Saturday, June 30, 2007

Home Again, Home Again. Jiggity Jig.

Back in Atlanta and back in This New Condo.

It was quite the trip I tell ya!

When we arrived at my Mom's there was no water in her house, it was out due to some construction nearby. Kind of a bummer because after hours in a plane all I want to do is shit and shower... both of which (unless you are camping) require running water. A cause of concern as well because she was throwing a dinner party for us that night. The water did finally come on about 45 mins before her guests arrived. In the meantime we did without the shower, but ultimately made a trip to the local Albertson's to do some "business." We did some grocery shopping too.

The party was wonderful. Mom has some very interesting and funny friends and the wine and conversation flowed freely. It may have been the vino or maybe it was the company but "P," who tends to be rather quiet at functions like those, was gregarious and funny. I think he genuinely enjoyed himself.

The next day we had a very fancy dinner at a bed and breakfast owned by one of my Mom's many gay "man friends." The building was going to be burned down by the local fire dept. as a training exercise until my mom's friend found it. Now it's just beautiful:

We were joined by his son and his partner for part of the meal and had just a great time.

Wednesday we took our passports and headed out on our day trip to have lunch in Canada, just to say we did. We were joined by the aforementioned partner of the B&B owner and he was a riot. Great road trip companion. On the way we stopped at a casino and "partner" won $100! "P" and I left in the red however.

Now, I don't know if this is a new thing, but our Canadian border guard was NOT screwing around. She asked all kinds of weird and personal questions that caught me totally off guard. Here we were just out for a drive and she scared the crap out of me.

Lunch in Creston, B.C. was very nice... a place called Granny's:

We learned while dining at Granny's that gravy is often served with fries in Canada, at least it is at Granny's. At first that seemed weird but if you think about it, you DO make a little mashed potato volcano and pour gravy in the cauldera right? When in Creston, do as the Crestonians do, and I did. Gravy with fries is not bad!

I'm not sure what the deal is with Creston. It IS home to Canada's smallest park:

...but there's no other obvious tourism or anything and yet the main street was lined with t-shirt and nick-nack and touristy shops. Here's the shirt I bought:

We got home from the great white north safely and took Mom to dinner in town. On the way, my Mom took a detour past one of the apartment buildings she owns. As we passed she spotted a tenant grilling out behind his unit. A tenant who is two months late on his rent and not answering her phone calls. With "P" and I as backup (not that she needed it) she confronted the guy and he was pretty quick to pay her one month's worth in cash, but didn't have the rest. I think his eviction notice is in the mail today.

After dinner, back at Mom's, we all drank too much and around 1:30 in the morning, while discussing all the hot topics that usually come up while sloshed, she made the drunken revelation that eons ago she had two abortions and only ONE was while she was with my father. We also learned that her neighborhood association is out to get her and that she hates Paris Hilton. So that was fun.

The next day "P" and I drove down to Moscow, Idaho and then over to Pullman, Washington where I went to university. Had lunch at my former favorite watering hole and then headed back. It's a beautiful drive through miles and miles and miles of rolling hills covered in young wheat stalks. The crop is still a while out from harvest and so it's still green. The view through the car window looks like the set from the Teletubbies:

On Friday we said our goodbyes and flew home in a very warm aircraft. We were very lucky in that none of the passengers seated in front of us reclined their seats. I made sure to loudly thank them. I know it's just a couple inches but man, those inches make all the difference in the world (too many jokes there... leave me yours in the comments).

Oh, because each of the shots of our journey to Idaho were texted in as individual posts (wondering what that is going to do to my bill), and I have a 5 post per page limit on my blog, they don't all show up on a single page... but if you click the "Idaho" label you'll be able to see them all in one nice package. Remember to read from the bottom up though.

It was a great trip and everyone was impressed with "P" is which is always good to hear. Mom looked great and her new kitchen and floors looked fantastic.

Now I have to get ready to start in my new position at work on Monday. In the meantime though I have to catch up on all y'all's blogs! Can't wait to see what everyone has been up to!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Creston, B.C.

my first international post.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Last shot of the day

We are all checked into Mom's guest room and having our first glass of Cabernet blend of the evening. This is the view we traveled 3000 miles for!

Gateway to Rural N. Idaho

The newly refurbished main terminal in Spokane! Now just a 90 minute SUV ride and we're there!

Mormon Humor

That is an actual t-shirt for sale in the SALT LAKE CITY Airport!

SLC Crossroads

Changing planes.

On a Wing and a Prayer... Or...

...The Wind Beneath My Wing... Or...
...Paul McCartney and Wing... Or...
...Just "wingin' it..." you get the picture. Somewhere over Arkansas I think.

23F & 23G

Traytables up and seatbacks in their upright positions.

Not his brother, his DAD...

TSA screener: You ever heard that sir?

