Friday, September 28, 2007
Our friends Liz & Rob are coming for a visit this weekend, which means we will need to clean the house and make sure everything is presentable before they arrive tonight. I did some of it during my lunch break today, but still need to vacuum make the bed in the guestroom while Spouse cleans all of the bathrooms.
Tomorrow our neighbors are having a Block Party, with food, drinks, music, and a pet psychic! I'm looking forward to this annual extravaganza, as I've heard its the bomb.
Have a great weekend!
Drag Queen name of the day: Amanda Callmyown
Thursday, September 27, 2007
We knew when we bought this house that the large lot across the street would some day be developed. A few months ago we learned that the owner of the lot had gotten approval by the city of Lewes to subdivide the large lot into 5 lots. The owner would build houses on the 3 lots that face the street and would then build is own private residence on the two remaining lots that face the park and pond. Today a bulldozer began leveling the land, hence all the reverse beeps, and then it began spreading a huge dump truck load of sand.
We are not upset by the building, in fact, quite to the contrary, we like the idea of 'city' or 'in-town' living, with neighbors close by. If we had wanted a home in a rural setting we certainly could have purchased one and paid a whole lot less. But we wanted to live 'in-town' and be able to walk to restaurants, shops, businesses, and the bay.
Although, when construction is being done in your neighborhood it makes a difference when you work in an office versus working at home. When you work in an office you do not hear the construction noise that's happening at home because you are at the office. But when your office is in your home, like mine, you hear the construction noise... all... day... long. For now its just the roar of the engines of dump trucks and the beeping sound that indicates the bulldozer is in reverse. But later those will be replaced by the sounds of hammers and nail guns. With the windows closed the noise is quite tolerable. But since its prime weather for having the windows open, the noise is more noticeable.
Then there's all the dirt in the air. I remember when we lived in VA and our neighbors on the street behind us did a major remodel, I was amazed at how much dirt got tossed into the air and found its way onto our screened porch, outdoor furniture, house, and car. I'm sure the same thing will happen here, only our front porch is much bigger so there will much more space to have to clean when we want to sit outside. Sigh...
Guess I'd better get used to it, as I predict I will be hearing construction sounds and cleaning away construction dirt for the next 2-3 years. It certainly could be worse.
Drag Queen name of the day: Carrie Atorch
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Honestly, I can't see what he likes about that thin stuff. Its so thin it reminds me of the tissue paper you find inside a gift wrapped box. You can practically see through it. I'm always afraid it will tear due to its extreme thinness, allowing me to accidentally soil my hand, so I wind up using more of it than I normally would. Just the idea of that makes me shudder.
On the other hand, the soft, fluffy, quilted type gives me no such fright. I feel as if I use less of it than the thin stuff, and can do so with confidence. Plus, its so nice and soft. Its almost as if I'm caressing my bottom each time I use it. Who wouldn't love it?
So, how do we handle this toilet paper disparity, you may ask?
We buy whichever is on sale.
Drag Queen name of the day: Gail Forcewinds
Tuesday, September 25, 2007
Yesterday we finally received the lien release letter I requested 2 weeks ago and which was supposed to take just 3-5 days. I had to call again about it, and when I got off the phone and checked the mail, it had arrived. Rather than mail the letters and the duplicate title forms to the VA DMV, we decided to take the next day off and drive to the VA DMV and handle it in person. Who knows how long it would take for the forms to arrive, get processed, and for the titles to be mailed back to us.
So Spouse & I called our offices to let them know we were taking the day off and then hit the road at 7:45 this morning. It was a chilly and foggy morning, but the sun finally burned through the fog and it turned out to be a beautiful day. We arrived at the DMV at 10:30, waited an hour and 15 minutes for our number to be called, and shortly thereafter walked out of the DMV with all 3 titles in hand. Success!
Since it was almost lunch time we decided to stop in at our fave Mexican restaurant Cantina Mexicana (aka: The Taco House). We arrived just before the noon lunch rush. On Spouse's way to the restroom he saw Gloria who came out of the kitchen to say hello and give him a hug. Then she came to our table and gave me the same greeting. She thanked me sincerely for the article that appeared in the Del Ray Sun newspaper (see blog entry on ) and said she'd received several calls and in-person patrons who were happy to learn from my article that Cantina Mexicana was actually The Taco House. We had a delicious lunch consisting of their awesome chicken quesadilla appetizer followed by Tres Colores (3 different colored enchiladas with 3 different fillings) and a California burrito. YUM!!! When it was time for the check we were told our meal was "on the house". We thanked them profusely and told them we'd see them in 3 weeks, since we have plans to meet friends there on our next weekend back in DC.
We left at about 1:30 and headed back to DE. We decided we would go directly to the car dealership to sign and drop off the 2 titles for the cars we traded in, and pick up the license plate for our CRV. They had been 'holding' the plate until we gave them the titles. Unfortunately that meant we had to drive around for 2 weeks with expired temporary tags until the whole title mess was finally resolved.
