Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Things that make you think

Only in America...

  • do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet coke.
  • do banks leave vault doors open and then chain the pens to the counters.
  • do we leave cars worth thousands of dollars in the driveway and put our useless junk in the garage.
  • do we buy hot dogs in packages of ten and buns in packages of eight.
  • do drugstores make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the front.
  • do they have drive-up ATM machines with Braille lettering.

Ever wonder...
  • Why the sun lightens our hair, but darkens our skin?
  • Why can't women put on mascara with their mouth closed?
  • Why don't you ever see the headline 'Psychic Wins Lottery'?
  • Why is 'abbreviated' such a long word?
  • Why is it that doctors call what they do 'practice'?
  • Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, and dishwashing liquid made with real lemons?
  • Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker?
  • Why is the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?
  • Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food?
  • Why didn't Noah swat those two mosquitoes?
  • Why do they sterilize the needle for lethal injections?
  • You know that indestructible black box that is used on airplanes? Why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?
  • Why don't sheep shrink when it rains?
  • Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?
  • If con is the opposite of pro, is Congress the opposite of progress?
  • If flying is so safe, why do they call the airport the terminal?
Crush du Jour: Daniel Silveira

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Color me shocked

You've probably heard by now (I've received emails from 1/2 a dozen friends already) that Ricky Martin finally came out. Here's the story from CNN.

Color me shocked. Rumors to this effect have circulated for years and Martin would never confirm nor deny them. Even Barbara Walters couldn't get him to give it up. I've said it before and I'll say it again, when a straight guy is questioned about being gay, he says no. But when someone won't confirm nor deny it, he's gay.

Hmmm... kinda sounds familiar.

Now, I totally 'get it' that most gay people do not feel the need to announce their sexuality to the world. But nobody's asking them to. To my knowledge, no one threatened to out 'Sex and the City' star Cynthia Nixon, and I never heard any rumors or speculation that she might be gay. But she decided to come out on her own free will. Good for her.

In a stark contrast, rumors and speculation that Ricky Martin and Sean Hayes were gay have been around for years, and both have been asked directly to confirm or deny the rumors, yet neither of them did until much later... perhaps when they felt they had nothing to lose.

In 2005 Martin told Barbara Walters "I think that sexuality is something that each individual should deal with in their own way, and that's all I have to say about that." At least it appears he has now seen the error of his way and is taking responsibility.

"
Allowing myself to be seduced by fear and insecurity became a self-fulfilling prophecy of sabotage," Martin wrote in his forth-coming book. "Today I take full responsibility for my decisions and my actions."

Now, I can respect a man who doesn't try and rewrite history.

Hayes on the other hand said in an Advocate interview
"I never have had a problem saying who I am... I am who I am. I was never in, as they say. Never."

Um, excuse me?

Hayes went on to say "Nobody owes anything to anybody. You are your authentic self to whom and when you choose to be, and if you don't know somebody, then why would you explain to them how you live your life?" "I feel like I've contributed monumentally to the success of the gay movement in America, and if anyone wants to argue that, I'm open to it. You're welcome."

Really? By refusing for years to confirm or deny your sexuality, despite being asked about it repeatedly, you feel that you've "contributed monumentally" to the gay movement? I beg to differ with that opinion.

I understand if gay celebrities do not want to wave the rainbow flag from their front porches. But for god's sakes, please don't refuse to answer the question, come out years later, and then pretend you were never 'in the closet'. We no likee.

Crush du Jour: Manu Bennett

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekend highlights

Fri night we had dinner with 'the usual suspects', then watched a Project Runway marathon. Since we play team trivia on Thurs nights, we always DVR Project Runway. We watched 3 episodes back-t0-back, without commercials, thanks to the DVR.

Sat Spouse went to his work out and I relaxed with my morning coffee and watched HGTV shows. Then we went to the post office to submit our passport applications. Normally you have to have passport photos taken some place else, but since it was National Passport Day at the post office, they offered passport photo services right there. We had filled out and printed our applications in advance so we just had to sign them, have our photos taken, and pay. It cost us $230. for 2 passports with photos. Then we had lunch and went to the grocery store. Our friend and used car dealer Bryan called us to take a look/test drive a car he'd gotten in recently (2008 Kia Sportage), but we didn't care for it. Spouse took a nap and I took Big Ella out for some exercise. I made Paula Deen's corn casserole (always a crowd-pleaser) which we took to a potluck. There were about a dozen guys there, of which we only knew 3 before we arrived. Once back home again we watched a little TV before going to bed.

