Monday, June 29, 2009

Catching Up

It has been a quite busy time since our last entry. Work has been out of control with projects piling up and tight deadlines. Along with the usual household chores, running errands and patching up things. And poor George also has to prepare and study for his classes on top of that.

Life! It has us in its full grip.

However, we managed to loosen the grip every now and then to enjoy some little pleasures. For example, last Thursday we attended a gathering at the Rio Hotel & Casino to celebrate the recent passage of Nevada’s Domestic Partner Law (SB 283). That was quite a surprising turn of events, especially since Nevada’s Governor Jim Gibbons first vetoed this bill, stating that he simply doesn’t believe in it.

This coming from another biggoted Republican who believes in the sanctity of marriage, but was married twice. And seems to have a thing for sexually assaulting women whom he’s had affairs with while still being married. There’s also a case of plagerism and a federal bribery investigation. But that’s like a whole different chapter altogether.

Luckily, both the Senate and Assembly in Carson City voted to override his veto. Not bad for Nevada, which is a rather backwards, very conservative and very much a Republican state. No one saw this coming.

The gathering took place in one of Rio’s huge ballrooms and had a nice turnout of a few hundred people and everyone seemed to be in good spirits and eager to take the next step towards fairness and equality for all. To get to this event, however, one had to maneuver through a maze of uninviting long corridors and folded partition wall panels. You know, all these happy gay couples had to be hidden away so they wouldn’t distraught an on-going poker tournament, filled ill-mannered and drunk lowbrows and gaunt looking zombies.

As part of the local Pride Month events, the Las Vegas Contemporary Dance Theater Conservatory presented an amazing performance on Saturday. It has held at one of the libraries’ theaters and was once again open to all. All of them were extraordinary dancers and the repertoire riveting. It was followed by a Q&A session, which at times was very emotional and moving. These dancers come from all walks of life, different countries and share interesting life experiences. Most had to live through incredible hardships but always believed in their dream to become dancers. Raw and true talents at their very best.

That same evening George and I attended a gay couples potluck. We saw a few friends we haven’t seen in a while and made some new acquaintances. There were couples that have been together for over 30 and 40 years. They were fun and witty. George and I hope to be just as sharp and interesting when we’re lucky enough to reach these gentlemen’s age. Spending a nice evening with fun people and lots of good food. What was not to like?

In-between our demanding jobs, chores at home and in the backyard and trying to sneak in a little bit of relaxation, we also whipped up some delicious meals. Like tuna salad on fresh whole grain artisan bread with sun-dried tomatoes and basil. Or stuffed red peppers on a bed of farfalle and promodoro sauce with three cheeses.

Needless to say that after these meals we were both rather stuffed ourselves. Good thing we jog and exercise on a regular basis. Otherwise we’d be a sorry sight to see.

Here are some slivers from the past two weeks.

Dissepating storm clouds after a rare morning shower

It still rained in the distance

After the rain. Our plants loved it.

The sun peeked through the clouds again not long after the rain had passed. And cast this shadow of our apple tree.

The openings above our fire place

Catching some first rays in the morning

Then enjoying some breakfast with fresh coffee and bread with butter and french raspberry jam

Our tuna salad sandwich on a loaf of wheat bread with sun-dried tomatoes

The stuffed red pepper with farfalle and promodoro sauce. No...we're not endorsing any Coke products, but it was so hot that day and it was the best refreshment

This is one happy camper. George, der Meisterkoch. Yes, he enjoys his cooking very much. No, this is not another product placement. But maybe we should ask Coke for some money after all this free advertising though

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I had yet another visit to the dentist yesterday morning.

Will this ever end?

Why yes, it already has. I finally got my bridge in place.

And may I say that I do look fabulous with my brand new Hollywood smile.

It took long enough too. With all the torture I had to go through along the way. Not to mention the money we had to spend on all this fun. Well, it had to be done and now it’s just another chapter in my life that came to a close.


On a brighter side, George and I spent another wonderful and quiet weekend. We were still enjoying the cooler than usual weather here and tried to make the most of it.

The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District is honoring this year’s Gay Pride Month by presenting a variety of free events. On Friday evening they were to show a live performance of “Hedwig and the Angry Inch” on the theater stage of the city’s largest library building. Unfortunately it was cancelled for unknown reasons. However, the next day’s performance of “Frank Marino and Friends” made up for it. His drag show “La Cage” ran at the Riviera Hotel & Casino for 24 years before it suddenly closed it’s doors last February. I never had a chance to see the show when it was still running on the “Strip” and was glad that he brought it back to Las Vegas for one more amazing and hilarious performance.

The theater was packed. Some people even had to stand in the back behind the last row. We spotted very few gay guys and some lesbians whom were sitting together in small groups. There was one nervous looking kid sitting a few seats down our row, who probably was still in the closet. But the majority of the people comprised of straight older, seemingly retired women. Since this event was part of the Gay Pride Month celebration, George and I were once again a little perplexed why there weren’t more of the LGBT community present.

Where . . . are . . . the . . . gays?

Where are you guys? I know you're out there somewhere

Seriously? Do they only show up to support any gay cause if there’s a beer bust or dance party involved in this town?

