Wednesday, April 30, 2008


As I signed into MySpace today I saw an ad for the Honda FCX Clarity, the first non-gasoline, hydrogen fuel cell automobile. As a 4-time Honda owner and someone keenly interested in eliminating my dependence on limited fossil fuels, I clicked on the ad which took me to Honda's new FCX Clarity's website.

I must say that I was initially thrilled to see that a non-gasoline car whose only emission is water vapor, is finally being offered. But my excitement quickly turned to disappointment when I read that CA is the only state that has hydrogen refueling stations. In fact, you have to live in Torrence, Santa Monica, or Irvine to "qualify" to lease one of these vehicles, since those are the only locations where the fuel cell vehicle can be refueled. But, at least its a step in the right direction. Or is it?

Hydrogen fuel cell vehicles aren't nearly as 'smart' an idea as fully electric vehicles. Too bad GM crushed its entire fleet of these back in the '90s. They claimed there wasn't enough demand for them, but in reality the vehicles were simply too efficient and used no gasoline, which made all of GM's buddies at the oil companies very, very angry.

But now, 10 years later, it seems everyone is trying to find ways to "go green". I'm not sure if its because they have a genuine interest in our environment, or simply because they feel its 'politically correct'. I've noticed people don't mind doing environmentally helpful things as long as its easy and doesn't require any real sacrifice or effort. They'll recycle glass, plastics, and newspapers as long as they don't have to sort them and can just drag the container out to the sidewalk on 'pick-up day'. They'll switch out a few incandescent light bulbs with fluorescent ones as long as they can buy them in bulk while shopping at the big warehouse store.

The most convincing are the ones that actually purchased gasoline-electric hybrid vehicles, even though most of these only get a few more miles per gallon of gasoline than a regular car. But at least they showed the auto manufacturers that there was indeed a demand for alternatives.

But I am still baffled by all of the people who will telecommute for work one day a week to 'help save the environment', but then drive around the other 6 days a week in their Chryslers, Dodges, and Jeeps with giant, gas-guzzling, super-polluting hemi engines!

I mean, if hybrids and fuel cell vehicles are a step in the right direction, then hemi powered vehicles are a leap in the wrong direction.

Ah, we humans... such funny animals.

I'm not recommending that everyone get rid of their gasoline powered cars just yet, but with gasoline approaching $4.00 a gallon in most areas, you'd think the economic incentive would 'fuel' the environmental incentive (pun unintended) to stop consuming and burning so much. But Americans feel entitled to their large, luxurious, gas-guzzling hemi engines. After all, this is America - the land of the free, right? Well, for now it is, but that's a whole 'nother blog entry.

Crush du Jour: Nicholas Gonzalez

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

They walk among us

A friend sent me this and I thought it was pretty funny. Enjoy!

The Walk Among Us

I was at the checkout of a K-Mart. The clerk rang up $46.64 charges. I gave her a fifty dollar bill. She gave me back $46.64. I gave the money back to her and told her that she had made a mistake in MY favor. She became indignant and informed me she was educated and knew what she was doing, and returned the money again. I gave her the money back same scenario! I departed the store with the $46.64.

I walked into a Starbucks with a buy-one-get-one-free coupon for a Grande Latte. I handed it to the girl and she looked over at a little chalkboard that said 'buy one-get one free.' 'They're already buy-one- get-one-free, ' she said, 'so I guess they're both free'. She handed me my free Lattes and I walked out the door.

One day I was walking down the beach with some friends when one of them shouted, 'Look at that dead bird!' Someone looked up at the sky and said, 'Where?'

While looking at a house, my brother asked the real estate agent which direction was north because, he explained, he didn't want the sun waking him up every morning. She asked, 'Does the sun rise in the North?' When my brother explained that the sun rises in the East, and has for sometime, she shook her head and said, 'Oh I don't keep up with all that stuff.'

I used to work in technical support for a 24/7 call center. One day I got a call from an individual who asked what hours the call center was open. I told him, 'The number you dialed is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.' He responded, 'Is that Eastern or Pacific time?' Wanting to end the call quickly, I said, 'Uh, Pacific.'

My sister has a lifesaving tool in her car designed to cut through a seat belt if she gets trapped. When I asked her where it was, thinking it was in the center console or the glove box, she said she keeps it in the trunk!

My friends and I were on a beer run and noticed that cases were discounted 10%. Since it was a big party, we bought 2 cases. The cashier multiplied 2 times 10% and gave us a 20% discount. When we tried to tell her that she was wrong, she said “you college kids always think you are smarter than us working class. Take your change and get out of the here!”

I couldn't find my luggage at the airport baggage area, so I went to the lost luggage office and told the woman there that my bags never showed up. She smiled and told me not to worry because she was a trained professional and I was in good hands. 'Now,' she asked me, has your plane arrived yet?'

While working at a pizza parlor I observed a man ordering a small pizza to go. He appeared to be alone and the cook asked him if he would like it cut into 4 pieces or 6. He thought about it for some time before responding. 'Just cut it into 4 pieces; I don't think I'm hungry enough to eat 6 pieces.'

Yep, they walk among us, they reproduce, and worst of all... THEY VOTE!

Crush du Jour: Brandon Karrer

Monday, April 28, 2008

Carlisle car show and auction

On Fri night at dinner I asked Rick if I should print the driving directions to the Carlisle car show and auction or not, since I knew he'd been there before, and he suggested printing them, so I did. The website had directions from several major east coast cities, but since we wouldn't be coming from any of them, I also printed driving directions from our town from Mapquest. And that's when I realized how long it was going to take.

Rick told me it should take about 2 1/2 hours to get there, but Mapquest said it would take 3 hours and 37 minutes. Gulp. That's 7 hours of driving for a 3 hour car show. Oh well, we'd already decided we were going, and truthfully, I was still excited despite the extra time in the car.

Despite having the website directions and the Mapquest directions, Nick said he would bring his portable GPS along too. However, despite showing a full battery when we left at 9:30 am, the GPS unit's battery went dead about an hour after later, and Nick didn't bring the cigarette lighter charger, rendering the GPS useless.

