Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Mr. November

Can you believe it is the last day of the 11th month of the year? Oh where does the time go?

It's been a great Fall and technically I know we're not into Winter, but December seems like Winter - even if it is just December 1st.

This pic was taken at the beginning of the month. Still November, just not now in November. The leaves are gone finally. I expected them to be off their branches much earlier this year, considering we had an incredibly hot and dry summer.

But no, the maple leaves stuck around until they absolutely had to go. They're off the trees and raked up, but not gone. Our last pile sits on the tree lawn waiting for the city to scoop them up.

My sister was right over Tgiving though, the Winter shouldn't seem so long this year. So often we get snow in late October and we really have had nothing here. Yeah, my cousin saw a few inches (must not say anything.........must not say anything..........must not say anything) and yes, we had some non-sticking flurries over the weekend, but I can't say we really have had snow. ....so that right there cuts off at least a month of Winter, right?

And Cyber Monday is over. The heavily marketed, yet incorrectly identified, biggest on-line shopping day of the year has come and gone without me ordering or buying anything for the holidays. That being said - I have a few gifts for farther away nieces and nephews already taken care of, but that's about it.

Tomorrow starts what I consider Winter, even if the sun king does not. We close in on the end of 2010. I'm ready for November to be over. It certainly had a huge milestone for Denton and myself, but it seems to have gone on forever.

I'm ready to keep moving.

Song by: the National

Monday, November 29, 2010

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!

How is it that Jenny Lewis has dominated my Record of the Month category in one fashion or the other?

Two have been her solo albums (the first being my first Record of the Month, back in 2006!), a Rilo Kiley disk and now this album: Jenny & Johnny - I'm Having Fun Now.

The disk works much better than Lewis' last solo disk, Acid Tongue or Rilo Kiley's last release. The disk title, I'm Having Fun Now, seems almost telling. It's a lot more approachable and light-hearted than what Lewis has been up to since Rabbit Fur Coat. They actually seems like they are having a good time.

I don't know from Jonathan Rice at all, so I can't comment on if this is more his style or not, but whatever they do together works - for the most part.
I can seemingly tell which songs are mostly Lewis ("While Men are Dreaming", "Straight Edge of the Blade") and not just because of who takes the lead vocal - but just by the writing style.

That being said, I think Rice fares better than Lewis, but she does a pretty good job enhancing his songs with her harmonies ("Scissors Run", "Switchblade", "Animal").

Even better is when they don't have a huge lead vocal presence and share duties equally ("New Yorker Cartoon", "Slavedriver").

In the last few years there has been a lot of these types of disks: She & Him, Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs, etc, so Jenny & Johnny are not anything new or groundbreaking. But it's a nice pop record that doesn't offend and won't get an iota of airplay on non-satellite radio. That's not their fault - commercial radio isn't built for this kind of music anymore. There's no auto-tune.

It's also nice to know that Lewis has some ability that didn't seem to be tossed after her first solo disk, though I'm unsure if that is more Rice's doing or what.

Not 5-star disk, but it's at least above a 3-star one, and that's not too shabby these days.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

2,000 Miles

Ok, I guess it's 2,000 miles, if each blog post were equal to one mile.

Today is my 2,000th. This one right here. This one that says almost nothing more than it's one more post of me vomiting up my own thoughts, images and.....well.....thoughts.

I was hoping that my 2,000th would coincide with the end of my second year of continual blogging, but it is missing that milestone by about a week. Dang.

Oh well.

Would I like my readership to be bigger after all this time? Sure. But oy, the pressure!

Actually the hits that I do get have gone way up (relatively speaking) in the last 12-14 months. I'm not getting 10,000 hits (or a million) per month. I'd cave under that microscope and I'd have to take on ads and then probably sell-out.

Of course, I'd have to deal with all those Web Awards and need mantle space for them, and then the paparazzi would just trail me everywhere. Totally not worth it.

Yeah, I have it all figured out. Bullet dodged.

So, there is no magic end number or date. I'll go until I'm bored......or you are.

But I have what I think is a pretty good blogroll (slight updates have just been made), and a pretty loyal readership and commentors. What more could a boy want?

Song by: the Pretenders

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Making Pies

I think you've been privy to my thoughts on Thanksgiving dinner.

Oh, how I envy Morty, George and Ditto going to a Chinese restaurant instead of doing the traditional fare.

My mother, in typical fashion, emailed days before the holiday on what she was having for dinner, leaving us kids to fill in the holes of what was not to be provided. No problem - right?

I immediately emailed back that I'd bring another dessert, as I don't like pumpkin pie - though it was going to be there via my own mother. All my sisters had access to this....as did my mother.

Though I didn't put it on the email, I opted to bring an appetizer as well. I didn't think what I wanted to bring would be repeated, so I was pretty safe.

For the pie, I went for cherry. Not only do I like it, but one of my sisters does as well. I figured it wouldn't go to waste.

We did not make our own crust. The Dough Boy (no, not me!) has uncooked crust, at your local grocer, that just rolls out. This is a huge improvement over their folded stuff that used to rip when trying to place it in the pie plate.

You have to do the lattice work yourself. Pillsbury doesn't have a product for that.

The leftover dough is what you see in the image at the title. Denton made a teeny-tiny tart (no, not me!). Why put anything to waste?

Here was the finished product.

The fail was, there ended up being four pies at dinner that only had 13 folks - and most of those in attendance are kids who don't like pies. We ended coming back with more than half of the cherry pie and then a few pieces of pumpkin for the hubby.

The pre-menu emails mean squat. Communication in our family has been and remains an issue. Clearly.

As for the appetizer, I kind of forgot to take pictures of the process after the first snap.

Honestly, it tastes better than it looks. What you see here is garlic, basil, sun-dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese. It went into making Ina Garten's Tomato-Basil elephant ears.

It was the first time I had worked with puff-pastry so I wasn't sure how it'd all turn out.

Actually, I liked it. Denton thought it was ok. One of my sisters, who hates almost everything, liked them, so they couldn't have been all bad.

I'd do stuff a little differently. I put the tomato-basil paste on too thick, I think and so the puff pastry didn't puff they I think it should have. Maybe it puffed as much as it would have, but I have no way of knowing. Either way, the goop was on there just a little too much.

And the recipe made for a lot of paste. I used about half. Since my sister was having a second T-giving and she liked it so much, I gave the rest of the unused pastry and filling to her so she could make it. I'm a swell guy.

But I did make the evening break I wanted to. I snagged my oldest niece and nephew and took them to see Harry Potter.

