Friday, July 31, 2009

Friday fragments

Being a car guy, I was intrigued by this car knowledge quiz. I was surprised I only got 15 out of 20 correct. I'm consoling myself by pointing out that many of the questions were brand-related. If you think you know a little something about car brands, take the quiz and tell me in the comments how many you got correct. My current dream car is the BMW 3 series retractable hardtop convertible.
This is car porn.

The other day I heard friends talking about books they're reading/had read and I realized its been over a year since I read a book. This made me feel badly about myself. My mind immediately flashed to me and Spouse sitting on the sofa watching (mostly mindless) TV every night instead of reading books. Really, how could I have stopped reading? Then it hit me: I read everyday! Not books, but blogs! I immediately felt better about myself.

Tony shared with me this interesting survey whose answers will tell you what religion most closely matches your beliefs. My top 4 were:
1. Mainline to Liberal Christian Protestants (100%)
2. Liberal Quakers (97%)
3. Unitarian Universalism (94%)
4. Secular Humanism (Atheism) (84%)

On Tues this week I went to the doctor about my shin. Now 3 days later, my ankle has begun to swell and turn colors like my shin. WTF?!?!?! Looks like I'll be going back to the doctor next week.

Wanna see Obama naked? Aren't those "interesting"?

Today is my (estranged) sister's 33rd wedding anniversay. Isn't that "interesting"?

Progress on the addition is coming along nicely. Look for my weekly addition update with photos tomorrow. Our entire house is filthy, now that much of the work has moved inside. Drywall was torn out, sending drywall dust into the air and all over the entire house. We'll spend some time this weekend vacuuming, dusting, and steam mopping the wood floors, even though it will all get dirty again next week. Hopefully it won't get as dirty next week, since all of the interior demo is done now, I think. (Crossing my fingers.)

On the social front, tonight is our regular Friday Night Dinner with 'the usual suspects. Tomorrow afternoon we're going to an anniversary party for our friends who've been together 15 years. Later that evening we're meeting some out-of-town friends for cocktails and then dinner. Should be fun!

Have a great weekend, y'all.

Crush du Jour: Preston Jones

Thursday, July 30, 2009

How Lifetime movies save time

Spouse is a therapist and social worker. He was licensed in VA where we used to live, and in order to accept his new job in DE (almost 3 years ago), he had to get licensed in DE.

Some states allow you to simply show your out-of-state license in order to get licensed in the new state, with the understanding that if you passed the test in the other state, you're fine. But DE required him to show his out-of-state license AND take a little test.

Part of the test required him to read a real-life scenario and then be able to provide the correct personality diagnosis. The real-life scenario was about
Betty Broderick who shot and killed her sleeping ex-husband Dan and his much younger 2nd wife in 1989.

Most people would have had to read through the lengthy description of the people, situation, and circumstances in order to provide the correct diagnosis, but not Spouse. He provided the correct diagnosis without taking the time to read the lengthy scenario at all. How could he do this?

Because of watching Lifetime, TV for Women (and gay men).

You see, years ago Spouse & I had watched the dramatic TV movie "
A Woman Scorned: The Betty Broderick Story" on Lifetime.

We were particularly amused when Betty (played by Meredith Baxter) ran her Chevy Suburban right into the living room of her ex-husband's house. Really, how can you ask for more entertainment than that? And it was a true story!

In fact, the film was so inspirational to Spouse that occasionally he will threaten me by warning: "Don't make me run the Suburban into the living room!" and then we both laugh. We even owed a Suburban for 4 years.

But back to my story.

So Spouse was able to save the time it would have taken him to read the lengthy scenario about Betty Broderick due to having watched the thrilling and dramatic movie about her on Lifetime. So, Lifetime movies save time.

Have you ever noticed that nearly every Lifetime movie stars Meredith Baxter, Jacklyn Smith, Valerie Bertinelli, or Melissa Sue Gilbert?

