I find myself asking, “Why am I bothering to even make this entry?”  The whole blogging element seems like a lifetime ago.  And some of the friends that I met here in Blogland and in person seem to be fading away.  Phone calls and emails go unanswered.  The occasional post on my blog seems to draw minimal readers, most likely because people have pulled my blog from their blogrolls.  I guess it’s understandable.  But to me, good friends stay in touch continually, and they remain loyal, even to the extent that they retain one on their roll.  Guess to me, it’s just common courtesy…not an issue of popularity or ‘having to clean house” on the blogroll.

In any event, I see my last posting was back in June of this summer.  Hard to believe that Summer 2009 is over and that I’ve managed to walk through the first day of Fall.  Time rages by faster these days.  It was an interesting summer indeed…probably one that I would classify as a major ROLLER COASTER RIDE.

First there has been that on-going downward plunge with the economy which has simply kept business flat for me.  My business partner and I find ourselves having to supplement our business income with our own personal income, but we are trying to weather the storm and slip into 2010 with hopes that signs will show improvement in the first quarter.  But I do find myself having to do a reassessment of the business come late November, early December.  I am praying that we don’t have to fold.  At this juncture, I have no idea where I will go next with respect to work should we have to close our interior design business.

In any event, I believe I mentioned the rollercoaster ride took a jolt back in June when I sprained my left ankle severely.  I ended up with some swelling complications that had me limited in activity for nearly 10 weeks. At one point I was even tested for blood clotting.  I was experiencing sudden pain and tenderness in my left calf about 4 weeks after the sprain.  Of course, all the flying mixed with the swelling, sent bells and whistles off for the doctors.  Fortunately, my test results were negative for any clotting.

I also think I mentioned that I had a Hawaiian vacation scheduled at that time.  All fun of course.  I came back from Hawaii, the ankle improving at that time.  About four weeks later my ride was on a fun upswing.  I was off to Rehoboth Beach to meet up with the boyfriend (mind you it’s dating but a bit more beyond that).  I couldn’t have asked for better weather…not a lick of humidity, just good ‘ol hot weather.  The only sad thing was that all the ‘bears’ were up in Provincetown for Bear Week.  Ah the things we give up for love.  LMAO!!  Let’s just say my time was WELL SPENT with the BF.  😉  We still had plenty of eye-candy to behold, bears included.  Evenings always started with at least drinks downtown at the Aqua or other nearby bars, even if dinner was at home.  You know…we had to get those flirtatious moments in!  While the rollercoaster kept chugging along, it did hit a slight dip again.  My left ankle started to swell again and bruise slightly, mind you some six weeks after the initial accident.  Of course that led me to see the orthopod when I got home and to the subsequent clotting test that I referenced earlier.

Two weeks out, about the first week of August by this time, the rollercoaster ride is back on the upswing.  I headed off to Lake Tahoe for a week with family, our annual family get-together that I have written about here in my blog on occasion.  It started out being a blast.  I was taking in little nieces and nephews that I hadn’t seen in months!!!  Just the thought of all their smiles and the “Uncle Tony” ‘s that they laid on me.  They sent my spirits soaring.  And of course, we hit an all-time record with the number of family, cousins, second cousins, etc., that were present on the vacation and at joint dinners…seventy-five (75)!!!!!  You should have seen the beach.  We literally took up one third of the beach with seven cabana tents, beach chairs, floaties, bodies, etc.  People didn’t know what to make of us.  However, with summer starting to wrap up, there was another downhill run on the rollercoaster ride.  Yes, another injury.  About Thursday of my Tahoe-week trip, I was simply sitting in bed, went to stand, and instantly dropped to the floor with stabbing back pain.  I tried to stand.  No luck…dropped to the floor again.  Tried to sit, and had to collapse into a reclining position.  Even laying on my back was painful.  I ended up spending two days on the floor, literally.  Couldn’t get up into the bed and any attempt to lift me, sent me into excruciating pain.  I even had to crawl to the restroom. I won’t elaborate here anymore.  Don’t know how I did it but managed to pull myself together by Sunday to make the 9 hour drive home to Southern California (by the way, the Ibuprofen and the Vicodin that I managed to get – did nothing to alleviate the pain).  I did ok with the drive but paid for it the next morning in major stiffness and mild pain.  It kept me away from returning to work for two more days.

