Monthly Archives: February 2002

Three years…and counting

I had to go back into my e-mail archive (yes, I keep e-mail forever – my archive goes back to 1995, and before) to verify this since my memory for dates is terrible.

Three years ago on February 27, takaza and I had our first date. We went and saw “Payback” in Crystal Lake and had dinner at a so-so family restaurant, then adjourned back to Dan’s place and hung out and watched roller coaster videos and what aver was on TV. And I, uh, spent the night. Anyway…

It’s hard to believe it’s been three years. Those first few months were a wild ride – just weeks before that first date, we had both broken up from previous relationships (can you say rebound?). Dan lived in McHenry, while I lived in Joliet, about an hour and 45 minutes away. Not bad as long-distance relationships go, but it was an added stress. And right after Duckon ’99, Dan’s former employer (K Mart) started giving him crap about not showing up to work the weekend of the con even though he had scheduled it off months in advance. We talked, and even though we had agreed that moving in together was something that would have been good to wait on, the job prospects were much better in Joliet. Four months into the relationship, Dan moved in. With all that going for us, it shouldn’t have worked.

But it did, somehow, and it has worked amazingly well.

Two years, nine months, and 22 days after that first date, we stood before our friends and families and declared our love in a ceremony celebrating our commitment to one another for the rest of our lives.

Dan, you’re the best damn thing that ever happened to me, and I love you very, very much.

From the Department of Draw-Your-Own-Conclusions, Stereotypes Division:

Gay penguins surprise caretakers

The latest gay couple in New York to be photographed in matching tuxedoes isn’t a pair of businessmen or male models but a pair of penguins at the New York Aquarium at Coney Island.

Wendell and Cass, both 14-year-old penguins–in their forties in human terms–have been together for about eight years, but since penguins have no external genitalia, it was only recently that keepers discovered they are both male.

“They’re one of the most dedicated couples in the penguin enclosure,” Angie Pelekedis, a spokesman for the New York Aquarium, told The [London] Daily Telegraph. “They sleep in the same nest. They even have sex, though I don’t know how successful that is.”

Penguin keeper Stephanie Mitchell added, “I was only seeing one mate with the other, but then one of the other keepers saw it happen the other way round. We did a blood test that proved they were both male. Cass tends to be a rather aggressive bird. Wendell is very nervous; always has been. He’s on edge all the time. They’re currently in a dispute with another couple over their nest. It seems to be one of the most desirable places in the penguin enclosure.”

The Advocate, 2/25/02

(This post gets no fun context links ’cause I’m running back and forth, typing and cooking)

At last, something constructive…

We were going to get stuff done yesterday, really. We went out and did a bit of shopping – Wal-Mart (yeesh, talk about your dregs of humanity), BJ’s Warehouse (unimpressive – glad we have a Sam’s Club membership) and a few other places. We had big plans for cleaning when we got back, but I pretty much just ran out of gas late in the afternoon. Bless his heart, Takaza just let me veg out on the sofa and made up a yummy batch of homemade macaroni and cheese (with that bacon-y goodness!). We ended the evening watching a few episodes of Junkyard Wars on the TiVo and I feel asleep in Dan’s lap watching the Olympics. Mmm, truly a lovely way to end the evening.

Today was a bit better – following the usual Sunday morning rituals of coffee/newspaper/music/call parents (ever the dutiful son, I am), we actually got motivated and cleaned up the house some. As I was scrubbing the underside of the dishwasher kickpanel, I had time to reflect on the nature of the anal-retentive… 🙂

Anyway, after that, Dan went off to do his first (of three) orientation sessions at the health club. I went off to Kohl’s and picked up some shirts and a pair of sneakers (somehow, working out in my black walking shoes seemed a bit…unstylish). Then it was the weekly grocery shopping, and then home. Right now, I’ve got beef stock simmering on the stove, a nice honey-corn bread in the bread machine, and I’m making up a batch of chili for dinner (and subsequent lunches this week). Making up for yesterday’s inactivity, I suppose.

