Saturday, October 30, 2004

The Final Countdown

This is my final weekend here. The painter completed his task on Thursday; the carpet/linoleum man laid the new floors yesterday. Tomorrow afternoon, I'm packing up the computer and moving to new digs! Yay! I spent quite a bit of phone time yesterday with the phone and cable companies. I get to keep my current phone number after the move, and my cable will be switched over on Tuesday. No home computer for a day or two, but I'm more excited that I'm keeping the old phone number! What a hassle that would have been, trying to memorize yet another number, not to mention forcing family, friends and others who need it to change their cell phones and to reprogram their speed dials. I also wandered around IKEA and found some fairly nice wooden blinds for the kitchen and my bedroom. My brother and I are going to price a few more, but so far, I feel that these are the ones.

I still have some packing to finish: the kitchen cupboards, the upstairs bathroom, my clothes. My friend CS dropped by after work last night with some boxes and packing materials, and instead of packing, we watched The Tower of Terror, a made-for-kids ghost story about the attraction at both Disneyland and Disney/MGM Studios (in Florida) starring Steve Guttenberg and Kirsten Dunst. After he left, I stayed up until 2 AM finishing Every Man for Himself by Orland Outland. The story focused on John Eames, a dekstop pucblisher with AIDS who, because of his low testosterone levels, was given steroids by his doctor. He changed from someone that used to be ignored to the Hottie Next Door and decided to take advantage of his new body and to leave his husband. By the end, he realized what an ass he'd been and tried to make it up to his husband. Not a fantastic book, but I did enjoy reading it. In spite of my last post. (Why else would I have stayed up until 2 AM?)

So now I'm awake, writing my last post for a few days - until after the move and the cableman arrives on Tuesday. I need to take a shower to help rid myself of my morning wood that, as he writes, is fairly common among us men. I tend to agree. But, it doesn't help that the men in my dreams tend to do the strangest, most stimulating things.... Then, it's time for a little breakfast and to finish packing!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

So Unsexy*

"oh these little rejections how they add up quickly
one small sideways look and i feel so ungood"

I am incredibly self-conscious. That can be very detrimental in the gay community where we're bombarded daily in magazines, ads, and TV shows with the image of the muscled hunk with little or no body hair. Perfect eyes, Perfect teeth. Perfect smile. He's what everyone wants. Anything else is substandard and not worthy of consideration.

The few times I've walked down Santa Moncia Blvd. checking out the clubs in WeHo, I've felt this accusation from all the pretty clones passing me by that I had no right to be there. How dare I trespass in the Beautiful Country! They avoid looking me in the face, sometimes snickering to their friends after we've passed. One of the few times I attended LA Pride, I walked around with a co-worker's boyfriend who was very attractive. Passing the DKNY booth, the Cologne Sprayers literally knocked me out of the way to get to him. No apologies or assistance offered by any of them as I picked myself up.

I scan the personal ads, mouth agape at all the great-looking guys wanting to meet a quality person. Then, I read their ads, and they all want someone smooth, athletic, in-shape, hairless. A few even go so far as to say: no one overweight. Very disheartening. In a culture that is figthing to fit in with the rest of society, we still manage to find a way to make ourselves feel superior to our peers, as if we were all subject to some sort of gay caste system.

"i can feel so unsexy for someone so beautiful
so unloved for someone so fine
i can feel so boring for someone so interesting
so ignorant for someone of sound mind"

I've never fit into that "perfect" niche: always a bit overweight (though I weigh less now than I did in high school), glasses, pale skin, too much hair on my arms and legs. I try not to have my picture taken. Shy away from speaking up or adding my input to a conversation. Don't like wearing shorts in public. Avoid making eye-contact with anyone. I'm constantly told that "it's not what's on the outside but what's on the inside that counts." However, it's the outside that makes someone interested in wanting to know the inside.

At least, that's the way it seems sometimes.

Alanis's song brings all those feelings to the forefront, rehashing everything I sometimes abhor about myself. But then, the last lines make me realize how silly I've been. I just need to be happy with myself, not let the motives or conditions of others regulate my self-image.

