Sadie says...

Sadie has something she wants to tell you...


"The First" and "The One"...

For me there have been a couple things in life that I obsess over and that honestly have probably held me back from truly opening up myself to someone and letting myself relax and enjoy a relationship.
1st (appropriately) is "The First..."
2nd is "The One..."

The first...
the first time you kiss,
the first time you fall in love,
the first time you have sex,
the first... you get the idea.
I found that I put so much emphasis on making the first of any experience perfect that I often prevented the first experience from ever happening. I had to learn to just embrace the moment and not run away from a less than perfect first experience. Which is hard because I'm a romantic and a perfectionist... and I want everything to have a storybook ending.

As I get older I put less weight in the importance of 'the first' and am trying to live in the moment so that when I'm older I have more 'first' experiences to look back on and feel sentimental about.

Second is "the One"
Recently Dan Savage came to Dallas, and while I didn't get to go, i did find this clip from his question and answer session that night. Someone asked him how to get over their recent breakup from 'The One' and I thought his response was really insightful.

"There is no One," he said. "The One is a curse. ... What there is is a world is full of .64s and .69s and .73s that you round up to one. ... But you have to remember, you're not his One either. He's rounding your ass up too."

Fast forward to 4:15 in the video to hear him elaborate on it in person.
I would love to find a .87, and I don't think I'll settle for a .54, but I'm becoming more comfortable with not finding the One. There is a real beauty to loving someone and filling in the gap between where they are and One. I like that together you become greater than the sum of your parts.



I have no idea how I ended up on youtube, but I found this video and it instantly took me back to growing up. Okay, I do know how it happened... it was the end of a trail on Wikipedia. First I was looking for info on THIS, then that lead to THIS, and ultimately to THIS and the video below.

On the weekends, my parents would let me stay up and watch Dr. Who, and sometimes even Blakes 7. On really rare occasions, like when Jeb would stay over, I'd even get to see the OETA sign off. The Jet flying while the guy reads the poem "High Flight" really is an amazing memory queue for me. Wikipedia rocks.



A 15 min animated action movie made up entirely of corporate logos... too cool.

Logorama from Marc Altshuler - Human Music on Vimeo.


Simplicity in Communication...

I like how this guy thinks... keep things simple. It's just the way things should be done.

Here's an example.  This is his suggested revision to the book that you get from your credit card company for their agreement with you. (click the picture to read it in larger copy).
via TED Blog


Flying in style....

So here's a new/old concept, travel by airship.

Short version: I like it!

Long version: romantic, slow, classy... this is how vacation travel should be done. I've often wanted to go across the ocean on a boat simply because of the journey. Today's cruise ships aren't really what I'm wanting, they go out and come back... I think it would be cool to go from A to B and have done it in an unusual way. Here are some pics from the original article I found. I'll post the article below.

Flying to New York? Then why not go by luxury airship (but it will take you 37 hours)

Towering, kite-shaped airships could herald a new era of luxury transport following today's introduction of the Aircruise concept.

Standing 98ft taller than Canary Wharf, packing 330,000 cubic metres of hydrogen gas and capable of lifting 396 tonnes, the Aircruise concept features penthouse apartments, bars and even dizzying glass viewing floors.

Aircruise was created as the antithesis of a hurried, crowded passenger jet. London-based design and innovation company Seymourpowell wanted to rethink transport - on the premise 'slow is the new fast'. It could ferry 100 people from London to New York in a leisurely 37 hours as opposed to the seven it takes now by airplane.

and pollution free, the Aircruise combines solar power with a primary hydrogen drive for a cruising speed of around 90mph.

It can fly up to a maximum of 12,000ft but if there are specific areas of interest en route it can drop down to a few hundred feet.

Seymourpowell design director Nick Talbot said: 'The Aircruise concept questions whether the future of luxury travel should be based around space-constrained, resource-hungry, and all too often stressful airline travel.'

He said the Aircruise straddles the line between a cruise ship and a floating hotel.

Mr Talbot explained: 'In a world where speed is an almost universal obsession, the idea of making a leisurely journey in comfort is a welcome contrast.'

Airships had their heyday in the 1930s with the famous German zeppelins. However, new technology has made them increasingly attractive from an environmental standpoint.

Theoretically, it could ferry 100 people from London to New York in a leisurely 37 hours or from Los Angeles to Shanghai in just under four days.

Seymourpowell's early Aircruise designs attracted the attention of Korean giant Samsung Construction and Trading (C&T) - the primary contractor of the tallest man-made structure the Burj Khalifa in Dubai - who commissioned Seymourpowell to produce a detailed computer animation.

Seung Min Kim, design director at Samsung, said: 'This was a dream concept project for us, helping to realise a future of sustainable buildings combined with innovative and luxury lifestyle.

'In an age when environmental impact is a key consideration for architecture, we are keen to extend this vision of the future by searching for solutions that can be realised by 2015 - the year that many futurologists foresee as the turning point for the future.'

Technological advances mean lightweight, semi-flexible structures can now be built on a big scale. Although large, this is nevertheless a semi-rigid ship, the main structure consisting of eight vertical, composite lattices supporting four main flexible envelopes, which contain 330,000 cubic metres of hydrogen gas.

Lower decks are 'hung' off these primary supports. Each of the four external envelopes contains modular self-sealing lifting bags, minimising the incidence of bag rupture and ensuring safe flight even with a major external skin rupture.

Hydrogen, the lightest gas, is used as the lifting gas, and is capable of lifting around 1.2Kg per cubic metre of volume. Large Polymer Electrolyte Membrane (PEM) hydrogen fuel cells will provide on board power and some drinking water.

These fuel cells are the type typically used in cars. A PEM fuel cell uses hydrogen fuel and oxygen from the air to produce electricity.


Good Morning?

I've been working some nutty hours recently... going to bed early and getting up at 2am so I can get to work at 3am and get 5 or 6 hours of uninterrupted productivity done before people show up and my phone starts to ring off the hook. Last night was the first night in about 2 weeks that I was planning on going to bed at a somewhat normal time (9pm) and getting up at a similar somewhat normal time (5.30am). Anyway, this morning in the shower, I'm on autopilot (which is probably a bad thing for me to do with any task), and I grab the shaving cream, fill my hand with the quarter size dollop of gel, rub my hands together to create a nice thick foam.... then put it in my hair.
It's like my brain skipped from the whole shaving thing and while I was in process of raising my hands to my face, skipped straight to shampoo.

