Friday, June 30, 2006

The Texans Aren't Coming! The Texans Aren't Coming!

Mike forgot. They are going to a baseball game tonight. Mike was actually supposed to go as well. They bought a ticket for him. However, as I am so much cuter than his friends (and I put out), he is coming to my party! YAY!

His friends are still going to the baseball game.

Of course, now I should have plenty of food for all. Yay!

And, Mike needs to learn to write things down. He seems a little forgetful. I wonder if it's an "academic" thing. The Fabulicious Cuzin's new husband is a teacher/PhD candidate and he is also a bit spacey. Maybe academics' brains are so full of thinky thoughts that the everyday things aren't processed?

Not That It Matters

BUT, I remembered the line of my high school's alma mater which I had forgotten ...

North Forsyth High School (Winston-Salem, NC) Alma Mater




North star whose flame burns
Crimson, White, and Blue.
From thy proud portals
Light horizons new.

Shine where thy children
Serve and vigil keep.
Kindle thy torch where (this was the bit I forgot)
Hope lies fast asleep.

You may now all fall on your knees and worship my excellent skills at remembering completely useless information!

The Next Best Thing

As luck would have it, using my new punch bowl (punch!) will be the best thing about my party.

Mike said yesterday that his friends who are visiting are actually staying two nights, not one. So, my cozy party of HOT GAY MEN and Tomoko has suddenly become a little more crowded party of HOT GAY MEN, Tomoko, and 3 Straight Texans. And, instead of a night of hot luvin', I'll be getting a night of tidying and washing up. FUN. *sigh*

Mike owes me. BIG.

I did get to see him briefly yesterday. He drove over to borrow my air mattress. Then, he drove me to Christal's condo to make sure it didn't flood in the recent (quoth Wonkette) "Rain of Terror." After that, he drove me to Whole Foods for party shopping. We got caught in a quick, weird thunderstorm - thunder! lightning! rain! brilliant sunshine! (what?) And, there was a rainbow. I like rainbows (and not only the gay ones).

He came in for a bit. Looked at the place. Then left to get ready for his guests.

I cleaned the bathroom (oh. joy), washed dishes, organized for the party. I think I need to buy more likker. Plus, I must run to Safeway for the liquid cheese ingredients. AND, I'm out of coffee! The horror! The horror!

When I get home, I'll need to start slicing and dicing veggies, preparing the party platters, and last minute couch de-hairing. Silly shedding PsychoKitty. I need to figure out what to wear too. Something cute, I suppose.

Oh. And I might need to buy an extenstion cord.

I love giving parties, but *sheesh* they're a lot of work.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Party! Party!

Tomorrow evening is my first ever Summer Buggin' Movie Party. I'm very excited. I'm expecting between 8-10 people (mostly HOT GAY MEN and Tomoko *woot*).

The original plan was to watch the free showing of Mothra tonight at the Hirshhorn Museum. Then, the following night everyone would meet at my place for bug-themed movies. However, no one could make it to Mothra ... which is all well and good, because my home is nowhere near ready to have 8-10 mostly HOT GAY MEN and Tomoko traipsing about it. I must clean.

I wanted to have a bug-theme going on at the party, but I looked all over for fun bug-related items. I didn't have much luck. Now, the only things buggy will be a) my eyes and b) the DVDs I've rented for the occassion - Wasp Woman (1959), Attack of the Killer (or is it Giant?) Leeches (1960), The Swarm (1978), and Mosquito (1994). Tomoko said she will bring THEM!

The food is going to be a weird mish-mash of things: hummus and veggies and pita, liquid cheese and nachos and salsa, inari sushi, cheese and crackers. Nothing too labor intensive though.

The beverage options are vodka and gin martinis (with garlic-stuffed, blue-cheese stuffed, or regular olives) and grapefruit punch (punch!) (add your own vodka). AND, my homemade strawberry limoncello martinis! I've asked people to bring wine and/or beer if they want that.

I've created my own punch recipe, so I hope it will be good. I'm using Grapefruit Italian Soda, pink grapefruit juice, and pineapple juice. I think it sounds kind of yummy. And with vodka, it will be like Greyhound Punch. *heh*

The most exciting thing is that I get to use my new punchbowl (yes, I'm gay) and my very cool punch glasses with triangular cut glass plates, which I swiped from my parents' house [They weren't using them].

Wait. I take that back. The most exciting thing is that Mike is coming to the party ... and staying the night! *heh*

For Every Drop of Rain ...

... a shirtless man runs by.

Maybe it was because it was the first sunny, non-torrential downpouring day in MONTHS?
Maybe the humidity level was just right?
Maybe Jupiter was aligned with Uranus?

Not that it matters, but apparently yesterday was Official Hot Shirtless Men Run By VUBOQ Day! Woo Hoo!

I noticed the first guy as I was walking back to my building from the dumpster - yes, I was looking all HOT, too ... sweaty, covered in yard-mowing grime. He was most likely Asian, shortish (maybe 5'9"), built, tattooed, and out for a jog. I nearly passed out. So hot.

I had to stand in front of my a/c for a moment once I got back inside.

About 30 minutes later, he runs by again (rear view! woo hoo!). Still hot. And sweatier. Mmm.

As I'm eating my veggie burger dinner, casually staring out the window, another hot shirtless man walks by. He was taller, African-American, and very muscle-y - but not overly so. Just perfect. Aaah.

Such a nice evening.
Maybe it was my reward for mowing the yard :-)

88 is Really Great

Last night, after mowing (*geh*) and laundry and eating and movie watching, I started going through some boxes. Guess what I found?

My High School Class Ring! (pictured below)

And guess what?

It still fits. After nearly 20 years. (I graduated in 1988, meaning I got the ring either in late '86 or early '87.)

So, in sudden spasm of geekiness, I decided to wear it today.

I didn't particularly like high school all that much. I was a big nerd. I had some very good friends (but my best friend inexplicably decided to stop speaking to me our Senior year). I was involved in lots of after school activities. And (*sirens* whoop! whoop! Major Geek Alert!), I was the drum major for our marching band. *heh*

When it came time to order class rings, and my friends were all selecting the $400 14k gold ones with genuine diamelles, my father said, "I'll pay for your class ring, but I'll be damned if I'm spending over $100."

Thus, the ring you see pictured below is not 14k gold with genuine diamelles. It is some sort of mystery metal, called, I believe, saladium (seladium?), with a genuine blue glass "gemstone."

Everyone else was getting the garnet-colored stone, which made sense considering our school colors were crimson, white, ... and blue. I wanted to be different - hence the uncut blue "stone" with the engraved "starburst N" underneath.

And, here we have, from memory, my high school's alma mater:

North star whose flame burns
Crimson, White, and Blue
From thy proud portals
Light horizons new.

Shine where thy children
Serve and vigil keep
Kindle something something
Where hope lies fast asleep.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

VUBOQ Buys a Book

Here's the deal: I have $20 in Borders' Store Reward Certificates* burning a hole in my pocket. I want to buy a book (even though I have a stack of books on my bedside table that I'm still working on).

I have no idea what I want to buy though. Thus, I am opening it up to YOU (yes, YOU!).

Please leave a comment below with a book suggestion or two. My only requirements are that the books you suggest be available in hardcover, relatively recent, and around $20. I will more than likely be shopping during my afternoon break (at 3:30).

To help get you started, here is a list of books I have read in the past few months (or am currently reading):

~The Weather Makers: How Man is Changing the Climate and What it Means for Life on Earth by Tim Flannery
~Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change by Elizabeth Kolbert
~Mao: The Unknown Story by Jung Chang and Jon Halliday
~Shakespeare: The Biography by Peter Ackroyd
~The Underminer: Or, the Best Friend Who Casually Destroys Your Life by Mike Albo



OK. Suggest away!

*I have a Borders VISA. For every $500 I charge, I get a $5 Reward Certificate. I charge everything, so every 2 or 3 months I can get a FREE book. YAY!

Taking My Norman Vincent Peale Pill

As I slip deeper into the Summer of my Discontent, I've noticed an increasing negativity in my thoughts. Last night, Mike and I were on the phone until about 1AM (I couldn't sleep). He was talking about his belief that we create our own realities shaped by our thoughts. When we think negative things, negative things happen. Conversely, positive thoughts create positive realities.

It's all very Norman Vincent Peale.

Although I do believe that our attitudes shape our being, I think this philosophy doesn't give randomness and chaos much sway. I realize that I only received a brief introduction into this way of thinking; however, I find it difficult to believe that John was cheating on me because a few times I thought that he could be cheating on me. Did my thoughts precede the action or vice versa? I don't believe that those thousands of people whose lives were destroyed by the tsunami two (?) years ago or by Hurricane Katrina last year were thinking negative thoughts and brought it on themselves. I buy lottery tickets every time the jackpot is over $100 million and I think I'm going to win. It still hasn't happened.