Prior to our deciding to take the day off, Spouse & I had decided we'd go to Dover on Tues evening to use a store coupon that expired on Fri. So after an hour back at home, we got back in the car and drove to Dover to do our shopping. We had a coupon for 15% off our entire purchase, and we a gift card (housewarming gift) for $100. We only spent a little over $50. this time, which is fine. The gift card can be used anywhere so we'll just hang onto it. We got 2 sets of chocolate brown towels for our bathroom, a set of 500 thread count queen sheets for our bed (or a guest bed), a 5-piece set of bathroom accessories (soap dish, liquid soap dispenser, toothbrush holder, drinking cup) in ivory with a brown starfish on them, and 3 one pound bags of flavored coffee. I think we did really well!
When we left the store it was almost 8:00 so we headed toward home and thought about what to do about dinner. We decided to eat at the Milford Diner. Spouse had heard from colleagues that the food was good and very reasonably priced, which rings not 1 but 2 bells in our heads. Neither of us was starving, but knew we'd need to eat something so the diner seemed right on point. Since I learned from the waitress that they had coconut cream pie, I decided on a fried egg sandwich (with mayo & cheese) so I'd have room left for the pie. I was surprised to see fried egg sandwiches on the menu - that's such a 'diner' thing. I hadn't had one in a bazillion years but as I ate mine I was pleasantly reminded of my childhood when my family would sometimes have fried egg sandwiches for lunch on a Sat or Sun. It really took me back. And the pie was no disappointment either. We enjoyed our dinner at the diner, and got home just before 10:00, a few minutes ago. Its been a long day, but a good one.
Work out update - session 3: I did pretty well with my breathing so I wasn't yawning like a bored temp, but I got a little nauseous at the very end of my work out. I'd finished my ab work and felt really hot and flushed. I was sweating like a whore in church, and just laid on the floor for a few minutes, waiting to feel normal again. Rick says my blood pressure may have spiked from all the exercises. Not sure if there's anything I can do to prevent this from happening again, or if it will stop happening by itself as I continue to exercise regularly.
Drag Queen name of the day: Ima Freeloader
Monday, September 24, 2007
After a leisurely breakfast Sat morning the 4 of us met Rick & Nick at the Straight Eights car show in Rehoboth, an event I've been looking forward to for months. Last year Spouse & I went to this car show and loved it! Lots and lots of gay classic car owners showing off their chrome and tail fins to the adoring public. It was pure coincidence that the Newlyweds had selected this weekend to visit, and they were happy it worked out so they could attend this car show with us. We saw some real beauties, too. I took lots of photos and will try and add some to this post later, if I can get our crazy camera to work again. The weather was unexpectedly humid, and just as the car show ending, the skies opened up and it poured down raining for about 10 minutes. Then the rain stopped, the clouds parted, and the sun came back out.
After the car show Rick & Nick joined the Newlyweds and us for a late lunch at the Dirty Finger. Then we hung out for a while at home until everyone decided to take a nap. I watched TV instead. Naps make me feel disoriented when I wake up. I can't remember which day it is, and I can't get to sleep that night. So while they dozed I watched "Sell This House" and assorted home decorating shows on HGTV. Later the 4 of us had dinner at Serendipity on the Indian River, then met Rick & Nick at the cheap theatre to see "Ratatouille". As you know, I am not a fan of animated movies, but since everyone else wanted to see it, I acquiesced. It was cute; better than I expected. I just kept thinking "This would be so much better if it were a real movie and not animated." Old habits die hard I guess.
Sun we lingered over a big breakfast of banana pancakes and sausage, then decided to go to the beach. The humidity from Sat was completely gone and it was absolutely gorgeous at the beach. We got back home around 2:30 and had left-overs from the previous night's dinners for lunch. The Newlyweds packed their stuff and left just before 4:00. We called Rick & Nick and decided to go back to the beach and hang out with them since it was so beautiful outside. We stayed until 6:00. On a scale of 1-10, Sunday's weather was an 11.
Spouse & I had cereal for dinner and watched TV until bedtime. It was a very nice weekend, but it seemed to go by way too quickly. Don't they all?
Drag Queen name of the day: Angie Dextrous
Friday, September 21, 2007
And I'm still wondering. I mean, I didn't hate it, but I really didn't see what everyone is so ga-ga about. I realize its a comedy, but there were so many implausibilities and holes in the storyline that I felt like I was watching a kids' cartoon. Here's just one example:
A female character learns that her (rival) brother is explaining his black eye by claiming to have saved a drowning girl scout in the Central Park pond. She decides to 'call him on it' by setting up a press conference, complete with reporters, photographers, and a full troupe of girl scouts, where she grills him on the details of the heroic incident to his embarrassment.
How STUPID is that? Even if your brother were getting in the way of you taking over the family business, you wouldn't damage the family business' name by showing your brother to be a liar in front of the press. And, why wasn't the girl scout he claimed to have saved invited to the press conference?
I just found the show to be almost unwatchable. Its only redeeming value is the message that 'different' people are okay.