"oh these little rejections how they disappear so quickly
the moment i decide not to abandon me"

Music/Lyrics by Alanis Morissette

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Book Karma

I read about a new book site in someone's post at the Book Club Tribe over at It's all about trying to make the world into one big library by sharing books. The site is called Book Crossing. You register a book that you no longer want or that you think others might enjoy, write that code along with the web address in the book (or on a label you can download), then leave the book somewhere. A park bench. A Starbuck's. A waiting room at the doctor's office. Someone picks up the book and (hopefully) sees the note inside and checks out the web site, inputting the code number and registering where the book was found. Then, after that person finishes the book, they pass it along. And so on, and so on.

One book has been noted 93 times as it has passed among various readers. Sounds to me like something I would be interested in. In fact, I registered my first book and will be leaving it in the lobby of my office building tomorrow. Let's see what happens!!

Monday, October 25, 2004

Note To Self:

Never....Never...NEVER go see a scary movie in the theater by myself. I can't go to sleep because I keep thinking about the film. AARRGGHH!!! The last time this happened was when I saw Poltergeist! I slept with my closet door open for months, and always checked under the bed before attempting sleep. What a wimp!

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Begrudging the Weekend

This marks my next-to-last weekend in this house. The painters will be arriving at the new place on Tuesday, then I can get the carpet/linoleum layers in, and hopefully, by Saturday next, I will be moving into my new place. Most of my things are packed; I just need to go through the kitchen and my clothes. I spent yesterday pulling nails from the wall, cleaning cabinets beneath bathroom and kitchen sinks, and donating more books to the library. I also have about 3-4 boxes ready for Goodwill.
This morning, I decided to be lazy and watched a bit of TV and read a few more pages in The Amazing Adventures of Kavallier & Clay. But, while channel surfing, I ran across an episode of Andromeda and discovered yet another woofy man to drool over: Steve Bacic portraying Telemachus Rhade. The storyline was something about the Andromeda being sent through a wormhole to another part of the galaxy, something about an android, and something else about other people on the ship. Who knows, as I was paying too much attention to Mr. Bacic in his sleeveless leather muscle shirt.

After a long shower, I decided to catch an early showing of The Grudge with Sarah Michelle Gellar, Bill Pullman and the equally woofy Jason Behr. Normally, I steer clear of horror films in the theater. I'd much rather watch at home where I can control when I see the scary parts or fast forward through them. But this one I felt inclined to see on the big screen. The Grudge tells the story of a house that was witness to a horrific murder-suicide. The vicitms were so filled with emotion at the time of their deaths that an impression - or grudge - was left in the walls of the house. Anyone who enters the house and crosses paths with the grudge will fall victim to it, either by death or by disappearance. Gellar's character, Karen, is a student earning social work credits by working as a home care assitant. At the last minute, she is sent to the house to replace Yoko who, for some reason, has not shown up for work since the day before.

The movie did scare the crap out of me! I loved the special effects, the camera angles and the use of both music and silence to get the audience in the mood, and the acting was remarkable with both Gellar and Yuya Ozeki, who played the ghostly Toshiro, as noticeable standouts. The director of this film, Takashi Shimizu, also directed the Japanese film Ju-on, which is the original version of this movie. I enjoyed his non-linear storytelling which enhanced, for me, the total effect of the film. It's gory, and, even though it relies on some generic scare tactics, there's enough new stuff to scare the bejeezus out of you. The perfect film for Hallowe'en.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Pain in the Neck!

Our database is down at work so I thought of using this little bit of time to update all my wonderful readers on the Saga of the Facial Numbness. Not that it's exciting stuff, but it's had me worried for the past two months, and now that I know what it is, I feel much better.

Yesterday, I met with a neurologist, and for some reason, my folks wanted to be there. Which was fine with me. It struck me as a bit strange, though, since my brother also wanted to be there but couldn't because the rain ruined all the delivery times at his work. They haven't gone with me to a doctor's appointment since I was in high school. Weird, but very comforting at the same time.

The neurologist invited them into the exam room with us, and instead of the strip-down-take-blood-humiliating visit I was expecting, we sat and talked most of the time. I told him when the numbness started, my symptoms, the treatment I'd received from my GP, the medicines, etc. We discussed my work situation and any stresses that I may have there. We talked about driving, how long it takes to commute to work, the Southern California freeway system. After this, he started the typical doctor exam: checking my ears and eyes, hammering my reflexes, balance tests (i.e., standing on one foot, following his finger with my eyes only), and a few neck movement exercises. Before giving me a diagnosis, the doctor started talking about stress and how much it affects our bodies. I agreed and told him about everything that had been going on in my personal life with family, with moving, and the breakup with S. He asked when the split happened and when the symptoms started. Wouldn't you know it? Two weeks after S announced his decision to move is when the numbness started. That's also when I learned about all the medical issues with my family, trying to find a new place to live, my birthday and so much other crap!