I liked it more the second time. I could focus on a few more details of the story and how/if it correlated to the book, but I really got to take in magnificent scenery and locations. Some of those woods / river/ cliffs / beaches were just incredibly shot....and well scouted.

I know my niece liked it a lot, but Matt is a tougher critic. He wasn't totally sold, but we'll see what he says in a few days.

No shopping for me this weekend either. I don't do stores and barely ventured out the day after. Our 53 degree Tgiving has turned to just above freezing and today we are looking at up to 2" of snow.

'Tis the season.

Song by: Patty Griffin

Friday, November 26, 2010

Love, Truth & Honesty

Brett Cajun kind of stepped in it with many readers on his post on Nov 23rd.

If you read the post at face value, you can understand some of the comments (which are many) he has received. But I don't read Brett at face value......no offense to Brett.

When he goes off on his little tirades, I always read them very tongue-in-cheek, and that he's looking to incite way more than he believes what he commits to the blog.

If you don't care to go back and read, the short of it becomes that gay men like Kurt on Glee make Brett uncomfortable. His alleged downfall in the post is that Brett roots for the bully as opposed to Kurt, and then you can sprinkle in how he thinks gay men should or should not act.

....and the folks who comment go wild!

Let's say Brett is dead serious on any of these: so what? He's hardly alone, right now though he seems to the cheese.

In the gay blog world, we rally against those who hate us - the gays. Do you see how we do it? With hate.

Don't believe me, then read the comments on almost any JMG post - myself included. What Brett's commentors do not like is when we hate against our own - which guess what, we do all the time. Seriously, read JMG comments on any gay person/group who doesn't support what "we" think they should support. Myself included.

I don't advocate violence or hate, but guess what - some things make me uncomfortable, and yes, sometimes I avoid and sometimes it comes out with biting words.

It's true, on some level, for all those who commented on Brett's blog too, but they are singling out that post for some reason. Their being uncomfortable might not have to be with a gay person, but we all have our thresholds with some group or people.

Let us not forget that this is TV. TV who have us portrayed as the Kurt, as the Jack from Will & Grace (or worse - the sexless Will) or the Jody from Soap and the Uncle Arthur from Bewitched. Or worse - Rip Taylor and his confetti. We're only TV-worthy when we are snarky and/or over-the-top comical.

Let us also not forget that Kurt isn't all that nice of a person himself. We give him a pass because he is a gay character and they'll write a clever and funny line for him, but his actions and words are usually hate-filled themselves. That should make all of us uncomfortable.

How do some laugh part of it off as 'just a tv show' (Kurt being bitchy) on one hand then react in 180 fashion when someone is nasty to him? It doesn't and shouldn't work that way, but clearly it does.

Gay men have gotten called female names and pronouns by the football playing bully types for eons and we have hated it. So why do we as a community find it ok to not only co-opt that behaviour but to use it more freely than those bullies ever did? I have comfort level issues with this from either group.

Here is why I didn't mind Brett's post as much as others clearly did: I am a gay man. I love men and clearly have had sex with them. That does not make me a girl, or a gurrrrrl or a Miss Thing.

Don't demean me, and I won't demean you. Simple as that.

Song by: Bananarama

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thank You

Sure, Squanto & Co. are all smiles and giggles here, until they realize we've taken their land, will slaughter them by the millions and have given them a plethora of STDs.

...and then there were those bulky black shoes with buckles! Contrary to popular belief, they do not go with everything.

Sure we eventually gave them some casinos, but it's hardly restitution.

In the movie within a movie, For Your Consideration (where they were filming Home for Purim), the studio thought the whole Jewish thing wouldn't translate, so they changed it to Home for Thanksgiving. Then one of the PR talking points was "it (Thanksgiving) is the most elegant of all the holidays".

I just don't see that, nor do I believe it.

It seems to me to be one of the more obligatory holidays. Forced conversation, forced happiness and forced food. And then that horrible tradition of going around the table saying what you're thankful for. Maybe it works in some settings, but at my families, someone in mine will say something shitty like, "I'm thankful that the GOP is going to repeal some of the healthcare bill..." ....and then we're off to the races of snide comments or angry silence.

Like a moron, I'm usually the angry silent type. I figure it's better than unleashing, figuring I'm keeping the peace - somewhat. That's what I'd like to believe. In reality, my car is probably blocked in and I can't just leave.

Oh, and I don't like the food. Or the dessert. So, it's just a lose-lose for me.

But I do have an exit strategy: Harry Potter - again. My nephew has been waiting to see it with us and I'm all for not only seeing it again, but saying we have to make the 18:30 show and we have to leave! My sister is on board with it. She might go, now that I've told her there are no spiders on screen.

Hope you all have a good Thanksgiving. Don't let my griping bring down your holiday.

Song by: Tori Amos

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Brothers on a Hotel Bed

So I mentioned the other day that when I was in NYC, that I took an evening to have drinks with an old friend, Pat.

Pat was actually in my fraternity.

It was fun, sad and a little weird to catch up with him. He clearly keeps in contact with more of our brothers - a little too much so, but that's just me. Except for a handful of them, I've left that life behind me like I did high school.

Actually it was a lot like high school, just with more alcohol.

Pat talks with the few people I still converse with (and a lot more), so he is up on what I have been up to, since clearly they all talk..........about me!

I'm sure not just about me, but it obvious I have come up in certain context: where I work, my cancer "scare" (was it just a scare??), one of my sisters...............and that's about it.

The big pink elephant (yes.....pink!) in the room, while they know it, just never comes up. I'm not sure how to take that. Is it a non-issue, or is it that no one wants to talk about it.......myself included.

We talked about his kids, but barely his wife. I asked. He never asked about.....well.....my personal life. And I didn't bring it up. What is the proper protocol for this?

I'm gay.......and it's part of who I am, but it's not who I am. So, I wasn't sure why I should make it a big deal.

Pat clearly loves his kids, but again, not much about the Mrs. Actually, not anything. And while we talked about his kids, he made an off-handed comment that he wouldn't be less happy not having any. Is that the ugly truth about parenthood?

So while the visit was fulfilling in some ways, it seemed empty in others. I feel I got to catch up with Pat, but not have him do the same with me. I didn't want to force the issue, if there even was an issue.

It was great to see him and have him catch me up on his brother too. Maybe next time I'm in the city or he's in Ohio, we can have that conversation. It had been a long time between visits and a short time to catch up. I guess you can't expect to have it all in a two hour period - right?