This is a Tuesday right.....?
Because that was a totally Monday thing for me to do.



The Winter Olympics are right around the corner. Here's a time lapsed video of the host city. It's so cool to see how the fog and mist engulf the city--it makes us seem small and much less significant than our egos might lead us to believe. It's really an amazingly beautiful city.

Expand the video to fit the screen for the full effect--sound is important too... enjoy!


Prop 8 in California...

The lawsuit about the constitutionality of Prop 8 began it's slow advance towards the US Supreme Court this week. I'll keep this simple:

Amendment 14 - Citizenship Rights

1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.

No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States;

nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.


Christmas Spirit...

I don't want to be a grinch, but Christmas is one of my least favorite times of the year.

  1. It's waaaay too close to Thanksgiving.
  2. There's too much pressure from every direction to shop and give gifts. You can almost taste the stress in the air. I'm all for spending time with family and being thoughtful of our gifts and time together, but there is so much commercialism out there that I think the spirit of Christmas may be a complete sham now. And this year is particularly hard on people with the economy as it is.
I've tried to get my family to go for the lower-cost/lower-key/more thoughtful gift exchange, but no dice. They always come back with "you don't have to buy us anything, but we're still going to get gifts for people." Which really doesn't help. I'm not an idiot, this is an all or nothing thing... either everyone goes light on the gifts or I come out looking like a cheap schmuck. This year, however, I've limited my gift giving to something I'm making myself. Only immediate family is getting anything bigger than a Christmas card. And I've specifically made it a point to let my mom know that me coming down and spending the entire week before Christmas with the family is the bulk of my gift to them.

So if you aren't family: you got a card.

If you didn't get a card: e-mail me your address and you'll get one post-New Years.

I'm not known for being prompt, but you have to give me an A for effort (sometimes).



You don't know how good you have it till you don't have it anymore.

Growing up I was 45 min from this amazing place (and it's hiking, camping, climbing, etc.) Now it sometimes takes me longer to get home from work than it used to take me to escape to a place like this....
I need an escape.


Zen and Omelets...

While catching up on my blog reading, I came across a posting on Passing Fancy's (formerly Speeding Motorcycle) Cooking Blog regarding omelet making (since his blog has closed, I've gotten the entry from him and posted it below). This inspired me to try my own hand at omelet making--even though I lack a solid "omelet pan." While Speedy makes the point that zen in omelet making isn't to be rushed, i was rather pleased after my first dozen attempts. I will admit that Ginger enjoyed 6 or 7 casualties that were lost in the early stages of MY quest for egg-cellence.

While we're on the topic of cooking...
enjoy this recipe for Electro Funk Daddy Superstar.

From Speedy's blog:
The video is by the P5, aka The Pizzicato Five, a Japanese pop group headed by Japanese super model Yasuharu Konishi. Today's subject is the omelette, and there really is a reason I'm feeling Japanese today, but I'll get to that in a bit.

The omelette is the perfect solution for any victim of the Great Depression 2.0 (me included!) with little time to cook and a need for an instant power punch of protein, fat, and vitamins, and a hankering for gourmet dishes. The lowly egg costs around 10 cents these days -- for around 50 cents you can have a meal just about anybody in their right mind would be jealous of and walk around with a full, happy belly to boot. My personal favorite has a dab of goat cheese, red onion, lots of freshly-cracked pepper, and maybe a fresh herb or two tossed in. Suffice to say, I've eaten a lot of omelettes in the last 16 years.

The thing about an omelette is that, as simple as it is, the classic French omelette is a pretty damn difficult thing to master and most people are terrified of the prospect. While anybody can make a Denver omelette, where you pretty much just toss the eggs in, stir a few times, and add some peppers and tomatoes and dump out onto a plate, making that perfect, soft, moist but firm French-style omelette takes skill and a lot of practice. But it IS possible, and more than worth the effort.

First off, you need an omelette pan. For less than $20, you can get a good, non-stick, classic omelette pan -- I buy one about every 2 years because they will eventually wear out. You also will need:

3-4 eggs
chopsticks (seriously, it's true, and it's great entertainment as well if you get fancy pink ones from the local asian market.)

This of course does not count the fillings, but that's up to your own taste. I'll recommend some at the end of this blog in case you want some new ideas.

Making omelettes for more than one is best -- you crack all the eggs needed into a large bowl, whisk, add a pinch of salt and pepper, and then you use a ladle that approximately scoops up about 3 eggs worth each time. Assemly-line omelette making is fun and a good way to entertain friends, especially if it's Sunday morning and they're waking up groggy and hungover and want a distraction.

1. Heat and oil
Heat your pan for AT LEAST 2-3 minutes on high, depending on your burner/gas flame. You want the pan so hot that it barely smokes when you pour in the oil (about, you know, a tablespoon or so, enough to lightly coat the pan).

2. Pour eggs into the pan.
Immediately begin to stir rapidly with said chopsticks. Making an omelette is a two-handed, highly-skilled enterprise -- breathe, focus, and watch your eggs. You should be lifting the pan slightly, directing the runny eggs to the blank spots in the pan. This part only takes one minute, if that. 30 seconds is more like it.

