Friday, March 24, 2006

Self-employed, not Unemployed

Okay, its time to break my silence. There’s been something on my mind for the last few months that I have not blogged about, out of respect for Joe’s feelings. But now that it is no longer a secret, I can share it: Joe quit his job.

He was originally hired at his former job to build the mental health program and assist the Director. Shortly after he was hired, the Director left and he was asked to be the acting Director while a permanent one was sought. He applied and eventually got the position of Director. As time went on and as the Director he got to see in glaring detail how dysfunctional the agency was. He found himself in a position that was nothing like what he’d originally expected to be doing there. Rather than building a mental health program, he found himself as an Administrator whose hands were tied when it came to breaking out of the dysfunctional cycle of work that plagued the agency since before he arrived. He longed to be more ‘hands on’, providing psychotherapy.

Last Nov was the first time he verbalized to me his desire to quit. At that time, I was trying to sort out some changes happening with my job and company, and we were coming into the holiday season, so we decided he’d stick it out at least until the 1st of the year. This would also give him the needed time to be sure his desire to quit would last longer than the frustrations that led him to want to leave. He stayed on and didn’t mention anything to anyone about his thinking of leaving. We continued talking about the viability of his resigning, and what he would do with his time. He said he wanted to expand his current part-time psychotherapy practice into a full-time practice. After all, doing therapy is what provides him with the most satisfaction and personal reward. And set up correctly, it can be pretty lucrative, too.

I was a little concerned that he wanted to resign and go full-time with his private practice just because things weren’t going well at the agency. I thought that wasn’t good, because as quickly as things can change, it seemed to me that his reasons for wanting to resign could possibly be resolved one day. Then he may wish he’d just stuck it out a little longer. At some point in every one of our conversations I would repeat to him “How do you want to spend your time? As the Director/Administrator of an agency, going to meetings and reporting on budgets? Or as a full-time practitioner, seeing clients for therapy?” It seemed to me that there was a much bigger question that he’d not yet answered to himself, or to my satisfaction. “What if you go to work tomorrow and all of the crap has been cleared up, by some major miracle. Would you want to stay? Or would you still long to be doing therapy instead?” Initially he’d answered that he’d stay, because of the regular paycheck, lots of paid leave, and company-paid benefits. But then he finally admitted that even if things did miraculously improve at the agency, he thought he would at some point still want to leave and go into full-time private practice. “There’s your answer then.” I replied. It would still take a little more time for him to be comfortable with his decision and the idea of being self-employed.

About 2 weeks into the New Year he decided he was ready to talk to his boss about it. Since they do not work in the same building, he called her to let her know he planned to resign. They talked briefly and she asked him not to tell anyone yet; she wanted to meet with him in person and talk more about it. Her busy schedule meant waiting a full week. When she met him at his office he was able to go into more detail about his reasons for leaving. She asked him again not to tell anyone, and to give her another week to think about what he’d said and to see if she was able to do anything to alleviate his concerns. They planned to meet again the following week. She was unable to meet him in person the following week, so they spoke over the phone. She really wasn’t able to offer him anything that would lead him to believe that things would be any different in the future, so she agreed to accept his resignation. Once again, she asked him not to tell anyone until she had a chance to line up the person/people who would handle his responsibilities once he’d left.

So, by the first week of Feb he had officially tendered his resignation to his boss and HR, with an effective date of Feb 24, but was not allowed to tell his staff. Finally, about 2 weeks later his boss called an all-hands meeting and announced Joe’s decision to resign and the plans to cover his duties. It was official!

I kind of expected that we should begin immediately preparing for Joe’s new full-time practice. After all, there would be a website to design and get up on the web, additional office hours to secure, more business cards to order, private health insurance to research and obtain, networking meetings to set up, announcements to send to professional acquaintances… the list just seemed to go on and on. Joe immediately secured the additional office hours at his 2 existing locations, but I found him much less anxious to begin all the other tasks I thought we should get started on right away. He said it was difficult for him to keep going back and forth between a “closing down/wrapping things up” mentality at his day job, and the “fresh, new, positive” mentality required for his self-employment. Being a therapist himself, it seemed he should know, so I backed off. His colleagues at the agency gave him a nice send-off luncheon and his final day arrived.

The weeks since then he’s spent looking into additional cost-effective ways to advertise, deciding on the content for his website, and prioritizing his additional tasks. He decided he wanted to start 2 psychotherapy groups, one for gay men in relationships that are having trouble, and one for male-to-female (MTF) transgender folks. So far, the gay men’s group has met once and is scheduled to meet for a total of 8 sessions. He hopes to start the transgender group in April.

