Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween (Flash Back)

Last year for Halloween our friend Carolina gave Trigger a pirate costume (which he did not enjoy wearing) and Martha a princess costume. It was so funny because girlfriend had some shoulders and they were too wide for her costume- such is the life of a French bulldog. Our dogs bring/brought us so much joy.

Life Goes On...

I got off the couch this weekend. To my husband's delight, I got off the couch this weekend and rejoined society. I got a hair cut. I went to yoga. I took Trigger Monkey on a walk. Before this weekend I thought about living as a hermit for the rest of my life, but that feeling subsided with time.

I miss Martha Fauker. I miss her smell when I kissed her forehead; her smell was as distinctive as the smell of a horse. I also miss her sounds. Her snoring at night. Her coughing and hacking during the day. I miss Martha and I can't believe she's gone. I miss her, but the pain today isn't as bad as it was before...I miss Martha Fauker...but today I realize that life goes on...


I love this picture of Owen. He's jumping in the ocean water and it looks like he's having lots of fun.

She still in the ground.

My father called me yesterday. He said he knew Martha Fauker was a special dog, and so on the third day he checked on her grave to see if she had risen. He reported that she had not like he was surprised. I don't know why, but this made me laugh...

Friday, October 29, 2010

Martha Fauker

My brother sent me the perfect note in the mail:

"Martha's life was 100% better because you rescued her. I know you are in a lot of pain, but I like to remember this quote: 'Don't cry because it's over. Smile because it happened.' Dr. Seuss.

Martha Fauker RIP

After a series of strokes Martha died this week. Here's the email I sent out announcing her death...

To My Family and Friends That Loved Martha Fauker:

It is with a hurting heart that I must inform you that Martha Fauker passed away Tuesday evening. Tuesday night I drove her body to my home town. (She always loved spending time in my home town.) My mother and I had a silent moment under the night sky as my father covered her grave. It was a nice moment of appreciation for her life and sadness that her life had ended. Martha is gone. She will be missed. We loved her so very much.

An outsider would see Martha as a French bulldog. To us she was so much more than just a dog. She was an extension of my personality- my husband always said I was living vicariously through Martha with her blinged-out collars, her pretty princess outfits (yes, she had outfits) and the way I pampered her existence. She was a giver of unconditional love- her main goal was to be in the same room with us. She loved to sit at our feet, at our bedside, or next to our chair, and when we moved rooms, she moved with us. She was an important member of our family.

From the moment I rescued her, over 8 years ago, she had my heart. She was smart. Determined. She had a very interesting little personality. Martha Fauker always believed that she was the boss and as a result the other dogs she encountered (even physically superior dogs) treated her as the boss…as the queen! That was one of the philosophical lesson Martha Fauker taught me- to believe you’re boss and you’ll be boss! Any time I had a moment of self doubt, my husband would always tell me to “Be Martha,” which meant that I had to believe in myself.

Tuesday night, after I drove back to Dallas and my husband flew back to Dallas (Martha’s death interrupted his business trip), we went to bed. I was unaccustomed to the quietness that was present in our room without the snoring sounds of Martha.

Friday, October 22, 2010

With Honors

You recall that we had work people over to the house last Friday? We have our framed diplomas proudly displayed in our home, and one of our directors made the following comment to me:

"I see on your husband's diploma that he graduated with honors. I didn't see that on yours."

Doh! I told them that my husband went to college for his "Mrs." degree and everyone knows electrical engineering is the easiest degree to earn. (Of course that's not true at all, which is the joke.) We've been joking about that quote at work this week.

"I see on your husband's diploma that he graduated with honors. I didn't see that on yours."

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Third Grade Prank

The restrooms in our office are in the middle of our building and they do not have any windows. My team made a pit stop on our way to a meeting; all three of us were standing up at a urinal using the restroom when a 50-year-old director turned out the lights and left. So the three of us were standing in a pitch black bathroom peeing. It was hilarious. We couldn't stop laughing at the third grade prank.

I asked one of my colleagues if he was scared to be in a dark room with a gay man, and he said no not at all, but he hoped we found the lights before someone else walked in the restroom because being found in a dark room with two other men would be an awkward thing to explain to his wife...this made us laugh more.

Sleeping Beauty.

The hall closet door was ajar, and Martha Fauker took a wrong turn on her way to our bedroom and ended up asleep in the closet. I heard her snoring from inside.