3. Push the egg bits into one corner of the pan, approximately one-third to one-half of the pan should hold your omelette. Allow to sit for another 10, 20 seconds. Flip (practice, over and over again, and you'll be a pro soon enough.) After flipping, allow omelette to rest in the pan for another 10 or 20 seconds at most, then hold your omelette over your plate and let it cascade down like butter.
Now, on to fillings, but first, a song. (song deleted)
There are two good ways to add a filling to your French omelette. The easiest way is this -- after you have done your first 30 seconds or so of stirring and it begins to settle and fill the entire pan, add your filling in a line down the middle, then fold the omelette over. That's one way, and it certainly works. The other way is a little trickier but a lot more fun for your friends to watch, and looks pretty cool as well. You make the omelette as described above, although you would definitely lean toward the 10 seconds instead of the 20 in the last 2 steps. Once the omelette is on the plate, take a small paring knife and carefully cut a slit down the length of the omelette. Take your fingers and carefully open the slit, almost like you would a vagina if you're into that (gross, thank you, but no thanks.) You have to open it carefully because you don't want to split the omelette, and you don't want to go more than halfway down. In this slit, you put your ingredients, et voila. A very beautiful, truly French, classic omelette.
Ok, so the reasons I've paired Japanese pop with omelette making are legion, but the original reason is this, that I learned to make the perfect omelette from my favorite movie of all time, Tampopo, the first and only movie to ever be called a "noodle western." I had to buy it on ebay from Australia to get a DVD version with English subtitles, but it was worth it. And near the end of the film, they make an omelette, with chopsticks, and seriously. I'm not kidding -- that's how I learned. I've watched chefs make omelettes in person, I've watched countless cooking shows, but the way they make an omelette in Tampopo and, it turns out, in Japan in general, is pretty much the easiest, simplest, best way to make a classic French omelette. Tampopo also happens to be the penultimate "foodie" flick. My best girlfriend says it's the weirdest movie she's ever seen and classifies me as not just eccentric but beyond, but I'm telling you, it's a great flick. I once wrote a review of it, just for fun; it's simply that good.

Anyway, so if you tool around YouTube looking for a good video that shows you how to make an omelette, you'll find Brits in their underwear, chefs in chef coats, a crazy-looking over-eager housewife in a Kraft-sponsored spot, but the only videos that will truly show you just the bare essentials are, of course, in Japanese.

Here ya go -- my favorite:

Now, I have one last YouTube spot.
This is the spot from Tampopo where they make "omurice" aka Rice Omelette, where it finally clicked for me how you make a proper omelette. This is a curry-ketchup rice omelette, so I think the other video is better for showing the bare essentials. But if you haven't tried a curry-ketchup rice omelette before, oh my god, they're to die for. I swear. Oh, and yeah, I promised some other rice filling suggestions. Here are some I like:

-Fresh cilantro, whole garlic cloves, tomato, pepperjack cheese
-Goat cheese, red onion, and maybe basil, or, even better, a couple leaves of mint
-Cream cheese, with a dash of soy sauce (great for kids, btw)
-Spinach, green chilies, and salsa verde (a "green" omelette aka the "Al Gore")
-Avocado and PRETTY MUCH ANYTHING ELSE -- you put avocado in an omelette, and it WILL be good

Ok, here's the Tampopo spot. Guten apetit folks! :) The trick to making a good omelette is practice, practice, practice. I would suggest making one at least once a week, for at least a year. After that, it's like riding a bicycle . . .

Cabin Fever...

So I've been sick since New Years Eve until about today--ironically, the last day of vacation before starting back up at the office tomorrow. Between NyQuil induced comas, I spent some time looking at weird stuff on the internet.... some of which I will now post for your enjoyment.

Happy New Year!



I recently became the new Editor for the Dallas AIA magazine. This is a really awesome opportunity. The magazine is just now going to a large 60+ page glossy format and the internal people who make the magic happen are exceptional professionals that I already enjoy working with. So here's a sneak peak at my first "Letter from the Editor," which was fun to write at the beginning but quickly began to feel like a homework assignment for English Comp II back in college. Ugh Deadlines!

Trying Times

Our turbulent economy right now might actually be a good thing for architecture. Let me explain. When money is flowing during prosperous times, people don't take the time to really think about the quality of what they are purchasing. We accept a more disposable economy and don't focus on the long-term characteristics of what we're buying or building. When I say this I'm generalizing about the overall built environment. I know that there are always a select group of clients that insist on well-designed projects; but generally, cheap money leads to developers and clients settling and building the faster, cheaper thing that will turn into profit the fastest. When money is tight, people begin to scrutinize how things are really put together.

It may be that a recession makes people stand up and take a closer look at what they're spending their money on because every penny really begins to count. It's at this time that architects really add value. The cookie-cutter buildings that scatter our suburban landscapes begin to look like what they are--poor solutions that were allowed to happen because money was cheap, the client didn't care enough, the architect wasn't pushed enough, and the community didn't hold people accountable enough to demand "good" design.

The fact that what we're now facing is probably a global recession may mean that even mundane things find better design. Darwinism in the products we buy may mean that, where once we would buy something knowing that it wouldn't last beyond the next season, now we begin to look again at quality and durability and….. design! Trying times are sometimes the impetus for renewal.



This is John Barrowman. He's on BBC and Torchwood (which I've been told is a spin off of the new Dr. Who). I can't confirm any of this since I haven't had a t.v. for several years. Anyway, a friend sent me a link to the video. I really like it. He's an interesting combo of looks and sound. He's like Mr. Big meets young all American guy with some Mark Harmon thrown in (whom I've probably had a crush on since Summer School and St. Elsewhere back when I was in Jr. High). His voice kind of has a Robbie Williams meets George Michael sound to it sometimes. I figured I would share it. The words also have struck a note with me but that's another blog entry for another time.



Why Gay Men Date Beautiful Women...

An observation... closeted gay men date the most beautiful women.

Someone asked me if the picture from the previous blog was Mary. It's not, I pulled it from the net, but its a dead ringer for her. Milky skin, incredible smile, flowing brown hair that cascaded down her back... and a personality that lights up a room and draws you to her. This got me thinking--when I was 'straight' I didn't date much till grad school, but when I did date, the girl was always stunning.

My theory on this is that when a guy is in the closet, he sets an unattainable standard for the women he dates. I know I did that. It was the only way I could be safe in the relationship. There was always a way out because there was something that didn't quite meet this unrealistic standard.

The last two women I dated before I came out to myself and eventually to my friends and family are were stunning people too.

Amy was a blind date in college. The original date was a
disaster, then about 4 years after the blind date we met back up and actually started dating. She was beginning med school and I was back in grad school to get my MBA. We connected over a spring break when everyone else was out of town. I invited her over to watch some movies and cook some dinner. She was a southern baptist preachers daughter, she was homecoming queen in college, and is now a pediatric neurosurgeon. She was my parent's wet-dream of a daughter-in-law. She was the complete meal deal and seriously, if you aren't attracted to that, then you've got to be gay.

