Monday, December 24, 2012

Can Vegetarians Be Foodies?

Foodies and vegetarianism.

This was an interesting discussion that was had at dinner this evening with my two favorite dining companions. Before I delve into this discussion, I need to define the terms and parameters for myself.

A foodie, according to Webster's is a person having an avid interest in the latest food fads.
By this definition, I am not a foodie. There are things that I will not eat since I am a vegetarian. Even before the switch, there are many tings that I would not eat.  I am a very texture driven person and quite a few foods had the wrong texture for me to even try let alone swallow.  This fact is probably one of the main reasons giving up meat was very easy for me to do. 

 What I do enjoy is the social aspect of getting together with friends and/or relations at non-chain restaurants and enjoying their company and getting a meal that meets my dietary requirements.  The discussion came up at this point as to whether restaurant was artist driven or business driven.  The trendiest of the trendiest restaurants catering to the latest fads , the chef will become apoplectic if you ask for even one small change in a menu item to meet your dietary likes, dislikes, and/or allergies.  Servers will not let it progress this far since they will have no problem informing you that the chef makes no changes and that you need to find another item. I had one server who did not do this until all my friends were being served and then I was informed at that point the the chef could not comply with my request for how I wanted my steak (pre-vegetarian days clearly) and I needed to choose another item.  Much to my later dining companions chagrin, I complied and did not raise a righteous fuss. That is a topic for another post.

One of my dining companions mounted a defense of the creative artistic side of the business by stating that while I was not wrong for having preferences, the chef was in his rights as an artiste to deny any requests s/he deemed unreasonable. My point is that I rarely choose the restaurants since I can find most things on a menu to suit my needs anyway, but I expect a reasonable accommodation since I am hanging out with my friends, usually all omnivores, and since I am paying my hard earned cash for it.  It was pointed out to me, rightly so, that most restaurants for those deep in the foodie cult are not meant to be "hung out" in. He compared the chef to himself working as an architect and unreasonable client demands if the client came to him for his expertise and particular design style and then started eliminating design elements.

I do need to point out that all restaurants, except one, have made no bones about at least asking the chef what vegetarian options s/he can come up with if none are on the menu. The one place that did did accommodate me, but only after the server insisted that the chef would be angry at her and me for even asking. One of my dining companions pointed out the restaurant was probably a hobby restaurant and not much concerned with customer satisfaction.

I have seen foodies, they eat anything and everything, as part of the experience. I have seen their TV shows, read their articles and blogs. They never focus on the restaurant atmosphere unless it is edible and/or an integral part of the meal. Foodies tend to have no dietary restrictions nor allergies of any kind.

So I ask my readers to comment on if a vegetarian can be a foodie. My research would tend to lead to a negative answer, but I would love to hear other responses.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Front Page News

After 1 1/2 years of living in the desert, my husband and I finally made the news locally. We are pictured and featured in an article about gays and the local housing market in Palm Springs. This is even more exiting because our picture was on the front page of the newspaper and we were "above the fold", which means we are what desert dwellers woke up to this morning on their breakfast tables. This would be enough of a story except that I do need to share what happened during the photo shoot.

As we were being photographed for the story, a car drove past and the occupant called out "FAGS!" and drove off. He did not drive far, he turned into a house two doors down form us. This unnerved me. Palm Springs is relatively gay-friendly and accepting, but to have a neighbor do this to us was beyond belief.  We finished the photo shoot and our friend who was watching the dogs during the photo taking and my husband ,went to confront what we though was a college age kid at most. What we discussed was a drunk 45 year old man living  with and possibly abusing his parents. The man came out of his house and pushed our friend and made thinly veiled threats to our safety. The cops were called by us.

The Palm Springs Police came by about three hours after  our call letting us know they would look into the matter but that we should have not responded at all to the slurs hurled out of car windows. We did let them know that we normally do not, however a neighbor doing this was beyond the pale. Turns out the neighbor in question is well known to police who called an ambulance to pick him up and got an apology out of him before taking him to the hospital for alcohol intoxication and being off his psychotropic medications. His poor mother did try to apologize to us while we called the police.

