Monday, April 28, 2008


Okay, here goes...

So over the past couple of days, I've been starting to move all the crap I own over to the house I'm renting. The people that own the place have been nice enough to let me move my stuff in early. I can't wait to get this move over with. Not because I hate moving. I've actually become quite good at it. When you move once a year, like I do, you get the routine down.

The reason why I'm ready to get out or my apartment is because of my neighbors; one set in particular. Two sets are fairly quiet, while the other set are a pair of college girls. On paper it sounds good, but when you hear them clamoring up
the stairs at 2am, it looses its luster. Couple that with their guitar-playing, sensitive, singing-like-a-clubbed-baby-seal boyfriend and I couldn't be happier about paying more than I should for my new place.

In addition, one of the good neighbors (who lives above me) has a toddler who does what toddlers do and jumps out of bed at 7am on Saturdays and Sundays and runs down the hall. Man I hate living in apartments.

Anyway, the apartment is a shadow of it once glorious self. Bleak and empty it resembles a crack den. And that makes my dog sad.

But not me!!!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Fly Fishing Festival

Okay, here goes...

So, as advertised, Dad and I took in the Virginia Fly Fishing Festival this past weekend. We had a great time.
A few highlights:
- We both caught our first fish on a fly rod, in a river.
- We tasted a handful of wines. One maker graduated high school in a town near where my parents live now. I recommend the 2005 Echo Forest Red. Savoy-Lee Winery
- We 'test drove' a $755 fly rod and received a free hat in the process. Presenting the Orvis Helios.
- We took in a couple siminars by prominant fly anglers from all over the east coast.
- Dad was interviewed by the local news.

- But most importantly, we wet a line.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Windy Cities and Fishing Flies

Okay, here goes...

So last weekend, Aubry and I flew up to Chicago for a visit with my brother and his partner Steve. This was a big trip as my Mom and Dad came too. This is the first time my Dad has visited my brother since he came out of the closet in 2000. To make a long story short, we had a great time. Everything went smoothly, we ate great food and caught up.

This coming weekend, Dad and I will drive to the far end of the state to take in the Virginia Flyfishing Festival. We are both really looking forward to it. And on Friday, Aubry's parents will fly into town and our parents will meet for the first time. Wow... what a week, huh?

Anyway, I lost the charger for my camera and didn't take any pictures while in Chi-town, so here are some pictures I found on the web of things we saw.

The Lincoln Park Conservatory. My Dad ended up giving in impromptu lecture on orchids while the docents looked on. They were not happy with this guest stealing their thunber. We beat a hasty retreat.

The Lincoln Park Zoo did not disapoint. We enjoyed it dispite the rain.

One of the best dinners I have ever had. Nuf said.

We just drove past Wrigley. A fan of the stadium, not the team. Go Red Sox!

My brother helped design this building. The Center On Halsted. We took a quick tour so he could show it off to my Dad. And showed me the chair I paid for/donated. Good times.

That's it...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Celebration Day

Okay, here goes...

April 1st. April Fool's Day to most, but to me, the day my dog was born. That's right, a day that changed my life. Of course, I didn't know it at the time. So, pull up some floor, pop a squat or have a seat... I'll tell you the story.

The year was 2001 and I was still in school at the great University of Georgia. I was destined to graduate in December and things were looking up. My girlfriend at the time and I had lost our dog to a speeding car a few months earlier but I was already talking about filling the void. I had been holding down a job at a local pet store for a year or so and happened to be working the register that fateful evening.

A young couple, at least a couple years my junior, were at the register purchasing something when a lady in her 40's came in with a tiny fawn-colored puppy in her hands. The girl I had been helping fell in love immediately and began trying to persuade her less than enthusiastic boyfriend that they needed to take it home. He made the off-color comment, "Sure we'll take it. If it doesn't work out, we can always eat it" and laughed. My coworker and I looked at each other and, without saying a word, agreed that one of us would take that dog. I pulled the lady aside and told her our plan. She immediately gave us the dog, not wanting the young couple to have her.

She told us that she bred yellow labs and her breeding female had been visited by the neighborhood boxer and she was giving away the puppies. This one was the runt and she had had trouble getting rid of her. She was tiny and had just been weened.

Over the next couple of hours, we helped the little puppy stand on the slick tile floors of the pet store and let her test drive most of the dog toys in the store. All the while, I was trying to figure out how to put it to my domestic partner that we had just taken in a new dog. She still didn't think she was ready for another dog.

I soon called her and fabricated a story about how the store was donating some large aquariums to a school and no one at the store had a vehicle big enough to carry them. We would need her Blazer to transport them. She bought it, but was not happy about being volunteered for service.

After a few minutes she arrived and I put the puppy in her arms and said, this is our new dog. She was not happy, to say the least. After I explained what had happened and that my coworker would take the dog if it didn't work out, she took the little girl home. By the time I got home, there was no chance that dog was going to the coworker.

So, we named her Ollie, after Oliver Hardy of the comedy duo Laurel and Hardy. Although, she is much closer to a Stan Laurel. She has been in tow with me up to Vermont, down to South Carolina and now to Virginia. I think she loved Vermont the most and it broke my heart almost as much to leave as to make her leave.

Anyway, Ollie turns 7 years old today. She is the sweetest dog in the world and I love her.