After the show we had dinner at one of our favorite restaurants on the Las Vegas “Strip.” We’re starting to become what Germans call “Stammgäste,” or regulars at the Planet Dailies inside Planet Hollywood Resort. The waiters and waitresses are beginning to recognize us now. And we are appreciating them as well, especially José and Jason.

Bobby Cannavale

José is a younger version of Bobby Cannavale but with tightly cropped hair. What an eye candy he is. I caught myself literally being on the lookout for him. One time I ordered “Dos Manos,” which is one giant and scrumptious burrito with all the Mexican trimmings. That particular evening it was handsome José who was serving our food. He was so polite and courteous. And all I could think about was what else he may be able to do with his dos manos. I’m so naughty. Our hopes were crushed a bit however when we found out that he was quite the lady’s man. can look, admire and dream.

Then there is cute Jason. He seemed kind of shy when we tried to engage him in harmless small talk. Since George and I tend to be into mature bulkier looking guys, we were a little caught by surprised to find us being quite fond of young Jason. There’s a certain naivety about him, such innocence, which is rather refreshing nowadays. One just wants to put him under one’s wing to guard him. And cuddle him all day. We haven’t yet figured out for which team he’s playing though. No matter, he’s just so adorable.

Below are random pictures from our trip to the “Strip” on Saturday.

The Miracle Mile Shopping Mall (formerly Desert Passage) at the Planet Hollywood Resort

Outside MGM Grand Hotel & Casino

raffic on the South “Strip” early Saturday evening

MGM Grand’s marquee

The Signature Towers are reflecting another amazing Southwestern sunset

The Ballys monorail station with the Wynn and Encore in the background

Limo on Audrie Lane

Looking eastward to the Sunrise Mountains

Another monorail whisks by

Monday, June 8, 2009


What a perfect weekend this was.

George and I did absolutely nothing.

Okay, we did a little somethin’ somethin.’ And a few other things like thanking the universe for having each other, cooking amazing meals and enjoying “cooler,” cloudy days.

Yes, we actually enjoy clouds. Because we rarely have them here in the desert. For a brief moment it looked as if it was also going to rain. The smell of rain in the air was so intense. And there may have been two or three tiny drops here and there but that was about it. Of course. Nature can be such a tease.

Yes, that right. We like rain too.

While people in other parts of the country complain of constant gloomy and rainy days, especially when rain can threaten to ruin precious weekend plans, we here in the Mojave Desert hope and pray for just a little bit of precipitation every now and then. Every time we spot a cloud in the sky it’s like some divine miracle has just descended upon us.

You know, like seeing the image of Jesus’ face on a burnt slice of toast.

Even the temperature dropped considerably. It can already hover in the lower 100° F in early June. What am I saying? We already had our first wave of 100° F days in May.

So this little deprive of hellish temperatures into the lower 80s was a truly welcomed change. You see, for us desert dwellers 80 degrees feels almost cold and the nightly lows in the lower 70s is downright wintery to us. At night we needed to cover ourselves with an additional blanket again which we‘ve already stored away.

Likewise, this “cold spell” was such a relief on everybody’s wallet. There was no need for turning on any air conditioning units. We ripped open every window in the house and let the cool breezes fill up every nook and cranny with fresh air.

Ah, so this is how normal people live?!

The few chore-related things we did over the weekend were cooking, watering the plants in our backyard and lifting our arms to point the remote control at the TV to either change channels or to press the play button to watch a recorded film on the DVR. We were planning on going to the movies to see Sam Raimi’s new horror flick “Drag Me To Hell,” but ended up walking in the park instead.

Yeah, we’re real bad asses. That’s what we are.

On Saturday morning, George made this amazing light and fluffy omelette, filled with fresh vegetables and provolone and cheddar cheeses. Add two slices of sage breakfast sausage and some hash browns, along with freshly brewed Peet’s coffee and we were both in breakfast heaven.

And yesterday evening we enjoyed our masala chicken, which we’ve prepared with a medley of multi-colored potatoes, asparagus and okra. It was absolutely delicious. Just thinking about it makes me all hungry again.

Somewhere in-between we also stuffed ourselves with bowls of french vanilla ice cream with dark chocolate syrup and slices of cheesecake, topped with whipped cream and pecans.

Potato Medley: A mix of yellow, red and blue organic potatoes

Meisterkoch George is sautéeing onions in sesame oil

Chicken Masala on its way to perfection

Guten Appetit! I had to nosh a little masala before dinner...
you know, to make sure it was done right

Did I mention that we had the perfect weekend? Good food, pleasant weather and the love of your life right next to you. What else could one possibly ask for?


I rest my case.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wonnemonat Mai

Can you believe it’s June already? What the heck? Time is just flying by. The month of May has been quite something. At least for George and I. Most days turned out to be good. Great actually. But there were some days which were just downright awful. That’s life I guess.

However, I’m not going to get into details here or turn this into another political rant. And boy, do I have a lot to rant about. But I won’t. Not today.

Instead I will think happy thoughts. Be positive. Why don’t we just share some photos with you. And simply let the pictures do the talking.

It’s all good!

Have a happy June.

By the way, this entry's title “Wonnemonat Mai” is a German poetic expression and loosely means the merry month of May.

The following images were taken at our home and backyard.

More pictures from some of our venturing to the Las Vegas “Strip” during the month of May.