Birthdays


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!

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).

birthday_cake.jpgI’d like to start today off by passing along my biggest birthday wishes to my dear Aussie mate, Horsey. He turns 34 today, June 16th (see… don’t forget that Australia is about 15 hours ahead of west coast time, 18 east coast time). Horsey is a person important in my life for a number of shared reasons. He doesn’t always blog regularly but he has so much heart and sensitivity. And he is far maturer than his years. HAPPY BIRTHDAY MATE. Heart you…big hugs. If you have a chance stop by his last post and wish him happy birthday. And while you are there, READ!

So…are we ready for another HOW DO YOU LIKE IT Tuesday? Let’s hop into it.
The question for today is:

How do you like to spend time with your friends when they are visiting? – Simply spending quiet time at your house, having drinks and good conversation; (or) hitting the bar scene and living it up; (or) taking them out to dinner and perhaps taking in a theater show or movie; (or) showing them the sights of your fair city and those special places/spaces you enjoy within and aroudn the city limits.

I generally like one of two options. The first is spending quiet time with the friends, sharing drinks, a good wine along with conversation, catching up on news. The other option is to move to the opposite spectrum and be active with my friends, showing off my fair city, its surroundings, and hitting up some of the local, less-traveled locations that provide the charm for the neighborhood I am live around.

Guess I am ready to hear how you entertain your friends….

Before signing off on this post, take one other side trip over to the co-authored blog to read my latest article there, entitled Meaningful Simplicity (5/15/07).

It’s Thursday and we are slowly moving into the New Year Holiday weekend. Can you believe the last few days of December are upon us! Where did this year go?

But as we get ready to close out this year, there are still a few eventful moments before it concludes. One of those events is the birthday of one of my dearest friends. I’ve talked about him in my blog on several occasions and actually featured him in one of my earliest blogging posts on May 10, 2006, titled Sexy – A Sense of Humor. That special person is Pete from It’s Just Nothing.

Saratoga, New York – August, 2006


Pete is an incredible individual. Funny, silly, devilish, angelic, sensitive, caring, thoughtful, intelligent, fun, loyal…gosh I could give you a list much longer. And I mean every word of what I say. He’s not merely a blogger acquaintance but someone who I have met, who has gone on several trips with me, who is truly all-out genuine. When he’s ready to find that special someone, Pete is going to be quite the catch. If you haven’t given Pete’s blog a read, do! And while you are there pass along some birthday wishes.

So before I embarrass him anymore… Pete I just want to wish you a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY! There isn’t a day that goes by that you aren’t in my thoughts. Miss you, you big lovable bear! Hugs.