Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Brrrrrrrrrr

While Lyle was on the other side of the bacon curtain, he snapped a pic of the view in front of his parents house. See anything interesting in the middle there besides snow?


BIG HORN SHEEP!

Friday, January 23, 2009

There's a light at the end of the tunnel and for once its not a train

So my previous post was slightly cryptic. That's the world I live in. The circles I ride in. The country I am a citizen of which forces this upon me.

I belong to an underground world you rarely hear about. I am half of a bi-national couple!

Since my other half is Canadian, well educated, we have money and the North American Free Trade Agreement we have an "easy" time making things work. Everything is legal. We are the luckiest of most bi-national couples.

And by lucky I mean that at any time when crossing in or out of the country for purposes of visa renewal or personal travel we ALWAYS separate from each other well before the immigration counter and I breeze through while he is asked extra questions. Extra questions which can turn into a visit to a separate room for additional questions. Questions which always hinge on "will he be allowed into the country?" And because the border agents have very few limits on their powers, they can turn you away for anything. Anything like being gay (You'll need to submit to an HIV test) or being in a relationship (You're putting down roots too strong. This is supposed to be a temporary visa). This is why we part ways. This is why wedding rings are moved from left to right hands. This is how the government forces me to lie. This is why I couldn't say anything while he was still on the other side of the border.

Lucky, lucky us.

So as our 44th president was being sworn in, I was home alone. My loving-half was stuck in Canada because after 16 years of presenting the exact same paperwork for his visa renewal, THIS YEAR it wasn't enough for one agent. That's when I felt the sting of oppression.

After 19 years together my relationship is "less" than others.

This tired argument that conservative nutjobs trot out that "you have the right to marry already, just pick a girl" is so annoying due to the fact that if my partner did "just pick a girl" and get married he would be arrested for fraud. The federal government judges marriages as valid based on a love connection. And since we are gay, we can not get married, we are denied our rights of spousal immigration. The government recognizes that love is what makes a marriage, not just a convenient set of parts that fit together like Lego. And then turns around and says I can't have one.

But again, WE ARE THE LUCKY ONES.

I know of many other silent couples who don't agitate, don't stand up, don't write their representatives because they fear the government. They fear that their partner will be deported.

But paperwork pushers be praised, after an hour and a half of being held at the border for a second time, today they couldn't find any mistakes or glitches in his thick packet of papers and they were forced to follow the law and let him through.

Next week we will meet with an immigration lawyer and start his green card paperwork. It will cost a lot of money. Money I'd like to buy a house with. But at least we have the means and the avenue to pursue a green card.

Lucky, (and this time I am not saying it sarcastically) LUCKY us.

video

Monday, January 19, 2009

There's rain on my parade

Sometimes its quiet around here because I am not doing anything.

Sometimes it is quiet around here because I am doing to much.

Sometimes it is quiet around here because "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all" is in effect.

There is something going on, and I can't write about it. But I'm kinda' pissed off.

I was royally peeved at the election results. As glad as I was about Obama winning, I still felt the sting of Prop 8 passing. I said at the time, "It was like I got everything I wanted for Christmas, and then my house burnt down."

But it's been a few months and I had decided to set that aside and let it go. I was going to sit back and watch the inauguration on TV and enjoy this moment. But something has come up to remind me once again that my life is not equal with everyone else's. It's a government thing. And it's not changing on January 20th. And as pleased as I am with the way the wind is blowing, right now it feels like just that, so much air.

So I am sitting this one out. I wasn't invited to the party. I was told to use a different entrance. And the drinking fountain offered to me looks a lot less shiny than the one they offered everyone else. The door to "change" has been opened. Now instead of standing around talking about how nice it is to finally feel a breeze, could we please line up and start walking through? I'm sick of waiting.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Saturday, January 10, 2009

whaddya' wear?

For Christine and Rachel who have asked "What did you wear?" I have started taking photos (badly) of Lyle and I before we leave the room for dinner.

