Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Christmas cards

We received our 1st Christmas card today.

I know I've written more than once about my ritual of writing, addressing, and sending Christmas cards. I've done it with joy every year for the last 18 Christmases without even questioning it. But this year I'm undecided about whether to continue this tradition this year.

The main reason I'm unsure about it this year is the expense. I usually buy deeply discounted cards right after Christmas for use the following year, but I didn't do so last Christmas. Even if I can find bargain-priced cards I will still spend about $40. - $50. to get 130 cards. Then there's the $57. cost for 130 stamps. In the past I usually order special Christmas and generic holiday return address labels for another $15. or so, making the total cost of sending 130 Christmas cards close to $125. Although work has been going well, we're still not in a position to casually spend $125. at a time when we're also purchasing Christmas gifts for family members and contributing toward Secret Santa for the needy.

An additional consideration is the time needed to write, address, seal, and stamp the cards. Although some people print address labels from their computers, I have always preferred hand-writing recipients' names and addresses. It seems much more personal to me. I suppose I have the same number of hours I'd had in past years to do this, for some reason I'm concerned that this year I may not have enough time.

Obviously I have considered that reducing my card list would require less expense and less time. But every year its hard enough to scratch some recipients off the list in order to add new recipients without increasing the total number, let alone to reduce the total number.

So even though Christmas is less than a month away and we've already received our 1st card, I'm still not sure what to do.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Weekend highlights

On Sat morning I went to work and Spouse's family went home. That evening Spouse & I took our Thanksgiving left-overs to Steven & Thad's and combined them with their left-overs for a Thanksgiving 'repeat' dinner. Joe P came too and brought dessert. I love Thanksgiving food! Then I performed in the 1st of the Christmas "Legends" shows. I sang 'Merry Christmas Darling' as Neil Sedaka and the audience really enjoyed the show.

Sun I was off work. Spouse & I met Steven & Thad for breakfast, then we went for a walk on the boardwalk. The weather was amazing - 70 degrees and sunny! Afterward we came home and I started cleaning up the 'aftermath' of having Spouse's 9 family members stay with us. While I was at it, I rearranged some of the living room furniture to make room for the Christmas tree. I'll set it up next week. Spouse spent some time cleaning the front porch and the white rockers that adorn it. It felt good to be productive at the same time, even though we weren't working on the same projects. Then we took Big Ella out for a spin, and stopped in at Steven & Thad's to see their outdoor Christmas decorations. Afterward we stopped at a few outlet stores in the hopes of finding Spouse a 'holiday shirt', something to wear to holiday parties. Then we met Steven & Thad and Joe P for dinner at a diner. It was a really great day!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday fragments

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

A friend sent me this funny photo.

Mon & Tues evenings I went for rehearsals for the upcoming Legends Christmas show series, which runs the 4 Sat nights between Nov 26 and Dec 17. Its gonna be great!

Another friend sent me this amazing video of a two-faced cat that's defied the odds.

This week we've had crazy weather. Mon & Tues it was 76 degrees, then Wed & Thurs it rained and was only 46 degrees - a 30 degree difference overnight - then today it was back up to 70 degrees again. Its a wonder we don't all have pneumonia.

Today I worked but Spouse & the family took advantage of the warm, sunny weather and went to the boardwalk. Notice some of them are wearing shorts.They're all going home tomorrow.

Work continues to go well and I'm still enjoying it very much. I wrote offer #11 this week and the seller accepted the offer without countering! Tomorrow I'm accompanying another client to a new home community to write up offer #12.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving preparations

Today our office closed at 1pm in preparation for Thanksgiving. I had a property showing appt at 12:30 (just 1 house) so that worked out well for me.

Then I ran home to meet the guy from the gas company who had come to take a look at our gas fireplace. It hasn't worked since last winter. I suspected the pilot light had blown out. Spouse & I had tried to figure out how to restart it but weren't successful, and I surely wasn't going to try and light it with a match! The fireplace guy showed up, flipped the switch, and the flame came on. I couldn't believe it. He turned it off and on several times and it worked just fine. Fortunately he was a nice guy and said he wouldn't charge me for the service visit since he was already in my neighborhood. Sweet!

