Thoughts from the mountains of my mind. Sit back and relax for awhile.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Life After Tomorrow

We caught a great documentary on ShowTime the other day called: Life After Tomorrow

It's interviews with the girls who played Annie or the orphans (sometimes both) in the Broadway show and/or the road company of Annie. And what great stories they are. The good and the bad are discussed. Even Sarah Jessica Parker is in it (yep, she was a orphan then moved into the role of Annie). If you have a love of the theater, you owe yourself to see this documentary.

(Crap! Now I have that 'Hard-Knock Life' song stuck in my head!)


I finally had my Christmas with my Dad last night over at my brother's house. He's back in town for a few days. He's been spending time up in Jacksonville looking after his mom who had a very minor stroke. I usually let him do the talking with my brother. They can talk for hours about guns, cars, and the goodness of the Republicans and Rush (when he saw my hybrid in the driveway he had to make a anti-Gore snide comment about it - Gee, thanks, Dad). The only time I felt comfortable is when we talked about computer stuff - it's the only thing we have in common, and where he doesn't turn it into a political discussion. But, it was a decent time, at the very least.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Different Is Better...I Think

Yes, the Cabin looks different today. I upgraded to the new Blogger. There's a couple of nice features, like drag-and-drop set-up of your blog layout, and no letter verification when leaving comments on your own blog. Maybe it was time for a make-over.

Things were pretty dead at work yesterday so I got to leave early. Ran home to go through all the stuff Mark got at Linens & Things on clearance, all with 20% off coupons on each item. All decorating items for the house. We ran out to a few places then to my mom's to take down her Christmas lights.

But once all that was done we went to the Earl of Sandwich at Down Town Disney. I love this place. They have the best sandwiches. They have names for each one (like the meatball is called the Cannonball) and the bread they are served on I've never had any where else.

Mark wanted to get the Holiday Sandwich before they stopped offering it at the end of the year (it's turkey, gravy, stuffing, and cranberry - wasn't there an episode of Friends about a sandwich like that?). I got their turkey and bacon and a bowl of tomato soup. It was cold outside taking down those lights. So if you're in the Disney area, give them a try.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

A New Toilet And A New Channel For Christmas

Yep, that's what we got. On the 23rd, Mark decided to rip up the linoleum in the guest bathroom and start laying the tile he had bought a few months earlier. That meant picking up a new toilet at Home Depot to also put in. As you can guess, there was not a rush at Home Depot in the bathroom section so this didn't take much time at all.

I'll post pictures when it's totally done. The only thing left now is to clean up the excess grout that's on the tiles. But the tile is such an improvement over what was there.

Christmas was pretty quiet. My mom is out of town and so is my dad so I stayed home Christmas Eve and Day. Mark did all 3 shows each night so he was gone by 3:30 each day. For you Floridians, you know what the weather was like yesterday: gray and rainy. I watched the tube and played on the PC. It was great watching the Disney Christmas parade on TV and the whole time they had on-screen radar maps and warnings for tornado watches for the entire Central Florida area.

But the best part of the weekend was finding out that Bright House now carries the Logo Network! It's the new GLBT cable station. They had some shows I recorded and we watched when Mark got back from his performances. There was Wigstock: The Movie, and a documentary about the history of Fire Island Pines that was fascinating. They also run shows like Queer as Folk and other gay-themed programs (edited as this is regular cable). One of the things I like that they do is when they show a succession of pictures of two people, guys or girls, from baby pictures to adult, and the final shot is one picture of the two people together as a couple. If you live in Central Florida and subscribe to Bright House, check out channel 181.

We also watched the season finale of Dexter. Twisted and great like every episode is. And leave it to CSI to make murder a comedy (the guy stuck in the cement when he tries to dispose of a body). I also saw the season finale of Doctor Who; I'm glad they ran the two episodes back to back so I didn't have to wait to see the ending.

So that was my Christmas...a bathroom make-over, rain, television, and the computer. We exchanged a few gifts; nothing extravagant this year as we have that big cruise coming up in May and that's our big present to ourselves.

I hope everyone had a decent Holiday, as well.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!

...or what ever holiday you celebrate!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Two No More

What you are about to read is a story I wrote a few years ago. I post it every year around this time. It's a little maudlin but writing it was cathartic.

