In 38 sleeps

As a kid growing up (and what kid doesn’t do this now), I used to count down the days to something really exciting by the number of sleeps I had to go. Of course, as I have gotten older, I have discovered the joy of the occasional mid-afternoon nap, which I have decided don’t count for the sleep countdown.

So in thirty-eight (38) sleeps we leave for Australia! I’m excited (hence the sleep countdown)!

The trip will be my first visit back home since 2000, so I am expecting a lot to have changed when I get there, but I’m also anticipating a lot of “some things never change” in my travels. I’ve not traveled back sinch I wanted to finish my studies, and then with the phenomenal job opportunity I got with BBBS, it was not the right time for me to return home … until this year.

What makes this trip even more special is that Chris and my best friends, Bobby and Ian, will be doing the trip with us, so I get to play tour guide, and in some cases get to experience some new places because of the “tourists” that will be with us.

The highlight of the trip (for me) will be seeing my mother and sister again, and the bonus – due to my mother visiting my brother at the time we will be in Australia – I get to see my eldest brother, Peter, as well. I’m really excited about that, and just can’t wait. This is one of the new places that we will get to experience, as my brother lives in Queensland in an exotic-sounding city called Bribie Island.

So in 38 sleeps we leave DFW, and then due to the strange happenings surrounding the International Date Line, we arrive in Melbourne, Australia on May 1. After a week in Melbourne, doing some major recovery from travel, and business related to my visa, not to mention catching up with friends that I’ve not seen in a long time (will they remember me?), we will head up to Queensland via Canberra and Sydney. It will be a quick visit, as both Chris and I have some work commitments which we both need to be here for, but it will be a full visit.

The irony of this is that in 38 sleeps, I will not be sleeping for a long time, as (1) I’ll be way too excited, and (2) I don’t sleep on planes.

A Caring and Sharing White House

I read about this project a few weeks back, but the ground breaking occurred the other day for the White House Kitchen Garden on the South Lawn of the White House. The project is going to be a project of about a dozen students, and all the food that it generates will be prepared by the White House Kitchen and then distributed to a local homeless shelter.

Some critics will see this as yet another handout, but to me it demonstrates yet another new beginning of a White House that cares. I’m not sure why this made me feel so proud, but it did.

I’ll miss you Duncan

Picture of Duncan taken in <br />October 2008 by Fruitbat
Picture of Duncan taken in October 2008 by Fruitbat

We are in shock. Chris just got a phone call from our friend in the UK, Fruitbat, to tell us that his longtime partner Duncan died on Thursday. Duncan was 40.

I can’t believe the news that we just got. I am upset, and saddened (is there a stronger word?) that Fruitbat has lost his “and Dunc.” Please keep him in your thoughts.

Fruitbat has put up a small tribute site at Duncan’s website.

Tin or Aluminum Cans?

Chris & James in DC, 1999Ten years ago today I arrived in the United States on a journey that was filled with hope, and built on a new love that had yet to be fully explored. Today, ten years ago, Chris and I landed at LAX and then made our way to DFW where Chris and I started our lives together. It has been an incredible journey that has had its high and low moments, but each step has been something that I have been thankful for every day (well most every day).

The decision to make the move across the Pacific was a very tough one for me. I was leaving people behind that I loved, who were a major part of my life and a stable part of my social environment. I have missed many opportunities to celebrate in the joys that my friends have experienced and the sadness in the loss of dearly loved friends.* It was my decision, but it was a decision that I do not regret, as I have enjoyed the privilege of sharing my life with a man that contributes to my happiness everyday.

Today is about the love that I share with the man whom has been a significant part of my life for the last ten years, and the love that keeps me going every day.

So Happy Anniversary Chris, I hope you have enjoyed our life together as much as I have, and will continue on the journey with me for many years to come.

Side note: We chose today (March 5) as our “anniversary” date as this was the day that we officially started our lives together as a couple. Even though we had known each other for some time prior to this date, it seemed appropriate that we used this date as our date.

* Since arriving here, I have developed many wonderful friendships where I have experienced their joys and our collective sadness over the years.