Sunday, July 27, 2014

Art Wins!

Our life in Atlanta exists in a very urban setting...lots of traffic and general hustle & bustle.  Along with that comes the other petty nuisances of city life, like the occasional break-in, "working-girls" on the sidewalk and graffiti.  One particular graffiti wall is directly across the street from our house.

It used to be a 24-hour, unsupervised self-serve carwash that was a hub for drug dealers and prostitutes.  About 8 years ago it shut down and at one point was being developed into a retail/town home housing complex...and then the crash of 2008 happened and it's been a vacant lot ever since.  The vacant lot is actually better than the car wash that was there, so no complaints, but the abandoned car wash stall has been a magnet for taggers over the years.

(ps:  Can anybody tell me what the hell this tag is supposed to say?)


A month ago JD and I decided to take scrap remnants of house paints, mix them together and cover the tag we'd been looking at for over a year.  It was a job well done and it turned out that our paint mixture ended up being a green that almost made the structure blend into the trees in the background.


The very next morning we woke to find the wall had the start of a new tag already in progress.  We pulled out the paint again and with the help of a neighbor and a couple additional colors we made the cover-over a little more vibrant this time.



The end result was Atlanta's largest Rainbow Flag.  Today is exactly one month since the flag rose in East Atlanta and it has survived without a single tag!


Although it was completely unintended, we are now greeted to a beautiful symbol of gay equality every time we get out of our car and walk to the house.  A warm greeting home, indeed!



ART WINS!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Mid-Life Crisis and Cars


I'm a bad blogger.  Two months of utter blog silence.  Good Lord, if I had any followers I'd have lost them by now for sure.

In my defense, it's been a whirlwind two months.  I was back out to Palm Springs for 3 weeks and in the middle of it turned 45 years old.  There's no denying it...that is definitely middle age.

On that note, we bought a new (used) car while I was in the desert.  Something totally impractical, over the top and unnecessary.  I guess this is my mid-life crisis car purchase.  We are now proud owners of a 1996 Jaguar XJ12.  The only car (that I'm aware of anyway...but if you know me then you know I don't know shit about cars) that has a 12 cylinder engine.  Miles per gallon?...barely enough to count.  Pretension and elitism?....dripping in it!

JD and I have a completely different approach to cars.  He thinks they're a mode of transportation.  I think they're a statement.  We both knew in our current, 2-house / 2-car, life that we needed to make room for at least one additional car so we could have two in Atlanta and stop the "drop-me-off / pick-me-up" from work dance.   This, of course, we approached from two completely different angles with two completely different minimum requirements.

We did start with one point of agreement...it had to be relatively inexpensive.  My base requirement was that the car had to be cool (think 1982 Corvette) and JD's was that it had to have airbags (think Buick Regal).  When you add in the "relatively inexpensive" factor, this cuts the options that meet these criteria to an amazingly small number of cars.

After scouring Craigslist and bringing in two other cars for a mechanical inspection (which caused us to pass on them) we bought the Jag.  Believe me, this is the condensed version of that saga but I just don't have the will to relive all the debate, pouting and flat-out arguments that went into us finally coming to an agreement (for lack of a better word) to get this car.

Bad gas mileage, expensive to maintain, 18+ years old, blah, blah, blah.  On the flip side, it's pretty, classy, extremely roomy, in great shape, goes like a bat out of hell and...wait for it...has fold down tray tables in the back seat!  Seriously, it's nicer than first class plane accommodations.

Admittedly, at first glance it looks like a Palm Springs grandmother's car.  I guess it's the V-12 engine that fulfilled my mid-life crisis need.

Unfortunately, we finalized the purchase the day I had to return to Atlanta so I got to drive it a total of 10 miles.  JD is hanging in PS for a while longer and has been in charge of taking it to the garage for some maintenance items that we knew were needed going into the deal.  After driving it for the past week and getting several unsolicited compliments while doing mundane chores like grocery shopping and pumping gas, I think he may be coming over to my way of relating to cars.  For the first time EVER in the 15 years we've been together, he asked me how much it costs to get the car washed because it "has dust on it".

