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Seething Cakes of Hatred

Making pancakes, as I learned at AP's birthday bash at the beach this weekend, is an unbelievably tedious chore. I don't know why I...

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Home from the Holidays

I'm back in Portland, Oregon after a week long visit with my family in Dallas. Yeehaw.

Really, I love Portland so much, and everytime I come back home I'm so happy to be living here. There is nowhere like Portland. People are just so unique in this town, and, when you live here, you encounter the quirkiness every single day. I feel like this town is populated by like-minded souls.

For example, yesterday it was raining, as is usual for this time of the year. I was getting ready to get into my truck and head to the grocery store when a woman came riding down the street on her bike. She was singing a nonsensical song at the top of her lungs. The rain sprayed in her face and her clothing was soaked as she sang her one-word song that went something like this...

"Wet, wet, wet, wet, wet.
Wet, wet, wet
Wet-wet-wet, wet..."

Dunno if that is one of those "had to be there things" but it made me laugh. She was clearly trying to have some humor and joy about what could be a miserable situation.

Well, friends. I'm back, and I hope you had a wonderful holiday. Happy new year. No really - have a HAPPY new year. Whether you're wet or dry, just be happy.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Dirty Little Christmas #2

Not that I deserve it, but I am taking a break from Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven.

I haven't been good at updating, and a good blogger always updates his/her blog. I guess I'm not a good blogger, and that's okay with me. I managed to scrape by a 4th anniversary with Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven. It's hard to believe I stuck with something for four years. Maybe I can make it for a few more years, even though people are saying that blogging is becoming a thing of the past. (Podcasting and Social Networking sites like Facebook are, I presume, the wave of the future?)

I won't head off on my vacation without a brief update. Last weekend I attended two holiday parties and also saw a play by William Hoffman titled As Is. There were some truly remarkable performances from the cast. My friends The Handsome Prince and Apollo both appeared in the show and made me very proud.

Pony and Juju and I also had a blast recording our second annual Christmas podcast. I hope you will give it a listen!

Todd & Pony Show - Dirty Little Christmas #2

Have a wonderful holiday, my friends.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Is Europe a country?

God bless her heart.

JC Goes Home for the Holiday

When I lived in Dallas, Texas I listened to Kidd Kraddick in the Morning almost every day. Now I subscribe to the show via iTunes and YouTube. Just wanted to share this story with you. Happy Holidays.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Lithuania, here I come

After watching The Amazing Race last night, I have decided I want to go to Lithuania. I know almost nothing about the country, so I am going to have to check Wikipedia right away. Still, it looked beautiful and charming.

Great. One more country to add to my ever-growing list of travel destinations. Someday I want to return to Scandinavia. I fell in love with Sweden, but I only got to spend one day in Oslo, Norway. Since I'm Norwegian, I figure I should go back and spend a week or more in my "homeland". (Yes, I've seen the Mastercard commercial where the poor old man spends all that time in Norway only to discover he's actually Swedish!)

Someday I hope to see Australia. And I still haven't seen any of the UK!

My time in Paris, France was wonderful. I studied at La Sorbonne for a summer in college, and I really would love to go back and see more of France.

I would love to see Fiji someday too. Also, another trip to Africa would be great. I went to Kenya and filmed documentaries for a film crew years ago (I was a broadcast communications major in college) but I didn't see any other countries in Africa. I would love to visit South Africa someday.

For now, I guess I will just walk 2 miles to work in Portland, Oregon and call it a day.

My Somewhat Exaggerated Reaction to Tokyo, Japan in January 2006

Saturday, December 01, 2007

World AIDS Day 2007

Tonight I am heading to a celebration of light and life as the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence raise funds for SMYRC at CC Slaughters.

Today is a chance to reflect on those we have lost and to look hopefully into the future towards the day when AIDS becomes history.

UNICEF World Aids Day concert

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Church Giggles

Blessed are those who were not subject to a childhood in the church, for they shall be relatively free of guilt and less likely to become a doormat. But for those of us who grew up going to church, we have experienced a bliss very few come to know. We have experienced church giggles.

The act of suppressing your laughter in church is exhausting and exhilarating. It is one of the best ab workouts around. Church giggles usually begin innocently enough. They can be set off by your best friend's growling stomach. By the way, I'm talking about your best friend at church - not your real best friend. Your real best friend didn't go to church and he always got you into so much trouble at school and gave you your first joint and taught you how to get drunk, like that didn't come naturally, and then you ended up sleeping together and it just got weird.

Anyway - back to church...

So maybe your best friend's stomach is growling during the sermon, or maybe the preacher says something about how Jesus loved his Peter so much, and you just start giggling. You stifle it, but that only makes the laughter harder to suppress. Your shoulders shake, and you can feel the whole pew vibrating. People start to glance over at you. At that point they start glaring, or worse, they smile and that makes you want to laugh even more.

Usually church giggles are shared by two or more people. It is harder to get the church giggles by yourself because the contagiousness is intrinsic to what makes church giggles so funny. Knowing that your friend is hurting from stifling laughter makes you want to laugh. You can try coughing to release some of the pressure building up inside of you, but I would advise against that. Coughing may actually be too much of a release and can easily become a full on laughing fit. At that point your only option will be to fake a terrible coughing fit and run out of the sanctuary, causing a big scene and insuring a scolding by your mother after church.

I don't miss the hours of sermons I sat through growing up, but I sure do miss church giggles.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Simple 45 Step Sweet Potato Pie

During this joyful season of thanking and giving and eating and not going to work and having more time to watch porn, I like to share a traditional Thanksgiving recipe with my readers. So please enjoy, once again, this simple recipe for Sweet Potato Pie (only 45 steps!)

Happy Thanksgiving one and all (except for you, fucker) and God Bless Us Everyone!!

Today I have a special treat for you. I have decided to share my recipe for Sweet Potato Pie with all the loyal readers of Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven. This recipe has been guarded by my family for generations. My great-grandmother was killed by the Nazis or Hutus or something, because she refused to share the recipe. I took a solemn vow when I was three years old that I would never share this secret recipe. But my mother pissed me off when she informed me that the Donny & Marie albums I had stored in her attic were lost in the fire that destroyed my parents' home yesterday. Because of her failure to climb into the burning attic and retrieve my albums, I have decided to put this recipe on the Internet. May this tasty treat remind you of the importance of family and unconditional love for others throughout the year. Not just at Thanksgiving or Arbor Day.

2 cups cooked, mashed sweet potatoes
1 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/3 cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup half-and-half or evaporated milk
3 tablespoons sugar
1 unbaked 9-inch deep dish or 10-inch regular pie shell

1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Run to the store for all the ingredients.
3. Remove burnt leftover pizza from oven.
4. Open all the windows in your house and clear the smoke.
5. Have a quick nip of whiskey to calm your nerves.
6. Head back to the store for the sweet potatoes you forgot.
7. Before you get to the store go back home and turn off the oven.
8. Go to the store and buy candles and licorice.
9. Turn around on your way home and go back to the store for sweet potatoes.
10. Return home and have some more whiskey.
11. Combine sweet potatoes, brown sugar, butter, beaten egg yolks, ginger, cinnamon, cumin (out of nutmeg) and salt in a mixing bowl.
12. Remove sweet potatoes from the mixture and boil them.
13. Put sweet potatoes back in the bowl and beat until light and fluffy or until your hand gets tired.
14. Put on Annie Lennox album and play "The Saddest Song I've Got".
15. Put the song on repeat, cry, and drink more whiskey.
16. Go look at pictures of your ex and remember that Thanksgiving at the coast.
17. Drink some more whiskey.
18. Drunk dial your ex and cuss him out.
19. Add half-and-half to the lumpy mixture.
20. Beat egg whites with electric mixer.
21. Attach stainless steel beaters to electric mixer and continue beating egg whites.
22. That works better now.
23. Call your ex and apologize and invite him over for Thanksgiving.
24. Cry and drink whiskey and wonder why he had to be so terse on the phone.
25. Add sugar, one tablespoon at a time, and beat until stiff peaks form.
26. Look at the stiff peaks.
27. Go watch porn.
28. Wash hands.
29. Gently fold egg whites into the sweet potato mixture.
30. Run to the store and get pie shell.
31. Pour filling into an unbaked pie shell, and put the pie in the oven.
32. Go watch porn.
33. Drink some whiskey.
34. Check on the pie and turn the oven on.
35. Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes.
36. 45 minutes later, smell burning pie and remove pie from oven.
37. Drink vodka after whiskey runs out.
38. Call mom and scold her about the Donny & Marie albums.
39. Ignore her complaints about spending Thanksgiving at The Salvation Army shelter.
40. Wish mom a Happy Thanksgiving and ask if she can send a couple hundred dollars.
41. Take a bite of the pie and throw it out.
42. Finish the vodka and go to bed.
43. Wake up at 3 a.m. and jot down an idea for a blog entry.
44. Watch porn.
45. Turn off oven and go back to bed.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Europe United

