It Was A Party Weekend.!!!....(part 2)

Since we got home a little late on Friday evening, I let myself sleep in some on Saturday. Actually I have never been one to sleep in late on the weekend but lately I have really gotten into it! So it was nice to be able to sleep in a little longer this Saturday. But I really did so because I knew I was going to need my energy because we had another party to go to Saturday afternoon!! ( I was just telling someone yesterday it is really rough being so popular!! lol)

So around 11am we head off to Brea to attend the 1st Birthday party for one of our "nieces", Jordan. Jordan is the daughter of our very good friends Cindy and Jeff . Jordan has on older sister named McKenna, who is almost 3. They are the cutest things you have ever seen.!

The party was held at the Cedar Creek Inn in Brea. The resturant has a really nice enclosed patio that was festively decorated by Cindy. Now let me say a word here about Cindy and her decorating. She is AWESOME! She did everything from designing and creating the invitations, to putting together the beautiful center pieces that adored each table. She is the most creative person I have every known. If any of you remember our Holy Union in 2004, Cindy designed and created our invitations, really beautiful.

Everyone had an assigned place to sit, and Patrick and I shared our table with the Jung family
We had met them last year when we attended the Pageant of the Masters in Laguna Beach
Cindy and Jeff had given us all tickets for Christmas and we sat right next to them. The food was really good and I have to say the service from the staff at Cedar Creek Inn was great.

After the party was over we decided that since we were already in Orange County we might as well go by the South Coast Plaza Mall. I mean you can't be that close to it and not go!!! For us Gay Men it is a real necessity!! Now for those of you who have never been to South Coast Plaza, it is bigger than most small cities. It cover two sides of a freeway, yes you can walk over the freeway from on side to the other but you will wish you hadn't . There is not a bus to take you back to the other side. So we scoped out the Mall for a little while and then headed back to the LA area. We were a combination of still way too full and a little tired. Something a little nap would have take care of.
Sunday was just a hang out day for me. Got a few things done around the house but Patrick had one more Birthday celebration to go to!!! His cousin Mandy"s birthday was a couple of weeks ago but she was in Hong Kong, so they celebrated Sunday. I got to sit that one out!! thank goodness.
So we ended up have a real part weekend!

Like I said, it is really rough sometimes being so popular!!


p.s. Next weekend: GAY DAYS at Disneyland!!!!!!!

It Was A Party Weekend!!!....(part 1)

Well it is Sunday evening and the weekend is coming got a close. Looks like before we know it we will be back at the coal mine starting out a new week. But this weekend was a real festive one here in the Lee-Neff household. Starting with Friday evening.

Friday evening Patrick and I attended the Wedding Banquet for a friend and co-worker of Patrick's, Danny and his beautiful bride, Silvia. Now I had met Danny a couple of times over the last couple of years when we attended different doggie parties with Tobee. He and Silva were also here at our house last December for Patrick's birthday party. They are both very lovely people and lots of fun too! When Patrick first told me they were getting married and he had been invited to the Wedding Banquet I really did not think anything about not getting invited.
I have rarely gone to things like this with Patrick over the years so I did not even give it a second thought when he told me about it. But a few weeks ago Danny came to Patrick to make sure we knew that I too was invited and they were expecting me to come with him. I have to admit I was a little excited. It is always a special thing when we get invited as a couple to things like this. But it also meant I would have to dress up!! Most of you know I am pretty much a jeans and Tee Shirt kinda guy, but I think I pulled it off ok. I was happy with how I turned out!!

If you have never been to a Chinese Wedding Banquet, you would be in for a real surprise. This one was held in the Ball Room of the Hilton Hotel in San Gabriel. I was really a beautiful place.
Of course I only knew about 6 or 7 people out of the two hundred so guests and from what I could tell I was one of three Caucasian people I saw, all guys. So some of the important things that were being said, Patrick had to translate for me. But we were at a table where I knew most of the people so I had plenty of people to talk to.

It was a real beautiful banquet. We were served a regular 10 course Chinese wedding meal, ten being the perfect number. There are certain foods served in a certain order and all of it was very good.
By the time they served the last course and then the wedding cake for desert, I was pretty much done in, along with every one else! It started at 7pm and when we left at 11pm, it was still going strong.

I have to say, being apart of the Chinese culture has really enriched my life, in so many ways.
It is a culture that isrich with tradition and customs that are not only beautiful but very meaningful. There is a reason for everything they do in their ceremonies and as I have been expose to the different aspects of the culture and have been able to learn more about it, my life has b eenchanged and enriched so much. I feel I am very fortunate to have had the opportunity to experience it.

So to our friends Danny and Silvia, we wish a long and a happy life together, filled with much love and many fun adventures in the years ahead!