Sun Spouse slept in while I watched home improvement shows on HGTV and TLC. Then I decided to get some things done. I started by unloading the dishwasher, then reloading it. Then I folded and put away a basket of Spouse's laundry, emptied the recycling bin, cleaned out a closet, looked for a photo album in the attic, and pruned the rose bushes. Spouse & I went for a little ride, had a bite to eat, got the car washed, and stopped at Home Depot where we bought a sturdy plastic shelving system and a sturdy cardboard box. Once back at home, I put together the shelving system in the garage and moved my tools onto one of the shelves. Then I changed a burned out light bulb in our lamp post. Then I removed the books from 3 bookshelves and packed them all in the cardboard box, then collapsed the book shelves and slid them under the bed in 1 of the guest bedrooms. Then I popped in at the stained glass studio to check the progress of our 3 windows inserts. Spouse & I had pizza for dinner, then watched "2012" on Rick & Nick's giant home theatre screen. Aside from a couple implausibilities, we liked it. The special effects were great!

It didn't rain over the weekend as predicted so that was very nice, but its raining today. I don't care - I'd rather have clear skies on the weekend.

Crush du Jour: Robson Green

Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday fragments

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

We haven't replaced our Honda CRV yet. Our friend and used car dealer Bryan is looking for the right combination of vehicle + low mileage + price. We're hoping to get a Honda CRV, Infinity FX35, BMW X5 or X3, Mercedes ML320, or Nissan Murano. Fortunately we aren't under any pressure to find a car right away so hopefully we'll find what we really want.

As I mentioned in last Friday's fragments, despite having ordered this sticker weeks ago, I finally gave up waiting for it and mailed our census form last Fri without the sticker. Naturally, the sticker arrived in the mail today. Folks, if you're gonna start a little 'grass roots' movement, try and get your fulfillment together so people who bother to join your effort can actually do it.

My friend Jared, who regularly supplies me with humorous photos for Friday fragments, sent me - not 1 or 2 - but 4 gems this week! Click on each to enlarge them.



Yes, those are roses made of bacon!! Naturally Stephen Rader was the 1st person I thought of when I saw them.

Spouse went to traffic court yesterday for his accident. He and many others were given the option of waiving their right to a trial in exchange for an expedient exit from the courtroom. Spouse's ticket was for failure to yield the right of way, so he paid the fine and court costs which totalled $89. and was out of there in no time. While there he happened to overhear the officer talking with the other driver involved in the accident and learned that at the time of the accident the guy was driving on a suspended license and did not have insurance. So that guy was in court NOT for Spouse's case, but because of citations he'd received for driving on a suspended license and not having insurance.

On Mon I mentioned that we had put an offer on another foreclosure condo, along with several other people. We found out yesterday that the bank accepted one of the other offers, so we'll keep looking.

The weather is supposed to be crappy this weekend so maybe we'll finish organizing the stuff necessary to file our taxes. Now THAT sounds like an exciting weekend!

Crush du Jour: Andrea Zanchini

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A night at Nacho Mama's

So yesterday I was in meetings and sessions all day. Most of my colleagues were going home that evening but I planned to stay overnight so I wouldn't be completely exhausted, driving home at 10pm. I thought I'd have a bite to eat and then catch up on some blog reading.

But the new girl on the team named Dee (in town this week from LA) and I got to chatting. She's very nice. She invited me to join her, our boss, and few others for dinner. I didn't want her to think I was standoff-ish by not going with them, so I said I'd go. I didn't have high hopes.

Six of us drove to the Carytown area in downtown Richmond (our office and hotel are in the suburbs), parked, and decided to go for a walk before dinner. It was a brilliantly beautiful evening; nice and warm with a gentle breeze. The street was full of little shops and restaurants and was quite charming. We all thought that Nacho Mama's looked like a fun place to eat Mexican food, and they had patio dining so we went inside to get a table.

