Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Travel SUCKS

I missed my flight in Florida due to horrendous traffic. I spent 3.5 hours sitting in the Atlanta airport on a re-routed ticket, with no one to laugh at George Bush with me. I want to be back on the beach.

I landed in Louisville at 12:07am. Completely nauseated from being tossed around in a puddle-jumper airplane. I'm here now in the hotel at 12:45am. Normally, I'd be in an awful mood right now, except when I got the hotel, I was checked in by the sweetest little bubbly blond girl with an adorable Kentucky accent. It genuinely lifted my spirits when she clandestinely folded my room key into it's folder and proudly and officially proclaims:

"Mr. ____. For security purposes, your room number has been wrote inside here. And welcome to Louisville."


Monday, January 30, 2006

Peek Pic 41 (and others)

As promised, a few pics from Marco Island. Enjoy. And please don't make fun of us. Unless you just HAVE to.

Notes from Florida

--I felt like the coolest person on the plane watching movies on my Treo 650. But that feeling disappeared when my bootleg copy of Jarhead cut off 10 minutes before the ending. Oh well. At least I got to see Jake's ass.

--My board meeting yesterday afternoon went well. It only lasted an hour and a half. We did roll call, approved some minutes, voted on a couple of things, then broke for cocktails and two more days of sun and fun. Now THAT'S working.

--So far, Marco Island hasn't materialized as a haven for hot guys. In fact, I think they may be banned from the island altogether. All we've seen so far is grey hair, sunburns and a LOT of flabby underarms. And I was worried about my skimpy swim suit. I think I'm gonna go eat some doughnuts.

--Doug and I celebrated our arrival by gorging ourselves at the Fat Pelican Sushi Bar. I had a bug in my martini, but I just picked it out and kept eating (and drinking). Hey, when in Florida...

--Turns out, we're the youngest people on the island. By about 30 years. To fit in, we're going to Wal-Mart and buying some black socks and white sneakers. So we can socialize with the locals, we're gonna join then for a two mile walk at the mall at 5:45am.

--Pics later this eve!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Peek Pic 40

My parents live in a pecan valley and pick up thousands of pecans each year. Sometimes they send some to me. Because I hate pecans love my co-workers, I bring them into the office to share.

Father Fridays: Now Paging, Dad

My Mom and Dad hardly EVER did anything without the kids, especially recreational things. Mostly, I think it was because they were afraid of what would happen in their absence (fires, broken bones, lawsuits, etc.), and my brother and sister and I weren't all that good at dispelling those fears. One of my Dad's biggest fears was leaving his restaurant in the hands of others. From the time he bought the business (at 19), he worked open to close--10am - 10pm.

So when Mom and Dad decided they were going to attend a Rockets game at the Houston Summit arena (now the Compaq Center) without the kids, it was a BIG deal. The plan was that he would take the night off from work and my brother (17 or 18 years old then) would manage the restaurant in his absence. This was also a BIG deal. Poor John, I can only imagine the intense grilling (pardon the restaurant pun) he got on how to do things in his absence.

Dad: [To my brother] Be sure no one stands around. Keep everyone working and cleaning. Don't let anything out the door you wouldn't eat yourself. Don't forget to turn the Open sign off, and lock the safe and the walk-in, and turn off the grills and deep-frys, etc., etc.

Like many overly controlling managers/owners, my Dad rarely delegated important tasks. The net effect was that his employees weren't all that experienced with what to do in a crisis, or even a perceived one. If things got rough, Dad handled it. His management style was somewhat akin to "just do what I say, and everything will be fine." Everyone did. Unless, of course, he wasn't around.

Scene: Houston Summit Arena. Summer, 1978. Just after the start of the second half.

Dad: [Munching popcorn]. Woah!! Did you see that move?
Mom: Gimme the binoculars, I can't see.

Dad: I can't, they're around my neck and I'll spill everything.
Mom: Well lemme peek anyway. [She leans over and peers through then while around his neck].
Dad: Honey, can't you just wait a minute, we look ridiculous.
Mom: Well I wanna loo...

Overhead Announcer [Over the Summit PA system--the same one the game announcer uses] [In a LOUD billowing voice]: Paging Mr. Michael _____. Please report immediately to the nearest emergency phone. Mr. Michael _____. Please report immediately to the nearest emergency phone.

Dad: Did you hear that?
Mom: Oh my god, something's happened to one of the kids.
Dad: You think that's really for us?
Mom: It has to be. Let's go, HURRY!
Dad: Oh Jesus.

Panicked, they gather their belongings, leave the food behind, and ran up the stairs to the exit. They frantically search to try to find the nearest phone. I can only imagine the thoughts that were going through his head (Someone's dead, someone crashed their car into the business, the house is on fire). After an excrutiatingly long 30 seconds, an usher points them to a small red phone on the wall.

Dad: [On phone]. Yes, yes, operator. [Breathing heavily]. I am Michael _____, I think I have an emergency page.
Operator: Yes, Mr. ____ I have your son John on hold.
Dad: [To Mom]. It's John, something's gone wrong at work.
Mom: [Clinging to his arm, in tears. Trying to listen into the phone's receiver]. Oh God. Oh my God.
Operator: Connecting you now, please hold. [Clicks].
Dad: John? Oh my God, what's wrong? Is everyone OK?
John: Well, not really.
Mom: Oh my God.
Dad: What's wrong? What's wrong?

John: Well, we just ran out of small hamburger buns.

It was then, our fate as trustworthy children was sealed.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Peek Pic 39

Matt, with post-dinner ice cream.

Hung From The Ceiling

In high school, our principal sometimes did morning announcements over the school-wide PA system. His name was Ed Wattell, and he was a very tall, grey-haired man--very stoic, gentle and soft-spoken. Students didn't fear him, they genuinely liked him. He had a great rapport with the kids and a excellent reputation as an educator. Well, except for that one day...

8:20 a.m., 12th grade Psychology class. Dr. Wattell gets on the PA:

"Attention students. Attention students. Please rise of the Pledge of Allegiance, led by Cindy Cinnamon, your senior class president."

[We say the pledge].

"Thank you, Cindy. Now for a briefing on recent news:

--Try-outs will be held this week for all freshman interested in playing football. Please report to the North gym promptly at 3:15pm today.

--The Senior Orchestra placed second at the state UIL orchestra competition . Congratulations to Mr. Branson and his orchestra members.

And though no one knew it, the next news item on his list was about to become one of the most infamous lines ever uttered through the school's PA system. A simple slip of the tongue that would haunt and humiliate him for his remaining years there...

--The Biology Club has assembled a 50-foot model of a mitochondria in preparation for the upcoming Science Fair next week. I encourage everyone to go upstairs to take a look at their incredible orgasm.

