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inner beauty

For the past forty-something entries, I’ve written about my graduate student self, my scientist/researcher self, my educator self, my Catholic self, my food-loving self, my sporty self, my adventurous and curious self, my tall Asian self, my caring and loving self, my traveler self, my photographer self, and much more.  I have been avoiding writing about one of my other identities, and I instead focus on being my progressive self so that I could get out of this town and get my PhD as soon as possible.  However, a man has feelings and cannot solely think of work the whole time too,…and now ’tis time to introduce my gay self.

Labelling myself gay makes me feel funny, since I would still consider a woman to be beautiful and would be honored to dine with a lovely lady, but I dreamt of being held tightly by a man with strong arms.  There were numerous moments in my life when I was told that I am not too gay, for I do not act flamboyantly nor go to gay bars or socials by myself.  I also know limits and would not prey on students, coworkers, friends, and such…and perhaps my aim to make progress in graduate school and life prevents people from seeing the gay me.  Interestingly, a little bit of me always wonder if I will be loved by others.  I have many friends of both sexes who told me that I am a great guy and that I will make a great lover, but I never thought that I am attractive enough.  For a person who used to be seventy-five to eighty pounds heavier, I did become more confident socially, but I always feel that I could become more muscular or make my physical appearance better with contact lenses and one of those wacky hairdos.  Even if my heart tells me so, I still decided to be my own self with my glasses and short hair, although I do visit the gym to work out my muscles.

Another obstacle is that I am not interested in hookups or one nighters.  I noticed that many people around my age and myself could be horny quite frequently, but I just have my ways to suppress the urge by going to the gym, having long walks, or riding my bike around town.  Perhaps compared to many others I know, I could be considered asexual since I do not dread to bang or be banged by other folks everyday.  Maybe that is why I do not consider myself hetero- or homosexual since I want to focus on love instead of being sexed up.  When having some conversations with a family member who was afraid of HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases when I came out to her last December, I also vowed that I will not have anal sex with any random person I met, and I have been a virgin since birth.   For a masculine man with some manners, I also do not just stare at people on the streets and think if I would penetrate or be penetrated by them or not.

No matter who I am, I feel distant and different compared to most of the gays out there.  I have many wonderful friends and family members, and I will stay loyal to them,…but good gay friends are limited on my list.  I wonder if I am the only gay guy looking for something more meaningful than what is behind the zippers, and why I would feel lonely in an ocean or pond of gay men.  I felt as an old-fashioned gay since I love Frank Sinatra and some classy taste in food and wine, and I do not submerged myself into Lady Gaga or dollar beers the entire time.  I prefer to stay at home, cook dinner, and cuddle with my lover while watching a movie instead of going out onto the dance floor and get wasted.  Even if I dedicate myself to work for now, the little bit of my hopeless romantic self would feel neglected when seeing couples holding hands on streets.  I believe that there is someone out there who really cares about me and that I can be loved, but I was disappointed through time.  Of course, I do have standards to find a guy who is well-educated, who is independent (even financially), who takes good care of himself, who has goals to achieve in life, and who is adventurous and curious (since I did not end up well with a guy who only eats burgers and apples).  One of my friends told me that my standards could be high since many folks would leech onto others and depend on others, and that the independent type pretty much makes the 1% of the population…I also know that I will not be happy when dating a guy who is not disease or drug free, and maybe my standards could be too high in the gay world.

I watched a movie called “Is It Just Me?” today, and I felt that I was portrayed in the movie through the main character Blaine.  Similar to him, I could be considered “average” since I am not obese, overweight, muscular, twinkie, or sexually active.  Blaine and I shared many other aforementioned similarities, and the movie gave me courage and hope to continue being who I truly am. ‘Tis not that I am going to break my vow and start sleeping around town,’tis not that I am going to change my wardrobe into flashy neon pink, ’tis not that I am going to ditch my other identities and become a typical gay man.  There is nothing wrong with me; although I could be considered “different” compared to many other gay guys, I am unique and special in my own ways, and I am PROUD of who I am.

Along with reminding me to accept myself and not compare myself to others, the film also sends the message that there are guys out there like me who would appreciate my character.  Maybe he is not discovered by me in Madison, or that–similar to Blaine’s plot in the movie–he is going to be a Texan cowboy with leather boots and hat.  I do know that it is fine if my first boyfriend does not become my lifelong partner, but I do hope that he is there somewhere.

