Monday, February 28, 2011
I wish we had a closer relationship. I will not lie, it sometimes makes me sad. My Dad is a good guy. Everyone loves my Dad. I love him. I know he loves me and I have never questioned that my entire life (which I should be thankful as most people never have that) but I wish we had more of a connection.
I feel like acquaintances sometimes more than father & son. It is weird and tough to explain. We just never clicked. Even when I was younger I think he struggled to understand me. It would be easy to say it is a gay thing, but it is not. He was never bothered by me being gay and is fully accepting of me and Dale.
I think it is more of not understanding what makes me tick. Plus, I always had a closer relationship with my Mom (she passed in 2003). I think we were so close it left little room for my Dad, so it was almost like he never got to know me. I also did little to get to know him either. With my Mom it was always easy and with my Dad it was always work. So when you are a kid, you just go with what is easiest. I regret that now.
Most days it does not bother me too much, but I tend to think about it on days like today. However, I do know in my heart of hearts that if I need my Dad, he will always be there for me. He would be on a plane tomorrow if I asked and I guess that says a lot right there. Maybe having a Dad that loves me and I know will be there for me, is more important than a Dad I chat with all the time on the phone or play catch with (if I remotely ever wanted to throw a ball around).
I don't know the answer, but I do know that today talking to him made me feel a little sad like something is missing. I wonder what how he felt.
I also hit my goal of not eating late in the evening. I did miss my walking goal having only walked 3 hours during the week. Being sick for a few days was the biggest drag on my walking activity but I rallied over the weekend and got in some good walking. My biggest weakness was around drinking water. I really need to increase my intake and hit 8 glasses consistently. I did well some days and not so great others. I tend to get busy at work and forget to drink throughout the day.
A huge thanks to Dale, who has done a great job keeping me on target and focused this week. Also a thanks to my friend Julie Beals in Michigan, who has been a great cyber support. It takes a village to make me thinner! I appreciate the help and love.
It is a new week and that means new opportunities to be strong, motivated and focused. I can see my 195 pound goal just 4 months away.
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Saturday was beautiful weather and I got in two great walks with Zoe, a haircut and even some yard work with Dale (mostly done by Dale to be honest). Saturday night was an absolute blast as we went to our friends Toby and Nicole Krout for dinner. Nicole made the most amazing calzones and pizza. The kids were so much fun and their energy cannot help but make you smile. It was so much fun to hang out and catch up.
Today was fun too. Another walk with Zoe and the first meeting of the new movie club I formed. We saw I Am Number Four, which was far from stellar, but the people in the club are so much fun, they made it enjoyable. We even hit Caribou Coffee after the movie to hang out and laugh about how bad of a movie we all picked.
Tonight is the Oscars and Chinese food, which are perfect together. An hour into the Oscars, I am not overwhelmed, but I think the expectations of the event rarely live up to the reality. Oh well, it will be Monday before we know it.
Saturday, February 26, 2011
Walking along Standley Lake is one of Zoe's favorite walks since she gets to run around off leash. I did not walk a ton the past few months, so I could tell Zoe wanted to get outside today. By the time we got home she was exhausted. I snapped a few photos of her on the trail.
I arrived right around 6:00 PM and saw our truck. I walked over to the truck, grab the passenger door handle, but it was locked. Dale is not in the truck either. I knew Dale was at the park-and-ride since he had texted me five minutes earlier that he was at the park-and-ride.
My first thought was duh, I am at the wrong truck and someone else has a grey Toyota Tacoma. I checked the license plate and it ends in VHY so that is ours. Still no Dale.
It is 21 degrees out so it seems odd that Dale would get out of the truck. I minute or two passes and I see Dale on the pedestrian bridge that crosses the highway from the west side of the park-and-ride to the east side of the park-and-ride. He is pushing a woman in a wheelchair.
I snapped a photo on my phone. It was not the best in the dark. This is the west side and the bridge. As you can see, it is a steep three story spiral just to get to the pedestrian bridge, so I am sure for someone in a wheelchair they have to push by hand, this would be exhausting.
