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So 2009 has been quite a ride of a year. It started out a lot better than it is finishing, that's for sure, but now I'm happy to try to dust some of this off and get going again in 2010.

You know, it's hard not to write out the year without hitting zero twice. i don't know how many times at work I've tried typing 20010. That's just not going to work.

One of the best memories of the year was on the cruise that seems so long ago. I met some great people on the cruise to Mexico. Really, the cruise could have gone just about anywhere, that didn't really matter. We did so little about seeing things off the ship.

Personally, I think if I go on a cruise that isn't all gay it would just be weird. The all-gay cruise is just such a unique little bubble of non-reality. It's great.

I just remember being on this large ship, on the 12th floor above the Pacific Ocean as another cruise ship was going the other way and I wondered if there was someone on the top deck of that ship, up late at 2 in the morning, watching our ship going by. There's seemed rather quiet, moving through the sea, while ours was alive with lights of all colors and DJ Rotten Robbie spinning the then new Po-po-poker Face single into the dark night.

It was a rather surreal moment. Sometimes you wish life could always be like that...minus the sea-sickness!

I know most people would say the worst moment was when they were fired, but that just doesn't seem like it to me. I guess I was able to keep my spirits going for a little bit as I had hope that I would find something new.

I'm not sure what was the worst moment. It might have been the moment when I realized that the new job was not only a start at the bottom, but not the opportunity that I was hoping it would be, and I felt a bit stuck. That or it might have been the moment where a little white lie was caught (trying to fudge that I was fired, not just laid off) and the prospect of a better paying job was yanked away from me. It was that moment when I realized that getting back to a job that used my experience and would give me some return to a better salary was going to be a lot harder than I had thought.

So the cusp of 2010 leaves me in a quandary. Do I start looking for a job again, or do I try to tough it out for a while in a job I don't like? Can I make the current employer better? Will I have the ability to make a difference here, or is the corporate culture too hard to move, especially from the bottom of the totem pole?

And if we are looking towards something new, what is it? I don't know if I can easily go back to financial services, and I bitched enough about it before, is that really what I want to return to? The money can be good, and it's nice to keep valuable licenses active, but ... Let's face it, I don't know what I'm really good at, and I don't really know what to look for. I think some more thought is needed here.

Since I haven't written in a while, I just wanted to say Chris and I had a great time in San Diego a few weeks back, and my love affair with California continues. The people of San Diego were friendly, the place beautiful even despite the cool and rainy weather. loved the zoo and Balboa Park and the Hole. I want to go back, and hopefully catch a ball game. Great meeting up with Dave, Mike, Brian, Justin, JP, Henry, Hadrian and many other great people. It was also fun seeing Shannon and Luke there on their first weekend as new residents. Maybe Chris and I will join you some day.

Speaking of baseball, the ball game at Dodger Stadium with Paul and Bobaloo back in April was the only baseball game I saw all year. I had hoped to see another game last summer, but having no cash flow kind of killed it. Here's hoping I'll get an opportunity this summer to catch a game or to and keep up my quest to see all of the stadiums before I'm 50. I've got about 15 to go, so I need to get on it!

Lastly, by sister has been here the last couple of days and it's been nice to have here here. It felt a little nicer to share Christmas this year with a little family of Chris, Laura and of course Joey.

Well, here's hoping that 2010 (or 20010) brings some good things to all of us and new doors will open. After this last half a year, I could use a lottery win in some form or another.
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The seventh month anniversary of our marriage ceremony in California comes later this week. Now we aren't a couple that makes a big deal about tiny anniversaries or anything, but this one will be the first one that may be missing an actual valid marriage license, depending on what the California Supreme Court rules today.

I've been joking about our marital status ever since Prop 8 passed. Even from the beginning it was odd, only valid or recognized in certain states, and certainly not my native Texas. Are we married, or are we not? Depends. Then once Prop 8 passed, suddenly even the small amount of recognition was also in limbo. Suddenly a contract we had both signed was...well what was it?

Back home it seemed than there hadn't been much change. We started wearing wedding rings, and calling each other husband, not partner or boyfriend, but the relationship stayed pretty much the same. We've been lax about hiring a lawyer to draw up power of attorney documents and getting things taken care of legally, for no matter how California sees us after today, until the Defense of Marriage Act is overturned federally, we won't have the same rights and privileges here in Texas. Texas has a constitutional amendment that bars recognition of same-sex marriages and civil unions, or the creation of them by the state. I think Texas would be one of the last states to get rid of the rule, much like it took a federal court case to get rid of sodomy laws here.

Our opponents are desperately seeking a win from the court today. the news lately has been heavily in the favor of marriage equality. Today they will hope that mob rule trumps the rights of minorities and they continue to try to paint the picture of marriage as one reserved strictly for heterosexual couples (or opposite marriage as some deep thinker put it).