About an hour after our phone call a strung out hippie on a bicycle came by and wanted to know why we couldn't all just get along and why we were the troublemakers in the neighborhood, since we do not want to have our neighbors have a permanent garage sale (Palm Springs allows two per residence per year with a permit only) and do not want to be verbally assaulted on our property. My husband had words with him that evening. This same man approached my mother the next day with the same requests. Apparently we are the bad guys for standing up for our right s and our neighborhood environs. Fine, we are the bad guys then.

Confrontations of any kind tend to unnerve me and to have three in one evening (drunk crazy guy, bicycle guy, police) unglued me a bit. I have recovered and my husband and our friend are my knights in shining armor, as always. Palm Springs is very gay and very accepting, but one must realize that there are pockets of hatred in every community. Rooting them out and holding them accountable is the hard part and that very rarely makes the front page.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Tale of Two Restaurants- A Tragedy in Two Acts

Dateline: Memorial Day Weekend, 2012
Act 1
Location: Waterfront Restaurant, Newport Beach, CA

We come up on this chosen restaurant (name withheld to protect the guilty, but read Yelp for more information) around 7:30pm to see a line. After putting our names in, and told that it is about 40 minutes to seating, my three dining companions and I take a short walk and then retire to the bar area for a cocktail. The bar area is trashed with paper and appetizer detritus everywhere.  The server does a brush off of the coffee table and couch and takes our drink orders and brings us bread.  After 15 minutes, no drinks and we are being led to our table, which we assumed was on the patio facing the boats, which was our request. The first table offered was inside, we rejected it. The second table offered was on the alley side near where the restaurant staff brings out the garbage, also rejected. After much cajoling, we are seated dockside at a table with no lights and two place settings. Extra place settings are not brought until after the salad course is served.

I am a vegetarian, which proves difficult for me at specialty restaurants like steakhouses or seafood restaurants, like this one. I ask the waitress about options for me and she points towards the salads on the menu (traditional fall back for lazy chefs) or assures me that a pasta dish could be modified without seafood and with vegetables instead. I order the linguini vongole minus the vongole (clams in the shell) and a roasted beet and spinach salad.  All other first courses are brought out at the same time, but mine, which I had to wait an extra ten minutes for and remind two different server/runners about.  I am not even halfway through my salad and the main course is served. Much shuffling of plates ensues and I am presented with plain pasta (no promised garlic butter shallot sauce) and overcooked zucchini and broccoli on it. I have a dining companion taste it just to make sure that there is in fact no sauce.  There is none. I send it back for lack of flavor and color (I notice that carrots and red bell peppers are offered on other diners dishes) and assure them that they cannot fix this with an Alfredo sauce. I have salad only.

One of the braver dining companions complains to management about our treatment and several faux pas (including an unclean men's room) and we get my meal taken off and 25% discount on everything else. We did let them know that two of our dining companions are regulars at this and other locations and have never received such poor service. This is followed by a lame excuse about the holiday weekend. We are implored to return and try them again, I will if offered a coupon.

Act 2
Location: Arenas Road, Palm Springs, CA (The Next Night)

I am with my favorite dining companion at a restaurant I have been meaning to try for a while. It is a hole in the wall place that features pizza and other psuedo-italian fare. We are one of two couples on the front patio and the other couple already has their entree. There is a smattering of others inside.  We order our vegetarian entrees and notice a party of four has now joined the outdoor seating. While we have our cocktails, we notice them order and get their appetizers.  Next they get their pizza after we get assurances that our order is coming right up.  Five more times the waiter sashays through our area without bringing us our food and hand serving slices to the group of four. After noticing our displeasure, a comment and vague promise was made. ten more minutes goes by and no food. I get up and go over to the manager and waiter and cancel our orders and want the cocktail bill. Our drinks are comped and we storm out to have a sandwich at home.

Lovely weekend for restaurants!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Reflections on the Demise of the Gay Dance Club

The gay dance club is dead.  It has been dead for a least two years now due to several influences, so ggod, some bad, and some due to changing times and attitudes.  There is no place where men can go and dance with other like-minded men to the greatest hits of the day.  Let's follow the clues and see where it leads us.  I just have anecdotal evidence, and have not compiled a CSI-like train of clues to lead to the killer.

