Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Rollercoaster weather

Man, we have been having some crazy roller coaster weather!

What is roller coaster weather, you ask?

Roller coaster weather is when the temperature goes up and down several times within just a few days.

For example, recently it was 60 degrees, then 48 hours later it was 21 degrees and we had snow.  It stayed under freezing for 3 straight days, which is extremely unusual for this beachside community.  Then the next day the temperature went back up into the 50s again, and 48 hours later dropped into the 20s and we had snow again.  Tomorrow our forecast says the temperature will go up to 67 degrees, and 48 hours after that it is forecasted to be 34 degrees with snow flurries.

Really???  Seriously???

I don't know whether to open the sunroof or get out the snow shovel.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


I have to say that I was genuinely impressed with the President's inauguration speech.  He 'stood up' for the GLBT community, not in a room full for HRC employees, but in front of millions of American people (and countless non-Americans watching from overseas) in his inauguration speech!

Back in 2004 when the first same-sex weddings took place in MA I thought real marriage equality on the federal level would come, but not in my lifetime.  I'm now rethinking that.

Thank you, Mr. President.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Second guessing

Even as I was at the car dealership signing the paperwork, I second guessed myself.  Am I justifying this purchase of a vehicle I've wanted even before I was a realtor, saying its for my clients?

I don't think so.  

They say that for a job interview you should dress for the job you want.  Doing so will make you feel confident and will help others believe you are the right fit for the job.

I think the same holds true for a realtor's car.  You should drive a car that makes you feel confident and that makes others believe they should trust you with their home purchase.

I had a lot of home showings on Fri, Sat, and Sun, and doing so in my new realtor car truly made me feel more confident.  Yesterday I received a 'thank you' email from one of those clients who wrote that they appreciated my "professionalism" and patience with them.

I'm really happy with my realtor car!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Paying it forward

Today as I reached for my wallet to pay for my lunch, I realized I'd mistakenly left it at home.

I explained this to the waitress at the lunch spot I frequent and promised to return in 15 minutes to pay for my lunch, which I did.

Only when I came back with my wallet in hand, the waitress explained that the lady at the table next to mine overheard our conversation and paid for my lunch.  I was dumbfounded!

"But, why would she do that?" I asked, still wondering if someone was playing a joke on me.

"She said she wanted to do something nice and 'pay it forward'" the waitress answered.

It was a small check - less than $10 - but it was a grand gesture that made me feel wonderful the rest of the day.  I left the lunch spot for the second time feeling honored that someone would extend such a kindness to me.

So now it is my turn to 'pay it forward'.  I'm going to go about my life the next few days with a new awareness for opportunities to extend a kindness to others.  Hopefully it will continue to be contagious.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013


Having grown up in a very religious environment I recall my curiosity when reading about the many characters in the Bible and their wives.

Indeed, our society's view of marriage has changed dramatically over the years.  It wasn't that long ago that love had very little to do with the arranged marriages of wealthy and powerful families.

Yet somehow, the marriage of two people of the same sex remains "immoral" to many in the US.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Mogul mobile

As a realtor I often drive clients in my car.  

"My car" is actually a little Mercedes Benz SLK 230, a 2-seater convertible which is not at all conducive to real estate.  So on days that I have appointments with clients I switch with Spouse and drive "his car", a 4-door Chrysler PT Cruiser.  For the most part this arrangement has worked out satisfactorily, although there have been a few glitches.  

But the PT Cruiser doesn't quite convey the successful realtor image I wish to portray so I'd been considering a luxury vehicle that quietly indicates my success without banging them over the head with it like a cast iron skillet.

I'd communicated my preferences to my friend Bryan who is the owner of a used car dealership nearby and he's been keeping an eye out for me.  He called me to tell me about "the perfect mogul mobile" he'd just scored at the auction. I'm far from being a real estate mogul but the compliment was nice anyway.  

What can I say other than 'its perfect'.

Its a silver 2006 BMW X5 with all-wheel drive, panoramic moon roof, leather interior, and a kickin' sound system.  I love it, love it, love it!

I really like the engineering and thought processes behind BMW.  

When the intermittent windshield wipers are on and you come to a stop, the wipers stop.  This prevents that dry rub sound while you're stopped at a traffic light.  The wipers resume when you resume driving.  

The front seat cushions AND seat backs are heated.  My old BMW and my current Mercedes don't have heated seat backs, although both were older models.

Once you lock or unlock the vehicle with the remote the vehicle makes no more sounds or light flashes if you hit the same button again.  

When you remove the key from the ignition the steering wheel automatically raises up for ease of exiting the vehicle.  

When you put the transmission in reverse, the passenger door mirror tilts down so you can see the pavement behind you, preventing you from backing over objects or people.

The ride is a perfect balance of luxury and feeling the road, and the acceleration is definitely there when you want it.

No more swapping cars with Spouse.  I've got my real estate mogul mobile.

Friday, January 11, 2013

The Gay Workout

It is a stereotype with a lot of truth behind it:  most gay men work out. 

But did you know that many gay men follow a special Gay Workout routine??

Hope this gave you a chuckle as it did me!

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Spouse and the space heaters

It all started in 1996 when Spouse & I moved into our 1st house.  Some previous owner had enclosed the porch off the kitchen and made it a sunroom, but it had no heat or A/C.  With glee and delight Spouse purchased an electric heater to warm up the sunroom.

I'm convinced this began Spouse's long-enduring love affair with electric space heaters.

Four years later we moved to our next home that had a basement family room, so we put the electric space heater in that room and used it a few times there.  We really didn't use that basement family room very often.

