Wednesday, March 28, 2007
I took advantage of the super weather by taking Jordan for a nice walk at lunch time. We often walk around the pond near our house, but on Tues I decided we'd walk over to Second St, the 'main street' of Lewes. I thought walking there would give me more opportunities to see/meet people. Working from home has removed much of the social element of work so I think about walking Jordan where I might encounter more people.
As we walked down Mulberry St. and rounded the corner onto Second St. Jordan decided it was as good a time as any to relieve her bowels. Unfortunately, rather than being in the grass close to the sidewalk, she was way up in the homeowners yard, near the walkway to their front door. I suppose it was my fault. If I'd kept her leash tighter she wouldn't have been able to get that far up into the home owner's yard.
Normally I am not overly concerned about where she relieves herself. Its just that Second St. is a very prestigious, desirable, and historic St. Many of the homes there are from the 1700 & 1800s, and are very expensive. Even the smallest of the few houses on Second St. will sell for over a million easily. So, although the location she chose was less than optimal, I told myself there was no need to worry about it. I always bring a plastic bag to collect her poop; we'd be gone in a few seconds. Besides, what are the chances the homeowner would even be at home, much less be outside?
Well, on that day, the chances were very high! Just as Jordan was pushing one out, the homeowner rounded the corner of the house and saw me and Jordan standing in his yard. She was pooping, and I was just standing there. I felt I should say something.
"I'm sorry. She usually goes closer to the sidewalk" I offered.
"I understand" he replied. "As long as you pick it up. You are going to pick it up?"
"Oh, of course" I responded, showing him my plastic bag covered hand. As Jordan walked away from the scene of the crime, I leaned over, picked up the poop and tied the bag closed.
"Did you get it all?" he asked suspiciously.
"Yes." I answered back. I hurried Jordan out of the man's yard as if I'd just heard that my house was on fire.
As we walked down Second St. I began wondering why the man had asked me if I'd gotten it all. Even if I'd been tempted for some reason to leave some behind, I certainly wouldn't have done that with him watching me. I just felt it was odd of him to questioned me about it, as if I were an inexperienced teenager. Then I simply chalked it up to his age. Compared to him I probably looked like a teenager.
I did learn a useful lesson from the experience: only walk Jordan down Second St. AFTER she's relieved herself in a less expensive yard.
Drag Queen name of the day: Eunice Ikle
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
I love the concept: select a bunch of DVDs from their vast library and add them to your queue, arrange the DVDs in the order in which you want to see them, change the order at any time, and Netflix will send you a DVD from your queue each time you send one back. They provide you with return envelopes with prepaid postage so you never have to worry about having stamps. There are no late fees; keep the DVD as long as you want. There are DVDs in every genre you can imagine and the library contains films you can't find at traditional video/DVD rental locations. And unlike Blockbuster, Netflix does not edit the content of the DVDs.
Netflix has a nifty feature that allows you to add 'friends' so you and your 'friends' can see the DVDs in each others' queues, read and post comments about DVDs you've already seen, and make recommendations to each other.
And speaking of recommendations, Netflix has a system by which you can rate films you've already seen, either in the cinema or via rental. Based on the films you rate highly Netflix will offer you recommendations of DVDs to add to your queue. "Since you said you really liked 'Now, Voyager', we recommend 'All About Eve'", since both of those films are classics and both starred Bette Davis. The recommendations will often recommend DVDs with the same actors, the same director, the same genre, and the same topic. The more films you rate, the better the recommendations can be.
Last night I watched 'The Night Listener', based on the book by the same title by my favorite writer Armistead Maupin. I really enjoyed the book; couldn't put it down. I enjoyed the movie too, but as I have found with other books made into movies, the movies just don't capture the depth and richness of the books. And sometimes they change big things for no apparent reason, like in 'The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood'. But I still enjoyed 'The Night Listener' and recommend that anyone who sees it also be sure to watch the bonus features.
Last Sat we watched 'The Sandpiper', starring Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. I really liked it a lot. I thought the concept of Elizabeth Taylor as a single mother who chose not to marry her baby's father to be quite controversial for 1964, the year it was made. The scenery is gorgeous too, filmed on location in Big Sur, CA. I like the fact that Netflix carries classics and older films that pre-date DVD. Most traditional video/DVD rental centers don't do that.