I almost fell off my chair.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Urban Legend

I enjoy movies.  Not Oscar contenders and not viewed in a multiplex with people I will probably end up hating before the credits have finished.  I love low-budget horror, teen scream slasher flicks, serial killer screamers and good old-fashion monster movies.  So this afternoon, following 8 hours of telecommuting from the dining room table, I retired to the studio to fold laundry and watch crappy horror movies while it was still light outside.  Today's double feature was "Nightmare on Elm Street: Freddy's Revenge" and "Urban Legend: Final Cut".

The second feature got me thinking.  I haven't heard a new urban legend in decades.  Everybody knows the old stand by's:  man with a hook kills young lovers on a deserted road, business man is drugged at a bar and wakes up with one less kidney, etc.  I wanted something new (or at least new to me) and not some political creation like the Cadillac-driving welfare queen.  So off to Google I went and searched "new scary urban legends".  I clicked on the very first search result and couldn't bring myself to read the stories after skimming just the 1-sentence intro for each link.  As much as I love horror movies, I sure am a chicken.  Especially when John is in Palm Springs.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Road Hog Or Just A Pig

Harley Davidson motorcycles.  What the hell?!

Sunday was one of our first warm weather days to fall on a weekend and of course I spent a good piece of it on the back deck taking it all in.  Birds sang, you could hear the buzz of the neighbor's lawn mower and from the street out front of the house you could hear the roaring, revving engine of every Harley Davidson owner in East Atlanta out on their motorcycle.

They're a good looking bike and I'm aware that the Harley isn't the only noise belching machine on the road.  There's the high pitched wheeze of the crotch rockets and the bubble-like pop of those add-on tailpipes attached to import economy cars that seem to be popular with the kids, but the Harley comes from the factory as a noise machine that doesn't require any add ons or unnecessary revving and I don't get why, or why that's something a Harley owner would cherish.

My brother, and avid Harley rider, claims it's a necessary safety feature.  When he's riding on the interstate the noise alerts other drivers that he's next to them.  I call BS.  There are lots of small cars and and other motorcycle brands on the road that seem to be able to get by without everybody in a 2 mile radius having to acknowledge their existence.

Despite the macho-rebel image that Harley riders love to wrap themselves in, this need for attention through noise has more in common with the temper tantrum of a six year old girl.  At best, it might rise to the level of teen boy who just got his drivers license.  "Look at me!  Look at me"

I know I live on a busy street, so I'm OK with the fact that there will be road noise.  But these machines can be heard blocks away.  Where does their right to drive these vehicles end and where to the rights of neighborhood residents to enjoy their property begin?  I contend the Harley riders (and those of their ilk) have hogged that line for too long.  Gentlemen (because it's mostly men), it's time to grow up and put on your big-boy pants.  You want respect on the road.  I suggest showing some respect to those along the road.



Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Teaser

This past weekend was beautiful.  The sunny skies, budding trees, singing birds and mid-70's temperatures made it feel like spring had sprung just one short week after Atlanta's second snow storm of the year.  It was great to get out in the yard to pull ivy off the fence, trim trees and mow down last year's growth of Mondo Grass in the moss garden.

In year's past this would have been the weekend I'd have run to Home Depot and started buying vegetable plants and flowers for the empty pots scattered around the perimeter of the house, but I've learned that lesson.  Atlanta is sure to tease you with a beautiful spell of weather and then come around from the left with a below-freezing snap that will kill anything you tried to get an early jump on.  Like clockwork it's happening again...down in the 20's for the next several nights.

Nice try, Atlanta, but not this year.  I know your game.  It was nice while it lasted, though.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Edit!

Coming home from the gym yesterday, I heard an interview with a gentleman on NPR who had given a TED talk about what he called "Life Editing".  He argued that we clutter our lives with things and activities that don't increase our happiness and that we would be happier if we "edited" those things from our surroundings and schedules.  Although I had never thought of it in those terms, I have to agree.