Shinez was an incredibly sexy Turkish girl who I met through my roommate from grad school and his wife. Shinez and her were roommates when they were working in Istanbul, but UCLA grad school had brought her to the states and an internship had brought her to Dallas. Exotic and European, she had the beauty of an Italian movie starlet, the sexy accent of a french lover, and the spontaneous wild side that came with her from California. Again, if you can't be turned on by that, then it causes you to question so many things about yourself.

If you're gay, and a generally masculine guy who maybe came out later in life to himself or maybe isn't even out at all to the world around you. Think about it. Are the women you date the cream of the crop? The exceptional? The amazing?
We set the bar so high in an effort to sabotage the relationship. This rescues us from it progressing and us having to make a commitment that we know our heart isn't into.
This one isn't hot enough. That one isn't smart enough. She's not adventuresome... she's not romantic... she doesn't like strawberry ice cream... she's not this or that. What ends up happening is--through process of elimination--you are dating virtually perfect people: smart, beautiful, fun, everything that everyone could want... but they aren't perfect for you because you're gay. And no one around you understands why you're breaking up with these amazing people.

That's how I handled it. I kept on finding a flaw or some reason that I couldn't fall in love with them when it was nothing wrong with them and actually something with me.

I've talked to my buddies about this, and it's a pattern. We all dated amazing women. I've seen the pictures! Our ex's are all HOT women! They're brain surgeons! They run marathons and speak five languages. Yet we always find an excuse to keep it from going to that next level. You eventually run out of excuses for it not working. When I came out, one of the best parts was I could be honest with people about my old relationships and why things didn't work with Amy or Shinez or Darcy or Caroline or Kate or any of the other amazing people I have dated.


I had the weirdest dream...

...so I just woke up from the most bizarre dream and had to write it down while I could still remember it. To give you some background (and probably what triggered the dream), I got an e-mail on facebook 3 or 4 days ago from a girl named Mary. Mary and I dated in college. She was the first person I ever said 'I love you' to, and she turned my world on edge for about a year and a half after she came back from a trip to Argentina and didn't still share all my adolescent emotions.

The dream:
I was on the OSU campus for something. Not sure if it was a football game or something, but I'm walking around looking at buildings etc. and then Mary is walking by and gives me a hug and she says she's here for something and asks me to walk with her so we can catch up. So I'm walking with her, and then, as we're walking, there are more and more people walking towards some big arena like everyone is going to a basketball game or a graduation ceremony. I see in the crowds walking some people I know (like Niki from L.A.), but instead of saying HI, I keep following Mary.
She's not slowing down, she just keeps walking and moving forward. By now she's 2 or 3 people ahead of me on the sidewalk--keeps turning around and motioning me to follow her, so I do. Then I look and crossing the road is my entire High School class from Frederick, people I haven't seen in years (Moncia, Brandi, Ben, Bryan, Jed, Andra, etc)... so I try to say HI and visit, but now Mary is 15-20 people ahead of me on the sidewalk, motioning me to hurry up and catch up with her. Then out of no where this incredibly hot guy who looks like Jay Mohr (my t.v. crush for the last 10 years) runs up to me, grabs my hand in a handshake, and say's "Brian! it's me Mat" (I don't know why, but it's Mat with one 't') and I realize this is my dream guy, my prince charming. He's got tousled brown hair and is wearing a nice leather jacket and khakis.  He has this incredible smile, and he's talking to me like we're old roommates from some summer camp we went to when we were both kids. He has this really firm grip that is still embracing my hand when I say, "walk with me, I'm chasing that girl" and point to Mary in her baby blue sun dress, who is now 30 people ahead of me on the sidewalk. Then she turns and goes in this gate to a court yard. Mat and I get to the gate and across from the courtyard I can see the door shutting into the building that Mary has gone in. I'm explaining to Mat that this is Mary, the first person I fell in love with, then mid sentence I realize this is stupid--why am I chasing her, I'm gay, and I say that out loud--but I still have this incredibly strong urge to follow her into the building before she gets away. And I'm standing at the courtyard entrance with this guy Mat--still holding his hand from the handshake, and I feel like I have to make a decision to either go through the door and keep trying to follow Mary, or to stay with Mat, who I don't recognize yet, but who I have this feeling in my stomach I know already like my soulmate. --then I wake up.

Please discuss...



I'm not a huge movie guy. 
I grew up in a small town [34° 24' 12.42" N, 99° 0' 29.12" W] where the closest movie theater was an hour drive away. For me, movies are truly social things that I do because I want to share a social ritual with friends or something along those lines. All of that being said, I really like a lot of the movies coming out this summer. I went to go see WANTED last night at the Studio Movie Grill with my upstairs neighbor and his girl friend. It's a very satisfying blow-em-up movie, so I left the theater with a happy macho-glow on my face due to the slow motion blood splatters and car chases.
I also want to see Hancock with Will Smith. But Wall-E is the movie that I've been looking forward to the most for about a year. There's something very appealing about characters that don't talk but still tell a story. Besides, it's a cartoon, and I really am a kid (still).


The Rules of Dating...

My friends make fun of me sometimes because of 'the rules,' but for me, there is a certain rationale to having a few basic ideas that you can rely on. People sometimes call this Common Sense.

I guess this first started with a roommate I had in college who had a simplified view of the world that he based his decisions on. Simple things that are sometimes stupid, but at their core, they make sense. Some people call it wisdom.
Over time but especially when I was first dating after coming out of the closet, I developed a set of rules, the core of which are these:

  1. Don't date someone new to town
  2. Don't date someone in the closet
  3. Date someone +/- 5 years of your age
  4. Don't date friends
Digging a little deeper, here's my logic for each of them.

Don't date someone new to town. When you have someone fresh off the boat, they don't have an established social network. If you start to date, you become their world. It's very important that both people in a relationship have their independence. People need their space. I need to have my friends and my stuff, and you need to have your friends and your stuff. We can do things with both groups, but when someone is new to town and only has the people you've introduced them to, then there is a lack of diversity that evolves--they don't have their own stuff.
Everyone needs to escape to a place that doesn't revolve around the other person... trust me on this. I need away time from myself, so I know someone I date is going to need it sometimes also.