Next I began cleaning the house. I'd already washed all the sheets and towels and made up the guest room beds, so today was all about vacuuming, dusting, and straightening up.

I realized that Spouse had forgotten a few key ingredients when he was at the grocery store, so I went to the store to pick up the items I needed for tomorrow's big meal. I'm making Paula Deen's corn casserole and sweet potato shuffle, both guaranteed crowd pleasers that are a staple for all of our holiday meals.

Later tonight 1/2 of the family will arrive. Spouse's sister and her husband and their 2 sons are expected between 10:30-11pm tonight. Then tomorrow Spouse's mother, brother, his other brother and sister-in-law, and his neice will arrive before noon. In case you've lost count that's 9 people coming AND STAYING WITH US for 3 days. They're all leaving on Sat.

Lord help us...

I get along great with Spouse's family, but its hard to have 9 people staying in your home for 3 days/nights. There's people sleeping in every room but the kitchen and its never quiet unless everyone's asleep. Then there's 3 meals and multiple snacks per day for everyone. But considering the lack of relationship I have with my parents/siblings, I should be happy to have Spouse's family here.

Here's wishing everyone a happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Weekend highlights

This was my weekend to work both days, but I did manage to squeeze in a few social activities.

After work on Sat we had dinner with Steven & Thad and Joe P at La Tonalteca. Afterward Spouse & I just watched TV before bed.

Sun after work we went to a birthday gathering at Cilantro for our dear friend Deb, followed by a dinner party at Bob & Michael's. We met several of their friends and had a very nice time.So that was my weekend: work and socializing!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday fragments

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

A friend sent me this amazing video of a cat playing with some dolphins. I've never seen anything like it!

I saw this photo on facebookwhich made think this employee-of-the-year has mastered the art of multi-tasking!

My friend Wendy sent me this funny video. Enjoy!

Here's wishing everyone a terrific weekend.

Thursday, November 17, 2011


I'm off work today but need to go to the office anyway. I need to copy, scan, and email some documents for deal #10, AND we're having our office Thanksgiving luncheon.

I made sweet potato shuffle, a recipe I got from my aunt Mary a few years ago. She's brought it to Thanksgiving and other holiday dinners for years. Its a family favorite, and I don't think anyone whose every tasted it didn't like it. I think the recipe came from an old issue of Southern Living magazine but I won't swear on it.
Here's how to make it:

Sweet potato mixture
6 cups (2 40-oz. cans) of sweet potatoes (I use Bruce's); drain and mashed in bowl
4 beaten eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk; or 1/2 cup Half-n-Half and 1/2 cup milk
2/3 stick melted butter
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
Combine with a hand mixer and spread evenly into a greased 9x13 baking dish

Topping mixture
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar
1 cup self-rising flour
1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts
2/3 stick melted butter
Combine with a fork, then spread evenly over sweet potato mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes. If a knife comes out of center clean, its done.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


I grew up with 3 sisters and a mother, so 4 women in the house, and having been a young gay boy I have a pretty vivid memory of the styles and fashions of my youth.

I remember my sisters wearing huge platform shoes in the 70s...
and Candies in the 80s.But I don't think anything has had a greater effect on women's shoes than Sex and the City. I bet nobody outside of NYC had ever heard of Manolo Blahnik or Jimmy Ch00 before Carrie, Charlotte, Miranda, and Samantha made them household names.

Designer shoes have become a huge industry necessitating custom closets with shoe shelves and in some cases, bedrooms converted into walk-in closets. Its no longer about having the perfect pair of black heels. Now its about having a pair of black heels for each outfit.

