Friday, October 29, 2010

Friday fragments

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

My friend Steven sent me this with the caption "Yea, I'd say he's a winner."

Today is my last day at my job. My boss called this morning to thank me for my "significant contributions" over the last 8 years, and to thank me personally for my professionalism during this "difficult time". I'm guessing some of the others who got laid off must not have been as 'professional' as I was. I sent an email to a small number of colleagues I consider friends and gave them my personal contact information so we could stay in touch. They all responded with heartwarming replies.

On my (extended) lunch break today I stopped at the dry cleaners to drop off some pants I'm taking on the cruise. An Asian man and woman were the only 2 employees. I noticed there was Christian religious music playing in the dry cleaners. I looked around and saw a CD player on the window sill, playing track 8. Maybe I'm being stereotypical but I found it comical and odd that an Asian couple would play Christian music.

My buddy Jason is moving today. He's only moving about 2 hours away, and promises to come back about every other weekend. But he's the person (aside from Spouse) that I spend the most time with during the week. He worked just up the street from our house so we'd meet for lunch. He'd go with me on Thurs nights for karaoke. He'd also go with me to Mandance since Spouse didn't like to go, and we played volleyball at the beach over the summer. I'm really going to miss him, but I'm happy that he is starting a new chapter in his life.

We're going to VA this weekend to spend some time with Spouse's family and so I can attend a luncheon and mini-reunion with some of my
Dominants and Choir friends and our former Director Debbie. Many of us haven't seen each other since graduation, 28 years ago! It should be fun.

I'm not really interested in vampires, but so many people I know have raved about the HBO series "True Blood". A friend loaned Spouse the "True Blood" books on tape which he found interesting, so he asked me to get the HBO series from Netflix. We've only watched the 1st disc so far (2 episodes) but already I am liking it. Despite my non-interest in vampires, the show is so well crafted that I find it entertaining to watch. Little wonder, since "True Blood" is created by Alan Ball, who created the brilliant HBO series "Six Feet Under".

Crush du Jour: Eric Decker

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Flu shot

Last week when I had my physical my doctor highly recommended I get a flu shot. I told him I'd never had a flu shot and had never gotten the flu. I reminded him that I work at home so I wasn't as susceptible as most people. He was not convinced.

He advised me that people DIE every year from the flu. Not having gotten the flu before doesn't mean I won't get it in the future. He said it was better to get the flu shot and be protected than to not get a flu shot and be vulnerable. He really made me think about it.

This morning I saw on Facebook that our local GLBT center had partnered with the local hospital to provide free flu shots. So when Spouse got home (early) from work we headed over to the GLBT center for our shots. Spouse gets a flu shot every year because he works in a public facility. Since I had never had one before I was instructed to wait for 15 minutes after getting my shot to be sure I didn't have a reaction. It was a beautiful day so Spouse went for a walk while I waited.

After my 15 minutes were up I was free to go. I exited the GLBT center and walked a few feet down the sidewalk and BAM!! I suddenly felt flushed and nauseous. I could tell I was sweating. Then I lost my vision for a few seconds and felt like I was going to pass out. I put my hands out to try and catch myself as I started to go down. Fortunately I was caught by a brick retaining wall so I didn't actually hit the ground.

Coincidentally one of the nurses walked out of the GLBT center and saw what was happening and said "Are you alright, hon?" I responded "I think I might have left a few minutes too soon." She came over, grabbed my arm and helped me back into the GLBT center. I laid down on the sofa and the nurse said "You're very pale. You stay here and I'm going to check your blood pressure."

My color returned to normal and my blood pressure wasn't unusual. Apparently a very small number of people have reactions to flu shots if they've never had one before. Who knew?

Within 10 minutes I was able to walk around the GLBT center without issue so they let me go home. I asked Spouse to drive, just to be on the safe side.

Crush du Jour: Marco daSilva

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Since Spouse & I are not going to our personal trainer anymore we have been trying to do more walking. We walk around the nearby pond, around our charming little historic town, and over the canal to the bay. We really enjoy walking the full length of the boardwalk because its beautiful to be able to look at the ocean as we walk, and because the boardwalk is exactly 1 mile long.
Last evening as we were walking the boardwalk Spouse wanted to tell me his thoughts about my plans after I stop working this Friday and after we return from our cruise. It wasn't so much what he said (although some of it was borderline insulting), but more so the way he said it that got me upset. I felt like he wasn't being optimistic or hopeful about me getting re-employed, which I interpreted to be a lack of confidence in me and my abilities. It seemed that nearly everything he said was presented in a worse-case scenario. It seemed like he was saying that something we had agreed upon 2 weeks ago was suddenly not an option anymore.

