Friday, February 27, 2015

Color my world

A couple months ago I saw a facebook post from an artist named Brenden Sanborn, along with a sample of his work.  I followed the link to his website and started falling in love.

To me, there is something so soothing and relaxing about watercolors.  But then to find that this gay artist creates watercolors of men and male couples just pushed me over the edge.  The signed prints were so reasonably priced I had to order a few!

They arrived before Christmas (with a hand-written note from the artist, thanking me for supporting his art) so I thought I might frame them and give them to Spouse as a Christmas gift, even though we don't really exchange gifts with each other anymore.  This would have been more of a gift for both of us.  But I wasn't able to decide what kind of frame I wanted, nor had I settled on exactly where these were going to hang, so I postponed the frame purchase.  Every week or so I would check the frame selection at HomeGoods but nothing really made me pull the trigger until this week.

I found these weathered-looking painted wood frames at HomeGoods for $9.99 each and I knew right then and there that they were what I wanted.  I brought them home and yesterday I inserted my signed prints and hung them in our bathroom.  

These are hung above our bath towel bars.  (Click the photo to enlarge.)
Left: "Timeless Love"  Right: "One Last Summer Swim"
I especially love the one of the guys on the beach since going to the beach is a big element of mine and Spouse's life.

These are also hung in our bathroom but these are in the water closet.  (Click the photo to enlarge.)
Left: "Let Me Be Your Shelter"  Right: "A Night In Paris"

The one on the right is especially apropos since Spouse took me to Paris for my 50th birthday.  

I really like all of his watercolors, and it makes me feel good to support an artist who makes a living from creating art.  When Spouse came home from work and saw them on the wall he was very pleasantly surprised.  He confessed that he wasn't as fond of them the 1st time he saw them (unframed, in plastic), but he said he really thought they looked great in the frames I selected.  

Check out his work and see if you don't find yourself ordering some!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


So I log into Blogger yesterday or today (I forget which) and happen to see this notice at the top of the dashboard about a change to blog content beginning in late March.  I clicked on the link and read the notice.  Blogs that contain nudity that isn't considered 'artistic' or 'educational' will have to either remove that content or Blogger will make the blog private.  

I guess it remains to be seen how 'artistic' is defined.  I mean, I find almost all nudity to be artistic.

The interesting thing is that some blog writers received the notice via email, indicating their blog would likely be affected.  I did not get the email, so I'm assuming mine is not affected, but I'm really not sure.  My blog does not contain nude genitalia so I do not have content advisory that other blogs do.  Maybe that has something to do with it.  But my blog definitely does have nudity, so I'm not sure if nudity without showing genitalia is 'artistic' or not.

But I must say that I find all of this disappointing and bothersome.  YouTube and Facebook have always censored content and prohibited nudity.  I believe a big part of Blogger's popularity has been the fact that it did NOT censor content.  Blogger writers have been able to say and post whatever they want, be it 'artistic', 'educational', titillating, or smutty.  Its the very reason why we're HERE and not on Facebook and YouTube.

If blogs are forced to go 'private', how does a blog writer invite readers to the newly private blog?  How does a reader ask to be invited to a private blog?

I guess the other option is for blog writers to change platforms.  But whose to say that WordPress and other blog platforms won't follow suit?

I'm really not sure what to think about this whole situation, but I definitely feel disappointed that Blogger has decided to censor blog content.

Monday, February 23, 2015


Just about any pop singer (Katy Perry, Mariah Carey, Cher, etc) can make a great song in a studio full of sound engineers who can auto-tune and digitally correct their sound.  This is called technology.

But THIS, ladies and gentlemen, isn't technology.  Its called talent:

Technically correct LIVE singing filled with dynamics, emotion, control, and restraint.  These are attributes of talent that can't be duplicated with technology during a live performance.

Kudos to Lady Gaga for a beautiful tribute to these classic American songs, while simultaneously showing the world she's much more than just a pop singer.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Share/Cher Sunday

So this was happened in our house:

Me:  Was that your mom on the phone?  What's she up to?
Spouse:  Yeah.  Not much; she's going to the movies tomorrow.
Me:  What's she going to see, Fifty Shades of Grey?

This made us both laugh because Spouse's mother is an 85 year old Italian Catholic woman who calls any movie with an 'R' rating a "dirty movie".  Even if she wanted to see it, she'd be too afraid someone from church would see her there.

