The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

This is me.  Others may see me differently because they want to or because I show them someone else, but this is me.  I apologize for none of it.

1)  I like to swear.  Specifically, I like to say the word "fuck."  I say it a lot.  I notice that I keep it under control (mostly) at work, but at home or when I'm with friends, it's my favorite word.  I really should tone it down a little bit because sometimes I say it just for the sake of saying it.  Should.  Probably won't.

2) I'm easily defeated.  I hate that about me.  For example, my feet are killing me again and it's keeping me from my gym routine.  I need to see the doctor sooner rather than later about it.  But until I do, I find myself wallowing in self pity about it.  I find myself saying "Why does everything bad always have to happen to me?" to myself a lot.  I know how ridiculous it can be, but when I get caught up in the middle of a pity party, it's hard to see straight.

3) I am obsessed with toys.  The obsession comes and goes (like all things), but right now it's here and it's pretty strong.  Over the Christmas holiday, I made quite a few trips out tracking down certain toys that I wanted for my collection.  Today was no different.  I'm starting to run out of room for all the stuff I want and that's not good.  My collection of toys is housed in my comics room, which is nearly 1/2 the size of the first floor of my house.  In the last house, my comics room was a smallish room that was, I believe, 12' x 12'.  That room could fit in this room many times over, yet I fit everything in there without a problem.  

4) I try to be true to myself, but I'm not sure I always am.  It's a fine line between trying to expand your horizons and trying to please others.  I find that I do a lot of things that I'm not comfortable with under the guise of "expanding my horizons" when in fact it's not.  It's more doing it to please others.  Sometimes it's easier because if you know anything about me, it's that I'm a very non-confrontational person.  I'd almost rather do something I don't want to than to argue about it.  I try to work on this aspect of myself all the time, but it's hard.  I want to do the right things, but for the right reasons.  

5) People often talk about how they get caught in a YouTube hole.  It's when they go to YouTube to look at a video of something and that leads them to another and then another and before you know it,  you've spent two hours doing nothing but looking at videos.  I don't have this problem.  After three or four videos, I'm usually done.  My problem, however, is Wikipedia.  That place is dangerous for me, because I'll go to look one little thing up and before I know it, the entire evening is gone.  I love it, though.  I fill up on so much useless knowledge reading pages there.  

6) I'm pretty bad relationship material.  I really am.  I like spending lots of time by myself.  Lots of time.  I sometimes look at my single friends and feel a little bit of jealousy because they have all the time in the world to themselves if they want it, but at the same time, I'm sure many of them look at me and think just the opposite.  Back when I worked in retail, things were much different.  Ken and I worked different schedules (him the standard 9 to 5, me working a lot of nights) and so we developed certain patterns.  I had a lot more solo time back then.  I would sleep until he left for work, get up and do my own thing until it was time for me to go to work.  I'd get home late and we'd spend a little time together before bedtime.  I had Thursdays off and I loved it.  We'd only ever get one day off a week together and we'd do things together then.  When I left retail and started my office job, our schedules lined up and suddenly we were both home together at the same time all the time.  I lost my solitude and it affected me more than I thought it would.  Five years later and we're still trying to figure things out.  Every once in a while I take a day off from work just to have some "me" time.  It almost always fails on me.  The last time I did it, Ken called and called and called and called all day long.  It kind of drove me batty.  So I left the house and went out to lunch, something I never, ever do.  I wanted to treat myself.  It was only Panera, but still.  Just as I got my lunch, my phone rang.  I spent my entire lunch on the phone and it kind of bothered me.  It's pure selfishness on my part.  I acknowledge that fully.  But still.  When I want some "me" time, I want some "me" time.  That means JUST ME.  Ken deserves better.