The doctor smiled and said that those stresses played a major part in what I had. His diagnosis was cervical radiculopathy, or a pinched nerve in my neck. I've had it for a long time, but when I'm really stressed, more pressure is put on the nerve. No surgery needed. No medicines unless I want to take an aspirin. All I need to find is a 5" cervical collar to help relieve any pressure, and I don't have to wear it all the time. He also said that I could benefit from a few back massages. Let me just pick up a copy of Frontiers and peruse the ads....

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Jeanne d'Arc

Thanks to Netflix, I have quickly become a fan of silent films. Over the weekend, I rented the 1928 silent film The Passion of Joan of Arc. And, the history of the film is just as intriguing as the movie itself. Amidst controversy, the original negatives of the film were destroyed back in the '20s. A print was known to exist, but it was believed to have been lost until someone discovered a Danish copy of the film tucked away in a closet of a mental institution in 1981. French and Danish filmmakers worked together to piece the film into what they hoped was as close to director Carl Th. Dreyer's original and released it in 1985. Then, Criterion got a hold of it, worked their restoration magic, and released a wonderful DVD edition with two versions of the film, one silent and the other with an accompanying oratorio called "Voices of Light" by Richard Einhorn which was based upon the silent film.

This is a remarkable film, focusing on Joan's trial and her persecution as the judges attempt to make her confess that she did not hear the voice of God speaking to her. The judges - and the church of that period - come across as almost intrinsically evil, with their use of torture and forced confessions. The revelation of this film is Maria Falconetti as Joan of Arc. She gives one of the finest performances I've ever seen. No fancy face work or overstated actions; just by using at her eyes, she makes you feel the intense passion that Joan had for God and for her beliefs. The camera work is very French avant-garde, with many extreme close-ups and quick camera movements, and is very effective in creating an oppressive atmosphere.

I viewed the version with Voices of Light, and must say that it greatly enhances the emotion and feeling of the entire film. They fit so perfectly together. This is a magnificent film that should be a part of every movie buffs film collection.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

I Think It's Going To Rain Today*

As we left the theater last night around 10 PM, rain lightly sprinkled on us as we ran to our cars. CS, Joela, and I agreed to meet at the Marie Callender's on Beach. As we neared the restaurant, the rain started pouring down on us. Luckily, I had my umbrella already stowed in the car -- unused for a long time thanks to the wonderful Southern California weather.

Once inside, the waiter originally sat us in the main room next to a group of twenty with at least 7 kids under 8 years old. Noisy. Loud. Unruly. You name it, that was them. CS moved us to another room, which greatly buffeted the noise and brought our sanity to a much nicer level. We talked about the play we had just seen, remarking on what a nice job the crew did with the sets, even recreating a thundestorm, when CS mentioned that he just saw a flash of lightning. Now this is a big deal here in Orange County. When (and if) it rains, it's just a light downpour causing mudslides due to the dryness of the soil, a few sewers overflowing into some main intersections, and quite a few driving accidents. We harldy ever are treated to a light display with the sky grumbling at us. So at first, I didn't belive CS. I'd almost forgotten what rain and lightning looked like, it had been so long, and when I saw the second flash, I thought that party of twenty in the other room were snapping pictures of their raucous jollity. I mentioned as much, but then stared at the ceiling as the sky thundered.

By the time we finished dinner, the rain had stopped, leaving the air slightly cooler and crisp. No more rain at all on the drive home, but once inside the house, the deluge started. And, I do mean deluge. It was as if the clouds were swollen with water, and someone unzipped them to allow all that wet stuff to pelt Orange County. I lay in bed with the window open, listening to the rain strike the rooftops, and fell asleep.

* song performed by Bette Midler on the soundtrack to Beaches.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Two Weeks

I've been single for that long, living on my own for the first time ever. At college, I lived on-campus so I had roommates and floormates. After graduation, I moved in with my folks until I could afford to move out with a friend to an over-priced apartment in Irvine. From there, it was a two-bedroom house in Santa Ana for about 2-3 years until I met S. We lived together for 4 years in Huntington Beach. So now I'm on my own. It's a big deal to me, and I'm still getting used to coming home to a fairly empty house with no one else but little old me. Sounds echo much more than they did before. The house even seems bigger.