After the Palm Springs closing, of course JD and I went on a buying spree to get the essentials required to make the condo habitable including a couple beds and a sectional.  Then we stopped.  Once we had a place to sleep and sit we both realized how relaxing it was to be in this space with wide open views and  barely a thing on the walls or floors.  It was simple and uncomplicated and so we made a conscious decision to not muck that up.

I live with an artist so of course we now have art on the walls but we've tried to be choosy and not hang something just because there's a few inches of blank space.  There are also a couple furniture pieces we'd like to find.  A small table and chairs to be used as a breakfast area in the dining space, cool (and comfortable) chairs for the office so that space can double as a TV room, a vintage swag lamp for the living room and a low-slung 1970's bar to go beneath the Keith Haring.  They key to these acquisitions is that they need to be exactly what we're looking for.  We have resolved not to get anything just to "fill the space" and until we find the perfect pieces we'll be happy to look at the emptiness while watching TV on the floor and storing our liquor in the pantry.

When we returned to Atlanta after the holidays, back to a home we've been filling with stuff for the past 9 years, the sheer amount of it hit us in the face like a wall.  The next day we dismantled the office and threw out bags of papers, books and stuff that served no purpose other than to be on hand  "just in case".  We're by no means done and the frantic exorcism has slowed to something closer to a purging chant but our own editing continues nonetheless.



Friday, February 7, 2014

This Is How They Get You

What's a married gay to do on an Atlanta Friday night when his husband is in NYC?  If Kai Lin Gallery is having an opening, of course you go there!  Art, stylish people, vodka...wait.  That's where they get you.  Vodka.

You think you're going out to just see some art and get out of the house, but no.  They get you feeling good with an erudite party atmosphere and exotic vodka, lemonade, mint cocktails and suddenly your credit card is flying out of your pocket and a red dot is going on the wall.

Well, no complaints.  Jason Kofke was one of the featured artists in tonight's show and he's fantastic.  We have his drawing of Christa McAuliffe that he framed behind an antique metal oven door (to give the feel of a rocket ship window).   We saw it at a Kai Lin show in 2012 and John loved it, so I got it for him for our anniversary.  This one is for me and it's going in the Palm Springs office.  It's called "Communication Age", but I'm calling it "Girl, I'm on the phone!"

Retirement Get-Away

My folks joined JD and I in Palm Springs on Christmas Day and when we left they stayed on to escape the winter in North Dakota...their first winter out of the state.

Most winters since their retirement they've passed their days going to morning gym classes and the rest of the time spent by my dad shoveling their driveway (and the driveway of at least a couple neighbors) and by my mom cooking.  They'd take a long weekend each year in Laughlin, NV.  A charter plane would take them directly from Fargo to Laughlin where they would be expected to spend the weekend in the casinos.  That's not really their thing, so at least one day of the trip they would spend in a rental car driving around and "looking at stuff".  One of those day trips included going to open houses after which they started talking about getting a place...in Laughlin, NV.

I have no reason to poo-poo Laughlin, since I've never been there.  But from the stories I heard upon their return it sounds like a relatively small town with not much to do other than to go to the casino and gamble, eat, see a show and whatever else it is that casinos have to offer.  If that would make them happy, then I would be happy, but I couldn't help but feel their admiration of Laughlin was because it was one of the few places they've been that was somewhat "south".

When JD and I started talking about getting a place in Palm Springs, we mentioned that it would be great for them to spend some time there in the winter to get a break from the cold.  After we closed and they visited with their Jeep full of housewares I was thrilled that they seemed open to the idea and astonished when they took us up on the offer of being there in January and February, since the place would be empty during that time.

They seem to have really enjoyed it.  If it's above 70 degrees (which is has been almost every day) they spend part of the afternoon in the pool.  They've made friends with our neighbors, which is more than we've had the opportunity to do.  They've visited the casino down the street a couple times and made a killing on both trips.  They went to a country club for lunch with one of our neighbors and went to a music club to see a 60's band.  (I can't remember the last time they've mentioned going out to anything close to a club, other than the VFW for a wedding of a shirt-tail relative.)