Many folks told me that I am becoming into a Catholic monk and that perhaps I should join the seminary and become a priest.  Unfortunately, I did not hear God’s calling for that but for me to dedicate myself in the health sciences field and to educate others.  Even after being amazingly single for twenty-five years and continuously making improvements in my abilities, my body, and my soul…I am not giving up and am going continue to be patient while meeting more folks in life.

At the end, I dedicate this song to all folks out there, no matter who you are.  Do know that you are loved and that you will find love, and may you continue loving your true self and showering yourself with the simplest joys around you.

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February started a bit on the sour note for me.  I became occupied with research and teaching, especially on grading weekly quizzes…but I still go to the gym and play volleyball.  The broomball season was actually short since this winter has been warmer than usual, and water has been seeping through ice on the lakes. 

On the evening of 13 Feb (which is the morning of Valentine’s Day in Taipei), I received news that my dear grandma (from my mother’s side) passed away that morning in Taiwan.  This brought a new meaning to the fourteenth day of February for me, and I was feeling awful for weeks since then.  Even my faculty advisor and the coordinator of the course I teach noticed that I was not myself at all.  I only shared this news with close friends and co-workers around then, and I have been in close contact with my parents and brother as well.  ‘Twas interesting since my grandma has been an amazing lady in my life who taught me many things ranging from portraying beauty to the world, showing care to others around you, and staying strong and being happy during the worst of times…She was unconscious and in pain, and she reunited with the grandpa I never saw since birth on a special day.  I became more and more open-minded after a few days instead of burrowing myself constantly in grief since she did live to the old age of ninety-one.  Although I could not attend the funeral in Taipei, I made a recording of myself singing Schubert’s Ave Maria with my cheap digital camera and sent it home.  It will be played during the funeral on Monday, 27 Feb.  My grandma would always applaud and cheer when I sing to her, and I remember that tears streamed across her cheeks when I sang to her last May when I went back home for the urgent two-week visit.  Although she was a vegetable, she would shake when I held her and even wiggle a bit as if she would want to talk to me.  I just hope that the song sang from my heart will be a good send-off for her since her baptismal name is Maria.  I still carry the photo of her and me and would glance at it each day, and I will definitely not forget her.

The Taiwanese custom is that relatives of the deceased will have to abstain from parties, visits to people’s houses, celebrations, and other large-scale joyful/social events.  Interestingly, this period coincides with Lent for me.  Before the incidence, I made plans to grab drinks with co-TAs and friends, to meet and socialize with prospective students of my program through drinks and potlucks, and more…it felt awkward to cancel all those plans, which included telling some curious folks the reason of my absence.  However, most of them were understanding.  Some, such as my professor, the coordinator of the course I teach, and the coordinator of my program, shared their grief and would share their experiences with me too.  Due to limitations in parties and such, this is why I am giving up alcohol for Lent.  It can be healthier for me, and that opens more opportunities for me to go to the gym, walk or bike around town, and keep myself active.  This period also made me closer to my family too, and I am grateful for that.

Throughout this period, I still interact with great friends.  I bumped into Jordan a few days ago, and I remember him as a scrawny kid two years ago when we took a course together.  He is still tall, but perhaps more muscular and mature, and I was surprised that he is still in Madison.  He declined an offer to go to medical school and found passion in teaching and parasitology.  Therefore, he is tutoring students through the Department of Zoology and is working in a company while applying for public health programs in different universities.  I also bumped into many former students, such as Alex the ATP guy, Logan (whom I wrote a letter of recommendation), Stephan (who just got engaged), and Jenn (a great mom and soldier).

Michael, one of my co-TAs, has been amazing since January.  He started as a newbie for teaching who avoided any courses and opportunities for public speaking in the past…He did not do that well during his first week and eventually broke down in tears, but he became a different person the following week and has been doing a brilliant job in standing and delivering.  He became more confident, although he would still say that he is nervous and that the students are plain stupid (he took this course a loooong time ago and got an A without trying too hard, and there are tons of students who have been getting poor scores and cannot organize thoughts or reason through things)…but he is a great guy to talk to one-on-one.  He is funny and great to talk to, and he became a great friend.  I guess that we have been encouraging one another in little ways.  On Mardi Gras, I bought students donuts from Greenbush Bakery and saved one for him since he mentioned that Mardi Gras was his most favorite holiday with hurricanes and parties and that I knew that he would be stopping by the building when I was teaching.  After teaching, I noticed that he was selling like hotcake with five students surrounding him in the TA office, so I dropped off the donut and left.  Who knew that he would run after me and graced me with a red and a blueish green strains of beads?  He is such a funny guy…and he even brought me a huge Snicker’s bar after meeting his wife for dinner prior to proctoring an exam on Thursday.  Speaking of his wife, Michael would describe Brooke in a manner that made me vision her as the one with the whip during S&M play, but I actually meet her on Monday evening, and she was a cute and lovely lady!

