Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Gratitude Campaign

The Gratitude Campaign is an amazingly powerful yet simple idea... a way for all of us to make sure our brave soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines know that we appreciate them.

Click here to see the movie, learn more about the campaign, and become a part of it.

(And a thankful hat tip to a certain Texasgal, for making me aware of this. It's my pleasure and an honor to pass the information along.)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Song That Clicked With Me Today

Find Out Who Your Friends Are,
by Tracy Lawrence

Run your car off the side of the road
Get stuck in a ditch way out in the middle of nowhere
Or get yourself in a bind lose the shirt off your back
Need a floor, need a couch, need a bus fare

This is where the rubber meets the road
This is where the cream is gonna rise
This is what you really didn't know
This is where the truth don't lie

You find out who your friends are
Somebody's gonna drop everything
Run out and crank up their car
Hit the gas, get there fast
Never stop to think 'what's in it for me?' or 'it's way too far'
They just show on up with their big old heart
You find out who your friends are

Everybody wants to slap your back
wants to shake your hand
when you're up on top of that mountain
But let one of those rocks give way then you slide back down look up
and see who's around then

This ain't where the road comes to an end
This ain't where the bandwagon stops
This is just one of those times when
A lot of folks jump off


When the water's high
When the weather's not so fair
When the well runs dry
Who's gonna be there?


You find out who your friends are
(yeah, yeah)
You find out who your friends are

Run your car off the side of the road
Get stuck in a ditch way out in the middle of nowhere
(Well man, I've been there)
Or get yourself in a bind lose the shirt off your back
Need a floor, need a couch, need a bus fare
(Man, I've been there)

Man, I've been there
Oooh yeah.

Friday, August 3, 2007

A Reason To Smile

Five Minutes To Happiness

It can be so easy to get caught up in the rigors of modern life that we tend to forget that happiness need not come with stipulations. Happiness becomes something we must schedule and strive for—a hard-won emotion—and then only when we have no worries to occupy our thoughts. In reality, overwhelming joy is not the exclusive province of those with unlimited time and no troubles to speak of. Many of the happiest people on earth are also those coping with the most serious challenges. They have learned to make time for those simple yet superb pleasures that can be enjoyed quickly and easily. Cultivating a happy heart takes no more than five minutes. The resultant delight will be neither complex nor complicated, but it will be profound and will serve as a reminder that there is always a reason to smile.

So much that is ecstasy-inducing can be accomplished in five minutes. Alone, we can enjoy an aromatic cup of our favorite tea, take a stroll through the garden we have created, write about the day's events in a journal, doodle while daydreaming, or breathe deeply while we listen to the silence around us. In the company of a good friend or treasured relative, we can share a few silly jokes, enjoy a waltz around the room, play a fast-paced hand of cards, or reconnect through lighthearted conversation. The key is to first identify what makes us dizzyingly happy. If we do only what we believe should bring us contentment, our five minutes will not be particularly satisfying. When we allow ourselves the freedom to do whatever brings us pleasure, five minutes out of 14 wakeful hours can brighten our lives immeasurably.

It is often when we have the least free time or energy to devote to joy that we need to unwind and enjoy ourselves the most. Making happiness a priority will help you find five minutes every day to indulge in the things that inspire elation within you. Eventually, your happiness breaks will become an established part of your routine. If you start by pursuing activities you already enjoy and then gradually think up new and different ways to fill your daily five minutes of happiness, you will never be without something to smile about.

Why Not Now?

Waiting For Someday

The time we are blessed with is limited and tends to be used up all too quickly. How we utilize that time is consequently one of the most important decisions we make. Yet it is far too easy to put off until tomorrow what we are dreaming of today. The hectic pace of modern existence affords us an easy out; we shelve our aspirations so we can cope more effectively with the challenges of the present, ostensibly to have more time and leisure to realize our purpose in the future. Or we tell ourselves that we will chase our dreams someday once we have accomplished other lesser goals. In truth, it is our fear that keeps us from seeking fulfillment in the here and now—because we view failure as a possibility, our reasons for delaying our inevitable success seem sound and rational. If we ask ourselves what we are really waiting for, however, we discover that there is no truly compelling reason why we should put off the pursuit of the dreams that sustain us.

When regarded as a question, "Why not now?" drains us of our power to realize our ambitions. We are so concerned with the notion that we are somehow undeserving of happiness that we cannot see that there is much we can do in the present to begin courting it. Yet when we look decisively at our existence and state, "Why not now, indeed!" we are empowered to begin changing our lives this very moment. We procrastinate for many reasons, from a perceived lack of time to a legitimate lack of self-belief, but the truth of the matter is that there is no time like the present and no time but the present. Whatever we aim to accomplish, we will achieve it more quickly and with a greater degree of efficiency when we seize the day and make the most of the resources we have at our disposal presently.

