Back a little before Christmas I had my 89 year old mom out to Macy’s for a little seasonal shopping. While in the women’s department with her I heard a different take on Gayla Peeve’s classic I want a Hippopotamus for Christmas and was quite taken with it. Some artist I didn’t know had given that 1950s song a new tropical twist and I couldn’t get it outta my head, so when I got home I had some searching to do. It took some time and wasn’t easy to find, but find it I did and posted it here on this here blog thingy on December 10, 2021. It was by a group I wasn’t familiar with called Lake Street Dive. Man did they give that old Christmas tune a new life. After finding it I bought it on iTunes to add to my library.
After finding it I also followed Lake Street Dive on YouTube and am glad I did. Today a new Lake Street Dive cover popped into my feed and they knock it out of the park. Not only did the memories of Betty White and The Golden Girls make me tear up but the passion and emotion that which they put into their take on Thank You For Being A Friend also made me tear up with emotions of joy and hope.
Lake Street Dive – Thank You For Being A Friend – 2020 (posted to you tube January 4, 2022 in memory of Betty White)
And to all of you who are reading these words, Thank You for being my friend.
It is with great sadness that I write this.
Our beloved friend and blogger Anne Marie in Philly has passed away.
I cannot fully express my gratitude that you came into my life. I thank you for the laughter, smiles, smooches, encouragement, likes, comments, tears, fun, companionship, hospitality, outlook, perspective, bitchyness, joy and most of all love. I will miss you greatly. I will always carry you in my heart and share just a piece of you with everyone I possibly can.
My condolences in your great loss. Please know that I am always here for you.
I’ve found that anytime I begin anew that I am more productive, creative, fulfilled and successful if I begin from a place of gratitude.
The year two thousand twenty one is fresh, so there is no better time for me to put a new foot forward toward bettering myself. I hope to be a better husband, better friend, better real estate agent, better painter, better blogger and better person in the coming year.
So I choose to start with gratitude. Being that you are reading this on this here blog thingy called Fearsome Beard, why not begin with it.
You don’t need me to tell you that twenty twenty has been a dumpster fire of a year. However as all years go, there are milestones that happen. Yes bad shit happens but so does good.
Fearsome Beard passed the milestone of ninety thousand views for the first time in our 6 year history, 94,267 views from 28,724 visitors. Both of these numbers were all time highs. All time highs thanks to you my dear readers and also thanks to blogger buddy referrals.
Our number 1 referring blog was I Should Be Laughing with 2,855 referrals, coming in at number two is Bosguy who sent us 2,319 referrals and to round out the top three we received 1,165 referrals from Riding On . Thank you to the three of you and all of the many other wonderful Blogger buddies I have who send readers my way by including Fearsome in their blogroll and linking back to this blog. Without the support of other bloggers over the years Fearsome Beard wouldn’t have become the important part of my life that it has. Appreciate all of you I do.
While we are on the blogger buddy gratitude train I simply must thank UrSpo over at Spo Reflections as he introduced me to blogging and walked me through the process of registering with WordPress and right into my very first post. I cannot be grateful to blogger buddies without mentioning three special ones I met many years ago in the comments section of UrSpo’s blog who are Anne Marie , Sassybear & Erik all who have been readers and supporters of Fearsome since our first week.
Most of all I want to thank you, each and every one of you who clicks, reads, follows, likes and comments right here on our blog. Fearsome and I are humbled. We hope that we at least bring a smile to at least one face per day. Each and every smile in the world makes this world a better place.
Fearsome and I love our journey that is our life and we are happy and most grateful that you are a part of it.
Sometimes we get the honor of spending time with our mentors. I had the honor of having dinner Friday evening with not only a mentor but a good friend.
After many years of reading and commenting on his blog, it was our dear UrSpo who encouraged me, and showed me how, to start my own blog.
Spo, I had a great time and look forward to our next meeting.
In the mean time my dear friend, safe travels on your way home today.
My apologies dearest blog thingy readers, I’m a day behind cause after day 4 we were exhausted but happy!
Blogging has blessings, blogging makes friends.
