Entries Tagged as 'Family'


Well, just when you are in need of it, more often than not, a happy little giggle moment of surprise comes along.

It’s been a rough week, well, three or so weeks. Work has been tough; too much to do, not enough hours in the day even when I’m pulling 9 or more hours a pop. Sometime it not the thing, it’s the time it takes to do the thing that’s daunting. Sometimes things seem to be designed in the most convoluted way possible, as if, in giving directions to exit a room to get to the office next to you, you said, “First, knock a hole in that wall and then scale down the outside of the building, then go around the block. Come in the street level door, take the stairs, not the elevator, never the elevator, to your floor, then go to the office.” “But,” you might say, “there’s a door right there? Couldn’t I use that?” “Not our way,” you’d be told. “Not our way.”

I believe in simplicity. I suspect, if you read me rather than know me, you might find that hard to believe. I suppose I should restate: I believe in cutting through the bull. There, that’s better. I think it has something to do with nearly dying. (How’s that for a teaser?) Here’s a problem, lets find the best way of solving it. Perhaps it’s a Virgo thing. I believe in straight lines; they get you to your destination much more quickly.

Of course, that only holds true for my work life. In my “real” life, I like curves, I like the found paths, the little-used byways. They are far more interesting and fun. But at work, I don’t like to waste time; I don’t like my time wasted. Most of the time, I feel I’m doing extremely trivial things and putting out fires. I don’t feel like I’m actually accomplishing anything…worthwhile.

Ok, it’s work. Work is work. But work can be, and sometimes still is, rewarding. But not as rewarding as it has been with past jobs. I suppose that’s why I started writing again. Writing here. Not that I have anything earth-shattering to impart, I think that much is clear, but rather that I do indeed have something to impart. It gives me some small creative outlet, and, after all, the subtitle of the site is: “Built to amuse…myself”. And it does.

So tonight, I go outside to have my evening’s perambulation and upon exiting the building, I discover happy halloween decorations lining our little dead end street. A flickering pumpkin, a couple of those big, baloon-y things with lights in them, a pumpkin, a pumkin with a cat on it, etc. Stupid things. But really quite charming. Lovely that our building does that. It made me smile. And writing about it, I’m still smiling.

I suppose that’s what gets me through life, finding and treasuring those small moments that somehow move you in a positive way. I love those kinds of gifts from the cosmos. Difficult to believe if you saw me, walking down the street with my NYC, “don’t bother me” face on, but I love to smile, and laugh. It really feels good, and generally, no one does it enough.

So tomorrow, as you’re going through your day, look around and find your blow-up pumpkin. And smile.

Oh that seems a lovely way to end this, doesn’t it? But ramble on I will. One more thing to say.

J & I are off tomorrow to visit his mom in FL. It will be a nice trip, we haven’t seen her since last December.

And it will be nice to have a getaway. We’ve been so busy with the apartment this summer that we didn’t really do much else. I’m not at all complaining. I love what we did this summer. I’m proud of the work we did on the new place and even more, I’m more proud that we did the bulk of it ourselves, quite successfully and beautifully, I must add. But it will be nice to get away for a long weekend.

And we’re giving ourselves a mini-vacation within the vacation. We’re taking Friday all to ourselves. We’re spending it at EPCOT. We love Disney. We love EPCOT. So sue us; it’s great fun. And this month is the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival. All the little faux countries around International Lake (or whatever it’s called) have tastings of their native foods. There are food events and wine tastings.

And taste we will. Friday night, we’ll be at the South African wine tasting dinner. It should be wet and tasty. And a very nice way to transition between NYC and Sun City Center, where Jamie’s mom lives. SCC is the kind of place where you are just as likely to see people driving a golf cart down the road (yes, the roads have golf cart lanes) as driving a car.

But, as I said, it will be really nice to see Jamie’s mom. It’s been too long.

And there’s a damned good BBQ rib joint just down the street from where she lives. Gotta love that.


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That’s what the air is tonight. Crisp. Autumnal. The sky is clear and star-filled. And living in NYC, that last is saying something.

I think of all the seasons, Autumn is my favorite. Well, I don’t think that, I know that. Maybe it has something to do with the on-set of the end, or rather, the big rest. It’s a time of amazing energy and change. The same could be said for the Spring, which is my second favorite season. Winter being my third. Summer, dead last; so far behind the pack, to borrow a line, it thinks it’s in the lead.