All the joy, passion, and contentment you can envision can be yours right now, rather than in some far-flung point in time. You need only remind yourself that there is nothing standing between you and fulfillment. If you decide that today is the day you will take your destiny into your hands, you will soon discover that you hold the keys of fate.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Thoughts Worth Remembering

DEAR ABBY: What are some ways that people can improve a negative self-image, improve their self-confidence and be more positive in their interactions with other people? -- A.J. IN SALT LAKE CITY

DEAR A.J.: I'm glad you asked. Allow me to offer a few suggestions:

(1) Stop and consider what caused your negative self-image. Then begin taking positive steps to improve your body, soul and intellect.

(2) If you feel yourself reverting to a poor self-image, remind yourself of what you are doing and why.

(3) Reach out and do something for someone who is less fortunate than you are. It's a guaranteed upper.

(4) Avoid people who make themselves feel better by making others feel less so.

(5) Count your blessings every single day, and make up your mind to be happy. People are usually as happy as they are determined to be.

Friday, July 27, 2007

175 - January 13, 2008

That's the first goal. Flat out, direct and specific. I am frustrated again with the weight I have gained, and it is time to change that.

Last year, at my lowest, I got from 218 to 183. Now, after months of no activity because of this stupid cough, I am ready to get started again. And I will go from 215 to 175 by my birthday. It's a lot of weight to lose, I know, and no crazy diet is going to make it happen. It will take healthier eating and regular exercise. The basics. And there is no time to start like now.

I won't be perfect, but I will continually ask myself - is what I am doing right now helping or hurting my pursuit of my goal? If the answer is hurting, I will have to decide if it is worth the setback. Being realistic, I know sometimes the answer will be yes. But hopefully, the thought process alone will help me make better choices along the way.

So what am I doing here?

I am in desperate need of focus right now. With the aid of this blog, I hope to stop the "drift" I am in and feel once more like I am moving with purpose. In a nutshell, I want my tomorrows to be better than my todays. I know they don't just happen that way, though, and it is up to me to make it so. My actions today shape my tomorrow, so this blog will help me think out loud about the choices I make and the consequences for me mentally, spiritually, emotionally, and physically.

It may be similar to Falling Into Forty in that I will post about events and activities with friends. But instead of a diary entry - Joe and I went here today - I will try to evaluate those activities in terms of the effect they have on me.

Be patient as I work the details out.

Monday, July 23, 2007

And so it ends.

I tried. I really did. But since I turned 40, I don't feel the same connection to this blog. I should have ended it then, but I didn't. My mistake.

So please join me in saying goodbye to Falling Into Forty. It was good while it lasted, but I need to shift my focus.

Welcome to "Wasn't Tomorrow Wonderful?" Please adjust your blog link and join me for the next round.


So, why a new blog?

I turned 40 six months ago, and since then, I have struggled to find my focus. It's trite and common, but I suppose I am dealing with a mid-life crisis. So, rather than purchase a convertible and have a trashy affair with a go-go boy, I have decided to work through it by writing about it.

I started blogging in October 2005, here at Falling Into Forty. I wrote about everything that was going on around me - politics and parties, family and friends, celebrations and sorrows. I tried to keep it going after my birthday, but I really lost my connection to it.

But this blog will be much more focused on me and my goals. I need a reset of sorts, to figure out what is important and where I should direct my energy. So we'll see if this helps me find my way back. I am hopeful.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Gay Day at Petco Park with the Padres!

Congratulations to the San Diego Padres, for being decent and respectful to the gay community and our annual Pride Celebration. This year, as part of Pride, Petco Park and the Padres held "Gay Day at the Park." More than 1,000 gay and lesbian fans attended, making us the single largest group in attendance by far.

The Padres lost to the Braves, 5-4, but it was a nail-biter that went to the very last strike. It was a great game and an even better experience. And a special thank you the San Diego Gay Mens Chorus for their amazing rendition of the National Anthem.

Because this stuff just happens to us...

Brandy and I. On the town.

Ric dropped us off at Bourbon Street, where we hung out, had a beer or two, and chatted with the cool DJ. From there, we wandered over to Cheers. We had a drink or two there, then decided it was time to find someplace more fun. As we were leaving, we met a guy sitting by the door. He kept trying to get us to head to another bar with he and his friend, but we agreed only to give him our phone number and have him text message us later.

So we hopped into a cab and went to Redwing. We were enjoying our drink, and he sent us a message. "I'm coming to get you in my limo, so meet me outside and let's go have some fun!" Yep. He had rented a limo for the night just because he wanted to have a few drinks and not worry about driving or finding a cab. And he had decided that Brandy and I had to be part of that fun.

