Jon.

Pat Benatar's Innamorata was released about 12 years ago and is one of the better disks I have in my collection. Honest.

The title is Italian and translates into 'sweetheart' or 'soulmate', but I can't say that all of these songs would fit into that category. Pat can still sing angry when she has to.

I will say that it is some of Benatar's strongest work. Yeah, I like(d) the '80s stuff and it was fun and seemingly it helped define the decade for female artists, but it had a certain shelf-life - not that there aren't songs I still listen to.

But Innamorata was her first disk not on a major label and she and husband/producer Neil Giraldo had more freedom to write and record what they wanted - and it works. The songs are strong, the production is too and Benatar's voice has never been stronger. I think independence agreed with them.

I'm a huge fan of the songs here, especially "In These Times", "Only You", "Strawberry Wine", "I Don't Want to be Your Friend" and "At this Time". Don't get me wrong, the rest of the stuff is fine too, but these listed are the ones that got space on the iPod. Since that device holds a finite number of songs, I had to pick and choose carefully.

Like many of my blog selections, the album underperformed at radio and sales levels. I always seem to pick and root for the underdog, but I've never really been a fan of stuff that is too mainstream. One issue with being a known name on an independent label is that most people assume it is a last grasp effort and if the product were any good, a major would still have you signed. Phooey.

Admittedly, her follow-up to this disk Go, wasn't nearly as good (though I love the title track), but I would suggest you at least sample some of her Innamorata work on iTunes, amazon or the like. You might be surprised.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

White Rabbit

I was home all day on Friday. I had to be for two reasons - the biggest one was that it was -13 (sans windchill). It was not a record low, oddly enough. It did make it to -32 (avec windchill). I wasn't intending to wander outside unless absolutely necessary.

But while in Mexico I got a call that chairs I ordered way back in November had arrived!! Yayyyyy.

While I was in DC, I stopped in Mitchell Gold+Bob Williams. Well, "stopped in" is a fallacy. I ducked in during an unexpected downpour. I mean, I always wanted to go in each time I passed the store, but was always on the way somewhere else.

But while walking around the store, I came upon a chair I really liked and decided I wanted: The Alice. We desperately needed two chairs for our living room but had never found anything remotely appropriate. I will say this, I did hold off on ordering them right then and there before consulting with Denton. I thought this to be fair.

Upon my return home, I showed it to him on-line. There is no Gold+Williams store in Ohio, but we did have an independent retailer who carries their line - kind of. So, off I dragged him to see the chair................which they didn't have. But we ordered two anyway, sight unseen by one of us. This is a big step for the partner, trust me. We actually decided on fabric and wood colour in less than 30 minutes. This is a huge step for us both. Trust me.

So since I was going to be home on Friday, I arranged delivery from another country. Sweet! Not only that, they arrived not only between the designated time stated, but 10 minutes into the the earliest time!!! SWEET!

Here are two shots of just one chair:


It looks more slope-y than it actually is. They are bigger than they seemed in the big, wide-open store, but they work in the room. Naturally now, Denton wants to replace the sofa, but I don't see that happening anytime soon. I think it fits fine.

We will have to make sure the cats don't sharpen their imaginary claws on them though. The chairs that were there before were ruined by those non-clawed cats. Believe it or not, those pads can damage more than you think. So far so good.




Song by: Jefferson Airplane

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Killing Me Softly

What last vacation little tid-bits can I drop on you?

There were five theaters with a rotation of five "shows". That last word is in quotes as it is questionable if these were actual entertainment. I've seen high school productions that were better. Way better.

One was history lesson of the Mayans. They just looked like Orcs with feathers.

After about 20 minutes, we left George and Morty to watch the rest on their own.

The next night was a "tribute" to Broadway shows. Morty and George left us to watch it before it even started.

Touche. Well played, sirs.

That show started off with selections for Grease. Or as they called it, Vaselineo. Or something like that. I kid you not. I've looked at on-line translation sites and none of them come close to this word. I think the cast was fucking with us.

It went as good as can be expected - which means horrible, of course. But that was still better than expected.

When they went into The Lion King, we were out of there.

The third night, well, we had all had a bunch to drink all day. But that night was karaoke. Yes, vacationers can get up and "sing".

Now karaoke makes Morty very very nervous. I don't think it has a thing to do with the fact that 18 years ago we did it in a Japanese restaurant (for the record, we sang Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds' classic - "Don't Pull Your Love"). Anyway, it makes him uneasy.