Seven years later we moved to this house which is built on a concrete slab.  The main floor which has the living room, dining room, kitchen, and family room is significantly cooler than the 2nd floor where our bedroom and 2 of the guest bedrooms are located.  So we keep the thermostat lower than usual to keep our bedroom from being too warm, but this allows the main level to be a little chilly.  

Spouse's remedy?  But another electric space heater!  This one is much more decorative since it resembles a small wood stove, and it is quite helpful in keeping the family room comfortable when we are watching TV in there.  This room is also where Marvin's crate is located, so we sometimes turn it on for him on the coldest days while we're at work.

I'm stating these two applications to show that I am not against electric space heaters.  They can serve a useful, temporary purpose.  

But I really had to question Spouse's clear thinking recently when he purchased yet ANOTHER electric space heater!

When I looked at him with disbelief Spouse said "This one is covered in furniture-quality wood and will look great in the living room."  

Furniture-quality wood.  I'm sure he picked up that expression from the hucksters on the home shopping channel from which he ordered the thing.

"We have a gas fireplace to take the chill out of the air in the living room - why would we need an electric space heater in there?" I asked.

"The furnace and the fireplace are gas.  This furniture-quality wood covered space heater is electric and electric is cheaper."

I shook my head and said mostly to myself but loud enough for him to hear "We live in a 3,770 square foot home in a very desirable area and you're buying $100 space heaters to save money on gas..."  

There was silence for a little while, and then to lighten the mood Spouse suggested "We should turn off the furnace and put electric space heaters in every room!"

To let him know I was not amused with his attempt at humor I responded "Well maybe that's what you and your NEXT husband can try when you move into his trailer."

I don't think Spouse will be purchasing any more electric space heaters.

Monday, January 07, 2013

Weekend recap

As a real estate agent, I typically work on Saturdays, and sometimes on Sundays too.  Now that we have another agent on our team we are rotating so that each agent gets a weekend off each month.  This means they aren't scheduled for sales duty (responding to phone and internet inquiries) but may still need to show property to visiting potential buyers.

This weekend was my weekend off, I had no visiting buyers in town, and Spouse & I had no plans that would take us out of town.  So it felt almost odd that I was home with Spouse all weekend.

Click to enlarge
We decided to make good use of this time off together and took down and packed up our Christmas tree and all our Christmas decorations.  It was less laborious than usual since Spouse & I worked together on this.  Just removing and packing up the tree ornaments is a big job since we like our tree to be heavy with ornaments.  I've never counted them but I'm guessing there are 300-400 ornaments on our tree.  And unlike some people who can barely wait until Christmas to take down their tree, we usually leave ours up through mid-Jan.  We only did it this weekend because we both had the time.  Our tree and decorations are so pretty I just don't get tired of seeing them.  In fact, its always a little melancholy for the 1st few days after taking them down.

Sat night we had dinner with Steven & Thad at Miltonian Pizzeria & Wing House.  Spouse & I shared our favorite: the buffalo chicken pizza.  Sun night we had dinner at Steven & Thad's house, as Steven made pot roast, herb roasted potatoes and corn and we brought biscuits and a coconut cream pie for dessert.  Both meals were sort of our "swan song", as all 4 of us were planning to go on diets starting today.

Spouse & I are following Weight Watchers because Spouse feels it is the best way to lose weight.  He lost about 80 lbs about 2 years ago, although he has not kept all of it off.  We aren't going to the meetings but will follow the point system.  To make it easier to calculate the point value of most foods (rather than having to look up everything in a book) he discovered you can take the calorie count and divide it by 40 to quickly get the point value.

Also in preparation for our diets starting today, yesterday Spouse & I organized the frozen food in our chest freezer in the garage.  This helped us not to buy duplicates of things we already had when we went to the grocery store yesterday.  And while in the organizing mood, we bought a plastic shelving unit to put next to the freezer to store extra can foods and such.  We often 'stock up' when we are able to shop at a Trader Joe's, since we love their food but don't have a store near us.  The shopping bags of Trader Joe's foods were quickly organized onto the new shelving unit.

It was a fun weekend that included productivity, time with friends, good food, and preparations for a healthier new year.

Thursday, January 03, 2013


This photo was taken on Dec 23 during our Christmas visit in the DC area.  We met our friends Mike & Clark and Ron & James for dinner at the American Tap Room in Arlington, then had Christmas cookies at Ron & James house afterward.

When we lived in the DC area we socialized regularly with these guys and they have remained good friends of ours for many years now.  We met Ron & James in 1996 at the church we used to attend and we met Mike & Clark in 1997 at a financial seminar for same-sex couples.  They eventually became members of the same church.  

Both couples joined us at our beach home (when we still lived in DC) several times and both have continued to visit us at least once a year since we moved here.  We always have a good time together, as you can see from the expressions on our faces above!

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

Happy New Year!!!

Last night's party at Steven & Thad's was a lot of fun.  There was WAY too much food and plenty to drink and everyone had a great time.  Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper were on the TV as we counted down the final hour until midnight.  Spouse & I left at 12:30.

Today we met Steven & Thad and Joe P for breakfast at The Crystal and then we all went to see Joe P's new home.  On Fri he closed on the townhome/condo he was selling and on the home he had built.  The new home is absolutely beautiful and I'm sure Joe will be very happy there.  We were all brainstorming about new furniture for the new home, as he sold much of the townhome furniture to its new owners.

Spouse & I returned home, showered, and got dressed for yet another party.  We only stayed about an hour as both of us were tuckered out.  We returned home at 4:00 and relaxed for a little while.  We're about to head out the door yet again, to eat leftovers at Steven & Thad's from last night's party.

And because I know what you're thinking I'll go ahead and answer your question.  Yes, I'll be starting a diet very soon.

I saw this on facebook and thought I'd share it:
I think this is a neat idea and encourage you to share it with others in your life.

Happy New Year!