Work


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!

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.

SO THERE YOU HAVE THE LATEST AND GREATEST!

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!

HUGS!

Hey you all! How have you been? Life has been busy for me at both ends of the design spectrum – commercial and my own residential venture.  While I may have things to share and or write about, I simply do not have time to blog.  I want you to know that I think about all my blog friends quite frequently.  Each of you gave me something at times over the past three years when I was struggling or in a bit of turmoil.  Thank you all.  The other element these days is that I am working on establishing a more local group of gay friends.  And I am succeeding, in part thanks to BEAR411, LOL.  Let’s just say my head has been spinning these days and I can’t seem to find time to meet with all the people inquiring.  Quite flattering but awkward to me at times.

So in any event, I happen to come across an old peer of mine from my last job before heading off to design school.   I found him on Bear411 of all places.  I had no idea he was gay and partnered.  Well, I sent him a chat message and then received a phone call. A long phone conversation ensued, probably an hour’s worth.  I found out that he and his partner were coming down to Palm Springs this week and I was invited to join them. So this morning early, I head out to PS, a place I haven’t visited in over 17 years.  I am sure I won’t recognize it.  Heading out to meet them at a clothing optional resort.  So yes, I am going to be butt-naked, sunning and swimming at the pool, while subtly taking in the ‘sexy scenery.’  Might be a tad odd to see a former fellow co-worker prancing freely about but at least he’s a tall, hot, hunky, thickly-built guy.  YUM!  OK Tony, he’s a friend, remember that.  LOL.   Expecting we will have a blast getting caught up and laughing about the past.

Spo…I’ll have you know, I am having a rendezvous with JACK on the side.  Don’t you wish?!

Leave word you all with what you have been up to.  Cheers!

Hi everyone or at least hi to those of of you still passing through what surely must have looked like an abandoned blog.  I am doing fine. My commercial interior design job continues to roll along thankfully.  I thought there might be a chance it would be over this month since my status has always been “phase out” since turning down the full-time salaried position to purse working a day a week on my own business.  The intern we had finished up last week and the boss wanted her real bad.  But the intern turned down work for now to explore other options with larger firms.  They plan on following up with her in a month.  So thus the reprieve.

The new business venture (residential design firm) is moving along slowly but we are picking up some good high-end residential projects.  Hopefully they will lead to other referral high-ends or comebacks.

Outside that, I have been busy attempting to make more friends, but this time with an emphasis on local.  I miss all my new-found friends and the places I have seen but with funds a bit tighter now, I can’t get out on as many trips.  And if you have met me, you know that I am a bit of a social person.  I have found that just sitting back and hoping to run into local people doesn’t work.  So I am stepping out.  Joined Bear411 and boy am I getting bombarded with messages.  Meeting the gamet of guys but damn, some of them are hunks.  *drool, slobber, growl, slurp*  LOL!  And I am off to the races meeting them.  I had a delectable massage two weeks ago by one hunky bear.  I will see him and a few other Bear411 acquaintances in San Diego this Saturday for a LLBear Dance at Rich’s.  I think there is a Mr. Leather SD that night at Rich’s too.  Hold me down.  LOL  Sunday I am off to meet my friend Mark in North Hollywood.   He is the author/teacher/ex-priest that I wrote about a couple of articles back.  And I may still be meeting another Bear411 acquaintance Sunday afternoon who lives in the L.A. area as well.

So all is reasonably well.  Spider is doing fine.  He’s attempting to pick up his life after the year from hell.  He’s actively searching for part-time consulting work, part-time because he’s still nursing the heart along.  We won’t know about a clean bill of health on the cancer front until sometime in late April.  But for now he is done with Chemo.  He so needs the break.

Anyhow, again hope all is well with you.  Leave word here on how each of you have been doing.  I apologize for not being able to visit blogs as frequently, if at all.  Hugs to all.

Here I am writing yet another post trying to figure out exactly when I am calling it quits with blogging. The nerves are beginning to set in a bit with respect to my potential move into operating a design business with two other people. And it appears that decision time is actually here as of next Tuesday, 12/18. I received an email from the firm associate yesterday telling me that he and the firm owner want to meet with me to discuss my future with the design group. I think it will pertain to a full-time salaried position in lieu of my current hourly wage status. I plan on hearing out any offer but I suspect it is not going to meet the current financial need that I have. I’ll sit on it for a day or two and then meet with management again, most likely asking for a reduction of hours to twenty-four or thirty-two hours per week. This will allow me to break into the new business and have a little income earned for needed items. I’m not sure I know what to expect from management when I do give notice. Ah hell, now is not the time to ponder this. I’ll save it for the weekend.

Anyhow. I am picking up today with Thursday’s ‘This or That.” 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.