...and it turns out, with good reason. When we walked in to some cat being put through a meat grinder, it turns out it was a woman just singing. If there had not been lyrics on the screen, I would have no idea what she was cater walling about. It seems it was the title of this post. I even turned to Mort and said, "it looks like I have the title of my next post!". Ask him, he'll verify this.

HORRID. She carried no tune and you could not make out a word she "sang". (There are a lot of quotes today, aren't there? They are deserved.) There was one decent singer, but she fell to the wayside with the guy behind her who "sang" "Harper Valley PTA" and the guy who followed him with Foreigner's um.....um.....I forget. We all left. It was too painful.

The last two days were grey and even drizzly now and again. I am not complaining. We still sat poolside or on the beach hoping for some (or any) UV rays. We people watched. We had great discussions and laughed a lot. Oh - we also had like 6-8 daiquiris or some mixed drink. Sitting in sometime drizzle or wind was nothing.

The way we saw it, it was 80+ degrees there, and single digits at home (4 degrees when we landed). We were happy to be away.

The above image shows the only patch of blue that happened all day. This is not an exaggeration, nor is there more blue beyond what the picture shows. This was it. George got all excited about it and I got out the iPhone to document the historic event.

Also during this trip, I found the land of sleep. You know I don't normally sleep, so this was all new to me. But I came to one big realization. At first it I thought it was because of no cats sleeping on me. Then I thought it was the sea air. Or a new time zone. But it was none of those.

It was because I didn't have a job. Since I'm in between employment, I didn't have to worry about what was waiting for me back at work or on my blackberry. Let's face it - for many of us, being on vacation, we're never really always there. This time I was. It was heaven! 7-8 hours at a time, which did not include naps at the beach or back in the room.

How do I do this in the future?

So now, just a few beach pictures to help you on this cold cold day. But as for vacation posts, I think this is the end.



All I could think when I took this was the Cure's Staring at the Sea





Song by: Roberta Flack

Friday, January 16, 2009

Portrait

Everyone is doing it - and I'm nothing if not a follower. I made my own Obama poster. You can too. Thanks Paste Magazine!

I probably would have done it anyway, but because I have been on vacation, I needed to get something up and running.

We came back from Mexico to a 69 degree deficit. Yes, it was 73 degrees when we got to the airport in Cancun and 4 when I got to my car in the parking lot in Cleveburgh. It was a brutal awakening.

It got a lot more brutal when we got home and found someone had gotten stuck in our new landscaping and probably just spun their tires for quite a bit of time before getting free. Was it the mailman? Was it the dry cleaner? I know it wasn't the pet sitter. I do, but don't care about the $$$$ (ok, I do!), but I would have really liked someone to fess up to it with an apology.

So, I'll probably do one last vacation post with a few more pics. I'm so sorry it's over. But whatta gonna do?




Song by: Rosanne Cash

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Better Be Home Soon

We are headed back this morning. Bummer.

We are headed back to single digit temps. And by single digit temps, it looks like 0. The high might reach 6. But then into the 20s. I will be missing the 80s - even if it is rainy or overcast.

I will miss George and Morty.

I always laugh so hard with Morty. He has always been one of the quickest and funniest people I have known - though I have surrounded myself with those likes. If you don't have a great sense of humour, it would seem I have little tolerance for you. I'm just sayin'.

I miss our girls something awful - especially in this miserable weather. They need to know someone will be there to turn up the heat and cuddle with them.

There are a few days I will have to get myself situated for a new job. That's a plus, but with the weather, I might be housebound a bit. We'll see.

I'm sure I'll have some follow-up thoughts on Mexico in the next day or so. Even more pics. Until then, see you back in the states. ...and here is one shot you get of me on the beach.




Song by: Crowded House

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The Beach

More pictures from Riviera Maya. It sure beats actually having to think of anything to write.

Believe it or not, they don't have an office dedicated to 'weeding'. But if you're getting married - it is the place for you. If you're Mayan.

Even I wanted to go up to this group of water aerobic guys and go, "Dudes, coming from a fag, I'm telling you - this is SO gay!". The two girls there joined late into the program - and they never let go of their booze. They were one step away from being in The Accused.

There is an Iguana Crossing. This chap chose to ignore it!

My artsy-fartsy shot taken from the roof of our building. I'm not 100% sure I was allowed to be up there. Sue me.
Anyone lose a bikini top and hat? Anyone? Anyone??

Fish. Lots and lots of fish.



Song by: New Order

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Picture This

Mexican Tony looks a lot butcher and a lot more angry than the Battle Creek, MI version.