As we followed both sets of directions we realized that at one point the directions differed, one sending us north and the other sending us south on the same road. Both sets of directions reunited again a few turns later, so it simply appeared to be 2 different ways to get to the same highway. Since we were generally headed in a northwest direction, we chose the north option.

Unfortunately this put us on a 4 lane road running through a town, with lots of traffic lights and vehicles entering and exiting the road. Oh well, we took advantage of being on a secondary road and filled up the gas tank. It was easier to do it then than to have to exit the highway to do it later.

Shortly after continuing on the secondary road we saw a sea of brake lights and came to an eventual stop. One of the 2 lanes going north was closed off with cones due to non-existent road construction. Apparently PA leaves the road blocks up on the weekends even though no road work was being done on the weekend. We inched along for several miles, all the while lamenting that our 3 1/2 hour drive was going to be more like 4 hours, or possibly more. We finally freed ourselves from the back-up and continued on without incident.

The fairgrounds in Carlisle were well-marked and there seemed to be adequate parking. The weather was overcast when we started out that morning, but was nice and sunny when we arrived. I was glad I'd followed my instincts and worn shorts, since it seemed to be in the 80s and there was no shade. Wish I'd thought to bring some SPF though.

The 4 of us wandered up and down row and row of vintage cars, ooo-ing and aah-ing at the specimens in mint condition and the hard-to-find models. Since our digital camera is broken I wasn't able to take photos. However, here's a very good idea of the kinds of cars we saw.

We had a great time looking at all the great cars and getting an idea of prices, condition, and availability.

We had dinner in York, then continued our uneventful ride home. We decided to go a different route home that would avoid the secondary roads, keeping us on highways the entire time. We dropped Rick & Nick off at 9:30 pm, and we got home at 9:45 pm. It was a long day, but a fun one.

Crush du Jour: Adam Rodriguez

Friday, April 25, 2008

Friday recollections

Wed at 3:30 I hit the road for an overnighter in Richmond. My input was requested at a meeting on Thurs, so I headed to Richmond Wed afternoon.

The weather couldn't have been nicer for the road trip! It was sunny and 73 degrees, so I tossed by laptop and overnight bag in the trunk and put the roof down. The farther inland I got, the warmer it got, despite the fact that it was now evening. I had a terrific, topless drive which made me arrive at the Sheraton shortly after 8:00 in a good mood.

After checking into the hotel, I drove down the street to Famous Dave's Barbeque for dinner. I was starving. While eating my pulled pork and brisket, an 18-year old-looking, sorta cute waiter was clearing the table just vacated by his last party. Not that it bothered me or anything, but I did notice that it seemed to take him a long time to clear the table. I glanced over to see him stacking the plastic beverage glasses, one inside the other, and piling the flatware and left-over food onto the stack of platters. I continued eating, then glanced over again to see him still working on organizing the stuff from the table, as if he could only make 1 trip to get everything off the table and into the kitchen. It seemed to me he could have made 2 or 3 trips from in the time it was taking him to organize the refuse from the meal.

After what seemed like hours later, when everything was just right, he picked up the stack of platters in 1 hand and the stack of plastic beverage glasses in the other. After having taken just 1 step away from the table, a few of the platters shifted and slid off the stack, into the stack of glasses, sending everything onto the floor with a big crashing sound! I turned my head away so the poor kid didn't seem me smirk. A group at a table across the restaurant started laughing out loud at the poor boy's misfortune. Then I counted my blessings that nowhere in my somewhat less-than-illustrious career have I ever had to bus tables. Seriously. I really was grateful.

Upon returning to my hotel room I called Spouse to let him know I'd arrived safely, said goodnight, and watched the American Idol elimination show. Can I just say what a popularity contest, rather than a singing contest, this season has become? I mean, WTF? That super-lame Jason Castro was NOT in the bottom 2, yet powerhouse Carly Smithson got sent home? I'm beginning to wonder if anyone is voting besides 13-year old girls. And while I'm ranting on American Idol, can someone please tell me why Ryan Seacrest always dresses like he's going to a funeral? Every single week he has on a black suit, white shirt, and black tie. Does he think it makes him look taller? He used to dress more 'hip' in the earlier seasons. Maybe Morticia Addams is his personal stylist now.

Thurs was the big meeting, and by 'big' I mean big in importance, big in length (4 hours), and big in scope. We had a high-level meeting about the use and integration of our 4 major systems, designing how we'd like them to 'talk' to each other, and how efficiency, productivity and accuracy would be improved with these measures. I didn't realize until the meeting began that I was the representative selected from within both of the sales teams, which made me feel pretty good. The meeting was quite productive. I learned things as well as shared things, and all of us left the meeting with a positive feeling. I say this because I have participated in similar things before when employed elsewhere, and meeting participants left feeling like nothing would ever change. This was different.

I left the office at 3:00 for my 4 1/2 hour drive back home. Again the weather was ideal for convertible driving: sunny and 83 degrees. I had an awesome drive home with the sun shining on my pasty-white skin, the breeze ripping through my blond highlighted hair, and the radio blasting.

I got home at 7:30, and Spouse had dinner ready, which was great because I was starving (again). After dinner we watched "Walk Hard", a hilarious spoof on the Johnny Cash story portrayed in "Walk the Line". It was funnier than I thought it would be! We went to bed afterward, as the day had finally caught up with me.

A friend sent me this and I just had to share it. I was seriously laughing out loud! (Click on photo to enlarge.)
I'm sure it seemed like a great design years ago, but its time to change the window now!

Tomorrow Spouse & I are going with Rick & Nick to the Carlisle (PA) vintage car show/auction. I'm really excited, even though none of us will be bidding on anything, because I will get to see a lot of great vintage cars. One day I hope to own a 1959 Cadillac. Love those fins!

Crush du Jour: James Ellis

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Feeling stupid?

If you ever have one of those moments where you feel a little bit stupid, just think of these and you'll begin to feel like you're a genius.

Question: If you could live forever, would you and why?
Answer: "I would not live forever, because we should not live forever, because if we were supposed to live forever, then we would live forever, but we cannot live forever, which is why I would not live forever."
--Miss Alabama, Heather Whitestone, in the 1994 Miss USA Pagent.