Silence. A snicker or two.

It just so happened that my Psychology teacher was my swim coach. We knew each other much better than the other kids in class and frequently exchanged witty banter in front of the others. He and I immediately locked eyes as soon as we realized his mistake.

Coach: [Trying to be coy] Hey ____ (my last name), you think he meant "organism"?

Me: That's what I'm thinkin'.

Coach: I wonder what Freud would say about that.

Me: Who cares, I want to join the Biology Club!

And like the top of a pressure cooker, the entire class (and I imagine the entire school) erupted in laughter. Dr. Wattell never finished the announcements that day. In fact, I'm not sure I ever heard him speak on the PA ever again. Can't say that I blame him. However, I have to give him a little credit. I mean, if you ever need to go out with a bang, it might as well be with a 50-foot orgasm!

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Peek Pic 38

Gotta have healthy snacks!

You take it. No, YOU take it.

More captivating video. This was taken this morning during our regular play time (only 23 seconds). Click to start.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Peek Pic 37

Car shopping with Mike. This is why I don't have a convertible. Bugs on the forehead SUCK.

On sewing (starring Mom)

Sometimes I like to call my Mom and ask her advice. She eats that up. It's the least I can do to build her self-esteem. Today I gave her a call to talk about the cornice/curtain project I'm working on in the bedroom. I probably could have done it without her, but that's no fun. Here's our 11 minute conversation via speakerphone. It's a boring topic, but gives you an idea of how my Mom and I interact. Which is kind of fun, in spots. Plus, I make a lot of silly faces. And you can't get that just anywhere. Click to start.

Warning: Contents EXTREMELY boring.

The Tie

Steven and I split up in 1999 after five years together. It was awful for me. I really struggled with the fact that it was over and had a hard time adjusting to being alone. I went to a therapist for a while, and she gave me some wonderful help. First, some background:

I learned a lot from my mother when I was growing up. Most good, some bad. One of the bad things I learned was an incredible passion for martyrdom. I think my father called it the "woe is me" complex. Her primary tool in this quest for sainthood was selflessness. And by this, of course, I mean hardcore, cross-dragging, ball-and-chain-wearing, palm-bleeding selflessness. This trait usually manifested itself like: "No, no, YOU take the soda, sweetheart, I don't need one." "Honey, it's more important for YOU to have [insert meaningless object here] than for me to have [some other meaningless object]. I mean, I LOVE you."

Turns out, this wasn't exactly a healthy lesson to learn. All that time, I was learning the behavior, but not seeing what was truly going on inside her head (I was a kid after all). It was only after Steven and I split up that I started figuring out that there's really no such thing as selfless giving. Consciously I gave, subconsciously I needed (and never got). For me, this created intense internal conflict.

In our five years together I gave Steven everything I could give: my time, my money, my affection, my support. And while I never verbally asked him for anything in return--in fact, I'm sure I verbally insisted on NOT getting anything in return--somewhere deep inside I needed something back. When I didn't get it, I felt hopelessly unloved. Unfortunately, the net effect of this was to create an
insurmountable chasm between us. I felt like he didn't love me, and that began to manifest itself into other, completely inappropriate ways of lashing out at him: "Why can't you put the goddamn dishes in the dishwasher?" "Why can't you learn to spend money responsibly?" Etc.

So my therapist helped exposed all of this to me, which in turn led me to embrace new behaviors that I'd previously never even dreamed of. Like, for example, nurturing myself. We started with a tie.

Therapist: What's the last thing you did to "treat yourself?"
Me: Treat myself?
T: Yeah, like doing something nice for yourself. A reward, a treat. Or even for no reason at all--just to make yourself feel good.
Me: Um, I'm really not sure. I went to the movies this weekend.
T: Bullshit. That's not nurturing. I bet you bought the ticket for whoever you went with.
Me: Yeah, I did.
T: See?
Me: Then I don't guess I HAVE nurtured myself lately.
T: Well that's a nice tie you have on. Where'd you get it?
Me: [Laughs] It's a cheapy from the outlet store.
T: OK, well here's your homework: When we're done, you're going to get in your car, drive directly to Neiman Marcus, and you're going to pick out the nicest tie you can find. I don't care how much it costs. In fact, it better be expensive. I know what you make and you can afford it.
Me: I don't see how that's going to help me.
T: If it doesn't, you can take it back.
Me: Fine.

I scanned the ties at the counter at Neiman Marcus. Gucci, Brioni, Zegna, Ferragamo. I didn't know shit from shinola, so I asked for help.

Sales Guy: Hi there, can I help you?
Me: Well, I'm on a mission to buy an expensive tie.
Salesperson: Well we have a few of those. [Laughs].
Me: Will you help pick one out?
S: I'd love to. Who's this for?

Then, a long pause.

In a matter of about 30 seconds, I thought about Steven. And my mom.
I thought about how hard this was for me to do, and how every bone in my body was rejecting the thought of a $300 tie. But then I thought about what it represented: Me, loving myself first, before others. Oh god, this was hard. And then it came.

First, the lump in my throat. And then, tears. A LOT of them.

Me: [Practically bawling] The tie... [More sobbing]. It's for ME.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Peek Pic 36

The inside of a cornice. In case you were wondering.

Random Thoughts #10

--Thanks to some excellent (and much needed) help from my friend Doug, the cornices are up in the bedroom and they look great. Sadly, we neglected to document the occasion as I was hoping to. Mainly because these days it's getting hard for me to concentrate on more than one thing at a time. We DID, however, take a video of me sawing a piece of wood with my super-charged, laser-guided circular saw. But after further review, I decided it wasn't the kind of quality work you've grown to expect from me. [Translation: I looked like shit.] More pics to come.

--On Sunday Doug and I found some really nice fabric at the fabric store and I bought 11 yards of it to make curtains in the bedroom. I've never made curtains before, but I'm jumping in feet first. We bought some special tape that you iron on (as opposed to sewing), but I'm a little skeptical. I think I may invest in a really good sewing machine.

--I'm a little embarrassed to admit this, but I really enjoyed going to the fabric store. It's really amazing how much stuff you can make yourself as opposed to just paying full retail price. The only bad thing is that there's not a lot of eye candy like at Best Buy or the mall. Oh well, I do a good job of blending in with Mildred, Dorothy and Eunice. And THEY think I'm hot.

--This coming Sunday I'm dragging Doug with me to Marco Island, Florida for a conference I'm attending. I won't actually be dragging him, though, I have a dolly I use for him. If everything goes to plan, I should have at least one, maybe two days on the beach. And while I'm looking forward to that, I'm having serious concerns about my ability to fit into my adorable little box-cut D&G trunks I bought this summer. If I stop eating RIGHT NOW, I might be able to squeeze into them without people pointing and laughing. And by the way, what IS the appropriate attire for an air boat ride in the Everglades?