It still makes me mad when they continue to try to spin that marriage is tied to the churches when it has long been the fact that no church would have to sanction the union of two heterosexual people (or two people of opposite sex, regardless of their orientation, really). State sanctioned marriage has been a separate institution as much as the separation of church and state has been the law of this land. No one has had to get the permission of a church for years to get married, and the state, not the church grants the rights and privileges of marriage - at least in this life.

And it's not like I couldn't fine a church to get married in. You might not be able to get hitched in a Catholic church to you same-sex partner, but plenty of other denominations will do it, and still have the same appreciation of your Prada loafers.

Let's face it, marriage hasn't been as sacred as our opponents make it out to be since they started granting no-fault divorces. Say what you want about the bonds of matrimony, but when it comes down to it, the partners can break the contract almost as easily as any two business partners. Marriage is a contract from the state, the spiritual stuff is up to someone else.

One thing that throws me is that ads that the proponents of "traditional marriage" (sorry for the scare quotes, but I couldn't come up with another way of putting it, but marriage has changed over the years, from a property situation to a search for a match between two people- another reason not to deny marriage equality) seem to come up with ads that keep up the scare factor that gays are going to come and steal marriage away from them. I never see an ad that seems to truly state why keeping marriage as a separate institution for heterosexuals is important. What is it that we are supposed to be stealing from them? We aren't taking away their rights, or trampling on their relationships. We aren't going to take their children away from them. Heck, for nearly half of them, it doesn't seem that marriage has actually been that great of a institution for them.

It's hard to state how marriage has changed my life, maybe because with the passage of Prop 8 it never seemed fully real. Sure, we exchanged vows in a quickly arranged ceremony under some really odd circumstances. It's something, like many other married couples, we might have waited a little longer to do, but the political situation and the fact that it was California pushed along our decision.

Still, hearing the vows, even if they were done in front of a small group in a conference room of a county clerk's office still made for one of the happiest moments in my life. Those words, weather there's a piece of paper with them or not still stand for me.

I know that chris' family would like us to have a reception, or even a larger ceremony, but I know I've shied away from it because of the political situation. My own family isn't really on-board with the whole marriage thing, so I'm not sure if they would be inclined to come to something or not (not that they don't like Chris, but it's one of those things that the reality of what's family vs. the political dogma don't always mix well). Maybe if things are positive for us today we'll look into doing something bigger, but for now a simple ceremony is fine, and truly, our core relationship together didn't change, and won't change from what happens today.

(Of course the jokey guys that we are, as he was leaving I said that we'll see if we are still married after today, Chris on the way out said i should watch the news and if Prop 8 is upheld he expects that my stuff will be out of the house, as he will not live with someone in sin. Heh.)

I'd marry Chris again if today's verdict comes down against us. I'm not sure there's any great push to do it though. Sure I could get married in Iowa, or New England, but really, without the rights being here in Texas, it's as meaningful as any other piece of paper in the printer drawer. The relationship remains the same either way. With Chris being from California, then the California license was special to us. I'd love to get married in Texas, and maybe one day, many years from now, we will, but I'm not waiting for it.

We will see how the court rules. Because of my work schedule, I don't think I can make it to the rally today, but I'm sure there will be many more rallies, because either way, there's still a very long fight to go, and we're going to have both wins and losses.

So who knows. I say that it won't affect me, but maybe because I've been trying not to get my hopes up, waiting these long months for a decision, maybe it will be something I take more personally than I care to admit at this moment. I look right now and I see that we have a chance to really make history, but I am trying to steel myself for the likely possibility that we will lose today, activist judges be dammed. On we go to the next fight, state by state, and eventually the country.

Still, I'll be keeping the ring on, and still calling Chris my husband,no matter the validity of a piece of paper. My day of decision came when we decided to date each other, and it's only been validated by the choice to move in together and late on the day that we said our vows. A ruling form a court isn't changing that. I think we can still get away with having a first anniversary celebration in October even if it's for our six year relationship.

Update: So there you have it. Prop 8 was upheld by the California Supreme Court, but the existing marriages stand, makeing us a limited, collector's edition marriage that's still only recognized in a few states. Expect to see more litigation, both on recognition of these limited edition marriages, and probably a few trying to still invalidate them as they don't jibe with current CA law. The battle continues.

I guess I should frame that marriage licence after all.
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Well it's been a while. Since the last time I journalized, we got a new president. We've decided to spend nearly $800 Billion and lost about 50% of our stock market value!

★ Back on January 25th, the 25th anniversary of the Macintosh, my iMac decided to take a big dirt nap. After taking the machine to the Apple Genius who said the hard drive had gone ka-blooey. After a week of trying to recover files unsuccessfully and finding out that getting a professional to do it would start at $400, I gave up on it and decided that it was time to just let go.