A minute or two later my phone rings. It is Dale. He says he was helping someone, is hurrying and will be two minutes.
Apparently while waiting for me, he saw a woman struggling to move herself in her wheelchair up the steep spiral ramp at the park-and-ride, so Dale got out of our warm truck and offered to help her. He pushed her up one side, across the bridge and down the other so she would not have to struggle.
He is so kind. Most people would have just ignored the situation, pretended not to see her struggle and not have bothered to help, especially in the cold. I love that Dale always gives of himself to help others.
On the way home we stopped at Tokyo Joe's for dinner and Dale saw a purse left unattended on a chair. Again most people probably would have just ignore it and said someone else will handle it. Not Dale. He got the staff to take the purse and I am sure someone was very happy once they got a call from Tokyo Joe's that her purse was found.
He is one in a million.
Wednesday I came home from work and immediately found refuge on the couch as body aches, chills, fever and a headache had already set in. By Thursday morning I was even worse. It was definitely a stomach flu. I spent the whole day in bed drifting in and out of consciousness or the bathroom. It was far from pleasant.
I felt somewhat better yesterday. Not great, but okay - so I was able to go to work. I was still in bed by 9 PM last night and still feel about 75% this morning, but I am improving. Thankfully Dale did not catch this crud.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Yesterday, Dale and I finally reached the contractor, Sabell Enterprises, who built the park where I fell in January and fractured my arm. We have had a very difficult time getting the contractor to return our calls these past two weeks. The contractor had originally agreed to cover all of my out of pocket expenses, which include prescriptions, co-pays and other items related to my fall. Since his team left a pipe sticking out of the sidewalk that caused my fall, I felt they should at least cover my expenses. It honestly was very negligent on his company's part and I think I have been more than fair to only expect out of pocket expenses, which total $497. Anyhow, he finally answered his phone and said we could drop off the bills. I hope he sticks to his word and pays us for my expenses.
Not sure about the Glee episode tonight. The shows seems a little scattered since it came back for the Superbowl. I liked the Blaine/Rachel duet and Blaine wondering if he could be bi-sexual. Also the Schuester/Coach Beast friendship is cute, but other than those few things, I actually found myself a little disappointed in the episode. They need to get back to the basics of the show, which is an under-dog Glee club fighting to win. There was been too many story lines and too many guest stars lately (although I am excited Gwyneth Paltrow will be back in 2 weeks) that I think it is hurting the show. Oh well, it is still great music and better than most of the crap I watch.
Not much else to report, except these two images I came across today made me smile and hopefully they will make you smile too.
Monday, February 21, 2011
most situations. My little helper is Zoe.
I snapped two photos of her today, when she joined me on the couch. Zoe likes to help me while I am working on the computer. She had her head on my leg for a few hours (top photo). She is so sweet.
In other less than thrilling news, I will need another major dental appointment in March to remove two wisdom teeth. I had my cleaning and check-up today and my dentist, who I actually really like (who likes their dentist, right?) said the wisdom teeth are causing more harm than good, so they need to come out. Boo! I will also do a deep cleaning at that time, since I am going under anesthesia. I also decided I may look at an implant for the back tooth I lost in my fall in January, but that will be later in the year.
I had today off from work, but spent the bulk of the day working. I had a sales proposal and some wireframes to knock out. I actually ended up working close to 10 hours, but since I was home with Dale and I did it while he watched TV, it was not all bad.
Oh well, it could be worse. The result will be someone new cutting my hair, which could be exciting and healthier teeth, which could be exciting too.
Sunday, February 20, 2011
Last night, Sandy & Steve hosted and took Game Night to a whole new level. Firstly, the food was amazing. They out-did themselves with shrimp, pizza fondue, stuffed mushrooms and lots of other goodies. Sam and Anjanette brought potato chip dip using her Mom’s recipe, which was a great reminder as my Mom used to make the same dip. Tim and Shannon brought incredible meatballs and a butterscotch chex mix that can only be described as pure heaven. dale made a chocolate cake filled with strawberries. So as you can see, none of us left hungry.