I'm genuinely thrilled that they've enjoyed it so much and secretly (or maybe not so) hope they're considering getting a place of their own in Palm Springs.  Having them close to us in at least one part of country would be great.  I guess that kind of stuff is becoming more important as they age and honestly there's probably some guilt because I've moved around the country for the past 15 years visiting them once or maybe twice a year, while my two brothers are in town or within driving distance. In my defense, I NEVER miss a Sunday phone call.

So, this is their last week.  One week from now they'll be packing their bags and getting ready for their flight the next morning back to Fargo.  I've told them that for $75 each they could change their return date and wait until JD is due back at the end of the month, but it sounds like they've resolved themselves to the fact that it's time to go back.

Having them there and that they've enjoyed it so much has been the best part of owning the condo in Palm Springs so far.  Thank you Palm Springs.


Sunday, February 2, 2014

Winter Haze

This morning's heavy fog was not just a literal one.  I've hit my annual Winter Haze.  So many days of gloom, wet and even ice that I start to wonder if it will end and I'm walking around like some kind of zombie-mole who hasn't seen the sun in years.  A headline this morning lead me to believe that today is not only Super Bowl Sunday, but also Groundhog Day.  I don't make a point of following the weather predictions of an overgrown rat, but it appears he's forecasting another six weeks of winter.  Damn rodent.

Since I was in Palm Springs, I missed the onslaught of December rain and I was out of town during Snow Jam 2014 so I really shouldn't complain.  Whatever.

I hit a new milestone on the bathroom scale last night, and not in a good weigh (get it?!).  In a fit of sheer panic I spent $99 to join the Biggest Loser Club weight loss program.  This is the first structured diet I've ever been on and I chose it because I love Jillian.  Now that I'm in it, I don't see Jillian anywhere on the website.  I will not be deterred!

I must really want to test myself with this diet, because like an idiot I started the program today...a day dedicated to football, chicken wings, chili, chips, beer and couch laying.   Not that I give two rips about football, but there is something to be said about male bonding over a herd of men in tight pants jumping on each other.  Now I'll just stay home instead of being the guy in the bar sipping on a bottle of water...even I wouldn't hit on me.

Six more weeks until Palm Springs....Six more weeks until Palm Springs....Six more weeks until Palm Springs.


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Atlanta Snow-Jam 2014

Behind the ridiculousness of Tuesday's storm is the disturbing ineptitude of local government to have any kind of foresight to looming disaster.

At 10:30pm Monday, my phone rang with a Delta Airlines robo-call telling me that my Tuesday afternoon flight to Orlando was being cancelled to due weather.  The next morning a quick check of the weather informed me that there was a winter storm warning starting at 9am.

JD had an early flight to NYC that morning and it was on time, so I dropped him at the airport at 7:30am and started driving to Orlando to get ahead of the storm and still be able to make my meetings on Wednesday morning.  It all worked perfectly.  JD's was one of the last flights out of Atlanta, and other than a heavy mist at the GA/FL border, the drive to Orlando was uneventful.

I'm glad we both missed this one and I felt awful for my coworkers back here in Atlanta who spent 12 hours trying to get home, or just gave up and slept at the office.  I can't help wonder how it is that I (not any smarter than the average bear) could figure out that a storm was coming and was able to avoid it, but yet government couldn't as much as cancel school that day.  A lot of other folks are now asking the same question.  Hopefully it gets a real look and some real solutions.

This Politico Magazine article gives a great recap of the situation and how we got where we are.  Georgia government might want to start here.







Sunday, January 26, 2014

That's Love


Today is JD's birthday…kind of a big one…and unfortunately for him, I suck at birthdays.

