July 2007

I am sure you are all familiar with that cliche, “I hate to eat and run.” Well as of late, I feel like that has been me in relationship to my blog. Here I am, back from Chicago, just enough to say hi to you all and now I am ready to bolt this morning at 5am to head on up to the SF Bay Area for a couple of days. Then work my way up to lake Tahoe for a week with most of the family. What can I say…I need to absorb as much as I can during the last of my free time before I get cranking with my career and other changes in my life.

Things to report:

I had a blast again in Chicago. I’m liking that city big time!! My ‘design itch’ increases a hundred fold, especially when I see all the revitalization and regentrification in so many areas of the city. I again met up with my friend “J” and this go around he introduced me to another three of his friends. That’s five in all since my last visit. They are all a group of great guys. I see why “J” values them. I got to play DesignerMan with “J” as well. We dollied up his back porch area and I must say it looks ultra sheek and contemporary. I have pictures posted below. We took some old pieces he had and ‘beautified’ them along with incorporation of new Italian outdoor chairs. I like it and “J” is exceptionally happy with it. That is what matters the most.

The other news to report is that my mom landed in the hospital last Saturday on an emergency basis. She ended up having her gallbladder removed the next morning, Sunday. The doctors are amazed at how much pain my mom endured over the last six months. Yes guys, that’s six months. My mom can be too much sometimes. Always wanting us to take care of ourselves, see the doctor if need be, yet when it comes to her own health she is brutal. Does that sound familiar to anyone out there? In the meantime she has struggled for a week and not been released yet…all because she obtained neumonia and an infection from the operation. She is also running with extremely low oxygen levels in her blood so she has been placed on an oxygen machine. As I mentioned earlier about our family vacation, “…most of the family would be heading on up to Tahoe….” Mom won’t be…sigh! Her life revolves and thrives around this yearly family event. She even be missing out on seeing her own two sisters.

So there you have it, the two big events in my life as of this time. Can someone please simply waive a magic wand to make things all better. LOL.

I’ll be back in about 10 days or so. You all be good and enjoy!

For your viewing pleasure now….








Fooled ya! With the pictures above, I bet you thought this was the same post from just before I left for Chitown the first go around. NOT!

Heading on out to Chicago. Waiting on my sister to pick me up and drive me out to the airport. I’m ready to go and looking forward to seeing those sites I didn’t get to see last time I visited. I have mainly Frank Lloyd Wright architecture to see and some of Navy Pier. Then anything else is gravy.

Later…you all have a great weekend.

az259145_1001.jpgWell this just seems to be the week for resurrecting past weekly/biweekly blog segments. Since I really had no specific topic in mind to write about but a bunch of extraneous thoughts, I thought it was time to slip back into my Miscellaneous Tidbits commentaries. So let’s get started.

NEWSFLASH – ‘Rambling’ Meets Another Passage Of Time: I wanted to start my blog post off today by wishing my blogger bud, Kel, over at Rambling Along In Life…, a HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Seems like Father Time has graced him with another year. Please stop by and wish him much cheer on his special day. Or perhaps that should be week rather than day…seems like ‘Rambling’ has to turn this gig into a week long event. LOL. Don’t have too much fun Kelly!
The Spider Front: Spider heads into the doctors office today for his two-week, post-surgery follow-up visit. The Doc may be removing the last of his sutures. Overall, Spidie is in good spirits. He’s worked his way back into eating very small amounts of solid foods and the abdomen pain that he was experiencing after surgery seems to be dissipating now. His parents have been out since a week ago this past Monday and will be heading home this Thursday. And that puts Spider back in his little cottage as well Thursday to begin his normal daily routine, with the exception of on more round of chemo to endure. Remember him in your thoughts.

Bigg’s Journey Begins: I just wanted to take one more moment to also remind my readers to keep Bigg, of My Confessions, in your thoughts and prayers today as well. At 6:30AM Eastern time today he begins his chemo intravenous treatments. Esophageal cancer is a tough ‘battle’ and generally has a higher recurrence rate…I know, my dad, battled this cancer four years ago. Hugs my friend…you have this dear soul pulling for you!!

Slipping into Chicago Again: This Friday at the crack of dawn this body is slipping on a plane and heading back to Chicago for another six days. I’ll be seeing my friend, “J”,again and finishing out visiting some of the sights I did not get to see a month ago. Plus, I just have to get in some more multi-cultural fine dining. Truth be told, I have also been giving some thought about moving to either Chicago or New York City for a year or two in hopes of gaining some design experience in a city accustomed to more contemporary design style.

Vacation Mode: Well the Chicago stint will start off my vacation stint again over the next month and a half. When I arrive back from Chicago on Wednesday, July 26, I work one day, Thursday, and then head up to the SF Bay Area to my mom’s, help her pack, and then head up to Lake Tahoe for our annual family vacation. I’ll be there for a week. I just hope that we don’t have another rendition of WAR AND PEACE like we had last summer amongst the sisters. LOL. I then come back for two weeks, get a bit of work in, and then head out to beautiful Kaui for a week. I’ll be spending that with my little sister, her husband, the niece and nephew, and my mom. All I want to do is sit on the beach in the evening with a tropical drink in hand (or margarita), watch the sun set, and listen to the ocean crashing against the shoreline. SERENITY!!!