He picked us up and we all headed to the Loft in Hillcrest. We quickly realized that he had already enjoyed all the alcohol he needed, and we talked to his friend about taking him home. He agreed it was a good idea, so we all hopped back in the limo for the ride downtown. Once there, though, he and his friend said, "take the limo and go have fun."

So we did. We headed over to North Park and danced at Bacchus House until they closed the place down. And then, to cap off the morning, we went with the two security guards out to breakfast. We came in sometime around 4:30am, and crashed out totally exhausted.

What a great night. And is it my fault this sort of fun just finds us?

Another Great Night with Friends

My buddy Brooks has two circles of great friends - the Marine Corps and the San Diego Police Department. And when those two circles meet, it's a good time indeed.

Brooks invited me over for a few drinks and to catch up, since we work different schedules and free time together to hang out is pretty rare. When I got there, I realized he had also invited over several of his police officer buddies.

It was pretty cool to be there with them and listen to them shoot the breeze. Most of the cops there were also former active duty Marines, so I didn't feel left out. It was more a chance to listen in and hear the back stories of some of the cop adventures.

And, of course, it was only a matter of time before uniformed cops arrived and threw me in handcuffs. Did I mention that was one of the highlights of the night?

A Visit from my friend, Andrea

It's always great when Andrea comes to town, because she's fun, fabulous, and always makes me laugh. So why would this last visit be any different?

Andrea made plans to come to San Diego and hang out with another friend for the weekend. But, lucky for me, those plans fell through. She already had a room at the Hotel Solamar downtown, so we decided to spend the evening there and then check out The Gaslamp.

First, we enjoyed a delicious margarita in her room, overlooking the Stingaree rooftop patio bar. Then we wandered down to the hotel "Living Room," where we enjoyed an hour of free beer and wine. We also met Andre, another guest at the hotel, who hung out with us most of the evening.

Our next stop was the j-Bar, which is the hotel's poolside bar and hotspot. By the time the sun went down, it looked like this:

Cool, huh? By this point, our group had expanded to eight people. We decided to grab dinner at Fred's Mexican Cafe'. Good food and better margaritas, so it was all good.

We lost a few from our group after dinner. We wandered around a bit, then finally made it to Tivoli's for more drinks and a little pool playing. The night ended with a stop at Bondi, the Australian bar. By the time I made it back to the room, I was absolutly beat. But it was a great visit.

Come back soon, Andrea. I miss you when you stay away too long!
The Good Life, courtesy of Ric

While I was enjoying Vegas, Ric was hard at work in the backyard making one of my wishes come true. He got my hammock put up. Oh, heavenly day, indeed. It was a lot of work - digging the holes, setting the poles in concrete, fixing the chains, etc. But for me, I just had to come home and crawl into it. The good life, folks. It really is a great way to go through this world.

And the best part? I looked at the concrete he poured to hold one of the poles. I noticed he had written something on it, and I assumed it was the date. Nope. This is what he wrote:
'Cuz I love John. Ric
Why the Marine Corps Reunion mattered to me.

This is the harder one to write. Definitely.
Marine Corps Reunion - Las Vegas

Yes, it's coming. I'm working on the write up.
Hangs up and Delays

Every now and then, I get hung up trying to write something that just won't seem to come together. And because I am so OCD about my blog that I want everything to be in chronological order, I delay posting anything new until the blocked issue sorts itself out.

That is the problem I am having now. My Marine Corps reunion in Las Vegas was an unbelievable experience, and I am so far unable to put it into words. I can say, imagine carrying a horrible burden for nearly 20 years, and then, almost in a moment, that burden is lifted. Honestly, I am still stunned and in a bit of a shock, and I can't seem to get the words down on paper.

So, that's the delay. I suppose I will cheat with a placeholder or two and get myself caught up.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I know... I know...

I am terrible lately about updating this blog. I need to get my act together and let people know I am still alive and well in Sunny San Diego!

Patience, people. I'll get caught up this weekend and bring you up to speed on everything!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Camp Pendleton Mud Run - June 2007

Today was the Mud Run at Camp Pendleton. I opted out, since I am not up to full speed yet, but my friend Sonya was ready for a day in the mud!

This is the crowd, before the race...

And this is Sonya, after the race...

Sonya, posing with her new Mud Buddies...

And here is Sonya, me, Brian, Kim, and John W.

Brandy and John - Out on the Town

Just because I have not been feeling 100% does not mean I have to stay home and mope around the house. Brandy and I went out Friday and we both let off a bit o' steam!