So many cute boys in the world, so little time!

Thanks for sharing this link with me, Thomas!

Monday, November 19, 2007

I'm fine...

If you are involved in a car accident, it is important when telling your friends and family to begin with the words, "I am fine..."

I am fine, but I did have an accident last night. I got lost (surprise!) in a strange neighborhood and had an "encounter" with a car in the intersection. Neither of us had a stop sign. It was dark and rainy. I tried to stop but my truck skidded right into the other guy's passenger side.

The important thing is that nobody was hurt. We exchanged insurance information and assessed our damages. His car was in much worse shape than my truck.

The accident also helped me come to an important realization. I have been single for too long. How did this wreck bring about this startling revelation? I actually felt disappointment when the guy I hit said, "Hang on a second. Let me call my girlfriend."

It could have been such a romantic story. Except that instead of riding in on a white horse and sweeping him off his feet I would drive my white truck into his car and push him off the road.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Status Update

Todd is....

Why is it so important in today's world to update your friends on your whereabouts? Between the blog, the podcast, Facebook and MySpace, it takes about 3 hours to check in with everyone. Add e-mail to the mix, and you have almost a full time job.

That's why so many of us love technology-free vacations, right?

Todd is doing laundry today.
Todd is drinking some coffee.
Todd is turning off the computer now.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Todd & Pony Podcast

It's not that I don't have lots of stuff going on. It's just that I am saving some of my best stories for an upcoming Todd & Pony Show.

On the last show we did America's Next Top Podcaster. Julie and Michael joined us and were excellent in portraying Tyra, Twiggy, Janice Dickinson, Nigel Barker and Miss Jay Alexander.

America's Next Top Podcaster

Friday, November 09, 2007

Why I love CC Slaughters

I don't really like to talk about my feelings with my friends Brian and Mike. Sometimes words are unnecessary.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Monica Zetterlund - Visa från Utanmyra

I've been to IKEA twice this week, so I'm in a Stockholm state of mind. Since I'm swedening up my place today, I thought I'd tell you a little about a Swedish singer I love.

Monica Zetterlund was one of Sweden's finest singers. I first heard her voice when I was having dinner at my friend Ingrid's house. She was playing Monica's newest album at the time, and I was haunted by her beautiful voice and the lush arrangements on the album.

The next time my friend Ingrid went home to Sweden, she brought me back a copy of the album, Varsamt.

Shortly after that I began studying Swedish. I love the language, although I have not studied it for a few years.

Every Saturday morning when I lived in Washington DC, I would hop on the Metro to Falls Church to Svenska Skolan (The Swedish School). I have such wonderful memories of that time in my life.

Monica Zetterlund died in a fire in her apartment in 2005. She is missed by many who loved her music and her beautiful face.

I hope you enjoy her!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wires and Dreams

The answer to yesterday's "Educate the Idiot" contest was picture wire. Who knew?
Thank you Jess (and Pony too, who actually came over to my house to analyze the problem).

Last night I had a dream that I was competing in American Idol. I was one of the final three. My competition was Danielle, winner of America's Next Top Model cycle 6 and Amy Beers from summer camp when I was 14.

Danielle and I shared a touching moment where we hugged and cried and I told her what an honor it was to compete against her. I knew I would win though, because she admitted on America's Next Top Model that she really couldn't sing.

I was also very excited to find out I was going to film a special segment with Martha Stewart. She was going to teach me how to sail a boat.

Unfortunately, the alarm went off, and I had to get up for work, so I will never see what happened with the Martha Stewart segment. But I am pretty sure I beat Danielle and Amy Beers from summer camp and became the next American Idol.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Picture Hanging

I think one of the hardest tasks in the world is hanging pictures. I don't understand how to do it.

On the back of a frame I was hanging yesterday are two small triangles. Apparently you are supposed to align those triangles with the nails on the wall. However, you can't see the triangles, or even reach them, when you are holding up the picture to figure out where to hammer in the nails.

I sort of managed to hang my autographed headshot of Alison Arngrim (Nellie Oleson on Little House on the Prairie), but it seems like there must be an easier way than just a blind trial and error method.

I am at a loss as to how to hang pictures. That is why my walls have been bare for over a year.

And don't even get me started on shelves. I want to hang some wall shelves but I am terrified of the process.

I am happy being single, but at times like this it sure would be nice to have a handy boyfriend!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Happy Halloween

Thank you so much for all the kind comments and e-mails! You all are the best.

The Todd & Pony Halloween show is up now! Julie joined us and told us all about some haunted places in Portland. We got a call from a celebrity. And then I conducted a scary seance.

You can listen at the website or you can subscribe through iTunes and listen on your MP3 player.

If you would like to attend the podcast in person, we are selling tickets for $300. You can come to the Pony Palace and sit on the couch in our studios and watch us record the show live.

I have not told Pony about the $300 thing yet, but I think he will be all for it.

Today we're recording the show for next week. I am so excited for the show, which will come out on Friday, and I think you will love it too. More about that later.

Again, thanks for supporting me and encouraging me last week!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

My best friend is gone...

My best friend, Bonkers, died yesterday. He was an amazing being. So much love and so much joy packed into a tiny furry little body.

Patty Griffin - RAIN

Sometimes the hurt is so deep, deep, deep
You think that you're going to drown,
Sometimes all I can do is weep, weep, weep
With all this rain fallin' down.

Strange how hard it rains now,
Rows and rows of big dark clouds,
But I'm holdin' on underneath this shroud,
Rain, Rain, Rain...

It's never rained like it has tonight before...

I loved you so much, Bonkers. The way you did a little tap dance in the kitchen when I put your food into the bowl. When we went on our two-hour walks on Saturday mornings, man you were psyched. You loved it!

I will never forget the night you had your teeth pulled. The vet overestimated your strength, and he pulled over a dozen teeth in one day. You were hurting so badly. You slept in my arms and when I woke up in the morning I saw your blood on my sleeves, and I knew your night was miserable. I cried for you. If I could have taken away your pain that night I surely would have. But I am thankful that I had the chance to hold your little warm body close that night.

Yesterday, your pain was horrible, so it was time to let you go. I didn't want to say goodbye, but I could not bear your suffering, so you were released into eternity. I hope that you are free of pain and suffering now.

Bonkers, you taught me to be happy and enjoy life. You celebrated life, and you made me smile and laugh more times than I can count.

The world is very dark today, since you are gone. Thank you for showing me the way of joy and light. You were an amazing being. I love you and always, will.

You are my baby.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Gay Wizards and Waffle House

Of course Dumbledore is gay.

Anyone with gaydar could have told you that.

