Thursday, December 29, 2005

A Great Dream

Last night I had the greatest dream. I was sitting in my office, which in the dream was some hybrid of my work and home offices, and I looked up to see someone coming in. It was my Grandmother, just as I remember her from a decade ago. She smiled and pulled me into a big hug, and over her shoulder I could see my Grandfather looking at us and smiling. I knew that she could not be real, since she left us so many years ago. But in the dream, I could feel her hugging me, and it felt so great to hold her again and tell her how much I loved her. And my Grandfather? He was positively beaming. I hadnt seen him look so happy in a long, long time.

When I woke, my first and strongest impression was a feeling of being loved. And then reality set in, and I cried. I miss her more everyday, and I dont think it will ever get easier. For a moment, though, in my dream, she was here with me and it was fantastic.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Calm Before The Storm

The week between Christmas and New Year's is always a contradiction for me. On one hand, it is crazy busy, with me trying to get everything finished at work and at home before the new year. On the other hand, it is quiet and slow, with the rush of Christmas behind me and a lull before the craziness that is New Year's Eve.
 
I need to focus on work much more the next two days, so I can wrap up as much as possible before the end of month/end of year. The problem is, I am not motivated at all. I am thinking only about our New Year's Eve plans, and looking ahead to my birthday weekend. Hopefully, I can get my act together tomorrow and Friday and end the year on an up note, at least as far as work is concerned. As to the house and our bathroom renovation... well... that is DEFINITELY on hold until the new year.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Christmas Dinner, 2005


Another holiday meal, another beautiful setting from Ric. This is the dining room table, just before Ric covered it in food. We were joined for Christmas dinner by AJ, Kurt, and John W, and we had fantastic ribeye steak from Iowa Meats. Not traditional, perhaps, but definitely delicious!

Friday, December 23, 2005

Agree to Disagree

I have been blogging now for a couple of months, and I have shared the link with a few friends. Still, I dont give much thought to who might be reading it. This is primarily for me, a hybrid of diary and soapbox. Like a tree falling in an empty forest, my blog entries are generally unheard and unnoticed.

But one person has emailed me about my blog. She is bothered by the hate Bush Administration & other anti-war stuff/websites that are linked on my site, as well as some of my more liberal leanings. I know her to be a rational and intelligent person, so her opinion is not something I brush aside lightly. We are engaged currently in an email dialogue, and I have every confidence that we will come to a middle-ground agreement on some things. On others, though, we will have to agree to disagree. And because I have respect for her, and she for me, I know we can have uncomfortable conversations with each other without jeopardizing our friendship.

And that is the point of this entry. We are all going to disagree with each other at some point. The mark of an advanced culture should be our ability to sort through differences, find common ground where possible, and respect the right of another to hold an opinion unlike your own. I suppose that sounds Pollyanna, but why is it so hard?

Turn on any talk radio station or tune into any news show, and the Us-Or-Them mindset is impossible to ignore. It is heartbreaking to me that we, as a country, are so completely at odds with each other. Acknowledging the good done in Iraq is heresy to my fellow Democrats. But criticizing the administration is treasonous to Republicans. Its as if we are all told to pick a side of the stage, then handed our scripts. Right-wing nut job or Left-wing fruitcake. Pick a team. Repeat the party line. Dont question, dont ask, dont think. Just repeat whatever you are told. And do so in 3 second sound bites.

Ugh. This is depressing. Whatever happened to debate as an art form?

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Politics & Religion? Yikes.

My uncle Bill continues to email me pro-Bush, anti-Democrat crap. Whenever he does that sending overly forwarded emails to me and a hundred other friends and family members I always reply to all. And when I do, I include factual information and supporting links showing how misinformed he is. For example, he emailed a long-winded whine about how Democrats have changed the once honorable notion of Social Security into an all feed from the big trough giveaway program. Of course, a quick check with Snopes found a significantly different truth: http://www.snopes.com/politics/taxes/sschanges.asp. When I confronted him with the factual information, his response was, sorry, I was speaking Clintonese. I asked, what does he have to do with anything? Bottom line, instead of apologizing for passing along lies, he defends himself by saying he did a Clinton for a moment. Geez, who would the right-wing blame without Clinton around?

