Sunday, January 31, 2010

Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo

On Saturday my parents, my husband, and I took Presley to the Fort Worth Stock Show & Rodeo; it was a cold day in Fort Worth but we still had a lot of fun. Presley was most excited about seeing the cows and bulls. I was excited to discover the Gypsy horses, a breed I did not know until yesterday. They have the markings of a beautiful Paint horse and remind me of a smaller version of a Clydesdale. (I think I would really enjoy living on a little piece of land and owning a horse or two...and a some pot bellied pigs...and a pack of outside rescued dogs...)

We all met up with my husband's mother for lunch at Pappasito's, and then we took Presley to the mall so that her SuSu and Poppy could buy her some clothes to wear.

It was a lovely day.

Kindle vs. Nook

For Christmas 2008 my father got my mother (my bookworm mom) the first generation Kindle. For Christmas 2009 my father got my mother (my now addicted to new technology mom) the Nook. After one month of the Nook. My mother's official opinion is in...

She thinks the first generation Kindle was better than the first generation Nook. Her two main problems with the Nook is 1) unlike the Kindle you cannot turn off the wireless feature on the Nook which means the battery does not last. When the battery runs out on the Nook you lose your place in the book, which means you have to click through all the previously read pages to find your current page. Think about books with hundreds of pages and this becomes a real annoyance. Also, 2) the first generation Nook takes a few moments longer to turn the page when compared to the first generation Kindle. Again think about reading the end of an exciting page and then: wait for it...wait for it...okay the new page is now displayed. These are more annoyances than real technical issues, but she shouldn't be annoyed when using her new technology.

My mother has sent some emails to the Nook people telling them to get it together. Maybe they will. Otherwise, I think my father will be buying my mother a new Kindle for Christmas 2010.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

TV Talk

I first told you about our old school TV, here. Well, guess what? Our old school TV is on its way out. (It was fine until I blogged about it!) When you first turn on the set the picture skips until it warms up. My husband has been looking on the internets for flat screen televisions. It will be the first time either of us has had to purchase a TV; we've always had hand-me-downs televisions. Since he's eyeing TV's, I took him to Rob & Stucky this weekend to look at furniture.

Okay, well maybe that wasn't the most exciting paragraph I've written. To keep the party moving I'll throw in this little TV story: my parents live in my hometown and they never lock the doors to their home. Why should they? Their house is "in town" and a few blocks away from the police chief's house and it's pretty close to the police station too. Plus, they live next door to my retired grandparents who are home, mostly. And with the dogs, the cleaning lady, and my dad coming home for lunch it's safe to not lock the doors. (Or so it was thought.) They now lock their doors- all of them- because a burglar walked in and took two flat screen TV's and two watches about a week ago.


My husband makes the best damn pizza. He turns flour and cheese and tomatoes into something amazing. It's deliciousness.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Spell Check

Yesterday it was my turn to get a new computer at work. My new computer is much faster and it's loaded with the latest version of Microsoft Office. I like it. However, I forgot to set my email preferences where ALL outgoing emails are spell checked before they are sent out. (Sigh) For those of you who don't know I cannot spell simple words. I'm smart. I'm well educated. I just can't spell words. (My father and mother created a cheer when I was in grade school so I could remember how to spell my middle name.)

On my new faster and updated machine I sent an email to an external CFO and CC'ed my boss (our CFO) and then I went into a live meeting. In the middle of the meeting I FREAKED out because I realized that the default settings DOES NOT check spelling before emails are sent out. It would not have been the first time my intelligence came into question at work: I sent a very important email that used the word "manger" instead of "manager" and when I was told to fix the mistake I couldn't find what was wrong with the email; all my words were spelled correctly!

I freaked out. I got up. I walked out of the meeting and rushed to my desk. I was scared. First, I checked the box so that all my emails are spell checked. Next, I went to my sent items and pulled a copy of the very important email...and I checked the spelling...and...

ALL my words were spelled correctly in the very important email!!!! I was so happy I wanted to do a cartwheel back to my meeting.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Our Modern Family

My husband and I were both 23 years old when we first fell in love. Within weeks of first meeting we started speaking in terms of our future together. During late-night pillow talks we would discuss our options for having children: 1) adoption 2) surrogacy 3) kidnapping our sibling's children; or we could forgo the joys of fatherhood in this life and become incredible uncles and focused lovers. Our plan was to have an open and ongoing discussion regarding children until we were 30 years old. We would never reach a conclusion; we'd just look at the facts and keep on talking about what-ifs.