Crush du Jour: Jason Cook

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Doctor visit

Yesterday I went to the doctor about my shin. Now 10 days after the injury/trauma/bite/sting, it is still swollen and tender. Now it is bruised, too.

I explained to my doctor what I'd thought had happened, along with the related symptoms:
  • Sun: Sting/pain when I hit the sand playing beach volley ball. No cut or bleeding; no sign of skin puncture. Sting/pain went away; shin swelled to a scary proportion. Thought I'd hit my shin on my opposite heel.
  • Mon: Swelling reduced. No pain or discomfort. Thought it was an allergic reaction to a bee sting or insect/spider bite.
  • Tues: No change.
  • Wed: No change.
  • Thurs: Swelling barely visible.
  • Fri: Some swelling returned, bruising now visible, and brief/irregular sensations felt. Occasional 'burning' and 'tingling' felt around the swollen/bruised area.
  • Sat: More of same. Now I'm really confused. If it was an allergic reaction to a sting or bite, why did I get this big bruise? If it was a trauma that caused the bruise, why was there no pain, and what did I hit my shin on in the sand?
  • Sun: More of same. Decide to make doctor's appointment on Mon.
  • Mon: Made doctor's appointment for Tues.
After my detailed explanation of the above, the doctor examined my shin and said it could be a number of things. He said the easiest way to rule out the things it isn't was to have an x-ray. So he sent me over to the imaging center where an x-ray of my entire leg was done. (I don't know why they x-rayed my leg above the knee when the affected area was obviously on my shin.)

My doctor's office called this morning with the results of the x-ray: everything was normal. This means that there was no hairline fracture or bone chip, and there was no "foreign body" inside my leg. One possibility was that I might have fallen onto a piece of sea glass and that it might be inside my shin. But the x-ray proved ruled this out.

So now I know what it isn't. According to my doctor this means I may have had a combination of a sting/bite and a trauma to the shin. We'll never really know for sure. He said that had I applied ice to it for the first several days it likely wouldn't have bruised or swelled so much. To my surprise he said I should apply ice to it now, 10 days after the fact, so I will begin doing that.

Fortunately I do not have any pain. There are still the occasional, brief 'burning' and 'tingling' sensations but they are more in the category of 'slight discomfort' rather than pain.

This is what I get for trying to act like a butch 25 year old playing beach volley ball.

Crush du Jour: John Barrowman

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


When Kerry & Hugh were here over the weekend Kerry told me something that made me laugh and laugh and laugh!

Recently Kerry & Hugh helped their friend/neighbor Dee Dee host a 60th birthday party for her husband Mickey. Kerry & Hugh's job was to set up and man the margarita and daiquiri table.

Kerry feels like me that cocktails should always be served in the correct glass. I mean, when they make a specific glass for a specific drink (ie: margarita glass for margaritas) it is maddening to see people serve the drink in the wrong glass. Martinis in martini glasses; wine in wine glasses, beer in pilsners, etc. Its just the way it should be done to preserve what little elegance is left in this world.

So Kerry ran all of her margarita glasses and daiquiri glasses through the rinse cycle and set them up on the table for the party. When folks came to the table for cocktails, she would use the correct glass for the cocktail, and all was right in the world, until...

A male party guest came to the cocktail table with a red Solo cup, from which he had been drinking water. He handed the cup to Kerry and indicated he would like a margarita. Kerry said "Okay, but let me pour you one in a margarita glass" which was, of course, the correct response.

The party guest replied "Oh that's okay, you can just put it in this cup." Kerry paused for a second and then said "I'm sorry, but I can't do that. Although he's not here to see it, my friend Mark would not be pleased if he knew I served you a margarita in a plastic Solo cup."

The party guest looked surprised for a moment and then replied "Well, they DO make a special glass for margaritas..." Kerry smiled in agreement and handed him the margarita glass.

