Friday, May 30, 2008

My life as Carrie Bradshaw

Well, "Sex and the City" the movie opens today. Spouse & I will see it either tonight after dinner with the 'usual suspects' or tomorrow. We were big fans of the TV series and will often watch re-runs one of the several stations that show them.

And speaking of re-runs, in honor of the movie's opening I am re-running another one of my blog posts from 2005 when nobody read my blog. I hope you enjoy it.

Okay, so we get an email last week from our friends Roger & Bugsy, inviting us and our mutual friends Mike & Clark to dinner tonight. Rog reminds us that it's "Dine Out for Life", a fundraising opportunity where participating DC area restaurants donate a percentage of their proceeds from the night to Food & Friends, a DC area AIDS organization. Food & Friends delivers 3 meals a day to homebound people with AIDS. I used to be a kitchen volunteer there a few years ago. So, as if we needed an incentive to go out to dinner with friends, of course we said yes.

Then yesterday I get this idea: Let's have a "Sex and the City" boy's night out! You know how the "Sex and the City" girls get all dolled up, meet at some trendy restaurant and have cocktails and dinner. Miranda wears that smoky eyeshadow that she only wears on such occasions, Samantha wears those 6-inch long dangly chandelier earrings, Charlotte wears a sleek strapless number (she always does), and Carrie will have to buy a new pair of $400. shoes. You get the picture...

To their credit, they all four agreed it might be fun, so it was settled. However, Rog & Bugsy said that although they'd heard of "Sex and the City", they'd never actually seen the show. My heart began to sink. I knew Mike & Clark had seen the show, but they are usually not the dress up type. In all reality, I just felt like we should do something different, and not go out to dinner wearing the same old clothes we'd worn to work that day.

I'm pretty lucky: I can wear whatever I want to work. Most of the time it's jeans and a pullover. In the summer it's shorts and t-shirt. Since I never see clients face-to-face and I work in a small office, I dress in what is the most comfortable so I can be the most productive. At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

I just didn't want the six of us to meet for dinner looking like I look everyday at work. I wanted the glamour, the sparkle, the feeling of being a "Sex and the City" girl. Yes, this night had to be different. I had to be different.

So, being the eternal optimist that I am, I took and deep breath and wrote back to the boys to lay down the fashion rules of the evening: no jeans, no sneakers, a solid sweater was okay, but a shirt must have at least two colors.

Now, you might be surprised at my need to review the fashion rules with 4 gay men. But, contrary to the stereotype, not all gay men are good at floral arranging, hair styling, home decorating, and fashion. Now you know. But after a little initial cajoling, they all agreed to the terms.

And I knew exactly what I'd wear. I'd wear the ensemble I had put together for Joe's company Christmas party. Although I didn't know anyone when I arrived with him, I knew everyone by the time I left. They were all compelled to talk to me about my 'loud' shirt. My outfit was a big hit!

So as I began to dress this evening, I started feeling excited. I started with a pair of black gabardine slacks by Liz Claibourne that I'd found for a mere $39.95. Next came the infamous shirt: a very large paisley print in pink, grey, and black on a white background. Although I got it for only $19.95, it looks WAY more 'designer' and expensive. To tone down that outrageous shirt I slipped on a black leather sport jacket. Now, this is NOT a jacket you'd wear outdoors for warmth. Au contraire, this jacket is cut like a sport jacket you'd wear with dress slacks and a dress shirt - only its made of smooth black leather. Hot!!! And the finishing touch was a pair of black, square-toed leather shoes I snagged for only $29.95. You must admit that men's leather shoes for under $30. is unheard of! Unlike the real Carrie Bradshaw, I am the quintessential bargain hunter.

Spouse looked very sharp in a pair of black slacks, shiny black leather shoes, and a smart-looking blue, black and grey stripe shirt. It looked especially good on him with his black hair. With our ensembles complete, we left to meet the boys. I dropped Spouse off in front of the restaurant, since the garage was full and there was no street parking, which made us late. He joined the boys and I finally found a place to park.

Our table had a curved banquet and 4 chairs, and although I'd have pushed others aside to sit in the banquet, I didn't need to. When I got to the table the only empty place was in the banquet. As we sipped our Cosmopolitans, I leaned back and tossed my arm up onto the back of the banquet, exposing more of my 'loud' shirt, and enjoying brief but fleeting glimpses of "Sex and the City"-ness.

Roger & Bugsy made concerted attempts to dress appropriately. I especially enjoyed Roger's bright multi-color stripe shirt and sunflower tie. Mike & Clark broke the rules, but I tried to hide my disappointment. Clark had on a dark grey crew neck and khaki pants, and Mike had on a hunter green cotton button-up and khaki pants. No solid color shirts! Can you say "Casual Friday"??? Mike joked that he didn't own any 'fun or funky clothes'. "Everything in my closet is solid or beige." I'm afraid my gasp may have been audible, but I hid it by pretending to cough.

Then our dinners arrived and we enjoyed the delicious and spicy Indian specialties of the Aroma restaurant. We talked and laughed and caught up on each other's lives. We really had a good time, and were too full for desert. I couldn't believe how quickly the time passed, and it was soon time to go home, because unlike Carrie, we all had to get up for work the next day.

Crush du Jour: Jamie Bamer

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Safe sun

Although summer doesn't official start until mid-June, to most people, the start of the summer season begins on Memorial Day weekend, as community pools open and droves of people flock to the beach.