Betty is 'different' because she works at a glamor magazine, yet is far from glamorous herself and doesn't see the need to be glamorous. Betty's associate Marc (who is NOT her friend) is 'different' because he is a big flaming queen, yet no one seems to notice or they just don't care.
But by far though, the most endearing of the 'different' characters is Betty's nephew Justin who is consumed with the tiniest of details, and for whom all signs point to "future homosexual". There's something about the innocence of youth, when one has not yet learned to filter their speech and actions, that makes this character lovable.
My guess is that this show is one of only a small handful of comedies still left on TV, since the demise of 'Friends' and 'Will & Grace', so choosing to watch it is like choosing the least offensive presidential candidate to vote for. What other comedies are there? I must give props to 'The Office', which I think is the best comedy on TV right now, although '30 Rock' won the emmy. I have not seen '30 Rock' yet, but will likely be equally disappointed with it.
Too bad they don't make comedies like they used to. Remember "All in the Family"? "The Carol Burnett Show?" "The Jeffersons?" Now THOSE were comedies!
Nope, they sure don't make 'em like they used to.
Drag Queen name of the day: Grace Fully
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I got up a little later than usual, but not much, took my shower and went downstairs to make my coffee and feed/walk the dog. I just didn't feel any "gumption", as my mother would say.
So after taking Jordan for her normal walk around the block I decided to eat breakfast. Maybe that was my problem. I heated up a bowl of banana bread-flavored instant oatmeal in the microwave and ate that before starting my workday. I also had 2 cups of coffee throughout the morning.
I felt a slight bit energized from eating breakfast, but just couldn't seem to get myself in gear work-wise. I replied to a few emails, rescheduled a few things, but by and large I just putzed around on the internet most of the day which, although satisfying for the moment since I wasn't working, left me feeling guilty in the long run.
I got caught up on many of the blogs I read, forwarded some funny emails, and updated my profile on my MySpace page. I'm not sure what was wrong with me today.
Drag Queen name of the day: Ginger Vitus
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I suppose this is only of note to me because I am so unfamiliar with how to do everything. Having never worked out before I had no knowledge of what to do with all those machines, much less the fact that most of them have multiple positions for multiple exercises. This probably sounds silly to most, but as I said, I've never done this before so its all new to me. I assumed on my 2nd work out Rick would be able to say "Hug the bear" and I'd know the machine and exercise he wanted me to do. But I quickly realized I would have another night of learning the correct form and position to do these new exercises.
Being aware of my breathing and making sure to take regular, deep breaths was VERY helpful this time. I made a conscious effort to breathe, which sounds weird when you say it, and found that it really helped keep sufficient oxygen pumping to my brain, which made the work out much more comfortable. I still sweat, but I didn't yawn like Rumpelstiltskin (a sign of insufficient oxygen to the brain) like I did last week.
I'm not as stiff or sore this week as I was last week either. Mon evening we ended the work out with lots of ab work, so I'm definitely feeling that. But I'm less uncomfortable than last week. I suppose this is normal. I imagine that each week it will get easier... until Rick starts loading on the weights! I'm actually looking forward to next Monday's session.
Okay, now please be aware that I know how utterly ridiculous this sounds, but it really did happen, and this is my blog so I'm going to write it anyway.
The other day I was scratching a little itch on my arm and I became aware of feeling a muscle. It almost startled me at first. But being pleased with the idea that I could actually feel a muscle, I decided to flex my bicep to see if I could see any visible enlargement, and I thought I did. After just 2 work outs!!! 'Could it really be that visible muscle enlargement could be noticeable after 2 work outs?' I wondered to myself. Logic told me no, but I decided to tell myself yes, as it felt like a huge incentive to keep on working out. Silly, I know...
Drag Queen name of the day: Keri A Load
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Right-wing Republicans and religious fanatics are often quick to associate gays with pedophilia when statistics show that pedophiles are more often heterosexual. Yet they insist on trying to 'remove the straw' from the eyes of gays while that great big 'rafter' is sticking out of their own eyes. Read for yourself:
Federal Prosecutor Arrested In Child Sex Sting
DETROIT -- A U.S. Justice Department official has been arrested on suspicion of traveling to Detroit over the weekend to have sex with a minor.
John David R. Atchison, 53, an assistant U.S. attorney from the northern district of Florida, was arraigned in U.S. District Court in Detroit Monday afternoon.
An undercover officer posed as a mother offering her child to Atchison for sex, according to police.
He is charged with enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity.
According to authorities, Atchison made contact with a detective working undercover for the Macomb County Sheriff's department's.
The detective, acting as the child's mother, allegedly arranged a sexual encounter between Atchison and her 5-year-old daughter, police said.
In deposition, detectives said Atchison suggested the mother tell her daughter that "you found her a sweet boyfriend who will bring her presents."
The undercover detective expressed concern about physical injury to the 5-year-old girl as a result of the sexual activity. Detectives said Atchison responded, " I am always gentle and loving; not to worry, no damage ever, no rough stuff ever. I only like it soft and nice."
The undercover detective asked how Atchison can be certain of no injury. He responded, "Just gotta go slow and very easy. I've done it plenty," according to detectives.