A little later a similar incident occurred with a female party guest wielding a wine glass, requesting a strawberry daiquiri. Again, Kerry kindly informed her that she didn't know WHAT would happen if her friend Mark found out she'd served a daiquiri in a wine glass. Smiles and giggles followed, and the woman left the table with a daiquiri in a daiquiri glass.

When they were about to run out of glasses, Kerry & Hugh went around the room picking up empties to quickly wash and restock the cocktail table. They overheard some guests laughing and saying "I don't who this Mark person is, but he's sure got those bar people trained." In fact, other party guests came to the bar table and teased Kerry & Hugh by asking "Is Mark around? I don't want you to get in trouble or anything, but could I get a margarita IN A MARTINI GLASS PLEASE????"

Kerry told me it became the running joke throughout the party, which of course tickled me beyond measure. Maybe I'm a little conceited, but I actually liked the fact that everyone was talking about this 'Mark person' and his desire for everyone to maintain cocktail elegance.

Crush du Jour: Jessie Godderz

Monday, July 27, 2009

Weekend highlights

We had a brief visit with Kerry & Hugh Sat morning before they left for their reunion. Spouse went for his personal trainer appointment, and I drank coffee and watched 3 episodes of "Sell This House" from 8:30-10:00. It was a nice and relaxing morning!

Once Spouse returned, we packed a bag with snacks and drinks and headed to the beach. It was pretty warm (upper 80s) and rather humid, but the cool breezes coming off the ocean made for a lovely day at the beach. We sat and talked with Steve & Thad, Bob, and Rusty. Somehow we got onto the topic of blogs and I wound up explaining to them about Followers, and some of the features of my blog (Friday fragments, Crush du Jour, etc.). Then Thad's nephew pulled up my blog on his iPhone and passed it around. We had a lot of fun!

Kerry & Hugh returned so the 4 of us went to dinner at M. Gallucio Italian Eatery. Spouse had lasagna, I had penne with feta and kalamata olives, Kerry had cream of asparagus soup and a portabello and crab dish, and Hugh had tortellini and Italian sausage in a tomato/cream sauce. We were too full for dessert. Afterward Spouse & I watched TV while Kerry & Hugh returned to their reunion.

Sun morning Spouse slept in but I was awake and unable to go back to sleep at 8:30 so I got up. Kerry & Hugh returned to the reunion for a little while to say goodbye, then the 4 of us hung out and talked until lunchtime. We had sandwiches at the Ocean Point Grill, and then they headed home.

Spouse & I moved our stuff out of the master bathroom and into the hallway/guest bathroom, in preparation for today's demolition. The workmen are expecting to cut a hole in the bathroom wall that will become the access point into the new space. Since access into the master bath is from our bedroom, we rolled up the area rug and pushed some stuff around to make it easy for the workmen to get things in and out. We removed the bed linens and pillows from the bed and set up one of the guest bedrooms with our everyday stuff (alarm clock, cell phone chargers, etc.).

We needed to pick up a few items at the grocery store, so while there we also bought a birthday card and a small bouquet of flowers for our neighbor Claudia's birthday. Claudia is a dear woman who we've come to know and love in our 2 1/2 years here. She's always bright, friendly, and kind. She's been going through some legal trouble this year (related to her father's passing without a will) so we wanted to be sure we didn't miss acknowledging her birthday. She was very happy when we stopped over with the card and flowers, and gave us both hugs and kisses. This was just another reminder that small things to us can mean a lot to others.

Spouse & I ate leftovers from M. Gallucio for dinner and watched TV. It wasn't an 'exciting' weekend, but it was an enjoyable one.

Crush du Jour: Daniel Sunjata

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Addition update - week 6

Week 6
This week started kind of slow, but ended with a big visual bang! Here's how it went:

Mon: One of the guys (Chris) wasn't able to come due to a court hearing, and another one of the guys (Junior) was only here 1/2 the day due to a doctor's appointment. That left just one guy (Jay) and he left early. So the only thing that got done was the priming and painting of more bead board.