Song by: Death Cab for Cutie

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Smells Like Queer

If nothing else, my friend Tom G always provides me with at least one funny post per year. Maybe two.

The thing is - he's funnier than any of my friends, who are pretty hilarious in their own right. Sorry other friends, you know Tom and you know it's true. It is a standard we try to live up to, but fail at miserably.

Take the other day. He sent me this picture - an ad for the North Coast "Men's" Chorus.

There's Something About Merry???


Or that you can get their cd (man, that's almost like saying Lp anymore, isn't it?) 'Swingle Bells'. Ugghhhhhhh!

I had a crude, insensitive response, naturally. I believe it went something like: it is no wonder there are so many gay teen suicides.

Yes, yes, I know - embrace who you are and all, but this all seems so stereotypical and somewhat degrading. I wouldn't have committed suicide, because I would have probably died from embarrassment if I had to perform in a get-up like this.

"Men's" Chorus. Do they think they are fooling anyone by not calling it a Gay Chorus? Are they tricking anyone to come in off the street thinking they're going to hear a bunch of truck-driving, iron working men sing songs about gals? Probably not with Fruity McElf on the posters.

Of course, Tom knew what my reaction would be. That comes with being friends for almost two decades. He was pokin' at me to say something nasty - and I did.

But not to worry. The holidays are coming up and I'll just call him when he's not home and somehow play Paul McCartney's 'simply having a wonderful xmas time' on his answering machine. That should make him crawl out of his skin.

Song by: Pansy Division

Monday, November 22, 2010

Site of the Month

Which one of us, who uses a device to text/SMS, that has an auto-correct function has not cursed it as we end up hitting 'send' before noticing the change to our own verbiage?

Sometimes it goes to the recipient and it is funny. Sometimes it is just confusing.

I have typed 'go for' in the past, and my iPhone just geeks-out as big as I do and it comes across as 'Gondor'.

And which one of us hasn't cursed at our smartphone or done the SMS follow-up with the phrase, 'Damn You Auto-Correct!!!!'.

Yeah, that's right - I'm talkin' to you. ....and to me too. Happens all the time.

Now you can go to the above hyper-linked website to see submissions like this one (not mine):

As with most things internets related, some entries are funny, some only so-so. You have to weed through them to get some good ones. Some are clearly not auto-corrected, just massive typos....since some of the things are not words at all. You can't auto-correct a word with a non-word.

Surely, if I get a good one, I can capture the image and send it in, but I don't have one. Rebecca should - she did one the other day, but with my lost iPhone, I no longer have whatever she wrote, or tried to write.

Take a look. Don't knock yourself out or anything. It is a site with potential.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Celebrity in Exile

More New York stuff - just to fill in some blog posts (only 2+ more weeks to complete my 2 years of continual continual continual blogging).

I've been in New York quite a bit and had very few celebrity sightings over the last 30 years. My first one was the lady who played Sarah Tucker (she also a nun on the Flying Nun). The second was Carly Simon. The third was Daryl Hall - who could have totally passed as a woman.

This last time I was all over it! Sightings to the left of me. Sightings to the right of me. ...but you kind of have to say it the way you'd read Charge of the Light Brigade.

You've already read about us seeing Carrie Bradshaw and Ferris Bueller. Those were just two of my seemingly many sightings.

While on a trek through Columbus Circle, we stumbled upon a movie being shot. An unnamed 'heist' movie, so said the sign. Ruckiry (not Jon's boss), we didn't stumble upon the actors - Ben Stiller, Tea Leoni, Mr. Broderick, Eddie Murphy and Alan Alda.

I feel we dodged a bullet there. With all of them. What a scary ensemble.

So on our walk down to the Battery, we stopped to sit in Washington Square Park so I could answer work emails (yes, I know I was on "vacation"). There we walked into what we thought to be a model shoot at the time. It wasn't.

It was a filming of a show, a "reality" show. If reality was the director showing how things would go and attempting 8-9 takes of the same scene. It hardly seems "real".

Turns out it was the Kardashian sisters. I've never seen their show, but know about them thanks to the Soup. These girls look and act like skanks. Actually, they give skanks a bad name.

I have more respect for their father, and hell, he helped defend OJ Simpson!

Later that same evening, I left Denton in the room while I went to have drinks with an old friend, Pat. I made my way up 5th Avenue to the Bryant Park Hotel and unfortunately came upon the unveiling of the holiday window display for Lord & Taylor. Part of that "event" had Kristen Chenoweth out on the sidewak area, singing "Silver Bells" while I tried to plow through the throngs of people somehow needing to see a fricking window display uncurtaining (I'm sure that's a word!).

It's not so much that I don't like Ms. Chenoweth (though her singing, in what little I've heard, of 'Wicked' is horrendous - though I'm pretty sure it's the music that is horrendous), but I'm sure I've mentioned it before, I don't care for xmas music in general. Maybe the 'Heat/Cold Miser' song, but that's about it.

So, I make it to the hotel and the bar is closed due to a "special event". As it happens there is another bar right on the other side of the lobby, so I wait there for him. Two hours with Pat (more on that in another post), and we go to leave and we figure out what event there was which closed the bar - some Saturday Night Live gathering - current cast.

We saw Kristen Wiig and the guy who is on the show, I don't know his real name, I only know him as "Floyd" from 30 Rock. And then there were a few others, whom I have seen, but cannot identify - all waiting for their photo ops.

That was my star-studded vacation trip.....if you can call any of them "stars". I might give it to SJP, but mostly for Square Pegs.

Song by: Marti Jones

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Conversation with Death

Of course I went to see Harry Potter & the Deathly Hallows last night. You knew I would.

But of course, now I'm wishing I had re-read the first half (or so) of the book again before going to see it. I'm getting mixed up on plot lines, time lines and details.

I had somewhat convinced myself that Warner Bros. was releasing this in two parts to delve into the details of the final book and not just to make money. While I'm sure they're not stupid and they are a business, it makes financial sense to extend their franchise. But I'm not sure it is for the detail level at all.

Do not get me wrong - in many ways, the Deathly Hallows stands on its own, even if it is without a resolution. I thought it was well done and visually had a great look to it, but many movies in a franchise are not fully resolved at the end, as to keep you coming back for more.

If you're one who has not read the book(s) I'll spare detail of what goes on and where, but it is nice to get out of Hogwarts, even if it is into the woods for most of the movie. Some of their trips to London and Godric's Hallow seem fairly sparse and I remember them spending more time in both.

