Just your average Thursday

It’s Thursday, just one day away from the weekend. I’m getting a little antsy, because Earl and I are going on a trip… we’re leaving on Tuesday night for Madison, Wis., Chicago, Detroit and all points in between. We want to take in some sights of the midwest, visit with his family in suburban Chicago a little bit (don’t tell them, it’s a surprise) and visit Taliesin, the summer home of architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Honestly, I’m looking forward to the weekend as well because the great New York State Fair is underway in Syracuse. Earl and I go to the fair every year. And it’s always a blast. Being a native of the Syracuse area, I’ve gone to the fair all my life, and it’s very special to continue to go in my adult life with the person that I love. It’s very nice.

I have to visit every barn, pet every type of animal, go on a ride or two, cheer on the farm kids that are showing off their prize animals, people watch, sit in the State Park in the middle of the Fairgrounds, listen to some free entertainment at Miller Court (last year we caught Captain and Tenille) and basically just enjoy the fair. I’m really looking forward to it.

Earl got home from his business trip to Pennsylvania last night. He was quite impressed with all the work I had done on the landscaping while he was gone. I must admit that it looks very nice. I’m looking for more to do during the weekend during the times that we are home.

We watched the finale of The Amazing Race 4 tonight. Chip and Reichen, the married boy-boy team (that makes them gay) won! Yay! They were fierce competitors and they did a fantastic job. Honestly, I was torn between them and the last co-ed team, Kelly and John – because they did very well as well. It was great to see Chip and Reichen win though. They thoroughly deserved it. That’s one reason that I don’t lump The Amazing Race into the rest of the Reality TV show trash bin – because you have to actually do something to win. You have to be physical, you have to use the resources available to you whereever in the world you are, and you have to mentally prepared for the challenge. I thoroughly believe that it’s the only Reality TV show really worth watching on a regular basis.

That being said, I must admit that we’ve been watching Boy Meets Boy as well. You know, I’ve really been hoping that James (the lead guy) hooks up with the man of his dreams, even though a TV show is an odd place to meet your kindred soul. The twist of having straight guys in the selection seems cruel to me. I think America would be raising a stink of The Bachelor had lesbians in the mix and he had to figure out which ones were straight and which ones were gay. I think this whole twist thing on reality TV is stupid. Just let the people do their thing. If the ratings suck, then it probably wasn’t a very good idea anyways.

O.k., I’ve ranted enough for one night. Now for a little praise. I’m typing this blog entry on the iMac because my computer is downloading it’s 15th update for Windows XP this week. I really need to save some money so I can buy myself a power book and ditch the Windows based machine. Honestly, I’d like to have an iMac powerbook AND a Unix/Linux based desktop machine – but something not quite as powerful as my current Windows machine. A decent processor, videocard and lots of RAM. I’ll do all my multimedia stuff on the Powerbook. Now to convince Earl! 🙂

Straight Eyes on the Queer Guy

I can not believe the latest television rage that has swept the public this summer. No, I’m not talking about that ManBEAST on “Paradise Hotel”. (Memo to Fox – do NOT employ ‘Toni’ on anymore reality shows. She as fun as a case of SARS.) I’m referring to “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy”. It seems that every day at work someone is talking about this show like it’s the best thing to hit the airwaves since Diff’rent Strokes.

I initially wasn’t going to jump on the whole Bravo Tuesday night thing, with “Boy Meets Boy” followed by “Queer Eye…” (which is now being referred to as “QE” apparently.) But Earl treasures our together time in front of the television so I’ve settled down to include the two shows in our television viewing schedule (the other two shows include “The Amazing Race” and reruns of “Bewitched” in case you’re interested).

Anyways, these five fools are stereotypical gay men, right down to the witty remarks, coq au vin and spectacular grooming. But I have to admit they know their stuff. In fact, on Friday, I decided to take one of Carson’s pearls of wisdom and dress casually for work. Cargo shorts, a vertically striped button down shirt, open, with a matching T-shirt underneath. The openness of the button down, along with the vertical stripes, makes you look thinner. And I’ll be dipped… I received several compliments at work. I must look like a fat slob the rest of the week.

