Searching for Normalcy

"And finally, above all else, it is about leaving a mark that I existed: I was here. I was hungry. I was defeated. I was happy. I was sad. I was in love. I was afraid. I was hopeful. I had an idea and I had a good purpose and that’s why I made works of art…" – Felix Gonzalez-Torres

New Beginnings, New Blog August 3, 2012

Filed under: Uncategorized — Lulu @ 4:13 pm

I know it’s been a long time since I’ve posted anything here. There really hadn’t been a lot to blog about. It was a matter of a lot of things happening and nothing really happening at the same time. Yeah, that probably makes no sense at all.

 

Anyway, there are some big changes coming up for the boy and me. We have decided to relocate to the beautiful state of Washington! That included purchasing a brand new home that was built from the ground up. With all of these big changes just around the bend, I decided that a new blog was in order.

 

I’ll probably keep this blog up, but mostly for sharing craft-related projects. However, if you want to follow along with all our new experiences and life happenings on the west coast, please head on over to Washington or Bust!

 

Palouse Falls, WA May 11, 2012

Filed under: Photography,Travel — Lulu @ 4:20 pm

As part of a week-long visit to Washington last month, the boy, his mom and I took a day trip to Palouse Falls State Park, located in Washtucna, WA.

 

This place is so gorgeous. I can’t even really describe the beauty of the falls and the surrounding areas. First you find yourself driving through miles and miles of rolling hillsides, some so lush and green they bring to mind images of verdant Irish landscapes. Then, you finally come to the falls. Undetectable from the road, but after you park your car and walk a short distance, you come to this.

 

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Obligatory “babe, stand in front of the waterfall” picture.

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These cute, little guys are yellow-bellied marmots (aka “rockchuck”) and they’re a type of ground squirrel. They were pretty tame, but I suppose they are accustomed to people by now.

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And, apparently, they like Lay’s Barbecue Chips.

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Here’s the boy and his mom, and one last shot before we left.

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Seriously, this place is so beautiful and peaceful. I could have stayed there all day just enjoying the view.

 

Peace out, yo!

 

Pride April 15, 2012

Filed under: Life,Photography — Lulu @ 5:18 pm

**WARNING: SUPER photo heavy.**

 

The boy and I walked down to Ocean Drive this morning to check out the Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade, so here are some of the 10 bajillion pictures I took.

 

The parade was kicked off by the Stonewall Knights motorcycle club.

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Roller derby chicks and minotaurs(??).

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Conga band leading the Discotekka float.

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They’re like big, colorful birds. So pretty.

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Pride Marching Band. They were playing Abba’s “Dancing Queen”! =)

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Mi gente! (ie, cubans)

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At first I thought that said “Big Gay Bus.”

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I am not embarrassed to admit that I got teary-eyed when the Legacy Couples went by. Some of these people have been together as long as my parents have. And much longer than most straight couples I know.

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The Miami Gay Men’s Chorus. They were singing Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way,” hence the crib.

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The bears.

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I told the boy that this is totally how I see him: a hot guy with a beard and a nice butt! ;)

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My camera decided to refocus right as Grand Marshal, Chaz Bono, was riding by.

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I really liked the Score float.

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Gratuitous butt shot and more roller derby chicks.

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The Catalina Hotel and the Stonewall Museum.

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The Donkey Show (yeah, I don’t know) and Twist nightclub.

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The PB Boys (?) and the dancers from Swinging Richards (I’m told it’s a strip club).

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There were two more floats after this but I didn’t get pictures because my battery died and I was starting to get heat stroke, so we came back home.

 

That’s it for now. Peace out, yo!

 

FOUR April 11, 2012

Filed under: Life,Personal — Lulu @ 7:00 am

Four years.

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Four years of…

Inside jokes.

Laughing hysterically.

Discovering new restaurants.

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Silly disagreements.

Making up.

Countless concerts.

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Hospital visits.

Road trips.

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Birthdays.

Holidays.

Weddings.

Spending time with family.

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Movies.

Lazy Sundays.

Trips to Washington.

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The Space Needle.

Grandma & Grandpa’s farm.

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Meeting new friends.

Doing the tourist thing.

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Nerdy podcasts.

Supercross.

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Nascar and F1 races.

Football, basketball and hockey.

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Hanging out with friends.

Hugs and kisses and “I’m sorry”s and “I love you”s.

 

Four awesome years together… and hoping for 40 more…

Week 3

 

TAPS we are not* February 25, 2012

Filed under: Life,Personal,Photography — Lulu @ 4:43 pm

We had another Groupon-fueled outing last night. This time it was a Ghost Tour in Coconut Grove that we had purchased as a 2-for-1 Groupon. We met up with the other participants and the tour guide in front of the Coconut Grove Playhouse just a little before 8:00PM to begin our two-hour walking tour.

 

The tour started with our guide, Sandy, sharing some historical information about the playhouse and the Grove area in general. Supposedly, there are happy ghosts haunting the playhouse due to the energy lines running through this location. Okay.

