Thursday, December 28, 2017

This week I am on vacation. Steven is heading up to Alaska for a few days of work. So I shall have a quiet few days. I have a few odd jobs planned—little house maintenance things that need to be done but that I keep putting off.

Just me and the dog and a lot of great hiking trails.

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Steven and the sponsee have just left. They are heading to a medical evaluation before the sponsee is checked into a treatment program.

The sponsee's life melted down over the past few days. The family he was staying with kicked him out. His ex wife refused to let him see or talk to his kids. This morning, we packed up everything he owns and put it in his storage locker.

On the positive side, he didn't steal or cheat. His health appears to be fine. As they say in the program... as long as you are not dead or in jail, then you can fix things.

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Something different for Christmas this year. One of Steven's sponsee's fell of the wagon and spent a few thousand dollars on drugs and gambling. He may have been kicked out of his room. Or maybe not. His story isn't clear here and he is afraid to communicate with those he has dissapointed. Either way, he's spending a few days with us. On Tuesday we check him into a treatment center. 
Steven and I had a good chat about this before we let him in. Usually he is a nice guy and comes accross as having his head screwed on straight. Still, we hid any valuables and agreed that someone had to be with him while he is in the house. 
Steven and the sponsee have been spending their time talking about sobriety, treatment options and the consequences of going on a bender.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Steven, Bailey and I  spent a few days at Whistler skiing and snowboarding. It was my first time snowboarding in a few years, and my first time at Whistler ever. A few impressions. Mostly these are notes for me to remember the next time I travel there...

Whistler is the Disney of skiing. A bit of searching suggests that it's the largest ski resort in North America. The village around the base is built around hotels, bars, restaurants and shopping with ski lifts right in the center.

The resort is built in the valley between two mountains-- Whistler and Blackcomb. Blackcomb is a more challenging mountain. My skill level could handle Blackcomb, but it was exhausting. We had much more fun on Whistler.

Australians are everywhere in Whistler. Apparently Canada allows for unlimited work visas for Australian citizens. Young Australians take advantage of this and flock to whistler to work and ski for the season.

Next time we are there, we should do more research on the different accommodations. Our building was right on the ski run, which is nice, but it was older and the beds were past their prime. I think we could do much better for not that much more money.

There is a whole social life around skiing at whistler. Baily, who skis there almost every year, kept running into people that she only meets there. The general flow is to ski until 3 or 4. Then have a little apr├Ęs-ski (after-ski drinks at the bar. Some of the bar bands are incredibly good) This is followed by a soak in the hot tub and then dinner around 7pm. We fell asleep every night by 10pm since skiing is so exhausting.

Skiing is the opposite of a nice beach vacation. Much work, effort and coordination must go into a ski trip. None of this is relaxing. Its all made up for by the views and freedom that you experience while skiing. 

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

My last support check to RO is due soon. This brings up many memories, not only for me, but for RO. Tonight he texted me a goodbye love note. With his history of attempted suicide, this makes me think twice. I'm presuming that he is saying goodbye in a friendly way.



Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Sunday, December 10, 2017

We spent the weekend in Victoria. Very plesant and quaint.

We took the Victoria clipper up. That sounds more romantic than it is. The seating is a little better than economy class. You have to go through customs on either end.

The views along the way are wonderful. I saw a pod of orcas. Steven got some great pictures of the sunset.

Victoria, like Seattle, is going through a growth spurt. Lots of construction. I'm not sure what is driving the growth though. I'll look that up sometime.

Steven and I both agreed that we could retire in Victoria.

Saturday night was a party with Steven's old friends, including Vic.

Vic and Steven were once married. The three of us were great friends. That was years ago. Vic and Steven have both rebuild their lives. Vic has since remarried. 

Steven and I chatted about that. He wanted to ensure that I was comfortable around Vic. I admitted it was a little weird, but it was also good to see him again. 

We also got to see Vic's son and his son's wife. I last saw Vic's son when he was 12. I think his son is now 27.  So much time has passed. 

Sunday morning we walked along the waterfront and through the Empress Hotel (Which is gorgeous) and along the shoppping district. The weather was wonderful. A great way to end the weekend. 

Monday, December 04, 2017

As always, Tommy responded back with words of wisdom...

Blogger "Tommy" said...

In the past few months, my friends have been coping with similar events in their parents lives. I have to say the children are now becoming the parents... the responsibility for care is on their shoulders for their parents. I see the stress that is occurring with the siblings who live far away and the ones who live near the parents.

I'm looking at this problem a few ways. 

1. My brothers and I are taking responsibilities over from our parents. As a gay man with no children, it's very new for me to feel the responsibility over the life and health of another. I have a new respect for parents.

2. My mothers condition isn't like a cold or flu where she will get over it, and go on to live a great and productive life for years to come. My mother has had a rich and productive life. Now her abilities are waning. What's left is for our family and friends to cherish our remaining time with her. 

3. This is a sneak preview of how I may age. I take great care of myself. Until recently I've been able to delude myself that I'll live a great life until I'm 90 and then die quietly in my sleep. That is not true. I may die at any time for any reason. I may die suddenly. I may linger.

As the Will Roger's joke goes... I want to die quietly in my sleep like my grandpa. Not screaming in terror like the passengers in his car.

Mother had a seizure on Sunday. She is fine now, though it was very scary for a few hours. She already has short term memory loss, so after she regained consciousness, she was asking where she was every four minutes or so.