As an aside, I’m amused to note that event hough I gave my parents my Livejournal URL, they don’t read it. I know this because they would be dancing in the streets if they knew we’d joined a health club, but they didn’t say anything about it this morning. Ah well, I guess the net’s not for everyone…

Mmm…Saturday morning. I’ve got my coffee, I’ve got my newspaper, I’ve got some nice classical music in the background. Domesticity is good.

Strangest thing this morning – I was sound asleep having a dream about a phone call I needed to make this morning, when I was a awoken by a terrifically loud BUZZ! Now, the strange thing about this is that 1.) I sleep with earplugs in, and 2.) takaza was still sound asleep. I suppose I dreamed the buzzing noise, but it’s odd. Unfortunately, this was at 4:30 AM and I never did get back to sleep. I did get in some lovely snuggle time with Dan, though, so all was not lost (and he didn’t growl at me for waking him up. Probably ’cause I made it worth his while 😉 I’ll probably be pretty snoozy come tonight, though.

On the agenda for today: cleaning up around the house, and a trip to Wally World for a few things for the kitchen, plus some more shopping for sneakers. And I’ll probably make some bacon and eggs for Dan when he wakes up 🙂

Good grief, I’m glad it’s Friday.

Where did I leave off…oh yes.

So we went and toured the health club on Wednesday night and all I can say is day-ummm. This place has everything that I’d been hoping for – on-the-spot exercise counseling, health monitoring, assistance in putting together an exercise plan, nutrition analysis, plus really, nice facilities. It comes at a cost, but at least it’s strictly month-to-month, they don’t lock you in. takaza and I are going to drop off our membership forms on Monday and schedule whatever appointments we need to get us started. The plan is that we’ll meet at the health club every day after work (it’s between us, so it’s convenient) and spend an hour exercising, swimming, or whatever our plans work out to be, then head on home from there.

A side note: This journal will not be turning into “Tom’s Exercise Journal” – I hate those kinds of things, and find them incredibly tedious. I may record some of that elsewhere, but not here.

After touring the health club, we joined The Gang for dinner and games. That was a lot of fun – Thomas is a good friend of the owner of a local small restaurant and he has no problem with us showing up there and hanging out. So we got a yummy dinner and then the twelve or so of us broke up into groups playing Connect Four and Settler of Catan, and Dan and I a couple of others played a few rounds of darts which watching the Olympics. Much fun was had by all, even if we did get kicked out at 8:45 so the owner could go home (they normally close at 8).

Thursday wasn’t too exciting, though we did head out before dinner and pick up some workout shorts at Target, looked at music devices at Best Buy and looked at sneakers (and got completely ignored by the incompetent sales staff, as usual) at Just for Feet. After that it was home for a cozy dinner of pork chops and steamed corn, yum.

Tonight…well, not sure what will happen tonight. Given my choice, I’d rather curl up with a nice threesome of me, Dan, and the TiVo (we’ve got about eight hours of stuff stored on there right now), but Dan mentioned some of his co-workers were getting together tonight for dinner and then going to see “John Q”. Now, the reviews for “John Q” have sucked and I have no desire to see it, and even less desire to spend time around his co-workers who (in my opinion) tend to treat him like crap, but if he feels that it’s in his best interest to be there, I’ll be there with him (And I’ve told him this – one of the promises I’ve made to myself is that Dan will never read anything about us in this journal that will come as a surprise to him). Not sure what will happen, but we’ve done too many things that I wanted to do when he wasn’t too keen about them for me not to reciprocate. We’ll see. Well, time for me to head home. Have a great weekend, all!