7)  I may be a bad gay.  As a gay man, I could probably be more supportive of my community.  But as a man, I don't give enough of a shit.  There are more than enough gays out there who do nothing but listen to gay singers and watch gay movies and eat at gay owned restaurants and wear clothes made by gay designers to balance me out.  It just seems too ghettoizing to live my life like that.  Sure, I'm gay, but being gay is only one small part of me.  I'm also blue-eyed.  I'm not going to buy a book by a writer just because he has blue eyes.  I have epilepsy.  I'm not going to buy a cd by a new singer/songwriter just because she has a seizure condition.  I'm going to do these things because I hear they're good and might appeal to me.  Ken likes to watch Logo.  I'll be in the living room with him when he's watching sometimes and some of the shit they show on that channel embarrasses the hell out of me.  Just because it's gay doesn't mean it's good.  

8) On a related subject, I fail to find the appeal of (most) drag queens.  Sure, I love RuPaul.  Love everything about her, but in general, I just don't like drag queens.  I don't find them entertaining.  I find them kind of embarrassing, actually.  

9)  When it comes to showtunes, I'm very schizophrenic.  I really don't like Broadway musicals at all.  But I do like an old movie musical.  Showtunes are fine depending on who is performing them.  I love listening to old recordings of them from the 40s and 50s.  There's something about those old recordings that speak to me.  Current Broadway tunes I find very cheesy and unappealing and uninspired.  It's all personal opinion and taste, so if you're a big Broadway fan, good for you.

10) I love my friends.  I really do.  I have some of the most amazing friends a man could ever hope to have.  I don't think I tell any of them enough how important they are to me.  I think it's all in part a big defense mechanism I spent years building while growing up.   We moved around a lot when I was growing up.  There were many years when I would go to two or sometimes three different schools all in the same year because we would move.  It seemed like just as I was starting to make friends and connect with people, we'd move and I'd lose those people.  As time went on, I think I started holding back more and more.  Why bother to get close to anyone if I was only going to lose them.  I think these "coping skills" are the basis of my social anxieties, too.  I would put good money down that this is where my social awkwardness began.  Anyway, as I was saying, I have the greatest bunch of people in my life right now and I need to work harder on showing my appreciation to them all.  

11) I'm so happy the holidays are winding down.  I really don't like this time of the year.  It's been a really long time since I've really, truly enjoyed the holidays.  One thing overshadows the holidays for me and that's obligation.  There are so many things you're obliged to do during this time of the year that it takes all the joy out of it for me.  Obligation is probably my single least favorite word in the entire English language.  It's a word that comes with a heavy ball and chain attached.  A very heavy ball and chain.

12) There isn't a day that goes by that I don't freak out a little bit about money.  I don't know why I'm convinced I'm going to die homeless and penniless, but I am.  It's gotten worse since we bought the new house.  Our mortgage went up considerably and that drove my anxiety up with it.  We don't have any problems keeping up with bills.  We have accrued a little bit of debt since buying the house, but that was to be expected.  And it's not like we've never had any debt before.  We were swimming in it for years before we got things in order.  I think what scares me a little bit is we spent the last two or three years wiping out all of our credit card debt.  We succeeded in ridding ourselves of it last year.  And then it was time to sell the old house.  In order to do that, we had to do quite a bit of work to get it in the condition we wanted it to be to get the price we wanted.  Work isn't free and we ran up a little bit of debt.  But that was wiped clean again.  Once we moved into this place, the expenses to get the place where we wanted it started to pile up. We have a little bit of debt again, but it's debt that we can easily make go away again.  Until the next batch of expenses pop up, that is. 



Like I mentioned yesterday, we got hit with the big snow storm that worked it's way up the east coast this weekend. It flurried on and off all day yesterday, but the real snow didn't start until overnight last night. I got up at 5:20 this morning to find nearly a foot of snow in my driveway. I debated what to do and decided to go out and shovel and then see how I felt. I think if I had to shovel any more than I did, my sciatic nerve would be screaming bloody murder right now. When I finished, it was burning just slightly and kept it up all day today.

I don't know why I went into work today. I really don't. Ninety percent of the office was out with only the usual suspects showing up. The ones that should have taken the day off. My street was plowed and easy to travel this morning, so I figured the rest of the roads would be the same. But I was wrong. The main road I travel was horrible. I should have just turned around there and gone back to bed, but I didn't.