And who can forget the Alexander McQueen's armadillo shoes worn by Lady Gaga?
With all the creativity and technology out there, shoe-aholics will be practically orgasmic over these:

Monday, November 14, 2011

Weekend highlights

Even though Bugs & Roger were here, I still worked Sat. I had a new couple to whom I was showing a bunch of homes. They are very 'qualified' so it was nice to work with them. I think they're going to buy sooner rather than later. Spouse took Bugs & Roger to breakfast and then they did some shopping at the outlets. That night we had dinner at Sole. Spouse panicked when they presented their new fall menu which is 90% small plates. But the 4 of us ordered 2 or 3 items each and shared most of them, and it worked out great.

Sun morning Steven & Thad came over and Spouse made breakfast for the 6 of us. I don't know why but he loves to make breakfast for company. I'd much rather make a dessert. Although I wasn't scheduled to work on Sun, I met another new, 'well qualified' client at 10:30 and showed them several homes. Fortunately they really liked several of them. Bugs & Roger left around noon and I got home about 2pm. Spouse & I went for a little drive to the beach and stopped at a few stores including Pier One where we have a gift card from last Christmas we haven't been able to spend. That evening we took salad to Steven & Thad's house to go with the lasagna Steven made for dinner. It was a delicious and fun way to wind up the weekend.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Friday fragments

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

Many thanks to those of you who sent condolences about Jordan's passing, both in the comments of this blog and on facebook. Spouse & I really appreciate the kindness. This 1st week without her around has been very different. Spouse said he can feel a very noticeable absence of her energy in the house. Several times I could have sworn I heard her nails tick-tick-ticking on the hardwood floors. To me it almost seemed like there were residuals of Jordan's life hanging around the house. But I've also felt a little guilty for enjoying the freedom that comes from not having to care for a dog.

My friend Jared sent me this which I thought was funny.

Today's date is 11/11/11.

Did you hear/read the latest about
dark chocolate now being considered a 'super-food'? Great! Just what I need... more incentive to eat dark chocolate!

Bugs & Roger arrived today at noon so I met them and Spouse for lunch, then I went back to work. When I got home from work we had cocktails at home and then went to dinner at Fins. Afterward we came home and Steven & Thad came over for dessert. It was a fun night!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Film festival day

Since I can't take off all 4 days of the film festival this year, my plan was to see as many films as possible on Thurs (my regular day off), see a 1 after work on Fri & Sat, and see as many as possible on Sun since I'm not scheduled to work this Sun.

But what is it they say about the best laid plans? Well, whatever it is, its true.

It appears I'll only be seeing films today.
Our dear friends Bugs & Roger contacted us last week about coming for a visit this weekend, since they have Fri off for Veteran's Day, as does Spouse. So they are coming sometime during the day on Fri and leaving on Sun, so I'm not going to see any films after work on Fri or Sat. If I did, I wouldn't have any time to see Bugs & Roger!

Bugs & Roger will probably leave before lunch on Sun, so I thought I'd probably still be able to catch a few Sun afternoon films, but yesterday at work I got a call from a brand new client who's picked out 6 homes they want to see on Sun afternoon. They are coming from out of state and are shopping in a very nice price range so I'm going to sacrifice my Sun afternoon of films to work with them. Hey, if I told them I wasn't available Sun afternoon, I'm sure they would have called another realtor, and I surely don't want that to happen.

So here are the films I saw today:
Carol Channing: Larger Than Life
Synopsis: With every lyrical word, movements akin to the grace of choreography, and a rich and rarefied storyline that rivals that of any heroine of the Great White Way, Carol Channing’s life could itself be a Broadway musical. Footage from the archives—television appearances, song and dance numbers, and stage performances—show Carol at her best (not that there is a “worst”). Debbie Reynolds, Chita Rivera, Bruce Vilanch and Channing’s devoted chorus of “Dolly Boy” dancers pop up to pay tribute to this amazing performer. Without batting a false eyelash, she effortlessly charms audiences with her hilarity, relentless energy, and unique beauty, reminding us that before Barbra or Marilyn, there was Carol. Channing shows us true love may be the key to youth and vitality. An advocate for many charities including gay rights and AIDS awareness, Channing still lights up the stage with song and dance. Perhaps the most brilliant thing about Berinstein’s bubbly biopic is that you don’t need to love Broadway or even theater itself to love or to be mesmerized by Carol.

