Monday, February 25, 2008

Since he won't post it

I took a picture of Patrick playing with Mandy last week. To be clear, not Patrick or Patrick. Rather, Patrick.

Patrick doesn't want to post the photo of his handsome self, but he said I could feel free to do so. So I shall...

He's a handsome man! Another one who wasn't around when I was single! :)

Sunday, February 24, 2008

One other thing

Patrick brought flowers when he came to visit us last Monday. We didn't expect it--and he didn't have to bring a thing--but it was a sweet gesture from a sweet man. While they still look nice, I want to share them with you...

Thanks again, Patrick, for the flowers and, more importantly, the wonderful visit!

This and that

A brief note on politics: by the time November comes, I will be so nauseated by the candidates that I will wind up voting for the lesser of the evils. I remember a time, years ago, when I found such things interesting and exciting. Now, seeing the self-serving hypocrisy of most of the players with greater clarity (and/or greater cynicism) than I possessed in my youth, I find the prospect of happily and wholeheartedly supporting a candidate on the national stage an exceedingly unlikely one. No doubt, I'll hold my nose and pull the lever for the person least likely to trample our rights (read: the Democratic candidate), but I won't bring the same enthusiasm to the process that I once did.

On a happier note, one of our stops today was the mall. I continue to be amazed at what type of man may be called "dad" these days. None of the dads looked like that when I was a kid! Nowadays, it's like a DILF smörgasbord. Not that I'm complaining!

By the way, you may recall from my last post that I mentioned our having a lovely time when Patrick visited us. I kept the description brief, but I hope that didn't make the event seem anything less than wonderful, because it really was wonderful spending time with him. With that said, he has put me to shame with the recounting he posted. Feel free to wander over for a look, complete with a spooky picture of Mandy. :) And Patrick, please come back soon! You're a wonderful guest, and I'm happy that our friendship is growing!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The weekend of three Patricks (and a Greg)

We've had a nice long weekend. From Friday night until Sunday afternoon, we were in Vermont with Patrick (a/k/a PatCH) and Greg. In this case, "we" included Bernice, Mandy and Dodger. It was our first time traveling with them. We had some difficult moments, especially on the drive up, but it went well in the end.

On Monday, we had a visit from this Patrick. It was our first time meeting him, and he's as charming, bright and entertaining as his blog and e-mails had suggested, if not more so. We had a wonderful time, and I think he had a decent time with us and the kids. I sure hope so! We can't wait to see him again!

Then we met this Patrick last night to see the new Broadway show Passing Strange. Let me take a moment to urge everyone to go see Passing Strange. I'm not much of a fan of musicals, but this one was great. It's a sort of rock musical, but I don't want you to confuse it with Rent. It's different. Someone better versed in such things could give a better explanation of its genre and strengths. I'll just say that we all were blown away. By the time we walked out of the theater after the show, my hands hurt from clapping!

Now back to the Vermont part of our weekend. Patrick was working on his portrait photography. He gave us a CD of photos he had taken, and I may share some of those eventually. In the meantime, I had photos on my camera.

Here are ones I took of Patrick and Greg...



I took the ones of Marc and the kids. Marc took the ones of me. (And thanks to PatCH for the extra lights on Marc and me.) So here is a sampling of the ones Marc and I shot...

Dodger in a serious moment

Dodger laying a claim to the hot tub

A view from the deck

I LOVE this shot of Marc

As mentioned above, Marc took this one of me, as well as the next two

I like my smile in this, but I could live without the scarf (a prop Patrick put on me--he was shooting at the same time as Marc)

Patrick & Greg had some dog toys on hand, and Mandy fell in love with the one she's offering to Patrick in this photo

Bernice found one soft piece of furniture very suitable for her evening relaxation

So there you have it. A fun-filled long weekend and some photos, and you even got a few of me. That's unusual around here! I just hope I didn't scare anyone! :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A couple of photos

A couple of photos from the cell phone camera...

Jeff and Marc

That first photo is from Saturday when Jeff, Marc and I went to Feinstein's at the Regency to see Betty Buckley. The performance wasn't fabulous, but the company was. That's what really matters!

