Obscurity Knocks

Earnest, empathetic, industrious, unpretentious, gay Virgo in Milwaukee with a great life, amazing friends, and a wonderful family.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Burrito deprivation

I haven't been to either Chipotle or Qdoba since October 10, which may be a record for me. I've been trying to eat at home more often, even though I'd rather ventuer out to Chipotle or Qdoba. I'm sure that I'll resume my regular schedule sometime soon.

Dolly Parton has a new web site

Dolly Parton has a new web site. Here it is. I love how her new album is going to be called "Backwoods Barbie." The title is particularly amusing to me since I have a good friend named Barbie. In any event, I was fortunate enough to see Dolly live in concert in October 2005 here in Milwaukee. She performed many of her hits, including "9 to 5," "Jolene," "Here You Come Again," and "Two Doors Down." I can remember my mom buying the latest Dolly record album when I was a little boy and dancing in our 70s basement to "Two Doors Down," which was playing on the family's dark wood console record player/hi-fi.
My favorite Dolly song is the autobiograhpical "Coat of Many Colors." In the tradition of Loretta Lynn, Dolly is an amazing and prolific songwriter (she's written 600 songs). Of women in music, Loretta and Dolly are two of America's best-ever songwriters. In addition, Dolly is an accomplished musician who can play the guitar, dulcimer, banjo, and numerous other instruments.
As Ruben and I like to say, "she's not just a singer, she's a storyteller." Dolly is a true living legend, and a wonderful person.

Lesley has a blog!

My FAN-TASTIC friend Lesley now has a blog. It's on my links, and here it is. I love her idea of being Shari Lewis with a Lambchop puppet for Halloween.

Hi Honey!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Another pretend boyfriend

This is my latest pretend boyfriend. You can't beat a hot guy with hairy legs wearing a Speedo. Oh ya, he has a great smile, too. It should go without saying that I'll gladly give this guy up for a real relationship with J-Mo!

J-Mo update

In spite of my prior angst about J-Mo, things seem to be moving along slowly but surely. True, I wish that this relationship was progressing faster than it is, but Lesley has helped me focus on blocking out my frustration and appreciating how J-Mo is gradually letting me into his life. And that is the case; he has been letting me into his life. I've learned a lot about him in recent weeks, and the more that I get to know him, the more interested I become.
Before I went on a business trip, he emailed asking if I wanted to go dancing at Mad Planet on the Friday that I returned. I said yes, and when Barbie organized a dinner at Palomino for the same evening, I invited J-Mo to accompany me. He readily agreed to do just that, which I take to be a good sign. Above are some photos of us from the dinner at Palomino. Isn't he handsome and cute? I sure think so!
J-Mo hit it off really well with Barbie, John M., Sarah French, Mark, Kim, Kat, and Ruben. He's outgoing enough that he enjoyed the conversation and didn't appear nervous. Then we went dancing at Mad Planet, where we met up with Michelle. He was reluctant to dance at first, but I got him out on the dance floor for quite a few songs, including "Obsession" by Animotion. I felt a good connection with J-Mo throughout the evening. Ruben, Mark, and Michelle all are convinced that he's into me. It was good to have their confirmation of that.
I wanted to kiss him when I dropped him off at the end of the night, but wasn't sure that the front seat of my Jetta was the best place for our first kiss. I'm thinking that I'll make the move on our next date. While he's outgoing in general, I'm learning that he's shy when it comes to a relationship. As such, I have to be the one to make the moves.
Barbie said that I was welcome to invite J-Mo to her Halloween party on Saturday, so I did that. Unfortunately, he's going to a concert that night. Always willing to be my partners in crime, Ruben and Mark schemed with me and said that I should tell him that "Ruben and Mark invited us over for dinner on Sunday." He seemed interested, but he's going to be out of town on Sunday. J-Mo did say that he'd love to have dinner with Ruben and Mark, so I'm thinking that this wasn't rejection, but merely bad timing. He emailed me that he "definitely" wants to get together sometime soon, so I'll take that at face value.
My plan is to continue on the present course since things seem to be going in the right direction.