Drag Queen name of the day: Tara Nova
Thursday, March 22, 2007
As teens their puberty often results in feelings of confusion because they are both curious and terrified about showering in the junior high locker room. They wear their towels wrapped tightly around their wastes into the shower. These teens are often disproportionately uncomfortable there when compared to their straight classmates. This leads to feeling like an outsider.
Later when in high school they witness their classmates inviting one another to dances and to the prom. Most young GLBT folks do not have the confidence or the support from their parents to invite a same-sex date to the prom. Doing so would mean outing oneself to the entire student body and most faculty, something that would equally horrify adults twice their age. They either invite a plutonic opposite sex date or, more often, forego the entire experience. Either way they know they are not like the rest, and they continue to feel like an outsider.
Then in college when their peers are dating and having sexual experiences, young gays and lesbians again feel like outsiders because they are often not participating in these activities too, at least not openly.
When the email invitation to the company holiday party arrives many gays and lesbians fantasize about attending with a same-sex date, but few wish to think about the possible career ramifications of doing so. Instead they tell their co-workers they’ve already accepted an invitation for the same date, and then the day after the party they listen over the cubicle to hear who did, said, and wore what.
Later in life when gay people finally find someone with whom they want to share their lives, hopes, and dreams they are again confronted with being different: unable to marry like their straight friends. And when they move into suburban neighborhoods populated mostly with married couples with children, again it is drilled into their heads that they outsiders; different because they don’t have children.
It seems that at almost every milestone in life gays and lesbians are reminded that they just don’t quite fit into their straight surroundings, leaving many to feel like outsiders.
Fortunately most of us learn to adjust. We stop caring so much that we don’t fit in; we embrace our diversity and claim our right to live with our same-sex partner (even if we can’t marry them) in whatever neighborhood we want or can afford. Eventually we may casually out ourselves at work and even take our partner to the company holiday party, if we’re fairly secure in our selves and our jobs. Many gays and lesbians create comfortable lives for themselves and live happily ever after. But do they ever really shake the feeling of being an outsider? I began asking myself this question due to my own recent experiences. But first, a step backward.
In 1993 I visited Rehoboth for the first time. I had just come out and had only been dating my boyfriend for 5 weeks. He and some friends were about to spend a week’s vacation in Rehoboth, and being so absolutely smitten with me, he lamented that we would be apart for an entire week. He arranged for me to catch a ride to Rehoboth with some friends on Friday after work so we could spend the weekend together. Although that weekend is now barely more than a blur in my mind, I knew then and there that Rehoboth was a special place. I knew I’d come back some day.
In 1998 I returned to Rehoboth with my partner Joe and our friends Gene and Tracy. Tracy had a few clients with homes in Rehoboth and they generously allowed him to use them off-season. The 4 of us enjoyed walking on the boardwalk, outlet shopping, and eating in many of the fine Rehoboth restaurants. We saw 2 films at the very 1st annual Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival without advance ticket purchase. (You know that doesn’t happen nowadays.) Gene and Tracy spoke of a desire to own a place here, which we completely understood. We returned to Rehoboth several times in the off-season with them.
In 2000 another friend, Susan told us she’d bought a vintage mobile home in Lewes, and invited us to stay there anytime. I knew Lewes was near Rehoboth but had never been there. We stayed in Susan’s ‘little trailer that time forgot’ and fell in love with it. Two years later when she decided to sell it, we bought the little trailer and looked forward to reading Letters from CAMP Rehoboth during our monthly visits to Lewes and Rehoboth. In 2004 we sold the trailer to another couple who equally appreciated its vintage charm, and purchased a townhouse in Lewes, continuing to spend at least one weekend every month there off season, and almost every weekend during season.
It was then that Joe & I began talking about the possibility of living here full-time. We thought of it like the realization of a dream. We love being close to the water, the slightly slower pace of life here, and the charm of Rehoboth and Lewes. But both of us had jobs that tied us to the DC area. What would we do for work here? We loved our house. Would we be able to find something we liked as much here? Could we leave behind all of our friends and family and once again become ‘outsiders’? We pondered these questions for well over a year.