Dateline Palm Springs 2012- Toucan's Tiki Lounge
This place, ostensibly a gay bar,  has a small dance floor and a large tiki bar atmosphere. The DJs range from so-so to fabulous depending on the night. ON the surface, it sounds great. Once inside, clues began to appear that this place had a clientele change.  On the video screen was a reminder that this place was a gay bar, never a good sign. Who were they reminding? I knew where I was. Second clue, large coteries of straight women, spinning around a girl either in a crown or bridal veil, proudly proclaiming that hey were there for a bachelorette party.  I watched a single man try and pick up a single woman. I watched as straight women dragged their GBFs (Gay Best Friend) onto the dance floor since their boyfriends would not dance. I watched as signs of the polite society disappeared, such as bar tabs requiring two forms of ID and no real glass barware. The final clue, a good-looking gay guy and friend of mine, asks me to dance with him so that the straight women will stop bumping and grinding up against him and he can meet someone gay.

Part of the mainstreaming and acceptance of gays is the fact that straight people will feel comfortable around us and come out and party with us. A good thing, overall, but the distress of seeing spots disappear that allow gay men to party and be themselves is overwhelming at times.  Straight women, mainly twenty-something city dwellers and suburban housewives, who were our first allies, wanted to come to our clubs to party without worrying about being hit on by skeevy guys.  Their boyfriends and husbands were not threatened by us.  This started as a once in awhile type thing. Then they decided to bring their friends, their own parties, and their boyfriends/husbands.  These straight men, while trying to be brave, added an undesirable element in that they were uncomfortable and afraid of being hit on or afraid of NOT being hit on. These straight men brought their judgements and comments with them, when seeing two men either dance together or, heaven forbid, kiss each other.

Now if I hear about a hot gay dance club in town, I do go and check it out. Here is what I see, a line around the block of straight women in provocative attire and if I manage to get into the club, there are maybe five gay men and that is it. If I wanted to spend my evening dancing with straight women, I would go to one of the straight dance clubs. Almost all of my night spots are experiencing this takeover. My husband, my friends, and I heave a collective sigh as we watch yet another drunken bridal party enter our clubs, hog the dance floor, completely surround the go-go boys, and  stomp on our evening and force us out of our own clubs. A couple of clubs in Washington DC tried to do something about it by outlawing bridal parties or restricting entry in other ways. This was only partly successful and I am sure is a lawsuit waiting to happen.

Dance bars in major metropolitan areas I have been to recently have either closed because they became straight bars on the nights when people go out and lost all of their gay business during other nights or have put up sign all over the place stating that this is a gay bar and have instituted more security than the Michael Jackson trial.

I value all of our straight allies and love them for the hearts and minds they help us win over towards full equality. This just does not mean I want to party with them all of the time.  Sometimes, I just want to dance with my "sisters" on a crowded dance floor. Is that so wrong?

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Husky Pants

I have always been uncomfortable in my own skin.  I do not remember a time, when confronted with my image in the mirror, I did not think that this could be better.  I know I am not alone in this and I also know that I do feel good about myself in other ways, so this thought process, while not entirely healthy, is not life-crippling either.

One of the more damaging times came when I was a child, somewhere between the first and fourth grades. I do not remember the year. I was an overweight child, not as massive as some of today's youth, but not lean and mean either. Because of this, I had to wear the dreaded "husky" pants. The pants, in denim or corduroy, had a huge label like Levi's does on the waistband above the derriere that states in large print "HUSKY".  It might as well have said "child-size wide load" and come with flashing back-up lights. I hated wearing those pants, especially when I came to realize that not all clothes had this label.  My ever-loving classmates at the private Christian school with Southern Baptist leanings were more than happy to point this out to me. These same classmates were also quite happy to be the first to call me "fag", since I did not play touch football with the other boys, but wanted to trade brightly colored stickers with the girls.

Looking back through my yearbooks, a exercise more emotionally damaging than anything else I can think of, I have always been husky, even in junior high when I first kissed another boy and it meant something to me, and in high school, when as the lone male cheerleader, I desperately tried to prove my hetero-tendencies by kissing several girls. I remember my cheerleading adviser telling me to lose weight over the summer and get buff and tan.  Interesting instructions since our squad was primarily dance driven and not focused on partner stunts nor pyramid building. This is when it dawned on me that dancers are judged on their looks as well as their ability to perform. Sigh.