"Whenever I watch TV and see those poor starving kids all over the world, I can't help but cry. I mean I'd love to be skinny like that, but not with all those flies and death and stuff."
--Mariah Carey

"Smoking kills. If you're killed, you've lost a very important part of your life."
-- Brooke Shields, during an interview to become spokesperson for federal anti-smoking campaign.

"I've never had major knee surgery on any other part of my body"
--Winston Bennett, University of Kentucky basketball forward

"Outside of the killings, Washington has one of the lowest crime rates in the country."
--Mayor Marion Barry, Washington , DC.

"That lowdown scoundrel deserves to be kicked to death by a jackass, and I'm just the one to do it."
--A congressional candidate in Texas.

"Half this game is ninety percent mental."
--Philadelphia Phillies manager, Danny Ozark

"It isn't pollution that's harming the environment. It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it."
--Al Gore, former Vice President

"I love California. I practically grew up in Phoenix."
-- Dan Quayle, former Vice President

"We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
--Lee Iacocca

"The word 'genius' isn't applicable in football. A genius is a guy like Norman Einstein."
--Joe Theisman, NFL football quarterback & sports analyst.

"We don't necessarily discriminate. We simply exclude certain types of people."
-- Colonel Gerald Wellman, ROTC Instrutor.

"Your food stamps will be stopped effective March 1992 because we received notice that you passed away. May God bless you. You may reapply if there is a change in your circumstances."
--Department of Social Services, Greenville , SC

"Traditionally, most of Australia 's imports come from overseas."
--Keppel Enderbery

"If somebody has a bad heart, they can plug this jack in at night as they go to bed and it will monitor their heart throughout the night. And the next morning, when they wake up dead, there'll be a record."
--Mark S. Fowler, FCC Chairman

Feeling smarter yet?

Crush du Jour: Aaron Eckhart

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I'm not going soft on you guys, but sometimes I like these heartwarming stories, and this one truly is amazing. In 1986 Dan Harrison was on holiday in Kenya after graduating from Northwestern University.

On a hike through the bush, he came across a young bull elephant standing with one leg raised in the air. The elephant seemed distressed, so Dan approached it very carefully.

He got down on one knee and inspected the elephant's foot and found a large piece of wood deeply embedded in it.

As carefully and as gently as he could, Dan worked the wood out with his hunting knife, after which the elephant gingerly put down its foot.

The elephant turned to face the man, and with a rather curious look on its face, stared at him for several tense moments.

Dan stood frozen, thinking of nothing else but being trampled. Eventually the elephant trumpeted loudly, turned, and walked away.

Dan never forgot that elephant or the events of that day.

Twenty years later, Dan was walking through the Chicago Zoo with his teen aged son. As they approached the elephant enclosure, one of the creatures turned and walked over to where Dan and his son Dan Jr. were standing.

The large bull elephant stared at Dan, lifted its front foot off the ground, and then put it down. The elephant did that several times then trumpeted loudly, all the while staring at the man.

Remembering the encounter in 1986, Dan couldn't help wondering if this was the same elephant.

Dan summoned up his courage, climbed over the railing and made his way into the enclosure. He walked right up to the elephant and stared back in wonder.

The elephant trumpeted again, wrapped its trunk around one of Dan's legs and slammed him against the railing, killing him instantly.

Probably wasn't the same elephant.

Crush du Jour: Charlie David

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


A friend sent me this and I laughed out loud! (Click to enlarge.)
Don't you wish this really existed?

Crush du Jour: Luke MacFarlane

Monday, April 21, 2008

What's your secret?

I had a great time at karaoke on Fri night! Freddie’s wasn’t over-crowded as it often is on Fri nights, so it was easier to move around and the karaoke list wasn’t as long. I sang “Its Too Late” by Carole King and “Mambo Italiano” by Bette Midler. My friend Greg was there and he introduced me to his friends Bob, Debbie, and Cheryl. We hung out together the whole time. My friend Sean was there too and he hung out with us part of the time. We had a blast!

As I was chatting with Cheryl she asked how long I’d been partnered. I told her it would be 12 years next month, and she congratulated me on our enduring relationship. She lamented that both times she thought her relationships were really going to last she was surprised when her girlfriends broke up with her. Then came the inevitable question: “What’s your secret?"

As I began to answer her question I couldn’t help but think that this conversation would become a blog entry. Does anyone else ever have that experience where you know right there in the moment that you will blog about whatever it is that’s happening? At first I felt a little guilty, as if I might say something better or different simply because I knew I’d be quoting myself. But in a rare moment of clarity (or was that an alcohol-induced delusion of clarity?) my thoughts seemed to organize themselves and begin to flow. I felt like I was really communicating with Cheryl.

“What’s my secret? Hmmm, I guess I’d have to say being realistic. You know, there’s no ‘perfect relationship’. You can rank potential partners against your wish list and there will probably never be one that matches completely, so you’ve got to be realistic about that. I mean, its fine to have a wish list. That will probably help you identify what’s important to you in a partner. But you should also decide which are the ‘nice-to-have’ and which are truly important things on the list and really look for the truly important ones in a partner. The nice-to-haves will be the icing on the cake.

“For instance, my partner really makes me laugh. He’s clever, smart, and funny, and that combination is really important to me. Now, I’d also like a partner who’s neat and tidy, too, but I think of neat and tidy as a ‘nice-to-have’. I didn’t discard him because I couldn’t check the box next to “neat and tidy” on my wish list. He matched the truly important elements so I decided I could compromise on the neat and tidy.

“Which brings me to another part of my ‘secret’: compromise. Unless you find a clone of yourself, your partner is not going to like everything you like, and vise-versa, so you’re both going to have to compromise from time to time. Just be careful and try to keep the compromising balanced, so that neither of you feels like you’re always the one to compromise. Taking turns works for us. I watch a show he likes for an hour, and then he watches a show I like for an hour. You get the picture.

