Monday, October 30, 2006

This has to stop!

I'm running out of relatives!

Two days ago, my cousin Barbara called one of her sons to say she needed an ambulance. I'm not sure why she didn't just call 911, but maybe she wanted his help, too. Or maybe, at some level, she felt that she should have him around while she could. Besides, he immediately called one, so it probably didn't matter. [Addendum: I now understand that she may have called an ambulance and then called her son. Again, not that it matters, but that makes more sense.]

They did emergency surgery. I don't know all of the details yet, but it's clear things didn't go well. By yesterday afternoon, she was comatose and on a respirator. Last night, she died.

There are relatives you deal with because you have to. Then there are ones you really want to see. The ones who are nice, smart, interesting... Barbara fell into that latter group.

She was very smart and fun to talk to. She went to Radcliffe and Yale and earned a PhD in an era when few women did such things.

Degrees aren't everything. She was an author and editor. More importantly, she was a great person. She was fun. She loved her dogs (always a plus in my book).

It may seem strange to paraphrase a movie line, but one in particular comes to mind: the world was more interesting with her in it.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

It's called Daylight Saving (not Savings!) Time

One more for the list of things that may eventually send me over the edge: people who say "Daylight Savings Time."

Not Savings. Saving! There's no s on the end of it. Is this so tough?

I can deal with regular folks saying it, but the newscasters and their ilk should know better. Of course, these same people tend to be literacy-challenged in general, so there's no reason this should surprise me!

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Good for Stella McCartney!

A British publication called The Independent is reporting that Stella McCartney, daughter of Sir Paul McCartney, recently expressed her opinion of Sir Paul's soon-to-be ex-wife. In response to a report that Heather Mills-McCartney had accused Sir Paul of hitting Stella's mother, Linda, during their marriage, Stella is said to have screamed, "I'll kill the bitch." She's alleged to have added, "I told you she was a bitch. Why did you marry her? She's been a manipulative cow from day one. The cow won't be happy until she destroys all of us ­and our memories of our mother."

Obviously, I have no personal knowledge of this situation, but I think my reaction would be much the same in her place. I also like her for the exchange Kathy Griffin reported having with her, where she clearly was self-assured and demonstrated a self-deprecating sense of humor. If you wish, you can read the full article here.

In other news, bravo to David Letterman! Letterman had Bill O'Reilly on his show and apparently let him have it. As reported in The Huffington Post:

Bill O'Reilly clashed with David Letterman during his appearance on The Late Show Friday night. Letterman took O'Reilly to task for his over-simplified views and "bonehead" remarks.

O'Reilly tried to reduce the Iraq war at one point, saying "Do you want the United States to win in Iraq? It's an easy question," to which Letterman replied, "It's not easy for me because I'm thoughtful."

Letterman also told O'Reilly, "You're putting words in my mouth, just the way you put artificial facts in your head."

If anyone deserves to be blasted, it's that arrogant bastard (along with that stupid bastard, Rush Limbaugh). Can't help but love it!

Friday, October 27, 2006


Based on what the veterinarian had said, I really thought our Bernice was facing a battle with cancer. Today, we found out that she's okay. The growth was benign.

The vet had said it didn't look like what he was hoping for. He was hoping to find a cyst, but the fluid he drew last week looked wrong for that and yielded inconclusive lab results with the lab saying they saw some suspect cells. Then when he did the surgery, removing the growth and a small bump she's had by her right eyebrow for ages, he said the growth looked "ugly."

He said we shouldn't panic yet, but his tone was clearly, this doesn't look good. He was saying that we'd see what the lab results say, and then, "maybe we just watch her, maybe we do chemo..."

He said there was a chance it was benign, but he clearly was worried that it wasn't. Thankfully, the results we got today said it was benign.

The lab couldn't say exactly what it was (or what caused it). They offered three possibilities: a vaccination reaction, a bug bite or some trauma.

She hadn't had any vaccinations recently (and, besides, they don't put them in her head!), so it couldn't be that. A bug bite could have happened, I suppose. And there's always the chance she hit her head on something that caused whatever this thing was.

Well, whatever it was, our baby is okay. That's what matters! We're so relieved!


