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Archive for the ‘friends’ Category

Trike Mike

My friend from high school, Michael, scored a sweet gig over the next several months. He has been chosen as a contractor to ride a photographing tricycle for google street maps. Below is video with him and a google spokeswoman explaining what he does. Here’s to having the courage to step out and try a new adventure!

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One year ago today I told my wife I was gay and began this blog. What a year it has been! Over 61,000 blog views, over 1,000 comments and 148 posts.

I know that I made the right decision to come out to my wife and us splitting up was also the right decision for us. Both of my parents have come to accept who I really am and most of my friends have been supportive as well. The following other events occurred over the last year:

The Bad

– My wife made the difficult decision to move to Florida. I continue to miss her and my dogs. Thankfully, she is doing well and seems okay and the divorce preparation has been going well, too. Although extremely difficult, she could not have handled all of this any better

– My grandmother died of Alzheimer’s Disease over the Summer.

The Good

– I was very lucky and found a great boyfriend in Bell Guy a few months after coming out. He moved in with me about six weeks ago and I look forward to many years of continued happiness with him.

– I got promoted twice and have now reached the pinnacle of the career ladder at my company at the age of 31.

– I had the pleasure of chatting with people from all over the world that I have met from this blog. I consider many of you friends, appreciate your support over the last year and look forward to meeting more of you when I have the opportunity. You know who you are.

– I have gotten to do a lot of travel this past year which was great fun.

Looking back, I think the year prior to this one was more difficult for me, as I was making the decision to come out. I am really looking forward to some stability and a “normal” year coming up, as I think most of my challenges are behind me. One goal is to come out to more people as I firmly believe it is important that people see gays as normal people and me coming out will perpetuate that. If every gay person came out, I know we’d be further along in our rights than we are today.

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Bell Guy is a somewhat early riser and when he tries to be quiet he is generally louder than he would be if he were not trying so hard to be so quiet. I call it him being a bull in a china shop. The bull got up fairly early, made his way through the china shop and then left for the lobby to get his coffee.

He returned an hour or so later and I got up and got ready to go. We had a big day planned: Hancock Observatory, double decker bus tour of the city, Art Institute of Chicago and meet an old friend.

We walked up Michigan Avenue to the John Hancock Building and Observatory where there was only one person selling tickets and she was also answering the phones (why wouldn’t they have more people working on a holiday?). They had an auto ticket machine and, although we had coupons, I became impatient with the line that was not moving and we went and used the machine. The cost was a little more but my blood pressure went down so it was worth it.

The elevator ride to the top is “the fastest in the world” or the “fastest in the US” depending on who is telling you the story. Anyways, it was fast and the view from above was terrific.

We spent awhile at the observatory and waited for some clouds to move so we could get a good view of all four directions.

After departing the observatory, we went and ate at a yummy French bistro a few blocks away. I cannot remember the name of it but we had a nice view of the street and I remember a shirtless guy walking by which grabbed my attention for a moment. He also caused a ruckus at a table of a couple of other gays nearby.

After lunch, it was time for the double decker city tour. Rosita was our tour guide and I thought she did a good job. It was a hop on-hop off tour but we hopped on near the observatory and stayed on for the entire two hour tour.

Wrigley Building with flag for the 4th.

Art somewhere downtown. I'm sure Steven or Justin will remind me where.

Soldier Field. I loved the '85 Bears and Jim McMahon. Hero.

Navy Pier. This was as close to the pier as we got this trip.

We got off the bus back at the observatory and went across the street so Bell Guy could get his free Hershey bar from the Hershey store (bus ticket had a coupon). We quickly ate the chocolate while looking at Bentleys through the windows of the Bentley store down the block. We continued around the corner and found an Italian place that we decided we wanted to eat at later in the trip.

We headed back to the hotel and were able to relax for about an hour or so before meeting one of Bell Guy’s friends at the Art Institute of Chicago. This museum is free on Friday and Saturday evenings. Bruno, Bell Guy’s friend, was quick to find us in the museum. He and Bell Guy were close pals in college but had not seen each other in 8 years! Bruno is a super nice guy and the reunion of the two old farts was nice as well. Bruno gave us an abbreviated tour of the museum, which was huge and had lots of works of art. Next time, I want to go back because it turns out the museum has the famous American Gothic painting and I only realized that after we were leaving. From there, we walked back across the river and ate at a decent restaurant we had found earlier on Open Table. I got to hear all about Bell Guy and Bruno’s “gay adolescence” in college. Bell Guy was quite a character. Wait, he still is.

