Saturday, September 30, 2006

You Don't Wear My Chains

[Note: Scroll down to see Augustana's "Boston" lyrics and link to music video on YouTube.]

I don't usually pay much attention to those once in a blue moon disrespectful and uneducated negative comments from someone who barely reads a few random posts and decides he/she knows everything about me. I can handle disagreement or a difference in perspective but I'll usually only delete the hateful ones. Last week, some (Anonymous) terd decided to leave several similar ones in a few posts from months ago. Here's one that he left behind:

"There are people who have never heard of christ and they follow him alot better than you'll ever know how to (according to your writings). They will go to heaven one day. But people like you make sure that they won't everyday."

It's funny how some hateful people can't seem to say what they intend to say while leaving their name or showing their face. They'd rather say it in secret or in darkness or wearing some kind of a hood. All in the name of Christ, apparently.

It was the fear of these sorts of people that kept me in the closet - especially, in the Church. My assumption was that everyone thought that way and so I didn't dare allow anyone to know what was going on inside of me. No one knew how scared I was. No one knew how confused I was. No one knew how frustrated I was. No one knew how angry I was. No one knew how lonely I was.

There were times when I just wanted to run - far away where no one knew me. In 2001, I wanted to do just that. And that's one of the reasons why I came back to Long Beach. I wanted to get the hell out of Riverside, CA . . . .

I had lived there for 14 years. It is about 60 miles inland and I finished high school there. I tried my first round of university there. I had a couple full time jobs there. I was in ministry there.

By 2001, I made the biggest mistake of my life - literally - and I lived through the fall out of it all. I hit the figurative rock bottom and it was the most challenging chapter of my life. I moved away from Riverside and I was glad to go. I still have family that live there and so for the first two years after leaving, I'd always feel physically sick to my stomach every time I came back to visit. The memories and regrets and crashing waves that overtook me were overwhelming!

But the waves subsided.

Long Beach, CA is now my home. Perhaps I feel that it is because this is the place God restored me. This is the place he rebuilt what I thought was gone and lost. That which I thought I destroyed, He recreated and presented to me as new and different.

I was here before Riverside and now I'm back. It had been over a decade since I was last here and so there were few people still around that really knew me. In 2002, I had the opportunity of starting fresh. Now, four years later, I don't feel like I want to run or hide or start anything all over. I used to feel like I had nothing left to lose. Now, there's a reason for me to stay.

Augustana's "Boston" is one of my new favorite songs (even though the local radio plays it way too much) because I relate with the song. I understand the pain behind the lyrics. Long Beach is my Boston.

To the terd who left me those comments last week and thinks he knows all about me, just remember that you don't wear the chains I've had and that God removed from my wrists. And you've got no power to keep me bound.

"Boston" by Augustana

Click here to watch video.

In the light of the sun,
Is there anyone?
Oh it has begun...
Oh dear, you look so lost,
eyes are red
and tears are shed,
This world you must've crossed.
You said,

You don't know me,
And you don't even care, oh yeah,
She said,
You don't know me,
And you don't wear my chains, oh yeah.

Essential yet appealed,
Carry all your thoughts
Across an open field,
When flowers gaze at you,
They're not the only ones
Who cry when they see you
You said,

You don't know me,
And you don't even care, oh yeah,
She said,
You don't know me,
you don't wear my chains, oh yeah.

She said I think I'll go to Boston.
I think I'll start a new life.
I think I'll start it over, where no one knows my name.
I'll get out of California, I'm tired of the weather,
I think I'll get a lover and fly 'em out to Spain.
I think I'll go to Boston.
I think that I'm just tired.
I think I need a new town, to leave this all behind.
I think I need a sunrise, I'm tired of Sunset,
I hear it's nice in the summer, some snow would be nice, oh yeah.

You don't know me,
And you don't even care, oh yeah,

Boston, where no one knows my name,
Where no one knows my name
Where no one knows my name, yeah.

Boston, where no one knows my name.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Open Door's Harvest Conference

Yesterday I taught my first formal workshop at Open Door Ministries' Harvest Conference. It was a single day long conference hosted by the local church that I am a part of here in Long Beach. It was a privilege to have been asked and I'm thankful to Pastor Dan for allowing me to share with others about my approach to the Great Commission and my paradigm of the Church.