Tues: The remaining decorative rafter tails were installed on the sides of the dormer, and the application of the bead board was started (left side, below). From the front:
Wed: The decorative rafters will added, the bead board application was finished, and the roof sheathing was completed on the dormer. From the front:
Thurs: Aluminum drip caps, roof paper, flashing, and shingles were added to complete the roof. From the back and side:
From the front and side:
From the front:
Fri: The 3 exterior windows (from the powder room and 2 stairways) were removed, then relocated onto the back and side of the garage. The new diamond-shaped window was installed, and the walls were covered with Tyvek house wrap. From the back and side:
The 3 new windows were installed in the dormer. Its really taking shape now and you can get a better idea of what the finished product will look like. From the side and front:
Inside, the powder room window opening was boarded up temporarily. It will eventually be drywalled over.
The window at the foot of the lower staircase was boarded up temporarily. It will eventually be opened into a doorway into the garage.
The window at the foot of the upper staircase was boarded up temporarily. It will eventually be drywalled over.
So despite a rather slow start to the week, there is a big difference in the way it looks now.
Next week they are expecting the garage floor will be poured. Up until Fri, all work had been done outside, but next week work will move inside too. The opening will be cut into the existing bathroom wall to allow the workers access into the new bathroom space and new closet space. So Spouse I will move our bathroom stuff out of this bathroom and stop using it Sun evening. And since access to this bathroom is via our bedroom, we are also moving out of our bedroom into one of the guest rooms as of Sun evening, too.

Crush du Jour: Jorge Luis Pila

Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday fragments

Welcome to Friday fragments, my weekly recap of topics too big to forget, yet too small to be their own post.

The shop called yesterday to say that Big Ella was ready to come home.
You may recall I got her home from the shop just in time to show her off at the 4th of July Doo Dah parade, but then had to return her to the shop a few days later because her breaks felt very soft. I was happy to get the call yesterday, and Spouse drove me to the shop to pick her up. The breaks work GREAT now, so she is once again safe and road worthy.

Spouse convinced me to rent a storage unit for Big Ella until the garage is finished. With the dumpster and construction equipment filling our driveway and part of the yard, there literally is no where to park her except on a different street. I have no problem with parking her on a nearby street but Spouse was not comfortable with it, so we've rented a storage unit for the 1-2 months remaining of the construction. They were running a special: first month free! I can get her in or out 24 hours a day via passcode entry into the gated compound.

My friend Wayne sent me this video, which actually had me LOL! Enjoy.

With Spouse's birthday last Mon we've been talking more than usual about aging. I remember being a teenager hearing my parents mention getting up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, and thinking to myself "Can't they just hold it until morning like I do?" I also recall them mentioning waking up several times during the night, and thinking "I fall asleep when my head hits the pillow and I stay asleep until the alarm clock goes off". Little did I know then that I would fall victim to these same plights one day. With Spouse & I both 45, we occasionally have to get up in the middle of the night to use the bathroom, and we frequently wake up at ungodly hours for no apparent reason. (Fortunately we do not stay awake long.) The passing of time has a sneaky way of making one regret being glib in one's youth.

My friend Jared sent me this hilarious site which regales the "Bacon Explosion". Stephen Rader probably grew up on this stuff. I know Paula Deen did.

Our friends Kerry & Hugh will be staying at our place this weekend while they attend a family reunion nearby. We'll likely only see them before bed each night and in the morning, but it will be nice to catch up with them and hear the stories of their 'crazy' relatives. (You know, the kind that get into fist fights at Grandma's 80th birthday party?) On Sun the 4 of us will have lunch or dinner together and celebrate our 45th birthdays (even though mine was 8 months ago), since Joe's birthday was on Mon and both Kerry & Hugh's birthdays are next weekend.