Perhaps the stress of knowing I will soon be unemployed has made me more sensitive. If you've never been laid off before you might not know how it feels. It takes a real toll on your self esteem and confidence. To have Spouse appear to question my worth and ability to get re-employed really hurt. In hindsight I know he didn't mean it that way.

But we worked through it.

He and I have different ways of processing information and planning. He tends to think through 87 back-up plans, which I find exhausting. I mean, after back-up plan 4 or 5 doesn't work, you'd probably better go back to square 1, right? I am overwhelmed by too many back-up plans. Plus there's just no way to predict all the possible ways things can work out, so all 87 of your back-up plans could be completely useless if something you hadn't anticipated happens. Of course I appreciate his concern and forethought, and I definitely see the need to be as prepared as is reasonably possible for the unknown, but I can't deal with extended decision trees that stem off of 87 different back-up plans.

We're both trying to respect each others' processes and not get carried away. My being unemployed will not be easy or pleasant. It will likely create stress in our relationship again, so we acknowledged the need to stay calm and take care of each other.

Although leaving on a 10-day vacation (cruise) the week after being laid off may not be ideal, I think we will both benefit from the change of scenery and the time to relax together.

Crush du Jour: Robert Miller

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Gay adoption

In 1977, Florida’s Miami-Dade County passed a city ordinance protecting gay and lesbian citizens from discrimination. The law, remarkably progressive for its time, prompted Anita Bryant’s Save Our Children Campaign, one of the most virulently anti-gay crusades the country had ever witnessed. The clash between a gay-friendly beach community and the state’s religious conservatives foreshadowed a cultural divide that would widen in the coming decades.

IN THE LIFE travels to Florida to speak with Martin Gill, a foster father whose case is challenging Florida’s ban on gay adoptions, meet with openly gay Mayor Craig Lowe, and learn about the struggle toward legislative equality in the Sunshine State.

Watch IN THE LIFE's story here.

Crush du Jour: Tom Hardy

Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekend highlights

The weekend started as all good weekends do with Fri Night Dinner with 'the usual suspects'. Afterward a couple guys from dinner joined me for karaoke since my friend Trelynda was hosting karaoke in the lounge at Saketumi. It was fun!

One of the cost-cutting measures Spouse & I agreed to was to discontinue our personal trainer visits. (This alone will save us over $400. per month.) So instead of his Sat morning workout, Spouse & I got up at 8:00 and went for a 2+ mile walk on the boardwalk. It was lovely weather, sunny and 68 degrees. There were lots of other morning walkers too. It was top down weather so after our walk we went for a drive, then had lunch on the screened porch. A little later we decided to check out the clearance racks at the outlet stores. Spouse got some new clothes that actually fit, including a pair of dress khakis for $8. and a sexy Kenneth Cole v-neck t-shirt for $7. It was so pretty outside that I suggested a walk around the large pond near our house, which extended itself into a walk through town, and then to the bay and back. I'm guessing we walked at least 5 miles that day, but enjoyed every inch. Later that evening we met Steven and one of the Bobs for dinner at Cafe Azafran. I had baked goat cheese with roasted peppers, olives, and herbs with pita (YUMMM) and a fabulously seasoned lamb skewer over field greens. We had a great meal and a great time with our buddies.

Sun morning we met Steven for breakfast and wound up talking for nearly 3 hours! Time flies when you're gossiping. (Just kidding.) Afterward Spouse & I went grocery shopping. It was another gorgeous Indian Summer day, sunny and 78 degrees, so we went for another walk on the boardwalk, then returned home to do some housecleaning. (Another cost-cutting measure was to discontinue our housecleaning service, saving us $300. per month.) For dinner we made fabulous BLTs using bison bacon, romaine, and grape tomatoes roasted with red peppers and mushrooms in EVOO and balsamic vinegar. They were DEE-LISH!! Then we watched a movie from Netflix: Valentine's Day. It was chocked full of stars (Jessica Alba, Kathy Bates, Jessica Biel, Bradley Cooper, Eric Dane, Patrick Dempsey, Hector Elizondo, Jamie Foxx, Jennifer Garner, Topher Grace, Anne Hathaway, Carter Jenkins, Ashton Kutcher, Queen Latifah, Taylor Lautner, Taylor Swift, Shirley MacLaine, George Lopez, Julia Roberts) so I expected it to be great, but it wasn't. It was okay; occasionally funny, occasionally romantic, generally entertaining, but not terrific. I did like that the very sexy Bradley Cooper and Eric Dane (both former Crush du Jours) turned out to be gay. That was an unexpected twist.

