Never Quite What I Expected

This was quite possibly the oddest year I’ve ever had. I started out the year surrounded by a host of friends supporting me during a small crisis and ended up the year with a host of friends surrounding me during a major crisis. I’ve been very fortunate to have such good friends, family and mentors in my life… and this year it paid off.

First, the list of Favorite Things of 2008
Movie: The Dark Knight (Heath Ledger was spectacular and it was a great comic book story)
Album: Evolver (John Legend) – if you buy any album this year, buy this one
Video Game: World of Warcraft – Wrath of the Litch King (I am getting a bit bored with the game, it’s been my favorite for 4 or 5 years now)
TV Show: CSI – lots of changes over at CSI this year, not sure if I’ll like it after all the changes are done but I’m trying to remain open minded.
Airline: Northwest/Delta – the way they helped me in November was just beyond what I expected – Kudos to them
Coffee Pot: I got a new one, Cuisinart and it’s the best.. I bought one for Lisa it’s that good
Gadget: Kindle – electronic books I love this thing and I have a ton of books on it.
Web page: Facebook – dang this thing is addicting and fun

As per usual, every Sunday morning if we are in DC – Mark, Robert and i have breakfast somewhere before our Sunday meeting. Annie’s changed their menu this fall so we are currently looking for a new place to eat – we may have found one after much searching.

I started out the year following up on quitting my job, I had made the decision to quit back in November of 07, and events that happened in December just made me want to hurry out that much sooner. I gave notice, a months notice and told them I’d be happy to help them out for a while until my replacement was settled in. Then I was fired the following week (yes Gary fired). They locked me out of my work station and wiped my Blackberry clean. I was resentful for a while, but most of it got out in my blog and I felt better.

Jim DiLuigi (who was also fired, but in December) and I wasted no time, but started up Access-Ability Consultants, Inc and have been working steadily since. Its a nice arrangement and we have a lot of fun. This year we made a profit, so that’s a very good thing. We have lots of very busy days and lots of days where we have time for Charlie to send jokes or to find cheap things for Jim to buy at Heartland America. Jim is the Treasurer for Historic Takoma which provides plenty of work for both of us, but doesn’t actually pay the bills 😉

One of the nicer things about working with Jim is his family. As a result of the new company I’ve been fortunate to get to know some very special people better than I had a chance to know them before: Ana Maria, Lisa (and Rankine), David (and Regina), Mark (and Kate) and Jim’s Mom and brother as well. I will let you know that it got a little tense during some of the political circus this year as the DiLuigi family are not all the same political party… it was fun to see some of the back and forth banter.

I’ve tried dating this year, been on several dates with several men … yes, JUST dates. There have been some promising candidates, but I’m not going to settle for less than I deserve, why would I want to. I’m still looking and its been a lot of fun. wish me luck.

The cats (Q and Mouse) are fine, though Q has some kind of psychological disorder – or i assume so cause the Xrays found nothing ($338 later) to tell why he wont poop in the box.

This was a high school year, not just the faux high school reunion, I also spent time with Eric and Kelly here in DC, and then Eric and I had a great weekend at the Renaissance Fair and Baltimore this fall. Ted, Eric, Rick, Jeff, Tim… hell a ton of folks are on Facebook, so I know what’s going on in their daily lives.

I took several trips this year.

In April Suzanne and I spent a weekend in NY (NJ and NY really) and besides someone breaking into her car (they didn’t steal anything, and the Ipod I had bought her for Christmas was in the Jeep – we think they were looking for the GPS) we had a great time. I saw my first play on Broadway – Young Frankenstein. I heard alot about Paul (Suzanne’s fiance) this weekend, but I didn’t get a chance to meet him until December. Suzanne’s dog Destiny had been very old at this point and Suzanne had her put to sleep, it was sad.

In May I took a trip for my AA birthday (14) I went to Ft Lauderdale, but didn’t have quite as much fun as I normally do (read what you want into that).

In June I took my first trip to Wisconsin for Scooters going away party. He graduated high school and took off for basic training. It’s always nice to spend time with Pat and Brenda and I, of course drove down to see Ma, Pa and Rhonda in Galesville and also visited Jim’s daughter in Nashville – that was very enjoyable it was nice to spend time with Lisa, her husband Rankine and their dogs Daisy and Buddy. so of course I missed gay pride in DC again… nothing new there.

