wwcitizen: (Uuuuuuh)
Aside from the tummy issues, we did have a great time in Ptown for Bear Week. I mentioned the events I hosted in a previous post (that took me a while to write up for some reason...).

We met TONS of new people and got to see people we hadn't seen in a long while, such as [livejournal.com profile] texwriterbear, [livejournal.com profile] slothel, and [livejournal.com profile] delmarmar Also in attendance were [livejournal.com profile] profundis (apparently - didn't get a chance to meet up), [livejournal.com profile] thetarnishedowl, [livejournal.com profile] mat_t (I think), [livejournal.com profile] faghatesgods & [livejournal.com profile] mondragon (Matthew saw them  both on separate days from afar),
We got to meet [livejournal.com profile] dewittar and [livejournal.com profile] fishfin for the first time in person!!  Very happy we were able to meet up and connect.  When I first encountered Rodney and Allen, they both looked so different in 3D than in 2D. Plus, I hadn't expected such pleasanly homey southern accents to come out of them like they have!  Very enchanting couple.

The day we were together at Vorelli's for bloody Marys, the power kept failing throughout the Cape from allowed brownouts. One of the cooling towers at the nearest nuclear plant wasn't cooling as quickly, so they diverted all the power for cooling to one cooling tower and shut the second off, which took some time and created brownouts.

Even still, we got to see some shows, including Miss Richfield 1981, one of our favorites! Those tickets were for Matthew's birthday gift. And we were both well enough to have a nice dinner at the Crown & Anchor and then head to the show! She never disappoints and always brings in some fresh, unexpected stuff. Very fun!
So, yes, we got to experience a lot of what makes Bear Week great: friends, shows, dinners, Tea Dance, and evening dances. But, we just took it all a lot slower than in years past. PLUS, the ultimate greatest thing was that I had no back pain like in 2012.

On the second and last Saturday of Bear Week, we decided to stay till around dinner time. The previous times we had been to Ptown in the off season, we discovered that leaving later in the day allowed everyone else to get off the highway. Our drive went from 7-9 hours (with everyone else leaving the Cape) down to a normal 4.5-5 hour drive home.  We spent the day shopping around, which we didn't do during the week, and spending time with a couple of friends of ours from NYC.
Fun times were had by all! Yay for vacation, Bear Week, and GREAT FRIENDS!!  We're already looking forward toward next year's Bear Week in 2014!!
wwcitizen: (S&M In Ptown)