Atchison, a member of the Florida bar association since 1984, lives in Gulf Breeze, Fla., near Pensacola.
He is president of the Gulf Breeze Sports Association, a youth athletics organization.
He described himself online as a family man. His wife is a science teacher at Gulf Breeze High School.
The Macomb County Sheriff's Department and the FBI were a part of the investigation.
Atchison remains in federal custody and a detention hearing will be held on Tuesday.
Drag Queen name of the day: Fannie Pack
Monday, September 17, 2007
On the way home Spouse asked me to help him complete the online application for a new job within the State system. Its not really in his area of specialty, but its 4 grades higher than his current grade so he feels he could learn to do it and love it for that kind of a pay raise. So, from 9:15 - 11:45 we copied and pasted paragraphs and phrases from his application for his current job into the online application for this new job. The submission deadline was 11:59pm on Fri night. I'm not kidding. Why on earth would they do that? No one in HR is going to wake up Sat morning and start reviewing all the applications, they're going to do that on Mon morning. So why not make the submission deadline 12:59pm on Sun night? Whatever. We got it done and submitted with 14 minutes to spare.
One might think, knowing us, that at 11:45 we would have gaily skipped off to bed for our compulsory 8-9 hours of slumber, but no. We promised ourselves we would do all the cooking for Sat night's cocktail party on Fri night; this decision having been made before I knew about the job application. So at 11:45 we schlepped down the stairs and into the kitchen. We made artichoke and pesto dip, sun dried tomato dip, blueberry lemon pound cake, and polenta chile squares. Of course, when the last items came out of the oven we couldn't just slip off to bed. We had to wait for them to cool before covering them. If we covered them while still hot, the baked goods would become soggy from the steam. So we watched a rerun of the Bill Maher show while the food cooled, and finally got to bed a little after 2am.
We got up at 1oam, had a light breakfast and coffee, and began a thorough house cleaning in preparation for our big cocktail party. After the cleaning was finished Spouse took a shower and I washed a slew of martini, margarita, and wine glasses. Some of them hadn't been used since we moved in so they still had finger prints from being handled during the packing and unpacking processes. We got the warming trays and serving platters out and figured out how everything would fit on the dining room table.
Then we hopped in the car and went to the DE Pride festivities, held at the Rehoboth entrance to Cape Henlopen State Park. DE Pride is a rather small Pride festival when compared to those held in Washington DC, New York City, or San Francisco. There's no parade or parties leading up to the Pride festival. However, for 6 hours you can roam amongst the vendor and informational booths, buy Pride and non-Pride paraphernalia, eat, drink, and be entertained by various performers on the stage. Most people I know manage to do all this in less than an hour. We spent 90 minutes there only because we ran into so many people we knew that we kept stopping and chatting with our friends. Its nice that our little state has a Pride festival, but I'd like it to be more like the larger ones, at least with a parade. I'm considering joining the organization that plans DE Pride so I can offer that suggestion.
Upon returning from DE Pride Spouse & I operated in 5th gear/full throttle to finish getting ready for our cocktail party. It was our 1st entertaining event in this house, and for many of the 23 guests who said they'd come it would be the 1st time they'd seen our house. We really wanted everything to be nice, clean, and pretty. No pressure!!! I was surprised how quickly the time passed as the preparations continued and as I kept adding more tasks to my mental 'to do' list. Finally at 20 minutes before the party was to start I forced myself to run upstairs to change my shirt and brush my teeth. As I was coming back downstairs at 10 minutes til, I heard the doorbell ring. The 1st guests were early and I hadn't made the pitchers of cocktails yet. Yikes!
Fortunately the 1st guests to arrive were Wayne & Stephan whom we know pretty well now. So as I was pouring the different ingredients into the pitchers I asked Stephan to stir each one and help me put the garnishes out. All the drinks were set up on the kitchen counter and peninsula. Here's what we had to drink:
- Cosmopolitans (with my secret special ingredient) with orange rind garnishes
- Appletinis (with a splash of lime juice) with marachino cherry garnishes
- Margaritas with lime wedge garnishes and blue salt
- Mojitos with mint leaf garnishes
- Beer (regular and non-alcoholic)
- Bottled water
- Soda (Coke, Diet, Sprite)
- Iced tea
- Wine (red & white)
I pushed the breakfast area table against the wall, put a white table cloth over it, and lined up all the glasses in neat linear rows, upside down. Martinis, margaritas, wine, pilsners, and tumblers. I really wanted it to look like a bar.
Here's what we had to eat:
- Hot artichoke pesto dip (home made) with crackers
- Hot sun-dried tomato dip (home made) with crackers
- Polenta chile squares (home made)
- Italian sausage bites with onions, peppers, and tomato (home made) with roles
- 3 different types of olives
- mixed nuts
- Roasted red pepper and eggplant spread with crackers
- Artichoke and spinach spread with crackers
- Sweet corn salsa with crackers
- Grilled mixed vegetable bruschetta
- Olive tapenade with crackers
- Roasted red pepper with crackers
- Blueberry lemon pound cake (home made)
The food was all on the dining room table. To help prevent everyone from standing in 1 room, we placed the food in the dining room and the drinks in kitchen, and it worked. We also had the french doors from the breakfast room open to the screened porch since it was a lovely night, and several folks enjoyed the gentle breezes. I lit several candles on the porch and in the house which, to me, is essential for night entertaining.