I mean, he is a good person, a friendly guy with the best of intentions. So how is it that he becomes a foaming-at-the-mouth idiot when it comes to issues of politics and religion? I dont understand why seemingly intelligent, compassionate people become unthinking drones. Anything about Democrats, Liberals or Progressives is evil, un-American and stupid. Anything about Bush, Conservatives, and Republicans is like gospel, spoken by Jesus himself. How did we get to this point, where our country is so bitterly and completely divided?

Tune into traditional media, and these are the things that seem to matter most to todays conservatives:

o Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas
o Gay marriage
o Nudity on television

Compare that to the things I am most concerned about:

o Troops deployed to Iraq without a clear mission statement, proper equipment and honest leadership
o Homeless veterans
o Global warming continues, yet we still debate its existence

I am hardly a bleeding heart, sacrificing all for the good of others. But I do have a heart, and compassion, and want the world to be a better place. I am also intelligent and a realist, understanding that no single political party or religion has all the answers. This life is far too complex, and issues are too complicated, for people to react in sound-bites. My wish for Christmas? That everyone would open their hearts and minds to a world just a bit larger than the one they currently see. Dreaming, I know, but thats what optimists do.

And more friends...

Wednesday was a great day, indeed. Ric and I had lunch with three friends, and it was fun for all of us to have a chance to catch up. Then, last night, we drove up to Temecula to have dinner with Russ and Trevor. Wow. Their house is beautiful, of course, but the best part was relaxing in the living room after dinner. It's easy to get so wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, but the truth is there is no better way to celebrate the holidays than with the simple company of friends. Sitting in that big, comfy leather chair, warm coffee in hand, watching Megan perform her "dances with blue ribbon" ballet, I felt so relaxed and content. Good friendships can do that for you.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Strength From Friendship

Think where man's glory most begins and ends, And say my glory was I had such friends.
~ William Butler Yeats
 
Thank you, Brandy, Irela, and Sonya. I am fortunate, indeed, to have you three wonderful ladies as friends.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Christmas shopping? Huh?

Its Tuesday, December 20th, which means that I have less than five days to go before Christmas. And what thought crosses my mind today? I need to buy presents for people. Gee, really?

Im not sure why it never occurred to me before today that I needed to get presents for everyone for Christmas. I havent really been in the holiday mood, being so busy at the office and with the bathroom renovation. Still, I can hardly just blow off the whole thing. Ric and I are already receiving holiday cards, and we need to send cards in return. (Of course, we have managed to NOT do that for the last four years. Sad, huh?)

Alright then. Time for a plan. Ric and I are going to make a gift list this afternoon and do all of our shopping today after work. Naïve and optimistic, or determined and organized? Well see.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Brokeback Mountain

I finally had the chance to see Brokeback Mountain last night. The movie is phenomenal. Having read the story and followed all the hype about this film, it was wonderful to have the opportunity to experience it personally... and what an experience it was. I liked everything about the film, but Heath Ledger was absolutely incredible. His performance was overwhelming. So much has already been written and posted about the movie, so I will just say that it was powerful and important. To me, that is the highest compliment I can offer to a movie.

And the original short story is posted on the web:
http://www.outspokenclothing.com/brokeback.html

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Sin City

This weekend finds me in Las Vegas, celebrating Ric's birthday. We flew in Thursday late afternoon, and had just enough time for a quick nap at the hotel before heading off to the MGM Grand to see Ka. It is the new Cirque de Soleil show, and it was incredible. Our seats were second row center, which turned out to be the first row. The front row was empty, because portions of the show came out literally into the audience. It was a great show and a fantastic way to kick off Ric's celebration.
 
Yesterday and today were lazy days - eating well, getting massages, sleeping in and doing not much else. It is a very cold 29 degrees here, so lounging around the pool is out of the question. The hot tub is a toasty 104, though, so that is working out just fine. Tonight we are off to The Eagle, then it's back home tomorrow afternoon. All and all, a very good trip. Happy Birthday, Ric!