--At lunch I'm going home to meet the contractor that remodeled my bathroom about a year ago. Saturday morning after I took a nice long shower, I went down to the dining room to see water dripping from the ceiling onto my dining room table. I'm no expert in plumbing, but I'm pretty sure that's not supposed to happen.

--One of my staff is in town from Louisville today. He likes to make fun of me for constantly buying new electronic gadgets and phones. As I was showing him my newfound video capabilities on my Treo, he says, "Ah, that's kinda like my Video iPod." Uh oh. I smell a fight coming on. En garde!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Girls Going Poop?

Taken from my Site Meter account. Someone got to my site with the above search words. On second thought, maybe Google SHOULD turn over their records. :)

iPod, schmi-Pod

Let's get something straight right now. I'm a gadget geek. I like trying to make technology work in cool new ways (without the help of large companies that have brainwashed the world into thinking their product is a must-have *cough* Apple *cough*). Today, without the help of a video iPod, I reached a new level of geekdom (at least for me).

I finally figured out how to put porn movies on my Treo 650. I've spent several frustrating head-in-the-hands hours figuring it out (it involves movies that you OWN, DVD Shrink 3.2, PocketDivxEncoder, a player called TCPMP and lots of free time), but I finally got it to work. I'm now about to go to MicroCenter to buy a PC-to-TV card so that I can turn my desktop PC into a Tivo, and thus my Treo into a watch-your-favorite-tv-shows-whenever-you-want device.

Now that all the hard work is over, I'm hoping to have many more head-in-the-hand hours. But not the kind you should do in public. :)

Friday, January 20, 2006

You handsome devil, you

Today's Father Friday post won't be a story, but a few pictures of my Dad as a young man. Isn't he a cutie? And that HAIR!

Childhood Memories #2

--Age 15. My Dad would pick me up at school and would insist on using his blinker once he was INSIDE the parking lot. It was a big lot, like a shopping mall, so he would use his blinkers going in and out of the parking rows. I was unbelievably mortified by this. When he sensed my mortification, he did it more. Sometimes he'd drive in a circle just for the fun of watching me squirm.

--Age 10. I used to play with my Matchbox cars in my room by myself for hours. I had an NFL Football bedspread and the large squares depicting the team mascots and perpendicular rows with the team names made excellent make-believe city grids. Or in my case, an excellent Southfork Ranch from the TV Show "Dallas." I had the Mercedes 450, Porsche 924, Jeep CJ-5 and a Volvo station wagon. I was SO Bobby Ewing.

--Age 7-8. My parents were away for some reason and my older brother was babysitting me. He had a bunch of friends over and they were hanging out in our game room at the far end of the house. I was supposed to be getting a shower and getting ready for bed, but at the last minute, I decided to sneak into the kitchen for a snack (with just my towel on). My brother caught me in the kitchen and thought it'd be funny to throw me naked into the game room. All his friends laughed at me while he held the door shut. This was unbelievably detrimental to my interpersonal development and self esteem.

--Age 10. A French kid named "Francois" moved down the street from me, and I was "assigned" to him at school so he didn't get lost. He was a year older than me, but we got along really well. He never taught me any French, and his house really stunk. He was cute, though. I didn't know it at the time, but he may have been my first crush,

--Age 6. I sat in my neighbor Keetha's house and played this super cool video game for the very first time. It was called "Pong."

--Age 12. I was riding motorcycles with my friend Heath on a trail near my house. We had switched bikes for some reason and I was riding his much larger Honda 70-80-90 (or something like that). As we were cruising along the trail, he stopped suddenly in front of me and I accidentally grabbed the front brakes instead of hitting the lower rear brakes with my foot. As I came to a sliding stop, the large bike fell over on top of me and the inside of my leg was pinned against the piping hot muffler. I screamed in pain as I watched the flesh on my calf sizzle. I had a scar for almost 10 years after that.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

You're gonna need [eye] protection

For almost three years I've spent countless hours (and dollars) re-doing just about every part of my house EXCEPT my bedroom. Other than a new coat of paint, it's been largely ignored--especially by hot guys. But that's another post. Today, it's a uninspiring collection of tired furniture, a recently relocated teal-colored leather recliner, a dog crate, a couple of lamps, a big plant, a TV and one pretty expensive but lonely piece of art. Wait, why am I telling you? I'll just show you...

Pretty sad, I know. To fix it, I'm channeling the combined wisdom of Martha Stewart and Bob Vila and embarking on a series of steps to a complete bedroom makeover.
The first step: the windows. They're boring. And bare. After much consideration and consultation with my trusty-but-not-so-engineeringly-inclined sidekick Doug, I've decided I'm going to make a cornice from scratch. Or at least that's the plan. I'm going to build them, add some batting and cover them in a really nice chocolate suede (which I've already purchased). Later, I'll add some sheers with splashes of color that I'll sprinkle throughout the rest of the room. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

I have the plans printed. I've purchased all the materials, including the plywood, which, along with about 20 splinters, I picked up last night at Home Depot. And starting this weekend, I'll build. There will be power tools involved. Sharp, dangerous ones. And a staple gun. And more than likely, six or seven more trips to Home Depot and possibly a visit to the emergency room. Best of all,
the instructions say something about finding (and nailing) a stud. Or something like that. This should be interesting.

Stay tuned.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Peek Pic 35

At the Vet. At least he's in good hands!

Random Thoughts #9

--I'm an AWFUL son. Awful. Last night Karma got me back for making fun of my parents. I called my Mom on her cell phone to check to make sure they made it safely to G.O.D.S. Railroad. They did. My mom and I chatted for a just a few seconds and then I rushed to get off the phone so as not to disrupt their vacation. Then this morning, I realized that I completely forgot to tell her Happy Birthday. DAMN! DAMN! DAMN!

--But since Karma already got me, let me tell you what they were doing when I called them today to apologize. They were at Target. Buying WD-40. Why? To fix the motel-door-that-squeaks-and-drives-my-Dad-crazy, but not-so-bad-that-he'd-ask-the-friendly-inn-keeper-to-do-it. Having grown up with that, it's really quite amazing that I'm even CLOSE to being sane.

--My personal laptop died yesterday. Just out of the blue, it gave up the ghost and won't reboot. I dropped it off at MicroCenter this morning ($100 just to look at it!) in hopes it might be easily fixed. The diagnosis:
Motherboard out. Have to ship it away. 3-4 weeks. $304. Hmm. It's at least 2 years old, the warranty expired last month (just my luck), it's heavy and big, and I have my work laptop and two desktop PCs already. I think I may just leave it broken and get that thing I've had my eye on.

