October 2007


Have I managed to capture your attention with the title of the post. Well, fair warning and not to disappoint you…it’s not what you expect. This past month has been a rather trying time for me. I have had to take a bit of my own ‘medicine’ (a.k.a. – advice, perhaps preaching to some) that I often share with my family and friends. And I have to admit, the ‘medicine’ leaves a rather potent, lingering taste. What am I talking about?

Well, does this sound familiar?

LIFE CHANGES AND EVOLVES AND WITH IT, SO DO RELATIONSHIPS, INCLUDING FRIENDSHIPS. It’s a given.

Can somebody give me a heavy dose of anesthesia and put me out, please. There were so many times over the past two years, as I was learning to accept the person that I am, that I was rolling along establishing friendships – gay friendships that is – through blogging and in-person meetings. For two years I have seen the friendships blossom into more than what I had ever expected.  Some of these individuals are like family to me. We’ve shared very personal stories and feelings. Naturally, with a relationship stepping to those levels, comes exchanging of advice. While I may not have an abundance of personal experience in certain types of relationships, I have enough opinion and reasonably tested advice to share on many topics, given my placement and the dynamics within my large family. Let me make this clear though…I realize this doesn’t make me an expert.

And that last statement is more than evident now. Like I said at the beginning of this post, for the past month, I have been challenged. I have fought with myself to accept the fact that some of my friendships are changing. I have friends that weren’t partnered or in a relationship back then who are nowin relationships. I have friends who were in relationships, four and nine years respectively, that are now in the midst of separations, each dealing with the challenges of finding new places to live along with other matters to handle. I have friends whose financial status has changed, limiting them on what they can do. And lastly, I have friends who are dealing with major health battles. These components all change how we interact on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.  Add the changes in my own life, primarily finishing school and returning back to an active life in the ‘full-time’ work environment.  Guess you can see the picture I am creating.

I used to talk with so many of my friends once or twice a week, and a few select on a nearly daily basis. But that has changed in light of the issues I mentioned above. For the first time in two years I feel a void again.  I wish I could take back time and relive those special moments with family and friends.  But we all know that isn’t possible. It’s hard when I am now only talking with one or two friends perhaps once a week.  At least the cellphone bill is under control. LOL.

It is hard to admit that it is no longer about me but about them.  People need space to collect their thoughts and rejuvenate.  They find the love of their life.  They grow apart, move on, and need time to think about what direction there life is going next.  People can’t envision growing closer to someone because they aren’t within their local environment.   And more so, they fear by getting to close they only risk their heart being broken because of the chance love may not grow.  It all hurts.

So… I am in the position of having to accept my own advice that I usually share with my friends…’expect that life changes and evolves and with it, so do our relationships.’  Sigh!  I’ll get through this.  I just wish at times that my friends were closer.  Can’t help the fact that I am a social person.

You all have a great week. Be safe. And if you are lucky to get a ‘shining’ moment in your day, run with it.

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Well, SoCal is pretty much moving into day six of it’s fires.  At this juncture all I can emphatically say is, “Can someone please dowse DISCO INFERNO!!”  It’s been insane.

I thought Monday was bad when the fires were burning directly behind my place of employment about a mile away (the Santiago Canyon fire when referring to the map picture above).  WRONG!  Yesterday (Wednesday) the air quality and the general appearance of the sky for numerous miles was bad.  Real bad.  I kid you not, you could take a knife and cut through the air, given the amount of smoke and soot floating around.  The Santa Ana winds had tamed down.  And now the air has begun to stagnate.  Most of the smoke moved up from the San Diego County limits, some 20-25 miles away.  I am blown away at the number of houses now that are being reported as lost to the fire.  I believe the news was throwing out estimates at around 1400 – 1500.  I can’t begin to imagine what is running through the minds of those that have lost their homes.