It was a great night, like a warm-up for our upcoming Vegas trip. Look out, Sin City, here we come!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Dance, White Boy, Dance

I can't figure out if this is a joke, and both these guys are in on it, or if it really is as it appears, and one roommate really did capture the other guy unaware. Either way, I think the dancing white boy rocks. What the heck is wrong with letting yourself go and throwing down?

The puppies, after the trip to the Vet

They are so pitiful right now. They came home still a bit drugged, and it was all they could do to keep their little eyes open.

Oh well, it's important that they are neutered. We certainly do not want more a little of puppies!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Sorry, Puppies...

Today is the day. Ric and I have to take the puppies to the vet to get spade. Lord knows, we do not need either of them getting out into the neighborhood and getting pregnant. Ack! No, we can not handle a litter of puppies.

So, off to the vet. Poor things. It's going to be a rough day and tough night for them.

Back in the groove

So it's been a week now, and I am back in the groove of eating healthier and working out. It's depressing as hell to think about all the work I did from March to October of last year, losing 30 pounds and getting into such better shape, just to put it all back on. *sigh*

But, that was then and this is now, right? I did it before and I can do it again. In fact, because I have already done it, I have no excuses for not doing it better this time. I know what it takes and there is no reason I can not get it right - and stay in shape - this time around.

I am posting this photo of me from back in September, when I bought a pair of jeans that with a 32 inch waist and slim cut. It's my reminder of what I already did and my motivation for doing it again!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

So quickly they resemble their owners...

Can you tell which dog has latched onto Ric? Could it be Ruth, with her newfound obsession with Diet Coke cans?

Monday, June 4, 2007

Joe's Goals

Notice my new blog item in the upper right corner? It's my Fitness Tracker from Joe's Goals. I am hoping that it will help me regain my focus on fitness - physical and mental.

Wish me luck and motivation!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

All Hail The Woodworkers

Here is my stepfather, Jesse, and my Grandpa, having some fun in the woodshop. I'm guessing they are building a birdhouse, but knowing these two, it might just as likely be a place to hide a six pack of beer.

Happy building, gentlemen.

Wash Day at the Dog-O-Mat

Ric and I took Ruth and Idgie to get washed. It's a cool place, with all the tanks and dryers and assorted things you need to get the puppies nice and clean.

Here is Idgie, first in the wash tank.

Ruth, still happy before it was her turn.

After the bath, Idgie went into the warming box.

And Ruth was not so happy all wet.

But she felt better under the warm air blower.

All and all, it was a pretty successful outing. The puppies left feeling fresh and smelling clean, and that's good enough for us!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

40 at Forty - one down, thirty-nine to go

It's taken me over four months, but I have finally accomplished one of the items on my 40 at Forty list.

Last night, I completed task #28: see all five best picture nominees
  • “Babel”
  • “The Departed”
  • “Letters from Iwo Jima”
  • “Little Miss Sunshine”
  • “The Queen”
I am not sure what will be next, but at least I am on my way.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Preppin' for the 70's Prom

My friends Julie and Cassie were heading to the 70's Prom held last night at The Tavern at Pacific Beach, so Greg and I agreed to come over and help them get ready. As you can see from the photos and the videos, the prep was as much fun as the prom, itself.

This is Julie and her neighbor, Teresa.

And this is Cassie and Julie, starting their face work.

Now it's time to try on the wigs.

A little more mirror time, to make sure things are perfect.

And some final adjustments on the costumes.

And here I am, playing Tony Orlando to my two beautiful Dawns.

And the tip jar, since Julie is working at the bar during the 70's Prom.

Hot chicks belong with cool cars.

And here they are in front of The Tavern.

And this is my buddy, Greg, always willing to lend a hand to make sure the costumes are just right.

And a couple of fun videos...

Julie, trying to zip herself into that tight outfit...

And Cassie and Julie trying out their dance moves...

Late Post - The Virdell Wedding

So many great photos, but this one is my favorite.

Late Post - Our 10th Anniversary Party

Monday, May 7th, marked the 10 year anniversary for Ric and I. The following Saturday, May 12th, we were joined by a group of friends to celebrate. Thank you, everyone, for making the party so fantastic.

Here we are at Urban Mo's - Grant, Brandy, me and Ric

Late Post - Grant's Birthday SCUBA Party

This year, we wanted to do something different for Grant on his birthday. So with the help of our friends Joe and Katy, we threw Grant a SCUBA Pool Party!

Here is the party room and the birthday cake, both decorated in a fish and ocean theme (of course).

Grant, enjoying the first of several margaritas.

And then it was time to get in the water...

Afterwards, most of the gang went to Chili's for dinner. Turns out it was the last night and the last table for our waitress, who was moving to Los Angeles. Nice to meet ya, Jo!