The workshop was called "Relational Evangelism: Living Out The Great Commission As A Lifestyle". In a nutshell, I talked about how Jesus called us to a new WAY – to live a lifestyle of faith that expresses love for God, love for others, and to inspire others to do the same while living in community. As a Church, we have got to stop focussing on conversions as if that's our objective, and instead we need to begin a genuine and sincere process of relationship with people that leads to discipleship.

What does that look like?

I'm going to be starting what I call a "Lifestyle Group" (as opposed to a home group or a Bible study) where we will explore this. In the workshop, I introduced "5 Organic Principles to Expanding Your 'Oikos' " which I extracted from my experience knowing Neil Cole (and others) over the past four years. Neil is the Executive Director of Church Multiplication Associates, Founder of Awakening Chapels, and author of "Organic Church: Growing Faith Where Life Happens".

I thought i'd share with you the notes I handed out for my workshop. Of course, you miss out on the conversation and discussion that we had during the actual workshop, but maybe you'll find the outline helpful. If you like, have your own conversation and discussion about some of these things! Or you can email me if you'd like to know more about any of it. Anyway, here's a link where you can download it (it's a PDF file):

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Day 4 & 5 San Francisco Labor Day Trip

So my laptop got fried last night.

Nutshell version of the story: laptop was plugged in at coffee shop, blender went on, power surge, laptop shut down, now windows won't start up. You know what that means? Lost lots of pics (including the SF trip ones), lost all those software applications that i no longer have the CD's for (including photoshop CS and that whole Adobe Acrobat suite thing that let me make PDFs), and lost all my music that i had in my iTunes.

Sigh. I'm not horribly mad about it. It's no ones fault.

Fortunately, i had already put up the new FilmLoop on this site (top right corner of this blog - what do you think?) and so at least i still have some of those photos that i can resave to my desktop. Plus, i had been posting loads of pics from the SF trip over at the GCN photo gallery - so i can also resave those to my desktop. I don't think i can do anything about losing the software but at least I have the music that's already on my iPod.

So, with all that said, i'm concluding my series of posts on my San Francisco Labor Day Trip. Thankfully, i can still include a few pics of my last days . . . .

So Michael and I started Day 4 of our trip early and sleep deprived. We got to bed around 4 a.m. and we got up around 7:30 a.m. or so. The first thing on our itinerary was to meet up with Christopher, an awesome guy who is also a TWC reader. He's got his own blog called "Bending The Rule". He's a seminary student working on his doctoral degree. Christopher is Episcopalian and his parter (who he met at seminary too!) is a Lutheran pastor. So he had some really good insight to offer Michael and I.

The three of us met for breakfast and coffee at Cafe Flore in Castro. Michael has been doing alot of reading and research as part of his own personal journey of exploring colliding worlds so he and Christopher had some very interesting conversation about various authors who have had thoughts about the whole gay Christian thing. Christopher and I also had some very interesting conversation about the Church and community. After breakfast and our dialogue, Christopher was kind enough to walk us to our next destination - St. Francis Lutheran Church. I respected the fact that he didn't do the whole Churchian thing by encouraging us to go to "his" church while knowing that we were about to go to "another" church. It didn't matter to him whether or not we went to Sunday service at his or someone else's church. He knows that we are all part of the Body of Christ. A pet-peeve of mine is that whole church competitiveness thing. It's good to talk to another believer - a brother - who also shares a paradigm of Christ's Church that extends beyond a local fellowship's four walls. Kudos to Christopher! And blessings too . . . .

So after saying our good-bye's and glad-to-have-met-you's with Christopher, Michael and I met Stephen. Stephen is also a TWC reader and has his own Web site over at He's the guy with the glasses standing next to me in the photo. Stephen also introduced us to people at his church fellowship - St. Francis Lutheran Church. Next to him in the photo is Grant, the congregation's President, and next to him is Pastor Robert on the end.

St. Francis had a very liturgical style expression of worship in their service. It was structured and orderly and I found it to be completely refreshing! Keep in mind, that i'm typically accustomed to a service that most resembles a non-denominational type of worship expression. And so to be able to worship in a liturgical service provided me a perspective to the order of God. I really sensed the Spirit's presence among these worshippers. I've attended liturgical style services before so this wasn't new to me. But since it's not my norm, I was able to appreciate it all the more.