I’m looking forward to the upcoming (how did the time pass so damned quickly) holiday season. I know, I know, believe me, I rail against the ridiculous, disturbing American need to start selling the holidays months before they’re here. But today, on one of my walks, in the air’s crackling briskness, I looked into the building’s little garden area: someone had decorated it with mini-pumpkins and suddenly, I was whooshed ahead to Halloween, and Thanksgiving. And it made me feel good.

Probably because this year, unlike any since I left my parents’ home 27 years ago, I’ll be celebrating in a home. In my home. With my husband and cats and, if Jamie and I ever get our act together and figure out a date, with friends over for the holidays. Oh it all sounds so traditional and mundane; so straight. It really isn’t. What it is, is glorious. There are many times when I, like we all do, get caught up in my own little dramas, petty annoyances, drudging ruts. It’s human nature; it’s what we do. For some perverse reason, it’s so very easy to complain.

But the truth of it is, I’m damned lucky. And happy. And I think most of us are. Not in some Edenic way, only the insane and the sainted live there, but all of us who have some modicum of comfort and freedom and friendship and love in our lives should take a moment each day and say thanks to whatever power we happen to belive in. An island without life is just a barren rock, and that’s no way to live.

As the performance artist, Penny Arcade, says, “You should love somebody. It’s the most political act there is. It’s the only one that truly changes the world.”

Hey, wasn’t this post about Autumn?


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An atypical daytime post.

Funny how things happen. Leaving the apartment for work today, I heard a small noise. A long-ago familiar noise. I looked to my left and sure enough, there it was: a little kitten on the hallway stairs leading up to our building’s third floor, bundled up in itself, mewing. Jamie joined me, and with a “what else can we do” fatalism, Jamie got one of our cat carriers while I picked up and held the scared, but extremely friendly, kitty.

When we got him/her into the apartment, in the carrier, Jamie set to creating a flyer to post around the building. The kitty mewed and Morgan & PD seemed fairly disinterested. Interesting that. When Jamie moved from FL to NY to join my life, he brought the late, great Jeff with him; Morgan was… well, horrified. Spent an hour running, screaming around the apartment. Spent two weeks attacking me. It was not fun. Eventually though, Morgan and Jeff worked out a tenuous detente and pretty much agreed to ignore each other.

Jamie just called (I’m at work), I guess we just decided that, if no one claims her/him, we not only have a new home, we have a new child. Guess I’m not getting a dog anytime soon.

Back to work,


**Update** Well, no kitty for us. It turns out that a neighbor from the 3rd floor showed up after Jamie posted the signs around the building. He was very appreciative that we had taken in his cat – Tripoli (a boy). Our neighbor is a very nice older man who, Jamie felt, was very fond of the little bundle of fur, so at least we know Trip is in a good (if somewhat careless) home.

It was amazing, though, how sad I felt when Jamie told me about the return. For whatever reason, I bonded with that little cat almost immediately. I’m still a bit sad about it. And PD is still, a day later, looking around for her new friend, who she only really heard and never saw as Trip was in a carrier on the kitchen island. Morgan…well, Morgan could care less, but that’s Morgan. As long as she can sit on me, she’s content.

Guess I’ll just have to be content myself with our two older ladies, PD and Morgan. And that’s not such a bad thing at all.

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Points! Are what I wanted. I didn’t get them.

Ok, I am incredibly fortunate. I am now a homeowner. Well, actually the bank is a homeowner, I’m a 10%-of-a- homeowner, but that’s not my point. My point is that I’m incredibly lucky in a world, in a country, with such mindboggling poverty and homelessness, to have the wherewithall to purchase a home. A home with my partner, my husband, my other-and-better half. That said…

I wanted bells. I wanted whistles. I wanted a big, “Hurrah!!!” at the end of the process.

This process, not counting the four months of prep and waiting that preceeded today, consisted of 2 hours of signing. Signing form after form after form. As our wonderful lawyer pointed out, it’s like a Monty Python routine.

“Sign here. And here. And…here. Initial here. Sign. Here. And here. Initial here. And now here, with full name. And initial. And here, with full name in reversel alphabetical order… no sorry, lawyer’s joke… Well, we find it funny. And here. Here. Here…”

I was warned that there would be a lot of signing of papers; I felt prepared for the ordeal. I never imagined that there would be that much signing of papers. There were paper covering this. There were papers covering that. There were papers stating that we had the right, or no right, in the future to sign yet more papers should the need arise. There were papers to be signed stating that we had indeed signed the papers. There were lots of papers. There were two hours worth of papers. An entire forest was decimated by our transaction for a smallish one-bedroom apartment; this was the least green thing I’ve done in ages.