Now, we all know better than to spend time in the sun without sunscreen. Having unsafe sun is just plain risky! Even just 15 minutes in the sun without SPF protection can result in a sunburn. Why put yourself at risk? Really, nothing is worth ending up like this guy.
So, how does one enjoy time in the sun without getting burned?

The first and most obvious answer is to use a suntan lotion with an appropriate SPF (Sun Protection Factor) level. The lighter your skin tone, the higher the SPF level you should use. Also, the amount of time you will spend makes a difference. If you're going to be outside gardening or mowing the lawn for 30 minutes, SPF 15 may be just fine. But if you're going to be at the beach for 4-5 hours you should use a higher SPF like 30 or 45. For exposures longer than an hour you should re-apply your lotion several times. Swimming and perspiring reduce its efficacy.

Once I used suntan lotion left over from the previous summer and got burned, literally. Did you know that suntan lotion loses its efficacy after several months? So don't be cheap (like me) and try to use up last year's left overs - throw them away and buy a new bottle!

I've also been burned when the sun was hidden behind clouds. The sun's ultraviolet rays are still reaching you even when its not "sunny", so you still need SPF protection.

Additionally, limit your sun exposure when possible by spending some time under the shade of an umbrella, or somewhere else that's shady, having a drink or snack indoors, or shopping at boardwalk stores. (You don't have to buy anything.)
Wear a hat, sunglasses, and bring a light-weight shirt you can put on if you think you need to.
But what can you do if you accidentally get sunburned? Here are some sunburn treatments you may or may not know about.

Apply cool, damp cloths to your sunburned areas. You'll be surprised how soothing this is!
Take cool showers or baths. This will help reduce your core body temperature a little, and your skin temperature a lot.
Apply soothing lotions that contain aloe vera, chamomile, or tea tree oil. This will help reduce the 'sting' and give your scorched skin some moisture.
A sunburn can cause a mild fever and a headache. Lie down in a cool, quiet room to relieve the headache. If that's not enough, try a nonprescription medicine to treat your fever or headache such as Acetaminophen (Tylenol or Panadol), Ibuprofen (Advil or Motrin), Naproxen (Aleve or Naprosyn), or Aspirin (Bayer or Bufferin).

There is little you can do to stop sunburned skin from peeling; its part of the healing process, but applying moisturizing lotion may help reduce the itching.
Believe it or not, dehydration can occur more easier than you may think, so drink lots of fluids, especially water, while in the sun and afterward to keep your body hydrated.

So have fun in the sun this summer season, and by all means, make sure to practice safe sun!

Crush du Jour: Ronnie Kroell

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Sorry folks, but I got nothin' today but the blues. I can't think of anything even remotely interesting to share. Maybe I have post-holiday-weekend-blues. Maybe my blues are due to 'blueberry overload'. I don't know, but rather than 'blue' I really just feel beige.

I did go to my work out last evening and surprisingly made it through a tougher work out than normal. Rather than the typical 3 sets of 15 reps, Rick had me do 2 sets of 25 or 2 sets of 50, depending on the exercise. As is my custom, I fought him the entire way over it, and today I have that pleasant muscle soreness that tells me I'm doing something right.

Other than that, I got nothin'. Hopefully tomorrow I'll return to my usual shade of orange.

Crush du Jour: Adrian Pasdar

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A blueberry weekend

I'm not sure why, but I just can't seem to get myself together today. I sort of feel like I'm in a daze. I feel tired, despite having had over 7 hours of sleep last night. I should feel great after all the health food I consumed this weekend.

Bugs & Roger arrived around 4:00 on Fri and we had blueberry-based cocktails on the screened porch by 4:05. Spouse came home, and later the 4 of us headed out for our Fri night dinner with the 'usual suspects'. Since it was Scott's birthday, I picked up a cake and candles and smuggled them into the restaurant before Scott arrived, and gave instructions for our server to bring the cake out after clearing away our dinner plates. Scott was pleasantly surprised and we had a good time.

Something happened at dinner that became a source of laughter for Spouse, Bugs, Roger and me for the rest of the long weekend. After each person had looked at the check and put their money in the folder, it came to me. I determined that mine and Spouse's meals and tip should come to $40, but that would leave $25. unpaid, so I suggested we pass the bill around again so that each person could check to see if they had missed some upcharge. Someone asked what might have been overlooked so I mentioned that I wanted fries instead of chips so there was a 99 cent upcharge for that, and then said "There's also a coleslaw on here for a hundred twenty nine dollars," rather than a dollar twenty nine.
This caused much comical commotion at the table, as well as many references throughout the weekend to "$129.00 coleslaw".

Sat morning we had assorted bagels (mine was blueberry) with cream cheese and raspberry and blueberry scones for breakfast on the porch.

Bugs and Rog had brought some new CDs so we listened to them and talked and read magazines and drank coffee on the porch. I love leisurely mornings like this.

Afterward we went to a few yard sales where we picked up 2 chair cushions and 1 love seat cushion for our porch furniture for $10. for the set. At another one I got 2 beautiful antique satin-looking throw pillows for a quarter each, and Spouse picked up 4 small glass bowls with colored rims for $1.