Don't date someone in the closet. This is a no brainer. I spent 30 years in the closet; it's not a healthy place and I don't want to go back in. I understand that some people can't come out of the closet because of their career. But when they aren't out to their closest friends or their family then they're not out at all. When you date someone completely in the closet then it takes you back to that dark place where you lie to people you care about and have to fabricate stupid things like "where did you meet so-and-so?" or "are you dating anyone?" or even simple stuff like "what are you doing this weekend?" Honestly, this is one of the bigger reasons why my ex and I had issues. For the record, my ex is a great guy and has since come completely out of the closet, but while we were dating this was an issue for me. He was out to his best friend and to one of his brothers. He wasn't out at the office, and for good reason--it was an old school company and it would've ended his career. Ironically, it was the random people who had no bearing on his career or anything that really got to me. When people like his hair stylist, or the guy he played tennis with on Saturday, or a person at a resident's happy hour would ask him "are you single" or "what did you do for your birthday," instead of saying "I'm dating a great guy" or "my boyfriend took me to my favorite restaurant" he'd lie--and that wasn't acceptable to me--I little by little lost respect for him. I knew that the person I date and that I loved had more integrity than to lie and be ashamed about himself or his feelings for me, especially when people of such little consequence would ask a casual question.
If his boss had asked--sure, be safe and use the gender neutral pronoun game like all of us do before we come out of the closet, but don't lie.
Really that's the short-term reason to not date someone in the closet. The longer-term reason is what if this person is the guy I'm going to spend the rest of my life with? Will we never share a Thanksgiving dinner with his parents? Will I never get to go golf with his dad and brother?
It was important for my ex to meet my sister and my best friends. It helped him understand who I am and where I've come from. Likewise, I want to meet the amazing people from his world too.
My experience is that when you meet someone that takes your breath away--whom you fall in love with--then you don't want to hide them.... You want to show them off and share them with the important people who are special in your life.

Date someone +/- 5 years of your age. This is a bit flexible. The common sense part of this says, "if you're 35, don't date the 23 year old retail guy from Banana Republic." The thought process that leads to credibility for this is two people should basically be in similar states of their life.
If you're dating a guy 15 years younger or 15 years older, then you probably don't have a lot in common with each other outside of the sex.
On a more micro level I think the phases of life come down like this: high school, college, out on your own, established career, etc. A guy in college may be very "mature for his age" (or however you rationalize it) but if he's at a frat party and you're working to make mortgage payments, you aren't in the same frame of mind when it comes to making most of your decisions.
More shallow things are, you probably won't like the same music or t.v. and he won't get your pop-culture references.
When I would chat on the net, some 22 year old kid with a smokin body would message me and try to convince me that he was someone I could date because he was "mature for his age" and he "gets along better with people older than him because guys his age are too juvenile." I'd run away--and for good reason! If the guy doesn't remember the first space shuttle exploding, the first President Bush, or the first war in Iraq, then there's a good chance that we're coming from different places. My youth was a cold-war-youth that shaped my psyche and how I developed. Along those same lines, if Kennedy's assassination shaped your youth then I'm probably too young to be your date to the prom this time around too.
I appreciate and crave diversity... but generally age is a big hurdle when it comes to dating, even when compared to things like being from different cultures of having different backgrounds.

Don't date friends. This one is fuzzy. When I was straight, I used to adhere to the "When Harry Met Sally Theory of Dating" which says that you become friends before you become lovers. I guess at my core, I still believe this too. Your partner in life really should be your best friend. But it's easier to move from an initial physical attraction to a deep emotional connection than it is to move in the other direction. (I'll work on a blog entry about the 3 aspects of attraction sometime soon).
The evolution of this rule came about when a friend once tried to convince me that being a "cuddle buddy" was a good idea----it's not. Someone is going to get emotionally attached and the other one isn't. That's a recipe for disaster and a destroyed friendship. This is also why "friends with benefits" won't work for me. Maybe it does for you, but I'm guessing that eventually someone is going to get hurt, and it'll probably be me.

A bonus rule.
Don't date before Easter. This is more of a theory than a rule. I thought of it last summer, but it's not developed enough to make the numbered list.
The idea here is that in the winter there's not much to do on a date. You basically have dinner or a movie and that's about it. It also gets dark too early which makes it harder to do more interesting things after 5p.m. when it gets dark.
My dates after Easter (or at least after the spring time change) become much better and must make me seem more interesting. The "dinner or movies" list is augmented by picnics, concerts in the park, hiking, camping, festivals, going to the lake, etc.
CLEARLY those are more interesting things and will make me seem like a more interesting person. This obviously will give the relationship a better kick-start at the beginning of everything.
... like I said, this one hasn't been fleshed out as much.

I am a work in progress.


A funny thing happened to me on the way to the Forum...

First let me give this disclaimer: I'm a bad driver.
I know I'm a bad driver, this is not news to me.
If you know me or have ridden with me, then this is not news to you either.

Now the blog post: I've enjoyed Speeding Motorcycles blog for a while. We first talked through some random comment I left on his blog. We also have a mutual friend, so we've randomly run into each other around town before. He's a handsome guy in person, and if you've read his blog, you know he's got the wit and the brain to match the sexy smile. Long story short, we were chatting on Connexion last week and talked about finally grabbing some lunch and visiting in person instead of via blog comments. (NOTE this was not a date. I have a system for what constitutes a 'date' and so does he. Lunch isn't a date.)

Today at noon, I have Ginger in the car and pick up Speedy next to his office in downtown. We head to a cool cafe near my office. We're passing under the triple overpass where Kennedy was shot, I'm looking over my left shoulder to do a lane change, and BAM, there's bucket truck/cherry picker changing out the sign on a billboard--right in the lane and right in front of me--not moving.

THIS is how I evaluate people the first time I meet them. I throw them into a crisis situation. Other popular first impressions:

  • Calling 911 about explosions/car fires (not my car!).
  • Blow outs/Flat Tires (usually at night).
  • Food poisoning followed closely by projectile vomiting.
  • Bank card is declined (a personal favorite of mine).
  • Hitting dogs and other small animals while driving on country roads.
For your viewing pleasure... My car:

For the record, radiators really do put out a lot of steam when you do something like this. I thought it was just special effects on t.v., but nope, they steam a LOT.