We recently met some new people at a dinner party and when asked what he did for a living, Joe replied with a smile: “I’m unemployed.” I quickly corrected him: “You’re self-employed, not unemployed!” The new friends looked a bit confused until Joe explained his recent resignation and the start up of his full-time practice.

Since both of us have always been employed by companies, the idea of Joe now being self-employed is a bit scary for both of us. There is, of course, the natural financial concern of being able to stay up to date with our bills and maintain the lifestyle we currently enjoy. But there’s also the unfamiliarity for him of not having a boss or a daily schedule. He can create for himself a daily schedule, of course, but unlike a regular job, there is no one to whom he must report if he doesn’t keep up. I’m sure that none of this is unusual or new; but rather the same issues that all self-employed people have dealt with. With some time I expect we’ll continue to feel more and more comfortable with this fairly big change in our lives.

There. I’ve said it. Now, it’s real.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Monday's Miracle

Shortly after Joe & I met, nearly 10 years ago, a friend introduced us to a wonderful little Mexican restaurant called the Taco House. It was a family owned and run place. Luis owned the restaurant and his sister Gloria and her husband Juan and their niece Sandra worked there too. They were very friendly and our frequent visits quickly made us 'regulars'. We met Gloria's mother, and saw Juan & Gloria's kids grow up in front of us. I would practice my very, very limited Spanish with them, and they would help me learn new words and phrases.

The restaurant was located on a block in Crystal City with a bunch of other restaurants. It was a little dark inside, with dark stained wainscoting on the walls and stucco above that. There were sombreros and serapes hanging on the walls, along with a few oil paintings of a conquistador and possibly some Mexican royalty. It certainly wouldn't win any awards for its decor, but the friendliness of the staff, the delicious food, and the very reasonable prices made it an award winner to us. The restaurant also had a covered porch for warm weather dining, something we really enjoyed.

We really got into the habit of eating at the Taco House. By habit I mean, at least once a week; sometimes more than once a week. We'd often bring friends there, when meeting up with friends for dinner and to catch up. Our friends brought their friends there, too, and would tell us how much their friends enjoyed themselves. We brought our family there for Mother's Day a few years. We had my birthday dinner there one year and it was great - me and Joe and about 14 of our friends! Since my birthday is Dec, the Taco House staff had decorated the tables with poinsettas. They brought out a few bottles of wine and a few platters of appetizers when everyone arrived - none of which showed up on our bill. As we were leaving they told us to take the poinsettas home with us! One year at Christmastime they gave us one of those Entertainment books full of coupons for area restaurants. They appreciated our business and our friendship, and we made sure to always overtip so that their kindness never caused them to lose money on us or our parties.

I recall many trips home from the beach on a Sun evening, thinking to myself how great it would be to wind up the weekend with a delicious Taco House dinner, only to have my thought train interrupted by Joe asking "How about we drop the dog off at the house and then have dinner at the Taco House?"

Then, one chilly March evening in 2004, our bliss came to a screeching halt. We had arranged to meet Liz & Robert at the Taco House, and when we arrived we saw a sign on the door that read "Closed for Repairs". We were a bit concerned about what kind of "repairs" were required that would shut down the restaurant. Restaurants hate to shut down because they lose money when they're not open. At least once a week for the next several months we drove by to see if the Taco House had re-opened yet. It hadn't. So I decided to call and see if their answering machine's outgoing message might have their anticipated re-opening date. The message simply indicated they were closed for remodeling and hoped to re-open very soon.

March turned into Spring, Spring became Summer, Summer became Fall, Fall became Winter. The Taco House was stilled closed. With a little less frequency we would still drive by to check on the status. We saw the covered porch had been totally enclosed with new windows and a new roof. That seemed to be a good sign, but we worried how a restaurant could be closed for 9 months. What happened to Gloria, Juan, and Sandra? How were they getting along without an income?

Winter became Spring, and when we drove by again one day we were devastated. The new porch enclosure had been completely torn off the front of the restaurant, and the door and window were boarded up with plywood. Then we noticed the absolute worst thing; the thing that caused our hearts to sink: the Taco House sign had been removed from the roof.

All kinds of stories swirled around in our heads. Maybe Luis had gotten in over his head with the renovations and had run out of money before completing the job. Maybe Gloria, Juan and Sandra had gotten frustrated and went to work elsewhere. Maybe some chain restaurant had given Luis an offer he couldn't refuse and had purchased the location. It seemed we'd never know for sure what happened to our friends at the Taco House, but the removal of the sign seemed like the equivalent of the Taco House's obituary.