“Then there’s being willing to say you’re sorry. Do you remember that line from the movie 'Love Story' with Ryan O’Neal and Ali MacGraw: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”? You don’t? Oh, never mind… you probably weren’t born yet. Anyway, that’s bullshit. Being in love means that you will definitely have to say you’re sorry at some point or another. Everybody says stuff they don’t mean in the heat of an argument, and you’ve got to be willing to say you’re sorry, even when it’s not your fault. Sometimes it’s just what they need to hear.

Suddenly I realized I’d been talking for several minutes, and had likely thoroughly answered her question by now, which might have been meant to be rhetorical in the first place. But I was glad that Cheryl’s response seemed to indicate an appreciation for my sage wisdom. “Wow, that’s great. Be realistic, be willing to compromise, and be willing to apologize. You know, I’m really going to try and remember this” she said sincerely.

I smiled and wished her good luck in her current, new relationship. For a second I thought about suggesting we exchange email addresses so I could keep abreast of how Cheryl’s relationship was going, but quickly decided against it.

Who am I, Deeprak Chopra?’ I asked myself silently. ‘What makes me qualified to dispense relationship advice?

But then I decided that being in a successful 12-year relationship, for which there were no role models nor legal recognition, did give me at least the feeling that I had something worthwhile to share: my experience. So although I have no 4-year counseling degree, I decided that my 12-years relationship experience made up for it, much like it does when applying for a job.

“Bachelors degree or equivalent experience.”

Crush du Jour: Bob Harper

Friday, April 18, 2008

Weekend plans

Today is an absolutely stellar day! The sun is shining brightly, there's a very light breeze, and its 82 degrees. Can't get much better than that. I took a little ride with the top down on my lunch break just to celebrate.

We won't be having our regular Fri night dinner with the 'usual suspects' tonight because we'll be driving back to VA to spend the weekend with family and friends. After dropping off Spouse and the dog at Spouse's mom's house (that's where we stay when we visit), I'm going to go sing karaoke at Freddie's and hang out with some friends.

Sat morning we are meeting the Newlyweds for breakfast at 9:30, then visiting with Joe's mom some more, then visiting our friends Liz & Robert in the early afternoon, then hanging out with Kerry, Hugh, Ana, Jose, Alex, Nate, and Kelly that night.

Sun we'll spend more time with Spouse's mom and hopefully get a visit with his sister and her kids as well. Then we'll head home in the afternoon and likely go grocery shopping, one of my least favorite things to do, but a necessary one none-the-less.

Wishing everyone a great weekend!

Crush du Jour: Luca di Corso

Thursday, April 17, 2008

"There he is"

You may recall from this post that Spouse now refers to Scott, the Ledo's Pizza waiter, as my 'boyfriend although he doesn't know it yet'. This is fine, as we both make little comments now and then about each other's secret boyfriends, knowing its all just harmless kidding.

Last evening Spouse was in the mood for pizza so we decided to go to Ledo's. I really wasn't expecting to see Scott there, as I assumed he worked at his other waiter job at night and just worked at Ledo's during the day, but when we walked in the door he was standing right there.

"There he is," I said. Why in the world would I say that? I don't know, I really don't. I guess the Sagittarius in me who likes to put his foot in my mouth simply took over. "There he is" seems to convey the idea that we'd been thinking and talking about him, which is definitely not the idea I was trying to convey.

Scott smiled politely and replied "Hey guys." It was the same sort of distant but polite greeting you'd give to a family of 4 who had just been seated in your section, not the greeting you'd give to the guys with whom you'd shared so much of your self just weeks ago.

Desperate to try and recover from the stupidity of "There he is", I said to Scott "Hey, we went to Pig & Fish (the other restaurant where Scott works) on Sunday with friends for dinner, and he (pointing to Spouse) had the salmon and the bread pudding you said were your favorites."

Okay, that did not help. Now I sound like I'm trying to match Scott up with Spouse, showing that Spouse took Scott's menu recommendations to heart. It seemed everything I said came out wrong.

Scott smiled politely again, then looked at Spouse and asked "Oh, really? How did you like them?" to which Spouse replied "I liked them both a lot." I was grateful the conversation had shifted and did not require me to say anything (wrong) for a few seconds.

Once we'd been seated in a booth, Scott came to our table and announced he would be our server and asked what we'd like to drink. We gave him our beverage order and he disappeared while we looked at the menu. When he returned with our drinks we ordered our food, and Scott walked over to the computer terminal and entered our order for the kitchen.

At this point on our previous visit, Scott returned to our table and talked to us at great length. We learned he was from northern VA as we are, that he'd spent many summers at his relative's beach house here in DE, and that after graduation he began living in one of the many campgrounds until the weather got too cold and the campground turned off the water. He and a friend had moved to an apartment in another town. He told us he worked nights at Pig & Fish, and described his favorite entree and dessert, which sounded so good that they prompted Spouse to order them when we went there. He was delightfully innocent as he spilled his guts to us.

This time it was quite different. After entering our order into the computer, Scott disappeared into the kitchen, filled in condiments on empty tables, and chatted with other servers. He spent no time at our table at all, causing me to wonder "Where did the love go?" He wasn't rude or snarky or anything like that, he just wasn't the same open, sharing, delightful young man we experienced the last time.

He brought our food and got Spouse a drink refill, then left us to eat. Spouse & I quietly discussed the very different way he was responding to us and Spouse kidded me about my "There he is" comment. Playing along I asked Spouse "Do you think that ruined it for us? Do you think its... over?"

We finished our dinner with no more interaction with Scott until he asked if we were ready for the check. We paid using our debit card and when Scott returned with the card and reciept for me to sign, he simply said "Thanks for coming in." The last time he had said "Come back and see me again." A subtle difference to most; a slap in the face to me.

After getting into the car Spouse & I further discussed Scott's distant but polite demeanor. I suggested that perhaps our Fri night dinner group's recent visit there might have had something to do with it.

A week and 1/2 ago our Fri night dinner group (made up of 14 gay men) had dinner at Ledo's. Earlier Spouse had told our friend Rick about our 1st visit there and about Scott, my 'boyfriend although he doesn't know it yet'. When Rick sat down he said "So where's the young gay waiter?" I shot him daggers from my eyes and whispered "He's not here tonight, and we don't know if he's gay or not."