In much of my experience with talking to people of different denominations, i've found that there are many that fail to speak honorably and respectfully about their brothers and sisters within God's Church that worship differently than they do. I think it's a shame and I think God's heart breaks because of the sibling rivalry within His Family. We ought to value each of our differences - especially the diversity in which we express our worship to Him. If you are regularly a part of a church that is more demonstrative, I encourage you to visit a church that has a more structured and liturgical service. If you are a part of a traditional type of church, I encourage you to visit a church that expresses a fluid worship. I think there is value is exploring different ways of worshipping the Lord. I believe that we begin to understand the diversity of God's love when we begin to appreciate the diversity of other believers. Then perhaps the Church can begin to conceive of the notion that God would dare to love those gay people!

After the service at St. Francis, Michael and I joined Stephen, Grant, and Pastor Robert for lunch next door. I found our conversation to be refreshing because they are all very open to investing in relationships both within their congregation and also within their city. I shared with them many of my thoughts about the Church and our approach to living out the Great Commission and they seemed to receive it well. I'd love to visit with them again to talk with them more! In the mean time, I extend a blessing to our brothers and sisters at St. Francis in San Francisco!

By mid afternoon, Michael and I were exhausted! We returned to the hotel where Michael took a long nap and I took a brief one. I was going to be meeting up again with Mark Andrew and Edison and we were all going to check out the Harrison Street Fair. No i'm not into the whole leather or bear thing. But one of the reasons why I wanted to go was to be able to make observations about this segment of the GLBT culture. I did take photos at the fair and I was planning to share a couple with you but I didn't put any in the FilmLoop and so I've got no other copies. They were all fried with the laptop! Nevertheless, it was interesting to watch. As we passed by one of the booths, I ended up seeing a fellow Long Beach-ian. It was one of the owners of a popular coffee shop that I often hang out at called Hot Java. That was kewl!

We stayed at the fair for about an hour, then we took the Muni (bus) back to the hotel to meet back up with Michael (who got to take a nice long nap!). Then the four of us drove over to Mark Andrew's church fellowship called Freedom In Christ. The flavor of worship for them was somewhere in between non-denominational and pentecostal/charismatic. It was a fun and worshipful service. Very different from the service we experienced earlier that day, but still very God-honoring and worshipful.

What I noticed from the day's range of activities was that even within all three groups (Episcopalian, Lutheran, Pentecostal), all were Christ-centered in their message. All spoke of the salvation that comes through Christ. All honored and worshipped Jesus. All are gay.

So after the evening service at Freedom In Christ, a large group of us went out to dinner to a restaurant. Our group was so big that they had to separate us into three groups in order to seat all of us. It was fun either way because we got to chat with different people.

By the end of dinner, we were ready to call it a night. It was Sunday and the next day would be our last before returning home.

So on Day 5 of our trip, Michael and I went in search for his old Elementary school. He grew up in SF during his early years. We found the school and we spent some time peeking through windows, going through the playground (accessible to the public), and Michael reminisced about times of being a kid (and also punking some kids around - he was a meany bully hooligan! nah- just kidding). Too bad I lost the photos of this part of the trip. =(

We drove back to the hotel to meet up again with Mark Andrew and Edison. We were going to do the switch off - Michael would take Edison and the two of them would drive back down to Santa Barbara (where Michael lives) and Edison would take the train from there to Los Angeles. I wasn't going to be flying out until 8:30pm that night so Mark Andrew and I decided to have lunch and spend the afternoon at Golden Gate Park.

This was great because that was the last thing on my list of things I wanted to do while in SF and I thought we wouldn't be able to fit it in. Michael missed out on it but I got to go and hang out there with Mark Andrew. We went to this awesome Greek/Mediterranean place that served really good Gyros. We walked around the GG Park and went through some of the nice trails. In the photo here, this is me by one of the kewl ponds. Hey Matt (from Michigan), there are ducks in this pond!

So anyway, Mark Andrew and I spent quite a bit of time just walking around and talking. It was a nice conclusion to the weekend trip. One of the really kewl things that I saw at the GG Park was the gathering of people to beat their drums, dance to the tribal rhythms, play their harmonicas and strum their ukuleles. I call it the Congregation of Bohemians - which I will hopefully get around to posting more specific thoughts about in a future post.

When the time came, Mark Andrew and I took the Muni (bus) back to the hotel to get my bags, then we took the BART to Oakland and he dropped me off at the airport. I was back in Long Beach, CA by 10:00 PM.

The entire trip was awesome and it was a great first leisure vacation for myself. I look forward to future travels! Now, a week has passed since returning from the trip and it's been a crazy busy week at work.

I seriously need a vacation!

Back to Day 3 - San Francisco Labor Day Trip

Friday, September 08, 2006

Day 3 - San Francisco Labor Day Trip

We started Day 3 of our trip checking out the Charles M. Holmes Campus at The Center - also known as The Center, San Francisco or otherwise known as The San Francisco Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Center.

