Archive for October, 2008

16 Years and Counting

Today is our 16th year anniversary. We’ve had some good times and some not so good times. We’ve taken many wonderful trips together – Paris, Scotland, Czech Republic, New Zealand and Northern Italy to name a few. Renting a house in Tuscany and an apartment in Paris were two of my favorite adventures. We have survived a kitchen remodel, two bathroom remodels, construction of the master suite addition and two major landscaping projects for the front and back yards. Our relationship also survived law school and studying for the bar exam. We also managed to navigate through long times of absence during K’s projects in Grand Rapids, New Jersey and now Festus, MO. K has been by my side through numerous biopsies, chemo and radiation treatments. We have always been there for each other even though at times we have been in different cities. It is not always easy but it is worth it. K is a wonderful man and I’m blessed to share a life with him.

K is flying home this afternoon. We’re planning on going to Caroline’s Halloween party tonight after we hand out candy to the neighborhood children. We have Tanner’s baby shower on Saturday morning and dinner with Carlos and his wife on Saturday night. K has to find time to meet with Patty since he is handling Steve’s estate. Hopefully, we will have most of Sunday to ourselves. K will then fly to New York on Monday for the week. Life as we know it will continue.

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Obama 27, McCain 3

The sign count has changed significantly in our traditionally republican neighborhood. The last count was Obama 14, McCain 5. It is now Obama 27, McCain 3.  Two of the McCain signs have disappeared. I wonder if these neighbors felt out numbered.

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Meeting My Parents

I bought a ticket to fly to St. Louis in November. I’ll be able to visit K and introduce him to my parents. We’ve been together for almost sixteen years and he has never met my parents. He’s never met my sister either but that’s another story. K did meet my brother and his family a few years ago when they vacationed in Colorado. I’ve been guilted into this trip by my brother and his wife. They told K that my mother is afraid that she will die before she sees me again. It’s been at least eight years since I went back to St. Louis. I moved away from St. Louis twenty-six years ago. My parents have never come to visit me. I have mixed feelings about this situation. Part of me feels that my mother should visit me if she wants to see me before she dies. I really could care less about seeing my father. My father and I don’t really have a relationship. My parents are both 82 years old and have some minor health issues. I don’t think either one is on death’s door. I feel like my mother is using my brother to make me feel guilty for not visiting more often. On the other hand I feel that perhaps it is my duty as their son to go back for a visit. I shouldn’t expect my elderly parents to travel to Denver to see me even though they have never made an effort to visit me. I am nervous about introducing my parents to Keith. I’m wondering if my mother will be cordial in person and then complain about Keith to my sister. This is her standard operating procedure. She will never bring up an issue in person but will be passive aggressive by complaining to a third party she knows who will tell you. Then there’s my father who I talk to two times a year, on his birthday and on Father’s day. I have never discussed being gay with my father. I just don’t know how he will act when he meets K. He may just say hello and walk out of the room. I want my parents to meet K. I want them to meet the wonderful successful man I share my life with. I panic at the thought that this meeting could turn into a complete nightmare. I’m hoping my parents don’t start one of their huge fights that often results in objects being thrown across the room. The only saving grace for the entire trip will be staying at the Four Seasons.

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One Year Ago

I’m coming up on my one-year cancer anniversary. I had a lung X-ray along with blood work yesterday. This morning I had a CT scan. I’ll see my oncologist on Monday to get the test results. It’s a little strange having the tests run and then waiting a week to get the results. I feel fine and have no symptoms. The problem with cancer is that it is often too late when physical problems show up. You can think you’re in good health but the cancer cells are waging a war inside your body. I’m hoping for the best and will know for sure on Monday.

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Miss Jones, Miss Grace Jones

Grace Jones is about to release a new album called Hurricane. This reminds me of the time I saw her perform in Dallas at the Starck Club (The Starck Club was an old warehouse that was turned into a nightclub. It was designed by Phillippe Starck and featured unisex bathrooms that were very controversial for Dallas at the time). It must have been around 1985 when Miss Jones released Slave to the Rhythm. I was hanging out with a crowd that liked to party at The Starck Club. I went to the show with my partner, Dale, and my friends Charles, Tom and my friends and coworkers Beth and Nancy. Charles worked for Todd Oldham at the time so most of us were dressed in Todd’s clothes (this was before Todd moved to New York and attainted success). Charles knew Edwidge, who worked the door, so we didn’t have to wait in line and were ushered in while others were lined up down the street. I can remember waiting and waiting and waiting for the show to start. It was a weekday night so all of us had to work the next day. The club was very hot and it was rumored that Miss Jones would not perform if the air conditioning were running. Grace finally took to the stage around 2 a.m. She started the show in a gorilla suit and then stripped down to an outrageously fashion forward outfit with black stilettos. Being a Grace Jones fan I thought the show was incredible and worth the wait. I think she only sang five songs. Unfortunately, I didn’t get home until 4 a.m. and had to be at work at 8. Beth, Nancy and I were all dead tired at work the next day but all agreed the show was worth the punishment the next day.