It's not as difficult as I thought it would be, though, living alone. Eating when I want, watching what I want whether it's TV or a DVD, reading when the mood strikes me, going to bed at a reasonable hour (finally!). All this space is getting to me though. White walls and brown carpet as far as the eye can see. I'll be glad once my new place is ready and I can move in. (And I did get a chance to see it on Monday. Much more room than I thought, and the perfect size for a bachelor pad. Yay!)

I've been toying with the idea of jumping back into the dating scene. But, is it too soon? I mean, it's only been two weeks. Is there a standard waiting time after a relationship ends? Maybe I should just savor the ME time that I have, get all this medical stuff situated, and then dive into the pool.

Wednesday, October 13, 2004


CS and I are still on track to meet our New Year's Resolution of seeing at least one piece of theater per month. This Saturday, we're to see a production of the mystery Laura at the Huntington Beach Playhouse with joela, and in November, we're looking forward to Dorian: The Musical at the North Hollywood Arts Center. It's a musical-in-progress about Oscar Wilde's novel The Picture of Dorian Gray, only the setting has moved to New Orleans at the turn of the century. Now, we just need something for December we're set!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Septal Deviation

Well, I just returned from another appointment with my doctor, this time to go over the helical CT I sat through last Thursday. According to the radiologist, I have 1) mild and chronic left maxillary sinusitis and 2) a mild leftward septal deviation. In laymen's terms, my sinuses are continually clogged on the left side of my nose/cheek area, and my septum isn't straight which doesn't allow air to flow through my nose properly. However, my doctor is concerned because those two items alone are not enough to be causing the facial numbness that I've been experiencing for almost two months. He's concerned that it might be a form of facial pain called trigeminal neuralgia. So tomorrow I must schedule an appointment with a neurologist. I hope that he can figure this thing out.

Hopes and Fears

No, this doesn't relate to that last segment. This is the title of the debut album from Keane, a fantastic new band from the UK. They have a sound that mixes Radiohead with Coldplay, and I absolutely love the album. The strange thing is, I never heard their songs on the radio. Instead, I was sitting in a movie theater, waiting for Hero to begin. The AMC theaters around here have what they call a "Pre-Show Countdown," during which they show commercials on the big screen interspersed with video clips. At one point, the theater filled with a heavy piano anthem backed with drums that drifted into a soft tenor voice. The song: Somewhere Only We Know, and I fell in love with it. I can't say for certain why; the sound just struck some kind of chord inside my head, and I made my brother buy it for me as a birthday gift. Thank you, G!

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Rated R for Zombie Violence

I hopped in my car yesterday and zipped up Pacific Coast Highway to see a movie at the AMC Marina Pacific in Long Beach. The movie was playing in so many theaters that I probably could have chosen one closer to home, but I love driving on PCH. The ocean breeze blowing through the windows, Heaven or Las Vegas from The Cocteau Twins blasting from my stereo, the sun glinting off the ocean, the surfers changing out of their wet suits along the road. It's amazing how the sight of a bare butt can almost make you swerve from the road.

My movie of choice? Shaun of the Dead I'm not a fan of monster movies. You'd have to drug and hogtie me to see anything with vampires, werewolves and/or otherworldly creatures. (But, I love a good ghost story. Odd, huh?) However, the trailer had me in stitches the last time I was at the movies, and I've read nothing but good reviews so...I forced myself to go.

Definitely one of the best films of the year! It's both a simple romantic comedy and a gorey zombie horror film. This could have come across as a spoof of either genre but the finished product is a skillfully executed combination of both. My favorite scene is when Shaun and his best mate Ed are leaving the pub very late. I won't tell more about it, but if you visit the Official Site and check out the Media page, it's the clip called Leave Quietly. The movie had me laughing out loud and then cringing on the edge of my seat. I give it 5 out of 5 stars.

Get away from your computers and go see this film, people!!

Friday, October 08, 2004

Thanks to everyone for their kind words and comments!! And, I have six five gmail accounts to give away if anybody wants one.

The Next Day

I had already scheduled Monday off so I could help with the remainder of the packing. But, seeing how things changed, CS came over, and we decided to get me out of the house for the day. (CS and I have been friends for well over 7 years, and I'm glad he came over on his day off.) Destination: The San Diego Zoo. I hadn't been to San Diego in years, and it was far enough away that the drive felt as though we were escaping.

