Officer Wes' & Daddy Barry’s 2014


We kicked off the new year with games & desserts with newlyweds John & Kent who eloped the day before.  Similarly, friends Gary and Mark married recently.  And while originally Deputy and Chris had a lovely wedding back on June 11, 2005, they now additionally formalized it with the state when discrimination was declared unconstitutional (duh) and marriage was allowed last year.  So, our close friends were asking “Are you going to get married?”  Both of us said “nope”.  We didn’t see any point in it.

Then Deputy continued:  “We met recently with a lawyer and there are certain rights that marriage puts in place that are lacking otherwise.”  We were intrigued.  Like what?  “Well, for example, if both spouses are collecting Social Security and one dies, the surviving spouse may elect to receive the deceased’s benefits instead if they are higher.

That perked up our ears.  Our Social Security benefits were $614/month different.  That was a protection we would indeed be interested in putting in place.

We lined up the marriage date to coincide with the 9 year anniversary of me asking Daddy Barry to be my leather Daddy.  We created our own vows, both serious and lighthearted:


As your leather (Daddy/boy) for the last nine years I have come to know and to respect you deeply.  My role has been to support you in whatever you choose.  Now we marry and I take you not only as my leather (Daddy/boy) but also my spouse so that I may further protect you.

I promise to give you the best of myself and ask of you no more than I can give. I understand that your interests, desires and needs are no less important than my own. I promise to share with you my time and attention and to bring you joy, strength and imagination to our relationship. I promise that I will never deceive or intentionally hurt you. I promise to grow along with you, to be willing to face changes in order to keep our relationship alive and exciting. I promise to love you in good times and in bad, with all I have to give and all I feel inside.


We do solemnly swear (or affirm) that we will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that we will bear true faith and allegiance to the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of California; that we take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that we will well and faithfully discharge the duties upon which we are about to enter.

God in Its Almighty Wisdom has deemed that these men shall marry.

The county person officiating the wedding had some standard vows she wanted us to say as well.  They were fine except, being polyamorous, for “I forsake all others.”  So that’s what I piped up and said.  “I don’t forsake all others.”  The officiant and witness, another county employee, looked at each other like this has never happened before then shrugged their shoulders and went on.

Originally we opted to forego rings, but we quickly found that, when we introduced ourselves as married, people looked at our ring fingers.  So, we found and purchased some matching handsome titanium rings.

Something funny?  Daddy Barry wanted to surprise me with a wedding cake and a birthday cake (as my birthday was a day later).  So off he went while I took my usual nap.  But it had been raining something amazing.  So, he gets home, grabs the two cakes out of the back seat – and the round, dome-topped containers (think a shake with whipped cream on top, the tall cream covered by a domed lid)… slid out of his hands.  He said it was like slow motion.  The birthday cake went kerwhump on the ground, landing on its bottom side.  The wedding cake landed upside down and proceeded to roll under the car.  The amazing thing?  They’d both come out of a refrigeration unit and the butter cream frosting had set up.  Shockingly, they were fine.  Gave us a good story to tell.

Meanwhile, we worked with a lawyer we both quickly respected – Philip Lindsley at the San Diego Elder Law Center -- to put our assets in a trust that would protect them, if they’re still around, for heirs.

In health news, the previous year ended exhausted and the new one started that way.  Tired, tired, tired.  A hope was that the CPAP might create deep sleep that magically resolved the fatigue.  Not so much.  Meanwhile, Daddy Barry received a slant/transdermal epidural that really helped his back pain where straight-in epidurals had not.  We are thankful.  He also had lots of dental work.

Wes went to see his parents in January.  Previously they insisted on picking him up the 97 miles from Astoria to the Portland airport, but they’re turning 80 on their next birthdays…  So starting this trip he rented a car.  It felt both helpful and just a wee bit sad.  In other travel news, we enjoyed planning an April jaunt to Hawaii (a gift from sister Elaine) and a June trip to Alaska (with sister Elaine and brother in law Ian), an important bucket list item of Wes’.

Tom baked his always yummy coconut cake.  Just because.