--I stopped at Subway for lunch and got the worst sandwich I've ever eaten. The guy that made it for me was such a distraction that I could barely pay attention to the fact that he didn't heat up my chicken or put any teriyaki sauce on it. All I could do was stare at his completely tattooed forearms (with at least 30 different rubber "Cure" wristbands and several colorful beaded bracelets), very large nose ring, and a large, gaudy turquoise ring on every single one of his long, sinewy, frighteningly long-nailed fingers. If he hadn't been wearing gloves, I wouldn't have been able to eat it. And even then, I only ate half. I may not go back there.

--Casey made it through his "procedure" this afternoon. I didn't have time to give him a bath over lunch, so I'm guessing the house will smell like ass pus when I get home. Nothing like a little ass pus to liven up the place I always say.

Express Yourself

Natalie (At my vet's office): Animal Clinic, this is Natalie, how can I help you?

Me: Hi, Natalie, it's Casey the Beagle's Dad, Dave. We're having a little problem.

N: Oh hi Dave. What's going on with him? [We're regulars for nail trims, so she knows us well].

Me: Well, he's having an "odor."

N: What kind of odor?

Me: Well, it's coming from his, um, rear. End. [Looks around].

N: Hmm.

Me: But it's not a poop smell.

N: Ah, sounds like he needs to have his anal glands expressed.


Me: That doesn't sound fun.

N: No, it's not very pleseant. They can get impacted and pretty gross.


Me: So I'm hoping this is something I shouldn't do at home.

N: No, we'll do it for you. How about 1:30pm tomorrow?

Me: Sounds good. By the way, is this a serious procedure? Like, how long will it take? How much? [Prays it's not $1,000].

N: Oh, only about 20 minutes. And it's $15.

Me: [Surprised]. Oh, wow. That seems affordable. Maybe I'll get mine done too!

[Pause] [And a tiny snicker].

N: Well, you can decide that after you see Casey get his done. [Both laugh].

Me: OK, fair enough. See ya tomorrow.

I can't WAIT to say "Thanks for "squeezing us in" after he's finished. Anal gland humor is like T-ball!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Peek Pic 34

Daddy needs a new pair of shoes. Or two.

You can take the parents out of Marble Falls...

Today is my mother's birthday. She's 66 67 68 umm, another year older. To celebrate, she and my Dad (oxygen tank in tow) are heading to Corpus Christi, TX to experience some warmer temperatures and to get away from all the doctors appointments and treatments, etc. They've been wanting to do this for a LONG time, and I'm excited for them to go. Well, was excited.

Since my brother and I are a bit more traveled, they sought our advice on where they should stay. We had little to offer in the way of specific hotels/B&Bs/resorts, but both said the exact same thing: "Stay in a nice place--DON'T BE CHEAP." I'm sure we even said it twice. See, because my parents don't travel much, they feel like they're wasting money if they spend more than $100/night on a hotel room. Throughout my childhood, I think we only stayed in 2-3 hotels, and let me tell you, they were complete shit holes.

What makes matters worse, is that my parents have PLENTY of money to afford a nice room. I venture to say that the finest hotel room in Corpus Christi wouldn't even be a rounding error in the grand scheme of things. But Ohhhh No. They're "frugal." They take pride in simple (i.e., rat-infested) accommodations. The word resort or hotel isn't even in their vocabulary--it's a "motel." Ugh, I can't win.

So under the guise of "saving our inheritance," they finally picked a place upon a recommendation from a relative. And since I have absolutely no control whatsoever over these two, I'm relying on my family's tried and true coping mechanism: I'm going to make fun of them.

Please... enjoy GODS Railroad.


Matt Lauer, on the Today Show this morning:

"And then we'll talk all about the Golden Globes, and I'm not just talking about Drew Barrymore's dress."

Monday, January 16, 2006

Peek Pic 33

Friday night vittles with Matt.

Thank you, MLK

The principles of non-violence asserts that power depends on the cooperation of others, and that through the withdrawal of this co-operation, power is usurped. Martin Luther King, Jr. used principles of non-violence to disrupt social injustices put in place by the powerful majority. And as I drove into work this morning, I got to thinking about his achievements and wondered why the gay community doesn't have our own leader or uniter to help us with our issues.

I can't speak for others, and I won't pretend I have a handle on all of the gay social issues. But from my perspective (and I suspect this applies to most of us), I think there are two clear-cut reasons why we haven't yet sought out a figure like MLK to help with our social ills:

1) we don't suffer all that much
2) we're generally content

Historically, groups that have fought, literally and figuratively, for social change have suffered immensely. And by suffering, I mean institutionalized, across-the-board physical, economic, and/or religious suffering to name just a few. As a gay man, I can't relate to that. Sure, I appreciate that some gay men occasionally get beat up by rednecks, or scoffed at for holding hands, or even called a "fag" here and there. But as a whole, I feel like we're well integrated into society (or at least I am). I don't sit on the back of the bus. I haven't had my standards of living compromised. I haven't been enslaved, or blacklisted, or been denied an education or a right to vote. Truth be told, I don't feel like I have it so bad. But maybe that's just me.

I think this leads us to point number two: I'm content. Because I don't feel like I suffer great social injustice, I've quietly
allowed militant AIDS activists, drag queens and go-go boys at Gay Pride events to represent me by proxy. Even worse, I haven't shown any support to the surrepititious and vague representation from groups like the "Human Rights Campaign." When a state votes for gay rights, I think "cool." When a state votes against gay rights, I think "bummer." This is hardly social activism. I wonder: How many other reasonably successful, well-integrated gay men feel the same way? I suspect a lot.

Leaders for social change aren't born, but rather summoned from the throws of suffering. And this is why I think the gay community doesn't have a leader--because we don't universally suffer. Granted, in some places we can't marry, in some places we can't visit our partner in the ICU, and in some cases, we get passed over for promotions or jobs. But I would characterize those as inconveniences, not true suffering like those before us.

So on this day, I will celebrate MLK--and
Mahatma Ghandi, Dorthy Day, Cesar Chavez and Lech Welesa to name just a few--not for what they did for their respective social issues, but what they did for all of us. Thanks to their struggles, I live in a place where on the whole, tolerance for suffering is becoming extinct. And that to these leaders, especially MLK, I'm not universally judged by who I love, or what I do in my bedroom, but by the content of my character. And on this special day, I'll be certain not to take that for granted.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Google Earth

So I'm sitting here bored, waiting for Matt to come over so we can go see Syriana, and I happen upon Google Earth. Yay! A new toy--and free! I can see my house from space. How about THIS for a prime stalker opportunity?