After dinner, we walked around the Tribune Tower, which has pieces of different buildings from across the world built into the side of it.

Bell Guy and Stone from his Home State of Vermont

Bell Guy at the Tribune Tower and stone from his home state of Vermont.

Wrigley Building from afar.

After walking around a bit more, we were really tired and went back to the hotel around 10pm. Another good day. Has Chicago become my favorite Summer city (right now that title goes to Denver)? Or even my favorite overall city (that title goes to New York)?

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Bell Guy and I planned Saturday to go to Baltimore to meet some of his friends and take in the Gay Pride Parade. My first Gay Pride event in my young tenure as an old gay guy.

We made it up there in the early afternoon and met a friend for lunch. I didn’t eat much as I was feeling bloated and a little off.

After lunch we walked around a bit, waiting for the parade to begin, and chatted with other friends of friends in a gay bar near the parade route. It was warm and there was little shade so it was nice to be inside. I went to the bathroom, still feeling off but returned a few seconds later.

About five minutes later, I returned to the bathroom and the toilet was being used. So I barfed in the sink. That’s right, for the first time since I can remember, I barfed. I barfed a lot. Guys came in and asked if I was okay which was nice of them. One asked if I had too much to drink. No, that wasn’t it. I do not drink at all. He wondered aloud what it could be as he left the bathroom. I texted Bell Guy that I needed help and by the time he got the text I was out of the bathroom. I felt better but was told that I looked “a little green.”

Longer story short, we took a cab back to friend’s apartment, got Bell Guy’s car and returned apartment keys back to friend at the parade route. Actually Bell Guy did. I sat in the car. He prepared a triple layer barf sack from plastic grocery bags and we headed back towards DC. We missed the entire parade.

About half way down I-95, I told him it would be a miracle if I made it back to his place without barfing again. He was surprised that I said that. Five minutes later I did barf again and nearly filled up the triple layer barf sack. So gross.

We arrived back at his place at about 5pm. I asked if Bell Guy had any irritating neighbors he wanted me to leave the barf sack with, but he declined. We went upstairs and I got in bed. Bell Guy set up a barf bucket. About 9pm that night I got barfed again and at that point there was little left in my stomach and, you know, barfing on an empty stomach hurts like hell.

Needless to say I did not sleep well Saturday night. Although I did not get sick, I was uncomfortable. Yesterday I stayed in bed all day and ate virtually nothing but did not get sick.

Today I was back at work but felt woozy until I had some lunch. I lost almost five pounds between Friday and this morning. Yikes. All appears well now and I hope it is a few more years until I barf again. Thanks to Bell Guy for being a great Barf Buddy.

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Finally a little about my trip to Vegas a couple weeks ago…

The purpose of the trip was for a convention but I went out early with some coworkers that had never been to Vegas. I’d share pics we took but coworker has yet to send them to me so the ones below I lifted from the Internet.

The JetBlue flight was suweet. I somehow snagged exit row seats for us the day of the flight, which made the long flight so much more bearable. Lots of free snacks and Juno was the in-flight movie. While I had seen it, I watched it again because it is such a cute movie.

After selecting the rental car and trying to leave the airport, the guard noticed the license plate was expired so we had to go back and switch cars. This was irritating since it was 2am Eastern time at this point and we were all beat. They said they’d knock some money off the bill for the inconvenience. I’m still waiting.

I stayed most of the trip at the MGM Grand. It is a huge hotel but we were able to find a short cut from our rooms to the lobby via the stairwells. That took some doing and involved getting lost outside in an employee area and getting rescued by a hotel worker at one point but ended up saving time in the long run.

The next day I took the gang to the Hoover Dam. It was incredibly windy that day but was not freezing and the dam was not terribly crowded. If you have yet to see the Hoover Dam in person, you should go at least once. Really is spectacular to think how those men were able to build so many years ago.

hoover.jpg

We ate a late lunch at Claim Jumper, which was so yummy. After lunch we headed to Red Rock Park, which was really beautiful.

nevada-red-rock-canyon.jpg

That night, we went and saw Cirque du Soleil’s Mystere. It was a great show. One scene was so homoerotic I know I had to have been blushing. If you ever have a chance to see a Cirque show, it is worth your time and money. For the record, my favorite is Ka.

