I’m getting together the photos of our engagement, wedding, and honeymoon to share. Starting with the engagement photos…


I proposed to Daniel on the chilly autumn night of October 1, 2010. We were walking in a park in Nashville, under the moon and stars, and I told him I wanted to share something with him. I was concerned about remembering all the words that were in my heart, so I had already written out everything on my phone. That night, I got down on one knee and read to Daniel, telling him how much I love him and how I want to share the rest of my life with him. Then I pulled out the ring and put it on his finger as tears began to stream down his face.

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You’re Not the Boss of Me

Jun 27, 2011 / Filed in Humor / 0 Comments

I like telling people what to do.

It’s the wonderful terrible side effect of growing up a shy, introverted child. Well look at me now. I have more than enough opinions to go around.

Actually it started when I was a good listener. An “old soul” that friends and family sought out to get advice from. Then sometime in the last year, my willingness to give advice migrated over to a burning need to tell people what to do, no matter if they asked me or not.

Well this weekend, I got a good dose of just how annoying that trait is…From my Mother.

Yep, leave it to a parent to remind you of just how bad these habits are; usually because they also have these habits.

Starting today, I’m going to stop acting as if I always know what’s right or what’s best. I’ll be less bossy… Or will at least try. 😉

Scratch and Sniff Balls

Jun 22, 2011 / Filed in Humor / 3 Comments

Let’s talk about balls, shall we?

Sometimes we do things secretly, privately, which we’d never admit to publicly. One of those things might be scratching your balls and then smelling your finger. Particularly in the summer, when your balls are sweaty.

I’m not saying I do it, of course. Not me.

I’m just saying some guys… Well, most guys… Probably do it.

It’s fascinating, really. Something about checking out your own ball scent. The funk, the sweat, the natural muskiness. What a curious thing.

Again, not that I know anything about that…

Awkward Business Encounters

Jun 21, 2011 / Filed in Humor / 1 Comment

I don’t get embarrassed easily, but this incident really did the job.

The luxury of being a website designer who works from home is that you rarely have to meet with clients in person. Most everything is done through e-mail and phone calls. In fact, my summer wardrobe consists of some running shorts and t-shirt. Not bad on laundry day.

But recently, I was feeling rather spontaneous when I wrapped up a project. The client had been really great and I decided it would be nice to meet him in person to collect my final check, sort of as a gesture of gratitude. There’s nothing like a smile and friendly hand shake to affirm “I really enjoyed working with you.”

So we made plans for me to stop by and collect the check. I looked up the address beforehand, but couldn’t tell if it was an office building or condos. Sometimes you just can’t tell. People buy old factories, old houses, old buildings and convert them to office space. It’s a modern trend in renovation to do business in unlikely places.

I parked outside the building and the layout was quite unusual. The exterior was boxy and non-descript. I called him to let him know I was there and he came to the window to wave me in. At this point, I was pretty sure these were homes and not offices.

As I was walking toward the main sidewalk, I realized there really wasn’t a clear distinction of which door went where. So I went to the closest one to his window, thinking surely that was it. The door was unlocked, so I went inside to see a large stairwell.

Two big dogs came down the stairwell, barking and running toward me. Yikes. Thankfully I seem to have a gift with animals, so as soon as they got close enough to smell me, they calmed down. From the looks of the stairwell, I figured there was a main lobby at the top of the stairs and what looked like a receptionist desk. I figured the dogs were some annoying office mascots. It wouldn’t be the first time I’d walked into an office where dogs were roaming freely.

As I was halfway up the stairs, a woman called out. “Hello?” she said. “Hello?” I said back. Then I reached the top of the stairs to find her standing in her kitchen. And I was standing in the middle of her living room. That wasn’t a receptionist desk, by the way. It was a dining table.


I apologized profusely, telling her I came in the wrong door by mistake. She didn’t seem too startled. I’m glad she didn’t have a gun pointed at me or try to attack me with a baseball bat.

(I also had to resist the urge to sarcastically scold the woman. Who the fuck leaves their front door unlocked when it’s facing the main entrance off a street?)

I quickly exited down the stairs and out the door to find my client wandering outside, trying to figure out where I went. Damn was I embarassed. We walked around to the door of his condo, which looked nothing like an entrance, by the way. I’m sure he thought I was an idiot, but if you saw the design of this building, you’d know what I meant.

I brushed the situation off and we both had a laugh about it. But I really wanted to crawl into a hole and disappear at that point.

The awkwardness continued, as it was his home, not an office. And worst of all, it turned out he was one of those really casual people who aren’t good at picking up body language. I was clearly trying to just make a quick appearance, but he invited me to sit on his couch and get comfortable, like I was an old college buddy.

So we sat there for a few minutes, making small talk. I was becoming more awkward by the moment. Meanwhile my head was racing with all kinds of scenarios that could have taken place when I walked into that other person’s home. All the while, my client seemed oblivious.

I finally found my natural breaking point in the conversation, shook his hand again, and told him I’d let him get back to his work. Whew, what a circus. Next time, I’ll gladly accept the check in the mail.