Condoblogger: Hunh?

TSA screener: You could be Eminem's father. Anyone ever told you that?

Condoblogger: Nope... First time for that.

Who you callin' a ho?

We're on our way to Idaho!

It's 6am. I'm blogging live from Hatsfield-Jackson International Airport. The pic is of the security line. "P" and I left home at 5am for an 8:20 flight. Glad we did 'cause this line is LONG!

Friday, June 22, 2007

And now I give away the ending to "Funny Girl"

...and probably break several copywright laws in the process.

I've been reading about all of the pride celebrations y'all have already taken part in all over the country. Now it's Atlanta's turn.

The pic above is the world famous "Baton Bob" batoning in front of the crowd that gathered last night for the unofficial kick off to Pride weekend in Atlanta. On Thursdays during the summer Turner Classic Movies erects a screen in Piedmont Park and shows movies (Time Warner does the same thing in Bryant Park in NYC but it's sponsored by HBO there). Since this event always coincides with Pride Weekend the film that plays just prior to Pride is typically campy. Last night it was Barbara... Funny Girl. I honestly thought that I had seen that movie before, and I MAY have seen snippets... some stuff looked familiar, but I don't think I'd ever sat through the whole thing. It's LONG!

Honestly, after sitting through the whole thing... I have to say that I don't think Omar Sharif left Babs because he was too proud to let her support him... I think he just wasn't that into her. You could kind of see it in his eyes. I read a blog post a while back... I honestly don't remember who wrote it... but he was talking about how in every relationship, one person is more in love with the other. It's not a bad thing, necessarily. But one person probably has stronger feelings for their partner than the partner does. Clearly Fanny was a little more into Nick than vice-versa. IMO.

The rest of this weekend is packed. My employer sponsors a number of "Affinity" or "Business Resource" groups, including one for GLBT employees. In fact our group was the FIRST to be officially sanctioned and sponsored by the company. This is the first year that we are really stepping up our presence at Atlanta's Pride. So...

...tomorrow I'm walking in a 5k fun run/walk in Grant Park with the work group... then probably hitting Piedmont Park for the festival. Then Sunday...

...we (the affinity group) are going to walk in Atlanta's Pride Parade. It will be my second time walking in a parade, but my first in my "hometown." The group is sponsoring the Youth Pride float which I understand features Lady Liberty and Lady Justice in a "sisterly embrace." We'll be walking ahead of their float. I'm really looking forward to it.

Finally, bright and early Monday morning "P" and I leave for Idaho to visit Mom. So somewhere in there I'll need to find time to pack.

Happy Pride!

Monday, June 18, 2007

One MILLION Dollars...

...paid out in installments of $40,000 per year over 25 years.

Wanna Win?

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Birthday Backfire

This weekend "P" turns 42! The celebrating began Friday night when he got his first present from me (more on that in a minute). Last night we had dinner with friends at Fratelli di Napoli (where it was strangely quiet for a Saturday night) and then drinks at Burkharts after that.

By the way, if you are ever in Atlanta... Burkharts is a pretty cool bar to hang out at. Awesome patio, no attitude, no particular clique (twink, leather, preppy, bear) is in control of the place... the crowd skews a little older probably, but not by much. Good mix of people. Get your drinks from the adorable Jeff who will probably be working the back bar.

We usually take a trip around this time of year for "P's" birthday. He has a thing for the American Presidents. We've been to Teddy Roosevelt's "Little White House" in Warm Springs, GA (fascinating by the way... what with his mistress and his wife and all). Three years ago we went to Little Rock, AK to see President Clinton's library. I have to admit, it was pretty neat, and it's done a lot to help revitalize this little patch of town down by the river. We really enjoyed it... plus on that trip we drove through Memphis (<--- click that to enter to win a trip there for yourself). Did the tour of Graceland and had a meal on Beale Street. Last year we drove up to Virginia to visit Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and then drove over to Colonial Williamsburg. Monticello was cool, Williamsburg was not what I expected. I did have fun at Busch Gardens in Williamsburg though... nice park.

That's us in Williamsburg... they had one of those hedge mazes out behind one of the fancier houses. I of course had to buy a souvenir three pointed hat. "P" was mortified. Funny that in a post all about "P" I still manage to get a shot of my ugly mug posted. I bet I think this song is about me. Anyway...

This year we are also taking a trip... but it will have very little Presidential historical value. One of "P's" presents this year is a plane ticket to come with me to visit my Mom in rural North Idaho. For a week. But that's not the present I'm worried about, we're all drinkers, it will be fine.