The iMac was just under warranty - by about a week. Thankfully.

After getting my iMac back from Apple with a fresh, empty hard drive. for the last few weeks I have been trying to piece together files from old computers, and few ancient back-ups and whatever I could find. Everyday I seem to find that I'm missing an application. Today I just re-downloaded XJournal.

Apple was nice enough to allow me to re-download countless songs that I have downloaded from them over the last 5 years, but they didn't have every song I've ever downloaded. There's gaps in my photos, especially things that happened in the last year. Bye-bye New York.

The music files are all over the place, and last year I was working on ripping all of my CD's into iTunes, and well, I have a new goal for 2009.

★ While getting my digital life back together I've been using Twitter more for little everyday kinda notes and posts. It's fun, actually. It's a challenge for me, trying to get a whole thought into 140 characters. I'm so long winded. I'm still on the fence about Facebook.

★ Otherwise, the other night I went to a party. Parties and I don't go together really well, but I did OK. This was a Mardi Gras themed party and there was plenty of Jelloshots and all. There were some good people there, many more I would like to talk to, but there were some really crazy people there. Naturally that put me sitting in a corner, watching the strangeness for most of the night. *sigh*

I'd just like to take some of them away from the party and have a nice chat with them over dinner...or take everyone over to Josh's ([livejournal.com profile] joshjeffcoat) and watch really bad kung fu movies (Shout out to Tae-Bo master Billy Blanks, the villain in 1991's classic "King of All Kickboxers").

★ Work has been, stressful. On one side you have fearful investors needing information and guidance and on the other side you have management that is very concerned about bringing more dollars through the door. On top of that you have a market that continues to go down and down and down. You never know what the mindset of the next call will be. I've had people yelling at me, people crying and people hoping that you have the answer for them. It can be very trying.

I worry that I don't give out the right information - not only for the financial liability for the person on the other line, but also for my own job. In these time you hear about more and more people in finance getting laid off (though never the ones that should be, like many bank CEO's). Being a recent hire, now with the company a year, it's always in the back of your head.

Bonuses in the financial industry have been getting a lot of talk lately. I am eligible for one if my scores are good for this year. Most of it is based on phone stats and quality of service, but there's one other part, one that's going to be tough. It's the sales part. We aren't gaged by the products we sell or the investments we suggest for people, but strictly by the amount of dollars. It's good because we aren't told what to sell, but encouraged to find what best suited for the.

The difficulty though, especially for a non-sales guy like myself is that I'm expected to pull in $2.2 million. It's pretty daunting. Last year very few people passed 1 Million, so I don't know how well we'll do, especially as the market will likely stay down. Hopefully I'll do well enough to stay in good graces, but I'd guess I won't see a bonus this year unless I find some rich sugar daddy.

Of course, one should always be looking for a rich sugar daddy.

★ Otherwise I seem to like the new President. He's doing alright so far.
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I think I'm ready for this year to end. 2008 was certainly full up ups and downs and many changes.

2008 was the first year where I attended more funerals than weddings, but yet I had a wedding of my own. I did the east-coast west coast thing again ending up at Disneyland and New York City in my travels. I met new people and shied away from them at parties as usual. I got a new job and then had to tell people how much their investments had lost as the stock market went down, down down.

It was another year with my fantastic husband, and the first year I could truly call him that.

It was a year where we elected a new leader, and we are just waiting for him to take office, but it was tempered by the fact that bigotry remains a party of this country.

The first half of the year was much better than the second half. I think most of us will be ready to move on.

With that said, here's some things I hope won't make it into 2009:
Novelty Shoe Fashions (aka Uggs and Crocs)
High Gas Prices
So-called tolerant preachers
Hannah Montana
Alaska
Magic Underpants
Israeli-Palistinian Conflicts & War in general
Cancelation of good shows (or at least better than the normal crap)
The phrase "Where's MY bailout?"

Things we need more of in 2009:
More marriages for my friends
More facial hair
More jobs
More friends
More good times
More calm nerves
More progress
More love

Unexpected

Oct. 27th, 2008 10:01 am
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Chris' father died suddenly and unexpectedly on Saturday. Chris has
been working on plans to go to be with his mother in California and helping with the finances, which his father took care of. It's come as quite a shock.

While Chris will be gone for a week or so, I'm trying to figure out
about going out there for a couple of days to attend the service.
We've already found that bereavement fares for the airlines aren't really worth anything, and I wouldn't qualify for them anyway.

Chris' parents have been very good about making me feel like one of the family, so I want to repay that by being there during this
difficult moment. While I don't have to be there for the family
business, I have already given Chris some information on how to begin moving family finances into his mother's name.