(this post will be minimal. I am tired. I have to go to work. I CAN'T BREATHE - I should have made my mother send me Chinese herbs to deal with all the shit in the air here.)

Dinner at Wolfgang Puck's Cut, a steakhouse. Lyle has on overdyed plaid jeans with a tuxedo stripe down the side and his faboo new shoes. I am wearing grey wool pants that have a Griffin embroidery detail in repeat and black patent leather shoes.

At dinner they bring the meat by for you to make your selection.

Lyle had the bone marrow flan appetizer. I said, "Look, they came in dog bones!"


Dinner at Bouchon.
This was at the end of a 12 and a half hour day with no breaks. I can't believe we were standing, let alone dressed to go get food. My tie is the favorite part of my outfit.

Lyle loves the "petite plateau" of seafood.

Pretty Pictures 06



So that's what I did for 1o days last Fall. And to answer my dad before he asks, "It still does nothing for me."

Friday, January 09, 2009

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Viva Venetian

Because we are here so long (and apparently spend some money) we got a complimentary upgrade to a "view" room.

Here's the view:

I've had this level of room before. There used to be a view of Treasure Island, the Sinking ship, the Fashion Show mall and all sorts of stuff that wasn't dirty construction to be seen. I think the Venetian needs to update what constitutes a view in their current state of building.

Pretty Pictures 04

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Pretty Pictures 03


Mad for plaid

The top left: Lyle's new Comme Des Garçon Shoes. (they only had his size left or that would have read MY new Comme Des Garçon shoes!) Lyle loves his new shoes and was asking if it would be okay if he took them to bed with him tonight. I told him it would be wrong, only because he might drool on them and they've not been weather protected.

The bottom right: My new Ralph Lauren ties with dogs on them.

Background: Fabulous cloth shopping bag from D&G that matched the very cute ties the salesboys were wearing.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Pretty Pictures 02

Le Cirque gift with purchase

When you are finished dining at Le Cirque they present you with a lovely parting gift. A red box with two drawers. Each drawer contains a chocolate.

Behold!


Monday, January 05, 2009

Dinner of Winners - Le Cirque

We dined at Le Cirque.

(I've always wanted to be the sort of person who gets to write a sentence like that)

I am not restaurant critic. I am not the most knowledgeable person on the topic of food. But there are some restaurants with a reputation so lofty, they are like entering a cathedral for food. Le Cirque has that sort of cache.

The first thing I noticed when we entered was... the monkeys. I think monkeys are funny. All the monkeys at Le Cirque are there to entertain you. I giggled all night.

A monkey playing the drum while another monkey rides an elephant wears a ghost costume. Okay, I don't get it. But its funny!
Monkeys playing cards!

The big top ceiling of the restaurant.

Our table overlooked the 8 acre lake with dancing fountains of the Bellagio. Every fifteen minutes another blast of light and water. Amazing show, but for some reason I felt like I needed to go the bathroom every fifteen minutes.

Enough about the decor. The food, the food, the food!

From the minute we sat down and say the square charger with a monkey juggling food, I knew this was to be an event worth recording. But to keep my profile as a tourista on the low down, I tried my best to take photos without a flash (those tourists are so annoying! - so that should explain some of the "lesser" quality of a few of the photos).

We decided immediately that we would have the chef's tasting menu. In conjunction with that decision, we also agreed we would not be buying a new car this year. As my mother used to say, "It's all about choices."

Pre-dinner "amuse bouche"
British Columbia Oyster with caviar.
I scooped my caviar off and gave Lyle my oyster. Hey, that sounded dirty in print...)
I forgot to take a photo of this part of the meal, so I have "borrowed" this photo from a blog called "Crazy White Girl with a Keyboard" who also recently dined at Le Cirque and loved it.

1st Course
Salade de Homard
"Le Cirque" Lobster Salad Black Truffle Dressing
The salad that is corralled inside the cucumber slice was delicious. Each and every item cut to the same exact size so that the flavors from one item to the other were seamless. We were debating what was in the salad so we had to ask. We got two out of four ingredients correct. It consisted of green beans, asparagus, avocado and cucumber. Oh yeah, and large chunk of LOBSTER.