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Baby Needs A New Pair of Shoes

After work I went to Cherry Creek Mall looking for a new pair of shoes. I went to almost every shoe store in the mall. The mall was packed for a Friday afternoon. I guess the recession hasn’t hit the well heeled yet (sorry, I couldn’t resist that one). When I was in Saks and Neiman Marcus I looked and looked and looked. I didn’t see Joe the plumber anywhere. I guess he doesn’t shop at Saks and Neiman Marcus like the other Republicans such as Sarah Palin. I did see a beautiful pair of brown Gucci boots at Neiman Marcus. But I wasn’t looking for knee high riding style boots. I also didn’t want to spend $1,200. I guess I’ll look at the outlet mall tomorrow.

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Marina has been a fixture on local art scene for as long as I can remember. Nobody I know seems to know her story but there’s a lot of speculation about her. Some people think she is transgendered. Marina is tall probably around six feet with a medium build. I would guess she’s at least sixty years old. Marina always wears the same dirty brown wig with a large hair clip in the back. The wig looks nasty. Her clothes are usually stained, dirty or too big. I can understand having a limited wardrobe due to financial restrictions but it doesn’t cost a lot of money to wash clothes. I see Marina at a lot of art gallery openings. She is usually engaged in conversation with either the gallery owner or the artist showing the work. I’ve always been curious about Marina. What is her story? Is she the local female version of an Andy Warhol art world eccentric?

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I was talking to my friend Judy yesterday. She’s leaving soon to go visit her son, Bailey, who lives in a small city in New England. Judy is concerned about her son’s mental health due to a recent string of unfortunate events. It all started when he lost his job. Then the mother of Bailey’s son refused visitation because of unpaid child support. Next his girlfriend moved out and ended their relationship. Their apartment lease expires this month so Bailey informed the landlord that only he would be signing a new lease. The landlord is refusing to allow Bailey to sign a new lease because he is unemployed. Bailey was really depressed so he called Judy for moral support. Judy suggested that Bailey seek counseling. Bailey tried to set up an appointment for counseling only to find out that the insurance company has no record of his enrollment in their plan even though he has been paying the monthly premiums. The insurance company will not cover the counseling appointments until they investigate and resolve the enrollment issues. So there’s a man in crisis that needs help but is running into a roadblock in every direction. What a fucked up mess! I was feeling sad and lonely today until Judy told me Bailey’s woes. I immediately felt better realizing that I have so much to be thankful for. I’ve had a couple of tough days in the last few weeks but nothing compares to what Bailey has on his plate. My heart goes out to this man. I hope that somehow he can pull it together.

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Our neighbors had plans drawn up to renovate their kitchen and dinning room. Their preliminary financing was approved so they submitted their plans to the homeowner’s association for approval. The renovation called for altering the façade and roofline so the architectural board and executive board had to approve the plans. The plans were approved since no surrounding neighbor voiced any opposition to the project. Our neighbors purchased their new kitchen cabinets and appliances. In the meantime the financial market turmoil started. When our neighbors went to finalize their financing for the construction costs they were surprised to learn that the loan had been pulled. They searched and searched but could not find financing to finish the project. The kitchen cabinets and appliances were placed in storage at the husband’s business. Two days ago I noticed a new black Audi A6 in the driveway parked next to the year old M5 BMW that the husband drives. I found this rather odd. They can’t find financing to start their renovation but they can get financing for a new car. I wouldn’t think one would purchase a new car and increase their debt ratio when they are trying to secure other financing. If for some reason they had to purchase another vehicle why spend 50k? Why not buy a less expensive car so that the prospects of getting the home improvement load are better? It doesn’t make sense to me.

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My Low-key Weekend

I had a pretty good weekend. I went to a few art galleries on Friday night. Saw a great show at Space but the art was out of my price range. The tragic Marina was touring the galleries too. I haven’t seen this mess in a long time. She looked like she’s been sleeping in an alley and her wig was askew as always. I’ll explain more about her in a future post.

Saturday I ran a few errands. I called to check on Patty and she invited me to dinner. Janet’s husband has been in Toronto so she has been staying with Patty. Jerry, Steve’s long time friend, was there too. Janet prepared a simple pasta dinner with vegetables from the garden. I brought a pumpkin pound cake that I made (thanks to La Pequena for the recipe). It was a nice evening. Patty is doing as well as can be expected.

On Sunday I relaxed and ran a few more errands. I ran into Patty at Homo Depot. We ended up going to Old Santa Fe Pottery to look for flowerpots. After that I dropped her off. She was flying solo last night because Janet went back to her house in Castle Pines. I’ll need to check on her this week.

K called later in the evening. I miss him. He’s still in Festus, MO. He spent Saturday with my brother and sister in law who live in Ballwin. Apparently my mother is afraid she will die before she sees me again. She’s not sick but I haven’t been back in St. Louis for at least eight years. I guess I’ll need to spend a weekend in St. Louis while K is there so he can meet my parents. Something I’m not looking forward to.

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