Cast of Characters: The Gym

I work out at 5a. I do this because the gym is less crowded with only a dozen people all together, compared to 5 dozen at 7a or in the evenings. I also found that when I tried to work out after work, something always came up: social stuff, work stuff, meetings, etc. For some reason, no one wants to schedule anything with me at 5a--so I enjoy my time at the gym.

There's a handful of people who are regulars, including several very hot ones and two goobers.

the Florida guys:
two preppy guys both about 23 or 24 from Florida State, Pretty Boy who is very tall and Tall Guy who is even taller.
Pretty Boy is probably, 6'-1" and has the 'prettiest' face you've ever seen. He's also a perfect athletic build that comes from years of tennis, lacrosse, or some other preppy sport. He's not too big, and not to skinny--just uber hot. You can tell he never has really gotten his hands dirty except to impress some chick, but rest assured, his chiseled good looks are hot when he DOES get dirty. Pretty Boy drives a new Acura sport that mom and dad got him when he graduated college last year.
Tall Guy is 6'-4" and has that skinny college basketball player frame. He's dark haired and always tan. You can tell that he doesn't like dressing up, his closet has 10x more flip-flops than dress shoes and an endless supply of basketball shorts. Tall Guy drives a Mazda left over from college that he doesn't really fit into but it's paid for.

A loaner.
Not to overuse a word, but this guy is chiseled. He's about 5'-8" and has the deep set dark eyes that have barked, SIR YES SIR at some point in his past. He's probably late 20's or early 30's and shaves his head. Always chewing gum and listening to his iPod, his uniform is grey sweats pushed up over his very nicely developed calves, a t-shirt, and iPod on the right sleeve. He gets there at 5 and works out till almost 7 resting generously between sets. His broad chest and cannon ball shoulders validating his efforts over the years. You can tell he's the quiet type, and either speaks with a redneck, new jersey, or some similar hardworking accent. Marine drives a smaller truck like a Toyota with the bigger tires and TRD option package.

Always in a well fitting fraternity party t-shirt, track pants, backwards ball cap, and an iPod nano clipped to the back. He's classic, professional, and the guy that the women are drawn to when he goes to Sherlock's or Black Finn on Saturday night. He has perfect lats, perfect back, perfect shoulders, and loves the roman chair. In fact, between every exercise he will go do a rotation of 30 reps on the roman chair, front, left side, right side--and I'm guessing he has the abs and lower back to prove it. Frat drives a BMW 3 series or will soon.

Clean cut, all-American, farm raised, corn fed white boy. He's from northern Kansas or something very close to Nebraska. He has a strong Nebraska-guy build and features, but more of the practical Kansas mentality. His sandy blond hair is usually longer than he likes it. 6'-1" hard working. This guy is the quiet nerdy guy that never made waves in school. He doesn't draw attention to himself, but if you went back and checked it out, he probably was always in the top 5% of the class in everything he did. He's athletic and ran track. Shorts, muscle shirt, sneakers and tennis socks, he also goes to church on sunday or tells his mom he does because he knows it will make her happy. He's not a big drinker, but will have a beer with his buddy to be social. He drives a Camery that he's been driving since college. He makes the Camery look good.

Dip Shit and Numb Nut:
Dip shit is a 45 year old bald guy with a british accent. He always wears a white muscle shirt or tank top and will flex and admire his biceps uncontrollably between his sets. He has a voice that carries far and is the only person in the gym who enunciates so clearly that you can understand every work of his conversation even at 100 yds. He has a good body, but his abrasive personality and megaphone voice counterbalance that and he just comes across as an asshole with a small dick. He drives a black BMW 7-series that has always is freshly waxed and detailed--he points this out to women so they will notice him.
Numb Nut is close to 40 and has no balls. He likes to take orders and doesn't know how to wipe his own ass. He hangs out with Dip Shit because he fawns over him and wants to be his power bottom bitch. Numb Nut has curly blond hair and wears small wire glasses--he looks like an english professor from some junior college you wouldn't be getting your money's worth at. Numb Nut wants to be yelled at. Dip Shit fulfills this desire at the gym. The last 3 reps of EVERY set that Numb Nut does end with Dip Shit in his megaphone voice yelling "c'mon! Push! PUSH!!!" (I have come THIS close to asking them to shut the freak up before I drop a weight on myself.) His yelling is distracting during my workout and not in the good way. Numb Nut drives a Camery but doesn't make it look good.

I will look for some representative pictures for each character and add them to the blog soon.
Today was a great day at the gym... we got the entire cast at the same time, minus Dip Shit and Numb Nuts. YEAH, it's going to be a GOOD Friday!



I Want One (pt.2)

This is a follow up post to THIS ONE from last year.

We're actually going to try to set this up in the office with our own projector and a Wii I've bid on on e-bay.  
We use Sketch-Up (since before they were bought by google)... and the ability to use a white board and draw/manipulate/present while a client is watching is just too cool.
I'll keep you posted on this as we actually try it out.

Check out this guy's Head Tracking video too.  Throw ONE OF THESE into the equation and I think that Halo IX or whatever has some serious potential.


The Circus is in town

Very few things will piss me off more than a pretentious person. The only thing that pisses me off more is a large gathering of pretentious people.
A little bit of background. I own my own architecture firm. We have a nice quiet office in a warehouse showroom area north of downtown. By and large, the neighbors are fun and friendly and the epitome of southern hospitality and courtesy. The exception to this would be TODD.
Todd is a party planner.
Todd has parties.
Todd has very little skills in being neighborly.

The first year that Todd moved in, Todd had a small party one week for several hundred of his closest friends.... apparently none of his neighbors are his close friends as no one in the complex was invited to his party. However, we all had to deal with the party for the week leading up to the fiasco. Last year, he blocked off half of the parking lot and turned it into a beach for 2 weeks with 8 dump trucks of sand. Parking sucked! This year, it's a tent--actually about 4 of them at last count, but they seem to multiply when it gets dark, there were only 3 yesterday. In addition to the tents, there are port-a-potties, generators, semi-trucks, ice makers, and quite possibly a 3 ring circus but I can't confirm this due to the barricades, traffic cones and other stuff that keeps appearing in my office parking lot.

I'm a big believer in kharma and I have to deal with Fire Marshal's and fire lanes enough, so I'm not going to use THIS SECRET WEAPON, but it's tempting.