Sandy & Steve did a great job bringing our all of our competitive nature with a bracket competition of Wii bowling, pinball and foosball. It was a blast and I am happy to report that Dale and I finally took down Tim & Shannon’s trophy domination and brought home a huge win.
In addition to great food, Sandy & Steve served mojitos. Yes, the way to my heart is with a good mojito and Steve stepped up his with ginger. Yum. the best part if Steve is the ultimate bartender and never lets your glass go empty. After eight mojitos, I was feeling very happy. You add in 4 shots, including a few off the ski shot and I was very, very happy and I think everyone else was too.
An amazing evening and what usually happens when I drink, you end up with a lot of drunk Facebook posting. Here are last night’s nine drunken status updates:
- 3 mojitos! — at The Stubbendick's Mountain Lodge Basement.
- 6 mojitos and 1 peppermint paddy shot!
- Tequila rose and a St. Valentine's Day shot.
- I am officially wasted.
- Antarctica shot!
- So many shots...one more to go. New record for mojitos = 8.
- Best game night ever. I am drunk AND Dale and I won tonight.
- I had so much fun tonight.
- Dale just told me I should expect to be hung over tomorrow. Hey look my bed. Night all!
And in case you are wondering what all this competition is for…this is the trophy. Whomever wins get to add something to this little gem. Tim and Shannon have added the gold Madonna-esque cone bra and the arms.
Saturday, February 19, 2011
These photos are not the best sorry.
Thanks to Dale for always making my Valentine's Day special.
Friday, February 18, 2011
For those unfamiliar with the movie, the basic premise is on a weekend trip to Hawaii, a plastic surgeon (Sandler) convinces his loyal assistant (Aniston) to pose as his soon-to-be-divorced wife in order to cover up a careless lie he told to his much-younger girlfriend.
The funny part of the evening that to me was very Dale and Tom…we walked out the wrong exit, which put us on the exact opposite side of the theater and our truck. This mean one thing…a nice 10 minute walk with Dale.
Another great evening with my honey!
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Since I am out of the sling and splint, I am back on the health wagon again. As I learned last time, it is crucial to start simple and not set too many restrictions because the more I try to change immediately, the more likely I am to fail. As a start, I am setting 4 goals for myself for the next 4 weeks. They are:
1. Limit calories to 1,500 daily and track all food in MyFitness Pal.
2. Do not eat after 7 PM on Sunday through Thursday & 8 PM on Friday and Saturday.
3. Drink 8 glasses of water daily and track all water in MyFitnessPal.
4. Walk at least 4 hours per week and track all exercise in MyFitnessPal.
I figure these goals are simple, realistic and achievable, even this time of year when all I want to do is curl up on the couch with a blanket, watch bad reality shows and eat potato chips. If I meet these goals, I will then introduce more goals.
I also realize not being healthy and gaining back some of the weight is making me irritable. I am a happier me when I was walking daily and getting exercise, which I am sure Dale will agree.
So there you have it friends. I am counting on all of you to help me on this by calling me out if I am not hitting my goals or not posting updates. I want to be down to 195 pounds by my 39th birthday in late June, which will be a 75 pound weight loss in one year.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
"You look like a real person again."
"You are a very handsome man."
"Your range of motion is great. You are four weeks ahead where most people would be with the same fracture."
"You are a God. Can I worship you?
"You have new cartilage, which means the fracture is healing and new bone is growing."
"You are just like Wolverine with your super healing powers. You are unstoppable."
"You have good bones."
"You're 38? No way! Your bones do not look a day over 28."
"I have never released someone after just 6 weeks with this type of fracture."
"You are a medical miracle. I would like other doctors to study you."