P.S. - If you want the right 'mood' for this story, play Mannheim Steamroller's 'Stille Nacht' in the background


Ryan took two mugs from the cupboard and put them on the tray. He then put the kettle on the stove and lit the burner. The blue gas flames leaped into life under it with a quiet hiss. Outside, Ryan saw it was lightly snowing. This is what he had always loved about his cabin home in the foothills of the mountains: winter snowfalls. His favorite thing to do was to sit on the couch with Don, the fireplace casting a warm glow on everything, and watch the tiny flakes drift down. But things had changed now.

He went back into the living room, turned on the stereo, and sat on the floor next to the Christmas tree. It hadn’t been decorated, yet. In fact, Ryan had only gotten it that morning and put it in the stand. Doing that was even difficult for him now.

The decorations sat in a large plastic bin he pulled from the attic earlier in the day. Ryan broke the tape on the ends with his fingernail and popped the lid open. He set it off to the side and began removing decorations. He pulled out several boxes of small white lights followed by the crystal ornaments he so loved.

As he lifted out the ornaments he suddenly stopped when he saw what was underneath. It was a tiny frame made out of fake gingerbread with two little gingerbread men in the lower corners. Ryan stared at the picture in the frame and felt the tears returning. In the picture he and Don were in their tuxedos at a company Christmas party. They had on red bow ties and Santa hats. Their arms were around each other's wastes as they smiled happily. It was hard for Ryan to believe the picture was over 5 years old. He could still remember that event like he and Don were just there.

Ryan took the frame and hung it by its ribbon loop over the nearest tree branch. He slid back against the recliner and just looked at it. He wiped away the tears with his hand and continued to look at the picture. The frame was a silly impulse buy from Don when he was out Christmas shopping one day. He picked it up and showed it to Ryan.

“I know the perfect picture for this.”

“Which one?” Ryan asked.

“I’m going to leave you hanging on that one. I’ll make it a surprise for you.”

Don always loved creating little surprises for him. It might be the plate of homemade cookies he would see in the kitchen when getting home from work, or the small cards he would find in his briefcase from “the man who loves you more than you’ll ever know.” Once there was a very racy Polaroid photo with a strategically placed flower that Ryan found in his suit pocket. After seeing that, he took the rest of the day off and spent that time making love to Don in bed (and in the den, and the kitchen, and the back porch).

The whistling of the kettle shook Ryan from his daydreaming. He got up and walked towards the kitchen. Don’s office was next to the kitchen. Ryan kept the door closed all the time now. He paused at the door and put his hand on the knob. If he opened it would Ryan be there behind his desk hard at work?

Ryan decided not to look, but instead, answer the shrill whistle of the kettle. He turned off the burner and began filling the two mugs with boiling water. He put the kettle down and looked at the tray. He laughed at what he had done. There was only one person now who would need a mug of hot tea. He sniffed and wiped his eyes again.

The phone began ringing as he stirred his drink. The second mug was left on the tray. Ryan hadn’t wanted to answer the phone anymore. Instead, he often left that duty to the answering machine now. It finally picked up.

“Ryan? It’s Jean. We made it to Mom’s. I’m so glad to finally get away from work! I hope you’re doing OK. Wade and I can’t wait to see you tomorrow. You are coming over tomorrow, right?”

Ryan stood in the kitchen doorway to hear the machine better. Was he going to his Mom’s tomorrow? Lately, it seemed he didn’t want to think about things beyond the current day.

There was a pause from the speaker. “Ryan? I miss you. I know things are hard right now, but you’ll get through them. Come spend time over here with us. I don’t want to think of you all alone for Christmas. See you tomorrow, OK? I love you. Bye.”

The machine beeped indicating the call had finished. He stood there listening to the quiet music from the CD player and watched the snow fall. He walked over to the tree and took the frame off the branch.


Ryan got his coat on and walked out the kitchen door. He walked off the porch and began following a path into the trees behind his home. The snow had stopped and the moon now shone through a break in the clouds illuminating everything. But Ryan didn’t need any help finding the field. He could probably find it blindfolded.

The field was a small, open area in the middle of the trees about 500 feet away from the house. It was the perfect place for picnics and just relaxing. Don built a bench and put it in the field and they both spent many afternoons sitting and enjoying the surrounding nature.

In the center of the field stood a stone memorial. On it was carved, ‘In memory of Don Warrell, 1973 - 2003. You are loved but not forgotten.” A thin layer of snow lay across the top of the memorial. Ryan brushed if off with his bare hand and placed the frame ornament on top. He lowered his head and began crying again.

