Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Story From Last Weekend

Last weekend I was asked to attend and help out with a diversity conference the student association I used to be involved in was putting on, Of course, I gladly did.

One of the activities was watching a dramatic dialogue performance. There were three scenes acted out, and each was followed by discussion with the audience. One was about homosexuality and a guy coming out to his college roommate. Basically, the roommate in the scene had a hard time dealing with the fact that his friend of two years was gay and he did not know it.

In the discussion that followed, one person noted that she understood the frustration of the straight roommate because two years is a long time to hide. All I could think was "Two years is nothing"

Later, the moderator of the discussion asked if anyone was willing to share a coming out story. An openly gay member of the group did.

I was extremely tempted at that moment to just say raise my hand and address the group, and tell them that I'm gay...that stereotypes don't fit and even a respected and well known association alum like me can be...and it can be hidden for a long time (I've known some of these folks over 5 years now)

But alas, I did not. The time was not right and I did not want to become the talk of the weekend . The public venue was inappropriate. But the very fact I thought of doing it shows that my comfort level with it is increasing.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Out at Work?

On Monday, I got a surprise call at my office from MBA Man. He wanted to briefly chat about a couple of things. Some of the conversation was clearly "gay" themed...or at least it may have sounded so to anyone who paid attention.

I used as much discretion as I could with my choice of words, etc. You see, I do not have a private office. In fact, I sit at a front desk. And right next to me, within easy earshot of every word I said was the student worker assigned to my area.

Now, this particular student is a confirmed homo...and I would be beyond shocked if he did not draw certain conclusions based on what he heard.

But I've realized something...I don't care much. While I'm not going to start acting more obvious or send memos announcing it, I am more at ease about people knowing I'm gay. If they figure it out, so be it. After all, the area I work in is a branch of the diversity office, and the diversity office also includes GLBTA programs. It seems only logical that the office ought to at the very least be tolerant...if not there are larger issues afoot.

I also took another small step this week by stopping to speak with the representative of the GLBTA office at the information fair held as part of my employee orientation and signing up for their email lists.

Little by little...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Damn You, Starbucks!

I'm not a coffee drinker, but I like Chai latte on occasion.

Occasion used to be once every couple of months. Now I work near a Starbucks that can be accessed via underground tunnel from my office, and once every couple of months has turned into once every couple of days...which is expensive and can't be good for me, either.

Damn you, Starbucks!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


I've always had a dislike for text messaging.

Well, I may be changing my tune a bit. For the last couple of months I've been paying several dollars a month in casual text charges. I think it's time to accept that people are going to text me...and I will read them and reply, but there is no way I am going to keep paying Sprint's 20 cent fee per message to send/receive.

Now, I know I could simply add text messaging to my current plan and be done with it. But, if you know me you know why I hated texting in the first place...I type slow to begin with so pounding out messages on a regular phone keypad where you need to push a button 3-5 times to get your desired character...not so fun.

Solution: Get a smart phone or a phone with an included QWERTY keypad.

Problem with that? Even though I am eligible for a phone upgrade in April, that would require me signing a new contract AGAIN, which I already had to do in October, leaving me locked in to my current carrier until April 2010. While I have no overwhelming complaints about them, they are not faring well with customers lately and others are beginning to look more attractive.

My Options:

1) Renew in April for another two years and get a break on the phone I want then.
2) Spend $300-plus on the type of phone I want in order to avoid contract renewal.
3) Pay the $200 to exit my contract and port the number to another carrier (T-Mobile gets good reviews from some friends, and ATT is the home of iPhone, although I would not pop for one of those initially.)
4) Keep my current phone for the duration of the contract

Anyone out there want to comment on the cell phone racket, or endorse their carrier, phone or plan?

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Feed Reader Survey

A few months ago I started experimenting with feed readers to keep track of the blogs I enjoy.

First I tried Shrook.

Now I'm using Net News Wire and overall like it better. The problem? I tried synching with a free NewsGator account online and the online version says I have tons more unread posts than I actually do, and doesn't display my flagged items. Since I like to read entries and flag for later comment, I need to see those flagged items whether I'm on my MacBook, the family iMac, my iMac at the office or another machine.