Fast forward twenty years and I am still "husky". Not as bad as I was a few years ago, but not where I want to be either. My husband and I started Weight Watchers together about two years ago.  Then came the physical separation where I moved to California before he did and then lived 100 hundred miles away form him for the better part of a year where I only saw him on weekends. This separation played such havoc on my psyche that I slipped into old eating patterns very easily and undid most of the weigh loss I had experienced.  My husband kept up with his weigh loss and reached his goal weight. I am very proud of him for this.

The other side of this is that mutual friends who have not seen us in a while, constantly comment on his weight loss and how good he looks, which he does. They then glance over to me and the momentary look crosses their face of how I have not changed that much. It is good to see me, but let's get back to fawning over my husband. Bigger sigh.

I have made dietary changes, a switch to vegetarianism being the most fulfilling. I am slowly losing weight again and getting back on track.  This is where shame gets the better of me though. Although I did well on Weight Watchers, I do not want to go back until I am where I was when I fell off the wagon so to speak.  Same goes for picking out a new primary care doctor.  I just do not want to get back on the scale and blush so hard that blood vessels will surely burst. I fully realize that this is not the behavior of a rational person.

I started working out with a personal trainer this past Monday. If you want to see how far you have to go, do squats in a mirror at the gym. This exercise forces you into the most ugly position and you will see how far you have to go.  Biggest sigh of all. However,  I will get to where I want to be, slowly and on my own terms, if only to be shame free for that part of my life.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

You're A What?

People are funny with their responses when I describe who I am or what I do.  I am a gay surgical nurse who is vegetarian. That is me in the simplest of terms. There are not a lot of adjectives to comprehend. A person upon hearing this does not need the newest edition of Webster's to figure out any of the terms I just used.

The fact that I am a surgical nurse is usually a conversation killer.  When standing in a group of new acquaintances and the subject of work comes up, most people describe some sort of desk job which involves thinking about something or pushing papers to a subordinate. Upon my turn and I say "surgical nurse" most people respond with a horrified stare. I do not know what is in their mind. Perhaps they imagine me as a scalpel wielding psychopath willing to do an emergency tracheotomy at the slightest sign of respiratory distress. The other picture is usually of me elbows deep in someone's abdomen covered in gore and pulling out all their internal organs. Both of these are quite far from what I actually do, but the human mind is a vast wasteland filled with nonsense form cable television.

The other response if that of "how noble'. I never think of what I do is noble. I just like helping and caring for people at one of their most vulnerable times, which is when they are under anesthesia and unable to advocate for themselves. There seems to be at times an underlying judgment with that statement though. Like they think that I think that I am better than they are based on my career. Also, very far from the truth. I used to be a government paper pusher until I decided that I could be more fulfilled as a nurse. I make no judgements about how others make a living.

The responses to the fact that I am a gay man are to numerous to mention, but usually range from acceptance to a silent acknowledgment. I luckily have not had too many truly horrific responses to this utterance.

The vegetarian thing is the one that most people have the hardest time wrapping their heads around. This revelation is usually followed by a grocery list of meat, poultry, and seafood products that I am asked if I eat. I want to scream as the quizzing continues, "None of these items is a vegetable, so I do not eat it!!!" But in the interest of enlightenment and education, I politely answer each and every question.

I have never liked seafood and always had weird issues around meat and poultry, in as much as it did not take much to put me off my meal. Quite a few people want to offer helpful nutritional advice about proteins and supplements. I politely listen, and then disregard most advice as misinformed about modern vegetarianism and how we get our nutritional needs met. I do just fine and have come off my medications for various diseases of prosperity by making the switch. I also feel much better than I have in years.

Desert living has been good to me in that I live in a beautiful place with a simple way of life and am trying to leave less of a footprint on the planet everyday.

I invite you to follow my blog as I continue this funny and interesting journey in desert living.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Defining Myself

Since I have just passed a milestone year, I am consumed with trying to define myself in concrete terms that reflect who I am as an individual. There are the adjectives I know, the adjectives I aspire to, and the adjectives I hope never to have applied to my person. When writing a eulogy, it is the adjectives that help define the person who has past and will inspire the audience to tears, or anger, or both.