Martha Fauker has dementia. For years she's peed on command; when I said "hurry up" she would pee. Even if she didn't need to pee she'd fake it and squat like she was peeing when I used our command, "hurry up." Now when I take her outside and say "hurry up" she just looks at me.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Peanut Butter CapN Crunch

My father always told me that an unexpected gift at an unexpected time is the best kind of surprise. He always tried to get my mom a gift when she wasn't expecting it. This happened to me yesterday, I received an unexpected gift at an unexpected time, and my father was correct it was a great surprise! In appreciation for hosting her in Dallas, Dooley sent me four boxes of my favorite cereal: Peanut Butter CapN Crunch!!! I love that she knows my favorite cereal. I love that she sent me my favorite cereal.

My parents never let us have "sugar" cereal growing up, and any time I spent the night with my best friend growing up, Zack, I'd eat as much of his sugar cereal as possible, morning, noon, night! My favorite cereal was/is Peanut Butter CapN Crunch, but I don't ever buy it because if it's in my house I'll eat as much cereal as possible, morning, noon, night, late night, late late night!

Dooley gives the best gifts. She's a super friend. She's a super human.

Excuse me while I go eat another bowl of cereal...

Hot Dog!

Hot Dog! Yes, we're one of "those". We buy Halloween costumes for our dogs. Trigger was not happy about being dressed up as a hot dog, but it made his two fathers laugh. Trigger stopped moving while the hot dog costume was on his body.

Here today, gone tomorrow.

Even though I know that if you want to build a new house in our part of Dallas, then you have to buy a house and tear it down; I know this, however, I will never get used to the speed at which a house can be destroyed. One day this house was there, and the next day it was a pile of wood and bricks. For 50+ years someone called this house a home, and now it's gone. It's an interesting dynamic.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Dinner Party!

We had my work team over for dinner on Friday night, and it was great fun! One couple had been married for 10 years longer than us and they had two sons, another couple was newlywed, and the last couple had been dating since May. We were the only homos in the bunch, and everyone had a lovely night. It gives me great pleasure to host dinner in our home with my husband.

Stuck in the corner, again.

Is this what we have to look forward to? If I'm lucky enough to live to be an old man, then perhaps I too will get stuck in the corner. Martha Fauker has started wandering around the house, without purpose or a destination, and sometimes she gets stuck in the corners. She turns left and hits the wall, and she turns right and hits the wall; so she stops and stands with her nose in the corner.

If I'm lucky enough to live to be an old man I hope my husband will be around to call me out of the corners if I get stuck.

Aunt Jan's Apple Pie

My Aunt Jan has been dead for 15+ years, but every time I make her apple pie she's alive again. I love that food has the ability to transport me to another place and time. We had a dinner party on Friday night for my work colleagues, and for dessert we served Aunt Jan's apple pie with vanilla ice cream.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Thank You Joel Burns

Please watch this twelve minute video. Fort Worth City Council member Joel Burns did a "it gets better" speech during their council meeting. It's extremely powerful. He's encouraging gay youth or youth that are perceived as gay to not commit suicide, because it gets better.

We live in Dallas, but I work in Fort Worth and I had no idea that Fort Worth had elected an out City Council member. I am the only out person in my office in Fort Worth, and sometimes I feel like the Lone Ranger, but Fort Worth has an out City Council member!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A-List House Guest

Good friends are good friends, because you can do "nothing" and it's still thrilling. Last night Dooley stayed in our home. My husband was out of town on business, as he often is, and so Dooley and I went to dinner at Kathleen's Sky Diner where we had great conversation and delicious food. She had shrimp and grits and I had Hawaiian salmon. After dinner we went back to the house and sat around the kitchen table talking, looking at cookbooks, and flipping pages in House Beautiful and Atomic Ranch, and we even took a moment to make fun of the homes in Architectural Digest. I also had a moment of "show and tell." I showed off my autographed cookbook from Ina. I also showed off my poster board of interior design ideas.

This morning I received a phone call from Dooley (who was staying in our front bedroom). 'That's odd that she's calling,' I thought to myself. The door was stuck and she couldn't get out of the front bedroom- she was calling for help. For a moment I thought about pretending that the door was permanently stuck so that she'd have to stay! (Is that wrong?) I had so much fun sitting around the kitchen table and talking with Dooley.

Ina Inspires!