The subject covers two aspects of Ptown: 1) Provincetown, MA, in the winter when tourists aren't around... and 2) Matthew acting in an episode of a TV show called Off Season.
It's exciting to be in Ptown in the winter! We had a big, blustery, SNOWY winter storm Sunday - all day. And we made the absolute best of the day. We got up late and played on our pads for a while. The snow outside piled up to about 10"!!  Eventually, I dug us out to the road. Not a big deal, since the snow was fresh and light. But I had a small, trunk-ready shovel, so I had to be careful not to throw out my back. :-)
On Saturday, we drove around and took pictures, but it was dreary and rainy. We had our postponed anniversary dinner at Ross's Grille, which was fantastic! To drink, we had a bottle of Pouilly-Fuissé Chardonnay. For dinner, it was raw oysters first, then locally sourced, sauteed mussels & clams - delicious broths! Our entrees were the Cape Cod Seafood Stew.  The Off Season dictates what restaurants stay open throughout the season, and which ones close for a while after the tourist season and WHEN they close before the tourist season starts up again.  Ross's Grille closed the day after our meal and we were served the last mussels, clams, and stews that they had. We really lucked out!
Sunday night, our dinner was at the Bistro @ Crowne Pointe, which is less than a block up the hill and has GREAT views of the Pilgrims' Monument, the Town Hall, and other historic buildings. We had Cake Chardonnay with deviled eggs, Italian bread, steamed mussels, and New England clam chowder for apps. Then, of course, we HAD to have a New England steamed lobster. Really great dinner, too.
Both nights we took in the "leftover" Ptown nightlife, which was light but fun and totally cozy. Most bars have a warm, cozy and glowing fireplace. The fireplaces reminded me of places in Germany, Austria, and Prague.
All throughout the weekend and in the weeks leading up to today, Matthew & I have been running over his lines over and over again.  It's been really fun.
Monday, we relaxed and got Matthew ready for one of his scenes. The shoot started at 3pm, so I drove around Ptown on my own to take pictures of the town with the snow. It was a bit disappointing because the incessant high winds blew away most of the snow in the course of the day.
I think I got some really great shots that capture the winter Provincetown, which most of the people that come to Bear Week every summer never see or can imagine.  Matthew hadn't messaged or called that he was done, so I went to the Governor Bradford pub for a glass of Chardonnay.  I had never been in that bar before; it's quite old and charming in its own right but I think there's no A/C in the summer, which is always the first and major deterrent.
While sipping my wine at the bar, I had probably the funniest experience ever by myself in Ptown - EVER!!: 4 fishermen in from their boats at the corner of the bar trying to outdo each other with their impressions of the Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz. It was so difficult not to even crack a smile in the hopes that they wouldn't stop on my account and that they might take on other characters with their (pretty decent) impressions.
I made my way to the location of the shoot taking place in a restaurant that was new to us, Sage. Matt did an excellent acting job; members of the crew were very impressed and came to me tell me they were. *happy dance*
So, this trip we went to places and areas of town that we'd never visited before. We went to the Shipwrecked Lounge, the Porchside Lounge, The Little Bar at A-House, the Governor Bradford bar, the Squealing Pig, Sage, the town's US Post Office, the very end of Commercial St, and areas of the Province Lands and National Parks that were new to us.
All in all it's been amazing trip and it does not feel like 6 days. Given our druthers, Matt and I would probably want to stay until Sunday but he has to get back and teach on Thursday evening. Can't wait to review and post some pictures of Ptown in the winter!










wwcitizen: (Photo Avatar)
Here are pictures of Matt and my experience in Burbank, CA, in July for a quick trip to appear on the Red Carpet for Bear City 2. It was such a fantastic experience that generated a LOT of memories (and photos) very quickly.  Check them out and enjoy!  I only ask that if you re-use or re-post any of the photos, please give me credit for the photos.  Thank so much!  
wwcitizen: (Airplane Travel)
This was me today cuz THE SHUTTLE PASSED OVER NYC!!  YAY!! 


I took about 300+ photos within 15 minutes and had gotten up to the roof JUST in the nick of time to see the shuttle passing over. It flew REALLY close to our building.  I whittled the collection down to about 70 shots, which turned out pretty good!  Enjoy!  (...and comment at will...)

I also sent a link to this album to the Rachel Maddow Show; hopefully, she'll use a couple or more on the show tonight!

Cruisin'!

Apr. 24th, 2012 11:38 pm
wwcitizen: (Cruise Ship)
Here are pictures from time we spent on board the Brilliance of the Seas, a Royal Caribbean cruise ship (no destinations are covered here - this is simply a brochure for the trip, if you will).  The ship is pretty old, but it still has a lot of charm.  Enjoy!   
wwcitizen: (Default)
I've made a mission to get through constructing the updates to and posting the 1st Greece trip to Athens and Sounio (I know - the Map calls it Sounion, but all the signs say, "Sounio"...).  Anyway, it was an amazing day in Athens and would definitely want to return to Greece - in particular the Greek Isles, but that's another post for another day.
ENJOY
wwcitizen: (For realz?)
I took this picture the other day and thought, "What's on this pea's mind?"   What do you think THIS littlest pea is thinking about?
Try out your best humorous line.  Nothing too risque; this is a public post and kids under 13 might be watching.  :-)

I will post a poll at the end of the week with the top 3 lines, from which I will get the best line to appear in the bubble!
wwcitizen: (Sleep)
How do you trick your insomnia? Ever had a night where you're desperately tired or sleepy, but your mind simply cannot turn off or you can't wind down for some reason. Or do you wake up in the middle of the night after a dream (not necessarily a nightmare) that makes you think about a lot of things? Or you just wake up after 2 hours feeling like you should be refreshed, when it's only been two hours and a non-quenched lethargy sets in?