The handsome and lively gentleman named Raul checked but said it would be a wait for a patio table for 6, so we agreed to eat indoors. My gaydar was spiking off the charts on Raul. As we waited for the large table upstairs to be cleared, we ordered drinks and Dee asked Raul what were his favorite dishes. He listed for her his favorites and talked about each dish's ingredients. One of my other colleagues named Angie asked Raul where he was from, and he replied that he was from Texas. Amazingly, Angie and Raul were from the same small town outside Corpus Christi and talked about the neighborhoods and landmarks they knew in common. Raul shared that he was the owner of Nacho Mama's, not just the maitre d'.

With margaritas in hand we went upstairs to a small dining room and Raul said he'd come up to see us in a few minutes. Our waiter Sam showed up with chips and salsa for us to snack on while we looked over the menu. Through the course of the evening we learned that Sam was from Miami, moved to Richmond a little more than a year ago, and is moving next month to Missouri to live with his new girlfriend while he goes to nursing school. (Dee and Angie felt no shame in getting all the details on Sam and Raul.)

Raul came upstairs to our dining room, margarita in hand, and asked us where we were from. Each of the others stated where they were from and when it came to me Raul said "You're from here, right?" I said "No, I'm from the Washington DC area." Raul said "Hmm, cuz you look familiar to me", which made me chuckle inside. I think his gaydar was bleeping too.

Sam returned and we ordered our meals. Raul was still with us so Dee and Angie got him to reveal that he'd had the restaurant for 14 years and had worked hard to make a success of it. But Raul had a way of making just about everything funny. At one point he said that his grandmother had raised him and was over-protective. He said "She wouldn't let me play football so I was a cheerleader - I mean... in the marching band!" We all howled with laughter!! It seemed like we were laughing the entire time we were there, and it wasn't just the margaritas. I think he really enjoyed that our group took such an interest in him and his place. He pulled out his iPhone and said he wanted a picture of us. When Sam came back Raul gave Sam the phone and posed with us.

When our food came Raul went back downstairs for a while. A little while later a guy appeared at the entrance to the small dining room where we were eating and asked "Are you the group from Canada?" We said no, that we were all from the US. A little while later a woman appeared at the doorway and asked if we were the group from Missouri. We laughed and again said no. A little while later another guy appeared and asked if we were the group from Canada and Missouri!!! Again we chuckled and said no, but figured there must be a group from Canada and Missouri in one of the other dining rooms.

When Raul came back we told him about the 3 people asking if we were from Canada and Missouri. He erupted into laughter!! Finally able to speak, he told us those 3 people were his friends and that he'd told them (as a joke) we were from Canada and Missouri and suggested they come up and meet us! We all cracked up.

As we were about to leave, the 3 women stopped at the restroom. My boss and the other guy exited the restaurant and made cell phone calls while they waited. As I was walking out the door I saw Raul and the 2 guys and the woman who'd asked if we were from Canada and Missouri sitting at a table on the patio. When Raul saw me he asked "How did you like it? Was everything good?" I told him the food was delicious and the service and atmosphere were wonderful. I added "The only thing that could have made it better would be if we could have sat on the patio." Raul leaned over, grabbed my hand, pulled me onto the bench beside him, and said "There. Now you can say you got to sit on the patio!" We all laughed, and Raul said again that he thought we'd met before.

The ladies came outside to find me talking and laughing with Raul and his friends so he said "Come on ladies, one more picture. Lean in close." He handed the iPhone to his friend and said "Now, take a good one. I'm not 29 anymore - I'm 30 now!!" We all cracked up again.

I will definitely return to Nacho Mama's next month when I'm in Richmond again. The food was fantastic and the atmosphere was really fun. What more could you ask for?

Crush du Jour: Ben Corliss

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New beetle

No, this is NOT what we chose to replace our Honda CRV. This is the rental car I got this time:
I was surprised, as I've never seen a VW new beetle rental car before, especially not at the little agency near my house.

I found it to be okay. I don't hate it, but I don't love it either, and I wouldn't buy one. One thing I didn't like was how quickly the car got uncomfortably warm when the sun was out. The new beetle has so much glass that its like driving a terrarium when its sunny outside. Tinted windows would be a good option for this car.

