Return Trip

Click on the image for the full album

I know, I’ve been horrible about keeping up lately. Forgive me. ūüôā ¬†First things first. The trip to Hawaii! OMG it was amazing. I totally didn’t know what to expect but it was nice and¬†very relaxing. Our host, and my friend Rick, was so great and made the trip that much better by being such a great tour guide and a wealth of information. He really went all out helping us see and do anything we wanted. We stayed in his guest room but he also has a lovely AirBnB if anyone is going in the future. No seriously, it was gorgeous. And apparently, the biz is growing there so the rates were exceptional. I was shocked how cheap it was compared to the over-priced hotels. Anyway, I digress… We had a great view of the beach from our patio and it was so relaxing. The morning birds annoyed Shawn a little but I loved them.

I didn’t realize how big the main island was. It’s huge. Granted, I didn’t do much research but I always thought of Hawaii as being small and tiny. I remember Oahu being much smaller. I also didn’t know that it was mostly undeveloped. Oh there are a couple big cities with a few small towns scattered about but the big island as a whole really isn’t that developed. I couldn’t get over that part the whole time we were there. lolol ¬†Rick made sure we got to see a lot of local culture and history and helped us find all the things we wanted to do.

As you can see from the album of pics, we got around! ¬†We could have done and seen so much more but we didn’t want to spend the whole trip driving in a car all day. We had to cut some of the site-seeing short so we could squeeze everything in. We decided before we left we wanted to do a luau, see the volcano (and lava), and go snorkeling. Obviously, we wanted to spend some time at the beach as well. It was Shawn’s first time meeting Rick in person and they got along great. I also got to meet the famous Bubbles (Rick’s bulldog) as well as Freddie and Elvis, their other 2 dogs.

We did the luau first and it was ok. We had fun but would probably skip it in the future. It was a good, ‘yeah we did it‘ event. The next day saw us driving to see the different sites, and waterfalls. Rick was our guide again and took us to several great spots. We stopped at a local gay owned cafe in Hilo for lunch. All the driving really drove it home how big the island was. Rick made sure we stopped for malasades, a local pastry. We got lucky the day we visited the volcano as you could just barely see active lava in the pit. The whole experience was awesome and a tiny bit unnerving. The steam vents were probably the part that creeped us out. The idea of walking around on top of a volcano active enough to continuously spit out steam from the ground gives you a moment of pause. hehehe ¬†The plant life all around the crater felt almost primordial. It was a serene and surreal environment. I loved it! ¬†The lava tube was also eerie. You could see the lines cut into the rock from the flow of lava as it churned thru the tube at lord knows how much speed. Just being in a massive tunnel created by flowing molten rock was awe-inspiring. I think having been to the volcano itself before visiting tube helped a bit. I think the impact of what we were seeing was made ‘real’ by having just seen the vents and actual lava.

We saved the best for last. The last day before we flew out we went snorkeling. OMG what a great experience! I’ve only ever been snorkeling off the beaches of Galveston when I was a kid. It was no where near the experience of being in a coral reef.We even saw a whale on our way to the cove. It was literally in front of the boat and they had to stop. hehehe

I was a bit out of sorts at the very beginning. We got in the water and for whatever reason I couldn’t get my breathing sorted properly. It only took a few minutes to adjust but I remember feeling weird and a little irritated it might ruin my experience. After a few minutes of practicing, I got the hang of it again and I think the old muscle memory kicked it. Shawn was originally a bit nervous as he’d never been at all. However, he seemed to grasp it right away. His only trouble was getting used to the fins. We both opted for little float belts as the water was pretty deep around the boat. I hadn’t been actively swimming in ages and I was a wee bit concerned I’d get tired too soon. As it turns out, we probably could have skipped the float belts. The fins were fine. Shawn got the hand of his as well.

Swimming around the coral and seeing all the amazing fish was amazing. It was like being in a tank at the Aquarium. So much diversity and most of the fish ignored us. The tour group offered lunch on the boat and I opted to hop back in the water after lunch. Far fewer snorkelers meant more fish! There were a ton more fish casually swimming in/out of the coral the second time. I cruised around the whole cove. It was by far the highlight of the trip for me. I’d be doing it here if the water wasn’t so damn cold.1

We lounged on a beach for awhile after the snorkeling trip. I didn’t spend much time in the water as my eyes seemed to have trouble adjusting. I think I might be developing low tears or something. I simply could not keep my eyes from burning every time I got a tiny bit of salt water in them. It was never a problem for me when I was younger. Having had 2 eye surgeries might have impacted me as well. Regardless, it made playing in the water a struggle. The beaches are much more rocky on the big island and finding smooth sand is a hot ticket for beach goers. We drove out to a couple of remote beaches and even those were very busy. I still had fun relaxing in the sand. The funny part is we barely got any sun. We were both afraid of getting burned so we stayed covered in SPF spray.

