My Blog Has Moved

Well folks, I've finally done it. I've switched to WordPress and my blog is now on my own domain. So say good-bye to Blogger and good-bye to the bling. But don't be sad. Life is full of change. Change is a good thing. It keeps us on our toes. It challanges us and makes us stronger. And as your next President... oops, I got a little speechy there, didn't I?

Anyway, check me out at:

http://www.meandtheblueskies.com/

I'll look for you there.


Monday, January 26, 2009

More of Nothing


It's 6:00 am and I am up on the computer because Dave (my dog) has been waking me up at 5:30 am in the morning to go out. (Sissy, the female could hold it in 24 hours, if forced to.) In fact, on Saturday he got me out of bed at 3:30 am. I didn't really want to get up but he's got a bladder issue so I dragged my half conscious body up and took the dogs out. Fortunately, it was Saturday and I went back to bed and slept until 9:30, which is the latest I've ever slept in a while.

I'm learning to live with it because there is no sense in punishing the dog for something he can't control although I really feel like stabbing him to death at the moment he wakes me. But I know what it feels like to really have to go in the morning and Dave is a dog with only so much control, especially with his bladder problems. Plus, he turned 13 on Jan 3 and that is really, really old--especially for a Dalmatian.

So, instead of trying to grab a quick 30 minute extra snooze before I get ready to go to work, I jump on the computer to check my emails and be a good SITS member. I had a little extra time so I decided to see if I could squeeze out a little post before jumping in the shower. This is about as much squeezing as I could muster.

So thanks for stopping by. I know a couple of you have given me some awards and I swear I will get to your blogs to thank you and post a thank you here. I really will. Eventually. It'll happen. I just have a hard time focusing on too many things at the same time and with the BIG trade show in Orlando coming up the first week of February, my show opening on February 13th, and my focus on losing weight before I leave for Orlando (13 lbs. lost so far), I don't have much left to give. But I love all my visitors and I love reading all your blogs so I'll be back in the swing of things soon.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Blog Suffers - Blogger Posts Lame Excuses

It's almost me except I've been smoke-free for 7 months now!

I have been so busy between work (where I am preparing for the BIG trade show that occurs every two years and is happening Feb 5 - 7 in Orlando) and rehearsals/line memorization for Measure For Measure which opens Feb 13th! In addition to all that going on, I simply can't be doing personal stuff on the internet during work hours.

With all this going on, I feel like my blog is suffering. I barely have enough time in the morning before work starts to visit SITS and then visit the feature blogger. I am walking around the warehouse for 30 minutes with Erin (Laughs and Rants from my Inner Child) and sometimes Linda and/or coworker Kim during my lunch hour. It's part of my eating right and being healthy routine for the new year. (I've lost 12 pounds since I started it.) Anyway, after that and I eat, I barely have time to check for comments and respond to them before lunch time is over.

In the evening, I've got to study my lines so I am ready when this show opens. I had rehearsal tonight so I decided to jump on the pc, answer some post comments, and pop out a post when I got home. Besides my blog suffering, I don't have the time I would like to have to visit other blogs. I feel guilty because I've won contests, been sent gifts, and recieved awards that I have barely acknowledged. That's just not me.

And while I really want to blog about something clever or witty, this is what is buzzing around in my head so this is what I am writing about. Be patient and don't hate me if I missed an award or didn't post about something that I won or was given. Plus when I get back from Orlando on the 8th, I will be in tech week for my show. Don't plan to see anything from me from the 9th through the 13th. I promise once the show starts, I'll be back on track and spending time visiting all you bloggers who visit me. Just hang in there till then.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Era of Responsibility

The new first family for a new kind of America.
Are you watching, world?

It's 8:55 pm on the East Coast and this time tomorrow Barack Obama will be the 44th President of these great United States. Today Obama rolled up his sleeves and helped paint a homeless shelter, spending most of his time paying tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King and the volunteerism and public service that was such a big part of King's legacy.

Tomorrow he'll usher in a "New Era of Responsibility," challenging each and every one of us to step up to the plate. You've led us there and we're ready for it. With you at the helm, Mr. President, we'll gladly heed your call.

No Super Bowl for Philly but I Say, "Thank You, Eagles" for One Heck of a Try


Yesterday the Eagles almost made it to the Super Bowl. While some people may say this is indicative of what we have come to expect from this team, I beg to disagree. Yes, early on in the season the Eagles seemed to fall apart at the seams. McNabb looked like he forgot how to throw the ball while the offensive and defensive teams both seemed to have forgotten why they were on the field.