Bad things happen to good people. Good things happen to bad people. Shit happens. Maybe our attitudes have some affect ... but giving our thoughts total control seems, well, naive ... or at least simplistic.

However, that's not to completely discount what he said. I know I've been viewing things through a Mr. Negativity Lens (Free! from Kellogg's I've Been Cheated On Cheerios!), and it's coloring my perspective on everything ... my job, my life, my friendships, my future relationships. I need to change that. I need to reverse the polarity of my thinking.

I need to, and I will.

Right now, I need to finish my coffee, because -gah!- staying up until 1AM is exhausting.







Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Dire Warnings. Foreboding Clouds. Ominousness.

I think Donald Rumsfeld said it best when he opined, "there are known knowns. These are things we know that we know. There are known unknowns. That is to say, there are things that we know we don't know. But there are also unknown unknowns. There are things we don't know we don't know."

The most blogalicious Sin has received a few warnings on his blog recently: He should be careful. He needs to beware the Ides of March ... er ... I mean, he needs to watch what he blogs, because he is not unknown!

AAAAH! RUN FOR THE HILLS!

Sounds ominous, doesn't it? not unknown
Ominous, yet, somehow thrilling, this not unknownness is.

The danger is attractive. I, too, want to become not unknown. But, how? That's the question! There's the rub! HOW?

How to remove the UN? At first it seems simple, a few taps of the backspace key, but, Jesse Helms tried for years and the UN is still in New York City. Gigantic bureaucratic organization that it is. Full of translators! and Nicole Kidman! and plots to destroy the world!

Um. What was I talking about?

Fidelity. Fear. HIV.

This morning on WAMU's Metro Connection, there was an article about DC's increased efforts to test all residents between the ages of 18 and 84 for HIV.

Ambitious Plans for HIV Testing in DC

You're on a metro train...there are about twenty other people with you in the car. Now consider this: if you're all DC residents, statistically, one of you is probably HIV positive. And, since we're throwing numbers around, there's about a 25 percent chance that person doesn't know it.

Next week, DC's HIV Administration will launch a campaign to get every 18-to-84-year old in the District tested for HIV by the end of the year. New testing technology is supposed to be able to make this possible but it also raises questions about how patients will be supported when testing gets faster and becomes routine. Before the new system kicks in, WAMU's Sidsel Overgaard went to get tested herself to find out more about the patient experience.


Listen to the report here: Windows Media, Real Audio

Some of you may not know this (or care to know it, actually), but John and I were having unprotected sex. At the time, we were both HIV negative, and I was clear about our relationship being monogamous. I felt comfortable with the decision. I felt safe.

That was then ... before I knew John was a cheating cheater who cheated cheatfully.

From what I've read, it seems that HIV can be detected anywhere from about 6 weeks to 6 months after exposure. I've marked the last time John and I had unprotected sex on my calendar (Friday, June 2). Six weeks will be July 14th; however, I'm thinking of waiting until the 3 month mark. Maybe I'm procrastinating. Or maybe I read something that 3 months gives you a more accurate result? I'm not sure.

Whenever I think about it, I start to panic. My palms get sweaty. My heart races. What if I'm infected? I'm *mostly* sure I'm not. But one never knows.

And listening to NPR this morning, when the nurse (or whatever) asked the reporter, "Are you ready for your results," I nearly started hyperventilating.

What's going to happen when the nurse is asking me that same question?

Meat-Free Monday: Too Ashamed to Take a Photo Edition

Yes, another Meat-Free Monday has come and gone ... This time, I was so unmotivated, my Meat-Free meal was my leftover Veggie Delite sub from Subway. Meat-Free, for sure, but not really worth mentioning. I did have a martini (yay!), which, in case you didn't know, is also Meat-Free and was probably the best part of my meal. Yum.

At least Only Me made some effort this week :-) *meat-free smooches* for him!

In other exciting news, Sligo Creek flooded again last night and we're supposed to get more rain today. Fun. It's my turn to mow the yard. If this rain keeps up, I may need to plow it instead.

Make hay while the sun shines sort of thing.

Mike called last night. Yay.

I watched a Japanese movie, Taboo.

I knitted.

I am *so* hating this entry. I'm going to have to post something better later.

Monday, June 26, 2006

A Hard Rain's Gonna Fall

I went to bed early last night (like 9:30). After the late night weekend activities (*rowr*) and the stress of death, I could barely keep my eyes open. Suddenly, I heard a woman yelling, "HELP!"

I checked the clock, 10:30. I found my glasses and looked out, but I didn't see anything except the rain and the lightning. Then, I looked left towards Sligo Creek Parkway. It was flowing rapidly, but cars on Wayne Avenue were still sloshing their way across (apparently their drivers missed the class where the instructor tells them not to drive across a flooded road). In the middle of the road sat one car, stationary, hazard lights blinking. Then, I heard someone knock on my neighbor's door.

"May I use your phone?"
"Of course. Just one minute."

That must have been the woman I heard screaming for help. I watched the river flow and the police come and the buses turn around. Cars wandered aimlessly, like forlorn farm animals cut off from the barn.

After about an hour, the water receded and the road was clear. The rain stopped, temporarily. Another torrential rain woke me up around 3.

In the midst of this, I had a rather disturbing dream about Isa's father's death and the rain.

I've been having very vivid dreams recently. The dream about Isa was the most recent. I've had several when I stayed over at Mike's. Sunday night, my dream was particularly disturbing.

In the dream, Mike's bedroom is attached to another bedroom. I walked into it and saw ... my brother!

"What are you doing here," I asked.
"I came up here to get some pussy."
"What?"
"You know I have to hit it here in DC, too."

Disgusted, I forced myself awake. The next morning, over tea and crackers, I told Mike about the dream.

"Hm," he said. "I think you are beginning to associate my house only with having sex."
"Could be. I guess we'll have to start doing other things here as well."
"We are. We're having tea."

Later, I told Darryl about my dream. He thinks it's a manifestation of guilt, that I feel guilty for having fun with Mike when I should still be mourning my relationship with John. And guilt that I'm only using Mike to meet my needs and not taking his feelings into consideration. I hope that isn't true, but it's given me a lot to think about.

Personally, I think Mike knows what he's getting into with me. We'll see ...

On a completely unrelated note, my Meat-Free Monday entry tomorrow will more than likely be rather uninspired. Apologies in advance.

Red Underwear

My emotional rollercoaster of a summer continues to swoop and dive with dizzying speed.

After a brilliant weekend, highlighted by delicious home-made veggie burgers at Billy's and two nights of fun at Mike's, last night I learned that my best friend's father died on Saturday night.

Interestingly, one of the conversations at Billy's house had been on the difficulty of maintaining friendships over time. I met Isa on my first day as a freshman at Elon College (now University). We have been friends ever since, majoring in the same subject (Science Education) and suffering through a couple of unpleasant years teaching in the North Carolina Public School System. As the years passed and I lost contact with many good friends, only Isa (and one other college friend) and I managed to stay in contact. Even spending nearly 4 years abroad in the days before email was commonplace did nothing to weaken our friendship.

As the rain came down in torrents last night and the lightning flashed and the thunder boomed and Sligo Creek over-ran its banks, I lay in bed thinking of what I could say and what I could do. Then, as now, my mind is a blank. This morning, I decided to follow the old adage "when in doubt, send food" [or did I just make that up?]. I sent her and her mother a basket of English muffins and spreads from Wolferman's Gourmet. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, right?

During my break, I'll wander over to the card shop, find a nice card, and struggle some more with what to write. It's times like this when I wish I were more articulate.

Oddly enough, as I sat here letting my thoughts wander, I began to think of underwear. [No, not in that way, you pervy monkeys.]

I was born in the Year of the Dog. According to a Chinese friend of mine, subsequent Years of the Dog will be unlucky. In order to ward off bad luck during those years, I should wear lucky red underwear everyday. Well, this year is another Year of the Dog and I have been remiss in wearing lucky red underwear.

Perhaps, therein lies the truth.

Addenda:

A. Don't forget today is Meat-Free Monday! Do your part for the environment and enjoy a Meat-Free meal! Leave a comment here or post a photo on your blog and I will send tons of *meat-free smooches* your way. Check out Double Take's Meat-Free Monday post. Spice-alicious!