Sitting near me on the train this morning: a man with a laptop, working on a Word document called, "Space Novel.doc." I can see that the screen abounds with proper names beginning with the letter Q and replete with apostrophes, as all good sci-fi novels must, because alien planets tend to be overrun with Qs and apostrophes. That's how you know it's realistic writing!

This makes me wonder if he's:

1) A fabulously wealthy sci-fi novelist.

2) A wingnut who'll never get anything of his read, let alone published, and who secretly fantasizes about using his phaser to vaporize the M20 bus.

3) Either way, doing better than the nearby guy in the leather jacket who's using his time to type this blog entry! :-)

Okay, I have to fess up. I'm the one who wants to vaporize that always-late M20, but that's another story.

Happy Friday, everyone!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

I've hit the big time now!

A while back, I was contacted by the owner of Best Gay Blogs and told that I'd been listed on part of the site. Specifically, this blog was listed under "Gay Blogs Just Found."

Now this blog has been moved under the heading "Great Gay Blogs." I'm not sure if it comes with a seven-figure award, like the Nobel Prize, but I'm still honored by the listing!

I never could have done it without you, my legion of fans! ;)

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sibling rivalry

Mandy had surgery, and apparently Bernice was jealous. So she's in for surgery today.

Last week, as Mandy was finishing her post-surgical recovery, I was petting Bernice and noticed a lump on her head. The vet checked it out, drew some stuff out with a syringe (that was inconclusive) and surgery was scheduled for today.

So she's having the lump (and maybe a nearby smaller lump) removed today. I told Marc we should ask about a snoutlift while she's in, but he felt that wouldn't be possible.

So we're back to keeping our fingers crossed. She's almost 9, and the risks of growths and such being dangerous rise with age. I just hope that this isn't something bad.

We adore our pups, and this is tough to deal with!

Monday, October 23, 2006

Some rugby photos

There are many more to look at, but here are a few of the ones I like...

And yes, it's a serious contact sport...

But how is this for a positive attitude...

Smiling through the pain

The full set is here. Hope you like them!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

A visual addition to the last post

In my last post, I explained how we took a member of our rugby team to the hospital where I work, so he could be treated. He's a nice guy, and we were glad to help him out.

I'll post more rugby photos soon, but, in the meantime, I thought you might like to see some idea of why we felt the need to help out...

Yeah, it's a rough sport

Go ahead! Click on it and get a better view!

(He's actually quite handsome when he's not covered in blood and holding a bandage on his forehead!)

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Nice to help out

More rugby today. I'll post photos soon, but that's not what this post is about. During the match, one of the ruggers got injured. It's possibly worth noting that this is someone we like personally. Not that it's good for anyone to get injured, but it's of even greater concern when it's someone really nice.

He caught a knee and foot to the forehead, and this caused a large gash to be opened. There was a lot of blood. The team's paramedic stopped the bleeding, but she told him he needed to get to an emergency room.

As regular readers of this blog probably recall, I work in the senior administration of one of the large hospitals in Manhattan. So I offered to take him there.

With Marc and one of the other ruggers, we drove him over to the hospital. It's nice to be able to help out, and I was able to get him past any potential wait for attention. We got him into our "Fast Track" area where he was quickly evaluated. We had a plastic surgeon on duty, and he took great care of him.

The surgeon had a great bedside manner, and he really seemed to know his stuff. He checked him for other damage (fractures, neurological, etc.), and then he stitched up the wound. It was about an inch long and was deep--the doctor had to stitch the muscle underneath before the skin could be closed. He also had to trim the edges of the wound, so it would close and heal cleanly.

It will take time for the wound to heal completely, but it looks like it will be almost undetectable when all's done. That's the beauty of having a plastic surgeon do the work.

I don't fix the patients myself, but it's nice to be in a business where I can help someone get the care they need!

Thursday, October 19, 2006

If I had more time, I'd cook like that every day

I didn't have to work late at all tonight, so I was off the train a few minutes after 6pm. That meant I could get to the fish store before it closed.