Oh, and Kid Rock was arrested after he fought with someone at a Waffle House. I think that if I am ever arrested I would want it to happen at a Waffle House. How perfect.

Or a K-mart. Yes I definitely want to be arrested at either Waffle House or K-mart.

Stay tuned to Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven for the most important news stories of the day. If it has to do with wizards or waffles, I'm all over it.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

You're still in the running...

Several lovely bloggers stand before me. But only a few of you can remain on my blogroll to the right. I had to make some cuts. A few bloggers have gone away. Bloggers sometimes kill their own blogs (murderers), so I had to delete a few inactive links.

The good news is that some of my links just needed to be updated because blogs moved. So to those still in my blogroll, congratulations. You are still in the running towards becoming America's Next Top Blogger.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Computer Trouble

I am finally learning how to post videos to my blog. It was incredibly easy. What was I so afraid of?

French and Saunders make me laugh. I adore them. Enjoy!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

2 Cakes and a Kiss

On Sunday night The Handsome Prince made a pineapple upside down cake for my birthday. He also cooked up some short ribs that would have made Paula Dean jealous. Delicious!

On Monday night I was at CC Slaughters for Pub Quiz, and Tim the Toddtender brought out a birthday cake with candles. Everyone at the bar sang to me, and I made a wish that came true the very same night. What an amazing kiss...

The only down side was that I had to wear a tiara. But if The Toddtender says I have to wear a tiara, I'll do it. In fact, give me the scepter and ermine cape while you're at it. He followed my instructions and bought me a wonderful scented candle for my birthday, which is exactly what I asked for.

Pony gave me a magical card that grants me free merchandise from IKEA. Tack so mycket, Pony! Let's go shopping!

Juju and Metro, the happy newlyweds, gave me a ticket to a dance performance, but I don't remember the name of the show because I only got to hold the ticket for a couple seconds before Juju snatched it back and said, "I'll hold onto this until the show so you don't lose it." She knows me too well.

Monday, October 08, 2007

9:43 p.m.

Do we have to rush this whole turning 41 thing? I mean, I wasn't even born until 9:43 p.m. that October evening in Kansas City, Missouri. The years seem to be going by faster! Something must be done about it. Perhaps if I reflect on birthdays past, I can forget about the one I'm facing today....

My best birthday party ever was when I was 5. My parents bought me my very own kiddie slide projector, and I had a robot cake, and my cousin Denise was at my party. Denise was at least 10 years older than me, and she was so cool. She had long hair like Marcia Brady, and she wore hippie clothes.

Once when I was in grade school my birthday fell on Columbus day (just like this year) and we go the day off from school! That almost never happened.

I don't know what it was about turning 20, but I remember crying quietly in my dorm room the morning of my 20th as my roommate slept. There was something so sad and dreadful about not being in my teens anymore. So dramatic and silly. I wish I could tell my 20-year-old self, "Dude, you have no idea what's ahead. Please relax and chill out. And just wait till your 36th. Life will give you something to cry about!"

For my 30th, my friends threw me a big surprise party with a yellow brick road and Wizard of Oz cutouts. This was the year I went on the Planet Hollywood/Greyhound Bus lines Wizard of Oz tour. I have never been as surprised as I was that year.

My worst birthday was when CT and I ended our 7 year relationship. That was the big 36. We were about to go to dinner when an honest conversation happened in the kitchen. So instead of having a birthday dinner, we just broke up. Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven was started a few months later. I hoped blogging would help me deal with the pain. (That's a lie. I was hoping I'd meet guys.)

Juju threw a great party for me in 2003, but what I will always remember is the birthday present she gave me that year. Juju got ahold of my address book and contacted friends from my past and present, asking them to contribute to a book she was creating. She compiled wonderful e-mails, pictures and letters from friends into a book and presented it to me at the party.

The front page of the books says:

This book is for you.
These words are about you, from people who love you...You are so well loved.

Every year on my birthday I like to start my day by reading some of those wonderful words from people who love me. Here is something my friend Kathy (from my college "Mad Sheep" days) put in that book that I read this morning...

Congratulations on reaching another birthday milestone. I find if I measure my life by the friends I have rather than the years I'm clocking, I can be overwhelmed by joy instead of grief!

Wow. It really does go fast. I don't know if I really understood how fast time goes until I hit 40. But Kathy really helps me to put it in perspective. Why measure the years? I want to measure my life by my relationships.

Tonight at 9:43 I will take a moment to say thanks for my friends. The people I've loved and hugged and kissed. The friends who have made me laugh. The friends who let me cry. My life is very full of joy, and I am so thankful.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Brothers and Sisters

Last night our Pub Quiz team won the first quiz at CC Slaughters. We were The Streeps, and the theme of the night was Saturday Night Live. We split the pot. (Money, not weed.)

The best part was that we each got a copy of Brothers and Sisters, season one, on DVD. I have wanted to see this show since it started but haven't had the chance. Now I can watch the whole season. I just love doing that - watching an entire season over a weekend and having no commercial interruptions. This will be fun!

Pub Quiz is a fun game and goes way beyond just standard trivia. It creates great interaction with friends and turns a night at the bar into more than just drinking and casual chatting. You get to know people better. Who new that my friend Matty had so much knowledge about SNL?! And Tiara Desmond is one of the smartest people I know, because all our answers matched. The Toddtender seemed to excel at questions involving fashion, sex or drugs. And while I knew random stuff like questions involving Yiddish or Gwyneth Paltrow, I failed miserably at identifying my own birthstone. I was sure the October birthstone was pink (rose) quartz. Thankfully, Matty stuck to his guns and wrote the correct answer - opal.

Speaking of birthstones - in less than one week I will be 41. If you don't believe me I'll show you my driver's license!

Hot Toddy at 40

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Bears 2007

What a great group of guys. What a great season.

There I am, all the way in the back. Maybe the reason I became such an attention whore is that I have always been in the back row of pictures. Peeking over everyone else. That's okay. My height comes in very handy at parades.

I played second base on Sunday. That was quite a switch from right field. But I did get to tag two people out, which was fun.

The Toddtender is right in front of me in the picture. Without his encouragement and support, I would never have tried playing softball. Thanks to him, my life has changed. I don't say those words lightly. His direction changed my focus. I learned, through sports, that I can do more than I thought I could. I have learned to look to myself for strength. I've learned to pull from my inner resources instead of seeking help from outside myself. I've learned that I can be strong and powerful. I've learned that I will fight for something when I want it.

I will dive for a ball to stop it from getting away. I'll get dirty and love it. I'll swing at a ball, and if I miss it I will swing again and again until I hit it. If I break my toe, like I did last season (twice), I will get right back out there and try again.

I love being part of a team that truly understands that when we lose, we lose together. And when we win, we win together. This season the Bears definitely won. We were one home run away from 1st place for the season, and that is something to be proud of. Knowing I was part of that makes me proud.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Wow, that was quite a vacation. My experiences in Texas were worlds away from my hiking trip in Oregon.

In Texas I went with my family to the McKinney Ice Cream Cranker festival. In eastern Oregon I played canasta by a mountain lake.

In Texas, I tried not to argue about politics or race with my father. In the Eagle Cap wilderness I drank peppermint schnapps by a campfire.

In Texas, I floated on a raft in the swimming pool for hours at a time. In the wilderness I could barely catch my breath as I hiked the seven miles to the top of the trail.

In Texas, I wore swimming trunks 24 hours a day. In Oregon I wore layers of slightly damp clothing and carried 35 pounds on my back.

There were good and bad moments on both trips. But I am so glad for each experience. I hope to post some pictures soon. Good to be back!

How are you?

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Howdy Y'all

Hey - I have been in Texas for the past week getting tan and swimming and getting to know my adorable 5 month old niece. My 5-year old nephew and I hunted for treasure in the swimming pool with a treasure map I brought him. We laughed our heads off.

