# May 2007

## Getting It.

Shortly after starting my job at the telephone company back in 2004, I mentioned that when one starts on a new challenge, there comes a moment when you finally “get it”: a time in which the scales tip in your favor; a moment when all the puzzle pieces that have been floating around in chaos come together to make some sort of picture. It’s when everything starts making sense.

As a full-time college student at nearly 39 years old, I’ve quickly learned that I have a lot of cobwebs in my brain. After successfully completing my first semester this past spring and currently in one intermediate algebra class for the summer, I’m holding my own but I always feel like I’m sort of hanging on by my fingertips. It had been 20 years since I had last done any sort of studying, and I was really never that serious about the practice to begin with. I guess I had forgotten how to study.

This week has been a turning point for me. I’m finally feeling like I have a grasp as to what’s going on and what’s required to really make the grade. While I’ve enjoyed the school experience a lot, now I’m really enthusiastic about my decision to go back to school.

Tuesday night I spent a couple of hours working on algebra problems for the two homework assignments we have due next week.

Bertha is driving a Yugo southbound on the Northway at 65 MPH. Maureen is driving a Honda northbound on the Thruway at 70 MPH. Bertha is in Plattsburgh, Maureen is in Kingston, 302 miles away. Both left at the same time. At what time will they meet at the New Baltimore Service Area to share a Cheddar Melt at the McDonalds?

Since the homework isn’t due until this coming Monday, many of my classmates haven’t or hadn’t completed the work yet. We had a quiz on Wednesday to make sure we were grasping what we needed to know to successfully continue the course. To prepare, I just did my homework early. Two birds, one stone. It turns out that the quiz problems were identical to the homework problems, just with different numbers.

So now I feel like I’m getting it. And my quiz score validated that point. Maybe I’m just paranoid and should just settle down a little bit.

By the way, the answer to the problem above is “undefined.” McDonalds hasn’t served a Cheddar Melt in these parts in years.

## Cheesy.

Earl and I made a quick trip to the market yesterday so that we wouldn’t totally starve to death during this short work week. One of the items that I discovered for the first time is from Doritos: “Doritos Natural: White Nacho Cheese”. We found these in the “Nature’s Place” department at the store.

Oh My God.

Ever since discovering Doritos when I was a small child I have been addicted to them. I know that they’re not good for you and I’m not sure that the “Natural” version is all that better but my goodness this new flavor is absolutely delightful, as in “I wonder if Earl will mind if I ate the whole bag” delightful. I’ve grabbed a chip here and there throughout the afternoon, trying to put their existence in the kitchen out of my head, but I can hear them yelling my name.

I wouldn’t be surprised if the bag was empty when Earl gets home from work.

Another delightful treat I rediscovered this weekend was “cheese in a can”. Joe.My.God. brought “cheese in a can” to the GB:NYC4 festivities on Saturday (he wanted to trash up the atmosphere a little bit). I had a fleeting thought that having cheese in a can at a party would beckon a tornado but the twister never came. Everyone else was squirting the cheese onto crackers in a polite manner so that’s what I ended up doing as well, but I really wanted to squirt the can directly in my mouth, however I thought that may have been a little rude.

As that song says, “Go crazy with the Cheez Whiz”, but we were in public and all.

## RIP Charles.

The delightful Charles Nelson Reilly passed away on Friday from complications from pneumonia. He was 76 years old.

Mr. Reilly was a Tony winning actor, director and drama teacher. Aside from his probably most famous appearances on the game show Match Game, Charles also appeared in countless movies, children’s shows and Broadway performances.

Here you can enjoy one of his finer moments on “Match Game”.

RIP Charles.

## Productive Holiday.

While many Americans remembered our war heroes and the unofficial beginning of summer in these parts with a picnic or other celebratory gathering, Earl and I decided to get busy around the house. After all, to have a picnic on the patio, you have to have a patio.

Last week we bought all the furniture for our new patio. Today we assembled it. It looks lovely and Earl has a posted a photo on his blog.

When we got home from New York yesterday, the first thing I noticed was that my collection of school clocks were all stopped at 12:59. The master clock that runs everything decided to blow up a circuit board so we haven’t known what time it was until just a few minutes ago, when I cobbled up a different way of getting the clocks running. I’m praying to the Time Lords that a new circuit board isn’t expensive otherwise the cobbling may stay permanently cobbled for a while. On the bright side, we’re no longer stumbling around the house wondering what time it is as all the clocks are functioning once again.

We also moved our lilac bush to a more prominent location in the front lawn. When I originally planted the lilac bush three years ago I put it a tad too close to the front porch. Today we moved it into a better spot that should give it ample room to grow. I always get nervous during my “tree relocation projects” but the two pine trees I moved a couple of weeks ago seem to be doing well. I’m hoping the lilac bush follows their lead. We also planted a new evergreen in the front landscaping to replace the bush that didn’t survive the winter. It’s nice to have all live trees and shrubs for the neighbors to look at instead of having a dead one here and there. It’s so much more cheerier.

I’ve been given orders by the big guy to make sure the camper is cleaned out and ready to go by the weekend. I get to clean the camper because that’s what full-time college students do after class during summer semester. On Friday we’re off to Hillside for some fun in the woods with other bears.

I’m already looking forward to it.

## NYC Wrap Up.

Since we had a long drive ahead of us and we were out kind of late last night, we decided to bow out of this afternoon’s GB:NYC4 festivities and opted to hit the road after breakfast this morning.