Could Google Reader be worth a try?

Readers: Comment--what feed reader do you use and why?

Monday, February 18, 2008

Weekend With Troystopher and Midwest Ben

This weekend I had the great pleasure of spending time with Troy and Ben as they visited Minneapolis for a couple of days. We had a very nice weekend together and I am confident we'll be good friends for a long time to come.

I met Troy at his hotel about 2 pm and we had a late lunch in one of the restaurants. We had nice conversation about such things as blogging, work, the Blogger Summit, and the fact his ears refused to pop (poor kid!).

Ben arrived and they went to dinner. While they were there, I had drinks in the hotel with family friend R, whom I have mentioned before on the blog. She had been wanting to get together to celebrate my new job, so I figured it was the perfect time. We talked about many things, including her recent change of majors,

Me: I'm not really on the market right now.
R: What if a super hot girl came along?
Me: Umm...well...there won't ever be a hot girl for me.
R: How come?
Me: Well, I'm gay
R: Really? You're kidding!
Me: Nope

We then the standard coming out conversation that consists of "How long have you known? Have you had any relationships?" etc. She was very supportive, and when I asked if I'd freaked her out at all, she said "I used to be a fashion design major, I have tons of gay guy friends!"

Of course I asked her not to say anything to her family, since it would get back to my parents and my dad doesn't know yet, nor am I prepared for him to.

After the guys had finished dinner and R and I parted ways, we headed to a dessert bar and I had some very good cheescake before we proceeded to the local Comedy Sportz to see some improv. I had never been before, and it was pretty good...except for the fact the red team won and the three of us thought the blue team was better.

By that time we were exhausted and retired for the evening.

We got up late and decided to head to the Hard Rock for lunch. Man, the portions were HUGE. I think our eyes were bigger than our stomachs, as we each finished about half our meals.

Then we went to the local GameWorks that was in the same complex. It was pretty funny, I had not been to an arcade in years! We did a bunch of games, mostly driving/racing and several rounds of "Deal or No Deal." Troy tried the infamous DDR, which was pretty funny to watch...said it was a good workout.

After GameWorks, it was off to the alumni bowling event that was being hosted by the student association I worked with in college. It was fun... in a kind of funky old bowling alley that is a bit of a Mpls landmark. I had to dodge the "how do you know these guys?" question a few times, but oh well. Troy is certainly the best bowler...I forget Ben's score but I'm pretty sure I got a paltry 45, maybe it was 42. Didn't get many high fives for spares or strikes, that's for sure!

After bowling we returned to the hotel and had a drink and a snack to close out our weekend. Ben headed back to school and I crashed there to avoid the hassle of having to turn around and come back into the city this morning--worked out well, as I was able to say goodbye and hop a cab to the office the same time Troy grabbed the airport shuttle.

It was such a nice time...a great experience to be able to see that we all are in fact who we appear to be. Feels good to have seen two of the guys who have become good friends of mine through this blog in recent months and for all of us to welcome each other into our "real lives." As anyone who has met them or reads their blogs knows, these are two really fantastic guys.

So, Troystopher and Ben, thank you for a wonderful weekend! I love you guys and look forward to the next time we meet. You both rock!!

(see Troy's post for more)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

New Blog--Check Him Out

I have to give props to a very special new blog. MBA Man has made the leap from LiveJournal to Blogger. Check out his new place on the web:

A Day in the Life Of

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Congrats; Blogger Summit Info

First off, I want to say CONGRATS to Matt and Closeted, who both started new jobs this week! Good luck guys!

Second, please see updates to the Blogger Meet Up web site. Now known as Blogger Summit, the event will be held June 27-30. Contact Troy, JR, K or me for more info!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

I'm Still Here

I know I've been slightly MIA the last week or so folks. Starting new jobs and such will do that. All is well and the first week was good. Hopefully I will have time for a more substantial update in the next couple days. Hang in there with me people, please don't stop reading!