Some of the adjectives I know already and come from my chosen occupation as a surgical nurse.  Some are just universally applied to me by people who do not know much about me. "Kind", "helpful", "caring" come with the job and make me one of the better nurses in the field. "Smart" is usually applied to me my past teachers and some co-workers by how quickly I can pick up on new routines and how I absorb knowledge like a sponge.  These adjectives I cherish because not everyone gets them for themselves and I have definitely earned them.

There are other adjectives that I long to achieve in my lifetime. Aspiring to some of these is a shallow effort and play to my vanity. I am ashamed to admit to this. One of these is "stunning". I have never had my looks called stunning.  I can pull off "cute" with some effort and with a lot of effort and some drinking by the adjective giver," adorable" and "kissable" are within my grasp.  Never stunning. Perhaps my lack of a gregarious nature or ease in social situations plays into this. Better diet and more exercise that I currently get would help as well. I know, all vanity, and I will say my mea culpas later. How does a Jew say mea culpa?

Another one I aspire to is "creative". I have never really had an artistic or creative outlet, at least not in many years.  Dance in high school through classes and my cheerleading was the last time I tried that particular outlet. I have always wanted to take a ballroom dancing class. Just find a class, where I could show up without a partner and where no one knew me so I could learn in anonymity and not feel self-conscious. I do not think my husband would understand this, but there it is. My propensity to trip over nothing injures my pride more than anything else. I have just bought a digital camera in hopes that I could use photography as an outlet for me. Still not sure how or who I would share these photos with, probably with this blog in the future.

The adjectives I do not aspire to, but am afraid have been applied to me are "temperamental", "selfish", "thoughtless", and a few others that should not be shared in the blogosphere with out a profanity sensor. I recently gave the wide world a look into my temperament (see previous post), which I was not exceedingly proud to do. On more than one occasions, the others have been applied to me in various situations, where in an attempt to find a gracious way out, I took the easy way. also, not my shining moments.

My biggest hope is that the good outweighs the bad and the help I give outdoes the hurt I cause. I choose not to look back on anything with regret, but as a learning experience. It should all lead me to the noun I desire most, "mensch".

Monday, February 20, 2012

Being Brave After 40

A few weeks ago, I turned forty and have to say that so far, this side of the big 4-0 looks exactly like the other side, so far.  My more cyncial friends and relations keep popping up with comments about "going downhill" or "new aches and pains. I feel sorry for them if that what being 40 means.

For me, 40 means I might actually be taken seriously and not called "young'n" or be chastised with the phrase "but you are so young" or my favorite "but you are such a baby still". Hopefully being 40 puts an end to some of that nonsense.  However, given the demographic here in Palm Springs, CA, this may be too much to hope for this year.

Being 40 should also mean that I should not be afraid of so much anymore. At least, not afraid of what people might think of me for various things I may or may not do. Many times in my life I have been stymied by the thoughts of what people may say or think about what I am contemplating. I have had a few shining moments of bravery, such as being the only male cheerleader at my high school for three years or changing careers at age 33. No regrets on either of those things.

Usually I am moved to inaction in smaller things, like saying hi to someone new in a social setting or going to a club that interests me by myself without my gregarious husband to help break the ice for me. I am hoping to be braver in these smaller things so that I can develop hobbies, interests, and more friends and start to more concretely define myself away from my job and my marriage.

I wish sometimes I could be a as brave as my husband, who has no problem meeting people and striking up a conversation. I suppose his theater training helps a lot in that respect. Or at least be as brave as my friend and fellow blog writer, Milton, who recently started Israeli martial arts courses.

Mostly I just want to live life more fully and with better intent that I did in my twenties and thirties.  This blog I hope to use as a vehicle to spur me to more action and to report on the results, which knowing my track record should be amusing.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

And Then This Cairn Terrier Flew By

Last Saturday was quite a day for the household and this little of oasis called Palm Springs.  First the household got a new means of transportation, then we nearly got blown down to Baja by the Wicked Witch of Windstorms. We are all fine and the city will recover.

The started like any other weekend with my impulse to but something. In this case, it was bicycles. We had been talking about getting these for quite sometime, ever since our move across the country from Maryland to California. Large parts of this megalopolis know as the Coachella Valley are flat and you need nothing more than one gear to bike around town. It has been several years since I have had to buy a bicycle and suffered from sticker shock when walking into a local cycle shop and discovering that one speed "Townies" would cost upwards of $400. For that price, I should also get a handsome go-go boy to ride on the back of the bike with his muscled arms cinched around my waste as we cruise through the gayborhood.

