Saturday, January 27, 2007


1:40 am. My eyes open and I glance up at the large, blue digital numbers on the clock. The ones that are supposed to dim to a more humane level to accomodate a dark room. They don't. They never have. "Yay" I think to myself, "I don't have to get up yet." I close my eyes... 5:04 am. Again, I look up at those horribly bright blue numbers. Another hour to sleep... 5:50 am. The soft alarm begins to chime. If I don't hit that stupid snooze button now, it will just get louder and louder until Andrew wakes up and yells at me to "shut that fuckin' thing off." He rolls over and puts his arm around me, still mostly asleep. This is nice, I think to myself. I wish I could just stay here and sleep-in with him. He's so cuddly in the morning. We lay in bed and talk for 10 minutes and then I get up.

I'm scheduled to work at Starbucks today. 7:30am till 12:45. I enjoy working at Starbucks. I do it for two reasons. As a suppliment to my regular income that allows me to pay my bills and have enough left over to do things that I want to do, like vacations now and then with Andrew and/or the kids. And because I enjoy it. I had a customer today that really made my day. He and his wife/girlfriend came in and I took their orders and he said to me "We don't even go to the Starbucks at Target or the grocery store anymore." I asked him why that is. He responded, "because when we come to the Starbucks that are in their own buildings, like this one, the people working here are so much more cheerful and nice, not grumpy and cold." This really kinda made me feel good. I greeted this man and his wife/girlfriend in a warm and friendly way, like I do all customers that come in and they really appreciated it. I explained to them that the reason for that might possibly be that those Starbucks at the Target stores and in the grocery stores are not actually run or managed by Starbucks. They are what we call licenced stores. Managed and staffed by the establishments in which they reside. Starbucks employees are taught and encouraged from day one to make every customer's experience "legendary." Not only is it good for business and makes people want to come back to my store, but it makes me feel good too. I know there are a lot of people who hate "Starbucks, the enormous, coffee giant, evil big company trying to take over the world." I just don't buy into it. I'm not just saying this because I work there. It's only a part-time second job for me that I could leave any day. But if I did, I don't think I would find another company to work part-time for that puts as much stock into it's employees and as much importance on making sure the customer has a good experience.

12:50 pm. I say my good-byes to my co-workers and head home.

On my way home I pass Andrew's and my favorite wine shop- First Avenue Wine House.
I decide to stop in and pick up a few bottles. I walk in and I'm instantly greeted very warmly by Ron and Traci, the owners. Andrew and I are almost always together when we stop in, so Traci asked right away if andrew was working today. I told her "no, he's at home. I'm just on my way there now." She turned to Ron and said, "see, Ron, you wouldn't have seen Andrew if you'd gone into Starbucks this morning anyway." Appaprently, according to Traci, Ron has become quite the Starbucks addict and enjoys stopping in to see Andrew and get his coffee quite often.
Again, another example of how great customer service really does make a difference. Before we discovered First Avenue Wine House, we would buy our wine at another wine store or the grocery store. After meeting Ron and Traci and having such a great time talking with them and sharing our mutual appreciations of good wine with them, we rarely buy wine anywhere else. We never leave their shop without being offered at least 4 samples of either new wines or old favorites of theirs. Truly warm and welcoming people and it seems a lot of people think so. Their business has seemed to flourish in the few years they have been open.

I think we're going to go out for a nice dinner somewhere tonight. Seems like there hasn't been a good opportunity for just the two of us to go out together for such a long time. This weekend is going to be great. Niether of us has anything we have to do. Just the two of us, spending time together.

I like weekends like that.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Today was a milestone for Andrew. For 7 years he has worn Abercrombie knit boxerbriefs. He's been purchasing them online since I've known him. Well, about a year ago Abercrombie stopped making the ones he really liked. Since then he has been hanging on (by a thread, apparently) to his beloved boxers, not being able to find them anywhere online or in any Abercrombie stores. He's tried other styles to no avail. Today the last pair went into the trash. (It's about time)

If anyone can help locate a supply of this style of Abercrombie boxerbriefs (minus the holes, of course) I'm sure he would be deeply indebted to you.

I would also be very thankful. Having to watch him tend to his "rashes" from "going commando" all the time now is getting old...

Actually, that's not true. He's managed to find some comfy briefs that he has grown moderatly acustom to now. (they're actually kinda cute on him too!) :-)

Finally, winter in Iowa...

This is what we woke up to this morning:

The view from our front door.


What else would one do on a snowy Sunday??

Go grocery shopping!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007


People are, by nature, nosey. I admit, I'm nosey. I like to know other peoples' business. Especially the stuff that they don't want others to know. I think it's human nature to be curious. But when it's YOUR business that people are trying to figure out you feel a little differently about it.