While the renovations were still going on, we'd tried to satisfy our love for good Mexican food by visiting other places. The metro DC area has no shortage of ethnic restaurants, and we tried nearly all of the Mexican ones but couldn't find anything quite like the Taco House. Finding nothing that could compare to 'our place' made the loss even harder. Lots of our friends would suggest getting together there for dinner, and we'd have to solemnly tell them that the Taco House was no more. Joe & I truly grieved the loss.

Spring became Summer, Summer became Fall, Fall became Winter. Then about 2 weeks ago our friends Liz & Robert called us on a Fri evening. They were standing in front of the old Taco House location and said that a new restaurant had opened where the Taco House had once been. They were going to give it a try and wanted to know if we wanted to join them. We thanked them for the invitation but told them we were about to leave for the beach in a few minutes. I made a mental note that Joe & I should check out the new Mexican place when we got a chance, but deep inside knew it wouldn't be as good as the Taco House.

The following week we didn't hear from Liz & Robert about the restaurant and I sort of forgot about it. Then the Mon after that, which was this past Mon, it was unseasonably warm, about 85 degrees. I drove to and from work with the top down on my car - in March! When I got home from work Joe said "Let's take a ride over to see that new restaurant that opened where the Taco House used to be." I agreed and we headed over there. On the way I fantasized that maybe we'd see our friends Gloria, Juan, and Sandra again, but then quickly realized how ridiculous that was. Why on earth would they all be working in a new restaurant in the same spot?

When we pulled up we saw a beautiful brick patio (uncovered) where some folks were enjoying dining al fresco, and we saw the sign for the new restaurant: Cantina Mexicana. We also noticed that the front of the restaurant had been opened up. Rather than the original door and window we'd last seen boarded up, there was a wall of glass with a glass door, letting in lots of light.

When we went inside I couldn't believe my eyes! There was Juan, waiting tables! He finished writing down someone's order, looked up at us and his face lit up with a smile. "Amigo!" I said as we approached each other and hugged. "I can't believe you're here. We've missed you. Is Gloria here? And Sandy?" After we were seated Gloria came out from the kitchen and the two of them explained what had happened.

The landlord had told them they needed to update the restaurant. He wanted them to paint, get new seating, and enclose the front porch. They told him they couldn't afford to pay for all of that, so the landlord finally said they would have to improve the interior and he would take care of the exterior. They began the painting and ordered new booths and chairs, and the landlord hired someone to enclose the front porch. Unfortunately the landlord had not bothered to get a permit from the County for the construction, so when the County inspectors came by for a surprise inspection, the landlord was told to stop the construction immediately and apply for a permit. The permit was denied and the landlord was told to have the enclosed porch removed. Juan got a job painting houses during the day, and working with Gloria at another restaurant in the evenings. Their brother Luis decided to change the name of the Taco House to go with the new look, and perhaps to justify the raising of the prices. Finally in Nov of 2005 the Taco House re-opened as Cantina Mexicana - only we didn't know it. It was just before Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years so we just hadn't bothered to drive over there. Besides, we thought the Taco House was gone for good when the sign was gone.

Now the dark stained wainscoting is gone and the place has a new, lighter color scheme. The removal of the front wall which was replaced by a glass wall also contributes to the lighter feel. The new booths and chairs look much like the old ones, only the colors are lighter, and you don't 'sink' down into the booths so much anymore. The sombreros, serapes, and oil paintings are back (we were especially happy about the oil paintings, which were always our favorite decorations) but they all have a new, fresher feel to them. It felt like the same old place we'd known and loved, only lighter and brighter.

Juan brought us ENORMOUS marguaritas, and we ordered our favorite appetizer, the chicken quesadilla, followed by our favorite entrees, chipotle shrimp fajitas for me and chicken breast chipotle for Joe. We also managed to eat 2 baskets of chips while we were there. We were so happy that our favorite Mexican restaurant AND our friends were now back in our lives! I'm not sure if it was the unusually warm weather, the reunion with our Taco House friends, or that gigantic marguarita, but I felt like I'd experienced a miracle.

Although I like the new name, Cantina Mexicana, I can't quite get used to saying it. I keep catching myself still referring to it as the Taco House. I told Joe "They can name it anything they want to, but it will ALWAYS be the Taco House to me." But I think that's okay. In a way, its sort of like paying homage to its roots. (I still call Reagan National airport 'National airport'.)