I have tons of stories. But tomorrow I am leaving for a camping trip in eastern Oregon with The Handsome Prince and The Math Whiz. I'm sure I'll have even more stories to tell.

This morning my dad was taking me to the airport and we blew a tire. Guess who changed the tire? Yours truly. It was scary on a busy Dallas freeway with cars whooshing by, but last year I learned how to change a tire in less than 30 seconds when I signed up for a pit crew training session. My dad was probably shocked when I told him to let me take over the tire-changing process, and I was super speedy. He would never say so, but I think he was kinda proud of me. My father's idea of a compliment is, "Well, son, you have done a lot of things to disappoint me, but at least you have never been on drugs." Thanks, Dad!

If you are interested in listening to my podcast with Pony, check out the Todd & Pony Show. (You don't need an iPod to listen.) We got lots of great comments on our latest show, "The Chris Murray Episode". Several listeners have agreed it is our best show yet, and I think we owe much of the credit for that to charming (and cute) Chris Murray, Juju's husband. You'll love Chris (who I call Metro on this blog). Juju challenged us with a game to see who was the gayest of the three guys. You'll be surprised how it turns out. Maybe....

See you soon!
Hot Toddy

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Drip Pan

This morning I got up and did laundry since I gave Olga (my laundry maid) the week off. Then I tried Morningstar Farms Breakfast Starter (Classic Scramble). That was delicious. I love that I can have potatoes and onions and peppers in my breakfast scramble without having to chop anything.

On to more mundane news. I make coffee in a French press every morning because I love the taste of rich dark coffee. The stronger the better. This morning I noticed that the little "drip pan" (is that what it's called?) under the burner needed to be cleaned. So as the water for my coffee boiled on another burner, I removed the drip pan (I think that's what you call it) and decided that, after I poured the boiling water into the French press, I'd used the remaining water to give that drip pan (I'm calling it that. Try to stop me.) a really good cleaning.

Once the water boiled, I began dumping it onto the drip pan (This is so liberating. Maybe I created a new word?!) and watched the black gunk just drip away. I was really getting into it. So much so that I dumped all the boiling water onto the Drip Pan (I feel powerful. Like God or Harry Potter).

I then realized I had forgotten to pour any of the water into my French press. So I began the process over again.

Isn't that the zaniest story you've ever heard? I should tell that story at parties. I would be such a hit.

I can't think of anything truly zany to report, so for today that's all you get. Just a trivial and mundane story about the hurdles I faced in preparing my morning coffee. Tomorrow I may tell you about a truly wacky experience I had making toast one time. I tell ya, it's a laugh a minute around here.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Completely Random Story

Last night this guy I like gave me a flag of Denmark, and then he drove me home and I kissed him.

This morning, a truck filled with tomatoes drove by my apartment, and I felt a strong temptation to jump out of my third floor window into the tomatoes. I thought about how fun it would be to wrap my naked body in the Danish flag before jumping into the tomato truck.

I would get to appear on the evening news for that stunt for sure.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

It has been a while since my last post. However, contrary to the rumors, I was not in rehab. I don't wanna go to rehab. No, no, no.

I was thinking about this blog this morning as I washed dishes. (Perhaps it's the kitchen appliance connection. I don't know.)

There has been a serious lack of content here. But there are other places to find out what's going on with Hot Toddy you know.

Seriously, how much time do I really want to spend talking about myself? I mean, sure, it's fascinating to me, but why does anyone else care that I was having drinks with a guy who told me his hand was fake even though it wasn't, and I believed him?

Who really gives a rip if The Bears (my softball team) are 5-1 so far this season. (For my loyal longtime readers who have stuck with me since before I knew what a softball was, that means we've won five and lost one.)

Blogs are taking a back seat to more interactive communications methods, don't you think? YouTube and podcasts and video blogs are where all the action seems to be now. Sure, I will keep this little toaster oven fired up, because I still enjoy writing. Good old-fashioned words spelled correctly and placed in order to make sentences. That's what I'm talking about.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Let Them Eat Cake

Last night the Toddtender took me to see Patty Griffin perform at the Oregon Zoo summer concert series. He also informed me that he had VIP tickets from someone who works at Patty's label.

As it turns out, our VIP tickets were useless. We were shocked and a little scared when we learned we would have to sit and mingle with the common people. Since we were expecting VIP seating, we didn't bring chairs or a blanket. When I went to rent a couple chairs for us, I was told they were sold out. Apparently the common people had already rented all the chairs.

It was raining, of course. It never rains during the summer in Oregon, unless you attend an outdoor event and have no chair or blanket to sit on. Fortunately, we found some common people who let us sit with them on their blankets.

Patty was awesome, as always. I was moved so deeply by her performance that I must admit I got a bit weepy at a couple of songs. My common friend, Joe, handed me a napkin to wipe my eyes.

Overall it was an interesting experience to do things like sit in a general admission area and deal with parking lot congestion after the show. I tasted common food as well and found the cheeseburger to be a unique and interesting dish. It's just a beef patty with cheese, really. Nothing to be afraid of.

Thank you, Toddtender, for taking me to see this show and for allowing me to observe common people for an evening. But let's take the helicopter in next time. I didn't like sitting in all that traffic.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


One of the most upsetting moments of my life happened about a year ago when I saw a picture of myself that revealed how fat I had become. I won't go into the myriad of reasons I let myself go so much. When I saw this picture of me and The Toddtender leaving his house to drive up to Vancouver, BC for a softball tournament, I felt sick.

Seeing my stomach protruding from under my shirt as I posed with one of the hottest men I've ever known made me feel so ashamed. I am embarrassed to post this picture even now. But the camera doesn't lie.

Last month I once again left Oregon for a softball tournament up north in Seattle. Here is the photo we snapped before leaving.

That's more like it. I'm never going back to those days of feeling ashamed.

I walk four miles a day, five days a week. I get to the gym for weight training and cardio at least three days a week. I still have body fat to lose, so I am taking drastic measures. This sucks so bad, but I am giving up french fries and soda for six weeks. I love french fries, because they go so well with Heinz ketchup. But sacrifices must be made.

If you struggle with your weight, just know that I understand. It is so hard to believe that change is possible. I carried around a belief that I would always be fat. Maybe I will always be large, but I don't have to be fat. Neither do you. Nobody does.

I think that many of us get discouraged because we set unrealistic goals. Sometimes it really does take a year to accomplish the kind of change we want to see in our bodies. You can't expect a six-week crash diet to fix your problems on any kind of long term basis. Stick with it. Don't give up. Send me an e-mail, and I will encourage you.

One blogger who really inspires me is Donnie

Donnie lost 100 pounds, and if you visit his website you kind find links to some of his older web pages. The changes he has made is dramatic, as you'll see by his photos.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


Jeff, Ryan, Todd and Tim

My roommates on the trip to Seattle were the best.

Saturday night we went to The Cuff, which was five blocks from the hotel. Since I had hurt my leg in the games on Saturday, I decided to leave early so I could go back to the room and rest my leg. I left the bar at 10 p.m.

At around midnight I stumbled into the hotel room. My leg was killing me, and I was starving. Fortunately, my roommates had saved a couple Lean Pockets for me.

Somehow, I took a wrong turn when I left the bar, and I walked my way into a maze of disorientation. I was wandering residential streets several blocks north of my hotel. I couldn't even find anyone around to ask for directions. I watched for a cab, but didn't see a single one drive by. My cell phone was in the hotel room, so I had no choice but to wander.

At one point, I passed an ATM. Showing a complete lack of common sense, I withdrew $100. Somehow it seemed like a good idea to have lots of cash on me as I wandered poorly lit streets late at night by myself. My reasoning, if you can call it that, was that I should have some money on me in the off chance that a cab drove by.