The next day we explored The Strip. The hotels never cease to amaze me. Lots of fun and great people watching. I learned how to play video poker and now have a mild addiction. Thankfully one doesn’t lose much playing the nickel machines.

The convention began the following day and was probably the best one I have attended in five years. The sessions were quite informative and I have already implemented some of the ideas I learned about.

Journey was the group performing for Fun Night and totally rocked. Their new lead singer is absolutely amazing. He sounded just like the original lead singer. I think I’d pay to see them again.

Bell Guy arrived that night and I’ll blog about the rest of the trip tomorrow ☺

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When we (me and two coworkers) checked into the hotel, I very stupidly asked if we could have rooms near one another. Now, this hotel has over 5,000 rooms so maybe that was a good idea at the time but I did not think it through. When the front desk girl told me that she could only put us in rooms close to one another if we were in the wing that only had king beds I agreed. Again, I didn’t think that through. Granted, at that point it was about 2am “home” time and my brain must have been somewhere else.

As I previously blogged, Bell Guy gets here in a few days. I am not out to these two coworkers and they think that I am still happily married. Now, I will have a man staying with me in my room. In a room with only one bed.

I have considered changing rooms but I unpacked days ago and I am nice and settled. I told Bell Guy about my dilemma and while he said it was up to me as to what to do, I know he is growing tired of me having to hide behind this idea that I am straight and things are normal for me at home. It is not unusual for me to be paranoid when I am out with him and we are in areas where there is a greater chance that we will run into people that I will know (that happened once and although I had a mild heart attack I survived and do not think the person had any suspicions).

I’ve decided that I am not switching rooms. One coworker leaves the morning after Bell Guy arrives and if the other sees me and Bell Guy together I’ll have to deal with it. I do not want people to think I am running around my wife’s back with some guy but I am not going to sneak around either.

I have said to myself a million times over the last six months that my one main issue I have with all of this is not me being gay. It is me getting married and then realizing years later that I am gay. I cannot get over my belief that those facts destroy my credibility with everyone I know. Nobody really understands, or will understand, and I do not want to discuss it, especially with people that I am not super close to. I am friends with many coworkers but it is none of their business how all of this came about and I have no plans to tell them. I guess I am going to deal with all of this as it comes. I know that I cannot continue this facade at work forever.

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Bell Guy and I have been progressing and I’ll blog about that later. Tonight it was time to tell Boston Guy and this message to him was the hardest thing I’ve had to do since I came out to my wife. (Ironically that happened and this blog was born exactly three months ago today.) Why does being happy have to make me feel so sad?

Dear (Boston Guy),

It is only fair that I let you know that I met someone a week ago. It was just a date but I really like him and he really likes me. We’ve been out a few times now and I expect things will continue to get serious. I am happy.

I really wasn’t expecting this to happen so soon but it did. When we agreed that I needed to date, I somehow thought (actually hoped) that I’d have many first dates and they wouldn’t work out and that we’d somehow find a way to make things work, even with the distance between us. I guys that is why writing this is so difficult. We always said if it was meant to be, it would be. I still believe that.

I don’t know where we’ve been the last two months. We haven’t chatted much and, although I know you’ve been busy, I hoped for more, especially when I sent you the flowers or even a stupid random text. I feel like I tried as hard as I could but always hoped things would be fine.

I told you a long time ago that you’d always be special to me and that is probably why the tears flow as I type this. You’ll always truly be a part of me and who I have become and I thank you eternally for that. I think you know that. Over two years is a long time and I will forever cherish the visit we had and you consistently assuring me that me being gay wasn’t wrong. I’ve come so far and learned so much from you. I was just a shy curious guy a couple years and now look at me. I’ve come so far and you were responsible for almost all of it. Few people will ever really realize that about me but I’ll never forget it.

I am very proud of you for your accomplishments in school and you deserve the very best in life. I hope that all of your dreams, personal and professional, come true.

While this may sound like a goodbye, it is far from it. We’ve talked about remaining friends forever and I hope that we do that. I am very sincere when I say that and I look forward to talking to you soon.

Love,
Eliot

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