The second photo? Well, Marc came to my office today with that vase of flowers. I work in an office with one other man (the VP) and about 18 women. I got the best flowers in the place! :)

In fact, the ladies were all atwitter before I ever got to see the flowers, since Marc had to walk through most of the department before he got to my office. One of my staff members hadn't met Marc before. So what did she say after he left? "Marc's cute!" Yes, he sure is. Not the first time I've heard it, but no one has to tell me that! He's also a Grade A sweetie!

Okay, now I'm off to molest the sweetie. ;) Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Where were the trucks?

We've known that snow was coming. Not a lot of snow, but it was predicted to be messy. Snow (a couple of inches), followed by mixed precipitation and then rain. I was at work until almost 7pm. The snow had started 4 or 5 hours earlier.

With such a small amount of snow, the roads should have been fine. It's too little for the plows to do much good, but sand and salt would prevent accidents and potentially save some lives.

Sadly, the roads were a mess and I only saw one truck the whole way home. Come on! How can they have dropped the ball? I used to work in government. I once oversaw all personnel for a 15,000-employee county, and I remember what we did when a storm was coming (or even might be coming). The short version: we had the plows and sanders rolling as soon as the snow started to accumulate.

This was pathetic. At least the rain that's supposed to start overnight should wash it away. Hey, it just clicked! Those idiots are planning to just let the rain wash it away. Why pay extra staff to drive trucks, if the rain is coming? Isn't that great? It's going through an ice phase now. I hope no one gets killed while these idiots save a few bucks on overtime.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

I should blog about that

In my head today:

I should blog about that. That's interesting!

Maybe I should send myself a reminder e-mail.

Nah. No way I'll forget before I get a chance to sit down at the computer.

Fast-forward to this evening.

Rats. What was that? It was going to be a good post!


I can't tell you how often this happens. You'd think I would have learned by now.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Are you people kidding?

Berkeley to Marines: You're 'not welcome in our city'

I hate political extremists, whether it's the right-wing, hate-filled religious zealots, or the left-wing, bleeding heart morons who are the subject of the article linked above.

Oppose the war. That's fine. In fact, I think the invasion of Iraq was an unjustified, misuse of American military power.

But to say that recruiters for the U.S. Marine Corps aren't welcome in an American city is way over the line. Quoting from the article, "the Berkeley City Council approved a measure last week urging the Marine recruiters to leave their downtown office. 'If recruiters choose to stay, they do so as uninvited and unwelcome intruders.'"

Intruders? Are these people kidding? United States Marines are intruders in an American city? What? Do the big, bad Marines scare you? Fine. Don't have them over for afternoon tea, but these men and women risk--and sometimes give--their lives in the defense of this country. How dare some left-wing radicals do this? While they're so happily enjoying their free speech, they might take a moment to remember that brave men and women have fought and died to protect their Constitutional freedoms!

And if that's not enough to give these morons some manners, they might have stopped to think what their opposites were going to make of it. As the article mentions, this has played right into the hands of Republican Senator David "I may hire hookers and cheat on my wife, but I'm still holy enough to oppress the fags" Vitter of Louisiana. Nice. So now that fucker and a bunch of his buddies get to score points off of this. Good job, Berkeley!

Morons. Complete morons.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Can anyone be so busy...

...that they need to be on their cellphone while seated in a Men's Room stall?

I couldn't believe my ears. It was a business call. I can't help but wonder what the person on the other end of the line thought when he/she heard the multiple flushes that had to be audible from other parts of the bathroom, as well as the one from the guy on the phone, since even that didn't interrupt his conversation.

Granted, the people holding phones to their ears while driving are far more dangerous, but I think I'm more disturbed by this.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

He's so smart, and he cares so much

I'm a lucky man to have a husband like mine.

Tonight, I suddenly felt a deep wave of depression hit me. I didn't know why, but I was incredibly sad and didn't want to do anything. We were going to watch a movie, but then I lost interest. I reached out my hand, and Marc held it.

Then he looked at his watch.

I said, "it's almost eight o'clock."

He said, "that's not what I was looking at."