And it was a time of art, Art, ART!  Daddy Barry began an advanced abstract acrylics class and also a cultivating the professional artist class.  He installed a spring window display at Pleasures and Treasures.  We took in a Liberty Station arts evening, and “Art in the Garden - featuring the art of Ray Street Artists”.

We watched movies:  The Goonies (filmed in Astoria), Free Fall (a gay indie film from Germany about a cop), Blue Velvet, The Butler, The Devils, American Hustle, Blue Jasmine, Betty Page: The Girl in the Leopard Bikini, Inglorious Basterds, and FilmOut’s retrospective showing of Rosemary's Baby.  And we took in plays: The 39 Steps (fun), The Winter’s Tale (Shakespeare.  Oh that pesky Olde English…), and local gay venue Diversionary Theatre’s Boys and Girls (painfully slow).  We walked the Japanese Friendship Garden at Balboa Park.

And we got to see Patti LuPone from the second row, guests of friend Dion & his beau Chris.

Meanwhile we broke bread at Burger Lounge, Thai Time (with jeanne), El Zarape, Li’l B’s (multiple times, with friends like Roadkill), Con Pane (a French bakery, with John), Marie's Café (divey, but surprisingly good food), Ritual (a nearby indie brewer type place that also served from a limited menu), and the hipster joint Station Tavern.

For Wes’ birthday this year we had an impromptu party of cake & games with us, jeanne, RK & Jim.  Simple.  Delightful.  The next week we gathered for an Oscars party at RK & Jim's.  OMG what a big, vivid screen.  And comfy seating.  Definitely the way to do something soooo long.  In other friend news we visited Tim & Dennis, took special care of Melissa for a surgery (that went wildly wonderfully well), and hung with Anna & David and clan for Audrey's 6th birthday.

Our Hawaii trip -- primarily a sweet gift from sister Elaine -- became our honeymoon.  We stayed at Maui Sunseeker, went ziplining at Piiholo Ranch, SCUBAd, took a helicopter tour of the island, visited the aquarium, and sailed at sunset.




But the biggest news of the year was the arrival of a daughter, Addison, born to niece and nephew Rose & Jordan.


born May 24, 2014

Here she is looking cute a month later


In June Barry and I went on a cruise of Alaska, something my parents had done 20 years ago and enjoyed so much I’d wanted to do it ever since.  Originally sister Elaine and brother in law Ian were slated to be on the trip, but they went and helped out the new parents with Addison’s joyful arrival.

We flew into Anchorage via Seattle on Delta and stayed at the Sheraton, both items a gift from sister Elaine to help us afford the trip.  We were able to use “points” for two other large chunks – the stay in Vancouver and the return flights -- which also really helped.  That left us with the cruise and excursions, something big but manageable.  Dinner was at the Sizzlin Café, fish n chips & meaty ribs + sundaes.

The next morn, June 13, we took the Alaska Railroad to Seward at the coast.  The scenery was beautiful; verdant trees and bogs at the lower altitudes yet nonetheless with glaciers nearby.  Snowy mountain peaks.  Creeks.  Beaver ponds.  Eagles. 


We had “Goldstar” service, where we primarily sat in a handsome two-story domed railcar but also ate a hot meal, when it was ready, on the first level.  I snapped this picture when half of the car was downstairs.



Seward, Alaska
This was a sleepy port town with a picturesque harbor.  Cruise ships docked along the far back right of the photo above.  We ate lunch at the Gold Rush Café.  It was standard fare -- cheddar burgers & onion rings.  Once we could check in, this was the great view from our room at the Holiday Inn Seward Harbor.  We ate dinner at Chinook and had a lovely dinner of very fresh halibut fish n chips with largely the same interesting view.  We took in the hot tub and a relaxing shower afterward.



Saturday June 14 was a swing day for us.  We took in the impressive Alaska Sealife Center, which included the handsome puffin, above.  Afterward we strolled back toward the hotel and stopped at the busy Peking Restaurant for lunch buffet.  Well worth it.


