Sunday, January 28, 2007

I know how cliched this may sound,

but I've met someone recently and I am very interested in knowing more. I am quite sure the feeling is mutual.

This is different than what I've experienced before. Very different.

Is it normal to have all these strange feelings? I thought I had forgotten how to feel anything.

I Think This May Just Happen...

(and it scares the hell out of me). Arkansas, 1932 - Hattie Caraway is appointed by Governor Parnell to fill the vacancy left by her deceased husband in the US Senate. Later that year, Hattie is elected to a six year term, making her the first woman ever elected to the Senate. She was reelected in 1938, and by the end of her 13 years as a United States Senator, she had become the first woman to chair a senate committee and also the first ever to preside over the senate-upon invitation from Vice President Curtis. Having been involved with her husband's affairs on Capitol Hill since their arrival in 1913, Governor Parnell knew she was more than capable to carry his term for the remaining year after his death.

Although First Lady Jeanette Rockefeller(wife of Governor Withrop Rockefeller) would heavily dabble in some issues during the 1960's, Arkansas did not see another wife of a politician become an active participant in legislative affairs until the election of Bill Clinton in 1979, where he and Hillary co-habitated the office of Governor.

And we all know their history up to now.

Will Hillary become the first woman elected to the
Presidency? I not only believe it is possible, I'm thinking it is quite likely. As she stated in her announcement, she's "in it to win", and I have no doubt she'll put up one very capable-if not fierce-attempt to gain that which she seeks.
As Bush had Rove as a strategist, Hillary will have Bill. Anyone who has lived in Arkansas since the "Bill and Hill" factor entered into state politics, will agree that they are a dynamic duo. No matter what odds are stacked against them, it seems they always come out on top.

I'm sure this time, it will be no different.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Little Rock Senior High School - 1927

This is one spectacular school building, as much as it is also one spectacular school. Selected by Newsweek as #20 on it's 2006 list of the Nation's Best High Schools, Little Rock Central High School has supplanted it's previous claim in history.

When construction was complete in 1927 at a cost of over $1.5 million, it was hailed as the country's most elaborate and significant public school building. It was also the country's largest. The school's football field, Quigley Stadium, was also the first home to the Arkansas Razorback football games held away from it's home campus of Fayetteville. Razorback games in Little Rock are now held in War Memorial Stadium, built after WWII.

Lois (Rollins) Reid, now deceased, was a member of the school's first graduating class. She was the grandmother and guardian of my old and dear friend, Daphne. As a teen, I recalled her vivid recollections of growing up in 1920's Little Rock, and attending school here. In fact, once she finished high school, she continued on here in the newly organized Little Rock Junior College, which soon after established a permanent campus elsewhere in town. (LRJC later became Little Rock University upon attaining a 4-year curriculum, and was again renamed when becoming a part of the University of Arkansas system, as UALR). Mrs. Reid, or less formally, 'Grandmother'-as all of Daphne's friends referred to her, fondly recalled the easy and fun life in those times, and how her older sister Hazel (Rollins) Rowe, was the first young lady in Little Rock to bob her hair. It was 'scandalous'!...well, at least for those times.

My Mother's youngest sister, Glenda, attended school here one year before the desegregation crisis of 1957-58. All three of her older sisters had moved to Little Rock, and she missed them so dearly that my grandparents agreed for her to move-in with one of them and attend high school there. Although she did return to her parents' home in the north-central part of the state by the end of the school year, she fondly recalls her good memories of Central High, noting that on the first day of school, she was recognized as a 'new girl' by a group of boys, even though the enrollment of the school was quite large.

My nephew, Parker, is currently a member of the Junior Class here. Next year, he will be part of the school's 80th Commencement ceremonies. I look forward to sitting in Quigley Stadium next year to see him recieve his diploma. I cannot believe he is almost grown.

Friday, January 26, 2007

On the Hunt Again

I just could not make it work! The cute little studio loft I had planned on moving into was just too small. I returned the key back to my friend this week, and I am again on the hunt for an appropriate 'empty-nester/divorced-dad/gay-bachelor' pad.

