So Christmas has come and gone.  Seems like the last six months of 2007 flew by at record speed.  And here we are only a few days until the new year.  I feel blessed in many ways for this past year.  While the first half had its rough spots, primarily the last quarter of my design schooling, overall it was a year of accomplishment, exploration through travel,  and rekindling and establishing new friendships.  It appears that 2008 will be a challenging one but I hope it will be filled with blessings – with a little luck, lots of residential work and a successful business; evolving relationships with a few visits to new locations.  Man where has all the time gone.

Anyhow, I won’t waste anymore of your time.  Let’s get moving with this week’s Thursday edition of ‘THIS OR THAT.’  I just want to let you know that Spider gave me some input on the selections – so two ‘devilish’ minds were at work.  *smirk*

So tell me how you perceive yourself, characteristics or otherwise, based on the word listings. Be yourself, be honest. There is no right or wrong in any potential response. Select one of two on each line that most closely describes you presently.

Sensitive -or- Stoic

Exhibitionist -or- Voyeurist

Chest -or- ‘Arse’

Territorial -or- ‘What’s mine is yours’

Compassionate -or- Hard-nosed

Activist -or- Pacifist

‘Can keep a secret’ -or- ‘Need to tell at least one person’

Frugal -or- Extravagant

Ticklish -or- Not ticklish

Out-spoken -or- Soft-spoken

Religious -or- Spiritual (think about this one before stepping in with your answer)

Afterlife -or- Reincarnation

Sex on the first date -or- Sex when the individual feels ‘right’

So let me here your answers.  Can’t wait.  In case you are somehow dying to know my responses, here they are:   sensitive by all means; exhibitionist – who moi?; ‘arse’ man all the way and if it’s right I’ll be buried in it;  admittedly both territorial and ‘what’s mine is yours;’ compassionate, to the point I think some people just don’t understand me;
I’d say I am probably more of a pacifist though certain issues push me into being an activist, like children; ‘can keep a secret’ unless the secret/the issue is really bothering me – then sometimes I need to talk to one disinterested person; if I have to pick one over the other, I’m probably more frugal than extravagant; ticklish  – feet, under the armpits, and on the right spot of my stomach; soft-spoken; religious – don’t particularly care what others think of me in that respect, whether your gay or straight; after-life (heaven); and “sex when the individual feels ‘right’ ” though I have gone for it, that’s sex on the first date, if the physical chemistry was just too over-the-top!!  That’s a wrap on my end.



…when all through the house, the big woofy bears were gathering up their ‘honeys’…

Oooops! That’s another Christmas poem. *eg* So it’s Christmas Eve. This is the big day for Brushstrokes’ clan. All but one sister and her family are here to celebrate Christmas but they’ll be strolling into southern California mid-Christmas morning. As always, today will be our family’s traditional day for opening gifts, that is after we attend Christmas Eve Mass. This year is really about the nieces and nephews. My sisters, brothers, and I opted out of our typical gift exchange since funds this year for most of us have been running tight. Perhaps a bit of a disappointment but the fact that family is together is enough. Should be a hoot watching the newest ones open their gifts. They are at that age between 15 months and 2 years old. Smiles and twinkles in the eyes…my heart is melting already. Am I sounding like a big ol’ sap? I am. LOL!!

But enough said about my immediate family. What I really want to do is wish my ‘extended family’ of friends, you in blogland, a very merry Christmas and much happiness in 2008. There are several of you that I have been fortunate enough to get to know on a personal level. You know who you are. To all of you, thank you for being a part of my life. To Spider and Bigg, my wish for each of you is that you find the strength, happiness, and inner-peace that you need in 2008. Live each moment and enjoy them for the moments that they are.


Well…I got through Thanksgiving.  I’ve survived another day of over-indulgence in food.  I think they call that GLUTTONY!  While the smells and the tastes were intoxicating, I think age is finally catching up with me.  I simply can’t eat the amount I used to and in reality, I think my stomach is shrinking.  I really don’t enjoy eating all that much anymore.  Heck…I even crave bland foods more these days.

In any event, I had a blast over the Thanksgiving holiday break.  It was spent amidst good company, visiting, doing a little shopping, getting in movies (Beowulf, Mist, etc.).  I was  extremely sad that it all came to an end.  So I am back home, as of last night (Sunday) at 11:30pm, and it’s off to another rip-roaring work week.  Guess we have 4 more weeks until Christmas and I suspect I will have just about that time left as to work.  I’ll probably know by then if my commercial design firm is holding onto me beyond the new year.  And that’s likely when I need to consider strongly if I make a move to work in residential with my two friends or if I consider other options, such as a move to Chicago.

