Here are the highlights from McFreed House in 2011:

1. The McFreeds finally made it into the adoption pool in January.

2. The passing of four family members (Leah, Aunt Kitty, Uncle Stanley, and Aunt Shirley), one family friend (Wayne), and two parents of friends.

3. Social events were great successes at McFreed House this year:

  • Sean’s 40th Birthday Party – Sean finally got his tiara
  • Summer Shindig – 92 guests!
  • Thanksgiving – A whole lot of Gutins, Gutin-adjacents, and friends

4. Stefan’s mom moved to Florida.

5. Home Improvements – New furnace chimney, water heater, bedroom furnace, and furnace tubing

6. Sean’s new car – 2012 Subaru Forester

7. Sean got his PMP and assisted his company in passing two ISO 9001:2008 audits.

8. Stefan and his brother Andy interview McFreed House’s builder’s son who also grew up in Stefan’s grandparent’s home. He gave us a lot of information about McFreed House.

9. Sean and his sister Mikelle attend a Kylie Minogue concert and a NFL Game together (Philadelphia Eagles vs. New England Patriots). Sean wore his Patriots jersey to the game  and came out alive and with a Patriots win!

10. The McFreeds survived a 5.8 earthquake, tornado-adjacent hail storm, and Hurricane Irene all in one week!

When you look back on a year in your mind, you usually put yourself first and the world at large next.  But that isn’t what life is though. Life is small moments that blur like a fast-forwarded video in your mind. And the moments you witness are not always centered around you, even though we want our universe sometimes to be the only one. (wink) I wanted to slow down the tape and reflect on those small moments that will sum this year up for me more than anything. So not in any order and without any focus, these are the flashes of video I will remember about 2011…

1. Anna’s and Zeke’s Wedding

Stefan and I had the amazing privilege of being invited to Anna’s and Zeke’s wedding November 11th. There are times when you really see love captured not just in a couple but in a whole scene. There was a moment in the reception when Michael Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros‘ song “Home” started to play and Anna and Zeke began to dance.

The crowd surrounded them tapping their toes, some dancing, and all shaking a small stick with a bell and a few ribbons on it. The whole crowd sang and as the song ended and we all scattered back to our conversations or food or further dancing, the guests all looked at each other with goosebumps remarking how “transplendant” that collective moment was. This is a photo of the moment… Anna’s face tells the story. And if you squint, you will see Stefan and I witnessing it all… Thanks for letting us celebrate with you Anna and Zeke and gifting us such a beautiful moment for our memory… it was all like a movie moment but better!

2. Josh’s and Johnathan’s Wedding

Stefan and I had the great pleasure of attending yet another fantastic wedding this year, Josh and Jonathan. For those who don’t know, Josh(y) is a friend that has stuck with me for many many years and is pretty much one of the brothers I never had. So emotionally, this wedding was a beautiful event to witness since these boys have been together for 10 years! We had a lot of fun that night and made 10 new friends of course. However, the image of our friends Joshy and Johnathan dancing their first dance together is made even more incredible by the fact that Joshy is career Army and Johnathan is in the reserve; their wedding on the eve of the Don’t Ask Don’t Tell repeal. It was a site to see with Josh dancing at their wedding in his Army dress blues.

3. Uncle David’s Remembrance of Aunt Kitty at Her Headstone Unveiling

You attend a funeral or wake and you expect family and friends to speak great words about the person who passed. However, there are times when someone steps forward and briefly shares a memory when you least expect it and it truly moves you. Stefan’s Uncle David did just that at the unveiling of Aunt Kitty‘s headstone, a Jewish tradition. Although she had passed 9 months before, Kitty’s memory still tugged at the heart of her 4 adult children, her many grandchildren, and her large extended family which Stefan and I are a part. David stepped forward and it wasn’t so much the words but the power of his brief but emotional statement that I will bring away with me from that moment of public remembrance. It is isn’t to say none of the words of those others who spoke that day were poor or less memorable, it was the memory of David’s power in his voice that resonates with me. May she rest in peace and we tell stories about her at all the family occasions we have in the future.