These things happen to me once in a while. There's no reason every time, either. Nothing to put my finger on and say, "Oh, I can remedy that by doing this or getting this done tomorrow."

Some people get up in the middle of the night and write lists of things they need to do. That works from time to time when there are actual things on my mind. Other times, I simply toss and turn and eventually get out of bed and play computer games, watch something that's bound to put me to sleep, make myself a cup of chamomile tea, blog a bit, or search for a themed picture thread to put on my computer desktop (which I do each season).

My typical go-to solution for many years and one I strive to retain in my bag of insomnia tricks is thinking of a field of wildflowers.  There was a meadow of wildflowers that I would pass on the way to college every spring when going from my father's house back to campus in Greensboro, NC.  This meadow was easily 5-6 acres between two houses on a country road. It's most likely built over now; I haven't driven passed it since about 20 years. But the memory of it is pretty vivid:

Once in a while in the middle of spring or at the beginning of summer, I would park my little light green Mazda GLC on the side of the road and wander a good distance into the meadow.  The flowers were tall enough that they came up to my knee and sometimes mid-thigh.  I got to a point in the meadow where I could sit down and barely see my car on the side of the road. There were wildflowers everywhere, the fresh smell of meadow, a blue sky with puffy clouds, birds chirping happily everywhere, and squirrels scurrying from yard to yard. Seriously, this was the serene scene. Simply beautiful, peaceful, serene, and filled with tranquility.  I always gathered some flowers - daisies, corn flowers, pink clover, black-eyed Susans, sometimes poppies, sweat peas, grasses, wild coreopsis, Queen Anne's lace, and much more. I picked enough for a nice couple of wild bouquets to remind me of the moment and headed home to put them in a vase. They lasted easily about a week or slightly longer and I never took a picture of them.

Yesterday, I was looking for spring-related pictures for my seasonal desktop on my computer and I came across some pictures that reminded me of the field and others of the flowers (NOTE: I did not take any of these pictures and claim no ownership of them).  Here they are (and a couple depict me in the meadow...):




Thinking of scenes like these and specifically back to "my meadow" makes me peaceful. It helps me turn off and think of nothing but communing with nature and just being. Sometimes this memory is so relaxing that in the middle of the day, I just daydream of sitting there for hours. After I brought the flowers home and put them in a vase, that sense of tranquility would last a little longer than the length of time the flowers lived in my vase. I suppose that I was subconsciously training myself to meditate or find a peaceful place in my mind and spirit to be able to remove myself from stress and be free - at least in my mind and spirit for a moment.

I think we all need that from time to time. Hope you can find peace in these settings, as well.
wwcitizen: (Broadway)
Today we went to see The Normal Heart. It's a story and play about the break out of HIV/AIDS in NYC in the early 80s. I remember the articles they mentioned in the early 80s that broke out about this mysterious disease affecting gay men all across America.

These kinds of story-lines, shows, plays, musicals, TV shows, and movies remind me of my early teens when I was learning about my sexuality, how to hide who I was, and play a part myself. They also remind what I learned about safe sex at a very early age, too, which definitely really helped me along the way. The things I learned about STDs weren't taught in schools very well, either, back then. I had to learn on my own for the most part about condoms, safe sex practices, and the like. The people at the forefront of the AIDS epidemic in New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Miami, etc., helped save a lot of peoples' lives and educate the already infected about things they need to do to stay healthy.

The show rocked! It was really well done - the actors were phenomenal! Some of the monologues were so long, acted believably, and totally well-timed. I was very impressed with the stage direction (except for the last three scenes of the second act), set design, and acting.

