Monday, July 30, 2012

Weekend highlights

On Fri early afternoon Ron & James and Mike & Clark (hereto described as 'the guys' in this post) arrived in town and took advantage of our lovely tax-free outlet and factory store shopping.  This is a ritual for them, and works well with our schedules since Spouse & I usually work til about 5.  The house cleaners were not finished at 5 so I called Spouse and told him to meet me and the guys at Fish On! for happy hour.  We had cocktails and shared a couple appetizers and chatted for a while.  Once we were pretty sure the house cleaners were gone we continued talking at home.  That night the guys selected Rigby's as their choice for dinner.  We'd eaten there a year or so ago and they liked it.  Plus, its location offers free parking which is hard to come by in the middle of summer in a beach resort town.  We had a great dinner and decided to have a boardwalk ice cream and people-watch for a few minutes.  Upon returning home we continued to catch up on the goings on in each others' lives.  Although they only come to visit once a year and we only see them 2-3 times a year, we always seem to just pick right up where we left off which is the sign of good friends.

I planned not to work on Sat & Sun so I was there with everyone Sat morning for coffee and continued conversation.  Later breakfast Spouse made breakfast for everyone.  Although I was off, I did agree to meet clients for 30 minutes nearby to look at a building lot.  While I did that the guys slipped out for a little more shopping.  3 of them came home with new digital cameras!  The latter part of the afternoon found some napping, some computing, and others just relaxing.  That evening we enjoyed and old cocktail favorite:  Champagne Darlings.  So easy to make, so delicious, and so refreshing in the summertime.  Then we headed off for dinner at Ivy.  It took some convincing beforehand to get them to agree to the 'small bite' dinner concept but once they tasted the food and saw the sunset on the bay view, they understood why we'd recommended it.  After dinner we headed into town for the Legends show.  I performed as Elton John and it was fun to see my friends there in the front row.

Sun after coffee and conversation we had breakfast at Ocean Point Grill.  The guys had packed their car beforehand and left directly from the restaurant.  Spouse & I hung out at home for a while, then met up with Steven and Dennis & Rasaahn for dinner.  

We had a great weekend with our friends!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Friday fragments

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

 As you might expect, this left me thoroughly delighted!

Did you read/hear about the man in China who claims his penis was stolen?  If not, read about it here.  But unlike John Wayne Bobbitt, the man in China's penis has not been recovered.

This gave me a good chuckle.

Several professional athletes have made a video called "Words Do Hurt" in an effort to take a stand against homophobia in sports.  I love it when straight celebrities use their power for good instead of evil.

Our good friends Ron & James and Mike & Clark will arrive later today and spend the weekend with us.  They come once a year and we always have a great time.  I'm looking forward to catching up with them.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Happy hour

Last night we went to Doug & Jim's house for a happy hour.  On a Wed night.  Isn't that great?

Here are some of the others who attended.
I enjoy people who don't have to wait for the weekend to enjoy a cocktail.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Birthday highlights

Spouse's birthday happy hour at Saketumi went great.  Lots of friend showed up including Steve & Thad, the Bobs, Doug & Jim, and Christy & Todd.  We had cocktails and some sushi rolls and visited with everyone for about 2 hours.  Then Spouse & I headed over to Ivy for dinner.

Ivy is a new restaurant that backs to the bay, offering fabulous views while dining.  After dinner hours the restaurant transforms into a nightclub with live DJs and fantastic lighting.  The decor is mostly white and quite chic.  Slowly changing colors of light spray across the white wall decorations.  Spouse & I sat at a table very close to the wall of glass overlooking the bay.  

We ordered several tapas-style items with an Asian twist and talked and looked out at the setting sun over the water as we waited for our food.  It was absolutely delicious and we really enjoyed our dinner.  For more details about their very unusual menu, check out my friend the Rehoboth Foodie's review of Ivy here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Happy birthday Spouse!!

Today is Spouse's birthday.  Since I am 8 months older than him, today he joins me in being 48 and we'll be "the same age" for the next 4 months.

I planned several ways to celebrate his birthday today.  The 1st one he actually received yesterday when he got home from work.  You see, Spouse hates to fold and put away clean laundry.  He will wash and dry clothes and then pick what he wants to wear out of baskets for weeks.  So as a 'gift' to him, yesterday I spent 2 1/2 hours folding and putting away 6 baskets of his laundry, including matching up socks.  At 1st he didn't see this as much of a 'gift' but then I explained how long it took and that I did it on my day off of work; then he thanked me.

His next 'gift' was a gift card to the Calvin Klein factory store.  He likes that store now that he's lost weight and can actually wear clothes from it.  I put the card next to his cell phone before I went to bed last night so he would find it this morning.