Right now she is in good shape. My brother said she has decent coordination and is able to walk around. She has some bruises from when she had the seizure, but they will heal.

My other brother and I live far away from our parents. We are planning things through now. I've seen my parents twice this year and call regularly, so I wasn't planning on visiting them for the holidays.





The holiday season is here. Steven and I are getting together with friends three or more times a week. The social schedule is making Steven tired.

Friday was dinner with the husband of a niece of Steven's. He was in Seattle for interviews.

Saturday was a white elephant gift party with the AA crowd. We got a shake-weight and a half a dozen framed nudes of woman. Enough about that.

The party had a large attendance. Steven mentioned that he feels anxious in large parties. That surprised me. He is much more extroverted than I am so I always assumed he was comfortable in crowds. I think the difference is that he always wants everyone to have a great time, which is a tough task in a large crowd. On the other hand, while I don't feel anxious in large parties, I generally don't enjoy them either. So, I don't really care if other people aren't enjoying them selves.

Sunday was dinner with MB. MB is an older friend of Steven's, but they became distant after Steven got sober. Lately they've been reconciling, but they have drifted apart in other ways, so who knows how far that will go.



I have friends who insist that vinyl albums sound better than digital. After having dinner with a few of these friends, I'm not sure that vinyl sounds better. But it is more fun. You get to browse the albums—albums used to have great cover art. When you play the album, you must commit to listening to that album for the next 20 minutes.

Very different than Pandora or Spotify where I can just choose "Dinner Music" and then click thumbs down on any song I don't like.

You must take Vinyl more seriously.



Sunday, December 03, 2017

Mom had a seizure. She is in the hospital but is fully recovering now. I wasn't going to go home for Christmas since I've visited my parents twice this year, but this had made me reconsider.


This episode has also made me realize that my brothers and I may need to do a bit more planning in regards to my parents. Something may happen where their care will be longer and protracted. What then?




Monday, November 27, 2017

Oh yeah... my blog is now 17 years old. It's a little weird to look back over the older entries. So much has changed in the past 17 years.

It's been three years since RO and I separated and the ensuing drama started.

Life does go on.


Back from Vacation.  I took Thanksgiving week off. I had a good time. Ate a lot, drank a lot.


Saturday before Thanks giving was dinner with two bears that we've known for years. Steven and they had a bonding moment. After Steven told a bit about his sobriety story, the couple shared that they stopped rugs and drank much less because their lives were spiraling out of control.


I wonder how common drug use is in the population at large. Do I know more drug users than average? Or am I connected to those more willing to share the truth with me. Its possible that recreational drug usage is more popular in the gay community since gay men, with no children and no other responsibilities, have a tendency to be hedonists.


I hear about the opioid epidemic, but none of the drug users I know use opioids. I asked Steven about this. He said that opioids are for poor people. If you have money, you buy meth.


Sunday was dinner with the Angle & Yo. They are doing well. The Angle is traveling a lot for work.


Wednesday, C2 flew into town. He spent some time with his family. His family dynamics are strained. He has a sister who rents a house from him. They don't get along. His father is a bit bitter and isn't taking care of himself.


Thursday was dinner with the AA crowd. Dinner was great, though Steven described the crowd as "The island of misfit toys." Where else can you overhear conversations like…


                "In 2006 I got a second mortgage on my house and spent the money on drugs."

                "I was always too paranoid about going into debt. I stole to pay for my drugs."



As for C2. Who knows how C2 really feels. He and Steven sometimes have very pointed discussions. C2 occasionally likes to push buttons. He hit a few of Stevens. Fortunately C2 really cares about us. When he pushes buttons, it's because he cares for that person and wants them to avoid doing something stupid.





Monday, November 06, 2017

Perspectives and the people around us.

Today is my last day in Bangalore. I fly out 4am Sunday morning and will arrive in Settle at 10am thanks to the magic of  time zones.

This trip is a little different than my last one. Steven traveled with me last time. This time I'm alone with the natives. It's given me a chance to pay more attention to Indian culture.

Bangalore is in South India. One of my Indian coworkers here has never traveled north of Bangalore. He says he doesn't understand the languages and cultures. The food is too different.

That was a surprisingly deep statement. While I'm trying to wrap my head around India as a whole, I missed the fact that India is extremely diverse with dozens of languages, religions, foods and cultures.

I like Indian food, though I'm looking forward to my regular diet. The spice is hard on my stomach after a few days. Indian buffet is very common.

I have problems figuring out if a dish is a soup, a dip, a sauce or a spread. I don't think the natives always know either. Or perhaps in India there is just food and you eat it however you want. Labels like "Soup", "Spread" "Sauce" "Appetizer"
"Entee" or "Dessert" are western concepts that don't really apply here. Sure there are food preparations that are more liquid than other preparations, but its up to you if you want to eat it as a soup, pour it on rice or drink it from the bowl.

Advertising is everywhere. Everywhere!  Billboards are everywhere. The front page of the newspaper is a big ad with the main headlines summarized in a small bar along the bottom.

My gut says that Indian advertising focuses more on beauty and jewelry than American ads. But I've learned how to tune out much American advertising, so that perspective may say more about me than India.