I must have made an impression… either that or the show is, because now my co-workers are asking me about all this queer eye stuff. How do my clothes look? Did I shave the right way this morning. Should I use more or less gel? What scent candles go well with latex paint. My child has an obsession with blenders, should I teach him how to make a smoothie… the list goes on and on. And this is where QE fails the majority of the gay population. It shows that gay men have all this extraordinary talent, when in fact, a very small percentage of us do. Heck, I’ve installed wiring on the outside of the bathroom wall with a staple gun and have been convinced it was “pretty”. I’ve worn clothes that make fashion plates crouch in terror at Filene’s Basement. I’ve had facial hair that seriously needed spring pruning. I do not have the Queer Eye. Am I gay? Of course I am, but I apparently skipped a whole semester at Gay Boy School.

One of the guys at work (cute, straight) is a little offended by the whole concept of the show. He claims that the gay community would be raising absolute mayhem if there was a “Straight Eyes for the Gay Guy”, where five straight men taught a gay man how to be straight, you know, punch a buddy in the arm, play football and survive a night out at Hooters. I commented that I wouldn’t be against that… just skip the Hooters part, and sign me up for the rest. But only if there’s a locker room and butt slapping involved.

Will this QE thing blow over? Of course it will. When it comes to entertainment, Joe Public has the attention span of a gnat. Then I won’t have to answer questions like “How do I clean my Alabaster?” (“Uh, with a garden hose?”). And we can settle down for the next fad. “Language Arts for the President!”

She hates to say I told you so…

Well, it’s Sunday night already. Time certainly does fly when you’re having fun! 🙂

My poor baby has been sick all weekend, so it has been a cozy weekend at home. I think he strained something when he was playing golf, because his back hurts terribly. He went to the doctor on Friday, who gave him anti-inflammatory medicine, as well as a pain pill. Plus, he had x-rays taken, though he doesn’t suspect that there’s a problem of that nature. So, Earl pretty much stayed in bed all weekend, or took to the couch and watched the PGA tournament on television.

Yesterday, I messed around on the computer most of the day, since it was raining like crazy. I got bored later in the afternoon, so I decided to change my look and shaved off my mustache. I think it looks pretty decent… I’ll have to share a picture when I get a chance. I don’t know how long I’ll keep the look this time, but it’s fine for now.

As I may have mentioned before, we recently had some landscaping done to the house. About a month and a half ago, the landscapers were here and, per our request, ripped out everything around the house (mostly weeds are grossly overgrown bushes). They put up 1/2 of our new retaining wall and then they disappeared for a couple of weeks. Well, last Thursday they showed up and finished the job. And it looks stunning. Earl and I are very pleased.

However, our budget didn’t allow them to landscape all the way around the house, just the most visible areas. So today I decided to be productive and continued where they left off. I ended up putting in a bunch of mums (it’s mum season you know) of various colors. The end result is pretty good if I do say so myself. One of the ladies I work with, who drives by our house every day, has been chastizing me a little bit because she’s one of those green thumb types and she thinks we spent way too much money landscaping when we could have done it ourselves. Honestly, I’m not one to go out there and rip everything out and start over from scratch. While others find that gardening, etc. is their therapy, for me it can be torture. Today I spent nine hours out there, including mowing the lawn, and I must say that I enjoyed it thoroughly. I have such a sense of accomplishment! And it looks very good if I do say so myself.

Earl is going away on business for the next couple of nights… I think I’m going to pass the time and continue my little landscaping project here and work on the stuff around the barns. He said I could use the credit card at Lowe’s, so maybe I’ll buy a few bags of mulch and such and make a party of it for the next couple of nights.

For The Health Of It

Well, the healthy kick has continued for longer than I expected. This is a good thing. I’ve always been one to jump into something totally and get bored with after two weeks or so. I think I suffer from a short attention span. Earl says I’m Aunt Clara reincarnated. (Ho ho).

Anyways, I’ve been a strict vegetarian for 15 days and I feel great. And I’m weighing in at the lowest I’ve been this year, which is one of my goals. My reasons for going vegetarian vary…would like to eat healthier – I want to feel better. This is definitely working out.