Well, Monday’s trip to the doctor told me that my weight is getting up to downright embarrassing levels and roller coaster season is coming up and I like swimming but there’s those darned body issues

All of which adds up to the fact that we’re going to start looking more closely at improving our diet and getting more exercise. I’d toyed with the idea of just fixing up my bike and cycling a bit around the neighborhood but I’m coming to understand that that just isn’t going to cut it. After work, takaza and I are going to check out one possibility, and there’s a couple of others we want to investigate (and one we don’t). The way I see it, the only way it’s going to work is if we do it together, with a steady routine, and improve our diet in addition to the exercise. We’ll see what happens.

As an aside, I’m mightily annoyed that this is going to be an expensive proposition for us because we are, of course, not married in a legal sense of the word.

Got my annual bonus today

Well, yesterday, out of the blue, an appointment popped up in my Outlook mailbox: Team Incentive Checks.

Well, that was a surprise. It’s no secret that last year completely sucked for us. I was pretty much expecting a whole lotta nothing in the way of a bonus check (if not, as I joked to co-workers, an invoice “for the pleasure of working here”). After all, the fourth-quarter division report last week started with a slide describing the preceding quarters: Ugly, Uglier, Ugliest.

So this morning, the head of the department starts to run down the numbers: this was plan, if exceeded plan by this much, we maxed out the bonus at X, if we were below plan by that much, our minimum bonus was Y.

In every case, we were so far below plan we didn’t even make the minimum bonus. When all was said and done, our total accumulated bonus is…0.00%. whee.

At this point, the department head launched into this whole cock-and-bull bit about how he fought to give is something, a token at least to reward us for all our hard work during the year (trying to set up, yet again, an us-versus-them environment within the department), and announced that everyone would get a check for $100.

I guess I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. On the one hand, a regular bonus would be great – in good years, that could about to several thousand dollars for me (not that I’ve ever actually seen such things). It’s understandable that last year sucked and we’re not getting a bonus, OK fine. This has the feeling of a sop almost, a shut-up-and-take-what-you-get kind of thing. Speaking on sheer principle, I’m not sure we wouldn’t have been better off with nothing at all.

All that notwithstanding, though, you bet your ass I’m depositing that sucker on my way home form work, ’cause I’ll take any money they give me, principles be damned 🙂 Hey, if nothing else it will go into our coaster trip fund.

Where to begin

So much to do, not sure where to start. Need to wrap up the project plan for P042 – gods, I hate writing these project plans. They’re just going to get run over roughshod anyway, but we have to follow the procedures. Bleah. 15 pages of nonsense and pie-in-the-sky sales projections. Heh. And people wonder why I have such contempt for marketing droids.

So I’ve been following the back and forth elsewhere about CSS (cascading style sheets) vs. tables – yeah, I know, it’s stuff well outside of my areas of expertise, but I like to dabble. The concepts seem fairly reasonable, at least, and I hate setting up tables anyway.

I badly need to update my Coming Out page; it actually gets quite a bit of traffic (about 20 hits a day) due to it’s position in certain search listings (second from the top). I notice my traffic spiked on February 3 – 8 – weird. I wonder if I made someone’s link of the day or something. Nothing evident in my referrer log, though it’s rather rudimentary. Though I notice that I’m on the front page of several search engines if you search for Tom Brady. Looks like many people must have me confused for someone else.

Anyway, so yeah, I’ll be trying to figure out CSS and applying it to my site Real Soon Now. I’ve got some good references, so that should help. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even explore how to apply it to my LiveJournal.

Well, instead of working on my project plan I’ve spent about 20 minutes writing this entry. Who says LiveJournal isn’t useful? 🙂

Efficiency? That’s my middle name! (my parents were a bit weird)

Looks like we’re well on our way to getting online registration for Midwest Furfest up and running; we’ve checked out possible vendors, got approximate prices, and gotten the go-ahead to pursue the project. All that’s left is to nail down the details of how to integrate it into the Furfest web site and we’ll be off and running. My personal goal is to see this up and running by the end of the month, but to be fair I’ll need to talk to our webmaster and see if that’s realizable.