Indian TV and Movies are over the top. It doesn't help that I don't speak the languages. I can only focus on the strangeness of the situations. Perhaps American TV is similar, but I don't watch the worst of our TV and since I understand the language the absurdities fly past. The overacting here is kind of similar to the overacting you see in mediocre American sitcoms. There doesn't seem to be the Indian equivalent of HGTV or National Geographic. There are many news channels here. Indians love their news. At the highest levels of Indian society and politics, there is so much corruption so many scandals that people follow the news the passion of soap operas or reality shows.

Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Bangalore is going well. I like the team here. I can stay engaged enough to stay awake all day.
Wednesday we took a day trip to a Belur temple. The visit was a little odd. One of our hosts insisted that we do something fun during our stay. He arranged for the driver.
The temple is very interesting. It’s 900 years old and took over 100 years to build. It’s covered with thousands of carvings, each telling a different story. The stories are from the Hindu texts.
Back at home Steven has a job interview for a great job at his current company. He is nervous and excited about it. I hope he gets it.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Long distance travel is a little disorienting. My trip is 14 hours from Seattle to Dubai, then a three hour layover in Dubai followed with a 4 hour flight to Bangalore.

In Dubai I've been Skyping with people in Seattle who are just getting up and people in Bangalore who are just going to bed.

The sooner I switch to Bangalore time the better, but I'm hungry and sleepy on Seattle time and food is available all the time.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Well,  I am still in Seattle. Things went wrong. I didn't add enough time before the trip. The driver arrived 45 minutes late and traffic was terrible.


I leave again in a couple of hours. The delay screws up my schedule a bit. I'll arrive in Bangalore on Monday at around 9am. I don't think that will change our schedule too much.




Friday, October 27, 2017

I am flying off to Bangalore for work again. This time I am alone. Steven has flown to California for a few days to celebrate his mothers birthday and to spend time with his brother.

My drive doesn't arrive for two hours and I'm ready to go. The trip is 20 hours. Part of me wants to get started as soon as possible. Such is not the way for airlines.

I've given myself an itinerary for the trip. It's too easy to sit, watch movies, drink and play games. I want to use the time to read, write, plan, cleanup my electronic files and listen to some music. All the things I say I want to do more, but never get around to because the TV is on.

I am also flying incredibly light. I think I have all I need—a week of clothes, socks and underwear, toiletries, chargers, electronics, work stuff—packed in a gym bag and a backpack.

This time I am flying business class. My first time doing so for work. A few of my coworkers were excited to hear I was flying business. To be honest, I'm giving up two of my weekends to travel for work. I'm going to be jet lagged for the next two weeks. Business class is very nice and I'm very thankful for it. It doesn't make up for the hassle of the tri

Bangalore does have some very nice places to visit and eat. The hotel is gorgeous. I'll enjoy this trip hassle aside.




Sunday, October 01, 2017

I've started running trail again. From my notes the last time I did a long trail run was July 2014. This brings back memories. I stopped trail running at about the same time I decided to leave my ex.


Life is settling down again. This is good.


Of course my time isn't what it used to be. I used to run my regular trail in 1 hour and 25 minutes. My time is now 1 hour and 47 minutes. This gives me something to work towards.


I've also resurrected the motorcycle. It hasn't run in about a year and half. I added distilled water to the battery and charged it up. I started up the motorcycle and got about 100 feet before it stalled out. It wouldn't restart so I had to push it back home. Today I cleaned out the old gas and charged it again. This time it ran fine.  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Steven is away for the week for work, so I'm playing bachelor. The house is becoming more messy and I will need to pick up before he returns. I've also been eating a little more carefully and exercising a little more regularly. I must figure out how to keep that up when Steven returns.

Some of that is newly freed up time. Over the summer, between the wedding, receptions and travel, we fewer evenings and weekends off. The celebrations have quieted down now. I'm enjoying that. I I spend my evenings listening to music and sipping a glass of wine.

Steven dislikes much of the music I enjoy. He calls it "Elevator music for the death star." That gave me a chuckle.


Monday, September 18, 2017

Two friends of ours, Allen & Evan won a weekends stay at a resort on Lake Chelan.  They invited us along.
Lake Chelan is a dammed lake in the middle of the desert. In summer it's always sunny and warm. We had a lovely weekend.
We rented a boat for a few hours. Steven wants to own a boat. I'm fine renting. Boats cost thousands of dollars a year, so spending a few hundred to rent every now and then is well worth the trade.
We toured the lake, swam an inner tubed.  
In the evening we had dinner with Matt. I haven't seen Matt in years. We lost touch because he and my ex fought. That's become a pattern in my life—losing touch with friends because my ex and they couldn't get along.
Anyways, it was great to catch up with Matt and his new husband. Well. They've been together for 8 years now, so 'new' isn't the right word.
We headed back after lunch on Sunday. As we crossed the mountains, as if on queue, the rain started up again. We haven't had rain in months, so I'm actually enjoying it.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Hurricane Irma gives us much to watch.  Just a little over a week ago we were in St. Martaan, Puerto Rico & Ft Lauderdale. Our friends there are all OK.

Tuesday, September 05, 2017

We've been on a whirl wind trip to Florida, a cruise on the eastern Caribbean, Puerto Rico & Ottawa. Lots to write, though it's long and rambling.

We booked the Caribbean cruise a long time ago. A friend is a cruise specialist for a travel agency. She arranged a large and inexpensive cruise for many of her old friends, Steven & I included. We booked with her and paid the bill months ago.