Peek Pic 32

If everything goes to plan, my fat ass will be sitting on the red X in 2 weeks. Thank God for conferences!

Pillsbury Dough Brat

I mentioned in my previous "Father Friday" post that my Dad made breakfast for my Mom and me every morning before swim practice and school. What I didn't tell you was that this wasn't always very pleasant for my father, as I was decidedly NOT a morning person in my youth (and still not today). One time he bore the brunt of my selfish adolescence and it became a family story that he tells about me any chance he can get. Here it is...

Mornings were never nice to me. It was always too cold and too bright and too loud for at least an hour after crawling out of bed. But being the dedicated swimmer that I was, I was up at 5:00am to eat, get things together for school, drive to school and be in the pool by 6:00am. One of the things that was never fun was getting out of bed. My mother employed a tactic that she refers to as "over-exaggeration" (some call this lying, but not my mother).

"Dave, it's 5:15, you're going to be LATE." (It was really 5:03).

"You need to leave in FIVE minutes, mister, you better get up NOW!" (with 35 minutes to spare).

"Your food's getting cold--you're father's getting angry." (Father not even in the kitchen yet).

So after the usual frustrating jolt out of my peaceful slumber, I threw on my Uni-bomber-like going-to-the-pool outfit. Obviously, since it was dark, and early, this didn't need to be fashionable. It consisted of thick sweatpants, a hoodie, a thermal hat, socks and a pair of booties (yes, I drove to practice in my booties, sue me). In the house, it was way too bright, so I generally threw on a dark pair of sunglasses for breakfast in case Dad was reading the paper. This particular morning, he was.

"Good morning, Cool-Ray," he said as I walked into the room. I was more than half-asleep and sporting black Ray-Bans and a stiff zombie gait.

"Mmm," I managed to eek out.

He nodded towards a piping hot plate of cinnaom rolls, freshly baked, dripping with icing and said, "Your food's on the stove."

Now before I take you any further, it's imporant to know that this was my favorite pre-workout breakfast--an entire can of eight Pillsbury cinnamon rolls (you know, the ones where you popped open the middle of the can with a spoon?). Usually, he made one can for me, and another can for himself and my mother. I always had eight for myself, and my parents would polish off the rest, with two or three left over for a snack after school. It's probably also important to note that as a 16 year-old, I didn't exactly have the appreciation of my father's daily efforts in the kitchen that I have today.

I slowly grabbed the plate of rolls and sat at my usual place at the table where a napkin and freshly-poured orange juice was waiting for me. "Mmm," I groaned as I slid into the chair. But after 30-40 seconds of silence (i.e., me not scarfing down my food) my Dad peeked over his sports section.

"What's wrong, are they burned?" he asked genuinely. I kept staring at the plate. "There's not a hair on there is there?"

I slowly took off my sunglasses and let my eyes adjust. I meant business.
And with the seriousness of someone who had just encountered the worst injustice of his lifetime, I said to him,

"Um, there are only seven rolls here."

Now to my Dad's credit, he did not smash the plate of rolls over my head, or stuff all seven of them in my ass as he probably should have. Instead, he took the high road, and defended his actions. "Now come on, Dave. It was our only can, and I just had ONE," he said.

"But I NEED these to make it all the way through practice," I pleaded--as serious as the heart attack I'm sure my Dad was about to have listening to such an utterly ridiculous conversation.

"Ya know, if you're that hungry, you can go in the kitchen and make a bowl of cereal. But you better get to eatin' before I eat the rest of them for you." And with those words, the sports section of the Houston Post went back up in front of his face and the conversation was over. Papa Bear had spoken.

I carefully slipped my sunglasses back on and gobbled those rolls like they were my last meal. Thank God my Dad was in a good mood that morning, or I'm sure it would have been.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Peek Pic 31

Squirrel death camp training, seconds before the pounce.

To KC or not to KC

I had a really interesting conversation with my friend Ryan last night about the possibility of him moving to Kansas City. I think he wants to, but I feel like he's looking for a reason not to. He called me last night and this was [basically] how our conversation went:

Me: Hello there!

Ryan: Hey, What's going on?

M: Oh, I'm watching TV, looking online for books and playing ball with the pup. Ya know, after work multi-tasking.

R: [Very serious tone.] Cool. I just finished up with dinner and I have a question.

M: Uh oh. [I jokingly picture Ryan mulling over this issue as he eats, pulling on his hair and wringing his hands]. This sounds serious. But OK, shoot.

R: Which city is more liberal, Kansas City or Dallas?

M: Oh lord. Is this a trick question?

R: No, just answer.

M: Well, what do you mean by liberal? That's a pretty broad question. Are you talking specifically about the gay thing?

R: Yeah, I guess. But also just a way of thinking and stuff.

M: Well, I've held hands with a guy at the movies and on the street in both cities, but I've also NOT held hands with a guy at the movies and on the street in both cities. And I've never been gay-bashed or had obscenities yelled at me (at least gay ones), or any of those things. But I'm not sure that makes either town liberal.

R: You're avoiding the question.

M: I know. Because you're going to misuse my information to make inappropriate decisions about relocation.

R: No I'm not, just answer.

M: OK, well let me clarify a few things. First, are you wanting to know the "average" person in these cities, or the people I surround myself with and the places I hang out? Because, as you know, I don't hang out at churches or libraries or any public places for that matter very often.

R: Just the average.

M: Now come on. How many "average" people do you hang out with? Are you thinking you're going to move to either of these places and be friends with the average person? Which is probably an early-thirties housewife with two kids and a minivan. And she's probably married to a mid-thirties Sprint employee, but that's just a guess.

R: OK, that's fair. Still, what do you think?

M: I think you're asking the wrong question. I think you should be asking, "Does Kansas City have 5, 10 or 20 people that are similar enough to me to sustain my happiness as an intellectual adult and a gay man?" Because I know LOTS of gay people here, and as far as I can tell, they're generally OK with the gay thing.

R: OK, interesting perspective. But what about a husband?

M: Oh my god, you poor thing. STOP. I can't answer that question, neither can you. Your next husband could come from a bus stop for all I know. And we have lots of bus stops here. I think. With your brains and your looks you could find a boyfriend in Timbuktu.

R: OK, OK. I'm just stressing over this. I've got all my applications filled out and I'm ready to submit them. One is to a program in KC.

M: Well. I won't lie. I'm rooting for that one. And if it make you feel any better, Saturday night I'm traveling to suburbia to have dinner with my good friends Pam and Mike. They have two kids and a minivan. And as far as I know, they're pretty liberal. Granted, it took some training on my part, but they're responding well.

