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Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Time Marches On

Thursday, March 31st, 2022 No comments

I’m feeling pretty positive about life lately all things considered. Work is going well. I’ve had so many great experiences with friends this past month or so. I’m once again grateful for the friendships I have and it’s nice to be out and about again post Omicron peak. My friend Cody and I were both saying that we weren’t going to let the pandemic take another year from us. I’m taking precautions, but I’m out enjoying my life.

The biggest negative is that Reese has taken a bit of a turn for the worse. I’ve had almost 5 months to get used to the idea that he will be leaving. I take solace in the fact that he won’t be sick anymore.

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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.

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!

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.

Xander Visits

Tuesday, October 20th, 2020 No comments

My good friend and former roommate Xander this morning around 10 to head to the airport. He’s been here since Friday the 9th, so 11 days. He just texted me a little while ago to say that he was halfway home.

He came to visit and to help take care of the stuff he left behind, which was most of his possessions that he had here. I shipped a few boxes of stuff and his bicycle to him not too long after he originally left. It was so great seeing him again!

He admitted that it wasn’t until he got here he realized that he wouldn’t be able to be social much because of COVID. I think Portland might be adhering to guidelines better than where he is in Pennsylvania. Before he arrived, I was a little worried that he would be coming in and out all the time, but he quickly assuaged my concerns. I felt bad that he was cooped up here, but he seemed okay with it.

He spent the first few days just cleaning stuff out of his old room and the garage. He works nights in PA, so he was on a different schedule than me those first few days. Eventually though, he got adjusted. I helped when I could even though I was working. He didn’t realize how much stuff he had left here. He ended up throwing out a lot of it and shipping a little bit. The rest he left here to take care of later, which is fine. I’m happy that I have much more room than I did before.

He got meet Max for the first time and see Reese again and do some work on the fish tanks. I think I drank more coffee in the time he was here than in the year and a half before.

We did do some fun stuff away from here. We went to see Hocus Pocus at the drive in. We went to a social gathering (social distanced coffee and donuts) at Eric’s. We went on a little hike at Sauvie Island (my first time there). He got me Pokemon Go again, which I don’t think I played past the first month of release. He did some stuff with a couple of his other friends a couple of days ago. There wasn’t enough time or energy for everything, but that’s something to look forward to next time.

But he’s still Xander. He still has some of same idiosyncrasies that drove me crazy when he lived here. It’s going to take me a few days to get everything back the way I like it around here. Some stuff is probably lost to me forever.

Before he left we got to have a brief but needed chat about the weirdness that was going on before he left and for months afterward.

Once again, it was great seeing him again. I remember picking him up at a coffeeshop he went to after he landed and seeing him drive off in the rental car he picked up yesterday. Hopefully, it won’t be too long before I see him again

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Christmas 2019

Tuesday, December 31st, 2019 No comments

Wow! I had so little Christmas spirit this year! Between not working, being by myself so much, and the warm weather, it didn’t feel like Christmas. I didn’t start listening to Christmas music until Christmas morning and after that I was done with it.

Like Thanksgiving, I thought I was going to be spending the day hanging out alone with the dogs. Two days before, my friend Nir invited me to a Chinese dinner and a movie night he was organizing. The day after this I was invited to dinner at my former co-worker Aaron’s house, but I had to turn them down. My friend Jer and a guy named Dallas who I had recently met at a PDX Gaymers event were there for Chinese dinner, as well as some people that I had never met. I knew that people went out to restaurants on Christmas, but I didn’t know Chinese dinner on Christmas Day was a thing. This dinner was an experience. Some people’s orders weren’t quite right. The water tasted bad. I was pretty much told I couldn’t have what I wanted and I was told what I would get instead. After dinner, we saw Little Women, which was really good. I wasn’t expecting to like it as much as I did.

A few days after Christmas, we had a holiday party at Alex and Robert Lee-Olson’s house. It was a great time. I got to see some people I hadn’t seen in while. I’ve been a little bit of a hermit lately and some people’s schedules or location make it hard to get together often.

I don’t care what people say, presents are one of the parts of Christmas I still enjoy. What did I get this year? I hope I’m not forgetting anything.

  • dog treats for Max and Reese
  • a book on dog massages
  • Yooka Laylee and the Impossible Lair
  • The Sinister Mystery of the Mesmerizing Girl by Theodora Goss
  • a Black Panther build a bear
  • Astral Chain
  • a cross
  • Thor, Dr Strange, and Tony Stark pop vinyls
  • Reese’s candy
  • A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms by George R.R. Martin
  • many wonderful cards
  • some stuff I treated myself to
    • a web camera
    • board games Pret-a-Porter, Ecos, 7th Continent, Shadows of Brimstone, Anomia

2019 was a tough year. Two of my closest Portland friends moved away, Xander and then Cody. I don’t think I ever wrote about Cody leaving. I lost my job a few months after being promoted. I got sick with a bad sinus infection in October and have been sick pretty much since. I’m feeling the effects of not eating well and not exercising. Sitting here at home all day has taken a physical and emotional toll on me. I remember writing about how optimistic I was earlier in the year, but all that optimism left for a while. I’m feeling optimistic again about the new year, but if things don’t change soon, I could be right where I was.

I decided to set goals for next year. Since I successfully completed every goal the last time I did this, I think one reason I stopped doing it for a while was so I wouldn’t fail. Here’s my list.