Our guests seemed to enjoy the food and drink as well as the conversations. Spouse & I also had a good time because we didn't have to worry about refilling the refreshments all the time, since there were only 20 guests. This freed us up to mingle with our friends and enjoy the party. Back when we used to have our big holiday parties for 75-100 guests we could only spend about 15 minutes at a time talking with friends before having to check the food and drinks for possible refills needed. This smaller party was much more relaxing, but nearly as much preparation as the big parties.
The last guests left at 11:30. Spouse & I put away the left-over food and loaded/ran the dishwasher, but left the rest of the clean up for later. After being on our feet (literally) all day we were both ready to crash at 12:30.
Drag Queen name of the day: Annie Freeze
Friday, September 14, 2007
The Del Ray Sun is a small, local paper but I found it exciting to think that my blog was 'picked up' by an editor. Quite validating.
Work out update: Last evening Spouse & I went for a walk on the boardwalk since it was such a gorgeous evening, then had 1/2 price nachos and tacos at Arena's. Today I can barely walk down the stairs! I think I may have over-exercised my legs. But in a weird kind of way, its sort of a good discomfort because it reminds me I'm doing something good for myself.
Tomorrow is DE Pride day. The festivities will take place at Gordon's Pond from 12-6pm. Spouse & I are hosting a Pride cocktail party for our friends from 7-10pm. Should be fun!
Drag Queen name of the day: Brooke Linbridge
Thursday, September 13, 2007
I made an appointment with Spouse's personal trainer (and our friend) Rick, and made him promise to take it easy on me. I explained I'd never worked out before and did NOT want to vomit, sweat, or be sore the next day. He laughed and said "Sure!"
Rick is a good trainer and really tailors the sessions to his clients' needs. Obviously, if he forced me to do too much or made it too difficult and unpleasant, I wouldn't go back. But many times he checked in with me by saying "How ya feelin'?", to which I would always respond "This is hard!"
I started with 5 minutes on the treadmill, which was a piece of cake. Since Spouse & I walk all over Lewes and Rehoboth I wasn't even out of breath after the 5 minutes. Then we moved on to the other exercises and machines. Rick was great to demonstrate the proper techniques for me since I'd never done it before.
About 1/2 way through I began to feel hot and clammy as well as a little nauseous. I told him I thought I should lie down for a few minutes. He said I appeared to be holding my breathe some of the time while working out, and likely I wasn't getting enough oxygen. So after just a few minutes I resumed the work out and paid better attention to my breathing, taking nice deep breathes and exhaling regularly. It really helped!
The work out concluded with sit-ups and 'elbows and knees', which look like one is riding an invisible bicycle while lying on one's back. When I finished I told Rick he was successful in not making me vomit, but that he'd failed in the part about not making me sweat, since I was glistening all over.
Since I've done a good bit of walking I assumed that the leg work out would affect me less and that the upper body work out would result in more soreness. But so far today, it is the exact opposite! My thigh muscles feel stiff/sore and my upper body feels like normal, which makes no sense what-so-ever to me.
I'm going back on Mon for my next session.
Drag Queen name of the day: Ophelia Payne
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I've had highlights in my hair before. When I lived in Arlington my hairdresser eventually learned how to do them the way I like. I don't like it when they put that cap on and pull the hair through with a crochet hook and color it. It doesn't get the color close enough to the root, especially for someone with hair as short as mine, and it sometimes resulted in a 'checkerboard' pattern on the sides and back. Not pretty! So I basically trained her how to 'paint' the highlights on with a comb and small paint brush.
Since moving to Lewes I didn't feel like training a new person to do my highlights the way I like them, or did I feel like paying $35.-$50. for this luxury, so a few months ago I bought a highlighting kit and did it myself. It turned out just fine! Besides, after 2 haircuts all the highlights are gone. Like I said, I wear my hair pretty short. So for about $10. I can do the highlights myself, without an appointment, after every other haircut.
Since it was summer, I thought I'd try another highlighting 'trick' I'd used before, which consists of spraying 'Sun In' on my hair a few times while at the beach. You don't get the same kind of definition as regular highlights, but it still lightens up my hair nicely. But I kept forgetting to buy the 'Sun In' at the store, so I basically had dull, lifeless looking hair for a few weeks.
Well, no more! Last night I did the self-highlighting and now I've got my blond back!
Drag Queen name of the day: Eve St. Laurent
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
I really had no idea which of the multiple boxes of paperwork contained the titles to the vehicles, or if we even possessed the titles, so I tried to weigh my options. I could spend god-knows-how-many hours searching through boxes and boxes of unfiled paperwork for documents we may or may not have, or I could go online and pay $5. each for a duplicate title from the DMV website. It didn't take long to decided.