That’s it in a nutshell. It was great to see my friend Rick and his family. We socialized and caught on on things. The dogs were a treat as well. Seeing Bubbles madem

 




  1. Ocean water this far north stays cold year round. []

Hawaii Trip

We are headed to Hawaii this week! OMFG I am sooo excited. We’re going for the obvious reasons and to see my buddy Rick who moved back home from SF a couple years ago. He (and his partner Jeremy) ¬†graciously offered to put us up at his place so we are saving money as well. Win, win! ¬†I’m also looking forward to meeting Bubbles, his version of Cooper. She is a brindle and white bully and looks ever so sassy! I can’t wait to meet her. Sadly, I can’t bring Cooper. He is too old to fly, even inside the plane. And I’d never forgive myself if something happened to him.

I’ve only been to Hawaii once and it was back when I was a wee lad at 18. I was invited along by a guy I was dating at the time. All I remember is the visit to the lava and booze.1 ¬†We also went to one of the smaller islands. This time, we are headed to the Kona on the big island. I’m really looking forward to the trip. The closer it gets the less focus I seem to have. hehehe

Shawn surprised me with my very own Nintendo Switch this week. He also managed to get me hooked on the new Legend of Zelda gama. hehehe ¬†I’m usually not a Nintendo fan; however, I admit to enjoying the game. I don’t want to bash Nintendo as a console, but they are usually pretty basic. The switch is pretty polished and nails the potability factor hands down. I’ve yet to play any online games so can’t really review the process so far. It’s a tad more basic in design and graphics than Xone or PS4 games; however, Zelda also clocks in a roughly 80-hour game time. That’s pretty damn good for one game. It should keep us busy on the loooong plane rides to and from. And I’m always flattered and appreciative of Shawn’s kindness.

I’ll try to remember to take pics while I’m gone. I’m horrible about taking pics on vacation. Ironically, being on IG this past year may help me to remember. heehee For you folks that have been to the big island, feel free to send tips or great places to see/do.




  1. I drank way more before I turned 21 lol []

Trip

I hope everyone out there is having a warm and safe holiday. I’m at work but more on that in a minute. Shawn, Cooper, and myself are all off to LA tomorrow for a few days and then on to Phoenix. I’m on vacation for a week starting tomorrow. Yes, we are driving just so we can take Cooper. Well, that is a part of it. We wanted to make two stops so flying would have been a bit overkill to bounce around so much. Driving just made more sense and since we are driving, why not take the Cooper-Pooper? It has cooled off in Phoenix so he won’t expire from the heat. hehehe

As dreary as that drive can be, I’m looking forward to it.1 This will be our first long road trip with Cooper. I always get so sad leaving him behind when we fly. I often stress about him being scared and lonely while I’m gone. I know I shouldn’t because the roomie spends plenty of quality time with him anytime we’re gone, but that doesn’t alleviate my worry. This time he gets to come along! That might sound silly but Cooper is not just a pet to me, he is my loyal companion and I’m glad to be able to take him more places. He loves to ride in the car so I expect he will enjoy the hell out of it.

As mentioned, I’m working the holiday as it falls on my normal work day. I originally had it off when I signed up for vacation. However, since we only sign up for vacation once a year and have shift assignments twice a year, I got bumped off my days off. More astutely, I got bumped over 1 day on my days off. So now I’m working Christmas day, which is my Friday, and then off for the week. Thank the GSM2 I am off for NYE. I’m sure I’ve mentioned it before NYE is the worst day of the year for work and am soooo grateful not to be working.

Be safe, be warm, and wherever you are, know that you are loved!




  1. If you’ve ever driven between LA and SF, you know what I mean []
  2. Great Spagetti Monster []

Mundane

I’ve gotten more than a few requests lately about how well the personal life is going. I’ve also gotten a couple alarmed messages asking if I had quit blogging. And I got one very sweet email from a long time friend. (Brian, I’m getting to your email I promise!)

On the home front, things are good. Actually, things are awesome. My life is on a good streak right now! Things with Shawn and I are excellent. Of course, life is pretty simple most days. We work, we come home, play video games, eat, sleep, repeat. It’s mundane bliss. hehehe. In other news, Shawn recently went permanent with his job and got a fat raise with stock options. He is very happy to finally have the weight of being a contract employee off his mind. And they’ve let him know recently how much they appreciate him as well. He has begun to settle into the company and be a part of it vs just going to work at a job.

As I mentioned previously, I’m finally debt free. I’m working to keep it that way too. I caught up on 6 years worth of back taxes and I’m getting money back. The checks have started to roll in. Apparently, they send you a check for every year instead of one check. I owed California for a couple years and sure enough, I got 3 checks and a bill. hehehe But the stress and worry over that is gone. Yay!