Thank heaven for 7-11. The man behind the counter pointed me towards home, and I arrived exhausted and crabby. The Toddtender, Tim, joked that I was the first to leave the bar and the last to arrive. Ryan said that he figured I had gone home with someone I met.

If anybody had invited me home, trust me, I would have gone with him. I was tired, and my leg was so sore. I would have done just about anything to be in bed. Any bed.

After the tournament, we walked around the market and a kind stranger snapped some photos for us. These guys were so much fun to be with. And I made sure to stick with them for the rest of the trip to make sure I didn't get lost anymore.

Friday, July 06, 2007

First Place

The Bears - Emerald City Classic 2007, Sunday Surge Champions
Seattle, Washington

I let the Toddtender (front row, third from the right) wear my cap for the game, so that's why I'm wearing a CC Slaughters cap. I'm in the back row, next to Joe, who is the guy with the cowboy hat.

I had the best time. I have lots of stories to tell - including one that involves my getting lost for two hours Saturday night after leaving the bar. I was five blocks from my hotel, but it took me two hours to find it.

Now I have a trophy at home. Never thought I'd see the day that I had a sports trophy of any kind!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

First Dance

As you know I was a bridesman in Juju's wedding to Metro at the end of May. Every couple of days more photos arrive in my inbox. I love this one of the bridal party. That's me with Carrie, Juju, and her three sisters, Olivia, Colleen and Laura.

One of the best moments at every wedding reception is when the bride and groom share their first dance. Friends and family watch with tears in their eyes. Such happiness fills the room.

As I watched my friends dance their first dance as man and wife, my heart melted. Romance infused the air and I wished I could dance. The song was beautiful. I looked around as people got up from their chairs to dance, but I sat there wishing.

I could have stood up and asked some girl to dance, but my heart wanted to dance with a boy. It was such a romantic moment, and dancing with a girl just wouldn't fit the way my heart felt. That is what being gay is about - not sex - but just a yearning for someone of the same gender. Sometimes you see girls dancing together at a club or a party, but you don't see this as much with men.

Since I don't have a boyfriend, I knew I would just have to wait for something upbeat before I could dance. I would have to miss the slow dance. I would have to miss the very special first dance. All of a sudden, Metro's best man, who is straight, walked over to me as if he read my mind, and he held out his hand. For the first time in my whole life, I danced a first dance at a wedding.

Here he is toasting the bride and groom at the bar after the wedding reception. (Sorry I don't have one with his eyes open)

Thank you for the dance, Gabe. It meant more to me than you could know.

Hot Toddy

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Have you ever heard of an ugly cloud?

Last night in my sleep I had the most profound dream. A message was delivered to me, and now I will share it with you. This message can only be from a higher power, as it explains so much about our world.

If you are depressed, prepare to shed your scales of gloom. If you question whether or not your life has purpose, your answer is here. This amazing truth was shared with me last night in a dream. The messenger was a girl with a wooden leg. (Seriously, wooden. It had tree bark on it and everything.)

We were discussing sadness, and this is what my arboreal friend had to say on the matter...

"Why do you think it is always misty? Maybe our souls leave our body and meet each other at the bus stop. This forms misty clouds. Have you ever heard of an ugly cloud?"

I woke up in the middle of the night and just knew I had to blog this message. Clearly, it is going to change some lives.

You're welcome.

See you at the bus stop.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Dragon Lady

Amber is back from camp! You can read about her experience here.

Pony and I were really happy to be able to help her out, and we're thankful to all the listeners of the Todd & Pony Show who donated to Amber. I know she appreciates your generosity and so do I.

Much love to all of you,

Sunday, June 17, 2007

God hates poor spellers

When I was at the Gay Games in Chicago last summer, I saw a protester who had misspelled the word judgment on his sign. I think that probably makes God angry.

Today I'll be joining hundreds or thousands (I wonder who counts all those people. I would hate that job, wouldn't you? "Okay, everybody please stand still I'm trying to count here....") of other people downtown for Gay Pride. (Every writing teacher I have ever had is turning over in his or her grave at my sentence structure - except for the ones who are alive. I don't know really know how they are responding. If you taught me in a writing class, please leave a comment and let me know how you feel about my run-on sentences and poor use of parenthetical statements.)


Anyway. I was planning on writing about protesters, but now I don't feel like it. I really hate to waste my time giving them a moment's thought. But on this happy weekend, I am pretty sure I will run into a handful of people who think God hates fags or that "Jugement is coming". I am not sure if I want to ignore them this year. Usually that is how I choose to respond, but I was thinking of maybe retaliating with some criticism of my own. "Sir, you have really awful handwriting," I will say to the man holding the hateful sign. I mean, it's better than screaming at them, right?

But, no, it is wrong to make people feel bad for who they are. If a person has poor handwriting, it is not for me to judge. I hate the handwriting and love the writer.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Hi there

Not only did I give up television. I gave up all technology, including computers. I stopped blogging and became Amish.

Actually, life just got busy. Busier. Juju is on her honeymoon so I am doing double duty at work.

I haven't been sleeping well. I am trying to decide which nightmare is my favorite lately. The one where someone is breaking into my apartment? How about the vicious lion showing up at work? The other night I dreamed I was clawing my face off in my sleep.

Get some therapy. That's what you're thinking. The thing is I do not feel unhappy or particularly anxious. I'm not sure why my dreams at night are so strange and disturbing. I've had therapy in the past and always knew I needed it. Right now I honestly feel good about my life.

I am hoping to go on a trip to Texas next month. I miss my family and want some time with them.

What else? Oh, please read the book Eat.Pray.Love.

I heard about this book on The Satellite Sisters and had to read it. One of the most inspiring books I have ever read, and it should be mandatory reading for those of us who have been serial monogamists. For about 10 years I was one of those people who always had a boyfriend (sometimes they overlapped) - I couldn't be alone. This book is all about making peace with yourself and learning how to be by yourself and love it.

My french press is ready. Gotta go!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

No more Supernanny?!?

I am thinking about giving up television. Just thinking about it. Don't hold me to it or anything.

There is a noisy lack of silence in my life, so tonight I just skipped happy hour and came home to read a good book. I did not turn on the television. My home is silent.

As I stirred my dinner of black beans and rice on the stove, I listened to the spoon lightly scraping against the bottom of the pot. The sound of the water boiling gradually grew louder. Now I can hear it simmering softly on the stove.

When I eat my dinner I am going to eat in silence. Maybe I won't be able to make it through a quiet dinner alone. Maybe I'll crumble under the pressure and put on some music. But I'm not going to turn on the tv tonight.

The thing with television is this - it never stops. I tape a few shows every day, and then I have to catch up with them on the weekend. While I am watching one show, I am told that I really should watch it again tomorrow, because it will be even more exciting than the episode I am currently watching. Then there are commercials for other shows that I am supposed to watch later. Stuff that I never even thought I wanted to see suddenly becomes so important it feels like I should write it on a calendar.


Wow. That sounds amazing. Who would want to miss that?!

There will always be someone leaving The View, and there will always be another contestant voted off the island or sent home because America voted. Ellen will just get funnier and funnier. More plot twists will unfold and new heroes with amazing powers will be revealed.

When will it all stop? I guess it won't stop until I make it stop.

I'm so afraid of becoming weird. Out of touch. If I just quit watching television, won't I become backward and socially clumsy?

I'm not saying I'm going to do it. I'm just thinking about it.

Now back to my book...

Not a single cupcake ruined

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Don't Eat Before Bedtime

Last night I had a dream that David Hasselhoff was my stepfather, and he took me to a baseball game. While I was sitting there with my stepfather, David Hasselhoff, one of my friends shouted down from his seat a couple rows behind us, "Hot Toddy, is that your stepdad?"

"Yes," I replied.

"Is that you-know-who?" my friend asked.

My stepfather smiled at me. "Yes," I shouted to my friend. "Can you believe my stepdad is him?"