Here’s our ship, Holland America Line’s Oosterdam.  I actually snapped this photo later in Haines, but it was the only picture that got the whole mammoth ship in.  It hosted approximately 2000 guests and 1000 workers.  Service was superb.

Embarkation was Sunday June 15 with departure at 8pm.  We opted for an early 1:30pm embarkation then explored the ship.  Our bags had, surprisingly, arrived when we returned to the room, which gave us the opportunity to settle in.  We saw on the schedule that there was a GLBT gathering in the Crow’s Nest at 6pm, so we went there to meet folks and had an alternate dinner at The Lido.  Turns out we were the only two there.  But we did just in the course of things connect with other same-sex couples.  There were Kerri and Claudia with three of their grandchildren.  There were Pete and Jack from Denver.  And Darrell and Ted from Vancouver; travelling companions.


Monday June 16 we were at sea.  We started the day with a fitness class, morning stretch + abs.  Later Daddy Barry took in an Ionathermi treatment at the spa. 

Evening was our first chance to dine at the Vista.  Above are our delightful tablemates for dinner, Judy & Jim, who became friends in short order.  Good conversationalists, they’d met in the American Legion after Judy’s first husband died.  She made her own formalwear, and created matching ties for Jim.  Another fun tidbit:  They’ve done multi-state rides on Judy’s motorcycle.

Tuesday June 17 we again started with stretch + abs.  Later we reached Glacier Bay.  It rained in the morning but cleared in the afternoon.  Until it did, it was easy to see things and stay warm inside.  Later was Pinnacle Grill.  We enjoyed ourselves but it didn’t knock our socks off.  I think both of us would have enjoyed dining at a table with additional people, but we were at a cozy 2-person spot in a corner of the restaurant.  I ordered the filet mignon medium rare, and it came just a touch too bloody.  But we sent it back and it returned in short order cooked spot-on.



Glacier Bay



The 4-level boat gives Margaret Glacier some perspective in this picture.


Wednesday June 18 we got to Haines, Alaska.  We started with stretch class but no abs.  That was our last fitness class onboard.  Here’s a good shot of Daddy Barry with part of Haines in the background.  It became a leisurely day for us.  We’d scheduled a morning shore excursion kayaking to a glacier – the “Glacier Point Wilderness Safari” -- then eating lunch.  Thankfully the tour operator cancelled due to rough weather.  It had cleared up by the time of this photo, but earlier the swells were up to 4’ and really tossing the fairly large little boat – 23 passengers and 2 crew -- that tried to shuttle us to the kayaking point.

Thursday June 19 we reached Juneau, Alaska.


This is a humpback whale surfacing, mouth open, after “bubble net fishing”.  In that approach, whales swim around a school of fish and blow bubbles.  The fish are “trapped” in this, and then the whale comes up from underneath, mouth open.


Orca surfacing, Juneau
We were thrilled with our Harv and Marv whale watching tour.  The weather was stellar – 70ish and sunny --  and we got to see animals.  Plus, they only take 6 passengers on a boat.  Our shuttle had 7 people, so I knew we’d be split somehow.  But when all 5 of the other people turned out to be together, Barry and I got a boat to ourselves.  And our captain Steve was so enthusiastic!



Mendenhall Glacier, Tongass National Forest, Juneau
A short, welcome, land side trip on the whale watching excursion.

We finished off the day with “An Evening at Le Cirque” in the location normally occupied by the Pinnacle Grill.  After our “okay” seating on Tuesday, today I inquired if there were a window table.  Turns out the whole window side had been booked by a large contingent of Asians, so the answer was no.  The service was fine.  I found my warm butternut squash soup to be delicious.  But again I think we both would have enjoyed new dining companions.


We reached Ketchikan, Alaska, on Friday the 20th.  First we took in the Southeast Alaska Discovery Center which was richly informative.  Even simple things like laying an outline of Alaska over a map of the lower 48 to give an idea of just how large it is.  In the afternoon we took in The Great Alaskan Lumberjack Show.  I was quietly concerned it would be hokey, but two camps of lumberjacks really did compete in multiple formats and made it fun.  I remember 1) standing on a log and chopping between-the-feet, 2) regular standing log chopping, 3) ax throwing, 4) pole climbing, and 5) log rolling.  I know there were at least 1-2 more.