I never know what to get and it's always the last minute-scramble to figure something out.  This year I came up with an idea a week ahead of time…a tennis racket and lessons.  But you can't just buy a racket for somebody.  They have to be along to know what fits in their hand and what color they think will work best with some future court ensemble.  We went to the sporting goods store yesterday and picked one out that I'll now order online and have shipped to Palm Springs so he doesn't have to carry it on the plane next month, but that's not something I can wrap and give him.  I got up at 6am this morning and now have a german chocolate cake in the oven.  It's his favorite and an annual birthday tradition, but you can't wrap a cake either.  This afternoon we're going to Watershed for brunch, but again, can't wrap that.

I feel guilty, not only about being such a lousy "birthday celebrationist" but now I'm also making JD's birthday all about me and my guilt.  It's an ugly, self-absorbed cycle.

He's awake. Time to get the coffee and bring to the bedroom.  I'll wish him a very sincere "Happy Birthday" and I know he'll be gracious about it.    That's love.

Monday, January 20, 2014

We All Dream

Atlanta is called the birthplace of the civil rights movement, but unfortunately Georgia has to be drug kicking and screaming to the recognition of equality for its LGBT citizens and same-sex couples.  JD and I have one foot in, in California and the other foot out, here in Georgia. 

May intelligence prevail so that the leaders in Georgia soon recognize the wrong side of history on which they stand.  Peace, justice and equality for all on this Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lemon Meringue Pie FAIL

Yesterday I watched "The Ninth Gate", aka: the worst Johnny Depp movie ever.  But determined to watch it to the bitter end I filled the time by multitasking, surfing food blogs and paging through my collection of cookbooks.

Food52.com was recommended to me by a friend several years ago and I love it.  They have great recipes, helpful kitchen hints and a stylish website.  They also allow their readers to submit recipes, so there are dishes on the site that you won't see on most others.  It's a blend of high-brow cuisine and home cooking.

The site's commenters do a great job of suggesting recipe improvements and providing clarification of vague instructions, but when I came upon a recipe for "Perfect Lemon Meringue Pie" it so whetted my appetite that I immediately went to the kitchen and started in.  Who has time for comments?

I should have known something was amiss when the first line of the recipe said, "Pre bake the pie crust", and there was no recipe for pie crust.  No problem.  I went back to the cookbook shelf and found a recipe, since the one I normally use is now located in Palm Springs.  After mixing the pie dough and putting it in the refrigerator to chill, I re-read the recipe and got far enough down the page this time that I made it to the comments section.  Scathing!  Commenters pointed out that the recipe's instructions called for egg yolks in the meringue, instead of egg whites, and that twice as much sugar was needed to get the egg whites to a stiff peak.  The recipe also provided no instruction for additional baking to give the meringue those prerequisite golden peaks.

Instead of finding a new recipe, I took into consideration the commenters' wisdom and forged ahead, just like my determination to make it to the credits of the Johnny Depp movie.  (As I type this, I'm beginning to see a life-pattern here.)  The pie crust was a dream and the lemon custard tasted fantastic.  Even the meringue turned out, with the addition of the extra sugar.  I threw it in the oven to brown the peaks and out came a beautiful pie!

To make sure there was room for dessert, I intentionally ate only half my steak dinner even though the rib eye and twice-baked potato were amazing (no comment on the Brussels sprouts).  After some time on the couch and a post-dinner cocktail, it was time for desert!  The pie looked so great that I was feeling really good about myself and a little bit cocky.  I even texted a picture of it to my mother to confirm what a kitchen wizard she'd raised.

I cut a big wedge for JD and as I removed it from the plate I was greeted by a YELLOW FLOOD.  The custard didn't set and it was like a bright yellow gravy.  The rush of yellow ooze also pulled the meringue away from the side of the pie remaining in the pan, like a white mudslide.




It still tasted great but it certainly wasn't what I had intended and probably should have been served in a bowl over ice cream.  (A trick I learned from my mother for situations like this.)  On the bright side, I have a new favorite pie crust recipe that came from Julia Child's, "The French Chef Cookbook".

Lessons learned:  Great actors sometimes make crappy movies and posting a recipe on the internet does not make you Julia Child.