In all seriousness, it was a great appointment. Dr. Leonard was impressed how far I have come in just six weeks and said it is usually ten weeks for someone to have the range of motion I have back. I will need to do some strengthening exercises to get my arm back in shape, but the little pain I do have should subside immune next 4 weeks. He surprised me by asking if I wanted to come back again in four weeks or instead just come in, if he pain did not go away. I of course took the second option, so he officially released me. Yeah! He then called me Wolverine and said me on my way.
Looking back at my fractured arm and the last 6 weeks, I'd like to say it was not all bad, but it pretty much completely sucked. The only positive was probably how wonderful Dale was for taking care of me. He is truly a saint, as I am a horrible injured person and has been considerably cranky. Thankfully the worse is over and the pain will fully be gone in a matter of weeks.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Monday, February 14, 2011
Our third date was extra special as it coincided with Valentine’s Day and the 1 year anniversary of Dale being cancer free. So what better way to celebrate than a three-day weekend in Las Vegas, right?
I originally planned on NOT telling Dale about the trip because I wanted it to be a surprise, but oddly enough, I found out Dale was trying to plan a surprise trip to Las Vegas for my birthday, so I had to spill the beans. However, although Dale knew we were headed to Las Vegas, he did NOT know what we were doing once there or that our friends Sandy & Steve Stubbendick were joining us. We came out with a plan that Dale and I would stop by Sandy & Steve’s house on the way to the airport to drop off a hat Steve wanted to borrow. We showed up and Sandy & Steve joked they should join us. Next thing you know they had suitcases. Dale was very confused and surprised. It was very funny.
We headed to the airport and the flight was a lot of fun. Dale and I were upgraded to first class and Dale even charmed the flight attendant into giving Sandy & Steve free drinks in coach and she gave Dale and I two bottles of wine for free. She even announced to the entire plane that Dale was 1 year cancer free. It was very kind and made for a great start to the vacation.
Next up was a limo ride to the Aria Hotel and we all took part in some wine along the way. You could tell it was definitely vacation.The Aria Hotel was amazing. It was very cool, modern and luxurious. Our first stop after checking in was lunch at the Bellagio Buffet, which is Dale’s favorite as he always likes to try to eat his body weight in shrimp. Everything was delicious. Afterwards we headed back to the hotel and I surprised Dale with a Happy Valentine's Day cake in the room from Jean Philippe’s Chocolate Shop and Bakery. We enjoyed the cake over the next few days. It was probably the most delicious cake we have ever experienced.
On Saturday night we went to the Cirque du Soleil show, Viva Elvis at our hotel. It was a pretty cool show. Great music and good acrobats. It was not mine or Dale’s favorite Cirque du Soleil show, but it was still a great time. Elvis music always reminds me of my Mom, so that made it even more special. After the show, we went to the Chinese Restaurant, Blossom at our hotel. It was a good meal. It was not the greatest, but good. The highlight was that I ordered Chow Fun on the menu and proceeded saying Chow Fun every 4 minutes for the rest of the weekend. Why? Because it was Chow Fun, duh?
On Sunday, Dale and I wandered the strip, while Sandy and Steve met up with Steve’s nephew, who recently moved to Las Vegas. Dale and I shopped at Mandalay Bay and Planet Hollywood. We looked for new rings, as we purchase new rings for our anniversary each year. Instead of rings, we found two red leather bracelets at Teno, that we both loved and figured were a nice way to symbolize Dale’s battle over lymphoma.
Sunday night was a blast. We joined Sandy and Steve for dinner at the Paris Hotel in the restaurant that overlooked the Strip and the Bellagio Fountains. The food was incredible and the mojitos were heavenly. It was one of the best meals we ever experienced and we had a waiter, who only made the experience that much better with his great personality. At dinner we surprised Sandy and Steve with tickets to the Cirque du Soleil show, Beatles Love. Dale and I had seen it twice before, but it is so great we wanted to share it with Sandy and Steve. We raced over the the Mirage Hotel after dinner and we all loved the show. After dinner, we headed down to New York, New York Hotel to take in yet another Cirque du Soleil Show. This time it was the R-rated Zumanity, which is a fun, but raunchy burlesque show. It was a complete blast.