It was an accident, according to the police. Nothing could have been done to prevent what happened. Ryan got a call from the hospital. It felt like a hole opened up under him when the nurse informed him Don had been seriously injured. He raced from work to the hospital. Don was connected to all sorts of machines. God, he hated hospitals. He took Don’s hand in his.

Don’s face was badly bruised with his left eye completely swollen shut. Most of his exposed skin, Ryan saw, was in bad shape from cuts and scratches. His right eye was closed so Ryan assumed he was sleeping, or maybe unconscious. The doctor was in the room checking Don’s vital signs.

“How is he doing?” Ryan quietly asked.

“Not very well. He’s suffered a major blow to his head. We’ll have to monitor him closely.”

“Will he regain consciousness?”

“I can’t say, Mr….?” The doctor looked at him expectantly.

“Ryan Collins. I’m Don’s partner,” he explained.

“Yes, Mr. Collins. I don’t know when he’ll wake up. He wasn’t awake when he was brought in, but that’s not to say he won’t come to at any time. You’re welcome to stay by his side. Hit the call button for the nurse if anything changes.” The doctor turned and left the room.

“Don, can you hear me? Are you awake?” No response. Ryan pulled a chair over with his other hand. He didn’t want to let go of him.

Ryan kept talking to Don for the next 45 minutes to get a response but none came. Using his cell he called his mom and dad and told them what had happened. They said they would drive up as soon as they could. He began to doze off from the constant hum of the machines as he watched Don's face. Suddenly he felt a feeble squeezing on his hand. He opened his eyes and looked at Don.

Don’s right eye was open and was looking at Ryan.

“Hi, honey. How are you? Can you talk?”

Don opened his mouth but nothing came out. He made the smallest shake of his head to indicate he couldn’t.

“That’s alright. Just rest your voice. I love you.”

Another squeeze on his hand and a slight smile appeared on his lips. Ryan rang for the nurse who rushed in. Ryan pointed towards Don. The nurse made a few notes on his chart and then took headed out the door.

'I'll let the doctor know he's awake,' she said and left the room.

Ryan told Don all the things he wanted to do when he was better. The cabin needed some exterior fixing up; what would be planted in the garden after the winter was through; out-of-state friends who they needed to visit. Don just kept a firm grasp on his hand.

The doctor came in and looked his patient over.

'He's awake which is a good sign, Mr. Collins. I'll have the nurse bring him something to help him get sleep. That will be the best thing for him.' He left the room and headed for the nurses' station.

The nurse came in and gave Don a sedative and told Ryan that Don needed his sleep. Ryan kissed Don’s forehead lightly and gave his hand another squeeze. He then left the room in search of something to eat. Sitting in the cafeteria, he saw his parents walk past. He left his table and caught up with them. Ryan hugged them both and promptly broke into tears.


Ryan brought his parents into Don’s room. His parents and he sat by his bed for a few hours while Don slept. They tried to keep the conversation positive but Ryan’s mood was starting to crash. Ryan looked at his watch. It was 12:30 a.m. He gave his house key to his mom and dad and told them to go get some sleep. He would call them if there was a change.

Don went into convulsions a short time later. With the heart monitor sounding an alarm, Ryan pressed the call button. After several presses and some yelling for help out into the hall, several nurses hurried in and took over. A doctor Ryan had never seen before showed up and began assisting. One of the nurses escorted Ryan out telling him he would need to wait outside so he wasn’t in the way. She went back in.

Don was pronounced dead 20 minutes later. The doctor and nurses could not revive him; his injuries were too much for his body to handle.

Ryan walked out to his car totally stunned. He was too shocked to even cry or think of calling his parents. He got behind the wheel of his car and drove home. When he entered the front door his mom was sitting on the couch watching television. She saw the look on Ryan’s face and immediately knew what had happened. Throwing her arms around her son, she started crying while Ryan held her tightly.


The cold was stinging Ryan’s face. He wiped his tears away and turned back towards the cabin. The moon went back behind the clouds but the light from the cabin was enough to guide a person home. The phone began ringing as he reached the porch. He went inside and answered it; no waiting for the machine this time.

“Hello?” he answered.

“Ryan, it’s Mom.”

“Oh, hi Mom.”

“How are you doing tonight?”