So, when we were 23 we said we'd talk about it until we reached 30...this is the year we turn 30 years old. (Hit play on Deana Carter's Strawberry Wine: "I still remember when thirty was old")

We have had many discussions in the past few years about having children. We know for sure that we would provide an incredible, loving, and dedicated home to rear a child or children. What we don't know for sure is how we could afford surrogacy, which is estimated to cost between $75K and $100K. What we don't know for sure is if we would ever be picked by a mother to adopt her baby; plus, fees associated with adoption for our friends cost about $35K per child. For gay men it is a huge financial commitment to bring children into the family. The women I work with pay a one time $20 co-pay and then our health insurance covers the rest of the cost associated with having a baby; plus the women get 12-weeks of paid maternity leave and a guaranteed spot when they return. My work would give me an unpaid leave without any guarantees.

My only point, is that male homos have many more financial hoops to jump through than heteros or female homos. Gay men must have money in order to have kids.

Good thing we haven't turned 30 yet because we're still navigating through all our options.

ABC's Modern Family

We enjoy the zippy humor in ABC's Modern Family. Sometimes we laugh out loud (for real) at their predicaments. It's easy for us to relate to the gay couple living in a not-so-modern world. When we're at dinner with my parents we like to talk about episodes. When I'm at lunch with colleagues we also like to talk about episodes. It's a fun show and I hope it can maintain its momentum for several seasons.

This morning I was on the phone with my mother and she said that I remind her of Cam (the emotional fat dad) and my husband reminds her of Mitch (the logical dad) and then she laughed on the phone in my ear...

I will take that as a compliment, since it was coming from my mother, but I guess it means that the writers of Modern Family have created believable characters, and they are the ones that are truly complimented by my mother's words.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Meryl Streep's Golden Globe Speech

Did you hear Meryl Streep's Golden Globe acceptance speech on Sunday night? Here's the part I enjoyed the most:

"...I just want to say: In my long career I've played so many extraordinary women that basically I'm getting mistaken for one. No really. I'm very clear that I am a vessel for other people's stories, other women's lives..."

Those words were spoken by a woman that is widely regarded as one of the most talented and respected movie actors of the modern era. I love that!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Keystone 2010

  • 8 friends spending 3 days and 4 nights in a rented luxury house close to the ski slopes was a fantastic way to spend the MLK Jr. holiday weekend
  • We have very few gay friends. We were the only homos on this trip. (Not counting the one time one of the girls made-out with another girl at a bar!)
  • This recession makes vacations more affordable because everything seems to be deeply discounted: $500 per person got us our ski passes, ski rentals, and 4 nights in a 4 bedroom 4 bathroom new-construction house. (They're renting it because they can't sell it.)
  • The best money we spent was on private ski lessons for myself and a friend. I hadn't skied in 13 years, and the lessons were extremely beneficial. My coach was in his 60's and he had been teaching for over 20 years. He wasn't there to build up my self esteem he was there to teach me how to ski correctly. (He was all business and no fluff.) I knew I would be good when my coach told me that there is no testosterone required for skiing; it's an estrogen sport. Skiing requires graceful movements of the body to make the skis work for you. He said you never force a move when skiing.
  • My ski coach had to keep telling me to STOP sticking my butt out. (Insert gay joke here.)
  • My husband kept checking on us during the day (in between his double black diamond runs) and towards the end of the day my ski coach and I had the following conversation: Ski coach: "Are you two college buddies?" Me: "We met in college, but he's my husband." Ski coach: "He's your what?" Me: "He's my husband." Ski coach: *silence*
  • I'm not going to lie, I dominated the green slopes.
  • I'm thinking about trying out for the Vancouver Olympics in a few weeks.
  • Reason No. 1,639,854 that I have the greatest husband ever to have walked this earth: On day two and day three he spent half the day skiing the green runs with me, because he said he'd rather be with me.
  • On the last day my husband got into trouble from the "Sno Po" for skiing too fast on my greens.
  • You would not believe how amazing my husband is on skies. He flies over the snow.
  • I crashed any time I tried to read the signs and ski at the same time.
  • The biggest difference between now and the last time I skied 13 years ago: there are some serious fashion statements being made on the mountain. Ski clothes have gotten very trendy.
  • I only saw maybe three black people the entire weekend
  • I only saw two Indian people the entire weekend
  • Why is skiing a white person sport?
  • I could watch young children in ski school all day long. They are too funny.
  • We watched The Hangover one night at the house; we also saw two wild wolves one morning (the locals claim we didn't see wolves we saw coyotes, but they were wolves damnit!).
  • We were a wolf pack of 8 the rest of the trip
  • Skiing isn't much of a vacation, the way I define a vacation, because we woke up early skied all day, came back to the place tired as hell, went to bed early, and then did it again the next day. It's more like a work-out than a vacation, but it's also a lot of fun.
  • Skiing is expensive. I have to get more use out of my ski clothes.
  • Whomever invented smart wool socks: I love you!
  • Every night we had family dinners around the dinning room table. We muted the TV and just talked while we ate our meals. It was a lot of fun.
  • I'm so behind in work.
  • My husband flew back on Tuesday with me, and then he flew out on Wednesday for work. (That's just our life!)
  • I can't wait to go skiing again.