We were so inspired by watching Ina (The Barefoot Contessa) make her Spanokopita appetizers this weekend that my husband created a version of the dish. He rolled up our spinach and artichoke dip in phyllo dough. It was delicious. I love getting inspired to do something, and then doing it. Way to go Honey!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

God loves everyone. Carl Paladino does not.

Did you read the New York Times this weekend? Did you read about how the Republican candidate for New York governor, Carl Paladino, said the following in a speech:

“That’s not how God created us,” he said, reading from a prepared address. “I just think my children and your children would be much better off and much more successful getting married and raising a family, and I don’t want them brainwashed into thinking that homosexuality is an equally valid and successful option — it isn’t.”

First, I'd like to say that if God didn't create me, then who did?!

Second, I would like to welcome the straight people to our world...and for a moment consider when was the last time a candidate for governor gave a speech publicly stating that you are not valid? Unless you are a minority, you've probably lived your entire life without hearing or reading about someone bashing you. This is what it's like to be a homo living in a straight world; every day somewhere on the Internet I can find proof of people promoting the idea that gays are less than their straight counterparts. I am gay. My husband is gay! We have college degrees, successful careers, an exceptional family, and an abundance of friends. We're two smart men, and we can handle it when publicly people state that gays are second class citizens. Not everyone can handle being gay in a straight world...

The Dallas Voice is reporting the following: "A 19-year-old gay man from Oklahoma has taken his own life, and his parents say a hate-filled recent City Council meeting he attended may have driven him over the edge."

What if you had a gay son or daughter? What kind of world would you want your child to live in? If you're okay with life as we know it, then continue to do nothing. If you're not satisfied with our society and you know, as I do, that we can do better as a nation, then the next time you witness a derogatory word spoken about gays- speak up. We are all God's children. We all deserve to live life without being told that you are less than equal.

I maintain this blog to show proof that my life as a gay man married to another gay man is just as ordinary and wonderful as your life. We are two men that love each other just as much as you love your spouse. We're just like you. We're your equals; nothing more, and certainly nothing less!

White Mums

I love white mums, and apparently everyone else does too, because they were hard to find in Dallas this weekend. Dallas has loads of orange mums, purple mums, and brown mums for sale, but you have to hunt to find white mums to buy. (Question: why on earth would anyone buy a brown mum? Brown is the color of dirt.)

I love our back patio, however after looking at this photo I realize it might come across as, what polite people refer to as, "busy."


Martha Fauker no longer uses the doggie door. Either she's forgotten how to use the doggie door (like old people do old dogs become senile?) OR she doesn't like to use the doggie door (maybe it's hard on her joints to climb over the hump?). She stands in front of the doggie door and waits for someone to open it.

I am very much attempting to not be dramatic when I think about my aging girl; however, if I'm being completely honest with myself, then the thought of Martha Fauker's death is devastating. We know dogs (like humans) are mortal beings, but even though logically I've always known I'd outlive Martha Fauker it doesn't make this any easier. The last two months Martha Fauker has really started to show her age. I rescued her when she was about five-years-old in May of 2002, and she's had a good life ever since. Any time I get sad I start to think of all the fun we've had together. She is my pretty, pretty princess.

Baby Paxten

My husband and I spent half of Saturday with my brother, his wife, their girls, and my mom and dad at a fall festival. The eight of us always have so much fun together. Right now I cannot get enough of Paxten, because she's in that perfect six-month-old-baby phase. I just want to hold her and squeeze her and make her smile. It's nice to see her personality starting to emerge too.

Fatty, Fatty, 2 x 4

For lunch today the husband and I ordered to-go from Blue Goose; my husband enjoys the taco salad with shredded dark chicken and I enjoy the Taluca salad (minus the goat cheese) with fajita chicken. We also added goose eggs (jalapenos stuffed with cheese and fried) to our order.

When we got home we had four utensil packets in our to-go order. This happens all the time to us. We'll order what we think is a two-person order, but we'll get enough utensils for four people. Either we order way to much food for two people a.k.a. we're two fatties OR they are generous with their utensils?!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Dora or Football?

I witnessed the below conversation last week between my brother and his 2.5 year-old daughter, Presley.

My brother: "Presley, do you want to watch Dora or football?"
Presley: "Silly Daddy."
My brother: "You didn't answer the question; do you want to watch Dora or football?"
Presley: "Silly Daddy, only boys watch football."
My brother: "Well, your uncle is a boy and he doesn't watch football..."
Presley: (Quiet for a bit.) "I want to watch Dora."

