Home Is Where You Make It And Not Just Where The Heart Is

No Place Like HomeGrowing up, I was taught that “home is where the heart is” – compliments of some hand-stitched needlepoint that my mom or grandma had done at some point and hung on the wall.  There’s the part in The Wizard of Oz where Dorothy clicks her ruby red heels together and chants ‘There’s no place like home’ three times then magically reappears there. Sometimes it’d be nice to be able to do this. Trust me – there have been times that I’ve wished I could click my glittery size 12 pumps (just kidding, those days are over) together and end up in my mom’s house with a home-cooked meal in the land of a lack of reliable cell phone service where the closest guy on Grindr is 4 miles away. Continue reading

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Adventures in Road Tripping Part 4: All Good Things Must Come to an End…or a Temporary Pause

As we rolled into San Diego on a sunny Sunday afternoon, depression started to set in. In less than 24 hours I was supposed to be boarding my flight back to Chicago and trading 80-degree temps for 50’s and rain. Determined not to let the inevitable (me leaving) get us down, we headed for Balboa Park to stretch our legs and let Baker make some friends at the dog park before checking into our amazing last-minute AirBNB booking at the Granada House (make sure to check out their blog too!!) in San Diego’s North Park neighborhood. As our stomachs began to growl (yes, gays really do eat sometimes), we set off for the beach to grab dinner and catch the end of the sunset.

SD Sunset 1

I mean seriously…how can you not fall in love with this view?

And just like that, my love affair with San Diego began. Continue reading

Adventures in Road Tripping Part 3: California Dreaming

In case you’ve somehow missed the first half of my road trip of a lifetime, here are the links to Part 1 and Part 2. If you’re caught up, behold….the light at the end of the tunnel!

Setting the cruise control for 85, we took off from Portland and set our GPS for the city of cable cars, hills, sourdough bread, and the Golden Gate Bridge…but more importantly: Full House and one of my all-time favorite movies…Mrs. Doubtfire.

Helloooooo, San Francisco!

Bonus points if you read that in the Mrs. Doubtfire voice where Robin Williams is spontaneously painted for filth (as drag queens say) in birthday cake realness.

Leave it to us to get distracted though and turn what could have been a quick 10-hour drive (or 8 hours with us at the helm) into a full two days of driving thanks to a state-line sunset and a trip through the Redwood Forest.

As we closed in on the Oregon/California state line, it was nearing time for sunset and what better way to welcome us to California than my first official California sunset?

Crescent City SunsetWe pulled off in a town called Crescent City and found a harbor where we could watch the sunset. Let’s just say that after seeing a California set I was officially sold. Nothing I’ve seen before compares.

Figuring it’d be fun to camp again, we called to reserve a campsite in the Redwood National Forest. Wrong.

“Sorry the campsites in the park are first-come first-serve. You need to book your campsite at least 48 hours in advance, and we don’t know which campsites have availability or not.” Continue reading

Adventures in Road Tripping Part 1: Conquering the Wilderness

The Good FellasSo as I’d mentioned in my last post, I was hitting the road for a 15-day road trip across the country. Well….those 15 days ended up morphing into 17 which almost turned into an indefinite stay in California. Leave it to me to fall in love with the promise of year-round warm weather, sun, sand, and one of my best friends.

But wait…since I know how much you loved the thrill and suspense of my Mexican shenanigans, let’s dive into the ridiculousness of my adventure across the country. From the wilderness of Mount Rushmore, Yellowstone, and Glacier National Park to the cities of Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, LA, San Diego and every podunk shut-down-at-9pm town in between, our 17 days were packed full of adventure. Commence the epic journey of two wise guys, or “The Good Fellas” as we would become known as thanks to a homeless caricature artist that we’d meet in a bar in San Diego.  Continue reading

Shine Bright Like a Diamond

Yesterday I was on the train for the first time in a while. Since I recently moved, this is a rare occasion since I no longer have to take it to/from work, Target, the grocery store, etc. since I live in the heart of Boystown and can walk everywhere that my little heart desires. My BFF and I were on our way back from dropping the keys off to my old apartment and housing burgers, onion rings, and a pitcher of 312. As we passed a cemetery (or graveyard as she likes to morbidly refer to it), we started discussing funeral plans.

Me: “I’m going to get you one of those little house things.”
Her: “Eh, those are too big.”
Me: “Fine. I’ll cremate you and have you turned into a diamond.”
Her: “If that’s what it takes to get a ring on your finger, okay!”

On that note, we decided we should probably schedule an appointment to meet with a funeral services coordinator. Why? Because that’s the type of friends we are. Continue reading

Tapeworm Twins Take the World: A Tale of Two Gays and One Schabes

Once upon a time, two twins were separated at birth. They lived apart for nearly 24 years before being reunited in Nebraska. This, ladies and gentlemen, is the tale of my unofficial (however it could be proven official if we got Maury Povich involved) twin and our tapeworm-fueled shenanigans/future plans.