My back improved by the following weekend…just in time for moving my major pieces to my new living quarters.  I somehow managed to pack everything that needed it, and then on that Sunday, went to move.  Guess what happened…I reinjured my back.  And it was really hurting.  I had to be out of the apartment on Thursday, 8/20. I was completing my move on Wednesday…let’s say I don’t know how I pulled it off.  PAIN, PAIN, PAIN, PAIN!!!

So as I finish my summer I am no longer in south Orange County  but rather in north Orange County out in the eastern quadrant, and oh, about 10-15 minutes from that magical place called Disneyland!  LOL  I am now renting a room from a gay couple.  The room is bigger than my “cell” at the apartment and I have 3800 square feet of house to roam rather than 700 square feet of a 900 square foot apartment.  I have access to a private pool rather than an apartment complex’s pool.  SCORE!!  And lastly, with the owners being gay, I have a bit more freedom to have guests over without feeling awkward like I was in my former ‘straight’ apartment environment.  For those that didn’t know, my former room mates were a straight married couple.  I have to say though, I miss them terribly.  They were easy to get along with, even thought they had no clue I was gay (or at least they never asked…LOL).

Phewwwww!  Now you are all caught up.  I sure hope Fall is better.  And I hope those of you who read this, friends included, are all doing well. Hugs!


Well I suppose that this post will probably appeal most to those with foot fetishes, at least from the perspective of the photos.  <CHUCKLE> The last three weeks have been rather adventurous – some of it good and some of it bad.

Let’s start with the ‘big’ bad news.  About three weekends ago I was up in the SF Bay Area helping my little sister and brother-in-law with arranging some existing furniture and accessories in there recently-finished new house.  It was Sunday and nearly time for them to take me out for dinner and then off to the airport.  I was outside with my niece and nephew waiting for the sis and hubby to come out with ‘junior,’ the littlest of the three kids.  While waiting, I said to my nephew, “I’ll race you down the drive way on the RAZOR (one of those sleek steel scooters with the racing skate wheels).”  Naturally this particular RAZOR was smaller in length than others I had ridden so I had to do a one-foot balance on it. I went zipping down the slope of the driveway side-by-side with my nephew.  As I hit the dip in the driveway, where the gutter meets the street, you might say that the RAZOR did an unexpected ‘wheelie.’  I felt myself initially falling back and all I could think of was cracking my skull open against the pavement.  So I lurched my body forward.   The RAZOR came out from underneath my footing, and as I came down to try to catch my footing, I landed on the outside edge of my left foot, causing it to buckle under with all my body weight.

YIKES!!!!  IMG_0113Did it heart like hell.  I went hobbling up to the Chevy Surburban and opened the door so I could gain a ledge to sit down on.  Guess what my ankle looked like?  I literally had a bump the size of a lemon on the outside ankle bone!!  And the foot was almost instantly swelling up like a balloon.  Over the course of the week, the foot remained swollen but seemed under control.  Amazingly, for the first five days I felt almost no pain and could weight-bare without any problem.

Move-up to Friday….  I am dealing with all this knowing that in another day I was heading off to KAUAI for eight glorious days – the good news in this article.  LOL!  I had been waiting for this for months and there was nothing that was going to prevent me from taking the trip.  However, for the first time in five days, my foot and ankle were increasingly starting to throb and hurt.  I had myself all packed and had gone over to my sister’s house to spend the night – she was driving me and my nephew to the L.A. airport the next morning to catch our flight.  Well this particular sis and her mother-in-law, who happened to be over at her house, saw my foot and said, “Have you been to see the doctor yet?”  “No,” was my response.  My foot at this time was hideous.  Every inch of my left foot, and ankle up to about 1/3 of my calf was BLACK.  I looked like some diseased creature.  LOL!  With their coercing, I went off to the doctors – spent two hours in urgent care but the doctor informed me that I had no broken bones, just a moderate-to-moderate severe sprain. Of course he made his recommendations, knowing full well where I was off to the next day.

