Friday, February 26, 2010

No really, I'm alive

As Jerry has been pointing out to me, it's been AGES since I did a post. So here are some quick updates and highlights from the last couple months:
  • Our volleyball team, The Deadbeats, had a great time last season, though we didn't have a great record. We've always said that we're a drinking team with a volleyball problem, and we meant it. We can't wait to start up again this Spring!
  • In November, I traveled to Kentucky to speak at an ACLU youth conference. It certainly wasn't the most lavish or luxurious trip ever, but I had a great time. The students were amazing and inspiring. I only spoke for about an hour, but got to spend most of the day with the students. I also got to spend a fair amount of time with Calloway, who used to live here in Laramie. He's still quite young, but was my driver and entertainment committee for most of the trip. I also got to travel to a fundraiser event for a statewide GLBT group. It would have been fun in and of itself, but riding on a limo bus (with 2 bars) and a gaggle of giggling gays made it a great way to let my hair down, blow off steam, and relax at the end of a long trip.
  • Honey and I hosted a Thanks-gay-ving dinner at our place this year. Since Jesse was on call at work, we couldn't go to Kaycee to be with his family. We made 2 turkeys, because one just wouldn't be enough. A host of friends were able to join us, and we were stuffed to the gills. We only ate one turkey, of course, but the second provided leftovers like turkey enchiladas, turkey and noodle soup, and other tasty goodness for days. We couldn't be with ALL our family, but at least got to be some of them.
  • Since it's been a very lean year financially, we decided that the best thing we could do for holiday gifts was to bake ourselves stupid. We made over 1500 cookies, several batches of party mix, and topped off plates of goodies with candy canes and chocolates. It meant too many hours in front of an oven or mixer, but it was also kind of fun to dust off my mom's old family favorites. I hadn't had some of them since Mom died, so it was like weeks of sugary nostalgia.
  • We made it to about 7 holiday parties thanks to friends, family, and work. It sure kept us hopping and juggling schedules, but it was worth it to spend a bit of time with folks. We don't get to see everyone nearly enough, but know you're always in our hearts and the next time we're together, the laughter and cocktails will flow freely!
  • As usual, we spent Xmas up in Kaycee with Jesse's fam. They would hurt us if we didn't. We drove up the morning of Xmas Eve, had dinner with his folks and grandpa, then opened presents. We didn't get tons of expensive loot, but certainly had enough little packages to open to make us smile. We then obeyed Mom's next commandment: "We're going to go do karaoke at the bar." Being no strangers to public singing (and drinking) and being duly afraid of pissing off Mama Taylor, we grabbed our hats and gloves. Several hours later, I had very little voice left. The next morning we got up early to help set up for the big family celebration at the community hall. The snow storms came before Jesse and I were suppose to head back to Laramie, though Ryan and Squidly got a bit delayed. As they were going back to work, they didn't mind much at all.
  • Work has certainly been keeping both honey and I busy. This semester he's also taking 19 credit hours. My office has been processing paperwork left and right and reviewing complaints every time we turn around. Work is never dull, though it would probably be nice to have a third person around full-time again. I continue to do harassment trainings and speaking to classes now and then. In January I was asked to be the opening speaker for The Good Mule Project's conference. I spoke about diversity and it seemed like it went well. Honey and I got to attend the dinner too, and it was great to see students so excited and passionate about going out and getting involved.
  • Laramie Reproductive Health is working to sell our old building, and we're coming down to the wire. It'll be nice to have some reserve capital again, not have to worry about maintenance issues, and cut down some of the utility bills. It's meant several extra meetings for me as the Board President, but will be well worth it down the road.
  • Then, of course, there's a wedding to plan. After several months of looking around for the best venue, we've spent the last couple weeks making final decisions. Next we do invitations and save the date magnets. I've had the magnet design done for months, but it looks like we can only afford a single mailing for folks, so they've been on hold. Invitations are another story, but I'm not too scared. Registries are filling out nicely, we're getting close to locking in catering, cakes, and all the details that go with it. We're talking about flowers, as our friend Janet said that's her gift to us.
  • Speaking of Janet, I once again spent some time around Valentine's Day working for Killian's Florist. It started many years ago when my friend Stephan was working there doing deliveries. He asked if I'd like some extra work driving a second van so they could keep up with the huge list of orders. The last couple years, Janet's also asked me to come in before the big day to help around the shop, add greenery to vases and arrangements before they add the pretty posies, and whatever else needs doing. This year I moved up again. She taught me how to arrange a half dozen roses, do wraps, bud vases, cubes, and other small projects. So rather than just adding green filler, I was doing actual arrangements! I was thrilled to learn from the best florist in town, and honored that she trusted me and decided I was good enough to send out my arrangements with the name of her business on it. I spent about 25 hours there total over 3 days, but had a lot of fun...albeit very little sleep.
  • Our friend William was in town for a few weeks before Valentine's too. He'd been driving truck and brought his brother out on the road with him for a while and to show him Laramie, his "home base." But many years on the road were wearing on him, so his brother rented a car to drive back to NY and Will drove his semi back to Omaha to return it to the company. They bought him a bus ticket and he got back to town Feb 13th (while Jesse and I were delivering flowers). Since then, he's been staying in our spare room and will be there for a few months until he gets on his feet. The job hunt continues and he wants to get a place of his own, but in the meantime it's been kind of nice having a (sometimes overly) conscientious houseguest/roomie around. He cleans up continually; I keep opening the dish washer and finding it empty. That's not always a shocker, except these days there isn't a stack of dirty dishes in the sink or on the counter. The vacuum keeps mysteriously running when we're not home, and the dogs have usually been fed before honey and I even get home. He helps cook, buy groceries, and keeps us laughing. Now to find him a man, a job, and a house/apartment!
  • Of course I've been doing my part to work on the "gay agenda." I've spoken to classes in Nursing and Social Work, spoken to a class at LHS where students are also getting LCCC credit, and done a SafeZone session for the Safe Project, our local domestic violance and sexual assault agency. Rest assured, I'm still overly gay. And as AIDS Walk gets closer, we're ramping up planning and preparation for another great walk and night of bingo. This year we're moving on up to the Hilton, and are pre-selling tickets this year. Once they're ready and available, I'll let you all know. :)

So there's a highlight reel of my life as of late. As you can see, it's been a non-stop run. I usually don't know if I'm coming or going, and have to refer to my Outlook calendar to see what in the hell I'm doing (or supposed to be, at any rate) later today. Honey and I are doing well, though this semester has been a rough one. He's buried in school and homework most of the time, and I'm doing my best to keep clothes clean, dogs fed, and dishes washed. Sooner or later, the race pace will slow and I'll be able to take a breath. I think that's called a honeymoon...and ours is a 7 day cruise in the Carribean. Not too shabby, eh?