This morning I came into work, and the main entrance to my parking lot was blocked by several semi trucks unloading stuff for the party tonight (actually the party lasts two nights, with 800 invitations we're told). So I had to back up and drive 3 blocks to get to a back entrance to my office. Here's the letter I sent to my landlord.

Dear X,
I understand that Todd needs to do business development.
I understand that the best way to show off the goods is an open house.
I understand that there will be 800 cars valeted in our lot Thursday and again Friday.
I understand that Todd’s event guy has PROMISED me that this year they will leave some spots open in front of my space so that my team working that night don’t have to walk 4 blocks in the dark when they come back to the office after dinner like they did last time he had this #$%! party.
I DON’T understand how much bigger this #$@! Tent is going to get. When I came into the complex this morning I couldn’t even get to the rear parking lot because between the tent, the generators, the semi trucks unloading crap, and the rest of the $#%! circus, I had to back out and come in on the hi-line side of things to get into work.
Despite the economic downturn, I still have clients that occasionally need to actually meet with us in our office… if I can’t get to my office, then it’s very VERY VERY challenging for my clients to get to my office.
I think I’ve said enough.

Here are some pictures of the circus
The main tent is about 80x150 or about 12,000 sf


habeas corpus

THIS ARTICLE is why the government scares me.
It reinforces that some of the most bizarre plots that you think come from Hollywood or some conspiricy theorist nut-case, might in-fact be real.

About 10 min after I posted this, I read THIS ARTICLE. Seriously, does this freak anyone else out?!?!?


Happy Music...

Some music just makes you feel relaxed and good.
Kings of Convenience are my new favorite group of the moment. I've never seen their albums, I've only found them on YouTube. I should probably use part of that iTunes gift card in my desk and actually buy one of their albums so I have it with me on the road or something.
Music is amazing in it's ability to manipulate you. When I hear this song, I'm compelled to relax. There's another blog entry about lyrics buried in me somewhere, but not today.


Conflict of Interest...

I was reading this ARTICLE today.
Am I the only one that sees a SERIOUS conflict in this? The state is paying for cancer treatments for a guy with terminal cancer, who is ON death row. And NOW he gets a stay of execution because the medication that they are giving him to save his life MIGHT interact with the medication they would give him to kill him? WTF?


Blue Skies

During a recent business trip, I was struck by the fact that people who work on airplanes always have beautiful weather. Once you get over the clouds, there's always clear blue skies around you. The rain and the grey are below you. You look down on puffy clouds and have sun shine all around you. How cool is that?


Adapt or Die

This article basically shows what I think is fundamentally wrong with the Republican party. I should make this note... I'm not a Democrat.
I'm a capitalist and I'm a realist.
I believe that everyone should be able to pursue their dream, make a good living, contribute to the creative world, and do it all with as little government involvment as possible. I run into some problems with the idea of social programs. As a small business owner, I believe that we have an ethical obligation to pay a good living wage, provide health care coverage, and retirement and savings options for our employees--BUT I think that what I do as a business owner should be dictated by my ethical ideas of what I should do... not by legislation. In the world that is in my head... everyone would do the right thing because (a) you should always do the right thing and (b) because people should support the companies that share those philosophical ideas. And I do try to live out this concept of corporate/capitalist democracy.

  • I look at the HRC Equality Scorecard each year, and I avoid companies that are yellow or red. I think that it's important for me to support companies that have proactively taken a position to recognize value of the GLBT community and the diversity of their employees. This directly links my thoughts on what a business should do with what my business does do like provide complete family health coverage (I use that phrase instead of 'partner' benefits because I already have a business 'partner,' but when I have someone I'm going to spend the rest of my life with and raise children with and sit in a rocking chair on my front porch when we're 80 with... well that's a family, so I call it a family).
  • I shop at Costco instead of Sam's Club because they pay their workers a living wage. good article
  • I shop at Lowe's instead of Home Depot because I believe in 'value added service' and hiring people who know what they sell. good article
  • I shop at Target instead of WalMart because they have cool stuff and I think that good design has more value than the mundane. good article

But to pull this post back to where it started... the Republicans have basically refused to show that they are anything except the white, Protestant party. The reality is that America has always been a country of immigrants. 100 years ago, the irish were cleaning the houses, not the Mexicans. That's what's awesome about America is that we keep changing. Everyone started as a minority and eventually blended to become 'American.' By refusing to acknowledge blacks or hispanics as an important voting demographic is just dumb. Adapt or die, because the people you think don't matter, will matter.


When Harry Met Sally

Best line for describing how I think love should work.
And there is a longer blog entry buried here about friends vs lovers--which comes first and can one really come before the other....
anyway... here's the clip



Kate Hepburn

I'm a goober. This is one of my top 5 movies of all time... and this, the opening scene just makes me laugh every time I see it especially when he lays her down at the end of it. i like how there's no words, just cheesy tuba music and drums.

I'm a Kate Hepburn fan in a huge way. I guess that should've been a clue I was gay years ago. I don't go for the normal diva's. Madonna annoys me. And Barbra Streisand is about as obnoxious as Bill O'Reily. For some reason though, Kate Hepburn movies entertain me without a good reason. Adam's Rib. Bringing Up Baby. Desk Set. They just are entertaining to me. But at the same time, given their context, several of her movies were really progressive and tackled social issues very directly, like Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.

Kate Hepburn is one of my 8 Fantasy Dinner Guests, but that's another blog entry for another time.



Recently I was having a conversation with my good friend Kevin about life, the universe, and everything. On the topic of happiness, he offered up a simple and unappologetic perspective on how to be happy. His theory on happiness boils down to two things. Find love and have a lot of money. With those two things you can be happy.

Other theories discussed were that you needed 4 things to be happy.
1. love
2. enough sex
3. working out
4. enough sleep
And when you really think about it... if I had all 4 of those, I think I might be happy.

Ultimately we reached a Darwin based theory on happiness. Evolution has made it such that our happiness is driven by wanting something more. Complacency leads to extinction... so you have to be improving or evolving. We're genetically tied to thinking the grass is always greener somewhere else. Thus the happiness theory is that you can't achieve happiness because it can't exist. Only the anticipation of happiness can exist. Once you achieve a milestone, you can't perpetuate that feeling of happiness because the achievement isn't the sustaining part, it was the anticipation of that achievement.