I also don’t like the way animals are being treated on farms. I swear that some night I’m going to sneak over to the farm behind us and let all the cows go. I grew up on a farm where we raised beef cattle, and I think I’ve mentioned before how startling it was to eat something we had named a couple of weeks before. My sister and I learned our lesson quickly when it came to naming the cows.

And I need to shed a few pounds. In April ’02, I weighed in at 220. At 5′ 10″, this puts me at rather heavy. Christmas ’02, I was weighed 191. April ’03, I was up to 195. Today, I’m at 188. Ideally, I’d like to weigh between 165 and 170, but let’s see if I can get to 180 first. One step at a time.

The weather finally cooperated a little bit this weekend and I was able to jump on my bike. Yesterday I rode the back roads around the house and logged on 12 miles. Not a huge ride by any stretch of the imagination, but it had been about 10 days since I had been on the bike so I thought I should take it easy. This morning I went for another ride – 15 miles this time, but I purposely tackled the big hills. The hills that I avoid when I’m riding. I discovered a couple of things from this ride:

1. The view from the top of the hills I’ve been avoiding is astonishing. Breathtaking. If you haven’t had the chance to visit Central N.Y., make a point to do so some day.

2. The hills really aren’t that bad.

I was able to complete the ride without resorting to walking, which is definitely a good thing psychologically. I had a companion for two miles of the ride – a farm dog decided he wanted to go for a jog and kept up with me for a bit. Since I was going uphill at the time, Mr. Pooch was easily able to keep up with me. But when I started my decent (topping at 46 MPH!), I waved adios to Mr. Pooch and enjoyed the FAST ride down the hill. Honestly, that decent scared the crap out of me, but man was it awesome.

Earl and I have made this a maintenance weekend, mostly doing chores around the house and such. We did go for a small ride this afternoon, but a rain storm came through and Mother Nature didn’t really lend herself to sightseeing.

Last night we went and saw “American Wedding” – brain candy as far as content goes, but it was enjoyable nonetheless.

It’s Not Nice To Fool With Mother Nature

It’s official.  I’ve been consciously eating healthier for the past ten days.  I’m back on the vegetarian bandwagon, and honestly, I haven’t felt better.  I’ve been trying to maintain a strict vegetarian diet – nothing that poops, no milk, no eggs.  The no milk and no eggs deal hasn’t been difficult, since I’ve been doing that for quite a while.  The no meat thing hasn’t been a big challenge, though I haven’t been confronted with my beloved Chick-Fil-A since I’ve started, so we’ll see how I hold out.  If I continue to feel as good as I do today, I don’t think it’s going to be an issue.

I’ve been having recurring dreams the past couple of nights.  In these dreams, Earl and I have relocated to another city, and I’m working for a food co-op.  (Think my diet is affecting my dreams?)  I wake up feeling very happy.  I’m wondering if these are pre-cognitive dreams.

I’ve read that one gets “déjà vu” as an affirmation that they are “on track”.  I believe, as many others do, that before we incarnated into this life, we pretty much planned everything out, that we have a pre-destined path in front of us.  It isn’t wildly specific, but the basics are there.  And that one gets déjà vu because that particular part of the life path was pre-planned.

Where am I going with this thought… as I’ve mentioned a couple of times, I made a couple of life altering choices a couple of months ago (the whole Reality TV thing).  I must admit that I’ve fleetingly wondered if I made the right decision (which I truly believe I have) or if I was meant to be a “TV whore”.  I think these frequent feelings of déjà vu are an affirmation from someone on the Other Side, whether it be my spirit guide, my angels, or even God, that I did make the right choice, and that I am right where I should be.  It’s a wonderful feeling.  I haven’t felt this great in a long time.

The hot, sweltering days of summer. They have dec…

The hot, sweltering days of summer. They have decended upon us like a

plague. Not that I’m complaining, mind you, because old man winter will be

here soon enough, but gosh does it have to be so humid that you stick to

everything you touch?