Here are some pictures from me and the actors (Matt's not really into the "photo-of-a-celeb-with-me!" photos, as I am):

Jim Parsons (from Big Bang Theory)

Luke McFarlane (Brothers & Sisters)


Lee Pace (lead in Pushing Daisies - up-and-coming star)


Back at the ferry station on the Manhattan side (the sun is coming from NJ, of course)

On the boat!


Would YOU obey this man?


Great day in the city!! We hadn't been in the city on a beautiful day during the daytime in a LONG time. It was quite exhilarating and we really wanted to stay, but were exhausted, too - needed a nap and food. Matt had made a wonderful lasagna Friday night, which we engulfed when we got home (hadn't eaten ANYTHING all day).

Must-see show if you can make it!
wwcitizen: (Laughing Bear)
My sister posted the link to this photo gallery on her Facebook wall the other day. It's totally worth reviewing and made me giggle out loud quite a few times. You can tell that some of the pictures are reworked to come degree, but I believe that they're all old photos nonetheless.
wwcitizen: (TV Watching)
Yeah, buddy! Here's a new series on The Weather Channel, hoping to retain its audience even when weather is boring or not tumultuous (love that word!). The series is called "From The Edge" and premiers tonight. We've scheduled Tivo to pick it up.

"From The Edge" follows Peter Lik, an Australian photographer traveling around talking about how the weather dictates what makes for good/bad photos. I'm interested in the show for a myriad of reasons, not the least of which that the host is great eye candy! Plus, who doesn't love Australians? Enjoy!



wwcitizen: (Default)
Throughout the last month or so, I've been taking lots of fall pictures - everywhere - from Newark, through NJ, and in NYC. If you're on Facebook, you might notice some duplicates; never hurts to see smiling faces again and again. Anyway, enjoy the photos!
wwcitizen: (Default)
This last week or so, Matt and I have started walking around the neighborhood more. It's a daily walk that takes at least an hour or so. We walk about 1-2 miles, depending on how cool the day is, our level of energy, and the presence of a camera.

The first day out, I brought my camera, but forgot the SD card. Feh. The second and subsequent days (almost every day of the week), I made sure to have SD card inserted, battery charged, and camera in pocket. Good thing, too. I got some great shots of things:

Our building:


Some flowers:




And some of my favorite, cute little houses in the area (they look like something you'd see in kids' story books - except for the square stucco one):



Oh, and the other day when I was out at the grocery store, I actually turned the car around to get a picture of these guys working on laying a pipe. I mean, who doesn't like hard hats, Carhartt, and work boots?
wwcitizen: (BIG SMILE)
We finished the first round of pictures. Check them out!! These are pictures and videos of us on our trip out to and arrival in Huntington Beach, CA, and then our day at Disneyland/California Adventure. It was a lot of fun.

Problem with Disneyland was it was built for 30K people, but they allow 80K+ people into the park daily. That makes park-goers pretty irritable, which makes the cast members irritable. No one smiled. No one laughed. No one was happy - AT THE HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH!! allegedly...

One cast member all day asked us how our day was going. We mentioned the rude, unfriendly, and unhappy people all over the park. THIS CAST member said, "Yeah... we've kind of given up. If my manager treats me a this level (marking off his chest height), then I'll treat him or her just above that. If a customer treats me at this level,(marking off his waist height), then I treat them just about here (marking off his belly button level). People aren't happy anymore and we're kinda tired of it here."

WE would NEVER that sort of thing coming from a CAST MEMBER at Disney World in FL. NEVER. They would say something like, "Oh, that's a shame; I can't believe people would be like that here! This is the most wonderful place to be! Here's an extra sticker for you. Have a Magical Day!" And we'd walk away with a smile on our faces.