In the car I asked Spouse if he thought our waitress that night might have overheard Rick's comment and told Scott about it. Spouse doubted the waitress had heard, and even if she did, that she would have known Rick was referring to Scott. With that aside, I had another disquieting thought.

When we went to Pig & Fish with our friends John & Marty on Sunday, we asked the hostess if Scott was working. She said no, and I responded "No problem. A table for 4 please." When our handsome gay waiter David introduced himself at our table he joked "I know I'm playing 2nd fiddle for Scott this evening..." to which the 4 of us responded with laughter. Obviously the hostess told David we had asked for Scott, which I thought was odd.

David was a delightful waiter who really took good care of us, but he never missed an opportunity to make a reference to Scott. This made me wonder if the hostess or David might have told Scott that we'd asked for him at Pig & Fish, making our appearance at Ledo's just 2 days later seem like we were stalking him!

Obviously there is no way to know for sure if the waitress overheard Rick's comment and told Scott, or if the hostess and/or David told Scott we'd asked for him at the other restaurant, so I am not going to worry about it. However, I am still curious about why he was so open and forthcoming with his personal information the 1st time, and then distant (though polite) the 2nd time.

I fear it may no longer be appropriate to refer to him as my 'boyfriend although he doesn't know it yet'.

Crush du Jour: Daniel Bruehl

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Special birthday

This week we celebrate a special birthday, that of the infamous Monica Lewinsky, who turned 34.

I know, I can't believe it either. It seems like only yesterday she was crawling around the White House on her hands and knees, and putting everything in her mouth.

They grow up so fast, don't they?

Crush du Jour: Matthew Fox

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Wow, I left the house in the car 3 times today! Since I work from home, many days I only leave the house on foot to walk the dog. But today I drove the car 3 times.

This morning I went to the bank to make a deposit before starting work. Then just before noon the package from our accountant arrived with our tax returns in it, so I signed them, attached the W2s, sealed them, and left the house again for the post office.

One of the things I absolutely LOVE about in living in a very small town is that on April 15th, the tax filing deadline, I could go to the post office and mail my returns in under 5 minutes. If I tried to do that back in Northern VA, there would literally be a line outside the post office, and a line snaking through the lobby, with at least an hour's wait. So I got our tax returns postmarked and into the mail. Now I can hardly wait for our refund checks!

I returned home and finished my day's work. When Spouse came home he suggested we go to Home Depot to look at plants so I left the house in the car for the 3rd time.

We have a gift card for Home Depot, and our friend John gave us some good suggestions for plants that are suitable to our sun and soil. Unfortunately Home Depot had a very poor selection, so we went to Lowes where we found all kinds of good stuff. It figures the place where we had the $100. gift card would have nothing, and the place where we had no gift card would have all the stuff we were looking for. I wish there was some way to convert that Home Depot gift card into a Lowes gift card.

Spouse really loves roses so we looked at shrub roses. They grow more like a shrub or bush and not like the long stem varieties. I'm not nearly the fan of roses that Spouse is, but I agreed to buy 8 pink shrub rose bushes tonight because I understand that roses will look great with our Victorian style house.

Neither Spouse nor I are gardeners. Fortunately we don't have to be as long as we stick with the low- and no-maintenance plantings suggested by our friend John. These roses will need to be trimmed once or twice a year and that's it. Eventually the bushes will grown into each other, creating a hedge of roses. Hopefully we can figure out how often to water them so we don't water-log them nor allow them to fry in the unforgiving afternoon sun.

Our yard guy Ray is going to plant the roses for us and re-mulch the beds. As the existing plants in the beds begin to awaken we'll get a better idea of what and where we want to fill in. Having a nice looking yard is important to us, yet neither of us wants to do any gardening, so we leave it to those who love it, like Ray.

Crush du Jour: Freddie Prinze Jr.

Monday, April 14, 2008

My kind of doctor

I've been really busy with work so I will entertain you with this little story I received via an email from a friend. Enjoy!

My Kind of Doctor!

A man turned 65 and had to choose a new primary care physician for his Medicare program. After two visits and exhaustive lab tests the doctor said he was doing "fairly well" for his age. A little concerned about that comment, the man couldn't resist asking the doctor, "Do you think I will live to be 80?"

The doctor asked him "Do you smoke tobacco or drink alcoholic beverages?"

"Oh no," the man replied. "I don't do drugs, either."

"Do you have many friends and entertain frequently?"

"No, I usually stay home and keep to myself".

"Do you eat rib-eye steaks and barbecued ribs?"

"No, my other doctor said that all red meat is unhealthy!"

"Do you spend a lot of time in the sun, like playing golf, sailing, hiking, or bicycling?"

"No, I don't."

"Do you gamble, ride a motorcycle, or have a lot of sex?"

"No" the man said confidently. "I don't do any of those things."

The doctor looked at the and asked "Then why do you give a shit if you live to be 80?"

Crush du Jour: Ronnie Kerr

Friday, April 11, 2008

A matter of perspective

If you could fit the entire world's population into just one village consisting of 100 people, maintaining the proportions of all people living on Earth, that village would consist of:
  • 57 Asians
  • 21 Europeans
  • 14 Americans (North, South, and Central)
  • 8 Africans

There would be:

  • 52 women and 48 men
  • 30 Caucasians and 70 non-Caucasians
  • 30 Christians and 70 non-Christians
  • 89 heterosexuals and 11 homosexuals

6 people would possess 59% of the world's wealth, and they would all come from the USA.

  • 80 would live in poverty
  • 70 would be illiterate
  • 50 would suffer from hunger or malnutrition
  • 1 would be dying
  • 1 would be being born
  • 1 would own a computer
  • 1 would have a university degree

If we looked at the world this way, the need for acceptance and understanding would be obvious. So consider this:

  • If you woke up today in good health, you are better off than 100 million people who will not live through the week
  • If you have never lived through the horror of war, the solitude of prison, the pain of torture, or the desperation of starvation, then you are better off than 500 million people
  • If you can go to your place of worship without fear of being assaulted or killed, then you are better off than 3 billion people
  • If you have food in your refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head, and a place to sleep at night, you are wealthier than 75% of the world's population
  • If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, or in your pocket, then you are one of the 8 privileged few among the 100 people in the world
  • If your parents are still alive and still married, you are an extremely rare individual
  • If you are reading this, you are better off than the 2 billion people in the world who can not read


  • Work like you don't need the money
  • Love like you've never been hurt
  • Dance like nobody's watching
  • Sing like nobody's listening
  • Live like this is paradise on Earth

After all, its all a matter of perspective.

