Thursday, July 04, 2019

4th of July

Today is Independence Day, also called 4th of July, a day we celebrate our nation's independence from Europe with patriotic parades and cook-outs.

Last year we had several friends over for drinks and appetizers, went to watch the Doo Dah parade, came back for a cook-out, then went to see the fireworks.  It was great fun but also a lot of planning and work.

So this year we kept it simple.  Our buddies Steven & Thad came over for a snack, we watched the Doo Dah parade, we had a cook-in, and skipped the local fireworks.  Instead, we watched them on TV from the comfort of our home.
Spouse & me waiting for the Doo Dah parade to start

Monday, July 01, 2019

Mon

Over the weekend Spouse & I had a rare opportunity for a bit of a date night.  We typically eat out Fri, Sat, and Sun evenings with our buddies Steven & Thad (and occasionally a few others join in) so we welcomed this opportunity.

We went to our favorite Mexican place and I ordered a Blue Curacao Margarita that was delicious.

After a leisurely dinner and easy conversation, we went for a nice summer night drive, stopped for a few minutes at the beach to look at the water, and then watched a little TV with the pups glued to our sides. 

Friday, June 28, 2019

Monday, June 24, 2019

Sign

As I was out and about doing my real estate thing, I saw this sign in someone's yard:
While there are plenty of opportunities in life for people to make you upset, annoyed, stressed or mad, its always best to respond by being kind.

Monday, June 17, 2019

An evening with Babs

Last week I had the pleasure of spending an evening with Babs.  Yep, that's correct... Simply Barbra.

Steven Brinberg is the man behind Simply Barbra, an entertaining impersonation of Barbra Streisand. If this seems familiar to you its because this is not my first time enjoying Simply Barbra.  You can read my previous post from 2015 here.

As expected, this year's show wasn't the same as the one in 2015 so we were treated to lots of new songs and dialog between them.  I must say that while Brinberg is a man, he has an uncanny ability to sing in his falsetto and impersonate Babs.  And not only did he impersonate her voice, but also much of her signature body language and occasional 'surprise eyes'.

I thoroughly enjoyed the show and was amazed that 90 minutes had passed when she performed her final song and encore.  After the show she kindly posed for a photo with me.

Whether you're a Babs fan or simply one who appreciates talent, I highly recommend checking out Simply Barbra if you can.  Look for her tour schedule here.


Friday, June 14, 2019

Gay agenda

Here's photographic proof that it really DOES exist.  

Have a great weekend!

Monday, June 10, 2019

Yard sale update

Fri evening I loaded the remaining stuff into my SUV and could barely get the doors closed. I woke
up at 6:15 Sat morning, and was out the door by 6:30, travel coffee mug in hand.  

Although the yard sale wasn't officially to start until 8am, we knew from previous experiences that thirsty yard sale bitches will show up an hour early to get 1st dibs on the best stuff.  Sure enough, we weren't fully set up until about 7am (an hour prior to start time) and people were eagerly looking through our stuff.

Despite the volume of items I brought, none were worth much.  I had no furniture (which always sells well) and no pricey items.  The most expensive item I sold was $10.  I sold a total of $73 worth of items, all of which were under $5 except the one rug for $10.  A single guy bought our XL George Forman grill, a large electric griddle, a Turbo Cooker, and 2 partial sets of pots and pans.

But I felt a great sense of accomplishment as I cleared out so much room from the garage shelves, kitchen cabinets and bedroom closets.  

By noon the momentum was over and we were done.  I packed up what was left over and drove directly to a thrift shop where a lady pulled out what she would accept.  My next stop was my friend Paul's florist shop.  I donated back to him about a dozen flower vases that had come from his shop.  The 1 box I left had a couple odds and ends (small wicker baskets, plastic bowls, etc) and with no guilt at all I dumped into the trash can.  I figured if I couldn't sell those items for nothing at a yard sale and the thrift store didn't think they could sell them either, they weren't worth anything.  I was determined not to bring anything back into the house.

Friday, June 07, 2019

Time for Tales

So today is the eagerly-awaiting release of the Netflix mini-series "Tales of the City"!

To say that I'm excited about this would be an understatement.  I mean, this blog was named after the books which inspired this miniseries!!

While the books were originally written as newspaper columns and took place in the late 70s and 80s, this miniseries was written to be a Netflix miniseries and takes place in current time. 

The 1st book "Tales of the City" was turned into a miniseries in 1993 and shown on PBS.  The cable network Showtime took over in 1998 with the miniseries of the 2nd book "More Tales of the City", and in 2001 the 3rd book "Further Tales of the City".

Its been nearly 20 years since we've seen our favorite San Franciscans on screen.  Most of the characters who didn't die in the books are present in the new miniseries, including Mary Ann Singleton, Brian Hawkins, Michael Toliver, Anna Madrigal, and Dee Dee Halycon Day, and are played by the same actors as before with the exception of Michael.

To be clear, this is NOT a re-telling of the "tales" we've already seen.  This will be new tales set in present time, with some additional characters.

Make some popcorn, grab a drink, and prepare to binge-watch all 10 episodes.

I don't know about you but I.  Can't.  Wait!

Monday, June 03, 2019

Clearing out

Our friends Steven & Thad live in a community that has an annual yard sale that's very well attended.  Last year they unloaded a bunch of stuff so I decided I'd participate this year too.