But the animation of the telling of the story of the Deathly Hallows is so well done, but I really like a scene in the woods where Ron, Harry and Hermione are running - I'm not quite sure what was real or CGI, but the woods and branches themselves that they maneuvered through were quite a feat.

If I have one complaint, Daniel Radcliffe has somewhat taken a step back in his acting ability. He had been doing better with each movie, but something about his delivery of lines made me think of the first movie where he was like 10, and his lines were so stilted. Ok - it wasn't that bad, but he's done better. The other two do a fine job.

There will probably be another viewing for me....if my 17 year old nephew wants to see it. I think I've seen all of the movies with him, but it is possible he doesn't want to be bothered being seen with his old uncle at this point.

I'm giving it a thumb's up though it would be hard for you to go and see it as a stand-alone movie if you haven't watched the others or read the book.

Song by: Hazel Dickens

Friday, November 19, 2010

Out of Touch

I'm beside myself. I lost my iPhone yesterday.

I know, it's just a "thing" that I shouldn't get upset about and truth be told, I could care less about the phone itself. That is replaceable.

What isn't, are the pictures on it.

Yeah, I synced the phone an hour before we left for NYC, but I didn't take my Mac with me, so I didn't sync during the trip.

So it would seem, unless someone does the right thing, and contacts me, I have lost many pictures I took on not only vacation, but of our wedding day, Yes, there are some on my actual camera, some that Rebecca took and then of course, the professional photog took.

But I liked some of mine. A lot!!! Including one of Denton that I found to be possibly the best picture I had taken of him. I'm heartbroken.

Yes, the pictures are just pictures and not my memories, but fuck, man! This blows.

I had it in the cab ride to the airport and then could not find it before going through security. Maybe it was on my lap and I stood up....or....or....I just don't know. I've called it dozens of times and no one picks up. It doesn't help that I had it on vibrate.

It also doesn't help that the cab company are complete assholes. "No one turns in anything - ever." "No, we don't have a lost and found." "We cannot help you.".

So, what I need is someone to grab a ride in that cab and find it and not turn it over to the driver. And I need that person to be more honest than the cab company itself. A tall order.

Of course, I'm racing against the clock too. It probably only had 10 hours or so before the battery just dies and no vibrations are even heard. So, unless they have a charger.........

And if I deactivate it and purchase a new one, then I can no longer call it attempting to get it back. UGH!

Denton sent a text to it saying if it were turned in there'd be a reward.....but so far nothing.

He's trying to console me, but it is not working very well. I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I'm not sure what I can do. Images of my wedding, from my perspective, are probably gone forever.

I'll have to get a new phone. It's not good to be unreachable and I feel very lost without at least the ability to be connected.

Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck

That's all I've got to say!

Song by: Hall & Oates

Thursday, November 18, 2010

My True Love

We flew in under the radar. At least the news and at least to most people.

Yesterday, Denton and I got married in Washington DC.

Mallied? Yeah - mallied.......sheeesh (you have to say it like Long Duck Dong).

I know most of you who follow this here blog-thingy knew we were planning on getting married, I even probably put a date of August/September on the books for this to happen. Alas, it did not - and all due to my work schedule.

Partially because of this, it was even smaller of a ceremony than we anticipated - and that the original wasn't sizeable to being with. We had a window of opportunity and we took it. It was either that or wait until 2011. We discussed for a while and decided to go for it.

Because of our decision, we knew we were giving up a few things - and mainly those were people we wanted to be there, but we made it difficult for them to attend. I'm sure if we even gave them two more weeks, they might have - but frick, I would have felt guilty about them having to trek to DC for that, especially so close to the holidays and their own vacations.

It sounds lame when you say it out loud like that, but it is the truth. As it turns out we had one guest: Rebecca.

She really dropped everything to be there. I was elated, I was guilt-ridden. It was between her class schedule and going on her 10th anniversary trip with her husband. That she showed was nothing short of amazing. And she really did represent our other close friends who could not attend.

As I mentioned in a July post regarding getting married, we were not planning on doing it at the courthouse. First off, I didn't like the venue. Secondly, we would have had to battle the final day of the Chandra Levy trial. We wanted to do it outside, if possible.

I had vetted a number of officiants, some who were good, but unavailable, some who were just loons before I found one I really liked. While a religious man, he didn't push that aspect - and he was gay too, so he kind of got where we were coming from.

Ed, the officiant, helped me with narrowing down a location and even helped with a photographer. He was a great non-wedding planner, wedding planner.

We opted for the Enid Haupt Garden, right outside the Smithsonian castle. The photographer, a graduate student from American University. I snapped this pic while we waited to start.

The ceremony was not long, but it was very emotional for not only Denton and myself, but Rebecca too. No one is ashamed to say that tears were shed by all. Well, maybe not by Jordan, the photog.

Since we were out in the open, a number of people witnessed the ceremony. Four people eating lunch in the garden broke into applause and congratulated us. Ditto with some people elsewhere in the garden when we took pictures afterwards. It was very nice and very reaffirming.

...and it was a perfect day. 60 degrees, blue sky with white clouds (see above pic). What more could you ask for?

I said - "I couldn't have planned this better". Becky came back easily with, "you didn't".

True that! We didn't.

There was very little planning. And by little, I mean almost none.

We had "rehearsal dinner" (i.e. small plates and tequila) the night before, and then a great dessert of oh, say, toffee covered pretzels and Prosecco....all while back in our hotel room with TV and each on our laptops. Ahhhh.....the 21st century!

Becky did a few grand gestures one being going out the morning of the wedding and getting us boutiners....and she read a Navajo poem at the ceremony as well. It was beautiful....and she made a little funny at the end of it. She also went and did the whole something old/new/borrowed/blue thing, which never even crossed our minds. Maybe pictures of that later.

After all was said and done, we had our "reception". Or as you people call it: lunch.

On a whim, we went to the W on 15th St. We hit the rooftop for lunch, as it overlooks the White House.

Yes, wine in mid-day....and more small plates. And a great view, with my now husband, and a great friend.

Once we sort through the pictures and such, I may post some here. Denton has been fairly invisible here and he likes that, but we'll see. If nothing else, I'm sure I have shots of just me I can post.

Song by: the Eurythmics

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Leaving New York

New York was great. We loved it, though I can't say we did anything that anyone would could consider outstanding. Like I said the other day, it is low key and we just wondered around. Actually we did our normal walk from whatever hotel we stay in, and trek down to Battery Park.