We weren't shouting his name back and forth across the rows because my stepfather David Hasselhoff doesn't want any more press at this time. We were protecting his anonymity. But if you had a dream that you were at a baseball game last night and you could have sworn you saw Hot Toddy with his new stepdad in your dream, you did. And, yes, it was David Hasselhoff.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Be Nice to Joni Mitchell

Well, I am just in the worst mood this morning because of a dream I had last night. Joni Mitchell was cast on MTV's Real World and the other girls in the house were completely dissing Joni.

Dream?! What am I saying? This was no dream. This was a nightmare!

I wanted to clock those girls for being mean to Legendary Folk Singer Joni Mitchell. They have no idea what true talent looks like.

I just need to shake it off. I'll think positive thoughts today. I'll think about the people who donated money so my friend Amber could go to camp. That makes my day every time I think about it. Listeners of the Todd & Pony Show donated almost $300 to Amber last month, and we gave her the check on Thursday. We had a great time with Amber. I love that girl, and I am certain she would never disrespect Joni Mitchell.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Cupcake Picker Upper

I have been asked to pick up the cupcakes for Juju's wedding on Sunday. I have awful images of slamming on my brakes at a stoplight and dumping the wedding dessert all over the floor of my truck. What if I fall while I'm carrying the cupcakes into the reception hall? What if I am just really hungry (and drunk) and eat all the cupcakes before I get them to the party?

This will be an amazing weekend. Juju was my roommate after I split with my partner. She was my counselor and my confidante and my source of strength and hope during those early days of my scary new single status.

I've seen her grow so much over the years. And she is marrying a man I love with all my heart. I'd be marrying him myself if he was into that. Metro is all heart. He is more than just a fun guy to hang out with. He is a friend who takes care of me and always makes sure I know how much he loves me.

To see such powerful people uniting in marriage is just amazing.

I went and tried on my tux today. Frankly, it looked so good on me that I wanted to marry myself. I am already very sexually active with myself, so it probably makes sense to go ahead and take the leap into marriage.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Triangle Hero

My friend Superman is now starring in his first YouTube video. If you have played Guitar Hero and enjoyed it, you'll love Triangle Hero.

You may recognize Superman from his work on the Portland stage. He was hilarious in the fabulous play I wrote, Spud Toppers. He also toured with Scotty Iseri, so maybe you caught him in that show.

Question: If you adopt a child and then decide it is not working out, can you put the child back up for adoption? No, I have not adopted a child, but I would like an answer to this question just in case I ever decide to try it someday.

Monday, May 21, 2007

Shocking Vegas Update

I'm back from Vegas, and I still have $100. To me that's like leaving a party when there's still Maker's Mark in the bottle, but somehow I managed to do it.

One of my favorite things about Vegas was the pillow talk. Now, I know this is sappy, but I haven't talked quietly in bed with someone for well over a year. But on this trip I shared a bed with Superman, and at the end of the first night we talked for a few minutes in bed. I told him a short anecdote from my past - a very inconsequential story signifying nothing - but in the dark of night under the covers it felt like a profound secret shared only by the two of us.

Before you freak out - no, I'm not in love. I am just saying that I miss pillow talk, and I didn't realize I missed it until Friday night.

Just like I didn't realize how much I missed the Portland rain until I returned from the desert last evening. We were greeted by a gloriously cool evening and refreshing raindrops falling from the sky.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Vegas, Baby

I'm heading to Vegas, but not without giving you something to keep you entertained...

Pony and I just recorded Show #40 of the Todd & Pony Show. Watch for it soon.

Even if you don't listen to Show #39 (why wouldn't you?) you gotta go read the show notes written by Zeroes. (He's such a cutie, isn't he?) Check out the website here.

See ya next week!


Monday, May 14, 2007

Dude, Where's My Post?

I've been horrible about updating Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven, and I offer my sincerest Alex-Baldwin-Don-Imus apology.

First things first. Let me say that I absolutely LOVE the Toddtender. He doesn't care for my referencing other bartenders in Portland, so I need to state, for the record, that he is still my favorite.

Also - this weekend The Handsome Prince and The Math Whiz had their wedding. It was awesome. Everybody cried, everybody laughed, everybody got drunk (I hope - I don't wanna be the only one....)

Pony was the wedding DJ. He was fantastic. All that training as a Second Life DJ must have paid off.

Hi Pam! I was glad to see you at the wedding. You are such a hottie. I'm sorry I didn't mention you before now. I'm glad you read the Toaster Oven, and thank you for telling me at the wedding reception that you want me to keep blogging.

Tying up all my loose ends here - - trying to think of what I haven't mentioned yet. This weekend I'm going to Las Vegas for Metro's bachelor party. Can you imagine how much fun that will be? I practiced tonight and won 20 bucks playing video slots at the bar. It is important to train if you are going to gamble in Vegas!

Life is good. Assume that if I am NOT blogging it is because I'm having a blast. Oh, and check out the latest Todd & Pony Show for more incredibly fascinating details of my life. We had a special guest this week. Juju was there, and we gave her a big surprise!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Cocktail Recipe: The Pony

Pony ordered me a drink tonight at the bar, and it was so amazing I have to share it with you.

It's a Lemon Drop with Absolut Vanilla instead of Absolut Citron. Try it. It tastes like key lime pie. He likes it with bitters. I like it without bitters.

We don't know if there is already a drink recipe with those ingredients, so we are pretending he invented it. YUM!!!

More in-depth reporting on the important issues of today will be posted soon. Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven is your source for what's happening in the world!!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Thank You Painters

I walked home tonight and turned the corner to my apartment and was surprised to see a big red building in place of my drab tan apartment building. They painted the building today. I was so surprised and so happy.

I love my apartment so much. I can't express how much I love it. Maybe the fact that I was in a cult for 3 years and lived with way too many men at once and shared everything (like Jesus and his disciples did) and never had a place of my own....

Shortly after I came out I was snagged by a super hot actor and became his partner and promptly moved in with him. We had a cute bungalow in NE Portland and lived together for 7 years. Then I moved in with Juju. Then I moved in with The Handsome Prince. Then I moved in with Auburn Pisces. But now it is just me, me, ME. My place. My bedroom. My home. I absolutely love it. My one bedroom apartment with beautiful, although slanted, hardwood floors and french doors off the bedroom is wonderful!

Tonight I visited my friend Zeroes at the bar where he works. The sun was shining and the garage doors were open at the bar so fresh air and spring breezes wafted through the bar. It was wonderful. I felt as if I were having Berry Vodka Lemonades at a resort beach bar. Zeroes is a good, good person. He is very important to me.

I felt like I was cheating on CC Slaughters, but I needed to break out of my routine, and Red Cap Garage is the place to go on nice days! The weather in Portland was amazing today. Everyone in this town was so happy. Imagine if you lived in a city where you had 6 months or more of rain and gray skies everyday and suddenly were blessed with a sunny day and 70 degree temperatures. It was heaven.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Not Dead Yet.

Today I was playing World of Warcraft (I watched the sun rise over Kalimdor - it rises in the Northwest - isn't that weird?) and everything froze up while I was flying over the Blasted Lands. Then a blue screen appeared. I thought it was The Blue Screen of Death that I've heard so much about. But it wasn't. It was definitely a blue screen, but apparently it wasn't the one of DEATH.

My first thought was, "Oh my god. My computer is broken. I can't blog at work, and now I can't blog at home. It's over. Hot Toddy's Toaster Oven is over."

Can you imagine a worse situation? Nobody would ever again be able to hear about how much I love Donny & Marie and Heinz Ketchup and Asian men. There would be no more updates about my passion for The Rock. I couldn't share my thoughts about being alone (not lonely, swear to God...), and I wouldn't be able to blather on and on about meaningless self-doubt and minor weight-loss victories.