5. The Snow Storm February 2001 – The Sound of Tree Limbs Cracking

Stefan and I settled into our first winter at McFreed House in 2011. But we ended up sharing our first “haunting” evening that February night when a heavy snow storm hit the area causing trees to be loaded with heavy wet snow. That night we huddled in bed as the power outage highlighted the sound of the cracking tree limbs falling to earth and hitting the ground or the side of our house. It’s a sound we hope we will never hear again!

6. Kylie Minogue Finally!

I finally got to see the Aussie songstress in concert in April 2011 for the first time! My sister Mikelle and friends Adrian and Jim joined me to a pretty much gay man dominated (sorry Jim) concert! I will always remember the tiara I gave Mikelle to wear that night. Every gay man in the place was jealous and coveted it! And I think Kylie herself could see it blink its pink star from where we were sitting.

7.  Earthquake! 

Stefan and I attempted to take a nice vacation with my sister Mikelle, our nephew Zachary, and my mother down in Nags Head, North Carolina this summer. Sadly, it seemed that Mother Nature was against us! Hurricane Irene ended up canceling it half way through and we ended up in a hail storm on the drive home. But the craziest thing that happened on the trip was the unexpected 5.8 earthquake that rocked the East Coast! My nephew Zachary and I will forever tell the story of how we survived the ensuing tsunami waves after the shaker while hanging out by the shore that afternoon.

8. Irredeemable

My friend Alan and I are nerds. Alan sucked me back into the comic books seen with the book Irredeemable. Its the story about a Superman-like character who goes insane and takes his insanity out on his fellow superheroes and Earth. Loved it! It led to me looking more into comics and then DC Comics released their New 52 series. The obsession of a 10 year old nerd was reborn.

9. Hilawesome!

I ended up coining the word for 2011: Hilawesome! It will happen! It was created at the 4th Annual McFreed Summer Shindig.

10. Disco Dorothy

Our friend Chris and his husband Shawn hosted a party celebrating Chris’ 30th Birthday this October with a Wizard of Oz/Wicked The Musical Theme. Stefan went as Dorothy and I went as a Winged Monkey. Stefan was a massive hit and lets just say there is video of him dancing in his costume…

Hey all! And Happy last day of 2011!

I have decided to start blogging again. I am going to blame new 2011 friend Amanda Llorens for inspiring me to do so. Amanda writes the incredible blog Mommies Are Light, Daddies Are Dark: An American Multiracial Family. She relates the adventures of  a white mom and a African-American dad raising two kids in this crazy world. Please check it out! And thanks Amanda for your re-inspiration!

My blog (and sometimes Stefan’s when he feels inspired) will continue to talk about our life and our opinions and passions as things go along. It will all have to do with how comfortable I feel sharing things with the world.

Where here goes nothing…

Sean

The 30 Day Film Challenge

 

Film is an artistic medium that in enjoying it captures the essence of who we are sometimes. Below is a list of questions that challenges you to think about all the films you have seen over the years and which ones truly stand out in your mind. Enjoy!

 

Rules:

  1. Post the trailer, favorite scene, or a still photo of the film you highlight each day.
  2. Add some context about why you selected it.
  3. Try not to repeat the same film for each question, if possible.

 

Day 1: What is your favorite film of all time?

Day 2: What film reminds you of your first love?

Day 3: What film can you recite from heart?

Day 4: What film stars as the lead an actor/actress you do not care for but you can’t live without it in your film library?

Day 5: What film is directed by someone you do not care for but you can’t live without in your film library?

Day 6: What film can you not wander away from when it is on TV and have to watch it to the end, no matter where it is in the story?

Day 7: What film do you share with your significant other?

Day 8: What film does your significant other love, but you absolutely loathe?

Day 9: What film do you share with your best friend?

Day 10: What film makes you laugh the hardest and longest?

Day 11: What film do you quote the most?

Day 12: What film makes you cry like a baby?

Day 13: What film do you hate with a passion?

Day 14: What film scares you to death?

Day 15: If you had one musical to keep in your film library, what would it be?

Day 16: What film cheers you up?

Day 17: What film reminds you of your childhood?

Day 18: Which film have you watched more than any other?

Day 19: What film compelled you to travel?

Day 20: If you had one foreign language film in your film library, what would it be?

Day 21: What film did you hate when you first saw it, but now are passionate about?