The OTHER gift is the one that may backfire on me. I got him an iPod Nano. He loves it! Thing is he wants to listen to podcasts mostly... I had no idea. He loves music and I just figured he'd burn all his CD's into iTunes and bepop along to all that music. But no. As soon as we had iTunes loaded onto his computer he immediately went to the podcast area. So far he's only really gotten into the NPR catalog, but he'll find other spoken word stuff. How could this backfire? I listen to a - lot - of - podcasts and I leave comments on those shows websites... This New Condo has even been mentioned on a few shows... in fact my REAL name was inadvertently mentioned on one. Is it possible that by giving "P" an iPod for his birthday I may have blown my cover?

Time will tell I guess.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

June 12 of 12

Can you believe it's already time for another installment of Chad Darnell's 12 of 12? If you are new to this, check Chad's site where he explains it all.

I really wish that to make up for my pathetic performance in last months 12 of 12 I had some amazing idea on which to build a story around these photos... but alas...

This, my friends, is what an UNUSUALLY boring day in This New Condo looks like:

I got up at the crack of 1:26 (wait for it)... PM.
In my defense... I didn't go to bed till 5am... so getting up after lunch isn't SO pathetic... is it?

The bonus word this month is "Secret." So here's my first secret: I'm a mouth breather. When I get my nose done it will ACTUALLY be (looking at you Ashlee Simpson) because I have a deviated septum. The BEST thing in the world to soothe the dryness that results from a night mouth breathing is a popsicle... Today's happened to be lime, but I am also partial to banana and root beer.

That may be more of an admission than a secret... how about this: The SECRET to soothing a dry mouth first thing in the morning is to have a popsicle.

While enjoying something cool in the mouth I like to clean out my Yahoo! Mail spambox.

Bored yet?

Check and respond to any comments left on my blog (thankfully today there WERE some so this isn't too embarrassing).

All the while half watching/half listening to an episode of Mythbusters that TiVo thought I might enjoy.

I thought they kind of cheated on this one... it was about making a car stereo so loud that it could cause the windows of a vehicle to be blown out explosively. They built a "woofer" so large that it took up the entire car... they even had to remove the steering wheel... so the myth was already busted when they started because with no seats or steering wheel, it's hardly a car anymore is it?. Basically they just built a giant speaker in the shape of a car. And it still didn't' blow out the windows. Disappointing.

After all that email checking, Mythbusters watching and popsicle eating, it's time for a break. So I kick back on the couch and watch a couple Craig Ferguson monologues. Are you watching the Late Late Show with TV's Craig Ferguson on CBS? Very funny show...

Secret number two: that's the same sock I had on at work the day before... never took 'em off. By the way, I had on brown socks because I was a little dressed up on Monday... I had an interview... more on that later in the week though.

Showertime... I took this shot at GREAT RISK to my Treo.

All cleaned up now. I've made it to the lobby and the mail center to drop a sweepstakes entry in to the outgoing mail. I'd show you my mailbox, but there was nuthin but two junk mail flyers in it.

Here we are in the elevator...

... going up to...

the parking deck. Can you guess which one is mine?

Going out the first of two "Fort Knoxian" security gates that residents of This New Condo are required to pass through in order to leave the premises.

...and finally through the second security gate and I'm off to work.

I hope you will go to Chad's site and see all the other (probably MUCH more interesting) 12 of 12's from all over the world!

Monday, June 11, 2007

R.I.P. Mac

I suspected something was wrong yesterday... she wasn't acting like herself. She DID have a healthy appetite, but her swimming seemed labored and she was staying closer to the bottom of her bowl than usual.

When I went to feed her this morning, she was gone.

The pic above is Mac in happier days.

Mac was a housewarming/Christmas gift from "P's" mom and is actually named in honor of her. M A C are "P's" mom's initials.

When Mac first came home to this new condo last Christmas I was very nervous about having a life to care for, but she quickly put me at ease, settling into her new surroundings quite nicely.

For a fish, I think she lived a good life. Other than freedom or companionship, I don't think she really wanted for anything while in my care. I worried about the solitude she must feel being all alone in her bowl, but she seemed to enjoy her alone time as much as I do. Mac had clean water, plenty of food and even a little ceramic rock fort... I can let her go knowing that the past 6 months, her last 6 months, were pretty luxurious.

Now, Mac's spirit is at rest, her body is on a new adventure and her bowl is in the dishwasher.

I think the best way to honor Mac would be to rescue some other little swimmer from it's cramped quarters in a Pet-Smart tank. So, who should move into the bowl now? Another betta? Maybe one one of Mac's more flamboyant male counterparts? How about a species that would tolerate tankmates? Do any of y'all have fish?

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Flirting with disaster

"P" is directly in front of me. We're at my place. He cannot see the computer screen. He has no idea I'm blogging. He's cooking dinner. It's a shrimp, pasta, basil and tomato dish that he invented (or at least CLAIMS to have invented) that is delicious. We bought all the ingredients at Your Dekalb Farmer's Market earlier today. Light, fresh, filling... I can't wait for dinner to be served.

He thinks I am entering sweepstakes.

