Thursday, December 28, 2006

Thursday Afternoon

Gosh, it's been a busy day. My new (replacement) cell phone arrived and I had to activate it and load some phone numbers in it. Then there was more packing. And a sermon. And Ben will be here tonight. And I had some repairs to do in the building. And I cleaned off two older computers so that I don't have to move them. In the process of doing that I lost a bunch of pictures from one machine and my cell phone address book from the other. Well, I guess that life goes on and in time I can rebuild the phone book. A word of advice to all cell phone users -- DO NOT LOSE YOUR PHONE. It's a pain in the ass to get it replaced and to have to rebuild valuable information. So now I have to make a quick trip to the store, come back and shower and get beautiful (as much as is possible), and try to get some semblance of order to the apartment. Then I think it will be kick back and relax for the evening. Tomorrow the first load will go from here to Ben's. I hope to have most of the work done by the weekend. Only time will tell -- pray for good weather. And pray for a smooth move. EEEKKKK. And pray for my sanity in all this.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Chaos Continues

Today was such fun -- I began cleaning, sorting, and packing in preparation for the big move. I am pooped and the house looks like a huge disaster area. I've made a couple of trash runs already and accumulated a huge load for Goodwill--all the "too small clothes." Ben will be here tomorrow night and we will take the first load to the house which will lighten the mess and make room for me to make a new mess. Pray for us as we muddle through. EEEKKK

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Boxing Day

It's actually December 26 and the big Christmas rush is over. You can read Ben's account on his blog. For me it was a great and fun time, exhausting and blessed as well. Everyone got along, I got to see lots of family and share my sweetheart with them all and they were all great. Gifts and food were in abundance as well. I was so thrilled to get my stained glass Santa from Ben. I left it there so I wouldn't have to move it and move it and move it. Tomorrow starts the moving process in earnest as I aim for a final move date of January 3 (more or less). It is a daunting task that I was dreading up til now. I came home tonight and as I did, I thought, "I won't have to do this commute much more and soon Ben and I will be together every night." I got a little excited (Yes, about the last comment, but over the whole thing of moving). I don't look forward to all the little details (phone, computer service, address changes, and the myriad of tasks -- not to mention the packing, sorting, unpacking and the moving of furniture. Thankfully, it's not THAT much stuff to move, just more than I moved in with two years ago. It will go well, and Ben is as excited about me being there as I am about being there. Back to the Christmas recap. As you know my Mother had surgery on Thursday and got home on Saturday. She was there and ready for Christmas, but somehow she seemed so much older than before. I believe it's primarily the effects of the surgery and the fairly heavy meds, but it brought parental mortality (and my own) into real plain focus. We spent the night there last night, and about 6 this morning, I heard bagning and pounding. I dashed up the stairs from the basement and found Mom sitting on the bathroom floor where she landed when getting tangled up in her robe (scared the stuff out of me). I went and got Ben up and together we helped her up. Then it took a good while for her to regain some composure. I am hoping and praying that as the new year looms, she will start to feel better and get a little of her old ZIP back.

Her mind was pretty "zippy" this morning as I came out from getting cleaned up, just in time to hear Mom and Ben in conversation. She was saying something like, "I didn't pick Nick's lifestyle, but no one picked mine either." I kept right on moving in order to let them chat about the gay thing and anything else. Actually, I am told it went quite well, and all is well. Mom is a really great lady -- no, she's not wild about me being gay, but she has accepted and welcomed Ben, and I rejoice in that. Our next hurdle will be adjusting to co-habitating full time. The only other biggy to deal with then will be me meeting his family. THAT could be fun, but that will be next year and the likely subject of a bunch of blog posts. I trust that all of you who celebrate Christmas had a wonderful day. Keep the spirit that is Christmas in your hearts and lives every day. Be good to yourselves and take a day to regroup. You might notice that I've reset the Christmas countdown clock for 2007. Ready or not, it's ticking. God bless .....

Weekly Poll

Well -- here's the results of last week's Christmas tree poll: 5 folks had artificial trees, 2 had real ones (Good for you!!), no one reported NO tree, and one soul answered, "What's a Christmas tree?" Thanks for your input. You will notice that there is a new poll for this week concerning Christmas spending -- come on, take a minute and answer and be honest. These are for fun, not for great research! Thanks for answering....