A florist will deliver an arrangement of flowers to him at work today.  He loves flowers and I think its 'special' to have them delivered to his office where his colleagues will share in celebrating his birthday.

This evening we are meeting several of our friends for happy hour at Saketumi, then Spouse & I are going to dinner at a new, chic restaurant and lounge called Ivy.  It backs to a fabulous view of the bay which should provide a lovely backdrop to our celebratory dinner.

Here is a photo of Spouse that I've always liked, taken in 2003 in Alaska.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Marvin's transformation

Our friends Steven & Thad sometimes chide us for being "so gay", as if that's a bad thing.  I know they are just kidding us.  But we are gay, so when we do or say something that elicits that "so gay" comment, I just say 'thank you' because that means we're being authentic.

Recently Steven sent me the following:

Marvin before Mark & Spouse

 Marvin after Mark & Spouse

I laughed uproariously!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Bob Evans

Bob Evans has never been one of my favorite restaurants, partly because of the mediocre food, but mostly due to the "atmosphere".  We would occasionally go there with Spouse's mother when we lived in VA and took her to dinner on Thurs evenings. 

I'm not sure why but Bob Evans seems to be a big favorite with the seniors.  And of course I have nothing against seniors!  They're wonderful people and they deserve to eat out.  But the seniors I've often seen at Bob Evans seem to have 1 foot in the grave and the other on a banana peel, if you know what I mean.

It can be 105 degrees outside and they will slide their walkers into the Bob Evans wearing Bermuda shorts from the 1970s cinched at the waste with a white belt to keep them up because they've lost 30 lbs since they bought the shorts 40 years ago, with white nylon knee socks, black orthopedic shoes, and a clear tube extending from their nose to their pull-along oxygen tank.  Some of the 'hipsters' will also be wearing a baseball cap with the gasoline station logo on it.

Come on!  Who wouldn't lose their appetite after seeing that?!?!

When Spouse used to suggest having a meal there I would tell him I didn't want to come home smelling like bacon and Ben-Gay.

I think the side orders part of the menu includes Geritol and Metamucil.

Recently Steven & Thad conspired with Spouse and the 4 of us went to dinner at Bob Evans.  Very little if anything had changed since my last visit years ago with Spouse's mom.

First off we were sat at a booth behind a 'mature' couple who had to be 120 years old if they were a day.  She couldn't hear very well so her husband talked REALLY LOUD the entire time, and each time the waitress asked if she wanted more coffee or water the lady would yell "HEH???"

Just a moment or 2 after being seated we heard this horrible wet, gloppy cough coming from the woman at the table across the aisle.  Not a dry, raspy cough, but a big, fat, juicy cough that sounded like she needed a receptacle for whatever she was coughing up.  Steven & Thad looked at me for a reaction and I just rolled my eyes.  The coughing occurred several more times after our food arrived, and hearing it made me not want to eat. 

I've never seen so many wheelchairs, scooters, walkers, oxygen tanks, or canes in 1 place in my entire life!

I'm sure this account will make some of you think I'm a horrible person for talking about old people this way, but its not like I think they shouldn't eat at Bob Evans.  To the contrary, I think that I shouldn't eat at Bob Evans.

Monday, July 16, 2012

20 things

I can't remember where I saw this, but I thought it was interesting enough to share.

20 Things to Do in your Relationships 
  • Free yourself from people who are always negative
  • Let go of people who are already gone from your life
  • Give those you don't know a fair chance
  • Show everyone kindness and respect
  • Accept people just the way they are
  • Encourage others and cheer for them
  • Be your imperfectly perfect self
  • Truly forgive people and move forward
  • Do little unexpected things for others everyday
  • Be loyal
  • Stay in better touch with those who matter the most to you
  • Keep your promises and always tell the truth
  • Give what you want to receive
  • Say what you mean and mean what you say
  • Allow others to make their own decisions
  • Talk less and listen more
  • Recognize when an argument is petty and stop it
  • Pay attention to your relationship with yourself
  • Pay attention to who your real friends are
  • Ignore unconstructive, hurtful commentary

Friday, July 13, 2012

Friday fragments

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

Today is Friday the 13th.
I am not a superstitious person but I've a few who are.  For instance, my childhood best friend was born on Friday the 13th and one of his aunts refused to be in the same room with him because she feared something terrible would happen to her!  At the other end of the spectrum I have no problem walking underneath ladders or having a black cat cross my path.

It should come as no surprise from many of the gorgeous men I've featured on my blog that I find hairy men to be attractive and sexy.  If you'd like a refresher, click on the 'sexy' label on this post.  So it absolutely delighted me to come across an image of this button on facebook! 
Now I just need to find out where to buy these buttons.