In Feb of 2006 Joe decided to quit his job and try self-employment. Not long after that I learned that my company planned not to renew the lease on the office space that I shared with 2 colleagues. The company was planning to ask us to set up home offices. Suddenly both Joe and I were no longer tied to the DC area. We decided it was the right time, professionally and personally, to make our move. Rather than continue his self-employment, Joe got a good job working for the State of DE and moved into the townhouse in Lewes so he could start his new job. I stayed behind until our house got rented, and then we both moved into a new house in downtown Lewes in January.
So, now here we are: full-time residents who barely know anyone; ‘outsiders’ to the small and close-knit communities of Rehoboth Beach and Lewes. We still read Letters from CAMP Rehoboth religously and dream of the day when we’ll feel like locals who belong here. It’ll just take some time. In the meantime we’re meeting our neighbors, looking to get involved in community activities, and just being open to whatever new and unexpected opportunities we may find. We’re sure that one day we’ll outgrow that curious and frightened 12 year old in the locker room, and eventually become comfortable enough to leave our towel on the bench outside the shower. Outsiders no more.
Drag Queen name of the day: Verna Chelly
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
- Fri evening drive to Springfield, drop off the dog at Joe’s mom’s, drive to Takoma Park for our friend John’s 40th birthday, drive back to Springfield
- Sat morning take Evelyn with us to Kerry & Hugh’s in Manassas for breakfast, followed by watching the St. Patrick’s Day parade, then drive back to Springfield
- Sat evening/night have dinner and visit with Joe’s family
- Sun morning meet Michael & Jamie for breakfast
- Sun afternoon meet Greg & Gerry for lunch
However, things didn’t go as planned. The weather in the DC area and here was crazy. In DC they had rain, sleet, and snow which crippled rush hour traffic. There was a dense fog warning for the Bay Bridge, and a reported 10-mile back-up on the eastbound side. Here in Lewes it had been raining all day and was extremely windy. So we decided not to put ourselves out there in all that mess. We stayed in and planned to leave Sat morning.
After showers, breakfast, etc we left bright and sunny Lewes in the Suburban. About 10 miles up the road we began noticing an unusual sound coming from the engine. About 5 miles later it seemed to be getting louder. After a short discussion we decided to return home. The noise got louder as we drove back to Lewes, so we felt justified (instead of like sissies) for returning home. We thought about switching to one of the other cars, but realized Joe’s car has an expired Jan VA state inspection sticker on it. (We’ve not yet switched our driver’s licenses and vehicle registrations over to DE.) The passenger side door of my car needs to be fixed and can not be opened at this time. So despite having 3 vehicles, none of them were in suitable condition for the trip. So we called everyone with whom we had plans and cancelled.
Determined not to waste the weekend, we decided to do a little shopping. We returned a small product at Lowes and did some price comparing. Then we bought a new shower curtain for our bathroom at Springmaid Wamsutta (I love that store), had lunch at Mr. P’s, and then went grocery shopping.
After putting away the groceries Joe watched a little TV and I started hanging pictures. I hung 3 prints in the TV room, 3 pieces of original art in one of the guest bedrooms, and 3 more in the hallway outside of our bedroom.
Then I ironed the pillow cases and the lace top of the sheet for the top floor bedroom, and Joe helped me put the new bed skirt on, and make the bed with the new, freshly washed and ironed sheets. The guest bedroom looks great!
Sun morning we decided to hang the large mirror and 4 pictures in the living room. Due to the size and weight of these, we needed to drill pilot holes, sink plastic anchors, and screw in screws in order to hand them. Of course, all of that was after lots of careful measuring to ensure the mirror and pictures on the same wall were exactly the same height and distance from each other. Next we moved another mirror onto the mantel and accessorized with candles and framed photos. Then we hung 2 small pictures in the powder room; piece of cake. Then we hung 2 pictures and a clock in the breakfast room. Then I hung a key ring holder on the wall near the front door. Then to wrap up our day of productivity, we took the ‘extra’ TV and TV stand (previously used at the beach house) up to the attic along with 2 boxes of stuff, and put away some recent paperwork, mail and CDs.
It may seem repetitious that I keep documenting all of our unpacking, organizing, and decorating, but it makes me feel good to write and review all that we are accomplishing, and lessened some of the disappointment about our foiled weekend plans. Although I love organizing and decorating, most of the time I would prefer to be with family and friends... or watch a movie or surf the internet!)