At the same time, I still go to Bible study with the same gang and would text and meet-up with my friend Chuck.  I also would text and chat with Matt through gchat, and we went for a walk together after I was done proctoring on Thursday.  We walked around the neighborhood for forty-five minutes to an hour, appreciating the snow and each other’s company.  He has accepted a postdoc position in Detroit since he did not get offered the faculty position at Gonzaga, and I am glad that at least life is not too uncertain for him now.  it turns out that he went to Mass on Ash Wednesday and is giving up alcohol for Lent too!  I gave him a can of beer earlier, and he told me that ’twas still sitting in his fridge due to Lent.  Throughout the walk, he told me about a new bakery in town, and I decided to check it out today.

I walked along State Street and passed by the bakery yesterday, just to notice that ’twas closed although the label and facebook indicated that it should be closed after two hours.  I left, hoping it visit it the next day, and so I dragged myself out of bed to be an early bird who gets baked goods straight out from the oven from Bakers’ Window.  I remembered the label indicating that the bakery would be opened at 8AM…I arrived at 8:30AM, and folks were still setting up things.  Who knew that they actually open at 9?  However, I was offered to enter and purchase goods.  Matt told me about the croissants, and so I purchased some pain au chocolat (with regular croissant being the other option since there were not many other items out from the oven) and was given a wedding cookie for free.  Those chocolate croissants were still hot and just out from the oven, but the bread had some buttery goodness that did not make the croissant too flakey and dry.  It was not too soggy either.  The chocolate was in a generous silky serving, and the pain itself was huge!  That was perhaps the best pain au chocolat I ever have in my life.  Before that, I had great memories of the ones by Cafe Soleil before it closed, but the croissants from there were smaller, the chocolate filling was one single strip in the middle (and could be hard on some days), and also more expensive.  Thanks to Matt, I will definitely pay Bakers’ Window a visit in the near future to try the scones, pies, and other baked goods.

Throughout my interactions with friends, I was also wondering if I should get a new cellphone since I have been eligible to upgrade my phone since last December.  I have one of those free cellphones from Verizon with a keyboard.  ‘Tis handy but I could not use internet and such on it.  I remember when I was crossing Los Angeles back into Las Vegas with a friend three Thanksgivings ago, we were lost and the GPS guided us into a desert area without paved roads but one filled with cacti…which scraped off the tires and ended with a tow truck carrying us back to Las Vegas so I could catch my flight back to Madison.  From then, I noticed that having a technological upgrade could be a plus since I would hope to find routes or maps with a cellphone.  Even my friend Max used his iPhone to search for bus routes when we went to Chicago for the Cubs game two years ago, and ’tis a great tool to search for restaurants and such as well.  However, I could not stand typing an email with a cellphone.  Surfing through the web might be okay and texting friends…but typing a well-written email or an entry like this on a cellphone can be unbearable for me.  When I am outside of my apartment, I also do not constantly use my cellphone since I would love to spend time with the fresh air and scenes around me, so I doubt that I will be facebooking when I am walking on the streets or at work.  I still like to have the feeling of a real keyboard instead of a virtual one.  Plus, while interacting with Matt’s smartphone a while ago, my fingers could be too big for the keys.  I also like the idea of having some apps such as angrybird, but I do not think that I will like the idea of having Grindr on my phone since it can be creepy for people to know where I live…However, Chuck is encouraging me to invest in a Droid RAZR (smartphone) since that is indeed a beauty (I love the Gorilla Glass), and Max has been trying to sell me the idea of getting an iPhone since ages ago.  Therefore, this is pretty much my dilemma: should I get a Droid RAZR, and iPhone, or just stick with the simple but yet functional phone I have now?