My thoughts:
I'm not a huge fan of Carol Channing but this documentary filled a gap in my film schedule and previous documentary's shown at this festival have been very good so I gave this a chance. I liked it much more than I thought I would. The film showed a human side to Channing that amazingly isn't tarnished like so many other celebrities. In fact, Channing's personality and humanity shine brightly, both on and off stage, like highly polished brass. Barbara Walters says in the film that she's never heard or read anything bad or mean about Channing, which is also rare for celebrities these days, especially one who's been performing for over 70 years. It was a delightful and engaging documentary I'd highly recommend.

The Night Watch
Synopsis: “War changes people. Not always for the better.” That’s the common sentiment for a group of lesbians and gay men in WWII London. Adapted from Sarah Waters’ novel, The Night Watch is an achingly beautiful cyclone of missed connections and fragmented pasts. Directed by openly gay Richard Laxton, this film gorgeously moves back in time, from post-war 1947 to 1944 to 1941, revealing a web of connections among a group on society’s fringe. Duncan spent his wartime in jail, lusting after his rakish cellmate, but he can’t seem to free himself from his time behind bars. His sister, Viv, is looking for love with a married man, while trying to forget the ways he has betrayed her. Viv’s coworker, Helen, works as a matchmaker, but a past love triangle with two women threatens her happiness. And when we meet Kay, she spends her time wandering London’s war-torn streets, pulled back to her time as an heroic ambulance driver during the Blitz. Kay’s ex, Julia, is ever more present in her life, especially when Kay runs into a stranger she aided during the war. While so many around them find relief in peace, these outsiders are stranded without purpose, at loose ends, without their pre-war innocence and without the power they enjoyed during the fighting. Desperate characters burst with quiet grace as the layers of their lives peel back to reveal the way forward.

My thoughts:
I really enjoyed the way this film told its stories backwards. Its starts after the war's end in 1947, then goes back to 1944, then back to 1941. Each step back in time gives more insight into the events and feelings that have shaped their current lives. Although somewhat dark and not very hopeful, this film was very well crafted and enjoyable to watch.

Synopsis: Gender identity is explored in Celine Sciamma‘s humorous, heartfelt story of a girl who just wants to be a boy. Ten-year-old Laure and her family move into a Parisian suburban apartment during the summer holiday. Laure, a tomboy who cuts her hair short and wears boys’ clothing (not of concern to her parents) explores the neighborhood and quickly meets Lisa but introduces herself as Michael. Soon Michael meets up with other kids and becomes part of the circle of friends – playing soccer shirtless, running though the forest or swimming in a lake (where a well played piece of modeling clay help in her ruse.) The innocence of her being a boy takes a more mature turn when Lisa falls in puppy love with her….and Michael responds. A tender, captivating story made all the more amazing by the naturalistic and totally believable performance of Zoe Heran as Michael/Laure. And amazing as she is, Malonn Levana as her six-year-old sister Jeanne nearly steals the show from her! A film for all audiences, genders, and sexualities.

My thoughts:
I found both the story and the acting to be superb. Where the film lacked, in my opinion, was the editing. There were too many "artistic" shots of leaves blowing in the summer breeze, etc. However, those were excusable due to the storyline which felt completely authentic and not at all contrived. Then there was the absolutely honest and believable acting of the 2 young girls playing sisters. This is a film I'd highly recommend for the content and acting with a caveat for the editing.

10% Shorts (GLBT-themed short films)
AWOL - Days before her deployment to Afghanistan, Joey comes home to rural Pennsylvania for Christmas with dreams of running away to Canada. Will she do it? Will she make the trek alone?

My thoughts: This film was sad and I didn't see the real purpose. Joey reconnects with her girlfriend and her 2 young daughters at Christmas and asks them to run away to Canada with her. The girlfriend says yes at 1st but changes her mind, breaking Joey's heart. Joey abandons her thoughts of escaping the military in Canada. I didn't understand why this film was made.