The Bathroom Projects: I am still working on getting some pictures of the two bathrooms I redid for my sister. Looks like the task of getting a professional out to my sister’s home may not occur until I am back from Tahoe. Hang in there…you’ll see the completed work in some manner!!

That about does it for news over the past week or so. Have a great Hump Day!

I have found that I have left several staple, recurring, weekly posts in the ‘drawer’ as of late.  So it’s time to open the drawer and let loose the stored goods.  I thought that it was about time to step back into my “HOW DO YOU LIKE IT?” Tuesday post this week.  With summer here, it’s hard not to think about anything other than summer…sports, clothing styles,  men – perhaps the lifeguard variety, summer footwear and eyewear, and haircuts.  Did I say haircuts?

Well there is my question for this week:

How do you like to wear your hair?  I’m leaving this one open-ended as it really can be answered in a number of ways.  Consider hair length, hair products, hair styles, hats/caps, etc. 

I personally keep the hair short.  I’ve grown use to it for a year-round style.  No real fuss…hop in the shower, dry it off, and depending on the the events for the day, wear it natural or rub in a bit of hair lotion.  I am ready for the day.

So how about you?

Saturday, as I was lounging by my sister’s pool, I started to think about past milestone birthdays and what they meant to me at the time they were occurring. Sixteen and twenty-one were essentially nothing to remember…consider some of that due to my conservative, sheltered up-bringing. But mind you, I would not trade those years.

As thirty came beckoning, I was mortified. I thought I was losing my ‘youth’ for good. I felt that I had to start getting serious about the things in my life…a house, finances for the future, marriage. Yes, you read that correctly…marriage! This whole thought process was way before I ever came to accept that I was gay. Yet thirty came and passed. And I survived. I actually found it to be a great year for me. I received my first major promotion into insurance claims management after 4 years on the ‘frontline’ and a hefty raise. Somehow I was feeling better about myself and working out for the first time in my life. I hadn’t lost a lick of youth in that self-perceived “treacherous’ leap from twenty-something to thirty-something. In fact, my thirties brought me much satisfaction…an expanding group of work friends, lots of worldly travel, and most importantly homeownership in two SF Bay Area locations. I even stepped out of my financial-conservative shell and began dabbling in the stock market. I did quite well. I cringe as I look back at what I had going into the whole dot.com debacle. And I hadn’t even invested in so called dot.com stocks. That’s history now.

Then came the next milestone, FORTY! This one I went into saying, ‘It will be a breeze. I’m so ready for forty.’ Wrong. My brother-in-law decided that I had to have a proper 40th birthday celebration. He arranged a Napa Valley wine-tasting stint – four wineries, with a chauffeured Black-Tie mini bus. About twenty went out for the day. What I found disappointing was that none of my friends attended (and I had passed along a list of about five people I wanted to come). I think that in part set the tone for the rest of the day. I knew I could always count on my family but as always, I never had a group of friends that seemed to care enough about me. I sat on the bus as we drove through the wine country thinking about what my future really held for me. I was starting to feel a burning emptiness. I had what many would want but I had so little. I felt then that I had not accomplished anything of ‘significance that left a mark,’ that I was somehow alone (no definitive, loyal friends). The whole wine trip ended up being a downer for me. Somehow at the end of the day, I mustered up a ‘smiley’ appearance. I had to…my family hit me with a surprise dinner at a quaint Mexican Restaurant in Calistoga. Oddly enough, my forties have been a period of change. Some good, some not so good. Dad passed away. I made a major career move. And I gave up a certain amount of financial security. But I’ve been blessed with extended family additions, many new friends that I care dearly for and who I know care for me, and I am growing comfortable with the real me. I still have a ways to go but I am getting there.

So how in the hell did I get on this topic of passing years…well as I was lounging by the pool I was also thinking of a friend who seems to be stepping into a lot of change as he celebrates his 40th BIRTHDAY. It’s unnerving change but he’s going to get through it. The person celebrating the big 4-0 is my bud, BIGG, over at My Confessions. I hope you’ll all stop by and wish him well. Seems like I have several buds making that milestone leap from 39 to 40 this year…Derek at Still Thinking and Al at Synaptic Blue (unless he’s managed to turn the tide already and I missed it).

I still am finding myself wondering what to write about these days. I have been wanting to show off the two bathrooms I did for my sister and brother-in-law but I’m still waiting to arrange for a professional photographer. Maybe I might just slip in a few of my own to give you all the general impression. In any event, last night it hit me ‘square between the eyes’ that I haven’t done a What’s Up? Friday in several weeks. Quite honestly, the last one I did was June 1st of this year.

So what are you doing this weekend as we slip slowly into the heart of the summer months?

masseur_1.gifI don’t have a thing planned. I suspect I will get my workouts in this weekend. I do have one call to expect from my dear friend and blogger bud, Rob. Of course, my usual chats with Spider will be mixed in too. I’ll probably enjoy some more sun by my sister’s pool…you can never take in enough lounging. LOL! I know that I also need to get a jump start on some packing for a trip that I start next Friday. Then I’ll just look forward to the massage that I have set up with my bud, Joe, this Monday afternoon. All the tension just melting away (or not…*evil grin*) with the touch of those ‘golden hands.’

OK…your turn to answer that question above. Have a safe Friday the thirteenth and great weekend. I hope none of you are superstitious?!




My simple answer – yes! If it weren’t, we’d have no challenge nor purpose to grow as individuals. What do you think?

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