Crush du Jour: Vince Corazza

Thursday, April 10, 2008


After watching a ‘gay movie’ from Netflix I was making a silent assessment and decided, while the film certainly wasn’t Oscar-worthy, I liked it. I liked its story, characters, and acting.

Then, because I was having this silent conversation with myself in my head, I admitted that I may not have liked the film quite as much if the leading man wasn’t such a smokin’ hottie. That thought caused me to wrestle with the question of whether or not it was fair to like something because you were attracted to a person associated with the thing, or not like something as much because you were not attracted to the person connected to it.

It’s no secret that very often in life people who are generally considered “good looking” get favors and considerations the rest of us do not. I remember watching an episode of 60 Minutes where this theory was tested out. Writers wrote a fake resume and then put a Caucasian-sounding name on it (like Alison Webster) and then used the exact same resume but put an African American-sounding name on it (like Shaniqua Jackson). Both resumes were submitted for several jobs but only ‘Alison Webster’ got the callbacks.

Now, I realize that this doesn’t prove the employers were appearance-biased, it only proves they were race-biased, since they did not see the applicants but made assumptions based on the names. But similar studies have been done where people apply for jobs (such as restaurant workers) in person. The attractive people usually were treated nicer and given more reason from the interviewer to expect a callback than the not-so-attractive applicant. In some cases the attractive applicants had absolutely no experience, but were selected over the not-so-attractive (read: f-ugly) who had recent, relevant experience.

I didn’t like what this said about me. I gave the movie a higher rating because I was attracted to the leading character than I would have if the leading character were not attractive to me. That doesn’t seem fair. Then I began to wonder if I ever treated people differently because of their looks.

Fortunately, I am not in a position where I hire, fire, or professionally evaluate anyone, so I am pretty sure I have not affected anyone’s career. But what about in more subtle areas? Do I tip attractive servers more than unattractive servers who do an equal job? Would I give my dry cleaning business to a dry cleaner whose prices were the same (or even higher) because the guy behind the counter was a hottie?

I’m not sure I can accurately answer these questions consistently, but I do know one thing: This awareness of appearance-based inequity will definitely cause me to pay better attention to the way I treat everyone.

Crush du Jour: Edward Finlay

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I had a dream...

...but not THAT kind of dream. My dream was about meeting the Divine Miss M herself, Bette Midler!

Maybe it was because this post was still lingering in my mind, I don't know, but I dreamed I went to Las Vegas to see Bette Midler perform at the Colosseum.

Now, I know the Colosseum is a large venue capable of seating thousands, but in my dream it was about the size of a school classroom. Indeed, in my dream it was as if we were all sitting in those chair/desk things with the lights turned off, watching Bette perform while lying on a sumptuously upholstered chaise lounge with a single spot light trained on her. I mean, we were all so close we could see her sweat. Only she wasn't sweating because she's Bette Midler.

When the show ended the 'classroom' lights came on and everyone began filing out the 'classroom' door. But I decided instead to tell Bette just how fabulous I thought the show was, so I made my way from my chair/desk thing to where she was standing, next to her chaise, in front of the chalkboard.

I told her how I'd seen and loved every one of her movies and concerts, and then piled accolade upon accolade, sometimes in multiples, until it seemed there were no more adjectives left in the dictionary, even the abridged one. When I finally finished gushing, she put her hand over her forehead and did a fake 'I'm going to faint' kind of gesture, and then thanked me for all the kind words. Then she smiled with that smile that makes her eyes squint so much you wonder how she could possibly see out of them and said to me "Well, aren't you just the sweetest." Realizing how totally star-struck I must have appeared, I became embarrassed and didn't know what to say.

Then she stuck her hand out at me and said "Come with me." I took her hand and she lead me threw the remaining people who had congregated outside the 'classroom'/concert hall until we walked down a dimly lit hallway that opened up into a larger, lounge-like room. The lounge room had several over-stuffed sofas and chairs, and there were people drinking and nibbling from plates of appetizers. I perceived this to be the VIP party, to which I'd neither purchased nor won tickets. But Bette walked me in and no one looked at me suspiciously.

When the VIP party guests saw that she had entered the room they offered her a round of applause, while trying to balance their drinks and plates on their arms. She threw them a large, sweeping kiss and then plopped down onto one of the sofas. She looked at me again with that squinty-eyed smile, patted the sofa cushion next to her, and said "Here, sit down."

I sat down, right next to Bette, and tried to keep myself from doing or saying anything stupid. Then she asked "So... what was your favorite part of the show?" and I froze. How could I possibly pick my favorite part when I think everything she does is fabulous? All she needs to do is stand there and I'd applaud.

And then I woke up.

Crush du Jour: Thomas Jane

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

What year do you belong in?

Saw this blog quiz on Bugsy's blog and thought I should take it. Based on the fact that I love music from the 30s and 40s, and that I love cars from the late 50s and early 60s, I thought this should be interesting.

According to the quiz, I belong in the year 1953. "You're fun loving, romantic, and more than a little innocent. See you at the drive in!"

So, what year do YOU belong in? Find out here.

Crush du Jour: Blake Lewis

Monday, April 07, 2008

Weekend movies

We didn't have much planned so we decided to make it a 'chill out' weekend.

Sat it was relatively warm and sunny so we took the dog for a longer-than-usual walk. She loves going for walks but her enthusiasm exceeds her ability. She's probably 14 or 15 years old and has had some trouble with her back so we usually limit the length of her walks. Once we returned her to the house, Spouse & I went for another, longer walk down to the bay. When we do this I am reminded why we left the DC area: to have the ability to be near the water whenever we want.

We also cleaned our dirty house on Sat, and wound up taking less time than I expected, which was a nice surprise. But I've learned that dreaded tasks are often not as bad as the anticipation of doing them.