However, when I began to follow the links on the DMV website I found that you can't really do anything other than get information unless you login using your drivers license number. Problem: a few months ago we traded in our VA drivers licenses for DE drivers licenses, so the VA drivers license number was no longer valid. Dead end. So then I scoured the website to find a phone number in the hopes of explaining my need to a real person. They obviously don't want phone calls, because I tried the number several times on several different days and always got a busy signal. No, rather than phone calls, the DMV prefers in-person visits with their personality void employees. After a week of busy signals, I stopped trying.
Then today I just got a call from the credit union where we'd borrowed the money for the CRV. The guy said the final loan papers were never returned and last week's payment had not been made. After some investigation I realized I'd accidentally misplaced the loan papers we signed a month ago in my stack of stuff to be filed. Ooops. I explained, and promised to mail the signed papers in and make the payment right away, which I did. The guy was very nice and said he was calling to find out if something just like this had happened.
Then, as if everyone were ganging up on me at once, I got a call from the dealership where we'd purchased the CRV. He asked about the titles for the 2 trade-ins. He said our temporary tags were going to expire in a few days and that they were unable to submit our tag request to the DE DMV because they hadn't gotten the trade-in titles yet. I apologized and told him I'd had terrible trouble trying to reach anyone at the VA DMV. He gave me another number to try and I promised to work on getting it resolved today.
I called the number he gave me and after waiting only 18 minutes on hold, I got a real person who genuinely seemed to want to help. That's not usually the case with the VA DMV. So I explained my need to obtain duplicate titles and my inability to use the DMV website since I no longer had a VA drivers license. She checked in her system but said she was unable to issue duplicate titles because both the vehicles had lender liens on them. I explained that both vehicles had been paid off several years ago, but she said that the lendor liens had never been removed. The only way to remove the liens was to show proof that the vehicles were paid in full, as if I had a receipt or something, or to request the lender to send a lien release letter. She promised to mail me forms to request the duplicate titles, with the instructions that once I'd received the lien release letters I should enclose them with my completed duplicate title request forms and a check for $10. and mail them all to a special DMV address.
So, I thanked her for her help and called the finance company who'd lent us the money for the Civic, which was paid off in 2003. To my surprise they were able to locate the loan immediately and agreed to mail the lien release letter right away.
Then I called the credit union who'd lent us the money for the Suburban - the very same credit union who'd call me earlier in the day wondering where in the hell were the signed loan papers! Fortunately I didn't have to speak to the same person. That might have been embarrassing. Imagine the conversation:
ME: Yeah, hi its me again, the one who never mailed back the signed loan documents for that new car.
CREDIT UNION: Oh, uh huh...
ME: You know, its really funny, but in addition to not mailing back the signed loan documents for that new car, I've also managed to not be able to find the title to that car I bought umteen years ago. Kooky, huh?
CREDIT UNION: Uh huh...
ME: Yeah, so now I need you to go back through your file of paid off loans and find mine, and then send me a letter saying its paid off. Preferably today. Kay?
CREDIT UNION: Sure. We'll get right on that.
The idea really made me feel like a big looser, so I silently vowed to go threw those boxes of paperwork before the end of this year (4 months) and get our affairs in order.
The credit union lady was unable to locate the paid off loan in the 'regular system', so she transferred me to the 'records department' where a lovely but tired-sounding woman named Vera said it would take some time to research the loan. She took my number and promised to call back when they'd located it.
So now I wait. First I wait for Vera to call back and tell me they've found the paid off loan and ask me where to mail the lien release letter. Then I wait for the lien release letters to come for both vehicles, while I simultaneously wait for the duplicate title request forms to come from the VA DMV. Once I match those up and mail them I will wait even more for them to be processed and to receive the duplicate titles in the mail. Then I'll take them to the car dealership and wait for the title and tags from the DE DMV for the new CRV. Meanwhile, as all of this waiting is going on, the tags on the CRV will have expired. Maybe this is what we deserve for waiting so long to act?
Now I know why rich people hire personal assistants.
Drag Queen name of the day: Rosa Corn
Monday, September 10, 2007
This week promises to be a full one, not work-wise, but personally. We need to go to the grocery store again to pick up all the things we forgot when we were there on Sat. We also need to clean the house again (thanks to our darling dog and cat), go to the liquor store, and make some of the party food on Thurs or Fri night so its ready for Sat's cocktail party.
This Sat is DE Pride. The festivities run from noon to 6pm, although we will not stay the entire time. We've invited about 25 people to a cocktail party from 7-10pm to celebrate Pride day. We're serving several of the Trader Joe's appetizers from last Sat and making some other food too. It should be a fun time, but I'm a little nervous since it will be the 1st time the majority of the guests will see our house. (All our previous guests have been friends from VA.) I really want everything to be clean and look nice.
Unfortunately we can't clean the house in advance because the dog and cat hair will simply have to be vacuumed up again, so I think I'll save the vacuuming for Sat morning before we go to the Pride festivities. Spouse has agreed to make a few of his other 'specialties' on Thurs or Fri night.