Spouse:  No, she's going to see The Theory of Everything with her new friend Beverly.  They met a church on Share Sunday.
Me:  Cher Sunday???  Is that when everyone wears feather headresses and sequined Bob Mackie knock-offs to church???

We both cracked up laughing, picturing THIS woman...
 dressed like THIS woman... church.

Spouse:  You are insane, you know that??  (Still laughing)

Oh, but I wasn't finished.  In my very best Jack McFarland imitating Cher voice I began singing: "Praise Christ from whom all blessings flow..." complete with Cher's signature 'fall off' treatment on the word 'flow'.  I could barely finish this before collapsing into complete hysterics!

When I managed to pull myself together I continued imitating Cher's speech: 
 "Come on Chaz, let's go to church!  Its mother f*ckin' Cher Sunday for Chrissake!!"

More uncontrollable laughter!!

Spouse:  You need professional psychological help.
Me:  Laughter's the best medicine!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


If you've commented on my blog posts in the past you may have seen comments from Wayne Da'Cajun.  He and I have read and commented on each other's blogs for a couple years now.  I learned that he passed away very early yesterday morning, after a long and valiant fight with cancer.  How fitting that Da'Cajun (originally from New Orleans) would choose Fat Tuesday to depart this world.

I'm not going to pretend that we were close friends.  In reality, we 'knew' each other mostly from reading each others blogs.  He worked at a restaurant I frequent, so we've met in person several times but had no time for substantive conversation there.  We also met at the blogger meet-up here in DE back in 2013, where we had more opportunity to spend time together.

I can say with confidence that Wayne was a lovely person.  His thoughtful and intelligent blog posts were very different from my style of writing, but they were completely him.

He was known for his smile, which everyone who knew him will sorely miss.
Photo lifted from Wayne's facebook page

Monday, February 16, 2015

Keeping it local

Spouse & I decided we wanted an electric space heater.  

This was last Fri, Feb 13, still very much wintertime, even here at the beach.  So we went to Lowe's, where we'd seen heaters before, but they had none on this visit.  Next we went to Home Depot, but they had none either.  Finally we went to Walmart only to find they had none as well.

As I mentioned, its mid-February and still very much wintertime, yet no space heaters were available for purchase.

But do you know what they had in the store where the space heaters had been??

Grass seed.  Fertilizer.  Patio furniture. 

Remember that its winter and the temperatures have been below freezing at least at night.  There is no point in spreading grass seed on frozen ground, and it will be at least 2-3 months before anyone around here will be able to use outdoor furniture.

The same thing happens in other stores.  A few years ago I tried to find a pair of navy shorts in early July.  Nearly all the clothing stores had their winter coats and sweaters out.  Not a single pair of navy shorts in any size to be found.

Last Sept I went to the Dollar Tree and they had Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas merchandise in the store all at the same time.  In Sept.  This rushing of the seasons is equally annoying to me.  Who wants to buy Christmas cookie tins and have them sit around for 3 months?

This begs the questions:  Why do stores insist on selling out and not replenishing seasonal items when they are still in season?  Why do stores insist on filling up the shelves and isles with merchandise people can't use for 2-3 months?  Whose interests does this serve?  Certainly not the public's.

So Fri night Spouse & I returned home and I ordered an electric space heater from  There were multiple brands and models to choose from, and with our Prime membership the shipping was free and they promised delivery by Sun.  It arrived on Sun as promised.

I normally try to shop locally because it invests in retailers who provide local jobs for people in my local community.  But I couldn't help but think about the fact that my local retailers don't seem nearly as concerned with providing me with seasonal merchandise as I am to support their stores and employees.  

Maybe this is the new reality.  Maybe brick-n-mortar stores will just provide next season's merchandise for those who really want to plan ahead, and those of us who want in-season merchandise will just obtain it from afar.  I hadn't been thinking that way, but I am now.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Valentine's day myths debunked

Valentine's day is tomorrow.  This week several of my favorite shows (The Middle, Modern Family, Blackish, etc) aired their Valentine's day episodes which I enjoyed.

While Valentine's day is supposed to be the holiday celebrating love, I'm disturbed by the increasing amount of people who hate it.  When I hear the reasons why some people hate this holiday it sounds like a bunch of sour grapes to me.