Thanks to Facebook, I had dinner and a visit with an old family friend Sandy and her family last night. She lives in Richmond near my hotel. It was really great to reconnect with her after about 20 years!

I'm upset that the hotel's cable no longer has HGTV. That is not okay!

I'm in meetings all day today.

Crush du Jour: Keith Lieberthal

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Road trip

For the 2nd time this month I'm going to Richmond for work. I'm leaving around noon today and expect to be back home by 5:00 on Thurs.

We're having another 'sales training' and will also meet the newest member of the team who is in new employee training all week. Posting may be light for the next few days. I don't have an social plans this time so maybe I'll get a chance to catch up on blog reading this evening and tomorrow evening.

Crush du Jour: Craig Horner

Monday, March 22, 2010

Weekend highlights

Fri evening Spouse & I met 'the usual suspects' for Fri Night Dinner, then headed to VA.

Sat morning Spouse's sister and kids came over to his mom's house (where we stay) and we hung out for awhile. The group had lunch at a diner, then Spouse & I left to meet up with our realtor. She showed us another condo foreclosure which we liked and made an offer on. But again we are 1 of 4 offers on the place, so we'll see how it goes. We'd really like to pick up an inexpensive condo to rent out. We know that when the economy and real estate market improve, these units will appreciate a lot. Afterward we just drove around in our former town, taking note of the changes, and enjoying the gorgeous weather. It was sunny and in the 70s so we had the convertible top down. We also stopped at one of our favorite bakeries to pick up dessert for Sun evening. We returned to Spouse's mom's house, rested up a little, then his mom went with us to his sister's house where we hung out, ate pizza, and watched TV. We wound up watching a 1974 episode of "Columbo", streamed from Netflix. What a hoot!!!

Sun morning we hung out with Spouse's mom for a while, then his sister came over for a little while. She took Spouse's mom to church and we packed our stuff and headed over to Mike & Clark's house for brunch. Bugs & Roger came too. Mike & Clark started an addition and renovation project a few weeks before we did, and this was our 1st chance to see their new dining room, kitchen, and family room, which are absolutely gorgeous. We had a lovely brunch and got caught up on the goings-on in each others' lives. They are great friends and we really value keeping our friendship going despite us having moved away. From Mike & Clark's we drove back to DE and directly to Steven & Thad's. Again it was a beautiful day so we had the convertible top down. Spouse had invited us over to Steven & Thad's house for Sun dinner (insert me rolling my eyes). They were gracious and accepted our invitation to have dinner at their house. We had delicious grilled London Broil, salad, and grilled vegetables. We brought dessert. We had a nice, relaxing evening with our friends. It was a great way to wind down the weekend.

We got home about 9:30, unpacked, and watched TV until bedtime.

Today we've had intermittent showers and clouds, but after the spectacular weather we had this weekend, I don't really mind.

Crush du Jour: Will Forte

Friday, March 19, 2010

Friday fragments

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

The weather has been wonderful this week, with lots of sunshine and temps in the 60s. What a welcomed change of pace. I was beginning to think Spring would never arrive here, and that ain't good. The weekend weather is supposed to be great, too. I'm pretty sure that convertible top will be down at some point.

My friend Michael (of the Newlyweds) sent me this, which cracked me up!

A friend sent me this article which really surprised me. I mean, I grew up just outside Washington DC and lived there for over 40 years so I know that DC is rather politically conservative. But the social conservatism and backlash against the Washington Post for putting a photo on the front page of a gay married couple kissing surprised me. Come on, people, its 2010. Full equality for GLBT is coming, even if it feels like its coming painfully slowly at times. The world changes and progresses. Marriage equality is just one sign of that progress. You can fight it or you can accept it, but its gonna happen. I suggest acceptance.

We received our census form this week, and I filled it out today. To identify the relationship between "Person 1" and "Person 2" I selected "Unmarried Partner". Then, to the right of "Unmarried Partner" I wrote "GAY", in all caps. I swear, if I had some rainbow stickers I would have stuck them on the form! I ordered one of those pink stickers from Queer The Census at least a month ago, but I never received it.