Later Spouse & Rog went to the grocery store while Bugs and I had more blueberry-based cocktails on the porch. By 8:00 we were all hungry but rather than dragging our half-drunk blueberry asses out to a restaurant, we ordered individual gourmet pizzas. Spouse & Rog picked them up while Bugs and I enjoyed more blueberry-based cocktails and seemed to do a lot more laughing than our Spouses.

On Sun we had pancakes and bacon for breakfast, followed by multiple cups of coffee on the porch while we listening to more music and reading more magazines. Then the 4 of us met up with Rick & Nick at the beach. It was a little chilly so we simply wore shorts and shirts, although there were plenty of sun worshippers in their bikinis and speedos. We went for a nice long walk on the beach, just like those people do who write personal ads. (Dislikes: brussel sprouts, rap music, and boxing. Likes: kittens, knitting, and long walks on the beach.)On the way home we stopped at the grocery store for pomegranate-blueberry juice (essential for that night's cocktail concoction) and a few other necessary barbeque items.

While waiting for Rick & Nick to arrive for our little barbeque, Bugs and I experimented with different proportions of ingredients until we perfected our very own cocktail:

Blue PomeCosmo

1 part Stoli blueberi vodka
1 1/2 part Minute Maid Pomegranate-Blueberry juice
1/2 part Cointreau or Triple Sec
Shake with ice cubes, then strain into chilled martini glasses

Utterly fabulous!

We all enjoyed burgers and dogs from the grill, Roger's homemade potato salad, doctored-up baked beans, chips and dip. It was a gorgeous evening and we ate and hung out on the porch the entire evening. When it got dark I lit a bunch of candles.

After we'd managed to digest a minuscule amount of our meals, it was time for dessert. Spouse made Sandra Lee's Cinnamon Roll Bread Pudding, although he followed her verbal option to substitute doughnuts for the cinnamon rolls and blueberries for the raisins. Let's just say it was... interesting. It looked like a bowl of vomit, but it tasted good. It didn't seem like a dessert to me. It seemed more like a breakfast dish so I ate it the next morning for breakfast.

After a leisurely breakfast followed by more coffee and reading on the porch, the 4 of us went for a walk down to the bay. It was a lot warmer on Mon so we returned to the house, had a quick lunch (I ate the last blueberry scone and Bugs ate the last blueberry bagel) and grabbed our beach chairs and suntan lotion.
When we arrived at the beach the people were streaming toward the parking lot as if Nordstrom had just opened the doors to their Half-Yearly sale. Like salmon attempting to swim upstream we parted the sea of bathing beauties headed to their cars.

One guy told us "The wind shifted and now its cold" but we didn't care. We set up our chairs on the now nearly-empty beach and enjoyed the sound of the crashing waves and the warmth of the sun on our pasty while skin.

After about an hour we returned to the house to clean up, then had dinner at Crabby Dick's before saying goodbye to our friends at about 6:30.

It was a terrific weekend and I consumed so many healthy blueberry foods and drinks that I can't understand why I feel tired and lethargic today. Just my luck, I have my work out this evening with Rick. I hope I can make it.

Crush du Jour: Brady Quinn

Saturday, May 24, 2008

First openly-gay Mayor of Portland, OR

Portland, Oregon City Commissioner Sam Adams had little difficulty winning Portland's mayoral race Tuesday, becoming the first openly gay mayor ever elected to lead one of the 30 largest U.S. cities.

Adams won 58 percent of the vote, avoiding a November runoff.

Local businessman Sho Dozono had 34 percent and almost a dozen other candidates split the remainder.

Adam's sexuality was never an issue in the campaign but following his victory said he was aware of the history he was making.

"I'm running not to be a gay mayor, but a great mayor," he said. "But I'm very cognizant, very aware that I'm the first openly gay mayor of a major American city. That's a real honor."

The Washington DC-based Gay & Lesbian Victory Fund endorsed Adams and helped to fund his campaign. Tuesday's election also saw Victory-endorsed Oregon Secretary of State candidate Kate Brown advance to the November general election, easily winning her Democratic primary.

Brown, who is currently the Democratic leader in the Oregon Senate, would become the nation's highest ranking openly bisexual elected official if she wins her November general election. She is heavily favored against her Republican opponent, who has never held elective office.

Adams cut his political teeth serving for more than a decade as chief aide to Portland Mayor Vera Katz. In 2004 he became the first openly gay man elected to Portland City Council - the same year that Oregon voted to amend its constitution to bar same-sex marriage.

The amendment was pushed through after about 3,000 same-sex couples were granted marriage licenses in Multnomah County, the largest county in Oregon.

Last year Adams and his former partner, Greg Eddie, filed a civil rights lawsuit alleging the Public Employee Retirement System discriminated against them because it would not recognize their breakup in the same-way it recognizes opposite-sex couple divorces.

Adams and Eddie were together for 11 years. They owned a home, shared a joint bank account, and pooled their assets. In 2004 the men ended their relationship and agreed to split their shared assets 50-50.

But when Adams attempted to have his retirement account with PERS equally divided the System refused saying the breakup was not a divorce in the legal sense.