And when all the papers were signed, it all sort of piddled out. There were no more papers to sign, no more checks to write, nothing left to be done but go our separate ways.

Admittedly, I was the only one in the room new to this process. The lawyers do this for a living; they can close in their sleep. Jamie has gone through this process twice before, although as it was in FL where they use no lawyers, I’m told the process is much more… compact. This was however, to me, a totally alien experience.

And… I wanted something more. I suppose I wanted more closure from this closing. This is something I’ve been anticipating for four months and, to be fair, when something has been anticipated for that long, imagined for that amount of time, the actual event couldn’t possibly live up to the hype that has been built up in your head.

I wanted Be Our Guest from “Beauty and the Beast”; corks popping, people whirling; an orgy of frivolous mayhem and celebration.

But there was none of that. Before I knew it, the last paper was signed and there were quiet congratulations and hand shaking and parting of ways. Like smoke in a gust of wind, it was over and done.

I suppose the lesson to be learned here is that the really big moments in life most often aren’t accompanied by thunder and lightening. They often slip by unremarkably. And they are no less earthshaking for their modesty, just harder to recognize.

Jamie and I went back after the closing to look, for the first time unaccompanied, for the first time crossing our threshold, at our new home. Needs work. Needs lots of work. That’s when I realized: it’s not about the bells and whistles and corks popping. It’s about Jamie and I tearing out the old carpet, painting the dirty walls, replacing the faulty toilet. It’s about building our home together, our life.

And that quiet realization is better by far than any fireworks or popping corks or any other noisy whoo ha could ever be. I’m building a life, a home, with someone I love, who loves me. Who could need anything more than that?


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I was thinking earlier today about my parents and how they would never have the grandchild that, I’m sure, they envisioned was in their future. Who can blame them? It’s the most natural thing humans do: expect, hope for, the continuation of our line.

So who could blame my parents for expecting the same from me. I would grow up, get married, and soon, just like their parents before them, they would be indulging my child, their grandchild. And so on and so on…

But of course, that wasn’t the way it turned out to be. The only child was gay. My parents landed on the Whammy; all systems stop, all passengers off. End of the line.

Now I need to clarify before I continue, my parents are wonderful. Not “wonderful,” he-must-be-hiding-some-deep-dark-secret
wonderful, of course there is disfunction, wouldn’t be a family without it, but all in all, I have great parents. And these parents, after an intial “you’re too young to make this decision” (I wasn’t) when I came out to my Mom at 14, have always been incredibly supportive. They’ve met most of the men I’ve dated over the years, they’ve always been heartbroken when my relationships have ended. It was their greatest fear that I wouldn’t find someone to spend my life with. They maintained that being gay made it so much harder to find a stable relationship, to which I always replied, “Have you seen the divorce statistics? Straight couples aren’t making such a great showing, either.”

And as it turns out, of all their friends, they are one of the only two couples still together after all these years. 46 of them to be exact. That’s a feat. The other couple that’s had that kind of longevity is a lesbian couple who are friends of my parents. I’ve known them since I was in grade school and they are still together and loving each other.

So as I see it, it’s a crapshoot no matter what your persuasion. Being coupled is hard work. If you are not able to deal with the manure under the beautiful flowers, then you’re not really ready to walk through that particular garden gate. Of course the trick is finding someone as willing as you to get his/her hands dirty. It’s all in the timing. And luckily, my and Jamie’s timing was perfect.

We both hit the time in our lives when, to quote Kiki and Herb quoting Kate Bush’s song “Moments of Pleasure” from her album The Red Shoes, “Every old sock needs an old shoe”. Do I miss the passion of new “love”? Sure, from time to time, but the comfort of my Jamie by my side reminds me constantly that I have something much more real. Who needs ephemera when you’ve got someone there, solidly by and on your side?

But I seem to have wandered far afield of the particular garden lane that was the path of guilt. Oh right, it’s just over there…

So from time to time I feel bad, feel guilt, that my parents will have no grandchild to dote over. I know that in the end, they are happy that I’ve found Jamie and that we have a good life together. But still I wonder if they cry in the night over what could have been. And then I realize that we all, from time to time, do that. We can’t change what is, we can’t change who we are or the hand we’ve been dealt by God, nature, life. We can only do the best with what we have and try not to worry about things that might’ve been. If we get bogged down in the what if’s, we lose sight of the beautiful what are’s.

And anyway, now they have my baby “sister” Precious, who’s all the loving bundle that they could ever wish for.


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