We're going back to VA to visit with the family and some friends this weekend. Its been about 6 weeks since our last visit. We're also looking forward to 'checking in' at a few stores there that we don't have here. And I've got a gift card - woo hoo! We're having brunch on Sun with Clark & Mike and Bugs & Roger, which should be tres fab.

I hope everyone has a terrific weekend!

Crush du Jour: Manolo Gonzalez

Thursday, March 18, 2010

WTF???

Its sunny, warm, and beautiful today! The college kids renting the house across the street for Spring Break are laying on a blanket in their bathing suits sunbathing. WTF? Personally I think 65 degrees is still a little chilly for sunbathing, but what can you do? They're college kids!

Thought I'd share some photos that made me think: WTF??? (Click to enlarge them!)
OK, this one made me laugh out loud! Notice how Granny is prepared to hurl, with a trashcan between her feet. But what's up with those shiny stockings? I love how the lady in the middle strikes a pose. The guy is obviously wasted. Look at those eyes!

Do you suppose this guy chose this design because he's Greek? I'm giving him an A for execution, and a C- for originality.

This is my favorite! Junior is totally rockin' out with that guitar, shirtless naturally, while Pops decides to drop trou in front of his wife and mother. God bless America!!

Just above the word 'Snugglers' on this child's toy it reads: Stuff -> Hug -> Play. Exactly what kind of 'play' are they suggesting with this sex doll? And why is it being marketed to kids? WTF?

Look how giddy Grandma gets when she's packin'! The look on her face suggests she's been keeping a list of people to "visit" with her gun. Her grandson's pose confuses me. WTF?

Now THAT'S hot! A hairy dude in his bikini briefs, seductively posing with his guitars and ammo on a twin-size bed. RRAARRRRRR!

Oh dear god, I'm not sure where to begin with this one. Let's start with the fact that she's an amputee wearing a t-shirt that jokes about handicap parking. Throw in the single, hot pink gorilla boot on her (only) foot. If that weren't enough, there's a horse peaking out of a cellar at her! WTF?

Really? Would you give your MOM condoms? With love? That's just creepy.

Speaking of creepy, whose idea was it to create baby dolls you can shave? I mean, babies don't have... never mind. I just threw up in my mouth a little bit.

Its cold. There's snow on the ground. The men are bundled up tight. Yet, there's a pregnant woman in a bikini (WTF?) dousing herself with a bucket of water. WTF?

How much do you really, REALLY not want to get a job to do this to your face?

OK, making out in a car. We've all done it, right? But having sex in the front seat while your child is in the backseat? That's just plain tacky. No two ways about it.

One can only hope these two were the winners of "school spirit day" because there is no other explanation for dressing like this. None.

Feel free to come up with your OWN stories about these photos, and post them in the comments.

Crush du Jour: Timothy Olyphant

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Decisions, decisions...

Spouse met with the insurance adjuster on Mon, signed the paperwork, and got the check for the loss of our Honda CRV.

Yesterday we returned the rental car, a Dodge Nitro that we didn't like very much, due to its low door height and cramped foot wells. So starting today we are down to 1 car (not counting Big Ella), which Spouse drove to work. Since I work from home I don't really need a car during the day, everyday. If I do need to go somewhere, I can fire up Big Ella.

Our 1st reaction to knowing we had to surrender the rental yesterday was to start looking for a replacement for our '04 Honda CRV. I emailed our friend Bryan who has a used car dealership and told him we'd like to replace our CRV with the same thing, since it was practically perfect for us. He didn't have any on his lot but said he'd look for one for us.

However, we did look online at small/medium size SUVs like the CRV to see if we might want to consider something else, in case Bryan is unable to find what we want/had. We found a few that might be decent substitutes, but they don't come cheap. We're trying to spend only the amount the insurance company gave us so we won't have a car payment, but everything in our budget has too many miles. Sigh.

So it appears we'll have to compromise in some way. Maybe a year or 2 older; maybe higher mileage than we had; maybe a lower quality/lower cost SUV that fits our budget; maybe we 'bite the bullet' and get what we want but have a car payment for a year.