  • Lose at least 30 lbs
  • Go on at least 1 date
  • Arrange at least 1 dog play date
  • Leave the state of Oregon at least 3 times
  • Beat at least 3 video games
  • Learn at least 1 new board game
  • Attend at least 1 Meetup I haven’t been to before
  • Buy a new bike and ride it
  • Go to a convention or festival that’s new to me
  • Arrange a photoshoot so I can put my photography equipment to good use
  • Don’t be so self conscious about how I look. Post at least 12 pics of myself on social media

We enter a new decade tomorrow. This past decade has been great to me. I spent the first 2 years in Starkville and last 8 years in Portland. Deciding to take a risk, uproot my life, and move to Portland was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. This decade has had some struggles: heartbreak, unhappiness with health and career, and some bouts of loneliness and depression. But overall it’s been great. Don’t they say your 30s are the best years of your life? So far I can’t disagree with that. Some of things I’ve done in this past decade:

  • moved across the country
  • met a lot of online friends, traveled with them, stayed in each other’s homes
  • became a social butterfly
  • traveled out of country for the first time
  • did a lot more traveling than I did before
  • became a leader at work and in the community
  • became a dog parent for the 2nd time
  • started podcasting
  • worked for one of the top tech companies in the world
  • dated a guy for the first time
  • started going to conventions
  • took up new hobbies
  • made many great local friends

I hope everyone has a happy New Year and a great decade! Take care of each other!

15th Annual Great Pumpkin Beer Festival

Tuesday, December 31st, 2019 No comments

The first weekend in October my friend Matt A. from California came up to visit. I know Matt through podcasting and I met him in person at the Twin Peaks festival a few years ago, but hadn’t seen him since. He had presented the idea a few weeks earlier of him coming up here and traveling to Seattle for the GPB Festival. I was all for it.

Matt flew in from Denver (I think) on that Friday night, where he had attended another festival. From what I understand, Matt works for a chain of stores and helps decide which beers and how much they stock. So this is like work for him. We watched that Stephen King movie In the Tall Grass, which had just debuted on Netflix.

We got up pretty early Saturday and got some donuts from Voodoo Donuts before heading to Seattle. We stopped at a brewery at met someone Matt knows, I think it was the manager. We then went to the festival which was a lot of fun. We drank sample after sample of pumpkin beer for hours. Since Matt knew some of the people there (I think they worked for one of the breweries), we got extra drink tickets. There’s a giant pumpkin beer filled with beer. Later in the day they had a costume contest near this giant pumpkin and later on a parade. After the parade they tap the pumpkin and served beer from the pumpkin. Leading up to them tapping the pumpkin, the excitement is building up. They had music playing. People (including Matt and myself) were holding cornstalks, dancing to the music, and chanting “TAP THAT GOURD!” It was kind of crazy, but fun to be a part of. After we left the festival, we had dinner with Jonathon Pope, a Washington resident who I know from podcasting but had never met before.

Sunday we drove back to Portland. We visited a couple of breweries around here. I took him to Powell’s. At this point Matt was feeling sick, probably from all the traveling, and I was starting to get sniffly too. He tried to get his return flight moved to Monday instead of Tuesday, but it was going to be too expensive. Matt wanted to play board games on this trip. We played one game at one of the breweries earlier and we ended the night playing board games with some of my local friends at the Lucky Lab.

On Monday, we didn’t do much. I remember going to a brewery, playing a game there, and getting a tour of the brewery’s expansion. That night we watch Hereditary and Midsommar.

On Tuesday, I had an interview so I had to take Matt to the airport earlier than I would have liked. We stopped at the library in Hillsboro and played a couple of games before heading to the airport.

I’m so glad Matt got to come visit, see Portland, meet my dogs, and play some board games. I wish more people would come visit -hint-hint-. The only negative is that once the sickness he gave me fully kicked in, I was miserable and out of commission for 2 weeks. Oh well, it happens.

Thanksgiving 2019

Saturday, November 30th, 2019 No comments

Thanksgiving was fairly low key this year. Since most of my friends were planning to spend time with their families either out of state or in this area, I had resigned to spending Thanksgiving alone, working on the fish tanks and playing video games. A few days before Thanksgiving, however, my former co-worker Aaron invited me to spend Thanksgiving with his family. I was happy, because although I’m not big on holidays, I still think you shouldn’t spend Thanksgiving and Christmas alone if you don’t want to.

I had to do some last unexpected shopping for sweet potato pie ingredients. It ended up not turning out well. I didn’t start cooking until a couple of hours before I went to Aaron’s and I tried to make it without dairy products. I don’t know if that was the difference or not, but it seemed mushy and under cooked. Since I was running late anyway, I decided to just take a game to share. For dinner we had Aaron and his wife Marissa, Aaron’s brother and his wife and her daughter, and someone named Zeke who knew everybody but I was never sure how he was related to everyone. A couple of guests ended up not coming. The food and conversation was good and we played the game I brought, Anomia, and had fun. Everyone left shortly afterward.

After I left I kept up my Thanksgiving Day movie tradition by going to see Knives Out. It’s such a good movie, one of the best I’ve seen this year.

I’m glad I ended up celebrating Thanksgiving. Bring on Christmas! Even though I feel lonely at times and don’t have a job, I have a feeling this is going to be a fun holiday season. There won’t be someone around who hates the holidays dragging my mood down. I’m looking forward to Christmas and the New Year so much!