Is it possible the Mayans used wheelchairs? I'm thinking not. I don't know what the Mayan baby-changing station icon would look like.


I didn't know about the pet policy here. Or as Denton mentioned, "didn't George Michael do a song about that guy?" It was an odd and funny reference. Mostly because he isn't great at that pop culture stuff. And it's George Michael.

The other boys got here yesterday. Heading to breakfast now. I am sure I will update later. Probably tomorrow.



Song by: Blondie

Monday, January 12, 2009

Mexican Radio

Ok, how many songs do I own that have the word 'Mexico', or some derivation of it, in the title? Not many. Apparently.

So far having a grand time. We've done nothing touristy - meaning side trips to Ruins or swimming with the dolphins. We have done a lot of walking, sleeping and swimming.

As you all might not know, I don't sleep well usually, but here - man I'm telling you. I am out on the beach, by the pool, in a hammock or in bed. It's almost amazing I'm not falling asleep at a buffet.

Here's part of me in the hammock:

I've got legs, I know how to use them!

We left Cleveland with about 6" of snow on the ground and it coming down heavily. Since we left the house before 5:00a, the roads had not been touched. The driving was treacherous (say like Frau Blucher), but we got there in plenty of time.

So we took off at 21 degrees Fahrenheit and landed at 84. It was a great trade-off. It's been in the uppers 80s the entire time so far. We never thought to look if this is the rainy season or whatever. We just took off and it has been a hit so far.

Cleveland is supposed to get more snow and the temps hovering around zero. I'm good being where we are.

The place here is ginormous. Five hotels. Five pools. The pool we have is ok, but there are better ones. Like here: Not just because of this guy, but let's face it, he don't hurt the scenery.

We have just pool hopped and ate at the different hotels. We're allowed, since we have that bracelet they make us wear.

Denton said he is now reconsidering where we retire to - as if we're ever going to be able to retire. Not that he wants Riviera Maya, but maybe not a place that has four seasons. I think we've been watching too much House Hunters International.

So I will slather on the SPF 15. Yes, that's as high as I'm going this trip. I want the colour. I want the Vitamin D. I want the melanoma! Clearly there are folks down here who make tanning an olympic event, but that's not us.

We are waiting for Morty and George to arrive. With their arrival today will no longer double the gay couples in this place. There now seem to be quite a few two guy couples at dinner and at the pool. Gay? I can't say - only speculate.......and judge. It's what I do.


Song by: Wall of VooDoo

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Mexico

Nothing much to report yet. Nothing much to do - but that was the intent.

Sun (there is). Surf (there is). Alcohol (oh yeah). Sleep (a lot).

The place is very nice and huge (that's what she said!), but it's not crowded. I don't know if it is the economy, just after the holidays, or that we are in between big groups - but there are not many folks here. That's ok unless you were intent on people-watching.

The staff here are great, though they slap a wristband on you like you're waiting in line for Miley Cyrus (ït's Miley!") tickets! And it's gold. So it is a cross between Jacki Collins and Lance Armstrong.

Alcohol and food are plentiful, but you get what you pay for - if you know what I mean. I'm happy having fruit and salad for all meals, so I'm good. But so far we've just done the buffets. I suspect we'll upgrade a bit when Morty and George arrive tomorrow. yayyyyyy!!!!!

We might to the Ruins. We might just sit out and replenish our Vitamin D deficiency. We'll see. I'm happy doing nothing.

More later - with pictures!!!



Song by: James Taylor

Saturday, January 10, 2009

South of the Border (Down Mexico Way)

If you have ever read this blog over the (almost) last six years, you can count on one hand how many vacations I have taken....and probably still have two fingers left to twiddle with.

As a couple, this last year we have made a decision to be better about taking time off and getting away. We have found, taking time off and staying at home is not only unproductive to decompressing, but we end up working from home - if not around the house. Sometimes we do both. Usually we just don't even schedule the time.

So, as I take leave from work, but before I start a new job, we have opted to take a week off in between and go to Mexico. Riviera Maya, to be specific.

I've never been. We've never been. But it looks purdy, no?

Fuck, I'm embarrassed to admit it, but except for Tijuana and Toronto, I've never left the U.S. I've got the passport, but I've never used it except for a second form of identification when signing house loan papers or filling out an I-9.

Tijuana was bit of a scare - for so many reasons (David's hair colour, just for starters!). But we got out of there alive and in a way, I just almost assumed they might not let us back across the border into San Diego and I'd be stuck selling Chicklets or playing "La Bamba" to earn my keep.