Oregon last year passed legislation allowing gay couples to register as domestic partners.
This story found at

Crush du Jour: Sam Adams

Friday, May 23, 2008


A while back I read that blueberries were good for you. Apparently they have some kind of super antioxidants in them or something, yada yada yada. The gist of the article was that blueberries are a health food.This seemed like good news to me because I love blueberries, and finding out that they are a 'health food' makes me feel like I'm doing my body good by eating them.
Imagine my delight when I realized that this was no longer 'desert', but rather, 'health food'!
I'm certain I'd be redundant if I mentioned that a blueberry martini was no longer a 'cocktail', but a 'health beverage'. I mean, you get the picture, right?

Okay, so maybe I don't have a degree in nutrition but it seemed to make sense for a little while. At least it made sense while I was sucking down those 'health beverages'!

Our friends Bugsy & Roger are coming today to spend the long Memorial Day weekend with us and, being on this 'health kick', I suggested that Bugs surprise me with some cocktail recipes made with... blueberry vodka!
I expect we will have a gay old time trying out the different concoctions and adjusting the ingredients in them until we have perfected each drink.
Wishing everyone and fun and safe Memorial Day weekend.

Crush du Jour: Thor Knai

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Work out

Back in Sept 07 I began working out once a week with a personal trainer. Rick is not just my trainer, but also my friend.

I used to post work out updates for the first several weeks, but found that I really didn't have much 'new' to say about the work outs, so I stopped mentioning them. I am still working out once a week, and despite all predictions (especially my own), I am enjoying it.

Two days ago as I was doing some exercise where you stand and push down on a Y-shaped thingy with weights on the other end, Rick pointed to my visible tricep and said "Look at that. You couldn't see that when you started here." And he was right.

When I told Spouse about this he threw me a snarky smile and suggested that Rick had a vested interest in telling clients how much progress they've made, kind of like the boutique employee who tells the rich old woman that everything she puts on looks great on her. I did not let his cynicism deflate me.

I guess my own expectations of seeing my own visible muscular development were kind of low, since I'd never lifted weights or worked out before and since I was only doing it once a week. But my persistence seems to be paying off, and my arms do not look as much like 'tubes of flesh' as they used to. My arms actually have shape and definition now.No, this is not my 'before and after' photo. I culled this off Google Images simply to demonstrate what a developed tricep looks like.

This got me thinking: If I can get decent results like this from working out with a trainer once a week for 10 months, imagine how much quicker the results would compound if I worked out on my own a few times a week between my trainer sessions. Suddenly I could imagine myself not feeling like the most out-of-shape guy at the beach. I actually entertained silly, fleeting thoughts that perhaps other guys at the beach might look at me and raise their eyebrow as I pass by.

So now I'm trying to figure out how I can get our neighbor, the gym owner, to give me a "family membership" for the same price that Spouse now pays for his single person membership. I really don't know the gym owner. I just know his first name and that he owns the gym. I don't really see him often, as he's not usually home or outdoors when I walk Jordan passed his house. But I think its worth a try.

Crush du Jour: Franchesco D'Macho

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Mis-used words and non-sensical phrases

While researching something in the archives of my blog, I came across a post I wrote back in 2005 when no one read my blog. I liked it so much that I am re-posting below. Hope you enjoy it.

Have you ever noticed often people mis-use words and use nonsense phrases? Lately I have been paying more attention than usual to this, and I was surprised at how often this occurs. And its not just because I hang around with illiterate people. I've heard radio DJs and people on TV do this, too.

Here are some of the most common ones:
Actually (mis-used word)
Use of the word actually indicates that something is so, despite how surprising or incredulous it sounds. "I actually saw him bite off his finger" would be the correct usage of the word. However, I was watching a show on HGTV called Semi-Homemade where the host, Sandra Lee, was demonstrating how to make something and said "Okay, now you're actually going to add the flour to the mixture in your bowl." Now what is so surprising or incredulous about adding flour to a mixture in a bowl while cooking? In fact, that was exactly what I anticipated she was going to do with that flour.

To tell you the truth (nonsense phrase)
How many times have you heard someone you know - not a stranger - begin a sentence with "To tell you the truth..."? So what does that mean? All the other times they've been talking to you they were telling lies, but this time is different? Hmm...

Literally (mis-used word)
This one can be really funny! Some people use the word literally when they mean figuratively. "I literally kicked their butts during today's game!" Is that so? Wouldn't there be a penalty for doing that? What they really meant was that they figuratively kicked their butts. However, this mis-use bothers me less than most since it often creates comical mental images.

Quite frankly (nonsense phrase)
This is truly a nonsense phrase, as it adds no value at all and is redundant. "Quite frankly, I hate her." I don't know about you but I would never confuse the statement 'I hate her' as anything other than frank. It certainly isn't subtle. Mostly, its redundant.

Irregardless (mis-used non-word)
This is probably my favorite. Irregardless is not a word. Don't believe me, check the dictionary. Regardless is a word. "Irregardless of how much money he makes..." almost sounds like its correct, but it isn't. The prefix 'ir' means without. (Irrelevant means without relevance.) The word regardless means without regard. So, if irregardless were a word, it would mean without without regard. If something is without without regard, then it has regard. But we use the word regarding to mean something with regard.

I could care less (nonsense phrase)
Here's another one that means the opposite of how people use it. "I could case less about her new car." If one could care less, that means that they do care to some degree. Yet, when people say "I could care less" they really mean that they could NOT care less, or they have no degree of care at all. So, "I could care less about her new car" really means 'I am mindful that she has a new car and I think about it'.