While we were away...

...Presley had a wonderful second birthday party. Your favorite uncles love you so very much Presley!

[photo credit: Aunt Charlotte]

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Happy Birthday Presley!

Tomorrow Presley turns two years old. I will forever be grateful that my brother's wife let me hold Presley when she was less than one hour old; at that moment it was like (as they say) anything was possible again. The world was more beautiful than ever after Presley was born. Now, two years later we are always happy to hang out with our little lady. It's greatness.

Happy Birthday Presley! We're glad you're here! And we love you so very much.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Hooray for Paint!!

I like it when Oprah tells us that our homes should rise up to meet us. I agree with her. Our home should be an inspiring place for us to live- a beautiful place to think, eat, sleep, love. I want a beautiful place to call home, don't you? Ever since I first saw Nate Berkus remodel his tiny Manhattan apartment in 2005 with all-white rooms and high gloss blue-black doors I knew that's what I wanted for our home. It was so clean and bright.

It is now 2010 and we're finally at a point where we can afford to paint our entire house. (I've been waiting for this moment!) I was inspired by Nate's apartment, and I've edited the idea to fit our home.

Here are our chosen colors:
  • White
  • High Gloss White
  • Deep Ocean
  • High Gloss Polo Blue
  • Surf Blue
  • Harbor Fog
  • Blue Orchid
  • Slate
  • Graphite
  • Stone
  • Black
  • Million Dollar Red
I can't wait to see what I've imagined turn into reality. I hope it works!


Please read this week's Newsweek cover story. You absolutely must read this article.

The Conservative Case for Gay Marriage
Why same-sex marriage is an American value.
By Theodore B. Olson NEWSWEEK
Published Jan 9, 2010
From the magazine issue dated Jan 18, 2010

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Our Old School TV

We are a one television household. And it kills our buddy Dave (a hetero bachelor) that in 2010 we do not have a plasma screen television. He thinks we need multiple plasma screen televisions, and he likes to point out places he'd install a flat screen television if he owned our house. It's a fun game. What baffles Dave most is that my husband is a super geek; we have a server closet in our house, but we don't have a plasma screen television.

Finally, Dave confronted my husband and he asked: "WHY (!) don't you have a plasma screen television? Is it money? Because you know they've gotten more affordable."

My husband replied: "I am not afraid of the cost of a new TV. I am afraid of the cost of the piece of furniture my husband will want to put it on."

Dave has been telling everyone this story because he thinks it makes me look ridiculous; however, my husband knows me very well. He knows I am always looking for a chance to go buy a good piece of furniture.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I eat animals. I love animals.

I've always felt conflicted about my eating of animals. I'm an animal lover. The most my husband has ever seen me cry was when I held my beloved Scout as the vet put her to sleep. I've never met an animal I didn't love, but I've also never met a piece of chicken I didn't want to eat- fried chicken, BBQ chicken, chicken and dumplings...I love chicken. I feel sorry for the calves heading to feed lots, but leather is my preferred covering for chairs, couches, and boots. I am conflicted. As a compromise to my love-to-love/love-to-eat animals issue, I have at least one meat-free day a week. Today I had white chocolate apricot toast for breakfast; Pot Belly's vegetarian sandwich with chips for lunch, and a baked sweet potato for supper; it was a meat-free day.

One of my most-special friends, Dooley, is a vegetarian and I am inspired by her choice to forgo the eating of animals. But in Dallas/Fort Worth being a vegetarian is almost taboo. I am doing my best being a gay man in this world. I can't take on another minority role: being a gay man AND a vegetarian in Texas. I love animals, but for now I plan to continue to eat animals.