B. Several people have left comments stating their Chinese year and asking what color underwear they should be wearing. In response, I have come up with the following guidelines:

  1. If you are a cute gay male, you should not be wearing any underwear and you should be in my apartment. Now.
  2. If you are a cute straight male, you should not be wearing any underwear and you should be in my apartment. Now.
  3. If you are none of the above, you may wear whatever you wish ... except during your Chinese Animal Year, when you should wear red underwear.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Wearing a Black T-Shirt Mean You're Going to Hell

I'm wearing a black t-shirt today. I don't wear black all that often. It doesn't compliment my coloring at all. However, some of you may remember my Roommate from Hell experience a few years ago (or was that before I started journaling?). When he disappeared, he left some clothes, including this really soft black t-shirt. After all the shit he put me through, I had no problem keeping some of his nicer clothes.

Anyway, as I was walking to get my lunch this afternoon (grilled veggie burrito with black beans from Baja Fresh. $5.20), I looked at my reflection (as the narcissistic among us are wont to do) and suddenly remembered this story ...

In 1983, my older brother (then 15) went to see Styx in concert. I believe it was the Kilroy Was Here tour (y'know - Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto?). When he got home from the concert, he was talking to our parents and he showed them what he had bought: a black t-shirt!

My parents freaked. "How could you buy a black t-shirt," they asked.
He looked at them funny. What was wrong with a black concert t-shirt? Apparently lots. Much discussion was had, until it was finally agreed that it would be OK for my brother to wear the shirt to school the next day.

Come to think of it, this is probably about the time my mother started suspecting my brother of using drugs (He wasn't).

Back to the present ... I never could figure out the big deal about black t-shirts. Even Wikipedia wasn't much help (see here).

The bands wanted to appear "tough" and "hardcore." Does that extend to the wearer (because my brother was about as far from tough and hardcore as one person could get)? Are people who wear black concert t-shirts automatically labeled as being hardcore, tough, drug-using, crazy people? I have no idea.

Do you?

Parking

I got this link off of Gene Weingarten's WaPo chat update this morning. The game is friggin' addictive and I completely suck at it, but I can't stop playing:

Parking Perfection

Give it a try. I can't make it past the third level.

Of course, I also don't drive, which puts me at a disadvantage. Right? Right?

Meanwhile, back at the Ranch, as it turns out, I will be headed out this evening. I'm meeting Robert (and possibly others?) for Happy Hour at Halo (2!4!1! Watermelon! Margaritas!). Mike can't go, so I guess I'll have to hook up with someone else. *heh*

Bed is Good

Have I mentioned how much I like bed? Bed. Good. Being in bed. Good. Alone. With someone. With my psychokitty. It's all good. I like bed. Mmmm. Bed. I could be in bed right now and I would be happy.

Not that I'm particularly unhappy. But, I was thinking about my weekend plans and how a weekend in bed sounded really lovely ... especially since my social calendar is not overly full.

I have no plans tonight. Yet. Maybe I'll stay home, make a nice dinner, pop some popcorn, and watch a DVD or two. Or, maybe someone will call or email or IM with an idea for a night out. We'll see...

Tomorrow, I must do some pretty hardcore apartment cleaning. Then, in the evening, Billy is having some people over for veggie burgers. After that, I may go over to Mike's house for his roommate's going away party. Odd going to the going away party for someone I've only met once (briefly at Pride), although, according to Mike, he saw me naked one morning on my way back from the bathroom. *eek* Nothing like a little "I've Seen Your Ass" Awkwardness to get an evening started off right. I'm not sure if I'm going or not. We'll see ...

On Sunday, my most important project is to find an internet cafe where I can finally check my email. Afterwards, I need to do a little shopping for a small gathering I'm having on Friday (the 30th). More on that later, I'm sure.

Yesterday was all about laundry and bed. As soon as my laundry was finished, folded, and put away (around 9PM), I crashed. I woke up twice during the night - Christal called at 10:30 and Psychokitty Isabella, Giver of Vomit of Joy, gave forth the Vomit of Joy around 3:00. I figured might as well get up and clean it up. So I did.

In other news, John (remember him? the cheating cheater who cheated cheatfully?) gets back from Hawaii this weekend (Sunday, I think). I have to call him so I can get my clothes that he took to the cleaners. I'm not really looking forward to it. *bleah*

Thursday, June 22, 2006

StickSteven Very Very Sleepy

Lessons Learned

I learned two very important work-related lessons yesterday:

1. Even though my co-worker's work-visa disaster was not my fault and did not affect me in any way whatsoever, I learned that one should keep a written record of every phone conversation, save every single email ever sent and received, and -at all costs- trust my company's HR department about as far as I can throw them.

2. I also learned that when hiring a new employee and vociferously advocating to your direct superviser for the cuter of two applicants one should always make sure that the cuter of the two applicants has the English skills, especially writing skills, necessary for successful completion of all assigned tasks. Otherwise, it's just more work for me. GAH.

Walk of Shame

WAM! was a brilliant success last night. The weather was perfect, cooling off slowly as the sun went down. We had a small group (5 people), but sometimes that's better than a larger one ... everyone gets to talk to everyone and fun is had by all.

After the first rather disappointing pitcher, Robert asked the waitress if we could have the next one with "a little less mix, please."
The waitress looked confused, so Mike explained, "More tequila!"
"OH! Of course," she said and scurried off.
Robert looked at Mike, "I was trying to be subtle."

Whatever. The next two pitchers were fantastic. YUM!
And, I know what some of you are thinking ... 5 people and only 3 pitchers. I know. I know. It's disgraceful, but it was a school night.

I *think* (time is a little fuzzy after the second pitcher) we left around 9:30 or 10. Darryl met some guy for a date. Robert decided to walk home, and Tomoko, Mike and I went to the metro station. Somehow, on the metro ride, I managed to convince Mike to let me come home with him. We got to his place around 11.

He was supposed to meet a potential roommate at 10:30. Oops. Fortunately, the guy was still there and Mike showed him the house. After he left, we ... um ... well ... we messed around on the couch for a bit. Then, we went upstairs and took a shower together.

[Just as an aside, the boy likes his showers COLD. gah.]

We went to bed and messed around some more, probably falling asleep around 1:30 or 2 (?).

Needless to say, 6AM came really really early this morning. I got up, dressed, splashed some water on my face and walked to the metro. I got home around 7 and somehow still managed to make it to work on time. YAY!

I am ti red (two words). Need coffee. Need biscuit. Need a nap.
Even though I'm exhausted, I feel good and I'm happier than I have been in awhile.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Did I Mention?

Did I mention that I am developing a major boycrush on a certain someone?

*sigh*

And that he's coming to WAM:SSE tonight?

*SIGH*

WAM:SSE!

Happy First Day of Summer, Everyone! Woo Hooo!!!

Even though I love the Summer Solstice, my feelings are always tinged with sadness. From this point on, the days start getting shorter. *sigh* Winter is right around the corner.

However, the important thing is that we make like the grasshopper and PLAY PLAY PLAY!

So, I give you WAM:SSE (Wednesday After-work Margaritas: Summer Solstice Edition)!!! Join me and my friends in partaking of pitchers of liquid sunshine (on the rocks. with salt. except you, GayProf - you can leave off the salt and I'll still adore and worship you) after work today! Celebrate sunshine and Summer and fun and friends. You deserve it. We all deserve it.

I'll be meeting my friends at 6:30ish. YAY! I can't wait.

More later ...

*many happy Summery smooches*

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

A Cup of Ague*

My fantabulous cousin [and her husband] sent me a thank you note yesterday for her [er ... their] wedding present. In it, she wrote, "I'm including this advertisement, which I see everywhere. You'll understand."

I unfolded the paper and cracked up.

The full page ad was for ...

Apparently, it's some sort of Italian espresso and espresso machines.

Illy is a word which, quite possibly, only my cousin and I still use frequently in conversation. Sad, isn't it?

*Ague

VUBOQ Bonus Points if you know what those words mean without clicking on the links.

Meat-Free Monday: I Am *SO* Gay Edition

Last night, for Meat-Free Monday, I had planned to make a red-skinned potato fritata with spinach and tomato and lots of parm. However, my apartment was hot. My tiny little a/c was pumping as hard as it could already. And, standing in a hot kitchen making a fritata was not appealing.

Instead, I decided to make some sort of potato salad. Yes, it involves using the stove, but not for nearly as long. And, actually, if I had had the presence of mind, I could have nuked the damn taters.

ANYWAY, I found a recipe for Southwestern Potato Salad and I had most of the ingredients. Here's what I did:

Wash and quarter about a pound or so of baby red-skinned potatoes.
In salted water, boil until tender (about 15 minutes or so).
About 1 - 2 minutes before done, add a cup or so of fresh or frozen corn.
Drain.
Toss with approx. 1 tbsp olive oil and 1 cup(ish) salsa of your choice.
Serve warm or room temperature.

