Affirmative

I am happy to share this profound declaration with everyone today:

Yes, Weekend.I am “off” work till Tuesday. For the next 72+ hours, I hope to do as much NOTHING as possible. I know, it is definitely a “lofty goal” but, honestly? The past few days have been a veritable avalanche of annoyance and I am most definitely looking forward to a little recharging time over the next three days with my main man, MSW.

Hope you all have a great Friday!

Wash Over Me

After an especially annoying day yesterday, today has been a blessing. I have spent the entire day with my beloved MSW – we did everything and nothing, all day long. It was great…

I also put into practice a relaxation and de-stressing technique I use. Whether you’d name it “Going to your happy place” or “Water off a duck’s back,” it is essentially this: planting both one’s feet firmly, bracing for whatever “it” is that troubles you then letting it wash over you and finally watching it leave. My imagery always involves water; water has a calming, cleansing significance for me. I always imagine “it” rolling over me and when it has passed, the scene is serene, calm and beautiful. My “happy place” always involves a body of water. I like all the images below – they make me feel calm, at peace, thankful and centered.

I hope they have the same effect on you, too.

pier

Calm Waters

Still water

Let The Sun Shine

For those that follow my blog daily, yesterday’s post was meant to be a little tongue-in-cheek comment on my lousy mood lately – not the “cry for help” that many took it to be… Mea Culpa. I sometimes forget that not everyone reading this blog knows me personally (I feel like we are ALL good friends) so maybe my sense of humor escapes those not subjected to it often. Anyway, I am fine and my mental health is no better or worse than ever. That said,

I do sometimes wonder if I might have a mild case of Seasonal Affective Disorder, or the “Winter Blues.” I got a number of suggestions to “seek the light” yesterday. Today was, for the most part, sunny and – to be honest – I DID seek the light. My Sweetie and I were out and about by 9AM on this crisp, sunny Saturday morning. It was definitely a pleasure seeing the sunlight reflect off all that whiteness (although “someone” was mad that he had forgotten his sunglasses, LOL!) After a few errands and an early lunch, we arrived back home about 2PM. My Angel had plans with friends so he left about 2:30PM and – here’s the crazy part – after he left, I bundled up, brushed off a patio chair and sat outside in the sunlight for about 30 minutes. It.Was.Awesome… 

snowmanlawnchair(not actually me but I think you get my drift, pun intended…)

The air was clean and crisp, the world was white – white snow, white noise – and the sun felt great on my face and hands. I’m still not totally convinced about the whole lack-of-sunlight “thing” but I will say, I felt renewed, energized and happier after those 30 minutes…

I hope tomorrow the weather is similar – I’d love to go for a walk with my Sweetie in the snow and sunlight. That would be fun; I’ll just be sure he remembers to bring his sunglasses…

sunny winter landscape

Feels Like Christmas Eve

I know – Martin and I are TOTAL Halloween dorks. Halloween is Martin’s second favorite holiday (Christmas is first – barely!) and I like it, too. So tonight, on a night that oddly parallels Christmas Eve, we “got ready for Halloween” tomorrow. We’re excited!!!

We carved our pumpkins:

pumpkins

We agreed that we would try and maybe catch some kids out trick or treating tomorrow night in our neighborhood:

kids-trick-or-treat-2

After dinner – and maybe trick-or-treat-er-watching, we will come home and watch, “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown:”

its-the-great-pumpkin-charlie-brown-slate

We’ll probably eat some junky food – candy, really:

halloween-candy

Followed by a viewing of Tim Burton’s “Nightmare Before Christmas” (probably Martin’s FAVORITE movie of all time) – it is tradition:

Nightmare before Christmas

And then we will go to bed…

Gay_Couple_togetherness_in_bed_01

So, yeah, that is our Halloween night line-up, and the anticipation tonight feels a lot like Christmas Eve. It is nice to have “traditions” with your loved ones – especially your “special” loved one.

I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween tomorrow – we’ll check in after the movie!!! BOO!

Two ghosts

änˈwē

For the past few days I have been sharing – probably more like over-sharing – details of my current mental state, a troubling mash-up of mild anxiety, general uneasiness, a lack of focus and mild sadness. I have tried to address this situation on my own, without really understanding “it,” or why I am in “it.”

Sad box manLo and behold, after reading my post from yesterday, my friend Carrie put a name to what I have been feeling: ennui.

ennui (änˈwē): a feeling of listlessness and dissatisfaction arising from a lack of occupation or excitement; a lack of spirit, enthusiasm, or interest. “He suffered from a general sense of ennui.”

As I have examined this concept – with some input from the oh-so-perceptive-and-similarly-situated Carrie – I have come to understand that, yes, I am experiencing “a general sense of ennui.” (and what an S.A.T. word ennui is, right?)

The thing is, for going on five years, my beloved partner M and I have struggled almost daily, trying to figure out a way, a pathway, for us to remain together forever. Almost daily, I faxed and called and emailed elected officials, I called on Senators and City Councils, I wrote to a Cardinal (holy man, not bird) and to the editor, all trying to convince the world that my “gay” relationship with M was real and genuine, solid and sacred, and deserving and worthy of all the rights and privileges afforded any heterosexual relationship.

Then, in late June, the almost unimaginable happened and Section 3 of DOMA was repealed. Suddenly the path was clear – there WAS a way for my Beloved and I to be together, forever. And we were ecstatic.