Apparently there is a music group I've never heard of called The Aikiu whose music video incorporates a clever use of vintage gay porn.  Its only slightly NSFW.  Check it out here.  The music's not bad either.

Thursday, July 12, 2012


The fabulous drag comedienne and story-teller Miss Coco Peru made her annual visit to our fair hamlet last night.  She always performs a fantastic show at the Blue Moon and I am always there.  (Click the Coco Peru label to read my previous posts about Coco's shows and getting my photo taken with her.)

This year Spouse opted out of going to the show with me, Joe P, and Steven & Thad but he did join us for dinner before the show at Cafe Azafran.  We all had tapas which is always good there.  Afterward Spouse went home while the rest of us went to the Blue Moon to claim our seats on the front row.

Coco did not disappoint.  As usual her blend of music, childhood and family stories, social awareness and hopefulness about the future left us laughing so hard our sides hurt!

If you have the opportunity to see her, DO IT!!  Check the calendar on her website for performance dates, and become a fan on facebook.

Just because

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


One of the benefits of our civil union is that I was able to join Spouse's terrific insurance.

Since becoming self-employed I was purchasing private health insurance which gave me minimal care with a high deductible.  Since Spouse is a State employee he has terrific health insurance, dental insurance, and vision insurance.  Joining his plan costs a whole lot less and I'm getting far better coverage!
The 1st thing I did upon receiving my ID cards was schedule a long-overdue eye exam.  My eye doctor is close to my home and office and he advertises in the local gay publication.  Plus an acquaintance of mine works there.  So I got my eyes checked and ordered a year's worth of contact lenses which arrived the next day.

Shortly afterward I started having sinusitis symptoms so I took Claritan-D for a couple days.  It helped with the congestion part but my glans were still swollen and I just couldn't seem to clear my throat at times.  My previous doctor took a position at the hospital so I knew I'd need to find a new doctor if my symptoms didn't improve.  I asked Steven & Thad because they used to have the same doctor I had, and found they liked their new doctor.  I called his office in the morning and was able to get an appointment that afternoon.  I didn't know it at the time but I later found out my new doctor also advertises in the local gay publication.  Anyway, my co-pay was only $15 and my antibiotic perscription was only $3.87.  That's correct... $3.87 for a week's worth of antibiotics!!

All of this just underscored how important it is for people to have insurance.  Without it a doctor visit and perscription could easily be $200.  When people without insurance can't afford to pay out of pocket, they usually don't go to the doctor until they become so sick they have to go to the hospital, which winds up costing way more than if they just had insurance in the 1st place.  I certainly hope our government can find a way to make health insurance for everyone a reality.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Weekend highlights

I worked Sat from 9-11am, then came home to pick up Spouse and meet the others who were caravaning to Rusty's memorial service. It was being held in his family's small country church about an hour away.  Steven & Thad, the Bobs, Joe P, Chris, Dennis & Rasaahn carpooled with us.  It was a record-breakingly hot day, 105 degrees.  The little church had air conditioning but it wasn't sufficient.  There was a visitation hour scheduled before the service, but the visitation had to be extended due to the number of people who showed up to pay their respects.  Rusty worked at the same place for 27 years and many of his colleagues from over years were there, as well as many other friends like us from the beach area.  The service was about 30 minutes long and was about as uplifting as a funeral can be.  I was glad I had thought ahead and brought 2 pocket-size packages of tissues.  I shared 1 package with those sitting close to me, and the other package I gave to a couple standing in the visitation line near my isle seat.  One of the guys was sniffling and wiping tears from his cheeks with his hand.  Without saying a word I simply pressed the tissue package against his arm.  He mouthed the words 'thank you' and I just nodded my head.  At 1 point I was struck by the beauty of sorrow.  Of course its terrible to lose someone you love and a natural reaction to this is tears.  But as I looked at so many people crammed into that tiny church full of sorrow and tears, I was struck by the beauty of it all.  Strange, I know.

When we returned home from the funeral Spouse's brother Louis and his wife Karen were here.  They had asked if they could visit with us and stay over night since they were taking the ferry the next day to Cape May.  We had a snack together, visited for a few hours, and played with Marvin.  Louis is a huge dog fan and he got a kick out of little Marvin Parker.  That evening we had dinner together at Bethany Blues BBQ and then talked until bedtime.

