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Portland Pride 2022

Monday, June 20th, 2022 No comments

What a great weekend this past weekend was! It was great to do Pride in person again for the first time in 3 years. Portland was ready. I don’t know if this one was bigger than 2019, but my Uber driver yesterday said she had never seen so many people in one place.

On Friday night I skipped the event I was supposed to go to because the line was too long. I found out later the line was basically nonexistent about 15-30 minutes later. Oh well. I went to a new bar (opened last November) called The Queen’s Head, which is owned by the guy that used to coach the rugby team I played for a few years ago. They were having a party there. I had a great time.

On Saturday, I went to a local underwear store’s block party. I spent a lot on sexy underwear that I’ll probably never wear. Next I went to Crush and met up with some friends who were bar crawling. I knew a few friends were going to be there, but I didn’t know how large the group would be. They all screamed my name when I walked through the door. Soon after that we went 3 doors down to a new bar called Sissy Bar that had just opened about 3 days before. So many new gay and lesbian bars have opened in Portland recently and more are coming soon. Anyway, this place smelled new. We had so much fun. Around this time the sun came out. It was pouring when I first went out. I was tired so I left the group and went home to rest. That night I went to the Stag for a while. I was thinking about going to either Gaylabration or Blow Pony, but I was so tired from being on my feet all day that I went home. Besides, I needed to be up somewhat early the next day.

On Sunday I got up to march in the pride parade for the 1st time with Nike (there’s an announcement I forgot to make here). A while back I mentioned my issues with how much I can move around. I was nervous about the parade because I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it to end. I almost decided not to march, even that morning. I’m glad I didn’t change my mind. As usual I saw so many people I know along the route watching the parade, some of whom I met in the past year. Nike required us to wear masks, which made it even more difficult for me. By the end, I was huffing and puffing pretty bad. There were 2 or 3 times were I did take my mask off for a second just to get more air. I’m glad the parade does stop every so often for a few seconds. Once a train stopped us for a while. If it wasn’t for those breaks, I might not have made it. I don’t know how I feel about the new route this year. I went to the festival after I finished marching, which was basically a mud pit after all the rain we have received recently. Afterwards, I was supposed to meet up with some friends, but I was sweaty and exhausted. I wanted to get in a little rest before it was time for the PDX Gaymers Pride Game Night I was hosting later. I say game night, but it was 5-9pm and the sun was still out as we were leaving. Usually our Pride Game Night is on a Saturday, but I was having trouble finding a venue for Saturday night and I decided I wanted to enjoy myself on Saturday this year. I didn’t get much rest before I had to leave, but Game Night was a blast though. We had a great turnout. More proof that people are eager to be social.

An interesting thing is that although the parade and Fathers Day are usually on the same day, this year Juneteeth was the same day. Since it’s a new federal holiday, I don’t know if that’s common. Before the parade, one guy stopped to wish me a Happy Juneteeth. Very nice of him.

This was a very good weekend. I love how happy and proud and excited everyone gets. I love spending time with friends. I love the random run-ins with friends, some of whom I only see at Pride every year. I’m glad to live in a city that’s so accepting of everyone. I made a great decision moving here.

Pride 2022

A Decade in Portland

Tuesday, February 15th, 2022 No comments

As I’ve been saying on social media, today is the 10th anniversary of my arrival in Portland. Moving here is still one of the best decisions I have ever made. It was brave, picking up everything and moving so far away from everyone familiar. I don’t regret it.

There are so many more career opportunities available here than where I was. I might still be working for the university, but I’d be bored. I’ve had a chance to experience some exciting things here.

There are so many cool things to do here in Portland. I was pretty bored in Starkville. Portland gives me a city feel without being too big. And I’m not that far from several major cities. There’s so much going on that I can’t do everything I want to.

Last, but not least, I have met so many great people that I would not have have met otherwise. I’ve never felt more accepted than I have here. I love my Portland family.

I’m looking forward to the next 10 years here. I’ve grown so much personally and professionally in the past 10 and I think there’s more to come.

Linked below are my posts from 2012 about my moving experience.

Good Times, Bad Times

Saturday, July 31st, 2021 No comments

This has been another busy month. Since I’ve been vaccinated, it seems like every weekend has been packed with activity. Summer always seems busy because Portland only had a few months of non-rainy weather each year. Add onto that the fact that we had go a year without being able to go out because of covid-19. Today is my first weekend day that in a while that I’ve decided I’m not going anywhere. It’s nice to relax and recharge. I just hope the delta variant doesn’t disrupt our lives too much.

I’ve seen my friends a lot and not just on weekends. We celebrated one person’s birthday 2 weekends in a row and had a wine get together on a weeknight this past week, among other things. We went to a wine tasting out in Oregon wine country (I think that was this month). An old friend, Aaron, came back to Portland to visit with his boyfriend and his (Aaron’s) twin brother. I met the brother last time he was here. I miss Aaron a lot. He’s was one of the 1st people in Portland to make me feel welcome. He invited me to so many of his parties and night out excursions. That day I met some of Aaron’s local friends I had never met before and I’ve seen them a few times since.