In the spirit of yesterday's Simplicity post, we are not worried about rushing out to replace the car immediately. We can live with just 1 daily driver for a while; maybe a few weeks, until we make a decision. But we will definitely get another SUV.

You see, our current car is a 2-seater (roadster). That means there's literally no place for Jordan on our weekend trips back to VA. We will board her this weekend when we go, but that is not a viable long-term solution. Plus with all the weekend company we have, we absolutely need a 4-door vehicle. One with a cargo area for Jordan and the occasional big box purchase is perfect for us.

So that's where we are right now: giving ourselves time to make the right decision.
Crush du Jour: Ted Dibiasi Jr.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Simplicity

Simplicity, by Sherri Kruger.

How can we make things simpler, more streamlined, or more efficient? Is this all just hype or is there actually something to this simplicity thing?

Reducing complexity in life has reduced stress, increased free time, and top priorities are actually top priorities. When we simplify as much as we can we are better able to slow down and enjoy each moment as opposed to rushing through it.

Here are a few ways you can simplify the various aspects of your life:

1. Turn off your cell phone.
2. Process email only twice a day.
3. Go to bed early.
4. Get rid of (or at least reduce) commitments that you do out of obligation.
5. Create a weekly meal plan.
6. Automate your finances.
7. Purge as much unneeded clutter as possible.
8. Keep your paper shredder on top of your recycling bin.
9. Add items you want to a wish list as you think of them.
10. Get a label maker or write labels out by hand.
11. Set your clothes out for the next day the night before.
12. Make your lunch for the next day the night before.
13. Make time to catch up with an old friend.
14. Just say no.
15. Ask for experiences not things for your birthday and Christmas this year.
16. Tell the truth.
17. Keep your list of addresses and phone numbers up to date.
18. Consolidate debt.
19. Create an organizing system that works for you.
20. Keep a bag for garbage in your car.
21. Cary a notebook and pen with you where ever you go.
22. Unsubscribe from emails, newsletters or RSS feeds that don’t provide value anymore.
23. Apologize immediately when you realize you’ve done wrong.
24. Enjoy the present moment as much as you can.
25. Take time to really see the little things in life.
26. Reduce the amount of TV you watch.
27. Get outside.
28. Create morning, daytime, and evening routines.
29. Ask for help.
30. Do things at home as much as possible (eat, date nights, entertain etc.).
31. Don’t get caught up in other people’s drama.
32. Let go of the self-imposed need to be perfect.
33. Focus on a simple, but healthy, eating plan.
34. Share responsibilities.
35. Reduce your wardrobe to a few versatile items.
36. Be positive.
37. Start a gratitude journal.
38. Finish old tasks before taking on new ones.
39. For every new item that enters your home set two free.
40. Want what you have not what you don’t.
41. Revisit what you carry with you in your purse or wallet.
42. Focus on one thing at a time.
43. Store new garbage bags at the bottom of your garbage can.

Crush du Jour: David James Elliot

Monday, March 15, 2010

Weekend highlights

Bugs & Roger arrived late afternoon on Fri so we kicked off the weekend with sidecar martinis. Then we met up with 'the usual suspects' for Fri Night Dinner. Once home again we hung out and caught up on each other's goings-on.

Sat morning Bugs, Roger and I enjoyed coffee, English muffins, music, and newspaper/magazine reading while Spouse went to his personal trainer appointment. Later we went to my favorite lunch spot: Cafe Sole, where I had my usual: fried oyster BLT with melted brie. It is HEAVEN! Then we walked down the street to the new Italian deli and bakery called Touch of Italy to look around and sampled some wonderful cheeses. Spouse bought some chocolate eclairs for later. Back at the house we hung out with our friends until it was time to go to the movies. We went to see an indie film called "Hollywood, je t'aime" sponsored by the Rehoboth Beach Film Society. It was cute, but seemed to kinda plod along. There really wasn't much in the way of 'peaks and valleys'; it was more like a 90 minute plateau, but still enjoyable. An interesting side note for me was recognizing Michael Airington in the film. I met him years ago in Washington DC. He moved to LA to get into acting. Looks like he did it! Afterward the film we met up with Steven & Thad for dinner at Saketumi. Again, I had my favorite: Panang Curry Chicken. The food, service, and atmosphere are always terrific at Saketumi.