Anyhoooo!  You all have a great week!  Hug.

…SIGH! Time to step back into reality I guess though I don’t think I ever lost sight of it. Perhaps IGNORED is a better descriptive. The traveling in successive months, or weeks for that matter, is over for a spell. Work has me coming in for the rest of this week…AT LAST!!! I could use the money. Heck I need to recoup some of the traveling expenses, LOL. I also need to make some resume adjustments and start researching some links people have forwarded me. And there’s more but I think my last few posts have alluded to the other decisions that will weigh on my mind.

Did you all have a great Labor Day weekend? I sure as hell did. Toronto was beautiful, fun, clean, cosmopolitan. I now know I need to get my ‘pur-tee’ tail up to Vancouver, Canada sometime as I have heard even better raves about that city. But the best part of the weekend was the company. I was greeted by Al Friday night at the airport. I met up with my sweetheart of a bud, Pete, and his boyfriend, James. They are such a handsome couple and both happy. I finally got to meet my ‘cotton candy’ bud, Sean (Albany), and his partner Jeff, along with three of their friends, Roger and Dan (partnered – Albany), and William from Mississippi. We all clicked as a group. Lots of laughs! And the weekend was capped off with meeting up with Jason, and his partner, Matt…two incredible guys who also look very happy together. Boy how did I land a weekend with a peck of handsome hunks! Woof!

I have much more to share with you on Toronto in terms of commentary and pictures but for now, you’ll have to settle for these teasers!


James (L), me, and Pete (R)…THE FOUR BEARS


The Motley Crew at the SPOTTED DICK…sounds nasty, doesn’t it?. LOL. Left to right: James, Pete, Roger, Dan, Sean, William, and Jeff.


Matt (L), Jason, and Moi! Hmmm! How much had we been drinking?


TO THE WHOLE WOOFY GANG…Thanks for an unforgettable weekend. You’re the best.

toronto-canada.jpgOK! It’s my last fling of the summer. And what an unbelievable 5 months since graduating the first week of April. I have been truly blessed in that respect. I’m glad I got to meet several new people along the way. So if you didn’t already pick up on it, I am heading up to Toronto to spend time sightseeing and meeting up with friends, their partners/boyfriends, and other bloggers. There’s one special bud I’ll be seeing…I’ll leave it at that.  I’ll also be seeing the likes of Jeff and Al.  I even discovered that Jason is heading up to Toronto too so we are hoping to all gather up Saturday or Sunday.  And I hear that Friday night is Bear Night in Toronto…my heart be still.  LOL.  Should be an incredible Labor Day weekend.

So to the rest of you, enjoy your last opportunity for a summer fling this weekend.  Be safe please! For those of you that haven’t seen my Kauai pictures, just scroll on down to the previous post from yesterday. HUGS!

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….





Thank goodness my desire to drink to oblivion is utterly non-existent. But I came so close yesterday. The combination of family, good friends, incredibly gorgeous weather, and Margaritas simply are deadly. My Fourth of July started off at 9 am with the Huntington Beach Main Street Parade, a yearly event for me since moving to south Orange County in 2003. My cousin happens to live on Main Street and is right in the middle of the parade route. So in any event, I easily had four Mamosas there from 10am to noon

Then it was back to my sister’s place for the get together with their friends and neighbors. I lost count but in a span of three hours I had seven or eight Margaritas as I lounged in the pool, soaking up the sun. When I got out of the pool, my head was in a spin. I’m lucky if I was walking straight. I laid down on the pool lounge chair and in a span of five minutes was out for the count…nearly two hours worth. I slept through dinner and dessert. Apparently the brother-in-law was trying to roust me up by ticking the feet but to no avail. Lets say the sleep sobered me up!

In a span of about ten minutes, hopping up to make myself some dinner with the leftovers, the fireworks began. And I am not referring to the explosive type either. One of my brother-in-law’s friends, who was, well, feeling absolutely no pain, dove into the three foot shallow end of the pool. Well…guess what happened? Yap, he took too steep of a dive and clobbered his face on the bottom of the pool. A nice 3-inch gash on his forehead, spanning from the bridge of his nose to the edge of his hairline on the forehead. Needless to say, I, being the most sober, was elected to drive the injured friend and my brother-in-law to the local emergency room. Three hours later…22-plus stitches!! As potentially harmful as this whole incident could have been, the three of us made light of it, and somehow managed to entertain the people waiting in the emergency room. Think alcohol = large, boisterous, borderline obnoxious men.

So yes, Tony spent his Fourth of July feeling ‘noooooooo’ pain!  But I had so much fun.

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