In addition to site seeing during the trip, as well as connecting with other friends, I also wanted to do a few things related to our work with Catalyst. I wanted to make some observations, draw some comparisons, and ask some questions about SF GLBT culture.

So before we went off to meet with the other GCN'ers for hiking at Angel Island, we first took a tour of The Center first thing in the morning . . . .

The first thing we did was meet up with Stephen. He's the kewl guy that gave Michael and I the tour. He works part time at the front desk. I called him a few days before to inquire about a tour and he said that he'd be happy to show us around. =)

What a guy, eh?

So he started off taking us around the four story building, showing us the various community resources that are available, the coffee shop that they've partnered with next door, the office space that numerous other community organizations utilize, the computer lab, and the very interesting artwork displayed throughout the whole center. I was actually quite impressed with everything they had there in comparison to The Center here in Long Beach. Naturally they have more resources in SF than LB does.

One particular thing that they have that I was impressed with was the SNAP! - the San Francisco Newcombers Assistance Program. This kewl program connects a new resident to SF with a new buddy to show him around the area, find social activities and workshops, and to help establish friendships. I think it's just for gay or bisexual men (at least that's what the brochure says). They also help orient the person with information on employment, financial security, food & dining, housing, human rights, legal stuff, mail, parenting, utilities, veterans, counseling, healthcare, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, violence prevention, gyms, spirituality, sports, arts, bars & clubs, sex clubs, social organizations and politics. Whew! I really like the concept of helping GLBT folks getting oriented with the city - whether new or long time residents - and so I'd like to explore how Catalyst can do this in Long Beach. In fact, I wonder if our Center has anything like it. But as far as I know, it doesn't so here's a need that Catalyst can potentially fill!

Stephen took us to the fourth floor and we hung out for a bit on an outdoor patio area that overlooked the city. It was pretty kewl actually! After asking about the Center, I asked him a little bit about the GLBT culture in SF. An interesting similarity that I found (from what he told me) was that, just like Long Beach, there are some G-L-B-T's that don't understand the other different G-L-B-T's. There are some circles that mingle with other genders but for the most part there is a lack of understanding about individuals who are different. That's something I'd like to strive to improve in LB over the next 30 years!

Another interesting thing that Stephen told me was that they have an actual San Francisco police officer that patrols that area and even has a spot behind the front desk. It was interesting to see a positive relationship that the Center has with the police department. A funny story Stephen told us was about the time a police officer brought a gold fish in a cup that was left at the front door (kinda like an abandoned puppy or kitty). They named him Lucky and put him in a fish bowl at the front desk. Lucky got sick and lots of people at the Center huddled around his bowl daily to talk to him and help nurse him back to health. We got to see Lucky and he's swimming around quite strong nowadays!

After visiting The Center, Michael and I left and met up with Mark Andrew, Edison, our friend John, and also Brad. We're all on GCN and it was fun to all meet and spend time with each other. We met at Fisherman's Wharf to take the 11:30 a.m. ferry to Angel Island. It was a longer ride across the Bay as compared to when we went to Alcatraz the day before. In fact, we stopped by Alcatraz, then moved on to the other side of the Bay, then to Angel Island. It felt like a mini cruise!

By the time we got there, we all had lunch, chatted for a bit, and browsed the visitors center. Apparently, this guy named Ayala discovered the Island around the 1700's. He was a Spaniard and a devout Catholic and that particular day happened to be something like the day of Angels or maybe the day for the Angel of Lights or something like that. I don't remember the full story but that's sort of why it's called Angel Island. Also I learned that during the Civil War, the Union army built defenses there because they were afraid the Confederate army would come up along the West Coast to get the gold and silver that had been discovered in San Francisco and Sacramento. The Confederates never did go up there, nevertheless, there was a Union presence on the West Coast at Angel Island during the Civil War. Interesting.

So we all went hiking up the trails - all the way up to the top of the mountain. There were some pretty awesome views! On the way up, we decided to take a group photo and some in our group decided to break out in song - musical style! Yeah, the other hikers were quite entertained by the gay boys.

In this pic, we finally made it to the top! It took us a little over an hour to get there and after some time of enjoying the view, we made the trek back down. It was a great work out that lasted most of the afternoon!