But my parents… It turned out the last weekend of the cruise was the same weekend as my parents 50th wedding anniversary. Steven and I scrambled. We figured out how to leave the cruise early and fly up to my parents home town. So much for a cheap summer cruise.

We flew down to Florida a day early and spent it with an old friend of Steven's. It was a good time, It rained a lot and hard—side effect of Hurricane Harvey. We took a water taxi tour of the water front. Did a little shopping. Toured some art galleries including one that sold Warhol's and Dali's. Yours for $60,000.00

Cruise was next day. It was great to meet up with all my old friends. I don't get to spend enough time with them. So many of them have kids now that are in their late teens. I'm not yet used to seeing someone grow up. It makes me feel a little old.

Cruise was fun. When we were outside, the heat and humidity were intense. The ship did a good job of avoiding the rain. Sometimes you could see the showers a mile or so away from the ship.

Steven and I intentionally took it easy. Sleeping in. Napping in the afternoon. Not doing too much. It was great to stop and rest.

I placed 2nd in a big "Name that tune" competition on the ship. It was fun. For about a day afterwards, I was recognized by strangers. The truth is I got lucky. All the songs that I had to name just happened to be songs that I knew. There were many other competitors who were better than me who just got more difficult songs.

I lost in a tie breaker round where I needed to know lyrics. I didn't know the lyrics to "In the Navy" I only knew the course.

Steven and I stayed on board at the first port of call, rather than touring the island. We were rewarded with peace and quiet. The whole pool deck only had about a dozen people. We could use the waterslides with no line. No crowds in any of the pools.

We got off in Puerto Rico. We spent a day relaxing at the hotel. Again the heat and humidity were intense. We spent the evening with another friend of Steven's. Steven has friends everywhere.

The friend gave us a great tour of San Juan then took us out to dinner at a wonderful restaurant.

Thursday morning we flew up to Ottawa.

At the airport, when they announced early boarding for the elderly, a third of the passengers got up and got in line.

It was a long journey to my parents place. After the flight, there were two hour of driving. Fortunately, when we checked into the hotel, the bed was *very* nice.

Next day, we went to my parents farm. Steven got a tour of the farm on a four wheeler. I think he enjoyed that a lot. Usually I travel to the farm for Christmas, when it's cold and snowy.  In the summer it's green and pastoral. I miss that.

We spent some of the afternoon in Pembroke where a local fiddling completion was going on. It was fun to see all the fiddling and fiddlers.

The next day was the main event—my parents 50th wedding anniversary. There where many guests. I was a little nervous about how to introduce Steven and how he would be received. Steven understands that my home town is very conservative, but he is not one to stay quiet if he is disrespected.

There were no problems. My brothers introduced Steven as my husband. At one point, just after meeting Steven, a cousin shouted over the room to her husband "This is Steven… Barry's Husband!"

We got many congratulations for getting married. Much of the family knew we were married though facebook, gossip, or from my parents. Yes my parents—they told people why they flew up to Seattle last July.

Back to the main event. It went very well. One of the Church ladies helped us stay organized and push things forward. We owe her a big thanks.

Everyone had a good time. Steven put on a slide show with many old pictures from my parents. It was wonderful. It made them cry. Thank you Steven!

We had dinner. We toasted them. It was great.

Next morning we went to Church. The minister was a guest minister. At one point in the sermon he admonished "Those people who have a lifestyle, who have parades for that lifestyle." He stopped there. Later Steven said he would have walked out of the Minister had pushed it further.

We left for Ottawa after Church. I gave Steven a quick tour around the Parliament buildings He was suitable impressed. The buildings are old and well maintained.

Early in the morning we flew back to Seattle.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

We are away in the carribean. It's beautiful, hot and humid. Hurricane Harvey has impacted much of a other Texas. Steven has friends there. They are OK. 

More in a bit.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

A co worker took some eclipse photos. We had a 92% eclipse.

Monday, August 21, 2017

The Eclipse was today. This morning at work there was a small gathering of folks taking pictures or using various eclipses glasses to watch. All fun

Over the weekend we went to an AA retreat. It was at a lodge on a nearby mountain. Most of the point of the retreat was to get AA members to build relationships. To be friends with each other. To work on being friends.

I'm not a member of AA, but Steven is. In fact, Steven was one of the organizers. I fit in well. Most of the sober men there now have there heads screwed properly, so this wasn't difficult. There were a few guys there who were a bit slow or forgetful. Part of the challenge was learning how to help these people along.

Monday, August 07, 2017

Today's weather, 86F and smoke...