The recipe also called for 1/4 cup cilantro (which I didn't have) and 1 jalapeno, de-seeded and chopped. I had no jalapeno either. Oh, well ...

I think the salsa was spicy enough anyway.

Sometimes, when I cook, I get this overwhelming urge to make it look pretty. PRESENTATION, yo! It's important. [Of course, other times I simply eat the food out of the pan.] This time, I arranged tortilla chips around the potato salad.

I thought it still looked a little plain, so I added a bit of baby spinach leaves and some thin tomato slices ... which I drizzled with balsamic vinegar.

And, this is the result:

Meatfree5


Delicious and so very, very gay.

*Meat-free smooches* to Dillon and Mush.

After dinner, I knitted a bit on the neverending sweater and watched Jarhead.

I don't know what came over me, but, after I went to bed (around 10:45), I started to really miss Oscar, the demondog puppy from Hell. John's in Hawaii on a work trip this week, and I began to imagine Oscar all scared and alone at the kennel. He never sleeps well there, and this is the longest time he's spent at the kennel. If John and I were still together, I'd be at John's house taking care of the puppy. Sure he's a handful and got on my nerves, but how can you not love a face like this:

Oscar


*sigh* I cried for a bit until I fell asleep.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Ten Reasons Why I Adore and Worship GayProf

GayProf over at Center of Gravitas seems to be a little upset that very few people have taken him up on his meme. Thus, in order to appease the GravitasGods, I have cobbled together the reasons for my adoration and worship of GayProf.

10 Reasons Why I Adore and Worship GayProf

10. He's currently stalking Al Gore.

I'm currently stalking Al Gore, too!!!! How many ways do I love that man?

Al Gore was the very first person I voted for in a Presidential Primary (North Carolina, 1988). I want him to run again. I want to volunteer for the Al Gore 2008 Election Team. I want to be named head of the EPA after he's elected! And, then, he can dump Tipper and we can live happily ever after. Yay!

9. He loves margaritas. On the rocks. With salt.

I don't know if this is true or not, but I absolutely refuse to adore and worship anyone who doesn't love margaritas. On the rocks. With salt. Thus, since I adore and worship GayProf, he must love margaritas. On the rocks. With salt.

8. He has managed to survive living in Texas.

I have spent a weekend in southern Texas, and I have driven across it (for days!) on another occasion. Anyone who can actually live in that hellhole of a state deserves as much worship and adoration as humanly possible.

7. He's thinky.

Thinky people rock. Given a choice of two equally attractive men, I will always go for the thinkier of the two.

6. He has a big ... vocabulary.

OMG! He used "pastiche" in his most recent entry. *swoon*

5. He likes New Mexico!

I like New Mexico! The Land of Enchantment! Scorpions! White Sands National Park! Santa Fe! Very Large Array! Dry heat! What's not to love?

4. Wonder Woman! Charlie's Angels!

'nuff said.

3. One word: goatee!

*rowr*

2. He leaves comments on my blog.

I adore and worship everyone who leaves comments on my blog, but [of course] I adore and worship GayProf the most.

1. His posts (almost always) make me laugh.

and sometimes they make me think. And thinking is always good.

Self-Defeatism

Sometimes I wonder how I ever accomplish anything at all. A behavior of mine I used to be very good at over-powering is starting to take control of my life. I've always been plagued by self-doubt and a lack of confidence in my abilities, but in the past I was fairly successful at pushing myself through these self-imposed barriers.

But, recently (meaning in the past year or so), something has changed. Before I even try something new, I've talked myself out of it:

Look! A cool job advertisement!
What's the point? I won't get it. And -ugh- all those essay questions.

There's a condo for sale! You should buy it!
Eh. It's nice, but I can't afford it. And, it has probably sold already.
[Fortunately, John pushed me on this one.]

Hey! This guy is great! And he really likes you! And he is smart and funny and attractive!
I know, but ... I'm too vulnerable right now. And I should be wary of rebound relationships. And he won't really like me once he gets to know me.

Somehow, I've got to push past this. There's only one person keeping me down ... and that's me.

While I figure out what the hell I'm doing, let's review my weekend:

Friday afterwork, I went home and cleaned up for the fundraising party at Mike's house. I met Robert and his friend, Jim, at Halo. Then, we went to Thai Tanic (get it?) for dinner. After dinner, we walked to the party.

The party had a pretty good turn out (I thought, though Mike seemed a little disappointed). Good food. Mojitos. Male belly-dancer. Darryl was there so I mostly spent my time talking to him and Mike, who at one point said, "You're cute" and kissed me. *giggle*

Robert, Jim, and I left the party around 10:30/45 and walked to the metro station. I got home around midnight.

On Saturday, I slept in until 9ish. Then, I drank lots of coffee and went roller-blading. Later, I walked up to the dry cleaners to pick up some shirts. I watched AeonFlux (gah) and knitted a bit. Around 4:30, I started to get a bit worried, because Mike still hadn't called to arrange our picnic date. I wasn't so worried that I couldn't take a short nap though.

He finally called around 5:30, and we decided to meet at 7:30. He made tomato, basil, and mozzarella sandwiches. I brought fruit and chips and olive tapenade. We picnicked on the lawn in front of the Capitol Building. The sun was setting and the building reflected the orange light. It was so pretty.

The sun went down. The stars came out. We talked. We kissed. A lot. I think we shocked a few Midwestern tourist groups. A Capitol Security Guard came up to us and told us there was no camping on the lawn. Then, he said that he was OK with us being there but another guard may ask us to leave later.

We talked about last weekend and our "hook-up" (which I refuse to call a "hook-up"). Heretofore, last Friday's all night not-quite-sex-a-thon shall be referred to as a "fortuitous convergence of events."

We kissed some more. And we talked. I wanted to make sure he understood the weird emotional place I am in right now. He said he did and that he was OK with just "hanging out."

We left the grounds a little after 11. He invited me back to his place, but I didn't go. Maybe I should have. I don't know. At the time, not going felt like the right thing to do though.

Sunday, I did a lot of blobbing around the house until the afternoon, when I met Robert and Jim at Dupont Circle. It was so hot I think my hair was sweating. We went to Alero for cheese dip and margaritas.

I went home and knitted some more. I finished the three inch 2x2 ribbed band on the front panel of my sweater. Yay! 25 inches to go. Then comes the neck shaping, the sleeve making, and the sewing it all together. Fun times.

I've got a big list of things I want to accomplish today, so I should get started :-)

*smooches*

PS: Don't forget today is Meat-Free Monday!!! Enjoy a meat-free meal. Take a picture. Post it on your blog. Leave me a comment. OR, heck, just do it and tell me about it. *Meat-Free Smooches* to be given on Tuesday!!! You know you love it!

Friday, June 16, 2006

The Days Are Getting Longer

and not just because the Summer Solstice is right around the corner (yay!).

John and I used to talk several times during the day, usually during my lunch and afternoon breaks. Even though he is a cheating cheater who cheated cheatfully, I miss the calls (and I miss him too). They helped the day go by a little more quickly. With no John and several of my chatbuddies no longer able to chat, my work day drags even more slowly.

Slower than molasses on a cold day.
In February.
In northern Canada.

Bi Bling

The week before "The Unfortunate Event," John gave me a present - a beaded hemp choker. When I put it on, he said it looked OK, but it would look better by itself. "You shouldn't wear that other necklace, the one with the red cord, with it," he said.

"But I can't take that one off," I replied. He sort of shrugged, but didn't press the issue. And I didn't explain the two reasons I can't take it off. The first is that the cord is knotted in the back and is too short to fit over my head. The second reason is a little longer ...

I spent the turn of the millennium in Tiananmen Square, drinking pink champagne from the bottle with good friends and a few former students. [Then, we went back to the hotel and shot a bottle of tequila, but that's another story for another time.]

The previous Spring I had taught conversational and business English at a small junior college, Kangpei, on the outskirts of Beijing. If I remember correctly, it was located just on the inside of the third ring road (or was it just on the outside of the second?). My good friend and former co-worker in Japan, AM, visited me that Spring. She loved the experience and was offered a teaching position there for the following Fall term.

After I left Bejing, I started graduate school at American University. I decided to visit AM and my former students over my Winter break. Word to the wise: If at all possible, avoid visiting Beijing in the dead of winter. It was FREEZING. In most places there was no central heat or it wasn't working. And the cinderblock buildings? K-brrrr. Seeing my friends was awesome, but good lord, I wish I had waited until the Spring.