We boarded the West Village and cut through Soho and Tribeca before making it to the WTC area. While we did circle around it to the battery, we knew we'd stop up on the way back uptown.

It was a cool and grey day, but good for walking long distances. ...and no rain.

Battery Park has come such a long way in the last decade. When I worked down there umpteen billion years ago, it was a ghost town after the market closed and all the lawyers went home. Now there are tons of places to live, eat and even some movies theaters. Not the Battery Park I knew.

Here is where I worked oh so long ago: One Wall Street.

What a great address, huh? The firm I worked for has moved twice since. I would sit daily with co-workers/friends eating in the shadow of the WTC.

That all being said, 7 WTC is completed and partially occupied. The rest of the site is at is has kind of been since 2003-4 - a construction one. It is no longer quite the hallowed grounds it was after the attack.

WTC 7 is the glass building on the right. The Freedom Tower is the one in the middle. We suspect it is about only one-third of where it will end up. For those interested, there is a website dedicated to progress of the construction.

Though it is in this picture, you can't actually see where the water feature / reflecting pools will be. I think it will be a great finished product............some day.

Actually, as I saw thousands of workers traipsing to and from lunch, passing over the sight on a walkway, I did wonder, aloud, how often they think about where they are.....really are. Not just headed to the office or Blimpies.

Yeah, there are tourists who come to see, but the number of construction workers and Financial Trade Center workers easily outnumber those who arrive with cameras.

For another view of Battery Park, one not steeped in morbidity, you can do it like I did - from the upside down version.

Denton wouldn't play and look at lower Manhattan from Blobby's perspective. So be it. It was fun seeing a sky of green and floor of blue.

Song by: R.E.M

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I Were a Weapon

While in New York, we did something we rarely do at home: see a movie.

Fair Game is out, but I'm not sure it has opened nationwide yet. For those who are unfamiliar with the movie, it is based on two books, one by Joe Wilson, the other by his wife, Valerie Plame.

I'll be honest, I didn't know the movie was coming out until I heard them both interviewed on NPR's Talk of the Nation a few weeks back. It was such a great interview, I was hoping to see the movie and that Denton might be interested in it as well.

Though I think he would have seen it anyway, we had been walking around the city for five hours, he would have seen The Train that Couldn't Slow Down just to get off his feet.

If you follow politics and this story at all, you know some of it and you know the outcome, but you probably don't know quite a bit of the internal pieces. Admittedly, I did not read either of their books, so they probably tackle some of the personal fall-out, while we were privy to some of the professional side.

Maybe it is just me, but having to sit through Shrub and his lies, so close to his administration, and so close to all the press for his fiction..........umm...I mean autobiography, was just painful and very frustrating when you know how it ends with no one getting what they deserve for it - be it the breach of trust with Plame and Wilson, or with the country about going to war.

Ruckiry (not Jon's boss), the director sticks more to the Plame-Wilsons than they do some of the logistics of it all. Some of the investigation on WMD is there, for sure - and how much of a covert agent she was is revealed. I'm sure it was in the book as well.

The guy who plays Scooter Libby looks eerily like W anyway - so that was disconcerting. But they didn't get into too much of Robert Novak and nothing of Judith Miller.

The camera work is jerky - too much so. I get they are trying to do a movie that is personal, political, and a thriller, but that and their g-ddamn kids doing nothing but interrupting all the time was a little annoying.

The acting is good, and Sean Penn has his moments, but I don't see any awards for him. I don't see Naomi Watts in much, but she can eerily look like Nicole Kidman at times. She does a better job than Penn, but there are some ok supporting players.

The theatre was smallish and it was packed. We even had to sit three rows from the screen, if we wanted to sit together.....which we did.

It was all ok, but it might be better to read the books (I might) or at least listen to the Talk of the Nation interview I hyperlinked at the beginning of this post.

Hey, it got us to a movie. There's something to be said for that.

Song by: Suzanne Vega

Monday, November 15, 2010

Send in the Clowns

New York City - no where else like it. Really.

I've mentioned that somewhere down the road Denton and I want to move to DC. But then I come back to NYC and my mind changes again. Manhattan is where I think I want to be. I really do love the city.

I have been here a few hundred times it seems and it always enthralls me and for different reasons than DC. I see myself as a visitor in both towns and never really a tourist. We don't tend to do the normal touristy things. I've been to the Statue of Liberty once (1981) and the Empire State Bldg once. I'm happy to just roam the streets and walk through the neighborhoods. And well, Central Park is one of my favourite places on earth. Amazing how you can be in there and not feel you're even near a city.

The trip up was interesting. Some guy across the aisle from me on the phone (before take off) continually saying, "I am fucked!. It got stranger from there, but I won't bore you.

We did do Broadway, because, what is a Saturday night in the city without a play. Yes, once must get near that horrid Times Square, but what are you gonna do?

As with most theaters, the seats and leg room are narrow and small. By the middle of the 2nd act, I was sure I had a DVT in my upper thigh and ass. It was so incredibly painful to sit there.....and not just because of the seating.

We saw Sondheim's A Little Night Music. I cannot say I was overly impressed.

This is the second Sondheim play I've seen and I had the same reaction - underwhelmed.

Yes, he can be a great lyricist but sometimes the overall story is just fair. I'm not a fan of farce for the most part anyway. I like the idea of Sondheim more than I actually like his work.

Elaine Stritch was the mother. She does better on 30 Rock when it comes to comedy. Tina Fey writes better lines or someone gives better direction. She couldn't really sing 30 years ago, and her vocal prowess has gotten no better from then to now. She clearly went to the Rex Harrison Vocal School. She speaks, but doesn't really carry a tune. Doesn't, because she cannot.

Bernadette Peters was ok. A little over the top, but you gotta play for those in the back rows.

The two male leads had almost identical voices. When they did sing together, it was really hard to know who was singing what part. And there were times when two, three or more people were singing at the same time - which seems to be a huge favourite thing of Sondheim. It's fine when it is done well (think West Side Story), but other times.....it's just too busy.

3+ hours this thing went on. Most of the music was just ok and I swear the only reason it got the revival nod was for the title of this post (which by the way, I don't own - so it's one of those rare occasions where the title did not come out of my music liberry).

We do not go to the theater often and I like to think of it more as an event. I abhor the people who must comment on everything as it's going on. "That's Elaine Stritch". "This is the big number!". Lord.