PDX Gaymers had an outside in the park event that I refused to call a picnic. I first scheduled this in April and had no idea at the time how open things would be or how comfortable people would be around each other. It was originally supposed to be our 1st in-person post-lockdown event. A few days before I suggested people bring food if they wanted to, so it ended up being a picnic I guess. I brought a cooler, which ended up full of drinks that I got to take home. About 35 people showed up to this event, making it the biggest since I took over as leader in October 2016. We even had to borrow a couple of tables from an neighboring picnic area. It was so much fun! A lot of the time I wasn’t even playing anything. I was just trying to make sure people were playing something. I think everyone had a good time. I learned a lot that I’ll keep in mind for next year.

I’ve seen a ton of movies lately, thanks to Regal Unlimited. I’m going to see 2 more this week.

At work, full-time employees got every Friday off in July along with a 1 week in August. As a contractor I don’t get that and technically I’m not supposed to work. However, my manager gave me permission to work those days, adjust my schedule so that I can get those days off and still get 40 hours for the week, or just take some off. I’ve done the first 2 so far. I think I will work that week in August., but I’m not sure. Either way, it’s been nice having some extra days off this summer.

I found out this week that 1 person I went to school with and 1 person I met online because of LOST are in their final days because of cancer. I hope that we really have more treatment options soon. This has been a bad month for friends and their pets and not all of them recovered. Reese has been exhibiting some weird behavior lately. Of course, over the past 13 years I’ve always gotten worried when he started acting weird.

I’m busy and happy and fortunate. Eager to see what the rest of the year brings.

How about a few pictures from this month?

Portland Pride 2021

Monday, June 28th, 2021 No comments

There wasn’t a traditional Pride this year because of coronavirus. It’s better than what we had last year though.

Pride month is exciting and exhausting. I looked at my work and personal calendars early in the month and I was amazed at how much was going on.

I’m glad that things have opened up more and I’m glad to work for a company that values its LGBT employees. Most work Pride stuff throughout the month was virtual. We did a HIIT workout, had speakers, learned choreography to “Rain on Me”, and more.

Outside of work, I had a lot fun, though not all of it was directly Pride related. BBQs, a math-themed birthday party, a Timbers game in really great seats, kickball and picnic with my work team, PDX Gaymers’ first in-person event in well over a year, Portland virtual’s Pride parade, and more.

The end of the month has been a little bit of a bummer. The Pacific Northwest has been hit with a record heat wave. Today and the past 2 days have been the worst, with highs around 110 degrees or higher. Portland just isn’t built for this. I think somewhere around 60% of homes don’t have air conditioning. I heard yesterday that Washington and Oregon were hotter than 99.8% of the globe. My air conditioning was doing okay until yesterday. Some of my friends were also having trouble with their A/Cs keeping up with heat. The birthday party I went to 2 days ago was fine at first, but as the day went on and more people came, it started to get really warm. My biggest concern is keeping the dogs comfortable. They look at me like they’re expecting me to do something. I’m doing what I can to help them, but it’s mostly just waiting for things to cool down each day. Last night I don’t think it even went under 80 degrees. Max seems okay for the most part, but Reese (who celebrated his 13th birthday yesterday) has always gotten hot quickly and is having the most trouble. Even I’m starting to feel a lttle sick, like my heart is working harder. The hour I’m posting this is supposed to be the peak temp and temps should start dropping. They will drop almost 40 degrees tonight and tomorrow’s high should be around 90, which is better thought still about 15 degrees higher than it should be this time of the year. The rest of the week should be much better and next week even more so.

Happy Pride, everyone! It’s been a great month in spite of limping to the end. Our governor is lifting covid restrictions in 2 days, so hopefully more fun next month.

How about a photo dump? I need more light-colored clothing for summer.

April Showers

Friday, April 30th, 2021 No comments

April was actually a pretty dry month relatively speaking. I think I remember hearing that we set a record for most consecutive days in April without rain. Anyway, that’s not why I’m here.

I started working as a contractor at Nike at the beginning of the month. I’ve wanted to work for Nike for a long time. They’ve been my dream local company for a while now. I really like the team that I’m on and the work that I’m doing. I’ve already taken 1 trip to the employee store and bought a whole bunch of stuff at discount. The only thing that took away a little enthusiasm is that around the time I interviewed with them, another company showed interest. I couldn’t get an answer from the other company a month ago, but they reached out again a couple of weeks ago and I formally interviewed with them this week. I would feel terrible about leaving Nike so soon, but it would be hard to pass up this opportunity.

I got my 2nd dose of the covid vaccine on April 20. Yeah, the next day was awful like I expected. I had chills, a fever, nausea. Thankfully, I felt much better the next day. I already have plans for some social activities this summer. Some friends and I are planning a cabin getaway Memorial Day Weekend. I’m so excited.

I have so many plants now. I’m sure they were happy for what rain we did get. I’m still a newbie when it comes to raising plants. A lot of what I’m doin now is experimentation.