It's an odd thing, but as we are going through things, and making plans for this weekend it becomes blazingly clear that we aren't
married, and the difficulties of that situation. I have to go to
work today and see if I can get a few days off to go out to California. I've never made a big deal about my relationship at work, so I don't know what hurdles I'll need to go through, especially when we are busy and it's hard to take time off. Yes, Chris is my beneficiary and my emergency contact, but we don't take domestic partner benefits or anything, so it's not like there's a lot of evidence to go on. I doubt I'll get bereavement pay, but hopefully they will let me use some vacation days I still have.

I remember a few years back having to work with HR at an older employer to get bereavement pay for Big Ed when his partner suddenly passed away. It was interesting as the HR department hadn't dealt with the situation before.

It's one of those things where it makes me think about the No on Prop
8 fight in California and how important it is. I wish we could vote while we are out there, just to help the cause. Both Chris and I have donated, doing out part, I guess.

We did talk about the fact that since we would be in California this weekend, should we look into getting married? It might be the last week, you know. Still, I think we came to the conclusion that though we'd be fine with marrying each other, to just run to do it for some deadline wasn't really the right thing, and it doesn't change anything for us - especially here in Texas. Besides, we can still get married in Massachusetts or Connecticut.

Since California doesn't have early voting, this still could be a good moment for Chris and I to do a little No on 8 testimony with his family - just by being there. Nothing obnoxious or overt, just us being ourselves.

I've never had to buy airline tickets this close to when I'm going to
fly. It's difficult to find something good! Right now I'm looking
to go out Friday and return Monday - probably making it more expensive, but I don't know what I can take off yet. Does anyone have some airline booking tricks up their sleeve?

I'm doing what I can for Chris, but I think he's still in shock and it will likely be that way until he gets on that plane and is actually heading home. That makes me sad because I can't be there for him on
that flight. It's odd, because I thought we'd be going to my
father's funeral before his, but life is strange, as always.
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I've been getting used to my new team at work, now that training is over. It's just like starting over, as John Lennon once sung. The new shift, 10-7 is nice in the morning, but I miss getting home early. Last Wednesday I had to work a noon to 9 shift to cover for people out in our Denver Office. That's a shift I'd rather not have to work much, despite the fact I got a lot done Wednesday morning.

The team seems to be...well...unmotivated. I've heard through the rumor mill that it's a very underperforming team and the three of us new folks who have been assigned to it are expected to kick butt. I hope that's true, but since I'm not used to these call center metrics I know it's going to be a while before I'm up to speed.

What's interesting is to hear that the team isn't producing, then realizing that my new team manager is someone I used to work with at AIM Investments a few years back. I didn't know her well as she was in the Austin office and I was in Houston, but there still a few things I remember about her and what people said. I'm afraid they weren't all that good, but I'm willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. Given a shared background, there's more opportunities to build bridges right now than start building defenses.

Randy ([livejournal.com profile] lostncove) had a nice twist on the "ten secret messages" meme the other day that I think I'll steal.

Here are ten secret messages I've been passive-agressively keeping from MYSELF.

1. You really need to open up and stop being so defensive
2. You really need to be more positive about your abilities
3. When you say you embrace change, make that more than a resume statement
4. Your negative body image is starting to get out of control
5. Your new shift should mean no more late afternoon snacks because you are bored
6. I know you like your doctor, but if you aren't going to take the medicines he prescribes, you need to re-evaluate
7. Your loss of being able to hear voices distinctly in a crowd shouldn't become the excuse not to socialize
8. Pool parties are not torture
9. Keeping up with people can lead to great things. you should do it more often
10. Procrastination is your worst vice, much more than being overweight.
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My father went in for prostate cancer surgery this past week. his surgery was delayed a couple of times and actually landed on Halloween - a pretty strange day for surgery in my book. How do you tell who's the surgeon?

My sister called first, wondering if I heard any updates from mom. I had called my dad on Monday and he seemed ready for the whole thing, but nothing at the time since. My mother did call on Thursday giving me some details saying my dad was feeling pretty weak and would probably be staying at the hospital for observation.

This is certainly a better situation than when Dad was on chemotherapy and became really weak and had to spend a few days in the hospital. We Laura and I didn't hear about that until we saw them in Baltimore earlier this year.

It's interesting that my Dad's hair was just growing back from the chemo back in May, and it was totally white. When he and mom came up to Dallas in September, his hear was mostly dark again. I think I'm going to like having those genes.

The surgery is the last of the procedures, hopefully dad will need to go through. It's been two years from the diagnosis, and he had to go through several bouts of chemo before they would do the surgery. It probably would have been much, much easier if he had actually gotten checked out a few years earlier. He had been having enlarged prostate problems for some time before that.