Cooper is still sassy as ever. His daily worries revolve around food, treats, and how often he can sneak up on the coach. His ever present skin issue has him back on antibiotics for awhile. Beyond that, Daddy is trying to stay on top of keeping his nose, ears, and tail clean and stink-free.

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No, I haven’t quit blogging. I’ve just been super busy this last month. I’m still here. I don’t always blather about insignificant topics like I used to as they usually end up on social media. I save the blog for lengthy rants. My long time friend Brian recently sent me a very heart-warming email about his experience w/my blog over the years. Almost made me cry. I’m glad that people enjoy coming here for my nonsense. Lawd knows I’ve come a loooooong way in the last 11 years of doing this. As always, I write first for me but I also write knowing others read what I share. This has never been a popularity contest and hopefully never will be. I seem to be one of only a few left from the old blog crew though. I miss some of the other blogs.

So there you have it. A down and dirty update. More to come.

NY

One has to only look at the pic to know

image
Me and the Pup

what the focus of my new year has been. March will be the 2 year mark that Shawn and I have been together and I couldn’t be happier. Things are still awesome and I’m still grinning ear to ear.

2014 has been a good year for me. Shawn and I are still doing awesome. I’m sloooooowly converting him to life in SF and as much as he hates to admit it, he is adjusting. hehehe Cooper is still strong and healthy. Overall, I’m healthy1 and doing well. Beyond that, life is just simple right now. In many ways it is totally boring but we are boring together and that’s what counts.

This year saw me threw 2 separate eye surgeries, both of which I came out of just fine. The eye is still a bit of an issue but it seems things are getting better. It will be months before I know if an additional surgery is required. I’m optimistic my busted eye will fall in line and I won’t have to have the extra surgery. *Crossed fingers*

I need to get my squishy ass back into the gym more. Now that the surgeries are over, I’m trying to get back into it. All my pants are getting tight. lol

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Looking forward, I’m eager for the next year with Shawn. I’m so happy sometimes I think i worry too much something will happen to ruin it. Old habits die hard and old demons die harder but I’m settling into the contentment that is my life right now. ‚Äč

I hope you that you and yours are doing well. I wish you all a very happy, loved, and prosperous new year!




  1. even though I feel all squishy from missing the gym too much []

Year

I guess I haven’t been gushing enough about the STBH1 lately. There have been ‘inquries’. lol Well, prepare for the gushing….

Things are awesome! I consider myself incredibly fortunate to have found such a great life partner. And he is just that, my partner in life. I don’t for a second doubt I’ll spend the rest of my life with him. I even love the things that annoy me about him. How’s that for gushing? haha

We are ever so slowly settling into our life together. I still can’t wait to see him every day. Even when that being together often means being piled up on the couch watching tv or playing video games. It’s funny because there are times when I feel like I’m neglecting him and not knowing what I’m thinking he’ll check to make sure he isn’t neglecting me. Then another time, it will happen in reverse from him to me. If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is?

If you follow him on FB, you’ll know he finally got the new job he’s been after. I’m happy for him as he has been wanting to make a change for awhile now. It is no secret, he does NOT handle change well. That said, he is adjusting to the new gig, and given more time I think he will appreciate it. From my perspective, it is leaps ahead of his old job, in every way possible. /tangent

It is an odd feeling (in a good way) to realize that the person next to you just doesn’t care how imperfect you are. They love you imperfections and all.

*le sigh* ‚Äč




  1. soon to be hubby []

Still

I guess my delay in blogging as of late has led some to think I have quit all together. No, still at it just distracted by life. It happens.

The CT scan went fine. I won’t know any results until I meet with the doc again, probably next week.  Hopefully, I’ll have a better answer and treatment for my lovely eyeball. I’ve been noticing ever so slight changes to my vision and not for the better. What I used to only randomly notice is now causing slight changes in the way I see things. I’m still far from my every day vision being affected but still concerning. The doc’s office is supposed to call this next week for the follow up appointment. I can clearly see the difference in the alignment in my eyes now as well.

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Continuing in random updates, things are still awesome at home. The Pup (Shawn) and I are doing wonderful. Contentment is a very good thing. I never thought I’d be this content in life. I simply cannot imagine life without him.

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Cooper is still sassy as ever. He has successfully worked his magic on Shawn and won him over. I don’t think Shawn was 100% sold at first but he is now. heehee He routinely points out one of Cooper‘s many adorable faces. Anyway, other than his ongoing skin issues, Cooper Pooper is doing exceedingly well.

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I am STILL trying to get my fat ass back into a consistent gym schedule. Afore mentioned contendedness has affected my motivation to go to the gym in a big way. lol There are worser things I guess. So I’m adding the dreaded cardio into my routine and trying to get back down to where I like to be weight wise. The motivation has been coming back, albeit slowly.