“I’m getting by. I bought a tree and set it up, and pulled out the decorations.”

“Well, that’s good. I was worried because Jean said you didn’t answer when she called earlier.”

“I was busy,” he replied. “Mom?”

“Yes, son?”

“I miss him. I miss him so much. And everything around here reminds me of him. I don’t even know why I bought a tree and tried to make this place look festive!” Anger was creeping into his voice.

“Ryan, I understand, I really do. Christmas is going to be a tough time for you, as will be birthdays and anniversaries. But don’t go through them alone. I’m here. Your father is here. Your sister is with us for a few weeks. We’re not expecting you to be over Don’s death. It was only a short time ago we were all having dinner together. And your father and I miss him, too. So spend time with us and we can remember the good times we all had.”

“It hurts,” he barely whispered into the phone.

“I know, Ryan, I know. But you have to keep living. Don’t waste your time pining for Don. He wouldn’t want that. Now how about we drive out to pick you up and stop for dinner on the way back here?”

“Alright.,” he replied.

“Good. We’ll be there as soon as we can.”

“Thanks, Mom.”

“You’re welcome, Ryan.”

“Tell dad to drive carefully. It’s been snowing here.”

“I will, Ryan. We’ll see you soon. I love you.”

“I love you, too, Mom.”

They both said good-bye and hung up. Ryan went to the bedroom and packed an over-night bag. Once he finished he went through the house and turned off all the lights and sat on the couch to wait for his parents.

The fireplace cast a dim, flickering light over the room. He watched the glow slowly die out. Ryan glanced out the window and saw the snow had started again. He watched it fall silently past, alone and with only memories of the man he loved to share it with.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Darts & Underwear

Our friend, D., called and said they were going out to Studz to throw darts (and remove their pants as Wednesday is Underwear Night). The place was quite packed. I don't think I've ever seen that many there before. Six was there, tired from rehearsal (I think).

If we keep playing darts with D. we have to handicap him. He is too good at it. Maybe drop him to 2 darts, or 1 dart, per throw. It was great seeing friends we hadn't seen in months and just catching up on what's been going on. Even if we did get home after midnight and I had to be up at 5:15 this morning.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Zune Porn and More

Zune: The MP3 With More Porn!


Hey...thanks to everyone who left me comments and emails about yesterday's post. Things are fine, as they always turn out to be. So on to a racial post for the week:

We stopped at a store to check out their Christmas merchandise as it should all be going on sale very soon. As we walked around, Mark asked me if I noticed anything strange. I said no. He then pointed out that almost every item with Santa (cookie jar, doll, etc) was an African American Santa. I then realized we were at...

[Wait for it...]

Cracker Barrel. True story.


I saw the Candlelight Processional again last night because Neil Patrick Harris was narrating. He is really good looking in person and I walked right behind him and his group when they left the theater. His boyfriend, who was with the group, was even better looking.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Isn't This A Sign Of The Apocalypse?

Xanadu is coming to Broadway!

Run for your lives! Schlock just can't be stopped! The Olivia Newton-John cheese-fest known as Xanadu is heading for the Great White Way! Read my write-up about seeing the film back in August HERE.

But the new trend is to take movies and make musicals for the stage out of them. High Fidelity just opened, and is closing after only 2 dozen performances. Can the story of a Muse helping a hunk bring a disco club back to life succeed? Will the ghost of Gene Kelly haunt the theater? Will there be roller skating!?!?! As long as the show doesn't take itself seriously there may be a chance.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Seduce Me...Maybe

Waaahhhh!!!! Can somebody change me, please?

Saturday, December 9, 2006


Well, I've decided to try another service for blogging right now and see if I like it more. WordPress offers some great options (though Blogger just announced their new service so it may not be a permanent move). For now I'll post on both sites and see. Feel free to check out . The one thing I'm worried about is I can't edit my template to my cabin theme. We will see. I would be interested in hearing other reader's experiences with WordPress. Leave me a comment!

Friday, December 8, 2006

Fresh on the heels of my Mac-fiasco of installing yesterday (they didn't start today because the user is off today - so maybe Monday), I got to thinking about another mess that you can find on the web: It's called MySpace.

If you are unfamiliar with MySpace, then this must be your first time ever on a PC and dealing with the Internet. I understand the principle of why it is so popular. I just never got sucked in. I've been there...I've even created a profile...but there's a major flaw, which I think can coincide with the problem of personal web sites, and that is: there are no rules on what you can put on your site. What makes MySpace worse, though, is they make it easy to add content. And most web pages look like roadkill after their 'owners' start putting things on it they think are cool.