2nd Course
Foie Gras Sauté
Sautéed Foie Gras, Asian pear, Blackberries & Micro greens
I got to show off my big man skills on this one, "Excuse me is this Hudson Valley Foie Gras or French?" knowing full well that they always grill the Hudson Valley domestic foie gras. Wow, I am food specialist! Oh the pear, the Asian pear, was a fantastic accompaniment to this dish.

3rd Course
Risotto du Marché
Risotto in Harmony with the Season
In this case, tomato caper.
Lyle could not finish his.
I finished mine.

And his.

I have no regrets.

4th Course
Filet de Loup de Mer
Paupiette of Sea-Bass, Crispy Potatoes, Braised Leeks, Pinot Noir Reduction
This is a signature dish of the restaurant. The fish is wrapped in the thinly sliced potatoes that are nearly paper-like in texture. We saw some episode of "Top Chef" where the contestants had to do something with this dish. Our serving of this was magnificent.

5th Course
Coeur de Filet de Boeuf
Beef Tenderloin, Wild Mushrooms, Cocoa Nibs, Pea Mousseline, Potato "Souffle"
The dust you see down the right side of the photo is the cocoa nibs. We were instructed to drag our meat across the dust for a new taste sensation. We did as we were told. I was happy I obliged. A hint of chocolate. Not a taste. Not really identifiable. Just somewhere in your head your mind said, "Hey, was that chocolate?" and then it was gone. (the taste, not my mind.)

6th course
Palate cleanser of papaya sorbet with wild berries in a sugar bowl.
No, not the sugar bowl that comes with the creamer, a bowl made out of sugar. As in the song from Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, "Talk about your childhood wishes, you can even eat the dishes..." so I did.

7th course, Dessert (and to our delight, we each got a different one!)
Strawberry cream puff with coconut sorbet and whipped cream
Oh look, just above, you can see the petite fours have arrived as well!

7th course, Dessert, too
Chocolate souffle with creme anglais and whipped cream

I cant even begin to describe the desserts. My mind had run out of superlatives. I told Lyle it was one of those meals where you keep waiting for the next course to disappoint you and it just NEVER DID. Each course was thrilling, complex, delicious and made me happy. Just sit back, look at the monkeys and laugh happy. I didn't care how much we were spending anymore, I never wanted to own that new Honda anyway.

Breakfast of champions

This is Lyle's place setting. Double espresso with a side of whipped cream.

Pretty Pictures 01

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Off to Vauge-Ass

Remember way back at the end of September I was really busy and posted some cryptic photos of a photography set I was working on?

Well I couldn't really tell you anything then because the campaign didn't come out until January. But hey, look at the calendar! It's January!

This ad has it's big premiere in Las Vegas starting Wednesday this week. But just between us, I am sneaking it out to you today because I am in the car headed to Vegas as you read this and I will be too busy this week to get much more posted here.

And normally I keep my business to myself, but good golly, these photos turned out so amazing, I just have to toot my own horn.

Beep! Beep!

Bead World downtown

Friday, January 02, 2009

Fun with things on your head!

Rachel is the Ice Queen!


Who wore it better....

Robb, Snow Princess #1

or Lyle, Snow Princess "A".
(you can't tell, but Robb is right behind holding up an extra tree of glitter)


Tony is considering wearing his hair in peyos for the holidays.


Okay, they have nothing on their heads. But I still like this photos I call:
"Two Nieces In My Tub."
(and yes, I kept threatening to turn on the water!)


So late one night, after being out for a little while (okay, drinking) I saw this guy and I fell in love with his hair. I begged him to let me have my picture with him so I could show my hairdresser that THIS is how I wanted my hair to look (only in my natural blond color, of course)

Through the miracle of photoshop, this is what I'd look like:
Uh, I think I may have to pass...