Actually, I'm just looking for a good deal.

I looked at two different complexes this week. They're nothing special, but they're both spotlessly maintained. One is located in the Quapaw-Prospect Historic District, the other is situated in mid-town, several blocks south of Oaklawn Jockey Club & just two blocks from my office.

Of the two, I think the large one-bedroom near my office will work best. Two aspects of living there have factored into my decision. Last Summer, I purchased a wonderfully maintained Lincoln Continental (a 2002 & their last production year), and I will be able to now keep it parked, under cover & hoof it to work each day. My waistline can use the added walk.

I'm looking forward to the fresh start in my own space.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Sunday, January 14, 2007

With A Little Help From My Friends

I've been in a nasty mood this weekend. The five inches of rain that have fallen since Friday evening hasn't helped. Neither has the prescription-strength antihistamine I took on Friday, of which I'm still feeling the effects. My Seattle's Best French Roast hasn't really helped. As if it's possible, the combination of the meds and the coffee has put me into a state of being a nervous-drowsy person. It's not a good place to be...

I'm typically an upbeat guy, and often try to help my pals feel better when they are down. I hope they don't consider me a nuisance. (?) Well anyway, I've been in rare form-wallowing in self-defeat, and generally feeling sorry for my single gay self. Luckily I reached out and found some encouragement. Thanks babe!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

A Picture from Workplaces Past

I look much happier than I really was at the time. May, 2003.

This was such an eclectic bunch. Three of us are native Arkansans(me included), but the other points of origin included: Portland OR; Seattle; San Francisco; Tulsa; Melbourne, Australia; and Fort Worth.

Meet the Ex(wife)

I know all of my gay friends have been sitting on the edge of their seats to see an image of my ex-wife. They've certainly heard stories that curled their hair (or bored them silly). Stan is the only one who has met her in person.

This was back in the Summer of 2002. I had already left once...the final time was just weeks away. Actually, we get along rather well now. It's SO much easier.... (How does everyone like me without facial hair???)

Thinking about school again

I've been thinking about returning to school for quite some time. This past week the desire has been overwhelming, and I've been streamlining and adjusting my financial and personal timeline to make it all possible. I happen to work in a wonderful job now that gives me loads of personal gratification. I've been involved in my technical field for many years, and I've worked for, and earned, the dynamic position I now hold. However, working in this position leaves scarce time for personal endeavors through the week. I've attempted taking only one evening class some semesters ago, but my demands on time are too great to accomplish my goals one or two classes at a time. I've convinced myself that when I do decide to make the leap back into school, I will be prepared to do so full-time. If I will still need to work, I will be willing to do so only on a part time basis. It is quite a large financial committment, especially considering the fact I am a divorced father with three children and will have child support to pay for several years to come. I've convinced myself that I can indeed accomplish this, despite the financial challenges. My pending move into a smaller and much more modest living space will finally enable me to move forward with an aggressive savings plan, and eventually, my ticket towards achieving the educational goals I have set for myself.

My friends and acquaintances all know that my personal desire is to gain entry into Dental School. And though it will only come to fruition after I finish all my prerequisites, I still ponder just where I will want to attend. This past week, I finally put down onto paper, a list. I divided the country into quadrants, and selected schools in each region that I seem to have interest in. It's a mix of public and private schools.

University of Tennessee-Memphis
Louisiana State University-New Orleans


University of the Pacific-San Francisco
University of Washington-Seattle
University of Colorado-Denver
University of California-San Francisco

Ohio State University-Columbus
University of Missouri-Kansas City

I'm sure I'll make adjustments to the list. A few already seem to be more appealing than others. One interesting fact I've found, is that around 800 applicants apply to Harvard each year, yet only 35 are accepted.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Spencer - Lover of Cats

Meet Spencer Adam-age 3 years. I snapped this photograph sometime in 1999. He LOVED playing with the two family cats, Bootsie & Biker.

I will see my kids this weekend. I've missed them dearly the last few weeks. Our last time together was December 23rd.