I’ve conversed via comment sections for many years with Sean (aka Sassybear) and grew to love him. Tonight I met not only him, but also his other half, here in San Diego for a laughter filled dinner. It was the first time we have ever met face to face and I will say this, no finer two gentlemen will one ever meet. Honored I am.
They arrived here this afternoon for Comic-Con. Fun we will have!
The last week of April the better half and I celebrated 29 years together by treating ourselves to a east coast trip to both New York and Philadelphia. The kind lady that the check in desk of New York’s Marriott Marquis Time Square surprised us with a room upgrade. We found ourselves blessed with an unbelievable 35th floor view of Time Square eye to eye with the famous clock.
New York was wonderful. We made it to the Guggenheim, the Frick, MOMA, the Vessel, Bergdorf’s, the Fashion Institute, Mood, a Metz game, Rockefeller Center, Macy’s and of corse Tiffany. We saw To Kill a Mocking Bird, The Cher Show and Dear Evan Hansen. A whirlwind it was, a good one in fact.
Fearsome met a rather inspiring politician at Penn station awaiting his train to Philly.
In Philly we were greeted by three wonderful friends and bloggers. Bloggers known as Mistress Maddie, Arteejee and none other than the famous Anne Marie in Philly. We had a great dinner with the three of them. Fun conversation and lots of laughter. Blogging really does have its benefits. The bloggers I’ve met in person over the years have all become treasured friends. I’ll be back to see these three!
The next day was spent with family as a Fearsome’s niece lives just outside of Philadelphia . We attended a Phillies game with the whole crew.
The highlight of our trip? Well there were many and you know what? The whole trip was a highlight. I’m blessed with a husband I love, friends I love and family I love.
I just want to be there.
1989 was the year the film Longtime Companion was released. 1989 was the height of the AIDS crisis. My friends, and lovers, were being diagnosed left and right. My friends, and lovers, were dying left and right.
Needless to say this movie was a timely written timeline of the short decade that proceeded it. The short decade that was my coming of age as a gay man. I came out while in high school in 1980. Almost, not all, of my early friends and lovers in the gay community at the least became infected, or died. At the time this movie was released I was but one of very few I knew who remained HIV negative.
It wasn’t if I would succumb, it was when. Somehow I remain, thankfully, uninfected.
When this final scene came up on the big screen in front of me and my friends with which I sat, we began to cry. Sobbing with ugly tears. Tears of grief, loss and yet hope. Hope that one day our nightmare would end. Hope that one day we might once again see, hold, love and kiss those we once knew. Hope that at the least we wouldn’t loose any more loved ones to this horrible disease.
Time passed, infection rates dropped. We learned and eventually treatments improved.
Today there isn’t yet a cure but there is prevention. With science and research, particularly STEM CELL RESEARCH, a cure may one day become reality. Remember that your vote counts, your future vote may be needed to not only ensure the necessary research we now have but to restore it.
It’s pride month. Be proud of who you are. Respect others for being who they are. Understand those who are different. Love your sister and your brother. Vote for progress. Strive to be better.
(This Post is dedicated to Jerry Smoot who was my first friend, and occasional lover, I lost to AIDS. At a young 38 years, he was just coming into his prime. Jerry, when the scene came on the screen I envisioned you running onto that beach to hug me, kiss me and hold me.)
Fearsome and I left my brother’s house in Virginia and arrived in Ft. Lauderdale FL this afternoon.
We checked into one of our favorite resorts only to hear a friendly voice call over to us. We, or should I say Fearsome, had been recognized by a daily reader. He and his friend were most friendly and complimentary. He has quite a nice beard himself.
After a short conversation we found out that he apparently discovered Fearsome Beard shortly after we started blogging on June 1, 2014. We were honored and are humbled.
We snapped a quick photo and thus we have a spontaneous Beard of the day. I didn’t ask permission to use their names or home location so I’ll keep those mum, but their photo we will post.
Cheers to the benefits of blogging and Thank You to all of my dear readers!
It had been a while
A while since we first met
The fun, smiles, laughter, excitement
The message came through
Yes, yes I remember!
A plan to meet
Anticipation builds, memories swirl
The time comes, the time passes
No message, no word
Was it a dream?