But the Eagles have a funny habit of pulling miracles out of thin air. McNabb finally seemed to be able to identify his receivers, the receivers were making the catches, and the offensive team got it together. We rediscovered our running game and marched down the field time and time again. And to top it all off, the defensive team was keeping our rivals deep in their own territory.

And then, there was yesterday’s game. By the end of the half, it seemed like the Eagles were going down faster than Lindsay Lohan after four fuzzy navels. The Cardinals seemed unstoppable what with number 11, Fitzgerald, lumbering down the field, snatching catches high in the air, and tossing off Eagles players like they were the Queen of Hearts’ deck of cards soldiers. (This man makes Paul Bunyon look small and timid.) The Eagles, on the other hand, could do no right. Dream kicker David Ackers broke his winning streak and even missed an extra point. Worse than that, McNabb couldn’t decide whether it was better to throw the ball behind the receiver or six inches out of his reach.

And then came the second half and all that changed. The Eagles finally found their game and McNabb his receivers. This was the team we had seen and loved these past few weeks. Before we knew it, it was 24-25 Eagles. Unfortunately, and with just a few minutes left in the game, the Cardinals decided to show the Eagles what it really takes to get to the Super Bowl. Charging down the field and making sure they ate up the clock, the Cardinals scored a touchdown and a two point conversion. With just seconds left, instead of going for the big “bomb,” the Eagles decided to play a game of hot potato as if to say, “Ok, we lost. We’re just being silly right now.”

Some may say that there is no joy in Philly. The mighty Eagles have struck out. But I say different. I say thank you, Eagles, for a thrilling season. Every Sunday, I have plopped my butt down on Scott and Sean’s cushy sofa in front of their 47” screen TV, and along with the best buddies a guy could have, we have screamed and hollered, laughed and cried, and cheered and high-fived our way through the Eagles’ season. The Eagles took us from what looked like a dead end run to the brink of the Super Bowl and gave us all the thrills and excitement that only a series like that could give. They may not have made it to the Super Bowl but they sure did provide some super nail biting excitement along the way there.

And you know what? The Super Bowl isn’t even here and I can’t wait for next season. So save me a spot and a cold beer guys, you know I’ll be there.

As a little side note, congratulations to my buddy, Mystery Man, over at Rants, Thoughts, and Other Things as his beloved Steelers are going to the Super Bowl. I watched that game and thought of you, rooting the Steelers on. While it would have been fun to see the Eagles and Steelers go head-to-head, I’ll settle for watching the Steelers trounce the Cardinals.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Well Hello There, Mr. Statue

Is it me or can you see the outline of this statue's manhood?
(and the bigger question is: Can I meet the model?)

Thursday, January 15, 2009

A Beautiful Baby Deserves to Win

My blogging buddy Ken's daughter's picture is up for BEST OF 2008 over at Stylized Portraiture. Ken runs the blog Dad to Two and his daughter, Q, is the absolute cutest thing this side of the Pacific Ocean. (or any ocean for that matter) Her picture is one of many chosen for this competition and I think she deserves to win.

Just look at the sweet and innocent face! Is that not the cutest, love-able, hug-able, little darling you've ever, ever seen? Of course it is. I didn't even need to ask.

So this is what we need to do. We all need to go over to the Stylized website and vote for this picture. Follow these easy steps:

1. Visit the gallery page to see the pictures. (She's #56)
2. Go here and vote for # 56. (or simply skip the gallery and just vote for #56 as you've already seen her picture in this post.)

Don't hesitate because VOTING ENDS JAN 21, 2009! You can only vote once so hurry on over there and vote for little Q. Let's help Ken's little angel win this one. Go on -- you know you wanna!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Weight Loss - Evil Temptations

The call of Temptation - I will not answer!

I hate to admit it but not only did I gain twenty pounds after I stopped smoking but I gained an additional ten pounds during the Christmas holiday for a total of 30 whopping pounds. I haven't been this heavy since I lost 72 lbs back at the end of 2003! I was seriously distressed over this enormous weight gain and Linda and I vowed to lose weight together in 2009.

I was 200 lbs on 1/7 and today, one week later, I am 192. (Just don't tell Linda because it upsets her that I lose weight quicker than she does. She says it's because I'm a guy and it's not fair.) Now I know what you folks are gonna say, "It's not healthy to lose all that weight so fast." I've heard it before and all I have to say is "phooey!" I am not really dieting, just adjusting my eating habits. No more late night snacking. No more take-out. Eating healthy snacks or lower calorie snacks instead of fattening ones. Eating smaller portions. And in addition to the changes in my eating habit, I'm walking 40 minutes every day at lunch.