Hooray for Gay Marriage!

The Pew Research Center just released the results of a new survey on gay marriage, and it appears that more people this year support gay marriage than did last year. Hooray! I love progress. Also, it appears that there is a huge generation divide when it comes to views on gay marriage; the older you are the less likely you are to be in favor of gay marriage. This is good news to more and more older adults die then our population will be replaced by voters that favor gay marriage!

My goal is to legally marry my husband in the state of Texas before we die. It will happen.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

State Fair Sunday!

Hooray for the State Fair of Texas! My parents were at our house before 9:30 AM this morning, and while the rest of Dallas was at church or sleeping late we were eating corny dogs, touring the children's zoo, looking at new cars, and exploring the midway at the State Fair of Texas. We had a terrific morning together, and as we were leaving around 1:00 PM the fair was starting to get packed full of people. It was my parents' idea to do the fair as soon as it opened. My parents are geniuses.

Austin Saturday!

We were in our favorite city in the whole world, Austin, for approximately one hour on Saturday. We drove to Austin from Dallas pulling a U HAUL to pick up our prior weekend purchases from Four Hands. Four Hands is an importer, wholesaler, and manufacture of home furnishings, and they are in business to supply furniture stores and designers. However, they have one not-easy-to-find showroom connected to their warehouse in Austin, which is open to the public.

Our favorite furniture store is in our favorite city- how cool is that?! When we're in Austin we like to do a lap through their showroom just to check it all out. Last weekend when we were making our traditional lap we discovered that they were having a floor sample sale, which meant a few pieces were 60% off their wholesale price. It was a tremendous deal. We purchased the sideboard for under the television. This piece first caught our eye one year ago. It's made from steel and reclaimed wood, and it has four enormous and interesting steel hinges. We also purchased a new accent table made from reclaimed telephone poles and steel to go under our painting in the hallway to our bedroom.

We really value interesting pieces of furniture that are made from reclaimed wood.

I encourage you to join in on our Four Hands/Austin tradition; when you're in Austin make a lap through the Four Hands showroom. You won't be disappointed.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Presley & Paxten Friday!

On Friday after work I got to hang out with Presley, Paxten, my brother and his wife. My brother asked Presley what was my husband's name, and she without hesitation correctly said the name of my husband. I was touched.

My brother went to an alumni UT rugby event, while his wife and I spent some quality time with their daughters. We ate fajitas, went to the park, and just hung out. My brother's wife was called away to a neighbor's house, and as a result for (an epic) ten minutes I had both the girls.

During those ten minutes Presley had to go "poo poo on the potty," and Paxten was no longer happy without her mommy. I had to set Paxten down while I attended to Presley, which was not what Paxten wanted. After Presley coached me on the correct way to wipe her bottom, she became upset that I could not put Dora on the television. I was looking for Dora DVD's, and I didn't think to look for Dora on the DVR. Doh! Paxten was happy again, but Presley was not happy without Dora. I negotiated with Presley on what we could watch instead of Dora. She did not like Snow White, and it was rejected, however, she likes 101 Dalmatians and so I put it on the television. Both girls were happy. Soon after their mommy came back from next door...

While Paxten was fed and put to bed by her mommy, I was supposed to get Presley in the bathtub. The next issue was that Presley did not want to take a bath until she finished 101 Dalmatians, but we were only twenty minutes into the film. Doh! I took the path of least resistance, and I kept watching 101 Dalmatians with Presley. That was a great idea until their mommy walked into the room and asked what was I doing?! "Why is Presley not in the bath?" was the question that was asked of me. In my defense, I said: "she didn't want to take a bath." I got a look from the mom in the room. I then got to watch a skillful mom in action as she talked Presley out of her devastation at the television being turned off.

Presley had her bath, I read her one book, and then I kissed her goodnight while her mommy finished reading her bedtime stories. As I walked out of the room I heard Presley ask her mommy if I was going home to see my husband. I was touched.

RIP Tyler Clementi

Tyler Clementi was outed over the Internet by his college roommate. He then posted "Jumping off the gw bridge sorry." to his Facebook account, and on Thursday a body was recovered and identified as Tyler's.

I find this situation incredibly sad. I've been thinking about Tyler all week.

How many more teens will kill themselves before our society decides to accept all individuals no matter their sexual orientation? What if Tyler was your nephew, cousin, brother, son, or grandson?