I absolutely adore Indian Summer weather like we had this weekend. I think of it as Mother Nature's way of saying 'I'm sorry' for the chilly weather we had in Sept. when it shouldn't have been that cool. Regardless, I hope for more such weather before I need to pack away my shorts.

Crush du Jour: Ben Pamies

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday fragments

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

On Wed evening I went to my doctor's office for a physical. It had been 2 1/2 years since my last one (due to a cancellation in Feb when we had the blizzard), but since I am very healthy I don't worry about getting one every year. As I expected, the doc gave me a clean bill of health, but highly recommended a flu shot. Does anyone get flu shots? Why or why not?

Spouse lost another 6 lbs over the last 2 weeks. (Last week he couldn't weigh in because his Weight Watchers meeting was cancelled.) This brings him to a total of 63 lbs lost so far. Everyone continues to compliment him on how great he looks, and those who haven't seen him since he start WW in July are shocked. He went 'shopping' the other day in the closet where he keeps all the clothes he had grown out of, and found a couple pairs of dress pants and dress shirts he can now where to work.

My friend Jared sent me this hilarious card!

I have been simply amazed by support of friends, even those who are readers of this blog whom I've not met in person, related to my being laid off next Fri. Everything from help reviewing my resume, to online articles with interviewing tips, to offers to circulate my resume, to just plain old care and concern for how I'm holding up. Everyone has been so wonderful and I really appreciate the support and encouragement. It really helps!

My friend Jared provided me with this gem as well!

In last night's episode of Project Runway we learned which of the 4 designers was NOT going to show at Fashion Week. I really, really, REALLY wanted it to be Gretchen. I'm not saying she's a bad designer, I just don't feel like she's a fashion designer. Rather, she's a specialty designer for women who like her 'Bohemenian Chic' look. Its a look, but it doesn't say "fashion" to me. Honestly - I can't imagine her clothes on a catwalk. I was really hoping it would be the triple gays: Mondo, Andy, and Michael showing at Fashion Week. But Michael was sent home, which is a shame because I was really looking forward to seeing his collection. My prediction (like everyone else's) is that Mondo will win, which is just fine with me. I love Mondo's use of color and mix of prints.

No big plans for the weekend for us. How about you?

Crush du Jour: Matt Lanter

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Stoopid lyrics

Here's another installment of my blog feature 'Stoopid lyrics'.

A song's appearance here does NOT mean I think the song is stupid or that I don't like the song. In fact, often I like the songs a lot, but find the lyrics just don't make sense.

Judge for yourself!

performed by The Eagles

On a dark desert highway, cool wind in my hair
Warm smell of colitas, rising up through the air
Up ahead in the distance, I saw shimmering light
My head grew heavy and my sight grew dim
I had to stop for the night

There she stood in the doorway; I heard the mission bell
And I was thinking to myself, 'This could be Heaven or this could be Hell'
Then she lit up a candle and she showed me the way
There were voices down the corridor, I thought I heard them say

Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place; Such a lovely face
Plenty of room at the Hotel California
Any time of year you can find it here

Her mind is Tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes Benz
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys she calls friends
How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget

So I called up the Captain, 'Please bring me my wine'
He said, 'We haven't had that spirit here since nineteen sixty nine'
And still those voices are calling from far away
Wake you up in the middle of the night just to hear them say

Welcome to the Hotel California
Such a lovely place; Such a lovely face
They livin' it up at the Hotel California
What a nice surprise; bring your alibis

Mirrors on the ceiling, the pink champagne on ice
And she said 'We are all just prisoners here, of our own device'
And in the master's chambers they gathered for the feast
They stab it with their steely knives but they just can't kill the beast

Last thing I remember, I was running for the door
I had to find the passage back to the place I was before
'Relax,' said the night man, 'We are programmed to receive
You can check-out any time you like but you can never leave!'

Crush du Jour: Brian Woodi

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Today is Spirit Day, where everyone is encouraged to wear purple to raise awareness of the 6 young lives lost in recent weeks due to the effects of anti-gay bullying and harassment.

I should have planned ahead and written a special post about this, but I've been a bit pre-occupied with the unexpected news that I'm going to be laid off. Fortunately, others have written some lovely posts for this occasion so I'll share them with you. Please take a moment to read these:

Great job, Gentlemen!!

And just in case you've been hiding under a rock and haven't seen all the fabulous celebrity "It Gets Better" videos, click on Kevin's posts or click here.