I was puzzled. "What were you looking at?"

"The date." Looking right into my eyes, he looked sad and his eyes were full of sympathy and love.

Then it clicked. Today is February 5th. We're a few hours from February 6th.

On February 6, 2004, the greatest woman I've ever known, someone I loved, and still love, beyond measure, died. Tomorrow marks four years since I lost my Mom.

It hadn't entered my conscious thoughts even once today, but I guess it has been rattling around my brain. Once Marc pointed it out, I was able to face it. Now I feel better. The pain is out in the open, right where it should be.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Mouse memories

For what it's worth, this is my 888th post. Just thought that was worth sharing.

Marc and I spent time today going through a few of the many boxes of stuff stored in our garage. We moved into this house almost three years ago. When we did, we took some of our stuff and a lot of stuff from my Mom and grandmother (both of whom had died the year before) and put it in the garage. The stated intention was to go through all of it ASAP. Three years later, we're actually getting to some of it.

In one box was a bit of family history: the Havahart mouse trap (yes, it appears that they still make them). It was addressed to this address (the house we moved into three years ago--after doing some work on it--is the house in which I grew up). The postmark date was Valentine's Day 1978. The name on the address label had been scratched out. In its place, in what clearly is my pre-teen writing, was "Marvin Mouse."

It all started with my Mom noticing tiny pieces missing from Jet's Gaines Burgers (Jet being our dog and Gaines Burgers a plastic-wrapped, hamburger-like dog food she ate). After this happened a few times, we realized that it wasn't some kind of recurring factory defect. No, we had a little visitor who was helping himself to some food.

I'm from a family of animal lovers. Killing is a last resort. So no snap traps here, and especially no cruel glue traps! Those things are horrible torture devices.

My parents ordered a Havahart trap. As the cutely spelled name suggests, it's humane. It is, in essence, a cage with doors that shut when a food tray in the middle is disturbed. When it arrived, the trap was set in the cabinet below the kitchen sink. It was there overnight, and my Dad checked it before he left for work in the morning. Nothing was in it.

When I got up a little while later (in those days, I naturally woke up early--how things have changed!), I looked. There, trapped in the cage, was a little mouse. As you can tell from the re-addressing of the box upon its arrival, we had already named the mouse Marvin, before we ever laid eyes on him.

So then the question was what to do with Marvin. It was mid-winter, and we didn't know how he'd do if he was released somewhere outside. To get some information (there was no Internet for us to use then, kids--heck, we didn't even have cordless telephones... can you imagine?! *grin*), we called the people at the Tackapausha Preserve. They told us that Marvin either would die in the cold or find his way back into our house (or another house, where he might not fare so well). Either result wouldn't be good.

So we took an old fish tank (sans water, of course) and got a mesh top for it, so he could live in it. Then we got him an exercise wheel, a bottle and various other mouse supplies. Marvin stayed with us (much to Jet's dismay) for a few months, growing to be a much larger, healthier mouse in that time. He actually took to the wheel, the bottle and the rest quite quickly and did well. Once winter was behind us (in April or later, as I recall), we took him to Tackapausha Preserve to be released.

When the top of the tank was removed, Marvin jumped right out and onto the grass. He ran a little, stopped (and, it seemed to us, looked back) and then went on into the preserve. By now, almost 30 years later, he probably has many thousands of descendants there. It's a much happier ending than many in this world.

Okay, the nasty old trap (which has caught other mice in other homes over the years, include a pair in our old place) went into the trash. But it did bring back memories of a more innocent time.


Side note: Yes, we're actually watching the Super Bowl. These things usually aren't great football games, but this one has been quite a nail-biter. My Dad left this earth almost 10 years ago (hard to believe, when I think about it), and he was a big Giants fan. He'd be loving this, especially with them playing against the undefeated, supposedly unstoppable Patriots. As I type this update to the post, the Giants just regained the lead. It's now 17-14 with 25 seconds remaining. Amazing.

Update: The Giants actually won! I hope heaven exists, Mom and Dad are there (as they should be) and Dad is watching the game. If he is, he's having a great time!