After going to bed at nearly 3 a.m., the Universe felt that I didn’t really need that much sleep. At 5 a.m. the hotel front desk called to let us know that the bus for Newark Airport was waiting for us. I replied with a “That’s nice.” and hung up. Vexed by my ambivalence, the hotel decided to continue the merriment by firing off the fire alarms at 9:30 a.m. I yelled, cussed and told Earl to tell the front desk to get a helicopter to pick me up on the roof if it really was an emergency. Of course there was no emergency.

Frustrated and blurry-eyed, I stumbled through a shower, snored through breakfast and then woke up just in time to see that there was a computer show going on at the convention center next to the hotel.

Now that’s the proper way to wake a geek.

Here’s a shot of the Manhattan skyline from our hotel room.

Here’s a photo I took in Central Park yesterday. I don’t know the name of the area but I thought it was rather scenic.

I mentioned yesterday that we joined bears and bloggers on “Bear Hill”, overlooking the roller skating area, so that we could watch the skaters, listen to some disco music, enjoy the sunshine and hang out with everyone. Earl and I loved the experience and wished we lived closer to New York so we could do it more often. Here’s a shot of my favorite skater, “Roller Grandma”, she has great style and presence. Her routine with a man and a Segueway is unmatched. Rumor has it she’s 71 years old.

This is John, otherwise known as Bardvern. He joined us from New Haven, Connecticut. He’s a really nice guy, we chatted like a couple of bearish geeks.

After the afternoon in Central Park, we zipped back to Secaucus to switch to our “night gear” and then zipped back through the Lincoln Tunnel to Manhattan. We parked in Chelsea and took the train to Times Square. I just took random pictures, not even paying attention to where I was pointing when I clicked, here’s a couple of the shots:

It seems like every time we go to Manhattan we eat at Stage Deli. Last night was no exception.

After supper we took the train into The Village and just walked around, drinking in the vibe. After that we headed back to Chelsea and went to The Eagle, not before we stopped back at the Jeep so Earl could switch from “night gear” to “late night gear”.

He likes it when I’m snapping photos with the flash and he’s half naked in the middle of Chelsea.

## Hot Water.

Ask any person on the street on what they like most about staying in a hotel and the answer will vary from person to person. Some like the idea of staying away from home. Others like that they’ve broken the routine and enjoying the fact they’re not sleeping in their own bed.

I like the supply of endless hot water.

I like my showers and baths hot. I love hot water. I know they say that you should use warm water instead of hot water, because hot water ages your skin prematurely. I don’t care. I love the heat of the hot water and I love the feeling of a good steam cleaning.

When the builders of our current home installed the plumbing they were obviously high from pipe joint compound. I’ve seen bigger hot water tanks in Barbie’s Dream House. We have a jacuzzi tub that is best filled by boiling water in the spaghetti pot on the stove and then dumping it into the tub while it’s filling from the tap because there’s only enough hot water to barely cover the jets. Showers in our home last no more than 10 minutes unless you want to switch to what I call the “Ice Follies”. Wash, rinse and repeat quickly or else you’ll feel like a polar bear before you finish the “repeat.”

Someday we’re going to fix this problem.

So in the meantime, when we’re traveling I revel in the fact that we have virtually unlimited hot water available. I wash, rinse and repeat and sometimes I “repeat” twice. I just stand under the shower head and let the hot water soften every nook and cranny of my body just because I can. I sometimes accompany the experience with a few “oohs” and “aahs” in an audible manner. This probably doesn’t please Al Gore but I figure with all the hot water that we’re not using at home (because we run out), Mother Earth owes me a few shreds of luxury from time to time.

## Fun In The Park.

Nothing says “it’s a festive Memorial Day weekend” like a bunch of gay bloggers congregating in Central Park on “Bear Hill” (near the Sheep Meadow) for the sweet sounds of disco and the likes of Roller Grandma, Bladee and Bottlehead.

“Bear Hill” is situated over what looks to be the impromptu roller rink. Many guys get together Saturday afternoons throughout the summer, today a bunch of us out-of-town bloggers joined in the fun.

The festivities included chatting, eating (let’s hear it for cheese in a can!) and socializing with the guys. I really like talking face to face with those that I peer into the life of via their blogs. I find it all so fascinating.

Earl was kind enough to take a picture when we were doing group shots. There’s quite a few new guys on the blogroll (to your right), you’ll probably see more additions to the list over the weekend.

## Stickers.

Stickers.

Tonight was the kickoff of NYC:GB4 in the Big Apple. We went to the get together at “Therapy”, a newer gay bar in Hell’s Kitchen. I don’t know why I get nervous about these things, I chatted with folks that I’ve been reading about (via blog) for years and had a grand old time.

Here’s Earl with Glennalicious and Mike. Earl had to remind me about Mike’s name. Blame the beer.

## Thank You, Rosie.

It has been officially announced that Rosie O’Donnell will not be returning to “The View”, opting out of her contract three weeks early. Actually she asked for a leave of absence or something.

“The View” website says “Tune in on Monday, May 28 for Rosie’s last day with The View.”

I know there are many people out there that do not agree with Rosie’s point of view. In fact, there are a lot of people out there that fire off nasty messages on her website while hiding under a presumbed shroud of anonymity.

Whether you agree with Rosie or not (and I do 99% of the time), you have to admit that Rosie contributed to the American experience by getting people talking. Rosie’s outspokenness made people sit up, listen and think. It prompted many to speak out. And in these turmulous times, it’s important that each of us takes a moment to think about what’s going on in our country and the world. It’s o.k. to ask questions, even if your answer or opinion is different from those around you.

I’d like to thank Rosie for helping others find their voice and prompting them to look at the issues and views and forming their opinion. Best of luck to you and your family.

You rock, Ro.