The one souvenir I had promised to buy myself on that visit was a jade bi, a plain circular disc, to be worn as a protective amulet. I finally found one I liked at Bai Yuan Guan [The White Cloud Temple]. I paid about 80 yuan ($10) for it, and, considering it was supposedly blessed by the monks of the temple, it was well worth it.

I put it on soon after and have only taken it off once, when the cord broke. I originally bought it not only as "protection," but also as a reminder of my time in Beijing. Sometimes at night in my apartment, I would touch the disc and remember the fun times I had there - the cheap beer and food, the late nights talking to my students, the trips to the countryside, the rattle of the buses.

However, this little disc now seems like so much more. I've come to think of it as a part of me. I feel like, as I'm wearing it, the jade absorbs some of my energy, part of my soul. Maybe, when I die, the man I love can wear my disc and feel like I am still with him.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

*heh* *heh*

Metro Center Train Change--You Getting On, Me Getting Off - m4m - 23

'nuff said.

Free Movies! I *heart* DC!

Ah, Summer, when a young man's fancy turns to ... FREE MOVIES! Could there be anything better?!?!?

Here's a sampling of some of the wonders DC has to offer this summer:

At the Hirshhorn:

PEST FEST!!!

June 15: Them (1954)
June 29: Mothra (1961)
July 6: Beginning of the End (1957)

On the Mall:

Screen on the Green!!!

July 17: The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
July 24: The Band Wagon (1953)
July 31: Bullitt (1968)
Aug. 7: To Have and Have Not (1944)
Aug. 17: Rocky (1976)

At the Freer/Sackler Galleries:

July 28 & 30: Happy Together
August 4 & 6: Once Upon a Time in China
August 18 & 20: Divergence (Aaron Kwok. Yum.)
and much, much more ...

525,600 Minutes

525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life?
How about love? How about love? How about love?
Measure in love.
Seasons of love.


Last night, after finishing my laundry (2 loads! Yay!), I popped Rent into the DVD player and settled down for a night of musical watching. And crying. Why didn't anyone tell me this movie musical was so friggin' depressing? I guess I should have figured it out when I read the plot summary on NetFlix, but still ... gah! ... I was bawling when Angel died. I bawled again when Mimi said she saw Angel. Stupid tear-jerker movie musical.

Movie musicals are supposed to be full of sunshine and laughter. Sunshine! Laughter! Movie musicals are not supposed to make me cry, when I'm already feeling low. I re-ordered my NetFlix queue when John and I broke up so I would receive fun movies that wouldn't make me feel bad. I thought some musicals would cheer me up. Apparently, I was wrong.

John would have never watched this movie with me. He would have realized it was a musical and turned up his nose. He would say he was "low-brow." I would tell him that musicals are neither high nor low brow, so he would counter in his typical uncomfortable with his masculinity way that they were "chick flicks" or something like that. "It's OK for a man to like musicals," I would say, but I guess he was still too stuck on appearing straight (masculine?). Stupid straight-acting stereotypes.

In the end, I guess a core difference between us was that he viewed movies as purely entertainment (which is why I was able to enjoy classic films like Medea's Family Reunion while we were together); whereas, I view movies as not only entertaining, but occasionally uplifting and educational. I don't mind thinking during a movie, and I don't mind shedding a tear or seven when they make me sad.

I like plays. I like musicals. I like art and museums. I like to read and learn. I like to laugh and cry. I like to live joyfully.

I would like to meet someone who appreciates, rather than denigrates. I would like to meet someone who I could share these experiences with, rather than tell him about them afterwards. That's what I would like.

And, speaking of likes, Mike emailed yesterday. He suggested that for our date on Saturday evening we have a picnic on the Mall. A picnic! On the Mall! *swoon*

(ps. He also said last weekend that he was interested in seeing Christine Baransky in Mame at the Kennedy Center. Someone smack me before I fall for him.)

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

VUBOQ Needs a New Pair of Shoes (or Two)

One of my personal little traditions is to mark the end of each "relationship" with new shoes.

There's something satisfying about it. Maybe it's the treating myself to something nice aspect. Or maybe it's the "haha, I just stepped in doggy poo in the [Whoever] Dumped Me Shoes" feeling I get whenever I step in doggy poo wearing [Whoever] Dumped Me Shoes. Whatever it is, I have new shoes! YAY!

Yay for DSW being right around the corner from my office!
Yay for credit cards!
Yay for new shoes!

I couldn't find a picture of the Calvin Klein Shoes ("Uriah"), but here are my comfy new "work" shoes:

DC Tourists, This is For YOU!

from the fab Washington Post cartoonist, Richard Thompson (click to embiggen):

Breaking Season

Is it something in the water?
Or the weather?

Yesterday, after work, I went to get a haircut. Leah, my wunnerful stylist, told me that she and her boyfriend of three years recently broke up. Then, I met my friend, Jerry, for dinner at Raku. He and his boyfriend of one year broke up a month ago, but had a big cathartic blow-up last Tuesday.

Everytime I tell someone my tale of broken-hearted woe, they counter with "OMG, I know someone else who is going through the exact same thing." Or, at least, they know a couple who recently split, but not because one of them was a cheating cheater who cheated cheatfully.

It makes me wonder if there is something about this time of year which is more conducive to relationships ending. Couples pair off and cuddle through the long cold dark of Winter, frolic and mate in the Spring, and, when the warm Summer sun shines down, cheat, lie and break hearts. And the cycle starts anew.

Could this seasonal disruption of love be because of our primitive instincts? Our evolutionary drive to propagate the species? Not that many gay men are actually procreating; however, they (er ... we) have practically the same evolutionary wiring as those who live in Heterolandia.

Then, again, maybe John is simply a cheating cheater who cheated cheatfully and would have cheated cheatfully at whatever time of the year he could. I just happened to catch him at the start of the Summer. That's probably more like it.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Public Displays of Affection

I was reading the comments over on GayProf's Blog earlier, and GayProf wrote that he and his lying ex (who told many lies) would have major arguments over public displays of affection.

John and I never had major arguments over public displays of affection. He simply refused to do it. No hand-holding. No hugging. No kissing. No nothing. And, if I ever tried to take his hand or touch him in public, I would receive an angry stare and/or a nasty comment.

One night, we were leaving the horrible little suburban gay bar in Wheaton, De Lounge. I was a little tipsy. As we walked through the parking lot to his car, I reached for his hand. He jerked it away. "You know I don't do that. We don't know anything about this neighborhood or what could happen if someone saw us."

I didn't argue, but thought, "Um. We're leaving a gay bar. I think they know without the hand-holding."

In the car, he continued to berate me about how he didn't do PDAs and why was I so insecure I needed it? The relationship was fairly young, and I wasn't confident in expressing my opinions. So, I took the verbal bashing.

Later, as I reflected on it, I thought, "Why is he so afraid/uncomfortable with PDAs?" Afterall, the man is a federal agent and certified bodyguard. He carries a gun with him almost constantly. He should be the most confident person in expressing how much he cares for someone in public.

And, it's not like I want to suck face in the middle of Heteroville. I just want a hand to hold or a hug when my guy meets me at the airport.

When Mike and I made out in Annie's (IN ANNIE'S!!! GAH!!) and later that weekend when he turned and kissed me on the escalator in Dupont Circle, I thought John would never have done that. I don't need a lot ... but I need something.

So, I guess it's good that I'm out of a relationship which wasn't giving me everything I needed. Yet, if that's true, why am I about to cry do I feel so sad?

Meat-Free Monday: Too Lazy to Cook Edition

aka. John Hates Bleu Cheese Edition (bwa-ha-ha-ha-ha)

I had planned to make some sort of red-skinned potato frittata last night, but, by the time I started wandering around the grocery store after work, I had no motivation to do anything that even resembled cooking. I ended up only buying garlic stuffed olives (Martini First!) and forgetting, yet again, to buy coffee. GAH!

I walked home, sorted some laundry, played with my pussy, and mixed a martini. Dinner was (as photoed) an Amy's Organic Texas Veggie Burger [which seems kind of funny now that I think about it] with bleu cheese and spinach and a salad of spinach, diced tomatoes, bleu cheese, and balsamic vinegar.

Thrown together in all of about 5 minutes. As I ate, I watched The Aristocrats, which, in retrospect, was not the best dinner and a movie choice. Fortunately, my years as a biology student/teacher gave me a pretty strong stomach. I mean, really, if you can discuss parasitic worms over breakfast, you can put up with about anything.

I talked to Robert for a bit. I called Christal. I knitted. I tried not to feel too sad. It was a good evening. I slept funny and my neck hurts this morning.