Sunday, December 24, 2006

December 24 Counting Down

Happy day before Christmas (Christmas Eve, I'm told, begins at dusk tonight -- geez, technicalities). Well, it's been a busy weekend. Friday after finishing some stuff at home and calling my boss to give notice (a nice Christmas gift, don't you think?), I headed to Ben's. On Saturday, after doing some running around and busy work, we went to a Christmas gathering with a family from his former congregation. It was wondeful -- they even had gifts for us -- and even ME. We got our first real "US" gift -- a salsa bowl, complete with salsa and chips. Along the way, between home, the party, and Meijer, I lost my cell phone. So, today I called the phone insurance people and filed a claim and will have a new phone by about Thursday -- 50 bucks later. In the meantime, I am relatively incommunicado. This morning was church, this evening is church again, and then on to Ben's for opening gifts. Dinner and gifts at Mother's tomorrow -- can you believe even after major surgery, she still wants a houseful of us? What a trooper. In the midst of all this holiday frivolity I need to start planning my upcoming move. It's frightening, but we will get it done.

Let me take this moment to thank each of you for your support and care over this year and to wish you and yours a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanza, or whatever winter holiday you care to celebrate. For those in the Christian tradition, may all the blessings and joy and discovery of this holy time be yours now and in the year to come. Each of you is special and loved. God bless.

Friday, December 22, 2006

And So It Continues

Well, it's official -- I am relocating. I called my boss today to give notice. He was not amused -- I figured it would make his Christmas. I had informed SOME of my residents -- the ones who will be sorry to see me go. I figure I don't want to give the rest of them any satisfaction for the holidays -- let them figure it out as the truck is being loaded or when they hear it through the grapevine. So opens a new chapter in my life -- life with Ben fulltime. Poor guy will have some adjusting to do. He's lived alone for so long this will be a new experience for him. Hee Hee. It should be good for several blog posts from each of us over the next few weeks. Now I'm figuring out what to do with extraneous "stuff". It amazes me how "stuff" multiplies to fill the available space. For instance, I have two TVs, three computer printers, assorted furniture (some of which is going to other people), two coffee makers and a microwave (and Ben has a fully furnished home with all those kinds of things -- YIKES. This would be a crappy season for a yard sale! LOL. Beyond that, it's the usual crap that goes with a person's life -- ah, the joy of blending two lives and households. EEEKKK. Anyway, that's the way I see it at the moment. Hoping you all have a wonderful Christmas (or Hanukkah, or Kwanza, or winter solstice holiday). Take care and love yourself today

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Thursday Night

Well, I am back from Detroit and Mom's surgery is behind her. It appears to have been a success and some blood circulation was restored to her left leg -- sure beating the alternative if this procedure had failed. I stopped off and submitted my hair sample for drug testing for the new job and had dinner with Ben before heading home. Tomorrow I need to call my boss and update him on what's happening. Ironically, he stopped by today while I was away -- dropping off a ham for Christmas -- now what am I going to do with that? Tomorrow is my usual Friday morning drive to the clinic and breakfast, then some laundry, paperwork, packing, and back to Ben's for the start of the weekend. So, having shared all that and taking a moment to thank you all for your thoughts and prayers, I will sign off, and go read what you all had to say today. Good night and God bless.

Thursday Morning

Well, the merry go round of life continues, but things are looking up. Ben is now Father Ben. He will, I'm sure, be blogging you all to let you know and to share in the celebration. I am scheduled to start my new temp job on Jan. 4, which means getting moved and settled. It also means I will soon be out of the apartment job that has helped keep body and soul together for the past two years. That's the same job that drove me crazy both from tenant issues and questionable supervision. It also was too unpredictable in the paycheck department. The new job will bring home a good bit more in one week than the old job did in a month! And the topper of the whole thing is that the commute for Ben and me to be together will cease. HOORAY. Today I am sitting in Mother's living room posting on dial up before I head to the hospital to sit with my siblings while Mom is in surgery. Once she is out of surgery (hoping all goes smoothly and successfully) I will head to Ben's and on home either tonight or in the AM. Then tomorrow evening will be back at Ben's for a dinner party on Saturday, then off to the west again for church on Sunday, back to my place Sunday afternoon, church Sunday night, back to Ben's for the night, and then to Mom's (or my sister's house nearby) for Christmas day, back to Ben's on Tuesday, and home to pack for moving. I am beginning to feel like the ball in the pinball game. BOING BOING BOING. I am praying that my 13 year old car continues to get me all the places I need to be. It is not in BAD shape, but it does have its age related issues. I am going to claim the surrounding and protection of the travel angels as I zoom to and fro. I will post an update either tonight or tomorrow. Until then, dear friends, hang in there, enjoy the season, and hug someone special.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Life at a Higher Altitude