So in short, I am doing well and life goes on.  No matter what happens in life–good or bad–I will continue to look forward for the next day while cherishing the present.  I am glad that I did not make anything too regretful at this point; I know that I will not be able to forgive myself if I did not fly back to Taipei last May to see my grandma…and I am still surrounded with the simplest joys and love in life.

Life can be tough with nothing going as smooth as they want them to be.  Our progress could be interfered and delayed by co-workers or people around us, accidents and mistakes happen, people would be late for meetings, you do not hear back from friends when calling or text messaging them, etc.  Sometimes, we are the ones to blame for our own contribution to making life rough, and there are times when there is actually nothing we can do to make the situation better.  As long as we do not think that life is a b*tch and become depressed, we will have the strength to move forward each day with some of the simplest accomplishments and joys.

One of the ways for me to feel better about myself is through exercising.  I spent more than five times a week in the gym, biking around town, and even better during the winter–playing broomball.  The weekly Saturday event is something that I look forward to, or else I would be lazy and stay indoors during the winter.

I was introduced to broomball when I met Joe in my friend Kristina’s Swedish Midsommarfest in summer 2010.  Joe told me about a group of folks (at least a year or two older than me who graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison, people who were from Monroe in the same high school, elementary school teachers, or those from other places that are working in Madison) hitting a soccer ball as a hockey puck with a broom on the icy lake with sneakers or boots, and it immediately captured my attention.  I reconnected with Joe in early 2011 and soon began playing broomball since that February…I met many wonderful folks such as Dusty (the Godfather or the one who used to be in charge but is now in Florida), Justin, Adam, Brandon, Liz, Karam,…just to name a few.  I also met new folks each week and even one of my former students!  The group was a bunch of nice and encouraging folks, and ’tis great seeing them every wintry Saturday.

Since I prefer to wear shorts and tshirt when working out instead of sweatpants and sweatshirt, I wore a tshirt and a pair of jeans or pants last winter.  That was when I was known as Sleeveless Joe…However, the past few days became a lot windier, so I wore my jacket last time.  However, I was actually in shorts and even on today’s game, so I then became Crazy Joe!  There were two other Joes who usually play: the Joe I met (who became Captain Joe since he took over Dusty’s duties) and Big Joe (or Illinois Joe).

The funny story about today is that there were some folks who were around us taking pictures and such.  Usually, there would be a car or truck parked in front of us, speculating us for a while and then honked and waved at us.  And then, there was a guy who took pictures of us with a professional camera for a while.  Similar to others, he observed us for quite a while…but different from others, he started talking to me and others when Big Joe decided to switch with me to get into the game since I had played for a while.  The guy took a few pictures of me since I was the only one in shorts, and even Brandon (who was beside me and subbing as well) told the photographer that I was known to be Crazy Joe!  The photographer even commented on me wearing shorts under the 18F weather with large calves…Haha the guy took more pictures of me and told me that he is a professional photographer who is just taking pictures for fun.  He took photos for the Badgers too, and ’twas fun chatting with him.  He asked me for my name, told me his, and requested me to find him on facebook.  Later on, he took a group picture of everyone and left as we continued playing.

‘Twas a special experience for me since I have never been asked by professional photographers to take photos of me.  I mean, I do not look like Brad Pitt or a muscular stud (yet), and I am just one ordinary Asian.  I even look fat when bundled with my jacket, scarf, and other clothing to make my upper body warm.  Maybe I might have low self-esteem since I used to be heavier and think that I am not attractive enough for people around me.  However, being placed in the spotlight unexpectedly made me realize that I need to have more faith in myself and love myself more as well.  There were times when I told people who I am not as good as others in broomball or other sports, but I have been improving.  I will definitely continue to push myself to run and reach for the ball when the ice is slippery and even become a better player.  I will also continue to be supportive of my peers too by encouraging them to getting to know them more.  Even for great friends, there is always something new to learn about one another.

And yes–these things I learned from broomball overall and today’s experience relate to life quite well.  Instead of telling ourselves that we are not as worthy or that we cannot do it, we need to have positive thoughts in our minds and set high expectations.  If we keep telling ourselves negative thoughts, we would not be able to give ourselves an opportunity to grow and face challenges to become stronger.  We do not need to be cut-throat or mucho competitive, but we need to say that we are sexy when we look into the mirror and that we can confront challenges.