So that is why I've decided to debunk several Valentine's day myths for you.  You're welcome.

Myth:  Valentine's day reminds single people that they are alone.
Reality:  Christmas reminds Jews, Atheists, and Jehovah's Witnesses that they aren't getting any gifts that day.  Big deal!  Its not their holiday!  Its 1 day out of 365 so don't be a hater.  You wouldn't despise someone with a cupcake because you're on a diet!

Myth:  You can't get a restaurant reservation.
Reality:  You can if you don't wait until the last minute.  Put it on your calendar on Jan 14th to make a dinner reservation for Valentine's day.  A month ahead you'll have your choice of where to dine.

Myth:  If you do get a reservation, the restaurant will be crowded and over-priced.
Reality:  Again, if you aren't Last Minute Larry you can make a reservation for a place with modest prices.  Or, you can just enjoy spending the evening with your loved one and not worry about the cost.  Or, you can cook a lovely and romantic dinner for your sweetie at home and avoid the restaurants entirely.

Myth:  I'll have to buy expensive roses and chocolates.
Reality:  No you don't.  While those things are common on Valentine's day, there's no law that says you can't get an arrangement of beautiful cut flowers instead of roses, or your sweetie's favorite candy bar instead of a box of chocolates.  Be creative! 

Myth:  I'll have to get a stupid, mushy card that's not my style.
Reality:  What could be more romantic than making your own Valentine's card?  Pick up some inexpensive supplies at the dollar store and make your own card - romantic or funny - that IS your style.  It can say whatever you want it to say!

Myth:  There's so much pressure to find a nice gift.
Reality:   While there is a limit to how many stuffed animals or pieces of jewelry one should give, in reality Valentine's day gifts are no different that birthday or Christmas gifts.  Don't wait until the last minutes.  Use your imagination and take some time to think of what you're sweetie may have hinted recently.  Or, think of the his/her hobbies and get something related to one of them.  It doesn't have to be expensive to be meaningful.

Myth:  If you're single there's nothing for you to do on Valentine's day.
Reality:  Wrong!  Plan to get together with some of your single friends, dress up nice and cute and go to happy hour at your favorite bar/pub.  It will be less crowded than usual since the couples won't be there.  Plus, you may meet someone else single there.  Or, invite a few friends over, order Chinese delivery, and watch a movie or a scripted series marathon.

In a perfect world everyone would have a special someone, would tell them often that they love them, and would bring them gifts and cards and flowers for no reason.  But most of us do not live in such a perfect world so Valentine's day is the day we are reminded to express our feelings.  This is not a bad thing!

Monday, February 09, 2015

Mood indigo

My weekend was kind of backwards.  Typically I work on Saturdays and am off (most) Sundays, but this weekend I was inexplicably scheduled off on Sat and scheduled to be in the office on Sun.

Although off Sat I did actually meet with a client and showed her 2 townhomes between 10-11:30, then headed home.  I was hoping Spouse & I could take advantage of this oddity of my schedule and do something fun or different, but didn't care for any of my ideas for things to do during the day.

I suggested that we might check out a comedy show that night that my clients had earnestly recommended.  "They said it was hilarious" I told him.  He countered back by asking if they were old, white, straight people.  I confirmed they were indeed all of the above, to which he said "no thanks".

That's when it started.

I said "You know, days like this make me frustrated.  I'm off on a Sat and I suggest we do something fun or different but you don't want to.  I suggest a comedy show that comes highly recommended, but you don't want to.  In fact, nearly every time I suggest things to do, you don't want to.  You never want to do anything other than eat out and watch TV."

"We went to the movies Fri night!" he countered.  "Yes, because I told you I wanted to see that movie about 2 dozen times before it even came out.  And when was the last time we went to the movies prior to that?"


"I've suggested trying out Furst Friday, happy hour, karaoke night, concerts, plays, and you reject them all.  You bailed on me for Deb's birthday party and for Tim & Randy's holiday party, so I ended up going alone.  Staying home and watching TV is fine sometimes, but I don't want to forgo all social activities to do that."

"Fine.  I don't care anymore" he responded.

"What does that mean?  You don't care about what?"

Silence.  He was finished listening and talking.  The discussion was over.  He shut down.

While 'opposites' may 'attract', they don't necessarily cooperate or compromise.  I guess I have been feeling lately that I am the only one doing any cooperating or compromising.  