R: [Chuckles]. Well that's good to hear.

M: And don't forget... I'm here!

R: And how could I forget that?

M: [Smiles].

R: OK, well I feel a little better now. Thanks.

M: Anytime. Kansas City has some pretty smart and insightful people, ya know. And if I meet one, I'll introduce you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Peek Pic 30

Bookstore booty. Now, which one should I read first?

Childhood Memories #1

A new recurring post topic:

--Age 7ish. I got two hampsters for my birthday and wanted to take them to my grandparents house for summer break. I put them in a shoebox on the back shelf of the car. When we got there I was so excited to see my grandparents I accidentally left them in the car. As it turns out, hampsters don't survive long in the Texas sun.

--Age 8-10ish. My Mom's mom used to sleep in my bedroom when she visited. I had twin beds and it was the easiest on everyone for her to stay in my room. I can remember crying myself to sleep at the awful sounds of her snoring. To this day, I cannot sleep with a snorer. I even wake Casey up when he snores because I can't take it.

--Age 12. I had an obsession with being tan. I bought this bright yellow heat-lamp device that was supposed to be like an in-home mini-tanning bed for your face. I have no idea how I convinced my Mom to get this for me, other than maybe she pitied the fact that I was so pale you could see my internal organs. I'm sure I'll be paying for that one day.

--Age 14-15. My Mom used to carpool into Houston with my friend Brad's Mom. We were both on the swim team, so they met at my school early and she left her car in the school parking lot for the day. Somehow I talked her into letting me keep the keys and as a freshman and sophomore I drove her car to lunch nearly every day (with no license). To my knowledge, she never found out.

--Age 8. I remember playing "Stuart Little" with my neighborhood friends. We'd pretend we were tiny mice on bicycles and that everything else around us was extra large. My next door neighbor's driveway was an elevator, and we threw rocks at a tree trying to hit the button for the right floor.

--Age 4. My neighbor, April, was pulling me around the driveway in my new red wagon. She cut the corner too fast and I fell chin-first into the concrete. Those were my first stitches.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Peek Pic 29

Casey's had his exercise. Now it's Daddy's turn.

The Cartwheel

I've got a reputation for dumping guys for what others might perceive as frivolous reasons. I just can't help it. In my opinion, most of them were well-deserved, like The Gossiper, or Smelly Feet, or Too Much Cologne Wearer, or Dog Hater. I appreciate that I might have let a few good ones slip through the cracks just because I wasn't mature enough to see the forest for the trees. But there was one time where I was completely justified. And this time, I had witnesses to support my decision...

Several years back, I visited Pensacola, FL over Memorial Day weekend. Some friends and I had rented a beach house and were enjoying some of the circuit party holiday festivities going on that weekend. It was a blast. On the very last day at the beach I met the most gorgeous guy I'd ever seen. Young, tall, skinny, spiked hair--ripped and curved in all the right spots. He was from New Orleans and was absolutely breathtaking.

We swapped numbers and later that evening he met us back at the house before going to the final event a party. We had a great time all night long. We danced, we hung out, we danced more, and then made our way back to the beach house for a eye rolling, toe-curling romp on the beach. A perfect way to end my vacation. The next morning as we were packing up, I mentioned to him that I would be in Atlanta for their Gay Pride events. What a coincidence--so was he! So over the next few weeks, we chatted on the phone and online and got to know each other better. I actually liked this guy. I think he liked me.

Fast forward to Turner Field in Atlanta where four to five hundred shirtless hotties were dancing to tribal rhythms the likes that stadium had never known. All my friends were there. No, seriously. Just about every person I knew and loved had come into Atlanta that weekend for this event. And they were all watching me and the boy. Some referred to us as the "love-birds," other, more precise friends called us "the chicken and the hawk."

As the evening drew to a close, I was taking a little break off to the side with a few buddies. As we guzzled water and watched everyone dance, I looked around for my date. After a few minutes, we all noticed a fast blur moving across the dance floor from right to left. What we saw was the most embarrassing thing I've ever witnessed. Anywhere. Period. My boy, in all his glory--right in the middle of the dance floor--did back-to-back cartwheels and ended in a round-house. And this, without one single DROP of alcohol or drugs.

Everyone that saw it stood speechless, then looked immediately at me, eagerly awaiting my response. I had less than a second to either defend his actions as simple good-natured fun, or send him packing with a derogatory nickname and a broken heart. Alas, I had to do what came naturally...

Goodbye, Cartwheel Boy. Goodbye.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Peek Pic 28

OK, I think these are done.
Although they've come to symbolize my enthusiasm for returning to work.

Cowboys and Penguins

It's funny how many people have become movie critics lately. If I read one more opinion about Brokeback Mountain, I'm going to vomit. Well, except for mine:

This weekend I saw two movies. You probably won't see these movies sitting next to each other
on the shelf at Blockbuster, and I doubt many theaters will show it as a double feature. But as I got to thinking about it, I realized that they have many similarities. The movies are Brokeback Mountain and March of the Penguins.

Both have adorable protagonists that make you want to reach out and hug them.
Both are about a pure, innate longing to find that special someone. Each subject leans on the other in the struggle to make that love work in a harsh, unforgiving environment. Both involve a torrid journey for this love to be fulfilled, and show, in detail, the rewards and sacrifices the subjects must endure to make this love work. Both subjects take this journey of the heart without question, repeatedly.

However, the penguins don't have unprotected anal sex (at least that I saw), and Ennis and Jack don't have a kid that they hide in their crotch. Neither Ennis nor Jack feed their young with regurgitated fish parts, and the penguins don't have awful accents. Jack and Ennis ride horses; the penguins ride on their bellies. The penguin's primary predator is the seal, whereas Ennis and Jack's primary predator is the redneck. Oddly enough, I did not feel compelled to have sex with the penguins during the course of the movie.

That being said. I liked them both.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Peek Pic 27

My post-NYE stash.

100 Things About Dad

For the next few Fridays, I'm going to be posting about my Dad. If you're a frequent reader, you'll know that he's pretty sick with cancer and we're not too sure how much longer he's going to hold on. So I want each of you to get to know him a little bit, and I want to talk about him honestly--both good and bad. I'm sure I can come up with a few interesting tidbits about him. I'll start with the typical 100 things.