One thing I've noticed since "the Unfortunate Event" began is that I don't want to get out of bed in the morning. Prior to Splitsville, I would usually get up when the alarm went off (6:15) and have a nice leisurely morning. Now, I hit snooze multiple times. This morning, I didn't crawl out of bed until a little after 7, which meant I had to run around like a crazy person to leave for work on time (7:45ish). Maybe if I remember to buy coffee today, I will have that additional motivation to get out of bed.

Otherwise, I really think I could spend the whole day lying on my bed. I like bed. Bed good.

So, who else had a Meat-free Monday Meal besides Mush? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? There are *meat-free smooches* to be given!

Monday, June 12, 2006

Weekend Update: Pride Recovery

I have heard that when some people go through a break-up, the first thing they do is have random meaningless sex with a stranger.

NOT I!

The first thing I do is get roaring drunk, then have possibly-not-meaningless "sex" with someone I know [If you're trying to guess who it is, I don't think I've blogged about him before ... hmm ... maybe in passing].

And, now, that I've piqued your interest, let's start from the very beginning. I've heard that it's the very best place to start.

Friday, after work, I arranged to meet Robert and Tomoko at Halo for Happy Hour [2!4!1! Watermelon! Margaritas!]. As luck would have it, my friend, Darryl, and his friend/co-worker, Mike, could also join us. We all converged on the bar between 6:30 and 7.

I have no idea how much we drank. I *think* I had *at least* three watermelon margaritas ... on an empty stomach. We, then, decided to stagger to Food Bar for dinner and ... you guessed it! ... margaritas! Darryl had to leave. The rest of us wandered up to Cobalt [$5 cover. Bastards!]. And, it was at Cobalt where Mike and I started to get a little more flirty.

I met Mike for the first time nearly a year ago. He hosted a birthday party for Darryl at the house he rents. I remember having fun conversation with him, but I had to leave the party early for a date [ok, sex] with John. Darryl told me on Saturday night that Mike had been interested at the party and had been bugging him for my number. However, because I had just started getting a little serious with John, he didn't want to interfere.

The next time I met Mike was at a party at Christal's house before she moved to Atlanta. We didn't get to talk much, because ... well, I had to leave early for a date [ok, sex] with John.

So, there we were in Cobalt. I was [very] newly single, and he was [seemingly] interested. At one point, I started to talk about John and that we had broken up. Mike perked up, "Oh, really? When?"

"Yesterday," I said.
"Oh. wow."
"Yeah."

Tomoko and Robert went home. We stayed, because Darryl had called. He was "on his way" back. We waited; we talked; we drank.

Finally, we got tired of waiting and left the bar. As we were standing on the corner, Darryl calls, "I'm almost there." Darryl wanted to meet his new roommate, so we staggered down to Annie's Steakhouse to wait at the bar.

We talked; we drank; and ... fine ... Mike and I made out (a little) at the bar. IN ANNIE'S!!! GAH!

Darryl's roommate and friend arrived, so Mike and I left. We got to P St. and he said, "Would you like to come home with me? I know you've just gone through a break-up, so we can just make out."
"OK."

We walked to his house and had a really good time and a little bit more than "making out" occurred.

In the morning, we were both majorly hungover. We talked for a bit. We made out a bit more. It was really nice.

I left around 10, arrived home around 11ish, showered, took lots of aspirin, drank several glasses of water, and crashed.

I got up around 4 and motivated, made some calls, organized, and we were on the move. I met Robert and Billy around 6 for a quick dinner at Alero. Then, we met Mike at Dupont Circle to watch the Pride Parade. Lots of fun was had by all. And, I saw my friend, Mike (the one moving to Glasgow), there, too! *bonus!* Darryl arrived a bit later.

Around 8, we went up to Rockville, for Tomoko's 80s-themed birthday party! OMG! Too much fun! As Darryl told her at one point, "Tomoko, you must be a really great friend to pull all these gay men out to Rockville during PRIDE!"

But, seriously, who can resist the draw of 80s Music?

Check out Diablo's pictures here.

We left the party around 1ish. Mike invited me to his place again, but I told him no ... even though I wanted to say yes. I guess my need for sleep was overpowering my need for a night of hot luvin'. I got to bed at 2:35. *groan*

Sunday morning, I walked up to downtown Silver Spring and had brunch at Austin Grill. I did some shopping at Whole Foods. I walked home, did a little cleaning, and started to organize the next meeting: Pride Street Festival.

I met Mike there around 3:45. Then, we saw Steve and Bobby. Then, Mike met some of his friends. Then, Robert joined us. Then, Steve and Bobby and their friends left. Mike, Robert, and I sat in the shade and watched all the people. Finally, Darryl arrived. We hung out for a bit waiting for Mike's two new roommates to meet. As we were standing there, Darryl said, "Don't turn around Steven."
"Uh. Ok."
"Why?"
"Wait."
Then, he said, "John walked by. He didn't see you."
I'm not so sure. John's job is to notice everything. I know he saw me. And, luckily, he saw me laughing and having a good time surrounded by my friends. Ha!

I turned and saw his back melt into the crowd. He was walking with a tall, thin Asian guy. At least he's getting out. And, probably getting laid. Bittersad thoughts filled my head.

We left the festival and went to Dupont Italian Kitchen for dinner, because, really, who doesn't like a little DIK every now and again? The food was OK. The service was bad. The eye-candy was disappointing. BUT, the company and conversation was great.

We left around 9. Darryl and Robert went to Halo. Mike went home. I walked to the metro station. I got home around 10 and started feeling sad, so I went to bed. I tried to concentrate on all the fun things I did this weekend and how for several nights in a row I didn't cry myself to sleep.

I am very lucky to have as many great friends as I do. *big hugs to all of you*

Don't forget: Today is Meat-Free Monday! Do your part for the environment and enjoy a meat-free meal! I haven't decided what I'm cooking tonight, but stayed tuned for a photo tomorrow.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Over. Out.

The only way I could get myself to stop crying last night was to take a picture.

It's over. Everything happened pretty much as expected. The walk to his house from the metro station was difficult. My stomach was in knots. My knees were shaking. I felt weak.

I rang the doorbell. He let me in. I gathered my stuff together (although I keep remembering things I've forgotten ... like my linen pants). Then, I went up to his home computer and erased all my files - mostly pictures. I left the pictures of Oscar on there though.

I went downstairs and sat on the loveseat. He said, "Well, I guess you've made your decision."

And, I said, "John, I just can't do it." And, then, I blabbed about all the stuff that I'd written yesterday about trust and how I didn't think I could ever trust him again and how I hated the distrustful person he was making me become.

He said he understood. And, he talked some more, never looking at me, and his voice breaking.

I started to cry. He said, "don't cry. I'm not worth it" and walked into the kitchen.

When he came back, he talked about Oscar, how he didn't really think much about animal instincts until he started noticing how Oscar was acting this week. He was agitated and nervous. He wasn't eating or sleeping well. John wondered if either he could sense John's mood or if Oscar was upset because I wasn't around. He said, "I know you'll want to say good-bye to Oscar, but I can't watch. I'll be in the basement."

I pulled Oscar close and we had a good talk. I told him I loved him and would miss him very much. Then, I told him that if John ever dated any jerks, he should bite them on the ass.

After our talk, I gave him a big hug and told John I was leaving. He came back upstairs.

I said, "I don't want this to sound bad, and I don't want it to be the last thing I say to you, but I want you to get an HIV test in 3 months and send me the results."

All of a sudden, John looked, not angry, but hard. He said, "I will. Since I don't have anything keeping me here anymore, I may end up going to Iraq. We will have extensive blood work done beforehand. I'll send you the results."

We walked to the door. I started crying (again. sheesh.) and said, "John, I still love you. I wish this had never happened."

He hugged me tight and whispered, "I love you, too, baby." As I walked out the door, garbage bag full of clothes and memories, he said, "call me if you ever feel ready."

And, I walked to the metro station. Fortunately, my cousin had called. Then, I called Christal. Then, I called Robert. Thank god for good friends.

I think I was keeping it together pretty well. Until I discovered something, I was watching The Producers (the recent version) and towards the end, Matthew Broderick started singing 'Til Him ...

No one every made me feel like someone
'Til him
Life was really nothing but a glum one
'Til him
My existence bordered on the tragic
Always timid, never took a chance
Then I felt his magic
And my heart began to dance I was always frightened, fraught with worry...'
Til him
I was going nowhere in a hurry
'Til him
He filled up my empty life
Filled it to the brim
There could never ever be
Another one ... like him


That's when I started bawling. I couldn't stop. I didn't stop until I took that picture. Then, I went to bed.