So am I crazy?  You betcha.  I’m still going to wear shorts or tshirts to future broomball sessions since that is who I am.  I do not care if I am different from others as long as I am enjoying the moment by myself and with others around me.  As long as I am making progress bit by bit, I will be blessed!

I have not written for the past two days, so here is a mini-recap:

1. Things in lab are going well.  I am now planning on the next huge experiment.

2. Went to lunch with Tawin and his friend.  The food was a bit pricey but flavorful…but I feel that I could simply cook the dish myself.  I guess that this is a good lesson for me: to not go to a Nepalese place for lunch but Indian lunch buffet with the same price range and more choices.

3. Have been riding my bike around for exercise other than walking.  The gyms have been closed, and I am hoping to go back to the work-outs and cardio exercises soon!

4. I met up with my good friend Michael tonight, and we hung out for an hour and a half at Noodles and Co.  We did not go there for dinner, but we were trying to find a place to catch up and chat.  We ended going to Noodles and Co. where he bought a huge cookie to share, and we finally sat and stayed warm.  I of course did not eat any of the chocolate chip cookie since I need to maintain my figure 😉

Michael was a good and holy man I met in 2010, and he became my godfather when I was baptized in April 2011.  We would often meet up to catch up in life, and so ’twas a joy to see him again.  He is getting married next June to a lovely lady, whom I met before…and I am happy for him.  He is happy with his new job and is thinking about what to do next in life.  Being older than him by a year or two, I gave him some tips, even on wedding planning, and he found those helpful.

We did talk about sex and culture tonight, and that inspired me to write this entry.  After talking to many people and reading blog entries from many, I noticed that many individuals would put more emphasis on sex instead of love.  For many, great sex is all that matters…but for a few, loving a person is more important.  Being able to hold hands and walk along the beach, to enjoy time cuddling together while watching a movie or seeing the sunrise, to laugh with conversations over dinner…all these beautiful wonders mean so much more to me and others compared to an erected ten inch cock, uber sensitive nipples, and twenty minutes (which can be too short for some people like me ;-D) of sweaty sex on the lawn.  ‘Tis no doubt that for most humans, we would have sexual urges due to the increase of our hormone levels after puberty from time to time, and that some of us can control our urges better than others…but why is there so much emphasis on sex?  Why would a gay guy sob if his date just wants some sleep instead of fooling around for the evening?  Why would a girl talk about the size of the penis as in a Sex and the City episode?

Perhaps the human race became a lot more open and casual to sex after sexual liberation with contraceptives.  Numerous movies and shows also portray folks hopping onto bed without underwear after the first date.  There are scenes, even in advertisement, of a guy waking up in the morning next to a nude lady, walking away from the bed and putting on his pants.  There are erotic scenes of sensual rub downs, and people in the kinos would have boners and start playing with themselves (which I noticed once with a guy next to me in a theatre on campus, and that freaked me out).  There are plots of teenagers hoping to get laid and get lucky for the evening, which forces folks to have sexual experience due to peer pressure and not be the sole virgin in a group…And special thanks to the internet, porn is a lot accessible to many in developed nations.  Even according to Avenue Q, the “internet is for porn”!  While familiarizing ourselves with porn, our mindset toward sex changes into addiction.  One of the guys mentioned quite often in his blog that he could hardly ejaculate in front of any human being since he is used to jacking off with porn, and that is just funny.  Why would a computer screen turn someone on so badly?  I mean, a real human in front of you is an attractive 3D image compared to the 2D pornography through the computer screen.  You can even poke the nipples of a human in front of you and see them bounce, which cannot be done through the screen barrier!  Even those 3D glasses for Avatar would not work in this scenario!  Would it not be better to be able to find someone you truly love at the end, spend quality time with him or her, and start exploring with commitment?

The rate of sexually transmitted infection is increasing dramatically as well.  For girls who are 13 to 17 years old, a report indicated that one of the four in that cohort would have sexually transmitted infections.  Perhaps this is why there is such a huge push for Gardasil to be on the market, but why are teenagers experiencing sex?  Why are more and more teenagers getting pregnant and dropping out of high school or even college?  Other than the heterosexual population, the gay community is not that much better.  In Madison, around 30-40% of gay club frequent goers would have STIs or be HIV positive.  Unfortunately, not a lot of people would get tested for those, and not many who are positive for both would be honest with their sex toy of the evening.