Drag Queen name of the day: Sharon Aride
Friday, March 16, 2007
I arrived Mon at 6:30 and planned to spend the rest of the evening in my room. The other team members usually go out and drink in a smokey bar. But as I was about to get onto the elevator I ran into my boss who instructed me to meet everyone in the lobby at 7:30 to carpool to a restaurant for a team dinner. I did, and on the way to the restaurant one of my team members said "So, you heard the CEO got canned, right?"
"Are you kidding?" I replied in genuine shock. As it turns out, part of the reason for this sales meeting and training was to announce that the Board had relieved the CEO, and to give us a chance to meet the new acting CEO (an executive consultant). At dinner my boss told everyone about this and suggested we think about any questions we wanted to ask at the next day's meeting. But more surprises were in store.
After Tuesday's formal announcement of the sacked CEO and the introduction of the new acting CEO, we found out that the sales team structure was also changing. No one was loosing their jobs; their products and sales areas were changing. My duties, products and sales areas did not change so this part was not nearly as dramatic for me as it was for others. They were all given a choice between 2 products and sales areas, along with 24 hours to report their decision. It was also announced that additional sales positions would be filled as soon as possible.
Later that evening the team once again went out for drinks and dinner. I thought I would stay a respectable amount of time and then head back to my room but I wound up staying out with the team longer than I expected. I was actually having a good time! I'm not sure if it was because we'd all been through such a wild day, or if it was because I finally let my guard down and just went with the flow. Or maybe, it was because the former CEO wasn't there.
On Wednesday we all met one at a time with my boss and his boss to discuss our goals and comfort level with all the changes, then worked the rest of the day from that office on our 'regular' activities. I got permission to leave at 3:30 since I had a 5 hour drive to make.
Wednesday's weather was incredible. In Richmond it was 80 degrees - outrageous for March 14. I put the top down on my car and drove all the way home that way. It was glorious! I didn't run into too much bad traffic and actually made it home in less than 5 hours.
Drag Queen name of the day: Tara Wrist
Monday, March 12, 2007
We'd seen Kerry's application of 'bubble glass' film to the bathroom window in their new addition and thought it would be the perfect solution for us, too. I asked Kerry to bring some bubble glass film with her so we could apply it during their visit.
Since we had limited time I watched, listened, and learned while Kerry did the actual application. She measured the glass to be covered, cut the bubble film slightly larger than the measurements, sprayed the window and the film with water, applied the film, smoothed out the air pockets, and then trimmed the edges to fit. She applied the bubble film to 6 of our windows and I absolutely LOVE it! The top sashes are divided into 6 panes and all of them are unchanged. The lower sashes are are not divided at all - just one large pane - and that is what got the bubble film. We did the window in our bathroom, the windows on the main floor bathrooms, and the hallway windows (which face the bedroom doors).
The bubble film looks completely authentic, like the old bubble glass from the early 1900s. Since our house is a reproduction Victorian, it is really enhanced by the bubble glass look. But what I like the most is that you still get all the natural light of the window but people can't see in. I don't want curtains and blinds on every window, but Joe insists on lots of privacy so this is the perfect compromise. And even better, you can't tell from the outside that the bubble film has been applied unless the sun is shining directly on the window. (The screens partially obscure the view.) So from the outside its difficult to see which windows have been 'bubbled' and which have not. I couldn't be happier with this!
I love it when a plan comes together.
Drag Queen name of the day: Sally Putty
Friday, March 09, 2007
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Drag Queen name of the day: Faith N. Charity
Tuesday, March 06, 2007
We left Lewes at 5:00 and arrived at Joe's mom's at 7:30. We said hello, got the dog situated, and then met our friends Bugsy & Roger at the Taco House. We had a great meal (as usual) and got caught up with them. They are preparing to go on a cruise to Hawaii! I'm so jealous. I've wanted to go to Hawaii ever since I was a kid when my dad got to go for a business trip and my mom tagged along. Bugsy & Roger are coming to visit sometime after they return from their trip so we can see their photos and hear about all their adventures.