So we left each other alone for the rest of the day to languish in our mood indigo.  Around 6pm Steve texted to see if we wanted to go out to dinner, so we did.  

I knew Spouse would get over his anger with me, and I would get over my frustration with him.  But those things needed to be said.  I needed him to know how I am feeling, that I'm not satisfied to sit at home every night.  I want to try new things.  Maybe they'll be great fun and maybe they'll be duds, but at least we got out there and tried them.

Friday, February 06, 2015


The 1st time I heard this song it was performed on "The Sing Off" as a judge's choice.  Its not as 'melodic' as lots of other songs in my opinion that have a 'catchy' hook or chorus, so it really didn't stick in my mind.

However, I recently saw the video for this song and I must say its message is powerful.
It reminds me of what has been going on in Russia.  The HBO documentary "Hunted: The War Against Gays in Russia" exposed the horrible way gays and lesbians are treated, both by private citizens and by the police and government. 

While the lyrics don't suggest the song is about a gay couple, the video is quite clear.

Watch the video and see if you're not moved.

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Polar Bear Plunge weekend recap

A couple readers asked me how the Polar Bear Plunge weekend went, so I'll share a few photos and recap.

As predicted, Kerry & Hugh arrived in the late afternoon on Sat with Javier, Emely, Brandyn, Alison, Gabe, and Matty.  Knowing me so well, Kerry presented me with 2 gifts:
Fabulous cocktail napkins and a magnet
These napkins made me howl with laughter!!  I love the magnet too, but it won't stick to the stainless steel appliances in our kitchen, so maybe I'll put it on the washer or dryer.  We hung out for a little while and then went to dinner at Dos Locos.  Fortunately everyone loved their food and I was able to stick to my Fit for Life plan by getting veggie fajitas.  Afterward we returned to the house where some watched a horror film while others talked until bedtime.

Sun morning we had a casual breakfast and hung out together, then everyone got ready for the big plunge.  All 6 of our visiting friends did the plunge except Alison. 
Shedding their clothes minutes before the start of the plunge
Spouse held Kerry & Hugh's dog and I shot the video for them.

Fortunately it wasn't a bitter cold day.  By the time of the plunge it was about 40 degrees and there was very little breeze, so it wasn't terribly cold for those of us who were dry spectators.  Different story for the wet plungers!  There were over 3,000 registered plungers who raised over $780K for the Special Olympics of DE.

After returning to the house, having a hot shower, and changing into warm dry clothes, we went to lunch at Irish Eyes.  Again I stayed on my Fit for Life plan and had salad with lobster on top.  Our friends packed up their gear and headed home.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Movie night

Several weeks ago I began seeing trailers on tv for the upcoming movie "Project Almanac".  Since I've always had a thing for time travel movies I told Spouse he had to take me to see this film when it came out.

I was hoping we could do a 'date night' where we'd go to dinner just the 2 of us (we usually eat out with friends) and then go to the movie, kind of like how a new couple goes on a date.  But for whatever reason, it didn't feel like that at all.

We went to dinner at 6:30 because we were both hungry (both on diets) so we were done by 7:45.  The movie didn't start until 9:15 and I'd already purchased the tickets online.  So after dinner, we just ended up going back home, brushing our teeth, and watching a little tv until it was time to go to the theater.

I enjoyed the movie a lot.  Its about 3 high school seniors who are science-geniuses who 'discover' that they had already created a time travel device.  Realizing they had already done this, they go about figuring out how to create it, and begin testing it on inanimate objects with success before sending themselves back in time.  They are joined by 1 of the guy's sister and a girl on whom he has a crush.  As is always the case with time travel, their very re-appearance in the past creates changes in the present which the 5 friends are not prepared for.

Blogger won't allow me to upload any videos today, so to watch the trailer CLICK HERE.

My only beef with the movie is that it was filmed using a handheld camera to make it seem like the sister had filmed the entire movie.  Since I am prone to motion sickness, movies filmed with a handheld camera tend to make me nauseous, so I had to look away (at the sconce on the wall) from time to time to keep from really getting sick.

Afterward, it was a little after 11pm so we just went home, let the dogs out for their last pee of the night, and then went to bed.  It didn't feel like a 'date night' at all, so I titled this post 'movie night' rather than 'date night'.  Maybe next time.