Day 22: What film is not one of your favorites, but it contains one of your favorite scenes? Which scene?

Day 23: What film does everyone like but you just cannot stomach or understand why?

Day 24: What film got you through college?

Day 25: What is your favorite holiday film? (This can be any holiday not just Xmas.)

Day 26: What film was so bad you left the theater (or ejected it from VHS/DVD player) before it ended?

Day 27: What was the first Rated R film you ever saw?

Day 28: What film would you say is your “guilty pleasure?”

Day 29: What film did you act out over and over when you were a kid?

Day 30: What film do you watch on a rainy day or evening?

Hey everyone!

The McFreeds announce today the launching of their new blog Like A Good Melon!

A play off our new house’s street address and a line in the movie When Harry Met Sally…, we wanted to get back to sharing our thoughts and adventures with you in a longer form than Facebook and email can offer. What better name to start with than one that refers back to how two people met and fell in love, right?!

We decided WordPress supplies us with a lot more creative angles, security, and capabilities to challenge us in managing a blog and improve the blog experience for our readers.  We will be configuring elements as we move along, so be patient with us as we get our feet wet with this new blogging program.

For your enjoyment we moved the posts from our old blog on Vox, The Celebrity Couple Otherwise Known as McFreed, over so you can catch some of our greatest hits, so to speak. Some elements like videos and pictures may not have moved in the conversion, so we apologize in advance for posts that seem to make no sense whatsoever without the visual element.

So sit back in that chair with a good cup of coffee or the proper cocktail and rejoin The McFreeds in their conversation.

Thanks

Sean and Stefan

The McFreed's Greatest Hits. This post has always been one I have been proud of because it shares the inside pride I have for me. Originally posted September 7, 2007, I decided to re-post and re-visit it again. Hope you enjoy!

Sean says…

"What is it to be a man?"  This is the question that former Australian pro-rugby player, now actor Ian Roberts has tattooed on his right arm.  Why? Roberts has this question tattooed on his arm to continually query himself about what it is to be a man because he is gay

His tattooed question, for some reason, is stuck in my own mind since I read the cover story about Roberts in The Advocate a few weeks ago. What is it to be a man? Is it really about being sexually attracted to women, the carriage of the body, the facial expressions, a certain annunciation of words, the basic interests in sports, the movies you like, or even the job you pursue sometimes. Is being a man mean masculinity, testosterone, and the typical "normal jock guy" stereotype?

To me I always doubted my own categorization as a "real man" like I am sure every gay man has done now and again. Another Vox poster spoke about how every time you meet a new person, move to a new place, or start a new job you are continually coming out as you move through life after announcing to the world and yourself, for that matter, that you are a gay man. And that is where my own doubt comes in. I joke a lot with my friends about taking away their "gay card" when one of us does something that fits the "normal" gay stereotypical activities or likes. Do we do this because we feel like lesser men?  Are we lesser men for being gay because we have a little swish in our hips, a higher voice, use words like "darling" now and again in jest, wear a certain style of clothing, or enjoy Valley of The Dolls?

Then I see men like Roberts, who meets the straight "real man" stereotype but has embraced his true self, and feel better.

That emotion of feeling better though is not just self-medication, it opens up the thought that being a man is just based on physicality and the rest is just what you make it. I am the man that I created. I am gay. I enjoy watching baseball, football and tennis. I can recite every line of Steel Magnolias. I enjoy the stereotypical gay delivery of sarcasm upon occasion. I love cuddling with my partner, another man, in the early morning when the day is new. I get excited about buying shoes. I live for seeing new places, hiking new trails, and seeing animals in the wild. I like saying a naughty word now and again followed by my own laughter.  I enjoy hanging out with straight men and talking about sports and politics. I don't fear or dislike Log Cabin Republicans, I am not afraid to speak my mind and be stern when I want to be. I am not a fan of pride parades. I beleive in God and go to church. I am not neat. I love cooking and eating good food. I prefer a cocktail to beer. And that is just some parts of the man I am.

I love me…something I have not always done in my life. But now I do love me for being the man I have become, gay and all. I think that is why Roberts had this tattooed this on his arm…and this is my opinion…he did it to remind himself that you are the man you make yourself to be. And that is where the true comfort of my own sense of being becomes truly satisfied.

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