Thursday, October 2, 2008

He's Baaaaaack!

I'd feel bad for not blogging in the last 18 months if I actually had anybody who read this blog. As I do not, and this is almost entirely for my own enjoyment, I feel no shame.

The last year and a half has been one of changes, almost all drastic.

I will recap:

February 2007, I was in the process of looking for a new job. Something with better pay, and with a company that had room to grow. I found what I was looking for, and I applied, hoping for the best. After a lengthy application and approval process, I was hired by my new company in a Project Manager position, and was assigned to work on the technical implementation of the product websites for a major international company.

With great power comes great responsibility. Learning the ropes of the new job was absorbing all of my time during the day, and so no time for blogging!

So, I was starting to bring in some real pay. I had been having serious problems with my wife's depression over the holidays in 2006, but she began taking medication in late December, and by March seemed to be more emotionally stable. I was hoping at the time that this uplift in her mood would lead to an increased interest in the romantic aspects of our relationship. However, that was not meant to be...

Our marriage had been suffering a slow and painful death for about 2 years. I tried the best I could, but only seemed to receive the cold shoulder in return.

In late May, I began a relationship with another person. Online chat only at first, but this led to a first meeting on Saturday, June 9th. This was the day that everything changed.

By that evening, my wife knew that I had met someone else, and had thrown me out of the house.

It seems that my new relationship was with another man.

So, I began a new chapter of my life, coming to terms with the fact that I was gay and trying to live honestly for the first time.

I began telling friends, one-by-one. One of my very best friends housed me for the next 7 weeks until I could get on my feet and find an apartment. All of my friends expressed surprise, but very few expressed actual shock. I hadn't realized that it had been that obvious, but there you go.

Through it all was Jon. He could have run and left as soon as all hell broke loose that fateful day in June, but he was there for me. Letting me know that he loved me and wasn't going to leave me. Although we were separated during the week by a distance of 150 miles, each weekend found us back together again.

I got an apartment, and Jon began spending more time in Cincinnati, staying for 1 or 2 weeks at a time, splitting his time between Cincinnati and his own home.

I began telling my family what was going on, starting with my brothers and sisters. The funny thing is that each one was not so surprised, but they worried about how someone else in the family was going to take it. By the time I got around to telling my parents, they had already figured it out for themselves, but my mother began to fret about how my siblings were going to take the news. I calmed her fears by letting her know that the rest already knew and were just fine. Everyone just wanted me to be happy, since happiness seemed to be what was missing from my marriage.

In October, Jon and I took our first weekend-getaway trip together. We spent two days in West Virginia, touring the art glass factories and enjoying the fall weather. It went very well.

In December, we took a much longer vacation together; 8 days in Key West. It was, without a doubt, the single greatest week of my life. On Monday, December 10th, Jon and I had a beachfront commitment ceremony, performed by a Key West city official. While not legally binding, it has been the cornerstone of our relationship, binding us together in a spiritual and emotional way that goes beyond what the law has to say about it. Key West was our honeymoon, and no two people on earth could be happier.

After the trip, Jon moved to Cincinnati permanently. We moved him into the apartment at first, and then started looking for a house a couple months after that. The Real Estate market was a buyer's market in February, and we had found our dream house within a few short weeks. Closing was the end of March, and by April 1st, we were completely moved into our new home.

Across the river to Florence, Kentucky. 4 bedrooms, 3 1/2 bathrooms, an office, and a finished basement which walks out to a half-acre fenced backyard with an in-ground pool. Can we really afford it? Maybe not, but we can make sacrifices in other ways. This is our happy home, and we're not leaving.

Spring, Summer and now fall...

I spend more time visiting my sister in Hamilton, OH than I used to. She and her husband like Jon much better than my ex-wife, as Jon is wonderful in every way, and my ex used to be quite nasty and resentful to my family. My other family members have come to visit us in Florence this summer as well, which is something that never happened when I was married before. Jon and I spent a fantastic long-weekend over Memorial Day with my brother's family in Myrtle Beach, and I had a housefull of company for Labor Day.

My other hobbies and extracurricular activities, which were once so important to give my life meaning have fallen off somewhat. I still take great pride in my German Hunting Horn performance group, and we have been performing all over the Cincinnati area and even to Milwaukee this summer and fall.


That should about catch everything up to date. This is October 2nd. This weekend is the Donauschwaben Oktoberfest, which is the final Oktoberfest of the season. The last of 6 back-to-back festival weekends, and the last Horn performance for at least a month. Next week, Jon and I will be travelling with his friends to Cedar Point in Sandusky, OH for a much needed weekend getaway.

While the expense of the house will likely keep us from any more big vacations for at least a year or two, we have each other. That's all we need.

Oh, and I have this blog. Welcome back blog!

Friday, February 23, 2007

Today's Fortune Cookie

I liked today's fortune very much. When the waiter brought the check to the table, there was no "pile" of cookies in the middle of the table from which we must select our fortune, he instead laid a specific cookie in front of each of us. Here is the fortune laid in front of me:
There are dreamers and there are achievers. The difference between the two is action!

Thursday, February 22, 2007


Hyperion, by Dan Simmons is far from a quick read. It is intense and absorbing, yet deals with a culture both exceedingly human and alien at the same time.

The Earth has been gone for centuries, destroyed in an apparent scientific accident, and humanity has spread across the galaxy to hundreds of different habitable planets.