California Adventure, here come....

On the Monday of our vacation, Patrick and I slipped away from everyone and headed to California Adventure. The original plan was for us to start at California Adventure and end up at Disneyland. For a long time we have wanted to go to the Parks during the week so there would not be so many people. So we decided we would go on Monday, August 25, and beat the crowds....WRONG!! It seems most schools had not started back yet and EVERYONE who had not been to the Parks during the Summer decided Monday must be a good day for them too.
It was so busy. We got there right after the Parks opened and we still had to stand in line to get into California Adventure, which is never that busy!

So once we were in we headed across the Park to ride the newest ride,the Toy Story ride.
As we were walking over there, I got a great idea, so I turned to Patrick and said, " Hey Honey, let's do something we have not done before, we at least I haven't done it. Let's ride the roller coaster!!!" Patrick kept on walking and just shot me that side ways look I get every once in a while and said " Are you sure?" Haven't you ridden it before?" So when I said I hadn't
he gave me that look again and said " Well ok, but if we are going to do it we are going to do it now before it gets too busy". Now I am not a big fan of roller coasters and when we were first dating I had a very bad experience with one at Six Flags Magic Mountain, but that was years ago and California Screaming had never seemed that bad of a coaster to me. So off we went. When we got here we only had to wait for the very next coaster. The only thing I had requested is that we not sit in the very first car. So we ended up on about the middle. We got in and away we went, to the lift off area. Now I don't know if you have ever seen the California Screaming coaster , but it goes out to the launch area and stops and then they count down the time for you till it gets to one, and then you take and are going 60mph in about 10 secs. Well let me tell you, it hit one, and we took off and I knew right then and there this was not the smartest decision I had made that day. I suddenly remember why I don't ride roller coasters, but hey, when you are strapped in and going that fast, only one thing you can do, hang on and pray it will be over fast.
Well honesty, once we really got started I was screaming right along with Patrick, but I think it was for a different reason. I did ok and we came to the part where we made the big loop in Mickey's ear and as we approached that, I just closed my ears and it did not seem so bad. After you make that loop the ride is pretty much over and you go back to where you started. Ok, well I survived what will truly be my last roller coaster ride in my lifetime and we headed back to let the next group of thrill seekers take their turn. So we stopped, were unbuckled and Patrick jumped up and hopped off and I stood up to follow him and for some reason my feet kinda got tangled up with each other and guess what? yep..down I went. Now fortunately for me I somewhat caught myself on the side of the ride so I did not go face first into the cement, but I did go down on my left knee, hard. The thing I do remember is that when I hit, the whole crowd of people waiting to get on the ride went "WHOA" in unison. Now Patrick was several steps in front of me so he did not see how graceful I went down, but he did run back and make sure I was ok. Honestly, I was a little shaken up, a little embarrassed and in pain. When I looked down I had taken the top layer of skin off just below my knee cap. One of the Crew members asked me if I was ok and I yea, I was old and I fell all the time. We went to the restroom to check out really how bad my knee was and while I was checking on my knee, Patrick found the nurse's station so we headed over there. Now. like everything else at any Disney Park, it was so blended in with the other buildings, it was much bigger than it looked. We went in and a very nice woman came out of the back and I told her what happened and she took us into one of the exam rooms and took care of it and I left with a nice band aid on my knee. But let me tell you a little something about the "Nurse's Station", it was huge. They are ready for any emergency that can come up there. I believe they could do open heart surgery if they had to . It was awesome.

Well I was not going to let a little thing like a nose dive off the roller coaster stop us from having a fun day and we did just that. We did have to stand it line for the new ride, but it was totally worth it. The line moved rather quickly and we had so much fun on the ride. Be sure and do the Toy Story ride if you are California Adventure. ( I am not going to tell you about it, don't want to spoil it for you, but it truly is allot of fun)

We did several other rides we enjoy and since it was hot (did I mention it was HOT), we headed over the the Raging Rapids ride. I really enjoy this ride but I can't get Patrick on it much since we usually get totally soaked, but since it was so warm (did I mention it was HOT) he was more than happy to ride. We lucked out and go to ride with some truly fun people who were veteran riders like ourselves who truly wanted to get soaked. And we were not disappointed!!

After a while we decided we would come back and do Disneyland another day (We are Disney aholics, we have the annual pass where can go everyday if we want). So the last ride we did before we headed out is really and truly my favorite ride of all time, Soaring Over California.
If you have never ridden this ride, you are so missing out on one of life's treasures. For me, the only thing wrong with it is that it does not last longer than it does.

So after that we headed back to the house. The first full day of vacation was so much fun, even if I had a bum knee.