I came out to my entire family and friends in October, 2000. Now, more than 6 years and 4 jobs later, I still have not come out to any of my co-workers at any of those jobs. When I think about why that might be, a few things come to mind - I worry that I will be made fun of or people will think less of me, I'm afraid it may effect the future of my career with the company, I actually worry that my co-workers will feel bad about having told gay jokes around me. I'm sure most of you are thinking these are crazy thoughts and maybe some of you even think less of me for having these thoughts - maybe that I'm feeding the supression and stigma of gay people in our society by not being out and "proud" to everyone I come in contact with. I wish I didn't feel this way and that I could actually be out at work and have none of these concerns. I also feel that one's sexuality has nothing to do with their job performance and also has no place even being an issue in the workplace. As much as i want to feel that way, I know from past experience that, out of human nature, the subject comes up when you work closely with other people. Apparently women are more "human" than men when it comes to these issues, because women seem to be the ones that just HAVE to ask questions until they figure you out.

I'm sure that several women I have worked closely with in the past have suspected that I'm gay. I can always tell when they begin to wonder. The questions start popping up out of the blue. These questions all begin with one word..."So".

Janice: "So, didn't you say you had a roommate?"

Me: (Oh God, here it comes) "No, I didn't say that." (of course I wasn't lying. My ex-partner had already moved out when she asked)

Janice: "Oh, I thought you said that you lived with someone."

Me: "Nope. Hey, what are you going to order? I think I'll have the taco salad."

I had known Janice for awhile before I started working with her and one of our co-workers who worked in a different department than we did, lived just down the street from me at the time. It was obvious that two guys lived together in my house and I'm sure there was plenty of office chatter about my living arrangements behind my back. Oh well, let them think what they want.

Fast forward 3 years...the questions began at my current job several months ago. I work in a department with two other guys and one woman. We're all within 5 years of the same age. You guessed it... The questions fly out of Laurie's mouth when least expected. It's almost as if I can hear the wheels turning in her head trying to figure me out...

Laurie: "So, do you have the kids this weekend?"

Me: (Jeez, there's that "so" again) "Yeah. Every other weekend."

Laurie: "You got anything fun planned for the weekend?"

Me: " I don't know. I thought about maybe going to see a movie, maybe dinner out one night."

Laurie: "Oh. Just the three of you?"

Me: (WTF?? Just come out and ask if you want to know if my gay love stud is coming with us.) "Yeah, probably just me and the kids."

What is with nosey women? I don't get questions from male co-workers like this.

I am quite open with my co-workers about things that I do in my spare time. I think most people are when they work closley with others on a daily basis. You can't help but form a sort of personal bond with these people. You talk about things going on in your lives, vacations, holidays...those types of things. I have always been very up-front with trips that Andrew and I have taken together. Whenever we are planning a vacation or just a weekend in Chicago, I talk about it very matter-of-factly that Andrew and I are going. I've even talked about traveling to Seattle to see Andrew's parents a few times and to New York to visit his sister. Don't you think People would catch on after a year and a half without having to beat around the bush with questions?

I feel that the "big" question is only a matter of days or weeks away. I imagine it being something like: "Soooo, are you and Andrew more than just friends or roommates?" I decided long ago that if ever asked outright like that, I would never lie. It would finally be a chance for me to be out and open at work and let the chips fall where they may. After all, If I could come out to my family after 35 years, I could certainly survive coming out to co-workers who have only known me for less than two. Not to mention the fact that they probably already suspect. It was a total shock to my family after I'd been married for thirteen years and had two kids. They all just thought I was crazy and needed a shrink. I'm not so sure it would be such a shock to some of my co-workers.

Until that time, I'll just go to work, do my job, make small talk with my co-workers, talk about my weekend plans that include Andrew.
I may wait a little while before flying the rainbow flag over my cubicle and wearing my fishnet stockings to work.


Tuesday, January 16, 2007


5 pounds! Yaayyyy!

At least it's a start!

Sunday, January 14, 2007


Tomorrow (1/15) is the 1st weigh-in after the start of the diet challenge. I avoided weighing myself all week until yesterday morning. I stepped on the scale and was pleasantly surprised to see a loss of 8 lbs so far! Now I know that was in the morning, when we weigh less anyway, and it was also just the first week of the diet. I know from dieting in the past that often the first week is a large number and the loss usually lessens thereafter. So I'm not going into this week with as high of expectations for fear of becoming discouraged but I have made the decision to stick with it and the hunger pangs have pretty much subsided.

I watched an episode of 20/20 or one of those news magazine shows tonight that we had TiVoed. It had a segment with Dr Oz who is a regular on the Oprah show. He and a collegue have written a book about maintaining your perfect weight and weight loss. Their theory is that it's not your weight that should be your concern as much as your waist size. They claim that your waist should be no larger around than half your height to be at a healthy size. I'm not sure how that compares to the rest of you out there, but I'm roughly 6'1"-6'2" so according to this, my waist measurement should be between 36" and 37". Now, I've been both of those sizes (in addition to a few more) and for me, this seems a little too large. I'm happiest with a 34" waist. Any larger and I look pudgey and any less than 34" and I just look hungry.