That title means that things today are really up in the air. Ben has his appointment with the ECUSA bishop this afternoon, I had a call about a possible temp job starting after the first of the year (I won't know much more until either next week or Jan.2), and I got a call last night that Mom is facing surgery -- probably tomorrow. The temp job will allow me to move to Ben's and help keep the wolves from his door and is expected to last until at least the end of March. Hopefully by that time, Ben will have secured a position in ministry somewhere and life will take another turn. Mother's surgery is not life threatening (unless of course something goes wrong -- the medical loophole they always give). She is in her 80's, has had multiple bypasses, and is allergic to skads of stuff. SO--I will find out later today what the scoop is and if I make the trip across the state to be there. I am sitting on pins and needles for that call and for Ben's call about his meeting with the Bishop. All this and Christmas looms large on the horizon -- oh joy. I remember several months ago posting a "Merry Go Round" post about life and how it seemed to be spinning out of control then. Here we go again -- I wish this plane would come in for a landing somewhere. Anyhow, those three things -- Ben, job, and Mom -- are my primary focus today. Send prayers and warm thoughts for all of them PLEASE. Thanks all for letting me share. God bless.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

A Milestone

I see by my counter that I have surpassed the 2,000 mark of readership on this blog since resetting the counter several months ago. Thanks to all who keep me posting. Your comments and such are appreciated. Keep reading for more of my journey. God bless and thanks again.

The First Christmas

Can you believe that I was ever this cute? I was four months old when this picture was taken for my first Christmas. I can't say that I remember the event, but as cute as I was, it must have been a wonderful time. I am thinking that I may post a series of pictures of me as I grew up -- but once I got beyond the "baby cute" phase, they all look pretty much like me -- and who needs to take up blog space with THAT? HA HA. Anyway, enjoy.

Tuesday Morning Musing

If you are opposed to preaching or Christianity, or if you are offended or embarrassed by the content of this post, feel free to skip it and move on.

Well, here I am again and I am working on a sermon for the fourth Sunday of Advent, the Gospel reading for which includes the Magnificat (Mary's Song) in response to being chosen to be the mother of Jesus. There are many schools of thought as to the authenticity of the virgin birth and I am not going to debate those here, because in my book the exact circumstances surrounding the birth are far secondary to the reasons for Christ's birth, life, death, and resurrection. For those who choose to believe and those who choose to disbelieve the virginity of Mary, you are welcome to your own opinions -- and please remember that, without absolute proof -- they are that -- opinions.

But I digress. Whatever the terms of the call of God on Mary for that first Christmas, I wonder how you or I would respond to God's call for us. Let's look at Mary's situation for a moment. First, she was unmarried and pregnant -- not a good place for a girl in that time. Her very life was in peril, not to mention all the plans that she and Joseph had made. Surely he wouldn't want "damaged goods." She faced humiliation, rejection, ridicule, and more. Her dreams or hopes for her future went out the window. Yet, did she protest and complain? Not according to Luke's account of things. Not only did she acede to the will of God, but she praised God for being chosen. Her call and its affect on her life make our calls often seem insignicant, yet we gripe, complain, protest, refuse, question, doubt, and do most anything we can to get out of doing what we are called to. Hmmmm. We are too busy; we aren't good enough; it doesn't fit our plans; we don't want to be placed in danger; we aren't willing to risk; and the list of refusals goes on and on. What if we not only willingly answered God's call, but did so with praise and rejoicing. What if we realized that it is not we who accomplish these things, but that it is God working in and through us that accomplishes them. It is God working through willing vessels (us/Mary) that changes the world. We are in fact called to birth Christ in our world. Are we up to the task? How will we respond on this last Sunday (and indeed the last day) of Advent? Are we ready? Ready or not, God's gift is about to be unveiled on the world! Does your soul magnify the Lord? Is your spirit rejoicing in God?

Well, I didn't mean to preach here -- I was simply floating some ideas for your input. But -- hey -- God has called me to preach, so maybe that is why this messsage is here. All I need to do for Sunday is copy and paste this post, do a little editing and expanding, and I think it will preach. Thanks for putting up with a pondering preacher.