Sexual liberation creates more problems than benefits in my eyes, and that is perhaps why I am a lot more sexually conservative compared to the folks I know.  I just want something a lot more stable before committing myself to sleep with someone.  ‘Tis true that people might think that I am bad at sex since I lack the experience or practice…but you never know 😉  ‘Tis true that the missionary position can be boring for folks, and so that is why we all need to be creative!  Instead of blaming on bad sex, read a book or find resources that can help you.  Go to the gym to exercise and work-out to increase stamina.  Do something instead of b*tching around it with friends or finding another guy or girl and tossing away previous “partners” like used kleenex.

With so much emphasis on sex, many folks would also forget how to treat a lady or a man on a date, how to kiss and cuddle, how to even chat over food and walks, and how to be attractive.  We focus only on our pleasure (I had great sex, I had lousy sex, My hair is gorgeous for the date tonight, what should I wear? I enjoyed myself), but forget to think about our date or partner (Did you enjoy dinner?  You are so handsome!  I love the way you smile, I enjoyed talking to you).  Since humans usually wear clothes around the streets, we unfortunately are not like peacocks that would show their glimmering feathers to the opposite sex in public.  I mean, if I start showing my ding-dong down the street around my neighborhood, I would end up in the police station.  Therefore, we need to find ways to show our true selves while encouraging others to be themselves, portray our inner beauty while complimenting others’ as well, and show others that we are more than just flesh.  If the dating scene is just like a meat market, then humans do not need to be born without a brain!  Even if there is good sex in a relationship or marriage, those interactions will not last without something a bit more meaningful with quality.

Perhaps there needs to be a change in our culture.  Although many folks can be seen to be stubborn, a culture is actually more fluid than we thought.  For example, many in the Asian community would love to have shark’s fin soup to display their richness to the society.  After knowing how shark’s fins are harvested, many communities have banned shark’s fin soups in restaurants and in the markets.  In the United States and Europe, people would eat unhealthily with fast food…and folks such as Jamie Oliver and others are trying to change the eating habits of many.  If we notice that we are diagnosed with cancer or diabetes, we would hope to have done something earlier to change our lifestyle before being diagnosed!  Before making HIV and STIs so prevalent in the population, we have to do something for a change!  Yes, people might want scientists like me to pop a pill or create more efficient condoms, but ’tis actually quite hard for scientists and any human to play the role of God and defy nature.  Even those who use condoms still can risk getting HIV infections since the viruses could escape through the mini pores of the condoms.

Instead of asking for more tools and gadgets to be invented, we need to change our overall behavior.  There are reasons why the rate of STIs is not increasing in some cultures, and not due to the lack of accurate reporting of incidents.  Instead of popping a porn movie, take good care of ourselves by learning to suppress and control our urges so that we will not be the twenty-second or thirty-minute guy.  Instead of inserting your penis into a vagina or anus on the first date, make out and cuddle with the person a bit more so that you can feel each other’s warmth while enjoying intimacy.  Instead of thinking about sex when you see a beautiful lady walking down the street, do not just stare at her breasts or buttocks but compliment her on her beauty and get to know her as a person.  View each human being as a human being and not a sex toy, damnit!…but before that, learn to love yourself and have faith in yourself!  Take good care of yourself instead of eating tons of cheese cakes while being a couch potato!

Anyway, so that is my thought of the evening.  I also text messaged M tonight since I miss him.  After telling him that I hope that he’s doing well in the southwest, he messaged me back with an lol and called me a silly man  while thanking me 🙂  He was hanging out at his friends’ place when I texted, and I felt bad.  I mean, I would love him to be able to spend quality time with family and friends this holiday season back at home, and I would feel guilty if he texted me around his family and friends.  I apologized…but being a nice guy, he indicated that ’tis okay and that they were just hanging out.  Perhaps ’tis just me, but I sent a message back saying that he shouldn’t ditch his friend for another and that I respect his personal life with family, friends, work, etc too…so I pretty much ended the fifteen-minute text messaging conversation.  I also told him that I will send something around his way tomorrow, and he told me that he is excited :-D…When we chatted on the phone on Christmas, he told me that he loves the image of downtown Madison from John Nolen Drive at night and first saw it on a bus.  I am going to ride the bike around Lake Monona tomorrow evening, so I hope to snap a shot of the downtown area around the area by then and send it to him.  I hope that he’ll like what I’ll send him, and that he understands where I am coming from earlier during our text messages too 🙂