So you see, I'm not overdoing it. I'm being sensible. But sometimes it's hard. Today, our evil Publications Coordinator (Karl) brought in three tins full of raisin oatmeal cookies, chocolate chip cookies, m&m cookies, peanut butter cookies with a Hershey kiss in the center, chocolate covered peanut butter balls, chocolate bark with cashews, and an assortment of chocolate covered pretzels--all hand made by his lovely (and evil) girlfriend, Barb. (See, Linda is not the only one I call Evil)

As I stood drooling over them, I decided to take pride in the amount of weight I have already lost and not lament over the bounty of goodies that were tempting me to eat them all. No, I will not partake! I am not denying myself anything because I've already eaten many of Barb's homemade goodies in the past, so I already know how good they are. Besides, I have a sneaking suspicion that Karl brought them in just to save himself from turning into a Macy's Day Parade balloon.

The thought that I am on track and moving in the right direction is much better than a hastily taken indulgence which will only cause me guilt and regret later. When I finally reach my goal, the man in the mirror will be a lot more appealing than a silly old cookie or piece of chocolate. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

A Word from a Guest

Mrs. Tattooed Minivan Mom over at "The Scattered Mind of a Tattooed Minivan Mom" is holding a guest blogger party today where participating bloggers get their spouses or loved ones to write a guest post for their blog. Since I have neither, I asked my good friend and all around fag hag, Linda, to write a guest post for me. I gave her no instructions except that she could write about whatever she wanted to write about.


Linda & her Granddaughter from a few years ago

Hello all. I’m Preston’s friend Linda and this is my first attempt at blogging. I am rarely at a lack for something to say but I must say that I find staring at a blank page quite daunting. Kudos to everyone out there in Blog-land who regularly provide the rest of us with food for thought.

As soon as Preston asked me to be his guest blogger I’ve wanted to write about our friendship.

Preston and I met 12 years ago tomorrow and from the moment we met I knew that we would be great friends. There was an immediate connection and the bond between us has only grown stronger as time has passed.

I have often referred to Preston as “the gay male me.” We are both expressive, artistic, and a bit eccentric. We both grew up with many personal challenges and have raised children by ourselves. Preston is the only person in the world I can tell EVERYTHING! I trust him and respect him more than anyone. He also teases and insults me more than anyone (his nickname for me is “Evil”) but I guess that’s true friendship.

My daughter often suggests that Preston and I will wind up together in our old age and although there is certainly no romance between us, I can think of no one I’d rather rock my way into the sunset with than my best friend.

May you all be so lucky as to have one such friend in your life.

Note: Wanna see the rest of the participants? Simply click here to visit her blog and check out all the links in the post via Mr. Linky.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Fake Cop, Real Story, Really Scary

I belong to a group called The Secret is in the Sauce. If you've read my blog before, you probably know about them cause I've posted about them many times. It's a group of blogging gals, called SITS (Sisters in the Sauce) and me, a BITS. (Brother in the Sauce) Anyway, one of the "requirements" of belonging to this group is to visit the main blog every day and leave a comment on the current post. The post will also list links to other SITS member's sites where we visit and leave comments as well. Now, what does this have to do with fake cops?

Well, I was leaving my comment today when I noticed that the day's first commenter was Kristan over at The Cover Family Chaos. Kristan is a mother to three and married to a man in law enforcement. Today she posted about her experience with being stopped by a cop impersonator on the way home from the Wal-Mart.

This is serious stuff folks. This woman was heading home from a public place with child in tow. Obviously nothing happened or she would not have been able to post about it. And although she doesn't offer any advice as to what to do in the situation, her story is compelling none-the-less. If you don't think it could happen to you, think again. Go read her story here to find out what happened and how the local authorities handled it. And for more reading about what to do if you suspect the officer stopping you is not a real officer, go here or here.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Blah Blah Blog...

I am so behind on everything that it's not even funny. I've been give blog awards that I haven't responded to, I've won prizes that I barely acknowledged, and I didn't even post about my New Year's Eve dinner with Linda. (and I even took pictures) I promise I will get to the prizes and awards, especially the awesome t-shirt I won from my friend over at A World of Progress. Go read her blog...really, go here and do it now. I'll wait right here until your done.

Ah, your back. I take it you enjoyed her blog? Good... I know I just did a post on apathy and I suppose that it is trickling down to this post as well...or running up or over or whatever you want to call it. I guess I am at a loss for words and I didn't want to fall into publishing crap posts like, "I didn't do anything this week" or "There's nothing to report." Why even publish a post like that?