Adam and Joni wedding photos, continued

1. My cousin Joe and his wife Jessica. They're so young (22), and got married this summer.
2. With cousins Jared and Keith.
3. With my cousin Jen. Both of us were a bit over-served by this point in the evening, hence this less-than-flattering photo.
4. My cousins Jen and Eric.
I didn't take enough photos, because I'm missing pictures of my cousins Shane and Chris. I wish that I had photos of them from the wedding; they're great people.

More photos from Adam and Joni's wedding

1. With my aunt Sheryl, mother of the groom, and my mom's sister.

2. With my aunt Bonnie, my mom's sister.

3. With my brother.

4. With my sister-in-law.

Adam and Joni's wedding

I have 19 first cousins, 4 on my dad's side and 15 on my mom's side of the family. My cousin Adam, from my mom's side of the family, got married recently in Minneapolis. Adam is kind, soft-spoken, generous, and is an all-around nice guy. I can remember when he was born in 1981, so it's hard to believe that he's married now. Joni, Adam's wife is outgoing, fun, and a great person.
Adam and Joni got married at the Fort Snelling Chapel in the Twin Cities, followed by a lovely and fun reception at a hotel ballroom. They were kind enough to ask me to do a reading at the ceremony, which I gladly did. The passage they selected was Colossians 3:12-17.
11 of the 17 Landmark grandchildren were at the wedding, which isn't too bad considering that 4 of my cousins are more-or-less estranged from the family. There's 2 cousins that almost no one has seen since 1990, and another who has basically stopped any contact with the family. So it was nice that most of us made it.
9 of the 17 of are married, and an additional 3 are in long-term relationships but not married (yet). 8 of the 17 have kids of their own. At the present time, there are 17 total kids from the 8 who have children.
I grew up with many of my 15 Landmark cousins; many of us are close in age. We have so many great memories of summers spent swimming at Roy Lake, fishing with our Grandpa, eating our Grandma's amazing cookies, playing cards, lighting off fireworks on the Fourth of July, and just hanging out. Adam and Joni's wedding was the first time that I've seen some of my cousins in a few years, and I was struck by the powerful emotional connection that I feel for many of my cousins. In the weeks prior to the wedding, my energies were focused primarily on a big project at work. Seeing my cousins reminded me of what's really important, helped me gain some perspective, and made me grateful for their friendship and love. It's great because in a world where so many people judge you, I always know that my cousins will accept me no matter what. And I feel the same way about them. We have so much common history that I feel unconditional love for them. After I got back to Milwaukee, I felt very empty. I wish that we could spend more time together, but Dave and I are the only ones in Wisconsin. The rest are in the Twin Cities, Omaha, and eastern South Dakota, so we don't see each other very often.
Photos: (1) Adam and Joni, the happy groom and bride; (2) Sara (sister-in-law), Adam, Dave (brother) and Joni; (3) me with my cousin Paul. Paul and Adam are brothers. Of the 17 Landmark grandchildren, Paul looks the most like our Grandpa. It's actually a bit uncanny to see a photo of Grandpa when he was Paul's age because they look so similar.

Monday, October 08, 2007

Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon

I finished my fourth marathon yesterday, and I ran my personal best time: 3 hours, 32 minutes, 29 seconds. I was able to achieve my personal best time in spite of brutal heat and humidity. It was in the 80s and humid here in Milwaukee at the Lakefront Marathon. I was hoping to get a time under 3 hours and 30 minutes, but the heat and humidity made that impossible. I'm quite pleased to have run my personal best.

I finished 116th out of 1,671 total finishers. I was 18th out of 115 in my division of men aged 30-34 (and I'm 34). I was 103rd of 1,021 men who finished.

Marathons I've run:

1. San Francisco Marathon, 2005. 4 hours, 14 minutes.
2. Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon, 2005. 3 hours, 37 minutes.
3. Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon, 2006. 3 hours, 33 minutes.
4. Milwaukee Lakefront Marathon, 2007. 3 hours, 32 minutes.

I'm sore today, but happy about how I did.