Lust Life
- Caught between what was and what could be, a woman who has lost her lust for life in Paris, the world’s most passionate city, takes a chance. Sexy, intimate, and with mood and atmosphere to burn, the film brims with passion just like the setting.

My thoughts: For the life of me I can't remember what this short was about. Sorry, but it was that non-memorable.

Requited - Nicolas struggles to decide whether to go to the wedding of his best friend from high school, Aaron, whom he’s always been quietly in love with. The two had a falling out years earlier after Nicolas inexplicably kissed Aaron’s girlfriend. Nicolas clings to an idealized image of his former friend, subconsciously sabotaging his own happiness in the process. Requited is a realistic slice-of-life that poses the question, “How do you get over something you never had?”

My thoughts: I liked this short because they guys were cute/sexy and because I could relate to the story line, as I imagine many others will too.

Bald Guy
- A lively musical film dealing with a young man’s quest for love and acceptance, this short examines the issue of promoting yourself and loving whomever you want. It’s a film about forbidden and boundless love and the risk of losing everything when you choose to challenge the morally accepted. Oh, and it’s about a bald guy.

My thoughts: The synopsis above is a flourishing way of saying this short is about a young man who tells his parents he's dating a bald guy, which turns into a 10-minute Broadway style choreographed group musical number. It was amusing and enjoyable for the 1st 3 or 4 minutes, but how long can you make "I'm in love with a bald guy" stay funny?

I Don't Want to Go Back Alone
- In this tender short, the arrival of a new student in school changes Leonardo’s life. This 15-year-old blind teenager has to deal with the jealousy of his friend Giovana while figuring out the romantic feelings he’s having for his new friend Gabriel.

My thoughts: I really enjoyed this film and found the telling of this tale to be authentic and not at all contrived.

52 - While every gay man has a relationship to the aging process, each reaction is different. The hilarious 52 is one gay man’s nightmare about aging, starring the amazing Scott Thompson (The Kids in the Hall).

My thoughts: Scott Thompson is always funny and this film was no exception. This dream within a dream within a dream farce was thoroughly entertaining.

No Direction - Life in the big world is tough when you’re a Philosophy major fresh from college graduation. Looking for guidance, Jamie falls in love with the GPS in her parents’ car. Cute, quirky and downright adorable are just a few of the many descriptors for No Direction.

My thoughts: While this short had its cute and amusing moments, I wouldn't describe the short as 'downright adorable'. A lesbian with no sense of direction??? I don't think so.

The Maiden and the Princess
- Little Emmy kisses a girl on the playground and is left feeling isolated and alone. The Grand High Council of Fairy Tale Rules and Standards led by Bernard sends her a hetero-normative fairytale to set her down the ‘right’ path in life. With the help of fairy godmother and rogue fairytale narrator, Hammond, Emmy searches for herself amidst this musical fairytale.

My thoughts: Although I liked the concept of expanding the boundaries of what is 'normal', this short suffered from an overdose of camp which wound up being more silly than funny.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Film festival time!

Although I've not mentioned it recently, I've been looking forward to the Rehoboth Beach Independent Film Festival which began tonight with 'locals night' and runs through Sun. This film festival is a highlight of my year, of which I try to take the utmost advantage.

For many years when I worked a traditional Mon-Fri schedule, I would take vacation days on Thurs & Fri so I could see as many films as possible during the festival. Now that I don't work a traditional Mon-Fri schedule and can't be off for 4 days in a row, I've had to adjust and compromise. But that's a key ingredient to happiness in life, right? Better to compromise and enjoy as much of the festival as I can than to be severely disappointed that I can't be off work for all 4 days of it. At least that's how I see it.