I also have something else to do on Wed evening; something I've not yet shared on this blog. I'm going to work out with a personal trainer.
For years I have resisted working out or joining a gym because I didn't want to 'conform' to stereotype that gay men all work out and have gym-toned bodies. Well, that and because I prefer not to sweat or be under any physical stress. I have proudly shared my fitness motto: "No pain, that's great!" I have also encouraged others who don't quite resemble Abercrombie & Fitch models to "love the skin you're in".
But... I'm 43 years old now and gravity is playing a dirty trick on me, tugging at me, pulling my muscles, skin, and fat toward the ground. I looked at myself nude in the mirror and really didn't like what I saw. In fact, I'm pretty sure a little bit of my breakfast came back up into my mouth. So I decided to enlist the assistance of a personal trainer. Naturally I chose Rick, the same trainer Spouse has been working with once a week for nearly a year. He's also a friend and I've told him I'm willing to work out with him as long as he ensures me I will not sweat or be sore... ever. He just laughed and said "Sure!". Somehow I think I'm in for trouble.
Although I do not expect to become a catalog model, hopefully the training and a healthier diet will help slow down the effects of Ol' Man Gravity, and quite possibly have a positive affect on my cholesterol, sugar, etc. Wish me luck!
Drag Queen name of the day: Melba Toast
Sunday, September 09, 2007
We slept in Sat morning until 9:30, then walked the dog, had breakfast at Bob Evans, went to the grocery store, and did a major house cleaning. We moved some furniture around in the 3rd floor TV room in preparation for hosting this month's Gay Men's Movie Night. Then we got our appetizer stuff (all purchased at Trader Joe's when we were in VA 2 weeks ago) and figured out what serving pieces we'd need. When everything was ready we both showered and then walked to Half Full for gourmet pizza. On our walk back home we found 2 neighbors on their front porches so we stopped and chatted with each of them for a few minutes. I love that about living here in Lewes!
Spouse fed and walked the dog as I began putting the appetizers onto their platters and into their bowls. The snacks had a definite international theme: artichoke antipasto, roasted red pepper spread, olive tapenade, sweet corn salsa, grilled veggies, red pepper and eggplant spread with crackers, and mixed country olives and jalapeno stuffed green olives. The movie group arrived, we snacked, then went up and watched our movie selection: "Now, Voyager!" Spouse introduced me to this film years ago and I just love it. Despite the fact that there are no 'love scenes' in this film, it is very romantic. Definitely a must-see, at least twice.
When the last of the movie friends had left, I called my friend Chris. At the beginning of the summer I was introduced to Chris at Freddie's Beach Bar, back in VA. As we were chatting we discovered we'd gone to the same high school for 2 years and had many mutual friends. Chris emailed me a few days ago to let me know he would be in Rehoboth this weekend, but since we had plans Sat & Sun, I suggested we might meet up for a drink Sat night after the movie group had left. So when I called him at 10:15 that's what we decided to do. I met Chris and his 2 friends from Baltimore at the Blue Moon and we had a swell time chatting, laughing, and enjoying our cocktails. Chris is a really sweet guy.
Sun morning our friends Paul & Steve picked us up at 9am for our day trip to Reading Terminal Market in Philadelphia. Philly is only 2 hours from Lewes. RTM was a railroad terminal that's been converted into a kind of farmers market and specialty foods shop. You can get everything from fresh produce to bees wax candles to infused olive oils to hand-made chocolates.
Our first purchase was at the renown Termini Brothers bakery. Spouse & I got a chocolate eclaire and a canoli to split. They were both fantastic - definitely the absolute best canoli in the world. Then I got fried chicken, macaroni & cheese, and greens from Delilah's. I wasn't familiar with Delilah but Steve told me that Oprah declared Delilah's mac & cheese to be "the best". It was a very tasty lunch! Spouse got a hot turkey and cranberry sauce sandwich he described as "crazy good". I shared some of my lunch with him too. Next we got ice cream from 'world famous' Bassett's. Spouse got butter almond and I got rum raisin. I thought it odd they were 'world famous' since I'd never heard of Bassett's before. But we agreed it was the creamiest ice cream we'd ever eaten; definitely worthy of its 'world famous' status. We rounded out our eating extravaganza with a pretzel, heath bar crunch cookie, and 2 rum truffles. Completely stuffed and barely able to walk to the car, we called it quits. Spouse's full tummy made it hard for him to stay awake on the trip home, but I kept the conversation going with our friends while Spouse occasionally dosed off.
When we returned home we slipped into bed for a decadent, late afternoon nap. I putzed around on the computer for a little while and Spouse watched TV. Then I went swimming in the neighbor's pool. Spouse didn't feel like it. We both had a very light dinner and Spouse returned to watching TV. Its Serious Skin Care week on HSN, dontcha know. I watched last week's 'Design Star' on demand, and will watch tonight's final challenge at 9pm. I love that show, and am hoping Kim wins.
Why is it the weekends pass so quickly?