1. I have never heard my father fart.
2. I never saw him take a drink or smoke.
3. He always wears pajamas to bed.
4. He went to 2 years of community college before buying his own business (at 19).
5. He always had at least one boat.
6. His first wife's name was Linda, my sister's Mom.
7. He retired when he was 53.
8. For most of my childhood, he had a beard.
9. He is the biggest hypochondriac you will ever meet.
10. He once sold a car because he thought the blue dye in the seats gave him a headache.
11. He loved "things."
12. We had a 50" TV in 1983.
13. It still works, and sits in his living room today.
14. It has the best picture of any big screen TV I've ever seen.
15. He never let animals inside the house.
16. Except my cat, Kitty.
17. That he secretly loved more than life itself, but wouldn't admit it.
18. He is a perfectionist.
19. He'd spend hours upon hours fixing small scratches on furniture.
20. I caught that disease from him.
21. Every morning in high school (even when he was sick), he got up and cooked my mom and me breakfast.
22. EVERY morning.
23. His business was called "Tasty Treat," in the mold of Dairy Queen.
24. He worked there all his adult life, making hamburgers and shakes and fries.
25. I used to think he was a loser for that.
26. Then I realized that when he retired, his house, business and all earthly possessions were paid for.
27. And that turned out to be pretty damn smart.
28. My father is the most honest, decent man you'll ever meet.
29. I'd like to think I caught than from him, too.
30. He never took vacations. Only once did he leave the kids and take my Mom to Vegas.
31. We always had some type of recreational vehicle. Campers, boats, etc.
32. We rarely used them.
33. He spanked me twice, that I remember.
34. I deserved them both times.
35. He grew up in LaPorte, TX.
36. He has one younger sister, Trina.
37. His father worked at the Humble oil refinery (Now ExxonMobil) all his life.
38. His mother was a housewife.
39. He had a stack of Playboy magazines under his bathroom sink.
40. I looked at them all the time. Suzanne Summers was the first naked woman I ever saw.
41. He and my Mom used to argue quite a bit.
42. Now they are inseparable.
43. He never told me about the birds and the bees.
44. He was an excellent basketball player in high school.
45. He is extremely shy.
46. I do not recall that he had any close friends in adulthood.
47. All through my childhood, I think we had two non-family people over for dinner.
48. We had hundreds of family members over for dinner.
49. He taught me many, many valuable lessons about working, like:
50. The customer is always right. No matter what.
51. Never sell a product you're not proud of.
52. Take care of your employees.
53. He always drove a truck.
54. He always rooted for Houston teams: Astros, Oilers, Rockets.
55. I think baseball is his favorite sport.
56. He knew just about everyone that came into the restaurant.
57. If he didn't, he at least said "Hi."
58. He hardly EVER missed one of my sporting events.
59. Sometimes he'd just run over from work just to catch a few minutes of the game.
60. He never stayed because I think he was afraid he'd smell like hamburgers.
61. He never pushed me in sports. He was just really supportive.
62. He ALWAYS took my coach's side. ALWAYS.
63. He tried very hard to convince me to go to college in Texas. Very hard.
64. He is about 6'3".
65. In the 30+ years he owned his restaurant, he never took a shit in the restroom.
66. When I was little in the summers, I'd stay up at the restaurant and help him.
67. We ran errands: grocery store, meat market, supply company, soda company, etc.
68. When I bought something for him, he never, EVER, let me keep his change. EVER.
69. He reads a newspaper every day.
70. He's not too hot on the computer, but he's trying.
71. My Dad is funny. I mean really, really funny.
72. In a witty, roll your eyes way. Lots of puns and smart comments.
73. My Mom and I used to say that we should keep track of all the stupid little things he said.
74. I wish we would have.
75. If you used his tools, you better put them back in the exact spot you got them from.
76. If you borrowed something from the neighbors, you took it back in better condition that when you got it.
77. When you used his truck, you filled the tank back to where it was.
78. You didn't talk back.
79. When he was working in the yard, YOU were working in the yard.
80. When I was an adolescent, he never gave me money. I had to earn every cent.
81. I hated him for that.
82. But now that I'm more successful than all of my childhood friends, I appreciate the lesson.
83. I'm not 100% sure my Dad believes in God.
84. He rarely went to church, but made me go with my Mom.
85. He's not a very good patient.
86. No matter how he feels, if you ask him about it, he says "Oh, I'm doin' fine."
87. Sometimes he just stops taking his medicine. No one can make him.
88. I'm pretty sure he is really tired of being sick. Really, really tired of it.
89. When I was younger, he'd often have fits of rage and depression.
90. I think I caught that disease from him, too. But having named it makes it better.
91. At the end of every work shift, he'd bring the bag of money home and "count the change."
92. Sometimes he let me do this.
93. I never realized it, but I'm sure hundreds of thousands of dollars passed across that small little desk.
94. He had one of those old adding machines that went click, click, click, ka-chunk.
95. He once threw a fire extinguisher against the wall because the holes he drilled in the boat to hold it weren't aligned exactly vertical.
96. Since he's been sick, he has made sure my mom will never want for anything.
97. My Mom would give it all up for him to hang on a few more years.
98. I'm pretty sure his favorite thing to eat is a coke float.
99. I know with all my heart that he's proud of me.
100. The feeling is mutual.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Peek Pic 26

All done. (I smell squirrel.)

New Links

While you weren't looking, I updated my "Worthy of Attention" section. Should you find yourself in the uncomfortable position of having your blog listed here whilst mine is not listed on yours, I am confident that you will quickly remedy this unintentional yet egregious oversight. To those of you that have already found the light linked here, I thank you. For those of you that do not have blogs, but drop by anyway, please write my Web address and the word "Daddy" on a 2"x2" Post-It note and tape it to your monitor.

I mean, it's not like I ask you for a lot.

Chim Chiminee

Last week I had a plumber run a gas line into my fireplace so I could have a nice cozy fire in the living room without having to chop wood or light newspapers on fire. Since the fireplace has never been used (at least by me) in the three years I've been in the house, I figured I should have a professional chimney-person give it a once-over before I shot 1,000 degree flames up through it. This morning --at 7:15-friggin-A.M., "The Artful Duster" rang the doorbell.

I found it a little surprising that he wasn't completely covered in soot like real chimney sweeps. But he seemed reputable enough with the 10,000 foot ladder on his truck, so I let him in to go at it. As The Arful Duster fired up his two-foot-long Maglite and looked up the chimney, I braced myself for the bad news.

TAD: [Head still in the fireplace] Oh boy, whatcha got yerself here is a big old squirrel nest in yer smoke box. Woo hoo that's a big one.

Me: [Turning red at the fact that squirrels have caused yet another problem.] Please tell me there are no animals in my chimney.

TAD: Well, there aren't any in here now. Maybe they're out on vacation or sumin. [chuckles]

Me: Let's hope so. [Glares at the ceiling, thinking: Hmm, this would be the perfect opportunity to use the squirrel nest to throw a little get-together for the Ralph and the Neighborhood Squirrel Association. During which, of course, I would light the fire and have a spectacular rodent BBQ.]