Saturday the 21st we sailed the picturesque Inside Passage toward Vancouver.  It was often a semi-narrow passage through gentle waters, with little islands on either side, periodic buoys and lighthouses, tons of green trees, and majestic mountains as a backdrop.  We saw a pod of dolphins swimming in front of the ship.


Arriving in Vancouver, Sunday the 22nd

At the end of the cruise we were presented with a cool recap:

·        1763 nautical miles

·        fuel consumption:

o   diesel generators:  200 tons/day

o   gas turbine:  90 tons/day

·        water production:  1680 tons/day

We opted to tote our own bags, so we qualified for “expedited” disembarkation.  That meant 7:15.  After a short delay, we trundled off the ship.  Things were very civilized.  The port was modern and the Customs folk friendly. 

We took a cab to our hotel and requested early check in.  They said they’d try, but had been full and checkout was not until noon.  But they would call us on our cell phone when a room in our class – “Superior with View” was ready.  (Indeed, we got into a room around 10:30am.  Impressive.)  They would hold our bags for us in the meantime.

We went exploring.  Catty-corner across the street was a Starbucks.  We stopped to fortify me with a macchiato.  Then we asked a hipster with long hair and beautiful eyes “If you were walking from here, which direction would you go?”  He sent us NE up Robson.  A few blocks down we took a left on Granville.  We got a day pass for the Metro at a 7-11.  Then we proceeded to George Wainborn Park, where we took another left and walked along the waterfront.  Eventually we wound up at Gastown at Caffe Artigiano at Hotel Opus.  There I took in a toasted sandwich and – a macchiato!  We were both tuckered.  And Daddy Barry’s body was aching.  We reached our hotel and were thrilled when our room came available in short order.



The view from our room at the Westin Grand

After a nap, we ventured out again.  Judy had said “Go to Chinatown!”  So, using our Metro passes, we did.  We rode the Canada Line and Sky Train to Chinatown. There we ate at New Mitzi's, Daddy Barry having chicken chow mein and I the vermicelli pork with egg.  Yummy.


Chinatown Gate

Dinner was down the street from the hotel at India Fusion.  It was okay, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

After dinner we headed down to the pool and whirlpool.  A boy was doing handstands in the water.  His dad soaked in the hot tub.  After a brief stint in the cool pool, we joined him.  We chatted about the cruise, as his family was heading out on the Disney line tomorrow.  But today they’d gone to a place I’d never heard of, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.  He described it joyfully and strongly recommended it.

The next day, Monday, Daddy Barry wasn’t feeling well.  We dined at the buffet.  $24/person.  Ow.  Then we went across the street to the downtown library, where a shuttle for Capilano would pick people up every 20 minutes.  We bought our tickets in advance – almost $40/person.  Steep.  But we’d gotten that strong recommendation.  And when we actually went through the park we both felt it was value for the money.  Magnificent and impeccably maintained.  For over 100 years.


Capilano Suspension Bridge



Treetop Trail at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park


Cantilevered pathway along Cliff Walk



Pausing along Cliff Walk

In all, we had a great time at Capilano.  We went through Hudson’s Bay department store on the route home.  More rest was in order when we got back.  At dinnertime Daddy Barry wasn’t hungry.  So I ate across the street at Memphis Blues BBQ.  The ribs were meaty but I wouldn’t recommend it.  The rub was just too overwhelming.

Tuesday we headed back to San Diego.  This time we were on US Airways and our flight went through Phoenix.  It was apparent to us both by now that Daddy Barry has the flu.  Body aches.  Coughing that began lightly about Wednesday.  Just feeling awful.  The one plus to the way back was, due to how we used our points, we had first class seats.  Daddy Barry sat back and tried not to cough.

But it had been a delightful adventure.

The next month we were treated to Pops on the Esplanade with Gary and Mark.  Amazing to have up-close seats for a concert, with a stunning view of downtown to one side, and fireworks afterward on the other side.