Sun was almost the opposite of Sat: cold, windy, and rainy. A good day to stay home. We only left the house once, to go to the grocery store.

Having so much uncommitted time on our hands this weekend gave us the opportunity to watch several movies:

Leaving Metropolis (Netflix DVD) is the story of a gay painter who experiences a creative block. To regain inspiration he decides to get a waiter job at a struggling diner, hoping his experiences would reconnect him to the lives of the working people. Things get complicated when the diner owner (who's married to the cook) becomes attracted to the painter/waiter. The painter/waiter is warned by both his fag hag and his pre-op transgender roommate not to get involved with a married man but he doesn't listen. We liked the film and would recommend it.

300 (video store rental) is the computer-generated film about King Leonidas and the 300 Spartan soldiers that go to battle against Xerxes and his tens of thousands. I must give kudos to the life-like cg animation, as many times I was able to forget there were no actual people in the film. But other scenes looked kind of like a video game, especially the battle scenes where blood splatters flew into the air and then disappeared. And although all of the speaking solders had distinct faces, they all appeared to have the exact same body. Every one of them had the same developed arms and pecs, washboard abs, and no body hair, which seemed highly implausible since manscaping didn't originate until the late 20th century. We liked the film and would recommend it if you're standing in the video store as we were and can't find anything you really want.

Mission to Mars (accidentally found on cable) was an unexpectedly good film about a rescue team sent to find a lost team of astronauts headed to Mars. I'd never heard of this film, which surprised me since it had several 'known' actors: Tim Robbins, Gary Sinise, Don Cheadle, and Jerry O'Connell. After abandoning their disabled spacecraft, the rescue team finds the lone survivor of the team they sought, only to tell him they have no spacecraft in which to return home. We liked this film a lot and would definitely recommend it.

Ladies in Lavender (Netflix DVD) is the story of two senior citizen sisters Janet and Ursula, played by Maggie Smith and Judi Dench, who find a body washed up on the shore near their home. They nurse the young Polish man back to health and teach him to speak English, while he dazzles them and their neighbors with his exquisite violin playing. Despite the obvious age difference, Ursula develops a crush on the young man, who reminds her of a young man from her past. This film is beautifully shot on the English coast, and Judi Dench continues to amaze me with her versatility and believable acting. Having recently seen 'Notes on a Scandal', I was delighted at the very different type of character Dench brought to life in this film. Highly recommended for its sweet story and gorgeous cinematography.

Crush du Jour: Peter Hermann

Friday, April 04, 2008

Make Me a Supermodel finale

First off, Thank you to everyone who responded to my call for help yesterday, answering all 3 of my blogger-related questions. You guys are great, and really showed the love! It seems that everyone is having the same trouble I've had with finding a photo of Chad Lopez though.

Last night was the Make Me a Supermodel finale!

Out of the 4 remaining models, I was really glad when Perry was the 1st to be told "We can not make you a supermodel". Ben was the next to be eliminated, and I would have eliminated Perry and Ben in that same order.

I was a bit surprised to hear their whispered back-stage conversation that indicated their surprise that they were both eliminated and "Holly is still standing out there." HA! Shows how much those 2 know.

That left Ronnie and Holly. My preference would have been for Ronnie to win, but I was not unhappy that Holly won the $100,000., a year's representation by New York Model Management, and a fashion spread in GQ magazine. Of course she cried when she learned she'd won. And just as I'd expect, Ronnie was a true gentleman and sincerely smiled and congratulated Holly, unlike those 2 'sour grapes' Perry & Ben.

Ronnie is smart, good-looking, and mature. He will still have a great modeling career even without winning this competition because he knows how to go after it and get it. Its probably best for Holly that she won because I'm not sure her personality is strong enough to go after and get a good modeling career without having won the competition. She's a beautiful chameleon of a model who slips into whatever look and environment she's placed in, but I'm not sure she could get placed there without having won the competition. I would post Holly's photo but Bravo's Make Me a Supermodel website doesn't allow photo downloads.

The night before the final elimination, each of the remaining models got a surprise visit from someone special to them. Holly's fiance showed up and I was like "WOW - HE should be on this show as a model!" I was amazed at how fantastically good-looking, handsome, and sexy Holly's fiance was. What a nice surprise for the audience!

Now that Project Runway and Make Me a Supermodel are both over, my sole remaining 'must-see' TV show is American Idol. I guess I'll have more time for Netflix DVDs now.

Crush du Jour: Gabriel Garko

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Call for help

I'm hoping to 'feel a little love' from my blogger brothers. Although I've been blogging for over 3 years, I don't have any fancy widgets or graphics on my blog. I'm just not that "into" computers.

But there are a few things I'd like to change, and am hoping for advice/instructions from you guys.
  1. How do I put links behind words? I've noticed a number of you will have a word or phrase hyperlinked so that readers can click on the word or phrase and be taken to a website. How do I do this?
  2. How do I install a site meter or other device that counts visitors? Admittedly its a little late after blogging for 3 1/2 years, but I'd still be interested to know how to do this.
  3. How do I upload multiple photos that are either right- or left-justified without the photos showing up next to each other?

Now, another item (non-blogger) I'd appreciate some help with is finding a photo of Chad Lopez. He's the incredibly gorgeous carpenter on the HGTV show "Design to Sell". I've been wanting to feature him as a Crush du Jour but have been unable to find a photo of him.

If you can help a brotha out with any of these things, I would be eternally grateful. If you want to email me detailed instructions (with or without diagrams), send them to me.

And for those of you pining for an update on my scruffy face, here you go. Yesterday I shaved my cheeks, jaw and neck, leaving behind a semblance of a mustache and goatee. It didn't look quite as lame as I expected, so I've decided to give it some more time to "grow on me". (Yeah, pun intended.)

Update: A big shout of thanks goes to J*O*E for answering questions 1 and 2 above!

Update 2: A big shout of thanks goes to Christopher for answering question 3 above!

The 1st one who finds me a photo of Chad Lopez gets a BJ.