Let's hear from the rest of you half of your height an ideal waist size for you? I'd be interested to know if this works for anyone. (Not sure how this would work for women since their waists are normally smaller than men's)

Monday, January 08, 2007


Well, today was the big weigh-in at work.

About 2 weeks ago our H.R. department sent out a mass email challenging us all to a contest. A weight loss contest. On a totally volunteer basis, the challenge is to lose the highest percentage of your own body weight. It's a 12 week contest with weekly prizes awarded for highest weight loss and a grand prize at the end of the 12 weeks totalling the entire entry fees paid to enter.

After the weigh-in and the announcement went out detailing how many people entered, I did some quick math. (because, after all, it's all about the money!) I stand to win $440.00. Out of the 150 or so people who work at the corporate office where I do, only a total of 32 people entered. 22 men and 10 women. Now, I look around everyday and see at least 75 people who probably should have entered. I'm not one to judge, (who are we kidding, of course I am) but I was a bit dissapointed in the turn-out. Don't get me wrong, this will, in no way, demotivate me from wanting to win. I figure after putting my mind to it 6 years ago and losing 40 lbs in a matter of 8 weeks, I should be able to win this thing simply because I know I can do it. Now the fun begins...

After hearing the disappointing numbers for participents, I began asking around. The excuses were as long as my arm! Only 1 other person in my department entered. I asked a few people why they didn't. My favorite was this one: "I don't want to just lose weight AND muscle mass and if I work out too, I won't win because muscle weighs more than fat." Can you really be serious?

Anyway, wish me luck! Today begins the hell of feeling hunger pains while sitting at my desk and trying to keep myself from going to the vending machine for that double chocolate chip muffin that laughs at me as I walk by everyday. Not to mention the "Accounting bitches" who, at least once per week bring in pans of home-baked goodies and place them on top of the filing cabinets right at nose-level so whenever you need to walk by on the way to the restroom, you are taunted mercilessly.

I think I'll look for a different route to the restroom tomorrow.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

V W future camper

Ok, as most of you already know, I'm a huge VW fan. I love my Jetta! They are a fantastic car company that produces cars that top the list in safety and quality, two of the most important things to me when I buy a car. I ran across this today and thought it was really cool! I would totally buy one of these. (As soon as I get old enough to want to spend my weekend camping like my parents.) Seriously, I think this is awesome and I hope they actually produce it.

Monday, January 01, 2007


He's such a poser. Sporting his new Christmas bandana.

Well Christmas is over and things are getting back to normal. Andrew got home around 10pm Saturday night. The drive to the airport to pick him up was interesting. He flew out of an airport that is about an hour from here because of the cost savings. I took HWY 151 out of Marion on my way to the Dubuque, Iowa Regional Airport. Woo-hoo! We're in the big city now! As I was just entering Anamosa, Iowa, out of the corner of my eye was what I immediatley thought was an explosion. A sudden bright light and sound to my left. I turned my head in time to see fireworks going off. Hmm. that's kinda strange. It wasn't Christmas or New Years Eve. Not sure what those were for, but kind of weird to be going off that close to the highway. I still don't know what it was, but it added a little interest to the one hour trip via normally boring Hwy 151 to Dubuque.
As I got almost to the Airport, again, off to my left I could see a bright light in the sky. Fairly low and too bright to be a star. As I drove it became obvious that the light was a plane. Andrew's plane. I thought to myself, "damn, I'm good." What timing! I realized that the timing was even more perfect than I thought when, just as the American Eagle jet from Chicago flew over the highway at roughly 300 ft altitude, coming in for it's landing, I was driving directly under it. I watched through the sunroof as Andrew's plane flew directly over my head at a scary low altitude. Jeez, I know I'm easily amused. I get it from my Dad, I'm sure. Anyway, it's great to finally have him back home.

We all had a wonderful Christmas spending time with family and giving the gifts that we stressed over picking out and purchasing in time. Even all the online purchases that Andrew and I both made arrived on time and without incident. (Last year Robin had to wait a few days to get her "Barbie Primp-n-Polish" that Dad had fought to get on Ebay)

Andrew had a nice time with his extended family in Seattle as well. It sounds like things went pretty much like I thought - lots of wine and great food. I actually got a phone call late on the 26th from Laura, Andrew's Mom, just as they had finished opening their gifts. As I talked briefly with her, Randy, Monica and Andrew, I knew the "holiday punch" was likely nearing the bottom of the punch bowl. It sounded like they were having a great time. It made me miss being there even more. Oh well, it sounds like next year's Christmas will likely be back here at our house. I can't wait!

Happy New year to all and may your 2007 be better than you imagined!