We're meeting Greg & Gerry at the Taco House for dinner tonight, and we're meeting Michael & Jamie (the Newlyweds) at the Taco House for dinner tomorrow night.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Philadelphia Freedom

On Sat Joe & I picked up my aunt Mary and Joe’s mom Evelyn and headed up the highway to Philadelphia for the day.

Evelyn was born, grew up, got married, and had 3 children while living in South Philadelphia. Her husband was also born and raised in South Philly, so both of them had lots of family around. After moving to VA they returned to South Philly on many weekends to visit with their relatives.

Mary is a native Washingtonian, but dated a guy originally from South Philly for several years. During the time they dated they went to South Philly many times, so she and Evelyn were both excited about our day trip. Joe & I were most excited about the food!

Road construction and toll plaza delays made it take a little longer than expected to get there, but we arrived close to noon. Lunch time! We decided to get a Philly cheese steak at the famous Pat’s. There’s no real consensus on where to get the best Philly cheese steak. Some say Pat’s, others say Geno’s, and yet others say Tony Luke’s. We decided on Pat’s this time, mostly because we found a parking place directly in front Pat’s. (It’s nice that there seemed to be no metered parking in South Philly.) Unfortunately South Philly is kind of dirty in places.

After lunch we walked over to the ‘Italian Market’ on 9th St. There were lots of little shops and eateries along several blocks of 9th St. Evelyn & Mary both bought cheese, salami, and hard rolls, and Joe, Mary and I got Gelato (Italian ice cream). There were lots of sidewalk vendors selling fresh produce, fish and seafood, and even live chickens and quail.

After feeling confident that we’d walked off our lunch, we got back in the car with our map and began looking for landmarks and familiar places. We drove by the hospital where Evelyn was born in 1930 and the church where she was married in 1951. We drove by the house where Evelyn’s in-laws lived, and stopped at the last house where Evelyn lived before moving to VA. She and I knocked on the door and a Philipino woman looked at us through the window, but would not come to the door. So Evelyn spoke to her through the window, telling her “I used to live here.” I think the woman may have been uncomfortable with her English and still would not come to the door. Next we went to the house two doors down where Evelyn remembered her neighbor Mary had lived. She knocked on the door and spoke to Mary’s son Ross. After explaining who she was, Ross remembered her and invited us in. Mary was in a wheelchair in the living room. At 94 years old she wasn’t quite sure who Evelyn was, but she seemed happy to have a visitor. We stayed just a few minutes, but Evelyn was happy to have connected with a happy time from her past.

Next we stopped at Termini Brothers bakery. I’m not sure if I can adequately describe this experience with words. Termini Brothers looks like it has been stuck in a time warp since 1935. When you enter, you see wood and glass pastry display cases, not the metal and glass you might expect. The floor has the original tile work and the ceiling has the original pressed tin. The smell of all the goods baked on the premises was euphoric. They even had two guys in the front corner playing music! Women dressed all in white came out from behind the pastry display cases carrying stainless steel trays, lightly dusted with flour and asked us “Can I help you?” Joe & I walked through the place, eying every delectable item, asking “Oooo, what’s that?” When she identified the items, we’d say “Okay, we’ll take one of those.” Then a man came out of the back carrying a platter of samples. He offered us a very large sample of a St. Joseph’s cake. “We only make St. Joseph’s cakes one time each year, during the month of March, in honor of St. Joseph’s Day on March 19th. It’s a light pastry top and bottom with a lightly sweetened ricotta filling.” We accepted the samples and as we tasted the heavenliness I believe our eyes rolled back in our heads. We turned to our lady with the tray of goodies we’d selected and told her “We need one of those.” And of course, we had to get some authentic Italian canolis and anis pizzelles. When we felt we’d done enough damage in the place we allowed the lady with the tray to carefully place our bounty into a pastry box which she then tied with string. It was so wonderfully old-fashioned it was actually comforting to watch this. When all was said and done, we spent $46. in the bakery. We managed not to eat it all in the car on the way home, so we’re still enjoying these delicacies now.

Then we drove passed the church where Mary had gone to a wedding with her old boyfriend, and then we drove by the now vacant lot where her old boyfriend’s uncle’s house was. We don’t know if the house was destroyed by a fire or was simply torn down, but there’s just a vacant lot there now. Mary said that "Uncle Frankie" was a mobster who occasionally dressed in drag for Halloween!