Monday, December 18, 2006


Well, the weekend is behind us and Christmas is looming on the horizon. It was a very busy weekend as previous posts will attest. The best part of the whole thing was being with Ben. I told you about our Saturday, so Sunday was church in the morning, two Christmas gatherings at my complex, and back to Ben's for the night. In the midst of the day, I got a phone call from my sister to tell me that Mom is in the hospital. This is yet another chapter in an ongoing situation -- not yet life threatening, but serious and painful. So I called Mom at the hospital, and she seems to be doing well except for the age old fact that NOTHING seems to happen in hospitals on the weekend. She went in Thursday night and other than better pain meds, nothing of note has happened. She was hoping for some test results and news today. We shall see. On Friday, Ben got a letter from Episcopal Bishop informing him that they have an appointment later this week. Read Ben's blog for updates on this exciting turn of events. We took some time to look at Christmas decorations -- hence the various posts and the birth of the word "dayflation". As we zoomed back and forth across the state, we were also on kitty watch as one of Ben's cats is prone to rectal impactions (Isn't THAT a wonderful blog subject?) Poor Madeline gets plugged up and a trip to the vet is in order -- along with a wonderful vet bill which no one needs right now. So far, it appears that Madeline MAY not be plugged up and Ben has been applying laxative stuff to her paws and massaging her butt (lucky cat) HA HA. Tonight I am off to a meeting at church and then Wednesday is our midweek activity. Then, before anyone is ready, it will be the Christmas weekend and on into the holiday hub bub. Take time in this furious downhill time slope toward 2007 to rest, to enjoy, to prepare for next year, and for you in the US to make those year end charitable donations -- you will be thankful come April 15. Well, I guess I've rambled on enough for one day. Be good to yourself and to each other -- and VOTE in my weekly poll. Peace!

Another Decorating Disaster

Here's another "dayflated" decoration picture. This one looks "Santa's morning after Christmas Eve" shot. He's so wiped out that he simply collapses on the ground as the reindeer stand quietly waiting for him to recover from the night. I really think that if you want those inflatable decorations that is great, but if you have them, keep them pumped up or plugged in. They look STOOPID when they are laying dayflated on the ground! But of course that is just my not so humble opinion!

New Weekly Poll

Hey everyone -- it's Monday morning and that means a new poll (located lower left on this page). I urge you to take a minute and vote -- it's painless fun. Last week's poll netted 10 responses (9 respondents were spending Christmas with family/partner and 1 answered "other"). This week I want to find out how many real trees there are out there. So take a minute and humor me, okay? Thanks.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Decorating Tip

When placing outdoor decorations, you need to be careful in the overall appearance. At first glance this particular yard decor looked to be a sick S&M scene being played out between Frosty and Mr. C. They really needed to anchor Santa better or separate these two decorations. Placement and presentation are everything!

Sunday Morning

Hey all! First of all, today is the last day to post your vote on my Weekly Poll found lower on the left side of this page. A new poll will go up sometime tomorrow -- watch for it.

This morning will be church -- as always. Then Ben and I will be back at my place and will share in the complex Christmas party with the old folks -- Ben will be in for a real treat LOL. This evening, one of the local churches is coming by to share the holiday spirit, so we will be at it again -- then it's back to Ben's for Sunday night. It's been a busy weekend so far. I headed to Ben's on Friday. Yesterday, we headed for the local coffee house where Ben and some of his music pals were singing. From there we headed out and went to Bronners (the HUGE Christmas store). Now that is a logical thing to do one week before Christmas -- it must be the thing to do since half the world was there. Then it was back to Ben's to pick up the dog and then on to my house and BED TIME!

I know it will be a busy week for everyone, but take time to enjoy the anticipation of the coming of Christmas. Don't let the world creep in and steal your joy. That's all for this morning!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Traditions

Well, by now you are probably sick of my ramblings about Christmas, but I've written about childhood remembrances and the like. How about an adult Christmas tradition? For several years I have been involved in Christmas Eve worship services -- until recently the 11PM to midnight kind. The tradition that kind of evolved for me was to go hit a few stores just before closing on Christmas Eve (looking for bargains and looking far more than buying), head to dinner, then to church. After church, I'd get home about 1AM, pour a glass of wine, put on some Christmas tunes, and dig into the packages. By the time that was over, it was usually about 3AM and it was off to bed. On Christmas morning I would sleep in a bit, get up and do coffee, and spend the better part of the day being lazy, wearing "jammies" and watching Christmas movies. If I was invited to dinner, great. If not, I kept it simple and quiet. The whole Advent season in church life can be exhausting, so that day of rest was so welcome. That tradition has kind of gotten skewed because my current church does Christmas Eve service at 8PM -- how absolutely odd to my experience. So for the past couple of years I have been kind of adrift as to this tradition. I am hoping that this year with Ben, I can begin developing OUR Christmas traditions -- perhaps bringing a bit of the old from each of us and birthing something that is special and ours.

A Pet Peeve

Are there terms, words, and sentence structures that just drive you nuts? One of my pet peeves of late is hearing people refer to the year as "Two thousand AND six". Isn't it strange that a few years ago no one said, "Nineteen AND 99. Is the current year "two thousand six" (without the AND) or is it "twenty oh six". Does it matter? Numbers, properly stated, do not contain conjunctions. The number 125 is correctly stated as "One hundred twenty five" (notice no AND). With regard to the year, one might expect or at least excuse the "AND" in common usage, but when one hears it from professional speakers such as newscasters and political speakers or preachers, it pushes my every button of intolerance. Ban the "AND".