And, a new day dawned.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Bundle of Nerves

My stomach is in knots.
I couldn't eat lunch.
I've had to pee, like, 6 times today already.
At any moment, my head (and/or my bladder) could explode.

About 2 hours until the Moment of Truth.

Cosmic Convergence

Exhibit A: I decide to break up with John.
Exhibit B: Normally, after one of my relationships ends, I buy "My Relationship Has Ended Shoes."
Exhibit C: The DSW two blocks from my office opens tomorrow.

Chance? Fate? Alignment of the stars with Uranus?

You be the judge.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch ...

Can anyone explain the difference between distrust and mistrust? I've been using distrust but am no longer sure that's correct. Are they interchangeable?

GAH! I can't even trust my own grammar anymore!

Seriously though, Billy makes a good point [in the comment section of the previous post].

I was being a bit drama queenish when I wrote that I don't know if I'll ever be able to trust anyone again. The point is I trusted John, and he abused that trust. Now, I'm questioning my own judgement. If I mistakenly placed my trust in John, what will prevent me from making that same mistake again?

I suppose it's more of a self-confidence issue than one of trust. That's what's been shaken. I do believe that, given time, my fabulousness, like cream, will rise to the top and all will be well.

I Can't Do It

This morning, as I left for work, I picked up my cellphone and BAM! a memory washed over me ... and my heart dropped.

John's cellphone was ringing, but he was upstairs.
I checked the caller ID, "Trent."
"John, there's some guy, Trent, calling you," I said as I brought him his phone.
"That's OK. I'll get it later."

I think that was about 2 weeks ago. I'm not sure.

And, then it hit me. Hard. I can't do it. I can't continue in a relationship with this man. Every call he gets. Every call of mine he doesn't answer. Every time he is late or doesn't meet a promise. I will think, "he's cheating on me."

On Sunday evening, he said probably his greatest regret was that he may lose one of his only friends in the area. As I have reflected on it, my greatest regret is that his fucking around on me is turning me into someone I don't like, someone who is no longer trusting, someone who questions every past decision, someone who is afraid that he won't be able to trust anyone again.

And that's very painful.

This evening, when I go to his house to talk, it will be to pick up my stuff and walk out of his life. I hope I can find the strength to do it.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

StickSteven Sad

Honest Tea Philoso Phea

Once again, instead of receiving instructions from the little voices in my head or the alien waves that make it through my aluminum foil helmet, I get advice from Honest Tea lids.

Optimism can make you look stupid, but cynicism always makes you look cynical. -- Calum Fisher

I have to remember that things will work out. Things will get better. As my fantabulicous cuzin wrote in an email on Monday, "Don’t despair! Either you’ll leave him and move on (and it’ll be ok eventually, I promise) and never have to deal with his craziness again, or you’ll stay together and build something new. So, it’s a terrible situation, it’s true, but in a freaky way, no matter what happens, you can’t lose. I know, I’m nuts."

OK, everyone ... let's break for drinks...

Make mine a Watermelon Margarita:

Halo 6/6/06

Hard Day's Night

Yesterday, I couldn't bear the thought of sitting in my apartment staring at the walls until I fell asleep, so I arranged to meet Diablo for happy hour. The great thing about his new job is that we can meet at a reasonable hour for drinks, and I still get home at a decent time.

We went to Halo and had watermelon margaritas (2-4-1! Yum!). Then, we went to Logan Tavern for dinner. I had a *new* drink, Lemonade Cooler, which was very refreshing, and two sides, broccoli and garlic mashed potatoes. For dessert, we split some sort of warm brownie thing and I had hot cocoa with peppermint schnapps.

Surprisingly, I'm not hungover this morning. Odd.

Anyway, it was good to talk about things with Diablo. On the way home, I called John. He didn't answer. Previously, I would have thought "he must have fallen asleep on the sofa" or "maybe he's in the hot tub." Last night, my first thought was "I wonder if he's fucking someone else."

He never returned my call. And I hate the suspicious, untrusting person I'm becoming.

I ended up having a long conversation with my friend, Isa. She went through something similar several years ago with her husband. And, maybe focusing on my problems helped her take her mind off her father, who is slowly wasting away.

As I laid in bed last night thinking why would he do this to me and reflecting on the advice and conversations with friends, I came up with two possibilities. One. He's a habitual cheater. This wasn't the first time and it won't be the last. I should break up before I get hurt again. Or, Two. This was a one time thing and it may or may not be the last.

My heart wants to think Option Two, but the rest of me is screaming "ONE!"

But, because I usually ignore the rest of me, I thought a lot about Option Two (with the help of Marvelous Mush). If this was a one time thing, why did he do it? Mush suggested, and after much thought I'm beginning to agree, that he did it because he wanted out. We had just passed a milestone (1 year) and at that point people naturally re-evaluate their situations. Maybe he decided he wasn't happy, but didn't know how to say it. So, either consciously or subconsciously, he created a situation that I would easily discover and would use to end the relationship.

Of course, when it actually happened and he saw how hurt I was, he began to feel guilty. Now, to assuage his guilt he wants to patch things up. But, unless the root cause of his unhappiness is discovered, he'll cheat again.

Do I want to invest the time and effort to discover that cause? Right now, I'm not so sure. I'm not sure I can ever trust him again. I'm not sure I'll ever trust anyone again. And that's a scary, scary thought. I may be a VUBOQ, but I never wanted to be alone and unloved.

Eventually, probably aided by alcohol, I fell asleep. Around 3:45, I awoke with a start. I was having a bad dream (I don't remember it), and it felt like someone had hit me in the back of the head. Hard. Heart pounding. I rubbed the back of my head and looked around the room.

I was alone.

Now that you've read my bitching and moaning go over to Billy's blog and read this.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Rainbows

This morning my living room was filled with rainbows. Many years ago, one of my Taiwanese students gave me these two gold guardian dogs atop cut crystal globes (about 1.5 inches in diameter). When the sun hits them the right way, I have a rainbow room.

I snapped a quick picture and reflected on the symbolism ... The Bible uses the rainbow as a covenant between God and Noah to never flood the world again - rainbow as a promise. And, I suppose, rainbow as hope.

My living room was filled with promise and hope this morning. I like that.

Well, that and gay flags.

Eyes Wide Shut

I'm having a very hard time organizing my thoughts.
Am I being too easy on John?
Am I too trusting? Too hopeful?

Can a leopard change his spots?

My head hurts from overthinking and trying not to cry at work (because, y'know, "crying is weak and men don't respect that"*). My jaw hurts because stress is making me clench. I'm teetering on the edge of becoming a mushy pile of goo at any moment. Just keeping myself whole seems really hard right now.

And, yet, I remain a cockeyed optimist. GAH.

*Actual quote from a telephone conversation with a friend last night.

Meat-Free Monday: Mending Heart Tuesday Edition

Not having access to a computer at home means that my Meat-Free Monday post couldn't happen on Monday. And, of course, given all the recent drama, I actually didn't remember Meat-Free Monday until about 5:30PM yesterday. *smacks forehead*

*Meat-Free smooches* to all who ate a meat-free meal yesterday!

So, here's the picture:

Meatfree3


As I told Mush in a text message last night, it's basil, asiago, and pine nut pesto ravioli (frozen, from Whole Foods) on marinara sauce (from a jar) and my homemade heirloom tomato and cucumber salad. Not too shabby. The wine was yummy, btw. I drank the whole bottle and am a wee-bit over hung this morning.

I need a smoothie.

John and I had a long telephone conversation last night, where we talked about a lot of things in our relationship ... our expectations, what's right and what's wrong with it.

I still don't know what I'm going to do, but my head seems clearer. And, (don't hate me), I'm seriously leaning towards giving him another chance. On my terms.

Thank you all for your supportive comments. My friends are my family and I don't know what I'd do without you. And, I'm starting to tear up at my desk, so I need to stop. You all mean so much to me. *BIG HUGS*

Finally, to end on a cute note, here's a picture I took of Oscar when he was about 6 months old:

Oscar puppy


More to come ...

Monday, June 05, 2006

VUBOQ's Fashion Advice for the Broken-Hearted

Wearing a bright red shirt after a night of crying? Not a good idea.

shattered

Saturday night, I was at my friends' house for Movie Night. John and I had discussed the possibility of meeting up afterwards; however, around 10:44, he called to say that he was going to watch the rest of War of the Worlds and then go to bed.

"Call me tomorrow when you get up, and I'll come pick you up," he said.

Carolyn drove me home.

Isabella started trying to wake me up at 8. At 9, she finally succeeded. Face-licking always works. I made some coffee, showered, ate, and called John at 10. No answer. I left a message, figuring he was still in bed.