Sun morning Steven & Thad came over and the 6 of us had brunch of blueberry pancakes, bacon, sausage, scrambled eggs, biscuits, fruit salad, juice and coffee. We had a lot of fun, and began making some spring travel plans (day trips) with our friends. Shortly after 1:00 we said our goodbyes to Bugs & Roger, followed shortly by Steven & Thad. Spouse & I ran a few quick errands then returned home so Spouse could take a nap while I caught up on some email. We just relaxed the rest of the evening, and watched "Once". Like the film we saw the night before, this one also lacked the necessary plot contrasts to keep you engaged. It was a sweet story and the original musical performances were good.

Yet again, it seems the weekend flew by. Hope you had a great one.

Crush du Jour: Ryan Paevey

Friday, March 12, 2010

Friday fragments

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

Yesterday I
rode home from Richmond listening to my 4-disc box set "12 Nights in Hollywood" by the incomparable Ella Fitzgerald. 4 hours of previously unreleased tracks recorded live in Hollywood nightclubs. It was fabulous!

Prior to Obama's stimulus initiative which saved many states from bankruptcy, this was one of my suggestions:
Imagine the revenue states could collect for marriage licenses and the taxes states could collect on wedding related services like hotel ballrooms and guest rooms, florists, catering, gown purchases, tuxedo rentals and purchases, and wedding gifts. The whole 'equality' thing would be the icing on the cake!

Speaking of gay marriage, here's a heartwarming
video of the 1st same-sex marriage to occur in Washington DC this week. Congrats ladies!

This gave me a chuckle:as did this:

Spouse called me (in Richmond) on Tues to tell me he'd been in a car accident. Fortunately no one was hurt seriously. He just has a bruise on his hip from the seat belt. He turned left and apparently pulled out in front of a vehicle he didn't see, which hit the passenger side of our Honda CRV. This afternoon we got the bad news that our car was totalled. Spouse is currently driving a Dodge Nitro (rental), which we will have to return on Tues when the insurance company cuts us a check for the CRV, minus our deductible, and minus the 5 remaining car payments we had. As much as I love cars I was NOT expecting to purchase 2 of them in the same month!

Bugs & Roger are arriving today! We always have a lot of fun when these good friends of ours come to visit. They'll accompany us to Fri Night Dinner with 'the usual suspects' tonight, and tomorrow night we're going to a screening of "Hollywooed, je t'aime" followed by dinner at Saketumi. Should be a terrific weekend!

Here's wishing all of you a fun and SAFE weekend.

Crush du Jour: Trevor St John

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Cars

I'm working in the Richmond office today until about noon, then making the 5-hour drive back home to DE.

As you likely know, I consider myself a 'car guy'. I love cars, and have loved them since I was a small boy. I used to keep myself occupied for hours on end playing with my Matchbox cars. I also liked to look at car ads in magazines, and occasionally went to local auto shows. This may help to explain my longstanding fascination with cars and my desire to own cars like Big Ella, my BMW 325i convertible, and our newest Mercedes Benz SLK 230.

My company decided last year to have remote employees rent cars for their trips to the corporate office, rather than reimbursing us the government-mandated rate for mileage. That was fine with me, as it kept me from wracking up lots of miles on my personal car, AND it gave me an opportunity to drive different types of cars.

The only car rental place near me is Enterprise, and I have found them to be incredibly nice and accommodating. In November I reserved an intermediate class car but they offered me a free upgrade to a brand new 2010 Nissan Maxima.What a nice surprise! It was a nice car to drive and I enjoyed having the moon roof.

In Feb I again reserved the intermediate class and was upgraded to a 2010 Dodge Journey.
It was very windy but I found the Journey to be solid and sure-footed. I did not feel as if I were about to be blown off the road.

This week I got a Chrysler PT Cruiser. I've driven this model before when Spouse & I were visiting The Newlyweds in Portland. One of The Newlyweds has a silver PT Cruiser exactly like the one I had this week.
I found it to be comfortable and solid.

I believe I will be returning to Richmond again in early May so it will be fun to try out another new car.

Crush du Jour: Craig Reynolds