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

A Newer Tradition

Here is a picture of my Boyds Bears Nativity Scene. My best friend and his partner began this collection for me about 10 years ago and between them and me, the limited edition set is complete. Considering my love of nativity scenes (at one time I had somewhere around 50 but have downsized) and my affection for bears, this set is perfect and an important part of my Christmas. Right now I am down to this set, my Mexican nativity featured in an earlier post, and one cut into a piece of glass. I am working on rebuilding my collection, and I am somewhat saddened at having parted with so many sets -- especially the one that was handmade for me. At least I know that that set is bringing joy to the friend to whom I gave it. Thanks to all for putting up with my Christmas addiction.

Another Christmas Memory

Here's another hanging Christmas Card that I received as a kid -- this one was the early to mid-1950's. It's newer than the previous post, but every bit as much a part of my Christmas tradition. I hope that you enjoy these Christmas memories. Sharing with you is part of my Christmas experience this year.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Christmas Memories

One of my Christmas memories/traditions is this antique card which I received as a very young child back in 1949. The actual card is the cutout of Santa and every year this card and a few others hang on my Christmas tree. The past couple of years I haven't had a tree that would take something that size hanging and I've had it sitting out or hanging somewhere visible. Just having this card out reminds me of the many Christmases I've spent -- as a child, as a parent, as a single, with a partner, and so on. It draws the past into the present and sets the stage for the future. I guess that is rather Dickens-esque -- there's the Ghost of Christmas Past, there's Christmas present, and it sets the stage for Christmas future. Someday this card will pass on my child and grandchild who, I hope, will continue the tradition recalling that Christmas when I was just one year old. I just decided that I wanted to share this piece of MY Christmas with each of you. What memories and traditions do you have?

Update on Wedding Wars

Yesterday I posted information of A&E's new movie, Wedding Wars. I actually got to see it last night and I recommend it to anyone the least bit interested in either side of the gay marriage debate. Parts of it were corny and/or contrived, but overall it seemed to raise and address issues in a meaningful way. Of course for me the greatest "fariy tale" part of the movie was the solidarity of GLBT folks across the country. Perhaps we should all take a lesson from the movie and support one another. It is true that the proponents of gay marriage have suffered many defeats at the hands of the "traditional one man-one woman marriage" set, but worldwide we have scroed some major victories. We cannot and should not all move to Canada or even to Massachusetts. Instead we should hang together, strategize, speak out and generally become a royal butt pain to our opponents. We need to address their concerns rationally, calmly, and from a perspective of knowledge. I think that the movie addressed another perspective as well. There are gay people who have never taken the time to think about getting married. Up until recently there was no such thing as same gender marriage. For some GLBT folks, the subject is just as disturbing as it is to the Moms and Pops across America. The fact remains however, what business of anyone else's is my relationship? If I want to marry a man, how does that threaten you, your marriage, or society as a whole? Come on, America, stop being so tightassed and purtianical; open up and let people be people. One cannot legislate love or morality, so let's spend our time and resources debating important issues like how to reduce divorce or how to feed, clothe, and maintain the underpriveleged. Let's find a way to bring our troops home instead of taking sordid peeks into the bedrooms of America. Anyway, didn't mean to turn this into a tirade. Take time to try to see Wedding Wars on A&E. I am about to email A&E and thank them for their bold move in releasing the film and asking if it is expected to be released on DVD. Will let you know if it is. Enjoy!

A Timely Cartoon

I thought, in light of some recent posts about office Christmas Parties (It's my blog, I can say Christmas rather than "holiday"), this cartoon was especially appropriate. For those of us in jobs that are not fulfilling, it is also appropriate. Enjoy!

What a Fright

In hunting for a Christmas greeting picture the other day I came across THIS horror! It was so bizzare that I just had to share it with all of you. I have no idea if it is copyrighted (If so I apologize for borrowing it). I thought the caption was so appropriate. Of course, if I were the model whose body was used (Yeah, don't I wish?) I would sue someone - imagine imposing GW's head (empty as it is) on someone else's body. It's bad enough he's been imposed on the American people these past years. Anyway, relax -- I will NOT be putting this photo on my Christmas cards. Christmas is a season of JOY and there's no JOY in GW (except that on January 21, 2009 we can all cheer!! Thank God for term limits!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Wedding Wars

No, this is not Ben and I battling over who's the bride and who's the groom. Instead, it's the title of a new movie premiering on A&E tonight at 9PM. Go to Wedding Wars and check it out. I think once you read a bit about it, you will be tuning in. I will. Imagine if all the GLBT people in the US went on strike on one day -- the church's would have very little music, less preaching, there'd be a lot of empty teacher's desks, God knows there would be very few new hair-do's that day. Restaurants would grind to a halt, the movie studios would probably be dark, and I wonder how many seats in Congress would be empty. Anyway, I'm gonna tune in to see what it's all about. And, besides, even if the movie is crummy, it won't hurt to watch John Stamos for a couple hours. Happy viewing.