So we leave today and will be there for six days. I will need a few days to mentally prep for a new job, a new environment, a new boss. Of course, there is always the chance I will have to recover from ingesting non-purified water. Maybe I will just stick with tequila and no ice.

The best thing about the vaca is that we won't be alone. Nope, for 3-4 days we will overlap our stay with Morty and George. It's not a complete accident, we both knew we had time and we tried to make it work - and we did. Denton has never vacationed with Morty - so g-d help us all.

As it goes, we'll have a few days on our own, they'll have a few days on theirs and in the middle we'll find something to do that involves SPF 55, Ruins, dolphins and tequila.

Not necessarily in that order.

I have no idea if this place has wi-fi, so I have no idea if you guys will be hearing from me or not.

Fingers-crossed, eh?



Song by: Chris Isaak

Friday, January 09, 2009

When the Sun Goes Down

This was going to be called Don't Let The Sun Go Down on Me, but since it is either Elton John or George Michael with Elton John (depending on the version you prefer), it would have just gone into Don't Let Your Son Go Down on Me - and that just wouldn't have been a good thing.

But the sun is going down - on this job. Today. At 3:00-ish.

Yeah, the workday "ends" at 5:00p, but that ain't happening. I'll be in a bar by 3:30 if I can help it.

My going away party starts at 5:00p, but I'll have a head start with some chosen people before the masses arrive.

Well, I don't know if there will be masses of folks or not. Many were invited, but I do not know who has accepted. I didn't organize it. Had I, it would have been more selective, for sure.

I guess it is nice they think enough of me to have a going away get together. Some folks just slink out of the office with no anything. To be honest, I'd be ok with that too. I've met some folks here who I know will be friends for life - and how often can you say that about co-workers?

Yeah - that's what I thought.

I also had my exit interview. A regular HR person didn't even do it. No, the head of HR wanted to be the one. And I got lunch out of it - so it was a win-win.

She asked me to be candid (duh!). I'm not leaving due to any issue gone-wrong, but I did express concerns about some company aspects. I was asked that if my new job isn't all that, would I consider coming back. She went on about my level of commitment and high ability.

This was the third or fourth time in as many days I've heard something similar. I swear, I'm not that guy - the one who needs that pat on the back. That's not what motivates me. But truth be told, it was kind of nice to hear.

The irony of the afternoon of course, was that while at lunch, the parent company CEO announced 1,000 people would be laid off.



Song by: the Graces

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Fashion

A friend of mine, Tony, provided me a link yesterday that just made me laugh and laugh.

Allegedly someone doing work in their house came across a 1977 JC Penney catalog and decided to have fun with it on the internets.

The looks. The feel. The stigma!

For those of you who weren't a child of the '70's, this might not be as fun or funny. For those of us who are, this might not be as fun or funny - as it just might hit too close to home, at least at one time.

Were stretch terry coordinates ever really in? Granted, I was never the height of fashion - especially at 14, so it seems I might have dodged a bullet.

For one of my readers, who was a child of the '70's and who now work at JC Penney, well - this just might not be funny at all. Ever.

You can view the entire thing here. JCPenney1977Catalogue_1.pdf



Song by: David Bowie

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Signs

I should have a better post for today, but I don't.

I took my last work trip (in this job) yesterday and drove through lovely ice storms both ways. What should have been a 3.25 hour drive, took 4.75 hours. Tons of cars off the road. SUVs landing on their roofs. Seven car pile-ups. You name it.

I would have taken pictures of it all, but I wasn't about to take my hands off the wheel.

But I finally get to my clinic and was sitting with my staff in their break room when I notice the sign they have hung on the door.


Yes, they are a crack staff - aren't they?

I didn't completely want to shame them, so I didn't say anything, but someone must have seen me look at it, because when I came back to take picture of it, it was gone. Thrown away in the trash.

I was broken-hearted that you all would not see it, until I decided to retrieve it from said refuse can (it was sitting right on top - it wasn't like I was dumpster diving).

Sorry gang, it's all I've got for today.



Song by: Five Man Electrical Band

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Battle Room

It turns out Twitter is good for more than just the random 140 character immediate thoughts. It's also good for pointing out web absurdities.

A guy who follows me (and vice versa) twatted the below Craigslist post, which is destined to become a 'Best Of' entry. Click on image below to embiggens the ad.



First - a rent controlled apartment in the East Village.
Second - revenge.

How sweet is that?

Becky thinks I'd be perfect for the job, as she "thinks" I am good at making fake sounds in the bedroom. Clearly she knows people. And she twatted it to anyone who follows here. Great.