In July I took another trip to WI, this time for my pseudo 20 year reunion. Just a few of us decided to meet up and reminisce. It was a trip to see Rosy, Ted, Eric and Jen again. I hope we do it often. It was very nice and I stayed at Ma and Pa’s for 4 days I think. I got back and the next night went to see George Michael perform at the Verizon Center with Mark and Robert – I don’t much care for concerts so that’ll likely be my last one.

In August, Pat, Brenda and Anna (Scooters girlfriend) came to DC to visit Scooter after Basic and then make me play tour guide… they had fun torturing me. In August a friend, John Dunn, died, it was sudden, unexpected and sad. He was one of the nicest people I ever met here in DC, he was mourned by many across the area.

In October Jim and I finalized plans to take a trip to Cancun in November, I invited my good friend Brenda to go with me and then gave her a hard time every other day. One day I called and told her that the passport number she gave me was listed as invalid… she turned the car around and headed home… then I told her I was fibbin… she swore then. lol

So of course the day my Pa died in November (15th) I called her as she was about to board the commuter plane to come to DC for the trip to Cancun and at first she didn’t believe me … don’t cry wolf.

My Pa dying was the hardest thing I’ve ever had to live through. I cried like I had never cried before and I still miss him. I hope that I will always miss him. I get teary and sad off an on since I found out. I don’t really want to talk about it here… again… I miss my Pa. I am trying to be a better son, trying to be a better brother by staying more in touch with Ma and Rhonda… and as a result I’m trying to be a healthier person also. I had so much support from friends when this happened, and I am so very grateful that they were there and I hope I can be there for them if a similar situation occurs.

In December I spent 5 days for my birthday in San Diego, exploring, playing tourist and relaxing. It was the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to go back.

The weekend before Christmas I went to Suzanne’s, met her fiance Paul and her new dog Farley. We had a lovely visit.

That was my year, it went by entirely too fast, but overall it was a good year. The people (salads and dogs) that have moved on this year made me into the person I am today – which is a good thing.

If you want to know full on details about anything that was written above, try looking at my blog: http://mrjamezq.blogspot.com almost everything that happened this year to me was documented.

I hope you all have a lovely year and I hope that I may get to share just a tiny fraction of yours with you.

love

jamez

VA Beach Visit

This weekend I returned to Virginia Beach to visit Suzanne, meet her fiance (Paul), and her new dog (Farley). I took the long way there – Jim and I drove up to New Jersey to get his mother and brother for their holiday weekend, and then dropped me off just in time at the BWI airport. This was my first visit back to the Virginia Beach area since I moved back to DC in the summer of 2006.

When I arrived in Norfolk Suzanne and Farley were there to greet me, it was nice to meet the dog I’ve heard so much about, he’s an adorable English Bulldog. He was enamored with me immediately, proceeded to make love to my leg in the car on the way to Suzanne’s house. That was the most action I’d seen in a while.

When we arrived at the house the music was blasting and Paul was upstairs finishing getting ready for dinner. When he came downstairs I saw that he is one of those individuals that doesn’t photograph well: he’s cuter than he looks in the pictures Suzanne has shared with me in the past.

We headed off to dinner at a mexican restaurant where Suzanne and I used to eat pretty regularly. We were joined by Rodney (an friend from the rooms), his new girlfriend (who’s name I can’t recall) and one of Suzannes sponsee – Jennifer B I think. Dinner was nice, lots of conversation and laughter. Then Suzanne, Paul and I headed to a meeting – Paul’s not an alcoholic, but he plays with them in the Navy – the meeting was open so he was free to attend. It was a good meeting on step 8 and I’m glad we were there.

Saturday morning when S&P went off to try to kill themselves in a body step class (Suzanne is the instructor) I watched cartoons and tried to fend off Farley’s advances, he’s a very insistent lover. When S&P returned we went off to have a quick lunch and then… shopping at the mall. The shopping wasn’t as bad as I feared, not too crowded so maybe there is something to this recession thing.