In between all the shows and dinners, we did a little gambling and broke even most of the time. Monday was more shopping, but this time at the Venetian. Next stop was lunch at the Aria Buffett, which was okay and then off to the airport. We had Carrot Top’s look-a-like on our flight to Denver and made it home safe and sound.
It was a great three days – good times, good meals, good shows and best of all…three days with Dale.
Thanks to Sean and Jeffrey for thinking of us on Valentine's Day and showing us love from across the country. Best of all, thank you for a laugh and the perfect way to end a terrific Valentine's Day!
In honor of Saint Valentine's Day, I figured I would kill some time answering some questions about love. Here goes:
How many times have I been in love?
I have been in love hundreds and hundreds of times, as I do not see love as just romantic love. Love is everywhere. I have lots of people in my life whether family or friends, who I love. I am blessed to have so many people in my life to love and love me back.
Okay, how many times have I been in romantic love?
That is a tough question, but for the sake of honestly, I have to admit that I think until I met Dale, I never really experienced true romantic love. I had a lot of crushes and loved a lot of people, but true romantic love is so different to me. With Dale it is real love. I know that in the deepest corner of my mind and heart, I am in complete love with Dale. I know it is different than other loves, as it truly breaks my heart to see him unhappy or in pain. I would do anything humanly possible to protect him. To me, that is true love. I had never felt that way before Dale.
Do I consider myself lucky in love?
I probably shouldn't but I do. However to answer this, we need to go way back. I think in my soul, I knew I was always attracted to men. My earliest attractions were of men. I believe I was born gay, but oddly there were women in my early years who I felt an extremely strong connections. I had honest crushes on them. The most serious crushes were Jennifer Wheland Wettergren in junior high and high school and Nell Stetson Herman in college, whom I both dated.
With Jennifer, I think I was drawn to her energy. She had such a spirit and fire (she still does). She was full of life. I wanted that same spirit. I remember feeling heartbroken by her at times, but it was really me just being oversensitive and confusing my own feelings. When you are gay as a kid it is a horribly confusing time. You overcompensate so much at times to try to not only convince others, but yourself that you are straight.
With Nell, it was different just as confusing. It was not her fire I was drawn to, but her warmth. She always made me feel safe and happy (and still does). I do not know why, but with her, I always felt like things would be always be okay. It is tough to explain. It was like I knew at a deep level Nell was meant to be in my life. In the straight world when you feel that connection, it means you should get married. When you are secretly gay, it is overwhelming as you do not understand. I was attracted to men, but felt a huge connection and happiness with Nell. I honestly felt I could have married her.
Once I started dating men, crushes became even more confusing because there was a sexual attraction mixed into the equation. I remember dating was always confusing. I dated a guy secretly in college named Chris Lang. I don't even know if you'd call it dating. I always felt unsure what we were, as neither of us were out, so it was more sexual than dating to him and probably more of a relationship to me. I remember wanting to always be with him, hoping he would call and thinking it was love. Looking back, it was nowhere near love. It was just dysfunctional.
One of my earliest real relationships was with a guy I worked with after college named Christopher St. Pierre when I was in my mid-twenties. Again, it started more sexual and the dating part always seemed blurry at first. Eventually, we did date and I even moved to another state to be with him, thinking it was love. Again, it was not love. However, I did live with him for a while. It was funny because I thought in the beginning he was a guy, who had it all together, but in the end he was just a gay mess. It is funny how hormones can completely blind us. This relationship also was a great case study for how easy I was willing to give up myself for a relationship and what I was willing to do in the name of what I thought was love.
When living in Phoenix, I fell head over heels in
In Denver before I met Dale, I had two relationships that were significant, (probably more to me than the other guy). They were John Hill and Ryan Penney. Oddly, both guys were really not that into me looking back and I think because we felt strong connections of friendship, we tried to make more of things. I saw both as being someone I could love, but both were very up and down, rocky relationships, but that is what you get when one of the people in the relationship is not that interested.