I had two or three favourite moments of the evening though. One was the lady next to Denton. Older, but not old old. As I said the seats were tight but this lady kind of went off on him about taking up the arm of the chair. As you know they are shared, but she seemed to believe that it was hers and hers alone. She would not let it drop even when he attempted, at first, to apologize. Since she wouldn't let it drop, neither did he and politely gave her a piece of his mind.

After intermission she exchanged seats with her daughter.

Two other people didn't come back after intermission too: Matthew Broderick and his beard wife Sarah Jessica Parker. They sat two or three rows ahead of us and left at half-time. I envied them. Oh, how I wish I could have gone.

He's looking older and a little bloaty. She is as horse-like as ever, but very demure looking as well. Maybe they came to see for themselves how bad Elaine Stritch was and needn't see anymore. Can't blame them.

As with any production now-a-days, there was a standing ovation, one that was not warranted. So often they are not, but people feel compelled to stand, clap and cheer just because.... It's no wonder that bad and mediocre "stars" are still in our midst.

One the way out, one very well-dressed older woman said, "well, that was worth waking up for..."
I'm not sure I agreed, but it's nice to know she gets out.

One of the nicer things happened at the end. Peters and Stritch stayed on stage to discuss the Broadway Cares organization, of which Peters sits on the board. It raises money for HIV/AIDS programs. Not only did they ask you to donate on your way out (I threw in $20), but the "stars" of the show were the ones at the doors collecting the money.

At least something impressed me Saturday night.

Song by: Judy Collins

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Teenage Dream

Yes, I've been traveling, so I haven't really read my blogroll religiously this last week. I certainly have not seen any of 'my stories', as I not only didn't have a free minute while travel-working, I tend never to turn on the tv in the hotel room. I wonder what housekeeping things when that remote sits in the exact same place for four day?

So Friday night I caught up on some DVR'd stuff....a few Barefoot Contessa shows (ick, white beans!), the Big Bang Theory (yay....Raiders of the Lost Ark and Wil Wheaton!). And of course, Glee.

Well, I am a gay male. It's like the new requirement for keeping your Gay Membership Card.

I haven't been thrilled with the show this year overall. There are some great lines, but not great stories. And the music has been iffy at best.

I will say the shows that are Kurt-centric are always the most substantial, and I'm not saying that because he is a gay male. They just tend to have more weight to them in terms of content than those stupid ass ones that are 'tribute' shows....which is all they seem to have anymore (and seriously - Gwenyth Paltrow next week? How many times can one show jump a shark?).

So as I peruse through some blogs I see that many others have posted this video, but I'm doing it anyway. Who knows how long it will stay up. I didn't know the song at all...I had to look it up and now I know why I didn't recognize it. Katy Perry. blech.

Perry is the equivalent of Peter Brady going through puberty and singing 'When It's Time to Change'. Her vocals jump all over the place (I'll assume purposefully, but who knows) and I don't find them appealing at all. So I turn off her music whenever it comes on. It's no wonder I have never heard the song.

So here's what I'll say about Teenage Dream. At least an all boys show choir seems to make up for her deficiencies. Whodathunk?

I don't think I like it just because the main guy in the video is so dreamy. Yes, I said it. Dreamy. Those eyes. The dark hair. Maybe I should hang up my Gay Card and just get a NAMBLA one.

Ok, he's not a boy. He's probably 28, playing 17. But he is cute.

And the Wm McKinley HS Glee Club should take a lesson from these boys. Their overproduced songs and choreography are not needed. They use it to bury so much lack of talent, it's incredible. Simple is actually better. Look at these guys.

....and I can't believe I just wrote an entire post about Glee.

Song by: the Warblers

Saturday, November 13, 2010

12 of 12

So I'm doing my ninth 12 of 12. 12 pictures taken on the 12th of the month. Since I only post once per day, you get my images the following day. All pictures taken with my iPhone.

Created by Chad Darnell (thanks Chad!) and picked up from, what I can tell, a number of random bloggers who then link back to him and vice versa. He intends 2010 to be his final year of doing this, but hopefully someone will pick it up from there. Time will tell.

07:10. Outside my office building. I actually went outside to take the picture. The parking garage is attached to my office, so I really don't have to go out in the elements, but I needed a morning pic - didn't I?

07:15. The frickin' elevators were out. I had to take the service ones. I'm not an operator, but I'm I was in the elevator anyways...permitted or not.

10:00. Out a co-worker's window. You can see part of the Federal Reserve on the left, going into the Cleveland Public Liberry. Then the taller buildings are the former BP Building, beyond that Terminal Tower and beyond that the new-ish Federal Courthouse.

11:20. Resusci Anne's head. Just "her" head. The plastic wrap made me immediately think of Laura Palmer.

12:05. Out for lunch #1. What border? Summit to Cuyahoga Counties? Are there a lot of illegals coming to Cleveland for our already 10% unemployment?

12:15. Out for lunch #2. I am so fucked if this is true!

13:05. What little of what is left of my honey dijon chicken salad. No fears - I finished it.

17:45. Casual Friday. Tshirt, jeans and tennis shoes today. And Mickey ears. Ok, I didn't wear them all day, just for the pic. I got the ears at my work-thingy earlier this week. Disney is a client - not of mine, but they were there presenting. I totally look heinous.

18:11. Not overly thrilled with satellite radio. 1,893 stations. 1,882 of them suck. Now and again you get a great song like this one. Who doesn't love 'Hairdresser of Fire'?

18:30. Dive Bar. I only went to see my friend Josh guest tend bar. He was doing it for Adoption Network. Josh is adopted. He is from Columbia (the country, not University). His parents are Jewish. I love that he's a Columbian-American-Jew. I went for one beer and to donate/tip $20 for the network. It was dark there....no good image.

19:20. Luggage. It was never put away from my trip. I'm on the way out of town again. Actually, I leave so often, the suitcase rarely goes into storage. Oh - and we have hideous carpet in the dressing room. We'll have to change that out...soon.

21:30. Sophie. I mean, I gotta have one of her.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Working for the Man

I've had better trips. I've had better days.

Eh - whatta gonna do?

Let's just say, I'm not horribly thrilled so far with the United - Continental's merger. How is it possible that in a three week time, Continentals excellent customer service has completely fallen in line with United's shitty 'we don't care about you' mentality?

If the rest of their integration went this quickly, they'd be the gold standard - I suppose. I love coming up to the gate at ORD and the agent telling me, not once, not twice, not even three times - "I can't help you". ...and this was all before she knew what I wanted, or if I wanted anything.