The best part about days like these is the office is deathly quiet. That usually means time drags, but not today. It was over and done with before I realized it.

I've been putzing around on the computer since I got home and it's time I got offline. Ken turned his game (WoW) off and I suppose I should go spend some time with him (even though he called me about 23 times today. Even for him that's beyond excessive.)


It's Over!

Christmas, that is.  I was very nervous about Christmas this year.  I insisted that Ken and I host our families this year.  It was the first time and I was a little freaked out that things were going to explode in my face.  It's been a long time since Ken's mother and my parents have been together.  I wasn't very worried about that since they've gotten along wonderfully the few times that they've met.  I was worried about my mother and Christmas in general.  This is the very first year that she hasn't had to cook the full Christmas dinner.  In fact, this is the first year she hasn't had to lift a finger.  That worries me a little because she's got control issues.  She'll never admit to it, but it's either her way or no way.  And because she's got control issues, she couldn't not come loaded up with food.  I told her I would take care of everything, but she still arrived with cookies, cookies and more cookies, three kinds of breads, a platter of deviled eggs, brownies...... The list goes on.  

But my fears were put to bed fairly early in the day.  Considering I had no clue what I was doing in the kitchen, my first full-family Christmas dinner turned out a hit.  My turkey was moist and delicious (I have a tendency to make a dry bird), the potatoes (mashed white and mashed sweet) were the best I've ever done.  I made three different pies (two by scratch, one by a box mix that Ken was going to make) and they were all great.  Everything hit the table hot, which was a miracle.  My only mess ups were 1) I mistimed how long it would take to make the rolls.  They came out of the oven half way through dinner, 2) I undercooked the peas and 3) I made too much food.  So much that the broccoli casserole never made it to the table.

Ken, bless his heart, really tried to help.  He really did.  He knows that when I've got a lot going on, he needs to back the fuck away and let me get things done.  And he told me he was going to do this while I was cooking.  Only he was underfoot more than the cats are when they're needy.  I wanted to lock him outside until dinner was done.  He didn't really mean to get in the way, he just continually ended up there.

Our original plan was to exchange gifts and then eat, but my folks got lost on the way here and were late.  But that was fine.  I think my plan was a little off anyway.  I spent most of what would have been gift time in the kitchen anyway.

As for loot, I didn't do as well as I have in the past, but I still did pretty damn good.  From Ken I got a new external hard drive.  A 2 TB drive.  I already have a 1 TB drive, but it's nearly full (as is my desktop's internal) and I want the new one to get some stuff off the desktop.  As I type this, I have pictures being copied onto the new external.  Exciting, huh?  My family got me a couple of action figures I wanted, a Doctor Who dvd and the Batman Lego Wii game.  My sister also got me this:

I nearly peed myself from laughter.  Just before Christmas, I got a surprise package from Amazon.com.  A couple of Green Lantern books from my wishlist showed up at the house.  I want to send off a super special thank you to Santa's hottest elf for making that happen.  xoxoxo

I took Christmas Eve off from work to get the house in shape for Christmas day.  I spent the day cooking and cleaning and busting my hump.  I had to run out to the supermarket because I bought a wrong ingredient for my pumpkin pie.  Condensed milk and Evaporated milk are apparently two completely different things.  I'm glad I noticed this before I mixed the ingredients together.  The supermarket was a nightmare.  There's one thing that I hate when shopping more than anything and that's people who won't get out of my way.  I especially hate it when I have a mission and I know where to go to get what I want, but I can't get there.  The supermarket was overrun with people, too.  I've never been able to understand waiting until the last possible moment to do Christmas shopping, whether it's gifts or dinner supplies.

Christmas Eve evening I got a special treat.  I got to watch my nephews open the presents I got them via Skype.  That made my whole night.  It really did.  What's upsetting me about it now is the game I got for Christmas is the same game I got Adrian and I'm afraid he's going to kick my ass at it in a big way.  I spent quite a while getting through the first level today (going so far as to look online for help hints.)  My eye/hand coordination just isn't what it used to be.  I'm going to need practice.

