Thursday, April 24, 2014


"The Boy Scouts of America has revoked the charter of a Seattle church that refused to fire its pack's gay scoutmaster, according to a letter written by the organization's general counsel and provided to CNN by the church."

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Welcome to the 'Sac

The lighting isn't the best in the above photo, but last night I went to look at the natural stained wood floors.  They are beautiful.  Juan, the professional that installed the wood floors, told me most people want dark floors, but we made a good choice because light floors are the best.  "It's so pretty in the natural color," he stated.  We both stood on the tile in the kitchen admiring our new flooring.

Our new house is on a short street of 11 houses with a cul-de-sac at the end.  And while I was at the house a nice neighbor from across the street walked over and said, "Hi, welcome to the 'sac!"  We met and chatted for a bit.  She informed me that the neighbors get together for front lawn happy hours when the weather is nice.  She also commented on how our workers were at the house working on Easter Sunday (we're building a reputation as ball busters, and we haven't even moved in).  I told her we're moving in on Monday.  She said (in amazement) that she heard we were hosting a couples' shower the first Saturday we're in the house.  I had to tell her it was true (apparently the neighbors talk at the happy hours because she was well informed on our backstory).  Yes, we move in on Monday and we have 45 people coming to the house on Saturday.  We agreed to the event before we knew we were moving houses.

I like friendly neighbors.  We didn't know our new house comes with new best friends.  This house is going to be a great place to raise a family.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Future Hoarder

One of our best friends, Del, was in town over the weekend.  Del makes the best roasted brussels sprouts, and they were a hit at our Saturday lunch.  Twice as many brussels sprouts than tater tots were eaten.  True story.

This weekend Del said: "Patrick, I'm certain when you get older you will be a hoarder."  He said this while helping us pack up for the move.

I was using too much paper packing up our fragile items.  Therefore, our contractor had completed one closest in the new house, which allowed us to delicately transport all my pretty things from the old house to the new house.  We loaded my husband's car with tons of blankets, set down a few items, and drove to the new house.  Of course, now I'm worried a worker might be tempted to take a few of my treasures.  A problem my husband tells me not to worry about.

In the old house we painted the inside of all our closets "million dollar red," but in the new house we're painting the inside of our closets "formal garden" green.   My brother's wife was touring the house, and she said something like: "Oh, wow these green closets are terrible.  I bet you can't wait to paint over these."  My husband had to inform her that we had the closets painted green!  

What color are your closets?  White?  So predictable.  I don't like being predictable.  GREEN!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Family Time

On Saturday we had our family over for a pre-Easter hamburger lunch.  Our house is in disarray as we get ready for the move, but it was nice to have everyone over for one last event in this house we've enjoyed for almost 6 years.
The Easter Bunny sent my brother an email to let him know my nieces eggs were hidden in the back yard of our new house.  After lunch we loaded up the family for the 1.3 mile journey to the new house.  It was the first time most of the family had seen our new house, which is in more disarray than our old house since our contractor is in the midst of adding flooring downstairs and painting upstairs.

It will take years before we have enough cash to upgrade the whole house.  We have multiple rounds of upgrades planned, but after this first round our new house will be significantly upgraded/updated.
After seeing the house my 84 year old grandfather (who was raised on a cotton farm in Big Springs, Texas) asked why two people needed a house this big.  My mother informed him that we are planning to have kids.  With that information my grandfather said, "they will be great parents."  That made me smile.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The Color of Wood

The wood is installed in the new house, and it looks great.  It looks really great.  It makes me wish we had money left in our budget to install floors in the kitchen and upstairs too!  Now it's time to think about the stain, and at first I wanted dark floors (like everyone else) but two houses with light wood floors caught my eye recently, and I think I'm going for light:

I think light floors lean a bit more modern and less traditional, which is what I enjoy.  Plus, I feel like our furniture and art and rugs will pop in a lighter environment.  However, our contractor is pushing for dark wood floors.  He thinks dark looks best.  What do you think?

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Married Filing Jointly

My husband and I had a wedding in Austin in May 2006.  We got legally married in Santa Barbara in November 2013.  This was the first year we filed taxes jointly: married filing jointly.  Hooray for equal rights!  And we've paid more in taxes in 2013 than any other year.  The marriage penalty feels very real!

QOTD: "Multiple factors are involved, but in general, in the current U.S. system, single-income married couple usually benefits from filing as a married couple, while dual-income married couples are often penalized."

Key takeaway: gay marriage is good for U.S. tax revenue.

You're welcome America.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Germ Compactor

Who invented the trash compactor, and why hasn't society shunned them?  I imagine the trash compactor invention conversation going something like this: let's create a large appliance that comes into contact with all trash with no way to clean the part that touches trash.  It'll compress trash so trash can stay inside the house longer.  Oh, and we'll require special trash sacks for the trash compactor to make sure we keep making money.
Luckily our contractor is highly familiar with people like us buying houses with trash compactors and insisting they be removed.

Am I missing something? Who sees the benefits of owning a trash compactor?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Home Owners Hard at Work

We actually DID close on our new house last week!  We're the new men on the culdesac.