Saturday came and I was off to Kauai!  IMG_0114Let’s say that four the next four days I was in utter misery, even as I laid by the poolside taking in the Hawaiian sun.  My foot was HUGE!!  The flight over had sent the swelling to the moon and the humidity did not help either, even with icing and foot elevation.  But alas Wednesday came and for the first time the majority of the pain was gone and man did I take in the sun and the pool.  I actually found that swimming (no kicking) was the best anecdote for relief of pain.  Got myself out the following day to snorkel over on the north side of Kauai, past Hanalei Bay.  I had to walk the beach to get to our destination – and I did it!!  My point here was that I ultimately had a blast on the island, spending time with my two brothers, my 18-year old nephew, and my sister, her husband, and their three children.  I so did not want to leave last Saturday evening (6/20/09)!

And so what did I come back to this past week?  A bunch of chaos and some bad news.  Some of the news pertained to finances in the business – essentially having to fork out additional money for repairs on the earlier design house space I had done (see at the end of the show, the room has to be put back to near original state).  And some of the other marvelous news <sarcasm> had to deal with personal life issues.  Let me say, the gay community really consists of a lot of prima donnas and guys that just are not ‘adult’ men.  Sorry if that offends anyone, but it flat out is the truth!

So there you have it, my past three weeks.  Are all you guys with foot fetishes just drooling over those feet of mine.  LMAO!!  And you aren’t even seeing the left foot in its worst state!

I thought I’d not touch this blog ever again but somehow I felt compelled to open it up tonight and that was just enough. I couldn’t resist making an entry.

I couldn’t even imagine where to begin. So much has evolved since summer 2008 passed. Of course you all knew about my breakup with Mr. Chicago. I hurt and ached for a couple of months but I learned and grew from that experience. I compromised on so many elements. Mr. Chicago and I are still good friends and communicate once a week. He’ll always be a part of what was special in my life. I was able to tell him that some three weeks after broke things off with me. Sometimes TIMING, amongst other issues, simply doesn’t img_00711cooperate in two individual’s lives as was the case for us. In any event, Bear411 has been a good matchmaker for me for meeting and making new friends. And some have turned out to be dates, and two in particular, boyfriends. The latest is Mr. Maryland. He makes me melt in so many ways. He’s a gentle soul, a gentleman, full of faith as I am (that’s Catholic faith boys!!), handsome as all hell, a wicked sense of humor and makes me laugh. And boy does his know how to talk “PIGGY” just at the right time! GRRRR! The distance never helps but we are taking it slowly and seeing how things play out. I was out to see him at the New Year and am going back out to catch up with him at Rehoboth Beach in July.

Funny how life throws us unique curveballs. See, if any of you started reading me back in 2006, you know one of my first articles talked about a guy online that hurt me incredibly when all I was looking for a means of making a gay friend. Well turns out that guy is the best friend of Mr. Maryland! Have I shared that with Mr. Maryland? Hell yes…I have nothing to hide. They happen to still be friends but as with all friendships where people move further away geographically, that relationship seems to be strained. Again, funny how things can come full circle.

As for the gay me…my journey continues. But oh how far I have come. About two months ago I said ‘f*ck it’ and told my business partner that I was gay. What response did I in essence get from her? “Tony, I already knew…in fact Tony, several people already know. We were all waiting for your to say something.” LOL Go figure. So know I am out to most people here in southern California where I live. As for family, that remains the one touchy area for me but I am close, close to wanting to say something to my mother (who already asked me two years ago if I thought I was gay – I just wasn’t ready to say yes but responded with a “I wonder sometimes.”) and to one of my sisters who I am really close with. We’ll see. I’d like to have accomplished that well in advance of my 5oth which is in April 2010. I want to be able to celebrate it with both family and FRIENDS, regardless of gay or straight.