Here we were in the booming metropolis of Lincoln, Nebraska. As any quality friendship begins these days, we were introduced by a mutual friend at the bar and bonded over vodka-sodas, tequila shots, frog sperm, and the fact that we shared the same ex-boyfriend with a Dorito-tinged skin color that rivaled Snooki’s circa season one of MTV’s the Jersey Shore. It was love at first sight for the two of us twins – well, within reason because twincest…well, that’s just gross. Continue reading

Everything Happens for a Reason

tumblr_m5krq2B7o01r9s19zo1_500They always say everything happens for a reason. I’m a firm believer in this, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this. I find myself thinking to myself rather frequently (especially lately), “What if I hadn’t been in this place at that time? I wouldn’t have met so-and-so or experienced this.” It’s crazy when you think about it.

Seriously though…think about it.

I’ve been lucky enough in the past few years to meet some amazing people and have some great experiences and opportunities through being in the right place at the right time. There’s a few instances in particular that stick out in my mind… Continue reading

First Impressions, Worst Impressions, and Why it Pays to be the Fat Kid

I’ll say it: It pays to be the fat kid. Sometimes being hungry pays off.

About two weeks ago, I had started talking to this guy – and no, not on Grindr. This time, I was testing out an app called Tinder. Now you straight people may be familiar with it. It’s probably the closest thing to Grindr you have on your phone. To fill those of you who’ve been living under a rock in, it shows you a picture of someone else who’s also “looking” and you swipe one way for yes and the other for no. Interested? Not interested? Swipe away! It’s like a game. Seriously. If you both swipe that you think the other is attractive it’s like “Congratulations! You’re a match!” and then asks if you want to message them or “Keep Playing” – seriously…keep playing. It’s a game. I told you. Oh, and you link it with your Facebook so you can easily upload your pictures and get to swiping quicker, see mutual “Likes” and interests, AND see if you have mutual friends. Pretty easy. Welcome to the dating in 2014.

So here we are: Congratulations! You’re a match!

Umm…jackpot. Gorgeous. Looks phenomenal in a suit. Has a picture with a French Bulldog. AND we have a mutual friend (that I can research him through and make sure he’s not psychotic). Forget this game. This calls for sending the first message.

So we talk for a few days, swap numbers, and make plans to meet up for drinks since – let’s face it – pretty much anyone can come across good via text, but if you’re socially awkward or just weird in person in general, a nonchalant meeting over a beer and and appetizer will spell it all out quick and easy. We made plans for a random weeknight – partially because I had other plans later in the week, but more importantly because working early is an easy cop-out if you need an escape from a bad weeknight date – to meet up in his neighborhood since it was on my way home from the office. Step one: Check. Continue reading

Taking Things for Granted

All too often, we go through life taking things for granted. Friendships. Family. Material things. Life in general.

I won’t lie. I’m just as guilty of this as anyone else.

I thought of this as I was talking to my grandparents on the phone tonight. I took an hour out of my evening of working from home to call and catch up with them. I’m lucky enough to have all five (one pair is divorced and remarried) still alive and kicking, but I don’t get a chance to see them as much as I’d like to. I know they’re always just a phone call away, but it seems like every time I think about calling them it’s 9 or 10pm. With the Central/East Coast time difference, they’re usually in bed so it falls by the wayside and gets put on the back burner. They’re around, they’re all relatively cool, and they’re always only a phone call away. Other people don’t have this luxury, but it’s something I take for granted.

I’m guilty of this with friendships too. They say you come to discover who your true friends are when you move away. Continue reading

True Life: My Former Best Friend is a Psychopathic Sociopath

I’d like to apologize in advance, but some people just need a harsh dose of reality…or a swift kick straight in the mangina. One such person is my former roommate and one of my closest friends who decided to pour our friendship down the drain like the bottle of gin he probably shouldn’t have consumed before scoring his second DUI. But really, there’s no hard feelings between the two of us, can’t you tell?

But really…where do I even begin? Perhaps at the beginning of our soon-to-be-trainwrecked friendship.

When I first moved to Lincoln back in June 2011, I was absolutely terrified to say the least. Not knowing a single person – no friends, no relatives, nobody at all – it was probably one of the biggest leaps of faithlessness I’ve ever made in my life. Stranded in the Midwest with no friends and not even knowing where the gay bar(s) were – if any at all.

Perhaps you’re wondering, “What did you do?” “How did you meet anyone?” “How did you become the Regina George of the Mean Girls or the Teresa Giudice of the Real Housewives of Lancaster County?” Simple. This bitch got on Grindr and networked his ass off (much like he did in Chicago).

I wasted no time making friends with the first non-shirtless guy around my age who had something other than a bathroom mirror selfie for a default pic. Rescuing me from an exciting evening of Netflix, sweatpants, and antisocial drinking, I was informed to be at a certain corner (typical) at a certain time. I would be meeting up with my new soon-to-be-made friend and his friends who would become my new friends. Continue reading