Once we got back to San Francisco, we decided to drive through China Town and Union Square downtown. It was really interesting to see the diversity of people in this area of San Francisco. We eventually made our way back to our hotel room and we took some time to rest. Then we all got ready to go out to dinner in North Beach to meet up with more GCN'ers. We went to this Italian restaurant called Steps of Rome that had really cute (seemingly gay) food servers that flirted with the ladies and even did lap dances for those celebrating birthdays. As fun as it was to watch the eye candy, the service wasn't that good. We had a reservation for 10 and the place was packed when we got there. We had to wait around for the cute waiters to put together some lop-sided tables and any available chair that they could find to cram our party of 9 into a space that would normally fit maybe 6 comfortably. The food was so-so and for some reason they couldn't make the mixed drinks we initially ordered so we had to choose different ones. They also played really loud music so it was pretty difficult to hear each other's dinner conversation. This place was more like a night out in Cancun during Spring break. Regardless, it was still a fun atmosphere.

After dinner, we ended up going to Castro to hang out at a bar called Metro. Eventually, we moved on to a dance club called Cafe which was extremely packed with people. On the dance floor, we were literally shoulder to shoulder and so it was very difficult to dance. Hanging out in the Castro area was fun in general - just being with friends - but overall, it wasn't a very spiritually edifying experience.

The day as a whole, however, was very interesting as we saw the Center in the morning, saw Angel Island and views of the Bay area in the early afternoon, saw the downtown marketplace in the late afternoon, then saw the city night life in the evening. Michael and I got back to the hotel for bed time at almost 4 a.m. It was a long and full day but definitely fun times!

Stay tuned for Day 4 of meeting TWC readers, visiting churches, and checking out the leather boys at the Harrison Street Fair!

Back to Day 2 - San Francisco Labor Day Trip

Go on to Day 4 & 5 - San Francisco Labor Day Trip > >

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Day 2 - San Francisco Labor Day Trip

My wake up call rang at about 7 a.m. Michael and I stayed up the night before with Mark Andrew until 2 a.m. just talking and goofing around in our (two bed) hotel room then Mark Andrew took the BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit - it's like their subway) back home to Concord. We met back up with him later in the day.

I got up first to shower and get ready for the day. That gave Michael a tad longer to sleep in. Once we were both ready, we left for breakfast at good old Burger King around the corner, cracked open a map of the city so that we could plan out our navigation from the hotel to the Fisherman's Warf, bought a breakfast meal and coffee for the homeless guy that opened the door for us on the way in, got in the car and began our trek to Alcatraz . . . .

The Bay area is a lot cooler in the mornings than it is in Southern California. It was a little bit chilly - not too bad - cold enough for a jacket but not warm enough for shorts. Do San Franciscans even wear shorts? Just the tourists i suppose.

So we took the ferry to Alcatraz riding at the very top floor so that we can see the view and feel the cool wind. We quickly discovered the weird alien-looking flies that pestered all of us on the top deck. I don't know - that feeling of small little bugs crawling all over me just grosses me out so having all these flies continually landing on hair and clothing and all over one's body was extremely frustrating. But that's a sacrifice you make in order to see the view of downtown San Francisco from the water and also to see us approaching the former federal prison.

Once there we took the audio tour. That was actually pretty kewl. They give you a head set and a device to play the tour recording. It had us wandering around from cell block to cell block, from the dining area to the library, from the visiting area to the recreation area and every place else that had a story to tell about this prison and what it was like to live there.

Can you fathom being confined in a small cramped space having nothing but a slab to sleep on, a sink and a toilet? It's crazy! I actually can fathom what jail is like - but prison is a whole different thing. The audio tour had one of the previous inmates share about the mental anxiety that goes through a person's mind when they are locked up for ten or more years. The lack of hope, the despair, the boredom, the kinds of things that go through your mind when you've got nothing else to do except to think about whatever goes through your mind - family, old friends, memories of times taken for granted - playing with kids, seeing the sunset, swimming, eating whatever the heck you wanted instead of eating the gunk being served to you.

We heard lots of interesting stuff about Alcatraz which I'll spare you from now - you'll just have to go and see it for yourself if you've never gone. But it's definitely kewl to see at least once in your lifetime!