I bought a 2.5 pound box of Contessa shrimp. It's some of the best frozen shrimp you can find. We started looking for this brand after we found out that they're the suppliers of many seafood retailers. I bought the "colossal" size shrimp. They're huge, and they're delicious.

Having acquired the shrimp, I went home, thawed half of them and then cooked them as follows.

I put half a cup of Oliviers & Co. olive oil in a 12" pan. While the oil heated, I chopped up a large Vidalia onion and added it and six cloves of minced garlic to the oil. I cooked it until the onions began to turn clear. While I was doing this cooking, Marc had added some salt and pepper to the shrimp. Then I added the shrimp. When the shrimp were nearly done, I added six tablespoons of butter and stirred it in as it melted.

The total cooking time, once the shrimp went in, was about five minutes. Total preparation time was maybe 15-20 minutes (not counting the run to the seafood store).

The end result was fabulous, IMHO. Total cost was about $20 (the full box of shrimp costs $39.95). I've had restaurant meals cost several times this and not even be in the same league.

The other part of tonight's meal is going to be eaten separately. My handsome, talented Marc made cole slaw. This may seem like an odd choice to go with the shrimp, but it actually is a fine match. Besides, Marc's cole slaw recipe is so terrific it could go with almost anything!

So it's a good night tonight! I'm a happy boy! Now I just need to seduce him, and the night will be perfect! :)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Just thought I'd share this

To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American Public. --President Theodore Roosevelt

(Anyone out there in neocon land feel like calling Teddy Roosevelt weak or unpatriotic?)

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Between B-8 and B-10

I'm happy to have some good news to share. The lab results came back from the lab on the growth removed from Miss Mandy's paw. The growth from our K-9 was B-9. (Yeah, I know it's "canine" and "benign." This is what passes for wit around here. Deal with it!) :)

Seriously, we're thrilled that she's okay. She gets her stitches out on Saturday, and then she'll be her lovely self, the Divine Miss M we've always known and loved.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Well, that changes things

I'm back home a day early. I'd like to say it was something nice, like getting done early and my love pulling me back home.

While it's certainly nice to be back home, I had to miss a large chunk of the conference, because of a message I got this morning. My grandmother passed away. The funeral's tomorrow.

So there you go. Isn't life fun? You never know when some lovely little surprise is around the corner. *sigh*

Yeah, it isn't easy, but I'll survive

I'm at the conference. It was a long day, but things are good here. This evening, I met up with a bunch of colleagues from New York. We went on a dinner cruise and saw a great performance.

As I knew I would--and mentioned in my last post--I miss Marc. He had plans this evening, going to see a friend of ours dance. She's taken up dancing and was performing (I guess that's the word) tonight. If I were home, I'd have gone, too. Still, it's okay. I talked to him for a bit this evening, and I'll see him soon.

Really, things are pretty good. I'm getting to go to various learning sessions and spend some time with colleagues in a setting that lets us just relax and talk without work-related interruptions. Marc got to see some friends of ours and then head back home and spend quality time with our pups.

So I suppose I'll survive a couple of days away from Marc, and then I'll have the fun of our being reunited.

Now it's time to go brush my teeth and get ready for bed. Goodnight, everyone!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

My Bokey

August marked 11 years for us. That's a decent amount of time, but I want many, many more. There are stresses in any relationship, but I think everything's going along wonderfully.

What signs are there that things are good? Well, on the one hand, he still can get me going. This morning, as we were showering together, he turned away, and just the sight of his naked butt was enough to get a rise out of me! ;)

Another sign isn't as much fun. Tomorrow morning, I'm going to a conference out of town. I've been so bummed about it. I have to go to the conference, and it may be an interesting event, but Marc can't go with me, so we'll spend over two days apart. Two nights sleeping in separate beds! That's really going to be tough.

Every so often, Marc has to do an overnight "retreat" for his job, and that's tough, too. I guess it could be worse, but I'm really unhappy about being away from him.

The good part, as I said at the start, is that it's probably good that it bothers me. I love him with all my heart, so I guess missing him is natural. It could be worse. When she reads this, TunaGirl is going to roll her eyes. After all, the times apart from her husband make two days look like the blink of an eye. So maybe it's what you're used to. I'm not used to time apart, so even two days is troubling.