Saturday evening we had dinner at Carrabba’s cause I love their spicy chicken soup, and then headed out to see Four Christmases with Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon, we laughed alot and I grabbed a new tag line for the holiday’s:

You can’t spell families without lies.

Sunday was mostly uneventful, I said farewell to Farley, Suzanne and I got manicures and then I came home.

It was a nice, relaxing weekend and I’m glad I had the chance to meet Paul and Farley.

I Agree Marriage Shouldn’t Be Recognized

Not same-sex marriage, different sex marriage, polygamist marriage, nor any other type of union.

For too long we’ve politely glanced away when we’ve seen the golden band on their finger, I say no more. Equality for all, if we can’t have it, lets make damn sure they can’t either. Divorce is at 50% now, think of what will happen when we ignore the rules and don’t play fair.

Any man is eligible for sex; and most men – gay or straight – can’t turn down a good blow job. Let’s take advantage of the straight man’s sexual needs and get some of our needs met as well. Bathroom senators, heroin addicted ministers, professional athletes, here we come… no pun intended.

This isn’t just about man on man sex, think of the women that could come to fully realize how much fun sex can be once they’ve been exposed to talented lesbians. Never mind the fact that (stereotypical) lesbians will be better at helping these ladies around the house than there emasculated husbands ever were.

Let’s redefine marriage, lets make it that much harder for you biased, bigoted, bastards to stay together at all.

Ok, that’s not what we really want. Sure there were times, when I was younger, that all I thought about was having good sex and more good sex after that. And I’m sure there are some younger folks out there, whether gay or straight, who think that way today… hell, maybe some older folks too.

We want what everyone in America was promised: equality, freedom, choice. We want to be able to celebrate our love of another human being with the rest of the world, and to share that love with those around us. We want the same basic rights of love that our straight counterparts get without having to fight for it at all.

Are these things the downfall of humanity? Will they lead to the destruction of all things? I don’t think so, I’ve never known love as strong as I’ve seen it in homosexual couples to end up as something bad.

They say marriage would be redefined. Look at our history and see how much marriage has been changed already – it was not that long ago that people of different races were not allowed to marry. We don’t want to change existing marriage, we just want to share in it, we want to share in the joys, the heartaches, the rights, the wrongs of every other American citizen has if they are straight.

Is it a civil right? The Declaration of Independence states:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

And what is love of my (potential) partner but “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”?

We don’t want more than you want, we want the exact same thing you have, which is our unalienable right in this land of freedom and equality.

Inaugural Invasion

Well, first I just had a flash in my head of Mid Atlantic Leather (MAL) being on the same weekend as President-Elect Obama’s inaugural… wow, tons of guys in leather decending on our nations capital at the same time as the tourists and historist (new word – people that want to be a part of history, but wont actually be able to see anything the entire time, as we’ll be overrun). Maybe the Prez-Elect would visit the Eagle that night, that would be cool.

Anyway, I know this is a big deal, and I know at least a million people are expected to come to our fine city… and I just can’t help but think that I want to be anywhere but here that weekend. I understand the people in charge of the festivities are planning 4 days of events. 4 days! just wow. I know there are several other things going on that weekend (MAL, MLK Jr Day, Inauguration, snow… ) and I just cant’ imagine finding services that wont have long lines, or escalators where the uneducated will stand on the left.

Am I the only one living in this city that thinks being here is the last place the want to be that week?

What I’m reading

So, I just finished a Conspiracy of Paper which I would call historical fiction, others might not call it that but I will. I liked it, it kept me entertained and had me wondering most of the way through. There were parts of the story that I was bored with, but most books can do that to me.

I am currently on the 2nd book in the J.D. Robb series of books, Naked … Naked in something… heck I don’t recall, Naked in Justice or something. It’s pretty good so far, it reminds me about every other page how grateful I am to be gay and not have to deal with whacko women… no offense of course.

I have Angels and Demons up next and then I’m not sure what I’ll read. All of this is on my Amazon Kindle, which I still love. Its great to have such a wide array of reading material on such a small device, I feel like Captain Janeway reading items handed to her by Tuvok… yes, I’m a geek.

