Thanksgiving 2021

Sunday, November 28th, 2021 No comments

Thanksgiving weekend is ending. It was a good weekend.

I worked maybe an hour on Thanksgiving and 2 or 3 hours on Friday. Monday – Wednesday were pretty light at work as well. I’ll be glad when I’m working full-time again and don’t have to work on the last 2 days of that week at least.

I had Thanksgiving with my friends Aaron and Josh in Tigard, who I’ve been spending more and more time with lately. They ordered a pre-cooked dinner from New Seasons and all they had to do was warm it up. It was delicious. We played Xbox games and played a Star Wars themed card game that’s a lot like Exploding Kittens. I played games on my own at home before and after. The only thing I didn’t get around to doing was resurrecting my tradition of working out early on Thanksgiving day. At one point I thought I would work out at home after I got back from Aaron’s but I should have known that wouldn’t happen.

Friday – Sunday, I was at home pretty much the whole time playing video games, watching TV and movies, reading a book, and making sure Reese was okay. It was a nice, relaxing weekend for the most part.

I am fortunate.

A Fighter Begins His Final Fight

Sunday, November 28th, 2021 No comments

I haven’t talked about this publicly yet, but a few weeks ago Reese was diagnosed with cancer. Cancer sucks. We started treatment the next day and for about a week and a half he seemed to be getting better, but after that he started going back to where he was. He’s still with us now, but I don’t know how much longer he will be.

Reese has been through a lot with his knee and back issues that are common in his breed and he’s recovered each time. The first occurrence was before we moved to Portland almost 10 years ago now. Four years ago this month, he was told he would probably never walk again and 2 weeks later he was running to greet me at the door like he always did. Even now with everything going on, he’s still running around the living room and barking at people at the door as usual. I’ve done what I could to prevent him from aggravating his back and knees, but I don’t think there’s anything I could’ve done to prevent this.

Everything right now is making sure he’s comfortable and happy and his quality of life up for whatever time he has left. At 13 and half I knew he had more years behind him than ahead of him, but it’s still too soon.

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Checking In

Sunday, October 31st, 2021 No comments

Wow, time flies. It’s been a while since my last post, so I figured I’d pop in with an update like I do.

Life has been great. Between spending time with friends and PDX Gaymers events, I’ve been busy. October especially with all the Halloween things. My friend Aaron had a Disney-themed party this year. I dressed like a Sith Lord and everyone seemed to like it. PDX Gaymers had a Halloween game night again and my friend Jer also had a party. I’ve come to enjoy Halloween these past few years. I sympathize with those who don’t get into it but have to watch as everyone else is excited about it. It’s kinda how I’ve felt about Thanksgiving and Christmas most recent years.

Speaking of Thanksgiving and Christmas, it feels like a sprint from October until the end of the year. So much happening and work usually has end of the year deadlines. At least I have a few weeks to catch my breath though before things really pick up again.

Work at Nike is still great. I’m not sure that there’s any chance of being hired full time. Not on this team, at least. I received an offer from a team at Intel to return there. A generous offer. I didn’t even have to go through an interview process, probably because I was recommended by one of my old managers. I ended up turning it down, mostly because I didn’t think I would like the work and I would be unmotivated to come to to work every day. While this was going on, a team that includes some of the people I last worked with there also wanted to make an offer, but they couldn’t because of the other offer. It’s nice to feel wanted. I still feel the mental effects of that year of unemployment I had.

I got my covid booster on the 20th. Thank goodness for vaccines. So glad that I’m able to go out and have fun again this year.

I went to see the Trailblazers play the Clippers on the 29th. Aaron got tickets through his work. Floor seats! So weird being that close to all the action.

Oh, early in the month I went to see a Bianca Del Rio show. Wendy Ho opened for her. They were both so funny. I’ve never seen the early seasons of Drag Race, but I want to go back and watch them.

There’s more stuff coming up, but I’ll save it for another time. Happy Halloween!

Rose City Comic Con 2021

Sunday, September 12th, 2021 No comments

This weekend was Rose City Comic Con. It was my first con since January 2020. Man if felt good to be at a con again.

There were times leading up to the con where I thought about not going because of the delta variant that’s been so devastating lately. I waited a while to buy my passes and I didn’t purchase tickets for photo ops until the night before. At one point I was thinking the con might be cancelled, but going into that final week I was pretty sure it would go on. PAX (which I decided to skip this year) and DragonCon weren’t cancelled, after all.

If was definitely different. Not as many people. Everyone in masks. It seems like there weren’t as many guests to begin with, but more than normal cancelled for various reasons leading up to it. By the time the con got here, there were only 3 people I was interested in meeting.

I had actually planned on being there for only a few hours each day instead of spending almost all day there like I would in a normal year. I figured there wouldn’t be as much to see and I would limit my possible exposure to covid.

I almost thought about skipping Friday, but I decided to get one of my photo ops this day, so I could squeeze in another photo op on Sunday. As I do sometimes, I drove on the first day and rode the train after that. I can’t remember how much I’ve talked about my health on here recently. I was pretty out of shape before than pandemic, but add on to that 18 months of not going anywhere and not eating badly. It was a struggle just getting around the con. I remember having to walk around pretty much the entire building at my last con and although I was tired, it wasn’t much of a struggle. This time, I had to take several breaks walking from the parking lot to the entrance. They were on opposite sides of the building. I only went to see one panel, Carl Weathers. I had to factor in a rest break when I decided when to head to the room it was in. And when I left for the Billy Boyd photo and when I left the con that day, I had to traverse the entire building 2 more times. My legs and back were killing me. I was so winded and sweaty. My heart felt like it was going to explode.