Then we drove by the famous Melrose diner, but decided not to eat dinner there. We went to Tony Luke’s restaurant called Vito’s. Evelyn, Joe & I got gnocchi with meatballs, and Mary got eggplant parmesan. They were delicious but the servings were too generous, so we all took our leftovers home with us and relished in the thought of getting to eat them the next day.

After dropping off the ladies, Joe & I got home just after 11pm. It was a long day, but an enjoyable one. We got to see and experience a lot.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Dine Out for Life

‘Dine Out for Life’ is a fund raiser for Food & Friends, an organization that delivers meals to homebound people with AIDS. I used to volunteer in the kitchen at Food & Friends on Mon evenings for a few years. ‘Dine Out for Life’ is a program where restaurants in the metro DC area agree to contribute a percentage of their receipts for that night to Food & Friends. Diners have an enjoyable dinner at a restaurant, and the restaurant contributes to this worthy charity. It’s all good.

Joe & I have participated by inviting friends to join us for dinner on ‘Dine Out for Life’ night for several years. We enjoy having dinner with friends, and this is just another good excuse to do so. A few times we’ve trekked into the city and met friends at the DuPont Italian Kitchen. Last year we ate with Mike & Clark and Bugsy & Roger at Aroma, an Indian restaurant in Shirlington. We’d originally planned to eat at the Carlyle, but upon arrival found there was an approximately 90 minute wait, and the waiting area was so crowded there really wasn’t room to even stand and wait. Aroma is just down the street, there was no wait at all, and we had a lovely time. (See my blog entry from Mar 10, 2005 called ‘My Life as Carrie Bradshaw, Part II’ for details of that evening.)

Last night for ‘Dine Out for Life’ we went to Pasha Café in Cherrydale. Mike & Clark couldn’t make it, but Bugsy & Roger came and so did our friends Ron and Michael (without their respective busy partners). Pasha Café is a small restaurant with a Mediterranean/Italian/Greek menu. The food was pretty good, but not as good as the Lebanese Taverna, which has a similar menu. We had a lovely evening, catching up on each other’s lives and happenings.

Bugsy & Roger are considering a new car so we talked about Roger’s recent visit to the auto show. We all shared our horror stories of trying to buy a new car from a dealership without spending too much money and without taking 18 hours to complete the transaction. Michael is also considering another car. He really wants a convertible so the previous night he’d gone to see a ’99 Saab convertible being sold by a private seller. Michael felt the car was overpriced, likely because its owner was so emotionally attached to it. A few at our table warned Michael of reliability issues friends had reported with Saabs so I think Michael was probably more undecided after dinner than before. (Personally I still think he should consider a well-maintained, used BMW convertible.)

Joe & I hadn’t seen Bugsy & Roger in close to a year, so we were surprised to see much less of them. They’ve been on Weight Watchers and have each lost close to 40 lbs. After congratulating them and telling them how great they both looked, I confessed that Joe & I had success on Weight Watchers about 4 years ago, but gained all the weight back when we fell off the ‘Weight Watchers wagon’. They then confessed that this was their second time on WW, which made me feel better, knowing we weren’t the only ones. It also made me feel oddly hopeful that we, too, could choose to follow WW again and have success again, like they did.

Yesterday’s weather was unseasonably warm. I drove around at lunch time and drove home from work with my roof down. As we were leaving the restaurant last night we paused on the front sidewalk and commented about what a lovely evening it was. Still probably close to 60 degrees, it was an unusual but welcome March evening. We finished our conversations and said our goodbyes. Although not spoken, I silently pledged not to let much time go by before getting together again with these treasured friends.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

The Closet

Over the weekend I read this article written by Murray Archibald, published in 'Letters from Camp Rehoboth'. I thought the point about the results of being closeted was worth passing on.

The Lesson of Brokeback
by Murray Archibald

To say that I am a little obsessed with the film Brokeback Mountain would be exaggeration—but only a slight one. Like many Letters’ readers, I’m sure, this brilliant film directed by Ang Lee touched me deeply, and its stark and tragic story continued to replay in my mind for a far longer time than I usually expect, even for a film of this caliber. (As an aside, I suppose I should also confess that I’d watch almost anything with Jake Gyllenhaal in the cast, and though Steve usually agrees with me on that, even he vetoed a recent suggestion that we watch The Day After Tomorrow for the third—or maybe the fourth—time last week.)