Thursday, December 15, 2005


And here we are in Sep 1969. Geez, we were cute kids. Posted by Picasa

My brother Robert and I, hip fashion dudes in 1971. (Thanks to my brother for tracking down this old picture.) Posted by Picasa

Work? What's work?

Everyone already knows that Ric is my husband. Not everyone knows that we work together, too, and that Ric is my assistant. Most of the time, that's very cool. But the last 6 weeks have been anything but. The whole time Ric was in Texas rebuilding my Mom's house, I was without an assistant. (Selfish sounding, I know, but it's true.) And this week, Ric has taken more time off to work on our own home renovation. So while that is good for us at home, it is not good for me at the office.
 
It is nearly the end of the year, and I am WAY behind on both major projects. The next couple of weeks are going to be very busy for me, and I am already feeling the pressure. I'll get through it, I know, but *ugh*. Just once, I would like to stroll into work and not feel like I am already eight hours behind.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

A brief respite

Last night was my first down time in a while, and it felt great to sit on the couch and do nothing. I watched a few hours of television Law & Order, Will & Grace, and Cold Case on TIVO then lounged in the bed and finished reading my book. I was lazy, relaxed, and very happy to have one night of peace and quiet. Of course, tonight will be mayhem as I try to get everything packed for our weekend in Las Vegas. Rics birthday is Friday, so we are going to be there Thursday evening through Sunday evening to celebrate. I know, I know. So much for calm, eh?

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Eric Himan and Andy Moore, performing Dec 12th at The Center in San Diego Posted by Picasa

Eric Himan & Andy Moore

For as long as I can remember, two things have frustrated me. One, discovering a new artist or performer with true talent and not being able to convince the rest of the world how great they are. Julia Fordham, Mary Griffin, and Deborah Vial are all examples. Two, planning a great event for a large group of people and having most of them back out at the last minute. Last night, both of those frustrating things happened at the same time. Argh!
 
Eric Himan (www.erichiman.com) is a singer/songwriter from Pennsylvania, currently on the road promoting his live CD. Cute, talented, funny, and clever, Eric is a true entertainer. He played last night at a benefit for The Center, and I expected nearly 20 people to show in my group alone. Just over half did. So here is a talented out gay artist performing in a beautiful auditorium, and far too people were there to see it. More, I am disappointed in our community. If there's alcohol and go-go boys, we turn out in force. But to support a gay artist who is trying to support our own Center? Nah, too busy to go.
 
And last night was more than a show by Eric. He was joined by another artist, Andy Moore (www.andymooremusic.com), who performed songs from her two CDs, plus several numbers with Eric. Andy's voice is fantastic, and I can't wait to see her again live. She has great range, strong emotion, and she played a bit of Patty Griffin's Forgiveness for me after the show. A concert for one? And the one is me? Way too cool!
 
So, to those of you who attended the show, thank you for supporting our Center and two great performers. For those of you who missed out, I suggest you check out the websites and see what the fuss is about. And to Eric and Andy, thank you. I hope you two enjoy the pandas!

Monday, December 12, 2005


And this one had cool Christmas music, too Posted by Picasa

A bit blurry, but a couple of the cool boats in the parade Posted by Picasa

Lounging around, waiting for the parade to start Posted by Picasa

Holiday Boat Parade of Lights

Sunday night, we all went down to Seaport Village. We sat out on the Embarcadero to watch the Holiday Boat Parade of Lights. It was a slow start, but soon we were enjoying one beautiful boat after another. The weather was cool but not too cold, and it really felt like the holiday season had arrived. A dozen friends were there with me, so it was a very nice night.
 
We had a good time, but we know a few things we want to do next year to make it better. We will bring a picnic meal, XM radio boombox with Christmas music, eggnog and rum, and more chairs. This, too, will be an annual tradition.

AJ, Jon, Ric and I with Santa Claus Posted by Picasa

A Wild Time, Indeed

After ice skating at Horton and dessert at Claire de Lune's, we headed home for a quiet night in front of the TV. Instead, we got a phone call from Ric saying that the door guy at our local leather bar said he would let our two underage friends into the bar. I mean, they are Marines and heading to Iraq in a few weeks, so the guy thought it only right to extend a little extra courtesy to them.
 