I got talked into trading in my last week Toyota Corolla for a new car. I decided to get a 2021 Toyota Corolla hybrid. I really loved that Corolla, but I like this one better so far. I remember joking after moving to Portland and seeing so many hybrids that my next car would be one. I didn’t happen that way and all electric seems to be the way to go now, but I’m usually behind on this kind of thing.

Things are looking up. Life is good.

It’s Not Covid

Sunday, February 28th, 2021 No comments

I’ve had some kind of respiratory thing going on for about a month now. I think it started at the end of January or first of February. Most of the time it’s just shortness of breath. Sometimes a cough or sniffles or a little nausea comes along with it. I’ve been tested for covid, so I don’t think it’s at. I check my temperature every few days and that’s been fine. I hope it’s not something in my environment making me sick. Hopefully I’ll feel better soon.

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What a Crazy Year

Sunday, January 31st, 2021 No comments

Who’d have thought 2021 could be crazier than 2020? Early on, it looked like it could be.

An armed assault on the Capitol building in the first week which was spurred on by President Trump. Then Trump’s 2nd impeachment following that.

I’m glad things calmed down though. I was glued to the TV during the history inauguration of Biden and Harris. I think he’s already doing a good job with executive orders. I want everyone to hold his feet to the fire, but I think everyone needs to give him a chance. It’s so nice to not hear what Trump is thinking about everything since he’s been banned from pretty much all social media. It’s also nice to not worry about what insane thing he’s going to do next, not that worried a lot about that before.

The GameStop story was also nuts. Ordinary people sticking it to rich folks. I love to hear it.

The covid-19 vaccines have been going out for over a month. I don’t know when I’ll be able to get one. Hopefully, in the next few months. The covid variants out there now have me a little worried, but hopefully the current vaccines will give some protections and we’ll just need to get a new shot every year just like the flu shots.

My contract with Walmart was supposed to end on the 29th, but I’ll be staying on for now.

Hope everyone is doing well. I feel like things are looking up.

Christmas 2020

Thursday, December 31st, 2020 No comments

Christmas was last Friday. It was another day in quarantine with not much happening.

I worked half a day. I streamed Overwatch for a few hours after work. I had Chinese takeout and watched Wonder Woman 1984 on HBO Max. The food was good, but the movie wasn’t nearly as good as the first one.

Hoping for better times next year. And snow.

What did I get for Christmas and my birthday this year.
  • a map of Portland neighborhoods poster
  • lots of fish food
  • fish cards and stickers
  • a bristlr worm trap
  • star wars card deck
  • an exercise ball
  • a pack of Reese’s trees
  • Star Trek: Picard Season 1
  • Overwatch Monopoly
  • Wakanda Forever board game
  • Star Trek Five-Year Mission board game
  • I treated myself to an Oculus Quest 2, an Xbox Series X, and a PlayStation 5, though the PS5 won’t be here for another couple of weeks.

    I’m at a point where I’m tired of hearing about how rough this year has been. Hopefully this will be one of the last times I mention it. Everyone can go into the new year with a new outlook and attitude

    There were many positives this year: finally getting a new job, making health a priority, getting to see Xander again, getting into a streaming habit, taking part in all the virtual events with PDX Gaymers, helping elect a new president elected, getting new gadgets, spending so much time with the dogs, and so on.

    As soon as the pandemic hit, I decided I wasn’t going to stress over that list of goals I set last year. It’s okay if I wasn’t productive as I wanted to be. I did meet a few of them I think. I’m not going to bother setting any for next year. Hopefully before the end of the year we’ll be able to start having game nights or going to happy hours again.

    Time will tell.

    Unfortunately, I had to work today and I’m working a half day tomorrow. Tonight, I finished a book to meet my book goal for the year. Now I plan to play video games, watch TV, and chat with friends while enjoying the most expensive bottle of wine I’ve ever bought.

    As always, have a great year and take care of each other!

    I’m Exhausted

    Wednesday, September 30th, 2020 No comments

    Don’t ever think life can’t get crazier, because it can.

    A lot of the West Coast has been on fire recently. In the middle of a pandemic. About 2 or 3 weeks ago there was so much smoke in the Portland area, it was hazardous to be outside for more than a few minutes. I blocked off the windows and doors as much as I could, but enough was still getting inside to make it hard for me to breath. This asthmatic did not like that. Air quality here is back to normal now.

    Work is good, but it’s been hectic. My team has a lot of requests thrown at it that need to be done in a short period of time. I like being busy. I just hope I can maintain a good work/life balance.

    The first presidential debate between Biden and Trump last night was insane. I’ll be glad when the election is finally over. 34 days until Election Day.

    A Little Less Crazy

    Tuesday, June 30th, 2020 No comments

    Things have settled down a little bit this past month. People are still protesting every night in Portland and maybe in other cities, but the news isn’t covering it as much.

    More of the country is opening up. There have been spikes in covid cases. Some places have put a hold on opening up. I got tested last week and I was negative.

    I’m still interviewing and still getting passed over. I got some bad news on a position that I really wanted. Hopefully, something will happen soon.

    I did take on some contract work to complete a short project for a local company. It’s been nice to write code again on an actual product.