The Top Chef season 1 and 2 reunion show is on in the background. I have such a crush on Harold. "P" has it bad for Sam.

How YOU doin?

Friday, June 8, 2007

Show me somethin'

Call me an elitist. Call me a snob. Call me irresponsible.

Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip was awesome last night.

Television is mostly terrible. I should know... I help make some of it. Even the channels that used to practically guarantee you'd learn something or at least be challenged to think a little are packed with crap nowadays. For example: A&E is considering a reality show in which Corey Haim moves in with Corey Feldman. The "A" in A&E stands for ART by the way... for now.

Have you ever been in a situation where you are in a group of people, maybe leaving a movie theater for example, and y'all encounter a set of double doors? Like these:

So it's a big group of you all trying to leave the theater and the first person in your group to reach the doors opens only the door on the right. BOTH doors are operational, but only the door on the right has been pulled open. NOW, for some reason, you are ALL trying to exit via the one open door only. No one thinks about how much MORE traffic could move through the doors if BOTH of them were open... and if anyone IS thinking about it he or she is too lazy or too apathetic to act.

Studio 60 is the other door... or at least it was last night. I'll be the first to admit that Aaron Sorkin let me down with this show initially... but something clicked last night and it just ROCKED! Why aren't more people willing to open the other door!? It was funny, it was poignant, it was fast and furious, it was probably not in the top 20 shows watched last night. Maybe it was... not too much serious competition at 10P eastern other than the NBA Playoffs.

I feel like an adult when I watch anything Aaron Sorkin writes. Studio 60 is just for grownups and that is what I love about it. No one under 30 gives a damn about Studio 60. Awesome!

Open the other door next week will ya? Thursday 10PM (9 Central) on NBC.

This is going to burn me because LAST time I suggested a TV program to y'all Sarah Silverman let me down BIG TIME. All her shows on Comedy Central had been GREAT up until the episode I told everyone to watch and then she sucked. You know what... DON'T watch Studio 60 next week, 'cause I want it to be as good as it was tonight.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Let me show you my behind

Not sure when it started to happen... I think it was about two weeks ago. For no particular reason I started to get behind. There are two projects at work that are sitting in my Outlook In-Box that haven't been started. One new position at work that I have been asked to apply for (this is a post unto itself... really interesting situation... to me anyway), There are 5 bills staring me in the face as I type this that need to be paid. The sweepstakes I clipped out of the Sunday paper need to be organized. I need to do laundry, get my haircut... the only blogs I've made time to read are the dirty ones...

The unsettling part of all this is that I am not particularly concerned about it. In fact, a nap sounds really good.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Win a Jeep!

Miller Lite wants you to design and win a Jeep!

Click here to see the one I designed.

Once you have your's all tricked out post the URL they'll give you in my comments so we can compare. They're giving away 4. Enter once a day, everyday till July 31st!

-Good Luck

Friday, June 1, 2007

What do you do in the emergency room for 4 hours?

Take pictures! Of course!

No need to go into why I was there... the short version of the story is that it turned out to be nothing. The long version includes an unexpected twist (ala Lynette Scavo) that will hopefully ALSO turn out to be nothing, but no need to go into all that for now.

I DID experience my first CT scan while I was in the ER... pretty freaking cool if you ask me. All automated. The neatest part was when they put this stuff called "contrast" into me. I think "contrast" is just a catchall term for any medium they can get inside of you that will show up well in the scan. In my case the contrast was delivered via an IV. Some stuff you have to drink or have (ahem) inserted. Why was it neat? The contrast they used on me had a trippy side effect... as soon as it started going in (and the tech warned me about this) parts of me got really warm. My ears for example... and my balls... just weird random pockets of heat. Instantaneously!

Having to deal with doctors and stuff is always intimidating for me. Lots of specific questions, lots of embarrassing disrobing, lots of being cold and waiting. My visit in the early hours of yesterday morning was one that I'd put off a million times because of insecurities and my uncanny ability to disregard any weird physical issue with the phrase "It's nothing." I have to say that my nurses and doctors were amazing. Maybe I got lucky, but everyone who I dealt with was compassionate, understanding, pleasant, efficient. It wasn't The 4 Seasons... but it wasn't Walter Reed either.

Lots of much sicker people around which is always kind of unsettling. A lot of puking, or at least retching, going on. I think something might be going around and I hope whatever it is didn't get past the curtain that blocked my exam room from the rest of the area.

So for now... my only souvenirs from my visit to the ER are my wristband, a couple MasterCard bills, a bruise where my first IV thing didn't go in so good (I decided not to post that pic) and the knowledge that to the best of a nurse, a doctor and a radiologist's knowledge there is no indication that the symptoms that prompted my visit to the ER are anything life threatening which is a relief. Oh yeah, and I got a sick day off work too... bonus!