I went on a short bike ride today… only about eight miles. It was just

before noon, and the humidity was a little much to be riding in near 90

degree temps. So I went around the block.

Earl and I went and saw “Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life” last night, after

a day long ride through the Finger Lakes. It was a relaxing, leisurely

ride. We packed a picnic and ate at a Thruway rest stop. About a half hour

into the ride, we came to a grinding halt on the Thruway. There was a very

bad accident with an overturned mini-van. We were about twenty cars back

from passing all the action (after creeping for about 10 minutes) when

emergency personnel stopped everyone where they were. Minutes later, a

medi-vac helicopter came in and landed on the Thruway. So we knew we were

going to be there for quite a while. We shut off the car, and like everyone

else, got out and walked around a bit. The police didn’t let people up near

the scene of the accident (understandably), so we walked around talking with

others that were stopped. We chatted with a family from St. Charles,

Illinois (Earl has relatives there) and from Wisconsin. While it was a

tragic reason that we were stopped there, it was refreshing to chat with

other people from various slices of life. Traffic resumed after about an

hour. Fortunately, no one had been killed in the accident, though they did

have to use the jaws of life.

while we were riding, we took the opportunity to snap some pictures for my

great New York Counties project. I think we’re almost two-thirds of the way

to completion!

After the bike ride today, Earl and I did some grocery shopping, and just

kind of relaxed. Caught up on laundry and that sort of thing. Had a light

supper and now we are eating fresh strawberries for a little snack.

There are storms brewing after all of this sultry weather. I think it’s

going to be an interesting night with thunderstorms. I’m looking forward to


Well I’ve just updated myself on the world’s news …

Well I’ve just updated myself on the world’s news courtesy of my Netscape home page. Very interesting. Baby Bush had an interesting quote today regarding the recall vote that might occur in California. “Of course the California is important. That’s the only opinion I got.” It’s nice to have such an articulate man in the White House. Good Lord, I miss Bill Clinton.

I’m not one to go political, but there are some things I just don’t understand.

1. When President Clinton left office, the national deficit was zero. Zip. Nada. Nothing. Baby Bush is in office for three years and we now have the largest deficit in the history of the United States. That makes me sick. How Baby Bush and his coven spend so much money, pay out tax rebates like a drunk sailor in a cat house, and have absolutely no idea how much “The War Against Terror” is going to cost despite the fact that 100,000 troops will probably still be in Iraq one year from today, racking up this huge deficit in three years is beyond my comprehension.

2. Osana Bin Laden’s Al Quaida network waged an attack against the United States on September 11, 2001. This attack killed thousands of innocent Americans. So we send troops to the Middle East to get Bin Laden, understandably. Unfortunately, mission not accomplished. So then we go after Saddam Hussein in “The War Against Terror”. He has weapons of “mass destruction”, we’re told. Apparently, these weapons of mass destruction are so good, they have vaporized themselves because no one can find them. Yes folks, I can find a picture of my house taken from a satellite on the internet. This picture is so clear and accurate, I can see the dashed lines down the middle of the highway I live on, AND I can see my cat sitting in the driveway. However, we can not find these alleged weapons of mass destruction. O.k., let’s try this on for size. Daddy Bush didn’t get Saddam Hussein during his presidency. So now, Baby Bush will. We can screech that Bill Clinton lied to us about his fling with Monica, but we’re suppose to remain calm when Saddam’s weapons can’t be found and American troops in Iraq are being killed daily?

3. Baby Bush and his cohorts are pushing for a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriages. Isn’t that just peachy. Why does it seem like whenever bible beaters are quoting the bible, they always skip the “Love one another as you would love yourself.” When asked about homosexuality, Baby Bush replied with “We’re all sinners.” Newsflash: the biggest sin is that he’s still in office.