In any event, yesterday was the first day at work that I really felt effected by the smoke.  Because we work in a complex where we have a warehouse conversion, our ceilings have vented skylights some 20 feet above us.  This is done for building fire code purpose.  Regretfully though, this allows the air outside to flow in and along with the air comes the flying debris and smoke.  So when I arrived at work, I’d estimate that within 10 – 15 minutes I was feeling the start of a headache (I’m highly sensitive to smoke and heavy scents).  Within the first hour, I was even feeling the onset of watery eyes and a scratchy throat.  Somehow I managed to work until I left at 2:30pm for my doctor’s appointment (unrelated to the fire aftermath).

All this makes me wonder what chaos would be created if our major cities were hit with something far more devastating than Hurricane Katrina and 9-11 combined.

In signing off, I’d like to ask if anyone of you would like to sign on to be my personal “fan” boy to ensure the air is circulating around me.  LOL.

A friend of mine emailed me last night and began the email with DISCO INFERNO. Needless to say, I got a tremendous chuckle when I saw it and knowing where it came from. That about sums up Southern California at the moment. All it takes is virtually nil humidity (3%), hot temperatures with ripe dry kindling, and the good ol’ Santa Ana winds. Wallah! You have a great recipe for raging fires. Oh… and may I add one other ingredient to enhance a few of those fire recipes…a crackpot arsonist or two!

Let me give you a bit of creative background. Tony spent his whole Sunday morning washing his car which hadn’t been touched since mid-August. He even got adventurous, delving into waxing the car, all the while sweating up a storm (cool it guys *eg*). His vehicle was stunning. Well, Tony got home Sunday night and heard his first bit of information about the fires. He naturally thought they were miles away out in the Inland Empire area and Mailbu where they so often are. Yesterday morning he woke up to find his room mate out watching the news. “What you watchin’ on TV?,” he said. The room mate answers, “The news on the fires.” “Oh!” That’s all Tony mumbles. Then the phone rings. Room mate #2 (Room mate #1’s fiance) is calling. She leaves word not to get on I-5. “Great,” Tony says sarcastically.

In any event, out goes Tony…off to the car. “Shit!!!” Envision a beautifully shiny silver Murano now a loverly shade of ASHEN WHITE. “Shit.” That’s all that is raging through Tony’s head.

Ok, shift from third person Tony to first person.

I get on my way to work taking all the surface streets, adding another 15 minutes to my 35 minute commute (which in and of itself should take only 15-20 minutes if traffic weren’t so darn bad in general). I had no concept of any fire in the area still. I pull up to work, get out of my car, and for the first time smelled the stench of burning grass and wood in the distance. I get in the office and start chatting with a fellow worker. He asked me if I had seen the fire outside on the hill. “What?,” I said. I looked out the back door and could see fire in the canyon about two miles away (time: 8am). By 9am the fire was a mile away and looking like it was hitting the crest of the hill across the freeway from our business complex.

By 11 am disco inferno was coming down one side of the canyon behind our work but thankfully about a quarter of a mile away. By noon it was over the hill crest that I previously mentioned and making its way to the nearby residences that backed up against the hill’s lower boundary. Fortunately most of the houses in that area, so far, appear to have been spared any catastrophic damage. I think that is due their recent construction. Many southern California city government’s have adopted stringent building codes…you know, use of stucco, cement/ceramic roof tiles, etc.

In any event, as 2:30pm came beckoning, it was literally raining soot inside my employer’s warehouse complex. It was making its way through the skylight vents, thanks to the Santa Ana winds. My boss conceded to let us go home, as the smell of smoke was increasingly overpowering. Wahoo! But somehow I need to make the lost few hours up to keep my hours at forty minimum for the week. Well, I know you have heard the saying, “Tomorrow is another day.” I’ll just worry about it sometime later this week.

FYI…if you didn’t pick it up in the news flashes over the past day or so, these fires are pretty bad. Nearly 140 homes are being reported lost in the Lake Arrowhead area and about 250,000 people had to be evacuated from San Diego county alone. Mind boggling!