Not in Disneyland. This was a conversation I had with a rude female cast member at a concession stand:

Me: "Hello. Could I please have a small cup of water?"
CM: "Why do you want water?" (stoic, standing behind the register, and not moving)
Me: "I'd like to clean off our table over there for the kids (pointing at the filthy table)."
CM: "Someone should be cleaning those tables." (still not moving from behind her register)
Me: "I agree; someone other than me should clean the table. No one is around for me to ask to clean the table."
CM: "Someone should clean your tables, sir." (still not moving or looking like she wanted to help me in any way)
Me: "Could I please have a cup of water?"
CM: BIG SIGH. Shuffle shuffle shuffle. She got a little cup and filled it up half way. She didn't look at me when she handed it to me. In fact, she looked away from me as she pushed it halfway across the counter.
Me: "Thank you." And I smiled at her, hoping for a glimmer of happiness or some emotion.
CM: Silence.

That would NEVER have happened in Disney World. I mentioned this interaction to Matt's sister, who's been to Disney World literally 30+ times with her family as a kid and with her family with her kids. She was appalled and relayed similar experiences. But nothing topped our two spectacularly unfriendly interactions with cast members that day.

I just wish we could have gotten to California Adventure a little earlier than we had. I would like to have seen more of that park. Seems like it was built more for older people (outside of Bug's Land).
wwcitizen: (Photo Avatar)
This is a picture of Matt and me from a distance when we didn't know someone was taking a picture. I don't know how many of these exist, but the friend who took this one takes TONS of pictures (like me) and is extremely quick to post them - that guy (I suppose like me) was born for social networking sites like Facebook.




We went to Blowoff last night and had fun. It took us just at an hour to get to the dance, though. At that time of night (midnight), it should normally have taken us less than 30 minutes to get to Tribeca from our house down the West Side Hwy. But, because I insisted we go left out of the garage instead of right, we had to go through a sobriety check point near the house. Little did the cops know we were heading into the city to drink and dance!

By the time we got to the tunnel, there was a TON of traffic there and IN THE CITY. Our GPS took us through the city instead of around because it was more direct. Matt was fit to be tied when we got into the dance and the thick, packed crowd didn't help. All of a sudden Matt started getting a headache. We danced together for a little while and just as he was getting into it, I accidentally hit someone else's drink, which splashed onto the guy (from DC) and Matt. I'm such a clutz sometimes! I had had only two beers by that point, too. A hired photographer was taking an event photo of me and some other guys and my hand hit the drink to my side. Ho hum. What Matt has to put up with.

We got home around 4:30 and went pretty much straight to bed. Getting ready - now - to go to the Muscle Bear Cruise! YIPEE!!
wwcitizen: (Photo Avatar)
About four weeks ago - still March - a friend contacted me about being the photographer for a party he was hosting in Atlantic City. He thought that since I wasn't working, I'd be able to help him out. I thought this would be an excellent opportunity for me to wheel out all my photography equipment and start using it in a professional setting. Up till that point, I was using it all to photograph merchandise we sell on eBay. I even made business cards to hand out during the party.

I moved forward with the gig and was excited about getting a paid photography gig!! The wine party took place in the Foundation Room of the House of Blues in the Showboat Casino & Hotel. If you've never been to a House of Blues, you've missed out. Every HoB I've been to - in Chicago, New Orleans, and now AC, has a similar feel. There are lots of dark colorful fabrics, interesting statues and furniture, and great viewpoints all over the place.

Part of the deal was a room at The Borgata Hotel & Casino. We asked for a room on the 37th floor, which overlooked a couple of other hotels. The Borgata itself looks like a gold-plated external computer hard drive. Oh, and we didn't gamble, except for $10 that Matt threw in last minute before we left on Friday morning. It was a total throw-away into a slot machine for about 15 minutes, but he had fun. I'm not much - if at all - of a gambler. I don't see the point; guess I wouldn't have been a good Wall Street character, either, eh?