My San Diego Adventure

I had a great time.

Oh, you need more… hmmm.

The flight was uneventful, I did get to upgrade to first class for a small fee, and afterward I couldn’t tell you that there is a difference on US Airways between First and Coach, perhaps they ignore completely the folks in Coach and only slightly ignore those of us in first class… I’m not sure.

This was my first trip to San Diego, and flying into the city was a breathtaking experience. As we approached and the outskirts of the city became visible to me, there were about 7 folks parachuting into the mountain area there – as they were there our plane was restricted from being low enough for an approach to land to actually be ok, so we had to fly out over the ocean and come back around – which pleased me as I got to see the city from above twice and just loved it.

My hotel, The Park Manor Suites, was just a short cab ride from the airport and very inexpensive. I arrived at my hotel around 12:30 p.m., checked in and headed out almost immediately to see what I could find. (I forgot I actually went to the penthouse of the hotel where they have a restaurant, and had a burger quickly.)

I walked to Balboa Park and just wandered around exploring the area, so much to see there (museums, architecture, views of downtown, muscular men in shorts jogging… ). I discovered that walking to the zoo on Thursday was going to be the cheapest way to go, and I discovered that they have a holiday light event (Balboa Park Holiday Nights) which would mean I had no intention of sifting through crowds of foolish merriment.

My intention was to go to a meeting on Wednesday night, but I fell asleep in my room around 6 p.m. and woke around 5 a.m. the next morning. Oh well, we all know what the road to hell is paved with.

Thursday after drinking coffee in my room I went upstairs to the penthouse for a continental breakfast and then headed out to the zoo. The San Diego Zoo was just amazing, and I was there almost as soon as it opened to the public that day. There were not too many screaming children, nor too many people at all, I may have had the best day to go. I immediately found the Pandas and then found my way to the overhead tram…. I quickly discovered that I have a small fear of heights, but I said a quick prayer (“God, please remove the fear.”) and its not like they could have gotten me off the damn thing once it started… To foolishly confront my fear, I went on the tram again later… had to say the same prayer again too. I had a great time at the zoo, it was a spectacular day.

On my way back from the zoo, I headed to the San Diego Air and Space Museum. I had heard someone (either in the park, the hotel or the zoo) mention something about a Star Trek Exhibit, so I wanted to be sure to check it out. It was very cool, I did simulators of a Starfleet shuttle, got beamed up and just had a very geeky time.

That evening I had dinner at the hotel. I didn’t really care for it, but I know people that like sauces and weird food probably would enjoy the restaurant there (that would more than likely be the rest of the planet). I just wanted a good steak, and I didn’t find one… (not the whole trip, but I didn’t do a search on the net for one, next visit I’ll do better research).

Friday I took a trolley tour (no not a real trolley, one of those buses that looks like a trolley) of the city and did a lot of shopping. I loved Sea Port Village, got a close look at some hotels I’ve only ever seen in reports (the Marriott, the Sheraton… ) and just had a pleasant walk. The “boardwalk” stroll was nice on Friday, the weather was very cooperative to my enjoying the sun and calling friends in the midwest where it snowed.

Friday night at the hotel they have a very popular happy hour on the penthouse. I attended, but soon felt uncomfortable and left. I don’t like bars. So, no I couldn’t tell you how any of the San Diego bars were, as I didn’t go… I had considered going to the Eagle, but soon remembered that I left my boots in DC and didn’t want to go without my boots (I’m weird, yes… we know).

Saturday (my birthday) I had a few things in mind: facial, shopping, nap… yes, I’m easy to please. I also managed to go to the Balboa Theater to see the San Diego Men’s Chorus do their holiday show. They had a special guest from American Idol, but I didn’t know her, Paris Bennet

Sunday I took a Hornblower Cruise of the San Diego bay. It was great, I spent two hours on a boat touring and loved it. 
Monday I had breakfast at the Hash House A Go Go, again (I had eaten there almost every day for breakfast – huge portions) and then went off to the air port to go home.  Monday was an uneventful day, but I still relaxed and enjoyed it…
until, while on the plane, I spilled scalding hot coffee on myself, oh well…