Note to self: NEVER go to the zoo on October 4th. When we arrived at noon, all the parking lots were full, even those surrounding the nearby musuems. After circling the zoo area a few times, we finally found a lot with free shuttle service. Thank goodness! A short ride and quick walk later, and we approached the tickets booths which all displayed CLOSED signs in their windows. I almost screamed, I was so incensed! Yet people were still walking behind the booths and disappearing so we hunted down the Info Booth and learned that it was the zoo's Founders Day - the day that the park opened oh so many years ago. Meaning everyone got in free. So we walked right in and were immediately crushed in the throng of strollers, people and the occasional tour bus. I think most of San Diego was there. And maybe even part of Oceanside.

We ate lunch, then wandered around the zoo as best we could. We managed to see much more than I thought we would and even took the bus tour. (Highly recommended, especially sitting on the top of the bus so you can see everything.) Lionesses, a tiger, a polar bear, myriad brightly colored birds, elephants, giraffes, meerkats, pandas, etc. And, we learned that the plant life in the zoo is more valuable money-wise than the animals. CS also bought us tickets to ride the SkyWay a few times. This was probably the best part of the whole zoo. The view was simply stunning, and over the treetops, we saw the tower from The Museum of Man resembling a temple spire surveying an Indian jungle.

Leaving the zoo around 6 PM, we headed to Hamburger Mary's in Hillcrest for some good food and to kill time while waiting for traffic to die down. Lots of handsome men in shorts and tight t-shirts to keep us occupied for a while. Oh, and the food was good, too. Once we were back on the road, CS took a little detour into Oceanside for one of his favorite gay spots, Greystoke's Bar & Grill. It's a nice neighborhood bar with a small dance floor, a pool table, an outdoor dining patio, and a cute bartender. Dark hair, furry chest, nice smile, friendly. Monday Night Football was on the TV, and Matt the Bartender asked us to stick around for the raffle afterwards. "What the heck," I said, we stayed and actually watched the game. Neither of us won t-shirts, but I won two free shots. Me. Mr. Non-Drinker. But the bartender was so cute, and I didn't want to hurt his feelings, so I caved in. He made a Chocolate Cake which is Frangelico and vodka in a chilled glass rimmed with sugar. It did taste like chocolate cake, with a little kick. We finally left around 9:30 PM for the trek home.

The light from the answering maching was blinking. S had called while we were out to apologize for not leaving a note and for the mess. The adrenaline kicked in while they were loading the truck, and they decided to leave Sunday night in order to miss most of the rush hour traffic. I returned his call the next day, and we talked for a little while. He already has a job, which is great news, and is looking for an apartment so he can get out of his brother's place. He sounded much better, too. Maybe a little sad, but I think the change will do us both good.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

An Eventful Weekend, pt. II

CS and I decided to eat dinner at The Taste Pilot, a fairly good restaurant inside California Adventure. Lucky us, we were one of the first groups to test out their new order taking system: a huge ATM-looking machine at which you simply touch the screen, insert your cash or swipe your card, and voilĂ ! A customer-service free meal is just a touch away. Just as long as you speak English, as that's the only language the machine knows. And you hold the card slider closed while swiping your card otherwise nothing registers. It took only 15 minutes to place our order. Heaven forbid they employ a real, live person who would have taken our order and given us change as well as our food in that amount of time.

We ate, then scurried to Disneyland to get Fastpasses for The Haunted Mansion. The normal wait was 45 minutes, but with the fastpass, you returned at a specific time and jumped almost to the head of the line, cutting the wait time to almost 10 minutes. With some time to waste, we wandered over to the Winnie the Pooh attraction and sat through it twice. As we were exiting the second time, CS asked, "Do you think he'll be home when you get there?" Remembering how haggard he looked yesterday, I thought he would be. He had mentioned that the drive from OC to Reno would be long with few chances for a rest so he would at least get some sleep before the trek. Besides, we hadn't officially said good-bye to each other yet.

In front of The Haunted Mansion, we offered our passes to the man at the gate, and he directed us through a special line that bypassed the twisting and turning of the regular line and stopped just before the foyer entrance. Once inside, we were treated to new sights and sounds, all re-worked to fit the characters from The Nightmare Before Christmas. Very clever and a nice change of pace from the normal ride. Once it was over, we quickly made our way to the parking structure in order to beat the crowds.