We had SUCH a good time. Ric, Grant, Nate, AJ, Jon and I had drinks, laughed and carried on, and even bid (and won!) on three of the models being auctioned off. Raising money for charity should always be this much fun. I won't say any more, because some things you just have to experience. But it was great fun. And having a non-drinker in the group meant no waiting for a cab. We strolled out of the bar and into the car. Convenient, indeed.

Not the most graceful guy on the ice, but I'm still standing. Posted by Picasa

Ice Skating? In San Diego?

Saturday afternoon, a group of brave individuals made their way to Horton Plaza to experience something unusual for Southern California... ice skating. And we had a blast! The sun was setting on a beautiful day, so the weather was just cool enough to feel like winter. Some of us were pretty comfortable on skates, while others were anything but. I give credit to AJ and Jon, who had never been on skates before but managed to stay up the whole time. They got better every lap, and by the end, they were skating like old pros.
 
One side note: More than once, while skating around by myself, I realized I had a big grin on my face. I so enjoyed being there on the ice, acting like a big kid. Growing up, ice skating was never anything I ever did. So it was a good feeling, simple and fun. I loved it, and I will definitely make this an annual tradition.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Jingle Bell, Hurt Like Hell, 5k in the morning

After the Gulls game, we came back home and sat out on the back deck for a while. Okay, a LONG while. AJ and I were the last two standing, and it was 1:30am by the time I got to bed. Still, at 5:30am, I was back awake and ready to go. I headed down to Balboa Park to run in the Jingle Bell 5k, a benefit for the Arthritis Foundation. John W met me there, and we had a good run. My time was long - 35:00 - but I ran the whole way and never stopped. For me, that was the goal. The run started near the Hall of Champions and Puppet Theater, passed the Old Globe, across the 163 bridge, north to Laurel, back south through the fruit loop, and back across the bridge and down to the start point.
 
I have now run in four 5k events in three months. Not too bad for someone who never entered an organized running event in my life. Go Red Go!

The Gulls in action Posted by Picasa

Jon and the Gulls Girls Posted by Picasa

The Whole Gang at the Gulls' Game


The Whole Gang Posted by Picasa

Go Gulls! Beat Phoenix!

Okay, so maybe the Gulls didn't beat Phoenix. But the game was exciting and fun, anyway. Our resident Canadian, Donna, was on hand to explain the game to everyone. Brit AJ was completely confused about the game, until I told him to just think of it as "soccer with weapons." Then it all made sense. We were all hockey novices, but we made up for our lack of knowledge with passion and energy. We cheered and yelled and clapped, but to no avail. The Gulls lost to Phoenix, 3-2. Better luck next time, right?
 
 

Friday, December 9, 2005

Stranded

Despite the recent news in my life, things seem pretty well back to normal. Perhaps I am in denial, and I will have to deal with the truth later. But for now, my life goes on. Ric and I continue to renovate the bathroom and redesign the bedroom, and still find time and room to welcome three house guests this weekend Nate (from Phoenix), and Jon and A.J. (Marines from Pendleton).

And just how busy will this weekend be?

o       Friday night, Gulls Ice Hockey
o       Saturday morning, 5k run through Balboa Park
o       Saturday afternoon, ice skating at Horton Plaza
o       Sunday evening, Holiday Boat Parade of Lights
o       Monday evening, Eric Himan in concert at The Center

Yep, life goes on. And barring any new revelations, this post will be my last mention of this subject. The man I believed to be my father is not. And no, I do not know who is. Now I just have to accept those facts and move on with my life.

Little boy, you’ll find your way home, because home is a place you make your own, and though you’ve lived here most of your life. Everything’s wrong, nothing feels right, nothing feels right….There you were stranded, where no one would ever look Youre knee-deep in trouble tonight, Praying for a change, cause today’s loss is tomorrows gain, You know it won’t always be this way.