I wanted to go to the gym today to work off some of the fatness I put on eating non-stop these last couple days.  I didn't because I think I messed up my feet again.  They're hurting again and I think it's because I've been overdoing it.  My plan is to just go every other day.  Let my feet rest in between workouts.  Last week I went every single day and worked my ass off.  My good intentions are going to force me to stay away from the gym.  Now that the holidays are winding down, I need to start thinking about setting up that appointment with the orthopedist.  Not that I really want to, but I have to.

Tonight we have snow moving in and the weathermen still seem a little non-committal about how much we're getting, but it's looking like it's going to be 7 to 12 inches.  We're not getting as much as everyone else, it seems, but it's still enough.  I plan on going in to work tomorrow, but if we get enough snow, I just may decide not to.  Ken just yelled down to me that they're warning of potential power outages because of the weather.  That would definitely help make up my mind tomorrow about work.  We'll see.



Well, that's the subject of 99% of my posts.  Big surprise.

So it's been a while since I've had a proper chance to post anything here.  The month of December has gotten away from me and left me little time to get to do everything I want to.  I was gone for a week or so at the begging of the month and then have been trying to get ready for Christmas.  This year, for the first time, I'm hosting it at my house.  I've got a beautiful new home and I want to show it off a bit.  My parents and sister are coming, as well as Ken's step-mother.  I'm kind of excited and petrified to be doing this.  I'm not much of a cook (though I try) and I've never tried cooking for more than three people before.  I think I have everything I need for Christmas day, though I'm sure I'll remember something while I'm doing prep work on Christmas Eve.  I need to find out how late the grocery store is open on Friday.

The beginning of the month we spent on a cruise to the Caribbean again.  This is the second year in a row we've done it and I have to say it was spectacular.  It all turned out to be much better than the weeks leading up to it.  Ken and I have a couple of big fights about everything about the cruise.  I felt he was overplanning and overbooking things and I was freaking out.  All he would talk about for months and months leading up to the cruise was the cruise and I was feeling burned out over it and it hadn't even arrived.  This year we did things a little differently.  We traveled with friends.  The original plan was to go on the cruise with two couples we know, but one ended up backing out.  We made up for it by meeting a bunch of cool people on board.  This was really a different experience for us because on the last cruise, Ken was determined to go to a couple social events and meet up with people he'd met online, but he chickened out at the last minute.  Having another couple with us definitely helped us go through with it this year.  And I'm really glad.  We met a bunch of people we wouldn't have talked to otherwise.  There was one couple that Ken had met on one of this chat boards that he wanted to meet, but they never showed up to any of our Happy Hours.  On the last day, we were talking to one of the guys we met and the names of the people came up that Ken wanted to meet.  Doug said he saw them and gave a quick description.  It turned out these guys were a couple we saw all the time, every single day.  They ended up being a little too afraid to approach anyone, much like Ken and I last year. We ran into them late on the last night of the cruise and Ken made a point of introducing himself.  It's too bad we found them so late.  They seemed really nice.  

The weather on the cruise was great, though not as good as it was last year.  We arrived in Miami the day before the cruise and I had no desire to change into shorts.  In fact, I wished I didn't leave my coat in the car at the airport.  It was chilly.  The first day at sea was a little chillier than I would have liked, but the further south we got, the warmer it got and I got my chance to lay out in the sun.  The next to last day we had some pretty crappy weather, but otherwise, I have no complaints.

I tried watching what I ate this time around, and I think I did an okay job.  I could have done much better, but I could have done much worse.  I ate a lot of salads, fruits and vegetables.  Naturally I had dessert, too, but I tried not to over do it.  My downfall every night was dinner.  There was more bread at the table than I knew what to do with.  Bread is a HUGE weakness for me.  If I avoided the bread, I probably would have felt much better about how I ate all week.