Not that I have anything to sell that's particularly valuable.  The point is not to retire off my yard sale proceeds, but rather to get rid of unneeded items.  Clear out cabinets, clear off shelves, thin out closets.  You get the drift.

Knowing that Spouse the "collector" would likely be adverse to me attempting to sell everything that I think we don't need, I convinced him to help me go through the items in our kitchen cabinets, in the garage, and in the closets to approve or deny my suggestions of what to sell.  It worked, and he was surprisingly open to getting rid of most of the stuff I wanted to get rid off.

Of course, the yard sale is at Steven & Thad's, not at our house, so that means I'll need to haul it there. Although the yard sale is not until next Sat, I decided to load up as much as I could fit into the back of my SUV yesterday, while I had the time to do so.
Unfortunately, this is less than 1/2 of the stuff and the rear of my car was already full!

Because I use my car for driving real estate clients around I couldn't fold the back seats down to put any more stuff inside.  The rest of it had to sit in the garage and next to the side door which leads out to where my car is parked.

I actually enjoy selling stuff at yard sales.  Spouse & I used to buy lots of stuff at yard sales so I know what people are expecting to pay for someone else's used stuff:  not very much.  So I am quite realistic with my expectations of what someone will give me for my used stuff.  

I don't bother putting price tags on anything.  Its a waste of time, and if sales are slow and you wish to be negotiable you have to reduce all the tags.

No... 

I don't price anything.  When people ask how much stuff is, I ask them "How much do you want to pay for it?"  At least 50% of the time they're willing to pay as much OR MORE than what I would have asked.  I think people really like it when they suggest a price and I say "Works for me!"  And if they offer me less than what I want, I simply say "Hmm, I was thinking more like ___" and see how they react.  I certainly don't want them to walk away empty-handed over a couple bucks.

For sure my goal is to clear out unneeded items, and whatever money I make in the process is a bonus.  Look for a follow-up post with my results.

Friday, May 31, 2019

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Wed

Yesterday morning Spouse went to work at his usual time but I stayed home in the morning to visit with Chelsea & Gabe a bit more.  After some coffee and a light bite to eat they left for PA around 10am.  

I had a doctor's appointment at 11 so rather than going into the office, I responded to some work emails and such from home until the appointment, then went into the office after the appointment.

Although their visit was somewhat short, it was really nice to spend time with them!

Monday, May 27, 2019

Memorial Day

As I predicted, our Memorial Day long weekend was lots of fun, if not a bit tiring.

Ron & James and Clark arrived in town before noon but wanted to take advantage of the tax free outlet store shopping so we didn't see them right away.  Mike had an unexpected activity so he drove separately later that night.  When ready for a break from shopping, we met them for lunch, and then they finished up their shopping before finally arriving at our house.  The weather was lovely so we sat on the porch and visited.
James, Ron, Spouse, Marvin
We enjoyed a few cocktails and some snacks as we caught up on the goings on in each others' lives.  Then we went to Blackwall Hitch for dinner. I selected it because they would take a reservation. 
Clark, Ron, James
Fortunately Mike arrived in time to join us for dinner.  We all thought our food was good but pricey.  I left them to pay the bill so I could get my make-up started for the show.  The bar/performance venue was totally packed and the crowd was enthusiastic and engaged.  It was a fun show!  Afterward we walked over to the ice cream store for treat, then returned home to chat a bit before bed.

Sun morning we had coffee on the porch and then Spouse made breakfast for everyone: scrambled eggs with cheese, bacon, fruit salad, and bagels.  Sun marked Spouse & my 23rd anniversary so we had mimosas with our breakfast.  It was significantly warmer on Sun so once we'd finished eating we continued talking inside.
Ron reconnected with Marvin and Walter
Then the 4 guys went for a walk around town, ducking into some of the antique shops and such.  Spouse & I stayed home since it was hot outside and we've been in the shops so many times before. We had cocktails and snacks at home again, and then that evening the 6 of us had dinner at Iron Hill Brewery where we happened to get our favorite server Spencer who is always fun.  Everyone agreed we liked our food better and it cost less than the night before.
Spouse and James

Ron and Mike

Me and Clark

The 6 of us
After dinner we went for a walk along the boardwalk and then returned home to chat a little before bed. 

Mon morning we had coffee and more visiting on the porch.
Mike and Ron (with Marvin)

Spouse with Walter

Ron and Marvin
The guys packed and loaded their cars, and then the 6 of us had breakfast at Arenas.  It was cooler again, more like Sat, so we were able to eat outdoors.  Regretfully we said our goodbyes and they headed back to VA.

Less than an hour later my cousin's daughter Chelsea and her husband Gabe arrived.  We sat on the porch and got reconnected for awhile, then went for a walk through town, looking at all the unique homes and talking about real estate.  We had a late lunch at Nectar. The skies threatened rain, so we returned home and got into the car to continue our tour of the area.  (This was their first visit here.)  After a brief shower we decided to stop for a bite at Station on Kings.  Chelsea and I were still full from our generous lunches so we both ordered desserts, while Spouse & Gabe had dinner.  The shower had taken away the humidity and a light breeze made for a delightful evening to dine al fresco.
Gabe, Chelsea, Spouse, me
Once back at home we talked until bedtime. 

We loved having our friends and family visit us over the long holiday weekend!  But I must admit I'm a little tired. I think I will sleep well tonight.