Sunday, October 4, 2009


Above: Patrick and Me in Boston 2005.

Our friend from Boston, Patrick, came to visit us recently in San Francisco. This would be Patrick's first time to the West Coast and I believe only his second time on an airplane. We were both excited for Patrick to get out of Boston and see the world, this would be the furthest he had ever been away from Boston in the 40-something years on this planet. Needless to say, I was happy that Paul and I were a part of this life changing experience for Patrick.

Going back a bit, I met Patrick in the summer of 2004 - he was advertising his photography business and I was looking to get some photos taken of myself. I had turned 30 and wanted to remember, what was then my favorite age, myself with some photos. I went to Patrick's studio and I immediately connected with him. We both had similar interested and had this inner level of shyness and insecurities that stemmed back to our childhood. I just bonded with him and got to know him.

Above: Game Night Crew! December 2004.

Upon meeting, I just knew his life had not been easy being gay - he was overweight but attractive - I just knew that people, especially gay men, had been judging him on his weight his entire life. It pissed me off. Throughout most of my teens and 20s I was not very attractive and quite awkward and I knew what it was like to be judged on ones exterior rather than what's inside. By some grace of God, I evolved into something I never thought I would be - an attractive person. I had recently moved to Boston and still had no friends, every time I tried to make a friend the guy would usually want to have sex and never would want to get to know me for who I was. I felt like Patrick and I was exactly at the same place in our lives - we were lacking true friends. I wanted this not only for me, but for Patrick as well - but I was still trying to figure out how to make friends, so how on Earth was I going to help Patrick make friends?

I kept in touch with Patrick after the photo shoot and decided that I would just be completely honest and real with people and figure out a way for both of us to get out into the social world in Boston. I placed an ad on Craiglist that basically said: " Hosting a game night at my apartment on Friday nights." I received several responses that were sexually charged and weeded through them to find ones that I felt were genuine. I had amassed eight responses that I felt comfortable with and I set up the first game night including Patrick. Patrick was hesitant and trying to figure out a way to make excuses not to come to game night, but I wasn't taking no for an answer. I wanted people to see what I saw in him - someone that was kind, funny and talented - I also wanted people to see that in me too.

Above: Patrick and Me in Boston 2006.

Game night had arrived and everyone showed up including Patrick - the group was awkward at first, but every Friday night we would meet and get more comfortable with each other. The group was so diverse from age, race and personal backgrounds. The game night eventually evolved, when I met Paul he was invited and so were several of his friends. It continued to grow from there and it became a hit in the South End of Boston as the "it" place to go as an alternative to the bar scene. It didn't all go smoothly at first, people were hesitant to get to know me thinking I was a snob or superficial and people were also hesitant to get to know Patrick as well because he didn't fit the "the Boston gay look."

I also had decided to join the Boston Softball League through Paul and that led to meeting many more friends. I also told Patrick about the league and he started off coming to our softball games taking pictures of my team - that led to him taking pictures of the entire BSL.

Above: Patrick in San Francisco 2009.

Three years ago I left Boston and by that point both Patrick and I had become friends with many wonderful people. Game night and softball had been the perfect launch pad for both of us to make new friends. Currently, Patrick is still taking pictures for the softball league and he received a special award from the BSL thanking him. Patrick and I both grew together in many ways - we both broke out of the shells we were in at the time that we met and we branched out into the world. Patrick will always be special to me - I am so glad he embarked on the journey of coming out to San Francisco. I hope it's just the beginning of his travels:-)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Kylie Minogue Rocks the USA

I have to admit that I am not a huge Kylie Minogue fan – I was first introduced to her when I was 13 years old and heard her remake of the song “Loco-motion” on the radio – it was very catchy and I investigated the singer and thought she was young and fresh, but not very original. Her next single, “I Should Be So Lucky” also clicked with me and I bought her first album titled - Kylie. After that, there were too many other artists I was fascinated with at the time (Madonna, Whitney, George Michael, Heart U2) just to name a few and Kylie slipped through the cracks, she also failed to strike a cord after her first album in the United States and continued a pretty successful career everywhere else in the world BUT the States.

In 2001, Kylie released the album “Fever” her 8th studio album and it was a huge success in the United States largely part to her first single of the disc, “Can’t Get You Out of My Head.” The single was a smash hit and I rediscovered Kylie a bit and truly enjoyed the entire album, but still, it wasn’t enough for me to become a die-hard fan like I had become with so many other artists, which appeared to also be the case with the States – her next several albums failed to match the success of “Fever” in the US.