TAD: Welp, looks like yer damper and yer smoke box seem OK, 'cept for the nest, and the throat is in good condition. But you definitely need to get some caps on top of the stack.

Me: [Having only a vague idea of what he just said.] Will that keep out the squirrels?

TAD: Oh yessir. I'll putcha in a top of line stainless cap...

Me: So what's the damage?

TAD: [Taps calculator, mumbles to himself.] $375, which includes the caps.

Me: Deal. Except that if you catch a squirrel in there, he's mine.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Peek Pic 25

My new chimenea, a Christmas present from Doug and Lucas.

Recruiting 101

As a sophomore in college, I frequently was asked by my coach to show visiting water polo recruits around the campus and local sites. This wasn't because I wanted to, but rather because I had a car and could form complete sentences. And with the added quality of being from Texas (i.e., reasonably unoffensive), I quickly became the default ambassador to out-of-state high school seniors seeking to play for our team (why couldn't I have that job NOW??).

One such recruit was a goalie named Trent, whom I had met on the Junior National Team at the Olympic Training Center just the year before. He was visiting from Portland, my roommate's home town. Because of this, I figured I'd try to show Trent an extra-good time while he was in NY--much more than the standard drive around New Rochelle pointing out bars and laundrymats. When I asked him where he'd like to go, or what he'd really like to see, he answered me without hesitation.

"I wanna go to see some titties in Times Square, dude!"

These days, Times Square is more like a Disney theme park than the crack-infested porn capital of the world it was in 1989. When I was in NYC just last month, I remember being amazed at how many people were walking around after midnight in the glow (and safety) of the myriad advertisements above. It really made me long for the days when 6'4" prostitutes with smudged lipstick called you "Baby" at every corner, and you could stop and shoot some heroin right there on the curb while you waited for the bus. Ahh, those were the days. Anyway, back to my story...

Trent and I took the train--in the afteroon--directly to Grand Central and walked the few blocks over to the endless stream of porn stores and "movie theaters." This was slightly rauchier than my preferred hang outs, but my coach had given me $50 to have some fun, and hell, Trent was a good time. We picked the nicest one we could find and went inside. Trent was clearly excited and hopped right into a booth, but I pulled him out and directed him to the change machine instead (I had read in a book that's what you were supposed to do, ahem). I, too, reluctantly took some quarters and we found our way to adjoining booths.

The booth was bright orange with a yellow door and had a plexiglass screen that faced the main attraction. It looked very much like the circular porn theater featured in one of Madonna's videos, but with terrible lighting and a stench of lunch-break masturbation. I stood as close to the center of the booth as possible so that nothing got on me.

"Oh my god, she is HOT," says Trent in a way that only a straight high-school kid from Oregon would. And I had to admit, she was actually kind of sexy--tall, blond and leggy. I hear Trent drop more coins in the machine and unbuckle his belt. He was making very loud, attention-seeking noises--no doubt to impress me with his sexual prowess.

I watched her take her robe off and stand only in her bra and underwear. Trent moaned jokingly with pleasure. Then she slowly took off her bra to expose very large breasts. Trent's moans were now getting louder but a bit less showmanly. His tone of voice implied that he was REALLY enjoying this. Though I couldn't see him, I was absolutely convinced that Trent was rock-hard and masturbating inside the booth. This alone was worth the price of the quarter for me.

The dancing and Trent's moaning continued for several minutes. Somehow, they caught each others' attention and were as close to frottage as you can get between a piece of glass. She was all about the skinny, long-haired Trent, and he was all about her. And then, with an "ooohhh yeeaaahhh" from Trent, the dancer began to slowly slip off her panties. "Oh yeah, you want this, baby," I heard Trent say in adolescent bravado. "Show me what you got, oh yeah." And then, as close to the glass as she could get while still being in everyone else's view, down went the panties.


All five inches of her flaccid penis came lunging towards Trent's face. I swear I heard a gasp, but can't remember if it was from Trent, or from me inhaling for a very loud laugh. Either way, I knew it was my duty to verbalize the moment in his mind forever. I said, at the top of my lungs:

"Trent, welcome to New York!"

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Peek Pic 24

Casey and Gracie, my friend's 3-month old Bassett Hound.

Random Thoughts #8

--I was on vacation from Dec. 22 until today. It was a long time to be out, but I won't lie and say that I'm happy to be back to work. Sadly, after checking e-mails for about three hours this morning, I'm right back to where I was when I left. The only difference is that I'm now two weeks behind.

--I thoroughly enjoyed having guests over this weekend (three people, two extra dogs), but it really took it out of me. I've forgotten how much work it is to get the house ready for visitors, plan/throw a party, keep it in working order while they're there, and clean it up after they're gone. I'm pooped. I'm looking forward to several nights of quiet time and a regular night sleep.

--This morning I found muddy puppy prints on the bench seat in my shower. Though they washed right off, I cringed at all the other things I've yet to discover having had a houseful of people and pets over the weekend.

--This weekend I got an e-mail from my friend Ryan who currently lives in NYC to let me know he was considering a post-doctoral program here in Kansas City, among others. In my reply, I was objectively optimistic about him coming to KC, but inside, I was wetting my pants. With his permission, I've already started the wheels turning on two prime networking opportunities with friends/colleagues here (one a CEO of a local hospital) to grease the skids for him.

--I got an e-mail from my Mom this morning about how my Dad started to tear up as he was taking down the Christmas tree this weekend. He told her that he enjoyed seeing all of us so much this year and figured that this was the last Christmas tree he'd ever take down. Ouch. That hit home a little too hard for me. I had to get up and walk around for a few minutes so I didn't start bawling like a baby.

--Brokeback Mountain has finally come to Kansas City. I'm appalled that it took so long; however, I understand the economics of not opening such a movie at the same time as the other Christmas blockbusters. While I appreciate that in some places, the sight of Heath Ledger fucking Jake Gyllenhaal is a substantial draw over an extra-large gorilla with homosapien tendencies, but Kansas City ain't one of 'em.

--I think soon I'm going to be making some changes to my "Worthy of Attention" section. One site in particular has taken a turn that I'm not really liking. And that's disappointing, because I'm always on the hunt for blogs that I really, really like to read. That's proving to be harder and harder for me, though. Maybe I'm becoming even more jaded.

--And Blogger did a little fix on their Spell Checker where now you can see the sentence where your error occurs. That's a nice addition. Thanks, guys.

Sunday, January 01, 2006

Peek Pic 23

Me on left. Friend Trevor on the right.
I think this is a pretty good summary of the evening.