To see pics of our day at California Adventure go to http://www.flickr.com/photos/texaninla/


A Rose by Any Other Name Is Just As Sweet !

Have I ever told you guys how much I enjoy where I work? Well, I do enjoy it, a great deal. I have what some of my friends have called a dream job, I work for three great Doctors and I have two wonderful working partners besides. (yes one of them does read my blog but she knows how I feel anyway). But seriously, I feel very fortunate to work where I do and with the people I spend my weekdays with.

One of the nice things the Doctors do is that when we have a new employee join our group, they take us all out to lunch to welcome the new person. That way we can be out of the office setting and be more of ourselves. The new person can really see how crazy we truly all are and wonder what they have gotten themselves into!!

Last week, we had one of these outings. We have a new Medical Assistant in the office (we killed the old one off..ok..not really she left to work in a different office). They treated us to lunch at.....The Stinking Rose!! If you have never heard of it, well all of their dishes are cooked with or in Garlic. We have been there as a group once before, when they welcomed me into the group. Now I have to tell you, when I first heard of it I was a little leary about it. I have been been a big fan of garlic, except to keep vampires away. But the food is delicious and they have a
very good variety of things to choose from. This time I had the Porterhouse Pork Chop, which is pan roasted with sweet garlic relish and carmelized apples (it says so right there on the menu
It was GOOD! Everyone got something different and everyone enjoyed what they got.
I will tell you a little secret we were told last time we ate there, the Italian Garlic Meatloaf, not so good, but you didn't hear it from me.

There are actually two Stinking Rose resturants, the origianal is in San Francisco and the one here in Beverly Hills. The decor at the one here is crazy fun, giant murals of all things Southern Califorian adorn the walls in bring colors. They are open 11am-11pm and is really great for lunch or dinner. Go check out their website at http://www.thestinkingrose.com/. If you visit them, let me know what you think.

p.s. they even have garlic flavored ice cream!!! O, and the candy they give you after you eat, does not even BEGIN to take the garlicy taste away


Tracking Hurricanes in California

It just might seem crazy that someone in earthquake country would worry about hurricanes, but for me is comes natural. You see I may live in earthquake country but my entire biological family lives, you guessed it, in hurricane territory. So this weekend was one of those where I was on edge as I watched Hurricane Ike make landfall about 50 miles west of where my family was all hunkered down.

With earthquakes, you just never know when it is going to hit, you live your life everyday knowning that today could be the day for the "Big One" but it is just a normal part of your daily life living in Southern California. But living in hurricane territory, for several months a year you keep an eye on what the weather is doing out beyond the Carribean where "they"are born.
You keep an eye on every tropical depression that appears and you learn to hate it when they attach a name to it, because once they name it, you know it is big enough to eventually become a nightmare for you.

With earthquakes, they strike and are gone just about as soon as they come. But hurricanes will come at you slowly and build in power as they make their way in your direction. You watch them everyday, slowly coming in your direction but still not knowing where they are truly going to go. It is always a guessing game, a game of suspense. Even when you think you know for sure just where it will strike, it can change directions in a matter of hours and head in a direction you never expected.

Three years ago, Hurricane Rita decided to pay a visit to my family in Texas, a very unwelcomed visit indeed. My family dates back to the 1800's in East Texas (on the Neff side
In all those years, never had any of my family ever had to evacuate for a hurricane. Oh we
had hurricanes visit us throught the years, but unless you were really close to the coast,
you just boarded up your windows, made sure nothing was laying out in the yard that would blow away and you just stayed inside till it was over. The last big one I personally remember
was back in the late 1960's. It was a Friday night and my Mom and Dad and little brother and myself were sitting in the stands watching the Silsbee Tigers play football against some other High School team. The reason I even remember it is I remember my Mom making mention of it.
The wind started blowing some and it started to rain and she said "Well I guess the Hurricane is getting closer". We finished watching the game and went home and that night the wind really blew and man did it rain. The next day we saw pictures on TV that showed the beach close to Galveston where it had come ashore. It was a mess there but we just got some strong winds. But in 2005 when Rita came to visit, it was a total different story. My Mom was 87, and it was the first time she ever had to pack up and evacuate her home, not knowing what would be left of it, if anything, when she returned. My entire family evacuated to diffrent places in North Texas and waited out the storm. My sister took my Mom with her as they went up close to Dallas.

I told them then I had rather been right there with them than to have to be out here watching it on TV and not really knowing how they all were doing. My family was extremely lucky when Rita came . My Mom's house was ok, just an electrical box blew off her house. My sister had more damage,trees down, one of their big storage sheds was torn apart and they had many many trees down on their property. My brother's house was ok with just minor damage. It is truly a time that my family will never forget, when we were scattered in so many different places just waiting out the time to see what was left of their lives after the Storm.