After some internet research, a trip to Riverside ensued in which we test drove bikes out of garage of a private home. This man has a wonderful website about things to look for when buying a used bike and he also sells new and used bikes. We would up buying two new bikes from him for a reasonable price and loaded them into the Subaru. This is when my mother, as part of the Mothers Weather Network, called to warn us about the dust and wind warning covering Palm Springs. As we were leaving right then, we felt sure that we would beat the winds.

Driving on the I-10, heading past Morongo, we looked past the twirling giants that guard the entrance to our Shangri-la, and saw the beginnings of dust rising up over the valley, not quite a haboob, but close. Dramatic music began to play off the iPod and a sense of dread permeated the car.

We made it around the base of Mt. San Jacinto with little difficulty and just minor dust flurries briefly obscuring our vision. Downtown Palm Springs was a different story. As we approached we had a blinding gust blow up around us and the entrance to the tram. The next problem was the traffic jam at the beginning of downtown that extended into the Uptown Design District. We turned off to get around it and had flying pieces of artwork from the art festival to deal with. Those poor artists lost tents, artwork, and much more from the damage that was immediately visible. As we passed undeveloped blocks of Indian land on our way home, these gusts, which topped 65 miles per hour, would obliterate views of the block and I would have to almost come to a complete stop for fear of running into a car or pedestrian in front of me.

Upon returning home, we watched as our swimming pool and hot tub, both began to look like we pumped water from the Louisiana bayous to fill them. Ficus leaves, palm bark, dust and sand covered everything. We were lucky though, our carport did not collapse, nor did anything fall on our car nor our house. Others in the community did not share our luck.

The cleanup around the house, thanks to the gardeners and pool people, is mostly complete. According to locals, while this was the worst they had seen n a few years, windstorms like this happen about twice a year. We can deal with this. We just have to remember to lay low, not go out, and look for flying witches and Cairn terriers in baskets.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

It Was A Full Moon, But All I Saw Was Stars

Immediately after returning form Los Angeles with a U-Haul full of apartment furnishings, my good friend whisked me away to the premiere red carpet event in Palm Springs,  the Awards Red Carpet for the Palm Springs International Film Festival.  This friends of mine was inspired by a Facebook post of a contest I entered through a local TV station for tickets to the bleachers of this event to enter as well.  He won, and since I inspired the win, he brought me along with the second ticket.

The event did not start out as a grand evening of fun and frivolity. It started as an afternoon of near blindness and boredom. First, we had to be there at 2:30 pm for an event that was not going to start until 5:30 maybe. The awards gala was at 7:00 pm so the red carpet was going to start at 5:30 according to crowd guesstimate.

Next we went through a metal detector  that was somewhat reminiscent of what some inner city high schools used back in the early nineties. We were allowed to choose which seats we wanted. We choose the top row back in a corner where hopefully, no one would block our photo ops.  During this entire time, we are forgetting we are in the desert in winter.  This means that when we took our bleacher seats, we are staring directly into the blazing setting sun...for two hours.  We may not be able to see anyone famous even if they came up and gave us a lap dance due to our retinas being permanently damaged.

The crowd surrounding us kept us mildly entertained and annoyed during our wait time. Included in this are the extreme fans, who want nothing more than a photo op with a start on their iPhone, their face mashed against a start in some cheesy photo that will be used to prove to friends and relations how well connected they are. There is also a couple who is swearing up and down that they know most of these starts when they were less famous and so they will get a personal hello and time with this celebrity. As always there is a precocious young girl who is hell bent on getting face time with the stars and brought an autograph book ans spent most of the time before the stars arrived haranguing those around her for a pen, because she forgot one.

Around 4:45pm the chaos began with the arrival of the first marquee star. The bleachers immediately emptied to the front rows and left my friend and I to fire away with unobstructed shots, except when his arm got in my way. The couple was swearing they knew her when was calling out her name and was somewhat perturbed when she did not come over to our section. The girl, with pilfered pen in hand, was trying to get her first autograph by being impossibly obnoxious, and the women with signs did nothing, because this was not the one they came to see.

