Archive for November, 2010

Ft. Lauderdale Trip Report

K and I flew to Ft Lauderdale on Monday and got back Friday afternoon. It was a quick trip but we packed a lot into a few days. I almost had to go by myself because K is working on a $500 million deal and the Bobs were causing a lot of drama. The CEO, the president and K’s boss were calling K all last weekend. At point they asked him to cancel his vacation. K did damage control so he got to spend Thanksgiving with me and our friends in Ft. Lauderdale. He did have to get on a couple of conference calls on Monday and Tuesday. Guess who has to work on Saturday and Sunday again this weekend?

It was good to see R & H. We haven’t seen them since our trip to Provincetown in 2008. Their new house is beautiful. It’s a single floor three bedroom house with travertine floors in every room. The main living area looks out onto the pool and dock. Being in south Florida the house is landscaped with palms and a variety of tropical plants. Their house sits at the end of street with a cud de sac so it’s very quiet and peaceful.

R & H gave us tours of Ft. Lauderdale and Miami Beach. We went shopping at an outlet mall that was fronted with high end stores. I bought a coat and a shirt at Theory, a belt at Tahari and two pairs of shoes at Barney’s. We also made stops in Armani, Burberry, Bloomingdale’s and Hugo Boss. We never made it into the huge main mall. Our shopping was cut short because K had to get on a conference call. After shopping K went kayaking while the rest us lounged around under the arbor.

One afternoon we toured South Beach and shopped on Lincoln road. K bought quite a few items and we wondered if we would have room in our luggage for everything we bought.

On Thanksgiving K and I had breakfast with his nephew and new wife who drove down from Boca Raton. After breakfast K and R went kayaking while H and I lounged around the pool. After a light lunch we went to the beach for a few hours. We headed down to Miami Beach for dinner around four. Dinner was hosted by our friend, B, who moved to Miami about six years ago. He lives in a high rise with a sweeping view of the South Beach skyline and Star Island. B was hosting dinner for eighteen and cooked two turkeys, two hams and two briskets. It was way too much food. I made a pumpkin cheesecake which turned out to be one of seven deserts. It was great meeting new people and seeing P, who was in town from D.C. We got back the Ft. Lauderdale around ten.

Friday morning we were at the airport by seven to begin our journey home. It was uneventful except for a few rude passengers. Overall, it was a great get away.

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K Update

K flew home on Wednesday night. He called me from the car on his way home from the airport. He was stressed to the max. The two “Bobs at work were causing him undue stress and grief. I wish these two fucks would retire. They constantly jump to conclusions without knowing all the facts and create hysteria that makes a difficult situation unbearable. In other words, the “Bobs” are total pricks.

K had to escalate the situation and threaten legal action with insurance company because they would not authorize further needed repairs on his Audi. The original estimate was around $2,200 but will probably come in around $6,500. The car has been in the shop for over a month. The woman that hit K had Dairyland insurance. It’s one of the most fucked up companies K every dealt with. Their customer service is practically non-existent. They blame every delay on the body shop. Little do they know the owner of the body shop is a person friend of our auto broker fiend, Mike. The body shop is going out of their way to service K’s car. The insurance company employees are bunch of liars.

To make matter worse, K had an infection and had to go to the emergency room on Wednesday night. Infections can be life threatening for diabetics so he had get antibiotics. He got home from the hospital at 3:30 in the morning.

It’s Friday night and K just got home. Time to go out to dinner.

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It’s Fall

This picture was taken about two weeks ago before K and I cleaned up the back yard. Fall has now been replaced by winter. It’s lightly snowing this morning.

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Neighborhood Drama

Mrs. Parker’s house recently sold in a week for the $1.1 million asking price. The house is a 3,300 square foot mid century ranch on a lot that’s just shy of a half acre. The house is a few streets west of our house in the more desirable section of the neighborhood. The new owners planned to scrape the house and build their dream house. The architectural committee and the executive board approved the plans for the new house. They applied for a demolition permit. A construction fence was erected around the house. Then all hell broke loose. An application for landmark designation was filed with the city. The homeowners are pissed and are blaming the board. The board is blaming a homeowner who studied city planning. The blamed homeowner claims she’s not involved. There’s a lot of finger pointing going on.

The application was filed by a man who does not live in the neighborhood. The application states the house is an excellent example of the Usonian style and exhibits many of the defining characteristics. The house was designed by Tician Papachristou, an internationally known modernist architect and author, who began his career in Colorado. The application lists all the houses in the neighborhood designed by prominent architects. I wasn’t aware that our neighborhood had houses designed by famous architects other than the big mansion and tennis house. Our house was not on the list.

The construction fence has been taken down but a bulldozer is still parked in the front yard. The new owners are waiting for the decision on the landmark designation application. If the city grants the application the house can’t be torn down.