Tonight I saw a wonderful Italian film called "Loose Cannons". Here's the film society's synopsis:
Tommaso has a comfortable life in Rome as an aspiring writer and a steady relationship with his boyfriend Marco - a life he has kept secret from his family. So when he’s called back to his hometown of Lecce in Italy’s deep-south to help run the family pasta business, he decides to finally reveal his homosexuality to his conservative family and hopefully get out of his business obligations in the process. But when his plans are thwarted by his brother, Tommaso gets stuck on the path that he was desperately trying to avoid. Director Ferzan Ozpetek takes a playful approach to this family dramedy, matching a critique of provincial Southern values with an eccentric cast of characters that includes a philandering conservative father, a boozing aunt, a pair of disgruntled maids, and Tommaso’s bubbly friends. As each family member’s quirks slowly come to the surface, Ozpetek’s heartfelt film reveals that Tommaso isn’t the only one struggling to navigate between a good public image and his true desires.

My thoughts:
I thought this film was delightful! The individuals' and the family's struggles were heartbreaking at times, yet laugh-outloud funny at times. The cinematography was beautiful, the characters were dimensional and fully developed yet not characatures, and the acting was true and believable. Things get particularly tense but hilarious when 4 of Tommaso's gay friends try to play it straight when they stop by his parents' house to say hello on their way to the beach!

I would highly recommend seeing this film, either at an art house theatre or eventually via Netflix.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Weekend highlights

It was a rather unremarkable weekend. I was scheduled for floor duty at work on both Sat and Sun. I asked Steven & Thad to try to keep Spouse engaged over the weekend so he wouldn't just sit at home by himself thinking about Jordan. Spouse went to the gym and had lunch with them, so that was good. That night the 4 of us went to dinner at 1 of my favorite places: Georgia House. The cuisine is country/comfort food and the prices are very reasonable.

On Sun our internet at work was down all day, which made it nearly impossible to work. Fortunately the office across the parking lot had internet so several times I went over there and logged into my work email and the MLS. Spouse had breakfast with Steven & Thad and did some shopping.

We'd gotten an email from our dear friends Kerry & Hugh earlier in the week letting us know they would be in our area Sun afternoon and wanted to get together. When I got home from work on Sun they were at the house. It was great to see them! And being the always-thoughtful friends that they are, they brought us a beautiful vase of flowers to try and cheer us up. They have a strong attachment to their dog, Chopper, so they were particularly sensitive to Jordan's passing on Fri. However, the strange thing about it was the colors: purple and white. You see, I'm not so fond of multi-colored flower arrangements. They are often too 'busy' for my taste, so when I order flowers from a florist I always specify "any shades of purple plus white". I think this request makes for a more sophisticated arrangement. When I saw the flowers Kerry & Hugh brought, I asked them whether or not I'd told them of my flower color preference, and they said no. In fact, Kerry then said she'd originally picked up a multi-colored arrangement, but then put it back in favor of the purples and white. Weird, huh?

We visited for a little while at home, then had an early dinner at Ocean Point Grill. It was really nice to spend a little time with Kerry & Hugh and get caught up on the goings on of our mutual friends. It was a great way to end a rather unremarkable weekend.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Friday fragments: Preempted

Today's Friday fragments post is being preempted in order to pay tribute to our dog, Jordan. We got Jordan in Feb of 1998 from a beagle and basset hound rescue league. They said she was almost 2 years old, but when we took her to the vet for the 1st time, the vet suggested she was probably older; more likely closer to 4 years old.

Jordan has always been quite vocal, especially when excited. Every time we'd return home, and every time company would enter the house, Jordan would excitedly bark and bay. She really made us feel like she'd missed us, even if we'd only been gone a few hours. Even as Jordan aged she'd still greet us with several barks when we came in the door, although they didn't last as long as before.

Jordan was extremely friendly and docile. She was never ever aggressive toward other dogs or people she'd meet on her walks. I would laughingly tell other dog owners "She's never met a stranger." Even when we got Pouncer as a very young kitten a few months later, Jordan accepted him into the family and they became great pals. And although she could be difficult and frustrating at times and I've joked about her being an inconvenient dog, she was also a very loving dog.