Crush du Jour: Cheyenne Jackson

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

The never-ending project

A couple of years ago our friends The Newlyweds were preparing to move and wanted to get rid of a few items. Knowing we had a beach house (at that time), they offered us a cool, old Victrola cabinet that could double as a night stand or side table. Although the olive green faux paint treatment was dreadful, the lines of the cabinet were beautiful, and we imagined a hundred different ways to re-do the generous gift.

In case you're wondering, this is what a Victrola cabinet looks like.

We decided to use the Victrola cabinet as a night stand in the master bedroom of our beach house. We had a bright, colorful daisy theme ("Crazy Daisy") in that room so we decided to paint the cabinet to match the bright pink, yellow, orange, blue, and lime green of the comforter, pillows, and curtains.

On a spring weekend at the beach house we started with the bright pink paint on the top of the cabinet, but soon discovered it wasn't going to cover that dreadful olive faux paint treatment.

The next weekend we came back with a can of primer, and Spouse & I gave the cabinet a coat to block out the previous color. After it dried we attempted the bright pink again, but it still wouldn't produce a nice even coverage. We got a little discouraged and left the cabinet in the garage for over a year.

In Jan of 2007 we were emptying the beach house of our belongings in preparation for the renters to move in, and moved the Victrola cabinet to our new house. As soon as we got settled into our new house we realized we weren't going to re-use the "Crazy Daisy" linens and color scheme, nor was the Victrola cabinet going to be used as a night stand. Instead it was going to be a stand for Spouse to place his work bag on in the living room when he came home in the evening.

So we applied more primer to cover the bright pink, and decided on a new color scheme. Since our living room is burgundy and gold, and our house is a Victorian reproduction, we thought the cabinet might look good with a black and gold 'crackle' look. We painted the entire cabinet black, applied a coat of the crackle medium, then painted the entire thing metallic gold, and waited for the magic to happen!

Ummm, no magic. Unfortunately, we learned after the fact that the crackle medium does not work with metallic paints. So instead of having metallic gold with lots of black crackling through, we simply had a bright metallic gold Victrola cabinet, worthy of a prominent place in Liberace's home.

On another weekend we decided to try again using a non-metallic paint as the top coat. So we applied another coat of the crackle medium on top of the metallic gold, then painted the entire thing with non-metallic burgundy. The desired effect would be burgundy with gold crackling through.

Well, it sorta worked, in some places. We followed the directions to the letter, but only some parts of the cabinet crackled, and the veins were very thin. From 10 feet away it just looked like we did a very bad job trying to paint it solid burgundy.

Unhappy with the results and feeling a bit deflated, Spouse decided to try his hand at embellishing the semi-unsuccessful crackle. He dabbed some of the gold paint onto the cabinet with a brush, in an attempt to have "more gold showing". Random metallic gold blotches adorned the cabinet in a most unflattering way. It looked as if the goose that laid the golden egg had flown over and dropped its golden shit on the cabinet!

The next day I took another brush and lightly brushed more burgundy paint over the gold shit blotches. At least it looked better than it did the day before, and decent enough to sit in our living room for the next 8 months or so.

Two weekends ago I borrowed my neighbor's hand-held belt sander and went to town on the Victrola cabinet. I wasn't trying to sand it down to the bare wood, but rather, to get rid of the multiple layers of paint and crackle medium. Remember, 1st we painted it pink, then primed it, then painted it pink again, then primed it again, then painted it black, then applied crackle medium, then painted it gold, then applied crackle medium again, then painted it burgundy, then the gold goose shit, then the burgundy to cover the gold goose shit. That's 10 coats.

This passed weekend I used a hand scraper to get more of the layers of paint and crackle medium off, and then used sand paper to smooth out all the remainder. Then next day I painted the entire thing with 2 coats of matte black (no sheen) and declared "That's it - no more!" (Really, 12 coats should be enough, shouldn't it?)

Fortunately Spouse & I love the way it turned out. The solid, matte black really allows the graceful lines of the Victrola cabinet to show without competing against a 2-tone crackle finish. I'd post a photo of the finished project, but our digital camera is broken.

The very last step is to put on the new door pulls this evening. Finally, an end to the never-ending project!

Crush du Jour: Gabriel Soto

Tuesday, April 01, 2008


I have always longed to have that handsome, rugged, scruffy-face look that just oozes masculinity.

Take Jake Gyllenhaal, for instance. (Don't take him for long, because I want him back.) Even though Jake has 'boyish good looks' when he's clean-shaven, his face takes on a distinctive masculine quality when he avoids the razor for a few days. Strong, solid, rugged, masculine, hot.
Then there's perhaps the pioneer of the scruffy look: George Michael. It is rumored that George had a custom made beard trimmer that would give him that precise 5 o'clock shadow. I admit he really worked it. The new, rougher/tougher image was quite different from his "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go" look, and I liked it. A lot.
Most recently we've been treated to the sizzling hotness of Matthew Fox, sporting a scruffy face for all to enjoy, especially Dirk Mancuso. He's been enjoying Mr Fox in the privacy of his home, so I hear. Unfortunately, I just don't appear to be able to pull off this sexy look I desire so in others. First, my hair and 'beard' (and I use that term loosely) are blond-to-light brown, so they aren't nearly as visible when I don't shave. Second, my 'beard' is not heavy or dense. Light in color and light in density. In some places it is 'patchy', which reminds me of a 16-year old pubescent boy, and I hate that! Picture: Shaggy from the Scooby Do cartoon.

Yeah, not such a 'sexy' look.

Its not that I yearn to need to shave everyday, but I'd like the flexibility of changing my 'look' from time to time. Sport a sexy 5 o'clock shadow once in a while, or maybe do the 'stache-n-goatee' thing. But as it is, I can go 3-4 days without shaving and no one would notice unless they looked closely or touched my face.

Since I work at home I have the luxury of not having to get dressed for work everyday (although I do anyway) or shaving. Currently it has been 10 days since I last shaved and I'm not impressed with the look.

Maybe tomorrow I'll shave my cheeks and under my chin, leaving a 'stache and goatee. But if it looks as lame as I imagine it will, I'll likely just go back to being clean-shaven tomorrow.

What's that old saying? 'The grass is always greener...'

Crush du Jour: Christopher Meloni (with a 5 o'clock shadow)