4. The office of Homeland Security has warned the there is a strong possibility that there will be more terrorist attacks using airliners much like the Sept. 11 attacks some time before the end of the year. The SAME day, it is announced that air marshalls will NO LONGER be on international and cross country flights, claiming it’s too expensive! (Apparently, the little old lady air marshall will still be on the commuter flight from Podunk to Peoria, after all, she’s cheap.) Later the SAME day, they reverse the decision and announce that the air marshalls will continue as they have since shortly after 9/11/01. Pardon my French, but what the fuck? Is it unreasonable to expect the different governmental agencies to exchange a few e-mails to “work out the details” before going public with these announcements? Do intelligence reports actually hit CNN within five minutes of the actual gathering of the information? Do sources skip the White House all together and just go to MSNBC, not giving Washington the chance to make sure policy is in place? And why hasn’t the terror level being raised to orange? Commercial airline companies having a fit about it?

I apologize for going on with such a tirade. But I was just commenting to Earl the other day that the country seems so depressed. Mopey. Americans were not this depressed during the Clinton administration. Granted, September 11 had not occurred yet. True, we were not at war during his administration. True, the economy was much stronger. And yes, Bill was probably little too frisky in the oval office. But life just seemed better. The country was thriving.

Gosh, I miss Bill Clinton.

Well I made the leap yesterday and decided to retu…

Well I made the leap yesterday and decided to return to being a vegetarian

full-time again. I don’t think Earl is very excited about it, as it does

put a little bit of strain on meal planning. Since he does the majority of

the cooking (well, all of it to be exact), it is a burden on him. So,

emotionally I’m wrestling with feeling selfish for doing this, but I really

think that it’s for my own good health-wise, as well as spiritually… I

don’t like reading about what happens to animals that are bred for food


One thing that’s funny is that the radio station I work at is a country

station – and we do all the farm reports… livestock auctions, the status

of cheese, etc. And these reports have advertisements for growth hormones

to feed your cattle, etc. One even starts with “Before Bessie ends up on a

bun…” Eeks! Once in a while I have to load these shows into the computer

for future airplay. I’ve always had to walk out of the studio while they’re

recording (not a good practice for a radio professional), but I just can not

listen to the contents of these shows. I don’t think I fit the “country

radio station employee” very well – what with pursuing a vegetarian

lifestyle ang being gay. Oh well.

Earl and I installed the new weather station yesterday. Very, very exciting.

You’ll notice a new button on the front page, “Weather”, which leads you to

the current weather status here at home. It updates every 15 minutes. Once

I get my butt in gear I’ll probably install a webcam so you can see what the

weather is looking like as well.

After the installation, we went for a drive through the Hudson Valley. It

was a beautiful day. Drove down Route 32 in Greene County and was surprised

to find the aftermath of a tornado that hit the area Thursday night. About

a quarter of a mile swath right across the street – through an old 1950s

style motel – stuff was scattered everywhere. Mother Nature can do awesome

things (and I don’t mean that in a gleeful way). Earl and I have decided on

our vacation next year – we are going on a tornado chasing excursion mid

part of June out in the midwest. I’m really looking forward to it.

Today has been a blah day. Lots of rain, not much accomplishment. Mostly

relaxation and laundry. I think we may be caught up with laundry before the

night is over. I guess there’s going to be some accomplishment after all.

I must admit that I’m really looking forward to th…

I must admit that I’m really looking forward to the weekend. The reason? Earl and I have no plans. It’s one of those weekends where we basically have time to ourselves, and can do anything that we want. I really enjoy this type of freedom. No deadlines. No restraints.

Earl and I arrived home on Tuesday to see that our new landscaping is finally being installed. It’s been a year in the planning stage, and now it’s coming to fruition. Very exciting. We’re having new brick walls installed, all new shrubbery and greenery… I think it’s going to make the house look fabulous! I’ll post a picture when it’s done so everyone can see.

Maybe I’ll get motivated and do some other landscaping around the outbuildings this weekend. That would be productive.

Honestly, I’m itching to go on a bike ride, but I’m not sure that I’m ready for it. I rode to work today (and plan on riding home), but this is the only riding I’ve done in about a week and a half – mainly due to weather. I was originally going to do a century ride tomorrow to the Finger Lakes, but I’m not sure my legs could keep up. Maybe I’ll do 50 miles on the canal trails.