Eric Himan, Stranded,

from the CD Dark Horse

Thumbcrown Records, 2005

www.erichiman.com

Tuesday, December 6, 2005

From Crazy to Calm

Its weird how things in life go from crazy to mundane so quickly. Less than a week ago, my whole life turned upside down. Today, Tuesday, I am sitting at work trying to get through the next eight hours of escrow work. Routine, everyday stuff. And I sit here wondering just how important the DNA results are. The adult in me says that my life continues to go on just as before. I have a husband who loves me, friends I treasure, a great home, and a job I enjoy. Nothing has really changed. The flip side? The child in me feels like a huge void has just opened in my life. My biological father is a complete unknown to me.

Ric is trying to make it better, of course. I asked him, will you still love me now that I dont know who my father is? He replied, do you still love me even though you know my father? <grin>

I will get through this, I know. Its just a rollercoaster emotionally right now. And during the holiday season, too. Boy, not like that is always crazy enough, anyway.

Sunday, December 4, 2005


The whole gang at the concert. Posted by Picasa

The Bangles on stage at House of Blues Posted by Picasa

And life goes on... The Bangles in concert!

So just hours after finding out about my father, I was off to the House of Blues to see The Bangles in concert. It felt a bit weird to be out partying with friends after news like that, but what the heck? Life goes on.
 
And back to The Bangles. Wow. They sound and look great, and what an amazing show! Midway through the show, I heard some guy behind me say, "I didn't realize they had so many hits." And they really did. They played Walk Like An Egyptian, Manic Monday, Hazy Shade of Winter, Eternal Flame, Going Down To Liverpool, In Your Room, If She Knew What She Wants.... all cool songs that the crowd remembered.
 
After the show, though, things got a bit not-so-great. I rode home with a couple friends, and the three of us spent a little time on the street, at the corner of Drunk and Emotional. I was still dealing with the DNA test results, and my two friends had some emotional churn of their own. One minute things are fine, and the next we are standing in the rain fighting about crap that doesn't mean a thing in the grand scheme. Damn it. Later, we all managed to sort it all out - more or less - and things were okay when they left for home. I think.

And then everything changes...

This may be a bit too personal for a public blog, but what the hell? I am sure I am the only one reading this damn thing, anyway.
 
So, the results of a DNA test are back, and - with a probability of 99.857 percent - my brother and I are only half-siblings. Yep, that means that we share the same mother, but not the same father. James Hulsey is not my father. Wow, that's a pretty huge thing to find out at 38 years old.
 
Now what? It seems from our discussions so far that my mom either doesn't know or won't tell me who my real father is. God, could I be any more the stereotype and cliche? Ric keeps telling me that it doesn't matter, that he knows exactly who I am and that he loves me no matter what. I believe that, and I know it is the truth. Still, I can't help but feel like a huge void has just opened up in my life.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

The best laid plans and all that...

So now I am not running the half-marathon in Austin on Sunday. Instead, I will fly Saturday into Houston to help Ric. He is still building the addition on Moms house, and there is no way he will be done by Thanksgiving if I dont go help him. (Even then, finishing is optimistic.)

I will take my running gear, though. Even if I cant run the half-marathon, I can still get myself up early and put in a few miles.

And finally... SpongeBob SquarePants.

My friend Brandy and I are big SpongeBob fans, and we promised each other that we would only watch the movie together. Of course, wanting to get together and actually doing it can be very different things. For us, it took months to make it happen. But finally, we did. With a few friends, a delicious dinner, and some good wine, we settled down in front of the fire and enjoyed the movie. And, yes, it was definitely worth the wait. It felt good to watch something silly and enjoy laughs with friends.

Im ready. For a promotion. Im ready. Go, SpongeBob.


Monday, November 14, 2005

A busy, busy weekend

Saturday, Nov 12th, found me back out on my bike and riding around the bay. A different group of five people joined me, and we made it around the bay much, much faster this time. Geez, my legs were sore.

Sunday, Nov 13th, found me running in the Shelter Island 5k. (Why do these things always start so early?) It was beautiful running along the harbor, watching the sun come up and the morning fog burn away. The scenery was a definite high point of the 5k. And the other great moment? When I crossed the finish line, the announcer called out my name. They did that for everyone, and it was so cool to hear. I came in at 33:27, which is three minutes faster than my Chicago time.

And now I begin to focus on the half-marathon next week in Austin.