Do you eat animals too? If so you must, must read this book: Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran. I just started this book, and I can already tell it's going to be great. Get it. Read it. Call me to discuss.

Deep Ocean Blue

The painters just painted the dinning room and entryway ceiling Benjamin Moore's Deep Ocean. I am in love with this color. It has such depth of blue; when the light catches the color you can see turquoise hiding in the deep blue. It is a beautiful color for a ceiling.

I kept asking my husband if he liked the ceiling as much as I did?! (Don't you like this color? How cool is this color? Doesn't this remind you of the ocean? Do you love this color?!) My husband silenced my many questions with a look. He looked at me and then I couldn't ask any more questions about our painted ceiling. He pulled me in for a hug, and he said to me: "I like this color because you like it so much. It makes me happy to see you happy." I blushed with happiness at my husband's sweet words.

I feel lucky to have such a great man.

Equal RIghts Now!

A very important trial just started in San Francisco today.

The problem is that 52% of California voters voted in November 2008 to change the state’s constitution and outlaw same-sex marriage after it was legalized by the California Supreme Court. (It's not surprising that the majority is not willing to give the minority equal rights.) We must use the court system as our Founding Fathers intended; I hope the courts will give us equal rights!

Let's play a game of "what if": What if in the early 1960's the Civil Rights legislation would have been put to a popular vote instead of being pushed through congress by LBJ? Would the outcome have been any different?

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Skiing Champion

Do you remember when I told you my husband has been snow skiing since he was three years old? (They like to start 'em young.) Well, my husband's sister and her husband took our nephew snow skiing for the first time in December and he is only 16-months old!!! I married into a family that is born skiing, sailing, yoga-ing, and swimming...I am like the special needs member of the family...but that's why God invented unconditional love, right?

Toboggan vs. Toboggan

It has been cold in Texas. Our lows have been in the teens. (Burr.) We're wearing winter stuff we're not used to wearing to work in Texas. Someone in our office asked what we call the above pictured item. The Southerners said toboggan; the non-Southerners said hat, beanie, skull cap, etc. HOWEVER, the non-Southerners proclaimed us to be stupid, since a toboggan is a sled not a hat. (Damn Yankee arrogance.)

A funny story was told by one of our directors; he moved from the North to Texas when he was in first grade. In Texas, his first grade teacher told the class it would be cold during their field trip so she told the class to be sure and bring your coat and toboggan tomorrow. He was so excited because the thought they were going sledding for their field trip. He was disappointed when his mother had to explain that in Texas when people say toboggan they mean winter hat.

A Toast to my Husband

We finally saw Julie & Julia. It was a good film. I wanted to steal the toast Paul Child gave to his wife in the film because it's so beautiful.


My Dear Husband-You are the butter to my bread, the breath to my life. I love you.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

I am My Mother's Gay Son.

This fall when we were in Austin with my parents at a UT football game I got into a debate with my mother: Who is hotter Colt McCoy or Jordan Shipley? She thought Colt. I thought Jordan. The debate caused us to morph into two 14-year-old teenage girls; we both were equally applauded that the other did not agree. The debate ended once my father refused to take sides, and after my husband admitted he was on my mother's side of the debate.

I filed this into the conversations-ten-years-ago-my-mother-could-never-have-been-able-to-predict-she-would-be-having-with-me-one-day category. It's a fun category.

The first time this happened to us was a few years ago when we were at the Majestic Theater in Dallas watching Del Shores' Southern Baptist Sissies play. It is a very powerful play. It is most powerful for gay guys who grew up in the Bible belt. At intermission of the play my lips were dry and no one had any chapstick so I used my mother's super fancy (read: expensive) blush lip gloss. At the time I asked if she ever thought she would be sharing her lip gloss with her son- we laughed together at the thought!

Friday, January 8, 2010

The Sun Still Came Up Today.

One thing my father taught me: After a night of defeat/devastation/disappointment do not worry because the sun will always rise the next morning. It's a new day. Life goes on...

So the UT game last night did not go the way we all had hoped. We are not the college football champions this year.

Today I got more sympathy than harassment from the anti-UT individuals in my office. They all "felt sorry" for us. I am not a huge college football fan, but I will be disowned if I don't stay current with UT football. I am not a die-hard college football fan, and I couldn't handle the game after they said Colt would not return to the game. I went to our television-free bedroom and listened to my husband's hoots and hollers to predict the outcome of the game. My husband was silent when he entered the bedroom last night; he then said we had lost the game.