So here I am at 40, and I have to get checked out for prostate problems, and now there's a family history of it, so I'll have to be vigilant. Ahh, fickle finger of fate. Still, as a gay man, prostate exams aren't quite the embarrassment than they are for straights, I guess.

So there you go, another lesson from my father, get checked and get checked early enough when taking care of cancer is easy, and you don't have to go through all of the crap - and the catheters. I really don't want to hear my mother talking about the catheter cleaning class she went to. Eww.
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This morning I woke up, checked the news online and saw that Marvin Zindler had died. It's hard to explain Marvin to those who didn't live in Houston. He was a crusading consumer advocate who used the power of television to shame businesses and people to apologies for what ever people wrote in. He wasn't an investigative journalist, just a loud noisemaker, and one of the most peculiar men to even be on TV, and that's saying a lot.

For years you would hear him close a report with "I'm Maaaaaarin Zindler, Eaaaaaahwitness News! No one knew how many plastic surgeries he had has, or how many white wigs he had gone through or how many blue-tinted glasses he owned. He was known for his "Rat and Roach Reports" on Friday which he'd pretty much read off the previous weeks health inspector's report. I remember one week in college coming back to school on a Monday talking to everyone that had had lunch in one of the mentioned places on Marvin's report the day before.

Blech.

Marvin would finish the report with all of the restaurants that had failed inspection due to (yelling loudly) "SSSSSSSLIIIIIIIIIIme in the ICE Machine!" The call had become so famous a person put it to music, and even that was used in the report in later years. There's a YouTube video of it HERE, if you want to hear it, and see it for yourself.

He had a contract with the station for life, so on his deathbed in the hospital he was still doing stories for the station - wig and all. It was always amusing to see how Dave ward, the Channel 13 news anchor would try to keep a stiff upper lip after Marvin had bellowed his signoff.

Now there is a little peice of Marvin you may have seen. In the musical The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas Melvin P. Thorpe is Marvin Zindler - and I can say it's with little exaggeration from reality to the stage (except for the singing and dancing). Melvin, played in the movie by Dom DeLuise sings "Texas Has A Whore House In It" with all the bombast of the real deal. The reason is Marvin Zindler really did shut down the brothel known as The Chicken Ranch (because during the Depression men paid for sevices in chickens) thatwas out in LaGrange, Texas, between Houston and Austin. The story is true, just the real players weren't as photogenic as the movie.

There was a lot of death in the news today, director Ingmar Bergman, football coach Bill Walsh and TV talkshow host Tom Snyder. I remember watching him in the seventies when we were off on summer vacation. Both my mom and I were nightowls, so we would watch The Tomorrow Show and Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman. Years later I watched late Night with David Letterman and The PTL Club because who didn't love the trainwreck that was Tammy Faye Bakker. I liked to call the show, The Pass The Loot Club.

I guess it's interesting in this day and age where we have people who pass on, and not only do we remember, but we also have the ability to go see their work. We've graduated from tales to portraits to pictures to moving images of those who have passed. Lucille Ball has been gone for some time, but she's still on TV. Glenn Miller died before my time, but I can still hear his band and see old movies of him. in this day and age, the departed don't have to be gone.

Chris came back over the weekend from a trip to his grandmother's in Florida. He purchases a video camera so he could capture some of it. She's in her eighties and has started to have some memory lapses. Chris showed me some of the movies and there she was telling tales with Chris's parents. I may never get to meet her, but I've seen her.

I wish I had done the same with my grandmothers. I don't know why I didn't. I did own a video camera at one time...one that fell apart after two years of heavy use around the marching band. Sure there's pictures, but the stories are lost. I guess you always want to hear more from them.

Somewhere there's several reels of Super 8 movies that my paternal grandparent's took, and I've watched some of them, but the people in those movies, shot in the 50's don't remind me of my grandparents as i knew them.

Perhaps I should start filming my parents. At this point it would be totally for myself, as neither I nor my sister have children. Perhaps there will be some niece or nephew someday, but it's going to be a while and the parents aren't getting any younger.

I'm in the middle of my years now, and I know the losses are going to star steamrolling, parents, friends, etc. Time marches on. The true losses in my life have been minimal, but I've cried over grandparents and pets. I wonder what it's going to be like as we go along. The future looks promising and dower all at the same time. There's losses you plan on, but I'm sure there will be many changes that will take me by surprise.

I just hope we can go out as loudly as Marvin Zindler.
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Over the weekend Chris and I actually went out and were social. We skipped the True Colors tour on Saturday, though we knew people would would be there. I was a little wary of going out on Saturday night to the Denton County Bears pool party not only because I didn't know too many people who were going to be there, but also because i was a little mad from not being able to get a haircut. Yep, good old vanity. Seems like all the cheap ass haircut places were full of people, and after working yet another saturday morning, I really didn't want to have to wait around reading stale magazines waiting for the one or two people to finally get around to me.