Thursday, August 03, 2017


We are having a hot spell here in the Pacific North West. That, coupled with large forest fires east of the mountains has made the air unusually hazy and heavy. It's like breathing in a traffic jam. I take the clear air around here for granted.
I enjoy the hot weather, though it does slow me down. I am most energized with the temperature is in the high sixties. Steven doesn't like heat. It makes him sweat a lot. It makes him irritable. In the past, I've noticed my brother has the same problem. Heat makes him sick. I guess we are all true Northerners.  
Even when I dream of retiring to the beach, the beach is an Oregon beach that is always cool.
Steven and I have been talking about retirement. We have much saving and planning to do. Where and how do we want to live?
Steven and I had dinner with Clem & Bates. Clem recently retired. Bates is still working. Bates strongly recommends that Steven and I retire together. Clem's freedom and Bates obligations are causing stress in their relationship. It's not that Bates is jealous of Clem's freedom.  It's the other way around. Clem has lost some of the purpose in his life. He doesn't know how to manage so much free time. Clem hates being alone during the day when Bates is away at work. He cleans way too much because he doesn't know what else to do.  Then he develops some resentments that Bates isn't cleaning as much.
Clem has had a succession of part time jobs that he quits after a week or two because he doesn't enjoy them. He has being going out to the clubs to party more. He recognizes that that is a dead end. 
Steven and I are watching them and trying  to learn. I'm sure they will work out their issues. They give us much to think about. Both Clem & Bates have good pensions to fund their retirements. Steven and I have always been professionals who will need to depend on savings. How much will we need? How do we make that happen? We both live in industries where there are very few people who are older than 55. What if we must work into our 60s?
We shall work it out and I may be over analyzing things.

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Twenty Years.

I've now been in Seattle for twenty years. Me and a few coworkers, who are also at the same company for twenty years, all celebrated this at a nice local Steak House with our manager and our spouses.

One guy got a bit too drunk and ended up apologizing the next day. Nothing major.





My division had a BBQ on Friday. It's a wonderful annual tradition. For a few weeks before this BBQ, a coworker, Kristopher, has been trying to convince Andrew to bring goat to the BBQ. Apparently back at Andrew's parents home, they often have goat at BBQs.

So Andrew brought goat. Fresh from the butcher. He also brought along the goat's head.

There were mixed reactions. Some people were repulsed by the goat. Some people wanted to taste grilled goat, but couldn't get over the head. Some people were really into the goat. They had grilled goat liver.

Andrew brought the goat head home to make goat head cheese.

I told Steven this story. He was disgusted by it. He showed me YouTube videos of baby goats playfully prancing around and asked "How could you eat that!" He became vegetarian for about 10 minutes.




Monday, July 17, 2017

We took the weekend off. Slept in. Afternoon naps. Some hiking. Watched some movies. Had dinner with a neighbor.

Don is one of our neighbors. We met him walking dogs. Recently he had to put his dog down. The dog was an old fella who finally met his time.

We have dinner with Don every few months. Don can be quirky and a little of him goes a long way. Though Sundays dinner with him was very pleasant.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

The wedding is over. The guests have returned home. Life returns to normal, but I'm still basking the glow.

We rented a block of rooms at a local hotel to ensure our guests would all be close at hand of sight seeing and for the wedding. We also wanted to avoid choosing which family got to stay in our house, and which had to stay elsewhere.

My parents arrived Wednesday evening and we brought them to their room. My mom looked around and become very uneasy. The room was on the 19th floor. That made her very uncomfortable. We called to the front desk. They found another room on the 12th floor. We went down there. Then mom she said she was expecting and looking forward to staying with Steven and I. And it was very disappointing for her to stay in a hotel. We talked about it for a bit and decided that my mom and dad could stay at our house.

The above makes my mother sound very manipulative. That's not true. Mom has dementia. She routinely forgets where she is. Emotional surprises are very confusing to her.

Since where I'm living now is not where she remembers where I lived, we were worried that my new house would also be a shock to her.

Originally, we thought this would put a few kinks in our plans since we would now need to taxi mom and dad around. Fortunately, my friends C2 & J&G helped out there. Over the next few days C2 would spend a lot of time with my parents making sure they got to the right place.

Dad is good with watching over her and catching her up when she gets confused. It seems that she blanks out and then tries to figure out where she is from what's going on around her.  A few times mom thought she was elsewhere. Usually in Ottawa. She would see that she was in a city. The nearest city to her home is Ottawa, so she'd conclude Ottawa was where she was. We'd gently remind her that she was in Seattle for my wedding. The light would come on in her head.

We had to watch diligently when she went to the bathroom. It would be very bad if she forgot where she was with none of us around.

Thursday morning my friends G&J arrived as well as some of Steven's family. Steven and I separated for the afternoon while Steven caught up with his family. I took G&J and my parents sight seeing. We visited a few local parks to catch the views and spend some time in the sun-- the weather was perfect.

We caught up for drinks and dinner at a bar called the Nest which is on the top of a local hotel. More gorgeous views.

Friday we took it a bit easier. I wanted to make sure that mom and dad could have a nap-- mom being less prone to forgetfulness when she is well rested. We toured Theo's chocolate. Dad really enjoyed that as he is a chocolate lover.

You get to eat a lot of good chocolate on Theo's Chocolate tour. I recommend it for that.

Friday evening was a dinner for the out-of-towners. This was a good dinner hosted by one of Steven's oldest friends. I am very grateful to her for this. About 20 people where there, and she paid for our dinner and drinks.

The event was a bit of a high school reunion of Steven as half a dozen of his old high school friends attended.

Saturday was show time. Steven and I slept it. G&J dropped by for breakfast.

Steven's brother and another friend took care of flowers and some of setup.

The wedding was a blur. We arrived at the venue, at about 3pm and helped with setup. The venue is an extra large suite at a hotel. so at about 4pm Steven and I went to the bedroom and dressed for the wedding. We both wore tuxedoes and bow ties. It was fun.

Guests started arriving at about 6pm. The ceremony started around 7pm. It went well. We both cried a little as we recited our vows. It was very emotional. Joyous. I saw friends there I haven't seen it years.

Catering left around 11:00pm. The last of the guests by 11:30. Steven and I collapsed in bed from exhaustion by midnight.