Monday Morning

Well, everyone, another weekend is behind us and it was a glorious time spent with Ben. He arrived Friday evening (poor baby, had to work all day and then drive 100 miles just to see me). Actually, he claimed he was coming to see the dog. The funny part is that she gets so excited when he arrives -- more so than with most folks. Of course, I guess I do too. On Saturday we went out for breakfast and got the car serviced -- how romantic. Then it was home to just hang out, watch TV, and just be together. Sunday, of course, was church in the AM. In the late afternoon we attended an open house that Ben got invited to some 75 miles from my house and 25-30 from his. It was really neat -- beautiful home, antiques, Christmas everywhere, good hors d'ouerves, excellent wine, a few "family" members, and a worthy cause. The host makes a dontation to the local Hospice for each person who attends -- and there were a lot of people through that house yesterday. Hospice benefits, everyone has a good time. Sounds perfect to me. It was interesting to watch Ben as we ended up in a seating area with three "family" members. As usual, he was charming, but he was a little uncomfortable as they were talking about church, and he really didn't want to tell the whole story. Try as we might to move the conversation, it came back to that. Finally, we excused ourselves and headed out. We wandered through WalMart (yes, I got him into the evil empire -- not once, but twice yesterday) and then he went east and I went northwest and now it's back to the boring world of Monday through Friday. The job searches continue and Christmas looms. Take a moment and hug someone today. Love to all.

New Items on Page

Hey all; I got ambitious this morning and added a Weekly Poll and a Today in History to the sidebar. Please vote in the poll and check to see what happened today. I will try to change the poll each week, so if there's any burning questions you think should be included, drop me a comment and I will file them for upcoming weeks.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Six Weird Things About Me

Lemuel at Greedy Maelstrom tagged me for Six Weird Things. My problem is that I don't think there's much weird about me -- but for the sake of good blogger-ship I will attempt to find some stuff.

1. I like to watch odd TV like Lifetime Made for TV Movies, old sitcom reruns and the like.

2.I dislike MOST green vegetables.

3. I love to walk down the halls of my building humming or whistling praise music. The seniors either love it or think I'm crazy.

4. Some of you won't find this weird, but lots in the GLBT community and lots in the mainstream Christian community will. I am both happily gay and happily Christian.

5. I love to be naked at home -- not in public (I'd hate to make anyone sick).

6. I love stuffed bears, and have a Boyd's Bears Nativity. A real bear now and then is always fun too.

I'm not gonna tag anyone specifically, but when YOU read this, consider yourself tagged and pass it on.

Friday, December 08, 2006

It's Not All About Me

I have discovered through blogging a whole world full of interesting people with thoughts, ideas, problems, fears, hopes, and dreams. As I read Yarraville Paul's post about the bushfires in Australia I was reminded that there is more to the world than the good old USA, more than my job search and financial problems, and so on. As I read Ur-Spo'spost about attending his aunt's funeral, I was once again reminded that others suffer losses and that others have memories to share. I am once again amazed at the internet is making the world smaller in that we can know instantly what's going on anywhere in the world, and also making it larger by making us all a vital and regular part of each others lives. Just as Ben marveled at the functioning of the human body, I marvel at the functioning of the world and the "internet" society. I sometimes chastize myself for spending so much time on the net -- Lord knows the time I spend reading all the interesting blogs and news stories and such could be used for other things -- but then I realize that I am building relationships with people all over the world. And in my book, our journey is all about relationship. Anyone we interact with is someone with whom we have begun a relationship -- what we choose to do with that relationship is up to us. Do we simply say, "That's nice, have a great day" or do we continue to develop a friendship or at least a casual acqauintance? To all of you out there in blogger land, thank you for being bold enough to share yourself. My life is richer for your presence in it. I don't read every blog out there -- who could? -- but I find those that speak to me and that help me to put my life and issues into a grater context.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Pretty Well Travelled

Thanks, guys, for posting your maps. Here's mine. I feel a trip to the northwest or the northeast coming on. I rather suspect, since Ben is from Iowa, that I will get there one of these days soon.