My friends Jimmy and Ryan are huge fans and have been geared up to see Kylie in concert (both their first times) – Kylie was finally coming to the US for the first time ever in her extensive 20 year career. I had no interest in going to see her and even when my friend Ryan asked me to go with him I almost said, “Nah” – but decided to go along for the show. The concert was in a renovated theater that was quite stunning, it was mainly standing room only and it was filled with hundreds of eager gay men waiting the see the Australian diva. I was still not super excited as I had been in the past with other popular musical acts that I had seen in concert.

Above: A picture I took on my iPhone of Kylie's entrance!

The show started and Kylie descended from the ceiling from a platinum skull in a futuristic costume that looked very Lady Gaga like, making me realize that Kylie has probably inspired many of Ms. GaGa’s famous fashion statements. The stage, dancers and Kylie were very engaging, energetic and eager to show the US what Kylie is made of and oh how she did! First of all, I was blown away by Kylie’s beauty, I always knew she was a beautiful woman, but seeing her so close in person confirmed how stunning and youthful she really is! Kylie is 41 years old and looks better than most popular young female singers today (Christina, Britney, Pink).

The majority of the concert was high energy, pumping beats that made you want to dance and catchy songs that even the several I wasn’t familiar with, I could easily sing along to. I finally understand the draw to Ms. Minouge – she has amazing stage presence and can actually sing quite well. Her fun loving, playful and down-to-earth interaction with the audience seeming most genuine and touching at times as she appeared amazed at the overwhelming reception form the Cali fans. Kylie, you won me over and I no longer think of you as second rate Madonna wanna-be (although it was very apparent that Madonna has been a huge inspiration for her). I have been buying up her albums on iTunes all morning. I know I am late in the game, in the gay world, at becoming a Kylie fan, but for those of you, like me, who are late at discovering Kylie’s music I highly recommend these songs below:

1. I Believe in You

2. Love at First Sight

3. Slow

4. The One

5. Come into my World

6. Spinning Round

7. Wow

8. In Your Arms

9. In Your Eyes

10. I Should Be So Lucky

* Note: Can’t Get you Out of My Head & Loco-Motion were huge hits and are songs everyone should have heard by now.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Spider Named Tina

Outside of our home we have had this large spider making a web in the same spot for the past few months. The spider will come and go but it always makes a web in the same spot right under our kitchen window. Everyday we see this spider during our comings and goings and Zach has decided to name the spider, Tina. He said "The Spider has teenie eyes so I will name him Tina." A boy spider named Tina! Love it.

Note - this spider is lives outside - if this spider were to get into the house I would not sleep at night!

Above: Zach and his pet spider, Tina, right above his head!

$1,000 Weekend!

Above: Me wearing my new glasses in a picture taken by my new camera.

This has been an expensive weekend - my camera that I adored - broke a few months ago and I was hoping that it could be fixed for a reasonable cost. Sadly, it was going to cost over $300.00 just to fix the camera so I decided to just buy a brand new one, with an extended warrantee, which came in over $700! I love taking pictures! The camera will be used often and I am glad I purchases a new camera - I have been missing out on some great photos and I am looking forward to getting back into the world of taking great photos of San Francisco, friends and most importantly Zach and Paul!

Above: Me and Zach.

I also had to get new glasses this weekend. My eyes are not the best, my eye doctor recommended me wearing Progressive lenses since my eye muscles are getting very weak. So I got some cool designer glasses that are reminiscent of the 1940s/1950s. I love them! It's amazing how a pair of glasses can completely change your look. The glasses were worth the $300.00.

Now I have to start repairing my bank account!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Off to Kindergarten!

Apologizes for those of you following my blog, it's been try of anything insightful. I am going to try to post more posts!

Hard to believe but Zachary is off to Kindergarten! It's truly amazing that I have seen this little guy grow up from a tiny baby with a pacifier in his mouth to a beautiful young boy with a smile that melts my heart. On September 3rd, I will watch Zach enter the word of education and be introduced to a new world of learning. I know I will be emotional, I am an emotional person to begin with, but I love milestones in people's lives. I love seeing people grow, thrive, learn and accomplish things in life and this is one of the many milestones that I will hopefully witness in Zach's life.

I want to see him move into his teen years when he graduates from 8th grade - when he turns into a man and graduates high-school - as he enters adulthood graduating college and when he gets married and has his own children. I want to be there for that. I want to watch him be the best student, the best son, the best friend, the best worker, the best husband and the best father. Ok, let's get back to Kindergarten now:-) I don't want to rush his life away.