When Matt and I arrived to set things up in the Foundation Room, another photo shoot by Inked Magazine was wrapping up. The guy model was kinda muscley hot and was covered with tats, of course. Didn't know who the models were or the photographer, but it was interesting watching the photographer directing the shoot.



Throughout the afternoon during the setup, after the models for the party showed up, and for the duration of the party, I was taking pictures with both my Nikon D40 (portraits with floodlights) and my Canon S90 (for candid party shots). I took about 300+ pictures in total in about 2 hours and sent them to my friend after tagging each of them with my contact information and copyright stuff.



The hottest guy of the day and the one we wanted to pet for a little while was Macie, which (btw) he pronounced as "May-thee" with a soft "th" and then spelled it for us. Would love to find out what his "safe word" is.



All in all we had a great time, I learned a lot, and Matt & I worked phenomenally well together. Granted, if photography gigs were to become common, there's no guarantee that Matt would accompany me to all of them, but it was certainly fun and extremely helpful to have him there.
wwcitizen: (Maybe I Guess)
Tonight, I promised a couple of friends, Matt, and Matt's family that my beard was getting reduced, if not coming off completely. Many close friends could not stand it. Friends online, who didn't have to watch food get caught in the 2" follicles were impressed by its length and thickness (insert Dick comment *here*).

So, here's the progression of my beard's demise:


(Click on the picture!!)
wwcitizen: (Photo Avatar)
[livejournal.com profile] jefferzephyr posted a shot of his freezer door, and I immediately jumped up to do the same. I think it's interesting to see what other folks have on their freezers. Here's ours - plus, because I happen to collect a LOT of magnets, some had to be moved down to the refrigerator door. Plus, the littler kids like those down there.



There are lots of city or country-specific magnets - we get one wherever we go. There's, of course, a martini glass - that you can't see on the fridge, cuz it's cut off. There are lots of pictures of friends, family (Matt's mother and father are under the British crown in the middle top*), Matthew (I do the pictures on the fridge mostly), and most certainly bears and pigs. Don't forget Curious George, either - my favorite book collection from my childhood - I just realized I don't have a Wild Thing up there!! Gotta get one.

I'm going to take off certain sets of magnets because they're cluttery and I have to fill a couple other frames that aren't shown here. The magnet display on our fridge is totally organic.

* Not being Catholic, I find it interesting and touching that Catholic families provide a laminated card with the deceased's picture on it on one side and an inspirational writing on the back as a takeaway. We don't do this sort of thing in the South.
wwcitizen: (Photo Avatar)
Thanks for all the camera feedback!! We selected a Canon Powershot S90, which had GREAT reviews everywhere. Many people who gave us feedback mentioned Canon. We compared all the Canons with all the Nikons and the Panasonic Lumix. The Canon PowerShot S90 shines above them all and it's the newer model of Canon that people said that they loved. We both have experienced Sony's and they were a little too shaky for us. We could never trust that we'd get a good shot.

We, of course bought it through Amazon (for the points). The funny thing is, at the end of the purchase, Amazon always makes a suggestion of a catch phrase to expedite future purchases. We never do this, but the random phrase for this purchase was:

"Matthew's Wide Stance"


Out of everything it could have thrown together, it chose the one SPECIFIC phrase that Matt and I have been saying to each other. We saw Outrage before Christmas, which shows Larry Craig saying, "I'm not gay! I just have a wide stance!"

Now, Amazon is secretly making fun of Larry Craig. LOVE IT!!
wwcitizen: (Photo Avatar)
We're looking for new point-and-click cameras for short vacations where I don't wanna bring my "grownup" camera (my Nikon D40 SLR). We've looked at the Canon Powershot S90 (too expensive) & the SD1200, had two different versions of the Sony Cybershot (yawn), and CNet's reviews are leaving us unbelievably uninformed.

Looking for under $200... needs video, too. Might end up buying two different ones just to try them out, but don't wanna spend a lot of money, either.

Any ideas?

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wwcitizen: (Default)
Stephen Lambeth

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