Drag Queen name of the day: Olive Branch
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Tues morning I drove to my company's headquarters in Richmond, VA. I set some meetings and a training session in the afternoon, stayed overnight, and had more meetings and more training Wed morning. I left at 1:00 and drove home. It was a lot of time on the road (9 hours) in 2 days, but I accomplished a lot in a short time.
Gays marry in IA
Did you hear that Iowa is now permitting gay marriage? According to a story at http://www.gfn.com/channelArticle.cfm?channelDesRecordID=492:
Gay College Students Legally Wed in Des Moines
One day after an Iowa judge ruled that a state law stipulating the only legal marriages in Iowa were between a man and a woman was unconstitutional, two male college students were married in the front yard of a Des Moines residence.
The couple — Tim McQuillan and Sean Fritz, both 24 and Iowa State University students — were married this morning, after they obtained a marriage license at the Polk County recorder’s office and got a judge to sign a waiver allowing them to marry today rather than wait three days, as is required by law, according to a report in the Des Moines Register.
They were married by the Rev. Mark Stringer of First Unitarian Church in Des Moines at 10:32 a.m.
Fritz proposed to McQuillan last night when he heard Polk County Judge Robert Hanson had ruled Iowa's law forbidding gay marriage was unconstitutional. As reported by RadioIowa, Fritz went to the store and bought wedding rings last night, then got on the Internet to find the paperwork for a Polk County marriage license.
"There was a lot of double-checking everything on the Internet to make sure that we got all the paperwork filled out correctly the first time," Fritz said. "We didn't want to get refused because we messed up a 't' somewhere."
Fritz says he called McQuillan's mother in California to ask permission to marry her son. McQuillan says Fritz then got in touch with him. "He instant messaged me over the Internet that this was going on," McQuillan said. "When he picked me up around nine o'clock he proposed to me on the spot. Besides the obvious shock, I still haven't recovered. Maybe it'll set in later this week."
Iowa Family Policy Center president Chuck Hurley called the state of affairs this morning in Iowa "devastating" and "outrageous."
Blog excerpt to be printed
Last Fri I received an email request from the editor of the DelRay Sun newspaper to print one of my blog entries. It seems that my favorite Mexican restaurant Cantina Mexicana (aka: The Taco House) has resumed advertising in that paper, and the editor wants to help steer more business there. He said he found a blog entry where I wrote about the restaurant and staff and thought it would be helpful to print it in his paper.
So if you're in the Alexandria/Arlington area be on the look-out for my excerpt in the Sept 12 edition of the DelRay Sun.
Drag Queen name of the day: Maureen Core
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
Spouse came home early and the 4 of us hung out and talked for a while. The temperature and humidity were delightfully low for Aug, so we turned off the a/c and opened the windows and french doors that lead from the kitchen onto the screened porch. We enjoyed the light breezes while catching up on each others' bidniss. Then we went to the grocery store to stock up on all the necessary items required for a long, holiday weekend, then met up with Rick & Nick and a few others for our regular Fri night dinner at the Miltonian.
Sat we lingered over breakfast for quite a while, enjoying music and conversation on the porch again. We went for a walk through town, and then across the canal to the bay. The beach was full of people thrilled with the near perfect weather for doing anything outside. We went for a walk on the beach, which was rather pebbly. We joked about how our feet would be as smooth as a baby's bottom from the exfoliation from the pebbles. After lunch and showers we went to an art show and sale. Rick & Nick told us about it and we were excited that a glass artist whose work we'd seen and liked was one of the exhibitors. We ran into several of our neighbors and friends there and really enjoyed seeing the artists' work. Many of the pieces were purchased. After returning home we had cocktails and snacks, then walked to Jerry's Seafood for dinner. After dinner we watched the campy cult classic "Valley of the Dolls". What a hoot!
Sun we had another leisurely morning that included banana chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast, 2 pots of coffee, chatting, and laughing on the screened porch. Then we spent the afternoon at the beach, which was nothing less than divine. The temperature remained in the low 80s, the humidity was indecipherable, and there was a gentle breeze blowing. I challenged our friends to find something that could improve this experience but they came up empty-handed. Upon returning home we all showered and prepared to host a little cook-out. Rick & Nick, Wayne & Stephan, and Doug & Jim came over for hamburgers, hot dogs, and brats on the grill with baked beans, tortellini salad, and homemade mac 'n cheese. It took a while to get the grill nice and hot, but everything was cooked perfectly! When the sun sank low along the horizon I lit a bunch of candles that gave the screened porch a dreamy glow. It was a great night!
Mon morning was much like Sat and Sun morning: easy, tasty, relaxed, and enjoyable. Again we had a spectacular day at the beach, although it was a bit more breezy, leaving most of us with sand in every imaginable crevice. After returning to the house, showering, and packing their things, Bugs & Rog left at about 6:00. Spouse & I met Rick & Nick at 7:45 to see "The Simpsons" movie. Although I'm not a fan of most animated movies, the writing is so clever in "The Simpsons" that I couldn't help but like it.
We had an awesome weekend and I can't think of anything that could have made it better, with the exception of winning the lottery maybe.
Drag Queen name of the day: Allie Babah