Now don't get me wrong; I'm not suggesting that everyone stop mis-using words and prefacing sentences with nonsense phrases. Sometimes they can be quite funny. And to tell you the truth, I could care less if literally everyone actually used them in every sentence, quite frankly, irregardless of whether they made sense.

Crush du Jour: Carter Oosterhouse

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Time with Evelyn

Well, our weekend back in VA was interesting. We arrived just before noon on Sat, went out to lunch with Joe's mom Evelyn, did a little gift card shopping, and hung out with her at her house until it was time for the 3 of us to go to Ana's grad school graduation party, which was really nice. Sun we treated Evelyn to lunch for belated Mother's Day and Joe's brother Louis for his belated birthday, and had a nice time. We left for home at about 1:00.

As usual, our time with Evelyn was full of both laughter and frustration. Now, to prevent anyone from getting the wrong idea, I love my mother-in-law! I really do. She's very optimistic, active, and loves to keep up with current events, mostly by reading tabloids like the Star and Inquirer, and watching those 'fake' news programs like Inside Edition. But she's 78 years old, so we don't give her much grief for reading the tabloids.

She's not the kind of 78 year old women who sits around crocheting afghans or doilies. Hell, she doesn't even cook anymore if she can help it. She'd much rather go to dinner or lunch (or both in the same day) with her girlfriends, to whom Spouse & I affectionately refer as The Bag Brigade. But I digress. Evelyn is a doll and I love her, but she can be a little frustrating at times.

Since we moved 16 months ago we've gone back to visit Evelyn once each month. We stay at her house, which is the house Spouse was raised in. I'm not exaggerating when I say that every time we've been back to visit she asks me who do I think is going to be the next president. At first I would tell her whom I hoped would win, but reminded her that we'll just have to wait and see. More recently I've been telling her that while the election is still 5 months away I am sick to death of all the information regurgitation about it. No one has anything NEW to say so they just keep speculating and rehashing every minute detail. Because of this I told her that I have stopped watching the news. I turn the TV or radio station when any discussion of Clinton, Obama, Reverend Wright, or McCain comes on. Despite my being crystal clear on this, on Sat Evelyn once again asked me who did I think was "gonna get it", 'it' being the presidency.

Then there's her unlocked door phobia. She has an irrational fear of the doors to her house being unlocked. Its not like she lives in a 'bad neighborhood' or anything - that's why I refer to it as 'irrational'. Here's an example of a typical (read: happens every time we visit) conversation we have about the doors being locked:
Mark: Come on Jordan, let's go outside and go pee-pee.
Evelyn: Make sure you lock that sliding door.
Mark: Okay, I will. (Lets dog out)
Evelyn: Did you lock that door?
Mark: No, I'm going to let Jordan back in the house in 5 minutes, but I'll lock it then.
Evelyn: Okay, don't forget.
Mark: I won't. (Lets dog back in 5 minutes later and locks door)
Evelyn: Is the door locked?
Mark: Yes.
Evelyn: Okay, thank you. I always have to make sure the door is locked (as if I didn't know this!) 'cuz you never know, right?
Mark: Uh huh
(Five minutes later, as we're about to leave the house together)
Evelyn: Joey, check that sliding door (the one I just told her I locked 5 minutes ago) to make sure its locked.
Spouse: Its locked Ma.
This happens all the time, and it sorta drives me crazy. But then I calm myself by telling myself that she's 78 years old and lives alone, so she has a heightened level of personal safety. Besides, she treats me like a son, which is more than I can say about my own parents.

And as I said above, time spent with Evelyn is full of laughter too. Sometimes this woman cracks me up!

Once she told us about a conversation she had with her morbidly obese son Paul. She told us that she expressed her concerns to him over the health risks suffered by many who are extremely overweight. (No one knows for sure, but I'm guess Paul is at least 400 lbs.) Then she said to him "Paulie, you've got to cut back. You can't keep going like this. What are you trying to prove?" This had me & Spouse rolling on the floor with laughter! She asked him "What are you trying to prove?" as if there was some kind of purpose behind his eating, like those who stage hunger strikes. To this day if one of us overeats Spouse or I will say to the other "What are you trying to prove?"

On one of our visits Evelyn asked Spouse if he'd lost weight. He indicated he had, so she replied "You're looking good now. For awhile you were starting to look ridiculous." I burst into laughter as Spouse seemed slightly offended. "What? Ridiculous? That seems awfully harsh" he said, as they both joined me in laughter.

Another such 'Evelyn-ism' we've used over and over again came when we picked up mints from a bowl as we exited a restaurant. Instead of the typical red and white peppermints, these were green and white spearmints. Not having noticed the different color, but definitely noticing the different taste, Evelyn said "Oh, I got a sour cream mint." Spouse nearly had to scrape me off the parking lot I was laughing so hard! Evelyn laughed too. I mean, think about it: sour cream is not a flavor per se, its simply an ingredient. No confectioner would create a sour cream flavored mint! Then Spouse added to my hysteria by claiming he'd gotten an herb and garlic mint. I was destroyed!!!

Another time we were talking about her neighbor Charlotte's drinking when Evelyn concluded that Charlotte needed to go to "triple A" for help. After we recovered from our fits of laughter Spouse corrected her by saying "You mean AA Ma, not triple A." She's like a female Archie Bunker.