OK! I know, I know. It’s not Tuesday so therefore it can’t be HOW DO YOU LIKE IT? Tuesday. But you forget, it’s my blog so today is my How Do You Like It post. Shoot me!

All joking aside, we are well into fall, and sure to be here soon is winter. I think for a good number of us, we are starting to feel some of the cool chill in the air, if not the entire day, at least in the evenings. Those cold evenings can be so much more relaxing and special with a nice warm drink. And no, I am not talking TEQUILA guys. By the way, I’ve managed to come off my ‘tequila high’ or should I be saying hangover. Uggggh! Back to my point though, a warm drink setting the tone for a relaxing evening, comfort food if you will. For me, that warm drink that sooths the savage ‘inner beast’ in me at this time of year is hot chocolate. Nothing like sitting down to a good movie and sipping on a coffee mug filled with pure chocolate pleasure.

I happen to love my hot chocolate slathered in whipped cream, marshmallows, and some white chocolate shavings. Talk about rich and creamy. Hmmm! I think I need to take a break after this and get some YUMMY for my TUMMY. Gosh, my mind seems to be scattering in different directions as I think about all these terms I am throwing out…evil grin.

But I digress for the second time. My question to you today is:

How do you like your hot chocolate – simply straight, sinfully spiked with a little coffee or alcohol, slathered with whipped cream, or smothered with marshmallows?

Time to share…spill them beans friends!

margarita.jpgWell…six 16-oz. slushy frozen Margaritas and one 16-oz. Strawberry Daiquiri later, I am sooooooo over tequila. Hmmm! Until the next party. *smirk*

Don’t get me wrong I am in no way, shape, or form a drinker but when it comes to family gatherings, I just have to let my ‘golden locks’ down every now and then. This past Saturday was our family’s big reunion shindig. My sister and brother-in-law paid to have a Mexican caterer come in, rented tables and chairs, dolled up the side garden path leading to the backyard with festive balloons, got flowers for every table (14), had a combo jumper/slide brought in for the kiddies, had the pool heating up, and supplied plenty of ‘merriment’ (AKA…booze). They had a dual commercial slushy machine going with one bin making Margaritas and the other bin churning up Strawberry Daiquiris. Then there were the coolers stocked with beer, water, and kid drinks.

Everyone had a blast. When our family throws a party we get the comments coming back, “As usual, you guys threw a killer party!” I have come to the conclusion though, it’s the alcohol speaking. LMAO!. My damn brother-in-law is a stinker. When he makes any drink, he tends to run them on the stronger side. Let’s just say he incorporated absolutely know water in the drink mix yesterday, which is inherent in getting the drink mixture to slush over quicker. And obviously dilute the drink a tad. So perhaps you have an idea now why I jokingly made the earlier comment about being so over tequila. The brother-in-law sent me home last night with my head spinning. I literally collapsed into bed stripped to my undies and felt as if I were laying on a table that was being spun around. I went out in a matter of minutes, sometime between 9:00 and 9:30 pm. I did not even hear my cellphone ring at 10 pm (the sis checking up on me ‘cuz I had simply disappeared from the party) which was located two feet away from my head. Did I sleep right through to the next morning. WRONG!! I woke up at 3:30am with a major raging heading. Popped two Excedrin Migraine tablets and started downing ice cold water and placing cold compresses on my forehead. Did I ever fall back to sleep. No! I got up at 6:30am and simply got myself ready for Sunday services. Lets just say my head was still slightly spinning in church. And well, that off-kilter feeling went much of the day until I slipped in my cardio/weightlifting workout at around 2pm yesterday.

Here we are Monday morning and I am not quite ready for the new work week. Can someone put about another 3-4 hours of night time on the clock so that I can get in a bit more snoozing? LOL. Have a great week everyone.

P.S. > You should have seen me working the floor when it came to showing off the rooms I had done in my sister’s house. Hey…I have to make a living. Think I peaked a few peoples’ curiosity. With some luck, the networking will bring about some residential design work.