Intergalactic war is about to erupt on the outback world of Hyperion between the Hegemony, which is the primary government, and the Ousters, who are a band of outsiders, evolved over the centuries in zero gravity into a nearly different species altogether.

Hyperion is the home of the mysterious and deadly Shrike. History contains a spotty record of the Shrike, and no photographic evidence, as very few people who have seen them live to tell the tale. The Shrike have their own cult following, and pilgrims regularly travel to Hyperion on a path to the equally mysterious Time Tombs to sacrifice themselves to these Shrike. With the advent of war threatening to destroy the planet, the Hegemony and the Church of the Shrike have authorized one final pilgrimage to the Time Tombs, with seven hand-picked participants.

Sound like a lot of detail to absorb? That is just the Prologue.

As the seven final pilgrims make their journey to Hyperion and the Time Tombs, one by one they each tell the tale of how the Shrike have personally impacted their lives.

The Catholic Priest lost his friend and mentor on the planet. In the course of investigating the death, this priest uncovers the horrific details and becomes inexorably fused with Hyperion and the Shrike, enough to destroy the very faith upon which he has based his life.

The Soldier owes much of his military success to a woman that he never met outside of dreams and virtual reality simulations. Never, until he crash lands on Hyperion near the Time Tombs.

The Poet finds his muse by helping to found a colony of artists on Hyperion, until that muse turns deadly.

The Scholar rarely left the confines of the college campus in which he taught, until his only daughter travels to Hyperion on an archaeological study of the Time Tombs. Her encounter with the Shrike left her alive, but forever changed.

The Starship Captain knows more than he is willing to tell.

The Detective is investigating the murder of one of her clients. The course of her investigation will reveal information that was better left hidden.

The Consul seems to be the perfect government tool. Yet, hidden beneath the surface, he has his own agenda. Will his actions open Pandora’s Box?

The pilgrims’ tales wrap up just in time for the end of the journey, and journey’s end is a bit surreal.

Each of these individual tales are an engrossing novella on their own. Put them all together, and you have a complex look into the future of Humanity, and how we might handle the monumental task of colonizing a strange and hostile galaxy.

Friday, February 2, 2007

Open Letter to the City of Boston

The City of Boston got quite a scare this week when they found several devices resembling the one to the left at various public locations around the city. They turned out to just be advertisements for the show "Aqua Teen Hunger Force" which airs late at night on Cartoon Network's Adult Swim lineup.

Apparently, the city spent about $1,000,000 in the resulting evacuation and bomb removal procedures to safely remove these dangerous TV ads.

In an attempt to save millions of future taxpayer dollars, I would like to explain to Boston the differences between a "bomb" and a "Lite-Brite".

This is a Lite-Brite.

This is a bomb.

This is a Lite-Brite.

This is a bomb.

Thank you.

Monday, January 29, 2007

KI's Next Big Thing

Sorry no posts for a week, it was one of those times where I barely had time to think, let alone blog.

My office building sits right across the highway from Paramount's Kings Island, which allows me to sit and watch the coasters roll non-stop between April and November. During the off-season, they prepare for the park's new ride, and scramble to get it assembled as close to opening day as possible.

We've been watching for about a week now as trucks drop off sections of bright green roller coaster track into the parking lot. Rumor is, it is the X-Flight coaster from Geauga Lake, just up I-71 about 200ish miles.

I'm inclined to believe the rumor. X-Flight was closed at Geauga Lake at the end of the 2006 season, and PKI and Geauga Lake are currently owned by the same company, Cedar Fair. Cedar Fair, and their flagship park, Cedar Point, are all about the big coasters. Kings Island has cornered the market on kick-ass wooden coasters, but hasn't gotten a really big knock-your-socks-off steel coaster since the Vortex opened in 1987.

X-Flight is one of those "flying" coasters, where you ride it in a laying-down position hanging underneath the track rather than in an upright seated position. I found a video of approximately what the ride will be like once reassembled. I know that when it starts, it looks like the video is playing upside down. This is because this is a video of a different ride in a different park with a similar track but different seating style. In X-Flight, you sit down in a seat, and when the ride is ready to roll, the seat reclines to lay you on your back. You actually climb the first hill on your back, and when you get to the top, the track twists around so that you are then laying on your front, hanging underneath the track. So, the POV in this video is correct, if you have your head tilted back during the beginning and end of the ride instead of tilted down toward your toes.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Today's Fortune Cookie

Continuing the dark trend in recent cookies...

One must dare to be himself, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be.
What an odd idea that in the course of discovering your true self, you can actually frighten yourself with what you find.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Good Ol' Gary Larson

Border's bookstore had a clearance rack of 2007 calendars for $4. There were a few random wall calendars that hadn't been purchased yet, with themes like "Schnauzers" and "Scenes from the movie 'New York Minute'". To my surprise, there were also approximately 200 unpurchased "Far Side" page-a-day calendars, so I claimed one.

I've always loved the Far Side, and I miss seeing new cartoons in the paper every day. I can't figure out why that calendar would not be a huge seller, unless maybe people have forgotten how original and brilliant it was. Gary Larson should take a page from Berkeley Breathed's book, and take pen to paper again after a prolonged hiatus.

So, I tore out the first half of the January pages in order to catch up with today's date, and read each one like an old friend. Here is my favorite of the first 18 days:

I especially love the look on the dog and cat's faces as they come to grips with the fact that their owner is an imbecile.