Work is moving along at a reasonable pace today – which is refreshing. It’s been quite frenetic lately and it’s nice to simmer down and actually think about what I’m working on rather than flying by the seat of my pants.

I took my own advice and set TiVo to record “Bewitched” off TVLand every night for a while. It’s nice to watch the older shows – especially since “Bewitched” is probaby my favorite show of all time. I’m glad TVLand is showing it again. Wednesday night I decided to turn off “Paradise Hotel” and watched the clothes in the washing machine instead. Now I admit that sounds a little whacked, but I’ve always found laundry exciting, and at the very least it was more exciting than watching “Paradise Hotel”.


What happened to “real TV”? I’m not referring to that farce “reality television”, no, I’m referring to real, wholesome, television programming. Earl and I flipped around the dial tonight (we have over 200 channels) looking for something to watch. We had been watching that IQ-dulling “Paradise Hotel” for the past couple of weeks, but about five minutes this evening into it I made a pact with myself – I’ll never watch the show again. Ever. It was making me nauscous. So I went and folded laundry. After that, I watched our washing machine tumble and spin. It was more entertaining. Personally, I think the government should send that steroid stackin’ freak “Toni” (yeah, she’s 29… probably for the 6th time) over to Iraq so she can beat the crap out of the enemy and get that whole thing over with. That woman, and I use the term very loosely, is a beast, has been on too many reality shows and is an absolute mess. I pray for her, because apparently she thinks her path is “The Way Of Idiocy on TV”.

What happened to go old fashioned shows like “Bewitched” or “Little House on the Prairie”, or even “Maude”? Mostly talented actors and actresses did their thing on television and it was an escape from reality. You knew that the people that were being buffoons on television were being buffoons because the script told them to. And from June to Labor Day, we watched reruns of what we had watched all year, but it was o.k., because reruns weren’t shown during the regular TV season. These reality TV shows are making me ill.

Now you’re probably saying “What a minute. Did J.P. audition for a couple of reality shows this spring?” As a matter of fact, I did. I sent in two tapes – one for Survivor 7, who never bothered to call me back (I guess they didn’t like my Wonder Woman spin into Super Survivor), and one for “Big Brother 4”. I was called back for the semi-finals of BB4, but I declined after thinking about it for a week because quite frankly, I knew it wasn’t right for me. I couldn’t take the thought of all that phoney baloney for three months. Good thing… I hear one of the house hampsters freaked out about the fact that he has genital warts and threw some kitchen chairs around. Sexy. Apparently he thought the warts wouldn’t go into the Big Brother house with him? What a freak. So you’re probably thinking that I’m being all evil because I’m not on television. Not the case. I’ve had my fifteen minutes of fame as “J.P. Marks” on Top 40 radio. I don’t need anymore fame.

Where was I? Oh yes, wholesome television. Now I’m not saying that we should have totally fake Donna Reed type situation comedies where the biggest concern is whether Dad grew a mustache or not. (Though I must admit I thought Donna Reed’s husband was very handsome in the episode that he grew his mustache.) No. That would be fantasy television. What I’m saying is keeping going, more or less, with the current television shows but only keep the good ones… The West Wing, Judging Amy, American Dreams – just show repeats of them over the summer rather than assault us with these idiotic reality TV shows. Yes, believe it or not, I said “SHOW THE RERUNS”. And forget the current crop of sitcoms. “Good Morning, Miami”? How about goodbye. Instead, come up with something creative for sitcoms. Not every gay man is a scream. Not every group of friends are that interesting. Not every office has three people that can drop one-liners about sex. And stop this “Hey, CBS is doing a show about funny dogs, so we’ll do a show about funny cats.” Be original! Be creative!

Enough about television. Earl and I have been enjoying life. We went to Kingston, ON with my father and his girlfriend and my sister on Sunday. Had a lovely boat ride and a wonderful dinner at “The Pilot House”. Saturday we saw “Pirates of The Carribean”, which was very fun. Did some plane spotting as well at Syracuse Airport.

I can’t believe that tomorrow is Wednesday already! Time is flying by. I want to get out on my bike again soon – I hope that weather cooperates sometime this week.