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Tuesday Afternoon

I talked to Ben last night and the concert was a great success. Missing it was a huge disappointment for me, but that's the way the snow falls. Ben had the opportunity to fellowship with some folks from his previous congregation, and that was a good thing that might not have happened had I been there. Who knows? Today I shoveled snow (again) and began painting a vacant apartment. One thing I am learning is that I am not 18 or even 25 or 35 anymore, and things take longer and take their toll physically. I decided rather than killing myself any further, I would stop, clean up the mess, and start again tomorrow in another room. I am beginning to wonder if I am physically up to the demands of this job. Most of the time it's no big deal, but when it comes to shoveling snow or rehab-ing an apartment, then that is another story. I think I 'd like to be around for a long time to enjoy life. I sure hope that one of the myriad of job applications pays off soon. Tonight, it's off to church for a Board meeting -- oh joy of joys. If you've ever been part of a board of a church you know how much fun those things can be. Then it's home to bed so that I can start painting again. BLECH! Ah well, at least it racks up the hours and boosts the paycheck!

Monday, December 04, 2006

Wouldn't You Know It?

Well, I'll be. Just a little bit past the time I had to make the decision whether or not to go to the concert tonight, the weather miraculously began to clear. I suspect that we haven't seen the last of the snow, but it has stopped for now and I would have ventured out. Problem is that now it's too late to go. SO -- Ben and I are both disappointed that I can't go, but we will live. Theyare recording the concert and I think someone will take his picture in the tux (If not, he will have to put it on and model it for me.). There's just something really HOT about a good looking man in formal attire-WOOF. It's just ironic that the weather decides to clear right after the time window closes. Ah well, life is full of little disappointments.

Weather -- PHFFFT

Well, it is Monday afternoon and the weather in west Michigan is crappy. It's been snowing all day and I have shoveled the sidewalks twice so far and will need to do so again this evening. I am told that the roads are lousy and there are patches of whiteout -- for those who don't know, that means you can't see crap! That all means that I am not going to be able to go to Ben's or to the concert in which he is singing tonight. I was hoping to see him in his tux and hear the results of the weeks and weeks of rehearsal. I am so disappointed -- but it would be foolhardy to attempt the 100 mile drive today. So, once again, the cloud of disappointment and frustration settles over my living room. I will sit home, watch TV, play on the computer, shovel snow, and hope that the weather improves soon. I hope that they record the concert tonight -- would love to hear it even if it's second hand. Winter came suddenly and with a vengeance. Well, we shall persevere and Spring will come sometime!

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Sunday Night

Well, life is interesting. My blues period of this afternoon evolved into a little Christmas decorating and an hour's nap. Now it's late evening, it's snowing like someone busted a sack of flour in a wind tunnel, and I've just kind of mellowed out. I got ot the Nativity sets, the cermic tree and some nic nacs. Tomorrow will be a WalMart run for some odds and ends to assemble a small tree, a few lights in the window and -- voila - ready for Christmas. Of course the lovely nap made me awake again and now it's bedtime - -wonder if I will sleep. I had better since I will no doubt have to be up early to shovel this lovely white stuff. Boy, when winter decided to arrive, it hit fast and hard. Hope you all have a great week. Take time to hug someone.

Sunday Afternoon Blues

Well, I'm back again. This time it's just a little time to whine about stuff. I decided to break down and decorate the old homestead for the holiday since it looks as though there will be no moving before year's end (That sucks). I dug through the closet only to discover that the Christmas tree I thought I had was in my mind -- that along with the Christmas tablecloth. So I jumped in the car and headed to the local store -- Dollar General -- in hopes that they might be able to help reslove my problems. Their merchandise was not up to the standards of this member of royalty, so I came home defeated. I may venture to the Evil Empire tomorrow to check out their stuff, but the mood for decorating the apartment has kind of passed. I think it is a good thing that 2006 will be history in four short weeks -- with the exception of developing a wonderful relationship with Ben, the year has been a bust. The job market has been closed, the finances have gone down the dumper, and I am no better off than I was at this time last year. Lord, I hope that the big miracle comes my way in the new year. Between Ben and I, we are giving God all kinds of opportunity to show a miracle. Well, I guess that's enough bellyaching for now. I think I will go watch the Telly! Harry Potter is on . Later all

Sunday Afternoon

Well, here it is Sunday afternoon and I am home alone. Ben and I spent a great weekend together. Saturday we went to breakfast, hit some craft bazaars (whoopy -- they need some gay guy help) and went to see Santa Clause 3. It was cute and fun and not too bad, but it is third in the series and the cuteness and cleverness of the first movie is starting to wear off. Martin Short did well as Jack Frost, Ann Margaret and Alan Arkin played Santa's in-laws. It was worth seeing, but I hope they don't try to make a fourth movie. There's not too many more plots. This one was "Santa Clause" meets "It's a Wonderful Life" meets "Back to the Future." From that description, you can tell that they are trying too hard.