Sadly, our friend the stylist has left the haircutting industry to pursue other interests. Good for his wallet, though. Good for our hair too, because although he's a friendly guy, he gets a little attention-deficit disorder when he's cutting and kind of forgets spots.

We made it out to the pool party fashionably late, but not so late to chow down (are we not bears?). I met some nice folk, didn't freak out once I got warmed up, and had a good time. On sunday our little neighborhood had a get together out by our pool. Again, it was tough to meet people I didn't know. Even after living here a year and a half, I really don't know any of the neighbors. Only one of them recognized me from walking Joey occasionally. Still, it was good to put some faces to townhomes around the area. People started to bring their dogs and eventually the dogs were swimming in the pool - and none of the people were. Joey stayed fascinated by the water, but didn't jump in. I'm not so sure she really cared for the other dogs, except for the big lab puppy who she felt needed to be put in his place.

I think it's both Chris' and my goal to be a little more sociable and get out more often. Over the last few months we've been homebodies and really haven't gotten out much. We do know people, people that haven't moved away, and maybe it's time we started calling a little more often around here.

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Otherwise, in one of those looking back themes that will crop up from time to time in these 40 days, I find that I don't watch old movies. Pretty much anything prior to Star Wars (1977) is out, and certainly anything in black and white. I know this leaves a ton of really great films out, heck, most of the AFI top 100 are pre '77, but there's just something about old movies that makes me want to go do something else.

This isn't the same for old television shows. I'll be happy to watch a black and white episode of My Three Sons, or Bewitched. I love watching reruns of The Monkees or Green Acres. Perhaps it's just the timeframe involved, 30 minutes vs. 90.

It's not that I've never seen an old movie, there's plenty of old Disney films I've seen, animated and not, say, the Computer Wore Tennis Shoes? There's also Song of the South which I saw on one of Disney's re-releases sometime in the 70's before they pulled the picture for good in the US. I wouldn't make a big effort to go see them again.

that's another part of it, I rarely re-watch movies. I see them once, maybe twice, and that's it. I don't buy many DVD's because I really don't re-watch them. Even my Kevin Smith movies sit in a box, unwatched. The movie I've likely seen the most is either Airplane or Sixteen Candles because they ran on Showtime all the time in the summer during high school. they seemed to show The Wiz a lot, too.

Part of this may be due to my Dad. He's such a fan of John Wayne and WWII movies that he'll re watch them over and over. I don't know how many times I've seen parts of The Fighting SeeBees or The Searchers or Force 10 From Navarone. I never saw Saving Private Ryan because it seemed like it would be the same thing all over again, just with Tom Hanks.

There's something about needing to move forward in movies that's bigger than my need to move forward in music listening. I love to find new music, and listen to what others of you are listening to, but I like to mix that in with favorites across the last 60-70 years. Movies seem to be more of an in-the-moment thing. I caught a few minutes of Deep Impact on cable the other day and I was already thinking that the movie looked dated.

I'm sure I could ask for, and get a hundred different classic movie selections, but really, I'll stick to trying to see new stuff and the movies i've missed over the last few years...like over the weekend watching The Italian Job, which was fun. Of course it's based on a classic Michael Caine movie that I really have no desire to see.

Of course that doesn't mean I want to see every remake, either. At this moment, I'm still thinking of skipping Hairspray.

Meh.

Jan. 23rd, 2007 11:38 pm
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Meh.

I say Meh. tonight to the fact that "Dreamgirls" didn't get nominated for Best Picture Oscar. I guess I'm one of the only gays who hasn't seen this movie and doesn't plan to. Good for Jennifer Hudson, but personally I'd love to see Amber Breslin win for "Little Miss Sunshine".

I say Meh. tonight to President Bush's State of the Union speech where he just rehashed a whole domestic agenda that he's proposed before. Lot of big statements with very little answers to them. So you want to provide more healthcare to people by cutting their taxes...yeah. Once he got on to the whole Iraq/War on Terror part I tuned away to "The Stepford Wives."

I say Meh. to last night's "Heroes" for being dull. Too much of the I've got powers and they're ruining my life bit. Thank goodness for the actor playing Hiro or this episode would have been unbearable.

I say Meh. to the fact that I can no longer find Beef Romanov flavor Hamburger Helper in the store anymore. Some of the new flavors aren't as good, and I don't like that they changed the Beef Taco flavor's pasta. why the change? It's not healthier or anything.

I say Meh. to Sirius Satellite Radio for deciding that they want to have a "Jamie Foxx" channel which will move OutQ to another station on the dial as they want the "Foxxhole" to be next to the other comedy channels (including "Blue Collar Radio"). More channels I have no reason to listen to.