This weekend, we'll be celebrating Spencer's 11th birthday.

UPDATE...Aside from the crappy weather we're having in the Mid-South, several other little factors added up, and now the plan is on for next weekend. Actually, I'm a little relieved. Southern Missouri & Northern Arkansas are to get ice, and I'm to get up to 4 inches of rain. Not a good travelling weekend. At least not with a carload of chillren. decide what I'll do, instead.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Sufjan Stevens - Chicago (live in San Francisco)

Six Feet Under - Season 5 Teaser

For those of you who didn't remember... the final season opened and closed with the same score: Sia - Breathe Me

Six Feet Under - Season 5 Closing/Series Finale

That was done SO well. I think it's my favorite closing of any show. Notice how Claire nearly looses it when she sees her deceased brother Nate chasing her down the street.

Weeks of wondering - 20 minutes of searching...

I finally found the artist & song in this commercial.
The Teddybears-Different Sound...BOUGHT IT!

The truth about Iraq

One of the most intelligent perspectives I've seen on America's current situation in Iraq.

Less IS More

I've returned those previously mentioned rolls of wallpaper to Lowe's, and I'm moving forward with a plan which will better suit my empty nest syndrome. Just days ago, I accepted an invitation from a professional colleague & good friend to explore a small studio loft he will have available for rent at the end of January. It suits my needs perfectly. Sure, those weekends that my kids will spend with me will be somewhat cramped, but the remaining 28 days of the month I will be able to function in that space with supreme efficiency.

Some weeks ago, I had written a post here which alluded to the fact I had resolved an internal conflict with my present living space. Had this new opportunity not come around with such perfect timing (my current lease expires at the end of February) I would likely have stayed-put, despite the impending 13% hike in rent upon signing a new lease. Upon asking my friend what he charged for rent on this little studio loft, I'm sure my face expressed a somewhat otherworldly repose. Finally, I will have the financial break that I've been looking for since the days of being newly divorced. Sure I've been able to get by, and I've become increasingly proficient with each passing year, but not have I ever come across a situation which will enable me to live at such a modest level. This will be 'the opportunity' for me to reestablish myself. Imagine, if you will, a situation which would enable you to fulfill all of your personal obligations on only half your monthly income. That is the opportunity I will now embrace for myself, and I will also come much closer to living the ideals that are important for me. Having once lived the lifestyle many consider 'the American Dream', I am not so willing to embrace those same fundamentals for myself anymore. Being leveraged up to my eyeballs offered only the reward of immediate gratification and a false sense of security. To also put it bluntly, if I only attract friends with what material possessions I put up for show, then they are not the type of friend I would like to attract.

It seems that the older I get, the more I wish to live a life of simplicity. Rather than reaching for the latest newest things, I'd rather know I have resources carefully tucked away, growing for what I will decide in the future to be truly life changing. Whether it be a decision to return to school or simply to invest myself further into a lifestyle of self-sufficiency, it will be a decision I will be able to make on my own terms and in my own time.

I've come to a point in life where I now can admire the examples of my parents and grand-parents: Living well is the reward of careful planning and knowing what you truly need to get by.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Out of a Soldier's Own Mouth

Here's a very thoughtful insight to the occupation in Iraq. It's written by Kevin_Tillman, brother and Army colleague of Pat Tillman. To give a little background, Pat Tillman turned-down an NFL contract, so that he could join the military and fight.

Pat is one of The 3000.

RIP, Pat and Thanks, Kevin.

Monday, January 01, 2007

One Funny Scott

Craig Ferguson, host of CBS' The Late, Late Show.

This man makes me laugh out loud more than any other late night show host. His quirky sense of humor and sharp wit are just what I need on evenings I choose to stay up late. I think he's handsome. Really handsome.

We share a birthday, too.

Como Hotel 1916-1976

The Como was named for the four streets that surround the city block on which it stood:

Central Avenue
Olive Street
Market Street
Ouachita Avenue

The location today is occupied by the Landmark Building, a stately Greek Revival structure.