We got married – HOORAY. We engaged a law firm to represent us and our case to the USCIS. We are currently in the middle of gathering info, filling out and filing forms and then the waiting begins. Just waiting. And I think that is why/when the “ennui tsunami” hit me.

calm seaI know this is gonna’ sound kinda’ ridiculous but, after all that fighting and determination, all that struggle and resolve – and all-too-often disappointment – now, to be on the brink of everything being awesome, well, weird as it sounds, there is a hole in my life. Ennui. And it seems odd to me that I should even feel this way, but I do…

I am sure the ennui will pass and I thank Carrie for helping me identify it. I am also visiting my therapist in an effort to wrestle this demon out of my head. It is no small comfort to have arrived at this place and I thank my Beloved M, all my friends and all you all reading this for riding this out with me. Whew. I have learned through countless hours of therapy, dozens of self-help books and a lifetime of personal work that monsters are more easily banished once they have a name. I became familiar with a new word and concept: ennui. And I am happy to say that I will NOT be becoming familiar with these three words: Zoloft, Paxil and Prozac.

prozac

 

Do I Have Panko Breadcrumbs and Buttermilk?

Tonight I am the “dinner guy” – my Beloved had school all day till late, then an Honors Society meeting after (he’s still not home). Anyway, tonight I am “The Chef.” It is up to me to prepare something delicious, nutritious and yummy. Yummy is important…

I like to cook, although I prefer to bake (I can make KILLER cheesecakes, plain or “fancy”). Baking seems a bit more scientific to me – there are things to be measured, times to be adhered to, water baths, etc. Regular cooking – well, no offense to my friends that are great cooks – all seems a little “free form” to me. A pinch of this, a dash of that, season to taste – what? Who’s taste? Mine? My guests? There are too many variables…

So tonight, given that I was in charge of dinner, I decided to be clever and use one of those “Got This? Make That!” websites – you know, the ones where you enter what you have and they deliver some unbelievable recipes using the ingredients you have on hand.

The key word there is unbelievable…

I thought I was in good shape. I had redskin potatoes, zucchini, broccoli, onions, Brussel sprouts and baby carrots – a bounty of fresh, delicious veggies with which to orchestrate some fantastic dinner to surprise Martin.

veggiesI also had chicken – two plump, delicious yummy-looking chicken breasts. Surely with all these healthy, amazing ingredients, the internet would provide me with a gastronomic road map to an amazing dinner for my Sweetie at the end of his very long day.

chicken breasts

So, ingredients identified and assembled, I sat down and dutifully logged in all my ingredients, then hit enter. I was answered with a question: “Do you have butter, eggs, mozzarella cheese, red pepper flakes?” I mean, it asked if I had like eight things (I had seven!) I was so excited!!! Martin was gonna’ be SO SO impressed. I checked off the requested additional items, hit “enter” and watched the numbers roll.

300. 400. 800. 1200. When the numbers stopped, I had 1753 recipes to choose from. Can you imagine?

No, you can’t…

The very first recipe was “Oven Roasted Redskin Potatoes” and it only took, “…TWO ingredients that I have on hand!” Whoop-de-doo, right? I entered all that info for this? I scrolled through like 200 recipe titles, all using three or less ingredients – most involved boiling something or baking something. I searched for a filter; none were available. Aurgh… I scrolled through over FIVE HUNDRED recipes titles before I even got to something that took five ingredients – it was “Vegetables Sauteed in Olive Oil.” Come on – really? What happened to my chicken breasts?

Frustrated, I left “the web” and just decided to wing it. In the end, we wound up with… “a medley of oven-roasted vegetables, served with baked chicken breasts.” It was sorta’ like a big make-it-in-one-pan casserole-y thing. Topped with cheese; two cheeses, actually – cheese always makes things better.

I was pleased, and my Sweetie was, too. The thing is, I could have served him a Greek yogurt with Cool Whip and he would have been excited and appreciative. He is pretty awesome that way…

I guess maybe one day I will be a fine cook/chef but, until then, I will be happy making these…

cheesecakeBTW, you know cheesecake is my Angel’s favorite, right? Surprised?

Does It Feel Any “Different?”

Today is Day One of married bliss with my beloved partner/husband Martin. In many ways, today felt the same as every other day we have shared over the past five years  – I woke up and saw his smiling face, we had coffee together, he did some things while I puttered around on the computer, we went and saw two movies then we came home, grabbed a bite and watched Project Runway together. All in all a nice, uneventful day.

But in one very important way, today was totally different,

You see, up until yesterday – and that defining moment when we became legally married – our relationship compared to other “real” relationships looked like this:

42-20703288 [RF] © www.visualphotos.comThing is that, no matter that Martin and I had been registered domestic partners since 2009, no matter that we share a life, friends and family together, no matter that we love one another and plan on staying together forever, in the eyes of the US government we are were “legal strangers.” Until yesterday. All it took was $40.00, some paperwork, five hours in the car and The Seal of The Great State of New York. One piece of paper changed everything. Instead of the image above, we were now “equal’ – somehow our love and relationship were “legit.” Now our “gay” marriage was largely the same as a “hetero marriage” – like this:

two applesOf course, Martin and I didn’t need any piece of paper to legitimize or validate our love. We have loved one another for five years (five years and a day now, technically!) But – when people ask, “Does it feel any different?”, I can honestly say yes and no. My love for Martin could never “feel” any different – it is bright and full and warm and perfect. But I will also confess that that one piece of paper WILL make some things, and one very important thing in particular, much easier for us now. And I thank The Universe for giving us this opportunity, for our friends and family and finally for the chance to dream about the future we have always wanted – a quiet, uneventful one.

The whole “marriage-thing” is still a bit new for us so I am sure I will post several more times about it. I will share this – yesterday was the best day of my life. Yesterday. Today was my “new” best day of my life, and I anticipate tomorrow will be another new best day of my life. I am so grateful, happy and thankful for Martin and all the future holds for us. You see, forget apples vs. oranges – me and my Angel have always been two peas in a pod. I love you, Sweetie!

two peas in a pod