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We then heard a story about the original settlers in Coconut Grove and how there is an anthropologically documented 10,000-year-old path that runs through the Grove and, because of said path, there are a lot of indigenous spirits in the area.

 

Across the street from the playhouse is a limestone wall that backs some private residences, and there is a story about a ghost that hangs out on the sidewalk and leans against the wall. He is said to sometimes show up in pictures. Do you see him?? Yeah, me neither.

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Just a shot of the banyan trees that seem to grow right out of that limestone wall and a spooky dark street. (Just kidding; we were actually standing across the street from El Sitio restaurant and bar. Hardly spooky at all.)

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This hair salon (formerly Arush, and now under new management as an AVEDA salon) is rumoured to house a couple of different ghosts, one of which is named Sarah. Yeah, I didn’t see anything either.

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This is a park on McFarlane Road that contains “a lot of spirit energy.” There have been claims of people seeing orbs and finding images of cherubim and child-like spirits in their photos. Again, I saw nothing.

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Now this is actually pretty neat. The oldest marked grave in Miami, belonging to Eva Amelia Munroe, is actually smack in front of a library and right in between a couple of restaurants on McFarlane Road. Who would’ve thunk it?? An actual grave in the middle of a commercial street. Pretty kooky, yeah?

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While we were a little disappointed to not see anything even remotely “ghostie” or paranormal (I would categorize myself as 50% believer/50% skeptic), we did enjoy ourselves. The weather was pleasant, the tour was interesting, and Sandy was very nice and seemed quite knowledgeable about the history of Coconut Grove.

 

After the tour we left the Grove and headed over to Titanic Brewery and Restaurant on the UM campus for a late dinner. (The obligatory “babe, picture!” picture. He looks drunk because he was trying to make a face and I tickled him right as I took the picture.)

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I had the Shrimp and Grits with andouille sausage and tasso ham. Delicious, but VERY spicy. The boy had Cedar Salmon with a rum and molasses glaze, mashed potatoes and steamed veggies. His fish was fantastically good.

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All in all it was a fun date night. Peace out, yo!

 

*  TAPS = The Atlantic Paranormal Society, aka the crew of “Ghost Hunters” on SyFy.

 

in with the new January 2, 2012

Filed under: Life,Personal — Lulu @ 6:32 pm

I’ve always heard that what you are doing at midnight on New Year’s Eve is what you’ll be doing in the coming year. If that is true, then 2012 should end up being a pretty good year.

 

This New Year’s Eve we attended a birthday party hosted by our friends, the Deans, for their daughter who turned one year old. We hung out for a bit, enjoyed some good food and conversation, sang “Happy Birthday” to a very cute – and bewildered – baby, ate some delicious chocolate cake, and took home a personalized Mickey Mouse notebook and placemat (yes, I received the same favors as all the little kids at the party, because the baby’s mom knew I would appreciate them; I thought that was pretty funny.)

 

After the birthday party, we headed over to spend the rest of the evening with the Beightol family, who were visiting from Washington. They were staying at Kim’s parents’ new house, and her mom had invited us to ring in the New Year with them.

 

The thing about the Beightols – and their extended family – is that, to me, they feel more like family than friends. I genuinely love them all and I always feel so welcomed in their homes. Kim’s mom, Rachel, always greets me with hugs and kisses and excitement to see me, just as my own mom would. They love to feed everyone and make sure everyone is having fun. All the kids call us Aunt Lulu and Uncle Christian, and I got tons of wet, sugary kisses and sticky-fingered hugs that night.

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After the other guests had departed and the only ones left were the family and the two of us, we settled down in the family room to watch the ball drop on TV. The adults stood around waiting for the 10-second countdown to mark the start of a new year, while some of the kids laid on the couches, in various stages of sleep.

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At the stroke of midnight EST, we all exclaimed “Happy New Year” in excited whispers – as to not wake the sleeping kiddies – hugged and kissed and wished each other all the best for the coming year. And more than once I thought to myself how glad I was to be there in that moment. How lucky we were to have these kind, generous, loving people in our lives.

 

We had been invited to spend the night and the next morning we enjoyed a delicious breakfast of Filipino fried rice and eggs. The little girls watched “Kung Fu Panda” and twirled around in their PJs and ballerina tutus, while the grownups chatted. Afterwards, the boy gave Mia a hand as she helped Nana Rachel put away her Christmas decorations.

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We said our goodbyes shortly after and, following a quick stop at Best Buy, headed to Joe’s Crab Shack for a late lunch. This picture cracks me up!

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Coconut shrimp and hush puppies for me. Spicy dungeness crab, corn and potatoes for him.

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2011 was a pretty disappointing year for us. Just a lot of random bad luck and negativity that seemed to pile up at the worst times. But if the first day of 2012 is any indication, I’m hopeful that this year will bring good things for us. We have a lot of plans for the year and  a lot of changes in store. Here’s to hoping it all works out.

 

Happy 2012 and peace out, yo!

 

Merry Happy Joyous Chrismahanukwanzakastivus! December 24, 2011

Filed under: Miscellany — Lulu @ 4:19 pm

(There. All bases covered!)

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