While I have mentioned friends, I just want to say I am still very much in touch with SPIDER! Sure my old readers remember him. He has had a rough road these past two years…many ups and downs, emotionally and physically. But he is doing fine and hanging in there. We talk almost daily, sometimes twice. He is and will always be my dearest of friends. How can one let go of someone that was part of me for so long.

And really the last thing which many of my earliest readers may be wondering about…work. I started that business with my school mate finally back in June 2008. Obviously our year anniversary is fast approaching. We have experienced some pains, economically, professionally, etc. but we are moving along with the excitement that was there a year ago. We are in the midst of a design house and our space turned out exceptional I believe. We’ve gotten great feedback from previews and vendors. Now we just need to hope the public reacts and maybe comes to see us for business. I wish I could share my website with you but I am not ready for there to be a connection with this site. This one has been a very personal site and my work will remain professional. Perhaps one day I will simply shut off portions of this blog and maybe pick up writing about my work…one never knows.


I wonder how many people will even see this post that were from my original readership. The blogging world can be a fickle one when someone doesn’t post or manage to bring readership to other linked blogs!


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?


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.

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.

I think today’s news is perfect for a “…Miscellaneous Tidbits” post. I’ve been a bit tied up over the last two to three weeks, resulting in infrequent posts, and it looks like more of the same for the next couple of weeks as well. I any event, here are the ‘comings and goings.’

The MOM Front: The worst for mom seems to be over, thank God. She had her procedure last Thursday. The gastro-intestinal surgeon did find stones in her bile duct, remnants from mom’s wonderful gallbladder removed only two weeks earlier. Mom said she felt like a new woman after the procedure. She does have some minimal left-sided pain but it appears that is tied in with the pneumonia and the last of that needs to run its course. Mom happens to be up and about, on her own as of this past Tuesday. As she said though, it probably will be at least another 4-6 weeks until she feels as if she is running on all four cylinders again. I’m just glad she made it through all this fiasco of oh-so-marvelous medical treatment.

Chemo SUCKS!: Spider and Bigg are pushing along with their respective chemo treatments. It just sucks though. Chemo takes so much out of you…it physically drains you between tiredness, nausea, etc. Keep your support flowing to these guys. The encouragement helps. The company helps. As always you two, you’re in my thoughts and prayers.

San Diego Rocks: I headed on down to San Diego this past Friday through Sunday. This was only my third time there…the second in the past three years. It really is a quaint metropolitan city. There is some old architecture which the city has fought diligently to preserve mixed in with some really interesting new structures. The Gas Lamp District was something to behold in the evenings. It is like a huge block party on Friday and Saturday nights. It is dominated by bars, clubs, and restaurants, most all of them packed to the hilts. Of course Coronado Island is always phenomenal. Oh, and did I mention we slipped in La Jolla too. Thought I’d share a few pictures here. Enjoy!













Ain’t No Hurricane Stoppin’ This Gang From Gettin’ To Kauai: Hawaii is just one day off. Tomorrow, bright and early…like 4:30am, we’ll be getting our asses in high gear to get out to Los Angeles International Airport for our flight over to Kauai. And it appears that the hurricane that was running off the Big Island of Hawaii has flown right by. Should be good weather for the most part. I can’t wait. I see margaritas, ocean, pool, and kayaking on the horizon. WOOHOO! I am gone from 8/17 to 8/27 but I am hoping to have Internet access at the timeshare I will be staying at with my brother-in-law C, sister T, niece L and nephew N.

Cruisin’ Potentially Into Yet One Last Summer Trip After Hawaii: Well just when you were thinking, “Damn, is Tony about done traveling. Where else could he possibly go?”, it possibly isn’t over. I am contemplating a trip out to Toronto over the Labor Day weekend to meet up with my bud Pete, his new hunk, James, along with Sean and his hubby, Jeff, and a few others. And to really make the trip worthwhile, should I go, I will be seeing another blogger I read regularly, Al of Synaptic Blue. With some luck, he’ll pull a dear soul, Steve, out of hibernation, who he was once partnered up with over at former great read. Have to make my decision by this evening’s end Then the majority of summer will be over and it will be time for me to hunker down on some design career decisions. Will I stay in commercial corporate or make a move over to residential corporate? Will I hang tight for another three months to let my two friends finish school and then roll into a joint business (odds and ends work to fill the time)? Do I make a move to a city known for more contemporary work, like New York City or Chicago?