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I still have things go blog about. Almost daily I’m like, “I should blog about that” but I get distracted and move on to other things. lol I guess it is good that life is busy and keeps me focused.

Rest

After three weeks of long drawn out teaching 5 – 6 days, sometimes 10 hour sessions, here I sit on the first day of my vacation. I spent the whole day sitting on the sofa watching TV, playing video games,and napping with the man of my dreams. I can’t think of a better way to start my vacation. My voice is a bit hoarse and I’m just flat out tired but I couldn’t be happier. Total contentment.

Sometimes when you aren’t looking, life sneaks up and gives you that one thing you thought you’d never have.

Engage

image
Moby and The Pup's Engagement rings

I’ve been MIA here as of late due to my work schedule. If you’re here via the web, you’ll notice the new template. This is the one I will most likely keep for awhile. But in other news and if you haven’t heard by now, I got engaged!

For the first time in my life I’m engaged to marry. The historical importance is not lost on me but that is a rant for another day. Today is about how happy I am to be eagerly awaiting such a big event. This is truly a life event for me and I couldn’t be more excited. Being with The Pup has taught me what it is like to be so in love and completely compatible with someone. He is my best friend and my lover and I have no hesitation tying the not with him.

Everyone keeps asking how I did it? The Pup and I are both gamers. I rent games thru GameFly, which is like Netflix for video games. The envelopes come pretty much the same as they do for regular dvds. On a tangent, we’d already decided a while back that we wanted to do two sets of rings. One set for the engagement and then a complimenting set for the actual event. Anyway, knowing he would kill me if I did anything big or hugely public, I settled on a more subtle surprise. If you’ve ever rented thru Netflix you know how the game sleeves work. I managed to get the cardboard cover and game out of the envelope without actually tearing it open. The disc comes inside with it’s own protective fiber sleeve that also has the game name and info. Well, I decided to apply my own sticker and made it look like the game sticker as a close as possible. Except where the name and description were I had my proposal instead. And instead of a game disc, there was the ring. With some effort I got it back into the envelope and put it back in the post box.

I contrived a small chain of events that led to The Pup opening the game and examining it. Of course, he saw the proposal and to my delight said yes. It was a very personal and shared moment for us. I don’t think anyone around knew what had just happened. I honestly thought it was perfect. I wanted to surprise him and still not embarrass him. And he really liked the way I went about it. He had no idea it was coming either. hehehe¬†

We don’t have a date for the big event yet. It will most likely be another 3-4 months before we set a date. Both of us are content with where we are and don’t feel the need to rush it. And while I will invite friends to be present, it will not be an overly dramatic event. lol Neither of us are into the whole big-wedding sort of thing. Something simple and local will be more than sufficient to officialize what we already know and feel.

It’s an exhilarating feeling to be honest. Knowing that this will be my last LTR makes it seem even more right that this is the first time I wanted to and could legally marry my partner. If you’d told me a year ago I’d be proposing to someone, I’d have probably laughed or shrugged it off. It’s funny how you can meet someone and they totally change your world.

As I always say, ‘hope springs eternal..’

Awesome

I get a lot of questions about how The Pup and I are doing. In a word, we are doing ‘awesome.’  I’ve alluded to things being well in various posts as of late but yeah, we’re good. We’re better than good actually.

It is hard to put into words how great it has been. Having a best friend in a partner is certainly a new experience for me. I say that because I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time with a partner before. It is odd in some ways because I am usually very self-contained and tend to like my ‘me’ time. It was a character trait that took me an unexplainable amount of time to figure out but once I did, I learned to appreciate it. I’ve yet to feel the loss of any me-too so far. The Pup and I spend a lot of our free time together, almost all of it. If anything, the day is just a distraction until I can get home to him.1  I’m sure that will wane a bit over time but I’m not complaining one bit.

I guess having never felt like previous partners were my best friend too it makes sense.  In the past, I usually planned my schedules and routines building in time just for me. In retrospect, I wonder if I built too much me time. I’m actually changing schedules at work soon so he and I can spend more time together vs apart. Don’t think that change was lost on me either. I wanted to and that is the important part. I didn’t feel like I had to or like it was some sort of obligation. The time we spend together is mutually agreeable to both of us. And, I know if either of us ever need some time alone, the other is perfectly OK with it. And I wonder if even knowing the latter makes it more bearable. I mean wanting something you can’t have sometimes makes it more desirable. Would the reverse not also be true? The more I think on it the more I believe that is at the heart of how different I am this time around. I know he won’t be upset, hurt, or feel left out if I needed time to myself. And I honestly believe he knows the same with me. So knowing it is readily available makes it less of a need.

I tell him everything and he is the first person I think of when I want to do anything. I honestly can’t think of a better way to be in a relationship.




  1. yeah, I got it bad. []