 

Totally Obvious or Smooth Operator

 

Tempered or Easy-Going

 

Half-Naked or Partially Clothed

 

Provider or Preparer

 

Smooth or Furry

 

‘Human’ or Near-Perfection

 

Jokester or Prankster (there’s a difference)

 

Think the glass is half-full or Think the glass is half-empty

 

Tender or ‘Gruff’

 

Do you think you have enough to ponder? I do. So give it some good honest thought and post your responses along with any additional commentary you’d like to share. One more day and the weekend is here again. Dang this month is flying by…Christmas in less than two weeks.

I’m alive! Just have been busy at work this week after coming of the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. I walked into the office on Monday only to be advised that we had been surprised with a project deadline that ran yesterday, Wednesday. Technically it was suppose to have expired at the end of the business day this past Monday. Sheeze…we aren’t God. Guess when the notification of this deadline was made known to design firm – via email late Tuesday evening before Thanksgiving. And half the office had departed with a return date slated for this past Monday. Sometimes I wonder what clients are thinking.

Anyway. I thought we try something new today. I’m calling it Thursday’s ‘This or That.” Tell me how you perceive yourself 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.

 

Realist or Dreamer

 

Romantic or ‘Safe’

 

Muscled or Bearish

 

Intellectual or Artistic

 

Introverted or Extroverted

 

Sports-oriented or hobbies-oriented

 

Traveler or Homebody

Spicy or Sweet

Think there is enough for you to ponder. Give it a whirl. I think this should make for some interesting and fun reading at my end. 😉

Last week at work was a total drain on me. Deadlines, some dumb mistakes that ate away at money and valuable time (the boss’s issue…not mine, though I felt I tad bit idiotic too). I was plain wiped out and needed something that was a total distraction. And dare I say, ALL ABOUT MOI!

What did I do? Saturday I went shopping. What more can be both a distraction and ultimately about “YOU?!” LOL. I headed on up to “SC” Mall, the largest in the Los Angeles/Orange County area and probably in California that I know of. As I was telling Spider this weekend during our phone conversation, the mall serves the most diverse crowd, socially and economically, ranging from bargain stores equivalent to Target up to high-end stores such as Tiffany’s, Christian Dior, Gucci, etc., covering items from clothing, to home accessories, to art, to electronics, to furniture. It’s a shopper’s dream. And needless to say, the mall was PACKED to the hilt. We haven’t even stepped into the official holiday shopping season yet.

In any event, what did I go shopping for? STUFF!!! LOL. I popped into the Apple Store to pick up the new Mac OSX Leopard software operating system for my MacPro. Then I came oh so close to purchasing an iPod Touch. I backed down though because part of me was disappointed that the maximum storage on the unit was only 16G, a far cry from the 160G on the iPod Classic. So I am still contemplating the purchase though I may opt to wait a year in hope that next year Apple introduces a larger storage capacity on the iPod Touch. I also managed to get into Banana Republic to purchase an assorted color of solid T-shirts. Gots’ta enhance the chest asset (LMAO – the eyes rolling to the back of my head. That’s something BrettCajun would say. Just in jest, bud – you know that!).

Ok, ok…I need to get back on track here. Think theme of post, theme of post. My primary reason for heading out shopping this weekend was to look for a pair of lace-up boots that I could wear booth in casual dress but still get away with wearing if I were to dress-up a bit more. I had seen about three variations of boot in the Johnston & Murphy’s catalog that interested me, so that was the first store in the mall that I entered. I found all three but either did not like the color variation and or the style once I saw the actual shoe, live. The saleslady was nice enough to direct me to Cole Hahn and Timberland. Hit Cole Hahn first. Nothing of interest.

coleman_shoes.jpgI next strolled on over to Timberland, a shoe store that I honestly have never entered or purchased from. Well…did I score. My eyes were going buggy on quite a few options. And then the real fun began. Up comes this absolutely handsome, woofy bear-type shoe salesman. I mean I could have planted a huge kiss on those lips of his instantly. He was about 6’-2”, not overly muscular but definitely defined in the upper torso, thick in body. He had a shaved head, with a jet-black goatee, dark-brown eyes, nice thick, full, eyebrows, and an olive complexion. Mr. Salesman was sportin’ a nice copper-colored camp shirt with a white t-shirt underneath it, designer jeans – the antiqued, worn-finish variety, and a pair of Timberland nubuck lace-up boots. *sigh* Then came the words, “May I help you Sir?” Music to my ears – deep masculine voice, upbeat, actually able to articulate intelligently.  I immediately said, “Yes…I need to try on some boots.” (while my mind was saying “And a few other things.” *evil grin*) Let’s just say I had him run back for four pairs of different style boots. I had to hoard him to myself for a little bit. Right?

Alas, I know Mr. Shoe Saleman was straight. Just not enough eye contact to send off those other signals. But man did he make my day. I heart my shoe salesman. I walked out of that store with a little step behind my walk…and two pairs of boots.

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