Friday, January 17, 2014

Is Georgia Turning Blue?

Atlanta is a progressive city, but Atlanta is not Georgia.  (Sometime I'll blog about the waitress in south Georgia who was convinced JD and I were Secret Shoppers, because we told her we were partners.)

There have been several national publications that claim Georgia could be turning blue and they all mention Jason Carter, Jimmy Carter's grandson, who has thrown his hat into the governor's race.  Below is his response to Governor Nathan Deal's State-Of-The-State Address.

Impressive.

Go, Jason!

Killing Ourselves With Economic Development?


I love Kimpton Hotels, have stayed in several of them and I think a Kimpton Palm Springs would be fabulous.  However, I would argue that the defining characteristic of Palm Springs is the unobstructed view of the mountain where the tallest structures beneath it are palm trees.  To build a 6-7 story hotel at the base of the mountain in the name of economic development is extremely short-sighted.

I can't help but to think of coastal communities like Biloxi, MS, where they have a coastline without a view of the ocean, except for the tourists holed up in the casinos that run the entire length of it.  Meanwhile, the residents of Biloxi live behind the hotel/casino towers in neighborhoods cut off from the thing that makes their city special.

I'm sure there's an argument that "this is just one building" but when the next seven story (or eight, ten or 20 story) project comes along, what will the precedence to deny it?  In 20 years, will we have a downtown of towers with a mountain peaking out behind them?

Visitors and part-time residents are what make Palm Springs thrive.  Let's not kill what keeps them coming here.


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Automobile Freedom


I haven’t shared a car since I was 15 and first got my license.  Even that wasn’t sharing.  My mom and dad rode to work together every morning and the second car was mine to drive my brothers and I to school and work.

When JD and I closed on the Palm Springs pad, we drove a two-person convoy from Atlanta to Palm Springs, he in his Chevy HHR carrying anything valuable or that required an inside ride and I in my Ford Ranger pickup with everything else stacked up and tied down in the back.  


 JD rode alone but I had the companionship of my plastic mascot, Road Monkey.


After the close and unload (in 112 degree heat), JD hit the road back to Atlanta, in the HHR, so he could get ready for an extended trip to Barcelona.  I stayed behind to continue the unpacking and to find some essentials for the place, like something to sleep in and sit on.

When it came time for me to return to Atlanta, I was saddened not only to leave our new desert paradise after just two weeks, but also because I was leaving my beloved Ford Ranger behind.  We bought it in Houston when we moved from NYC because any self-respecting man in Texas has a truck…even the gay ones.  I lovingly named her Candy.  

She’s the only car I’ve ever paid off and at eleven years she’s by far the longest I’ve ever owned a vehicle.  In those eleven years we rotated JD through a convertible Mustang, and Audi A4 and after the recession hit the very practical Chevy HHR.  I drove Candy straight through.

Now JD and I are doing a waltz of car ownership so that if I take the car to work he knows he’s homebound for the day (except for whatever entertainment he can find within walking distance).  If he drops me off at work, I lose the option of stepping out for lunch or the gym and he has to make sure he schedules his day so he can pick me up again.

I love driving Candy when I’m back in the desert and realize, now, that I had taken her for granted the past eleven years.  The HHR is OK, but it’s not the comfortable ride that she is with her bucket seats that keep you sitting upright instead of down on the ground with your legs straight out.  She looks good in Palm Springs, all bright red against the white desert sand, but I still miss her.

Annual incentives come in March.  Assuming it’s not a miserable year for bonuses, I’ll be getting a replacement for Candy.  No car can truly replace her, but a man has needs and one of mine is automobile freedom.  

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Planning Ahead

We're streamers; Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and Logo.  We gave up cable TV ten years ago when we left Texas and never turned back.  Television networks have nothing that would make me run to the cable company.  That said, thank god for a collection of Atlanta gay bars that show RuPaul's Drag Race, and to LogoTV that makes it available on their website the day after it airs.