My friend Jared is also responsible for this gem, which is updated often so keep checking it! This is just TOO funny...

As is our custom, tonight we'll enjoy Fri night dinner with the usual suspects, and then come home and watch the finale of Torchwood on BBC. Its an interesting mini-series on its own, but it certainly doesn't hurt that 2 of its attractive actors (John Barrowman and Gareth David-Lloyd) share a romance.

Have a great weekend, Everyone!

Crush du Jour: Duncan James

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Office humor

As I've mentioned many times here, I work from home. I'm not self-employed; I work for a company that allows many employees to have home offices. I am incredibly fortunate to be able to do this, as it allowed us to move here to the beach. There is very little in the way of professional employment here, so the only way we could move was for me to bring my current job with me.

Having a home office spares me much of the usual office drama, but I certainly had my share of it in the past.

I once worked in a call center for a public utility where we had to raise our hand and be given permission by a supervisor to stop taking calls so we could leave our desk to go and use the bathroom. Once approved, the supervisor placed a big orange flag on our cubicle so other supervisors would know someone was not taking calls. If the maximum number of people were away from their desks, we had to wait until one returned in order to use the bathroom.

Using vacation days was another horror. Leave days had to be scheduled in advance, by seniority. They literally passed around a calendar and everyone selected their vacation dates in the order in which they were hired. Only a limited number were allowed off at any given time, and some had 4 weeks of vacation. This was done in November of the previous year. Then if someone gave up a day or a week, the passing of the calendar happened again, to give everyone the opportunity to select the day or week given up. It was horrible. I remember having the choice of Feb and March for my week's vacation.

So I am no stranger to office drama, that's for sure. After several years in the same office, I found a sign to hang on my cubicle wall which I thought was funny:
"Beatings will continue until morale improves".
All my co-workers thought it was funny too, but our supervisors didn't. One pretended she didn't understand and asked me to explain the sign to her. When I did, she asked me why I thought it was funny. Clearly, she did not appreciate it.

These thoughts came to mind today because a friend sent me an email that included the following:

As you can imagine, I loved these and had to share them.
What's YOUR office horror story?

Crush du Jour: Daniel Norell

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Sorry folks, I've got nuthin' today.
So, I'll just wish you a Happy Hump Day!

Crush du Jour: Eric Martsolf

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Theory change

In yesterday's post I mentioned injuring my shin from a fall during a beach volley ball game. It all seemed very strange, since there was nothing hard or solid in the sand to have caused the injury. I thought maybe I'd hit my shin on my opposite foot. I really wasn't sure what happened, I just knew that after hitting the sand I felt a stinging sensation but found not cut or puncture of the skin.

Within 30 minutes my shin swelled so much that it looked like I had a knee on my shin. The next day the swelling had gone down significantly. I didn't have any pain.

So, last evening when I was at my appointment with my personal trainer I explained what had happened and that I did not want to do any leg work; just upper body due to the injury. That's when he said "It sounds like an allergic reaction to a bite or sting."

I thought about it for a minute and began to think he was right. Now, I don't remember getting bitten or stung, but I don't remember anything injuring my shin, either. The swelling is consistent with a bite, as is the reduction in swelling the next day. Also, a blunt trauma to my shin should have resulted in pain and a bruise by now, but there was no pain and no bruise.

So, now I believe that I was either bitten by a bug/spider/crab or stung by a bee when I dove for the volley ball and hit the sand. This certainly makes more sense and is more consistent with my symptoms.

There is still a little bit of swelling in my shin as well as some sensitivity to touch, but it is not serious enough to warrant going to the doctor at this point.

Crush du Jour: Jaime Rosario

Monday, July 20, 2009

Staycation ends

Well, today is the 4th and final day of our staycation. Spouse & I took off last Fri and today. We went to the beach on Fri, and although it was overcast the entire time, we still had fun. We sat with our friend Bob, who is retired, and Steven, who also had the day off like us. Later we had dinner with the usual suspects.