We made our presence known by having a large orange dumpster delivered to our front lawn.  Hello neighbors!  We'll always keep it this classy...
We needed the dumpster because we are replacing tile and carpet with wood.  We like wood.  (*insert gay joke here*)

Did you know it takes 14 days for wood to acclimate to the environment?  The wood must be in the environment for 14-days before they will sand and stain it.  I didn't know installing wood was similar to curing meats.  You have to wait.  We can't really do much to the inside of the house until the floors are in, because apparently sanding floors creates a dust storm.  

However, since the buyers of our house were not interested in maintaining a fountain, they said we could take it with us.   I think it was a trap.  We found these little snakes hanging out in the rocks we were moving.  I screamed like a girl.  I asked my husband if I could burn the backyard down.  He said I couldn't because we didn't own the house any more.  He finished moving rocks.  I watched a safe distance from the grass snakes.  I'm not scared of snakes.  I just cannot function with snakes around. 
The day continued and my husband and I worked in the rain to relocate the fountain from outside the dinning room window of our old house to outside the dinning room window of our new house...
We also stopped to enjoy this beautiful little tree. 
I've always wanted a dogwood, and now we have one in the front of our house with beautiful little white blooms!
We visited the house at least six times today.  I love to walk through the house and imagine where my furniture is going to be situated in a few weeks.  I should be packing...but it's more fun to hang out at the new house.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Uganda Be Kidding Me

Chelsea Handler's new book Uganda Be Kidding Me is really funny.  Although, I'm pretty sure I'm going to hell for laughing at some of her jokes.  I had to fly to Chicago last week, and I was laughing on the plane while reading this book, which is about her vacation in Africa.  Chelsea Handler is funny.

Monday, April 7, 2014


"In the early 2000s, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' stance on same-sex marriage aligned with the opinions of most Americans: Gays and lesbians shouldn't be allowed to marry.

"Since then, popular opposition to same-sex marriage has collapsed across much of the country, with 17 states and the District of Columbia allowing the practice.

"Shifting public opinion may explain the message that Neil L. Andersen, an elder in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles - the second-highest governing body in the Mormon Church - had for listeners at the semiannual General Conference in Salt Lake City on Saturday.

“While many governments and well-meaning individuals have redefined marriage, the Lord has not," Andersen said in his remarks, which warned of "whirlwinds" that would test Mormons' adherence to the church's socially conservative theology.

"The church has not been immune to doctrinal changes throughout its history. It halted plural marriage among its members in 1890 so Utah could become a state, and announced in 1978 that black men could become ordained priests. (Women are still not allowed into the priesthood, which has caused division among church members.)

"With the church now seeing public opinion diverge with its position on same-sex marriage, Andersen urged Mormons - especially the youth - to hold firm to the belief that marriage is between one man and one woman."

via Los Angeles Times

Napoleon and Josephine A Love Story

In 1987 the mini series "Napoleon and Josephine: A Love Story" was a television event, and I still remember watching it with my family.  My mother is a literary junky, a history junky, and a total romantic.  One of the books in her library included love letters between Napoleon and Josephine. I think my mother made sure we all watched the series.

Looking back, I now realize watching the mini series was one of the defining moments in my life.  Why?  I was only seven years old at the time, and I remember Armand Assante's Napoleon Bonaparte making my body tingle.  I was "in love" with him/his performance.  People often ask me: "when did you know you were gay," and the truth is that I've always known, it's my natural state, but it wasn't until I watched this mini series that I realized most boys didn't get excited about other boys.  It was the first time I felt like my feelings were wrong.  It was the first time I was ashamed by my own feelings.  And for the next 15+ years after watching this mini series I would battle with thinking my feelings were wrong, I was abnormal, and I would try to be "normal" by mimicking the actions of other boys.

But in high school and in college when I dated girls or had sex with girls I felt much more ashamed.   It was a lot to juggle, emotionally.  Luckily for me,  I realized by the time I was in my early twenties that the best path forward was to live an authentic life.  It took a few years to release the emotional baggage, unwind the emotional trauma, but by the time I met my future husband in the fall of 2003 I was ready to love myself, which gave me the ability to love him.

Last week on Amazon, I found the mini series for sale.  I own it now.  I look forward to watching it again, and this time around I will not be ashamed if I start to feel excitement about Armond Assante's Napoleon.

Life is a journey.  Life is good.  Hooray for life!

Saturday, April 5, 2014


So, at the end of March we sold our house...

...we're officially the richest we've ever been.  Our house equity is sitting in our checking account.  I want to take the next few months off and follow Cher's Dress To Kill Tour around the US, buy some art, and enjoy life.  My husband, however, rolls his eyes when I ask how fast he thinks I could spend the cash in our checking account.

Our house equity was never supposed to hit our checking account, because we were supposed to close on our next house...

But, Wells Fargo gave us the run-around, those shysters, and on the day of the closing they revealed (for the first time) the earliest they could close was July 1, 2014.  WHAT?  My husband may or may not (wink, wink) be changing jobs at the end of July.  And even though there will be no interruptions in his employment (assuming he is changing jobs!) they said it was against their policy to close on a loan more than 30-days before a job change.  We found a new bank (one that's logical) and we're scheduled to close on the house in the upcoming week.

Fingers crossed.  It's hard being homeless.