Sat morning Joe & I had coffee and visited with Joe's mom and brother Frank. Frank told us about his new job, and Evelyn told us about her plans to take a cruise to Bermuda in June. After showering we left to meet our friends Clara and Susan for lunch in Fairfax.
Susan, Clara, and I all worked for the same company years ago and although we've all moved on we still stay in touch. Wed was Clara's birthday and since she just announced she was pregnant we decided to meet for lunch. We had a great time talking, laughing, and eating. They are great friends. We were there for 3 1/2 hours!
On the way back to Springfield we stopped in Tyson's at my aunt Mary's. She gave us an English tea cart and a set of 3 nesting tables that had belonged to her and my grandmother. Mary is wanting to change her decorating style to something more contemporary so was looking to rid herself of these more traditional items. Since our living room has an eclectic design I thought they would fit in well. We had a nice little visit with Mary and then loaded the furniture into the Suburban. Mary came with us back to Evelyn's and the 4 of us went to dinner.
After dinner I dropped Joe & Evelyn off at the house, took Mary back to her place, and then headed to Freddie's to meet up with a few friends. It was karoke night so I was looking forward to singing. It was very crowded and there were lots of singers so even though I was there for 2 hours I only got to sing once. It was fun to see my friends though. While there I recognized a guy I hadn't seen in about 14 years. Oddly enough his name popped right into my head so I approached him to confirm it was him. He was surprised I remembered his name and apologized for not remembering mine. Chris and I met at the Prince William County Gay & Lesbian Association in the spring of 1993. Chris was the president/organizer of the group and I began attending some of the social events prior to 'coming out'. I gave him my email address and hope he'll stay in touch.
Sun morning Evelyn, Joe & I went to Kerry & Hugh's for breakfast and to visit. Kelly, George, and Ana and her family were there as well. We had a great time talking, laughing, and eating. (Sounds familiar...) We got back to Evelyn's around 1:00 and tried to get in touch with Joe's sister Mary. Sat night she had said she'd hook up with us after we returned from breakfast. But since her phone was busy for quite a while we decided to pack up and go home. We left at 2:00 and got home at 4:30.
After unloading the furniture from the Suburban Joe put a load of laundry in the washer and we went to the grocery store to do our weekly shopping. We had dinner at home and watched TV. We went to bed shortly after 10 but I couldn't sleep so I got up at 11:15 and watched more TV. I went back to bed at 12:30.
Drag Queen name of the day: Stella Doro
Friday, March 02, 2007
Later in the morning I looked outside and saw several birds taking a bath in a puddle of water in the street. It was so cute, I thought of taking a picture. But I wasn't sure where the camera was, and was fairly certain the birds would be finished their bath by the time I returned with the camera. But it was a cute sight to behold.
A few minutes ago I checked the weather website to find it is 60 degrees outside. March 2 and 60 degrees. But lest we get our hopes up for an early spring, the forecast for the next 5 days includes temperatures back in the normal 30s and 40s.
We're leaving in about 1/2 an hour for a weekend visit in VA.
Drag Queen name of the day: Tara Dactile
Thursday, March 01, 2007
When we were moving our stuff from the beach house to our new house we literally did not have time to sort the stuff to be donated. Everything had to be moved out of the beach house right away so it could be cleaned and made ready for its tenants. So as we've been unpacking and getting organized we've come across some furniture and other items we don't need or want. At first Joe's brother said he wanted everything, so we stacked it in a corner of the living room and waited for him to pick it up. Long story short: a month has passed and he's not called or come to pick up the stuff so I decided to donate it.
GoodWill, Salvation Army, Value Village - they're all great organization. But this time I asked local folks where I might donate items so that they go directly to people in need. Our former neighbor at the beach house is a minister and she said she would check to see if anyone she knew was in need. Another friend suggested SCAC (Sussex County AIDS Committee). They have a team of case managers who can assess the needs of their clients and put donors in touch with clients in need, so I called them too.
I'm happy to say that a dinette table and 4 chairs, a coffee table and matching end table were picked up by an SCAC referral on Wed, and a sofa, chair, and 2 twin headboards will be picked up on Mon evening by the minister's referral. Stuff in good condition that I don't need going to people who are in need. I think that's the way its supposed to work.
Drag Queen name of the day: Katie Didd