Maybe I am cynical tonight. The truth is that this blog means almost nothing anymore. I received an e-mail from a friend far away who said, "I notice that your blog has changed. Actually, I noticed it last fall already, and chalked it up to Toddy gettin' motivated and doing stuff and generally taking control. In my mind, I saw montages with peppy background music - Toddy leaping out of bed in the morning, the covers fluttering to the side while he energetically brushes his teeth, gets dressed, and jets off to work with a piece of toast in his mouth; Toddy typing on his manual typewriter and ripping a finished work of prose out to hand it to his eagerly-waiting editor while the credits stop rolling ("Sit, Ubu, Sit!"), Toddy laughing with friends during lunch, Toddy laughing with friends at the bar after work, Toddy on the elliptical trainer, falling over comically when the gorgeous personal trainer smiles at him and checks him out, Toddy going home to prepare a fourteen-course meal for his friend Auburn Pisces (okay, that last one isn't real). Funny, having read your blog for going on three years, it is as interesting for what isn't there as for what is."

There is so much that isn't here anymore. I have gone inside myself. My friends are noticing it, and my readers are noticing it. I suppose I have as much to say as I ever did (virtually nothing of significance) but I feel so selfish lately. I don't want people to know where I am or what I'm up to. All the things that are on my mind feel so private, and I am way more protective of myself than I ever used to be. Part of me yearns for people to really know and understand me. The other part wants to hide in the shadows. Is this what "becoming your own best friend" is like?

It is kind of cool and kind of sad at the same time.

Monday, April 30, 2007

Jumping Off the Bridge

Everybody else is doing it, so I'm doing it too.

Todd & Pony have a My Space page. Pony did all the work on it (as usual).

Sorry I can't blog more but I have to go do a podcast now.

And, no, Rosie wasn't fired. I have an inside source!

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Five Minutes

I have five minutes to post if I am going to be to work almost on time.

This weekend I got to take care of my dog, Bonkers. I haven't seen him in years, because my ex, CT, kept him when we split up. I have some wonderful pictures of him and will try to post those tonight.

Bonkers is around 16 or 17 years old and has three teeth left. I had to hold his torso for him when he squatted to do his business in the yard because his legs are too weak. To say it breaks my heart to see him so old is an understatement. But all of us are headed down that path, and I struggle towards acceptance because I know that wishing things were different only causes suffering.

My little dog is deaf, so I had to lay on the floor next to him and put my lips against his head when I talked to him. I told him over and over again how much I loved him and how sorry I was that I couldn't be with him every day like I used to. That amazing dog was almost enough to keep me in my relationship with CT forever. Almost.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


In her song Icicles, Patty Griffin sings "I must confess there appears to be way more darkness than light..."

The world is dark and sad right now. Take care of each other. My heart goes out to everyone who is hurting over the tragedy at Virginia Tech.

Calm, calm, belong

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Bride to Be

Yesterday, I went to a bridal shower. I imagine this will be the one and only time in my life I ever say such a thing. I'm going to be a bridesman next month for my dear friend, Juju, so I was invited to attend her shower.

Sensing that I may feel a bit out of place, Juju offered me an out. "Toddy, there will be a lot of estrogen at my party. I would love to have you there, but it isn't mandatory."

When Juju and Metro had an engagement party, I was in a dark, dark place and couldn't find it in me to celebrate anything or anyone. Not even the glorious news of a wedding that I had hoped for (and, to be quite honest, campaigned for), so I wasted that day wallowing and drinking. I don't remember what I did or who I was with, but I know that there was a bottle of whiskey involved and most likely a lot of tears. That's what makes it a waste of a day.

So there was no way I was going to miss out on this very special day. Juju has been there for me in a way that few people ever have. Maybe in a way that nobody ever has or ever will be there for me. Our relationship is difficult to explain. It is sort of a "Will and Grace" relationship, except that she is more like the gay man, and I'm more like Grace waiting for Harry Connick Jr. to ride in on a white horse and sweep her off her feet (after she runs straight into a lamppost). Sometimes people think we're married. I think we act more like siblings than a married couple. We used to be roommates, and the stories we could recount from that time of our lives take hours and hours to tell due to the bursts of laughter that accompany the telling of those stories.

Also, we work together every weekday doing basically the same job. We are a two-person department at work in charge of providing technology training for our company. We set up classes and have lunches with vendors and help each other prepare reports. Then we take a break together and go get coffee and gossip and laugh. It seems like we just never get tired of each other.

The bridal shower was held in the beautiful home of our friend Buffy. I would say that her house looks like the pages of a decorating catalog, but that wouldn't be quite accurate because I've yet to see a catalog that beautiful. The food was amazing. Crab cakes and so many cheeses. Olives and breads and shrimp and a hot plate stacked with sweet potato fries. All of this was accompanied by "Till Death Do Us Partinis" (a ginger cosmopolitan) and wine and the highest-pitched talking I've ever heard.

As each gorgeous babe arrived at the party (all of Juju's friends are gorgeous babes), the other women would squeal and hug. I went hoarse from imitating these girly squeals and could barely speak by the end of the party. The women talked about Kate Spade handbags and BCBY dresses. Or maybe I'm thinking of the yogurt place. Was it BCBG?

At some point in the shower, I realized that Juju actually is the "Grace" and I'm the "Will". Her eyes filled with tears as she opened the presents her mother and sisters sent. She cried again when she read a beautiful note from her future mother-in-law. More tears as she opened a tiny box from a dear friend. Inside were the earrings worn by that friend on her wedding day. Juju looked at me and said, "you and I have totally switched roles," and we laughed.

Juju used to rail against being tied down to one person. She loved being single like nobody I've ever met before. I'd just shake my head as she told me how much she loved being alone. Then I'd tell her how much I wanted a partner and would cry as I sniffled about how empty I felt.

Yesterday a friend I haven't seen in some time asked how I was doing and I said, "I'm happy. I'm just so happy. I didn't know how good it feels to be happy until after I went through an awful time." We talked about how important it is to find happiness within yourself. Happiness that isn't wrapped up in someone else.

And so, Juju is thrilled to be getting married, and I'm thrilled to have my own life. I look around my apartment and think to myself, "This is all mine. I don't have to share it with anyone. It's just me," and I feel tingly inside. And Juju receives a set of matching luggage for her and her fiance and gets excited about the honeymoon cruise she'll be on with her husband.

I thought about this when I got home yesterday from the bridal shower. Maybe someday I'll meet a partner. He has a secret name that Juju and I gave him. We're the only two people who know what it is. It's a made up word that describes this soulmate/partner/boyfriend/lover entity better than any real word can. Maybe I will meet him and we'll decide to get married (cause it will be legal someday) and Juju will throw me a shower (with those sweet potato fries please) and she'll remind me of a time when all I wanted was a partner followed by a time when I found contentment in just being alone.

I thought about this yesterday as I walked up the steps to my apartment building where I would spend the rest of the night by myself and said out loud, "I guess you never know..."

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Give it Time

Well, the bad news is that I am no longer allowed to blog from work. A couple weeks ago our company handbook was revised to include a decree that employees of my beloved wonderful life-saving corporation (we're not allowed to criticize our company online) are no longer allowed to use company systems to blog. And we are not supposed to write about the company or employees of the company.

I don't want to write about my job. How stupid. Who cares? They give me money for showing up and working. My job has so little to do with my life. But our company expects its employees to live and own our mission. Never, ever do I lay in bed at night thinking about how I will live and own our mission tomorrow. It is my job, not my life.

Whatever. The downside is that I can no longer write blog posts at work. From 9 am to 5 pm I am supposed to just live and own our mission. Fine. I can live with it. While I'm at work I will live and own our mission and never ever blog, because that would be WRONG. I actually really like my job and my company, but I am sad that they see the need to set these new limits. Sometimes the freedom of writing a blog post at work was the only thing that kept me sane. Now I will have to find other ways to maintain sanity.