Ok, well screw it. Here's my boring post. I went shopping with Amy today to the mall. While we were driving there, she helped my run my lines for the play. We got so involved in reading the lines that I forgot where we were and I turned around because I thought I was going the wrong way. The problem was that I wasn't going the wrong way so that when I turned around, I was then going the wrong way. Confusing? You bet.

Haven't you ever been somewhere that you know you should know but for some stupid reason you don't recognize it? Even if it's just for a few short seconds and then all of a sudden you do that "I could have had a V8" thing and realize where you are? It happens to me occaisionally. I'd call it the onslaught of altzheimer's except it's happened to me periodically throughout my life.

Anyway, Amy and I had a good laugh as I turned the car around and headed back to the mall. This gave us a chance to run the lines a few more times before we actually got to the mall. Once there, Amy bought herself a pair of jeans (I think they are called boyfriend jeans) and a top. She wanted to get the soundtrack to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat but there was no music store in the mall.

Now what decent mall doesn't have at least one store where you can buy music cds and movies? Amy claims that it is because the iPod is killing the music CD. In the 80's the Buggles sang, "Video killed the radio star," and I guess in the 10's (is that possibly correct??????), the tune would go, "The iPod killed the music CD." (or something like that)

You know, it's kind of fun writing a rambling post that goes from one subject to another. Currently, I just finished a dinner of chicken breast, corn, tomatoes, and okra. Damn tasty and I didn't even eat all of the chicken breast. I was so pleased with myself that I made myself a ginormous bloody mary to celebrate. But just one cause I'm on a diet. (that's why it had to be a really big one.)

Well folks, that's all I got in me. I'm off to visit Amy and Scott and Sean and a bunch of their friends. It's lightly snowing here and I've just finished my bloody mary. Damn, I want another but I want to lose weight more so I will stand tall and strong. Does anyone know of any alcohol that's 20 calories or less a shot?

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Apathy


Ugh! I thought the New Year was a time for new beginnings. Well I just haven't been able to get myself motivated to do much or maybe the better way to phrase that is "to do more." The past few days at work have been so busy that they have been literally whizzing by and I am still not caught up. I am supposed to be studying my lines for the play and I am way behind in that. The house is a total mess and it seems like the junk keeps piling higher and higher each day. Somehow I feel like I am drowning in a sea of apathy.

Yea, yea, I know...poor, poor pitiful me. I wrote a poem about apathy when I was 15 years old. Even back then I knew that it was my Archilles' Heel. And I know the first step in a dealing with a problem is recognizing it. That's actually the "easy" part. The second step, doing something about it, is the hard part.

Anyway, I feel like I've been ignoring my blog so here is my very lame post. It's 9:30 so when I finish this I can spend an hour or so studying my lines. I'm three days into my diet and I've lost 3 lbs. That's something. And tomorrow I might start to see a ray of sunshine cut through the murky muck at work if I get the shirt samples. (We're imprinting shirts for an upcoming trade show. The manufacturer discontinued the style we picked and we're running out of time.) Who knows? Maybe I am making a little progress. Or maybe I'm not. Blah!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Good-Bye Uncle Bill

Tonight I attended the funeral of a friend of a friend, William Lamb. Affectionately known as Uncle Bill, I knew Bill and his partner, Tony, through my very dear friend, Steve. Bill and Tony were always over Steve's house for parties and holidays. In fact, I invited Bill and Tony to my Christmas party last year, which they happily attended. Bill wore his huge white fur coat and everyone got quite a kick out of it. I remember him outside, smoking a ciggarette, and we were joking that we were afraid someone might mistake him for a polar bear and shoot him.

Bill was a hairdresser for 40 some years. He recently married his life partner Tony. Bill was quite a looker in his day and he enjoyed wearing his jewlery and his shirts buttoned down to his navel. (He wore bling before it was called bling.) I say this lovingly but he was somewhat of a stereotype: The handsome and flamboyant, gay hairdresser. But Bill's life was anything but stereotypical.



When I arrived at the funeral home, the place was packed with family and friends. Bill was known by many in this area and loved by all. It started me thinking how just one life can affect so many others. Now don't get me wrong, Uncle Bill was no saint. He drank too much; flirted too much; and always wanted to be the center of attention. But he was also the genuine article who had touched so many lives

My heart goes out to Tony, Bill's partner. Always overshadowed by Bill, Tony was happy to play second fiddle to his vivacious partner. While Bill's accident was sudden, he hung in there for almost 2 weeks. What happened was the Monday before Christmas Bill slipped and fell down the stairs to his living room, breaking 3 ribs and causing a concussion. The hemorrhaging caused severe brain damage and Bill finally succumbed on Friday, Jan. 2.