We woke up filling great. I know it's mushy, but I smile every time I call Steven "Husband"

We met the guests for a going away brunch and said our good buys.

Saturday, July 08, 2017

The last few days have been a blur. So many guests, old friends and new. Its all going well.

The wedding is in a few hours. I'm stealing a few minutes to write this down. Will write much more in a day or.two.

Monday, July 03, 2017

The organizing is winding down. Soon the execution begins.

Guests arrive Wednesday to Friday. We've arranged a hotel, itinerary and gift bags.

Till now we've kept our relationship and wedding off of RO's radar-- no Facebook posts,  We talked about that and decided to "come out." RO casts too much of a shadow over us. It's been two and a half years since I ended my relationship with RO. It's time to move on.  So Steven and I posted about our wedding on Facebook.

We talked with C2 about it. He agrees that we that we shouldn't feel the need to hide our relationship. He also asked us to get security at the wedding. There is a 95% chance that nothing will happen. But you never know...

Steven is much more eloquent that I am. The facebook post is so sweet. His vows are nice. I can learn  lots from him.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The wedding is July 8.

The wedding logo stuff is arriving. We have pillows, thank you notes, pens and coasters. I've also seen napkins with the logo. I don't know where those have gone.

Steven loves this stuff. He does this type of event planning for work, so he knows how to get it done. I've told him that sometimes I feel like a bit of a tourist through this. I can watch, but it's difficult for me to participate.

I think this may be one of the perpetual tensions in our relationship. I can be very minimalist. Steven loves his art. He loves design. He loves decoration. We are very good at meeting each other in the middle. Sometimes we look at each other with very different perspectives.

"That's too much! This is unnecessary."

"You are not trying...  this could be so much more."

Love you!

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Saturday. Three weeks till the wedding.


The wedding has a logo. Steven took it from our Wedding invitation. He has since ordered mugs, pillows coasters and note cards with it on it. It's kind of cute, but mostly I'm reminded that he appreciates things that I don't. Little proper details.


I'm not nervous about the wedding. It's all good.


C3 won't attend the wedding. He'll spend a few days before hand with us. As he said, in his present state of mind he doesn't feel anything. He doesn't want to be a stick in the mud.



Sunday, June 11, 2017

Steven has kept in touch with many of his childhood friends. I don't know if this unusual or common. I have not kept in touch with my grade school friends

It seems that once a month I meet a few grade school friend of his.

I've known Steven for years, and I'm still meeting new grade school friends of his.

They are all nice people. We have pleasant dinners together.


Tuesday, May 23, 2017

This past weekend was my birthday. Steven arranged a weekend away at the coast with two great friends of ours. 

Steven really hit it out of the park. The weekend was one of the most relaxing I've had in a long time. 

The weather cooperated. The coastal weather is always hit or miss around here. Its mostly cloudy and cool. This weekend the sun came out. Just enough that I got a bit of a tan.

Now, back to work.

Friday, May 19, 2017

We are at the ocean for a few days. The ocean isn't paradise here in the PNW, but it is peaceful.

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

At work my company has remodeled our building into 'open space' Its the first time in my career that I haven't had my own office.

To be honest, I like it. They didn't convert our office on the cheap. The building has lots of comfortable lounges. They've put white boards and large screen monitors everywhere. The working space its self isn't the greatest, but we all get to look out the huge, gorgeous windows.

Such is hi tech in Seattle. 

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

We are back. Jet lagged, but home.


The flight is a day long. Well, it's really a 4 hour flight, a 3 hour layover in Dubai and then a 15 hour flight.


I'm very glad I went. The experience was amazing. I am now very glad I'm home. There's no place like home as they say.




Saturday, April 29, 2017

Traffic in Bangalore is a sight to behold. There are very few rules and almost no traffic enforcement. I think red lights are respected. Aside from that anything goes. The traffic flows like water with cars, pedestrians, bikes, motorcycles and auto-rickshaws all flowing between each other.

For pedestrians trying to cross the street, the secret is to just walk out and expect the cars to stop. Running or weaving between the cars is bad The drivers can't predict you. If you walk calmly in a straight line, then they can break or swerve.

Steven is getting good at this. The first evening we were here, when we wanted to cross the road, we waited a long time for a break in the traffic, then we dashed across. Now Steven just walks out when there is a little bit of a gap. The drivers adjust.

An Indian coworker informed me that only Bangalore works like this. In other cities that would get you run over.

While on the road one morning, we were talking with the driver about things to see. He pointed out a large market on the side of the highway and asked us if we wanted to see it. I think I said "That would be nice sometime." So the driver just stopped on the highway. He didn't pull over. He just stopped.



I remember years ago, a neighbor, who went to my church, toured India. He reported back that he was sick with the presence of Satan when he visited the temples.


I don't think it was Satan, but I know what was feeling. The heat, the exhaust, the floral smell (The flowers here have a very strong scent) and the jungle rot, can be noxious after a while. I must pace myself and drink plenty of water or I feel sick.


The temples are beautiful works of art. Long lines form for people to enter and commune with the local deity.


Steven and I didn't go into the temples. It feels disrespectful to be a tourist in another religions place of worship.






It is our last day in Bangalore. The past days have been busy. Today we are relaxing.



The hotel is gorgeous. Marble and art everywhere. They serve a wonderful international breakfast every morning. I pigged out the first few days.