So we took the ferry back to the pier and obeyed the grumblings of our stomachs. We discovered that if we ate at designated restaurants then we could get a three hour free validation for our parking. (By the way, parking is crazy expensive!) So we decided to go for lunch at a restaurant - seafood of course. The food was good and our food server was fine - but there was a super rude and disrespectful guy serving some other tables near by. We tried to get his attention as he walked by just to ask him for napkins and before we could make the request, he interrupted us by lifting up his hand against us (kinda like that typical 'talk to the hand' gesture) and walked right by us as if to say, 'um no, you are not my table'. Michael and I were kinda surprised - shocked even - at how rude he was. We both kinda laughed about it thinking, 'What in the world . . . . ?' but i'll admit that i was a bit perturbed about it. Whatever. I wrote a note about him and left it with our bill.

After lunch, we began our quest. Remember the days when the good old Golden Gate Bridge was actually the Bay Bridge? Oh goodness, that was so embarrassing!

That was a little over a month ago when I naively thought that the huge towering structure that extended from one large land mass to another over a body of water was the Golden Gate Bridge. I was wrong and Stephen from (who also reads TWC) was kind enough to shatter my paradigm, oops i mean correct my error. LOL, i could have sworn that that was indeed the Golden Gate Bridge - it never dawned on me that I might be looking at the wrong bridge, much less that the GG Bridge is actually orange!

So now that I'm back, I was determined to search high and low for the real and actual Golden Gate Bridge. But where ever I went, it just seemed like the GG Bridge eluded me. Where was it? What was it really like? Is the bridge really orange? How can something so huge - something that significant of a landmark - the icon of San Francisco - escape my grasp? We continued to look for it far and near and it just seemed like the bridge was so close and yet so far. It was almost like it was right under my nose . . . but where? I searched and searched and searched for the real and actual Golden Gate Bridge.

And there it is! I found it! The Golden Gate Bridge!

Sigh. It's so magnificent (he says with awe). It's all I could ever hope or imagine!

LOL. I know, i'm a goofball.

So yep, there she is. The good 'ol GG Bridge. And yes, I know for sure that it's the one - I have confirmed it with three sources. This is indeed the Golden Gate Bridge.

And so Michael and I walked across to the other side of the Bridge. It took almost an hour I think - maybe it was less. We got to the other side and we each posed for our GQ cover photo shots. Then we decided to run all the way across the bridge to the other side (where we were parked) because we were running late to meet up with Mark Andrew again at our hotel. It was actually a pretty good work out - the run, that is - although I got a blister right smack on the bottom of my left foot. Ouch! But no worries and no complaints because I'm a trooper. On the way back to the hotel, we kept taking wrong turns or taking lanes that forced us onto the freeway that led to Treasure Island or going down streets that disallowed left turns for miles.

By the time we met up with Mark Andrew, we were an hour late. Sorry Mark! Anyway, we took some time to plan out Day 3 with our GCN friends so that the next day would be all set. (We'll go hiking at Angel Island during the day and then meet up for dinner at the hot Italian place with the cute gay food servers.) After firming up the next day's plans, we went to Castro to have dinner at this really kewl coffee shop/restaurant/bar called Cafe Flore. I mentioned it before in a previous post when I came a month ago. I decided to get a drink to accompany my roasted chicken dinner so I asked the bartender to give me something tropical and something blue. He says, "um, how about a Blue Hawaiian?" LOL, I laughed and said, "that sounds tropical and blue. I'll take it!" (I'm such a newbie when it comes to drinks.) Anyway, after dinner Mark Andrew couldn't keep his hands off of cutie Michael. Can you blame him? Hehe, just kidding - he was just engaging in a bit of public tickling.

Following dinner, we decided to go to a highly recommended dessert place called Sweet Inspiration. They had an assortment of pies and cremes and ice cream and sherbert and coffee drinks and all kinds of other gourmet sweets. Definitely good stuff! While we were there, we happened to run into a couple of other GCN friends that we weren't actually expecting to connect with over this weekend. What a nice surprise! This was actually my first time meeting the two of them (Chris and Isaias) - Michael and Mark Andrew had met them previously at the 2005 EC Conference. They were a kewl couple. We also met up with Edison (a GCN friend from Los Angeles) who flew up to join us for the weekend. He'll be staying at Mark Andrew's place in Concord.

So by the time we all chatted about this and that and whatever else was on our minds at the time, Michael, Mark Andrew, Edison and I decided to head back to the hotel. Of course, that led to more late night chatting and hanging out. Eventually, Mark Andrew and Edison took the BART back to Concord and Michael and I finally got to bed. It was a long and full day but definitely fun times!

Stay tuned for Day 3 at Angel Island, the Italian place with cute gay waiters who actually dance with customers, and hanging out at the Castro . . . .

Go to Day 3 - San Francisco Labor Day Trip > >