It has been interesting watching Zach grow at the pre-school he has been at -his teachers have been amazing and he has made some close friends that won't be moving on with him into Kindergarten, but we will be sure to keep in touch with the great friends he has made. I loved Kindergarten and my early grades in elementary school. I lost touch with the close friends I made during those years - but thanks to Facebook - I reconnected with most of them - which has been interesting for sure. It's been amazing to see those "kids" I grew up and hoe their lives turned out.

Stay tuned for the next chapter in all of ours lives as Zach enters the world of education. I am looking forward to all the homework, school events and the new friends Zach will make along the way.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Whitney Houston "I Look To You" Album Review!

I have been waiting forever for a new album from Whitney and the time is finally here! Whitney's first album in seven years is available for purchase on August 31st! You can stream the album now online at

I have been a huge fan of Whitney since she first came out in 1985 - in my opinion she has one of the best female voices of all-time. Here's my review of the eleven songs features on I Look to You.

1. Million Dollar Bill - Hands down the best song on the CD. Written by the amazing Alicia Keys, this song is so funky and upbeat, probably the most upbeat song since Whitney recorded I Want to Dance with Somebody. The song does remind me of a song from the late 70s but it also has a fresh feel to it on top of the classic vibe. Whitney sounds great on this track - her vocals are strong and solid, Keys offers her amazing voice on the background vocals giving this song exactly what it needs. I do wish Houston and Keys would do an entire album together. I am hoping this single brings Houston back on the music charts this year.

2. Nothin' But Love - This song has a nice feel to it - reminds me of classic Whitney. I like how Whitney is thanking all the people that stood by her through the good and bad times. Her vocas are great on this track. It's a nice "thank you" track.

3. Call You Tonight - I really like this feel good song, again, reminds me of old school Whitney. I really think her voice sounds super crisp on this song - the lyrics are great. An age appropritae song for Houston to sing.

4. I Look To You - A strong ballad. When I first this song I was not overly crazy for it, but after several listens - it's a really great song. Whintey sounds good, I feel she is holding back a bit. The bridge of the song could have been a bit stronger with the vocals but all in all - great ballad from Whitney written by R. Kelly.

5. Like I Never Left - This song is in the same feel, sound and vide from the rest of the album to this point. It's an interesting duet with Akon - I think it should have been someone like Ne-Yo but all in all - it's an ok song, not one of my faves on this album.

6. A Song For You - Whitney needs to release this song as a single - it gave me chills listening to the amazing Houston singing with just the piano in the background at the beginning of the song. Damn - she can still sing!! I love love love this song! Really great vocal performance. I love how it speeds up and Whitney is almost asking for forgiveness for her past mistakes - great song.

7. I Didn't Know My Own Strength - The lyrics to his song really hit my heard - I can relate to the words to this song and every time I hear it reminds me of my own strength and battles I had to overcome. Great ballad - happy to hear Whitney sing it and mean it.

8. Worth It - Slow, smooth jam...old school Whitney for sure. After a few listens I like it - reminds me of the Whitney from back in the day.

9. For the Lovers - I like this song - probably the most modern song on the disc. Houston's voice sounds muffled and deep but I think that's the sound they were going for on this song. 

10. I Got You - Akon is introduced in this song - not crazy about it. Wish she didn't more with Alicia Keys than Akon. Whitney sounds great though.

11. Salute - This is along the same lines as Beyonce's song Halo, but this song is stronger. It's a song about leaving a love and moving on. A great way for Whintey to close this album. I think this is a great fuck you to Bobby Brown.

All in all it's a strong effort for a 46 year old Whitney Houston who was pretty much written off for not being able to sing anymore. The album is strong and should return Whitney to the R&B charts - the only single on here that I can see going on the mainstream Hot 100 charts is Million Dollar Bill - it should go Top 10. I am hoping this CD is just a warmup to the next album Whitney is going to release in the near future.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Muir Woods

Above: (left to right) Me, Shayne, Ryan, Paul, Will & Turner.

This past weekend Paul and I went to Muir Woods in Matrin, just north of San Francisco. We had yet t go there since we have been living here and our friend Ryan lead the charge in getting us and our friends up and out of the city. It was a great time and the woods re truly amazing, I'd loike to go again and explore a bit more.

Above: (left to right) Paul, Turner, Will, Ryan and Shayne.

Above: The entrance to Muir Woods.

Above: Shayne, Paul & Ryan.