Today I'm wearing a purple polo shirt. Notice in this clip from tonight's show that Keith Olbermann was wearing a purple tie. I heart Keith for so many reasons.

Crush du Jour: Louis Van Amstel

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Creative shopping bags

My twin sister from different parents Kathryn sent me these VERY creative shopping bags, knowing I would love them. (Twins know these things; even twins from different parents.) Hope you enjoy these as much as I do! Click photos to enlarge them.

Crush du Jour: Ben Kirby

Monday, October 18, 2010

Weekend highlights

We had a low-key but enjoyable weekend.

Sat morning Spouse & I helped our friend Jason move a truck load of stuff to a storage unit. Jason will be moving out of the area at the end of the month and we're gonna miss him. It was quite chilly (52 degrees) and windy. When we were done Jason treated us to lunch. Later that evening we met up with Jason & Kevin at Kevin's house for dinner (steak, green beans and parmesan couscous), conversation, and a movie. It was a nice, relaxing evening.

We had a leisurely Sun morning of coffee, news programs, and cooking shows. (We love Nigella Lawson and Ina Garten.)

Then we met Steven & Thad at the Long Neck Diner for lunch, although I actually had breakfast. Having been through the rigors of a job search within the last few years, they shared some helpful info with me, and we talked about our upcoming cruise. It was significantly warmer and less windy so Spouse & I went for a nice long walk on the boardwalk, where we enjoyed the scent of the salt air and feel of the warm sun on our faces as we talked about our options when I am unemployed. On the way home we ran a few errands, then Spouse washed Jordan (the dog) and I took her for a walk. I washed the convertible, emptied the litter box and picked up around the house a little. We had buffalo hot dogs for dinner and then watched a movie.

Crush du Jour: Gale Harold

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday fragments

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

This little ditty comes to you courtesy of my friend Jared.
Spouse showed up for his Weight Watchers meeting and weigh-in last night to find the building locked. Apparently the group leader never showed up, so he wasn't able to weigh in. He's going to a meeting at a different location Sat morning and will weigh-in then.

This gem also came from Jared.

What a difference a 'G' makes!!

Even if you don't live in DE you likely know who Christine O'Donnell is, due to her appearances on all the news channels like CNN, MSNBC, Fox, etc. To combat her comments from years ago about dabbling in witchcraft, O'Donnell created a
TV commercial saying "I'm not a witch. I'm you." Thanks to Jared, we can still make fun of her:

Also thanks to Jared for this ditty. Women look at the image below and see a bat. Men look at the image below and see...

This week has been a grim week learning that I'm going to be laid off, trying to figure out what I want to do, updating my resume, researching alternative types of work, looking into insurance, and trying to figure out how to stay financially current with unemployment benefits instead of my salary. Its emotionally draining and I'm glad the weekend is almost here! Many thanks to those of you who have left supportive and encouraging comments on my posts and have sent me private emails. It really helps!

Crush du Jour: Allen Walker

Thursday, October 14, 2010


As the reality of my imminent unemployment sinks in, I'm trying hard to stay calm and not panic. Fear and panic can lead to paralysis which will result in accomplishing nothing. So instead I am trying to choose action.

I made my list of things to do and am working on accomplishing them and scratching them off my list. It feels good to accomplish things, even things that aren't directly related to my preparation to be laid off and search for new work.

I have been doing a LOT of thinking. Most people feel more safe with the familiar, so one of my tasks is to update my resume and look for jobs in the same industry, returning to what is familiar to me. But another part of me wants to break out and do something different. I have some ideas of different things to do but they are not 'familiar' so they are much less 'safe'.

So I decided to do both. I'm going to look for similar jobs in the same industry AND research the opportunities for doing something completely different. If only it were as easy as simply deciding what I want to do! But the reality is that I must also do my best to meet my financial obligations, which makes it scary to pursue something different, uncertain, and unfamiliar.

I will gladly and gratefully accept all amounts (small and large) of optimism and positive energy directed my way!

Crush du Jour: Marco Borriello

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What to do next

I'm trying to stay focused on solutions rather than the problem. Thinking too much about the problem is very depressing. There's so much to think about!

What do I really want to do?

What am I qualified to do?

What would I like to learn how to do?

How/when do I tell friends?

What are our expenses?

How much money do we need to stay current?

What are the financial options?

I definitely need to make a list of all the stuff I need to do, research, consider, and take care of. Spouse is being very sweet and supportive, but its really hard for me not to panic.

Crush du Jour: David Costa