To be honest, I hope the post is real and I hope he gets what he needs. Rent controlled apartments are hard to come by anymore.



Song by: Michael Penn

Monday, January 05, 2009

Milk

Blobby claims Milk 'Best Movie of the Year'.

Yes, yes, it is so far Blobby's only movie of the year, as he saw it just four days into 2009. But he's fairly certain it would rank up there even if it were later in the year.

We went to go see the movie yesterday. It is still not playing at any megaplexes, and maybe that is not the plan. 20 minutes prior to the film, we were two of maybe 10 folks. A few minutes before the start the place was pretty packed.

But it was the demographics that threw me. It is quite possible we were the only gay men in the theater. I don't think there were a dozen men in the place, and all of them (save us) were with women. Real ones.

The two biddies (is that the right spelling?) behind us drove me nuts - though Denton never noticed them. Each and every time that Dan White was in a scene, one would go "oh no!". I'm like, lady, it is 26 minutes into the movie, he isn't shooting him in the first half-hour! Let's say Dan White was in 20 scenes. She said "oh no", each and every time.

As for the movie, Gus Van Sant does a great job of bringing a feel, the look, the energy and desperation of the times. Sean Penn does a remarkable job as Harvey, and when you see him in comparison to Brad Pitt's underwhelming performance in Benjamin Button, you wonder how Penn won't walk away with another Oscar. The supporting cast is pretty good too. James Franco can do more than Spiderman, apparently. I barely recognized Victor Garber as George Moscone.

I'm not ashamed to say that Milk made me tear-up more than a few times. More than Brokeback did.

Clearly, one can all too easily draw comparisons to Proposition 6 in 1978 to Prop 8 three decades later. It clearly depicts how far we've come and how far we haven't in that same time. I sat there and wondered if this movie had been released in September, if that would have helped sway 5% more voters in California come election day.

But you can't change the past. What you do is take lessons from these times, and movies that depict them, learn from them and make progress. Hopefully.

I highly recommend Milk. Go see it. Joe-Blob says check it out.



Song by: Garbage

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Little Too Late

This post could have been titled so many things, because I could have taken it so many ways. But who doesn't love a classic Pat Benatar song? Who?

Chef Bob and Nurse Matt had their bi-annual New Year's party, two days too late. But hey, it was kind of nice that it was on the weekend and not on the actual holiday.

The crowd (and it is crowded) was somewhat mixed, and we weren't belonging to any of them. As usual, we were pseudo-outcasts.

Nurse Matt used to work at my last place of employment. Not the current one, where I only have a week left, but the one I spent 12 years working. There were a lot of physicians and department chairs there. A few I left on less than stellar terms with. They are also very straight.

The other part of the group is what I would consider the A-list gays - the very well connected or well to do (or both), a group of which we are not really a part of, by any stretch of the imagination.

Don't get me wrong, I knew some folks there, but most were ones from my work-past which I no longer had anything in common. The only ones I was truly there for were the hosts. I like Nurse Matt a lot, but I'm pretty close to Chef Bob. He's a great guy and a good friend and one I don't do enough with, mainly because of my on-going travel schedule. Hopefully our socialization frequency will change with my new job.

But I can't expect the hosts to spend special time with me and ignore the other 100 folks (though, shouldn't they?). So what do I do? Keep getting a head put on my wine glass. Duh.

The food was great (c'mon, one of the hosts is a chef!), the chicken livers were wonderful. I know they are not for everyone, but I found them to be nummy. I also know he didn't really prepare them, but still...... But I had more alcohol than food, and while that used to be the norm, I am finding it harder do as a rule of thumb.

It was an early-ish night. We were home by 8:30. Technically the party only was supposed to go to 9:00, but the crowd was so full, I doubt they emptied out by the designated end-time, but I wasn't going to be one of those hangers-on. I'm not that rude.

After I start the new job, Bob made it clear we should get together, at our house - and that I would cook for them.

Yayy! Because I just love preparing a meal for a professional chef. Eh - if I ply them with enough liquor before dinner, they'll never know how good or bad it is. I'm golden.



Song by: Pat Benatar

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Wrap It Up

Is it just me, or do the folks in the Snuggie commercials have really poor circulation - or are they just one Hale-Bopp comet sighting short of grabbing their Nike's, a bottle of vodka a Hefty bag and heading for their bunk beds?

They left out the quadrant that said : While Committing Suicide. Ruckiry (not Jon's boss) here is a snap-shot from the Director's Cut of the commercial:




Song by: the Eurythmics (or Sam & Dave)