Evelyn was giving us her Christmas list verbally one year and said she wanted some "Ester Nigro perfume", which had us in tears with laughter. Ester Nigro was an old family friend who passed away years ago, whom I doubt ever came out with her own fragrance line. What she meant to say was 'Estee Lauder perfume'.

Evelyn occasionally eats with her girlfriends at "TGFridy", which you and I would know as T.G.I.Fridays. Evelyn removes the 'I', turns 'Friday' into Fridy, and removes the 's'. In fact she removes the 's' off of lots of names, like 'Trader Joe' (Trader Joe's), 'Ruby Tuesdy' (Ruby Tuesdays), and 'Men Warehouse' (Men's Warehouse). She also removes the 's' sound from the end of words that are not plural, such as 'Chinee and Japanee restaurants'.

Her latest and quite possibly her funniest faux pas occurred while I was in the living room reading the paper (NOT watching FOX news with her) when she asked Spouse whom he liked better, Hilary Clinton or Barack Bahama?

Oh, how the woman slays me!

Crush du Jour: Aaron Diaz

Monday, May 19, 2008

What were they thinking?

A friend sent me these ill-thought signs and logos. What were they thinking? So I couldn't resist posting them, along with my attempt at witty commentary. Click to enlarge photos.
I can only imagine that during the roundtable discussion, it was decided that people are what this pharmacy is all about, so why not put people into the logo? That sounds reasonable enough. Unless your logo is the capital letter 'K', in which case it looks like people doing the nasty.

I can't believe nobody at Kids Exchange realized that taking away the space between those two words might lead some to think the sign this was the place for a Kid Sex Change.

Okay, we all know this logo should have set off red flags in all directions.

Granted, I had to click to enlarge this photo before the blunder became apparent. I can be a little slow on the uptake occasionally. But that 'mouse' in the word computer looks an awful lot like a drooling penis. I'm just sayin'.

Now, I only speak enough Spanish to order in a Mexican restaurant, but I'm pretty sure 'Clinica Dental' should NOT be accompanied by a figure of two people having intercourse. Call me gifted but I don't think that's what is says.

Crush du Jour: Justin Theroux

Friday, May 16, 2008

Good news for gays in CA

...but the battle is far from over.

Jubilation Over Marriage Ruling, Foes Promise To Keep Fighting
by Newscenter Staff

(San Francisco, California) They began arriving before dawn, many with their partners - some carrying signs supporting gay marriage, others with their children. A crowd of opponents to same-sex marriage also showed up. By 10:00 am when the California Supreme Court was to deliver its landmark ruling the area was jammed.

As news of the ruling (story) striking down the state ban on same-sex marriage reached the throng outside a massive yell of joy went out.

Shelly Bailes and Helen Pontac, her partner of 34 years embraced. They were one of the 8,000 couples who married at San Francisco city hall in 2004, only to see those marriages invalidated by an earlier high court ruling.

"The best day of my life was when I met Helen," Bailes told the Los Angeles Times. "This was as good as that."

San Francisco mayor Gavin Newsom called it an historic day for all of America.

The Rev Troy Perry, the founder of the Metropolitan Community Churches and his spouse, Phillip Ray De Blieck were part of the lawsuit that resulted in Thursday's ruling.

"We thank God that our prayers have been answered! This is a battle that our church, the Metropolitan Community Churches, has fought since I performed the first public same-sex wedding ceremony in the United States -- in Huntington Park, California, in 1969," said Perry in a statement.

Assemblyman Mark Leno (D-San Francisco) who crafted two bills that would have allowed same-sex marriage only see both vetoed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said he is reviewing the legal implications "of today’s ruling and, if it is determined to be necessary, draft any implementing legislation that may be needed or appropriate."

"Today’s ruling is a supreme affirmation of the sanctity of the love that two people share with one another without regard to their gender, and a victory for all Californians who believe that people should have the opportunity to pursue their dreams on equal footing," Leno said.
Schwarzenegger released a statement saying he would abide by the ruling and reiterated an earlier commitment to fight a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage which is likely to appear on November's ballot.

I respect the court's decision and as governor, I will uphold its ruling. Also, as I have said in the past, I will not support an amendment to the constitution that would overturn this state Supreme Court ruling," Schwarzenegger said in his statement.

"This is a historic day for the state of California, and a long-awaited day for the plaintiffs in this case and their families," said Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese.

"The California Supreme Court has made clear that same-sex couples in committed relationships and their families deserve the same level of respect afforded to opposite-sex couples. The court did its job by ensuring that the state constitution provides the same rights and protections for everyone. This is a decision that strengthens California families."

Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) also applauded the ruling.

"California has embraced our children and affirmed our families," said Molleen Matsumura, co-chair of PFLAG’s Oakland, California chapter.

"We all know that love knows no boundary," said Lorri L. Jean, who heads the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center. "Today, in the great state of California, neither does fairness and opportunity."

In New Jersey, Garden State Equality said the ruling will help put pressure on the legislature to enact a gay marriage bill.

The New Jersey supreme court ruled it unconstitutional to prevent same-sex marriage but left it up to the legislature to decide whether to allow marriage or civil unions. Lawmakers chose civil unions but a public inquiry found they did not offer the protections of marriage.

"Today the California Supreme Court produced an earthquake for equality," said Garden State Equality chair Steven Goldstein.

"From the Redwood Forest to the Gulfstream Waters to our own Jersey Shore, millions of Americans now rise in jubilation over today’s historic advancement for freedom."