About 2 years ago we noticed that Jordan was becoming hard-of-hearing, not uncommon for dogs her age, so we began to speak louder to her. Last summer it became obvious that Jordan's favorite 2-block walk was too much for her. She'd get so tired she could barely make it back home, so we reduced it to a 1-block walk. Spouse would occasionally carry her up the stairs at bedtime if she was sleeping while we watched TV.

About 6 months ago we noticed she just seemed to be slowing down. Her normal exuberance upon our return was tempered, and she was often contented with sniffing around the yard instead of going for a walk. This week we got the 1st indication that she really wasn't doing well when she didn't want to eat. Jordan was normally a furious eater who gobbled down her food in seconds. Her internal clock always alerted us to feeding time. This week her walking within the house seemed very slow, and we wondered if she was having pain from a disc in her back, as she did in 2004. We talked about it and decided to watch her closely for the next few days and then make a vet appointment next week if necessary.

But last night Jordan took a turn for the worse. She suddenly seemed to have trouble supporting her weight with her hind legs. She tried several times to get up during the night to get a drink of water. Each time she'd walk a few feet and then plop down onto her butt. Instead of coming back to bed after her drink, Jordan started to descend the steps to the main level. I jumped up and grabbed my robe and slippers, thinking she needed to go out to pee. When I got down the stairs I saw that she had peed in the house, which is highly unusual for her. I took her outside so she could finish, then I cleaned up the floor and carried her back upstairs. Throughout the night she seemed unable to get comfortable or settle herself, again highly unusual behavior for her. We were both so concerned over her unusual behavior we barely slept.

This morning I called the vet and explained our concerns that Jordan was not well and possibly in pain. After answering several questions the vet told us to bring Jordan in at 9:30. Spouse took the day off work and took her to the vet while I headed to the office.

An examination, blood tests, and x-rays revealed that Jordan had a very high fever and was in pain due to a fast-growing tumor near her liver and spleen. Surgery was an option, but due to her advanced age the vet said it would be very risky. The anesthesia alone is risky at her age. With Jordan in pain and no alternative treatment options, Spouse made the difficult decision to say goodbye and send her to heaven.

We found it a very strange coincidence that Jordan joined Pouncer in heaven exactly 1 year to the day, Nov 4, of
Pouncer's arrival there.

Spouse elected not to stay for any of the procedure. And while some pet owners save their beloved pet's last collar or favorite toy, Spouse refused when the vet offered him Jordan's collar, ID tags, and even the laundry basket in which he carried her into the office. He said he just wanted to pet her, say goodbye, and get out of there. I guess we all grieve in our own way.

We've decided to wait at least until the new year to think about getting another dog. With weekend company next week, Spouse's family staying with us for Thanksgiving, holiday parties, and being gone for several days for Christmas, it just wasn't a good time to try and bond with and train a new pet.

So maybe we'll start the new year with a new pet.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

New York in 1941 & 1942

A friend sent me this cool article about an Indiana man who took photos of New York in 1941 & 1942. The unusual thing is that he used expensive color film which was not readily available then so the photos appear to be much newer than they actually are.

Many of the buildings have been demolished or replaced since, but some still remain like McSorley's Old Ale House, then...
and now...

Have a look at these interesting photos!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011


Its only Wed and already I can say that this is a good week for real estate!

Friday afternoon I showed several homes to a very interested couple and on Mon I wrote up an offer for them. That's contract #1 this week, and #9 since I started in April.

Then yesterday a couple with whom I've been working for about 2 weeks now came into the office and we wrote up an offer for them on a home I showed them twice. That's contract #2 this week, and #10 since I started in April.

This afternoon I completed the negotiations on both offers which were accepted!

Since I started working in real estate (here in a beach community) in the spring/summer I assumed that business would slow down dramatically after the beach season ended. Fortunately I was wrong and business continues to be good for me. I still have several other clients with whom I'm working and who may purchase within the next few weeks/months.

I feel like I really made the right decision when I changed careers. It required a huge leap of faith (not to mention giving up the security of a regular paycheck) to do this, but it seems to be working out well.