The good news is that I will only write when I actually have something to say. It is highly unlikely that I will come home from work after a long day of sitting at my computer and feel compelled to sit down at my home computer to spend even more time typing. Nope. Not gonna happen.

But I will still write when I have something to say. And tonight I have something to say. My dear friend, The Handsome Prince, is getting married next month to his partner, The Math Whiz. They sent me the most beautiful and artistic wedding invitation. I absolutely loved it.

Also, Juju is getting married next month. She and Metro will be married at the end of May, just 2 weeks after THP and TMW celebrate their union.

You would think that seeing two of my best friends marrying within a few days of one another might be too much for this lonely single romantic man to handle. But, surprisingly, I am feeling incredibly ZEN about the whole thing.

Tonight as I made macaroni and cheese for myself, and right before I poured a glass of white wine (from a box) and prepared to watch American Idol, I called The Handsome Prince.

"When I get married, I want to have a wedding invitation exactly like you and The Math Whiz sent out. That was amazing and creative and beautiful."

Surprisingly, to me at least, I feel no jealousy in my heart. I envy my friends for their good fortune in finding a love and a soulmate to share their lives with. But, honestly, I just don't think it is my time to have a partner. Someday I know I will be the one sending out invitations. But in 2007, my role is to be the friend who throws a memorable bachelor party. My job is to be a wonderful bridesman to Juju (yep, I'm a male bridesman) and to party with her fiance, Metro, in Vegas next month. My time is coming, but my time is not here.

It is amazing to me that I am enjoying my life as a single man so much that, in spite of all these wonderful weddings, jealousy has found no place to take root in my heart. I never thought I could be this content to be alone. But I am.

I guess I am living and owning the cause. And the cause is me.

Thursday, March 29, 2007


My essay, The Lives and Deaths of Buffalo Butt, was published last year in a book that is currently a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award Anthology category. Because I am so preoccupied with important tasks such as researching The Captain & Tennille for our next podcast and raising my fishing skill in World of Warcraft, I only found out about this yesterday.

I guess that is fitting since my essay was described by this reviewer as "something like the relieving resolution of childhood OCD". I guess my obsession with relationships was evident in the way I played cars. My Matchbox cars went on romantic dates together. And true, as I confessed in the essay, I matched up groceries in couples as I unloaded the shopping cart. (Ketchup and Mustard were boyfriend and girlfriend, and Catalina French Dressing always accompanied his girlfriend, Iceberg Lettuce, on the red carpet, ie., the checkout counter conveyor belt.)

I am very proud to be included in this book. If you would like to purchase a copy, you can click on the book cover at the top of this post. Well, you can click the book cover just for fun, but it won't take you anywhere. I just tested it. It doesn't work. I never claimed to be a technological genius. I never even claimed to function at the level of a 13-year-old girl with her own My Space.

Never mind, just click here for a shortcut to Amazon, or you can check with your favorite local bookstore if you're not into the whole corporate empire thing.

If you would like to know more about the Lambda Literary awards and read the thoughts of our editors, Rob Williams and Ted Gideonse, stop by the From Boys to Men site and congratulate them!

And thanks to you Juju. I never would have done it without your support (and threats).

Monday, March 26, 2007

Fighting with the Homeless

If you want to hear about how I almost got in a fight with a homeless person this week, then you will have to listen to the Todd & Pony Show. This is our mean show titled "Oh, Bite Me!"

You don't need an iPod to hear the show. You can listen right there on the website.

This weekend I hosted a little slumber party at my apartment. In addition to playing cards and doing typical party activities (being intentionally vague, of course) I served up some food. I made scallops wrapped in bacon and did not explode anything. I whipped up a spicy mayo too.

When I told all of this to Auburn Pisces last night she turned to me with a shocked expression on her face and said, "Who are you?" By the way, she posted her update about the birthday weekend we spent at the coast with our friends and our special guest Pua!

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I Forgot What I Wanted to Remember

This weekend at softball practice my cleats were so tight. It turns out that I put a pair of insoles in the shoes to cushion my heel, which is afflicted with a bone spur. Last season I also put insoles in my cleats. But I forgot I had done that, so I had two insoles in my shoes, which left barely enough room for my actual feet.

Yesterday on the way to work I found myself memorizing a list of things I wanted to Google. I know that it is a good idea to carry a notepad around, but I am lucky if I can remember my wallet every morning, so it is ludicrous to think I'll remember to grab a notepad before leaving my apartment.

Toddy's Mental List of Things to Google Once I Get To Work:
1. How do they answer the phone in other countries?
2. What is the story behind that man who preaches at the bus mall every day?
3. Why were jurors jolted by ugly truths? (Headline from yesterday's paper)

Why did I have to search for those facts? No reason, really. I could have bought the newspaper and checked that one off my list. Knowing how a person in Jordan answers the phone wasn't really important for my personal growth. I've lived in Portland for 10 years without knowing anything about the street preacher downtown, but yesterday it felt crucial that I know more about him.

I know that I make my life more difficult than it needs to be. I clutter my brain with useless information. I forget things so quickly too. This morning I read an article in Rolling Stone and immediately forgot what I read. I set the magazine down and thought to myself, "That was a good article. Wait. What was it about? Politics? A movie review? Think, damn it. What did I just read???"

I finally remembered that the article was about the band, REM, and included some photos from their history.

My memory is not so bad that I will ever forget the theme song to Knot's Landing. And no matter how old I live to be, I will never ever forget every single word of that Brim commercial.

Monday, March 19, 2007

The Disappearing of Hot Toddy

I'm disappearing.

I can see it in people's faces, and I can feel it inside of me.

A couple years ago I checked my blog stats daily. Receiving comments on my posts was like oxygen to me. And getting nominated for various blog awards? Forget about it - that was practically like winning an Oscar.

Today I stumbled upon another blogger popularity contest where people are asked to vote on who is the best blogger. I'm trying to remember why I used to care about that. Truth be told, I sort of disappeared off the grid a couple years ago. I'm no longer part of the in crowd. Once I "won" an "award" for "Best Gay Blog". I even campaigned for votes.

Why did I crave the attention? Somehow I felt so validated by blog comments and votes. I did the same thing at the bar where phone numbers became hard copy versions of blog comments. Votes in support of my awesome hotness were cast in the form of one night stands or three-week long "relationships", which are really just 21-night stands, aren't they?

Don't get me wrong. I gratefully accept your comments and appreciate the time you take to let me know you're out there. When I do visit blogs, I tend to visit the people who comment even before visiting my long-standing links.

I appreciate your comments, but I don't need them. That's the difference. Ever since I started disappearing, it's been that way. How can I explain? I feel like a former homecoming queen, Class of '85, who has been forgotten by my former classmates. The funny thing is, I like it. Love it, even.

Yesterday I went to softball practice and saw guys I haven't seen since last summer. As soon as I stepped out of my truck I noticed that my teammates said hello to me with their eyes locked on my waist. It was weird. Sort of unsettling, but not completely unexpected.

Last August I was at almost 19% body fat, and I'm now at right around 12%. The numbers on the scale would indicate a loss of about 10 pounds, but using a body fat measurement tool (Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis), my actual loss over the past seven months was 22 pounds of fat. Now that I'm about six pounds from my goal of 10% body fat, I find my entire motivation has changed. For the first time in my life, this battle to shed fat has nothing to do with how I am perceived by others and everything to do with how I feel when I look in the mirror.

Good thing my clothes are getting smaller, because my closet is smaller than it was last year too. My apartment isn't very big at all, but it is just right for me.

I want to take up less room in the world.

I want less attention.

I want fewer obligations.

I want more time alone.

I want to talk less and say more.

So I'll end this for today.