Bill was 64 years old. You know, we never really know how long our stay on this planet is meant to be. It sure hit home as I stood there, looking at the pictures of Bill's past and then back at Bill in his casket. I thought of the many people in my life who are now gone and how they lived their lives. Bill may have lived a full life, but I think he expected to live it quite longer. I think most of us do.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Milk - It Does Every Body Good


Earlier today I went to the movies with Linda to see the movie, Milk. Milk is the story of Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to a public office in California, as a member of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. On November 27, 1978, Milk and Mayor George Moscone were assassinated by ex-Supervisor Dan White. During his trial, Dan's lawyers argued that Dan suffered from an imbalance caused from eating junk food. (Later referred to as "the Twinkee defense") Dan was only convicted of manslaughter, resulting in a 5 year prison sentence. Two years after his release, White committed suicide.

The movie was incredible. Now before you start saying things like, "you're gay, of course you think the movie was incredible" let me tell you that this movie transcends gay and straight. Sean Penn's performance as Harvey Milk was nothing less than stellar. He brought Harvey Milk to life like I believe no other actor could. Playing famous people can be difficult, running the risk of turning in a representation that can end up being more of a caricature of the person much like Faye Dunaway did with Joan Crawford in Mommy Dearest. (I loved that movie. It's so campy!) Penn, however, didn't just portray Milk he became Milk much like Philip Seymour Hoffman became Truman Capote in Capote. Although Hoffman's performace was "spot-on," I found Capote boring.

To the contrary, Milk was engaging and engrossing. Mixed with actual footage, the movie begins with the end of Harvey and quickly jumps to when he first meets his long-time partner, Scott Smith, portrayed (in what should be a supporting Oscar nominated performance) by James Franco. It follows the two as they head on to San Francisco where they open a camera shop on Castro Street.

Motivated by Anita Bryant's "Save Our Children" campaign geared at attacking homosexuals, Milk was eventually elected as a San Francisco District Supervisor. Further fueled by the Briggs Initiative (Proposition 6), it is Milk who can be attributed to its defeat.

This isn't fiction folks, this is history. Gays were beaten and arrested simply because they were in a gay bar. Proposition 6 not only would have required the immediate dismissal of all gay teachers but anyone who sympathized with them as well. It was a scary time and a time I remember oh so well. I lived in California in 1978 when Proposition 6 was going to the ballot.

I was living in Santa Ana with my future ex-wife Janine. We were both 18 and fresh from NJ. I was appalled and horrified over what was happening and decided to write a letter to the editor of the local paper expressing my dislike. Several days after the letter was mailed, a reporter came knocking on our door. We didn't have a phone and he wanted to confirm my letter so he could print it in the paper. I was astonished that they wanted to publish my letter so much that they would come to my apartment to confirm it.

I was also in California when Milk was assassinated in November of '78. One year later, I would be back in NJ, 19 years old, with a wife, a new born baby girl and living a lie. At the time, I had not fully understood what Harvey had done for me and millions like me. But I do now, especially with what recently happened in California and the ban on gay marriage.

Please, go see Milk. Go see it for the amazing performances. Go see it as a representation of history. Go see it because it's probably going to be an Oscar nominated film. For whatever reason you choose, just go see it.

The mural below was painted on the wall of what was once Harvey's camera shop on Castro street. The words shooting from the bullet is a Milk quote, "If a bullet should enter my brain, let the bullet destroy every closet door." I'll take it one step further: Go to the movie and let it open your door-the door to your mind and your heart.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

A Year In Review: 2008

My Romantic Home is hosting a Year In Review party over at their blog. It's a simple photo showcase featuring images from your blog throughout the year. You can visit her blog here and check out all the participating blogger links. Here's my photo montage (sans any political pictures cause I think we all have had enough of that for a while):





Update - I've decided to add a little extra to this post, a few links to some of my previous posts:

On the Soap Box Regarding Plastic Bags - Plastic Bags are Very, Very Bad
Doing Something Nice - Random Acts of Kindness
Another Amazing Product - Skid Marks to the Rescue

I hope you enjoyed the sampling of some of my posts from 2008. I didn't link to any that were posted in the past two months. These are just some of my older posts that I was either proud of or got a kick out of. Happy New Year to all my friends here in the blog world. You are all so wonderful and I thank you for sharing a little bit of yourself with me as I share a little bit of me with you. May 2009 be all we need it to be.