But while gays celebrated, conservatives vowed to keep the fight alive, pinning their hopes on a proposed constitutional amendment that would void the court ruling.

A coalition of religious and social conservative groups is attempting to put a measure on the November ballot that would enshrine California's current laws banning gay marriage in the state constitution.

The Secretary of State is expected to rule by the end of June whether the sponsors gathered enough signature to qualify the marriage amendment, similar to ones enacted in 26 other states.
"This decision should be a wake-up call to all Americans that our values and the foundation of our society, marriage, is being destroyed by judicial supremacy," said Jessica Echard, Executive Director of the conservative Eagle Forum. "The American people will not continue to stand by silently in the face of these activist court rulings."

Crush du Jour: Jason Varitek

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Karen's party follow-up

I had a great time at Karen's retirement/going away party. In addition to Karen, I got to see several old friends. The food, conversations, and music were great.

I drove there with the top down since it was a nice day, which always makes the trip better. I left the party as it was winding down at 9:00, and arrived at Spouse's mother's house at 9:30. We talked until almost 11:00 when she decided to go to bed. I watched TV until 11:30.

I got up at 7:30 and had coffee and talked with Spouse's mom again until almost 9:30. (She always has lots of mildly interesting tidbits to share about her friends, senior activities, etc. Most of them she's already told me.) I left at 9:30 with the top down again and got home at noon. I got a little sunburned on my left arm, but I don't mind.

I ate lunch, took a shower, read my email, and ran a few errands which included a finding a little gift for our friend Ana, who's graduating from grad school. Sat evening we're going to a party for her.

Spouse emailed me from his temporary office in another town to tell me his regular office building, which was flooded on Monday, will not be ready for 2 weeks. Apparently they are not only cleaning up from the flood water, but there is a nasty smell that must be found and eradicated.

A friend sent me this and I thought it was funny:

Have you seen the new five dollar bill the Treasury is planning to release this summer, just in time for vacation traffic?
Crush du Jour: Tony Romo

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Karen's party

I'm leaving this afternoon to drive back to VA for my friend Karen's retirement/going away party. Karen and I worked together from 1986-1997. She was there before me, and remained there when I left. Although she's only 49 years old, she now has 30 years of service with the company (along with a nice pension) and is able to retire. She and her husband are moving to Myrtle Beach, SC. Good for her!

I met Karen at the telephone company warehouse complex. I'd gotten a job as a warehouse worker (don't laugh) and she worked in the office as an administrative assistant. Later we both worked together in the business office where we did telecommunications facilities assignment. It was there that we really got to know each other well and became fast friends.

Karen & I sat in a horse shoe shaped cubicle arrangement with 4 other people. The 6 of us got along really well. Karen decided to bring in a boom box one day, and all 6 of us would bring in CDs. We took turns listening to each other's music choices throughout the day, which was really interesting and fun. I imagine its not very likely my straight, 40- or 50-something year old office mates would have heard of RuPaul if it weren't for me! This went on for months.

Karen's husband's name is Delbert, but as a joke I would ask Karen how he was doing using every variation of his name I could come up with: Delford, Delman, Digman, Digby, Doughman - I must have had a dozen of them. Karen would simply smile or laugh and respond that he was doing fine.

Another funny memory I have involving Karen is sitting in my car behind her at the traffic light near the entrance/exit of our building. As soon as the light turned from red to green I would blow my horn at her, and she'd flip me off. Ah, such a gentle and refined girl.

But most likely the memory that will live forever in everyone's mind who worked at the phone company is Halloween 1996.

The 6 of us who shared the horse shoe shaped cubicles decided we should dress up for Halloween and wear our costumes into work. Someone (probably me) thought we should have a theme to our costumes. I wanted something defining and unmistakable, and then it hit me. I suggested we dress up as The Village People, and the little group agreed! At that time, Kathryn and I were both 33, Karen was 38, Doanne was 35, Mary was in her 50s and had 2 kids in college, and Eileen was close to, if not, 60 years old! I went to school with one of Eileen's daughters.

The 6 of us met in the parking lot, and after several minutes of our own uncontrollable laughter, all 6 of us walked into the office together, causing something just short of chaos. We probably didn't get much work done that day, what with the completely unrehearsed performance of "Y.M.C.A." pictured below. That boom box and those CDs came in quite handy! Karen is the Construction Worker in the hard hat, flannel shirt and tool belt. I am the Cowboy on the right.
A few days ago I went through my photo storage boxes (a birthday gift from The Village People) and pulled out the photos taken that day. I've placed them in a small photo album I'm taking with me to the party tonight. I image this will reduce most of us to tears from laughing so hard.

It will be really great to see Karen and several other old friends again tonight.

Crush du Jour: Andy Roddick

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


The torrential rain and damaging winds that started Sun evening finally let up as we slept, more than 24 hours after they started. Today the sun is shining brightly and there is a light breeze.
This halcyon weather brought the surveyors out bright and early this morning. Several very straight-looking men in pick-up trucks with surveying equipment were already at work this morning when I walked Jordan at 8:15.

I'm not sure, but I believe my street is going to be torn up so that storm water drainage pipes can be installed underneath. This has been requested by my neighbors starting sometime before we moved here 16 months ago. Every time it rains the water collects in huge puddles in the narrow street and/or runs under the foundation of one of my neighbor's house.