Don't think I didn't get her name. And don't think I won't write to someone complaining of her abilities, or lack thereof. Of course what she meant to say was, "I won't help you."

...and no longer using the Embrair jets - one of my favourites? This trip? - prop planes! PROP planes. What am I - Indiana Jones? This is the 21st century (it's gonna be much better for a girl like me), get with the program.

The meetings were long and overall meaning less other than for the purposes of team building. No free time. None. I finally skipped the last night's dinner with a few other people and we snuck out somewhere to eat - clearly we can't expense it, but it was totally worth it.

Let's see -what else.....oh yeah, you heard about the box cutter, but the fingers are healing nicely - thank you for axing. I guess it wasn't as deep as I thought (neither am I) and I have magical healing powers.

Oh, and the first night I woke up around 03:00 to a horrible horrible smell. I followed it into the bathroom (don't get to excited Torn and Mort) - there was no water in the toilet and all you could smell was sewer gas. ICK!

A few flushes later and I had water, and now smell but what the hell??? I mean, the room still stank, but it eventually dissipated.

I'm writing this the night before publishing. Actually, I'm writing it at ORD while await my flight. I cannot wait to get home. One more day in the office and then a week off. Vacation!

I'm sure I'll have to work. Those bad days I mentioned? Client related and no one can really deal with some of the stuff. But for an hour a day, I can deal with it. I think. I hope.

Song by: Roy Oribson

Thursday, November 11, 2010

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!

Sorry - I am still out of town and am dead tired and in a crabby mood, so much so I'm not looking to write and doing one of my monthly placeholders.

Dawson's lesser known, alcoholic brother, I'm assuming.

Wine labels and names have become so meaningless anymore - not that I guess they ever were, but long gone are the days of something so sophisticated sounding as Ch√Ęteau Lafite Rothschild.

It wasn't enough that Francis Ford Coppola had his own vineyard and label. No, now-a-days you get names and images of things like Plungerhead, House Wine or worse, Marilyn Merlot.

It's not necessarily that the wines are bad, it is just that you have to do some trial and error to find ones that are good - which was probably always the way, but it is hard to take a business are serious with drawing of a man with a toilet plunger on his head. That doesn't instill confidence with me. At least not enough to plunk down cash for a bottle.

But if Jacob looks like James Van Der Beek - well, then who knows......I've bought stuff for a lot less rationale.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

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 10 years old.

I'm sure most have never heard of Lori Carson. I say that a lot with many of my Classic disks. I seemingly go for the artist that is the underdog or just the under marketed. Carson is no exception.

I have no idea what prompted me to pick up her disk, where it goes, way back in 1995, but I am glad I did.

Carson had worked with the Golden Palominos off and on before that and I was always interested in them, though I can't say I was ever a fan. Their lead, Anton Fier produced this disk for Carson and at least here, they make a good team.

10 songs and 45 minutes of understated beauty. Again, it goes with the "down, but good" theme that runs through a lot of my selections - and actually most of my music choices in general.

All songs on where it goes are fairly sparsely arranged - and the tempo is pretty consistent amongst all of the tracks. Many of the songs features some strings, but not an orchestra of them - it goes back to the minimal affect. I guess you could say it is to show off Carson's vocals - and it does, but I can't say she is the most proficient singer out there. But it's honest voice and fits the mood of her lyrics.

Yes, there are some songs better than others. My favourites are "Petals", "Twisting my Words", "Through the Cracks", the title track ....oh heck, actually I like them all. I can't say that about too many albums.

Sadly, this was her best disk too....and I've bought many since. She had some very strong songs on follow-up albums, but overall those disks lacked any strength. And then I hate to say it, but the last two solo disks I bought from her were just horrid.

But just because those last two don't get A ratings, doesn't mean you shouldn't at least seek out one that does.

I'm happy that iTunes has where it goes in its catalog. It is one of those albums you can see disappearing because so few people have heard of it even back in the day, let alone picking it up to purchase electronically. If you're a CD buff, I think it is still available in that format as well.

I say at least sample it, but I think you might like it.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Handle With Care

So, as you know (probably) I'm in Chicago for work. Four fun-filled days of bonding, re-org'ing, education, indoctrination and apparently some community service.

For an hour (actually, like 39 minutes) we had assembly lines for making care packages for the troops.

I'm torn with that all. I certainly support the troops but do not support the wars. It doesn't mean the folks over there should be without toothpaste, tissues and chapstick, I guess. But we had to sit through talks of a divisional VP and some folks from the USO - everyone patting themselves on the fucking back instead of just making the g-ddamned care packages.

We did a little over 1700 in those 39 minutes. Imagine if we had the entire hour what we could have done. But it was supposedly more important to hear how great we were for doing this for the boys.........and girls.

I didn't have the glamorous job of loading the boxes or stocking anything. Noooooo.

Some poor schmuck (me) was on the team that had to break down all the boxes of stuff after the supplies were emptied. Because, what you want in your work day was to be sweaty in your dress shirt and t-shirt and then go to dinner.

Oh, and since every box had packing tape on the bottom, it was hard just to break them down without a 9/11 Box Cutter®.

The question wasn't really 'if' I'd cut myself, it was more of a 'when'.

It was about 20 minutes in. I did a nice slice across two of my knuckles.

Oddly enough, it didn't hurt. I thought I had done it, but didn't feel it. Of course a minute later I look down at a bloody hand dripping onto used cardboard. As you'd suspect, it does hurt now, but not at the moment of my Freddie Krueger knife-work.

Handle with care, indeed.

By the way, it's on my right hand, so imagine how many people have attempted (and some succeeded) in shaking my hand.

...and here you thought you'd get some canned blog post today. But hey, at least I didn't take pics of my bloody hand. Heck, you can't deal with my wart, how do you think you'd do with cuts and blood?

Song by: the Traveling Wilburys

Monday, November 08, 2010

Night Wind Sent

I'm off. Again. Or will be shortly, depending on when you're reading this.

Headed to Chicago for almost the entire work week. I get back late Thursday night.

Oh, don't get excited, it's all work. No real play, unless you include the forced Tuesday event that they're going to have us do - which last time you might remember was bowling. I wonder if I can get out of it?

There is major re-org going on. Not so much with my job, but with company structure. I will no longer be part of the small subsidiary where I currently reside, but am now being folded over into the main corporate structure. There are good and bad things that go along with this all - and I'm waiting to sort those all out.