I Want One!!!

File this under 'things I want.'
I'll credit Towleroad with turning me on to this one too.
For the record, it's a 3'x8' multi-touch computer interface.
Here's the inventor's research site.

The thing that whets my appetite is what this could do for the creative process.

Architecture (with a capital "A") used to be about creativity and art, but along with technology's increase in productivity has come a decrease in creativity.

Today, we get bogged down in the details because the computer lets us see everything down to the 1/256th of an inch.

Details are important; I'm not saying ignore the details, but in first year studio, you are taught to start exploring a design using fat markers and pencils on paper.

Color outside the lines, and let your sketches be messy! You're judged by the scribbles in your sketchbook as much as you are by the precision of your final presentation.

Sketching is the creative process and the creative process doesn't begin at the 1/256th of an inch level.

While computers and CAD were great for efficiently creating drafted plans, it sucked for creating concepts. Blueprints aren't Architecture. Blueprints are an instruction book for creating a concept or thought that originated in someone's mind or was fleshed out in someones sketchbook. Think of it as a word processor, not as a pen. Recently some tools have started showing up that help the creative process using a computer, but the interface has always been the bottleneck.

My hand and a pencil will always be faster than a keyboard and a mouse.

Speed and flexibility is important because the design process is about iterations--it's about following tangents and exploring 'what if'. This video makes me drool because it has the potential to let me communicate things as fast as they evolve in my mind.

Creativity unfettered...!

(Plus it would be really cool to pretend I'm Tom Cruise in Minority Report.)

Discover Music

... I discovered Musicovery on Towleroad a week ago. It's a flash based internet radio that has a great user-interface. It makes for a great way to discover random playlists based on a matrix of tempo and mood.



This News Article
from the paper today is a footnote to the Valentine's Day post.


Valentine's Day

I'm not the most mushy guy. I find that friends and family are generally enough to keep me motivated and moving in a forward/positive direction. Truth be told, I haven't made a big deal out of Valentine's Day in probably 15 years, and it looks like I'm not going to start this year either.

I would be lying if I said that being single didn't suck sometimes.
Generally,I don't have that empty feeling inside that a lot of people talk about.
Of course I also don't want to die alone--and I doubt I will.
I have a family and friends that are basically family who will make sure of that!
I am blessed beyond words in that area.

The only thing that does hit home on a day like this is... occasionally I want to spoil someone.

I guess that's why I have a dog.


Plan B

Plan B, the back up plan to Plan A. I'm realizing that most of life we spend working on a plan and only occassionally do we have a Plan B. For a lot of people (myself included) there is a huge motivator in making Plan A work--an overwhelming fear of failure. For the most part I don't usually have a back up plan. But recently, there's a dissatisfaction in the pit of my stomach that makes me think that Plan A isn't where I want to be anymore. I suck at pinpointing these gut feelings.

Maybe it's professional--I've already been burned out on Architecture twice. The first time I ended up getting a History Minor and a Japanese Minor. The second time I ended up getting an MBA and doing the dot-com thing. While historically my attention span has cycles of 18-24 months, when you actually START the company and OWN the company and ARE the boss, it's rather hard to quit and try something else. In the first place, you have obligations to your partner and your employees. In the second place, you need to have an idea of what you want to do next. I'm restless. I don't know what I want to be when I grow up.

Maybe it's social--I've been out of any kind of relationship for several years. My married friends are fully suburban, and my single friends have almost all moved away or are now part of the married group and dropped off the planet. Sometimes I feel really lonely so maybe I need to find a new social outlet.

Maybe it's the house--I'm ready to actually FINISH a project! I finally have the wood for the rest of the deck. Maybe if I can actually mark a renovation project off my to-do list--there will be a sense of accomplishment and the restlessness will go away?

I just hate this feeling in the pit of my stomach, and not knowing what it is or how to fix it.
....or maybe it was just bad chinese food?


You Tube

Here's my first attempt at embedding a video in my blog.
Let me start by saying I don't watch TV. But seriously... this is funny!
I like how she's so drunk she almost falls out of her chair twice--and the interview starts out "good morning Paula Abdul!"

Celebrity Playlists

I was browsing my iTunes store and happened upon the celebrity playlists.
Most of it was pretty common. I wasn't suprised by who listens to what, for the most part. Some of it was insightful. I think that Annie Lennox's list shows her influences. I was actually suprised that Liv Tyler had an Aerosmith song listed. What I did find interesting was that Bill Mayer's list was noticably gay with at least one show tune and a Barbra Streisand song while Andersen Cooper's was tactfully balanced with only a nod towards anything with his selection of a New Order song.

As any of my friends will tell you, I have very poor musical tastes and tend to listen to my satellite radio before anything else. Factoring out the Tower Records Fire Sale when they went out of business, i haven't bought a CD in 3 or 4 years. (even then, my CD purchase was classic Whoopi Goldberg stand-up from the mid-80's) This is why I'm not asked to be DJ in the office--we leave that up to Dean, the understated yet uber-hip intern.


Caught Orange Handed

After a night of much drunkeness, friend 'X' crashes with a drinking pal 'Y' (subject of another blog down the road), at another friend's 'Z' house. (Note: I am not part of this night of drunkeness--I'm an old boring guy who stayed in that night.)
X and Y end up making out and having 'happy fun times' that night EVEN THOUGH a 'pillow barrier' had been erected by X between them to keep both X and Y honest & pure. (Note: the pillow barrier's effectiveness has not proven well with either X or Y.)

I go to pick X up for church the next morning. Later, walking to brunch, I notice that his hand is VERY orange--disturbingly orange--like a rash gone REALLY bad.

Me: What's wrong with your hand?
X: I made out with Y last night when we crashed at Z's.
Me: The pillow barrier didn't work again?
X: Yup.

Me: So what did you do to your hand?
X: I borrowed some lotion from the nightstand and didn't read it well.
Me: Self-tanning lotion?
X: Yup.

A friend couple is going to brunch with us.
As we're walking to brunch, Kevin looks over at X's hands.

Kevin: It looks like you made love to a cheeto.
X: I know, it's bad, isn't it?

I'm kind of glad I stayed in that night and went to church the next day.
I wonder if Y will panic when he sees his cheeto?
I wonder what Z will do with those sheets?