Then, I met Dale and found true love.
So to answer your question, am I lucky in love? Yes. I know you'd think after failed relationship after relationship, I'd answer differently, but I am the luckiest because I found Dale, who is my true love. He makes me want to be a better person. He makes me feel safe. He makes every day better just by being there. Dale makes me smile. He melts my heart with a simple wink and I could not imagine my life without him. So yes, I am very lucky at love because I think it took a lot of failed relationships for me to find who I was, so when I met Dale I was ready for true love.
We also typically try to buy the new rings while on a vacation because it is a great memory of a time we spend together and you find some amazing options. We currently have rings we purchased in NYC, Las Vegas, Venice, St. Thomas and Honolulu. We also have two sets we purchased at home in Denver.
So yesterday we looked to see what Las Vegas had to offer again. Unfortunately, we found nothing we loved, could agree upon or were different enough from our existing rings. However, we did stumble across two stainless steel and red leather bracelets we loved. We had both wanted something to celebrate Dale's battle over cancer and his 1 year anniversary being cancer free. Since Dale is not a tattoo guy, the bracelet seemed perfect as a way to symbolize the journey. They had brown, black, red and white, but the red seemed best as red is the color they use for lymphoma bands. I also liked the red as a symbol of our love and how our love overcame cancer.
Here is a picture of the bracelets:
So the search for rings will continue and it is also a great excuse to plan another vacation later this year to find them, right?
I think where people go wrong is just thinking Valentine's Day is just romantic love. It is not. Yes, romantic love is great, but there are all types of love and today is a day to celebrate ALL things love.
To all my family, friends, co-workers, neighbors, anyone reading this and of course Dale - Happy Valentine's Day. I love you all and thank you for loving me enough to have me in your life. Thank you for loving me enough to allow me to be me. You are all wonderful and I am blessed to have so much love in my life.
Happy Valentine's Day and do me a huge favor. Please take a minute this week to do something kind and unexpected for a stranger. Open a door, give a smile, say a sincere thanks or just say great job. Show the love!
We did a four course Valentine's Day meal with shrimp salad, lobster bisque, beef tenderloin and creme brule. Now, I now you may say, I've had all those things before, but until you have had them at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant at Paris in Las Vegas, you have not. Everything was heaven. Add in three mojitos for me and a really fun waiter and you have a legendary Valentine's meal.
Next we surprised Sandy and Steve with tickets to Cirque du Soleil Beatle's Love. So after dinner we raced (literally ran some of it) to the Mirage make the 7 PM show. Sandy and Steve have been so wonderful during Dale's recovery and we wanted to show them our love and gratitude. Sandy was Dale's nurse and we could not have imagined going through treatment without her. She made impossible days seem possible.
This was the third time Dale and I have seen Beatles Love and it is just as good each time. There is so much going on that you see something new each and every time. This is the best Cirque du Soleil show by far and we all had a blast.
After the show, we walked from Mirage to Caesar's Palace to grab a cab to CVS near New York, New York so the crew could grab some 5-Hour Energy Drinks. I snapped this photo waiting for the cab at Caesar's hotel.
We walked from CVS to New York, New York for the 10 PM showing of Cirque du Soleil's Zumanity. Yes, it was a Cirque night. Dale and I have seen this show twice before too. but Sandy and Steve were Zumanity virgins, so that made it a lot of fun. It is a great erotic and intimate show. We loved it!
I snapped this photo of Dale while we waited by the restrooms. Look Dale's all straight.
After Zumanity we took a cab to Fremont Street around midnight to ride the new zip line, but it was closing. We met up with Steve's nephew at a bar and saw how the locals do it, but missed out on the deep fried Twinkie because the casino who sells them closes at 1 AM (boo).
More photos. This time Fremont Street randomness.
We headed back to Aria, played some video poker and around 2 AM called it a night.
It was a great evening that can only be described as raunchy, salty and sheer!
Sunday, February 13, 2011
I snap a few photos.