The drive home lasted about 30 minutes, and when I pulled into the driveway, I was surprised that S's car wasn't there. I pulled into his spot, then noticed that the light in the garage was still on. That meant he still had some things to pack before he and his brother left. I unlocked the door and gasped at how empty the place looked. Where the bookshelves had once been now rested a thick blanket of dust. Same thing upstairs, only he had left some boxes of books in the closet. I wandered through the mostly-empty rooms, and then it occurred to me that maybe they had left. Back downstairs, I found all his keys - house, mailbox, padlock - lying on the counter.For some reason, that just made it all click. He really had left. No note. No last good-bye.

I almost started to cry. I called CS because I needed someone to talk to. I barely kept my composure on the phone when I told him, "He's really gone."

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

An Eventful Weekend

I've been debating on how to post about this past weekend. So many things happened in that short, four-day period.... I may as well simply begin.

Friday, we woke early and dove into packing the rest of S's things for the moving truck on Sunday. We cleaned the garage, boxed books, and filled four trash cans with junk. He helped me load the books into my car, and I took them to the local used bookstore. (They would only take 10 books out of the 100 that I brought so the rest I carted to the library as a donation.) I also managed to fill quite a few boxes with my own things, and my brother was gracious enough to pick them up for storage at his house until my move at the end of the month. Later in the afternoon, I headed for my doctor's office and yet another appointment. Verdict: my sinuses are clogged, but he doesn't think that's what's causing the unusual facial problems I've been experiencing. He finally authorized a helical CT of my sinuses to see if he missed an infection or a blockage. I hope something is found; then, steps can be taken to correct it. This not knowing is unnerving.

Saturday we spent at Disneyland, along with probably thousands of other gay men and women. Oh, and all the straight people who weren't warned that we would be there. I feel sorry for all those families that were wearing red shirts. I guess they didn't get the memo. We picked up two of his co-workers and met a third on Main Street. I detoured into City Hall for my Birthday Sticker, then we headed for fun in the park. After a few rides, we ran into RG, SK, KL and his sweetie by Pirates of the Caribbean and joined them for a little while. Our groups split for a while, with S and his co-workers heading for Splash Mountain and me taking RG and the rest over to the Tower of Terror. I'm proud to say that we popped RG's Tower cherry. I even made him scream: when the ride begins, the elevator car inches down before zooming up a few floors. RG didn't know that so I screamed at that first little drop causing him to scream followed by a chain reaction of the three women sitting next to him who had never experienced the Tower, either. Mean - yes, but I couldn't help myself. After lunch and a few more attractions, we headed back to meet with S and his crew. He was beat; I could read it on his face. All that packing yesterday and worrying about the moving truck were just too much, and he had to pick up his brother at the airport early the next morning so I suggested that he go home and get some rest. He took his co-workers home - good thing because one of them was ill before reaching the car - and I found a ride home with CS who was to show later. We checked out the shops, rode Autopia, and when Everbear and CS arrived, we dined at The Storyteller's Café. I haven't laughed so hard in my entire life! We must have been there a good two hours, laughing, eating, telling stories and bad jokes. We even had the manager laughing and returning frequently to our table, presumably so he wouldn't have to bus anymore tables. And, of course, all the waiters sang Happy Birthday and gave me a free espresso-flavored mousse for dessert. I made it home around midnight.

Sunday, I woke S early so he could make it to the airport. He said that he and his brother were to load the truck and probably get a good night's rest before heading for Reno on Monday. Around 9:30, I called RG to see if he had managed to slip away from the office. No answer, so I headed for California Adventure. I once again wore my Birthday sticker and set out to have a good time. I have no problem going to Disneyland, museums, movies or theaters by myself. But Sunday, I had the worst time. I never felt so out of place in my life, walking around by myself, watching the groups in red shirts chatting and laughing, like we were the night before at dinner. Happy Fricking Birthday to me. I rode many of the rides more than twice, tried RG again and received no answer, and finally bought an ice cream and sat watching California Screamin' from across the water, thinking about all that happened in the past few weeks. After about half an hour, I finally kicked myself in the ass and rode more rides. No use in moping. What's the point? So I ran across the rope bridges in Camp Wilderness, rode a few more rides, called CS, and watched the Aladdin musical. After CS arrived, we ate a quick dinner then darted over to Disneyland to dare the long line for The Haunted Mansion, since they dressed it up for the holidays. be continued...