The surveyors have been here for over 4 hours, which is surprising because the street is so narrow that only one-way traffic is permitted, and is only long enough for 4 houses. I can't imagine it taking more than 15 minutes to survey this little bit of land, but then again, what do I know of surveying?

One of the surveyors is a guy who looks to be in his early 20s; much younger than 'my type'. He attracted my attention because he had pushed the sleeves of his t-shirt up over his shoulders, revealing his nicely sculpted muscular arms.
And did I mention he had on a backwards baseball cap? Yet another thing to add to his appeal.

I've read blogs detailing visits from hot-n-sexy plumbers, electricians, and cable repairmen but such as not been my experience. I usually get the 60-year old plumber in the waist size 48 jeans that barely manage to contain his giant, fat ass. Or the cable TV guy with the gross, greasy hair that appears to not have been washed for at least a week. So I am happy at what appears to be a change in luck.

Looks like he and the others are packing up now. It seems my office window voyeurism is about to end.

Crush du Jour: Jason Priestley

Monday, May 12, 2008

Stormy weather

Last evening our weather changed rather dramatically.

During the day yesterday it was mostly cloudy with a few brief periods of sunshine. But around 7:30 the sky and clouds appeared to be churning as the wind whipped up.

From about 8:00 last night to the present we've been having torrential downpours interspersed with periods of mild rain, and gusty, damaging winds.

If you listen carefully you can hear the trees crying from being bent and stretched by the winds. They've relinquished some of their branches and leaves, which have littered the streets and yards. The window screens rattle with almost every gust of wind, some of which has been measured locally at up to 55 mph.

All the rain is causing the creeks, streams, rivers, canals, and inlets to flood. On Spouse's way to work he cautiously crossed the small Canary Creek bridge which was completely covered by the overflowing creek. He heard many stories on the radio of similar flooding and power outages.

When he got to work he found the parking lot and walkway to his building completely under water. Reports from colleagues waiting in an adjacent commercial lot on higher ground were that their office building was also taking in water. Employees were sent home. (Photos were culled from the internet.)

Normally our dog Jordan can barely wait for her morning walk after eating breakfast, but today she squatted in the front yard, did her business, and promptly turned around and came back inside the house. Even she knew her morning walk was cancelled, due to the extreme weather.

The wind and rain are forecasted to diminish throughout the late afternoon/evening. Tomorrow should be sunny but breezy.

Crush du Jour: Pat Burrell

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Spouse & I watched some movies recently and I thought I'd share my opinions of them.

Suddenly, Last Summer
In Tennessee Williams's tale of sexual repression set in 1937 New Orleans, rich widow Mrs. Venable (Katharine Hepburn) is distraught over the death of her son Sebastian during his vacation to Europe, where the two had traveled together every summer. This time, Sebastian had taken his cousin Catherine (Elizabeth Taylor), who appears to go mad the day Sebastian dies. Dr. Cukrowicz (Montgomery Clift) is called in to assess her mental state.

We enjoyed this film alot. Made in 1959, they weren't able to come out and say that Sebastian was gay, but it is understood by the use of subtle and not-to-subtle language choices. Although I feel that Elizabeth Taylor often over-acts in films, I thought she did a very good job in this one. Montgomery Clift seemed uncomfortably cast as the doctor. The film is quite wordy, as it was adapted from a stage play, but still enjoyable. 4 out of 5 stars.

Facing an unplanned pregnancy, teenage Juno (Ellen Page) devises a plan to locate the proverbial perfect parents to adopt her baby. But the seemingly ideal couple Juno chooses still has some growing up to do. Now, everyone in Juno's world must do a little soul-searching. Michael Cera co-stars while Jason Bateman and Jennifer Garner play the pair of affluent yuppies anxious for a child in this offbeat coming-of-age comedy, which won the 2008 Oscar for Best Original Screenplay.

I was really expecting to like this film because of the trailer and because several people I know had seen it and liked it. Unfortunately the character of Juno was so precocious I found her to be annoying. Despite being just 16 years old and obviously not smart enough to understand birth control, Juno seems to be "over" everything. She thinks she's an expert on vintage horror movies and rock music, and that proms are so immature. I just didn't buy it. No 16 year old is that mature, that cool, and that "over" everything. But despite my dislike of the Juno character, I thought the rest of the cast was brilliant. All the other actors (playing Juno's boyfriend, parents, best friend, the adopting couple) were very real and believable, as was the general story. Juno was the only one who seemed 'over the top'. 3 out of 5 stars.

Lars and the Real Girl
Ryan Gosling plays the title character in this oddball comedy about a delusional young man who buys a life-size sex doll over the Internet -- and then falls in love with her. When the besotted young man starts telling people that the doll is his girlfriend, his brother and sister-in-law decide it's time to intervene. Co-starring Patricia Clarkson, Emily Mortimer, Kelli Garner and Paul Schneider.

My friend James saw this and told me it was good, although its not what you may think based on the description above. Its actually a very sweet story about a young man disproportionately affected by the loss of his parents, and about a community who tries to help. Ryan Gosling is tender and amazing as Lars. Patricia Clarkson plays the clever doctor, and Emily Mortimer and Paul Schneider play Lars' concerned sister-in-law and brother. 5 out of 5 stars.

Crush du Jour: Juiano Lopes