Now this past week, Ike decided to pay a visit. At first we thought he was going to come in around Corpus Christi which is at the exteme southern tip of Texas. But as the week went by
we knew that Ike was going to be coming in very close to, if not directly into, where my family was. I can not even begin to tell you the sense of helplessness that I feel when things like this happen. Here I am 1600 miles from them and know what they are going through in preparing for a Storm of this magnitude, and not being about to do one thing to help. Everyone is really great in contacting me with what their plans are and where they will be during the storm.
Thay way I can relay it to the others when I talk to them. They all may in different places, but we all know just where everyone else is. So it was Friday evening before Ike made land fall. I
knew just where each on of them were and we all just waited. The last time I was able to talk with any of them was around 7pm our time here in LA. I was glued to CNN to watch the storm and different broadcasts from the area in Texas. So around midnight our time, Ike decide
to come in at Galveston, about 50 miles to the west of my family. I knew they were having very strong winds (between 85-110 miles per hours) but I knew they were not getting the flood water. I went to bed around 1am. At 8am , my sister was able to get through on her cell phone to let me know that everyone had made it through ok and with very little damage. I almost cried. That was the last time I was able to hear from any of them until late this afternoon when I was able to get through to my sister.

Once again my family had made it through and was safe.

I am so very thankful.


There Come a Time in Your LIfe...

When I first started this blog, I gave alot of thought as to the direction I wanted it to go. I decided that I would just share with everyone what was going on in my life and share bits and pieces about my past and some fun adventures I have had along the way. Sometimes it would be funny and sometimes it just might not be as funny and sometimes it just might be a little serious. I wanted my friends and love ones to really get to know the person I truly am.

Lately I have been giving A LOT of thought as to how to handle people who are still important to me, but for whatever reason, our friendship is not as important to them and we have just drifted apart. You see I believe in being forever friends, maybe not the best of friends, but when does there come a time when some one who was an important part of your life, cease to being apart of your life at all?

A few weeks ago, for the very first time in my entire life, I told someone I had known for many years that we could no longer be friends. The decision to do this was one that kept me up many nights and caused me a lot of internal strife. This person had been a close friend of mine for a long time, we had a lot of fun together through the years and several adventures together I could never share here! (just trust me, we had fun!). But over the last few years I realized what a cold, negative person he had become, but I stuck by him as his friend when others left, I just said I was trying to accept him as the person he was. But the time came when he turned his negativity on me, and I decided I just couldn't do it anymore. So after a few weeks of soul searching over it, I just quietly told him, we could not be friends anymore. It would be safe to say he did not take it well, but I just had to walk away. I can truly say it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do in my life. For several days afterwards, it felt as if he had died and
I mourned the lost of my friend.

There are other friends I have that it seems it has come to the point where I am the only one who calls or emails. They are always super excited to see me if we bump into each other or if we do talk on the phone. You know, sometime in your life you have been there too . I never really know how to handle situations like this.

Well last week, a friend of mine in Palm Springs, MD, sent me something that just really put it all in perspective for me when I read it. It says:

There come a point in your life when you realize:

who matters, who never did, who won't anymore... and who always will.

So, don't worry about the people from your past, there's a reason why they

didn't make it to your future.

This really made a difference for me, so I wanted to share it with you. We are all together
in this journey called life, and just maybe, you have been going through something similar too


ps. thanks MD for sharing this with me and for the others who also sent it to me in different forms. love you guys


Let Me Introduce You..

On our first day of vacation, Patrick and I drove over to meet a new addition to our chosen family..I would like to introduce you to our new "nephew"..... Brandon Kristian Spadaro !!!! (YEA) Mr. Brandon is the son of our close friends Jennie and Kristian Sadaro. He made his entrance into the world on August 8! (8/8/08) at a whopping 9.10 lbs and he was 20 1/2 inches long. He is totally adorable (just like his Mom and Dad). Patrick and I are very excited about having a new nephew, trust me, kids just can't have too many Gay Uncles! Congrats to Jennie and Kristian on such and awesome addition to their family!!

We're Back!!!!!

Hey There,

Well we made it back from vacation, actually we made it back last Monday (Sept 1) at around 2 am! I had really intended on catching you all up during this past week but to be honest, I was tired!! After having 10 days off and getting back into the work grind, which by the way was just a little hectic this past week!!!, I just did not get it done, but I promise to get it all posted this week and we even took some great pictures I will be sharing with you, all in all we traveled about 1200 miles in about 5 days. Everyone had a great time and everyone made it back in one piece. Stay tuned, the update is a coming!