We will see how the week goes. Almost zero free time from 07:00 through 21:00. I will have to pre-populate a few blog posts in case I don't have time or energy to write anything closer to real time. That's no fun - on any level for me.

Song by: Blondie

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Where's the Party?

Whoo, I'm off to a late start this morning. It's really 09:00 for my body clock, but an hour earlier for the actual clock. Or half of them - since we didn't reset half of the timepieces before bedtime. Ok, I'm not sure we reset any of them. My bedside clock automatically changes twice a year, as does the iPhone and the DVR.

Last night we went to a dinner party. A gay one.

Of the 70 something homes in our hood, four of them are homo homes. Three couples and one single guy. We had two other couples, but they both moved away this last summer. It's safe to say our enclave is gay friendly - or as one hottish straight daddy asked "are you guys taking over??"

Anyways, we are fairly close with one of the couples, but not so much the other. We're not unfriendly, it is just we haven't had a lot of interaction with them. They are considerably older, have lived in their house for 34 years (!) and I don't know how long they've been together before that. It is this couple who had the dinner party.

We weren't sure what we were getting into or who would be there, if anyone. As it turns out there were only 3 other people besides us - our friends from down the street and another guy whom we did not know.

Now, we have a big house. I sometimes question the space we have for just two of us - and Sophie. ...and by "sometimes", I mean "often". Ken & Ron could put at least two of our houses into theirs. Obviously, we've seen it from the outside, but have never been in.

We arrived at 19:00 and when Bill & Marty showed up, we got a tour of the house and greenhouse. The tour took at least an hour. An hour!!! At least they gave us a glass of wine before it started.

It is, without a doubt, a beautiful residence, but not one that I would want. The wood is dark - and everywhere. It seemed more funereal than it did a warm home you'd want to kick back in. Actually, there was nowhere casual just to kick back. Everything was formal.

....and it had more Tiffany and Tiffany-like glass than even Tiffany had. No, not the mall singer. I mean Louis Comfort.

Each and every room, no matter how small (and some were small!) had a minimum of three Tiffany lamps....or wall sconces. The bigger rooms could have at least double that. Again, not my style. Nor was the Tiffany-like picture windows that covered almost every single window. I'm all for sun coming through coloured glass and brightening up a room, but in some place, I like to look outdoors and see outdoors. That's just me.

I also don't want to be one of those couples who has separate bedrooms. Let alone ones what still have rotary phones and I swear, as g-d as my witness, their VCR was actually a Betamax.

The actual meal was nice - lamb, seared cherry tomatoes and what I'm thinking were escalloped potatoes. The desserts were nice too - I opted for the lemon tart, which was sour. I think Ken used preserved lemons on top of the curd - which not only added to the tartness, but provided a bite as well.

While the conversation wasn't bad, it was just a little off.

My highlight was their new puppy. Four months old, but they had only had Brody a week. He is a dandie dinmont terrier and way cuter than any Goooooogle image projects. And he was all over me.

I guess I'm glad we went, but I was happy to leave too - at midnight! I don't stay up that late. I just do not.

Now I suppose etiquette requires us to have them over. I think I'll serve Spaghettios and white bread.

Song by: Walter Egan

Saturday, November 06, 2010

My First Lover

Just one of those days. No real blog entry to be had where I don't sound like I'm stretching. But I guess a video posting is stretching. It is just more entertaining than my blabbing about my life...hopefully.

I always loved SCTV and I saw some PBS special the other day on Katherine Hepburn. Or maybe it was just about her pants. That's all they seemed to focus on - how she was a "rebel" by wearing trousers.

Then it got me thinking of an old SCTV skit with the talented Catherine O'Hara. Maybe you'll think it's funny too.

Song by: Gillian Welch

Friday, November 05, 2010

Some Bridges

Yesterday I was in West Virginia. Yeeehaw.

I say "yeehaw" like it's a southern thing. Yes, in some ways WV is the south, as it is defined that way because of where it sits in the Mason-Dixon line. But WV came into being when it broke away from Virginia during the Civil War. So they're not quite North, not quite South.

The car trip back and forth was twice as long as the actual meeting. Not unexpected.

I would like to say my travel is over, but sadly it is not. One week in Chicago starting next Monday.

The trip today was grim...weathewise, that is. Fall is falling, and Winter is upon us. It was grey as grey can be (yes, say like Ed Grimley) and while it spit rain most of the time, the last half-hour of my ride was downright icky.

In a matter of minutes, the skies went from grey to black....and not because of that pesky sun setting. Spitting turned to rain, rain turned to hail. Temps in the mid 50s went to low 40s in less than two minutes. It's true - I watched it on my big thermometer, the one that has four wheels and satellite radio.

Tonight we are scheduled to have a snow-rain mix. Allegedly no accumulation. But winter-like weather is here, even if "Winter" isn't here for another month and a half.

I'm bummed.

Song by: Jackson Browne

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Show and Tell

Ahhh.....my big day out is over.

Well, it was over at 12 noon yesterday. Kind of. I'll back up.

My big-ass presentation was yesterday, a four hour one. But it was the day before that was killing me. The week of prep time (that's all I was given) was totally consuming. The crafting, the editing, the last minute tweaks. ...and I do mean last minute.

Kinko's needed the presentation sent to them by 19:00, so they could print and bind it by 06:00 the next day. After I hit 'send', we used my electronic copy to do walk throughs, assign talking points and then practice. "We" would be the team I assembled. Subject Matter Experts, all.

I left the hotel at 22:30 where all were staying and drove 45 minutes home. In retrospect, I should have stayed at the hotel, but I didn't bring my suit. Because if you hadn't figured it out, someone had to go to Kinko's and pick up the bound presentation at 06:00. $1,796.00, thank you! Blech.

Oh, and it was 24 degrees out at 05:20 when I left home. And no, it wasn't a gym morning. Just a 45 minute drive back. At 06:15, I was at the hotel having a cup of coffee.....something I never do. I don't do coffee (unless it's ice cream), I rarely do caffeine. But I was operating on about 4.5 hrs of sleep and needed some stimulant and no one had any blow!

Overall, the presentation went fine. A few hiccups - one presenter SUCKED and he was our only third-party vendor. Some of the people we presented to just liked to gripe, so you have to navigate that.

Four hours to the minute we took. We could have gone longer. While some had immediate flights out, I took the rest of my team to lunch.

Did we get the contract? I don't know yet. I'm not sure when I'll know.

But today, I'm doing a round trip trek to West Virginia.

I SO cannot wait for vacation in one and a half weeks!

Song by: Marti Jones