Wednesday, April 19, 2017

We are getting ready for a trip—India! I'm going for work. Steven is coming along for vacation.


It's a long flight there. About 20 hours including a layover. Basically we get on the jet at 9am on Saturday night, then get off at 7pm Sunday. With the 12 hour time difference we loose half a day there.


We get the half a day on the way back. We leave Bangalore on Sunday evening and arrive back in Seattle on Monday morning.


I am a little jealous of Steven. I have to prepare half a dozen discussions. He gets to see the sights.




Sunday, April 16, 2017

Steven's nieces were in town for a few days. Uncle Steven loves spoiling them.


We went to a drag show. It was fun to watch. Well danced, well performed.


There were no Judy Garland's, Marilyn Monroe's or Barbara Streisand's at the show. Cher was still popular. Now that I think about it, the same is true on "RuPaul's Drag Race" Has the current generation of  Drag Queens moved beyond Judy, Marilyn & Barbara?


Steven is napping now. I'm reading and writing in the sunlight. Today is one of the first nice days that we have had in a while—sun and warmth without the rain.






Saturday, April 08, 2017

We are in Seaside OR. It is sometimes gorgeous here. The wind is also strong and there are bouts of rain where it pelts you. 

I am here with a bunch of friends... C2 and queen J arranged the weekend. Many old stories are comming out.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

I took Steven to the dentist—he got an implant and needed someone to pick him up as the procedure used anesthesia. At the end, he was a little tipsy, but not too bad. Or so I thought.


After we arrived home, the dog needed to pee. I took her for a short walk and was gone for five or ten minutes tops. When I got back, the oven was on full blast. Pizza, in the box, was reheating in there. An oiled skillet was on the stove. The skillet was smoking. Kelly was next to the stove making pancakes! He had already made the batter and was adding caramel chips.


I stepped in, turned off the oven and turned down the stove. He didn't seem to notice. He finished making his batter and then carefully made pancakes.


At about that time I realized he was having short term memory problems. He could focus on one thing, but if distracted, then trouble.


He finished his pancakes and covered them with syrup and powdered sugar. Then he ate them very very slowly. He really enjoyed himself. He carefully scrapped every last drop of syrup off the plate.


I put him to bed.


When we talked later on he didn't remember cooking. He remembered that he ate good pancakes. But didn't know the details.



Monday, March 20, 2017

Disney. We went to Disney for two days and spent the time with Steven's God children and their mother. The mother and Steven have been friends for 35 years now.

Steven's God kids were good kids. Fairly mature. Well behaved.

I had much fun at Disney. Though sometimes the lineups were crazy. There also seemed to be a lot of mechanical failures. We spent 90 minutes in the 'Cars' line, only to have the ride shut down shortly before we got on.

We walked 10 miles a day. Exhausting!

Just before we flew back, Steven said to me "Ok. You've passed. Now I will marry you." Yes!

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

I've accepted an offer on the house.


This all happened so quickly—it's a sellers market in Seattle. Wednesday afternoon the house went on the market. It had over a dozen showings by Thursday evening. Open house was Saturday and Sunday. The agent said people were through non-stop.


By Monday evening I had 3 offers. The agent said 2 more couples pulled out at the last minute. The two offers were from men who wanted to buy but were vetoed by there wives. She joked that around her office the house was known as the man cave as men loved it, but women didn't warm up to it.  


One of the offers was $110,000.00 over asking. It came with a few big contingencies and far out inspection and closing dates. The other two offers were for the same amount but waved inspection and came with no contingencies. I took the offer that had the strongest mortgage preapproval and the largest down payment.


Selling the house is a huge weight off my shoulders. It's the last connection to my ex. With the proceeds I can pay off my debts. I feel like I'm closing the door on a very dark time in my life.








Wednesday, March 01, 2017

The house is up for sale. Some closure at long last. I am optimistic about its sale The market is strong. March is a popular month.

The house went on the market at 2pm. Five showings are scheduled for this evening.

I'm looking at some of the house photos on its MLS listing. The house looks unusually beautiful-- warmer, brighter & bigger than I remember. The photographer did a good job.

I am looking forward to selling the house. It was the last physical link between RO and I. Paying it's mortgage is a huge burden. Dealing with RO was a lot of stress. Soon this will be over.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Friends, friends of friends and emergencies…


L, a friend of Steven's came over for dinner last night. On the way over, her tire blew out—about two miles away from us.


We drove to L's car. The tire was completely shredded! Her spare tire was flat, so we waited for about an hour for the tow truck.


Of course, this being Sunday evening, no tire stores were open. L had her car towed to a tire store near us. Afterwards, we all drove back to our place and had a nice dinner.  We put L up in our spare guest room for the night.


Steven left very early in the morning for a flight—around 5am. Around 8am, L & I drove to the tire store where we learnt that it would be mid afternoon before they could replace her tire.


She placed the order and booked the service. I drove her back to our place and gave her a spare key.


This was one of those situations where I had to trust someone way more than I'd like. Steven knows L better than I do, so I let it slide.


I could tell L felt awkward about the whole situation. I'm glad we could help her though. I just don't want to offer help like that very often.






Sunday, February 12, 2017

Stevens's brother is on an alcoholic binge. Perhaps even trying to end his life. 