I ran some errands and cleaned. I called John at 11:30. Still no answer. He must be working outside and can't hear the phone ring.

I knitted a bit. Cleaned some more. Made the salad for the potluck. I called again at 1:30. Still no answer. Should I be worried? Maybe he's sick. Or he dropped the 97 pound gazebo box [which he bought at Home Depot on Saturday morning] on his foot and is trapped on the deck.

At 2:30, I called again. No answer. "I'm coming over to make sure you are all right."

I grabbed the salad and headed out. I got to John's at about 3PM.

I unlocked the door.

"Um. Who are you?"
"Trent."
"I'm Steven. Get down Oscar. Where's John?"
"On the deck."

I walked through the house and opened the door. John was putting together the gazebo.

"Hi, John."
"What? I wanted to surprise you."
"You have."
"Did you meet my friend, Trent?"
"I did."
[pause]
"You never answered your phone. I wanted to make you sure you were all right."
[silence]
"I wanted to make sure you were all right."
[silence]
"I'm going to get some water. Do you want any?"
[silence]

I walked back into the house. Fixed myself some water. Gave Oscar an ice cube.

"Steven, could you come outside?"

He couldn't look me in the eye. He doesn't trust people. He has a hard time letting them in. He loves me. He's known Trent for about 2 weeks. They're just friends ... but, last night, he came over. They watched a movie. Things got out of hand.

"You can hate me if you want. You can leave your keys or you can keep them. It's your decision."

I opened my mouth to say something, but I couldn't. Nothing was there. I was empty ... except for the thousand little pieces of my heart.

I turned and walked inside. I took his keys off my keychain and placed them on the counter. I got the salad out of the fridge. He stopped and said something. I don't remember what.

"I can't talk to you right now."

I walked to the door. I must've said something else because he said, "What? Wait."

That's when the tears came. And I was crying at the door.

"I can't let you go like this," he said. But, then changed his mind. "I'll come over tonight and we can talk."

I stumbled to the metro station, calling friends, crying, spilling salad all over the bag. I skipped the potluck and went home.

Around 8PM, he called and talked. I didn't say much. He talked about trust and how he thought I'd never trust him again and how he couldn't stand it if I ever looked at him again the way I did at his front door. How meeting tonight wouldn't be productive because I would just fire angry barbs at him until he couldn't take it anymore and would leave. How whenever we were apart I'd wonder what he was doing. When he travelled I wouldn't be able to trust him.

And, maybe he's right. I gave him my love and my trust and he threw it away by fucking some young guy with long hair and bad skin. And, I don't know if I want to try to rebuild that trust or not. I don't know if I want to try to rebuild the relationship. Maybe I should just walk away from the ruins.

I spent a lot of time on the phone with my cousin. At 10:15, he beeped through. "I'm going to bed soon and wanted to call to say good night."

"I'll probably be up for awhile."
"Oh."
We started to hang up. "John, before you go, I left a computer disk at your house with my resumes on it. It's in the Kiplingers magazine, so don't throw that out."
"OK. Do you need it soon? I can bring it to you."
"No. I'll come pick it up. I want to say good-bye to Oscar."
"Good-bye? So that's your decision?"
"My decision? I didn't think there was a decision to be made. You were saying how I'd never be able to trust you again and how you didn't want me to look at you like I did again."
"No. No. I meant tonight. I wish today had never happened."
"If I hadn't have come over, would you have told me?"
"Maybe. Maybe later. After some time."
[silence]
"I can come over on Thursday or Friday."
"I had hoped we could talk before then."
"Well, Monday or Tuesday is too soon. And I have plans on Wednesday."
"Plans?"
"Yes, I'm going to the Al Gore movie, which you didn't want to see."
"Then, I'll see you on Thursday. Call me tomorrow."
"Bye."

He wished today hadn't happened? What about Saturday night? What about that? Did he wish that hadn't happened? Or did he just wish that I hadn't found out?

When I woke up this morning, I almost felt like everything was normal. But, then, I remembered why my mouth was dry and my eyes were crusty. And, the world shifted to not-quite-right. I feel slightly off balance. I feel empty. I feel hard. I feel weak.

I feel alone.

and I don't know what to do about it.

For my regular AIM chat buddies, I don't think I can handle real-time chatting today. I really don't want to cry at work. Most of you have my work email. Write me there and I'll get back to you when I can.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Runover by a Truck Full of Illegal Immigrants

As I was crossing the street (in the crosswalk), I saw the truck barreling towards me.

In the split second it took me to make up my mind, I thought "I could keep walking. I have the right of way. But, hmm, they don't look like they have enough money to make it worth the time in the hospital." So, I stopped [in the middle of the street, mind you] and let them pass.

Actually, this is the second time in recent memory that I have almost been hit by trucks driven by Latinos. The previous time, as I was crossing the street (in the crosswalk, with the little green man blinking), the man on the passenger side started yelling at me to get out of the way.

Um. What?

Perhaps, driving rules are different in their countries.

Or maybe they picked up their mad driving skillz from the worst of our nation's drivers, VIRGINIANS!

So here is a little reminder to all of you Car People out there:

Pedestrians (me!) have the right of way. Please do not run us over when we are in the crosswalk.

Surely you can understand the logic. Pedestrians (me!) do minimal damage to cars; however, big hulking hunks of steel barreling around the corner (your cars!) can do lots and lots of damage to brittle little pedestrians (me!).

Is the 30 seconds you save by not stopping for cute pedestrians (me!) worth it?

Probably not.

Countdown to the Weekend

I have a fairly busy weekend planned, so there should be loads to blog about come Monday [Come Monday, it'll be all right. Come Monday, I'll be holding you tight ...].

After work today, John and I are heading down to Southeast DC for a house-warming/birthday party [Note to self: Buy housewarming/birthday presents today]. On Saturday, I would like to go to the National Building museum to see the exhibit on eco-buildings before it closes. I'm not sure if I'll have time, because I also need to run some errands in and around Silver Spring. Then, I'm heading to Kristen's in Alexandria for Movie Night. John was invited but, after hearing the possible movie selection, opted out. Maybe we can meet up at a club afterwards. On Sunday, my grad program alumni are having a potluck dinner at my advisor's house, which should be fun. I think I'm the only one from my cohort still in the area, but I'll be able to meet younger graduates at least. I think I will make my fire and ice salad. That should be cool and refreshing.

My other weekend goal is to apply for some new jobs. Several of my friends have recently accepted fantastic new jobs. They've inspired me to get my butt in gear and get out of my current hellhole (I mean, cubicle).

I would do this sort of thing at work; however, most of the job search sites I use are blocked by the Evil Firewall of Doom (*curses*) including, USAjobs (for federal positions), EcoEmploy, and EcoJobs. Bastards!

And, now, I must pound out some email responses. More to come, I'm sure ...

*smooches*

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Words to the Wise

It is not a good idea to sneeze with a mouth full of partially masticated peanuts.

Inflammatory

Some of you who live in the DC Area may have seen this ad on the metro recently.

It's a little shocking, no?

I did a little research on ConsumerFreedom.com and, not surprisingly, it's a "non-profit" agency supported almost entirely by the food industry. Similar to the anti-Kyoto Protocol/Climate Change "non-profits" which were -and, in some cases, still are- backed solely by oil companies (I'm looking at you Exxon-Mobil).

Obviously, Consumer Freedom is not exactly a reliable source of information. However, I found the quote by Ingrid Newkirk to be particularly disturbing, so I searched the PETA website for their response to this ad.

There wasn't one. I emailed PETA yesterday and received their rather lengthy response this morning. The crux of which was ConsumerFreedom is bad and we were misquoted. I won't post the entire email here, but, if you'd like to read it, let me know and I'll forward the email to you.

Fiesta for Fags and Mexicans!

If anyone from North Carolina's 13th District, specifically from Winston-Salem, reads this blog and you went to North Forsyth High School from 1984-88 and you vote for this idiot, I solemnly swear that I will never speak to you again.

Take a listen to this ad: Click on Brad Miller's Mariachi Party.

GAH!

OH, but wait, I haven't spoken to anyone from my high school in ... um ... at least 10 years.

ANYWAY, the point is, if you vote for someone who is so obviously filled with hate, then you pretty much deserve what you get.

On to other things ...

I seriously didn't know that this had happened ('Juan Valdez' Is Hanging Up His Poncho) when I made this post. Honest. It was just perfect timing.

Last night, John and I finally saw The Da Vinci Code. The reviews I read were pretty much dead on.

Then, we had a disappointing meal at Austin Grill.

Great evening.