Sun morning we had coffee at home, then decided to go to breakfast.  Since I had to be at work at 10 I drove separately.  I worked til 1pm, then Spouse & I went grocery shopping and took Marvin for a short walk since it was still so darn hot.  That evening we had dinner at Steven & Thad's house along with Joe P and 1 of the Bobs.  In honor of our friend Rusty who had given us 2 bottles of 'discounted' sparkling wine last New Years Eve, we used the sparkling wine to make Champagne Darlings and toasted Rusty.  It seemed fitting.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Friday fragments

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

Well, Anderson Cooper finally came out this week.  Not that anyone was surprised.  You can read about it here.

Spouse read that Chihuahuas are prone to larynix collapse so we decided to get Marvin a harness rather than attach his leash to his collar.  He often tries to chase rabbits, squirrels and birds and when his leash gets fully extended it yanks his collar hard against his neck.  It didn't take him long to warm up to the idea of wearing the harness and its pretty easy to put on him.  He actually looks cute in it.  A kid asked me if he was wearing a "vest".  Since he's white and the harness is red, he sort of looks like he belongs on a lifeguard team.

I saw this on facebook and literally laughed out loud!!

Shopping Center Sign FAIL.

I hope everyone has a terrific weekend!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

4th of July highlights

My office was closed yesterday for July 4th but I still "worked" most of the day anyway, just not on real estate.  I cleaned off all the screened porch furniture and cushions, swept the porch, put all the furniture back in place, and gave the wrought iron patio set a fresh coat of white paint.  While I was still hot and sweaty I went ahead and pulled some weeds from the flower beds and watered Spouse's fancy red hydrangeas (which haven't bloomed yet).  Once inside the cool air conditioned house I put away lots of odds and ends, vacuumed the main level and cleaned the kitchen.  All this in preparation for hosting a July 4th cook-out.

Around 4pm Steven & Thad, Joe P, one of the Bobs, Robin & Bill came over.  I decided not to drive Big Ella in the Doo Dah parade because it was just too hot.  I was afraid the extreme heat might cause her to overheat, so we all walked over to the parade route and watched parade instead.  Then everyone can back to the house for the cook-out but we ate indoors.  All that work to clean the porch and repaint the dining set and we ate inside!  But the food was tasty and we had a good time.  Later we rode down to the beach to watch the "volunteer" fireworks.  These fireworks are not paid for or sponsored by the City; they are paid for and set off by private citizens or "volunteers" and they're great!  For more than 90 minutes we were delighted and entertained by fireworks directly in front of us, to our left, to our right, and even across the bay.  It was a fun display.
Today I'm off because its my regular day off and we're going to the beach with Steven & Thad and Jason & Kevin.  Its supposed to be another scorcher but at least we'll be at the beach and can cool off in the ocean.

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Tears of joy

One of the most satisfying parts of my job is helping people find and purchase a home they love. 

Some clients don't find them right away.  I have 2 clients with whom I've been working off and on for over a year who are finally under contract on homes they love.  

Other clients find them right away, like Gail & George.  They called about a listing my team had so I showed the home (and 3 others in the neighborhood) to them.  They called me a week or 2 later about another community they drove through and liked so I showed them several homes there, and that's where they found "the one".  Just 2 times out with them and we found the right home for them.

We wrote an offer, negotiated a bit with the sellers, and the deal was done.  When I called Gail to congratulate them on their new home, I could hear the crack in her voice as she said "Thank you".  She became overcome with emotion and began to softly cry tears of joy.

Sometimes my job is frustrating and tough.  I assume everyone's job is at some time or another.  Fortunately I have moments like the one with Gail that balance things out.

Monday, July 02, 2012

Tears of sadness

My typical Weekend Highlights post is being pre-empted today in honor of our friend Rusty.

Late Sat night Rusty was riding his bicycle home when he was struck by a drunk driver and killed.  According to witnesses and the police report, Rusty was thrown onto the hood of the Jeep and the bike went underneath.  When the driver it a curb, Rusty flew off the Jeep into the street.  The driver attempted to drive away but had to stop again to pull the bike out from under the Jeep.  

The police had been called by a witness and since they were nearby, they arrested the driver who refused to take a sobriety test.  An ambulance was also called and Rusty was pronounced dead at the scene.

Rusty was a dear friend and this tragedy is difficult to process.  Although he was the source of lots of fun and laughter, its hard to think of him now without tears.

Although I'd never want anything bad to happen to any of my friends, Rusty was one of the people I'd least want something to happen to.  He was always cheerful, optimistic, smiling, generous, and kind.  He did volunteer work and raised money for charities.  Rusty always joined us for birthday parties, potluck dinners, Christmas tree trimming parties, and 4th of July cook-outs.  Those events will seem a little empty in the future without Rusty.

Rest in peace, dear friend.