I’m excited to announce that a guest post I wrote for my friend DanNation has been published. In the article, I discuss the reasons why I support the ban on circumcision that is being proposed in San Francisco.

When people first heard about the ban, some were apprehensive about supporting it. The word “ban” is usually a bad word, especially in our community. But upon closer inspection, many people now agree that elective circumcision is damaging and unnecessary for newborn boys. The proposed law has gained significant support.

I encourage readers to check out my article. And remember, if you don’t like uncircumcised penises, that’s fine. You don’t have to sleep with men who are uncut. But please, let boys decide for themselves whether or not they want to be circumcised. It’s their penis, afterall.

Read the full article here.

We Can Be Kind

Jun 13, 2011 / Filed in Abundance, Life / 0 Comments
    How do we make it better?
    How do we make it through?
    What can we do
    When there’s nothing we can do?
    We can be kind
    We can take care of each other
    We can remember that deep down inside
    We all need the same things

A friend of mine, a friend to many in the local GLBT community, passed away last December. Upon dying, he asked his friends to remember this song, titled “We Can Be Kind.”

Sometimes it seems like this world is so full of anger and hate. Everybody claims they want peace, and we all seem to agree that peace is a common goal. So why is it so difficult to achieve?

Hearing this song and knowing it was the dying wish of a friend really puts it into perspective. I know we can’t solve all the problems of the world in one day. But if we can all just be kind to one another, it’s certainly a start.

Puppy Cuteness

Jun 9, 2011 / Filed in Family / 2 Comments

Just some random cuteness of Mrs. Madrigal. She’s 11 weeks old now.

Bad News Bears

Jun 8, 2011 / Filed in Life / 1 Comment

Some people have an addiction to spreading bad news.

In a couple of days, someone I know is going to deliver bad news to someone else I know. The news itself doesn’t have to be that bad. She could just deliver the general overview of the situation and it really wouldn’t be a big deal.

But true to her nature, this person loves stirring the shit. I think she’s only happy when other people are miserable. So sure enough, it seems she’s going to deliver the news in the most dramatic, detailed way, sparing no amount of negativity. Maybe she secretly derives pleasure from other people’s pain. Maybe she drinks the tears of young children and basks in the music of babies crying. I dunno, but whatever the case, she loves a good piece of life-shattering gossip and is always first to spread it.

The situation frustrates me and I’m so tempted to intervine. I know the bad news is going to be delivered either way, but I just wish for once this person would tone down the theatrical performance and just give the news with as little detail as possible. The outcome won’t change either way, but sometimes it’s nice to let someone else feel a little dignity at the end of the day.

Be kind whenever you can. It doesn’t cost anything to be kind.

Why do people hate having their picture taken?

We all have that friend. You know who I’m talking about. They hate having their picture taken. They will go out of their way to avoid having their picture taken. And if, by chance, you do take their picture, they will fuss and criticize about how awful they look in the picture.

I’m going to let you in on a little secret… We already know what you look like.

Yep, sorry to burst your bubble. We already know how you look, and so does everyone around you. So if you think you look heavy in photos, you need to start exercising. If you don’t like your hair, your make-up, your clothes, then you need to change them. Change the color, change the style, change the technique. But don’t fall under the false illusion that avoiding pictures somehow makes you invisible to people around you. We all see you.

I have things I don’t like about the way I look. We all do. It took a cold dose of reality from photos to change that. I realized, of course, that I couldn’t change everything I was insecure about. But with a little trial and error, I was able to greatly improve things I didn’t like about my apperance. You should do try that too.

Oh, and by the way, your friends love you.

Nobody is your friend because of the way you look. Friends stick by you because there is something they like about you. So when they are trying to take a picture of you, and you stubbornly protest, don’t think you’re doing any favors. Instead, you’re just frustrating them. So simmer down, put on a smile, and just pose for the damn picture!

What ever happened to the tradition of vacations?

When I was a kid, family vacations were a yearly event. My parents took my two older brothers and me somewhere fun. We went all over the country.

My parents didn’t have a lot of money. In fact, sometimes they struggled to make ends meet. But they always found ways to cut corners and save up so they could make memories with their boys. And I think that’s a tradition worth keeping alive.

People don’t take vacations anymore. At least not in the U.S. Taking time off is frowned upon in most work establishments, and even when people do take the time off, they are still tied to their cell phone and laptops. The hell with that! That’s not a vacation.

I don’t understand why people don’t reward themselves more often. Taking a break from the everyday stress of life really does wonders, even if it’s something simple like spending the weekend on a camping trip 40 miles outside of your city.

I’m writing this because I’ve read several articles lately about how other countries make vacation a habit, while most Americans consider it a luxury. Employers don’t want to give their worker bees a few days to relax. And even if people do get the time off, they are racked with guilt and obligation to still work remotely.

Live your life, overworked Americans! If you don’t have a spouse or significant other to vacation with, take your best friends. Go alone. Do whatever you want, but just do something nice for yourself. You’re probably not going to remember the work you did last summer, but I bet you’ll remember that ski trip for many years to come!

About Nathan

I'm a happily married gay man, writing about my life as a new father and sharing our adventures with a side of snark.
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