My head is already spinning putting this all to words. I think I simply want to enjoy the last of my summer outings for now.

…But barely. I arrived home (Southern California) yesterday around 11:00 a.m. I was on the road, leaving the Bay Area around 5am. Work today. My brother came in from Sacramento to relieve me from watching mom. According to mom’s surgeon, as of this past Monday, her post-op status on the gallbladder removal itself looked good. On Tuesday, mom saw her primary care physician for review of her pneumonia. She had x-rays done just an hour or two before that appointment. Upon review of those from some 10 days ago against the current ones, her left lung has dramatically improved. She’ll probably be back for one last set of x-rays in three weeks. Hopefully all will be in tip-top shape there.

Now, we just have one last hurdle…the pain in her right side that she has been dealing with for the past 2 weeks, since the surgery. There is a possibility that she has matter (stones) remaining in her bile duct which the gallbladder connected to. She sees the gastro-intestinal specialist today to get her consultation. But we’re hoping the worst may in fact be done with.

See, Tony got a major scare Tuesday, given his lack of ‘medical’ prowess.

The scoop…

Mom and I had just gotten back from her primary care appointment at about three. She had not had any lunch, if you even wish to call a diet of primarily liquids and minimal soft food “lunch.” A precursor here. Typically about 45 minutes to an hour after eating or rather ‘drinking’ her lunch, she starts in with pain in her right side. At that point in time, the worst pain she had experienced with this was rated a 9 (of 10 by mom). In any event, around 4 p.m. the in-home nurse arrived to check on my mom’s blood pressure, body oxygen levels, pulse, etc. Toward the end of the visit, close to 5 p.m., my mom finally had to excuse herself to go to the restroom since the pain was so bad. The nurse was done with her work and showed herself out of the house.

I had been fumbling through my mom’s purse to find her medical card. The nurse hadn’t been gone for more than 3-4 minutes. Suddenly I hear mom yell, “Come quick Tony.” I bolted into my mom’s bedroom, around the corner, and into the bathroom. I caught my mom just as she was slumping forward on the “throne.” When I pushed her back up, she was staring at me, more like right through me. I got absolutely no verbal or visible response from her. Not even any blinking of the eyes. All I could see was my dad’s face when he went comatose in those last few hours that he was battling cancer. I was borderline freaking. I thought my mom was having a stroke. I wanted to run downstairs and outside to see if the nurse might still be out front completing paperwork but I knew I couldn’t leave mom where she was without her getting hurt. I had my cellphone at my side and contemplated calling 911. Then I said to myself, “Just get her over to the bed first.” I picked her up under her arms and dragged her over to the bed. As soon as I sat her down, I got a bit of a visual reaction from her but no verbal. I then laid her on her back and started to pull her legs up and around to the bed. She snapped out of whatever she was in.

Mom could see my panic and asked what was wrong. I told her she blanked out on me for about 2-3 minutes. I told her I was calling 911…she said no. She wanted me to take her blood pressure first. Did she say blood pressure? My gosh, I hadn’t done that in years. I got it done with the assistance of a call to my ‘nurse’ sister. Her BP initially came in at 70 over 30. Hello, can we say, “Are you alive mom.” Way too low. Fortunately it slowly elevated and by the time we had gotten off the phone with the emergency advice nurse, it was up to a more reasonable, though not ideal, range for mom.

So does that sound like a real phone event to deal with…not! I have to say, it’s tiring monitoring and watching someone on a minute-to-minute or hour-to-hour basis. I got home yesterday and simply headed over to my sister’s house to lay by and swim in the pool. And it felt soooooo gooooood!

Hopefully I didn’t bore you all to death…just needed to get this off my chest. What matters is she is OK. Time to move forward.

P.S. Sending some big hugs and well wishes out to Bigg and Spider as they progress through their rounds of chemo. Keep them in your thoughts please as this stage of treatment is not fun and is taxing both emotionally and physically.

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