Have you ever found yourself saying, “Oh my gosh, I would have guessed your name was ******!” Why do you think that might be the case? Some people believe that individuals can sometimes be classified by the name they were given at birth. If I were to be honest myself, I more often than not have found that to be the case. Though sometimes the descriptors that I assign to a NAME are not necessarily those shared by others.

What is my thought process here…in the event you are unclear? (Disclaimer here: I am in no way, shape, or form making fun of individuals with the names I am about to use as examples. I am just merely offering my observations.) Let’s use the following:

  • Art – someone who is perhaps a little ‘nerdy or geeky’; a class clown.
  • Troy – someone who is athletic; a bit of a womanizer; a ‘looker; the homecoming king.
  • John – a man of inner/emotional strength; a grounded person; capable of providing.
  • Vicky – someone who is campy; perhaps a bit ‘slutty’; a woman who is well endowed. Take the full proper name of Victoria – the woman becomes more regal and or one from a higher social status; maybe even stuffy.
  • Clare or Clara – someone who is frail; capable of being prissy and in some environments, being a ‘flat out’ bitch.
  • Mary – a woman who is strong; perhaps ‘earthy’; has a simplistic beauty about her both physically and from within.

I think by now you have an idea of what I am trying to convey. Coming from a large family and one with four sisters, all married at this stage, when the news got around that each was expecting, selection of names for the baby-to-be was always a highly debated topic. In the end, all the sisters agreed that you really have to see the baby to get a sense of whether the name befits the appearance and initial demeanor of the newborn (hell…if one can even assess a baby’s demeanor in a manner of 24 hours or so before bestowing the name on the child legally). And I have to agree. I look back and some of the names we mulled around for various nieces and nephews would be so out-of-character had they been given to the respective child.

So what do you think in general on this topic? Do you think your own given name ‘classifies’ you in some capacity? I look forward to you sharing your thoughts. Fire away baby!

Well, after a ball-breaking work week last week, the weekend was much needed. Funny though…you’d think I would have just chilled. No. Instead I was over at my little sis’ house doing touch up painting, hanging pictures, and doing a little design shopping for her. See, we’re trying to get her space in shape for the big family reunion party next weekend. Looks like we are going to have about 150-160 people. Not the original 225 planned for but still a ‘rager’ of a party. So I got through most of the rooms I needed to with respect to touch up. Trying to figure out if I can sneak in my niece’s and nephew’s bedroom touch-up work still.

At one point I took a break from the painting and hanging up of additional family pictures to run to Home Expo with my sister. And of course I went to town with her money buying up a large fake palm for ‘grandma’s’ bedroom, a mirror for the butler’s pantry, and some accessories for the kitchen. Of course I came back and had to put everything in it’s place. Then it was into the laundry room to layout a 8×10 throw rug and place some of the niece’s and nephew’s old school art into floating glass frames. It’s a great way and place to display kid’s art. And it can even be updated.

Do I have you all worked up over an exciting weekend? LMAO!! Yeah right…but hey, it’s my life. I do have something though for Mr. Cajun. I did find time Saturday night to check up on some old friends and even fantasize a bit about big hot beefy muscle bears. In fact, while I was scoping things out over at BigMuscle.com and BigMuscleBears.com (CAUTION – both sites are adult sites) I remembered a dear man who took the time to respond back to me at during a time when I was struggling with being gay. He’s a person I will never forget and one that I stay in touch with intermittently. In particular, I always seem to remember him at this time of year. And it’s purely coincidental when it happens that it is in early October, the month that he celebrates his ‘coming out’ yearly – 13th this year. To top it off, he’s 54. And in my book he’s one of the hottest damn 54 year olds walking the face of the earth. I want his bod at 54. LOL. Who is it…it’s Squatter, #1917, BigMuscle.com. A personal shout out of ‘THANKS Squatter.’

There you have it…my weekend.

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