I bring up Brokeback Mountain here because its story tells us something important about ourselves, not just as gay people but as human beings. Brokeback Mountain is the story of two men—Ennis del Mar and Jack Twist—who hide their love from the world around them and even from themselves. Ultimately it is a story about the destructive nature of life in the closet and the sickness of a society that demands it. Brokeback Mountain graphically illustrates how the closet can become to the soul like a splinter buried deep in the flesh—its pain and inflamation affecting the entire body.

Sometimes the excuse of the closet is a sense that it protects the loved ones in our lives; all too often, it simply alienates friends and family and destroys the relationships it sought to save in the first place. In truth, there is no relationship—there is no contact—when there is a closed door between human beings. The love that Jack and Ennis had for one another could not survive in the vacuum of the closet, and its eventual implosion touched and damaged all the other people close to them.

One of the great tools of a society bent on preserving the closet is silence. Silence is the closet. In a recent interview in Newsweek magazine, Ang Lee was asked, "...are you surprised that Brokeback Mountain hasn’t raised more protest from the religious right?" He responded: "I didn’t know they would take a position of deliberate quietness, so that they wouldn’t [inadvertently] promote the movie."

Change never comes about because of silence, which is one reason that conservative churches (or other institutions for that matter) don’t want open dialogue about GLBT issues. As long as they can simply point a finger and scream "sinner," they don’t have to open the closet door. To engage in a true dialogue about the differences in our beliefs—to have a true conversation with one another, person to person, human to human—necessitates the opening of the closet door. Change happens when we open doors. When we come out to our family, our family is changed. When we come out in our church, our church is changed. When we come out in our school, our school is changed. When we come out in our community, our community is changed.

I believe with all my heart that we are living the change. At times our opponents seem more vocal and organized than ever, but that is in direct proportion to our success and visibility in the world around us, and we must not be intimidated by them. The Advocate recently reported that among high school seniors in the class of 2006, 74% supported legalized same-sex marriage or civil unions—think about what those figures would have been just a few short years ago.
When we started CAMP Rehoboth 16 years ago, it was about coming out, not just as individuals, but as a community. We were responding to the need to be visible, to be heard, to become a part of the community around us. I clearly remember the first year that this magazine appeared on the streets of our town. There was both support and opposition from both straight and gay people in our community. Change can be frightful to all of us, but once we get through it, it is rarely as frightening as we imagined it would be. The same can be said for coming out of the closet—it affects us all, the individual, the family, the church, the community, the society as a whole.

The CAMP Rehoboth Community Center is about the health of our community, both gay and straight. It is about keeping the doors of the closet standing wide open—no, on second thought, it’s about removing them altogether—so that we can reach out and touch one another, neighbor to neighbor, person to person, human to human.

2006 will be an important year for the CAMP Rehoboth Community Center and we will be pushing hard all the way through the year to not only meet our goals, but to exceed them. Perhaps if Jack and Ennis even had the smallest inkling that a place like this could exist, their story would have had a very different ending.

Friday, March 03, 2006


I’m SO glad its Friday! It’s been busy at work this week and I am feeling ‘done’. Let the wild, reckless partying begin!

I’ve been eagerly watching American Idol, making my predictions for who will get voted off, and smugly watching the results shows to see my predictions come true. A few months back I was reviewing my blog and saw all of the Idol entries. Jeez, talk about overkill. So, although I am watching this season with the same eagerness as before, I will not be blogging every other minute about the show. ‘Kay, nuff said.

I saw the Mullet Man again. It was shocking. (If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, see my blog entry on June 8, 2005 entitled ‘Do you know the Mullet Man…’) There I was, just minding my own business, eating my burger and fries at Five Guys, when in the door he walked, presumably with some co-workers. Mind you, this is not an accidental mullet. His hairdresser didn’t mistakenly cut the sides a little too short and leave the back a little too long. Oh no – this in an intentional mullet. I think what makes it look even stranger and out of place is the fact that this Mullet Man is not wearing jeans, a John Deere t-shirt, or a plaid flannel shirt. No… he’s wearing a suit and tie!!! I started to wonder about the co-workers who go to lunch with him. Do they realize their own professional image could be marred by this man’s coiffure? If I worked with the Mullet Man I don’t think I’d want to be seen in public with him. Maybe that makes me shallow, I’m not sure, but I’d prefer to think it makes me selective.

We’re going to the beach this evening after work. Our friends Doug & Jim are considering buying a mobile home near the beach, and invited us to go with them to see some that are ‘open’ this weekend. “What are you doing this weekend?” is probably a question we’ve all been asked before. But I bet “Trailer shopping” is NOT a response most people have given. We’ll probably go to dinner with them Sat night too. We always have a good time with those guys!