MP3's that automatically play! This is a pet peeve with me. I like to surf the web listening to my own tunes, but when you go to a person's MySpace page and are automatically blasted with their favorite song they put up, I get annoyed. And I'm not going to turn off my sound because there are legitimate sounds I want to hear.

The never ending page is another part of the mess. Some pages just go on for several screen lengths, and it's all because of 100 comments from people with really large avatars or added pictures, or they've just added every type of information window they can. Enough already. Keep it short and sweet, and put a link to comments or content that's old.

Wallpapers? Sure! Let's allow people to throw up any picture they want to be tiled over the entire page (and it's there a LOT if the have the above problem of tons of stuff added to the page - 'Let's look at Brittany Spears tiled for 6 screens!'). It makes reading stuff great fun when the words overlap like colors on the page. It's kind of like solving a Wheel of Fortune puzzle. I think that's and 'A', Alex.

And finally, there's the wonky add-ins that are so poorly written that they either conflict with something else making your browser act erratically, or they simply don't work at all. It might have been cool when Johnny Q. High-Schooler saw it on that Warez web site, but he didn't realize it was really written with code leakier than the Titanic. Hey...what's that? A virus attached to that applet? Great....

Throw all of this together into a blender, make the majority of your users under the age of 18, and you have web sites that are mostly headache inducing, if not dangerous to computer operation. It's like giving a five year old a pneumatic nail gun. There's a chance they might make something useful, but you pretty much expect the worst.

Monday, December 4, 2006

Back To Work...

Yes. Another weekend is over with and time to go back to the rat race. I did enjoy Saturday and Sunday. Spent time in the Parks. Expedition Everest is as awesome as ever. And it was fun hearing my relatives scream on the ride (they had not been to Animal Kingdom before).

My 'Holiday Gala' for work was OK. The space was not filled, and I think the atmosphere was definitely dampened by the recent layoffs at work (one of the people, in fact, was one of the ladies partly responsible for planning and putting together the event). I enjoy wearing my tux. Got lots of compliments. I was the most formally dressed person there. No pictures, though. They had no photographer for the event. One of the folks at my table snapped a few pictures. I'll have to get a copy from them. I left just before 10 PM. Drove by the PH and was going to go in but the parking lot was full, and since I was alone, and dressed very nicely, I didn't want to park off site. I drove over to Studz, had a drink and played a few games on the video machine, but there was no one there I knew and the few people there were busy in conversation with others. I left after about 30 minutes and went home.

Sunday I went to **** ******* ***** ***** and got my **** ***** ************ *** ******* *****. That was a lot of fun! Rushed home, got changed, and went to my brother's place for his office get together which was decent. A small gathering so very casual and low-key.

I also got to watch some of the shows piling up on the DVR. Here are my quips on the best shows I watched:

* My Name is Earl is still one of the rudest and funniest shows around. And the scenes with Joy, Marly Matlin, and her sign interpreter were f-ing hysterical!

* The Office - This show is so cringe-inducing when you watch it, but you can't look away! I guess you could describe it as uncomfortably entertaining. The whole storyline about the employee who spent time in prison and everyone finding out...yikes! But the pratical joke played on Pam by Jim, and the final shot where she is being serenaded (and her look at Jim knowing she had been set-up) was priceless.

Friday, December 1, 2006

'Yes, Eddie...But is it art?'

File this article under the 'Yes, Eddie...But Is It Art' section. You may remember this news story back in 2005. Now someone has gone and taken it a bit further.

Documentary to be made about man dying from having sex with a horse.


And for the 'Brittany Flashing Her Beaver' Department, we have appropriate t-shirts for you to wear. (Make sure you read the link's URL).


For the 'What Was JC Penney Thinking or Hello Dummy?' Department we have THIS November 30th blog entry.


Please light a candle for World AIDS Day.


After all the madness at work yesterday, it was nice to get home, look through the mail, and find a card from one of the jobs I applied for saying they are currently reviewing my resume. Mark thought it was good too after I told him about the lay offs at work. I also put my resume up on my web site and linked it to I'll see if I get any hits from it. It's going to be a busy weekend for me. I'm sure I'll have details on Monday. Everyone have a good weekend.