To counter balance all the bread, I made it my number one priority to hit the gym each day on vacation.  Just a little background first.  As I've mentioned previously, I fucked my feet up overdoing things on the treadmill.  While I still haven't made it to the doctor (I will, I will, I promise), it was pretty clear I needed to stay clear of the treadmill to give my feet time to heal.  The elliptical is something that I could do that has minimal impact on my feet, so I set my mind of attempting it.  Because I'm a bit of an uncoordinated oaf, I didn't want to try the elliptical when there were a lot of people around.  I went the day after Thanksgiving and found the gym pretty empty, so I tried it then for the first time.  I found it pretty easy to keep my coordination, only I didn't realize how tough the machine was going to be for someone who has never tried it before.  I was ready to quit at 8 minutes, but I pushed through to 20 minutes.  I think my big problem was setting the level much higher than I could actually do.  I went back two days later determined to make the machine feel bad for making me feel bad.  This time, though, I was ready to quit at 4 minutes.  But I pushed through that.  I was determined to at least hit the 20 minutes I hit the previous visit.  And I did.  And I pushed though that making it a full 50 minutes.  And that was all the time I had pre-vacation for working out.  So the first morning on the ship, I found the gym, hopped on and only did 35 minutes.  The machines all had signs on them that said to please limit your time to 20 minutes.  So I cheated a little.  I went back that evening and did a little bit more.  I hit the gym every day on vacation, most days hitting it twice and most visits doing 65 minutes a pop.  I still have a little bit of awkwardness on the machine from time to time, but I really got the hang of it.  My gym here at home doesn't have too many machines, but I've been lucky enough to snag one every time I've been since vacation has ended.  The gym is moving in February to a new, bigger location and I hope that means more machines.  

Even though I've been pretty active lately, my weight is just a little higher than I want it to be.  I'm pretty convinced that I'm building new muscle though.  My fupa doesn't feel nearly as big as it should considering what I'm seeing on the scale and I'm feeling different muscles in my legs now that I didn't know existed.  In fact, for the first half of the cruise, I had trouble walking down stairs because of these formerly dormant muscles.  It's true.  Even now I really feel things when walking up or down stairs.  I need to get back doing the 30 Day Workout on the Wii again.  

Today I was off from work.  I had a cleaning scheduled for the dentist.  I went in with a decent attitude and left depressed as hell.  I need to get some dental work done and it's not that it was a surprise, but it just kind of felt (financially) overwhelming.  I had a tooth crowned two years ago that has been bothering me ever since.  It needs a root canal and I've been putting it off.  That needs to be done sooner rather than later.  Also, I have two other teeth that need crowns.  Just the thought of the portion of this that insurance isn't going to cover is making me ill.  And it didn't help that the endodontist my dentist referred me to said that they don't deal with insurance AT ALL.  It's the amount due up front and then I can try to reclaim from insurance.  That kind of set me off.  I feel like we've been spending way too much money lately and it scares me.  I feel like we're starting to build up debt after digging ourselves out from under it completely.  I always getting weird when it comes to finances.  I'm always convinced we're going to end up homeless and penniless and living in a cardboard box.

And speaking of running up debt, Ken and I were out shopping tonight and we ran into our old next door neighbor at the mall.  He filled us in on what was going on at our old house.  I already knew some of it, but not all of it.  The couple that bought our house (last day of April) broke up in August after one last huge fight.  Initially she moved out and he stayed.  He said she's planning on buying out his share of the house and moving back in with roommates.  In the meantime, he's moved out and the house is unoccupied.  I can't even imagine.  If your relationship is fragile enough that you're on the verge of breaking up a couple months later, why do you buy a house together?  Personally, I don't care.  They bought my old house, which enabled me to buy my new one.  But still.

I know I had other (just as uninteresting) topics on the brain, but my brain is shutting down and I think I need to go to bed.  In the next few days, I hope to post some pictures here from vacation.  And in case I just don't find any time later this week, Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone (anyone?) reading this drivel.



December is half over and I've missed most of it.  Just got home from the fabulous cruise of the Caribbean and am now scrambling to get ready for Christmas.  I did a ton of shopping tonight after work, but there's so many other things I need to do.  No time for the gym, no time to goof off.  No time to sleep!  More to come....