Of course TunaGirl doesn't have to worry about someone trying to make a move on her husband. On the other hand, I know that Patrick longs for a chance to get Marc to himself. Yes, I know, PatCHy! Well, he's mine! So keep your mitts off him... Okay, okay, you can play with him, but only you. And rinse him off when you're done! ;)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

True love

We adopted Bernice first. As we got to know our first dog, we found that she loved puppies. Since she'd been spayed, she couldn't have any of her own. So, partly because we knew she loved puppies and partly to keep her company, we decided to get her a puppy. So we got Mandy. Mandy was three months old when we brought her home, and Bernice immediately adopted her.

She taught her that doggies go outside to do their business, as well as handling other important child-rearing tasks. She would tolerate things from Mandy that she'd tolerate from no one else, whether canine or human.

Once Mandy grew up, she started playing with her like another grown dog. They still were buddies, but the mother-daughter dynamic seemed to change. They spend every day together (with Dodger), but Bernice doesn't appear to fawn over the puppy anymore. And that's fine, since Mandy is now over six years old.

Yesterday, we took Mandy and Dodger to the vet. Dodger was due for a checkup. Mandy, on the other paw, had something we wanted the vet to check out. It appeared to be a small growth.

He checked it out and decided to remove it right away. We'd expected this, so we didn't let her eat or drink for over 12 hours before taking her in, thinking she might be put under.

He thinks (and we pray) that it's some benign thing--we'll know once the lab results come in--but he definitely felt it should come off. So we left her there for a few hours to get the surgery done. This left us to bring Dodger home alone.

When we got home with Dodger, Bernice took one look at us and Dodger without Mandy and started crying. She wouldn't stop. We tried to tell her it was okay. We tried to pet her and calm her down, but she just sat there and cried... and cried and cried and cried.

Poor Bernice didn't calm down until Mandy got home. Now they're happily reunited. I shouldn't be surprised. I know that dogs bring as pure a love as anyone could hope to experience, so why shouldn't it extend to each other? I guess the doggie rough-housing had me fooled. A mom's love for her puppy should never be sold short.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Rugby photos

Yes, there are more! This weekend, the Gotham Knights played Hudson Valley. I got tons of shots. Here are a handful...

The full set of photos is here. A mere 334 shots, but looking through them is well worth your time (if I do say so myself)! :) Really, I think I got a bunch of good shots this time.

BTW, what's taking Sports Illustrated so long to call? Don't they have the sense to be clamoring for my photos? Or at least some Gay Sports Illustrated somewhere? :)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The past 24 hours

We've been busy. As Marc explains more fully, we went spent yesterday evening in Manhattan. We had a quick dinner, went to Marie's Crisis for some drinks and songs, and then we saw Bush Wars, a very funny show.

Today, we went to a rugby match (I'll post photos when they're ready), and then we went to the post-match "drink up." We had fun.

At the match, we met this young lady...

She spent a couple of hours chasing a ball. She'd bring it to anyone interested in throwing it. Her never-ending supply of energy was amazing. She never seemed to get tired. The most amazing thing is that she's not really all that young. She's twelve years old! Yes, twelve! To watch her, you'd never know it! She was a joy!

Anyhoo, the rugby photos will be up as soon as I can manage. In the meantime, feel free to check out the prior post, if you haven't yet.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Works like a charm

Did I mention this before? I hope not. Anyhow, I have a tip to share. We're on the "Do Not Call" registry, so that weeds out most of the unwanted phone calls, but we still get calls from charities and such, particularly ones to which we've given money before.

Even if I still support them, I find the unsolicited calls offensive. Also, many of the call centers that charities use take a huge slice of the donations, and why would I want to give in a way that supports more of the same rude calls?

My solution? They don't even get through the initial pitch before I say, "I'm sorry, but I don't give over the phone."

As simple as that seems, it never fails to stop them cold. What are they going to say? I had one of those calls tonight, and, after I said that, the guy was sputtering. He was at an absolute loss for words, so I just said, "goodbye." That was it.

In other news, we had a rugby match this Saturday. Photos should be online soon, and you can count on my sharing them here!