I have empathy for the new owners but I don’t know why they want to scrape the house. The house is architecturally striking. I’m sure they feel their new dream house will be better than a renovated mid century home. It’s a lesson for anyone buying a house in our neighborhood with the intention of scraping and rebuilding.

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Heading To Mediation

I got an email from my lawyer this week advise me that the company’s lawyer extended an offer to go to mediation. Negotiations broke down when the company’s lawyer stopped communicating with my lawyer. A few weeks ago my lawyer sent a copy of the lawsuit that he threatened to file. Now we’re headed to mediation early next year. Also, the company’s counsel agreed to sign a tolling agreement which basically means that the statute of limitations for the FMLA and common law claims will be stayed until a later date so that we can complete the mediation. It will be two years this month that I was laid off from the company. I look forward to settling this action.

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Updates 11/10/10

Our beautiful fall weather has come to an end. It snowed yesterday but it was too warm so it all melted. The snow along with a broken down car made for a hellish commute home last night.

Monday was my mother’s 84th birthday. When I called her to wish her happy birthday she answered the phone crying. My father said some cruel things to my mother right before I called which caused a minor breakdown. My mother had her second round of chemo last week and now has lost most of her hair. Overall my mother is doing better than expected.

My brother ripped my sister a new one the other day and my sister hung up on him. My brother got to his breaking point because our sister is not making any attempt to help out with my mother. I feel she got what she deserves.

K flew back to St. Louis on Monday. He’ll be there for the next two weeks. He comes home the Friday before Thanksgiving and then we head to Ft. Lauderdale to visit R & H.

Scotty sent an invitation to a benefit he’s co-hosting with the rich gay couple at the Museum of Contemporary Art. It’s a $100 two hour cocktail party to raise funds for a new pharmacy for financially at-risk clients. I’m not sure who these clients are but I’m sure I’ll find out at the event. I wonder if Cindi has been asked to donate décor?

Cindi left for the Galapagos yesterday. She’ll be back in town just before Thanksgiving.

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My ass is dragging today. K and I went to a “Taste for Life”, a Project Angel Heart benefit, last night with Mike and Chris and most of the other neighborhood gays. The event was well attended and the food was great. About a dozen local restaurants and catering companies provided appetizers and desserts to sample along with a silent auction. Mike placed the winning bid on a dinner for 10 to be served in his house by a chef who was serving the best food of the night. K won the bid for four bottles of really nice wine.

I saw so many people I knew. I talked to Scotty who used to live one street east until he snagged an oncologist husband and moved into a bigger house in a more affluent neighborhood. In the span of about ten minutes Scotty told me his husband needs a heart transplant, his husband had to pay his former partner $5 million when they split, described the renovation plans for the mansion that the rich gays guys bought and how the rich gay guys flew Scotty and his husband along with 40 other people on private jets to Napa two weeks ago. It was a rather strange conversation. I was concerned about Scotty’s husband but all Scotty wanted to talk about was money and the things it can buy. It was such a disappointment. Scotty was such a nice guy before he married into money.

After the benefit we headed over to a gay karaoke bar. Mike and K sang a song from Grease. It was really bad, but funny. Soon the evening was getting out of control. Kurt was trashed and was making out with a woman. Later, Mike was dancing with the same woman and unhooked her bra. The woman got pissed and threatened to call the police. Damage control was done by a gay couple who recently moved to Denver from North Carolina. The woman calmed down after Mike apologized. We decided it was time to head home.

Can you believe all of this happened before 10:30 p.m.?

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Trip Report

The trip to St. Louis went better than expected. My mother seems to be tolerating the chemo so far. K and I spent most of the weekend with my brother, his wife and my parents. The goal was to get my mother out of the house as much as possible.

Saturday we went to Grant’s Farm which was founded by Ulysses S. Grant in the 1850’s. The farm is now operated by Anheuser-Busch. It turned out to be more fun than I expected. After touring the farm, feeding goats, and sampling beer we headed to Hodak’s for a late afternoon fried chicken lunch. My mother has always wanted to eat at Hodak’s so she can scratch it off her Bucket list. After Hodak’s we walked around Soulard Farmer’s Market which is about two blocks from K’s loft. Soon it was time to call it a day so K and I drove my parents home and then returned to Soulard for dinner at small café near his apartment.

Late Sunday morning K and I met my brother, his wife and their youngest son at my parent’s house. We had lunch at Imo’s pizza and then drove out to the Columbia Bottom Conservation Area to see the confluence of the Missouri and Mississippi rivers. We spent a couple of hours walking around. K and I dropped my parents home around three and then headed to the airport to catch a flight to Denver.

It was a quick trip but I’m glad I went. My mother was in good spirits and didn’t get fatigued or winded. It was good to get her out of the house. My mother is starting to lose her hair so I’m sure she’ll be bald the next time I see her. I don’t plan on going back until January or February. Things could be a lot different after a few more chemo sessions.

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