Season 6 finally starts on February 24th!  The other reality shows should take a lesson from Ru and his fun, positive message.  I'm going to have to start looking for a bar in Palm Springs where I can watch the girls.  In the meantime, you'll find me at the Atlanta Cockpit cheering them on.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

In The Beginning

More than a decade after blogging took off, I’ve decided now is the time for me to jump in the water.  I’m late to the party as usual when it comes to popular culture, but until now I didn’t think I had anything to say.  This blog might prove I actually don’t have anything to say, but at least I feel like I do and since I expect I’ll be essentially writing to myself, “What the hell!”, I’m blogging.
What’s behind the sudden urge to put in writing all my…umm…thoughts? dreams? rants?..whatever this is going to be?  We bought a condo.  Not just any condo.  A second home.  A second home in Palm Springs.  Palm Springs, California, playground of Classic Hollywood and gay men!
My husband (henceforth known as “JD”) and I have lived in Atlanta for more than nine years.  Our first four years together, I moved three times.  In 2000 I moved from San Francisco to NYC to shack up with him, then together to Houston/Galveston for a job and finally to Atlanta when they saw fit to move us again.  That was in 2004 and we've been here ever since.
As was typical, I worked at my corporate job through the holidays of 2012 and was pretty much alone in the office for two weeks while everybody else was taking their vacation in conjunction with their children’s holiday schedule.  It’s my favorite time of year at work, the time when I purge everything from my desk that was filed away “just in case” and catch up on those projects I swore one day I’d get to.
Atlanta is nice, but I don’t want to live out my days here.  This is my company’s mother-ship, though, and I didn’t see another job related move on the horizon but I did think I could see a light at the end of the Great Recession tunnel.  With the reelection of Barack Obama I was feeling pretty optimistic that holiday season, so while eating a sandwich from the cafeteria’s limited holiday menu I surfed real estate porn.  I was surprised how affordable a small Palm Springs condo seemed and it looked like it could be within our budget.  Still eating, I called JD and said, “What do you think about getting a condo in Palm Springs?”  (It was kind of a dumb question, since we’ve gone there in the spring of most years for a week-long vacation at one of many clothing-optional gay resorts.)  The quest began.
I’ll skip all the details of learning about leased land (which is owned by the local Indian tribe), tripling the price range from where we started and flying out on short notice to look at a condo that wasn’t even listed yet during the Palm Springs wild fires of 2013.  Short story…we got our condo!  It’s a mid-century, one-level complex with 22 units surrounding a pool with a beautiful view of the mountains.

Although we still hold the lease on our apartment in NYC’s East Village, we share it with a roommate who is there the vast majority of the time.  JD goes a few times a year for shows, to cultivate work and “make it rain”.  The new condo is truly our get-away pad.
(Full disclosure…this will not be a blog about the lifestyles of the rich and famous homo’s.  Our tiny NYC apartment doesn’t cost us anything, thanks to our sub-letters, and the combined cost of the Atlanta and Palm Springs homes is less than what many people pay for just one in a large metropolitan area like Atlanta.)
We’ve only had the condo for five months, so how much time we get to spend there is yet to be seen.  JD has a more flexible schedule than I, so I bet he won’t be able to stay away too long.  For now, most of our time is spent in Atlanta in an up-and-coming neighborhood that still has enough elements of the hood to make it interesting.  The gas station next door makes getting a bag of ice and the New York Times convenient.  The view from our front stoop looks down on a busy four lane road where traffic backs up in front of our house and affords us a view inside the cars of rush hour drivers stopped at the light.  Peering inside the sedans, SUV’s and eighteen wheelers provides for hours of conversation during our summer post-workday happy hours.  The deck on the back of the house looks up the length of our back yard to a stand of trees at the end of the property that provides us complete privacy…the polar opposite of the house’s front.

So, there you have it.  This blog will be about living part time in Palm Springs, beneath a mountain, next to a pool, surrounded by palm trees and the rest of the time living in Atlanta above a busy street, next to a gas station, surrounded by fast-food restaurants.  Two coasts and a life.