I have avoided calling my brother and my mother since the game last night, because I know they are probably both still crying on their living room floors. I hope my father and sister-in-law answer when I call their houses tonight.

Today is a new day.

Hook 'em Horns!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Burrr chica! It's cold outside.

I woke up this morning and it was freezing cold outside; it was in the twenties. All the bridges and overpasses on my way to work were covered in a sheet of ice. What normally takes me 45 minutes to drive took me 120 minutes today because of all the ice.

I don't know why I even went to work today. I am the only Longhorn in our office. It took me two hours to drive to work because of the ice and then my boss made anti-UT jokes all day. Our office is full of anti-UT individuals. They don't promote their team as much as they are against mine. So odd. Be for something instead of against something. FINALLY, I found a few individuals that would admit to be cheering for UT tonight.

The work day is over. The game is on...

Hook 'em Horns!

Texas, Texas Yee-Haw!

Are your Horns up? It's almost kick-off time for the Texas vs. Alabama BCS National Championship football game. Both of us went to UT, both our parents went to UT, our siblings went to UT, we are a UT family...and our family is serious about UT tonight might be one of the most exciting nights this year...

Hook 'em Horns!

Dog, Cat, Rat

In downtown Ft. Worth there is a man walking around with a rat riding the back of a cat riding the back of a dog. I took this photo while they were resting. The Dog-Cat-Rat man has a website, here, and he is promoting peace among all creatures.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ski Trip 2010!

I married a double black diamond snow skier. My husband has snow skied every year since he was three years old. Seriously. I haven't snow skied since I was a freshman in high school- over 13 years ago. My husband is such an avid snow skier that two years ago when we took a summer vacation with my parents to Utah my husband went to the Salt Lake City 2002 Olympic village and did ski jumps into a swimming pool of cold water as my mother snapped his photo (Yes, that really is my husband in the photos). He did this instead of horse back riding in the mountains with my father and me. (Who picks skiing over horse back riding?!) My husband loves to ski.

Since we've been married this is the first time I've been able to take off work during Q1, which means this is the first time that we will get to take a ski trip together. I am nervous. I am excited. I need to remember to call Keystone tomorrow and book ski lessons!!!

So long 1993-ish wallpaper

When I got home today our kitchen and breakfast nook was stripped completely of any of the burgundy floral wallpaper, which must have been beautiful in the early 1990's, but today it just added a grandmother tone to our house. It's amazing what a difference the absence of the burgundy color has already made in our tiny kitchen. It's so much brighter and cheerful already.

Dallas Stars

One week ago our friend with season tickets took us to the Dallas Stars hockey game at American Airlines Center in Dallas. I think we were surprised at how much fun we had at a hockey game. It was great and I can't wait to attend another game. We had the most fun in the third period when we got access to the platinum section, which meant we could buy drinks from a fully stocked bar. (My husband enjoys a good gin and tonic.)

Monday, January 4, 2010

Open Letter to our Checking Account

Dear Checking Account,

I apologize in advance for the pain we are causing you. The first quarter of 2010 is going to be hardest on you. Both our master card bill (bloated with Christmas purchases) and our tax bill are due in a few weeks. We are also painting the house and taking a ski trip to Colorado. I know, I know we're acting like rich people, but we're far from rich. (I'm just hoping my bonus has a comma in it this year!)

You will have to learn to make the most of your reduced state. (Keep calm and carry on.) I'm sure you'll miss all your dollar friends, but think of all the good our hard-earned dollars will do out in the world stimulating the economy...and...Think about how much we enjoyed giving Christmas presents, think about how beautiful our house will look in its new shades of paint; think about all the fun we'll have snow skiing, and think about how patriotic it feels to pay taxes to the state that does not recognize our marriage...Oh, least we get to go snow skiing!

With the promise to return to saving dollars in Q2 2010,


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Paint Job

The painters show up on Monday! Our Christmas gift to each other was painting every surface inside our home except the floors. It's exciting!

500 Days of Summer

Add this movie to your Netflix queue. We watched it over the holiday and it was such an interesting film; it was different from any film I've seen. Both of us thought the main actor (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) was such a cutie. He was such a great actor too.

Twenty Ten

We rang in the new year with my family; we were playing games when midnight struck. It was a nice way to ring in the new year.

The first day of 2010 we stayed home in our pajamas all day. We watched movies. We watched episodes of 24. It was a nice way to spend the first day of the year.

Happy New Year!