Sat we slept in, had a relaxing morning on the screened porch, made a run over to Home Depot, had lunch on the screened porch, and just relaxed at home. Later we met up with our movie friends for our monthly movie night. The film: "Partners", circa 1982, starring Ryan O'Neill and William Hurt. The film did not age well, and seemed much campier than it was intended, I'm sure.

Sun we had breakfast on the porch again, did some housecleaning, then went to the beach. We arrived the same time as some friends who invited us to set up camp with them. It was absolutely spectacular weather: sunny, 80 degrees, low humidity, and a constant light breeze. I laid in the sun, swam in the ocean, and joined some new friends in some games of volleyball on the beach.
During the 1st game I lunged to try to hit the ball and somehow hit my shin. It stung right away, but as I wiped away the sand there was not cut or blood. I have no idea what I hit my shin on, but as the games progressed I began to notice a large section of my shin swelling up. By the time we finished, I had a huge ball on my shin. It looked like a I had a kneecap on my shin! But it didn't hurt; it looked much worse than it felt. Spouse was very concerned and strongly urged me to go to the hospital and have my shin examined. Convinced I'd spend the entire night sitting in the waiting room, filling out forms, only to find I didn't have the most recent copy of my insurance form, I told him I did not want to go. I said "It doesn't hurt, so let's just see how it looks in the morning." We had a fantastic day on the beach!

After showering we drove out to one of our favorite restaurants which sits on the banks of the Indian River and had an early birthday dinner. Spouse had lasagna and meatballs and I had pasta with wild mushrooms and cream sauce as we looked through the glass wall of the restaurant at the setting sun. The food was delicious, the scenery was beautiful, and our favorite gay waiter was really 'on'. It was just about perfect.

Then we drove into Rehoboth Beach to Annie's Bananies, a new spot that just opened that makes organic frozen banana treats. They grind the frozen bananas and add a little cream (I think) and toppings to suit your taste. They were DELICIOUS, and much lower calorie than ice cream.
Today when I got up, the swelling in my shin had gone down significantly. I was quite relieved, but Spouse still thought I should go to the doctor. I told him I'd feel ridiculous going, now that the swelling was almost gone. I assured him it was just a bad bruise. It hasn't turned colors yet, but I'm sure it will.

Since today is Spouse's birthday I told him we could do whatever he wanted. So we did a little shopping, had lunch out, went for a ride (in the convertible), then returned home. He's doing one of his favorite things now: taking a nap. In a little while we're both going to the gym. Only upper body for me, thank you. Its a low-key birthday, but that's what he wanted, so that's what he's getting.

Crush du Jour: Dylan Bruce

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Addition update - week 5

Week 5
New decorative rafter tails (which had been cut over the weekend) were sanded, primed, and painted. More lumber was delivered.

Tues: Mike the builder discovered that the profile of the salvaged decorative rafter tails installed last week was incorrect for the pitch of the roof. So, the salvaged decorative rafter tails were removed.
They were saved and may be reused elsewhere.
The exterior door and 2nd level windows were delivered. Wed: The new decorative rafter tails with the correct profile for the pitch of the roof were installed. From the side:

Side and front:
Thurs: Decorative rafters that frame the peak were installed. Tongue-and-groove bead board was installed over the decorative rafters and the decorative rafter tails. Close-up:
Side and front:
It was really hot and humid on Thurs so I made sure the guys had lots of ice water to keep them hydrated.

Fri: The installation of the tongue-and-groove bead board was completed. The sheathing of the roof was started. The rear roof sheathing was completed. From the side:

The front roof sheathing was not completed. Side and front:
Again, it was very hot and humid on Fri so I left them a pitcher of ice water. I felt a little guilty on Fri when Spouse & I left to go to the beach while the guys were working in the heat and humidity.

Crush du Jour: Marcus Patrick