We went to church this morning -- separately, which was really weird. For some time now we have done it together, but Ben had to head home after church so we drove separately. Now I am sitting here updating the blog and watching Harry Potter. I am watching it snow and wondering if I will have to shovel this evening. I hope not.

I will see Ben tomorrow night when I go to his area for a concert in which he is participating. Then, weather cooperating and all, I will spend the night and come home on Tuesday morning. Let's hope.

Friday, December 01, 2006

One More Quiz

This one is a grammar quiz. I can't believe that anyone who has English as their primary language could mess this one up..

Your Language Arts Grade: 100%

Way to go! You know not to trust the MS Grammar Check and you know "no" from "know." Now, go forth and spread the good word (or at least, the proper use of apostrophes).

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Just 14+ More Years

According to my "death clock" I am destined to depart on May 13, 2021. THat would make me age 72. Hmm, better start taking better care of myself I guess. But anyway, it's nice to "know" that I will make it though Christmas LOL. Who dreams these things up anyway? I will die when it's time and I don't really think it is predictable. Ah well, anything to keep busy while the laundry is drying. Ah, just did another death clock quiz and will live for nine years extra -- April of 2030. I think I like that better.

A Christmas Quiz

You are 95% knowledgeable regarding Christmas culture.

CONGRATULATIONS!!! YOU DID IT! YOU PASSED! Now you're ready to go on to Have a blessed Christmas!

Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

World AIDS Day

Today is World AIDS Day around the world. It was established several years ago by the World Health Organization, and gives an opportunity for communities everywhere to remember those who have been lost to HIV, those infected and affected, and to look toward and work for a brighter future relative to this disease. I don't think that there is much new that can be written; there are facts and there are fallacies; it's not a "gay" disease or God's judgement; it is simply a blood borne disease that is acquired. There are risk groups but the reality is that no one is immune. People have been infected through sex, through infected needles, through blood transfusions of infected blood, and so on. Over the years I have lost many a friend to this illness, and my very best friend is a 20+ year HIV survivor. Take time today to remember all those we've lost and all those who lost spouses, children, parent, or siblings. Remember all those who are currently and literally fighting for their lives. Take time today to think about contacting your government officials to discuss funding for care and research and to talk about the horribly unfair US immigration policy. Above all, if you are a praying person, remember the whole HIV issue in your prayers today. One day a year for all of this is not enough, but it's a start. If there are activities planned in your community, take part it them. If there are no activities, contact your local health department and see why not. Perhaps you, your church or school, or some other group can band together and plan something for World AIDS Day 2007.

Today I remember friends varying in age from the eighteen year old who had sex once in his life and one of his parting questions was, "What is safe sex?'" to senior citizens who were infected late in life. I especially today ask you to keep Tim in your prayers -- he is the long term survivor I mentioned earlier. Over the years, he has had various HIV related illnesses, and he currently is in some degree of pain. Yet he keeps on going -- he is my Energizer Bunny -- he keeps on going and going and going. He lives in a small town in the midwest where there is no real support or good care, he doesn't have much family support, and often he feels very isolated and alone even though he has a partner. I am calling today, TIM DAY, and offering a specail prayer as well as giving him a call just to say hi and to tell him that I love him.

HIV isn't front page news much these days nor is it a top priority for a government so focused on terrorism, war, bad economy and so on. However, it is still very real and even though there are many new treatments and even though people are living much longer and with fewer outbreaks of "the illnesses", people are still dying and people are still beocming infected at alarming rates. Do your part today to bring HIV into your community's range of vision today - let us always remember and never forget!

And Tim, if you read this, know that you are special and that I love you and respect you. You are one of my real heroes -- you have been a front line soldier in the battle for health and for life for longer than most career military folks. And yet you are always there for me! Today is about you and I believe that in many ways you embody World AIDS Day -- you are dealing with the same cumulative grief, the same frustration with a government and a society who seem to not care much, and at the same time, you suffer the real presence of HIV in your life, your body, and your home. You, however, refuse to let it control you. God bless you and the millions of others like you in the world.

The good news is this: God is greater than AIDS! This post isn't really well focused and structured and that is because the subject is so huge and because while it affects individual lives, it's effect on society and whole communities is staggering. Today is a day in which YOU and I can make a difference!