Above: (left to right) Me, Shayne, Ryan, Paul, Will & Turner.

Above: (left to right) Paul, Turner, Will, Ryan and Shayne.

Above: Clovers.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July in Boston!

Above: Me on the Cape, photo taken by Zach's Nanny Lois aka Button.

It's the last day of our 10 day trip in Boston and I am ready to go back to San Fran! I do have to say I did have a blast in Boston, but I don't miss living here at all!!

Above: Boston

We arrived in Boston last week and we were at Paul's nephews wedding, pictures of the wedding can be found below. The we had a family gathering the day after the wedding which was nice and we also saw some old friends. It was great to see everyone, I miss our old Boston brood - but it seems like more and more of our Boston friends are leaving Boston as well.

Above: Me, Patrick and Paul - we had a great visit with our friends Patrick and Frank.

Above: Paul, me and Frank in Cambridge Mass.

Above: Boston Boys! (from left to right) Jim, Charlie, Me, Paul, Kevin & Jack.

Above: Me and Kevin.

Above: Kevin, Me, Jim, Charlie and Paul at Flashes in Boston.

We then headed to my cousin's house in Western Mass. My cousin and family had not yet met Zachary yet so I was excited for them to meet him. We had so much fun at my cousins house, I really enjoy being with my cousin, her family and my aunt and uncle. Great people!

Above: My cousin Nic and Me.

Above: Me and Zach taking a dip in my cousins pool.

Above: Chicken Fights!!!

Above: Zach having fun with my cousins children, Duffy and Cooper.

Above: My Aunt Laurie and my Uncle Bernie playing a game of golf.

We then headed to the cape with Zach and spent a few days there with Zach's mom Carrie and her family, again another great few days of rest and relaxation - truly a wonderful time.

Above: The beautiful Cape house we stayed at.

Above: The Cape Clan - Ciara, Me, Paul, Zach, Carrie, Button and Iggy.

Above: Beautiful Zachary!

Above: An inviting pool at the Cape House.

Above: Like father, like son...

Above: Me at the Cape.

We then ended our trip with an awesome 4th of July cookout at Paul's family's house. It was a great time in Boston and I am sure we will be back in a few months!! Enjoy the photos!

Above: The Johnsons and the Sarsfields.

Above: Me and Paul's niece Hailey enjoying our Friendly's ice cream!!

Above: Zach and Paul eating their sundaes!

Above: Zach waiting patiently for the duck boat tour to start.

Whitney Houston - I Didn't Know My Own Strength - New single

Whitney Houston is my favorite singer of all time. She is hands down one of the best singers ever. I have always been a fan of hers and really have been rooting for her to have a major comeback - well it is here. Her new single from is called "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" leaked on the web and I am pleasantly surprised. The song is an old school ballad that could have easily been on anyone of her albums from the 80s or 90s. The lyrics really are a great way for Whitney to express where she has been and where she is going. It's a very inspirational song and for a woman that has been in the industry a long time it's nice to see her not using cheap lyrics and a slutty image to sell record. for instance, Mariah Carey who is 40 has a new album and song coming out a week before Whitney and Mariah's album cover looks like she is on the street corner and the lyrics to her new song sound like it was written by Hannah Montana. Mariah has nothing on Whitney - Whitney is in a league of her own and Mariah will never be in the same class - ever.

Above: The trash bag that is Mariah Carey can be seen on her forthcoming album cover above - yikes! Bad photo shop job.

The big question has been can Whitney still sing? Yes, she can but the voice that made her a phenomenon is gone, forever. Her voice is deeper, raspier and not as crisp BUT Whitney is 45 years old (46 in August) and like any great singer (Barbra Streisand, Julie Andrews) the voice does age as well. Even if Whitney had taken care of her voice as well as other divas it would have aged. For instance, Whitney's cousin Dionne Warwick had a very clean crisp voice when she came out in the early 1960s, when Dionne had a huge comeback in the 80s her voice was much deeper and raspier. Now, if you listen to Whitney's new song, her voice is still better than most female artists on the radio today, there are only a few that can sing better right now (Leona Lewis, Christina Aguilera, Alicia Keys & Celine Dion). Whitney can still sing and she sounds great, she just has a more mature voice.

Above: Whitney Houston recently in LA preparing for her long-awaited comeback!

Whitney's new album, I Look to You, drops on September 1st and I am looking forward to buying it. I am hoping it's a solid album and does well for Whit. I am praying for a major Whitney Houston comeback!! Take a listen to her new single below. It should be on iTunes in a few weeks.