The brother, G, has had a very tumultuous year. Every month or two I hear a story of he has started a new job. A few weeks later l hear "he went on a huge binge and lost his job" 

This has happen four or five times in the past year. Last November he went into treatment, but left half way through. 

Twice in the past Steven has rescued him from this spiral. Not so this time.

G's son has advised Steven to not help. Stevens sponcer has advised the same. Their mother is not getting involved. All this is eating Steven up.

Friday, February 10, 2017

The house is coming a long. Last weekend I spent a thousand dollars on day laborers and a box truck. We got rid of all the garbage. This week contractors are going through to do repairs, maintenance, cleaning and gardening.

Getting rid of the garbage… There was so much stuff at the house that usable, but not quiet garbage. Glassware, old pots and pans. Old nick knacks. It was tempting to set stuff aside, but for what purpose? The house has been through multiple estate sales. The stuff that is left behind, is the stuff that no one wants.


Tuesday, January 24, 2017

The cat loves the dog's food. The dog loves the cat's food. Neither wants to eat their own. At least they won't starve.




Monday, January 16, 2017

The cat and the dog are adjusting to each other. They don't fight. They don't get along either.  The cat will growl at the dog from a distance. Hiss if the dog gets too close. Its not possible for them to pass by each other in the hall. They sit down and glare at each other.

Aside from that, it's going well. The cat is clean. He knows his litter box. He knows where his food is.

The dog stays out of the cat's food, though she will stare longingly at it from a distance.

I don't know how the cat was treated at RO's. Now he's very sedentary and solitary. They may just be par for the course for a ten your old cat. I bring him out and pet him. He will now come out of hiding when he sees me.

The dog… I don't know what the dog thinks. The dog just wants to play and play and play. Until she collapses from exhaustion. But, the cat, this thing that hisses at her, makes are a little wary. It's really the first time I've seen the dog just sit and stare at something.



Wednesday, January 11, 2017




Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The old house is messy. It looks neglected, but not damaged.
I brought the cat from my old house to the new townhouse. So far so good. The cat has used his litter box. The cat and the dog are mostly ignoring each other. I'm not sure the dog likes me paying attention to the cat. Promising start. We'll see how it goes over the next day or two.

Last night, for the first time in almost two years, I was at my house. Yo came with me to make sure there were no complications.


RO has left a lot of stuff behind. I'm not yet sure what his plans for it are. If I don't get a reasonable commitment from him, I'm going to throw it all out.


There is a fair amount of 'nice' stuff there. Old dish sets. Ornate candle sticks. Beaded jewelry. I almost feel bad for wanting to throw it out. At the same time, there are over a dozen ornate candle sticks there. I don't need them. It will take me too long to sell. Maybe I'll put all of this stuff up for free on Craigslist.


The house is a mess, but not damaged. It will be OK after I purge and clean it up.


RO left the cat at the house. He was very clear that I have to take over responsibility for the cat. I introduced my dog to the cat. They ignored each other. This is good.


RO texted and called me last night. He has not moved on. In fact, it was almost like it was the day after we broke up.


When he called, he just talked and sobbed and talked and sobbed. While he talked, I put my phone on 'speaker' and 'mute.' He went on for 25 minutes before he said good bye. He didn't ask questions. He didn't check that I was listening. He just vented. Strange. Am I complicit in his poor recovery by not giving him that feedback?


Sunday, January 08, 2017

Steven flew to Toronto, and we spent a week hanging out with friends and seeing the sites. I greatly enjoyed myself. Steven too.

He was surprised by the size of the city. Toronto does sprawl. Seattle is pinched by the lakes and mountains so you can find the end of it. Toronto seems like it goes on forever.

We spent much time with my old friends. After almost 20 years in Seattle, many of my closest friends are still far away in Toronto.

The weather of course was cold in Toronto. And, weirdly, I started snoring there. I'm blaming the dry air and the hard bead. The snoring went away the day we returned to Seattle.

Last night we had dinner with Yo and the Angel. It was good to see them again. They also flew east to spend time with their families.

The new year has started. 2017. That's a big number. It was cold and snowy for the first week. Today its raining. The snow has washed away.

I haven't been paying as much attention to the News, Facebook and Twitter of late. I like it. It's so easily to get sucked into mindless novelty or drama. I hope I keep this habit up and use the time to stay in touch with friend s and to spend more time on things important to me. And no, reading someone's Facebook wall isn't keeping in touch with them.

We celebrated Allen's birthday Friday evening. He is part of the AA crowd. Afterwards, we went off to an AA meeting. At this meeting, an AlAnon meeting was being held in an adjacent room—AlAnon is the organization from friends and families of alcoholics. I attended that meeting. It was my second AlAnon meeting.

AlAnon meetings are very different than AA meetings. AlAnon meetings are attended by maybe half a dozen people. The AA meetings I've been to have easily had 50 to 100 people. Consequently, AlAnon is much more… intimate. You get to know everyone. You will see them next week.

I don't know if AlAnon or AA is more me. I have no disagreement with their goals or materials, I just don't hear my kind of stories there. Hearing my kind of story—I think that's AA speak. I am picking up on the AA vocabulary. From what I've observed from my AA friends, AA phrases start creeping into your daily life. They do have good ways of pointing out common problems. These phrases make it easy for AA members to spot each other when they meet.

And no, I don't think AA is a cult.

Steven has flown off to the East cost for work. He started a new job and is being trained this week. He's nervous, but he'll do well.