I could go into an entire list of who I saw and who they were wearing, but that was done by other bloggers who specialize in that kind of star watching. I got to check something off my life list and both my friend and I swore we would never do this again because extreme boredom paired with chaos and mayhem is just not our thing. I did get some good photos though.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

You Shoulda Been Here Last Week

This is the phrase that seems to punctuate my social life.  If it is a recurring social function, chances are that I will show up the week after their best function ever. A congruence of planet alignment, social migration patterns, and kismet that descends on a particular social function once, and then next week I will arrive.

Last night, my husband and I went out to a local watering hole for a recurring weekly event that had been repeated described to me as a good time, a lot of fun, and other superlatives too numerous to mention. We agreed to meet a friend there. We then proceeded to experience one of the most ho-hum evenings ever recorded in the desert. This anomaly was apparently due to one or more of the following reasons:
1) It is winter (provided by my husband) Winter is high season here in the desert, so this does not fly.
2) It is just after the holidays (provided by a friend) Possible, but unlikely, considering the propensity for good times by the local and transient population of this locale.
3) It is cold outside (provided from numerous sources) Cold is a relative term, and cold should not be 61 degrees F, the temperature registered on the patio of the watering hole.

The most plausible explanation is that kismet and karma once again teamed up to laugh in my face. Part of this I would blame on my LA exile which recently ended. However, I found the same to be true out in Los Angeles.

Another night out, another watering hole, one featuring a world renowned drag show every Tuesday night.  I go out in mid-August, figuring that the confluence of college students returning to school and the height of the LA tourist season would at least present me with lots of people in a small space and the eye candy that would invariably show up. I was one of 10 people in the audience for the first show at 10:30pm, which is the appropriate hour to start showing up for gay nightlife. The drag queens look confused and still tried to rally our spirits, but with the fact that tips were going to be scarce that night, they phone in their performances. The bartender tried to assure me that this was an anomaly and said, "You shoulda been here last week, were were packed and the ladies were on fire."

The greater question is why do people feel the need to tell me this factoid. Already feeling a bit bummed by having a lack of a good time right now, why tell me about what a good time I missed last week. Is this supposed to assuage me in some fashion? I am supposed to feel better by the fact that other people on a different night had a blast at this particular establishment. The bigger question is, why are they not here this week to help me blow off some steam? I am not asking for a lot, just a repeat of the festivities of the week before to help me celebrate or de-stress my life.

I am not a complete Sad Sack, and I have had good nights out on the town with my husband and friends. But even when I am having a blast, I almost always here either a bartender, a bar back, or a patron say, "Yeah, this is good, but you shoulda been here last week." Really? Why deflate my good time with this little statement?

So the moral of this blog entry is, go out and have fun, no matter when. However, to ensure a great time, check my social calendar first, then show up the week before I do.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

New Year with Reintegration Challenges

As I transition from my split life to a full time residence in Palm Springs, CA, a few things become quite clear. The climate and people are more to my liking here in Palm Springs, Sunday is no longer a day of dread, and in the span of 8 months of single guy apartment living in Los Angeles, I have managed to accumulate the most amazing amount of crap.

I have duplicates of just about everything that my husband and I have in the Palm Springs residence. Discovering this and reintegrating the apartment stuff into the house has posed some interesting conversation topics:
-Which can opener is better?
-Where did all this paper come from?
-How do you fit two living room sets in one living room?

Reintegration has been good for one main reason. It has forced us to optimize the storage space we have here. One weekend saw us empty out all the cupboards in the hall and master bathroom and reorganize so that a linen area was created in the master bath and a psuedo-pantry was created in the hall. This useful except that he pantry is quite away from the kitchen.

The big challenges happens next weekend when the apartment furniture arrives from Los Angeles. A swap and redesign of the master bedroom furniture is planned for as well as the creation of an outdoor living room/zen area/party lounge so that we do not feel like fools for purchasing apartment furniture for only eight months.

Yes, we though the time in the apartment would be longer and the purchases we thought were necessary at the time.  However, it is much better to have this problem, rather than to drive sadly way from my family every Sunday night.

Reintegration is going to take awhile, but family is worth it.

My hope is to relay all the ups and downs of my life as a Desert RN through this blog. I hope you follow along with me.