Race for the Cure 5k

On Sunday, Nov 6th, I joined 15,000 San Diegans for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5k. I walked the entire course with two friends Angela & Donna so our time was pretty slow. But, the early morning walk through Balboa Park felt great. Of course, the nap later that same morning felt just as great.

<grin>

I plan to enter any 5k I find, and San Diego seems to have a lot of them. Running is more fun with a group of people around me.

Tuesday, November 1, 2005


My friend Sonya and I on the ride, down at Imperial Beach Posted by Picasa

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Coronado Bike Ride

So, today was the bike ride, and we had the best time. It turned out to be a 30+ mile bike ride, and we loved every minute of it. (Okay, maybe we didn't love the last 7 miles along the strand against the head wind.)

It was a great day, and we are all excited about heading out again. Riding is definitely better when you do it with friends. (And of course, any bike ride is better when it ends at The Little Club, where our friendly bartender Jan was making the world's greatest Bloody Mary's.)

Thursday, October 27, 2005

A crazy week...

This has surely been a crazy political week, and it isn't over, yet.
  • The sad, grim milestone of 2000 Americans dead in Iraq
  • Harriet Miers, the "best we could find" for the Supreme Court, has withdrawn her nomination
  • Tom Delay, Bill Frist, Karl Rove, Libby Lewis and other conservative Republicans are all under investigation
I am not sure what went wrong in the Republican spin machine, but they have certainly lost their way. And if there is any sense of karma and justice in this world, they will continue to implode until there is nothing left but dust. Wishing for that is hardly my finest action, but my frustration with so-called Christians who know nothing but lying, cheating, plundering and stealing is almost more than I can bear.

Lord, protect me from your followers. And someone, somewhere, help me resist the urge to stand on a rooftop and shout, "you're all going to get what is coming to you, you sons of bitches."

Monday, October 24, 2005

When a crime isn't a crime...

(This blog is about me, not politics. But sometimes what is happening is so inane, so insidious, and so blatantly stupid that I have to make mention of it.)

Question #1

When is perjury and obstruction of justice a bad thing?

Answer #1

When a Democratic President does it to cover up consensual sex.

Question #2

When is perjury and obstruction of justice no big deal?

Answer #2

When a Republican administration does it to cover up the treasonous act of outing a covert CIA operative.

http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/10/24/122929/29


Friday, October 21, 2005

Unexpected Gifts

Im stunned. I went to my office staff meeting expecting to hear updates on policies, financials, and other items of note. That happened, yes, but the meeting ended with my boss handing me a check for $2,695. The money is a donation made by my co-workers and clients to help my Mom recover from Hurricane Rita. (She lost her house in the storm, but she and her husband made it through physically unharmed.) I cant explain how moved I am by this check. It will make such an incredible difference for my Mom.

So how does this fit into this blog? Part of maturity is understanding when you need help. Another part of maturity is having faith in your friends to be there when you need them. Today, I am reminded of both of these things. I am fortunate, indeed, to work for a company and with co-workers who support me as more than an employee, but as a person, too.

Website up and running

My husband, Ric, has a great website at www.woofsd.com, and he made a page for me to keep track of my walking, running, and cycling events. It is www.woofsd.com/GoRedGo.html.

Who knew a 5k could be so addicting?

Well, Im hooked. The 5k in Chicago was a lot of fun, and I felt great after finishing. So I have now scheduled myself for two more the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5k on Nov 6th and the Shelter Island 5k on Nov 13th. The week after that, I am attempting a half-marathon in Austin, Texas. Yes, I do believe I have the running bug.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

In Chicago, my first official 5k


My best friend, Brenda, signed us up for the Pumpkins in the Park 5k, through the Lincoln Park district. I had no idea we were running until we wandered up to the park, but I am really glad I did it. For me, it wasn't about the finishing time. It was just about finishing. (Thanks, Bren!) Posted by Picasa

And so it begins...

In an uncharacteristically subtle beginning, my blog begins. Forty is fifteen months away, and now is the time to start thinking about who I want to be when I get there.

What do I mean? How about:
  • mentally
  • emotionally
  • physically
  • spiritually

Wish me luck.