Wes came down with a cough that took a while to clear.  We took in movies:  "August: Osage County" (myeh), "Captain Philips" (okay), "Dawn of the Planet of the Apes" (seemed like all set-up for another movie), "Non-stop" (exciting), "Boyhood" (“a movie 12 years in the making”, but not that eventful).  The hard drive crashed.  (Thankfully we had a decently recent backup.)  We finished the legal process creating our trust.  We ate at Pizzeria Luigi with PozAbilities. 

In August Wes went to visit the family in Oregon.  The parents treated to dinner at Drina-Daisy Bosnian Restaurant and Baked Alaska.  The family had its annual reunion.  And Opa lost a claw and needed regular vet attention for quite some time while it healed. 

We ate at Burger Lounge.  Uncle Brad passed.  And Daddy Barry developed a throbbing in his head; first only during the evenings but later throughout the day.  A previous orthopaedics referral to find information about the source of pain in Daddy Barry’s right hip led to a CT and an “MRI, metal subtracted”.  The outcome:  It’s going to need a replacement.  We penciled this in for February.  Wes bought a handsome 2005 Kawasaki KZ1000P former police bike from Hollywood Motors Corp.  dog visited.  And we had a delightful birthday celebration for Daddy Barry with dog, John & Kent, Roadkill & Jim at Lei Lounge.

We bought a Sony BDPS3200 to stream Netflix wirelessly.  Boy was it buggy.  It took months for Sony to resolve it.  With the end of Microsoft updates to Windows XP we followed Consumer Reports’ suggestion and retired two computers from Internet access.  And we fired Cox for our regularly sucky Internet throughput, replacing them with ATT Uverse with over twice the throughput at about the same price.

September brought a uniforms presentation and a very special party hosted by Jan Lord to celebrate the upcoming opening of The Studio Door, the art space where Daddy Barry will be taking out a studio.  We ate at Bazinga, a macaroni and cheese restaurant, and were disappointed with the portion sizes.  Our dishwasher went out.  We had a delicious dinner with Roadkill & Jim at Puerto La Boca.  And we did lots of planning for our May trip for Laura's wedding.

In October we got to celebrate John’s successful Kickstarter campaign to open a second Meshuggah Shack downtown at an upcoming development called Quartyard.  And during a heatwave our A/C died.  It was apparently 28 years old so we have no complaints.  But replacing it was quite expensive.  The installers even needed a crane to lift the units down and up the central second story roof.  Thankfully we were able to stay with John & Kent, who are just fun to be around anyway.  We took in lunch at Tobey's 16th Hole Restaurant, and a yummy dinner at Alchemy.  Our hosts played the campy movie Sextette, featuring Mae West playing a sex object at 83.  We also got to spend a week with Elaine, Susan & Dan on a sibling trip to Las Vegas.  Lastly we got to hand out Halloween candy at Melissa's to over 500 kids and family.

November brought a DEXA scan ordered by Dr. Caperna as part of his initial intake of Daddy Barry at 65.  It showed osteopenia in his lower back, and osteoporosis in his hips.  {{Sigh}}  We also had three things with the Subaru in short order.  First, I backed up into a neighbor’s bumper.  Second, the battery needed replacing.  And third, the keyless entry / alarm process was flummoxed:  Turned out to be a computer chip in the ignition switch and replacing it cost $800.  Oh my.  Our dear friend Farrah had a boo boo on her foot so we spent extra time loving on her.  And The Studio Door had a lovely opening reception with the Ray Street Artists’ Farewell Show.  In the next week Daddy Barry helped fellow artist Ann prepare for a showing of over 50 of her paintings.  Fall was really busy and we were both tuckered.

To close the year we had another visit from dog, a Christmas trip to see Deputy and Chris, and a Christmas family reunion – where we got to meet smiling Addison for the first time -- in Fort Worth.

As always, may this find you happy & well.


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Back to previous year | Forward to next year



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Wes & Tom's Cool Site
The Letter Wars (aka
The Homophobe Hellhole)
Things From Wes' Nose
| Things From Wes' Mind

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