The next day I had planned to do my normal cosplay photography stuff. Luckily, the train dropped me off right next to the Premium Pass entrance. I wish I had known about that entrance the day before. I got a few cosplay photos, but I was too tired to do more. I didn’t even walk around the show floor like I normally do. I got a photo with George Takei, but decided to skip his panel because I was so tired.

Sometime Saturday night I decided to skip Sunday. I had a headache, my chest was hurting a little, and my body was sore. I ended up missing panels with Billy Boyd and members of The Boys cast. I also missed the photo op I had paid for with Jack Quaid. I hope he comes to Portland again soon.

Even though it was tough on me, it was great being at a con again. I’m looking forward to the next one. In the meantime, I really have to focus on my health. I’m sure I’ve said that before, but I mean it this time. I’ve already been working with a trainer. It’s mostly diet that’s dragging my down.

Summer Olympics 2021

Sunday, August 15th, 2021 No comments

The Summer Olympics ended last weekend. They were delayed a year because of the coronavirus. As much as I thought they should have been cancelled this year because of the coronavirus situation in Japan, I was excited by the time they finally arrived. But once they started, I wasn’t all that into it. I hate to think my interest in the Olympics is slowly waning over time. I started this blog 17 years ago this month right before the summer Olympics and even mentioned them in one of my first entries. Ah, that was the year I watched every show NBC hyped up during the Olympics like Hawaii, LAX, and Medical Investigation. They were all cancelled. However, we also got LOST on ABC a few weeks later. But I digress.

Maybe part of the reason I wasn’t into the Olympics as much as I wanted to be was because I wasn’t watching primetime coverage. I usually had a stream on while I was working during the day and I watched whatever was playing at the time. I wasn’t going out of my way to watch anything in particular and I’m sure the most popular events were in primetime on NBC. I didn’t get to see any diving, gymnastics, track, or swimming that I usually enjoy other than brief recaps. I didn’t see any rugby at all, which I really enjoyed watching in 2016. I did get to see a lot of volleyball (indoor and beach), tennis, and water polo.

The time difference is usually issue. There were a couple of times at least when I was watching something and then realized I already had heard the outcome of the earlier in the day. The competitions did feel different. I think it may have been because spectators weren’t allowed in the stands. I didn’t get to hear the personal stories of many of the athletes, which makes the events more exciting. Maybe not having gamily members in the stands contributed to that or maybe all of that was in primetime on NBC

I’m glad there’s only 3 years until the next Summer Olympics and in 7 years they will be in L.A. I hope to attend the LA games. I’ve never been into the Winter Olympics as much, but maybe I’ll try to watch them in a February

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.

Let the Good Times Roll

Monday, May 31st, 2021 No comments

This month has been amazing. Getting to go out and do things again has been great!

I went to happy hour at Robert and Alex’s place. I went to movie night at Aaron’s place. I’ve been to see 3 movies in the movie theater. I’ve gone to 2 clubs. I’ve been back to my gym. I wasn’t unmasked the whole time. I followed the rules at each establishment and sometimes wore a mask even when I didn’t have to.

Also, work has been going well. I’m really enjoying my job right now.

I was supposed to be in Sunriver with friends this weekend, but I was left without a dogsitter at the last minute, so I had to stay home. Maybe I need more close dog owner friends, not that I would feel comfortable asking a friend to take care of my dogs. It was nice to have my first holiday or vacation day off since last July. It’s weird waking up on a weekday and not working. It’s been a while.

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.

A Dream of Vaccines

Wednesday, March 31st, 2021 No comments

The covid-19 vaccination effort has been underway since December I believe. It’s been just a matter of waiting for my turn. My turn finally came yesterday.

I kind of had a feeling early on that I would be in the last group to get it. Well, when Oregon finally finished defining the groups, it turned out I was in the next to last group, being pushed into that group by my BMI. All this time I’m jealous because I’m seeing people I know get the vaccine. Some I couldn’t figure out how they got to go so early, though I was happy for them all the same. The time my group would be eligible was pushed up to April (early estimates were July and then May 1) thanks to an increased supply. Then one day last week I got an email with a link to schedule an appointment. I didn’t think much of it. I figured that maybe it was pushed up again. I scheduled my appointment for March 30 at the Convention Center. Well, the next day I found out that due to an error 11,000 people were invited to schedule their appointments earlier than they should have been, but the appointments would be honored anyway.

I haven’t made that big a deal about it publicly because so many people are still waiting. The whole process of getting the shot once I got to the Convention Center was quick and painless. They were giving the Pfizer vaccine.. My arm is still pretty sore, but that’s the only side effect I’ve had. I’ve heard the side effects of the 2nd shot are the worst, which for me is scheduled for April 20. Two weeks after that it should have taken full effect.

I’m so excited to be able to spend time with friends again and go out to do things around town.