I say Meh. to the "controversy" of Grey's Anatomy star Issac Washington calling TR Knight a "faggot" or maybe he didn't, who the heck knows. Just friggin' apologize properly, go into rehab for a while and try to keep your job. Still, i guess I wouldn't be taken aback so much by being called a faggot, really.

Speaking of that, Meh. to the Donnie Davies/God Hates Fags thing. Poor guy just couldn't get a date, I suppose, so now he's Ex-Gay - or something. I have to agree with Matty that it's a farce since the band and the ministry websites were recently created and he said the band has existed for some time. I call shenanigans. Or stupidity. whatever.

Meh. to the Red Hot Chili Peppers (all your songs sound the same) and to Rage Against the Machine (all your rants sound the same).

Meh to the controversy of Dakota Fanning being in a movie shown at Sundance where her character is raped. Not something I'd see for sure, and everyone will stay away if she screams like she did in "War of the Worlds." Still, if her parents were cool with it, and she was, then by all means. She'll probably need therapy for many things later on, why not one more.

Lastly, I say Meh. to the guy who made me get up and go to work an hour and a half early to give a speech about his group and their business plans which didn't include us. I certainly know what his group is going to do, but I don't know what my group does to support his agenda. it also doesn't help when you create acronyms that aren't industry standard and you don't explain them. I wish I could have slept through your meeting.

Now let's hear it for getting some sleep.
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First I'd like to thank ESPN2 for their World's Strongest Man Marathon today. Love it. I'm hoping Kevin Nee and Josh Thigpen will continue to do well for years to come (because they are hot!), and please, more events in the water that makes these guys lose their shirts!

Wow, 2006 ended fast, didn't it. For a year with so much change and turbulence in the world, you'd think it would have seemed longer. Of course the political landscape changed, somewhat for the better as it seemed people started to wake up, but the damage that's been done will take years to fix, and in the meantime I'm sure there will be plenty more problems that come from the actions that have take place over seas and from our horrible domestic policy.

Entertainment seemed to be playing it rather safe this year where many movies seemed to be made by committee and music seemed to be re-treading the same ground. A few risk-takers got noticed, like the Dixie Chicks and Scissor Sisters, but it didn't always show in album sales. Still I enjoyed the Magnetic Fields, MorningWood Snow patrol and Belle and Sebastian. I still love BNL, but the newest album didn't totally wow me.

Movie standouts included Casino Royale and Cars, but what, there were six or seven movies with singing and dancing animals this year? Borat was funny, but will it hold up over the years? Heck, I can barely recall other movies I saw this year. Pirates of the Caribbean II? Better than the first, but that's not saying much.

I read more books than saw movies. I think the outstanding book was the biography of John Adams by David McCullogh, while I wasn't as excited about Son of a Witch or The Devil Wears Prada which made a better movie (not saying a lot there) than a book.

Television had a really great year, as more shows took big chances. I really love shows like Battlestar Galactica and Lost that continue to blur the lines on just who's a good guy and who's the bad guy. I'd have cancelled HBO if it wasn't for Big Love which made for interesting complications to the family drama. I found myself enjoying the campy fun of Ugly Betty and the new Doctor Who. I seem to have a love-hate relationship with Heroes which can be fun but also full of holes in both story and characters.

Moving to Dallas was an interesting thing, I'll admit I was expecting a lot, with friends and the city that didn't always come through. I guess I found myself to be a lot more closed-off and shy about the new surroundings than I thought I'd be. Truly, I stick pretty close to Chris in most of my social situations here, which doesn't make me really do well with going out of my comfort zones. Going out to meet people or stay at home? I'd likely choose to stay at home. I guess that I shouldn't be surprised that I really haven't developed strong ties here.

My trip to Boston was the highlight of the year and I loved being there and loved the city and it's people. I loved going back to Austin City Limits Festival again, and enjoyed several acts there, as well as meeting new people. I look forward to our planned cruise next year, and maybe I'll be able to squeak out a weekender trip somewhere as well. I guess I need to get back down to Houston again soon, as I really miss some of the people and places there. Over the last few years I've found out how much I love to travel and hope I'll get more opportunities.

It's been interesting developing the relationship between Chris and I. I had to get used to living with someone again, as it had been years since I'd had a roommate or lived with family. It's very different living with someone who you have a close relationship. Roommates, if they are having a bad time, or are depressed, there's a detachment you can have, but the same is not true when it's your partner. I still think that we both have some work when it comes to communication - especially about being clear with each other when we have a problem with each other, our habits and our likes and dislikes. Personally I need to work on being better about showing affection and not staying so stoic like my father.

Of course Joey the dog is great, except when she hogs the sheets in bed.