Also been gathering information on sponsor freebies – lanyards, tote bags, pins, etc. Not sure which we’re going to go with just yet, but the prices are surprisingly affordable. Heck, if we can do it maybe we can give them more than one freebie (this is, of course, in addition to the free T-shirt and two sponsor prints). We’ll have to see how the budgeting works out. If anyone is interested in seeing what I’ve come up with so far, drop me a line and I’ll send you the URL.

Last night was quite entertaining. As a birthday gift, my parents subsidized a nice dinner out, so we went out to Copeland’s with friends. Yummy, yummy food, though a bit spicy for some in our group 🙂 We were also celebrating a bit since the night before Thomas (who some of you may remember from our commitment ceremony) proposed to his girlfriend Sherry the night before. Yowza, what a rock she has on her finger now! After dinner we realized it was a bit late and headed on home for a quiet night and then to bed.

Today,…well, takaza is still asleep of course. Franklin called earlier and said that Amelie is still showing in the area, but only in Chapel Hill. We’re going to meet over at his place and car pool up there. The word of mouth is very good on this movie, so I’m looking forward to it. We were going to check out other ceramic tile stores in the area but after looking through the phone book it appears that none of them are open on Saturday or Sunday. What the hell is up with that? I think we had other errands to run today, but I can’t remember what. I’ll talk to Taki when he gets up. I know I need a haircut – when it gets long like this, it approaches Posi-hair

Oh, as an aside, I wanted to mention that my parents sent us a lovely card for Valentine’s Day: “You two make perfect Valentines…because you’re both so special. We love you both, Mom & Dad. Give each other a hug for us!”

Wow. You know, my parents are so damn cool 🙂

Well, off to make waffles…

Playing catch-up

So when last we left Duncan, he was ranting in a curmudgeon-like fashion about how he dislikes birthdays…

takaza, that sneaky bastard, had ideas, you see. After ascertaining that I had no plans for the evening, he started asking around at work to determine nice romantic places to take someone for dinner. Right after he got home, he hustled me into the car and surprised me with a lovely romantic dinner at The Melting Pot. It was just wonderful, a leisurely meal, just the two of us, and I had a great time. The food was tasty, too 🙂

Tuesday night I was feeling kind of tired so Takaza took the initiative and cooked up a yummy dinner of linguine with tomato sauce and Italian sausage. I felt bad because I was pretty much a complete lump and just sat on the sofa while he cooked and cleaned up but he swore it was OK.

Last night I had a bit more motivation, so I set some pork chops in to brine when I got home and started a loaf of bread in the bread machine. Saute up the pork chops in olive oil with a little Penzeys Old World Seasoning, add some steamed corn and we’re good to go. After dinner we watched Swimming to Cambodia, one of my all-time favorite movies. Spalding Gray is an amazing monologuist and I always find his movies riveting. I’d seen this one before but it had been a while and I wanted to see if Dan would like it too. Well, it wasn’t particularly to his taste, but hey, I suppose we can’t have matching tastes in everything. I still have Taboo (Gohatto) sitting on the TiVo to watch, but I suspect Dan won’t be much interested in that one so I’ll probably watch it by myself this weekend.

Then we have today – Valentine’s Day. Dan surprised me with a card and a box of chocolates left for me to find after he’d left for work. Then, right before lunch, I got a cryptic voice mail message from him asking if I’d changed CD’s on the way into work. I checked the center console in my car and there was another card from him, as well as a little gift box of Tic-Tacs (which I love, but they’re addictive!). Silly woof. I have a very small something for him when he gets home – I honestly hadn’t intended to celebrate the day much, but I’ll see what we can do tonight 🙂 I wanna snuggle me some wolf!

I’m feeling restless lately. It’s only been a month since we were up in Chicago, and the next scheduled bit of traveling we have is Technicon in March, a month away. I’m kicking around the idea of an inexpensive weekend trip sometime in the next few weeks – maybe the Outer Banks, maybe the mountains. I’ll need to think about it more.