I took a step back with my career. It's been troubling me, and I feel like I'm working more to get out of the situation and move forward. That means looking for new opportunities and trying to make the most out of a bad situation. Still, I'm being though highly of by my co-workers, and occasionally by management, but I've found that there's a big disconnect between managers and their employees. It really troubles me and I know there's so many opportunities for improvement that they are missing just because they don't notice what's happening beyond a few numbers. While I'll continue to look for other opportunities, I think I can make my mark in 2007 by working on improvements and making suggestions for training and growth.

I'm also finding out how much I'm really spending, and didn't quite make the changes needed when my income lowered. I really need to work with Chris in getting things in order, and look for places I can save some cash. I wonder if I can make up some of the difference with more overtime this year.

My biggest improvement this year was getting into the gym. I do a few hours of cardio and some light machine weight each week, and it's been easy with the gym in the building at work. I like to say that it's the best thing about my job. I lost 40 pounds this year, and I think I look and feel better because of it. Now I don't look like a World's Strongest Man contestant by any means, but I'm trying! I've been disappointed in the last couple of months as I really have plateaued, but hopefully in 2007 I'll break trough a big and work to get my lovehandles under control!

So, what's up for 2007? Really, working on my relationship with Chris, I love him and I need to be a good partner for him. I need to work on my career, as I know I can do more and be a a great asset to my employer. I need to expand my fitness goals and do more to improve my health and work to make my body the way I'd like to see it.

I need to take bigger steps to be a better member of the community, and not isolating myself. Maybe I need to take up a hobby or join a group that gets me some exposure. I need to try to see if there's something I should be doing in life, maybe it's my mid-life-crisis, but I feel that there's something missing, mostly from a career and maybe artistic place, and I really need to discover what that is. I also need to do better in keeping the connections and friendships I've made over the years. There's no sense losing out by not interacting when it's easy to do so.

That's a lot for a year that will probably go by just as fast as this one, but I'll try. All that and working to survive my 40th birthday this coming summer...what a year 2007 will be!
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I was off from work today. I'm burning off my "use it or lose it" vacation days, scheduling the last two available days of the year. The entire month of December was booked before I ever stated with the company.

Today I did a little shopping and I was wearing shorts and a T-shirt, enjoying the warm weather. Over the next two hours we're expecting a line of thunderstorms to come through and drop temperatures some 45 degrees from the 70's into the 30's. We're expecting sleet with the thunderstorms and possibly snow tomorrow as the temperature plummets into the 20's. It makes me long for no-freeze Houston weather.

Chris the other day said that he already had my Christmas gift, so now I'm worried about getting him something. I have no idea. I thought about getting the XBox 360 game Viva! Pinata!, but now I think it's looking a little childish. Of course we're both playing Lego Star Wars II.

We still haven't found a Wii. I looked around today with no luck. I think you have to get up early.

I did find some slippers at Khol's. Really, shoes and socks are the only things I can buy there. I wish they carried larger sizes. Still, I wish i could find some of those bear paws slippers. I know it's silly, but they're cute

I wish that more people would use BearLix or another chat service. Bear 411 is crap, but everyone's on it. Can we just all move to a new site and not tell the creepy people about it?

We've seen two movies at the theater this fall, Borat and Casino Royale, both were good in very different ways. Really, there's very few other movies this holiday season that are piquing my interest. Lord knows we don't need any more animated animals. We also could do without the bratty kids in Unaccompanied Minors.

I did have an interesting reaction seeing the first few minutes of the trailer for We Are Marshall when the team is on the plane, looking happy and the coach mentions Marshall...I remember gasping knowing what was coming. The rest of the trailer didn't excite me though. It was just knowing what the scene was leading to. I might go see the Matt Damon movie The Good Shepard.

I've interviewed a couple of times for a new position at work. I'm not really hopeful about it since it's not an area I'm familiar with, and I haven't been with the company for a year yet, but I'm at least trying to do something to make my situation better. I'm also getting back into the interviewing game.

Mall walking is boring and the people at the mall kiosks are getting more annoying. I don't want to try your skin cream, and I really don't want it if I was just asked by your other kiosk at the other end of the mall. Then you say I'm grouchy? Yea Christmas spirit.

Lastly, politics. Didn't it seem like President Bush was open to change a few weeks ago, when he found that the Democrats had won? Well, that's changed, and it seems like he's back to his ways of just being a selfish whiny fool, claiming that we'll stay in Iraq following the same stupid strategy we've been following the last four years. The guy is in a self-made vacuum and he's never coming out, is he?

What will be interesting is if the rumors of replacing Dick Cheney come true, and they really work on creating a candidate for President for 2008. I'm not sure anyone running would want to take the job if Bush continues to be such a doof. It wouldn't help to start campaigning in a pit.

Oh well. I should do a longer post about this year's television shows, but that will have to wait.

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